Why do we make the decision to walk away from a commitment? I believe that most of us are not walking away from the commitment, person, job etc., but instead we are walking away from the routine. Most of the things that we embark upon in our lifetimes will almost always settle down into some sort of routine and, like it or not, commitment to that routine will need to be made for the relationship to survive and then thrive.
Think about how we start our new job. We come in to the office for a few interviews at different times of the morning or afternoon and, if we nail it and get the job, we are asked to start the following Monday. That Monday we get up bright and early, get dressed, grab a quick bite and jump into traffic for what will now be our morning commute. Traffic is not too heavy that morning so we think that “hey, this is no problem.” We arrive at the office early and then we get the tour of the various departments and job descriptions of the key people.
This is great but what we haven’t yet established is our daily routine. Everything is fresh and new and everyone is nice and friendly and it is all coordinated to welcome you in to your new work family. But in just a few weeks you won’t recognize this set up or remember your first day. Instead you will now be settled into a daily work routine that you may or may not enjoy. The key is that committing to that routine will probably determine your success or failure in your new work relationship.
Another great example of the routine is when we decide that we are going to go to the gym and get into better shape. Once again, we come in at an odd hour and inquire about the costs and benefits of membership at this fitness club. We are greeted pleasantly and given the tour of the facility and when all of those things feel pretty good we commit and join. Now because we came in during our lunch hour and used most of it joining the gym, we have to start our workout routine some other day in the immediate future.
Now we have a decision to make. Do we work out before, during or after work? Do we go everyday or every other day? Once we decide when we are going to workout we then have to figure out what equipment we are going to use. If we just go in there and jump on different machines or just grab some free weights, that is going to get real boring really soon. We need to develop a workout plan and then we need to commit to staying with the program until our goals are achieved.
If we do not commit to the workout schedule and then the routine we will follow, we will probably not achieve our goal and even stop going all together (gym’s bank on you quitting and continuing to pay by the way). As we all know, there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of ways for us to lose weight and get into better shape but none of them will work without committing to their routine. In sports, like the upcoming Olympics for example, we know that without the years of intense training and commitment to a particular discipline, the athletes have no chance to make the team let alone win a medal.
Years ago I had the pleasure of hearing a motivational speech from Bart Connor, the gold medal winning Olympic gymnast, on what it took to become a world-class athlete. He told us simply that if you wanted to become a world-class gymnast you just had to do two things…work out when you felt like it and work out when you didn’t feel like it. He said commitment to his routine was paramount to his success and those unwilling to work extremely hard never had a chance to compete at the Olympic level, let alone score a perfect “10” like he did in 1984.
So we know that if we want an arrangement to last we have to get into a routine that we are committed to, right? Wrong. We need to let the routine develop and feel good about that routine and then commit to it. If not, we end up in the bad boyfriend/girlfriend, fiancée/fiancée and husband/wife relationships that we will eventually walk away from. The things we initially found attractive about the other person get lost and we settle into a less than exciting routine.
Many men who wandered in their marriage (the exception not the rule) have stated that the sex had become routine and had been reduced in frequency (oral is always the first to go) which caused them to find a “girlfriend.” A girlfriend always wants to fool around. In fact, to a married wanderer, the only real reason that their immoral relationship exists is for sexual supplementation. How can the answer to a successful marriage or long-term relationship be fooling around with someone else? It isn’t but we lack the courage to commit to the routine, or better yet change the routine, so we set about a course of action that will ultimately destroy our relationship, job, workout regimen etc.
I do not pretend to have all of the answers. The truth is I do not. But what I do have is a desire to look at where things went wrong and logically conclude what the best course of action should have been. By taking responsibility for letting the routine go south and realizing that I am accountable, I can build the successful routine for my health, wealth and my love life and possibly live happily ever after. I hope that you can too!