Boundaries in Marriage Info

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Only when you and your mate know and respect each other's needs,
choices, and freedom can you give yourselves freely and lovingly to one
another. This unabridged audio version of Boundaries in Marriage gives
you the tools you need. Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend, counselors
and authors of the award-winning best-seller Boundaries, show you how to
apply the principles of boundaries to your marriage. This audio version
of the long-awaited book helps you understand the friction points or
serious hurts and betrayals in your marriage -- and move beyond them to
the mutual care, respect, affirmation, and intimacy you both long
for.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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4.43

3196 Ratings

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Reviews for Boundaries in Marriage:

5

Mar 29, 2014

I am going to give this book 5 stars because I think it goes a long way in correcting marital problems that may arise from a misunderstanding of traditional Christian teaching about submission. I believe my own misunderstanding of this concept helped create problems in my own marriage.

Making a few tiny adjustments in my own attitude towards what it means to be in a Christian marriage has brought great healing to my marriage and I also believe it has helped me clean up some of my parenting.

My I am going to give this book 5 stars because I think it goes a long way in correcting marital problems that may arise from a misunderstanding of traditional Christian teaching about submission. I believe my own misunderstanding of this concept helped create problems in my own marriage.

Making a few tiny adjustments in my own attitude towards what it means to be in a Christian marriage has brought great healing to my marriage and I also believe it has helped me clean up some of my parenting.

My understanding of boundaries has freed me and I have only had to apply it in a more subtle way to my own thinking rather than making sweeping boundary pronouncements to my family.

I think this is a great book for any parent or couple in a Christian marriage whether it is in crisis or not. ...more
4

Jun 21, 2012

When I first picked the book up to start reading it I was intrigued by some of the things written in the first few chapters. But, for some reason, it was very unpleasant to get through. Once I began to move deeper into the book to find how this was applicable to me was when I couldn't get enough of it.

When asked why I was reading this book at work I responded with, "Because I want to be a better husband." I wasn't sure how the boundaries thing would work out, but I am glad for the authors' When I first picked the book up to start reading it I was intrigued by some of the things written in the first few chapters. But, for some reason, it was very unpleasant to get through. Once I began to move deeper into the book to find how this was applicable to me was when I couldn't get enough of it.

When asked why I was reading this book at work I responded with, "Because I want to be a better husband." I wasn't sure how the boundaries thing would work out, but I am glad for the authors' approach. And I'm glad that the boundary is for the reader and not some clever/sly strategy to get what you want in a marriage. I now know that I have a lot to iron out in my own life and I am able to understand more the workings of my wife and myself individually and corporately.

It wasn't an easy read and sometimes it took a while to digest the content, but it was well worth the time and I recommend it to anyone married. ...more
5

Nov 22, 2012

Healthy boundaries in marriage are about protecting love, not changing your partner or getting even. The authors stress taking responsibility for our own shortcomings, making sure we have "gotten the log out" of our own eye before before demanding that the other take the speck out of his. Great tips on styles of communicating to protect boundaries as well. The authors emphasize that marriage is difficult but most conflicts can not only be worked out but can lead to the intimacy you both long Healthy boundaries in marriage are about protecting love, not changing your partner or getting even. The authors stress taking responsibility for our own shortcomings, making sure we have "gotten the log out" of our own eye before before demanding that the other take the speck out of his. Great tips on styles of communicating to protect boundaries as well. The authors emphasize that marriage is difficult but most conflicts can not only be worked out but can lead to the intimacy you both long for. Great read! Highly recommended. ...more
5

Oct 10, 2017

This book, thankfully, never once advises you to light candles, wear a red dress and stand on a chair clapping when your husband walks in the door. I have read plenty of those books and I appreciate that if someone’s relationship is feeling “stale”, those techniques might work to “spice things up a bit.” But if we’re using baked goods analogies here, many relationships could use a lot more help than just a little cinnamon spice or a layer of creamy frosting. Any relationship that has been around This book, thankfully, never once advises you to light candles, wear a red dress and stand on a chair clapping when your husband walks in the door. I have read plenty of those books and I appreciate that if someone’s relationship is feeling “stale”, those techniques might work to “spice things up a bit.” But if we’re using baked goods analogies here, many relationships could use a lot more help than just a little cinnamon spice or a layer of creamy frosting. Any relationship that has been around for a while has mold under the frosting.

Cloud even says that “date nights” are great, but date nights don’t go so well if the people on the date are still feeling hurt, stubborn, and unloving. (This is my paraphrase of his words, but the point is: fix the core issues first, people, before scheduling that 10-day trip to Barbados with someone you don’t even like anymore!)

