What If My Spouse Is Mentally Ill?

Morning friends,

I just returned from Dallas where I had the opportunity to be a part of a wonderful series for women on Betrayal in Marriage. It is being filmed in an old cotton mill just outside of Dallas and I think it will be a huge help for churches ministering to women who have been wounded by selfish and abusive spouses. I’ll let you know when it becomes available.

We’ve had a lot of discussion around boundaries and consequences and I’ve appreciated reading all of your comments. The topic of mental health came up in one of your comments a few weeks back and so I wanted to address that issue more thoroughly.

Question: You’ve been talking about setting boundaries in marriage or implementing consequences for destructive behavior but what if your spouse is mentally ill? What if he is bipolar, is on the Autism spectrum, or has a personality disorder? Do you still recommend boundaries and consequences or does there need to be more compassion?

Answer: The answer is not either or, but both. Yes I still recommend appropriate and sometimes firm boundaries even with mental illness. And yes, there needs to be great compassion.

I’ve thought and thought about this question and how I wanted to answer. I’ve worked in the mental health field for over 30 years but I also grew up with a mother diagnosed with bipolar. She was an alcoholic. And she was abusive.

This is what I know. Having a mental illness certainly causes marital and familial stress, and requires a great deal of compassion and resolve to get through it. However, I want to make a distinction between mental illness and foolishness or wickedness of the heart.

I was recently at dinner with some friends and we got into a discussion about ISIS and Hitler and school shootings and everything else that is wrong with the world. Toward the end of our talk, the man in our party concluded, “These people are mentally ill, that’s all there is to it.”

I disagreed. Not everyone who is mentally ill is abusive and not everyone who is abusive is mentally ill. Yes, mentally ill people are sinful, just like you and me, but they are not necessarily wicked. Mental illness often leads to an inability to think clearly or see reality properly. Because of their distorted perceptions, they also have trouble controlling their emotions and behaviors appropriately. But most mentally ill people are not cruel towards others, intentionally malicious, nor do they feel good about themselves or what they’ve done.

Let me give you an example. Gina was diagnosed bipolar. When she wasn’t taking her medication she would become manic and spend large sums of money she could not afford as well as have multiple sexual encounters with total strangers. There were times she had outbursts of anger. Once she got back on her medication she would have great remorse over her behaviors and feel appropriate shame, guilt, and regret. She hated her disease and worked to get the help she needed so that she had a good chance of not repeating her manic episodes. She knew they caused her, her husband and family great pain.

Yet, Gina still had consequences to face because of her behaviors. Her credit card bill now totaled $8,000 that she didn’t have and as a result, her husband put a boundary in place that he would not give Gina any of the family credit cards to carry until she was more stable.

Gina chose to humble herself to receive her doctor’s and my help. Together we set up boundaries for Gina and accountability checks so that if the people closest to her noticed she was acting strange, they would give her that feedback and she would listen, even if she disagreed (because she wasn’t thinking clearly) and she would go immediately to her doctor for another opinion.

Her husband was exhausted and tempted to give up, but he had great compassion for his wife and her mental illness. It ran in her family history. This was not something she chose or wanted. He decided as long as she was willing to submit herself to her doctor for help, take her medication, respect his boundaries, he was willing to continue to keep their family together and bear this burden with her.

Gina is an example of a person who is mentally ill but demonstrates decent character qualities overall. She’s humble, teachable, repentant, and willing to acknowledge she has a problem and get the help she needs. She is not a perfect woman, she still sins, acts selfishly, has pride, can be judgmental or gossipy, but when she sees that she does these things, like a person without mental illness, she’s not happy about it nor does she excuse or justify it. She is sorry.

On the other hand Sally is a diabetic. She’s not mentally ill, but she is ill. Yet she refuses to take her medication faithfully or test her blood levels. She eats poorly and drinks at least three cokes a day, the one’s with sugar in them. Her blood sugar is all over the place and she recently crashed into a parked car because she became disoriented when her blood sugar levels dropped extremely low. Her kids were strapped in the back seat and thankfully no one got hurt. Sally is ill, but she demonstrates immature character (the Bible calls it foolishness) and sinful selfishness (which she also demonstrated prior to her diabetes diagnosis). Her illness is not making her refuse to comply with her need for regular insulin injections, or maintain vigilance over her health. Rather it’s her pride, her foolish approach to life as well as laziness and a lack of discipline. These are character qualities, not medical or mental health issues.

Sally’s husband has had to put boundaries around Sally’s care of their small children because he’s afraid that without proper supervision, they could get hurt. Until Sally is willing to take greater responsibility for herself and her medical condition, she is dangerous to herself as well as her young children.

There are many people who do not have a diagnosable mental illness, yet are irresponsible, foolish, cruel, deceitful, malicious, vicious, indifferent, irresponsible, hard hearted, and cold. There is no fear of God before their eyes and many of them seem void of shame, guilt, and empathy.

Here are some Bible passages that describe these people:

“Their mouths are full of lies, they swear to tell the truth but they lie instead” (Psalm 144:8).

“O Lord, rescue me from evil people. Protect me from those who are violent. Those who plot evil in their hearts and stir up trouble all day long. Their tongues sting like a snake; the venom of a viper drips from their lips” (Psalm 140:1-3).

“For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that” (2 Timothy 3:2-5).

Tom was a successful executive. He also was a chronic liar, verbally berated his wife and thought that he was better than other people. He refused accountability and when caught in a lie, he would lie some more. When that didn’t work, he shifted into blaming, accusing, or attacking the person who was confronting him. When that didn’t work, he played the victim. “Why are you doing this to me?” “I can’t believe how harsh and hard hearted you’ve become.” “Where is mercy and grace, I thought you were a Christian?”

Tom showed no remorse. No willingness to look at himself and ways he’s harmed others by his behaviors. It was always the other person’s fault. Yes, Tom is a sinner like everyone else, but what makes Tom act the way he does when his sin is exposed? Is he mentally ill or is there a problem with Tom’s character?

Adolf Hitler had these words placed over one of the gas ovens in Auschwitz, Germany.

“I want to raise a generation of young people devoid of conscience, imperious, relentless and cruel.”

Is this mental illness or pure evil?

When you live with someone diagnosed with a mental illness or even a physical illness that causes you and your children to be in danger it’s still important that you value your safety.

If your spouse had a brain tumor that made him violent and paranoid, I hope you would have great compassion. I hope you would love him as best you could. But you might not be able to live with him, especially if he refused to take medicine that would calm him down. The same might be true for a spouse diagnosed with a mental illness, http://www.papsociety.org/xanax-alprazolam-1-mg/.

The Bible tells of a man who was possessed by a demon. He lived among the burial caves and the people tried to restrain him with chains and shackles because he cut himself and wandered around howling and screaming. He wasn’t in his right mind, he was scary and no one felt safe around him. Jesus healed him, but he never rebuked the town for their boundaries of not allowing him to live among them (See Luke 5 for the story).

Please don’t mishear me. We live in a disposable society where we are tempted to run away from suffering. Pregnancies are aborted because we don’t want to be burdened with a less than perfect child. Marriages are breaking up for trivial and unbiblical reasons because we don’t want to do the hard work to persevere through the tough times. Mental illness as well as a chronic physical illness can take a huge toll on the marriage relationship and often puts one spouse in a care giving and/or parental role. It’s not what you signed up for and it’s tempting to bolt. But God tells us that we have much to learn through difficult times. God uses them to soften our heart and make us more like him (tweet that).

However, when you are with someone who stubbornly refuses to comply with their medical or mental health treatment and is dangerous, chronically foolish, abusive and/or cruel towards you and your children, boundaries and consequences are extremely important for your safety and mental health.

Friend, what boundaries have you put in place with a spouse who is mentally ill?

179 Comments

  1. Jennifer on November 4, 2015 at 7:22 am

    Thank you for this post on mental illness Leslie! I suffer from depression and am on medication, if I don’t take my meds I become more irritable and snap at others, I don’t want to do that so I keep taking my meds. My husband in the past has told me he was diagnosed with bi-polar, depression, personality disorder, PTSD, he had a horrible childhood and was abused himself, physically, emotionally and sexually, he was at one time living in a group home on disabilty for his mental illness. He complied and took his meds, went to college and “got better”. This was all before I met him. After we married he became a Christian and now does not believe in meds and thinks he outgrew all the above. I see patterns in his behavior that lead me to believe he does need medication to help stablize his moods, anger, outbursts and abuse. I have told him in the past he needs counseling and meds in order for me to remain married to him. He complied for awhile, then resented the fact that I “diagnosed” him and have labeled him. He told me his MD said he does not need meds and has been off them. He refuses to get any help what so ever. He says I am just controlling and manipulating him. I have compassion in the sense of how he grew up, I know what depression feels like but still isn’t it his responsiblity if he sees himself yelling at the family to get help? He doesn’t think he is abusive, just exercising authority. Leslie, he yells and swears at my two children from a previous marriage. No one respects him in the home because of that. He has lost my respect a long time ago with his inablity to control his anger. What do I do when no, I am not his doctor but am going by things he has told me of his past, do I believe he has a mental disorder-yes based on his behavior. What boundaries to I place for someone unwilling to get help?

    • Edmund on November 4, 2015 at 12:16 pm

      Praying for you. God Bless you and your family!

    • Edmund on November 4, 2015 at 12:19 pm

      That looks trite in black and white. Sorry. I have a lot of sympathy and compassion for the situation you are describing. I don’t think I should offer any specific suggestions, but I do believe prayer matters and its the only thing I can offer from my position. I genuinely hope God blesses you and your family with spirit-filled direction and counsel.

    • Robin on November 5, 2015 at 10:33 pm

      Jennifer have you considered setting a healthy boundary?? I love you and want to remain in our marriage, but I can only do that if you show your care for me and the children by taking the medication you need to remain healthy. It seems selfish for one spouse to have a serious condition and not be willing to get the help he needs to keep him from yelling, verbal abusing, and I’m sure more than you are comfortable to share openly on this blog. Jesus set boundaries and we need to also when someone is not taking measures to protect his family. I’m so sorry for all you’ve been through. I know God has answers for you. I’d ask Leslie which one if her books she would recommend for you to get some direction. Praying for peace of mind for you!!!!

    • Denice on November 7, 2015 at 10:53 pm

      Wow Jennifer. Your husband’s past sounds just like my husband’s past. I love my husband so much but he is unstable and daily verbally shreds me in front of our children and uses scripture against me. He is in victim-more pretty often so everything is my fault. He needs to heal spiritually, mentally and emotionally. He is planning to move out tomorrow after 17 years of marriage. We have had some beautiful times together and he has had seasons of being an amazing father and husband, but he needs help. I don’t want my kids growing up to be like him or me (an enabler). I know that he genuinely feels that I hurt him and abuse him and that I don’t submit, but with the instability and lack of sobriety, I’ve had to make certain decisions (prayerfully) due to the environment he has created. He displays narcissistic behavior as well. I truley love him but he has to get help. In the past he has threatened to kill himself, leave me, cheat on me, hurt me physically, take the kids from me, etc. I am a sinner, yes, but I have genuinley put forth an effort to obey the Lord and be a Godly wife. Thank you for sharing your pain Jennifer, you have given me encouragement to continue to move forward and not ask my husband to stay. He has told my children that He is going to get a new wife that loves him and will submit to him, as painful as that is to hear, I will choose to trust God and His Word. I wil pray for you and your kids.

      • Robin on November 8, 2015 at 4:26 pm

        Denice, I will be praying for you. Your story reveals the courage you have. My past could strongly relate to yours. One thing I learned on this blog that really helped me was by me removing myself from the destructive relationship I was no longer participating in being the scapegoat. By me being strong enough to say time out and separate- I would be eliminating myself as the problem (as he saw it) and he would have to start taking responsibility for his issues. Removing myself was the hardest thing I ever did- but it showed me I had choices to make and those choices would be a win-win for the children not being raised anymore in a destructive home. I’ve been divorced since July 1 and not once has he come to me to say he wants to get help and put our family back together. I wish he would have chosen differently- but as you are doing- I knew I did the right thing for me and my family. Praying for this huge adjustment and that God would clearly reveal His plan and Hus presence for your future!!!

        • Denice on November 9, 2015 at 3:20 pm

          Thank you Robin. I am nervous about my new normal and what will come out of all of this but I am also excited to see what the Lord does.

          • Denice on November 12, 2015 at 4:10 pm

            My husband moved out yesterday. My heart aches for my children and my marriage. As much as I do not want to go through the verbal, spiritual, mental and emotional abuse, I still really love him even though he says to me and our kids that I don’t love him. I am so drained and exhausted by him. I look forward to the house not being tense due to his substance abuse and other types of abuse. My children are hurting so much but I guess that they were always hurting by seeing my husband treat me the way that he did. I need the Lord to help me to make Godly choices in everything so much more now that my husband is not there to make decisions. I just want us all to heal and I know that will take time, I just pray that in the end, everyone has been healed fully and we can move forward biblically in marriage and as a family. I know that the Lord can do anything, but I don’t know if a true healing and reconciliation will happen. Lord, please, please have mercy on my family.



  2. Becky on November 4, 2015 at 7:44 am

    Thank you, Leslie!!! I’ve been praying to see this in my email all week. My spouse is suffering with PTSD, depression, and we are separated. He is verbally abusive, manipulative, and is awful. But he DOESNT get help, doesn’t accept responsibility. And boundaries are tough for me. Praying for all of us struggling with these situations!!

    • Leslie Vernick on November 4, 2015 at 8:32 am

      You’re welcome. It’s such a hard issue laden with lots of fear and guilt. Trust God, He is on the side of truth and wholeness.

      • Denice on November 9, 2015 at 3:28 pm

        Thank you Leslie. I struggle with confusion which I know is from satan and my husband uses scriptures against me which just confused me more. I’m so grateful for you and this blog and all of these women sharing their stories. It is comforting and a blessing.

      • Susan on November 10, 2015 at 11:46 am

        Thank you, Leslie, for this article. I’ve always wondered why the church hasn’t addressed this. I’very listened to so many messages on marriage, but none of them fit my situation. My husband suffers from depression and used to rage, and get physically (throw things, break things of mine, etc), verbally abusive, and have in considerate soctal skills most of the time. He could make a whole room of people tense and very uncomfortable…too much to write here. I left for a. few months, many years ago, and he promised he would do whatever it takes (get help and start going to church) for me to come back home. I told him to do those things first and he did. I give him a lot of credit; he made a big change. I still deal with the verbal and relational issues (with family, etc), and that is my BIG problem. I love the Lord with all my heart and know He is able to heal him. He says he’s a Christian , but won’t go to church because he’s seen too many hypocrites. When I come home from work and he’s watching a movie in which people are cursing, he changes the the channel because of me…..it feels like a knife in my heart to know he thinks there id nothing wring with that. The depression has been under control for rhe past month, since being on new meds and therapy, so he’s thrilled. I’m miserable because the humbleness the delression brought about thinking he’s setting himself….and me…up for disaster, just relying on meds, watching violent movies and documentaries about aliens, etc. If I say that, he thinks I’m judging him, but

        • Susan on November 10, 2015 at 11:55 am

          Thank you, Leslie, for this article. I’ve always wondered why the church hasn’t addressed this. I’very listened to so many messages on marriage, but none of them fit my situation. My husband suffers from depression and used to rage, and get physically (throw things, break things of mine, etc), verbally abusive, and have in considerate soctal skills most of the time. He could make a whole room of people tense and very uncomfortable…too much to write here. I left for a. few months, many years ago, and he promised he would do whatever it takes (get help and start going to church) for me to come back home. I told him to do those things first and he did. I give him a lot of credit; he made a big change. I still deal with the verbal and relational issues (with family, etc), and that is my BIG problem. I love the Lord with all my heart and know He is able to heal him. He says he’s a Christian , but won’t go to church because he’s seen too many hypocrites. When I come home from work and he’s watching a movie in which people are cursing, he changes the the channel because of me…..it feels like a knife in my heart to know he thinks there id nothing wring with that. The depression has been under control for rhe past month, since being on new meds and therapy, so he’s thrilled. I’m miserable because the humbleness the depression brought about is gone.I feel he’s setting himself….and me…up for disaster, just relying on meds, watching violent movies and documentaries about aliens, etc. If I say that, he thinks I’m judging him, but I I know he needs Jesus. I’m not happy knowing we are world’s apart on this. II don’t know how to live day to day as a Christian with someone who thinks he’s trying, when I see it’s not working.

        • Leslie Vernick on November 11, 2015 at 9:57 pm

          If he is acting out and refusing help that’s where your boundaries are needed to keep you and the children safe.

      • Lynn on May 24, 2016 at 5:43 pm

        Leslie, thank you for this truth. I too had a 20 yr marriage and due to bpd cheating and porn and alcoholism, and physical beating at the end, I had to divorce. I am glad you mentioned luke 5 story. I’ve let go but still feel emotional . Wonder why God won’t heal him like the man in luke 5.
        I know God’s grace and mercy is great I don’t know how to pray anymore. But my 3 kids are doing so much better. I see it was good for them to be in truth and away from that life of bad choices.
        He sees them occasionally , lives out of state . Please pray for kids as they each learn from their story and walk with Jesus with a mentally ill father.
        And I pray for a quiet spirit , so God’s spirit can move to bring healing. I just don’t know how to pray believing , it’s hard to know what to pray , I know I must move forward in truth.
        Satan is father of lies , oh how he steals kills and destroys.
        Thank you for caring for us out here , we appreciate you.
        My mom to has bipolar , never met any of my children.i wonder how I attract mom and husband with this illness.

        • Leslie Vernick on May 28, 2016 at 8:48 am

          Thanks Lynn. Sometimes we don’t know how to pray, but thankfully Jesus continually prays for us when we don’t know what or how to pray.

  3. Lynn on November 4, 2015 at 7:50 am

    Thank you for working so hard to implement change in churches so that they will open up and address abuse. I have talked to several of our church leaders asking them to address the issue, they are sympathetic but so far that is where it ends. It seems that no one wants to step up! My X husband has a personality disorder, BPD & narcisstic traits. I stayed for 27 years and probably wouldn’t have ever had the courage to leave had he not in a fit of rage told me to. I knew he was mentally ill and told myself that the vows I said included, “in sickness and in health”. Staying in an abusive, destructive marriage damages you and your children. Please do not do what I did!!!! Seek help immediately! We all are trying to overcome the anxiety from living in it. We went to four different counsellors but he would only change his behavior long enough so that I would stay. Once I left and he realized that I was serious about his getting help he filed for divorce.

  4. Brenda on November 4, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Leslie thank you so much for talking about the differences between evil, foolish and mental illness. For years I lived in a lot of confusion with the relationship with my mother. She was also diabetic and kept her blood sugar very low to the point of many diabetic episodes of passing out. After the passing of my Dad she started drinking alcohol along with the diabetes. She began living a totally different life style not having any good judgement and lived in a lot of denial. I thought we were very close but realized in my 50’s I was her caregiver. When I would confront her on her behavior she would be in denial, ignore or change the subject. I felt so responsible my whole life for her. I even married my first husband who had these same traits. In the last five years God began to heal me and teach me to set boundaries with her, even though it was not easy. You see she believed she was a good person and she could be very sweet but it was always about her, her needs wants and desires. I went through a period of depression and grieving the death of a relationship I thought I had with my mother. It was very painful and I was very angry with a lot of bitterness and resentment for all the wasted years of meeting her needs. Last August she became ill and was in the hospital, and she would cry out delirious. They brought in a Psychirotrist and as I shared what she was like, she commented that she may have some bi-polar. In the hospital she cried out for Jesus to help her. She had gone to church with me for 25 years, yet she lived a lifestyle that left me questioning her salvation. She did pass away and I do have the assurance that she is with God. I spent many years questioning my own sanity because of my relationship with my mother and my first husband who had the same personality. I have now been married for 21 years in a healthy relationship with my husband who loves me unconditionally. Leslie thank you for all the information that you share, especially the truth from Gods word, that you don’t hear teaching about. I want to encourage others to seek God, know that your feelings do matter and set boundaries so that you remain healthy and receive the healing that God will bring.

