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The Two Faces of Commitment: Acknowledging expectations is the first step to managing them effectively in your relationship

Commitment is crucial and an essential ingredient in the recipe for marital success, relationship satisfaction, as well as trust in longevity. Commitment is pledging yourself to each other by word, action and giving up or making choices. However, couples often struggle with commitment due to disenchanted, resentfulness, experiencing conflict or having ‘grass is greener’ visions.

When couples stop acting on commitment in their relationship, they can get off track (something we never dream of when we first get together). The success of a relationship is a strong sound friendship with our partner, staying deeply committed to each other and the partnership so that we can continually build a strong emotional bank account.

Unfulfilled expectations often become the source of conflict because preconceived notion distorts the actual experience.

Acknowledging expectations is the first step to managing them effectively in your relationship. Once you and your partner both know each other’s expectations, adjustments can be made based on the how realistic they are. In doing this, it’s important to remember not to compromise the integrity of your original expectations. Instead restate them to better set you and your partner up for success.

In practice:

Wanting and expecting your relationship to stand the test of time:

  • Believe in a long-term future together, even in conflict or the hard times.
  • Don’t make threats or ‘out-plans’ when it’s not going well.
  • Have a support system that agrees that marriage is for life and that you can achieve this.

I believe we can expect great things in our marriage when commitment, love and skill work together. Sure, there are times in our lives when we have to concentrate on some of these areas specifically or seek support to help us overcome challenges but with support and understanding, we can all enjoy the blessings of a strong and committed partnership.

I hope these tools prove useful and help you enrich your relationship. If you would like further reading on commitment, please contact me on 4979 1370 or robyn.donnelly@mn.catholic.org.au.

by Robyn Donnelly
Co-ordinator, Marriage & Relationship Education CatholicCare and Secretary and NSW Representative MAREAA.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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The Two Faces of Commitment: Strengthen and preserve your identity, make time for each other, have rituals, be friends, talk, walk and listen

Commitment is crucial and an essential ingredient in the recipe for marital success, relationship satisfaction, as well as trust in longevity. Commitment is pledging yourself to each other by word, action and giving up or making choices. However, couples often struggle with commitment due to disenchanted, resentfulness, experiencing conflict or having ‘grass is greener’ visions.

When couples stop acting on commitment in their relationship, they can get off track (something we never dream of when we first get together). The success of a relationship is a strong sound friendship with our partner, staying deeply committed to each other and the partnership so that we can continually build a strong emotional bank account.

It’s critical to nurture closeness and intimacy in your relationship, but don’t forget to maintain your own sense of independence and identity. Through open and overt communication with your partner, seek to find an appropriate balance.

In practice:

Make time for yourself and time for each other, have rituals, be friends, talk, walk and listen:

  • Strengthen and preserve your identity.
  • Think about yourselves as ”WE” and support each other’s hopes and dreams.
  • Talk about long term goals, make decisions together, develop a shared vision for your future.

Make Sacrifices:

  • Put off or postpone things to benefit your relationship.
  • Look for the joy that comes from choosing to do something that will make your partner happy.
  • Don’t tally and count what you do and what they don’t.

I believe we can expect great things in our marriage when commitment, love and skill work together. Sure, there are times in our lives when we have to concentrate on some of these areas specifically or seek support to help us overcome challenges but with support and understanding, we can all enjoy the blessings of a strong and committed partnership.

I hope these tools prove useful and help you enrich your relationship. If you would like further reading on commitment, please contact me on 4979 1370 or robyn.donnelly@mn.catholic.org.au.

by Robyn Donnelly
Co-ordinator, Marriage & Relationship Education CatholicCare and Secretary and NSW Representative MAREAA.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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The Two Faces of Commitment: Commitment in partnership will grow when partners witness personal dedication and commitment to their relationship

Pre-marriage programs, inventory workshops and enhance programs for married couples, each consider the true meaning and purpose of commitment.

Commitment is crucial and an essential ingredient in the recipe for marital success, relationship satisfaction, as well as trust in longevity. Commitment is pledging yourself to each other by word, action and giving up or making choices. However, couples often struggle with commitment due to disenchanted, resentfulness, experiencing conflict or having ‘grass is greener’ visions.

When couples stop acting on commitment in their relationship, they can get off track (something we never dream of when we first get together). The success of a relationship is a strong sound friendship with our partner and we need to stay deeply committed to each other and the partnership so that we can continually build a strong emotional bank account.

What Grows Commitment?

Commitment in partnership is a dynamic force and it will grow when partners:

  • Enjoy being together;
  • Each feel appreciated, loved and valued;
  • Witness personal dedication and commitment to their relationship; and
  • See their partner investing in their relationship and when they too show investment.

In most relationships, commitment can be looked at as a symbol of security; when they share a deep sense of security they will feel safer and are more willing to show and strengthen their own personal dedication. So what are the keys to staying personally committed?

Making the right choices for the relationship and your partner:

  • Making your partner and your relationship a priority! This means you have to say no to some people and other responsibilities.
  • Choose to show personal dedication – make “we” choices and see the positives in your partner more often than scanning for the negatives.

I believe we can expect great things in our marriage when commitment, love and skill work together. Sure, there are times in our lives when we have to concentrate on some of these areas specifically or seek support to help us overcome challenges but with support and understanding, we can all enjoy the blessings of a strong and committed partnership.

