For me life was a little bit of a challenge from the beginning. I was bounced around as a child. I came to believe that commitment was just about choosing to be with one person.
I put no effort into my relationships from the people who were a part of my life. I wasn’t even loving to myself. At the same time I accepted that other people would put very little effort into their relationships with me. I allowed people to be part of my life who put little effort in being kind, loving, and caring towards me.
Even when you are in a relationship with just one person, if that person is an alcoholic and abusive, you are not really committed to the relationship with that person. You may be committed to the idea of who that person was or could be, you may be committed to saving someone, and you may be committed to “making things work.”
But you are not committed to a loving relationship with that person because love shouldn’t hurt. Love can be difficult; disappointment and misunderstanding in love can be painful. We can all disappoint others at one time or another because we are all human. But love does not physically, mentally, or verbally abuse.
The man who became my husband taught me that committing to a relationship means more than just being with one person. He accepted me in my brokenness and in my success but he never changed the way he treated me when I was not my best self. I didn’t feel the need to hide who I was or change who I was in order to be with him. I have slowly grown into a better person because I want to be a better person for him, not because he asks me to be better but because he has accepted who I truly am. He committed to me, not just the ideal version of me.
True commitment comes from riding the storms together, from saying “yes” to loving someone everyday—even when you might not particularly like them. True commitment comes in those times when you don’t want to talk to your spouse but you do because you know that you need to settle disagreements. It’s choosing to be there and to continue to care for each other even when you don’t feel like it.
When I look back in life, I know that I never gave this type of commitment to anyone but my spouse and that no one but my spouse has been committed to me in the same way. This is not to say that some days you don’t feel like making food for your spouse if you are upset at them or that you don’t feel like doing something that you have committed to do. But you go beyond what you feel at the moment because you know that in the end you are a team. You know that love keeps growing when there is true commitment.