Hey Friends,

I’m heading to Italy this week for a much needed vacation. I’ve never been there before so I’m really looking forward to it. Martha, my assistant will be monitoring the blog while I’m gone.

We had an overwhelming response to the launch of my new group CONQUER. If you’re interested in a monthly support group where you will receive two teaching video’s from me (with handouts) plus an on-line support group and a 90 minute group phone call with me each month – all for less than two Starbuck’s coffee’s a week, click here. This is a Charter Membership price and won’t last long.

This week’s question: I so enjoyed your book, How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong, I want to read it over again and pray and meditate on some of the truths you wrote. However, in reading the book and praying I’ve been a little confused. I’ve also been doing a bible study on the Wife of Noble Character. I am learning how to handle myself when my husband is sarcastic or short tempered: but where I have found it difficult is if he says something to me that is really hurtful and mean, or when I catch him in a lie. For example, he was out of town when his cell phone accidently dialed home and when I asked him where he was, he told me he was in his hotel room when he was really with his coworkers at a bar. He apologized later but I fear it can’t be the first time he has lied. Also when I forgive him for instances like these, and even bigger things like when he’s been verbally abusive towards me, it’s hard to be intimate and I really don’t know how to respond.

My question is what would natural consequences be for lying and being verbally abusive towards me? How do I respond besides saying, “You will not talk with me that way” or “I deserve to be told the truth and it’s important for me to trust you.”

He’s a good father and good man in so many ways, but it’s times like these I just don’t know what to do.

Answer: You are on the right track by attending to your relationship with God and to your own responses rather than trying to change your husband. But one of the things that you identify that is greatly impacted by your husband’s behavior is your ability to trust him and your desire to be intimate. Honey, those ARE the natural consequences for what is happening in your relationship.

It still surprises me that people fail to understand a simple Biblical concept. The apostle Paul says “what we sow, we reap.” (Galatians 6:7). In other words, your husband cannot lie to you and verbally abuse you, and continue to expect that your marriage will thrive, feel close, warm and intimate. That’s like stomping on my flower garden and still expecting flowers to grow or showing up late for work and still expecting my boss will give me a promotion and raise.

It doesn’t happen that way. Your husband might be a great guy 75% of the time, but what about the other 25% or even 10%? What’s that negative time doing to the stability and health of your marriage and family life? If I stop on some of my plants only one time, they’re finished blooming. That’s it.

Please don’t misunderstand what I’m trying to say. No marriage has 100% great times.

There is no perfect husband or wife and so there is sin and suffering in every marriage. But how those difficult times are dealt with and repaired makes all the difference in the health and well-being of the marital relationship. (Tweet this)

It sounds like you’re trying hard to do your part to not overreact, return evil for evil, or treat your husband disrespectfully just because he treats you that way. However, if he continues to lie and/or verbally abuse you, his actions are just as destructive to the health of your marriage as swinging an axe into your bedroom walls would be to your physical home. Acting that way causes damage and it takes time to repair it. The more often it happens the harder it is to keep fixing it.

So your next step is to have an honest talk with him about what’s going on. Perhaps he isn’t connecting the dots but for the welfare of your marriage and yourself, you must now connect them for him. I love the Hebrew word ezer in the scriptures that traditionally has been translated for women as “helpmeet.”  Helpmeet is not the best translation of ezer because it doesn’t convey the true strength of the role given to women. Carolyn Custis James, in her insightful book, Lost Women of the Bible writes, “The ezer is a warrior, and this has far reaching implications for women, not only in marriage, but in every relationship, season, and walk of life.” She says, “Eve and all her daughters are ezers – strong warriors who stand alongside their brothers in the battle for God’s kingdom.”

I want you to gear up for battle through prayer. You are an ezer for your husband and your family. Paul tells us God gives us power to demolish strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4). Next, you are going to prepare your heart to have a hard (not harsh) talk with your husband about what’s going on and the consequences to your marriage when he chooses to lie and verbally abuse you. Jesus says we prepare for these kinds of hard talks by taking the log out of our own eye before we try to remove the speck from our brother’s eye (Matthew 7:3). So deal with your anger, face your fear, see if there is any resentment or bitterness or whatever sin that is in you that Satan could use to confuse you and twist things around.

Next, as you’ve done this preparation, you’ll have a humble and gentle heart which is the one most likely to be heard. Humility doesn’t mean weak nor is it passive. Remember, you are an ezer and that means you are a strong warrior woman who is fighting for the integrity of her marriage and well-being of her husband. Plan your conversation so that your word choice reflects how his behaviors are hurting you, hurting the marriage, and hurting your ability to be intimate as well as trust him. For example you might say something like this:

“I love you. I want more than anything else to have a strong loving marriage and a great family life with you for as long as I live. However, I know you’ve noticed that I’m having trouble being intimate with you lately and I don’t trust you. None of us is perfect and I’m not expecting you to be perfect but I am asking you for the welfare of our relationship, to tell me the truth, even when you don’t think I’ll like it. I also need you to respect me, even when you’re angry. (be specific here with what he does that feels like abuse to you – whether that is name calling, cursing at you, etc).

“Lying to me and calling me names when you’re angry is not acceptable to me, even occasionally and I won’t continue to allow myself to be treated that way. I need you to know that if you choose to to act that way, it will negatively impact our marriage even more than it has already. I don’t want that to happen and that’s why I’m talking with you now. I want us to heal and thrive and be close, but it’s important that you understand something about me. I will never feel close to you if I can’t trust you or if I feel afraid (or disrespected by) of you. It’s just not possible for me.”

Then stop talking and wait for his response. If he agrees that he needs to change, then ask him what can you do to respectfully remind him of this new commitment when you’re fearing he’s lying again or he begins to talk disrespectfully to you (because no one changes overnight). This will be a good indicator of his desire to stop these destructive behaviors. When we’re truly repentant, we’re willing to be accountable for making the changes we say we will make.

Start there and see how it goes. If things deteriorate, I’d encourage you to get my other books, The Emotionally Destructive Relationship and The Emotionally Destructive Marriage. In them you will find specific resources and next steps.

Friends, what kinds of different consequences have you implemented when you are faced with similar situations in your marriage?

188 Comments

  1. Brenda on May 6, 2015 at 7:33 am

    Leslie,
    I hope you can enjoy Italy and not be distracted with work. We all need downtime to enjoy God’s creations and new places. At the end of the month I have slated a long weekend. It isn’t to a foreign country or a place that I haven’t been before, but being before school lets out and vacations traditionally start I am hoping for some quiet time with the Lord and clearer thinking.

    There were no consequences that worked on the xh. There was no talking in love as he was always louder and spoke over the top of me. There was no listening to my concerns. That did not change even after we separated. I pray that the one asking the question has a different outcome. As for me, I am embracing my singleness and the yoke being lifted.

    • Leslie Vernick on May 6, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      Thanks Brenda. I am going to try. Not even going to bring my computer. That will be a big change for me.

    • New pain on February 15, 2016 at 5:18 pm

      I have read more than 50 of these comments and replys. All of it is so sad. My husband tells me he needs sex because I am just too beautiful. But because of his constant deception and anger, it makes my skin crawl when he touches me.

      When I decline or am not as friendly, he too acts in anger or self pity. But there is never room for me to have anger about his lies, or self pity that I sleep with a man who doesn’t have my best interest at heart.

      Just so sad.

      • Leslie Vernick on February 16, 2016 at 7:03 pm

        Very sad and it’s still all about him.

  2. Emily on May 6, 2015 at 7:44 am

    How I wish this awesome counsel had been available to me 20 years ago. I was in a marriage where the trust was eroded away continuously from the beginning. I lived for many years in utter confusion as to why I couldn’t feel attracted to my husband anymore. It was as if all sexual desire vanished with each lie,deception and angry outbursts. Looking back it makes sense now but in the midst of it I felt pure guilt and blamed myself for feeling so hopelessly UN affectionate. What’s wrong with me I Kept asking myself – I don’t understand. It didn’t help that he had a secret sex addiction and had bi polar/ptsd that I was unaware of until The marriage was over. Adding insult to injury was the counsel from several pastors and even counselors insinuating that I was in Sin for withholding sex. Even when I tried to accommodate it was excruciatingly painful and caused scarring. The body knows and will sometimes cry out when we can’t find our voice. At least that’s how I understand it. Anyone else have similar experience?

    • Anne on May 6, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      Oh yes. Looking back over 25+ years, it’s getting clearer. I would inquire of him how he could possibly want to be intimate after he’d been so mean to me. [I know now that that question (wrongly) put the focus on him instead of on me.] I don’t even know if he was telling me the truth–sometimes I think he says things just to see my reaction as in the “WOW factor!”–to alarm me or to see how I will react. But he would respond my question by saying that he knows that most of the time I’m not interested in intimacy (for all the reasons you mention in your post), so in order for him to be prepared for my disinterest, he would be mean to me, so it would be OK with him if I didn’t want it. At the time I remember thinking how twisted his head was. I think there was possibly two things happening: 1. he was setting me up to want to say “no”, because he knew my tender conscience AND he would wield bible verses at me when I was not interested. I knew I could speak verses back to him, but I did not want to use God’s Word as a weapon like he did AND I did not want to retaliate, and 2. it gave me the impression that he really, really “needed” intimacy (in other words I thought he genuinely wanted intimacy—was it a lie or not—I’m still confused!) because of his maleness–and he had drilled it into me that it was my responsibility to meet that need no matter how I was treated. He used sex for all the wrong reasons, but he would not reason with me—ever. He would NEVER relent on his fastidiously-held belief that he opposed ANY type of contraception and I think it was so he could have unlimited sexual access. Between the ages of 34 & 42 we had four babies (thankful for every one!); I was exhausted and there was no reasoning with him. He threw a major hissy-fit after our last baby boy was born and after my post-natal doctor had inquired about contraception and stated that 100 years ago the only contraceptive they had was that the mother died. The atrocity now is that he won’t support the children we do have; he won’t work. I’m thankful for Leslie’s work.

    • Leslie Vernick on May 6, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      The body doesn’t lie.

  3. Survivor on May 6, 2015 at 7:56 am

    This is such a tough one!!! Over and over and over, I have had this conversation with my H and over and over again he has told me what I can say when he is exhibiting those behaviors (read: almost perfect response when confronted, and hope stirred), and over and over has refused to respond when he is upset and I say what he has instructed me to say (read: disappointment, discouragement and shattered hope). When he really is on the hot seat and facing dire consequences, his act gets really cleaned up and he is excessively attentive and convinces me that he has changed. Then, when consequences recede and things return to normal, so does he. Now, he is supposedly working so much harder and making REAL change. How can I know if the change IS, in fact, real?? All the normal indicators have been there before when the change wasn’t real. Is it possible to EVER be sure that someone like this is truly changed and be able to trust him??????

    • Leslie Vernick on May 6, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      Consistent change over time, plus a personal awareness when he is slipping or messing up indicates progress. Change is a marathon not a sprint.

  4. Brenda on May 6, 2015 at 8:24 am

    Survivor and Emily,
    For me, when trust is lost I have to then verify what I am feeling to be truth. When it happens over and over again, not too much else needs to be said. It is a façade, unreal, not truth. It is a game they play to keep us on the hamster wheel for a little while longer. When one game doesn’t work they go for another. I finally said, “I’m done”. After the separation and xh attempting to make me think my medications were making me leave him and many other things he did, I was done. It actually, took me years of saying I was done to walk out the door. I became more and more distant. I could not stand for him to touch me. Living alone is far better than living with an abuser. I finally chanced my phone number 2 weeks ago. That was the best $15 I ever spent. Brenda

    • Lisa on May 8, 2015 at 11:56 pm

      I feel this same way.

  5. Laura Di on May 6, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Ciao beIla Leslie, thank you for all you share to help me and others. Hoping you enjoy each moment of your most deserved vacation.

    A thought I’d loke to share is though the presence of God dwells with us always and everywhere we each go I must say my one trip to Italy years ago enlivened very strong feelings within as I visited and walked the same paths as the disciples, saints, and followers of Jesus did. I wish you a glorious God filled trip. May the spirit of all the followers of Jesus bless you too! Arrivederci!

    I also wish I could offer some valuable and successful tactics toward a solution to the posted issue. Sadly, for me there were no approaches incorporated in my battle against abusive behaviors that worked. Conversational appeals, letters, ( returned with red ink markings ), calm admonishments, apparent emotionally distressing responses ( manifestations due to abuse, stress related depression, developing health issues ) were all combined to alert my ex to the problem to no positive outcome. I do think I wasted too much time praying for the situation to change rather then asking God to work the changes within me that were most important.

    I like Brenda pray the person who originated this question will face a more positive outcome. May God place the Holy Spirit in every place she needs His protection.

    I would like to ask everyone who reads this blog to consider spending some extra time praying for one another and themselves too. If you are a mom Happy Mother’s Day and to all Happy Everyday! May we all be protected and guided by the Holy Spirit’s fruit letting the grace of God settle into our lives each and every moment.

    Yours in Christ,
    Laurie

    • Leslie Vernick on May 6, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      Thank you. Happy Mother’s Day to all as well.

  6. Shelly on May 6, 2015 at 9:24 am

    How should one respond when the h immediately throws back accusations of what the w has done and therefore, is not really listening to what is being said or trying to grasp what the h actions have caused. There is a time when the h should be able to share his feelings and hurts but not engage in a mud slinging event when the w inititates a conversation to discuss her feelings and hurts. How does one avoid this?

    • Robin on May 6, 2015 at 11:10 pm

      I deal with this one consistently. My h doesn’t want to hear though he’s beginning to selectively….which is also difficult and unreliable. Trouble continued and we are a slippery slope

    • Lynn M on May 10, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      I know what you mean. You raise a concern and he immediately fires back with “oh yeah, well you….” I would repeat my original sentence each time he answers back with something else — by my fourth or fifth repetition he would figure out what I was doing and stalk off. Honestly it felt like living with a 10 year old who just says “I know you are but what am I” every time you try to talk to him! I just finished reading the Lundy Bancroft book, and he says says these men will have dirt in their face and look in the mirror and instead of cleaning their face they will try to clean, then blame the mirror. ! (I wish I had a solution to offer, rather than just commentary. I never found the answer)

  7. […] I Don’t Trust My Husband, Should We Be Having Sex? […]

  8. R on May 6, 2015 at 11:09 am

    I share carbon copy concerns regarding each post here. Shelly, I, too, wonder the same things. How could I have responded differently? I tried the calm approach. The anger. The tears. The counseling. The heartfelt assertiveness. The pleading and begging. The “leaving-until-you-come-to-your-senses”. The honeymoon period returned every time and I thought now THIS time he gets it! Finally!! But NOTHING worked long term. Over the years, his negative behaviors just escalated. I have been seperated 3 years and living on my own. I am stuck in the questioning of what more I could have done to save our marriage…as if I could do that alone. I still care about him even though he was habitually verbally, emotionally and sometimes sexually and “slightly” physically abusive. I’m still clinging to hope that we could be the family with the turn-around story. What will it take for me to accept that it’s really over? The grief is overwhelming that we are just another statistic. Broken but leaning into my Savior.

    • Liz on May 6, 2015 at 5:12 pm

      Hugs to you R

      I really relate to your story. After 28 years I finally left but I couldn’t stop feeling guilty. After 2 years apart I went back home – now after another 4 years I’m barely making it. Yet I still ask the same questions what can I do to make it work.

      He still wants to be intimate but I really struggle to semi accommodate him every few weeks ( we are in separate rooms) just to make life bearable with him.

      In my head I understand that the relationship, trust etc have been so broken that it is – as Lesley said – not my fault because it is the ‘natural consequence’ of the behaviours, but as a ‘once Godly woman’ ( it’s hard to feel like that now) I still feel guilty inside.

      I applaud those on this blog who managed to leave and to move on – R I hope you find a way to do that for you

      My question is how can you discern between ‘sadness’ – and ‘bitterness’ – how can I tell if I’ve gone past the ‘natural consequences’ in the way I feel and behave and slipped into bitterness and unforgiveness. When the past abuse ( emotional, verbal, sexual and a little physical) still colours the ongoing abuse – ( which has lessened in severity but still there) ? Is there naturally a point from which you are SO BROKEN that you can’t be restored enough to have a sustainable marriage?

      • Ann on May 6, 2015 at 8:07 pm

        I would like to know this too.

        • Becca on May 6, 2015 at 9:38 pm

          If there is no repentance and long term change, there is no hope for reconciliation. The trust has been broken.

