Relationships Boundaries – Case Study
Eve (not her real name) initially came to see me for smoking cessation.
She is a very successful businesswoman and she works in a male dominated industry. She’s achieved major goals and is well liked and respected in her firm and industry as a whole.
She’s also a single mum with a young adult son still living with her and she’s in her late thirties.
The smoking cessation was addressed and because she was so determined to not roll into her forties still carrying a 20 plus per day habit she quit successfully.
A few months down the track Eve made another appointment this time for a different issue.
She was involved in a relationship (non de facto) and it wasn’t going so well, this was causing her a lot of emotional pain and she had become quite over whelmed. The cycle of a ‘on again’ ‘off again’ in this long term relationship was clouding her mind and judgement. The relationship was about 10 years old and had become about 33% on and 67% off, not a healthy ratio.
Eve, had gradually become accustomed to the toxic cycle and it had become ‘normal’ to her. We all become seasoned to situations, it is in fact a basic survival technique of adaptation, but it needs to be managed.
Her reason for tolerating the status quo was that when the relationship was going well she felt happy. But she also had a deep rooted fear of ‘ending up alone’. Also because of her busy professional life which consumed so much of her time she felt it was ‘her fault’ that the relationship wasn’t working so well. Gradually over time the relationship was degrading into an emotional roller coaster. It was a ‘no win’ situation for either party, but neither Eve nor her partner could finish the relationship, fix it them selves, or find any other solution.
This wasn’t couples counselling, this was therapy for Eve who was experiencing low energy, headaches and nausea due to the emotional territory that she found her self in. She had no coping strategy, she was drinking too much alcohol, consequently she would take time off work to recover and get some respite. She knew that she had to reorientate her life’s direction, to find the strength to keep up with her work commitments and career demands.
I discovered in our time in the pre hypnosis talks that she had acceptable and necessary boundaries in her career world, but no boundaries with the people she loved and cared for in her personal world. These people being her son and her boy friend. Her son is working adult and establishing a career for himself, but Eve had no expectations of help from him in the form of financial contribution or help with the house keeping, cooking etc. And there was some disenchantment about this from her, but to be fair to her son he had been allowed to get away with this behaviour since he was a 10 years old boy.
Her partner was in a part time work situation and had developed a financial dependancy on Eve, she not only paid for all their outings but also subsidised him regularly with top ups.
There was also a past marriage that had some similar traits and patterns to it.
Her desired outcome was
- to lose the fear of being alone
- to value her self more
- to establish new boundaries in her private life
- to establish her own personal expectations of behaviour from the people close to her
This list is long but achievable. NLP and hypnosis are fast ways to make changes occur and it took 4 sessions with a 5th session booked in down the track as a follow up.
What is so amazing is that in these modalities the client can access inner resources that have been unrealised until this point in time.
In this case it was all about boundaries and the corner stone of the issue was that Eve really didn’t value herself enough and all of her reasoning was based on the phantom fear of loneliness.
In the sessions we were able to release this mindset, she was liberated from a small rodent like perspective and managed to see a much bigger picture with multiple opportunities. She had these skills any way but only used them in her business life, this made it easier for her to translate them into her private world.
Eve’s outcome so far, the relationship finished, the x partner couldn’t accept the new boundaries and expectations.
Eve is currently enjoying being single. She’s alone but not lonely. She’s open to dating but she values her autonomy and has learned that she doesn’t ‘need’ a man, but she’s open to the possibility of wanting to be with in another relationship in the future.
Her son still lives with her and he was happy to pay some rent and take on some household responsibilities too.
She’s stronger, healthier and happier
it took 4 sessions over 30 days to change a decade of negative mindset and patterns.
Our subconscious mind and it’s processes are the post powerful tools for long lasting change and the realisation of our true potential. To be the best that we can be. There’s no need to hold onto the past, change your thoughts and change your world.