There are many problems which have the opportunity to surface in a marriage; however boundaries, or the absence of, are paramount. Many couples practice the concept of boundaries throughout the dating and engagement phase of their relationship, but once they have joined together in the union of marriage the concept of boundaries seems to get thrown out with the bouquet.
Boundaries are property lines which help people determine where they begin and the other ends. They give people the liberty to have their own voice and operate according to their own truth. It is difficult to establish a true connection with another person who has no respect for boundaries, whether in their own life or that of another. They are vital to a healthy relationship because they allow for a harmonious union which allows each party to understand what they should expect from their spouse and what he or she expects of them.
A successful marriage involves two individuals who both have a clearly defined sense of their own identity. It is important that one understands who they are and what makes them unique in order to experience a smoothly functioning relationship which will enhance both partners. In order to clearly communicate one’s needs and desires they must have a strong understanding of their own identity. Although the similarities between both individuals may have brought them together, it is their differing attributes that will contribute to the excitement, growth and mystery of the relationship.
Often when couples go through rough stages where they cannot identify what is wrong or what is right in their union, there exists some confusion about the rights and responsibilities of boundaries. It is amazing that people will go through such great lengths to establish physical boundaries while ignoring the importance of marital boundaries. Security systems may protect the couple’s possessions and physical property but it takes much more than any of the like to secure a growing and stable future for the perfect union. Here are four types of boundaries that have the ability to affect the perfect union.
- Physical Boundaries: These are guidelines that determine how and when a person wants to be touched
- Mental Boundaries: These establish the liberty a person has to maintain their own thoughts and opinions
- Emotional Boundaries: These are internal forms of communication that allow individuals to understand themselves.
- Spiritual Boundaries: These allow a person to experience God or the Universe without religious mandates or obligation.
Boundaries are extremely important in current times especially with the high usage of social media. What happens when a virtual connection is made with the opposite sex, or a conversation takes place which borderlines inappropriate? How things like this are handled plays a big part in whether a marital relationship is enhanced or infected. Boundaries, contrary to many opinions, are not bondage but more of a safety net to a healthy union.
Many couples enter into marriage with plans to spend the rest of their lives with their partner but never set the proper boundaries to ensure the union can survive. Too often important issues are not discussed until they have caused a disruption in the couple’s “happy ever after.” What is more important is realizing there are things that can be done to ensure times are better than they are worse. Boundaries make riding out the storms easier and ultimately less frequent.
Marriage requires constant attention and skill. All marriages have problems and issues that arise which could potentially cause strain and conflict within their relationship. Marriages thrive when they are tended to, if neglected they wither and die. Healthy boundaries are an exciting adventure and an exercise in personal freedom. They are an ever-present reality that can increase the capacity for couples to relate one to another.
Opinion by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)