433: SETTING UP GUARDRAILS

“Guardrails: No one needs one until they do.” —Anonymous

You know the funny “W” shape that most guardrails have? It’s not an aesthetic element: it’s meticulously designed for maximum shock absorption while redirecting the vehicle towards safety.

The truth is that no one really loves guardrails. They don’t appear often in art, they aren’t terribly attractive, most of time they are probably not even noticed.

But they are incredibly vital. Their purpose is critical: to protect travelers from serious harm or fatality.

Guardrails take many different forms in a marriage — it depends on what is being protected, your particular marriage and concerns, and the style with which you work best.

What is critically important is that you make them and that you both agree to them.

The truth is that you will set up guardrails, shields of protection, around the things that are most important to you. (If you don’t know what your core values are as a couple, we might direct you to our Core Values Online Workshop).

Assuming the two of you agree that your marriage is something that is worth protecting, explore the areas that could be dangerous if not protected.

Please don’t hide behind the weak excuse “Love is all we need”.

It’s been said and done and failed a thousand times. If your spouse is worth it to you, you’ll do it.

Some of the top topics for which guardrails are most helpful:

  • Relationships with people of the opposite sex: What scenarios are off limits?
  • In-laws and extended family: What are your boundaries with your extended family?
  • Social media: What will you discuss privately versus share on social media?
  • Finances and spending: Will you have a budget, or an individual purchase threshold?
  • Sources of advice: Who will you give you ear to for marriage advice?

We challenge you to make time to discuss your guardrails with your spouse. Don’t tackle all of them today, but start with an area of your marriage that is important to you two, and move forward from there.

Guardrails don’t take the fun away from driving, they give great protection and freedom for the travelers to journey safely. Guardrails are systems that YOU put in place that allow you to be proactive about your marriage rather than reactive after things go wrong.

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