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How To Set Healthy Boundaries in Relationships
There are many types of boundaries in relationships, as well as boundaries in a marriage, that can establish better communication and intimacy. Some conversations may be easier than others, but it’s better they occur with preparation rather than during the tense moments after an argument.
It may also be helpful to enlist a personal therapist or a couples therapist to discern where you most need them.
Examples of Emotional Boundaries To Set
1. Saying No
You may find it easier to sacrifice your own needs for your partner’s out of a fear of upsetting them.
However, if they ask something of you that goes against your principles, disrespects your time, or forces you to sacrifice something important, it’s okay to say no. It doesn’t have to be harsh, but learn to say it assertively.
2. Refusing to Take Blame
Sometimes, your partner may place the blame on you out of hurt or guilt. This behavior does not mean their anger is your fault. Do not let them skirt responsibility by manipulating your emotion. Acknowledge their pain, let them know you are there for them, but assert that you will not accept responsibility for their actions.
3. Expecting Respect
You deserve kindness and loving communication. If you feel your partner is speaking from unjustified anger or with a disrespectful tone, you are within your right to remove yourself from the scenario. Let them know that if they want to have a conversation, it must come from a place of respect.
4. Dictating Your Own Feelings
When you’re part of a couple, opinions and emotions can feel blurred. Learn to decipher your feelings from your partner’s and their perception of your feelings. If they speak for you, correct them and kindly ask that they do not dictate your emotions for you.
5. Finding Your Identity Outside of the Relationship
Codependency can lead to a melding of identities. “I” becomes “we,” and the “you” gets lost in the mix. Remember that you are not just one half of a whole but your own person with passions, interests, and vibrant intelligence. It’s okay to have a sense of self separate from your partner.