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What Are Boundaries?
Boundaries are our personal concept of what we think of ourselves, what we think we deserve in certain situations and how we expect others to treat us. In other words boundaries are a reflection of our self esteem and an expression of our expectations in various life situations.
Boundaries clarify what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior from ourselves and others.
Healthy Boundaries allow us to:
- Be assertive by stating opinions, thoughts, feelings and needs in a respectful manner; the ability to say yes or no, and to feel okay when others say no
- Separate our needs, thoughts, feelings and desires from others
- Empower us to make healthy choices and take responsibility for those choices
- Maintain our self-esteem and self respect
- Share personal information gradually in a mutually sharing and trusting relationship
- Protect physical and emotional space from invasion or intrusion
- Take care of our own needs
- Have an equal partnership where responsibility and power are shared.
When you are in a relationship with a Sex Addict your boundaries have been violated, often for years and without your permission. Without realizing it your self esteem right along with your boundaries have been slowly eroded.
That’s why it is so difficult to find your voice and stand up for yourself when your spouse’s or partner’s secret life of Sex Addiction is revealed.
But, you do have the right and the ability to take back your power, to reestablish your boundaries and to shape your life and your relationships exactly as you want them to be.
The crisis of discovering your spouse’s or partner’s Sexual Addiction is an opportunity. It is a chance for a new beginning.
Once you have healthy boundaries in place other areas of your relationships will also improve. Your future is in your hands. Take the tools and information in this book and set the rules for your new life.
Boundaries or Control?
The line between setting boundaries and trying to control others is often blurred and can be difficult to understand.
Some manipulative people may claim that their controlling behavior is simply their way of setting boundaries, while others with low self esteem will refuse to set boundaries on the false assumption that they don’t have the right to control others.
Even I had a difficult time clarifying the difference. I can remember discussing the subject during several sessions with my counselor. I became confused when she would tell me to set boundaries, and then, in the next sentence would tell me that I should not try to control my Sex Addict husband.
Finally, I just threw up my hands in frustration. Just what is the difference between boundaries and control? I exclaimed.
Here’s how she explained it.
‘Boundaries are the rules that you set for yourself’ she said, ‘your boundaries protect you from unacceptable behavior from others. You are not telling them what to do or trying to control them, you are telling them what you will or will not accept. ‘
Finally I understood!
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