I recently consulted with a lovely, successful and highly capable woman who had become so worn down by her partner in their separation process, that she was actually considering going onto anti-depressants so that she could better cope.
As we delved into what was going on for her, I started to feel deep compassion for what she was experiencing, for how she had been holding it all together for so long and for how she was starting to feel that she was buckling emotionally under the pressures of her circumstances.
That Aha Moment!
This courageous woman is a couple of weeks away from giving birth to her and her husband’s third child, and her husband – who has decided for the second time in a year that he wants to check out of the marriage, is now desperately trying to push their divorce through and get everything done and dusted before the birth of their baby, showing very little regard for the intense internal and external turmoil that his unreasonable request is creating.
To say that setting healthy boundaries at the appropriate time during divorce or separation can save your life, is not an understatement. When I explained to this lovely woman that much of what would help her even in this challenging situation was that she seriously needed to set some clear and definitive boundaries with her soon-to-be-ex and create all the sacred space she needed to prepare psychologically for bringing a new little human being into the world, everything lifted for her. She instantly got it.
Together we devised a plan for creating and communicating the sacred space she needed, how to empower herself from a legal standpoint and what to do to set up a new communication style with her soon-to-be-ex that gave her a solid new container – a more calm inner and outer frame of reference from which she could better function.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re currently going through a breakup situation, whether you went through one years ago or whether you suspect you may still go through one – learning to set boundaries in a way that supports your transition as well as your physical and psychological health is essential to navigating this time of change in a way that’s healthy and allows you more effortlessly and peacefully to step into your new life.
That’s not to say that you should cut anyone out of your life or hold up or disrupt important meetings or complicate sharing time with the children. It means actively taking control of what’s throwing you off and causing overwhelm and re-negotiating the terms in a way that supports you and helps you transition more smoothly.
Setting The Healthy Boundary…
The key to setting a boundary is to remember to not give your power away when you’re setting it.
A healthy boundary is something that YOU decide and take action on – not the other person. NEVER set a boundary that leaves the action for establishing that boundary in the hands of someone else because that’s not a boundary, it’s giving your power away.
When you’re setting a healthy boundary you don’t need to check in with anyone but yourself. You don’t need anyone else’s agreement, arrangement, permission or approval.
A healthy boundary is set by going within and getting real with yourself about what is and what isn’t acceptable to you and then communicating the boundary appropriately. It’s okay to state the boundary in a conversational way, to share what it is that isn’t working for you in any situation. But this must be done in a non-threatening and non-confrontational way and without any finger-pointing threats about what will happen if the boundary is crossed.
Crossing The Boundary
If a boundary you set is crossed, YOU are the one who takes the action – and it goes without saying that you need to have the gumption to follow through on the internal agreement you made with yourself – because if you don’t, you’ll start to seriously mess with your own sense of self-trust.
If you’re struggling with boundary issues, I’d love for you to share your challenges in the comments below.
I always love hearing from you and I’m committed to creating products and services that heal and propel women forward in a powerful way. Your input helps!
Until next time gorgeous one,