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Need Help with Boundaries

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Scorpio2310 posted 12/12/2013 22:24 PM

My BSO and I have started to read Not "Just Friends." I am starting to realize just how bad my boundaries were/are, and I was wondering if anyone had some advice with how to start build boundaries? Also what things can I do to help keep those boundaries intact?

silverhopes posted 12/13/2013 01:05 AM

There's a great book by Drs. Cloud and Townsend about boundaries. I found it really helpful.

Boundaries can be something multilayered. First of all, what are your values? In terms of social interactions, what are the guidelines you lay out for yourself? What honors you, what honors your chosen lifestyle (your marriage)?

What are your biggest struggles with boundaries? What unhealthy things do you say yes to, and what healthy things do you say no to?

Who do you need boundaries with? What kinds of different boundaries do you need with each of them? Are some boundaries heavier than others, and if so, for whom? Do the boundaries change based on circumstances, or do they stay constant?

Sometimes it's good just to have these questions in your head, so you can begin to pinpoint struggles and make different choices.

Scorpio2310 posted 12/13/2013 06:31 AM

Thank you silverhopes! That is a lot to take in, but all of it is really good. I want to be able to answer each question so I do believe I will, but I would like to do so here, where I can get input and help with each one.

silverhopes posted 12/13/2013 13:06 PM

Go for it! That's what we're here for

Scorpio2310 posted 12/13/2013 14:16 PM

What I value now is my family, my BSO, honesty, helping others, working hard, openness, trust, and life in general. I have revised and renewed my value of treating others the way I want to be treated as well.
This is a work in progress, but it give me somewhere to start.

silverhopes posted 12/13/2013 14:43 PM

So, in terms of helping others, what are your boundaries around that? What do you think is appropriate, and where do you draw the line for too much? How involved is your BSO? Do you have limits around who you help and how?

Scorpio2310 posted 12/14/2013 00:18 AM

I realize now that I can not help women. I have a problem where if I see (or listen to) a woman that is in trouble I feel a need to help her. I do it to make me feel better about myself and in hopes that she will feel indebted to me or simply think highly of me. I only realized this after talking things through with my BSO. We have decided that for the sake of the relationship I cannot continue to help women.

silverhopes posted 12/14/2013 04:17 AM

I realize now that I can not help women. I have a problem where if I see (or listen to) a woman that is in trouble I feel a need to help her. I do it to make me feel better about myself

So this is a good start. Here are two more questions:

1) HOW do you set the boundary with the women? If a woman comes up to you, how do you respond? Have you had any incidents or struggles with it recently? What happened? When you helped women out (in the past), did it make you feel capable, knowledgeable, generous, how specifically did you feel? Once you identify the feeling, you might find other sources than KISA.

2) How are you working on feeling better about yourself? This one can be a hard one. Once we become addicted to external validation, we might take a long while to learn to let it go. So what new habit of self-validation are you building, and is it helping?

[This message edited by silverhopes at 9:09 PM, December 14th (Saturday)]

Scorpio2310 posted 12/16/2013 00:14 AM

I only say the absolute minimum necessary. Since my main contact with women is at work I try to keep it to business. There is a female coworker that tries to tell me about her personal life, so I ignore her. In the past it made me feel generous and helpful, as well as needed and appreciated.

Jrazz posted 12/16/2013 02:11 AM

My FWH had a really bad time with boundaries as both a conflict avoider and a people pleaser.

We found it helpful to have scripts set up to deploy when approached by female coworkers.

For example, if someone says "How was your weekend?" instead of engaging by telling a story, or even being polite and asking about theirs, a simple "Fine, thank you" was on deck every time. It took a lot of practice but he was able to curb water cooler banter after a while. It's not rude, it's just good boundaries.

The second thing you can do is to come to your BSO at the end of the day and go over any interactions you felt might have been questionable. You may fear reprisal, but you will actually be building trust by having your BSO get involved with your process.

AFrayedKnot posted 12/16/2013 11:41 AM

The second thing you can do is to come to your BSO at the end of the day and go over any interactions you felt might have been questionable. You may fear reprisal, but you will actually be building trust by having your BSO get involved with your process.

Good Stuff Jrazz

And not only the ones you thought might be questionable. We might not be a good judge of that on our own. Bring all interactions to each other and decide together. That kind of mutual involvement is what intimacy is all about.

Jrazz posted 12/16/2013 11:42 AM

Excellent point, Chicho.

Scorpio2310 posted 12/16/2013 17:19 PM

I already take a couple of seconds after every interaction to text my BSO about it. That way she stays informed and I don't forget anything. I have started doing this since D-day, and it makes me feel good about myself being honest and my BSO really appreciates it too.

AFrayedKnot posted 12/16/2013 18:20 PM

That is awesomely impressive!!!

Scorpio2310 posted 12/17/2013 00:09 AM

I take pride in my small victories. Each time I text my contact with women or post something here or make some progress in "Not 'Just Friends.'" I am slowly leaning to validate myself through my accomplishments.

Jrazz posted 12/17/2013 00:52 AM

Good deal, Scorpio. This is definitely the way to build everything back up.

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