Why a Relationship With No Boundaries is Unhealthy
Okay, reading a post about boundaries may not be the most riveting thing in the world, but setting boundaries is probably one of the most important things you can do for you and your romantic relationships. You see, when you're in a relationship where there are no boundaries, it's unhealthy for you, your partner, and the relationship!
Love without boundaries is unhealthy. Everyone wants a healthy relationship, right? If so, and you want to know why it's important to put boundaries in relationships, you might want to read on.
"Boundaries are a clear understanding of what's ok for you and what's not ok for you. There's no way that you can be truly genuinely deeply compassionate and generous towards somebody if they are violating your boundaries at the same time."
What if you discovered that establishing and setting healthy boundaries in your relationship made you happier, feel comfortable with one another, they supported you to live a more fulfilled life, and boundaries create a more loving relationship between you and your partner, would you consider reading on to find out how to set boundaries?
“Boundaries can be used in two ways: by limiting the actions of the people who have hurt you, and by including the people who have shown themselves to be trustworthy."
What are Relationship Boundaries?
If you took the word "boundaries," it literally means a type of border where there is a line, or marking, that says "off-limits."
But what about personal boundaries?
Personal boundaries are rules, guidelines, or limitations that a person puts in place to feel safe; to protect their energetic space. It enables people to maintain their individuality and a sense of uniqueness. People with boundaries are able to continue as individuals whilst being in a relationship; in a healthy way. Taking responsibility for their decisions and actions is a sign of someone who has self esteem. However, person who has low self-esteem is more likely to lack boundaries.
A person with self-esteem takes into account another's feelings (what others want), they speak up when boundary violation has occurred, and they're able to set strong boundaries in their relationship. They're someone who certainly would not put up with a partner (or someone else) who is verbally abusive, or even violent.
It may help you to think of boundaries like a fence around a house where you are the house and the fence outlines what you are willing to accept into your house. It's what you require from your partner based on your values, beliefs, likes, and dislikes. Without boundaries, your partner will not know what you are willing to tolerate, or not tolerate, in the relationship.
Boundaries help your partner to know where they stand, and vice versa!
The four boundaries include:
- Physical boundaries: includes physical space, sexual boundaries, and inappropriate touching.
- Emotional boundaries: is when a partner invalidates, criticizes, and/or bulldozes your feelings and emotions. Emotional boundaries are not as "tangible" as physical boundaries and harder to define. Clear communication to know (and understand) what your partner's boundary is (or is not) is therefore really important if you want a healthy relationship.
- Intellectual: is when a partner discredits, minimizes, and ridicules your point of view or opinions.
- Spiritual: is when a partner believes they are superior (Godlike) and you must not express pain, anger, or sadness.
In addition to the four different types of boundaries, a person may have "healthy boundaries," "rigid boundaries," or, "no boundaries." This is a two-way process and you need to take into account what boundaries means to your partner!
Healthy Relationship Boundaries
A person who has "healthy boundaries" will know "what is," and "what is not," acceptable to them in a relationship. A boundary is what they "require" to feel safe, which may include their partner respecting their thoughts, feelings, and opinions. For instance, you may not accept your partner talking to an ex-partner on social media. You may worry that your partner has not "let go" of their ex-partner and this is one of the warning signs.
A person who has healthy boundaries in relationships tend to have a "secure" attachment style. A person who has a secure attachment style is secure in themselves and they do not fear their partner leaving or rejecting them.
If you want to discover your attachment style, click here or the button below, to take the free quiz.
Rigid boundaries are a set of rules and limitations that are not flexible. The person will have no consideration, flexibility, or insight into the needs of their partner. They may appear cold, lack empathy, and will ensure their requirements and boundaries in a relationship are met.
Rigid boundaries limit another person's actions and act as a protective barrier such as an emotional wall (rather than a fence around the house) to protect feelings. It's a way of keeping people out and away from their feelings.
A person who has an "avoidant" attachment style tends to have rigid boundaries (you may want to take the quiz by clicking the link above).
How a Person with Rigid Boundaries Competes for Power in a Relationship
If you identify as male, you will move into one of the following archetypes to compete for power in your relationship, a behavior pattern you developed as a child to secure your survival:
- Tin Man, or the
- Sergeant Major.
If you identify as female, you will move into one of the following archetypes to compete for power in your relationship:
- Boss, or the
- Ice Queen.
On the other hand, a person who has "no boundaries" does not have a set of rules or guidelines for their partner. The partner does not know what is "okay," or "not okay," in the relationship. The partner won't know what is expected of them in the relationship and may cross the other person's boundaries, without even knowing.
For example, if you're a person who has no boundaries, you will put the needs and expectations of your partner before your own. You will have difficulties saying "no" to your partner and may even harbor resentments because you feel taken advantage of. However, your partner does not know your limits and boundaries.
