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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

Boundaries in Marriage saved my marriage and my sanity…literally it did. I’d read dozens of books trying to find a way to salvage my marriage, including several advising doing anything to please your husband. Boundaries in Marriage gives advice on how you (man or woman) can be loving but also stand firm in the areas that define your freedom as an individual, your self respect, and your dignity as a human being. This was the first book on relationships that made total sense to me and made a truly positive difference in my life.”
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The Cure for the Disease of Entitlement

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Entitlement is the belief that I am exempt from responsibility and I am owed special treatment. Entitlement is: The man who thinks he is above all the rules. The woman who feels mistreated and needs others to make it up to her. I need you to understand the concept of entitlement thoroughly, so that you can recognize it and help others get past it. It is not always easy to understand. Entitlement is not the person who has needs or struggles that she cannot deal with on her own. She is in need. Chronically ill individuals and disabled veterans often are in great need of help, and we need to help them. Entitlement is the person who is capable of taking care of himself and still expects others to do that for him, because he feels he is owed that. This includes the able-bodied adult child who continues to live with his parents, refusing to work, to contribute to the home’s upkeep, or even to clean up after himself. It can also include the worker who takes advantage of disability benefits after she has recovered. There is a solution to entitlement, which I call the Hard Way. The Hard Way... Continue Reading »

Boundaries, Compliance, and the Fear of Saying No

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“May I tell you something embarrassing?” Robert asked me (Dr. Townsend). A new client, Robert was trying to understand why he had so much difficulty refusing his wife’s constant demands. He was going broke trying to keep up with the Joneses. “I was the only boy in my family, the youngest of four children. There was a strange double standard in my house involving physical fighting.” Robert cleared his throat, struggling to continue. “My sisters were three to seven years older than me. Until I was in sixth grade, they were a lot bigger and stronger. They’d take advantage of their size and strength and wale on me until I was bruised. I mean, they really hurt me. “The strangest part of it all was my parents’ attitude. They’d tell us, ‘Robert is the boy. Boys don’t hit girls. It’s bad manners.’ Bad manners! I was getting triple-teamed, and fighting back was bad manners?” Robert stopped. His shame kept him from continuing, but he’d said enough. He had unearthed part of the reason for his conflicts with his wife. When parents teach children that setting boundaries or saying no is bad, they are teaching them that others can do with... Continue Reading »

Boundaries and Your Brain at Work

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Remember the old saying “Come on, this is not brain surgery”? It was meant to convey the simplicity of an answer or a concept, and often meant to prod people to get off their butts and do what is obvious. That is how it is with a leader’s boundaries. It is profoundly simple. You do not have to be a brain surgeon to establish the boundaries that are usually made by a great leader. But at the same time, underneath it all, it really is brain surgery, because the reason that a leader’s boundaries work is that they actually make it possible for people’s brains to function as they were designed. Said another way, if you are trying to lead people and do not establish effective boundaries, your people will not be able to do what you need and want them to do because their brains can’t work that way. You will build an organization full of geniuses who are producing brain-impaired results. Why is that? Just like a computer, the brain operates according to certain processes that are hardwired or encoded in the system. Ignore the operating instructions, and the brain flounders. But as a leader, if you understand... Continue Reading »