After last weeks post on closeness I started thinking about an idea mentioned while in I was seminary called enmeshment. Enmeshment is the idea that two people’s lives are so intertwined that they can not function without the other person. This is not exactly the same idea as co-dependent but there are similarities I think (in my non-professional judgement). Good explanations can be found at http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_index.php?idx=37&id=156 and at http://justnoticeabledifferences.blogspot.com/2006/11/stephanie-coontz-author-of-marriage.html. The idea I was told was that a newly married couple should be enmeshed and then over time come back into balance in their relationships so they do not remain so intertwined to not be able to function alone.

I think in contemporary society we allow people to become enmeshed and call it closeness without being able to see the pathological or sinful side of this closeness. Relationships no matter what type they are should have boundaries of some sort. If I can no longer spend any time with my family due to work then some boundaries are being violated. If spending time with my partner keeps me away from my family, my friends or my work then some other boundary is being violated.

Now I am not saying the amount of time for work, family, partner, spouse will be the same for each person. These are things that need to be discussed and mutually agreed upon by those closest to you and then worked on thereafter but we do need to get the priorities right.

It is these priorities which make this post theological, no where have I mentioned God or Christ and being enmeshed with them. We are not called to live lives independent of Jesus Christ but our relationships must flow out of putting Him first.

So who are you enmeshed with?

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