  5. Brenda on November 4, 2015 at 9:06 am

    I just realized Leslie asked what kind of boundaries did I set. First I realized it was ok to say “No”. People make choices and I am not responsible for there choices. Many times I would take my mother to a Drs appointment and get there and she would act like nothing was wrong. She could not drive so I was her primary way to get around. I told her I was not going to take her and she would have to find another way. The hardest part was the guilt I had to deal with, or should I say false guilt. I realized her decisions had to have consequences. Why should I bare the consequences of her decisions? My mother acted out at church, so I had to tell her she needed to watch it at home. ( a good friend shared this with me and I thought can I really do this? I had no idea I could set this kind of boundary) it was not easy and every time my mother would ask to come to church I had to remind her that she chose this because of her actions. When we would go to eat lunch ( she was in an assisted living at this time, with many low blood sugars, and hospital visits) she wanted coke and I had to tell her that she could choose a diet coke or we would leave and she could have lunch at her assisted living. If she became verbally abusive, I would leave. Sometimes I would stay away for several weeks because she was so draining.There are many ways to set boundaries, we need someone as a sounding board. My over sensitive spirit had a hard time with this. Many times I was told I didn’t act like a Christian because of the boundaries. You must stand your ground. I didn’t have a lot of support because most people didn’t know what to do with my mothers behaviors. Most of my family stayed away from her. I stuck through it till the end and I can honestly say I have no regrets. I loved my mother in her brokenness.

    • Debby on January 2, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      Beautiful Brenda. You did what you could, stopped blaming your self and taking responsibility for behaviors that were not yours and therefore had no control over, set healthy distance parameters for yourself, and loved her from afar if needed. The false guilt seems to be SO prevalent in our churches today! People have NO idea really what you are dealing with and give simple, “Bible-sounding” platitudes that do nothing to help us take steps toward wholeness. I know it was a long journey out of the fog and into the light (from personal experience!) but knowing the truth and acting on it (not on what OTHERS say is the truth) brings peace in the midst of the storm.

  6. tanja on November 4, 2015 at 9:17 am

    I just want to say thank you Leslie so much for this blog, for this opportunity to be in communication with you. It helps me in my journey with God too, because so many times when I get confused it’s actualy because of confusing human relationships. May God bless you and help you my friend. Tanja

  7. Michele on November 4, 2015 at 11:20 am

    I am in a 23 year marriage to a man who I strongly believe is bipolar, as well as an alcoholic (a very well functioning alcoholic) who is not a Christian. Needless to say, it has been a very long 23 years and I am to a point where I am not sure if there will be another year; but then it seems as though I’ve been continually in this mindset. I have 2 boys (17 & 19) who love their dad but also see all of his faults: verbal abuse, rage issues, narcissistic, does not accept responsibility for any fault and doesn’t seem to have any self control whatsoever. That being said, on the flip side — he has a very big heart, can be fun to be around, enjoys entertaining and cooking, and (ironically) is very sensitive.

    When he’s ‘normal’ everything is good, we get along great and enjoy our time together and we both love each other. But when he reverts back to his other self (which is exaggerated and quickened with alcohol), he’s not sociable to me or the kids, very quick to anger and say hurtful things and not willing to recognize any fault of his own. All of the blame is usually pushed on me and sometimes the kids. After years of this, I am always doubting myself and usually left feeling guilty for everything.

    I have been focusing on strengthening my relationship with God, because that is most important to me right now and the only way for healing.

    Through the years, I was always at fault with complaining to the kids about their dad when we would get into arguments, because I wanted them (or someone) to understand why I was crying or sad; and for those times, I wish I could erase all the things said about their dad out of hurt and anger. I would always emphasize to them that you can’t treat people the way dad treats us and you can’t talk to your wife someday like this. Even though our marriage is dysfunctional, I thank God that they recognize that they do not want to be like their dad; especially not wanting anything to do with alcohol because of what it’s done to our family.

    I know that he’s noticed a difference in me since my relationship with Christ has grown, but is quick to throw that in my face in an argument. We went to counseling many years ago (way before it got to this point), and he was able to turn the counselor’s view to where he was the wonderful one and I was the crying mess that needed the help.

    I know that this is something only God can heal, but I still can’t help but think about how do things even begin to turn around with someone who doesn’t believe that they are an alcoholic or has a personality/rage disorder or to blame for anything for that matter? Even if he were a Christian at this point, I’m not sure that anything would get better until he can recognize these things about himself and get help. But all of that would mean that he would have to admit his weaknesses, which he doesn’t believe he has.

    For now I’m am trying to ‘stay well’ until I am sure God is directing me otherwise. Thank you for listening.

    • Edmund on November 4, 2015 at 12:16 pm

      Praying for you. God Bless you and your family!

    • Denice on November 7, 2015 at 11:09 pm

      Michele, my husband is a Christian but has been diagnosed bipolar, manic depressed and I see traits of narcissism in him. He was abused and neglected horribly as a child and then grew up to abuse himself. He also abuses substances. Like you, I remind my kids when he verbally blugeonds me in front of them that it is wrong and that they should never treat anyone like that or let someone treat them like that. It’s very hard. I do love him though and I have seen the good in him, but all the bad stuff has gotten worse. He was the scapegoat of his family and I am his scapegoat. He will say that something is his fault yet everything he says after that makes me feel that he really thinks it’s my fault. Stay strong in the Lord and in the power of His might sister. God bless.

    • Debby on January 2, 2016 at 3:48 pm

      Michelle, I, too, went to counseling and after YEARS, I could not understand how none of the counselors could see ABUSE was constantly present! Its as if they either DIDNT know about abuse (which would be ironic since they are counselors?) or they didnt want to deal with that. My guess is, both. It is so much easier to give simplistic “steps you can take, Debby, so he wont ______________” (fill in the blank) as if just because I am the one willing to GET help, I am the one who can magically fix HIM? As if abuse is a MARRIAGE problem, not a control problem. Anyway, I got a lot of info from leslie’s blog as well as hurtbylove.com (which has a phone consult that really helped me and is a reasonable cost and she is GREAT) and cryingoutforjustice.com which helped me understand that the church’s stance is often sorely lacking to help those of us dealing with abuse. So much of what you are saying in your message is exactly the kinds of confusion and questions I needed answers to and researching and studying on these sites helped me immensely. God bless you on your journey to healing.

  8. Edmund on November 4, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Mrs. Vernick: This is obviously a sticky subject and you have presented a very thoughtful and helpful perspective on the topic. I appreciate it.

  9. Jennifer on November 4, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    I’m not sure what you mean by trite. I guess I was seeking an answer from Leslie about appropriate boudaries for living with someone with mental illness.

  10. Sandra on November 4, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    I gently and firmly end conversations where he is starting to scream at me, interrupt me, or call me names – leave the room after stating that we can talk later when he is willing to be fair and controlled. If he starts twisting reality and shifting blame, I let him know that I expect him to tell the truth and own his own stuff. If he won’t stick to the actual, simple subject matter at hand, I call him out on it and keep redirecting back. After several failed attempts, I stop the conversation and tell him that we will need to find a mediator/3rd party to help us discuss this at a future time. If an argument or discussion turns ugly or manipulative or disrespectful, I might suggest we both go to separate spaces and write out our perspectices/needs/wants/opinions etc and email it to each other. I have lovingly, gently told him that if he cannot function with some organization and responsibility and put his important things where they belong (keys, license, credit cards, glasses, contacts, tools, etc) then he is on his own in stressing about them and looking for them; I am done carrying the burden of his irresponsibility. If he asks me if I’ve seen them, I simply say “nope, sorry” and leave the dysfunction to him. I am hoping to separate our finances completely soon so that his irresponsibility with money does not affect me anymore. These are some examples as I learn to deal with my tortured and thus torturing husband….he is possibly narcissistic? Maybe bipolar. Or just plain wounded, disfunctional, selfish, and foolish.

  11. Sandra Anderson on November 4, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    My ex-husband was unfaithful, alcoholic, jealous and controlling from the beginning of our marriage. However, he had a stroke at age 62, and although he recovered physically, he then became extremely jealous and verbally abusive (although the adultery stopped and he drank less). Ironically, the former was less stressful for me to deal with than the latter. Even though he suffered some brain damage as a result of the stroke, I still had to set boundaries, and he later left me. I know God didn’t expect me to suffer any further emotional stress, and felt no guilt for setting boundaries. God bless you for your loving counsel, dear Leslie, Sandra

  12. Mary2 on November 4, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    This is a really spectacular article Leslie – very well researched and thought out with wonderfully evident, genuine compassion and practicality. From my own experience, “mental illness” can be a very convenient label given to someone whose issues fall outside of the commonly accepted ‘norm’ – and this can happen in church, as I discovered to my cost (and unfortunately, in the fallout because of lack of healing that should have been there – to others).
    However, God has given me grace for a journey into my shadow. The shadow is a place where no one willingly goes because it appears like a black hole. But Isaiah 45 speaks about “he has given me the treasures of darkness” – and I have come to the point of acceptance that this has been my journey, in order for God get me healed (without the ‘magic wand’) of some toxic mis-beliefs that my soul laid down (in my psyche) as a child, trying to adapt to its unusual circumstances (for the time period) which left me in absolutely no doubt of God’s existence, but greatly hindered in my ability to trust. Faith and trust are not one and the same – but I am working on it.
    Unfortunately/fortunately people ‘look at appearances, but God looks upon the heart’ – when church leadership look at appearances without taking God’s view into the equation, the situation for the person who turns to that leadership for guidance and support can become very much worse.
    I praise my Father in heaven who saw me through all of this, protected me and vindicated me – because he sees our hearts, and also the hearts of those in shepherding roles who really, have not much of a clue except to dish out unhelpful labels.

    • Mary2 on November 4, 2015 at 1:07 pm

      ….. and I should add, arrange their ‘ministry’ to the struggler out of pre-conceived notions/agenda, trying to get them to fit into a pre-labelled box.

  13. Remedy on November 4, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    My question centers on how one goes about getting a diagnosis or even one who feels he is perfect and blameless to even get to someone for evaluation?? They are incapable of seeing a problem….. only everyone else has a problem. No reasoning with this one.

    • susen on November 5, 2015 at 11:18 pm

      Remedy~

      I will be interested in Leslie’s answer to this very good question. My mother is mentally ill. Part of her illness exhibits itself in viewing the mental health industry as anathema. She wouldn’t step foot in a psychiatrist’s office–and wouldn’t listen to a word he/she said, even if she was plopped down on a couch in a straight jacket.

      I’ve watched her for years present herself as a grand and gracious, charismatic beauty–even at 84 years of age she still has all the skills to make an amazing initial impression–and all the while she is taking notes on what is wrong with everyone around her. She can transform herself into a bird of prey at any moment–fully equipped with all the ammunition she’s been storing up and/or fabricating the whole time she’s been your “friend.” She will do absolutely anything in her power to get her way and devour the opposition.

      So to add to the initial question–if the person won’t accept a diagnosis, then what good is it anyway?

      With much help from Leslie and prayer and study of His Word, I have been able to grow in faithful dependence upon God. I can’t do a thing to change my mother. But I can and have changed my vulnerability in no longer hoping that if I just did one more thing to please her, she’d become a real mom, I no longer self-sacrifice to her ungodly neediness and demands, and I celebrate the many blessings I’ve received from stopping the abuse in my generation. Whenever I think of her, I offer her up to God’s perfect will, and I thank Him for the peace He gives me in hearing my prayer. I praise His Plan even in the midst of yet another drama.

  14. Aleea on November 4, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    “Friend, what boundaries have you put in place with a spouse who is mentally ill?”
    . . . . Thank you so much for this post. I feel it is a very important post but I don’t know what to say about it. I don’t think anyone in my circle of interactions is mentally ill (-but I am biased) maybe they are. Maybe I am. The DSM-IV-TR is a 943-page textbook published by the American Psychiatric Association. There are currently 374 mental disorders. I pulled up that book and started going through it. I wonder if I’ve got any of the 374 mental disorders, I thought. So far, I have self-diagnosed myself with five different ones. The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness, wow that’s huge.

    Hitler says: “I want to raise a generation of young people devoid of conscience, imperious, relentless and cruel.” Is this mental illness or pure evil?
    . . . . Let’s just do one hard thing that deals with verifiable facts and then we will drop it. This argument is way more powerful than I am putting it here (See: “Hitler, Homer, Bible Christ, The Historical Papers”) because of space and because I just don’t want to dwell on it. -I get sick of it too! ―So, I don’t know the answer but I see the issues: No one, hopefully, would say that Hitler was acting lovingly while sending the majority of German Jews to the gas-chambers for lacking the right parentage, but wouldn’t it be equally as inconsistent to claim that God is acting lovingly while sending the majority of the human race to burn in hell for lacking the right beliefs?

    . . . So I say it is both. Hitler was mental and evil (See The Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor by David Irving.) I think that Joseph Smith was a total liar, but he still martyred himself for his teachings and his beliefs. I don’t know what to think of that. It shows you will die for a lie. Dying for something does not make it true, that happens all the time re:Islam . . . . Okay, that’s enough of that, see that book for all the peer reviewed facts (-as best I can tell) if you need them. The Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor by David Irving is free on Irving’s site or e-mail me, I’ll send it to you. Hitler spent the whole war getting C10H15N electrochemical hits to his neurotransmitters. It is a miracle it was not even worse. If Kelly Minter, Lisa Harper, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Angie Smith, Tammie Head, Angela Thomas, Vicki Courtney, Jennifer Rothschild, et. al. got that level of drugs would they have done differently? I bet not!

    Defeating Depression by Leslie Vernick (page 61). . . . “I do see a growing trend that deeply concerns me. I see many women relying on antidepressants to feel better, but neglecting the internal and relational work they need to do if their depression isn’t purely physical to actually get better. . . . . . . This is dangerous thinking and dangerous living. Outcome research has shown individual therapy to be as effective as medication and sometimes more so in helping a depressed person recover.” . . . . I bet if Hitler didn’t try to fix all his issues with very, very powerful drugs, and got himself into good individual therapy, WWII may have never happened. He hated Jews for what a Jewish doctor had done to his mother (-see sources above). What if some counselor had showed him how to really forgive that Jewish doctor and then love himself? Re: Kim Fredrickson, Building A Compassionate Relationship With Yourself and Give Yourself a Break: Turning Your Inner Critic into a Compassionate Friend.

    From my own life, when I begin to glimpse the real reality of God, the natural reaction is to just worship Him. Other days. . . .other days I do not have that reaction which is a fairly sure sign that I haven’t yet fully/ really understood who He is or what He’s done. So, I am made for spirituality, but I wallow in introspection. Logic cannot comprehend that love. Love is the deepest mode of knowing, because it is love that, while completely engaging with reality other than itself, affirms and celebrates that other-than-self reality. I know, I don’t really understand it either. But I think the most important decisions we make in life are not made by post-enlightenment left-brain rationality. . . . . So how do we permanently leave all that doubt behind, in the tomb of Jesus Christ, all that belongs to brokenness and incompleteness and follow Jesus Christ into God’s new world? . . .I see many in the church have turned their back on serious study, and have embraced an anti-intellectualism which refuses to learn anything from scholarship at all lest it corrupt their “pure faith.” It is time to end this standoff, and to reestablish a hermeneutic of trust (itself a sign of the gospel!) in place of the hermeneutic of suspicion which the church has so disastrously borrowed from the postmodern world.

    “Insanity is everyone expecting you not to fall apart when you find out many things you believed in were unsubstantiated concepts innocently passed along as fact.” –Aleea Rodgers

    Sensitive people are the most genuine and honest people you will ever meet. There is nothing they won’t tell you about themselves if they trust your kindness. However, the moment you betray them, reject them or devalue them, I think they become the worse type of person. By God’s grace they may, if He is willing, change. There are no great women or men of God. . . just weak, broken, doubting women and often way worse men of a totally great and absolutely merciful, awesome God!!! . . . Again, they don’t want to hurt other people. It is against their very nature. They want to make amends and undo the wrong they did. Their life is a wave of highs and lows. They live with guilt and constant pain over unresolved situations and misunderstandings. They are tortured souls that are not able to live with hatred or being hated. This type of person needs the most love anyone can give them because their soul has been constantly bruised by others. However, despite the tragedy of what they have to go through in life, they remain the most compassionate people worth knowing, and the ones that often become real activists for the broken hearted, forgotten and the misunderstood. They are angels with broken wings that only fly when loved.

  15. brooke on November 4, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Thank you, Leslie. You are an incredibly wise woman. Your articles on the differences between repentance and “sorry” & how in can forgive buy may not need to reconcile have been so eye opening to me.

    I am 6 years into a marriage (& now have 2 kiddos under 3). I wish I had been wiser and listened to the Holy spirit warnings prior to marriage, but I wanted to be married….there were red flags that I ignored. …

    In the past 3 years I’ve had to admit he’s an alcoholic. In the last 6 months he’s been arrested, had an affair, and been abusive and cruel.

    Your articles have helped me see through the lies I would accept as truth before. after counseling, prayer, seperation, etc, i am relyctantly & sadly seeking divorce.

    I can’t continue to put my little family through this chaos with someone who has an unrepentant heart.

  16. Aleea on November 4, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    “Friend, what boundaries have you put in place with a spouse who is mentally ill?”

    . . . . Thank you so much for this post.  I feel it is a very important post but I don’t know what to say about it.  I don’t think anyone in my circle of interactions is mentally ill (-but I am biased) maybe they are.  Maybe I am.  The DSM-IV-TR is a 943-page textbook published by the American Psychiatric Association.  There are currently 374 mental disorders.  I pulled up that book and started going through it.  I wonder if I’ve got any of the 374 mental disorders, I thought.  So far, I have self-diagnosed myself with five different ones.  The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness, wow that’s huge. 
     
    Hitler says: “I want to raise a generation of young people devoid of conscience, imperious, relentless and cruel.”     Is this mental illness or pure evil?
    . . . . Let’s just do one hard thing that deals with verifiable facts and then we will drop it.  This argument is way more powerful than I am putting it here (See: “Hitler, Homer, Bible Christ, The Historical Papers”) because of space and because I just don’t want to dwell on it.  -I get sick of it too!  ―So, I don’t know the answer but I see the issues:  No one, hopefully, would say that Hitler was acting lovingly while sending the majority of German Jews to the gas-chambers for lacking the right parentage, but wouldn’t it be equally as inconsistent to claim that God is acting lovingly while sending the majority of the human race to burn in hell for lacking the right beliefs?
       
    . . . So I say it is both.  Hitler was mental and evil (See The Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor by David Irving.)  I think that Joseph Smith was a total liar, but he still martyred himself for his teachings and his beliefs.  I don’t know what to think of that.  It shows you will die for a lie.  Dying for something does not make it true, that happens all the time re:Islam . . . . Okay, that’s enough of that, see that book for all the peer reviewed facts (-as best I can tell) if you need them.  The Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor by David Irving is free on Irving’s site or e-mail me, I’ll send it to you.  Hitler spent the whole war getting C10H15N electrochemical hits to his neurotransmitters.  It is a miracle it was not even worse.  If Kelly Minter, Lisa Harper, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Angie Smith, Tammie Head, Angela Thomas, Vicki Courtney, Jennifer Rothschild, et. al. got that level of drugs would they have done differently?  I bet not!
     
    Defeating Depression by Leslie Vernick (page 61). . . . “I do see a growing trend that deeply concerns me.  I see many women relying on antidepressants to feel better, but neglecting the internal and relational work they need to do if their depression isn’t purely physical to actually get better. . . . . . . This is dangerous thinking and dangerous living.  Outcome research has shown individual therapy to be as effective as medication and sometimes more so in helping a depressed person recover.”  . . . . I bet if Hitler didn’t try to fix all his issues with very, very powerful drugs, and got himself into good individual therapy, WWII may have never happened.  He hated Jews for what a Jewish doctor had done to his mother (-see sources above).  What if some counselor had showed him how to really forgive that Jewish Doctor and then love himself?  Re: Kim Fredrickson, Building A Compassionate Relationship With Yourself and Give Yourself a Break: Turning Your Inner Critic into a Compassionate Friend.   
     
    From my own life, when I begin to glimpse the real reality of God, the natural reaction is to just worship Him.  Other days. . . .other days I do not have that reaction which is a fairly sure sign that I haven’t yet fully/ really understood who He is or what He’s done.  So, I am made for spirituality, but I wallow in introspection.  Logic cannot comprehend that love.  Love is the deepest mode of knowing, because it is love that, while completely engaging with reality other than itself, affirms and celebrates that other-than-self reality.  I know, I don’t really understand it either.  But I think the most important decisions we make in life are not made by post-enlightenment left-brain rationality.  . . . . So how do we permanently leave all that doubt behind, in the tomb of Jesus Christ, all that belongs to brokenness and incompleteness and follow Jesus Christ into God’s new world?  . . .I see many in the church have turned their back on serious study, and have embraced an anti-intellectualism which refuses to learn anything from scholarship at all lest it corrupt their “pure faith.”  It is time to end this standoff, and to reestablish a hermeneutic of trust (itself a sign of the gospel!) in place of the hermeneutic of suspicion which the church has so disastrously borrowed from the postmodern world. 
     
