Why do some men find it so difficult to make a commitment to marriage? Are you frustrated with his inability to commit to loving you for a lifetime? Let's face it, many men are afraid to make commitments when it comes to love and marriage!
The thousands of successfully married couples we have interviewed throughout the world shared their stories with us about their enduring love for each other. While some described their fear of commitment early in their relationship, they revealed the steps they took to form a strong bond with each other and how they decided to enter into a fulfilling lifelong relationship with the one they loved.
So how do indecisions about love and marriage manifest themselves in real relationships? Understanding the following five aspects of commitment effecting relationships can help both of you work through the potential issues regarding his inability to commit:
Commitment Aspect #1
1. Making a commitment to marriage for a lifetime requires making a permanent decision without thoughts of escape. Someone who wants a successful marriage cannot promise a lifetime of love to someone while plotting an escape at the same time. A true commitment is unalterable! Any guy who is indecisive or afraid will not be able to make be able to take the marriage vows.
Commitment Aspect #2
2. To promise a lifetime of love you have to feel a certain level of safety. As Maslow's hierarchy of needs demonstrates, the need for safety is just above the physiological needs. A person's safety needs have to be satisfied before the need for love and belonging can be met. In other words, before a man can enter into a life long relationship, he has to feel safe in the relationship. Building a high level of trust in the relationship will help in producing the feeling of safety. It is also critical that he is completely over past failed relationships, before he can feel safe enough to engage for a lifetime with another person.
Commitment Aspect #3
3. If he is waiting to make a commitment until he has no doubts, it will never happen. When we were in graduate school studying the field of counseling we encountered a myriad of theorists, but one of our favorites was Rollo May. He wrote eloquently when he stated, "The relationship between commitment and doubt is by no means an antagonistic one. Commitment is healthiest when it is not without doubt but in spite of doubt." If a man is waiting for perfection in the woman he wants to marry, he will never be ready to love her for a lifetime. When he is able to focus on the positive strengths of the woman he is in love with and is able to feel comfortable with her weaknesses, he will be ready for marriage.
Commitment Aspect #4
4. "Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage," said Lao Tzu, a Chinese philosopher. We think he has it right. It is not enough to be deeply loved, as you must reciprocate profound love as well before a lifetime of commitment can be made. Having strength without courage is much like the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz—only when he decided to be courageous could he use his strength effectively. Making a lifetime commitment to another human being is a lot like that. Only when he has both strength and courage can a man push forward with a marriage proposal.
Commitment Aspect #5
5. The person you commit to, first and foremost, must be your best friend. You cannot make a lifetime commitment to someone you ONLY love. Lifetime commitments are made to those we consider our best friends! When we ask successfully married couples who their best friend is, their answer is always the same—their spouse. If you want a happy and successful marriage, make sure your mate is your best friend.
Remember, you cannot settle for a man that thinks he is doing you a favor to marry you. You deserve a man who truly loves, wants and needs you, and considers you his best friend. Commitment is forever!