Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Step 2: Set Your Boundaries Q&A

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Let's do a little boundary Q & A
There is so much to learn from each other

To play, just cut and paste these unfinished sentences in your comment and add your own info.  Have fun! 

Introduce yourself, your current obsession and one word to describe your mood today.
The craziest reaction I got from setting boundaries was...
My favorite boundary and consequence is...
My biggest boundary failure was when...
I got in the biggest trouble when I broke this boundary...
The most successful boundary/consequence I've worked on is...
If I could break any social boundary it would be...
My favorite quality in a man is...
My favorite quality in a woman is...
If I could go back one decade and change anything is would be...
I'm terrified that enforcing boundaries will...
I'm excited that that enforcing boundaries will...
My most elusive boundary questions is...
...gives me the confidence to stand strong in my boundaries.

I'll go first. 

Introduce yourself, your current obsession and one word to describe your mood today. Hi, I'm Scabs.  My obsessions change daily, today I had a mini-obsession with a little Great Gatsby style...hello 1920!   And my mood is borderline sour, Mr. Scabs and I had a brawl tonight.



The craziest reaction I got from setting boundaries was...when Mr. Scabs actually packed his truck with crap, squealed his tires and sped out of the driveway furious!  I couldn't believe he did it and that he pouted about it!  That was the day he got kicked out of the house.  Biggest boundary I ever pushed.


My favorite boundary/consequence is...honest communication with the consequence of distance between us.  It's just a natural effect of dishonesty.   I also love when we have moments of depth in our communication and I can open up and give Mr. Scabs bits of the closeness we are both seeking.  Honesty give me safety to touch him and love him.


My biggest boundary failure was when...I tried to control how Mr. Scabs worked the 12-steps with his sponsor.  Crash, burn. Classic mistake.


I got in the biggest trouble when I broke this boundary...obeying my Father.  One day I snapped and threw my Mom's mauve-painted garage sale wicker chair at him.  oops!


The most successful boundary/consequence I've worked on is...honesty.  Mr. Scabs has really responded to sharing the gory details and talking about the addiction is all it's aspects.  The consequence for his positive reaction to this boundary has been emotional intimacy. 


If I could break any social boundary it would be...that people are people no matter where they come from or what they believe in.  If I was contending for Miss America I would say, "World Peace"


My favorite quality in a man is...depth and a good smell.


My favorite quality in a woman is... genuine kindness


If I could go back one decade and change anything it would be...the number of children I have.  I always wanted a bigger family.  Although, I adore the children I have and feel blessed they are mine and healthy.  Always wanted to be swarmed by dirty feet and messy blonde haired kids begging for one more cheese quesadilla.


I'm terrified that enforcing boundaries will...turn me into a tyrant.


I'm excited that that enforcing boundaries will...give me respect and freedom.


My most elusive boundary questions is...consequences, how, when, why, what?


My renewed self love and recognition that I am a RAD woman...gives me the confidence to stand strong in my boundaries.


Your turn!

22 comments:

  1. Introduce yourself, your current obsession and one word to describe your mood today.

    Xena - man, I am obsessed with turning 30 in August and home decor magz...I have tons!! I adore looking at beautiful things...

    The craziest reaction I got from setting boundaries was...moronic deception. So on D day week, we have a flaming fight about facebook and at first his upset because I invaded his privacy...and then he tells me his deleting his account...only for me to find in his laptop history that he researched on how to make his FB account invisible to people (meaning me)...I confront him with it and he says to me- looking me straight in the eye...it was for my boss. He wanted to know if he could be on facebook without being tracked...I was gobsmacked I actually laughed...

