Hey there! This post originally came out several months ago, but I decided it was about time to update the old blog. I hope it’s helpful as you navigate tricky boundary issues:
Mary walked into my counseling office breathless. She sat down quickly, and with tears in her eyes, began apologizing for nothing and everything, in particular.
“I just feel so stretched. I don’t even know where I end and the next person begins,” she told me.
Mary and her husband had gone through several years of infertility. As the years went by—she faced more and more questions about children.
Mary began seeing me, partly for support through infertility, but also because she didn’t know how to deal with all the well-meaning questions that often caused more pain then the asker realized.
Over the next few weeks, we examined Mary’s tendency to say ‘yes,’ even when she meant ‘no,’ and how that was playing out in dealing with unwelcome questions.
“Growing up, we would never turn anyone down—for anything. Honestly, it wasn’t really allowed,” she shared. “Over time I began to assume that always giving people what they want was part of what it meant to be a faithful Christian. Then, when we went through infertility and subsequent miscarriages, I figured if someone asked me a question, I had to tell them...
But then, some people gave me awful advice, and I found myself even more guilty and ashamed for not taking their advice. I feel trapped in those situations, as though I don’t have a choice.
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