Morning Friends,

Please pray for me this week. I’ve been traveling and speaking a lot with the remnants of bronchitis and I’m feeling pretty worn out.  I have another speaking engagement this Saturday and I want to do a good job.  Pray that God give me supernatural strength the next few days both to get ready for it and then for Saturday.

I have been posting lots of information this month for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Videos, blogs and articles.  Check them out.

 

Today’s Question:  In the past year and a half, my spouse lied to me about things I could prove otherwise. He apologized and said, “I had to forgive him.” This response made me question his apology. We've been married 30 years and he wants to forget about all the wounds during that time and focus on the next twenty years.

I've gone to so much counseling and he did not go to any. I told him it was important to me for him to go because I wanted my feelings validated. I wanted to know “someone” heard me and I wanted someone to get through to him why I hurt and feel the way I do. He did not go.

In a heated discussion, he let it slip that “my thinking is twisted.”

I got very quiet after those remarks and refused to say any more.

Just the other day, I asked him a question about some friends who were coming to visit. I asked him if he went to college with him. He was engaged then and stayed in contact with this person throughout our marriage. He told me no, they were childhood friends. We visited with his friends and during dinner I found out that yes, indeed, these friends of his did attend college with him, three out of his four years. I didn't say anything until his friends left. It was then that I asked him why he told me they weren't at college with him the same time he was.

He told me that “they were married then,” which I had to remind him that they didn't get married until 5 years after college. I didn't ask, his friend told me their whole life story.

He gave me some other lame excuse and I told him to forget it.

I just want truth and I don't want to hurt anymore. I know he wants to live in the past; he does it regardless of my heartache. After all these years, I would like to believe that I matter.

He told me “the memories he has of Cindy (college lover/fiancé) were very special and he cherishes those memories.”

I know God sees the tears I shed and the loneliness I feel.

I do not think I am out of line to expect straight answers.

Any insight?

Answer:  God does see your tears and loneliness as he did Hagar’s when she was all alone in the desert.  She said, “The God who sees, sees me (Genesis 16:13). This will be important to remember as you face some hard truths.

As I have said numerous times, healthy people live in reality, not fantasy.  Do I think it is unreasonable for you to expect straight answers from your spouse?  No I do not.  But I do think, considering your husband’s history, that it is unrealistic for you to expect you will get straight answers from him.

Here’s what looks obvious to me from what you write.  Over the past year and a half your husband has lied to you. He says you have to forgive him but he doesn’t have to change.  He refused to go to counseling with you despite your requests for it. He thinks your thinking is twisted, so he doesn’t give your feelings or thoughts much credibility.  You asked him straight out if his friends were from college and he lied again.

What about the previous 28 years of marital history?  What has that been like? Is this lying and indifference to your feelings new behavior or is it just more of the same only worse?

On the one hand you say he wants you to forget about all the past wounds and focus on the next 20 years.  By that I’m assuming that there have been many more incidents of lying and wounding than within the past year and a half.  But what does he want to focus on in the future if you believe “he just wants to live in the past regardless of your heartache?”

Right now he seems quite clear that he is going to do and say what he pleases regardless of the impact on you.

I know that it must be hard hear such strong truth, like getting a bucket of cold water dumped on your head, but I see you are struggling to accept reality.  You say, “After all these years I would like to believe that I matter.”  Of course you would like to believe that you matter, but recent evidence shows the contrary.  He acts like you don’t matter.  What has previous history shown over the course of your 30 year marriage.  When have YOU mattered?

If his behaviors are more of a temporary lapse in judgment and your previous marital history shows caring and honesty, then you might implement consequences and separate, hoping that he will wake up to his deceit and his inappropriate infatuation with his previous fiancé.  However, if this is just more of the same pattern of behavior that you’ve lived with for 30 years, I’m not sure why you would expect anything to be different now.

Twitter To be healthy, you have to live in truth and you have to tell yourself the truth instead of living in what you wish were true. 

If you face the painful reality that you don’t matter that much to him, what does that mean for you now?

Friends:  What was it like when you had to face the cold, ugly truth about where your marriage was?  What did you do to move forward in a healthy way?

 

68 Comments

  1. Kimberly on October 15, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    I have these same issues with my spouse. He lies so often about Everything and then plays this game about me never believing him so why bother! Brings it back to me and my twisted thinking! Last week before he left for a business trip he told me he knows I love being a victim and I make all this up! So 23 years of lies and him blasting me and our children with hateful things he thinks of us is totally justified. He can’t help it we are all so sensitive and the truth hurts but we shouldn’t let it! He wouldn’t talk to anyone else like this. The cold water being thrown over my head happened for me less than a year ago and I found your website and I am growing in ways I have never before. I’m still struggling with keeping it a secret to protect our family but I am seeing with my eyes more truths and not allowing his “truths” to harm me and I do not believe them anymore. I am making steps, baby steps, but being confident in this that God is by my side and He sees my struggles and He has a plan for me. I’m reading and praying and remaining confident and positive instead of allowing his words to beat me down and keep me feeling useless. That is a healthy step for me!

  2. Jerry Sinclair on October 15, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    1/2 truth +1/2 truth =/= Honesty

    • Brenda on October 15, 2014 at 10:54 pm

      What?

      • Christine M. on October 16, 2014 at 1:22 pm

        “=/=” is “does not equal”

  3. Liz on October 15, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    I had to grieve the loss of the hope that there would ever be any change. I learned all I could about abusive relationships and worked on my CORE with Leslie’s help. How can you base a relationship on lies? I caught him in a lie and to this day he denies it. After over 30 years, I’ve chosen to seperate. Sometimes, there is still a glimmer of hope that he will allow God to change his heart but I don’t really expect that to happen so am doing what is best for my health and sanity for a change. It took me long enough to figure out what I need to do, right?

    • Anda on October 24, 2014 at 6:16 am

      I am new here but already know God has led me to a place I need to be. Which book will teachme aboutC

      • Anda on October 24, 2014 at 6:17 am

        Which book will teach me about my CORE?

