Boundaries in close relationships ….why they are important.

I read somewhere that boundaries are only upsetting to others when they stop making life comfortable for the other person.

                                                     How true is that?

Have you ever put a small boundary up and watched the people around you crumble, start arguing with you or remark how selfish you are?

Yip…me too!

You see, boundaries are sets of limits and rules that we use to teach others how to treat us, however many times we fail to set these early in a relationship or friendship and then start to feel resentment,anger, hurt, stress or increased anxiety by how the other person treats us.

Now, I’m guilty of not having strong enough boundaries and over the last few years I’ve started working on allowing myself to put boundaries in place. Ones that benefit me too.

I’m a natural giver and I love ( and hurt) hard so I tend to give much more of myself, my time, effort and energy than the people I surround myself with. The results are me constantly being hurt, upset or resentful at the way I am treated by those around me.

So, instead of blaming those around me, I realised I needed to look within myself…identify the patterns and work on positive steps to change this and start to teach the people around me to treat me the way that I want to be treated, with the same mindfulness and respect that I treat them.

This has naturally been met with resistance from those who were benefiting from my weak boundaries and giving nature.

So, how have I implemented this?

I think it’s important to first note that changing the narrative to anything takes time.

You need to cut the bullshit and be totally honest with yourself and those around you.

You will encounter resistance and you will most likely outgrow some people, lose friends and upset family. This is ok…to become the best version of yourself you will need healthy boundaries and you deserve to be surrounded by those who respect you and help you grow.

Ways that I’ve set better boundries

My home

Setting boundaries in my home was the hardest as I’d been conditioned that good wives didn’t question their husbands and that mothers sacrificed for their children in silence.
The truth could honestly not be further from those two statements and I’m forever grateful that my own children do not live in a world that supports women being groomed for marriage and childcare.

    A good wife has a good husband!

Together they mutually respect each other, mindfully bring up their children and run their home in peace. They know that they each bring valuable qualities to the table and they work together and sacrifice their ego for the benefit of their family.

A good mother loves her children unconditionally for the people they are, not who she wants them to be. She lives a life independent of her children, whilst supporting them and being emotionally and physically available to them, not only because she was a woman before becoming a mother but because in order to teach her children how to love life, she first needs to fill her cup and show them by example.

It took a long time, reflection and work within myself for me to get to this point.

So, with this being the mission statement I would like to live in my home, I naturally have started to set up the steps to change the narrative.

I’ve seen the resistance and reluctance to my changes, but it is because my changes look like non-compliance or a lack of meeting needs that my husband and children are quite capable of meeting by themselves.

For example, My workload has doubled and I’m working more hours so this means those in our home need to do more housework.
Whilst I may work from home I am not in fact sitting home doing nothing, I need to put in 8 hours just like everyone else. I homeschool, entertain my 6-year-old and work 8 hours on my business. Housework is rushed and slotted in between work commitments, playdates and deadlines. Leaving me no time to relax, enjoy a movie, or even exercise.

Asking my family to assist with chores, respect my time and schedule appointments if they need me to let the plumber in for example is not unreasonable.  It is necessary and allows me to lessen my anxiety and not need to add extra stress factors to my day.

What it doesn’t do is serve them. It means they need to take more responsibility and do a bit more in their day. It means a movie might be missed or I will no longer serve Sunday coffee in bed if I have a deadline but expect them to make it themselves.

These things upset their comfort zones.

They naturally may feel I’m being less caring, not as attentive or unreasonable. My boundaries may not suit their needs but are imperative to my mental and physical health.

Learning that I don’t need to be a supermom has been hard for me as I’ve always attended to each of my family’s needs but learning to step back has opened an area of growth and a sense of happiness that is not weighed down by feeling overwhelmed and unappreciated.

My friends

I’m a firm believer that if I can’t talk honestly to a friend, we are actually not friends.

I count my close friends on one hand and from young, I always preferred one or two close friends to big groups.
I struggle to maintain small talk and I lead an incredibly busy lifestyle so you don’t see me in the midst of huge friendship rings, but I’m loyal and more often than not will share my space, opportunities, and the things I have openly.

