Updated: Mar 17
Statistics show that half of all marriages end in divorce, and there are many reasons for this shockingly high number. Enmeshment and a lack of personal boundaries are two things rarely discussed but play a big role in why many marriages end.
The American Psychological Association defines enmeshment
as a condition in which two or more people, typically family members, are involved in each other’s activities and personal relationships to an excessive degree, thus limiting or precluding healthy interaction and compromising individual autonomy and identity.
Enmeshment can happen in a marriage when partners get too involved in each other's lives to the point where they forget their own needs and identities.
In a marriage, enmeshment can happen when one person feels like they have to make all decisions with the other person, even if they have their own wants and needs. This could include everything from big decisions about money to the simplest things you do daily. At first, this may seem like a sign of a strong and connected relationship. However, over time, both partners may start to feel trapped in the relationship and start to resent each other.
Enmeshment is a problem because it's hard to notice until it's too late.
Partners may ignore the signs because they think the behaviour will go away on its own, but it usually gets worse over time. When there are no limits in a relationship, people can become too dependent on each other, which can lead to feelings of suffocation and resentment. It can also stop people from growing and changing as people because they are so focused on making the other person happy that they forget about their own needs and interests.
For a relationship to be healthy, it is crucial to set and keep clear personal boundaries. Boundaries help people interact in a healthy way and help them keep their independence and separate identities. This can be hard, especially for couples who have been together for a long time, but it is a necessary step for happiness and fulfilment in the long run.
There are things you can do to fix enmeshment in your relationships if you are having trouble with it. The first step is to recognize the signs of being too close to your partner, like feeling suffocated or too dependent on them. From there, it's crucial to start setting limits and being clear with your partner about what you need. This could mean getting help from a coach, who can guide and support you as you work through these problems together.
getting too close and not having personal boundaries are serious problems that can cause many marriages to end. If you and your partner are having trouble with enmeshment, it's essential to do something about it as soon as possible. This might mean asking for help, but it's worth it to build a strong, healthy relationship based on mutual respect and autonomy. Remember that healthy relationships are built on respect, trust, and clear communication, and setting healthy boundaries is integral to building that foundation.
Enmeshment is terrible for any marriage, and a divorce coach may be needed if the problem doesn't go away.