Being married means sharing – your love, your thoughts, your body, your life. When you are fully committed to your spouse, it feels wonderful – you are free to be yourself.
However, even the healthiest and most committed marriages are allowed to have boundaries. Boundaries are important for each individual, and the relationship. Some couples read each other’s email and texts and feel perfectly fine about it. They are entirely financially open with one another. They share everything. Other couples are not comfortable with that much sharing. Whether you are newly married or have been blissfully hitched for decades there are a few guidelines for establishing and maintaining boundaries. Similarly, these can apply to many other relationships.
Love and Respect Yourself
When you love and respect yourself, then you will not tolerate bad treatment from others. In life, people will treat you the way you allow them to. Also, if you love and respect yourself, your are more likely to attract others who are of the same calibre. This, in turn, will lead to healthier relationships all around you. If you are with a partner who does not show you healthy love and respect, then you should consider counselling or possibly just finding a new partner.
Give and Expect Privacy
Giving someone privacy requires trust. So if you feel compelled to check up (snoop) on your partner’s business (personal or work related), or they do the same to you, then there is a trust issue. Every human being needs a certain level of privacy, although it varies on the individual. If trust is a problem in your relationship (on either side), then you need to ask yourself why. Has there been infidelity in the past? Has it been suspected? Maybe the trust issue stems from other things such as handling money. Either way, you should sit down and calmly get to the bottom of the issue because without privacy and trust your relationship can never grow.
Give and Take
A balanced relationship does not contain one giver and one taker. This is not everyday give and take. If one person is always giving in to the other, then their wants and needs are not being met. That can lead to resentment and damage the relationship. This is commonly a problem when one person is extremely more aggressive than the other. It needs to be addressed, probably with professional help.
Abuse is more than just hitting. Verbal and emotional abuse can be just as hurtful and damaging. Be truthful with yourself about whether this is a part of your relationship and be prepared to do something about it. Don’t stay in the same rut out of habit or fear.
Personal boundaries may change over time – as always, communication is key. If you feel like it’s time to redefine issues that are important to you, be clear about what they are and why. Be specific and explain why a change is important to you. Then listen to your partner’s feedback – change can be confronting at first. You may need to be patient, or you may need to enlist professional help, for the health of your relationship.