        • Leslie Vernick on October 25, 2014 at 1:37 am

          The Emotionally Destructive Marriage will teach you about CORE strength. I also offer a 2 part class on building CORE strength and it will be available again early December. Watch my newsletter for the dates.

  4. Maria-Elena on October 15, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    Wow, what a loaded question. Like the writer, I too struggling to accept reality, but one day, I allowed the big nasty truth that I couldn’t even admit to myself surface to my conscience—my husband was a user/exploiter. Once you know the truth, you simply can no longer deny it. I simply had to act upon it. I also knew that my actions had to be swift and decisive. I had hoped that by imposing consequences, my husband would be jolted to the reality that he was going to loose a relationship with me. I ended up changing the locks on the doors which subsequently lead to a restraining order ( he broke a door to gain re-entry when I had previously locked him out). Of course, I had to spend the next several months into more than a year dealing with the reality that a relationship with me was not important and that me and my feelings did not matter. It’s a tough pill to swallow. Quite traumatizing actually, but I had to live in truth. I am so sorry for your pain. It is difficult to accept that the one who is supposed to love, cherish and protect you, actually does not, or is perhaps even unwilling or uncapable (due to personality/character flaws & sin) or doing so.) I have a much deeper understanding of 1st Corinthians 13 and recognize that I was actually treated with hate, rather than love. Although I still live with the pain for regret for my ignorance, I no longer live with someone who can actively inflict more pain upon me. Although it was not my first choice, divorce was his choice (even thought I’m the one who had to initiate it).

    • Michelle on June 24, 2016 at 6:29 am

      Wow, I am so there right now

  5. Robin on October 15, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    This topic has been huge for my life, and making necessary change. I love Leslie’s words about a healthy person lives in a true reality, not what she wished it was. I didn’t learn this over nite but when I dud my life certainly got much better. I sat back for 32 yrs waiting for my husband to do and be things- he never showed any signs of being interested in. Time and again Dr Henry Cloud reminds me that a persons past is a good indicator of what his future will look like unless there is a definite turn towards acknowledging their abuse and attending therapy. My husband didn’t change– I did. I finally came into s healthy reality that said I see it for what it is and I cannot continue on a path of so much disrespect, dishonesty, abuse…….. But it took slot of reflection for me to see the reality I was living in was full of misguided expectations. I think in our early married years it’s reasonable to expect our spouses to be truthful. But as the years go by, I think it’s wise to see truthfulness is something I am not receiving and I am choosing to live in a false hope. My recommendation would be read Dr Cloyds book on Necessary Endings or Leslie’s on how to build your core. For me, I needed to learn to look for truth and when it wasn’t there– quit pretending it is!!!

  6. Brenda on October 15, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    I’m praying for you Leslie. I know how tired you must be. I’ve been going through it myself and the cough lingers on. Your work Is so important. God will be with you.

    Long. It was years and years of knowing it was all wrong, but not wanting it to all be over. I wanted my life to end just knowing that I had made another mistake. I had to take a long look at me and decide that I was not going to allow myself to be treated that way anymore. Men had broken me for far too long. My leaving X was the best thing that I had ever done for myself. It was hard to accept that I continued to make the same mistake again. Now I am learning who I am, the good and bad. I am fearful of getting involved with another man. I talk to them, but keep my distance. At my daughters wedding this Saturday I danced the night away solo. The DJ came out and spun me around the floor. WOW!! I felt so good. I’m still not looking for a man, but I know there are good ones out there. I could feel it.

    • Leslie Vernick on October 16, 2014 at 1:25 am

      Thanks for your prayers. I am very tired and need to speak again this weekend. Pray for strength and the power of the Holy Spirit to embolden my words.

  7. Amy on October 15, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    Facing the cold, ugly truth was difficult in some ways for me, but also relieving in so many ways. For me, the truth was something that had been weighing on me for a while. Facing it was/is painful because it meant acknowledging how crazy things were; creating boundaries – that thus caused conflict, and challenged me (and still does) to practice my CORE strength. My biggest issue with facing the truth was how confident he was in himself and with certain lies – he would claim he said or did something drastically different than I had remembered him saying or doing. I would then often question myself because of his confidence. I couldn’t understand how he and I saw reality so differently and figured I must have been wrong because he was so sure of himself. A part of what helped me acknowledge things was his deployment. Most of our conversations were in text, so this helped a great deal. If things had gone badly, I could look back and see where I may have triggered something or not, and if he claimed he had never said something it was in text. I know this is not everybody’s conventional relationship, but maybe writing down statements could help, not to use against the spouse, but to help easier acknowledge to yourself that something is off and it might make for less “crazy-making”. What really helped me face the truth and act on it was that I knew I could not live with the way things were anymore. I finally understood, while some things might be more comfortable without confronting everything that was happening, there was little chance things were going to get better without facing the truth and creating boundaries. I’m in the middle of a separation at the moment and we are working on things, but I now know that no matter how difficult things get, they will either eventually get better, will work out, and be good, or we will part ways and I can move on.
    This blog and your book, Leslie, have helped me a great deal – thank you so much for them. To all the women who have expressed so many hurts on the blog, I am and will be praying for you. While my husband and I’s marriage has been very destructive, we have only been married for a little under three years – I cannot even begin to fathom how many of you have gotten through so many years of hurt and frustration. Again, praying for you all!

