You might think that boundaries are unnecessary. Maybe you feel that limits will stifle the spontaneity in your relationship. However, all healthy relationships need boundaries. Boundaries are like a road map for your relationship. They provide a guide for how your relationship will work and how you will get your needs met. Limits allow both you and your partner to feel safe and comfortable in the relationship. Here are the four important ones.
A healthy relationship involves trust. Each partner should have privacy. You should not have to give up your privacy to be in a relationship. Your partner should not read your texts, snoop on your Facebook or otherwise invade your privacy. Both partners should be entitled to digital privacy. If your partner uses your phone or computer, they should ask you first. It is okay to share debit card pins, social media passwords and other information, however, it should be your choice to do so rather than an obligation.
#2 Personal Space and Autonomy
Do you have the freedom to spend your weekends how you want? Do you have the autonomy to go back to school if you desire? Do you have to check in with your partner or regularly explain your whereabouts? One of the essential boundaries in a relationship is space. Although spending time with your partner is the key to closeness in a relationship, having time apart is important too. If boundaries involving personal space and freedom are not being respected, then it is a good idea for the couple to consider Roseville marriage counseling to figure out how to set healthier boundaries.
#3 Intimacy and Sexual Boundaries
Sex should always feel comfortable and consensual. You should not feel pressured into doing certain sex acts if you are not comfortable doing them. Sexual protection should be agreed on by both partners. You should never have to compromise your right to healthy, safe sex. Also, sex should not feel like an obligation. In a healthy relationship, each partner will feel comfortable discussing sexual issues with the other person. So, for instance, if you think that sex has become an obligation, then you can come up with a solution to fix things. If you feel hesitant to discuss your concerns or you feel like your partner doesn't listen to you, then it could indicate that the relationship does not have healthy boundaries.
#4 A Safe Environment
Safety is another vital boundary area in a relationship. Both partners should have a reasonable expectation of safety. This means that you should not have to put up with your partner smoking near you. You should not be expected to ride in a car with a person who is drunk or be given drugs or alcohol without your consent or knowledge.
What can you do if you don't have these types of boundaries in your relationship? If your partner is asking you to do things that do not feel right or that are not healthy for you, it is essential to set clear boundaries.
The first step in setting clear boundaries is to talk to a marriage counselor. One of our counselors here at Relationship Therapy Center can help you communicate your needs, thoughts, and feelings to your partner. They can also help you learn to set clear, well-defined boundaries with your partner.
Nancy Ryan, LMFT specializes in working with individuals and couples who want deep, satisfying relationships with themselves and their partners. She works with couples who are ready to stop the destructive patterns and want to build the love, friendship and romance back into their partnership.