They do not know your boundaries have been violated.
For instance, they don't know you don't like being woken up in the middle of the night for sex. They don't know that you feel disrespected and unappreciated when they raise their voice. They don't know what you don't tell them. In the meantime, you become resentful in the relationship, and may even feel some anger towards your partner!
On the "flip-side" a person who has no boundaries does not consider their partner's boundaries, either. So you can image the difficulties and competition for power in a relationship where one partner has no boundaries and the other has rigid boundaries!
A person who has no boundaries tends to have an "anxious" attachment style.
How a Person with No Boundaries Competes for Power in a Relationship
If you identify as male and have no boundaries, you will move into one of the following archetypes to compete for power in your relationship, a behavior pattern you developed as a child to ensure your survival:
- Knight in Shining Armor,
- Clingy Guy, or the
If you identify as female and have no boundaries, you will move into one of the following archetypes to compete for power in your relationship:
- Needy Nag, or the
- Damsel in Distress.
If you want to discover your dominant power archetype and how you compete for power in your relationship, click here, or the button below to take the quiz.
A relationship with no boundaries is unhealthy.
If you have no boundaries, you are not valuing "you," your partner, or the relationship. You're saying you're not worthy, and not important!
A relationship with no boundaries does not provide a foundation for "trust" to develop and this can be a serious red flag in your relationship.
Boundaries are not walls to shut and keep your partner out. Boundaries are a container to support and nurture trust in the relationship, therefore protecting intimacy and love between you and your partner.
It's time to start building your fence!
Initially, setting boundaries may feel very uncomfortable to you, or even feel bad, particularly if you've never done it before. It takes courage and practice to move from no boundaries to healthy boundaries, but you can do it! Spend time with your partner and discuss how you're feeling.
Knowing and understanding your rights will support you when you're struggling to set boundaries and maintain your boundaries.
As you can see, boundaries clearly set the foundation for creating healthy dynamics and open communication in your relationship!
The following are just a few examples of "rights," and you may want to add to this list:
I have the right to:
- Express my feelings
- Be happy
- Live my life to the fullest, the way I want
- Be loved and love unconditionally
- Express my opinions and beliefs
- Be treated with Dignity and Respect
- Say "Yes" or "No" without permission
- Change my mind
- Say "I don't understand"
- Be me, not acting for the benefit of others
- Decline responsibility for other people's problems
- Make reasonable requests of others
- Set my own priorities
- Be listened to and taken seriously
If the person you're in a relationship with is not able to honor your rights, why would you want to continue a relationship with that person?
The above are only suggestions and ideas for you to start formulating your own boundaries and rights.
You are important and your views, rights, and boundaries need to be honored.
When you know your requirements and boundaries, and your partner knows them, you are more likely to develop a fulfilling and loving relationship.
Benefits of Boundaries
- You will be more authentic.
- You will be living and speaking your truth.
- Resentments will be reduced.
- You will be more attractive to your partner.
- Communication will improve.
- Conflict in your relationships will be reduced.
- You and your partner are not mind readers and it removes doubts when you know and share each other's boundaries and rights.
- You will feel more confident proceeding with the relationship because you know that you are both coming from a place of authenticity.
- It opens up the relationship for deeper and more intimate conversations.
- You will both be living in line with your values
- Write your list of boundaries. Start brainstorming and keep adding to it as new ideas surface throughout the week.
- Notice what throws you "off balance." What makes you feel resentful and/or angry toward your partner? More often than not, this is an indication a boundary has been violated. When you know what it is, add it to your list.
- Keep in mind what is most important to you when it comes to what you're willing to accept or not accept.
- Consider your list of boundaries as a list of "requirements." It's what you require in the relationship for it to succeed.
- It takes practice and courage to say "no" or what is worrying you. It's important to not feel guilty for stating what you require or don't require in a relationship. A relationship with no boundaries is unhealthy. Over time, you will increase your sense of self-worth, self-esteem, and confidence. When you move from poor boundaries, it takes time for things to change!
- Make time to talk to your partner about your boundaries. If your partner is non-responsive or not supportive, consider why you are in a relationship with a person who does not value you enough to support or respect your boundaries.
- Get support. If you're struggling to put boundaries in place, you may need an advocate, someone to support you on your journey. Whether this is from a family member, friend, or relationship coach, we all need support sometimes! I provide relationship coaching to support couples who have difficulties with boundaries.
Making a list of boundaries is not narcissistic, it's necessary for you, your partner, and the relationship!
If you want to book a coaching session with me, select a "Service" on the form below and click "Continue."
I look forward to connecting.
Until next time,
Relationship Coach and Dating Coach
Coach 2 Connect
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