The proverb, “Good fences make good neighbours,” has a great deal of wisdom.

The concept of having clearly defined boundaries helps us to develop healthy relationships. When people know the limits of what they can demand from a relationship, it allows all parties to enjoy it. Hidden agendas evaporate, and positive feeling in the relationship flourishes.

Marriages also benefit from appropriate boundaries.

In this case, the boundaries need to form a protective perimeter around the marriage, rather than between the spouses. Infidelity expert Shirley Glass speaks of ‘windows and doors’ to explain what happens to a couple’s marriage when it is exposed to infidelity.


The external boundaries around the marriage erode, allowing the affair partner to penetrate the intimacy of the marriage. The straying spouse reveals more and more of the marriage as he or she complains about their spouse and seeks consolation from the affair partner.

Like curtains being opened on the windows of a house, the privacy and integrity of the marriage are compromised. At the same time, a barrier between the spouses forms as the secret liaison grows. The unfaithful spouse withdraws and often ceases to invest emotionally in the marriage. This isolates the spouses from each other as the doors are closed on more and more of the spouses’ lives.


To protect your marriage from trespassers of any kind, be it infidelity, the internet, meddling in-laws or demanding friends, appropriate boundaries need to be established. Keep the doors inside your marriage wide open so that each of you has full access to all the intimacies of the other’s life. And draw the shades on the windows to prevent home invaders trespassing on your marital privacy.


Originally published at SmartLoving. Photo by Pixabay.

Published On: June 21st, 20230 CommentsTags: , , , ,

About the Author: Byron and Francine Pirola

Married for 25 years, with 5 children, Byron & Francine Pirola are the founders and co-authors of the SmartLoving Series – marriage enrichment and marriage preparation courses designed to help build successful and resilient marriages. International speakers and authors of numerous articles on marriage, more than 3000 couples have attended their programs, workshops and conferences in Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain Byron & Francine are Executive Directors of the Marriage Resource Centre from which they run SmartLoving programs and produce digital resources. Francine graduated from Fordham University with a Masters in Religion and Religious Education. Byron is a founding partner of the strategic consulting firm, Port Jackson Partners Limited, and a Director of both listed and unlisted companies. He holds a PhD from the Commonwealth Centre for Gene Technology, Adelaide University.

Leave A Comment