Marriage, like any healthy relationship, requires boundaries, or, limits. While you, and your spouse, share a home, a life, common values, and many parts of life, there are some aspects of life, that are not, shared.
Boundaries can also be thought of as limits, or guidelines when it comes to your home and relationship. Setting boundaries may be something you chose to formally do, or, they may be established by your actions.
It is our most precious resource, and, depending on the demands of your individual careers, and daily needs, it may be something that needs to be managed. Boundaries, or, limits, may need to be established, when it comes to time spent on activities, that take place, outside of the home, or even, within the home.
Boy’s Night Out
For example, perhaps your husband has a Boy’s Night out, once a week, and you have Book Club. It is a fair arrangement, and balance of time, but, should your husband also start attending a weekly poker game, then you may end up sitting home, alone, feeling neglected. Alternatively, you may enjoy having a beauty night to yourself, and happily enjoy, some time on your own.
In any home, and marriage, there may different rules, when it comes to personal time, and, time spent, as a couple, or, independently, but, they have to be equitable, and agreed upon, by both spouses. Eg. No X- Box on weeknights, no calls after 9 pm, no visitors on a Sunday afternoon.
Every marriage is unique, and, as adults, we are free to decide how we spend our time, and with whom, however, it is, in any healthy relationship, and particularly in a marriage, a limited freedom.
We Tell Each Other Everything
While no one is suggesting that you keep secrets from your spouse, it’s important to also remember that your spouse – your husband or wife – who may be your BFF, soulmate, confidant, and fantasy hero, rolled into one, is also your romantic partner.
A little mystery goes a long way. There may be some parts of life, that you may choose, not to share. While you might find it amusing to tell your spouse about the new hire, who shamelessly flirts with all the ladies in the office – married or not – your husband might not find your story funny, at all. Ditto, your appointment to get your mustache waxed.
Being too relaxed, and over-familiar, with your spouse, and all their activities, may take some of the romance out of your marriage, and daily life, altogether. “In sickness and in health,” – a life spent together, during a marriage, means looking after, and tending to, your spouse’s needs, throughout the different stages of life. However, there are times, when it is perfectly acceptable to limit the amount of “sharing” you do, in your relationship.
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Boundaries need to be Open
By this, we mean, that healthy relationship have open, or flexible, boundaries, or rules. This allows for change, and for couples to adapt to different life circumstances, and challenges, over time. Rules, and limits, in any relationship, are not set in stone, but, need to be adaptable.
While you normally only see the girls once a week, on Ladies Night, Katy Perry is coming to town, and you’re going as a group. While this may be “against the rules”, you have agreed upon, in your marriage, it does not mean you can’t go. The boundaries and limits are there as a guide, only, not a law. You aren’t breaking any rules by going to see a concert, or doing something, remotely, dishonest.
Is it time for you to set some boundaries?
Boundaries and limits are there to help shape your life, together, as a couple, in a positive way, and not, to prescribe, your behavior – either as a couple, or, as an individual. Healthy boundaries allow for you, and your spouse, to be flexible.
It may seem counterintuitive, but, having firm rules, in place, allows you to both enjoy more freedom. Boundaries allow you to live your life, together, as a couple, in a more considerate way, respectful of each other’s time, needs, and desires.
They may not sound romantic, but, proper boundaries, in a marriage, can help your relationship to grow stronger, and, for you to thrive, both as a couple, and, as individuals.