Many people think that boundaries are like a “keep out” fence that distance you from your spouse. In fact, appropriate boundaries bring you closer in Marriage. Respect is one of the foundational aspects of a close and healthy marriage. We all want and deserve respect. Below is a list of boundaries and ways to show your spouse respect. Employing these suggestions will have a very positive effect on your marriage.
- Secrets are appropriate for birthdays and Christmas! Otherwise secrets are very damaging to a marriage. Secrets and lies are cousins. Secrets are unexpressed lies and have no place in a close relationship. Secrets often are about money and relationships. We do not have to share things from our past that we have repented of and that do not affect your relationship today.
- Keep your mate’s flaws private. Do not discuss your spouse’s flaws with your family or friends. This is very disrespectful to your mate. The first person you should talk to is your spouse. Sit down and have an honest discussion about the problem. If your mate’s flaws become damaging to your relationship, seek out the help of your Pastor or a Counselor.
- On a similar note, keep your marriage problems private. Seek help from your Pastor or seek Marriage Counseling. Sometimes even reading a good book on the subject may help; especially if the two of you read it together. Sharing your problems with family or friends tends to polarize the situation. Rarely, even if we are sure about it, is the person we go to objective. After all, they are our friend or family member and they care about us so much that they may not be objective.
- It is important to create appropriate division of household chores and parenting responsibilities. In the current day and age often there are two wage earners in the home. When Mom stays at home with the kids, she can be just as, if not more exhausted than Dad.
- In a Marriage, there is no place for close “personal “friends of the opposite sex. This can create significant problems in a relationship. Affairs often develop out of situations where a person goes to their friend because “they are not being understood” at home. When the “friend” steps in and fills that role it is fertile ground for an affair to develop. You may say that you are not that kind of person to let that happen. As Marriage Counselors, we hear those very words from many couples who come to us to try to heal from adultery. Be wise and make your spouse your only close friend of the opposite sex.
One of the biggest complaints people make when they come in for marriage counseling is that they do not feel like they are number one with their spouse. This is true for men and women. It could be friends, work, hobbies, extended family, children or many other things. The best marriages always have husband and wife putting their spouse first (after God).
Marriages thrive on closeness. Find ways to return to the closeness you once had. Look for ways to reduce boundaries between you and your spouse, leaving only healthy boundaries, and create healthy boundaries between your relationship and the outside world that protects your marriage.