When it comes to spending quality time with your partner, the more the better isn’t always the motto here. In fact, depending on your partner to always be by your side creates an unhealthy connection. Healthy relationships thrive when two independent people unite.
When you’re spending every waking moment with a partner this creates a lack of boundaries, breeding enmeshment, and emotional instability. Enmeshment invites room for disrespectful behavior, feelings of worthlessness, unlovable, or better yet, rejection. With a lack of emotional or physical limits, this can lead to worries of “not feeling good enough.”
Healthy relationships are based on a balance of independence and interdependence. And, when one partner seeks validation from another partner for personal stability, then you are heading down a slippery slope. Being codependent on your partner can lead to mood disorders, lower self-esteem, toxic relationship patterns, poor decision-making, and lack of a self-identity.
Partners who are in an enmeshed relationship, typically have a hard time recognizing this because it becomes routine. The constant need to always have a partner begins during the early childhood years. If a parent was always there to rescue you when something didn’t go your way, or the reverse, completely neglected your emotional needs of love and trust, you learned to depend on others to fill the void within you. Over time, this prevents you from self-soothing and being able to nourish your own emotional state which leads to a lack of self-love and inability to trust yourself or others.
Signs of Enmeshment:
You lack boundaries with a parent
You neglect your emotional health
Your happiness comes from being in a relationship
You feel lonely and hopeless unless you are with a partner
You constantly experience anxiousness or depression
You feel responsible or guilty if conflict occurs in your relationship
You feel like something is wrong if you aren’t in constant contact with your partner
You tend to lash out if your partner ignores your calls or messages
You can’t be alone, even if you’re dating someone who doesn’t make you happy
Here’s How To Set Healthy Boundaries If You Are In An Enmeshed Relationship:
1.Seek A Certified Relationship Coach At this point, you and your partner will need a professional who can help the two of you identify your relationship values and personal limitations. Establishing a new dynamic that goes from unhealthy to healthy without actionable steps, guidance, and support can be challenging without an expert. A relationship coach will be able to help you each identify what you need from your partner to thrive and feel loved, while also supporting you individually outside of your relationship.
2.Introduce Boundaries Into The Relationship
It will be important for you and your partner to learn about boundaries and how they can help you elevate and evolve your relationship to a place you both desire for long-term fulfillment and unconditional love. Even though you have been functioning under the same roof for some time, it doesn’t mean your relationship is broken or unrepairable.
Boundaries are still new to many partners as they aren’t taught in the home or school. Being able to learn how to communicate boundaries using a WE Mindset enables you to get your partner to work with you while still being able to meet your own personal needs, independent of your partner. The goal of having healthy boundaries enables you and your partner to experience more inner peace, respect for one another, introduce teamwork, and establish clear lines of communication so you can understand each other without depending on your partner’s voice of reason.
Setting boundaries with your partner are non-accusatory, non-threatening, and non-invasive. They come from a place of love to support what each of you needs to be independent of your relationship while still creating deeper connection and intimacy with your partner so your relationship can thrive. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but this is what it feels like getting outside of your comfort zone and breaking old habits that aren’t serving you. This is how you begin to heal from emotions of insecurities, neediness, codependency, unworthiness, or unlovable.
If you aren’t ready to hire a professional relationship coach, grab our DIY Boundary Badass Program to start practicing today in the privacy of your own home. You and your partner can do it together.
3.Rebuild A Connection With Self
Typically, enmeshment is caused by the lack of connection with yourself. When this happens, you externally seek a partner to rescue you and soothe your emotions. By neglecting yourself and depending on your partner, you create an unhealthy relationship with yourself.
This begins to wear on your emotional state, resulting in you feeling like you can’t be alone or fearful your partner will abandon you if you communicate what you need. Once you enter this mindset, your self-worth becomes dependent on your partner and you feel like you don’t know where you belong in this world without them.
Ways to connect with yourself start by carving out time in your schedule separate from your partner. Please keep in mind that you aren’t neglecting your relationship or partner, but you may need to communicate when you need personal time or space. You are taking time for yourself to rebuild what you are currently lacking from within yourself so you can have a healthy relationship.
Some ways to connect with your emotional health are positive affirmations, meditation, journaling, passion projects, personal hobbies, gym routine, spending time with friends, and most importantly learning to spend time alone.
The bottom line, the health of your relationship starts with the relationship you have with yourself.