Divorce Detox: One of the greatest challenges during the divorce transition is maintaining boundaries. Whether you are dealing with your ex, friends or even family, maintaining clear boundaries will protect you from unnecessary hurt during this vulnerable time -- and speed your divorce recovery. Just as you set limits for your children as a parent, you will now need to create your own grownup boundaries to keep yourself safe and show others where you stand.
Here are some tips for establishing healthy, productive boundaries during divorce:
Recognize that you have both internal and external boundaries. Internal boundaries protect you from doing too much for others at the expense of yourself. External boundaries involve setting limits with others so you are not violated or imposed upon.
Don't mistake defensiveness for boundaries. Boundaries are permeable and flexible, not rigid and unbending. While you need to stay firm with your boundaries, be mindful of not putting up a wall or shutting others out completely.
You will need different boundaries with different people. For example, the kind of boundaries you establish with an ex who discloses too much personal information will be different from the ones you set with a well-intentioned friend who has little experience with divorce and says all the wrong things.
Setting clear boundaries shows others that you have self-respect and that you are willing to stand up for yourself. You are teaching the people you come into contact with how to interact with you and what you will tolerate in your world.
Your ability to set boundaries will depend on the beliefs and experiences you have had throughout your life. For many people, setting boundaries feels cruel or confrontational, which usually stems from a fear of hurting other people's feelings or wanting to please others. Check in with yourself and work with a professional to explore the underlying issues that make it hard for you to protect yourself through the divorce transition in a healthy and adaptive way. Now's the time to find your inner strength and your own self-worth and value!
|Andra Brosh, Ph.D., and Allison Pescosolido, MA, are the leading divorce-recovery experts in Los Angeles. Founders of "Divorce Detox," a proven program guaranteed to speed recovery through the divorce transition, Andra and Allison are certified grief-recovery experts, and both hold advanced degrees in the field of psychology. Visit www.divorcedetox.com to learn more about their programs and cutting-edge work.|