Hi Friends,

I am so excited about my new course called Letting Go of Negative Emotions, starting Thursday night. It will help you understand where your negative emotions come from, how to recognize them before they get the best of you, and specific strategies on letting them go. It is my most intensive class offering yet, with three 90 minute sessions with time for you to ask questions.

If you are someone who get’s caught in your fear, anger, bad moods or old hurts, this class is for you! Click here for more information.

This weekend I read a book I would highly recommend to all of you – whether you are in a destructive marriage as a victim or as the perpetrator (I know that both sides are reading my blog). It’s an e-book, not very long but it’s an interview with a man who was told by his counselor that he was emotionally abusive and his battle to come to terms with that reality. None of his words have been edited and it’s written using question and answer dialogue between the counselor and the client on how he began to see it, what it took for him to change and what it took to restore their marriage. It’s called Interview with an Ex Abuser: From One of the Few Who Changed by Deborah Sanasi.

That leads to this weeks’ question asked by just this kind of person. A man whose wife has accused him of doing something that he can’t see.

Question: My wife says I’m manipulative and controlling. I don’t think I am. Let me give you an example. We have been separated for about a year, but recently we were out to dinner. While we were sitting there, she was friendly to some other patrons (policemen who she knew). She wasn’t flirting but I felt slighted and insulted that she was ignoring me. I told her how I felt and she accused me of being controlling. Is that true? I don’t see it?

Answer: First, let me applaud you for even asking the question. Most people when given that kind of feedback totally ignore or discount it. The fact that you are asking the question suggests that you might be open to the possibility that it’s true, even if you don’t see it.

Manipulating and controlling behavior are often subtle and hard to prove in the moment. They become much more obvious over time. If we just take this one incident, you might find it difficult to see your behavior as controlling. (Tweet this)

I think most people feel a little uncomfortable when they are out to eat with someone and that person has an extended conversation with someone else and does not include us, whether it is in person or on a cell phone or even texting.

So the only way we can truly answer this question is to examine your patterns over time, especially in relation to your interactions with your spouse. As you do this, you may begin to see a pattern of manipulative and controlling behaviors emerge.

Most people who use these kinds of behaviors don’t usually recognize them as wrong or harmful, it’s just the way they have learned to cope with uncomfortable or painful emotions or ways they’ve learned to get their own way or what they want from others. Underneath these dysfunctional behaviors are usually attitudes of entitlement as well as unrealistic expectations of how others should be or how they should treat you.

For example, perhaps you felt insulted at the restaurant because you believed that you were entitled to your wife’s undivided attention and anything less than that meant that she wasn’t interested in you or your conversations. Ask yourself were you attempting to control her friendliness with others by making her feel guilty about “slighting” you.

Or you may believe, “A wife should never talk with other men, even as friends. If she does, that means she doesn’t love me or I’m not most important.” Again your response to her indicates that you had some expectations of her to give you her undivided attention the entire time you were together. You didn’t say how long she was engaged with the policeman, but was it extensive or just a few minutes?

Here are other ways people manipulate and control others. Read through the list. Perhaps you will recognize using these methods to get your way.

Argue: You don’t take no for an answer but rather continue to make your point over and over again until she wears down and finally agrees with you. The underlying message is it’s not okay for her to disagree or have her own opinion.

Begging: “Please? Please? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease? Continuing to ask, beg and plead until she changes her mind. The underlying message is she is not allowed to say no.

Bargaining: “If you do this, then I’ll give you….. A bribe to get her to do or not do what you want. You use favors as a means to manipulate her into doing something that she would not have wanted to do otherwise.

Guilt Trips: You might say, “You’re not following God or you’re being an unsubmissive wife or God hates divorce or if you really loved me or our children you would…..” The message here is that if she doesn’t do what you think she should do, God will be upset with her or you won’t be able to handle it or she is not a good/godly person.

Micromanaging: This is usually in the areas of time and money where one person makes the other person feel like a subordinate employee or child. She is not allowed to make her own decisions or handle her own life without asking your permission.

Misquoting or Twisting: “You said……” when in reality the person didn’t say it that way but you twist what they said to suit your own purposes. For example, “You said we were going to get back together soon, when what she really said was, “I don’t know if we can get back together soon.”

Playing Holy Spirit: We are all tempted to do this when confronting someone with his or her sin. But it is not our job to convict or change someone else’s behavior to line up to what we think it should be. When we see someone caught in a sin or trespass, we can try to restore such a one in a spirit of humility and gentleness (Galatians 6:1) but if we try to hold someone accountable to a change that they have not initiated, we are attempting to play God in his or her life.

Promises: I will do anything, just ……… Whether or not you keep your promise is irrelevant. You use a promise to get her to do something you want her to do.

Punishing actions: Using physical, sexual, economic, or verbal pressure, abuse or tactics to punish her for not doing what you think she should do. You might stop paying the bills, close the bank account, curse at her, call her names, accuse her of things, tell friends and neighbors untrue things about her to teach her a lesson for not doing what you want her to do. You feel justified because she did something “wrong” and won’t change or stop or admit she was wrong.

Irritation or Silence: I am so bothered or angry that you won’t do what I want that I won’t speak with you or treat you kindly until you change and do what I want.

Threats: Threatening to leave, to hurt one’s self or others, to hurt something she loves like her pet, her parents, her children, her stuff if she doesn’t do what you want her to do.

Some of these patterns overlap and many are used in conjunction to try to get another person to do something we think they should do or to stop doing something that we don’t want them to do. When we do that we try to control their behavior and often their thinking. That is not our role or responsibility and when you do this you will not have the intimacy or love you desire.

If you see yourself in these examples, that’s a good start but it usually doesn’t result in permanent changes unless you invite your wife and others to tell you when you fall back into them. Then it is your responsibility to learn how to tolerate the uncomfortable emotions that you may feel when she disagrees with you, doesn’t want to do what you want her to do or wants to do something different, in a mature way.

Friend: How have you learned to stand up to a manipulator? Or if you recognized yourself in some of these patterns, what are you doing to stop them?

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356 Comments

  1. Survivor on May 27, 2015 at 7:41 am

    “Manipulating and controlling behavior are often subtle and hard to prove in the moment. They become much more obvious over time. If we just take this one incident, you might find it difficult to see your behavior as controlling.”

    This is SO key in looking at abuse!!!!! For years, I had a very difficult time opening up about my abuse because every time I did, I felt like I sounded so petty. The stories just didn’t sound at all like I was feeling and I wondered why I felt so desperate when the stories sounded so small. Then the big stuff started happening and I KNEW something was drastically wrong! Recently, a counselor talked to me about patterns and also about abusers knowing exactly what buttons to push to stay in control. It made so much sense to me! I am (slowly) becoming more stable in being able to pick out and identify patterns and address them rather than individual incidents……

    • Laura Di on May 27, 2015 at 8:55 am

      Dear Survivor,

      As stated the dance can be so subtle that the manipulation and controlling behaviors get buried as layers and layers of small stuff develops. Following is an example that ate at my insides because if I shared it with others they’d most likely think it was innocuous and I was over reacting.

      I recollect my ex encouraging me to do volunteer work saying “ Take your goodness and help others.”. I decided to participate in a religious study program for children. Our own child was enrolled too, attending as I lead a different group than his and it was nice change for me as it would have been a afternoon of driving to and fro to drop off and pick-up if I hadn’t participated.The result was at first a win win for it was less taxing in one way, plus it made me feel more confident in my walk with God. I didn’t complain about the work that went into preparation which was accomplished without compromising any family needs.Teaching, I found, was a valuable gift to give and receive while interacting with others and a good example for our children. Then the crusher arrived in the way of a remark made with disdain and judgment, when one day I shared with him how the volunteer work posed some struggles with juggling the regular family routine. Despite the fact I was making everything manageable, I admitted it was a bit exhausting and need some finessing to pull together successfully. So instead of making a home cooked meal maybe we’d have a take-out brought in. His response,” Charity begins at home!”

      I was shocked, devastated and stunned. I did not let his negativity change my commitment to keep teaching. And there were numerous other incidences where he encouraged me only to knock me down in the end.

      I prayed, sought help and God directed me through this situation of manipulation by His goodness and grace by showing me a new idea of charity….sometimes it begins by leaving home!

  2. Kate on May 27, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Leslie, that e-book is a quick and valuable read. I’m at the stage in my journey where my husband seems to be seeking genuine change, but it’s so hard to trust. It helps to see what a good pattern looks like.
    Thank you for the recommendation!

    • Leslie Vernick on May 27, 2015 at 9:48 am

      Yes, I wish it had said more about his change of thinking and then how he actually lived that out but I think it gave a good look into someone’s mindset of how they feel entitled and justified and are blind to how it impacts others.

  3. Alene on May 27, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Controlling behavior IS very subtle…it gets down to motives and attitudes.

    It is usually about one’s self and what one wants and is wrapped up in one’s own feelings.

    I often knew things weren’t right in my relationship with my husband but it used to be hard to pinpoint. We want to believe the best of the other person and their motives. People often project their attitudes on others; I believed better of him, hoped for better, thought he would see. It is better and so much healthier to seek to humbly walk in truth I am finding.

    I agree the best humility and hope for change is when a person becomes open to input and feedback and they accept and seek to understand and care, and walk in truth and love.

    My husband used control:
    – telling me I was insubmissive (if you knew me, you’d laugh)
    – telling me I was too sensitive (which blocked input) or being the Holy Spirit (same result)
    – insisting on being head of the home
    – he used his anger, impatience, harshness and so on to control.
    – he would pull the children around him
    – he did not listen to input
    – he blamed others
    – he attacked my family when he felt disgruntled with me
    – he resisted change
    – he used avoidance
    – he used work
    – he used put downs
    – he used selfish comments
    – he would say shut up or even put his hand over my mouth

    It amazes me the major problems we ran into and he continued to avoid the truth. Even now, he is controlling how much he admits to himself.

    I was living in a fun house of mirrors that distorted life. I tried to communicate, work on the marriage, appeal, and so on.
    It wasn’t until I began to walk in simpler truth, with meek boundaries, and got stronger and worded things in a way that presented him with a choice in how he would respond to statements, boundaries, and consequences that things began to change.

    How did I fall into control?
    I no longer try to compensate for his behavior with the kids. I do not speak for my husband, soften what is happening, try to walk together when we are not agreed.
    I do not overcompensate with love or communication to make up for what he is not doing.
    I am trying not to make things turn out ok or fix things or over communicate or get anxious.
    I no longer discuss the opposite of the strange thing he is saying; I call attention to the actual attitude problem with a statement either then or later when things are calmer.
    I had to get more clear on freedom…his freedom to choose and my own freedom to respond according to his choices. I feel like I used to be anxious like he couldn’t talk about our son or a situation or someone else in that harsh way, that it wasn’t safe or good…but in actuality he could and he did talk that way. He had that choice. I have a choice how I respond (I gave a boundary that I would leave and not listen). That is much healthier and free-er.
    As I got more specific and clear, I could weed out what I had been wanting according to my personality or desires (wanting him to be a good husband, to communicate to son, not overeat, etc), so I could accept preferences and choices and concentrate on what was actually destructive and needed to be addressed with simple truth and consequences. My desire to parent together or make decisions together or have him understand or care or parent…are all good things, and wishing he would watch his consumption of food or tv isn’t terrible, but he must have the freedom to be himself and choose. The freeing truth is that I can choose my response.

    My husband has been taking some input in a different way recently. He said he’d be open to input but he wasn’t. He would withdraw, get cold, go to work, prickle, etc. I approached him again and named the pattern I was seeing and asked if he felt unloved, he replied that he felt uncomfortable when I brought things up. (!) Once he named what was happening, told the truth, he has stayed open and received input much better.

    He is still avoiding the truth of what happened over the years and how bad it was.

    • seeking answers on May 27, 2015 at 10:13 am

      thank-you for sharing Arlene,you have said it perfectly and there is so much truth in what you shared,God Bless you on your journey

    • Lynn M on May 27, 2015 at 10:10 pm

      Alene, I admire your ability to be so proactive with his behaviors. This is what I wish I had had the spirit to do …. When I finally saw the light about the patterns of behavior and could name it as abuse, I was so exhausted and disheartened that I had to decided tovuse my energy to fight my way back or fight my way out. I decided to fight my way out with the little strength I had left. I hope you can continue to shine a light in his darkness and hope that his eyes can continue to be opened

    • Robin on May 28, 2015 at 1:23 am

      Alene, wow great words you shared. You have worked hard to make improvements in your relationship. Well done and said!!!!

  4. seeking answers on May 27, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Im trying to find my way dealing with a husband with split personalities,(as our councelor calls it) its extremely hard when you r required to be submissive to a man that at times is so disassociated that you cant get his attention,which he then says is because of his hearing,altho his hearing is great for the most part..we have been married for almost 30 years and IM not planning on getting out of the marriage until God calls me home,however my point,being in a marriage like this often wud appear as if Im the controlling one because so much of the responsilities lies on me,and i dont always get it right,therefore the question arises,why was i the one making decisions,wen my answer will b because of being the only one availabe and needed to avoid yet another failed business,or the headaches of cleaning up yet another mess,He has no finanacial wisdom,or the ability for being on time ,however he is very intelligent,and creative in putting together his own scetches for whatever he is building..the last councelor has informed me that he is in some ways like a 4 yr old,living in a 40 yr old body,its a tough situation ,yet im finding my way,he has been physical,emotional,and spirtually abusive,however the physical stopped when he knew the police will b called,it never happened again,and he is very careful not to get involved with the law,,he has previously had records,his self esteem is very low..theres a lot of loose ends and not enuf space,I have often felt like wen i ask or tell him something he resents it,and goes into hiding,it feels like a no win situation,how can a lady in my situation,be the leader and the submissive one both?? I much prefer seeing him lead out and make choices,yet after all these yrs and not much of a change,im beginning to wonder if maybe he wont, so until then i will continue to seek answers and lead out to the best of my ability..And trust the Lord to show me thru the HolySpirit if Im being controlling.. and that maybe i need to just sit back and watch everything i worked for go down the tube,

    • Leslie Vernick on May 27, 2015 at 10:29 am

      I think there is a difference between being a leader or being controlling. A leader empowers people, inspires people, and encourage people to work toward a united goal. Someone who is controlling micromanages someone else’s choices, thoughts, and feelings so that they are diminished, crushed and deflated. Perhaps your husband is incapable of being responsible and therefore you may need to take the “lead” but that doesn’t mean you are necessarily controlling, although if someone is out of control and heading your family towards disaster, you may need to at least control yourself and your children by stepping away.

  5. Deanna on May 27, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    This article speaks directly to what i am going through right now In my marriage. I tried a year and a half ago to talk to him about his emotional abuse and he argued that it was all in my head, that I liked to create drama, that there was nothing wrong with him. He has consistently blamed me for just about everything that goes wrong. Just last week he told me it was my fault for causing him so much stress that he isn’t interviewing well and thus not being hired for any jobs. He insists that I lack communication when in reality I have communicated until my face has turned blue and I have given up. We have been married for 17 years and I am at a point where I don’t really know who I am because I have seen myself through his eyes for so long. My self-esteem is so low that I have doubts about whether I am strong enough to stand on my own. I have asked him to stop touching me because it is something I no longer want but he told me that it is his right as my husband to touch me and he will if he wants to. I am at the end of my rope and I’ve been hanging on for dear life. I just don’t know what to do anymore.

    • Becca on May 27, 2015 at 5:27 pm

      Deanna, if you don’t want to be touched, it is your right to tell him that you don’t want that. He should respect you. By him demanding that it is his right to touch you is making you into a sex object, not a cherished wife. If he continues to not respect your wishes, you have choices, but you have to be willing to opt for them. Saying “no” to being his play toy is a start to getting back your identity. That first step is hard, really, really hard. You can do it! We’re here for you!

      • Deanna on May 27, 2015 at 9:17 pm

        Becca, he has shown me in so many ways that he has no respect for me. I am in therapy and have been learning to find my voice again.

        • Robin on May 28, 2015 at 1:30 am

          Deanna, I recommend reading Leslie’s books if you have not. She explains how to stand back, stand up and how to remove yourself when necessary. She also has videos on her website, one in particular about the sexual relationship when you are being mistreated and disrespected. It changed how I did things immediately.

          • Lonely wife on June 1, 2015 at 12:39 am

            Same here Robin! I felt degraded after having sex with my husband…used and then discarded until next time!
            After reading Leslie’s book and watching her videos, I told my husband that I couldn’t have sex with him anymore, not until I felt safe with him (he cheated on me 4 yrs ago) and I saw that he was keeping the promises he’d made..staying in counseling, working on himself and no longer blaming me for HIS problems, and trying to develop more empathy for me and his children.
            This month will be one year….one whole year of living together like roommates, but no sex…he hasn’t even tried to change himself…oh, he makes plenty of promises still, but nothing ever comes of it…he quit counseling, AGAIN, after just five sessions!
            He doesn’t think he’s abusive, he blames me for how our marriage is right now, telling me that I’m just hanging on to the past to punish him.
            I don’t even get upset anymore…I feel sorry for him, that satan has him so blinded.
            I don’t know what will happen in the future, but I’m not worrying about it. God has shown me in sooo many ways that HE is in control….so I’m just leaning on Him.



          • Robin on June 1, 2015 at 12:54 am

            Lonely Wife, that is wonderful that you are not serving his sinful needs and standing up and setting boundaries. Let me ask you a question. You say you have been living as roommates for almost a year. I’m wondering how you feel about thAt? You say he has made no change. So is your plan you are okay remaining roommates?? What are you wanting to do next now that he hasn’t kept his promises to you???



    • Susanne on May 27, 2015 at 7:45 pm

      Deanna, I can also relate to your situation. I tried to communicate with my ex h over and over again, in different ways, trying to help him understand how I was feeling, to no avail. He also did not think he was doing anything wrong as he was being verbally, emotionally and physically abusive. He blamed me and anyone else that might be around at the time. He told me I was over sensitive. He was yelling at me when he said “I don’t yell at you. You always say I’m yelling when I’m not. I just have a loud voice.” There are certain patterns and traits with abusive people….those things that make us feel like we’re crazy, BUT we’re not. We know when someone is yelling at us. We know when we are being disrespected. We know when we are not being heard. Yet we keep trying and trying until we cannot try any longer. Deanna, I feel your pain because I’ve been there. Maybe the situation is not exactly the same, but I want you to know you’re not alone. We all love and care for one another here. I pray for peace and safety for you. If you’re hanging on for dear life, hang on to Jesus. He will see you through this. Huge blessings, Susanne

      • Deanna on May 27, 2015 at 9:29 pm

        Susanne, I can’t tell you how many times he tells me that I need to “turn down my sensitivity knob.” I’m not to listen to his tone but when I ask him to check himself before he speaks he accuses me of trying to change him. I’m supposed to make all the changes, he takes no responsibility for his actions what-so-ever. I am contemplating divorce but find it difficult to follow through because he has me convinced that I am the problem and I should be able to fix this. Your words have given me hope that there is a future ahead where I will once again now who I am.

        • Lynn M on May 27, 2015 at 10:02 pm

          Deanna, this sounds like crazy making at its worst! Know that you are not alone. We have all been there. When I would tell my husband there was a problem we needed to talk about he would sneer “everything’s always a ‘problem’ with you”. I finally got the strength to say enough. Three months into our separation he is still acting as if he has done absolutely nothing wrong and I just left because I could t accept his apologies. You just have to find that strength — some days I have it and some days I don’t……but you will find it when you are ready. You are not alone!

        • Lonely wife on June 1, 2015 at 12:46 am

          Deanna…Lundy Bancrofts book “Why Does He Do That” is a must read!!
          It’s really helped me to understand why my husband does what he does and how it’s not MY fault!

    • Deanna on May 27, 2015 at 8:58 pm

      Thank you for your prayers. You are right on track, time and time again I have tried to communicate only to have things turned around and thrown back in my face. I have had my church, family and friends praying but I truly believe that God can’t reach a hard heart that won’t listen to His voice.

  6. Robin on May 28, 2015 at 1:55 am

    Ladies – what do you do to stop a manipulator??
    How about choosing not to be entangled in his methods of twisting the truth, lying, exaggerating, etc?? One way an abuser succeeds big time is by being able to get his spouse into the conversation. Have you ever noticed he’s just asking questions and accusing TO DIVERT!!
    So try stopping him from being successful. Is this conversation leading to truths, or is it a mere means to make you crazy and doubt your sanity??
    Solution- don’t let him win after all, that’s all he wants – is to win. Analyze what needs to be spoken and what is an energy waster!!!!!!!!

    • Lynn M on May 28, 2015 at 6:15 am

      Oh, SO many times I was sucked into a word twisting argument that had nothing to do with the subject at hand! I called it “going down the rabbit hole” and it usually was well underway before I even knew it! And the end result was that he got off Scott free about the original issue I was trying to raise, which was exactly his intent in the first place! I gradually learned to recognize it and I would try one of two things. First I would go back to my original statement/request/observation and simply repeat it. When he would go off track I would say “but we’re talking about….. And repeat it” I would do this until I had repeated the original idea five or six times at which point he would usually just stalk off. The other thing i would do is say “we’re going down the rabbit hole again. I’m not going down that rabbit hole with you “. Luckily I had explained in counseling what that meant unfortunate the end result was never resolution of the issue, but it stopped the circular conversations.

      • Robin on May 28, 2015 at 2:37 pm

        Lynn, I was married for 32 years and to this day never remember once– resolving an issue. IT IS SO CONFUSING ISNT IT??
        I kept looking inward trying to find better ways to say what I meant, and no matter how hard I tried, or how many better words I used- he would jump ship on me and start arguing or should I say accuse me of something else. You are ahead of the game!! I never while in my marriage understood what was wrong- just that – I must be wrong. Now I can look back and see a controller/manipulator has no desire to solve a problem or listen to you. It’s all about him. His plan is to keep moving on to other issues do you can’t point a finger and show him his wrong. He has no intention in seeing it, or dealing with it!!!!

