So, you’ve been reading our recent blog posts on boundaries and finally worked up the courage to pull your spouse aside to set a few long-overdue guard-rails. You were calm but firm, you were specific, you expressed why these limits are important to you as an individual, and the best part — your spouse was 100% receptive. Congrats!! Now the big question: have you noticed how safe your marriage is because you set those boundaries? How do Boundaries and Safety Criss Cross?
God created us to be open and intimate with each other, so our focus is always on creating safe environments for ourselves and our spouse. But until now, maybe you’ve overlooked boundary-setting in that process. Too many couples mistake boundaries for unhealthy walls, so they don’t set them. But believe it or not, boundaries and safety go hand-in-hand.
Boundaries and Safety: the perfect marriage
To illustrate our point, let’s circle back to a blog post that we wrote a few months back called 5 Ways To Have A Safe And Connected Marriage. While we didn’t mention boundaries a single time in that post (shame on us), we did allude to the link between boundaries and safety by pointing out telltale signs of unsafe relationships. Do any of these sound familiar?
- I’m not sure if my partner cares about or loves me
- Constant angry outbursts and demands
- Harmful words and threats
- One or both spouses ignoring key issues
- Withholding love, affection, time, and humor
- Feelings of inadequacy
- Unwarranted criticism
- Disconnection and a lack of closeness
Setting healthy boundaries is key to safety in marriage because they help us learn about ourselves and the person we want to spend the rest of our lives with. They also help us change destructive patterns. Just look at the list above and think of how many can be changed in an instant by sharing our hearts and expressing where we begin and end.
Safe and Connected Marriage Thru Boundaries and Safety
Boundaries help us keep the good in and the bad out. And assuming our spouse respects those boundaries, we suddenly know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we have a safe and connected marriage. This is what that looks and feels like:
- My spouse loves and cares about me
- My feelings, ideas, and concerns matter
- Our differences are allowed and valued
- I don’t feel judgment, but understanding and compassion
- We feel like partners instead of enemies
- I can be open and vulnerable with my spouse
What we are saying is that boundary-less people (or people whose boundaries are not respected) shut down or put their needs and limits on the back burner when there is conflict in their marriage — sometimes without even realizing it. This isolates them from love and keeps them from taking in safe people and being open to a safe and connected marriage. When situations warrant setting boundaries, we must follow through with getting them in place.
Check back with us as we continue this conversation on boundaries in the coming weeks.
Our heart is devoted to caring about people and marriages!
Our heart is and always has been devoted to caring about people. We want to ensure you have the tools to express yourself with your spouse. Plus, we want to help other couples just like you. The best way we know how to do that is by spreading the word to more people and let them know that we are here. Join us on social media. IG – MikeandSusanDawsonCo. FB – MikeandSusanDawson
What do you think?
What are a few boundaries — big or small — that you and your spouse have set? How did those conversations go? Do you feel safer in your marriage as a result? Send us a quick email and let us know. mike@MikeandSusanDawson.com