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Relationship change and growth are adventures into your heart and soul.
Relationship styles follow a developmental process from Me-style through I-style to We-style. The Me-style of relating has diffuse and enmeshed boundaries. Which mean the boundaries between Me and You in relationship get blurred. The way in which a participant in a Me-style relationship makes decisions is through a need to agree with, or merge into the other to feel the connection. This is how the co-dependence begins. The individual in a Me-style of relating has difficulty saying No when asked to act or be in a way that is inauthentic, because the driving force is to connect at all costs including loss of self. The picture of this kind of relationship is two halves coming together to make a whole. So there is a lack of boundaries between the two participants. ( )
To move into an I-style of relationship requires closing off the boundaries around yourself. Developing a sense of yourself that is defined from within so that you can guide yourself toward your own goals. You need to develop ways to meet your own needs and to depend on yourself. This is both exhilarating and frightening. Once you do this you are freer to develop into a fuller picture of yourself. Rather than two halves making one whole you are developing a whole picture of yourself so that you can move into and I-style of relationship, two Is walking side-by-side without integration. Connection is through a tally sheet of exchanges. Here competition, defensiveness, and independence drive the relationship so that an individual in an I-style of relating has difficulty saying Yes when asked to create dependence or interdependence. The fear for an individual in an I-style of relating is to become engulfed into the other and lose himself. As with the Me-style of relationship this is a result of an insecure sense of self. Unlike the Me-style of relationship, where the drive to be connected causes enmeshed or a lack of boundaries, in the I-style of relating the fear of enmeshment results in overly rigid boundaries. The picture of this kind of relationship is two Is walking side-by-side, solitary selves walking next to each other without integration. 0 0
You have to develop a solid sense of yourself, deal with adversity against your picture of yourself , and create a personal relationship with yourself, to live in an I-style of relationship. After solidifying this experience and developing a sense of trust that you will not sell yourself out, you can begin to move into a We-style of relationship. An I-style of relationship is a stepping-stone to get to a We-style of relationship. This is because you have to develop boundaries first (I-style) before you can be flexible with your boundaries in a dynamic way (We-style).
The interdependence of a We-style of relationship allows for strength of self and connection to other, simultaneously. The We-style of relationship incorporates support of the individual and collective goals and needs with a dynamic, flux movement between the resources of the relationship toward whatever of these needs attention at any given time. This requires strong boundaries and flexibility in the interdependence of the two individuals and the third aspect, the relationship or partnership. So that rather than ½ + ½ = 1 (me-style) or 1,1 (I-style) you create a situation where 1+1 = 3, or more than the sum of its parts (we-style). The picture of the We-style of relationship includes two wholes and a third aspect, which is the area the two individuals overlap to create the relationship vortex, o()o (view this symbol as two circles overlapping each other to create an inner vortex).
Fear can really be a block to change, embracing the attitude of adventure can reframe your fear into excitement, offering an energy or anticipation to help you to flow with the change rather than block or freeze when faced with change.
This is how boundaries work. Boundaries create a definition. They clarify this is me, and this is you, through defining where you end and another begins. This clarification creates a deeper understanding of each individual and also how couples, partners or groups coexist and share goals. From the defined individual space, the boundary, you can create the space for a sense of oneness and togetherness.
Flowing through the process of change begins with gentleness. Boundaries assist in creating an internal container, so that you can move through a process of change more harmoniously. Creating boundaries comes out of self-love, and love toward your partner. The clearer you are about you and other the better you are about defining what you want and what you can give in relationship. Boundaries increase connection.
See if you can discover in a self-affirming, authentic way the edges of you and how you integrate with your partner this will give you space to discern an interdependency that support you both and your relationship. in love and light, beth