Why women like to have their boundaries crossed regularly – especially when it comes to the mother in-law.

I started my counselling career in 2012 and up to this day, I still see men and women alike who have their personal and emotional boundaries crossed regularly.

I want to relate the story of one such person, Somaya (not her real name).

Somaya came to see me for marriage counselling as she had an ongoing conflict with her husband over his mother.

Her mother-in-law lived on their property but in a separate house and behaved like everything which belonged to her son was also hers. Somaya was so frustrated and angry because she was a strong independent businesswoman who was assertive and had strong boundaries with everyone else except her husband and mother-in-law.

It was negatively impacting her self-esteem and parenting. She loved her husband and didn’t want to disrespect his mother, but she struggled with herself when her mother-in-law would enter their home without permission and would scratch around their house.

I gently pointed out to Somaya that her physical boundary was being violated. With counselling, she started to lock the kitchen door to indicate where her space began, and her mother in law’s ended.

We also tackled the construction of emotional boundaries as Somaya was constantly told she was oversensitive or difficult. She slowly realised she had deep empathy and generosity that was being exploited by some family members. She took care to set and enforce healthier boundaries and now realises these were people’s opinions of her and not her truth.

We can all relate to Somaya in some way or the other. For some of us, we struggle with setting our boundaries in our workplaces, some with our family and then there are others with our friends.

So why is boundary violation a common issue? Why do we NOT enforce or uphold our boundaries?

Most times, we:

  1. FEAR rejection and ultimately, abandonment.
  2. FEAR of confrontation.
  3. GUILT.
It’s so important that you do not feel guilty if your boundaries are being violated because it’s not your fault. Nobody teaches you this stuff so of course, you don’t know it!

Awareness is the first step in establishing and enforcing your boundaries. That’s why I decided to host a workshop that discusses boundaries more in-depth. We will also be looking at how to enforce healthy boundaries without fear and guilt.

To know more about this workshop, click here

Establishing healthy boundaries and enforcing them builds self-worth and confidence.

I want to help you on this journey so that you can live a happier life.

Warmest regards,
Shenaaz Moos

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