    “Insanity is everyone expecting you not to fall apart when you find out many things you believed in were unsubstantiated concepts innocently passed along as fact.”  –Aleea Rodgers
     
    Sensitive people are the most genuine and honest people you will ever meet.  There is nothing they won’t tell you about themselves if they trust your kindness.  However, the moment you betray them, reject them or devalue them, I think they become the worse type of person.  By God’s grace they may, if He is willing, change.  There are no great women or men of God. . . just weak, broken, doubting women and often way worse men of a totally great and absolutely merciful, awesome God!!! . . .  Again, they don’t want to hurt other people.  It is against their very nature.  They want to make amends and undo the wrong they did.  Their life is a wave of highs and lows.  They live with guilt and constant pain over unresolved situations and misunderstandings.  They are tortured souls that are not able to live with hatred or being hated.  This type of person needs the most love anyone can give them because their soul has been constantly bruised by others.  However, despite the tragedy of what they have to go through in life, they remain the most compassionate people worth knowing, and the ones that often become real activists for the broken hearted, forgotten and the misunderstood.  They are angels with broken wings that only fly when loved.

  17. Maria on November 4, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks Leslie for a very good article.

  18. Liz on November 4, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Hi Leslie
    Thank you again for touching on a subject that is really relevant to many of our circumstances

    I have struggled with my husbands Aspergers diagnosis 6 years ago ( 28 years into our marriage) . While not a mental illness, he likes to think of it as a superior and evolutionary state, it was easy for it to become an excuse for all his past and present abuse.

    I wrestled with the diagnosis for quite a time feeling guilty I still needed to try and put in boundaries to protect my own sanity.

    I still struggle but I’ve come to see that his bullying ways whether AS or not are destructive and that I ( and I can’t speak for how anyone else would be with him ) can’t cope – so I’m trying to put boundaries in but I find the stronger my boundaries are the more he escalates – so too many times I find myself caving or going along with his ‘needs’ just to cope

    It won’t be surprising to hear then that I’m the one who has ended up with PTSD and severe depression – sometimes it makes me feel like it is my fault after all

    Leslie your books and the ladies on this site who describe such familiar things – are helping me to keep a grip on my latest understanding – which is regardless of who is to blame I need to eventually have time out from my husband to stay alive

    I have managed to put a holding deposit on a new build for me – ( it’s a long story but it’s the only way I can afford to separate and both our names will be on both properties)

    It will be nearly a year before I will be able to move in – so I have to cope until then – but this is the boundary – after 32 years of destructive marriage – that I need to stay alive to enjoy my grandchild

    I’m not fussed how it is interpreted – I’m not – at this stage divorcing him or even particularly saying we are separated – I just can’t continue to live under the same roof

    Beyond that we will see – if he finds someone else that would be a relief

    Sorry marriage has been everything to me – and loving God – I only married because I thought in God it would be safe – but it wasn’t –

    I struggle with the effect moving out will have on my adult children and grandchild but although I can’t say it to them I’ve had to come to accept that moving out is the lesser harm than me suicidiing. So in a funny way I am doing this for them and so I can rebuild my life with the Lord

    It may seem like an excessive boundary but nothing else has worked – and how it will be regarding visitation etc I’m not sure but I’m hoping that at the end of the day I will not be powerless in my own little home

    My heart goes out to everyone – you are all so brave – thank you for sharing your stories it really helps X

    • Remedy on November 4, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      Totally, totally relate Liz. Thank you for sharing what you’ve chosen to do to stay safe and sane.

      • Liz on November 4, 2015 at 9:18 pm

        Thank you

    • susen on November 4, 2015 at 11:17 pm

      Dear Liz~

      Please, please don’t give up! I am twenty-five years out of where you are now. I promise you that God has JOY and PEACE in store for you. He does not want His precious child to give up.

      For twenty years, I lived in great big houses with virtual bars on windows and doors. I took anti-depressants, was ordered to get hormone cream, was the sole breadwinner for the final eight years, endured his many affairs as well as his many disgusting demands. When God hit me on the head (I have no other explanation for what happened,) I began to fight for and, subsequently, gain my freedom. It was hard, but not nearly the astronomical task I had feared.
      I got to take my two daughters to our own little home–a real home filled to overflowing with life and fun and laughter. The kids brought their friends over–my friends were welcomed. It was a tiny, two bedroom Victorian. My older daughter had to use the living room as her bedroom. It did not matter. We lived life abundantly in that little house–free from rages and tyranny and all of the bad stuff that we left behind. I had lace curtains that billowed at night as the wind came in through big, ancient floor to ceiling windows. My point in these reminiscences is that there is life out there–please trust God and embrace your future.

      I am praying for you and your family. God bless you. susen

      • Liz on November 5, 2015 at 1:52 am

        Thank you

    • Kathy on January 14, 2016 at 8:19 am

      Hi Liz,

      I can relate to your struggles with an Asperger spouse. I’ve
      been married 14 years to my husband who meets the criteria for Aspergers, yet refuses to go for counseling/testing. He blamed me for almost everything that went wrong. I’ve recently started standing up to him. What a difference! But it’s still a struggle when he obsesses on topics and misinterprets conversation etc. Life can be isolating with him and I am rebuilding my interests and friendships despite his rigid rules. Any insight would be appreciated.

      • Liz on January 14, 2016 at 5:13 pm

        Hi Kathy
        I think one of the things that has helped me the most is understanding that regardless of the reason or intent of my H’s behaviour the effect it is having on me emotionally, physically and even spiritually demonstrates that this is a destructive relationship for me. Leslie in her book focuses in on the behaviour and impacts not the causes – it really helped me come to terms with the feeling that AS somehow made it ok because maybe he couldn’t help it.

        The other thing is that we did go to an AS specialist counselor for a couple of years. And still there was no overall change. Whereas other AS clients of this counselor had changed significantly enough to improve their relationship.

        I have prayed for years for God to intervene and bring revelation and change but I can only be responsible for me and my change

        You sound like you are doing well starting to put in boundaries and increasing your outside network – that’s so good I had to do the same

        Just a word of caution for me – ( and hopefully it isn’t the same for you) – I can’t keep boundaries high enough or firm enough to work long term – ( it’s why I am buying my own little place – but even then he corrects me and says it is OUR place because at this stage I need our joint money involved) – my H always escalates higher the more firm I am with boundaries – I can have small wins but they are usually followed by punishment of some sort. To complicate things he will excuse this by saying he is stressed ( because he is AS). Whether my H is AS or not ( the counselor said he was) – he is also a BULLY THROUGH AND THROUGH SO SELF FOCUSED and he CANT SEE THINGS FROM ANOTHER PERSON’S PERSPECTIVE – ( he actually treats me like I am a part of him and gets so cross when I don’t like coffee or flying etc) – he is abusive even though he can’t see it or acknowledge it.

        In the end I’ve had to accept I can’t cope living with him even though I strongly believe in marriage

        I wish you all the best, are you able to get counseling support for yourself – it helps – the feeling of living on eggshells and the ‘crazies’ are often amplified in AS relationships – I needed – still need – to be reminded that it isn’t all me or my fault

        Take care

  19. Michele on November 4, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Good for you! I admire your courage and not waiting or wasting any more years. God bless you and your kids!

  20. Leonie on November 4, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    I have wondered many times if my ex was bipolar or depressed as he demonstrated so much paranoia.
    If I ever suggested anything he became very angry and defensive & completely unwilling to consider getting any help or a diagnosis. He is a tormented soul but I doubt he will ever go for help. The judge that spoke into our situation a few months ago suggested we get an assessment done – my guess is that is very expensive. I doibt it will ever happen but I still think there is something there – I know there was a condition in the DSM called ‘intermittent explosive disorder’ and also narcissism and disordered personality descriptions that resonated with my experiences but a diagnosis may never happen. Thankfully we are separated and the chaos no longer affects me but it still affects our child on access visits.

  21. janice' on November 5, 2015 at 12:42 am

    Great article Leslie. Thank you. I also had a bipolar sister. She could be very nasty. I chose not to be around her when she got into that state.I had to protect myself .I also worked in a pysch unit and found some of the sweetest, caring, compassionate patients. I wonder to this day how they are doing and pray that God would be merciful to them. I agree with you. There is a difference between evil and mental illness..

  22. Jennifer on November 5, 2015 at 6:55 am

    What a beautiful story Susen, thank you for shaing.

  23. Sandra Anderson on November 5, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Liz: My heart and prayers go out to you. Even though your husband has mental health needs, you also need to retain your sanity. I know your time apart will revive you, and hopefully God will work it out so that you don’t need to return. God bless you, Sandra

    • Liz on November 6, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      Thanks xx

  24. Jane on November 5, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Everyone in my husband’s life – family, friends, doctors – thinks he is battling depression. He has been told that he needs help. He has been encouraged to accept the help I offer. I have shown unreserved compassion and tried to share his pain. But he will not accept or get help. His abuse was making me physically and emotionally ill.

    But…… I decided to move out 2 months ago. Our state does not have legal separation, so I applied for Spousal Support and now receive it. It is an automatic withdrawal from his paycheck. Now he pays for me to live in my own apartment. I have a part-time job. I get good sleep. I am putting the pieces back together while he still decides what he wants to do. I am not looking for divorce, just safety and sanity.

    This is nothing I ever dreamed I would have to do, but this boundary was necessary for my health, and ultimately for his, as well.

    • susen on November 5, 2015 at 11:38 pm

      Jane, may God bless you with peace and joy. Many are lifting you up in prayer.

      This is my nightly prayer for us all: God, please hear my prayer of thanksgiving for all who gather at Leslie’s blog. Thank you for Leslie, her message and wise counsel, and for creating this place of safety to share. Please minister healing to each of the broken hearts here and keep us safe from further harm. Lord, I lift up the abusers, as well. Thank you for the peace of hearing my prayer. Amen

      • Leslie Vernick on November 6, 2015 at 9:01 pm

        Thanks Susen.

    • Leslie Vernick on November 6, 2015 at 9:31 pm

      Stubborn pride keeps many people from accepting the help they need, whether it be mental health help or just ordinary help.

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

        Leslie I love your quote.
        I should make a poster out of it. DOESNT MATTER IF ITS THE SIN OF ABUSE OR MENTAL ILLNESS- THE CAUSE IS THE SAME-
        STUBBORN PRIDE That refuses to see it, acknowledge it, and get help.

  25. Donna on November 6, 2015 at 12:57 am

    Dear Leslie, I so appreciate your article about mental illness. Thirty-eight and a half years ago, I married my husband because I thought he was the man God wanted me to marry…confirmed by the church we attended at the time. I do not believe that I loved my husband but I was committed to our marriage. Unbeknownst to me my husband had/has many issues. He was abandoned as a child, abused by a priest, lived on his own at the age of twelve, had taken many drugs and abused alcohol. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
    The first years of our “Christian” marriage my husband drank, did drugs, isolated me, psychologicly abused me, was in an accident where he almost died, pointed a loaded gun at me, did not work and we basically had an insane life.
    We had three children and he says he was a good father but it was a crazy time.
    I think I just hung on for dear life and just was putting one foot in front of the other.
    In 2004, my husband exhibited paranoid schizophrenia, crashed our car, set it on fire, lost his driving license and still we continued on never getting any help because my husband believed there was nothing wrong. We lived in Alaska at that point for twenty years. When I turned 55, I took early retirement from teaching and insisted we move back to the states. That was in 2009. For the next three years I attended a Bible believing church and for once had friends to confide in. In November 2012, I finally had enough and called the state troopers to have my husband take him to a mental health facility. He was released and was taken there one more time in December. He really didn’t receive any help there but was started on medication that calmed the schizophrenia.
    We basically have lived a crazy life for 36 years. Two years ago I went through a love and respect course and learned to get off the crazy cycle. And then a year ago I finally began to exhibit Grace towards my husband and started asking God to be present in our marriage.
    I truly do not believe I love my husband but I remain committed to our marriage. To God be the glory.
    If I had these years to do all over again, I would have left early and not have accepted any abuse. I would have sought help. I would have been a mature person and not have allowed myself to go through what I went through.
    I do believe that God will some how restore to me those lost years.

    • Mary2 on November 6, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      Wow Donna, you are amazing! I’ve just read today’s devotional (entitled Assurance in Trials that backs up what you say) – from Charles Stanley – below. Just do want to say that God’s faithfulness to us in all our trials is always there, and he honours our commitment to doing what we believe He would have us do:
      Assurance in Trials

      Romans 8:32-39

      We all experience hardship, and trials can shake us unless we cling to truth. Let me share three assurances to remember when troublesome circumstances arise.

      First, God will always meet our needs. This doesn’t mean He provides everything we want. Instead, the Lord will bless us with all that is necessary to fulfill His purpose for our lives. His goal is to sanctify us, not simply to satisfy each immediate desire.

      Second, we’re never alone. God promised to be with us always (Heb. 13:5). Loneliness often accompanies hardship, so we may feel deserted or opposed by family and friends. But our Father has sent His Spirit to be with us and in us, until the day He brings us to heaven (John 14:16-17). He is all we need–our advocate, guide, helper, and comforter. Recognizing His intimate presence gives us confidence in the midst of trials.

      Third, God’s love is eternal. Regardless of our circumstances or poor decisions, His care is unconditional–even when He reprimands us. Loving parents allow disobedient children to experience the consequences of wrong choices; they recognize the benefit of learning from mistakes. Of course, there are also times when we are negatively affected by others’ wrong actions. Even then, God is sovereign and allows only what will bring good in His followers’ lives.

      In difficult times, we can remember that God will meet all of our needs, is always with us, and loves us forever. Though Jesus said we would face troubles in this life, He offered encouragement: The ultimate victory is His. So keep in mind that trials are fleeting, whereas our Father’s love is forever.

      • Donna on November 7, 2015 at 5:38 pm

        Thank you for the reflections Mary.

      • Denice on November 12, 2015 at 6:55 pm

        Thank you Mary2 for sharing this beautiful devotion. My husband just moved out last night after 17-years of marriage. We have had some very beautiful seasons of love but we have also had a lot of painful and dangerous seasons where someone could have died. My husband was severely abused as a child and to this day he shows traits of narcissism, PTSD, ADHD and Bi-Polar tendencies. Right now he is being very loving to our kids but not to me. He verbally rips me to pieces and does it in front of them. He uses the bible against me as well, mocks me and tells me that I abuse him, he is tired of not being loved and he is going to find a woman who will submit to him, love him and not live in fear. This breaks my heart. He needs to do some serious healing and I believe a lot of it will need to begin with his mom who allowed abuse and also abused. I have struggled my entire marriage with feeling that this will always be my reaping because I backslid and married him when he was a non-believer. I don’t know if we will ever have a lasting, Godly marriage no matter how hard we have tried to do it in the past. It is good to be reminded of God’s mercy, even when I know that I won’t ever deserve it.

    • Leslie Vernick on November 6, 2015 at 9:01 pm

      Donna it’s not too late to not accept abuse.

      • Donna on November 7, 2015 at 5:42 pm

        Leslie, I know that and actually the abuse has stopped . It’s the memories that are difficult.

  26. Aleea on November 6, 2015 at 6:37 am

    ―All, I had posts I tried to post on this thread and the LV site rejected my posts again and again. I shut down the Blackberry because now those post are in the spam or delete queue (―or wherever they go when they reject on posting) and now they could be posted thrice or more if released, ―like happened on the last thread/post. . . . Well, be that as it may, thank you Leslie for this post and all the hard work you and you associates do to provide this advertisement free, non-pop-up-ad blog. You put so much content in each post that it is really, truly hard to ever know where to start when commenting. ―Mental illness is a massively complex issue that cuts both ways.

    . . . . .And mental illness is so hard because it just breaks all the rules and you can have infinite combinations. The DSM-IV-TR is a 943-page textbook published by the American Psychiatric Association…There are currently 374 mental disorders in there. The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness, -wow that’s huge. There may come a day when holding strong religious beliefs will just be another form of mental illness. Re: Science will fly you to the stars….religion flies us into buildings (re: 911). Since two people with no symptoms in common can both receive the same diagnosis of schizophrenia, then what is the value of that label in describing their symptoms, deciding their treatment, or predicting their outcome? In 1949, neurologist Egas Moniz (1874-1955) received a Nobel Prize for his discovery of ‘the therapeutic value of leucotomy in certain psychoses’. Today, prefrontal leucotomy is derided as a barbaric treatment from a much darker age, ditto many antipsychotic drugs. . . .The mentally ill frighten and embarrass us and so we marginalize them. That disease comes with a package: shame. When any other part of your body gets sick, you get sympathy.

    In Defeating Depression by Leslie (page 61). . . . “I do see a growing trend that deeply concerns me. I see many women relying on antidepressants to feel better, but neglecting the internal and relational work they need to do if their depression isn’t purely physical to actually get better. . . . . . . This is dangerous thinking and dangerous living. Outcome research has shown individual therapy to be as effective as medication and sometimes more so in helping a depressed person recover.” . . . . I bet if Hitler didn’t try to fix all his issues with very, very powerful drugs, and got himself into good individual therapy, WWII may have never happened. He hated Jews for what a Jewish doctor had done to his mother (See The Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor by David Irving –and- Hitler, Homer, Bible Christ –yes, that is the title-: The Historical Papers) The Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor by David Irving are free on Irving’s site. . . . . What if some counselor had showed Hitler how to really forgive that Jewish Doctor and then love himself? Re: Kim Fredrickson, Building A Compassionate Relationship With Yourself and Give Yourself a Break: Turning Your Inner Critic into a Compassionate Friend. . . . . And, btw, you have never met a person with as narrow an understanding of the world as a person from the ancient world where demons (evil) caused everything. The fact that 1st century people didn’t have that sensibility in antiquity is precisely what puts us in realms of uncertainty about many things they said. Just like various Islamic groups have sent people off to institutions for being gay, being a female with sexual desires, learning how the solar system truly operates, etc. The time could come when holding on to our ideas about God could be considered insanity. . . . . So, Hitler spent the whole war getting C10H15N electrochemical hits to his neurotransmitters. It is a miracle it was not even worse. If Kelly Minter, Lisa Harper, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Angie Smith, Tammie Head, Angela Thomas, Vicki Courtney, Jennifer Rothschild, et. al. got that level of drugs would they have done differently? I bet not!

    And it is all so sad it leaves nothing more to say: “. . . unfaithful, alcoholic, jealous and controlling from the beginning of our marriage. . . . I set boundaries, and he later left me.” “The first years of our “Christian” marriage my husband drank, did drugs, isolated me, psychologicly abused me, was in an accident where he almost died, pointed a loaded gun at me, did not work and we basically had an insane life.” ―Sandra, Donna, et. al. I am so praying for you that God will do exceeding, abundantly above all that you could ever ask, or even think in the rest of your life! I don’t even know how that is possible but I am praying it for you all anyway. . . . . And, yes, I rather be a stupid person wanting clarification and answers, in order to be wiser, than one that blindly believes without question. . . . page 533, The Old Testament from 26 Translations, Zondervan; Proverbs Fourteen: “. . . .the simple man believes every word he hears; but the prudent man understand the need for proof.” . . . . ―Actually, I would rather just be be deeply loved and have no (zero) faith issues. . . . .Most people get this death grip on what they “know,” and the only thing that loosens their grasp is some kind of tragedy. ―And yes, it goes both ways. . . . . So, if our eyes are no longer focused on what is most comfortable to us but instead our lives are fixed on what is most glorifying to God, then in Him we should find far greater reward than anything our culture could ever offer us.

  27. Jennifer on November 6, 2015 at 7:05 am

    Yes Robin, I have considered that and have told him that, he doesn’t believe he needs meds or has a mental illness, he feels justified in his behavior and says he has righteous anger. He will not apologize, it is all of us who are UnGodly and he is just telling us the truth which we all apparently don’t get. We are being spiritually abused. All I can do is take care of myself and ignore his tantrums. I explain to the kids that dad is sick but we don’t love him any less. I have a daugher who also has bi-polar and is a very difficult person to be around, thankfully though she does take medication.

  28. Aleea on November 6, 2015 at 9:56 am

    ―All, I had posts I tried to post on this thread and the LV site rejected my posts again and again. I shut down the Blackberry because now those post are in the spam or delete queue (―or wherever they go when they reject on posting: re: The requested resource could not be loaded because the server returned an error: 409 Conflict. https://leslievernick.com/wp-comments-post.php) and now they could be posted thrice or more if released, ―like happened on the last thread/post. . . . Anyways, a-n-y-w-a-y-s, I don’t even know why I care so much what it looks like, the optics of it, God knows my heart. I’ll tell you all one thing I always pray for: “Lord, please help me be w-a-y more concerned with what You, Lord think about me than other people. Lord, I repent of worrying more about what others think of me than You. ―Help me, please to think of You first.” . . . So, be that as it may, ―AND thank you Martha for all your help with the mysteries of Word Press (the blog software). I appreciate that! ―And thank you Leslie for this post and all the hard work you and you associates do to provide this advertisement free, non-pop-up-ads blog. Leslie, you put so much content in each post that it is really, truly hard to even know where to start when commenting.

