Healthy Boundaries Protect The Relationship
What we normally think of as “boundaries” are only healthy for a marriage if they are set up with the goal of not just protecting a person but also protecting the relationship. Even in a really serious case—like, say, a marriage suffering from the husband’s volatile anger—a healthy boundaries-oriented protection for the wife (“If you start shouting, you will need to find somewhere else to sleep tonight.”) has the broader goal of trying to teach healthy behavior and ultimately heal the relationship. Of course there are going to be cases (abuse being one!) where protecting the person has to take priority even if it means hurting the relationship. But in most other cases, people don’t want the relationship to be hurt! All of which means that yes, actual boundaries can be used in a healthy, happy marriage—but those situations are probably limited to smaller boundaries that are purposefully designed to keep the relationship healthy.