As Christian counselors, pastors and people helpers we often have a hard time discerning between an evil heart and an ordinary sinner who messes up, who isn’t perfect, and full of weakness and sin.
I think one of the reasons we don’t “see” evil is because we find it so difficult to believe that evil individuals actually exist. We can’t imagine someone deceiving us with no conscience, hurting others with no remorse, spinning outrageous fabrications to ruin someone’s reputation, or pretending he or she is spiritually committed yet has no fear of God before his or her eyes
The Bible clearly tells us that among God’s people there are wolves that wear sheep’s clothing (Jeremiah 23:14; Titus 1:10; Revelations 2:2). It’s true that every human heart is inclined toward sin (Romans 3:23), and that includes evil (Genesis 8:21; James 1:4). We all miss God’s mark of moral perfection. However, most ordinary sinners do not happily indulge evil urges, nor do we feel good about having them. We feel ashamed and guilty, rightly so (Romans 7:19-21). These things are not true of the evil heart.
Below are five indicators that you may be dealing with an evil heart rather than an ordinary sinful heart. If so, it requires a radically different treatment approach.
- Evil hearts are experts at creating confusion and contention. They twist the facts, mislead, lie, avoid taking responsibility, deny reality, make up stories, and withhold information (Exodus 2:1; Psalms 5:8; 10:7; 58:3; 109:2-5; 140:2; Proverbs 6:13,14; 6:18,19; 12:13; 16:20; 16:27, 28; 30:14; Job 15:35; Jeremiah 18:18; Nehemiah 6:8;Micah 2:1; Matthew 12:34,35; Acts 6:11-13; 2 Peter 3:16).
- Evil hearts are experts at fooling others with their smooth speech and flattering words. But if you look at the fruit of their lives or the follow through of their words, you will find no real evidence of godly growth or change. It’s all smoke and mirrors (Psalm 50:19; 52:2,3; 57:4, 59:7; 101:7; Proverbs 12:5; 26:23-26; 26:28; Job 20:12; Jeremiah 9:34; 12:6; Matthew 26:59; Acts 6:11-13; Romans 16:13,18; 2 Corinthians 11:13,14; 2 Timothy 3:2-5; 3:13; Titus 1:10,16).
- Evil hearts crave and demand control and their highest authority is their own self-reference. They reject feedback, real accountability and make up their own rules to live by. They use Scripture to their own advantage but ignore and reject passages that might require self-correction and repentance (Romans 2:8; Psalms 10; 36:1-4; 50:16-22; 54:5,6; 73:6-9; Proverbs 21:24; Jude 1:8-16).
- Evil hearts play on the sympathies of good-willed people, often trumping the grace card. They demand mercy but give none themselves. They demand warmth, forgiveness, and intimacy from those they have harmed with no empathy for the pain they have caused and no real intention of making amends or working hard to rebuild broken trust (Proverbs 21:10; 1 Peter 2:16; Jude 1:4).
- Evil hearts have no conscience, no remorse. They do not struggle against sin or evil, they delight in it, all the while masquerading as someone of noble character. (Proverbs 2:14-15; 10:23; 12:10; 21:27,29 Isaiah 32:6; Romans 1:30; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
If you are working with someone who exhibits these characteristics it’s important that you confront them head on. You must name evil for what it is. The longer you try to reason with them or show mercy towards them, the more you, as the Christian counselor, will become a pawn in his or her game.
They want you to believe that:
- Their horrible actions should have no serious or painful consequences. When they say, “I’m sorry”, they look to you as the pastor or Christian counselor to be their advocate for amnesty with the person they have harmed. They believe grace means they are immediately granted immunity from the relational fallout of their serious sin. They believe forgiveness entitles them to full reconciliation and will pressure you and their victim to comply.
The Bible warns us saying, “But when grace is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil and do not regard the majesty of the Lord (Isaiah 26:10).
The Bible tells us that talking doesn’t wake up evil people but painful consequences might. Jesus didn’t wake up the Pharisees with his talk nor did God’s counsel impact Cain (Genesis 4). In addition, the Bible shows us that when someone is truly sorry for the pain they have caused, they are eager to make amends to those they have harmed by their sin. (See Zacchaeus’s response when he repented of his greed in Luke 19.)
Tim Keller writes, “If you have been the victim of a heinous crime. If you have suffered violence, and the perpetrator (or even the judge) says, “Sorry, can’t we just let it go? You would say, “No, that would be an injustice.” Your refusal would rightly have nothing to do with bitterness or vengeance. If you have been badly wronged, you know that saying sorry is never enough. Something else is required¾some kind of costly payment must be made to put things right.” 
As Biblical counselors let’s not collude with the evil one by turning our attention to the victim, requiring her to forgive, to forget, to trust again when there has been no evidence of inner change in the one who has been practicing evil. Proverbs says, “Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips” (Proverbs. 25:19). It’s foolishness.
The evil person will also try to get you to believe
- That if I talk like a gospel-believing Christian I am one, even if my actions don’t line up with my talk. Remember, Satan masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). He knows more true doctrine than you or I will ever know but his heart is wicked. Why? Because although he knows the truth, he does not believe it or live it.
The Bible has some strong words for those whose actions do not match their talk (1 John 3:17,18; Jeremiah 7:8,10; James 1:22, 26). John the Baptist said it best when he admonished the religious leaders: “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God (Luke 3:8).
If week after week you hear the talk but there is no change in the walk of that person, especially if you are also receiving feedback from the person who has been sinned against that there is continued covert harm, deceit, and manipulation, you have every reason to question that person’s relationship with God.
Part of our maturity as spiritual leaders is that we are to be trained to discern between good and evil. Why is that so important? It’s important because evil usually pretends to be good and without godly discernment we can be easily fooled (Hebrews 5:14).
When you confront evil, chances are good that the evil heart will stop counseling with you because the darkness hates the light (John 3:20) and the foolish and evil heart reject correction (Proverbs 9:7,8). But that outcome is far better than allowing the evil heart to believe you are on his or her side, or that “he’s not that bad” or “that he’s really sorry,” or “that he’s changing” when in fact, he is not.
Daniel says, “the wicked will continue to be wicked”, (Daniel 12:10), which begs the question, do you think an evil person can really change?
 Tim Keller, Jesus the King, page 172
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Excellent !!! Every single paragraph! !!
Be very, very careful that your counselor heeds Leslie’s warning about becoming a pawn. My Christian counselor never confronted my husband about his behavior (even in her presence) even though she repeatedly told me she could and would. I stopped seeing her after she threw me under the bus by agreeing with him that he should be making decisions for me. This after she told me that he was emotionally fifteen years old and I was the sane and adult one in the marriage. Be very careful.
This is the problem with the ‘christian counselling’ I went to counselling several times during my marriage and I kept my marriage for 27 years because every time I went for counselling I was expected to twist my arm and forgive and forgive and forgive because I was the ‘matured christian’ but the abuse never stopped. His ungodliness just increased year after year and I couldn’t take anymore! He was pure evil. I resent the fact that christian counsellors are not bold enough to rebuke the evil person.
They fear more the world than God.
The answer is NO, even hearts will never change they just learn to mask themselves better!
People don’t change!
Georgette, what I’m learning is yes people can change but ABUSERS usually choose not too. Our hearts can be changed, transformed by allowing God to work in us. Many of us choose that. Rarely, will an abuser go towards wanting a heart change.
BUT IT IS POSSIBLE !!! I saw my son in law’s heart change but it took many many years of pain and torture, for him to make this change, and desire it. Today he is back with his wife and treats her like a queen– and his children have all reconciled with him. It’s a very happy story!
Please tell me how many years before he changed n reconciled and what we’re some of the bad things that brought about his change of heart.
Can you elaborate? This helps brings hope!
Did your daughter leave him? Is that what made him change?
Only through Christ can these hearts change, but because they are evil and will not admit wrong, it isn’t likely that they will take a good look at themselves to evaluate their attitudes and actions correctly.
Yes, only thru Christ. There is no magic answer . God sent them the answer that would work for them. Each couple will need to go to the Lord and receive their own plan. And for some, it might not be what they hoped for. If u look above I gave more details.
Ive lost a lot nd experienced a lot at a very young age.but its made me grow so wise and more loving empathetic and compassionate in the long run.ive loved vry hurt nd broken people nd still manage to atteact these people but i am working on that.ive learned about codependency boundaries and self love.i was with someone who admitted to letting evil in way to much but he seemed to feel very guilty and ashamed.i went through way to much emotional abuse with him but at the same time i feel the experience with him helped me correct myself.i do beleive people can change.i have seen it and been apart of helping my father and family members who have been sever drug addicta.somehow workinf with them helps me become a stronger better person in the long run.i dont know who my ex will ever get through his evil mindset.its not my responsibility to change or fix him.only he can do that.but i do think i went through everythinf i went through with him for a reason.i understand him waaaaaay to well.the good bad and inbetween.all i can do is pray that he will be broken down enough nd find god to save him.because he is very selfaware.
Thank you, Leslie for this heart deep exposure of evil. What surprised me about all 5 indicators was that not one of them were overtly evil. That is cruel outward behavior although that happens as a result of these self-serving heart conditions. It accurately describes my husband. Thank you, again….
These 5 accurately describe my husband as well. whats worse is my husband is preaching and teaching the word of God and has a prison ministry!!! We have been married 2 years and I am not sure at this point if I should stay. When I confront him face to face about his evil ways he rages and swears at me and says that if I cant accept him the way he is than I am free to leave. I am curious to know if these kinds of people really do change
Usually not Gina – not because they can’t but because they don’t see their need to. Amazing the blindness of one who preaches the word cannot apply it to his own life. Sad.
A better answer would be yes. Yes, yes, yes.
Do camels go through the eye of a needle? Usually not. Much less rich men into the kingdom of Heaven. That is when our Lord said, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matt. 19.22-26)
Gina, Leslie: with men, usually not. But with God? Which metric do we use when handling difficult questions? Leslie, what kind of answer was that? You are good with scripture, so perhaps this will resonate with you:
“Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
“And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (I Cor. 6.9-11)
The Lord delights in transformation, in miracles of the soul, in the impossible. I am a miracle, a one-time evil heart, a “Usually-Not,” with whom the Lord did not give up. He broke me and quickened me, and I do not in the least resemble what I was before. If the Lord can save me, He can save anybody.
I can relate to the last statement, “If the Lord can save me, He can save anyone”!
I never thought I was an evil man until He gave me a new heart!
So blessed & encouraged to read this, Caleb!
Leslie is speaking from years of counsel with this kind of heart. She did not say NEVER, she is saying rarely, not out of a sense of hopelessness, but out of her own extensive observations. The question is not really, “Will or can ‘he’ (or she) ever change, but rather, what is required of this abused wife in the meantime? The change is on the other person. There is nothing Gina (or any other person) can do to MAKE him stop abusing her. If he is reading God’s Word and teaching God’s Word and deals with his own family (or anyone else) treacherously, the question is NOT “can he change?” but should be “what does she need to do to protect herself and her children in the meantime? The idea that there is always hope that people CAN change should not be misconstrued with the idea that people WILL change and right now, this wife needs concrete solutions. She needs to confront him with what he is doing (his sin, folks, his ongoing, unrepentant spirit, his cruelty) and if he refuses to acknowledge or get help, she needs to separate. Fellowship, even in “marriage” has to be earned by following basic decency boundaries. He clearly has no intention of following ANY boundaries at all. If you are living with abuse, do not just stay status quo on the hope that your spouse will stop abusing you. That is fantasy and you cant make decisions based on good intentions or hope. When your fantasy becomes REALITY, then you can make relationship decisions based on that. My husbands abusive heart DID change, but all the 27 years of kindness, patience, forgiving, forbearance, submissiveness, blah, blah, blah, made NO dent in his abuse. Only after I accepted the reality and separated for a year, did he wake up and get some help. Not everyone WILL do that. If he didnt, then there is nothing I could have done. Reality is reality. God does NOT condone abuse! EVER!
Amen, preach it sister.
You came to a point where you recognized your NEED to change, Caleb and praise God for that gift. But not everyone does or will even though God longs to have fellowship with us. This wife needs practical “what do I do while he is still intent on being abusive” steps, not a lecture on how if we acknowledge that not everyone will change, we are not “trusting God.” God will do what He will do. He is sovereign, but He does not require that we suffer under another person’s abusive choices until things do change. Thank you for your testimony. It IS beauty for ashes.
Caleb- I truly believe anything is possible with God also, however, God would not have employed a flood if he knew in their hearts that change was possible. Sodom and Gomorrah?Yes! With God ALL things are possible but men have free will also. If in their free will goodness cannot be found death is imminent! At the end of the day God is the perfect judge of all. All we can do is re focus our own selves to listen to God for our own sake and let God handle the situation.
Thanks be to God. Your response is inspiring … I still pray for the man that I fell in love with and did everything I could to change myself and please him. But all those things above in that article rang true. I just thought if I could just love him enough, he would see that he WAS loved and COULD love. God was good to me though, and kept making ways to get out of the relationship, only because he would be so cruel, vile, demeaning and merciless to me. I finally put him in God’s hands. It was the most traumatic thing EVER in my life. But I do believe with God NOTHING is impossible. He always honors free will, but He works everything for good … thanks for sharing your story.
When I think of the fact that ISIS members are being saved?? Oh,, Dear Lord there MUST be hope for our husbands!
I agree! That people can change with Christ, but most will not, only because Christ said that in the end days the world would become as wicked as in the days of Noah, where everyone did what was right in their own eyes and no one would listen. We are deeply entrenched in the 2 Timothy 3:1-5 passage right now. So my thinking is that even though God can work on people, most will not listen to Him.
I was married 18 years- he always served in a church/ ministry/ now as a bible teacher- it only gets worse
This article has been one of the most helpful to me and the very first that helped me recognize the Narcissist in the man I thought I married. Also, thank you for addressing the christian counselor. I sent this article to my husbands counselor at his residential program for sexual addiction the first month he was there. Needless to say, after the counselor also became the Narcissistic supply and proceeded to feed my husbands pride in many outward ways, I resent the article. The counselor and his accountability partner both will not speak with me now, I assume the devaluation of my position as his helpmeet has continued and I will now be vilified by both abuser and counselor…Thank you for boldly continuing to speak the truth and back it with God’s word! I trust that I will be justified through the promises of Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.”
soooo sad. going throughthe same thing here. actually the way i discovered Leslies book was because he always plays the victim (married 34 years) and he had bought it for.him.and my daughter and son whom he had going to.abuse councelling (from me which us a lie since he is the abusive one) with
how are you doing now?
So true and so sad!
My husband is the exact same way and he was an usher at our church. He’s mean, always sarcastic, and disregards Scripture. He always will say the same thing when I call him out- “If you’re not happy Taylor, then there’s the door, you’re free to go!” It makes me feel unwanted, unloved, and taken for granted
Hi gina, I’m sorry to hear your story. I have a really similar experience as you had as well.. boyfriend of 4 years became very physical and verbaly abusive. Talked the word of creator and love but as soon as we were alone he was different.. he made friends so easily and everyone loved him.. I would hope they’d notice but everyone just thought I was quiet.. he made my only sacred place a place I couldn’t fully be comfortable to pray.. little did he know everything was about him.. I left.. I am getting back to knowing myself again.. not yet fully a happy ending. Recently found out what he had been doing all throughout or relationship. I hope you get the courage to fully do what you’d like.. if you believe this man is worth it.. then stay.. but If you know deeeeeep in your heart that its not right. You only have one shot to fully get your stuff and will out. I have tried to leave many times but in the end he stops Me at the door and for whatever reason I ended up staying… years past and he began to call bluff until one morning.
I had bruises and red marks where I was grabbed kicked and thrown. I read my Bible every day. God’s word kept me sane and gave me the power to get out before I died! God will give u courage to do what He wants u to do! I had family to help me. I stayed around at different homes. My blessed son is my champion! He helped me move found a reasonable apartment for me helped me move in helped me with my expenses and just loved me! Call a Crisis Hot Line. Make a plan! Get prepared with your important papers, some clothes, your Bible some money if u have some. Your car if u have one and GET OUT before its too late! I had God’s strength to do just that! I had very little when I left but my life! Think about a plan! Save yourself for God’s purpose!
Kudos to you Lou. You are so wise and so kind to share your wisdom with others. Like many women we share very similar circumstances. I pray for the newest brunette dating the same perpetrator and that she find the courage to research his background. His last words to me on Jul 12 were “if you leave there will be war”. His abuses were not what he was talking about. He has stolen, lied, and is now stalking. He is desperately clinging to bar acquaintances that he spoke so poorly of while trying to portray himself as a church leader. It would be easier to deal with a pot head at this point. Ruthless, uncivil malicious, threatening,
vengeful behavior is very scary! I’m his third ex-wife for a reason. Wish I’d have seen this blog sooner. Leslie is spot on. People like this do not change.
New Living Translation
They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
2 Timothy 3:5
It describes my husband too. He is evil. I wasted my time marrying him.
Unfortunately, most of these responses that I have read are coming from wounded women in wounding relationships/marriages. But I would challenge you to consider your words. Rejection breeds rejection. Wounded people, wound people. I was once married to a wounded, evil man, but I was once a wounded, evil woman. I do believe the Lord can take a heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh! (Ezekiel 36).
Thank you to all the men willing to be vulnerable! We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony! To the women struggling, I am praying for you right now!
Great comment. How true. Rejection breeds rejection. Marriage can be destroyed by both parties in their pride hardened hearts. Living a life without God and his precious son Jesus in the background, lead to my marriage ending in disaster. Gladly through the love and grace I have received through the great I AM, God the father I am feeling a restoration of my broken and evil soul.My wife’s heart still appears to be hard toward God and myself. I hope for restoration of her soul and all those broken marriages of our believing friends who desperately need Gods grace to bring us wholeness by his spirit knowing Satan roams around seeking to devour everyone.
Being someone who has been very interested in what makes a person a sociopath— and having studied it for quite awhile, when I read Leslie’s letter to us on a evil heart, I want to say no a evil cannot change for good. But from what I believe in Scripture – the reason we never tire of saying Truth to others, is so Gods Word can prick their hearts and empower and enable them to change, by a change of belief system. I will say, I think it rarely happens though. But yes, I do think its possible.
just not probable.
You’re right. One of the reason’s it is not probable is that evil people will not allow truthful feedback, real accountability or take any responsibility. Therefore, anything that could help them change is not there.
Is. 26:10- wow… Do not learn righteousness. I’m thinking but instead learn how to continue in their sin by being more crafty. Thanks Leslie. Every time I read your blog it puts me back in reality.
This is my husband of 30 years. He’s been in “recovery” for 2 years and has fed off of the accolades for his efforts and the attention he gets, but there is no real recovery and I’m the only one who seems to see it. He’s been caught now at something I’ve been saying he was doing all along, but I’m still hearing “hope”. What he’s done can only be described as despicable, and while his feet were held to the fire, when asked to do the honorable thing he refused which didn’t surprise me in the least and only helped me move towards a healthy decision. I am tired and ready to be healthier.
Thank you Leslie. for sending this out again. The first time I read it, I though oh wow- what solid truth. The second reading said, oh how very sad. Im so thankful for your blog, and all it has taught me about an evil heart. And the things I need to be aware of, to protect my own heart. Thank you, Leslie!!!!!!
So glad you posted this here! Reading your section on the destructive theme of the heart in the EDM shook my world and began redefining what I thought of as evil: “One awful, abusive, event does not make a person evil, but when it represents a repetitive pattern of excessive disregard for others (mockery) and a wanton, vicious refusal to look at the damage done (arrogance), then one can ascertain a significant inclination to evil.” ~ Leslie in TEDM p 108 quoting Dan Allender’s Bold Love, p 238.
P.S. What you wrote about evil originating in the pit of hell woke me up to the truth of what we face when we turn to confront abuse and where our hope lies.
I really needed to read this tonight. Thank you so much Leslie for describing the differences between the evil heart and the sinner. This describes my spouse that I’m am currently leaving. I was having doubts because of his current nice and kind behavior. But what you have said about the evil heart describes my husband. I really needed to read this tonight. Thank you so much!!!!
I know what you means about having doubts because they can go for a period of time being nice. My husband is doing that now too. Mr. Perfect! But what I try to stay focused on is that even during these “nice” periods he never finds time to talk to me and offer genuine feelings of remorse and make any sign of true repentance he just makes sure he’s really nice to the kids, and he tries hard to be friendly all the time — but I don’t see true remorse or willingness to humble himself for what he has done. So I can feel pretty confident his niceness is just a cover, for show
It’s important that many of you begin to recognize the “abuse cycle” as it’s called in DV literature. There is a tension phase where you can tell he’s getting agitated, not very nice, picking on you or the kids, etc. Then there is an abusive incident (verbal, emotional, physical, sexual), then he’s charming – nice, everything you ever wanted him to be in the first place (so you won’t nag him about the abusive incident, you won’t separate, you won’t call the police, or implement consequences). It makes you scratch your head and think, “maybe it’s me” for the first few go-arounds of this cycle. But after a while Mr. Charming begins to disappear and the tension phase begins all over again. Sometimes this cycle is in hours, sometimes it’s in days, or weeks, or even months. But pay attention, most times you will see a cycle when you have been with someone for a long time. The charming phase is just part of the same cycle, nothing is really changing.
Our cycle is about three months. I know it well! Just long enough that you genuinely wonder which on is the real “him”
Thank you,been battling with this for yrs. Now I find my son in the same path.which hurts me very much.that I stayed in this marriage for the sack of my children.I wish could be different. My son is 23 young looking at 10 yes.he had pertentail completed tech. College had so much to look forward to.worst thing he has a 5yr. Old son. Grieving.
“Which hurts me verMuMuch that I stayed in this marriage for the sakeof my children” Debbie I’m sorry for yourggrief. Thanks for what you have shared.you ladies have no ideahhow profound simple statements like these are for me. I have a precious10 month daughter. I often think it wld be good for her to be wit
I sometimes think it wld be good for her to be withbboth parents but you ladies helpbring me backto reality
. At leastin situation where he doesn’t see the problem nor willing to get help.
I’m so thankful God directed me to your website today. I am slowly, hesitantly pursuing a divorce from my narcissistic abusive husband of 22 years, after finding out about an affair. The abusive cycle is dead on! He is now trying to “charm me” into not to divorce him. He has an evil heart and apart from Christ, he will never change. Thanks for your work.
Glad your eyes are open Gail. Charm is deceitful. Don’t let yourself be swayed by it.
My husband is a covert narcissist – sly, sneaky, gossips behind my back, goes to church. Turns out his pastor is just as narcissistic as him. A n excellent combination for evil. They believe they are God’s chosen few – everybody else is wrong, and they are right. Lying, cheating, treachery, gossiping manipulating is the norm with them. Black hearts – damaged so many people around them. So glad I’ve left – they deserve each other
Thank you Leslie for having the courage to speak the truth….with love and respect. You have confirmed what I have been struggling with so many years. My ex-husband believed you were not truely Christuan if you could not forgive …under any circumstance. That’s a bold lie from Satan himself. If you are truely sorry for something, a true Christian does whatever it takes not to repeat the offense. He takes ownership for his actions and accepts the consequences. He doesn’t say I’m sorry and use that as permission to repeat his offense. Thank you Leslie.
