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User Topic: How do you set boundaries?
Lonelygirl10
Member
Member # 39850
Default  Posted: 1:08 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

I have realized that I am horrible when it comes to boundaries, and I'm looking for some people's thoughts on how YOU set boundaries in your M, both before and after A. I just need some guidance, and I'm trying to understand how it all works.

First, about me... I'm horrible with boundaries. Before A, I struggled with wanting to set my own boundaries versus not wanting to seem controlling. The things that usually come up for me is what is and is not okay with opposite sex friends, exes, and strip clubs. Those are the things that I don't like. I'm not sure how to enforce my boundaries though, or how to communicate them, without appearing controlling.

Same problem after the A. As an example, he has a friend who takes people to strip clubs and massage parlors, and this friend encouraged the A. I don't want him to see this person, but I also don't want to just say you can't see this person.

I was discussing it with my IC, and she said that I can't tell him not to do something because that's treating him like a child. She didn't really say how I'm supposed to handle things that make me uncomfortable though. She said that her husband had a friend that always bothered her, and she just dealt with it. Is that how it's supposed to work--you just deal with it?

So I guess I'm asking for how you handle things that bother you, and how you put up your boundaries. If something happens like an inappropriate coworker or friend, or your S wants to do something like a strip club that makes you uncomfortable, how do you handle it?


30 Bgf
Dday: April 2013
Relationship ended: January 2014

Posts: 1205 | Registered: Jul 2013
confused615
Member
Member # 30826
Default  Posted: 1:11 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

You need a different IC.

While on one hand she is right,,you can't treat him like a child and tell him what to do..what you can and should do is tell him what you and will not accept. If he wants to text women that you don't know or are uncomfortable with..and he insists on doing it any way..you can leave him. If he won't stop watching porn,and that is not ok with you in a relationship..you can leave. You can tell him what you won't tolerate..if he chooses to do it anyway..ok. Then you can decide if you are willing to stay with a man who knows what you are not ok with..and does it anyway.

[This message edited by confused615 at 1:13 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)]


BS(me)42
FWH 45
4 kids
M: June 2001
D-Day: 8/10/10
Status: Reconciling?

..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.


Posts: 7679 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Indiana
hill
Member
Member # 12166
Default  Posted: 1:15 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

Completely agree with confused615. Get a new counselor, yesterday.

You are not telling him what to do. You are telling him what you will and will not accept in a relationship; it is his decision whether these boundaries are acceptable to him. If so, he stays, if not, he goes.

You do NOT compromise what you need in a relationship in order to be a doormat. Yes, compromise is part of any relationship... but not when it involves basic boundary issues, especially when the SO has been wayward.


Posts: 3155 | Registered: Sep 2006
Rebreather
Member
Member # 30817
Default  Posted: 1:15 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

You say, "It is completely unacceptable to me if you do X, or Y, or Z. These are, however, your choices. If you participate in these activities, my choice will be to end the marriage."

You can smooth that up a little and be more detailed, but that is the basics.

You say what is acceptable behavior or not, in your life, and what your likely actions will be if that behavior occurs. It's his choice to respect your boundaries or not.


Me BS
Him WH
2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

Posts: 6549 | Registered: Jan 2011
Lonelygirl10
Member
Member # 39850
Default  Posted: 1:18 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

You can tell him what you won't tolerate..if he chooses to do it anyway..ok. Then you can decide if you are willing to stay with a man who knows what you are not ok with..and does it anyway.

I've done that in the past, and decided to end a relationship because I wasn't comfortable with the guy going to strip clubs once every 1-2 weeks. When I told him the reason, he said that he would stop going and apologized, and asked for a second chance. Four years later we broke up, and one of the reasons he listed was that I was too controlling about strip clubs.

Is there a way to deal with this at the beginning when you're setting the boundaries, so that you don't look controlling and there's no resentment?


30 Bgf
Dday: April 2013
Relationship ended: January 2014

Posts: 1205 | Registered: Jul 2013
Rebreather
Member
Member # 30817
Default  Posted: 1:19 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

You aren't being controlling, nor was the previous break up about you being controlling. That was blameshifting on his part. It was bullshit.


Me BS
Him WH
2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

Posts: 6549 | Registered: Jan 2011
Lonelygirl10
Member
Member # 39850
Default  Posted: 1:24 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

Okay, thanks. I felt like I was arguing with my IC yesterday about this topic, and was just curious how everyone else handles these conversations.


30 Bgf
Dday: April 2013
Relationship ended: January 2014

Posts: 1205 | Registered: Jul 2013
heartache101
Member
Member # 26465
Default  Posted: 1:26 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

Let me see.
Me- You will not be online ever again or there is the door. If I see you on a computer in the house there is the door you will be out! You understand.
Him - Yes

That is how I set boundaries...

What will you accept?? What will you not?? You have to learn to communicate to him what is acceptable or he will run amuck.

Ok like if you speed you know you will get a ticket. Therefore you don't speed.

Soo if he goes to strip clubs you can too right??
My spouse use to leave magazines laying around Hustler etc... I went and bought a few and he never did that again.. He didn't like the fact I was looking at naked men!

Find your boundaries tell him those boundaries..


There are degrees to which you let people back into your life and degrees to which you let them back into your heart-which, of course, are not the same thing

Posts: 3188 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Indiana
confused615
Member
Member # 30826
Default  Posted: 1:27 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

I read your other comment about your IC in your other thread. I *strongly* recommend a new IC..not all are qualified to deal with infidelity.

I completely agree with rebreather(as always ). He was blameshifting.


BS(me)42
FWH 45
4 kids
M: June 2001
D-Day: 8/10/10
Status: Reconciling?

..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.