          I used to feel like a prostitute when I was with my husband. He pulled all the Scripture, etc. to try to get me to “submit” to his sexual needs. Even blamed menopause (which is not happening) for my lack of sexual interest.

          I finally started to listen to what my heart was telling me. When I stopped the sex, that was my first step towards freedom.

      • Phoenix on May 29, 2015 at 12:19 pm

        Liz: Nothing is so broken that it cannot heal, but you have to want to heal and you must do the work – whatever that is. Obviously you do, but the husband may not. So, can the same marriage be restored? Probably not. Can you heal? Absolutely, even if you feel right now that you cannot. I was suicidally depressed for 3 years, 1,000 days, and one day I decided I didn’t want to literally die for a man that did not even love me. So I stopped loving him. I healed. No therapist, just a choice. Now I have ups and downs, good days and sad days, but I am not suicidal nor depressed. Everything can be fixed, we may just not always get the fix we expected.

        Saddness and anger against evil (righteous anger) are very different from bitterness. Neither sadness nor righteous anger delight in harming others, bitterness does. Bitterness uses anger as its tool, its weapon against others. There is useful anger, though we are rarely taught that it exists.

        Do you hate him? Do you try to slander him? These are signs of bitterness. Or are you trying desperately to work things out in your own head and heart with a couple of close friends, perhaps a counselor or pastor? Do you have a spirit of malice (deliberate attempts to harm the other person), which signifies evil-mindedness or feelings of intense hatred? The qualities of a bitter person are: resentment, cynical, harsh, cold, relentless, and unpleasant to be around. If you have one of these or more, then bitterness has started to grow. If you are sad, hurt, angry at the injustice of it all – good for you, you should be! We are not to delight in evil nor in injustice, but as Christians to fight against it always. We are not to accept it nor are we to coexist with it; coexistence signifies acceptance and tolerance of it.

        According to a fairly decent article at: http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-bitterness.html
        “Bitterness is resentful cynicism that results in an intense antagonism or hostility towards others.” “In its figurative sense bitterness refers to a mental or emotional state that corrodes or “eats away at.” Bitterness can affect one experiencing profound grief or anything which acts on the mind in the way poison acts on the body. Bitterness is that state of mind which willfully holds on to angry feelings, ready to take offense, able to break out in anger at any moment.”

        http://cryingoutforjustice.com/2012/05/27/how-can-i-know-if-i-am-bitter-or-righteously-angry-by-jeff-crippen/ Paraphrasing Pastor Crippen: “If my anger is directed against the Lord, then it is not righteous anger. It is bitterness. Where bitterness exists, you can be sure that it is directed ultimately against the Lord, not just against those who have wronged us. Bitterness against the Lord always cools our devotion to Him. You have been abused by evil people. What has been done to you is horrible. Justice requires that vengeance be taken upon the wicked as long as they refuse Christ. It is not sin to pray for vindication and justice to be done. But, let us beware. If our anger is turned against the Lord, then we have crossed into unrighteousness ourselves and are on a dangerous path.”
        And one poster said: “Vindication comes from the Lord and LEADS to Him. Revenge comes from our own hearts and wants only to cast our pain upon the abuser, with no positive outcome for them.”

    • Leslie Vernick on May 6, 2015 at 9:21 pm

      So sad that women put the burden of maintaining, keeping, repairing and saving the marriage entirely on their shoulders. It’s an impossible burden to carry.

      • Betsy on July 23, 2015 at 7:42 am

        I am reading this in July….Leslie this is exactly what I do. Everyday I wake up wondering what I can do to fix my marriage and my husband so that he won’t leave. Makes me sick.

        Today we have counseling. I write down what is on my heart, then I am afraid to bring anything up because I have to come home to my husband ignoring me, giving me the cold shoulder, avoiding physical touch, rude responses when I ask questions, etc.

        Tomorrow he had knee surgery. My insurance covering it. Part of me wants to tell him to find another way to pay for this. The other part of me hopes that while he is home healing his heart will heal as well and he will appreciate me.

    • Phoenix on May 29, 2015 at 12:10 pm

      This observation is intended to be helpful, so if it isn’t please ignore it!
      For all reading: please note that it took years, YEARS to not fix something that cannot be fixed. Same for me, by the way – years wasted, years of my life that I can never get back! The logical conclusion might be to stop, and fix a different and assuredly better life for yourself that you can live and be fine with, maybe even happy with.

      Question for R: what exactly is it that you think you love about him? I have asked myself this very same and come to find out, I cannot list even one thing! His kindness? There is none. His compassion? There is none. His sense of humor? Only if HE makes the jokes, not me. His helpfulness? Nonexistent, he used to laugh and comment that he could watch me work all day. His tenderness? His caring and concern for me? None again; hitting me, beating our youngest, verbally abusing our oldest… How about his sense of responsibility? None. His willingness to be held accountable? None. He will not hold himself accountable for anything or to anyone, not even to God. (Good luck, I say!) Do I love how he is willing to sacrifice time and effort for my sake? I would if he ever did. How about togetherness? Ah yes, all those things we planned to do together and then never did; all the family plans he ‘changed his mind’ about at the very last minute, leaving me hanging. So I ask again – what do you love? For myself, I loved a lie, a fabrication, a fantasy acted out for my benefit in order to entrap me into a loveless marriage of slavery. Fool that I was, it worked – but only for a time, not forever. (Note: foolish can be changed, wisdom is hard-won but real.)

      Another statistic? Everyone is a statistic! There are so many, there are stats for married, for married more than once, for divorced and not remarried, for single. There are statistics for income, education level, for height and weight! Pick one or several, they are just words, and it’s just a number, and not everyone even agrees with what the numbers are! Do not let a silly number or a useless title define you; YOU are not a number, not a title, not a category. YOU are not a statistic, YOU are not your pain, not your suffering, not your marriage, not your situation. YOU are a whole person that God loves Just As You Are, right now, no matter what. Think about this, God loves you just as you are, no changes are necessary.

      Broken? You are not broken. You are still here. You are deeply wounded; broken is death. Jesus was broken for us, He died. This He did willingly, for us, out of obedience and love. It was a guarantee of death, and only Jesus could do this for us and rise again so we do not have to be broken.
      You are not broken, please do not view yourself that way, though you may indeed feel heartbroken. Who here has not? I sympathize and I would help if I knew how. Many are heartbroken, I also, but it is not the same as broken. Your heart will heal; get help, talk to close friends, read books on how to heal, search out other sites as well as this excellent one. Find what you think will work for you and do it. Do it all, one step at a time, or maybe two or three if you are up to it. As long as you breathe, you are not broken, only a part is and that part can heal fully, with more compassion and empathy and deeper understanding and wisdom than you had before because of what you have been through. It’s a terrible way to gain wisdom and tenderness of heart, but it comes anyway, as if it is somehow a reward that only those who weather such storms are awarded.
      God Bless You my Friend.

  9. Tina on May 6, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Sounds like my situation. I got the book How to act Right when your Spouse acts wrong, before we were even married, because signs I was seeing then were so out of control. Needless to say, I was convinced it was all me. Now divorced and trying to get well from all the destruction. I wish I had contacted Leslie when I got the book back in 1991. I do believe things would have been so different.

  10. Rachel on May 6, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    I feel for all of you women in this situation. Yet, I feel less alone having read of your experiences. My husband has always lied to me….I can not say that we have ever been through a significant period of time in which he has been honest about anything. I have tried all of the approaches and he acts as if he does not hear me and/or makes excuses. It has been over 2 years since we have been physically intimate in any way. Before that, things were sporadic…he would give me some attention and ‘win me over”, we would be intimate, and then within 2 days he would go back to coldness and lies for about 6 months at which time he would repeat this.(He made no attempt to even touch me in between) Finally I told him I couldn’t do this any more. I couldn’t handle it emotionally and there was absolutely no attraction to him after all of the dishonesty. Anyway…I am leaning on God heavily emotionally and looking ahead to my eternity to give me some peace for today; but it is so lonely. I am also struggling with how to deal with the “physical desires”. that seem to be escalating as I am approaching 40 (hormones???) Obviously, it is important to me to not sin; but this has been extremely hard for me in the last few months….Any tips on squelching the hormones?

    • Becca on May 6, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      First of all, you are normal!!! Many of us long to be held by a real man that is honest and trustworthy. To be held by someone that is safe, and to give yourself to him. You have been denied a real marriage for many years, because of his sin.

      You are not alone in this struggle. You were created to love and be loved. It will happen again someday with the right man.

      Personally, I will only be around men if there is another female with me.

  11. Marie on May 6, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    I so appreciate you Leslie and this forum you have created. It is so very helpful! This topic is close to heart as my husband and I have been discussing the sex topic. Several years ago I was seeing a female counselor through my church that told me men need a release every 48 hours so wasn’t abnormal that he would ask (demand) it that often. She new my past with sexual abuse and also admitted that yes my husband was emotionally abusive and very controlling only after I found Leslie’s book, The Emotionally Destructive Marriage. She told me that she had been trying to get me to see this for three years. I am still trying to sort through what my rights are compared to his but something he said last week brought me a little closer. He’s upset that I don’t want him physically and that he feels like he’s just a paycheck to me. I told him that I do understand and asked him to try to understand where I’m coming from. He was the first person I ever told about my past abuse and when he did certain things it reminded me of it and I asked him over and over not to do that. I was floored last year when he told the counselor I had never said anything like that. He went on to say that maybe he remembered something like that. I asked him if he could give me 30 days without asking or talking about sex. The counselor we saw had asked him the same thing and even pointed out that he felt like my h was sexually addicted to me and I was his toy. My h was not at all happy with my request (when the counselor mentioned this my he wouldn’t go back to him). I tried to reason with him and gave an example of physical therapy about how sometimes in the healing process you do things that are painful but they make you stronger in the end. He didn’t see the comparison. I told him that by having sex and not being able to deal with what has happened it made it even harder to trust him. I asked him if he could give me time, his answer was I just can’t go longer than a few days without sex, that’s how I’m made.
    Thank goodness I joined Conquer!

  12. Brenda on May 6, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Anne,

    II Thes 3:10b If anyone will not work, neither let him eat.

    I think that’s a pretty good boundary.

    Brenda

    • Robin on May 6, 2015 at 11:12 pm

      I asked many of the same questions many of you are asking now. I learned when you can no longer trust the person you are with, and he continues to do many things that are wounding you, it’s time for stronger boundaries and definite consequences for his poor and unhealthy choices. I viewed the videos on Leslie’s site and when I saw the one regarding having a sexual relationship when someone is abusing you, I stopped doing these things that he thought was his right. He was sinning against me, and I was in pain. And I was concerned about him and his sexual needs?? My divorce will be over in 6 weeks and I now live in freedom. Not disrespect nor verbal lashings. God is teaching me what healthy looks like. My 2nd Settlement Conference is next Tuesday. I would cover any and all prayers. My lawyer is asking for a large settlement after 32 years of severe emotional abuse. I pray God in all His Power and Might make this a day Justice wins. I want to encourage anyone in process. It’s hard, grueling, but worth it. Work thru your bitter spots, your sadness and loneliness and make it your aim to be whole, healthy, and complete in Christ. As this is true freedom.

  13. Lynn on May 6, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    I was told that the reason he got married was to have sex & that I was never to tell him no. He would rage & was physically abusive, but still expected to be intimate. He would not speak to me if I ever turned him down, especially on vacation. There is no way I could have had a normal conversation with him about it. He would have flown into a rage. I remained silent to keep the peace. I felt like a peace of meat & used for his pleasure. It was not about love, it was just about fulfilling his desires. So no! If he really loves you he will be willing to listen to you & treat you with respect! I stayed 27 years—way too long!

  14. Brenda on May 7, 2015 at 7:33 am

    Marie,
    Your h’s response that he can’t go without sex for more than a few days is such a lie. That’s how he is made? That is only in his mind. What he really wants is a fantasy wife, not a real one with feelings and needs of her own. I’ve lived that kind of life with xh. I cannot imagine going through all of that again. I have gone without sex for well over 2 years and sporadic before that and I usually felt used. It didn’t matter to him how I felt or that he was hurting me. Men seem to think they are entitled. THEY ARE NOT. Asking for 30 days is not eternity or an unreasonable request. A read a book a few years ago by a male author who said in his talks to young women, “you know what is going to happen to a young man that pressures you to have sex and says he will be harmed in some way if he doesn’t get it. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!” I believe that applies to any age group of men as well as women. I have found that being a once again single, celibate woman is a huge blessing. Brenda

  15. Listening Ear on May 7, 2015 at 7:41 am

    ;A few years ago God led me to Jan Silvilious’ book
    Foolproofing Your Life

    Good read and she addresses the sexual issues in an abusive marriage

    • Robin on May 7, 2015 at 12:33 pm

      One of the most important things I wish I would have learned earlier in my very destructive relationship was– abused women tend to focus on what their abusive husbands say and need. That becomes THEIR REALITY. A healthy woman does not focus merely on husbands words as gospel, but realizes for a healthy relationship to be built and nurtured and maintained both spouses must equally care about what the other needs. Why do Christian women in particular think it’s up to us to make it work so we don’t let them reap what they sow?? If I was to do it over again and more effectively I would choose to allow the consequences to fall where they may– and perhaps preserve my health– and my true self. Then possibly, the relationship might heal and there could be a wonderful sexual Union.
      But w/o consequences for poor choices if we continue to allow him sex and whatever else he demands- it’s like a toddler screaming and throwing a fit. They simply learn when they are ready to change their behavior they will be closer to receiving what they say they need!!!!

      • Becca on May 7, 2015 at 6:35 pm

        Wish I would have read your post about 2 decades ago. Those are wise words that are worth repeating.

        • Robin on May 7, 2015 at 10:42 pm

          Thank you Becca, but I went thru some very hard times learning these lessons– about 32 years of living in a very abusive environment. I had to work very hard to come up with this wisdom so do t think you’re alone wishing you would have heard this sooner. Abuse is do tricky and sneaky and deceiving. How can we just know these things?? What we can do is our part to live healthier with good boundaries and hopefully we will be able to leave a healthier legacy for the next generations !!!

      • Betsy on July 23, 2015 at 7:52 am

        Robin…I have believed that WHATEVER my husband said was the gospel…when he criticizes me, shuns me, ignores and doesn’t respond to me, tells me he feels sick after being sexual to me….I believe him and immediately take full responsibility as being damaged goods. How sad.

  16. Lisa on May 7, 2015 at 9:29 am

    The double messages—saying he loved me, buying cards & gifts and then angry outbursts, blaming, ignoring, jealousy, shunning, having sex when he wanted it, but turning/shoving me away when I wanted it, denying help and comfort in traumatic situations, him flirting with women in person and in emails—and my gut says he has had sex outside the marriage, and some physical abuse started right after the wedding.

    The mental, verbal, emotional abuse were always present, not everyday, but were throughout each month. Physical abuse was a hand full of times—but each time was an escalation of it). The turmoil of fear, confusion, and broken heart fueled panic attacks that began 6 months into the marriage and lasted 20 years.

    All this heartache made me less and less attracted to him. I would force myself to try and have sex more regularly, but that would lead to ‘we should have sex even this many more times a week’ and then he’d want to increase the frequency even more. He proudly told a counselor he has “a stronger sex drive than most men” to which the counselor said, “No ya don’t.”

    He rarely spent one on one time with me; he preferred the company of those at work and who knows who else. I tried getting us to do things together and suggested I help him on a project for work. I was trying to build a foundation of mutual respect and closeness so that sex wasn’t just “having sex”. When we finished the project he took me to his office and wanted me—-to me have sex with him. I wanted to build relationship–he didn’t want to invest any significant time and effort. He just wanted to hurry up, finish the project, because all he really wanted was the sex. And it was at a time and place where other employees where walking right past his office on a consistent basis. I didn’t do it, the whole thing turned my stomach and made me feel like trash. No matter how hard I tried to do things better he
    NEVER was sorry/repented for the abuse and it got to the point of making my skin crawl if he wanted sex.

    We spent most of the marriage in counseling– they were “fishing expeditions” for him to use my weaknesses against me. He managed to keep the spotlight off himself.

    A counselor led me to a book that opened my eyes wide open! Finally the pieces fell into place and I began having boundaries.

    A few years later my health came crashing down and we began sleeping in separate bedrooms. Then the last straw came when I caught him being mean to an elderly family member. It was so shocking what I witnessed that I shut down completely. I stopped communicating unless it had to do with the kids. 5 years ago he began financially abusing me as well.

