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Boundaries and enforcement

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WarriorPrincess posted 11/16/2020 08:16 AM

What boundaries do you all have in your marriages, and how do you enforce them? I am already getting fed up with the constant pushing and crowding.

I was going to type out a bunch of examples, but that is time consuming and you can probably guess how they would go. Pretty much with any situation, if I give an inch he takes a foot, or two, or more....

Constantly enforcing my boundaries and saying no, no, no all the time is exhausting. It's like taking a toddler down the cereal aisle in the grocery store, about 150 times a day.

Besides that, he is almost on top of me all day long. He sits next to me, follows me through the house, always kissing on me....holy crap! I used to want more attention and physical affection from him, but this is so far overboard I just can't tell you.

I am going to be off work for a while because I hurt my hand, so I will not be able to avoid seeing him in the house. Normally I work second shift and so avoid seeing him most of the time. And of course there is no where to go because of COVID.

Unhinged posted 11/16/2020 08:48 AM

Have you told him all of this?

WarriorPrincess posted 11/16/2020 10:35 AM

no. He seems so fragile and gets all butt-hurt if I say anything. Or he has all his "reasons" (excuses) why he does thus and so.

Want2BHappyAgain posted 11/16/2020 10:39 AM

I guess...for ME...because I am a SAHW who is an empty nester...I needed to have an exit plan just in case. My H knew that if he went over the boundaries I was leaving. I still have that...the newer vehicle...checking account and credit card in my name only...but it is really more symbolic now I believe.

Thinking about it...I didn't really put up "boundaries" more than I issued ultimatums toward changed behavior. He was a taker in our M...and I wasn't going to put up with the selfishness anymore. My H had to do things to show he was less selfish. One of them was to PLAN a night out 2 times a month...just for ME. To ME...by him focusing on what to do FOR me...it took the focus off of what he could do FOR himself if that makes sense.

My H actually imposed boundaries on himself that I didn't even think about. He gave up drinking and porn on his own. Unbeknownst to me...he was part of an online Christian mens group. They had talked about the "Billy Graham Rule"...which was that Billy Graham made it a point to never be alone with any other woman except for his wife. My H was telling me this one day when we were staying at a hotel for his work. He was waiting for the elevator...and when it opened he walked in not realizing there was a woman alone in there already. He talked about how uncomfortable it made him. I had never even heard of this rule before...but it made me feel good that my H was very aware of what happened.

I agree that having to say no no no all the time must be exhausting! I am a firm believer in the term "put the ball back in their court" . Is there something YOU can suggest that your H does so that HE is the one being responsible for a situation? Kind of like with what I said earlier.

My H had NEVER had to plan anything for us...that was all on me. But he agreed to do this in the ultimatum I gave him in order to R. At first...he would ask if I wanted to go to a certain restaurant . I told him that would not work. HE had to plan it. The ball was back in HIS court. So he picked a place to go...and it went alright . I told him it was nice...but eating out was NOT going to be the only thing for him to PLAN. Ball back in his court . I tell you...when he realized HE had to come up with these plans...he started getting very creative .

Would something like this work for you? I know your H has had a stroke...but I don't know to what extent it has impaired him. Strokes run in my family...and it has run the gamut from family members who couldn't use their limbs to those who have almost fully recovered.

Some people don't like the thought of boundaries...and maybe your H feels like he is being punished? Maybe...if he felt he could HELP in your healing by DOING something it may inspire him? I do know that the brain can get back functions that were killed from the blood clots by finding new pathways to those functions...and having him work his brain more will help .

WarriorPrincess posted 11/16/2020 12:06 PM

he has never liked boundaries, ever. He used to talk about how ANARCHY was the greatest thing ever. When we first got married he told me realtionships should not have rules. Issues, much?

Last night I had to tell him about 120 times I did NOT want sex after he had been drinking. NO MEANS NO, OK??? Then it went on to would I sleep in bed with him (no) and could he sleep in my bed with me (no) and could we sleep together on the couch (no) and having to tell him no to all of these things about a bazillion times each. By the end of it, I was ready to stab him with a fork.

