Healthy Boundaries in Marriage

Healthy Boundaries in Marriage

Healthy Boundaries In Marriage Are A GOOD Thing

They’re in every part of our life…including marriage ~ they help us understand how to stay safe and healthy in the relationship every day.

Personal Boundaries Guidelines Look at them as safe rules or limits where two behave and respond appropriately towards each other. Individuals with clear boundaries have a better sense of identity and understanding of their self worth. Boundaries support and enhance the other person and are vital for a united front of clear boundaries… spoken and unspoken.

Intentionally protect and nurture your marriage. Healthy boundaries strengthen your bond and builds on a solid foundation of trust. Establishing clear boundaries are great guardrails to safeguard your marriage.


Address problems directly with your spouse – nothing good comes from involving friends or family. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a “safe” person to talk to about your marriage; just be careful HOW you talk, WHO you talk to, and WHAT you say, especially family members. It’s hard for flesh and blood to forget negative things shared in anger. Parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, and aunts don’t need to know the details of your disagreements. Marriage is hard enough without extended family drama, so don’t add to the problem.


Protect the other’s reputation. Never allow family, friends, or anyone to criticize your spouse. Kindly put to a stop, “Please don’t talk about my husband/wife that way.” Simple as that. Protect with your words and actions, your spouse will appreciate knowing you have their back. 


You have no business keeping secrets from your partner. Keeping secrets limit intimacy and build walls. Don’t put barricades – stay within the boundary lines: no SECRET money, friends, texts, emails, letters, jobs, purchases, phone calls, social media exchanges, social accounts, health issues, trips, outings, lunches, dinners, etc.. KNOW and BE KNOWN fully by one another.


Every couple disagrees at some point, even argue.  It’s better to talk through a disagreement than to hold it inside and let it fester. However it’s NEVER okay to speak in nasty tones, harsh language, or scream at each other. This is verbal abuse, and words DO hurt. There’s no license to tongue-lash your spouse! It’s hard to forget hateful things once said. You promised to love your spouse through the good and bad. Lashing at each other is not loving. Do your best to disagree as lovingly and as possible.


Obvious, but this boundary has been crossed way too many times. NEVER slap, hit, grab, push, or pull in a physical harmful way. It’s NEVER okay, it’s physical abuse. A husband and wife should only exchange loving physical touch.  Stay within boundary lines and be blessed!


  • Out-of-control patterns disguise a need for something else. Address the underlying issue and you deal with out-of-control behavior. 
  • Addressing your real need is no guarantee your out-of-control behavior will disappear. A boundary problem often keeps recurring. Continue to practice: embrace failure instead of trying to avoid it.
  • As you fail in boundaries on yourself, you need others who’ll let you know about it in a caring way. Many times, you’re unaware of your own failures and may not truly understand the damage your lack causes in the life of those you care about. Other believers can provide perspective and support.
  • Consequences is a teacher. The lesson of sowing and reaping teach us about loss when we aren’t responsible. The impulsive over-eater has medical and social difficulties. The over-spender faces bankruptcy court. The chronically late person misses plane flights and important meetings, and loses friendships. The procrastinator faces losses of promotions and bonuses. And on and on.
  • Developing better self-boundaries is an process. Confront the destruction of your behavior. Words precede actions and give us a chance to turn from destructiveness before we have to suffer.
  • Surround yourself with people who are loving and supportive. As you hear feedback and suffer consequences, maintain close contact with your support network. Your difficulties are too much to bear alone. You need others who will be loving and supportive, and not rescue.


When two people marry, two lives blur together to a new one. Expectations and feelings can become an issue if a spouse automatically expects the marriage to mean their spouse will always see things their way. They may feel unloved when the otherwise-loving mate says, “No, I’d rather not take a walk. I’m sleepy.” This happens during the “honeymoon period,” when both parties see eye-to-eye on everything. But when the reality of two different wills, needs, and perspectives comes in, the honeymoon is over. Now the Law of Respect must be applied.

Once you apply the Law of Respect, please don’t storm into the living room with a list of “how things are going to change around here.” Sit and talk about the boundaries you both want respected. Let each other know what you value and desire to be free to say, even if you don’t like the answer. Ask some of the following questions:

  • How might I be crossing your boundaries?
  • Do you feel I respect your right to say no to me?
  • Do I give you guilt messages, withdraw, or attack you when you set a limit?
  • Will you let me know the next time I don’t respect your freedom?

These humbling and uncomfortable questions show your concern for your spouse. They come out of self-sacrifice, and they show your generosity of spirit and love. They will bind your marriage. 

BOUNDARY RESISTANT PEOPLE refuse to acknowledge wrongdoing and will not accept correction or feedback. The basic attitude is this: “I should be able to do whatever I want to do in life.” Boundaries dictate that you cannot do what you want all of the time.

