Want to know more about Boundaries?

Discussion in 'Partner Support' started by EyesWideOpen, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

    1,729
    3,698
    143
    There have been a lot of questions lately about setting boundaries and following up with consequences. SOs want to feel safe and not feel like they are a parent, tracking every single movement of their partner. PAs don't want to feel controlled or like they are in prison with too many rules or unreasonable demands. Here are some basic starting points to get you started.

    This is like a resource thread for boundaries, so please, chime in with your ideas and any information you'd like to add. It's nice to have them all in one place since it's a question that comes up quite a bit.



    - It is best to start with a handful of boundaries, no more than 5 or 6.

    - Make sure there is no wiggle room, no room for loopholes, or perceived misunderstandings (willfully looking for loopholes could qualify as a boundary/tied to gaslighting).

    - Set consequences that you are willing to follow through with. If you don't follow through, there's no reason for boundaries in the first place.

    - Make sure the consequences are something that you can handle as well, otherwise it may cause you to relent. Torture for yourself is not the goal.

    - Allow yourself room to adjust your boundaries and consequences. You may find that some things work better than others or as time goes on what was once necessary isn't anymore or you need to add/change others.

    How you set up the consequences is up to you. You work it however you find is best for your situation. You could have the same consequence for each infraction of the same boundary, or you could do a graduated system where the first time is the least severe, 2nd time is more severe, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  2. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

    1,729
    3,698
    143
  3. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

    1,729
    3,698
    143
    We have a mix of both for our boundaries and we have 4, very basic ones:


    1.No P, Psubs, literotica, fantasizing, etc

    2.No M or edging

    3.Both at same time (These first 3 are separate because it was a problem for him when he first started)

    4.Lying

    - Flat out lies
    - Half truths
    - Omission
    - Deleting history
    - Accessing private tabs
    - Etc


    We do not have graduated consequences except for using social media, which fits with #1. When he first started his reboot, he got off of all social media for 6 months. When he got back on, we decided if #1 is broken using that venue, the 1st time he gets off social media for a certain period of time. 2nd time it doubles. 3rd time he's off for good.

    ****************************************
    He's been clean from hard P and M-ing since we found NoFap 2 years ago (nearly a year after DDay). He struggled with p-subs and edging for months after. We had no boundaries or consequences until Feb 2018. We started them at that time because he could not (would not) get a handle on p-subs, fantasizing, and edging, which kept him in addict brain. We did a 30 day hard reboot and starting using the list above. He was 7 months clean, then relapsed with fantasizing and edging. That shook him up and he realized he wasn't taking certain parts of his recovery seriously so he buckled down and has made some very real changes that weren't there before. He just hit 7 months again.

    Anyone else want to share their boundaries?
     
  4. MourdeCallsMeHazel

    MourdeCallsMeHazel Fapstronaut

    382
    2,661
    123
    Sure I'll share mine :)

    1. A healthy loving and intimate relationship.

    2. Complete honesty and transparency of triggers.

    3. Thorough and honest accountability of triggers, slips and relapses.

    4. Open communication.

    5. @Mourde must communicate if I trigger him by my actions or lack thereof.

    Consequences were not stepped for these.

    Non negotiable boundaries:
    Daily journaling/workbook

    Daily reflection, research and education of the addiction.

    No PM

    Daily work on objectifying and ogling stopping.

    Maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

    Self respect

    Respecting me for who I am

    No chatrooms, sexting, sex with another in any way.

    Non negotiable means that's it...we are over. Notice #3....is also a non negotiable if he relapses. Not sure in retrospect I worded mine right but...it works for us. He still needs accountability.
     
    EyesWideOpen and Lostneverland like this.
  5. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

    1,729
    3,698
    143
  6. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

    1,729
    3,698
    143
  7. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

    1,729
    3,698
    143
  8. kropo82

    kropo82 Fapstronaut

    We didn't set a boundaries list, roughly for the reasons you list, but I know some couples find them essential. @Broken3 is not on these forums any more, but her boundaries list over on another thread is interesting. (N.B. I've added the formatting.)
    There are a few other good lists, especially on the first page of the thread: Let's talk about Boundaries

    I don't want to derail this thread, it's useful to have a thread that just contains example boundary lists and advice about them but I do have a couple of extra points.

    Firstly I'm not sure about the 'no P-Subs' that crops up in so many of these lists. Porn substitutes is such a vague term, it means very different things to different people. I think it would need clarification in a boundaries list.

    Secondly I think it is worth acknowledging that for some couples a boundary list is a bad idea. I asked my wife why she did not want one,
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
  9. Sadgirl

    Sadgirl Moderator Assistant Staff Member Moderator Assistant

    Thank you @EyesWideOpen for sharing these resources. Boundaries are HARD but I think they are so necessary.
     
    hope4healing and EyesWideOpen like this.
  10. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

    1,729
    3,698
    143
    Sadgirl and hope4healing like this.
  11. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

    478
    866
    93
    "If you are not doing it of your own free volition, then I do not want it."
    My sentiments exactly. Not saying those who use them are wrong - only that I never wanted them.
     
    MourdeCallsMeHazel likes this.
  12. Sadgirl

    Sadgirl Moderator Assistant Staff Member Moderator Assistant

    For me, boundaries let my partner know what I need so I feel safe. He can't read my mind so I need to clearly communicate what my expectations are (not talking obvious things like not watching P, but other things that are very couple/individual specific).
     
    Lostneverland likes this.
  13. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

    506
    634
    93
    Yes I agree boundaries are required, however when I’ve told my PA, what I need in order to feel, and secure, it was almost guaranteed that he would do the opposite. I’m not sure why..but is was a solid pattern.
    Would that be passive/aggressive manipulation? I don’t know...!
     
