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In relationships, good fences make good neighbours

Between healthy, mindful partners in a relationship, there are clear boundaries. There is an understanding of the respective responsibilities of each other. However when a co-dependant bond forms, partners become over involved with one another and take on responsibilities that are not theirs and often take it upon themselves to do the 'emotional work' that rightfully belongs to the other person.

If we are looking for someone to fill the hole in our heart and the hold in our head, then we are not likely to have a healthy relationship. We just attract someone else who is in a mess. And that is not a good fit.

We need boundaries. And good fences, as they say, make good neighbours.

An individual with a mature, well-developed sense of themselves has the most to offer someone else. They have their own lives, their own sense of self-worth, their own strength. When we remove needs, fear and obsession we pave the way for love and affection for its own sake. We need to find balance in relationships.  

What that balance is depends from one relationship to another. In my view, getting hurt is inevitable if we open ourselves up and ask for their help. Getting hurt is often the price we pay when we allow ourselves to make deep connections with others.

Therapy can help us to use our inner guide to ask ourselves: Is this behaviour bringing me closer to my partner or further away from them? Does it come from fear or does it come from a place of goodwill and compassion?

Getting hurt is the price we pay when we get close to someone. And since people make this decision time and again, they do so because it is probably worth it.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Written by Lyn Reed, MA,MBACP(reg),Pro.Adv.Dip.PC, Pgd.Cert in Clinical Supervision

I offer a supportive, confidential therapy service especially for those living with anxiety and stress. I have acquired considerable expertise and knowledge having worked in the social care field for many years. Having experienced ups and downs myself, I understand life's road can be rocky and therapy often helps us to discover a new way.… Read more

Written by Lyn Reed, MA,MBACP(reg),Pro.Adv.Dip.PC, Pgd.Cert in Clinical Supervision

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