Morning friends,

I’m enjoying some days off in sunny California visiting my favorite little girls, Amaya, Leilani and Natalia.

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I know you are anxious to read part two of how a couple is working hard to stay well together and their individual journeys. Here is W’s journey. My questions to her are in bold her responses follow.

How did you become aware that your marriage had become destructive?

Last week in his post, my husband mentioned his “entitlement” attitude he brought into our marriage. He defined this as the belief that he was entitled to have me do and say the things necessary to make him happy. My problem in this dynamic was that I believed he was right and that this was my role and duty as a good Christian wife, no matter how I felt.

I had originally been attracted to my husband’s “bigger than life” personality to help overcome my insecurities and sense of powerlessness that I brought into the marriage. I saw my husband as so vibrant, Godly, and respected. He seemed to fill every place in me where I felt lacking. I wanted him to be my rescuer. (Can you see the train wreck coming?!)

My undeveloped lack of self and lack of voice (lack of CORE) ultimately created an emotional over-dependence on him, and did not serve our relationship well. Instead of being aware, speaking up, and bringing balance, I dismissed my concerns, avoided conflict, just tried harder, and kept the peace at any price. I was dishonest about who I was and how I really felt. This dynamic progressed and what I thought was submission to him in love, was really accommodating him out of fear.

In retrospect, I had developed a perpetual focus on my husband-whether he was physically present or not- thinking that somehow I could do something to control what he would say or how he would act.

This preoccupation kept me in a stuck place. While I was focused on him, I was not taking responsibility for myself and my stuff. I felt very alone.

Our regular conflict and lack of resolution, even after much joint marriage counseling and several marriage intensives, had left us feeling hopeless.

How did it impact you-physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally?

Living in fear took a toll physically on my adrenal system, creating exhaustion. When we were experiencing tension, because I’m a conflict avoider, I would experience disengagement and I would sense my brain literally “freeze” up. At that point I would forget much of what had been said or done. I would feel exhausted and just want to withdraw and go to bed.

Without being aware of it, spiritually, I allowed the voice of my husband to become the voice of God. My husband’s disappointment and disapproval became God’s and therefore had great power over me. The message of this idol in my head was, “You are not enough,” and “You just don’t get it, do you!”

What steps did you take to communicate that to your spouse? Did he hear you?

Neither one of us could hear the other at the time we separated. When we began the painful process of change, it created a lot more conflict. Our separation was necessary so we could get our eyes off of one another and onto ourselves.

When you separated what work did you do?

At first I needed rest. I took advantage of the stage of life I was in, my kids were married and moved away, I was retired and as I began to refresh. I experienced new found strength and an insatiable zeal to figure out our dynamic. What felt particularly healthy – being the lifelong caretaker I had been – was doing it for my own benefit. This was the beginning of new history for me.

I was able to ask, “What did I need?” And I had the space to listen and pursue the answer.

I read voraciously, made copious notes, and attended counseling sessions, intensives, and workshops. I participated in a nutritional cleanse that helped me focus on my spiritual cleanse-things that needed to die, in order to be resurrected to something more beneficial.

I got involved in 2 separate women’s groups and began meeting regularly with 2 individual women for processing, prayer, encouragement and growth. In these safe places I took a chance, broke my silence and exposed who I really was …and they embraced me and we grew together. This created an emotional intimacy I had never experienced before.

When did you know it was time to reconcile?

It’s interesting that it took about 9 months time to birth our new relationship. Basically, we reconciled when we came to a point where we had some agreement on what our underlying marriage issues were and began seeking and asking forgiveness.

How have you and your husband built new history?

It was at this time I discovered Leslie and began coaching with her. Leslie excels at helping define the problem, giving vision for what a healthy relationship looks like, and persistent action steps based on biblical principles to keep us moving forward. She is a gifted coach and mentor and was invaluable for our marriage.

In the past, I judged progress solely by my husband’s emotions. Was he happy? Then we must be improving. Was he angry? It must be my fault-something I did or didn’t do. What can I do differently? It kept me off balance, and added to my confusion.

We have worked hard to develop a safe relationship where we mutually respect one another’s opinion, share responsibility and power, honor our boundaries, and give and offer feedback to one another.

My husband has learned to honor my “No”, without reacting or responding from feeling entitled. I stay vigilant to make sure I’m not falling back into any patterns of fear, avoidance, or dishonesty.

We both are learning to ask for clarification “What did you mean by that?” before we assign motive to the statement and react. We used to hurt each other by reacting to what we thought they said.

We both ultimately feel Christ is our judge and we are accountable to Him. We also know his Spirit lives inside us. In this process, as we confess our wrongdoing, we have grown more sensitive to the Spirit’s correcting and training-He ultimately has brought about this miracle of change in us.

I’m sure this hasn’t been a perfect journey, what do you do when you slip back into old history?

I hate setbacks. After we first got back together, setbacks were very difficult for me. I found it hard to resist the temptation to feel hopeless and depressed.

We still have setbacks, but now I resist the temptation to let setbacks define our relationship. They can be used as a healthy part of growing.

I journal my feelings. As I see how I’m feeling, I look at my thoughts and analyze them according to God’s truth of who I am and what has happened. I stay current with my accountability partners.

I remind myself of our improvement-we may not yet be where we want to be, but we’re a long ways from where we came from.

How is your marriage better than before?

This is an amazing statement for me: Peace instead of fear and tension has become the predominate atmosphere in our home. We’re recognizing there is fruit from our hard work.

We’re doing a better job at accepting each other for who we are, offering grace and thereby growing in true intimacy. It feels good to be known and to be accepted and to experience a safe environment not only to be honest with one another, but to fail one another.

I am developing empathy for my husband. When I realized I was no longer responsible for him, it gave me space to circle back around and genuinely have and show empathy and compassion to him, because I didn’t have to fix him.

Satan loses when we choose to fight evil with good (tweet that).

We’re doing a much better job at recognizing in the heat of the moment that we are not each other’s enemy.

My husband and I found that endurance is essential. Progress is often slow and consistency over a period of time builds trust.

I recently came across this video that shows how learning something new can take time, but with persistence and practice, we can learn how to do new things, even in relationships.

Friends, How has W’s journey encouraged you to take healing steps of your own?

115 Comments

  1. siana on August 5, 2015 at 7:22 am

    This testimony could repeat itself to my life with my ex. Unfortunately my ex was way too proud to admit anything. Everything was and is still my fault to the point he is forever back stabbing me to my two children. I hate the thought that is forever putting our dear children thru this heartache of speaking so ill of their own mother. I’m so broken in my heart, I don’t know sometimes if I can go on !!!!!

    • freeatlast8 on August 18, 2015 at 9:51 am

      Same her Siana. Same here. The Lord has been showing me areas that need his loving attention. It’s been painfully wonderful (like the old saying “hurts so good”) discovering many things I could not see about myself while I was so entrenched in the daily battlefield of my former marriage.

      W’s story is mine…EXACTLY. How can this be? What is prompting so many of us to have this exact same dynamic for marriage? I had no clue there were others out there whose marriages were suffering in the EXACT same way mine was until I found several website’s, Leslie’s being one of them, that deal with this sort of marriage dysfunction.

      Siana, my ex also is a VERY proud man and berates me to the children because I left. My leaving, as hard as it was and still is, has been LIFE giving in so many ways. I, like W in the story, have spent a significant amount of time studying and learning in order to process the damage and find what my part and my responsibility has been in the wreckage. I am learning so much through Leslie about myself, but I do not think my ex is moving forward at all as he is not budging from his perspective that I should just come back home and submit. My saying NO MORE to the way we were living is to him an act of rebellion against his authority, which makes him as mad as a hornet.

      I wish my ex, like me, was spending time analyzing his part in all of this, and moving forward with Christ. I just don’t see it, though.

      I admire W’s courage to go back in to her marriage and try again. She must have had some indication that her husband was honestly working on himself.

      Can going back work when only one person is aware of her shortcomings and has made new ground with the Lord? I just don’t think I could be strong enough to go back in without any signs that he is also committed to a new way. He might say he is, but without evidence of him working toward that in some significant way, I don’t think I can believe him. I don’t even like him at all anymore.

    • Cheryl on August 18, 2015 at 11:18 am

      Please know I understand what you are going through with your ex spouse. My children are adults an suffer from the lack of repentance of a narsisitic father. I can only hope In Jer 29:11 an believe God has a plan for all of his children . My heart aches for you. I understand your pain an will pray for your family. Blessings, Cheryl

  2. Julia on August 5, 2015 at 8:22 am

    W, I thank God for the work He is doing in you and your husband’s lives to bring about peace and change! I know it is not easy, but He is Faithful!

    I do not now why God chooses to lead some marriages to the path of healing, while others are towards the path of divorce. Ultimately He is God and does not answer to us, but ALWAYS works for our good!

    I envy, in a good way, those who get to work and stay together, but that was not His choice for me.

    I began getting help back in 2007 for my difficult and painful past, not only what was done to me, but what I had done to myself. I thought my husband and I would continue to grow in the Lord together, as we were both baptized on week before our wedding ceremony. But the more I grew in the Lord, the more evident our problems presented themselves. These past two years have been some of the most challenging years of my life! Yet God was pleased to use them to grow me to love, depend, and trust Him and Him alone!

    Our church has been growing in this process as well over these past couple of years! They have worked directly with me and my husband, first together, but then separately. When I came across Leslie’s book ‘The Emotionally Destructive Marriage”, which was also read by our Pastors, it changed everything for me! I wept and could not put the book down because it was “me” she was writing about! Everything I had said, everthying I tried to communicate, everything I was feeling…it was in that book! Taking the assessments confirmed what I already knew….I was still in an emotionally destructive marriage!