The authors talk about how some people go to their workshops or read this material and think that boundaries mean they are drawing lines and setting consequences and if the spouse doesn’t change, that’s it! I, too, began this book cutting and pasting everything about setting boundaries with your spouse into a Word document that I would later tell my husband because he needed to hear it. But—something happened to me about halfway into it. My approach of “what can my spouse work on to improve our marriage” finally, finally, shifted to: “what can I do differently for my marriage.”

True, I can speak up about my feelings and wishes for our marriage and clarify guidelines about the daily operations. But I also need to change my heart. According to Cloud, failure (to follow each other’s rules, respect each other, etc.) is not the cause of divorce. A hardened heart is the cause of divorce.

Once I read this, my highlighting of passages became more centered on steps I can take to unfreeze my heart, be vulnerable again, and communicate clearly. I became so excited that I called my husband into our room held his hand and sat facing him while I explained what I had learned. I even told him three or four steps I was committed to taking to remove obstacles I had set up between us. I have made a commitment to never leave my marriage—physically. But many spouses still leave the marriage—emotionally.

THAT’S what I can do differently. I can choose to put my heart back in it. As much as I have been hurt before, as much as I want to protect it from ever getting hurt again by feeling too much or not receiving the love that it needs, I’m going to have to choose to put it back in the center of the marriage. Whether or not my spouse’s heart is there at this moment is not my concern.

I would recommend this book to anyone, especially Christians because Cloud frequently quotes scripture and refers to biblical principles throughout, and I am considering buying it for one of my counselor friends who is in a long-term relationship and is about to get married.
...more
5

Oct 13, 2014

This is an excellent book that well illustrates not only how your your willingness to put up with the character flaws of another will affect a relationship (whether in marriage or not!), but also how their willingness to put up with your character flaws will affect the same relationship.

Gone are the days of "the quality of the relationship is the responsibility of only one party, YOU," which I never did quite understand, and welcome the day of each party being held responsible for their own This is an excellent book that well illustrates not only how your your willingness to put up with the character flaws of another will affect a relationship (whether in marriage or not!), but also how their willingness to put up with your character flaws will affect the same relationship.

Gone are the days of "the quality of the relationship is the responsibility of only one party, YOU," which I never did quite understand, and welcome the day of each party being held responsible for their own actions.

While it may be that the better behavior of one party will help a relationship, and may even encourage the other to be "better," the behavior of the other party—be it good or bad—will affect the relationship accordingly, and this book makes that clear.

Backed by Biblical scripture and many examples of human relationships, the authors clearly illustrate the hope and great relationship a couple can have, if only they developed the kind of "boundaries" discussed in the book. Just as one party of marriage needs boundaries to preserve and protect their individuality, so does the spouse to protect theirs, and this book tells you how to develop boundaries one either never had while growing up or that were somehow never developed in marriage.

Boundaries in Marriage is excellently written, which only adds to the pleasure of reading such a logically helpful book; a book that should prove useful no matter what one's marital status may be, and no matter how "perfect" one may relate to another. Yes, I would highly recommend ANY book of the Boundaries series! ...more
5

Feb 29, 2016

Life-changing! This is a must-read for anyone who is married - just beginning, coasting along well, hitting a rocky patch or considering ending. Very practical, spiritual AND clinical advice about behaviors, cause, effect and solutions. WARNING: Be prepared to really confront your own thoughts, actions and motives.
2

Sep 23, 2014

The only reason I gave this book two stars is because there are some okay stories of couples and how they worked through various things. However, the book just barely gets that second star, because overall its cloying, sanctimonious, religious overtones were an overpowering cologne. For example, the authors constantly take credit for their patients' successful therapy outcomes -- "I was able to show them that these are areas of 'preference,' not right or wrong." Or "We cured her 'workaholism.'" The only reason I gave this book two stars is because there are some okay stories of couples and how they worked through various things. However, the book just barely gets that second star, because overall its cloying, sanctimonious, religious overtones were an overpowering cologne. For example, the authors constantly take credit for their patients' successful therapy outcomes -- "I was able to show them that these are areas of 'preference,' not right or wrong." Or "We cured her 'workaholism.'" But when a patient fails to reach the authors' desired outcome, Clowd and Townsend are quick to blame the patient, taking no responsibility for that. The best therapists I've known back away from taking credit for their patients' hard work. ...more
4

Jul 23, 2018

I'm not a religious person and this book is filled with quotes from the Bible in every chapter. However, it was indeed helpful in trying to understand the errors we make in a relationship and it provided practical ways in which to better the situation at home. Very helpful and insightful.
5

