Audrey Stephenson: Lack of commitment

Did you know that in the West, 41% of first marriages end in divorce? Or that there was a 61% decrease in marriage since 2019 (stats which are undeniably linked to Covid). Or indeed that this year Forbes wrote about the number one self reported cause of marital breakdown was “lack of commitment”?

It’s interesting to ponder – “lack of commitment”… and yet, at a time in our culture when cancel culture reigns supreme, ADHD diagnoses are skyrocketing, and what passes for self care and boundaries in popular culture amounts to, respectively, a face mask and saying no to people around you – is it really surprising?

Modern couples of all persuasions are finding themselves grappling with the dichotomy of dependence/subjugation/ suppression vs freedom/independence. With these opposing poles there is no way to win, and many couples simply lurch from one to the other, eventually giving up the ghost of the relationship. Interdependence – a process where each member of the couple owns, honour and respect both their individuality, and their state of couple hood, and the give and take that is required in any healthy partnership – now this is much harder to achieve.

None of us has been taught how to do this, and with the duelling messages of “love is all you need”, “romantic relationships are the most important”, “you don’t need a relationship to be whole”, “being your authentic self is the most important”, many are struggling to understand how to create a life with both authenticity and long lasting love. Here are some things to remember.

You are not alone, nor are you failing, you are much more likely to be dealing with unconscious expectations that are at war with each other. Happily ever after means something very different today than it meant even 50 or 100 years ago. It’s often almost impossible for couples facing the myriad issues that lead to “lack of commitment” without the help of a third party translating not only between the two of you, but even between those warring parts of self. So remember that there is no shame in asking for support. While there are many unconscious causes for how you got here, moving to a place where you feel fulfilled as well as connected is your responsibility to consciously choose.

Contact Audrey Stephenson for a free consultation.