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Relationships. How to set a proper boundary.

Updated: Apr 30

Is there a relationship in your life where you find yourself having the same conversation over and over again? Do you feel frustrated and unheard? Do you feel taken advantage of, or do you always give in? You might have to learn about boundaries. 

One of the mistakes that keeps my clients' relationships in a rut is not knowing what a boundary is or how to set one properly.  Think of a boundary like a fence around a property. It should make you feel clear and safe.

1 - A boundary is a request you make to someone to stop or change a certain behaviour that affects your feeling of safety and wellness.

2 -It is the explanation of the actions you will take if it happens again.  It is the consequence you will take to protect yourself if they violate the boundary again.

Boundaries differ from requests,

A request is something you can make and might like to happen. But a request can be declined.

For example, I frequently ask my husband not to leave his socks on the table, his not adhering to my request may piss me off, but it does not threaten my safety. (Sanity, yes; safety, no.)

Do you make threats? Threats are frequently made in relationships, sometimes lightly and sometimes not. But if you are making recurring threats, you might want to consider whether you need to set a boundary or accept that the request remains unmet.

I recently set a boundary with my husband, because I was sick of making threats.

I had been making many requests to my husband Paul, not to text/use his phone in the car.  He doesn't ignore me, he agrees, but continues to do it every time we are in the car. 

Recently, we were on a road trip with our big camper trailer and our fine hound dogs, Lamb Chop and Jimmy Knackers. We were coming around a bend on a single-lane highway near Biregurra, and he started looking at his phone for directions. The phone wasn't on navigation, and it wasn't in a holder. I was about to launch into my usual tirade of threats and tell him what to do. But I stopped. I realised I felt genuinely unsafe. So, instead, I set a boundary, but I followed the rules.


THE RULES OF SETTING A BOUNDARY Think about the boundary you are requesting. Make sure that you are not using it as a manipulation tool. Make sure its not going to be just another threat. Check that it is something you need to set to protect yourself.

Be clear with your communication. 

Explain how their actions make you feel

Say if from a place of love, calmly and with respect.

Explain the consequence of the action if the boundary isn't met. And be clear and confident that you will follow through. 

So I did ( I packed away my whiny voice); I said, babe, I love the camper and our road trips, but when you look at your phone, even if it's to check directions, I feel really unsafe. I have asked you about this before - but I feel now I have to set a boundary with you. So next time you do it,  I am going to ask you to stop the car and I am going to get out. And I mean it. Is that clear? Are you aware that I feel unsafe?  Boundaries are not there to create separation. In fact, considered and well set boundaries can bring us closer together. 

Knowing how to set and follow through on a boundary promotes respect. Weak boundaries ( threats) are exhausting and downgrade self respect. 

So, you want to change the dynamics in a relationship and get out of the rut you've set.  Stop repeating yourself, set a boundary and promise yourself you will FOLLOW THROUGH.

Big Love

Maree xx


We haven't been on another road trip yet, but I'm ensuring I take comfortable shoes.

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