    By God’s grace I have done what I could to keep peace in the house for the sake of the children and for my sanity while my church continued to reach out to my husband as a sheep that is going astray. After 2 years and a year of somewhat physical separation, he lives in a finished basement downstairs, there is no evidence of his recognizing his part of destroying our marriage AND a willingness to change.

    In many ways, he has made the decision for me now to leave well. He indirectly, is asking me to live in a shell of myself, to never disagree or challenge him. That worked for awhile, but long term I believe is unhealthy for me and the children.

    I am at peace with this decision. Though this is not what I wanted for my marriage or my life I believe that is true for most of our lives. God puts us on paths to show us where we need to grow in our walk with Him. His plan is always plan A for our lives! I’m so thankful He never needs a plan B!

    Leslie, thank you for writing “The Emotionsly Destuctive Marriage”! I am so thankful to God for you to be a voice for so many hurting women! I continue to go back and re read items and now use some of the tools to help my children avoid developing destructive behavior as well as becoming a victim! I follow you on your blogs for I know I need all the support and encouragement I can get in the weeks and months to come!

    “W”, continue to persevere in the Lord and with each other!

    Grace and peace!

    • Pamela Brooks on August 5, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      Thanks for posting Julia. If the legalities keep heading in the direction they’re going in, we’ll be legally separated soon too. Whether we stay or leave, praying we all will ‘stay well’ through the process…

      • Julia on August 6, 2015 at 7:30 pm

        Amen Pamela and thank you for your response! We were never legally separated just separated as recommended by the church while they worked with us individually.

  3. Leonie on August 5, 2015 at 8:28 am

    I love this, it shows the mistakes we women make that is the other 1/2 of why the whole thing goes wrong. (Actually an abused woman behaves the way she does because of the way she has been abused & it is sick & twisted – I always felt like there was something I could do to stop my husband from visiting massage places. Obviously there wasn’t and now I am no longer doing that dance.) My thought while reading this is that I was not safe to say what I thought or felt or what my opinion on anything was. W needs to be safe to be able to respond in a God honouring way – and it sounds like she is.
    The bike analogy is perfect – basically if I met a healthy person they may not want to be in relationship with me because I’ve got it wrong and “have learned to ride the bike the wrong way.” Relearning how to do a healthy relationship & what a healthy relationship even looks like & to build our core strength with Leslie’s help is so essential! That is living in truth! I can certainly identify with focusing on my husband and being so stuck that I couldn’t focus on my own stuff.
    Lundy Bancroft says abuse is selfishness & Patricia Evans says verbal abuse is someone else telling you lies about yourself & projecting who they are onto you – so basically they can’t see you – that’s part of why they are always angry, because you & I are not the fantasy doll wife like Leslie says but our own separate real person with your own brain, thoughts, opinions, personality and needs. Thank you Leslie, this is a valuable post, W I am praying for your healing – you have been through a lot like any abused woman has – “that the years the locust had eaten will be restored to you!”

  4. Pamela Brooks on August 5, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Oh I LOVE W’s story Leslie! (What a joy it is to hear it!)

    How W became aware of the destruction in her marital relationship and then took such honest, practical steps to heal, become stronger and then change what was happening by becoming courageously responsible for her part? ((Whoa!)) That SO encourages me.

    One of the unexpected ‘Ah-ha!’ moments during this blog happened just after [6:00] into the ‘Backwards Brain Bicycle’ video where the ‘Smarter Every Day’ guy says:

    “I tried to explain [what was happening] to the people around me and they just didn’t get it. They thought I was faking… And I couldn’t get anybody to believe me… I felt like the only person on the planet… And I couldn’t articulate it to anyone…

    [Whoa.]

    “Knowledge does not equal understanding… Truth is truth no matter what I think about it…”

    I loved W’s story in conjunction with this video! (GENIUS!) It’s deep, deep encouragement to me because it captures one of the biggest fears I’ve had while confronting 36 years of destruction in my marriage to a prominent Christian leader– and confronts it with the truth.

    Considering my h’s reputation? And what he’s made mine out to be during 15 years of isolation? Considering how parental alienation groomed our 9 children to become bullies and join in my husband’s ‘Dance of the D’s’ across my soul? I’ve feared that no one would ever believe me…

    But as I’ve taken some of the same steps W has? As I found safe groups & individuals with which to risk becoming myself again? As I’ve begun to do the work of uprooting lies and replacing what I’m telling myself with the truth I’ve found, as the ‘Smarter-Every-Day’ guys says: “Truth is truth no matter what I think about it…”

    Your ‘T.R.U.T.H. Principle joins in with this ‘Backward Brain Bicycle’ to encourage me, Leslie: It’s not enough to know what God says in my head. “Knowledge does not equal understanding…” It’s only as I risk taking making decisions and taking action. It’s only as I dare to walk the truth out in my circumstances, confronting the denial, the deception and the dismissive, diminishing, demeaning degradation. It’s only as I’ve bucked their domination that I’ve experienced freedom from the lies I’ve believed. And weirdly? Even though I’m not nearly as far along in my journey as W is, I’m learning that– whether anybody else ever believes the truth of what’s happened or not? Freedom from the lies I’ve been telling myself has made the risk SO worth it already!

    Thanks so much W! For having the courage to put your story into words. And thanks Leslie for being the way to make stories like W’s possible!

    “The testimony of the Lord is sure…” ~ Psalm 19:7

    • Jennifer on August 5, 2015 at 11:06 pm

      Pamela, I remember the first time in over 20 years that I told another human being that my husband was abusive. I suffered in silence for decades hiding the behavior in an attempt to appear normal to our family and to society. Actually it was pretty easy to hide the issues because my husband had isolated from friends, family, neighbors and employment. He monitored my phone calls and hung up the phone if he caught me using it. So on the day that I trusted a woman who I knew was moving away to tell her the truth in a public place. She said, You do know that other people have never ever had a man ever treat them like that every, don’t you? And to tell you the truth, I had never heard or even thought of such a thing. Are there really men who aren’t mean and degrading to their wives? Really? This gave me reason to pause and it still resonates with me. There truly are men and women who have never been abused or mistreated by their family or spouses. Now, we have to learn how in the world they think and live strong in the truth. 🙂

      • Pamela Brooks on August 6, 2015 at 7:00 am

        Amen Jennifer! (Say it sister!) Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We have the privilege of needing Him in just the way we do…

        Come Lord Jesus. Display Yourself against the black backdrop of human power and control. May Your loveliness, Your grace and Your power become evident to our senses– right smack-dab in the midst of our weaknesses…

      • freeatlast8 on August 18, 2015 at 10:07 am

        Jennifer, I have started to wonder if every marriage is really a sham. We have learned to hide our crap behind closed doors and the world has no idea what is going on. So all the “happy” marriages out there may be just like my “happy marriage” was, not happy at all. Even my life long friend was shocked when I revealed the truth to her after I left. She thought my ex and I were the “real deal.” In reality we were far from it.

        I don’t want to believe the lie that all men are pigs, but it’s tempting at times.

        • David on August 18, 2015 at 9:11 pm

          All men are pigs and all women are gold diggers

  5. Lonely wife on August 5, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Thank you W for sharing your story….I saw a lot of my husband in what you were saying…our roles are reversed though…I’m the bigger than life personality, my H is the insecure, withdrawn one, who avoids conflict at any cost…there is never any
    I wish I could share this with him, but he doesn’t want to hear anything I say at this point, so I work on myself, it’s all I can do.
    Our conflict and lack of resolution has me feeling quite hopeless.
    The video was so powerful to me…you CAN relearn how to do bad habits, it just takes a lot of hard work and time….sadly most people give up way to easily!

    Leslie I started to sign up for your CORE focus group this month, but got distracted by a phone call and didn’t do the final payment….and now the class is full…will you be doing another class next month?

    • Valori on August 18, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      She does them often. Hang in there! You are not alone and are learning million-dollar lessons right now, in your pain, right where you are.

  6. Angela on August 5, 2015 at 11:46 am

    W’s journey is an example of the ideal outcome of the healing of a destructive marriage. The fact that BOTH partners are willing to recognize and endure the work it will take is KEY to seeing change in their relationship. After 28 years of marriage, I finally realized my husband wasn’t going to make an effort to recognize the need for personal change. I stayed with him thru the last four years of his life as he battled ALS. His treatment toward me and my daughters was so grueling I filed for divorce 7 months prior to his death because he threatened to destroy our
    finances. I have worked hard on healing my heart and have grown close to the Lord. I reached out to my church, friends, and counselor for support but they do not understand the dynamic of what I have experienced and are limited with the support they can offer. W sounds as though she has tapped into resources with deeper insight, guidance and practices to reach those hurting places and see change.

    I would be interested to know about the resources, in addition to Leslie:), that have helped you with the intense process.

    I struggle with the complexity of my pain and want to gain the insight to a healthy me so that I will approach future relationships in a healthy way.

    I praise the Lord for what he has done in the hearts of both W and her husband. I know it is not easy, but your testimony shows it is possible. Even though my husband did not soften his heart, your testimony affirms to me that my hope and prayers were not in vain.

    • David on August 5, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” … there was no need to add insult to injury by filing for divorce while he was suffering with ALS … sorry Angela that was just being mean … getting him back was only to make you feel good and I have been quilty of that too but we as Christians are not to do that. BTW, a legal separation (which includes an asset division/protection) would have done the trick.

