Boundaries are Needed to Restore Trust
Boundaries in relationships are for the purpose of creating respect and defining expectations. They aren’t walls to keep out an enemy. On the contrary, they’re more like an agreement that clarifies your values.
Engagement and Marriage are Boundaries
By pledging yourselves to each other exclusively in marriage you’ve created a mutual boundary around your relationship. You feel hurt and betrayed when that boundary isn’t respected. Something not agreed upon has invaded your exclusive relationship. This crossing of the boundary has caused you to feel disrespected and violated. Because of that, you feel you can no longer trust your partner to uphold their part of the agreement.
When a boundary or agreement is disrespected something new is required to restore trust and rebuild the agreement. If you just say, “Don’t do it again,” it’s unlikely to solve the problem, especially a complex one like porn or sex addiction. New agreements and new boundaries are necessary to hold your partner accountable for their actions.
Creating Safety and Defining Rights
You’re the author of your life, so you’re the one who’s going to define what it looks like. You’ve most likely already decided how you want to be treated, and hopefully you hold yourself accountable for treating others with equal respect. But have you defined what you want to happen when someone crosses your boundaries?
When raising children we create boundaries to help our children grow up. In society we have all kinds of laws and rules to keep people safe and protect their human rights. In both of these situations there’s also a process for what happens when rules are broken, so respect and trust can be restored. Why should marriage be any different?
Lack of Boundaries Isn’t Healthy
Imagine what a family, society or nation would be like if there were no rules or laws. It would be total chaos. You’d never know what to expect. It wouldn’t be safe. It would be unhealthy because you’d experience relentless stress. People naturally create boundaries (or rules and laws) to create order, safety and peace. Boundaries built on mutual respect with a method of enforcement is the cornerstone of a healthy society.
Historically, the 10 commandments might be one of the earliest written set of boundaries in human history. Religious beliefs aside, following those 10 rules has created the foundation for respect of life, respect of self, and respect for others. What followed the 10 commandments was a system of organization, governance and justice, so those laws could be upheld.
Let’s get off the roller-coaster
However, when it comes to marriage and family, people tend to be a little unclear about the role boundaries play. Our emotions get in the way. But without clear boundaries we set ourselves up for an emotional roller-coaster that isn’t a fun ride.
So, if you feel like you’ve been on an emotional roller-coaster—it’s time to get off! You can do this by establishing some rules and consequences, concerning your values and how you want to be treated. Every human being has the right to do this.
Topics in Development: (please come back soon for the following topics)
In the next two topics we’ll be discussing how to create boundaries that help the process of recovering from relationship trauma.
- Boundaries she needs to heal and rebuilding trust.
- Boundaries he needs to set up in porn recovery.
Boundaries by Dr.s Cloud & Townsend.