I however find, especially since moving to Cape Town, that those I call friends don’t reciprocate the same way. I’m often left feeling like my friendships are very one-sided from me. That I make the effort to connect and communicate, with very little effort made from the “friend”

For example last year, I planned a birthday party for my son, and last minute two of the moms, who are my “friends ” and whose children’s birthdays I’d marked to attend and was rearranging my work schedule to do so, canceled attending.

I was hurt, as I had priorities for their families and realized that at no point had they prioritized mine.

I was then snubbed at an event by one of the same moms and I realized that I needed to re-evaluate my friendships.

This was harder than setting boundaries with my family as it sounds incredibly conceited and childish to say sorry I don’t want to be your friend as your actions hurt me and I’m not seeing the friendship qualities of what I classify as a good friend in you.

Now, these friends are wonderful and I hold no ill to anyone and with my own inner reflection I was able to see that :

  • We can outgrow friends and not feel bad moving forward.
  • We can protect our time, energy, and the influence of the people around us without it being selfish.
  • Just as we set mission statements for our home, so we can too for the friendships we have.

As a friend, I am loyal, honest, and authentic, and will love and support you wholeheartedly and I need friends who reciprocate the above mindfully and respectfully. I expect equal energy and effort from a friend. Learning that this is not unreasonable has allowed me to let go of any resentment or anger I may have at “friends” who let me down. It has simply allowed me to walk away without negative emotions.

Extended Family

Here I don’t have a problem asserting boundaries. I think because I’ve been gradually placing these over the last few years.

I didn’t marry my husband young and thankfully I didn’t enter our relationship with the need to impress or be accepted by anyone.

I learned to set boundaries for my children with toxic family members. whilst bringing up my older six children and so it has been far easier to set boundaries for Hamish with any extended family.
I’m also not by nature impressed by much, the beauty of being an older woman, so I tend to look for genuine qualities in people.

We have a few strict rules for our home and those include the amount of alcohol consumed, appropriate behavior, and upholding certain values that we prioritize within our home.
Knowing this we distance ourselves from anything and anyone who does not respect or mirror our parenting and family values.

For example We once attended a family reunion and the majority of the men bragged about the family heritage of being drunk. Now, as the child of an alcoholic, I was horrified. This is not a heritage I want for my son, and breaking those generational curses ( that’s a whole other blog post) is important to me as it is teaching my children that you do not need alcohol to have fun. Because of this I won’t attend reunions, and will only set time aside with extended family who understands the toxicity in that statement.

To many of the family members I am sure I appear difficult, rude, or even controlling…. but as I mentioned earlier healthy boundaries only upset those from whom they don’t benefit.


Work is often a space where I need the most assistance in setting boundaries.

I work too many hours and as it is with blogging/content creation and influencer work we work for what we get offered way more than what we are worth.

Prioritizing my time, learning to rest and take time off, and setting the intention for what I expect with payment and treatment have allowed me to focus more on my business and feel more content.
Not working with businesses that don’t value me and my time or align with my blog has also helped me to be paid according to what I bring to the table.

Learning to let go of what doesn’t serve me in business was the biggest lesson in 2023 and has lead me to a wealth of doors opening.


Many of these boundaries are works in progress. They are daily goals I strive to implement. It’s a slow growth process but it is essential and they allow me to be the best version of myself.

Boundaries can also be flexible. A boundary I set in place this year may not be needed 3 years from now or my priority may change perspective and I need to be mindful and honest with myself daily to change a boundary because changing it means I need more protection of my time or space or if I can grow more or be a better version of myself.

In short, I need boundaries to protect my space so that I can continue to grow, surround myself with people who love and respect me, and reach my goals. Enjoy my job and become the best me I can be.





One Reply to “Boundaries in close relationships ….why they are important.”

  1. Thank you for this Judy. I have placed many of these boundaries in place, it literally sounds like my life and have 1 or 2 close friends and like you said, those should be the ones that you can speak openly and honsestly to. Cause i feel, why waste my time in that friendship if i cannot.

    One sided friendships i have stepped away from. I learned the hard way.

    I take no more nonsense from anyone, not even family and because i don’t tolerate their nonsense any longer. I am seen as rude, disrespectful etc… But in actual fact they were the one’s disrespecting my rules and the way i do things.

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