I have heard their is a need to establish boundaries in a Mormon mixed faith marriage. This may be true and this may not be true. Here we are going to talk about when a boundary is a good idea and how to set one and when we are really just trying to punish or control another person or reacting to our pain and hurt.
A boundary only needs to be set if you have a boundary violation. A boundary violation occurs when someone invades your physical, mental or emotional space. This is very rare.
When a boundary violation occurs you can choose how YOU are going to respond. The purpose is not to change the other person to but be clear on what you are going to do about the violation.
here is an example from a MFM of things that are not boundaries:
-We have to all go to the same church together.
-You can’t read scriptures to the kids.
These are not a boundaries, these are threats.
These are designed to get the other person to act in a certain way.
We cannot control other people. Period. That is why these do not work and only cause more frustration.
We often say things like this because we are scared, frustrated and hurt.
In fact in this situation a boundary is not even needed because there has not been an encroachment across a boundary.
A request may be more acceptable.
You can make these requests, such as:
-I would prefer if we all went to the same church together, but understand you get to choose how you spend your time on Sunday
-I would ask you don’t (or do) read scriptures with the kids, but I cannot stop you. I only ask we discuss it further so we can at least understand where we both stand.
When a boundary really needs to be set to protect yourself physically, mentally or emotionally then here are my recommendations:
Start from love – set a boundary from love not fear, frustration or hurt.
State what you are gong to do and do not expect them to change at all.