It is very hard for me to accept that this is true evil on behalf of my husband. But I have come to believe that it is. In the past I have thought i
It is very hard for me to accept that this is true evil on behalf of my husband. But I have come to believe that it is. In the past I have thought his actions were due to simply not knowing what he is doing — or not understanding the hurt he causes — or he has been hurt himself so that’s why he does it. And it’s hard to accept the truth that they can do this to you, their most intimate partner but NOT EVER to anyone. That is very hard to accept that your spouse is actually evil in their actions toward you. But all of these things Leslie says are true about my husband. I had really hoped he would be one that would see the pain he’s caused and tough consequences would wake him up. However, I have moved forward with a separation and we are each getting a lawyer now and negotiating. He says he will not try to work on the marriage if we separate and are not living together — that there is nothing to work on if we are not working on things together I told him that he must go do his own work and see his destructive behaviors for what they are and get to the root of why he treats me this way before I can even consider that we have something to work on together. He has refused to ackknowledge that there is anything he needs to work on and says it is “unfortunate” that I insist on separating instead of working on the marriage. It makes me furious that i will not be able to make him see his own reflection but it is out of my power if he refuses to do so. But honestly, a part of me is glad, because my desire for him to seek change was only for him to understand his role in the destruction of our marriage and accept responsivbility for it. I have been hurt far too badly and for too long to genuinely want any kind of reconciliation. So I will have to move on without closure, but I’m coming to terms with that. I wonder — it is possible that evil can keep itself in the dark and not know that it is evil? My husband considers himself and extrememely moral person — but more in the “high and mghty” and somewhat vain sense, actually, than a person with a true and giving heart.
Lynn, your story sounds so much like mine. He said he could never trust me again after I filed for separation and we might as well get a divorce. Then , weeks later he asks if I really want to save the marriage and I said yes if he shows evidence of remorse, restitution, and repentance. He doesn’t see how we can get back together while living apart either. Don’t think he’s going to get it, but I’m ready to go it alone. This past month of separation has been so peaceful for the most part, I can think again. I never thought of my husband as evil but after reading this, perhaps he is.
Yes I think your husband is similar to my ex-husband and a person can be all of the above but not quite evil. Though I think these are good tests and do change the way someone should be counseled.
My ex-husband did everything mentioned above but I wouldn’t say he is evil because it wasn’t his intention to hurt others. I think he would try to figure out “how can I get her to do what I want so this pain will stop” or “I have to rage at something at the end of the day, how can I make her understand that”. I don’t think he ever thought something like “how can I trick her into doing what I want because I am the puppet-master”, that would be truly evil.
Shan, evil isn’t just about trickery, but it’s about power and control and not caring about someone else’s feelings over and over and over again. Most evil people are experts at lying to themselves about what they are doing. Do you think the Pharisees really thought what they were doing to Christ was evil? Do you think they were aware of the envy they harbored against him for his popularity? They believed they were doing something righteous – defending God’s honor against a blasphemous impostor. Ahab and Jezebel were evil. They didn’t care about God or being accountable or responsible as leaders, they just wanted their way and used power, force and threats to get it. I don’t know about whether or not your ex- husband is evil but when you repeatedly hurt someone you say you love, with no conscience, no remorse, there is something very wrong.
That last line, “When you repeatedly hurt someone you say you love, with no conscience, no remorse, there is something very wrong,” would make a great FB post/graphic!
Thanks. I’ll send it over to my pinterest gal.
Lynn, every spouse of an abusive man feels just like you do right now. We find it so hard to believe this could be true about the man that promised to stay true to me at the wedding altar . It’s a process and wouldn’t we like to help them change? But we really CANNOT. We must let go, and see if God can work in His Heart. But God only does that for the men who acknowledge their evil intent to run their own lives their way and eventually come to true repentance. I’m so sorry things didn’t work out for you as you planned and hoped. But remember – separation and divorce is not the end. It’s only the end if the spouse sinning does not repent and acknowledge his abusiveness. Praying with and for you!!!!!
Thank you robin. This is very hard! I’m so grateful I have the support of good friends (who I had to scratch and claw to keep as he tried everything he could to separate me from them during the marriage) understanding family, a budding career and a good therapist. I thanks of everyday for the strengjyth he has given me, the wisdom that has opened my eyese to the reality of my situation and support even from “strangers” on this blog who take the time to listen and share their lives
I meant I say “I thank God everyday”. I can’t type in this tiny comment box! But I’m glad it’s here
Lynn, just FYI, you can drag out the lower right corner to make the box bigger…drag on the dashed lines. I didn’t see that at first either and my eyes were crossing trying to type in that too! 🙂
OMG, Leslie. I can’t believe that what you said has described my son to a tee! I am trying to make a decision on asking him to leave as I find I just can’t stand the emotional pain anymore. I don’t know which is worse putting up with the way he treats me or without him being there. See I am an older person with arthrisis in my knees and there are some things I just can’t do any longer, so I need help. I am just so torn right now I don’t know what to do.
Perhaps you would be safer if you hired help instead of depending on your son to do it. I just took a continuing ed course on Elder Abuse and one of the categories that make older people vulnerable to abuse is when their dependent children live with them and take advantage of their kindness, steal from them financially, and make them afraid to live in their own homes. Is that where you are?
Yea, I guess that’s where I’m at. So I guess it’s not wrong to call this “abuse” albeit emotional?
As I read this post, everything said to describe an evil person described my husband and his treatment of me. And everything I read about counselors described what I have experienced with the pastor and elders of our church. Thank you for these words that reassure me that I am doing what is best for me, that I am not crazy in my frustration of seeing no change happening and understanding again more clearly why no change is happening-because the evil is being ignored and not addressed.
Lori, I found myself in the same position, with counselors who put the responsibility on ME for forgiveness and the healing of my marriage. I call it The Second Betrayal, when the church charged with protecting an abused spouse actually forces her to continue suffering. So glad that church leaders and counselors are realizing these truths. THANK YOU, LESLIE!!!!!
I would like to add that it’s also secular counselors who do this. We had an incident where my husband raged and threatened me with his fists and threw furniture across the room and down the stairs and our counselor told me that I could have taken my husband aside prior to the incident so that he wouldn’t have to get so angry with me. I quit going to counseling two sessions after that.
I’ve had secular counselors as clients and sadly they often aren’t any more educated on abuse issues in relationships than Christian counselors are.
Dear Leslie, I’d like to understand how someone comes to have an “evil heart.” Could you please shed some light on this?
Excellent question. Not sure I can answer it but let me give it some thought.
Thank you Leslie. I’m just trying to figure out the “why,” and if I should have been able to tell before we married. Maybe there is no answer.
Leslie, I think the root of this kind of behavior goes back to a man’s childhood and deeply rooted feelings of shame. Shame has 3 components: rejection, abandonment, humiliation. Experiencing any one of these 3 at the hand of a parent causes shame in the child. Guilt says, “I did something bad.” Shame says, “I AM bad, unworthy, unacceptable or Mommy/Daddy wouldn’t treat me this way.” Shame is the root cause of perfectionism, narcissism, pathological blame-shifting, inabillity to accept responsibilty, inability to repent, denial, distorted thinking, self-righteousness, legalism, passive-aggressivness, lying, stonewalling. These are all “shame-roots”– symptoms of deeply ingrained shame. It is a demonic stronghold. Satan attacks when we are our most vulnerable. Children do have have the tools to process emotional pain. It leaves them utterly vulnerable to Satan who moves in through the wound and entrenches his lies. AS a means of self-protection, children develop these coping strategies to avoid the pain, but as adults, these coping strategies that once served to protect you, now shred the lives of those closest to you. Regarding this shame and its manifested “shame root” behaviors…you can’t counsel it out, therapy it out, reason it out, intellectualize it out. You feel as though you are dealing with someone made of Teflon… impenetrable. If fact, you are dealing with a demonic stronghold. You can’t go toe-to-toe with demonic principalities and win. You just get beat up. You get more abuse, despair, torment. You can’t make them “see”. They are blinded by a demonic stronghold. A tearing down of these strongholds through taking authority over them in prayer and fasting is the only way to overcome. Usually, shame is a generational strongholds and will continue to be passed down through the generations unless someone stands in the gap in prayer and fasting to break it off. Read Derek Prince’s “And they Shall Expel Demons” and “Tearing Down Strongholds” Remove yourself from the abuser if necessary. Get yourself and your kids safe first. Take all the necessary legal steps you must. Then, once safe and out of the abusive cycle, learn to pray in a way that breaks down the strongholds. You will NEVER, I repeat NEVER be able to fight this in the flesh. This enemy is not flesh and blood. We overcome Satan by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. Satan can not cross over the blood of Jesus. Like the Israelites who dipped the hyssop in the blood of the lamb and applied it to their doorposts to protect them from the Angel of death, so we must take our hyssop (which is Scripture… God’s promises in Scripture, and memorize these verses, speak them out loud so the devil can hear you (Satan can’t read your mind) proclaim and declare these verses over and over again. This is how, in a practical way, we take the blood of Jesus which was slain for our victory, out of the basin and apply it to the pain, despair and hopelessness of our situations. It may take a long time. If you really want to save your marriage to this kind of person (most of whom could be diagnosable by mainstream psychiatry as having mental or personality disorders) this is the only way to break through. I have witnessed this in real life. Love is the only thing that breaks through shame. It requires the kind of love that is tough and courageous. One that sends a clear message that the craziness will no longer be tolerated. You will be attacked, mocked, degraded, blamed, manipulated…. these people really do not “see” their abuse. They will make you and everyone else believe YOU are the problem. Don’t. I. Say. DON’T engage. You are not dealing with flesh and blood. Break free. Once free of the abusive cycle, then you can engage on a spiritual level to break the strongholds.
Been There, I agree Shame is a huge stronghold and originated in the Garden of Eden. Shame is only healed through truth and love but you are absolutely right – you need distance and safety in order to be able to pray for the person involved.
The reality you speak of here has brought me to tears. This is what I have been dealing with for far too many years.
God bless you. This is right on and as a believer who is going through counselling for a very similar situation, this was something I needed to read today as I’m seeking the LORD through all of this. Everything you mentioned with these illnesses being spiritually rooted, is right on…although I’m left wondering why this has happened to me twice…I am also beginning to wonder why I keep falling for these wolves… Please keep me in your prayers, as me and my baby daughter have no where to go and I’m struggling to become financially independent so that we can leave…God please help us…thanks again for this post, it’s right on…
I totally agree…during my marriage I experienced extreme emotional abuse and it wasn’t until I finally reached the end of myself and cried out to the Lord that He showed me it was a spiritual battle. Recognising that my husband was not the enemy and Satan held him captive opened my eyes to a whole new realm of spiritual warfare, I started fighting Satan and not my husband. Jesus removed me and my kids out of the home when things escalated and I have continued to intercede for my husband for the last 7 years even though we are now divorced. The Lord has told me that He will heal my husband, my husband is a prodigal in His eyes and is on his journey to the pig pen. King Nebuchadnezzar in the bible had an evil heart, he threw Shadrach Meshach and Abednego into the furnace because they wouldn’t worship his statue. After initially repenting he still continued in pride until God caused him to be driven from his kingdom for seven years and eat the grass like an ox. Nebuchadnezzar the most proudest powerful man on the face of the earth was humbled and gave honour and glory to God. No matter how evil someone is they are only a human being, God is God and He knows how to deal with the devil. Stand and fight in prayer and fasting believing and declaring the word of God and Satan’s kingdom will fall. It takes time, endurance and patience and it is a fight worth fighting to see a person delivered from evil. I asked God a few years ago why it was taking so long and He replied through a road sign…”Major roadworks. Expect delays”
Thanks so much for what you have shared it is absolutely true
Jackie, It’s good to keep praying, as I do, but as difficult as it, I’ve learned that it does not mean your x-husband will ever change. There are many examples in the bible where people themselves, and God, harden their hearts.
For example, Eph 4:18 says “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.”
And in Romans it says that when man sins, he continues to harden his heart. (Romans 1.18, 21, 24, 28, 32; 2.5)
I get the impression from scripture that hard hearts ultimately are our responsibility, not God’s. God tells us in Joel 2:12 to turn to Him with all of our hearts and to rend our hearts. A broken and repentant heart God will not despise (Psalm 51:17). And God’s very nature is to show mercy (Exodus 34:5-7). Jonah knew this (Jonah 4:2)
I still pray for my x-husband to be broken & repent… because that’s the hope any of us have of ever truly changing.
I meant to say that’s the ONLY hope any of us have of ever truly changing.
Debbie, your question piqued my interest because it is a question I have asked myself. How did my husband come to be this way? Looking back I see that during our marriage his heart was progressively hardening…though I have reason to believe that his attitude was in place long before we met. Scripture tells us that when we quench the Spirit the result is a hardened heart. (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Timothy 4:2; Hebrews 3:7-8, 15; Hebrews 4:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:19 to name a few)
The Spirit is who guides us into truth (John 16:13) so it follows that without the Spirit we can not know truth. As Leslie points out, they refuse correction so it isn’t a matter of them being ignorant to the truth, it is a matter of them putting water on the fire of the Holy Spirit.
Thank you Leslie for this much needed post of wisdom and encouragement to those who have been further traumatized by the unbiblical application of scripture. I have heard many targets of abuse share that they received his kind of twisted teaching of God’s Word when they reached out to the church. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people say to me, “We all sin….” (therefore who am I/we to judge). A counselor even told me that God views all sin the same. Shaking my head. Thank you Leslie for the time and thought you put into this!!!
I’ve been thinking more about this and what also comes to mind is scriptural references to instances when God hardened hearts or gave people over to a depraved mind. Matthew 13:14-15; Proverbs 28:13-14; Exodus 9:12; Romans 1:23-32
Some of the key verses are in Romans 1:28,32 “Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done….. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”
The man giving in to evil has not kept God’s Word in his heart (Psalm 119:9). Given that the Spirit is what gives us an understanding of God’s Word, the absence of the Spirit is an absence of God. The story of Daniel tells us that even though Daniel was living in a corrupted environment and while he faced real threat for refusal to compromise, “Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine…” (Daniel 1:8). Daniel was able to overcome because he has “resolved”. He had drawn a line in the sand. The abuser does not do this. The only line they have is that THEY can not be crossed.
So it seems it can be viewed as a question of what the person intent on evil is lacking (even more so?) than what they possess for them to choose to act this way. They lack: the truth of God’s Word (they do not spend time in His Word and if they do they quote it they do not practice it) and absence of the Spirit which leads to lack of conviction and knowledge of God.
Thank you Valerie for both responses. They are spot on.
Debbie, I have asked myself that many times,” why didn’t I see this behavior before we were married? ” For one thing, my husband was very knowledgeble about the Bible. That was impressive. For another I had been divorced for 29 years and just wanted a great Christian man to spend the rest of my days with. Given that, plus he was cute and charming, I just knew he was the man God had brought in my life! WRONG!….. Two days after we were married, the real person started emerging. All I can say is that I was so caught up in the moment, that I rushed (he pushed) into a realationship that was horrific from the get go. I think when we are caught up in the emotion, instead of letting time & God show us, it is easy to make bad decisions.
I think I know the answer to how someone develops an evil heart…it is one choice at a time
Benjamin Netanyahu fits this bill. let the screaming commence.
I am reading the posts today- on some women having to come to a place of having to consider if their spouse is evil, and oh what a difficult place this is. I still remember the exact day my counselor referred to my husbands behaviors as evil, and I went home thinking, isnt that a little harsh?? No, actually it isn’t. When a man repeatedly abuses his wife, denys his children, refuses counsel or accountability, or absolutely refuses all truth, yes I came to a place, I could call it evil. Did it hurt?? You better believe it hurts, to have to use this very unacceptable label. Evil seems like such a nasty word to define our husband. But if we purposely does not love and respect and nourish his family, what else would I call it?? Ladies its time we stop minimizing the awful behaviors some of our husbands have done, and call sin- sin. I loved Leslies blog this week. It only clarified for me, what I sometimes forget. I have been separated for a year now, and I cannot tell you enough the peace and tranquility Iive in now. Why?? Because there is an absence of evil, in our home. Don’t be fooled. These men do not have good feelings for their families, nor good intentions. They are driven on a need to control, dominate, steal finances and support away, anything they can to be supreme- trying to upsurb Gods place in our lives. I am very sad about the evil this blog is talkign about, and wish it wasnot so- but the blinders have been ripped of my eyes- and I see clearly now……….
Robin, I think of Jesus’ description of the Pharisees when they would oppress the poor, and put large burdens on people’s backs that they were unwilling to carry themselves. How they switched the law so people wouldn’t be obligated to support their families if they gave money to the synagogue. These things Jesus called evil and those who did them evil. Sometimes we are afraid to call something what it is because it sounds so harsh but like strong ammonia can shock someone awake when they’re unconscious, I think sometimes using strong language about particular behaviors can have that same effect, to shock someone awake to what he or she is doing.
“….like strong ammonia can shock someone awake when they’re unconscious”
Like button. 🙂
For months, our counselor would not use the word abuse, didn’t want to offend my husband I guess. He finally said the word, but don’t think he ever really took me seriously. After a year of no heart change, just outward signs, so the counselor could see, I stopped going.
Wow, thank you LESLIE. Great words of truth and power. Yes, I did need a splash of ammonia to wake me up, but thankfully it did the job!!!!
It’s potent but helpful.
I can’t tell you how much your book helped me this spring(The emotionally abusive Marriage) I have been in this marriage for 30 years and I have been so confused- just like your book explains. I have never understood or even had an inkling of what is wrong. I felt my husband lied a lot, was never connected emotionally and always kept his relationships private etc….. These are just the milder things. Of late; he has caused division between our children and me, our friends and me and now our church and me. My pastor even helped him make an excuse for lying to me and blamed me and said all I do is accuse my husband. Even though this last meeting involved a written confession of my husband lying and deceiving me. He is so brilliant and articulate that he has everyone convinced I’m the problem. I’m not without sin , I know. I have spent a lot on counseling , but I’m so discouraged. He has hoarded all money to himself and always has. I have no family, now no friends, and I’m attending another church after what happened with our last meeting with my pastor. This is just a drop in the bucket of all the problems. I think I’ve come to the conclusion my husband is a sociopath of sorts and a liar and is so good at it; he convinces me. Hence the confusion. But now what does a woman in my situation do??? I’m left with no support at all. The people closest to me can’t even see me for who I am because he has so deceived!!! That hurts the most and has broken my heart!
It is like a crazy making environment and the only one’s who will truly understand are one’s who have also been through it. Glad you are part of this blog.
Thank you Leslie, I quess that is what makes us feel like we’re losing it! So glad there is a support blog!!
i have the exact thing happening with me. do you want to connect?
Everything said about husbands and their indifferent attiitude towards their family is true.They act like saints outside and in .the house they are living devils.But Christ said ” Do good to those who hate you.Pray for those who persecute you.”.P
Patricia, I think there are a couple of things to consider when you quote that scripture. If marriage was designed by God, and designed to be a refuge where your spouse’s promise is to love, honor and cherish the other creates a haven, a respite from a hostile world, do you think that Jesus was referring to a person who “hates you” living in the same house and maintaining an intimate relationship with? God must shake His head sometimes at the way we use scripture to keep people in bondage to evil. The other point I want to bring up is “praying for those who persecute you” can be done anywhere at any time. Just because we are calling evil, evil, doesnt mean we DONT pray for them and it doesnt mean we must or should stay in a toxic environment with a destructive person to do the praying. And lastly, “doing good” what does that look like? Is it “doing good” to allow someone to be destructive, letting them continue in their sin, bringing them under God’s curse and far from His blessing? I believe we have a very limited view of what it means to “do good” and we often think we are “doing good” (because its what we’ve been taught) and yet we cause harm, or enable sin, by not holding someone accountable and calling sin, sin and putting consequences in place. Scripture taken out of context (a typical abuser trick, btw) and away from the “spirit of the law” and far from the heart of God, is dangerous to those living under oppression.
I really appreciate what you say here. Few realize the importance of confronting evil….this is why there is sooo much corruption in marriages in the Church and in Christianity.
[…] Five Indicators Of A Evil Heart […]
So with my spouse I can recognize many of the things in your list of characteristics. However, those characteristics only seem to apply to his relationship with me. He is a pastor, and I tell you the truth, he is humble and takes correction well in that role. He looks for feedback. How can this be? It really makes me feel crazy. And what would be the point of only being like this to one person?
Belle, have you witnessed him actually taking this rebuke from leadership or has he given you a play by play of his version of events? I ask this because for years I always assumed that what my husband told me was true when he recounted an interaction with someone else. Especially if he was quick to point out how he was humble. He would say these kinds of things to seemingly try to prove to me that I was the crazy one for questioning him. After all, “See how humble I am…I’m even telling you how humble I am!”
A 3 year old knows which grandparent will not scold them for taking an extra cookie. An abuser is adept at realizing who he can be abusive toward. Its all a game to an abuser taken from an win/lose standpoint. What does he have to gain by showing his true self to church leadership? He can gain momentary satisfaction for having one-upped them among a few other temporary advantages. Long term, however, he will lose this position of leadership as he realizes he can’t be wicked toward the church at large and expect to keep his position.
On the other hand, what does he have to gain by hiding his nature and complying with leadership? He has a title he can flaunt. He has power that he is reminded of daily. People answer to him. While he gets his share of questioning, without a conscience he can slide these comments behind him and focus on the ego boosting ones (Your sermon inspired me…what a heavy load you must bear…the church would be lost without you…) He can use his title to get away with more subtle evil…all the while people give him the benefit of the doubt because of that very title. He may seemingly be looking for feedback in order to hide his true nature. Has taking this feedback cost him anything? Has he actually sacrificed anything to respond to it?
My guess is that there is a secretary…a Sunday School teacher…the copy repair technician who would confirm the type of attitude you recognize as commonplace.
What is the point of only being like this to one person you ask? IMO I don’t think it is just you but he is the most blatant with you because he believes he has gotten away with it. He would likely not openly even mention people that could tell the truth. They are adept at keeping them hidden…sometimes through telling you these people don’t like YOU. After all, why would you talk to them then and possibly learn the truth?
It could be that because he has this pent up aggression during work hours that he is even more aggressive toward you at home. I have a pressure cooker that I use and when I’m in a hurry I don’t want to have to wait to let it cool down in order to open it. Since it can not open unless pressure is released, I will take an oven mitt and manually lift the vent to release the steam and pressure. The first time I made the mistake of trying to do this without the oven mitt and had to run for the burn spray. The moral of the story is an abuser is a pressure cooker. You can’t deal with that kind of pressure without being careful or you will get burned. An abusive person often shows signs of poor impulse control and no internal resources so they have no interest or means within themselves to cool down slowly…naturally. (This is NOT an excuse for their behavior, but only goes to show how their instincts differ from a healthy person) Their built up pressure will explode…even if not physically it will manifest itself in other ways- sometimes in a passive aggressive fashion.
I’m not saying all these things ARE true of your husband but I believe they would fit the mindset of an evil abuser.
Oh God’s Goodness! You have put into words what I have been trying to express to perpertrator and victim all along in my years of helping one another in ministry. Praise God for your discernment.This is going to bring hope and healing to many as a result of your faithfulness and love for God’s people and the lost. God continue to bless your ministry and keep you in his guiding hands. May God continue to bless the work of your hands. Amen.
God is able to take our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh. I have to believe change is possible. Still I don’t want to depend on it because trusting a treacherous man is like a foot that slips.
Chiree you are right when you say God can take a heart of stone and change it and soften it. But He never does that with an unrepentant person. A spouse sinning and ignoring the truths in Gods Word — isn’t likely to have God soften His heart. Repentance has to come first. It is so hard to feel we need to keep hoping something good can come when we wait and wait and no permanent change happens. When they stay in perpetual destructive habits – that hope becomes a false hope- and not a true reality.
I love this. Repentance has to cme first” “When they stay in perpetual destructive habits-that hope becomes false hope-an not true reality”
So many of us do not see and understand our reality. We see what we hope is true about pour relationship. I had to hear this several times before I understood what my true reality was!!
When I did see my reality as it was and not what I wished……… I was empowered to take action and stand up to the destruction.
