Episode 105: 3 Tips For Communicating Boundaries To Your Partner Suffering From Addiction
Boundaries. We all need them. Every woman walking this earth should know her boundaries and understand how to enforce them because boundaries make us strong, powerful, and respected. But many of us get this very necessary skill wrong. And communicating boundaries can be a difficult skill to master.
In the Love Over Boundaries program, we unpack everything you need to know about boundaries. So if you are struggling with how to figure out what healthy boundaries you need in your life, this is the program for you.
3 tips for communicating your boundaries:
- Say them briefly. Once you’ve identified your boundary, state it quickly. One or two sentences is all you need. No monologues or drawn out explanations or apologies. Quick. To the point.
- Practice saying them in the bathroom mirror, in the car, or during a walk (yes, you might look a little crazy for talking to yourself in public, but hey, a woman has to do what a woman has to do).
- Stop caring about other people’s reactions. It’s not your job to make sure they are okay with your boundary. If they get upset with you, they were not your people to begin with. Don’t be afraid to ruffle feathers. Or be afraid, but do it anyways. You know how you’re going to stop being fearful of upsetting people with your new boundaries? By practicing them over and over again.
I have a girlfriend who asked me to go with her for a girls’ night out. I said “yes!” and added it to my Google calendar. I love this friend (she’s the fun, outgoing, crazy one of the group), but she also invited someone who I think is abusing prescription pills. You know those people who push all your buttons? This person pushes mine every time I’m around them. I don’t feel comfortable.
I’d rather be at home with my kids and hubby than a girls’ night where I would be trying to avoid this person.
I knew my friend’s feelings would be hurt if I didn’t go. I also knew she was counting on me. But, I backed out. Because I am not going to compromise myself. My time is valuable. I offered to meet her for breakfast the following week (something I try very hard not to do because it takes away from my work day) because I wanted to show her she’s important to me, and I am making her a priority.
She was hurt, and she was upset. But I stood my ground. I didn’t fall over myself apologizing. And you want to know what she said? My friend told me, “Michelle, I am disappointed, but you have such good boundaries. I really respect that about you.”
Here’s the truth: if we are not the biggest advocates of our time, money, and values, who will be?
You CAN become so good at communicating boundaries with your partner, children, boss, and friends. It takes practice. And remember, perfection is not the goal. You’re going to get it wrong. Lord knows I have so many, many, many (is that enough many’s?) times. But keep making an effort. I can’t tell you how important this skill is in life. We’re here cheering you on!
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Love Over Addiction is here for you.
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Love Over Addiction is a private self-study recovery program just for women who love someone who drinks too much or suffers from substance use disorder.
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