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relationship advice & commitment

Commitment Is Key

What is a healthy relationship? Often when I ask this of couples who come in for counselling they do not have a definitive answer. There are a few things which I like to call relationship fundamentals which really need to be in place to have a healthy relationship. Couples who have these relationship fundamentals handle the stresses of life and the natural challenges of a relationship with more ease than those who don’t. There are 10 things which I believe are really important factors to having a healthy relationship. A relationship which will stand the test of time, of stresses and of the challenges life brings. My relationship advice about these fundamentals will be featured as articles on my blog.

So the second relationship fundamental is commitment !

Barbara De Angelis stated,When you make a commitment to a relationship, you invest your attention and energy in it more profoundly because you now experience ownership of that relationship.” When entering a relationship you are essentially making a promise to your partner that you will be with them, that you are committed. Remaining true to this promise of commitment is important because it establishes trust and provides a solid foundation for your relationship.

In couples therapy I can see where people erode this fundamental relationship foundation. The most common and damaging is the threat to leave. Often time and time again threats to leave are made whenever there is a disagreement or conflict. This erodes the trust and creates insecurities. When people operate from an insecure place it can be confusing and many misunderstandings can happen. Commitment is about hanging in there, through the good times and the bad. Commitment lets your partner know that you are serious about the relationship that it matters to you. With the foundation of commitment this  allows trust to develop and intimacy to flourish. Commitment allows you to place the relationship above your own needs at times which is part of the give and take in a relationship. Let’s explore commitment! Below are some questions which you can ask yourself and your willingness to be honest with yourself is important here. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being not at all and 10 being yes this is totally me answer these questions.

  • Do you threaten to leave when you have a disagreement or conflict?
  • Do you hang in there when the going gets tough?
  • Are you working towards solution or towards being right?
  • Do you want to be right no matter what the cost?
  • Are you willing to compromise?
  • How do you show your partner that you are committed to the relationship?
  • How do you build trust and security in your relationship?

So your answers here are just a guideline for you to know if there are areas in your relationship around commitment that may need a little work. Being committed to a relationship and working through the issues, creatively coming up with solutions together can be one of the most connecting experiences for a couple. Take my advice and do this exercise, it is a tangible process which can bring you closer together.