Insights from the Book ‘Boundaries’: DAY 30 Pages 302-313

The concept of Ownership is explored in today’s reading. ownership is very important in relationships and marriage is not an exception. Things such as feelings, attitudes, and behaviors should be properly allocated and owned.  Each partner should have a sense of ownership of himself or herself. Caroline and Joe exemplify a relationship where ownership is missing and the associated avoidable issues. When Ownership is missing no one is willing to own of his or her behavior. In their minds, their behavior are literally “caused” by the other person.  The case becomes: ‘He did this and that is why I did this’. If there was ownership the situation would have been something like this: “I get angry at her because I’m too immature to respond to her more helpfully. I’m deeply sorry for that and need some help. I want to be able to love her correctly no matter what her behavior is. So, healthy boundaries helps us to know  where one person ends and the other begins. What is the problem, and where is it? Is it in you, or is it in me? Once we know the boundaries, we know who should be owning whichever problem we are wrestling with.

With boundaries comes a clear definition for RESPONSIBILITY. Many relationship struggle because we can’t define who is responsible for what. Knowing who is responsible for what creates a change opportunity. Once we own up things and realize we are responsible for them only then we can push the necessary change and make things work. When it comes to marriage each spouse must take responsibility for  Feelings, Attitudes, Behaviors, Choices, Limits, Desires, Thoughts, Values, Talents, Love. With responsibility we understand that we are the ones who must work through our feelings and learn how to feel differently.

With boundary comes great freedom also. Once there are clear boundaries in relationships and marriage precisely, then we can enjoy real freedom. The triangle of boundaries is discussed as well. Lastly, we end today’s reading with the concept of ‘Self-Control’. When we talk about boundaries many don’t understand it’s true meaning. See an example from page 312:

A client once said to me, “I set some boundaries on my husband. I told him that he could not talk to me that way anymore. And it did not work. What do I do now?” “What you have done is not boundaries at all,” I replied. “What do you mean?” “It was your feeble attempt at controlling your husband, and that never works.” I went on to explain that boundaries are not something you “set on” another person. Boundaries are about yourself. My client could not say to her husband, “You can’t speak to me that way.” This demand is unenforceable. But she could say what she would or would not do if he spoke to her that way again. She could set a boundary “on herself.” She could say, “If you speak to me that way, I will walk out of the room.” This threat is totally enforceable because it has to do with her. She would be setting a boundary with the only person she could control: herself.

So, we must learn to stop trying to set boundaries on others and set boundaries on ourselves. Setting boundaries on others will always bring pain and grief as they will often trample upon such boundaries.

Examples of boundaries. We will continue from here on DAY 31. Keep reading daily. Connect with us

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