Creating Relationship Boundaries
Create Realistic Marital Expectations to Avoid Jealousy
Spousal jealousy is a leading cause of marital issues. Sometimes there is good cause for jealousy, and other times it is a spouse’s insecurity and fears which are creating the jealous feelings.
One great method for reducing jealousy is to set up relationship boundaries.
Relationship Boundaries Are Important
You and your spouse can set up relationship boundaries in order to have clear and realistic expectations for spousal behavior. You will each know what may set off jealousy in your spouse, and can avoid doing things that are “off-limits”, or getting close to being “off-limits”.
Be Specific About Boundaries
If you and your spouse are not specific about what the boundaries are when you set them up, you will not have clear and realistic expectations for your spouse’s behavior. The more specific you are about what is and is not expected, the easier it is to translate in your mind “This is not allowed”.
Ask for input from your spouse about establishing relationship boundaries. You will accomplish more if you treat setting up your new relationship boundaries in a business-like way, rather than as enemies.
Setting Up Relationship Boundaries: Some Recommendations
You and Your Spouse Choose The Boundaries
You and your spouse decide where you want your boundaries to be. This could be tough because you might not agree at first. For example, one of you might think that flirting or full-body hugging is within the acceptable limits, while the other of you might want these outside your relationship boundaries.
For the sake of your marriage, I urge you to err on the reserved side.
If you have a significant difference of opinion between you in the last step, perhaps there are other issues, discontentment, or complaints that need to be addressed first.
Consider your agreement from step one as your fail-safe boundaries. Those are the boundaries that without question are over the limit. Write them down, clarifying each individual point, to reduce future arguing.
Safer Positions for Your Marriage
Considering your fail-safe boundaries, what would be a safer position for your marriage? For example, if you agreed that a full-body hug would be over the line, a safer position would be a side-by-side one-armed hug, or, even safer, no hugging at all across sexes.
Write down your safer boundaries. These safe relationship boundaries can help strengthen the fence around your marriage.
If you value your marriage you should protect it from even potential dangers. After all, would you use a new and expensive computer in your bathtub? Would you play catch with a valuable diamond ring in the ocean?
Commit to Following Your Boundaries
Commit to following your boundaries. They may need modifications as you go through time, but you will need a fence around your marriage forever to remind you how valuable your family, your marriage, and your spouse are, and what you must do to maintain your long-term investment.
You and your spouse can work together to create relationship boundaries to help your marriage with jealousy issues that may be showing up.
I wish you success and patience in creating your relationship boundaries, and the resolve to keep them. Warmest regards,
If you need additional help setting up these boundaries, I offer personalized professional marriage help through marriage counseling or a marriage retreat.