Boundaries



Boundaries
(Isaiah 50:5-7)

1)      I have a right to rigorous honesty in my relationship.
Consequence: If I ever uncover a lie (withheld truth or half-truth of minimization) I will put myself in a safe place which will require a degree of live-in separation until such time as I feel secure enough to share a bed again.  The degree of space will depend on the severity of the dishonesty.  During the time when I have my space, I will work on my own self-healing.  [A live-in separation means separate beds and meals and activities.  No sexual intimacy during this time and no seeing each other naked.]  If my husband comes to me with a confession of dishonesty, I can enforce this boundary if I still feel any lack of safety.

2)      I have the right to detach from my husband’s addiction.
Consequence: If I find myself at all invested in my husband’s recovery efforts (hearing his plans, monitoring/policing him, seeking out materials for him or defining his needs), I will immediately remove myself and create a physical space between my husband and myself during which time I will select an item from my self-care list and will partake of it.  Exception applies to this boundary when I feel the Spirit prompt me to behave otherwise.

3)      I have the right to not live in fear of my husband –his temper or his rejection.
Consequence: When I feel these specific fears, I will honestly voice them to my husband, my Savior, and someone in my support circle (preferably my sponsor).  In the case of a loose cannon temper, I will ask my husband to leave.  If he does not leave, I will take the children and leave.

4)      I have the right to a sex life that is connection-driven and not lust-driven.
Consequence: If I feel lust in our sexual relations, I will halt any activity going on and honestly discuss my emotions with my husband.  I will not engage in any intimate activities without prior emotional connection.  I will honor my gut and my emotions as I strive to rebuild a new sexual reality with my partner.  If I feel pressure of any kind related to sex (whether from my husband or from myself), I will take sex off the table.

5)      I have a right to not be controlled.
Consequence: If I ever become aware that I am being controlled, I will honestly voice my awareness and make a stand to choose for myself.  If that choice is disrespected, I will honestly voice my awareness and take the space of two nights (at least) to sleep alone during which time I will reconnect with my inner sense of self in order to strengthen and fortify my confidence. 

6)      I have the right to not be manipulated.
Consequence: If I become aware that my husband is manipulating me, I will honestly voice my feelings and continue the discussion only in the presence of a third party educated in sexual addiction.

7)      I have the right to not be objectified.
Consequence: If ever I feel I am being used as an object to satisfy my husband’s addiction, I will create physical space between him and me.  Sex will be taken off the table and I will prayerfully decide when to reinstate it.

8)      I have the right to live with a husband in recovery.
Consequence: If my husband’s genuine recovery efforts stagnate or stop, I will take a break from the marriage.

9)      I have a right to be equal with my spouse.
Consequence: If my husband takes on a parenting roll with me, I will physically and emotionally detach from the situation either by excusing myself or ending the conversation.  If my husband takes a child roll with me, I will leave the situation to him alone to handle.

10)  I have the right to feel love for more than just my body.
Consequence: If I ever feel my body is the main source of attraction, I will take sex off the table.  If I ever feel pressure as concerns my body, I will excuse myself from the situation and turn the Lord in prayer and immediately thereafter choose one item from my self-care list and partake.

11)  I have a right to have a say as to what comes into my home.
Consequence: If there is inappropriate media in my home, I will turn it off.

14 comments:

  1. This is amazing. It isn't a set of boundaries where the wife takes on a parenting role. It is a clear outline of what any woman, and especially a woman who has dealt with sex addiction, has the right to expect from a marriage. Thank you for sharing this.

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    1. It's been long in the making, constantly shifting and changing, but I'm so grateful for trial and error and what I've learned along the way. The Savior is, in very deed, the MASTER teacher. I'm confident in these boundaries now, and I know they're right for me.

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  2. This is the best info I've seen on the oh so elusive boundaries. I love every bit of it! He is the most fantastic, patient teacher! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks lady :) Just having this list in print helps me feel safer.

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  3. I actually did something similar, but only used the original "bill of rights" from the life star program- It didn't feel complete. After reading your boundaries, I hope you don't mind that I adopted a few of your "rights." to organize my boundaries a bit better :) I love your blog!

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    1. Oh good!! Take anything that resonates with you and RUN with it!

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  4. Thank you for these! It puts a voice to the desires of my heart for my marriage. I appreciate you more than you know!

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    1. Oh I'm so glad these resonate with you -it's such a wonderful feeling to find something that works for us. I know that feeling! I have seen it in your words!

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  5. So glad I found this! Makes me feel normal! My only thing is I have such a hard time enforcing these boundaries and not just folding completely….I suppose it probably just takes time and practice?

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    1. Yes, time and practice! Boundaries are really hard to hold, especially when we've gone a long time without having any. Just keep trusting God!

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  6. Where are the husbands "bill of rights" where are the lists of rights and privileges that come with marriage? You self righteous judgmental ........it's THIS kind of with holding that destroys marriages!!! wake up!

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  7. Thank you so much for posting this. I have personally been searching for something like this and have been so lost. I posted this to NO Porn Club's Facebook page. A friend and I run this club on Facebook and are working to create a website where its complete resources and talk. We have featured this post on our Facebook page as part of our No Porn Awareness Day which happens on the 15th of every month! This month, December we are focusing on healing and recovery so this was perfect for wives searching for just that. Thank you

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    1. I wrote these with the help of a certified sex addiction therapist, and they've been really helpful for me to refer back to when I feel myself knuckling under. Thanks for sharing :)

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  8. Well done! I will share this with the partners I work with.

    Here is a resource you may find helpful, which is also in my book Life After Lust:

    https://forestbenedict.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/what-i-am-worth.pdf

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