Jun 09, 2014

I loved this book! I do not give five stars to many books, but this book is worth every star. It is what I've been looking for, praying for, and longing for for years. It answers troubling questions, and gives hopeful, helpful, healthy advice to struggling marriages, especially when you have no idea how to fix what's wrong. It should be required reading for every newly married couple, as it would significantly reduce the divorce rate in our churches, if not our country. I highly recommend I loved this book! I do not give five stars to many books, but this book is worth every star. It is what I've been looking for, praying for, and longing for for years. It answers troubling questions, and gives hopeful, helpful, healthy advice to struggling marriages, especially when you have no idea how to fix what's wrong. It should be required reading for every newly married couple, as it would significantly reduce the divorce rate in our churches, if not our country. I highly recommend Boundaries in Marriage! ...more
4

Apr 25, 2014

Highly recommended, especially to those who have been brought up with a traditional understanding of marriage roles. This study provides a much needed balance.
4

Apr 07, 2008

I like this book better than I thought. It started off a bit vague, but quickly started to come together. It has been probably the best marriage book I've read next to For Women Only.
5

Jul 02, 2014

Great book. Highly recommend it. I've avoided reading books on Marriage & Family after being snowed with it during school. Great resource, and works with a variety of concerns and situations. Excellent.
4

Jan 02, 2013

I learned a lot from reading this book. They had good stories to illustrate their points as well. I liked their idea that it takes individual people to make a marriage, and that each partner needs to claim their own stuff. No problem is 100% one person and 0% the other. Pretty good stuff.
5

May 18, 2013

This is a terrific book, discussing many aspects of marriage and not just boundary setting. I borrowed it from my local library, but I'd like to buy my own copy so I can read it again and apply it more effectively to my own life.
5

Oct 12, 2015

I feel like I need to immediately read it again. I've read Boundaries, and it was life changing. This book helped me apply that to my marriage, and gave me a much-needed slap in the face on how I was deceiving myself from reality of how my actions were effecting others. READ IT!! Seriously, even if you're not a Christian, it has very real principles.
5

Aug 22, 2013



Learn when to say yes and when to say no--to your spouse and to others--to make the most of your marriage and relationships. Only when a husband and wife know and respect each other's needs, choices, and freedom can they give themselves freely and lovingly to one another.

Boundaries are the 'property lines' that define and protect husbands and wives as individuals. Once they are in place, a good marriage can become better, and a less-than-satisfying one can even be saved.

Drs. Henry Cloud and John

Learn when to say yes and when to say no--to your spouse and to others--to make the most of your marriage and relationships. Only when a husband and wife know and respect each other's needs, choices, and freedom can they give themselves freely and lovingly to one another.

Boundaries are the 'property lines' that define and protect husbands and wives as individuals. Once they are in place, a good marriage can become better, and a less-than-satisfying one can even be saved.

Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend, counselors and authors of the award-winning best-seller Boundaries, show couples how to apply the 10 laws of boundaries that can make a real difference in relationships. They help husbands and wives understand the friction points or serious hurts and betrayals in their marriage--and move beyond them to the mutual care, respect, affirmation, and intimacy they both long for. ...more
3

Apr 24, 2014

This is a hard book to rate for me. I love it and at the same time feel meh about it.

Disclaimer - I have not read the original Boundaries book.

There are so many good principles here and awesome quotes! Just for the quotes alone this book is worth the read!

I guess I just feel like there's a bit of mixed messages in this book. They try to really emphasize great things like:

* The need to set boundaries only on yourself, not on other people
* To not misuse boundaries to try to control someone or to This is a hard book to rate for me. I love it and at the same time feel meh about it.

Disclaimer - I have not read the original Boundaries book.

There are so many good principles here and awesome quotes! Just for the quotes alone this book is worth the read!

I guess I just feel like there's a bit of mixed messages in this book. They try to really emphasize great things like:

* The need to set boundaries only on yourself, not on other people
* To not misuse boundaries to try to control someone or to hide from seeing the change that you yourself need to make

These are crucially important and I agree with them entirely!

Yet how do you know when you need to set a boundary? It seems most the only suggestions are essentially when you are being mistreated in some way by your spouse (or anyone, but this is in the context of marriage).

Self-deception is very easy on this front! How do I set a boundary and say "If you're going to treat me this way, I'm going to have to ______" when in reality, the perceived mistreatment may not be mistreatment at all. Perhaps I am the one with the perspective problem on the situation.

I don't feel like I'm quite putting my finger on it, but it seems like they didn't really put forward clear ways to ensure you're not doing that.

