(It should be said from the outset that commitment does not entail remaining in an abusive or dangerous relationship; any form of abuse should not be ignored.) Gottman and Silver (1999) note that most happy couples occasionally experience distress.
For those relationships that are in the normal range of functioning, it seems clear that sensible commitment can sustain or improve a relationship (Brickman 1987; Johnson 1999).
According to research, commitment to the relationship is related to the quality of the relationship.
(See Clements and Swensen 2000.) David and Vera Mace (1991), pioneers in the Marriage Movement, ranked commitment as fundamental to relationships.
According to Adams and Jones (1999), commitment in intimate relationships is said to have three dimensions: Since commitment has multiple dimensions, it functions differently in different relationships.
Goddard and Olsen (2004) have described three commitment practices that make a relationship more likely to endure. With many demands on our time, sometimes our marriages only get small fragments of leftover time and energy. It makes sense that people who commit themselves to a relationship are more likely to find rewards than those who invest sporadically or half-heartedly. Professor of Family Life University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service Box 391, Little Rock, AR 72203 Phone: 501.671-2104 Fax: 501.671-2294 [email protected] to the relationship is related to the quality of the relationship.Professionals will have to work to build an understanding among adult learners that relationship work is like other work: it requires resolve, understanding, acceptance, and a willingness to be creative.Glass and Staeheli (2003) even suggest that a marriage can survive an affair with the right combination of commitment and cooperation.This is likely to leave the relationship starved and empty.In contrast, when decisions must be made about how we use our time and energy, the effect on the relationship should be considered. Bill Doherty (1997) describes taking time every day with his wife Leah to just talk for fifteen minutes.Some people have suggested that America’s high rates of divorce are related to our low levels of commitment.Rather than being committed to a cause or person, we may be increasingly committed to ourselves (Baumeister 1991; Bellah et al. According to Fowers (2000), the flimsy base of emotions is not enough to sustain relationships through the inevitable challenges; a solid foundation of values such as loyalty forms a more sure footing.One of the challenges in strengthening commitment is that people may be committed to a relationship for very different reasons.Each person has a different combination of reasons for commitment – or lack of commitment – to a relationship.