Mine or Yours or ?

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First I think it a good idea to study boundaries.  Get yourself any books on the topic and study, study, study.  Most of the study should be practice. 

Sometimes it is easy to determine what part is your and what part is theirs.  But deciding “whose is whose” can often lead to discussion. 

Here are my principles.

Physical (Body):
If it is in my body, it is mine.  If it is in yours, it is yours.  I believe we all have a bit of an aura, an energy field that extends a bit outside our bodies – 6 – 24 inches.  What is in our aura belongs to us.  Hugging means moving into each other’s aura/body.  Be cautious, kind, and do it by invitation only.  Use your boundary skills (“soldiers empowered by the emotion of anger”) to let people in or keep them out of your space.

Physical (Property):
If it is my property, it is mine. If it is your property, it is yours.  Humans (animals) are capable of giving objects the attribute of being part of their body.  Consider two dogs and a good bone.  This can get tricky.  With humans, this is a matter for discussion.  When you get divorced, to whom does the family picture album belong? Get’s tricky.  I find it very useful for a couple to establish clear lines between these things.

Physical (Space): 
If it is my space, it is mine. If it is your space, it is yours.  Humans (animals) are capable of giving a bit of territory (a den, a house, a chair, etc.) the attribute of being part of their body.  Consider the doorway to your house or to your room.  I find it very useful for a couple to establish clear lines between these spaces.

If it is my feeling, it is mine.  If it is your feeling, it is yours.  If you are upset, that is yours.  If I am upset, it is mine.  I am not responsible for your feelings.  You are not responsible for my feelings.  However, based on the idea that we care about, love each other, we do want to help.  This is an area of massive mis-training of children.  Parents can easily brainwash a kid into thinking they are responsible for their parent’s feelings.  The learning phrase is “No on can make anyone feel anything.”

If it is my thinking, it is mine.  If it is your thinking, it is yours.  I have no right to your thinking, but I will feel safer if you let me in.  You have no right to my thinking, but I can help you feel safer if I keep you up-to-date.  The learning phrase is “All people make sense all the time.”

If it is my time, I get to spend it as I want.  If it is your time, you get to spend it as you want.  Here is the ugly issue of Pushing, and Clingers and Avoiders, because we all operate at different speeds. 

General Boundary Principle: 
If it is mine, I do it or take care of it; if it is hers, she does it or takes care of it; if it is not clear “whose is whose,” we take our time (Time Boundary) and dialogue about it; if it is hers and she wants me to do it, we dialogue; if it is mine and I want her to do it, we dialogue. 
General Obligation Principle: 
I am not obliged to do anything for you and you are not obliged to do anything for me.  If I do it, it has to be something I want to do, and has to come out of a sense of generosity.  See Problem with Expectations.
General Principle of Boundary Dialogues:
share our points of view, safely and repeatedly, until we discover or stumble upon a Win-Win (not a compromise).  Resistance is a cue for more dialogue.  Very little is done until the Win-Win appears. 
General Win-Win Principle:  It is a Fair if both people think it fair at the same time – it takes two "yes" votes.  If one does not think it fair, don't do it.  That way leads to resentment and trouble. Thus, if it doesn’t seem fair, discuss/dialogue.  See Problem Solving.
This all provides lots of chances for practicing patience and for dialogue. 


Mine or Yours or ? — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Di,
    Yep, I think it is all about boundaries. And so let's look at that.
    Of course, his body belongs to him. The boundary rule is clear. Yet, you two have a relationship, a bond, that makes you a part owner in his body as he is in yours. If you walk away, or he does, he can do whatever he wants. But as long as you are together, there should be lots of dialogue about this. Sounds as if he is damaging, risking, your property a bit.
    What concerns me more is the idea that you discussed it with him, he heard your concern, makes a vague commitment and doesn't keep it. This is the major stuff of betrayal and secrecy. That needs a whole lot more of dialogue. I am concerned that much more is going on than the spots on his body. Sounds like time to chat!
    Good luck, Al

  2. Hi Al,
    I'm thinking that my question has to do with boundaries, but I'm not sure. We live in Australia and my dh has a history of having small skin cancers. Many Australians are similar and you often see people with small dents on their face where skin cancers have been removed.
    As you might know skin cancers can be benign or can turn rapidly into a melanoma which can be deadly. The only way to know which type a mole is, is to have it examined by a doctor.
    My dh has a very worrying one on his cheek, and a very large mole on his back both are growing quickly, and are very rough (both signs that they could be cancerous). My dh has said that he will go in and get them checked, but he never makes the appointment.
    At the beginning of the year he claimed that he would go, but still hasn't. I've tried asking politely, nagging (sorry), and going to him in practically tears telling him how worried I am about the chance he is taking. Each time he says, yep I'll make the appointment tomorrow but he never does.
    I can think of several reason why he would put this off: fear of a bad prognosis, hating the treatment for taking off the moles (it's kind of painful), and legitimately being very, very busy at his work.
    So, what should I do? I'm very afraid for his health, and if it is a bad cancer he could die. I realize that guys hate to go to the doctor, but this is really worrying me. We are both in our mid-40's.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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