In John Gottman’s book What Makes Love Last, he describes 10 ways to betray your lover. I am going to get you up to speed on ways your partner may be betraying you – without you even realizing it. By the way, I chose husband in the title, but it goes both ways…read on if you feel your wife has one too many male contacts on her phone.

  1. Let’s talk about conditional commitment and signs of what this might look like in a relationship.

Conditional commitment occurs when the daily stresses of life tend to make your relationship wane and bend with the wind. When commitment is not fortified, the couple will also blame these stressors as the reason for a weak bond, rather than using the stressor to become stronger. It is the weak commitment that causes a ‘daily stress’ to become the reason for an argument.

Another common sign of a weak bond or commitment is when your partner has many or even one contact of the opposite sex on their phone. There is a difference in saying hi to a long-lost friend on Facebook as a one-time gesture and having a work colleague or friend as a contact with daily or weekly chats. It is my personal and professional opinion to state this is a dangerous road to take. In 2020, I think every couple will tell you they don’t have enough time to stay in touch with close family and lifelong friends, and the everyday pressures of life. Therefore, if you are carving out time for weekly or daily chats with this ‘acquaintance’, I suspect your marriage is suffering from conditional commitment.

As the saying goes, you can’t build a house on sand. Therefore, if the partners feel pressured in the first place to marry, you are not off to great start and commitment tends to become weaker and weaker as time moves along. It may be your partner is more committed to their career than you or the family. I am not saying there isn’t a time and place for hard work within your career. However, this shouldn’t be a strong commitment for extended periods of time. One can lose their way if it becomes the norm, rather than periodical.

If you have other questions on conditional commitment in your own relationship, send your question to me with the subject line Ask Me Anything – your answer will be posted anonymously on my site.

Next week you will hear more about another form of betrayal: The Nonsexual Affair.