    • Jeff on November 9, 2014 at 6:13 pm

      . . .Constant lying. But why would people act against their own interest? Lying destroys ones self esteem and lying is corrosive so who would hurt themselves intentionally? Romans 7:19 “For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want to do.” Free-will? Free from what? Longer-term nothing is gratifying about hurting others, because it is not long before they react and that reaction will be swift and thoroughly negative. Who wants that? So I asked a lot of neuroscientists and brain researchers, why does it appear that some people are incapable of telling the truth? Why? . . . And those Ph.D./M.D.’s they wonder if you can you really, —really— make decisions independent of your genetics and conditioning. Maybe some DNA just doesn’t value commitment, honesty, affection, conversation, openness. Not being critical. Not judging. Not trying to change people but really loving them well. Safety, security, acceptance. . . . BUT, Hellfire and brimstone, who doesn’t want all that? Certain Neanderthal DNA? Only certain types of predatory animals don’t draw into unconditional love and acceptance! . . .Anyway, these women’s stories on this sight break my heart. In the end, God forces us to live like he is not even there. He is always just compatible with whatever happens. No survival of the kindest. It is only and always Praise the Lord –BUT– Pass the Ammunition. I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs and the legal system. –I hear you and more power to you. No one ever believes that the Bible means what it says; they are always convinced that it says what they mean. Why would Jesus want to see how effectively you can shut down the strong RATIONAL critical reasoning abilities he gave you to survive?

  8. kari on October 15, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    This woman is apparently living with what I lived for almost 35 years/and not knowing for all those years but always knew there was something but never had the time to discover what it was….nd now I am free after my son was killed-tragically on a motor cycle I never was aware/as never wanted him to have and my now ex helped him buy—as are donor machines and his being ADHD was even a worse case scenario….and since I was a trauma nurse for almost 28 years till destroying my back….then I was nothing even more as never was of any value or worth to him—nor did I know anything…..and even with my son’s death he has turned this around too so it is blamed on me for his death…..Then using persona rape too and making me what he is to others….God can only help with this all…..When going for legal separation so he would seek help as had been told this was the only hope for him he changed it to a divorce as would never admit any wrong on his part or ever any issues with himself/as I was always the “crazy” one and mentally ill….Keeping me in a constant spin and living on adrenalin as constantly in a fight-flight mode of survival….Oh God help is all I continue asking…..and leave it with the Lord to deal….As one can never do enough or be good enough for these type…. and he has stolen my daughter and everyone else close to me including my own Christian family and way so-called Christian family……Yes, these type individuals are gods themselves…they never take any consequences for their own actions and they will never change….as there is no treatment for them apart from a miracle from God above….and stealing my daughter too because of parent alienation syndrome I have nothing left….but Never will he take my faith and my salvation from me as is all that keeps me going…and my family members for years have been primed for being proxies for him down through the years of my marriage and when they need reinforcement they keep pulling more and more to use against one/the victim or abused one/to destroy and bring destruction for one any way they can….I am just thankful that the Lord has given me the ability to discern in my life what was going on….and study and do .research so I could comprehend of what I had lived…and am thankful to have been able to escape thus far….though they always will attempt to destroy one even though they may seem out of ones life….so one must always keep one’s guard up and alert to anything that may seem not right….though with the Lord’s protection surrounding me….as I must trust with faith and continue to just believe regardless how evil a situation God can still use it for his good as we realizer from Joseph in the Bible….and may the Lord Jesus Christ be praised, honored, and glorified with this entire situation as I prayed when holding my son’s cold empty earthen vessel/only of the Holy Spirit praying through me….and what a horrid journey it has been and am thankful I am this far on my journey….and what an awesome Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus I serve…Praise His Holy Name! Thank you..

    • jane on October 17, 2014 at 7:43 pm

      Kari, I was so lost for words as I read your story. It was as if I was reading my own life’s journey. Our lives are so similar in many many ways. I can only thank you for sharing your story and giving me a ray of hope to survive so much of the same journey we travel.

  9. Angie on October 16, 2014 at 12:53 am

    It took me leaving and finding Leslie’s book to discover the fantasy world I was living in. I was pretending that I could continue to carry the weight of making the marriage look good, making it seem OK to everyone else. When I left last November, I feel like the Holy Spirit was like, ENOUGH. You are worth more. You are important to me. Soon after leaving, I found Leslie’s book, and although my husband has attended anger management classes and some counseling, it had not prodiced the heart change that I was looking for. I have recently filed for divorce, and that has brought more doubt and grief, yet in the midst, I still know this is where I’m being directed. Things that changed my life and thinking from Leslie’s book are 1.You can love someone beter by making them face the truth 2. The Bible says to love your neighbor AS MUCH AS youself, which implies loving yourself is a part of who God wants you to be. For so long I veiwed my marriage as my cross to bear, not realizing the true freedom Christ died for. I am living free now. I read the blog weekly and find so much hope and joy in knowing the Spirit is moving in people’s lives and that our stories matter.

  10. Christine on October 16, 2014 at 1:14 am

    It is a very scary to finally see the truth about one’s spouse after many years of marriage. Staying connected with people like Leslie who build you up. Learn what you can about abuse and remember, as you learn that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness! Lean on Him and learn what he says about you. Still a journey for me after a marriage of 35 years and a divorce of six years.

  11. Lammie on October 16, 2014 at 1:30 am

    It took more than 3 decades, two affairs and multiple episodes of physical and emotional abuse before I was able to look reality in the face. Thankfully, I was able to educate myself through books by Leslie, George Simmons, Lundy Bancroft and others. My husband of 34 years claims to know Christ as his savior, yet he lies more often than not, uses scripture against me and just generally is unable to love in the authentic I John type of love. He is a narcissist and my part is being codependent. When one in such a union begins to get healthy (me) it means the demise of the relationship. The narcissist/codependent dance no longer works.

  12. Brenda on October 16, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Thank you, Christine. That did not compute in my brain.

    • Leslie Vernick on October 16, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      I had a double take too and thought about explaining it but I thought it was only me. Thanks Christine.

  13. Jenny on October 16, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    The Holy Spirit graciously opened my eyes to my husband’s deceit, posturing and abuse. He used my husband’s mistreatment, he used memory of and current displays of love by my father towards my mother, He used His word from the pulpit when the pastor said, “When God created woman, he declared the creation ‘very good’.” I began listening (without dismissing) to my husband’s comments about women in his family, at work, and his attitude behind the words. I watched how he watched commercials of scantily clad women or of the cheerleaders on tv. I paid attention to his consumeristic use of me in the bedroom. I paid attention to physical symptoms of distress (bowel problems, sleep problems, losing weight and eating poorly). I read God’s word daily, praying that I could meet his standards (so that my husband wouldn’t disapprove) – then I realized I wasn’t living in line with God’s good news. My marriage didn’t reflect the good news of the gospel. There was no taste of heaven in my home. My husband resembled the law, but no love. He he spoke lies, not truth, he spoke in hatred, not in love.

