Boundaries to the Rescue


In my last blog, I talked about how I was depressed last week because I’d allowed a family member to walk all over me.

I then needed to figure out, what to do about it? My first instinct was to push this person out of my life. Well, you can’t really do that with family. My husband encouraged me to pull her closer. That was the LAST thing I wanted to do! I got out my trusty Boundaries* book, and started reading it. How do you set boundaries with a person who lives in your house? Yes, you can tell them to stop it, but that won’t change behavior. Then I read the magic word . . . CONSEQUENCES. Ahhh! Now we were talking!

To really make boundaries work, you have to decide what behavior you will no longer accept, and then give a consequence if the person continues doing it. My husband and I decided to give an immediate negative consequence for the poor behavior, but also allow this person to work toward medium and long-term rewards. We were both happy with our solution.

Before we could implement our plan, (which was a good one), God intervened. I’ll tell you how next time.

Until then, I ask you, have you ever used boundaries successfully? If so, how?


*Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend, Boundaries, When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life,(Grand Rapids, MI:Zondervan, 1992).


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