LESLIE, it was a good reminder what you said earlier today about the destructive cycle of abuse. Focus on the Family gave me a book I highly recommend to women, that need to understand the cycle of abuse. It’s called, ANGRY MEN AND THE WOMEN WHO LOVE THEM. by Paul Hegstrom. I loved the details he gave about the different pRts of the cycle – first he’s likes le and perhaps romantic than he goes into so
Ethi g that made him a little angry, and then the different levels of anger, until he explodes and wants to make up and of course most wives do and then they start all over again. He does an outstanding job of explaining how an abusive relationship works!!! Loved the book!!!!
It’s funny. Even though I know about the cycle — I still find myself confused and drawn in during the honeymoon stage. It’s a testament to how effective it is.
Lynn, boy do I understand being steered wrong even tho I thought I understood the cycle. I do so hear you. When I picked up the book yesterday that I recommended- I looked at it and thought Gheez do I even now understand the craziness of the abused mans cycle??
Great book. My husband and I went to Paul’s counseling center in Denver for a week of intensive counseling. God surely led us there and that is when God revealed the abusive marriage I was in. My husband denied being abusive and became worse as the week progressed. We left with the counselor telling me there is a major stronghold on my husband and I should make a safety plan and be ready to leave. Paul was there and would not even pray with us because they weren’t sure my husband was a Christian and didn’t think my husband would even hear God’s voice to let go of the stronghold. They were right, after another year of marriage counseling when we got home, nothing changed, no repentance, same hard heart. We are separated now and that didn’t initiate any repentance either, just made him angrier and convinced him I am the abusive one.
WOW Liz….I am amazed that there was a group of people actually willing to call the truth the truth by taking their position of your husband’s hardened heart. From my experience, other than in the abuse community those hardened people are labeled “lost sheep” and not the wolves they truly are.
I was just considering hours ago whether I will ever find a godly community- ones committed to the truth- in real life and your post gave me hope that those few are out there. Not to say that these are shining examples of Christianity, but the willingness to see evil is a great start. Thank you for sharing that Liz! It managed to encourage me despite the circumstances.
This hits so close to home for me. I am at my last straw but my husband of 9 years does’ t know it.
We are going for intense counseling for a week in Sioux City Iowa of all places with Dr. Jim Logan.
It is my last chance for him after catching him in emotional adultery with ex gfs, and pursuing a coworker, to now being barred from our family massage parlor after massaging the young 20 year old masseuses instead of being massaged by them.
I know. I know. I should leave and not trust him. I know. I do not trust him but for some reason I see the evil in his eyes – I see it and I am hoping Dr. Logan will cast it out from him- he doesn’t fool around and hold men accountable. It will either go one of two ways – he will get saved (he claims to be a Christian) and delivered or the counselor will tell me to leave him. I have to wait 4 weeks.
Kelly, did it work?
Leslie, what you wrote describes my father exactly. Fortunately I’m out of the house and I only have one sibling still living with my parents. My mother is finally at the point where she wants to separate from my father. Is there any advice you could give me as a daughter in this situation? I do love my father but he is so deceived and we are all tired of the endless cycle of abuse and hypocrisy but there is so much guilt about “choosing sides”. And I am afraid because of the uncertainty of how he is going to act in the coming months with the separation.
Mary, I have a blog, a while ago about a daughter who wanted to help her mother. I’ll see if I can find it and that might give you some good wisdom about what you can do and what you cannot do to help her.
Thanks Leslie, that would be great!
Mary I can comment on that, if you don’t mind. When it came time I felt strong enough to separate- my adult daughter helped me significantly. She was there to give me support everyday. But she didn’t try to tell me I needed a divorce. She never encouraged me to go to lawyer. She made none of my decisions for me, but she was there every step of the way. When I needed to talk about my fear of him, she listened. When her siblings came against me for filing for divorce, my adult daughter defended me. Later she became very instrumental in helping me put new locks on doors, getting financial info to lawyer, etc. but one thing she never did was put any pressure on me. She knew it was my life, and I needed to make up my own choices . But I’m not sure I could have been so strong, without her. My husband is one to be feared- and I was a basket case first couple weeks. I want you to know you can love your mom and help her powerfully by giving good support. It will make a difference!!!!
That helps a lot. It’s easy to feel powerless. Good to hear that just “being there” for her does help.
Mary, I was reading about what you said about choosing sides and the guilt. Very sadly my family sit in half and there were two sides. We tried to stop the sitting but my husbands decisive spirit — encouraged and needed it. Just remember as you stand with your Mom on the most difficult days– you are standing for Truth to be in the open. Some of the family might not be ready to stand for truth, and will pick sides. No matter. We still stand firm choosing Truth. It’s been a painful road to walk, but the results we are seeing today, show we chose well.
Sorry my typing is terrible in this small box- I meant Splitting
What I take from what you’re saying is that it’s not about choosing sides but about exposing darkness by spelling out the truth, that my father is abusive, no matter what he or anybody else thinks. And not to allow manipulation that may twist that into “But you’re choosing your mother’s side against me.”
ABSOLUTELY! It’s hard to not pick sides – but the way I saw it was we weren’t picking sides, we were defending Gods Truth and Righteousness. A good thing to remember also is an abusive man finds much success in his words he uses to guilt others. Try to remember you can’t please him nor can you say anything he will like. Do what you know is truthful. When I quit trying to find words to convince my husband- I became much stronger.
Robin,how did your daughter come to see the real side of her Dad. I just spent a week with my three adult daughters and they definitely do not see the side I see. They admit that their father is emotionally detached, but not the person I deal with. Also, they are so willing to let all the neglect of their childhood be forgotten (which in some ways , I think is healthy for them) and move forward In Their relationship with their Dad. I see it as self focused, but they don’t . I guess that is good. My girls all have emotional scars that are becoming more and more prevalent as they get older. I love them and care deeply for them and desire for them to find healing in their lives. Has this been similar to you and your children?
This post has hit the ball home in a lot of different ways, as I see myself in this list of indicators.
Let me start by saying that I have been separated from my wife and (young) kids for the last two plus years. She did this on the “Godly advice” of her pastor and his wife by “asking me to leave” (read kick me out on the street with no care of where I went/slept), because I wouldn’t dance to their drumbeat… i.e. “Repent” of the sin of pornography.
I was never physically or sexually abusive to my wife (or our kids for that matter) nor did I cheat on her while we were together, but she locked me out of the house for a month and wouldn’t let me see the kids at all (also by the “Godly advice” of her church leaders). When I finally asked the children’s services for help, she accused me of being (capable?!*) something that I am not to get them to side with her. Luckily they didn’t just take her word on it and let me see my kids a few times a week, but it still started a year long court process for me to able to have over night visitations.
When I got back in the house a month later (unfortunately by police intervention), she left took the kids to live in the church for the rest of the year. A place where I couldn’t go (as I was kicked out), so I couldn’t see our kids. That’s when I got hit with child support payments on top of all the other bills I had to pay for in my empty house.
I know a lot of you have been hurt, deeply, by your husbands’ sin and evil hearts, but ruining their lives (by separation or divorce) just to try and change them doesn’t help… It makes them more bitter and less likely to repent.
UNLESS they physically or sexually abused you or your children!! Then kick their butts to the curb and call the police… You don’t deserve that, nobody does!!
*Read Ted Bundy the serial rapist/murder.
Pete, if you saw yourself on the 5 indicators of an evil heart, why are you continuing to minimize the damage you’ve done, and blame the church and your wife for the consequences of your choices?
The cat’s out of the bag I guess, I will assume that you know my name by my email address and not by having prior first hand knowledge of the incident… But if you do, please inform me.
(In your reply box there is a “Name” box and “Email” box that are required to be filled, I chose a different name in my original comment/post because of a certain level of anonymity. For future correspondences with people, please follow your own policy on the matter: “Your email address will not be published”… Consider adding “in whole or in part”.)
Now to your question: “Why are you continuing to minimize the damage you’ve done, and blame the church and your wife for the consequences of your choices?”
The answer to this is multifaceted. If you understood the history behind the whole story, you would see my problem much clearer. The weight of the consequences are much heavier than any man should bear for the crimes committed.
I DO NOT SAY THAT I DID NOT DAMAGE THE RELATIONSHIP BY MY OWN ACTIONS!!! I own all the responsibility for the actions I committed, or omitted.
Here are some unknown (to you anyway, at least I would hope) variables to factor in to the equation:
– I left my home country to come live in her’s, to be with her
– The church radicalized her into what seems to be a jihadist
– The pastor is a control freak
– He has kicked out numerous people from his church that didn’t agree 100% with him
– He isolates everyone from their outside friends, and even family
– My wife admitted having “feelings” for him (or jealousies for him and his wife’s relationship)
– He demands that my kids call him “Pa”
And last but, by far, not least: He recommended she do everything she has done up until now. She won’t listen to anybody but him and his wife. I have tried time and again to get counseling with her together somewhere else, but she won’t go.
It’s not just that I have to reconcile with my wife to get my family back. I would have to go to him crawling on my hands and knees with my tail between my legs begging for forgiveness and licking his boots.
So, what can I do?!
I don’t know who you are and your e-mail does not appear in the post so no one else knows who you are. Your name appeared in the “author” section so I used it. Your wife’s pastor may be a control freak but me thinks that you are too concerned with other people’s wrongs and not concerned enough with your own. Humble yourself before God and your wife and leave the results to God.
As has been mentioned many times on this blog, abuse is not simply about outward actions…but a mentality/theology of entitlement, power & dominance over another individual and using whatever tactics are necessary to achieve that power. I agree with Leslie….humble yourself before the Lord for causing deep destruction to the bond of trust and vows you made for your marriage. The Lord is the judge of hearts, intentions, and motives. If you are sincere, you can trust the Lord for His outcome.
Remedy, I love your first sentence. Definitely gonna make a sign for my counselors office. WELL SAID!!
“Abuse is not simply about outward actions…but a mentality/theology of entitlement, power & dominance over another individual and using whatever tactics are necessary to achieve that power.”
This is a powerful quote, it can be used in a lot of different ways. How can you be sure you don’t fall into the same trap?!
Evil Heart, you mentioned that you didn’t “cheat” on your wife while you were together. Have you been faithful to her while you’ve been separated? Jesus would say that by indulging the sin of pornography, you’ve already been unfaithful in your heart to your beloved wife countless times.
You also recommended that oppressed wives not try to use separation or divorce as a means of exposing the evils that go on in many homes, even Christian ones, unless the husband is physically or sexually abusing her or the children. Anyone who has suffered years upon years of emotional mistreatment and spiritual manipulation bears the inner scars of a survivor of abuse, and some of the passages that Leslie listed (Proverbs 16:27, 30:14) make it clear that these evil words aren’t excusable and harmless. I would characterize “a scorching fire,” “swords,” “knives,” and “devouring the poor” as abusive, just as degrading and harmful as physical or sexual abuse.
“You don’t deserve that, nobody does!!” No woman deserves to be abused in any way. This is NOT part of the wedding vows we took. If you think that just because you kept your pants on and didn’t batter your wife and kids that the marriage covenant is a license to treat your family as pleases you, you have a very sobering reality to face.
“You mentioned that you didn’t ‘cheat’ on your wife while you were together. Have you been faithful to her while you’ve been separated?”
– Unfortunately not, I finally broke down after 2+ years of standing alone about 2 months ago. I made a conscious decision to break my vows, and had to push myself to do it. My conscience is nagging at me, because I know what I did was wrong.
“Jesus would say that by indulging the sin of pornography, you’ve already been unfaithful in your heart to your beloved wife countless times.”
– Fair enough, I see the damage that it caused… Better than you do.
“You also recommended that oppressed wives not try to use separation or divorce as a means of exposing the evils that go on in many homes, even Christian ones, unless the husband is physically or sexually abusing her or the children.”
– No, I said more along the lines of “don’t try and change another human being, that you made the mistake of marrying in the first place, to fit in your little box”.
This was the first post I’ve ever even seen on this site. It was posted on facebook by an old friend of mine growing up, she happened to marry a physically abusive man and recently got out of that situation. I have no doubt that a site like this helps women in that sort of dilemma. But after reading more posts, and comments to them, it seems to also attract Feminazis who are hellbent on controlling their man like Eve was cursed to do in the beginning… for merely hurting their feelings, not bodies!
“Anyone who has suffered years upon years of emotional mistreatment and spiritual manipulation bears the inner scars of a survivor of abuse, and some of the passages that Leslie listed (Proverbs 16:27, 30:14) make it clear that these evil words aren’t excusable and harmless. I would characterize “a scorching fire,” “swords,” “knives,” and “devouring the poor” as abusive, just as degrading and harmful as physical or sexual abuse.”
– Really?! Do you think that they are at the same level?? If you haven’t already, please read the other sub-comment by (Pete) to fill yourself in a little bit on the back story. The majority of this whole situation is more about a controlling pastor (and his wife) who told my wife to do all these things.
“No woman deserves to be abused in any way. This is NOT part of the wedding vows we took.”
– Point taken, I agree fully. BUT those vows were the beginning of a lifelong covenant that “no man should separate”
“If you think that just because you kept your pants on and didn’t batter your wife and kids that the marriage covenant is a license to treat your family as pleases you, you have a very sobering reality to face.”
– And now the crux of the matter… I’m facing it!!
I failed, miserably…
Do you see now that your failures in pornography and adultery result from evil desires in your inner person and not from how the pastor and his wife evaluated the situation or how your wife chose to respond?
Where will you turn for a solution?
I don’t think it mere chance that this was the first blog you read on this particular site. It very well may be God’ final wake-up call before he brings something worse on you.
My “beloved wife” responded exactly how the pastor and his wife told her to… By Isolation. Please explain to me how conversion by coercion is ever good… Especially by keeping my kids from me
As to the Adultery, what is the longest amount of time you have had sex withheld from you?! It had been 2+ years with no end in sight for me.
My only regret is that I was married at the time, where I should have waited till I was divorced first. It makes me less than honorable.
Evil Heart – even your statement about “it’ makes me less honorable” is a self-referenced self-oriented ethic. You are upset with yourself – not because you hurt your wife, not because you hurt God, not because you misused another woman for your own sexual needs, but because you became less honorable in your own eyes. It’s still all about you. Even in your remorse and grief it’s still about how you became less honorable. This is the core of the problem that you need to look at. It will continue to cause you much relational and emotional pain.
I was reading through all these comments. There are consequences to your actions. You have a lot to work through and I hope are asking God, and getting counseling. With that said though….you did just get totally ripped to shreds for saying how you are feeling. I For being open. You are certainly not in a good place. We are all broken. That is why we need Jesus. I won’t say you are evil because I dont know…I feel compassion for you. I pray for your healing. God loves you. You are his creation. If you love Him and fear Him, He will forgive you right where you stand. I think of Christ on the Cross and the murderer who saw the truth in his last moments. Jesus chose him and brought him home with him. That’s loving someone just as they are. I pray you know how much He loves you in this moment. That there is no shame and nothing you cannot bring to Him. God does love us so much….that’s why Jesus suffered and died for us. I pray that you are filled with His perfect peace and in his mercy he keeps bringing you into the light. God Bless you.
I’m always surprised when Christians don’t believe its possible for evil to exist in a person, especially one who claims to be a Christian. Jesus clearly talks about this in the bible, as you pointed out so well. We need to take Him at his word.
Is it they don’t think evil exists– or that they have a hard time seeing it in a spouse they live very much??
I meant love very much
It surprises me too. It’s very clear to me.
I have come to realize the unwillingness to recognize AND call out evil is the continual fuel for the fire of evil to continue to burn and destroy.
Before coming to an understanding that my marriage was abusive and my husband’s actions were evil I, too, was in the dark about this darkness- wickedness and evil- within mainstream society. However, if someone had pointed me to the existence of evil years ago within mainstream society- beyond what’s under the bed, in closets and alleys- …I would like to believe that I wouldn’t have responded to someone the way I have been responded to by the “Christian” bench warmers.
We put a high value on not judging others because it works for our society’s desire to not be held accountable…never mind the fact that someone wagging their finger at you for judging others is also judging you, correct? Perhaps they might respond by saying “I’m not judging you, I’m pointing out where you are not doing things right.” So you’re trouble with me is what exactly…??
Somewhere we seem to have adopted the theory that says to call sin sin is the same as judging. That no man can know sin, only God. Then to dare to call something evil or wicked seems to imply that you are wicked yourself for saying what seems to be a swear word in the church.
If the church were a marketing company (some seem to bear eerily resemblance) they would say talking about evil and sin “doesn’t sell”. But notice how the offering boosts and people leave in a more upbeat mood when we point out the hypocrites? See how the pews fill when we say everyone is welcome and God loves you just the way you are! (found on the minivan at the stop light but no where in scripture)
If we are God’s friends- if we love God we must love what God loves and hate what He hates. We must return to a fear of God and approach Him as HOLY, HOLY, HOLY.
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Leslie, these five indicators accurately describe my (recently ex) step children, 17 and 23. They also describe my husband. But if my husband, who claims to be a believer and follower of Christ, is deceived enough to believe me responsible for the issues in our marriage and doesn’t believe he has been mentally or emotionally abusive to me, is his heart truly evil or is he just seriously deceived by satan (and arrogant and legalistic pastors)? And if so, can he ever come to repentance and restore our marriage?
There is an arrogance in people who still feel pricks of conscience when they do wrong even if they lack empathy in seeing the pain in others. They may have a hard time admitting it but they feel guilt and shame when they cross the line of unacceptable behavior. The evil heart has no such pricks of conscience. They feel justified, entitled, or even gleeful that they “won” even if their words indicate something different.
Unless God returns first, consider that every last person you have ever met, every one of them will suffer the loss of her friends, her family, her pets. All are going to lose everything they love in this world. Why would we want to be anything but kind to them in the meantime? Even if it has reached a point where we can no longer live with them.
What an enlightening post. Thank you. This seems to fit my estranged husband to a “T”. I have been living in his cycle of alcoholism until I couldn’t take it anymore. He has put himself, our children, me, our family/friends in danger for so long…I finally had to leave. I have a court order for supervised visitation with the kids…but of course he doesn’t have a supervisor, so I continually get pulled into the whole mess.
He says he’s changed – he has been in an intensive outpatient addiction program for about 6 weeks – incidentally he started only after I filed for divorce. He has been putting on the face of the man I want trying to get me and the kids to go back…but it’s all still there. He refused a random breathalyzer the other day when I was offering him an extra visit with the kids, so I trust that he is still drinking, just doing it when he doesn’t think we are going to be around. He was just on a business trip and wanted the kids and I to be there when he got home – when he didn’t get his way, I started getting texts from him when he got back to our home (I stayed there with our kids and dog-sat while he was away) about all of the things I had done wrong – not being thankful about what I had done in caring for our pet and caring for the house in his absence. I keep trying to believe everything that he tells me…but he’s just wearing a mask. There is a saying I heard once “when people show you who they are, believe them”. After all these years, I finally believe him…and I guess getting me to believe otherwise that he is the changed man he is fooling his counselors and family into thinking he is will take much more. I’m just reading “The Emotionally Destructive Marriage”, It’s the first book that let me feel like I could be a Christian and not think that I had to just live with this craziness because “God hates divorce”. Thank you, Leslie!
Does anyone else feel scared to think about their husband like this? I read this and definitely see some of this in my husband. Especially the never taking responsibility and no repentance part…but to think he may have an evil heart really scares me. And it makes me feel like I can’t trust myself to judge character….I mean there were definitely red flags when we were dating but to label it as an “evil heart” is so hard for me and I don’t want to because it scares me.
How could any of us be so wise to see or be looking for an evil heart during the dating phase– when most young women are starry eyed and focused on s wedding?? Evil hearts disclose the truth. It is not in the open, for others to see. I don’t blame myself. I do consider it important now, what choices I will make, now that I have gained wisdom and can see evil . Yes it is very scary and should not be taken lightly!!
I meant WILL NOT DISCLOSE THE TRUTH!!!
I do, I never thought of him as truly evil but I see most of the indicators in him, especially #4. My daughter once told me she thought he was a psychopath after she took a college psychology class. I dismissed her comment but maybe she was right. It is scar
scary, this is answering confused.
The hardest part is that the evil heart is only evil selectively. I think it is better for all concerned when the evil person is uniformly so. Then it becomes obvious for everyone to see. The victim gets a measure of validation. However, when the manipulation, mind games, lack of genuine remorse, lack of conscience are directed to the one person most vulnerable – the spouse – and not to others, it becomes nearly impossible to recognize the behavior as evil. We need validation. It is a frightening responsibility to make such a judgement about a person when it seems that no one else is aware of the depth of wickedness being directed toward the intimate partner. Other than Leslie’s books, which clearly identify sinful emotional abuse and label it as such, we must rely on excellent non christian resources such as Lundy Bancroft, and materials on the psychopath, that remind us that lasting change in an abusive partner is extremely rare.
InHim, yes, yes, yes!!! What you share was my experience also and it is an extremely lonely place. Your words were validation to me as they totally mirror my experience as well. When you are first coming out of the FOG you are barely able to comfortably call it abuse so you rely on your current support which only further traumatized me in my case. You used an insightful word by calling it a responsibility, yes, it is exactly that…a frightening responsibility. I, too, have grown disillusioned by even the secular abuse community because to take in the validation you must also be subjected to the secular thinking (revenge, mysticism, foul language, etc). What a refreshing stream of calm waters to come to places like Leslie’s blog and ACFJ to get biblical validation…not a cheerleading squad but places with a Barean mindset.
I agree Valerie. When you come out of that fog, you are reluctant to call it abuse. You know the secular world calls it abuse, but you doubt whether, as a Christian, you dare call it that. You want to be able to tell the truth without feeling soiled in the process. The church is often so tepid in its support of emotionally abused spouses that it leaves us feeling terribly alone. “Hang in there” we are told. “We feel for you” we are assured. But take action against the abuse? Hmmm. That’s problematic. So we desperately tread water, trying to survive, as we are watched from a safe distance. We want and need biblical validation – exactly – not hate-mongering.
I echo what InHim and Valerie said. Somehow in evangelical circles, leaders are uncomfortable calling these indicators of an evil heart sin, unless they result in legal crimes. It’s so much easier for the pastors and elders of churches to appeal to the wife’s more conforming nature to keep the peace in messy households. My husband seems to rely on the fact that no one really knows what goes on in our house and that he can negotiate his way out of any difficulty that may arise. That IS evil, and it IS scary! But we must remember that “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4) and that our Father, “is greater than all and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:29). It is right, noble, and good to stand up to evil, even if no one else sees it. After all, most of the most horrible sin is done in the dark where no one sees.
Ladies, all your posts have encouraged and strengthened my heart to keep going. Thank you! I have been reading through Leslie’s article and all the verses carefully allowing God to speak to me as to how to live each day with an angry abusive husband. As some of you have said, this is hard to believe and accept and others have encouraged us to believe and live in the reality that it is TRUE, ALL TRUE. Thank you. As I look back now to over 51 years ago there were flashing red lights that I missed right from the start of our dating. The first 10 years seemed “normal” and not aggressive as he was busy with his career and I was caring for our home and raising two children. At about 10 or 11 years the angry outbursts began to get progressively worse especially with our son. He suffered a lot and to this day will have nothing to do with his father. I was struggling to survive and keep up a good Christian front with friends and our church. We changed churches a couple times and the routine of ingratiating himself with leadership and being looked up to, began all over again.
When we finally started going to our present church it was so different. There is a pastor there who saw through it from the beginning and knew “it would only be a matter of time before we were in his office” as he smilingly told me later. My eyes began to be open and I received very good heart deep Biblical counsel that cared for me and what I was going through. The children were out of the home and married by now. However they were very hard years which is another story.
