05-27-2012, 07:13 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: At the local coffee shop
| | Re: How do you set boundaries?
We all have boundaries. It's the line you draw in the sand. "I won't beat my children." "I won't steal from the employer." "I won't cheat on my spouse."
A boundary in your marriage is a metaphorical wall you put up between your marriage and outsiders that could breach that marriage.
For example some of my boundaries are...
-A male friend doesn't come to the house for a visit unless my husband is also there.
-My husband knows who my friends are. There aren't secret friendships.
-I don't flirt with any male friend
-I don't talk to male friends about any marital problems.
-I don't bad mouth my spouse to a male friend.
-I don't call or text a friend more than call or text my spouse.
-Any email I write to a male friend can be read by my spouse. My spouse knows my email passwords and I know his. There's nothing to hide.
I can't take credit for the information below re: boundaries. I read it on another forum a long time ago. I saved it because it's really well written.
A boundary is not defined as "something I don't like."
A boundary is defined as "something I will defend no matter what."
A very common question is, "How do I enforce a boundary? How do I make my spouse stop lying, how do I make my spouse stop dating OP, how do I make my spouse start taking care of our family instead of someone else's?"
The answer is: You don't.
Trying to "make" people do the things listed above is not enforcing a boundary. It's control, it's manipulation, it's laying down demands, etc. etc. etc.
And none of it works.
The answer to the question, "How Do I Enforce A Boundary?" is virtually always the same:
You remove yourself from the situation. You stop allowing the boundary trespasser to have any access to you at all.
This is what's meant by, "You can't control others. You can only control yourself."
You can't "make" your spouse stop lying to you - but you can remove yourself from their presence and no longer allow them around you until they do.
You can't "make" your spouse stop dating affair partner - - but you can remove yourself from their presence and no longer allow them around you until they do.
You can't "make" your spouse take care of your family instead of someone else's - but you can remove yourself from their presence and no longer allow them around you until they do.
Boundaries are for *you*. They are to protect you from people who would do you harm. They are NOT about "making" others do anything. They are about protecting *YOU*.
Castle walls don't make the invaders stop their cruel and destructive attitudes - but they do protect you from their intrusion.
Boundaries are castle walls.
And as far as anger goes, you will find that good boundaries will make much of it go away. Good boundaries really do make RAGE dissipate, because anger + fear = rage. Good boundaries keep you safe, and when you are safe, fear goes away. You will certainly have some righteous anger left, sure, but the RAGE will fade away because there is no longer the fear hanging around to fuel it.