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Boundaries in Marriage Paperback – August 12, 2002
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Establishing and understanding boundaries are crucial to the success of a marriage, according to authors Cloud and Townsend, who cowrote the award-winning and biblically-based book Boundaries. For example, boundaries help us understand where one person ends and the other begins, the authors claim: "Once we know the boundaries, we know who should be owning the problem we are wrestling with," they write. "This issue of ownership is vital to any relationship, especially marriage." But more significantly, couples need to claim and take responsibility for the "treasures that lie within their individual borders," such as: "feelings, attitudes, behaviors, choices, limits, desires, thoughts, values, talents, and love." Based on the book that elevated them to national prominence, Cloud and Townsend caution readers not to use this self-help manifesto as a means to change one's spouse. Rather, this is a book about taking responsibility for oneself in all aspects of life, but especially within the boundaries of marital commitment. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Two lives becoming one: Thats the marriage ideal. But maybe youve discovered that its easier said than done. How do you solve problems? How do you establish healthy communication? How do you work out conflict and deal with the struggle of differing needs? In the process of knitting two souls together, its easy to tear the fabric.
Thats why boundariesthe ways we define and maintain our sense of individuality, freedom, and personal integrityare so important. And its why the principles described in Boundaries in Marriage are essential if you want your marriage to flourish.
Counselors and best-selling authors Henry Cloud and John Townsend, authors of the Gold Medallion Award-winning book, Boundaries, show how you and your mate can experience marriage at its best. Youll learn how to deal with serious violations and betrayals and develop a haven of mutual love, care, appreciation, and growth. Boundaries in Marriage will show you: ? Why boundaries and the Ten Laws of Boundaries are vital for a thriving, productive marriage ? How values form the structure and architecture of marriage ? How to protect a marriage from intruders, whether parents, other people, affairs, or personal idols ? Why each partner needs to establish personal boundaries, and how to go about it ? How to work with a spouse who understands and values boundariesand how to work with one who doesnt
Whether you are just starting out as a couple, have been married for years, or are seriously contemplating marriage, Boundaries in Marriage will show you how to establish your own boundaries and respect those of your partner. Drawing on principles from the Bible, it can help you safeguard against relational fractures and mend existing cracks. It may even save your marriage. And it can help make even the best marriage better -- Publisher --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
I won't get too specific, but to give you an idea of how irrational he gets when angry, he has threatened to leave our 3 year-old son at home while we go out because he didn't finish his dinner (don't worry, I was sane enough not to allow that!). He makes up the strangest punishments for our kids that just sound vengeful to me, childish, even, like something you would do to your kid-brother when you're 10, not something you would dish out to your child as their father. He yells at me when the house isn't perfectly clean, so I clean till it's shining, and he still yells! It makes no difference. He just overreacts when he's stressed out, regardless of how perfect I am or how hard I try to please him.
My husband is also very tender and sensitive to others' feelings. He has so many good qualities, I have never felt like I could give up on him in good conscience. Especially knowing that his problems were mostly learned from a difficult childhood and watching his father react to his trials incorrectly. We have young children, and I have a strong desire to be a good mother, so I'm always reading parenting books. I found myself wanting to parent my husband because of his immaturity! It works pretty good, actually, until you come to the really tough things that require more than just "positive reinforcement" when he's "behaving". Like what did I do when he finally threatened to physically hurt me (I knew that day would come eventually, and it did after 7 years of marriage)? I walked away, calmly. When he was calmed down (a few days later), I sat him down and rubbed his feet so I could look into his eyes. I told him that his anger didn't make him happy. That I couldn't be intimate with him, physically or emotionally, when he was angry and mean. I told him I loved him and was concerned about how much he was hurting himself by acting this way. After I made sure he felt loved and that I was on his side, I gently told him the "but": "...but I can't allow myself or the kids to be hurt by it anymore. I don't HAVE to stand there listening to you while you yell and scream at me. The kids don't have to either, and I won't make them or allow them to be subjected to it. I don't think you will stop yourself or leave when you're that angry because you do get irrational, so we will leave when I think it's escalating too much. It's not fair that we should have to leave when it's you that is out of control, so I will do what I need to do to make myself and the kids comfortable until you've had time to cool off. If that means spending money on a movie or the zoo or dinner, etc. (he is very tight-fisted with money, but I did not say this to be vengeful!), we will do that."