I finally separated with the full support of my church and much loving patience as I started to heal. It was 5 years and he seemed to be making some changes so I reconciled. Within the first 4-6 weeks I knew I had made an awful mistake. I was devastated and the next 6 months were the worst in my life. As I processed through that I began to see that now I was different. I was learning who I was in Christ and not to believe the lies he was telling me and I had incredible support in the recovery program at my church. So many friends who understood and would listen, pray, encourage and guide me. Since I read The Emotionally Destructive Relationship and Marriage I have begun to see who my husband really is. Valerie, I think you said “when you repeatedly hurt someone you say that you love, with no conscience, no remorse, there is something very wrong.” This is a theme in my h’s life ever since I met him. He has never faced his destructive behaviors for what they are. In some way it is always my fault according to him. The second indicator has become so clear to me now. The saddest thing is that I think Satan has deceived him and he believes he is saved and has eternal security. He has hardened his heart progressively over the years and especially since our separation and reconciliation. He has never forgiven me for it.
So much of what all of you have said describes him. Someone said repentance comes first and 2 timothy 2:25 says that repentance given by God will lead to the knowledge of the truth. Only an acknowledgment in repentance of their destructive behavior and its effects on others will enable them to see the truth. I have prayed these verses (2 Timothy 2:22-26) many times for myself and my h. There is much wisdom in them.
Now we are in the process of selling our house and moving to VA near our daughter who with her husband has been an incredible support and help to me. She alone knows what it is like because she has lived it herself in our home. As I live in the reality of who my h is I am able to hear God more clearly and not feel guilty when I set boundaries that will stop the cycle of evil (anger, verbal and emotional manipulation etc.) by removing myself from it. As many of us have said in this blog it is the “nice times” that confuse us. When Leslie shared Jeremiah 12:6 a light bulb went on for me. “…do not believe them, although they may say nice things to you.” Interestingly Jeremiah is talking about family members doing this. I am not taken in by the niceness and look for false hope anymore. Although I have processed so much pain and come to a place of forgiveness, the damage to our relationship is so great it would take years to repair and I am not sure I really want it. I will leave that with God and keep growing in Him.
Thank you for reading all this. Sorry it was so long but I wanted to let you all know how you have helped me in my journey. You are all a blessing to me.
The tension on my heart eased after reading this article. You are right on and did not miss a thing. I am reading a book by Jan Silvious titled, “Fool-Proofing Your Life, How to deal effectively with the impossible people in your life”. The book focuses on the main cause of a fool is rooted in anger. The many scripture references in Proverbs confirms the behavior. I am not finished with the book (I’m reading as fast as I can), but she does say that our prayer should be not so much for the fool but for ourselves. That we will change our reactions, our expectations, and be able to live freely as God intended without the affects of the fool. It is a book, for me, that I can identify with so much on every page. It confirms to me that my world is unfortunate, but maybe not as uncommon as it seems when I reach out for support. I am prayerfully considering to whom and when I might send your “evil heart” article to in my church. When I asked them for support, they told me there was nothing they could do. I do not resent that. I believe they should be able to help me and others. I don’t believe they are ‘there’ yet. As a result, I have pushed through on my own through the Word and Christian books. I do have a Christian therapist, but at the church level there is a void. My expectation was that I am a member of a church family. Again, I love my church and God is doing great things. There is no perfect church. It has forced me to draw closer and rely more on God himself. That’s a good thing.
Jan’s book FoolProofing your Life is excellent, although I’m not agreeing with her piece about being sexually obligated even when your husband treats you abusively.
Yes, thank you, Leslie. I read her book recently and thought it was very good. Interesting that she thinks sex is an obligation. That disturbed me as well. I really appreciate your comments elsewhere that one should not expect the benefits of a good relationship when one is unwilling to do what it takes to have that good relationship that leads to intimacy. Physical intimacy absent emotional intimacy reduces the “act” to just sex, not lovemaking. No wonder some women feel like prostitutes when coerced to perform for their husband’s pleasure.
I haven’t read the book you and Leslie are speaking of but am replying to your comment that physical intimacy absent of emotional intimacy is a mere sex act not lovemaking. I totally agree, and so how I handled the situation with my husband was to simply express my honest feelings with him … I explained I would remain available to him (wanting to stay true to Biblical instruction) but that when he wanted sex, he needed to know I would likely be about as responsive as a blow-up-doll/dildough because when a woman feels as callously treated and like a mere blob of tissue with an oriface for which her husband can act out his pornographic fantasies— rather than a wife who is loved, honored, and respected — he should not expect such a woman to pretend like she is enjoying what is only to her further emotional abuse… I told him my desire to be faithful to God’s Word does not mean I am only to follow the passages regarding submission of my body and ignore all the rest, but, instead, I am to harmonize them all together… I am to honor just as much the passages which instruct us to walk in the truth — in every area of life — so that would include marital relations, too… Interestingly, a short time after that little talk, he left the bed, set up a room for himself in the other end of the house, and has been there ever since.
Thank you, Tangled. In the past I have greatly enjoyed Jan Silvious’ books. Sounds very good and I will get it. Fool is a great Biblical term for this behavior and helps me to see it clearly and detach from it emotionally. Looking forward to reading it. .
I have not only read that book- it was my 2nd Bible for years. Excellent info and excellent advice- only had one problem with how she advises a sexual relationship must continue in an abusive relationship. But throw that part out, and you have an excellent tool to use for understanding a foolish man.
Thanks Robin. I struggle with that advice as well. It makes no sense to me that a husband can be abusive and yet still have the “right” to undress his wife. I am so thankful to know that God cares more about my heart, who I am, created by Him, than surrendering to a man’s urges regardless of his heart.
Thank goodness we can throw out the bad and keep the good!!
Surrendering to a man’s urges….. Good phrase. I would add to that – a man with a evil heart. I used to cry and be sick after sex with my husband, it seemed so wrong, when he treated me so terribly. Leslie’s video on this subject helped me learn how to respect myself and give proper Glory to God.
My experience was similar. When my husband would mistreat me emotionally, I found it necessary to drink a glass of wine or “float away” to heaven so I could be equally detached. I kept asking myself, “How is it that I’m obligated to give physical conjugal rights (1 Cor. 7) when my husband has withdrawn all semblance of relational and spiritual nurture?” When I attended a training to mentor exploited girls, I found that some of the evil mindset and methods that traffickers use are echoed in my husband’s behavior. I guess that makes me a concubine–a contractual arrangement with no loving relationship.
Robin, which of Leslie’s videos did you watch? The one on “Does God Care More About Sex Than the Person?” gave me the courage to point to intercourse as one part of a healthy marriage as the goal and to say “no” to physical touch until our relationship changes.
Correction: The video I saw was “Does God Care More About Sex Than Love?”
Yes that is the right videoi
Yes Lizzy that is the right video- I think it makes it very clear how God feels toward wives in this situation. Glad you are coming into truth that can help you stop this crazy behavior.
I cried myself to sleep and found ways to avoid him and protect myself. I never want to go back there again. What is Leslie’s video called. I have not heard that one?
Go to my home page and watch the first video. Then you’ll be asked to give your e-mail for access to the other video’s. The one about sex is Does God care more about sex than love?
thank you, Leslie
Leslie, I personally feel this was one of the more significant blogs and so needed. Thank you. Such a good reminder to call evil– evil and learn to speak truth to those cooperating with it. I look back and see where I was 5 years ago, and can hardly believe how much I see clearly today that I just didn’t see or understand previously. I’m so grateful for increase of knowledge and wisdom.
I agree Robin.
It would be easier to see the evil if it was all the time. I guess you can say my husband is in the charming cycle of DV right now.So far it has been 3 days. He sent a text on Monday saying that He realize areas that he has been wrong in putting certain demands on me and that he wants us to be together as a family and that God has shown him that he has to allow God to change me. He admits to being wrong to the name calling but still refers to it as “a few bad names” As tempting as it is to return now, I know I need to see a permanent change first. Just Sunday I was told to go to hell. I get confused a lot. I’m almost like a yoyo, but have yet to return home. Its been since August that I left with my now 9 month old daughter. He’s being nice and patient right now. Will see how long it last, the beginning of the year he went a week before calling me a B after not fixing my daughters bottle. But I guess a sign is that I’m afraid to tell him that I’m not coming home right now, that I want to see long term change in behavior before I come home. He still refuse counseling. At least as of Sunday he did. Monday I got the reconciliation text, wich his attitude has never really been like this before. Its crazy because he calls me evil and says that I’m keeping my daughter from him (which is not the case) But he’s the one that demeans and belittles me at the drop of a hat when I don’t do things his way (even while we are separated). Yet I do have a hard time calling him evil when we are in the “charming” cycle. Right after an attack it is very evident that he is evil, but I quickly forget that behavior.I sometimes think I should just go back because, I keep forgiving him, talking to him, etc. Then get “thrown up on” someone said to me he is making me just as sick as he is. Sunday was the most I talked to him about us and reconciling and now I can tell that he got to my mind. He really wants us to raise our daughter together. Crazy thing is he had set up a date on Sunday told me about it, then canceled it and said he’d rather be with his wife and daughter, but go so mad at me when I refused to cancel my massage to go be with him. Silly me was gonna go after the massage, and he was irrate bc I should have canceled my massage to go be with my husband who just a few hours earlier told me that I was going to hell. He uses so many scriptures to justify himself and objects any that I tell him, like the proverbs and what James says about the man he can’t hold his tongue. He says that I’m twisting scripture. (Ha) He’s the one that justifies his words my using the scripture when Jesus called the woman a dog and called the pharisees white washed tombs. Sorry ladies for rambling. I’m in such a perplexing situation. I miss my home, being a single mom is challenging. It gets lonely and there are good things about him. But bottom line, He has evil in him, it hurts me. I want to be with him, but can’t allow myself to return to someone who has belittled and demeaned me the way that he has. Plus my family has been so helpful and supportive. It’d be like stabbing them in the back. (people pleaser thats me). Everyone seems to be more fed up with the evil than me. Its like I’m addicted to it. I think also I think that we have been married only 2 1/2 years and I should give him more time to change. And then I read about the ladies who are staying and still trying and wonder if I shouldn’t be doing the same. I wouldn’t wish this situation on anyone.
Monica, I think its hard to see in two and a half years what many of us have been seeing for 20, maybe 30 or 40 years. Its a long process of us being misused and living so destructively, that we tend to need to go thru before the light goes on. But I do think many of us would like to say to you, walk in the light. Don’t make excuses for his mistreatment of his wife. Go to therapy regularly and get healthy yourself. Dont wait as long as we did. Rescue your children from a lifetime of abuse and its aftermath. But truly please love yourself enough to quit believing the manipulations and lies. If he really wants to be with his daughter, than he will prove that by making some big changes. If he does not show any sign of change- then he is tellign you he lied, he did not mean it when he said he wanted the two parents to raise the daughter. It was a manipulation, which you are probably living with daily, to distract you from focusing on his unloving behaviors. I think the hard part about evil, is really believing, this is our reality. That our home is not safe. THat we behave in ways that will destroy young lives. We must look at our reality and see it for what it is, and then make a choice. As far as should you stay in your marriage because other women are choosing that- I would say- please ask the Lord what His plan is for you, not just what other women might be doing. You don’t know their stories. It might be different than yours. More than anything respect yourself and the life of the child you have brought into this relationship- and ask yourself what is in our best interest?? Quit listening to a husband with a evil heart. Do you really believe he has any good intention when he is trying to tell you things, to get his way????????
Thanks Robin, you always pose good questions to make me think deeper than I have been on my own. Your advise about loving myself enough to not believe the lies and manipulation. Thanks. I am in therapy and she supports my not returning to my husband. She also see’s his actions and points out all the manipulation. I do make excuses, I tell myself he continues to do it because he is mad because I left and took our daughter. I’m very grateful for this blog, it helps a lot to hear feedback from all of you awesome ladies. Its a challenging situation and confusing situation, but I think that I’m the one making it more confusing than it really is. I pray for the strenght to keep going in the right direction that is best for me and most important my beautiful daughter.
I know mine will be only one of several comments of encouragement you will receive, and others will probably say it better. I understand your confusion. I understand your heartache and your desire to raise your child in an intact family. We’ve all been there. But marriage to an abuser is not healthy for a child. For now, please trust in the opinions and advice of your family and those who love you. They can see your husband’s abusive behavior more clearly than you, as proximity to his mind games and manipulation has made you doubt your own wisdom. No one is evil 100% of the time. There are always redeeming qualities in even the most violent abuser. It isn’t about his good qualities balancing out his negative ones. You mustn’t look at it that way. A man who will callously trample over you with words and deeds when he feels like it, is not safe for you or your child, and is NOT thinking of what is best for you or your child.
Have you read any materials on “trauma bonding”? http://www.abuseandrelationships.org has a great article explaining the phenomenon. It helped me to understand why I continued to be drawn to my husband after repeated infidelities and emotional abuse. When you say it’s “like you are addicted to it”, you are describing the situation very well.
Read whatever you can on emotionally destructive relationships and read again and again if you need to. If a chapter in one of Leslie’s books gave you an “aha” moment as you recognized the destructive cycle in your marriage, then read that chapter every time you are tempted to re-think your decision.
We know this is so very hard. But women who have stayed in destructive relationships for decades will tell you that the marriage does not get better, and an “intact” family with an abusive partner is not a healthy environment for any member.
InHim, the therapist at the DV center I went to told me about trauma bonds, and I have yet to follow up on it. Thanks for the link. I am interested to read more on it. I hope it will help. Thanks for the advise to go back through Leslie’s book. I plan to also print off the replies to my post and keep them with me and read over them as they are very encouraging and great reminders of what is really going on. Thanks ladies so much for taking the time to respond.I think I’ve taken for granted the 90% of counsel that I have recieved has been supportive. Church leaders, therapist, family friends, etc. Yet I still find myself confused. I think one of the hardest things is to resist is when I hear sermons about how God can turn any situation around and that all things are possible through him. And also another areat that I compare my situation with others is that I think to myself that my husband doesn’t beat, sexually assault, etc. So its not all that bad. I do doubt my wisdom, but I’m going to keep moving forward despite my emotions right now. And I am a Wise person, I know that I am reasonable and not all the things that he say. He’s evil. Not me.
Monica, I have struggled with those same sermons, God can turn any situation around. I’ve prayed and prayed but finally realized I had to do something and God showed me the truth and gave me resources to make an informed decision. I believe God can convict our husbands of sin and bring circumstances into their live to cause them to see their sin, but I don’t believe he forces anyone, we have a choice and it is very sad to see that my husband is not choosing to try to change his behavior. He says he is a Christian but sometimes I wonder. Hang in there and do what God has prompted you to do, what is best for you and your family.
Well, actually, the Bible says that we are all evil and separated from God if we are without Jesus. But some of us refuse to repent–namely those hard-hearted, unrepentant husbands I have read about in these comments.
I agree with Robin and InHim. I’ve only stayed in this marriage as long as I have because I didn’t know any better. Bible-believing Christians told me that when two believers get married, they can work through any problems with God’s help. Well-meaning friends told me to persevere in being a loving and patient wife, that everything would improve eventually. An arrogant and legalistic counselor told me that it was MY responsibility to do anything I could to save the marriage. Those maxims are easy for others to dole out but impossible for me to swallow, now that I realize that my husband has said and done things since we were first married that demonstrate an evil heart, not a redeemed one. Without addressing the evil that my husband has nurtured in his heart and allowed into our household, the marriage will NOT survive, regardless of what I try.
As I have said many times on other blogs on Leslie’s site- no one is promoting divorce. We are promoting healthy relationships and where one spouse continues in behaviors of an evil heart and refuses to acknowledge them and repent, one spouse cannot save a marriage but she can rescue herself and her children from being destroyed by an evil heart. And perhaps when that spouse is separated God can speak clearly into the heart in deep destructive activity. God will commend women for taking responsibility for their own lives and the future of their children. It is our job to be Mama beRs and protect our Cubs !!
“one spouse cannot save a marriage but she can rescue herself and her children from being destroyed by an evil heart.” This actually reminded me of why I left in the first place after only being married for two years, it was because after reading Leslie’s book and not seeing any change in my husband, just apologies without any change. I didn’t want to get so far gone that I couldn’t find my way out. I saw the destruction and didn;t want it to go any further as I have had depression issues in the past. This was a good reminder of why I left. Still persevering through all the confusion – probably more so emotions of something coming to an end than confusion. But yes, being a good mama bear to my precious daughter is so important and one of the motivations for me not returning also.
Monica, I would like to commend you for your strong spirit to stand up and fight . You are still in early years of your destructive relation but you are full of courage and strength. Remember, God is our wisdom. Any thing else we look at and compare of heap guilt on ourselves for, is just stuff the enemy uses to confuse us. Most of us have experienced those same things and learned it is better to ignore them and listen for God to tell us which sermon to listen too or what friends life to observe. You will keep your path straight to a greater healthyness, as you fix your eyes on Him. He alone, as the answers for your escape from a life of abuse!!
This was totally God’s direction for me today —- to open Leslie’s blog and read all of your comments. I suffered from the evil of my ex-husband and divorced 18 years ago. This left me to raise two young sons who have grown into independent young men. Although I have a good relationship with them about other concerns of life, they do not want to open any conversation with me about their dad with whom they have a cordial relationship. I have been careful not to share the suffering or the truth of his evil with them. I am not sure that this has been particularly good, but was upon the advise of my counselor at the time of the divorce. My sons know that they can ask me anything they want about their dad and the reasons for the divorce, but they choose not to want to know. I have lived with this and it causes a huge emotional weight on me, but I don’t want to force a conversation that they want to avoid. My sons are 25 and 28. How have other victims of evil worked this through with your adult children? Thank you so much for this forum.
Margaret~Patience and time have shown me that my girls got the lessons to make themselves and their families successful. I didn’t even realize the extent of those lessons until I started thinking about sharing with you today. Their expectations for spouses remain very high. They are both financially independent. They communicate as the equals that they are. Infideltiy would be a deal breaker for either of them. And they both seek my counsel when they hit a rough spot. So, I trust that they learned enough from the consequences of my weaknesses while they were growing up to be able to navigate successfully. They have developed a workable relationship with their father. It used to bother me, but time has helped me see that, too, is a blessing. If I can grow, so can he. After twenty years, he still can’t look me in the eye-that tells me so very much– and he continues to manipulate to his benefit. I don’t attend famly functions because he is so uncomfortable that he makes it bad for everyone. We have our own celebrations when we get together. The girls see this compromise, as well, but, for me, it’s a small price to pay for peace. My girls see this, too. Waiting in God’s time has been a real blessing and given me peace.
Perfect timing as usual. I struggled with this all weekend> My soon to be ex was over and accusing me of things that I did. None of which are true. He is not cpapable of being able to see anothers perspective. Or agree to disagree. What was said that was so upsetting and I am having a hard time finding a place for it. A friend asked me a few years ago to seek counsel to educate myself because of his threats. He found out about it and has been very angry. The other day He said “Look what is happening to her now. Karma is a bitch” She has breast cancer. I was stunned and all I could say was I would pray for him to have such evil thoughts. It is very hard to believe someone that I cared for could wish ill well on anyone. There is remorse for the thoughts. This was so helpful for me today to put in where it needs to be and to remind me that I am on the right path. God is amazing that he places what you need in perfect timing. Thank you for all you do for us Leslie
That should say NO remorse for his thoughts
Thank you Leslie. I read your post again this morning – such inspired wisdom and understanding. Thank you!!
Thanks for the post. It is hard to use the word abuse with your kids. I never wanted to break up a family but with 14+ years of counseling (christian), EDM book, and lots of research/reading on abuse, narcissism, psychopath, sociopath and prayer it appears that is the only way for us to live healthy. As I seek to end my 17 year marriage (reluctantly) I am looking for words advice on how to share with my kids as I do not want the words “God hates divorce” and my walk with Christ to cause my children to “stumble”. Looking for good books on children and divorce while trying to maintain and authentic relationship with Christ.
Friends, any books you could recommend for this person? I like When Dad Hurts Mom by Lundy Bancroft which is not Christian oriented but good counsel in it. I would also recommend telling your children the truth but with as little “detail” as possible.
Any chance there is a book titled When Mom Hurts Dad?
Great idea. Important topic too.
Hello Leslie. Are there any books you can recomend to resd to my 3 and a half yr old child in regards to divorce and separation?
I would check with DivorceCare for Kids and see what they recommend.
Lundy writes very good material, and I don’t find it offensive to the Christian beliefs (I read “Why Does He Do That”). You may also look at the book by Suzanne Eller “The Unburdened heart” which is more for you to help them with the process of forgiving and learning to let go and let the person be responsible for their own choices. It also talks about loving from a distance, which can be applied to all of us. The book is probably too in-depth for young children, but teens would be ok with it if you read it together and discussed it as you read it. God be with you and your family as you heal.
I know of a couple who must have similar situations as you all, but they don’t live together. They are still married, but they live separate lives. Strange. But it seems to work for them. I haven’t decided yet whether this is a God-pleasing situation, but if it is the only way they can live peacefully, then so be it for now at least.
Wow… THANK YOU LESLIE!!! This has to have been divine timing. I’ve been through so much of this for so long – all the while thinking “it must be me”… it isn’t. I’m not saying I haven’t contributed to the problems – I’m not perfect – but I’m starting to see those little things that clearly show a very self-centered, controlling tendency. I wish only that I had realized this long ago – before spending over 20 years trying to “make it work”. It’s taken me steady, diligent work (reading, your webinars, counseling) to get this far – it feels like its been forever. God’s got this, and I have to rely on that – no matter how dark it may look at the moment. I want you to know that my Pastor is also seeing these same things in my husband, as are others. I’ve forwarded all your relevant posts to them, and it has helped with my situation immensely. Thank you again Leslie for all you work in this area. It is so desperately needed. God bless your continued work!
[…] assume that others are also empathetic, when in fact they may not be. That’s why my post on the Five Characteristics of Evil People is so hard for some people to really grasp. It’s hard for us to imagine someone without empathy, […]
I could really use some advice from anyone that would like to comment. Everyone of Leslie’s 5 points hit home with describing my husband. We have been married for 25 years and during that time he has cheated on me well over 100 times (he used to drive over the road so it was easy for him to hire prostitutes), lied to me, manipulated me, has verbally and emotionally abused me, and feels its his right as the man to make all decisions without consulting me. Before some of you wonder why would I stay in that relationship, let me share with you my childhood. I lived in a home with 2 alcoholic parents. My dad, when he decided to come home, was verbally, emotionally and physically abusive towards me and my siblings. He would let me know how worthless women were and I even heard him tell someone that he wished my siblings and myself were never born. I also experienced being sexually abused from three different people until the seventh grade. My very first memory as a child is being molested and when I look back at what happened I don’t believe that was the first time. So who knows how far back the abuse started. Needless to say, I believe that as women we tend to look to men who remind us of what we grew up with. It feels normal to us. So I married a man that treated me badly. Whenever I let him know how I felt about what he was doing, he would be all sweet and apologize and tell me it would never happen again. And most times, as soon as he walked away from me, he would do the exact thing that he just said he wouldn’t ever do again. My failure was that I never drew the line in the sand, so to speak, and hold his feet to the fire. I allowed his bad behavior to continue for years with no consequences or signs of repentance. After about 10 years into the marriage I had enough and threaten to leave him if he didn’t change. That night and a few other times following, his response was to put a loaded gun to my head and told me either one or both of us would be dead if that happened. Of course, I backed down and claimed it was all my fault and I would never leave him. Fear set in because I had 3 small children and I didn’t want them to have to deal with that. I started working with a counselor a few years ago who really helped me see myself as God sees me and began to help me to heal from the hurt, shame and guilt that I carried with me. My husband ordered me stop seeing him once he could see how I was growing and changing. For the first time in my life I can see my value as a person and a woman. We still live in the same house together but since that time I have emotionally and physically removed myself from him. I can no longer contribute to his behavior. He continues in his lies and cheating and now I have found out that over the last several years he has gone to several people in the community and told them lies about me,
including our Pastor. We live in a small community so everyone knows everyone else. He tells them that he “just tries really hard at trying to make our marriage work” and that I won’t come together with him because of the issues that I faced with my dad and because a counselor planted some crazy ideas into my head. He tells them that He is the only one working on the marriage and He can’t get me to come back to him and he is so frustrated because he doesn’t know what else to try. Needless to say, he doesn’t tell them about the bevahior that he has been and is currently involved with. He comes off to them as sincere and I am just a mean and uncaring person. He believes that saying sorry is enough and has even told me “actions mean nothing. It’s what you say that matters because that comes from the heart.” He even likes to say, “when you ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins did he ask you to do anything to get that forgiveness.” I could go on and on but this post is already long enough. Ill leave with this. About a month ago, he threatened me with a gun again. This time, I called the police and I let my Pastor know what was going on. Up to that point, I had NEVER said a word to anyone about what his behavior was like. My husband and I are supposed to meet with our pastor tomorrow and he is encouraging me to work this out with my husband. He keeps telling me what a beautiful story we will have to tell about God’s redemptive love. However, how can I stay when he still continues to lie, cheat on me, and never discusses any decisions with me, because He is the “leader of the family”? How can we even attempt to rebuild when he doesn’t see that He did anything wrong and even if he did he feels that “I’m sorry” is enough? It is still so easy for me to fall back into the trap of letting him walk all over me. Any suggestions of reading material to help me stand up for myself?
