Do you feel as if your spouse is a little “too much in your personal space”? It happens, and often quite innocently enough. Many couples have the urge to yell, “Back off!” to their spouse, but are unsure as to whether their response is valid or not. You don’t want to offend the other person, yet you just feel like they are somewhat too close for comfort.
There are those who feel as if a marriage should have no boundaries– that a couple should be free to be open and honest with one another. They feel that both people should be free to express themselves within the marriage uninhibited, and that they should have access to everything- finances, emails, cell phones, call logs, and texts. After all, you have nothing to hide, right?
What about in the bedroom? Are there things that your spouse wants you to do that you are uncomfortable with? How do you tell them without sounding like a prude, or having them take offence? Can you tolerate their expectations, or do you feel a sense of embarrassment?
How Can You Tell When Boundaries Have Been Crossed?
Some people think that it’s just them. Your spouse could have what sounds like a plausible reason for “snooping” in your private affairs. However, if what they are doing feels uncomfortable to you, then you need to address it within the marriage.
This additionally applies to behaviours within the marriage as well. Many spouses are uncomfortable with their partners going out with members of the opposite sex without them being present, or private conversations between the opposite sex. Boundaries in this case are what insulates the couple from false allegations, and protects the marriage. The last thing you want is for there to be a shadow of a doubt as to your faithfulness or your commitment to your spouse.
Boundaries in marriage are and can be healthy. It outlines what both spouses are comfortable and uncomfortable with. If they are unrealistic, they can be discussed and worked through. If they have merit, and the behaviour is dealt with, it can unite a couple because they are choosing to protect what they value most- their relationship with each other.
Toni Troxell discusses how to generate healthy boundaries in a marriage, and what behaviours are deemed inappropriate. She will also discuss how to implement these boundaries, and how to be respectful of your spouse’s desire for a little personal space, in some situations.
This feature and more in our February issue coming out on January 28, 2019.