    The biggest change to my thinking came as I read the word, for myself (not just devotionals). My Grandma once told me that God’s Words in Scripture are the same words that He used to create the world. They have the same power. The more time I spent, the more light came into the darkness.

    The cost of following Christ and his glorious message of hope, redemption, both now and for the world to come – well for me it was almost more than I could bear. But, nothing compared to what it cost Christ to face reality and still choose to come to earth. He faced the truth in the Garden of Gethsemane and sweated drops of blood and yet, he still surrendered his life and, well he died. But, he died so that you and I would not have to.

    No one understands facing truth like Jesus. And when Peter faced the truth of his denying Christ, he wept bitterly but ran to Jesus. Judas faced the truth and killed himself. As you face truth, run to Jesus. You have the promise in the Psalms, that in facing truth “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of God in the land of the living.”

    The days i faced the truth, the blinders or scales came crashing. I almost couldn’t breathe in moments. I felt physically ill, my chest ached. I emotionally felt like I was dying. And the facade of our marriage was dying so that truth and beauty and the truth of God’s love could permeate our home and the hearts of those living in it.

    My husband spat at the grace being offered him and begged me to ‘f**ing divorce’ him. His disdain for Christ through the mercy offered by me showed me that we were unequally yoked and that I was unsafe in all ways: physically, emotionally, mentally, financially, socially, spiritually and sexually while he was in the home or yoked to me.

    I finally cut him lose, with the blessing of those in authority and influence in my life: my parents, church leaders, my counselor, my closest friends (as few as they were then).

    Its been less than two months since the divorce, and I am rebuilding my life. I have three girls under the age of 6, two with medical special needs, and no family in state. And yet, God is providing more than I need in all of the vulnerable and needy areas of my life and heart.

    This morning I found out through my disraught eldest daughter that my her father is (in all likelihood) dating again. Another example of my not mattering to him. I’m heavy-hearted today but mostly because of the pain to the children and the temptation to think that he is prospering and not I. But, I must remember that in God’s economy, blessings often look different that what the world considers them to be.

    All I know, is that if you face reality, God’s Spirit, if he is in you, will carry you every moment – whether you feel Him or not. He is responsible to see that you are faithful to Him to the end of your life. If you choose reality, not one of those 30 years will have been wasted. God wastes nothing in his economy. You are precious to him. He emptied his household, went poor, lost his son, so that he could have you. He will make you glad according to the years you have suffered – its the cry of His people in scripture. The question is: do you trust him, do I trust him to be there for me as I make choices to live life like I believe He really does love me.

    Your friend,

    Jenny

    • Jenn on October 16, 2014 at 8:58 pm

      Oh Jenny, your words are so good! I LOVE the quote, ” I must remember that in God’s economy, blessings often look different that what the world considers them to be.” Amen a thousand times!

  14. Lynn on October 16, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    I am living this as well, and I am so grateful for this community where I can see that I am not alone. I am not dealing with lying but emotional abuse that is actually very covert. But my husband constantly dismisses and diminishes me with his words and actions, and does the “twist” when I bring it up, so that somehow it becomes my fault. The most common is I will tell him something that hurt my feelings and he will say either “oh, you just want to start a fight, don’t you. Everything is great, but you want to fight about this.” Or, “you just hear what you want to hear” — I heard that one just last night. I finally found all the writings on verbal and emotional abuse this summer and started connecting the dots and found this community. What is helping me right now is Leslie’s idea of building my CORE. I can no longer pretend that things are OK and I can no longer make excuses or tell myself that it’s not happening. About a month ago, I sat my husband down and presented to him all the verbally abusive statement and actions I have endured for the past 15 years. He says that he does not want to be that person — that if he truly is treating me that way, then it would be the worst kind of sin he could commit. I want to believe him, but in his actions he continues to be dismissive, abusive and NEVER take responsibiity for the pain he has caused. I have even said, “I need you to accept responsibility for the pain you have caused” and while he will talk about this with me, he will not accept responsibility. We have been married 15 years and have an 11 and 14 year old. I do not want to be divorced as they head into middle school and high school. But I am finding strength in building my CoRE and knowing what to trust, his words or his actions. His actions do not show me he wants to change. He refused counseling (we’ve been in marital counseling three times, and the latest time, the couselor made me part of the problem and didn’t see the abuse, when it happened right in front of her. I just needed to be more understanding, she said) and he refused to go to therapy. My biggest challenge is know which is the real reality — the one where my husband’s words say he doesn’t want to be that man, and the one where my husband’s actions indicate that he still is. Its very very hard — I am putting my energy into re-building my career after staying home for 15 years and preparing to chart a path on my own, while I distance myself emotionally and observe the extent to which his actions match his words. So far, they do not. I really believe that following Leslies CORE plan will work. I am starting to think about implementing consequences. A separation would be nearly impossible as I know he would never leave the house. He knows I have a divorce lawyer and he knows that I am 95% percent “there” but he seems to be investing very little in change. — And tells me he is trying to “be nicer” but he will still screw up and I need to forget the past and learn how to forgive him!

    • Teris on October 16, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      Lynn, that sounds a lot like my husband. I try to talk to him, and he turns it all around where I’m the one at fault. It use to hurt me a lot, but since reading Leslie’s book and this blog, I have been able to distance myself emotionally and that has helped. My husband is in counseling, he’s gone twice in the last 5 weeks…but he didn’t tell the counselor about his two emotional affairs he’s had during our marriage, is I do have to question just how sincere is he?? A friend remarked, when I told her he hadn’t told the counselor about the affairs, that he doesn’t seem very repentant, and I have to agree! So I’m working on my CORE and I’m staying emotionally distant. Either he commits to truth and honesty, and we fix what is broken in our marriage, or we will eventually go our separate ways. I am no longer playing the “Peacefaker” role in my marriage…I have confided in a few friends and have asked them to please pray. I really get the feeling that my husband is very, very angry with me….he denies it, but when he talks to me, I can hear it in his voice…so until he is honest with himself I really don’t see how counseling is going to help him.

