Taking Control: How to Set Boundaries with Someone You Love Who Hurt You

It can be incredibly difficult to set boundaries with someone you love who has hurt you. All people need and deserve boundaries in order to stay safe, comfortable and secure. But when it’s someone you care about, it can be much more difficult to know how to go about it.

In this article, I’m going to share with you the principles and strategies you can use to go about setting boundaries in a way that works best for you – and one that is healthy and respectful of both parties. Let’s get started!

Acknowledge Your Feelings

So, you’ve been hurt by someone you love and want to take control of your life. You’re ready to set boundaries that will protect you and help you focus on your own joy, needs, and wants.

geek girl looking in a mirror

You’re not alone in this; almost everyone has experienced hurt caused by a loved one at some point. The key to setting boundaries is taking a moment to acknowledge all the feelings that come with it – the hurt, anger, sadness, frustration and so on. You need to give yourself permission to feel whatever is appropriate in this situation, because these feelings are real and valid.

Naming these feelings as you experience them can be freeing, so try writing down or talking about what you feel out loud – it can be with yourself or with someone else if there is someone safe for you to talk about it with. When we process our emotions in this way, we take away their power over us because they are no longer unacknowledged or internalized: they exist and can then be released instead of creating anxiety inside us.

And remember: naming our feelings out loud isn’t just empowering – it allows room for healing too! So today is all about acknowledging that feeling, showing the world (or just yourself) that your pain matters, and learning how those feelings can inform setting healthy boundaries for tomorrow and into the future. Let’s get started!

Understand the Impact of Boundaries

I’m so excited to be talking about boundaries today! This important topic can be intimidating, since it often involves setting limits with someone we love and/or somebody who has hurt us in the past. So, let’s take this step by step, and make sure to be patient with ourselves as we move through this journey together.

First things first – understanding the impact of boundaries. Boundaries are essential for a healthy relationship, because setting them creates emotional safety for both parties involved. They also act as a way for each person to recognize their own value and respect the other’s autonomy. Boundaries are not about controlling or manipulating the other person; they’re about controlling your own space and maintaining healthy communication between both of you. For instance, if you express that you’d like your partner to treat you kindly out loud, they will understand what is expected of them moving forward. And if they come up short in that regard, it may inspire them (hopefully!) to meet the new expectations set forth by yourself.

Identifying Your Boundaries

Identifying your boundaries is one of the most important things you can do when it comes to setting boundaries with someone you love who has hurt you. Boundaries help us determine how we want to be treated and respected, and how we want to be interacted with. Setting boundaries is about taking control of our relationships and our lives and making sure that we respect ourselves and our needs.

It can be difficult to set boundaries, so let’s dive in and explore how to do it:

Reflect on Your Needs

It’s important to reflect on what you need and want before you start setting boundaries with someone who has hurt you. What do you want to protect within yourself? Connecting with your feelings and needs is the first step in setting boundaries.

Think about what emotions, coping strategies, physical comfort, etc. will make a difference for you and helps you feel more secure. Make a list of these elements and prioritize them in terms of what’s most important to least important to you. This reflective process can help guide your conversation as you start setting boundaries with the person who has hurt you.

Once your list is complete, it’s time to think about how can best be respected by the person who has hurt you. Think about which boundaries will best protect or respect those influences or objects that are holding a particular importance for your well-being. With this in mind, take some time alone to prepare for the discussion ahead and focus on how the conversation might unfold. Here are some key questions that might help:

  • What thoughts tend to arise when this person harms me?
  • If I could be more protective of myself, what would that look like?
  • How could I speak clearly while still having compassion?
  • What expectations do I have if I were communicating my feelings effectively?

Analyze Your Relationship

Before you start setting boundaries with someone you love who hurt you, it’s important to take a step back and analyze your relationship. An honest evaluation of the situation can help you better understand why they hurt you, their dynamic in the relationship, and what changes need to be made so that they don’t continue to do so.

Ask yourself:

  • How long have I been feeling this way?
  • How did they make me feel?
  • What were the circumstances of the hurtful behavior?
  • Was it an isolated incident or something that happened more than once?
  • Am I more likely to feel hurt by them for certain things or in certain situations?
  • What does this person mean to me, and do I want them to stay a part of my life?

By analyzing your relationship from a distance, looking at the facts on paper, can help you think rationally about what changes may need to occur without getting caught up in the heat of emotion. When we are in emotional states, we rarely make our best decisions, so by taking a step back and really evaluating, we may make wiser choices when it comes time set boundaries.

Identify Your Boundaries

Setting boundaries with someone you love who has hurt you (whether intentionally or unintentionally) can feel like a daunting task. Maybe this person has said something hurtful or even violated your trust in some way – however, it is important to recognize that in order to have a healthy relationship, boundaries must be set.

Boundaries are an essential form of self-care and should be tailored to your needs. When starting the process of identifying your boundaries, it is important to ask yourself these key questions:

  1. What do I need from this relationship?
  2. How do I want this person to show up for me?
  3. What’s acceptable behavior for me, and what’s not?

