Further insight. Now I get it.
Why can’t I set boundaries well? Or rather, why does this always seem to come up in relationship stuff for me?
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As a matter of fact, I don’t set boundaries well with respect to women and especially with respect to women I’m involved with. I’ve always set them well with respect to everyone else in my life.
1) My job is to be the savior. Saviors don’t decline. They save.
2) If I set boundaries, therefore, they won’t love me anymore. Not doing my job.
3) (New!) They won’t work anyway. Because women can’t control themselves.
I suddenly realize that I’ve always held this belief, belief #3, since childhood. I’ve never understood before.
I don’t set boundaries with my significant others because I don’t believe they’re capable of honoring them. So it will just destroy the relationship pre-emptively. I’ll set boundaries, they’ll fly into a rage becasue I set them and violate them all anyway. After which I will have to leave the relationship. So what’s the point?
Better to keep internal boundaries that are never shared, and to simply go, either physically or emotionally, when these unshared boundaries get violated. At least that way the rage and instability are postponed until the last possible moment.
But there it is. I do it and have done it. I set boundaries on the day that I am prepared to walk out the door.
And that is exactly what I did. The day that I took legal action was the first time in our marriage that I said, “I won’t stand here and be treated this way. I’m walking away.” The first time in eight years that I set a hard line about how I expected to be treated. And hours later, I was filing paperwork.
Not exactly a good use of boundaries.