Come With Us Podcast

Heather Claus' Lessons on Love: The Power of Personal Boundaries

October 25, 2023 Beth Liebling Episode 150
Come With Us Podcast
Heather Claus' Lessons on Love: The Power of Personal Boundaries
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever felt trapped in your relationships, yearning for change but unsure of how to achieve it? Meet Heather Claus, also known as Nookie, the author of 'Take No Shit,' who transformed her life by taking control and setting powerful boundaries. Heather's journey, from an abusive relationship to self-discovery and empowerment, hinges on her understanding of the undeniable power of personal boundaries. In this episode, she unravels her enlightening experiences, including her remarkable 127 first dates, and her quest to find the relationship she truly deserved.

We tackle the topic of setting boundaries in relationships with Heather, exploring her five-step guide to creating better boundaries. This enlightening exploration will help you understand how to prioritize yourself, maintain a healthy relationship, and manage your commitments. Heather's wisdom on creating firm yet compassionate boundaries, redirecting and reframing conversations, and managing consequences in relationships will serve as an invaluable resource. She even shares the transformation of her own relationship after implementing her boundaries, providing you with actionable insights to apply in your own life. Get ready for an empowering conversation about relationships, boundaries, and the journey of self-discovery.

Make sure to check out Heather's website http://my.curiouser.life/ AND get her new book "Take No Sh*t" here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CGSZ78NL

Support the show

WANT A GRADUATE DEGREE IN LOVE?

Are you looking for some guidance or direction on taking your relationship to the next level? From love, sex, intimacy, and self-love, Beth can help!

Be sure to go order your copy of Beth's new book "The 5 Kinds of Intimacy: How to Keep Your Love Alive"!

Love, Sex and Relationship Coaching: https://sexyedschool.com

L I N K S & S O C I A L M E D I A - Follow us on social media for updates, Come With Us podcast episodes, Sexy Ed School & more!!

Website: https://bethdarling.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/comewithuspodcast

Coaching: https://sexyedschool.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/comewithuspodcast

Contact Come With Us: comewithusconfessions@gmail.com

Speaker 1:

Are you saying you faked with me? Yeah, I just can't say oh, oh, oh. Oh, I'm not wrong Now you're single.

Speaker 3:

What do you know about sexual relations? Is it true that if you don't use it, you use it?

Speaker 2:

I'm a little worried about being a slut. You're listening to the Come With Us podcast, talking the good, the kinky and the ugly. Here are your hosts, beth and Erin.

Speaker 3:

Hello, hello, hello. Welcome to Come With Us podcast. You know the sexy stuff matters and we're here to help you get all of the love and pleasure you deserve. Today's guest is Heather Claus. I know like Mrs Claus, but her nickname is Nookie. She is a curious person. Her website is mycurioserlife. She's an entrepreneur, a former carny, a lover of life, an avid reader, a hiker, a cancer pre-viver, a traveler, a cook. She's got massive ADHD. She's been through everything and she is mostly, mostly. What we're going to talk about today is she's the author of a book called Take no Shit, and I don't know about you, but boundaries can be a little difficult for me. I hate saying no. I always feel like I have to give more than I get, and sometimes that leaves me with not much left for myself or the people that really matter or the things that matter to me. So today we're going to be talking and focusing about her book, take no Shit, and Erin. Erin says he doesn't take any shit from anybody, but I'm not quite sure.

Speaker 1:

It's not that I don't take shit. Let's see. Let's see there's two different ways of looking at that. You talk about, you know, doing for others always and stuff like that. Well, I do the same thing, but that was because I, you know, to look at a little bit more in my background. Part of my family came from Mobside of Chicago. Like, I had a great grandfather who worked for a bookie. I had a grandfather who when you went to a certain part of town, because of who he was, he never pumped his own gas, Like stuff like that. And so I was always and maybe from them, maybe from just outside influence. But I was always taught do favors for others, Ask for favors, because that's the mob way of doing it. You do favors for others because you don't ask for them unless it's a real, real big one.

