Keeping your boundaries is essential to the intimacy and longevity of a relationship. Knowing and sharing your boundaries with your partner creates a situation where your partner can trust you. They can trust that you will take good care of yourself so that you can stay in the relationship happily and that you will not build resentment or shut down. When you allow your boundaries to be crossed in a relationship, and especially when you do it over and over again, you begin to build resentment and distance from those to whom you want to be closest. Resentment is the number one killer of relationships. If you allow it to build for too long, you shut down to all of the love, connection, pleasure and positive resources that a healthy relationship can provide. Let’s take the example in the earlier post on boundaries where a person (let’s call him Allen) has sex with his partner when he is exhausted and doesn’t want to – making him tired and ineffective at work. He rarely tells his partner that he doesn’t want to and always gives in if she pushes a little or complains. Allen does this over and over again for years, getting angrier and more shut down until he is avoiding any kind of physical intimacy with his partner at all. She feels sad, thinking he is no longer attracted to her. One day he explodes, saying he can’t take his wife’s demands anymore. She is shocked, having had no idea that he was so fed up. These kinds of dynamics happen all the time in relationship and, often the partner is blamed for crossing boundaries – told that they should have known or been able to tell – instead of each person in the relationship being committed to their own well-being.