Boundaries in Marriage Workbook

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Overview

You long for a marriage marked by lifelong love, intimacy, and growth. And it can be yours -- if you set wise boundaries. Boundaries are the "property lines" that define and protect each of you as individuals. Get them in place and you can make a good marriage better and possibly even save a less-than-satisfying one. By the time you've completed this workbook, you will know yourself and your mate better than ever before. You'll also understand and practice the ten laws of boundaries in ways that can make a real ...
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Boundaries in Marriage: Understanding the Choices That Make or Break Loving Relationships

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Overview

You long for a marriage marked by lifelong love, intimacy, and growth. And it can be yours -- if you set wise boundaries. Boundaries are the "property lines" that define and protect each of you as individuals. Get them in place and you can make a good marriage better and possibly even save a less-than-satisfying one. By the time you've completed this workbook, you will know yourself and your mate better than ever before. You'll also understand and practice the ten laws of boundaries in ways that can make a real difference in your relationship. Step by step, the Boundaries in Marriage Workbook helps you apply the biblical principles discussed in the book Boundaries in Marriage so you can . . . Set and maintain your personal boundaries and respect those of your spouse - Establish values that form a godly structure and architecture for your marriage - Protect your marriage from different kinds of "intruders" - Work with a spouse who understands and values boundaries -- or work with one who doesn't -- Filled with self-tests, questions, and applications, the Boundaries in Marriage Workbook helps you deal effectively with the friction points and serious hurts in your marriage -- and move beyond them to the mutual care, respect, affirmation, and intimacy you both long for.
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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
'Drs. Cloud and Townsend have created another masterpiece! No one understands the issue of boundaries better than they do. Counselors and couples alike will greatly benefit from their articulate and in-depth exploration.' -- Archibald D. Hart, Ph.D., , Professor
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310228752
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 2/28/2000
  • Edition description: Workbook
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 119,943
  • Product dimensions: 7.38 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Henry Cloud is a popular speaker, and co-host, with Dr. John Townsend, of the nationally broadcast New Life Live! Radio program, and cofounder of Cloud-Townsend Clinic and Cloud-Townsend Resources. His bestselling books include the Gold Medallion Award-winning Boundaries books and Making Small Groups Work. Dr. Cloud and his wife and two daughters live in Southern California.

Dr. John Townsend is a psychologist, popular speaker, and cohost of the nationally broadcast New Life Live! radio program, and a cofounder of Cloud-Townsend clinic and Cloud-Townsend Resources. He has written or co-written 27 books, selling over six million copies, including the bestseller Boundaries. He is also the author of Boundaries with Teens and Hiding from Love. He and his wife, Barbi, live in southern California. They have two grown sons.

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Read an Excerpt

A Tale of Two Couples

If you are reading this book, most likely marriage is important to you. You may be happy in your marriage and want to keep it growing. You may be struggling and dealing with major or minor problems. You may be single and want to prepare for marriage. You may be divorced and want to prevent the pain you went through if you remarry.

• Why are you reading this book? What do you hope to learn?

• How did you react when you read about the interaction between Harold and Sarah? What were your thoughts and feelings?

• How did you react to the picture of Frank and Julia's marriage? Again, what were your thoughts and feelings?

• If you are currently married, are you and your spouse building a marriage like Harold and Sarah's or like Frank and Julia's? Offer evidence to support your answer.

Both couples you met in the introduction were reaping the results of how they had conducted themselves in the earlier seasons of marriage. The first couple harvested a sad result; the other, a joyous one. It's our hope that this book will help you improve your harvest.

Your Life Begins Today (page 9)

Most of us have no greater desire and prayer than a lifetime of love and commitment to one person with whom we can share life. Marriage is one of God's greatest gifts to humanity. It is the mystery of living as one flesh with another human being (Ephesians 5: 31 - 32).

Marriage is first and foremost about love. It is bound together by the care, need, companionship, and values of two people, which can overcome hurt, immaturity, and selfishness to form something better than what each person alone can produce. Love is at the heart of marriage, as it is at the heart of God himself (1 John 4: 16).

• When, in your own marriage or in a marriage you respect and admire, have you seen love overcome hurt, immaturity, or selfishness? Give a specific example.

• When have you seen or perhaps even experienced the partnership of marriage being "something better than what each person alone can produce"? Again, give a specific example.

Although love is at the heart of marriage, it is not enough. The marriage relationship needs other ingredients to grow and thrive. These ingredients are freedom and responsibility.

• When two people are free to disagree, they are free to love. When they are not free, they live in fear, and love is damaged.

-- Why does genuine love allow the freedom to disagree?

-- What fears come into play when people are not free to disagree -- and why do those fears cause love to die?

• When two people together take responsibility to do what is best for the marriage, love can grow. When they do not, one takes on too much responsibility and resents it; the other does not take on enough and becomes self-centered or controlling.

