Healthy boundaries are something that has to happen to feel like a relationship stays away from being overly toxic. When a loved one struggles with addiction, boundaries are usually the first thing to go out the window. As an addiction grows worse, over time, healthy boundaries fall away. Learn how to set healthy boundaries and build a better relationship.

What Are Boundaries?

A boundary is your own limit, an invisible line, that others are not allowed to cross. If this line gets crossed, an action must get taken to protect the boundary. A good, healthy boundary is one that others are not allowed to cross. If a person crosses a boundary, it is good to respond by letting others know by not tolerating bad behavior.

How to Respond

Responding to individuals who cross a boundary that was previously set must require consequences. For the person to feel the negative repercussions, a quick, responsive action must occur. The following are some ways to respond when a person crosses a personal boundary:

Respect your boundaries

If people are not respecting personal boundaries, it is an individual has allowed it to happen. Failing to follow through on set boundaries only teaches a person that it is okay to disrespect the boundaries because there is no self respect there.

Don’t make threats and not follow through

Many times a person can threaten to do something but not make good on those threats. It may be just to scare a person into believing it but it does not take long to figure out the game. Learning to stop making threats unless a person is prepared to keep their word is necessary to help healthy boundaries continue.

Build self-esteem

The courage a person needs to protect personal boundaries comes from a healthy sense of self-esteem. Turning focus forward to such things including exercise, journaling, meditation, and visualization can help. By growing in confidence and standing by personal boundaries, a person can learn not to disrespect set boundaries.

Seek help

One of the best ways to turn towards healthy habits is to reach out for those who care. Remember that a person does not have to do this on one’s own. Pick up the phone and reach out to a friend. Join a recovery group or find a sponsor to help give courage needed to stand by boundaries.

Positive changes can occur, it just takes time to make it happen. Be diligent and persistent while following through on what is said with action. This is the best way to support oneself and others going forward into a healthy recovery that focuses less on codependency and more on a healthy relationship.


Cypress Lakes believes in the power of relationships to transform addiction recovery. Call us to find out how we can help you learn to set healthy boundaries, abide by other’s boundaries, and build bridges of support for yourself on the journey. Call us to get started: 866-217-2636