Boundaries in Marriage
By Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
Book Review by Marta Hatter
Boundaries are the ways in which we define and maintain our sense of individuality, personal integrity and freedom. The principles described in this book are significant ingredients to a thriving marriage. The authors guide readers in how to cope with differing needs, how to establish healthy communication, how to solve problems and much more.
Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend are popular speakers, psychologists, and cohosts of the nationally broadcast New Life Live radio program. In addition, they are cofounders of Cloud-Townsend Clinic and Cloud-Townsend Resources.
The authors contend that only when you and your mate know and respect each other’s needs, freedom, and choices can you give yourselves freely and lovingly to one another. This book is fundamentally about promoting, growing, developing and repairing love. The reader will learn tools for making their relationship everything they want it to be.
How to deal with serious situations and develop a haven of mutual love, care, appreciation, and growth is described. The structure of the book is in four parts. Part I introduces the reader to the idea of boundaries and how to set them in your marriage and with yourself. Part II deals with the necessity of two separate individualities becoming united, with the fundamental beliefs that undergird a marriage of boundaries, and with how to set boundaries against outside people and influences. Part III describes six types of conflict and how to set limits with a spouse who accepts boundaries and with one who resists boundaries. Part IV looks at some of the ways boundaries may be misused. There are specific tips, examples, tables and suggestions to help the reader to implement healthy boundaries in marriage.
As a professional, it has been my pleasure to witness couples experience great healing, measurable growth, and a richer marriage while reading and applying the concepts in this book. There are couples in regular situations who find themselves pointing the finger at one another and getting stuck. There are others in difficult situations who, because of a lack of understanding or skills have not taken the stand needed to protect their relationship. When crises arise, support and good information are imperative to coping well. In my practice it has been an honor to share in the success of couples implementing the principles in this book. It is a strong recommendation for both couples experiencing challenges and those who are not.