This basically sums up to me not fully agreeing that this post should be closed: How to tell partner we need boundaries?

I think we are all pretty much in agreement that this isn't healthy behavior being exhibited by OP's girlfriend. However, the OP is looking for a way to bring this up with her before considering a breakup. I don't understand how it's our place to make personal decisions to not offer the OP any advice on how to speak to his girlfriend by closing the question - especially when the OP seems annoyed/bothered more than emotionally distressed or otherwise compromised by her behavior.

Could someone clarify with cited notation of where this is policy, if there's something I'm missing? Is it (has it ever been) our place to close questions seeking interpersonal solutions just because we deem that the OP could benefit more from a different type of solution?

  • 1
    Definitely complicated. Something else that you might find if you compare this with this OP's previous 2 questions on IPS is how this OP seems to have asked 3 questions with very different backstories and circumstances, I wonder whether these events occured at different stages of their life @Jess K? Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 21:19
  • @EnglishStudent Huh, that's interesting. Not really a good way to tell though, unfortunately. Makes me wonder if maybe these interesting background events in their life could explain why they aren't more burdened by the concerning behavior of their partner listed in their question (most people would be more than just annoyed, and many of us were very concerned... enough to even close the question), but we aren't psychologists and that's out of scope for us to think about anyway so I won't indulge further, I suppose!
    – Jess K.
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 21:24
  • Note 2: I am not referring to this Q in particular but there were a series of meta posts around September whose consensus was that if a core character in a question needs professional help rather than an IPS solution then it is a reason to close the question, though "requires professional help" was never formally adopted as a custom close reason, so the Q would be closed using one of the available close reasons. Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 21:27
  • Please see interpersonal.meta.stackexchange.com/search?q=Professional Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 21:28
  • @EnglishStudent Thanks for the link, I'm going to peruse those. I guess my biggest concern with this one in particular is that OP doesn't seem mentally distressed by his girlfriend other than just annoyed... so wanting to talk to her doesn't seem like something he really needs professional help doing. Professional help seems like a consequence of OP continuing his relationship with someone who acts like that but isn't something that seems like a current reasonable solution.
    – Jess K.
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 21:31
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    I am not making an assessment for/against the possibility that "not OP but partner needs professional help more urgently than an IPS solution" - but that factor might've influenced the decision of members who voted to close, judging by answers here and certain comments. If so, the method to assess, based on those meta posts about 'professional help' is (a) if professional help for a core character is the definitive solution and if there is really no IPS solution to offer, vote to close. (b) If there is an IPS solution then write it as an answer and ask OP to seek expert help. Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 21:40
  • @EnglishStudent So could a valid answer not be "It might be better to have a talk with her about seeking help for her behavior, here's how you could try that..."?
    – Jess K.
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 21:43
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    It could be. That is really what the community should decide in the form of reopen voting, and you have raised enough attention for that through this meta question, which I therefore appreciate @Jess K. Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 21:45
  • I was not involved in the closing, so I don't know why it was closed. I did vote against reopening it. There is a phrase in the question which alerts me to the strong possibility that this question should not be kept on this site. "I have a history of mental illness and suicide attempts" With that admitted history, I do not think it is responsible to become involved from a distance in providing any input, guidance, or suggestions other than "Seek professional help." Lacking a custom close reason to that effect, closing as too broad is a good second best choice.
    – User 27
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 2:52
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    @WitanapDanu That statement was only made to iterate potential reasons for a friend/SO to be intrusive or worried, not that OP is that way currently. If someone posted a question that said "I have a history of suicide attempts. How can I tell my coworker to stop asking me about my past?" should that also be an issue?
    – Jess K.
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 3:20
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    Not if the situation with the coworker is seemingly near-normal, at least. The scenario presented by the OP is not anywhere near normal. Context given should be considered, and the context of the question is serious enough to warrant a hand-off position in this environment.
    – User 27
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 3:24
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – John Mod
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 23:07

2 Answers 2


As I said in a comment I think the question is too broad, and could benefit from a reduction in scope.

You've listed a large number of different problems with your relationship far beyond the scope of the question "How do I establish boundaries with my partner?" There is no simple answer how to resolve all of them. If you were more specific about how to establish a particular boundary I think this question could remain open, but as is it is very broad.

It's also a bit disingenuous to be talking to about boundaries when all the problems listed indicate that there are larger systemic problems that won't be fixed by establishing clear boundaries.

Without the baggage of a large number of complex relationship problems a question asking "How do I establish boundaries with my partner?" is something that should exist on this site. I just don't think this question is it.

  • You're describing reducing the backstory 'noise' though, not the question itself - which is what "too broad" has usually meant. The actual question is one that we've seen plenty of times in different forms. My point is that if we copied and pasted his question statement onto another relationship post, it'd be open. That doesn't seem like something that should be closed as 'too broad' at all.
    – Jess K.
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 20:28
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    The entire text of the post is the question, and should be considered in it's entirety. When talking about questions it's often useful to reduce it down to a single sentence summary. If you've seen this actual question before then it should be closed as a duplicate.
    – sphennings
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 20:33

I also voted as too broad and for similar reasons as to what sphennings detailed. It was too broad and there was too much aberrant behavior outlined.

Also, it was not the OP with the interpersonal problem. At best this was a matter for a psychologist, at worst, one for law enforcement, in any event, it does not belong here.

  • I acknowledged the "too broad" on his answer, but I would like to talk about your second paragraph. That's your personal opinion. The OP wants to talk to their girlfriend about the issue. Why don't they have the right to do that? Why should any higher power even be involved if the OP hasn't tried anything else and desires to do so?
    – Jess K.
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 20:30
  • @JessK. They have the right to post anything they like, and I have the right to vote to close, and I exercised that right.
    – user4548
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 20:39
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    If by "I have the right" you mean "the button is displayed for me" then yes. Otherwise, voting to close is a moderation privilege to enforce community rules and guidelines, not a personal privilege to do whatever you think is best without considering the guidelines of the community.
    – Jess K.
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 20:54
  • @JessK. too broad. Don't like it, vote to reopen.
    – user4548
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 20:55
  • @RichardU any chance of saving it with an edit? What would you remove/add?
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 20:57
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    @Tinkeringbell I don't think it is, given that he's pointed out some behaviors that indicate behavior that's more than just boundary issues. Take the bizarre behavior out of the mix, and it changes the intent of the question. Leave it in, and it's more of a legal issue or a psychological one. I suppose that if all the background info were removed and it just said that he needed to set boundaries, and what would be a good way to have that discussion, it could work, but having seen the original, I wouldn't want to give advice for fear of the outcome.
    – user4548
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 21:05

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