What are healthy boundaries in marriage? Well, it depends somewhat on the person. Some couples read each other’s email and texts and feel perfectly fine about it. Other couples are not comfortable with that much sharing. There are some gray areas in there, but there are a few rules that most everyone can agree on.

For example, it is not okay for your partner to video tape you without your knowledge and permission. That goes way beyond anyone’s definition of healthy boundaries.

Boundaries in marriage are mostly the same as other relationships. There are several fundamental components that will serve you well in your whole life. With that being said, here are some basic guidelines for establishing boundaries in marriage (and other relationships as well):

1. Love and Respect Yourself

If you love and respect yourself, then you will not tolerate bad treatment from others. Period. And people will treat you the way you allow them to. That is a definite fact. Also, if you love and respect yourself, then you will attract others who are of the same caliber as you. This, in turn, will lead to healthier relationships all around you. If you are with a partner who does not show you healthy love and respect, then you should consider counseling or possibly just finding a new partner.

2. Give and Expect a Healthy Amount of Privacy

In order to give someone privacy you must trust them. So if your partner snoops through all your personal business extensively, then they do not trust you. Maybe you do the same to them. Every human being needs a certain level of privacy, although it varies depending on the individual. If this is a problem in your relationship (on either side), then you need to ask yourself  why it is a problem. Has there been infidelity in the past? Has it been suspected? Maybe the trust issue stems from other things such as handling money. Either way, you should sit down and calmly get to the bottom of the issue because without privacy and trust your relationship can never grow.

3. Learn To Give and Take

In too many relationships there is one giver and one taker. Now, I am not talking about the everyday give and take. I mean one person gives way more than fifty percent and the other takes way more than fifty percent. If one person is always giving in to the other, then their wants and needs are not being met. That can lead to resentment and a possible break up down the road. This is commonly a problem when one person is extremely more aggressive than the other.

4. Recognize and Eradicate Abuse

Abuse means more than just hitting. Verbal and emotional abuse can be just as hurtful. Be truthful with yourself about whether this is a part of your relationship and be prepared to do something about it. Don’t stay in the same rut if your current behaviors are not working well for you now.

If you are experiencing ANY type of physical abuse, then you need to remove yourself from the situation RIGHT NOW. It is never okay to live with a person who treats you like a punching bag. You are important and worth more than that. Maybe that person can be rehabilitated, but until you can get them into a treatment plan you need to protect yourself.

If you are experiencing a break up and need a step by step plan to get your partner back, please visit The Magic of Making Up.

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by Angela Christian Pope aka Angela Monahan @ ModernRelationship.org