Marriage is one of those amazing conditions that require struggle; and sometimes the challenges faced can be so overwhelming that you may want to throw in the towel and give up. However, the many hurdles you encounter in your relationship can be overcome when there are two willing parties who desire harmony and two willing parties willing and able to make the necessary adjustments. Further, couples can be victorious over great odds when they take responsibility for their marriage and be accountable for how they relate to one another.
Things to Consider as you Prepare to Take Responsibility for Your Marriage
- Your willingness and the course of action you take to modify counterproductive behaviors which hinder you from accomplishing your goal as a couple to stay together, is key.
- A prepared and committed mind is a mind that has been made up. When you make up your mind to make your marriage work, only then can you begin to tackle the problems that threaten or weaken it.
- A healthy marriage takes two people working collectively and cooperatively together and both saying, “I will,” then do.
- “No one has ever won a race, they haven’t run; nor completed a task they haven’t begun.”
As I outline in the book, From Ordinary to Extraordinary, “Although struggle happens when working to accomplish something worthy, preparation helps you to put yourself in proper condition or readiness for the undertaking you are embarking upon. Putting yourself in proper condition entails setting your mind and firmly fixing your intentions to complete the task at hand. Preparation calls for you to completely make up your mind to accomplish the assignment and to cut off whatever is necessary in order to be successful.”
Responsibility and Accountability Factor 1: You must cut off those things that hinder your relationship. For example, in a relationship dynamic, a couple may be facing alcoholism, physical or emotional abuse, neglect, workaholic tendencies, poor communication. The list can go on. However, unless the husband and wife modify their behavior, they will continue in a vicious cycle of more of the same and sometimes worse.
“During the course of marriage, the couple may be faced with a variety of challenges. Further, they may be confronted with matters, which will require them to make some very difficult decisions. In marriage, making a commitment requires them, as outlined in the vows, to forsake all others, and sometimes the decisions that may need to be made can be very painful.”
Responsibility and Accountability Factor 2: “Some decisions can be very difficult, yet to forsake all others means to give up, refuse, deny, decline, or leave altogether. Within the context of the commitment in marriage, anything that threatens or weakens the bond between husband and wife; causes abandonment or isolation of one spouse from the other; jeopardizes the unity of the couple; robs husband and/or wife of marital bliss, peace or joy; causes unnecessary friction or is a nuisance; or anything else that becomes a threat to the longevity and success of the marriage, must be re-evaluated and a firm decision made with respect to that which is causing harm or the threat of harm to exist.”
“The marriage becomes priority due to the commitment made. The aim or objective is for the couple to stay together. However, in staying together, a focus must also be on keeping the marriage relationship in the same or better condition as when it first began. In order to achieve the goal intended for the marriage, both husband and wife must heavily incline toward one another. They must create habits of mind and adhere to practices which preserves the marriage, protects it against attack, and supports its continued existence. Also, both husband and wife must make adjustments when and where necessary in order to adhere to principles that will keep them fixed in the direction of their goal – A life-long marital commitment and marital bliss.”
Responsibility and Accountability Factor 3: “A couple’s tendencies, activities, responses, actions and circumstances must be in accordance with honesty, trust, sincerity, fairness, lawfulness of purpose, and absent of any intent to defraud or act maliciously. Their relationship must be clear of behaviors that are harmful and injurious; otherwise it is characterized as abuse and abuse, physical or otherwise, makes it very difficult to sustain a marriage.”
“Abuse is improper and gross misuse of the marriage relationship. It must be eliminated immediately because it undermines and attacks the very core of the marriage threatening the life of the marriage and the two people in the marriage relationship. A marriage is unable to thrive when abuse exists, whether it is physical, verbal, emotional, or mental.
When an abusive situation occurs, it must be immediately corrected. Abusive behavior creates an unhealthy environment and compromises the integrity of the marriage.
Responsibility and Accountability Factor 4: In marriage couples are sometimes confronted with decisions they have to make that are very difficult. Abusive situations are one of those situations. When abuse continues to exist in a relationship and is not corrected, the decision to leave the marriage may be the only alternative, and this too can be a very painful decision.
“Staying the course with respect to any goal is possible. It may sometimes be tough, but it’s possible. Your desire to attain your goal must be greater than the challenges that may come up as you are working to reach it. Keeping your focus might sometimes seem like an impossible feat, especially as obstacles arise. However, although it is not always easy to achieve something of value, you can achieve what you will, just continue pressing on until you reach the mark!
Responsibility and Accountability Factor 5: Married couples must be willing to take responsibility for their marriage and do what is necessary to sustain it. Pride, ego, stubbornness, insecurities, or any other stumbling blocks can be eliminated with a willing heart and the commitment to do what is necessary. Both husband and wife are accountable for their own behavior; and the way they behave must be with all due consideration to their partner and their partner’s well-being.
“To commit, is to emotionally and morally engage. When one emotionally and morally engages, they become involved with, bind themselves to and hold fast to that which they are committed. Further, they attach their feelings and emotions to the matter and shape their behavior in a practical and applicable way as to not weaken the bond to that which they have committed.”
In other words, make the necessary changes to change your condition, take responsibility for your marriage and be accountable for the energy you put into it.
Excerpts in this article are from ATIYA’s book, From Ordinary to Extraordinary. For more information on purchasing this book, please visit the book section of her website at www.themarriagetree.net