Saturday, November 10, 2007

Pontificaton #1: Commitment in a Relationship

Based on the premise of my prime directive, “Hers Forever” you could guess that my postings are directed at Female Led Relationships. You are right. But some of my writings cover subjects that are more general than that, and are necessary to provide a stable and credible basis for my views on FLR. The FLR idea will pop up often both as a contrast to vanilla and as the primary topic.

I want to point out that I am not about to beat up divorced and remarried people. Commitment aside, divorce is sometimes the best for one or both partners. It can happen to anybody. But when it becomes a habit …

Neither am I about to beat up people who cohabitate without marriage. Without marriage divorce is not necessary, although the equivalent can be just as painful. However, I see less of a commitment in this case.

The subject of this writing is "commitment within a relationship." Let’s get the negativity out of the way first. Most marriages are vanilla. We, who know what FLR is, also know vanilla. A vanilla marriage has characteristics that range from no sex or ho-hum sex to S/M, from “honey please do such-and-such” to knockdown abuse and control of male or female. It includes fantasies, unfulfilled wishes, cheating on one’s mate, and more often than not, divorce!

The divorce rate in America for first marriage, vs second or third marriage 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce, according to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in springfield, Missouri.

See the source at

A contemporary approach to starting a marriage is often like the following. After having sex for a few days, and not really knowing each other, they get together for a weekend. A few drinks later and before another bout of sex,

“I love you babe!”
“I love you too honey!”
“Let’s get married.”
So they do, and the female gets pregnant. Hardships develop because after a while the female has problems that are not necessarily related to having sex for the moment. The male does not see it that way. What he sees is that she has not been as attentive to his needs as before, and his options of gratification are (1) self, (2) professional, or (3) that sexy little number at the Seven-Eleven store where he buys his cigarettes.

I may be making light of today’s marriage age adults, but you just have to look at statistics of the number of marriages versus divorces, families with children of various parentage, etc. and you can’t argue that there seems to be a lack of commitment. I am sure that there are responsible adults out there who are not the way I presented in my irreverent portrayal. It is just that I get really annoyed when some beer swilling hairy-assed jock belches and says, “I’m in charge, and I’ll take what I want.” He may still have some tender feelings for the woman that he married, but with all the conflicting influence on his behavior of having to be macho but sensitive, manly but expressing his femininity, he is one confused male. Add to that the possibility of not being very intelligent or even smart, he has a major problem dealing with his life in a caring and intelligent manner. No wonder he wants to split when the little woman does not see it his way.

This is not implying that the wife is necessarily perfect and just a victim of a bad marriage. She may be just as messed up as he is. Coming from a broken family, uncaring parent or parents, torn between warring parents, succumbing to peer pressure of early exposure to drugs and sex, seeing television sitcom females as her role models she has her own problems. She may be perfectly beautiful and sexy, but totally unable to handle a marriage. So, when things become difficult between them, she will decide to split. They become single again, and the cycle repeats with possible complications: children.

A person’s lifetime is too short to accommodate several experimental marriages that fail in search of one that finally succeeds (the eenie-meenie-minie-moe approach). It is best to be selective in the first place, but I understand that most couples are not mature enough when they marry. I know that I was not, even though I was old enough. Why? It is because we never had education in how to select a mate for life. Romance novels, movies, and television are very bad sources for such task. Either our parents were unwilling to talk about it, did not know it themselves, or it was not part of the curriculum of raising a child. It is just not done. Look at many TV show that deal with so-called families, and you see a lot dysfunctional people who don’t have a clue about commitment. Their children grow up sophisticated with respect to today’s gadgets and protocol. They emulate the dog-eat-dog relationship within and outside the family. They learned these from the parents and peers, and don’t have a clue about survival as a caring and reponsible adult.

On to the positive approach …

My background prepared me to take responsibility for my actions and for all who depend on me. I realize that once I make a change in another person’s life, I am responsible for that change. Marriage is such change in the most profound way.

Commitment is necessary regardless of the style of relationship. We cannot simply say, “We love each other and all is well,” and expect it to succeed and last forever. It takes two to have any kind of relationship. A relationship needs awareness, open mind, and continual support from both participants. You can relax for a while if you have a lot of goodness in the bank, but don’t become complacent. Your partner’s attitude is likely to be as in, “Yeah, you were great, but what have you done lately?” It is not wrong. It is the way we are. If you are really committed, you will do all you can to avoid having to hear that.

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