    My favorite boundary and consequence is...
    Be kind to others...my silence
    My biggest boundary failure was when...I tried to give him freedom with his gadgets, thinking that I just need to get over it...
    I got in the biggest trouble when I broke this boundary...I should have listened to my mom, when she told me to stop reading Mills and Boon and threw away my stash...I got it out of the bin and re-read it again. Years later, it replaced my husband in the bedroom.
    The most successful boundary/consequence I've worked on is...doing what I say I am going to do, even though it sucks:-(
    If I could break any social boundary it would be...to speak openly about porn addiction within churches.
    My favorite quality in a man is...kindness and ambition
    If I could go back one decade and change anything is would be...I was once the other woman. Despite the pain in my own marriage, I would take this opportunity to change this for her...I would walk away.

    I'm terrified that enforcing boundaries will...leave me without my family.
    I'm excited that that enforcing boundaries will...ensure that I am not a walk over.
    My most elusive boundary questions is...is it also important to follow up on a consequence, even when his been doing well and his made a small mistake.

    God and the unwillingness to be a victim gives me the confidence to stand strong in my boundaries.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm Jane, mother of four, wife of Pete, suburban dweller. My current obsession is all things summer: watermelon, flip-flops, sno-cones, and best of all the smell of sunscreen on my babies tan skin. Mmmmm. My mood today, RELIEVED to finally be getting over eight miserable days of tonsillitis.

    The craziest reaction I got from setting boundaries was... not so crazy. He gets the idea. Now if we talk about detachment, that's where it gets cRaZY.

    My favorite boundary and consequence is... I will not be his babysitter. I refuse to be accountable or responsible in any way for his relapses. I have every right to leave my home when necessary and I will not stay home to protect him from himself. If he needs someone to hold his hand through his difficult moments, he needs a sponsor. I love him, but I will not sacrifice my sleep or personal needs to white-knuckle with him. No consequences here, just a plain ol' line in the sand.

    My biggest boundary failure was when... I tried to make boundaries for him.

    I got in the biggest trouble when I broke this boundary... I betrayed the trust of a friend and threw him under the bus to another friend. Relationships were ruined. I can't keep my mouth shut.

    The most successful boundary/consequence I've worked on is... requiring emotional connection before sexual connection.

    If I could break any social boundary it would be... everything is on the table, no subjects are taboo anymore. Talk about whatever you want.

    My favorite quality in a man is... humility

    My favorite quality in a woman is... selflessness

    If I could go back one decade and change anything it would be... I wouldn't be a codependent, to anyone. I would detach with kindness whenever necessary for the sake of the relationship.

    I'm terrified that enforcing boundaries will... emotionally distance me from Pete.

    I'm excited that that enforcing boundaries will... liberate me from his control and the control of his addiction.

    My most elusive boundary questions is... the relationship of boundaries and consequences??

    Self-confidence and hope...give me the confidence to stand strong in my boundaries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jane,

      I just wanted to say - I love your first answer about not being a babysitter. This was the most difficult for me to achieve and I still battle it from time to time. It's hard for me not to remind my husband that it's his day to call his sponsor or ask if he's read his material, etc. Kudos to you on your progress!

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    2. Jane has such a deliberate way of doing and understanding things, doesn't she? I love the calm way about her.

