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Comitting to boundaries

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zoro posted 8/7/2014 15:55 PM

I am posting my boundaries here so if I fail to keep them they are here in black and white for my girlfriend to see that I was unable to keep my promise.

1. I will not let a member of the opposite sex put their arms around me unless it's just a friendly hug goodbye or hello from family, old friends, and long time acquaintances.
2. I will not engage in idle conversation with members of the opposite sex unless my girlfriend is present or if it has to do with work or conversing with the audience when my band is playing.
3. I will not look at magazines, videos, or any TV shows with provocative subject matter unless it's a movie that I am watching with my girlfriend.
4. I will call my girlfriend on band breaks and let her know if I will be later than planned for any reason what so ever.
5. I will be transparent in all things including my plans, telephone, internet, e-mail, Facebook or any other communication. She already has all my passwords and is welcome to check anything any time.
6. I will not be late coming home from work or golf or any activity without calling and letting her know and why.
7. I will try not to book gigs on our day off too often or I will let the other members of my band play without me if we had made special plans or take off another day to make up for it.
8. I'll think if more but I just got off work and need to get to my band engagement that starts at 6:00.

If anybody has any suggestions on more boundaries please chime in. I'm trying to think of ones that I have broken but I know there are a lot more that I can't think of right now.

Macsecond posted 8/7/2014 16:03 PM

Maybe a further point to numbers 1 and 2 is having a strategy for what to do if approached. It sounds like you have intentions to keep yourself away from those situations, but if women approach you, like the last time, and you feel you need to be polite, how you'll deal with that - what you'll say, do, and that you'll tell your BGF immediately.

tired girl posted 8/7/2014 18:05 PM

What you are making is rules right now for yourself.

Boundaries are internal. Because you understand that the problem is internal. It is about you, it is not external.

Do you understand that difference?

zoro posted 8/8/2014 05:08 AM

We have discussed that and I know I learned something from the other incident and feel I can handle it politely and make my intentions obvious by gently removing their arm and moving out of their space. I know that would work and I will do it next time.

tired girl,
My girlfriend just discussed that with me when she saw your question.(she's been up since 4:30 and I slept in until 5:30 after a gig last night). I didn't really understand that until this morning. I see what you both mean in that I need to want to be safe for me and her and have some internal guide to make that happen.
I really want to have a happy relationship and make her feel safe more than anything. I want that for her and know if she feels safe we will become more of a team instead of her always looking for a change in me. I need to show her that I have changed and will continue to protect us from any outside influence or internal influence from me. I know she doesn't want to be my mother and am sure she feels like that sometimes. I really am committed to making that happen.

tired girl posted 8/8/2014 10:22 AM

So what are you going to change internally to make that happen? Because with you I see a lot of resentment towards your gf for bringing this stuff up. You don't get what the big deal is.

zoro posted 8/9/2014 05:21 AM

tired girl,
I've been thinking a lot more about things since I've started to post and feeling a little less resentful about her intensity for change in me. I know she loves me and wants us to have a happy future together, and a big part of that is her feeling safe with me.
I know I am a very defensive about many things and some of her accusations or comments grate on me when I feel she is wrong about my intentions.
Her perception is her reality when it comes to my actions and no matter what I think it's her interpretation of them that matters. She is coming from a betrayed perspective and has been hurt very badly and I should understand the playing ground is not even anymore and never will be. I have to keep reminding myself, even after all these years, that she has not forgotten what I did to her.
I'm working on keeping that perspective more in my brain and if I can do that I won't be so quick to defend myself every time she asks questions that seem to be accusatory. I also have to realize this is all for US not against ME.

tired girl posted 8/9/2014 09:12 AM

when I feel she is wrong about my intentions.

