Boundaries in a Relationship- Why We Can’t Do Without Them

Boundaries in a Relationship

Depending on how well you cope with stress may help you decide about the boundaries in your life.

Some are better equipped for chaos than others. Maybe you are one of those people that can let everything roll off their back as if you were not remotely affected by an event, a circumstance or a person. If that’s the case, you deserve a brownie. A nice, big chocolate brownie that has no calories but tastes like your grandmother made it. You will be able to sit and enjoy the brownie all by yourself.

A lonely way to eat such as decadent dessert!

Most people are not able to simply avoid their emotions to the point nothing impacts them.

Though many have tried and exhibit avoidant behavior they still deal with that nagging little voice inside them letting them know that somewhere, somehow, someone has crossed the line and they are not okay with it.

Why are boundaries a necessity?

  • It allows us to protect ourselves, without the guilt of feeling selfish. No one will care for you as you will. No one.
  • It allows for the window of opportunity to open to addressing your needs.
  • It installs the parameters that a relationship must abide by to flourish.
  • It is our measuring stick to how close to the edge we are willing to go, what sacrifices can be made and educates us on our desire to be flexible or rigid.
  • We get to choose what we allow in our life. The good, the bad and everything else.

Why are boundaries a necessity?

Why is it hard to set boundaries?

The number one reason I hear in therapy sessions all the time is that people are fearful of hurting other’s feelings. This type of behavior can keep a person going around on the same merry-go-round for years.

It allows another to infringe upon your life and little at a time they become included in your inner circle without a formal invitation. They end up knowing more about your life than you do.

Appropriate boundaries are healthy. They are the outline of relationships, especially intimate relationships.

Boundaries and intimate relationships will sail together or sink together. They may tread water for several years but eventually, that gets tiring.

Marriages must have a solid boundary around it that is not penetrable by others; not the in-laws, not the kids, not the opposite sex at a cocktail party in a flirtatious manner.

Letting the boundary falter can cost your relationship

Marriages that allow other influences to penetrate a porous boundary will falter and sink if not rectified early.

I hear new brides complain that since everything is still “new” they are sure the in-laws will eventually ease up, stop infringing on their lives.

I hear long term brides admit they finally had to move out of state.

I hear blended families complain that the children will not respect their decision for a new spouse.

The common thread is a lack of clear boundaries instilled early in the relationship to protect it.

Knowing the boundaries and enforcing them are key.

Single people need boundaries and marriages need boundaries. Understanding your comfort level with boundaries as a single person will help lay some of the foundational work for boundaries in a marriage. Assess what you are comfortable with, throw out the guilt, build your boundary to suit your life and then enjoy your rewards.


Tracy Crudup
Therapist, MS, LPC-MHSP
Tracy is a clinical therapist in private practice and has been a university professor of microbiology and pathophysiology for 18 years. Her specialties include relationships, family systems, and life transitions such as preparing for marriage, divorcing, blended families and treating patients with a dual diagnosis. A special area of treatment includes individuals suffering from mood disorders and chronic health conditions, including infertility. She has extensive experience and research working with women suffering from unexplained infertility, endometriosis, and other reproductive associated illnesses. She is a facilitator and certified trainer for Prepare/Enrich Assessments, member of the American Counseling Association, American School Counselors Association, The TN. Licensed Professional Counseling Association and The American Society of Reproductive Medicine. She is an award-winning author of four novels and currently resides in Tennessee.

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