Estimated reading time: 2 1/2 minutes
When we are in love or feel very connected to another, it is possible to feel as though we are “at one”. It is exciting and healthy to connect with another at a deep level. However, it can be important to understand boundaries in a relationship, to keep it on the “up and up” and to maintain an even balance of energy, in the longer term. Enmeshment can be the cause of a relationship no longer feeling vibrant and light over time, but instead heavy and exhausting.
Enmeshment is where each partner gets mixed up in his or her partner’s emotion. There are not clear boundaries defining each other’s emotional worlds. The partners prop each other up, rather than letting them experience and work through their emotions in a healthy way. The partners are not taking responsibility for their behaviours, acting in the here and now as adults, from a state of presence (resting in your natural loving state rather than in a state of fear).
Each person in the relationship takes care of the other as an adult would caring for a child. There is often an expectation that the other person will make you “feel loved,” rather than knowing and feeling that you are love. Any love from your partner is a bonus and not a necessity. When we have to have another persons love to feel whole or complete, this can make us needy or clingy, expecting our partner to fulfil unmet needs.
Relating to this behaviour can be a step on the path of our emotional development. We are all human and often those stages are a natural part of our evolution. Most of us may have felt needy or clingy at various stages of our life. However, looking for your partner to fill the yearning within is likely to leave you feeling dissatisfied. It’s hard and draining for them to know just how to fulfil your needs.
If you instead take the time to understand your inner world and fill any voids, you feel within, with love and compassion, you will feel stronger and more empowered giving your relationship a more solid foundation. It is also healthy to express your needs to another in a relationship rather than reacting by being either overtly or passively aggressive. Healthy adult relationships are based on good communication skills.
This process is not about judging ourselves, our loved ones or caregivers—it is about genuinely moving through any fear and feeling more love, compassion and joy on a daily basis.
If you see problems in others, it can be helpful to take responsibility for how you feel rather than blaming the other party. Owning your emotions gives you the opportunity to learn more about what your feelings are trying to tell you. It is wise to take responsibility for your feelings and let other people take responsibility for theirs, allowing everyone a sense of empowerment and freedom.
Enmeshment occurs because these behaviours have often been modelled from past generations, with people being unaware that there is a better way. Humankind, to some extent, has been stumbling around in the dark emotionally; otherwise, pain and suffering would not exist. By being open to new ideas and raising our awareness, it is possible to create relationships of peace and harmony. The journey to consciousness beyond enmeshment is centred on stepping out of the dark and into the light.
To discover more about relationships see: Love Now eCourse