Discussion Topic

setting boundaries, and examples of?...

Posted on 07/11/11, 01:55 am
I understand what the term 'setting a boundary' means, but can anyone give me some examples of what sort of boundaries you use? No more lies, no more hiding is #1 for me but how to put that into specific terms so there is no 'misunderstanding'?
I've heard that you check history and use use blocks to certain websites but I don't really want to police him. On the other hand not doing that has allowed him to get away with what he has all these years.
Showing 7 Replies
  • Reply #1 07/11/11  8:09am
    What will make you feel safe in your own home? This is the place where you begin to create boundaries. What works for me may not work for you, but I'll be happy to share what is working for me. Also, you sound ambivilent about checking your computer. On the one hand you don't want to police your H, but on the other hand you see that an active addict has no boundaries whatsoever and will act out even if it means lying about it to their spouse.
    My number one boundary was computer blocks. I will never be without them in my own home. My H never complained about it although it does block us from certain websites that are not prn related, it is a minor inconvenience. I also have parental blocks on my cable TV and have certain stations blocked. My H has to leave his Blackberry out in the open where I can see it. He has to go to bed at the same time as me every night and he doesn't have any access to any of the TV remotes in our home. Even thought he has blocks on his computer, I can still check to see what he is doing on there and he cannot erase any of his history. He has to check in with me every day about any thoughts, fantasies (thankfully none in a while) and how he is feeling (I do the same). Also, my H now exercises at home (No more gym membership) because he began a questionable friendship with a woman at the gym years back. He MUST work a recovery program each and every day which means journaling every day, meditating and praying every day, working on his steps, keeping in touch with his sponsor and other group members. He MUST attend at least one meeting a week (he usually goes to two) and he also is in therapy now (it took him a while to find a suitable therapist who is educated in addictive behavior). He also has chores about the house he must consistently do. My H must tell me where he is going when he walks out the door, texts me when he gets there and when he leaves. If he works late, he cannot work alone and he must call me and text me when he leaves. These aren't even all of my boundaries, but they are the ones that give me empowerment over my trauma and help me move forward in my own recovery. They send a clear message to my H that this time I mean business and I will not tolerate any form of addictive behavior in our home. He now understands that this is non-negotiable and he has much to lose if he doesn't keep moving forward to a balanced a healthy life.
  • Reply #2 07/11/11  3:23pm
    The very first boundary I set was refusal to entertain or ignore lies. I set a boundary for me...do not speak with this man if he lies under any conditions at all. Do not ok the lies by continuing "normal" relations when you know he is lying. Do not be quiet about it. Do not allow a front, or an elephant in the room. Meaning...I told him that if he lied to me about anything, I would not speak with him again...about anything...until he was willing to tell the truth. No reconciliation...nada.

    I let him know that I wlll accept silence as an answer to his detriment. A boundary for me. I accept that silence is an answer. If I pose a question, and he refuses to answer then I will accept..for myself..the worst case scenario. I told him that...if you choose to remain silent...I will accept and act on the worst case scenario I can think of. So, if you have anything better than that to say...best say it. Silence will not be a benefit to the relationship.

  • Reply #3 07/11/11  4:55pm
    SheenRe can I just say, I love your wat with words and I really wish I could think like you do and then present my boundaries to my partner. I just don't know what and how to put my thoughts across to him for fear of them coming across as threats if you know what I mean.
  • Reply #4 07/11/11  4:56pm
    I meant 'way' with words!!!
  • Reply #5 07/11/11  5:08pm
    SheenRe can I just say, I love your wat with words and I really wish I could think like you do and then present my boundaries to my partner. I just don't know what and how to put my thoughts across to him for fear of them coming across as threats if you know what I mean.

    And if they did come across as threats? What is at the root of that fear? Are you afraid that he will hurt you? Are you afraid he will abandon you? Are you afraid he will reject you? Why do you consider his feelings more important than yours? I hope you keep working on loving yourself enough to be strong enough to put into words what needs to happen in your home in order for you to feel safe. Hugs!
  • Reply #6 07/11/11  5:23pm
    Great boundaries, Ladies. Caz: boundaries are for you. They are not threats but they are rules that have consequences if not followed. That's why you must think what is non-negotiable for you: bottom lines? What are somewhat negotiable? What are appropriate natural consequences? I think you need to really discover this for yourself or you will sit in fear and indecision for years to come and nothing will change permanently. I think what you often hear is don't make empty threats because they will make you have no credibility with your partner. You MUST follow through.
  • Reply #7 07/11/11  6:30pm
    Caz You said, " fear of them coming across as threats." I do know what you mean. But, for me, there is a difference in a "threat" and a "promise." A threat may not be carried out. A promise will be. When I told him how I felt...I meant it. Yes, he could have lied...and I wouldn't have spoken with him...as promised...wonder how long that would last before he left...or I did? And, had he remained silent...I would have delivered as promised. I would assign the worst case scenario...which is really bad...and act accordingly.

    The thing is this...that a boundary...has a promised consequence. If one is not willing to deliver the consequence...then it is a mere threat...and useless. In fact, it's better to say nothing than say something and not stand behind it. That just results in more disrespect. And, since I'm not intending on supporting or fostering more disrespect...I think about what I am both "willing" and "able" to do. I say that...I do that. No threat. Promise.

    My H tried it...sure he did. He lied to me...and I refused to speak with him...at all..until he was willing to tell the truth. That happened several times...until he realized the truth...I "will" keep my promises. And....each time he hit the boundary...the relationship got less and less interactive. I wasn't around a lot...and when I was...I ignored him like the plague. He didn't care much for that kind of relationship...any more than I cared for the liar relationship...so he quit that. Same with the silence. He at times refused to talk...when he did...I left until he was willing to talk. No threat...promise.

    Does that make sense?


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