Establishing Boundaries During The Holidays | BTR.ORG

Establishing Boundaries During The Holidays

by | Boundaries

Establishing Boundaries During The Holidays

Betrayal Trauma Victims Suffer Deeply During the Holidays

Emotional abuse victims find that it is particularly difficult to endure the pain of trauma during the holidays. Memories associated with their abuser during the holidays can lead to painful physical and emotional reactions. Harmful interactions with their abuser can lead to severe trauma responses.

Emotional Abusers Use Weaponize Holidays

Abusive men, because of their narcissistic traits, tend to commit more abusive acts against their partners during the holidays, partially because they can’t handle it when their partners focus their attention on anything besides them (the abusive male). The holidays are a time when victims are focused on many other things that make them happy, and abusive men can’t handle that, so they tend to create more chaos.

Victims of Emotional Abuse Can Seek Safety Through Appropriate Boundaries

BTR believes in a woman’s right to her own emotional, physical, sexual, and financial safety. While we cannot control the actions of others, we can protect ourselves and our children from their abusive behaviors.

Many women find that as they set and maintain appropriate boundaries, they are able to protect themselves from abuse. This allows them to experience safety, which is the prerequisite to healing and peace.

Some helpful boundaries to victims of emotional abuse during the holiday season may be:

  • When my body goes into a trauma response, I will honor that feeling and call a trusted friend to share my feelings and experiences.
  • I deserve to be treated with respect at all times and seasons of the year: no matter what is happening or what day or night of the year, if someone is yelling at me, I will leave the room/house.
  • My children and I must live in a home free of pornography; because my partner is using pornography, I am asking him to move out.
  • I love myself. I surround myself by others who love me. If someone who is supposed to love me is abusing me, I choose to not associate with that person any longer.
  • (In the case of a divorced victim) Even though I may not have my children with me this holiday, I will honor myself and my motherhood by _____.

BTR.ORG Supports Victims of Emotional Abuse

Our BTR.ORG Group Sessions are available to you every day – please attend a session today for support. 


You May Also Like

Is Your Husband Grooming You?

Is Your Husband Grooming You?

He says he’s changed. He’s made serious promises. But how do you know it’s real? Is your husband grooming you? Find out here.

You Can’t Fix Your Abuser

You Can’t Fix Your Abuser

You can’t cause, control, or cure the abuser: you can’t fix your abuser. You can only set boundaries and seek safety for yourself. BTR can help.


  1. CR

    I love absolutely everything about this post! Coincidentally (or not) I’m facing a near identical situation in my own marriage. He is not presently living with me, due to serious lying and acting out over this past summer. I too spent Thanksgiving with him and his family, and parts of it were excruciating. The holidays are my absolute favorite time of year. And this month, I too have declined our tradition of choosing a live tree and decorating it together. It’s taking a lot for me to maintain that boundary, even as I resigned myself to purchasing an artificial tree this year, with the lights already attached, so I could physically accommodate the task of decorating the tree by myself. I know that I’m going to miss having him here to enjoy the process along with, especially as he sits lonely in his rented room across town. I’ve been dealing with relational trauma for 15 years, actively healing through my own recovery for 10. And to this very day, setting boundaries like this one have been the hardest—and, simultaneously the most healing—action I’ve ever taken on my own behalf. All of that to say… thank you for sharing your story so courageously, V. Know that I’m holding you and your son in my heart, in my prayers, and in my deepest admiration.

  2. C

    What an amazing share!

  3. Naomi

    I love the analogy I read a while ago about the Soda Vending Machine. If a person puts 25 cents for a long time in the same vending machine and the vending machine gave him a soda every time he will continue doing that. If suddenly one day the soda is not coming anymore. He might try to use a bill or another coin of 25 cents. If again the machine is not giving him a soda, he might start shaking the vending machine. If nothing happens he might even kick the vending machine.
    When we first start setting boundaries with an abusive person, there is a lot of pushing and resisting. I have experienced this. When I have held my boundaries, there was more pushing and kicking until it was understood that I would no longer enable the abuse.
    It is so important to understand what abuse is since I had no boundaries to begin with because I had no idea that I was being abused.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Here’s What To DoNEXT

Discovered porn or inappropriate texts on your husband’s phone? Are you baffled by illogical conversations with him? Get the steps we wish EVERY woman had!

Check your inbox for Your Next 3 Steps to emotional peace. Taking these steps can change your life! We'll be with you every step of the way.