793. Commitment and Devotion Revisited

Reorganized, clarified, and reissued as #1817.


Filed under courtship

9 responses to “793. Commitment and Devotion Revisited

  1. Kelsie

    “Women settle for commitment when his devotion is the key to cherishing her and fulfilling marital hopes and dreams.”

    Sir Guy, wow. This hit the nail dead on. And changes my perspective to a whole new light. Of course naturally women (including I) are going to be looking for devotion but it’s overshadowing what we should truly be after… his devotion. Commitment is merely saying “till death” I’ll be there… devotion is simply so much more.

  2. Denise

    Great article. Would it be correct to say that examples of devotion include things like regular phone calls, church attendance together, getting to know and spending time with her friends and family, actively supporting her goals and activities, listening to her troubles and offering counsel, praying for her? I’m just trying to get a concrete picture of devotion. Thanks!

    Your Beauteousness Denise,
    Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!

  3. Stephanie

    I have been married for 31 years now, and from time to time my husband thanks me and says I am everything to him. Although I know this is true, sometimes he is a bit of a “sausagehead” and takes me a bit for granted. But I’d rather have a husband who is truly devoted to me than one who gives me loads of roses and is out all the time with the guys. My husband is the most important gift from God, and my son is the second most important. I place my husband first as he has provided for me, and obviously without him, I would have no wonderful son. Yes, sometimes I get a bit jealous when he talks about how pretty a lady is on say “CNN”, and I just say, “too bad you’re old enough to be her grandfather!” We have ways of keeping each other straight…and I playingly threaten him that I’ll be looking for a few handsome men to comment to him on… All of this is said in jest, yet it keeps me from getting stewed.
    Who is that handsome reporter on the news at night? David Muher? Just kidding–the spelling might be wrong, but you get the jist. We love each other, and life isn’t always perfect…but we tolerate each other. This must be hard as some days I can hardly tolerate myself!!!!!

    Your Delightfulness Stephanie,

    You said: “This must be hard as some days I can hardly tolerate myself!!!!!”

    Thanks! You struck a chord for which I have been looking for days or weeks. We all spend time peering into our negatives. When married people carry common faults, they judge spouse doubly bad when they see themselves reflected there. ‘Opposites attract’ works better, because fewer spouse’s faults are reinforced by dislike of one’s own that match.

    I’m much older than your husband, and I bear witness to his symptom of aging. The older men get, females register as much prettier. We slow down our produce-provide-protect thinking and take in scenery we ignored earlier: females as beauty objects. It’s a sign of greater appreciation of your gender, and we find that it makes life more enjoyable. The scenery improves the closer we get to ‘closing time’.

    In his mind your prettiness still tops the others, because there’s more than a face or body behind it. Keep the playfulness going too; laughter slows aging.


  4. zephanie

    ditto Kelsie; I always get a little nervous when I read posts on topics since it makes me wonder pointless things like did my own relationship have enough preparation to last. But ultimately understanding the difference between commitment and devotion has assuaged my fears, since I have plenty of proof that my husband is more than devoted, and remains so after our almost 6 years of marriage.

  5. Denise

    “I’m much older than your husband, and I bear witness to his symptom of aging. The older men get, females register as much prettier. We slow down our produce-provide-protect thinking and take in scenery we ignored earlier: females as beauty objects. It’s a sign of greater appreciation of your gender, and we find that it makes life more enjoyable. The scenery improves the closer we get to ‘closing time’. ”
    I find this an intresting point. I have seen this in my own husband. At first I felt quite threatened by it. Bad timing, because my years are creeping up on me. For a while, it really kind of hurt.
    But, I myself, find that I see the beauty in young and older men that I didn’t see when I was younger. Their stature, their mannerisms and such. It isn’t their beautiful bodies. HA… It is their presence, or something. Hard to explain.
    I joke too about liking guys, when they show them in no shirts or something. (I really don’t find those do appeal that much). My husband seems to find it funny and teases me about it.
    He jokes that they are a picture of what he looks like. I love to make a remark that makes him laugh. And after all these years, I know just the right attitude to put on and how to say it.
    I am thankful that he tells me often that I am pretty these days. Much more often than when we were young. He never seemed to even notice then…He would only notice if I was, “hot.” Which I took as an offense then. I took care of myself and dressed to be seen as pretty, not hot looking.
    When old pictures are pulled out, he often stops and points out how pretty or sweet or beautiful I was in those younger years. I love it when he tells me.

  6. Joanna

    ‘She’ll be ready to marry before she can confirm the difference in him, so patience is a huge female virtue’.
    Your honor, Sir Guy, how long should a lady be patient for? After a loving man pursues you and still hasn’t conquered you, why would he still vanish after a family holiday (with my family?) 6 months later, he still hasn’t spoken to me, when I know I did nothing wrong! At first, I tried to contact him, but I soon stopped that after advice. I know from a friend of his that he has issues he is working through…and he himself told me he would contact me again one day when he is ready…surely 6 months is enough? I have a full life but think about him once in a while. Advice please!

