The exposure of abusive relationships from public figures and entertainment personalities has caused birth to hashtags movements like #NOMORE, #TIMESUP, and #METOO. The need for these movements confirms that many of us haven’t grown up in a house with good examples of what a healthy relationship looks like. This leaves us wondering if the relationship we’re in is healthy.
By recognizing the need to set and enforce healthy boundaries, you protect your self-esteem, maintain self-respect, and cultivate a healthy environment. Setting personal boundaries demonstrates your understanding of your own value and communicates to others you are worth respecting. We teach others how to treat us by what we tolerate.
Likewise, the absence of boundaries can cause us to make decisions about physical intimacy that we may later regret, which can also lead to emotional pain, depression, anxiety, and stress-induced illness. Imagine leaving your cell phone unlocked and open, inviting strangers to view intimate photos of your family. Or accidentally leaving the door to your home unlocked. You’ve invited anyone in—including uninvited guests, robbers, and even animals to intrude at will.
Have you stopped to think about your boundaries? Here are some qualities each person should consider.
Both people should:
- Create an atmosphere of mutual trust for one another; a “safe environment” of trust, security and respect should exist between the couple.
- Never tolerate evidence of violence; meaning no physical, emotional, or verbal abuse of any kind.
- Be able to resolve conflicts satisfactorily and hear each other’s point of view.
- Enjoy the time they spend together.
- Be mutually supportive of one another and willing to take interest in the other’s lives.
- Make communication vital; each individual should have a voice and be heard by the other.
- Always be honest and transparent about their past and present sexual activity and previous exposure to STI’s (Sexually Transmitted Infections)
- Have other friendships. A person should be very mindful of their partner trying to control their environment.
- Realize you will have blind spots that friends and family can see. Be open to their insights and observations about your relationship.
Remember, early intimacy can impair your ability to logically assess the values and character of your partner. Powerful chemicals are released into the brain during all sexual activity, influencing our thinking, emotions, and decisions. This reduces a person’s ability to examine the health of the union.
If you have questions or concerns about your relationship, call us at 703-729-1123 today. We are here for you. Let’s start a conversation.
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