Speaker 3:

Kind of thing. Yeah so, yeah, but yeah, so boundaries right again. We just all got to learn, so all right. So welcome, welcome, welcome, heather, we're so glad to have you here. Or Nuki, I hope it's okay. And so last last episode, if people didn't listen, then they should. You've had such an incredibly interesting life. How did you go through all of that carnival and blah, blah, blah to get to the point to write a book about boundaries? How did you get so good at boundaries?

Speaker 4:

I guess so I had this marriage that was abusive, and when I finally left, I spent about a year focusing in on me, sort of like reviewing my past relationship and trying to figure out you know where could I have made changes. So my life didn't turn out like that, not because I was taking the blame for what happened or anything like that, but because I didn't want to go through that again. And during that time I realized, oh you know, like the first time he took money out of my wallet without telling me I could have stopped things there, but by accepting it and allowing it, that made it more likely it was going to happen again a second time and again a third time, and so on and so forth. And I started I didn't have the word boundaries at the time, but I started to realize that I had far more power over what I allowed in my life than I had taken or used and that started me kind of thinking. So I created a list of you know, these are the things I want out of a relationship. And the next year I went on 127 first dates. Wow, I ended up chit chatting during a lot of those you know months with a gentleman online. We ended up creating a relationship together. We lived together for four and a half years. That didn't work out, but especially near the end of that four and a half years, I said you know what? I've got a lot of what I want here, but I've also got a lot of what I don't want. And there are things that are necessary to me beyond the basics, like beyond he treats me well and doesn't abuse me. There's also like the sense of adventure that we talked about in the last episode and you know that sort of thing, and I realized at that time again, I still didn't use the word boundaries, but I realized at that time that there was an important aspect of like. There's the no, I do not want that, or I want less of that in my life. And then there's the I want more of this and I want to protect these parts of my life. So then, when we split up, not long after that, I met the man who is my partner now and I was like okay, so I've essentially got about 20 years of relationships here and not a great track record. Right, like, the last one was good-ish and he was a wonderful man, but it wasn't enough for me. It wasn't what I wanted. Both of them had told me that I wanted too much. I was unreasonable. I was, you know, my head was in the clouds. No man could be that romantic and that giving and that amazing and still, like you know, do all like it's not possible. Yeah, and I met him and I'm like gosh, you know, I really like this guy. How am I not gonna fuck this up? Fuck this up? And so what I did is I took this step and I said to him like look, you know, we're both a little older. I met him two weeks before I turned 40, I said we're both a little older. We both been through it. I want it all like you and I are gonna work together to create all of it or we're not gonna work, or we're not gonna work, and that's fine too, but I'm not settling. And he was like I think this girl's a little crazy, but I dig her, so I'm in.

Speaker 3:

And so what you did was you. It was all boundaries.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, pretty much. I mean, there's also a lot of you know communication and we're both super adventurous and whatever. So it was like constantly checking in and saying what does our relationship require? What do we require as humans from our relationship? Do you agree to this? I agree to this. Do you agree to this? I agree to this. What do we? And then also noting what like. So I look at it as I have this thing called the sweet spot. So you have one circle it's like a Venn diagram. One circle, this is what I want. Right, got the other circle, this is what you want. And where we overlap, that's where we create our relationship and the sweet spot.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 4:

So the things that he wants, that I don't want, they're his and I still encourage him to have them Mountain biking, for example, IPAs right. Like things like this you know, those are not our relationship, but they are part of him and I accept him as an autonomous individual and he accepts me as an autonomous individual, and where that overlap is, that's where we create us.

Speaker 3:

Okay, so I like that. And one thing I saw, so I wrote a book, the Five Kines of Intimacy, because I think that people don't nobody's understood intimacy and that there are different kinds and until we understand them, it's very hard to keep track. What I liked in your book take no shit is that you define different kinds of boundaries. Yes, that, I think, is very, very helpful. Again, that lawyer part of my brain loves this. Okay, now we can see, we can look. So can you tell us what those kinds of boundaries are? Yeah, yeah absolutely so.

