Boundary Issues in Marriage
This is part 4 of a 5-part series on Boundaries by Megan Coggins. First Part | Boundary Issues with Family here. Second Part | Boundary Issues with Friends here. Third Part | Boundary Issues at Work here. Final Part | Boundary Issues with Self here next.
Marriage is a beautiful relationship where two people form one unified household. It is when two people work together in one partnership. While this picture of marriage is wonderful, a marriage can also be a place where personal boundaries can become hazy.
One of the most complicated parts of marriage is that you become one with your spouse. You know them better than anyone else. You can tell what they are feeling and thinking without even asking them. This amazing bond between a husband and wife can become complicated. This is because at times one spouse takes on the feeling of the other spouse. Has your spouse ever come home angry from work? You may have been having a great day before you saw your spouse, but now you find yourself feeling irritable and short-tempered. You have taken on their emotion!
Why there are Boundary Issues in Marriage
Something that I see when working with couples is that it can be very difficult to share your emotions with your spouse. Conversations about emotions become more of an evaluation of the spouse’s behavior. Rather than sharing emotions of how that behavior impacts you. Couples spend years believing their spouse does not understand them and cannot figure out where this distance is coming from. By not sharing your emotions with your spouse, you are missing an opportunity for intimacy, an opportunity for them to truly know you. As Cloud and Townsend say in their book Boundaries, “Feelings are also a warning signal telling us that we need to do something.” Feelings are the prompting needed to help you look towards your spouse for support and vulnerability.
Boundaries in marriage also consist of sharing with each other what you feel comfortable and uncomfortable with. Many couples walk into marriage assuming that their values are the same as their spouse. However, they have never actually discussed with them specifics of their values. In marriage, it is best to be specific. Vagueness only leads to conflict, misunderstanding, and disconnect. Have you ever discussed with your spouse your values on the following topics?
- Physical boundaries with others
- Emotional distance with others
- How time is spent
Boundaries on these topics may seem obvious to you, but oftentimes couples do not see eye to eye on these topics. Getting on the same page with your spouse builds intimacy!
How to Establish Boundaries
Cloud and Townsend, in their book Boundaries, have come up with some practical steps to integrate healthy boundaries in a marriage. First, take an inventory of the symptom, try to determine where the problem lies. The next step is to identify the specific boundary problem that exists. Such as one spouse feeling that they do not have equal say in decision-making. Third, determine where the problem began. Has it been occurring since the beginning of the relationship or is it recent? Fourth, find a support system whether that is a small group, counselor, or pastor to help support you both on your journey. Next, begin to practice the new boundaries and forgive your spouse for any hurt they may have caused. Finally, become proactive in deciding healthy boundaries and limits in your marriage with your spouse.
Start Christian Marriage Counseling in Hillsboro, OR
Our Oregon counselors in Clackamas and Hillsboro are ready to help you establish healthy boundaries. Through Christian marriage counseling, you can start sharing your emotions with your spouse without crossing boundaries. Get your relationship back to a place of healthy emotions and personal boundaries.
When you are ready to start couples therapy in Oregon follow these simple steps:
- Learn about our Hillsboro therapists and Clackamas counselors
- Contact us with questions or Schedule an appointment directly with your preferred therapist
- Build your support system and establish healthy boundaries in your marriage
OTHER MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES AT LIFE DISCOVERY COUNSELING IN OREGON
Couples therapy isn’t the only service offered at Life Discovery Counseling. We offer online therapy for residents in Oregon. If you are in Clackamas, Happy Valley, Damascus, or Hillsboro, we can help you in person at one of our comfortable therapy clinics. Christian counseling is the cornerstone of our approach to therapy. Our therapists offer services for both adults and children. We also work with depression treatment, anxiety therapy, trauma therapy and PTSD treatment, relationship issues, and postpartum counseling. No matter where you are in the state, we can provide the support you need. We are ready to meet you when you are ready to start!
About Megan, the Author
Megan Coggins is a Licensed Professional Counselor and writes about anxiety, trauma, postpartum and pregnancy issues, and relationships. She is a skilled and caring Christian therapist in Oregon. If you are interested in reaching out to Megan for Christian marriage counseling, please call us at 971-808-2686