Boundaries Blog — relationships

The Relational Trap Givers Need to Avoid

The Relational Trap Givers Need to Avoid

I began noticing a pattern with Allison in our group. More than anyone else, she was the giver. She provided great financial solutions for team members who had money challenges, as she was highly proficient in that world. Not only that, but she was a relational giver as well. When someone was discouraged, stressed, or beating themselves up for some failure, Allison was warm and empathic and had the right encouraging things to say. She had an intuitive ability to feel what others were experiencing and go to the heart of the matter. And beyond that, between our monthly meetings, she was the one who reached out most often and most consistently to the team members via face-to-face contact, phone calls, and texts.

But there was another side of Allison's engagement with her group. She never asked for anything relational....

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Setting Boundaries with Your Ex-Spouse

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 ...

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Boundaries Let the Good in and Keep the Bad Out

Boundaries Let the Good in and Keep the Bad Out

Boundaries help us to distinguish our property so that we can take care of it. They help us to "guard our heart with all diligence." We need to keep things that will nurture us inside our fences and keep things that will harm us outside. In short, boundaries help us keep the good in and the bad out....

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Boundaries Q&A with Dr. John Townsend: How to Handle Conflict with In-Laws

Boundaries Q&A with Dr. John Townsend: How to Handle Conflict with In-Laws

Question: I am experiencing conflict with my in-laws about the way I raise my children. They tend to nit-pick every decision that I make. Do you have any tips for setting boundaries with in-laws?

Answer: I know it's no fun to feel conflict with your in-laws. Here are some ways to address the sensitive issue. Begin with a positive and vulnerable conversation. Simply wait until there is a quiet moment, where there's not a lot going on....

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How to Set Holiday Boundaries with Family

How to Set Holiday Boundaries with Family

When you were born, God placed you into a family for a season of time to help you grow into a mature adult. At some point this season ends, and your relationship with your parents changes from child-to-parent to adult-to-adult. The roles change from dependency and authority to mutuality.

While you are to respect and care for your mother and father, you are no longer under their protection and tutelage. Children are to obey parents, while adult children are to love and honor them. Therefore ...

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