The word “boundary” is viewed as a negative word for many…
But I think it’s because they don’t fully understand what boundaries are and how they work.
Boundaries are about prioritizing your marriage, meaning that because you love, honor, and respect your spouse, your loyalty is to them. It’s also about protecting your marriage because you would never want anything to cause division, infidelity, or disrespect. Implementing boundaries shows your spouse that you care and are willing to go out of your way in order for them to know they can fully trust you.
Now let’s get specific and talk about boundaries in regards to the opposite sex.
The statistics are all over the map, but they say about 40-60% of marriages will experience an affair. Please pay attention and do not think you are immune to this! Marriage is one of those things you have to constantly be fixing, maintaining, and protecting. The couples that we’ve helped walk through affair recovery are all filled with shame and always say the same things…
“I wish we were more proactive.”
“I assumed we were on the same page.”
“I didn’t think that coworker was a threat.”
“I never thought it would happen to me.”
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So here are 4 things we recommend to ALL couples in order to keep boundaries with the opposite sex:
1. Do not be friends with anyone your spouse does not feel comfortable with…no exceptions. And don’t be ridiculous by fighting for that friendship once your spouse shares their concerns. That only makes you look like you care more about this person than your spouse.
2. Don’t share private details of your marriage with anyone of the opposite sex. They may use it against you or as an opportunity to become emotionally connected to you. If you are in a hard place in your marriage and need someone to talk to, lean on a mentor, pastor, life coach, or a trusted friend of the same sex.
3. Do not become the shoulder for someone of the opposite sex to cry on. Hand them a tissue and walk away. You might have healthy boundaries but the other person may not. You NEVER know if this person’s intent is to start a relationship with you. You NEVER know if this person is emotionally healthy. You NEVER want to be in a position where you have become the emotionally safe person for someone of the opposite sex.
4. Don’t be alone with a person of the opposite sex outside of work, unless you and your spouse agree AHEAD OF TIME. Romantic relationships usually come out of recreational activities and intimate conversations so if you’re spending more time having fun with this friend, know that it can easily lead to something more.
Marriage Action Plan:
Written by Meygan Caston
Meygan Caston is the co-founder of Marriage365 and lives in sunny Southern California with her husband Casey, their two children and dog Hobie. She loves her family, the beach, writing, spa days and helping couples connect in their marriage. Her life long dream is to live with the Amish for a month, walk the Camino and have lunch with Brené Brown.