    ―So, mental illness is a massively complex issue that cuts both ways. . . . . .And mental illness is so hard because it just breaks all the rules because you can have infinite combinations. The DSM-IV-TR is a 943-page textbook published by the American Psychiatric Association…There are currently 374 mental disorders in there. The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness, -wow that’s huge. Unfortuneately, there may even come a day when holding strong religious beliefs will just be another form of mental illness. Re: Science will fly you to the stars….religion flies us into buildings (re: 911). Since two people with no symptoms in common can both receive the same diagnosis of schizophrenia, what is the value of that label in describing their symptoms, deciding their treatment, or predicting their outcome? In 1949, neurologist Egas Moniz (1874-1955) received a Nobel Prize for his discovery of ‘the therapeutic value of leucotomy in certain psychoses’. Today, prefrontal leucotomy is derided as a barbaric treatment from a much darker age, ditto many antipsychotic drugs. . . .The mentally ill frighten and embarrass us and so we marginalize them. That disease comes with a package: shame. When any other part of your body gets sick, you generally get sympathy.

    In Defeating Depression by Leslie (page 61). . . . “I do see a growing trend that deeply concerns me. I see many women relying on antidepressants to feel better, but neglecting the internal and relational work they need to do if their depression isn’t purely physical to actually get better. . . . . . . This is dangerous thinking and dangerous living. Outcome research has shown individual therapy to be as effective as medication and sometimes more so in helping a depressed person recover.” . . . . I bet if Hitler didn’t try to fix all his issues with very, very powerful drugs, and got himself into good individual therapy, WWII may have never happened. He hated Jews for what a Jewish doctor had done to his mother (See The Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor by David Irving –and- Hitler, Homer, Bible Christ –yes, that is the title-: The Historical Papers) The Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor by David Irving are free on Irving’s site. . . . . What if some counselor had showed Hitler how to really forgive that Jewish Doctor and then love himself? Re: Kim Fredrickson, Building A Compassionate Relationship With Yourself and Give Yourself a Break: Turning Your Inner Critic into a Compassionate Friend. . . . . And, btw, you have never met a person with as narrow an understanding of the world as a person from the ancient world where demons (evil) caused everything. The fact that 1st century people didn’t have that sensibility in antiquity is precisely what puts us in realms of uncertainty about many things they said. Just like various Islamic groups have sent people off to institutions for being gay, being a female with sexual desires, learning how the solar system truly operates, etc. The time could come when holding on to our ideas about God could be considered insanity. . . . . So, Hitler spent the whole war getting C10H15N electro-chemical hits to his neurotransmitters. It is a miracle it was not even worse. If Kelly Minter, Lisa Harper, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Angie Smith, Tammie Head, Angela Thomas, Vicki Courtney, Jennifer Rothschild, et. al. got that level of drugs would they have done differently? I bet not!

    And it is all so sad it leaves nothing more to say: “. . . unfaithful, alcoholic, jealous and controlling from the beginning of our marriage. . . . I set boundaries, and he later left me.” “The first years of our “Christian” marriage my husband drank, did drugs, isolated me, psychologically abused me, was in an accident where he almost died, pointed a loaded gun at me, did not work and we basically had an insane life.” ―Sandra, Donna, et. al. . . . . . .I am so praying for you that God will do exceeding, abundantly above all that you could ever ask, or even think in the rest of your lives! I don’t even know how that is possible but I am praying it for you all anyway. . . . . And, yes, I rather be a stupid person wanting clarification and answers, in order to be wiser, than one that blindly believes without question. . . . page 533, The Old Testament from 26 Translations, Zondervan; Proverbs Fourteen: “. . . .the simple man believes every word he hears; but the prudent man understand the need for proof.” . . . . ―Actually, I would rather just be be deeply loved and have no (zero) faith issues. . . . .Most people get this death grip on what they “know,” and the only thing that loosens their grasp is some kind of tragedy. ―And yes, it goes both ways. . . . . So, if our eyes are no longer focused on what is most comfortable to us but instead our lives are fixed on what is most glorifying to God, then in Him we should find far greater reward than anything our culture could ever offer us, at least I hope that is true.

    I wanted to end with this thought: If your heart is clean, as far you know, and you can see your way clear, take back your mental sovereignty. Then ask yourself: “What is consistent with real love, with Christ’s love? Jesus in Luke twelve says: “Why don’t YOU judge for yourselves what is right?” Think for ourselves? —yes. We have all the consequences, why don’t we have the choices? . . . . My pastor always says: “No matter how tough the situation, you still have to hang on.” That is too simplistic and we know that can’t always be the case re: mental illness in marriage. The solution for “I can’t live this way anymore” is basically, “Good! Don’t live that way anymore.” Get the love and support you need. . . .The Kingdom of Heaven is not for the well-meaning it is for the absolutely desperate to find God. . . . What we wait around a lifetime for with one person, we can find in a moment with someone else. . .From The Emotionally Destructive Relationship: “. . . . page 183. . . “The people who know God well—the mystics, the hermits, those who risk everything to find God—always meet a lover, . . . . . always a lover who is more than we dared hope for. . . . .”

  29. Aleea on November 6, 2015 at 10:05 am

    ―All, I had posts I tried to post on this thread and the LV site rejected my posts again and again.  I shut down the Blackberry because now those post are in the spam or delete queue (―or wherever they go when they reject on posting: re: The requested resource could not be loaded because the server returned an error: 409 Conflict. https://leslievernick.com/wp-comments-post.php) and now they could be posted thrice or more if released, ―like happened on the last thread/post.  . . . Anyways, a-n-y-w-a-y-s, I don’t even know why I care so much what it looks like, the optics of it, God knows my heart.  I’ll tell you all one thing I always pray for: “Lord, please help me be w-a-y more concerned with what You, Lord think about me than other people.  Lord, I repent of worrying more about what others think of me than You.  ―Help me, please to think of You first.” . . . So, be that as it may, ―AND thank you Martha for all your help with the mysteries of Word Press (the blog software).  I appreciate that!  ―And thank you Leslie for this post and all the hard work you and you associates do to provide this advertisement free, non-pop-up-ads blog.  Leslie, you put so much content in each post that it is really, truly hard to even know where to start when commenting. 
     
    ―So, mental illness is a massively complex issue that cuts both ways. . . . . .And mental illness is so hard because it just breaks all the rules because you can have infinite combinations.  The DSM-IV-TR is a 943-page textbook published by the American Psychiatric Association…There are currently 374 mental disorders in there.  The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness, -wow that’s huge.  Unfortunately, there may even come a day when holding strong religious beliefs will just be another form of mental illness.  Re: Science will fly you to the stars….religion flies us into buildings (re: 911).  Since two people with no symptoms in common can both receive the same diagnosis of schizophrenia, what is the value of that label in describing their symptoms, deciding their treatment, or predicting their outcome?  In 1949, neurologist Egas Moniz (1874-1955) received a Nobel Prize for his discovery of ‘the therapeutic value of leucotomy in certain psychoses’.  Today, prefrontal leucotomy is derided as a barbaric treatment from a much darker age, ditto many antipsychotic drugs.  . . .The mentally ill frighten and embarrass us and so we marginalize them.  That disease comes with a package: shame.  When any other part of your body gets sick, you generally get sympathy.
     
    In Defeating Depression by Leslie (page 61). . . . “I do see a growing trend that deeply concerns me.  I see many women relying on antidepressants to feel better, but neglecting the internal and relational work they need to do if their depression isn’t purely physical to actually get better. . . . . . . This is dangerous thinking and dangerous living.  Outcome research has shown individual therapy to be as effective as medication and sometimes more so in helping a depressed person recover.”  . . . . I bet if Hitler didn’t try to fix all his issues with very, very powerful drugs, and got himself into good individual therapy, WWII may have never happened.  He hated Jews for what a Jewish doctor had done to his mother (See The Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor by David Irving –and- Hitler, Homer, Bible Christ –yes, that is the title-: The Historical Papers)  The Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor by David Irving are free on Irving’s site.  . . . . What if some counselor had showed Hitler how to really forgive that Jewish Doctor and then love himself?  Re: Kim Fredrickson, Building A Compassionate Relationship With Yourself and Give Yourself a Break: Turning Your Inner Critic into a Compassionate Friend. . . . . And, btw, you have never met a person with as narrow an understanding of the world as a person from the ancient world where demons (evil) caused everything.  The fact that 1st century people didn’t have that sensibility in antiquity is precisely what puts us in realms of uncertainty about many things they said.  Just like various Islamic groups have sent people off to institutions for being gay, being a female with sexual desires, learning how the solar system truly operates, etc.  The time could come when holding on to our ideas about God could be considered insanity.   . . . . So, Hitler spent the whole war getting C10H15N electrochemical hits to his neurotransmitters.  It is a miracle it was not even worse.  If Kelly Minter, Lisa Harper, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Angie Smith, Tammie Head, Angela Thomas, Vicki Courtney, Jennifer Rothschild, et. al. got that level of drugs would they have done differently?  I bet not!
     
    And it is all so sad it leaves nothing more to say: “. . . unfaithful, alcoholic, jealous and controlling from the beginning of our marriage. . . . I set boundaries, and he later left me.”  “The first years of our “Christian” marriage my husband drank, did drugs, isolated me, psychologically abused me, was in an accident where he almost died, pointed a loaded gun at me, did not work and we basically had an insane life.”  ―Sandra, Donna, et. al. . . . . . .I am so praying for you that God will do exceeding, abundantly above all that you could ever ask, or even think in the rest of your lives!  I don’t even know how that is possible but I am praying it for you all anyway.  . . . . And, yes, I rather be a stupid person wanting clarification and answers, in order to be wiser, than one that blindly believes without question. . . . page 533, The Old Testament from 26 Translations, Zondervan; Proverbs Fourteen: “. . . .the simple man believes every word he hears; but the prudent man understand the need for proof.” . . . . ―Actually, I would rather just be deeply loved and have no (zero) faith issues.  . . . .Most people get this death grip on what they “know,” and the only thing that loosens their grasp is some kind of tragedy.  ―And yes, it goes both ways. . . . . So, if our eyes are no longer focused on what is most comfortable to us but instead our lives are fixed on what is most glorifying to God, then in Him we should find far greater reward than anything our culture could ever offer us, at least I hope that is true.
     
    I wanted to end with this thought:  If your heart is clean, as far you know, and you can see your way clear, take back your mental sovereignty.  Then ask yourself: “What is consistent with real love, with Christ’s love?  Jesus in Luke twelve says: “Why don’t YOU judge for yourselves what is right?”  Think for ourselves? —yes.  We have all the consequences, why don’t we have the choices?  . . . . My pastor always says: “No matter how tough the situation, you still have to hang on.”  That is too simplistic and we know that can’t always be the case re: mental illness in marriage.  The solution for “I can’t live this way anymore” is basically, “Good! Don’t live that way anymore.”  Get the love and support you need. . . .The Kingdom of Heaven is not for the well-meaning it is for the absolutely desperate to find God. . . . What we wait around a lifetime for with one person, we can find in a moment with someone else. . .From The Emotionally Destructive Relationship: “. . . . page 183. . . “The people who know God well—the mystics, the hermits, those who risk everything to find God—always meet a lover,  . . . . . always a lover who is more than we dared hope for. . . . . “

  30. Leonie on November 6, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Not taking medications when you are mentally ill is a huge issue. Many people want do go off them once they are stabilized and feel good, then the symptoms all come back, of course. Not taking the meds when you need them is a huge a deal breaker that makes it hard for the spouse to live with the ill person!!
    Take care of your self and ignoring the tantrums may not be enough! Jennifer, you may need to separate until he will take medication or stop abusing you. Be strong, you have leverage!

  31. Sandra Anderson on November 6, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    That is a lovely prayer, dear Susen. I also pray for Leslie and all our “Sisters” on this blog, but I must admit I never worded it so beautifully. This blog is such a blessing to my heart, and I praise the Lord for it!
    Sandra

  32. Aleea on November 6, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    ―Thank you Martha for all your help with the mysteries of Word Press (the blog software). I appreciate that! ―And thank you Leslie for this post and all the hard work you and you associates do to provide this advertisement free, non-pop-up-ads blog. Leslie, you put so much content in each post that it is really, truly hard to even know where to start when commenting.

    ―So, mental illness is a massively complex issue that cuts both ways. . . . . .And mental illness is so hard because it just breaks all the rules due to have infinite combinations. The DSM-IV-TR is a 943-page textbook published by the American Psychiatric Association…There are currently 374 mental disorders in there. The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness, -wow that’s huge. Since two people with no symptoms in common can both receive the same diagnosis of schizophrenia, it is hard to know what is going on. . . .It is clear that the mentally ill frighten and embarrass us and so, as a society, we marginalize them. That disease comes with a package: shame. When any other part of your body gets sick, you generally get sympathy.

    In Defeating Depression by Leslie (page 61) she says. . . . “I do see a growing trend that deeply concerns me. I see many women relying on antidepressants to feel better, but neglecting the internal and relational work they need to do if their depression isn’t purely physical to actually get better. . . . . . . This is dangerous thinking and dangerous living. Outcome research has shown individual therapy to be as effective as medication and sometimes more so in helping a depressed person recover.” . . . . I bet if Hitler didn’t try to fix all his issues with very, very powerful drugs, and got himself into good individual therapy, WWII may have never happened. He hated Jews for what a Jewish doctor had done to his mother (See The Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor by David Irving –and- Hitler, Homer, Bible Christ –yes, that is the title-: The Historical Papers.) The Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor by David Irving are free on Irving’s site. . . . . What if some counselor had showed Hitler how to really forgive that Jewish Doctor and then love himself? Re: Kim Fredrickson, Building A Compassionate Relationship With Yourself and Give Yourself a Break: Turning Your Inner Critic into a Compassionate Friend. . . . . So, Hitler spent the whole war getting C10H15N electrochemical hits to his neurotransmitters. It is a miracle it was not even worse. If Kelly Minter, Lisa Harper, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Angie Smith, Tammie Head, Angela Thomas, Vicki Courtney, Jennifer Rothschild, et. al. got that level of drugs would they have done differently? I hope so but probably not!

    And it is all so sad: “. . . unfaithful, alcoholic, jealous and controlling from the beginning of our marriage. . . . I set boundaries, and he later left me.” “The first years of our “Christian” marriage my husband drank, did drugs, isolated me, psychologically abused me, was in an accident where he almost died, pointed a loaded gun at me, did not work and we basically had an insane life.” ―Sandra, Donna, et. al. . . . . . .I am so praying for you that God will do exceeding, abundantly above all that you could ever ask, or even think in the rest of your lives! I don’t even know how that is possible but I am praying it for you all anyway.

    I wanted to end with this thought: If your heart is clean, as far you know, and you can see your way clear, take back your mental sovereignty. Then ask yourself: “What is consistent with real love, with Christ’s love? Jesus in Luke twelve says: “Why don’t YOU judge for yourselves what is right?” We have all the consequences, why don’t we have the choices? . . . . My pastor always says: “No matter how tough the situation, you still have to hang on.” That is just too simplistic and we know that can’t always be the case re: mental illness in marriage. The solution for “I can’t live this way anymore” is basically, “Good! Don’t live that way anymore.” Get the love and support you need. . . .The Kingdom of Heaven is not for the well-meaning it is for the absolutely desperate to find God. . . . What we wait around a lifetime for with one person, we can find in a moment with someone else. . .From The Emotionally Destructive Relationship: “. . . . page 183. . . “The people who know God well—the mystics, the hermits, those who risk everything to find God—always meet a lover, . . . . . always a lover who is more than we dared hope for. . . . . “

  33. hopefully on November 6, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    Mental illness is very hard that’s for sure, everything else is unsure. The same patient could see numerous doctors and get numerous diagnosis. There is very little scientific evidence to back up a diagnosis, even symptoms have little evidence. How do we understand without God’s guidance, we can’t. We won’t truly know how much trouble has been caused in our lives because of mental illness or not until we look back from heaven. So how do we cope, prayer, prayer and more prayer. Patience, love and boundaries. Psychiatrists don’t allow their patients a listening ear unless they are receiving respect in their office. We should listen as well but only when respected. We are not helping anyone by letting them disregard natural laws. A mentally ill person needs coping skills to have a successful relationship, don’t we all. Let’s meet our mentally ill loved ones with love and require a healthful relationship. My point is truth will make anyone free and we can live with illness and be free in Christ, praise the Lord.

  34. Aleea on November 6, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    ―Thank you Martha for all your help with the mysteries of the Word Press blog software. I appreciate that! I don’t even know how this got posted. I tried posting multiple times from my Blackberry; from my tablet; from my laptop and then from my home computer. . . .―Oh my, if all those umpteen attempts somehow get released like happened on the last thread/post ―and this current post being on mental illness. . . .well, Lord, please help me be way more concerned with what You, Lord think about me than other people! ―Again, thank you so very much Martha.

    ―And thank you Leslie for this post and all the hard work you and you associates do to provide this advertisement free, non-pop-up-ads blog. Leslie, you put so much content in each post that it is really, truly hard to even know where to start when commenting.

    “Friend, what boundaries have you put in place with a spouse who is mentally ill?” . . . . I don’t think anyone in my circle of interactions is mentally ill (-but I am biased) maybe they are. ―Maybe I am, I hope not. ―Mental illness is a massively complex issue that cuts in all directions and it is so hard because it just breaks all the rules due to infinite combinations. The DSM-IV-TR is a 943-page textbook published by the American Psychiatric Association…There are currently 374 mental disorders in there. The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness. ―Wow that’s huge. Since two people with no symptoms in common can, for example, both receive the same diagnosis of schizophrenia, it is hard to know what is going on. . . .It is clear that the mentally ill frighten and embarrass us and so, as a society, we marginalize them, very sad. That disease comes with a package: shame. When any other part of your body gets sick, you generally get sympathy.

    In Defeating Depression by Leslie (page 61) she says. . . . “I do see a growing trend that deeply concerns me. I see many women relying on antidepressants to feel better, but neglecting the internal and relational work they need to do if their depression isn’t purely physical to actually get better. . . . . . . This is dangerous thinking and dangerous living. Outcome research has shown individual therapy to be as effective as medication and sometimes more so in helping a depressed person recover.” . . . . I bet if Hitler didn’t try to fix all his issues with very, very powerful drugs, and got himself into good individual therapy, WWII may have never happened. He hated Jews for what a Jewish doctor had done to his mother (See The Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor by David Irving –and- Hitler, Homer, Bible Christ –yes, that is the title-: The Historical Papers.) The Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor by David Irving are free on Irving’s site. . . . . What if some counselor had showed Hitler how to really forgive that Jewish Doctor and then love himself? Re: Kim Fredrickson, Building A Compassionate Relationship With Yourself and Give Yourself a Break: Turning Your Inner Critic into a Compassionate Friend. . . . . So, Hitler spent the whole war getting C10H15N electrochemical hits to his neurotransmitters. It is a miracle it was not even worse. If Kelly Minter, Lisa Harper, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Angie Smith, Tammie Head, Angela Thomas, Vicki Courtney, Jennifer Rothschild, et. al. got that level of drugs would they have done differently? I hope so but proabably not!

    And what can be said about these individual heartbreaking cases: “. . . unfaithful, alcoholic, jealous and controlling from the beginning of our marriage. . . . I set boundaries, and he later left me.” “The first years of our “Christian” marriage my husband drank, did drugs, isolated me, psychologically abused me, was in an accident where he almost died, pointed a loaded gun at me, did not work and we basically had an insane life.” ―Sandra, Donna, et. al. . . . . . .I am so praying for you all that God will do exceeding, abundantly above all that you could ever ask, or even think in the rest of your lives! I don’t even know how that is possible but I am praying it for you all.

    So, if your heart is clean, as far you know, and you can see your way clear, take back your mental sovereignty. Take it ―ALL― the way back. Then ask yourself: “What is consistent with real love, with Christ’s love? Jesus in Luke twelve says: “Why don’t YOU judge for yourselves what is right?” We have all the consequences, we have the choices. . . . . My pastor always says: “No matter how tough the situation, you still have to hang on.” . . . Well, that is just too simplistic and we know that can’t always be the case re: mental illness in marriage. The solution for “I can’t live this way anymore” is basically, “Good! Don’t live that way anymore.” Get the love and support you need. . . .The Kingdom of Heaven is not for the well-meaning it is for the absolutely desperate to find God. . . . What we wait around a lifetime for with one person, we can find in a moment with someone else. . .From The Emotionally Destructive Relationship: “. . . . page 183. . . “The people who know God well—the mystics, the hermits, those who risk everything to find God—always meet a lover, . . . . . always a lover who is more than we dared hope for. . . . . “

    —Frankly, many on the folks posting on these blog threads are experts in staying positive. It is amazing to me. How is that even possible? —From, Lord, I Just Want to Be Happy by Leslie (page 163): “. . . Thanksgiving is a Command. . . . Biblically speaking, gratitude is not an option. God commands it and as believers, it is to permeate our lives. However, early on in my Christian life I found it diflicult to give thanks in all circumstances. As a counselor, at times I thought it bordered on craziness. I would ask myself how it was possible to be thankful for losing a job or a loved one. How could a person be thankful for a rotten childhood [or a rotten, mental case husband]? Yet as I have grown in my journey of experiencing more happiness, gratitude is an important positive emotion we must cultivate.” . . . I am glad that no matter what happens, gratitude is not an option because frankly it is clear that negative thinking wrecks our lives and is a debilitating illness in and of itself slowly killing our spirit.

