Several people have been discussing about boundaries. The book NMMNG discusses how important it is to have them, and how very beta men lack them, but doesn't explain very well what they are and how to defend them.
Boundaries are what is important to you that you can defend. Boundaries encompass the areas of your life saying “this is my shit here”. By “my shit here”, I mean that this is stuff that is important to you and that you have the power and means to defend. If you can’t defend the boundary, you don’t have it. If you bitch but don’t defend the boundary, you don’t have a boundary.
Analogy "Ukraine": Ukraine couldn’t defend Crimea from Russian-backed forces. Russia took over the peninsula. Although Ukraine bitches and cries that this isn’t fair, for all intents and purposes in the ground, Russia has Crimea inside its boundaries, and Ukraine doesn’t. Is it fair? Who cares. What matters is that Ukraine couldn’t defend this boundary, so it lost the boundary. Ukraine bitching to the international community hasn’t done much to change the boundary because everyone knows Russia has the power to defend this boundary, and Ukraine didn’t.
It is similar with you. To understand your boundaries, you have to self examine, swallowing your ego, and really understand what you control, and what you don’t. Accept this, and from there, plan creatively on all ways you can defend the territory you want. And then consistently carry out the plan automatically. And if you can’t defend with actions a boundary, accept you don’t have the boundary, and change it to something you can defend. An example of a boundary you can’t defend: “My wife must respect me”. Why? Because as this is, you give her ALL the power to her over the boundary. An example of a boundary you can defend: “If wife is disrespectful, I’ll leave.”
Analogy "The Sign": Putting up a “Trespassers will be shot” sign is not defending a boundary. Defending it is shooting trespassers, or at least, shooting a warning shot or calling the police. Whatever action works. The sign in itself doesn’t defend the boundary, only actions do.
Boundaries are for you to decide. You can be flexible, but this must come from you, not in reaction to others. Remember, you chose the boundaries, but if people test them, always trigger automatic defenses. It is ok to plan an escalating way to defend the boundary, and try one thing after the other. But you must defend it.
Analogy "The King's Castle Alpha": You are a king in your castle. Your castle has strong walls, with trained archers. The entrance gate is well guarded. It is fine to let a harem in through the gate for your pleasures. Make sure they don’t carry weapons. Yet if women assassins try to run towards the castle castle walls in the middle of the night, your archer must shoot them. No questions asked, no nicely saying “please, go to the front gate and act sexily”. There is no time for the archers to ask you if you want these hot assassins scaling the walls, they must act automatically.
When you start enforcing boundaries, your wife might be upset and act up more. This is very frustrating. Just accept that it is your own fault: you gave her this territory because you didn’t defend it. Now you want it and she had internalized it was hers. It isn’t her fault, it is yours for not defending the terrain. It sucks for you, for her and for the relationship that you weren’t consistently defending it. So now you all pay the price of your irresponsibility. Be patient with her, blame yourself. Plan ahead escalating ways to defend the boundary, such that you find out what is the minimum level that will get her to back off. There is no point in overdoing it, after all, you don’t want to be an asshole, you just want to act in ways that defend the boundary with the least cost to everyone. Of course, this will mean doing things she doesn’t like, but don’t over do it to punish her.
Boundaries are what make people respect you. It makes women feel you are strong, reliable, and have integrity. Many of us, when married, start giving in our boundaries thinking that is what our wives want. I certainly did this when our son was born. This is terrible for us, for them, and for the relationship. Often, it leads to resentment on our part because of covert contracts that say that they have to respect our boundaries, and when enough resentment builds up, we have a victim puke. Bitching to your wife about how she is not respecting your boundary signals to her you don’t have a boundary, and only reinforces bad behavior. It is then your fault, not hers. Acting to defend the boundary with behaviors (not words) is the way to communicate the boundary in a way she understands it.
This comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of boundaries. Our boundaries are for us to respect. Since we respect them so much, we defend them. Women understand boundaries because we defend them. If we don’t defend them, they think we don’t respect the boundary, so they trample it, often without knowing. It is our responsibility, not that of our wives, to have strong boundaries. Especially, when you start putting up boundaries, wife will test and test and test. Don’t get angry at her, this is how she understands the boundary is important for you. Defend the boundary consistently if you want her to get it. Bitching to your wife about how she has to respect your boundary is weak and useless, and is just you blaming others for your failure.
Analogy "The King's Castle Beta ": The archers in the castle of the Beta King see assassins coming in to scale the wall and start shooting arrows to drive them away. The assassins wait just outside the range of the arrows, frustrated. The assassins start taunting the Beta King calling him a faggot, because they can't do anything more. The beta king orders the archers to stop shooting, and gets on his beautiful horse, leaves the castle, and goes to talk to the assassins to try to convince them he is not a faggot. The king shows his nice horse and shiny sword as proof that he isn’t a faggot, but a bad ass, from a line of bad asses. The assassins kill him for being a fucking idiot and in the chaos take the castle.
This is what happens when you argue with your wife. You lose frame and perspective and do stupid shit that doesn't benefit you in any way. You are leaving your boundaries to exposed terrain, only because of your weak ego. Instead of arguing about your ego, become strong with frame so you don't feel insecure. Instead of focusing on her attacks, focus on your boundaries and defend them consistently.
Example in my marriage:
My wife used to make a false accusation that used to really get to me. I wanted her to stop it. When she used to say it, I would act all hurt, and argue with her to stop it, and she would just take more stabs at me. For days I would bitch about how she can’t do it. She never changed. If anything, she did it more. I kept talking about my boundary, but I wasn’t defending it, so I signal to her with actions that this territory was not worth defending for me. My words didn’t matter, if anything, they made me look even weaker. I was the king outside the boundaries, being stabbed by assassins, stupidly trying to convince them that they must stop because I am the king.
After failing at stopping her false accusation, I felt a lot of resentment, which only made me weaker. It was only when I planned an action to my responses to her that I made progress. I decided that if she said this, I would say “I’m not going to continue this conversation.” If bad behavior continued, I would escalate level of defenses. For me, this was just leaving the room to do something productive for me, or depending on the gravity of the situation, leave the house to workout, meditate, walk or get a beer.
The first few times I did this, she went nuts. She was used to me not having this boundary, so she was trying to see if she could scare me into backing off. It was afraid, I admit. But I had planned ahead my defenses, and decided I must carry them out regardless. So I ended up leaving the house for a few hours. First few times I felt a lot of guilt. But since I had planned ahead my defenses, I knew that I wasn’t being a hot head, I had planned rationally this. With time, it got easier to defend the boundaries. Heck, most times it feels really good now. She wants to piss me off? Ha, she lost, I’m not going to engage, and I have time for myself. She lost because she wanted me to react, I win because I get good time for myself.
I didn’t even have to explain why I was defending this, she knew what she did. There is no point in telling the assassin that the archers and walls mean a boundary. Only actions matter.
Now, she stopped with the false accusation. Last time she say it, I just did simple warning, and she stopped! She went away, and then apologized for what she said. Amazing. I didn't threaten, I just told her to stop, and since I had defended the boundary with actions consistently, I trained her I was serious so she responded well to my reminder of my actions. Pavlov's dog shit. Before she never stopped when I asked her, and she never apologized. But since I acted consistently, I trained her that this was serious. This is respect.
Boundaries are the territory you can and want to defend. If you don’t defend it, it is your own fucking fault, not the fault of your wife. If you can’t defend it, then you must accept it and change your boundaries. Being a bitch about it only make things worse. Be strategic and realistic. As you start tp have boundaries, you will rock the boat, because you are taking stuff she understood you had given her. Don’t feel resentment, but instead, be understanding that it was your weakness that made things harder for everyone. Yet, consistently defend the boundaries with action (not words) as it is the only way to make her understand. Being consistent is good for you and for her and the relationship in the long term, although it might seem like it adds conflict in the short term.
Boundaries are for YOU to respect and defend. It is hard at first, but if you defend them consistently, your wife will respect you more in the end.
Gold? Thanks stranger!