Boundaries in Marriage

Boundaries in Marriage
©Anita Peeples 2015

When you marry young you have the benefit of growing up with your spouse. You both have much to learn and it’s great t learn from each other. Not only that but you’re not set in certain ways so you both are flexible in forming new habits that you both will end up sharing. I used to shower at night and my husband showered during the day. We both now shower morning and night. It’s a waste of water but he let me realize how important it is to have shower time with each other and alone. Not only are you clean but you have more time to reflect and think about decisions before you make them.

I will state that with a young marriage we lack in experience in life. Using my own marriage as an example, my husband and I both got married before we turned 21 and so we never experienced drinking casually or with each other. We only now know our limits and how much we can handle.

My husband made a mistake to drink too much at a celebrity party. He didn’t know what he was drinking and how much he could handle. I wasn’t there either to stop him or have his back and he ended up flirting with another woman over text.

Now, it angered me. But, I like to look at things in the most positive way. This man is my best friend and we’re  inseparable until death. He admitted what he did and we’ve moved on but it was decided that alcohol is now off limits unless we’re both around.

Having a boundary with alcohol works for us because we both can keep each other in line and are both at the event where alcohol is present to have each others back.

When the other isn’t around it is understood that we must now both kindly reject an offer.

With alcohol, you can have fun but you can also make mistakes and in marriage there is no room for mistakes in which you end up cheating on your spouse or saying something idiotic.

Alcohol wouldn’t be the only thing we have boundaries with. Snapchat (social media app), friends, and what we decide to do for fun all has boundaries. Social media is one of our biggest struggles because we can’t control what other people do. We can only control what we do on social media which includes Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Obviously, there are more social media platforms than we can count but those are the big 4. Our biggest issue is Snapchat because we’re able to see how much “Snapping” you do and when I see those numbers go up it angers me.

Why are you Snapping so much? Who are you Snapping with? It’s a big stress for me.

Snapchat is off limits. We do both have accounts but we don’t use them.

Our friends and the friendships we hold is another topic that we have boundaries with. We both cannot have friends of the opposite sex. Well, let me rephrase that .We can have friends of the opposite sex but we can’t be alone with them or plan to hang out with that friend. My friends are girls and my husband’s friends are guys. We both know each other;s friends as well and they know us and our relationship situation. Which is that we’re married.

If they don’t respect or support our marriage and our values then we just can’t be friends with them. I have yet to have friends that deliberately were my friend and tried to hit on my husband. I hope that day never comes but I believe we’re careful with our friends because in the end we are most important to each other.

As for what we do when we’re alone. I go out and shop, eat, work at Starbucks or run errands. My husband can do the same but we absolutely have boundaries on where we go and how we spend our time alone. We have budgets and we also cannot stray too far. My husband absolutely doesn’t like it when I go on my adventures because he’s not sure if I’ll make it back home. He’d rather have adventures together than let me wander alone.

In my case, it’s more serious because I get lost a lot and when we were dating I would always walk around everywhere and find new things to do.

As for him, he can probably do almost anything except meet up with another woman or spend too much money. Another thing about how we spend our time is device control. Cell phones, laptops and all that can get overwhelming in relationships. I absolutely hate that my husband has a phone. But then, I wouldn’t have him get rid of it.

Our phones have so much temptation. It’s so hard to be a good person nowadays with a phone.

There’s always someone sexier, hotter or charming than your spouse. It’s annoying.

We have each other’s passwords to everything which helps us be accountable to each other. We also can track each other’s locations so that we both know that we each know where the other is at all times.

It may seem to you that these boundaries are a lack of trust but in reality, they are checkpoints. They’re reminders that I’m not living my own life and I can’t make my own decisions anymore. When I vowed to my husband, as he vowed the same things, we both became one person. There’s absolutely nothing I can do that won’t affect him eventually or instantly. I buy coffee in the city and I take part in our finances. He sleeps in and calls off of work, he stops bringing in income.

In this day and age, boundaries are needed because we are now connected to almost every human on the planet today. Boundaries keep us thinking about each other when we get put into situations we don’t ask for. As much as we both want to do the right thing we know that something will come up that will force us to make a decision that will either be for us or against us.

I hope that with the lessons we both are learning together we can both come to each other with forgiveness when we do mess up. We can both be honest and share mistakes and successes with each other.

I wonder if any other couples can relate?

If you want to learn more about setting boundaries in relationships you can check out Boundaries in Marriage by Henry Cloud and John Townsend for more info.

Yessenia is a compelling and innovative program and operations manager who uses her 5+ years of experience in operations management and graphic design to determine small business needs in the areas of inventory costs, labor expenses, P&L, COGs, marketing, and graphic design to create and manage profitable plans for small businesses and individual projects. She is the Owner and Founder of Tru.Works.
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