Turning my “rules” into “boundaries”

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    • #118024

      I was just reading the idea that a rule is something others must do while a boundary is something we will do and I’m trying to change my thinking about the “rules” I’ve set in place with my ADD/Workaholic/codependent-with-co-workers husband. Here’s what I have…

      Instead of, “please close and lock the front door before you go to bed,” I should have said, “I can’t live in a house where I wake up to an open or unlocked front door.”

      Instead of, “please don’t leave to meet a co-worker at 3 AM without waking me to tell me you’re leaving,” I should have said, “I can’t live with someone who leaves the house in the middle of the night.”

      As much as I subscribe to this, these sound ridiculous!

      P.S. I found a perfect way to describe my husband’s additiudes to me and his co-workers…when his co-workers ask him to jump he asks, “how high?” But when I ask him to stop standing on my toes he gets mad at me for “criticizing.” 😕

    • #119514

      I can totally sympathize with this! Changing rules into boundaries seems quite liberating actually. My partner thinks all I do is set rules and says he feels he lives in dictatorship – eye roll! Kind of hard when I feel like I’m living with a teenager at times. I may try this approach, thank you!

    • #119969

      Warm Muddle –

      I’m the ADD spouse, and I agree with you here! Rules/boundaries (tomato/tomahto) – both set clear standards or expectations that should be met. If I can offer one thing – start with the statement you list as a boundary first, and finish with your rule. My wife will do that with me; so “it’s hard for me to sleep thinking the door is unlocked, so please lock it before you go to bed?” It allows your feeling to be voiced first, then sets the expectation/rule to be followed.

      As for the issue with co-workers, I feel for you. Spouse/family relationships should always come first. There might be something more going on there than just ADD (fear of reprisal/RSD; toxic work environment, etc.), that ADD might exacerbate it. But I wanted you to hear from ‘the other side’ that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with rules (as a HS teacher, I can’t function without them!)… CHRIS

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