When a Couple

Boundaries - Where You End and I Begin: How to Recognize and Set Healthy Boundaries


When a couple becomes enmeshed, that is, when the individualities of each partner are sacrificed to the relationship, the individuals and the partnership suffer. Sometimes, as in Carla’s case, one partner forces the other to give up separate opinions, perspectives, and preferences. Sometimes, as Donna described, a partner takes on her mate’s views and ideas voluntarily.

At first this might feel good to both partners. She’d feel stronger now that she had some ideas she hadn’t had before. He’d feel very important that he could give her these things and that she liked them enough to take them on—very flattering. What would happen later, though, when she disagreed with him? It would upset the balance of the marriage. She’d be changing a pattern that had been established. He might feel she was attacking his way of thinking.

— Anne Katherine. Boundaries Where You End And I Begin (Kindle Locations 647-650, 652-655).