this subject just came up today between mr unfound and I. great timing
two different situations.
first, there is a baseball parent that we know, are friendly/cordial with, but aren't friends with. over time, he has slowly encroached on my boundary about physical touch. I don't like to be hugged, or be the hugger, either by women and especially men. even before dday..it's just me and my personal space issues. started with attempted high fives when the team did good, a pat on the back etc... he acts this way with everyone, not just me. red flag, but not "personal" or inappropriate in what I see as social interactions (not looking through A glasses). I did not reciprocate or engage and gave physical AND verbal signs (politely) that it wasn't cool with me. "hey, I'm not a touchy feely kinda gal, no offense", backing away, keeping my distance, holding my arms out saying "personal space"...
a couple of days ago, this parent put both his hands on my shoulders, physically (not aggressively) turned me around, asking to see a tattoo on my back. . niceness went out the window. like a bullet. a bullet on crack.
"do NOT touch me. EVER."
he back stepped and tried to play it off as a joke, shocked, like I was over reacting, he seemed offended in an "I'm a jerk but think I'm all that" way. I could give a shit less what he thinks.
I told mr unfound about it today (he wasn't at the game or home that night..crap going on at home the next day.. long story). he asked if I thought he needed to say anything to mr touchy feely. nope. I handled it. but if it continues or happens in front of him, all bets are off.
point is, we've talked about situations, or at least general situations, like this beforehand, and I was prepared, as he is if it would happen to him. plan in place and working .
new friends of ours are going through some rough things now, as are we (life crap, not affair related). we've gotten to know this couple and like them, in most part because they seem to have the same values, boundaries and parenting as we do. we're pretty particular as to who we let into our very small inner circle . example: the husband apologized for calling mr unfound at work, then when he didn't answer, called me in regards to above mentioned life crap. he explained that while it may seem old fashioned, he would always call mr unfound first, as a sign of respect to us, and his wife. why? I don't know and it's non of my business, but I do know that I respect that and see it as a good boundary.
in talking with him (in person) the other day, as he was leaving, he shook mr unfounds hand, then came in to hug me. **screeeeeeech* I immediately tense up, back step and awkwardly do the handshake that ended up poking him in the stomach. thing is, if it wasn't for my personal space issues (and again, not looking through A glasses) the hug was appropriate for the situation at hand. a sign of comfort and well wishes. I get that. still......
mr unfound told me he was okay with hugging new friend, it didn't bother him in the least, if it did, he would tell me, and he knew I would say something to protect my own boundaries. he also said he'd hug-blocked friends wife (again, a situation appropriate hug) and she's never tried to hug him again. she got it right off the bat. another reason I think we can be friends. some people are just huggers I guess .
we're at the point in our R that we're aware that not all boundaries are cut and dry. as in the hugging/physical contact thing. we're not so fresh that it's off limits in all situations (oh it was at first!!), but we're far enough out that we've got tools in place that we're comfortable and skilled in using and are confident that each of us know what's appropriate and what's not.
there's a million ways, nice or not, to defend boundaries. maybe sitting down and brainstorming some with your H will help you each find your own tools and make using them easier.
we on many many occasions went through simulated scenarios and how we'd handle them. "if Sally tries to hug you, what would you do/say?" "how will you handle it?" next time we see hangeron lady, what are we going to do if she does xyz?
sounds corny and cheesy, but practicing and having a plan for those possible occurrences really really helped us.
don't know if any of this is advice or not, but it was coincidence that we JUST had a talk about a kind of similar situation .