Part 1: Why You Need Boundaries. Yes, Even In Marriage.
How chaotic would life be without boundaries? We use fences and signs to protect our property. We put doors and locks on our homes to keep people out. Boundaries are good. They provide safety, order and protection.
But just as we use boundaries to protect our “stuff”, we should use them to protect our wellbeing, too.
Your Greatest Asset
Think about it, your greatest asset is you! Your time, energy and dreams are worth guarding! You have every right to protect what matters most to you. And you don’t owe anyone reasons or excuses, either.
What Boundaries Do…
Boundaries give your soul room to breathe. They make you a better person. You’ll be a better colleague, parent, friend, or romantic partner. And you’ll have a better relationship with yourself, too because boundaries protect your emotional health.
The trick is to establish boundaries in a way that promotes positive outcomes.
In the coming weeks, we’ll learn how to set healthy boundaries in every area of our life, and how to “encourage” people to respect them.
What Are Boundaries?
Boundaries are lines you draw in the sand to let people know what matters most to you. Boundaries communicate your priorities, expectations, and beliefs.
Stop Being A Pushover
People flake out on setting boundaries because they’re afraid of enforcing them. It’s uncomfortable letting someone know they’ve crossed a boundary.
For boundaries to work, you must stand up for yourself because your life is just as important as anyone else’s.
Boundaries are essential for maintaining healthy relationships, including marriage.
Four Reasons You Need Boundaries
Boundaries protect your relationship with yourself and others. Maintaining your emotional health promotes happy and successful relationships. Here are four reasons why you need boundaries.
1. Boundaries Allow You to Be YOU
Any boundary you set is an invisible fence between you and another person.
Even if you’re married or are in a relationship, you are an individual.
You are unique.
Your life is your life!
Setting a boundary doesn’t mean you’re selfish. It means you’re committed to living YOUR life to the fullest. In other words, you don’t exist on this planet to please other people or earn their approval.
You are free. And boundaries protect your freedom so you can be authentically you without apology or excuse.
2. Boundaries Allow You to Take Care of Your Needs
You have needs. We all do! What happens to so many people is they get so busy taking care of others they have NO time left for themselves.
Boundaries are a healthy way to put your needs first. This isn’t being selfish, either. It’s being smart. Unless you take care of yourself, you can’t take of anyone else.
Your life matters and is worth taking care of. Boundaries allow you the time and energy to cherish your life.
3. Boundaries Inform People What You Expect & What You Value
Boundaries show very clearly what you expect of yourself and others. And the thing is no one has to agree with you. Why? Because it’s your life. People who care about you won’t mind your boundaries. And the people who are offended by your boundaries aren’t worth worrying about because they care more about their agenda than your life and happiness.
4. Boundaries Protect Your Mental, Emotional, Spiritual & Physical Wellbeing
You should set boundaries to protect your wellbeing. Ignoring your wellbeing, especially your emotional health, will likely lead to depression.
You deserve to be happy and live life to the fullest!
You deserve to create a life that you enjoy instead of “existing” to do what everyone else wants, needs, or expects.
If a “healthy” person keeps trespassing into areas of your life that you’ve fenced off from them, it shows they care more about themselves than they do about you, unless they’re emotionally or physically unhealthy, which is a separate issue.
Boundaries are a great way of determining whom you should let into your life and who should be kept out.
At the end of the day you have one and only one life to live. Boundaries are a demonstration that you value your time on earth, and that you’re committed to making the most of it for yourself and others.
Next week, we’ll cover the different types of boundaries. Until then, consider spending some time thinking about the kind of life you’d like to live and what matters most to you. What are some areas in your life that would benefit from setting boundaries?