How We Can Understand the Relationship Between Codependents and Addicts

Uncategorized Mar 05, 2020

In the last several decades of addiction treatment, one of the most powerful discoveries has been the role of the codependent in addictions. Basically, researchers learned that an addict needs a codependent to enable staying addicted. But beyond that, codependent people continually find themselves in relationships with addicts. In my experience with codependents, I’ve often heard, “Out of all the people in the world, I will be drawn to the addict before anyone else.”

One reason for this attraction is that there is a match. The addict does not take responsibility for his life, and the codependent feels responsible to take care of people who are not taking responsibility for themselves. So the addict and the codependent will be drawn to people who fill their needs. And it works … for awhile … until …

When the codependent finally asks the question, “What is it about me that always draws me into this kind of relationship?” Then she...

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The Boundaries.Me Podcast: Liz Bohanan - Boundaries and Mutual Respect in Marriage

podcast Mar 05, 2020


Showing mutual respect towards your partner is something we all strive to do. It sounds like something that should be easy to convey, but in practice our relationships are never that simple.

In this episode of Dr. Henry Cloud’s Boundaries.Me podcast, Liz Bohannon, author, speaker and co-founder and CEO of Sseko Designs, shares with us the importance of establishing work-life boundaries with her husband and Co-CEO. They have a rule: they have to ask for permission to talk about work outside of work. 

Whether it’s work-life balance, or something else entirely, establishing a boundary with your partner about when and where you’ll have conversations about difficult or potentially stressful issues is an essential part of creating a loving, safe relationship.

Guest Links


Instagram: @lizbohannon and @ssekodesigns

Boundaries.Me Courses Related to this Episode

Boundaries in Marriage 


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When You Rescue An Angry Person ... You'll Only Have to Do It Again

Uncategorized Mar 04, 2020

I was on a financial radio show taking calls about setting boundaries in families with financial issues. A woman called about her forty-year-old sister to whom she and her husband had been giving money for several years. It seemed that the sister had a lot of problems and “needed their help,” as she put it. But the caller was beginning to wonder if helping was really helping. In other words, in spite of all the “help” they had given her sister, she was not getting any more self-sufficient. 

[RELATED: 3 Tools to Stop Habits of Enabling Toxic Behavior in Others]

“Does she work?” I asked. 

“No, she lives off my father’s Social Security,” she said. “But that, along with some other family money, does not seem to be enough. Or, more accurately, she always seems to overspend what she has coming in. So we always help her out in the crunch. My husband and I are getting tired of it.” 

“Has she had mental...

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The Boundaries.Me Podcast: Lysa TerKeurst - Know Your Spiritual Capacity

podcast Mar 03, 2020

Being honest with ourselves about what we can and can't put up with is crucial to becoming a healthy person. 

In this episode of Dr. Henry Cloud's Boundaries.Me podcast, Lysa TerKeurst shares a very personal story about how setting a boundary around her spiritual capacity changed her life. She realized that there were limits to how much she can give, and that when she gave too much, she couldn't function. It's a form of people-pleasing that caring people will have to confront. Setting this boundary allowed her to shift from a place of trying to have control over how other people feel, to a place of compassion, and it ultimately helped save her marriage.

Lysa is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, Uninvited, and 20 other books. As president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa and her team have led thousands to make their walk with God an invigorating journey through daily online devotionals.

Guest Links: 

Instagram: ...

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When Someone is Angry at Your Boundaries, it’s Their Problem, Not Yours

Uncategorized Mar 02, 2020

When you establish a new boundary with someone else, the most common form of resistance one gets is anger. People who get angry at others for setting boundaries have a character problem. Self-centered, they think the world exists for them and their comfort. They see others as extensions of themselves.

When they hear the word “no,” they have the same reaction a two-year-old has when deprived of something: “Bad Mommy!” They feel as though the one who deprives them of their wishes is “bad,” and they become angry. They are not righteously angry at a real offense. Nothing has been done “to them” at all. Someone will not do something “for them.” Their wish is being frustrated, and they get angry because they have not learned to delay gratification or to respect others’ freedom.

The angry person has a character problem. If you reinforce this character problem, it will return tomorrow and the next day in other situations. It...

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Having Difficult Conversations about Boundary Violations

Uncategorized Feb 21, 2020

Amanda had issues with her in-laws and wasn't sure how to address the boundary violations that had occurred since she and her husband had gotten married.