Take some time each day for self-reflection and writing down your thoughts as they come. This will help you define these boundaries more clearly and figure out how much of yourself you are willing to give away in a relationship before it becomes detrimental.

Additionally, think about the ways in which you express love and gratitude so that you have tangible examples that could assist when setting boundaries with the other person. It’s important to communicate realistically and assertively while still being respectful towards them – setting clear expectations is key! By approaching boundary setting through an honest lens, it may also encourage the other person to do the same.

Communicating Your Boundaries

Setting boundaries can be one of the hardest things to do, especially when it comes to setting them with someone you love. It can be uncomfortable, it can make you feel vulnerable, or it may even bring up a lot of emotions. But it’s incredibly important to be able to do this, because it’s the only way to have your needs met, and to ensure that someone you care about treats you the way you need to be treated.

In this article, I’ll talk about how to take control of your relationships by setting boundaries:

Choose Your Words Carefully

When communicating your boundaries to someone you love who hurt you, it is essential to choose your words carefully. You want to make sure you are using language that conveys your message clearly and calmly. Although it may be tempting to lash out in an angry outburst, this might only create more tension and hurt feelings in the long run.

Instead, focus on making yourself heard in a respectful and nonjudgmental way. You want this interaction to turn out as positive as possible for both parties involved, so be aware of how your tone can further damage the relationship or build it up.

It may also be helpful for you to practice what you will say before having the actual conversation with someone who has hurt you. Writing down some key points can help ensure that nothing crucial gets left out of the discussion; however, try not to memorize a script, or the person may feel like they are being lectured instead of conversing with you.

Be patient with yourself during this process; communication is an art and it will take time (and practice!) before feeling comfortable and confident enough to effectively express what it is that you need from them. Above all else, remember your worth, trust yourself and know that setting boundaries is an essential ingredient for forming healthy relationships built on mutual respect!

Use “I” Statements

When you are communicating your boundaries, use “I” statements. This will ensure that you stay focused on yourself and what is important to you. Instead of saying, “You make me so mad when you do that!” try saying, “I feel angry when I hear this from you.” This can help the other person better understand how their behavior affects your emotions.

It is also important that you remain calm and composed when setting boundaries, so it can be helpful to keep in mind why these boundaries are important to you in the first place. Words like “No”, “Stop” or phrases such as “Not okay with me” can be extremely valuable tools for communicating your boundaries in a clear and direct manner.

Saying something like, “I need time and space to think about this before I respond,” can be a great way to set healthy emotional boundaries if the conversation turns uncomfortable or difficult for either person involved. Additionally, having conversations face-to-face (when possible) is an ideal way of expressing your needs while still being respectful of everyone’s personal space and autonomy.

Finally, it’s essential to remember that it is up to the other person whether they respect and uphold these boundaries—and ultimately up to us whether we stick with them if they do not reciprocate our requests for respect. By using “I” statements throughout communication around boundary-setting, we put the power of choice back into our hands—where it belongs!

Express Your Expectations

If someone you love has hurt you, it’s important to set boundaries so that it doesn’t happen again. Establishing boundaries is comfortable and empowering, and it helps create a safe environment where you can be yourself without fear. It also allows your needs and desires to be heard, respected, and met. Here are six steps to help you determine your boundaries and effectively communicate them to someone who has hurt you.

  1. Take time to get clear on what you need
    Take a pause and get in touch with your inner voice. Pay attention to what makes sense for your mental health at the current moment—this includes physical well-being, emotions, safety needs, expectations for specific behavior from the other person, how often and/or when communication should occur—and take note of these things. Your current needs may stay the same or evolve as time passes.
  2. Speak up assertively
    Be honest about expectations or feelings regarding a situation with the other person directly – don’t wait or hope they will just magically figure out what works best for you. Learn how to communicate assertively so that your voice is heard in a respectful way that allows space for healthy dialogue between both parties (e.g., own your thoughts/feelings versus making accusations). This helps the other person understand what works best for you instead of making assumptions about certain behaviors or consequences that could result from ignoring boundaries.

Setting and Maintaining Your Boundaries

Setting and maintaining boundaries with someone you love who has hurt you is a journey of growth and self-discovery. Every step of the way can feel overwhelming and lead you to doubt yourself, especially if you’re not sure what boundaries are, why they’re important, and how to implement them into your life. It may seem like a daunting task, but I’m here to tell you that it is entirely possible to set and maintain boundaries with someone who has hurt you.

Below are some tips to help you set and maintain boundaries with someone who has hurt you:

  • Understand the importance of boundaries. It’s important to understand why boundaries are important and why it’s important to set and maintain them.
  • Be clear and direct. Make sure to be clear and direct when communicating your boundaries to the other person.
  • Be consistent. Consistency is key when it comes to setting and maintaining boundaries. Make sure to stick to your boundaries and be consistent in enforcing them.
  • Be mindful of your emotions. It’s important to be mindful of your emotions and how they can affect your ability to set and maintain boundaries.
  • Be patient. Setting and maintaining boundaries is a process and it can take time. Be patient and don’t give up.

