Maintaining Healthy Boundaries in Friendships
The New Year is almost here and you already feel exhausted. You haven’t even been able to make plans with your husband for New Year’s Eve. You’ve been spending much of your free time with a friend who “needs” you. She’s been taking from you what you need for your family and yourself.
It’s time to turn the tables and start receiving back.
Your husband handed the phone to you, saying that Carina was crying. After you hung up, you looked at the mess from Christmas that needed to be cleaned up. You’ll have to wait to start reading that book you just got. After telling your husband you needed to go be with Carina, you grabbed your coat and purse, then left, thinking you’d be home in a couple hours.
Fast-forward to tonight. You’ve spent almost every night with Carina, trying to get her out of her doldrums. Nothing you say sticks. Sitting, slumped on your couch, you look around. Your husband cleaned up the Christmas mess. He and your children are not very happy with you right now.
How You Feel Now
You feel like something sucked all the life out of you. You’re worn out. Every time the phone rings, you cringe, hoping it’s not Carina – then you feel guilty at the thought.
Your kids and husband are more than a little frustrated. You and hubby went a few rounds because he thinks you need to be at home with the family and you want him to understand that “Carina needs me!”
What You Have to Do
No, Carina does not need you. What she needs is to stand on her own two feet and use her own resources. Make a New Year’s resolution that involves you establishing strong, healthy boundaries that Carina has to respect. Let her know that you’ll be there for her, but on your terms only.
She’ll be mad, but let it happen. Find your boundaries and stick to them. You need you. Carina needs to start giving back to those who have supported her emotionally.