What to do when boundaries are crossed in a relationship? Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes a boundary. The last thing you want is to be told how you should live your life.
But there are many common themes about what people consider appropriate boundaries in a relationship. These can help you figure out if your boundaries have been crossed or need a clearer definition.
Boundaries are important because if you don’t set them, the people around you will set them for you. You need to take responsibility for your own emotions and learn to trust that others will also be responsible for theirs.
If we teach our children to accept inappropriate boundaries from others, they’ll be prepared to accept them from others later on in life.
When Partners Cross Your Boundaries?
Boundaries by themselves aren’t anything to be embarrassed about. If people cross your boundaries, you need to take action and communicate with your partner.
If they keep crossing your boundaries, it’s time to get some boundaries of your own or decide if you’re going to keep dealing with this lack of respect for the boundaries you set.
What To Do When A Boundaries Are Crossed In A Relationship?
Here are 7 best solutions when boundaries are crossed in a relationship:
1. Prove That Your Boundaries Are Important
If you want your partner to respect your boundaries, tell them that you want respect for the boundaries you set. Add the clear statement, “I love you, and I’m not okay with this.”
This is important because it shows how much it bothers you when a boundary has been crossed or when they’re making promises without communication, etc. It also conveys that you have time to talk about things like this.
2. Communicate And Talk About What Happened
If you’re upset by something, talk to your partner about it. This shows whether this is a one-time thing or a pattern that needs to be addressed.
3. Focus On Your Emotions
In any argument, keep the focus on what you’re feeling and what the other person is doing to make you feel that way.
Don’t bring in past issues or things they’ve done that are unrelated to the problem at hand (only discuss those issues in a different setting).
4. Keep Your Boundaries Clear
If someone crosses your boundaries and you’re not sure about how to deal with it, you should ask for time to think about it in the morning or whenever you feel yourself getting upset.
What goes on between two people is a private matter that only they should know about (including you!), so if they want to be a part of that, they should agree that they won’t say anything and do anything that makes it easy for their partner to be upset at them.
5. Take Responsibility For Your Own Emotions
If you’re upset by someone’s actions, and they blame you for it or say something like “You’re overreacting,” don’t feel like you have to apologize. You have to be responsible for your own feelings, not their feelings.
6. Ride It Out Until There Is An Appropriate Time To Talk About The Situation
This is tough because if someone crosses your boundaries, you want to respond right away. But if you do that, there’s a good chance that the other person will apologize and say they’re sorry.
Once this happens, and the situation is defused, it will be difficult for you to talk about what happened without them being defensive or feeling attacked.
7. Let Go Of The Situation
If you don’t resolve the issue, it will be easier to talk about when things aren’t so upsetting, and this can help you confront the issue at a future date.
Just remember to let go of the situation and don’t linger on it for too long, or it will come back up in other situations.
What Happens When You Don’t Set Boundaries In A Relationship?
Disrespect for boundaries is something that frequently happens in relationships. If you don’t set boundaries properly and assert yourself, the other person will come to expect not to talk about things with you. This can make it hard to solve any problems that you’re having in the relationship.
How Do You Deal With Someone Who Doesn’t Respect Your Boundaries?
One of the advantages to setting boundaries and having them respected is that you don’t have to deal with someone who doesn’t respect your boundaries. The best way to deal with that is to take your business elsewhere.
What Are Healthy Boundaries In A Relationship?
Healthy boundaries are:
- Boundaries that are clearly defined.
- Boundaries include the word “No” in them or specify what you will and won’t do.
- Boundaries that are easy to live with and don’t needlessly hurt your partner’s feelings or make a living together difficult (this can sometimes happen when you’re too lenient with boundaries).
- No Boundaries That Constitute A Self-Harm
What Are Unhealthy Boundaries In Relationships?
Unhealthy boundaries include:
- Boundaries that are vague and undefined, especially if there’s a possibility of breaking them.
- Boundaries that allow you to break them and still be okay with your partner. Suppose you are okay with someone breaking your boundary. In that case, they’re more likely to end up crossing it again anyway because they’re unwilling to deal with their discomfort and will act out even more than before your boundary was broken (this can make a living together difficult).
- Boundaries that don’t recognize when the other person is being abusive. This means that you’re basically saying to your partner, “Stop bothering me!” and allowing them to not make any effort to deal with their behavior.
- Boundaries that make it too hard for your partner to respect you, even if you try to stand up for yourself and express your needs.
- Boundaries that lead to an unhealthy dependency on your partner.
Is It Controlling To Have Boundaries?
You shouldn’t set too strict boundaries, but there’s nothing wrong with having them. You should be able to stand up for yourself and let your partner know what you’re all about. This shows that you’re serious about who you are and what you want out of life.
