Marriage

How Boundaries Can Protect Your Marriage

Have you “friended” an old flame on Facebook without telling your spouse?

Once you marry, is it okay to have close friends of the opposite sex?

If asked to choose between going out with your friends or staying home with your spouse, which would you prefer?

Do you discuss details about your marriage relationship with your parents?

How you answer these questions can have a dramatic impact on your current or future marriage relationship.

Most people are excited about spending the rest of their life with the one they love. However, the journey gets complicated when one person wants to do something or believes they have a right to do something and their spouse doesn’t share that same viewpoint. While the questions would be great discussion topics before you marry, it’s probably safe to say that most couples don’t talk about these issues until they hit them square in the face.

“Social media, friends of the opposite sex and in-laws are part of life,” says Dr. David Banks, relationship coach. “How you handle them can either enhance your marriage relationship or hurt it, which is why boundaries are important. Most people think of boundaries in marriage as bondage. In reality they are the key to keeping your marriage healthy. Think of a four-way stop or a railroad crossing signal. These are in place to protect you from danger.”

Dr. Banks encourages couples to talk about these issues and to put a plan in place that builds up their marriage.

“A hot topic for couples is the role that in-laws will play in their marriage so they don’t inadvertently become outlaws,” Banks says. “Some in-laws want to hover and be super-involved in the newlyweds’ lives. This is not appropriate. You can be supportive without interfering with the couple as they learn how to make their relationship work. Couples have to learn how to crawl before they can walk.”

Other topics you might want to discuss include:

These may be topics you didn’t discuss prior to marriage. However, there is no better time than the present to do something that will help you tighten the knot.

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