Posts: 7679 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Indiana
Tearsoflove
Member
Member # 8271
Default  Posted: 2:16 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

Here's how I handled the boundary issue:

After my husband's second affair, I pointed out that he had issues with alcohol and crossing the lines of friendship when he'd been drinking. Since he has those issues, I informed him that I would no longer tolerate friendships with women or friendships with anyone who wasn't an advocate of our marriage. He said I was picking his friends.

I said "No, I'm giving you a choice. You can choose anyone you want as a friend. But I'm letting you know what I will tolerate in our marriage and I will not tolerate friendships with women anymore. You can choose to be friends with women if you want. But you can't choose them and also choose me. It's one or the other: friendships with women or our marriage. Your choice will dictate mine."

He chose the marriage.


"Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand." ~Homer Simpson


Posts: 4145 | Registered: Sep 2005
Lonelygirl10
Member
Member # 39850
Default  Posted: 2:29 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

I said "No, I'm giving you a choice. You can choose anyone you want as a friend. But I'm letting you know what I will tolerate in our marriage and I will not tolerate friendships with women anymore. You can choose to be friends with women if you want. But you can't choose them and also choose me. It's one or the other: friendships with women or our marriage. Your choice will dictate mine."

I've said pretty much that identical thing in the past, and I've been told that I'm controlling and that the guy doesn't work well with ultimatums. So then I tend to worry, and I back WAAAY off by saying okay you're right, and I just deal with it.

And then I also worry that if I say something like that, the guy will still do whatever it is and just not tell me. Like, for example, I told my current Wbf before A that I didn't want him being around OW outside the workplace because she was acting inappropriate. He agreed, and said what I asked was reasonable. And then saw her anyway, and it led to the A a year later.

I *strongly* recommend a new IC..not all are qualified to deal with infidelity.

How do you do this? It's the only IC I've ever had. I started seeing her 2 days after Dday, and I've gotten attached to her. She knows a lot about me that I've never told anyone else. How do I switch? I don't want to insult her, cause she's really been there for me.


30 Bgf
Dday: April 2013
Relationship ended: January 2014

Posts: 1205 | Registered: Jul 2013
confused615
Member
Member # 30826
Default  Posted: 3:12 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

Just because the guy tells you that you're being controlling doesn't make it true. It just means he is looking for an excuse to not do what you need. If your WBF's top priority is to make you feel safe,and he is truly remorseful,he will do what you need him to do.

As for the IC..Im not sure you have to actually tell her anything..research IC's in your area and find one that is a good fit.

How are you doing today? Have you been taking care of yourself?


BS(me)42
FWH 45
4 kids
M: June 2001
D-Day: 8/10/10
Status: Reconciling?

..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.


Posts: 7679 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Indiana
Lonelygirl10
Member
Member # 39850
Default  Posted: 3:14 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

How are you doing today? Have you been taking care of yourself?

I'm doing much better today. I find that it comes and goes, and I have good days and bad days. Just been pondering some stuff I discussed with IC yesterday.


30 Bgf
Dday: April 2013
Relationship ended: January 2014

Posts: 1205 | Registered: Jul 2013
confused615
Member
Member # 30826
Default  Posted: 3:15 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

Im glad you're having a "good" day.

Quick question..I just went over your last thread...I know you were tested for STD's...but was he? You say he's had a few "cold sores" since he admitted he cheated...has he been tested yet?


BS(me)42
FWH 45
4 kids
M: June 2001
D-Day: 8/10/10
Status: Reconciling?

..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.


Posts: 7679 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: Indiana
tushnurse
Member
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 3:19 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

LL I think perhaps your IC is a bit confused. You can forbid him all you want, but you can't stop him from doing anything.

Yes you can lay down boundaries absolutely. You lay them out with clear cut consequences, and be prepared to followup when he breaks those.

That friend of his for example. You simply say, "I don't want you talking to, hanging out with, or doing anything with Mr No Morals." It is horribly disrespectful to me, and encouraged you to make some really bad choices. If you choose to contact/hang out with or see Mr No Morals again I will leave.

There is nothing wrong with that. Your H needs some limits, and boundries. He had a flipping A. He has proven to be untrustworthy, and until he proves that he is again to you that's the deal.

Don't feel bad. In love and relationships we sometimes have to give up things we enjoy, most of us happily do it, because we enjoy being with our partner more. If he can't do that, then perhaps R isn't the road he should travel.


Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 8707 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
Tearsoflove
Member
Member # 8271
Default  Posted: 3:21 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

I've said pretty much that identical thing in the past, and I've been told that I'm controlling and that the guy doesn't work well with ultimatums. So then I tend to worry, and I back WAAAY off by saying okay you're right, and I just deal with it.

You can't set a boundary if you aren't also prepared to set consequences and follow through. I told him I wouldn't tolerate it and I would divorce him and I meant it. Your backing off means your boundaries have no consequences which essentially means you have no boundaries...


"Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand." ~Homer Simpson


Posts: 4145 | Registered: Sep 2005
Lonelygirl10
Member
Member # 39850
Default  Posted: 3:43 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

You can't set a boundary if you aren't also prepared to set consequences and follow through. I told him I wouldn't tolerate it and I would divorce him and I meant it. Your backing off means your boundaries have no consequences which essentially means you have no boundaries...

Yeah, someone in my first post on SI I think told me that I had no boundaries. That's why I brought it up with my IC, and she told me that I don't have the right to tell him that I don't want him to engage in certain behavior, because that's treating him like a child. My IC says that I should trust him to do the right thing, without me telling him to. And if I can't trust him, then I shouldn't be with him. I get what she's saying... but it just feels more complicated than that to me.

I know you were tested for STD's...but was he? You say he's had a few "cold sores" since he admitted he cheated...has he been tested yet?

