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Tips For Setting Boundaries

Old 07-27-2002, 03:54 PM
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Morning Glory
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Lightbulb Tips For Setting Boundaries

TIPS FOR SETTING BOUNDARIES

Anger, rage, complaining, whining, and feeling threatened, "suffocated" or victimized are clues to boundaries you need to set.

When you identify a need to set a boundary or a limit with someone, do it clearly, preferably without anger and in as few words as possible.

You cannot simultaneously set a limit with someone and take care of their feelings--they may be hurt, angry or disappointed with you.

You'll probably be ashamed and afraid when you set boundaries.

Be prepared to follow through by acting in congruence with the boundaries you set.

You'll be tested when you set boundaries.

Some people are happy to respect your boundaries.

A support system can be helpful as you strive to establish and enforce boundaries.

You'll set boundaries when you are ready and not a minute sooner.

There's a satisfying side to setting boundaries--it feels good.



EXAMPLES OF SETTING BOUNDARIES

"You don't have a right to tell me what to think, or invalidate my feelings."

"Don't vent your anger on me, I won't have it."

"This is mine, you don't have a right to use it as yours."

"I won't accept your belittling jokes, your criticism or your condescending attitude toward me."

"I won't be disrespected -- If you won't respect me, then stay away."

"Keep your hands off me."

"Stop doing that...or I'll leave; report you; file charges, (etc.)."

"Don't try to tell me what to do."

"If we're going to have a working relationship, I need honesty, respect & equality."

"I need to communicate when we have a misunderstanding."

"I need openness and sharing in a relationship -- your withholding is making our relationship not satisfying for me."



HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR PERSONAL BOUNDARIES

Ask directly for what you want. This shows who you are to others.

Nurture yourself and your integrity. This creates an inner, intuitive sense that lets you know when a relationship has become hurtful abusive, or invasive.

Be objective about others' behavior toward you without getting caught in their drama.

Maintain a bottom line -- a limit to how many times you allow someone to say no, lie, disappoint, or betray you before you will admit the painful reality and move on.

Change the locus of trust from others to yourself. Don't put yourself in someone else's hands or expect unfallibility. Trust that you can allow others to be normally human and still have satisfying intimacy.



AFFIRMATIONS OF SOME BASIC RIGHTS

Nobody has the right to know my mind or my business or to tell me what to think, what to feel or what to do.

I have a right to my own thoughts, feelings, values and beliefs.

What I share with others about matters that concern me is determined by what feels right to me--not what they want.

If people are abusive or disrespectful to me, I have a right to tell them so, to ask them to stop and to avoid them.

I don't have to be nice to people who aren't nice to me.

I don't need abuse or to be disrespected.

I have a need and right to love myself, respect myself and to stand up for myself.

I always have a right to express what I feel and think for myself, as long as I don't try to tell others what's right for them.

I have a right to be who I am and to harmlessly live my own life regardless of whether others don't like it.

I don't have to feel guilty for not behaving as others might want me to or for not giving others what they expect from me.

I accept myself just as I am in the moment with whatever thoughts and feelings I have.

I accept my right to make mistakes--otherwise I couldn't learn and grow.

I accept my right to my imperfection and shortcomings and don't feel guilty for not being perfect.

I believe that no matter what, I am a divine child of God who is loved, forgiven, safe and destined to God's eternal life and blessings.

I believe that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us--to be treated with love and respect.

I believe that if I am true to myself and live by the highest truth I know, that things will turn out for the best in the long run.
 
Old 07-27-2002, 04:46 PM
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Ann
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MG

Thank you for posting this, I know it must have taken a lot ot time and effort.

Boundaries are so important in any relationship, and until we learn how to set them, we leave ourselves open to be victims.
I believe it is important that the boundaries be about US and how we allow others to treat us, and not about THEM or used to control their actions.

When my son is raising his voice in anger or disrespect, I remove myself from the conversation, or ask him to leave my house. He can be angry anywhere else he wants, but he cannot direct it at me.

I am going to "sticky" this at the top for a while so that it does not get overlooked.

Thank you again.

Oops - It seems to get lost at the top right now, so I will let it rest where it is for a while, then sticky it later when most of us have had a chance to read it.

