Relationships Need Boundaries

In order to have a healthy, committed relationship, couples oftentimes have to set boundaries, or rules to foster a good relationship. Sometimes these boundaries are set while still in the dating stage, but other times couples discuss them once a formal commitment has been made to the relationship. Sometimes the boundaries may not always be in place and because of this conflict can arise.

For example, if a man and a woman decide to commit to a relationship, both of them probably have friends of the opposite sex. Before the commitment, there was probably not a lot of discussion or conflict about each of them hanging out with friends of the opposite sex, but once the relationship is committed to the scenario could change. Many men do not like their girlfriends hanging out with men and vice versa. In this case a discussion ought to take place about each person’s feelings concerning this and boundaries set.

It is also important that a double standard does not apply to a relationship. If a man thinks he is allowed to hang out with women but his girlfriend is not allowed to hang out with men, he has set a double standard and that can cause a relationship to be unhealthy.
Healthy boundaries ought to be set in a committed relationship for each person and the relationship to grow. Setting boundaries in relationships mean that each individual is taking responsibility for his/her part in the relationship. They help draw lines concerning what is all permissible in the relationship.

In a relationship, both parties need to realize that it is all right to say no to something that he/she is uncomfortable with. People with low self-esteem seem to struggle more with boundaries in a relationship, as they tend to dread conflict so they allow their partner to control the relationship so that no conflict will arise.

They may hold feelings and emotions due to fear and this may seem fine on the surface, but over time the relationship will become unhealthy.
Each couple ought to sit down and discuss rules and boundaries. This will create order and trust in the relationship. Creating a list of boundaries is a good idea to serve as a reminder for each partner. Periodically the couple can re-evaluate the rules and modify as necessary.

Relationships are wonderful and rules and boundaries enhance relationships. Without them, there may be confusion, jealousy, anger, and so on. Learning to create boundaries and say no is an important part of a relationship. As conflict arises, couples can discuss the issues surrounding that conflict, such as jealousy, control, or manipulation, and set appropriate boundaries for each particular situation. As couples learn to do this, the level of health in the relationship increases.

Photo: Pixabay

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