Respect is one of the foundations of a healthy marriage. We all want and deserve respect, and one way we can demonstrate it in our relationship is by laying appropriate marriage boundaries. Some people may think of marriage boundaries as something that would distance you from your spouse, but when properly applied, they can bring you closer.
No Person or Relationship is Perfect
We all have flaws, but sharing your spouse’s flaws with family and friends is very disrespectful. Keep your mate’s flaws private. If feel that your relationship is suffering because of them, the first person you should talk to is your spouse. Sit down and have an honest discussion about the problem. In the event that you cannot work the issue out together, you may need to seek out the help of your pastor or a Christian Counselor.
On a similar note, keep your marriage problems private. Sharing your problems with family or friends tends to polarize the situation; often these are the very people that are too close to us to be objective. Use the issues in your relationship to make your marriage stronger. Sometimes just reading a good book on the subject may help give you the outside perspective you need, especially if the two of you read it together. When all else fails, talk to your pastor or seek professional marriage counseling.
Be Wary of Temptation
In a marriage, there is no place for close friends of the opposite sex. Friends of this kind can quickly create significant problems in a relationship. Too often, affairs develop out of situations where a spouse goes to their friend when they feel that they are not being understood by their mate When the “friend” steps in and fills that role, it is fertile ground for an affair to develop. We regularly hear that adulterous spouses never thought they were the type of person who could or would have an affair. Be wise, and make your spouse your only close friend of the opposite sex. This commitment will make them feel respected and loved.
Make Your Significant Other Significant
One of the biggest complaints people have when they come in for marriage counseling is that they don’t feel like they are number one with their spouse. This issue is not unique to men or women; it affects us all the same. Marriages thrive on closeness, and when friends, work, hobbies, extended family, or children take precedence, it can drive a wedge between you. Strive to make your marriage better by putting your spouse first (after God). Find ways to return to the closeness you once had, and work together to create healthy marriage boundaries between your relationship and the damaging influences from the outside world. If you can, your marriage will be stronger, and you and your spouse will feel more fulfilled in it.