      • Angela on August 5, 2015 at 8:27 pm

        islandgirl, thank you for your rebuttle against the comment from David. I am honored that you would be so bold for me.
        It is a blessing to have support for a difficult situation.
        Because of my husbands illness, I chose to “stay well”. My husband threatened to destroy our finances and had already made transactions toward that end. The state I live in does not recognize legal separation and my only option was to file for divorce to have legal protection. My fear of what others would think crippled me and only by seeking Gods truth I am at peace and unmoved by judgements.

      • David on August 5, 2015 at 8:28 pm

        My comments are insensitive but it is OK to divorce someone who is dying!?

        • freeatlast8 on August 18, 2015 at 10:52 am

          David:

          It sounds as if Angela’s husband was a difficult man before ALS and the same difficult man with ALS. His behavior had not changed. He was the same man with or without the disease.

          If a child is a known brat, and that child gets the flu and continues to be a brat while he is sick, should we overlook his selfish, whiny, complaining, hateful demands just because he is not feeling well? We might give him a little grace, because, yes, he is a child. But I think you get my point.

          We are talking about an adult here who has a “mature” mind and a will. This husband could have recognized that his wife, although in a very stressful time in their marriage, was sticking it out with him–enduring, longsuffering, for better or for worse. He could have extended a grateful heart and attitude toward her for continuing to walk alongside him through this trial. But, no. Instead, he chose to be who he had always been–difficult, and threatened her and her daughters’ financial future. He was dying, he would soon be gone. And on top of that he was letting her know he would ensure she would not be financially taken care of in the process.

          I think Angela’s actions sound as if she was protecting what was legally hers, rather than letting a hateful man destroy her mentally (with worry and fear about how she will provide for her family after his death) in her present, and financially as a widow in her future after he was gone. What a piece of work. His actions sound cold and calculated. It’s hard to feel sorry for this guy, even as he was dying. (And yes, I am sure he had his side of the story to tell that we are not privy to).

          This scenario reminds me of news stories where a kidnapper takes hostages and then ends up killing them along with himself. He will have his way in making sure NO ONE wins if he can’t win. And the nasty twist is “winner takes all”…literally…because he takes their lives…they lose, he wins.

          Sometimes we have to protect ourselves, and the world may not understand what we feel we have to do. I have to believe that God knows our hearts and our motives. He alone can call it for what it is.

      • David on August 5, 2015 at 8:30 pm

        So just curious, how do you negate the verse ” “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.”

        • freeatlast8 on August 18, 2015 at 11:41 am

          Self protection and legal protection from someone threatening you is not vengeance. It depends on whose eyes you are looking through here as to which way you choose to see what is happening. One mindset would say it’s vengeance. The other would say it’s protection.

        • Momilla on August 18, 2015 at 11:55 am

          God will indeed take care of any revenge. I didn’t see a thing in here that indicated that this dear woman was seeking revenge. On the contrary, she is protecting herself.
          Just knowing that God will take care of revenge, doesn’t mean that we willingly submit to abuse (and financial destruction to a surviving widow is indeed abuse). Since when is marriage about how much we should ‘take’?
          Yes, natural consequences happen and generally what goes around comes around, but this woman would have been suffering the consequences of HIS actions. How is that correct application of Gods law sewing and reaping?

          Something else, I didn’t hear that she stopped caring for this man, or that she left him out in the cold.

          Could you be the kind of person that this woman (and all of us) really need to stay away from? I suspect so.

          The Lord of the universe loves this dear one MORE than he hates divorce. He loves her so very much that he doesn’t want her to be used and abused and to have her life ruined. Stop following the letter of the law and look at the intent. Divorce like the Sabbath was made by our creator for OUR benefit. Not us for it’s benefit.

          Grace is a wonderful concept. You should look into it.

          The rest of you, “Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.” Ladies, keep your guard up from people like this.

      • David on August 5, 2015 at 8:40 pm

        I was so pleased when Leslie interviewed a husband who realizes what he as done and wishes to change but very quickly the women on this blog became extremely negative, which was discouraging to me, seems I was right that the women here so hate their husbands and men in general.

        • David on August 5, 2015 at 8:43 pm

          Guess I should not have been surprised that that negative rat hole that we went down, for the longest time I have cajoled, irrated hoping for a positive comment but have been disappointed

      • Leonie on August 5, 2015 at 8:50 pm

        How can you define her motive as vengeance?

        • David on August 5, 2015 at 9:54 pm

          Really! ?!?

          • Leonie on August 6, 2015 at 10:14 am

            Thankfully, I read in the bible that God is the one who looks on the heart and judges it. Only he can determine if our hearts are bent toward him and he sees the motive of the heart!
            Psalm 34:14 says to Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it ! Every day we have opportunities to choose, to do good or to do evil – to seek peace or to be a trouble maker, to speak truth and live. if we speak truth then our heavenly father is our father but if we speak lies then who is our father? – Jesus indicated clearly who their father is – when dealing with the Pharisees. How can we decide what some one’s motive is and not only that, who made us God and gave us the authority to even think that we can assign motive – especially to someone we have never met. Then we call that person a liar buy negating what they have told us about their lives and decided that we know better by deciding that what she told us about her experience is irrelevant and we know the truth about her.



        • David on August 6, 2015 at 11:25 am

          While it is true that we humans cannot look on the heart therefore we cannot determine motive, only the Lord can do that, we as Christians need to be cognizant of what our actions look to unbelievers – that’s all I meant

          • David on August 6, 2015 at 11:29 am

            And kicking someone when they are down/dying does not look good externally it is marketing 101 for the Lord, regardless of our motivation



          • Leslie Vernick on August 6, 2015 at 4:58 pm

            What do you think your actions look like to unbelievers? You call this blog an unChristian blog – so you would judge most of us to be unbelievers. What do you think your actions look like to the women here? Are they Christ like, filled with grace and truth, or condemnation, judgment and a critical spirit? If someone were looking at you David, do you think they would see Jesus?



          • Lonely wife on August 7, 2015 at 11:20 am

            David, maybe this blog isn’t the one for you since us women tend to be so “negative and not nice”….Maybe you should post some of your um, questions….over at http://www.cryingoutforjustice.com?
            Pastor Jeff Crippen runs that blog…maybe you’ll feel more comfortable with another man to talk to, to explain yourself to and get advice from, instead of us “bitter, angry women?” Just a thought!



    • Dianna on August 5, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      Hi, Angela,

      Thank you for being so transparent w/ your emotional and godly struggle w/ a spouse who would not or could not see the need for personal change. It must have been much harder and complex living w/ both destructive, emotional abuse and serious illness.

      I have had a similar life, w/ chronic illness in my spouse, clouding facing and standing for truth. I often chose for his health which helped our relationship be in a ‘struck cycle.’ We faced some issues and did some changing (I take responsibility for my choices and defensive reacting, too), however, it has not been until complete separation that I could see ‘truth’ honestly.

      It was extremely hard to continue to care for him during the past year when he has had four serious hospitalizations. I was alone in support except for the excellent nursing staff on his floor, social worker and one of Leslie’s private facebook groups. I did and still do not see most christians facing chronic illness and support of family. Emotional support seems almost nil.

      I quit being concerned whether people understand emotional abuse and have answers for their questions and misunderstandings in concise and lucid ways. I often suggest good resources like Leslie Vernick’s that are free on youtube, her site and other godly counselor’s sites. When the opportunity to invite them to free webinars, I do so.

      Like W discussed, I have been learning to not put any other relationship before that with God and not to expect His powers and authority from any person. That has helped in healing, especially from the pain of ignorant blame, shame and willful abuse from others, especially that of those I have been vulnerable to through the years. God’s love, wisdom, guidance and ways trump the waves of resentment and bitterness that come to me, at times. This is healing freedom.

      Angela, one of the hardest things to do when in an abusive relationship, is to seek sound legal advice and take appropriate action. I delayed sound, godly, wise stands for truth and action in my marriage. It would have stopped the cycle of destructive madness from going on for too long, I can see now.

      Also, Angela, I would like to suggest some resources to help you: 1) Leslie Vernick’s site – many free materials on many subjects – a free newsletter and blog; 2) ‘The Emotionally Destructive Marriage’ book by Leslie – has a wealth of information and takes you step-by-step through the process of getting ‘unstuck’ and moving forward; 3) ‘Safe People’ by Henry Cloud – how to recognize who is safe and how to be one, yourself; 3) Youtube – there are many, free helpful videos by John Townsend, Henry Cloud, Patrick Doyle – all christian counselors that help in emotional healing in practical ways; 4) Sign up for Leslie’s coaching group – Empowered to Change – it will help you to be empowered over a six-month time w/ sooo many helpful materials, private facebook group for support and bi-monthly telephone coaching online in a group; 5) Sign up for any of the other online coaching groups led by Leslie; 6) Get into a local support group that fits your needs; 7) A godly, ‘get it’ counselor for yourself; 8) Journal for your sanity – to get whatever is bothering you our of your head and to clarify….there are probably many other helps I have forgotten, but this may be a good start.

      I pray for healing in all that has transpired, Angela, and that you will find online and local, effective support for your needs.

      • Angela on August 5, 2015 at 8:45 pm

        Diana, thank you for your recommendations and encouragement.

      • Pamela Brooks on August 6, 2015 at 7:03 am

        Amen! Passing on the encouragement and comfort you’ve found in the midst of your own struggle has been one of the most encouraging things about knowing you during the past two years, Dianna. I praise God for you! Keep fighting the good fight one need at a time…

  7. Aleea on August 5, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    W,
    Thank you so, so much for this (—and Leslie, as always!!!)  . . . . .W, I love how you see Christ as your judge (not H) and are accountable to Him.  You say: “. . . .Without being aware of it, spiritually, I allowed the voice of my husband to become the voice of God.”  —That is outrageously bad!!!  . . . .but I so, so understand that. . . . Also, I just love how you know His Spirit lives inside both you and H.  —How wonderful is that!
     
