Let's talk about Boundaries

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by Kenzi, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. noexcuses

    noexcuses Fapstronaut

    Based on some of the above boundaries that have been set it seems like some of your relationships have devolved from partnerships to more of a parent, child situation.

    Aside from possibly marriage (with children) why would you continue to stay with your partners if trust has been eroded to such a degree?
  2. Drewdee446

    Drewdee446 Guest

    This is prison not a marriage.
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  3. Drewdee446

    Drewdee446 Guest

    This isn't a marriage it's prison
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  4. Queen_Of_Hearts_13

    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 Fapstronaut

    @noexcuses Well for me trust is being rebuilt, so not all the things I listed are "strict" but in the beginning right after D-day those were the things needed to rebuild trust. Once trust is rebuilt those boundaries loosen or are not needed. Some stay, some go.

    @Drewdee446 That is very insulting. If in a relationship, both people have the right to state boundaries, and especially after cheating, boundaries are going to be strict to earn trust back. Once trust is earned, boundaries can loosen, be renegotiated, etc. So ideally not all are a forever situation but some are because it's better for the addict.
  5. MindfulAchilles

    MindfulAchilles Fapstronaut

    Hey @AnonymousAnnaXOXO, I'm on your side, but I have a question:

    Say after X-time/Z-steps (of your choosing) trust is earned, will he you still see him as an addict?
  6. Resolved Oregonian

    Resolved Oregonian Fapstronaut

    Well said.
    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 and Kenzi like this.
  7. Kenzi

    Kenzi Fapstronaut

    My SO says he will always be a addict, just a addict in recovery.
    I'm a addict of something else and clean 17 years.
    I choose to view myself also as a addict in recovery.
    I know if I ever touched my drug of choice, it would have devastating consequences.
    But I agree with Anna.
    As time proceeds the boundaries change and evolve, like any relationship should.
    The vows you take on your wedding day do not hold.
    That's why you renew your vows.
    People change.
    They evolve.
    Your vows should too.
    They should fit the people as they go.
  8. Queen_Of_Hearts_13

    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 Fapstronaut

    @MindfulAchilles I agree with @Jolie . When you are an addict, I personally believe, you are an addict for life. So even when trust is gained, you still you the person as an addict, because the thing is if the addict ever used the substance again, they will not be able to use it in moderation.

    I used to self-harm I am almost 2 years clean. I know if I picked up a safety pin and cut only once, I wouldn't be able to just stay at one time. I would want to do it again, and again, and again, and spiral back into addiction patterns. Same with my fiance if he were to use again.

    So I view addicts who are clean from their substance and doing recovery work, recovering addicts. Addicts who don't use but aren't working recovery, are the equivalent to the "dry alcoholic" because they may not be using the substance, but are still stuck in addiction patterns behaviors. For instance, My fiance's mother is a cocaine addict, borderline alcoholic. As far as I know she hasn't used cocaine since she divorced and went to rehab, but she is still incredibly selfish, self-centered, not able to talk about emotions, extremely defensive or sensitive to any criticism of her and her behavior. She is a "dry drunk" because she never worked recovery even though she isn't using.

    Hopefully, that explains my viewpoint. There are many models, theories, beliefs about addiction, and what has worked for me is knowing that I can't self-harm, restrict (because I struggle with anorexia) without going back into the addiction/eating disorder. They are negative coping skills. I, and my fiance, have positive coping skills.

    And I won't primarily view him as an addict I view him as my husband, or father to my son, etc. Being a recovering addict is not the primary adjective I would use to describe him. I see him as so much more than just that.
  9. MindfulAchilles

    MindfulAchilles Fapstronaut

    Loved that last part @AnonymousAnnaXOXO. Thanks for your answer

    To be honest, I don't think that psychology agrees with porn addiction being painted the same as substance addiction (I know the concensus in NoFap is that it is, I personally disagree with it). What I do know about substance addictions is that I smoked for a few years (3 years @ two packs a day) and when I didn't for a few hours I experienced withdrawals. That was when I knew I was a full blown addict, fully hooked. I eventually quit smoking (plain cold turkey), but I don't call myself a smoker or cigarette addict anymore. In fact, I did smoke a few cigarettes since leaving the habit for good and didn't fall back into it. Still, I don't call myself a smoker or cigarette addict.

    Now, porn. First of all, it is really seen as more of a coping mechanism/compulsive behavior than a full blown addiction. I know it can be overcome, and that it doesn't need to influence me in the future.

    I was an addict, if psychology ever allows that term, probably during the stage when I was still using and feeling like there was no way out of it, but once I did leave it for good (clean from porn about 5 months now) and felt like I was able to continue life without it, there was more of a regressive effect when treating myself as an "addict". Almost like the pressure to fall back into it was constantly there instead of allowing me to go on with my life. I've been breaking free of these terms, and demanding people to not use them when refering to me, precisely because I believe it hurts the process more than it helps "be real" about it.