  35. Aleea on November 7, 2015 at 6:38 am

    ―Thank you Martha for all your help with the mysteries of the Word Press site software. I appreciate that! I don’t even know how this got posted. I tried posting multiple times from my Blackberry; from my tablet; from my laptop and then from my home computer. . . . ―Oh my, if all those umpteen attempts somehow get released like happened on the last thread/post ―and given this current post being on mental illness. . . . well, Lord, please help me be way more concerned with what You, Lord think about me than other people! ―Again, thank you so very much Martha.

    ―And thank you Leslie for this post and all the hard work you and you associates do to provide this advertisement free, non-pop-up-ads site. Leslie, you put so much content in each post that it is really, truly hard to even know where to start when commenting.

    “Friend, what boundaries have you put in place with a spouse who is mentally ill?” . . . . I don’t think anyone in my circle of interactions is mentally ill (-but I am biased) maybe they are. ―Maybe I am, I certainly hope not. ―Mental illness is a massively complex issue that cuts in all directions and it is so hard because it just breaks all the rules due to infinite combinations. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is a 943-page textbook published by the American Psychiatric Association. There are currently 374 mental disorders in there. The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness. ―Wow that’s huge. Since two people with no symptoms in common can, for example, both receive the same diagnosis of schizophrenia, it is hard to know what is going on. . . . It is clear that the mentally ill frighten and embarrass us and so, as a society, we marginalize them, very sad. That disease comes with a package: shame. When any other part of your body gets sick, you generally get sympathy.

    In Defeating Depression by Leslie (page 61) she says. . . . “I do see a growing trend that deeply concerns me. I see many women relying on antidepressants to feel better, but neglecting the internal and relational work they need to do if their depression isn’t purely physical to actually get better. . . . This is dangerous thinking and dangerous living. Outcome research has shown individual therapy to be as effective as medication and sometimes more so in helping a depressed person recover.” . . . . I bet if Hitler didn’t try to fix all his issues with very, very powerful drugs, and got himself into good individual therapy, WWII may have never happened. He hated Jews for what a Jewish doctor had done to his mother (See The Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor by David Irving –also- Hitler, Homer, Bible Christ –yes, that is the title! Chapter 12 –and- David Irving, The Faking of Hitler’s ‘Last Testament’ –also- Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century, pages 355-56.) The Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor by David Irving are free on Irving’s site. ―Anyway, here is the point, what if some counselor had showed Hitler how to really forgive that Jewish doctor and then love himself? Re: Kim Fredrickson, Building A Compassionate Relationship With Yourself and Give Yourself a Break: Turning Your Inner Critic into a Compassionate Friend. Hitler spent decades getting amphetamine, et.al. electrochemical hits to his neurotransmitters. It is a miracle it was not even worse. If Kelly Minter, Lisa Harper, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Angie Smith, Tammie Head, Angela Thomas, Vicki Courtney, Jennifer Rothschild, you name them, got that level of drugs would they have done differently? I hope so but proabably not!

    ―And what can be said about these individual heartbreaking cases: “. . . unfaithful, alcoholic, jealous and controlling from the beginning of our marriage. . . . I set boundaries, and he later left me.” “The first years of our “Christian” marriage my husband drank, did drugs, isolated me, psychologically abused me, was in an accident where he almost died, pointed a loaded gun at me, did not work and we basically had an insane life.” ―Sandra, Donna, et. al. . . I don’t even know what to say. . . . I am so praying for you all that God will do exceeding, abundantly above all that you could ever ask, or even think in the rest of your lives! I don’t even know how that is possible but I am praying it for you all.

    So, if your heart is clean, as far you know, and you can see your way clear, take back your mental sovereignty. Take it ―ALL― the way back. Then ask yourself: “What is consistent with real love, with Christ’s love? Jesus in Luke twelve says: “Why don’t YOU judge for yourselves what is right?” We have all the consequences, we have the choices. My pastor always says: “No matter how tough the situation, you still have to hang on.” Well, that is just too simplistic and we know that can’t always be the case re: mental illness in marriage. The solution for “I can’t live this way anymore” is basically, “Good! Don’t live that way anymore.” Get the love and support you need. The Kingdom of Heaven is not for the well-meaning it is for the absolutely desperate to find God. . . . What we wait around a lifetime for with one person, we can find in a moment with someone else. . .From The Emotionally Destructive Relationship page 183 “The people who know God well—the mystics, the hermits, those who risk everything to find God—always meet a lover, . . . always a lover who is more than we dared hope for . . . “ It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.

  36. Aleea on November 7, 2015 at 7:11 am

    ―Thank you Martha for all your help with the mysteries of the Word Press site software. I appreciate that! I don’t even know how this got posted. I tried posting multiple times from my Blackberry; from my tablet; from my laptop and then from my home computer. . . . ―Oh my, if all those umpteen attempts somehow get released like happened on the last thread/post ―and given this current post being on mental illness. . . . well, Lord, please help me be way more concerned with what You, Lord think about me than other people! ―Again, thank you so very much Martha.

    ―And thank you Leslie for this post and all the hard work you and you associates do to provide this advertisement free, non-pop-up-ads site. Leslie, you put so much content in each post that it is really, truly hard to even know where to start when commenting.

    “Friend, what boundaries have you put in place with a spouse who is mentally ill?” . . . . I don’t think anyone in my circle of interactions is mentally ill (-but I am biased) maybe they are. ―Maybe I am, I certainly hope not. ―Mental illness is a massively complex issue that cuts in all directions and it is so hard because it just breaks all the rules due to infinite combinations. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is a 943-page textbook published by the American Psychiatric Association. There are currently 374 mental disorders in there. The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness. ―Wow that’s huge. Since two people with no symptoms in common can, for example, both receive the same diagnosis of schizophrenia, it is hard to know what is going on. . . . It is clear that the mentally ill frighten and embarrass us and so, as a society, we marginalize them, very sad. That disease comes with a package: shame. When any other part of your body gets sick, you generally get sympathy.

    In Defeating Depression by Leslie (page 61) she says. . . . “I do see a growing trend that deeply concerns me. I see many women relying on antidepressants to feel better, but neglecting the internal and relational work they need to do if their depression isn’t purely physical to actually get better. . . . This is dangerous thinking and dangerous living. Outcome research has shown individual therapy to be as effective as medication and sometimes more so in helping a depressed person recover.” . . . . I bet if Hitler didn’t try to fix all his issues with very, very powerful drugs, and got himself into good individual therapy, WWII may have never happened. He hated Jews for what a Jewish doctor had done to his mother (See The Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor by David Irving –also- Hitler, Homer, Bible Christ –yes, that is the title! Chapter 12 –and- David Irving, The Faking of Hitler’s ‘Last Testament’ –also- Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century, pages 355-56.) The Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor by David Irving are free on Irving’s site. ―Anyway, here is the point, what if some counselor had showed Hitler how to really forgive that Jewish doctor and then love himself? Re: Kim Fredrickson, Building A Compassionate Relationship With Yourself and Give Yourself a Break: Turning Your Inner Critic into a Compassionate Friend. Hitler spent decades getting amphetamine, et.al. electrochemical hits to his neurotransmitters. It is a miracle it was not even worse. If Kelly Minter, Lisa Harper, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Angie Smith, Tammie Head, Angela Thomas, Vicki Courtney, Jennifer Rothschild, you name them, got that level of drugs would they have done differently? I hope so but proabably not!

    ―And what can be said about these individual heartbreaking cases: “. . . unfaithful, alcoholic, jealous and controlling from the beginning of our marriage. . . . I set boundaries, and he later left me.” “The first years of our “Christian” marriage my husband drank, did drugs, isolated me, psychologically abused me, was in an accident where he almost died, pointed a loaded gun at me, did not work and we basically had an insane life.” ―Sandra, Donna, et. al. . . I don’t even know what to say. . . . I am so praying for you all that God will do exceeding, abundantly above all that you could ever ask, or even think in the rest of your lives! I don’t even know how that is possible but I am praying it for you all.

    So, if your heart is clean, as far you know, and you can see your way clear, take back your mental sovereignty. Take it ―ALL― the way back. Then ask yourself: “What is consistent with real love, with Christ’s love? Jesus in Luke twelve says: “Why don’t YOU judge for yourselves what is right?” We have all the consequences, we have the choices. My pastor always says: “No matter how tough the situation, you still have to hang on.” Well, that is just too simplistic and we know that can’t always be the case re: mental illness in marriage. The solution for “I can’t live this way anymore” is basically, “Good! Don’t live that way anymore.”

  37. Aleea on November 7, 2015 at 7:18 am

    ―Thank you Martha for all your help with the mysteries of the Word Press site software. I appreciate that! I don’t even know how this got posted. I tried posting multiple times from my Blackberry; from my tablet; from my laptop and then from my home computer. . . . ―Oh my, if all those umpteen attempts somehow get released like happened on the last thread/post ―and given this current post being on mental illness. . . . well, Lord, please help me be way more concerned with what You, Lord think about me than other people! ―Again, thank you so very much Martha.

    ―And thank you Leslie for this post and all the hard work you and you associates do to provide this advertisement free, non-pop-up-ads site. Leslie, you put so much content in each post that it is really, truly hard to even know where to start when commenting.

    “Friend, what boundaries have you put in place with a spouse who is mentally ill?” . . . . I don’t think anyone in my circle of interactions is mentally ill (-but I am biased) maybe they are. ―Maybe I am, I certainly hope not. ―Mental illness is a massively complex issue that cuts in all directions and it is so hard because it just breaks all the rules due to infinite combinations. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is a 943-page textbook published by the American Psychiatric Association. There are currently 374 mental disorders in there. The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness. ―Wow that’s huge. Since two people with no symptoms in common can, for example, both receive the same diagnosis of schizophrenia, it is hard to know what is going on. . . . It is clear that the mentally ill frighten and embarrass us and so, as a society, we marginalize them, very sad. That disease comes with a package: shame. When any other part of your body gets sick, you generally get sympathy.

    In Defeating Depression by Leslie (page 61) she says. . . . “I do see a growing trend that deeply concerns me. I see many women relying on antidepressants to feel better, but neglecting the internal and relational work they need to do if their depression isn’t purely physical to actually get better. . . . This is dangerous thinking and dangerous living. Outcome research has shown individual therapy to be as effective as medication and sometimes more so in helping a depressed person recover.” . . . . I bet if Hitler didn’t try to fix all his issues with very, very powerful drugs, and got himself into good individual therapy, WWII may have never happened. He hated Jews for what a Jewish doctor had done to his mother (See The Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor by David Irving. The Diaries of Hitler’s Doctor by David Irving are free on Irving’s site.) ―Anyway, here is the point, what if some counselor had showed Hitler how to really forgive that Jewish doctor and then love himself? Re: Kim Fredrickson, Building A Compassionate Relationship With Yourself and Give Yourself a Break: Turning Your Inner Critic into a Compassionate Friend. Hitler spent decades getting amphetamine, et.al. electrochemical hits to his neurotransmitters. It is a miracle it was not even worse. If Kelly Minter, Lisa Harper, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Angie Smith, Tammie Head, Angela Thomas, Vicki Courtney, Jennifer Rothschild, you name them, got that level of drugs would they have done differently? I hope so but proabably not!

    ―And what can be said about these individual heartbreaking cases: “. . . unfaithful, alcoholic, jealous and controlling from the beginning of our marriage. . . . I set boundaries, and he later left me.” “The first years of our “Christian” marriage my husband drank, did drugs, isolated me, psychologically abused me, was in an accident where he almost died, pointed a loaded gun at me, did not work and we basically had an insane life.” ―Sandra, Donna, et. al. . . I don’t even know what to say. . . . I am so praying for you all that God will do exceeding, abundantly above all that you could ever ask, or even think in the rest of your lives! I don’t even know how that is possible but I am praying it for you all.

    So, if your heart is clean, as far you know, and you can see your way clear, take back your mental sovereignty. Take it ―ALL― the way back. Then ask yourself: “What is consistent with real love, with Christ’s love? Jesus in Luke twelve says: “Why don’t YOU judge for yourselves what is right?” We have all the consequences, we have the choices. My pastor always says: “No matter how tough the situation, you still have to hang on.” Well, that is just too simplistic and we know that can’t always be the case re: mental illness in marriage. The solution for “I can’t live this way anymore” is basically, “Good! Don’t live that way anymore.”

  38. Aleea on November 7, 2015 at 7:28 am

    ―Thank you Martha for all your help with the mysteries of the Word Press site software. I appreciate that! I don’t even know how this got posted. I tried posting multiple times from my Blackberry; from my tablet; from my laptop and then from my home computer. . . . ―Oh my, if all those umpteen attempts somehow get released like happened on the last thread/post ―and given this current post being on mental illness. . . . well, Lord, please help me be way more concerned with what You, Lord think about me than other people! ―Again, thank you so very much Martha.

    ―And thank you Leslie for this post and all the hard work you and you associates do to provide this advertisement free, non-pop-up-ads site. Leslie, you put so much content in each post that it is really, truly hard to even know where to start when commenting.

    “Friend, what boundaries have you put in place with a spouse who is mentally ill?” . . . . I don’t think anyone in my circle of interactions is mentally ill (-but I am biased) maybe they are. ―Maybe I am, I certainly hope not. ―Mental illness is a massively complex issue that cuts in all directions and it is so hard because it just breaks all the rules due to infinite combinations. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is a 943-page textbook published by the American Psychiatric Association. There are currently 374 mental disorders in there. The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness. ―Wow that’s huge. Since two people with no symptoms in common can, for example, both receive the same diagnosis of schizophrenia, it is hard to know what is going on. . . . It is clear that the mentally ill frighten and embarrass us and so, as a society, we marginalize them, very sad. That disease comes with a package: shame. When any other part of your body gets sick, you generally get sympathy.

    ―And what can be said about these individual heartbreaking cases: “. . . unfaithful, alcoholic, jealous and controlling from the beginning of our marriage. . . . I set boundaries, and he later left me.” “The first years of our “Christian” marriage my husband drank, did drugs, isolated me, psychologically abused me, was in an accident where he almost died, pointed a loaded gun at me, did not work and we basically had an insane life.” ―Sandra, Donna, et. al. . . I don’t even know what to say. . . . I am so praying for you all that God will do exceeding, abundantly above all that you could ever ask, or even think in the rest of your lives! I don’t even know how that is possible but I am praying it for you all.

    So, if your heart is clean, as far you know, and you can see your way clear, take back your mental sovereignty. Take it ―ALL― the way back. Then ask yourself: “What is consistent with real love, with Christ’s love? Jesus in Luke twelve says: “Why don’t YOU judge for yourselves what is right?” We have all the consequences, we have the choices. My pastor always says: “No matter how tough the situation, you still have to hang on.” Well, that is just too simplistic and we know that can’t always be the case re: mental illness in marriage. The solution for “I can’t live this way anymore” is basically, “Good! Don’t live that way anymore.”

  39. Michele on November 9, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Thank you for your response, it’s very much appreciated as well as comforting.

  40. Edmund on November 10, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Mrs. Vernick – spot on with the email comments this morning about handling unwanted advise. absolutely loved it. Thanks!

    • Leslie Vernick on November 11, 2015 at 10:00 pm

      Thanks

  41. janet on November 10, 2015 at 9:07 am

    I can relate.. I still have personal boundaries, the door is open but I do check who is on the other side before I open the door all the way. haha. I have learned that self compassion is still a Christian principle even with someone having mental illness. nurses work in shifts for a reason, they need a break and so do I when dealing with mental illness in my family. the one thing about mental illness is that I tend not to take the negative experience as personal and that saves me a lot of personal grief. all people can learn so I continue to work towards healthy relationships with those who have difficulty and if they chose not to participate in any way then I just wait until they do and live my own life. we all can grow and that includes those with mental illness.

    • susen on November 12, 2015 at 8:21 am

      Janet~ Thank you for the blessing of your hopeful and helpful post on staying healthy amidst mental illness.

      We can all learn from your “open door policy.” Apt analogy that I will keep in my heart as a gold standard.

      Not taking the negative experience personally is, to me, the key to this week’s discussion on mental illness.

      The walking away part is necessary. Your willingness to wait, to keep your door open, is a testament to faith.

      Thank you again for sharing your experiences with us. I have benefitted greatly from your words.

      May God bless. susen

      • susen on November 12, 2015 at 6:03 pm

        Great news, Janet! Just had another killer phone call and I not only prayed, but recalled your wise words: Do not take it personally. And I’m at peace! Just wanted to share my joy with you. susen

  42. Martha on November 10, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Hi Leslie this article is really interesting. Would these steps also work with someone with Dementia. My Dad has dementia my brother gives him all his medications. He hallocinates and sees people coming to the house especially men he thinks that my mom is cheating on him. He gets really upset and tells her hurtful things. This is a daily thing with him. My mom ignores him but I know it hurts her. How can we put boundaries on someone with dementia?

    • Jane on November 10, 2015 at 9:11 pm

      I work with adults with dementia. There are no such boundaries for them. They literally cannot help what is happening in their brains. Fears, paranoia, anger, etc. are all part of their debilitating brain deterioration.

      Perhaps the better option is to help educate your mother, to help her understand that he doesn’t mean to hurt he. He doesn’t know that he is. Perhaps she also needs a break during the day or the week. Enrolling him in an adult day program for one or more days per week would give her relief. Most of these programs also have support groups for families.

      • Leslie Vernick on November 11, 2015 at 9:52 pm

        And I believe that someone may not mean to hurt someone but if he or she is incapable of self-control then boundaries are necessarily for the protection and safety of the caregiver.

    • Leslie Vernick on November 11, 2015 at 10:00 pm

      Well ignoring him helps you not to personalize his delusions – knowing that they are caused by the dementia. But it might be that your mom needs a break and she needs a boundary – “you can’t come in my room” or “I need to take care of me if I’m going to take care of you.” It’s an attitude of the caregiver that she accepts her limitations and she can’t “Fix” him so she can do what she can but she can’t do everything.

  43. Karen on November 10, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Hi Leslie, I am a Christian and I am reading your book on depression
    “Defeating Depression”
    I previously read your book “The Emotionally Destructive Marriage” which describes my situation.

    Please Pray for me and my family because my kids have been affected from the way we are treated by my husband.

    • Leslie Vernick on November 11, 2015 at 9:58 pm

      I’m so sorry Karen. I’ll pray right now.

    • Edmund on November 11, 2015 at 11:01 pm

      Praying for you, Karen.

  44. Kathryn on November 10, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Hi Leslie, thank you for your well thought out words. I am curious though how do you determine whether or not someone is truly suicidal and needs medical help vs using it to control, create fear, gain attention or manipulate. I am having trouble telling the difference in my situation and since I love the man to pieces I sure don’t want to goof and miss a true mental health problem. Any thoughts you have would be appreciated.

    • Leslie Vernick on November 11, 2015 at 9:56 pm

      I would not take that responsibility. If someone is saying they will kill themselves and is being manipulative (so you will remove consequences or lower boundaries) I would call the authorities and say,”this person is threatening to kill themselves” and take that matter out of my hands. If they are being manipulative they will soon learn that doesn’t work. If they are truly desperately crying out for help, you’ve created a place where they can get the help they need.

  45. leslie on November 10, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    I have been married for 28 years and there have been good times and bad. I hate conflict and have always given in. I have recently learned “I Have the right to…” and realize my husband has been abusive but not in the tradition sense. He never yells, drinks, or has outward observable bad behaviors. However, I gave him all the power as I dealt with our 3 children, 2 with birth defects. He was never supportive, very selfish and spent all our money in ways that he wanted to. Now we have no money, everything is mortgaged to the maximum and I am ready to leave. We are on our 4th marriage counselor who finally seems to be getting through to him. My counselor says everything Leslie says but I love being able to validate her advice with scripture through Leslie. She feels my husband has a personality disorder and may be unable to change. I am tired of being in financial insecurity. I am tired of living in limbo. I am tired of unfulfilled action steps. I wish I knew what is the best for me.

