Updated: Dec 10, 2019
In all my life's experience, without fail, this is what true commitment looks like:
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings, and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Has there ever been a human relationship that has been made out to be more complicated than dating or marriage?
Imagine if the conventional/book “marriage” wisdom was applied to anything else:
“Children of both sexes need both love and respect, but daughters tend to need to be reassured of love more than boys, and sons need reassurance that they are respected more than loved. If you don’t do this, they may run away from home and get new parents.”
“Girl students will be less likely to be up front with their needs and questions than male students. Be sure to check with them frequently and read between the lines of what they are saying. Male students won’t beat around the bush and will be very direct. Don’t be offended.”
“Having high expectations of your child/student/employee is the surest way to ruin your relationship with them.”
These seem bizarre and laughable, correct? So why do we sit there and apply them to a relationship?
Why do we muddy the waters with all these specialized “needs” and blanket gender-assigned rules and exercises and on and on?
What if we went into a relationship acknowledging that it really ISN’T that complicated?
What if we went into a relationship expecting it to be like any other sort of human interaction.
That just like at your childhood home, school, work, in public, in a roommate situation, you are expected:
To not leave a mess wherever you go
To put things back the way you found them
To show up and participate
To take initiative in your own life, keep learning, growing, trying
To be a team player and not completely selfish
To be open and honest and clear when you have a question, comment, or concern
To not go A.W.O.L.
To be helpful
To be empathetic
To be patient
To mature more every year
To accept differences of opinion
To be affable and agreeable and likeable and pleasant most of the time
How hard is that to understand? We spend our whole lives being trained on these topics. These are not gender-specific. These are not hard to understand.
How hard is it, when you deeply, deeply love and value someone, to tell them “I love you forever and we can work through anything together” and mean it as part of your morning practice (between saying the things you are grateful for and visualizing your daily and long-term goals)?
How hard is it to reassure and renew your commitment to the person every night by saying, “I will be here for you tomorrow?”
The reason a relationship doesn’t work is because one or both people do not want it to work.
It really is that simple.
They do things to the other person that they would never do to a stranger, to a room-mate, to a parent, to a co-worker or boss, to a teacher (unless they do…in which case, RED FLAG).
And the reason is because they view their allegedly “significant” other as a disposable commodity because they don’t really want a healthy, mature, decent adult relationship.
Because they don’t embody those things themselves.
And like wants like.
These are basic concepts that you should not have to explain or demand or analyze or try to give cute labels to, like “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” or “Men are Waffles, Women are Spaghetti”.
No, they are not.
They are human beings from civilized Earth society, with understood behavioral norms. And individuals are all different.
If that other person has heard what you have to say and does not even attempt to change, or twists it back on you without skipping a beat, it is because they don’t want to be loving or responsible.
Particularly if they were charming, charismatic, nay, perfect in the beginning.
Don’t be a sucker to a bunch of psychologists trying to sell you a book full of nonsense or repackaged obviousities and making excuses disguised as scientific studies for someone refusing to LISTEN, COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY, OR EMPATHIZE.
This is why it is so important to have boundaries. To have standards. To have certain realistic expectations.
Because if you don’t, you are going to walk around feeling every inch of the crazy that your uncaring, emotionally unavailable soon-to-be ex- has been labeling you.
I say soon-to-be-ex- because if you don’t leave, they will. Because they don’t want you. It is impossible to respect someone who allows themselves to be bullied on the weekly, daily, hourly.
I want you to remember that you are not hard to love.
You are not hard to respect.
You are not hard to keep happy.
You are delightful to see after a long day at work.
Your hopes, dreams, ideas, interests are interesting and a privilege to hear about.
You are a joy to go do fun things with.
Being there for you when you need support is not a chore.
You are not a slave. All the work should not fall on you.
You are not a sex slave. It is not your job to do all the work, or to do things you are not comfortable with or find traumatic.
It is not hard for your body to be as valued as the other person’s, by the other person.
You are worth helping with whatever you are working on.
You are entitled to your income.
It is not hard to each have money to spend, but both refrain from going deep into debt over stupid things.
It is not hard to work towards a common, mutually-beneficial goal together.
Someone who is healthy and invested emotionally would never find you easy to abandon.
A disagreement should not inherently blow up into a full-on hatefest.
An apology to keep the peace is a sign of inner strength and charity.
A refusal to make peace shows the opposite.
There is no reason things can’t be slept on and gently worked through until both sides win.
There is no complicated biochemiphysipsychosociological formula that you have to study from a shelf full of books to make things work between you and another person.
I spent so many days and nights asking myself, “Why is this so impossible? Why does this have to be this way? Why does every day feel like I'm on trial in court for any disagreement?”
You should never feel like you have to ask those questions.
If the other person consistently makes it clear with their actions that they don’t care
Especially when you are clearly affected and distressed by their behavior
And they make no attempt to take you seriously in any way or
work things out
Then believe them.
They DO NOT CARE or are UNWILLING TO YIELD.
Not because you haven’t done the magic male/female/straight/gay/faith-based/science-based/trendy-labelled fad...
But because they are deficient in maturity, decency, alacrity, and/or empathy.
If it is something that you can live with right now,
You have worked it out!
If it is not
Please do yourself, and all of us, a favor:
RESCUE YOURSELF FROM AN IMPOSSIBLE SITUATION.
I am not saying to get into a new relationship,
What I am saying is, get out of the old one.
Because if you don’t, your soul will wither up
And your body will sicken
And the world will miss out on the joyful light that you have to offer
While you lie in the dark
And please, please, please:
Do not push for or manipulate a relationship with someone who has definite lifestyle goals that are different from yours.
Do not pursue someone who does not want children when you want them to bear you heirs.
Do not insist on sex with someone who doesn’t want to have sex.
Don’t go after a dog lover when you know you hate dogs.
Please accept their no, verbal or behavioral, and move on.
Do not sentence them to a life that will end up with both of you miserable, then separated, with children caught in the middle.
That is your responsibility: to make sure you agree on major issues before they become actual issues.
Commitment really is that simple. Love really is that simple.
This person is your family.
We all know the Golden Rule.
And Forever means Forever.
And true Commitment always finds a way.
It really is that simple.
You are a Child of Glory! Never forget that.
Find your way, Child.
We’re all in this together.
All My Love,