Constructing Commitment

Over and Under Committed…At the Same Damn Time


Have you ever stopped to think, “What don’t I have to do today?”. I often ask myself this multiple times per day. It makes me realize how over-stretched I am in so many areas in my life, yet even through my complaints, I still make time to get things done some how some way. This includes working out to try and remain healthy, going to work, making sure my kid is okay, doing school work, trying to operate a business, and being a wife all at the same damn time. This shit isn’t easy.

I use so many different tools to keep myself on track, phone calendar, to-do list, to-do apps, reminders, you name it I’ve tried it. Even with all of these tools, I will “get ‘er done”. Not always on time, but in due time. But a short time ago I stopped to think, where do I prioritize my marriage? Where does my husband fall on this list? Was he on my list?

We as women can give so  much energy to everything else in our life that we don’t realize that we are taking it away from other things that deserve it  as well. We will focus on friends, extended family, crafts, kids school activities, kids extra-curricular activities, women groups, working out, making lists, organizing, and the list could honestly go on for days, but we often assume that husband is on auto-pilot. That he will care for himself. Yes, he is self-sufficient as an adult, but no one gets married to be on auto-pilot.  Our energy and time are like the currency of love in our marriage. To build your savings, you have to invest it. You may also have to divest to invest in other things that provide a better return.

Meaning that taking energy that is being put into something that isn’t helping your marriage grow and putting that same energy and time into your marriage can do wonders for your relationship.

Love Inventory

A good starting place is by taking inventory of where your love, time, and energy is going. For example, lets say you have $100 love bucks to invest and you have five areas where they can be invested: Quality Time, Personal Time, Family Time, Work, and Other. How would you invest your funds?

The idea picture should be Quality Time ($40), Family Time ($20), Personal Time ($15), Work ($15), and Other ($10). Your love should be given to your husband because when your marriage is right, then everything else falls into place. I know many of us place so much focus on our family, work, and other, but do not lump your husband into Family Time. It is not his time with you. This is not time to build upon your marriage. This is just what it says it is, time with your family.

If you take inventory of your relationship and realize that your time is given to so many Other things that your husband and your marriage are coming last, then your goal is to develop change. You need to assess where you can remove yourself and devote that time towards building up your marriage and becoming a better wife.

Divest to Invest

But how can I break commitments I have agreed to, you say? Easy, be like Nike and Just Do It! Did you question why you didn’t give that same time to your husband or your marriage before making those commitments? Did you discuss with your husband what impact these commitments would have on your personal time with him? Did you stop to truly think about where your time would be best spent before committing? If you answered no to any of those questions, then you didn’t make a sound decision. You didn’t give your marriage a chance to speak up and be heard in the decision.

I know that once we dedicate ourselves to being involved with a group, event, social circle, or activity, it can feel almost detrimental to remove yourself from something that has become part of you. However, your marriage is now the biggest and best part of you that exists. I would rather deal with the backlash of removing myself from an external commitment then deal with what may result if I continue to make my marriage suffer.

Now back to our love funds. Let’s say your breakout is Quality Time ($10), Family Time ($20), Personal Time ($5), Work ($35), and Other ($30). You find that between your job and other commitments, you are short changing your Quality Time fund. How do you even begin to make a change? You Divest to Invest. 

A focus on work and other things isn’t going to pay-off in the end. Yes, you may receive a promotion and receive notoriety at work. Yes, all of the people in your groups and social circles may praise you for being so dedicated and committed, but what if the end result is enjoying all of that while preparing for a divorce? Can you truly enjoy being promoted when your best friend is preparing to part ways with you? I couldn’t imagine it! Can I smile when receiving praise from friends and social buddies when my marriage is in shambles? I couldn’t imagine showing my face. So nothing wins when our funds aren’t allocated correctly.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, is worth losing your marriage over. 

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