Speaker 4:

The six types of boundaries are emotional, intellectual, sexual, material, time and physical. So I give some examples of my books, like so you're, somebody says something that makes you uncomfortable and you laugh it off, only to later realize you wish you'd spoken up. That's an emotional boundary, gotcha. You share an idea with somebody for you know, like a new, only fans, or for like a new project at work, and a few days later somebody else is presenting that idea as their own and you realize that this person must have told them. So you kick yourself for not being clearer about your wishes or making a better record of your intellectual work. That's an intellectual boundary. Your date walks you to the door and you're happy to lean in for a kiss, but when they grope you maybe you freeze and just let it happen, and your date doesn't even notice and seems happy. When they finally say good night, they have just bumped up against a sexual boundary, okay. Um money money to a family member, right, and they ask you for another loan before paying the first one back. You give them the money because you feel bad, but you're upset with yourself about it. You know that's a material boundary, uh-huh. Um, you have an important project due for work on Friday, so on Tuesday you're miss your kids, like soccer game, right, and you regret not being there. That's a time boundary. And then, um, you might like absolutely adore this new circle of friends, but you know they hug and it makes you kind of like squirmy and panic every time they like go in to embrace you. That's a physical boundary, so, and each one of these has like little bits and bobs in there, and so we break them down in the book. Um, in that first section called set it setting the boundaries. So we break them down and we ask there's like probably a lot of probably over 150 questions in there designed to get you thinking about you know what is important to me? You know what, what do I focus on? And, honestly, you know, when it comes right down to it, our lives are a function of what we prioritize and what boundaries we set. And so when we do not prioritize, for example, like we were talking in our last conversation about um me putting into my calendar saying I love you to my partner and saying sweet things to him, and so on and so forth. If we do not prioritize things like connecting with our partner in ways that fill them up, then we're prioritizing other things and showing our partner, without saying it, that they are not as important as all of those other things in our life. Now we might think in our heads oh no, they are. They are, they are very, very important. But how are we actually living our lives? Because that's really what it comes down to. If they are a priority, we will do things like put notes in our calendars to remind ourselves, to tell them or to show them in whatever ways make sense to them, right? So yeah, because I think people get caught up.

Speaker 3:

People get caught up in that, Well, they are important to me, but this has to be done now and I have. There's all the time in the world to deal with that relationship, and what they don't realize is that when you do that every day, there's never time for that relationship.

Speaker 4:

So clear messages, right, like, and that's so my next book. I'm already working on the next one is actions speak louder than words, or do they? How we kill our relationships by talking too much. Oh yeah, the idea is that we focus on communication in our relationships as the words that happen when we have conflict, Right, and not all of the things we do every single day with and without words that communicate so much more.

Speaker 3:

Yes, yeah, I like that, I like that. Erin thoughts.

Speaker 1:

I mean, I'm taking things in, I'm learning, I uh, yeah, I, as far as prioritizing your partner and prioritizing your relationship. We We've talked about this a lot before of like new parents and couples that have kids and they start drifting apart and then you know well, why don't you know what, why don't we have sexual intimacy anymore? Well, because I don't have time and I'm tired, because we have, you know, soccer practice after school and then we have to get their homework done and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, fucking blah. Okay, cool, that is two adults making sure and not saying it's right or wrong that your kids are a bigger priority than your marriage. And again, they're your kids, it's your relationship. Do it how you want, but they've got to be closer to equal if you're gonna be, if you're gonna be successful, and you've got to be able to show your kids that, like, yes, you are the most important thing, my whole job, the, the number one thing when you have a kid is keeping them alive, raising them to be a good and productive human, and keeping them alive, but at the same time hey, by the way, the way you came out Was because of this other person that I decided to commit my entire life to. So you get to also at times, sit down and watch me prioritize them for short periods of time and whether it's, you know, weekly date night, whatever. But it also helps a child to see their parents prioritize the loving relationship between each other.