    This marriage(?) has been the loneliest and body, mind, and heart destroying thing ever!

    Now I’m way past an age to be hired for a job, my health is very bad, and I do not smile at the future.

  17. Maria on May 7, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Leslie, I have a question- how does 1cor7:5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control apply here? If a woman refuses to have sex with her husband, isn’t she going against this verse?

  18. Brenda on May 7, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Lisa,
    Never say never. Does your state have alimony? It may be worth your time and your health to check into it. Praying for you. I was working when I left so that was not an issue. My health is not better, but at least I can relax and feel free.

    Brenda

    • Lisa on May 7, 2015 at 6:14 pm

      Hi Brenda,

      No alimony here. Only temp support for 6 months and then you’re on your own.

  19. Brenda on May 7, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Maria,
    Paul was speaking in this book regarding specific issues in the church of Corinth. These were people that were both devoted to Jesus Christ and the church. Is that representative of your marriage? I know it wasn’t mine.

    The people in the church at that time were thinking they should not have physical relations at all because it would keep their minds from prayer and God. That was not what He had in mind. Sex is a gift to the marriage relationship.

    If you cannot trust your h because of the things he has done, the marriage covenant is broken. If you feel you are being forced, how is that a gift? Gifts should be pleasurable and given freely. Are you going to get any pleasure out of intimacy at this point, or is going to be all for him?

    When reading the Bible I have come to realize that the audience is important to the text. Do you think that Jesus would say that your h is entitled to physical intimacy while he continues to mistreat you? I don’t see Jesus that way at all. I see Him as gentle and kind.

    Scripture can not only be used against us, often we use it against ourselves.

  20. Brenda on May 7, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    I am sorry to hear that Lisa.

  21. Heather C on May 7, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    Leslie,
    Thank you for this blog and your many books. I stumbled across you on a Google search….one I wish I had found years ago!
    I have been married sixteen years and have 3 children with my husband. We have always had certain issues in our marriage and in January of this year I decided enough was enough. It was only through the past 3 months of counseling that I have finally felt validated in my concerns about our unhealthy relationship and like I wasn’t crazy or just hormonal…which is what my husband had told me in the past. After 16 years of marriage so many things have been done and said I wonder if we can ever be in a healthy relationship…especially if he doesn’t see the emotional abuse for what it is and take responsibility for his actions. I love my husband but he has basically told me it is up to me if our marriage is reconciled…which I feel is unfair and proof of his lack of concern for me. However he has only been to see a counselor one time and I am praying he continues to go. The hardest thing right now for me is resisting his sexual advances…we are separated but he still comes to the marital home to see the children who are all under 16. How do I explain to him without offending him that sex is out of the question? ?

    • Anne on May 8, 2015 at 9:26 am

      Even if (IF!!!) it were craziness or hormones, all the more reason for CONCERN for you. But we all know that is not the motive. I didn’t get this until “meeting” Leslie.

    • Shellie on May 8, 2015 at 2:21 pm

      Hi Heather,

      I too have been married 16 years and have 3 children under 16. Much of what you wrote I can relate to. I’ve been recovering from my unhealthy marriage for several years now and love this online community! I’m glad you’ve found us; you are not alone. I am also grateful you have found counseling, where your concerns have finally been validated and you are beginning to heal from your unhealthy relationship.

      I think you are headed in the right direction. I especially like that you recognize that a healthy (intimate) marriage is not possible “if he doesn’t see the emotional abuse for what it is and take responsibility for his actions.”

      Honestly, Heather, when I’ve tried to explain hard things (yet good and right things) to avoid “offending” my spouse, what I was really trying to do was avoid experiencing his reaction to not getting what he wants. In other words, his reaction would not be what I wanted, so I was trying to think of ways to say what needed to be said AND still guarantee a pleasant reaction. In truth, I was trying to find a way to manipulate what I was saying in order to get a desired response. I was unhealthy in this subtle way. This may not be the case for you.

      To answer your question, there IS a way to explain to him that sex is out of the question – in a gentle, yet firm way. However, I DO NOT think you will avoid offending him. Most likely, he will want to have sex with you, so saying “no” will not please him. But that doesn’t mean you’ve offended him or are doing something wrong. You would not be responsible for his reaction. By setting this boundary, you are being honest and taking care of yourself. However, I think it is important for you to be prepared for (and expect) an unpleasant, negative or resistant response to the boundary that sex is out of the question. This is typical.

      One of the ways I’ve shared this particular boundary with my spouse is by saying: “It is not healthy for me nor honoring to you if I engage in sex that I do not want. I believe God designed sex to be an expression of connection – to express intimacy, not create intimacy. If I’m not connected to you, I’m not having sex. Why? Because I want to have healthy sex God’s way – out of a place of authentic intimacy. That is, intimacy where trust, honesty, vulnerability and transparency are already present. Then, our sex will be beautiful and honoring to both Him and us. If I have sex when I don’t want to, I’m being dishonest. Thus, I am continuing my unhealthy participation in this unhealthy marriage. That path leads to destruction. I’ve lived that. I do not want that. I hope you wouldn’t either. I am seeking the help I need to be a healthy spouse because I want a healthy, God-honoring, marriage. That’s what I want. I hope you would too.”

      My spouse didn’t respond well to that. He got angry and continued to respond in unhealthy ways (passive-aggressive behaviors). And… I needed to see that: His unhealthy response proved just how important it is that I set boundaries. His anger used to evoke fear in me, fear that would hinder me from speaking the truth, from being honest with myself and him, and from taking care of myself. …Used to…

      I have committed the rest of my life to recovery – to healing and thriving. In order to begin, I had to start doing things “real different.” And it works!

      Today, I’ve grown in courage (and in grace). I’m able to set boundaries and stick by them. And it is bearing much fruit in my life, my children’s lives, and in his life too. Whether he knows it or not; whether I see it or not…God is at work.

      To sum it up in the words of Leslie Vernick, “I will no longer participate in the delusion that what my spouse is doing is ok.” But, if I have sex with him that is dishonest and disconnected, I am doing just that.

      These truths and more are what give me the courage to say the “hard things,” set healthy boundaries, AND not take responsibility for his reaction.

      At the least, I hope you are encouraged to know you are not alone in this journey. I am praying for you.

      • Sandy on May 8, 2015 at 6:01 pm

        Thanks for sharing Shellie. Very encouraging!
        Especially that the outcome of your boundary setting is producing fruit in your life, the children, and his!
        You must surely be connected to the right vine!! 🙂

        • Shellie on May 8, 2015 at 6:26 pm

          Oh Sandy! I’m so glad my life can be encouraging!! For so many years I had desperately needed encouragement and hope. Today, I do have that. I can say that I’m living more fully and free, with more love and grace, beyond my comprehension or doing. And what’s really crazy about that, is that my peace has nothing to do with my circumstances – quite the contrary actually. Sandy, today, I’m glad I can give what I’ve received so I can keep what I’ve gotten. Thanks for encouraging me!

          • Trying on July 11, 2015 at 1:11 pm

            Sheila, Wow, thank you so much. Your words are just perfection so very helpful! I wish I could sit down to coffee with some of you, oh what a blessing that would be. Thankful for this forum



          • Trying on July 11, 2015 at 1:14 pm

            Maybe Leslie Vernick Meetup group is in order! Women in various locations could find each other for support and fellowship. Anyone can create one Meetup.com 🙂



          • trying on July 11, 2015 at 3:05 pm

            Shellie,
            I too, fear his angry responses (not ever physical abuse) and I temper what I say and how I say it, I hate that how natural its become for me to do it. How did you overcome that?

            I love your comment…
            “my peace has nothing to do with my circumstances”, oh how I wish I and pray for the day I can say that. I let his crap control my moods and energy levels. I cannot take that, I have a career and other life matters which is affected by the status of our relationship because I let it.

            We are transplants and I don’t have friends here which is tough too, I need more outside of this exhausting marriage.



      • tosha on July 9, 2015 at 9:20 am

        Shellie,

        Wow! Thank you so very much for sharing your experience. I would like to know what book you read in regards to boundaries. I feel that is one area I need specific direction in. Your explanation in regards to sex was an eye opener for me. For many years I thought that I was broken and my lack of desire was something I needed to fix on my own, and H encouraged me that I need to fix it as if it was just my issue and not related to him at all. Would it be possible to reach out to you please? Thank you and God Bless!

  22. Aleea on May 8, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Looking over all these comments this time made me just stare into space repeatedly and cry. . . .Truly these are the “LIVE” versus the “THEORY” moments —writ large: “. . . There were no consequences that worked. . . . he NEVER was sorry/repented for the abuse and it got to the point of making my skin crawl if he wanted sex. . . . . Several pastors and even counselors [were] insinuating that I was in Sin for withholding sex. . . . Even when I tried to accommodate it was excruciatingly painful and caused scarring. . . . This marriage(?) has been the loneliest and body, mind, and heart destroying thing ever! . . . There was no talking in love as he was always louder and spoke over the top of me. . . There was no listening to my concerns. . . . . he was setting me up to want to say “no”, because he knew my tender conscience AND he would wield bible verses at me when I was not interested. . . . . My husband has always lied to me. . . I can not say that we have ever been through a significant period of time in which he has been honest about anything . . . him flirting with women in person and in emails—and my gut says he has had sex outside the marriage, et. al., et. al., et. al.”  —NOW, that is why I so believe what the Bible tells me about humans (humans being).  —And, why it seems so hard to think there was a time that I used to call this wasteland home (John 4:10,13-14, John 7:38)!      
     
    —So, for all of you here (all of you!), you are Souls with choices in this world.  I must write in a way that respects that you have choices to make, because you do.  Oh, how I pray we all make the choices the Holy Spirit of God would have us make!!!  —So, YOU ARE an ETERNAL SOUL.  You just happen to currently have a body too.  —Oh, how we need to be more eternity-conscious.  Jesus said: “Even if I testify about Myself. . . My testimony is valid, because I know where I came from and where I’m going. But you don’t know where I come from or where I’m going. . .” (John 8:14; John 5:31).  Jesus knew who He was, what his Life was about —where He came from and where He was going.  Who are you and what is your life about?  What does it mean to have Christ living in you and the Holy Spirit directing your every step?  —You are here for a reason, right?
     
    Is God leading you to file lawsuits, pursue any and all legal, criminal remedies?  When you know God is in it, there is no guilt even if there is massive sadness for what has to be done through the court systems and what might have been.  But how do you know what steps God wants you to take?  —Here we need the Holy Spirit’s counsel.  The Holy Spirit was the life-long companion and counselor of Jesus and needs to be our counselor too! (John 16:14: “and He will give you a counselor to help you and be with you forever.”)  The Holy Spirit is our “forever” counselor and THE BEST marriage counselor ever!  God will give the Holy Spirit to you if you ask and KEEP asking Him to (See Luke 11:5-13).  I invite you, cry out to God until you know He has given you the Holy Spirit.  Does Christ live in your heart?  How do you know that?  Once you are THERE, never, EVER, stop inviting the Holy Spirit to —daily— deep clean and GUARD your precious heart (Proverbs 4:23–26)! Get wisdom (James 1:5) and live there in that secret pocket of pure Love.  In that place “in God” in the shadow of His wing —and yes, you can file lawsuits and pursue ALL civil and criminal remedies from that place too!!!  There we feel loved and loving.  We feel protected from anything and everything that has ever harmed us —we are welcomed as we are, forgiven.  From this place we can act calmly and confidently.  We can dance beautifully, express our deepest longings and highest understandings of our Lord God.  —Again, never stop inviting the Holy Spirit to deep clean and guard your heart! (Psalm 51!!!, Psalm 18:1-6, and 31).  . . . .And the equally important point I always make: NO woman is greater than her prayer life. —If we are weak in prayer and connection to God, we are weak everywhere (—Jesus was praying all the time, about everything.  —Read the gospel of Luke and see the things Jesus prayed all night about.  Have you ever prayed all night about anything?)  In that place of prayer, the darkness is broken into by inescapable light from the Lord.  Our rock, our fortress, our shield, our comfort, our peace, our salvation, our refuge. . . .I encourage and invite you to operate only from that place of spiritual power (Unseen Power: Psalm 17:15-style).  You should only be confirming with wise others and marriage counselors what the Holy Spirit of God has told you to do (Primary versus secondary sources).
     
    This is a vast spiritual battle and you will not succeed without the Holy Spirit as advisor. . . As you surely know —in your flesh, there is NO route out of that maze, because your husband is alive constantly re-strategizing —even against his own interests as he fights God and as Satan seeks to destroy you both.  You have to bring the Holy Spirit’s power to bear, otherwise the maze shifts as you move through it just swallowing you up.  You can walk hand-and-hand with Jesus in the FRIGID freedom of really surrendering to real Love, real Life (Christ) —and it is almost impossible to do (—I’m being honest!) —and it sure looks like the foolish path at times —Or, you can stay on those shadowy Elm streets where you let your insecurities cut you to gummy ribbons.  
     
    —I have nothing to offer God or the Lord but I know I can be with Him, anytime.  Imagine that, the author and creator of all the universe will listen to me and I don’t have to wait in a line!  Prayer generates strength; it generates vision; it generates power; —and Satan will drive you and I away from prayer more than anything. . . . . Oh, and the benefits of a clean heart: A clean heart just automatically repels bad men, evil men, duplicitous, “Christian” people, dysfunctional “friends.” —It does that just naturally.  Holy people are very upsetting to be around unless God is drawing you into His arms.  Then they are like a magnet convicting you every time you are around them and you are constantly repenting, as they are too.  —And realize this is NOT condemning others, we are just OBSERVING and FORGIVING and making good decisions about who we give our time to because we become who we hang out with.
     
    If we never think about “Life” and the essence of who we are and why we are here —then we continuously just walk through life in a kind of numbed state —unawakened to the higher purpose we have (—if we are Christ’s!) for being here on this earth and having the experience we are experiencing.  I trust what Jesus said when he said “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness….” —We need to continuously get alone with God; Die to (crucify) our selfish selves; Wait on God (to show up, just like so many in the Bible did).  . . . I try to carry on an on-going conversation with God during the day: when I am driving in the car, waiting in lines, etc.  I can’t do it at work very well.  I make a lot of presentations in front of people asking complex questions.  In fact, I come out of those meetings some days not knowing how many books are even in the Bible.  Totally swept downstream and pressure to compromise comes in from every side (Romans 8:37, Mark 10:31, Matthew 10:39).  But I never stop allowing the Holy Spirit to deep clean my heart and let God’s love flow in.  The point is to try not to deal in / handle anything unless it has eternal value.  So much of what we do has NO eternal value.  We are not eternity conscious enough!  Do you know how jealous God is of us???  The Holy Spirit will not stand competition!!!  This vain, ridiculous, silly world should have no pull on us at any level at all.  Once inside eternity, I am certain I am going to be so very embarrassed at the smallness of my faith.  Faith can’t do anything I want but it can do anything God wants.
     
    So, I invite you (and me) to seriously do that.  His words are not said aimlessly and without purpose.  I know that much.  I pray to God to give me wisdom so that I do not ever say anything to anyone to cause them to go onto a path that will bring them more disconnection from our Creator.  That is where it all falls apart: disconnection from our Creator.  We can get so caught up in how EVERYone ELSE describes our life that we don’t even think of “Life”.  Again, never tell yourself you have a soul.  Teach yourself, YOU ARE an ETERNAL SOUL, you currently have a body.

  23. Brenda on May 8, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Aleea, Why are you here?

    • Robin on May 8, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      I’ve been wondering the same….

    • Aleea on May 8, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      Brenda says       May 8, 2015 at 4:44 pm
      Aleea, Why are you here?
       
