I am currently traveling for both business and a bucket list trip to Israel. Instead of stressing out trying to write answers to questions before I left, I thought I'd try something new.
In some of my private webinar teaching, I've done a Q & A at the end. I've chosen a few questions that I thought might be helpful to answer where you could either read the transcript or watch the video of my answer. The video is below.
Some of the most powerful feedback I've gotten on my blog is when people say it's so helpful to give examples of the ways you might say something. Each video and transcript you'll hear me give you many examples of ways you can say things around the problem asked.
Let me know if you like this format. If so, I will incorporate more vlogging in future blog posts.
Question: My husband hasn't heard of emotional abuse or verbal abuse. I feel he's not aware of the damage that he does to me and of our marriage. What should I do?
Answer: I think part of your job is to make him aware. Not by saying, “You’re an emotional abuser.” that will go over nowhere. But to say, “When you curse at me, it is really harmful to me. It makes me not want to be around you. It makes me feel afraid of you.”
So you tell the impact of what he does.. And, if he's a Christian, I think you can add, “The Bible says that your words are powerful. And when they're mean and negative and destructive, they hurt my heart and they hurt our relationship.”
So you don't have to use the words, “You're an emotional abuser. You're narcissistic.” I think that can really backfire. Instead, you want to say, “That hurts,” and then see whether your husband says, “Oh I'm sorry, I don't want to hurt you.”
If my husband grabbed my arm to pull me over to look at something and I say, “That hurts,” he's not going to keep pulling my arm because he cares that it hurts me. So if your husband is saying mean things and you're not telling him it hurts, how would he know it hurts? Whether he's touching you in wrong ways, or saying things that hurt you or financially doing things that are hurting you, if you don't say, “Ouch! Stop. Don't. I don't like that…” How is he going to know? He's not.
“Ouch, I don't like this. Stop.” And, “This is harmful to me. This is harmful to us.” This is where the next level of trust comes in. “Do you care about that? Do you care that you hurt me? Do you care that I feel hurt by this?” If he does, good. If he doesn’t, it’s a red flag. That tells you something.
Friend, when you let someone know the impact their behavior or words have had on you and there is only indifference, blame-shifting or shaming like, “you’re just too sensitive,” what does that tell you about your next steps?