Boundaries and Adaptation to OthersMay 15, 2023
One of the fundamental aspects of a healthy relationship is the ability to adapt to one another. Adapting is essential because, as individuals, we are accustomed to doing whatever we want, whenever we want. But when we enter into a relationship, we must learn to accommodate another person in our space, respecting their needs and desires. This is what love is all about.
I remember overhearing a conversation in a restaurant just last night. A man was excitedly telling his friends that he had gotten engaged. He mentioned that it was strange for him, as he had to adjust to not doing whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. I thought to myself, "Good, he realizes the importance of adapting in a relationship, something many people often overlook."
Relationships involve setting boundaries, finding ways to coexist and accommodate each other's needs. It's a beautiful thing, even observed in nature. Just like a mother dog making room for all her puppies to feed, we, too, need to adapt and make space for our loved ones.
However, problems arise when one person in the relationship doesn't take responsibility for their feelings, attitudes, behaviors, actions, and the consequences of their choices. Instead of addressing these issues, the other person may adapt to their partner's lack of ownership. This is when boundaries become vital.
For example, consider a drug addict who doesn't take responsibility for their actions and the subsequent consequences. Their lack of ownership begins to affect their partner, causing collateral damage. In this situation, setting boundaries is crucial. The partner needs to express how the drug use is affecting them and establish clear lines of responsibility, ensuring that the choices of one person do not unfairly impact the other.
Boundaries also play a role in maintaining a sense of order and balance in the relationship. Imagine a family dinner where everyone is expected to behave appropriately. If a child refuses to follow the rules and begins throwing food, boundaries need to be enforced. The child should be removed from the table until they are ready to behave. By doing this, the rest of the family can enjoy their meal in peace, and the child learns the importance of respecting boundaries.
Adapting to one another and setting boundaries are two essential components of a healthy and loving relationship. Adapting allows us to accommodate our partner's needs, while boundaries ensure that each person takes ownership of their feelings, behaviors, and consequences. By finding the right balance between adapting and enforcing boundaries, we can create a harmonious and fulfilling relationship with our partners. Remember, love is about making room for one another while also holding each other accountable for our actions.