-- What, if anything, do you see about yourself and/or your marriage when you look through the lens of the preceding statement?

Boundaries in Marriage is fundamentally about love. It is about promoting it, growing it, developing it, and repairing it. We want to help you develop love through providing a better environment for it: one of freedom and responsibility. This is where boundaries, or personal property lines, come in. They promote love by protecting individuals.

• Character is key. When people grow in character, they grow in the ability to set and receive boundaries in their marriages, and they mature. When they resist hearing the word no, they remain immature.

-- How do you define character?

-- At this point of your study, do your best to explain the connection between character and boundaries.

-- Think of toddlers you know. Why does resistance to the word "no" keep a person from maturing?

• Today is the day to work on your own boundaries in marriage. The issues you take initiative to deal with today will affect the rest of your married life. And the issues you ignore or are afraid to address will do the same.

-- Why do people choose to ignore issues in their marriage?

-- What fears keep people from addressing issues in their marriage?

-- What issues in your marriage do you need to be dealing with? Put differently, what issues are you choosing to ignore or what are you afraid to address?

You're headed toward either a Harold and Sarah marriage (they're still dealing immaturely with old, old boundary issues) or a Frank and Julia one (they've resolved boundary issues and have gone to much deeper stages of love and maturity), and you're doing that right now.

An Overview (page 11)

• Review the outline of Boundaries in Marriage.

-- What section do you most look forward to reading? Why?

-- What hope or excitement does this overview kindle?

Clarifying a Misconception (page 11)

• We need to make clear that Boundaries in Marriage is not about fixing, changing, or punishing your mate. If you aren't in control of yourself, the solution is not learning to control someone else. The solution is learning self-control.

-- Be honest with yourself. What would you like to fix or change in your spouse or punish him/her for? Let go of those unhealthy and unhelpful goals by making them a topic of prayer; confess these desires and ask God to be at work in your mate even as he works to transform you.

-- What aspects of your role as husband or wife currently call for you to exercise greater self-control? Again, submit those to the Lord and his sanctifying, transforming touch.

Boundaries in Marriage is about taking ownership of your own life so that you are protected and you can love and protect your spouse without enabling or rescuing him or her.

So, again, welcome to Boundaries in Marriage! We hope this is a helpful resource for you, whatever condition your marriage is in. We pray that as you learn to make the word no a good word in your marriage, responsibility and freedom will then help love take deep roots in both of your hearts. God bless you.

Henry Cloud, Ph.D.

John Townsend, Ph.D.

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Table of Contents

Contents
How to Use This Workbook
A Tale of Two Couples
Part One --- Understanding Boundaries
1. What’s a Boundary, Anyway?
2. Applying the Ten Laws of Boundaries to Marriage
3. Setting Boundaries with Yourself
Becoming More Lovable
Part Two --- Building Boundaries in Marriage
4. It Takes Two to Make One
5. What You Value Is What You’ll Have
6. Value One
Love of God
7. Value Two
Love of Spouse
8. Value Three
Honesty
9. Value Four
Faithfulness
10. Value Five
Compassion and Forgiveness
11. Value Six
Holiness
Part Three --- Resolving Conflict in Marriage
12. Three’s a Crowd
Protecting Your Marriage from Intruders
13. Six Kinds of Conflict
14. Resolving Conflict with a Boundary-Loving Spouse
15. Resolving Conflict with a Boundary-Resistant Spouse
Part Four --- Misunderstanding Boundaries in Marriage
16. Avoiding the Misuse of Boundaries in Marriage
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First Chapter