      • Jenn on October 17, 2014 at 12:14 am

        Oh Teris, I can relate. My husband made a HUGE deal about going to counseling “on his own” after I gave him the choice to fix himself or leave. This was in 2012. He NEVER mentioned that he was still cheating via his emotional affair. I actually found out this past Summer that the affair lasted three years, not the 9 months he berated me about for years(I was ‘unforgiving and needed to get over it.’)

        That isn’t repentance, not even close. Get in God’s word and he will help you discern truth. Best wishes to you!

        • Teris on October 21, 2014 at 1:15 am

          Thank you Jenn…Staying in Gods word is the only thing that gets me through! I have a wonderful church ministries I’m involved in, and I’m happy. I don’t let my husbands lack of repentance bother me…sure it makes me sad that he’s withholding information that his therapist should know…but I have to take care of myself, I can’t make him do anything…I feel that God is leading me in the decisions I’m making, so I am content with that. 🙂

      • Lynn on October 17, 2014 at 4:51 pm

        Yes, our situations sound similar. It’s really hard just to stay strong and watch and evaluate whether they will truly face the truth. I started a journal on the dY I told him I wanted a divorce and he promises to “be nicer”. It helps me track things and look back without confusion in order to make my decisions. I think you are right about the anger. One of the few times we talked I got a sense of him being very angry about things from way back when our kids were little but he never mentioned it. He just chose, or was compelled, to use very mail-adaptive and hurtful behaviors against me instead. We can’t be responsible for them! They have to wake up and see it for themselves. That’s one of my big new learning a in all of this. Like you said, stop being the peacemaker.

  15. Robin on October 16, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    I absolutely love hearing so msny women Re understanding what it takes to live in a true reality, and stop the pretending. I loved what I read on one post this week. ‘When one in such a unhealthy Union begins to get healthy- it means the demise of the relationship. The narcissist/codependent dance, NO LONGER WORKS’. Amen!!!

  16. Robin on October 16, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    Not that I am promoting divorce. But healthy relationships being built up or destructive ones ending and having stern consequences!!

  17. Maria-Elena on October 17, 2014 at 3:03 am

    Wow! You should tweet this. “in God’s economy, blessings often look different that what the world considers them to be. “

  18. carol on October 18, 2014 at 12:31 am

    For me waking up to the reality that was truly happening was like walking out on ice in the winter time only to hear the cracking all around, then seeing the cracks forming but not knowing where it is going to give way. Then standing there watching in a mind stupor watching the pieces giving away.

    I have been lied to about small things to being told that the reason that he used a credit card was because he wanted me to be warm this winter. He bought several tons wood pellets. I have found out that through his negative and disrespectful comments about the garden and small business, that I have started, about losing money and wasting gas that I Have been making money. The reason it wasn’t showing up was because he did the selling. He has given the impression that he doesn’t remember, has forgotten. He makes appointments and doesn’t say anything till the last minute.He is a master at word twisting, giving reasons that can leave me thinking that I didn’t hear or see what I saw ect. Even when I need help he is not forthcoming with help unless it is in front of others.

    I have learned alot through this blog, Jeff Crippens, personal counseling and a huge amount of prayer and asking God for guidance. I am thankful that God didn’t show me about the issues all at once but thankful for the reality He has helped me to see. I have grown in my core and learning to actually speak up for myself. I have tried to teach my children how to respond when they know that what was said or done is wrong even if is their father or another adult.

    I have started a small business from home and I have seen growth with what is being sold. Please pray that God will continue to help the business grow and for me to have strength to listen to God and to have clarity of mind for all the decisions. I am trying to prepare for what will come if there is no repentance.

    Thank you Leslie for being that beacon of light that so many of us need to see and be helped by when life is so confusing.

    • Leslie Vernick on October 18, 2014 at 12:34 am

      You’re welcome. I thing God is so gentle with us and he often doesn’t push our face into the whole truth all at once, but only as much as we can bear. I’m so glad you are starting a small business. I get so concerned with women who allow themselves to become overly dependent on their spouses and then find themselves out in the cold with nothing.

  19. Brenda on October 18, 2014 at 11:51 am

    I had a reawakening over the past few weeks. We are divorced–shouldn’t this end? All of the texts saying I love and miss you. The text the day before I left state for my daughter’s wedding saying to have a good time. The text yesterday, just as I am getting back saying I hope you had a good time and I have some things for you. No messages in between times. Somehow he knew just when and where I would be. He is now trying to tell me that I told him, which is absurd, and begging me to not think he is stalking me. Mind games. It is all mind games. At this moment I would really like to run. It is 3 steps forward and one back. I know I will shake this off and move on with God’s help. Remembering for a moment what it was like coming out of the fog is terrifying and not easily overcome. Even though the marriage is over sometimes it feels like I will never truly be free of him.

    • Ann on October 19, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      Hi Brenda

      Is there a reason he needs your phone number still? If not, have you considered getting a new number so he can’t reach you?

  20. Sandra on October 18, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    I can relate to you, dear Brenda. Although my husband abandoned me a year ago, he still asks my daughters where I am, and I fear he’ll eventually be able to find me. I wonder also if I’ll ever be truly free of him. I’m considering divorce, but wouldn’t he then know my address when served with the papers? I’ve sold our home and now live in a nice senior complex, have met many dear people, while being active in my church (he deeply resented my going), mentoring at the elementary school, and simply enjoy the freedom and peace I missed throughout my marriage.God has truly blessed me, and I praise Him and thank you, dear Leslie and all my
    ‘sisters” on this blog for your kind words encouragement.

