What does it mean to be committed in a marriage? We all know the vows that people take as they marry their partners: “For better or worse”. This sentence has been said and repeated many, many times by married couples, however it is also a sentence that is often not taken too literally or seriously. It seems that because we often do not quite understand the meaning behind this sentence, we take it light heartedly. “For better or worse” for a lot of us translates into “For better or worse, unless you become controlling” or “For better or worse, unless you lose your job and your income decreases.” In other words, what we actually mean by saying for better or worse is that yes, we will stay with you but only for as long as we want to or feel like it. This particular mindset especially if we have it before marriage is the very thing that will make our marriage weak and easy to falter. We need to understand and keep in mind what this sentence actually represents, which is, commitment in its truest form.
Commitment is not about staying with our partners when things are going good or when things are not ‘that bad’. Commitment means loving our partners when things are not good. Either the circumstances are tough or the relationship itself is undergoing turbulence. Whatever aspects of both our lives and the relationship that isn’t going well – commitment is what helps us pull through it and come out the other end with out partners as winners. Ask yourself the question of ‘what if (insert problem) happens?’ Be it a loss of job, loss of motivation, weight gain, bad habits, addictions, etc. Will this change the circumstances of your relationship or will you commit and pull through possible challenges together? Before we marry our partners, be certain that we really will love them for better or worse.
If you both decide to pull through at the worse of times, the outcome will be far more rewarding than you would think. Couples who have been happily married for a long time often say that it was not the days of ease that made their marriage happy and strong but it was working through the difficult parts that did. It is in the worst of times that we can really see just how much love and commitment we have to our partners and the relationship. If you can stay committed and overcome the many challenges that life inevitably brings at this moment in time, then you are already building a strong foundation for your future marriage prosper.
Remember that there is no “unless” in our vows because there should be no room for it in our marriage. Pull through the difficulties because you have chosen the person you are about to marry for life. Make the commitment to love your partner just where they are as well as where they may end up in the future. Not only for this moment, not only until the circumstances change or until he/she changes but for forever.