Are You Tired of Controlling and Manipulative Relationships?
If so, you've probably read tons of books and blogs on boundaries. You may know why you need them, but learning how to enforce them can be a different story. That's why I've created LOVE U. It's a 6-week hands on course on all things boundaries
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Setting healthy boundaries sounds easy, but boundaries are one of the most misunderstood relationship topics. Most of the women I coach acknowledge the need for them, but struggle with figuring them out, and then articulating and enforcing them.
Maybe you’ve thought boundaries weren't necessary or even a tad selfish. That you should focus on making others happy and ignore your own needs.
With your spouse or boyfriend, maybe you thought it was his job to protect your heart, not yours. That if he loved you, there was no need to set boundaries.
If you've felt this way, what did you do when you were mistreated? Taken advantage of? Lied to? Cheated on? Often the only way to squash the pain and injustice is to ignore it all together. But at some point, the volcano explodes. Anger stuffed inside has to come out somehow.
When you've tried to fix him but NOTHING works.
In my marriage to my first husband I was constantly frustrated because he left his socks and underwear on the floor. No matter how much I asked, he refused to put them in the hamper. It made me feel disrespected.
Okay, I know this sounds like a trivial example, but when it happened on a daily basis, I started to get angrier and angrier. Why couldn't he honor such a simple request?
But it wasn't just the socks and underwear. It was other stuff, too. He lied about everything, so I never felt I could trust him. Plus he was allergic to work (#lazy) so our bills were constantly piling up.
And then there was the drug addiction. Yeah, that. I was beyond frustrated. Something had to give.
Maybe you can relate. When relationship issues get out of control, people have opinions.
Friends may say,
"Stay & Pray" or "Run Away"
Why neither work.
Maybe you've tried to fix him. Tried harder to please him. Prayed till your knees wore holes in the carpet. Maybe you even tried leaving, only to return when his lethal mixture of angry accusations and pathetic promises to change made you feel like you flunked Christianity 101.
I tried too. Until I was blue in the face. After I exhausted every effort imaginable, I finally realized that if someone was going to change, it had to be me.
With the help of a mentor I learned about boundaries and she helped me create my first boundary statement—the way I would not only communicate my request but also communicate a consequence or how I’d respond if it wasn’t respected.
Before I learned how to create effective boundaries I thought I only had two choices: I could either be angry because I had to tolerate Tom's emotional abuse and unacceptable behavior or I could be content because he treated me with respect. This mindset allowed him to control my peace. Thankfully, my mentor helped me see other options.
She helped me understand that as hard as I tried, I couldn’t change Tom. The only person I could change was me.
"You Can't Make Others Change. You Can Only Change Your Actions."
That was my wake up call. Now I was finally ready to set my very first boundary. We all have to start somewhere. It doesn't matter where. The important thing is that we JUST START.
What I wanted was a neat home and as far as I could tell, my husband couldn't care less. So here's what I did. I told Tom that I’d be happy to do his laundry if he put his dirty clothes in the hamper. BUT, and here's the communicated consequence: if I had to pick up his things, I’d put them in a different laundry basket and I would not do that laundry.
Guess what happened? Despite his persistent promises, Tom didn’t change. Not one bit. He still didn’t pick up his dirty clothes, but an amazing thing happened to my peace. I was no longer angry. I’d finally learned how to quit allowing his actions to control me.
Like I said earlier, this may seem like a trivial example, but until I made a decision to set boundaries for smaller irritations I'd never be able to enforce them in more difficult situations. Before I learned how to communicate and enforce boundaries, daily frustrations build into huge mountains of anger. Just like a small splinter causes much pain, it’s the little foxes that spoil the vine.
What if I just ran away because I got fed up? I never would have learned to find my personal strength. Furthermore, my weaknesses would have pushed me into another toxic relationship and caused me to repeat the cycle all over again .
What if I just prayed and stayed? Absolutely prayer works, but we need more than prayer. When it comes to control, manipulation and abusive behavior, we need to reclaim our strength and put faith and feet with our prayers.
Proverbs 5:9 even tells us: Don’t give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel. When we sit back and comply because we're afraid to confront, we give others permission to take advantage of us.
Are You Ready to Stop the Blood Loss and Take Back Your Strength?
Setting boundaries can be difficult. Saying no is hard, too. I get it, but here's the deal.
We teach others how to treat us by what we continue to tolerate.
Let me give you some clarity on what I mean and what I don't mean.
First, I don't mean that you can change his behavior by teaching him, lecturing him or giving him advice. None of that works with a man who has no respect for others. Words are meaningless. Action and leverage are necessary.
What I do mean is this: your tolerance gives him the illusion that his behavior is acceptable and places no demand on him to change.
Without boundaries, your actions communicate that you won't contest his treatment and that makes you vulnerable to his continued control. Either through your unwillingness to confront abuse or inappropriate behavior, a lack of boundaries or an unwillingness to walk away, you'll send the message that you'll accept his control, manipulation or abuse.
Without boundaries, you feel stuck and end up frustrated and angry with him. Whether it’s because you want his approval, feel guilty for saying no, or are afraid of confrontation, living life as a doormat is never what God intends.
