How committed are you to learning and growth?
How committed are you to expressing the 'best you' possible?
How committed are you to your partner?
You can ask this same question about many other areas of your life.
Commitment can be both a fact and an attitude.
The fact is that when you marry, you take vows of commitment.
Keeping that commitment alive is an attitude.
What we do, how we behave, and what we say, reveals our attitude.
"When you are single and dating is your opportunity to explore possibilities. When you enter a pre-committed relationship is your chance to fully compare your requirements with the reality. Ideally, you make a commitment with full consciousness and clarity that this is what you want, accepting all challenges and obstacles as part of the package." (David Steele, Commitment: The Path to Relationship Happiness)
What would be reasons to break a commitment in a relationship?
- Is unhappiness a valid reason or just an indication that there is work to be done?
- Is emotional or physical abuse a reason?
- Is adultery a reason?
- Is your partner's refusal to be influenced, take responsibility and change their behavior when appropriate, a reason?
Some benefits of commitment in relationship: (Steele, 2015)
1. Companionship - We are social beings comforted by closeness. Married people are healthier, happier and live longer than non-married.
2. Intimacy - Emotional closeness, love, trust, mutual support, builds and improves over time and is much more difficult to achieve as a single or in non-committed relationships.
3. Safe & good sex - committed monogamous partners have more and better sex than singles and non-committed partners.
4. Family - Children and adults thrive in stable, long-term, multi-generational relationships.
5. Economics - Committed couples are financially more successful than singles and non-committed partners.
6. Community - Extended family, neighbors, churches and other forms thrive in the stability of committed relationships.
7. Mental/Emotional/Physical Health - Married adults live longer and have fewer mental/emotional problems.
Some questions to assess your level of commitment to your partner:
1. What % do you feel you have committed to your partner? 100% is total commitment.
2. Do you honor that commitment every day by communicating with each other the things you appreciate about each other?
3. Do your express physical affection on a daily basis with each other?
4. Do you communicate each day with each other what is going on in your life? e.g. what you are doing at work, what friends you have seen, what you are thinking and feeling etc.
5. Do you each take responsibility for your thoughts, feelings and behavior without blaming the other?
6. Do you regulate your emotions and adjust your mood when necessary without expecting your partner to change?
7. Do you accept each other's idiosyncrasies and tolerate your differences?
8. Are you committed to working through any and all problems/challenges you come across in your marriage?
9. Are you committed to providing a safe and secure environment, and to never abandon or threaten to abandon your partner (even when disagreeing on something)?
10. Are you committed to never talking to a person from the opposite sex about deeper thoughts and feelings than you do with your partner?
11. How much do you make each other a priority in your day to day life?
12. Do you believe unhappiness is an indication there is work to be done not a reason to break a commitment?
13. Can you say 'I love you and I will never leave you' to your partner and mean it?