Hey Squish - I wasn't clear, but it sounds like you may be talking about both boundaries and dealbreakers - or what it will take for me to not immediately file for D which IMO (and others may disagree) is different from boundaries. For me, that list was something like:
- NO CONTACT EVER with any AP
- a written timeline
- no being alone with a woman w/o my knowledge/consent
- passwords, etc for anything I wanted/needed (ie you no longer have a right to privacy)
And the problem is that he pretty much broke every one of my "dealbreakers", but I was not in a place to implement the only real consequence I had - which was to just file for D. so, I think a BS needs to get to a place of real clarity about willingness to pull the D trigger when putting together that list of dealbreakers (as different from boundaries).
The thing IMO about boundaries is they really are very unique to each person... and I suppose the "trick" is that one should not set a boundary (or determine consequences) unless they are VERY certain they can be followed though - eg. if you break NC I WILL divorce, means you must be ready/willing/able to file for D if the boundary is crossed. We have to be willing to say "no" as a complete sentence.
Also, boundaries are for YOU to get some sanity FOR YOURSELF. IOW, if you are looking at boundaries and have any hint in your own soul/psyche that the hope is your boundary will somehow "get" your WS to change or understand or anything, then it's not a boundary - it's an attempt at manipulation, and likely with an empty threat (and man oh man, did my traumatized lizard brain LOVE living in that place of manipulation during the first months). "boundary" can sound so simple, but they really are more nuanced (and I think it's like most things, once we start to do it, we get the hang of it and then it feels more natural/simple).
I think folks will approach boundaries from different angles... example: I ultimately found that I really needed a solid boundary about resentment, as I found myself harboring a lot of anger/resentment in several areas of my life. So, now if I'm asked to do something (or if I'm contemplating doing something - eg do I want to buy my WH a Christmas gift), then I am responsible to myself for "checking" to see if doing it will cause resentment, and if the answer is yes (even the teeniest bit), then I have to decline decline decline, like a bad credit card. Because I would rather have someone else be angry at me for saying no (or someone be hurt bc I didn't get them a gift), then saddle MYSELF with resentment bc I said yes. And this includes pretty much anything other than an actual PHYSICAL emergency (eg if my kid's car broke down in a crappy neighborhood at 2am, there is a CHANCE I would go get her, even if I know I will resent it.... but then it's 100% on ME to work through that resentment - NOT my kid's work, but MINE).
The Codependent books by Melodie Beatty (basically CoD no more and the New Cod) were helpful to me in better understanding boundaries, as was my own IC, tho I probably got the most mileage from AlAnon (I have a kid with alcohol/drug addiction). One kind of light bulb moment was my IC explaining that when we have and respect our OWN boundaries, we don't have to get upset and emotionally drained or hold anger, etc when they are broken. We know that if someone else chooses to not respect our boundaries, it is a THEM problem, and then move on. E.g., if my boundary is no one enters my office w/o my permission, and I walk in and a coworker is sitting at my desk using my phone... I can calmly say that they need to leave immediately, that I don't want to talk about it with them, and then let it go. I don't want to waste my time spinning wheels about the unacceptability of the behavior - I KNOW that and don't need further proof. So why take poison and expect someone else to change when all that poison does is harm ME?
Brene Brown is another good resource, and if the AlAnon idea doesn't float your boat, they have a book called courage to change with short stories every day that you can get online/ebay for probably $5-10 that I REALLY got a lot of mileage out of (so you don't HAVE to go to meetings or work steps to start to get the hang of boundaries and the joy and freedom they can bring).
Another author I loved and who helped was Rick Hansen, esp his book on Resilience and the HEAL steps (basically incorporating joy into our lives). I thought about it bc he has some passages about learning to be a friend to OURSELVES that may resonate for you.
I have used my library like nobody's beeswax since dday (and like Tallgirl, I now have trouble focusing on reading in paper form, something about the trauma of dday crossed that wiring, so I was thrilled to access audio books electronically or - if I must - on old school CDs).
As to your WH 'getting it', I think most on SI would agree that reading how to help your spouse heal from your affair by Linda MacDonald is a "must" read for both BS and WS. The other thing is that I would caution YOU from getting too in the weeds of being HIS emotional sherpa. it's very common (raising hand) for a BS to get so wrapped up in trying to "get" the WS to understand, change, fix, etc. that they don't have energy left for their OWN healing. I think if a BS comes across an article or book or podcast or anything that resonates, it's fine to share or to read together, etc. Where I get concerned is when the BS is doing all the legwork, and the WS is just following the BS' instructions. That's not a WS who is taking ownership or INITIATIVE. If you are spending hours googling the articles, the counselors, etc and he's watching football - that's a red flag about the importance he places on healing or R. We all have to come to REALLY understand that the ONLY thing we can control in this life is OURSELVES. We can't get our WS to understand. We can speak our truth, we can list our dealbreakers, we can set our boundaries, but we cannot change someone else... only they can do that and they HAVE to actually WANT to change, they have to WANT to be people whose behaviors reflect their values, morals, character, etc.
Hope some of this may help.
[This message edited by gmc94 at 8:09 AM, Friday, January 7th]