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My Thoughts On Setting Boundaries In A Marriage

My Thoughts On Setting 'Boundaries' In A Marriage | Keating & Co.

Alright everyone, I have a topic here that may be a bit touchy to some people.  Before I even begin, let me just say that I do understand that every marriage is different.  What works for our marriage may not work for others and our own personal beliefs may differ from yours.  That’s perfectly okay!  I love hearing your thoughts on these types of topics!  I’m not here to tell you all the “right” and “wrong” way to run your marriage because there isn’t a right or wrong way.  A marriage is completely based off what works for you as a couple.  Now onto my post…

On Facebook, I am a member thirty-something groups.  I won’t name which one or anything like that, but there are two that I’m in that just kill me sometimes.  I read some of these posts and end up sitting there, shaking my head.  One subject area that has been brought up a lot lately is the idea of setting ‘boundaries’ in your marriage.  So before I get into these ‘boundaries’, let me just give you a little background on where I’m coming from in all this and why I have the opinion that I have.

Before marrying Zack, I was in two serious relationships.  The first was my high school boyfriend of almost five years and the second one was my college boyfriend of almost two years.  In relationship A, I had every boundary in the book.  I couldn’t stand him being around other females, demanded to check on his social media accounts, stole his phone whenever he was in the shower, etc.  I’m definitely not proud of the person I was when I was with him and at the time, I insisted it was because we “trusted” each other.  Since neither one of us was hiding anything, then it shouldn’t be an issue to look through each other’s phones, right?  Wrong.  SO wrong.  I became very consumed by it to the point where we fought about this constantly.  And honestly, I think this played a huge factor in why our relationship didn’t last past the first year of college.

Less than a year after he and I broke up, I then entered into relationship B.  This time, the tables were turned.  He was the one controlling me.  I couldn’t go out with anyone, male or female.  I couldn’t set passwords on my phone or social media accounts because to him, it meant I was hiding something.  He’d constantly scroll through my text messages to see who I was talking to and what I was doing.  It was insane.  Completely insane.  This was when I determined that these types of ‘boundaries’ just do not work.  They’re controlling.

Honestly, the idea of ‘boundaries’ is a bit strange to me.  I mean, to each their own, but to me, setting rules and boundaries like these are like saying you don’t trust your spouse and aren’t secure in your marriage.  I was determined to not make them a part of my marriage with Zack.  I’m now in a very happy and healthy relationship and couldn’t be happier about it.  So I wanted to share some of the top boundaries I see couples setting in their marriages and my thoughts on each of them.

No friends of the opposite sex.

I can slightly understand this one, but at the same time, why?  Like why can’t I talk to other males and why can’t he talk to other females?  Exes are one thing.  But we both have friends who happen to be of the opposite sex.  Does that mean we’re interested in them or cheating on each other?  Of course not!  They’re nothing more than friends.

Now here’s where I draw the line…sort of.  Although we both have friends of the opposite sex, we typically do not open alone time with them.  We’re not telling each other we can’t spend time with these friends, but at least from my perspective, it’s a matter of respect both for myself and for Zack.  I respect myself and my marriage enough to not put myself in a situation that could potentially go downhill.  I have a huge trust issue with men so regardless of how long I’ve known the person, I just don’t feel comfortable being alone with a man other than my husband.

On Zack’s end, he just typically doesn’t put himself in that type of situation.  I’m not sure if there’s a reason behind it or not.  We’ve really never discussed it.  There are some situations where it can’t be helped like if he’s at work or something, but at the end of the day, we trust each other 100% and I know he’d never do something to jeopardize our marriage or make me uncomfortable.  So it does not bother us that we have friends of the opposite sex.

No nights out without each other.

This includes bars, strip clubs, regular clubs, etc.  Any place where there’s drinking, really.  But why?  Why can’t we all just have a night out without our spouse?  Why can’t my husband go to a bar with some of his other married buddies and have a few beers?  What’s wrong with a guys night out?  Sometimes it does suck when Zack wants to go out with the guys and leave me at home, but is an issue?  Of course not.  He’s a grown man.  If he needs a night out with just the guys then he’s more than welcome to do that.  In turn, I’m always able to go out with the girls whenever I want to.  Nine times out of ten, we do everything together so these rare occasions where we’re out on our own aren’t a big deal.  Sometimes, they’re needed.  Time apart is good for a marriage.

Here’s how I look at it: he’s not out getting girls phone numbers or grinding up on them on the dance floor or trying to go home with them or anything like that.  Not a chance.  I’ve seen him in bars and he’s literally standing off to the side with the guys, having a couple beers.  He’s not a fan of clubs either so it’s very unlikely he’d use his guys night out to go to a club.  He’s very smart and has a great head on his shoulders.  He’d never let himself get to a bad level of drunk, nor would he drink and drive or flirt with other girls.  He’d probably never even give another female the time of day if they were to approach him.  He’s an adult.  He can (and does) drink responsibly.  He’s perfectly okay to go out with the guys whenever he wants and if you can’t trust your guy to do the same, then there’s obviously a trust issue there.

Now here’s where it gets tricky: strip clubs.  I luck out that Zack’s not a fan of them.  He’s been to a few and as far as I know, he cannot stand them.  He thinks they’re gross and the beers are way too pricey.  So I really don’t have to worry about this.  But in my mid, I don’t feel that it’s disrespectful to go have a good time every now and then.  Like I mentioned before, he’s a responsible adult.  He’s not going home to them at the end of the night, he’s coming home to me.  And that’s all that matters.

Sharing account passwords.

Again, from personal experience, I feel that this is a trust thing.  Of course neither one of us are hiding anything from each other, but I don’t feel that we have to prove that either.  I’ve seen other women try to justify it by saying “well I have nothing to hide so I don’t mind that he asks for my passwords”.  You may have nothing to hide, but do you not think it’s strange that he’s insisting on having your passwords?  Is that only a red flag in my mind?  Zack tends to use the same password for most of his accounts, so I know that I could easily log into his Facebook or email or whatever it may be if I wanted to.  But I don’t.  I have zero desire to go through his personal accounts because 1. I respect him and his privacy and 2. I know he’s not hiding anything.  Plain and simple.

Joint social media accounts.

Can someone explain these to me??  To me, this just screams “we don’t trust each other”.  It also makes m feel that these people don’t have their own identities.  Of course my husband is my best friend and we do everything together, but at the end of the day, we’re two separate people.  We have two different brains with separate thoughts, feelings, and opinions.  My Facebook contains my friends and his Facebook contains his.  I post what I want on mine and he posts what he wants on his.  Isn’t this how it’s supposed to be?  I will never understand the joint Facebook thing.

Overall, I just believe that if you trust your spouse and are secure in your marriage, then there shouldn’t be a need to set these types of rules and boundaries.  From my own personal experience, having to set boundaries like these are a sign of an unhealthy relationship.  I couldn’t be happier with our choice to not have these rules in our own marriage.

What are your thoughts on creating boundaries in a marriage?  What boundaries do you have?