Still, a great book, especially if obviously destructive stuff like yelling and fighting are going on in a marriage. ...but then, is it ever obvious when you're the one living it? Not really. ...more
4

Sep 16, 2014

I wish I had read this when I had first got married. I picked this up mostly because the hold list at the library for the boundaries with kids was too long. I am so glad I did because it has already helped me be a better wife. I got a lot out of the first half of the book. The second half is for troubleshooting problems and stuff and that didn't apply to my marriage as much.

Some great points I took away:

you marry someone not to complete you but to complement you. Both partners need to be whole I wish I had read this when I had first got married. I picked this up mostly because the hold list at the library for the boundaries with kids was too long. I am so glad I did because it has already helped me be a better wife. I got a lot out of the first half of the book. The second half is for troubleshooting problems and stuff and that didn't apply to my marriage as much.

Some great points I took away:

you marry someone not to complete you but to complement you. Both partners need to be whole people. (for me that means getting a bit more organized and not letting Rich "be the organized one" of the two of us. It inspires me to be as much of a responsible and well-rounded person as I can be.) it also frees you up from needing your spouse to be certain things for you so that you can feel whole. The author said you need "two-ness" for "one-ness" to matter. otherwise it's just one.

Secondly,reap what you sow. Don't enable and cover mistakes for each other... make sure that whoever is failing is also fixing their failures so that they can actually improve. (you help the struggling one in love obviously but you don't enable them) Possibly that is a stage you get to in marriage when you have been married for awhile, but Rich and I are able to have "good fights" and I feel proud about that.

There were some other good nuggets in this book and I highly recommend it- whether your marriage is "good" or "bad" you also don't have to read it as a couple to start to see improvements. I am super glad I grabbed this one instead of the kids one... but I might just take a look at that one too since I default to people pleasing all the time and struggle with boundaries. ...more
5

Feb 25, 2019

Really good stuff here. Highly recommended for newly married couples. Takeaway: boundaries are for the person seeing them, they're not a method of forcing behavior in someone else.
4

Apr 30, 2019

This is one of the best marriage books that I have ever read. I love the entire boundaries concept. The only reasons that I didn’t give it five stars is because it would be almost impossible to outdo the original “Boundaries” book. Secondly, there was a small section in chapter 14 where the author seemed to humanize God a little bit. Although I don’t think that was his intention, as a Pastor I’m very picky about that. Overall I would definitely recommend this to couples thinking about marriage, This is one of the best marriage books that I have ever read. I love the entire boundaries concept. The only reasons that I didn’t give it five stars is because it would be almost impossible to outdo the original “Boundaries” book. Secondly, there was a small section in chapter 14 where the author seemed to humanize God a little bit. Although I don’t think that was his intention, as a Pastor I’m very picky about that. Overall I would definitely recommend this to couples thinking about marriage, or marriages that need help. ...more
4

Oct 30, 2019

For the most part, I really enjoyed this book as far as self-help books go. If given the option, it would be a 3.5-star book instead of 4 stars, however.

Let me start with the positives: the concept laid out in the book is great and necessary. The concept of boundaries is something I wish I had understood earlier in my life. The first part was very informative and helpful when it comes to understanding the purpose and benefits of boundaries.

I found that (not only in marriage) I haven't really For the most part, I really enjoyed this book as far as self-help books go. If given the option, it would be a 3.5-star book instead of 4 stars, however.

Let me start with the positives: the concept laid out in the book is great and necessary. The concept of boundaries is something I wish I had understood earlier in my life. The first part was very informative and helpful when it comes to understanding the purpose and benefits of boundaries.

I found that (not only in marriage) I haven't really been setting boundaries for myself, and it often leads me to feel used or bitter towards people who pushed me past my (unknown and unstated) limits. The first part of the book talked about healthy ways to set these boundaries and hold to them. It was really helpful for me and I think it can be very helpful for others with marriages that have some character issues that need working out in either or both partners.

The second part of the book focused more on practical boundaries to set and the purpose of setting them. I like how the author pointed out that boundaries should not be used to control your spouse (or anyone), but to control and pre-determine your reaction. Some of the examples were a bit extreme for my situation, but others were helpful.

It talks a lot about how important it is to be a whole person when you enter marriage and to maintain that in your relationship for you and your spouse. This is big for me because when life gets hectic (as it always does) I tend to drop my hobbies and parts of my personality to cope with the circumstances around me. I know this doesn't benefit my relationships or myself, so it is something I can work on and have my husband help me with as well. (Getting back to reading more this year was a big step in that direction)

The other parts focused more on different practicals for applying boundaries whether your spouse is on board or not.*

Now for the negatives: There were several good ones, but the concepts became very repetitive and stereotypical (a wife is overspending, a husband comes home from work late, a wife is not cleaning the house, a husband won't help with the kids, etc) and the further I got into the book, the more the authors jumped around with their use of pronouns in a confusing way. I imagine the intention was to make the reader (if that particular example matched their gender) feel more drawn in. However, the back and forth was more jarring than helpful. It would've been very easy and much less distracting to use neutral pronouns for the non-specific examples.

