Thursday, February 17, 2005

Commitment test

Commitment test

By Bob Garon
TODAY Newspaper
Thursday, February 17, 2005 1:18 AM

First of 3 parts

IF you want to stay happy in your marriage (assuming you are now happy), you need to check out your present situation in order to catch possible problems before they get out of hand. This means having the courage to look into your relationship with an honesty that could be disturbing at times. Still, if you value your love, you should find the courage to do so.

You might want to do a quick inventory of your marriage by considering the following. About commitment, ask yourself how much you enjoy spending time with your spouse. This might seem to be a simple question, but there is more to it than meets the eye.

Remember how, during courtship, you never seemed to have enough time together and how you enjoyed every second of the time you did have? If this has Changed and you don’t enjoy spending time with your spouse as much as you used to, then that could be a red flag and you might want to ask yourself why it’s so.

Another very telling characteristic of deep commitment is your willingness to set aside your own pleasure in order to do something important for your spouse. The more you truly love a person, the more you are willing to give to your beloved. Not so much gifts and material things but the willingness to set aside your own pleasures in favor of your loved one. Is that willingness still as strong as ever, or can you say that it isn’t what it used to be? If so, it could signify a weakening of your commitment.

When you married, you were full of hope that you would live “happily ever after,” as they say. Do you still hold onto that hope or is it safe to say that the prospect of spending the rest of your life with your spouse is not what it used to be? If it isn’t, then how far have your expectations of a happy life fallen? And are they still falling? Remember that the root of all unhappiness is unfulfilled expectations. The more unfulfilled are your expectations (regardless of whether or not they are realistic), the deeper will your unhappiness be and the greater will the willingness be to walk away.

Another indicator: Are you still proud to introduce your spouse to your friends and family? If you deeply love a person, you feel proud to show him/her off to others. If that pride in your spouse has fallen, chances are that the level of love has also fallen.

Question. Would you marry your spouse again if you had the chance? If not, then you can strongly believe that your love and commitment is at a dangerously low level.

Then ask yourself if you are generally more happy than unhappy in your marriage. That should give you an indication of your commitment. It is difficult to believe that you are strongly committed to an unhappy marriage.

Lastly, do you feel that your marriage has helped you grow as a person? The more true this is, the stronger your commitment will be. The less true, the less will your real commitment be.


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