    . . . People keep talking about how hard it all is but I want to encourage all of us:  It is only as hard as we are resistant to the Holy Spirit.  To overcome the inertia requires that environment of safety as well as an inspiring vision.  To me, that is what we should try to help individuals here with.  Help them to feel safe enough to articulate their issues and fears, work through them with as much love as possible and help inspire them to change. 
     
    We also need to encourage way, w-a-y more work with professionals to create certainty of process, with clear steps and timetables . . . .because when old wounds reopen and historic resentments are remembered, —wow, that seems to be when people lose their grip. I would also say that everything can look like a total failure in the middle of the process.  . . . .Remain focused on the important thing: What is the Holy Spirit telling me?  How is God evaluating me?  —Again, it is only as hard as we are resistant to the Holy Spirit.  We are not going to white knuckle ourselves to anything of lasting value.  Metanoia —real change of life and mind— is the Holy Spirit’s work. . . . Clay can’t mold the clay.  —Or, as you say, W “. . . . . [with] the Spirit’s correcting and training-He ultimately has brought about this miracle of change in us.”  . . . W, thank you again so, so much.  —So inspiring!!!

  8. Liz on August 5, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Thank you W and Leslie

    Thank you for showing what reconciliation looks like when done well

    I left and I returned, so on paper my story could sound similar, but I didn’t leave or return well.

    My husband seems incapable of accepting any responsibility for his part of our relationship.

    I’ve been with him 32 years and for the last 10 I’ve been working intently on dealing with my issues and strengthening me, but I still can’t hold any progress I am able to make. And I’m not in a position where I can leave.

    Thank you for this site it keeps reminding me not to have unrealistic expectations of my husband or me.

    I just wish I could heal enough to stay well or find a way to leave well. Thank you Leslie for at least giving me this vocabulary

    • Jennifer on August 6, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      Liz, I wonder if it is hard to hold on to any progress because you are still in the situation. You are still being abused. With 32 years of marriage under your belt, if you leave, you can still collect on your husband’s social security if you divorce. I know you didn’t mention divorce, but I just wanted to remind you that you do have money if you leave.

      Do you think when God created you and sent you to this world to live that he wanted your spirit to me smothered by someone else? Isn’t your life valuable enough for Christ to die for? He loves you and came to die for all of man’s sins. It is ok for you to stop shouldering your husband’s sins. Let Christ carry the load and reclaim the life you were meant to lead. Hurry up. Time is running out. You are a soldier for the Lord and he wants to give you your first assignment as a free woman. Carrying only your own burdens, not those another has thrust on you, will be just the load you can bear.

      • David on August 6, 2015 at 2:18 pm

        I was concerned that from a financial perspective my wife wanted the upside but none of the downside … many years ago we as a couple made the decision for me to continue being an entrepreneur and swinging for the fences and she would do the conservative thing and slowly build a pension but when she left she demanded that I take responsibility for all the debt both personal and business (which I did) and she left me with no pension and I’m 55 … that was not our deal/arrangement … if the Lord grants me continued good health like my Dad and his Dad before him and I am successful again … the banks seem to think so as they all have scrambled to loan me hundreds of thousands … if I have money again … the ironic thing is that she will not benefit … altho she says that morally I am obligated. But it seems like you think the same way and that it is all about money. No use refuting as many, many studies over decades have all indicated the same thing … that men are visual and women … even Christian women (especially) are motivated by the almighty buck.

        • Liz on August 6, 2015 at 3:54 pm

          Hi David
          I don’t really want to engage with you as your response feels aggressive to me and I don’t cope well with that. If you read the response I wrote to Jennifer you will see that your assumptions about me are not accurate.

          I read this blog regularly but have only written a could of times. Please it needs to be a place of kindness and support,

          • David on August 6, 2015 at 4:17 pm

            do not imagine that you are an exception to the ‘rule’. Sorry.



          • Liz on August 6, 2015 at 4:29 pm

            David, believe what you will but Before I left home the first time I agreed to extend the mortgage to include debt we had so the debt would be shared between us. And recently I received a small inheritance and although I wanted to use it to pay off the remaining mortgage I ended up agreeing to pay off our again accumulated debt so my husband felt under less financial pressure weekly. Albeit this time making sure the credit cards were severely limited ( I actually wanted them gone altogether but he refused) so that the debt couldn’t accumulate again.
            Why are you involved in this blog site if you are so sure that what you believe is right regardless of the responses you receive back. I’m sorry but reading your responses triggers me in the same way my husbands responses do. And it doesn’t feel safe to me.



          • David on August 6, 2015 at 5:12 pm

            Hi Liz. The reason why I am involved in these blog sites is because I am hoping for one positive response. I was so pleased when Leslie included an interview of a husband that realized that he hurt his wife and wanted to change (which BTW, my wife never said I was abusive and the reason why she left was that she had been faking/lying for 20+ years and needed now to be honest … aside from lying to me she wasted 22 years of her own life, lied to our two teen age kids, our families, friends etc … weird/strange) but nevertheless I believe that I was not a perfect husband and for myself and my kids wish to be “transformed” using the terminology of my pastor … I was quite surprised and disappointed when the ladies on the blog turned very negative … quickly … the feeling is abusers can never change and the Lord is powerless to do so or will not and the hatred of their husband or ex is insurmountable and in fact includes all men so guess I should just give up on this group. It is sad but …



        • Leslie Vernick on August 6, 2015 at 5:03 pm

          David, if you continue to be critical and condescending towards the other women without any self reflection on your part I will ban you from the blog. Is it possible that God wants you to listen and learn instead of always thinking you’re right and everyone else is wrong?

          • David on August 6, 2015 at 5:32 pm

            think I have shared, I was concerned that from a financial perspective my wife wanted the upside but none of the downside … many years ago we as a couple made the decision for me to continue being an entrepreneur and swinging for the fences and she would do the conservative thing and slowly build a pension but when she left she demanded that I take responsibility for all the debt both personal and business (which I did) and she left me with no pension and I’m 55 … that was not our deal/arrangement … if the Lord grants me continued good health like my Dad and his Dad before him and I am successful again … the banks seem to think so as they all have scrambled to loan me hundreds of thousands … if I have money again … the ironic thing is that she will not benefit … altho she says that morally I am obligated.
            and
            Hi Liz. The reason why I am involved in these blog sites is because I am hoping for one positive response. I was so pleased when Leslie included an interview of a husband that realized that he hurt his wife and wanted to change (which BTW, my wife never said I was abusive and the reason why she left was that she had been faking/lying for 20+ years and needed now to be honest … aside from lying to me she wasted 22 years of her own life, lied to our two teen age kids, our families, friends etc … weird/strange) but nevertheless I believe that I was not a perfect husband and for myself and my kids wish to be “transformed” using the terminology of my pastor … I was quite surprised and disappointed when the ladies on the blog turned very negative … quickly … the feeling is abusers can never change and the Lord is powerless to do so or will not and the hatred of their husband or ex is insurmountable and in fact includes all men so guess I should just give up on this group. It is sad but …



          • Lisa on August 11, 2015 at 11:45 am

            I think he is a troll here to incite and trigger. His makes outrageous claims about women & claims banks are “scrambling to lend him “hundreds of thousands of dollars”. Then he says he has no money. There is nothing genuine nor consistent in his posts—-it’s just a lot of made up baloney.



          • Lisa on August 11, 2015 at 3:06 pm

            You’re right David, you’re not a troll—you’re an
            *angry* troll.



      • Liz on August 6, 2015 at 3:45 pm

        Hi Jennifer
        Thank you so much for caring enough to reply to my post. The abuse isn’t as overt as it was but it is still there to a degree. It’s more complicated ( in my head at least) than just whether I can cope financially – I don’t want to let my adult children and now grandson down ) but also I live in Australia and our rules are different. If I could work full time and support myself it may be a different story but I also have some health issues which leave me only capable of working part time. Last time I left I was on a disability benefit and only managed because I lived in a granny flat belonging to a friend of a friend. I’m no longer eligible for that benefit so I am concerned that I couldn’t find a place to live and provide for myself. I don’t know what is wrong with me but I don’t feel strong enough to push for divorce to get my share, I know I sound stupid but it still seems wrong to me, especially as my husband is supposed to have Aspergers which means maybe he actually can’t help the way he is. It makes it that much more confusing for me. Sorry

        • Jennifer on August 6, 2015 at 6:39 pm

          Precious Liz, I am sorry I did not know that you did not have the benefit of US social security. Although, having been to Australia, you most certainly live in a gorgeous place with very lovely people!

          I completely understand the feeling of not disappointing the children and now, grandchild with the painful aspects of divorce. Thanks for clarifying for me.

          Have you heard of an accountability group? It is a group of your husband’s male peers who agree to bear witness for the promises he made to you. For example, H tells you he will no longer do X. He does X. You then call a member of the accountability group and reports H’s relapse. The accountability group (like elders) meet with H and discuss his needs and recent behavior.

          My husband has three men that I can call if I notice abusive behavior. Sometimes even just mentioning that I will be calling someone from the group will help him quickly realign his attitude and turn to prayer. We usually pray together at that time. Sometimes he continues to try to talk me into why what he is doing is perfectly fine. Sometimes I really do call, and I have noticed the men are quick to come to my aid. The difference may be that my husband has been physically violent. It seems there is a lot more support for women who have been battered than those who have been emotionally abused.

