Oct 03 2009

Commitment Manifesto

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AGREEMENT

This agreement is non-binding in any legal sense, and is purely meant to support the bonds in our relationship.

Whereas I [your name] (hereinafter “I”) intend to declare my commitment to [your partner's name] (hereinafter “You” or “Your”) I commit to the following:

General

I promise to love and adore you and only you as my cherished partner in life.  I promise to be your full partner, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.  I promise to be responsible for loving you, and for doing everything in my power to have you feel loved by me.

No Shopping

During the term of this commitment, I will not shop around for other potential partners (lovers). Should I be approached by others wishing to engage in any kind of romantic or sexual relationship, I will tell them I am not interested and insist that they discontinue to pursue me.

No Sex

During the term of this commitment, I will not have sex with any other person.  Sex is described as any romantic interchange (no touching of genitals, breasts, thighs, etc.) hugging in a sensual manner, or kissing (other than a peck on the cheek).

No Mental Intrigue

During the term of this commitment, I will not engage in Mental Intrigue.  Mental Intrigue is defined as romantically perseverating (habitually thinking about over and over again) about another partner in any sexual or romantic context.  This is not to say that I might not find other persons attractive (we are all human, with innate attractions to others), just that I’ll manage my thoughts so that I do not fanaticize about any kind of a romantic relationship with such persons. I will let those thoughts go as soon as I realize I’ve having them, and I’ll turn my thoughts to other things.

Working on Our Relationship

All relationships go through ups and downs, and some couples handle the downs better than others.  My commitment is that if our downs are prolonged such that you feel that we need outside assistance, I will agree to relationship coaching, couples therapy, religious counseling, or some other such program that can assist us is getting through the difficult times and back harmoniously in love with each other.

Open and Honest Communication

I will strive to be as open and honest as I can be, and to withhold neither my love for you nor any upsets, recognizing that non-communicated upsets tend to fester, and the sooner they are discussed, the sooner they can disappear or begin to heal.

Gratitude

I will practice gratitude on a regular (daily or weekly) basis and always look for and remind myself of your many positive qualities – those qualities that made me fall in love with you, or which have me be more in love with you as time goes on.  Likewise, rather than pigeonhole you in any particular way, I will always hold you as a human being with infinite possibility – and always look for what is magical about you.

Working on Myself

I understand that as human beings we are always expanding or contracting. Moreover, I understand that relationships follow the same pattern. Further, I recognize that the best way I can work on our relationship is to work on myself – increasing my own awareness of myself, my surroundings, and my interactions with myself, others and my environment.  As such, I commit to, in one form or another, always working on myself.  This may take the form of a spiritual practice, reading, participating in transformational courses, therapy, coaching, and so on.  This is not to say that I’ll be doing something every single day in this regard, just that in general I’ll be moving in that direction and always open to further evolution.

Being a Space, Support and Cheerleader for Your Personal Work

I will always be a space for you to do your personal work, be it spiritual, transformational, psychological or other.  I will support you in whatever manner you feel would support you best. I will be your cheerleader – someone who is always in your corner.  This is not to say that I’ll be an annoying “Fix It” person or always simply agree with everything you say. Rather, I realize that no one knows you better than you do, and I won’t demean you by thinking I know you better than you do.  That said, I trust that if you want my help or advice, you’ll ask for it, and then I’ll be delighted to fulfill your requests.

