Why do men struggle with commitment?
This question about the tendency in men to find it hard to commit seems to surface over and over again from women all around the world. If I could identify in a few simple strokes of the keyboard on a page of my site the answer to this question, I would be a hero to women everywhere.
Not to worry, I haven’t put on my hero tights and cape just yet. I would, however, like to share my thoughts with you on this.
Men and Commitment
Here are a few comments I have heard stated about men and commitment over the years:
- Men find the quest and the chase more desirable than actually winning the woman.
- Men find their identity in their vocation more than they do in their relationships.
- Men are on an ego trip and find their validation from the attention they receive from many women.
- Men are looking for a trophy wife.
Some of these comments may have elements of truth in them; after all, man is a complicated puzzle. But I would like to direct your attention to another possible missing piece of that puzzle.
Men Who Struggle With Commitment Have the Wrong Focus
It has been my observation over the years in my communications and dealings with men, that men struggle with commitment because they primarily have developed the wrong focus. Women want men to naturally commit of his own free will when, in reality, he has been instructed, influenced and programmed to do the opposite.
Consider what has been popularized in our culture, such as reading materials for men, and you’ll see what I mean. In magazines targeting male readership, women are portrayed as a sport, as a “Bunny” paraded around in bunny costumes and as “Pets” of the month.
Adding to the fuel and feeding of this mindset are male-focused establishments named after the body parts of a woman and so-called Gentlemen’s Clubs. Don’t even get me started on Hollywood, shock jocks, the porn industry, the sensual music videos objectifying women and the smut circulating all over the Internet.
Within this environment, men have developed a tendency to:
- Make relationships more about turning on than tuning in.
- Chase after the nighttime more than the lifetime.
- Make relationships more about passion than promise.
- Seek relations more than relationship.
- Make the URGE more important a focus than the MERGE.
This tendency in men to chase after the physical is the reason women are the ones who often lose when the relationship is founded mostly on a sexual directive. The man gets what he is more comfortable with and programmed to seek, and the woman is left to long for deeper intimacy and commitment.
Nighttime vs. Lifetime
The problem usually arises when a woman chooses a man whose focus is more about the nighttime and expect him to naturally pursue the lifetime.
I think men need to be deprogrammed from this shallow mindset and reprogrammed to think and behave differently. The greatest men I know are men of character and commitment. The greatest men I know have a pursuit for something more permanent. The greatest men I know are men of promise and find value and fulfillment in seeking the lifetime more than they do the nighttime.
I just had to experience saying my last goodbyes to my father. He was 75 years old when he passed away. As I looked at the casket containing his body with my mom who stood by his side for over 55 years of marriage, I was again reminded of the lifetime part of commitment.
There were pictures of his children and his children’s children decorated the satin cloth where he rested. I am so thankful that my parents modeled for me that a successful relationship is more about LEG-A-CY than about how much LEG-I-SEE.
One of the saddest commentaries that will ever be said about a man is that he never really knew what commitMEANT.