          • Liz on August 6, 2015 at 7:05 pm

            Hi Jennifer
            I’m so glad there are supportive men for you both who are prepared to come and speak into your lives.

            I think you are right when you say it’s harder to get support for emotional abuse, my old Pastor ( and I was on his Pastoral Care staff at the time) told me ‘he wished he could be a fly on our wall to determine for himself if my husband was abusive or not’ he also told me to go home and be a ‘good wife’ and ‘satisfy my husbands needs better’ – even when my husband had been sexually abusive to me. I left and went back to church ( also) still on staff – but eventually I couldn’t bear church any longer. Every week the Pastor would preach that if you were walking with the Spirit then you wouldn’t experience marriage breakdown or depression. I was on his staff and I was struggling with both.

            I still love the Lord dearly but I haven’t managed to go to church – there or anywhere else regularly for 4 years now, and my husband stopped long before when I was put on staff( previously he had been a Pastor)

            So we are quite isolated. My husband doesn’t have any male friends, and very few people from our old church are still in contact. Seems it was ok to keep moving the goalposts so I could stay on staff and do what they needed me to do, but now I’m gone there is no contact even though two of my children and their wives still go and still serve on the worship team.

            Sorry this is a long answer to say I wish we had what you had, but even so, even after my husband being willing to go to Asperger specific marriage counselling where the truth was shown to him repeatedly, he still doesn’t get that anything he does is wrong or abusive. So it’s really impossible to make progress. In his eyes it’s always my fault. I’m not a real woman anymore – what’s wrong with me etc etc

            The only time he responded was when an early counselors told me to ring the family police and discuss an intervention order – back then he did some things that he didn’t think we’re abusive but when I described them to the police they were concerned enough to offer a protection order. That might not make sense but in my husbands eyes he wasn’t threatening or harming me just seeing if I trusted him. Anyway it turned out he is scared if I mention police, but as he doesn’t do those obvious things anymore it doesn’t help

            Thank you so much for caring. I really hope your husband learns from the Godly men around him and allows the Spirit to continue to change him

            Take care
            Liz



          • Jennifer on August 7, 2015 at 11:26 pm

            Liz, living in Isolation is a tough situation. It is also an easy way for a controlling man to keep you from getting the help and support you need. I was told that an abusive spouse can not be trusted as an accurate judge of one’s character. We need outsiders to speak truth into our lives. Our spouses judgement of us is skewed to his warped why of thinking.

            I would like to add that if you can find some exercise that you enjoy it can make tolerating a difficult situation a little better. I have started jogging and the endorphins are just wonderful. What do you like to do for exercise? Swim, dance, play tennis, bike? I think doing those activities can really help one cope better with difficulty life situations.



          • Liz on August 7, 2015 at 11:37 pm

            Hi Jennifer
            Thanks for your encouragement 🙂

            I was listening to Leslie’s Webinar on Depression yesterday and she also mentioned how exercise can help. I’m very limited by my back condition but I must make the effort to at least start walking again. When I was separated I lived near a beach and I was walking regularly. Since coming home again ( it’s 4 years) I have stacked on the weight and the depression is out of control. So yes I will try and walk more. Thank you for your kindness it has been very encouraging x liz



          • David on August 11, 2015 at 1:56 pm

            Hi Lisa. It is not made up baloney – that was kinda rude. All I stated I either learnt first hand (wife), find it somewhat depressing the reaction to my posts. I am not a troll, if I agreed with all I would not be a troll but because at times I disagree I have taken much negatives and name calling (so much for being Christ like – by their works ye shall know them). BTW just because the banks are willing to loan money at very low rates is not wealth, you have to pay it back, you have the same attitude/ understanding has my very young niece (college). I do indeed have no money and am deep in debt. What about basic economics do you not understand!?



    • Robin on August 9, 2015 at 1:33 am

      Lisa, I’m not sure I know all the facts to your story but can I present a couple things to think about?? As we find out we’re in a destructive relationship, isn’t it true we immediately start to figure out what we can do?? And if it doesn’t add up on paper – we then feel stuck and think our only option is to stay in u nhealthy environment and relationship because we just don’t see a guarantee that the ‘provision’ will be there for my needs to be met??
      How about instead of me trying to figure it out, I decide to trust that God has a plan for my escape—- and He is only waiting for me to take that first step of faith- and if I choose not to step out and trust Him- will I ever get to see what He had planned for me?? Sometimes- fear paralyzed us and we do nothing. The power is in taking a step of action and not having to know the plan ahead of time. ??? I remember hearing a story at a summer Bible Camp where there was this girl who wanted to go to college but her parents couldn’t afford it. An elderly couple wrote a check out for the full amount to pay for 4 years of schooling in college of her choice. But the Pastor was not to give her the check- till she stepped out in faith. She didn’t. She missed the opportunity because of fear.

      • Liz on August 9, 2015 at 3:14 am

        Hi Robyn
        Thanks, I am trying to take that step of faith
        I’ve realized in the last few days that I REALLY NEED TO. Thanks for your encouragement. Liz

        • Jennifer on August 9, 2015 at 9:43 am

          Liz, I was thinking of you this morning as I did my morning jog. I wanted to encourage you to take the next step to exercise. Would you be willing to do something for yourself today? Do you need a nice pair of exercise shoes or will you walk on the beach bare foot?( I have some sassy pink socks with ladybugs on them that keep me laughing as I run.) What would make you feel good when you exercise?

          I was also wondering if you might be willing to join a group that is not for any purpose other than fun. What about a book club or volunteering at a nature center? What are your thoughts about enrolling in a class? The choices are endless…..golf, fencing, folk dancing, French, astronomy! Please keep us posted on your adventure.

          • Liz on August 11, 2015 at 6:20 pm

            Hi Jennifer
            Thank you
            I did go for a walk – it’s not much I know but it’s a start
            I also bought one of those adult colluding / art therapy books yesterday and last night when I really wasn’t coping I made myself do some colouring in and it helped.

            Since these interactions I’ve read and listened to some new material and I’ve pretty much decided to work towards finding a way to leave again – for good. – somehow

            My husband first ‘turned on me’ at our wedding reception because I wasn’t telepathic or his ‘dream doll’ and I didn’t know his script – he went to his old home during the reception to get changed and I was supposed to know to get changed too – his rationale was he didn’t want the car defaced. I didn’t get changed because my new husband was missing again ( he went missing two weeks before the wedding) and I didn’t know if he had left me already. Anyway it’s a long story but I’ve come to realize that he has been systematically destroying ever since but that there’s nothing I’ll ever be able to say that will change that – I’m not him – I’ll never be him – and he will never see me as a separate person. When he used to put his hands around my neck to see if I trusted him – when he held up huge knives at me to see if I trusted him – when he forced me to do things sexually I didn’t want to do repeatedly – I took it. I’ve taken it for 33 years. And now I’ve come to the place of realizing my adult children can keep the ‘family image’ without me existing anymore or they can learn to cope with a divided family but still have a Mum and Grandma around.

            Sorry it’s been a rough week

            Thanks for you kindness and care – it has helped



          • Jennifer on August 12, 2015 at 3:56 pm

            Liz, Wow and wow!! Please leave for goos!!!! You, sweet, wonderful child of God, walk toward the light with your head held up high. You are not responsible for your adult children’s happiness. You have done enough. You did an excellent job enduring, but they are adults and can reason in mature and wise ways.

            I understand all too well the terrorizing behavior you speak of. It’s not marriage, its’ terrorism. How can we help you be brave enough to take the next step?



          • Liz on August 12, 2015 at 4:23 pm

            Hi Jennifer you already are helping by being kind enough to take the time to post. Thanks heaps Liz



  9. Dianna on August 5, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Dear W and Leslie.

    Thanks so much for this interview on staying well…and in a difficult process of learning to communicate, change and heal. So often we hear of the extremes of leaving or staying in marriages that have not been in the healing process. So refreshing and honest. W, your process of taking off the ‘fantasy-colored glasses’ is so realistic and clarifying.

    I appreciate how you faced your part of the ‘dance’ negatively as well as positively. It was so encouraging how you described the painful, slow process of change and then highlighted it w/ the video.

    There is nothing like reading someone else’s true story of personal, step-by-step, real life testimony of growth – imperfect by godly growth.

    Thank you!!!

    • Betsy on August 5, 2015 at 9:22 pm

      Painful, slow process and consistency. This is hard for me. I feel like I am always being watched and recorded by my husband to justify why I am.not trustworthy or to substantiate him.viewing our marriage as just a piece of paper.

      Would love to know how others are standing for their marriages under painful circumstances.

      • Jennifer on August 5, 2015 at 10:51 pm

        Betsy, Is it possible to look him in the face and just ignore every word he says? Can you psychologically block it out and think of other things as he talks “at” you rather than “to” you? He is speaking lies to you for manipulative purposes. Nothing you say or do will change his entitled thinking, so why bother. Prayer through the experience and tell God exactly what you are really thinking as he spins his web of craziness in your direction.

        • Betsy on August 6, 2015 at 6:26 am

          Jennifer….yes I can. I tend to disconnect/disassociate if you will when he goes on with his rants. He has a speech that he gives me that is always the same. I feel like an idiot when he goes on and on listing the ways I am a failure and why he doesn’t trust me. I have never looked at it as manipulation. He tells me all the times that I manipulate him, so I cower when he verbally goes after me. I need to learn more about entitlement. I need to look at his behavior and not awlays look at how crazy I am because he tells me all that is wrong with me. He has a habit of speaking over me, and going over the top ( which he admits to)’ yet I don’t stand up to him. I leave myself.sad.

