Embracing Boundaries for Happier Relationships

As Life Coach Jen, I've navigated the choppy waters of a marriage without boundaries and emerged with invaluable insights that I'm eager to share with you. This episode is a treasure trove of hard-earned wisdom, offering you the tools to build and maintain healthy relationships through the power of boundaries. Inspired by Brené Brown's advocacy of setting boundaries as an act of self-love, we delve into the nine universal human needs and how unmet needs signal the necessity for clear limits. Whether you're mending trust after betrayal or simply learning to prioritize your own well-being, you'll find solace and strategy in this heart-to-heart conversation.

Striking the delicate balance between safeguarding your personal space and maintaining meaningful connections can be daunting, but it's a journey worth embarking on. This episode peels back the layers on how to distinguish between setting boundaries and issuing threats, as well as the courage it takes to communicate and enforce these necessary lines in the sand. By the end of our time together, you'll understand how embracing boundaries can lead to reduced stress, improved emotional health, and a life marked by respect and self-esteem. Join me in transforming the way we approach our relationships, and let's step into a brighter, more balanced future, where Happily Even After isn't just a fairytale ending—it's a way of life.

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My website is http://www.lifecoachjen.com


Speaker 1: 0:10
Hi friends, welcome to Happily. Even After I’m Life Coach Jen, a certified life coach that specializes in relationships. I’m a mom of four awesome kids and one amazing senora, a home decorator, a remodeler, a shopper, a scrabler and a snuggler, I want to help you with your relationships, mainly the relationship you have with yourself and your family and God. Thanks for listening and letting me share the tools I have learned that can help you live happily even after some of life’s greatest challenges. Hey, friends, welcome to today’s podcast.

Speaker 1: 0:43
This week I’m going to talk about something that I think we talk about a lot but maybe also not enough, and that is boundaries. And it’s interesting because I really don’t think I had any boundaries in my former marriage and it’s not something we were taught in high school or even college, and maybe some people were raised with boundaries. I don’t know, it just was never in my vocabulary. And I find a lot of my clients also struggle with even understanding what a good boundary is, why we should make a boundary, appropriateness of boundaries in a marriage as well as like maybe with kids or in-laws. So I just want to have a refresher course on boundaries and I think it’s definitely something very important if you’ve experienced betrayal because clearly a boundary was broken when your spouse chose to have an affair Whether it was a communicated boundary or just an assumed boundary that your spouse was going to be faithful and not have a sexual relation or emotional relationships with another woman or man, the boundary was broken. So I’m just going to talk about what a boundary is and why we need them, and things to look at inside of you so that you can get really clear about your own boundaries and if you need one or not. And sometimes it just takes a conversation.

Speaker 1: 2:22
So I love Brené Brown and so I’m going to read a quote of hers. It says Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others. And for whatever reason and I’ve really been looking at this myself disappointment is an emotion most of us do not like to feel, and we do all sorts of things to avoid disappointing other people as well as disappointing ourselves. So I would encourage you to get good at disappointing, because what happens is we let someone walk all over us or we’ve come a door mat and we’re miserable, and then the other person is like wait, what’s the problem? Realizing a boundary is really about having courage to get your needs met. And really boundaries are getting your needs met. And a lot of us, especially if we’ve been in abusive emotionally abusive marriages and feel less than or our self-esteem is low, our worth is low we don’t even know what our needs are. Women really struggle with this, men too. But knowing what your needs are and I’m just going to talk about nine needs that we all have, all human beings have and so if one or three or five of these needs aren’t getting met, maybe figuring out okay, do I need a boundary around this so I can get this need met? And I did talk about these needs in my podcast about codependency, so I think I talk about a little bit deeper into them. So I’m just going to do a reference of them and not necessarily describe what each of them are so you can go back and listen to that.

Speaker 1: 4:19
But belonging we all need to belong. We all need a purpose. Trust is a need. Safety is a need. Connection, autonomy, respect, self-expression and play those are our core needs.

Speaker 1: 4:44
The purpose of a boundary is to get our needs met. So if we aren’t figuring out what that is and I also want to let you know or just remind you, the boundary is not telling someone what you want them to do, but what you will do if they cross that line. So for example, hey, husband, if you yell at me and speak to me in that tone of voice or shout at me or swear at me, I am going to leave the room and go on a walk. And when you are calmed down enough to have an adult conversation but say, in 20 minutes I would like to come back and have that conversation. So the boundary is you will not speak to me that way and when you do, you can go ahead and continue yelling, but I will not be here to listen to that conversation. I am going to remove myself from the room, go on a walk and regroup and then we’re going to come back together Because chances are that breaks your need for safety, for connection, for respect.