      Brenda,
      Thank you for your question.  I really appreciate that.  God has me here to learn and if has been very painful.  I really don’t know how I have made it this far.  I can’t even imagine what it is like to live some of the tougher cases.  I am also in counseling (in counseling, obviously not doing counseling, as you will see from previous posts).  I have, now, more minor marriage issues that I don’t want to ever turn back into bigger issues and these discussions really motivate me to make sure that does NOT happen.  I am also here to seriously pray for hurting people for everyone here: Loretta P, you are always first on my list every morning at 4am (I appreciate when you give us updates) and the rest of you: Alene; Cheryl; Liz; Jane; Robin Baumann; Belle; Remedy; Paula; Survivor; Amy; Robin, Peg Gentle. . . . et. al.  are prayed over too.  Also, I am so concerned that we don’t lose sight of the Christ-Centered part of counseling, not that we are.  I want everyone, including me, to experience Christ and live forever in heaven.  I take that very, very seriously.  Also, I have been approached about taking legal action on a number of fronts for women probably starting first in the State of Florida in abuse situations.  I am not completely clear what to do yet and honestly I ask that question of God too.  I don’t want to be involved with just legal actions where we lose sight of the God’s guidance, but as any serious scholar of the Word-of-God will tell you, that is not as easy as it looks.  In fact, it doesn’t ever look easy.  I’m also in counseling for that too (The interpretation of scriptures, see my previous posts on that also).  I am open to any suggestions, correction and concerns right on this board or in private: Aleea_Rodgers@yahoo.com and thank you for the question!!!!!  If I didn’t answer it or you meant something else or ANYONE else has a question write me directly or on this BLOG, I’ll give you a full answer, even if it is a statement against my own interests. . . . . I love doing the first “C”, Commitment to Honesty, of the CORE –No Pretending, FULL disclosure, No Hedges. . . . I really believe that if we all did that all the time, WOW, issues would just melt away.  Christ’s love to you.

    • Faith on May 12, 2015 at 12:05 am

      Thanks for helping keep our community safe Brenda.

  24. Brenda on May 8, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Robin,
    I’m glad it is not just me that would like an answer.

  25. Shellie on May 8, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Thank you for being “salt.”

    I hear your desire – that we all come to the saving grace of Jesus Christ by faith. It is His perfect love that heals and motivates us to greater dependence on Him, so that obedience follows and freedom of life flows.

    It is my prayer that we all grow in God-centeredness and surrender our self-centeredness. All the while – importantly – learning discernment: (1) so that we are not trampled under or torn into pieces (Matt 7:6), (2) to gain courage and strength to speak the truth in love and restore gently (Gal 6:1), and (3) to know how to act when it is time to “shake the dust off our feet” (Matt 10:24) to protect ourselves from falling into temptation (Gal 6:1).

    I am so grateful for this community and for those who transparently and vulnerably share their stories and their journey. We carry one another’s burdens here, and that fulfills the law of Christ (Gal 6:2). What we do here is pleasing to the Lord.

    To the community of women on this blog, thank you for your comments and replies.

  26. Lisa on May 8, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Hi Aeela,

    Could you clarify what this means: “Looking over all these comments this time made me just stare into space repeatedly and cry. . . .Truly these are the “LIVE” versus the “THEORY” moments —writ large: “. 

    Thank you.

    • Aleea on May 8, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      Sure, I am simply saying that we need the Holy Spirit to direct us because the combinations of responses and the complexities of situations often make (model answers & theory) nugatory when you implement them. People are massively complex and nuanced. That is what makes them so wonderful but also not suited for cookie-cutter answers.

  27. Brenda on May 8, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Aleea,
    I read back to February of this year and not once do you indicate anything about your personal marital story. You did say that you have minor issues and don’t want them to go back to being larger issues. You are focused on Christ, I will give you that. I don’t believe that because a counselor can say pretty prayers makes her any closer to Christ than someone who stumbles over words or makes them a better counselor. Some people do not feel comfortable praying aloud. Would that have turned you off from your counselor? I had a God fearing, praying counselor who was awesome and we did share prayer together, but if she wanted to pray for me in her closet that would have been fine with me also and I know she was praying for me at other times than during our sessions.

    A friend of mine took Leslie’s book, “The Emotionally Destructive Marriage” with her to a counselor and asked if they had read it and do you agree with it and that is how she chose her counselor. The 2 of us pray for each other daily.

    One thing I noticed is that you referred to people here as cases. We are not cases or here to be scrutinized or learned from like a case study. I wouldn’t want to be a part of someone’s thesis. Most of us are here to heal and support one another. The other thing was that you seem to think that you have the handle on a relationship with Christ and not all here have that. I’m not sure if you are judging or it may be attorney speak.

    You mentioned romance novels in the addiction category. I personally don’t read them, but have never known anyone who was addicted to them, nor are they in the category with drinking, drugs or porn. I drink iced tea all day long every day, but I don’t consider that an addiction. If I don’t happen to have iced tea, I’m perfectly happy with water. I don’t drink but don’t think an occasional drink is an issue for others.

    You stated above: You can walk hand-and-hand with Jesus in the FRIGID freedom of really surrendering to real Love, real Life (Christ) —and it is almost impossible to do (—I’m being honest!) —and it sure looks like the foolish path at times —Or, you can stay on those shadowy Elm streets where you let your insecurities cut you to gummy ribbons. I really am not sure what you are getting at here.

    I believe the only way to freedom is surrendering to Christ. I also believe that forgiving the xh has freed my heart. It does not mean that I will ever trust or reconcile with him. I pray that he will genuinely turn to Jesus, but that is between the 2 of them. I have no further part in it. I don’t think I would believe it if I saw it any longer and I do not wish to be fooled again.

    I truly am happy that your marital issues are minimal and do pray for the ladies on this blog and others on a regular basis. You are right about one thing. Meeting with clients throughout the day does take your mind away from the cross, but I think God is ok with that. We are to work as if we are working for Him. I am devoted to my clients while I am at work. I do love music and the back ground music is always Christ related. It gives me peace and many of the clients enjoy it as well.

    Peace, love and comfort in Christ,
    Brenda

    • Robin on May 8, 2015 at 9:34 pm

      Brenda would you write me at baumannrobin@yahoo.com and share your email with me? Been wanting to be able chat more with you on a personal level.
      Thanks,
      Robin

    • Aleea on May 9, 2015 at 7:05 am

      Brenda RE: Questions

      “Some people do not feel comfortable praying aloud.”  —You know, I never really thought about it that way before but recently I was listening to old sermons of Leonard Ravenhill (English evangelist who focused on the subjects of prayer and revival).  Ravenhill was saying that about his prayers how they were his intimate conversation with God and he would never allow his personal prayers to be recorded.
       
      “Would that have turned you off from your counselor?” —It would have then but now I need to rethink that. 
       
      “You stated above: You can walk hand-and-hand with Jesus. . . . . I really am not sure what you are getting at here.”  —I just mean it is so hard to trust Christ in the faith moments and not let our/my insecurities destroy us/me. 
       
      “One thing I noticed is that you referred to people here as cases.”  —People are not cases, they are precious souls: —BlackBerry; —standing in a line at some airport/ court building; —looking at a box the size of a credit card; —that may be excuse making but they do seem moderating influences!  I apologize to all and will be more careful. 
       
      “The other thing was that you seem to think that you have the handle on a relationship with Christ and not all here have that. I’m not sure if you are judging or it may be attorney speak.” —I hope I have a relationship with Christ.  I believe I have a relationship with Christ —but don’t so many who may not.  I so much want a relationship with Christ (—please pray for me) but how can we know for sure?  God puts all my words on a plate and forces me to eat them, so I always know what is coming.  . . . .I would say that the number one proof that we belong to Christ is that we have repented and that we keep on repenting; keep on examining; keep on pursuing.  I am afraid of hell (—Jesus spoke about hell way more than heaven) but I am even more attracted to the awesome beauty of the Lord God. . . . .Think about this: God can’t point to ANYTHING that is like Him.  That is why He has to say “I am that I am.”  So, which is closer to God: bacteria in your toilet or an Archangel?  —Neither.  God is absolutely, totally OTHER.  Like NOTHING we know.  Adonai (Lord God), you are an endless mystery (Genesis 15:2, Matthew 5:6, Hebrews 12:29, Psalms 40:2).  —Just you try figuring a little bit of God out!!! (—“Unchanging” consuming, fire inside an endless mystery!)  Lord God let your majesty be magnified in me, You endless mystery!  —But, back to your question: I’ll never be anything more than what Christ makes me.  This I do know: There are NO great women OR men of God. . . just weak, sinful women and often, worse men of a totally GREAT and absolutely merciful, AWESOME God!!! . . . .To be a servant of Jesus, He means more than the world to me.  
       
      Thank you Brenda, I appreciate you and everyone here!!!!!  . . .I don’t want to be wrong, I want to do what’s right.  Our steps are ordered and I know we will find the way (Psalm 119:105, Proverbs 10:30).  . . . .Heavenly Father, was my action here in alignment with your will for me to walk in love?  What is going on here? . . .”why” am I still struggling and striving and still just not living life totally for You.  I ask Christ for discernment regarding the parts of my soul to align with Him and which parts to repent from (––enslaving mind viruses like the need to be “right”).  I’m seriously cleaning my heart so God’s love can flow. I find prayer extremely powerful, helpful and comforting and I can feel the love of God deeply when I pray –Oh, that is so wonderful. I just keep asking myself questions.  Trying to get beneath the “piety” to the hidden vanity so that can be repented of too (See: Matthew 6:5,16, James 4:6)!

  28. Hope on May 8, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    I’m thankful for all your honest and insightful posts; on the road to healing, carried by our Savior. We cannot heal if we cannot be honest and unmask the sin, very scriptural. This is a safe place to share and work through the emotions that are Christ given concerning sexual intimacy. Jesus Christ is to be at the center of our marriages and unfortunately it doesn’t matter how close we are to Him and how hard we work to honor Him with our earthly bodies, Holy Spirit guided; we can not and will not ever be responsible for the will of another human being, we are accountable for ourselves we must not count ourselves too highly that Almighty God needs us to win a heart or marriage over to Him. These are precious children, wounded warriors, open heartedly stepping forward in obedience, from Satan’s darkened abyss, reaching forward while grasping at truth and faithfully surrendering over pretenses, idols (Christian marriage, family, testimonies, church affiliations, positions ect.) in hope of God’s ultimate will in our lives! Many years of pain and sacrifice have been rendered. We are just beginning to understand the freedoms of living in Christ. Prayer in itself is a work, God’s grace is sufficient. We need to draw from God’s grace. God is good, man is unworthy. We safely abide in God’s grace. Let’s cry out to him to heal our brokenness but now that we are broken we are more like him, Amen.

  29. Lisa on May 8, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Well your vocabulary is way beyond mine so I had to lookup

    nu·ga·to·ry

    ˈn(y)o͞oɡəˌtôrē/

    adjective

    of no value or importance.

    “a nugatory and pointless observation”

    synonyms:worthless, unimportant,inconsequential, valueless,trifling, trivial, insignificant,meaningless

    “a nugatory observation”

    useless; futile.

    “the teacher shortages will render nugatory the hopes of implementing the new curriculum”

    synonyms:futile, useless, vain,unavailing, null, invalid

    “the shortages will render our hopes nugatory”

  30. Brenda on May 8, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    Hope,
    That was awesome and well said. We are all broken vessels. God fills in those cracks when we cry out to Him. By His stripes we are healed. Amen.

  31. Brenda on May 9, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Aleea,

    I am not concerned about being wrong as I often am, nor am I afraid of Hell as I know the promises of God and His assurance that by the blood of Christ and meeting Him at the foot of the cross, I am free and not (FRIGIDLY) so. I have repented, accepted Jesus to be the Christ and only intercessor for my sin. I am now a beloved daughter of the King. I will not be perfected until I meet Him in paradise.

    I find your use of the word “frigid” rather odd considering the topic of this thread, which is, “I don’t trust my husband, should we be having sex?” Do you have opinion on that topic?

    Although, I do believe that the Holy Spirit is within us to counsel us and also convict us of sin both hidden and intentional, your comments seem to contradict themselves. You say you are going to counseling, but you seem to be leading the counselor. If the Holy Spirit is all the counselor/ marriage counselor that we need, why are you yourself seeing a counselor and coming to this blog? I saw a counselor for wise Biblical counsel and to help me sort through the muck once called marriage. This is not the only blog that I go to. If women/men that are in abuse situations didn’t come to blogs and read books such as Leslie’s, she might be out of business.

    Much of what you say very much resembles the words of Leonard Ravenhill. Focused on the topics of prayer and revival, clean the heart….. If we are staying in the daily practice of repentance, there really should be no need for revival. We are already revived.

    “Also, I have been approached about taking legal action on a number of fronts for women probably starting first in the State of Florida in abuse situations.” I did forget to ask about this before. In what capacity and what type of legal actions would you be taking on in abuse situations?

    I still have yet to hear your story with you own husband.

    Brenda

    • Aleea on May 10, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      Brenda,
       
      So the reason I gave everyone my e-mail is that often my posts can take days to be posted.  —Not so far with Martha but because she is so busy, often with Leslie. —For example, my last submission on the previous post Leslie wrote took six days to be posted from the time I submitted it, many take three to five days (—maybe a blessing, —eh? ha, ha, ha)? . . .I’m letting you know that so if you do not hear from me. —That said, it is a privilege to post on this site and I am very grateful to Leslie that she lets me do it and I have told her so on numerous occasions.  See: How Can I Know God Better? February 25, 2015 by Leslie, et. al.  I just love when we work on our hearts!
       
      “I find your use of the word “frigid” rather odd considering the topic of this thread. . .” —RE: You can walk hand-and-hand with Jesus in the FRIGID freedom of really surrendering to real Love, real Life (Christ). . . et. al. —It is not odd, it is just not updated for spring and comes from a lack of faith e-mail I wrote about back in February.  February 17th, 2am, Toronto, Canada; Hilton hotel; minus 21 degrees outside; fire alarm goes off and over the loud speakers they say to evacuate the Hotel. I look outside and the wind is just howling and it is snowing so hard. In total sheer fear (—not the peace that passes all understanding), I went down those concrete stairs and when I got outside it was so cold it took my breath away, total fear and panic. NO peace, even praying the whole way. . . . So, I know I lack love or I would not have all this fear. “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear. . . The one who fears has not reached perfection in love.” (‎1 John 4:17 – ‎1 John 4:19) —I’m whining/ sniveling because I am cold not walking hand-and-hand with Jesus in the FRIGID freedom of really surrendering to real Love, real Life (Christ). 
       
      “I did forget to ask about this before. In what capacity and what type of legal actions would you be taking on in abuse situations?” —Co-counsel on that but I will say no more because I have probably said too much on that already.  The worse thing you can do in litigation is warn people.  One thing litigating for the IRS has taught me is how to win cases where we are massively disadvantaged.  Corporations we litigate against will have teams of thirty plus attorneys, we are fortunate to have five or six.
       
      “Much of what you say very much resembles the words of Leonard Ravenhill.” —Oh, I wish it did but my attempt at words more resemble the influences that I have worked so hard to leave: Dr. David Friedrich Strauss, Dr. Elaine Pagels, Professor of Early Christian History, Princeton.  The folks I have most read/ listened to in the past: Dr. Susan Barnett, Advanced Ph.D. seminar in New Testament Greek, Oxford; Dr. Margaret Barker, Systematic Theology, Cambridge; Dr. Burton L. Mack; Dr. Barbara Thiering;, Dr. Dennis R. MacDonald; Dr. Randel Helms; Dr. Rudolf Karl Bultmann; Dr. Karl Kundsin, et.al.  These people’s work really messed me up.  Dr. Hermann Samuel Reimarus, in particular (—especially his republished books.)  I have been in counseling for that too and the answer in dealing with that issue (—from scholars) still floors me:  We don’t want to think about or even dialogue with higher-criticism as it will grow even more.  They explain that these ideas are to be batted away and that brain cells that we neglect will eventually die.  —Imagine how that sounded to me.  I’m certain it sounds similarly to you too.  —BUT IT WORKS.  It actually works.  We ignore them.  That is what the Church fathers tell us to do too.  —You know what?  I just want to know Christ at a deeper level and be whole, I’ll do it. . . . So, I see that two new clay jars have been found in a Coptic graveyard near the ruins of the ancient city of Aphroditopolis, that contain critical manuscript fragments, —No thank you Satan! The only way to security is every thought in captivity (Proverbs 23:7, 1 Peter 1:13, Philippians 4:8, 2 Corinthians 10:5).  I can see that experiencing the depths of Jesus Christ requires more than just prayer and Scripture study; it calls for total abandonment to Him.  —I’ll do it —just help me do that, Lord.  Leonard Ravenhill’s simplicity helps me do that but sometimes I will stop him —or— Wayne Grudem, Paul Washer, John Piper, John MacArthur, David Platt on my ipod, my jaw open in amazement and say to myself: Are you kidding me???  What you are saying has not made contact with the last 275 years of Biblical archeology and textual manuscript finds.  Then I catch myself, Leslie’s faith helps me catch myself, all of you help me catch myself even if you don’t understand why.  —It always comes down to the faith moment.  We never leave the faith moments: Are we going to trust God or we are going to trust women/men.  Are we going to trust what we see or God’s unseen power?
       
