Making and keeping agreements and commitments is a fundamental ingredient of any relationship. It is one of the cornerstones of a committed love relationship. It is vital that partners know in the deepest part of their being that they can count on the promises and assurances offered by their beloved.
Not honoring the agreements or commitments you make is a betrayal of your partner and of your relationship. It constitutes a breech of trust. In a long-term, primary, monogamous love relationship we make agreements and commitments to each other AND to the relationship.
Think of the relationship itself this way: When you and your partner join the many facets of your lives together, you create a third energy, the relationship, that lives and breathes as its own entity; an entity that you are entrusted to guard and protect, nurture and care for. Making and keeping agreements and commitments is one of the ways couples make that happen.
Here are 5 Simple Steps to making and honoring agreements and commitments:
- Make agreements and commitments in good faith and with good intention.
- Only make agreements and commitments you believe you are able and willing to honor.
- Tell your partner the minute you become aware that you may not be able to honor an agreement or a commitment. Let him or her know that: (a) you made the commitment or the agreement in good faith and with every intention to honor it; (b) you have become aware that you are having trouble honoring it; (c) you want to renegotiate the agreement or commitment as soon as possible.
- Renegotiate the agreement or commitment WITH your partner. Invite his or her participation and feedback in this process. Remember: You made the agreement or commitment for a reason. Your partner has legitimate expectations and may be disappointed by having to renegotiate things. Be patient, compassionate, and listen to everything she or he has to say. The process of re-negotiating is as important as agreeing or committing to something new.
- Be gentle with yourself and your partner. This is a new skill you are practicing and it will probably feel uncomfortable the first few times. Find your courage and keep going.
Remember, only YOU can make it happen!
You are invited to stay in the know by listening to
Dr. Jackie’s Relationship-focused Podcast
Enjoy my FREE Guide, 3 UN-Loving Traps Couples Face Living With Illness