    • Edmund on November 11, 2015 at 11:05 pm

      This is just a surface comment. I cannot possibly presume to know enough about your situation to speak to your specific circumstances. But I could not help but feel hope for you and your family when you indicated that someone was getting through to your husband. I will pray that the path to healing and reconciliation for your family becomes clear for you both, and that you will both recognize the devil’s schemes and thwart them with God’s authority. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!

  46. Florence on November 11, 2015 at 12:16 am

    Dear Leslie,

    I am very sad that you have chosen to embrace biopsychiatry’s fraudulent approach to what they call “mental illness.” Are you aware of the DSM III to 5 or the labeling and billing bibles of psychiatry and the fact that they have been exposed as totally lacking in any scientific, medical or other evidence while completely void of any validity per Dr. Thomas Insel, recent Director of the National Institute for Mental Health? There is not a shred of evidence that any of these so called disorders exist or any tests to prove anyone has them. They are VOTED in by white male psychiatrists with huge conflicts of interest with Big Pharma/Business. See Dr. Paula Caplan’s They Say You’re Crazy and Kirk and Stuart’s Making Us Crazy and The Selling of the DSM among many others exposing this fraud.

    Bipolar is one of the labels invented and voted into the DSM III to 5 and constantly expanded that caused a false epidemic of this bogus “disease” for adults and then children to push the latest lethal drugs on patent including so called “mood stabilizers” or epilepsy drugs based on fraudulent science and deadly neuroleptics and lithium that are nothing more than chemical lobotomies that do not target any so called illness. See Dr. Joanna Moncrieff’s The Myth of the Chemical Cure and The Bitterest Pill (about deadly antipsychotics or neuroleptic drugs forced on those falsely accused of being “mentally ill.”) Many abused, traumatized women and children have been fraudulently misdiagnosed as bipolar, ADHD, paranoid, psychotic and other insult stigmas to collude with their abusers per Dr. Carole Warshaw, Psychiatrist and Domestic Violence expert. Dr. Judith Herman, Psychiatrist, exposes in her classic work, Trauma and Recovery, that before bipolar, borderline personality disorder used to be the insult stigma of the day for abused, raped women and children. People subjected to school, work and other bullying and mobbing trauma are subjected to the same abuses since bipolar became the latest fad fraud stigma used to push the latest lucrative, lethal drugs on patent per Dr. David Healy. You should be aware of the crimes of Dr. Allen Frances, ed. of DSM IV who conspired to push Johnson & Johnson’s new “antipsychotics” or neuroleptic drugs in the 1990’s for a grossly fraudulent epidemic of so called bipolar in adults he now admits was a huge “mistake,” but does not admit his criminality and greed in accepting drug company money to help J&J market these toxic drugs while destroying countless lives with the grossly expanded bipolar stigma begun with DSM III in the 1980’s. He served as a mentor to the horrible Dr. Joseph Biederman, a world famous child psychiatrist, who plotted with Johnson & Johnson to create a child bipolar epidemic to push their toxic “antipsychotics” as well for which he was paid under the table over a million dollars while promising positive studies in advance. This was after he masterminded the bogus ADHD epidemic to push kiddie cocaine for drug companies. Senator Charles Grassley forced him and many other psychiatrists on the take like Charles Nemeroff to appear before Congress. Biederman compared himself to God per the Boston Globe where you can read about this debacle. Are you aware of the horrible side effects of psychiatry’s toxic drugs?? You should read the works of Dr. Peter Breggin, Dr. Joanna Moncrieff, Dr. Grace Jackson, Robert Whitaker, Dr. David Healy and many others exposing this pernicious fraud. I highly recommend all of Dr. Breggin’s excellent books including Toxic Psychiatry, Your Drug May Be Your Problem, 2nd ed., Reclaiming Our Children and many others in addition to his web sites.

    Perhaps you might have some prejudice given your relationship with your mother, but are you aware that bipolar used to be called manic depressive illness, was very, very rare and people mostly recovered from it naturally within a fairly short time? Psychiatry now stigmatizes just about anyone with a substance abuse problem with bipolar. Even a teen experimenting with pot will get a bipolar stigma these days! Perhaps your mother suffered from abuse and trauma herself in her own childhood or marriage since substance abuse and anger are symptoms of PTSD as well as compulsive behaviors like shopping, overeating, etc. I realize that I can’t speculate about your unique case, but accepting the status quo of current psychiatry is very harmful for someone like yourself giving advice to others. As Robert Whitaker and many others expose, since psychiatry sold out to Big Pharma in the 1980’s, people no longer recover in many cases if on toxic neuroleptics and other psychiatric drugs for too long. What the bipolar and ADHD fad fraud are doing to our nation’s children is a tragedy based on evil and greed by government officials and medicine on the take with Big Pharma. Robert Whitaker’s latest book is called Psychiatry Under the Influence that details all the massive corruption in modern psychiatry that has destroyed countless lives. Another great book is Mad Science by three experts in the field of psychology and social work.

    I urge you to do your homework before giving any other “mental health” advice.

    • Leslie Vernick on November 11, 2015 at 2:11 pm

      Florence, you’re right. Mental health diagnosis are labels that people are given that describe a cluster of observable symptoms that doctors and mental health practitioners have determined are unhealthy, abnormal or “ill”. I don’t disagree with most of your points and the whole thing can be crazy. For example homosexuality was a diagnosed as abnormal years ago, now it is “normal”. However,the question I was asked was about boundaries and consequences with someone who was diagnosed with some mental illness and not about the validity of those diagnosis, therefore I think I gave an appropriate answer to the question I was asked.

      • Florence on November 11, 2015 at 2:49 pm

        Leslie,

        I appreciate your response and think it is a wise answer. I am glad to know that you are aware of some of the issues I’ve raised because when psychiatry decided to sell out to Big Pharma and corrupt politicians, they committed a massive betrayal of our citizens and especially our precious children. They have literally destroyed countless lives and many have died or are permanently disabled due to their lies and fraud.

        You may be aware that even Dr. Frances, editor of DSM IV vigorously attacked the DSM 5 because of its ever increasingly absurd medicalizing and pathologizing of even more normal human behaviors or responses to life problems. He admitted regret that he contributed to that in DSM IV and wrote a book called Saving Normal. See also the book, The Book of Woe, by Gary Greenberg, Psychotherapist, also exposing the fraud of the DSM. For example, you may know that they removed the exclusion for grief over the death of a loved one under major depression so one grieving is now mentally ill and subject to toxic, useless antidepressants and even forced horrific brain damaging ECT for their so called depression!!

        I suggest you may want to review the latest DSM’s to see that psychiatry has pathologized just about all of life to cater to the 1% psychopaths in power and make maximum profits at the huge expense and harm to those they falsely claim to help

        You may want to check out Dr. Philip Hickey’s Behaviorism and Mental Health for a long term psychologist’s take on the fraud of biopsychiatry.

        Your claim that psychiatry has any awareness of real evil or harmful behavior is very dubious given that they act like a group of malignant narcissists and psychopaths themselves. And speaking of psychopaths, experts like world authority, Dr. Robert Hare, Psychologist, author of Without Conscience and Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work and consultant to the FBI (see his web site) has been trying to sound the alarm of the harm done by psychopaths for many years that psychiatry has mostly ignored to the peril of most people who get conned and destroyed by these charming, charismatic vampires Dr. Hare calls “intraspecies predators” at work, in families and societies at large.

        So, please forgive me if I don’t give psychiatry much credit for deciding who is evil and who is not.

        I do want to say that I own many of your books and have been a great fan of yours. Therefore, my strong response to this article was due to my surprise and disappointment that you would seem to support the corrupt biopsychiatry that exists today. I realize that it would be hard for anyone who has not researched it extensively to save loved ones from its harmful, greedy, lying tentacles would find it hard to believe the corruption in this so called profession professing nothing but lies!

        Thank you for your response. Again, I am glad that you are aware of some of the issues with psychiatry and the DSM such as the homosexuality debacle. There was also the “mental illness” of drapetomania, the so called disease of slaves wanting to escape their masters that was ultimately removed too. Do you still think psychiatry has the right to decide what is right or wrong or should we be more concerned what Jesus says?

        • Leslie Vernick on November 11, 2015 at 6:16 pm

          In all my books I stay away from ANY psychiatric labels. I don’t use them or like them, however when filling out an insurance form they are required, and therefore we have to understand them and as counselors be very cautious what we put on someone’s medical records (read today’s blog on Counselor boundaries).

        • Leslie Vernick on November 11, 2015 at 9:50 pm

          Thanks

    • Leslie Vernick on November 11, 2015 at 2:42 pm

      I find it interesting Florence you too are using diagnostic labels of trauma, childhood abuse, addiction. I agree people are grossly misdiagnosed, and because Freud couldn’t handle the ugly reality of sexual abuse of women and children he “labeled their symptoms” with the diagnosis of hysteria, so I hear you. Your points are valid but I think you missed the entire point of the question that was asked.

      • Florence on November 11, 2015 at 3:09 pm

        Leslie,

        I only use the term trauma because those like Dr. Judith Herman fought the white male bastion to get it into the DSM for rape victims and soldiers suffering from combat trauma. Psychiatry did not invent or advocate for the trauma diagnosis. In fact, it’s about the only diagnosis that didn’t blame the victims, but psychiatry has been working on that to now say those with PTSD have faulty brains or any other lie they can invent to invalidate and blame the victims and force their toxic treatments on them. Most soldiers and abuse/rape victims especially in the military are deliberately misdiagnosed with bipolar to invalidate them and deny them any justice or benefits. Sadly, psychiatry has hijacked much of our normal language to hoodwink people into being labeled “depressed” when psychiatry means a brain abnormality or chemical imbalance that does not exist since it was never proven while the person suffering is using the term “depressed” quite rightly when referring to some life crisis or harm like domestic violence, school/work bullying and mobbing, etc. I don’t think childhood abuse is a diagnosis and addiction was around long before toxic biopsychiatry. But, I can’t help it if biopsychiatry has hijacked all of life and language and twisted it to bamboozle people to promote its pernicious stigmatizing and chemical, surgical and electrical lobotomy agenda much like Stalinist Russia.

        Also, Dr. Paula Caplan, Psychologist, was part of the original DSM committee and she quit over the fraud and misogyny she witnessed that she describes in her books, They Say You’re Crazy and Bias in Psychiatric Diagnosis. One of her recent projects is to expose and fight fraudulent, life destroying, unscientific DSM stigmas that have no science or validity to back them up you can find on her web sites.

        Again, I have admired your work so I am not trying to put you down. I am glad that you are aware of some of the problems with psychiatry and the DSM. All that I can say is that the bipolar fad fraud is a real monstrosity to me.

        Thank you for “listening” and for your response. Again, I have a very high opinion of your work, which is very far removed from psychiatry’s admitting it slaps on “diagnoses” and does 15 minute med checks to push its life destroying stigmas and brain damaging “treatments” for greed, profit and power.

        • Maria on November 11, 2015 at 9:33 pm

          Florence, You addressed your post to Leslie, but I was wondering if you could clarify – are you saying that there is no such thing as mental illness (because of no scientific, medical evidence)? And that it just the pharmaceutical industry etc. try to make money off of this?

          • Florence on November 11, 2015 at 10:25 pm

            Maria,

            I’ve been researching this issue for many years, so it’s hard to give a simple, short answer to your question. You would have to read the many, many books, articles, web sites and other sources to educate yourself as I did and continue to do.

            At this time, Congress is seeking to pass more forced treatment laws with all the more horrific human rights violations since they insist on blaming the so called “mentally ill” rather than addressing the need for gun laws due to the mass shootings. All the evidence shows that the “mentally ill” are not the cause of such violence, but rather, tend to be subjected to far more violence themselves. As Leslie points out, there are evil, violent people, but that doesn’t mean they are “mentally ill.” But, who cares about truth when the NRA and drug companies may not support your lucrative power position in Congress or other perks?

            That said, there are many eye opening books on the topic whereby people can at least try to save themselves and their own families as we continue to become members of a police state falsely accusing those who annoy those in power of being “mentally ill,” which is happening now a great deal. You may recall the poem written by a minister during the horrors inflicted by the Nazis:

            First, they came for the socialists and I said nothing,

            Next, they came for the Jews and I said nothing,

            Next, they came for the Catholics and I said nothing,

            And then they came for me and there was nobody to speak for me.

            Here is one good book recently published about the corruption of psychiatry among many others, some of which I listed in my other posts:

            http://www.amazon.com/Psychiatry-Under-Influence-Institutional-Prescriptions/dp/113750692X

            http://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Medicines-Organised-Crime-Healthcare/dp/1846198844/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1447296858&sr=1-1&keywords=Deadly+medicine+and+organized+crime

            http://www.amazon.com/Mad-Science-Psychiatric-Coercion-Diagnosis/dp/1412855926/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1447296937&sr=1-1&keywords=mad+science+psychiatric+coercion+diagnosis+and+drugs

            http://www.amazon.com/ADHD-Fraud-Psychiatry-Patients-Children/dp/1412064589/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1447296972&sr=1-1&keywords=ADHD+FRAUD

            http://www.amazon.com/Bitterest-Pills-Troubling-Story-Antipsychotic/dp/1137277432/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1447297015&sr=1-1&keywords=The+bitterest+pills

            http://www.amazon.com/Bipolar-Children-Cutting-Edge-Controversy-Childhood/dp/0275997308/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1447297114&sr=1-1&keywords=the+child+bipolar+epidemic

            http://www.amazon.com/Myth-Mental-Illness-Foundations-Personal/dp/0061771228/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1447297167&sr=1-1&keywords=the+myth+of+mental+illness

            http://www.amazon.com/Pseudoscience-Biological-Psychiatry-Blaming-Body/dp/0471007765/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1447297218&sr=1-1&keywords=pseudoscience+in+biological+psychiatry

            As I have indicated in my posts, I am not denying that people suffer, but rather, protesting that psychiatry does not address people’s real life problems, crises, life stressors, abuse, bullying, domestic violence, loss, oppression, racism, sexism, poverty, inequality and others. Rather, they do not consider such issues at all, blame the victims and merely assess so called symptoms that so called patients report or that psychiatrists tend to “observe” depending on the latest fad in psychiatry, which is currently the horrible, life destroying bipolar adult and child epidemics to push the latest lethal drugs on patent.

            Anyway, I would suggest that you check out some of the above books and others Icited if you are really interested. If your query was just to express disapproval, I hope others here will give much study to this issue because it threatens our entire country.

            You should also be aware that psychiatry instigated the Nazi Holocaust based on their eugenics theories started in the U.S. in the 1930’s with the robber barons of that time to justify their theft of resources. Psychiatrists gassed to death those they stigmatized as “mentally ill” or “human vermin unfit for life” as practice for setting up the concentration camps for the extermination of the Jews. They moved their gassing apparatus from the so called mental health hospitals to the concentration camps. Both American and German psychiatrists advocated for sterilization and euthanasia laws for the “mentally ill” and though many were sterilized in the U.S. based on such laws in the 1930’s, after the Nazi Holocaust, it was more difficult to get the euthanasia laws passed. But, many of these so called German and U.S. doctors continued to work together after the war. Also, see the great book, Mad in America by Robert Whitaker exposing all the horrors psychiatry has inflicted on its so called patients throughout its sordid existence.

            There are many books on this including The Nazi Doctors and Dr. Peter Breggin has written articles about it. Those who oversaw the Nuremburg Trials admitted that without psychiatry, the Holocaust would probably never have happened. The same is true of many more recent “ethnic cleansings” instigated by psychiatry. They have been continuing to search for so call mental illness genes for decades with no results to blame the victims of the current 1% robber barons stealing all the world’s wealth while leaving many children in poverty. See Dr. Jay Joseph’s books The Missing Gene and The Gene Illusion exposing the fraud of psychiatry’s bogus twin studies that supposedly prove that schizophrenia and bipolar are genetic when nothing could be further from the truth.

            Anyway, as you can see, this is a very complicated topic and I hope this information is helpful to you though it is merely the tip of the iceberg.



          • Maria on November 12, 2015 at 3:03 pm

            Florence, Thanks for taking the time to reply to my question. I truly was trying to understand your post. Until I read Leslie’s article, I did not realize that a diagnosis, whether used for insurance purposes or not, can have serious ramifications. After reading your post, (I have not done any research on this), it does seem plausible that the pharmaceutical industry and medical professions have misused drugs for their financial gain. But based on that assumption, one can’t draw the conclusion that mental illness does not exist. Also just because there is no scientific evidence to proove a diagnosis, does not mean that the illness does not exist. It could just be that science is not there yet, maybe in the future after a lot more research there may be scientific evidence to go with a particular diagnosis. Your post is beneficial in warning people not just to accept without questioning a diagnosis (physical or mental) by a medical professional. We need to do our own research and be our own advocates. And hopefully people who are in positions that can’t do that have people like you looking out for them.



        • Leslie Vernick on November 11, 2015 at 9:50 pm

          I loved Judith Herman’s book and other’s who debunk the labeling that is so readily used these days but consumers must be aware they are being labeled, especially if they go to a counselor. The counselor MUST label them if their insurance is to reimbursement payment, even if they never see a psychiatrist or use medication.

          • susen on November 12, 2015 at 9:04 am

            Florence:

            I am an American. I may not agree with you, but I will defend your right to free speech. That I have the right to bear arms makes my defense of your First Amendment right even more potent. Had the socialists, Jews, etc. from your poem stood up and defended themselves, the poem would have had a different ending.

            I see your attack on the NRA, an organization that is dedicated to preserving the Second Amendment, as abhorrent as it is dangerous. But you have the right to state your opinion, just as I have the right to state mine.

            In my opinion, your pontificating and posturing on this blog has prevented a lot of people who are hurting from being able to share.

            susen



        • Beth on November 12, 2015 at 11:12 pm

          Florence, I a just wondering are you frequently afraid? Do you live in fear?

  47. Mary2 on November 11, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Personal story concerning my earthly father who I was not allowed to meet. He was the oldest of 6 children but his father was faithless and my dad became the man of the house whilst still a teenager – too much responsibility far too soon, so when his own life hit a brick wall (literally on a motorbike in the rain) and he lost his job, home, wife and child (me) as a consequence – because he struggled to function again he was given the label manic depressive and, because he believed the label for lack of any deeper soul healing (not available/discovered in ’59) decided he needed ECT – and spent the rest of his life as some form of patient in-or-out of mental institutions. Because I inherited half his DNA, when my life hit a brick wall (in the form of prejudiced Pharisees, who I had been taught had my best interests at heart (which they did not, only their agendas!) – I went the same route……… it was almost a comfort to have the diagnosis of ‘mental illness’ – but I can see now it is not just a question of brain chemistry – it’s a mix which varies from individual to individual – but I know for me that if the deeper truth I needed had been available at the time – truth which I knew I had the right handle on – it would have set me free from the fears that surrounded my circumstances. I guess it was something I had to walk through in order to learn – I would not have learned it any other way – and God is a God of perfect timing (although we may not be able to see it at the time) – it’s His way, when He can see that our heart is pure and determined in its search for Him without double-mindedness – of drawing us further into Himself, our Redeemer – a place where we may never have willingly chosen to be if we’d had the “blessings” of a trauma-free temporal life 🙂

    • susen on November 12, 2015 at 8:42 am

      Mary2~

      Thank you for sharing your journey. I’m nodding my head in agreement as I think of your words about how much more you have learned than if you’d had a “trama-free temporal life.”

      My faith grows, too, with each new challenge. I am working hard to be able to immediately pray “Thank you, Lord, for your wonderful Plan” whenever there is another bump in the road. There is such peace right there in front of me! I just have to leave the “I can handle this” kind of thinking behind–and give it to God.

      May God bless your day today and all of your tomorrows.
      susen

      • susen on November 12, 2015 at 8:44 am

        Mary2, I need to add: Thank you for the blessings I have received from your post. susen

      • Mary2 on November 12, 2015 at 1:02 pm

        Thank you susen for your words of encouragement – they mean a tremendous amount to me and are very welcome 🙂 I have been blessed by reading your posts too – people can tell when something is true because it has been tried and tested in the fire – 1 Peter 1 v 3-9 is my mantra!! Blessings from a sister-growing-in-Grace 🙂

  48. Florence on November 11, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    Leslie,

    You may want to read psychotherapist, Gary Greenberg’s book, Manufacturing Depression, whereby he says he explains to his patients that if they want to collect insurance, he must give them a diagnosis that may cause them harm in the future. Otherwise, they can pay out of pocket.

    I strongly believe that patients in counseling should be given complete informed consent about how damaging these labels can be to have on their record unless it is something mild like adjustment disorder or something similarly fairly safe and temporary.

    But, knowing what I know now I would pay out of pocket!

