You probably aren’t used to having a lot of boundaries with your spouse. Unfortunately, redefining your personal boundaries is a part of moving forward, and there’s simply no way to achieve a healthy divorce without them.
Here are some tips on how to re-establish boundaries (or establish new ones) with your spouse during a separation and divorce:
No more daily phone contact
Your spouse may not think anything of calling you or texting you on a daily basis. However, as soon as you agree to separate, it’s important to scale back the amount of contact you have. Even friendly texts that ask questions like, “What are you doing?” can seem intrusive when you’re trying to move on.
No more joint events
A lot of divorcing couples have a hard time appearing in public at first without their “other half.” If your spouse is pressuring you to attend some events with his or her family or co-workers, that’s a sign that your spouse may not have accepted the fact a divorce is coming. Put the brakes on any joint appearances.
No more access to the home
It isn’t unusual for the spouse who moves out of the family home to keep a key — especially if his or her possessions are mostly still there. However, you need to set firm boundaries about when your spouse can enter. There should be no surprise visits (except for an urgent need or exceptional circumstance). Your spouse should also never enter without knocking, even when you are clearly home.
Keep reminding yourself that your spouse no longer has a right to information about your life. He or she also has no right to impose on your time. While the changes may cause a little friction at first, it’s better to start out clear than risk a much more difficult boundary-setting process later as your divorce proceeds.