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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 Books

Boundaries in Dating explains why dating relationships go bad, how to identify the warning signs, and when to confront a dating partner. A super good book. If you want a healthy real dating relationship, this book is the one to get.”
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The Boundaries Secret to a Sizzling Relationship


Romance is great. Sexuality is great. Attraction is great. But here is the key: If all of those are not built upon lasting friendship and respect for the person’s character, something is wrong. A real and lasting relationship must be built upon friendship first. You are going to spend a lot of time with that person. As one friend of mine said about picking her mate: “He was someone I knew I could grow old with. I liked spending time with him. And he made me laugh.” She also shared deep spiritual values and other commonalties with him as well, as she would with any other friend. They have been married for nearly thirty years. The best boundary that you can have in your dating life is to begin every relationship with an eye toward friendship. Do not rush into any kind of romance. Keep your boundaries, physically, emotionally, and otherwise. But, how do you do this? Spend time getting to know someone in nonromantic ways. For example: Spend time with that person in groups of other friends. How well does he or she fit in? How well do you fit in with his or her friends? Does he or... Continue Reading »

Q&A with Dr. John Townsend: Setting Boundaries with Your Ex-Spouse


Question: Dr. Townsend: I am divorced and having difficulty setting boundaries with my ex-husband. Our conversations are awkward around our children. He lavishes them with toys while I feel like the disciplinarian. What do good boundaries look like in this situation? First, let me say that I’m sorry to hear about your situation. I’m sure it can feel uncomfortable to be at odds with your ex-spouse in front of your children. This issue is always a tough one. First, appeal to your ex-spouse about the need for your kids to have an integrated set of parents, even though you aren’t married to each other.  Tell him, “Our children need as close to the same environment of warmth and structure in both homes.” Add to that, “I want us to have the kind of relationship that I am open to your feedback on my parenting, and that you do the same.” Then say, “I appreciate how generous you are with our kids with the great gifts. But, I would appreciate your being a bit less lavish, and adding more reasonable discipline and structure.” Most ex-spouses will respond well to these types of comments.  However, if he does not and refuses to change... Continue Reading »

How to Tame a Child’s Temper Tantrums


Seven-year-old Taylor pitched a titanic temper tantrum with his mother. Sometimes, she wondered if setting boundaries with kids was actually possible. Taylor fought any “do” or “don’t” she said. Finally, his mom went to his bedroom to talk to him. As she opened the door, a cup perched on the top of the door tipped over, covering her from head to toe with milk. Any parent would have blown up at her child. Instead, Taylor’s mom said, her face dripping with milk, “Son, this is really serious. I’m going to have to take some time to figure out what will be happening to you. I’ll let you know.” The next few hours were excruciating for Taylor as he waited in limbo. By that time, the mom had called her husband and worked out a plan. The plan included restrictions on Taylor’s time—such as no TV, limited outdoor time, and limited friend time—and consequences—such as shampooing the carpet and learning how to use a washing machine to clean Mom’s clothes. To avoid feeling like the bad guy, Taylor joked with his dad that evening about the incident, saying, “Dad, wasn’t that kind of funny?” His dad responded with a straight face,... Continue Reading »