More on boundaries 

Lesson 37 of Recovery Nation again discusses boundaries. It says to develop five boundaries for each of my top three values and then to develop three absolute boundaries.

1. Counting my blessings. What five boundaries would flow from this? Tough question. Perhaps the following. a) If I think of something in the past that I might wish was different, remind myself that wishing to change the past is a self-defeating, dangerous waste of time. b) If I think of something I might wish were different about my wife or sons, remind myself that they are irreplaceable, wanting to control everything about them is sick and hurtful, and that I could easily lose them through an act of God or an act of stupidity on my part. c) If I think that the day is not good or that my life is not good, remind myself that I have seen plenty of people with much less wealth, health, or comfort than I have. d) If I think I just accomplished something laudable and that people should recognize me, remind myself that I have made plenty of mistakes and that I should just be grateful I did not make another mistake. e) If I think that I just made a mistake and that therefore life would be bad, remind myself that everyone makes mistakes and that successful people think about what they might learn from their mistakes.

2. Honesty. a) If a thought occurs that makes me fear sharing it with my wife, remind myself that such fear is an important sign that I indeed should share it with her. b) When considering the best way to respond to requests or questions from anyone who is not a child, boss, or customer, remind myself that honesty is easiest in the long run and that even children, bosses, and customers can usually benefit from an honest reply, as long as it is diplomatic. c) When considering whether to share a piece of information with my wife, remind myself that sharing and transparency are helpful even if it has nothing to do with sexual malfeasance. d) When considering any action, remind myself not to do it if is something I would be ashamed to describe to my wife, sons, parents, bosses, peers, or others. e) When sending or receiving any written communication with females, remind myself to tell my wife about it right away.

3. Maturity. a) When speaking with my mother, remind myself that I am an adult and that my responsibility to my wife outweighs my fear of my mother. b) As I make continuous decisions about my own behavior, remind myself that I am an example for my sons and others. c) When daunted by work, whether at my job or at home, remind myself that an adult man must take responsibility for providing for his family, and not just financially. d) When afraid to speak up or take initiative, remind myself that speaking up and taking initiative are examples of maturity. e) When facing criticism, remind myself that an adult should use the criticism as a chance to learn and grow.

Three absolute boundaries. a) Never hide anything from my wife. b) Never overlook an idea for how to support my wife. c) Never put off communicating with my wife.


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