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Post Info TOPIC: Mother in law detachment and boundaries


Status: Offline
Posts: 9
Mother in law detachment and boundaries

Hi everyone. Iām in need of some examples of boundary setting. Iām really bad at it. Yesterday my mil made us dinner and dropped in to see me at work to give me morning tea. Nice right? However there is always an alterior motive. My husband never calls his Mum. I was never aware until recently that I control him. I told him he should call his mum to say thanks. I guess he knew deep down too that she only wanted something or was feeling guilty about something. Sure enough we have a family function on the weekend and she wanted a lift. Hence the dinner and cookies. Was dinner a nice gesture and Iām being crazy or is it a way for the mil to enter in to our life. My husband is the youngest of 4. And certainly is not the golden child. The golden child and her 2 kids are the golden grand kids. His parents never come to watch our kids play sport or make time to spend with them. My kids have noticed this lately as they are getting older. Iām actually beginning to be thankful that she doesnāt spend time with us because sheās so toxic and Iām glad they distance themselves. My husband realises and gets upset that they have no time for our kids. His mum is the perfect martyr always doing. Trying to perceive herself as doing good but so not. I have no idea how to set boundaries with this woman. I never know what to say because I fear if I do say something I will hurt her and cause a family feud. I went no contact with my own mother 18 months ago. And Iām so much better! I know my husband fears us ācutting his family out of our livesā but I too know they are toxic. I struggle to stand up for myself around these people and just shut up and say nothing. I fear one day I will just snap because I donāt know how to say things. I get so much anxiety about being around his family and I feel so uncomfortable. Iām learning I just need to sit back with a glass screen dividing us but itās so hard. Iāve tried before to just give them nothing in conversation but then I feel rude because I feel like Iām not sharing! I donāt want them to know whatās going on in our lives itās just gossip to them. Unable to sleep again because of all of this crap going through my head. :(


Senior Member

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Posts: 203



That's a "growing with recovery issue" for me, Iwant.  I learned to set boundaries with and for my own brain which use to cause me all sorts of insanity.  I took the program in baby steps and pretty well can self focus on the me in me.  Progress not perfection.   (((hugs))) aww

Jerry F

~*Service Worker*~

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Posts: 1308

I set boundaries for my own benefit. It's not too often that I tell people "don't do that or I'll do this", as I find people usually trample right over them like they feel like they're allowed special exceptions, or they are being controlling, manipulative, etc.

Often when I set a boundary it's something I promise myself "If that person does X, then I'll do Y so I can feel okay".

This is way different from my old way of thinking, which used to be "YOU change so I can feel okay."

That's not to say don't ever say anything to someone about your boundaries. But there's a couple things to keep in mind:

#1 - just because you voiced your needs does not mean they will respect them.
#2 - If you're not willing to follow-through on what you told them you'd do, then they'll learn that they can keep pushing your boundaries because you don't back up your words.

If you have any Al-Anon literature, check the back index and look up "boundaries" and you'll find a lot of great gems regarding boundaries.

Most of all - give yourself a break. You're learning new behaviors and it takes a lot of trial and error to finally find what's a perfect fit. I'm definitely not perfect and I still catch myself saying "yes" when I'd rather say "no" sometimes.

Glad you're here!


~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 952

Before developing boundaries and well before implementing a boundary...I always, always, always ask myself...what am I trying to accomplish? What am I trying to do? What is my motive? In my experience, a proper and appropriate boundary can and will solve a problem...a problem of mine. My problem. Thus, I want a solution.

That said, in my experience, in order to develop a proper and appropriate "solution" -- you have to truly identify and understand the "problem". Hence, me asking myself those questions. I've discussed it with sponsor, gained insight, perspective...and objectivity.



Keep coming back...

God, grant me the accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...


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