Last edited by Ann; 07-27-2002 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 07-30-2002, 08:13 PM
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Bringing this back up for the newcomers and us oldtimers too as a reminder.
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Old 08-07-2002, 05:08 PM
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Back up to the top - we could all read this again as a reminder, I know I need to read it often.
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Old 08-08-2002, 11:05 AM
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Much, much, much needed! Thank you. I sent it to several of my friends too

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Old 07-17-2010, 11:06 AM
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OMG! I so learned a few of "how to handle this, or that..."
THANK YOU so much for sharing this
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Morning Glory View Post
TIPS FOR SETTING BOUNDARIES

Anger, rage, complaining, whining, and feeling threatened, "suffocated" or victimized are clues to boundaries you need to set.

When you identify a need to set a boundary or a limit with someone, do it clearly, preferably without anger and in as few words as possible.

You cannot simultaneously set a limit with someone and take care of their feelings--they may be hurt, angry or disappointed with you.

You'll probably be ashamed and afraid when you set boundaries.

Be prepared to follow through by acting in congruence with the boundaries you set.

You'll be tested when you set boundaries.

Some people are happy to respect your boundaries.

A support system can be helpful as you strive to establish and enforce boundaries.

You'll set boundaries when you are ready and not a minute sooner.

There's a satisfying side to setting boundaries--it feels good.



EXAMPLES OF SETTING BOUNDARIES

"You don't have a right to tell me what to think, or invalidate my feelings."

"Don't vent your anger on me, I won't have it."

"This is mine, you don't have a right to use it as yours."

"I won't accept your belittling jokes, your criticism or your condescending attitude toward me."

"I won't be disrespected -- If you won't respect me, then stay away."

"Keep your hands off me."

"Stop doing that...or I'll leave; report you; file charges, (etc.)."

"Don't try to tell me what to do."

"If we're going to have a working relationship, I need honesty, respect & equality."

"I need to communicate when we have a misunderstanding."

"I need openness and sharing in a relationship -- your withholding is making our relationship not satisfying for me."



HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR PERSONAL BOUNDARIES

Ask directly for what you want. This shows who you are to others.

Nurture yourself and your integrity. This creates an inner, intuitive sense that lets you know when a relationship has become hurtful abusive, or invasive.

Be objective about others' behavior toward you without getting caught in their drama.

Maintain a bottom line -- a limit to how many times you allow someone to say no, lie, disappoint, or betray you before you will admit the painful reality and move on.

Change the locus of trust from others to yourself. Don't put yourself in someone else's hands or expect unfallibility. Trust that you can allow others to be normally human and still have satisfying intimacy.



AFFIRMATIONS OF SOME BASIC RIGHTS

Nobody has the right to know my mind or my business or to tell me what to think, what to feel or what to do.

I have a right to my own thoughts, feelings, values and beliefs.

What I share with others about matters that concern me is determined by what feels right to me--not what they want.

If people are abusive or disrespectful to me, I have a right to tell them so, to ask them to stop and to avoid them.

I don't have to be nice to people who aren't nice to me.

I don't need abuse or to be disrespected.

I have a need and right to love myself, respect myself and to stand up for myself.

I always have a right to express what I feel and think for myself, as long as I don't try to tell others what's right for them.

I have a right to be who I am and to harmlessly live my own life regardless of whether others don't like it.

I don't have to feel guilty for not behaving as others might want me to or for not giving others what they expect from me.

I accept myself just as I am in the moment with whatever thoughts and feelings I have.

I accept my right to make mistakes--otherwise I couldn't learn and grow.

I accept my right to my imperfection and shortcomings and don't feel guilty for not being perfect.

I believe that no matter what, I am a divine child of God who is loved, forgiven, safe and destined to God's eternal life and blessings.

I believe that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us--to be treated with love and respect.

I believe that if I am true to myself and live by the highest truth I know, that things will turn out for the best in the long run.
I have just discovered this site, and it is quite timely. I have been separated from my AH for three months. He is in AA for the second time in a year and has been sober now for 72 days. During his period of drinking heavily, he was in hot pursuit of at least two women that I know of, but this was never what he was like in our previous 27 years of marriage when he was not a heavy drinker. I plan to move back in with him by Christmas (a month or so from now) or when he finishes the twelve steps program with his mentor. I don't know if my decision is arbitrary regarding the move date. I don't know if it is wise. I know I miss him, and we have begun to enjoy each other's company again and have been seeing each other about once or twice a week for a couple of months. I am not worried about not leading my own life. I have always done that, and I detached myself for the last three years that he was drinking heavily before we separated. What I need help with and advice regarding is this: I can't come back home without a plan B, and my plan is that if he relapses, he sleeps on the sofa. If the relapse goes on for a week, he moves out until he is sober again and back "on the wagon." If women are involved, it is all over, forever. Does any of this sound like I am setting us both up for pain and failure? Am i deluding myself and being worse than no support for him?
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:41 AM
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Hello Euchella, Welcome to SR!
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:26 AM
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Great original post here. I've never seen this one before, but it's the clearest description of emotional boundaries that I've seen yet.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:05 AM
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thank you for finding this and bumping it up, Florence. Hope all is well with you this week!
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:15 AM
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I remember one of the first times I set a boundary. A real boundary. Not out of anger but I was firm.

