by Neil Rosenthal
Note: This is the second of a two-part series.
This is a continuation of the soul-searching questions about how committed you are to your intimate partner or spouse:
• Do the two of you make joint decisions on major matters?
• Do you keep each other informed?
• Can your partner depend on you?
• Do your fantasies include your partner?
• Do you believe that you and your partner are an outstanding match?
• Do you put concerted effort into improving your relationship?
• Are you willing to postpone some of your personal dreams for the good of the relationship?
• Do you take responsibility for repairing damage to your relationship?
• Do you listen to your partner and take him/her seriously?
• Do you and your partner often discuss your ideas, dreams or goals for the future?
• Are you married?
• Have you had a ceremony acknowledging your commitment?
• Do you represent yourself to other people as committed?
• Does your behavior clearly show that your relationship is a priority?
• Do you give help as well as receive it in your relationship?
• Do you focus on pleasing your partner as much or more than being pleased?
• Do you focus more on the positive aspects of your relationship than the negatives?
• Would it be really difficult for you to lose this relationship?
• Are you against divorce/separation as it relates to you?
• Do you feel 100% clear about staying in this relationship?
It is important for you to be painstakingly honest when you answer these questions if you want to accurately gauge your commitment. These questions came from Pat Love’s book The Truth About Love (Fireside). She says that commitment is made manifest in actions, and that one of the best ways you can demonstrate your commitment is to make your partner’s strongest wishes, requests or needs important to you by.
1) letting him tell the story without you chiming in;
2) talking about the relationship when you’d prefer to go to sleep;
3) watching a love story instead of a game;
4) going to the in-laws when you’d rather not;
5) keeping silent instead of correcting;
6) occasionally having sex when you’re not in the mood;
7) leaving work at the office and making sure you’re home at dinner time every night;
8) going shopping when you’d rather not;
9) living with blue when you’d prefer mauve;
10) saying “I love you” every day without fail.
The lack of rock solid commitment-over time-is likely to compromise the trust, the connection and the intimacy between the two of you.
Neil Rosenthal is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Denver and Boulder, CO, specializing in how people strengthen their intimate relationships. He can be reached at 303.758.8777, or e-mail him from his website, www.heartrelationships.com.