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We also need to tap into what we value, non-negotiably, in all facets of our individual lives — whether that’s maintaining a hobby on the weekends, or spending a certain holiday with beloved family members. Am I always striving for personal satisfaction and happiness?
To hone in on your specific values, Hecker recommends asking yourself questions such as, “What is important to me? ” Once you’ve had the time to reflect on your boundaries, the next step is communication.
“When we face our fears and express our thoughts and feelings openly to the person who upsets us or pushes our boundaries, internal healing occurs…when we show up for ourselves, we provide an opportunity for those around us to show up as well.” If possible, it’s best to have “boundary conversations” when things are going well — that is, before there is a problem.
Sure, there will be times when we have to remind our partner about our boundaries as issues inevitably arise.
“I see that most relationships are successful when each person is still very much an independent entity,” confirms Margery Boucher, a Texas-based psychologist.
“Each of you has your own thoughts and feelings, and each person is responsible for putting them into words in order to be understood,” advises Gilles.For couples, this will likely include sexual boundaries, emotional boundaries, and boundaries around external relationships.