          I can remember my sister in law said that when my husband was a little boy and the youngest of 9′ he got everything he wanted. He was spoiled and did whatever he pleased. I see it happening now. I am working on my CORE. There hasn’t been anything there in a very long time.

          • Leonie on August 8, 2015 at 11:11 am

            Betsy – Watch the you tube clip ” the audacious life – an interview with Patricia Evans,” I found it helpful. She really defines verbal abuse & talks about clues to look for. – Is he defining your reality- who you are, the way you should be ….like he is God & he is inside you telling you about yourself? Then you can look at things more objectively and see & hear the lies for what they are. She says she is giving women their minds back – they are not crazy & all the things that an abusive person says they are!



          • Sunshine on August 9, 2015 at 7:16 pm

            Betsy, I hear you. When my husband tells me about myself, like he’s the expert, I used to believe every word and take it to heart. Now I know I can question it. I can ask myself if it’s true. I can decide if I want to believe it or not. I say out loud to myself ” you do not need to believe everything he says. ” for too long I have looked to others to tell me who I am and how I am special and wonderful.



      • Jennifer on August 5, 2015 at 10:56 pm

        I would also like to add some advise I received that does NOT apply to destructive marriages. A well meaning women’s group leader told all the women at bible study to see our husband’s as Jesus. Imagine your husband she said, as the physical embodiment of Christ in your home. Girlfriends, this kind of thinking can lead our crowd into self destruction. In a normal, healthy marriage in which a man honors his wife, this exercise would be great to help with minor conflicts. Yet, it is that very same confusion that leads many of us to comply, appease, cajole, endure and demean our very being when following such advice.

        • brenda davis on August 6, 2015 at 8:38 am

          yes
          I was just part of a Christian book discussion that featured a part of the book that teaches that wife is to view her husband as Christ as she serves him, even if he is an unbeliever – Hard to digest!
          I wonder if there are ladies that review books such as this and wish to review the book on Amazon in light of such teachings that truly are harmful and twisting scripture. There is much deception in the church today and beautiful Christian women are writing theses books and blogs – oblivious to the women living in destructive marriages

          • Kim on August 15, 2015 at 3:02 am

            I agree, I was a part of the creation of such a group. That was before revelation of my husband’s affair/s and while I was still fighting for my marriage, (albeit alone), and I was absolutely desperate to see God heal it. Each book came highly recommended and I joined a group of women who met weekly, going the books one by one. I had been led to believe it was mainly pride that was keeping me from finding success in my marriage. My husband would regularly tell me that I have a pride issue and don’t love him because I don’t know how or wont, If I did he would feel more loved. Either way, it is pride. The books described complete surrender as the only way to have success. I, now, know that there was much more going on than my inability to fully surrender.

            I believe, God protected me from surrendering, if I did, it would had been to the death of my soul. The books we went through were. “Created to be His helpmeet” , “Excellent wife” . “The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage” and a few more. I do believe that these books have biblical points and can help a marriage where the husband is mutually submitted to the marriage and walking with God and serving His wife like the servant He was called to be. In my case, I created a greater oppression for myself by becoming a willing victim and, in doing so, giving him his narcissistic air supply

            The picture comes to mind of the flight attendant telling passengers what to do if the air bags deploy. “Give yourself air first, then help those in need” I never gave myself anything, I stole my own air to supply and gave it to the one who was already taking so much from me.

            My daughter-in-law wrote lyrics to a song she wrote after a high school breakup that took place when she was 15, over 8 years ago. (She assures me, my son is a great man and teats her with respect and like gold) The words are empowering. One line in her some, titled “What I am worth”

            It goes like this,
            “You take and take and call it a trade, my dignity for attention paid,
            I am wanted, then, pushed away and alone,
            I feel so worthless.
            I sell myself short, and feel broken and betrayed,
            Then, I blame my self and beg you to stay,
            Well, I hate the time, I’ve spent wasting my mind.
            Wondering what I am worth, If you have to ask,
            then, don’t even try. ”

            I can now look objectively and see the pattern, my marriage has always been functioning in a cycle of doing what the lyrics describe. Trading my dignity for attention paid. Giving my worth away and being satisfied with the title of wife and mother. I have many faults, I’ve been a controller in order to keep things looking peaceful and normal, over-functioning to prove to others I have value, plus a case low self worth of my own doing that feed perfectly into this destructive dance.

            I stopped dancing and left the dance floor, but not without the residual pain and grief. (for those who don’t know my back story. I guess you could say, I stayed well, but after 4 years I left.

            Today, I went into auto pilot, thinking briefly that he might be working on himself and does want to save our marriage. My gut Instincts kicked in, I drove by the other women’s house, the woman he has been seeing for 2 years, the woman that he tells people he is no longer seeing, that He ended it. He has been telling everyone that, including my oldest son’s in-laws, our 4 adult children, his dad, his counselor, his accountability guys, etc. I am grateful, God gave me a gift of intuition and He used it to bring me back to reality. His car was at her house and he didn’t even try to hide it. Yes, More pain, but I needed to see reality because I can be my own worse enemy by believing the best without any proof of change. I needed to see it to keep me on the track of moving forward. Next step, I am seeking mediation to discuss and come to agreement on financial marital settlement and spousal support. I’ve been stay at home for 27 years or a 29 yr marriage. been together 31. I asked for an mediator to sit with us. After hashing it out. then, we can let our attorneys do their job to send it to the court to be finalized. I don’t feel right fighting it out with attorneys. The one I had wanted to go beyond being fair, and his would not be fair toward me. I prayed about it and this was the thing I could live with. I want a clean conscience. Anyone here settled at the table instead of court, using a trained mediator? I read that we bring disgrace to the church when we take matters to the courts. We should try Matthew 18 ways first and foremost

            PS. I gain so much strength from reading your stories. Keep them coming and never give up, you are worth it.

            Blessings, Kim



          • Leslie Vernick on August 15, 2015 at 12:52 pm

            Kim, mediators can be a lower cost and less adversarial way of settling your affairs, but understand that mediators are not necessarily trained to be fair or look out for your best interests. They are trained to come to a decision. So if the mediator is controlled or bullied by your husband, and/or you are controlled or bullied or intimidated, or “guilted” by him into settling for less than what, by law, you are entitled to, the mediator doesn’t challenge that. If you say “yes” than it’s a decision and she or he has done their job. So be prepared to not negotiate with someone who is not willing to be fair. The law protects you – you are entitled to a certain percentage of your marital assets and you can calmly and gently say, “That’s what I want”. and then refuse to be bulled into taking or agreeing to less.



          • Elizabeth on August 18, 2015 at 3:33 pm

            Jennifer, Brenda and Kim, These “marriage” books when applied to destructive marriages is the same as doing marriage counseling when abuse is taking place. I am so thankful that I have learned that is more destructive than helpful. As has been said here until both husband and wife are ready to take responsibility and do their own hard work no progress in the relationship will ever happen. Thank you for your insights to further clarify this issue. The only marriage book that ever helped me was Leslie’s book, How to Act Right when Your Spouse Acts Wrong. It helped me focus on myself and not take responsibility for my h. stuff. Blessings to us all as we live in very hard places.



  10. Betsy on August 5, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    I fell in love with my husband because he took care of me and I needed that. Most of my relationships have been with me taking care of them. Or fixing them.

    I also avoided any conflict or rocking the boat with my husband. I too, froze and shut down when there was any level.of conflict. If I had a sense that I was going to be abandoned, I froze internally or acted out my fear. I have been working on abandonment and.codependency issues for years. I have a lot of head knowledge but the travel to my heart for lasting change, has been a slow process.

    I am.encouraged by W. Story. I can relate to the efforts she has made to take an honest look at herself. I read, journal, ask for help from women who are walking with me, pray,follow this blog an others, plus a whole lot more.

    I don’t want my marriage to end…..but I do want to end my marriage the way it has been.I am going to build up my core so that I can stand against conflict, which by the way is normal. I can stand against the lies I have believed about myself and the way I thought marriage was to be lived out.

    Some of the things my husband has said to me over the course of his year is very similar to the message Leslie gives us. He was in Christian counseling for months. I wonder if the counselor used Leslie’s book with him. She supported him wanting to divorce me.

    I pray for all of us that we may find our value in God first, and that we can stand with each other even if our situations are differently, or our marriages are healed, or if they end. My goal is to be at peace and strong in my CORE. I have never had a strong CORE. Make up, looks, professional skills, driving a shiny new car, and having a pretty smile have always covered up how inadequate and fearful I feel. YUCK.
    .

  11. Betsy on August 5, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Already..I love your share about the holy spirit. So true. The holy spirit is ALWAYS welcome in my heart and soul. I don’t always want to listen to what the spirit is telling me. However…I eventually do. The spirit speaks to me in many ways…music, messages from friends, this blog, devotions, books, prayer, blue skies, oceans, mountains,country roads, and from my willingness to want him to guide my life.

    • Aleea on August 6, 2015 at 5:54 am

      Betsy,
      —And He will guide you, just let ALL your identity rest in the knowledge of who you are created to be.  We are His workmanship made in His image.  . . . .I am seriously praying for you. . . . Keep seeking Christ. . . .He loves you, you have the greatest value.  He gave His life for all you’re worth.  . . . .It is SO not about trying (—real love is not force) it is about giving Him our will —joining our will with God’s will and finding ALL our identity there.

