Author Topic: Boundries  (Read 1763 times)

aquarius25

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Boundries
« on: August 04, 2017, 07:22:57 AM »
In another thread on here, a few of us were encouraging a newcomer to set boundaries. I know I have mentioned it over the year quite a bit. As I reflect back to D-day and everything that was going through my mind a thought occurred to me. Back then, I am not sure I even knew how to set boundries and how to enforce them. I didn't know what boundries really were. I also felt like an idiot saying, "You need to have your phone on the table when you're home so I can see it". I felt like a controlling parent and not a wife. Honestly, I felt ridiculous, but it was still needed and his addiction was ridiculous too.

So in an effort to help some of the new comers and some of us who have been around for a bit too, lol, what boundries have you ladies, and men started. I thought it would be helpful to list some of them and why to give partners an idea what that boundries look like? Also PA's chime in on what boundries you may have set too! I know my husband had certain thing he did to allow for less chance of relapse. We found that some of my boundries were helpful to his success, like the cell phone example.


A boundry for me was no lying!- that was a deal breaker. If he relapsed we needed to talk about it. If I found out he did and was lying that was a deal breaker. The consequence was I move out and take the kids with me. We wouldn't divorce but we would legally separate. For me, that was the most important one.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 07:31:35 AM by aquarius25 »

Kimba

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Re: Boundries
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2017, 11:47:39 PM »
Big one for me was not taking his mobile into the Toilet

Getting rid of Facebook another biggie as that was his easy take everywhere Porn subs and go to Girls.

Software on computers at our place of work as that's where he did most of his perusing

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Gracie

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Re: Boundries
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2017, 06:48:17 AM »
Each person has their own boundries they will need.  Internet was not a choice he made.  So no big worries there.  Mine was about the lack of touch and being up all hours of the night.  He would watch on tv in our bedroom while I was sleeping.  (No sound).

I knew I had to decide first about our marriage.  All the kids were grown and out of the house.  So my first thing was in bed together same time evry night.  Be in bed all night no exceptions.  Cant sleep? Turn on light and read.  No turning on tv in bedroom by either one of us.  Kiss hello and goodbye everytime we left to go any where.  Work, grocery, errand. Every time.  We also sat on couch together, no recliner.  Sleep naked.  I had read a long time before that they found doing this helped both partners in a marriage.  Since I needed him to touch me non sexually this seemed like a good starting point.  (Before this happened I did not like a lot of touch I decided that needed to change.  However making love was different).  Then we did the reuniting touch by Marnia.  We tried them all and actually laughed a time or two.

Make no mistake these were hard.  He was a different person then.  He was actuaally quite mean.  I often wondered who was in his body.  I poured my heart out to the men in 40 and over in YBR.  They were great.  They had not had a woman post there in their journals.  They and I learned a lot from each other.

What was hardest was I had no self esteem.  What little I had he took away with his remarks.  Thus the Excuses and Rationalizations post over in Porn Addiction here at Reboot.  That is slowly coming back.  However even after 6 years, I still do not want to go near a pool or the beach with him.  Too scared.  But I knew to make it work, I had to do these things.  They helped make me secure.  Which is what I needed.

Leo820

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Re: Boundries
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2017, 02:26:59 PM »
This will be my first post. I have been dealing with my husbands porn addiction for years at this point, but only the acknowledgement of a problem and a reboot for a few months.

I have said for a long time that he needs consequences, but like others on here I feel controlling, motherly and ridiculous for saying that. I think boundaries is a much better word. That being said once we clarify boundaries, mostly that involve being truthful rather than lying, being open and not secretive as well as limiting use of electronic devices (which is a hige problem) as well as abstaining from pornography and possibly masturbation, I don't know what kind of repercussions there really can be?
I am at the point where I really don't want to continue if he isn't putting in the effort(which he claims he is), but the actual messiness and logistics of separation and divorce seem very difficult with jobs, kids and a house.

