I want to start out with a premise: You can not have a healthy, intimate relationship without healthy boundaries.
You know those couples that swoon over each other and you look at them and wonder if it is real? What you are seeing may be total enmeshment. Remember, everyone has a “public face,” but what really happens behind closed doors?
Does that mushy gushy lovey couple have what it takes to have real intimacy? Thinking of the word Intimacy as “into me see” you notice you need two separate people to be seen. However, when one is so enmeshed with their partner, they lose themselves and are not really seen. Where one person ends the other begins.
When one partner is mad, frustrated or hurt, they feel they need to forgive and forget or just let it go. As a forgiveness teacher, I’ve come to learn that there is a season for forgiveness, and there is a season for establishing clear boundaries to protect yourself, even in a relationship with a loved one.
If you want to have those healthy, intimate relationships, you must claim boundaries when people continually push your button or take advantage of you, disregard your feelings, time, relationships with others, or your personal space.
Do you have someone in your life that keeps triggering you? You might want to forgive but the truth is it is easier to forgive when the incident to be forgiven is in the past. Far in the past.
So what do you do when you keep getting triggered? This is when a boundary needs to be set.
What is a boundary? Personal boundaries are rules that set guidelines for how you interact with other people.
Independence in relationships is not taught. You might have to figure out your own beliefs in order to change and create a healthier intimate relationship. Try to answer these questions to explore your own thoughts about boundaries:
• What did you learn growing up about boundaries? Were your parents enmeshed in a co-dependent relationship? Were you encouraged to suck it up for the sake of the family and not rock the boat? If you tried to set boundaries with your family, did you get punished or admonished in response to your attempt?
• Is there someone in your life who encourages you not to set boundaries, pushes you past your limits or tries to control or manipulate you?
• Do you allow others to suck you dry? Are you a perpetual giver? Are you uncomfortable receiving?
• Do you avoid confrontation like the plague? Do you believe you have a right to set boundaries with others?
• Do you treat yourself with honor and respect? Have you ever thought that the negative self talk you give yourself may be so harsh that you need to set up a boundary with yourself and choose not to be so hard on yourself?
We have both a right and a responsibility for how we treat ourselves, others and how we allow others to treat us. Think about this - What has it cost you to NOT set appropriate boundaries for yourself? Keep Reading...
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