Building Healthy Relationships Boundaries: Dos and Don’ts

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How building healthy relationships boundaries is the key to create mutual respect between individuals. One of the most misunderstood relationship skills is setting limits. Some individuals aren’t even aware of their own bounds.

Others struggle to establish limits, or to respect the boundaries of others since they were raised in circumstances with no boundaries. The simplest approach to understand boundaries if you’re unsure of what they are is to think of them as the basic rules of your relationship. And you definitely need those guidelines.

“I wish that all guys understood the psychological importance of maintaining personal boundaries in relationships. In order to achieve flexibility and genuine intimacy in a relationship, you do need to be open to reevaluating those boundaries”, according to Dr. Gail Saltz, host of the How Can I Help? Podcast on iHeartRadio and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the NY Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine.

“Whether we are aware of them or not, everyone has boundaries. Boundaries can be divided into several areas, including temporal, material, intellectual, emotional, and physical. All of these are present in partnerships”, according to Brian Jones, a certified mental health counselor who focuses on relationship therapy.

He continues, “Ignoring limits or refusing to discuss them doesn’t make them go away. Instead, “invisible” boundaries frequently retaliate through hostility, passive-aggressive remarks, or other actions.”

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Before building healthy relationships boundaries, know first what healthy boundaries are?

building healthy relationships boundaries

“A partner’s limits should also be respected and acknowledged”, according to Saltz, as should your own personal beliefs and needs. Healthy boundaries also entail the capacity to say no. Remember that limits vary from relationship to relationship and from person to person since different individuals have various requirements.

I believe that everyone’s definition of a “healthy” border is rather subjective. “What’s manageable for one individual could be too difficult for another”, according to Jones. However, in general, I consider appropriate limits to be ones that are neither very strict nor excessively open. Healthy limits allow you to be flexible for your partner while still upholding your own ideals.

Healthy Boundaries Examples

building healthy relationships boundaries

Ever wondered what limits may be like in practice? Boundaries fall under a variety of categories, so it’s vital to consider your beliefs and expectations for each of them as well as your partners’ perspectives.

Physical/Sexual: According to Jones, you must be able to communicate with your partner when you don’t feel like engaging in physical contact. It’s also crucial to agree on a time that is convenient for both of you.

Equally important is being open and honest when discussing sexual consent. According to Jones, emotional boundaries involve communicating with your spouse when they have offended you, and being open to listening to them when they make an effort to make things right.

Setting expectations for conflicts is another good boundary. Make sure that you and your spouse have a strict no-insults policy. You can be present during the argument to resolve it and ask each other to describe how they are feeling, continues Saltz.

Intellectual: There are also limitations on the mind. According to Jones, these include acknowledging the need to uphold your own personal convictions while remaining receptive to debating your partner’s differing viewpoints.

Financial: You should have open discussions regarding material limits because financial disputes are one of the leading reasons of divorce. Jones brings up the age-old question of who foots the bill on date evenings. Do you alternate paying, divide the cost of each meal equally, or does one spouse always pay?

Quality time: Another technique to establish boundaries is to request time alone (or time spent together). “The requirement for some alone or quiet time each day is an example of a good boundary”, according to Saltz.

So that they may appreciate this requirement and accept your intention to take the time to do so, explain to your spouse that you recharge your batteries by having a little alone time. But it might be a good barrier to want time together if your partner has only been spending time alone, or with friends for a few weeks.

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Guidelines for Establishing Boundaries

building healthy relationships boundaries

Having a greater understanding of the numerous relationship situations that call for limits as well as what good boundaries might include, you should be better prepared to address your spouse about boundaries after reading the following dos and don’ts.

Please give context

Think about your wants and emotions. What makes you desire to define a limit with regard to a certain life situation or subject? “Do describe the border and why it is important to you. Tell them how this specific barrier impacts you”, Saltz advises.

Clarify your expectations

Saltz continues, “Do expect lapses and be understanding, but reinforce how important this barrier is to you moving forward.” Setting expectations for repercussions is also crucial if your spouse repeatedly ignores a boundary.

“Setting boundaries entails more than just asking your spouse for something. Boundaries are effective because there are repercussions for crossing them”, according to Jones. Consider how willing you are to impose varying degrees of punishment according to the offense.

Set no barriers that keep people from being vulnerable

Don’t, however, become excessively strict about the wrong things. “Setting limits that prevent you from being open or intimate might ruin your relationship”, cautions Saltz. For instance, you shouldn’t place restrictions on communicating emotions because doing so is essential to a successful partnership.

Reevaluate boundaries

Boundaries are subject to change over time, so you should review them frequently. “Don’t be hesitant to reevaluate both of your limits since, as individuals evolve and grow, boundaries may also do the same”, advises Saltz. Don’t presume that your limits are fixed in stone after the first chat, advises Jones.

Don’t assume anything

In light of this, it’s a good idea to avoid making any type of assumptions. “Don’t think your spouse can understand your thoughts or infer your boundaries”, advises Jones. Demanding that your spouse have the same limits and needs as you is likewise wrong, in his opinion. Inquire about your partner’s boundaries and what you can do to respect them.

Recognize that your wants and those of your spouse could differ. It might take time, trial and error, and open talks to establish the right degree of limits in your relationship—one that benefits both parties—so keep in mind that there is no set procedure for establishing healthy boundaries.

The benefits, though, are worthwhile since you’ll develop a stronger sense of safety, trust, and respect with your spouse, which boosts relationship happiness.

Hopefully this article can add to your insight. Thanks for reading building healthy relationships boundaries. Like this article? You can share with your partner and your friends so they can get the same value. See you in the next article.

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