Be Consistent

It can be difficult to stay consistent when it comes to setting boundaries with someone you love who has hurt you. But if you’re serious about taking control of your situation, it’s important that you do. Consistency is key to making sure your boundaries are respected and honored.

Start by becoming aware of your triggers and the situations that cause them. This will help you determine which boundaries need to be established and what parameters need to be maintained in order for those boundaries to remain intact. Once these are established, make sure that you stand firmly behind them every single time they are tested or threatened.

It’s also important to remember that a boundary doesn’t have to remain absolute forever; over time, with consistent effort and respect from the other person, it can change or become more relaxed, as needed or desired by both parties. However, in order for such changes to occur without causing harm, each boundary must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and any modifications should not be made until all involved parties have come to an agreement about what is acceptable behavior and/or consequences for breaking that agreed upon boundary.

Finally, learn how to use compassionate but firm language when communicating your expectations so that the other person knows exactly where they stand with regard to this particular topic or issue. If done correctly, this will help ensure a healthier relationship in which both parties can engage respectfully with one another while also protecting their own emotional well-being at the same time.

Don’t Make Excuses for Bad Behavior

When someone you love hurts you, it can be hard for many of us to want to confront them by setting a boundary. We want to make excuses for their behavior; our mind quickly jumps to find details that will justify why they hurt us or are behaving badly. Maybe they were having a bad day or had a lot on their plate, or maybe something else bad happened which caused them to lash out – suddenly we’re defending why it was okay for them to treat us so poorly.

But here’s the hard truth – no matter what the excuse is, it doesn’t make the hurtful experience any less traumatic for you. It doesn’t change what happened; and if we keep pretending it’s okay, then they won’t have an incentive to change their behavior next time around. You need to recognize the hurtful moment and not make excuses for why they did it in order to make sure they understand that this type of behavior isn’t acceptable between you two (or in general).

It’s okay if you slip up sometimes – like I said earlier, I’m certainly guilty of this myself – but what’s important is that you try your best not yield into those feelings of wanting to find justification for the wrong parts of the relationship. After all, setting boundaries is about asking each other for respect and understanding – even if there was an excuse at play, our actions still had consequences which should be taken seriously by both sides.

Don’t Make Empty Threats

If you’ve been hurt by someone you love, it can feel like a betrayal and leave you feeling overwhelmed with emotions. It may be tempting to lash out in frustration, but the best way to protect yourself is by setting boundaries. That said, it’s important to understand the difference between making empty threats and establishing firm limits.

When setting boundaries with someone who has hurt you, try avoiding ultimatums or promises that you’re unable to guarantee such as “if you do that again, I will never talk to you again”. Instead of being rigid about your threatened actions, focus on your values and then express those in clear terms, such as:

  • I value trust and respect in our relationship. When I feel like either of those is missing from this relationship, it makes me feel uncomfortable – please respect my feelings.”

In this way, whatever consequence happens next results from their actions rather than yours. A conversation that draws attention to another person’s disregard for your feelings can have the desired effect without leaving room for any doubts or second-guessing of your commitment to these boundaries.


man standing under a tree

Setting boundaries and taking back control can be a truly empowering experience. Learning how to recognize and establish healthy boundaries is an essential piece of self-care and can help put an end to a toxic cycle of being taken advantage of.

Taking control of our relationships and setting boundaries can help us to live authentically and feel a greater sense of joy and fulfillment.

Reflect on Your Progress

As you can see, there is a lot involved in setting boundaries with someone you love who hurt you. It takes courage, communication and often time for the healing process to begin.

Now that you have read this guide, take some time to reflect on your progress so far. Consider which steps and processes discussed in this guide have been most helpful for you and your unique situation. Think about the moments when you felt supported or heard during the boundary-setting process. Spend some time practicing self-care – it’s important to celebrate the difference between how it was before and where it stands now!

Your interactions will evolve as both of you grow and learn how to navigate this new dynamic. You may stumble along the way, but know that it’s OK – it’s all part of the journey! Celebrate every small win and see where that leads: Who knows, maybe someday soon your relationship will be healed beyond anything either of you expected!

Celebrate Your Successes

After all of your hard work, it’s time to celebrate! Taking control of how you respond when someone you love has hurt you can be an empowering experience. Making the decision to set boundaries and learning a few techniques has given you the opportunity to protect your emotional safety and take steps towards healing.

Take a few moments today to recognize how far you have come and reward yourself! Even if something doesn’t go exactly as planned, know that it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve some recognition for the progress you have made. Celebrating your successes allows us all to take a break from our everyday lives, reflect on the progress we have made, and recharge our batteries so we can continue working towards our goals.

So get out there, treat yourself, and celebrate!



Mental Health

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I'm Crystal. I'm married to Dale, and mother to Johnny.Some might say that my life is perfect because I get to do all the cliché wife things like cooking, cleaning, and decorating - but there's more! I also have many hobbies including needlework (crochet), sewing, and reading. My son's education is important, so we homeschool him together.

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