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  3. Introduce yourself, your current obsession and one word to describe your mood today. I am a mom of three. My mood today peaceful.
    The craziest reaction I got from setting boundaries was...feeling my own heart change. I always thought boundaried were for changing others...I was wrong.
    My favorite boundary and consequence is...When I can say to my kids I'm sorry your struggling or feel frustrated I hope you can make choices that will help you feel better...and seeing htem make those choices. And I didn't hover over them feeling stressed and anxious and responsible for thier mistakes and pain.
    My biggest boundary failure was when...I didn't have boundaries at all. Even boundaries where I make mistakes now are better than having NONE.
    I got in the biggest trouble when I broke this boundary...My mom told me not to cuss. I called my sister a swear word and mom slapped me.
    The most successful boundary/consequence I've worked on is...Being willing to say I will not accept blame, lying, anger, or victim behavior from my husband and seeking distance from him when that happens without feeilng guilt.
    If I could break any social boundary it would be...I don't konw about this one. I don't want to break any of them. Just want to figure out how to live with peace and happiness with the socail boundaries that are in place. Since I can't control or change any of those social boundaries.
    My favorite quality in a man is...integrity
    My favorite quality in a woman is...gentleness
    If I could go back one decade and change anything is would be...to let control go and trust God with incredible depth-instead of the superficial way I've lived in the past.
    I'm terrified that enforcing boundaries will...I'm not terrified of enforcing boundaries-I'm terrified of not enforcing them for myself or with others.
    I'm excited that that enforcing boundaries will...help me live a life full of peace instead of despair.
    My most elusive boundary questions is... is it ok to say Booyah to my kids or husband when one works :)?
    The pain of a past without boundaries, the pain of not feeling worthy enough, loved, or good enough...gives me the confidence to stand strong in my boundaries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Saying Booyah! brings a little humor in doesn't it? I vote for saying Booyah!

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  4. Introduce yourself, your current obsession and one word to describe your mood today: Hi, I'm Elsie. Mom of three and wife of a sex addict. I love to write =)

    The craziest reaction I got from setting boundaries was...my second disclosure day when I found out the "almost real truth" which led up to the real truth by the end of that week. I told him he either sought professional help for his porn addiction or I was filing for a divorce and I had an apartment brochure in my hand. He yelled at me the one and only time in our marriage.

    My favorite boundary and consequence is...that if he cheats on me online or in person I will file for divorce.

    My biggest boundary failure was when...wrote the Boundary Agreement a few days after disclosure and tried to dictate his recovery in it. I also didn't take into consideration slips and relapses with things that he may have trouble with in the beginning of his recovery. I was completely unfair to him.

    I got in the biggest trouble when I broke this boundary...I created a fake Facebook account to track down the women he cheated on me with and allowed myself to fall into a cycle of hyper vigilance and neglected my own responsibilities for months.

    The most successful boundary/consequence I've worked on is...enforcing no affection if he lies to me. Lying makes me loose faith and makes me feel insecure and causes me doubt and anxiety. He needs to understand how much damage lies hurt me.

    If I could break any social boundary it would be...the misconception of addiction.

    My favorite quality in a man is...their appreciation for family and humor

    My favorite quality in a woman is...their appreciation for family and humor

    If I could go back one decade and change anything is would be...I wouldn't change a thing.

    I'm terrified that enforcing boundaries will...I'm not afraid of my boundaries. I created them to feel safe.

    I'm excited that enforcing boundaries will...make me feel safe in my marriage.

    My most elusive boundary questions is...is it okay to keep updating them?

    My need for strength and sanity...gives me the confidence to stand strong in my boundaries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love how solid all your answers feel.

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  5. Introduce yourself, your current obsession and one word to describe your mood today.
    I am just another person on this journey to marriage healing. I have recently realized that I’m codependent, and I’m working to free myself from the tangles of my husband’s sex addiction and focus on me. My current obsession is with self-expression, especially with my body. In the last few months I have gotten fuchsia streaks in my hair, a nose ring, and a new tattoo. I have another tattoo being drawn up right now. My mood today is a bit morose. The weather has been dreary, I could have stayed in bed all day, and my husband has taken my recent detachment as license to stop having real conversations with me.

    The craziest reaction I got from setting boundaries was… my husband saying “I don’t know what this (gesturing toward me) is all about” and walking out of the house. He returned home several hours later, but he was not happy with my boundaries. He didn’t like the fact that I wasn’t going to accept his bad attitude or react by screaming and yelling back.

    My favorite boundary and consequence is… I don’t know yet. My favorite boundary is honesty in this marriage because it is the one thing I absolutely need the most. It is also the one my husband seems to be struggling with the most. As for consequences, I haven’t figured it out all the way. Right now the consequence is that I won’t share my bed with someone who continues to lie to me. That consequence will stand until I feel safe again. When that will happen I have no clue.

