Foster Loyalty in your relationship
Couples meet, fall in love and commit to lifelong loyalty and dedication to each other. Some successfully abide by their oath, while others, regrettably, become distracted and fascinated by another individual. How can partners foster loyalty to each other as they adhere to their solemn vows?
Some say, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Others claim, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Does proximity or intermittent distance ensure fidelity? Is the method of safeguarding a partner’s loyalty determined by physical proximity?
Is loyalty an issue of personality or character? Are some people programmed to be faithful and honor their word, while others are bound to be more flexible with their verbal commitments? Or, perhaps it is an issue of individual determination and steadfastness to a life-course by some, while others may become more easily swayed by a whim and their immediate temptations? Can we attribute any behavior to the outcome of the battle between the mind and emotions where either can take charge?
If not a failing of one spouse, could the relationship be the cause of a partner’s straying? Is disloyalty inevitable when a relationship is unsatisfactory to one or both mates? Does inattention signify lack of love for the partner?
All of these and many other hypotheses have been raised by partners in their attempt at explaining or justifying their one time or repeated disloyalty to alleviate their mate’s suffering.
Since a stable relationship is needed for mates to feel secure, safe, and emotionally and physically connected, the lack of clarity about their mutual loyalty can become very distressing to most pairs.
Prof. René Hurlemann of the Department of Psychiatry at Bonn University discovered a physiological mechanism that could explain the attraction between loving couples. He found that when oxytocin was administered to men, viewing their partner stimulated the reward center in their brain, increasing the attractiveness of the partner and strengthening monogamy. He stated, “This could also explain why people fall into depression or deep mourning after a separation from their partner: Due to the lack of oxytocin secretion, the reward system is under-stimulated, and is more or less in a withdrawal state.”
In “A path analytic model of the relationships between involvement, psychological commitment and loyalty,” Yoshi Iwasaki and Mark Havitz reported in their loyalty in marketing study, “The more individuals regard activities as central in their lives, the more they develop consistency between beliefs and attitudes. And, attaining pleasure and enjoyment through activities has a connection to positive beliefs and attitudes.“
These findings may well apply to relationship issues in which couples who value a close connection with each other and enjoy mutual activities are more likely to have a positive attitude and stay focused on enjoying each other.
To foster loyalty in your relationship:
- Disregard skeptics’ negativity about loyalty in relationships.
- Be enthusiastic about delighting in pleasing your partner.
- Joyfully engage in mutually satisfying activities.
- Model loyalty and express your happiness about your union as your loyalties cement.