Each person has a need to be valued, a sense of belonging, or being loved. Often, individuals marry with the expectation that they will place their spouse first in their lives, and will be the recipient of the same. Unfortunately, life in the fast lane often convinces couples they will have to make exceptions to those expectations now in order to receive something grandiose in the future. While there is some truth in the need to make sacrifices, too many spouses are investing in themselves but not investing in their marriage. We learn to love those things, or people, we sacrifice for.
Part of the nature of marital boundaries is how and where we place our priorities. In today’s click-and-select culture for accessing information, purchasing items, and even communicating, we can lose sight of the “You only get what you put into it” idea.
Standing by and standing up for your spouse is just as important with small events as it is with the big events. Here are some examples.
1. Your child says some pretty mean things about your spouse. In the spirit of wanting your child to keep talking to you, or liking you, you overlook the mean messages about your spouse.
2. Your spouse wants some time from you, but the phone keeps ringing and it is for you.
3. Your spouse really wants to purchase an item or do something fun, but others have told you that particular idea is “crazy”. You try to convince your spouse to change his/her mind so you don’t feel embarrassed.
Standing by and standing up for your spouse means that your spouse is of value and will be appreciated by you—and you are not afraid to let others know it. It means making difficult choices, sometimes changing friendships or lifestyles, in order to say, “You mean more to me than anyone or anything else.”