The following article was written by Gary Thomas from a Christian perspective regarding the importance of being “all in” a primary relationship. (A common topic in marriage and relationship therapy). The IMAGO model would support this perspective. Although he writes from a heterosexual perspective, this works for gay and lesbian relationships and other spiritual perspectives as well. See what you think……
“Bachelor Disaster” by Gary Thomas
It was almost as painful as watching a man slowly bleed to death; instead, I was watching a marriage die before it had even begun.
The Bachelor wanted to be known as a good guy. He was in a ridiculous and silly situation (trying to artificially choose a wife while simultaneously dating 25) but even so, he couldn’t have made it worse.
When he was finally down to the final two women, the guy couldn’t make up his mind. He kept worrying about whether the one he was rejecting would be better for him than the one he was choosing. He feared he might be making a mistake, he actually called it “the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make.”
Every syllable of those pathetic, self-absorbed sentences were caught on tape and were daggers to the joy of his future marriage (assuming the marriage actually happens). His “fiancé” said she decided not to watch the painful ordeal, but if the bachelor thinks she never will, or that she’ll never hear about it, he’s delusional. Besides, she already did hear about it. The host brought it up! And the future bride’s refusal to hear it firsthand testifies to the hurt already inflicted by a complete misunderstanding of love, marriage, and marital unity/intimacy.
Men, if you want a satisfying marriage, you have to be all-in focused on one woman. You have to prize her above all women. You have to make her believe there is no other woman you could possibly be drawn to in comparison.
You can’t cleave if you don’t first leave “Leave” doesn’t just mean your parents—it means every other human affection. The best marriages are “all in.” They are built and sustained by the attitude, “I will offend everyone else, if I have to, in order to affirm, value, and cherish you.”
If you’re not ready to make that commitment to a woman, you’re not ready to be married. It is pitiful for any husband to let any woman besides his wife think that he’s “on the market” or may soon be.
To share something “special”—emotional or physical—with anyone other than your spouse is to subtract from your marriage. It’s to kill it with a thousand small cuts. It will slowly bleed your marriage to death.
Marriage is nurtured by its exclusivity and it is assaulted by the Bachelor’s disastrous mindset, whether you adopt that mindset as a single man or as a husband married for ten or twenty years.
Men, you can’t cleave if you don’t leave—everything, and everyone. True “cleaving”—a sense of oneness, a solid, impenetrable unity—is so fulfilling. Without it, you get all the responsibility and limitations of marriage without the soul fulfillment. That’s as frustrating a trade as you’ll ever make. You can only live with that for so long without wanting the “escape” of divorce.
All in, or not in. Those are really the only two choices a man should focus on when choosing a mate. If a woman thinks the man isn’t there, she’s being equally foolish tying her life to half of his heart and half of his mind.
Excerpt from GaryThomas.com