The degree of commitment in a relationship/marriage is defined by the foundation to it. It also is very related to the quality of the relationship itself.
Commitment requires free choice, not obligation. A free choice that should come from oneself based on his/her happiness, respect and love for the other partner. It is not something you make happen simply because one pledged or promised at a wedding day. It is not an obligation from a marriage contract.
Women find it that much easier to commit because of their lack of self and emotional maturity before going into serious relationships. Their commitment is simply a devolvement into unhealthy attachment and clinginess due to fear of abandonment and feeling no worth without ‘her’ man, ‘her everything’ as they’d say!
I know of many men that are married to their wives yet not committed. Commitment for them is a constraint and moral obligation towards their CHILDREN, be it because of social consequences, custody battles, or financial losses. Or simply the fact they prefer to not take the risks of ending the marriage, could be as simple as hurting the wife badly, and/or her not having ‘anywhere to go’. Men can stay committed to being fathers and be caring family members to their women but that doesn’t mean exclusivity or belonging to them. It’s out of duty, not love for their wives. Most men take pride in responsibility as well.
The truth is no one ever really belongs to anybody else, at least not entirely. When it comes down to it, even those linking words of attachment a marriage vow entails are truly only as binding as the intent of the speaker following them. And it’s not just the intent on that special day, but each and every CHANGING day from then on. It becomes a DAY IN AND OUT commitment. The problem being, many people take that vow rushing to it because of social expectation, unaware of it’s significance, unfulfilled as selves and not realizing or accepting the truth that people can outgrow one another and thus the love can change.
Commitment can be the freedom in itself. But what people fail to see is it’s only so when we commit ourselves to what is BEST for US. Certainly a relationship/marriage devoid of true mature love, respect, intimacy, friendship and/or open communication cannot be of any good for oneself- or the children if you look at things from a healthy perspective and not a traditional one.
On a similar note, I believe relationships were made to reveal the issues of oneself thus teaching you lessons for self-growth. So you cannot get it right from the first time certainly. The purpose of being in a relationship is for both partners to grow (SEPARATELY as an individual AND TOGETHER as one) and share one another’s happiness. Happiness they already own. When a relationship is limiting you or worse causing you to lose yourself, this is certainly something you should not be fighting for. And when you find yourself fighting for a toxic relationship as such, this says a lot about were your self-esteem, love, and respect is. You have none- you need to get out and work on yourself, for however long it’ll take.
You can’t expect a man to commit to what makes him miserable can you? I say man and not woman because it’s uncommon women break the commitment mostly out of the fact they’re so used to settling and are at war with themselves, and because of the consequences they’d endure if they weren’t exclusive to their men.
So to me, commitment is two sided. It can be a sign of emotional matureness and a fulfilled self. Or it can be the total opposite, emotional immatureness and clinginess out of self-compromise and no self-esteem.
Some random thoughts:
Commitment is also not an intention. It is action. Daily action.
Your commitments define who you are as usually they become your priorities.
A lack of commitment to change and becoming different is what can kill a soul.
Being married or being a parent doesn’t make you emotionally mature either.
Commitment requires seeking within the answers to what you need and what makes you happy, it takes integrity and choosing to honor your truth and emotions and following your own path regardless of all else. That’s the only way you can stay committed.
You can never stay committed to whom or what your heart is not committed to.