Funny word, that commitment...
If someone is committed to being a good friend, no one interprets that as not having any other friends.
If someone is committed to being a good student, it doesn't mean they won't do any learning outside of school.
If someone is committed to being a good parent, it doesn't mean they might not adopt or foster other children.
So why does commitment in marriage carry this association with exclusivity?
I'm committed to keeping my promises to my husband, treating him with love and respect, supporting him when he's going through trouble and sharing his joy when he's in good times. Those are the things I was thinking of when I said "I do."
The default legal vows where I live include the exclusion of all others. I actually feel that the ceremony and vows themselves were just a formality. We were already committed before we made it formal. Getting married wasn't even a legal issue because of Canada's common-law legislation, we already shared every right given to married folk.
I often hear my friends say things like "he's a really great guy, I can imagine being together when we're old" and I feel like that sentiment is missing something. My opinion has always been: it's not that you should be able to imagine your life with them forever, it's that you shouldn't be able to imagine yourself without them. That's what marriage means to me, and that has nothing to do with the other people that may come into our lives.
Gralson: my husband
Auto: my girlfriend