Practical Tips For Setting Boundaries – Part Two

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Last time, we started a discussion about setting boundaries.  The first piece of the puzzle when setting boundaries is that we need to be able to use our voice and identify our feelings.  If we can’t do that – then setting boundaries will be, well, difficult.

Once we hone in on what we need to feel safe, which involves knowing how we feel, we can then start to identify the boundaries we need to put into place.  Setting boundaries can help in two different areas:  1)  to help alleviate or reduce triggers and 2)  to protect ourselves from our husband’s continued acting out.  Boundaries should never be used to punish or hurt our husbands.  The damage is done and even hurting our husbands won’t take the pain away.

boundary heart.001

Let’s start with triggers.  A trigger can be defined as any situation, thought or feeling that causes us to feel fear and decreased safety within our marriage.  Early on in our process, our counselor encouraged us to implement the “Five-Minute Rule”.  If I called Jason, he had five minutes to return my call (if he didn’t pick up) or else i would assume the worst.  This was a boundary that we put into place so that I wouldn’t be triggered when I couldn’t get a hold of Jason.  And guess what grows out of our boundaries when we communicate them clearly to our husbands and they oblige?  Trust!

(I use a five-step process for working through triggers in my groups.  If you are reading this and would like for me to send you the five-step process, let me know and I’d be happy to send it your way!)

Now let me give you an example of a boundary put into place for the purpose of protecting ourselves from our husband continuing to act out.  Just to be clear, a boundary won’t 100% of the time prevent our husband from acting out.  Rather, it is something put into place for our safety and protection.  Probably the most effective boundary I put into place early on with Jason was my request that we go to couples counseling at least once a week.  Part of the requirement was that 1)  I would ultimately decide if the counselor was the right fit for Jason and I and 2)  Jason would be in charge of setting up and keeping the appointments.  And once again, as Jason began to show me that he was responsible enough to schedule the appointments, make time for the appointments, and be present in the appointments – my trust started to grow!

If you are having trouble coming up with ideas for setting boundaries, I encourage you to check out Jason’s new book, Worthy of Her Trust.  Chapters 11, 12, 13 and 18 are filled with ideas on setting boundaries.  Check it out.


Next, let’s discuss what to do, in practical terms, when our husbands choose not to comply with the boundaries we have set.  Is this the case for you?  If so, I’d love to hear from you.  xo-Shelley

18 thoughts on “Practical Tips For Setting Boundaries – Part Two

  1. Becky

    December 1, 2014  |  07:31 pm

    I would love to see what your five-step process is for working through triggers. I am dealing with some anxiety and panic attacks and would love a way to work through some of the stuff that is caused by triggers.

    • rlforwomen

      December 1, 2014  |  08:38 pm

      Hi Becky! I will send you the five-step process and I want to also do a little write-up explaining it further. So give me a day or so and i will send it your way. I also appreciate you mentioning the anxiety and panic attacks. This is so common in the aftermath of being betrayed, no matter how big or how small. Thank you for having the courage to mention this piece of your journey. I can so relate. Anxiety has been a very bad friend of mine. I encourage you to think of a multifaceted approach as you heal. Medicine, therapy, self-care, etc. xoxo-Shelley

  2. Bonnie

    December 14, 2014  |  05:13 am

    Shelley, I would love to know your 5 step process too. Seems I make one step forward, and two steps back. Ughhhh.

    • rlforwomen

      December 15, 2014  |  09:20 pm

      Bonnie, I will email it to you in the next day or so! Grateful, Shelley

  3. Stacy

    December 15, 2014  |  03:19 pm

    I would also love to hear your five step process. Thanks!

    • rlforwomen

      December 15, 2014  |  09:21 pm

      Hi Stacy! Absolutely, I will send it your way! xoxo-Shelley

  4. Amber

    December 28, 2014  |  04:56 am

    Could you also email me the five step process? Thanks for your kind words and thoughtful encouragement!

    • rlforwomen

      December 30, 2014  |  04:26 am

      Hello Amber! Absolutely I can! It will be Wednesday or Thursday before I will be home and able to do so; so if you don’t hear from me, will you please remind me? Thanks!

  5. Laurie

    January 4, 2015  |  07:10 am

    I would love it if you could send me the 5-step process also. I too suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, though it is somewhat better than it was 3 months ago when my heart was broken into a million pieces. Thank you for sharing these words of wisdom!

    • rlforwomen

      January 5, 2015  |  09:48 pm

      Hi Laurie! I’m happy to send you the five-step process! Be looking for it in your inbox hopefully here in a bit! I’m so sorry for your recent heart break. Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with. xo-Shelley

  6. Stacey Alyk

    January 5, 2015  |  07:35 pm

    Shelley, may I please have a copy of the 5 step process? I am only 6 days out from RE discovery of an issue that’s over 4 years old. One that I THOUGHT was gone after other relapses. Boundaries may help in the future if there is to be one with my marriage. Also, how do I find support groups in my area? thanks for being there!!

    • rlforwomen

      January 5, 2015  |  09:56 pm

      HI Stacey! I will absolutely send the five-step process to you. I’m actually editing it just a bit and then I will send it over. Can you tell me how you came across my website (just curious) and also where you live? I’m so sorry to hear that you are days into this rediscovery. ugh. xo-Shelley

  7. Brokenheartedwif

    January 14, 2015  |  07:15 pm


    Would you please send me your 5-step process. I’m still working on identifying my feelings, that aren’t anger. Dealing with a Sex Addict who chose to have a very Long Term Affair in our home with a supposed family friend. He is involved with an Every Man’s battle group and a SA group. He has purchased Worthy of Her Trust. Thank you for the blog entries and the Kitchen convos. Your site and others are helping me put to words some of what is going on inside of me. It’s a long way from the head to the broken heart.

    • rlforwomen

      January 14, 2015  |  09:00 pm

      I will absolutely send you the information on triggers. I’m happy to hear you are finding some hope and help via the blog and kitchen convos. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do. xo-Shelley

  8. Beth Warner

    February 3, 2015  |  08:18 pm

    I would love your 5 steps to deal with triggers. I struggle with them so much. I am about 9 weeks into this journey.

    • rlforwomen

      February 3, 2015  |  09:45 pm

      Absolutely! I will send it your way! xoxo-Shelley

  9. Sharon B

    April 9, 2015  |  02:53 am

    I would love to see your five step process.

    • rlforwomen

      April 9, 2015  |  03:45 am

      Absolutely! Sending it over shortly. xo

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