Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Boundaries 2.0

This, my BWC warrior sisters, is hands down THE best description of boundaries and our society's trouble with them.
Some of you have been lamenting the fact that you have to set boundaries with your partners, noting that boundaries are for kids. Not true. Boundaries are for every one of us – as Brené Brown notes, they are no more and no less than simply expressing "what's okay and what's not okay."
I bow down to the Queen, Brené Brown.


  1. I love this woman 😀.. Thank you Elle thank you thank you xxx

  2. Yep. Everything I know about boundaries I learned from Brene! After dday I was forced to get clear on my boundaries, which was a bit of a process and then even harder to implement them. One of my biggest regrets was not honoring my boundaries during the hardest months post dday. I would either buy the counter moves H was pawning or my own fears would talk me into backing down.

    Boundaries are still very hard to implement with family and friends in different ways, but I am better at staying in my integrity. And where infidelity boundaries are concerns.... I am in a much stronger place to make sure they are respected.

    My H has a really really hard time with boundaries some respecting mine and other peoples, but mostly with setting them for himself. There are so many people in his life (family, friends, colleagues) that just run over the boundaries he tries to set or he never sets them. I have often witnessed how hurt and angry he can be. Also, I think sometimes he struggles with respecting my boundaries because he doesn't have any.

    Thank you Elle for this video. I am a big believer in the importance of boundaries.

    Love and support
    To all.


  3. Enlightening doesnt even explain it. I trnd to be black and white ... over explained and even too direct bi foind this im a keep it simple stupid kinda reminder ... whats ok and whats not ... thats it and whem it said like that so much easier to swallow huh ...

  4. I wanted to share my shift in boundaries and what happened in therapy. I'm pretty black and white, which I'm trying to correct in therapy. To me it is either good or bad, right or wrong. But I'm learning, not easily, there is territory in between. To me integrity is the difference between being nice and being good. The world values nice because nice is easy to do. Good is a lot more hard work. The Wolf was really nice to Little Red Riding Hood before he ate her grandmother. Boundaries, integrity, right and wrong and preventing getting eaten again. I asked my H did you ever slip her $10 or $20 other than the $500 loan? He said no. The next day he said "maybe". Only after I called the bank and he was caught then he said yes, I remember I did loan her $300. Ok, one of my boundaries is no more lies. I said he lied. He didn't think so. There is a whole lot of gray area between, his admission he did tell me early after Dday, he loaned her money but only $500. I'm thinking he only remembered after he was caught. Our therapist didn't take sides. I told him one more lie and I'm done. He said who is the arbitrator? Well it is black and white little ole me. I guess what I'm saying is I'm still trying to find my boundaries in that gray sea of circumstances. Some of them maybe too black and white. It disturbs me I still can't tell which ones are reasonable. Should they only be reasonable to me? I don't want nice anymore. I want being good. My therapist did tell him no more minimizing. She did tell me she would help me with reducing black & white to gray. I wish I would have clearly defined my boundaries with examples so we both understood clearly and decided what was reasonable to both of us. I'm 30 months out. Yes, it took me down to my knees again in a very bad way. I'm taking two anti-depressant now. When I went to the doctor my blood pressure was slightly elevated. I thought this is taking a toll on me. I'm not going to let that bitch and him steal my health too. Not knocked down yet. I'm not complaining just telling a story.

    1. Llp thank you for telling your story, the more we tell the more we can come to some clarity in our own heads. I like your therapists idea of looking at the grey areas I'm like you black or white, good or bad, that goes down the drain in the wake of betrayal. Glad your looking after your health Lynn, hope you can work through this last admission and move forward from it, lots of love xxx