Speaker 4:

Right, because it helps a child to know that in a relationship of their own, they should also be prioritized above all the bullshit. Yep, right, like and that is. And I tell people, I'm like you are doing your kids a disservice If you are creating a Passionless marriage. Just raise them, because you are teaching them that that is what they can expect. Yep, and you want them to grow up and say, okay, well, I guess we're just not gonna be that happy, but Thames the brakes. Yep.

Speaker 1:

It's one thing to you know, I'm not like neither of us are saying you know, fuck it, leave the kids at home. It's like start Lashke kids again and you know what. You guys are out partying for you know three days and you guys just decide to go out of town on on vacation and fuck it. The kids will make you make do on their own. No, but the babysitters are there for a reason. Uh yeah, if you have more than one, the older one gets to an age where they can watch the younger ones for a reason. At that point in time, it's not a. You're making the choice not to Prioritize again the one person that you stood in front of. Probably sometimes some people don't, but you stood in front of your family and friends and and god, and said You're my one person I want to spend the rest of my life with. You're the one person I've chosen out of all the billions that I want to tie myself to. And if you get pushed over, over on the bridge, guess what? I'm going with you, because we're tied together like that's. That's what it is, and you right as a foundation, right?

Speaker 3:

This is a foundation for whatever your, your future life is. Yeah, so what do you? What do you think, heather, do you have some tips like for for our listeners, like, if they're struggling to create boundaries Maybe their partners makes it hard for them to create boundaries safely and stuff Do you have some some tips for people like how they might be able to start doing so? So there, are I?

Speaker 4:

I say that it's building better boundaries In three, sometimes five, simple steps. So the steps are set it, which is where we go through all the different boundary types, and we also talk about boundaries and ethics, and this is self work, right, like? These are the questions we ask ourselves. So we know where we're setting boundaries. The boundaries are, um, obviously no, I don't want that, I want less of that. But also, if you think of boundaries as Like your state lines or your country's borders, right, so this is. You know this is, come with us a stand. And you know, within, come with us a stand. You know we prioritize having frank conversations about sex and relationships and if that's not happening, we're not succeeding. Right, and we want less. You know judgment and upset and anger, and you know so. Right building those boundaries. Right, so that's set it. The second step, this is you know where you start engaging with others friends, family, partners, whatever is say it and I talk about in that section. I talk about how to say things without saying you have crossed a boundary, because that that feels very confrontational to people. It makes them feel bad, like they've done something wrong, and crossing a boundary is not necessarily wrong. It's here's how we don't do this right, like, right. And then Step three is review it. So, hopefully, you've able, you've been able to set a boundary. You've said hey, you know, I really don't like that nickname that you've come up with. I don't like sugar britches. My ex used to call me sugar britches and Every time you say it it reminds me of them. Right, and so the ideal solution is oh well, then I am not calling you sugar britches because we're not bringing him into our relationship. Right, like, that's. I don't want you to think of your ex when I'm around. I want you to think of me and be happy. Right, like, so that's simple. But you know that's not always how it happens, right, because some people are like but I like sugar britches, it's just like. It's so perfect for you and like you just need to get over it, right? So then you go into step four optional. Repeat it, right? You explain, you say this is why I don't like it. My ex called me sugar britches and he was also abusive and really a dick and he didn't care that I didn't like it either. So yeah, and then step five if they still don't Like, listen or pay attention to your boundaries is change. Change what you're willing to accept, change how you feel about it, change the relationship that you're in. So the idea is that we have control and power over what we allow and accept in our lives. It's not always fun. You know I mean who wants to give up a relationship for Bullshit but at the same time, if that bullshit is on a daily basis draining you Right, right, like the potential that we had is not good enough to live a life of like, constantly Trying to get the love and attention and validation and acceptance and belonging and respect and respect.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, this is really important to me and you're being like Great, you like that word, but there's a million other words you could like.