If someone calls you controlling because they can’t deal with their emotions, don’t let them convince you that it’s your fault – boundaries aren’t bad things. In fact, they make things easier in the long run.
Boundaries aren’t always easy to deal with, but they’re much easier to deal with than someone who won’t take them seriously and manipulate you.
Set healthy boundaries in your relationship, and enjoy being able to do what you want without someone trying to push you into doing things their way all the time.
How Do You Set Boundaries In A Relationship Without Being Controlling?
When you set healthy boundaries in a relationship without being controlling, it’s important to:
- Let your partner know how they make you feel.
- Let them know how they can change their actions to make things easier for you.
- Take your partner’s feelings into account (don’t lead them on, ignore their opinion or feelings, etc.).
- Be honest (don’t just tell them what they want to hear).
- Set limits on what you’re comfortable with, but don’t be too hard on yourself for having them (and don’t be too hard on your partner for not following your limits).
- Delay setting any boundaries until you and your partner are ready to talk about the issue (don’t get angry at them for doing something later that would have been better dealt with when it first happened).
- Don’t say “NO” unless you mean “NO. If you mean “YES,” that’s an unhealthy boundary.
- Have a place to go and process your emotions when they’re too much to deal with, and remember that you’re allowed to go there (don’t let your partner pressure you into staying there).
- Be flexible when it comes to dealing with the issue (don’t put a hard limit on the other person if things aren’t working out, and don’t rush in headlong).
- Let go of the situation as soon as you can.
What Happens When You Don’t Set Boundaries In A Relationship?
If you don’t set boundaries in a relationship, it can lead to you and your partner not being able to communicate about the things that are bothering you.
You and your partner will also be more likely to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again because neither of you will be willing to deal with them.
This can damage the relationship in many ways:
- You and your partner’s feelings can be hurt, making it hard to solve any problems you’re having in the relationship.
- You’ll be more likely to come up with a bad solution to any problem that arises because you’re afraid of what might happen if you try something new.
- Your partner will end up thinking that they have no need to deal with their issues because you let them get away with things for years (which can make it harder for them to change).
- Your partner will feel like they’re being controlled, which is similar to being abused. Your partner might become dependent on you and stop trusting their own decisions (and on themselves).
- Your partner will end up finding themselves in a bad situation (boundaries help prevent this by giving your partner a chance to see if something is worth pursuing or not) and might become desperate to change something that happened in the past (which can make them unstable in the future).
- Your partner will feel like they can’t be themselves because you’re always trying to control them.
- Your partner might end up resenting you for trying to control them and might end up pushing you out of their life (if they don’t leave first).
- You’ll end up in a relationship where neither of you is comfortable expressing your needs or opinions (which can make it harder to solve any problems that arise in the future).
- You’ll find that you’re in a one-sided relationship where you do all of the work, and your partner does nothing.
- You and your partner won’t have any meaningful time together because there’s too much conflict (which isn’t good for either of you).
What Are The Importance Of Boundaries In A Relationship?
Boundaries are important to have because they help you to:
Protect Yourself – boundaries keep you safe and make it easy for you to escape abuse or manipulation.
Protect Your Relationships – healthy boundaries make it easier for you and your partner to communicate, make decisions that are good for the relationship as a whole, and solve problems as soon as they occur instead of letting them fester in the relationship.
Feel Better About Your Life – you’ll feel happier when you have a healthy relationship because it’s something to look forward to, and you won’t be stuck in an unhealthy one.
Avoid Being Taken Advantage Of – by setting boundaries, you’ll be able to tell if someone is abusive or not, and you’ll know that they can’t control or manipulate you (which will make them less likely to try).
Avoid Being Confused About Your Feelings – boundaries make it easier to separate what’s going on between you and your partner from other parts of your life.
Set Healthy Limits – boundaries help you to set limits on things that are good for the relationship or bad for you and protect yourself against someone else’s manipulation.
Have more fun – by taking control of situations in the relationship; you’ll be able to do things that feel fun instead of things that feel bad (and also avoid doing things that are bad for your partner).
Lower Your Stress Level – boundaries will help to keep your anxiety levels down and make it easy to know what’s going on in your life and deal with the things that come up.
Feel More Powerful – by setting healthy boundaries, you’ll be able to do what feels right for you instead of doing something just because someone else wants it (and also get your needs met).
Avoid Feeling Like You Have To Try To Change Someone – boundaries help you and your partner to know what they can or can’t do instead of both of you trying to live with a problem that might go away.
The Bottom Line
Don’t let boundaries cause problems in your relationship – set them up now to prevent any future issues from stirring up later on. Healthy boundaries make all the difference between being in a great relationship and being trapped in a bad one until the bitter end.