Hi girls! It’s me again. Today I’m at a local coffee shop typing away. Thinking of you ladies out there and trying to figure out what would be worthwhile for me to share.
You probably don’t realize how much I think about this blog and what I want to share as the days tick by. I LOVE being able to share this space with you and it’s been so assuring to see how more and more of you are leaving comments and talking about what’s on your heart.
So that brings me to today’s topic. Boundaries.
It seems setting boundaries with our husbands can be so incredibly difficult to do. And I’ve been thinking through lately as to why it can be so difficult to stand up for ourselves and set these boundaries and wanted to share it with you here.
I believe that there are three big hurdles on the road to setting boundaries that it’s important for us to be aware of. Here they are:
We must believe that we are worthy.
Research has shown that in order to set boundaries and live a full life, we have to first own and live out the fact that we are worthy. If we don’t think we are worthy and deserving of love and respect, why in the world would we ask for that from our husbands? Unfortunately for us wives, we are in a catch-22. Our most important relationship here on earth, the one we have with our husbands, is broken. We are left feeling anything but worthy. But in order to set boundaries, we must draw from our worthiness. (I want to note that it’s important for me to find my worthiness in Christ. Yet this doesn’t mean I don’t find my worthiness through other relationships, like my relationship with Jason. In addition, for myself, finding my worthiness in Christ has been hard. Still working on it. It’s life work.)
Setting boundaries is vulnerable.
When we choose to set a boundary, we are communicating to our husbands what we are okay with and not okay with in order to stay in relationship with them. This is incredibly scary because our husbands have already rejected us by turning to masturbation, pornography, affairs or the like. Thus, setting boundaries is vulnerable. Will we be rejected again? Or will our husbands choose to start respecting our limits? We don’t have the answer to this when we implement boundaries.
We must belong and feel connected.
Cloud and Townsend write in their book, Boundaries, that it’s imperative to set limits only after we have secure attachments with others that will have our back no matter what. Otherwise, our boundaries will fail. Here is the reason why – one of our deepest needs in this life is to be in community – to belong, be loved, and connected. If our husbands have betrayed us sexually and we don’t feel a sense of belonging elsewhere, chances are higher that we won’t set boundaries with our husbands. Instead, we will continue to try to fabricate a sense of belonging with them in exchange for setting healthy and appropriate boundaries.
As you consider these hurdles in setting boundaries, I want to encourage you that being aware of these potential pit-falls in and of itself can bring growth. As our counselor always told us – the key is insight.
So if you find that you are having trouble setting boundaries and sticking to them, could it be for one of the above reasons? And if so, what do you need to do to work through it? This isn’t a part of the process that we can skip over or walk around.
I have to tell you, this is exactly what happens in support groups. It’s a place to belong and feel connected. It’s a place where us women with a similar story realize we ARE worthy. And it’s a place where we each practice and bravely choose into vulnerability. It’s hard messy work. And I believe it’s necessary in order to come out on the other side thriving and not just surviving. So if you are asking yourself – how do I move through these hurdles? I have one word for you: support.
I’d love to hear your thoughts – has one of these hurdles prevented you from setting boundaries or sticking to them?