Yeah, he was tested. All was negative. He has gotten two cold sores since A, and never had any before. It's a huge trigger for me. The first cold sore is what set off all my questions that led to Dday. I will be unbelievably pissed if he gives it to me, since I've never had one.

I don't want you talking to, hanging out with, or doing anything with Mr No Morals." It is horribly disrespectful to me, and encouraged you to make some really bad choices. If you choose to contact/hang out with or see Mr No Morals again I will leave.

Yup, I said that. He agreed, but said it bothered him. I talked to IC, and she said I handled it incorrectly. She said I can say that it bothers me, but I can't tell him what to do.

I guess part of my struggle is that he reverses the logic on me, and I feel restricted. I have a female friend that he doesn't like because she's single and still kind of in the party phase. So he tells me that if I want him to stop seeing Mr. No Morals, then he wants me to stop seeing her. It makes sense. He doesn't like her. But... I don't want to stop seeing her. I know myself, and I don't get into trouble with her. I go to things with her like dinner, and I avoid drinking in bars with her and stuff. The latest argument was a concert, and I went even though he didn't want me to. I don't feel like I'm doing anything wrong by seeing her, but his logic does make sense...

How did everyone here find an IC? I just looked on psychology today's website for a relationship counselor. How do you know who's good and who's not?

[This message edited by Lonelygirl10 at 3:48 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)]


30 Bgf
Dday: April 2013
Relationship ended: January 2014

Posts: 1205 | Registered: Jul 2013
JanaGreen
Member
Member # 29341
Default  Posted: 3:56 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

Your counselor is making my head hurt. How can you trust him to do the right thing when he's proven by his actions that he can't be trusted?


We're both in our 30s. One awesome 4-year-old daughter.

Posts: 6809 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Somewhere in the South
Lonelygirl10
Member
Member # 39850
Default  Posted: 4:33 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

Your counselor is making my head hurt. How can you trust him to do the right thing when he's proven by his actions that he can't be trusted?

I think maybe she was talking more in general, trying to give me general relationship advice instead of A advice? I'm not sure. Like I said, I'm really confused after meeting with her yesterday. It's also possible that I misunderstood her, because boundaries have always been an issue that I've struggled with. I never know where the line is on being controlling, and I've had too many exes say that I was controlling. But then when I post on here, I'm told that I don't have boundaries. So, I'm confused.

[This message edited by Lonelygirl10 at 4:34 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)]


30 Bgf
Dday: April 2013
Relationship ended: January 2014

Posts: 1205 | Registered: Jul 2013
whatnow8
Member
Member # 36576
Default  Posted: 4:57 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

Thank you for this thread, LG. I so needed it today. I have this same issue, and was discussing it with my IC yesterday. I have no idea how to find a good IC. This one is #4 for both me and WH.

In the past my IC has said I shouldn't let WH treat me like a doormat. But then she says that I handle things incorrectly. So, I told her I was confused about what she meant. She said that she means I need to tell him exactly what I want him to do. (for an example she used him not leaving dirty clothes laying on the floor) When he leaves his clothes on the floor, even though I've told him not to, I need to decide if I'm going to humble myself and just do what needs to be done. But then she said that it's my own fault, because I pick them up. If he decides that he's just going to go buy new ones instead of cleaning them up then let him. But I feel like then there really aren't any consequences, kwim?

Seriously, the advice that I see on here is so much better than anything I got from any of the counselors I saw. Half the time I feel like they contradict themselves, I'm at least as confused when I leave as when I walked in.

[This message edited by whatnow8 at 4:58 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)]


wtf?? How insane does your life have to get that you want to polygraph your freaking HUSBAND. ~ OldCow18

It's hard to make a decision when you're too tired to hold on and too in love to let go. ~ unknown


Posts: 178 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: midwest
TXBW68
Member
Member # 36456
Default  Posted: 5:07 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

IMO, you must have very clear boundaries with very clear consequences. Write them down if you need to so you are both on the same page. No guessing or looking for the gray area. Most importantly, You have to be willing to follow thru with those consequences.

The night of DDay 2 in my signature, I was very clear with my husband. He had 2 choices.

1) Take off the new wedding band he was wearing, go wake up the kids and tell them Exactly why we were divorcing and get the F out of my house.

2) Keep that new ring on. Read NJF. Cut off ALL inappropriate friendships immediately! (He still called OW2 his best friend.) No inappropriate comments to the 1 female friend I let him keep. All passwords were to be disclosed. All inappropriate pictures/messages were to be deleted. No Porn!

I also had a spreadsheet of inappropriate actions and their consequences, ranging from counselling to divorce.

I made it very clear that the kids and I lived on our own for 10 months without him. I didn't have to put up with any more bullshit.

He agreed to everything!

I think the key for me was not caring if I made him mad or if he felt like I was treating him like a child. I didn't make this mess. He did!

It took the drama of the first 6 months alone to get me to that point though. I didn't have SI at first and I was trying to please him to keep him - even after he left! Once I figured out that I didn't Need him - just Wanted the old him - I grew a set and started standing up to him.

By the time DDay 2 came around, he knew I was dead serious about kicking his ass out and filing for divorce if he screwed around again.

SI helped me get stronger - and it will help you too! Hang in there!

((lonelygirl))


Me (46) WH (42),2 boys 15 & 11
M 18yrs T 22yrs
Separated 10 months (4/12 to 2/13)
Final Total - #1/#2 ONS and #3/#4 EA/PA - left me for #4, didn't know about #2 and 3 until he moved back home
We are solidly in R now

Posts: 792 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: Dallas, TX
Tearsoflove
Member
Member # 8271
Default  Posted: 8:12 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

I don't have the right to tell him that I don't want him to engage in certain behavior,

How is your telling him that certain behaviors upset you and you'd rather he didn't engage in them treating him like a child? In all relationships, we have to have boundaries. And yes, some things should be second nature like not slapping people you love, not cheating, etc. But sometimes others don't know what hurts us unless we tell them. And if someone keeps slapping you despite the fact that it is unacceptable to everyone else in society, you either set a boundary with consequences or you walk away. How does you not telling him how you feel and not protecting yourself with boundaries help you?

