Build walls (DW#356)
Not "Just Friends": Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Shirley Glass is a classic and very helpful resource for couples attempting recovery from the ravages of infidelity.
In this book, Shirley Glass uses the metaphor of "walls and windows" to explain how a marriage slides from security to vulnerability. Let us stay with this metaphor for a few days to try and understand what puts a relationship at risk.
When we get married and form a new family, it is creating a new entity, an entity which needs to be safeguarded from outside influences and threats to the relationship.
Healthy couples therefore create boundaries by constructing a metaphorical "wall" between them and the many forces that could damage the relationship. It’s not a wall that shuts the world out, but a necessary safety buffer. On one side, protected, is "us" and what is sacred between "us", and on the other side of the wall is anything that could hurt "us."
Before we go any further, take a moment right now to close your eyes and visualize the boundaries that you have in your relationship.
Ask yourself about where the walls are in your relationship. Have you established clear boundaries with regard to friendship with others? To your spending habits? Work–life balance? What about with your children and in-laws?
Take a personal inventory. Celebrate the places where you’ve already successfully created strong walls, and also look for places where your walls are vulnerable.
A very effective way of protecting your relationship is to have an honest discussion with your spouse about where the walls and the boundaries in your relationship are and how comfortable you are about their location.
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