I realized through reading this book that I was allowing him to be immature, and I was contributing to him not taking responsibility for his emotional outbursts! It is never the vistim's fault, don't get me wrong, but if I am enabling my spouse to strengthen a flaw, I want to know so I can fix whatever character flaw of mine that is contributing to it! And my flaw is my passivity. I always just wanted the yelling to be over, so I would be as gentle and soft as I could and give him whatever he wanted (like a 2 yr old) so he would stop his adult temper tantrums. Right before I read this book, I had started really caving to him. After EVERY fight, I was the one who initiated the problem-solving (even though he was the initiator when we first got married!). Each time I sat him down to talk about the problem, he would only talk about what I did wrong. Eventually I got tired of trying to get him top see my way, so I just said sorry for every little thing I could think of, not matter how miniscule, just to have peace in our home again! I hated doing it, and I knew it was wrong for me to give in when I knew I was in the right, but I didn't know how to place consequences on him for his immaturity, and didn't know if it was Christian for me to do it.
This book was the answer!!! It helped me to have the guts to place my boundaries. No one should be treated the way I was, or the way my kids were. I have the power to stand up for myself and my standards, even if it means against my dear husband.
You may think that my husband has bucked against this "new me", but he hasn't. Of course, at first it was a shock to him and I decided I needed to go slow and not stand up for myself too strongly to begin, but as time has gone on, he is realizing that there will be consequences for him mistreating us. My husband respects me more now than ever. I see where my passivity and shyness has made me shrug some of my own responsibilities that make things more stressful for him, too. For example, I put off important phone calls (dentist, bills, etc.) because I am shy on the phone and haven't learned to assert myself. It will be a long road for me to change that about myself, but I see now that it is necessary. My husband has respected me more as I change because I too am becoming more responsible and not impinging on someone else's boundaries.
I'm just SO grateful for this book. It could have gotten so much worse. If my husband had started abusing us physically, I would have HAD to leave with the kids to keep us all safe, and that is such a heavy, sorrowful step for anyone to have to take when there really is love in a marriage. We have worked hard in our marriage and created a bond that was compromised with every tantrum. Now that he knows there are consequences, he tries harder! No amount of nagging, begging, pleading, criticizing would change him, but consequences are.
A word about consequences for this type of situation: I try to make them as natural as possible, just as you should with children. I can't force my husband to go into time-out or give him extra chores each time he screams at us, and it wouldn't make sense anyway. If a stranger on the street started yelling at you, you wuoldn't just stand there and listen, right? There is no law that keeps you rooted to your spot so you have to listen to someone yelling, screaming, insulting you. So I don't either. And when he was angry with us before a family trip, I told him I would not go with him if he was angry and be subjected to his stressful grouchiness the whole time. When he didn't shape up, I called our friends that we were planning on visiting and told them I wouldn't be there with the kids and that I wasn't sure if hy husband would be, but he would contact them. I was still respectful to my husband's ego and just made an excuse that the kids were sick (one actually did have the beginnings of a cold). He soon apologized and was visibly disappointed in himself, not me. He knew the consequence I gave was right, so he took it more gracefully than he would have if it was arbitrary or vindictive or not done out of 100% love for him and the kids. I am one determined woman, and my marriage WILL NOT fail if I can help it! I am also determined to do it the Christlike way, the only way that will truly work. I truly believe marriage is a divine institution, and that the Lord will give us every aid we need to succeed in it if we are willing to work hard and place our trust and faith in Him.
These authors will never know the full impact of their work. I am a daily scripture reader, and I was still having a hard time gleaning what I needed to know, maybe because I was starting to get so stressed out with the situation that I couldn't think clearly to gain the needed revelation. I couldn't even get anything out of Boundaries because I was so distraught, so I had to go straight to Boundaries in Marriage. I finally prayed one more time for help. I have never felt so humble in my life. I told the Lord I had done everything I could and that I knew the only thing that could save me and our marriage was His grace. That's when this book found its way into my heart. Thank you SO much!
Be advised that you will want to purchase the participant's guide (not the normal study book) to go along with the DVD.
Most recent customer reviews
I think these books on boundaries should be taught in all schools.