Testing Boundaries (And a give-away)

Does it seem your husband is forever pushing your boundaries or limits? Do you wish he would just accept the lines you have set?

Part of being a man is pushing the limits. It is why we do the crazy, dangerous things we do, and why we are driven to explore the unexplored. The relentless pushing of boundaries is why we invent things and go places. And yes, it can be exhausting on a relational level.

Push your boundaries billboard © scottchan | freedigitalphotos.net

Please do not take his pushing personally. As much as it may seem disrespectful, it is not. He is not testing your resolve, he is probing for signs of change. He wants to go beyond the limits, and he is looking for any indication you are ready to go beyond with him. He sees a “no” as a no for today, not for the rest of life.

One place where this is especially upsetting for women is sexuality. Again, he wants to push the limits, and he wants to do it with you. Unfortunately he can easily come across as not caring about you or your feelings.

If you understand the boundary pushing drive behind what he does, maybe you can deal with it better. If you think a boundary is one you will be willing to move later, let him know. Also let him know when you feel a boundary is long term or permanent. If you let him know which lines you might someday cross, he may be more reserved about the ones you say you will never cross.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I love pushing the limits!

Speaking of pushing boundaries: Shannon Ethridge, author of The Sexually Confident Wife and The Fantasy Fallacy has a new book out – The Passion Principles: Celebrating Sexual Freedom in Marriage. We’ve not had a chance to read it yet (our copy is in the mail!) but based on her other works I have no concerns about recommending the book. Shannon is all about having great sex within Godly boundaries. She understands the wrong messages and fears women face in their sexuality, and she has some radical thoughts on better sex.

Want a free copy of The Passion Principles book? Leave a comment on the blog site about boundaries (sexual or otherwise). On Sunday Sept 28th I will a random number and the commenter in that spot will win a copy.

If you are in Southern California, you can hear Shannon speak on the passion principles. Six one hour sessions will cover:

  • Passion Principles for Women WorkshopUnderstanding the Fluidity of Female Sexuality
  • Exposing the Deeper Meaning Behind Sexual Thoughts
  • Integrating Sexuality & Spirituality
  • Connecting With Your Husband Mind, Body & Soul
  • Embracing Your Role as the Bride of Christ

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22 Comments on “Testing Boundaries (And a give-away)

  1. Hi, I’m David, and I love pushing the envelope. Some boundaries are just the point no one’s managed to go before ;)

  2. I think women get comfortable living within their boundaries and forget to re-evaluate them from time to time and miss out on what could otherwise be exciting. We get “busy” and lean on what we know instead of living what could be. We need to let our husbands help us to “live a little” by exploring those boundaries with him. What could be safer than venturing out with the man you love who would protect you till the end?

  3. I’ve been married for over 20 years now. Communication solves most issues, including boundary issues. If you hit a “No” with your wife (or husband) that is an opportunity for some serious conversation.

    Is this a “No”:
    not right now?
    never ask me that again”?
    I think that _____ is Biblically wrong?
    Good girls don’t _____?

    Conversations after hitting a “No” can be ones that bring the most light to a relationship. Personally, there are things that we a “No” early on in our marriage that now are acceptable, and even enjoyable.

  4. You provide a great reminder that men are definitely different than women. I need to be reminded that my husband’s pushing is not that he doesn’t accept me as I am. It gives me some food for thought.

  5. I’m getting married on 1st November to my best friend of 8 eight years. (huge grin). He didn’t become my best friend over night though. There was almost always a “test” to pass at every stage. It was very frustrating at some point. However, it got me to understand him better and grow a great deal in the process. And with all I’ve learnt from blogs like yours, I look forward to him pushing the boundaries in every way. “Wink”. By the way, I totally love how you close your thoughts so I’m borrowing it now. Lol! – Gill I’m X, and I’m looking forward to my limts being pushed! (yay!)

  6. Today is our 26th wedding anniversary. It’s has been quite a journey. I have to agree with Ron that communication is one of the most important things in a marriage. I love these kinds of blogs because it shows me “his” perspective.

  7. Your writing s are sooo very realistic & true….. Men & Women are different & that’s OK ! God has made women to want certain things to please them – and men were made to be able to enjoy their wives too ! As a couple grows stronger, closer together over the years the sexual communication between one another is fabulous. Grow more learning to feel like a teenager even in your fifties – try new things – try a different position – try a different time of day – try a new wardrobe – keep trying new things ( It’s FUN…)

  8. I’m the boundary pusher in our marriage. I’m really surprised this is viewed as a male only trait.

    • It is not male only, but more common in men and usually stronger in men than women who have it. Some of that is brain development, some is hormonal (testosterone) and some is cultural.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Getting Her to Grow upMy Profile

  9. I am the same way. I like to push the boundaries. I really do with the wife would understand this and accept me for who I am. We do have a very good sex life but I really think it could be alot better. She wants me to accept her for who she is. She aalways says when she gives in and allows something that I am never satisfied and I always want something more… Now I understand it is natural for me to push boundaries. We love to read Shannon’s books.

  10. This is a great take on a man’s God-given desire for adventure and discovery. In a sense, it IS that we don’t accept who we are right now, but that’s a good thing. We are human “becomings” on a journey toward something greater. This journey is called sanctification. If nobody is pushing the boundaries, it seems like we are less likely to grow in Christ.

  11. I’m pushing the boundaries with some frequency. In many things. some times it drives her nuts. I want to make family based products (husbands+wife & children), the last husband+wife one I “demo’d” for her got a long hate e-mail. She doesn’t like to push boundaries as much as me though. However, many times “dragging” her along turns out great for both of us.

    • The “dragging” part is always tricky. Lori often thanks me for the adventures we have because I push. However, if I pushed too hard, it would not end well.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Grown-up SexMy Profile

  12. From the XY perspective, we’d like to think that once a boundary was pushed outward, it would stay there until we revisit it. But that sometimes isn’t the case. A part of the ‘playground’ that was a YES, can suddenly become a NO. Confusion, frustration and hurt ensue.

    • I think women sometimes go past a boundary without having made a change in their head. It is not a change of mind, it is giving in to pressure. I’ve done this to Lori and not even known I did it. Now she knows I don’t want her to do that, which helps keep us from ending up there.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Grown-up SexMy Profile

  13. It took years for us to get through a boundary because I had offered years earlier and I misunderstood response.

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