        • Deanna on May 29, 2015 at 1:07 pm

          Robin,
          I completely understand. No matter how hard I try or which words I use, I am never able to solve anything because somehow it always comes back around to me being wrong. I asked him to go to marriage counseling with me. He flat out refused. He wants us to solve the problem “to-geth-er” (long and drawn out). When I told him that I can’t talk to him because he twists everything I say, he told me it was my fault for not communicating. Arrgh! He tells me our arguments are cyclical, they always come back around. I finally told him that the reason they always come back around is because they never got resolved in the first place, I just chose to end the argument for the sake of peace. Now he’s on the kick that if I’m not happy it not his fault because I was the one who chose to not finish and resolve the issue. He feels he is being punished now for my years of sucking it up. It’s never ending . . . I can’t do anything right

          • Robin on May 29, 2015 at 1:36 pm

            Deanna, some of the wisest words my counselor ever said to me was QUIT DEFENDING YOURSELF! That’s exactly what he wanted, to continue the crazy making. I didn’t fully understand this until he separated and my life was so full of peace and ease I didn’t know what to do. I had never known such tranquility!! It was then, that I understood the deception I had been under.



          • Robin on May 29, 2015 at 1:39 pm

            Excuse my word Deanna he didn’t separate I did. As long as an abuser type can keep you in the crazy making cycle they would never care for separation as their goal is to control and win. That’s all my abuser wanted.



          • Lynn M on May 29, 2015 at 11:10 pm

            Holy cow, Deanna, this is identical to how things were in my marriage! It’s creepy how their tactics are exactly the same, like the follow a script…



    • Lynn M on May 28, 2015 at 6:21 am

      And talk about “energy waster”, one whole very important issue was forever tabled becayse i didn’t have the correct understanding of the United States constitution, so we couldn’t discuss it. The issue was simply that I had a right to my own thoughts and opinions.

    • Lisa on June 2, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      AMEN! Wow! you got to the heart of manipulative/controlling talk.

      This became clearer in my own life when someone taught me to respond to his questions with *a question*. It removes me from defending, explaining—which is what he wants, enjoys seeing me do. There is no mutuality and respect in his speech. He only agrees with my preferences IF it is advantageous for him. Responding with a question each time he asks one (even within the same conversation) has winded up pointing to his motives and/or many times stops him dead in tracks from his intentional merry-go-round interactions.

  7. susie on May 28, 2015 at 7:16 am

    It took me such a long time to even figure out that I was being manipulated. I knew things were bad. I was in counselling and ended up talking to a marriage pastor at church. Bless that wonderful man. He listened to my story and handed me Leslie’s book The Emotionally Destructive Marriage. That was last fall. I had been trying to tell myself the truth ever since about how bad I was hurting and how destructive this relationship was. And working on changing myself not him. I got a terrific article from this website called 9 tactics emotionally manipulative people use and how to counter them. It was soooo freeing! I could see him going right down the list. And my job was simple: don’t feel guilty or afraid! But I just could not get over the hurdle of accepting that he KNEW what he was doing. Someone on this blog recommended a book by Bancroft. I found myself highlighting every page. And suddenly all the confusing puzzle pieces that were his words and actions clicked into place. He did know what he was doing.

    He was undermining my free will. Using me financially by running up debts every couple of years and expecting me to bail him out by pretending to be dumb and irresponsible, coercing me sexually in the most underhanded way ( by refusing sex to put me in a position to desperately say, “whatever you want”.) Devastating my social life subtly. Neglecting almost every emotional need and using depression as an excuse (but depression didn’t affect his other relationships and antidepressants didn’t help his mood swings or anger.)
    In short, he did have an evil heart after all. He was not, as I thought, a sheep in wolf’s clothing. But the other way around. And this reality took me from quietly acknowledging truth to actually standing up for myself. Setting boundaries respectfully. Keeping my cool. And when he looked harder for ways to control and buttons to push I just asked God “why did that set me off. Fix that in my heart.” And of course He would.

    I think the biggest thing was that I wasn’t allowing myself to be his puppet living for his selfish purposes. One thing God showed me is that I would orbit around my husband and his anger and emotions. But that is a form of idolatry. God wants me to orbit around Him. And this is safe because God’s plans and desires for me are GOOD for me.

    • Robin on May 28, 2015 at 11:16 am

      Susie– great words u shared. You really got a handle on your manipulator. Good for you and all the work you did to stop him from becoming an idol. I live your last paragraph. God wants me to orbit around Him- this is safe because He wants only what is Good for me.
      U.S. Women get stuck, when we serve our husbands every whim, and make idols out of them. It’s s no-win situation – till we orbit around the One that created us, loves us more than we know, and has a beautiful plan for our lives!!!!!

      • Lonely wife on June 1, 2015 at 1:09 am

        Robin, I feel as women, we’ve been “sold up the river” by our church leadership…who have repeatedly told us to “respect our husbands” no matter what…and be “submissive and pray” and that will help our husbands to be better husbands and leaders in the home, when in fact, that has only empowered abusive men to become even more abusive and controlling!
        Church leadership is in denial about abuse in their churches….I know of FOUR other women who are in abusive marriages in my church, and that’s just the ones I know about, I’m sure there are probably even more!

        • Robin on June 1, 2015 at 1:25 am

          Lonely wife–I wish your words about the church were not true. I have suffered much from church abuse also. I now attend a church where my Pastor supported me fully in leaving my abusive relationship, and the divorce and welcomes me into leadership. Have you considered switching churches?? I know Leslie and many great counselors are advocating for us and trying to put a halt to this abuse . Have you read, A CRY FOR JUSTICE by Jeff Crippen? My new fav book written by a Pastor who is working to educate church leadership to the truth about why abuse is so rampant and how they can be part of the sution, not the problem.

  8. Brian on May 29, 2015 at 9:16 am

    i have personally dealt with this kind of Manipulative behavior from my ex-wife.
    You state your feelings so she can understand how you feel and make the proper decisions in her behavior.
    When she fires back that I, her husband, is being controlling.
    That in itself of her trying to guilt trip me in my own emotions and feelings.
    Is Manipulative Behavior on her part.
    If I am Valued as her husband and as a human being.
    Then I have the right to my own feelings.
    I have seen & felt that to many times where women were allowed or had the reality of things altered to justify their behavior.
    Yet if a man did it, it is wrong.
    My ex-wife cheated on me with 6 different men in 8 years of Marriage.
    To this day she still can’t keep her word, even if it was agreed upon and in the court order.
    That I feel becomes Narcissistic Behavior because it is about what she demands and not what is morally right.

    Even asking for some form of accountability is seen as Manipulative.
    Asking for simple God Given Moral Values is something no one cares for this day and age it seems.

    I have done what I can personally to save my Marriage and my Family.
    Yet I feel that she does what she can to get her Flying Monkeys to view me as this terrible person.
    Yet I get my kids so much that I do not see how I could be viewed so bad.
    Since I do what I can as a Father.

    I even took a Marriage Class in the middle of my Divorce so I could continue taking something on Marriage like I vowed to once a year.
    Women can be far more abusive that men.
    As much as I miss my kids, I no longer have to deal with a Crazy Maker.
    Since she likes to tell and scream at me to create Chaos in order to have control.
    I only converse with her through Messenger or text.

    I even witnessed her commit domestic violence with her Sister and Step Mother.
    Yet no one called the law.
    It was all over me speaking to her sister about Christmas and my nieces Birthday Party.

    I stayed away but I could see it all while I watched her go off and attack her sister.
    Then her Step Mom trying to stop her from attacking her sister.

    • Susanne on May 29, 2015 at 2:14 pm

      Brian, thank you for sharing your story. There is no excuse for abuse from ANYONE whatsoever. You say “Women can be far more abusive that men.” Due to your personal experience, I can see how you might feel that way. If you read all of the comments here you will see how abuse, whether is from a male or female is excruciating and we all go through similar pain and emotions. The abused person gets hurt whether it is emotional or physical pain. There are many people today who do care about moral values. I know it’s difficult to see when you’re going through such torment. I know what you mean when you say you’ve done al you can do for your marriage. I did the same, but nothing changed. We can only do our part. We cannot change the other person in the relationship. Keep loving your children and show them how much you care for them. Keep looking to the Lord for peace and comfort at this time. He will see you through it all. Praying for you.

  9. Aleea on May 29, 2015 at 11:13 am

    Thank you so much for this! The stats mentioned by D. M. Sanasi in the reference are staggering, especially the ones she details.  If these are the facts and we know the perpetrators of abuse rarely change, that makes me wonder why the delay on divorce?  RE: Have I Done All I Can To Save My Marriage?  Why not just go?  Our homes should be places of safety, peace and joy not fear, control and pain.  So why do we have to do all we can to save our marriage?  I have yet to listen to this interview with an X-Abuser: From One Of The Few Who Changed RE: Sanasi, but how would we know what is really happening with this one antidotal case?  What if this abusers ego defence is just so long-term oriented paying whatever price and hardship for years just to resurface?  I don’t know if “antidotal” facts really matter, but a factual record in a court is required to be systematic (shows the level of standard error, false positives).  —That said, if this abuser really did change, that would be so wonderful.  —If they verifiably did change and we could get a FactSet with a control group on that.  That would be so important to know, so hopeful and helpful to know that people can really, really change. —Neuroscientists claim causal regression makes independent decisions impossible otherwise we would have uncaused actions.  We are aware of what we do but you have to change chemistry to change behavior, they would say.  God says He changes brain pathways and chemistry RE: Psalm 51 (He creates in us a new, clean heart, filled with clean thoughts and right desires) but that is obviously very rare too.
     
    —Anyway, I would think that real love is what any resonably healthy person is after. If they are not after real love why wait to get away from them? I would like to suggest that —ἁμαρτία (hamartia), missing the mark, isn’t just “I have sinned” it is the forfeiture of God’s love because I have. For me, if I am not making conscious and repenting of even little patterns of sin, it is like a clogged pipe.  I want that pipe to God’s love as clean as possible so I can experience as much of God’s love as possible.  God’s love reconfigures everything. If someone doesn’t have a love problem I don’t know what to say. —Are they really even a human? —Obviously, I don’t know but do some people care nothing for real love they just want possessions, sex, ego building? If they exist, why would you wait to get away from that person once reasonably confirmed? Why take the risk if finding and experiencing real love (God’s love) is more important than a marriage?
     
    If you haven’t ever looked at C.S. Lewis’ inspiration for so many things he wrote, George MacDonald, I would encourage/ invite you to do so.  George MacDonald, see Unspoken-Sermons and The Miracles of Our Lord, —that man really did know how to clean his heart and keep it clean. —Of course, that’s just a book. You would have to run a dental practice (or you pick the business) with someone to know what is really, really real. Anyway, he learned to just walk in God’s love.  You cannot get stability (or anything else worth having) if you place it before love.  When you place love before stability, you get both love and stability. —Unless I have no idea what he is talking about but it sure looks that way to me and in my life too. Maybe this is obvious but for so long I was unwilling to just let it all go because I was afraid that the unknown (the new world) would be more painful than the familiar, difficult patterns set by men in the churches I have been a member of.

  10. Susanne on May 29, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Heather, your questions are ones that I have thought about over and over during my marriage. Where is the commitment to truly change? I think they want us to just accept them the way they are, no matter what they do or say. In my case, I realized that my ex h would rather move on than to do the hard work or even admit that he was wrong. He did not want to hear the truth, even if it was God’s truth.

  11. Lynn M on May 29, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    I have been wondering something similar. When a woman (or man, for that matter) sees the truth during games the marriage, understands and names the abuse and presents the facts to the abuser pLUS consistently implements mature boundaries and accepts no more abuse and makes it clear the change they require, does this work? Does it actually affect change? I Asked a therapist crowd of mine once, what if I had seen this truth earlier in my marriage, while I still had the strength and motivation to set limits and stand up to him? Could I have changed it? Would it have been any different? But she said no, you would have just gotten divorced sooner. For those of you going the “stand up to it and stay well” route, what do you think? Do you see it working?

    • Lynn M on May 29, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      Therapist “friend” I meant to say …

      • Robin on May 29, 2015 at 3:12 pm

        My counselor said it is likely you would divorce sooner. But she also said she counsels women how to work on a healthier relationship and some do work out – but it takes effort on both parties .

        • Susanne on May 29, 2015 at 4:46 pm

          That’s the key…both parties need to work on the relationship, not just one trying to hang in there at all costs while the other does nothing to make changes. If the abusive party isn’t even admitting there is a problem, or blames everyone or everything else, how can it work, unless you are willing to compromise what you believe. I stood up; I told the truth in love; I set boundaries; he didn’t want to hear any of it and simply wanted me to accept his behaviour, which I told him I would no longer do as it was extremely abusive both emotionally and physically.

          • Leslie Vernick on May 30, 2015 at 2:41 pm

            Good for you. You must not accept the unacceptable, the sin that tears apart families, breaks marriages apart and wounds someone’s soul and spirit.



    • Robin on May 29, 2015 at 11:10 pm

      I stood up to it- and the abuse escalated. I never STAYED WELL as when I cleArly drew boundary lines, we went downhill very fast. I think possibly there are two or more kinds of abusers . The ones caught in a long line of abuse that has been cycled thru many generations and they don’t see it and show no signs of wanting too. But perhaps there are some spouses out there that were blind – and God gave them just enough light to see the Truth about themselves so they would desire a change. That change will take a lit of hard work- but I believe it is possible– just rare.

      • Lynn M on May 30, 2015 at 8:11 am

        Yes, think you are right. There are a few …. But not many. I think mind was one from the “generations of abuse” from what I have seen of his family. When I told up it went down hill almost immediately. I’ve been trying to figure out why, as soon as I shined a big spotlight in his abuse and brought it clearly and explicitly out in the open, he acted as if he wanted to jettison me immediately. Our divorce prkcess has gone very quickly. But now I think I see — I caused him to see the dark ugly parts of himself and he cannot look at it. He saw his filthy face in the mirror and wanted to get rid o the mirror as fast as he could.

        • Robin on May 30, 2015 at 10:06 am

          If he saw what you said, you are a step ahead of any of us who gave ex-husbands who never saw what others have seen and will never acknowledge anything. When my daughter and I wrote declarations to the court of what life was like in our home – he saw nothing he was in agreement with but made it his goal to stop at nothing to try and destroy me for baring the truth. Several times I had to go against him to keep saying his a use is intolerable. He always thought he was the one telling the truth and I was the manipulator because I did tell the truth.

        • Leslie Vernick on May 30, 2015 at 2:37 pm

          Happens that way very often.

    • Leslie Vernick on May 30, 2015 at 2:43 pm

      If the marriage is going to survive, that is the ONLY way it will – with boundaries and consequences implemented and one person getting healthy enough to do it and stop enabling and rescuing the abuser so that they have the best chance of “seeing”. However, in my experience it is a very small percentage who will “see” it long enough to do the work to change it. Sometimes during the crisis there may be some awareness but then the lights go dim or out again and we are back to the blame game and not taking responsibility.

      • Robin on May 30, 2015 at 11:54 pm

        Island Girl, I don’t believe you are lost without a hope– for an abuser. Pick your head up and know – God has a plan for your life and He will guide you every step . We all feel list at times when we’re living with our abuser. I just want to affirm you have s hope- no matter what he chooses or not. And we’ll be right here to walk this next step with you!!!!

      • Lynn M on June 1, 2015 at 6:14 am

        Island girl, it’s a very scary thought, to wrestle with the idea that no matter what you do, he may not change. I remember reading somewhere — it might have been here on this blog or in brancroft’s book – that one of the things women in an abusive relationship do is dig even further into the relationship to try to fix it. I can now see how I did this for years — I had a highly paid professional job before marriage but became a SAHM. When I was in all that fog of being in an abusive relationship but not knowing enough to name it as abusive, I just dug in more to being the perfect wife, doing everything he needed, hoping he would “see the love” and that would change him. With what I know now, I wish I had taken that time to put a little money aside and rebuild some of my career (I did work part time, but not at something that could fully support me) So while we can hope and work toward change and pray for change, that change is out of our control, so anything you can do to protect yourself is a good move as well — I don’t know a lot about your situation, but that’s something i wish I had gotten a grip on earlier, now being on the other side of it

  12. Robin on May 29, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    Susanne- I agree. Totally. I did the same as you and he did nothing in response and now we are divorced. No regrets on my part.

    • Robin on May 29, 2015 at 6:11 pm

      Susanne, I think that’s the true reality of Abuse.
      Not many abusers acknowledge anything!!
      So there is no going forward in a marriage. We have to choose victim for life- or divorced but free.

  13. At Peace on May 29, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Thank you so so much Leslie for your ministry. It has been instrumental in my life over the last year and a half that I have been separated. God bless you so much for your faithfulness to God’s word and heart!
    I think for me dealing with a controlling and manipulative husband (among many other serious things)…I think there was an inclination in me to want to somehow control back or tiptoe and husband-please. The truth of his character though came flooding out once I was able to just give him to the Lord and let the circumstances be what they must be (flooding out to me, onlookers and for his plain view). I did not realize how terrifying, devastating and difficult things would become, but the God of angel-armies has been by my side as I have stood for truth regardless. And my children and I now have a loving and peaceful home where Jesus dwells! God will bless you dear ladies, however scary, when you take a stand for truth and right! So so hard but God honours prayers and is an ever present help when we call out in our frailty.

    • Leslie Vernick on May 30, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      So glad you moved from trying to hold it all together to letting it be what it really is. It’s only at that place we see truthfully how awful, sinful and evil things really are and get shocked awake enough to take the hard steps forward.

  14. Aleea on May 29, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    Heather,         
    That is so, so hopeful to hear (—that God can really change an abusers heart!).  I never want to think of anyone as having a life beyond God’s repair (—I know no one does, theologically speaking) but it just seems so many never really want to fully repent.  You are spot on with Paul, I had forgotten that he was going around participating in flat-out killing people (Re: Stephen, et.al.)  That’s a good list you mentioned too: 
    1)     Desire for God to change them?
    2)     Finished with lying. —When you are finished with lying that deconstructs most of it! 
    3)     Committed to doing the hard things that bring about these changes! —Exactly!
    4)     Being open in all areas of their life, owning their sin and asking forgiveness. —Exactly!
    5)     Time with the Lord on a regular basis.  —That is the fun part!!!  Oh my gosh, no one can love on us like the Lord God does when our hearts are clean!!!
    6)     Hearing the truth from their spouse without yelling at them (—Yelling immediately shuts down honest feedback.  I see it with mangers all the time. . . . . Instead: What do you need me to hear that I am just NOT hearing or understanding?  But before you even get to that point a wife must have safety.  All of love is safety and security.  Do you feel safe expressing opinions different than mine?)
    7)     Willing to leave behind their old way of life and walking towards Christ with a desire to become more like Him. (Heather to me, you don’t really pay a price for a relationship with Christ, you enjoy it.  I will tell you what you the pay the price for: You pay the price for not having a relationship with Christ because in that state you have never really lived at all.  You missed real life and real love.)
    Heather, your example with Paul makes developing a test for the emotionally unavailable, narcissistic personality and other mental disorders probably impossible because God can always rewire a brain but it is so, so rare that He does and the experiences here are so heart breaking and depressing, it makes me think, at times, that women should err on the side of safety —but that may not be Biblically justifiable.  I just don’t know because scholars go everywhere with interpretations.  I heard a scholar last year using “culture” and “more correct translations” and “frequently misinterpreted passages that mean something completely different from the writer’s intent” to make the verses on homosexuality in the Word-of-God not mean what they seem to plainly mean (—at least to centuries of Christian scholars.)  This man (Dr. Robert M. Price) was obviously an expert in Biblical languages.  He has translated the entire New Testament!; Has two(2) Ph.D.s, one in New Testament; one in Systematic Theology but look at the result!!!  I didn’t detect serious pride or arrogance either.  We are completely free Price said.  Free to divorce.  Free to remarry someone —even of the same sex.  I thought, good grief. . . . . . Anyway, now I need to snuggle into the love of God for strength and refreshment after recalling that lecture.  —I really believe if we have our hearts really, seriously clean before the Lord and are spending serious time in prayer and Bible study, God will more than lead us.  It is our motivations, right?  God sees and knows our motives which is always a wonderful comfort when I go to help others and they misconstrue what I am doing.  But on the other hand, the human heart is very deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9), I can easily fool myself about my own motives (—like I believe Dr. Price is doing).  I can pretend that I am choosing certain actions because the Bible “allows” them when in reality I have selfish reasons.  I know God is never fooled by my selfishness, it never ends well for me, —NEVER, so I try very hard to avoid any motivation that originates in my sin nature (Romans 8:8).  I am constantly evaluating my own motives and making corrections and even though it really stings when it happens, I so much appreciate others that take risks to correct me and give me advice.  . . .The right motivation? 1 Thessalonians 2:4 “Our purpose is to please God, not people.  He alone examines the motives of our hearts.”  Always, God is interested in my motives even more than my actions.  I try to keep my motives pure by continually surrendering every part of my heart to the control of the Holy Spirit.  I have a whole bunch of daily heart cleaning exercises, but in the end it comes down to: Am I doing this for the praise of others or how it makes me feel?  —Oh, that always gets to me!!!  The only way we can operate from pure motives is when we “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16, 25).  Please pray for me, if you have time because I am finished, just finished, without God’s help and love.  

  15. Brenda on May 30, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    I don’t see the connection between Saul/Paul and the change of husbands from abusers wanting genuine change. Saul had a head on collision with Christ. He was chosen by God for his service. He was well educated in the law and counted it as nothing in comparison to knowing Jesus. That type of change doesn’t happen to most of us. Saul was blinded for 3 days. Saul was not seeking change. God was seeking to change Saul and quickly.

    A biblical question: Where in the Bible does is say that Saul was a part of the stoning of Stephen?

    • Christine M. on June 1, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      Saul didn’t actually throw the stones at Stephen, but he was there and approved of that happening (Acts 7:54 – 8:1). But he did go on to persecute many Christians, resulting in their deaths.