    Again, thank you for your addressing these issues. I reread your blog on this topic and it really is excellent in that it distinguishes between evil, violent people and so called “mentally ill” people who aren’t necessarily one and the same.

    I won’t deny that the bipolar fad fraud is a real hot button for me given all of my research.

    Thank you again for hanging in there in this volatile discussion. You must be a very good counselor since you are obviously very patient and calm despite some real hot button issues discussed here.

    • Edmund on November 11, 2015 at 11:15 pm

      Agreed, Mrs.Vernick. I’ll withhold comment on the argument itself (no clear opinion…not for fear of taking a position), but you handled this exchange very impressively from an interpersonal standpoint.

    • Leslie Vernick on November 12, 2015 at 6:48 am

      Thanks Florence.

    • Maria on November 12, 2015 at 6:51 am

      Leslie, the way you responded is a great example of how to respond to someone who doesn’t agree with your views in a respectful manner without being judgmental and putting them down. Thanks.

  49. Mary2 on November 12, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    The mentor who helped me regain my hope and sanity teaches that, unless there is organic malfunction/damage to the brain – what the medical profession categorise as the various form of “mental illness” can be radically helped/healed by understanding the 12 fundamentals of mental and emotional health – concepts which are true, and which of course, can be found in Scripture, which align a soul (psyche) with the principles that God placed in the universe at creation. As fanciful as this may sound to a medical person, I’ve experienced that this is actually objectively true – and the joy/challenge/opportunity presents for the patient to become healed by following this method – basically what Romans calls the renewing of the mind. It is my continuing journey out of mental mess and confusion, and the light at the end of the tunnel grows brighter with each alignment 🙂

  50. Robin on November 12, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Lord, I lift up Denice and her family to you. Put your peace in her heart that only u can give. Thank you for her desire to seek your will and your best for each one. The first days are the hardest- protect her from the enemy and remind her, this is not the end of her story. You love her so much!!!! Thank you Jesus!!!!

    • susen on November 12, 2015 at 6:15 pm

      Lord hear our prayer. Amen! susen

  51. Mary2 on November 12, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    For Denice – I am so sorry to hear about the manifested results of your husband’s deep identity beliefs that await healing – and for how he uses Bible verses to not be the husband God would want him to be to you in your marriage, an equal partnership where spouses are ideally each other’s main cheerleader. I know the alone and desperate feelings this produces – however, I also know because of the totally undeserved grace shown to me by our Father when I was the least deserving person – that because we are human, there is always the possibility that new neural pathways can be laid down in our brains, new synapses made – we just need an infusion of real hope that this can actually happen.
    In my situation I’d given up to the point of a suicide attempt, 18 years ago – then started to open my mind to the teachings of: http://www.livingwisdom.co.nz. David has helped to heal and restore countless marriages and the minds of the people in them – I totally recommend having a look at his resources – he and his team also do Skype counselling around the world. I know for an absolute certainty I would not be where I find myself today, by God’s grace and mercy, if I hadn’t found the way to greater insight which opened for me – using a similar method to: http://christianaudio.com/telling-yourself-the-truth-william-backus-marie-chapian-audiobook-download
    Blessings Denice – never give up the hope that change is indeed possible – God is on your side, and none of us deserve what can only be gifted. If we did deserve it we would try to earn it and then it would not be gift! 🙂

  52. Jennifer on November 13, 2015 at 6:28 am

    I am praying for you Denice. Sounds exactly like my husband and his past. I’ve been sick fighting a nasty cold, all I could muster up for dinner was soup and crackers for me and the kids. I am tired and weak. He comes home complianing about no hot meal for him and how I can’t handle being home and once upon a time women could work and make dinner. Mind you this was a one time thing where he just happened to have to fend for himself. Like I said I work full time and he is gone 13 hours a day, leaving me to work, take care of kids, errands, pay bills, pets, cook etc. And the one night I am sick I get a lecture of how I can’t handle my job? I almost wish he would move out Denice.

    • Robin on November 13, 2015 at 10:34 am

      Jennifer, I remember so well wondering if I was bad for wishing my husband would leave. That is a terrible place to be- desiring for peace and freedom . And getting nothing. What I have learned since those days is nothing does change- till I do. Things would remain chaotic and crazy till I got sick and tired and did something different. I love a quote from Henry Cloud from his book NECESSARY ENDINGS. He said look at the past and you’ll see what your future will look like unless there has been radical changes in his heart to get well and be accountable. Today I still have some ‘hurt places’ in my life but the absolute crazyness, and chaos is no longer in my home or in me. I am praying for you and your situation. Lovingly, Robin

      • Sandra Anderson on November 13, 2015 at 3:02 pm

        Robin: Your broken heart sounds similar to mine. My ex-husband also had an abusive childhood, 13 children, alcoholic parents and poverty. He was alcoholic, unfaithful, jealous and controlling from the start of our marriage. He suffered a stroke in his 60s, and although the drinking and affairs stopped, he the became extremely jealous and verbally abusive. Although, he certainly had an unhappy childhood and suffered some dementia from the stroke, I still had to set some boundaries for my own mental health, which he couldn’t accept, so he finally left me after 57 years of marriage. Since my church taught that I had to keep praying for him and endure to the end, I don’t think I would ever have left myself I praise the Lord that He has given me a few more years of peace and freedom to serve Him, as never before. With HIS love and prayers for you, Sandra

    • Maria on November 13, 2015 at 10:35 am

      Jennifer, I hope you’re able to get rest and get well. Are your kids able to pitch in and help? It’s important that your kids feel compassion for you in this situation.

      If I may ask you a question -why do you feel you need to serve him when he’s behaving in an entitled and demeaning manner? Aren’t you sending the message that it’s ok to be talked to like that? Sounds like you’re enabling him too.

  53. Jennifer on November 13, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Thank you for the reply Maria, yes my older kids help out when they are home (one works outside the home, the other was with a friend) the younger ones can’t make dinner for themselves-they are 6 and 8. I usually have left over food for him when he gets home but don’t feel the need to serve him. I am constantly telling him it not okay to yell or talk to me the way he does, I explain this to the kids too. He obviously thinks it is okay as he keeps doing it and I am doing something wrong to allow it. I must be enabling him somehow to come home with that entitlement attitude of how things should be.

    • Maria on November 13, 2015 at 10:50 am

      Jennifer, You are definitely not responsible for his attitude, but you have choices on how to respond.

  54. Jennifer on November 13, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Thank you Robin, I am SLOWLY getting to that place where I would feel strong enough to do life without him. As you know with children (second marriage) I just bought a house, two incomes, the desire for vacations, it gets to be a complicated decision.

    • Maria on November 13, 2015 at 11:17 am

      Jennifer you are stronger than you feel and think. Keeping a full time job and doing so much requires a lot of strength.

  55. Jennifer on November 13, 2015 at 10:56 am

    I know I am not Maria, I usually just ignore him and not even try to defend myself. I will never be the fantasy 1950’s housewife that he wants.

  56. Robin on November 13, 2015 at 11:04 am

    In agreement with Maria, you are not enabling him because he expects a certain behavior. That only means he feels entitled. Or thinks He Us Entitled to what he wants. It seems to me Jennifer you need some help and encouragement. Are you able to sign up for one of Leslies classes, to perhaps build up some core strength and confidence and get support from friends that will love you and be kind to you???

  57. Robin on November 13, 2015 at 11:09 am

    I am so sorry Jennifer for all you are living with. I’d like to help. I’ve been there and I do understand. If you could take a class on building up your core, you might be able to stop avoiding or ignoring. I’m not judging. I’ve done that plenty. I’m just wondering how we can help build up some inner strength so you can speak up when Neccessary. I also hope you can get some rest today.

    • Leonie on November 14, 2015 at 10:42 pm

      This is a quote from Lundy Bancroft from his daily wisdom book that really reminded me of something I experienced a lot but hadn’t seen it written so concisely before – it spoke truth to me about my ex.

      Attachment to payback –
      “Women who are in unhealthy relationships struggle with the question “Is my partner’s behaviour normal?” You may wonder whether the problem is that you are just too sensitive, or that your expectations are unrealistic. One way to get clear on the nature of your partner’s problem is to notice when he gets you back for doing something he doesn’t like. Payback is not normal in a couple. People in healthy relationships get upset with each other, of course, but they don’t get revenge. Each time he uses verbal abuse toward you, or the silent treatment, or intimidation or emotional cruelty, ask yourself, “Is there something he is punishing me for?” You will find the answer is actually yes. He!s getting you back for :
      A way you stood up to him,
      A way you didn’t cater to him as if he were a master and you were his servant
      A way you tried to have your own life,
      A way you didn’t live up to some absurd ideal he has
      The attachment to payback toward his partner is one of the central reasons why an abusive or controlling man has the problem that he does. The more you can recognize the times when he is getting you back for things, the easier it will be for you to avoid getting sucked into believing that something is wrong with you. His vengeful acts show that he is the one with the problem.

      • Liz on November 15, 2015 at 2:14 pm

        Hi Leonie
        Thanks I found this really helpful. Even though I am improving I still fall back into that question time and time again. I also frequently experience payback, so I’ll remember this in future. Hope this helps others too
        Liz

        • Mary2 on November 15, 2015 at 4:42 pm

          This has certainly helped me, thank you Leonie – it is awesome reality spoken concisely – and I know has the potential to tidy a whole lot up for me mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It is especially helpful taking this advice into the context of the “counselling” I received when I turned to church leadership for some guidance and basically got told that I was the one with the problem and needed to see a doctor – meaning a psych doctor – because I was an irritant to their Pharisaic agenda, and had to be silenced. Being able to see it in these terms, is very liberating from the crushing burden of guilt I have been carrying needlessly for far too long – becoming free from it is a process, but insight like this is just what helps to further the healing that needs to be done 🙂 Thank you.

          • Leonie on November 15, 2015 at 11:54 pm

            You’re welcome Mary2, I’m glad it helped you too.



  58. Jennifer on November 13, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Thanks Robin, what does building up my core mean? I hear the term core alot. I will try and take one of Leslie’s classes. I am working today and tomorrow and have a dual b-day party for the kid’s on Sunday.

  59. Jennifer on November 13, 2015 at 11:16 am

    I do have friends I talk to and the women in my bible study who sympathize with my situation but obviously no one can fix it but me. (with God’s help) 🙂

  60. Robin on November 13, 2015 at 11:35 am

    It means building your inner part up so that you are strong in the Lord. You are seeking the things in your life that will bring personal growth and accept accountability. You are not allowing abuse or enabling others .Learning to be a Bibical peacemaker not peacekeeper or peace faker. Learning to become responsible for me and respectful toward others without dishonor G nyself. You learn how to have Godly compassion.
    Have you read Leslues book on The Emotionally Destructive Marriage??

  61. Robin on November 13, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Jennifer having friends in a bible study is great but having friends who sympathize will not help heal you. Us women who attend church can be the hardest to learn what true reality and true authenticity is- we get confused by what church leaders tell us. It’s important that you are spending some time with soneone trained in how to undo the lies we have believed and exchange them for truth. Something I’ve wanted to say to you ever since I heard you say it on the blog- it is a lie if you think you deserve the consequences of a 2nd marriage and all that has come from that. Gid us a Holy God but He has sufficient grace to cover everything we will ever do. Nothing you have done requires any dye punishment to yourself. Please turn awY from that kind of thinking. I will be praying for your busy couple days and that God will open a door for you to connect with Leslies groups.

    • Maria on November 13, 2015 at 11:53 am

      Jennifer, Robin is right, the abuse you are suffering is NOT a consequence of your affair or 2nd marriage. The two are NOT related.

      • Maria on November 13, 2015 at 12:08 pm

        Jennifer, Here’s Leslie’s video explaining CORE

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyPCvrKquck

      • Sandra Anderson on November 13, 2015 at 3:17 pm

        Jennifer, my ex-husband never forgave me for having an affair with a former boyfriend while we were engaged. He constantly brought it up and said he would never trust me again. However, he was the one who committed adultery during our marriage, not me. There seemed to be a double standard as far as he was concerned. Consequently, there was no trust in our marriage. I was able to forgive him, by the grace of God, but since he’s agnostic, was never able to forgive me. So sad! God’s Words says that if a person refuses to forgive others, neither will He forgive them. Sandra

  62. Jennifer on November 13, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Thank you Maria

  63. Jennifer on November 13, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Thank you Robin, yes I have read the book.

  64. Robin on November 13, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Jennifer there is a whole chapter on building the core. Starts on page 102, maybe just read one page a day?? Her first quote in this chapter–
    CHANGE IS HARD, AND SOMETIMES WE’RE ONLY MOTIVATED TO CHANGE
    WHEN THE PAIN OF STAYING THE SAME BECOMES GREATER THAN THE FEAR OR PAIN OF MAKING THE CHANGE.

  65. Jennifer on November 13, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    It’s been awhile since I’ve read it, I will have to re-read it again.

  66. Robin on November 13, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    I read it several times before it sunk in. One thing I remember my counselor saying often- is we needed to get me separated from the abuse– so I could start healing. She said I was only surviving as long as I was in home with him. I didn’t understand that- till it happened. Immediately after I wasn’t standing guard protecting my family anymore- I could think clearly and start my own healing process. This book is a great place to start, but consider taking small bites, allowing it to sink in.

    • Liz on November 15, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      Thanks Robin
      That is the place I’m at now, being constantly reminded that I need to leave before my healing can actually start in earnest. I’ve put things in place to leave ( I’m hoping to build a small place just for me) but it means I have to be here for at least 6 months more. Thanks for the reminder about CORE it’s hard to make any progress while you’re still in the midst of constant abuse but I’m going to keep trying. Thank you for sharing from that next stage it’s encouraging
      Liz

      • Robin on November 15, 2015 at 3:08 pm

        Liz, deciding to leave is a process and it’s wise to have your steps planned well. My counselor has talked to me what a long process mine was, preparing for longtime like moving forward in working full time, building a dependable support group, and talking to several leaders who agreed the abuse was something j needed to get away from. Although it felt like it was past time to leave- I never felt good about it like it felt right. I knew it was right, and God confirmed that- but it’s still a very difficult step to take. But after I did, peace enveloped me on all sides and I felt Jesus’ hand on my shoulder saying, ‘child it’s your time to get some rest and quiet ‘ so you can make the steps needed in your future. I will be praying for you Liz!!!!

        • Liz on November 15, 2015 at 3:28 pm

          Thank Robin,
          The scary thing for me is that I did leave once before – for two years – so I have to fight against that experience as well. But I am in a very different place now, my 3 boys have since married 3 lovely girls and have all moved out and I have a 9 month old grandson who is an absolute joy for whom I need to survive and heal for. I very nearly didn’t make it through this year – so I’ve finally managed to know that regardless of my husband I need to do this for me and I feel Gods peace about it. I just wish that it didn’t need to take so long – but it’s part of me doing it well and on my terms – I’m hoping it will mean the outcome is different than last time. I think I now know that regardless of what type of relationship or non relationship my husband and I end up having I couldn’t live with him again. I just hope I can have strong enough boundaries to make living in separate homes work in such a way that I can heal. If I can’t then I will need to end the relationship more formally. I know I probably still sound ‘strange’ but I think despite everything I still struggle with his ‘seeming lack of intent’

          • Robin on November 15, 2015 at 5:55 pm

            Liz, I also left once before but it was t a planned escape. I would come home at night and have to walk past him, and he would rage with me without saying a word. I was tried of being frightened. One night after work I stayed with a friend as I worked 30 min away- and kept staying with friend. I would never have come home had my youngest daughter not announce her wedding plans and I didn’t want to ruin it for her. When I did come back his abuse was only much worse towards me. I was a fool to stay and take it, but I wasn’t knowledgable about the things Leslue teaches on building up our core. I’m glad to hear your children are raised. That’s one less complication!!!!



  67. susen on November 15, 2015 at 9:04 am

    I apologize to Leslie, to all on this board, and to Florence for not speaking in a godly way when I replied to you, Florence. The way I responded was disrespectful to the whole concept of what this blog is supposed to be doing–helping those who are hurting get to a healthy place.

    It’s been an humbling experience to realize what I have done. I am sorry. susen

  68. Leonie on November 15, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    That was one of the things that helped me realize that I needed to separate – I was so weary of being scolded or punished or having revenge enacted against me – for what, having 3 kids from my 1st marriage …. ?

  69. Robin on November 15, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Leonie you might tell the women the name of that devotional you got that quote from. I just ordered it off of Amazon. Looks like excellent tidbits for women who have been in controlling, entitled relationships.

  70. Liz on November 15, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Thanks Robyn yes being home for all of the weddings is the one reason I’m glad I did come back and he first time. And yes this time will be better planned. Thanks for your encouragement it means a lot

  71. Leonie on November 15, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Sure, Robin, it is from “Daily wisdom for ‘Why does he do that?’ Encouragement for women, involved with angry and controlling men” by Lundy Bancroft
    I love his work, no man gets abuse like Lundy Bancroft! I listened to a 1hr. 50 min. YouTube lecture that he gave and it really helped me and I was able to get away from my abuser shortly thereafter in a totally unexpected way. The support people at my shelter had been doing safety planning with me since March so I had all the key things I would need in the immediate ready just in case I was not able to return home for a few months or had to go to a shelter but in the end God really had his hand over all of it and I was back home 1 week later and my abuser was out.

  72. Denice on November 18, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    I see more and more narcissistic traits in my husband. He was put in a mental institution when he was in his early twenties and the Dr. diagnosed him as manic depressed, Bi-Polar and Schizophrenic. I always assumed those diagnoses were because of the large amounts of meth that he used, but I see more of those traits even today. He also had a Dr. tell him a few years ago that she believed he had PTSD. With all of those things, I don’ t know if the Lord will heal him here on earth. My husband is saved, but I think sometimes that his healing of these painful conditions will not happen while he is alive. We are currently living in separate homes. He picks up the kids from school and stays with them until I come home. Last night I came home about an hour late. Traffic was extra bad and I had to get off the freeway to use the restroom. I went to a store and while I was there, decided to get my little girls some pajamas for pajama day at school Friday. I didn’t call my husband to let him know that I was going to be late. I should have, but at times, when he is angry at me, he curses at me and tells me he doesn’t care what I do. But as a courtesy, I know I should have called, I guess I was just trying to avoid the verbal lashings I get so often even though this past 2-days he and I have been peaceful. When I got home he was angry and told me that he waited to eat dinner so we could eat together. I apologized of course and asked him for forgiveness but he just told me all sorts of bad stuff. While he ate dinner, I tried to speak to him but he just kept eating and would give me the middle-finger every time I said something to him. I know that me not calling was wrong, but his reaction was so evil – I don’t think anyone deserves that type of reaction even if they did do what I did. Am I wrong? We are in the process of trying to get him into a program that helps with drug and alcohol abuse (which he also does) and I am praying that my church will sponsor him to go into the program. It’s $1000 for the first 2-months. He will live there. It will be hard for the kids and I but it’s been so hard and painful watching him kill himself slowly and verbally destroy me. Something’s gotta give. I don’t know if this program will help since his issues are deep rooted in the childhood abuse he experienced and the substance abuse and other types are a result of him not properly healing from his childhood. I know that the Lord can do anything, but sometimes seeing all of these comments on this blog makes me feel that my husband will never be willing/able to change because of everything that’s happened to him. The Lord taking him home may just be the only way for peace.

    • Leslie Vernick on November 18, 2015 at 5:27 pm

      No you dont’ deserve to be treated that way and I hope he does go for help but you’re right, if he doesn’t see himself as a problem, he won’t see his need to get help.

      • Denice on November 18, 2015 at 5:32 pm

        Leslie, thank you so very, very much for obeying your calling in Christ and doing what you do in His Name. You have been such an encouragement to myself and my mom who deals with some of the same things with my dad. There will be a great, big crown waiting for you in heaven when the Lord calls you home and I know that you will be honored to give it back to our King. May God continue to bless you Leslie, your family and your ministry.

  73. Denice on November 18, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Robin, Jennifer and Mary2 – thank you all for your prayers and encouragement. It’s such a blessing to have other sisters step into your pain with you. I appreciate your words and prayers more than you know.

  74. Sandra Anderson on November 19, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    I Ditto that comment to Leslie from Denise! How blessed we ladies are for her godly ministry! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, dear Leslie! Sandra

  75. Sandra Anderson on November 19, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Oh dear Denice, my heart aches for you and your children, and also for your deeply ill husband. I’m praying he’ll receive the treatment he so desperately needs, and that our Lord will provide for you and your children in every way. HE knows all about it and loves you unconditionally, now and forever.

    Sandra

    • Denice on November 19, 2015 at 6:55 pm

      Thank you Sandra, you are a blessing to me.

