Taking Responsibility in Your Marriage

Taking Responsibility in Your Marriage

Now I am no expert in marriage. Hell each day together is a victory for most couples and my wife and I are no different. I do though want to share this article with you that I’m finding all to common. I built Startuup to use as an avenue for me to write down and journal some of my thoughts, but this wife took writing online to another level. I can only imagine what they must go through as a couple and hope that they do in fact get some much needed help and counseling. For myself personally, it’s articles like these that humble me as I sometimes see traits of myself in other people’s actions which is not the path to go down.

“I’m 29, married for 6 yrs with 3 children, 6, 3 and 2. I am a stay at home mom. After countless sleepless nights “googling” my marriage issues, and being directed to this site numerous time, I’ve decided to post to hear some opinions.

My husband is emotionally and physically neglectful and I am well past breaking point with him, with us. I have literally begged him for affection too many times to count, but it was always in vain. There’s always “what do you want from me” and I answer in detail about how all I want is to feel loved and wanted. I accept that I have been bitchy and on edge, but it’s almost always after weeks of rejection and I get fed up and frustrated.

There’s always an excuse, he’s always tired and basically just avoids me whenever possible. When I finally confront him with it, he turns it around on me, there’s always a reason why I am responsible for his actions. First it was because when he came home I looked exhausted and was covered in whatever the kids had on their hands that day and hadn’t showered yet that night. I wasn’t trying to make myself attractive so he didn’t see me that way – so, I made sure that when he came home I was cooking with a dress and heels and full make-up but after almost 6 weeks of him not even noticing, I realized that I wasn’t the problem, he just didn’t want to face up to anything.

Today was the straw that broke the camels back. I’ve been crying and telling him how lonely I am and how desperately I needed a break from just taking care of everyone and wanted a night out. I made plans with a friend and bought last minute concert tickets to a show I’d been dying to see. I was so excited and looked forward to it all week, he was well aware of this. He said that he wished he were going with me, so I cancelled my plans, stayed home for the day waiting for him to get home from work and was planning on going with him instead.

I felt really bad about standing my friend up, but was really hoping that this might just be what we needed to start to rediscover each other. I called him throughout the day to tell him how excited I was about tonight and how much it meant to me.

Well, 5:30 rolls around and he’s not home yet… I tried calling for an hour but his phone was off. When he finally answered I was steaming! First thing I said was “Where are you?!?” and I was obviously irritated since we were supposed to have left a 1/2 hr ago. He said he was in traffic and would be home in 10 mins. 35 mins later he got home and rather than saying ” I’m so sorry I’m late, I know you’re mad but we’ll still make it if we leave now” he just said I don’t want to hear your shit, I can’t control traffic. Nice. Funny how in 6 yrs at his job and 3 yrs of taking that same route, he’s never been late before? Turns out instead of depositing his check during his break like he always did, he decided that he would go after work and get a later bus. I know that I should understand that, but I reminded him 3 times this afternoon to deposit it so he wouldn’t be late. We live near the Jersey Shore and there is always traffic in the summer.

I honestly don’t care what his reasons were for not doing it while he was at work or how much traffic there was. I think that he should have made it his business to be here on time even if he had to leave a little early. It caused a fight and since I was pissed off about being late and told him that I was so hurt that he wasn’t there for me when he knew how important it was, he said I was just a bitch and talking to him like and asshole and that I had ruined the night and he wasn’t going to go, that I should give the tickets away – so I did.

1/2 hr later, he comes and says we can still make the middle and says he never told me to give them away? Again, says I ruined the night because of how I talked to him and that I should understand that something came up at work. So, now without a day with a friend and no concert, I got to stay home and listen to him tell me how I need to watch how I talk to him and that I have no reason to be mad since it wasn’t his fault.

SO question is this, how do you think that it should have been handled and reacted to by either of us? What do you do if husband won’t accept responsibility for anything and turns everything around to be your fault? I don’t know how to handle this.”

Taking Responsibility in a Marriage

There are too many stories and couples out there that go through this type of situation each and everyday. Trust in that by constantly being online and researching content, I’m constantly trying to learn to become a better person. Reading this article, I noticed that the husband never took responsibility for his actions. He always played the blame game and constantly made up things to blame his wife. What I’ve learned though in my first year of marriage is that taking responsibility in a marriage means always abandoning blame and seeking reconciliation.

What I wish this couple, more so the husband would learn is that the ultimate goal isn’t trying for that perfect marriage; I can say with confidence that there may not be a perfect marriage out there, but the ultimate goal is

  • Putting the other person’s needs first
  • Never taking your spouse for granted
  • Constantly adapting and learning about one another
  • Moving forward together as a couple with the mindset that divorce is not an option
  • Using a higher source of teaching such as church to agree upon a mutual set of teaching

When two spouses take responsibility for the sake of their marriage, the relationship has the potential to be amazing. I’ve seen it with my own eyes with friends and family. Granted I don’t see what’s behind closed doors, but what I do know is that many of them work at their relationships and both people take responsibility for their actions.

Husbands and Their Identity

Husbands, allow me to put myself out there for criticism but what I am learning is that life isn’t always about what job you have, what title you hold, or how much money you make. Trust in that I’m the first guy who feels that my identity and my “manliness” sometimes depends on how my career is going. When my wife nags….I mean tries to communicate with me, I sometimes think she truly doesn’t understand how much I work, how much I bust my ass at my job, and how much stress I have. And yes, I’m sure she had a hard day as well but my stupid ego and pride doesn’t allow me to see that.