"They like to tell us how things should be," she said. "I think his mom comes from a good place sometimes, but she comes across as overly critical."

I explained to her that a good place to start is being emotionally present and connected while confronting her mother-in-law, and this is something that will require quite a bit of grace.

When you're present with someone, it means you're in touch and in tune with your own feelings as well as those of the other person. This is so important because when we are there, meaning, emotionally present, we make ourselves available to the other person. Amanda's mother-in-law won't be shut off from her while she's telling her a difficult reality about the relationship. Confrontation is not easy to absorb for anyone, but presence and connection help make that tolerable.

Also, when you are present...

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You're Not Selfish For Doing This

Uncategorized Dec 23, 2019

I just wanted to check in with you ahead of the next couple of days and ask ... What are you doing to ensure that your needs are being met right now? 

I want you to know that it's not selfish to put yourself first sometimes. It's OK to have some time to yourself, give yourself a break, rest, honor how you're feeling, assess your needs or get away for a little while. 

How are you making time to do that? For many, it may feel impossible. You feel like you're just holding everything together. Maybe you've told yourself, "I just need to 'make it' through these next few days ... this next week ... through the rest of the year." 

How many times have you told yourself that you just 'have to make it'? How would you like to change that dynamic and tell yourself, "Here's what needs to be done, and I'm going to feel good about it!" 

The other day in my Boundaries.Me group, I started a conversation asking individuals to share how they're feeling ahead of Christmas and invited...

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Let's Talk About Your Boundaries Goals in Person!

Uncategorized Dec 20, 2019

I’m going to make a quick list of things you don’t need to take with you into next year, or the next decade, for that matter. I mean, think about it — Not only do you have a chance to start over for the new year, you have the entire decade ahead of you. 

Here’s what I’d suggest you leave behind: 

  • Drama
  • Manipulators 
  • Guilt-Trippers
  • Gaslighters
  • Energy-drainers
  • Codependent habits

Here’s what I’d like to see you do: 

  • Grow closer in your spiritual relationships
  • Experience peace
  • Say no to the bad
  • Say yes to the good
  • Have more energy
  • Restore love and freedom in your relationships 
  • Heal from your past

What picture do you have in your mind when you think about where you want to be at this time next year? You know it’s not going to happen if you just think about it. You have to put a plan in place to ensure that you do it. Any time you think about something new that you’re doing, your mind envisions the most...

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I Want to Fly You Out to Beverly Hills to Talk About Boundaries

Uncategorized Dec 20, 2019

If you had a chance to sit down and ask me anything about boundaries, what would you want to know? 

More about boundaries in marriage (or with in-laws)?
More about boundaries with your family of origin? 
More about boundaries in your friendships?
More about boundaries with codependent habits? 

How about this — I’ll fly you out to Beverly Hills, pay for you to stay in a hotel in the area, and we’ll do lunch and talk about boundaries. This is your chance to talk to me in person!

I’d like for you to know that if you’re undecided about becoming a Boundaries.Me lifetime member, this is definitely the time to do it. Not only do you get a chance to win a trip to come meet me, but your membership only increases in value over time. 
Think about this … 

  • There are currently more than 60 hours of content in the Boundaries.Me digital library. My team and I add at least two courses a month, so the library continues to GROW! 
  • You...
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Why It's Difficult for Someone to Receive a Gift

Uncategorized Dec 05, 2019

A person who gives often struggles to receive. Why is that? 

A hurt or a pain from the past makes it difficult to receive a gift -- whether it's a compliment or a present. A person who has trouble receiving a gift has likely been betrayed, struggles to feel worthy of someone's goodness, or they don't want to feel like they're a burden and owe someone a favor. 

This holiday season, I'd like to encourage you to open your heart to the gifts of others. Perhaps the person giving is responding to their calling or a prayer. It brings them joy to give or to use their talents, and to deny their gifts is to deny their experience of joy. 

[Note: This is in reference to genuine giving and not in the context of receiving gifts from someone who chooses to do so out of manipulation, control or abuse.]

Seeking to connect with others? Join one of Dr. Henry Cloud's Boundaries Peer Groups. 

Boundaries in Marriage
Boundaries with Codependency
Boundaries in Dating

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