Sunday, May 31, 2009

Are You Committed to Your Marriage?

In every session I have with a couple, I ask each partner if they are committed to their marriage. Once they give an answer, I ask what committment means to them. Over the years I have gotten many definitions to the word committment. Very often people confuse this word with other aspects of marriage, such as fidelity, trust, or partnership.

Webster's definition of committment is "an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; something pledged; the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled."
More simply stated, the definition seems to mean that you make certain promises and then keep those promises "for better or worse."

What I'm looking for when I ask each partner about their committment is either a direct statement of or something sounding like, "I'm willing to do what it takes to make this marriage work. I'm not going to give up easily. Even when it's really hard work. I'll stick with it and do my part."

We live in a throw-away society. Our culture has made it fairly easy to give up on all kinds of things, including marriage. But the things we stick with, work at, and dedicate ourselves to are the things we hold dearest to our hearts. We take pride in our willingness to do the hard work, and with each new challenge we face, we become even more committed to that endeavor. Committment breeds higher standards, raising the bar for success.

Committed partners in a marriage may initially just want the fighting to stop, but over time as they commit their hearts, minds and souls to the marriage, their expectations rise. They don't settle for just a "good enough marriage," they strive for excellence.

Whatever stage, if you have a desire to improve your marriage, I commit myself to doing the hard work, sticking with you and your partner in finding a better life together. You can find more on marriage counseling on my website. You can reach me at 512-795-0402. I am located at 4131 Spicewood Springs, M-1, Austin, Texas 78759.