Drop Your Weapons!

The raging bull never cares about running over people. Stomping, goring, and snorting to achieve his ends is a way of life to him. His weapons are part of him. He can’t put them down.

How about you? Have you made the decision to establish healthy boundaries, even though it might make you seem weak in your own eyes? Ready to drop the weapons you use to stay in control of relationships?

Good for you!

Be aware that someone who is used to you raging and/or taking control away from them will be confused and respond from that confusion. She may pull away. She may look like she’s waiting for “the other shoe to drop.” She could even be relieved for a little while, but when she realizes this isn’t a one-time thing the confusion and wariness will resume for a while.


If she is trying to establish healthy emotional boundaries, please support and help her. You will be far out of your comfort zone for a while. The best response will be for you to accept her attempts to change, observe for positive changes, and acknowledge them. This will not be easy. You are beginning to change long-term habits, just as she is. Be patient—with both of you!hands holding you away


Please understand that your poor boundaries and reactions have been hurting her badly. You must regain her trust. That will only be accomplished through persistence, patience, and consistency. You can do this!


Once again, make a plan ahead of time. Strategize about what you will do when the circumstances occur that trigger your manipulative responses. The first thing you should decide to do is to start with calm communication. When you feel worn-out boundaryyourself wanting to take over, to insult, even to bully, stop and take a deep breath. Step away. Count to ten if it helps. Do whatever you need to do to stop the cycle. Then ask the other person, “what are you trying to tell me? I don’t think I understand.” Or, “what do you need?” If you are unable to put yourself in her place and empathize, ask whatever will help you clarify the situation.


She may be stumped if you ask about her current needs. Most people who have weak emotional boundaries are not used to realizing their own needs, much less verbalizing them. She may try to skirt the issue. Here’s where the technique of “active listening” can come in handy. Respond in this manner to help her clarify her thoughts: “I think I hear you saying (this). Is that right?” Essentially, ask her if what you are hearing is actually what she means to say.

I know this can be very frustrating, especially if you are used to being the controlling person in every situation. I promise, a healthy relationship with healthy emotional boundaries on both sides will improve your lives significantly. You’ll have more peace, more confidence, more true communication, and more genuine love.

How long will it take to change unhealthy boundaries to healthy ones? I can’t tell you. Every person is different. God will help. Continually check in with Him. Ask for wisdom, strength, and courage.

As you both change, you will begin to notice more evidence of the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22).


And that’s a wonderful way to live!free girl in meadow


part 5 of a 5 part series on boundaries

Part 1| Protect Yourself With BHB**

Part 2| Why Did I Draw These Borders Here?

Part 3| Weak and Wobbly Walls

Part 4| A Fortress is a Lonely Home

** Some of this material was gleaned from the book, “Boundaries”, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. It is an in-depth guide to setting emotional as well as physical boundaries, and a classic in the field. I highly recommend it.


illustrations courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net