And it's never too late.
I have lots of women in their 30's, 40's and 50's join my coaching groups, but often more mature women think they're too old to join. I hate it when they think that, because you'll learn in Kelsey's story that after 50 years of being in a toxic relationship, she finally found the courage to set boundaries and put an end to the emotional and narcissistic abuse. Kelsey is proof that it's NEVER too late to reclaim your emotional freedom in Christ.
Be like a boxer and guard your heart.
Have you ever noticed where boxers keep their hands in a fight? In front of their heart.
Boxers know how important it is to guard their heart so they can stay in the fight. If they get hurt, then all their efforts are spent recovering from their injuries instead of staying in the ring. The same is true in relationships. If we don't set boundaries to keep others from hurting us we waste lots of time cleaning up the mess from our own emotional injuries.
Even Proverbs 4:23 advises us to guard our heart, for out of it flows the issues of life.
When we don't utilize boundaries it's easy to get worn out with disappointment, anger, self-pity and depression. So next time you think you are doing the "Christian thing" by saying yes when you really meant "no", consider this: No is a very spiritual word. No is a simple, but great boundary. Even Jesus didn't say yes to everything.
Would you like to learn simple but effective ways to set healthy boundaries?
My first marriage was full of manipulation, control and abuse. And it continued in part because I was naive and nice. I misunderstood the difference between being a peacemaker and a peacekeeper. But I found my way to freedom and I'd love to help you find yours.
I'd love to show you how you can regain your confidence and find your voice again. If you've followed me for any time at all, you know how passionate I am about equipping women to live soul-healthy lives. And I truly believe this one thing: it's not possible to be emotionally healthy and enjoy satisfying relationships without knowing how to communicate and articulate healthy boundary statements.
Setting boundaries does not have to be aggressive, but it does need to be assertive. We give away our power when we refuse to confront. Plus, we often end up resentful when others trespass against us.
Sometimes, however, we don't even recognize how angry we are. We stuff our emotions. We hide the pain. We camouflage the chaos.
My friend Valerie never realized she was angry. Frustrated maybe. Overworked, yes. She never had time for herself. As the dependable one, there was always a crisis or some kind of family emergency to take care of. But since she stuffed her anger, it went unnoticed.
For a lonnnnng time. UNTIL...
Her anxiety hit the roof and her employer told her to take medical leave and go to counseling. It didn't take long for her therapist to identify the real issue: a mountain of anger was well concealed under a blanket of anxiety and depression.
How I can relate to her story! Maybe you can too. Before I learned how to set healthy boundaries,
I was an easy target for manipulators
I was constantly angry when others mistreated me
I was a people-pleaser with no identity of my own
Thankfully my mentor told me the hard truth:
Christy, you'll never Conquer what you're unwilling to Confront.
Setting boundaries was difficult at first, I'm not gonna lie. But like anything, I learned that the more I practiced them, the easier they became and the more freedom and peace I enjoyed.
Today, I can honestly say that I'm glad I was in a relationship with a controlling and manipulative man. Maybe you're thinking, Wow, Christy, really? How can you say that?
Here's why: My people-pleasing recovery journey taught me how to find my identity in Christ, not in the opinions of others. Over the course of time I learned some amazing new skills that brought freedom, confidence and strength. I learned to love me again. I also learned 6 core strengths:
If you're ready to reclaim Your God-Given confidence and strength I'd love to show you what I've learned!
Some women have been coerced with narcissistic notions that submission and surrender obligate them to say yes. That somehow it’s more Godly to be agreeable. That's twisted truth and makes them a magnet for manipulation. We're supposed to let our yes be yes and our no mean no. The good news is that we don’t have to allow others to trespass against us. The Bible says, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor,” not "Thou shalt please thy neighbor."
I'm compelled to set the record straight.
That's the reason why I created my online coaching program, "LOVE U Again: How To Protect Your Heart When He Won't”
Love U Again has helped many other women just like you.
Love U Again dives into the practical application of all things boundaries. In this six-week online coaching program I'll teach you everything I learned the hard way. You'll learn how to get STRONG!
In a small group of like-minded women, I'll help you get direction and wisdom on how to tackle the personal challenges in your life. But I bet you'll also learn from the other ladies in the group. That's what I love about small group dynamics. Growing is contagious!
Here's what you'll get:
- 1Weekly Group Coaching Calls: 6 live group video coaching calls conducted weekly on Zoom.
- 2Course Dashboard: Private access to the course dashboard with 6 weeks of curriculum and worksheets.
- 3Closed Facebook Group: Learn and grow from other like minded women who share your same goals for growing stronger and more confident in relationships. It's a safe place to discuss concerns and find answers.
- 4Private Coaching Discounts: As always, group coaching clients get a 20% discount on all of my individual coaching packages.
After years of destructive relationships, Donna finally found her courage!
Here's what other clients have to say:
Thank you so much for being such an important part of my story.
