Do you expect your husband to be at your service as soon as he is off work? Do you often blame your wife or co-workers for getting late at work? Then you are suffering from poor boundaries and you need to mend them soon to ensure healthy relationships. Wondering what “boundaries in relationship” are? Well, for the starters you should know that boundaries are extremely important for most of us to build self-esteem, poise, confidence, emotional balance, dignity and so on.
So, what is it exactly? Is it like stopping your parents to keep a watch on you, or does it help your boyfriend to understand you better? You are close, but it’s rather more about creating emotional health using boundaries created by people with emotional strength. What’s best is, not only does it make you emotionally strong; it also helps you to help people related to you to gain emotional strength. Okay, now that’s getting really tough, isn’t it? Let’s make it simple.
You call your husband on one of his very busy days and force him to come back home early while you know that he is loaded with work that day and may end up in a stretched meeting. But, you want him home on your time because it’s just what you want! Well, that may sound very unfair to us right now, but it’s a very common scenario in most Indian households. That’s a poor boundary you are showing by trying to control your husband’ life. Now, how your husband reacts to it will completely explain his boundaries. If he gives into it compromising on his work he definitely exhibits poor boundaries, but if he retaliates by “look, you have to manage as I will be really busy at work some days, so instead find ways to deal with this.” Now he’s setting strong personal boundaries by making his point clear rather than giving into your demands and preparing you for the future.
Poor boundaries in the relationship start from the feeling of insecurity, seeking more attention, being over-protective towards loved ones or being dependent. So how do you judge your boundaries, if they are strong or poor? See below and ask these questions to your own self:
- Do you feel that your partner deserves a lot more than you, and so you should be serving his/her needs as much as you can? (self-pity)
- Do you always/mostly feel helping your close ones with their issues? (overpowering/the need to feel superior or savior)
- Do you always give into a relationship because you feel it was your fault? (lack of confidence)
- Do you find yourself defending your behavior that you think was not your fault?
- Do you quite often find yourself getting into pointless arguments?
- Do you always nag your loved ones or friends for not calling you or not being able to spend enough time? (insecurity)
If your answer is “yes” to most of the questions above, then you are either someone too dependent on someone, you are more often trying to help your loved ones to prove how important you are to them, you lack confidence in yourself and seek help from others to grow, you are always blaming others for your failure or you are too controlling in your relationship expecting others to bow down to your demands.
So, if you are someone who set and maintain poor boundaries, you are either someone who are too much obligated for other’s actions/emotions, or someone who expect too much of the other person to be obligated towards your actions/emotions. What’s interesting is, you will mostly see these two types of people end up in a relationship and then eventually spoiling it with their poor boundaries.
This unwanted fat is all because of my mother’s unnecessary show of love with all that oily and fatty stuff at dinner
I will have to skip the office meeting as I have to be at home for the marriage event that needs my attention too
In both the cases you are conveniently blaming someone else for something wrong you are doing and that could be controlled by you. If you were a person with strong boundaries you would react in a different way that would even correct the other person and mend their boundaries.
Your boyfriend calls you every day after dinner cause you cannot go to sleep without talking to him. One fine day he is unable to call due to some work and you get mad at him, “I was expecting your call! What was so important more than me that you forgot?”
And he gets back, “I call you because I like talking to you too, but I do not want to be obligated to you for that. It would be great for both of us if we do not bind each other with expectations that become forceful and rather let me be the way I am. That way we both will enjoy each other’s company more”.
Now that’s a person with strong boundaries in a relationship who knows what he wants and does not hesitate to let the other person know. This will avert many relationship problems in future.
On a day when you are deep down with household responsibilities your husband says, “I want to skip work today and want to help you with household chores”.
You can say, “I never asked for your help as I can take care of all that since that’s my responsibility. Attending office is your responsibility, so it would be better if you more concentrate on that, and that would be a real help to me!”
This would not only make your husband more responsible towards his work but in future, he will also not blame you for any of his loss.
If you are not already a person with strong emotional stability, setting up boundaries will take time and understanding. What you need to understand is, a person with strong personal boundaries will never give into other person’s unreasonable demands, will not control other’s lives and will always be straightforward pointing out where the other is going wrong if they really love the other person. Above all, strong boundaries should be both sided for a healthy relationship, be it with your girlfriend/boyfriend, husband/wife, mom/dad or friends/relatives.
So, with the note that you now understand where you stand with your boundaries, you will either mend them soon or maintain your already strong boundaries for a better and a healthy relationship.