The Magic Of Unconditional Commitment

You thought you’d never have to hold this club over her.

Just as she thought she’d never had to hold hers over you.

For when you were first married, your love and service came easy, like champagne overflowing the bottle at the slightest shake.

But then came the grind: then came the failed startup, the chronic illness, the long years of raising children together.

In time, the love and service did not come so easily. To your dismay, and to hers, you stopped “meeting each other’s needs.”

The magic faded.

And so, somewhere along the way, despite great reluctance, you each chose to reach for… THE CLUB.

You stretched your arms back into the old tooth-and-claw world of transactional relationship to grip and brandish threat of loss:

Do as I say, give me what I need, stop doing X, start doing Y, or I’ll leave you.

Even if you didn’t say the words, even if you didn’t make the threat explicit… she knew.

And in that moment your marriage became just another grimly transactional relationship, like all the others. A loosely-held collaboration of convenience, at any point to be broken.

Once you resort to the club, you are no longer married.

You may still legally be husband and wife, but the relationship between you is no longer a marriage: it is merely a hopeful co-habitation.

For the club destroys the unconditional commitment that makes a marriage magic.

When you brandish the club, the energy you should be putting into loving your wife and co-creating your future gets siphoned off: redirected into workless “stay or go” debates within yourself.

Instead of using your full faculties to solve your marriage problems, you spend that precious energy debating whether you should even be there in the first place.

In so doing, you’ve not only wasted time and energy… you’ve gutted your marriage of the one quality that could have made it truly set apart.

Marriage as a convention is not magic in itself. Your marriage is MADE magic by the level of commitment you bring to it.

The most transformative act you can make for your relationship is to commit unconditionally to your wife. Not just to “staying”: any warm body can do that. It’s committing to bring your full presence, and your full powers of creation to your marriage, forever.

So quit your poisonous “go or stay” debating.

Quit your snarled ultimatums.

Refuse the cheap power of club brandishing. Hold out for the true power that comes from unconditional commitment.

But Bryan, you don’t understand:

My wife is batshit crazy

My wife won’t even look at me, let alone sleep with me

My wife lost all faith in me years ago

We’re too far gone… I need to start over with someone else

All of that forgets that marriage can be, at any moment, made new.

That passion is an infinitely renewable resource.

That you are always but one series of choices away from heart-in-mouth love for your wife.

Give your children the gift of unconditional commitment to your marriage. The gift of never-in-doubt love to their mother.

Only then will your marriage rise above the swamp of transactional relationship.

Only then will your marriage be what you longed for.


Bryan Ward is founder of Third Way Man and author of the LIT Black Paper


  1. Barry Johnson says

    Thank Brian for this article on “Mothers Day”

    You are so right on. My wife asked me to leave over seven months ago. Theres no biblical reason. I’ve been through all kinds of crazy emotions and i am trying to show unconditional love.
    Today our kids and i plan to make a special tea for her and fuss over her. I am hoping and praying she will have a change of heart and for the sake of our childten and our marriage covenant, she will decide to work things out.

  2. Relationships are two way streets, if one is going down it alone, without being met in the middle, there is no amount of unconditional love that one can put forth to make the other person love once a certain threshold has been crossed.

    I disagree with this one Bryan, in being in a loveless, emotionally abusive relationship does nothing but show your kids that it’s ok to be shit on.

    • Love doesn’t need to go both ways. Just as you didn’t need anybody’s permission to fall in love with your wife you will not have anybody come and save it. You don’t need anybody’s permission or approval(not even your wife’s) to go ALL IN and love her.When you love someone you don’t do things in hopes that you will be paid back. You do things because giving love is fulfilling in itself. Don’t try to bullshit your wife either, women know us better than we know ourselves. If you think its 50/50 you are not giving her EVERYTHING! Don’t be a little bitch and be 100% responsible.

  3. Well that was pointless. Never presume to know all the details. I have been mulling the stay or go question for three agonizing long miserable years. I have a feminist wife who thinks lying to me is fine and raising my daughter to do the same. When will man learn to take a stand and take their rightful God appointed role. We have been whipped brainwashed and fed hogwash like this for far too long. Brothers it is time to rid yourselfs of your shackles and live. Love her be there for her but never ever allo her to take control. I have decided to leave my wife due to her insight into female power and I will fight to protect and raise my daughter properly.

  4. Just putting this out there brother… Your web site is a gift from YHWH to me. Not just in spirit, but also your writing style. I envy how you can express yourself.

    All the best man, your message needs to be broadcast far and wide!

  5. Good stuff. I can identify with all of this. Good to know I’m not alone.

  6. Great article, thanks Bryan! I nearly lost my marriage two years ago. My wife was totally done and believed there was no way I could ever win her back. I learned she was in an affair with a friend of mine. I could have left…and a big part of me wanted to. I could have spun my story to come out of a divorce looking good (and trashed her in the process), and no one would have blamed me. But in “winning” I would have lost.

    Instead, I stuck it out. I did the hard work. I listened, changed, bit my tongue, swallowed my pride and learned to love far more unconditionally. We’ve had an incredible rebirth in our marriage, and I know that staying will be one of the best decisions I ever made. That decision will echo in our family for generations.

    So thanks for the encouragement you’re giving men here, Bryan. I just wanted to voice my support as someone who is learning the power of slamming the back door shut in my marriage.

    To the men out there who are struggling in your marriages, you can do it. You can win her back. My marriage looked hopeless, but here we are. You have to stop blaming her, though…the fact is that if you meet her needs and make her feel great, she won’t be able to resist you. Let that sink in…it changed everything for me when I “got it”. Soften your heart, take responsibility, risk being hurt again, and set to work with the singular focus of winning her back. You CAN do it!

    • Thank you for this. I am dealing with a tough situation right now where I find myself fighting and struggling to reconcile with me beautiful wife. After years of emotional neglect and anger issues in my part she has finally had enough. I have realized that I need to be the one to change, not her. While I feel like I am changing, I know it’s going to be an uphill battle till she see’s and believe the changes.

  7. Wow this is so powerful brother, it came at the perfect time for me.

  8. Sure… Sometimes it works that way just fine, but then there’s the point where they cheat on you or view porn or go watch Magic Mike and then you need to get out the shovel and bag of lime…

  9. Caninus Maximus says

    This would be great except for the fact most women start with the club almost from the start. They “keep accounts” almost from the start. What happens is that men get sick and tired of it and decide to start fighting fire with fire. Not saying its right. But its understandable.

    • Being right and justified on your actions doesn’t mean that’s the best thing to do. Remember that saying: “do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?”

  10. Matt Ellis says

    My wife is a flower. By this I mean that if I care, nurture, and feed her (emotionally, spiritually, etc.) Then she blossoms into this beautiful creation. By mentally understanding this and not expecting quid pro quo, I am much happier because I know that the energy I invest into her will come back many times over.

    • Well said my friend. U am struggling with self hatred and have been disloyal and a cheater for many years. I now realize I need to forgive myself for the circles I chose to run in while watering the flower I love. May not survive this last damaging act but have learned that we are all machines and continue to be victims of our habits, thoughts and actions or we victimize others till we notice and change direction before doing damage.

  11. FrankThanks says


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