107 Beyond Your Wedding Day Podcast-The Ten Laws of Boundaries In Marriage

by mike on January 30, 2013

107 Beyond Your Wedding Day Podcast-The Ten Laws of Boundaries In Marriage

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In this episode of the Beyond Your Wedding Day Podcast, we discuss chapter 2, “Applying the Ten Laws of Boundaries To Marriage” from the book “Boundaries in Marriage” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.

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Mike and Mandy discussed her birthday present and the blog he wrote about it.

Every marriage is different and it is impossible to say what is going on in each situation.  That’s why basic principles or laws are important

*For example, if someone says how can I keep my wife from spending too much money, she may have trouble with organization, she may be in denial that their is a problem, or she may have a controlling husband.  Who knows without digging deeper?

Law #1: The Law of Sowing and Reaping

*In other words: our actions have consequences

*If a husband is running around the house moody all the time, there should be consequences for him because of that

*Instead of his wife and kids having to tip toe around his mood all the time and take on all of the consequence of his behavior, she may tell him the next time he is disrespectful to them, they will need to leave for a while to go to a movie or something to get some distance.  He will then have to deal with the result of his actions: loneliness and isolation

*It is a loving action to allow your spouse to deal with his consequences (instead of bailing him out) in order that he may grow.

*Ultimately, the sowing and the reaping should be with the same person: your spouse shouldn’t have to reap what you sow!

Law #2: The Law of Responsibility

*We are responsible TO each other, but not FOR each other

*If you are not living with responsibility to your spouse, you are basically a single person living a married life

Law #3: The Law of Power

*This law is based upon the idea that you cannot fix or change your spouse: that’s why it’s so important to CHOOSE WISELY

*If you are constantly asking “How can I get my spouse to…”, then you have the law of power messed up

*If you want your spouse to respect your boundaries, ask them how you can respect their boundaries

*You have the power to figure out how you are contributing to a given problem (rarely are marital problems 100% one spouse and %0 me) and then go about fixing yourself

-for example: you may step in when you shouldn’t when disciplining the kids and then complain about always being the bad guy

*You do have influence (the ability to sway your spouse), but that is different than control (forcing them)

Law #4: The Law of Respect

*This law is all about respecting other people’s boundaries

*The main question is do you respect your spouse’s freedom to say no to you?

Law #5: The Law of Motivation

*HAVING to do something is a sign that you are afraid of something

*You may have a fear of losing love, fear of a spouse’s anger, fear of being alone, fear of being a bad person, fear of losing the approval of others, etc.

*”To the extent you are free to say no,you are free to say yes to something your spouse wants”

*When you agree to do something, is the motivation love for your spouse or is it fear of losing something?

Law #6: The Law of Evaluation

*You have to evaluate your spouse’s behavior in terms of pain versus injury.

*Your spouse may feel “pain” from a boundary, but it may be doing no harm to them or the relationship

*For example, cutting off an out of control spending spouse’s credit card pay cause them pain, but it may not do any harm to the relationship.  There is a difference.  In fact, it may help them to grow up and learn how to live on a budget

Law #7: The Law of Proactivity

*Taking action to solve problems before they turn into a big blowup

*For example, sitting down with your spouse and discussing your need to go over the calendar for the week on Sunday nights.  That is being proactive instead of one night screaming “I never know what you have going on, I already scheduled something with my friends that night.  You always ruin my plans!”

Law #8: The Law of Envy

*If you are always looking at someone else and wanting what they have, it will not be good for your marriage

*For example, you may watch your spouse go out with friends one night a week and think “I wish I got to do that” and then just sit in your resentment.  Setting a boundary would be saying that on Tuesday nights, you are going to start going out with your friends.

*Again, this should be done in a loving way, not with the intent on revenge

Law #9: The Law of Activity

*Couples often fall into a habit of one being the initiator, the one who is “active”, while the other is very passive

*The passive one is by nature going to find it difficult to set boundaries

*Stop waiting for someone else to make the first move

Law #10: The Law of Exposure

*You must communicate your boundaries to each other

*You probably already have boundaries in your head, and if you don’t tell them to your spouse, resentment will build quickly!

Breaking these laws consistently within your marriage will inevitably have consequences!


Would you like to work with Mandy and Mike one on one?  Check out the Beyond Your Wedding Day Marriage Prep Course.

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