I've come along way since I took your courses, which were so life giving to me. I was in such a sad and broken place. All that I learned and put to practice helped me to stay the course on my journey out of a destructive marriage. I've been separated since January. I just let him know that God has released me. I actually said those words. I can hardly believe it, but I did it. It's still scary, but I'm trusting God for what I need.
Thriving through separation
"My confidence has soared..."
"I grew up in a violent home where questioning or speaking out against the abuse and pain was regarded as rebellion and therefore punished. As a result, I learned to stuff my feelings and explain myself for everything so I didn't get interrogated. Boundaries were nonexistent. The cycle of abuse, along with the baggage of shame and unworthiness carried over into two marriages. But Love U Again has changed all of that and has had a multi-generational impact on my family. As I applied what I learned, my self-confidence dramatically improved and created a climate for healthier and more satisfying relationships in all areas of my life, including my relationship with my mother. Another bonus is seeing my children apply the skills I've learned and am now modeling to them!"
Young Living Essential Oils Consultant and Detox Specialist
"I will never be the same again."
"The course was the perfect fit for me. I believe it was God that guided me to find Christy on YouVersion. My life has changed forever. I learned a lot and will never be the same again."
"Boundaries are my ticket to emotional freedom and healthy relationships..."
"In past relationships I blamed myself for everything and stayed away from confrontation at any cost. I made excuses for the men in my life and minimized their behavior. But in Love U Again, I learned how to trust my gut instincts, guard my heart, and evaluate character. I now have the tools I need to have a life filled with peace and healthy relationships."
Home Mom and Teacher
"I've learned when to say yes and when to say no."
"Before I took this class I was at such a low point that I honestly could not see tomorrow. I'd been trying to separate from a very difficult relationship that I found myself in and wasn't sure how I was going to get out of it. From the beginning to the end of the classes, I realized that the Lord kept me in this fire so I could find myself and what I wanted to be. I learned when to say yes and when to say no. I've also learned how to identify some of the emotions I've buried for years. As horrible as the struggle had been, I had to go through it so God could build me back into the person He wanted me to be."
Nurse, Realtor and Mom
"Priceless!! Thank you for helping me to recognize, navigate and learn boundaries!"
"I learned so much about boundaries with myself and others. This course taught me that I can’t change what I won’t confront. Boy that was me before!! I’m so grateful to have had a safe place to confront my controlling behavior, and learn to undo problems and distorted thinking that have held me down most of my life! And the bonding and sharing with Christy and the other girls was priceless!!"
Retired & celebrating a new life with Christ
"I’m seeing almost everyday how effective this class has been in multiple relationships!"
LOVE U Again gave me the Godly wisdom and practical tools I needed to really help me get all of me back to God. I was able to let God guard my heart, to sort/separate some deep issues and get that breakthrough to finally move forward!
The size of group was very helpful to get to know one another and build relationships and support. Zoom allowed for group discussion but also opportunity to self reflect individually as well. No one is alone! Christy provides a Bible based roadmap with candid transparency. Highly recommend as it will be life changing!
A fabulous opportunity to join at HALF PRICE!
Other coaches tell me I'm crazy for doing this, but because I don't want you to miss out on the chance to improve your spiritual and emotional health, I'm determined to keep the cost low!
LOVE U Again is valued at $397,
but you'll only pay $197!
I’m committed to helping women find emotional freedom. Not long ago, the Lord gave me this illustration through the story of the widow and the oil in 2 Kings 4. Gather empty vessels, close the door and pour out the oil. That's what my coaching programs are all about. A place where you can privately find hope and healing and be filled up with the oil of joy!
How Does it Work?
Your course dashboard:
During week 1 of LOVE U AGAIN, you'll be given access to the course dashboard—this is where you'll view your lessons each week and download printable worksheets to help you reflect on the course principles and implement them into your life and relationships.
The highlight of each week is when we come together for a live one-hour meeting on Zoom’s video platform that I will personally lead. These will be dynamic discussions centered around the curriculum and the real issues each of you face. You’ll be challenged with compassion, grace and God’s truth to overcome the obstacles that compromise your peace.
If you can't make it to the live sessions, don't worry. They'll always be available for replay so you can catch up, or re-watch and take notes if you didn't catch everything the first time.
In addition to the online learning materials, you'll have access to the private Facebook community, LET GO & THRIVE, where you can ask questions and connect with myself and other women in the group.
Who is LOVE U AGAIN for?
Single, married, divorced, or widowed women who want to learn how to articulate and establish better boundaries in romantic as well as personal and professional relationships.
How many women are in a group?
Great question! In order to maintain a climate of trust and confidentiality as well as give each woman time to share during our weekly video meetings, groups will be limited to no more than 12 women each. But all groups will have access to the private Facebook page where you can interact with other group members, ask questions, gain wisdom, support and make new friends.
My commitment to you
If you've subscribed to one of my YouVersion plans or watched any of the Love Junkies teaching series, you know I'm passionate about what I do. Through the truth in God's word, I'm committed to helping you overcome the false beliefs and obstacles that have kept you stuck.
Make a decision to love u again!
The most spiritual word I ever learned was how to say "no" and NOT feel guilty."
Copyright 2022, Christine Johnson LLC