When confronting one who violates boundaries, remember that ignorance is the cause. Your spouse may be crossing boundaries without knowing it. Approach the issue from this perspective first. If your spouse accepts the feedback and repents, the conflict will already be on the road to resolution. But if your spouse resists, consider these steps:

  • Gather a circle of friends you can draw emotional support from during conflict with your spouse.
  • Make sure you’re right with God and growing closer to Him.
  • Identify the specific source of conflict. What boundary is being violated? How does it affect you and your love for each other? 
  • Demonstrate his/her feelings are important to you, you want to understand his/her point of view, and accept truth.
  • Love your spouse. Communicate your goal to a loving relationship being hindered by the crossing of boundaries.
  • Earn the right to ask your spouse to change by admitting how you’re contributing to the problem. 
  • Make clear and specific requests for change. Be patient and give him/her time to change.
  • If your spouse persists in violating boundaries, establish reality-based consequences to eliminate any benefit they receive by crossing them.
  • Consequences are designed to protect you and preserve your spouse’s freedom. Consequences should encourage change, be appropriate but not humiliating. Warn your spouse before setting limits and consequences.
  • Follow through. If you don’t, you’re just nagging, an ineffective substitute for real boundaries.
  • Observe and evaluate over time, making changes in boundaries or consequences as necessary.

When people grow in character, they grow in ability to set and receive boundaries.

In their marriages, they mature. When they resist hearing the word no, they remain immature. Many people believe as we humans grow up physically, we automatically grow up emotionally as well, but that’s simply not true. There are immature old people, and there are appropriately mature young people. 

Many Reference Proverbs 31 For Good ReasonIn Proverbs 31, we see an all-out illustration of the godly wife and mother. She’s this virtuous woman worth far more than rubies. Who can beat that? Her husband trusts in her completely, she does him good all the days of her life. She knits, sews their own clothing, makes tapestry, she is never idle and her hands are always moving. She rises early in the morning and goes to bed late at night. She clothes her children well and they are never cold. She works the fields with her hands growing crop, then brings her stuff to the market to sell, and feeds her household well. She is a strong honorable woman, very generous to the poor and needy. Her husband is a well-respected man where they live and when she opens her mouth, out pours wisdom. Her children look up to her and call her blessed. So does her husband. She is not caught up in outward beauty; her beauty comes from her fear of the Lord.WOW!!!! Quite a standard to live up to, right?Many other proverbs give insight into how a woman of God is to walk, what kind of womanly influence she is to have in her household.

Follow me as we take a look and glean a few takeaways! These are more pieces of advice that address our hearts, tongues, and priorities – some specifically aimed at wives and mothers.


  • Compared to Wisdom, the Lady Folly is rowdy, loud, naive and ignorant. Proverbs 9:13
  • A wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one picks it to splinters with her own hands. Proverbs 14:1
  • The man who finds a wife finds something good, and the favor of the Eternal is indeed his. Proverbs 18:22
  • Much like a gold ring in the snout of a pig, so is a beautiful woman who lacks good judgmentProverbs 11:22
  • Houses and riches may be inherited from parents, but a sensible wife is a gift from the Eternal. Proverbs 19:14
  • You would be better off living in the middle of the desert than with an angry and argumentative wife. Proverbs 21:19
  • A dignified wife brings honor to her husband; a shameful wife is decay eating at his bones. Proverbs 12:4
  • It is better to dwell outside on the corner of your roof than to live inside your house with a badgering wife. Proverbs 21:9
  • The alluring words of a seductive woman are a deep hole; the Eternal is incensed toward those who fall in. Proverbs 22:14
  • Foolish children bring misery to their fathers, and a wife’s bickering is a like constant dripping from a leaky roof. Proverbs 19:13


  • When we speak brashly, folly is upon us seeking attention for ourselves.
  • Words of grace, discernment, and purity are pleasing in the sight of God and man.
  • Be fueled in God’s Word of hope! Stay away from worldly lust, keep your heart pure. 
  • Do you exercise wisdom or folly? Godly ladies build up others, lifting spirits that flourish. 
  • A woman’s behavior reveals her relationship with the Lord, and the value of her character


  • We have potential to be a direct blessing from Him, worth far more than any riches.
  • An upright wife brings glory and honor to her husband, she is excellence in her ways.
  • Her prudence—or thoughtfulness over others is a lovely fruit of her faith in the Lord.


Scripture’s Language Is Strong – Due to discontent, a nagging wife is a sorrowful thing in her household. Wow! Once she loses sight of Christ, the dangers of becoming quarrelsome and generating unnecessary friction increase dramatically.  The godly wife is to seek loving God and her husband wholeheartedly, for this leads to peace and prosperity.


  • 12. My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. Proverbs 6:20
  • 13. A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother. Proverbs 10:1
  • 14. A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother. Proverbs 15:20
  • 15. The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. Proverbs 29:15


You may be thinking: these are about sons, not women! Yet the son reflects the mother, the one who teaches him.

These proverbs reinforce the powerful reality that our mothering has a long-term impact on the attitude of our children…and that we should be so deeply tied to the nurturing of our children that their disobedience or disrespect is heartbreaking.

The last proverb gives us a solution. It tells us moms that we have to be willing to love our children through discipline, correcting their wrongs with devoted discipleship, for it reaps godliness rather than shame.

While touching aspects of womanhood a little differently than Proverbs 31, these proverbs provide wisdom that remind us to speak sweet words, serve our husbands joyfully, and impact our children for good.