      “I do believe that the Holy Spirit is within us to counsel us. . . . . your comments seem to contradict themselves” —No, they don’t seem —they do contradict themselves.  Stay with the first “C” and call a spade, a spade.  I could easily make the contradiction case and you could too.  —If you look for logical fallacies, it ALL falls apart.  All I am saying is that the Holy Spirit within us is always the place to start.  What is He telling you from your time with Him?  I ask that of people and they look at me like —What are you talking about. I start with books about God and His Word not with God and His Word.  —Sure, sometimes what we think the Holy Spirit is telling us contradicts with what counselors are saying.  Maybe the answer is to use multiple counselors? —Logical contradictions, they are everywhere and we just have to ignore some of them or we drive ourselves away from God: How can Jesus pays for OUR sins like it’s a parking ticket (civil law)?  If my husband hurts someone, he has to go to jail (criminal law).  I can’t go to jail for him like I can pay his parking ticket.  How is that not 1st) a confusion of moral categories right there and 2nd) not a logical contradiction? Again, logical contradictions, they are everywhere and we just have to ignore some of them or we drive ourselves away from God.   
       
      “I still have yet to hear your story with you own husband.” —My husband destroyed things in our home over the course of five years.  Extensive damage, many times his own things too.  He just raged and raged, never touching any of us or our pets but just destroying our property left, right and center.  If I felt safe enough (sometimes) I would run to him and plead with him to stop and he always did.  My self-esteem was so low that I tolerated it.  I did not even see the property destruction as a moral issue. There were times where his repentant response to his espisdoes so surprised me only to have rage return a few days later.  He may have felt better because he had released some rage, but for the rest of us, we were/ are now struggling with trauma at being on the viewing side of all that venting. —Psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor all three it took to do a proper diagnostic\ treatment plan: Only the Lord knows if it will not all end badly, this anger at himself vented in damaging things.
       
      “If we are staying in the daily practice of repentance, there really should be no need for revival. We are already revived.” —Agreed and good point!!! Ravenhill says he prayed for revival for 70 years and it never came —by his own words.  —Personal revival in our hearts, everyday! 
       
      “I don’t trust my husband, should we be having sex?  Do you have opinion on that topic?” —I don’t know if it is an opinion but the showdown (no sex until__________) creates, in my simple way of thinking, a death-spiral that has to be carefully managed to end honorably.  Because if both partners (—beyond mere words) go into siege mode behind the walls of their fortresses, and try to starve each other out until someone capitulates, crawling forward with parched throat on withered limbs, begging for a sip of water and a scrap of food.  —Listen, once you are no longer physically intimate, I would say (—realistically), you are on a very, very short timeline before something serious breaks and you may never even know how bad it broke.  But that is just my life learning thoughts.  We would need real data and real control groups to actually know.  My thoughts are just talk.  If fact, talk is talk without real data.  How would you what they are doing?  You can’t know.  When you have a showdown, you have a showdown, it is just that simple.  If I am StatOil and I call Exxon Mobile over in Houston and tell them I am cutting off 50,000,000 gallons of sweet brent crude unless you do this and this and this —you know they go to work immediately, on an alternative supply and worse.  You know they do and they pull out every stop/ call in every favor they can to make it happen!!!  So, either I file the court documents and get away from the person or I have a serious time oriented period to get the results I seek.  —I hate showdowns, they almost always end very, very badly and that comes out much later.  In the law, we say it this way: A bad compromise is better than a good showdown —but I understand showdowns on principal.  God uses showdowns: see the Old Testament. Again, you may never know that until . . . . —well, that’s enough because I have not thought that through and I am only giving you off the top of my head, always dangerous.  —Even at the IRS, we have a saying (even with all our power to get results) we have observed almost universally: Even the lowly rat will turn and fight —hard— (—in all manner of forms) when cornered and it makes no difference how kindly I tell them (words) if that is how the person feels.
       
      —Brenda, I enjoy you asking me questions, thank you so much.  I find that when I step out in faith for Christ over something serious, even when things work out marvelously, the next faith step into the unknown is just as hard, if not harder than the last was.  The trust part.  The faith part.  It just doesn’t seem to get easier.  Why does it never get easier, even having seen those wonderful victories —or has it for you and if so what do you attribute that to?  What is the best way to build our faith, —dwell on/ study the character of God?  Something else? 

      Christ’s love to you! . . .We should pray and fight for the conversations/ abuse situations of Islamic women too. You can just imagine those situations, even in the developed world.

  32. Brenda on May 11, 2015 at 8:08 am

    Aleea,
    Whether you are a Christian, Muslim, Atheist or Buddhist woman, Abuse is Abuse. Abuse is ongoing. Definition below:

    A pattern of coercive control (ongoing actions or inactions) that proceeds from a mentality of entitlement to power, whereby, through intimidation, manipulation and isolation, the abuser keeps his* target subordinated and under his control. This pattern can be emotional, verbal, psychological, spiritual, sexual, financial, social and physical. Not all these elements need be present, e.g., physical abuse may not be part of it.

    The definition of domestic abuser: a family member or dating partner (current or ex) who has a profound mentality of entitlement to the possession of power and control over the one s/he* chooses to mistreat. This mentality of entitlement defines the very essence of the abuser. The abuser believes he is justified in using evil tactics to obtain and maintain that power and control.

    * Sometimes the genders are reversed

    I don’t know about the other Dr.’s and PhD’s that you listen (I don’t know of any of them) but knowing their stance on submission on the wife’s part, abuse, patriarchy and no divorce for any reason I would not listen to a word that John Piper or JMac have to say even if their sermon was completely Biblical. Bethlehem Baptist was given a breath of fresh air when John Piper stepped down as Sr. Pastor. The new guy is trying to make an effort to right the wrongs shown to abused women by JP while in the pulpit. Go to YouTube John Piper abuse. It is very enlightening. They have a long way to go, but are at least showing attempts in the right direction. I would suggest they bring in Leslie and a few others that I can think of to help them in this pursuit.

    I wish you well, Brenda

    • Aleea on May 11, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      Brenda,
       
      I don’t think abuse has any real future —praise God!!!  Too many powerful, capable women who will not tolerate it.  Too much visability in the court systems. Eventually, too much peer pressure from other men. More than that, Christianity, et.al. is in full retreat in Europe and in many places in the U.S. so there will be no hiding behind scriptures.  Christianity in retreat is so, so sad but abuse being exposed is not.
       
      I agree that those pastors like Piper, MacArthur could use Leslie’s perspective, you are so right.  I fully understand what you are saying. . . . Brenda, so could have Ravenhill: “Fifty years ago, you never heard of a divorce in the Christian church.  You never (even) heard of marriage counseling in the church… We’re putting up with this sin (divorce & marriage counseling) in the church.” —Leonard Ravenhill.  —And especially they could use Leslie’s perspective of the: “relationship is condictional” and “you are not going to remain broken and stay with me” concepts (—Hopefully, I do Leslie no slander by stating it that way.)  —I find that so comforting that someone who loves you is not going to let you stay broken. —I know God has to change the person but we can be the catalyst!!!  The way I think about it:  —Husband, I am going to Zion (the city of God) with or without you.  I invite you to come and join me. —Come and join me in the Sunlight! But if you refuse —or say you will but then isolate, if you become emotional distant, abusive, have no interest in really following the Lord, want to be a carnal “Christian” (whatever that even is), I will go to Zion without you.  I will still love you, forgive you and pray for you but at some point, I will not be with you. I really think real holiness would self—select lots of undesirable people from our lives. So let’s make sure we have real holiness (—way harder than it sounds). —I know you know all that too, as well you also know:  Marriage is not: I will take care of your heart and you take care of mine. We never lose responsibility for our own hearts! Only Jesus gets your heart and you are responsible to parent yourself —and parent yourself well— applying God’s love to all those broken parts of yourself that need to be healed (—the factory of ourself, our CORE). 
       
      On that definition of abuse, I would say: We are actually in control when we are out of control —that is we give the control to God. 
       
      You are so, SO fortunate to not know who any of those scholars from David Friedrich Strauss to Rudolf Karl Bultmann are.  What made them so hard to ignore (—in my ignorance) was their vast knowledge of the scriptures, biblical archeology and especially the first 500 years of Christianity.  Just staggering formidable erudition —not like Piper and MacArthur, et. al. who sometimes play fast and loose with the Bible’s texts.  Scholars, they often know just about everything —but God.  They don’t know God so they know nothing, but that is so hard to see because they are truly subject matter experts.  These days I say it like this: “Justifiable” soteriology questions be damned!  Jesus calls your name and then you just take His hand.  —God knows why He takes us along these paths. God has to really help us out and save us from ourselves.
       
      I appreciate you wishing me well but would be even more appreciative if you prayed for me.  I will do the same for you. . . . and I agree with your fear comments but my fear is excessive at times, —its not good.  I’ll work on that in counseling too.  I love going to counseling at this point. 

  33. Lisa on May 11, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Hi Aeela,

    I’m seeing these two statements differently:

    “So, I know I lack love or I would not have all this fear. “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear. . . The one who fears has not reached perfection in love.” — God says this of a Christian, “I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

    —I don’t know if it is an opinion but the showdown (no sex until__________) creates, in my simple way of thinking, a death-spiral that has to be carefully managed to end honorably.

    • Lisa on May 11, 2015 at 8:53 am

      Sorry, hit reply accidentally.

      Hi Aeela,

      I’m seeing these two statements differently:

      “So, I know I lack love or I would not have all this fear. “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear. . . The one who fears has not reached perfection in love.” — God says this of a Christian, “I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” I think it’s the experience of a lack of love from another that allows the enemy to come in and bombard with fear.

      —I don’t know if it is an opinion but the showdown (no sex until__________) creates, in my simple way of thinking, a death-spiral that has to be carefully managed to end honorably.

      I think the death spiral has already occurred which has resulted in no sex until______.

      • Aleea on May 11, 2015 at 1:10 pm

        Lisa,
         
        “I think it’s the experience of a lack of love from another that allows the enemy to come in and bombard with fear.” —Wow, that is really good and really spoke to me.  I get it: Fear problems are love problems.  I am not in any way certain but I would guess that ALL wounded personalities came from love (God’s pure love) not being adequately applied to all the various areas of our lives.  That just made me think about this: Which one of these models works?
         
        Husband: Complete me. Read my mind and see all my old wounds from my childhood and my life and go in and heal all of them with your love.
        -OR-
        Lord Jesus: Lord Jesus, complete me. Read my mind and see all my old wounds from childhood and my life and go in and heal all of these  broken parts with your love.
         
        “I think the death spiral has already occurred which has resulted in no sex until______.” —yeah, that is true too, isn’t it.  —Boy, you can’t be too careful and that means you have even less time to see if you can work things out. . . . . . I always ask my husband: “Do you think I understand you?” “How do you feel about this/ that?” “What do you need me to hear that I am NOT hearing? “What do you need here?” —Now, he has learned to ask those questions back so I now do feel heard.  (—And Lord Jesus, I’m asking You those questions too!!!)  I am most concerned that the Lord God feels heard and that I respond in a way that pleases Him.

  34. Brenda on May 11, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Lisa,
    I had issue with that also. If you cannot trust your h (generally because of on going abuse), how are you suppose to have any desire to give yourself to him? It gets to the point, if he is not already hurting you during the process that it feels like rape and you are only doing it to avoid more abuse. Rape DOES happen in marriage.

    Sex is a gift from God that is a bonding of 2 people when they work together and love each other. There Is absolutely no love shown to the abused spouse. There never was, there never will be within that relationship.

    Brenda

  35. Brenda on May 11, 2015 at 8:37 am

    Fear is also a gift. It says that you are in danger, look both ways. There is never going to be a time when us humans do not have fear. We are not Jesus. We are not God. We may fear something trivial and look and focus on the cross–fear goes away. Yeah! But we will not be totally free from fear in this body.

    God is never going to stop working on me! Amen!! I will not be perfect until I stand face to face with Him.

  36. Brenda on May 11, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Aleea,

    First of all I don’t speak Christianese. I speak what is on my heart and mind. That said it doesn’t mean that I am not praying for others, it just means I don’t try to fit myself into a Stepford kind of a mold. If I do not speak exactly like another or the way they think I should, it doesn’t mean that I should try to do it their way. I am comfortable in my own skin and I won’t allow someone else to tell me how I should speak, think or act.

    I completely disagree with your assessment that abuse won’t be around or have a real future. It has been around since Cain and Able and has only gotten worse since. Just because they didn’t call it by the term “abuse” doesn’t mean it isn’t what it was. It used to be considered a “family problem” and no one would deal with it. Thus women and children spent their entire lives tolerating it because there was no legal ramification. So 50 years ago, this is why you didn’t hear of a Christian divorce. Not that they were not needed, but they were afraid to speak up.

    Don’t kid yourself. Women with great jobs and in high places corporately are abused and do not speak up just like any other women. It happens all the time. I have also heard from preachers wives, missionaries wives, elders wives etc. that don’t speak up because they don’t want to cause a problem for their husband’s “ministry”. As far as I am concerned they shouldn’t have one.

    No. We cannot always be the catalyst. God must always be the catalyst and the abuser must want to change. They must want to follow Christ. You are so sadly mistaken in how much power we have. We only have what God gives us. I had the strength to leave and I do not regret that.

    If you want to pray for something, pray that the rest of the distribution of Barbara Roberts book. “Not Under Bondage”, which is being given at no cost to shelters, DV ministries, etc see a completion and women’s lives are spared because of it. If you know of these places, pass on contact information. The books are free and written with a lot of Biblical research done.

    Brenda

    • Aleea on May 11, 2015 at 5:30 pm

      Brenda,
      You have given me lots to think about and I sincerely apologize if I offended you in any way, please know I did not mean to.  I will pray for the rest of the distribution of Barbara Robert’s book and keep on praying for it too.  The shelters and clinics I know of will not accept books/ materials (even free) if they contain Biblical research —that’s a tome in and of itself involving the ACLU.  That is such a shame but exactly what happens in an ever-increasing post-Christian world.  . . . . In the middle of the worst of it for American slavery, black people walked around thinking it would never be better. ( RE: Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene D. Genovese, American slavery historians notes (The Divine Sanction of Social Order: Religious Foundations of the Southern Slaveholders’ World  View,” pages 55-215 and “The ‘Haustafeln’ and American Slavery: A Hermeneutical Challenge, in Theology (2002))).  I grew up in Baltimore, by Johns Hopkins hospital, it was one violent, nasty area and blacks are still oppressed there even today but compared to the 20th century, it is now day versus night for most.  I really believe abuse in its current form will go that same route.  Awareness, peer pressure, lawsuits, new laws, women with more power and more options.  It is going to get better.  We will all see to that and have our parts and in the end we will find that help often will come from the most unlikely sources.  . . .Unless God wills it never get better, that could happen.  Into my mind immediately comes Luke 18:8 . . . When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?  The word construction answers itself: No, no he will not.  —Absolutely not.  That said, our job is to be faithful, the battle belongs to the Lord. —We all know we are commanded to Occupy (not retreat) until our Lord marches in (1 Peter 5:8-11, Mark 13:13, Revelation 14:12, Isaiah 14:24, 1 Corinthians 16:13-14).

  37. Lisa on May 11, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    Lundy Bancroft an expert on domestic abuse was asked on his facebook page:
    “Lundy, are there any changes in family court regarding custody? In CA. and 9yrs. of trying to get the judge to see behavior. Pretty flagrant now with lots of evidence. Can the abuser lose custody for raging, coaching the kids and parental alienation?”

    Lundy: “I’m afraid I haven’t seen any signs of progress in recent years. A major uprising by mothers and their allies is needed.”

    The legal system does not care to stop abuse; it capitalizes on it with long drawn out cases that make them rich and further financially abuses the victim. And there are “the fathers’ rights” groups spewing their venom and lawyers taking up for them. Attorneys are making sure to include the words “fathers’ rights” in their advertising.

    I have not heard of hardly any women fairing well in divorce court when up against an abuser; most live in poverty afterwards.

    • Robin on May 11, 2015 at 10:53 pm

      Lundy Bancrofts are older- I bet he would say today things are starting to change because of people like Leslie and many fine counselor said standing up and advocating for them. I am one of those women that my abuser tried to turn the court and justice system against and it worked out in my favor. But I’ve had strong advocates helping me to make very wise decisions. It’s not easy and it’s a tough road to hoe but I do believe it’s changing much because of the Lundy Bancrofts and Leslie Vernicks not remaining silent!!!!!!

