In life, we all put down boundaries in our relationships: with friends, bosses and colleagues at work, but also with significant others. If you do not enforce any transgressions of those established boundaries, where does one stand? Well, you’re probably fighting a losing battle, if you don’t.
In my personal circle, it has been known for a few weeks that I recently had to part ways with a partner that I was with for more than a decade. I won’t lie, it’s been a heart-wrenching situation, the fallout of which I will be dealing with for the foreseeable future.
The reason for the separation was multi-faceted (no one is perfect, after all), but the straw that broke the camel’s back was a slowly progressing transgression which was not remedied. That broke my trust in her.
After this, the relationship could no longer be repaired: the both of us agreed on that and we decided to part ways. I wish it hadn’t been necessary, but I’d been suffering for weeks thanks to this and that could no longer continue.
I’ve thought about boundaries a long while over the past few weeks, and I everyone I spoke to agreed that enforcing them can be quite hard, especially if you’re romantically entangled. Many folks told me I made the right call.
Obviously, I do not wish to share concrete details about this particular situation other than what I mentioned above, as this is a private matter. I did want to share my thoughts on the concept of boundaries, for it is a relevant concept in more than just romantic relationships.
You need to establish boundaries in all sorts of relationships, and enforcing them unilaterally is quite difficult.
What’s the point of this post, then – as I do not want this to become a sob story? Well, I want you to to think carefully about boundaries in relationships. Consider this one fact: we tend to move the goalposts far too easily. Might I recommend that you don’t? Treat people with care and respect, but clearly communicate what your boundaries are.
Then comes the hardest part: stick to your boundaries and enforce them. It might be uncomfortable or even painful, but it sure as hell beats further transgressions as the line continually shifts in the wrong direction and you keep going along with it all.
Additionally, I wanted to mention the likely reduced output of content on my blog and in the world of open source (mostly referring to PHP Monitor, in this case). I don’t plan on blogging much or making many open source contributions for the foreseeable future, as I try to acclimatize to a world that suddenly seems so different.
I know you all will understand.
PS. Don’t even get me started on how much I despise dating apps. This is coming from someone who’s never had to use any of them and has only heard stories.