EP 41: Boundaries in a Marriage with Dr. Monica Polonyi PhD, LPC-S

Although setting boundaries can be very difficult, it is an essential self-care practice, and one which will lead to improvements in your relationships. If you are fearful of setting boundaries because you are worried about the possible negative effects, keep in mind that the better we understand and care for ourselves, the better we will be able to care for others. Even Jesus set boundaries! We are joined on the show today by Dr. Monica Polonyi, who has extensive experience as a counselor working in numerous different settings. She explains the types of boundaries that spouses can put in place in their marriages, red flags to look out for which signal that there is an issue that needs to be addressed in a relationship, and how to approach the topic of boundaries with your partner so as to make the discussion as comfortable as possible (but also remember that discomfort is okay!). There is no how-to manual for learning how to set boundaries but this conversation with Monica will inspire you to get started.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Monica gives a brief rundown of her career as a counselor.
  • A definition of what boundaries are, as they are commonly misunderstood.
  • Setting boundaries is a form of self-care, and this will help you to care for others better.
  • Examples of emotional and physical boundaries in marriage.
  • Red-flags that are important to be aware of and to be able to address within a marriage.
  • The correlation between substance abuse issues and the disregarding of boundaries.
  • Behavioral patterns that people bring into marriages from their personal lives and how this impacts their current relationship. 
  • The use of control as an unhealthy coping mechanism.
  • Fears that Monica commonly sees people struggle with when it comes to setting boundaries in a marriage.
  • Advice for how to approach the setting of boundaries in a marriage, using a garden as an analogy.
  • Self-awareness needs to lead to behavioural change in order to have a meaningful impact.
  • Discomfort is okay, don’t run away from it.
  • The importance of validation when engaging in a discussion around boundaries with your partner.
  • Why Monica often looks to the Scripture of Galatians 5:22:23.
  • Reading recommendations from Monica, and final words of encouragement and hope around setting boundaries. 


“Whether we recognize it or not, we are initiating or setting our boundaries on a daily basis. Whether it’s with our children, with our spouses or within our workplace, it is certainly something that we are initiating consciously or unconsciously.” — Dr Monica Polonyi [0:02:12]

“When we’re talking about boundaries we’re really trying to work at managing and owning one’s own thoughts and one’s own behaviours and one’s own feelings.” — Dr Monica Polonyi [0:03:28]

“When there is an absence of peace and there is worry or anxiety or tension within the relationship, that should say something.”— Dr Monica Polonyi [0:07:02]

“There’s so much that we bring into that marital relationship that, if we don’t stop and pause or have those authentic conversations, can get in the way of a loving and healthy relationship.”— Dr Monica Polonyi [0:11:36]

“When I am doing well, I’m caring for others well. I’m caring for myself well, I’m caring for my children well, and others well.” — Dr Monica Polonyi [0:18:14]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Dr. Monica Polonyi Website

Dr. Monica Polonyi Contact Number – 8329980028

Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner

Cloud-Townsend Resources

Keep Your Love On! by Danny Silk

The High Conflict Couple by Alan E. Fruzzetti

Safe People by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud

Mosaics of Mercy


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