  16. Survivor on May 31, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    It is so amazing to everyone’s stories and how similar we are!! I have watched multiple other abusers besides just H and have said already that it seems like they all went to the same school to learn how to do this! The stories you ladies share make me feel the same way!! You would think they were all related or something, the way it seems like their brains all work the same way!! I am getting to where I can spot the signs a mile away!!!!!!

    • Survivor on May 31, 2015 at 5:39 pm

      I’m sorry–I meant to say how similar THEY are!!!!!

  17. Robin on May 31, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Heather, thank you for sharing. I agree with you that there are many things that need to be considered and you stated them well. But it is not true in my belief that it is useful to keep a hope in a spouse that is not acknowledging his abuse or taking steps to be accountable to someone who can lead him into healing as genuine. Dr Henry Cloud states it very well– be careful not to follow a false hope. Look at their behaviors and their history and see if it’s reality to keep hoping. Please accept my apology, as I do belief there is hope when a spouse is doing his part. I didn’t mean to just say it’s victim or divorce to everyone– if you look back a small group of us was discussing do abusive men change? We were talking with each other, those of us that have been patient and working on boundaries for years- with no sign of change or repentance. God certainly softens hearts but man must do his part.

    • Lonely wife on June 1, 2015 at 1:51 am

      I agree Robin….you can know your future with an abuser, by looking at your past with an abuser, unless they’ve made huge changes…
      Unfortunately I believe that many of these men are so deep into their sin, that they can no longer hear the voice of Jesus…IF they are even believers in the first place!
      My husband is such a man.
      He goes to church every Sunday, he helps me in any ministry that I’m involved in, and yet, he never reads his bible, he never prays with me or our children, his family is unsaved and he doesn’t care, he hasn’t talked to his parents for over two years…there is absolutely NO evidence that he’s a Christian, other than his attending church once a week…and I’ve tried to talk to him about it, to tell him I’m concerned for him, and he just blows me off!
      Last week I asked him if he is a believer like he claims to be….WHY hasn’t God chastened him for his affair, for his emotionally abusive treatment afterwards, for lying to me repeatedly….and he just looks at me.
      I gently reminded him that God chastens His children because He loves us…and he never responded….I just walked away…what more can I do?
      I’ve got boundaries up, I’m not focusing on “fixing or saving” my marriage, I’m just trying to live a life that’s honoring to God, because that’s all I can do at this point in my life because I don’t feel that God is wanting me to separate right now.

      Last weekend my husband and I argued a bit, this after my youngest son (15) came to me and said he heard his dad call me a bad name when he came upstairs…which of course my husband denied!
      Anyway, I prayed and asked God to please arrange for my husband to go out of town for a couple of days, just so I can have time to myself….the next day my husband calls from work and tells me he has to go out of town, for a couple of days…I got off the phone and said a quick, “Thank you Father” LOL Isn’t God good 🙂

      • Robin on June 1, 2015 at 2:28 am

        Lonelywife- I’m glad God answered your prayer! He is so Faithful !! Imvwonderingcwhy you think God doesn’t want you to separate?? You are living separate lives and he hasn’t made any movement in wanting change– do you think he will just suddenly decide to repent and get help?? I lived as roommates with my husband for over ten years. Looking back I see what a waste of time that was for both of us. When you live as roommates, you are already separated. Sin has come between you and if it’s not getting resolved- the abuse will escalate. I very much regret living separate in the same house for so long. Things just got worse, I wish I wouldn’t have done that. I hurt my children very much by living a ‘pretend’ we’re happily married, when they knew otherwise. I thought I was pleading God keeping my marriage together. That was just not true at all. God wants honesty in our relAtionships and when we live as roommates it ought to serve as a red flag, that something is very wrong!

        • Lonely wife on June 2, 2015 at 2:52 am

          Robin,
          Trust me, I am NOT living a Peacefaker life, not at all!
          No pretending here, my children all know how our marriage is, they know their dad cheated on me, and they also know that he’s quit counseling again…if they ask me a question about their dad and I, I answer it truthfully.
          My marriage is weird, I will admit that!
          My husband isn’t verbally or physically abusive..He’s emotionally abusive, but only when I bring up the past….his affair or how he abandoned me afterwards just telling me to “get over it”, etc…
          For the most part we get along OK…he’s like a big kid, he’s passive aggressive and most PAs are little boys in a mans body…and it can be frustrating at times…but I’ve lived with this for 30 yrs now, so I guess I’m so used to it, I don’t let it bother me anymore??
          I’m free to come and go as I please, in fact, my husband is gone about 2 weeks out of every month, so I’m my own boss…I can spend money, he’s not financially abusive, unlike a very good friend of mine who’s husband gives her an “allowance” and won’t even buy her dinner when we all go out to eat, she has to buy her meal from her allowance!
          I’m content living as roommates…like I said, we get along dime for the most part, and as long as we don’t have sex, that works for me.
          My children are all older, the youngest is 15, and so far they seem to be doing ok…in fact my 2nd and 3rd oldest children are looking for their own church because they want something that fits them better, with a ministry geared towards their age group. My oldest son is in full time ministry.
          Are we a perfect family…nope! And I do worry that staying with my husband has maybe “damaged” them some…but what’s done is done….Now I just pray and ask God to heal what may be broken and to draw them close to Him…I think if there was ever going to be a time to separate it would have been 4 yrs ago, when I first discovered the affair…but I had been raised that God HATES divorce so I worked my tail off trying to save this marriage…but of course, now I know that I couldn’t do it alone.
          I made lots of mistakes back then….lots of tears and anger, and yes, his coldness and emotional abuse escalated….but now, things are calmer, I am happy….hard to believe but it’s true.
          I have let go of any hopes and dreams for my marriage, and that was hard, so very, very hard!
          I had made my husband and my marriage my idol, and I see that now and have let go. God is in control now, not me….and that has given me peace and freedom!
          Will I end up separating from my husband one day? I don’t know. All I know is that everyday I pray that God will keep my eyes fixed on Him…and that I will stay well…..and I pray that my husband will see how his continual sin has damaged our relationship, and if he’s not a Believer, that he will admit this and accept Christ as his Savior.

  18. Robin on May 31, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    And I would add to that-
    Doing the right thing is not up to any person to tell us what to do. There is more than one wY to do the right thing. ONLY GOD CAN REVEAL THE RIGHT THING FOR EACH CIRCUMSTANCE!!

    • Lynn M on June 1, 2015 at 6:21 am

      Very good point robin, the right thing can look very different depending on the situation

  19. Robin on May 31, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    Dr Cloud realizes that many people have destroyed their lives by a lack of boundaries when an abusive spouse continues to linger in behaviors that not only damage hisself- but precious young children and many wives. On this blog there are many of us who stayed too long and caused irreparable harm to our families. This I have to repeat- it is foolish I believe and unwise biblically, to stay in a marriage relationship where lives are being destroyed because an abuser has not repented and changed his direction. Do j believe all hope is in Christ?? You better believe it. A woman can separate from her abusive, evil spouse while he works on himself. I believe this is wise and gives the family time to heal – AND the husband time to get the help he so needs. Yes we never give up hope in Jesus. He is our Redeemer and can fix anyone. But when we do t see repentance and change of behaviors, it is wise to separate ourselves from our spouse so he cannot sin against his family. I do want to say I love your heart that believes in Redemption. I do too. But as Leslie has told us on this blog, few abusive men change. It is to those wives and children I stand up and say, Protect your family!!!!!!

    • Lynn M on June 2, 2015 at 10:23 pm

      When my 14 year old daughter said to me on Christmas Day “mom, dreams die in this house” I knew it was time

      • Robin on June 2, 2015 at 10:32 pm

        Amen, Lynn. I’m so glad you heard the call to do something!!
        My husband put his fist in my sons face and my son was 30 — the rage on my husbands face the way he contoured his look, said to me ‘get help now’. I was in the counselor’s office within a few days. Sure have never regretted it!!!

  20. Robin on May 31, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Heather, re-reading your note I see there is a misunderstanding. You said if u go astray you hope that there will be people hoping for you and that keep on praying. Of course we all agree on that. No matter what we keep praying for a lost loved one. But that doesn’t mean we stay in same house and let him continue to violate His family.

  21. Jerrie on June 1, 2015 at 8:48 am

    As to the original question of this post:

    I may be able to sympathize with the man who was offended by his wife’s interaction with her friends, depending on the circumstance. I recall many times feeling invisible while at my husband’s side as he conversed with others without an introduction or least a glance or any type of body language acknowledging my presence. It was if I wasn’t there. This was especially painful when it was other women. Isn’t this a social grace we would grant to any companion?

    I am subjected to my husband’s abuse. I do not cause it. It is his choice. I have choices, too. If sincere, the man who asked the question is attempting self examination. Does this indicate he is healed? NO! But, we who have suffered abuse must be vigilant about our own behavior. Were my husband to attempt self examination would I see him in a one down position and treat him with contempt – mirroring his own rude behavior?

    I know that abusers rarely change. I know the predominant philosophy of this blog is to separate and this may be where I end up as well; however, I want to place my hope in God alone. I do not know what He will do in my life, but I am certain it is in my best interest. No matter what comes, I ask Him to preserve my kindness toward EVERY human being, even my abuser. You see, I am about who God made me to be in every circumstance and I am responsible for everything I do. I want to walk the road of life well.

    Please do not misunderstand me. I am not blaming the wife of a manipulative and controlling husband but I know intimate exclusion. It hurts.

  22. Brenda on June 1, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Amen Robin, God will change the hearts of those who want Him, but the abuser, drug addict, alcoholic must submit to His will.
    Brenda

  23. Brenda on June 1, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Heather,
    I too have seen men changed by God’s grace that became good Christian’s leader or otherwise. I have also seen supposed Christian leaders or otherwise that are abusing bullies, murderers, pedophiles and rapists. You can call yourself a duck, but if you don’t quack like a duck you’re probably not one. I don’t believe we ALWAYS have to hope. God turns people who reject him over to their own devices. I no longer pray for the xh, but I do pray for all of those that he has damaged along the way. Brenda

  24. Brenda on June 1, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Robin,
    Spot on!!! Our hope is in Christ, not in any man.

    To the writer of the question. If your wife says you are controlling, it is good that you ask the question and not scream something back at her. Perhaps you will have hope..

  25. Brenda on June 1, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Lonely wife,
    God is good!! Amen. I love it when I get to see Him in action first hand. Does your son get why what his dad is doing is wrong?
    Brenda

    • Lonely wife on June 2, 2015 at 3:07 am

      Yes Brenda he does! In fact, his dad promised him several months ago that he’d go to counseling, and my son, 14 at the time, said, “Dad, you promised to make an appointment, so do it, OK?”
      Well, when my husband came home from work the next day, my son asked him, “Hey dad, did you make your appt. You said you would!”
      Well, my husband started making excuses, and my oh so brave 14 yr old looked him in the face and said, “Dad, you lied to me….you said you’d make the appt. today and you didn’t.’
      Well, my husband did make an appt. the next day, but it was too late…my son told me, “Mom, now I know what it feels like when dad lies to you…it hurts.”
      My youngest son was my husbands only “cheerleader” in the family…my other children had already figured out how their father is…and now, my youngest son has figured him out also.
      I’m blessed that I have a close relationship with all my children, we have conversations about life, politics, scripture, etc… and with my husband, it seems like he’s always on the outside….looking in.
      He has a great family…and I don’t think he even realizes it. Sad.

  26. Robin on June 1, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Heather, I agree we need to be aware of how easily bitterness takes root!! But I have found many women on this blog have been mis-led by their churches using churchy words on them- and through excellent counsel and renewing my mind I find it equally important to make sure I am walking in a true reality as Henry Cloud points out. God wants honest relationships, and does not want us staying in unhealthy places. I agree this blog is a wonderful place to be encouraged, and as we listen to others experiences, we get the opportunity to learn from them. Amen.

  27. Brenda on June 1, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Heather,

    Care to elaborate? Who was the preacher? Bitterness is what abused women are often accused of, when in reality is isn’t true. I like to hear different opinions on this subject. If it is online, I’d like to hear it.

    Forgiveness is for our heart’s sake, not the abuser, as he//she will probably never ask for forgiveness or care if they get it. Forgiveness for the abuser is just a word meaning if you really forgive me then all is forgotten and now you must come back to me. There is a very big difference.

    Ex-spouse: AKA never married really, and entered into a covenant that was never sincere. He promised to LOVE, honor and cherish. None of those things happened. The marriage covenant was broken before it was ever started. The “D” word was used by him from shortly after the ceremony. I no longer consider that I was truly married in the eyes of God.

    If you have a link to the sermon or a name, I’d like to hear what he/she had to say.

    Brenda

  28. Robin on June 1, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    With all this discussion on do abusive men really change I feel I need to comment on divorce. I do not take getting a divorce lightly. It took me over 30 yrs to be convinced I needed to be released from the daily control, manipulations and evil my husband refused to acknowledge or get help for. I didn’t believe in divorce. The church taught me to honor the sanctity of marriage. But when all 4 of my children were damaged and needed healing for their lives– I knew my husband had destroyed the marriage covenant and in reality I was already divorced- all I needed was the legalities to bring a true justice into my situation. I do wish very much I could still be married to a man repentive humbled and desiring to correct all the wrongs against his family. But he did not choose that. I have been in intensive therapy for two and a half years meeting with my counselor every week. I seriously looked for solutions by taking responsibility for my own life. Divorce is not what I had hoped for. But as Henry Cloud and Leslie Vernick and many wise counselors say- divorce sometimes is the only answer because abusive men, most of them do not change. It is not a true reality to keep banging my head up against the wall and pretending everything will get better. If it did for you, Glory be to God!!!! But I am no longer living in denial. My life is getting healthier one step at a time and I am where I believe God wants me. Divorced and rescued.

  29. Susanne on June 1, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    I do not take divorce lightly either, as I’m quite sure most of us don’t. I have been separated for just about 3 years as my husband had extreme rage and was physically abusive. I did everything I possibly could to stay in my marriage. I took my vows before God and man very seriously as well. I had hoped and prayed for change. I had so much hope that he would finally acknowledge his abuse, have a heart of true repentance and humble himself before the Lord, but that didn’t happen. I told him when we separated that I would not go for a divorce and he said he wouldn’t either. So now 3 years after separating and absolutely no effort on his part to repent and reconcile, he has filed for a divorce!! I still had hope when others were telling me to give up…he’ll never change. I do believe that all things are possible with God. I also believe we have a will and my ex h was not willing to change. Soon I will be divorced…not my will, nor my desire.

    About bitterness: Some time into our separation I was still quite distraught and so hurt I had to ask myself if I was bitter. I prayed and searched my heart. One day, while praying for my ex h I said: “Lord, I forgive K with love in my heart” and it was only then that I was released and knew I had finally forgiven him for all the pain. I was set free. I’m not bitter….I’m better….glory to God!!!

    • Robin on June 1, 2015 at 4:33 pm

      Susanne, God does not hate divorce. God hates the sin that causes divorce. I had no problem filing for divorce. I did so as I was instructed to get good financial support, it was necessary. And in addition my lawyer said to file a Protection Order on your husband you need to file for divorce.
      But I do want to say I hear women back away from divorce as if it’s the sin that God won’t forgive. Divorce is a final step to the sin that broke the marriage covenant.

      • Susanne on June 1, 2015 at 5:50 pm

        Robin, I’m sorry if you got the impression that I thought divorce was a sin that God won’t forgive. That certainly was not my intention. My purpose was in agreement with not taking divorce lightly. I was trying to convey how I had hoped and prayed for change for so long but had to come to the conclusion that we all have a free will. By trusting God alone, even when the answer is not what we want to hear, we can have peace. God healed my broken heart and has set me free.

        • Robin on June 2, 2015 at 1:45 am

          No problem Susanne. I think we both hear what the others experience has been re: divorce and I am glad we can choose different ways of going about it and be respectful to one another.

  30. Brenda on June 1, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Heather,
    That is interesting. I didn’t realize there were any Christian radio stations left that weren’t online. Even the Southern Gospel station in my area can be accessed online and it is in the middle of nowhere..

    I am not a fan of Nancy DeMoss. She was giving marriage and parental advice without any practical experience. She just announced her engagement this past month. She may find out that a rewrite of some of her work may be in order. I like to listen to preaching that is outside of the mainstream that we have all too often found out that behind the curtain things are not as they seem on stage. Sam Powell and Jeff Crippen are 2 of my more favorite pastors.

    Brenda

    • Lonely wife on June 2, 2015 at 3:14 am

      Totally agree with you Brenda! I can’t support Nancy Leigh DeMoss, not at all!

  31. Brenda on June 1, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Christine M,
    Ok, cool. Acts 8:1. That is what I was looking for. I know that Saul gave orders to have many Christians persecuted and/or killed and apparently very good at it. He gave his all for the Jewish legalists and even better for God.

    Thank you, Brenda

  32. Brenda on June 1, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Amen, Robin, amen!!!

  33. Brenda on June 1, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Heather,

    I would advise you to read further into this. The article you referenced is not totally accurate. I would suggest that you read Barbara Roberts book, “Not Under Bondage”. The Malachi 2 verses are often used to keep abused women in bondage, not in marriage, bondage/prison. God doesn’t like divorce, but he himself did it when His people wandered away from Him. They broke their covenant with God and had to endure the consequences.

    Brenda

  34. Brenda on June 1, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Heather,
    Again, this article is not very accurate. Abuse is mentioned in the Bible over and over again.

  35. Brenda on June 1, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Heather,
    If you don’t have internet, how are you on the blog. Satellite, cable, DSL it all takes you to the internet. Without it I would not be conversing with you. I am not from the “big city” either. As I said, the Christian Radio station I like best is in the middle of nowhere. Even from the distance it is away it is hard to pick it up on the radio, but can listen online.

    Joni Tada and her husband are truly inspiring. I don’t know much about their beliefs on abuse, marriage etc, but their Love story is awesome. She is also very talented.

    When I listen to a sermon I want to hear truth and not some mixed up version or misinterpretation. I was in that fog for far too long and won’t go back.

    Thank you, Brenda

  36. Brenda on June 1, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Heather,
    Ahhh, It must be like the Wifi connection I had in the hotel this weekend. It would kick out and couldn’t get back in for 15 minutes.

    I’m leary of a lot of preachers, as you can probably tell, with good reason. They don’t seem to understand they are not infallible and are just as much a sheep as I am. They don’t hold a special place in line because they preach. Where it comes to abuse, few have a clue. It all comes back to Malachi 2. The ones that I listen to most, “get it”. Ms Leslie doesn’t have to try to bring truth to light. They would be helping her do it. Nancy DeMoss–not in that crowd and I feel she is dangerous to abuse victims. Brenda.

  37. Brenda on June 1, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Heather,

    That is the problem. They want to keep them separated “until” there is change. There may not be change and although red flags may be good for future relationships, it would not be good. Most of these that have the “until” mindset, are behind the curtain preserve the marriage at any cost people. They usually will be the ones to determine when the time is right and they feel that the abuser is repentant. They will say it is time and want the spouse to reconcile despite her feeling on the subject.

    THAT is when the term “bitter” comes in. When she refuses to reconcile because the elders or whoever deems it is time, she is then unforgiving and “bitter”. Oh, how I hate that word. Now, Mr. Abuser is deemed to be heart broken and trying everything he can do. She may not be at a point where she can “trust”. She may never be able to trust this person.

    There is no one size fits all, but I do know that I do believe that biblical divorce is allowed for adultery, abandonment (even while living in the home) and abuse of any kind. I also believe that remarriage is allowed. The covenant is broken and the marriage is as if it never took place.

    Blessings, Brenda

    • Susanne on June 1, 2015 at 7:30 pm

      Brenda, I know what you are saying. The first time I separated from my husband, the church told us it was okay to separate due to the abuse but we “had to” come back together at some point. I listened to them and went back after 6 months of separation. The second (and last) time I separated from him I told the pastor that nobody was going to ever tell me again that I “had to” go back to him. She said: “we would never tell you that” and I told her that she already said that and I listened the first time, but this time I knew better. Glory to God for His truth being revealed.

  38. Deanna on June 1, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    Is neglect considered abuse? I’ve been struggling with this since reading the article. My husband is definitely a manipulator, there is no doubt about that. He continuously turns things around to be all my fault, will never accept responsibility for his words or actions, and it has turned me into someone who feels like everything I do is wrong. But he has also neglected our marriage (and me) for 10 years. No sex, no intimacy, no feeling of togetherness . . . I have lived with a roommate. I feel trapped in a passionless marriage. I just turned 50 and I cry whenever I think about living with this man for even another year.

    • Lynn M on June 1, 2015 at 10:54 pm

      Deanna, I definitely consider neglect to be abuse. My marriage was very much the same way. For whatever reason he would not explain, about six or seven years ago my husband got into bed every night, turned his back to me and never even acknowledged I was there! He would put in his ear buds so so I couldn’t talk to him. If I asked him to go to a movie, for a walk, out to dinner, he would act as if I was attacking him. He would go if forced, but then act angry and not speak to me the whole time. It was awful! And if j brought it up, he found a way to make it my fault. I turned 50 last week. Go 50! It’s young!

      • Lynn M on June 1, 2015 at 10:54 pm

        Actually, you know what? I turned 51! Oops!

      • Robin on June 1, 2015 at 11:10 pm

        Ladies I’m 61 and just got divorced. My story sounds very similar to yours. Ask yourself this question- does it Glorify God to have a husband treat you like a roommate?? It sounds like s roommate ought to receive better treatment!! God is not pleased when we live dishonestly and allow our lives to be full of disdain and disrespect and harsh behaviors. I used to think this was my lot in life to have a husband who didn’t love me . Today I know what pleases God. To live true to myself. To be treated kindly by others / to be with people who lift you up and support you . When you come out if an abusive relationship you find God intended something much more than you’ve known yet. I am true to myself now. And my relationships with everyone in my circle are amazingly beautiful!!!!!!!!

