Boundaries are dividing lines that create limits and awareness. In marriage, boundaries may appear restrictive but they actually promote protection, security and clarity. One of the best ways to show your partner you love and avoid painful consequences is to respect and honor the boundaries set in the marriage.
One area where this can be a challenge is in engaging with the opposite sex. There can be a lot of “gray” when it comes to this as we are often in environments with inevitable interactions between the genders. Creating boundaries for engaging with others should be a collaborative activity that leaves no questions as to what is “appropriate” versus “inappropriate.” Couples are a team and a team functions well when each player/partner understands and agrees with the rules.
Here are a few helpful things to think about when deciding your boundaries:
- If you wouldn’t say or do it in front of your spouse, then it probably shouldn’t be said or done at all.
- Do not discuss marital issues or your spouse’s flaws with others
- Incorporate device transparency including passwords and any communication with others.
- Identify what is appropriate to watch and where is appropriate to go both alone and together
- Avoid as much one on one time as possible with the opposite sex
- Substance use around mixed gendered groups
- Creating space for open and honest communication regarding struggles, needs and wants in the relationship.
Be intentional and thoughtful in this process. Do not be afraid of creating black and white limits as they will protect your relationship in the long run.