“Beware of the people who make you think you’re holding a grudge when you’re really holding a boundary.” Mel Robbins
Setting healthy boundaries isn’t something that we learned how to do.
Certainly not with family members.
We’re taught that since they’re family, no matter what they do you have to maintain your relationship with them.
That’s not true.
One of my clients has a mother who cannot keep a secret to save her life and likes to gossip with family and friends. Setting a healthy boundary here – while still maintaining a relationship – means that she no longer shares anything too personal with her mother that she doesn’t want to be shared with others.
Now that’s a simple, straight-forward example.
This particular client had spent years trying to get her mom to be the person where her secrets were safe, but always ended up feeling betrayed.
When she made peace with the reality that this is who her mom is, it opened up a new relationship for her and her mother.
She could still love her mom.
She could still have a relationship with her mom.
Now, she just knew to no longer confide in her mom.
Now, understand that whenever you set a boundary, the person you’re setting a boundary with will have a story about why you’re doing that (and it will never be about them or their actions). Hence, boundaries.
Her mom really believed that her daughter could tell her anything and she would not share it.
Even though she had basically never done that…
Even though she had broken that promise more than once…
And, even though she had shared more about her daughter than her own life with others…
Mom created a story (and told her friends, by the way) that her daughter had become so private all of a sudden and was just shutting down to those around her.
That didn’t make it true, but that’s what her mom had to believe to make peace with her daughter’s decision.
And my client was able to continue to love and be in relationship with her mom in a way that still honored herself.
In case this is the first you’ve heard this…let me be the first to tell you:
Setting boundaries with those who need it is one of the most healthy and loving acts you can do for yourself.
And others will create their stories about why you’re placing distance between you, but that’s not your business.
Sometimes setting boundaries is not sharing so much of yourself….
Sometimes setting boundaries is only seeing each other periodically…..
And sometimes setting boundaries is loving people from a very far distance…
And it’s all in the name of love (self-love).
Think setting a boundary with family is difficult? Try setting a boundary with the person you pledged to love until death do us part.
And yet, once you know how to set healthy and loving boundaries for yourself, it’s a total game-changer. Want to learn how to do this for yourself so that you can see if your marriage can evolve to a new place? Let’s explore it…