  21. Loretta P on October 19, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    A

    I am living in a relationship wtih a husband who lyies and am struggling to have proper boundaires and consequences. He doesn’t want to face what he’s done or appologize . He wants to sweep it under the rug and move on like nothing has happened, but I can’t this time. He sas he wants couples counseling but as soon as I agreed he hasn’t moved forward. I’m not sure what the outcome of this sill be, but our marriage won’t continue without signaficiant change. We also have had years of lying and now cheating again. I’m trying to build my core, move forward with my life and see what happens. I do have support and that helps. My Pastor and wife are standing with me, other ladies in the church are also standing with me. It’s sad that a man can risk losing everything and still do little to change. He says he wants change but then pulls back if I agree to work together on change and counseling.

    • Leslie Vernick on October 20, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      Stick to your boundaries and continue to work on you, not him or your marriage. He needs to see that you are quite capable of moving on if he doesn’t choose to do his work.

  22. Brenda on October 20, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Hi Ann,
    I have considered changing phone numbers, but I cannot change my phone number at work and hewill call me there if he can’t find another way. He knows people who know how to get phone numbers; police and the phone carrier itself. I spent a lot of time updating email addresses twice so that he couldn’t find me that way because one of the few people I gave it to didn’t think it was a problem to give it to him. I do most of my transactions online and it is not an easy task to update everyone that needs to have that address. That woman doesn’t have my newest email address nor do I speak to her any longer. The phone number isn’t really the point of what I was saying. He knew when I was leaving and knew when I was returning–How did he know that? I am not crazy enough to tell him although he would like me to believe that. I don’t write on FB, or any other social media where that type of personal information is given. I do write in Leslie’s private room on FB, but no one there has that type of information either. My daughter has now defriended anyone from his family who might have seen her comments about her wedding on FB. Very few people knew that I was going away and my daughter didn’t give dates or say anything about when I would be there. The only thing that I could thing of is that someone I know and trust let the cat out of the bag. So although your suggestion would be a good one and have thought about it, I find it futile.

    • Ann on October 21, 2014 at 3:05 am

      Hi Brenda, 2 ways he can locate you are: 1. Through your mobile phone. The location option needs to turned off. I never use apps because your location and other info winds up all over the web. A detective taught me to stop any tracing through the mobile phone, you remove the battery then wrap it in aluminium foil as well as the turned off phone, it makes it impossible for any “pings” to be picked up by cellphone towers. 2
      Maybe he has a GPS on your car? Those are usually little black boxes attached to any metal on the under belly of the vehicle; magnets hold the box strongly in place.

  23. Brenda on October 20, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Sandra,
    When I left, I still legally lived in my former home so I used that address to serve him. When I changed my address it should not have been an issue. When I changed my address with the company I worked for they sent acknowledgement of that change to both my present and former addresses. There reasoning was to make sure there was nothing illegal going on. I was livid!! It wasn’t the court documents that tipped him off. Once he got that document he called and let me know that he knew exactly where I was. Although it was frightening at first, God granted me his peace and I don’t feel about living there. Once in a while I do look around corners when leaving my apartment, but for the most part don’t really think about it other than the security measures we all should take about knowing our surroundings.
    He used to show up in my parking lot at work, malls etc. I do believe he was following me for a time and had filed for restraining order. That kept getting postponed being in the summer and judges schedules kept changing for vacations and I really don’t feel it was being taken seriously although I don’t know why.
    So that I could get him to settle easily, we didn’t own all that much and I was the only one who had savings before the marriage, I agree to drop the petition for PPO to get the Legal Seperation over with. Two months later we were divorced. The court documents themselves didn’t give my new address. They only mentioned the address that we resided at together. I would check with an attorney to see what your best options might be. He would be allowed half of the value of the home unless you owned it prior to marriage. If you don’t have some sort of legal document in place he could run up bills and you could be held financially responsible. That is food for thought. I would urge you to at least talk to an attorney.

  24. Brenda on October 21, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Ann,
    You are a great resource. I have a basic cell phone. I have unlimited calls and texts but nothing else. Do you think that would still be an issue? I had a mechanic do a complete check up on my car just before my travel. I would think that he would have noticed if any devices had been put on my car? We’re talking pretty high tech. The X can’t get his laptop to work half of the time and all he does is play free games on it. I suppose if someone else is giving him suggestions??

    • Ann on October 21, 2014 at 11:28 pm

      Brenda your basic cellphone can be traced if the battery is in it. It is a real inconvenience to keep removing the battery and wrapping it and the main part of the phone in separate pieces of aluminium foil and then keeping the two pieces from away from each other, but it is the only way to completely disable the phone from being traced. You mentioned he has contacts with the police; that is a major source right there for him to get info. But the detective told me THE #1 way for abusers to get info. is from a family member even if that person has sworn allegiance to the victim. The are usually vulnerable in some capacity and easily confused. They not want to “take sides” and don’t want to anger the abuser. They most likely feel threatened in some way by the abuser. Many times it is one of the children.

  25. Brenda on October 21, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    thank Ann,
    We don’t have children together so that is a non issue. He wouldn’t dare contact my girls, they would tear him limb from limb. They are much stronger than I am and would love to have the opportunity to have a word or many. I believe that is why he did not communicate while I was gone. I would have turned the phone over to one of them.

  26. Ann on October 22, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Brenda, One more thing—Private Investigators. He may very well have had you followed. Even if you went out of state, a PI in one state has multiple contacts in other states. They merely call their PI buddies and contract together to follow you. Sometimes the PI will give the GPS tracking device to the person that hired them or tell them where they can purchase one and your x could very well have put it on your car while you were in your apartment. Or he followed you in a rental car, something you would not recognize and have paid no attention to while on the road. As far as the ex’s computer skills, I would not doubt one bit if he has downplayed his computer skills to you so you would never suspect he is quite the techie. You know, the old playing dumb stuff to keep you off his trail.

    One way to have a basic phone without him finding the phone number is with a pre-paid phone where you can buy a card every month to add minutes. These phones do not come with contracts. You can pay for cash for the phone and the phone minute cards and then there is no way to trace the phone to you.

