In a previous blog post, we discussed the importance of establishing boundaries in divorce. However, building those boundaries will not mean much if you do not take the steps to enforce them during the process of your divorce as well as after you finalize it.
It can be a challenge to both set the boundaries in the first place and then enforce them. Here are some helpful tips to consider to help you keep your boundaries strong.
First: Know when others may push your boundaries
During and after a divorce, it is most common for an ex-spouse to try and push one’s boundaries. For example, they may:
- Disrespect parenting time by failing to drop children off promptly
- Constantly call the children and interfere with parenting time
- Badmouth the other parent to the children
- Post inflammatory or private things on social media
These are only a few examples, but it is important to be aware of the times when someone may push your boundaries after divorce. That way you can prepare yourself to enforce them and protect your well-being.
In some cases, enforcing boundaries may also require legal guidance. For example, serious violations of the custody agreement or your parenting time may lead to a post-divorce modification of these agreements.
How can you enforce your boundaries?
Protecting and enforcing the boundaries you establish means you must make efforts to become mentally strong. It may be difficult at first to uphold your boundaries, but you should make sure to:
- Be committed: Protecting your peace and enforcing your boundaries is a commitment. Stand by your values and the boundaries you set.
- Be clear: As Psychology Today notes, being clear about your boundaries is possibly the most important way you can enforce them. After all, you cannot expect anyone to know or respect your boundaries if you do not communicate them. You should also create and clarify the consequences if someone violates your boundaries.
- Be consistent: While certain boundaries might be flexible and others are strict, it is important to remain constant. Do not let your ex-spouse break a boundary without consequence, because it often sets a precedent, making them think they can do it again.
Using these three tips, you can protect yourself and the life you build after your divorce. It is not always easy to maintain these boundaries, but it is a critical step to take as you move forward.