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Dr. Romance: Boundaries with your Ex

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Setting boundaries is the key to avoiding feeling used.

Personal space and respect are vital to the smoothness of a relationship. All personal relationships require boundaries. Boundaries are the limits you place on how much others can ask of you, verbally or otherwise. If a friendship or relationship is between two people who both have solid boundaries, the subject may never come up, because neither person will encroach without permission -- but, the boundaries are there. 

When you move from being married to being divorced, new boundaries must be set. Setting boundaries creates mutual respect and consideration. These qualities allow people to be close without emotional harm. Boundaries are breached by such actions as:

  • Reading personal mail or rummaging in personal space or demanding time, affection or consideration without considering the other person's wishes or feelings.
  • Showing up unannounced is another classic breach of boundaries, as is gossiping, or changing appointments without advance notice.

Anyone can be subjected to rudeness and inconsideration. How you handle it determines whether you are setting boundaries or not. Most situations can be handled with polite firmness.  People pleasers usually just don't know how to say "No, thank you" and make it stick. Boundaries can be set with grace and gentility. Be polite, and say "Please and thank you." Keep reading...

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This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.

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