How to Set Boundaries with Addicts and Get Them the Help They Need

Uncategorized Mar 09, 2020
 

 

When I was trained in addictions treatment, I was taught that a codependent person plays a role in the addiction of the person they're connected to; and when I began to interact with clients, I was amazed at how true that was. Change the codependent, and the addict often changes as well. I was pretty impressed with the wisdom of the addiction specialists when I was a grad student.

But then, I was even more impressed when I learned that these specialists were not the first to speak of this principle. God was. Listen to this passage from Leviticus:

"Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt."

The Bible tells us that when someone needs to be confronted, we are to confront them and set limits with them, or we will "share in their guilt." In other words, we are part of the problem if we are enabling it. 

When we understand our part in a negative situation and do what we need to do, we can change the...

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The Boundaries That Make Marriage Work

Uncategorized Mar 08, 2020

When two people marry, two lives blur together to make a new one, two become one. The blurring of expectations and feelings can become an issue. Many times a spouse will automatically expect that the love in the marriage means that her spouse will always see things her way. She may feel unloved when her otherwise-loving mate says, “No, I’d rather not take a walk. I’m sleepy.” Sometimes this happens during the “honeymoon period,” when both parties tend to see eye-to-eye on everything. But when the reality of two different wills, needs, and perspectives comes in, the honeymoon is over. This is when the Law of Respect must be applied.

For example, a couple with whom my wife and I are close, Nick and Colleen, mentioned the same problem at dinner one night. Nick said, “Sometimes Colleen withdraws from me for no reason at all.”

“There is a reason,” Colleen replied. “When I try to say no to you and you try to control me, I...

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No Matter How Bad It Gets, You Have Options

Uncategorized Mar 06, 2020

A woman complained to me about a coworker who would always interrupt her while she was trying to get her job done. She acted as if her tendency to be behind in her work was her coworker’s fault.

“Why do you talk to her?” I asked.

“What do you mean?” she replied.

“When she comes in and interrupts, why do you get into a conversation with her?”

“Well, I have to. She is standing there talking.”

“Why don’t you just tell her that you have work to do, or close your door and put up a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign?”

The woman looked at me with a blank stare. To have choices and to have control of her own behavior was a concept that hadn’t occurred to her. She felt that if something happened “to her,” then that was the way it had to be.

There was nothing she could do to change it.

[RELATED: You Don't Have to Be a People-Pleaser. Here's Why.]

When I suggested that she had many choices, she quizzed me...

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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

Websites:

ssekodesigns.com

lizforkinbohannon.co

Instagram: @lizbohannon and @ssekodesigns


Boundaries.Me Courses Related to this Episode

Boundaries in Marriage 

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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Help Your Adult Children Without Enabling Them

Uncategorized Feb 27, 2020

Being a parent doesn't stop just because our kids reach a certain age. Many of us find that our love for our children is wrapped up in our desire to protect our kids and make sure their basic needs are taken care of, and that can go on well past any given age for a lot of parents. Helping our kids feels really good in the right situation, and sometimes we're the only place they can turn to when they're trying to make positive change in their lives. But we're also the place they're most likely to turn when the going gets tough, and sometimes struggling is necessary for our development.

When do you think it's a good idea to support your adult child directly? Not just moral support or love, but financially?

Every parent-child situation is different, but let's say that all parties agree that you've found a fair way to provide support for your adult child and that you have the means to be able to help them while they work toward a goal.

When you help your adult children, you're a...

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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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