Do You Have Personal Boundaries?
If you want a healthy, happy marriage, you need personal boundaries.
Creating and maintaining boundaries is difficult because it takes clarity, work, and commitment.
Sometimes a spouse rebels against their partner’s boundaries and willfully crosses them.
“When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated. This is why we sometimes attack who they are, which is far more hurtful than addressing a behavior or a choice.” (Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.)
Boundaries are a Must for Successful Relationships
Boundaries are personal limits reinforcing your sense of autonomy and identity. They keep your life from being swallowed up and absorbed by your partner, keeping your from losing your individuality.
They protect your independence, especially from a manipulative and controlling spouse, overbearing boss, or family.
Boundaries can be emotional, physical, sexual, and spiritual that protect you and command respect.
They can vary, depending on the relationship, and change over time.
Set Your Boundaries
What do you like and dislike?
What attitudes, experiences, beliefs, expectations, and behaviors make you feel uncomfortable?
What will you tolerate or not put up with?
What are your highest priorities for your life?
How do you want to live your life? And what do you want from life?
Clearly and firmly set your boundaries so you can know when they’re being violated.
Be Kind but Firm in Communicating Your Boundaries
Setting boundaries is one thing, but communicating them is quite another.
Be warm, kind, direct, and clear when communicating your boundaries. And use “I” statements because you must own your feelings and priorities.
But don’t use boundaries as a reason or an excuse to be selfish. Pull your weight at home and work; be responsible and do what’s required.
How to Respond When Someone Crosses Your Boundaries
Create a kind and positive but firm response in advance for when someone crosses your boundary.
Reiterate your boundary and let them know why it’s important to you when they cross it. Kindly communicate you feel it’s a lack of respect for your limits and priorities.
Make your spouse aware of how you will respond and what you will do moving forward, along with any consequences for disregarding your boundaries.
Be careful. You must be aware if you’re in an abusive, controlling marriage. If so, enlist the help of a certified counselor; although you need and deserve boundaries, other issues might need to be addressed first within the marriage.
Respect Your Boundaries
Follow through and stick to your boundaries because if you don’t respect them, how can you expect anyone else to take them seriously?
Be firm, kind, and consistent.
Failing to keep your boundaries might make your partner feel it’s okay if they cross your boundaries.
If your partner crosses your boundaries, it will make you feel that your needs, desires, and feelings don’t matter to them.
Your life matters and is significant. So is your spouse’s. So, discuss one another’s boundaries openly and respectfully. Help each other guard and protect what matters most to begin unlocking your happiest and healthiest marriage.