My husband is addicted to cocaine. I’m August we attempted to get him to go into rehab, when he chose not to go I moved out. We’ve been in contact and seen each other since. I am struggling with the boundaries. I have so many walls put up and am very guarded with him. The only thing I want to talk about when we are talking is how we are going to fix this. He says he just needs me to love him. How do I separate the boundaries and show him love without being walked on and manipulated?
Boundaries are tough and something I think many people in this space struggle with, including myself. What helps me is to remember that boundaries are about me and my needs, not about them or what I want them to do. So ask yourself - what do you need in a relationship that will help you take care of your own physical and mental health? What kind of support to you need from your partner? What are the lines you draw in order to separate their needs and your needs? And then the hard part - stick to those boundaries. Communication is key - making sure your partner understands your boundaries, why you need them, and the steps you’ll take to keep them in place. When communicating, make it about you. “I feel” statements etc so you are owning your boundaries and needs rather than unintentionally blaming them. And yes, show love. But you can’t love someone else fully until you can learn to love yourself, and that means respecting what you know you need to be the person you want to be. I hope that helps. It can be such a gray area and I struggle so much with it. But also remember that boundaries can change as you change. Nothing is permanent.