Why is it important to Build Better Boundaries?
Basically when you set boundaries, you are saying to your partner “Here is where I end and begin. And here is where you end and begin.” When you build better boundaries you teach your partner to respect you as a separate person.
People in a relationship do not have the same upbringing. In each family of origin there are different ways of doing things. So when you are in a relationship, you need to decide on what is acceptable to you and what is not.
Questions you can ask yourselves are:
- Do you believe that you should know each other’s passwords?
- Are you comfortable with your partner having lunch alone with a friend of the opposite sex?
- How do you feel about having relatives to stay over?
- What about weekends away with the girls/lads?
- Do you want the TV/media off at certain times?
And many, many more…
You both need to know what you feel comfortable with in each instance.
How do we Build Better Boundaries?
It is just a question of stating them clearly and firmly. If you hesitate, it sounds like you don’t mean what you say. Your partner will not take them seriously if you don’t sound as if you are convinced.
If it feels like you want to say “No” then say so. You don’t have to say sorry or give excuses for being you. It is always possible to soften your answer with kind words, but make sure you don’t start wriggling back to a “Yes.”
The hardest part of setting boundaries is perhaps knowing in advance what you mind and what you don’t. So it is healthy to keep setting them as you go along. When a situation arises, you will know how you feel about it.
What are the benefits of Building Better Boundaries?
It will be so much easier to communicate going forward, because you both already know the rules that you have put in place.
For example, when you are in a committed relationship, it is nice to go out and do things together. But it is not necessary for you to do everything together. So if your partner has a very boring business event and you know people will all be talking about work, you don’t have to go if you don’t want to. You can state this in advance so that when it comes up, there is no need for an argument about it.
The good news is that when you do start to set boundaries, it feels good. It really makes a difference and it gets easier and easier the more you do it.
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