Establishing healthy boundaries is necessary to live a healthy life. However, setting boundaries is not always easy. It can especially be a challenge when moving forward with a divorce.
Where do you start?
As Verywell Health states, setting boundaries is like respecting the fence between your neighbor’s yard and your own. They are a tool to help you protect yourself, your peace and your privacy. To do this, you must first consider:
- What are your needs and values? How will your boundaries reflect them?
- Is a strict or flexible boundary appropriate for this situation?
- What are the consequences if someone oversteps your boundaries?
Answering these questions can help you begin the process of establishing boundaries. It can be stressful to set a boundary and say “no,” especially if you worry about upsetting or offending the people you care about. However, it is important to prioritize your well-being during a divorce, and boundaries can help you do so.
Remember: All relationships need boundaries
The other factor you must consider when starting to establish boundaries is your relationships. Since every relationship is different, each one will need a different kind of boundary. You should evaluate your relationships as you approach a divorce. For example, you might wish to establish boundaries with:
- Your ex-spouse: Setting boundaries with your spouse is a natural part of a divorce. For example, you may outline when and how you can contact each other.
- Your children: Boundaries with your children should mainly regard the divorce itself. You should avoid speaking ill of your spouse or discussing the issues of your divorce in front of your children. Keeping children out of conflict is critical in divorce, and healthy boundaries can help accomplish this.
- Your family and friends: Your loved ones do not need to know all of the details of your divorce. You can specifically tell your friends and family members that you welcome and appreciate their support during this time, but you will not tolerate prying.
- Yourself: You may even need to create boundaries for yourself. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance and setting rules and boundaries when it comes to social media can help you manage your stress more effectively during a divorce.
Evaluating these factors and relationships can help you start to set boundaries. However, setting boundaries is only helpful if you enforce them as well. We will discuss tips to help you enforce boundaries during and after divorce in Part 2 of this blog.