Boundary-setting can be challenging in the best of times, trying to balance your needs with the needs and wants of your partner. When mental illness exists in the relationship, boundaries can become non-existent as you try to compensate for your partner.
Why is setting boundaries so hard? Common reasons include:
- You may be uncomfortable expressing your own needs and wants.
- You may be afraid of being seen as selfish.
- You may be feeling guilty about setting limits because you know your partner is struggling.
The problem is, without boundaries, you are going to burn out. Virginia Morris, author of How to Care for Aging Parents, urges people caring for a loved one to get rid of the little voice in their heads that says, “I can do it all. I am responsible for everything…and whatever I do, it’s not enough.”