The book is written to an audience of practicing Christians with practicing Christian spouses. I think it would've been helpful if that view was expanded a little. (Just in my small circle of friends I know many women who are practicing, but their husbands are not, etc.)

*Lastly, the book focuses on people who are either trying to better their marriage proactively or are having trouble. The last part of the book talks about setting boundaries with a spouse that isn't on board with any boundaries. It talks about how it is wrong to control a spouse and a few examples of how to deal with a controlling or abusive relationship, but the line isn't really drawn between accidental tendencies to be controlling and literal abuse. I found a lot of the advice to be unsafe for a victim of actual abuse. There is such an emphasis on trying their specific strategy of boundaries that they overlook strong symptoms of an abusive relationship in their last example. So although that isn't the audience, because it's mentioned so lightly in the book it was a bit of a red flag for me.

So overall, I learned a lot from this book and I enjoyed parts of it, but it's not the end-all solution that it proclaims itself to be. ...more
4

Jun 18, 2018

I'm glad I read an online version of this, because the cover pictured here looks pretty hideous. But the content is helpful to people dealing with any number and severity of marital issues. I definitely recommend this as a marriage book. The only reason I didn't give it five stars is because I thought the writing wasn't very clear in two sections.

Boundaries lead to order, responsibility and respect. It's true of property as well as relationships. Cloud and Townsend explain healthy boundaries I'm glad I read an online version of this, because the cover pictured here looks pretty hideous. But the content is helpful to people dealing with any number and severity of marital issues. I definitely recommend this as a marriage book. The only reason I didn't give it five stars is because I thought the writing wasn't very clear in two sections.

Boundaries lead to order, responsibility and respect. It's true of property as well as relationships. Cloud and Townsend explain healthy boundaries and how to express them to your spouse.

They also cover setting boundaries on yourself, which is not as well written. But it covers ways you can begin recognizing how your own relational habits usually contribute to whatever patten is going on in your marriage. When you recognize an unhelpful patten, set boundaries around it to change at least your part in the pattern. I got the point, but I think it could have been written more clearly if they weren't wedded to the boundaries analogy.

Another section is about setting boundaries from intruders. I think this section was underdeveloped, so people seeking help in that area may need to consult another source.

The most valuable part, I think, is how to handle a marriage with a partner who does not respect boundaries. If you have read relationship books only to be left feeling like you've TRIED all that, and it doesn't help, this section will help. It's specific and thorough, and explains why the more common ways of handling relationships don't work.

Cloud and Thompson are Christians committed to helping marriages stay together, but they don't fall back on the unfortunately common "Christian" advice of the wife needs to respect, the husband needs to lead, and all will be well. Boundaries is a good tool to have in your kit. ...more
3

May 07, 2019

This book was written for a practicing Christian audience. Despite not being a member of this group, I did derive good lessons and insights from reading it. Dr Cloud and Dr Townsend start out introducing the concept of boundaries and advise the individual that personal growth and development is essential to ensuring a healthy relationship. I learned a lot about myself through the pages that followed, places where I can improve in romantic and platonic relationships. They encourage taking all This book was written for a practicing Christian audience. Despite not being a member of this group, I did derive good lessons and insights from reading it. Dr Cloud and Dr Townsend start out introducing the concept of boundaries and advise the individual that personal growth and development is essential to ensuring a healthy relationship. I learned a lot about myself through the pages that followed, places where I can improve in romantic and platonic relationships. They encourage taking all steps with love and patience, always seeking support of family and friends, but refraining from triangling those support persons. I think this book is helpful for anyone considering a relationship or for anyone who has been in a relationship or even anyone who is in a relationship, you just may need to look past all of the God centric and scripture focused texts ...more
3

Sep 26, 2017

Christian advice on marriage. Not terrible advice even if you're not Christian (or are Christian but are dubious of Biblical marriage advice). Focuses on how to respect each other and cultivate real love based on mutual respect and empathy. There was nothing novel for me but clearly, a lot of people could benefit from these views.
5

May 25, 2019

Lots of wisdom and practical advice in this book. A boundary is something you set for yourself (not against other people). It goes over a lot what you are responsible for including your feelings, attitudes, choices, values and behaviors.
I read this book for over a year. We started reading it and going over it with another couple but didn't finish it together. I'm glad I finished it.

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