    I've met alcoholics who drink and can drink in moderation after recovering. In my opinion, porn and masturbation will not be part of my life ever again. They're very different than a casual social drink and I just don't want them back. I think that recovery is good, but as in any sickness, trauma recovery, there has to be a point at which you're either fully recovered, or not. The remission theory (that if you let it in you'll always be fighting it) is what I believe maintains people shackled in shame, fear, and eventually relapse cycles. That's what prompted me to run away from 12-step groups.
  10. Queen_Of_Hearts_13

    Queen_Of_Hearts_13 Fapstronaut

    I completely understand your perspective. I one day hope to not refer to myself as a recovering anorexic. Sometimes I feel like I am over it and then I realize I'm not. I don't like labels defining me, but I do know my own limitations, temptations, behavior patterns and so on, hence why I personally believe most would not be able to return to using a substance they heavily abused. And also, some addictions are harmful even if not an addiciton (like self harm). On RebootNation there's a lot of talk about the brain and how the brain is affected just like a heroin addict, and there are withdrawal symptoms for some. My fiance had a full blown panick attack that lasted 2 weeks. For those entire two weeks he felt like he couldn't breathe and had anxiety attacks every day, and went through a list of symptoms. I had to be strong during that time and assure him he could breathe and all, but his withdrawal was very strong and honestly a bit scary. Everyone is a unique individual and a use and abuse of a substance affects everyone in a different way. It's true some that some people who abuse alcohol can go and drink in the future after working recovery, and then there are people who can't be near it without relapsing. So I think it's very individualistic. But I know that for me and for my partner we shouldn't use the substances again because we fall into addiction patterns. I think it also have to do with personality. I for one, know I have an addictive personality, and I would say my fiance tends to lean that way as well. He has used video games, tv, cars, etc. in addictive ways once he gave up PMO. The theory is one addiction turns into another until the underlying issue is addressed. I think that if the underlying issue is addressed, and if you've learned coping skills then you know you're less likely to misuse a substance again. But again, everyone is unique.
  11. ItsNeverTooLate

    ItsNeverTooLate Fapstronaut

    This is the key point. There is no one set guideline. It's the same for us SOs. Some of us would make certain allowances okay while for others it would be a deal breaker.

    Many men here might see the P my SO looked at and think "That's it? I was viewing worse stuff before I was even an addict!". Many women may even agree and some may have viewed similar content themselves for their own pleasure. But for someone who grew up sheltered like me, finding naked women who weren't me on my SOs computer was shocking. Finding those women in video performing sexual acts was horrific! I am not desensitized in the way most people of our society are. And my SO knew this BEFORE we were married. In fact my guidelines were things we discussed also BEFORE we were married. Only difference is then I didn't realize P was in our relationship so they were guidelines for us (finding someone attractive okay, but lust is not) vs. for him as a P user (finding someone attractive okay, but ogling, resorting to P is not).

    And while

    No one should feel like they are in prison. If they do, guess what? There's a get out of jail free card. It's called the front door. The people who have used it aren't a big part of this forum because if they are the PA, they possibly haven't recognized it causing a problem in their life. If they are the SO, most aren't going to remain here to remind themselves of the pain their partner caused them.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
  12. Kenzi

    Kenzi Fapstronaut

  13. samnf1990

    samnf1990 Fapstronaut

    Q-What is FANOS?

    Also, wow, with the Mum thing.
    Kenzi likes this.
  14. ItsNeverTooLate

    ItsNeverTooLate Fapstronaut


    @ILoathePwife has it on her signature. Here is a summary of the link above:

    FANOS is a daily check in with your spouse to practice emotional intimacy. It's from the Greek word that means to shine or reveal.

    F Feelings--state your feelings, not your thoughts.

    A Affirmation/acknowledge--give your spouse an affirmation--or say thank you for something.

    N Needs--ask for something you need (knowing that sometimes your need will not be fulfilled)

    O Own something you did. Say you are sorry.

    S Sobriety--the addict will check in with his or her spouse about his or her sobriety. If sobriety is no longer an issue, you may each choose something you want to change, ie, habitual TV watching, rage, withdrawal, sarcasm, ect.) for your spiritual growth and check in about your progress with that issue.

    Some days there's more to say than others, but we still do it daily. It's a safe way for us to open up a discussion and still stay respectful of each other's thoughts and feelings vs. being a spur of the moment comment or arguement. It helps us keep on track on the common goals we share.

