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  • What Compels You To Commit To Your Marriage?

    First let’s talk about the word compel.

    To be compelled means to be driven or urged forcefully or irresistibly such as, “Exhaustion compelled him to sleep”.

    To be compelled can also mean to do or occur by overwhelming pressure such as, “Her family compelled her to apply to Harvard”.

    When you are compelled, you are driven to get something done. There is action. You don’t give up. You don’t quit.

    Let me give you an example of feeling compelled.

    I am a marriage counselor, but sometimes I ask myself why? It is definitely rewarding but also heartbreaking. And because it is so high stakes, it is always emotionally exhausting.

    But what compels me to do it?

    For many years I was a middle school counselor. I loved what I did. So many great memories. Often though, I felt like I poured myself into kids only to send them home to very difficult circumstances. Sometimes it felt like slapping on bandaids that got ripped off when they left my office.

    After years of seeing kids broken over mom and dad fighting, or mom and dad were divorced and crushing the kids in the middle; I became convinced the best way I could help kids was to help parents and future parents to have stronger marriages.

    That compels me when it gets tough and I get weary.

    I choose to remember why. I have to remember why.

    So again, what compels you to make your marriage work?

    Is it your feelings. Those can be fickle.

    Is it the well being of your children? Very important, and not to be minimized, but what else drives you to grow your marriage.

    Is it commitment? Also very important. Commitment isn’t always popular these days, but it has to be there.

    What compels you is remembering why you married the love of your life. It is choosing to remember.

    In The Lion King. Mufasa commanded Simba, “Remember who you are. You are my son, and the one true king. Remember who you are.”

    As couples, we must remember who we are. Have you forgotten? Is your memory slipping?

    When you spoke the words, “I do”, you were confident in the promises you made. When you said, “For better or for worse,” you were determined to weather any storm and grow old together.

    So why is it so important to remember why you mated for life? If you aren’t careful you will rewrite history to match your current feelings about your marriage.

    Remember your vows, but even more, immerse yourself in the memories you share, and the life you have built together. If you don’t, you will surely rewrite history to justify why your relationship was a mistake.

    So how can you remember the good when it gets hard to to do so?

    Make an ongoing list of special memories you have shared with your spouse. Refuse to put anything negative on it. Spend time thinking about those memories.

    Make a second ongoing list of what you appreciate about your spouse. List examples. Take your time. Don’t rush. Go back periodically and review it. Add as appropriate.

    I hope this helps. Please make the two lists. Consider going to my blog at There is a lot there that can help you right now with your marriage.