5 Subtle Steps to Set Boundaries during Discussions with Your Spouse
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You best teach others about healthy boundaries by enforcing yours.

—Bryant McGill

Just recently I discovered an article about the Tokyo-based artist Kathleen McDermott who was tired of people invading her personal space. She decided to create a dress that uses sensors. When someone is getting too close a motor expands the dress and protects her personal space. Unfortunately, in romantic relationships this dress most likely won’t be of much help because …

In discussions with your spouse it’s important to hold your energetic boundaries

It’s not that much about the physical distance as about the energetic space. It’s about protecting your emotional balance, because it shapes the words that escape your mouth. And spoken words can’t be taken back.

There exist two polarities of setting boundaries that fail

Some women set boundaries that are thicker than a castle’s walls. Unfortunately, this attitude blocks any intent of constructive communication. No wonder, those walls make it hard to hear a message or perceive the perspective of a spouse clearly. This kind of polarity drastically shuts down conversations that could lead to solutions.

As another polarity, many women do nothing to protect their energetic boundaries. As a consequence, in delicate conversations they wonder why they feel so helpless, intimidated and hurt. While one inattentive word follows the other, they become victims of their own reactions rather than by the behavior of their spouse. 

But, how do you set boundaries that enable constructive communication?

Potent protection of your boundaries can only unfold from inside out. It’s all about holding firm to your integrity and self-esteem and being driven by a mindful mind instead of uncontrolled emotions.

Here are 5 subtle steps that help

Establish your Energy

Do you feel your energetic space? Does it have a diameter of an inch or does your energy extend to the next supermarket? In conversations, it’s important to consciously establish your personal energetic space and to feel your own invisible boundaries. It is unfavorable to overlap your energetic space with that of your spouse.

Remember Respiration

Does this suggestion sound kind of silly? Not at all. When our inner tension grows we tend to cut down our respiration. Instead of practicing relaxing, deep breathing, we adopt a sharp, short, staccato rhythm. But the tact of your breath transmits the information if you are holding your invisible boundaries solidly. The impact of respiration in setting your invisible boundaries is immense.

Root your Feet

Imagine a conversation with your partner; where are you? No, I don’t want to know if you are in the kitchen or in the bathroom cutting your nails. Are you present in your body? Are you focusing on rooting your feet while talking? Try this while watching an emotional movie. You will see that it helps to balance your feelings in a phenomenal way and reinforces your presence in the now.

Train Eye Gazing

Do you look into the eyes of your spouse when you are talking or do you study the new color on the ceiling? By looking into your partner’s eyes you transmit the invisible message of your confidence while you define your energetic space. Big thanks to Tim Ferriss, who shared this hint in this book, The 4-Hour Work Week.  You can try this skill with any person. Focus on one eye of the other person and be sure to blink occasionally to avoid looking strange. Hold on until the other person breaks eye contact. Try to maintain eye contact whenever someone asks you a question. Leverage your training by practicing with people that are bigger than you.

Practice Zen

Did you ever observe a roundtable on TV? The one person that barely talks gets the most attention as soon as he/she starts speaking. In conversations with their spouses, many women overflow like a bathtub with an open faucet. But like in Zen, less is more. Just by being present and listening quietly establishes your energetic space solidly. Always remember … breaks strengthen your boundaries!

Thanks for reading! I hope you got some value. 

Let me know what you think … please leave a comment or a question below … go ahead to download the free Butterfly Habits Mini Guide for more inspiration, support and sunshine in your heart.

Always remember John Lennon’s wisdom … “All you need is love!

Fanny xo


July 8th, 2015