5 Reasons Boundaries Are Very Important For Healing After A Break Up
If there is one thing that I always tell my clients, it’s that boundaries are very important for healing after a breakup.
So many people go into a breakup feeling nothing but overwhelmed and devastated. They aren’t thinking clearly and, as a result, make many mistakes. Mistakes can cause them a lot of embarrassment and prolong the path to healing necessary to move on.
Like setting goals for a work project, setting boundaries is the key to getting through your breakup and going on with your life quickly, with minimal pain.
What kind of boundaries am I talking about? Name a few:
Figuring out how/when/if you will contact each other for any reason.
If there is a social group to deal with, figure out who will see whom.
Figuring out what social media interactions you will have.
Whatever it is that you need to let go and start healing.
Important Break-Up Boundaries For Healing After A Breakup:
Why are boundaries important for healing after a breakup?
Let me share.
#1 – Setting Your Intentions:
By setting boundaries, you set your intentions to get over this break-up and move on.
Think about where you are now. You are devastated if you were broken up with and, most likely, sad if you did the breaking up.
The life you had even a few days ago is completely gone, and you feel unsure about the future.
If you can set boundaries around how you will work through the breakup, you are setting intentions. You are telling yourself, and your ex, that you need certain things to move forward. These boundaries and intentions will help you set guard rails that will keep you from straying off your path toward healing.
Think about how you feel right now, like you want to reach out to them, stalk them on social media, seek closure or ask their friends about what is happening. None of these things are healthy if you have broken up with them. And if you did the breaking up, reaching out to them to ensure they are okay won’t be helpful either.
If you can set boundaries that will define how you will move forward to get over the breakup, you will be way less likely to do things that won’t help you heal but might even hinder it.
#2 – Making Things Clear On Both Sides:
I have a client whose husband just told her, out of the blue, that he wants a divorce. She is devastated.
Ever since he asked for the divorce about a week ago, he has been hounding her about getting lawyers and figuring out the divorce details. He comes over whenever he wants to and sometimes spends the night.
The two things are so contradictory, and it only makes her more and more upset.
One of the biggest issues during breakups is that one person thinks one thing, and the other thinks another.
My client wants her marriage to get together and knows he doesn’t. She is working on accepting that. The pain of seeing him is setting her back. I encouraged her to tell her husband she needed time and space. That if he wanted to come over, he had to notify her. , if he gives her time to process what is happening, she will be willing to start discussing divorce details.
Her husband was open to doing what she asked because he knew it would make the divorce happen, which is his ultimate goal. And he needed to see clearly that what he was doing by visiting was not ok, something he had just assumed he could do because that is what he had always done.
#3 – Creating New habits:
With a breakup comes a huge lifestyle change.
When coupled up, our lives often revolve around our partners and what we do together.
Whether it’s a morning walk, a regular lunch date, Monday night TV or Christmases with family, with a breakup, all those things are thrown asunder.
What exactly are you going to do to fill that free time?
Setting boundaries is the first step towards filling that time.
Both parties must be clear that things are going to change. I know that, for one of my clients, her partner wanted her to continue to have lunch with him so that they could ‘just be friends.’ She didn’t want to be friends and wanted to have lunch with her friends now that she was single again, knowing that seeing her ex would be upsetting.
Another had her ex-husband come over for dinner nightly so the kids wouldn’t be upset at the change. It was devastating for him to do that as, every night after he left, he was devastated that he had to do so.
So, one of the reasons that boundaries are very important for healing after a breakup is because it allows people to draw a line in the sand that won’t be crossed so that they can start rebuilding their life post break up.
#4 – Holding Yourself Accountable:
Think about your gym routine. Is it fairly vague? Do you wait until after work to figure out if you are going to go or not, or do you make a plan on Sunday for what days you are going to go that week?
And which way of deciding when to go to the gym works best for you?
I am guessing that when you define a plan for your workouts, instead of playing it by ear, you are more likely to get to the gym as much as you want to.
So does setting boundaries with your ex set you up for success? Why? Because when we define what we want, instead of just throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks, we can more easily hold ourselves accountable for succeeding.
Let’s say you and your ex decide that you will make an effort not to cross paths, whether at the gym, a bar or a soccer game. If you both try to make that happen without a plan, it most likely won’t happen. But, if you set a boundary to reach this goal, you will likely succeed.
Perhaps you decide they will only go to the bar on Fridays and leave Saturdays to you. Or to the gym at 5 instead of 6. Or just the Saturday soccer game, but not the Sunday one.
Knowing the plan will make you way more likely to succeed at reaching your goal.
#5 – Planning For The Future:
Now that you are no longer part of a couple, it’s time to start looking toward the future.
And you can’t do that if you are still in a holding pattern with your ex.
Setting boundaries will help you look toward the future to see what is next for you.
I know that my client’s husband, who is asking for a divorce, wants to define a timeline for the divorce to make a plan moving forward.
And that is fair. Just like she has the right to define a boundary to give her space, he is allowed to ask for a boundary as to when they will start talking about it. That way, he can look ahead and plan what he needs to do.
A big part of getting past a breakup is to look to the future. Getting mired in the past will only hold you back from healing. That you can set a boundary that will help you look forward, not back, is one reason that boundaries are very important for healing after a breakup.
So now you can see why setting boundaries are very important for healing after a breakup.
This is a painful time, and thinking logically might be difficult. But I would encourage you to try to do so.
If you can work with your ex to set boundaries, it will provide clarity and accountability and set you up for a future full of love and happiness!
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