To me, your IC is not concerned about your best interests. If he/she was, you'd be encouraged to do what you need to feel safe in your relationships (not just the one with your boyfriend). Sitting back and accepting hurtful behavior to avoid treating someone else who should know better but obviously doesn't care like a child is asinine.


"Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand." ~Homer Simpson


Posts: 4145 | Registered: Sep 2005
Nature_Girl
Member
Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 8:28 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

You say, "It is completely unacceptable to me if you do X, or Y, or Z. These are, however, your choices. If you participate in these activities, my choice will be to end the marriage."

This is perfect.

I, too, struggled with establishing boundaries once DDay happened. I, too, had lived the whole marriage trying to be understanding & tolerant. My IC helped me figure out what was important to me. STBX did not appreciate me letting him know what I would no longer tolerate and what I would do if he engaged in those behaviors. In fact, he was outraged. I held firm, though.


Me = BS (Stay-at-home-mom)
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 tween-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011
2013 - I DIVORCED HIM, I'M FREE!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBOJpIwF47Y

Posts: 9824 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
nomistakeaboutit
Member
Member # 36857
Default  Posted: 8:51 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

I guess part of my struggle is that he reverses the logic on me, and I feel restricted. I have a female friend that he doesn't like because she's single and still kind of in the party phase. So he tells me that if I want him to stop seeing Mr. No Morals, then he wants me to stop seeing her. It makes sense. He doesn't like her.

Are you sure it makes sense? He cheated on you. You didn't cheat on him. Doesn't that make a difference? Plus, strip clubs and massage parlors are not the same as dinner with a single friend who is still a little wild.

Regarding your lack of skill in setting boundaries, I think the issue is not knowing what consequences you would be willing to enforce. You know how to,set boundaries, you just don't know how to set consequences you can stick to.

Your IC offers good advice on trust for someone who is in a loving, trusting relationship where trust has NOT been broken. The advice doesn't hold water once a betrayal has happened. You may never trust him again, which is one of the reasons so many people have advised you to leave him. It's hard to rebuild trust.

Finally, in terms of being controlling, it may be that you are. You might want to explore that. For you, if a guy wants to go to strip clubs every other week, you've just got the wrong guy -particularly if you let him know that it bothers you and he pushes back.



Me: BH 58.........Her: WW 45
DD: 8..........DS: 5
Married for six years.
DDay: 12-25-11 Divorced: 7-15-12
...................................
"It's like a nightmare within a nightmare, which in and of itself is a nightmare!"

Posts: 953 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: U.S.A.
noescape
Member
Member # 34888
Default  Posted: 9:25 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

These might help you

Credit goes to oktobermest


http://www.divedir.com/media/marriageboundaries.pdf


Posts: 739 | Registered: Feb 2012
Schilling
Member
Member # 39774
Default  Posted: 1:58 PM, July 25th (Thursday)

Tearsoflove,

How did you get so strong to say that to him so firmly?

Or, is that just who you are?

With my partner I feel weak. I am slowly...VERY slowly finding my ground and finding my voice, but I am scared to tell him boundaries I will accept.


I am 26(Bgf). He is 36 (Wbf).
On Again, Off Again - 10 years.
Not Married. No Kids.
D-Day: Too many to list/ remember.
Trying to Reconcile.

Posts: 103 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: San Francisco
Tearsoflove
Member
Member # 8271
Default  Posted: 3:24 PM, July 25th (Thursday)

Well, Schilling, the first time, I had no strength whatsoever and that may be why I went through a second time. My boundaries were weak and we didn't really establish why he did it. Oh, we came up with reasons but they were just excuses, really. We didn't discuss his KISA tendencies or cover any of the issues he has with alcohol. I thought because he said he would never do it again and acted really sorry, he'd never do it again. Wrong.

When he had the second affair, I was numb. It hurt but it wasn't really shocking. I didn't question how he could do something like that- I already knew he was capable. I just knew that my self-esteem had suffered for years because of everything I put up with the first time and there was no way in hell I was going to put up with anything less than exactly what I wanted after the second time. He could either choose himself or he could choose our marriage but if he chose the marriage, nothing was getting swept aside. Not one thing. It scared him that I'd have been fine either way.

I laid down my boundaries and told him to take it or leave it. Along with no friends of the opposite sex, he gave me every password to everything he is on. We set up a scan on his computer for hidden files, deleted emails, photos, etc. His phone has GPS software on it and he hands it to me any time I want to look through it. (I rarely look at any of it anymore- I don't want to be the marriage police- but I can if I want to).

He told me he would do whatever I needed him to do to make me feel secure and that is the only reason he got another chance. He knows if he blows it, I'm done. More importantly, I know if he blows it, I'm done. I love him but I'll be fine without him. I didn't know that before but I know it now. I love him but I don't love him enough to compromise myself for him again.


"Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand." ~Homer Simpson


Posts: 4145 | Registered: Sep 2005
Lonelygirl10
Member
Member # 39850
Default  Posted: 8:27 AM, July 26th (Friday)

Are you sure it makes sense? He cheated on you. You didn't cheat on him. Doesn't that make a difference? Plus, strip clubs and massage parlors are not the same as dinner with a single friend who is still a little wild.

Yeah... true. But where do you draw that line? And who draws it? When I tell him something that bothers me, I expect him to change his behavior if he respects me. So shouldn't it work the same way in reverse? If something I'm doing bothers him, even if I don't think I'm doing anything wrong, shouldn't I change my behavior if I respect him?