In addition to potential separation, what kinds of repercussions (or another more appropriate term) have been effective. Again, I'm not his mother, but his partner and he is an adult so I feel trapped.
 There are so many more things I'd like to say, but I think this is a good place to start. Thank you for listening and your input. I appreciate all of your posts and openness about this subject
« Last Edit: September 10, 2017, 03:48:57 PM by Leo820 »

Kimba

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Re: Boundries
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2017, 11:09:58 PM »
I get what you are saying about being like their keeper etc, but they give you no choice, unfortunately you don't know the lies from the truth and sometimes neither do they!!  Yes my partner claimed he was putting in all the effort but then I would discover something else and go over the same ground again. I think all you can do is talk to him about what he thinks he needs to do to be on the same page as you, when I suggested software on the computers I think he was relieved in some respect that I took the initiative.  I set restrictions on his mobile phone, again with his permission, I just gave him a choice, no threats or the like, just asked.  Of course right at the first moment their was tears and questions, which I only got half truths and memory loss (rolled eyes).  Its so very difficult in the beginning, as of course you don't want to just leave, its like feeding them to the wolves really, if you have children especially its worth another shot !!  His effort might not seem like enough but he could be overwhelmed by it all, the mess HE has created.  Just keep asking,  thats all you can do, keep asking the difficult questions, its not being motherly, your his Mate, his best friend, you have a right to know that he is putting his best foot forward for the sake of himself and for all that he could loose...

He has a choice - Porn Or Real Love with his family... Wish you the best in your fight for Love... x
Three things that cannot be long hidden
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Emerald Blue

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Re: Boundries
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2017, 06:38:38 AM »
I didn't understand what "boundaries" meant when I first read all the recovery literature. There was a lot of importance placed on boundaries but what did that actually mean? As I understand it now, boundaries are as much about the concept of where your identity, values and behaviour end and where those of others begin. Boundaries are also unique to every individual and need to be negotiated by every couple, and are flexible and adaptable according to what's important at any one time.

There's a difference between having rules and having boundaries, although for me there are some behaviours which are non negotiable. Obviously no porn is one such condition because porn has had such a destructive effect on our relationship and on each of us as individuals. I would  expect to be told about any relapse but the consequences of relapsing would depend on how the relapse was discovered. If my partner disclosed it voluntarily the consequences might be installing software to monitor his internet use, but it would be a joint decision. If he relapsed and didn't disclose, and he consistently lied about it, the consequences may be to seek professional help. My partner has quit successfully to my knowledge, and he has made significant changes in other areas of his life, so that's why I don't have a rigid "go back to porn just once and you're out the house" rule. If he'd repeatedly relapsed and lied about it, that would be different.

I don't want my partner to lie, given his history of lying and gaslighting. The best way of getting away from this pattern is to work towards open and honest communication for both of us. It takes a lot of effort and it's a lot of trial and error. trying to identify how and why poor communication occurs. Listening is a much harder skill than you'd think! The temptation to resort to defensiveness is the biggest barrier to communication. So although lying isn't acceptable, I don't want my husband to be to fearful of being honest because of how I might react, so I've decided to work on better communication as the other side of the equation. After all, what is lying but a bad way to communicate?

Very importantly, a lot of boundaries and values in relationships are assumed rather than explicitly stated. My husband's porn addiction has highlighted my need to say what is and isn't acceptable to me in our relationship. Fidelity, for example. We assume we are going to be faithful, we assume we agree on what fidelity means, but sometimes we're wrong. So I have had to state explicitly what this means to me because sometimes each partner has their own definition. I learned that this is necessary as a result of my own recovery work, reading, etc because sometimes porn can sometimes (but not always) escalate into other behaviours along the continuum of sex addiction. I'd be naive to believe escalation wasn't a possibility, given how easy things are available to access online (webcams, sex chat rooms, dating sites etc). Addiction CAN escalate, as some partners on here can testify.

On practical day-to-day terms, we have boundaries around internet use, specifically the times my husband can access the internet at home. If I'm not around he can't go online. It was his suggestion and it I think it's been a good way of keeping him away if not from porn but porn substitutes, which are often a gateway. I have his passwords etc but I rarely check. I don't think this parent-child controlling thing is workable in the long term. We have internet filters set to block out porn sites but he can bypass them if he wanted, just like he can switch on private browsing and delete his history. But I pretty much let him do what he wants online but after he quit porn he's really cut down on the time he spends online anyway.

