One of the greatest things about being single is that you are accountable to no one (in terms of romantic relationships). The problem arises when married people sometimes still believe they are accountable to no one.
My last few coaching clients have complained of the same thing: Their spouse’s lack of accountability. Once you are married, you are accountable to someone else, period—no exceptions. If you and your spouse have goals, aspirations and dreams of how to move forward in life, the only way to jointly achieve these things is to hold yourselves accountable to each other.
Don’t Talk About it, Be About it
Actions speak louder than words. In relationships, actions don’t just speak, they scream at you! Politicians often say what you want to hear, then when they get in office, they do whatever fits their own agenda. You can’t do this in relationships.
A key to remember is my agenda is her or his agenda. Harkening back to what you did before marriage isn’t a good look. You’re on the same team now, literally building your family legacy together. If it’s a financial matter you are building for now and the future, you are accountable to the finance committee—you and your spouse. Now you have to do what you say you will do because others are dependent on you.
Actions are your words in a sense: Your actions communicate your seriousness to address and follow through on a situation. Legacy is built on people who do what they say, not make a bunch of empty, unfulfilled promises.
Power in Numbers
Being accountable isn’t always easy. Things like overcoming addiction or pulling yourself away from a bad behavior often require a lot of support. If you need support to help foster the responsibility, find people who are struggling with the same things you are and talk through it together.
Being transparent about life and relationships is one of the first steps in becoming accountable. Although the essential theme of this article is about being accountable to one another in marriage, there are times when we can go to other places to learn how to become accountable. If you struggle with financial issues, find a group of people like a Financial Peace course or a Dr. Boyce Watkins event, who helps people learn how to manage financial issues.
If its relationship challenges, find a group discussion where you hear people talking about similar things, so you realize you aren’t in it alone. There is power in numbers when it comes to supporting each other.
Look Through Another’s Eyes
When I hear statements like “I do what I do” or “No one can tell me what to do, I’m grown” in relation to their current romantic situation, it grates on my nerves like nails on a chalkboard. You do what you do for the betterment of your relationship and in service to your spouse.
Yes, someone can tell you what to do if you are open to learning, growing and building together. We have to take the time to see the world through our spouse’s lens. What does he/she want me to do in this situation? What is best for us? What must I do as I will be accountable later? Whatever the vision is, it’s in tandem, it’s not about you. When you take a moment to look at life or a particular situation though your spouse’s eyes, you can‚—in that moment—hold yourself accountable and make a good decision, which is one step toward a great relationship.
BMWK, do you know what it means to be accountable?