Friend, you are in DANGER and holding a loaded gun to your head is not something to be taken lightly. You need to flee for your safety, but make sure you have a good safety plan in place. Because you have covered and pretended things were ok for so long, it will be hard for people to really believe or take in what you are saying, but things are escalating and I fear for your safety. You CANNOT rebuild a relationship based on lies and abuse. Don’t be fooled by charm. There is an evil heart at work here.
Let me assure you – you are not anonymous! You have a very valid concern and should be very afraid. Leslie is 100% right – you are in danger! If you haven’t you need to be bluntly honest with your Pastor – one on one, and build a group of people you can trust to keep feeding these fact to. You need to seek out the nearest PADA (People Against Domestic Abuse) facility and talk to them. I know it is hard. I know you feel like you’re betraying him. You are not. You are taking steps to protect yourself and your family – you are taking steps to live the life God created you to live. My prayers go up on your behalf. You are not the helpless person you’ve been led to believe you are. You are loved and cherished by God Himself. Hang your hat on that thought everytime you feel alone, abandoned or worthless – for you are not any of those things. You are a child of God.
This comment is for Debbie whose son is hurting and has followed his dad’s footsteps. I feel your grief, as I’m sure many women do on this blog. I have lost a son to him following his dad also. It does hurt. We need to be diligent prayer warriors for our children – who were not rescued early out of a destructive home. It’s a tough road, as we thought we were staying for the good of our children. I found out too late, that isn’t possible. We must leave them in Gods hands now and pray for their eyes to be opened to Truth. So so sorry Debbi!!
Thank you for replying. My husband is currently incarcerated. I know now that I cannot allow him back. Now I need the funds for divorce, but my first step would be restraining order. In a tough spot..
excellent, best I have read about this thank you so much. Your last question will they change? In my opinion no. God has blinded these people for the reason they refuse to repent. Lyn
Prose for those,
who can and cannot see. By Lyn Nielsen
They came to arrest Him,
by a traitor he was found;
Those righteous knew they were right,
“I am” will be gagged and bound.
They knew there was a power there,
words he spoke; true and profound;
He says; he is the one true King ‘you serve’,
we’ll make sure he won’t be crowned.
They ignored His words of correction,
their foolish pride cast all around;
Then when Jesus said: “I am he”,
they drew back and “all fell to the ground”!
Incredible, they still didn’t see the power,
righteous blindness does abound;
It’s a veil that hides the truth to those,
who control and boss others around;
It’s not a veil that covers the face and mouth,
allowing only the eyes to see;
But it’s a veil that covers just the truth to eyes,
and lets their mouths, “go free”.
That veil is removed by Christ alone,
when pride is cleansed, put down;
repent and change your evil heart,
It is the only way Christ is found.
Sadly, I believe they never change,
evil people can’t see themselves, somehow;
Daniel says: wicked stay their wicked self,
give grace to them?, it’s then to them you bow.
Because they refuse to love the truth,
Paul says: in 2 Thessalonians 2;
It is God, He sends the powerful delusion,
they believe their lies, it is God’s own cue.
His words are true today,
we better fear and obey,
the veiled truth may not be found;
Your truth so wrong, your too far gone,
to your depraved mind, you will then be bound.
Thanks for sharing that with us.
Thank you for sharing this. It blessed me
Its interesting that the email alert came through for this earlier today just as I was trying to rationalize my husband’s anger.
Monica, It sounds like a Divine appt!!!!!!!!!
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Leslie, I read your book, The Emotionally Destructive Relationship about a year ago and it has changed my perspective. I’ve been in solid Christian Counseling for almost 3 years and have finally come to terms with the reality that my father is an evil heart. I grew up in a “Christian” home. My dad was well respected in the church, in the community and by his peers. But at home, he was a tyrant. For much of my life, I excused his behavior because I knew about his childhood and the abuse he endured. But I soon came to see that when someone truly has Jesus living in their hearts, you see evidence of healing and change! You see the fruits of the spirit developing in them over time. I can honestly say that my dad is the same today that he was 20 years ago…and that’s not a good thing. The hardest thing for me has been to decipher how I am can “honor” my parents while at the same time protecting myself, my marriage and my children from their damaging effects. I’ve come to the conclusion that the best way to honor them is to pray for them. Is that a correct conclusion to draw?
Certainly God calls us to pray for others, even for our enemies, so prayer is one way you can honor your dad (Parents). Perhaps if they need some tangible help – a ride to the doctor, help with paying bills, etc, may be another way that you will help them in their immediate need. But once you recognize that they are hurtful and unrepentant, it’s not wise to assume you can be close or in a good relationship together.
Thank you, Leslie 🙂
You are welcome
I am in a very similar situation, Anne. One of the ways I feel that I need to honour my parents and especially my dad is not to talk about him behind his back to everyone. I do talk about my family to my husband, trusted friends and counsellors when it is necessary for my heart and peace of mind but many times I would talk about him just because it was a way of “getting back” at him and venting and I now feel that that is dishonouring. I feel in a much healthier place now because I can be truly honest and open with certain people about my childhood and get away from playing things down because of shame and manipulation but not talking just for the sake of it and making myself feel better falsely.
Mary, yes, I agree. I do have a small network of people with whom I share these things with so that they can help me better discern my direction and my heart’s intent. But I actually avoid speaking of parents at all to anyone from home who is still in relationship with them.
I felt compelled to continue reading when “I” found your website this morning. The five signs of abuse apply to my mother. Finally, I got to a post by someone who was dealing with an abusive parent. Mom has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. One of the (many) destructive behaviors is that she shows this side of herself primarily to me, so others cannot see it. She is so charming to her friend of the moment. I have been guilty of side-talk. It feels good at the moment, but it feels really bad later when I think about what I have said. I came to the conclusion several weeks ago that I will not self-indulge in this kind of talk anymore. (Basically, it came down to not wanting to have to ask God’s forgiveness yet again for repeating my behavior!) I am blessed to have that close network of a few people who listen and love me through each crisis. I have been able to discipline myself to share in those safe places only.
Mother’s favorite line to throw at me whenever she doesn’t get her way is “Go read the Bible. It says to ‘honor thy mother’!” When I was a “babe” in my knowledge of God, being hit by this manipulative use of Scripture was effective. Despite knowing that her actions were harmful, I didn’t think I had the right to call her actions “evil.” But Hebrews 5:14 exhorts Christians to grow from milk to solid food: “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Leslie, your blog has helped give me strength in this discernment. Naming is power. And God’s word is full of ways for Him to help us who are trying to navigate a Christian path. I tell myself that I am to learn from each encounter in life– I have been able to witness for my mom through my actions what a Christian life looks like. I pray for her many times a day. But I know in my heart that I cannot make her decisions for her. Conclusion: I honor her by holding my tongue and not responding in anger to her hurtful words and actions. I remain in her presence only as long as she is being nice. I pray for her. And I pray for myself, as I continue to grow in my relationship with God. Blessings to you all. And thank you for sharing your stories.
[…] Five Indicators of an Evil Heart […]
Hi Leslie, I have been through a destructive marriage, it ended last year. My ex-husband is an expert at deceit, he comes across as charming and kind, people love him. My Pastor thinks he is saved. I am pretty sure he isn’t. He hated me spending time at church. He went to a Protestant church , Catholic church and no church since he left. I let him come back to me twice and both times he had told others he was “sorry” (he was cheating on me), but as soon as he was back I knew he wasn’t. He never would talk to me, everyone else knew more than I did about his plans for anything. He was crafty, and set me up with false friends that would use me and secretly work against me. I would drop everything to help them but they were never there for me. I would only figure it out once I was out from under him. I used to think I was crazy. Nothing my “gut” told me seemed right. Now I am on my own, I realize I am not crazy, and I am a strong person now in Christ. I still struggle with the effects of life with him, but with God’s help, hope to face starting over again at 60, with Hope and Faith! I truly believe that there a a huge blessing in our struggles in that they draw us close to Him, help us realize what is really important. But my ex has damaged my life so much, how do you get over the repercussions from others who believe the lies?
Sarah Im sure Leslie will have wise counsel for you, but I thought Id share a little of my own testimony with you as we’re the same age. Our stories have great similarities. My husband is a sociopath, and everyone is fooled by him except for my counselor and one daughter. He is a mastermind at getting others to believe his ways, and deceives many. I literally left town for my social life. I attend church an hour away and my counselor is 90 min away. I found it was much easier to move on with my life, than to try to convince anyone that he is not who he says he is. He has fought me in court even being able to deceive his own family members against me. I am very happy today, because I decided not to try and prove his deceit. I have left him alone, and moved on looking for every opportunity to get healthier. It is a shame when a man turns those closest to you to his side, but after I studied on sociopathy, I understood it better. I found those people need to come to see the truth in their own timing. So mostly I live in our hometown and work out of my home, but other than that…… I am not seen. Its been 14 months sinced I filed, the divorce will be final by mid-June at the latest if he soesnt settle reasonably. And my life will go on and be amazing because I let him be who he needs to be, and moved on!! My new Pastor believes me and supports me 100 percent !!!
Robin, thank you – that is what I did – I moved 90 minutes away! I start school soon, by the grace of God, I passed the test and did very well! I am much happier to be away from it all. I was debating if I should go back after I graduate, but now after listening to you, I think I will just keep moving on! Thank you for your support! God bless you in your journey too!
Sarah I remember well how overwhelmed I felt when even the neighbors who used to be good friends snubbed me, after he came back to fill him in on his story. I’m so glad you moved away- what a wise choice on your part!!! I hope to do the same someday but right now I feel committed to my eldest daughter and her family- but it’s something I’ve given a lot of thought too!! Do you have a reason to move back after school?? I don’t even go to the Post Office during the times I know he does. One time he caughte off guard downtown but that is rare. I want you to know it was painful to let go of my old church and friends- but I consider it a decision I made for my best interest. Someday they will all know the truth, and be sorry for allowing him to deceive them. I sometimes feel like I’m boasting because my life is so good- but I really am not, I’m just so happy to be rid of the constant chaos , stress, confusion……. You name it!! I have a new life and if there’s anyway I can help encourage you, let me know!!!
Thank you Robin! I was thinking about moving back because my horse is there and a few good friends, but I still think I won’t. I am glad you are happy – I never would have thought I would be happy so quickly, but even through some bad moments, I trust God is in control, and He knows the truth. It’s emough for me. I get it now, and that is the silver lining in all of this!!
Who knows Sarah how God will lead you when school is done. What are you studying and wow I’m so happy that you moved forward and started school. That’s awesome!! Have you read Lundy Bancrofts book Should I Stay or Go?? He has one chapter in there I highly recommend and I will say truly put my feet on a new path. He says, why it’s more beneficial for you to focus on you and your growth, than his. Then he spends the rest of the chapter saying you are beautiful, take the energy you once spent on him and use it to strengthen you and build a beautiful life!! I loved that chapter so much and quote it to myself daily. I am beautiful, I don’t deserve abuse, I can move on and the quicker I start putting myself out there for new opportunities the quicker I will heal from my destructive, painful marriage!!!
I am going for LPN, it takes a year of school full-time. I love helping people and have always enjoyed medical stuff. I will check out the book, thanks!!
Wow, awesome Sarah. At age 17 my eldest daughter started for her LPN — and once she got it she realized how much more money she could make as RN- and took a year off for a break- and went back to school. Today she owns her own Adult Family Home and is independently well off. Medical field is excellent choice!! Happy for you!
The chapter in book is 12. It’s called Why Your Growth May Bring More Answers Than His.
Good for you Sarah. I’m always encouraging women to think about the possibility of having to support themselves and their children. we no longer live in a world where a woman must prepare herself to work if she has to.
Well I worked for my husband for the last 14 years adn only got paid for the last two. I only get a miniscule alimony ($100/mo. for 3 yrs.) so I have to find a way. I will have to work to age 70 at least, more if I am able. I am excited to see what God has for me though. I trust Him- He has made a path very clearly for me!
oops, $1000/mo, not 100
Glad to hear $1000. And not 100. Do u have children Sarah?
Sarah how many years were you married?? In Washington where I live, after 25 years a wife gets 50 per cent. Are you not eligible for that??
LESLIE, I havn’t heard or seen from Brenda in quite awhile. Do you know if she is doing okay?? Is there a email address I could send a note to her??
only 4-legged (I had to find homes for several, and lost my older dog in January ( health issues), down to 1 horse and 1 dog now. Hoping to keep my horse if possible, and will never give my dog up!
I thought it was 50% after 15years of marriage. Maybe that is only NJ.
Combination of really bad lawyer and “good old boy” system! They valued husband’s business at zero!!!! since he was self-employed. And let him get away with stealing everything by saying it was his as part of the business. Whatever, just glad I am almost done with him – 2 1/2 years left.
Oh my did you get robbed. I am so sorry!! You have 2 and a half yes left for what??
marriage was 30 years – he had an affair I didn’t know about, until he suddenly told me he was leaving and just walked out.But he had planned it for a very long time.
I’m sorry Sarah that sounds painful!!
2 1/2 years of alimony and then I can be free of any connection to him. That will feel good. Yes, I did get robbed. He is very convincing and conniving.
I’m a little surprised. What state are you in?? My lawyer says you can be a prostitute peddling a drugs, it don’t matter, here everything is divided 50/50.
Do your children connect with you still thru all this??
I am in PA. My lawyer said – this is not a support state! I did get the house but had to pay to get it fixed up (he ripped out the rugs, windows, etc. and never fixed the windows right, nor replaced the flooring.
As I said earlier, I don’t have kids. : (
Also, I did not do anything wrong. I even continued to do his business computer work until the day of the divorce settlement. I gave him the records in great shape and even the master asked him if he was sure he wanted to divorce me. His lawyer was hateful and even accused me of doing the damage to the house. I just said ask him and pointed to my ex. He turned his head away and she didn’t ask.
Sorry guess I missed where you said no children. I’m sorry things went his way. God is a God of Justice, I will pray that He lifts you up after all you’ve been thru!! So bummed for you but God always has a plan. Good for u moving on with your life!!!!!! Let me know if we can help in anyway!!!!!
You totally have the women on this blog/ support!! We believe you 100 percent, if anyone knows what these kind of men are capable of- believe me we do!!!!!
You did just help me – you listened. Thanks!!
You blessed me too- by your transparency and sharing!!!
God bless you, Sarah. I send a prayer of support for you. I read Psalm 37 when I need to have a reminder that God and Evil will meet, and Evil won’t win. Poof! susen
Thank you Susen!
This is what I have found to be of the biggest help – doing what Ps. 37 says: waiting, trusting, resting in the Lord, and not freting because of evildoers. It helped me to find the peace that surpasses all understanding – even my own- I would not have thought it possible to come out of all of this praising God for the trials, but there you have it – i HAVE!
Sarah, what a testimony of your faith!!!!
Praise God. IT is a goal that all abuse victims want to reach – I hope.
Psalm 37 is a comfort psalm for me as well, Susan. I needed that today..
It is a testimony to God’s power, too!
Amen, Sarah. You encourage me as God is doing a work of praise in my heart and then in my responses as well. I am learning to intentionally be still and quiet with Him. He is my defense and refuge. He will have the last word!Thank you.
PYL! You can do this – you will find He gives you strength you never dreamed of!
Thank you, Sarah. He has!
[…] articles and spoke with men and women who knew abuse. In His word, the Holy Spirit instructed me on evil hearts and the kinds of behaviors that stem from them, “reviling” (aka. abuse) being one of them. He taught me how God deals with evil as exemplified […]
Susen, thank you so much for your thoughtful and gracious comment to my concern about my sons. It was truly helpful to know that your daughters have grown through their family situation. On a daily basis, IO lift my sons to the LORD and ask Him to guide and shelter them. Although they are not “talkers” I appreciate what your daughters have shared with you and that has given me great comfort. Well done “sister”!!!!
What if this describes my 11 yr old son whose extreme jealousy, lying, manipulation and deceit is wreaking havoc on our family…
Is this new behavior or has it always been this way for him? I’d strongly encourage you to work with him very intentionally on building empathy for others and developing his moral conscience. He is only 11 and he has more growth in him – let’s hope that growth is toward good. Ted Tripp’s book Shepherding a Child’s Heart might be a good start to read. You don’t just want to address his behaviors, but drill into him how his behavior’s hurt others, affect others and impact others and see if that touches his heart. If not, work at developing that. A lack of empathy and a lack of conscience are the big indicators of an evil heart and this is something you want address and fast as a parent of an 11 year old who exhibits some of these traits now.
I have never written a comment on the internet, but a praying friend fwd’d this article to me, and it resonated with me deeply. The comment section did as well.
I have been married for 25 yrs & have 3 kids, the last of whom is a year away from finishing H.S. In all this time, my husband and I have never truly been reconciled, because it takes two, and he never takes or accepts responsibility for his actions/ words. He just expects me to act like nothing happened, to just “get back on the horse”. And not knowing what else to do with someone who denies and/or justifies everything while at the same time blaming me, I have sadly complied, thinking that was the Christian thing to do. I have been physically abused, but largely emotionally, mentally & verbally. Additionally, I have lost count of how many times he has spit in my face. Easter Sunday marked the 1 yr anniversary of me finally taking a stand after beginning to read Leslie’s materials.
That night I was awaken by 2 chimes of door opening/closing at about 1am. i went downstairs to see what was going on. i saw my son on computer & asked who was coming in or going out. Then i turned and saw my husband, who had been gone all evening. he snapped, “it’s me” I asked him what was going on. He answered with w/ exaggerated shrugging & a clipped angry expression. Shocked, all sleepiness vanished. To counter w/ normalicy & get a feel for tomorrow I ask if we are doing the usual in the morning. He says “no we’re not!” “Are you happy you ruined the day today”? etc, etc. (blaming me solely for some difficulty earlier. And after being gone all day by himself, he, as always, has no revelation or reflection except blame & hate) He followed that with “I hate you and never want to see you again. I haven’t loved you for 10 years. Haven’t you figured that out by now?” And went on to spit in my face. Then said “i did that purposely” (as though appointing himself executioner of some misguided justice??) I stand completely frozen in shock w/ my mouth agape, and see him maliciously mimicking me. Then he actually spits in my face YET AGAIN. I scream “you need to go!” “you need to go!!” he says “no! i’m not going anywhere. This is my house” I pick up the wire shoe rack to try to push back at him, like a lion tamer with a chair, but it is useless & collapses. So he gives me the finger, holding it up in my face as close as he cd get without touching me for like 10 secs, with an expression of dominance & hatred. Then REPEATS it. Shaking, crying, frightened, unable to think or even move, I shouted “I’m calling the police!” (1st time i have ever said that & it was due to friend who recommended Leslie’s writing) He snarled “for what? i haven’t done a thing!” I said, “You’re scaring me and you won’t go!” He says “I haven’t done a thing.”
Finally, I run into house (from garage) The whole thing took less than 10 minutes but it felt like it took 10 yrs. I felt in my heart that was really the end. I was done.
(Somewhere in there he also said he’s never needed ANYTHING from me but discernment. Threateningly says that i better keep praying for his work & better hope the money holds up- meaning for my & the kids sake)
That night I have separated myself from him emotionally & physically, culminating in my asking to leave home a couple days past Christmas after another horrendous episode w/ him. I’d really like to say that it has helped our relationship, but it has not. He has become more detached than ever, & seemingly indifferent. From the selfless on his cell phone, looks to be having a pretty good time actually. I feel he is punishing me for drawing the line, along w/ asking him to leave. Though he was seeing (possibly still is) a Christian counselor there has been no change. (really since we were dating, where he was also abusive. But I told no one & covered for him) Also I’ve met with this counselor & my husband a couple times at my husbands request at the time we separated, and I witnessed first hand his counselor doing what Leslie exhorted Christian counselors not to do.
About me: I have been (and loved being) a full time mom, but I feel at kind of an identity crisis point in that my last kid will be leaving the nest in a year. It’s hard to think of being on my own. I am educated but have not worked outside home since I had 1st child. I am very thankful that my husband has been a good provider & that I got to have that time w/ my kids. He promised that he wd always take care of us, but I am concerned b/c he has displayed such bitterness & hatred. I feel he uses me as scapegoat, projects himself on me, and then hates what he sees. I was abused by my father in the same manner. When I was about 10, my father singled me out by waking me up in the middle of night on a regular basis. One such night, he threw me down on living room carpet, sat on my stomach, pinning my arms down with his knees, and spit in my face saying i was a worthless blankety blank, then threw me out in snow bank in my little nightgown & bare feet. I was adopted as a baby (in a family that ended up having 6 kids) and I had heard him say he wished they wd never have adopted me. I find it deeply perplexing that my Christian husband wd wind up doing the same thing to me. Consequentially, I have struggled with my self esteem all my life; before & after recv’ing Christ, and before & after marrying my God speaking, bible quoting, leading Bible Studies, husband. He is a confident, dominant, outspoken & social person. He has a “detached personality style”. He is a Choleric-Sanguine type for those that are familiar. He is also ( as the Lord led me to discover on Thanksgiving) undiagnosed ADHD. The counselor he was/is seeing told him on 3 different occasions that he needs to see a Christian counselor who specializes in ADD/ADHD, and that was not him. We are in our 4th month of separation and he still has not done that.
I am Melancholic-Plegmatic, and am a private person by and large. I am active in Bible Studies, and began seeing a counselor after the event with my husband 1 year ago. I have a good group of close friends, several of whom I knew before wedding, and I have just begun opening up to a couple of them about my marriage within the last year. I read in “Mending the Soul”, a book I very much related to, the reason why I have kept silent about this for so long.
He came home for Easter (without asking how I felt about it) and we wound up getting into a conflict re: one of the kids. Before he left, he wound up telling me he does not care about what I think, how I feel, what I say or what my opinion is of him. His eyes were like steel & his jaw set. I said, ‘sometimes when I look in your eyes I feel like i just see a dark evil” which reminded me of this article. I went & got it, and read it to him shaking like leaf. He seemed to kind of listen & did not interrupt me (which is his norm) When I finished he said I should fwd it to him. So I, hesitantly, did so. Hesitant, b/c he turns thing around so, deflects constantly, lies, and withholds things, that I wondered if he was going to use it against me somehow.
The next day I told my praying friend that introduced me to Leslie’s material & this article, that I had fwd’d it, and she has same reaction as me. So I guess we’ll see what happens.
Anyway, thanks so much for listening. Like I said, this is the first time I’ve ever written on internet (scary) or spoken to strangers regarding something so personal.
Blessings to all~
I’m so sorry! I didn’t see this until now when I came back to read this again and look to see if you replied. I’m so sorry.
