Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Putting Up the Guardrails: 3 Tips to Start Setting Boundaries in Your Marriage

Jonathan and I on our wedding day.
Although I am very passionate about the topic of marriage, I have strongly hesitated to write anything about it, mostly because I don’t feel qualified. I (and I’m sure my husband) will tell you on any given day I fail MANY times in the wife category. I’m working on it.

I realize that in the scheme of life, I’m really just a newlywed. I’m aware that compared to many married couples we have faced very little as a couple. We still have lots of life left to face, lots of ups and downs, lots of trials and joys to experience together. So, for a while now I have chosen to refrain from writing. However, as I sit and watch marriage and families fall apart all around me, I am compelled to write.

Please know that if you are divorced, if you for some reason have had a marriage that did not work, this is not intended to condemn you. BUT if you are married, this is for you.

It is really easy to slowly slip into habits or behaviors that eventually destroy our marital relationships. These things do not generally happen overnight, but it’s a slow fade from one thing to the next. This is why it is SO important to set up boundaries and safeguard your marriage. No, these things will not make your marriage a “walk in the park” and yes, some of them will sound extreme, BUT these tips will be great guardrails for you to protect your marriage from harmful habits.

 #1 Create Social Media Boundaries
As a married woman, there are very rare occasions in which I should ever find myself having a conversation via text or facebook message with someone of the opposite sex. Extreme, right?! I believe that anything that is private and easily hidden can be one of those areas that slowly fade into something it was not intended to be. Yes, there will be exceptions to this rule on RARE occasions, but for the most part this is just off limits.

#2 Create “alone” Boundaries
As a married person, there are also boundaries that should be set up regarding who you allow yourself to be alone with. Again, this may sound extreme but my rule is that there is never really any reason why I need to be alone with someone of the opposite sex- not to go out to lunch, not a car ride together, not even a hang out session with an old friend. If I have male friends that I would like to hang out with, my husband should be included. It’s no longer “him” and “I”, it’s “we” and this should be carried into our relationships with others.

#3 Create Verbal Boundaries
This is one I learned from my parents and I find it to be SO necessary. There are certain words in your marriage that should absolutely be off limits. For example the word “divorce”… we don’t say it. NEVER. We never say this word. Why? Because I have seen many friends start out using the word “divorce” or “separation” as a meaningless threat, but it eventually turns into the real deal. Using these words creates a lack of trust and you can seemingly destroy your marriage just by throwing these words around.

These are just a few boundaries that I have found extremely helpful in my marriage, but in different relationships there may be many different “safeguards” that should be set in place. Consider what boundaries need to be set up in your marriage and take the initiative to start the conversation with your spouse! You never know, it could just save your marriage!

1 comment:

  1. This was an excellent post and I agree wholeheartedly with everything you shared! Thanks for speaking out on behalf of marriage and for linking up with Marriage Monday!