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It’s clear we cannot change others. But nor do we have to remain victims of their bad choices. We can set boundaries and determine what’s okay and not okay for us.

It’s often difficult to know how to respond when in relationship with someone whose consistent bad choices affect us.

Our natural tendency is to focus on the changes the other needs to make. And these might be legitimate issues.

However, we’re the ones left frustrated when they don’t change.

Certainly, our first step is to address any changes needed on our side of the street – getting rid of the log in our eye first.

Focusing on and correcting these issues is often enough to shift the relational dance toward the better.

But sometimes the other will still not take responsibility and continue to place the blame on us.

It’s now time to establish a clear boundary of what’s okay and not okay.

But this is our boundary and remains focused on the choices we can make. We still cannot change the other.

It’s our responsibility to both clearly communicate and uphold the boundaries we establish.

For instance, we may determine it’s no longer okay with us to be in relationship with someone we cannot trust.

But our focus is not on trying to get the other to stop lying or to become more trustworthy. While good things, our boundary communicates what we’re willing to accept and not accept.

And if the other continues to be untrustworthy, we might then choose to limit or end our relationship with them.

This is how we honor our own boundaries and exercise our freedom in relationships.

The boundary is yours. Take responsibility for what’s okay and not okay for you.

Photo by Edan Cohen on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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