Boundaries. Boundaries. Boundaries.
I can’t stress the importance of setting healthy boundaries enough.
Healthy boundaries are a game changer!
They’re a real life changer, not just with your partner but across all areas of life.
All this talk about boundaries but what is a healthy boundary?
A healthy boundary is kinda like a rule that keeps us safe both emotionally & physically. A boundary teaches people how we expect to be treated.
Pretty important stuff.
The following tips will help when setting healthy and realistic boundaries:
? Decide on a consequence if the boundary is broken.
? The boundary & consequence must be realistic. For example: if you can’t follow through on the consequence, it doesn’t work. If the boundary is unrealistic, it’s setting both the boundary setter and boundary follower up for failure.
? Keep boundaries manageable ie: not too detailed & if your list looks like a book, the boundaries will be overwhelming & unsuccessful.
? Clearly state the set boundaries & consequences before implementing. Have a conversation of why this is important to you. Communication helps.
Boundary setting is about recognizing your values, needs and wants are important. Boundary setting is not about punishing anyone. When we have clear boundaries and consistent follow through, your loved one is forced to accept responsibilities for their actions.
Setting healthy, realistic, and manageable boundaries is important for both you and your addicted partner. It will keep the focus on you and your well-being while building or re-building personal strength. ?
Boundaries also keep us from becoming enmeshed with the chaos that comes with addiction.
It’s common to worry about your addicted spouse and what they are doing and trying to micromanage the addiction. This is done out of fear. Worry & micromanaging others gives the illusion of control. Like somehow we can ensure our safety from ever experiencing this type of pain again. I speak both professionally and personally here … it doesn’t work. Worry & control leads to anxiety & depression. Think about it … has worry ever solved or fixed anything? We can’t avoid pain. We can only control how we respond to it.
Examples of boundaries for people in a relationship with an addict:
? You must be in active recovery or you can’t live here. (Decide what active recovery looks like to you first)
? I will not bail you out or secure a lawyer for you if you are arrested.
? I expect to be spoken to with respect, if you yell or name call, the conversation is over.
? Continuing with this relationship, total transparency is expected. Electronic devices must be password free and easily accessible to me. ?
Boundaries are as individual as we are. What works for some may not work for you. Take time & care to set boundaries that are aligned with your individual wants, needs and values.
As a wonderful S-Anon group shared:
“It works if you work it and you’re worth it so work it!”
You’ve got this.
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