        • Lynn M on June 2, 2015 at 6:57 am

          Good for you robin! Yes, God intended for all of his children to have beautiful filling lives with love and abundance — milk and honey! I’m no biblical scholar, but I evaluate most things based on Jesus’ new commandment: love one another as I have loved you. I asked myself once, what is my definition of marriage? Marriage to me is a Loving Partnership of Equals. I would ask myself, is my marriage loving? No. Is it a partnership? No. Are we equals? Definitely not. I once shared my definition with my husband and he physically recoiled and looked at me like I had just spoken Swahili!

        • Susanne on June 2, 2015 at 11:48 am

          Robin, I am 64 and am in the process of being divorced. I totally agree with you. God bless you on your new journey with Him!

  39. Brenda on June 1, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Deanna,
    Absolutely!! Neglect is abuse and perhaps as damaging as physical abuse in a different way. I know that people refer to living as roommates, but don’t roommates generally have some caring for the other person? This does not sound like you have a roommate. You have a shell of a person that dwells in the same house. People need love and you are only 50. I can say that since I’m older and know that even at that point I wanted passion, love, security, bonding a sense of togetherness and being on the same page at least most of the time. Instead, it was the opposite. The xh wouldn’t even get up out of bed one night to take me to the ER. My 16 year old daughter took me, stayed up with me all night and then went to school. The xh said he had to have sleep so he could work. It was all about him. Those days are over now. If I need to go to the ER again, I’ll call 911.
    Brenda

    • Robin on June 1, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      Brenda thank you for bringing up that word–
      NEGLECT. It’s not one that has been on my radar – but I realize it was something I’ll never have to live with again. I lived with so much neglect. When I needed medical attention I knew to call on one of my children for help. When I had my hip replaced about 3 years ago, I lucked out. My husbands Mom had a major stroke, and he needed to go be with her. My son came and tended to me . Other times I’ve had girlfriends take me in and be helpful. I have allowed my husband that position and I swore it would never happen again. I would have to beg him to get me a prescription and then he would rage because he didn’t think he should pay for it!!! Boy that brings back terrible memories I had forgotten. Neglect is a terrible thing to have to live with!!!!!!

    • Deanna on June 1, 2015 at 9:10 pm

      Brenda,
      My husband did the same thing to me in 2009. I came down with H1N1 and double pneumonia. My mom was staying with us for Thanksgiving and it was she who took me to ER. I was admitted and placed in isolation. I was there for six days and was almost put in critical care. My mom came to see me everyday for a couple hours. He came once and played games on his phone for half hour before leaving. I was so scared and lonely and I would have done anything for him to show me a little compassion and caring.

      • Brenda on June 2, 2015 at 5:47 pm

        Deanna,
        I should have responded to you earlier. What was I thinking being at work and actually working??

        That was a seriously illness you had. I’m so glad that you had your mother with you. Many of us have similar yet different events that seem to come up. It would be nice for them to be buried so deep that they never come back. When we see Jesus face to face!!

        BREAnd

        • Brenda on June 2, 2015 at 5:50 pm

          That’s bad!! I can’t even spell my own name right!!

          Brenda

  40. Brenda on June 1, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    Suzanne,
    I am so glad you found your voice and spoke up for yourself. It is amazing that when leaders tell you what you should do and it doesn’t work out the way they wanted there tune changes. What makes them think they have a right to tell people sitting in the pews what to do in the first place. What they are doing is condoning the idol of marriage and not the safety of the people in it.

    Praise God you are free,
    Brenda

    • Robin on June 1, 2015 at 8:37 pm

      Brenda, I love that line!! ‘They are condoning the idol of marriage
      And not the SAFETY of the people in it.
      Wow, powerful statement!

  41. Lonely wife on June 2, 2015 at 3:12 am

    Heather…I cringed when you said Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

    Sorry, but I don’t support her ministry AT ALL! In fact here’s a great article that explains better than I could, why I can’t support her ministry! http://cryingoutforjustice.com

    • Paula on June 2, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      Lonely wife, I agree with you wholeheartedly about Nancy Leigh DeMoss and I read that cryingoutforjustice.com post yesterday.

      Quite frankly, there is something not “on” about a woman who has never been married speaking the way she does. (From what I saw, she is now engaged, though).

      I feel so free in recent years to think for myself and seek God for myself and stop assuming just because someone writes books or speaks on Christian radio, etc. and uses Scripture (and I do mean “uses” sometimes), that I have to submit to their self-appropriated authority. What was I thinking?!

  42. Brenda on June 2, 2015 at 7:05 am

    Robin,
    Neglect is a terrible thing. I made a POA for medical treatment and potentially pulling the plug if need be and named my oldest daughter as the decision maker long before I left 2 years ago. There was no way I was allowing the xh to be in control of my medical care.

    Before I left, I had foot surgery and was down at home with him being the only person around for 3 months. I had a knee walker so I could get to the bathroom and do a sponge bath, but my leg was terribly swollen by the time I got back in bed. Three months seemed like years.

    The ladies at the church volunteered to bring meals and he refused. I didn’t know them very well at that point and didn’t feel that I should call them for help. He said he could take care of me and meals. He made everything that I did not want to eat and I knew that I could not complain or there might not be anything at all. Trying to keep my weight down and not being able to walk was impossible. The worst part was that I had NO company whatsoever. I was alone all day. I was working part time from the confines of my room so at least I got to talk to my boss, but that is not the same.

    So ladies, if you ask if neglect is abuse, it most certainly is. In sickness and in health means that you take care of your spouse properly and with love and affection. This is not what Robin and I experienced.

    Brenda

    • Lonely wife on June 2, 2015 at 11:41 am

      Brenda, Wow, thats control and anger all wrapped up in one ugly, petty little package!
      Your ex had you where he wanted you…dependent on HIM and him alone, which is what a lot of abusive men want…Control.
      So glad you’re away from that…and also thankful that while my husband is emotionally abusive at times, he would never act like this….he does take care of me when I’m sick, picks up my meds or anything else I may need.
      I just couldn’t imagine living with this type of abuse, day in and day out…wow! There certainly are different levels of abuse, aren’t there?

    • Robin on June 2, 2015 at 2:12 pm

      Brenda, I am so so sorry for your pain you endured. I seldom have cried tears over my own plight- but when I read this, I weeped for you. This should never be.
      I think we just bonded for life!!!!!!

    • Lisa on June 2, 2015 at 6:50 pm

      These are the abandonments I have suffered:
      —Anti-husband saying, “what do you want me to do about it?!”—after a young man had followed me home, blocked me in my parking space with his headlights glaring in my rear view window while he comes up to my car door and starts banging on it. I leaned on the horn and the guy went away and it took forever for my husband to come outside.

      –A food store employee purposely rammed a food shopping cart into my 9 month pregnant belly and when I told my husband he did NOTHING about it.

      –Children and I had some *significant* medical emergencies and he would not take us to the hospital until I said I would go ahead without him and warned him the hospital would find out he was unwilling to do it. So he went to save himself not us.

      –Left me and our very young children, all of us VERY sick, to fly 1000 miles away to go to a family member’s funeral–the same one who had tried sexually forcing himself on me at one time. (My husband did nothing about that either).

      –Had a midnight emergency with my family member–husband stayed home, just went to bed, never called in the 6 hours I was at the hospital while my loved one was in surgery.

      –Left me to go have dinner with friends while I had to have surgery.

      • Leslie Vernick on June 2, 2015 at 9:14 pm

        Sounds awful. Sounds like indifference, abandonment, and abuse. You don’t deserve to be treated this way. No one does, but especially not from someone who promised to love you and protect you.

        • Robin on June 2, 2015 at 9:27 pm

          Amen, doubly so!!

  43. Deanna on June 2, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Prayers for you, my friend.

  44. Brenda on June 2, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Island Girl,
    Praying!!
    Brenda

    • Robin on June 2, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      Praying

  45. Lonely wife on June 2, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Praying for you Island Girl!!

    • Lynn M on June 2, 2015 at 1:11 pm

      Praying for you! Let us know how it goes.

  46. Susanne on June 2, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Hi Islandgirl,

    Sorry, I read your post late this morning, however, I’m still praying for you today.

  47. Aleea on June 2, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    Heather,
    I love how you go to the scriptures as your authority.  Your heart is so in the right place.  You are even willing to suffer for God if that is what He says.  That is truly precious!!!  So wonderful, absolutely!!!  . . . . But I would very humbly invite you to read lots of church history.  Maybe you already have in which case I would ask you to point me in the right direction.  More than this, I only say this for your own safety.  I hope you realize I mean you no harm by saying this.  Even more, I am so willing to consider that I am totally wrong. . . . .Anyway, I have been studying The Biblical Argument for Slavery: Case Studies (primary sources*** NOT secondary sources, or even worse: people just reading summaries).  I would say most serious Christian pastors and theologians until late 19th century held that  the  Bible sanctioned slavery.  That view was clearly expressed by Clement of Alexandria, Origen (clearly), Augustine, Chrysostom, Aquinas (clearly), Luther (clearly), Calvin (clearly), oh, Heather I could fill this page with the names. . . . . . I was reading two weeks ago the Presbyterian Assembly report of 1845 which concluded that slavery was based on “the plainest declarations of the Word of God!”  Those who took  this  position were  conservative evangelicals and among their number were the best conservative theologians and exegetes (exegetes are just serious Christians that know Hebrew and Greek and teach in those fields) of the day, including, Robert Dabney, James Thomwell, Charles Hodge (imagine that, Charles Hodge!), et. al.  These were the fathers of  twentieth century evangelicalism and of the modem expression of the doctrine of biblical inerrancy.  Heather, as late as 1957 John Murray of Westminster Theological Seminary was still arguing that these men were basically correct in their understanding of the Bible.  . . . .I think, but I could be wrong, I think, it could be shown that various Systematic Theologies absolutely hijack the entire Christian system, overriding the individual Christian’s ability to wisely make personal decisions while being lead by the Holy Spirit (RE: divorce sooner rather than later).  The church thus fails to get its overall needs met in any type of balanced fashion.  “Pastors” focus the church system on particular needs of the institution of Christianity in an imbalanced fashion (the image that a “Christian” marriage means staying married even if someone is basically on suicide watch or their marriage destroys their very person, etc.), while diminishing awareness of true needs: spouses need REAL love and affection, et.al.  All of these “needs” would otherwise be prioritized in a wise strategy for healthy Christianity (i.e. people are more important than the Bible “teaching” slavery or the Bible “teaching” you can never get a divorce except for this one narrow exception, or the Bible “teaching” you can’t get remarried, et.al.)  . . . Heather, all that said, never, ever lose that zeal for God and pursue Him above all else but consider the lessons that others have paid dearly to bring us.  I love your heart for God, that is just so wonderful!!!  Awesome!!!!!         
     
     
    ***The most accessible original sources I discovered are the collection of essays, Cotton is King and Pro-Slavery Arguments, first published in 1860, RE: the Banner of Truth.  You will NEVER really appreciate just how certain these evangelicals were that the Bible endorsed slavery, or of the vehemence of their argumentation unless you read their primary source writings!!!  I give only a pale reflection of their righteous zeal for “the biblical case for slavery.”  For many evangelicals who felt their conscience was bound by the letter of Scripture it was clear that the apostles endorsed slavery.  In most instances their instructions to slaves were given in parallel to instructions to wives to be subordinate and children to be obedient.  They reasoned that to reject the comments about slavery called into question the authority also of husbands and parents.  It was obvious that the apostles held these matters to be of equal force.

  48. Brenda on June 2, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Lonely wife,
    I think there are different degrees of abuse and I don’t consider myself to have been in the height of it. There are many more that have had it far worse and paid the ultimate sacrifice. When I told my story to my long term family physician, he said, “once, just once, having something thrown at you, you should have been gone, the next time could be your last.” I took his words to heart. I so wish I would have had that discussion a couple of decades ago.
    Brenda

    • Lonely wife on June 2, 2015 at 11:26 pm

      That is so true Brenda…Once violence enters the picture, that has to be a woke up call for us women to get out!

      When I read some of the comments here I do realize that I’m “lucky” that my husband isn’t verbally or physically abusive…he’s just very unemotional and detached and while that hurts, I can’t even imagine having him call me names or throw things at me, or even worse put his hands on me!

      • Leonie on June 2, 2015 at 11:42 pm

        An abusive husband strips his wife of human dignity and also himself by behaving that way to her. That is how the enemy of our souls operates – like the man Jesus met in the Gerasenes and Jesus restored his dignity & right mind by casting the legion of demons out of him into the pigs.

      • Survivor on June 9, 2015 at 12:57 pm

        For me, the violence started within the first few months of marriage. As most of their things do, it started out ‘small’ and escalated. It wasn’t until 5 years later, after he choked me for the 4th time, that I finally called 911 and he was arrested. We have been married for 10 years now, and, though the violence is gone, I still don’t experience the relationship that I long for in marriage. Some days, I hope for change, and other days I wonder if I am crazy for thinking that could ever happen!!

    • Lisa on June 3, 2015 at 11:27 am

      Brenda,
      2 people in law enforcement told me the same. I was discussing that I’ve been verbally, emotionally, financially abused and only 4 times physically. The one officer said, “Don’t you think one time (physical abuse) is too many? Do you know how many homes I’ve been to where the husband was knownnfor verbal abuse, but the one and only time he physically abused he killed his wife?” The both said my husband’s behavior is irratic and he could go off the rails at anytime and kill me

      • Lisa on June 3, 2015 at 11:28 am

        *erratic

  49. Brenda on June 2, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Robin,

    I think we just bonded for life!!!!!!

    That is the nicest thing I have heard in a long time.

    (((((HUGS)))))
    Brenda

    • Robin on June 2, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      Brenda, I just don’t think there is anything like a friend who knows really knows what you survived and not only that but shares a like-mindedness with you!!
      I use to ask my counselor- because I was still in wonder over seeing the seriousness of abuse I just survived- I would say, are they going to make a tv show about me???? I was serious !!
      Now I have one friend that understands. God is so so so FAITHFUL.

  50. Brenda on June 2, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Heather,
    The reason I mentioned Barb Roberts book is this. She did 3 years of Biblical research and found out the correct translations of words from original texts. She was able to put scripture together in an order that makes sense and in a way that I would never have grasped. Besides that, she and Leslie recommend one another, which in my book is a plus. They both are godly women with a common cause. I do not take God’s Word lightly, but when people can put it together better than I can and then read, pray, read, pray continue, it is easier to comprehend. It would have taken me a lifetime to gain the expertise these ladies have between the 2 of them.
    Brenda

  51. Robin on June 2, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Aleea, I think your words would be more effective if your posts were shorter. I also believe less preaching and more listening to where the women are rather than trying to counsel them. Maybe talking from your own experiences. More than once I gave thought I should suggest to Aleea to purchase a journal. It seems like you really need to talk more to God, than the women on this blog.

    • Aleea on June 2, 2015 at 5:57 pm

      Robin,
      Excellent points and I am going to work hard on them: much shorter, less preachy, more listening (maybe more questions?).  I appreciate your feedback, thank you.  I do have a journal.  You would NOT even believe how much stuff is in there!!!!!  So, I have hardware firewalls, right: Barracuda Firewalls, VPN Firewalls, Router Firewalls.  Two months back, Islamic hackers, from Afghanistan, participating in professional hacking—not some ridiculous high-schoolers, Ph.D.s in boundary functions/ encryption experts got all my journals.  I often go so long without an incident that I start thinking: No one really cares about us Christians out here in the outlands of cyberspace, but hackers/ haters do care. They got my journals, notes, outlines, etc. . . . ha, ha, ha (I can laugh about it now but I could not when it happened and during the repair).  Anyway, they had your first two points to make to me with much cursing in Arabic: Keep it much, much shorter (said that much more harshly than you did), NO preaching. . . . But, of course, they then preached at me for pages. . . . .Anyway, hackers, I know you read this blog, I encourage you, I invite you to read the Law and the Gospel, -the Bible, God’s message of guidance to mankind, in Arabic (http://www.arabicbible.com/audio/gospels.html), to find in it for yourself the way of acceptance before God. –And we can discuss the Qur’an too! Just give us something to work with but defacing things, sending me filth and cursing for sport is lose/ lose.  Plus, persecution always makes us grow (John 15:18, Philippians 1:28, Romans 8:37).  Finally, I do need to talk more to the Lord God than people on this blog, I certainly have been doing that but I will pray about doing that even more.  That’s a very good point too!!!  Please pray for me, if you have time.  Also, we ought to break the country up into regions and meet face-to-face or do video conferencing, something more interactive.

  52. Brenda on June 2, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    Heather,
    I tried to look up the focus on the family site for the divorce portion and am not seeing it. Do you have a link?

    Other than having Leslie on the program, I haven’t heard much that was helpful, but do not listen to them as a general rule.

    Brenda

  53. Aleea on June 2, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Heather,
     
    RE: I believe if there is abuse then those that are being hit or verbally abused need to get safe and keep their children safe today!!!!!! Also keeping them safe if they do divorce so that the children now are not alone with an abuser.
     
    Yes, that’s exactly what I am saying, only I am saying make it happen sooner, not later RE: FoF/ FL and certainly we will all still pray for each other, always.  Most of these differences are only because we are so remote.  Face-to-face, I bet we could clear up just about everything pretty quickly.

  54. Lisa on June 2, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Dear Aleea,

    With suffering on so many levels the last thing I or maybe others here have time for us reading lots if church history. That is just another burden.

    • Aleea on June 3, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      Lisa,
      The only way to perspective and freedom is to really learn from the mistakes of the past.  We increase the suffering on all levels by not realizing the parallels.  Can you please explain how knowledge of church leadership and the best Bible interpreters of their days’ blatant interpretation mistakes is a burden?  Those who do not learn the lessons of church history are doomed to repeat them, writ-large.  I am flummoxed by your statement. Please explain, and pray for me, if you have time and either way, thank you for commenting.  I appreciate that Lisa, even if I don’t understand the why of it!

  55. Brenda on June 2, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    Lisa,

    That is typical anti-husband behavior and oh so sorry for you and your children. We seem to have enough to these events to fill a series of books equivalent to the size of a set of encyclopedias. These are abandonments and abusive combined. A true husband would not do these things or neglect those things when he should be responding promptly.
    I find that having no husband is much better than having the anti-husband.
    Brenda

  56. Brenda on June 2, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    Lisa,
    Agreed and Amen!! I have all the church history I need in the pages of my Bible. There are women here that have genuine concerns about the abuse they are living in or being rescued from. We would do well to remember that. We tell our stories perhaps more than once over time, but it is because there are new ladies on an ongoing basis that need to know they are not alone and there is hope, safety, sanity and freedom from abuse.

    Brenda

    • Robin on June 2, 2015 at 7:23 pm

      Agreed!!!!!!

    • Susanne on June 4, 2015 at 6:29 am

      Amen!!

  57. Brenda on June 2, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Islandgirl,
    I am so glad this went well for you. Keep us posted on future outcome. I’ll continue praying for you.
    Brenda

  58. Leslie Vernick on June 2, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Let us know how it goes.

  59. Robin on June 2, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    So so happy for you Island girl!! We are here to walk alongside and give u support. You can do this!!!!!

  60. Leonie on June 2, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Wow, so much neglect, those who are separated are much better off! My prayers go out for those who are still living in abuse! When I disclosed my abuse to a pastor he told me I shouldn’t nitpick aty husband. I was so confused because I had just told him he uses massage parlours and orostirutes and couldn’t I went to a lawyer today

  61. Leonie on June 2, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Sorry that posted before I was ready – when I disclosed the abuse to my pastor close to 2 years ago he told me not to nitpick at my husband – I remember going away confused because I had finally told someone that I found evidence that my husband was using prostitutes and massage parlours so I didn’t see the correlation between that & nitpicking. It was a type of minimizing & blaming I think.
    I am glad that it went well for you when you went to someone, Island girl!
    I retained a lawyer today and I feel like I saw a bird’s eye view of my situation. I think I have been financially scammed and tricked and I feel like my husband is hiding something from his past – God helped me see with such clarity while I was there, I was shocked – it looks like my husband is trying to avoid detection from something he has done in the past or something or someone he has harmed in the past & never neen brought to justice. Everything financial between us is coming out of my accounts and nothing is tied to him except his name on the mortgage because he wants his share of money from that. I feel like I am unearthing a skeleton from the closet that I was kept in the fog about. I never saw this so clearly before. The only things we have joint is the home insurance comes from his account along with his auto insurance – separate from mine and we have an RESP for our daughter with both our names on it (from which the monthly contributions are also from my account.) he is working a professional job & I am staying at home with our 4 year old – what kind of man is this???? What kind of husband does these things??? It is so odd…
    I broke up with him May 19 because he has beat me up, cheats and explodes in rage at me all the time. Now I am dealing with the legal stuff. I am In court on Friday – June 5th, regarding the restraining order for our daughter and have just retained that lawyer. I know God has revealed so many things as I have prayed to be shown the truth. I covet your prayers as this proceeds to court. He never allowed me to hire a baby sitter and miraculously a friend offered to watch her on that day! I am rejoicing in my new found freedom and trusting God as I cleave to him through what us to come. I am reading the posts, Love to you all, Leonie

    • Robin on June 2, 2015 at 11:24 pm

      Leonie, it’s good to hear from you. So glad to hear things are staying safe for you presently. Please keep us informed so we know how to pray. Definitely will be prAying on Friday!!!!!!!

    • Lonely wife on June 2, 2015 at 11:31 pm

      Oh Leonie…I’m praying! And will continue to do so!

    • Lisa on June 3, 2015 at 12:40 pm

      Leonie,

      I feel that my husband has been unfaithful, but I have no solid proof. I wish God would reveal if it is true. I found emails between him and women at work–the women freely speak inappropriately to him and he has saved these emails. Another time while visiting him at his office with the children I overheard a male co-worker say to my husband while looking at me, “Why have take-out at work when you can have a feast at home?!” And every time he goes on business trips he grooms himself to the nines and brings his best downtime clothes while wearing any old thing at home. When he worked out of state for 9 mos. he would not give us his address and only reluctantly did so after 4 mos. because one of our children needed it for a permission slip for a class trip.

