One thing that almost all codependents suffer from is the inability to set clear boundaries. I know I struggled with setting boundaries throughout my entire relationship with AH. There were times I mixed up boundaries with trying to control/giving him a rule. For instance, I once said my boundary was that in order to stay married, AH needed to be attending meetings, get a sponsor and working the steps. Someone remarked that this sounded more like a rule for him than a boundary for me. They then asked, how would I enforce it? Would I call up his supposed sponsor to ensure he was working the steps?
At last week’s therapy appointment, I posed this question to my therapist. I asked her how I could set clear boundaries moving forward and also asked her about setting boundaries in situations that are not nearly as dire as with an alcoholic. She said getting a divorce is an example of a very drastic boundary. But the example she gave was about dating someone who is always late. She said a boundary in this case would be to say, “That just doesn’t work for me.” I wouldn’t be telling the other person what to do (i.e., you need to make sure you start getting ready sooner, etc.). Instead, I would just be letting them know that it doesn’t work for me. This made a lot of sense. She also said that when verbally giving boundaries, my verbiage should be short. Again, it just makes sense!
In regards to daily life, things are good. I was triggered on Saturday, however. I had decided to post a quote about divorce on my Twitter timeline (hardly anybody I know follows me.) Well, AH’s aunt does and she messaged AH to ask if everything is okay. Apparently, she then told him he’s making a mistake in not getting a lawyer.
I’m not really sure why, but when he said this, it really infuriated me. Thinking about it more, I think the reason I got so mad is that I instantly went to the place of thinking that he had not told her the whole story (i.e., the reason we’re breaking us is that he has a drinking problem, he recently got arrested for DUI, etc.) I guess mentally, it kind of put me back in the middle of the insanity.
Anyways, AH also got defensive and we had a little squabble, but ended up getting over it. Again, I know I can’t control what AH says or does and in the end, it doesn’t matter what anybody thinks. I’m working very hard on getting over the feelings of self-righteousness I have when it comes to AH. It’s a work in progress!