When people make a promise to us, we usually expect and hope that they will keep it. Especially when it is from those we love and care about. We want to trust them and have the security of knowing that we can count on their word.
How about in marriage?
How many people stay committed to their promises?
Think about the marriage vows couples make to each other. Vows are promises. They usually include notions of affection (promises to love and respect one another) as well as faithfulness (promises to remain true and to stay together).
The following is an excerpt of marriage vows made by so many. I’m sure they will sound familiar:
"To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer,
in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part."
Why are vows hard to keep sometimes? It is because relationships are hard work! When difficult times come (and they will), when feelings or circumstances change, there is one thing that will keep a couple together and that is their commitment to their marriage.
The real difference between a successful marriage and a troubled one is the level of their commitment to work through problems and challenges. Couples who do not stay committed through the difficult times usually end up getting divorced. Successful couples work on resolving their conflicts.
They don’t give up; they stay committed to the relationship. If they cannot resolve their conflicts together, they seek help. They keep their promises Let us look at some of them again:
They promised: For better or for worse. So when it gets worse, they work together to make it better.
They promised: For richer or poorer. So when financial problems arise, they work together to pull out of them.
They promised: In sickness and in health. If sickness or tragedy strikes, or when they grow old, they cope with the challenges together and support each other in any way they can.
They promised: to love and to cherish. They can do this when they understand that true love is more than a feeling. It is a commitment.
And finally, they promised each other: Till death do us part. That means that they will remain faithful, resist temptations, and stay committed to their marriage for as long as they live.
Now that’s a huge commitment with some very serious promises! I really believe that most couples want their marriages to work. Sometimes what they need more than anything else is some insight and a few skills in key relationship areas such as communication, conflict resolution, money issues, sexuality & intimacy, romance. I know that professional counseling can be of help in many cases.
I hope to encourage you to stay true to your commitments. If necessary, get some help, make needed changes, learn more. Remember, your level of commitment will affect the quality of your marriage.