      • Robin on May 11, 2015 at 10:58 pm

        Let me say an excellent lawyer is worth so much. When I walked into my lawyers office with no money but needing safety I lawyer became my greatest advocate in the courtroom. He was able to get me $1500. A month and $40,000.00 to pay bills . My lawyer saw my husband was wealthy and withholding every penny from me and went into battle for me. There are some situations where women are givenuch more than they ever had in the marriage like me. I am grateful for my lawyers heart to want to help me.

      • Lisa on May 12, 2015 at 12:10 am

        The question asked and Lundy’s answer were both posted on April 14, 2015.

      • Lisa on May 12, 2015 at 12:12 am

        The question asked and Lundy’s answer were both posted on April 14, 2015.

      • Lisa on May 12, 2015 at 12:13 am

        The question asked and Lundy’s answer were both posted on April 14, 2015

      • Lisa on May 12, 2015 at 12:17 am

        Robin,
        Since you had no money did the lawyer take his fee from what you wrr

      • Lisa on May 12, 2015 at 12:39 am

        Robin,
        Since you had no money did the lawyer take his fee from what you were awarded or did your husband have to pay your lawyer.

        Where I live all the divorce lawyers charge at least $200. for a consult and then want 5000.00 or more for a retainer and 250.00 an hour.

        The law here only allows up to a certain percentage of the husband’s net income and it’s just a little over 1/4 to be awarded to the spouse with no income. The clincher is you must be able to prove you have no fault in the marriage prior to filing for a divorce. We all know how abusers twist and lie to place blame on the victim. The lawyer hinted almost no one collects alimony here.

        Everyone has to seek legal info where they live as the laws are so varied from state to state.

  38. Brenda on May 11, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    Years ago when I spent time in the Underground Railroad with 2 daughters I was told that the statistic at that time was a woman’s income would go down by 62% and the mans would go up by 46%. That is huge.

    • Robin on May 12, 2015 at 12:26 am

      Lisa, I had an unusal case. My lawyer asked me to bring my husbands locked file drawers into his office of which I broke into and did. Our tumbled out many investments, savings accts, and the like I never knew about. He was not only hiding the money from me, he had been having me live like we had no money. My lawyer saw into my situation and was angered that a husband would treat his wife this way, and said to me get whatever money you can get together and we’ll file and then get your husband to be ordered by the court to pay. The first check he had to write me was for $20.000. of which I paid the lawyer off, and my counselor . I don’t want it to sound like its been a rosy time as my story was pretty horrific. Im just saying I do realize the abusers win often– but sometimes if you get the right advocates in on your side, things can change. And they did for me.

      • Robin on May 12, 2015 at 12:30 am

        Lisa. tomorrow I am going back to court for a 2nd Settlement Conference, because the first one did no good. I am not expecting much from this one either.
        Our divorce trial is set for June 17th of which we will go before a lady judge. I just feel tat Ive had every possible opportunity for good to come my way, that there is. I dont know what your faith is like- but I defintely know God paved this path for me…….

        • Lisa on May 12, 2015 at 12:50 am

          My faith…it waivers between God will provide, but man (judges and lawyers can horrible to the victim. God does not always provide the way we expect. I know of two many Christian women who

          • Lisa on May 12, 2015 at 12:53 am

            are struggling after divorce from their abuser. I do ask why them? I may very well be in that position soon.



          • Robin on May 12, 2015 at 2:02 pm

            Lisa in regard to ones faith it is true we don’t always get what we expected. I certainly have had that happen in my journey of separating from my abuser. What I would encourage is instead of looking at what can God do for me in my divorce– let this time you set other things aside and get to know God personally. A lot of us expect God to work for us as we choose- but don’t really have a close vibrant relationship with him. My faith has grown so much they my journey not only divorce but personal wholeness.



  39. Leonie on May 11, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Aleea,
    do you ever get a really clear word that you know is the spirit of God speaking a word to you inside your heart and mind about your current situation? Super clear – that you know it is God reaching for your hand and showing you truth meant specifically for your situation?
    I am under strong conviction that I need to separate from my husband and need to go fill out the paper work to start a court application. I shared my situation with a close Christian neighbor what I am going through and that I had to call police and the whole chain of events that started. She has advised me to stay in my marriage and hold my husband’s toes to the fire and call him out on abusive or ‘incompatible with marriage’ types of behaviours, attitudes & actions. Then she said “dump the fear.”
    Then I realized that she doesn’t understand abuse. He has deliberately instilled the fear so that I won’t do anything he doesn’t want me to.
    I was doing all the things she told me to as I was discovering through the years what being married to this man meant and I can’t go back to it. I have come to the point where I need to have that talk with him and have hit a wall. I have been praying for more courage and clarity to do what I need to and realize that once I do it, I may need to go live in a shelter. I think he may hurt me and we ar still together in the home I owned for years before I met him. I love your posts & you have made comments in regard to my situation before but I covet your (and all of the ladies) prayers. Nothing has changed, he is not exploding at me anymore but is because I will call police on him now. I did watch a lecture by Lundy Bancroft called “Inside the minds of angry & controllng men” it was very helpful & enlightening.

    • Robin on May 11, 2015 at 11:35 pm

      I’m not who you addressed- but I have been thru what it sounds like you are now. There will always be neighbors and people that would live to tell us the opposite of what a victim of abuse needs. Yes I have heard the clear voice speak to be quite audibly saying now, it’s time to leave and get out. I would encourage you to find safe people to share with and not just anyone . It’s very important or they can sway you the wrong direction. It sounds like you fear your husband. If that’s true, why are you still there?? Please get out ASAP and don’t risk your safety. Sometimes it’s hard for us to hear God speaking to us, because we are living in constant chaos. If you separate you will be paving a pathway, to heR God better. I guarantee it!!!!

      • Leonie on May 12, 2015 at 1:52 pm

        Thank you so much for your comments Robin, and for your prayers. I will seek God’s will on where to go to. I felt I should fight for our home which I brought into the relationship but if I am not safe then I am being stupid to stay. I was also reluctant to hire a lawyer but see that maybe I will have to.

      • Robin on May 12, 2015 at 2:18 pm

        Leonine it’s hard to tell someone else to flee because they need to hear from God what is His best plan for them. But I will say this – if you do not feel safe then I’d encourage you to find a safe place even if temporary. The actual leaving your a user is complicated. You will never feel good about it but you will know when you’re procrastinating doing what u know u need to do. In my situAtion it took about 2 years of counseling before I was ready. Ask God to lead you away safely and wisely. I have never regretted what I did when I finally pulled the plug on our abusive and unsafe relationship!! Praying for you and your safety!!

  40. Robin on May 12, 2015 at 1:02 am

    Lisa, I was able to give to lawyer $200.00. Thats all I had. He said it would cost more than that to file. But he went after my husband. KNOWING he had the money…….. My lawyer charges $250.00 an hour also. Never asked for $5000.00 retainer but knew he would get it from husband in court. I think he just saw my desperation. What state are you in and how long were you married?? I think the length of your marriage matters……. Mine was 32 years and the lawyer knew I had tolerated a very abusive marriage.

    • Robin on May 12, 2015 at 1:04 am

      Lisa, my lawyer was very appalled when he opened the file cabinet and out fell thousands of dollars of investments and the last weekly grocery check he had given me was $25.00.
      I didn’t even hire him yet- he just took off on it- feeling I really needed help.

    • Lisa on May 12, 2015 at 1:56 am

      23 years married. He is paying all the household bills, currently, but I think he is going to stop soon as he is more and more paying some late or not at all. I have substantial medical issues, but he only gives 20.00 a week for ALL things I need—medical (doctors, prescriptions, med supplies), dental (i need a ton! of work due to my illness affecting my dental health), clothing, & car repairs. He already said he is going to divorce me so any monies I still have I’m holding so I can pay for consults. He has produced $30,000 worth of debt (that i know of) and I will be responsible for half!!—even if only he created the debt.

      • Lisa on May 12, 2015 at 2:01 am

        And my current health situation prevents me from getting a job.

        • Robin on May 12, 2015 at 11:56 am

          I’m sorry to hear you’re not getting much help Lisa. I will be praying an answer perfectly suited to your specific situation comes at the very moment you need it!! Please let me know how we could be of any help !!!

  41. Lonely wife on May 12, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Aleea,
    Ok, this is just my opinion, and I don’t want to come across as unloving, but it seems to me that you ARE using what you read here as a “case study”….And also, this is Leslie’s blog, and many times I have felt that YOU have overtaken this blog and made it your own!
    While I’m sure that you don’t mean to do this, your posts are very long, filled with “lawyerese” type of talk, that many times, I do not feel is helpful at all.
    Like I said, that’s just MY opinion, but you’ve never shared how your marriage is abusive, how you are thinking of separating from your husband and how you worry about how you will survive, or how your children are now displaying the abuse that they live with, real worries that all of us women on here have to face everyday!
    Again, my opinion, but it seems to me that you like to “preach” to us a lot, and I don’t find it helpful all that much.
    It’s to the point that I feel that you really don’t know what emotional abuse truly is…and how damaging it can be…again, just my opinion, you and others may not agree and that’s fine, but I just felt the need to remind you that we are real women, not ” case studies”

    • Robin on May 12, 2015 at 11:54 am

      I believe Lonely wife was brave enough to speak the truth many of us have felt.

      • Lynn M on May 12, 2015 at 2:17 pm

        I agree. I don’t want to appear ungracious, Aleea, but you are treating us like subjects you are here to preach to. It’s not helpful.

      • Lonely wife on May 13, 2015 at 6:05 pm

        Thank you Robin and Lynn M…I don’t want to cause trouble, but for the life of me, I just don’t “get” what Aleea is saying or doing on this blog??

      • Anne on May 13, 2015 at 9:28 pm

        I agree

      • Aleea on May 15, 2015 at 5:56 am

        I apologize I did not see these comments. I don’t have any system for knowing what is posted to where that might be directed at me.  I don’t see it from a mobile device and the columns get so small I can’t tell what is going on.  Anyway, after lots of prayer and reflection, I do understand your points and they are good ones. You are being honest and forthright and doing it in a gracious way so I can hear it.  I love you for that!!!  It doesn’t matter what I intended —which was only and always trying to convince myself when I have serious doubts, in other words, preaching at myself— . . . that doesn’t matter if it is perceived as preaching at or judging those here, I agree. I’m just trying to hang on to something far more important than my marriage, my faith. I just need to know that Christianity is a distinction with a real difference. Sometimes all of you show me just that, other times I just can not see it and I try to convince myself (preach at myself). I want to ask you real questions but I am terrified to do so because your answers may show me exactly what I so fear. . . . I want to say real things but I don’t feel safe. For all that and more I ask everyone’s forgiveness . . .[Tears] . . . . . I was further humiliated the other day when I got a tax/ banking question from one of you on my direct e-mail and even that I had to have answered by a colleague.  —Humbling, Christian living is tough stuff, too humbling.  God is constantly humbling me and then I can’t even feel sorry for myself (—because that somehow is a lack of faith). I can’t even just flat out give up (—because that is a lack of faith too and God insists He is trying to “teach” me something). —Boy, I had some kind of an argument with the Lord about why I have to be here months ago. If I am not safe to ask questions and really interact, I am just someone who doesn’t matter to anyone. . . .One of you said my posts are too long, so I am taking that to heart and staying 100% out of the next post/ tread up: “Scripture Support for. . . . . . .”  —Nothing on that would be short or simple, that is level five core systematic theology, straight-up and involves getting into hundreds of passages and dealing with all the issues, real-style: A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Interpretation by Dr. Grant R. Osborne professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School-style. That is what it would look like. Anyway, thank you all for being so honest. I realize now I can’t take other women being honest with me very well, don’t ever stop. That is the point. So I guess I haven’t learned even that lesson. . . . .I have nothing to sell; nothing to market; nothing to gain except faith; nothing to give except questions that I have to ask so delicately no one can understand and yet if answers exist (maybe they don’t) you have them. You, not others. Not some scholar, or “pastor”, you. And please don’t ask me to list my questions. At this point, it would take me a year to feel safe enough to do that, after all this. And all of you (except a few) have been more than kind and I am even giving those the benefit of the doubt. I’ll stay until I am safe, if I can, but if I am banned, please know I will always continue to pray for you and fight with you (fight for; not talk for; we need more filing and less talking). This is truly a hard fight that WILL be won, unless God prevents it, but we need help from all kinds of people (all kinds).
         
        RE: Leonie
        May 11, 2015 at 10:21 pm
        Leonie, I apologize I don’t see this sooner. Again, I don’t have a good system for knowing what is posted where that might be directed at me.  Leonie, I have been praying much for you, your husband and your situation since we first interacted. . . . . Again, I apologize for not seeing your posting sooner. . . . I agree with Robin (—very good answer).  That would have especially been the case with your first husband and his horrific threats.  What are you supposed to do when someone is threatening your life, not take them seriously?  Of course you will leave with compassion but you still go. . . . And, yes, I have had times of knowing God is reaching for my hand and showing me specifically what to do in various situations: Telling me to call someone, give someone money, making me humble by posting on this site, offering to pray with someone about something very specific, getting in counseling, ultimatums with my husband, et. al.  I do have times where I feel a hesitation –Lord is it me or is it You?  How do we get an indication: Psalm 119:105, Proverbs 10:30.  If Wayne Grudem, Paul Washer, John Piper, John MacArthur, David Platt were in a room and told you one thing but the Holy Spirit —clearly— told you another, what would you do?  All I am saying is that the Holy Spirit within us is always the place to start.  What is He telling you from your time with Him?

  42. Brenda on May 12, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Leonie,
    Was the home bought and paid for or at least in part. Even if you sell it, you should be able to take the portion that you brought in off the top of the marital assets. Or, that is the way it is in MI.

    • Leonie on May 13, 2015 at 6:48 am

      Yes, Brenda,
      I brought the equity in my home into marriage. I do have a statement saying how much I owned before my husband moved in. Hopefully the court will honour that and I won’t have to give him the 1/2 he thinks he’s entitled to.

  43. Lynn M on May 12, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Well, I just returned from one of our near final dissolution meetings and in the meeting my husband said (regarding our daughter seeing a counselor) that he didn’t want either of our kids seeing counselor, but he would be “trumped” on this just like he had been on everything for all the years of our marriage! I was totally flabbergasted! Is this going to be his official “line” about the marriage? How is it possible that this man, who never even allowed me to have an opinion, could say or think this? Is this just posturing for the lawyers? Doe anyone with more understanding of the psychology of these men have any thoughts on that? Is it possible he felt “trumped” simply by me having an opinion? That his entitlement doesn’t even allow the mental space for me to think? I’m just really perplexed by this perspective on his part. Im kind of reeling that this is either his perspective, or its his official position for his denial — not sure what to think

    • Robin on May 12, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      Easy answer Lynn!! An abuser will never be questioned. An abuser lies whenever it’s needed to make you look worse than him. I also struggled with the same things you are, until I understood the mind if an abuser/sociopath is to deceive, lie, and do whatever is needed to WIN!! Yes yes yes it was for the lawyer to hear. You can bet on that. Isn’t it heartbreaking to realize there is no trust between you and your husband at all? All he wants is to be right!!

      • Lynn M on May 12, 2015 at 4:06 pm

        Right, and it wS regarding both of our kids requesting counseling, and both of them telling me exicitly NOT to tell him, which is why I didn’t tell him they were going. He was in danger of being exposed in that moment…. And now I’m starting to get a picture of the story he will tell his next “victim”. He is a very attractive man. He will have one soon, I’m sure.

  44. Brenda on May 12, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Lynn M,

    He says those things so that he looks abused and disrespected. The xh did the same thing. He always had to have his own way and he didn’t care how he got it. If making me look bad worked, that is what he would do. I used to spend a lot of time feeling that I was wrong because of statements like this. When I came out of the fog and realized what had been happening it was a real shock. When they say things like that, they may make it their reality, but it doesn’t make it true.

    • Leonie on May 13, 2015 at 6:55 am

      Lynn, things like that have been my experience too. It is so confusing & makes you feel like you are in the fog. I know that nothing is more important to my husband than appearances and he will lie & say anything to make himself look good especially at my expense. The things they say can be jaw dropping.

      • Lynn M on May 13, 2015 at 7:08 am

        I’m glad (in a weird way) that others have had the same experience. Thank you all for sharing

  45. Brenda on May 13, 2015 at 7:12 am

    Leonie,

    That is great. I had to do some digging to find what I needed. I didn’t have a house, but I had a 401k that I rolled over when switching jobs and a savings. He had a broken down truck and holes in his jeans. You may not want to live there. It would be understandable if you didn’t. I get the creeps when I have to pass through the area where the x-house is. Unfortunately, it is close to several places that I need to get to at least a couple of times a month.

