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In the heat of the moment, communicate boundary violations without blaming your partner.For example, counselor Gary Gilles recommends,“It’s much better to say, ‘I feel hurt and misunderstood in this conversation’ than to say, ‘You made me feel hurt because of the way you talked to me.’ The former is simply expressing an emotion; the latter is blaming your partner for the hurt feelings.” Similar to holding a non-blaming stance when enforcing your boundaries, it’s important to take responsibility for what’s yours in the relationship.Our emotions and thoughts serve as a kind of compass to where boundary lines need to be drawn, therapist Julie de Azevedo Hanks tells Psych Central.She adds that emotional discomfort may indicate an area where a boundary is needed, while pleasurable emotions let us know we are on the right track.“They protect our sense of personal identity and help guard against being overwhelmed by the demands of others.” Boundaries are crucial because they prevent partners from becoming enmeshed.Contrary to the long-held notion that being in an intimate relationship is about two people “completing” each other, relationships are healthier and more sustainable when each person maintains their own identity while the partnership is built on mutual respect, trust, and growth.For couples, this will likely include sexual boundaries, emotional boundaries, and boundaries around external relationships.

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Setting boundaries is an important part of establishing one’s identity and is a crucial aspect of mental health and well-being.“When we face our fears and express our thoughts and feelings openly to the person who upsets us or pushes our boundaries, internal healing occurs…when we show up for ourselves, we provide an opportunity for those around us to show up as well.” If possible, it’s best to have “boundary conversations” when things are going well — that is, before there is a problem.Sure, there will be times when we have to remind our partner about our boundaries as issues inevitably arise.—Antoine de Saint-Exupery This quote encapsulates what most healthy relationships really look like — two individuals who support each other on their distinct journeys, rather than two people who become lost in one another.Much of this comes down to having and maintaining clear boundaries, even within a romantic relationship.

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