Ever heard the saying, “You can’t live in a bubble!” Wrong. Actually, there are certain times that living and protecting your bubble is ideal and I will tell you why. Every couple, when they sign up to become a couple, (whether that’s by marriage or some other way) enters into the “couple bubble”. This is an imaginary boundary that protects this unique relationship from the rest of the world. Each party of the couple is responsible for protecting the bubble to be sure it stays intact. When both parties protect the bubble, the bubble is strong and the couple is strong. If they stop protecting the bubble, it will eventually pop. Today I will list a few things (perhaps random) that couples can do to protect their bubble….and then I’ll probably visit this subject again in the future.
1- Protect your bubble from the extended family. Sure families are great, but no one belongs in the couple bubble except for the couple. Sometimes, mothers or mom-in-laws try to get into the bubble with advice or their genuine interest in helping couples with their challenges. Sometimes sisters, grandparents, or anyone else tries to pull a piece of the couple out of the bubble. However, if a couple is going to stay a strong couple, they need to determine together how to deal with the different families’ dynamics. They determine together the boundaries between family members and decide together how these boundaries may change over time.
2- Passwords belong to the bubble, not the individual. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have your own Facebook page or email. Some of the biggest problems with couples begin when their social media is hidden from their partner. Or their bank accounts aren’t transparent to both individuals. Or, or or. There are many situations in which keeping things locked away leads to problems later. If you want to be honest with your partner, make sure they can look at any of your many accounts at anytime. This is the first step to ensure that nothing they wouldn’t like would ever be there.
3- His/her needs are your needs. I tell couples that if one of you has a problem, it is a marital problem. This doesn’t mean that if one suffers from depression, they both do. It means that if one suffers from depression, the other is going to have to learn to cope. If one partner has a need to be active, the other partner has to learn to supportive of that. If one partner is more social, the other may have to learn to socialize, etc. Different people have different needs and we tend to be with people who have different needs than us. Therefore, we have to learn how to either meet our partner’s needs or be supportive of their needs being met. If both people are getting their needs met and able to stay in the bubble, no one will feel the need to exit the bubble.
Just three thoughts for today, but perhaps this can help you thinking of your own bubble and how to make it a little stronger. If it is struggling, let us know and we are glad to help.