  14. Sadgirl

    Sadgirl Moderator Assistant Staff Member Moderator Assistant

    It sounds like he projected his mother onto you-I think so many PAs do with their hiding and manipulating. It's like they don't want to form a true partnership and want to keep that Mother-Son dynamic.
     
    Lostneverland likes this.
  15. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

    506
    634
    93
    Yes, I paid the price for what his mom and ex wife did to him.
     
  16. I would appreciate thoughts and feedback with a safety boundary. Technology is a huge trigger for me. One of the boundaries I required before my husband could move back in after therapeutic separation is having accountability software on his ipad. This is not the only thing, but in my own home while I heal and he works on developing trust, I needed that. He agreed, and some time after he moved back in he was honest and said that it was pointless to pay for it because it did not check all apps. He was honest, which was good. It is also not my fault that what he put on there wasn't going to work. My need for this boundary didn’t just go away either because he thinks it’s pointless, and he thinks he doesn’t need it. I kept saying, I NEED IT. He also gave me a hard time about requesting he went to bed at the same time (and I don’t know, read a book) so I can sleep. As part of his recovery, his nighttime routine consisted of him playing this multiplayer racing game. He would play on it after work while we were all awake, but I did not feel comfortable with him being on the ipad in isolation after I went to bed. He became defensive, and I think desperate as he did not feel confident in changing his routine, losing a measure of control, etc. It became an area where we stepped on each others toes. Even with every logical part of my brain (He is techy he can find a way to act out if he really wanted to, he could fantasize and masturbate right next to me, etc) working, the trigger would not let up. I could not sleep, felt disrespected, and discouraged that he did not/ could not express understanding and empathy towards me. This by the way, only makes me feel less safe. Eventually, he found a way to not be able to download new apps, and put on accountability software with reports sent to a guy in his support group. This was in December, and a combination of not knowing how to balance the two recoveries, the holidays, and a growing resentment around the technology boundary, he relapsed. It was messy, and very painful. He even factory reset the ipad so he could act out. His big thing, was, this (his night time routine on the ipad) was his ONE condition for himself! What am I supposed to do? A lot of factors in recovery going on here... 6 months later, he is still not welcome back in the bedroom. I need consistency over time, empathy, and he is working on his clarification letter. He has done a great job overall, and is SLOWLY working on expressing empathy and understanding. What we eventually came to, was it was on him to prove that he is trustworthy with technology. If I get triggered, I can request he puts technology away at night. Whatever he does he will tell me the next morning. I can look anytime I want to. Honestly, I don't want to look. I don't want to babysit. I want to feel safe. I was willing to try this, and became exhausted by the whole thing. Most days I do feel fine, but I am still super sensitive around the technology stuff. When the fear/pain trigger happens, and he is not kind and empathetic, I feel very angry, and resentful. Over time, I may feel different around this area (hope so), but so far I still struggle, and I resent that he has made it harder on me. I think where it gets difficult for me, is when life gets stressful or there is a hard day, the fear of being hurt rises up. Also, recently when we had a conflict, and it was one of those hard times. He re-downloaded a pintrest app (which back in December was a problem for him), and made the excuse that he wanted to look for camping stuff (I don’t believe that). This ended up being a long post! Boundaries for safety and managing triggers. It is really hard for me. I consider us in early recovery, but in recovery for a while now. I would say, that most of the recovery as a couple journey has been more of a focus in the last 6 months. There has been work before that, but it was more about our individual recoveries, and now, deep recovery as a couple is new territory. Hard to navigate.
     
  17. MourdeCallsMeHazel

    MourdeCallsMeHazel Fapstronaut

    382
    2,661
    123
    I so agree. I have no software on Mourde's. HE has to make that choice and fight it. Software or not...they find a way unless they want to quit.
     
  18. I put A2U on my smart phone. I have a mutual friend that is the AP. I have had no issues with it other than it stopped monitori g and motified my AP I had no clue either way. I took all social media off the phone and only have this website exempted. I only use my phone for calls texts , support chat groups and google maps. I can still go anywhere I chose to go and its up to me if I do or not it merely reports where when and what.
    I would say that a relaps is grou.ds to renegotiate the boundaries that are involved. As the ipad was the main offender, I would not discoun a complete period of no ipad and then a graduated unlocking of it
    Or have an accou.timg of what apps are there and password protect all updates and resets to something only you would know...he may know how to get around that bit thats up to him not you

    I would also think that its fair that he only do his ipad in your presence and/or bed....just caise he agrees to a 10 pm or whatever bedtime doesnt mean he cant use the ipad...get headphones and he can drive away while you sleep read or whatever.

    Anythigg is possible where dedication to the relationship is involved.

    I know my situation i have limited my tech as much as possible. If i had an issue my next step would be a dumb phone even though it would be a severe hindrance in my job....my marriage is that important. If it is to him as well he will figure out how to give you your safety
     
    Sadgirl and Lostneverland like this.
  19. Lostneverland

    Lostneverland Fapstronaut

    506
    634
    93
    Good to hear you value your relationship above a smart phone, iPad etc... technology has taken away so much form social interaction.
    Way ta go, I’m proud of you.
     
  20. Sadgirl

    Sadgirl Moderator Assistant Staff Member Moderator Assistant

    I firmly believe that the addict needs to do whatever the SO needs to feel safe. I would not feel comfortable if my husband had internet access-so he got a flip phone. I feel like accountability software is another step in protection-like keeping alcohol under lock and key if an alcoholic was in the home (better yet get rid of it all together but so tough with tech). I think it is just far too easy for an addict to mindlessly switch to addict mode with unrestricted tech-and accountability software is another safeguard.
     

Share This Page