After I did it, I was like, holy cow! I did that. Go me!!

Amazingly, it worked too.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:23 AM
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This is a great reminder, thank you...
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:39 AM
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It's common stuff for people to confuse trying to change or control other people with establishing a boundary to protect themselves and, where applicable, minor children.

A boundary seeks to change the behavior of the boundary setter, not other people.

A boundary does not depend on other people to respect it.

" You will/ will not..., or else..." is an attempt to control another person. Attempts to control other people lead to mutual resentments and do not work.

" I will/will not..." is a boundary. For example :

"I will not be a part of a relationship with someone in active addiction/alcoholism or new to recovery" is a boundary. Our boundary compels us to remove ourself from the situation when encountering someone in active addiction/alcoholism or new to recovery. The alcoholic/addict is free to live their life as they see fit to do, just elsewhere.

Tough love means being tough with ourselves and protecting ourselves and minor children from the chaos of addiction and alcoholism.
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:29 PM
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i"m not sure if this was in response to my question regarding moving back in with my husband, but whether it was or not, it was very helpful. I see that I am still trying to control. So what I take from it is that I have to restructure my own thought process so that it is about what I do, hence, the following: If my husband drinks again or not, I will still sleep in my own bed rather than the couch, as I have done before when the smell of stale alcohol and raucous snoring ran me out. I get to stay in the house, if the drinking continues, while he gets drunk elsewhere, rather than moving out, as I did three months ago. And I am on my own if there are other women involved, that is, I am aware of how much pain I can take, and betrayal, drunk or sober, goes beyond what I can bear. Or am I just saying the same thing, still trying to control, but couched in different terms?
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:25 PM
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Hello Euchella,

I was raised where you live.

I suggest a very potent book, "Getting Them Sober" by Toby Rice Drews. It is about the reality of what we cannot control about the alcoholic and has a lot of good advice for taking care of ourselves in an alcoholic marriage.

I was married many years ago to an alcoholic who could white-knuckle it for two or three months but always picked up a drink again and lost complete control. This is the definition of alcoholism: the loss of control. Craving, obsession, the first drink, complete loss of control.

The first year of sobriety for an alcoholic is a very volatile time, very volatile. And statistically your husband is more likely to relapse again than to stay sober. He might stay sober. But the odds are more likely he will not.

If you move back in, according to your plan, if he drinks and acts out in every possible alcoholic way, you plan to stay. You will not budge from the bed even if he's drunk and stinking and pissing. You will not budge from the house, even if he's drunk out of his mind, angry, crazy, and flat on his face. You will stay come hell or high water no matter how drunk he is.

So do you plan to move him out somehow? Why were you the one who left three months ago?

My point is, you need a legal plan. Not a game plan for out-thinking or outdoing his drinking (you will always lose). A legal plan.

My advice is that before you ever set foot back in the house, you see an attorney and get all the advice you need regarding legal separation and divorce.

You may never have to use that advice. But to step back onto the rollercoaster without it would not serve you well at all.

And I hope you will find that book I mentioned.

Welcome to SR.
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Old 04-11-2014, 02:08 PM
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Thank you I needed to read this
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Old 07-18-2017, 11:08 AM
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great post...thank you. We need one JUST LIKE THIS for parents who are divorced, trying to co-parent a child with an alcoholic. Anyone know of a thread for that?
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Old 07-18-2017, 11:38 AM
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this needs to turn into a "sticky" somewhere on this forum
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Old 07-18-2017, 11:48 AM
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I want to tattoo this post onto my forearm
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by MsGrace View Post
... We need one JUST LIKE THIS for parents who are divorced, trying to co-parent a child with an alcoholic. Anyone know of a thread for that?
We have an entire forum on that subject. You can find it here:

Family Members of Addicts and Alcoholics (Parents, Sons and Daughters, Siblings) - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information

Mike
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