Healthy boundaries matter in a relationship for several reasons.
First of all, healthy boundaries can help each person in the relationship feel emotionally safe in it. Having healthy boundaries helps the couple know where they stand with each other and where not to cross the line. Trust can be built and reinforced between the partners by upholding the boundaries they have mutually agreed upon. Having healthy boundaries can also make partners feel respected by each other. Each person can feel heard and understood by one’s significant other, especially if they both maintain the boundaries they have set.
One tip on how a couple can set healthy boundaries is to work as a team on these while keeping in mind that both partners must be represented by the boundaries created. Thus, each of the partners needs to voice one’s limits about issues of significance or priority. In doing this, the couple may discover that some of their perspectives and tolerances are quite different from each other. In these instances, the couple ultimately may find that it is healthier for them to sometimes blend their “lines in the sand” and compromise when they create some of their boundaries.
Emotional Safety and Comfortability
Furthermore, there needs to be emotional safety and comfortability when healthy boundaries are being figured out by a couple. For one thing, this means that there should be a respectful and non-judgmental atmosphere in which the partners try to listen to each other without interrupting. There should also be a conscious effort by the couple to be as fair and objective as possible so that each of the partners feels heard and understood. However, the partners should be aware that, although they may understand each other, they still may not agree which doesn’t signify disrespect, but a difference of opinion. In the end, both partners need to work together and find mutually acceptable ways to set the boundaries for their relationship.
Another tip on how a couple can set healthy boundaries is to have effective and genuine communication. Specifically, each partner should be very clear both with oneself and with the significant other when establishing and discussing what kinds of boundaries each of them needs and/or wants. It might be best for each person to first separately write a list of what these boundaries could be and why they are important to that person. Then, the couple needs to directly and honestly express and explain to each other what they wrote down so the partners can truly understand each other. By engaging in clear and transparent communication, this gives a couple the opportunity to get closer to each other and have a stronger starting point to create healthier boundaries from together.
Yvonne Thomas is a Psychologist who offers relationship therapy in Los Angeles. To contact Dr. Yvonne Thomas call (310) 359-9450.