      • Robin on June 5, 2015 at 1:27 am

        Lisa, I read your most recent post listing all the troubles you have right now. You sound like you are in a desperate situation. It sounds like you need some real support. I’m not sure where to start but I want you to know we are here for and with you. Are you seeing a counselor of any kind?? Have you considered going to a woman’s shelter for your own safety?? I know it’s hard to do. My counselor encouraged me to go to the local Donestic Violence Support Meetings– and the counselor there became one of my hugest supporters and dear friends. Talk to us and let us know what you need. I don’t know what your faith is like, but I want you to know Jesus loves you and has a plan for you. That’s a Promise we can hold onto in our deepest despair. We love you Lisa!!!!

    • Susanne on June 4, 2015 at 6:34 am

      Leonie, I am rejoicing with you in your freedom. Praying for your continued journey with the Lord.

      • Leonie on June 4, 2015 at 8:48 am

        Thank you, your support & prayers are so appreciated. I want you to know they are felt and God has been near through this time in response to your (& all the ladies here) intercession. I truly do not stand alone & neither do the other ladies here trying figure out & get get out of sbusive situations and into the light the Lord has for those who love him & are called according to his purpose. All of us are different and process things differently but your kindness, support & prayers are so much appreciated! Those of you who have left abusive relationships have much wisdom for the rest of us. Lisa, if you are scared your husband could kill you, you are probably right, be careful. We are praying for you.

  62. Brenda on June 3, 2015 at 5:44 am

    Leonie,
    I am not getting the connection here. You told a pastor that your H was going to massage parlors and prostitutes and you are the guilty party for nitpicking? That is so lame I can’t even imagine how long you had to have scratched your head over that insult to you. Those things he was/is doing falls under sexual immorality and grounds for divorce. There are too many pastors in the good old boys club or just plain don’t have a lick of sense when it comes to the realities of life.

    Leonie, my prayers go out to you, but seeing a lawyer is setting a good boundary on this sinful behavior.

    Brenda

  63. Brenda on June 3, 2015 at 5:45 am

    Lynn M,
    Your daughter said a mouthful. I pray that her dreams rekindle and both your lives get much better.
    Brenda

  64. Brenda on June 3, 2015 at 7:09 am

    Amen, Leonie. Jesus restores our souls that an anti-husband (abusive husband) takes away by allowing the enemy to be the focus of their lives.

  65. Brenda on June 3, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Yes, Heather, I understand that God can use anyone or anything or speak to us. He can change hearts, but we must want to change. We still have free will. Saul wanted to change when he met Jesus. Others, don’t and we can’t make them want it.

    Saul had consequences as Paul. Just how many times he was whipped, in prison etc., I do not know. He paid the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of Christ along with many others. He knew what he had put other Christians through first hand. The cost of discipleship is high.

    Abuse in marriage is not the same thing as being persecuted for Jesus sake. Even those that are on the mission field are often allowed escape from the enemy. Marriage is not the mission field.

    You can take what I say with a grain of salt, but I do not see any comparison with Paul and an abusive husband tormenting his family

    Brenda.

  66. Brenda on June 3, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    I have been coming to this site for 3 years? now, give or take. The only mean spiritedness I have seen is from those who come here with an agenda. Those that are either permanence view of marriage people who want to crush those that are already oppressed or abusers wanting to wreak havoc. Generally, they will give themselves away fairly quickly. (Now that I can distinguish the red flags.)

    No, I do not any longer pray for xh. God not only tells us to forgive, which I have, and pray for our enemies, the Word also says to shake the dust off of your feet when you leave those that would not listen to you. My feet are dusted. Being Christ like is multi faceted. Jesus not only was kind and gentle giving the Sermon on the Mount and speaking to the Samaritan woman, but also turned over the tables of the money changers in the temple and put the Pharisees in their place. Would you consider his actions mean spirited?

    Scripture does talk about winning your spouse by example. In no way is it suppose to be in the trenches of a mission field where if you are found to be a Christian could be executed. I go to a church who’s beginning in missions started with 5 men being martyred 75+ years ago. If a woman is killed by her abusive spouse, she will not be considered a martyr. I see these life events as very different. You are entitled to see things differently.

    • Robin on June 3, 2015 at 5:53 pm

      Brenda, your words are powerful. It certainly is important to remember Jesus was both the Lion and The Lamb. Thank you for your words of Truth. Many would back away from speaking truth but you are Faithful to do all you do, unto Christ. Thank you for the Love and Protection you walk in for the women on this blog. You are a True Warrior for all God holds precious !!!!!

  67. Leonie on June 3, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Lisa, I think your husband is cheating on you based on what you write &
    you are not safe if he has been physical with you 4 times. You need to get out of your relationship. I read on this blog that Suzanne was pushed down by her husband and got hurt in such a way that she still on pain patches now. I realized that my husband pushes me and that I could get hurt seriously if I was pushed into something. even though he doesn’t punch me with his fists or beat me black and blue that he was still assaulting me. He corners me when he explodes in rage & yells at me. The day I broke up the marriage I went to police because I was scared of what he would do to me when he got home from work. My intention was just to warn them that I might need protection that evening. Police told me they probably wouldn’t charge him because I also reported on 3 old incidents of physical abuse. I went to a friends and refused to contact him or go home. I anticipated I would have to go to a shelter for 4-6 weeks with my four-year-old after about a week if they didn’t charge him. He was charged 5 days later and I returned home the next morning. I had photos of injuries & medical records, after he kicked me over & over back in 2012, I went to the doctor. My friend was a witness because every time something happened I went and told her about it. The police called and asked her for a statement too.
    Once I realized my husband was using massage parlors I kept asking God to give me a clue or a sign and every time he would. I kept seeing this evidence and I kept forgiving him and asking God for more evidence. In December I saw a massage parlor phone number on my phone bill and it was the exact same number I had found exactly a year to the day ago on a piece of work paper that my daughter had scribbled on. Of course I confronted him & of course he lied but this was the first time I had actually seen it on the family cell phone bill. I think he didn’t realize that I had access to the numbers of the people that he made calls to. He told me a story that didn’t line up with what I saw on the phone bill. Then Leslie’s post came about telling the truth, speaking the truth, seeking God’s truth and praying for him to show me the truth! It was one of her blogs earlier this year. I neighbor also has encouraged me to pray through some of Stormie Omartians book the power of a praying woman & Lead me Hoky Spirit so I started doing that. I began getting serious internal pressure to leave and tangibly sensing that God wanted me to get out in so many ways. It was hard & scary and still is but I know I am doing the right (& only) thing I can do. I am praying for you! Take care & get safe. When I called police in March my husband wasn’t charged then but 4different people from support agencies encouraged and advised meto go back to police and tell them what he had done.

    • Lisa on June 3, 2015 at 2:33 pm

      Leonie,
      I had one witness to one of the incidents of physical abuse and that person has alzheimers now. I asked them for a written account when it happened, but it never got done. He did the others behind closed doors. The physical abuse happened over 20 years and it was 5 times, not 4 as I originally posted. Can you still report the abuse to police even if it’s spread out over years?

    • Leonie on June 4, 2015 at 6:57 am

      That should have read *Lead me Holy Spirit – by Stormie Omartian

  68. Leonie on June 3, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    I was going to my pastor for help and he told me that if my husband is exploding at me and I feel fear and he has hurt me in the past I should call police, even if he didn’t put his hands on me that time. He had put his hands around my neck in the past to threaten to choke me – that was from almost 4 years ago & I had no evidence of that but I thought it was important. My friend took photos of my bruises from an assault in 2012 and encouraged me to see a doctor to tell what happened to me she emailed me the photos from her camera/computer.
    The other incident happened in 2014. My husband actually had the evidence from the latest incident. He had grabbed me and in the struggle I scratched his face. He kept telling me he had grounds to arrest me and had been telling me I was a violent person and people at his work were so horrified that I “beat him up”.
    My pastor had assured me that I am allowed to fight back when attacked & it wouldn’t be held against me. Then the morning I “broke off the marriage” I realized that if I went to police that was my piece of evidence of the assault even though it was on my husband’s phone – I told him to show police (then wished I hadn’t). He obviously did, to use against me & they charged him with 2 counts of assault. No one witnessed any of the incidents of course but I was afraid of him and they believed me and my friend must have concurred that it had happened. I had friends and fellow bloggers praying at that point too. My friend was a bit scared but gave a statement anyway. I had watched a lecture by Lundy Bancroft on YouTube (inside the minds of angry & controlling men – 1 hr 50 min.) that was extremely helpful and a lady named Valerie wrote a post on the blog a few weeks ago that really clicked with me & it just helped me to do it. I was so scared & my body was shaking & my head was not rational as I packed a bag & took all the important papers I thought I might need along with a few belongings and & picked up my daughter from school, I went to the police station with a friend & then left town and stayed with another friend.

  69. Leonie on June 3, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    It was definitely God that had his hand over it all and he allowed the people who were involved to see the truth and my fear because there was no guarantee of any outcome but that God was with me, he cares & helped me to escape. I am praying for you! Look in God’s word for his promises to walk with you & help you, like Isaiah 41:10.

  70. Brenda on June 3, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Lisa,
    He is right. One time is one too many. A man with any power at all could hit you and you fall against anything at all, hit your head and it’s all over. The up side is that you will be home with the Lord, but that doesn’t seem a way that I would want to go out.
    Brenda

  71. Robin on June 3, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Heather, I don’t find your words supporting the women on this blog- like this blog is meant to do. Instead of cutting down what you don’t agree with, why not state your personal belief, and let it be yours. Just because we don’t always agree with what others write- does not deserve an attack or your own mean spiritedness. Please re read your letter and take another stab that holds others up- and do the LOVING ONE ANOTHER and let’s erase the criticism .

  72. Susanne on June 4, 2015 at 6:30 am

    Continuing to pray for you Islandgirl.

  73. Brenda on June 4, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Aleea,

    I’m not Lisa, but I have an opinion on this.

    History in general in doomed to repeat itself. Many people do not learn from their own mistakes and those that are assumed to be the best interpreters in history are no different. Their interpretations got themselves in trouble and oppressed others. Then there were those that may have been of help. The same is happening in todays church leaders and those who are kept in high esteem as the best writers of this generation, many of which I would rather burn the book than read it. We cannot help those that are gone, but we can help those that are living today. Leslie is one of those who is helping leaders to open their eyes to what is going on today, one at a time. We need more like her. We need to be out there spreading the message.

    We live in a sinful world since the Garden. I must look at today and do what I can to help others today. If leaders from history couldn’t help the people from their own generation, they aren’t going to be valuable now, but God, His blessed Son and the Word can. Going to scripture and praying for wisdom, IMO, is where we need to go for most answers. There is great value in the lesser known writers and much hype in many of the well known. I am in prayer for all those here. Brenda

    • Aleea on June 4, 2015 at 1:19 pm

      Hello Brenda,
      Before I address your comments, let me ask you a question: Do you know of a system or AP (application) that allows one to know if a comment is directed at them from a BLOG thread?  I totally lose control of postings on my mobile device and really often only find a response like yours by searching each page for my name but if my name is spelled wrong (Alea) or if the person commenting just starts in on the subject, I almost always miss it.
       
      Anyway, so my point is this (Lord Jesus help me say these things correctly!!!):  If all these “great” Bible scholars and “serious” Christians of the past totally, completely, utterly missed it on slavery (Missed it HUGE), why would the “greats” of today not listen to the Leslies’ and others -AND- very importantly, what else are we totally missing it on?  Aren’t wives of abusers just the slaves of today?  Does Christianity just float along with what culture will accept?  Studying the past should totally, completely, utterly humble us and cause us to listen well to anyone with a good argument (the arugments are more important than the people making them, the degrees, the denomination, etc.)  Why is divorce usually peddled as a last resort?  Maybe it is a first resort?  Every situation is different and no one ultimately can tell women what to do except the Holy Spirit of God.  If a women really doesn’t have the Holy Spirit, what does what the Bible say even matter?  It will not matter to her.  The Bible says a lot of different things anyway, RE: divorce, remarriage.

      You know what?  I believe the key to improvement lies in the entire faith community doing a better job of holding men accountable for abusive behavior. . . ALL of us.  It helps to remember God hates abuse and abusers (Palms 11:5; Proverbs 6:16-19; Ezek 9:9-10) and has overwhelming serious judgment on abusers (Is 10:1-2; Ezek 22:11, 21; Joel 3:19; Amos 4:1-3; Micah 2:1-2; 3:9-12; Matt 18:5-6).  Everybody wins if we can somehow get it right.  Real accountability and seriously painful consequences change abusive behavior which is so much better than God getting ahold of these men in the afterlife and punishing them (infinite punishment).
       
      I love that a spouse should never tolerate the other spouse staying broken.  To me, that is consistent with real love but a lot of people disagree with me and say this life is so brief we can not risk deconstructing marriage and divorce.  What would Jesus deconstruct?***  Maybe our views on divorce, possibly, I just don’t know yet.  When you start doing text deconstruction where does it end?  To say I get to make up the meaning of “black,” or to say, which is even worse, that black doesn’t mean black, is as superfluous, as to argue a point ad infinitum means that I’ve ultimately argued against myself, as my words are not capable of holding their own meaning.  Anyway, I try to see everything through the lenses of Faith in Christ and the Word of God.  Source criticism, form criticism, textual criticism, redaction criticism,  even mainstream consensus Biblical interpretation (Jesus Seminar-style), -I know, “Jesus Seminar” sounds good, it is not!; anyway, I don’t do those anymore.  I want to know Christ and Christ’s love.
       
      Christ’s love to you, Brenda! 
       
       
      ***What I see a lot of pastors doing, including my own: A Mighty Fortress Is Our Mentality. . . . . Once one has adopted the belief that the Bible must function as the final authority in all matters, hermeneutical ventriloquism often results: The pastor may chant “The Bible said it! I believe it! That settles it!” But in practice this often amounts to “I said it! The Bible believes it! That settles it!” One does the scripture the dubious favor of attributing to it one’s own beliefs. The psychological process goes like this: “My opinion is true. The Bible teaches the truth. Therefore the Bible must teach my opinion.” One suspects that many a pastor has simply become so accustomed to dogmatizing that appealing to the Bible is just his way of asserting the truth of his opinion, wherever he got it. Saying “The Bible says” is tantamount to saying, “Verily I say unto thee…”

  74. Leslie Vernick on June 4, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Heather, I monitor this blog and with few exceptions I don’t believe women have been snide, mean or combative with their different opinions or perspectives. I do think there is a bit of push back towards those who may come across as having “the right answer” for everyone’s situation. I hope we are gracious when we disagree as God calls us to be, and we have all seen God do some amazing things in the lives of people. Paul is a great example, but when Jesus appeared to Paul and knocked him down, Paul had a change of heart and mind. He then secluded himself for 3 years to unlearn what he “knew” and be taught of God. He then approached the disciples – who were very cautious about receiving Paul as a brother because of his reputation and he did not demand to be accepted. He proved himself through is behaviors and interactions with others that he indeed had a change of heart. I think that’s what each of us hopes here from a husband or wife that is abusive. That God get a hold of their heart, and that they truly change. But the change in Paul’s life was obvious to all. When the person who lives with someone doesn’t see a change, I think that says more than words ever would. You say that people don’t want to look at the truth on this blog. Where is your evidence of such a harsh judgement? I see women every day listening, saying I’m sorry, rewording things they may have said that were off, and supporting, encouraging and praying for one another. Me thinks that the pot is calling the kettle black here.

    • Leslie Vernick on June 4, 2015 at 11:04 pm

      I’m not sure she was being picked on but some of the readers wanted her to be less theoretical and more personal. She’s a bright, educated, articulate woman and she has a lot to say that’s extremely wise but we were missing the personal factor of who she was and why she was here. I think she took those comments to heart and began being more real and open here which from what I’ve seen has been received well.

  75. Leonie on June 4, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    I love the bible answer man, I was laughing so hard today as he was describing & defining truth about a current issue. His love for the Lord is tangible and he has a kind but simple, easy to understand & not confusing answer for everyone who calls in.

  76. Brenda on June 4, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Leslie,

    “Paul is a great example, but when Jesus appeared to Paul and knocked him down, Paul had a change of heart and mind. He then secluded himself for 3 years to unlearn what he “knew” and be taught of God. He then approached the disciples”

    When looking at Paul from this perspective, wouldn’t it be pure joy if the abuser would realize what he was doing (heart and mind change), go away for 3 years and relearn a new way of behavior and then go back to his family for possible restoration? I’m sure there are many here that would go for that. Like the disciples, I’m sure we wouldn’t believe it at first either. It would be a great fairy tale ending, though.
    Brenda

  77. Brenda on June 4, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Aleea,
    Yes!! I totally agree that abused wives of today are no different from the slave wives of the OT. In many ways I do see Christianity or Churchianity going along with culture. It shouldn’t as God hasn’t changed, but we seem to accept immorality of all kinds as acceptable due to our cultural changes and make it legal on top of it. Sad, but true. Slavery is still happening all over the world.

    I’m not 100% convinced that the scholars and theologians got things such as slavery wrong or they twisted scripture to suit themselves. If it was coming from the Bible, then it was ok. Then they could own as many people as they wanted with a twisted account of scripture and could look themselves in the mirror without issue.

    There are many people that are never going to see past the end of their nose no matter how much book learning they have. They are going to read and reread and never see a difference. They are not open to see anything different than what they were taught from birth. For myself, I see new things in the Bible each time I read, but I want God to point these things out and delve deeper into the meat of the word.

    I don’t have an answer as to why divorce is the last resort. It took me a long time to be convinced that it was alright to divorce for anything other than adultery. I found myself wishing the xh would just please go have an affair so I could be free. Sad, but true. Those that are not Christ followers, probably aren’t going to be concerned in any way about what God has to say and would have been divorced years before anyone here. The reason that most of us are here is because we were looking for Biblical answers. But there are unsaved women who do stay in abusive relationships for a variety of reasons. The children, finances, being beat down or beat up takes their dignity away. They don’t think anyone else will want them. I’m assuming they wouldn’t be looking for Biblical answers, yet still have the same problems.

    The entire faith community is all over the map and we have so many things happening. Pastors covering up for other pastors or men in general. They also have to be accountable and generally are not. How many missionary and pastors wives have come through this blog and other abuse blogs. Many don’t want to leave their abusive husband because it will hinder their “ministry”, which IMO they should be disqualified from anyways.

    “God said it! I believe it! That settles it!”. I would like to have a $ for every time I have heard pastors or Christians in general say that. Well, what do you believe God says? Why do you believe it? I believe the original text was inspired by God and is inerrant. Some translations, I am not so sure about.

    Brenda

    • Aleea on June 5, 2015 at 5:58 am

      “I found myself wishing the xh would just please go have an affair so I could be free. Sad, but true.” . . . . If someone takes enough mental and/or physical beatings they get to just about any state. Women have told me that they even told their husbands that “wish” verbally in hopes they will just go commit adultery.  You would think any man would say to himself, at some level, OH NO, look at what I have done, my wife has been destroyed by my abuse. How could someone be that uncaring, they are completely dead inside or mental or demon possessed or need to be warehoused.   
       
      “The children, finances, being beat down or beat up takes their dignity away. They don’t think anyone else will want them.” . . . . I know you all know all of this so I will be brief but anyone that loves Jesus Christ and wants to seriously live for Him is a precious, special treasure that is so, so valuable.  I know most men don’t see it that way, and even many women don’t either but God does. And, as you well know, it isn’t just about avoiding hell, it is about having real life and real love. Really, actually, living real life.  You never plug into real love or real life without Christ. Being a Christian is such a majestic thing! Christ comes and lives inside us!!! To know Christ and to have any part (any part, no matter how small) in His kingdom is just overwhelming (tears).
       
      A women at my church asked me to help her deal with the death of her teenage daughter.  I have never dealt with something that horrific and got her to the right resources.  I told her: I will cry with you; I will take you anywhere; I will pray with you, anytime; I will shop for you but I have no real answers except to say the only words to God I have: You know why Lord —Somehow, Lord You know why.  I don’t know why Lord, it just looks so, so, so wrong.  Ditto with all this abuse and hurt in the world and I know some men are abused too, I get that.  A man in my church told me recently that he spends as little time at home as possible because his wife just rages at him.   
       
      “How many missionary and pastors wives have come through this blog and other abuse blogs. Many don’t want to leave their abusive husband because it will hinder their “ministry”, which IMO they should be disqualified from anyways.” . . . . . Imagine a man so dead inside he can be a pastor or a missionary and be abusing his precious wife.  The wife must be in full freeze mode, just so afraid she is in lock down.
       
      You know what? I just love empowered people.  Why wouldn’t men want their wives to help them with accountability in every area possible?  How wonderful is that, especially while problems are still in early stages before it is too late.  Husbands should want their wives fully empowered.  I would venture a theory that these pastor/ missionary husbands who say they are Christians don’t even really believe God is real. Not really, really real. I would be terrified that God would show up before I repented.  I fear God but more than that I want His love too. I want to keep experiencing His love. As time goes on, I realize (I’m slow like that) that the only thing that is worth seeking for is to know and to be known by Christ —a privilege open alone to the childlike, who, with receptivity, guilelessness, and humility, move toward God. If men or women want to walk off into hell and throw their lives away that is their choice. They can and do easily make that choice. Only Jesus gets first place in our hearts: not our kids (that’s so hard), not our husbands, not our pets (that’s hard too), not our careers. . .

  78. Robin on June 4, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Leslie, I wanted to take a moment and thank you for this blog. I believe had I had this tool 20 years ago, I would have been much healthier – sooner. I love how you allow the women who come to this blog, to have ‘different voices’ and ‘different views’ . But yet it is such a safe place for s hurting woman to go too. There is no way I could accurately measure for you what this blog has done for my life while I’ve been working thru one of the absolute most difficult transitions there is — divorce. No matter where I was on a particular day, I could come here and know I would not be judged or criticized as I have been by my abuser and by many churches. It can’t be an easy job over seeing all the different women who come here and the variety of views and opinions . But you have done an amazing job keeping a spirit of sisterhood, love and acceptance no matter what, kindness and Truth on this table. I will never forget what I have gained here, as I learned to listen to others stories and experiences, and staying open to different ways to view things. My life has been miraculously impacted by the Love of Jesus on this site. Thank you for providing this tool of safety, education and fellowship.
    Bless you Leslie-
    Robin Baumann

    • Leslie Vernick on June 4, 2015 at 11:01 pm

      Robin,

      Thank you for your kind words. I am encouraged by the amount of love and support that this blog provides for hurting women from all those who participate. And, I think the differences and challenges are good too. They help us learn to think more biblically, to express ourselves constructively, and not to get too rattled when everyone isn’t happy with us all of the time – which I think God uses to get us out of the people pleaser place most of us have lived too long.

