Where do YOU end and where does another begin?
Where does the state line of Healthy Boundaries meet it’s neighboring District of Codependency?
For me, after a marriage of emotional abuse, getting sucked into someone else’s untreated mental illness, I tend to be hyper aware. Like, “I know it when I see it.”
But to set lines of demarcation for others? It’s harder.
I do know there are things in a relationship that each person is responsible for, regardless of dynamics—at least in my view. Of course, my view is also that [a dominant is responsible for EVERYTHING in their relationship dynamic][https://fetlife.com/users/50648/posts/3224217].
(Yes, I know that sounds contradictory. It’s not, in my mind, because my submissive can be responsible for their behavior to me, and I can also be responsible for their behavior within our dynamic.)
Here are a few things, though, that (for me) give a good hint at where the lines could be drawn:
- Doing things that I think will make them happy and healthy and feeling loved is ME.
- Ensuring they have a happy life is NOT ME.
- Their financial success is NOT ME.
- Their mental health is NOT ME.
- Being a human of my word is ME.
- Creating a safe space where they can express themselves is ME (not as therapy but as groundwork for the emotional connection that enables intimacy—I’m not responsible for fixing their problems, but having a healthy relationship means providing a non-judgemental ear to listen or shoulder to cry on).
- Expressing myself is ME.
- Leading by example is ME.
And so on.
What is YOU in a relationship?
Do any of my lines feel right to you? Do any feel wrong? How does your dynamic affect what is YOU in a relationship versus what is not, if at all?
In a relationship with healthy boundaries, where do YOU begin and where does your partner end?
I look forward to your thoughts.