Trust and Commitment

A couple of our girls insisted upon my watching a YouTube video the other day and it is that video that prompted this post. I guess it was just meant to be funny and all, but the perspective some people have on relationships isn’t funny; it’s appalling. I have a household of young females with all the functioning body parts and drives of young adults but the sense needed to make good decisions will usually not take place till much later.  

Naturally as a middle age man, I suppose I have an overwhelming urge to protect the young females from young males. After all, I’m a male. I know something about how they think. But it’s not just girls who need to be aware of entering a bad relationship. Most of my girls are products bad relationships. Over the years of working with children’s homes, I can’t name a single child who comes from a family in which the biological parents are still married. That is the one thing that virtually every child here has in common. I’ve been around long enough now to know many of these children become adults who will simply repeat the process of their parents unless somehow we are able to get through to them. What’s the problem? People are developing relationships with the wrong foundation.

The two most common elements many young people use as a foundation of a relationship are attraction and emotion.  How do they look? How does he/she make you feel? Do you love him/her? These form a disasterous foundation because attraction and emotion are always temporary. Part of the problem is viewing love as an emotion instead of an action, but another huge part of the problem is neglecting what is most important. Strong and lasting relationship must have trust and commitment. You can have the best looking man or woman in the world, but if you can’t trust them, they will only bring about pain and heartache.  Furthermore, if your in a relationship with someone who is going to walk away the minute troubles arise, that relationship is doomed from the beginning. 

So as I’m watching the video entitled: “Why You Keep Asking All Them Questions (clean version).” The first thought that came to my mind was: Out of all the things my wife and I have fought, disagreed, and argued about over the years, we never seem to entertain the thought that the other might be cheating. Whenever, my wife has asked me where I’ve been, there has never been suspicion of foul play, and that goes both ways. No have we ever felt that the other up in our business. The second question that came to mind was: why would anybody want to be in a relationship where you felt the need to ask such questions? 

My wife and I don’t have many secrets. There’s not much room for personal space in our marriage. My wife and I know each other’s passwords, there is no apprehension about picking up each other’s iPads, phones, or computers and looking around. It is not a violation to thumb through a wallet or purse or to read one another’s mail. We don’t usually go through each other’s things, but there is no threat if we did. Why? Because there’s trust. Trust takes a long time to earn and it can be lost immediately, but trust is a necessity in a lasting relationship. 

I don’t me or my wife consider ourselves attractive people. But I don’t think that was ever a criteria in the relationship. I was older and I had already learned a hard lesson from attraction and infatuation. What I wanted was somebody I could trust and somebody who could put up with me (which is not an easy thing).  I had a lot of baggage and I needed my spouse to know me, all of me. I wanted her to know everything even the things that I had kept a secret from everybody else. I didn’t want a marriage build on any kind of secrecy or deception. This was not easy for either of us, but after all was said and done, she’s still here. 

I knew I could trust her long before we ever said our vows. It’s this trait that drew me in more than anything else. She has such a sensitive conscience that I can’t imagine her cheating on me, and if she did, I know she would punish herself more than anybody else possibly could. Trust begins with the little things and grows from there. After twenty-six years trust is either very solid or it doesn’t exist at all. With all the storms my wife and I have faced over the years, my greatest security is knowing trust is solid, and that means everything to me. 

Just as important as trust is the security I can have knowing she will be there. I think everybody knows the tradition wedding vows: for better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness and in health, etc. People may say those words, but many have no intention of sticking to those words. In an affluent society people are used to getting what they want. If you can’t get what you want from one person; go to a different person. If there is a better offer on the table, that is the one we are conditioned to take. But that doesn’t work for lasting relationships. 

Only hard times can determine true commitment. Sometimes hard times can push us to a breaking point. It takes a real commitment to stick with somebody even when you know you would be so much better off without them.  A number of years ago I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The only person I knew with the disease at the time was a woman who could not function at all on her own. Within a couple of weeks my body was numb and I was losing motor skills at an alarming rate. I was scared, really, really scared. Walking was difficult and I thought I would be in a wheel chair very soon. I had no idea how I would work to support my family and I became deeply depressed. In time, things got better and it turns out I have been incredibly lucky. Through the process I saw my wife’s commitment. I don’t deserve it, but I am forever grateful. 

Our marriage has never been picture perfect. So often we are total opposites and we both get on each other’s nerves a lot. We don’t share the same interest, we don’t enjoy the same activities, we can’t always agree on various decisions that are just a part of life. We argue about kids, family, house cleaning, responsibilities, work, religion, and of course politics. You name it, we’ll fight over it and these are not minor disagreements. But there is somethings that transcend whatever disagreements we have: trust and commitment.

A while back I found an anniversary card with a cat and a dog cuddled together on the cover with the caption: Somehow it works. Yep, that describes it perfectly. 

So, I will conclude with some suggestions that I believe will sift the keepers from the scum for any young readers contemplating a committed relationship. 

  • Be totally open. If people can’t accept you for who you really are then they can’t accept your, period.  
  • One of the greatest gifts you can give your spouse as a wedding gift is your virginity. Even if you’ve already thrown your pearls to the swine, there is still benefit in abstinence in determining a quality mate. Scum will never wait. A trustworthy and committed person will always respect your religious beliefs and your desire to wait. A selfish person will not. 
  • Watch how they treat others. If they are a jerk to others on a regular basis, chances are pretty good that they will eventually be a jerk to you. 
  • Forget about appearance. Some of the best people are unattractive and some of the worst are. In the long run, looks are not what’s going to matter. 
  • Be sure to exemplify the traits you desire from your partner. 

