Beyond Boundaries Book Review

What can I say? I loved this book!

The first thing that struck me about Beyond Boundaries was how applicable the material is to a variety of situations. In other words, it’s not just for those who are trying to rebuild a relationship after trust has been broken.


It can also apply to …

  • Determining whom you should/shouldn’t trust
  • Understanding how to navigate a new relationship
  • Understanding how to open yourself to the changes you need to make in any relationship
  • Understanding how to safely navigate out of an unhealthy relationship
  • Understanding how to grieve the loss of a relationship
  • Understanding how to become a trustworthy person …

 Just to name a few.

I have to admit, although I love John Townsend’s writing, I’ve felt like his classic Boundaries book (that he co-wrote with Henry Cloud) was a bit dry and not as practical as his later writings. Don’t get me wrong. The classic Boundaries book is a great resource for the beginner boundary setter, but Beyond Boundaries is far from “dry.”

Beyond Boundaries is an easy and engrossing read that’s choked full of practical guidance for anyone hoping to improve their relationships and/or relational skills.

In fact, it has so much helpful and practical information, I plan to read it again and again—just so I can integrate it into my thinking and relating. I guess, I think I’m a bit dense when it comes to boundaries! It takes a lot of reminding and rehearsing for it to take hold in my life.


Most of all, I want to encourage you to read this book and pass it on to those in your life that you love. (Well, on second thought, pass it on to your enemies too because I’m sure the benefits will come rolling back your way in no time!)


If you’re interested, here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“The reason the perception of moral superiority doesn’t help you is that it prevents growth and great relationship. It inhibits personal growth because growth requires humility.” p. 56

“How do you know if someone has the capacity to comfort? By the degree to which they remain present with you when you grieve. Being present means they don’t try to give you advice, cheer you up, or change the topic.” p. 96

“…People who feel secure can agree with someone else and still be separate from and equal to them.” p. 118

“One of the signs of character is that a person does what it takes to restore a relationship.” p. 193

“Avoid the “good-guy-bad-guy” dynamic … Even if your contributions to the relational problems are less severe, do the work. Work just as hard on yourself as you want her to work on herself. The person who commits the misdemeanor must take this just as seriously as the person who commits the felony.” p. 222

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  • Sounds like a great read! Thanks for the review. I’ll be on the lookout for it. It’s been awhile since I read the original Boundaries book.

  • Shannon

    Sounds like just what I need Beth. Ill b sure to check it out very soon!

  • i had a beast of a time commenting earlier…but it seems to be working now…will def check this out…read the predecessor and while a great book…i am glad to hear this one is as practical but a little more digestible

  • Thanks for the review! It wasn’t even on my radar since I had a hard time with “Boundaries”. Good to know this is worth another shot! Thanks!

  • Janae Maslowski

    I love this quote from the book, “Being present means they don’t try to give you advice, cheer you up, or change the topic.”
    I read the original Boundaries and loved it, happy to hear of a new book to check out. Thanks.

  • messymarriage

    Thanks for stopping by, Lisa. I always appreciate your encouragement!

  • messymarriage

    Yeah, I hadn’t thought about it, but it could be another great resource for your situation. I’m so glad you stopped by! 🙂

  • messymarriage

    Thanks for being persistent, Brian! And for letting me know things were a bit wacky earlier. I was wondering. Yeah, this Boundaries book, in my opinion, far outshines the original Boundaries book.

  • messymarriage

    I’m so glad you’re going to give this one a shot. It’s really worth it! Thanks for stopping by!

  • messymarriage

    I’m so glad you’re going to give this one a shot. It’s really worth it! Thanks for stopping by!

  • messymarriage

    I know! That’s one of my favorites–so convicting! Thanks for stopping by, Janae!

  • messymarriage

    I know! That’s one of my favorites–so convicting! Thanks for stopping by, Janae!

  • Emily Wierenga

    sounds like a wonderful book… and friend, re: your comment on my post, i am praying for you…

  • OOOOH! I want to check this book out. I have a friend who LOVES the boundaries books and has also shared some other great resources for boundaries in relationships. This sounds like a great gift for us both. Will share this link with her!

  • messymarriage

    Thank you so much, Emily! I have felt your prayers and am doing much better today!

  • messymarriage

    I’m so glad this review was helpful to you and your friend, Donna. And it’s always good to see your smiling face around my blog, friend!