Other

Enter in any show-stopping issues you might have.  Here are some suggestions of things you may choose to include:

  • Children.  Will you have them? Who will shoulder most of the work of raising them when they are small? Will that change one or both of our work schedules? How will the other person pitch in? How will having children affect how we treat each other as a priority?
  • Living Together. If we’re going to live together, what agreements can we make about cleanliness and orderliness? How often does housework and lawn care need to be done and who will do which chores?
  • Friends.  Are there any friends (e.g., ex-girl/boyfriends; friends with loose morals) who should be out of bounds?  Are we both generally aligned with the type and kind of friends we’ll share, and the amount of time we will/won’t spend with them.
  • Religion. Will we share a religion and/or belong to a place of worship? How often will we attend services together or not?  Will we respect each other’s religious/spiritual choices and rituals, even if these change over time?
  • Evolving careers and avocations.  Will we be supportive (or at least neutral) about what each other is up to in our lives?  Are we comfortable with each other’s level of ambition?
  • Money.  Will we share finances? How much is each person expected to earn and contribute to everyday expenses and retirement?  How will we budget spending?
  • Time together. How much time will each of us spend at work, and during what hours? How much time will we spend together? How much alone time will we each have?  How will we spend time off and vacations?
  • Boundaries with in-laws.  How often do we visit family? If we invite family/friends from out of town, how much time is reasonable to have them? Would we take in a family member if they needed a place to live and/or needed extended medical attention (e.g., end-of-life care)?
  • What level of expressions are unacceptable (e.g., anger, passive-aggressiveness, hostility and violence)?
  • What commitments do we have regarding participation with addictive activities including smoking tobacco, marijuana, drinking alcohol, and other legal and illegal drugs?
  • Where do we see ourselves in 10, 20, 30, 40 years?
  • How comfortable are we with being separated for extended periods of time, e.g., if one of us took an assignment in a foreign country for a year?
  • Is each of us accepting of each other’s approach to health? Does one have habits or tendencies that exacerbate the relationship (e.g., smoking, excessive dieting, poor diet)?

Term and Termination

The term of this commitment is (choose one):

[] Until death us do part

[] For one year, renewable at that time at both partners’ option

[] Other __________________________________________________

I may terminate this agreement if any of the following conditions occur [delete any that are not relevant]:

  1. You have sex with another (as described in No Sex above)
  2. You engage in Mental Intrigue with another  (as described in Mental Intrigue above)
  3. You find yourself out of balance and do not continue to work on yourself – that is, you let yourself go in such a way that you are constantly bitter, depressed, angry, upset, etc., for ____  months or more.
  4. You hit me.
  5. You get dramatically out of shape – e.g., you allow yourself to weigh more than ___ pounds.
  6. You become intolerant with members of my family with whom I am close without attempting to resolve such intolerance.
  7. You stop having sex with me at least ___ times per month on average.
  8. You continually cease to support me emotionally – e.g., you criticize me constantly, put me down in front of other people on a continual basis, etc.
  9. You stop loving me.

Conditions ___ [fill in numbers] are grounds for immediate termination.

If conditions  ___ [fill in numbers] occur, you have ____ month(s) to either resolve the issue or clearly be on a path to resolving the issue.

Intending to be emotionally bound, I do swear the above to be true.

_____________________________________    ____________

Name                                                              Date

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Commitment Manifesto”

  1. Steven Crispon 20 Jul 2010 at 11:40 am

    Ya know, I do agree with many of the concepts you have captured in this agreement. However, I cannot envision myself or my partner trying to prescribe, up front, that one will meet these conditions.

    Sometimes life is not, or should not be, transactional. Hopefully, the partner you hope to be your life-long companion will be the type of person who chooses to live by many of these principles, rather than needed to be *bound* by these conditions.

    I don’t know — I just don’t see this is particularly practical. If instead, this was a manifesto of individual responsibility, that both people read and internalized, and after discussion, both agreed this is how they would (individually) want to live their lives … then throw away the *agreement* and revel in the fact that you have found a kindred spirit, with all of the risks attendant to growth and transformation that might entail.

    Best wishes in your endeavors,

    S-

  2. billweilon 21 Jul 2010 at 4:10 pm

    I disagree with nothing you said. The real point of the Commitment Manifesto is to raise one’s consciousness, and to not assume that you and your partner are aligned if you haven’t overtly or (dare I say?) tacitly had the conversation. Thanks for your thoughtful comments!

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