120 Beyond Your Wedding Day Podcast-Avoiding the Misuse of Boundaries
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In this episode of the Beyond Your Wedding Day Podcast, we discuss chapter 16 “Avoiding the Misuse of Boundaries in Marriage” from the book “Boundaries in Marriage” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.
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Boundaries were not designed to end relationships, but to preserve and deepen them
*You have to be very careful that you are not using boundaries for an excuse to divorce your spouse or enact revenge on them, etc.
*Setting a boundary does not mean you should never have to “suffer” or you can do whatever you want
*Suffering in marriage is inevitable and can be seen as a positive thing: will make you grow in faith, make you stronger, make you less selfish, learn and experience forgiveness, etc.
*Don’t suffer just to suffer by not confronting or enabling your spouse. That is not Godly suffering. Godly suffering is doing what is right and then dealing with the fallout/consequences
Boundaries are not a way to change or fix someone, they are an opportunity for growth
You should have the following things in your marriage ALONG with boundaries:
1) Love means you are always pulling for your spouse and your marriage. Any boundaries are set out of love, not revenge
2) Having other relationships is vital to support you in your marriage
3) Take ownership of your contribution to the problems in your marriage
4) Invite your spouse to change before laying down any law. Just nicely ask them to change after you explain what it does to you
5) Give a warning before just throwing down ultimatums. Explain to them that something painful may happen in the future and it is up to them to determine if that happens by their behavior
6) Patience is always a must in marriage, especially when setting boundaries
7) Setting consistent and loving consequences may be necessary. You MUST follow through!
8) You must be constantly granting and asking for forgiveness
Remember, divorce is not a boundary in a marriage, it is an end to a marriage
If your marriage needs repair, then you need to do the following steps: (quoted exactly from the book)
1) Start from a supported position so that you have the strength to deal with your spouse.
2) Solve your own problems and act righteously toward your spouse. Don’t contribute to the problem with your own issues.
3) Use others to intervene (counselors, pastors, friends, family, other people with leverage)
4) Accept reality and grieve expectations. Forgive what has already happened.
5) Give change a chance. After you have stopped enabling your spouse and have set good boundaries in the relationship, give it time. Your spouse may not believe you at first.
6) Long suffering begins at this point, not earlier when you were contributing to the problem
7) After doing the right things for a long time, separation is sometimes the only helpful option until someone in denial decides to change. In the separation, do not give your spouse the benefits of marriage if he/she is not pursuing change