Speaker 1: 6:06
So lots of needs you’re trying to meet and you’re letting them know what you’re going to do if they continue doing that behavior. And it could be they’re like you’re right, let me take a chill pill and walk away and we’re going to regroup. But some people will not do that. So you need to make sure you have your back, because you’re the only one that can have your back. So a boundary is so important in this situation. Hey husband, if you continue talking to that woman at work, then I am going to ask you to sleep on the couch. Or if you do this, then I am going to do this or we will not have sex. Or if you’re looking at porn and you continue doing that without telling me, with lying to me, then this is what I need, so getting clear on your needs and what your boundaries are. Or if your mom continues to sabotage our marriage or make plans without letting me know, then I’m going to do X, y and Z. So creating that conversation, but making sure you have some clear boundaries.

Speaker 1: 7:35
If someone is coming into your emotional or physical space in a way that’s inappropriate, you need to set a boundary for yourself. Reminder a boundary is what you will do. A threat is what you want them to do. You can’t control another person. So that’s complicated, right, because we, of course, want our spouses to not especially when they’re unfaithful to not be unfaithful. But if they’re going to lie about it and still do it behind your back, I mean you could get a sexually transmitted disease, all sorts of things they could get the other woman pregnant, all sorts of things could happen, and so they could spend lots of money that you really need to support your own family and they’re spending it on the other woman. So creating some boundaries to keep you safe is key and so important, because obviously the person lying and doing other things isn’t concerned about protecting you. So getting clear on your boundaries and really it’s about respect for yourself.

Speaker 1: 8:49
A few years ago, I really realized like I did not have any boundaries and I had gone to this three-day event. It was therapy for three days and it was like 12 hours a day, just me and my therapist and his wife who was making us meals, and we were at this place in Antimony, utah, which I’ve never even heard of and it’s out in the middle of nowhere, but it was this beautiful place and the one. I learned many things from this, but the key was for me to actually create a boundary that I was going to have my back on, because I think I tried to create boundaries before, but then I would present them to my then husband and then he would say something and then I would feel bad and then I would be more concerned about his feelings than my feelings, and then I would cave on the boundary right, and I probably did that for years. This time, though, I was terrified, but I knew I could no longer live the way I was living, so I presented my boundary you need to go get help, you need to stop seeing this girl and we need to work on our marriage, and if you don’t, then you will not sleep in our bed anymore and we will get divorced. And, honestly, I am so grateful in this moment. He chose to tell me the truth and he said, no, he wasn’t going to do that. And, honestly, that was the most peaceful, even though I probably cried my eyes out and was devastated. I was so grateful that I spoke up what I needed and, if that didn’t happen, what I was going to do, and I committed to that, and I did it Because past me would have probably said OK, that’s probably asking too much. I was so terrified of getting divorced that I probably would have done something different, and so I’m so glad that I was able to state what I needed to happen. He was able to say no to that and I was going to be OK, and I was like OK, we’re done, our marriage is done because of that boundary.

Speaker 1: 11:31
Now, if you’re not ready to be that extreme with your boundary, start small. We don’t have to do the big I’m getting divorced today boundary. Yet If you’re not ready, practice doing little boundaries, even with your kids. If you’re like I just don’t know if I feel comfortable, but basically when you do not uphold your own boundaries, you’re letting yourself down and you’re going to be miserable. It’s kind of like people pleasing and so really pay attention to practicing creating boundaries.

Speaker 1: 12:11
I’m going to give you some benefits of keeping your boundaries. You’re going to not have so much burnout. You’re going to have improved emotional health. You’re going to have improved relationships. You’re going to have clear expectations for others. They’re going to know exactly where they stand with you and that is huge. Decrease stress who doesn’t need less stress in their lives? Improved self-care capabilities. Because you have a boundary around your me time. You’re not going to let anything else creep into that. I mean, there’s always exceptions to this, but in a day-to-day basis you’re going to create that space for you time and uphold it because you have a boundary. No, this is my time. I’m not going to let every home room activity for your kids or your husband forgot his wallet and then you have to rush down and save him, if that isn’t an often occurrence. Sometimes we have to let people be accountable for the things because they’re responsible for them, and respect from others and self-respect for yourself promotes autonomy, which is you’re your own person. So those are just some benefits of setting boundaries. So think like do you need some of those benefits in your life? And if the answer is yes, which I’m guessing it is, then practice creating them and start small.

