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Setting boundaries with family, friends
Episode 111st August 2023 • Fostering Marriage • Joel & MaryBeth Fortner
00:00:00 00:45:17

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In part 1 of our series on setting healthy boundaries, we’re talking about (cue dramatic music) setting healthy boundaries with family and friends. 

This can be one of the hardest things for people to do but one of the most important.

We cover:

  • The difference between walls, boundaries and healthy boundaries
  • Why boundaries are so important to your marriage
  • Protecting your mental, physical, and emotional well-being by protecting against unhealthy or toxic opinions, behaviors, speech
  • How a lack of boundaries causes conflict and unhealth in you
  • Worst of all, how a lack of boundaries causes bad health in your home, including your kids and creates disunity between the two of you

Common times when healthy boundaries CAN be set:

  • Emotional energy
  • Time
  • Personal space
  • Morals and ethics
  • Material possessions and finances
  • Social media 

Common times where healthy boundaries NEED to be set:

  • When someone is setting your reality in a controlling way (this CAN be well intended.)
  • Friend or family member tells you you shouldn't foster for whatever reasons.
  • When you're fostering - you get all the opinions on how you should be thinking or making decisions in a controlling way - not in an advisory way
  • When communication or advice isn’t wanted
  • Even when the person is totally well-meaning
  • You may be stressed, overwhelmed or whatever and others’ opinions/advice isn’t well-timed or helpful right now
  • When someone else’s behavior crosses boundaries
  • They do something you’ve requested they not do or vice versa, they refuse to do something you’ve requested and intentionally not doing it

Common mistakes people make instead of setting a healthy boundary:

  • Feeling the need to defend or protect
  • Lashing out
  • Allowing their reality to be set

What holds people back from setting them…period:

  • People without boundaries can be easily persuaded into things they don’t want to do because they may be acting out of guilt or obligation rather than what’s best for them or their family

Common ways people hold themselves back from setting them:

  • Thinking setting boundaries is mean or wrong or hurtful
  • Fear
  • People pleasing
  • Guilt after setting them before so they won’t do it again
  • Fear of making someone upset or angry
  • It’s stressful
  • It feels disloyal
  • Assuming people should “just know”
  • Not knowing what to say to set the boundary
  • They don’t think it’s their responsibility
  • For example, you have an issue with your in-law but your spouse won’t set entertain setting a boundary with their parent

Learning and practicing setting healthy boundaries is okay and a critically important skill for your personal well-being and your fostering marriage. 

If you enjoy this podcast, rate and review it wherever you listen. It helps other fostering families find it. 

And follow us on Facebook at Fostering Marriage. 

Join us next month for part 2 of this series on healthy boundaries when we dive into signs of having healthy boundaries, signs of not having them, how to handle it when one of you won’t set a boundary and finally, how to set healthy boundaries.




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