Boundaries are supposed to be flexible (except where there are non negotiable behaviours) so he may slip up and then we'd have to renegotiate internet access, filters, monitoring etc.

I hope this doesn't come across as too vague, but that's because boundaries are not always static with rigid rules. First define your values, and then you'll know where your boundaries lie at any given time. Then communicate clearly what isn't and isn't acceptable in your relationship. It takes months at the very minimum to even begin to understand the concept of boundaries before you can define them for yourself.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 12:12:55 PM by Emerald Blue »
His porn addiction: you didn't cause it - you can't control it - you can't cure it

Leo820

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Re: Boundries
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2017, 09:19:29 AM »
Thank you Kimba and Emerald Blue for your thoughtful responses. It definitely gives me a place to start and a way to introduce the conversation.
This topic was very helpful.

aquarius25

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Re: Boundries
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2017, 05:44:14 PM »
I will chime in and share a few of the boundaries that I put in my recovery just to give examples. Also, I will note that the term boundary is just a term you can choose a different word aka rule, agreement, or whatever you like. For me, it was what I needed to help me feel safe and ok in my situation.

1. Complete honesty and transparency- If I asked a question he needed to respond right away and truthfully. I needed this frankly for hope. If this wasn't done then one of us would sleep on the couch. I can't sleep next to a person I feel is lying to me. I won't get sleep, then it impacts my work, my parenting, and so much more.

2. He initiates conversation about recovery- I needed to know that he is interested in recovery and willing to talk about it. If I have to always bring it up I felt like a parent. It was important because it showed me that we are both interested and working on this. If it wasn't done then I would have to tell him about my resentment that would start to build and I would distance myself from him. It really isn't a consequence but more of a fact.

3. Date nights regularly- I needed to know that I still enjoy time with him. He needed to help and arrange at least half of them and we needed to try and work on just being friends again. If he didn't do it then I would go myself and I would choose whatever I wanted to do. I might take a friend but we would do something without him and I also told him it showed less investment in the relationship. I needed to know he was in this and cared, if he didn't care then I would care less.  Also the other consequence would be to not say I love you in front of the kids or show affection. I felt that he was forcing me to show him affection because he was scared knowing he had disrespected my boundry. I felt he would use the kids around to try and make me more loving toward him. So if he broke a boundry then I had to initiate the affection when others were present. If he broke that then I would go stay at my moms house with the kids for a bit.

there were other boundries, this was just a few. not sure if it is helpful or not. just wanted to share for ideas and conversation I guess.

Leo820

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Re: Boundries
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2017, 09:27:31 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions. We sound a lot a like.
We had a conversation yesterday and it entailed much of what you just outlined. Trust and being truthful is my highest priority and then showing investment in the relationship.

raven song

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Re: Boundries
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2017, 02:12:35 PM »
Thank you Aquarius for sharing your boundaries. Thank you for nurturing the conversation on this topic.

Your boundaries sound VERY healthy and smart. I'm still learning how to set boundaries. So I have a couple of questions:

Do you write these down and post them somewhere? 
Was he involved in the boundary setting?
What helped you to figure out how to set these boundaries? Books? therapy? are you doing EFT?
« Last Edit: November 10, 2017, 06:13:05 PM by raven song »
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aquarius25

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Re: Boundries
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2017, 08:39:43 PM »
Thank you for the kind words Raven Song. Boundaries are a work in process too. I find that I am always learning new boundaries I need to be setting and also discovering ones that we have progressed through. Him taking initiative, well he still struggles with it but it is getting better little by little. For myself, I find the best way that I discover an area needs a boundary set is a fear and anxiety. I can't recover if I am stuck in fear and anxiety and if I sit there for a while resentment builds. That is never good. So if I can spot it when I first notice that uneasy feeling then I can assess. Where is the rood of this fear and is this something that I need to work on? Is there something he can do to support me? I might ask him if he would be willing to support me in this and we can make an agreement together. Other times I need to set a more firm boundary on my own. That is the process that I walk through when I am looking at areas where I find I need boundaries. Everyone is different though. THis is just what has worked for me.

aquarius25

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Re: Boundries
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2017, 02:38:20 PM »
Sounds like you are on the right track! Keep working on it and most importantly keep communicating with your partner.