Secret 2: Commitment

“What God has yoked together let no man put apart.”​—Matthew 19:6.

What this means. Successful couples view their marriage as a permanent union. When a problem arises, they strive to solve it rather than use it as an excuse to abandon the marriage. When spouses have a sense of commitment, they feel secure. Each trusts that the other will continue to honor the union.

Why it matters. In many ways, commitment is the backbone of a marriage relationship. Yet, after repeated conflicts, commitment can seem more like a trap than a trust. In effect, “till death do us part” becomes little more than a cold contract​—one that the mates wish had loopholes. They might not abandon the marriage literally, but they could “walk out” in other ways​—for example, by retreating into stony silence when serious issues need to be discussed.

Try this exercise. Rate your level of commitment, using the following questions as a guide.

When we are in the midst of a dispute, do I find myself regretting that I married my spouse?

Do I often daydream about being with someone other than my spouse?

Do I sometimes tell my spouse, “I’m leaving you” or “I’m going to find someone who appreciates me”?

Make a resolve. Think of one or two actions you could take to strengthen your commitment. (Some ideas: Write an occasional note to your spouse, keep photos of your spouse on display at work, or phone your spouse each day from work, just to stay in touch.)

Why not come up with several suggestions and then ask your spouse which would be most meaningful to him or her?

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Commitment is like a guardrail that prevents your marriage from going off course

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