Updated: Jul 21, 2022
I'll never forget this day. The day I felt like that line was crossed with my husband's aunt pushing the "baby talk" on me. We were sitting at the table with two family members and one decided to interrogate us on the "obvious" next step: having children.
In her eyes it was complete innocence, but in my eyes I felt she was crossing the line. I was already annoyed that this was a major concern or topic of discussion for other friends and family, but THIS was over the top. She felt strongly about us having a child now instead of waiting until what she considered to be "too old."
After I sat back and thought about it, I realized a part of the problem was that she didn't know that this topic was a big NO for me.
How many of you have experienced this with your spouse? You felt offended or disrespected by something they did, but you did not speak up about it or share with them how to help you not to continue to experience that unwanted emotion?
You have an imaginary line defined and drawn in your head, but they are unaware? Or maybe they are aware and you have been unsuccessful with helping them understand the impact.
Well, its time to have what we call "the official boundaries talk". Ok, don't exit the page yet! It may sound intimidating, but we will walk you through this because this will help you and your spouse walk more in unity and improve decision making!
Lets start here: Boundaries in marriage are specific lines that are identified and agreed upon to strengthen, protect and preserve the marriage unit. You probably are familiar with the #1 marriage boundary (to not have an affair), but that's not all.
Below are some different examples of boundaries that couples may not think about:
The word "no" (to your spouse and others)
Shutting the phone off at a certain time
Not walking away/shutting down when having a disagreement
Spending money within the agreed upon limit
Limiting interactions with members of the opposite sex to group settings
Not talking poorly about one another to parents/inlaws
The list can go on and on, but we hope you get the idea. As Dr. Cloud writes in his book, Boundaries in Marriage, "boundaries were not designed to end relationships, but to preserve and deepen them." Every marriage needs them. In fact, it is a crucial step in heeding to Peter's warning, to "be alert and sober mind" because the enemy is active with his attacks (1 Peter 5:8). There's simply too much at stake to leave your marriage open and insecure with no accountability.
We realize it may be tough for some to get started and maybe even difficult to overcome the fear of not knowing how your spouse may respond. Maybe you don’t feel a boundaries talk is needed because you believe you a have a "general" understanding. Well, there's no room for assumption here! Why not get the clarity you both need to make sure you are right?? To help, we created a toolkit to walk you through the process! In this audio training + brainstorm template you will learn why marriage boundaries are 100% necessary for every marriage, how to have an effective conversation that is safe and inviting (no blame game), and a step by step guide for you guys to set marriage boundaries to protect your marriage from hurtful circumstances and ultimately bring you closer as a couple.
If you are ready to take the next step to protect and preserve your marriage, check out the toolkit here.
Let us know below: Do you believe boundaries in marriage are important? How has this played out in your own marriage?