10 Tips to Rekindle Your Romance
Tip # 4 Express Clear Boundaries
What is a boundary? In the context of this article, a boundary is where you end and the other person begins. Boundaries encompass the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual presence of a person. In a marriage, or any relationship it is important to acknowledge that you are two separate people with two distinct personalities, two different sets of life experiences, tastes, opinions, perceptions, etc.
So when I say, express clear boundaries, I am talking about verbal and not-verbal communication. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Be clear. Don’t give off mixed messages. Do you say it’s ok when it isn’t? Do you not say anything when you need to say something? Do you hope your partner will “just know”? Do you think your partner should “just know”?
Clear boundaries require you to know what you want. Before you can communicate clearly, you have to know what you want so it requires you taking the time to check in with yourself.
Sometimes people don’t express clear boundaries because they are concerned about making the other person angry. Or they are concerned that someone will not accept and honor their boundary. Guess what! You can say what you want whether the other person accepts it or not. In fact, that’s the first step in expressing clear boundaries…not worrying about the response from the other person.
Clear expression of boundaries also includes inviting, welcoming and honoring your partner’s boundaries. Haven’t you ever found yourself thinking, “I just wish I knew what he/she really wanted?” If you are not expressing clear boundaries to each other in your marriage, you are both wasting time and energy guessing and wondering about your partner.
I recommend that you have a discussion about each other’s boundaries. Make agreements about how each of you would like to express your boundaries to the other person and how you would like your communications to be received.
If you’ve been married a long time or even together a long time, remember that we all change as we grow. You may assume that certain things are true for your partner but in fact they have changed. Don’t assume. Be open to that possibility. As you discuss your boundaries in the exercise below come to your partner with an open heart and mind. It’s important that neither of you makes the other wrong for having a certain boundary. (Stay tuned for “What if our boundaries conflict?”) We are all individuals, separate and unique people. And that’s what makes it interesting, right?
Here are some boundaries that you could start to discuss:
Alone time verses together time.
Time together, time together with other friends, time alone with other friends
Environment in the home
And the list could go on…you fill in the rest!
As always, I would love to hear your comments and questions!
Love and blessings,
Diana Concoff Morgan, M.A., H.H.E , Minister
can be reached at 925-980-9052 or www.WholeHeartPath.com