Dear Neil: After this gentleman first asked me out, I told him I was not girlfriend material. I am a single parent going to college. He is a bachelor and has a couple of roommates. He’s in his middle 40’s, doesn’t have a steady job, doesn’t have a driver’s license or a vehicle and doesn’t […]
Setting Boundaries vs. Building a Wall
Dear Neil: We have been married for over 25 years. On occasion my husband has verbally scolded me in front of other people socially. I’ve also received verbal put-downs in front of our children and their partners. He chooses to mix with others at social functions, especially attractive women. Is this just bad manners, or […]
Setting Boundaries is More Effective Than Having to Leave a Relationship
Dear Neil: Three years ago, I got married after a short courtship. There were a few early signals that all was not well. I paid off all his debts, bought him things and moved him into my home. He contributed nothing financially, and didn’t help with the running of the home, and he wasn’t putting […]
Should I Allow My Boyfriend to Experience Another Woman?
Dear Neil: My boyfriend and I have been together over three years. During a break in our relationship, I had a one-night stand. I told him about it, and now he is very jealous because he didn’t get the opportunity that I did. We are now back together, but he still talks about the desire […]
Why tolerate 25 years of abuse?
Dear Neil: I am concerned about your generalizations that it takes two people to ruin a relationship. I have recently managed to escape a 25-year abusive relationship. One of the things I have learned is that it takes two to make a relationship but that one person alone can destroy it – by being emotionally […]
Boundaries vs. Walls
Dear Neil: I have been told I have poor boundaries—and that I occasionally violate other people’s boundaries. Could you address the issue of boundaries: What are they? How do they differ from pushing people away? When is it appropriate to push people away, and how does that differ from having appropriate boundaries? Questioning in Seattle […]
Setting Healthier Boundaries
Note: This is the second of a two-part series. Our ability to protect ourselves is related to the strength of our boundaries. If we haven’t developed clear emotional boundaries, we are vulnerable to physical or emotional violation. Healthy, intact, clear boundaries feel good, and are flexible enough that we can choose what to let in […]
Healthy Boundaries Communicates Your Limits to Others
Note: This is the first of a two-part series. Dear Neil: Why do I always seem to choose distant and withdrawn men who cheat on me? This is my third straight relationship where chronic infidelity and too much distance have ruined things. Am I doing something wrong? Confused and Angry, New York City Dear Confused […]