Parenting

From The Confessional: When Family And Friends Cross The Line

PM Images/Getty

Boundaries. They are essential to our well-being, and we know that. But damnit sometimes they are hard to set and hard to maintain. We worry about hurting people’s feelings. We worry about creating drama. And we worry about damaging relationships — but we deserve inner and outer peace. We deserve to have our space respected and our life choices (including, and especially, regarding our parenting) respected. And we deserve to live on our own terms without hurtful interference from others. (Ahem, we’re looking at you, MIL).

So if you struggle with boundaries—whether they are with your spouse, your kids, your girlfriends, or your in-laws showing up unexpectedly, we get it. As women we tend to allow ourselves to be pulled in a million directions and often without realizing it, suddenly, our lives have been taken over. If that sounds familiar, it’s time to take it back. It’s time to have some honest conversations, even if they are harsh, and reset those boundaries.

It’s time we learned how to say the word NO. Our mental health is at stake.

Im finally setting some boundaries with my toxic mother, im feeling excited and scared. how will she react?

Confessional #25799974

Finally told of my lazy mom after month after month and year after year of her lame ass excuses. Her entitlement and lack of boundaries know no bounds.

Confessional #25794266

My sister wanted to do a girls trip. When I declined, she said why don’t you like me? Oh man she has little to no memory. 3 yrs ago you decided your wants and wishes were more important than my boundaries. Fuck that noise!

Confessional #25769985

Sometimes the boundary that’s been crossed is with an immediate family member. And that sucks, but it has to be dealt with.

My H acts like if we lived in his home state closer to his family our life would be perfect. NO dear DH I don't like his brother and DH can't draw boundaries. I just want to stop hearing about it.

Confessional #25799370

I want to marry my SO but I'm worried that his inability to set boundaries with his narcissistic mother will ruin our marriage, and I'll get fed up and leave him.

Confessional #25787592

MIL needs to get a life of her own. So tired of her wanting to be part of everything we do. No, I don’t want you here while I’m recovering from a hysterectomy. Boundaries, please!

Confessional #25765925

My husband and I are seriously contemplating lying to his parents about the birth of our next child. They have a hard time respecting boundaries, so this time we'll just tell them the baby came early and surprised us, so we'll be able to bond in peace.

Confessional #25757733

The number one boundary-offenders are members of the in-law category. They’re the family we married into, the family we accepted as our own when we said “I do.” But that doesn’t mean we have to put up with all their shit.

I have to meet with my in-laws today to lay down boundaries regarding how they treat me and my kids. My husband won't do it, even though I've been begging him for years. I am so disappointed in everyone but me in this situation.

Confessional #25782503

Inlaws want us to talk with them about DD's ADHD. I'm gonna set some boundaries and leave that shit to H because I know what they really mean by "talk" is "vomit our denial and try and convince you she's fine". Nah. She has it, shut up and support us.

Confessional #25767506

And a hearty fuck you to space invading old prick who stood literally inches behind me at the pharmacy counter & had the gall to act put out when my toddler sneezed in his face. Learn some boundaries, you old fart. Enjoy your fucking flu.

Confessional #25766969

We definitely need others in our lives to respect our boundaries when it comes to our kids. As in, don’t tell us how to raise them and don’t disrespect them. Or guess what? You’re out.

I'm having a hard time with H and our kids and I know the problem is me. I let them walk all over me and now I'm at the end of my rope. I don't understand how to set boundaries without being hostile and on alert all the time. I think I'm really messed up.

Confessional #25791903

makes me crazy that DH thinks his intent is what matters the most. He does things repeatedly that annoy the kids and me but always falls back on "I am being nice" Dude, nice is considering other people's wishes and boundaries. How does he not get this

Confessional #25780592

Never marry a man with needy parents. They resent me and make sure he's in their house more than ours. Using all of that solitude to plan my divorce. Men who want to stay married: Set and keep boundaries with your parents and PUT. YOUR. WIFE. FIRST.

Confessional #25762389

Sitting H down for a "come to jesus" chat tomorrow. He's gonna be pissed and I don't give a fuck! Been biting my tongue for 12 years about his asshole adult kids, and his ex wives, and asshole family and I'm DONE! Set some fucking boundaries you coward!

Confessional #25752681

Ugh, this is a tough one. Far too often our SO doesn’t set their own boundaries, which makes it incredibly hard for us to maintain ours. Not cool, spouses. Not cool.

I love my stepkids but wish we had some boundaries. There's no reason DSD10 should be asking me to sleep in bed with her or that DH should tell me I'm a bad parent for not wanting to. It's more understandable when DSD3 asks, but I still don't want to.

Confessional #25761710

DD3's "threenager" attitude and testing boundaries coupled with DS15months whining/fussing/crying all day, every day, is enough to make me resent giving up everything to stay home w them. I'm barely keeping my head above water at this point. Hate it

Confessional #25755563

I was too easy on my son when he was little. I thought it was compassionate parenting. It lacked boundaries. I am dealing with the consequences now. He is 13 and unruly. If only i could have a do over, knowing what i know now.

Confessional #25752591

Next in line is the kids. They often don’t respect our wishes, mostly because they’re children and still want to crawl back into our uteruses. But this one is just as important as the others—you deserve respect and they need to learn how to give it.

I am so sad and mad. A friend I care about keeps pushing the boundaries of our friendship, and it is ending it. And the neighbors won't shut their fucking dog up. I finally filed a noise complaint. Feel like shit. Anxiety over both situations.

Confessional #25781501

No friend, FaceTiming me early in the morning and then being surprised I don’t want to show you my face is not OK. Quarantine is fucking with people’s sense of boundaries!

Confessional #25775349

I have a friend who is toxic and has no boundaries. This friend is going through a crisis and is not in a good place mentally. I feel like a b**** for wanting to end the friendship. They text me more than my husband and mother combined.

Confessional #25767157

And then we’ve got friends who cross the line. You can be a good, loyal friend and still ask that your besties respect you and the boundaries you’ve set—just as you respect theirs.

Well, I got taken advantage of again, because I'm the biggest imbecile who ever lived. I can't keep letting people use me. I don't know how to trust my instincts or set boundaries. No wonder my life is a mess.

Confessional #25795841

I'm supposed to set boundaries and I don't know how. Can't people just meet me halfway by being decent and not constantly trying to take advantage of me? What is this bullshit!?

Confessional #25779011

Hubby grew up in a home where his mom's life was the family, and she scarified herself for her kids. I feel his disapproval when I set boundaries. Sorry, not your mom!

Confessional #25787014

I love my kids. I sacrifice myself way too much and way too often for them. I don't know how to "set boundaries". I feel anxious if I don't respond when they need me. Where is the line? I am so tired and they are becoming entitled. How do I do this?

Confessional #25781550

Because you know what? We are only sacrificing ourselves when we don’t maintain healthy boundaries. And that’s not fair. So even if it’s hard or awkward or you fail on your first or second try, keep working on this. Don’t let everyone else suck the life out of you until there’s nothing left.

Draw the line, girlfriends. And don’t let anyone disrespect that line. You owe it to yourself.