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How to deal with unfulfilled desires in a relationship?

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“To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves.” Through this seemingly simple quote, which appears in the peasant play ‘Blood Wedding ’, the famous Spanish poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca raised an important topic that many perhaps fear to address. What is desire? If we look at the origin of the word, it could be traced back to the Latin word desiderare, meaning ‘long for, wish for; demand, expect’.

The old French word desirrer or desirer is a close match, which translates into ‘wish, desire, long for.’ If we look for an Indian context, the ‘Rig Veda’ gives us an interesting insight about desire—as per a report published in Psychology Today, “according to the Hindu Rig Veda (second millennium BC), the universe began, not with light, but with desire, ‘the primal seed and germ of Spirit’.” While the scriptures, innumerable works of literature and great thinkers put so much importance to desire, why do some people hesitate to express or fulfill their desires, especially those related to their love life or relationship?


Unfulfilled desire was what drew Akash and his wife Pallavi apart. Both come from families as different as chalk and cheese. Akash’s social conditioning also shapes his desires and expectations from a life partner—he expected his wife to be very traditional, including how she behaved in the bedroom. Pallavi came from a family that forces children to follow the strict rules laid by the society. No wonder she grew up into a strong, confident and experimental young woman. Unaware of each other’s expectations from the marriage, trouble brewed in their marital lives when their desires remained unfulfilled in the bedroom. Pallavi expected her husband to be a little adventurous and experimental in bed while Akash’s intentions were exactly opposite. Disagreements and fights became frequent and the distance between the couple started growing wider.

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