Another problem we are having is, he says things that trigger me multiple times per day. I spend serious amounts of time crying every time we are together. Sometimes I think he does this just so he can be the one to comfort me. Sort of like a firefighter who sets fires and then is first on scene to put them out. If that was true, it would be really sick, right?

He has always claimed he does not realize when he says hurtful things, but I am starting to doubt that. I also am starting to not care. Whether he means to be hurtful or not, the result is the same. What possible consequence could that have? If you make me cry, I will go cry alone in my room?

Oh wait, that might not be too bad! If you make me cry, I will remove myself from the room until I can pull myself together, and if you do it twice in one day, our time together is over until next week. How does that sound? Realistic?

Here are some more: I am on a roll!

I will not have sex with you after you have been drinking. If you are slurring your words or if I do not like how you are acting after drinking, we are not going to have sex.

I do not expect to have to tell you NO to anything more than once, ever. If you ask for the same thing or a similar thing more than once in a day, our time together will end.

I sleep in my own bed. Alone.

I do not need all this drama, y'all. I have my entrance exams coming in the first week of December.

redfish posted 11/16/2020 18:26 PM

Last night I had to tell him about 120 times I did NOT want sex after he had been drinking. NO MEANS NO, OK???

He does not believe your boundaries are serious. Can you get a key lock for the bedroom/space you sleep and study in? Your entrance exams are soon and that is something for yourself and your future.

I would suggest you follow the "180" with him until you take your exams. That also gives you a calendar date to reassess his behavior.

OrdinaryDude posted 11/16/2020 19:23 PM

For me, boundaries are what Iím willing to accept to stay in the M.

As I explained to my WW, I canít force her to stay within those boundaries just like she canít force me to stay in the M.

Basically she knows that I have no problem with D if she does not agree to and stay within the boundaries I set...they are not negotiable and there are no more second chances involved.

WarriorPrincess posted 11/16/2020 20:34 PM

Redfish--I don't even have a door. I took it off years ago when this room was an office with a giant, awkwardly-placed rolltop desk. I do however, have a camper with a lock on the door. And the YMCA is open until 10 every night.

I reiterated the boundaries today when he came home. He nodded and pretended he was all OK with it, but we'll see. He also says he has no control over saying things that make me cry. I told him I don't want to be crying all the time so he needs to figure it out.

OD--Man, I am glad to see you! I still have your vitamin cocktail instructions in my phone. It's good to hear from you again.

I am working on trying to figure out what boundaries will work for me, no matter who I am involved with. Not having sex with drunk people and not wanting to be around someone who makes me cry shoud have been no-brainers years ago. I don't know why I put up with all this shit so long.

[This message edited by WarriorPrincess at 8:35 PM, November 16th (Monday)]

OrdinaryDude posted 11/17/2020 05:05 AM

Thank you WarriorPrincess, Iím still around a lot, I just donít post as much.
Work and other responsibilities get in the way of participating as much here as Iíd like. Thru the pandemic weíve been running nonstop, lots of 80+ hour weeks.

sisoon posted 11/17/2020 13:14 PM

I was thinking about your camper from the first words of this thread....

You can't control your H. If he keeps battering your boundaries down, you need to remove yourself from his presence.


I think the 'Billy Graham' rule sucks. It sort of blames others for one's own failings. It implies that a man can't control himself because woman are so tempting.

A much better rule, IMO, is: 'I won't do or say anything I don't want my W to see and hear.'

Don't get me wrong. I think women are by nature supremely tempting, and I'm very grateful for that. It's just that I think it's up to me to be able to work with women, and sometimes that means being alone with a woman not my W.

[This message edited by sisoon at 1:16 PM, November 17th (Tuesday)]

fooled13years posted 11/17/2020 14:49 PM

WarriorPrincess, from your bio

To everyone who thinks I am doing most of the heavy lifting: I believe Mr. WP is doing the best he can **at this moment.** I feel like I am the architect of the marriage I want to have, and I am teaching Mr. WP how to love me

At some point the training wheels have to come off.