30 Bgf
Dday: April 2013
Relationship ended: January 2014

Posts: 1205 | Registered: Jul 2013
Tearsoflove
Member
Member # 8271
Default  Posted: 3:24 AM, July 28th (Sunday)

Lonelygirl,

I live by the same boundaries I expect my husband to live by. What I mean by living by the same boundaries is that I accept no friendships from people who are not friends of our relationships and, yes, if a male friend were to bother my husband on some level, he'd be out. I chose my husband so I put him first.

That said, it also depends on the situation. I'm not going to drop everything just because it bothers him if it's unreasonable because, by your standards, he could decide that anything bothers him. I'm not going to stop grocery shopping if my husband tells me he doesn't like me going to the grocery store. And I'm not going to let him isolate me from my family (a tactic of abusers). I'm also not going to ask him to abide by a boundary I am not willing to live with myself. But that's a personal choice. You have to temper your decisions with what's reasonable in a relationship.


"Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand." ~Homer Simpson


Posts: 4145 | Registered: Sep 2005
nomistakeaboutit
Member
Member # 36857
Default  Posted: 6:30 AM, July 28th (Sunday)

Lonely,

Where do I draw the line? I draw it differently after someone has cheated. That's what I'm trying to say.

You get to redraw boundaries, once he's cheated. He can't apply the same boundaries to you the you apply to him, because he betrayed you. The rules change after that.

So, back to your girlfriend, if she's acting inappropriately and encouraging you to do the same, that's one thing. If you're having dinner that's another thing entirely.

In any case, IMO. none of this has much to do with the essence of the problem between you and your BF. The core problem is that he betrayed you. The questions are: 1. Why? 2. How will it not happen again?

Good luck.


Me: BH 58.........Her: WW 45
DD: 8..........DS: 5
Married for six years.
DDay: 12-25-11 Divorced: 7-15-12
...................................
"It's like a nightmare within a nightmare, which in and of itself is a nightmare!"

Posts: 953 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: U.S.A.
homewrecked2011
Member
Member # 34678
Default  Posted: 7:19 AM, July 28th (Sunday)

Yeah... true. But where do you draw that line? And who draws it? When I tell him something that bothers me, I expect him to change his behavior if he respects me. So shouldn't it work the same way in reverse? If something I'm doing bothers him, even if I don't think I'm doing anything wrong, shouldn't I change my behavior if I respect him?

Ok,,, my thoughts are this::

IF you were dating a NORMAL guy, he would not have cheated, would not have a problem with you having dinner with a friend who is a little wild (because YOU are trustworthy),,probably would not be going to strip clubs, etc.

Where I'm coming from: My first husband drank too much. I asked him to stop drinking too much. He said I needed to stop drinking if I wanted him to stop drinking. BUT I DON'T HAVE A DRINKING PROBLEM. Alcoholics, and people with issues have skewed thought processes which is why AA, Celebrate Recover, Sex addicts Anon, etc works to change their thought processes thru daily contact with their sponsors.

You are working with a person who stopped the affair, but is still not "right" with the thought processes and really doesn't care to change his thought processes or learn a new way to live. This is where you stand up for yourself. If you want to always be like this, then stay with him.

I also had huge issues with boundaries. My WH moved out and I still let him come here to eat dinner each night with our children -- I even cooked for him.

Here is what has helped me learn boundaries:

On this website under I can relate there is a section for those living with Sex Addicts. Read the threads and I think you'll see ways to set up boundaries with your bf.
Alanon. Go to their website, you can listen to meetings on the phone. Almost everyone who is in alanon has boundary issues at first. We can't set good boundaries until our confidence gets higher and an affair and living with a person going to strip clubs will kill self-confidence.

I read a great book called Love Must Be Tough by Dr. James Dobson. This book is a quick, easy read. It's on CD, too I think. Written by a Christian you would think he would say to "Love more". But he does not. He says that the line of respect (boundary)has been crossed over and over by this type of person and shows how to get the line of respect back.


[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 7:21 AM, July 28th (Sunday)]


me BS 52
him - 46
married 15 years DIVORCED 10 31 12
children - ds15 ds12
d-day 12-19-11
I gave a 24hour ultimatum then went to attorney next day
Divorce filed

Posts: 2210 | Registered: Jan 2012
homewrecked2011
Member
Member # 34678
Default  Posted: 7:47 AM, July 28th (Sunday)

Yeah... true. But where do you draw that line? And who draws it? When I tell him something that bothers me, I expect him to change his behavior if he respects me. So shouldn't it work the same way in reverse? If something I'm doing bothers him, even if I don't think I'm doing anything wrong, shouldn't I change my behavior if I respect him?

Yes, if his request were reasonable.

I have a guy friend who told me this:

When you start dating someone, watch them, see how they are, do they go to strip clubs, do they watch porn, do they drink too much, do they flirt with other women, do they check out other women while at dinner w u, ask you to do unreasonable things. Take it real slow. Really get to KNOW them. You don't want to spend all your life trying to "fix" a guy or "convince" him to become how you know they should be. Some people are "off"from the get-go. THIS IS WHY WE DATE - To find the person whose value system is the same as ours.

Also, SI has really helped me learn to set boundaries. If you search on Abbondad on this site and watch his posts from day 1 thru today you will see how everyone has helped him be strong and set very reasonable boundaries. I think it helped him that he started a thread and just stayed on that one thread so he could keep reading everyone's responses. At the beginning, I asked for help on all the forums and then forgot to go back and check who had helped me! LOL The same with you, if you keep posting on this thread that you started with each issue that comes up you will get great advice and thought-provoking responses. It takes a little while for it all to sink in, but one day soon it will all click. You might not like what each person says, so blow off people who don't "get it", but really read those who do.


