In my Family Relations class, we discussed the different types of boundaries that appear in a family. The three types of boundaries are rigid, defuse, and clear. If I take just a husband and wife, for example, and put a rigid boundary around them, there would not be much getting in or out. There are too strict of walls around a rigid relationship. The couple are very closed off from the world. They might go to extremes and be overly protective about what comes in and out of their home, relationship, and lives in general. This couple may not have many friends, because they do not let them in. They tend to stick to themselves and are very watchful of each other. On the other hand, there are defuse boundaries. If this same couple had a defuse boundary, they may be too free with rules and the set up of their marriage. They may not care who their spouse is friends with or when or where they go out. They might live what seems to be somewhat separate lives. The "rules" are not clearly seen. This type of relationship can be said as too care free or unorganized. The couples have not established strict enough boundaries on what they can or cannot do. A clear boundary is what a marriage wants to obtain. They know what and whatnot to do to make each other comfortable. For example, a spouse can have a friend of the opposite sex, but they know not to let their relationship become too intimate.
Every family has boundaries and they can differ depending on the relationship. A husband and wife can have a clear boundary with each other, but a rigid or defused boundary with their children. Perhaps they have a rigid boundary with one child, but a clear boundary with another. Once I learned this, I started looking at the boundaries within my family. It was amazing to me how they have changed throughout the years and how easily I can pick them out among my family members. I now strive to have clear boundaries and a close relationship with all members in my family.