5 Healthy Boundaries for a Healthy Marriage Creating boundaries in your marriage provide a safe structure for both partners to flourish. BY SYLVIA SMITH
Creating boundaries doesn't need to be a big dramatic thing, just something you agree to.
“ There is nothing negative about setting some guidelines for your relationship if their goal is to make your marriage stronger.”
Your marriage is sacred. It's something you will spend the rest of your lives working on to ensure that it is strong, healthy, and lasts the rest of your life. So why not start protecting it now by setting healthy boundaries to help strengthen your marriage?
When you think of the word "boundaries" you may feel like you are putting restrictions on you and your spouse, but there is nothing negative about setting some guidelines for your relationship if their goal is to make your marriage stronger. These are five healthy boundaries to provide the framework for a healthy marriage.
Why Boundaries Are Important
When you are in a committed relationship both of you need to set respectful limits in order to create a secure, stable environment to flourish in. Here's how boundaries play a key role in strengthening your relationship.
* Builds Trust: By setting healthy boundaries for your marriage and sticking to them, you are slowly building trust with your mate. When both of you follow the guidelines set out for your marriage, it reflects that you will follow through with your promises and value and respect their feelings.
* Shows Respect: Respect is the key factor for healthy relationships and without it, your marriage is doomed to fail. If you asked your husband not to hang out with his ex-girlfriend and he did anyway, you surely wouldn't feel respected or safe in your relationship.
Respect contributes to feelings of love, self-worth, and confidence in your relationship. Therefore, by sticking within marital boundaries you are showing your spouse you value their feelings and hold them in high esteem. By setting reasonable boundaries in your marriage and sticking to them, you are building a great foundation for your marriage.
* Strengthens your Connection: Couples who set boundaries and stick to them strengthen their connection together. Over time, seeing that both parties can be counted upon will contribute to better communication, higher levels of trust, and better conflict resolution. Sticking within your healthy boundaries often helps prevent potential conflicts of interest, since you are both keeping the other in mind before you make decisions.
5 Healthy Boundaries in a Marriage
Boundaries should by no means be considered a negative or controlling aspect of your marriage, so long as you are both on the same page about the rules and limitations. Boundaries will help you and your spouse understand your needs and limits, and help keep the integrity of your marriage. Here are some aspects to consider when discussing your marriage boundaries.
1. Choose Friends Wisely
Being married doesn't mean that you can't have friends anymore. It also doesn't mean you can't have friends of the opposite sex. However, having healthy boundaries does mean you would want to choose your friends wisely and limit the amount of time you spend alone with someone who may develop feelings for you.
It is not out of the ordinary for two people of the opposite sex who can't stay "just friends." One tends to experience romantic feelings for the other, which is especially uncomfortable to deal with if you are married. It can lead to hurt feelings or even infidelity. Therefore, a wise boundary would be to spend time with the opposite sex (or whatever gender you are attracted to) while in the company of your mate.
Choosing friends wisely also means being around people who bring out the best in you and share your interests, goals, and moral standards. If you are married and hanging around with adventurous singles who love to go clubbing and to hook up, it may not make your spouse feel comfortable or respected if you went bar-hopping with them.
2. Sexual Boundaries Inside the Bedroom
One of the healthiest boundaries you can set for a healthy marriage is sexual ones. Discuss up front what you require from your partner in order to have a satisfying sex life. Talk about how frequently you both would like to be intimate, what turns you on, and what turns you off.
3. Sexual Boundaries Outside the Bedroom
If you are married you expect your mate to be faithful to you. Create boundaries that you are both comfortable with to ensure neither of you are tempted to cheat or engage in other unfaithful behavior. Some things to discuss with your partner, based on your personal preferences are:
* Watching pornography * Texting the opposite sex * What behavior you consider cheating (such as exchanging naked photos, sexting, engaging in online sex chat, etc.) * Engaging on social platforms with the preferred gender * Flirting * Talking with exes * How to talk to one another if you are sexually frustrated/bored/or tempted by someone else.
Talking about these matters in advance will help strengthen your relationship and prevent any temptation from causing a strain on your marriage.
An absolute must for a healthy marriage is to set boundaries regarding trust and honesty. You can't be in a healthy relationship if it is based on a lie. You and your partner need to be open and honest about your feelings, good or bad. This will help you develop better communication skills, build trust, and help prevent any growing resentment.
5. Boundaries During Arguments
Whether you've been married for three years or 30 years, arguments are going to happen. You're bound to irk each other every now and then, but it's the way you go about arguing that is going to make a big difference in your disagreements. Setting boundaries during arguments means not bringing up past mistakes that have already been forgiven and not throwing faults or your partner's insecurities in their face just to settle a score.
Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.