Separated But Living Together – Set Boundaries For A Happier Home!
Boundaries are important in any relationship as they define what each person finds acceptable in the other. They are a way of protecting ourselves from the behavior of others and how they treat us.
Boundaries enable us to communicate in a positive and healthy way so the point we are trying to make does not offend or make another person feel as if they are being attacked verbally.
Lack of boundary setting is a major reason why so many relationships fail as each partner plays the blame game leaving no room for negotiation.
So what does a boundary have to do with separating couples living together in the same house? My quick answer would be EVERYTHING as living under the same roof with an ex partner would stretch the limits of most people so if you can put some basic boundaries in place I think you will find life will be a lot easier.
Feelings from a relationship ending may easily spill over into a couples new living arrangement so never was the need for boundary setting so great. The irony is a lack of boundaries may have been the core reason for the breakup so implementing them now could be an opportunity to improve the status quo.
If there was physical or mental abuse in the relationship then being separated and living together is definitely not recommended. The abused party will get no rest even as the roommate of a seasoned manipulator. My advice is to get out and STAY OUT!
When approaching your ex with the concept of boundary setting explain to them gently that you think it might be a good idea to have some rules regarding personal preferences. This would be telling each other without anger what you need for this arrangement to work. It may be you want separate bedrooms (highly recommended) and each partner to knock on the door when they wanted to talk or it could be about some alone time with your children.
Keep it simple and friendly at all times letting your ex know you want to respect their needs in this as it will make for a pleasant atmosphere to live in.
Don’t expect miracles at the start but it is amazing how people take on board the concept of boundaries because they realize they are being valued.
Even roommates need boundaries otherwise the house they are living in can turn into an open home where none of the occupants feel as if they have any rights to their own personal living space.
When talking to your ex always use the I approach. I feel or I hope we can make this work. Once you start using phrases like if you would stop doing that or this is your fault you are canceling any chance of having a reasonably happy home.
As tall as this order may seem this is an opportunity to really communicate with your ex. When marriages fail it is so many times because of a lack of communication. Setting boundaries while you are separated and living together may put your marriage or partnership back together. If not it will still be a valuable learning experience and allow you to make things better in future relationships.