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Establishing Boundaries with Friends in Your Marriage

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Welcome to the boundaries series! This article will point out the top five boundaries that you should establish with your friends in your marriage.

If you are late to the party check out the other two articles on boundaries. Establishing Boundaries with Family In Your Marriage, & Setting Financial Boundaries In Your Marriage.

Having friends in your marriage is important, but ensuring those friendships have proper boundaries in place is a must.

Friendships without boundaries can cause major problems for your union.

Boundary #1: Your friends should respect your spouse.

This seems like common sense but believe it or not sometimes friends can have a difficult time respecting your spouse.

Friends can make your spouse purposely uncomfortable, make rude jokes, or just not be sensitive to their preferences. For example, if your spouse doesn’t like dogs, your friend should not be bringing their Yorkie over during game night. 

If you find that your friend lacks respect for your spouse, talk to them about it immediately. Pull them to the side and discuss what the problem is. If their behavior continues, then it may be necessary to sever that friendship.

Boundary #2: Your spouse should know your friends

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I’m stating the obvious here, but hear me out. What I mean by this is your spouse should know your friends that you speak to on a regular basis. 

Any person that you hang out with on a regular basis your spouse should know. Your A1 since Day 1s.

You should not be hanging out regularly with “friends” that your spouse has never met. This creates a sense of distrust.

This boundary allows for your spouse to get a feel for what the friendship is like between their partner and the friend. Observation is key.

Hanging out with friends that don’t know your spouse could give the other person a misconception that your partner doesn’t need to know who’s important to you.

It could also be very misleading with friends of the opposite sex. This could send mixed signals and may give your friend the impression that you have feelings for them beyond friendship.

Boundary #3 Privacy is Key

It may be tempting to tell your friends everything about your marriage.  However, you have to be very careful to keep certain things between you and your partner. 

Boundaries between friends can be blurred when there is no privacy about you and your spouse’s marital affairs. Every argument is not meant to be shared.

Sharing you and your husband/wife’s disagreements can set up a biased outlook on your partner. Friends can feel pulled towards your direction because of the history and loyalty you have with one another.

When the privacy boundary is crossed, it can cause your friends to start to dislike your partner, and it can create a wedge in your marriage.

Try not to share major arguments between you and your spouse. Sharing minor things is ok, but sharing heated debates needs to be kept between the two of you.

Try going to counseling or talking to a person who is unbiased about the matter, so that you two can get the help you need.

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Boundary #4 Call Before You Come Over!

This can be a boundary between friends and family honestly. Both friends and family should not just stop by unannounced.

This can be a hard habit to break when it is something that was already established before you were married. Maybe your friend used to come by whenever they were in the neighborhood when you were single.

Now that you are married they must be considerate of your partner. Popping by can not only interrupt you and your partners plans, but it can make your spouse uncomfortable.

Having company is a mindset, even if your friend is not demanding, just showing up to someone’s home interrupts the flow of how they do things ex, walking around in boxers, or having to make an extra plate for family dinner.

Honestly, depending on your mood and your day, you may just not feel like having company!

If your friend has a habit of stopping by unannounced talk to them and explain that they need to call before they come to make sure that it is a good time for both you and your partner.

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Boundary #5: Friends Should Respect the “Married You”

Friends can often have a hard time accepting the “married version” of you. You are no longer single, therefore there are going to be some things that you will not be able to do any longer.

Going out without checking in, staying out all night, flirting with random people is not appropriate anymore. 

Your friend should not be putting you in any compromising positions that can affect your marriage negatively.

There is nothing wrong with going out, but your friends should not be encouraging you to behave as if you are single.

This is a boundary that must be established by you. If you see your friend putting you in compromising positions then you may need to sever this friendship.

Again you can always speak to your friend about it, but if they get offended or try and convince you otherwise, then it’s not worth your marriage.

Final thoughts

Friendships do not have to stop when you say I do. However, there definitely have to be some boundaries established so that your friends do not cause problems in your marriage.

Remember that you vowed forever with your spouse, some friends are a part of that forever and some may not be if they cannot agree to the boundaries that you’ve established.

~ Peace & Love,

A. Redd 

If you have any insight on today’s topic or past experiences with friends that did not respect boundaries, please comment below. 

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