When Your Spouse is without Boundaries

When your spouse is without boundaries you can feel like you are floating adrift. Find out ways to remain anchored.

When Your Spouse is Without Boundaries

According to Merriam Webster, a boundary is something that shows where an area ends and another area begins; a point or limit that indicates where two things become different.

Boundaries is then unofficial rules about what should not be done; limits that define acceptable behavior.

But when addiction takes root, boundaries become blurred, extended, trampled on, and unrecognizable. And the spouse of an addict can feel very disoriented and alone.

As a Christian mental health therapist, I’ve worked with wives who have endured this boundary-less loop from their husbands due to various addictions. Their intent has been to uphold “till death due us part” and to love and support their spouse in good times and in bad. But at the same time, to not lose their own identity in Christ (and sanity) in the process.

Identify Your Own Boundaries

Identifying your own boundaries is important for all individuals. But this is particularly important for wives when their husbands struggle with addiction and are boundary-less.

Take the time to identify all of your boundaries, guardrails, hard-lines, whatever you want to call them. Write them down. Know them.

These limits should pertain to all aspects of your life. Not just your husband’s addiction.

  • Faith
    • Belief in God
    • Time with God
    • Church
  •  Communication
    • Words used
    • Volume/Tone
    • Arguing
    • Apologies
  • Physical Space
    • Proximity
    • Affection
    • Sex
    • Abuse
  • Health
    • Food
    • Alcohol
    • Drugs
    • Exercise
    • Sleep
  • Parenting
    • Rules/expectations
    • Discipline
    • Rewards
  • Relationships
    • Who are friends
    • Amount of time with friends
    • What is shared with friends
  • Finances
    • Budget
    • Saving
    • Spending money
    • Work

I know. It’s a long list.

Please follow me over to Leah Grey’s site, where I am guest posting, to learn the other 5 ways to handle a spouse who is without boundaries! 

Also check out my boundaries in marriage series.

Part One: How You Interact with Each Other

Part Two: How You Spend Time Together

Part Three: Who Else You Spend Time With

Part Four: What You Share with Your Friends

God bless!

Melissa Gendreau

p.s. Check out all the beautiful sites I Linkup with!

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About Melissa

Melissa is a Christian mental health therapist, wife and mommy of two. She works with children, teens, adults, and couples to better manage their distress and hopefully become closer to God in the process.

28 comments on “When Your Spouse is without Boundaries

    • It is necessary. Necessary for your own identity and worth but also necessary for the health of the marriage. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. God bless!

  1. Thank you for sharing this. It’s so simple, yet so difficult to follow through with sometimes. I can see how it would be hard to set boundaries with the person you’re supposed to be “naked” before.

    • Yes, not an easy task to stand firm in boundaries. Especially if the boundaries are different than your spouse. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. God bless!

  2. ‘These relationships had become so far from “normal” that the expectations had gone down lower and lower. They needed reminding that they were worth more. That God’s view of them was more.’ Yes! The Christian marriages I know have gotten so out of whack that the woman is no longer valued and considered a piece of excrement.

    • I’m so sorry that you know so many marriages that are so far from God’s design. I pray that both the husband and the wife find their way back to God. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your experiences. God bless!

  3. Great advice – we must know where our boundaries are. I would only add that we should study Scripture carefully and seek wise counsel to ensure that our boundaries are not arbitrary but are grounded in God’s Word.

  4. I can only imagine how many lives will be touched by this post. I pray that those who read this post will gain some practical ways to reinforce boundaries. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

    • Thank you for your kind words Bailey! I also pray that this post helps spouses to be able to reinforce or develop their boundaries. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. God bless!

  5. I love your list of areas where boundaries may be an issue! Getting us humans to get along and be functional is tricky business isn’t it? Not to mention live joyously……. I appreciate your WORK to educate and promote Christian values. Hugs sister!!

  6. Maintaining healthy boundaries is so important, especially in challenging relationships. Thank you for pointing out all these areas to consider and to have us write them down for when the moment arises – we need to remember so we don’t back down!

    • It’s amazing how wishy-washy we can be if we don’t clearly think through and formulate our boundaries. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! God bless!

  7. This looks like such a helpful post, Melissa! When my husband went through alcohol addiction, I forgot about boundaries for myself because I was so focused on getting him better (as if it was up to me anyway).
    Boundaries are something I’ve only started setting up the last few years!

    • We tend to do that as wives and mom’s don’t we?! We look out for others and then forget to make sure we are still solid. Thank you for reading and sharing your experiences. God bless!

    • That can be a hard realization to make. And a terrible misconception in society’s view of marriage! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! God bless!

  8. Yes! I have experienced this first hand and setting boundaries for yourself is absolutely necessary especially when you have to be the strong one during a season. It’s the way things have to be in order for you to keep yourself healthy happy and whole.

    • Yes! It is the way things have to be. For yourself and for the sake of the family. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! God bless!

  9. This is extremely helpful for me! I love that you encouraged us to write down our boundaries! Also, thank you for giving us the list! I don’t have a spouse with addiction, but I know when boundaries are clearly portrayed, misunderstandings and hurt feelings are almost nil. Healthy boundaries are something we have just learned to practice within the last couple years of our marriage… it’s made a WORLD of difference! Thank you for sharing Melissa! <3

    • I’m glad you found the post beneficial Katie! Yes, boundaries help diminish misunderstandings so much. I’m glad that you and your husband have taken the time to set boundaries. Thank you for reading and sharing your experiences. God bless!

  10. It’s so interesting that we just assume others will respect our boundaries without even communicating what our boundaries. Culturally these can all be so different. I love how you included in the list some things that seem obvious but are really important to communicate.

    • Right, some of the things seem obvious but when addiction happens or two people are on completely different pages the boundaries can become skewed. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts. God bless!

    • It was absolutely my pleasure! I love your ministry and think it is so important for Christian women who have addiction in their family to have support. Thank YOU for providing them a place to connect! God bless!

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