Today's question is all about commitment, which I think of as the force that shields your marriage against all the challenges the two of you must endure. Every relationship involves adversity from time to time. A truly committed couple responds to the hard times by asking themselves, "How are we going to get through this? What will get us to the other side?" Someone who lacks commitment, though, might ask, "Should I stay or leave?"
Don't get me wrong; I realize some challenges overwhelm even the strongest commitment. When a relationship is toxic and abusive, sometimes the only possible path is to save yourself by ending it.
In many cases, however, I believe commitment can spell the difference between fighting hard to save the marriage versus bailing out over problems that could be worked out. As John Beecher once said, “Strength is a matter of the made-up mind.” If you both make up your minds that this marriage is forever, it's amazing what the two of you can find the strength to accomplish.
I'd like to hear your views about commitment in marriage. Why do you think commitment is important? Do you have a personal story in which commitment was all important in making a relationship work? Or perhaps you know of a situation where a lack of commitment was one of the major problems.
Do you agree with my assessment of commitment, or do you think the whole concept is outmoded and old fashioned? How does it apply to dating relationships or people who are living together but not married?
This question is more than just a passing fancy on my part. I am currently putting together a book proposal and one of the chapters is about commitment. I would love to quote your opinions and stories in the book, so write as much or as little as you wish. No response is too long or too short. Feel free to answer all of the questions I posed, or just one; it's up to you. I am eager to hear what you have to say.