Personal boundaries are guidelines that a person creates, to identify ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond, when someone steps over the line. In a marriage where two persons decide to live together and build a future, there needs to be personal boundaries. The purpose of these boundaries is not to dictate to the partner or punish them. Instead, they show where one partner stops and the other begins. Each partner is clear about what to expect and what is expected of them in different situations.
When one thinks of faithfulness in a relationship, one usually thinks about not having extramarital sexual relationships. However, faithfulness requires much more than that. You can cheat on your partner by keeping secrets from them, and even worse if these secrets are shared with someone else. Shouldn’t your spouse be your first confidante? Don’t gossip about your spouse to others. The problems you have should be between the two of you or you could include a counselor. Don’t listen to others tear down your husband. Discuss issues with your spouse before discussing them with others (unless, of course, you are planning a surprise party). Don’t do things behind your husband’s back. Unfaithfulness may lead to distrust and weaken your marriage. Always remember that it’s the two of you against the world. Your spouse feels safe when he knows that you have his back and will make him want to have your back.
This one is actually in the marriage vows. Don’t raise your eyebrows. Your husband may not always be lovable and sometimes you may forget the “or worse” part of the vows. As for the “in sickness” part, that can try your patience if your spouse is a bad patient or your endurance if the illness is chronic or long lasting. You are required to provide unconditional love even when your husband makes you want to throw things. Show your love in small and sometimes spectacular ways. This will not only remind him that you love him but remind yourself too. Lack of love can lead to unhappiness and bitterness and pushes you apart.
Responsibility is not just about who is in charge of what, although it is important. If no one is in charge of feeding the dog, then it may end up either hungry or overfed. Responsibility cuts out ambiguity as each person knows their role. However, there is also taking responsibility for your actions, choices, words and even your values and attitude. Own up when you do something wrong or make a wrong choice. Apologize, when you are wrong and don’t place the blame on others. Sometimes one has to rethink one’s values or change one’s attitude. Insist that your husband does the same. This helps to clear the air and keep your marriage on track.
It is always important to talk out issues. Husbands are not mind readers. Tell your spouse what you want him to know. Hints and signals may go awry and wrong conclusions made. Ask him what you want to know. However, the way you communicate is also important. Don’t shout or curse at your spouse. Wait until your anger cools before approaching him to deal with an issue. Don’t abuse him or make him feel small. Think, about how you will both feel when the issue has passed. Words cannot be unsaid and apologies can’t always cover hurt so think before you speak. Remember you are dealing with your lover not your enemy. Spend quality time talking just like you did when you were courting. Discuss the plans and dreams you have. Don’t forget the sweet nothings on a regular basis.
Eliminate the Negatives
There should never be physical abuse in a marriage. There is never a good reason to hit, push or slap your spouse. Biting is only allowed if these are love-bites. Be honest with your husband, not only by telling the truth but also by not stealing from him or misleading him. Honesty results in trust and respect but dishonesty breeds insecurity and jealousy as well as distrust and disrespect. Practise forgiveness as it will begin the healing process and strengthen your marriage. Be open with your spouse and avoid actions which may lead to your becoming secretive.
Boundaries should be discussed with your husband and a plan of action set out if he steps out of these boundaries. Make sure that whenever you set boundaries they are clear, and stick to them. Insist that your spouse does the same. This should not be hard if the both of you have discussed and agreed to them. If boundaries are to be crossed, then it should be after discussion with your spouse. After a time, boundaries may not feel like limits but just part of the oil of the well-run machinery of marriage. Thank you for reading. Please feel free to share your thoughts below in the comments section. For more information on improving your marriage, get your free copy of The Wise Wife Manifesto. They are always welcome.