    He should not be entitled to property that was yours before you married. Laws change from state to state though. Having proof is superb.

    .

  46. Robin on May 13, 2015 at 7:12 am

    Ladies I spent 5 hours in Settlement Court yesterday to settle my divorce. First ten minutes I had to ask the judge if we could separate- it was so nauseating to be sitting across the table from my abuser. The judge asked me if I would be okay sitting out in hall. Ten minutes later my husband repetitively was rude to my lawyer and was kicked out of the room. He was faithful to show his true self and from there on the judge and other lawyer knew what they were dealing with. They also could not believe his love of money and extreme selfishness thinking everything was his. My lawyer treated me like a daughter, very protective and making sure at all times I felt comfortable. We did settle at end of day. I own our beautiful home free and clear, I have a large amount of money for my retirement, and enough to start some updating my home. I also received half of his pension for life. Thank you to every woman on this blog. You have all been a art of my healing and helping me start my new life!!! Gonna write a book now for women going thru what I have experienced for 32 years!! Love you all very much– don’t give up Hope. The answers are there for you if you keep seeking to find them!!!!

    • Lynn M on May 13, 2015 at 9:08 am

      Robin, I am so glad that you received justice, but still sad at the path you had to travel to get there. But what a great outcome for you. Is the divorce final? I hope you find peace in your lovely home now that it is all yours.

      • Robin on May 13, 2015 at 10:08 am

        Everything is final but there are some financial focuments my husband has to give to prove he isn’t receiving more money than he said. Thank you Lynn I feel great relief to know I get to put the past behind me. It was truly awful but with the Lotd He says He will put a new song in our hearts…………

        • Lisa on May 13, 2015 at 7:03 pm

          Robin could you share what the “financial documents my husband has to give to prove he isn’t receiving more money than he said.” I’m concerned my a-h is going to hidr info. 

          • Lisa on May 13, 2015 at 7:03 pm

            *hide



          • Robin on May 13, 2015 at 11:33 pm

            Lisa my situation was probly unique from most others. My husband had inherited oil fields in Texas where he was collecting money from renters on his property. If he can’t show the document that this deal fell thru then my lawyer will take him to trial to prove he makes more money and he needs to split me 50-50.



          • Robin on May 13, 2015 at 11:37 pm

            Ladies if your husbands have locked file cabinets do you see that as healthy?? I was advised to get into it anyway that was needed. I took the whole thing down to my lawyers office. Had we not done that, I would be in the dark still as to how much money we really had and I would not be financially sound. I recommend you get into those locked boxes. You have the right because you are partners in marriage even if he doesn’t treat you as so.



          • Robin on May 13, 2015 at 11:39 pm

            Lisa, do you have access to his pay stubs or tax statements??



          • Robin on May 13, 2015 at 11:40 pm

            Lisa have u looked in a file cabinet or box to find any invesents he’s made??



      • Robin on May 13, 2015 at 11:49 pm

        One thing I might suggest ladies if you’re considering leaving your abusive marriage– be sure and ask God for a plan and get prepared. It would be unwise to just walk out the door- without some preparations made for you and your children. Iny situation I worked at building up my career as a Piano Teacher. My husband tried to get me to quit my job when he retired or go work someplace else. He did not respect my work but I didn’t let that stop me. Also build a group of support people to stand behind you. I joined a Domestic Violence support group where I ended up making a very special friend and advocate with the leader that advised me many times. So make a plan !!!

        • Lisa on May 14, 2015 at 3:20 am

          Robin,

          He keeps all his pay stubs at work so along with regular pay I don’t know if he got a bonus. Some investment papers “accidentally” came to the house, but he was upset and probably will change it all so I won’t know the new acct number. came here

          • Lisa on May 14, 2015 at 3:24 am

            He has a separate checking and savings account too. With him not paying some large bills in full for the last three years it means he is skimming that difference in funds and I don’t know what he did with those monies.



          • Robin on May 14, 2015 at 4:07 pm

            Lisa have you ever asked him WHY he would keep his pay stubs at work?? Doesn’t that sound like he has already separated from you??



    • Lonely wife on May 13, 2015 at 6:13 pm

      So happy for you Robin! Praise God that a judge FINALLY saw through an abusers lies!

  47. Brenda on May 13, 2015 at 7:17 am

    Robin,

    Happy for you!! I know it was an exhausting day. So glad that truth was shown. Our God is faithful in all things.

    Brenda

  48. Leonie on May 13, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Robin,
    I am so relieved for you. I thank God that justice prevailed and finally you are truly free and somewhat recompensed! These men do lie a lot. My husband has locked boxes & suitcases in our basement and I always wonder why everything is locked up so tight & what it is he has to hide from me. He told me that I can divorce him but there is almost nothing for me to get from him. In truth the only ‘thing I want to get’ is freedom from fear, his rage, anger, cheating and abuae.
    What pushed you over the edge so that you finally left?

    • Robin on May 13, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      MY OWN HEALTHINESS PYSHED ME. After counseling every week for a year I saw the truth clearly that his a use was escalating, I was in more pain, and nothing was getting better. It was time for me to do something or shut up my whining. It was very hard to make that decision. I don’t want to misrepresent that. But it was the best thing I could have done for me, my family, and even my abuser.

    • Lisa on May 13, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      My a-h also has everything locked up–at home and at his office.

    • Robin on May 13, 2015 at 11:29 pm

      To be honest what pushed me to start divorce proceedings was the love I had for my children while even tho they were all young adults and living on their own— they each came to me with their ongoing pain. The eldest daughter asked me to read Lundy Bancrofts book and it truly and immediately opened my eyes to how I was procrastinating getting the kind of help I needed. I really don’t think I would have done it just for me. I think when I saw my husband still verbally bashing my 30 year old son to the point I wanted to kick my husband right where it would hurt- I pretty much ran to the counselor said office.

    • Robin on May 15, 2015 at 12:43 am

      After reading your posts and you asking me what pushed me to leave?? I am wondering Leonie why you have stayed so long? Are you ready to just go – maybe to a shelter ?

  49. Leonie on May 14, 2015 at 3:28 am

    Thank you for all that great advice. I have seen a lot things from snooping through the years. You are right – how healthy is having anything locked up? – we are married! It will all come out in court – this crazy web he has built is unbelievable.
    If he forgot his keys or wallet I had used them to figure things out (padlocked suitcases & boxes) was not wise enough to photo copy it at the time I saw it. I did see he gets a pension from an ex that passed away. I was horrified that he never shared that with me. I also thing he must have done a lot of lying in court to have gotten that, it should have gone to her son because as far as I know he kept breaking up with her & moving out. Now I know the things he told me about caring for her when she was ill were complete lies. I can only imagine the drama she went through as she suffered from cancer and passed with my husband as her ‘partner.’
    He lied to me so much and I didn’t figure it out until his sister moved near to us and I heard him telling her so many unnecessary lies – that I realized how profoundly he had deceived me. I did see an investment statement on his computer that showed he had $80,000 of savings. He has 2 banks – one he deals with me through & the other that his pay and all personal things go through. I have never seen a statement, ever. I used to tell him he needed to show this to me since we are married.
    He used to be on his computer doing his budget all the time. I asked him what ‘msg’ meant & he said ‘missing’ but when I googled that as an accounting term it didn’t come up. I have a nursing background and any medical terms I google always come up so I was astonished that it didn’t – now after crazy investigation I know it meant ‘massage’ – I also never see this budget anymore although I know he probably adjusts it daily at work. I tell you, not much goes ‘missing’ either.
    When he rages at me he tells me he wants me to pay 1/2 and I do (more than 1/2) & none of it is from his pocket either so it is a false reason for him to rage at me – I have confronted him on this. The longer I am married the less I know who I am married to. I know a judge will consider his income as family income so when he tells me he wants me to pay 1/2 of everything what he considers 1/2 and what a judge considers fair will be 2 different things.
    My jaw drops when I realize how he has set everything up to protect himself. I was going to do all the court stuff myself but I am realizing I need a good lawyer to help me uncover this web. I know I need to leave the marriage for our 4 year old daughter’s sake and I need a lot of prayer for her protection because he threatens me that I will not get custody but he is not attentive to her needs nor does he even show he can care for her. I know he will fight not to pay anything but if he drove away with her, he would be back within 24 hours and he cannot cope with her 4 yearoldness (adorable but very busy.) I realized this spring that I was much better off without him – when I was a single mom – I used to get money back from taxes every year and then I could buy the kids a toy for the summer (roller blades, basketball hoop … whatever), I could make a few repairs to the house, buy a lawnmower or what was needed and travel out west to see grandma every summer. This spring I realized I can’t do any of that, all the money stays in his pocket and the house is falling into disrepair, I would like to get our daughter a small swing set & go visit my son in SanFrancisco this summer but can’t do any of it. When I went back to work I had to pay all the daycare and then he dropped what he gave me every month so that it cost me to go back to work – there was no net improvement or benefit. His rages were getting worse & I was crying a lot at work and not coping well. I had missed a lot of days because our daughter was sick so often that first year – when they laid me off I was glad I could stay home with our daughter to make sure she would eat properly every day. Your posts Robin have helped me see a more comprehensive picture of what my husband is doing & has done, thank you so much. I am preparing to get out now & getting support from different agencies. God bless, I shiver when I think of your story and how God provided such a great lawyer for you. I also shiver when I look back and see how blind I was to allow myself to be with such a horrible man who only wants to chew me up & spit me out when there is no more benefit for him.

    • Robin on May 14, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      We can’t make healthy decisions until we ourself has received healing, owning our selves, and lots of wonderful support. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re not there yet. We all make mistakes by ignoring their abuse hoping things will improve. I have read over and over on this blog and in abuse books- abuse does not get better but it escalates. So whatever you’re living with now you can be sure it’s only going to increase. I think it’s important that I share the risks I have taken. Because when I left I got a protection order for my safety, my abuser was successful in manipulating 3 of my children against me, making me the bad person. That was 16 months ago and he still keeps them under his power as allies. Do not make the mistake of taking too much time- to move out. The longer your children are influenced, manipulated, receiving daily power over- the greater the chance he can win them over to his side. I believe God has a plan but I also had to be willing to pay the cost– of getting out of abuse – even losing my children. We are in the middle of the process now that I’m divorced, I can be more effective in praying for my family because I myself, am safe!!!!!!!!!

  50. Brenda on May 14, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Lisa,

    He can be court ordered to provide all of his financial information. If he lies about it, the judge will not be a happy camper.

    Brenda

  51. Brenda on May 14, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Leonie,
    Praying for you and your daughter. H can say whatever he likes. If he doesn’t want you to know what msg means, it is probably not something he would want known publicly. I am glad that you are getting your ducks in a row.

    Brenda

  52. Robin on May 14, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Lisa and anyone who is aware of their husband having separate accounts- please see this as a huge red flag. Why would a husband need to separate his accounts from his wife, unless he had evil intentions?? I didn’t understand this at the time, I was fortunate I had s counselor that did, and she was able to guide me to finding out what those accounts were. It is not healthy and he obviously hides these from you to protect his interests if there is a divorce. From my own experiences I would encourage anyone that has been aware of hidden accounts to stop at nothing to find them and disclose them. It is proof that something is being done — that he wants you to have no knowledge of or you can get 50 percent of them. This is so hard, I truly know. You think you should be able to trust the one you made vows with – and yet you know his hiding accounts is nothing more than absolute lying and disloyalty. I’m so sorry but please don’t continue to wear blinders.

    • Leonie on May 14, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      Thank you, what else can it be. That’s all it is, to protect himself and there must be something there to protect.

    • MaryJ on May 14, 2015 at 11:56 pm

      Robin,

      How were you able to find out about his accounts? I know my H has opened his own account (as he has changed his paycheck to direct deposit to it) but I also suspect he has opened some type of line of credit or gotten a loan.

      • Robin on May 15, 2015 at 10:02 am

        I am sure there are ways to find out about a husbands hidden accounts. My situation was a miracle!! I was advised to open the locked file cabinet in his bedrm. I found s way to do so and tumbling out came investment after investment, several savings accounts I knew nothing about and lots of hidden banking info he had never shared with me. I took the whole thing straight to my lawyers office and he photo copied every paper that was the end of his secrets. Had I not broken into the locked files, I would not have received my share of them.

  53. Brenda on May 14, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    But, if you are planning to leave an abusive situation, please prepare and have funds available for your survival. This is not the same as being unfaithful or dishonest.

    Brenda

    • Robin on May 14, 2015 at 3:13 pm

      AMEN!!!!!!

    • Lisa on May 14, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      How do you do this if he only has access to the paycheck? And you can’t work. How many months worth do you need?

      • Lynn M on May 14, 2015 at 5:26 pm

        I had a friend who used the debit card to buy groceries and scrimped in food costs and added $20 cash to each card usage and put it all in savings account. . She also bought gift cards at the grocery and stashed those away. There might be a job you could do during the day like babysit and keep the cash?

  54. Brenda on May 14, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Lisa,
    That is rough. He is really keeping you held hostage. You might want to contact a local shelter or DV program to see what your community has available and what advice they can give you. Some churches may help. Try contacting an attorney and see if you can get one that will give you a free consult. Leave no stone left unturned. Many years ago I spent 2 months in the Underground Railroad with no money, but was able to get an apartment, a job and they helped me with furniture and kitchen things to get started. I wish I knew another way to help. Brenda

    • Robin on May 15, 2015 at 12:37 am

      Lisa what keeps you from working out of your home for a few months .
      Would it be workable for you to do some daycare or something that would give u some income???

      • Lisa on May 15, 2015 at 1:35 am

        You have to purchase insurance for day care work and register your business with the state here. And if he ever found out he would stop paying household bills saying I have my own income. He is ruthless. Ever since I began breaking free of his control he started with financial abuse.

        • Lisa on May 15, 2015 at 1:48 am

          And the state here cares nothing for how long you’ve been married and stayed home and raised a family. If you have a college degree, but don’t have a job, they see what a job pays in your field and they will not award you alimony, because they say you’re capable of making X amount of dollars. ( I don’t have a college degree.) This state is pro-men in divorce court.

        • Robin on May 15, 2015 at 1:58 am

          That’s exactly what happened to me. I starting finding people who could support me and help me to stop his controlling and he quit paying for everything. Have you considered going to a shelter? Sounds like it would be a good option for you? What ages are your children?

          • Lisa on May 15, 2015 at 9:11 am

            If I go to a shelter longer than 30 days I forfeit all rights to the marital home and would not be able to claim 1/2 of net profit from sale of home. My youngest is a teenager, still in the minor category; he does not want to leave the family home and if I just go it will be considered abandonment and then the court will really be against me for divorce proceedings.



  55. Brenda on May 15, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Lisa,
    The laws in your state are really anti-woman. I’d really like to know which one it is so we can start a petition and a law change. What you have said they would do to you for going to a shelter is ridiculous.

    Brenda

    • Robin on May 15, 2015 at 10:07 am

      Lisa no one is allowed to stay in a shelter for more than 30 days .My DV counselor told me that. Your best bet is to do as I did and stay in home and file protection order to get him out of home but you will need to file divorce papers also. Do u have parents or siblings or a great friend you can ask for some help in walking they this with you??

      • Lisa on May 15, 2015 at 11:12 am

        My family all live VERY far from me and “don’t want to be involved”. One said, “You’ll just have to figure it out.” Parents are on Medicaid–they have nothing and are in a bad way physically.
        There are two close friends here–one in an abusive marriage herself. The other just lost her husband and has a lot of children to care for. Her husband kind of left her in a lurch by forgetting to renew his life ins premiums. She is kind, but her life is upside down right now.
        The others I know here are like ‘sorry, hope it all works out for you.’ I don’t even want to stay in this state. Too many bad memories.
        I truly am on my own here. There is no one that calls unless I call them. Then it’s “oh, I haven’t heard from you in a while”—not sorry they haven’t called. These are all people I have helped with getting info they needed, had to my home on many occasions, for lunch or dinner, babysat for, etc… I really need someone to say “I’m here any time and will stand with you no matter yet.” So truly, “The Lord is my Helper” and “I alone am the Lord, and there is no savior except me…”

        • Lisa on May 15, 2015 at 11:41 am

          *no matter what (not yet)

          • Lisa on May 17, 2015 at 5:16 am

            A few years ago one of my family members became my Medical and Financial Power of Attorney. There was no way I was going to allow this monster to have any power to control my healthcare decisions or have access to monies should any be gifted to me. I also wanted to make sure he could never enter a hospital room I could be in should I need one.