Also, a book called "Why Men Love Bitches" really put a light-hearted twist on the boundary issues. The author shows step by step how to set boundaries thru the eyes of the "bitch". Thru the book - easy, fun, read, btw- you will see that the "bitch" is really just a person with strong boundaries and when I finished the book, I had already started thinking of some boundaries I could set up and keep.

Another guy on this site said he read a book "How high will you jump" I believe was the name and he set boundaries pretty quickly.

Keep posting here, you are eager to learn and you'll have lots of people here who will help you get these boundaries up.

[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 7:48 AM, July 28th (Sunday)]


me BS 52
him - 46
married 15 years DIVORCED 10 31 12
children - ds15 ds12
d-day 12-19-11
I gave a 24hour ultimatum then went to attorney next day
Divorce filed

Posts: 2210 | Registered: Jan 2012
Althea
Member
Member # 37765
Default  Posted: 8:05 AM, July 28th (Sunday)

(((LG))) Given your career (I am one too) you are obviously a driven woman who knows how to go after what she wants. This may not be a great fit for an insecure man. Does that make you controlling? No. Well, not necessarily. Controlling is saying: I am going to choose your friends, when and if you can go out, what you wear, etc. THAT is treating him like a child.

After an A, your entire trust system is shattered. To regain that trust, a BS does need to be able to assert some control in terms of behavior that does and doesn't make her feel comfortable. If you look at the boundaries that others have set, they almost always directly relate to ways they were betrayed.

In my case, a boundary for R was no porn and no fantasizing about other women. Seems controlling at first glance. What guy doesn't do this from time to time? And how do I even monitor the fantasizing? I can't. He could be doing all day every day behind my back. In our relationship, my WH used porn in place of intimacy with me and fantasized about women he was friends with and knew, he was cheating in his mind before he went out and acted on it. So, I set my boundary, and the consequence was divorce.

I'm trying to draw a distinction for you between setting a boundary that allows you to feel safe in the relationship and setting one to be controlling or out of spite. For example, you BF saying no to a quiet dinner with your friend because he "doesn't like her" is spiteful and tit for tat because he is pissed he can't go out with a guy who encouraged him to cheat and goes to visit strippers and prostitutes.

Boundaries are hard and confusing when you aren't used to having them. I am learning myself and they are SO hard to assert. But, it gets easier every time you do and the result is that all of your relationships will be healthier for it.


Taking it one day at a time.

Posts: 457 | Registered: Dec 2012
GraceisGood
Member
Member # 17686
Default  Posted: 8:56 AM, July 28th (Sunday)

When you BF says that you cannot see so and so right after you tell him your boundary about his friend, that is controlling, he is being controlling, he is being a child and trying to punish you for having boundaries, he is trying to get his way, he is putting himself first, not the relationship.

Re read what homewrecked said about shared values and morals. I think in this case, deciding if he has enough shared values and morals with you is a good place to start. If you are not sure, then stating your boundaries and seeing his reactions/responses will let you know (although it sounds like you have stated enough and he has responded enough that you probably have a good idea already)

For me, in the beginning learning about boundaries, I struggled as it seems you are for a few reasons:

1 - I was a pleaser, big time, I was born a pleaser and the trait was just re enforced over and over again growing up, I was rewarded for "pleasing" and punished any time I tried to have a boundary or an individual like/dislike. I was trained to be a pleaser and I knew nothing else. I honestly did not know I had a choice in life in anything. That was hard to change. It is about changing my whole mind set, questioning why I thought as I did and re evaluating everything, not easy and still not done all these years later.

2 - I was co-dependent, that ties into the pleaser, but it is also a separate entity that had to be dealt with as well, being aware of being a pleaser and spending a few years trying to shift my perspective allowed me to delve into co-dependency, but even with the foundation set it was still very difficult, it really goes against the core of who I was and I fought against it.

3 - I think that deep down I knew that my H did not share my morals and vales in the way I needed him to at the time. Knowing this deep down was a kind of road block to moving forward with boundaries but I could not admit it to myself, I had not gotten to the point where my boundaries were more important than my dependence on having him in my life (still pleasing and still co-dependent)

For me number 3 was my biggest obstacle, I have been able to over come it in some areas and I still struggle in others.

Here is an example that might help, maybe?

You are a ship in the ocean, you know where you want to go, so you set your sails and rudder to get you there, the ocean and wind both say you cannot "use" us this way, you cannot "control" us this way, you are wrong to have a destination, we will choose where you go, or even if you go. So you pull up your rudder and you take down your sails and you are at their mercy, but the truth is that you can set your sail again at any time you choose, you do have a right to your destination and if the ocean and the wind still choose to not cooperate, you can jump in and swim for all your worth to be true to yourself. You know you cannot control the ocean or the wind just as you cannot control your BF (so it is total bs when he calls you controlling imo), but you can still get to where you need to be and that is the point of boundaries imo, just sometimes we cannot get there with the people we want to, sometimes we have to walk alone, or at the bare minimum be willing to walk alone.

Grace


We have a tendency to think the love offered us is a reflection of our worth and value.But in actuality,it's a reflection of the person that is giving it.We love out of who WE are-not because of who the receiver is.At least in terms of real love.TSMF

Posts: 3459 | Registered: Jan 2008 | From: how far the east is from the west
Heavy Sigh
Member
Member # 34243
Default  Posted: 9:23 AM, July 28th (Sunday)

LG,

I do not think you need to change counselors. The counselor is perhaps slowly helping you get to the realization of the words homewreckedgirl has spoken, I think. It's just a process she's walking you through. At first, it's scary to realize that there are no magic words to change them. That the only person we can change is ourselves. Scary stuff, because we think it forces us to leave before we're ready or to make a decision. It doesn't, unless abuse is ever involved, which it isn't in your case. You're not ready to hold the boundaries, so no ultimatums other than saying to WS that eventually you will find the strip clubs lifestyle unworkable in marriage if it continues. Work on the other stuff.