Speaker 1: 13:49
So, as you’re thinking about boundaries, you may need to create, write them down and consider like do I need to tell this person about this boundary or is it just like my own, like kind of my boundary? I’m not gonna. You don’t need to let every teacher or like let people know when you’re answering their emails, unless they’re emailing you on the weekends. You could be like hey, just so you know I don’t answer my emails on the weekends. That’s my family time, so I won’t get back to you till Monday, heads up. You could do that. So it just depends. You get to decide if you need to tell the person, but obviously, if it’s your spouse having those conversations and no like okay, do they respect my boundaries or are they always trying to push me and press me to breaking my own boundaries? That says a lot about someone and that says something about them and not necessarily something about you. But the message that it’s gonna send about you is are you giving into those boundaries? And that was for sure me, like I didn’t even necessarily have on my radar, like, oh, I need to have a boundary around this.

Speaker 1: 15:09
We used to have company visit us a lot and I think it might have been a good idea to have a few more boundaries around that. So we had our family and then the guest, and not so enmeshed possibly. But just consider the importance and don’t beat yourself up if you’re like, oh my gosh, I’m terrible at this. Just remind yourself you haven’t figured it out yet. You’re working on figuring out how to create better boundaries in your life and around these big topics and I think, especially with your kids.

Speaker 1: 15:46
I realized, like there are certain things I don’t want my kids to do. But before I made a like, okay, if they do X, y or Z, then they can’t live at my house anymore, well, I realized like, okay, I’m not keeping that, I want them to come home all the time and I want them to feel safe in my home. So I kind of adjusted my boundary. If they do X, y or Z, we’re gonna have a conversation about it, and if I feel eventually like I’m getting taken advantage of or who knows what, then If I feel differently, then I can change my mind. But right now, I always want my kids to feel safe and be in my home. I don’t ever want them to not feel welcome in my home. So I felt like I had to create this harsh boundary because maybe that’s what the world or other people were doing. But I decided no, I get to decide what I want from that and work with them and teach them, and so this skill is important, but you get to decide how you implement it.

Speaker 1: 17:03
But the important thing is, if you aren’t getting some of your needs met, that is a telltale sign that you might need a boundary not 100%, but maybe a boundary around that certain area of your life. And is your husband or wife? Are they the ones encroaching on the boundary? Is it your kids? Is it your in-laws? Is it your job?

Speaker 1: 17:28
So, getting clear on what exactly is the reason and not to blame them, but just to be aware of it and then acknowledge okay, why am I not? Why am I like laying down, why am I not enforcing this? What’s going on for you? And I think those are. It’s just some good work to do. If people are like what does that mean? Doing work on yourself? These are ways to figure out what kind of work, where are your blind spots?

Speaker 1: 18:01
And having a coach to help you create a boundary and help you implement it and help you when you have a conversation with them hey, this is what happened, let’s figure this out. And so you can kind of look at like what was I thinking? How was I feeling? Why wasn’t I able to uphold that boundary? Why did I get so triggered when they started yelling at me? And so then I decided to yell at them back instead of walk away. I promised myself I was gonna walk away.

Speaker 1: 18:32
So that is why having a coach is so helpful, because you can sit down after the fact and think, okay, I’m gonna try this again. But it’s not to beat you up or to think I’m never gonna be good at boundaries. We all have our different strengths and everyone can get good at something if they practice it. So just remember having a boundary is healthy. It’s not a negative.

Speaker 1: 19:04
I think somehow the word boundary has a negative wrap on it. I don’t know, but it is really actually healthy. You’re gonna have more compassion, less anger and resentment we talked about some of these things You’re gonna feel respected. You’re gonna have less conflict in your relationships Like these all sound like really good things to me and improved self-esteem. Less anxiety and stress who doesn’t need less anxiety and stress? So remember, a boundary is a positive thing. It’s just figuring out what area in your life that you need a boundary. So thanks so much for listening. Please like and review my podcast so other people like you can find it and have a beautiful, wonderful day. If you want to learn how to live happily even after, sign up for my email at hello at lifecoachgen with one end dot com. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook at happily even after. Coach. Let’s work together to create your happily even after.

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