    Your Highness Joanna,

    I smell a rat. Did someone on the family holiday with good intention tell him things about you that you’ve not divulged? For example, your reasons for abstaining from sex? Your hopes and dreams that you only shared with family or one member? How you view him as not yet Mr. Right or just Mr. Good Enough? Were your interests described to him such that he felt he was being trapped? Were your HardToGet tactics disclosed? Did someone describe what you call his shortcomings, his traits in need of ‘upgrading’?

    No, you did nothing wrong. But someone did something they probably thought right, and it was received by him as “I’m oughta here!” Women pay high penalties when they tell girlfriends and innocent family members their inner thoughts. It’s not that people are against you, it’s that they’re for themselves first, which often means they just want to help you.


  7. Joanna

    Dear Sir Guy,
    I honestly don’t think his reasons for absconding are anything to do with me. Yes, he said something about my mother being ‘too motherly’ towards him and in fact was shockingly rude to my mother during dinner in a restaurant one evening. He lost his own (Italian) mother – I mention this because it has now become apparent to me that the whole ‘Mama Mia’ thing is not always a healthy thing!) 6 years ago before I met him, and the one thing EVERYONE who knows him well tells me is that it was a very traumatic event for him…up till now he still acts weird about it…to give you an example, a friend recently asked him his birthday, and he gave his mother’s birthday as his own…I definitely know that’s not normal). I also know that one of my uncles who is a colonel in the army (and therefore not subtle) took him aside and had the ‘talk’ with him…this was without my consent, but with my mother’s consent and I can see that that was really the start of the downhill slide..but in truth a few weeks before the trip, there were already subtle signs but I just didn’t see them. Although I initially connected the trip to our break up, I now believe that is a false association.
    This is why I think I did nothing wrong: I do like and love him (something I believe he knew), and made no secret of the fact that if he ever proposed to me I would accept, but I am naturally cautious (shouldn’t I be?) The reason I abstain is simple. I only want to share my body with my HUSBAND. He knew this, and assured me he accepted this. We are both Catholics, but even our religion is not the reason I choose abstinence. I just like the concept of waiting. My mother was the same way, and I am sure her mother before her. Maybe naively on my part, I don’t believe my virginity was the problem either. I sincerely believe he has his own issues, mainly to do with his own mother (and I now know he began to seek help for this 3 months before the trip, albeit his attempts failed), leading him to be some sort of commitment phobe, and that he used the family holiday as his way out. Interestingly, the trip was originally just meant to be for me and my mother, but he begged to come along, so we included him. Go figure! My question specifically is, is it part of female virtue to ‘wait’ for this man, or should I walk away not just physically but in my heart and mind as well? I am an intensely loyal person and have been known to go down with a sinking ship if I believe it is the right thing…but there are times when I feel hopeless and frustrated because I don’t want my thoughts of him to prevent me from my ultimate goal which is to marry someone who loves me. In other words, my question is, despite my deep respect for his trying to help himself (albeit at a distance from me), am I wrong to keep hoping he will come back? At age 37, 18 months ‘wasted’ on the wrong person is a tragedy. Knowing my nature, which is of the type ‘all or nothing’, I won’t ever look back if I walk away mentally/psychologically. That’s why I am still hoping and holding on. But I fear regret if he really was The one for me despite his apparent cruelty and bad manners (which only surfaced right at the end). I am so mentally exhausted it is making my life a living hell. Your advice would be most welcome, Sir Guy. Thank you for just being there.

  8. Sharon

    Dear Joanna,
    To let go seems the wisest course. His struggles with the absence of his mother, including giving her birth date as his own, is a clue. The fact that “there were subtle signs” you did not want to see, even before the trip, is a good clue. His being “shockingly rude” to your mother is a clue. His staying away from you for so long afterward is a clue. As an adult, his character is already formed, and formal counseling will not eliminate the weaknesses of that character. My heart goes out to you, in longing for love and marriage. While you understandably regret having “wasted 18 months,” it would be a far worse tragedy to marry someone who is so needy. He would be unable to give the love, respect, healthy and mature companionship that marriage-building requires. He would drain your energies and make the rest of your life miserable. View the 18 months as a time of learning and strengthening of your own character. Get busy with other friends, even those with families. Be a listening ear for others. Spend time with people of all ages, from children to 80-yr. olds. Are you in a good church? Participate in a ministry there that is new for you. Trust God to lead in your future relationships. If it is His desire for you to marry, He will bring the right man into your life. In the meantime, don’t be hard on yourself but consider what you have to give to others and actively give. It will restore your confidence and bring healing to your spirit.

    • Joanna

      Dear Sharon, thank you for your advice. I am eternally grateful. It’s going to be hard, but I shall try. I have heard this advice before, but sometimes I need to hear the same thing over and over again to finally ‘get’ it. Thank you for saying what I needed to hear. God bless, Joanna

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