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|Why Men Are
Afraid To Commit
By Christine Akiteng
How many times have you heard a relative, friend or colleague say Right now our relationship is great, we have a wonderful time and great sex, if we get married well end up just like all the other married couples?"
Well, I have heard that hundreds of times. Joe, not his real name, is a really charming character, looks and personality. He and Terry had been dating for four years. He came to see me because they were growing apart and he wanted me to help him figure out if he should go ahead and get married even when his intuition" was telling him it would be a big mistake.
Usually when I work with people struggling with commitment phobia, I tell them a little bit of doubt is normal when taking a major life transition like committing to another person. But for Joe it was more than a little doubt. And if I had not met and seen him and Terry together, Id probably have thought, well, his hesitation is a warning that things will not work out. But even to a stranger, it was obvious that these two were made for each other. So what was the problem?
Joes problem was not that he did not want to get married. His problem was that that he was afraid that he and Terry would end up just like his parents. Joe like many of us had witnessed an unhealthy and unhappy relationship between his parents when growing up. It was not surprising that his childhood experiences (consciously or unconsciously) coloured the way he felt about commitment and marriage. He had as a child been a victim of his parents dysfunctional relationship and his subconscious was telling him that if it happened once before, it could happen again. May be even, guilt (mostly assumed by children in a dysfunctional union) played apart. And with one out every two marriages ending up in divorce, it was only natural that he felt fearful and uncertain about the future.
Joe like many of us had allowed his parents definition of marriage to control his own life. Many people, especially men often associate commitment" or marriage with loss of freedom, routine and limitation. The word settling down" sounds like bringing down the relationship from where it is at emotionally and sexually. And for those whove been married and divorced, the fear of going through it all over again can be paralyzing.
What Joe needed to understand was that he had the choice to redefine his own meaning of marriage and commitment. Commitment is no guarantee that the other person will always love, respect and protect us and yet without the security a commitment sometimes provides most relationships become superficial and directionless. Many people emotionally and sexually involved over a prolonged period of time without some sort of commitment (even if it is a commitment not to get committed or a commitment to talk about it at a later date) suffer from a constant state of unconscious anxiety.
Through coaching Joe was able to feel confident enough to redefine what commitment meant to him, personally. Once he felt the power and freedom to create his own experiences and give his own meaning to commitment the relationship between him and Terry improved drastically. Within a year they were married.
Sometimes just discussing what two people want a commitment to mean and how they want their relationship to look like removes all the concerns about making a long-term commitment. What was fear becomes excitement that comes from co-creating experiences that are unique to two individuals. But quite often, it is hard for a couple to sit down and discuss commitment because one says one thing and the other hears something completely different. When I spoke to Terry months after their wedding she told me that when Joe said he was afraid theyd end up like his or her parents, what she heard was all women want is commitment and a wedding". And sometimes shed hear you are just like my mother, desperate, dependant and defenseless. The Terry, I know is nothing like desperate, dependant and defenseless. She didnt even want to get married right away all she wanted was reassurance that the relationship had a future. In the end, Joe was the one who really wanted to commit and get married.
That said, given a choice most men do what they want and what they believe is in their best interest. If you have to coerce a man to commit to you, you are definitely with the wrong man. A man would not commit to a relationship unless he is convinced that he will get what he wants now, and with reasonable expectations will continue to do so in the future. Fortunately for women what men want includes a love interest, trust, emotional support and commitment, some of the same things women want but its the way he perceives you that gives him that little psychological push he may need to help him to make up his mind. Knowing what a man wants and being aware of his apprehensions about commitment is the first step toward understanding what it takes to give a man what he wants from a relationship with you.
Remember, a pre-mature commitment, one that takes place before you spend time deepening your knowledge of one another can be powerful enough to sabotage and otherwise well matched partnership.
About the Author: Combining modern and ancient wisdom, internationally renowned Sexual Confidence and Dating Coach, Christine Akiteng has helped hundreds rediscover their many untapped and unique deep-down NATURAL and PRIMAL characteristics that make them incredibly attractive, desired and valued by the opposite sex. Her sassy, spunky and unique advice on captivating the opposite sex and creating a fulfilling sexual life combines self-awareness, a dynamic, free and spontaneous expression of the authentic self, mystery, spirituality and pure raw sensuality.
Christine's website: http://www.torontosnumber1datedoctor.com
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