  79. Lisa on June 4, 2015 at 11:10 pm

    I have several ongoing health issues, my anti-husband is now financially abusing me, a child is leaving the nest and I’m concerned–that child has been most affected by the abuse, my parent is very ill, my other parent died recently, I have almost no adult support here, and I’m just plain broken hearted. I don’t have the energy, the ability to focus, or time. I’d rather read the Bible–the only book where the author is present everytime you read it.

  80. Brenda on June 5, 2015 at 5:54 am

    Lisa,
    I am praying for you Sister. You are in a deep valley. I wish I were there to give you a ((((hug)))) right now.
    Brenda

    • Lisa on June 5, 2015 at 10:38 am

      Thank you Brenda.

  81. Brenda on June 5, 2015 at 6:57 am

    Aleea,
    Men (sometimes women) don’t think about accountability because they feel they are entitled to do what they do. That sense of ownership is rampant. They certainly don’t want to be accountable to their wives. We are mere women, you know. So over time, without even realizing it, the man has been allowed to strip his bride of her personhood. When she/(me) comes out of the fog and begins to take back ownership of the person that was buried and stops pretending the push back of the spouse gets worse than ever and even changes in form if what once worked doesn’t any more.

    I whole heartedly agree that Christ is the only way. It is the only way for the abused to get free and for the abuser to change. All of the step programs, retreats and counseling will ever take the place of Jesus at the foot of the cross.It took 3 years of coming to my office every day and crying, praying, repeat before I felt that I was in God’s strength and he was revealing a new path. That new path has been hard and awesome all rolled up into one. I was saved when I was 12, but my faith really became wholeheartedly real over the past few years. Leaving it all at the cross is where it’s at. Being strong enough to help another woman is a gift from God that I take with Praise to the Creator.

    Leslie, you are awaiting crowns for your labors.

    Brenda

  82. Brenda on June 5, 2015 at 7:01 am

    Aleea,

    I forgot!! You said: Only Jesus gets first place in our hearts: not our kids (that’s so hard), not our husbands, not our pets (that’s hard too), not our careers. . .

    I know you didn’t mean to be humorous here, but I got a chuckle anyways. I found it funny that putting kids and pets behind Jesus was hard, but maybe not so much husbands. I am easily amused so don’t mind me. : )

    Brenda

    • Susanne on June 5, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      lol….I love it

    • Aleea on June 5, 2015 at 9:44 pm

      Brenda. . . ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.  —You know, I just love to smile and I love to laugh at myself and life, —because life, it is just too crazy! —And the Lord is so, so, SO good!!! —But, I also know the matters we discuss here are very, very serious (Eternity, Abuse, Marriages Ending, Brokenness, etc.) and I would never want to appear as taking them lightly because I don’t, —Oh, I don’t. I understand and then some!!!
      Christ’s love to you,

  83. Leonie on June 5, 2015 at 7:58 am

    Aleea, a few blogs back Valerie posted an excellent post that reminded me that we think our husbands want the best for everyone just like we do but they are different. They don’t have the same goals as us they don’t think like a normal person and have sold themselves out to evil & to serve themselves and use you for their gain & benefit only. When we recognize that, we can respond to them in the reality of how they think & behave. If you don’t speak wolf when he is speaking wolf, he thinks it is ok to eat you up. Sometimes I think that is the problem with a abuser programs, society gives them the benefit of the doubt and assumes we all think alike and it is not true. You and I desire truth and life and long after Gid but they don’t, they are on a whole different page and it’s one that exploits well meaning people, using the wiles of the devil to do it.

    • Leonie on June 5, 2015 at 7:59 am

      *long after God

    • Remedy on June 5, 2015 at 9:39 am

      Agreed….I told my pastors at the start “Throw ‘normal’ out….we’re not dealing with that here.” It didn’t take long for them also to be banging their heads against the same wall I was.

      I agree with what Aleea said about what a ‘normal healthy, and LOVING husband’s response would be to his wife wishing an affair on him to escape her life of torment. Those who do not respond with heartfelt love and even shock at how broken their wife has become to even ‘wish’ such a thing reveals that he has completely dismissed…..abandoned his wife and surely violated his vows to love, honor, cherish countless times and again. The wife may choose to exit that ship, but the husband is the only one who can turn it around. It seems most do not desire to. They like too much the direction they were taking that ship. When it becomes apparent to a wife after years and years of trying to explain and explain, the shock of realizing ‘he just doesn’t care’ keeps us paralyzed and in denial for a long time. The options are heartbreaking…. live out the remainder of your life in this destructive oppressive life or leave it and break the family apart.

      Some stay and push through. For others, it is too much for their soul to bear and they agonize a long time before ending it. Each of us must seek the Lord and have a clear conscience before Him so we can have some semblance of peace of heart, even if our emotions struggle.

      May the Lord bless you all. So many times the stories you tell leave me in stunned silence. The similarities and the heartbreak. It is truly an evil foothold that has gained entry into our marriages.

      • Remedy on June 5, 2015 at 10:10 am

        Feeling long winded this morning…lol! I also want to say that when we enter the marriage covenant, we do so with promised vows….vows/promises that God is witnessing and for which He does not take lightly our breaking.

        Most all of us vow/promise before God to Love, Honor, Cherish our spouse in all that life brings, til death parts us. All marital troubles begin with a violation of our vows in some area. If we do not repair it in a healthy way, a wound remains. Then another violation not handled to restore health, the wound increases. When these violations begin to occur on a regular basis and no healing taking place, it stands to reason that eventually the whole thing will become diseased. Just like an untreated infection in our bodies can go on and kill us if left untreated.

        It seems to me there is serious misunderstanding of the basic definitions of love, honor, and cherish. If we all had a little index card with the definitions of these words as the promises we made, and addressed our conflicts from that position…..asking of ourselves AND our spouses ‘how is this _____________ loving, honoring, and cherishing you/me? Could we not get to root problems more quickly? Those are sobering questions for the ones who took seriously the vows/promises they made to their spouse before a Holy God. To those who did not take their vows seriously, that would become evident fairly quickly also exposing a much needed reality check for how to proceed.

        Maybe I’m thinking too simplistically here. But marriage is a covenant we choose to enter into with vows/promises. The covenant is kept by keeping the promises. When the vows are broken, that breach must be healed. If the vows are repeatedly broken without healing and restoration, what has become of the covenant we entered into with both making promises? What do the words loving, honoring, and cherishing really mean? And if the vows are repeatedly broken without a shred of concern, do we really have a marriage?

      • Lisa on June 5, 2015 at 6:28 pm

        “The options are heartbreaking…. live out the remainder of your life in this destructive oppressive life or leave it and break the family apart.”

        I wondered for 20 years whether to leave. Then he took total control of the money and said, “You’ll NEVER have access to the money again, NEVER!!!! That’s how I know it’s over. With his background in pornography I knew I could never be sure where the money was being spent. And really whether I stay or go I will be financially poor. Even if I he wasn’t hiding the money it’s as Leslie says, “Golden chains are chains none the less.”

        • Susanne on June 5, 2015 at 7:23 pm

          Lisa, God will supply ALL your needs. You know there’s a group of wonderful women praying for one another here. We love you sister.

        • Robin on June 5, 2015 at 9:39 pm

          Lisa how old are your children?
          I ask because sometimes the walls need to tumble down- and allow the family to break apart. I went thru it and realize now how much that was needed. But it might depend on the ages of the children.

          • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 2:22 am

            The children are getting to where moving on (one leaving very, very soon) is creepy closer
            being they are teens. *They* don’t want me to stay with him once they are gone! They know he is unpredictable with abuse. They have also expressed that he has a very inappropriate way with women (the oldest son says he is “a creeper”)and find him totally disingenuous when speaking to other adults at church. Outsiders (those he doesn’t have enough access to inorder to charm or more importantly have nothing to offer him) will say, “your husband seems quiet and standoffish” to which I now reply, “he doesn’t want you to know the real him.” He has smoozed the Pastor, a group of men at church, and work buddies like it’s nobody’s business!



        • Robin on June 5, 2015 at 9:42 pm

          Lisa my husband took control of all our money too. He wanted to punish me for trying to stand up to him. But I want you to know even tho he took all the money and limited my options- God proved to be Bigger. He did so many amazing things for me — in spite of my husbands rebellion. Don’t let what you see. – be your guide . God is bigger and we can learn to trust Him and take our eyes off our controlling husbands.
          I’m praying for you Lisa!

          • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 1:23 am

            Here is the beginning of the financial abuse.
            Hold on for this ride: I found him making the most hateful faces at my Mom while she was in the hospital fighting for her life. I snapped to reality who he really is. Why it took this to happen even though all through the years there was abandonment, emotional and verbal abuse and some physical I don’t know completely. Then I just stopped talking to him. I knew he would *never* admit to the depth of hate I evidenced and the only way I knew to keep from imploding was to go completely silent. One afternoon while the children were out he hovered over me while I was cleaning and wanted to know why I wouldn’t talk to him. He was using his large stature to intimidate me so I ran out the front door and stood on the sidewalk in front of my next door neighbors house. When the kids came home I went back inside. Another happening not to long after, he was calling me names and the floodgates of tears opened and I ran to a neighbor. She was the first person I opened up to about everything. He had already left when I went over to that house and when he came back I was still gone.
            Now around this time he lost his job, had to work out of state and came home twice a month. He would always start in with something the night he left to go back to the place he worked so I would drive away so I he couldn’t drag me into a fight. He used all the above to say I was having an affair. Then he took all access to the money away. So when I finally wouldn’t put up with his ugly ways ( told him I told others about what he had been doing all along and he better not try anything) so he switched tactics by financially abusing me. And he justifies it all by saying he went to a lawyer and says it’s all legal. He feels all at ease to have it legally allowable (because he pays bills, although some not in full) and gives me $30.00 a week for my “needs” and also refers to it as my “stipend.”
            That is suppose to cover my doctor visits, medicine, supplements, medical supplies, dentist, car repair, clothing, etc…

            Whatever legal justification he assigns, it doesn’t hide the hatred and punishment with which he does it.



          • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 2:03 am

            Susanne, Robin, Brenda, and all the other wonderful women here; THANK YOU❤
            for encouraging me and praying for me. I’ve read and re-read your notes to me and I feel so loved and such joy!!!

            Your notes reminded me of something I saw today by Sid Roth – “What are you facing? Speak it out loud and say, “God, YOU are higher!” All your noted drove this home.

            Hugs to All,
            Lisa



    • Aleea on June 5, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      Leonie,
      Those are very good points and I am probably too naive in that way.  I don’t want to distrust because I know many Godly men that appear deeply good people.  That said, some men unfortunately appear to be, I hate to say this: Neanderthal DNA recoded sequences.  I say that because real love seems to mean nothing to this sort.  They are predators and far worse than prey animals because these types injure, wound, disfigure and if not stopped, mutilate the souls of women and even other men for sport.  I have had a hard time not hating these types of “men.”  The Lord has helped me repent but I have had to continue to repent of hating these types.  Then again, maybe some men do value love but have been so hurt when they opened their hearts in the past (many times the very distant past) that they wind up totally isolating (. . .will not accept correction, will refuse counseling, etc.) The good news is that there is an infinite supply of LOVE readily available to us right here, right now, right in this moment.

  84. Brenda on June 5, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Leonie,

    Well said!! How are you doing?

    Brenda

    • Leonie on June 5, 2015 at 8:44 am

      Thanks, Brenda.
      I am in court today to defend the restraining order I got for our daughter after the separation. He gets to answer for what has been brought against him. I am just asking God for wisdom, to not be thrown by lies that are spoken and to remember that my daughter’s safety and security are what it is all about, not his image or that having a child makes him a man or whatever else he turns it into. I know they (daughter & dad) should be seeing & speaking to each other and I think parameters for her safety need to be put in place.

      • Robin on June 5, 2015 at 9:30 am

        Praying for you Leonie. Remember whatever happens today this is only the first step in your situation. There will be many more steps that you and God will wLk out together before this is all over. We will be lifting you up all day!!!

      • Susanne on June 5, 2015 at 7:20 pm

        Praying for you Leonie

  85. Leslie Vernick on June 5, 2015 at 8:29 am

    A healthy, godly husband (or wife) would definitely want their spouse to be fully all God called him or her to be.

  86. Brenda on June 5, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Leonie,
    `Continuing to pray

    Brenda

    • Robin on June 5, 2015 at 9:35 pm

      Amen. We’re behind all the way!! More importantly, God is! Never have I seen God move like He did thru many of the hard circumstances of my divorce. Keep the Faith!!!!
      Robin

  87. Aleea on June 5, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Lisa,
    I’m so sorry, I fully understand now and I only saw this now too.  Please know I didn’t know you were coming from that place, that perspective.  In that case, I fully agree with you, yes always read your Bible first if you have limited time.  I will be praying for you and I like your point that it’s the only book where the author is present every time you read it. . .  I know that first hand because I ask the Lord lots of question when I read my Bible.
    You are in my prayers (and seriously so),
    Aleea

  88. Lisa on June 5, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    And you are not at risk for not learning from *church history’s mistakes, it’s about our own mistakes and examining ourselves how we ever let someone like these abusers in our lives to begin with and what are the warning signs of deceptive people.

  89. Leonie on June 5, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Thank you, Brenda & Robin for your prayers.
    The matter was put over until June 15th because he served me with his response in the courtroom. I didn’t get a chance to look at it before the judge came in.
    My oldest has his university grad on the day that my reply (June 11th) is due in a cry about 5 hours away but I think I can have it done by Wednesday because it is a response to the same matter.

    • Leonie on June 5, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      The grad is In a city about a 5 hour drive away and my reply is due the same day as his university Grad but I can serve him by email – which may be a blessing.

  90. Brenda on June 5, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Leonie,
    Will continue to pray. It will all work out!! God is in your corner.
    Brenda

  91. Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 2:44 am

    Aleea,
    I like what you wrote about asking God questions while you read the Bible. Thank you for sharing that.

  92. Brenda on June 6, 2015 at 6:10 am

    aleea,

    “Neanderthal DNA recoded sequences”: I like that.

    I don’t think we have to hate anyone including men that appear to be something they are not. We need to be aware!! We need to be able to spot what is Truth and what isn’t, whicfh is not always easy. My personal experience has been a 180 change after the “I do’s” are said and themarriage license is signed. Perhaps now that I have become much more educated about the red flags God will allow me to see the big picture…….not that I’m looking…..I am enjoying being a singleton.

    Blessing, Brenda

  93. Brenda on June 6, 2015 at 6:33 am

    Lisa,
    Is this really legally justified where you are or does he just want you to think that? If it is, it is just plain out and out evil legislation.
    Brenda

    • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 10:47 am

      That’s a good point. These are things he *says*, but 100% true? I He has been to the best lawyer in town so it’s possible he learned what he could do so as far as the law is concerned not to get himself in trouble. Knowing him, he’s picked every divorced man’s brain he could find to see how they put “the screws” to their wives and the lies they used to back it up.

  94. Robin on June 6, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Lisa, I have read all you have shared. Your life sounds very much like mine, I have one request. Please leave and find safety before things get worse. When my kids grew up and left home and my husband retired his abuse escalated. The last month I lived with him he was giving me $25.00 a week for household things meaning groceries. He had reduced my worth to nothing. He had endangered my life, he had become not safe most because I had increased the boundaries and his intent was too punish me. I was fearful, I had no money, but I left. At the time Leslue kept saying Safety is number 1.. I filed Protection order he was removed from house, I moved back into home and that’s just the beginning of my story how God rescued me out of danger and started a new beautiful life without fear and abuse. Please don’t ignore all the signs that this man has no goodwill for you!!!!

    • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      I have been trying to find a lawyer, but so far they are too expensive. Everyone says, “get a free consultation”, but those are non-existent with divorce lawyers here, I’ve looked high and low for one, just too much easy money/profit to be made for these lawyers charging for a consult. I spent $450 of the precious bit of money I did have put aside getting consults and they told me very little. I’ve done some research of this state’s laws. If you’re gone for more than 30 days you forfeit all rights to your home and since there are minors in the home I could be charged with abandonment—here that is a HUGE a strike against you. The judge will view all his decisions through that lens alone and I would be toast. That’s why it is SO important to know the laws where one lives.

      • Robin on June 6, 2015 at 12:48 pm

        I agree Lisa- get your info so u know what u need. Yes lawyers are expensive but if you go thru a shelter or Domestic Violence Center I am pretty sure you can get legal advice free- at least that’s what my DV counselor told me. Why would it be abandonment if you took your children with you?? You gave some options I think. I left for 2 weeks. Then I returned when he was gone and ended up with our house. Do you have family, church people, of friends you could stay with?? Have you gone and talked to a Domestic Violence Counselor? They are very helpful . I am so glad I made that connection!!!

        • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 1:28 pm

          The children don’t want to leave the home. He pretty much has been leaving them alone since he doesn’t want to be accused of parent alienation and he just bought one of them a used car. He does for them , just not me so they are somewhat comfortable here. Oh and our sweet dog is here; they are crazy for her. Just don’t know what to do about her.

  95. Leonie on June 6, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Lisa, I am praying for you. Get to a shelter with your kids if you can. i think you will qualify for free legal services that can help you start filing for separation, possession of your home and financial equalization … from there. You are enduring horrific abuse. Please leave within without evidence of physical abuse – how Han he be this horrible to the mother of his children. There is no good will or human decency in this evil man.

    • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      I just spoke to a former law enforcement official and he said reporting past abuse means going to the jurisdiction it happened in and statute of limitations is an issue. I’ve lived all over the country. But he said go ahead to my local station to see what they say. He said to definitely go to my Domestic Violence center and tell them.

  96. Brenda on June 6, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Lisa,
    If he can afford the best attorney in town, then he can afford to take care of you and pay for your attorney fees. He will have to swear in court as to his assets. I don’t think he would want to go to jail over lying in court. Judges don’t like being lied to. He will be required to bring in pay stubs and bank statements.

    Sometimes we wind up better off after a divorce than we do during the marriage.
    Brenda

    • Robin on June 6, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      Lisa my husband drove 90 miles to get the best attorney. This guy was expensive!! And it did him little good when it came time for court. My husband had great wealth he was hiding. It all came out- and I was served justice by getting half — against my husbands will. He had had a plan to keep it secret and be rich w/o me. God had a better plan. Try not to think about everything thru the eyes of your abusive husband. Start asking God for eyes of faith to see what He wants to do for you!!!

    • Leonie on June 6, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      If he tells you he’s been to the best lawyer in town don’t worry, they will say anything to keep you in your place and those things are meant to scare you. You need to rise above them (tuck the info into your brain if it has a use) and do not regard anything that he says as true. All of it is intended to abuse and intimidate and keep you in the fog. When he tells you cruel things and it strikes a terror inside of you please keep that in mind – that is the abuse he is doing. Commit yourself to God and don’t listen to his evil messages. Think of the truth in your mind to counter it and speak it. Pray that God will show you the truth to counter his lies and please remember you are valuable and important and it will be so worth it to get away & get your life back.

      • Leonie on June 6, 2015 at 12:14 pm

        That was to Lisa

        • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 1:06 pm

          Thank you ladies.

          I just found out today that he has stopped paying down the credit cards. The divorce law here is you pay half of all debt *whether you created it or not*. The cards that I know of, the debt is currently $30,000.00. It will climb as the divorce drags on from interest charges. I called the credit card company and they said there is nothing they can do, but she made a note of him not paying down and that I have no earnings and that he has taken access away of the funds.

          I definitely want this house sold; he has not taken care of it and I have no college ed so my earning potential is very limited; I cannot afford the mortgage never mind the bills and upkeep.

          • Robin on June 6, 2015 at 1:19 pm

            Lisa, a special friend of mine revealed their great love and care to me while I was going they the difficult things– and reminded me often, it doesn’t matter how bad the circumstances are – God is Bigger. She kept saying it until I learned to quit looking at the circumstances and trust Gid had a plan. We just do t know how Gid wants to move for good in our lives- so try not to look at the bad news which you have plenty of right now, and just say Hesus give me more faith to believe you are working out a special plan just for me and my children. I know it’s very difficult. But do t be like me, who took forever to hear this.



      • Leslie Vernick on June 6, 2015 at 3:23 pm

        I agree. I would not trust a thing he says and I highly doubt whether he has talked with a lawyer. But he is intimidating you into thinking he has so you will be too afraid to disagree. It’s urgent that you fight out what your legal rights and liabilities are so you can make good choices.

  97. Robin on June 6, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Sorry for all the misspelled words. That tiny box is back again! Ugh!

    • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 1:56 pm

      Thank you Robin, I do need that thought nestled in my heart and mind everyday. I find myself going back and forth as I have been watching a wonderful Christian friend going through the deepest waters during and after her divorce from her abuser. She has had significant financial judgments awarded her, yet her ex pays NONE of them and the court is doing nothing about it. This has been going on for 3 years. 4 of her 5 children have gone to his side (and he is one evil man, BUT he has $$$$). Her home is in foreclosure, she was in the hospital very recently for a month, then rehab. She has to get out of the house by next week. Her ex oppresses her on every front. So I look at her situation, a woman deeply in love with Jesus, and I think why isn’t God making her way smoother? And her relationship with God is far and away from my own so if God allows this, why would he help me?!

      The little box comment has me agreeing with laughter.

    • Leslie Vernick on June 6, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      I’ll look into that. It shouldn’t be the tiny box.

  98. Robin on June 6, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Lisa, wow that sounds tough. I would definitely go find a counselor to help you make decisions thru Donestic Violence Center. The first couple visits I was uncomfortable- but it gets easier. One thing going to the center did for me, was make me come out of denial, and yes I am very much in need of help. I needed to be there.