Now it’s time to share your own thoughts. Please feel free to leave a comment. 

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    About Ken Sayers

    I'm currently employed by a children's home where my wife and I care for a cottage of girls who have been displaced from their families. I'm a middle age man with two grown children of my own and one grandchild. I have worked as a United States Marine, a youth minister, a preacher, a childcare worker, and a truck driver. My hobbies include photography, horses, playing guitar, writing, and fitness.
    This entry was posted in children, Family, Houseparenting, Marriage, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

    2 Responses to Trust and Commitment

    1. Frank says:

      Oh Ken, Sorry to hear your diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis! Wow, that just floored me. I know way too much about MS, and man it tears me up to know that you’ve been diagnosed. Not trying to make a big deal out of it. But I have met so many good people. Who have it. Most I don’t know how they are today. But a few of them I do know most of their story. I’m reading a religious book/self-help book on how to become a saint. After all, that’s all God expects us to become. 🙂 Not all of us have a foundation with faith and knowledge of God. It’s so unfortunate for so many people to go without the knowledge, or the strive to find God in their lives. Their lives mean more to them than God. But in reality if they knew God and I mean truly knew God personally. Which we try to do. Because it’s always good to know the guy you’re about to go meet tomorrow or who knows when. Our lives are not written in stone., Like the parable of the man who had such a great harvest that he built the larger barn and stored up extra wine. Only for the Lord to call him up into heaven after that very night or time In which he reflected on just how great his life is and will be. Only to be interrupted by God himself! And I that very night. So all that work would do nothing. He would’ve been better off fishing and going to McDonald’s for his food. Instead of busting his ass storing up years of comfort. Maybe that’s where the saying live in the present came from. Secondly you were working in the National Guard but you were a Marine you did not work as Marine. Remember the ( ) it’s still true today. Once Marine always a Marine. Always a Marine. A lot like a shotgun wedding that’s death do you part. You may think, Oh, I’m just going to join the Marine Corps to help pay for my college. Nope, for most of us it doesn’t work that way. Right after boot camp everybody was buying you name it anything that said USMC, but what they failed to see they were the face of every man who founded, served, lived, and died to be called a Marine. All those who take the Marine Corps for granted dishonor those who went before them. Anyone who knew the history of the Marine Corps would know that Marines were started to protect the sailors sailing missions. We were the first mercenaries to volunteer and protect the sailors during combat. Hence the term leatherneck. We get that name from the first founding fathers who wore leather around their neck. So that when in combat with overwhelming they had a chance to do the most damage they can while protecting their fellow Marines and sailors. Money was not an issue for the first Marines. Just a perk. They did it for their fellow Marines, sailors, ships, merchandise, and country. What comes first can only be concluded during the moment! When in combat facing man well trained, better armed, let alone overwhelming numbers. At that very moment, you’re not fighting for anything more than your life and the life of those around you. Not for country, that was the last thing on their mind. After all everything started sitting around a tavern and listening to and telling stories. That today would curdle our blood to hear. And one group of men on November 10, 1775, took action formed what we know today as the United States Marine Corps. Which is what mentioned earlier. And with a little Imagination, you can compare it to a marriage. Ok, a little stretch, I know, But that was my fist marriage. What do I know about marriage.. . 🙂
      Oh, one more thing the self-help is book not only for Catholics but anyone who wants to know God on a one on one basis. Hope that is the right word. “too lazy to look up”. I use Grammary to help my writing but have yet to subscribe. So there are red lines everywhere. Feels like school all over again. Back on focus. The name book of the book is “LIVE TODAY WELL,” St. Francis de Sales’s simple Approach to Holiness. a most read for anyone and everyone. Scripture based along with writings from different Saints, a lot you probably heard and is common sense but never put into the way this book explains from morning to night then goes into more in depth. A great read and a great help. I can’t emphasize that enough. You would think it’s easy, but my first day was not the proudest. and I’m done reading the book. I hope I’m not too confusing. I have been operating under stress. Between phone calls meals, and other interruptions it’s amazes me I was able to get anything down coherently and I use that word loosely. I don’t know if the smiley faces really belong there but I’m use to Facebook.

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      • Ken Sayers says:

        It’s good to hear from you my friend. I know it must be difficult for you to write lengthy things. I was diagnosed with MS a number of years ago, and I am one of the very lucky ones. My feet are still numb and give me little jolts of nerve pain, but other than that I haven’t had anymore episodes since I was diagnosed. But I’ve heard from many who have gone over a decade with no problems only to be swamped with them again, so it is always on my mind. I’ve been working on this blog for quite a while, I’m surprised you hadn’t read it before because I thought you were referring to it when I was still driving a truck. You mean a lot to me. The Marines definately made an impression on our lives, much more than the Army training for me. I’ve changed a lot since those days, but I think of the Marines every time I run up a hill. I’ve gone full bore into the spiritual side of things too. I’ve gone through a lot of changes there too. I’m greatful for my education in that area, but I really wish I would have been trained in another area. Glad your blogging. I find it to be therapeutic, but I’m really shocked when I find out there are people who actually read it. Then I get a little scared.

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