The Pretense of Commitment
Couples who have been together for years are often questioned by friends and relatives if they refuse to make it a formal one with marriage. Some of them simply do not believe in that type of arrangement, but others are living with the pretense of commitment. One person might desperately want to be married, but their partner refuses. That person wants the option to leave at any time, and they have already made it clear they will never make a true commitment. It can be a difficult way to live, but breaking up is often not a clear choice for either person.
Control within a relationship is something couples battle over throughout a relationship, but this is a case where one person has too much control. Their need to feel they can leave at any time makes their partner miserable, but that person’s refusal to leave the relationship provides more control to their uncommitted partner. It is not a balancing act, but it can be characterized as walking a tightrope without a net.
For those who crave a real commitment, this is a relationship where they should consider packing their bags and walking out the door. Due to the lack of a formal obligation, they are also free to leave at any time. Some of them have done that and found a good relationship, but others have realized their former partner is desperate to get them back.
It can be emotionally devastating to stay in this type of relationship, and the fear of being alone keeps many partners in line. For those with just enough courage or anger, leaving a partner who only pretends to be committed might be their best option. They will be able to find someone new, or they could find their former partner was bluffing about their refusal to make it a permanent commitment.