How to set new boundaries in old relationships

How to set new boundaries in old relationships

How to set new boundaries in old relationships

Change is the only constant in life. Every relationship evolves over time, as does every individual. Our needs, wants and demands change; just like our expectations. And as we mature, we may feel the need to alter or reset our emotional boundaries in an attempt to maintain a healthy relationship.

New York-based psychologist Dr. Neha Mistry, through her latest Instagram post, has drawn attention to this critical but rarely talked about aspect of emotional bonding.

“As our wants and needs change over time, it makes sense that we want our relationships to evolve in that direction as well. Sometimes we don’t even recognize the changes in ourselves until something makes us say, ‘actually no, I want THIS now,’” she wrote in his post.

healthy relationshipCommunication is important to a healthy relationship. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

She talks about the need to “set new boundaries in old relationships,” which is something people rarely do, because… well, love is often taken for granted. “When it comes to setting boundaries, most people generally have a hard time expressing their needs in current and past relationships. We let things flow, we let other things slide, we sweep recurring conflicts under the rug, etc. Not all relationships will have the ability to evolve and grow the way you want them to. Knowing this creates a lot of discomfort within us and therefore prevents us from communicating our needs,” shares Dr. Mistry.

What is the solution for a healthy relationship?

Communication! Just as you need to communicate your emotional boundaries at the beginning of a relationship, you need to convey your need to set new and improved boundaries.

You may feel uncomfortable, fearing that you might change things. But as the expert points out, you have to “overcome discomfort to reach our needs.”

She suggests that people do a “visualization practice.” What is that, you ask?

“You can consciously imagine what it would look like, sound like, etc. this conversation. It is very likely that a variety of bodily sensations will arise, some feel good, others confusing and even overwhelming, “adds the expert.

But it is important that you do.

healthy relationshipAt the end of the day, your happiness is in your hands. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Communication Tips for a Healthy Relationship

According to Dr. Mistry, here are some affirmations that can help you get your point across about resetting emotional boundaries in an existing relationship, without hurting your loved one:

1. “I know this is a different answer than in the past, but now I need…”

2. “It’s hard for me to say, but I’m learning to prioritize my mental health, and that’s why I now need to…”

3. “I have been reflecting on our relationship because it is important to me. While it pains me to say this, I can’t…”

4. “Our relationship has always been based on…. It’s hard for me to say this, but it doesn’t work for me anymore. I would appreciate it if we can…”

Just remember that you don’t necessarily have to wait for the perfect moment or feel safe sharing your emotional boundaries. Just do it to maintain a healthy relationship.

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