After reading one of my columns concerning women's inability to speak
frankly about pertinent issues in a relationship (The silence conspiracy) a man said
"Men have the same problems." Therefore this column which initially was
be about women's need for empowerment is instead an exploration of the
individual empowerment within relationships.
A synonym for the word
relationship is connection.
One of the problems dealing with couples is that they create exclusivity
aspect of their lives, becoming ONE. However, individuals need to have a
definition of boundaries within themselves so that they don't lose sight of
A woman will have housewife blues because she has lost her boundaries.
not feel a sense of respect from the outside world about her
keeping a well-run household and successfully raised children. Upon the
children leaving the nest she has Empty Nest Syndrome because even her
unacknowledged role no longer exists. She never created a core of her being, a boundary,
she feels as if she's an empty shell. A retired man will die within five
of retirement according to statistics, if he doesn't find a purpose with
Therefore, an identity boundary is necessary before the traumas of mid age
Who and what you are need to be clearly defined, not as one-half of a
as two separate well balanced individuals that form a unified front.
Just as the two same size walls of a pyramid lean on each other to balance and
other, so should each person be a confident, independent, capable unit
or herself before connecting with a partner. In order to be that unit,
to have boundaries that don't merge, but that strengthen the whole.
I have heard this comment too many times by both sexes:
I'm afraid to stand up for myself, my spouse may leave me if I do.
reason that they are informing me about their feelings is because they
are involved in a session for Couple Counseling because they are ready to leave
Yet they fail to see that it is because they have not clearly stated
what they want and not maintained their boundaries that they are in the
difficulties at that moment.
Another stated fear is:
If I say what I want and demand that my reasonable boundaries be met, my
spouse will not like who I am.
Do you know your boundaries? Are they reasonable? Boundaries may be that
hand smoke makes you ill. Is it not reasonable that your health not be
sacrificed in order to have a marriage? Is it reasonable to insist on not being
physically, verbally, or emotionally abused by word or deed? Certainly the law
this boundary. Is it reasonable to insist that a budget be kept by both
so that debt does not overwhelm the couple and leave them destitute?
Legal action is being considered by the legislators to rein in the bankruptcy laws
because too many people are using them to allow themselves to be irresponsible.
So explore your boundaries and redefine who and what you are.
Explore your rights as a person and give yourself permission to maintain
these rights. Become the wall of the pyramid, not a jelly fish that floats
almost without substance.
It is impossible to brace yourself against a jellyfish, it ,instead, molds
to whatever is holding it. A person can not sustain a marriage with
the formless identity of another who only wants to concur with whatever the other
order to be liked. The jelly fish personality tires of this conformity
and then become the dumpee. The marriage, at this time, disintegrates and the
is the individual who wouldn't take a stand! The dumper finds the roles
d, due to the resentment that is generated toward him/her because the
jelly-fish(now dumpee with a form) has to find an identity. Ones health begins to
from psychosomatic illnesses if one delays the stabilizing process.
Without boundaries we shrivel up and die-literally.
Take another look at the statistics of the floundering retired man.