  12. Betsy on August 6, 2015 at 6:18 am

    Aleea,

    Thank you. I have depended on my husbands moods and treatment of me to dictate how my day will go and what my value as a person is. This is a deeply broken lie that I have believed even before my marriage. My husband has attitudes and behaviors towards me that feel punishing. This year they are magnified. He can’t trust me so he makes sure I pay the consequences by the way he treats me.

    We are leaving this morning for a vacation with our two boys. I need the guidance of the Holy Spirit more than ever. I am very lonely as my husband will not show me any physical affirmation, refuses to kiss me, stonewalls me. If I let his behavior dictate my/our time away, I will be very disappointed in my self.

    When we get back I plan on setting up boundaries again and confronting his refusal to work on our marriage, yet not wanting a divorce. I live in limbo everyday.

    My focus needs to be on Gods will for my life and how God sees me.

  13. Betsy on August 6, 2015 at 7:33 am

    Good morning ladies..

    Would love your feedback. Every morning and throughout the day, I read blogs, devotions, listen to podcasts, watch u tube videos, read books etc on how to be a godly wife, how to restore a marriage, etc. sometimes I feel nauseated by my efforts. This almost feels like a new addiction. I am once again filling a void. I feel like I have to work 24/7 on myself and my marriage of one.

    Am I alone in this?

    I don’t see my husband doing much of anything when he is home.

    • Julia on August 6, 2015 at 8:16 am

      Good morning Betsy,

      Only God can choose to restore a marriage and work in the hearts of His children. There are numerous Scriptures which support God holding and moving hearts according to His will. When you put the responsibility on you, then you will become frustrated.

      This was a heart concept for me to learn yet so freeing! As women, we are trained that if we only change our behavior then his behavior will fall into place. That never works and it never will as Leslie points out.

      Our job is to focus on our behavior in order to honor God and please Him first. This will free you up from the concerns of your husband. If your expectation is to honor God and trust Him in the process and His will for your life, you will not have such a heavy focus on your husband’s behavior.

      I understand this is not an easy process as I have gone through difficulties of my own in my marriage. But once I grasped this concept, it has allowed me to live in peace. My husband’s behavior has not changed, but I have changed how I respond to him and how I let his behavior effect me! I focus on God’s truths and promises which I know will never change!

      • Jennifer on August 6, 2015 at 12:20 pm

        Julia, I used this thinking to endure the years that I had young children at home. It made everything so much easier for my husband to continue his selfish behavior. My attitude of choosing the Lord as my true husband was the only way I kept my sanity. I knew my husband’s issues were his issues and I didn’t believe a single accusation he threw my way.

        Only by the grace of God did I endure. I grew in the Lord as he was my rock and my strong tower. Yet….what happened after the kids left? My husband left out the full monty of his wrath. You see he knew exactly what he was doing all along. He reigned in his entitlement when the kids were around.( Can you spouse monitor himself towards better behavior when others are around?) Then, when he could finally have me, his favorite obsession solely to himself, he cranked the vice harder and harder. It was only after I obtained a restraining order against him and legal authorities forced him to go counseling that he began to change.

        So Yes, loving the Lord and believing he may heal when and if he choses, to is a good coping strategy. The problem is that the behavior we are enduring is laced with the work of demons and permeated with human sin. This gets manifested and exacerbated by our years of compliance to the abuser. Throwing pearls to swine makes them fat and powerful.

        • Julia on August 6, 2015 at 7:50 pm

          Jennifer, I thank God for His Grace in your life that allowed you to endure your abusive situation for the sake of the children. I do not normally respond to blogs, nor do I read all the posts by others. I wanted to encourage Betsy because of the way she worded her statement that it came across that she was trying to carry this burden of change by herself a, but I could have misinterpreted.

          I am in my own abusive relationship. And though each of our situations are unique, what we experience psychologically, spiritually, and emotionally is very similar. Leslie has been able to help many of us who have been in these abusive relationships.

          My purpose to Betsy was to encourage what I have learned in my own situation. My change in behavior to his abusive behavior did not stop his abuse, be kept me from becoming abuse myself and remembering I am accountable to God for my own behavior. When I don’t take the bait and engage his destructive behavior, there is no arguing,

          I too have two children who are years away from graduation, have not worked in 13 years and am in my 50’s. Still, since staying well long term is not healthy for me and all other options have not been successful I will be seeking a divorce. I have a very supportive church who has been working with us over the past 2 years. Since I have change my behavior and developed CORE strengths, I am not angry, resentful, or bitter. My husband is ensared by a sin he can or will not see. It hurts me, but I know there is nothing else I can do other that trust God 100% in this next step of uncertainties for me and the children. He is faithful and I trust He will bring me through as He has in the past.

          I hope this clears it up a bit. Blogs are hard and can writings can be taken out of context. My heart aches for any women who endures abuse! May God’s Grace and peace continue to be with you move forward!

      • Sunshine on August 9, 2015 at 7:21 pm

        Julia, thank you for saying it again. Only God can restore a marriage. We cannot do things in our own power.
        I for one need to see this again and again. I need to remember this fact because I get going in my own strength then when I am tired and defeated, I ask God to help me out. Ha ha…oh NOW I remember that God is in control. If I work on myself from now until Christ’s return, I still will not be perfect enough….I need Jesus.

    • Mary on August 6, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      I hear you saying that your husband doesn’t seem to be making any effort toward growth or change. Why should he? If there are not any consequences for his actions, he has no motive to change. You on the other hand, carry all the consequences of his nasty actions.

      The problem is, if you challenge him or use confrontation without witnesses, he will only heighten his abuse. There are any number of strategies he will employ to gain power over you again. Are you aware of the domestic violence power and control wheel? Even silence is a form of control and abuse.

      I am so glad you soaking up all the education and encouragement that you can get. That is a great start, but for anything to truly change, you will need to take action.

      • Sunshine on August 9, 2015 at 7:27 pm

        My husband has a new trick. He has used silence to punish me since we were married. After marriage counseling things changed a little. When I ask him to speak with me and not ignore me, he uses as few words as possible now. Recently, he started giving me a thumbs up or thumbs down or just shaking his head yes or no. That is a whole new level of silent treatment. Reading the comment about the wheel of control and manipulation made me realize that this is just a twisted way of controlling the situation. Wow.

        • David on August 9, 2015 at 9:12 pm

          as a husband I’ve done the silent thing … if I stayed quiet the constant nagging would be less … my Christian counselor suggested this.

        • Jennifer on August 10, 2015 at 8:56 am

          http://www.ncdsv.org/images/powercontrolwheelnoshading.pdf

          The power and control wheel is worth reviewing. Maybe it need to be pasted on the inside of a cabinet so we see it everyday. 🙂

          • Jennifer on August 10, 2015 at 9:10 am

            http://speakoutloud.net

            I would also like to add this informative site from an Australian group working to support people like us. Has our Aussie friend heard of this group? Their Power and Control Wheel is a bit different. I found it interesting.



          • Sunshine on August 12, 2015 at 8:53 pm

            Jennifer, thank you for the Australian site. It was eye opening.



    • Leslie Vernick on August 6, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      I think everyone has been quite clear to you Betsy, you cannot fix this marriage all by yourself. It’s impossible.

      • betsy on August 7, 2015 at 11:04 am

        Leslie and all you beautiful women . I am carrying the burden of trying to fix my marriage all by myself. This is the Holy spirits job. I need to let my husband and marriage go. So hard to do some days!!!

        Last night I told my husband that I loved him and kissed him on the cheek. He responded with a hurful comment. I grabbed my pillow and went outside and sat on the dock ( we are at the beach in Delaware) and sobbed. I pleaded with God to help us and help me. I don’t want to ruin our time, so I am waiting until we get home to tell him how I feel. He crushes my spirit.

        Two weeks ago he had knee surgery and was nice to me. I got my hope up so quickly. Once he stopped taking medication, he is returning to the same harsh and indifferent man.

        This morning he came outside and asked if he could sit with me and then read his daily scripture out loud. Maybe this is his way to say I am sorry.

        I will continue to treat him with honor because I do this for God and it is the right thing to do..the good news is that I am gaining confidence knowing that his issues are not my problem. He has to figure himself out. I can’t wait for next week when I start CORE.

        • Lonely wife on August 7, 2015 at 12:03 pm

          Betsy,
          I’m sorry, but I’ve been there, done that and I have to disagree with you…
          Looking at how these men abuse, I think that your H asking to read his bible out loud was his way of showing you how “spiritual” he is, (spiritual abuse) and showing you that he’s NOT the problem….you are!
          An abusive man is NOT a Godly man, do you understand?
          He wasn’t reading his bible, waiting for God to speak to him…he does this for himself, so he can either praise himself internally, “patting himself on the back over how spiritual he is” or to confuse you into thinking he was sorry, without having to come out and say “I’m sorry, my comment was hurtful and I made you cry”…Believe me, I’ve been there sooo many times!
          These men aren’t sorry, they aren’t reading their bibles and praying, asking God to change THEM….if anything they’re asking God to change US to be the “perfect, submissive wife” they want, so their lives will be easier….at least that’s what my husband tells me…if I’d ONLY forget about the past…his lying, cheating, and emotional abuse, we could move forward, but I don’t want to, I’d rather be bitter and angry! So he says!
          I sat in church for SIX weeks while my husband went down to the alter to pray…praying about what, I don’t know…he never told me, and I saw NO change in him whatsoever during that six weeks!
          I did tell my best friend “If he goes down to pray this Sunday, I’m walking out! I won’t sit there anymore while he plays this game!!” surprisingly….he’s never walked down to the alter to pray again, and it’s been over 2 yrs now!
          Of course, that was around the same time I’d confided in our associate pastor, a close family friend, about the true state of our marriage and he’d counseled with my H a few times….until my H started avoiding him and making excuses for why they couldn’t meet, so I believe the “praying” was for the assoc. pastors benefit….to prove what a “Godly man” he really is!