    2. LLP,
      A "reasonable" boundary is one that keeps you from feeling resentment. It keeps you safe, emotionally and physically. It really is that simple. A reasonable boundary for one person might be that her partner is never late. I know a woman who broke off an engagement for that exact reason. She began to resent her fiancee so much that it was poisoning the relationship. He refused to be on time. End of potential marriage. And...completely reasonable to her.
      Someone else might not care so much about punctuality but a boundary for her might be that her driving-age children fill up the gas tank every time they use the car, even if it's just a short distance. Without that acknowledgement of appreciation, she feels resentful, which poisons the relationship. Another mother might not care.
      So...we get to set the boundaries that are reasonable to us -- what we will and will not tolerate -- and everyone else in our lives gets to decide if they're going to respect those boundaries or not. Some won't. And we then get to decide if we want to renegotiate our boundaries or let that person out of our lives. People will resist. They'll throw us counter-moves. But if we don't budge, over-explain, try to convince them but instead just reiterate our boundary, they'll come around...or they won't.
      Another example: My husband wanted two big dogs. I did not. He promised to walk them. He did not. I'm a dog lover (I just didn't think our lives had time for two big dogs) and I work from home. It drove me nuts that these dogs weren't getting walked. And so I walked them, mentally berating my husband the entire route. I begged him to walk them. I pleaded. I tried to reason, to appeal to his sense of duty. He'd agree to walk them and then...he was too tired. It was raining. You get the idea.
      I could have left the marriage. I could have given away the dogs. I could have sucked it up and walked them and decided it was good exercise.
      Instead...I hired a dog walker. My husband grumbled and I assured him the dog walker would stop coming just as soon as my husband consistently walked the dogs. That was five years ago. We love our dog walker. We've spent a fortune on him. But guess what?? I have ZERO resentment now. None. Boundary enforced -- ie. i'm not doing something I resent. Husband hates spending the money but apparently not enough to walk them himself. HIS choice.
      And they all lived happily ever after. ;)

    3. Love that you hired a dog walker Elle, how come you make things so simple : ). Xx

    4. Crazy thing is it took me YEARS to figure that out. I would routinely complain to anyone who would listen about how my husband REFUSED to do what I was asking him to do. Finally it was my therapist who looked at me like I was crazy (I was!!) and said to me, "surely you can figure out a solution to this." But hiring a dog walker felt like caving in to me. It felt like I was letting my husband off the hook. It took a long time to see that I was letting MYSELF off the hook. No more dog walking, unless I felt it. No more nagging, which made me feel like a bitch. No more hating my husband because he was lazy. Funniest part is, we still have the dog walker even though the two of us have made it our daily routine to walk the dogs together now. It's when we talk, reconnect. So our dogs are the happiest ones of all.

    5. It is so simple but so hard. I always say they are choices. And it is so liberating. Whether it is mowing the lawn or any other responsibility around the house or with the kids. For me I want to work and ther are many benefits but I said to my husband I need these things from you in order for me to work. Otherwise we need to talk more deeply if you cannot support me. And some of those were here helping out or they could be an added expense but I say it comes down to choices. But now more than ever I will not be made to feel like I am the only responsible one like I used to feel.

  5. I have learned so much about boundaries from my husbands betrayal. I will never accept my boundaries being crossed again. Extremely painful lesson learned but, much better place now.

    1. It sucks that sometimes it takes us going through hell to point us in a better direction. :)

  6. Lynn, I get what you are saying ... and others have noted here ... I believe I need to learn more about boundaries. Sometimes I don't know if what I want is a boundary, or a desire. I guess perhaps that is it - a want vs a need. For example, when my husband and I were separated and he wanted to continue the separation and be in touch with the OW - that violated my boundary, that did not work for me. Now, maybe I want to read an article together... and he doesn't... and that's Ok. I guess it's like our therapist told me at my last visit as we had ended couples counseling- I asked, should I lay out my boundaries to my husband and she said. "No, only if a situation arises ... ". I'm answering my own question here - listen to yourself - you will know what's Ok, and what's not. Thank you Brene. Thank you Elle.

    1. Melissa,
      I'll reiterate what I said above. A boundary keeps you from resenting the other person/the relationship. It keeps you safe emotionally/physically. It's what you will/will not tolerate.
      No contact with the OW is a boundary because his contact with her is going to create resentment in you. If he violates that boundary, he's disrespecting you. It's that simple.
      A desire to read a certain book with him is something that might make you feel loved or valued but it's not a boundary. It's something you would like to do but isn't inherently disrespectful of him if he chooses not to. Unless, of course, it's a condition of reconciliation. But force-reading likely isn't about to bring true change.

  7. This comment from the video : "I'll never KNOW if people are doing the best they can, or not, but when I assume people are,
    it makes my life better'

    It is the PERFECT explanation of why I have been so happy post d-day for the past 2 years or so after the shoock of D day started to wer off.. I assumed My H was absolutely doing his best.
    That didn't mean everything RIGHT or to MY liking, but HIS best.