Speaker 4:

Yeah and yeah, if you're not willing to understand where your partner's coming from and the Significance, the importance something has to them sometimes you know, when we're in Relationships, when one partner says, hey, let's change this thing, the other partner is immediately like heels dug in. Change what? Yeah, we have to change something. I'm not sure I'm on board with this, right like this. So one of the things I mentioned in the change chapter is change yourself, change how you react to things, change how you talk, change you know, start stepping in a Specific direction and see if they will come with you because they they're into and invested in that partnership Right like that's. One of my favorite techniques is like, rather than saying you, you, you, you, you, I'll just say you know, well, what I'm doing is Is obviously not working. So maybe I change what I'm doing and see if that changes how they react to me. Mm-hmm right, and if they follow me down that path, then we don't even really necessarily have to have that conversation, because things are taking care of themselves.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, okay, it's kind of like a redirect, if you will, a very subtle yeah absolutely okay.

Speaker 1:

or like a coach who can't get the team to perform, can't figure out why, and then realizes oh, I'm too much of their buddy, I'm not enough of a disciplinarian. And well, guess what? Then you Institute, you start instituting a little bit more disciplined on your team and all of a sudden they start realizing oh shit, we actually have to pay attention, we actually have to do our best, because if not, consequences yeah yeah, I mean one of the things I would point out, and that is a perfect example and Like consequences are great in certain circumstances.

Speaker 4:

However, in Partnered relationships, the last thing, the last resort, in my opinion, is to Set boundaries with consequences, like speaking out if you do this, then this, that is a big mess, yeah. People will be like, well, I didn't do that. You'll be like, yeah, but you did all these other things. Or they'll look at that thing and they'll say you know what that's like a speeding ticket? I'll take that risk. Yeah whereas I feel like boundaries in a collaborative relationship, it are about something where I say, hey, this is important to me, and the other person says you know what it's important to you, it's important to me. Let's figure this out right. If you don't have that, if you constantly have to police and like if you like, text that woman again, I will XYZ. Well, now you're the one setting yourself up to. You have to check to see if they're texting them. You have to constantly be suspicious. You have to be ready to like, be their frickin jailer. And is that how you want to live the rest of your life? Fuck that right.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I think that's very true. So can you tell us like, can you give us like a success stories, one, or your clients, or you know something that you've really seen the change that can happen when people do start enforcing boundaries, because to many people enforcing boundaries sounds like okay, now this person's gonna be difficult, they're gonna be unpleasant, life isn't gonna be good. Oh sure, it really should be the opposite, right I?

Speaker 4:

mean honestly. So the original title of the book yeah, was boundaries are sexy as fuck. Oh, because I believe that people with the best, the healthiest boundaries are also the people who have conserved more of their personal power and energy to put towards what they really Want to give it to. If you're saying yes to everything, then you are saying no to having all of that energy for something that really matters. If you are saying yes to everything in life, then you are saying no to having what's left to have sex with your partner, to build intimacy with your partner. Right, because you're busy saying yes to staying late at work and saying yes to your friend who needs an ear for the 1800s time. Or you know, like, we've all been there. We know what this kind of burnout is like, because we keep giving and giving and giving and giving, and then there's nothing left for the people that really love their life, for the people that really matter and you're like but they'll still be there because they love me. Except We've all been on the other side of that as well and we're like. I'm not feeling very loved right now because everything else is being prioritized. Right so there's that, but let's, let's just take an example. Mm-hmm, um that whole sugar britches thing.

Speaker 3:

Okay.

Speaker 4:

So my ex would come up with these nicknames and sometimes they were funny and sometimes they were a little hurtful and if I complained then he would know to like kind of target and zero in it.

Speaker 3:

Right, like I say, that's emotional intimacy at its worst. Intimacy is not always a good thing, not always pleasant.