          Betsy, you can do NOTHING to change your husband…again, I’ve learned that the hard way…before I read Leslie’s book a year ago, I was doing backflips trying to get my husband to open up to me, connect with me, pray with me, love me the way I wanted to be loved…all to no avail!
          All my husband did was suck it in like an emotional vampire…and all I did was get more and more discouraged, and I started blaming God, because he wasn’t “changing” my husband!
          I thank God for leading me to this blog and Leslie’s book…I’ve found true freedom!
          I’m now working on my CORE, I’ve started going to counseling again, I’ll be taking Leslie’s CORE group when she does it again…I am now focusing on ME, not my husband…not my marriage, and I’d suggest you do the same thing!
          Don’t do the emotional dance with your husband any longer Betsy…because he’ll dance you right to the edge of insanity….and slowly push you over….

        • Leonie on August 7, 2015 at 12:30 pm

          I’ve been there, last year we went to Cuba and my husband didn’t speak to me for the first four days of our 7 day vacation except to chew my head off. God hears & feels your pain. Don’t waste your breath on a miserable guy, enjoy your time, catch a ride into town, have fun, hang with your boys, check out the artisan shops. Just say you have no time for someone who can only be nasty. I am praying God will speak to you and refresh you on your vacation! We love you!

        • Lisa on August 8, 2015 at 7:21 pm

          Betsy,

          If he was sorry he would have said so instead of asking to read scripture outloud. He had the nerve to respond with a hurtful comment to your loving gesture so we know he isn’t a wallflower.

          He is verbally & emotionally abusing you.
          Please stop fawning over him; you are going to drive yourself crazy. And he just feels emboldened to continue to abuse you.

    • Robin on August 9, 2015 at 1:36 am

      Perhaps don’t make your goal to save your marriage. It’s impossible. Save yourself and get the help you need to be all you need to get healthy??

  14. Lonely wife on August 7, 2015 at 1:28 am

    Leslie,
    Will you be offering another CORE focus group next month?

  15. Leonie on August 7, 2015 at 8:49 am

    I am totally encouraged by Deuteronomy 30 today – his amazing promises, if we obey the Him – his commandments to us are not too difficult or out of reach –
    11 “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off.
    12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
    14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.
    19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,
    20 loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”

    • Robin on August 9, 2015 at 1:36 am

      Amen Leonie!!!

  16. betsy on August 7, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Thank you Leoini. I appreciate you a ton.

    I have had several vacations where my husband left for hours or didn’t speak to me because he didn’t like something I said or accused me of behavior I didn’t do. I begged and groveled for him to be nice again so the vacation would end well. Disgusting.

    How is your marriage now?

  17. Leonie on August 7, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Betsy, my husband & I separated in May. My story is kind of outlined throughout the blogs of the past year or so. He was exploding in rage at me and/or my kids at least once a month and I got so I just couldn’t cope with it – if he exploded on a Sunday, it took me until Thursday to feel normal again. I was let go from my job … It was ridiculous. I didn’t know how to get out & when I broke up with him, I went to police because I was scared he would hurt me. He has in the past. They referred me to the domestic violence unit and took my story, photo & medical evidence & a friend corroborated the events that had taken place. She was a confidante & close friend from my small group at church, that I went to whenever he exploded or hurt me, so she really had travelled the journey with me. The events were not too recent so I didn’t know they would arrest him but they did. He was arrested in May. I still have a lot to go through legally because he is quite an entitled guy but basically I am free and in my home with my kids now! I just started praying for God to show me the truth & also for him to get me out of my nightmare marriage to this crazy tyrant. I really started to disconnect and not engage with him or take ownership of his craziness or his problem anymore. He didn’t like it but I was no longer asking.

    • Maria on August 8, 2015 at 8:28 am

      David, could you please explain the following:
      1. What are the reasons you read this blog?
      2. What are you hoping to accomplish when you comment on this blog?
      3. You talk about you and your kids wanting to be transformed. Please list the things you are looking to change. Are you open to input from the readers on how to make these changes? What about your kids, what do they want to change?

    • Lisa on August 8, 2015 at 2:28 pm

      Leonia,

      I never reported the verbal & physical abuse. Most times they were done out of site of others. I only have notes I’ve written down over the years. Like you I had a friend to confide in, but it was done alI by phone, because she lives very far away. When I file for divorce I’m afraid of his behavior in the home.

      I have stayed away from him within the house over the last 2 years.

      Would you mind sharing how long ago your incidents were since you said not too long ago and yet the police took it very seriously and protected you. I’m afraid the police will not care since my incidents have decreased in intensity since I’ve been NC in the him for 2 years.

      • Lisa on August 8, 2015 at 2:29 pm

        *home (not him)

        • Lisa on August 8, 2015 at 2:40 pm

          and *not to recent (not–“not too long ago”)

      • Leonie on August 8, 2015 at 4:27 pm

        In Nov 2012 was the worst incident & the other was Oct 2014.
        He was twisting it and said he would go to the police because I had hurt him & that I am a violent person so that kept me from reporting it sooner because of fear & intimidation. There were more incidents but I didn’t have evidence for them. He pushed & shoved me a lot & backed me into a corner often when yelling at me but in my mind I never considered those incidents – I know better now, when Susanne said she had been injured badly from being pushed & then I realized that had happened to me a lot.

  18. David on August 8, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Maria, obviously you have not read my comments as I have answered those questions prior and not wish to do again also why do my kids need to change – I did not say that ‎

  19. Maria on August 8, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    David, after reading some of your posts again, you say the reason you’re on this blog is for a positive response. I don’t understand that, maybe you could explain. Your statement about being transformed was ambiguous, so I thought you meant your kids too. I don’t think you explained the things you want transformed in your life. Maybe you could share that.

  20. betsy on August 9, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Daily exercise is a must for me….it cleanses the emotional, spirtual, mental, and physical toxins from me. I get up at 5:00 am have coffee Read my devotions, pick up a bit, and hit my treadmill no later then 6:45 for an hour. Its Like natures Prozac. I have been doing this for years so it is part of me. I work with women as an eating disorder/ addiction coach. Getting motivated to start is the hardest. I suggest break it down to 10 min 3 times a week and then add on as you become more confident and see the benefits.

    • Lisa on August 9, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      I have become a slave to food.

      • betsy on August 11, 2015 at 8:00 pm

        Lisa

        I have struggled with Anorexia, Bulimia, and exercise addiction since age 14. Food will always be a crutch for me…however I am in recovery from the eating disorders and compulsive exercise.

        For the past 5 days my husband and 2 boys were st the beach on a “family vacation”, I overate every night, trying to fill a void. I felt incredibly rejected by my husband. So ate.

        I can’t go on much longer the way our marriage is. I kept quiet the last 5 days because I did not want to ruin the trip.

        • Jennifer on August 12, 2015 at 4:02 pm

          Betsy, Did you go to Fenwick Island or Bethany Beach? it should have been a lovely time just like everyone else who was eating crab and flying kites. Who can help you make a plan to leave? Would he leave if you asked him?

        • Jennifer on August 12, 2015 at 4:30 pm

          Betsy, I just also wanted to add that separation is not the same thing as divorce. You can always get back together when you husband starts acting like “H”. The reality check is the only chance that he might change his behavior. Beware, you will be in danger of him pulling out every weapon from his arsenal. You will need support, but the happiness and bliss of living without abuse is exhilarating! PS( Keep that buff bod beach ready for your next truly happy trip to the beach.)

  21. Lisa on August 11, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    You’re right David, you’re not a troll—you’re an *angry* troll.

  22. betsy on August 11, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Liz

    I am keeping you in my prayer’s.

    Betsy

    • Liz on August 12, 2015 at 11:04 am

      Thank you Betsy
      I pray the Lord will be with you too and guide your steps

  23. betsy on August 12, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Jennifer

    We went to Dewey Beach and one night in Ocean City.

    I am not ready to leave. I am doing the CORE class tonight. Once I get courageous enough and start learning how to confront to bring positive change, I will see if there is any improvement. I have to get better inside and sort through what is behind my shortcomings, so that any change will be long lasting or me.

    We made an agreement not to talk about our marriage unless in counseling where it is safe. We have not see the counselor in 3 weeks. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    I want him to pay attention to me and just touch me on the arm or pat my head, but he won’t.

    • Jennifer on August 12, 2015 at 4:32 pm

      Wishing you a powerful CORE group experience. There are some amazing women looking forward to encouraging you and sharing the journey. 🙂

    • Lisa on August 12, 2015 at 4:58 pm

      Betsy,

      When you show him you can cope just fine without his approval of you he will either give you what you need or continue to be a jerk. As long as you keep looking for his affirmations you will never be free to stay or leave.

  24. Vivienne on August 19, 2015 at 5:48 am

    Just wanted to say thank you to W for her story; it sounds so much like mine, except at this moment my H is unwilling to see his destructive behaviour or need for change.

    Thank you Leslie for this blog, your free resources, your helpful advice. I am grateful for all the stories that are shared on the blog, for the women that respond to our comments and for their grace and wisdom. This is the best oasis I have found in a vast desert that had me groping for water for many years – far too many for comfort. Thank you so much ladies – may God bless you all richly in his timing and wisdom. xx

    • Leslie Vernick on August 19, 2015 at 10:06 am

      YOu are so welcome Vivienne, I’m in awe of the wonderful women in this community who pray, support and encourage one another. You all bless me greatly.

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