It's Important to Have Healthy Boundaries. It's Just as Important to Make Sure Your Spouse is Inside Them, No Secrets, Just Honesty
Healthy boundaries will protect you from overextending yourself in life. They will also protect the health of your marriage when they're clearly defined. Here are a few ways you can tangibly create boundaries that protect your marriage, whilst also making sure you're BOTH on the same side of lines drawn:
A lack of connected, quality time is the #1 issue couple's face today. It's ironic, since the world is more "connected" than ever, with the evolution of the internet and social media. You must understand that your time is finite... you have a very limited amount. This means you must draw boundaries to block out wasteful or frivolous uses of it. Do this by turning off devices and spending quality time together. In 20 years, you won't remember what you read on social media but you will absolutely remember the moments you spend together.
You will have arguments and fights, which means you will need to reconcile. Draw boundaries around the reconciliation process by agreeing not to bad-talk each other to friends or coworkers in ways that are destructive. It's good to seek counsel and advice, but venting anger to those outside your marriage is never helpful. Then, WITHIN the boundary of reconciliation, work together to resolve conflict in a biblical way. Talk, repent, forgive, make-up, and move on.
3) Integrity and transparency.
Those without transparency live by themselves in a boundary they've created. They do this by engaging in wrong behavior and then hiding it (think: explicit websites, spending habits, emotional and physical affairs, eating habits). The first step toward living with integrity in your marriage is being transparent with each other. Open up the unhealthy boundaries and let your spouse in. If you have a secret other than a surprise gift, etc., then something is wrong.
There are many boundaries we could discuss, but hopefully this will get you thinking. What are some other boundaries you have/shouldn't have in your life/marriage?
- Christina Smith