Ask Wendy

My Boyfriend Doesn’t Honor My Boundaries

Friday, December 1, 2017
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boyfriend doesn't honor boundaries
Hey Wendy,

I’m very confused about a situation. My boyfriend likes to touch my private areas when we’re not sexually intimate. When I ask him to stop he responds with either “shh” or “I’m not touching your private areas,” even though clearly, he is.

When I attempt to force his hand away, he will grab harder and sometimes tries to pull the area. When I told him that it’s an infringement of my privacy, if we are hugging at the time he will push my face away and respond “hugging you is also an infringement of my privacy.”

I’m lost and I really don’t know what to do.

Amanda – Reno, Nevada

Hey Amanda,

Um…

Just because our commander in chief grabs women by the pussy doesn’t make it okay. Your boyfriend’s behavior is not okay. In fact, it’s straight-up harassment.

We could be talking about any part of your body here, even your elbow. If you don’t like to be touched when it’s not lovemaking time, that’s your choice. Your body, your choice.

If you have already set limits with him and you’ve expressed what’s acceptable and what’s not, and he’s still overriding your boundaries, then that is not okay.

If you want to stay with this man, then my advice to you is to use this as a growth moment for both of you. Say to him, “I’ve been putting up with something I will no longer tolerate. You grab me in my private parts (be clear by showing him where) and then you either bizarrely deny it or you shush me. If you want to see me again, then this behavior stops now. If you ever grab me in these areas when we are not (be specific about when and where it’s okay, i.e. in bed, when we’ve already mutually decided to be intimate, etc.), then not only will I make a scene of the situation, but this relationship will be o-v-e-r.”

If he does it the next week (which, let’s be real here, it sounds like he probably will), break the fuck up with him that instant. Say, “Hey, remember how I told you not to do that? Well, you did it. We’re done here.” The end.

Now, let’s talk about you, girlie. I would like you to raise your market value, and how you do that is you make sure your next boyfriend is someone good enough to be with a woman you love. Would you be okay if your best friend or your daughter or your mother were dating the type of guy in the story you just told? The hugging/moving your face part was painful to hear, honestly. And yanking on your box is just plain rude. This man clearly lacks emotional maturity, and can’t actually be counted on to be in a loving, giving relationship where he communicates clearly, directly, and kindly. The actions you describe tell me he doesn’t respect women very much. When vetting your next boyfriend, instead of thinking along the lines of, “I’m crazy attracted to this guy,” ask yourself, “Is this guy good enough for a woman I love?” instead.

Treat yourself like you’re a woman you love.

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