    Yes it was awesome he spoke to my mom. I likely wouldn't be here if he hadn't. I was in a pretty dark place after discovering his PMO habits. But his initiative showed me that he was genuinely serious about changing. And not just for me. It showed that he wanted better for himself and that is what really matters. It's not worth being with someone who can't be themself and has to put on a facade to make their spouse happy. I didn't want to be with someone like that and him talking to a fellow addict, who happens to also be my mom, showed me he was serious about being honest and forth coming with me as well as with himself. Plus I feel it really helped him to feel supported by someone who first and foremost has my back. He knows she wants what's best for both of us and I'm glad that deep down he was able to realize she would be understanding as well as straightforward with him.
    samnf1990, ILoathePwife and Kenzi like this.
  15. ILoathePwife

    ILoathePwife Fapstronaut

    FANOS is awesome! We do it less now, almost a year later. But still aim for at least a couple times a week.
  16. Shockedbuddy

    Shockedbuddy Fapstronaut

    Hey, guys (I mean girls)
    I've come through all the list and it's literally seems like a prison.

    Don't want to hurt anyone, just want to understand how come they accepted it, how come you really need to control all of that? By the way all people who wrote comments I saw in other treads and highly appreciate their opinions, experience which they share.

    I'm on the opposite side of the situation: I would love to set up some, but have no idea what they should be. EVERYTHING what was coming to my mind was too controling to even discuss.
    But yours seems like super control over other person and as was mentioned like mother/child, which I would live actually to escape in my relationships
  17. Kenzi

    Kenzi Fapstronaut

    Copy and pasted from my Journal. @Shockedbuddy

    Here's how to make a Boundaries List -
    Sit down with your SO.
    Realize that you both get to add to this.
    No more than 6 items each.
    (total 12)
    **The idea is to have as little as possible to make your relationship work, however**
    For each item that one suggests, the other person can, amend or veto.
    This is important.
    When something makes the List BOTH parties follow it!
    This isn't a Your rule, My rule. Or My rule for You or Vice Versa.
    It's every rule goes to both of you.
    These are Supposed to last years!
    You should be happy with them.
    They deserve consequences.
    If something comes up into the Grey Area, that's where you Know to call the other person.
    This essentially becomes the fence to keep both of you comfortable.
    If it's nowhere near the fence, it's less worth talking about.

    Examples - Rock Star had No Porn separately.
    (P-Subs are the new concept, hence the Promise List to go with the Boundaries List) this was eventually changed to no porn at all. This means none for me. (not a stretch because we never got to that place last year where we were comfortable with it together after the fight anyway.)
    I put on the List, no looking up ex's.
    The Grey area is, what if one randomly looks us up?
    We let the other know.
    This might sound strange, but it's called respect.
    We started with 6 total.
    We added a couple after his reset.
    The reason you don't want more than 12 according to the therapist is because you want them simple and easy to remember so they are easy for both parties to follow. If you get to 13, you need to stay at 12. Reevaluate your priorities in your relationship and take something away. Your relationship shouldnt be so restricted.
    It's not for everyone, obviously, but it was helpful to us. He was so far down.... And involving me in this way, showing me that he was committed, was great.
    It's on the bedroom wall, so we both see it every day.
    Knowing that he is honoring that?
    I try everyday.

    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
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  18. Shockedbuddy

    Shockedbuddy Fapstronaut

  19. Kenzi

    Kenzi Fapstronaut

    I know everyone has a different way of doing things.
    That is how we did ours.
    Ours have been in place for a year and a half.
    When I first got onto NoFap I saw that everyone did their boundaries different and I thought it would be a good idea to start a thread with them all in one place.
    We could then share with each other what works and what didn't.
    Show each other different styles and stories and talk about it.
    Instead of having to find it in every journal.
    You are free to discuss this here and ask questions.
    It's why I made it.
    Deleted Account and Shockedbuddy like this.
  20. I don't want to be a grown mans mother so I structured my dos & don'ts list like this. And I don't think it's like a prison at all!

    NO list - my boundaries
    No PMO
    No using wife to M
    No P-Subs
    No edging outside of sex w wife
    No blaming - take responsibility
    No lying
    No secretive behavior/secrets

    DO list - actions to rebuild trust
    Do educate yourself
    Do identify triggers
    Do be honest
    Do communicate wo being asked
    Do make goals and boundaries for self
    Do have a plan

    My boundaries "No" list I don't think is controlling at all. It's all basic respect that I expect and deserve as a human being. And I think I would expect these things even going into a fresh new relationship.

    My "Do" list is more of suggestions for him to know what I need to reestablish trust. Now it's his choice and he doesn't have to do these things but if he doesn't do some variation of them then our relationship will ultimately fall apart. Because I just won't be able to trust him and won't see the effort coming from him that he is serious about recovery and our family.

    I in no way wish to control him. I want him to want it enough to make it happen.

    I haven't exactly discussed any consequences with him either except that when I feel emotionally hurt by him not respecting my boundaries than I will emotionally withdraw to protect myself. And I will probably physically separate from sleeping in the same room. From there if things did not improve I would be moving out. Etc etc..

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