No, he’s only begun this in the past year, it’s been gradual. We are reading and applying ‘Boundaries with Kids’ book via a class at church and that’s helped some, but it is turmoil in our home from the time he wakes up until he goes to bed. Constant disruption, disrespect, lying, being a bad influence to our younger daughter. It’s very, very hard and stressful in our home right now. I will check into the book you recommended. Thank you!
I am a therapist, polygraph examiner and psych professor… but most importantly, a Christian. This article is so spot-on that it literally made me feel nauseous. Evil can be difficult to place your finger on, but you did it! I know that this article is spirit-led.
Yes it is so hard to “see” especially when the mask themselves as people of the light. Thanks for your confirmation.
[…] 2. Five Indicators Of An Evil Heart […]
I happened to see this listed as “liked” by a Facebook friend, and clicked over. This may be an answer to prayer.
Long story made very short, until a few years ago, I was in a 20 year marriage with the most sophisticated, expert, polished covert aggressive narcissist imaginable. The invalidation and gas lighting, deception, manipulation, etc of covert narcissistic abuse are truly crazy-making. All well-crafted acts of “love” are self-love, every interaction a vigilant building or defense of the false-self persona. Yet this reality is covered by a “nicest, most wonderful Christian guy you’ll ever meet” persona that not only is bought hook line and sinker by nearly all , but causes further invalidation by Christians and naive counselors in turn, who only see your reactive “craziness” and validate the external displays of “nice” and “godly”.
This close tying in of real with false and the perceived validation of the abuse by Christians and “thus saith the Lord” teaching, along with other confounding issues, has thrown my once strong relationship with God (really) into nearly nothing. My head knows that God does not equal the misdeeds of his people but, nevertheless, such close, deep extensive entanglement is not overcome easily, or by head knowledge.
It is so hard for most others to see and understand what is going on with him that I still can find myself thrown into doubt, wondering if he wasn’t right all along about me just being all of the horrible things I was made to feel I am, and him being a saint for “putting up with me”! I quickly have to run to those in my life who see the whole picture and can speak the truth and reality out loud to me. I am not able to go to God for this, because He is so entangled in the messages by association with this “godly” man and the godly people taken in by him. God has seemed very silent. I am very far from him.
Today I actually cried out to God asking if even HE saw it. If HE saw what my ex-husband was, and was doing. Or if I am imagining it all. This article is spot on… God, you see it? My feelings are valid?
Covert abuse is really tricky to see even for trained counselors, but sadly there is very little training on this at all in graduate school. I am speaking to a group of Christian counselors tomorrow night about this topic. Pray for a good reception.
It is a doubly sad situation that most trained counselors can’t spot it, because not only is it difficult for those victimized by it to find wise, understanding help in healing at all, but in trying to find it, they may end up invalidated over and over again (invalidation having been a prime feature of the abuse). That it is a Christian counselor tacitly, though unwittingly, contributing validity to the abuser’s claims, perpetuates the effects of the abuse… seemingly in God’s name, to the extent that a client perceives a Christian counselor as someone trained and trustworthy in applying God’s wisdom.
In case a little further exposition is helpful for anyone in validation of their experience, or in understanding the more varied meaning of Narcissism, beyond typical popular understanding…
I should add that the abuse I’m talking about never involves raising a hand (except to try to touch you in executing neurolinguistic programming strategies– unreal, isn’t it?) or voice– in fact, “he who raises his voice or expresses emotion is clearly crazy” is the established message and you will be pushed toward it as you try to communicate genuinely with someone who is doing nothing of the sort. Within the context of “nice” and “rational” is where he does his best work. Evading, deceiving, giving false assent, manipulating, invalidating, controlling, propping up his image…
When most people think “narcissist”, they think of the very obviously egocentric, always talking about himself, acting selfishly, classic narcissistic behavior. In contrast, in this form, he is expert in keeping OTHER people talking and never sharing anything genuine of himself. This strategy is even better in two ways: Keeping people talking gives you more information about them, with which you can better control and manipulate. Also, people feel good about conversation when they get to talk about themselves, and when people seem to be interested in them… and like you for it!
Making very overt displays of “humility”, building up others (flattering, more accurately) ,and performing a whole shtick of jokes to hide the genuine self and keep people laughing all come back to you as, “Oh! Look how humble you are! How wonderful you are! Oh, you are so funny!” That’s a big win for the narcissist looking to prop up his persona and hide.
But don’t try to get close in genuineness (for example, marriage), or you are no longer safe narcissistic supply, and you must be viciously defended against. You will begin to notice that you are always somehow on the defensive, and you don’t know why or how, you feel inferior and they superior, and you don’t know why… because they aren’t saying and doing “mean” things… Occasionally, the bald truth of what they really think accidentally slips out of their mouth. And it is ugly and vicious. It is shocking in how it perfectly expresses and validates all of those abusive undercurrents in an instant, and is so diametrically opposed to the “niceness” beneath which it usually hides. And then they realize that they’ve slipped and exposed themselves, and the mask goes on again and the covert abuse starts, leaving you to doubt yourself…
Cheryl, that is the way my husband was, the shocking thing is – I fell for it!!!!! I thought it was all my fault, I was so lucky to have hime, I must be crazy, neurotic, etc. I am a totally different person now, the more time that passes the more I see how much under his influence and crazy making I was. He was a master at it, sounds so much like your story!! My own brother said recently, “He’s a nice guy!” I about puked! (sorry). I understand what you are going through and so do the others here! You will get out from under and have a great life!! God bless!!
Please tell me what I, the wife, can do if I feel like I’ve finally figured out this is my husband.
We attended Christian marriage counseling together about a year ago. We went together weekly. By the 4th or 5th appointment I had privately emailed our counselor (a male who told us both we could email him if we felt we needed to) that I felt like we weren’t getting anywhere because I didn’t feel my husband was answering questions truthfully and that from that point on I would just agree with whatever he said. My husband always spoke up first and appeared he wanted to answer for both of us. I agree with other comments on this emotionally destructive marriage topic, that unless the counselor is trained in spotting this type of abuse, the sessions end up undermining any true help.
After a few months of my husband and I counseling together and my husband not “following directions” twice on an assignment we were to do at home together, the counselor split us up so we each went on separate days. This lasted 6 or 7 more months until I showed up for my appointment and the secretary told me we owed too much money so we were done. Looking back, I believe it was the Lord’s doing because it really didn’t help us at all.
Today my question is, since counseling is not an option due to finances and not knowing how to find someone who could truly help us, how can I/we heal our marriage beyond the constant prayer, forgiveness and consulting Godly friends (that I’m not sure really believe me)?
I’m sorry if that question is so general but I could go on for pages telling “my story.”
Thank you for any advice.
The marriage cannot be healed unless your husband is willing to be truthful and both of you are willing to work very hard at honesty, mutuality, reciprocity and changing old patterns. You must have your boundaries, respect yourself, build your CORE and refuse to pretend. HE must be willing to look at himself, be willing to be teachable and learn new ways to relate to you and deal with his negative emotions. There are places and couples that would be willing to mentor you and hold you accountable, but not without honesty, vulnerability and humility. I hope that happens for you, but if not, nothing will change in the marriage, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grow and change.
Blessed01, it is a challenging place to be when you are the one looking for healing and honesty in your relationship, and your spouse is not. Please embrace, finding answers for yourself- while you’re also in hope you can find ways to turn your marriage relationship around, provided he does his part. Many women on this blog, have suffered miserably due to thinking they could do it all and they neglected ‘self’ sabotaging their health, their children, and their sanity. One option is to go in to your counselor and explain you want to grow and be healthy and see if he will set up a financial commitment you can afford. I did do this – and my counselor understood my spouse was keeping money from me so I couldn’t attend counseling. But whatever direction you take- remember to take good care of yourself, learn how to grow and make changes necessary so you can move forward, even if he chooses not too!!!!!
Oh my, my….Gina, your life sounds so much like mine. My husband was the “picture perfect” Christian husband. We have been married for almost 5 years now, separated for 8 months. From day 2, he started reveiling his true self. He told me to leave countless times. I was so committed to honoring God and my vows, I couldn’t do it. After numbing my emotions and being depressed most of the time, God opened the door for my freedom. I still can’t wrap my brain around divorce, but I can on wanting and having a much improved life! I pray for you, my sister.
I am surprised to find on a Christian blog so many people talking about divorce because they are realizing their mate is a person with an evil heart. Absent adultery, I believe Jesus answered the question about divorce when he was questioned by his disciples why it was allowed and he stated divorce was allowed because of your own evil hearts.
3Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
4“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’a 5and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’b ? 6So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
7“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”
8Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
Absent adultery, it may be the decision to divorce flows from an evil or hard heart.
Also I find it surprising that so many people are applying this article to their mates maybe using it is as justification for divorce and not applying it to themselves, especially as Christians when we understand we are born into sin and that our hearts are so evil that the only answer for all of us is a heart transplant. Ezekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart
I’m not supporting abusive relationships or ones in which adultery has been committed, but suggesting Christians should not divorce their mate at the point they realize their mate is saddled with an evil heart for which there is no remedy but Christ.
[…] Read the rest here […]
Wow! This was solid truth! Thank you! That is my H for sure. I have had 3 different counselors say H is a narcisst and I guess evil as well. They believe they are so special and unique that the rules don’t apply to them. What a great website-thank you Leslie
this is my husband.i could write pages about our story and how duped i am.so much to say i just wrote a bunch and erased it.suffice it to say i am isolated with my 2 kids and terrified.my only strength is my faith and the story of Daniel in the lions den.i would appreciate any prayers.i feel like i have to make a facbook or a twitter or something to just be out there!all the lies and just feeling like im at his whim to make my story his isnt right.
Leslie, I wrote a post up in the January section on today’s date 8-3. It’s long so I won’t rewrite it. I realize I should have written it here, sorry.
Nikki I read your post and I am so sorry and I do understand your situation. Your story mirrors mine. My divorce was just finalized after a 3 yeR long battle. I would tell you to sign up for Leslie’s core class, continue counseling, and get whatever finances you have in order. If u don’t work u need to find some so u can get some support. I’m on my way out the door but I will write you tonite and tell u what my process looked like. There is hope and there is help. I’m so glad u found this blog!!!!
Robin, Wow, I really am so pleased to see a response to my post! Thank you so much for taking the time and care to respond to a stranger! Thank you for the encouragement. I will look forward to your later response. I have a part time job right now. Which my husband has used to cut back further provision for me. I can never get ahead , but I’m sure you know this all too well yourself. Again thank you
Robin I tried to sign up for core class. It didn’t work; I’m not very tech savvy !!! But one web page said it was free and always free and another page said it $147. Just want to make sure I know what I’m doing. Do you know the actualy web sign up address?
Nikki, the CORE focus class is $147 and has never been free. Not sure where you read that but I will go through my website to make sure it’s not misleading. If you want to sign up e-mail my assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask her for the information.
No I don’t but I’ll find out. Meantime go to her website– leslievernick .com it might be on there.
No problem Nikki. I scroll through these posts to approve them when they are written by someone new and I’ll see if I can locate it.
Thank you, Leslie
Nikki– the paperwork said officially we were married 32 years. July 1st our divorce was finialized. Two and a half years ago I filed for divorce while my husband had been out of town. I went and stayed with friends for 2 weeks and got him removed from our home so I could move back in safely. I also worked out of our home and the judge leaned towards me staying in home. For the 2 years before that I was in weekly counseling and getting healthy. After reading many books I followed Leslie’s advice in her book about a destructive marriage. Speak up, Stand up, and then Stand back. I confronted him weekly for a year with all the resources I got from Les.ies book, website, and video’s. He would listen, act like he agreed, and go on keeping up his disrespect, taking all monies from me, turning my children against me, and giving me only very minimal support. For the 20 years before that I questioned his anger and rage every single day. But I wasn’t allowed to question him so I didn’t get any answers. The church was against me, my family was against me, and literally I had no life. I didn’t really know who I was or if I was doing something wrong. But in the latter years I began receiving excellent counsel that made sense, and I knew God was at work. My husband was and is a sociopath/narcissist which means he has no conscience and he only cares about himself. Not a good duo for family life. I began healing not only for abuse, but childhood wounds and I really started changing. Everything about my life was getting better– except my husband.
So……… What was I to do now that I had a name for our problem— ABUSE. I thought I would be married forever and that God hated divorce. But I learned what God hates is the hard heart that leads to divorce. My husband had been raging at me and the kids on a daily basis for 30 years. It ruined my health, stole my hope, and many good years with my children. Well after he retired and was home everyday he thought now he can control my every move. But I had grown significantly and had a wonderful support base by this time. As Leslie teaches- I tightened all my boundaries. But tightening boundaries makes a rager – increase his rage. Our marriage crumbled because I no longer was willing to play his games. At any given moment he could have repented and seemed out help. But he never acknowledged his abusive behaviors, his destructive habits, or the many ways he was deceitful and manipulative tearing apart the family. Today I am free. Was it easy – no!!!!! I will share more in the future. Lots of tough times to get thru. But God has met my every need, increased my income giganticly, and been a very loving husband to and for me.
I am so sorry someone else has gone through what seems to be just like my situation!!! Robin , I applaud you! I am truly at the very beginning of this next stage of the journey and that is just labeling it. But you have given great encouragement and I am so grateful!!! I see there is no marriage at all- just pretense for other people publicly. I will try to sign up again for the CORE CLASS! I would say more today , but am fighting a kidney infection????. Not sure I’m making sense. But I do know how very much I appreciate your feed back! Thank you Robin!!! I will check back in soon!!!
Take good care of yourself Nikki. We can talk when u feel better.
Ps — I was physically ill for 30 years while living in such a destructive relationship. That is all over now. Feeling wonderful today. Stress kills our bodies!!!!!
SO TRUE – thank you Robin!
Nikki– the longer I am out of my destructive relationship, the more deceit, hostility, and evil I see. I remover the first time my counselor brought up the word evil to me. I thought hmmnn, isn’t that a little harsh? Boy have I changed my thinking since then. As I process the suffering I and my children had to suffer in silence– I am greatly becoming more and more aware of the EVIL!!! My heart breaks every time I read another story on the blog that mirrors mine. Some worst than mine- some not. But all these women discover- in time- it was evil done against our family. It took me 30 years to get to a place where I could boldly stand up and speak honestly. My desire is to help others not wait that long. I still love my husband- and abhor the evil he did. I read on the blog once in the beginning of being on this site a lady say- ‘I will always love him, as I’m walking away, making healthier choices for me. ‘ yes it breaks our hearts to walk away.
Hi Robin, your story is much like mine, & Nicki’s. Actually, like so many in this comment section.
Your last comment made me want to ask what you did to get to “feeling wonderful today”? Also, how long have you been out of the relationship, and do you have to deal with him at all today like throughout he kids or something?
Hi Robin, your story is much like mine, & Nicki’s. Actually, like so many in this comment section.
Your last comment made me want to ask what you did to get to “feeling wonderful today”? Also, how long have you been out of the relationship, and do you have to deal with him at all today like through the kids or something?
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Suz_ I feel wonderful because I live in total freedom from his tyrant, lies, secrets, manipulations, deceit, OCD, to name a few. Thru my long journey I came to understand I needed the Lord in my life. I have had several tell me it’s amazing how HE guided me out of all the dangers and led me into a land of freedom and peace. Do I have contact with my ex? A big fat no. It was one of the things I managed to keep a huge priority or I knew he would torture me. He is only allowed to contact me they my lawyer. My husband managed to manipulate 3 of my 4 children and they went to his side- if we have to have sides. They are completely alienated from me now for almost 2 years. They’ grew up in a destructive home and they are only doing what they were taught. I am confident in Gods perfect timing they will return to me. I made a huge stand in court against their father- Hiding nothing. I told the whole truth about all the abuse. They lived it they know the truth well. They just aren’t ready for everyone else to know the truth. My eldest daughter and I have been to same counselor for several years and the rest of the family has not. It will take time. I do t want to say this lightly as I miss my children very much. But I trust that the huge stand to stop the abuse and for justice to be served finally wi turn around. My freedom today without financial, emotional, physical abuse makes the sea ration of my children make sense to me. It’s been a very long journey and I’ve just arrived. Not that we ever arrive– but I’m out. The divorce is over- he can’t hurt me anymore. I am gaining again the person I lost for so long. I am prospering on every wAy. I think this happens as we lose our fear- and stand up to evil.
The message if like to pass on- is us women want to believe the best about our husbands. It’s very honorable to do, when you don’t have one that is destructive and causing great harm. The end of our stories will not be as we planned, for many of us. I suggest – seek counsel, seek resources- seek a support team. Don’t be naive as I was. When someone points out evil- see it for what it is, before it destroys your family. If u are a fortunate one whose husband is listening talk to Leslie or someone she recommends to help you, help him to get into a men’s program. He can’t do this on his own. Be strong. Be an advocate for yourself. Seek to become healthy, and good choices will automatically come!!!
Suz u asked if I have to deal with him at all. No from the day I decided to file because I felt very unsafe with him- I knew to not have contact with him if I wanted to remain healthy. I saw him in court for 2 settlement conferences and I work at staying out of his path. I attend church an hour away so he can’t influence others negatively. I go to counseling 2 hours away, as it’s a much needed break for me to start anew with a new community . You asked how long have I been out of relationship. I left 17 months ago- divorced July 1 of this year. 32 miserable years of control, domination, manipulation, and disrespect. It’s taken me a longtime to get out— he held fear over me, so I wouldn’t move a muscle. It’s unbelievable to me now to look back and see the power and control he kept me under- due to fear.
Nikki- oh boy sounds like we have a lot in common. My eldest daughter is going to same counselor as me. When my counselor put puzzle pieces together and started seeing how my husband had been manipulating children against me very secretly and deceptively— she confronted my daughter with the truth. I’ll be honest- my counselor works with sociopaths and understands their thinking- and quite aggressively went towards the truth with my daughter. It helped significantly. But remember if your children haven’t entered counseling yet- they might not be ready for truth. For me personally I do not try to convince my children of anything to do with their dad. Let God orchestrate that as you will lose if u try to do it. I would keep walking in the truth as you KNOW IT and allow children to process it in their own timing. Remember they were raised in it and only doing what they learned???? it’s a mother’s heart to want them to heal and yes we do see their injuries and it’s painful to watch. But they need to be ready . It’s best for us moms to focus on our own healing and growth- as it will lead me out of abuse as they watch us.
If I could only pass on one piece of advice that literally made huge changes in my life- it would be learning how to steward my own life well. Not being so concerned for the others in my family- and learning how to take self-care. I put all my energy in learning how to take care of me and give me what I need. After I was doing that- my daughter tended to pay more attention to the words I was saying to her. But my motive was NOT to get my daughter to heal. It was to be a healthy minded person who took responsibility for her own life– and started living a life that I wanted. This is not selfish. This is being responsible for self and taking care of me, so I’m living well, and those around me can be influenced by a healthy mom.
I also was told in re: to the children, they tend to move towards the destructive spouse because they usually hold more power. Children do desire to forget their past and makeup fantasy’s as it makes them cope better. In time they will start noticing things that create a desire for them to go towards truth. It’s just not in our timing . To be honest, I’ve been much happier since I’ve let go of my need for them to seek healing on my time table.
That sounds like very good advice, Robin. Is counseling how you began the process? Also, did you seek a counselor who was familiar w/ sociopathic tendencies?
I had been going to this counselor off and on – during crisis times. I had no desire to return as I never felt anything improved. In the last 2 years as all the books tell you- his destructive behaviors increased and I went running to the counselor. She told me if I would commit to regular sessions she could help me. My eldest daughter had been seeing her more often than me– so she knew the family history. I had another daughter that also saw the counselor until the counselor encouraged her to take action and separate. My daughter ran out of there not ready to do that. I knew this counselor dealt with a lot of abuse- I didn’t even know what a sociopath was until she told me I was married to one- as far as she could tell. Yes I believe counseling was a definite tool to get me on right path. I started 30 months ago weekly and today still go every week. I cannot begin to tell you how huge it has been to have someone on my team and someone who understood what my home life was like. I had my own fantasy a, and with her help I came out of denial and started seeing truths about my home life that just blew me out of the water and still does!!!!!
I believe what you are saying is so true!
Are u feeling any better Nikki??
One of the gals asked me what made my life wonderful today. My ex husband had destructive behaviors that were always in the dark. No one ever saw them except for family. All of our lives were so chaotic and we were all a mess but we didn’t understand why or what to do. When I got into weekly counseling, it gave me HOPE THAT THERE WERE ANDWERS. As I got healthy, it became natural for me to choose– healthy. When I filed, I still hoped my husband would fall on his knees and acknowledged his a use and want to do whatever it took, to reconcile. He didn’t. So I proceeded with my life like I had been . Lundy Bancroft says, while you’re waiting to see if he will change- make some decisions for yourself to go forward. He has one of the most encouraging chapters I’ve read in his book- about all the things you can do to start living your life. I worked hard at it. My life is wonderful today, because I know what I need. I know I have been rescued. I am free. There are still trials and obstacles in my life/ but as I continue to grow- they become less. I am exceedingly happy and free from abuse.
That last post was so encouraging, Robin. I have had a very sick week and been focused on getting over whatever this is. They’re running tests. So I barely got started on this blog and am sidetracked for now. What you said about your husband not being willing to change really does go along with some of the things Leslie has said. They don’t really ever see themselves as wrong, they are their own center of reference. Which really helps us to move forward with less disappointment. Not that it isn’t extremely difficult . You sound like you are doing very well. THAT is encouraging. I’ll have to look that author up.
Thank you again Robin.
You bet!!! I am doing well because my process of pain and struggle thruout the divorce process is over. I had to search for all the same answers you are now. When you come to an understanding that he really doesn’t have the desire to get well, that you have, you come to a place of taking responsibility for you and your kids. Do I want to be in the se place ten years from now, twenty years from now. Henry Cloud says look at his past and you’ll see his future unless he is one of the rare ones that is ready to make those changes. It’s a process and you get to pick how long of process you’re willing to do. !!
Nikki– whoever thought they wanted their marriage to end?? But one question to deeply reflect on……. Did the marriage end when I gave up, or did the marriage end when he broke the marriage covenant, by not being true to love and honor unto death??? This one question really helped me to sort things out. If my marriage is over- it doesn’t mean I quit. Maybe it means he quit long ago but is living a pretense in front of others too look and sound good????
I have had to ask myself that many times and confirm that it has been his lack of love , care, honesty, loyalty, his control, anger, rage and deceitful ness. Lack of empathy and genuineness and true repentanc etc..however I am a wee bit discouraged right now with this setback of getting sick(now possible lymes not kid. Infection). I know God is Sovereign , I know He sees all that has gone on in all our lives here on this blog, I agree with all Leslie has said in her books and blogs and her use of the Scripture. It’s moments like these though,when I have to fight confusion, as to why is it my husband is receiving all the apparent blessings of the Church, of friends , of my girls love for him and I’m the one sitting here with a health problem.while my husband is making sure all that think I’m the one in the wrong, know how sick I am right now. I know I can’t see the big picture God sees, and I must trust my Father, but it sure does leave His daughter fighting a little confusion. Maybe I can use this time to take the core class. Can someone post the best link for signing up for it?
i just saw Leslie sent me the link and info about the class! Thank you!
I think if u go to Leslie’s website u will see how to signup. Nikki u are on the way don’t be discouraged. So
Some once told me the way up is down. He is likely deceiving you cover his tracks. You are beginning to wAlk in truth and there is a cost to that. Remember we don’t look at him or we sink. Keep looking at Jesus and received I g more resources and info which leads to gaining wisdom.
And Leslie, I can’t remember. How I got to whatever web site that said it was free , but if I relocate it I’ll send you the info.
Thank you Robin , again, for the encouragement!