    • Robin on June 6, 2015 at 1:46 pm

      FYI/ this is what the abuser does. He pits the children away from Mom by use of his money and anyway he can manipulate. I’m so so sorry!!!!!

      • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 2:15 pm

        What became very clear to me over the years was that as long as I was doing life his way, he didn’t make that much time for the children. But as soon as I would challenge what he wanted all of a sudden—Whala! he is hugging them, fusing over them. Then when I would back down, his impatience, barking orders, and lack of attention returned. Since everything started erupting with uncontrolled lava, he has been their best buddy and gushing all over them. Attending every event under the sun and recently tried to go with one of them to an out of state competition. 4 times he tried to impose his will on that child and that child told him 3 times respectfully that he’d like to go alone, he couldn’t take it anymore and the 4th time just came right out with it, “I don’t want you there.”
        I won’t be surprised if anti-h secretly buys a plane ticket and meets our child there.

  99. Leonie on June 6, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    I am in Canada but one if the shelters has been amazing support and you do need their support & resources right now. I didn’t have to stay with them to get support. I was gone for 6 nights and now he is gone and I am in my house with my kids! My husband tried to withdraw 1/2 daughters RESP a few days ago but it went into my account because all the monthly contributuons come out of there. He must be freaking out about it now. It is too bad he did that because now my daughter loses out on the government portion of it for this year.

    • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 2:34 pm

      Leonia, that is terrible that he has interfered with her full support. Their deceitfulness has no limits.

      So happy for you being in your home!

      I wish my husband would leave, but he is dug in like the Vietcong.
      When my one parent died recently, I said I was leaving to go home. He had a gleam of happy anticipation in his eye. I knew what he was hoping—that I would be gone for good and he would get the house. I said, “No, not that kind of leaving, I’m going to the funeral.” His response in deflated and depressed tone, …”Oh…” I have recording of him denying me money to make the trip. Only when I said, “well then I guess you don’t want to provide for the kids for a place to stay while going there” did he cough anything up. Not a word for me losing my parent, just more abuse.

  100. Robin on June 6, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Lisa, your story about your friend makes me very sad. I am wondering why this happened?? Did she not have a lawyer that advocated for her???
    Something definitely must have been weak in her situation. I’m so sorry.
    My story started off that way- my husband went to his family and manipulated them and brought 13 declarations into court against me. He also manipulated 3 of my 4 children and to this day those 3 children and I are still alienated. What you need to understand is there is a definite cost to standing up against abuse. But if you put your faith in Christ as you stand for Righteousness He will honor you and give you favor. I don’t know about your situation but my family is very wounded. Not because of the divorce but because of the long standing abuse. My husband deceived and wounded our children for many years. It will take time for them to come around. But it is my belief the best thing a mom can do for her wounded abused children is GET HEALTHY HERSELF. At whatever cost. That’s why I say whatever the first steps are don’t matter much. Keep walking with the Lord and eventually you will see healthier steps — and rewards for enduring the difficult days. In the end of my divorce Lisa I received a great financial settlement that will make my life quite comfortable. I’ve heard this said before and it’s worth repeating- many abused women don’t have a happy ending because they quit in the middle. Remember we must be brave warriors for our famues and fight this fight of evil to the end. We cannot quit or we will not gain the prize God has for each one of us. Again I say I am very sorry for your friend. I hope someone comes alongside her and helps her pick up the pieces of her life. I will pray for her!!!!

    • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      Robin I will tell her you are praying for her. She will be grateful for sure.

  101. Brenda on June 6, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Lisa,
    That is beyond evil. He may be physically going to work for the money, but you, as his wife are 50% of that arrangement. In the military, the wife gets an allotment. If I remember correctly, it was at least 50%. What is wrong with states that are still in this day saying that the wife is not half of a marriage. It makes me sick.
    Brenda

    • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      Brenda,
      I’m sorry, yes you get 50% of assets along with 50% debt. I just don’t know what he has done with the retirement plan. Sometimes they can finagle it by they way they set it up the spouse can’t access it or winds up paying big taxes on it. I’ve been trying to get more info on that and how to protect what little I may have coming.

  102. Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Yes Robin,
    Her 1st lawyer did not fight well for her. And that lawyer knew she had no money since her abuser took it all and she knew the abuser was loaded. Yet she had my friend obtaining credit cards in order to pay her. And then when my friend maxed out her limits on those cards; the lawyer sued my friend in order to get her to take out even more cards to pay her! Her 2nd lawyer has been much better, but the courts, law enforcement have been awful towards her. Her ex is very wealthy–there is a consensus that someone has been paid off for the ex’s benefit.

    I’m so sorry Robin for the heartbreak of your children alienating you–that is a deep, deep hurt! I pray they will have eyes wide open to the truth.

    Yes my children are wounded and I’ve encouraged them to seek out a trusted Christian friend to confide in. One has done that with his youth Pastor as that gentleman came from the same kind of home. My oldest knows some godly men he loves, but so far he has not spoken to them. He has stopped going to church, got fed up when he saw how the Pastor didn’t help me when I talked with him. They always tell me, “Mom, we’re not worried about ourselves, we have our whole lives ahead of us. We just feel bad for you that you have lived like this. And when you’re old, between all of us, we will take care of you; we won’t let you live in a nursing home.” Boy do I hope that works out!

    • Robin on June 6, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      Wow – what a great mom u must be!!!! That is wonderful Lisa!! Unfortunately my husbands evil was very deceptive. It wasn’t till I filed for my divorce that my eldest daughter said to me, Mom every day he told your kids lies about you breaking them down day after day……. I was so abused and wounded and confused I did not protect my children from the abuse. That is why I have such a strong passionate message to all of you– protect your family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 3:54 pm

        I’m no great shakes Robin, made many wrong decisions and have not handled my reactions of the abuse well. They have had some great men cross their paths–mostly through sports–to influence them; so thankful for all of them.

        You have given one of the most important pieces of advice shared with me since this nightmare began—“I’ve heard this said before and it’s worth repeating- many abused women don’t have a happy ending because they quit in the middle.” There’s advice you hear and you try to remember, THIS advice is what you don’t hear very often–it’s like a gem and I’m seizing it. Thank you Robin!!!

        • Robin on June 6, 2015 at 4:13 pm

          Lisa I think this is important because the middle can be full of awful messes and it would be easy to quit, I sure wanted too. My 3 children had been taken from me, when I traded my old unreliable car in for something more dependable my husband tried to hold me in contempt of court for selling something before the divorce was final. Then my daughter took me to Hawaii for my 60th birthday and again he wrote 20 pages to the court while I am financially irresponsible. Just for going to Hawaii??? Normal people buy new cars and take vacations but he was only interested in one thing- KEEPING CONTROL OF ME!! Thru some very weird circumstances the car salesman that sold me the newer car had been dishonest and I got my old car back I was trading in. — and proved to the court my honesty and integrity. Actually I give ALL THE CREDIT to the Lord. I think he knows my husbands heart and one day just said– THIS IS ENOUGH!!
          But I’m really glad I endured the junky days as the end gave me more than I ever dreamed possible!!!!!!

          • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 4:49 pm

            Abusing you and the children and taking them from you; he is absolutely one miserable, evil man! Unless he thinks millstones are the in thing, he better get to repenting!!!



  103. Brenda on June 6, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Lisa,
    My daughter (and her husband) have told me much the same thing. I am the only one who lives remotely close. She said that when I retire a room is waiting for me in their new home. I truly believe they mean it.
    Brenda

    • Robin on June 6, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      Ahhhhhhhh such sweet families!!!!!

    • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 3:57 pm

      Beautiful❤ Brenda.

    • Robin on June 6, 2015 at 5:03 pm

      Lisa, most abusers are wounded men that were physically abused themselves in childhood. They don’t know how I’ll they are. My husband was very physically abused to the point he could beat his infant son- it’s what he knew. Abusers also have an attitude of entitlement. They are superior and he probly thinks he is a good man and he has done nothing wrong. He tried to convince my lawyer that I was irresponsible and needed to be punished so that is why he took all the money away. I really believe until he hits the wall with his internal pain– and acknowledges he needs help- he will keep on doing like he is. So sad but true.

      • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 5:36 pm

        My husband was ill as a child and he especially was doted on by his father. When he grew out of his health condition he held onto his love of being the center of attention. He grew up with a great deal of entitlement and pornography was in his home from his brothers and then a friend. He objectifies women, feels entitled, and expects you to fall all over him–that is one recipe for abuse! I became his unfinished business with his mother and abuse he did–right from the honeymoon on! He has been jealous of my attention and love for the children from the beginning. He really said this: “You get to breastfeed our children; I don’t get to do that!!!” What man would ever think to say such a bizarre thing?! It freaked me out!

        I don’t pity him, he can chose like anyone else to do right. He choses to abuse so his choser works!

        I am sure he has lied up and down about me to his lawyer and gave her sob story that you could pave a road with across the USA!

        The anti-husband I have will not be hitting a wall anytime soon. He constructs them though so no one can get close enough to his hidden life.

  104. Brenda on June 6, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Lisa,
    Yes, usually debt and assets are both 50/50. If he is not taking care of the bills he is further sinking you into a hole the longer you wait. As for retirement plans it depends on what type it is. If it is a qualified retirement plan through an employer there is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), that applies in all states as it is federal law. In that legal document it usually says that the spouse is entitled to 50% and that the owner is responsible for any taxes or premature withdrawals. You most definitely need to speak to someone. I do not know of a Domestic Violence Program that doesn’t have access to legal advise.
    Brenda

    • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 5:04 pm

      Wait—I forgot!!!—when he got fired he converted the 401K to an IRA! He didn’t want to contribute at his new place of work so I wouldn’t benefit! All those funds–his share of contribution to the 401K—he’s most likely been stashing away for himself!!! About 4 months ago (he quit the job out of state and started even another job) I saw something saying welcome to the 401k fund! So he has multiple accounts!!! Brenda do you know anything about IRA’s and how they get handled???

  105. Robin on June 6, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    Lisa I am receiving 75 percent of my husbands retirement savings- to save for my own retirement years. And I received 50 per cent of his retirement pension. The court does make everything equal in the end. Don’t believe what your husband tells you, Leonie did a fantastic job explaining in one of her posts today what an abuser is trying to accomplish!!!!!

    • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      WHOA!!! How does one manage that? That is fantastic!!!

      • Robin on June 6, 2015 at 5:18 pm

        Honestly I really believe God did it all. He provided the right lawyer that would fight my case — and every step of the way God directed in allowing my husbands true self be revealed both in his actions and what came out of his mouth. In the very ending Settlement Conference what do you think the judge thought when my husband said she can have her mattress. I’m want everything else in her bedroom. Believe jaws dropped and saw the real abuser in action!

        • Robin on June 6, 2015 at 5:20 pm

          I could have gotten more stuff– but from day one my lawyer said go for the cash not the stuff. So I did. But again every minute the Lord was in charge and directing me!!

          • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 6:00 pm

            Making note of this–cash, not stuff.

            All this great advice; it helps to get more focused and takes away the trapped feeling.



        • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 5:53 pm

          To reveal his true self in court—that would be the jackpot!

  106. Robin on June 6, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Lusa I don’t know if you read my post about an assignment Leslie gave us a while back. Write yourself s letter . You are in the future – 5 years from now. Look back and write what you would tell yourself when you were stuck in abuse. What would you want to say now that you are living theife you never imagined. (Probly has my twist on it a little)

    • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      I LOVE this idea!!!

      • Robin on June 6, 2015 at 5:14 pm

        This assignment had much to do with me getting unstuck from thinking I had no choices in life.

  107. Brenda on June 6, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Lisa,
    IRA’s are even simpler. They can be listed in the court order distributing property within the divorce/legal separation decree. They usually are worded much the same as the distribution or a 401k, but don’t require an additional expensive court order. A QDRO here is about $500. What ever documentation you can get and copy the better off you are. Companies/banks can be ordered to give information. He can run, but he can’t hide.
    Brenda

    • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 5:40 pm

      Sweet! Thank you Brenda!!!

    • Robin on June 6, 2015 at 5:50 pm

      My QDRO cost husband $1000. In state of Washington.

  108. Brenda on June 6, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Anytime, Lisa, anytime.

  109. Brenda on June 6, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Robin,

    I’m sure the QDRO costs vary by how much money is involved as well as the state and attorney. They have a way of seeing $$ signs in their eyes fairly easy. No offense to attorneys out there. In the business I work in we have worked with many. We charge $0 for doing the paper work for an estate settlement. If the client chooses to use an attorney, they could spend mega bucks, but that is their choice.

    I’m not sure about most abusers being abused themselves or even having a bad childhood. Where did you get that stat?
    Brenda

    • Robin on June 6, 2015 at 6:11 pm

      I think the first I heard if it was Lundy Bancroft. But my counselor also talks about how each of us have to deal with our wounded selves from childhood – and I agree with that. What are your thoughts Brenda???

      • Robin on June 6, 2015 at 6:14 pm

        I think a bad childhood might be ineffective wording. More like we are what we are much depending who was influencing us good or not good in early development years. After my counselor had listened to me for awhile she knew I had been anused more than just in my marriage. As time went on it became more apparent but it took quite awhile for all my places of denial to be erased.

  110. Brenda on June 6, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Robin,
    I definitely think bad choices were made for survival to get away from childhood abuse, but realized that I needed to take responsibility and not allow it as a crutch. Not that it really worked while facing more abuse. But, I didn’t grow up to abuse my children. If anything, I chose to protect them more, but I couldn’t be there every second and it didn’t always work.

    I’ve read Bancroft’s, book “Why Does He Do That”. Maybe I need to reread.
    Brenda

  111. Brenda on June 6, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Robin,
    I don’t know that the xh was abused as a child, but I am now told that he witnessed his mother being abused.
    Brenda

    • Robin on June 6, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      It might not be an all or nothing statement. Perhaps many were abused, and perhaps many were not. I don’t know for sure.

      • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 8:40 pm

        Lundy says that it’s not a boy seeing his mother being abused that causes the boy to repeat abuse; it’s the attitude of entitlement and control that his father demonstrates.

        • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 8:54 pm

          Lundy says that it’s not a boy seeing his mother being abused that attitude of entitlement and control that his father demonstrates.

          • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 9:04 pm

            Sorry for the double post don’t even know how it happened.

            Here is a direct from an article by Lundy;

            Battering is a learned behavior, with its roots in attitudes and belief-systems that are reinforced by the batterer’s social world. The problem is specifically linked to how the abuser formulates the concepts of relationship and family; in other words, within those realms he believes in his right to have his needs come first, and to be in control of the conduct (and often even of the feelings) of others. A recent research study showed that two factors, the belief that battering is justified and the presence of peers who support abusiveness, are the single greatest predictors of which men will batter; these two had a considerably greater impact than whether or not the man was exposed to domestic violence as a child (Silverman and Williamson).

            http://www.lundybancroft.com/articles/understanding-the-batterer-in-custody-and-visitation-disputes



  112. Robin on June 6, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Lisa the reason for cash over stuff is if your divorce has to go to trial- and the judge has to make some of the decisions my lawyer said he will view the worth of stuff in your home at yard sale prices. So you may think they are precious but you won’t get much of a value put on them. My lawyers view is by going towards cash you’re looking at security for your future – and you will have some money in your hand to replace whatever you need in your home.

    • Robin on June 6, 2015 at 6:31 pm

      I think his point was – some people put too much value on stuff. And forget about security for the future.

    • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 8:32 pm

      This is very wise; thank you.

      • Robin on June 6, 2015 at 8:46 pm

        You’re welcome and I love your Lundy Bancroft quote!!!

  113. Brenda on June 6, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    I didn’t go through total denial of childhood abuse. I didn’t talk about it, but it never was buried in my mind.

    • Robin on June 6, 2015 at 6:38 pm

      Mine was. Still is. But parts have come out enough for me to know it was too traumatic for a young child to deal with and I just shut down and denied it,

  114. Brenda on June 6, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Robin,
    It would make sense, but not an excuse. I don’t imagine that Bancroft would let that pass as an excuse though.
    Brenda

    • Robin on June 6, 2015 at 6:40 pm

      You are absolutely right about that. If we have a problem we look for a solution.

  115. Brenda on June 6, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Robin,
    I remember wishing that I could have a split personality so I could forget what was happening, but it didn’t happen.
    Brenda

  116. Brenda on June 6, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    LIsa,
    Then in the xh’s case, I don’t see how that could have been his issue. His dad died when he was 5. Maybe other men or older brothers? Out of 9 kids, he was part of the final 5 that were born to his dad. The first four were his mom’s from a prior marriage. The oldest was a young adult when xh was born. All of the boys were heavy drinkers well into adult hood.

    In the big scheme of things, I no longer care what makes them tick. I do care about the women and children who are abused and need healing and support very much. I care about all of us not repeating the cycle. I leave the abusers in God’s hands and infinite wisdom.
    Brenda

  117. Robin on June 6, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Lisa thank you for the article from Lundy Bancroft. I so loved those books!!! We have to remember it’s not going to be the same for every man. Some learn by role modeling they saw, others were abused. Sadly my son learned by his dad’s attitudes that entitlement and disrespect was ok . It’s such a battle- abuse is!!!!

    • Lisa on June 6, 2015 at 9:51 pm

      Yes, I guess to like Brenda said you get saturated with reading about them. I need to start healing and get adjusted to what will be my new normal. Oh how I hope for it to be good.

      • Robin on June 6, 2015 at 10:07 pm

        Your own healing will be the most significant step you can make for your own healthiness and for your children!

  118. Brenda on June 6, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    Robin, Thank you for saying that about the article. I didn’t see that.

    I’m sorry, Lisa. I didn’t know you had attached that. I’m printing it out to read later.

    Brenda

  119. Brenda on June 7, 2015 at 5:54 am

    Lisa,
    I like my new normal. There is no abusive person in my apartment that I now call home. I come and go without getting my head chewed off. I save money now that the cigarette makers and casinos aren’t getting it. I really thought it took 2 incomes to survive, but it doesn’t. It just took me relying on God and being totally dependent on him.

    I know that you are in a different stage of life. You have kids at home, but I have done that also. You do whatever you have to do to make life work for your kids. From what you have said they are well aware of what you go through and don’t like it.

    I have read so much about abuse, that I had to step away from it. I now concentrate more on getting others the information they need to come out of the fog and be able to make more educated choices.

    By going to a Domestic Violence Program and perhaps getting an advocate that can help lead you to professionals that can help you, you will strengthen your CORE and be able to stand up for yourself. It is empowering and your he will not have the hold on you that he once did.

    • Lisa on June 7, 2015 at 8:51 am

      My greatest fear now is what happens once the divorce papers are filed. Where will I live? what about money for my medical needs (his company will take me off the ins. policy–my medications and blood work that need to be tested regularly is very expensive) food, car ins., gas, just everything.

      I have no family here–they live 1600 miles away and don’t want to be involved anyway. The only close friends I have here are going through the same thing.
      People know my situation, but I get, “Well the best I can do is pray for you.”

      • Robin on June 7, 2015 at 11:23 pm

        What kind of disability do you have Lisa?? You talk about blood work – how often is this needed??Are you a diabetic 1??

        • Lisa on June 8, 2015 at 2:28 am

          Several auto immune diseases. I was at doctor 3 times in just the last month and a half.

          • Lisa on June 8, 2015 at 2:44 am

            The ins. through my husband’s work is very good; I never see a bill for the lab. I do get the”Explanation of Benefits” and can see the value of the testings before insurance payment.



          • Robin on June 8, 2015 at 3:10 am

            Lisa I am confident that with all you’ve lived with for so long, your health would improve vastly if u weren’t living in the midst of so much chaos and pain. That is enough motivation right there to move out- to get well. I was sick all my married life- and immediately I was much stronger and no longer having one illness after another. A friend told me she knew I was abused by all the illness I had over the years. All that can change or at least improve.



  120. Brenda on June 7, 2015 at 5:54 am

    Lisa,
    I like my new normal. There is no abusive person in my apartment that I now call home. I come and go without getting my head chewed off. I save money now that the cigarette makers and casinos aren’t getting it. I really thought it took 2 incomes to survive, but it doesn’t. It just took me relying on God and being totally dependent on him.

    I know that you are in a different stage of life. You have kids at home, but I have done that also. You do whatever you have to do to make life work for your kids. From what you have said they are well aware of what you go through and don’t like it.

    I have read so much about abuse, that I had to step away from it. I now concentrate more on getting others the information they need to come out of the fog and be able to make more educated choices.

    By going to a Domestic Violence Program and perhaps getting an advocate that can help lead you to professionals that can help you, you will strengthen your CORE and be able to stand up for yourself. It is empowering and your he will not have the hold on you that he once did.

  121. Brenda on June 7, 2015 at 6:23 am

    Amen!!!!!!! Your own healing will be the most significant step you can make for your own healthiness and for your children!

  122. Brenda on June 7, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Lisa,
    I do understand your fear. Are you able to provide the things that you need on what your h is giving you now? It really doesn’t sound like it. Have you been married long enough to be granted spousal support in your state? If you get assets from an IRA, will your doctor sign forms that you are disabled and need the money for support? If so, you can take out money before age 59.5 and will not incur a penalty but will be able to take it out at your federal income bracket, which may be 0%. State taxes vary.

    With what you have said of your past events with your h, you live in danger every day. All of the questions that you have can be answered by a Domestic Violence Shelter advocate. You don’t have to live in the shelter to get advice. Without knowing what your state has to offer, you cannot make an informed decision.

    Although praying for one another and bringing us before the Most High is truly a blessing, having someone advocate for us is also important. Fear will consume you as long as you don’t know all of the facts. Your h and your friends have put a lot of thoughts and fears in your path. Your friends house is in foreclosure and I know that is scary, that would make me afraid also. If your h is not paying down credit card debt, how do you know he is paying the mortgage? How much else do you not know? I am sure that there is help available to you. Ask God to point you in the right direction.
    ((((HUGS)))) Brenda

    • Lisa on June 7, 2015 at 10:19 am

      This state gives temporary support—max 6 mos.; that is it if they allow it. Alimony only if you prove you have no fault in dissolution of marriage. A-h will make up all kind of lies about me; he already has.