            On multiple occasions he didn’t want to take the children or I to the hospital for very serious medical situations. His cruelty has no limits.



        • Robin on May 15, 2015 at 11:44 am

          Lisa I’m sorry you feel everyone that could offer help, has failed you. I know how difficult that is, as I experienced it too. I did a very bold and daring thing as I became desperate for help. I asked the Lord to show me one person to confide in. It was an almost stranger. I sat in her living room for 3 hours before I got brave enough to tell her why I was really there. I told her I couldn’t take no for an answer. My husband had just terribly crossed the line and I was ready to run away if someone couldn’t help walk me thru this. She was shocked to see my vulnerability and truthfulness. I believe it only worked because I waited for the Lord to tell me where to go. When I did file for divorce this friend and her husband let me move inceith them for two weeks when we decided I needed to go home and protects right to keep it my home. By that time the police had escorted my husband out and away. He never returned and this couple stood by me thru thick and thin. I will be praying God sends you such an advocate. God has a plan for you, Lisa. Hang on and keep the Hope!!!

          • Lisa on May 15, 2015 at 12:51 pm

            Thank you Robin. He backed away with overt verbal assaults and implemented financial abuse. I confided recently to someone. She really listened and believed me without hesitation that the h abused me. I saw her a few days later and she asked what was I going to do. I need a good lawyer. I have yet to find one I feel wants to help me and not just take my money.
            An advocate would be wonderful! Thank you for praying for me.



    • Lisa on May 15, 2015 at 11:14 am

      Some day I will say, but for the sake of not giving a very specific identifying piece of info i’ll refrain for now.

      • Lisa on May 15, 2015 at 11:19 am

        This was to answer Brenda when she asked what state I am in.

      • Robin on May 15, 2015 at 12:58 pm

        Lisa I will be praying as others on this blog will also do because we are here to support one another and offer a hand or heart when it is needed. Finding the right lawyer can be tough. I would ask for a free consultation first if possible so he can hear what you need. But remember it’s all up to the Lord to direct you. Just as He led me He will lead you, as you depend on Him and when we are in those places of desperate need is where His Power really shows up!!!!

  56. Brenda on May 15, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Robin,
    I went from one shelter to another (30 days each), then moved in with folks from the church for a couple of months before finding an apartment and still was due part of the equity in the home. That being said it was in MI in the 80’s, so I don’t know what the laws would be now. The attorney told me to go home, but I was so afraid of him there was no way. I was small and 100 lbs soaking wet. He could pick me up and throw me and had already threatened my life. I didn’t fare well through that. I believe the judge was afraid of him and gave him mostly what he wanted except for custody. I did get that. He fired an attorney during a court appearance and went over the desk towards the judge before being restrained. It really depends on the state and the judge.

    Brenda

  57. Brenda on May 15, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Lisa,
    No problem. Whatever you are comfortable with.

    Prayers going out for you,

    Brenda

    • Lisa on May 15, 2015 at 12:52 pm

      Thank you so much Brenda.

  58. R on May 15, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    For me as well…sadly.

  59. Valerie on May 16, 2015 at 10:17 am

    I’m hoping that this will help someone out there. Many of these posts have made me angry and frustrated. My anger and frustration comes from hearing about how these beautiful women are starved for attention, zealously looking to improve their marriage to the point of condemning themselves if they thought that would make an improvement. As Leslie stated- why is it that women are expected to carry the weight of a healthy marriage? How is it that women who make mistakes that they show remorse for are scolded and reminded they are not being Christ-like while husbands who are cruel without remorse as classified as an imperfect human being?

    This is where I was just over a year ago and the chains of enslavement to my husband’s emotional whims was debilitating. While it is true that we all have our faults I think I have yet to read on any abuse blog/forum of a wife whose behavior has led to the destructiveness of the marriage that has made it abusive. I’m so angry and frustrated that there are so few people willing to speak the truth like Leslie and a few others. Two to tango and other such nonsense has needlessly kept women in bondage.

    I was in an emotionally abusive marriage for just over 20 years. I thought we had the same goal of a healthy marriage, so when he was destructive I thought on some level he grieved that inside and wanted to change. I made the mistake of assuming we were working on the same motivations and goals. So when he said or did something hurtful—-scratch that—-ABUSIVE, I thought he felt bad about it because I knew I sure would. I thought that when he was acting civilly toward me that this was his true nature and when he acted abusively this was when he “got off the path”. What a reality it was for me to come to grips with when I realized the opposite was true! His abusiveness WAS him acting truthfully to his character while the moments of kindness….sometimes what I (gulp) mistook as loving….those were the times of him showing his grand acting ability. He was only_acting_ lovingly so that he could continue to abuse me.

    The stress within my body, the times when I thought my heart was being ripped out of my chest and my mind being lost to seeming insanity was because I wasn’t acting on reality. The problem is that I had NO ONE to tell me otherwise. “Christian” women, books, even counselors were keeping me believing the lie. My body and mind were so broken as a result. My good mind (what I know now was all along) was telling me the sky is blue. My H is acting as though the sky is green in every way, but he is TELLING me the sky is blue. My “support” mentioned above was telling me the sky was green and might even question my character for saying otherwise. The dissonance caused between what I knew to be true and what everyone else was telling me led me to be nearly suicidal. I felt trapped in my mind and was to the point of not trusting myself to make the smallest decisions.

    God shows us the true color of the sky in His word. I finally grew unwilling to deny what I was reading in scripture. This was extremely hard because I had only 3 people in my life who were supporting me in that. Most of the others told me it was sinful and unsubmissive of me to allow my husband the consequences of sowing and reaping. Twisting scripture to convince me that continuing to bury my head in the sand would somehow glorify God.

    I plead with any of you who are still in your abusive marriages to pretend you are deaf and can only SEE your husband’s true intentions. Scripture says out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. So when my husband was in acting mode and SAID the right things I thought that came from his heart. Yet when I realized that he was intentionally deceiving me with his words, then what does the truth of scripture then say about where his heart is focused?? Out of the overflow of his heart he was intentionally manipulating me with his words.

    Please earnestly consider Leslie’s advise when she says that someone who is repentant WANTS to be held accountable. It is extremely confusing because many abusers can be so adept at manipulation. They are skilled at giving plausible excuses (only I mistakenly saw them as reasons, not excuses). When asked about accountability my husband proudly stated that another man (who was abusive to his wife) was holding him accountable!! He would look at me as though there was something bitter in me that did not consider that a healthy choice. He seriously wanted accolades for his “sacrifice” of this “accountability partner”. If their response to your pleas does not match the gravity of the situation…then please, please consider what God is telling you. God has given you a sound mind and you can trust your instincts!! What freedom (and sanity) I found in only trusting God’s Word for truth and not what everyone else was telling me!

    A clueless husband looks for help to gain clues to remedy the problem. A cruel husband will fight to cover up his cruelty. The darkness hides and fears the light for being exposed.

    • Anne on May 16, 2015 at 10:35 am

      What clarity, Valerie! Thank you SO much!

    • Lisa on May 16, 2015 at 3:26 pm

      This so good! Thank you Valerie. It got me thinking about who a-h really is. He has been financially abusing me (besides all the other kinds of abuse) and it has me feeling fearful to the point where I wrongly think I should just give in to how he wants things to be.

      Then I began remembering how he has treated me when I was at my lowest healthwise, the death of a loved one, very sick children, etc…he was HORRIBLE!!! Then the next thought came, “and how do you think it will be when your much older, possibly incapacitated, and the children are long gone?!”

  60. Leonie on May 16, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Thank you, Valerie, you figured it out. Thank you for sharing it with us. You are exactly right and this is so true. Thank you for posting this. My biggest mistake is always believing that he thinks like I do & he feels like a normal person would after being cruel and his goals are similar to mine. They are not, they prove e wry day they are not like you & me – that’s why no truth can come out of their mouths! Lord help us to see the light & live in It. When I read your post it gave me so much courage and joy inside!!! Because this is truth for us on this blog. God bless you.

  61. Brenda on May 16, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Lisa,
    I had some of those same thoughts before I left the xh. I have medical issues that are debilitating and can get worse at the drop of a hat. Who was going to take care of me if one morning I woke up and could not walk or use my arms? Before I even left I had written up a Power of Attorney and Medical Power of Attorney so that my daughter would be in charge and that responsibility taken out of his hands. I was not going to allow him to become my care giver. He didn’t take too kindly when I got sick and wasn’t any help to me at all.

    I had to have injections and he wouldn’t even stay in the same room when the nurse came to give instructions. My daughter gave me my shots in places I could not do for myself. When she left and there was no one else, he finally learned how. The problem with that was he hurt me each and every time. If I said anything at all about him moving the needle around and causing me pain, he’d get mad and tell me I was on my own or you wouldn’t be happy if you were hung with a new rope. I never did get that one. I don’t think I would like to be hung with a new or old rope.

    Living alone has made my overall well being better. I would rather sleep with a cell phone by my side in case I need help that a useless man.

    • Robin on May 17, 2015 at 12:06 am

      So so sorry, Brenda!! That must have been so difficult. No wonder you are such a strong woman today!!!!!

    • Lisa on May 17, 2015 at 5:14 am

      A few years ago one of my family members became my Medical and Financial Power of Attorney. There was no way I was going to allow this monster to have any power to control my healthcare decisions or have access to monies should any be gifted to me. I also wanted to make sure he could never enter a hospital room I could be in should I need one.

      On multiple occasions he didn’t want to take the children or I to the hospital for very serious medical situations. His cruelty has no limits.

  62. Leonie on May 16, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    So every time I am in his presence I am just being a sitting duck – a sucker for punishment, stupid stupid me. Now I am angry, really, really angry: At him for being like this and at me for taking it. I don’t want to be in the same place as him for 1 more second.

    • Valerie on May 16, 2015 at 7:32 pm

      When I began to realize what I suspected for years was true, I was angry too. When I started responding to him as though he were abusive (not believing his manipulations and being firm in my boundaries) he got extremely ugly. He didn’t even try to hide his true self anymore. The mask was off of his NPD and the discard was full underway. The gig was up and he had no use for me anymore.

      I had lived this abuse long enough that his evil behavior toward me only solidified the truth and made it easier for me to know I was doing the right thing by temporarily living with a friend. He filed for divorce recently thereafter.

      I tell that part of the story so that others realize that when you respond differently it forces them to respond differently. Be prepared for kickback. I learned that he had been lying to our mutual friends for some time about me so by the time I started standing up they were supportive of him and wagging their finger at me.

      I finally turned the anger outward that I had turned inward for so many years. But this is where that important verse comes in: “In your anger do not sin”. While our first priority needs to be in maintaining God’s holy standard it is also a very real opportunity for the devil to gain a foothold. I found it critical to keep the focus of my anger on what he was doing to dishonor God. If I wanted to take the anger personally I did that through God as well. For example I would pray/talk to God something like, “H is treating a child of God wickedly and I know You see this!” It was so hard to take every thought captive to Christ when my flesh wanted to “curse” him in my thoughts.

      People don’t get abused because they’re stupid. I said the same thing to myself many, many times the first while (being angry at myself for “taking” it). Yet I now look back on this and realize it was my desire to be a godly wife that kept me in the marriage (though I had a distorted view of what a godly wife was).

      Anger fuels us to make changes but if it is not channeled in a way that honors God we will suffer for it…not your spouse. God has seen every attitude of abuse within the marriage and I have painfully learned to rest in my trust of His justice and timing.

  63. Leonie on May 16, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    it’s so obvious that waiting for a man who operates like this to repent is futile. NPD is exactly what it is. They feel good about themselves when they tricked you or trumped you. The other day I made a comment about him being souls & normal rules didn’t apply to him @ that didn’t make him too happy. They don’t like when you see & define truth

    • Leonie on May 16, 2015 at 9:27 pm

      Valerie, Sorry that posted too quick – the other day I made a comment about him being special and normal rules not applying to him. He didn’t like that very much. He gets offended really fast when I state the truth in his presence. I know the disguise will come off and he will ramp it up too. Thank you, that is wise advice, I like how you said you kept your focus. “I found it critical to keep the focus of my anger on what he was doing to dishonor God.”
      I will pray about how to handle & think about this. I don’t feel a need to challenge him but it is so important to have that truth so you know what you are dealing with & can see it in his behaviour, have the truth on your mind & in your heart and be aware when he is kind that it is a lie designed to achieve what he wants. He isn’t going to like me much but at least the lights are on.

      • Valerie on May 17, 2015 at 9:04 am

        Leonie, yes…exactly! To have that truth is incredibly powerful. One of the biggest gifts God has given me through this is showing me I wasn’t crazy. When you feel you are losing your mind it becomes difficult to see a reason for living.

        I have never told him about his NPD and don’t advise anyone else to either. The momentary validation you have from stating the truth will be short lived- they will retaliate in ways you can’t imagine. I made the mistake of confiding in people that I shouldn’t have. I was so relieved (I wasn’t crazy) and angry about the truth of what he had done to me all those years that I wanted to basically tell everyone I knew (privately) I had been right all along. I wanted that validation from others but this led to further trauma. He had gotten to many of our friends long before I left and some of them acted like they were supportive but then were basically telling him what I said. He had a smear campaign (cleverly disguised as concern for me) with leaders in the church so they supported him too. I am thankful God muzzled my tongue on my plans and from then on I kept everything close to the cuff. Though I lost my church and all my friends but one, I developed a closeness and trust in God far beyond what I had before. Many days He was literally the only one I could talk to.

        Like others have said it is wise to prepare. I believe God warned me about not letting him know what I was planning so I gave him no idea I was planning to leave until I got some money saved, made photocopies of every legal/bank document I could find and video inventoried the house. Someone with NPD is already well adept at manipulation so if they have a whiff you are leaving they have a great propensity to malign you (and hide things).

        God has been more faithful that I could imagine. I have prayed every step of the way and He has guided me to people, information and support that have ALL been of Him. I pray that you and others here will all be able to say that despite the abuse God has given you a powerful testimony!

        • Robin on May 17, 2015 at 3:04 pm

          Valerie, I too was able to leave well prepared. Had all financial documents in lawyers hands, had built up my career, and made arrangements for my safety, and a great team of advocates. I greatly appreciated how it was God who led me every step of the way. If I had a word for others, it would you can end the abuse quickly, by separating yourself from it, long before you have all the answers to your questions. I absolutely was fearful of all I didn’t know, but chose to step out and trust God to lead me. I too, have a miracle story of being freed from abuse and it’s not because of an amazing lawyer or counselor , although God arranged those people in my life. It was learning to walk wisely in my faith.
          Amen. Amen.

        • Leonie on July 21, 2015 at 11:50 am

          Thank you again Valerie & Robin. Your posts were instrumental in me seeing the light, understanding the truth and getting the courage to leave my abusive relationship!

          • Robin on July 21, 2015 at 1:27 pm

            Leonie, it’s a Joy to see you walking and growing in strength and boldness!!!!!!



  64. Brenda on May 17, 2015 at 6:03 am

    Lisa,
    I am sorry this has happened to you and your children. Not helping your family to get the care they need is beyond contempt. We did not have children together and he stayed out of those kids of decisions where it came to medical decisions. He did think that child support that came in for them should be part of the joint account, but it wasn’t. I was still a mama bear where it came to the kids. It took me a long time to be able to see that I should not take his or anyone else’s mistreatment, either. The word “wife” seemed to stick in my head like I was not a priority. No more.

    Robin, My strength comes from the Lord!! Brenda

  65. Brenda on June 3, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Phoenix,
    Wise words. I often asked the xh after realizing the things that I loved were nonexistent what he loved about me. He usually didn’t say a word other than “huh”. Once in a while he’d say, “I don’t like you, I love you.” That did not make me feel any better. When I started seeing myself how God sees me that I started feeling strength and courage to leave. It was 2 years ago today and no regrets whatsoever.

    Brenda

  66. trying on July 11, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Sorry I meant my previous comment to be to Shellie (not Sheila)

  67. Maggie on March 10, 2020 at 8:47 am

    this didnt really work when i needed to track my son, he was gone for 2 days and evemn the cops could not locate where he was. it was a petru(at)hackwithme.tech that helped me with exact gps location to get him. Im soo grateful to God, the boy was gone with his evil girlfriend getting high!!!!!!

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