Does anybody have any idea why husband of 28 yrs would be trying to rush divorce through only to remarry someone else? It seems clear the relationship is only months old. He has undiagnosed ADHD, NPD, displays sociopathic traits, and fits the points in this article well. Just doesn’t seem like he’d remarry so quickly, especially considering the emphatic things he’s proclaimed over the years such as (If you die) “I’m NEVER, EVER getting remarried! Relationships are just TOO MUCH work!!” Seems so strange to me, even scary, that he would be going to such extents to hurry the dissolution of our marriage.
I am also concerned for what affect this may have, if any, on our children & me since our assets have not begun to be divided.
Suz, perhaps the relationship was going on much longer than you thought. Or, she is his new narcissistic supply. But make sure you have a good lawyer.
I definitely recommend finding a counselor who already works and has experience with sociopaths/narcissists/abusers. This counselor had helped me so much more than any other one ever came close too. She was the one that recognized his sbusive thinking and many ways of deception. Be very particular about finding the right counselor!!!!
I agree with you that finding the right counselor is so very important, but I also know from personal experience it is hard to do. There are lots & lots of Christian counselors that are well meaning people but lack the discernment to see what’s really going on & be able to speak to it. Which I would say is one of the reasons I found Leslie’s article so impactful. I dearly hope this has reached many “counselors, pastors, and people helpers”! It’s good to know you have found one as well. What kinds of things do you do in your sessions? Is it a place where you can just talk about what’s going on with you, or is it more directive? I have been in counseling for about a year now, probable once very 10 days to 2 weeks. She knows everything about me now, and she is a neat Christian woman. But I don’t see much happening as a result of our time together. She has mentioned a couple of times that it’s hard to have any real progress without my husband here, but my husband won’t go see a woman, especially one that would naturally be a little biased. He’s not keen on counseling either b/c he doesn’t accept responsibility for what he says & does, and blames everyone else for his problems, predominately me. I have a good group of supportive friends that I have only just begun to open up about my marriage to (kept abuse hidden for 28 yrs), and my counselor just kinda feels like talking to one of them. Only I’m paying her! Have considered & prayed about finding another but it’s formidable thinking of starting all over with someone else.
Btw, what is the title of another Bancroft’s book, and which chapter was it that you found so encouraging?Another EXCELLENT resource is Brad Hambrick’s “The Situationally Explosive Self-Centered Spouse”. Fit my husband to a “t”. Also, thought his booklet “Romantic Conflict” and “Vulnerability” were very insightful as well. The Lord has really blessed this guy in being able to articulate difficult/ complex issues, while applying relevant scripture.
Suz, sounds like you would be wise and benefitted to start looking for new counselor. Not sure how much info you have taken in but most books written about destructive/abusive relationships warn women to not attend couples counseling- that might be a real red flag for you. I asked my counselor how to help you find one that would meet your needs. Here’s what she sent:
She needs to make sure that her counselor knows about ‘sociopathy’.
She needs to make sure her counselor has worked with ‘victims of abuse’.
She needs to make sure her counselor is aware of and has read widely, books like Lundy Bancroft, Patricia Evans, Leslie Vernick, and Crippens(Cry for Justice).
She also said they all recommend not receiving marriage counseling until the controller gets the help they need to stop controlling, power over, and dominance.
To answer your other questions — what was my counseling sessions like?? The first 6 months I did a lot of venting my grief and pain, and she was looking for lies to uncover and help me replace them with ‘truths’. My counseling has not been directed by what she wanted to do- but more dependent on what I needed on that particular day. She would give me homework assignments, and then we would discuss them. She would suggest I get a book like Leslie’s – and then ask me some pertinent questions. I never felt I was just talking to a friend. I have felt every session was useful and the more so– the longer we spent time together. Being unhealthy in the beginning, I struggled with some of the things she suggested I do, to set necessary boundaries, but I never refused to do them, as I always moved ahead and received something fruitful, for listening to her advice and being brave.
Lundy Bancrofts book that helped me immensely– was
SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO?
Chapter 12 – Why your growth may bring more answers than his.
I loved this whole book- it was so informative for where I was when I read it. I liked that there were no Christianeze answers in it, or comments. I had been very wounded being in a legalistic church and needed clear cut answers to my questions. I had been married for 32 years and was not new to asking my husband to respond to getting help thru counseling. I was used to him ignoring my requests. Mr Bancroft, in this chapter showed me – WHAT I COULD DO TO CHANGE MY LIFE. I followed this chapter to the t and I’m happy to say, got excellent results!!!!!
That sounds great, Robin. She has recommended a couple books off hand, and has given me copied excerpts to read. One book she really recommend was “Mending the Soul”. Not sure you’re familiar with it, but though it speaks mostly to sexual abuse (which I have not been a victim of) I still learned a lot from that book b/c it all applied easily to physical, verbal, emotional abuse.
It is encouraging to hear that you felt the better for it when you would leave your sessions. I have several times left asking the Lord if I was just expecting to much, or was He leading me to find someone else.
Thanks for info on Bancroft’s book. I will look into it right away.
Thanks, Robin. Actually, mu husband and are not in marriage counseling. I was just saying that my counselor has mentioned that it’s hard to address some of the problems head on (which I believe she means confronting him w/ some of his behavior) without him being there. A year ago May, a respected Christian missionary friend of mine came to visit & for the first time I started telling him what was really going on in our marriage. Needless to say, he was quite surprised. In an effort to help before he had to leave country, he wanted to meet w/ both my husband & I the following day. I had my reservations b/c I knew how my husband adamantly deflects everything, and I was concerned at the toll it would take on me. (I had started having physical reactions of stress when we would end up in some conflict, i.e. shaking, heart palpitations, stuttering, etc) Well when we met my husband immediately starting deflecting/ blaming, yelling, even acting things out in ridiculous & overwhelming ways. I had to stop the meeting at one point, and ask my friend for prayer b/c i felt lightheaded/ dizzy & my heart was hammering. I considered going to emergency room at conclusion of mtg to see if I might be having a heart attack. It took me 2 full days to recover from that meeting w/ my husband. I decided right then that I could not endure counseling together with him until he got some effective counseling himself. I had already been asking him to see someone & even giving him referrals. He really dragged his feet but about 3 months later he began to see one. The guy, though my husband, asked me to call him & wanted the 3 of us to meet together. Told me this was the only way to make any progress. I did that a couple of times & got to witness first hand what Leslie warns against in this article. (you can read about my whole story in comments above on April 7th) The last meeting (of which I had a strong feeling not to go but husband insisted), I wound up walking out of session in same state I was in after the meeting w/ my old missionary friend. Maybe worse. So yes, I understand that that couples shouldn’t counsel together when there has been abuse. But it I did feel like I had to kind of sell this idea both to his counselor & mine, as well as to my missionary friend & his wife. So it was nice to find my sense confirmed in research. Also affirming to read your comment about it. Thanks for your advice.
I’m so sorry Suz for what u had to go thru with joint counseling. I have had same experience being admitted to hospital emotional wing the day after. I would never counsel anyone to try it until he has had significant counsel himself.
I have heard absolutely excellent reviews about Mending the Soul. I have not read it as about that tweet I fell in love with Crippens book- a Cry for Justice. It’s a pastor explaining how abusive men sit in church and play their games while church leaders are causing harm to the victim spouse. In re: to finding a counselor- I have been bored to death with counselor a that didn’t understand the extent of abuse in my home or minimized it. Yes they were my friends and pointed out my strengths. But I needed much more than that. I do understand where u are and commend u are staying in counseling. I forget have u joined any of Lrslies classes??
Not at this point. I am considering signing up for CORE. Have you done CORE or any other of her classes?
Suz I have not taken any of Leslie’s classes because when I needed them, I couldn’t afford them. Then when I could I was intensely committed to counseling weekly and could t take on anymore homework. My counselor uses her info on our core which has helped me a lot. My counselor loves all that Leslie teaches and works with me they her books. I highly recommend to any and all to take a core class. As I studied building up my core- I became so healthy!!! It was easy to make good decisions after that!
This post was on Facebook this morning. It describes my step daughter perfectly. She has been a drug addict for many years, has 3 daughters and her father pays her bills to help the children. Her ex is a druggie too. We had custody for 9 months after she left them in a coffee shop to score some drugs. As she got them back, she accused us of sexually molesting them while they were in our care. The charges were dismissed and we had nothing to do with her for a year and a half. She worked her way back in to the family and guess what? More accusations against us. She has taught her daughters to lie and tells them that they won’t be able to stay with mommy if they don’t say these things. She is now in jail for shoplifting and the girls are in foster care because she made more false accusations. She has never done anything but return evil for good. We are heartbroken for our granddaughters. No one deserves a mother like that. My husband says she is held captive by Satan, which is true, but she has decided to hold hands with the devil, which is her choice. Of course, she quotes scripture and only wants God’s will in her life. I have said for a long time that she is pure evil and now I understand why I had that sense. Thank you.
Does anybody have any idea why husband of 28 yrs would be trying to rush divorce through only to remarry someone else? It seems clear the relationship is only months old. He has undiagnosed ADHD, NPD, displays sociopathic traits, and fits the points in this article well. Just doesn’t seem like he’d remarry so quickly, especially considering the emphatic things he’s proclaimed over the years such as (If you die) “I’m NEVER, EVER getting remarried! Relationships are just TOO MUCH work!!” Seems so strange to me, even scary, that he would be going to such extents to hurry the dissolution of our marriage to remarry.
I am also concerned for what affect this may have, if any, on our children & me since our assets have not begun to be divided.
I see most of us are referring to people as evil and pionting finers , but for me this message is talking to me directly.i think we need to be able to find something in ourselves before we put the blame on the next person…i have an evil heart and i had a choice to change that but because of the hurt and pain i have caused myself and others pain…My relationship with God is questioned when i dont do good at all. hiding under christian statement, but here is an interesting part about me,is the need for change before i meet my maker… i have come to the end of mylife or let me rather say im looking for the way forward…. i find myself having no words to describe me…..
I might suggest reading the book of 1 John and in particular 1 john 1:9.
AWESOME!! THANKS FOR THE GREAT READ!!
I have a grandmother in law that acts just like what you said. From the begining when I got pregnant with my daughter (I wasn’t married to her grandson yet) we were engaged already and as soon as I got pregnant. She made us get married WAY before we wanted to. Wouldnt let us live together until we were married. (We did anyway)we got an apartment moved In and she has hated me since. Now that we have our daughter she comes over and visits her..not us. We have now been married for 11 months our daughter is 14 months old and we are moving. Heres where it gets bad. My husband goes to her house to respectfully tell her of our plans to move. She not only gets upset and starts telling him false accusations of our future. But tells him that if we move I would divorce him and leave him with child suppport. And somehow in the 30 minutes it took for him to come back. She changed his mind on moving as we had already packed, everything is in boxes weve already called everyone, changed addresses. And she got into his head and told him lies about me and accused me of things i would never do..evil things. This woman claims to be a very high up 76 y/o christian. Who is all about god..yet she has claimed before “im the all knowing grandma, i walk on water” if you are a true christian you would not spout blasphamy like that. She still tells him that i am going to leave him. And ruin his life. Now he is back home and we talked I cried amd we are back to moving to our origional plan. But have decided not to talk to her about anymore future plans we have. Also she is coming over tomorrow to “talk” to us some more. Anyone have any advice? Oh and his uncle (who lives with his grandmother) has been having dreams of my 14 month old also. CREEPY! .
Leslie, You are a champion for the down trodden, the abused and the hurt. That is good. You have described, biblically, what an evil heart is. That is also good. However, then you throw open the gate for anyone to use their own thinking to judge whether or not their man seems like he lines up with the points that you make. Naturally, anyone who has been hurt begins to tally up all the ways in which she has been offended. The scrutiny of her mate narrows down to only see and remember the bad things while every memory of good times dissolves. When we look through our own colored glasses we only see certain colors because everything else is filtered out. The discrimination here in huge and extremely partial. Correct me if I am wrong but I don’t think anything you described about an Evil Heart was gender related, yet those who have commented have UNIFORMLY LABELED MEN with this condition.
Above I read many, many labels strewn around with little conscience and with little understanding and even less love! That is what we do when we are angry and just raging back at those who hurt us. That much I understand! However, I also get it that if you want to end a relationship (which your blog is purportedly in promotion of) just start flinging out labels like ADHD, or Sociopath, or Evil Heart with complete irresponsibility!
Your blog is presumably about relationships but here in the comments I read of none except for those which have gone bad. After reading all the above comments, who in their right mind would want to be in a relationship? Over and over again you have cheered on those who are jumping into divorce without really knowing any of the circumstances for yourself. I suggest that the “relationships” you speak of in your blog are just a figment of everyone’s imagination since you don’t have any examples of men who have turned around and shown us the “fruit of repentance”. The negative focus is crushing! The attitudes of the women who have spoken out against their exes have painted all men with such broad strokes, and I dare say that you have supported their attitudes. This is classic emasculation! Even the men that have dared to write have been treated skeptically and derisively. There is no chance for relationship in that atmosphere.
What has happened to, “How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in YOUR OWN eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” (Luke 6:42) Whatever happened to, “Everyone ought to EXAMINE THEMSELVES before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.” (I Corinthians 11:28)
I am familiar with other ministries which claim to help with abusive relationships and they are always strangely one-sided. They go so far as to claim that they are “redeeming marriage” but all the while they are telling women that every word that men say is somehow abusive and that therefore they should go right on to separate and divorce. Women will stay in a relationship if they want it –then there are some that don’t — so they will pick fights and then turn around and claim that they have been abused.
Understandably, when people have been hurt they might claim spiritual abuse or any kind of abuse but I will refer to the balance seen in ministries like Marriage Today, Focus on the Family and Family Life Today which genuinely DO PROMOTE MARRIAGE and not just the rights of one sex over the other. What I have read above sounds more like the sponsorship of a gender war rather than a mending of broken marriages.
Do I have an evil heart for having spoken out for the men who have been bashed? I hope that speaking for the truth is not evil. It is very convenient for a wounded spouse (of either sex) to label the other with an “EVIL HEART” label but this is only to the detriment of the marriage. Let us all pursue God with all our hearts and then let Him determine the condition of our souls! The only unpardonable sin is lifelong rejection of our Savior! Comparing my sin to yours is does the opposite of uniting relationships, rather it is totally futile and divides relationships.
“The scrutiny of her mate narrows down to only see and remember the bad things while every memory of good times dissolves.” Leslie is giving us general guidelines BECAUSE she does not know every individual situation. She is not our parent or boss, to tell us what to do but only to enlighten so action steps can be taken by abuse victims who are often so much in a fog of doubt and confusion, they don’t even know which way to turn. This quote from you, I will try and explain the same way I tried for years to explain to my abusive spouse. “Let’s say you are the most WONDERFUL spouse ever made in the history of mankind. Caring, patient, giving, (whatever you think would fit into that perfectionist fantasy will work) For 364 days a year, you have a spouse that would be the envy of every married person, pure bliss, peace, love. But on day 365, one day a year, just ONCE a year, your spouse hauls off and as hard as possible, slaps your mother so hard, she falls to the ground. Just once a year. 364 GREAT, 1 bad. Does it really matter how great your spouse is for 364 days when the BAD is SO agregious?” Yes, there were “good times” at least the kind of “good times” when you are in the honeymoon phase of the abuse cycle, but even THAT is not good because you are very busy walking on eggshells in the hope that THIS time, your spouse won’t blow up and rage and criticize and scare and manipulate. These “fake” good times don’t matter when the bad times are SO bad.
You also take Leslie to task for “throwing open the door so anyone can use their own thinking to judge whether or not their man seems like he lines up with the points that you make.” So my question is: if you don’t use your own thinking (since you, as you pointed out to Leslie, are the one who is actually IN the situation) to judge whether abuse is present, then WHOSE THINKING DO YOU USE?! Someone who is NOT there?! I get that there are people who will use Leslie’s advice to justify leaving in some instances when it does not warrant it. But, frankly, if they are going to use her words to justify, they can easily find lots of other ways to do that. Do you really think the people who frequent this blog are just looking for an excuse to leave? Do you really think that these folks havent already tried EVERYTHING for YEARS and DECADES?! That they are just casually looking around for information on ABUSE because they have nothing better to do? No. It is desperation and hopelessness and fatigue and confusion and a deep desire to understand what God would have them do in a situation that nobody who has actually LIVED it, would EVER expect anyone THEY loved to endure. God speaks often to “flee from an angry person.” And yet, in abuse relationships (I will NOT call it a marriage because it is a charicature at best) the abused is told “endure.” Totally against God’s Word.
Also, Honorable, if you will read my other post, you will see that in my situation, we HAVE reconciled, but only after a year of separation, with my spouse continuously blaming, cursing at me, throwing stuff around, threatening me, etc. And one day, my abuser just seemed to “get it.” I waited several more months to see if true repentance and change had taken place, and when God let me know it was safe, I reconciled. That was almost a year ago. Leslie is not “pro divorce.” She is anti-abuse and unfortunately, there are those who are hardened of heart who will continue to abuse, no matter what action you take. In such cases, all you CAN do is remove yourself from the toxic environment. When you have lived with abuse for years, you NEED a safe place to vent. Their anger is RIGHTEOUS. To tell these women that they are not “loving” is the most judgemental of calls, showing none of the compassion or mercy that Jesus showed when he (Oh, no!) healed on the Sabbath. Let them go through the healing process and part of that is being ALLOWED to be angry.Jesus turned over the money tables and called the Pharisees hipocrites and snakes! Was that SIN? Obviously not. It was RIGHTEOUS anger. Only when you can admit and accept and BE angry, can true healing come. Give them time. I look back on some of my blogs from a couple of years ago and yes, I was angry. But because I was ABLE to tell people how much it hurt without judgement and recrimination (which is what you are doing here) I was able to heal, forgive, and have a new start. There IS hope, but nobody is called to endure abuse while they “wait.”
I feel like this describes my mother to a T, but my question is how do you heal and get past it?
My mother was recently diagnosed with lung cancer this year (she has been a smoker since before I was born) and since then I have had to step up with painful consequences. She has lied, she has been disrespectful, ungrateful, and basically the way she has been my entire life. I also got married this year, and not only did she not show up, the only time she even referenced the fact that I was to be/had gotten married was in the form of a snippy comment when she was angry. I can’t even talk to her. I can’t even think about it without making myself upset.
Unbelieveable, this describes my grandmother exactly. Wow. This has been an eye opening article, and I feel less guilt confronting her evil ways now. Thanks!
The Church has failed generally…it’s turned apostate…given in to pressure and does acknowledge that Christ’s death on the cross had a purpose…to save us from sin…nobody is exempt…even evangelicals have missed it…Christ alone and not add on’s saves you…only Him alone…not belief plus works but REAL belief …otherwise He died in vain. No religion or theology that teaches predestination, or experiences or legalism or issue salvation theories will save you only TRUE, SINCERE and HONEST belief that your only passport to His salvation Otherwise …Why did He die??
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature.
Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” (1 Timothy 4:1 ) Churches are rarely destroyed from outside. It is the Devil’s cunning trick to send in a uncalled man who is poorly trained and equipped for the ministry. These “hirelings,”, having no call of God, aspire to the ministry as a profession. They are smooth talkers often well versed in modern psychology. Their message is weak and watery and contains no meat. In order to hold the crowd they turn to music and emotion
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature.
Good post…but I really believe that true salvation can only come from integrity and honesty…(Total reliance of Jesus’s settlement at the cross…nothing else….just that…nothing added but it must be sincere and true….a sinner might well have weaknesses that he cannot overcome but sincere and honest belief and trust in the Saviour can release him…God does not wink at sin…it’s very serious …it’s sickness and life destroying but that’s why the Son of God choose to die for us because of His love for mankind…it was not programmed or works orientated…nobody can be saved by doing good works…although good works are good and encouraged by God…all good deeds are rewarding and give a happier life and blessing…every sinner can be saved but it’s everyones choice to see the ugliest of evil, cruelty and rebellion against what is obvious. It’s when pride, selfishness and lust to do our own thing…our disease inherited by our forefather and mother that binds us… the Creator however has given us such an easy way out…choice…that’s all.
I have grown up with parents that have a evil heart. Father did things to all of us girls & my mom choose to show a blind eye. My mom was controller & commander of our life & that included my dad. She required continued need for others to c her & her family as perfect. My sister then did things to me. From outside, our family looked like it’s perfect but behind it was far from that. I grew up fearing my folks & always feeling I had to try to please them but never could. My mom never told you what you did wrong but would go weeks not talking to me. I would beg her to talk to me. This is from early childhood this pattern was set. Then in 10 grade I asked if I could barrow money from my mom for a prescription I needed as I had infection. She kicked me out telling me I spend so much time at my friends house, just go live there. I struggled to make it through that year as I lived at people’s homes and felt bad imposing. I finally begged to be able to come home or I would not make it to graduate. They had a lust of requirements which were all things I was doing anyway. Well, over my life time, my mom has disowned me for who knows what reason (I’m 58) and goes years without talking to me my sister always gets me to forgive her ( when I’m guessing my mom decides she now wants me back in her life). I’m a believer in JESUS Christ & raised my kids with the bible as my guide & praise God I broke the pattern in raising my kids. God blessed me with a loving husband that is a godly man. We both have chosen to forgive
As we feel that God is pleased with this. We took care of his folks in aging years and it was a struggle but I’m so thankful we did that. Now my folks needed care so we felt God leading us to do this plus my sister convinced me they needed the help badly. My mom would tell me on the phone about every fall or how old they are. So we rented our home out on east coast with a trial of a year. Well, we put fences up and new stairs and did garage floor with flex cost and and and. All the while she I had to was floors on hands & knees and brush carpet stairs with a brush and clean was a major for her. We were only allowed one shelf in fridge & & little space on shelf. We stayed downstairs & slept in a double size canopy bed & did our laundry at mat unless I let her do it for us which I did not want.
We ran all their errands & got mail & listen to them brag on their town, house and stuff. They would not take us as knowing anything & we gave up trying to have a voice & just listen to them. The longer there the more controlling over me she became. My hair, outfit my friends and basically everything
I am was under her control. They are the most negative people I have ever come across & we listen to them pick on everyone & everything…. Other then their things. Well one day she said ” your not doing enough around here so just leave.. Get out” as she points her clippers at me. So 9 months into it, we move out to the only place we could find which is a motel. My sister just said ( who is living in another state with no change to her life) nothing to my folks for doing that to us and just sent emails with questions of how’s work & such. When I finally had it.. I sent e mail speaking truth of the hurts of being used by her & my folks all these years & I needed to tell her cause u have never shared my pain to her. Her response was I’m a angry person & she twisted my words just like your ” evil heart” said. When I was in a store other day, I see my mom & she turned and walks away as fast as she can. I did nothing wrong to deserve being kicked out yet again & was depressed that u walked into it again but this time included my husband. She has done this to me more times then I can count & never says sorry let alone talk about it & it’s alway my sister that talks me into going back for more cause it’s ” the Godly thing to do”. My whole life it’s been me having to jump through their hoops and its me that always seems to be the one that they get upset at but never seem to even know what I did. your segment on evil heart was so spot on as to what has been going on all of my life. They require total submission from me but never feel a need to see their sin. I see no fruit in their life & they know how to manipulate me. While at their house one time I calmly told them something that was hurtful and they twisted it and said they did not remember that but trust me.. Their memory remembers what they want & are good at remembering things the way they want to. They live in a its all about me world & sadly they just cut out the people that would have cared for them and this time I have eyes wide open as to the tricks they use and I see this is the evilness that set hold in their hearts long ago. They could deal with sin with asking for forgiveness but they lock it in a box not to be opened and the evil heart gets darker. I forgive them but now see that my scars keep getting reopened and unless they humble themself before the Lird and call me to ask for forgiveness, I can not play with the games they use to fill me with quilt. I thought God lead us
To come care for them when in reality, it was their control from darkness that I allowed me to think that. God has brought good out of this as it allowed me to see needs at this motel where down in their luck people come & was able to help & I met great people at church we been going to & I have grown closer to God through this trial. I thank you so much for posting your evil heart information as it was so true to their behavior that my jaw dropped. My thanks.
