Setting Healthy Boundaries

Salli's Divorce Support Blog

Unfortunately, as the world polarizes in opinion and perspective, sometimes this polarization affects a marriage. Though both parties feel justified in their viewpoints, it is not uncommon for one partner to begin overstepping their boundaries to “shape” the change they want or to validate their own perceptions.

Those who have experienced divorce might have experienced these uncomfortable and confusing circumstances. There are people who actually thrive on mistreating other people.

When this occurs relationships can go haywire pretty fast.

If you have been with someone who is consistently mean and critical, or someone who seems to enjoy ridiculing and insulting you, such a relationship cannot continue. Setting healthy boundaries with folks that mistreat and abuse you is critical.

The first step, of course, is to stand up for yourself in opposition to bad treatment. Some abusive partners will back down at that point; some may turn the tables on you and call you abusive.

Counseling is a reasonable step, but people who abuse others generally won’t agree to this sort of intervention.

I’m not a professional counselor, but I am experienced at drawing healthy boundaries. Sometimes it means taking a taxi to the airport so you can put space between you and the accuser, sometimes it requires asking someone to sleep in the camper trailer rather than your home. Sometimes it means divorce. Healthy boundaries can come in a variety of forms.

But bottom line: Our Father in Heaven did not intend for any of us to endure a prolonged period of shameful, hurtful, embarrassing treatment that one person can impose upon another. If you are in such a relationship please consider what you need to do to make it different. If you’ve been in such a relationship and gotten out—congratulations!

Becky Rose

Yes! Thank you for this! I was one who left!

Becky Rose

Here is something that may help too: The Bill of Rights 1. I have the right to be me. 2. I have the right to put myself first.* 3. I have the right to be safe. 4. I have the right to love and be loved. 5. I have the right to be treated with respect. 6. I have the right to be human- not perfect. 7. I have the right to be angry and protest if I am treated unfairly or abusively by anyone. 8. I have the right to my own privacy. 9. I have the right to my own opinions, to express them, and to be taken seriously. 10. I have the right to earn and control my own money. 11. I have the right to ask questions about anything that affects my life. 12. I have the right to make decisions that affect me. 13. I have the right to grow and change, and that includes changing my mind. 14. I have the right to say NO 15. I have the right to make mistakes 16. I have the right not to be responsible for other adults' problems and feelings. 17. I have the right not to be liked by everyone. 18. I have the right to control my own life and to change it if I am not happy with it as it is. *This 2nd right may seem to be selfish. However, it does not mean not considering others or taking the last crust of bread from your children. It does mean that you must love and respect yourself first before you can, with a healthy balance, give of yourself to others in the most effective way.


I love the bill of rights, Becky! Thanks for posting them. I have struggled for awhile now to have healthy boundaries, and as a new divorcee my therapist is helping me to learn them. Hallelujah-- it feels great to just be me and be happy about it.

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My name is Salli.

Divorced and full of fret and regret, I found my 'Reason for Living' on the internet. Now, my life is lots of fun, married in Portland, Oregon.

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