As what Homewrecked said:

You are working with a person who stopped the affair, but is still not "right" with the thought processes and really doesn't care to change his thought processes or learn a new way to live.

He may change, but I like Homewrecked's analogy with drinking. An alcoholic who stops drinking, for example, is white-knuckling it until realizing that many aspects around his/her life must change. To alcoholics, bars were once places to have fun and find friends. Bars are no longer safe places a newly sober person can go to, and loss of social life makes the drinker feel bereft of friends and having no clue how to entertain himself/herself.

You WS seems to wish to change, as he has given up the old pal (so far) and this may mean he wants to give up that stuff. But he hasn't changed that thought-process of how to live differently.


You need shared friends with similar values - together. Look for couples who go to dinner and a movie on weekends, or barbecue and watch the games. He may find that more fun than he thinks - getting to know other guys and learning to have fun without the "lets pick up girls" tie that was the only bond with friends in past.

Find other friends, and look for new places to find them. You're changing the "culture" of your marriage.

If wild guy dislikes his friendship with your husband forever neing limited to barbecue on Saturdays and watching the football game with other families - never going to bars or clubs with your husband - then the friendship will fade away on its own. Same for your wild friend. Invite her over, but limit your time with her to lunches to show you're doing your part to change the "culture" of your social life, as well.

The transitional time in life between being single, a partying couple and moving into family-based circles is always awkward, even without strip clubs to complicate it.

[This message edited by Heavy Sigh at 12:47 AM, July 30th (Tuesday)]


Posts: 1917 | Registered: Dec 2011
Heavy Sigh
Member
Member # 34243
Default  Posted: 9:45 AM, July 28th (Sunday)

Note to Whatnow8:

Four counselors? Is this really a string of bad luck, or are you looking for more than what counselors can realistically do? Lots of untrained people rent office space and call themselves counselors, so I'm not doubting you could have a run of bad luck. But think through it before changing again.


I think, at first, we all wish for that magic wand and counselors to "fix' our spouses and stop our pain or be our "our" side.

Counselors don't work that way, and can't make a spouse "behave" for us, or even to provide that epiphany. We BSs want the counselor to lecture the WS for us. They usually don't start out that way because it scares away the WS. Ask if the most recent counselor is a quack or if you're just impatient for WS to work through the process? They often see that the entire culture of our marriage must change.

As I posted to LG, I like how Homewrecked put it. And the culture of a marriage must change. Using an extreme example of mobster wives, it's useless to go to counseling in that culture because you're marriage to amoral thugs with money where the culture is to take the mistress to dinner on Fridays and the wife out on Saturdays. Nothing is going to change, except the person in that marriage unhappy with that dynamic leaving. (Hopefully, alive. :) ) For most of us the shift can be done, and it may be who we hang with or even changing how we deal with our own extended families with boundaries or staying friendly but more hands-off distant if some are toxic.

Affairs are escape and for some people, it's the default behavior from their single 20s that they don't know how to change after marriage, since it's how they valued themselves or entertained themselves with the pick ups or getting ego boosts. Some never change and at that point the BS leaves or just has to shut up about it.

[This message edited by Heavy Sigh at 9:53 AM, July 28th (Sunday)]


Posts: 1917 | Registered: Dec 2011
WoundedOpus
Member
Member # 39521
Default  Posted: 5:08 PM, July 28th (Sunday)

You can't set a boundary if you aren't also prepared to set consequences and follow through. I told him I wouldn't tolerate it and I would divorce him and I meant it. Your backing off means your boundaries have no consequences which essentially means you have no boundaries...

[Italic]Yeah, someone in my first post on SI I think told me that I had no boundaries. That's why I brought it up with my IC, and she told me that I don't have the right to tell him that I don't want him to engage in certain behavior, because that's treating him like a child. My IC says that I should trust him to do the right thing, without me telling him to. And if I can't trust him, then I shouldn't be with him. I get what she's saying... but it just feels more complicated than that to me.

Please get a new therapist, like yesterday! First, half of that only works if you both agree on 'What the right thing to do' is...You think it's not, he thinks it is. And really, you're not supposed to tell your HUSBAND what types of behaviors you're not ok with him engaging in?? And lastly, OMG, it's not like you said the consequence is taking away 30 minutes of TV time. There ate natural consequences to our actions, you leaving him would be the ultimate one, part of having boundaries is making sure the people in our lives, especially our spouse, know what they are and know what we plan to do if it's crossed.

Let me put it this way, you have 2 ways to state it.

1. I don't approve of you going to strip clubs/hanging with X/having female friends. If you do anyone of those things, you will be facing divorce.

2. I am not comfortable with you going to strip clubs/hanging with X/having female friends. If you choose to do anyone of those things, I will be forced to divorce you.

They may sound a little different but they're the same thing.

Your IC should have a clear understanding of boundaries, since she seems to be clueless, I drop her immediately!


Me: BW 37
Him: WH 38
(DDay: 2/2008)
13 years, 5 kids...Six years of Limbo

“I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well." ~ Diane Ackerman


Posts: 178 | Registered: Jun 2013
WaryOptimist
Member
Member # 19911
Default  Posted: 7:06 PM, July 28th (Sunday)

Lonelygirl10

It's really, really simple: you're not telling HIM what to do regarding certain scenarios, you're telling him what YOU'RE going to do regarding his behavior in certain scenarios ....

(The hard part is knowing what your limits are, and then following up on your stated actions)

(((LG10)

[This message edited by WaryOptimist at 7:29 AM, July 29th (Monday)]


Me: The faithful one
Him: WS
4 great kids
Married 28 years, together 36
D-Day: April 1, 2006 (yep, April Fool's Day...)
Aaaaaas Yoooouuu Wiiiiiish...

Posts: 650 | Registered: Jun 2008 | From: Here & There
Lonelygirl10
Member
Member # 39850
Default  Posted: 12:43 PM, July 29th (Monday)

Thank you for all the thoughtful replies. I wasn't online all weekend, so just now reading them.

It does help to think about it in terms of me deciding what I'm going to do, versus telling him what to do. I guess it's not that I'm telling him that he's not allowed to do something, but more like I'm telling him that I'm not going to be with someone who does those types of things?

I think I'm still struggling over what's reasonable and not reasonable as boundaries, using as an example his friend I don't like and my friend that he doesn't like. Before the A, I believed 100% that we had the same values. It's what attracted me to him. He said he didn't go to bars, didn't go to strip clubs, didn't watch porn, etc. When I would express a concern about a person that made me uncomfortable (such as OW before the A started), he would listen to me and say that he understood and wouldn't see the person. And likewise, I would do the same thing. He had a problem with some male friends, and I stopped talking to the male friends even though I didn't really think there was anything wrong with it. I stopped because I would want him to do the same thing. But after the A, I guess I'm less willing to give up things that bother him if I don't think there's anything wrong with it. With my female friend, I agree that she's a little wild. I've set boundaries with her though, and told her that I'm not interested in partying or doing a lot of drinking with her. The times I see her are dinners and stuff like art galleries. If I'm completely honest, I may have stopped seeing her before the A if my WS said it bothered him. But for some reason, I'm struggling with acting that way after the A. I feel like, looking back, I gave up a lot of stuff to make him happy because I was treating him the way that I wanted him to treat me. And I learned after Dday that I only THOUGHT he gave that stuff up... he didn't really. I thought he was at his dad's house, while he was having sex with OW who he had promised to not see outside the workplace. So, I guess I'm struggling now. My boundaries were always do what you would want the other person to do. But now I'm just struggling to do that myself. And I guess I don't know how to ask him to do stuff that I'm not willing to do. He doesn't think there's anything wrong with him do some work for his old boss/friend, or doing dinners. And technically I guess there's not.... except I know this guy has a habit of things getting out of control. Like dinner turning into OW dancing naked in front of them. Idk. It's just hard.

Or, another example is a conversation that happened this weekend. I made a comment that I might take a trip to visit a friend and have a girls' weekend. I knew he wouldn't like it cause he doesn't like the girl... and he replied that he would just take a boys trip the same weekend. Before the A, completely makes sense. After the A, the thought of him drinking with the guys somewhere on a trip makes me panic. So does that mean I can't take girls trips because I don't want him taking a boys trip? All this stuff is so hard to figure out.

[This message edited by Lonelygirl10 at 1:02 PM, July 29th (Monday)]


30 Bgf
Dday: April 2013
Relationship ended: January 2014

Posts: 1205 | Registered: Jul 2013
WoundedOpus
Member
Member # 39521
Default  Posted: 1:30 PM, July 29th (Monday)

I had a huge post written up with passages from a book recommendation, but I realized it was way too long and perhaps copied too much of the book, so I sent it to you in a PM.

But here a few key points:

Limits

Two aspects of limits stand out when it comes to creating better boundaries. The first is setting limits on others. This is the component that we most often hear about when we talk about boundaries. In reality, setting limits on others is a misnomer. We can’t do that. What we can do is set limits on our own exposure to people who are behaving poorly; we can’t change them or make them behave right.

We set standards, but let people be who they are, separate ourselves from them when they misbehave, saying in effect, "You can be that way if you choose, but you cannot come into my house/be a part of my life. All that are repentant are welcome here."

You should limit your exposure to evil, unrepentant people, those who act in destructive ways. We are not being unloving. Separating ourselves protects love, because we are taking a stand against things that destroy love.

Compliants

Compliant people have fuzzy and indistinct boundaries; they “melt” into the demands and needs of other people. They can’t stand alone, distinct from people who want something from them. Compliants, for example, pretend to like the same restaurants and movies their friends do “just to get along.” They minimize their differences with others so as not to rock the boat. Compliants are chameleons.

After a while it’s hard to distinguish them from their environment. The inability to say no to the bad is pervasive. Not only does it keep us from refusing evil in our lives, it often keeps us from recognizing evil. Many compliant people realize too late that they’re in a dangerous or abusive relationship. Their spiritual and emotional “radar” is broken; they have no ability to guard their hearts.

This type of boundary problem paralyzes people’s no muscles. Whenever they need to protect themselves by saying no, the word catches in their throats. This happens for a number of different reasons:

- Fear of hurting the other person’s feelings
- Fear of abandonment and separateness
- A wish to be totally dependent on another
- Fear of someone else’s anger
- Fear of punishment
- Fear of being shamed Fear of being seen as bad or selfish
- Fear of being unspiritual
- Fear of one’s overstrict, critical conscience

This last fear is actually experienced as guilt. People who have an overstrict, critical conscience will condemn themselves for things God himself (or others outside of the relationship don’t) doesn’t condemn them for. “Since their conscience is weak, it is defiled”. Afraid to confront their critical internal parent, they tighten appropriate boundaries.

When we give in to guilty feelings, we are complying with a harsh conscience. This fear of disobeying the harsh conscience translates into an inability to confront others— a saying yes to the bad— because it would cause more guilt. We should be compliant from the inside out (compassionate), not compliant on the outside and resentful on the inside (sacrificial). Compliants take on too many responsibilities and set too few boundaries, not by choice, but because they are afraid.


Me: BW 37
Him: WH 38
(DDay: 2/2008)
13 years, 5 kids...Six years of Limbo

“I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well." ~ Diane Ackerman


Posts: 178 | Registered: Jun 2013
Topic Posts: 40