Im really sorry for everyone, that means everyone, the whole of society …. but what this describes is politics … We the people let us lead by evil spirits, isn’t time to take action, take control and let our light shine ( the secret is, darkness can only exist with out darkness ) so it means light is much stronger than darkness. Please be the best person you could be, thats all you can do, but it makes a difference .. or could …
Many of you speak of the males in your life that these characteristics mirror whether it be a husband, father etc. My story is quite different and after reading this blog and comments I feel refreshed and comforted knowing that I am not alone in dealing with someone like this. In my case it is my boyfriend’s ex-wife, so a female. A mother of two small children and a Christian through and through (at least that’s what she wants everyone to believe). It seems very rare to actually come across a woman who is the abuser, the evil heart and the narcissist, but they are out there. Maybe the men just don’t speak of it and put in into public light as easily as the women do. It is even more difficult to handle when it is woman to woman. She is a force to be reckoned with and I fear her children will pick up her bad behavior as our children learn from watching us.
Hi, Any advice would be greatly appreciated. My best friend’s husband has a truly evil heart. Which is more scary is the fact is he is evil disguised as good. He plays a good “role” out in the public’s eye. He acts like Mr. Husband of the Year, but will cheat on my good friend a week before their Anniversary or buy her candy, flowers, take her to dinner and then that same night be out with another woman. He has managed to get her talked into over $200k of business debt. He lied to all business partners. He tries wooing desperate, naïve, young, married, or single women without a care in the world. He also blames the economy, society, his parents, my friend, other women, or ex business partners or his ex wives for all his problems and self-created issues. Then he has the tenacity to show up to church all holier than art thou and look down on everyone else. Everyone is seen as a sinner or useless in his eyes. I swear the man if off his rocker. He had so many women bamboozled they even considered suicide after dealing with him. She honestly thinks she won a great catch of man because he’s so good at duping people. I just don’t get why she tolerates it? Last time I checked duping people was evil? Any advice on this? People like him probably never change huh? Even though they act one way in church?
Thank you so much for these words. I am 48 and have so many hurts that I have laid down and then picked back up expecting a different outcome (I know crazy) the pain remains real with my mother as she uses EVERY opportunity to divide my siblings and pit them against one another and is now manipulating her grandchildren as well. I feel as though I can’t get past because she takes it a step further. This time at my church doorstep. I NEEDED this message so very much. Blessings upon blessings.
Finally!!! Your post was shared with me via FB
Thank you so much Leslie you are someone who speaks with concise clarity and exposes the insidious covert nature of the evil at work within the ‘body’. This is the proverbial ‘wolf in sheeps clothing’ the ‘Trojan horse’ within the church.
The question I now ask is when ministers/pastors continue to ignore the signs and have been provided the information then ignorance is no longer an excuse.
What trait is therefore ‘blinding’ them? Is it ego, pride, boundary-less grace, a religious or controlling spirit or maybe even ‘people pleasing’ and not wanting to offend? The damage that these evil/toxic people inflict within the ‘body’ is being ignored or denied to the very detriment of the flock whom leaders are supposed to disciple, oversea, encourage and protect.
Let Gods people daily pray ‘God reveal to me today those things the devil does not want me to see’
Thank you again Leslie for this ‘message’ because as I’ve shared i’m hearing that the ‘lights are coming on’ for many more who are struggling with church leaders ignoring the real evil within and disguised amongst the ‘flock’.
Thanks Aaron. Lots of reasons, many of which you mention, but let’s continue to pray for the church that their eyes would be opened and that they would have courage to confront the evil among us.
[…] Five Indicators Of A Evil Heart […]
This is a perfect description of my EVIL Ex-wife. Every paragraph described her thoroughly. By the grace of God she did not defeat me. With 3 children She tried to divorce me and take everything from me on two occasions on NO grounds. My testimonies would take many pages but the Lord did not let that happen. I had given her every opportunity to get help for her alcoholism, drug abuse, adultry, lying, cheating, stealing and abuse me and the kids but she refused. Finally she suggested again in her drunkeness and I agreed. I did not allow her to take anything but her belongings and some furniture. Praise God our children live with me in our original home. They too saw the evil part of their mother and they chose to live with me and were not forced. Nor are they forced to stay away from her. But I do hate them being around this evil woman but I keep my mouth shut. My point is there are not only evil men there are evil women. I recommend as a previous Christian Counselor that the masculine description in your writings be universal and change to ‘Male/female. Both sexes include evil, Satanic human beings.
Rick, Yes I know both sexes can be evil but I find it too cumbersome in short blog posts to keep switching he/she in everything. So please don’t take offense but since most of my audience is women, I do write for them, but am thankful for the men I work with and who read my work. God Bless.
I would also suggest 3 resources that are written by men who have been through abusive marriages, and they write from a generic perspective that you might relate to more. The women on this blog are hurting and since it is about 95%, they will be talking about the abusive men (or parent or sibling, etc) so I can understand that seeing those comments all the time may make you feel that nobody understands what YOU have been through.
Check out: josephjpote.com and Patrick Doyle youtube stuff and Richard Skerritt
I frequent all of them and I believe they are right in line with what Leslie teaches.
Thank you so much Leslie. I appreciate your help.
I totally agree.
Even th pharisees saw Jesus as belzebulb.They almost stoned marry to death with clear evedience of funication. This same outright conclusion and condemnation on people almost made Ananias to reject the conversion of paul even at the lord’s bidding. I Hate outright condemnation and those who think they can lecture others this way. Christ was crusified with two thieves,one got converted before he gave up. i love u in the lord my sister and woun’t condemn u for this blog, my concern is conclusions and condemnation. It blocks people’s hearts, build a wall of prejudice, gives people no room to pray for ‘evil’ people, discern in the spirit and look at their own faults. PROVE in ur blogs that u are not hurt in some ways and that u ve been thought by our meek and gracious lord jesus who modeled a pattern for us. i ve gone tru this expirience where an insecured pastor thought me a traitor because i did not yeild to her controling me on every thing including personal legitmate choices. but she later regreated it.
Some people are born evil (see Psalm 58:3-5). They are of the Serpent (Satan see Genesis 3:15). Certain of the Pharisees and Saducees were of this line of hybrids. This why Jesus, Who speaks NO IDLE WORDS called them a “brood of VIPERS.” These wicked ones are referred to in secular psychology as Narcissists/Psychopaths/Sociopaths/Cluster Bs. They have been scientifically proven to have a different brain structure. They are NOT THE SAME as those of us with a conscience (sons of Adam and Eve). Eve was ashamed in the Garden not because she at a piece of fruit. And Cain was not Adam’s son and is not listed in Adam’s geneology for a reason. “It is to the glory of God to CONCEAL a matter. It is the glory of KINGS to search it out.” Proverbs 25:2 Jesus gave you the parable of the wheat and the tares. Tares look like wheat but they are TOXIC. When Jesus explained the parable to His disciples He told them that the field was the WORLD (not just the “church”) and the wheat was sown by Him but the tares were sown by the Devil. Can’t get much plainer than that now can you? But everyone, esp those in the 501c3 govt “churches” want to skip all around this uncomfortable truth, because they really serve mammon and not the Truth (Jesus Jn 14:6). This is why we are infested with these PREDATORS and why they get away with their evil. Because mankind for the most part does not love the Truth. If they did, they would be aware of these predators amongst them and AVOID THEM LIKE THE PLAGUE THAT THEY ARE instead of sitting on pews and listening to them or going off to wars and fighting and dieing for them or borrowing money at extortion rates of USARY from them. Society is controlled by these vermin. God said that Pharoah in the Old Testament was a vessel of wrath. Now you know why. Because he was not one of God’s creation but of his father Satan. Same goes for all these wicked narcopaths and they are EVERYWHERE and you do not have to be a churchian for them to attack you. All you have to do is be a son of Adam and Eve with a HUMAN CONSCIENCE and you will be attacked. Everyone needs to believe in Jesus, I’m not saying that’s not the case but evil attacks that which is not of it and humans are only half brothers and sisters of these wicked beasts that have intermingled themselves among us and are trying to breed us into extinction. Truth is harsh and it hurts but it’s still the Truth.
This is incredibly profound. I have not seen anyone else in Christian circles name ‘evil’ for what it really is. I have sent to my church counselor and elder in the hopes that they will have eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to know what is true. I only wish more churches would have this wisdom to see the difference between “normal sinners” and truly evil people. Thank you for speaking truth so boldly!
reblogged on http://www.divorcinganarcissist.net
My daughter in lawn thinks she is a prophet. SHe is in control of my son and my grandchildren.. She believes in the lord and is ministering to people off the street and I she has been for over a year now, saying she hears Gods voice audibly. We are concerned for my grandchild and my son. You can even talk to him…he twists everying that we refer to in the bible. Im tired of walking on fear ….and eggshells. We tried to talk to them and they got angry and cut us off for months. because of the grandkids we begged for months for them to forgive us so we could see the kids. They said only if we let them Deliver us.. we did that and we have communication but it continues…a of my family members tried to reach my son but he was told by her NOT to reply. Now I cant even show the great grandparents, my parents or ANYONE on my sons side of the family a picture of the kids. Im feeling very much like evil is in this …but we want and beleibe a line of communication is needed..so we continue to try to get along…but we do not think we deserved to be cut off…now my family is being treated cruely. I have prayed in depth about this. Help!!!
I found this article after faithfully praying concerning my mother, and it is point on. I am coming to the conclusion that God knows and that is all that matters. He sees in secret and He knows the heart, mind and intent of every person. Therefore, I do not need to continue justifying myself to her “fans”. I am considering moving out of state, as she wants nothing from me except a false public display; but no private relationship at all. Thank God for leading me to these pearls of godly wisdom.
Judy, my son inlaw is the first ive ever known that changed. He and his wife divorced for 2 years. He was miserable living alone and had wrecked his personal life. He kept coming towards her and she kept refusing. Finally he agreed to help her build a wood shed altho she didn’t really want him there. She tripped over a saw and fell very adequately and ended up with two broken wrists. She could do nothing for herself. He stepped in and served her humbly, it was amazing to watch. This is a God story. She says God broke her pride thru breaking her wrists and made her willing to try again. He still has issues but he is so happy to be with his family he listens to his wives boundaries. She attends counseling regularly to get the counsel she needs. I just want to say there is not a trick that has to happen. Most abusers will not change. This was just a flat out MIRACLE!!!! They have been together a year now, and the whole family (4 children) have been restored and reconciled.
Not adequately but awkwardly
KC- you asked me to elaborate.
My daughter divorced her husband and 2 years went by and he went through a lot of personal pain and was all alone. My daughter couldn’t stand to be anywhere near him. But he kep persisting. No words would have changed her mind. He came over to help her build a wood shed, which was a surprise she’d even let him on the property. She had s freak accident tripping on a saw and broke both wrists. To this day she says this was her MIRACLE. He served her like he never had as she couldn’t do anything for herself . It was his attitude and behavior that had changed that he would go they such lengths to help her survive this very difficult time. His misery of having to be alone for those 2 years showed him how off his priorities had been/- and he chose to change. He still has some issues but he listens now and responds willingly. She did some changing too, she talks about God dealing with her pride thru the accident. But mostly it was his decision to be a family man instead of a me-first narcissist. My daughter has very strict boundaries to protect herself from his past mistakes- but each day they seem to be growing closer together.
I think the main points of this story are :
A. He didn’t try to convince her he had really changed; he did it by actions and showed her, his change was for real.
B. It’s not like all his issues went away. As they pop up – he is aware it is his responsibility to work his stuff out himself. She does not do the work for him.
But all of this came from a changed, desperate heart, that wanted a chance to prove how much he loved his family, and he was willing to learn the things he yet, did not know.
This situation describes my wife…..of. 36 yrs,.I and my three adult children had an intervention many years ago ( I started separation when there was no response), but I bailed when I realized separation would probably mean there’d be a divorce.
Now I just tolerate the ongoing mistrust, verbal attacks and accusations. I’m instructed after all to live her and abide with her in an understanding way. I know that sounds sarcastic, but I don’t know of another way. Please pray for me, us
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I would like to hear feed back on my situation. I already entered it once but I never saw it posted on this.
I have a family person that I believe has an evil heart. Says God speaks to her daily and she controls my son and the family because SHE hears from God. My son is wrapped in it so deeply that he truly believes she is of God….she has cut off my sons entire family because when she cut myhusband and I off of our grandkids , I fell apart, which of course upset my family. My sister and my father tried to call my son. they did speak angry words on the voice mail they left him and my sister sent them an email with was really rude but I think it needed to be said. She never thinkgs she is wrong….because Jesus tells her ….using him for her guide, I think they do twist the bible to fit their beleifs and I am greatly saddened because there is a 1 yr old child and a 10 yrd old child caught up in this meaness. They said they forgive but that my family has to come to them for deliverance….its sounds so sick to me…ideas??
Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. Trust in Him and He will make your paths straight.
I dealt with an evil ex wife for many years. God guided me and protected me and my children. They are with me and she is still evil and they know it. Fortunately, yet in some ways unfortunately they do not and is not around her.
Thank you RIck for responding. Its extremely horrific for us. God has been working with us and through us to try to plant small seeds into my son and his wife…we are praying and trying very hard. There are baby steps that are beginning to happen in a more positive direction….and I thank GOD for that. He has protected my granddaughter and my son ….and us. I had to and still have to try to let go and Let GOD. I feel him working in this its just been a long, long, weary, sad journey and we are not finished by any means…but I know GOD is in control and at work. I just know that!! I hope things get better for you and your children…this type of emotional abuse or evil is so emotionally tormenting and difficult that as you said…Don’t even TRY to understand it…just let the God we love take it…its very hard….I understand…its effecting my grandchildren as well….but God is at work. You are so kind reply…it felt nice to have some one finally respond and somewhat relate to the horror of living and trying to love someone with an evil heart which I do believe she still has
Thank you Mary. Amen! The lives of my children and myself are getting better each day. God is good all the time. Keep your faith strong and keep turning to His word. In His time and His way, He will answer your prayers. Though you are weary, that’s when God works His best.
Congratulations. You did the right thing. Our good Lord would not want you to remain in a situation like that. Jesus spreads love and kindness. He definitely is a perfect example of someone who ‘talked the talk’ but didn’t ‘walk the walk’. I went through a similar situation with my now ex wife. After so long of her abusing us all, our good Lord help us get out of the horrible situation. Now my kids and I live if peace, love and harmony with our normal disruptions from me, my 19, 14 and 11 year old kids. I love them dearly and they love me. In less than a year after I got her out of our lives because of her evil ways we all truly see how bad it was and are so happy not to be in that place of total chaos. Though I am in financial struggles, our Lord has seen us through and works miracle after miracle. I praise God for what He has done for us. In time (if not already) you too will find peace again.
cuatro Esto es sólo un recordatorio de que la fecha límite para entrar en nuestros
resultados resuelven-a-Spell es de 3 días a partir de ahora de la
medianoche! Si usted ha estado pensando acerca de la presentación de estos
artículos o no ha presentado sus datos todavía, o no se ha de proveer este
elemento necesario para su trabajo, o que se haya comunicado a otro médico por
su respuesta de apoyo antes de que sea demasiado tarde, no hay tiempo como
el actual. Vamos a recoger todas las grabaciones en una especie de ”
consultor santuario ‘, así que tenlo en cuenta, escribir volveré seguro porque
amo a todos mis clientes tanto y un poco de palabra al sabio es suficiente. para
que yo pueda hacer que su deseo del corazón concedido, ningún cuerpo viene
a mi santuario en busca de ayuda, sin resultado, mis obras y el resultado habla
por mí, estoy esperando saber de usted, gracias
So, I eloped way too quickly to a woman that talked a good game but unfortunately meets all of these criteria. She professed to be a spiritual woman, but has since proven otherwise.
Can I ask, have you personally witnessed anyone actually turning their life around because of divine intervention, or is this a waste of prayer?
We are divorced now because of me separating, and I feel like God is telling me He is working, and I get emails for standing, but I kind of feel like Thank God it is over, yet guilty for it, like God brought us together for a reason. I ask for signs to “stand” and get them, but is it my own imagination & coincidence, or is it God?
I have witnessed impossible miracles happen in my life from praying and having this same “gut feeling”, yet clinical facts say, as well as all pastors, counselors and Christian friends, that God helped me dodge a bullet and she will NEVEFR change.
It depends on how you define “divine intervention.” I prayed for 23 years that God would show me why my h treated me and our kids so badly even though he took us to church every sunday and highlighted his bible. God led me to websites like Leslie’s and a few others and I started learning and understanding what I was dealing with, and it had little to do with me. In fact, my continued “submission” and allowing his abuse to continue actually kept him from having to be accountable. So I finally figured out I had to set boundaries, which were not accepted. So I set stronger ones. Which were not respected. So I finally removed myself. Which got his attention. He HAS since (over the course of 3 years, mind you) stopped trying to “win me back” and is actually getting help for his OCPD. I have seen huge changes in him, consistent changes, changes in his thinking not just his actions, so yes, I believe people CAN change, but in my experience in learning about so many stories like mine, it is rare. Is it divine intervention? For me and my kids, absolutely. God showed me, I learned and took action.
I’ve been struggling ask these years to understand how my ex could ask Christ into his heart, yet continue to abuse and misuse his family.
After 14 years of this, I found my way out, praise God, but still pray for him to turn back to God…for his children’s sake. I figured that someone couldn’t fake becoming a believer, but boy was I ever wrong. Now, I understand that I was married to an evil heart. How profoundly sad that is, but only for him.
I am so happy and at peace now, and my faith walk is so much deeper….and I am now married to a wonderful Christian man!!! There are happy endings
Thank you Leslie, for answering a question that has truly been weighing on my mind
Awesome! I continue praying for my ex wife who has chosen the evil path. Maybe someday God will bring into my presence a truly God filled woman. I’ll wait because whatever He has planned; I trust Him.
I believe there is nothing wrong with hoping she will surrender her life to Christ, but as others have told you, I agree too. The chances are slim. I believe God wants you/us to move forward believing and trusting Him. We don’t know ‘exactly’ what He has in store for any of us but as a believe we do know it will be good. I recommend moving onward, pray for her and keep your trust in Him strong and focused on Him, not on what you personally want.
Thank you Rick!! I pray for you and your children. You are so kind to respond…this is extremely bizaare and I try every day to stay with Jesus.
He is the only way to survive all this.
Heather, yes my daughter kicked him out. They were divorced for two years which was very much needed. The Lord brought them back together after major repentance and transformation. They are very happy today.
Not even worth my time answering this one. God is definitely not the center of any of these peoples lives. Destruction is imminent.
Hi Lily thanks for your comments I agree that God holds us responsible for our hearts and urges us in Scripture not to harden our hearts. I also believe that God works supernaturally and sovereignly through prayer to bring brokenness and repentance to very hard hearts and I am living proof. I married my husband in my thirties after a radical life-changing encounter with Jesus 18 months earlier. I had spent 17 years running away from God, I was totally out of control as a teenager got into hard drugs, became an alcoholic, used people without remorse. All of Leslie’s descriptions of an evil heart described me totally. I became successful in business but couldn’t beat my addictions, was a ruthless person in relationships and only cared about money and my own happiness. Had multiple boyfriends, couldn’t commit or be faithful, controlled and manipulated everybody and blamed everyone else for my issues. My parents prayed and believed God to change me, they didn’t give up even though my nature remained unchanged and I went from bad to worse year after year. At 43 kilos addicted to hard drugs and living a crazy life God spoke to me very powerfully and forcefully in a nite club and He asked me to choose between life or death. He shook me out of my fantasy and opened my eyes to reality, I chose life but I didn’t want to bend my knee to Him because my heart was hard and I loved my sin. He didn’t give up on me over the next 3 years and brought this prodigal eventually to the pig pen where everything I built my life on crashed. In despair, suicidal, broken I still would not bend my knee or go to church because I did not want to surrender my life to Jesus. I was invited to the Passion of Christ movie, I thought I was safe from God because He could only find me in a church . During the movie the Holy Spirit revealed Jesus to me and opened my blind eyes to see how much Jesus loves me, I wept and wept and even though the last thing I ever wanted to do was be a christian I couldnt resist His love. My hard angry heart was totally broken over my sin and I gave my whole life to Jesus and walked out of the movie theatre a totally new person. I have a new heart and a new spirit, I am a new creation and I would never dream of doing any of those things again from my past. My husband has treated me like I used to treat other people. When I asked Jesus what to do He told me to love my husband the same way that Jesus has loved me He told me that He is going to heal my husband and to remember Saul on Damascus Road. What Jesus did for me and for Saul “(still drawing his breath hard from threatening and murderous desire against the disciples)” Acts 9:1 God can do for my husband. I believe Him and I don’t understand the mystery of how it all works but I believe in supernatural transformation and change through the breaking down of demonic strongholds through prayer and belief in Jesus Christ. He will do it, He did it for me.
how do you know the difference between an evil heart and Asperger in a person
I have read this article before but then received it in my email the other day from Crossroads I believe. So unfortunately I was trying to explain it to my narcissistic husband and he got very upset with me of course.
He knows sometimes that I believe he is evil or a wolf in sheep’s clothing many times. But I am so sorry that we got on the subject of evil and wicked people He never read the article yet but now I am feeling so absolutely guilty that I even brought this up to him! He got so angry with me the other morning and ranting at me before he left for work and then I got the silent treatment when he returned home which is ok actually for awhile to
me but why am I feeling so bad that I have accused him as being evil when he did meet the criteria! Like how would I feel if someone said that about me?? Probably think it was funny though I guess.
It really will bring change in my life and marital relationship with my wife, children, friends and neighbors. This will guide me to be in good relationship with God and read the bible and follow christianity.
My Husband says he is a Christian,yet he says horrible things to me he accuses me of doing things that I don’t do.he mentally abuses me, yet puts on a Christian act around others. He does things then acusses me of doing it. I’ve been married 34 years and don’t no how much more I can take of this treatment I don’t no how to deal with such a evil person.
I have a horrible marriage. My husband claims to be a Christian but puts all his energy into work. He shows me no love or cares nothing for my feelings. Sometimes he seems to but is not consistent. He never touches me or shows me love no matter how much I ask. I pray and pray. He gets stubborn and prideful when I try to get him to lead me and love me as Christ loved the church. We have been together for 33 years and it’s very lonely. I cry just about every day. We recently had a big fight where he got extremely angry. He called me names and then he pushed me very hard and I hit the floor and broke my leg. He has denied that he did that. He gaslights me all the time. I love him but all he does is hurt me. I keep hoping and praying that things will get better but not sure they ever will.
I was a Christian Counselor for 2 years with my Masters in Marriage and Family Counseling. I too was in a relationship with an abusive wife for 19 years. Her violence continued to increase shortly after our marriage. We had 3 children together even though I was against it. I was at fault there since I knew in my heart what they would probably be dealing with as they continued to grow and mature yet I had hope it would get better and she would surrender her life to Jesus Christ. She was a raging alcoholic from the beginning yet my blinders did not see it for a year or so. The battles were intense and she was physically violent with me. For many years I felt so sorry for my children and prayed for guidance. He guided me! The Lord kept me in it after she attempted to divorce me twice on false charges. After she was found lying in court every time, I had the upper hand. I could have won a divorce from her, however (as strange as it sounds) the Lord said not yet. If I would have divorced her any of the 2 times before: custody of our children would have been split (which would have been awful for them) and I would have had to pay alimony and child support even though she was at fault. Fortunately, the courts have changed since that time. One morning after another raging fit, she said maybe we should get a divorce and I immediately agreed. The children always stayed with me and no one had to pay child support or alimony. The best advice I can recommend is to save yourself and divorce him now. The Lord does not want you to be in a relationship like that. Continue praying for him, but get out! Study the Bible and you will see.