Have You Crossed the Line? A List of Common Boundary Violations

This entry was posted in Addicts, Blog, Couples, Partners and tagged on by .

Dr. Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT

In the space below, I have compiled a list of common boundary violations. This list is especially applicable to sex, porn, and substance/sex addicts and their loved ones. Hopefully, this short list will help you better spot boundary violations – even as you continue to work toward defining what your healthy boundaries actually are.


External Boundary Violations

  • Standing too close to a person without their permission.
  • Touching a person without their permission.
  • Getting into a person’s belongings and living space (wallet, purse, mail, phone, closet, etc.) without their permission.
  • Listening to another person’s private conversations (real-world, phone, digital, etc.) without their permission.
  • Not allowing a person to have privacy or violating a person’s right to privacy.
  • Exposing others to a contagious illness.
  • Smoking around non-smokers, especially in an identified non-smoking area.
  • Engaging a person sexually without their permission (verbally, digitally, visually, or by physically touching).
  • Insisting on having your way sexually in the face of another person’s “no.”
  • Demanding unsafe sexual practices.
  • Exposing others to sexual experiences without their permission.
  • Sexually shaming another person.
  • Leaving pornography where others might inadvertently see it.

Internal Boundary Violations

  • By word or deed, indicating another person is worthless.
  • Raging (name-calling, yelling, screaming at another person, etc.)
  • Ridiculing another person.
  • Lying or keeping important secrets.
  • Breaking commitments.
  • Patronizing another person.
  • Attempting to control another person.
  • Giving unsolicited advice.
  • Blaming, judging, or criticizing.
  • Being sarcastic while being intimate.
  • Manipulating

Spiritual Boundary Violations

  • Forcing your spiritual or religious beliefs on another person.
  • Telling another person their spiritual/religious belief system is wrong.
  • Discrimination based on religious or spiritual beliefs.
  • Proselytizing to another person without their permission.
  • Using threats of punishment from a Higher Power to control another person’s thinking and/or behavior.

* * * * * 

If you and your partner are struggling with healthy boundaries after the discovery of infidelity, Seeking Integrity’s online workgroups can help. For starters, we offer a workgroup series specifically for betrayed partners. We also have workgroups for sex/porn addicts, including our Out of the Doghouse workgroup that teaches relationship repair.