Speaker 4:

Whereas so this past year, when we were preparing for all these surgeries I was about to go through, we talked about that in the last episode, my partner and I were talking and I said, okay, so when this happens, yada, yada, yada and in my convalescence I'm thinking, did it, did it? And he's like I don't like that word. I'm like, wait, what, what word Convalescence? And he's like, yeah, you know, it sounds like old people's homes and dying. And I'm like, oh okay, what word do you prefer? Like recovery? He's like, yeah, I think recovery. Like okay, so I never used the word convalescence with him, ever again. Right Now I could have argued well, convalescence isn't about old people's homes and dying. That's ridiculous. Come on, don't be like it's my right to use that word. That word doesn't mean anything. But why would I even care? Like why would I put a word convalescence over the feeling my partner has of emotional safety with me? And also, why would I use that word when it makes him feel like I might not make it through, I might not recover, I might be a different, older, not as dynamic person on the other side of all of these very scary surgeries that I was going to be going through, like, why would I want to harm him every single time? I use that word just so that I could prove a point, right, you know that it's that kind of thing I mean even things like I used. We learn, we are socialized to believe that relationships are controlled or be controlled, right. So I'm sure every single one of us has been on one or the other or both sides of something like are you really going to wear that? Yeah, right, no. And so my ex partner that would. I felt like whatever he wore reflected on me and like I was really like into, like really, is that what you're going to do? Whereas now I'm just like you know, hey, sweetie, because I'm often pretty casual. I work from home, I can wear leggings. It's a wonderful thing. Right right, I was going to say I'm going to put on outdoor clothes now, but I tell my partner who is. He's the dandy now. You know, I used to teach fashion and sewing. You know fashion, design and sewing, but he is the dandy. So I tell him I'm like hey, you know what, If you ever feel like you'd like me to dress up a little bit more than I am, just let me know and I will happily do that for you because I love you, Right, yeah, and so we can have those conversations and sometimes it'll be like let's dress up tonight and I'll be like okay, I'm in, Right, Like I'm not taking it as like you never look good for me or like you never do this or whatever. I'm saying, let me know when you really care about this and let's do it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 3:

I think that's. I think it's really key because what I find I say, because of my ADHD and stuff, right, I'm like a puffy, I can just overwhelm people, I can ask questions, that I can be nosy or you know whatever, but if they will protect their boundaries, then I don't have to worry. I get to just be me instead of trying to read their mind, and so that's. I am amazed at how, what a difference it makes when people, when I can just trust people to take care of themselves and to speak up for what's important to them yeah, and it takes away a lot of that.

Speaker 4:

So I talk about setting good boundaries as the first step in a no regrets lifestyle. Yeah, because if you have good boundaries, you will never regret the choices you make.

Speaker 3:

Yes.

Speaker 4:

There you go. You might make a mistake, right, but you're not going to regret it because the mistake you made was in line with your ethics and your boundaries.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 4:

And you worked with the information you had. You don't you know? Like there's nothing to be like. Oh, you know, I gave them this and then they left me. If you have good boundaries, you're giving them this because of everything that has come before, not because you're covertly trying to get something else out of them.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I like it All right. Well, thank you, thank you. Thank you, heather class. Her book is take no shit, all about boundaries, and she does make it easy, easy to read, cute illustrations and very, very practical guidance and support for those of us who who haven't learned how to really take control and be responsible for our boundaries. So I think that that's a big one. So, heather, thank you so much for joining us today. Really, really appreciate it, and thank everybody, all of you out there listening. You can find Heather at her.

Speaker 4:

Let's see, tell them your website my that my my dot curious sir dot life. You can find links to the book to buy the book there. You can find links to my workshop. You can find links to my one on one coaching. You can find links to podcasts like this where I post them as they go live. You can find links to our social. You can contact me from there. Pretty much everything my dot curious sir dot life.

Speaker 3:

Perfect, I love, I love that. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and can't wait to see you again and talk more about some of the crazy stories and things that you've witnessed and learn more from you. Thank you so much for making time in your day for us. Thank you for having me. You're welcome, alright, folks. Well, on behalf of Aaron, and I thank you very much Again. I'm Beth Darling. You can go to my website BethDarlingcom If you haven't gotten my book, the Five Kinds of Intimacy how to Keep your Love Alive. And of course, I have my blow job Conalina's classes there. Oh, in the prostate pleasure class too. So go check it out and go follow Heather class at my curious, my dot, curious sir dot life also. Thank you, thank you, thank you, big hugs and love, and we'll see y'all next week.

Exploring Boundaries in Relationships
Creating Boundaries in Relationships
Setting Boundaries in Relationships