Level Of Commitment

Are you insecure about your partner’s level of commitment for you?

Do you feel like your partner has the upper hand in the relationship? Are madly in love with her and she is aloof towards you or fallen out of love? Do you wonder why you are still in this relationship / marriage? Over the course of a long term relationship / marriage it is normal to have periods where you feel more secure and insecure about the degree to which your partner is committed to you.  Feelings, along with people change over time. Different situations pull out different strengths and weaknesses in people. Relationships are not black and white.

To help you evaluate your partner’s level of commitment, try the following:

  • If you feel like your partner has the upper hand in the relationship take some time to evaluate the ways in which you have relinquished control in the relationship. Write down on a piece of paper all the ways in which you give to your partner. Then each time your partner, says or does something that makes your feel unappreciated stop doing that particular behavior. However, if your partner specifically asks you to do something, then go ahead and do it. This way, any time you do something “nice” your partner has to take a few moments to recognize and appreciated the ways in which you go out of your way for them. For example, if you are always the one to make meals, and you feel like your partner does not acknowledge the work that you do.  Stop volunteering to cook for him. This way, if he is hungry he will either need to cook food for himself, or ask you to do it for him. If he asks, then almost by default he is forced into a position of needing to acknowledge your work.
  • If you feel like you are fighting with your partner about space try meeting your partner’s demands and experience what that feels like. What are the benefits of your partner’s sense of space (e.g. time spent together as a couple)? What are the weaknesses? For example, some people feel like their partners should come before all friends, other people feel like healthy relationships require each person to have friendships outside the marriage.
  • Ask your partner what she gets out of this relationship? How does this relationship make her a better person? What about this relationship keeps her in it? What would she loose if she left? When did she decide that she was committed to the relationship? When does she feel most / least committed to this relationship? What makes her think that this relationship is worth saving? What is the glue that holds the two of you together (e.g. money, children, family, or friends)? Then share with her your answers. How are the answers similar / different?

Please note, frequently, in a long term relationship or marriage, the balance of power / level of commitment ebbs and flows between two people. Relationships are fluid and people grow and change with time. Both people can have a high level of commitment in the long term, but not each and every day.