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I am having a couple of issues with my STBX. I have been learning how to do the whole boundary thing after years of not being able to or knowing how; now with IC I am getting better. We have children together, and if I state what my boundary is, and he doesn't follow it, what do I do then? I can't just walk away forever since our children tie us together. I know all about compromise, but I don't want to start feeling like a child as in: "If you don't do what *I* want, then we aren't interacting!"

How do you healthy boundary setters handle situations like this? How do you set it; but still work with the other person when they don't do what *you* want them to?
 

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if I state what my boundary is, and he doesn't follow it, what do I do then?

How do you set it; but still work with the other person when they don't do what *you* want them to?
I would be real careful using the boundaries concept to get someone to do what you want. Boundaries are for protection. Getting someone to do what you want is Dale Carnegie type stuff.
 

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That is my point; I am not intending to use it to get what I want but I am not being respected. Quick example: I have asked him to stop making sexual comments about me. Easy on the phone because I have told him I will just end the conversation if he does this and I do. But when he is here in person seeing the kids, I can't do that. So he isn't respecting me in that way.
 

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Adding also that he says things under his breath when the kids are around-my goal is to try and make things comfortable for the kids but I guess I can pull him into another room and discuss. Yuck though; don't even want to be in any room alone with him!
 

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When he is around just don't react to it. If he doesn't get a reaction then he doesn't have a purpose of doing it anymore. He won't get the hint right off the bat but it'll eventually sink in that his inappropriate comments are being made in vain. The more you ask him not to do it the more he will.

Is there any way he can visit with the kids outside of your home? Or is there a reason why it needs to be supervised? If it needs to be supervised you are not obligated to be the person to do it. He can hire a 3rd person or you can agree on an appropriate person to supervise if he wants to see his children.

You may not be able to set emotional or verbal boundries with this prize of a man but you can set physical boundries --- which would help with the emotional/verbal ones.
 

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Adding also that he says things under his breath when the kids are around-my goal is to try and make things comfortable for the kids but I guess I can pull him into another room and discuss. Yuck though; don't even want to be in any room alone with him!
OK, you are looking for what to do when he says inappropriate things. First, don't be worried about letting your kids watch. If you can model the appropriate response to inappropriate language it will be a good thing for them to see.

Start by simply saying "I wish you wouldn't say things like that" or "I don't like speaking with you when you make comments like ..." or "It hurts me when you say ...". Leave it at that and be consistent for a while, maybe even a couple weeks. The key here is to call him out every time this happens, stay in control, let him know firmly that you don't like it then proceed with your business until he does it again. Don't threaten, don't judge, don't escalate.

If this doesn't get results after a couple weeks, add a little to your message like "I wish you wouldn't say thing like that and I'm asking you not to do it any more. Can I ask you to quit please?" Again, be consistent with the same message and leave it at that for a couple weeks. This is not nagging, this is defending your boundary. Directly rebuking him in front of the kids in a direct, firm and respectful fashion is a powerful lesson for your kids and in an odd way you have him working with you until he quits. You will also feel better as you develop and practice you self control.
 
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