    My biggest boundary failure was when… I didn’t stick to my request for him to get individual counseling after I discovered his affair and again after I caught him breaking his word about porn. Both times I put an expectation out there that I couldn’t be in a relationship with someone who was unfaithful or who was constantly watching pornography and couldn’t respect my wishes not to have those things in my life. However, I didn’t set any real consequence (me getting mad at him, being hurt and upset obviously wasn’t enough). Of course he didn’t go, and I just let it go. I told myself he was doing other things. I told myself it was okay, that he was okay. I told myself everything except what I should have told myself – if he won’t get help then you need to get out. I paid the price for that after we were married because his porn habit and sex addiction were still there and his lying, hiding ways had been reinforced for years by my lack of action and follow-through.

    I got in the biggest trouble when I broke this boundary… don’t steal. I was caught shoplifting. It was an incredibly selfish, stupid decision that I made in a time when my life was out of control. I had the money to pay for the stuff, I just couldn’t bring myself to splurge on myself and instead chose to stick it in my purse. Boy did I pay the price. Literally and many times over – thousands of dollars for a lawyer, restitution and court fees. I stayed out of jail, but I now have a misdemeanor record. Stupid me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. April, I hope you don't mind me butting in here but my heart goes out to beingabeautifulmess and I just wanted to let her know she's not alone. I've been exactly where you are right this very moment and while it's been a year and a half it sometimes feels like yesterday and sometimes feels like a lifetime ago. I'm still wrapping my head around the fact that my husband has to learn how to not lie...that for me is an odd thing. I wish you all the best!!

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    2. Never Elsie! This is your place too.

      I really love his crazy reaction to your setting boundaries. I mean, haven't we all felt the heavy drop of his burden when we just don't engage in the fighting match?

      Delete
  6. Apparently I'm too verbose... Here's the rest:

    The most successful boundary/consequence I’ve worked on is… not doing for others what they should (and can) do for themselves. I am at peace with saying that I will not accept responsibility for something that is his to deal with. I am getting much better at not feeling guilty if/when he falls on his face. I would like to be able to echo what another poster responded with: “Being willing to say I will not accept blame, lying, anger, or victim behavior from my husband and seeking distance from him when that happens.” I am still working on this one. It takes real effort for me to disengage and “seek distance” rather than continuing to respond.

    If I could break any social boundary it would be… the understanding that we should all keep up a façade. Wouldn’t it be nice if “fine” or “great” weren’t the only socially accepted and expected responses to “How are you doing today?” What if we could all just be honest all of the time? I bet we would all feel less pressure to be perfect if we had the understanding of how imperfect we all feel all of the time.

    My favorite quality in a man is… honesty (I’m sensing a theme here) and wit. I love a man who can be unexpected and funny just by telling it like it is.

    My favorite quality in a woman is… genuineness. I am drawn to women who are straight-forward and confident in themselves just as they are.

    If I could go back one decade and change anything is would be… I missed this question when I was reading the original post. If I could go back one decade and change something about my 17-year-old self I would be more confident. I would tell my teenage self that being different is beautiful, it is just fine to be an introvert, you are NOT fat, and trust your instincts because they are good.

    I’m terrified that enforcing boundaries will… result in my marriage failing.

    I’m excited that that enforcing boundaries will… allow me to be my own person and be treated the way that I deserve.

    My most elusive boundary questions is… what is an appropriate consequence?

    Being worth it …gives me the confidence to stand strong in my boundaries.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow. All your words and stories made me laugh, cry, think and sometimes speechless. I love that you all shared and I wasn't sure how this would go but thank you for sharing. IT seems a lot of us have struggled with the same things and questions and concerns abt the same things. Plus I liked getting to know you guys a little better!

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  8. Scabs, I am gonna reply. I am just sooo overwhelmed right now. Some of these are so hard to even wrap my mind around. But I think this is a great exercise for me.