I write this section about identity because I feel a lot of unnecessary stress that I need to take responsibility for circles around finances, around what job and title I hold, and where my “corporate future” is headed. The reason I love my friends so much is that many of my closest friends keep telling me that the real work begins the moment you step back into your house, your corporate job is the easy job. What I need to remember is that I must take responsibility for my actions and that my wife and family are my full time jobs; my job for life. My corporate job truly is a “temporary” job and just another source of income.

Taking Responsibility for “Bringing Work Home”

I may be the only one who thinks like this but I think most men bring home a lot of frustration because of their jobs. That frustration may in turn trigger a night of conflict and tension. Ladies, allow me to give you a little insight to men. Sometimes, we just have shitty days (yes, I know just like you) but instead of wanting to talk about it, wanting to discuss how we feel about it, sometimes we just want to be left alone. A lot of guys just need a few minutes to be left alone, to maybe take a quick nap, have a ice cold beer, or go outside and bbq dinner by himself. What he is doing is recapping his day in his head and thinking about solutions on how to not have a day like that again. Thinking about what went wrong, how he knows he’s better than that to let that kind of day happen to him, and thinking of how to tackle those problems. We don’t love you any less than we did before we left for work and no, you are not getting fat and ugly.

When he walks in the door looking like he had a bad day, that’s not the time to tell him you need help with the laundry, he needs to take out the trash, ask him what he’s going to cook for dinner….and never, ever tell him he doesn’t do anything if you feel a little resistance when you tell him to do those things. Ladies you may want try this: if he likes beer like I do, offer him a beer, tell him sorry that he had a bad day, tell him how much you appreciate how hard he works, and tell him that you’ll be there for him when he’s ready to talk. I guarantee you he will come over to you when you’re minding your own business and love you more.

These types of days have caused my wife and I some long nights and in the end it was all just a misunderstanding. If I just quickly communicate to her that I need just a few minutes alone AND hopefully doesn’t take that personally, then conflict and frustration can be avoided. But as you all know, we’re human, my wife and I go through nights of conflict just like everyone else. What could have been a 5 minute conversation now turns into a 7 hour discussion. (I’m getting exhausted just writing that 🙂 ) So what can you do in trying to reach a resolution to an issue?

Reaching Resolutions when Conflicts Arise

Well, reaching a resolution doesn’t happen overnight when one or both spouses are to blame. Reconciliation is a process, and the first step is accepting responsibility. I can honestly say that being a guy, I struggle with this at times. Reconciliation at times is the most difficult thing to do because of my pride and ego. I mean I’m a guy; I’m supposed to be the manly guy who huffs and puffs, storms out of the room with rage, and wait for my wife to come by and calm me down right? WRONG! Those days of me being that guy showed lack of maturity, lack of respect, and lack of strength. Simple truth guys….a lot of times if we just drop our egos and pride, say the words “I’m sorry”, that long night of discussing issues can be avoided.

I’ve read that couples with poor conflict resolution skills typically engage in Fight, Flight, or Freeze behaviors. They fight and stay mad, sometimes holding grudges for years. They flee and avoid important issues by sweeping them under the rug. Or, after endless arguments with no resolution in sight, they freeze emotionally and shut down. Someone who freezes in a relationship typically goes through the motions on the outside, but has stopped caring on the inside. Successful couples have the ability to solve problems and let it go. They focus on taking care of the issue rather than attacking the person. Even when angry, they find ways to be upset and stay close at the same time. Once the matter is resolved, they forgive and forget. Most importantly, successful couples have the ability to learn and grow through their interpersonal difficulties. Like fine wine, their relationship improves with age and gets better over time. What does this all mean? Successful couples take responsibility for their roles in their marriage.

No one’s perfect, let me save you the suspense. Marriage shows that truth like few other relationships do. Sometimes problems arise from specific character traits or sins and the truth is that conflict in marriage is inevitable. The key isn’t avoiding marriage problems but learning how to navigate them together. Remembering that both the husband and the wife are responsible for contributing to the marriage. Once you know what’s holding back your marriage from being the best it can be, resolve to do something about it. If you do nothing, the situation won’t change and you’ll continually fight the same battles with your spouse. It’s not a one-person job. But no matter who’s to blame, you’re both held responsible so I encourage all of us to take responsibility for your actions.

 

5 Comments

  • Shauna Coleman - Walker

    Taking responsibility for your own actions is definitely a start! And playing the blame game is a must Stop! I write a lot about these. In fact, I have a Transformation course that starts out with these exact topics. I agree there are two sides to every story but when you blame the other for everything and don’t take responsibility for yourself and your actions your only calling the kettle black :-/

    • startuup

      Completely agree with you!:) I myself have a lot to learn and writing articles like these gives me reference when I go off the path as I did a few nights ago in a disagreement. Thanks for reading and commenting Shauna, much appreciated!

  • Victoria

    If I’ve learned anything from relationships- platonic and otherwise- it’s that communication is key. I think your 5 points of the ‘ultimate goal’ are spot on.

    • startuup

      Thanks Victoria! Communication is so key!!! I’m learning that each and every day. One single “assumption” can lead to a long night of discussions when it could have been avoided if I just communicated properly to my wife. Constantly communicating and learning about each other is something that takes time but is so worth it in the end:)

  • Natalie

    Wow! What an interesting read. I think the husband is acting like a child himself. He’s selfish and unwilling to communicate and put his wife’s needs first.

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