Cloud and Townsend Critique

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Introduction Cloud and Townsend are world-renown as a result of their work in the area of relational boundaries. The two introduce their work by using two married couples as examples. One couple represented has learned over time that boundaries are essential, resulting in a safe, supportive and loving relationship. The other couple failed to learn the lesson of proper boundaries so they live a life that is full of imbalance, hurt, fear and a marriage that is barely alive. Cloud and Townsend carefully explain why one relationship works and why the other one does not. The basis of the theory is that one must be free to be responsible to completely love the other (Cloud and Townsend, 1999). Their book is a roadmap to that lasting, loving marriage relationship. Summary of Theory Cloud and Townsend teach about the property lines of life, where one person’s responsibility ends and where another person’s begins. Cloud and Townsend present their book in three sections: understanding boundaries, building boundaries in marriage, and resolving conflict in marriage. The theory is based on the proper understanding and practice of personal boundaries. That is, “If we understand who owns what, we then know who must take responsibility for it” (Cloud & Townsend, 1999). This is developed into a triangle that they use to define a healthy relationship. Healthy interaction requires freedom, responsibility and love (Cloud & Townsend). Freedom, in this case, is the understanding that each person is a free agent and they make their own choices, including choices to limit the ways other’s behaviors will affect them (Cloud & Townsend). To foster the development of boundaries, they share what is called the ten laws of boundaries. These laws are fundamental to functional boundaries, because as with any other law in nature, they are always in force in your marriage. Fail to follow the
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