Passive Commitment Avoidance: How People Avoid Commitment "Passively"

Unfortunately, most people aren’t aware that there are two distinct ways to avoid commitment: Actively or Passively.
  1. We actively avoid commitment by making it clear or in some way obvious to others that we are disinterested and/or are conflicted about commitment.
  2. We passively avoid commitment by pursuing unavailable partners, impossible circumstances and by pushing or waiting for conflicted and/or disinterested partners to make a commitment.

As Carter and Sokol explain in their book, He’s Scared She’s Scared, “You think all you want is a commitment, but your partner is unable to commit. This scenario is the single most effective way of concealing your own commitment issues.”

Most of us are familiar with the methods people use to actively avoid commitment, but that’s not the case with passive commitment avoidance. Here’s an important rule of thumb to always remember in regard to relationships: If you have one partner in the relationship who is conflicted or uncommitted, you always have two.

When we’re clear about what we want…

You see, when we’re clear about what we want, we’re not attracted to people who are wishy-washy. In fact, the more committed we are to being in a loving, committed relationship, the MORE SELECTIVE we become. In other words, choosing inappropriate partners reveals a lot about us. Specifically, it reveals our level of ‘seriousness’ about being in a close, committed, long-term, relationship.

When I’m coaching people, they often say things like, “I had doubts about marrying him or her, but decided to go ahead and get married anyway. You see, forging ahead with such a serious decision when we have doubts, reveals a lack of commitment on our part. When we have doubts, but forge ahead with marriage, anyway, it’s because we believe, on some level, that we can wiggle our way out of the commitment, at some point, down the road.

As Deepak Chopra tells us in his book, The Book of Secrets, “Many relationships end in divorce because of a lack of commitment, but that lack didn’t grow over time; it was present from the outset and was never resolved.”

Yin And Yang. All of us are torn between two opposing urges.

As Carter and Sokol explain in their book, He’s Scared She’s Scared, “…all of us are torn between two fundamental urges. On the one hand, each of us has a profound desire to merge with another human being and become a part of something larger than self; on the other, we have an equally basic need to feel independent, free to make choices without constraint or compromise. Finding a way to balance the urge to merge with the desire to be free is what commitment is all about. Here’s the problem: These two needs are diametrically opposed.”

How we balance our two primary drives is contingent upon our level of development. Cheating, for example, is a way to balance our two opposing urges; but cheating is only a plausible option for us at a certain level of development. In other words, the more developed we become the less capable we are of cheating or, tolerating cheating; because as we develop (integrate the brain’s two independent mind systems) we begin to see that cheating and tolerating cheating are two sides of the same dynamic (both allow us to be free, but connected).

Many of us are familiar with the famous Einstein quote…

Many of us are familiar with the famous Einstein quote, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” However, most of us don’t have a clear understanding of what that quote really means.

As doctors Siegel and Bryson tell us in their book, The Whole Brain Child, “In order to live balanced, meaningful and creative lives full of connected relationships, it’s crucial that our two hemispheres work together…Significant problems arise when the two sides of our brain are not integrated and we end up coming at our experiences primarily from one side or the other.”

With this in mind, Einstein’s words seem clearer. You could restate his words and say: No problem that was created by a half-brain perspective can be solved by a half-brain perspective.

In other words, you can’t solve the problem of infidelity without moving into a new level of brain functioning; because you have to be able to see how ”you” are co-creating your circumstances. For example, if you’re desperately trying to get your wife to end her affair and recommit to the marriage, you must understand infidelity from the perspective of ‘cheating‘ and from the perspective of ‘tolerating cheating’; because there are hidden payoffs to tolerating bad or unwanted behavior.

If you don’t understand your situation from both sides, it’s likely that you’ll keep repeating the same pattern over and over again in your relationships — from the same or opposite side of the dynamic.

 

If you haven’t read the Women’s Infidelity books, that’s where you need to start. You’ll learn why women struggle with commitment after they cheat on their husbands. Plus, learn the 7 steps women must take to break out of limbo.

 

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