On the first day of freshman physics, a college professor wrote the following question on the chalkboard: Question: Is light a particle or a wave? Answer: Yes.
He then turned around to the class and said “This is the essence of physics. If you understand this idea, you’ve grasped the essence of physics from gravity to quantum theory. The rest of what you’ll learn is just details. Now let me see by a show of hands those of you who get it. “The majority of students in the room raised their hands. “Now let me see by a show of hands those of you who don’t get it.” A smaller group raised their hands. (I’m in the smaller group.) “Okay,” he said, “For those of you who don’t get it, let me share a classic Zen story that might help.
The story goes like this…
There once was a famous Zen master who told his students that his greatest teaching was this: Buddha is the mind.
One of his disciples was so impressed with this insight that he decided to leave the monastery and retreat to the wilderness to meditate without distraction on this one key insight. And so he spent the next 20 years doing just that.
Then one day, he met another monk passing through the wilderness. It turned out that this monk had also been studying with the same teacher. So he asked him, “Did the master tell you what his greatest teaching was?” “Yes,” replied the new monk. “He was very clear on this. He said his greatest teaching was: Buddha is NOT the mind.”
What did the professor want us to learn?
He was trying to show us that there are inherent paradoxes in the laws that govern the universe (or multiverse, according to quantum theory). In other words, although these laws are black and white, nothing IS ever really black or white — because a thing can have two opposite qualities (or potentials). Now I wish I could tell you that I understood these ideas right way, but alas, just like that monk in the Zen story, it’s taken me years to get that I didn’t get it.
By now, you’re probably wondering…
What exactly does the paradoxical laws of physics have to do with being a passionate husband? Well, a lot more than you might expect. In the next few minutes, I’m going to help you make that connection. But before I get into all that, let’s talk about why I’m so interested in helping you make the connection in the first place.
For more than twelve years, my work has centered on teaching skills that help men, women, and couples learn how to create and sustain Passionate Monogamy.
Why Passionate Monogamy?
Because without passion, monogamy is hard work. Why? Because of a little pesky thing built into the human DNA called “free will”.
You see, while Mother Nature hardwired monogamy into the brains of certain animals, she did not do so for human beings. This means that the human sex and mating instinct is free. Therefore, for us, monogamy is a choice (and a really good one, if you ask); in the end, it’s a lifestyle we volunteer for. But here’s the thing about voluntary actions: They can’t be forced. They can only be inspired. Therefore, if we want to create and sustain a monogamous relationship, we must also be able to inspire the desire (in ourselves and in our partners) to choose monogamy.
What inspires our desires to stay monogamous?
Think of it this way…
Passion is like the sugar that sweetens monogamy, and principles are like the salt that preserves it. If either one is missing or begins to decline, that relationship becomes vulnerable to temptation. Now of the two, it’s my opinion that the decline of passion is by far the more dangerous thing that can happen in any monogamous relationship. Maybe you’re surprised to hear me say that since it would be easy to assume that even if passion declines in a marriage, then our principles (commitment) should see us through, right? In an ideal world, this might be true. But in the real world, it just isn’t. That’s because living in monogamy without passion is like living in a room without windows. Eventually, even principles won’t be able to hold you; you’ll seek ways to escape it.
Basically, it comes down to:
- Monogamy + Passion = Paradise
- Monogamy – Passion = Prison
Therefore, a big part of what makes monogamy successful is having the skills to inspire, sustain and renew passion in your marriage.
So now that you know how important passion is in a marriage, let’s talk about how all this affects you.
It’s my observation that there are basically two types of married men:
- those who consistently inspire their wives’ desire, passion, and respect
- those who routinely fall short
Those husbands who are able to consistently inspire their wives’ desire, I call “passionate husbands”. Those who routinely fall short, I refer to as “passive husbands”.
Passionate Husband vs Passive Husband
Notice: The difference between a passionate husband and a passive husband has nothing to do with the man’s looks, money, religion, or social standing. It strictly comes down to the man’s ability — his ability to consistently inspire his wife’s desire, passion, and respect. The word “consistently” is important here (more on why later).
Passionate Husband: consistently inspires desire, passion, and respect
Passive Husband: routinely fails to inspire desire, passion, and respect
Maybe you’re wondering…
Are the skills and abilities needed to consistently inspire a woman’s desire, passion, and respect the product of a man’s DNA? In other words, are some men just born to be passive or passionate husbands?
To answer that question, let’s go back to the story with which we began.
Remember that question the physics professor wrote on the blackboard: Is light a particle or a wave? The answer was “yes”, meaning it’s potentially both. Well, a similar paradox is hardwired into our own human nature. For example, while every man has the potential to be a passionate husband, he also has the potential to be a passive one.
So, we could then pose our question like this:
Are you a passionate or a passive husband?
If you remember… I told you the word “consistent” would be important. Here’s why: Since you have the potential to be both passionate and passive, the key is to ask yourself which one you most consistently are.
This is a very important question to ask yourself.
But what’s even more important is that you arrive at an honest answer. To help you do that, I think it might be helpful to give you a better understanding of what it means to be a passionate husband.
Because if you think about it…
Before today, has anyone ever sat you down and explained to you in plain English exactly what it means to be a passionate husband? Has anyone ever taken the time to show you what you can consistently do to inspire your wife’s desire, passion, and respect — day after day, night after night, decade after decade? If you’re like most guys, the answer to that question is NO.
But today, all that can change.
That’s because coming up is a crash course on what it takes to be a passionate husband — the type of man who’s able to consistently inspire a woman’s desire, passion, respect and, perhaps most importantly, her loyalty. And the way I’m going to do that is by sharing with you the Top 10 Super Attributes developed by passionate husbands. Now, I call these qualities “Super Attributes” because while every husband has the potential to develop them, not every husband will. That’s because the development of these attributes is notautomatic (it takes effort), and because they can’t be bought, sold, or inherited (they must be earned).
Your mission (should you choose to accept it):
- Read and review each of the 10 Super Attributes developed by passionate husbands.
- Self-evaluate, using your intuition (gut) as your guide, how consistently you display each Super Attribute in your own marriage. Assess yourself (intuitively) using a Mild-Medium-Hot scale: Mild means not consistent; Medium means somewhat consistent; Hot means pretty much consistent.
- Notice: This is about evaluating yourself, not criticizing yourself.
- Notice: This is about consistently moving toward the Super Attributes, not giving wrong or right answers.
- Notice: This is about increasing self-awareness, not inflicting self-judgment.
Now, let’s examine these Super Attributes…