5 Essential Boundaries in Marriage
Raise your hand if you’ve ever struggled with Boundaries in Marriage.
When you’re in a conflict or when you struggle to know how far to bend your values to preserve the marriage. You may have felt overwhelmed or confused about how to balance your individual space and interests and shared space and interests as a couple. Codependency can quickly rear its ugly head if boundaries aren’t established or discussed in your marriage.
It is actually better to learn and grow as a result of differences in your marriage rather than to bend your values to accommodate another person so far that you lose yourself in the relationship.
You may also be wondering how you should be treating each other in your marriage.
Boundaries in marriage can give you guidelines on how to treat your spouse with love, respect, and compassion. Boundaries in your marriage can also prevent codependent behavior.
Here are 5 essential Boundaries in Marriage:
Respect and Honor
When you respect and honor your spouse, abuse is something you don’t tolerate in the relationship. Abusive behavior is NEVER okay. If you and/or your spouse are verbally berating, controlling, hitting, gaslighting, lying, stealing, manipulating, using drugs and alcohol, psychologically, financially, sexually or emotionally abusing each other, you need separate yourselves from the situation and get help immediately.
Call the domestic violence hotline for help with a safety plan or make an appointment here to talk with a counselor who can help you stop this behavior and create safety, respect and honor in your home.
You can respect and honor each other while discussing a conflict and there are many tools to help you come to a resolution you can both be happy with. There is never an excuse to have abuse in any relationship.
Faithfulness and Commitment
Having an emotional or physical relationship outside of your marriage with the opposite sex or even the same sex is cheating. You chose to love, honor, cherish and stay faithful and committed to the person you married when you said I do. Marriage is a serious commitment not to be taken lightly.
Faithfulness means you don’t keep secrets or deceive your spouse. It means you choose them everyday through the good times and the bad times (this does NOT include instances of abuse!!!!!!) I’m talking about a man and woman who choose to get married and know what they are getting into and decide one day…”oh I’m not in love anymore so I want out.” Love is not a feeling, it is a choice and intentional daily action.
You work things out and stay committed to this person you chose to love forever. It is a covenant you made with your spouse and God. Marriage is not for the faint of heart or for selfish people. Faithfulness means you choose to lay down your life, just as Jesus did, for each other.
Have some self-control and stay committed to your marriage. You don’t have to jump ship just because things get hard. If you need extra support to work through issues, there is marriage counseling to help you.
Sharing private information with others that is only supposed to be between you and your spouse is breeding ground for trouble. It’s actually gossip to talk about your spouse behind their back. This behavior leads to infidelity, especially if you aren’t talking with your spouse about problems in the relationship. And it is extremely disrespectful to your partner to be sharing private stuff outside your marriage.
The only exception to this boundary is when you are sharing issues with a counselorduring a therapy session and even then your spouse needs to be involved in that. You two are a team and need to be working through private issues together. Another exception is when there is abuse involved, that needs to be reported and addressed immediately!
How are you spending your time? Are you scrolling on your phones too often? Are you and your spouse making each other a priority with your time? When you have jobs, kids and other responsibilities, it is important to identify what time wasters are taking away from making your marriage a priority. When you ignore your spouse and don’t make time for each other, you starve your relationship and connection.
The fact is, your marriage relationship forsakes all other human relationships. There’s an order to things for a great reason. The order of time for 1 God, 2 spouse, and then 3 everything else prevents chaos. Time boundaries help you structure your life and create stability and sanity in your marriage. You don’t have to say yes to every request that asks you for your time. It’s okay to say no to extended family gatherings or other activities that will prevent you from making time with your spouse your number one priority after God.
Interests and Personal Space
Marriage is a man and woman coming together to unite their lives in a relationship for life. Should you give up on you to not lose the marriage? No! A truly loving marriage involves each person accepting and valuing the differences, interests, and personal space of the other in the marriage. You can still pursue individual dreams and interests and stay married. You can also have personal space when needed.
When you are united in marriage you want to help each other pursue your dreams and individual interests. And personal space is important to make your relationship with God a priority and to prevent giving extreme access to others outside your marriage.
People are going to have opinions about how you should be spending your time and money. They will also have opinions about your marriage relationship. Opinions are not always equal to the truth. The most important voice to listen to when it comes to yourself and your marriage is God’s voice. He will tell you the truth in love all the time. Boundaries are God’s idea first and He will help you know how to balance unity and individual interests and personal space.
You can still serve each other in marriage and not be a doormat. Boundaries in marriage help you balance that. You can also readanother blog post here on how boundaries are necessary in relationships.
If you are having trouble with boundaries in marriage, make an appointment with Rhonda here to help you navigate how to balance boundaries and unity.