Physical barriers such as flashing lights, roped off areas, and ‘DO NOT ENTER’ signs clearly distinguish between a safe and unsafe zone. Emotional boundaries, though not as easy to recognize are just as important to establish and maintain.Emotional boundaries, though not as easy to recognize are just as important to establish and maintain. Establishing healthy boundaries in relationships is important. Boundaries define safe and appropriate lines of acceptable behavior. Every individual has the ability and right to define his or her own personal boundaries.
Whether establishing boundaries in professional, social, or family relationships identifying appropriate behaviors for the various setting helps define the boundary. For example, a professional boundary could include meeting clients in public places during regular business hours. A social boundary could place the responsibility of driving the young female babysitter home after a night out with her husband on the wife.
Maintaining healthy boundaries in a family is variable and difficult because of relational complexities. Obvious boundaries include physical safety and respect of personal property. Laws dictate appropriate behaviors relating to physical safety and the protection of personal property creating an identifiable boundary. However, establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries can be as clear as mud and brings truth to the phrase, ‘love is blind’. Marriage and Family Therapists’ help individuals and families define, establish, and maintain healthy boundaries in efforts to increase mutual relational intimacy.