  27. Brenda on October 23, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Ann,
    He doesn’t have that kind of money. PI’s don’t work for free.

  28. Desiree on October 25, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Wow! This is a very interesting topic. I too have a spouse that is a lies about things I can easily prove him to be wrong. I’ve only been married 2 years and I’ve already had to separate in the first year because he was doing favors foe his ex. Went out with his ex but lied and said he was with his brother. After the separation he begged pleaded and even went to counseling. It was just a play to come back because he’s not changed. I caught him looking at a dating site. He keeps his paychecks in his lunch box and hides his bank statements. What kind of marriage is that.

  29. Desiree on October 25, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    This is a very interesting topic. I too have a spouse that is a lies about things I can easily prove him to be wrong. I’ve only been married 2 years and I’ve already had to separate in the first year because he was doing favors foe his ex. Went out with his ex but lied and said he was with his brother. After the separation he begged pleaded and even went to counseling. It was just a play to come back because he’s not changed. I caught him looking at a dating site. He keeps his paychecks in his lunch box and hides his bank statements. What kind of marriage is that.

  30. Brenda on October 26, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Desiree,

    It isn’t one. I have added a link to a blog post written by a pastor who writes about false vows. I believe this describes what you have said about your husband very well.. http://cryingoutforjustice.com/2014/10/22/false-vows-do-not-a-covenant-make-by-pastor-dietrich-wichmann/

    I am sorry that you have been put through this.

  31. Dew on November 15, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    One year into my now 31 year marriage, I found out my husband had not graduated from his beloved college. The move that we made as soon as we were married for him to attend graduate school (or so I thought), was actually a desperation move for him to try to complete his undergraduate degree without anyone knowing. After finding out about this, unfortunately it never got addressed and here we are 31 years later, thousands of lies and I don’t know what to do. I do not believe he has had an affair. Most if not all of his lies center around trying to cover up something he thinks might cause conflict or financial decisions he thinks I may not like. Although he can lie outright, many of his lies have to do with withholding information, twisting information and deception.

    This man is a pillar of the community. I found this site as well as a book called No More Mr. Nice Guy. This book could have been written about my husband. About the same time I found the book, I listened to a radio program Family Life Today entitled “When you are married to a liar.” By all outward appearance my husband is the nicest man alive. All four of our children adore him because he is so soft spoken and kind. He has never said no to them.

    My Mr. Nice Guy has been “nice” to me as well, not knowing how to stand up for himself. Any time the proof on a lie was in black and white he became angry and on many occasions throughout our marriage has pinned me to the ground, pinned me in a corner, stood in doorways and would not let me pass, grabbed me and swung me around, etc. Since letting him know I would call the police if it ever happened again, he has not physically hurt me.

    Two years ago I finally realized this terrible marriage was not all my fault. I began my own counseling and I am getting healthy enough to look at my future. I have dragged this man around to so many counselors over the years. This time I decided I would no longer participate in any attempt at his recovery but would instead concentrate on my own. I let him know this. Despite a retirement account that is on track and a very good income, he tells me he cannot afford to go to counseling. He does not think his issues are that bad and has always said that I exaggerate everything, including his lies and abuse. He is scared to death that our community will find out so he just tries to keep peace. He has never come to me acknowledging my deep pain of the lies and abuse. He has no comprehension of his part in all of this. He thinks that being “nicer” will somehow fix all of this.

    This is hard stuff. Our children love their father. I am trying to decide if I should stay under the same roof, somehow finding a new normal so that our children can at least come “home”? I don’t feel God has released me yet but it could be that I am just too fearful to leave.

    All of you in this community know the far reaching implications of leaving a seemingly good marriage of 31 years. I’m not sure I’m up for this right now? Just how healthy do I need to be before making such a drastic move?

    • Morethan Rubies on October 9, 2015 at 9:46 pm

      Hi Dew. I’m struggling with the same situation and just wondering what you ended up doing.

  32. Carrie on November 16, 2014 at 4:48 am

    I feel so much like the rest of you women except … I have also been the primary breadwinner. So when I implement the consequence of separation, after 18 years, the financial consequences are going to land on me! He’ll end up with the house, all our bank accounts, what was in his (small) 401K, and with the house gets the business we ran from it. I get my own 401K. (If I manage to protect it all.) I’m living in a “shelter” apartment in the house of a woman whose husband abandoned her a year ago. And he’s the happiest he’s been in years because there’s no one to challenge him in his lies, his out-of-line behavior, his online relationships … I know God’s in control and there have been blessings, but right now it does look like the wicked are prospering!

    • Carrie on November 16, 2014 at 4:50 am

      Hi Leslie / moderator. Since your blog “recognizes” my face, I’m afraid I need to ask you not to post my comment. Thanks!

  33. Brenda on December 17, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Carrie,
    If he is like the X, he will blow through the money in no time. I drained bank accounts to make sure that bills were paid and the attorney was paid. Money comes and goes. Your sanity and safety are far more valuable.

  34. Brenda on December 17, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Dew.
    When you ask how healthy you have to be before making a move, I asked myself physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.

    I have many health issues and still managed to move out, hire an attorney and get a divorce. Mentally, I was bouncing back and realizing that I was not crazy as he was trying to make me out to be. Emotionally, I knew that Jesus was the only one who could show perfect love and I’d rather live in a cardboard box than with any further abuse from anyone especially a man. Spiritually, I was closer to God than I ever had been. I spent 3 years praying and finally realizing that divorce was a Godly answer to the problem My X did not love me and never did. He said he did, but he really doesn’t know the first thing about being a loving person. I was up for it. If I knew then, what I know now I would have had him arrested for some of the things he did and left long before I did. I am free at last.