    Well thank God and Elle and the ladies of BWC because it's because of you that I had the tools and the boundaries that I needed on Tuesday when I discovered the thrown down phone. The well used Fuck Fone.

    My NOW "XAH" (ass hole) is a sex addict.

    He never missed therapy, never drank,(around me, i find out) still has never said a mean word to me, not one. Read my former posts. Hell read my former guest spots where i RAVED about him. He was as close to perfect as he could be--doing his best which was pretty fucking great!.

    But I have found this week, after d-day December 2013, with all our dates and therapy and hand holding and sex and hysterical bonding and long talks etc etc etc, he had given up all his horrible vices until..sit down for this---Feb 2014.
    One month.
    He stopped for ONE month . Had.Me.snowed.

    This boundary enforced, I was always clear about it--if he did it again, he was out. Sadly he did it dozens of times but I just found out.

    he is out of the house and I am not talking to him. I've emailed him only to berate him. This will stop too.

    He is forbidden to come to the house. This is a boundary and you can watch me enforce it. I don't know what he's going to do, and I don't think I care.

    I am sadly indifferent. I know what I am doing though...and every bit of it is for me.

    I have shed not one tear. Not one. I may now be the woman that therapist worry about. I'll find out later today when I see my shrink, the one who used to be "our" shrink. Cant blame her, he had her snowed too.

    A very flummoxed but prepared, Steam.

    1. You have an army of women behind you Steam. Loving you, supporting you and ready to hold you.

    2. Omg Steam. Hearts to you! That little space in time where we can do what we need to do and not feel a goddamn thing has got to be a blessing to give our hearts a little relief.

    3. Steam
      Elle's right that we're all right here with you and for you anytime you need us!

    4. Steam... Your most likely in shock hence the no tears. I think you have done exactly the right thing by having no contact with him other than by email. There's no way round this one steam it's gonna be a day by day existence. I speak from experience having just found out that my h has been back in touch with his ow, 3 years down the line. Having just seen my therapist today she has advised me to vent on paper scribble till you tear the paper as you'll probably find like I have that anger comes pretty soon after shock and it comes with such force you need to be prepared to release it honey.. I feel for you steam my hearts breaking for you right now, have trust in yourself and trust that you will/can be ok no matter the outcome... We got your back .. Big hugs xxx

  8. Steam - we are all supporting you and will be here. My thoughts are with you.

  9. Elle, thank you so much for this forum that allows us to hold space for each other and accompany one another through hell (and sometimes back again) to healing. I am very grateful.


  10. Wow. Just wow, Thank you all - what an enlightening read. And Steam, you are proof that working on yourself puts you into a position of strength for whatever life hands you. You are inspiring.

  11. Steam, I had to read your post several times and couldn't believe it. I can't imagine finding out again. You sound so strong and resolved. Thinking of you each day. You helped me so many times, you don't know. This new turn is scarey because it could happen to any of us. Vent away and let me know how you are doing.

  12. Fragments of HopeJune 10, 2016 at 5:22 AM

    Thinking of you Steam as you get hit by this thunderbolt. Hoping the scaffold of the BWC can help you see clearly and feel strong. x

  13. Steam, you have a lot of us here supporting you. Hugs and lots of prayers for continued strength.

  14. Steam, what you are going through is my worst nightmare (any woman's nightmare really). I wish I could help in some little way, but just know that I care, that I am thinking of you, I am supporting you, and I am sending a big hug. Take care of yourself.

  15. Oh no Steam. My heart goes out to you. Like Melissa said, I believe that all the hard work on yourself that you put in will guide you through this. peace.

  16. I promise to write more but only have phone right now. My set in stone boundaries are not going anywhere. Thanks to this place and Elle's responses and every members input. . There is a gem in every little sentence here.

    I knew I could never control him.
    If you or I REALLY want to do something and have the time, space, money and a bit of an obsession were gonna get it. So I knew I had to get my boundaries in order. Costs NOTHING to set them up. Dedicate the time and space to invest in them.FOR YOU.

    Every time I have told a sister here "you'll be fine". It was coming from the me, who I really thought was fine because the He and I had weathered this storm together and i was here. So I kind of felt like a fraud. My wishes, I felt, came from a person (me) who came out with a happy 2nd marriage. But nope, nope, nope.