This is where I see a lot of the issue. You seem to see it as everyone else's problem, yet it keeps happening over and over. Is it possible that YOU are the problem and you are not looking internal to see what the problem is? I think this is what she has been trying to get you to see and you are not willing to go internal and see that the problem is you.

zoro posted 8/9/2014 13:57 PM

tired girl,
When I say "When I think she is wrong about my intentions" I mean that. I know what my intentions are and what I am thinking about at the time. There are times when I have screwed up and I can understand why she is upset and I feel THAT ONE was ME! There are times ,however, that I was thinking and acting in a completely different way than she saw it. Could I be wrong? Yes! Could I be wrong all the time? I doubt it.
I will not pursue that line of thinking now and concentrate on what I know that I need to improve on and worry about any of my issues with her later.
I know I screwed her over and need to make it up to her. I need to not argue over things that she sees as important. That is my first plan of action. I want to work as a team and for the mutual goal of happiness for us both. I am willing to work on that and that is why I am here for both of us.
Thanks for responding. I will try a little harder to look inside myself and see what I can see. I actually have been doing that more lately, but I guess I'm too easy on myself and keep rationalizing my behavior. I might even be a conflict avoider with myself!

zoro posted 8/10/2014 08:29 AM

tired girl,
We had a discussion about my last reply this morning and my girlfriend said I was trying to shut you out or cut you off like I do to her when things get too deep.
I think she is right about that and I agree that I have some fear or avoidance of intimacy in my personality. I do live a life of shallow contact with hundreds of people in both of my lines of work, even though I connect with them very positively it isn't long term in the sense that I don't see them day after day other than my employees.
I don't necessarily choose that but it is my reality.
I got something out of our discussion and I felt closer to her for having it. We are going to take a walk to the beach right now and I will get back to more posting later.
My big band is playing tonight so here is another time when I have taken away our day off with my work. I don't feel good about it even though this band makes a lot of money. It can be a source of conflict, even though she allows me to work when we get booked, it hurts us I know.
Thanks for your questions about my motives and intentions.

blakesteele posted 8/11/2014 03:42 AM

Get, read and commit to living the ways spoke about in the book Boundaries In Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud.

Your list of boundaries is a great start...but you need to understand the value of boundaries into the very core of your being. This book will help you do that.


zoro posted 8/11/2014 06:36 AM

You are the second one to recommend the book. I know I have read some excerpts that members have posted, but since many of my issues have to do with boundaries I will order it and commit to reading it and learning from Dr. Cloud.

tired girl posted 8/11/2014 09:37 AM

I need to not argue over things that she sees as important.

This right here would be a really great start for you in your relationship. I think you have done this a lot with her and maybe you need to look at why you have done it.

If you feel defensive or touchy over the things I ask or point out that is ok, look at why that is. It means you need to work on those areas. Boundaries are always areas that everyone can work on.

HopeImOverIt posted 8/11/2014 10:34 AM

When I say "When I think she is wrong about my intentions" I mean that. I know what my intentions are and what I am thinking about at the time.

One would think so, but...

If you think back to the thought processes that allowed you to become wayward, did you engage in some self-deception? For example did you sometimes lie to YOURSELF, "my intentions are innocent" with regard to the affair partner, when in fact they weren't really?

Not all waywards engage in self-deception, but I think plenty do. Possibly your BS thinks that is an issue with you?

sorrowfulmate posted 8/11/2014 10:42 AM

I don't know if you have read

"Not just friends"

This also helps with figuring out boundaries...

zoro posted 8/11/2014 18:16 PM

tired girl,
I am really trying to understand what is important to her and not try to argue with her over those things and other things as well. It never really helps anything to argue but having a healthy discussion would be OK.
I do feel defensive with some of what you have said as well as what my girlfriend has said. I know I have an issue with that and am trying to stop doing that and take it as constructive criticism. I know that everybody here is trying to help and not just put people down. I guess if you didn't ask the questions they would just go unanswered.
I ordered Dr. Cloud's book this morning on boundaries in marriage.

Yeah I am sure I can be self deceptive at times. I know I rewrote our history and talked myself into feeling worse about my relationship than it was only to not feel so guilty about what I was doing.
Not so much now but I do let things get by me when I get caught up in busy moments and end up hurting my girlfriend's feelings by not being more aware of the personal dynamics around me. I am very impulsive and act before thinking way too much.

sorrowful mate,
We have both read "Not Just Friends" but it was years ago and it wouldn't hurt to bring it back out and go through it. Thanks

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