Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Boundaries.

Garth and I sat down and discussed our boundaries back when we were dating. These boundaries were put into place to protect our relationship and guard against any inappropriate emotional attachments to others of the opposite sex.We have kept these boundaries into marriage and have received a lot of slack from friends for them. I even hesitated to bring it up on my blog because I know some will think they are odd or unnecessary. So here is my disclaimer: I'm not a professional marriage counselor nor do I claim to be one. I am simply explaining the boundaries Garth and I decided to implement in our lives. They are not for everyone and I get that.

So, what are our boundaries? We do not eat a meal or ride in a car one-on-one with a member of the opposite sex.

The only reason I'm bring this up is because I recently finished reading Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin. It's about infidelity and I found it extremely interesting because the affair started by going out to dinner. A simple, innocent, harmless dinner. The affair started emotionally before it became physical.

In the past, I worked with two employees who had lunch together everyday with the door shut. I thought this was odd and even told Garth I found their relationship inappropriate. A few years later they were fired for having an affair.

These boundaries may be unrealistic to you. You should do what makes you feel comfortable. Basically, we want to set up boundaries that lead each other to fulfill each other’s needs rather than letting someone else meet your needs which can ultimately lead to a developing relationship. A kind of relationship that must only be shared with you and your significant other, that’s our boundary!! We do what we can to shield our relationship because whenever you start a relationship with someone other than your husband/wife, you’re growing in that relationship and when you’re growing in a relationship other than your relationship with your husband/wife, your relationship with your husband/wife is undoubtedly growing apart. All that to say, our boundaries are to prevent anything that would lead us to growing apart.

24 comments:

Lauren said...

As a single I’ll be interested to see the comments you get from this. ALL this is so so very true!!!!

Lori Alexander said...

My husband has a job where he travels a lot and has to go out to dinner with other women (orthodontists) as part of his job. We've been married 30 years and he has been faithful. Keeping him happy with me has been an adventure but I am MUCH better at it today than I use to be. Your boundary is a great one and I always wanted that but it wasn't possible. Thankfully, nothing ever happened because of it. He always made sure to pull out his billfold with all the pictures of us!

Lauren said...

Love this...we have similar boundaries that have just sort of happened, it's not something we ever talked about, but we each want to protect the other and the sanctity of our relationship....boundaries are a must!

The Rest is Still Unwritten said...

I think it's smart to protect your relationship. I think we should all do that. We have boundaries of our own. It's a wise decision.

Mandy said...

I think these "rules" are great. I don't even like calling men on the phone unless my husband is with me, just to prevent any semblance of impropriety. These are excellent guidlelines for keeping a marriage strong and developing trust between spouses. Thanks for sharing!

A Nerd and A Free Spirit said...

Boundaries are so great! I think that people who have boundaries, even if they aren't exactly the same as yours, are in such better shape because they are trying to guard their marriage.

One thing I might disagree with you on is about cultivating other relationships. I don't think a marriage has to start growing apart if a person cultivates a relationship with someone else. I talk to Mark about everything, so times I do talk with someone else gives Mark and I something else to talk about. If we were like being secretive or whatever I would totally agree with you.

Good post! I hope other people are inspired to have boundaries because of it. They keep everyone safe! (-:

~Kathryn

saucyminx410 said...

I don't think your boundaries are out of line at all but my question becomes this; do you ever find exceptions to your rule? For example close friends of the two of you. I could see "enforcing" those rules myself for co-workers and new friends and things - but what about a friend that you both know and trust - or a bro-in-law/ sister-in-law - I know inappropriate things could happen in either type of relationship but it would seem like those things would come up. Curious how you handle that?

erin.patrice said...

I think it makes sense. I think my hubs and I have a similar thing going on. We've never brought it up but with the fidelity being brought into question with both of our brothers we're pretty vocal about what's considered appropriate and not on a fairly regular basis.

No matter if there is a friendship there or not. (and this may be a little different with hubs being an identical twin and pretty well recognized around our home town.) Who I'm seen with reflects on our whole family, not just me.

Jess said...

I think it's great that you two are so open about your boundaries and what works for you!!!

I'll be interested to see what I do when I'm in a relationship that leads to marriage.

Megan said...

Unfortunately, what starts out innocent, almost never ends that way. Boundaries are good for any healthy marriage :) :)

Anne said...

I definitely think boundaries are such a good idea. The book I was talking about was 'His Needs Her Needs' and it talked about the idea of a 'love bank' in which your husband can have other 'accounts' with people that he might be hanging out with. Yeah, it might start out innocent, but can become dangerous. I trust my husband, but I also think we should protect what we have and make it easier to protect by instilling those boundaries to do so!

Danielle said...

So happy to see that there is another couple out there with the same boundaries! The hubs and I often get funny looks when we talk about things like this, but it's worked for us! Boundaries are great...it's more important to have a healthy marriage than to have lunch with a cute coworker! Kudos to you!

Ali said...

I totally agree with you. My husband and I have never really made it a rule but its understood. I have seen how having dinner with the opposite sex can bring distrust to a marriage. Not only that you cannot always trust people and you never know what lies another woman or man will say.

Melissa said...

I agree with you! It's important to set boundaries like yours to keep your marriage safe! Thanks for sharing!

Lil' Woman said...

I think it's important to have boundaries and clear ones at that in a marriage. If anything it should give you more peace of mind that your on the same page with those situations.

everythingieverwanted said...

I agree with you on this. Our pastor is currently doing a series on guardrails in your life. When he was talking about marriage/sex he was very clear on what the boundaries should be......never, ever, ever go out to dinner, ride in a car, be alone with a member of the opposite sex. Even when he was in business (salesman) he would not take a female client out to dinner unless someone else was along. Very good advice.

Newlywed Hostess said...

Your boundaries are too be admired. It means that both of you committed to your relationship and avoiding situations that could potentially test it.

Mrs. Lukie said...

Bravo to you both! We have similar boundaries, though not exactly the same. They are what work for us and keep us both feeling secure in our relationship. I think it's so so SO important in a marriage!

Caroline said...

Boundaries are a great concept, and I applaud yall for keeping with it. But I'm gonna ditto an earlier question- are there ever exceptions? I'm in sale & I've had numerous male bosses who have to do reviews over lunches/dinners, and my husband & his fam own a big business where they have to wine/dine people to keep customers. So, I'd love to know how you navigate those type of situations.

Perfectly Imperfect said...

boundaries i think are necessary in any relationship. some of my closest friends are guys, so i am alone with them and go hang out with them at times. i think they're different for each couple but you have to have ones that work for y'all. good for you guys for setting these!

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Erica said...

Love your thoughts on this. I think that boundaries are important, and these ones really do make sense. We may have to implement them ourselves.

Leah said...

Love it Lindsey. You don't have to explain your relationship to anyone!

Meg {henninglove} said...

i think boundaries are all so important. it helps establish between you and your husband what is acceptable and what is it. i think putting up boundaries helps in saying you are my most important relationship and i will not do this and this because i want to honor the relationship i have with you. if people think my boundaries are weird or not appropriate well it is MY marriage and it works for us so stay out of my business that is what i tell them. we didn't sit down and discuss our exact boundaries but when unappropriate situations came up about coworkers or other people we knew we would discuss them but all in all if i am meeting with another man my husband has to know about it and feel ok about it otherwise i won't meet with that other guy even if he is a co-worker. there is my two cents sorry it is so long