Running head: THEORY CRITIQUE OF CLOUD AND TOWNSEND
A Critique of Cloud and Townsend’s Boundaries in Marriage Ronji H. Hatchell
Dr. Clayton Smith
April, 22, 2011
A Critique of Cloud and Townsend’s Boundaries in Marriage
Cloud and Townsend (1999) wrote a gem of a manual when they penned their book about how to include boundaries in marriage. The basic premise of the book is that it takes two mates that are willing to respect each other’s boundaries (while maintaining personal boundaries) in order to have a healthy partnership. Of course this is easier said than done. Cloud and Townsend delineate boundaries as the ways in which we define and maintain our sense of individuality, freedom and personal integrity. The boundaries are displayed by Cloud and Townsend in four parts: Understanding Boundaries, Building Boundaries, Resolving Conflict and Misunderstanding Boundaries.
In part one, Cloud and Townsend (1999) explained the importance of boundaries and what happens to couples that do not place an importance on them. The partnerships that lack these borders, both personally and collectively, are destined to either fail or loosely exist in an unhealthy environment. The authors gave examples of boundaries, which include words, truth, consequences, emotional and physical distance, people and time. Cloud and Townsend then list some principles labeled as the ten laws of boundaries to marriage that were created in order to aid couples in solving their problems before they start. These laws were Sowing and Reaping (actions have consequences), Responsibility (responsibility to each other, not for each other), Power (we have power over some, but not all things), Respect (golden rule as it pertains to respecting boundaries), Motivation (must be free to say no before truly able to say yes), Evaluation (need to assess the pain our boundaries cause others),...
References: Cloud, H. & Townsend, J. (1999). Boundaries in marriage. Grand Rapids, MI:
Wilson, S. D. (2001). Hurt people hurt people: Hope and healing for yourself and your
relationships. Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers.
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