As loved ones of those in addiction we often struggle with boundaries. We probably started out thinking we had certain limits, but slowly we found ourselves tolerating much more than we ever thought we would. We allowed ourselves to be manipulated, hurt, and used. It is common to complain about these injustices and yet allow them to continue. Our complaining, whining, and anger are clues that we have weak boundaries or no boundaries at all.
It may take awhile for us to arrive at the point where we are ready to set boundaries. As we listen to the stories and experiences of others we often find the strength and understanding we need to move forward. We may be hesitant because we feel that setting limits on others may be hurtful or selfish. It helps to remember that we are not showing love when we ignore behavior that directly impacts our own serenity and spirituality. When we take care of ourselves by setting reasonable boundaries, we teach others by example the blessing of having boundaries in their own lives. In setting and maintaining boundaries we create and allow room for others to see the reality of their own behavior and the choices that are before them.
From Family Support Guide additional materials p 26