Why is commitment important?

We hear a lot of talk about how to have great sex, how to turn a woman on, the delights of non-verbal communication and so on, but it all seems to miss the point.

What I find missing is any understanding of a woman's need outside the context of sex. Please don't mistake me: I am in no way minimizing the power of good sex. It is hard to imagine how a relationship between a man and woman can flourish without it. My concern is this: sex does not stand on its own.

What makes for really good sex is in knowing the woman. There is more to making a woman hot to trot than a healthy body and “magic hands” (or wiener). If other emotional needs are not met, there will be no levitating her off the mattress.

Perhaps in the short term, when everything is new and exciting, a man gets a glimpse of the pleasure of having a woman. There is nothing wrong with new and exciting. It can be glorious, but what comes later? How does one sustain the kind of relationship that will continue to flourish? One which will insure that ecstatic non-verbal communication does not fade over time.

One cannot simply pay attention to her clitoris and expect any long-lasting fun in bed. Without an abiding commitment to the woman there will no long lasting male/female fulfillment, in or outside the bedroom.

For some men (who remain boys) any talk of commitment scares them silly and shrinks their wieners. But these boys never come to know the deep satisfaction of really knowing a woman.

In order to get down to the good stuff in a woman a man must tend to the needs of her heart. Women desire a man who will remain committed, who knows how to handle her, and cannot be led around by his nose. Once a man understands these truths about a woman's desire he will have all the non-verbal/sexual fun he can handle.


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You said it all

I think this is a really brilliant article. Everything you say is true. My husband has always been interested in me as a person, but he understands me much better now than he used to, and it makes relations between us (in bed and out)much more satisfying.

it is because he is meeting my eomitonal needs outside of our sex life much more than he ever used to that makes our sex life better as well. I think I am meeting his needs better as well, and everything is generally much improved between us.

It's not about knowing what to do with the clithoris, it's knowing what to do with ME.


sex and knowing

What Stephen writes is spot on. If I'm not feeling happy with my marriage in day-to-day life I don't feel in any way sexually turned on to my man. He could be the best lover in the world but if I'm not feeling loved, cared for and important to him I am not going to want him to use those skills on me.

When he is putting our needs before his own, however, all it takes is a look or a word said in the right way and I melt and want him to take me there and then.

Most of the time we feel like a newly together couple and can't get enough of each other: it's great but it takes input from both sides for that to happen. Not a huge amount of work just an awaresness of the others thoughts and feelings and the ability to say "what's up? you seem a bit out of sorts" and be there to listen help and change where necessary.


Right On

If you are going to have a great relationship, the most essential element is the commitment. Otherwise, it will always fizzle.

Taken in Hand couples appear to walk on water

*Incompatibility* (mismatch) is an excuse rather than a reason for divorce. It is generally caused by a lack of commitment—leading to an extramarital affair for the man—or some marital externality. Interfering in-laws are also common, but the serious injury or death of a child can be almost guaranteed to have an onerous effect on marriage.

Uncommitted men are more likely to find another woman. Emotionally abandoned women then file for divorce.

Although usually reserved for financial matters, a man's *commitment* to a woman is among the most underrated aspects in successful marriages. Sometimes it amounts to merely being faithful when tempted. At other times, it may require dying so that she may live.

Once a woman finds a committed man—unless she is some freak of nature—she does not let go. There is simply too much glue to let a good man get away.

It is not that Taken in Hand couples are different from anyone else—just try picking them out on the street. Rather it is they are more successful at keeping their marriages together because they know what to do, how to do it, and how to do it.

To borrow from an old joke, Taken in Hand couples appear to walk on water—rather than flounder and curse the cold currents into which they fall—because they took the time to find out where the stepping stones were located and they do not mind getting their feet a little wet.

Any pair of fools can marry and divorce. The question is who knows how to keep a marriage together and happy until long after the grandchildren marry.

freak of nature

"Once a woman finds a committed man—unless she is some freak of nature—she does not let go. There is simply too much glue to let a good man get away."

In that case I must be a freak of nature. My last husband was committed, neither one of us had affairs and we both tried to make the marriage work but in the end we both decided that we would be happier apart.

As it happens we are much happier. We can see the goodness in each other and are very good friends but are just not able to live together as man and wife. We were just too different. After a time the cogs did not mesh neatly together but rather ground against each other. We were simply mismatched. At first it wasn’t apparent but over time it became more and more obviously so.

I am fortunate that I live in a society where women have free choices and are allowed to have careers or I would not have had the where with all to leave. We would have both been worse off if financial or social circumstances dictated that we were forced to stay together.

Well said

Very well said. This is one of the elements which has sustained our marriage through my husband's health issues, when sex has been less than stellar and sometimes even non-existent. We are both so loyal and committed to each other that letting the at times lack of libido harm our bond is just unthinkable. That doesn't mean that there isn't frustration sometimes, but we married for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, and those vows are lifelong.

Fabulous piece, Stephen!

Fabulous piece, Stephen! You & the other posters on this thread have summed it all up!


The dreaded C word?

It's quite sad why many people, young and old, male and female, don't like or even live in fear of commitment. Relationships come in all shapes and sizes with individual preferences. This is true. However, if you cannot think outside the physical/sexual package you are presented with (like Stephen, I'm not knocking that side either, you understand!), your relationship may seem a little distant or superficial. It also tends to service YOUR needs, YOUR desires, YOU, YOU, YOU!!! A relationship cannot grow and nurture, because you never get to explore it collaboratively over time. Each to their own, but I've always liked Paul Newman's famous quote about his long marriage to Joanne Woodward—"Why go out for a hamburger when you can have steak at home?". In an increasingly worrying world of quickie divorces, pre-nups and affairs, this appears quite refreshing. Perhaps it's us, but my husband and I have often pondered the more casual relationships some of our friends have and asked each other "why be together in the first place?". Call us "smug married" if you wish, but unless there's something seriously wrong with the relationship (e.g. domestic violence, children at risk, etc...) whatever happened to loving and cherishing? Do we change over the years and lose our sparkle, or do societal values make us change? I'd be interested to have some feedback on this from lifelong and shorter relationships, just to get a better understanding.

Commitment is Important

Fabulous article, Stephen!

Commitment is the only way to go!

Ok—that said—I'll admit that it's the only way to go for me. I can't say that it works for other people, because I'm not them!

I'm not a prude—I love sex. It's a healthy, joyous expression of being alive. And it's fun! What's not to enjoy? But sex really is so much better when it becomes making love. And I believe you can only truly make love once you are in a committed (and monogamous) relationship. There's an emotional connection so deep when you're making love that it makes you weep—or laugh—from the joy of it.

Knowing that your partner knows you better than anyone else—and that you know them the same way—makes every part of the relationship better. Even the normal disagreements that can happen in any relationship. When your partner knows why you're having a problem obeying, he also knows how to firmly guide you back to the right way of thinking—or reviews what he wants and modifies that. It's wonderful.

Thank you again,