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Then we start to see what belongs to you, and what belongs to me. We each acknowledge this and make new choices accordingly. With that gift of freedom comes responsibility, and I embrace my own choices, behaviors, and emotions.God has given my husband a free will, and I allow it.
That, I think, is a dynamic that so many couples dealing with a pornography addiction can understand. When fixing and helping don’t work, there is another way: boundaries.
The addict is addicted, and the spouse takes responsibility to “fix” and help. Fixing and helping is what happens when you’ve got a problem in the family. But boundaries are a total paradigm shift, and it takes time for us to be motivated enough—usually by extreme pain—to stop fixing and helping, and get some boundaries in place.
Spending all of your time with your friends would not be respectful to your family because you wouldn't be putting any energy into those relationships.
On the other hand, if your family wants you to spend all of your time at home, that's not respectful of you.
Maybe it’s just the rebel in me, but when people talk about boundaries in relationships, my natural inclination is to cringe. I’m my own boss.” But when we understand that boundaries are put in place to protect us, that it’s God’s way to protect our heart, soul, and body, it’s a game-changer. God gives us guidelines in our relationships, not so He can be this cosmic killjoy, but so He can protect us.
Once you’ve gotten to the point that you know you’re attracted to someone, and you’ve started dating, then it’s time to think about setting some boundaries. God’s very clear on how we are to approach purity, before and after marriage.
Personal boundaries are limits we use to protect ourselves, and they are formed by having good self-understanding and clear personal values.
An important part of respecting yourself and other people is understanding and honoring these boundaries.
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