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How to Set Marriage Boundaries

by John Mack

Setting marriage boundaries is a good way to develop and maintain trust, strengthen a marriage, and prevent disputes. While not absolutely necessary, marriage boundaries can offer structure to a marriage by providing concrete goals capable of completion by both parties. It is a good idea to set firm and fair boundaries that both parties agree on. Also, open communication is essential in forming marriage boundaries. Without forthright communication, the marriage boundaries may be enigmatic and difficult to understand.

Instructions

Identify with your spouse what areas of your marriage need some sort of boundaries. This could include curfews, work restrictions or relationships with friends. While two adults can do as they please when they please, it benefits the marriage to enact some restrictions. If a spouse wants to spend time with her friends, for instance, allow her to designate one night per week to go out with her friends. If a spouse is working late frequently, designate one or two nights per week that he must come home early for dinner or a movie.

Set small boundaries initially. As each of you becomes more proficient at avoiding breaking the marriage boundaries, you can set more or bigger boundaries if you choose. This is not to say that every facet of your marriage should have a boundary; rather, it means that as you become more adept at meeting your spouse's expectations, you can stretch yourself further toward a more loving and open relationship. Also, setting smaller boundaries can foster more trust in the marriage. One instance of setting a small boundary would be to agree not to have an argument about something, regardless of the circumstances.

Limit relationships with the opposite sex. Some people justify a relationship with the opposite sex by claiming that it is simply a friendly relationship, but this kind of relationship can lead to an affair and severely damage or end a marriage. If you never put yourself in this position, you will have nothing to worry about. Moreover, marriage is much like a relationship between friends, so you should be able to get out of your marriage everything you would get out of a friendly relationship with the opposite sex.

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