Christopher (not his real name) went for counseling about his marriage which was at the verge of falling apart. He was totally lost in understanding why. “I love my wife so much, why doesn’t she see that?”. At this point of time, Christopher has just lost another job. He is a talented man but he didn’t seemed to be able to hold on to any jobs long enough. People loved his talents but hated the way he performed. This had caused arguments and fights until his wife has had enough and wanted quit. His wife did not see love as his behaviors did not “say so”. How can there be love without delivering the fruit of love – in this instance, stability & security in Family?
To win back the marriage, he needs to set up a boundary to gain self-control and learn to take up responsibility. It is not enough to talk about love and no love in action. Interestingly, Christopher came from parents that totally love him so much that no boundary was set for him as a child. Anything he wanted, he got it. There was no punishment in consequences as parents did not want him to have a “guilt driven life” and wanted him to have “positive self-esteem”. He understood others (his parents) meeting his requirements but didn’t have boundary to learn responsibility, that he too needed to meet requirements of others. So long that he felt being love, he assumed his wife should felt being loved too.
One of the benefit of healthy boundary in parenting is that, it creates an appropriate space for children to have guided growth & learning. In this space, responsibility, I was so amazed by the automated self help kiosk for ordering food in this food center. The kiosk can take order, do customization while providing many methods of payments. Though it is a self help station, not everyone can do it by oneself. As I was observing, a man came by and he was totally lost. He needed help.
In same way, we might think we can self manage love but our upbringing without boundary can made us “lost” in loving others.compassion, sharing etc, can be developed and trained.