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Section 5: Personal Boundaries

The Couple’s Guide to Building Trust and Emotional Intimacy

41. What should I never say to you in anger or playfulness?
 
There are some words or phrases that cross the threshold for acceptable language in your mind. Everyone has their own notion for what that threshold is. There might be playful name-calling that is perfectly fine, but other names that are deeply wounding. You might find certain words so ugly and demeaning that you simply don’t want to hear them, even in jest?but especially in anger. You both might agree that you’ll never yell the words, “I hate you” or “Maybe we should divorce,” in the heat of anger. Discuss these out-of-bounds words and phrases and honor each other’s requests related to them.
 
42. Have you shared all your personal boundaries with me? If not, what are they?
 
Personal boundaries are the imaginary lines we draw around ourselves to maintain balance and protect our bodies, minds, emotions, and time from the behavior or demands of others. If you tend to be a people pleaser, you might allow your partner to unknowingly cross your boundaries. In order for your spouse to honor your boundaries, you must be aware of them yourself and communicate them fully and freely. Find out from each other what personal boundaries are important to each of you. You can read more about personal boundaries in this post 먹튀검증커뮤니티.
 
43. Is there anything I do now that crosses your boundaries and makes you uncomfortable?
 
If you aren’t aware of your own personal boundaries, you might not be able to answer this question without some thought. Sometimes we’re aware of a vague sense of unease or irritation in our relationship, but we aren’t sure why we feel this way. Often it’s because our partner is doing something to cross a personal boundary. This might relate to sex, interruptions of time, expectations, or privacy needs, for example. Find out from your partner how you might be stepping over the line and how you can adjust your behavior or words to prevent resentment and frustration.
 
44. In what ways do you see me as a unique individual, separate and apart from our relationship?
 
Before you were a couple, you were each individuals with your own sense of self and personal identity. As a couple, you have created a unified identity, but that doesn’t mean you should lose your individuality. Each partner should respect and value the other as a separate, unique person, not merely an extension of the relationship. By viewing your partner as his or her own person, you are validating him or her and reinforcing all the reasons you fell in love.
 
45. Do you feel free to be yourself and express yourself with me? If not, why?
 
We can lose part of our personal identity when we enter into an intimate relationship. Sometimes this happens because we look to the other person to help define us. It can also happen when one partner is more dominant and the other accommodates or acquiesces in order to maintain peace. If you aren’t free or willing to be yourself and express yourself, not only are you compromising your self-esteem but also you’re denying your partner the opportunity to know you fully and completely. Invite your partner to be fully authentic and open, and be willing to listen to any role you might play in his or her reticence to be completely authentic.
 
46. Is there anything about our sexual intimacy that makes you unhappy or uncomfortable? If so, what?

It can be difficult to openly discuss differences in sexual desires or needs, especially if you aren’t comfortable with something your partner is doing or saying during sex, or you have differing sex drives. If you aren’t compatible sexually, it can undermine intimacy in your relationship in general, especially if you don’t address it. By discussing your sexual desires and wishes, you both can find a middle ground that feels acceptable and comfortable. Each of you might need to compromise at times in order to meet the needs of the other. Allow your love for each other to be the guiding force as you seek to create a satisfying and comfortable sex life.

47. Are there any physical possessions or spaces in our home that you’d like to have as your own?
 
Couples often create the pattern of “what’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is yours.” If you live together, you will share many possessions and physical spaces in your home. However, you might have possessions you don’t want to release as a “couple item.” Maybe it’s your laptop or a favorite coffee mug. Maybe you don’t want to share your razor or give up your pillow. This need can extend to spaces in your home. One or both of you might need a personal “sanctuary” that’s all your own. Being married or living together doesn’t require you to share everything or drop the courtesy of asking before borrowing. Discuss together any boundaries around possessions and spaces in your home you’d like to reinforce or implement.

48. Do you ever feel uncomfortable saying “no” or speaking up for yourself with me? If so, why?
 
Healthy self-esteem requires we feel confident speaking up for ourselves, even if it feels uncomfortable or creates conflict. Sometimes it’s just easier to go along rather than saying, “No, I don’t want to do that.” There are times to keep the peace, but if it becomes your fallback position, you’re creating an unhealthy imbalance in your relationship. You undermine your partner’s respect for you, and you diminish your own self-esteem. If you’re the partner who always seems to get his or her way, you are equally responsible for establishing balance by getting to the root of the issue. Find out why your loved one isn’t saying what he or she means and discuss how you both can correct the problem.
 
49. Where are you unwilling to compromise?
 
Some amount of compromise is essential for the happiness and longevity of close relationships. But as unique individuals, you have values, goals, and standards you simply can’t compromise. Maybe one of you feels strongly about his or her faith, but the other doesn’t share the same beliefs. You might be a committed vegetarian, but your partner isn’t willing to give up eating meat. Both of you can have values and ideals you are unwilling to compromise and still remain a strong and happy couple?as long as you each respect and honor the other’s feelings.
 
50. How should we handle it, if a boundary has been crossed?
 
Awareness of each other’s boundaries goes a long way in building a respectful and loving dynamic in which you both desire to honor the needs of the other. However, it’s inevitable you will cross each other’s boundaries from time to time. We are imperfect and forgetful and can get caught up in our own needs. To minimize potential conflict over boundary issues, create a proactive plan for how you will handle it when one of you steps over the comfort line with the other. Humor goes a long way in deflecting irritation and defensiveness. Perhaps you can create a funny line or cue to gently remind each other of your boundaries.
 

Follow-up: Are there any behavior adjustments you’d like to request from your partner related to your personal boundaries? What specific action steps will you both take to help establish and honor boundaries? Write these down and determine how and when you will initiate these changes or actions.

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