• Joy Slaughter

13.3 Setting Boundaries

“I can’t keep doing this. I can’t just work with you. I can’t see you in passing when we clock in, and I certainly can’t keep working 24 with you.” He brushed a stray hair out of her face. “Megan, I love you. I’m not aiming for second place. If we can’t be together, then I need to cut ties and move on. You’ve resigned from Retton County, and they said I could go full time. I can work there and not see you.”


And with that line, we finally see someone with some healthy boundaries!


“I can’t keep doing this.”

Nathan recognizes red flags with himself–things that make him uncomfortable.

To set boundaries, we don’t need to hyper fixate on the behavior of others and how they violate rules or norms. Instead, we can look within to our own levels of comfort. If we are uncomfortable, then oftentimes a boundary has been crossed.


“If we can’t be together, then I need to cut ties and move on.”

Nathan is ready to make a change to support himself.


Boundaries are set for our OWN behavior—Nathan demands nothing of her. Though they may be in reaction to someone else (such as Megan’s wishy washy nature), boundaries are set by our own decisions and actions. It’s not “I have a boundary so YOU can’t [insert violating action],” rather, it’s “I have a boundary. If you [insert action], then I will respond by [insert self-supporting action].”


His words are an ultimatum of sorts. Either she goes with him or with Todd, but he is not waiting around anymore. As he answers the radio for the next call and walks away, we symbolically see that he means what he just said–he is leaving. He has grown through this experience into a stronger way of being that supports himself.


Setting boundaries is an important part of self-care, one that Megan has yet to learn. Self-care is not only bubble baths, chocolate, and escaping with a good book–it’s a radical undertaking to create a life that you escape from by choice and not from necessity.