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    Replies
    1. You don't have to. I get feeling overwhelmed...I'm still trying to respond to emails I missed while I went on my cyber-vacation. And sometimes it nice just to listen. No pressure, ever.

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  9. Ok im not still there yet but i will try this out:

    Introduce yourself, your current obsession and one word to describe your mood today. Im Kara, Im 30, a working mom of a 10 year old son and a 4 year old girl and pregnant with twins. I live in Guadalajara Mexico. My current obsession is living one day at the time. Loving "me time", Tango lessons and waterpaint. My mood today... relieved.

    The craziest reaction I got from setting boundaries was... Him blaming me for his wrongdoings. He got mad as hell when I told him: Its not my job to remind you the obgyn appointments! These are your kids if you want to see them, schedule the appointments. He yelled at me and then sent me an angry email that said at the very end: "Isnt it weird that this is the second relationship you fail? Isnt it weird that the same thing happened to your brother? And still you say this is all my fault" (Sure man... Its not my fault you chose to screw around tons of women.)

    My favorite boundary and consequence is...I guess it is a primitive form of detaching. I went ahead and set him free. First... I tried to do everything possible to make him want to seek recovery. He fooled me and even had the nerve to say: I dont feel the same about us, so I will try to start a new relationship with a woman I´ve been seeing for the last month. I said... go ahead. I let go. I did cry my eyes out... but felt better when I finally said to myself: HE MUST GET HIS HANDS DIRTY UNTIL HE FEELS THE DIRT ITCH. Consequence: I felt better letting go. (And as a side note last sunday he emailed me that it was a mistake, and that he missed me and all that. Im still... detached? I feel ok. No matter what he does... I will be okay. )

    My biggest boundary failure was when...I tried to push the gory details of his actions. I wanted to speed up recovery... and now.. I know... its not me who has to do the dirty work. My lack of patience and the need to fix things asap blinded me.

    I got in the biggest trouble when I broke this boundary...Badmouthing my husband. Once... I was so mad and frustrated and out of my mind that I yelled at him: Marica!!! (I think the appropiate translation would be: Fag) the trouble I got in is I felt HORRIBLE after I said it. And... it still haunts me to this day... that maybe he acted out on revenge.

    The most successful boundary/consequence I've worked on is... Keeping myself safe. He tried (once after DD) to engage in sex with me and I declined politely. I feel great and safe I did, because two days later was the day he dropped the bomb (again) and said he was going to give it a try with another woman. No regrets on that part. I took care of myself and my babies.

    If I could break any social boundary it would be... Pretending we are fine when we are going through hell. And I must confess I tend to break it regularly. I´ve got Tourettes too I guess.

    My favorite quality in a man is... Honesty. No second thoughts on that one.

    My favorite quality in a woman is... A clean heart that glows in the dark and reaches out to other women in need.

    If I could go back one decade and change anything is would be... I´d take more care of myself. I was wreckless and probably made some wrong decisions by not worrying about myself and my future.

    I'm terrified that enforcing boundaries will... confuse me when its time to love uconditionally and when its not.

    I'm excited that enforcing boundaries will... keep me safe from future tragedies and crappy choices.

    My most elusive boundary questions is... Are all of this things I just typed boundaries or something else?

    The fact that I stand strong (and havent done anything stupid on revenge or pain driven) and feel worthy after all the pain and deceit gives me the confidence to stand strong in my boundaries.

    So... I guess Im a newbie on this. But I had to try.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Kara! Good to hear from you again. Looks to me like you've done a great job setting your boundaries. I wouldn't say you are a newbie you've done some great things here!

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  10. Thank you all for your stories and support. This was a great idea!

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  11. Love this discussion. What a great idea, Scabs! Love that there is just more TALK about boundaries.

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    Replies
    1. I really love this too. Its great to hear everyone's stories and boundaries, hopes, fears, successes.

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hi

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