    Now I know I was speaking the truth the whole time. You work on your boundaries and you WILL be fine. I'm not saying I'm a happy flower. I'm having ups and downs. I've created a circus by insisting he tell his horrid mother so I would not need to dodge her calls. I should have just planned to tell her myself if she called the house but I've always treated her as "his" problem (boundary) and did not engage more than a "hi how are you" every few Sunday's
    While he held the phone. (Boundary) I didn't want to inherit her. He told her and she immediately and I'm sure gleefully wrote an email to her family members and blind copied me (not family I guess) and no one knows how many others, but the focus was ON HER . I don't know how she did it, but she did. It's a sick art she's honed for years! I know someone who's inherited it too.

    Oh man- I have no words for what this round of cheating looked like. Where is our BOOK ladies??? These are best sellers!!! These kick the living shit out of penthouse letters!! How do they get away with it. I was paying attention. I did math-- he could NOT have been these places--mathematically impossible on the time/Space continuum And yet he was!! And I'm ok!!

    I wake up this morning (ok afternoon) and suddenly thanks to mom I'm
    The monster who's going to sell the "family " heirlooms and everyone is to now drop what they are doing and drive 700 miles to come get them from my garage Oh the insanity.

    Me? I'm curled up in a lovely bed with a cup of coffee and some canine companionship on a beautiful overcast day, not really paying attention to the circus going on in that ring over there. THEY can work it out. THEY can jump through hoops. Me? I'm fine.

    I thought of you LLP thinking of how you will accept nothing and I ever wondered if I could be as bad ass as you. I think you have taught me and many of us well.
    Sam A. I'm pretty sure you ere the VERY first person (from another board, right?) to tell me to expect more. I never believed you. Really. I'm sick that your h is recently in touch with his former bitch.

    Through all of these long 6 days the only thing after finding that phone that has kicked me in the gut was that He got in touch with her again. the original catalyst for my breakdown 2013. That hurt. I can't deny. That floored me. He swears he never saw her though. And I believe nothing.

    So I worked on boundaries never ever thinking I'd NEVER need them. They were kinda boring, like working on your health insurance coverage. but INVALUABLE when you need to cash in

    Oh and
    Journal. Ladies !! journal!! I'll tell why in another post because suddenly this went way too long.

    I have a lot of time to write though, not involving myself in the crazy going on outside these boundaries.

    1. Steam,
      You are a force of nature. I'm so glad you're able to keep the lunacy at bay and focus on what you need right now to soothe your battered heart. Canine companionship sounds like the perfect balm.

  17. Lynn Less Pain . I meant "you won't settle for anything less than exactly what you need". And not

  18. Hi steam, I love that your letting the circus outside carry on while you curl up with a cuppa in bed, sounds like my kind of morning!!!

    I understand what your saying when you say you 'believe nothing'. I havn't yet given my h a chance for him to give me his version of events. I'm not in the right place to hear it yet, although when I am I think it may help my healing as I tend to fill in the gaps of the missing jigsaw with my own thoughts, not always helpful or true facts. At this point honesty has to be key if there is any chance of a reconciliation down this long road, I'm just not sure whether my h is capable of telling me the whole truth.... Time will tell.

    I'm about 3 weeks out and just trying to get through the day as unscathed as possible. Reading, writing, exercise lots of coffee and self caring. This time around I'm more in control of the situation..., heartbroken obviously but in control as you appear to be steam.

    Steam I'm not sure whether you have me mixed up with another Sam A, but I'm definetly not on any other sites or told you to 'expect more' just to clear that up. I would hope my response to you ladies is with upmost compassion, as that's all I receive when I come here.

    Thinking of you steam.. Keep us posted xxx

  19. Steam,
    You seem strong in yourself and resolute. Stay whatever course you need for your sanity. Nice to hear everyone else is scrambling. Keep them scrambling. Everything is on the table. Let it go, give them all a big dose of the shitfest.

  20. Steam, I'm thinking of you in your safe cocoon in your bed with your dog & coffee. May you always make that cocoon wherever you go. May we all. I appreciate your wisdom along with all the ladies here.

  21. Steam... oh damn ... simply. Over and over on the site time is either a four letter word or a blessing ... an oh damn or an ah ha! Best to you steam ive read your posts over a year now and i have no doubt no matter what your future holds u will be just fine ... you got a friend here in me, us ... the bwc ... which no matter what outcome we each have is a place we can always find to be that soft place to land even though its a place none of us would choose to be by choice but now here know what a great bunch of women we r.



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