      I had hoped not to touch the IRA; there’s not that much in it; it would get sucked up fast–blood work alone is $1200. each time without ins.) I felt I would need it for when I am older anyway.

      Sometimes I think I should just have stayed quiet.

      • Lisa on June 7, 2015 at 10:31 am

        I just called the DV hotline and they said call in the morning and they will schedule an appointment for an assessment.

      • Robin on June 7, 2015 at 11:20 pm

        Lisa don’t forget if you can’t get much support you can get on a program thru the state and they’ll pay all your medical bills, rent, etc….
        There is help out there for people just like you who need it. I think Brenda’s advice of getting a Donestic Violence counselor to guide you thru the process and answer your questions is excellent!!!!!

        • Lisa on June 8, 2015 at 2:32 am

          Is there a specific name for the State assisted program?

          • Robin on June 8, 2015 at 3:04 am

            Lisa, I don’t know what part of the country you are in- but in Washington it’s known as Welfare dept or DSHS. It’s meant to help people when they are in hardship and they help you as long as you need it. My sister is on disability and has gotten it for many years.



    • Lisa on June 7, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      I see the mortgage and household bills statements and I can see where they list the last payments. The credit card statement has been missing so I called the company and they told me he hasn’t paid last month at all and that some months back he only paid bare minimum which would only cover late payments and interest.

  123. Brenda on June 7, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Lisa,
    Ouch!! What happened to affordable healthcare??

    You shouldn’t be quiet. We all care about you.
    Brenda

  124. Brenda on June 7, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Lisa,
    Good!! that is a step in the right direction.
    Brenda

  125. Brenda on June 8, 2015 at 7:08 am

    Lisa,
    That is a good thing. You are on top of things.
    Brenda

    • Lisa on June 8, 2015 at 10:14 am

      Called back the DV helpline this morning; the non-shelter advocate is still due in so I’m waiting for her to call back and set up an appointment.

  126. Brenda on June 8, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Hi Lisa,
    Waiting is always the worst, at least for me. I’m glad you’re doing this and praying for answers that will help you.
    Brenda

  127. Lisa on June 8, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Had to call DV back–got late in day and she never called back. DV here gives no financial assistance or job training. Have to call United Way and Social Services for assistance. Will do tomorrow, too late in day to do it now.

  128. Lisa on June 8, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Anti-husband harassing me for 3 days–not wanting to give $ to get car fixed. Wants me to produce an estimate before he’ll pay it. That might sound ok, but REALLY he wants to see the bill so can get the address off of it so he can go there and control what gets fixed AND get his hands on the keys to the car—ain’t happening. It’s the only place I have to store emergency things.

  129. Brenda on June 8, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Lisa,
    Could you suggest that h call the repair folks and get a verbal estimate?

    • Lisa on June 8, 2015 at 7:56 pm

      He’ll know where they are and show up.

      • Robin on June 8, 2015 at 8:07 pm

        Brenda my husband would do the exact same as Lisa’s. I totally understand.

        • Lisa on June 12, 2015 at 11:45 pm

          3 things needed to be checked on my vehicle. Went to a mechanic today, the nephew of my neighbor,(they know my situation and must have told him). My oldest child has a little job and offered to pay for it. Of three things checked two things needed repair and one is still fine and doesn’t need to be replaced for a few years. When I asked the owner how much I owed he said, “It’s on us.” I was in shock!!! and had to ask if he was sure, because I thought I might of heard him wrong. He said, “it’s all right, it’s on us.”

          “Every good and perfect gift is from above.”

  130. Brenda on June 8, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Lisa,
    I am so sorry. This has to be hard for you. I never had this particular problem and don’t have any suggestions.

    • Lisa on June 8, 2015 at 8:27 pm

      Brenda,

      It is overwhelming. I can barely function. And also I thought for sure DV would offer more help. I wish I never confronted him and fought back. This has been way too much. Life seems like a dark hole. If I stay he will not allow me any access to the money and is very pompous and will have me begging for every little thing. If I go there are dead ends to every avenue I try to get help from. I’m so heart broken.

  131. Brenda on June 8, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    Robin,
    Do you have any suggestions? How did you handle this?

  132. Robin on June 8, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    Hmmm I’ll have to think. My husband controlled all the money so he would threaten not to pay for it- so I always felt I had no choice until I started making decent money of my own and then I quit including him in those decisions.
    Lisa, what is your biggest concern in this??
    Do you get a disability check????

    • Lisa on June 8, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      No disability check; I don’t even know how to apply for it.

    • Lisa on June 10, 2015 at 12:16 pm

      My biggest concerns are:
      —-i will no longer have health insurance so how in the world will i ever pay for my meds, testing, i have a huge amount of dental work that needs to be done now, etc…?

      —where am i going to live?

      —as soon as i file i’ll have no money for even basics–food, gas, etc.

      —i’m stuck in the middle of settling one parent’s estate, the other—paying their bills and handling their medical decisions. And nobody else can do it because i was named legally the person to do it and that person now has alzhiemers and can no longer have legal documents drafted and signed.

      I’m so angry with everything I want to scream!!!

  133. Robin on June 8, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Lisa you are talking to someone who walked in your shoes for way too long. I do understand your FEAR. After 30 months of personal counseling I am just getting to the place where he no longer holds that fear over me!!!! I signed my divorce papers today. My lawyer said to me no one ever gets all they want. I said I did. I have my freedom and my mind and a peaceful life this is all I need. Everything else is like gravy. You will figure these things out. Do you not have a close friend who can walk with you thru this and help with all the small decisions thAt will come up day?? I didn’t either. I asked the Lord to bring me a friend. I found her on Facebook and called her and ate lunch at her house and begged her to help me. Lisa we must be our own advocates!!! We must figure out what we can do next and then do it. Don’t shy awAy Brenda and I are here to help however we can.

    • Lisa on June 8, 2015 at 8:40 pm

      My only friends here are the ones who are going through it too or are widows with huge burdens of their own. I have moved ALOT thanks to him being arrogant and getting demoted or taking positions too big for him and getting fired. My dearest friends are back in my home state and I could be there right now. I feel SO TRAPPED here!!!!

  134. Robin on June 8, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    I thought you said you were on disability. Can you explain how disabled you are so we can see if you are able to draw s check???

    • Lisa on June 8, 2015 at 8:44 pm

      It’s medical—auto immune. Some days I can’t get out of bed. Affects every joint in my body. Searing pain like knives on fire ripping through my body.

  135. Brenda on June 8, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Lisa,
    You would need to have docs willing to sign that you are unable to work. If you already have someone saying that you are unable, go to the Social Security office or go to their website. I’m not sure if you can apply online or not. They usually deny the first time and it takes time. I’ve seen people that I feel should not get it that went in acted nuts and got on right away. Others that truly are physically disabled it takes a couple of years. It’s worth a shot though.
    Brenda

    • Lisa on June 8, 2015 at 8:49 pm

      What a broken system!

      Thank you for the info Brenda.

  136. Robin on June 8, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    I’m so sorry Lisa- it really is a no answer thing, until you get out away from his control and threats. If u do nt stand up to him it will increase. You need to get physically healthy . And u won’t till u separate from him. I could call my DV center and ask them for you. But they will ask where you are before they know if they can help you.

    • Robin on June 8, 2015 at 8:48 pm

      If your center doesn’t offer training or financial help, did u ask HOW THEY CAN HELP YOU??

      • Lisa on June 8, 2015 at 8:50 pm

        I did ask. They said call United Way and Social Services.

  137. Robin on June 8, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Lisa is it time then to consider returning to your home state???

    • Lisa on June 8, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      I’m in the middle of settling parent’s estate and all info coming here can’t leave til it’s finished.

  138. Brenda on June 8, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    Lisa,
    I also live with auto-immune diseases. I get up each morning and wonder if I will be able to see, walk, how intense will the pain be. Sometimes the meds I take help, other days not so much. I keep moving as long as I can. Saturday, I didn’t have one inch of my body that didn’t hurt. What your h is doing to you is a severe breach of the marriage covenant. He should be loving you and taking care of you. The whole in sickness and in health thing went right out the window. It takes a evil person to treat their spouse that way. Praying for you, Lisa. “Dear Lord, Be with Lisa in her hour of need. She needs healing in all aspects of body, mind and soul. She needs someone to com along side of her and be with her through this. She needs your peace and a faith that will move the mountain that is in front of her. Guide her in a path that leads to a life that will be pleasing to you. In Jesus name. Amen.”

    • Robin on June 8, 2015 at 9:03 pm

      Lovely words Brenda. One more word Lisa- remember God does have a plan for your rescue just as he did for Brenda and for me. But it takes a little faith to believe He does when you live in total chaos. Just remember it took a long while to get where you are and it will take some time to walk this process put. Don’t give up, when one thing feels like a door slammed in your face, keep looking for the next answer. We never know which corner we’ll turn, and there our answer will be!! We’ll keep prAying, seeking Gids face, that in His Mercy He will begin to reveal His plan to you.
      Love Robin

      • Lisa on June 8, 2015 at 9:28 pm

        I found 2 additional lawyers. One specializes in preparing 401k and pension settlements for divorce. The other sat on a board for a single mom’s group. I guess i will go see them both.

        • Robin on June 8, 2015 at 10:23 pm

          There’s a positive step. Sounds great. You go girl. Lisa proud of you- I know this isn’t easy.

          • Lisa on June 9, 2015 at 12:55 am

            Wow! I just looked up reviews on one of the attorney’sI was going to schedule an appointment with and found a very recent scathing review!!! The ex-client left a very detailed review; I am so thankful to have found this. Thank all for praying!



          • Leslie Vernick on June 9, 2015 at 11:11 am

            knowledge is power – and it’s great that you are taking steps to be informed and to protect yourself.



    • Lisa on June 9, 2015 at 12:19 am

      Thank you for this beautiful prayer Brenda.

  139. Lisa on June 8, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    I just looked out the window and he had all new tires put on his truck. That’s 1,000.00. more on the credit card.

    • Robin on June 9, 2015 at 12:11 am

      I’m sorry Lisa. Just another sign that his history is the same as his actions today. He hopefully will pay the natural consequences of his bad choices.

  140. Brenda on June 9, 2015 at 6:38 am

    Lisa and Robin,

    So true! Never give up and keep seeking God’s guidance as you pursue answers. It doesn’t usually happen over night. I spent a lot of time reading His Word and praying for answers. He shows His glory in many ways. I needed some healing before rescue came and knowing down deep that God was bigger than the abuse. HE IS.

    Brenda

    • Robin on June 12, 2015 at 1:54 am

      Lisa, I hope you’re in touch with Leslie. Just checking, how’s it going??

      • Lisa on June 12, 2015 at 11:20 pm

        I think Leslie is away right now.

  141. Brenda on June 9, 2015 at 6:42 am

    Lisa,
    Yes, mam!! listen to what each one has to offer and be a sponge, soaking up information.

    • Lisa on June 9, 2015 at 9:57 am

      The “helps” here are almost non-existent.

      —DV only legal help is for restraining orders.

      —Free or reduced legal aid: must have lived out of home one year with minor child BEFORE you fill out application, then you go on a waiting list.

      —Counseling services, reduced rate, but I
      have no extra money for that.

      —There are just dead ends everywhere in this state. Waiting lists a mile long.

      —Any “assistance” for job training in the absolute most dangerous part of the
      city.

      • Leslie Vernick on June 9, 2015 at 11:09 am

        Lisa, what state do you live? I must have missed that. There are Christian non profits that will also give you some aid. Give her Wings helps women financially relocate. Focus1.org helps women with support and counseling. There are others but I’m at the airport so I don’t have my resources with me, but let me get back to you on this once I get home.

        • Lisa on June 9, 2015 at 12:08 pm

          Thank you Leslie. Is there an email I can converse with you. I’d rather not identify the state I’m in on the website. Thank you.

  142. Valerie on June 9, 2015 at 11:04 am

    This is what stood out to me in the reader question of Leslie’s post. The highly charged, very direct adjectives this wife used (manipulative and controlling) to describe her husband do not sound like someone who is possibly being abused by her controlling husband. If someone is being abused by a controlling person she is not usually in an emotional position to be that confrontational with her word choice to her abuser. (However, if she has been aware of her husband’s abusively controlling nature for some time and is beginning to get support elsewhere, she might gain more clarity to feel comfortable being this direct.)

    He describes her behavior as friendly and goes on to say that she wasn’t flirting. From my experience, only when my husband was at his pinnacle of manipulative prowess would he ever give me the benefit of the doubt (as this man did by saying she wasn’t actually flirting). Instead he was quick to openly accuse me of many things and twist things to give him more credibility to label my behavior in a malignant way.

    He said he told her how he felt. From my experience an abuser doesn’t often use the word “felt” because this isn’t a word he identifies with. Then again, if he was highly manipulative he may use a word like this in order to illicit a connection with whom he’s attempting to manipulate with his reenactment story.

    He asks it if is true that he is controlling. From what I understand of abusers it seems it is rare that they would not allow themselves an escape hatch of justification by asking such an open ended question. The way he asks allows for an answer of, “Yes, you are indeed controlling.” A controlling person (by their nature) is adept at asking things in a way to illicit the desired response. A controlling person might ask it in a way like this for example, “Is it controlling of me to want my wife’s attention in a situation like this?”

    Some have commented here on how they were falsely accused by their spouses in similar situations. Projection on the part of the spouse. At the risk of adding more confusion to anyone here, it is important to use thorough discernment with others. I think the reader’s vignette is an excellent example for all of us to recognize that either party could be the abusive one (in my opinion).

    A personal example: before I realized just how manipulative and abusive my husband was, I was completely fooled by a man in our church who was going through a separation. A group of us befriended and prayed for this man whose wife inexplicably left him. He was cunning in his assessment of the marriage- like a trail of bread crumbs leading us exactly where he wanted us. Plausible excuses for his own behavior while carefully admitting to distant past mistakes (a common ploy by abusers to seemingly prove their ability to self reflect and accept responsibility…”I know I used to be controlling….I know I didn’t treat her right at the beginning of the marriage.” Admission as a strategy). The more I got to know him the more I realized there was a persistent lingering odor in the air….like the faint stench of a decaying mouse in the wall. Though your eyes and ears can’t perceive it, your nose knows something is OFF! I came to realize this man was the abusive, controlling one and I cringed at how I supported this man and was totally fooled by him at first.

    My point is just to raise awareness of practicing discernment. Whether its a new girl friend we meet at bible study, leader in the church or your fiance’s family, there are some who are master manipulators and practicing discernment will help us guard our hearts against those who wish to malign us. I am learning the art of not making conclusions too quickly based on what seems logical at first glance. There are pastors for instance who have no desire to pastor, but adore the idea of having a flock. When you first hear this person went to seminary your instinct might be to “stereoype” them as having a heart for God. I do not at all intend to imply that we should be suspicious of everyone, but rather take our initial assessment of someone as a good start to knowing them rather than categorizing them even positively without consistent verification based on their behavior. Leslie discussed patterns, which is spot on. Do I have a pattern of being controlling or does my spouse have a pattern of being controlling? Have others convicted me of traits my spouse accuses me of or is my spouse the only one who has issue with this behavior they have brought to my attention? If we haven’t interacted with someone enough to establish consistency, then it seems it would be wise to not yet categorize them (positively or negatively) as well. With wolves in sheep’s clothing a good question to ask ourselves is whether this person ACTS more like a wolf or a sheep as opposed to what he LOOKS more like. Hope that all makes sense.

    • Leslie Vernick on June 9, 2015 at 11:07 am

      Thanks Valerie, you give some excellent way to discern – which we all need to learn how to do since evil masquerades as good.

    • Lisa on June 9, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      “Do I have a pattern of being controlling or does my spouse have a pattern of being controlling?”

      Lundy has made an excellent observation when a wife labeled “controlling”. It is often her just trying to get him to take on his normal responsibilities; there is nothing malicious about it.

      • Robin on June 9, 2015 at 11:25 pm

        I agree Lisa.
        My husband often referred to me as controlling when I was saying something he didn’t want to hear!!!!!

    • Lisa on June 9, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      This is very good Valerie.

      This: ”I know I used to be controlling….I know I didn’t treat her right at the beginning of the marriage.”  My abuser’s mantra so similar: “I wasn’t a good husband the first 10 years of the marriage.” Yeah sure–it has never stopped! And just what does “bad husband” translate into in his history re-writing mind?! He would never verbalize details.

      After this mind twisting relationship, I will presume someone guilty until proven innocent. The onus will be on them to prove otherwise.

  143. Lisa on June 9, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    Here is the link for Focus1Ministries that Leslie spoke of above:
    http://www.focusministries1.org/

    I’ve been reading some of their newsletters and thought the group would like them too.

    • Robin on June 9, 2015 at 11:22 pm

      Lisa thank you for sharing this. What a wealth of information!!!!
      Looks full of good resources!! Thank you for sharing!!

  144. Robin on June 11, 2015 at 12:01 am

    I had an excellent counseling session today and I found myself stating these 2 things about myself, my growth, and my observation of looking back before I left my abusive relationship.

    I said– I like seeing how sick I was.

    And that one of the most precious gifts I have is to see that I am not a victim today.

  145. Brenda on June 11, 2015 at 7:40 am

    Robin,

    “one of the most precious gifts I have is to see that I am not a victim today.”

    Amen, Sister!!

    Brenda

  146. Daisy on June 11, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    I just read your response to the man who wrote “My wife says I’m controlling. Is she right?” In your response, you list several examples of how people are controlling (argue, beg, bargain, guilt trips, etc). The words you used describe my ex husband to a T (that’s how he treated/treats me. However, others do not see that side of him, thinking he’s a saint). Unfortunately, I’m also seeing those same behaviors in 2 of my 3 kids (teen and pre-teen). We’ve been divorced 5 years and he has custody. He now has lost his job and will be moving by the end of summer. Two questions for you: 1) Given his behavior (counselors I’ve gone to during the marriage and after have also used the words “brainwashed,” manipulative, narcissistic, controlling, etc to describe him. About two years after the divorce, I questioned the counselor I was seeing both during and after the marriage if I had made the right decision in getting divorced, since his life was sailing along with the kids and a new wife. The counselor told me he had beaten me down so far emotionally if I hadn’t got divorced I would not be talking to her because I’d be in a mental home or dead from suicide — that was pretty eye opening!) …given that type of personality, what do I do now that he’s moving? Do I fight the uphill battle, borrow thousands of dollars, and hope that I will be able to get my kids back (so far I’ve not found any lawyers who give me much hope in attaining that goal) or do I not put myself through the emotional pain it will cause? 2) What do I do with my two kids who are following his example? They live with it and see it all the time, so they’re just following what he does. I mean, whether I get full custody or not, he will still be in their lives setting that example, so is this just a losing battle?

    • Susanne on June 19, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      Daisy – I can certainly relate to you when you say “others do not see that side of him, thinking he’s a saint”. People do not really know what goes on behind closed doors do they? Many only saw my ex h as he wanted them to see him. They didn’t see the anger, rage and how toxic he was. I’m so sorry you are seeing some of these signs in your children. You said your ex has custody. Do you get to see your kids often? Will they be moving very far away? We cannot tell you what to do, but what I can say to you with certainty is if you call upon the Lord…pray, pray and then pray some more, He will direct you. When I didn’t know what to do in my situation I had friends and church family giving me opposite direction, which didn’t help me in my decision making. I cried out to God and He directed me. He provided confirmation through others afterwards.

      Daisy, I will be praying for you during this time of decision.

      This scripture is on my heart for you: Be anxious for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7

      God bless you!

  147. Robin on June 13, 2015 at 1:36 am

    Lisa, in re: to your last comment about car getting fixed– Brenda and I were talking today how God is so faithfully taking care of our every need. I’m so glad he gave you a little peek how much He cares for you, and if you trust Him He can show you just how much He wants to provide for you!!!! That is wonderful news. Thank you Jesus!!!!

  148. Brenda on June 13, 2015 at 6:57 am

    Lisa,
    “Every good and perfect gift is from above.” Amen!!!!

    God looks after the sparrow, how much more will He do for you?????

    Prayer and trust are make God happy to answer.
    Brenda

  149. […] SOURCE:  Leslie Vernick […]

  150. Michael on January 10, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    My wife is setting the boundary before that I need to get help for being abusive until she will be ready to move forward with anything. I went to an out of state ministry for 7 months to address and confront my choice of looking at pornography for much of my adulthood. God used that ministry to show me that pornography was not the main problem, but my pride and selfishness were. My wife contends because of the pornography I would watch I would treat her in those ways. I realized the things that I did: My thinking was what I wanted and not listening to what she was asking or needing. She says that I have an inner desire to hurt her. Since I have returned from that ministry it has been 9 months. She has given me various opportunities to be part of her life again, but the moment I do something that she does not want me to do such as walk across with the room by stepping over her leg, touch her back, push the stroller into her unintentionally, hit the brakes in the car everything starts all over. I have been going to a counselor here in town and she is going to a counselor in an abuse center. Her family does not agree with the counseling she is getting. I have asked if we could go to the same counselor, whether it is at the same time or not, but she will not do it. She said because of our past experiences in counseling together were terrible. At the time we were in counseling together I was unwilling to admit about my pornography problem and so I would lie about a lot of things and not own up to things I needed to do. I am at the point were I do not know what to work on because there is no one who is talking to both of us. I own up to the fact that I have a hand in what is going on between us. I also know I am only responsible for the changes in my life. If you have any thoughts I would love to know them, but most of all I would covet your prayers for my wife and I, as we have been separated almost 2 years. We have a young son. I am believing in reconciliation for our marriage and the restoration of our family. I am not afraid to change what God wants to be done in my life. Isn’t there a point where she will realize some of things I have done are not abusive, but she is seeing them as an attack on her? I am looking for ways to put her first, but it is difficult when the people who I look to for help only hear my voice and not hers.

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