“Recovery is about more than walking away. Sometimes it means learning to stay and deal. It’s about building and maintaining relationships that work.
– Melody Beattie
If we are to create healthy relationships we have to be open to working on relationships.
Seems like such a simple statement doesn’t it? It’s far from simple however, in relationships where tensions run high, tolerance is in low supply and emotions burn hot or run cold. It's not simple in high conflict relationships, and it's not simple for people on the verge of estranging.
Some relationships cannot be worked on. Some can. Sometimes we pour everything we can into resolving problems, sometimes we put very little into working through conflicts.
Before we quit relationship we need to make sure we have done what we can to not quit.
Boundaries tell us our bottom lines. They tell us where we have no further room to yield on an issue. This is very important or we can spend far too much time negotiating non-negotiable. Yet, boundaries are “all about us” while relationships are about two people getting their needs met. Relationships are about two sets of wants, needs, thoughts and feelings. They are about two sets of boundaries; yours and mine.
So we work to find balance between being too flexible, or too demanding; all about us, or all about them; over-staying or over-leaving. We learn to navigate the tension of getting what we want and need, and also ensuring we consider others. Sometimes we are good with finding middle ground. Sometimes we are less good. I think we know the difference.