"It's Actually a Good Thing": A Little Reassurance When Your Loved One is Working on Their Boundaries
As a partner/friend/lover/ally of someone who is working on boundaries, you may be noticing some changes. Like most changes, this can feel pretty scary and you might be unsure or hesitant about what’s happening. That’s why I wanted to write you this letter. I think it’s normal to feel afraid in times of change, especially when the change involves something unfamiliar.
I hope to ease some of those fears by reminding you that having someone in your life that’s working on boundaries is actually a good thing (yes, even for you!). By working on boundaries, they’re aiming to reduce exhaustion, resentment, and burnout. They’re trying to make sure they have more in their tank, and that means less snapping at you and less passive aggressive comments (if that’s a thing that happens….). They’re trying to make sure you understand each other better and ultimately grow closer – even if it feels like they’re pulling away. They’re building a life that has more capacity and energy to give.
We know you didn’t sign up for this. And hey, things may have seemed really great before. There may be a part of you thinking, “why change at all?” But even though things may have seemed great before, and chances are there were many great things happening, your loved one was likely feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and bitter. They may have been experiencing low self-esteem, anxiety, or depression. Don’t get me wrong – you aren’t to blame for this. It's more that your loved one has now realized that there are some things that they need to change in the way they approach all relationships so that they can feel healthy and grounded. They’ve been too used to saying yes to everything, taking care of others before themselves, and putting their needs on the backburner. Now it’s time for that to change, so that their relationship with themselves and with you can move to a healthier, more balanced and ultimately more fulfilling place.
Nicole Perry is a Registered Psychologist and writer with a private practice in Edmonton. Her approach is collaborative and feminist at its heart. She specializes in healing trauma, building shame resilience, and setting boundaries.
About the Blog
This space will provide information, stories, and answers to big questions about some of my favorite topics - boundaries, burnout, trauma, self compassion, and shame resilience - all from a feminist counselling perspective. It's also a space I'm exploring and refining new ideas.