Teach him what you are looking for, reinforce the training if necessary, but at some point he has to take control of being a husband.

Do not expect him to be a mind reader but also do not let him get away with not following through with what he has agreed to do.

The1stWife posted 11/17/2020 15:53 PM

I never accepted the ďdoing his bestĒ excuse. My H needed to be in his game from day 1 or I was leaving. And he knew it.

I set no boundaries. I just decided that he needed to figure it out. He had enough brain power to cheat then use that brain power to make amends. And if I had to explain it to him then he clearly was too stupid and therefore I had my answer.

If He wasnít up to the task of making amends then reconciliation wasnít going to work. Iím not his mother. Iím not his jailer. Iím not his leader in his reconciliation process.

I just think that sometimes we let the cheater rely on us too much. It is just time to let the cheater sink or swim. And if they sink that tells you a lot about the cheater.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 4:59 PM, November 17th (Tuesday)]

WarriorPrincess posted 11/17/2020 23:24 PM

Fooled13years, The part of my profile you quoted was from 2017. It has since been updated.

I totally agree with you and The1stWife. I am done spoon-feeding this asshole. I am starting to think he is actually a manipulative narcicist who just doesn't want to get divorced. Explaining to him exactly what I expect is just showing him exactly how to manipulate me.

As I mentioned in another thread, I have my reasons for sticking around a while longer. While I am here, he is welcome to try to convince me he has changed. It would be nice if it worked out, but I'm not holding my breath.

The1stWife, did you have any criteria in your own head that you were expecting him to live up to? How did you decide that your H had passed the test and earned the right to stay married to you?

Derpmeister posted 11/19/2020 14:43 PM

He is using emotional assault and battery to push you into what is referred to as "rug-sweeping" on the forums.

Essentially. If he exerts enough pressure on your boundaries and gets told off, some of that pressure will displace your feelings so he is making progress.

He acts like he doesn't know he's doing it, and heck, maybe he hasn't verbalised it in his head.
But that would only be so he is even less culpable, and it doesn't suit him one bit to narrate his actions.
He may even be awkwardly be using psychological techniques like repetition to frame the narrative of your reality.

At the end of the day, if all you did was spend time on riposting his advances, then he has shaped your entire reality and removed agency from your life into a format that he wants the focus to be on.

So even though you are currently saying "no,no,no", he is deciding what you are doing.
Honestly, this guy sounds like a horrible C*nt with a capital C on the Autism spectrum. Narcissism is definitely in the picture, it's not affection he is giving you either.
He is sounds soooo far removed from empathy that he is comfortable pushing you far out of your own emotional state that you can never address what bothers you, and he never has to hear about it other than a consequence of his immediate behaviour instead of the complex damage he has created.

But you said it pretty clearly, he is a toddler shouting in the cereal aisle. And probably more concerned with cornering you so you don't cheat on him too.
One thing I learned, "most" cheaters are horrrrribly preoccupied with the idea their partners may be unfaithful.
Oversharing and saying without much more context and just the things you've said about him "run".

The1stWife posted 11/19/2020 15:12 PM

I didnít have any set things that I made a condition of reconciliation except one thing. No bars. Period. Unless I was present.

He started being more accountable for his whereabouts which he refused to do prior to his A. Heís day he home at 11 pm. Show up at 2 am with no call.

He deleted all email accounts and blocked OW on his own. I didnít ask him. I didnít really care b/c to me it proved nothing.

He went to counseling in his own.

He Informed his family of his A and our pending D. Of course I filled in the details (that Iím sure he glossed over like it wasnít just an affair but he was kicking me to the curb).

He was willing to discuss anything with me regarding the affair. Did I get the full truth? Not 100% but I made sure to fill in the blanks on certain things and was adamant I didnít believe his version.

