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Welcome to Boundaries Books. Take the boundaries quiz, get helpful advice, and buy the bestselling books that teach you when to say yes and how to say no.

BOUNDARIES Book Series

Boundaries Books

“As a licensed professional counselor, I encourage my clients to read Beyond Boundaries. Having read all the other Boundaries books, I still found light bulbs going off in my head when I began reading Beyond Boundaries. It is the sequel for those of us who have been injured in relationships and are fearful to put ourselves out there again. Dr. Townsend spells out in the most practical yet insightful manner how to go about forming new meaningful relationships with confidence.”
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Setting Boundaries When You Feel Helpless

Set-Boundaries-Helpless

Do you ever feel like you’re powerless to set boundaries in critical situations? What if someone else seems to hold all of the power in a relationship? Consider the biblical story of Daniel for answers: Daniel 1:1-20 – “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God…Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility—young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service. But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission... Continue Reading »

When Setting Boundaries Feels Scary

Setting-Boundaries-Scary

A woman came to see me (Dr. Cloud) once for help in her marriage. She described her husband as so “powerful” and “intimidating” she just could not find it in herself to talk to him about things bothering her. “Why don’t you just talk to him about these things?” I asked. “Oh, I just couldn’t do that,” she would reply. “He’s too strong. He’s so intimidating. I just don’t know what to do.” After seeing I wasn’t getting anywhere by suggesting she talk to her husband, I asked her if her husband would come in to see me. She said she would tell him I would like to talk to him. I had no idea what I was in for. On the day of her next appointment, I went into the waiting room to find the woman sitting there with a small, frail-looking man. He stood and said, in one of the least intimidating, squirrelly little voices I had ever heard, “Hi, Dr. Cloud. It is so nice to meet you!” I remember describing him later as “mousy.” He came across as just a whisper of a person. I could see immediately that his wife and I had some work to... Continue Reading »

Three’s a Crowd in Marriage

Boundaries in Marriage

Marriage is an exclusive club meant to be a two-person arrangement, leaving out all other parties. This is why wedding vows often include the phrase, “forsaking all others.” Boundaries in marriage are meant to create a safe place for one’s soul; third parties can become disruptive to this safety. The problem is that love between spouses can often get segmented into other places. This problem, called “triangulation,” is one of the great enemies of good marriages. Triangulation occurs when one spouse brings in a third party for an unhealthy reason. A “triangle” is created when, for example, a wife (Person A) goes to a friend (Person C) for something that she should go to her husband (Person B) for. Or in a family setting, a sibling (Person A) calls you (Person C) to talk about “Mom’s problem,” without first talking to Mom (Person B).  Here are some examples of triangulation that occur in marriage: • A wife talks to her best friend about her unhappiness with her husband, but doesn’t let him know her feelings. • A husband confides to his secretary that his wife doesn’t understand him. • One spouse makes their child a confidant, becoming closer to the child... Continue Reading »