Boundaries in Marriage Workbook

We want to hear from you. Please send your comments about this book to us in care of zreview@zondervan.com. Thank you.
How to Use This Workbook
The Boundaries in Marriage Workbook can be used in a variety of ways.
* You will get the most out of your investment of time and energy if you are reading Boundaries in Marriage as you work through this book. The text fleshes out key concepts with real-life examples and a more thorough discussion of important points.
* You or, ideally, you and your spouse can use this workbook on your own.
In tandem with the text, the questions in this workbook will help you become more aware of how healthy boundaries keep love alive and growing.
* You, or you and your spouse, can be part of a small group that meets regularly to discuss the challenges you face in your marriage and to pray for each other and your marriage.
* You might also work through this book with a prayer partner or accountability partner.
* Another option, with the approval of your therapist, is to use this workbook as an aid to structured individual or marital therapy.
* Whether you are working through Boundaries in Marriage on your own,
with your spouse, or in a group, be sure to include plenty of prayer time.
After all, God created marriage and, by his Spirit, empowers us to experience all that he intends for us.
May God bless you as, with his guidance, you establish boundaries that preserve and enhance your marriage and deepen your love for your spouse.
A Tale of Two Couples
I f you are reading this book, most likely marriage is important to you.
You may be happy in your marriage and want to keep it growing. You may be struggling and dealing with major or minor problems. You may be single and want to prepare for marriage. You may be divorced and want to prevent the pain you went through if you remarry.
* Why are you reading this book? What do you hope to learn?
* How did you react when you read about the interaction between Harold and Sarah? What were your thoughts and feelings?
* How did you react to the picture of Frank and Julia's marriage? Again,
what were your thoughts and feelings?
* If you are currently married, are you and your spouse building a marriage like Harold and Sarah's or like Frank and Julia's? Offer evidence to support your answer.
Both couples you met in the introduction were reaping the results of how they had conducted themselves in the earlier seasons of marriage. The first couple harvested a sad result; the other, a joyous one. It's our hope that this book will help you improve your harvest.
Your Life Begins Today (page 9)*
Most of us have no greater desire and prayer than a lifetime of love and commitment to one person with whom we can share life. Marriage is one of
God's greatest gifts to humanity. It is the mystery of living as one flesh with another human being (Ephesians 5:31--32).
Marriage is first and foremost about love. It is bound together by the care,
need, companionship, and values of two people, which can overcome hurt,
immaturity, and selfishness to form something better than what each person alone can produce. Love is at the heart of marriage, as it is at the heart of
God himself (1 John 4:16).
* When, in your own marriage or in a marriage you respect and admire,
have you seen love overcome hurt, immaturity, or selfishness? Give a specific example.
* When have you seen or perhaps even experienced the partnership of marriage being 'something better than what each person alone can produce'?
Again, give a specific example.
Although love is at the heart of marriage, it is not enough. The marriage relationship needs other ingredients to grow and thrive. These ingredients are freedom and responsibility.
*The parts in italics are passages from the book Boundaries in Marriage. Page references to
Boundaries in Marriage are in parentheses.
* When two people are free to disagree, they are free to love. When they are not free, they live in fear, and love is damaged.
--- Why does genuine love allow the freedom to disagree?
--- What fears come into play when people are not free to disagree---and why do those fears cause love to die?
* When two people together take responsibility to do what is best for the marriage, love can grow. When they do not, one takes on too much responsibility and resents it; the other does not take on enough and becomes self-centered or controlling.
--- What, if anything, do you see about yourself and/or your marriage when you look through the lens of the preceding statement?
Boundaries in Marriage is fundamentally about love. It is about promoting it, growing it, developing it, and repairing it. We want to help you develop love through providing a better environment for it: one of freedom and responsibility. This is where boundaries, or personal property lines, come in.
They promote love by protecting individuals.
* Character is key. When people grow in character, they grow in the ability to set and receive boundaries in their marriages, and they mature.
When they resist hearing the word no, they remain immature.
--- How do you define character?
--- At this point of your study, do your best to explain the connection between character and boundaries.
--- Think of toddlers you know. Why does resistance to the word no keep a person from maturing?
* Today is the day to work on your own boundaries in marriage. The issues you take initiative to deal with today will affect the rest of your married life. And the issues you ignore or are afraid to address will do the same.
--- Why do people choose to ignore issues in their marriage?
--- What fears keep people from addressing issues in their marriage?
--- What issues in your marriage do you need to be dealing with? Put differently,
what issues are you choosing to ignore or what are you afraid to address?
You're headed toward either a Harold and Sarah marriage (they're still dealing immaturely with old, old boundary issues) or a Frank and Julia one
(they've resolved boundary issues and have gone to much deeper stages of love and maturity), and you're doing that right now.
An Overview (page 11)
* Review the outline of Boundaries in Marriage.
--- What section do you most look forward to reading? Why?
--- What hope or excitement does this overview kindle?
A Tale of Two Couples 13
Clarifying a Misconception (page 11)
* We need to make clear that Boundaries in Marriage is not about fixing,
changing, or punishing your mate. If you aren't in control of yourself, the solution is not learning to control someone else. The solution is learning self-control.
--- Be honest with yourself. What would you like to fix or change in your spouse or punish him/her for? Let go of those unhealthy and unhelpful goals by making them a topic of prayer; confess these desires and ask God to be at work in your mate even as he works to transform you.
--- What aspects of your role as husband or wife currently call for you to exercise greater self-control? Again, submit those to the Lord and his sanctifying, transforming touch.
Boundaries in Marriage is about taking ownership of your own life so that you are protected and you can love and protect your spouse without enabling or rescuing him or her.
So, again, welcome to Boundaries in Marriage! We hope this is a helpful resource for you, whatever condition your marriage is in. We pray that as you learn to make the word no a good word in your marriage, responsibility and freedom will then help love take deep roots in both of your hearts. God bless you.
HENRY CLOUD, PH.D.
JOHN TOWNSEND, PH.D.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    Highly recommended. Christian principals

    Every couple should read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2012

    Awesome book

    This was very insightful and helpful

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Very insightful book! A must read for all couples no matter how good or bad the relationship.

    I liked the first book the best. Simply called "boundaries"; it has been an inspiration to me.

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    Posted December 20, 2012

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