Healthy Boundaries in a Marriage

Healthy Boundaries in a Marriage

There are many factors that contribute to a happy and healthy marriage.

Quality time together, forgiveness, compromise, and honest communication are just a few.

And yet, healthy boundaries in a marriage are just as important.

Knowing how to designate, communicate and respect healthy boundaries in a marriage is crucial to a deep and lasting relationship.

Together we will look at five healthy boundaries in a marriage that you and your significant other can establish, to better appreciate and respect one another. 

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Healthy Boundaries in a Marriage: Time Apart

Marriage is about choosing a person you want to spend time with, a friend and companion you share life with.

Quality time is an important part of any marriage.

And yet, quality time apart can be just important.

Making time for your own interests, hobbies, and/or personal goals makes you feel inspired, independent, and psychologically fulfilled.

The same is true for your significant other.

Establishing healthy boundaries in a marriage means making personal time for yourself.

It also means helping your significant other make time for themselves too.

Healthy boundaries in a marriage mean that each of you feels empowered and independent, while at the same time depending on each other.

Marriage is ultimately about two different individuals coming together to work, live and love each other.

Setting healthy boundaries in a marriage means making sure you and your significant other preserve your own individuality.

Schedule a date night once a week, but also try scheduling an evening or just a few hours where you each pursue individual interests.

Maybe you want to write a short story while your significant other wants to listen to a podcast.

Time apart can make you both appreciate each other more.

Time apart makes you miss each other, which cultivates love.

Time apart can also be a powerful aphrodisiac.

Time apart is one of the key healthy boundaries in a marriage.

Healthy Boundaries in a Marriage: Time Alone

Time alone is different from time apart.

Sometimes when you argue or begin to fight, it's best to give your significant other some space-time alone.

When an argument begins, allowing yourself or your significant other time alone to cool off is one of the crucial healthy boundaries in a marriage.

Time alone can often make difference between a small disagreement, and a major argument or fight.

Establishing healthy boundaries in a marriage means learning to diffuse anger and frustration before it escalates.

It's important for you and your significant other to honor healthy boundaries in a marriage, which means giving each other space when needed.

Often one partner wants time alone to cool off and the other will not leave them alone.

Each partner must respect and honor the other's desire for time alone, even if it means keeping quiet for the time being.

Healthy boundaries in a marriage begin with mutual respect and compromise.

Time alone doesn't have to mean separation or fleeing the scene.

Time alone can simply mean going into the other room, outside for a walk, or putting on your headphones for a brief period of time.

Remember, time alone means cooling off for a brief time so that you can both come back together and work it out.

Healthy boundaries in marriage help each partner communicate better, and time alone can make communication more constructive. 

Healthy Boundaries in a Marriage: Verbal Agreements

Part of healthy boundaries in a marriage is establishing verbal agreements, especially when you argue or fight.

Everyone has triggers that set them off. We're human and our emotions are an important part of our psychological health.

It can be easy to say hurtful things to each other when we argue.

And who better than your significant other to know exactly what gets to you, sets you off, or really bothers you?

That's why verbal agreements are a vital part of setting healthy boundaries in a marriage.

Open and honest communication is the foundation for any healthy marriage relationship.

This means agreeing beforehand, that is before you have an argument, that certain words or phrases should be avoided.

For example, if there has been infidelity and then forgiveness, it shouldn't be brought up every time you argue or fight.

Or, some people don't like being reminded that they sometimes mimic the bad habits of their parents.

Keeping a list of your partner's failures or mistakes and bringing them up is a harmful habit too.

A verbal agreement to avoid triggers like these opens the way for constructive communication and diffuses anger.

Verbal agreements are a means for establishing trust between partners and are crucial to healthy boundaries in a marriage

Healthy Boundaries in a Marriage: Agree to Disagree

Marriage is about two people, often from different walks of life coming together.

No two people are the same, and no two partners in a marriage are the same.

This means each of you has your own opinions and perspectives on life-based on your individual experiences.

Part of healthy boundaries in a marriage is learning to honor and respect each other's viewpoints.

Agreeing to disagree is one of the key healthy boundaries in a marriage.

Learning to agree to disagree can help you cultivate respect for each other as individuals.

Realizing that you don't always have to agree on everything can strengthen the marriage bond, because you acknowledge each other as individuals.

Agreement in a marriage is important: shared values, goals, and dreams.

However, practicing healthy boundaries in a marriage means discerning when it's okay to disagree.

Your unique opinions and perspective make you who you are, and help you contribute in a unique way to making your marriage work. 

Healthy Boundaries in a Marriage: Compromise

Being willing to compromise is one of the key healthy boundaries in a marriage.

Let's face it, nobody likes to be wrong. We like things our way.

But remember, being willing to compromise is not admitting you're wrong.

Compromise is about meeting in the middle, about taking into consideration how your partner feels.

Empathy, the ability to truly put yourself in your partner's shoes, is necessary for compromise.

Compromise is about moving forward together, about progress.

If you're going to establish healthy boundaries in a marriage, you must overcome stubbornness.

Compromise is about seeing the bigger picture- about moving on and choosing the future over some petty disagreement in the present.

Conclusion

With patience, empathy, and understanding you and your partner can establish healthy boundaries in a marriage.

However, establishing new patterns of behavior in a marriage can be challenging, especially with all of life's distractions.

As they say, old habits die hard.

A licensed professional counselor can help you and your partner create a plan for setting healthy boundaries in a marriage.

The professional advice of a licensed counselor can help you implement an effective strategy for establishing and practicing healthy boundaries in a marriage.

Together, you and your partner can learn to appreciate each other more, and experience a new kind of happiness. 

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December 2nd, 2022