Video 3

Module 19. Coaching Radical Relationships (2)
Video Three: Boundaries and Agreements

Welcome to Video #3 of Module 19, which is on boundaries and agreements.

Assuming the couple have completed the Radical Reconciliation Worksheet and have come to agreement over the main points, you will need to have them get a little bit more specific about their boundaries and limits. They may be quite different to how they were before they shifted to the new model of what a relationship should be.

They need to let their partner know where the limits are in terms of what they will accept and what they won’t. These often rise to the level of principle and are reflective of their own sense of self as an individual and how they wish to be treated in the relationship. Some of them may even rise to the level of ‘deal killers’ in the sense that the relationship would not survive if they were dishonored or crossed.

Give them the list of boundaries which you will find in the Resources Section and have them go through them one by one, preferably with you present to act as referee. Where there is inherent conflict between each partner’s boundaries, you may need to help them work out a compromise that they both can live with.

As we saw in Module 18, probably the most significant boundary for most people is the issue of fidelity. And as we pointed out then, it seldom is ever discussed at the beginning of a relationship. It is not an easy issue to discuss and is even more difficult, to be honest, and that might be no less difficult now.

However, when you have been in relationship with someone for a number of years, you can be more honest, open and frank, because the likelihood is that you will be able to discuss it rationally based on how it has been for you both up to now. After all, you have a track record to go on, and you know each other pretty well.
Either one of you or both may have been tested and may have failed! Is there still some forgiveness to do?

How do you want it to be going forward? What would you want from your partner? What are you willing to give up in order to accommodate your partner’s needs?

Here are some questions and phrases that might serve as discussion points in establishing boundaries and agreements. And these are much the same as will find on the list that’s in the Resources Section. I’ll go through them just as they are written here:

Commitment — What does it mean?
Commitment to what?
Intimacy — What does each of us need?
Sex — Can we be honest about this?
Fidelity — Are we of the same mind here?

Flirting — Where is the line to be drawn?
Freedom — From what? Freedom to do what?
Honesty — No secrets.
Openness — No hiding our feelings.
Equality — We matter equally.
Support — Taking care of each other.
Money Matters — Open and fair, equal shares, no secrets.
Responsibilities — Understood and taken seriously.
Decision Making — Joint.
What’s mine? What’s yours?
Roles — Voluntary and enjoyed.
Family Matters — Who comes first?
Children — Joint responsibility.
Friends — Honor and respect each other’s friendships.
Religion — Respect.
Spirituality — Respect.
Personal Growth — Support.

When they have had their discussion, have them write everything down. Then have them read out loud to each other the following statement.

I promise myself that I will stand by my boundary statements and the principles underlying them, and I will not sell myself out. At the same time, I am willing to look at how my partner expresses his/her
boundaries and will honor those too. Where they seemed to conflict, we have made compromises that satisfy us both. We are committed to going forward with this relationship on this basis.

Signed: _________________ Date: _________________

So that’s it for this video. There’s a lot of opportunity there for a lot of discussion with your clients. In the next video, we are going to look at the question of how to understand your own and your partner’s sexual personality.

We’ll see you then.