Saturday 6 May 2017

Fighting The Enemies of Marriage (Part Three):

Lack of Commitment (Part Two): Constraint Commitment
There are basically two types of commitment as it relates to marriage. These are “constraint commitment” and “personal dedication.”

Constraint commitment is one that comes as a result of external factors and/or considerations. These include cultural/moral norms, expectations and values; societal constraints; financial realities; concern for the welfare and future of the children; fear of the unknown and/or the future. These are not necessarily bad, and are actually present in every marriage in one form or the other. However, on its own, constraint commitment, though might take the marriage the long haul, does not provide for a pleasurable journey.

Constraint commitment places its focus more on the reason for keeping the union, rather than the union, or the spouse. Hence, the parties are drawn more to the reason than to one another. This makes it easy for them to grow apart, and the union depreciate, though everyone else thinks the marriage is rock solid. The constraining element is the glue holding them together. Hence, when taken away, the union easily crumbles, if they have no other sustenance in place. Everyone else is surprised, except the parties themselves.

As earlier mentioned, constraint commitment is not altogether bad, and can be the beginning of a great, enduring and rewarding relationship. For this to occur there has to be an investment in the union (relationship), and a shift from focusing on the constraints to more lasting, intrinsic reasons for keeping the union alive.

Circumstances that might result in constraint commitment include, "arranged marriages," "pregnancy," "settling for what is available, rather than waiting," amongst a host of others. Irrespective of what might have occasioned the constraint commitment, the important thing to note is, "it is not a spell of doom." As Ronald Reagan so rightly said,
There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.
There is no magic to a successful, healthy, stable and rewarding marriage other than the willingness of the two parties to make it work. It is that simple.

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