He proved over time he was willing to do anything and everything to make amends. He listened. He didnít blame me. He made it apparent that me and the marriage were first. We were a priority.

He was willing to do marriage counseling if I wanted. He took my anger and rage and never went back at me.

He was always where he said he was going to be. And nit late. No hiding his phone.

WarriorPrincess posted 11/19/2020 22:13 PM

I am so sick of being home with my hand in a brace. I should have made certain to be somewhere else when he got home from work.

Because the same damn thing happened again today. And yesterday. He will not let me study until he has pestered me for an hour first. He will not respect my boundaries. He will not leave me the fuck alone. And now apparently he thinks he is entitled to sex.

Derpmeister, you really hit it on the head. Even though I was trying not to have another relationship talk (his current way of trying to monopolize me) I still was not studying. I was shouting about how I was not going to have another realtionship talk.

And now I should be sleeping, but guess what I am doing... bitching about him.

The1stWife posted 11/20/2020 03:27 AM

Put in your earbuds and study. Donít engage. Do not remove the earbuds until YOU ARE DONE STUDYING.

You need to learn how to diffuse the situation and stick to what you want. He can act all crazy. You can get up and leave. Sit in the car and study if you have to. Lock yourself in the bathroom if you must.

But make certain you study and get what YOU want or need to get done.

Hereís my dday2 story. Even though my H led me to believe we were reconciling he was still cheating. So dday2 arrives but Iím prepared. So I walk in the room and itís 3 sentences and in essence I tell him I have no choice but to D him.

I then left the room. No yelling. Calm and rational. Matter of fact.

He had no opportunity for discussion. There was no reason to discuss. It was a statement of fact. Iím Divorcing you. Leave the room.

In your case he got you to engage. You have to treat him like a toddler. You say no or ďIím not discussing that right nowĒ - once. Maybe twice.

Then you physically disengage if he keeps disregarding you. Or put the earbuds in. Or just ignore him until he leaves or stops talking.

Do that enough and he either gets the message that he listens to you or he will be spending a lot of time alone.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 3:29 AM, November 20th (Friday)]

WarriorPrincess posted 11/20/2020 08:55 AM

Thanks, The1stWife.

It is the hardest thing for me not to engage. It is a skill, that is for sure.

What I need is a plan. I have my study goals in my head, but I need to spell them out and then say, to myself or whoever might be listening, "I am going to study now, until I get XXX accomplished." And then do whatever I have to do in order to get XXX accomplished.

I also need to get myself out of the situations that make it easy for him to engage me. This week I have been cooking since I am home, and that is setting it up for me to be in the house. In truth, I am fine with cereal for dinner. I can take a bowl of cereal to the camper and study there. Or I can cook early and just leave the food for him to eat when he gets home.

OK, let me just point out (to myself, because I'm sure everyone else already sees it) this is fucking stupid. I should not have to make all these elaborate plans just to not be pestered by a grown-ass man who claims that he 1. loves me and 2. wants to support me through medic school. As far as I am concerned, keeping me from studying is just another version of career sabotage, one of the things I want to divorce him for.

redfish posted 11/20/2020 15:07 PM

This tactic sometimes works for children. You may be in the middle of studying or whatever. When he comes in to engage, take out your phone and set a timer for 5-10 minutes. When it rings say..."times up, we can address this more later" and give him an exact time and duration.

The hard part for you will be to have a plan to escape if he carries on. You have been given some ideas. It sounds like this is affecting your sleep, and your decision making. I would choose any idea given here and see what works.

WarriorPrincess posted 11/20/2020 20:07 PM

Another great idea, redfish.

I have decided that I am going to get the camper ready to go sooner rather than later. (I am remodeling it, so it isn't quite ready to go.) I am going to pack up my things in the house that I want to keep and put them in storage. Financially, it will make sense for me to stick around as long as I can, but if it comes down to that, I want to be able to get all my shit together and have my camper moved within a week.

I can't believe establishing a couple simple boundaries is creating so much chaos. Apparently I never had any boundaries in 20 years together

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