Weak and Wobbly Walls

I love old houses and historic buildings, but it can make me nervous when the floors creak and the walls whistle with the blowing wind. If your personal walls are weak and wobbly, watch out!

It’s time to fix that poor construction!

When dealing with those who manipulate you, be aware of this: Those who are used to you giving in to them will probably be angry when you don’t cave in to their demands. They may reject you, try to isolate you, or blame you.

These reactions are to be expected.

These people have known you as you have been for many years and have gotten used to it. They probably like your unhealthy boundaries because it lets them be in control, whether through anger or whining. When you make the attempt to change, it will throw them off-kilter. Let them own their feelings and reactions. You can only change yourself.

Don’t give up. Don’t give in.weak boundary


All right, it’s time to get started. You have discovered your unhealthy boundaries so you’ll need to make the decision to change. Stick with it!

After your decision is made, it’s best to make a plan. Make things easier by strategizing about specific people and situations that continually challenge you.

  • If you always submit to someone demanding or even “guilting” you into sacrificing your family or personal time so you can pamper them, determine to offer an alternative. You could say, “I understand you want to spend time with me, but I have to help my child with a school project right now. I’ll give you a call tomorrow morning around ten.” And then follow through as promised.

Unless there is an emergency, your commitment to yourself, your spouse, and your children must come first. You are an adult. Remember that I Corinthians 13 says that when I was a child I spoke (and reacted) as a child . . . now that I am an adult, I have put away childish things.

A healthy adult acts rather than reacting.

Don’t let another person’s whining or complaining derail your good and healthy plan.  You will probably feel guilty, but own your feelings by acknowledging them and reminding yourself that your response was healthy. Ask God for comfort and for wisdom (James 1:5).

  • If you tend to submit to others who rage, argue, or insult you, step back and say something like, “I get very uncomfortable when you say things like that. I am going into the other room now. I’ll come back when you are calmer.” You are sending the message that you are no longer accepting their manipulation.

They will likely stomp and bluster for awhile, but when they realize that you are refusing to play the game they should start trying to communicate more calmly. Remember, it will demand strength and persistence on your part.worn-out boundary

If you are in a truly abusive relationship, it will probably be best to actually leave and communicate from a distance, possibly through a third party. Your safety is paramount.


Again, if your attempts to correct your responses are unsuccessful, don’t give up. Shake off the disappointment and try again next time. No one succeeds right away; you are breaking lifelong patterns of behavior and learning new ones.

And that’s a lot of work!


part 3 in a 5 part series on boundaries

Next time: When your boundaries are too strong

Part 1| Protect Yourself With BHB**

Part 2| Why Did I Draw These Borders Here?

Part 4| A Fortress is a Lonely Home


illustrations courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net