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Dr. Jim Stout - Author, Speaker, Consultant

10 Strategies to Protect Your Boundaries

In boxing, right before the fight starts, the referee motions the fighters to the center of the ring and gives last minute instructions to them, including the warning: “Protect yourselves at all times.” This is wise advice for anyone, not just professional boxers. Think about it: police wear SWAT vests, and football players use helmets…

Dr. Jim Stout - Author, Speaker, Consultant

7 Guidelines for Creating Clear Boundaries

How can you set boundaries that will protect and enhance your job performance, family time, and personal life? Consider these seven suggested guidelines: Redefine your concept of success. Beware of the tyranny of the urgent. Take better care of yourself. Commit to taking better care of your family. Identify passive or aggressive areas of conflict.…

Dr. Jim Stout - Author, Speaker, Consultant

How to Recognize When You Need Boundaries

I knew a man in Florida who repeatedly ignored his car’s check-engine light. He kept driving, week after week, and finally the engine burned out. His failure to pay attention to the warning signs cost him nearly $2,000 in repairs. Unfortunately, there is no quick, easy formula for balancing the demands of career, family, and…

Dr. Jim Stout - Author, Speaker, Consultant

The Most Common Effects of Weak Boundaries

A lack of clear personal or professional boun­daries can lead to several types of serious difficulties. Unhappy Coworkers, Unhappy Family Let’s face it: if you don’t set and maintain boundaries, you will lose time and intimacy with your family. Yet when you do set limits, you may lose the approval of some coworkers. Either way,…

Dr. Jim Stout - Author, Speaker, Consultant

The Most Common Rationalizations for Poor Boundaries

It’s easy to avoid dealing with a boundary problem by rationalizing, “My over-committed lifestyle won’t last forever. Besides, things are going okay for me and my family. I’ll slow down next month.” Or the ever-popular: “Negative things won’t happen to me, because I’m doing the best I can with long work hours and difficult people.…

Dr. Jim Stout - Author, Speaker, Consultant

The 2 Types of Boundary Problems

How is it possible to build a happy, balanced home life when you are always gone? If you say yes to too many work-related requests, your family and personal life will suffer. Obviously, some hard questions need to be raised: What does your job description say about your overtime work? Do you have the courage…

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A Lack of Strong Boundaries is the Number One Killer

Professionals say, hands down, that the biggest career, marriage, and family killer—regardless of age, socioeconomic status, education, or faith—is a lack of strong, clear boundaries. My own experience as a pastor, and as one who has counseled countless men and women, underlines the critical importance of creating and enforcing boundaries in one’s work and personal…

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What my wife has done to heal our marriage despite my mental illness

Restoring a marriage that has been injured by mental illness starts with a deliberate choice to begin again and again and again. As a couple works at rebuilding their strained marital relationship, it takes rugged willingness and patient endurance. Sometimes, the healthy partner must give 99 percent of the effort because the other may be…

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How my wife coped with the effects of my bipolar disorder

How did I cope with the negative effects of Jim’s bipolar disorder? Well, Jim frequently says that education is over half the battle in dealing with bipolar disorder or other brain illnesses. I agree with him, because I believe knowledge about an illness and its treatments is as necessary for family members as it is…

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What to do if a mentally ill spouse is unwilling to get help

Healing and rebuilding your marriage may seem like an impossible task. Your energy and optimism are probably depleted, if not demolished. Your emotions may be frayed to the breaking point. But if possible, do everything you can to save your marriage. However, if you’ve worked at your relationship for a long time and tried everything…

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