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Marriages Need Boundaries

Many married couples are often surprised when they hear that a marriage needs boundaries. It is important to understand and know how to apply it to your marriage. Most marriages fail because of poor boundaries than any other reason. Let’s first clarify and understand what a boundary is.

I love the definition of a boundary in the best-selling book, “Boundaries” by Drs. John Townsend and Henry Cloud, it is stated that “Boundaries are personal property lines that define who you are and who you are not, and influence all areas of your life”. This includes the following aspects of your life: physical boundaries, mental boundaries, emotional boundaries and spiritual boundaries. 

Boundaries are for an individual as well as a couple in the context of a marriage. When you get married and become a couple as a unit, it is essential that you practice boundaries and that you know what boundaries look like as you relate to each other. Boundaries define your identity as a person and thus boundaries also defines your marriage. Boundary expresses what is OK and what is not OK to do with you whether it's in your marriage or your other relationships. It is an important part of your identity and your function in life and relationships. It tells others what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in your marriage. Boundaries create a sense of order and health in your life and your relationships as you interact with others. Boundaries clarify and communicate your value system. This is why when two people are dating one of the most important questions to discuss is your value system as you get to know someone new. When two two people marry they create a new system that includes both of them; sharing of their bodies, souls, thoughts, feelings, possessions, time and more. This needs to be sorted out who they are and how they live their lives as individual adults and a married couple. This would determine the type of dance they will have as they connect and communicate with each others and even in their parenting. Marriage is about togetherness (being together as two separate souls) and also boundaries foster separateness. One of the goals of the marriage is knowing how to share and how to stay true to yourself, your needs and your growth.

Sometimes you blame your spouse for your own lack of limits. You do not know how to assertively speak with kindness, vulnerability and grace about what you can do or can not do, and share and collaborate your interests, skills and desires. Only you know what you can and want to do, and only you can be responsible for drawing that line in a caring and a respectful way.

Conflicts, miscommunication and challenges occur when your own family history or early life experiences interferes and comes to play when you can not set limits with your spouse and neither of you do not know how to have an honest conversation about this. Many aspects of your marriage requires boundaries such as, your physical boundary your physical space (this is where infidelity occurs) your words, your emotions, your time. If you didn't learn growing up how talk this way and practice this in relationships, it's not your fault, and it is not too late. You can choose to learn and grow in your marriage.

Remember boundaries need to be communicated first verbally and then with actions (behaviorally) consistently. In talking to each other, you must be clear about your boundary and in unapologetical way. Not demanding but honesty and clear. Then these boundaries need to be respected and revealed at different times in marriage. This requires more than one honest and clear conversation but ongoing check-ins.

Do you know how to do this in your marriage?  If you know you need coaching or help, please feel free to reach out to myself or a good seasoned therapist who can facilitate this dialogue with you.

Articles

Steps to Find A Good Marriage Counselor
Welcome to Jousline Savra's counseling blog. It is my sincere hope that you will find my counseling blog offerings useful, insightful and thought provoking. Let’s begin by telling you a little bit about myself, shall we?

As a Burbank marriage counselor specializing in relationships, I am a
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and have been practicing since 1999. My specialties include helping adult individuals, couples, and family therapy with their adult children.
 
I also facilitate eight week marriage workshop in my counseling office from time to time. If you want to learn more about the Marriage Workshop please visit the Events page under counseling service.
 
My Burbank counseling office is located in the heart of Toluca Lake in Burbank couple blocks away from WARNER BROS. STUDIOS & THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS and UNIVERSAL CITY STUDIOS and LAKESIDE GOLF CLUB vclose to Studio City, Universal City and Hollywood Hills West.  I also have the pleasure of leading and facilitating married groups during the New Life Intimacy in Marriage and Restore workshops. I help adult individuals and couples to become familiar with their attachment style, and how their attachment style impacts their marriages. I use attachment theory to help you discover your love style, and move you towards more effective ways of connecting with others in intimate relationships. Please be sure to read the rest of this blog as I discuss how to find a good couples therapist.
Married to an Addict

Sometime a person has difficulty making decisions, setting healthy priorities or setting limits with a partner, they have difficulty identifying how they feel, think they can take care of themselves without any help from others, they feel embarrassed asking or admitting they need help, they minimize, deny or alter how they truly feel, they avoid and postpone addressing the addiction or don't know how to address it instead of reacting to it, they express negativity and aggression in passive ways or indirectly and they don't realize that the men whom they are attracted to or living with, are not available to them.
Help For Your Marriage
Four Steps to take in your marriage with your spouse when in conflict!

Marriage requires hard work and can be challenging. Some of the
common relationship problems with couples are: infidelity, unending arguments, addictions, power struggles, narcissism and alienation. These are really hard issues to deal with in any marriage. These problems can also keep the couple from the energy they need to spend with their kids and the proper attention their kids or teens deserve. If you are in a marriage that is facing problems and your marriage is being tested, I have a few tips for you.
Reasons You Are Having Problems In Your Relationship
If you have read my previous blogs in this website, you can see that I am a strong practitioner and a believer of the attachment style. Whether you are married or single know that have an attachment style which is causing some serious problems and misunderstandings in your relationship.

What is an attachment style? Attachment style has to do with the way you relate to others in your intimate relationships. This style affects how you talk to others, it impacts the way you get close to others or not, it also explains why you are frustrated in your relationship, why you run into arguments and why you are not happy and feels stuck. Your attachment style also explains and clarifies how you find love, why you get attracted to certain individuals and explains the way you keep your love!!
Happy Couples Are Emotionally Focused Couples
What is an emotionally focused couple? Simply put the key to having a successful marriage is when you are able to consistently connect emotionally and relate to your spouse from a secure attachment. The common complaints couples make are as follow - they report that they are growing further apart, they have arguments, they are dealing with spouse's addictive behavior or sometimes infidelity. As a marriage therapist, I discover that there is a pervasive pattern which is due to couples experiencing emotional disconnection and not having the relational and communication skills. Couples feeling disconnected from each other leads to infidelity, arguments, addictive behavior or other marital problems.
Insights for Couples and Individuals and Their Relationships!
I have good news for you. Your marital problems were not created in your marriage. These problems began before you got married. If you are an adult man and a woman who is single your current relationship struggles are linked to your early life experiences which you keep experiencing as you date! Surprised?