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.
COMMON BOUNDARY VIOLATIONS
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.
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.
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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.