    • Dew on December 27, 2014 at 11:24 pm

      Thank you Brenda for your reply. I think so many of your women are much more brave than I am. Because of my Mr. Nice Guy husband, it is so difficult to sort through truth vs deception. He has never acknowledged the abuse or the devastating fall out of all of the lies. I suppose that in itself should be enough. Sometimes I think I am just not brave enough to pull it off.
      Good for you though!
      Thank you again for your response.
      Dewwy

      • Robin on December 27, 2014 at 11:35 pm

        Dewey, don’t read us women wrong on this blog please. I was not strong when I left And filed for divorce. I was very very tired and I hAd an e cel lent support team Cherri g me on over the finish line of livina so destructively. It’s hard, very hard to leave and start all over. I was so worn out, I needed to believe God haas a better plan for my life But every step i took was very difficult to take. Only my faith pushed me forward. I never want other women to hear, it’s easy. It’s excruciating at times. But yes, it was worth it!!

        • Robin on December 27, 2014 at 11:46 pm

          Boy I type terrible!!! Sorry!! I meant excellent support team—-we’re cheering me on. Over line of living so destructively.

  35. Brenda on December 28, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Dew,
    I don’t think I am all that brave. It took me a long time to get to where I am now and have times when I wonder what it is I am doing. I am 57 and on my own with God and my aging cat. I like the quote, “Fear is the opportunity to exercise courage.” I had a Mr. Nice Guy. Most people think he is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
    On Christmas Day my friend and sister survivor of abuse got to see the X first hand. He showed up at the same Chinese restaurant that we were at. He tapped me on the shoulder and said he would be paying for my meal and I said No. He did it anyways. I know that is small, but if he won’t listen to me on something small he has not changed. What would my no mean in something bigger. My no means nothing–he does not hear me. My friend said he looked sad and lonely. My response was–that is now his problem.
    I am getting healthier as time goes on. The day I left I was very afraid and someone did alert him that the movers were in the driveway and when I returned he had changed the locks. I didn’t really begin to sort out just how much of my mind he had confused until I left. It all became very clear once I was away. His abusive nature really took over once I was gone, but it made it so much easier to see the evil that he was doing. I am only strong in Christ. I could not do this without Him. Dew maybe you should write down things that you find confusing so you remember what you questioned. Sort through things one at a time and ask God to help you sort through what is a lie and what isn’t. It is pretty easy after a while to get conversations tangled together.

  36. Brenda on January 7, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Patty,
    May God help you.

  37. Joanna on May 5, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    I have just recently come to the conclusion that I have been blind to the lies my husband has told for years. I have only been married 5 years but I dont want this to continue and me be blind to it any longer. I am reading the book currently and working on my core. But one of the hardest things I deal with when trying to confront my husband in the past is that he just wont speak he just sits there says he is listening but he will be on his phone or watching TV. If I ask him to put the phone down or turn the tv off he sits there with his eyes closed. Then it continues to when I ask him questions about anything he just will not answer. I get that its showing that he doesnt care doesnt have the mutual respect that I do to answer my questions or communicate about a important topic. But when the time comes to approach him about the changes that need to be made or i will be implementing concequences what do I do if he doesnt communicate anything back? Does anyone have any pointers on how to deal with someone that just flat out refuses to communicate? How do I approach him about what needs to change if thats one of the things that needs to change. Regardless if its a lie by omission its still a lie right?

    • Leslie Vernick on May 6, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      You can’t have a conversation with someone who won’t communicate. I think the best you can do is to invite him to talk about repairing the marriage. If he doesn’t talk, then you’re left with the conclusion that he doesn’t want to repair the relationship. Then what?

  38. Brenda on May 6, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Joanna,
    You cannot change him and if he doesn’t want to work on the marriage, I’m sorry to say you don’t have one. All you can do is work on you. If this relationship is not working then you need to get out. He is not going to change.

    Brenda

  39. Alone on October 10, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    My husband liked to twist words a lot also. And that’s very frustrating to me but one of those things that frustrates me the most is that when I try to talk to him about things I feel are going on around me or that someone is doing to me he tells me that the world does not revolve around me and no one is thinking about me that much. I told him that it bothers me when he says things like this when I’m trying to let him know what I see and what I’m feeling about something.
    I’m reaching out to see if I am wrong in this situation do I feel as though the world is against me or revolves around me like he’s telling me.
    I told him that I believe that he is against me especially when he says things like that.

  40. Brooke on January 14, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    I am struggling accepting the TRUTH of my marriage and my husband.

    Even more so, reading these blog responses I wonder to myself is there any one trust worthy? I know the Heavenly Father is, but I mean hu(men)?

    • Ann L on February 13, 2016 at 1:54 am

      Brooke,

      I have a pat answer to your question, but for me, it’s also a useful answer: No, of course there isn’t anyone trustworthy. We’re human.

      And yet, yes, I fully believe that the world is filled with good and wonderful people who are able to be in an infinite variety of trust-based relationships. We learn how much to give and withhold throughout life.

      For me, personally, if I have another intimate relationship in my life, it will likely be a long, slow, unfolding, and may include bigger boundaries — for example, if I re-marry, I can see myself building a social support group to meet some of my needs for intimacy.emotional support (I don’t mean sex). I’ll do more journaling and private processing and be more thoughtful about how much of my inner life I share with others.

      Peace to you — Ann

  41. Ann L on February 13, 2016 at 1:43 am

    Long, long post, deleted, to say, after 30 years of generally happy marriage, I finally see that the problems we had weren’t all because of me. And that my husband told lies to keep me from discovering his financial dishonesties.

    I don’t know what the marriage means to him. He has his own issues and they are separate from how much I might mean to him.

    Marriage counseling and individual counseling for both of us hasn’t changed the fact that he’s still blaming, minimizing, and denying. Now that I see clearly, my own self-respect demands that we either repair or I file for divorce.

    The painful reality is that now that I understand that I was willing to accept all the blame for his lies, I can choose to no longer bear that burden. And that probably means divorce. I have grieved and grieved since August, 2014 over this. The reality is a lot less sorrowful now, and my thoughts are now becoming future-oriented, in a positive way, about the newly-single me. I’m sad and sorrowful and excited, a bit confused, still some anger, some guilt.

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