I hope these tools prove useful and help you enrich your relationship. If you would like further reading on commitment, please contact me on 4979 1370 or robyn.donnelly@mn.catholic.org.au.

by Robyn Donnelly
Co-ordinator, Marriage & Relationship Education CatholicCare and Secretary and NSW Representative MAREAA.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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The Two Faces of Commitment: (2) Over time relationships can find themselves in trouble, with only Constraint Commitment holding it together

Pre-marriage programs, inventory workshops and enhance programs for married couples, each consider the true meaning and purpose of commitment.

With this in mind, the research on commitment by Dr Scott Stanley is an excellent area to cover with couples preparing for or enriching marriage (for further reading refer to Dr Stanley’s publications “12 Hours to a Great Marriage” and the “Power of Commitment”).

Commitment is crucial and an essential ingredient in the recipe for marital success, relationship satisfaction, as well as trust in longevity. Commitment is pledging yourself to each other by word, action and giving up or making choices. However, couples often struggle with commitment due to disenchanted, resentfulness, experiencing conflict or having ‘grass is greener’ visions.

When couples stop acting on commitment in their relationship, they can get off track (something we never dream of when we first get together). The success of a relationship is a strong sound friendship with our partner and we need to stay deeply committed to each other and the partnership so that we can continually build a strong emotional bank account.

Dr Scott Stanley speaks of two faces of commitment:

  1. Personal dedication; and
  2. Constraint commitment

This week: Constraint Commitment is the type of commitment referred to one enforced by circumstances.

An example: Jane is committed to her organisation and her skills only match this particular organisation. She has huge responsibilities outside her work and needs the money. She is not personally fulfilled by her role and is often unappreciated for the work she does.

How Commitment Erodes
Lack of enjoyment or appreciation of the other can erode commitment. One of the biggest causes of dissatisfaction is conflict or unfilled expectations. When conflict isn’t handled well, marital satisfaction declines and with it goes personal dedication. When couples feel little commitment and that they don’t have a partner who understands them and supports them, they stop helping each other and stop doing things to make each other happy. Over time relationships can find themselves in trouble, with only constraint commitment holding it together. In this situation, partners can journey their relationship on autopilot – just being, not doing. The person with the lest commitment has the most power.

Commitment can also erode when both partners continue to show dedication but neither one notices the other’s efforts, or life becomes so busy or distracted that they take the other for granted. When couples experience this they can take the ‘grass is greener’ view and the relationship is open to emotional or physical affairs. Unfortunately, the partner with the least commitment has the most power.

I hope these tools prove useful and help you enrich your relationship. If you would like further reading on commitment, please contact me on 4979 1370 or robyn.donnelly@mn.catholic.org.au.

by Robyn Donnelly
Co-ordinator, Marriage & Relationship Education CatholicCare and Secretary and NSW Representative MAREAA.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

comment Add Comment

The Two Faces of Commitment: (1) Personal dedication refers to the promise and actions to fulfil your promise to maintain and improve your relationship

Pre-marriage programs, inventory workshops and enhance programs for married couples consider the true meaning and purpose of commitment.

With this in mind, the research on commitment by Dr Scott Stanley is an excellent area to cover with couples preparing for, or enriching marriage (for further reading refer to Dr Stanley’s publications “12 Hours to a Great Marriage” and the “Power of Commitment”).

Commitment is crucial and an essential ingredient in the recipe for marital success, relationship satisfaction, as well as trust in longevity. Commitment is pledging yourself to each other by word, action and giving up or making choices. However, couples often struggle with commitment due to disenchanted, resentfulness, experiencing conflict or having ‘grass is greener’ visions.

When couples stop acting on commitment in their relationship, they can get off track (something we never dream of when we first get together). The success of a relationship is a strong sound friendship with our partner and we need to stay deeply committed to each other and the partnership so that we can continually build a strong emotional bank account. 

Dr Scott Stanley speaks of two faces of commitment:

  1. Personal dedication; and
  2. Constraint commitment

Personal dedication refers to the promise and actions to fulfil your promise to maintain and improve a relationship for the mutual benefit and satisfaction for both parties. It goes well beyond simply being there in the relationship but actively:

  • Doing what it takes to increase its quality;
  • Investing in and sacrificing for it;
  • Linking it to personal goals; and
  • Seeking to improve your own welfare and that of your partner.

An example: Mary is sure she is dedicated and committed to the company she works for, she enjoys the people, believes in the company values and is treated well and is respected. Mary puts in energy and enthusiasm by turning up early and giving it her all, often going beyond what is required by her. She really enjoys her work.

I believe we can expect great things in our relationships when commitment, love and skill work together. Sure, there are times in our lives when we have to concentrate on some of these areas specifically or seek support to help us overcome challenges but with support and understanding, we can all enjoy the blessings of a strong and committed partnership.

Tune in for part 2 next week on Constraint Commitment.

I hope these tools prove useful and help you enrich your relationship. If you would like further reading on commitment, please contact me directly on (02) 4979 1370 or robyn.donnelly@mn.catholic.org.au.

by Robyn Donnelly
Co-ordinator, Marriage & Relationship Education CatholicCare and Secretary and NSW Representative MAREAA.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf