Boundaries. What Are They?

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Aames

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Boundaries. What Are They?
« on: October 13, 2007, 12:04:09 AM »
Boundaries;    What are they?
A boundary is a limit or edge that defines you as separate from others.
 

Types of boundaries
Physical
Emotional
Spiritual
Sexual
Relational

Boundaries bring order to our lives. Boundaries empower us to determine how we'll be treated by others. With good boundaries, we can have the wonderful assurance that comes from knowing we can and will protect ourselves from the ignorance, meanness, or thoughtlessness of others.

You have a limit to what is safe and appropriate.
You have a border that separates you from others.  

As we learn to strengthen our boundaries, we gain a clearer sense of ourselves and our relationship to others.

For more information on setting and exericising healthy boundaries, please visit:
ILoveULove.com
"Don't ever offer up facts for consideration where small minds and angry villagers are concerned. They don't like having their myths busted or their war-parties interrupted."

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cagey

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2007, 06:09:40 PM »
Rules vs Boundaries

This is where a lot of people get confused.

Basically rules are about someone else and boundaries are about us.

An example might be:

Rule:

You may not use something of mine without permission.

Boundary:

If my things are used without permission, I will remove them from availability.

Another example:

Rule:

You will not speak disrepectfully to me.

Boundary:

If I am spoken to disrefectfully, I will leave until the conversation can continue respectfully.

Rules are made to be broken and there is always an exception to one. Boundaries are consistent always.

Basically, rules are about the other person and attempts to control their actions; boundaries are only about us and what we will do if they are crossed.

Cagey

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oneflewover

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2010, 01:30:50 AM »
Thanks for bumping this thread back into view CW.  Such an important topic for a non!

Quote
boundaries are only about us and what we will do if they are crossed.

Yup.  So how do we set boundaries effectively when we are dealing with a PD who will try to violate those boundaries?

"A boundary is like a tea strainer. It allows the fluidity between people but catches the "stuff" of transference which can become imposing." (author unknown)

4 Step model for setting boundaries

1. Calmly inform the other person by stating, "I feel uncomfortable and want to shut down when you yell at me."

2. Request that they honor your boundary. "I ask that you talk to me without yelling." Or ..For me to listen and hear what you are saying to me, I need to you speak to me in a calm voice without yelling.

3. Insist that they honor your boundary, again with a firm but kind voice, "I insist that when we are talking we talk in calm voices."

4. Leave the situation. Now is not the time or place to continue communicating with someone who refuses to respect your boundaries. Leave the door open to talk later in a more respectful manner. Continue to maintain a calm but firm voice and say, "I will not continue this conversation in this way. I welcome an opportunity to talk with you without yelling or screaming at another time. Let me know if you decide to visit without raised voices."

-From "Setting Boundaries in Relationships" By Judy H. Wright


The Steps Of Setting Boundaries

1. Be prepared to observe and feel the feeling without reacting.

This is the creation of the "gap" in order to not revert to previous reactions and previous wounds. Then you are capable of dealing with the issue in a mature and an empowered space in the present moment.

2. Realize that no-one else is responsible for fixing your negative feelings.

It's your job. This is an essential part of the steps that keeps you connected to your own power.

3. Connect to who you are (principle-centered identity) and what your truth is on the matter.

Be prepared to calmly and clearly state and walk this truth. BE COURAGEOUS! State your truth as an "I" statement, not a "You" statement. For example: "I feel uncomfortable about doing that, so the answer is no," rather than saying, "I can't believe you'd expect me to do that."

4. Detach from being connected to an individual or group validating your feelings or "getting" where you are coming from.

If you are reliant on another person for validating your feelings and understanding your point of view, your emotions and mental state will be dictated by this person. They don't need to "get" you. YOU need to "get" you.

5. Detach from being connected to a particular outcome being created with that person or that situation.

This is true identity assertion. It means you are aware that you have the power to create your truth (even if it takes time), regardless of what circumstances life throws at you. This is the philosophy of aligning with durable long-lasting results. This point grants you ultimate freedom, because you no longer give in to quick-fix solutions that don't stand the test of time.

If certain situations and people aren't matching your truth, they will either adjust their behavior or depart from your reality. What you can be assured is that your life will fill with details, events and people that are the truth of you. Think about it...your life has always worked with this formula, whether you are conscious of it or not!

You and you alone are the creator of your own reality. And this reality is created by your boundaries.

-From "Setting Boundaries In Relationships: How to Keep the Good In and the Bad Out" By Melanie Evans
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

~Alis volat propriis

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beadreamer247

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2010, 05:28:39 PM »
My experience with my boyfriend is very effective, even though it took a while for him to respect the boundary that I had set. I decided not to keep going in a conversation where I am yelled at, not heard at and when he starts the typical blame trip. I always let him know when I stop listening and talking to him and why. When he yells I tell him "I am not talking to you any further because you are yelling" or "I am no longer in this conversation with you because you don't listen to what I have to say and how I feel and see the situation". And I am sticking to it. He keeps insisting on talking because he wants it off his chest....he learned to calm himself down and then he starts again and as soon as he gets back into a direction where he crosses my boundaries I cut it off again....At first he got extremely irritated, but I made it through. After several incidences like this he began to realize that he cannot force me into a conversation and response etc....
This was a little frightening for him because he is no longer in control - he tried the threatening with other things  like kicking me out or calling the police. I told him that he could do whatever he wants and needs to do, but that it would not impress me and scare me. So, the scare tactic lost its power as well. But it took him a while to realize....
Since then our arguments whenever something minor rubs him are more under control. I cannot stop him from getting irritated about something, but I can have a certain control of having a big fight or not. You cannot have a fight with yourself.....
And to my very surprise I can reach much farther and he listens better to what I have to say, still he often believes firmly in his right point of view etc....but at least he listens....that is one step closer....
And the biggest plus...no big blow ups!!!!!

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gary

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2010, 05:49:01 PM »
I haven't told this in a while because it is just my own idea and could be so wrong that I don't suggest it as areal form of boundaries but I think its pretty cool and kinda makes sense.

I think we all know that there has to be a consequence attached to each boundary and enforced each time one is crossed.

So for example if a person starts yelling at you you could set a boundary that each time that happens I'm going to leave the room. If you follow through with that then you will never experience them yelling at you again because you won't be there to hear it....Cool hey !

Problem is I didn't get into the relationship to leave the room. I got into it because I wanted to be in the room with this person not the other way around. If the person keeps up the behavior then you will be leaving the room over and over again. You could then just ramp up the consequence over and over again but eventually the relationship would and should come to an end. So I figured why should I have all these different consequences for each of my boundaries. Knowing that some should be ridged and some should have some give to them would take different levels of consequences to match the crime.

So I came up with the concept that the consequence for crossing any boundary would be the same....The relationship would be over......But :cool2:

There would be a coupon book issued for each one with different amounts of coupons in each book.

For example for cheating she would open up her coupon book for that and find none....The relationship is over.

In the coupon book for yelling there could be 100.

So the incentive could be this: She has been yelling twice a week for the past 8 months . I could look in the book and say, "Honey....You know the consequence for running out of coupons is the relationship will be over and you have just 36 coupons left."..."You may want to start to get a handle on that." ;)

" A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust is not on the branch but on its own wings.

Believe in yourself ".


Josh S hipp

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http://gawalters.com/blog/

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beadreamer247

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2010, 09:56:55 AM »
Gary,

I disagree that we need to add consequences...because of natural consequences that follow by withdrawing and turning away when the conversation becomes uncomfortable.
The PD wants to be heard and wants all attention in the world at the same time, when they have their blow up. If you dont' give them that....they are not being heard and have no attention at all. They are left alone with their need to blow up and blame game etc.....
While the PD is self-centered and less caring about others and their opinions and feelings, they still have a desire to be connected with someone, especially those they actually care for. If you take this connection away...they are hurt and confused. They have a strong desire to get connected again....

It is like touching an electrical wire fence....every time they blow up and get disconnected by the other person -  they touch it and get an electric shock (being left alone)
They do it over and over again...while it doesn't feel good, they have to learn that as long as they act up the wire is giving me a shock....and at one point they are trying different ways to get past this wire....and learn that if they calm down and show more respect and listen....hey, there is no electric shock and I can get beyond the fence....

It takes a while and a lot of patience....but I can clearly tell it works.
Whenever I walk away...there is silence for a while, but it doesn't really take that long that my boyfriend comes to me again with another attempt. In the beginning the attempt was hairwire again...so I cut it off again (electric shock again) and the more I did it, the more he learned...this doesn't work anymore.
But he was clearly showing the desire to reconnect to me while he was unable to realize that he didnt' have himself under control at all....He learned to gain more control and to realize how he was/is acting and that it was not getting him anywhere anymore.
I used to give him all the attention he wanted - but it was negative attention that he received. At this point it goes back to a very simple principle children sometimes use - better negative attention than no attention at all.
It appears to me that the PD wants a lot of attention due to his ego and self-centered personality. They care less in a rage moment if it is positve or negative - they DO get attention one way or another - while the negative is not getting them anywhere.

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gary

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2010, 10:06:36 AM »
What about you and your sons needs to live in a peaceful household that dosen't involve walking through a mine field.



« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 10:09:56 AM by gary »
" A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust is not on the branch but on its own wings.

Believe in yourself ".


Josh S hipp

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http://gawalters.com/blog/

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gary

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2010, 10:41:48 AM »
Even in the healthiest of relationships people need boundaries and consequences. It's what keeps each person an individual and free to be themselves but with each other. It's what keeps countries free. It's not so much the boundary that keeps America free but the consequences of trying to take that away.

It's all through nature. It's what keeps a lions cubs safe and able to grow into a healthy lion.

Otherwise without them we become prisoners.

Can you imagine the total chaos that would exist here if there were not guidelines and consequences for not following them.

Can you imagine driving across town tomorrow with your son in the car if during the night they removed all the traffic signals.

Someone has to say, "Everything stops right here right now !"

« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 10:59:58 AM by gary »
" A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust is not on the branch but on its own wings.

Believe in yourself ".


Josh S hipp

www.gawalters.com
http://gawalters.com/blog/

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Klarity Belle

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2010, 11:27:38 AM »
Someone has to say, "Everything stops right here right now !"

That was exactly how it was in all my previous experiences of PD relationships and the person to say it was me. Sadly, I kept skipping onto a slightly lesser disordered individual for my next round but there did come a point in my last relationship where I had some kind of epiphany.  I was going off at my kids over something small because I was so stressed and upset with xAvpd's distancing, it was something in my girl's faces -  a look of complete hurt mixed with confusion over my behaviour towards them, that's what  finally woke me up.  That's when I had my ultimate "Everything stops right here right now!" moment and I started making the genuine changes I needed to in myself and my own life in order for me and my children to have healthier lives in general.  I was a prisoner but I will not be one again.

I'm late to welcome you here Beadreamer but I have been following your posts.  I would just like to suggest that you try putting your needs and those of your son's first. Just because your partner has a PD does not give him the right to cause you and your son problems, but it is up to you to set the boundaries and the consequences here or he will just keep on trampling to the detriment of you both.  There is plenty of information here in the Non PD toolbox and other resources that can help you.  My sincere good wishes, Klarity Belle.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 11:31:19 AM by Klarity Belle »
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Saraa

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2010, 12:15:07 PM »
Quote
Problem is I didn't get into the relationship to leave the room. I got into it because I wanted to be in the room with this person not the other way around.

Good point.  Relationships are about give and take.  If one person is doing all the giving and logical thinking and jumping through hoops to keep the other person on an even keel, that is not an equal partnership.

Quote
So I came up with the concept that the consequence for crossing any boundary would be the same....The relationship would be over......But  

Agreed.  At some point unless we are fulfilling a co-dependent need of our own by remaining with an abusive person, then leaving is the best option.

There are, of course, all sorts of psychotherapeutic tactics and techniques we could use to keep the PD calm, but a relationship should not be about one person constantly providing therapy to another so that person could behave like a normal human being.

That is why people sometimes put people with the aggressive form of Alzheimer's in a home.  It is not to be cruel, but because they need to get back their life.   No one faults someone who puts an Alzheimer's patient in an appropriate care facility, particularly because some alzheimer's patients can no longer feed and cloth themselves.

Unlike an Alzheimer's patient A PD can fend for themselves and can still provide for their own basic needs and care.  

Moreover, they are actually extremely good at getting their own needs met and at manipulating others to serve them.  Hence there is no need to ensure that a PD is cared for in continuing care facility as there is with a once loving person who develops Alzheimers.

« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 12:18:22 PM by Saraa »

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beadreamer247

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2010, 04:16:31 PM »
Quote from: "gary"
Even in the healthiest of relationships people need boundaries and consequences. It's what keeps each person an individual and free to be themselves but with each other. It's what keeps countries free. It's not so much the boundary that keeps America free but the consequences of trying to take that away.

We also have to look at Natural Consequences, when there is no need to add a consequence to a set boundary or rule.

Simple example. My son has the tendency to go to the bus stop last minute. I told him that if he misses the bus, he will have to walk all the way to school and explain the reason to his teacher and won't get an excuse for his tardiness from me. So, if he does miss it....he ends up with his own consequences....I am not able to bring him AND would not do so in this case. Period.

If myh son chooses to eat the whole bag of chips all at once, he won't have any for the rest of the week. He can choose and he feels the consequence...no need to add a consequence.

If my boyfriend gets a blow up and talks to me in an unacceptable way - I am not available for him.

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beadreamer247

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2010, 04:33:51 PM »
Quote from: "gary"
What about you and your sons needs to live in a peaceful household that dosen't involve walking through a mine field.



 
Yes, for a long time it felt like walking through a mine field on a daily basis. But we both learned over time to care less about a couple of things...by thinking he will blow up over something anyway, so why being so cautious in first place. I started showing him that I would not bend all the way always his ways....and I stayed persistant. Wasn't easy...but my persistance taught him that he had no choice....
I tried going so far to threaten us with police and kicking us out...I told him go ahead, I'm not afraid. He kept asking, if I wouldn't want to prepare for it...I said "NO"....whenever and whatever happens, happens....and brushed it off. The first few times, yes it scared me a little. But over time you get a cold sholder for certain things and it didn't feel like such a threat to me.
He actually deep inside is much more afraid of me leaving....didn't admit it for the longest time.

On top of it...like I had mentioned in my story and other posts here...I see changes in him and hope. Now that we finally know what is really going on and after he finally clicked that whatever the issue is - I am open to talk about it, sometimes I am able to see his point somewhat, other times less, but often a compromise can be found. Compromises are needed in ANY relationship.
He finally is beginning to realize, that the real problem is not in his irritation, but much rather in his reaction over it. Yes, I can tolerate that he is upset about something and accept how HE feels without that I neccessarily have to agree! But his REACTION is the big problem and that is what causes the big blow up and what we are both tired of.
He used to blame the blow up on the irritant, on the person's irritating behavior etc.....that that was the reason for the blow up. He is now at a point where he changes his view and begins to see that it is actually his reaction that makes everything so miserable....
And with my strategy of walking away when he gets out of proportiion I am helping him to guide him, when he reaches my boundaries. He actually begins to understand now and then the first time I turn away. He calms down and begins to focus better....

It takes a long time to feel free of a mine field after such a long time, especially for my son...who doesn't see it as clearly as I do, because he's been hurt most. And it also takes time for me to relax, but I feel that I am getting less anxious when he's around....

I am standing up for my son and his needs, he always comes before my own needs. I spoke with him several times when I was close to moving out, yes I was there. But he doesn't really want to move, his friends are so very important to him and he wants to stay at the same school. He doesn't like when he blows up and other things, but he doesn't want to move either.

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beadreamer247

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2010, 04:43:39 PM »
Quote from: "gary"
So I came up with the concept that the consequence for crossing any boundary would be the same....The relationship would be over......But :cool2:

There would be a coupon book issued for each one with different amounts of coupons in each book.

For example for cheating she would open up her coupon book for that and find none....The relationship is over.

In the coupon book for yelling there could be 100.

So the incentive could be this: She has been yelling twice a week for the past 8 months . I could look in the book and say, "Honey....You know the consequence for running out of coupons is the relationship will be over and you have just 36 coupons left."..."You may want to start to get a handle on that." ;)

Well, we all cross the boundaries of our partner now and then....unfortunately even in the healthiest relationship this happens...we have to keep that in mind. I honestly don't believe in a realtionship where there are never fights and arguments, where nobody ever does wrong to the other etc...

In addition we are dealing here with a person with a disorder and to make changes....It's been said to change a behavior for a healthy normal  person without disorder at least 45 days to get the hang of the change.....
For a PD person it takes even longer because more processing is involved. First you have to get them to realize that something is wrong with them, then to accept it...and then starting to work on it....often they do not realize that the reason why they feel irritated is no irriation for the non-PD....So they have to realize that only they have that feeling. Then they have to learn that their reaction is overrated.
They cannot change until they realize this so far.....and this alone takes time...
You cannot change what you don't realize and are aware of.
Once they got this far....the changing process can begin.....

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findingme

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2010, 07:52:33 AM »
I think that there has been "conditioning" by abusers (PDs) that have told us "boundaries don't belong in marriage/relationship" (implying that OUR boundaries are creating the LACK of intimacy that we have; again, it is OUR fault when we are just trying to clarify and identify the real problem). This might "hoover us" back to NOT have boundaries with them and this is VERY dangerous.

My NPDh told me this and I looked at him and said "I will have my boundaries with whomever it seems fit for me to have them with and that includes you"...Boundaries command respect. When I "set up" the boundaries that I have with him NOW, I SAW that he did not respect them; thus NOT respect me. It helped me to see that it was "not me" who was crossing over the line but him.  

My favorite boundary (and used ONLY when necessary) is saying NO...and sometimes it is saying NO without using words (no contact). I don't engage in conversation because that is the "clay in the potters' hand" for him...then he has "something to work with" and I won't even give him that. I have literally said NOTHING to him but have said "no" with my actions and he has "very little to attack" because he cannot get me engaged to "talk about it".

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DragoN

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2010, 02:56:28 PM »
Quote
Sometimes 'boundaries' aren't enough. Fortresses have to be built.

Sorry, that's where I am. Sometimes, 'walk away' isn't an option.
Sometimes...we just have to build the fortress....and walk out the back...

Walk away isn't an option when someone is raging in your face...true. So far I have not mastered crystal ball reading of the moods either...I'm not bad...but I am certainly prone to errors.  :uuuuuuhhh:

I was pretty good at the  :ninja:  escape routine....but that's not exactly how I want to spend the rest of my life either.

I think at the end of the day....the 'walk away' aspect is taken care of by simply not being there in the first place.

Boundaries are beautiful things....it falls squarely on one's own shoulders when things go hay wire....like it or not.  :cascade:

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jaw

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2010, 11:42:40 PM »
i didn't learn to set boundaries while living with my h, but now that he will soon be my x, i am learning more about it. when he sends me text after text accusing me of stuff, i completely ignore them. it used to be i'd get dozens. the other night he started in in person after dropping my daughter off. i asked him to please leave my house. then i got two texts, which i did not respond to. there were no more texts, and that is a record. i like to think perhaps he is getting the message. if not, at least it feels good to me to set them..it also feels hard to do it but is getting easier.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2010, 11:43:12 PM by jaw »

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findingme

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2010, 11:37:07 AM »
(((jaw))) I don't know if my stbxNPDh is "getting it" either since I haven't replied or indicated that I have even read any of inane emails since May...especially the one where he "gave me an ultimatum" to return to him by 12/1...and I never replied...I believe that they will "cling onto whatever works" for them to get our attention...if we "get upset" about texts, emails or voicemails and let them know, they will use it...my NPDh does not call me because I have HUNG UP on him several times during the "difficult months" of his PD after we started to try to reconcile...he KNOWS that I will hang up again. He doesn't email as much because he is "not getting narcisstic supply" met this way; I am NOT responding as he NEEDS... In person, I walk away; I don't engage and he could be yelling and screaming and I look "undaunted/unaffected" by his behavior.

The MORE that they can control us with their behavior, the MORE they do it...


Good thing for me; my NPDh thinks that it "hurts me" to NOT hear from him   :tongue:
so I have had almost 10 days go in between his emails before he has to "shoot me another" one to try :hoover: me back..it never works.

Maybe he is learning too.

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rberkman

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2011, 11:14:03 PM »
I discovered a few years ago that my wife of 20+ years was BPD, which explained a lot of what had been mysterious, confusing, and extremely frustrating behaviors. I have also learned that I have very weak boundaries, and just starting to learn how to establish them. Unfortunately, for my wife, a "boundary" to her is a sign of being closed, cold, unavailable, and unsympathetic, and triggers her sense of abandonment and anger even more....

Wonder if anyone else has had this problem. Another question: what about the relationship between weak boundaries and self esteem? Does one naturally correlate with the other, and if so, does this mean that if one has weak boundaries, that one should be looking at self esteem issues too?

Thanks,
Bob

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gary

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2011, 11:33:29 PM »
Quote
Does one naturally correlate with the other, and if so, does this mean that if one has weak boundaries, that one should be looking at self esteem issues too?

Yes, it's my opinion that it does. If we have a low self esteem then we would feel unworthy to establish boundaries.

Also don't be discouraged when she doesn't change her behavior when you establish a boundary. They are not meant to change them (although they may) but to protect us from the behavior.
" A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust is not on the branch but on its own wings.

Believe in yourself ".


Josh S hipp

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http://gawalters.com/blog/

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Bloshka

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Re: Boundaries. What Are They?
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2011, 11:10:53 PM »
Aren't boundaries a limit of what a person will accept?

For example, I have a problem with a person who gossips.   I don't like it.  I didn't whether to steer the subject elsewhere or walk away or what.   I've been practicing.   I do know that if the gossiping continues, I'm going to maintain a good distance.