You meet someone you are excited about and initially seems to be a perfect fit. As you begin the courtship process, you find yourself in the beginning phases of love which Dr. Helen Fischer describes as lust. Your hormones dictate this physical desire for your mate. As you move into the second phase of attraction, you are truly love-struck and you can think of very little except that you have met Mr. or Mrs Right. Initially, everything in the relationship and your love interest seems perfect or ideal. This is a time when we are likely to obsess about our partners and cannot think of anything else. However with time, you may start to notice certain pet peeves with your partner and yet it is brushed off.
Why? For what reason. There can be several explanations. One explanation is that in the early phases of the relationship, our partners are exalted and we believe that our bond and relationship is closer and more special than anyone else’s. Consequently, we do not want to pop our perfect bubble of romantic bliss. In addition, our early childhood experiences that we experienced and observed in our family of origin have created unconscious templates that guide our behavior in our adult romantic relationships. Depending upon our early years of conditioning, if we assert ourselves and our boundaries, we may perceive ourselves or fear that we may be perceived by our partners as being bossy, controlling, high-maintenance, unaccommodating, judgmental, etc.
This can be especially true for women. They do not want to be perceived as a “b$@%*”. We may also have lost our self-worth and sense of self growing up and believe that we do not deserve to have beliefs, feelings, needs or boundaries. As a result, we struggle with establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries because we have lost the innate power and wisdom to love ourselves.
As the relationship continues, you both settle into the relationship and you move into the last phase of love called attachment where we develop an emotional bond to our partners. Those “pet peeves” that you brushed away have now become a big annoyance, frustration or irritation and they are really upsetting you. Now you are left thinking: What happened and where did it go wrong? The answer is simple: You did not assert and maintain your boundaries in love. How do we foster a relationship with others, if we do not nurture, honor and have a loving relationship with ourselves?
Instead of perceiving boundaries as a negative character trait, it is important for you to develop a healthy view of yourself and your relationship to boundaries. It is not about being a “b#%*@”, having boundaries is about empowering, respecting and valuing yourself. It is also about emulating to the other person how it is that you would like to be treated. Setting your own personal boundaries is one of the most healthy behaviors you can engage in for yourself and your relationship.
If you lack setting boundaries in your relationship, you may find yourself making excuses for your partner’s behavior until it all becomes overwhelming and you decide to throw in the towel. You move on to the next relationship, yet somehow history seems to repeat itself. The patterns continue until you take responsibility for yourself, your well-being and loving yourself in a way that allows you to start setting clear boundaries for yourself and your romantic relationship.
Identifying where you lack boundaries requires honesty and a reflective look at past romantic partnerships to determine where the problems originated and continued from the past. This practice requires courage. As you empower yourself to take responsibility for your actions, happiness and relationships, you reclaim your personal power and can create the life and relationships that you want. This allows you to recognize and accept that YOU are responsible for your happiness. When you set and sustain your boundaries you surrender the need to make excuses for others and their unhealthy behaviors.
Sustaining boundaries creates balance in your relationship. When you neglect your boundaries you are doing harm to yourself because you are not respecting your personal value. This opens you up to doing things to keep the other person happy at the expense of your own happiness. What happens over time is that you lose your sense of self for the sake of the relationship. This is dangerous territory as you continue to compromise yourself for the survival or longevity of the relationship. When you have boundaries you give balance to your relationship allowing both parties to enjoy the relationship as you both get what you want from one another. A balanced relationship is healthy because both parties are honoring their own needs and getting their needs met and this exchange is reciprocal. A healthy relationship is one in which both partners give and receive love. Boundaries strengthen bonds in couples and create mutually satisfying relationships.
Source: OM Times
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