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“As I read Boundaries, I kept fighting back the gnawing feeling that the whole trajectory of my life would have been different and better had I read this book twenty years ago.”
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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 »

How Conflict Creates Connections for Couples


When my wife, Barbi, and I (Dr. Townsend) were first married, we used to have conflicts about conflict. Looking back, it’s kind of funny as I later went on to write a Christian relationship book called Boundaries in Marriage. Imagine watching us have boundary conversations about how bad our marriage boundaries were. Barbi’s approach to conflict was to avoid it. My approach tended to be more blunt. We’d talk about a problem and it wouldn’t go well. One of us would misunderstand, we would pull away from each other, and the problem wouldn’t get solved. One day, I asked Barbi, “When we argue, I never stop loving you. Is there anything I can do to make this better for you?” She thought a minute and said, “Maybe if you let me know you love me before you confront me, that might help.” I thought that was a good idea, so I agreed. The next time I wanted to have a talk with her about a concern, I walked in the room and said something like, “Honey, I just want to let you know I really care about you and I hope you feel safe with me.” Then when I brought... Continue Reading »

Boundaries for Leaders: Reversing the Death Spiral of a Leader


Enjoy this insightful video presentation by Dr. Henry Cloud entitled, “Reversing the Death Spiral of a Leader.” Dr. Cloud explains how to take leadership principles from theory to reality and prevent leaders from minimizing the effects of burn-out, bad decisions, and negative relationships. Click here to watch the video Maximize your leadership potential by reading Boundaries for Leaders. Dr. Henry Cloud gives leaders the tools and techniques they need to achieve the performance they desire. Drawing on the latest findings from neuroscience, Dr. Cloud shows why it’s critical for leaders to set the conditions that make people’s brains perform at their highest levels. How do great leaders do this? One way is through the creation of “boundaries,” which are structures that determine what will exist and what will not. Discover seven leadership boundaries that set the tone and culture for a results-driven organization, including how to: Help people focus their attention on the things that matter most. Build the emotional climate that drives brain functioning. Facilitate connections that boost energy and momentum. Create organizational thought patterns that limit negativity and helplessness. Identify paths for people to take control of the activities that drive results. Create high-performance teams organized around the behaviors that... Continue Reading »