By Nwele Euphemia
Boundaries are necessary in a relationship, your partner wouldn’t know at all times where to draw the line with you, or how to act on your needs and wants. Your partner needs to be told what your boundaries are, it should be defined by you both in your relationship.
Communication we already know is key for any relationship to strive, hence to have a healthy relationship both partners should communicate their boundaries with each other.
In setting boundaries for your relationship, you might want to consider the healthy and unhealthy aspects in a relationship, so you know how to draw out your boundaries from it.
Healthy: Feeling responsible for your own happiness (you need to be in charge of your joy, no one should be responsible for that except you. No circumstance should take charge over your state of happiness); friendships exist outside the relationship (you had friends before you committed love to a particular person, and your commitment should not take away your friends, your partner should understand this); open and honest communication (it is good that you enjoy sharing information with your partner, it brings you both closer together); respecting differences in your partner (everybody cannot be you, so everything cannot go the way you want it to go, you both should learn to embrace each other’s difference); asking honestly what is wanted (your needs and that of your partner differs, and at first you both might not open up totally about what you both like and want, so asking helps, always ask your partner what he/she wants); accepting endings (you cannot predict the end to your relationship, and most times, when you are sure of its direction it goes another way, so, always be ready to accept whatever happens, because, it is probably for the best).
Unhealthy: Feeling incomplete without your partner; Relying on your partner for happiness; Game-playing or manipulation; Jealousy; Feeling unable to express what is wanted; Unable to let go.
So, the above is what happens when it is a healthy relationship and when it is an unhealthy relationship.
However, for you to be able to set boundaries in your relationship, you need to focus on yourself, people most times worry about adjusting to the other person that they soon forget what they actually want and need.
Be clear with your partner about your likes, wants, needs, dislikes, turn offs. If you do not like sharing clothes tell your partner so unnecessary arguments does not surface, if you are not comfortable watching football at a viewing center with them – let them know.
Do not silence yourself or subject yourself to heartache; talking about things is healthy for better understand and bonding.
For you to successfully set boundaries in your relationship: never assume your partners feelings, communicate your thoughts with each other, follow through on what’s you say, know when it is time to move on, and take responsibility for your actions.
Relationship boundaries helps maintain the self-respect and peace in the relationship, there would be no cause for unnecessary arguments.
Because, individually couples have their values and standards that they are guided by, they have their beliefs, and would not comfortably give it up for someone’s benefit, so if at all the values, standard or beliefs would be adjusted to fit into each other’s preference, it is good that you both start off with setting boundaries, and gradually proceed to adjusting it.
Couples should seat and talk about their boundaries before the relationship commences, it saves the relationship from future distrust.