  76. Ruth on November 21, 2015 at 11:53 am

    What if your does apologize and says he doesn’t want to be that angry man. He always regrets the yelling and hurtful things he says. But the bad days outnumber the good days lately. He even recognizes that he’s making the kids anxious and afraid and is the cause of their low self confidence. But the behaviour continues. We all walk on eggshells wondering what will next tick him off. He curses, yells, and talks in such a way that makes us feel like we’re stupid.
    He tells me that he can’t respect me because I’m a stay at home mom, beause I homeschool our children, and am a dayhome provider! He says it’s not a real job. I don’t keep the house clean enough, I really do my best, but he is a super perfectionist. We have 5 kids, plus 3 in my dayhome.

    But when he’s good, he’s really good, selfless, giving and so much fun.

    He’s gone for a week now to visit his brother, and if I’m honest, I haven’t missed him yet. I am developing some depression and I feel anxious all the time.

    What makes me feel guilty, which is what has kept me hanging on this long(16 years) is that he was emotionally & verbally abused as a child, by his dad. I feel guilt because he keeps saying he loves us and wants to do better, he wans to make us happy and feel loved, he wants to treat us well. And we have had lots of good times.
    He’s quit going to Church. He says things like wanting to kill God, and that Sunady school is messing our kids up. He’s a very angry but hurting man. And I feel like I’m a terrible person if I leave him, like I’m giving up hope, like somehow I should be able to help him.
    But I also don’t see him implementing any changes, so I don’t believe his words anymore. And I am just so done with the hurt, and the emotioanl damage he’s done(& doing) to the kids.

    • Denice on November 23, 2015 at 11:16 am

      Ruth, it has taken me a long time to realize that while I can make it hard for my husband to stay sober and walk with the Lord, it is NEVER my fault or responsibility if he doesn’t. Your husbands wounds from his childhood run deep. He will need to heal with the Lord and possibly with a counselor or pastor. My husband was abused so badly, even when things are going good in our lives, I still see the abused little boy in him. Have you ever heard of Victor Marx? He is a brother in Christ and a speaker who helps lost youth that are on the streets and in detention centers come to know Christ and heal through the abusive and negligent childhoods that many of them grew up him. Victor Marx has an incredible testimony, get his book or DVD if you can (I think you may be able to see it on YouTube). He was also abused horribly as a child and even left for dead in a freezer by a man who molested him. Reading his book helped me to understand my husband better but also gave me the courage to realize that it is not my fault that my husband acts out and hurts me or others with his words and actions and that my husband needs to own up to what he does, even if it is partially from the pain he experienced as a child. When our husbands are abused as children and do not heal properly, they act out against us and our kids and then we become the second victims of our husbands abusers. You sound like a wonderful wife and mom – not perfect, still a sinner, but I see that you have made yourself an open vessel to the Holy Spirit to do great things in your kids lives and others. Please do not give up. Many of us are with you in this battle and many have come out on the other side with victory. You are loved and cherished by our Father in heaven. One day your husband will need to stand before the throne of God and give an account for what he did with the wife that God gave him. But until then, we will fight with you in prayer and I know that the Lord will give you the wisdom and strength to do what He wants you to do.

    • roxanne on November 27, 2015 at 7:18 am

      “When he is good he is really good”. Hi, Ruth. That behavior is called his pseudo self. It is the alternate personality that he wants to be. Sadly, it is a mask he tries very hard to put on.He struggles to be the pseudo self as it takes all his effort to do it. You have noticed he can’t do it consistently or for long periods, correct? His real self is the troubled angry man. Paul Hegstrom writes of this in his book, Broken Children Grown up Pain and Angry Men and the Women who Love Them.

      • Mary2 on November 27, 2015 at 12:34 pm

        Hi Roxanne, if I could leave a comment about Real Self/False Self (I’ve been listening to “Healing Our Violence” by Frs. Keating and Rohr) – the good news is that everyone’s Real Self is the self created in God’s image. “Human health depends upon the experience of God – so to the degree that we are lacking in this experience (or some aspect of it) we have some healing work to be done”. The False Self largely leaves the ego in charge in order to get by and to survive and operates out of its homemade reality, erecting barriers against the Real Self emerging under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. So I would say that the troubled angry man is actually the false husband whose life would greatly benefit from being able to see that this is true, and consent to his Real Self having opportunity to emerge – which of course involves a change of will on his part. It would seem that his good times show evidence that the Real Self is still within, needing strengthening and encouragement to flourish. Then the old “useless scaffolding” erected to protect his hurt immaturities will fall away as his Real Self unites with God’s divine therapy 🙂 I know this is what I have needed, and still need on this journey, a process. We all do, to varying degrees – the Real Self keeps wanting to align with God’s perspective – hence the warring between flesh (predisposed to function from untruth) and spirit (truth). I pray our Father will open all His children’s eyes to the grace which is available for this divine therapy to happen 🙂 Blessings

  77. Mary2 on November 21, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    I am so sorry for this situation Ruth, I feel your pain. Your life is certainly worthy of respect – he just has to hit out verbally at the nearest outlet hoping somehow that will help his inner turmoil, with no understanding that he is making his life worse instead of better. As he was abused by his dad, there is an identity issue going on here that he is repeating because it was what was modelled to him – and he says he doesn’t want to be this way, but does not know how to change. And the frustration is compounding the problem. The way to help him is by reaching out to God and those who understand the dynamics of verbal abuse inheritance and can counsel you as to how to deal with it for your own well-being as well as your family’s. God helped me to see this when we were going through our own “dynamics” – Psalm 129 especially v.4 gives hope and is something to cling on to – as God knows what your husband is actually battling with and the way forward for you both. There is the strategy of learning how to “push back” gently and firmly, without taking his pain into yourself any longer. I do have the details of the counsellor who taught me all this stuff when I had reached the end of my rope – and can send you his details if you would like to email me on sistersusie5@msn.com – I would be happy to help you all I can with what I’ve learned and the healing it has brought about in all our lives, to the glory of God and the infusion of hope all round 🙂 Blessings and strength to you Ruth, love, Mary2

  78. Leonie on November 22, 2015 at 6:31 am

    Ruth, it sounds like you need to get away to protect yourself and your children. Of course you are very weary. I hope his week away is a peaceful break for you all. Don’t be distracted by his words and intentions (which sound wonderful, noble and pure) and trust yourself and see the truth of what he is doing to you and the kids. I don’t think being abused as a child himself gives him an excuse to abuse you all, there is no excuse. It sounds like you are super mom – homeschooling 5 kids and bringing in an income! Isn’t that like having 3 full time jobs – I think your husband is quite mistaken and you are contributing more than most! I think at this point you need to help yourself and your kids get away from abuse and let a professionals deal with your abusive husband. We are glad you are here and hope Leslie’s advice and the truth she brings us help you and your kids.

  79. Ruth on November 23, 2015 at 11:14 am

    I know I need to go talk to someone I know, to get help. I’d like to talk to his mom, but I’m not sure if that’d make it worse.
    I want to help him, but I’m not sure if staying is helping. Its causing damage to the kids, and may even be preventing him from getting help & growing up.

    He seems to look for his worth in others. In how they treat him or what they think of him and his actions. Including our children. So I will give you an example from our vacation this past summer. We went to a waterpark. I thought everything was going great, until my husband got mad, he kept it quiet, so no one around us knew that he was putting the kids down and angry at them. He was upset because our girls(mostly the oldest-13 years old) didn’t want to go on the biggest scariest waterside with him. Then he was upset that she hadn’t asked him to go on any other slides with her. He made her feel terrible for not thinking of him. He was feeling rejected because she wouldn’t go on this scary slide. (To me, a dad takes his kids to the waterpark to have fun with them, its for the kids. You don’t wait for your kids to offer to go on the scariest slide, you don’t let it hurt you. He should have continued to have fun doing whatever they wanted,and just join them, that would’ve been making good memories. Instead its like he’s wanting the kids to validate him!)

    He was so upset that he told the kids he was not taking them to the movies as planned. That was their consequence. He took us to the hotel room and left for a few hours.

    What do I do in a situation like that?

    Now of course he can be very nice as well, and we built some good memories. But there is just so much continued hurt and unhealthy relationship.

  80. Mary2 on November 23, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    This is where an empowering question would come in handy Ruth – I know they are very difficult to think of at the time, it’s only in retrospect they tend to come to us (unfortunately) – but with such an example of behaviour like that, it can prepare us for the next time if/when.

    Such as “Honey, what do you think will become of our relationship (or/and our family) if I get to feel like I’ve got another son and not a husband?”…….(or our children think they have another sibling and not a father?) Just an example of what we can have in our tool kit. The motive of course, in asking an empowering question, is not to put the other person down but to give their ‘survival kit’ another direction to consider that they’re oblivious of (blind spot).

    Like you say, talking to his mom may make it worse as moms can be very defensive. You have every right to protect your own mental and emotional wellbeing and God is on your side in this, because He knows how important the mother’s role is and has equipped us with the intuition to know, ahead of time, when things need adjusting. Understanding the “cords of the wicked” (Psalm 129) in no way makes excuses for them – but it does explain them to us so we know what we are dealing with 🙂 I pray for courage and strength for you Ruth, and that you will receive all the support and encouragement you need in choosing your path, God bless

  81. Denice on November 23, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Ruth, your husbands mother and father’s parenting is a huge part of why your husband continues to act out as a child. Unless your mother-in-law is a Godly woman who loves and obeys the Lord, I would not go to her to speak about her son. I agree that she may get defensive. However, that does not mean that you cannot pray for her heart and for her to take responsibility for anywhere she lacked as a mother or anywhere she was negligent. Now of course your husband is fully responsible for his actions as an adult, but our children are a reflection of us when they are young. I have prayed for the Lord to heal the relationship between my mother-in-law and my husband. He still harbors resentment towards her and I see where he lets that out on me sometimes. She has recently admitted to me that she knows the “monsters” that she created (in her sons). What’s hard is that she was intoxicated while they were kids and she doesn’t remember a lot of things, however, she should still seek their forgiveness and own up to her part in hurting her boys and not protecting them from their dad and other abusers. My husband has been waiting for years for her to acknowledge these things – it’s very sad. But the truth of the matter is, he may never get that apology or acknowledgement from his mother. And whether he does or not, he knows that he is responsible for forgiving her and making Godly choices as a Christian man regardless of his upbringing. And when he does this, the Lord will reward him with peace and wonderful relationships with his own children, not to mention our heavenly Father. Like all people, your husbands issues derive from his heart. He sincerely may believe that you and the kids neglect him or abandon him when you do not give him his way. But those emotions (although sincere) are being misplaced and used to hurt you and the kids. Thank you for your courage Ruth in sharing your story. Continue to strengthen yourself in the Lord and remember to take those tiny moments (as few as you may have) and praise the Lord for His faithfulness and find rest in Him.

  82. Dee on November 24, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Married for almost 40 yrs., I finally recognized the Narcissistic Personality disorder in my husband which after all these years I truly see as a mental disorder. With my having multiple health issues due to the abuse and PTSD through the years, there is nothing left in me but care for him as another human being. Even after he had a stroke & I took care of him til he recovered enough to care for himself, there is still no show of appreciation (he’s on my insurance too) and we sleep in the same house as 2 strangers. Though we are legally married (I did leave him for a short while), I now know there is little possibility of him having the capacity to care for anyone but himself. Our 4 kids tell me I am no longer obligated to him but I feel a sense of moral responsibility. There is no longer the abusive behavior since the stroke but now I live and take care of someone called my spouse but is mentally equivalent to an adolescent. Compassion, yes… after I know it is the Lord giving the grace to learn to forgive even though he never believed he did anything wrong. Sometimes I feel like I was cheated, marrying someone who deceptively portrayed himself to be something else. I have been greatly blessed in other ways but it is a struggle of faith sometimes to trust God that all this is still in His control. The one good thing is that I have had the ministry of facilitating a Women’s Support Group to help Christian women find a safe place to talk about this serious and personal subject without being judged by the church .

  83. Ruth on November 24, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    His mother left his Dad when he was a teen. There is a lot of hurt in his past, but his mom is the sweetest person. I thought maybe talking to her, I could gain some better understanding of whats going on.
    My husband says that he hates God, he hates a God who makes him hate his children. Today he texted me as he’s driving his mom home from the city, and he says to pray for him, he cannot stand her and he needs help surviving the trip. He says he hates my family. So I can’t help but wonder, does he hate me too? I know he sure complains and looses his temper a lot, so he must.

    What I don’t understand, is that I’ve never heard him say such hurtful things as he has in the last 2 years.

    I realize I need to change how I handle his temper, I’ve realized that i think I’ve somewhat enabled it, walking on eggshells trying not to make him mad. I need to work on myself.
    I want to leave, but I don’t know if it would help. His mom left his dad and it certainly didn’t help, theres still lots of hurt. But I really worry for my kids living in this environment everyday.

    • Robin on November 24, 2015 at 4:17 pm

      Ruth don’t judge your experience by what happened to your husbands parents. You get to make your choices based on what you and the children need. Do you really need to give it much thought about staying with someone with so much hate in his heart?? That seems like a red flag . I would encourage you to look at what’s best for you and the children. I’ve lived with a hater. Life was miserable everyday, every event. We’ve been separated over 2 years. I don’t miss his hating everyone and everything’. I decided to let him take responsibility for that hate in his heart and quit letting it destroy me. I’m sorry this has been your story too. God has something so much better for you and the children. And it sounds like he has made no effort towards change??

    • Debby on February 27, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      Ruth, leaving doesnt necessarily mean permanent so dont let a huge step like permanence deter you. Putting space and time between you and this toxic person will let you breathe, heal and develop discernment and clarity. When you say “his mom left his dad and it certainly didnt help, theres still hurt” do you mean it did not help HER? Or that it still hurts other people involved? You are “worried about my kids living in this environment” so you recognize that it is harmful. I know I grappled with that for YEARS bc of all the “divorce is so destructive” mantra. What i have learned is that yes, God hates divorce because it harms everyone involved. But I also learned, God hates abuse because it harms everyone involved. The difference is that abuse has NO REDEEMING QUALITIES. NOTHING good can come of living with abuse. We are all praying for you. Keep learning, the fog will begin to life. Take it one step at a time and God will direct your steps.

  84. Brenda on February 26, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    I’m so relieved to have found this post. I have been so alone and lost. My husband of 5 years just left me. He has bipolar and his manic episodes have taken an enormous toll on our family. He only believes in Marijuana to treat his illness but it only tones it down. He becomes mean and abusive when it wears off. He recently became a Christian ( as am I) and it helped but now he uses scripture against me. I do my best to be a submissive Godly wife but in his eyes, I fail miserably. I have 2 kids from a previous marriage. His only thing against me now is that he told me we had to move because God does not like mortgages or debt. He wanted to move far out of the city. I can not do this because I have joint custody. He didn’t care. He said that I was not following ands he could not live with a hypicrit. His manic phases consist of threats, restraining me in rooms, literally hours upon hours of him yelling and criticizing me while I stay quiet, property damage. This last round lasted for 4weeks and he is still telling me how I’m a no good wife. I’ve forgiven him for so many lies, cheating, abuse. And I still forgive him now but honestly don’t know if I can take the abuse anymore. Please someone reach out to me. I pray for him all the time. What do I do?

    • Debby on February 27, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      Brenda, our hearts are with you! The bad thing is: its abuse! The good thing is: its REALLY, REALLY obvious! Whether he claims he is “christian” or not has no bearing on his behaviors nor your necessary responses/actions. His actions are completely unacceptable, regardless of the excuses, blaming, scripture slinging. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing. It is designed to free OUR hearts (the person doing the forgiving) from the need to enact revenge, which belongs to God. But don’t mistake “revenge” for healthy, natural consequences every person must face when they are abusive. There is a difference between forgiveness and fellowship. Each of us must EARN fellowship with the human beings we choose to have in our lives, by reasonable behavior and repenting and making amends for those UNUSUAL and UNCHARACTERISTIC moments we all have as a natural part of our fallenness. Its the only way to HAVE healthy relationships. HIs abusive behaviors are USUAL, CHARACTERISTIC, as well as UNreasonable, UNhealthy, UNrepentant, with no thought of making amends because there is no thought that what he is doing is WRONG. Husband or not, you are not required nor obligated to live under his tyranny. That is not a marriage. That is abuse. Abuse is not a “marriage” problem. It is a control problem. Another thing I learned is that his opinion that you are a “terrible wife” does not mean it is TRUE. He maintains power because you BELIEVE his lie. Just in your short story, all of us here who have lived it can easily tell you are doing everything you can to BE a “good wife.” But many of us have been taught faulty lessons on what a “good wife” means. Some great resources: obviously THIS one! Also, Lundy Bancrofts book Why Does He Do That? is like a textbook on the mind of the abuser. Absolutely revolutionized my thinking! Hurtbylove.com (read every article! and get her book), and cryingoutforjustice.com are filled with important truths that will help you know what you are facing, give you discernment, help you come out of the fog of abuse, bring clarity and help you determine what steps you need to take to put some space and time between you and this toxic person, until such time or IF such time as he decides to get the help he needs and shows HUGE improvements consistently over a LONG period of time (months at the least). But that is on HIM. None of HIS issues are your responsibility. You need to protect you, your children and give yourself time to heal so you can make clear decisions that are not mired by confusion and doubt. God bless you, sister. The healing and wholeness that comes from being out of a toxic environment is worth the journey and the time it takes to study and learn.

  85. susen on February 27, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Brenda~many prayers are already going up to God for your safety and sanity. I found this site late one night through a post by Leslie on evil manipulators. It was a very dark time.

    Please read the many blog starters subsequent to this one. You will see that you are not alone. You can also see in the replies and comments how many have worked through their periods of darkness. So many on this blog have sacrificed years and years trying to fill up the black hole in our spouses. 1 Peter 3:17 ” It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” The question is: is your suffering doing any good? Are the sacrifices you and your children are making by surviving in this chaos producing anything good?

    What I have found is that I am not able to go forth and serve God when I am in the midst of chaos and destruction. My spirit was being devoured. No one has the right to do that to another. 1 Peter 5:8 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Tough words, but I have loved three people (my mother, my girls’ father, and a second husband who was so sick that he committed suicide) whose mental illness almost devoured me before I learned that I had to listen to the voice inside (the Holy Spirit)–my sacrifices to these loved ones was not godly. I could not nor cannot fill up someone else’s black hole. I started to self-destruct through anorexia. I gave up. But God wasn’t through with me yet–and He gave me the strength to call the abuse for what it is. He saw me through the fear and the unknown. His blessings continue to amaze me.

    At issue is the admonition to wives to submit to their husbands in 1 Peter 3:1. 1 Peter 3: 7 admonishes husbands to be considerate and treat their wives with respect. Why one “rule” and not the other?

    I love how God blessed mothers with the mama bear instinct! You wrote that your husband wants to move, making your joint custody impossible. I urge you to listen to what that demand means. Why would he want to isolate you from your children like that?

    Abuse escalates. Holding you captive and property damage–that is out of control behavior. He is sick and he is dangerous.

    The answer to what should you do lies within you, as a child of God. The desperation you feel comes from knowing what is happening in your family is wrong. I am praying for you. susen

  86. Sandra Anderson on February 27, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Dear Brenda, My heart and prayers go out for you. God loves you and does not expect you to submit to this abuse. Praise God your husband left, and you are not bound, so do not take him back.. My abusive ex-husband also left me several years ago, and I now praise the Lord for the peace and freedom to serve Him as never before. You are loved, Sandra

  87. DISPAIR on March 12, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    I AM A CHRISTIAN MAN WHO DEALS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS (BPD, SEVERE DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY AND VOICES WHICH I BELIEVE ARE ALL DEMONIC FORCES!!!!) I HAVE HAD STRUGGLES FOR YEARS WHICH BECAME MORE AND MORE!!!! MY WIFE IS ALSO A CHRISTIAN WHICH I KNOW MENTAL PROBLEMS HARD BUT WHAT CAUSE MORE PROBLEMS IS HOW I AM LOOKED AT AND TREATED!!!! I AM JUDGED, INSTEAD OF USING THE BIBLE TO HELP ME FIGHT THESE DEMONS SHE USES IT MORE OF WEAPON AT ME ALWAYS SAYING THAT SHE IS THE ONE SERVING GOD BUT YET I AM DISRESPECTED, SHE ALLOWS OUR 13 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER TO BE DISRESPECTFUL AND HELPS HER AND THEN PROTECTS HER!!!! THEM TOGETHER HAVE EVEN HIT ME ON MANY TIMES WITH HANDS AND OBJECTS AND SHE DOES NOT SEE ANY WRONG DOING WITH HER AND EVEN WILL SAY “I KNOW GOD SEES WHAT IS GOING ON” AS TO SAY IT IS OKAY BECAUSE HOW MY WIFE AND DAUGHTER SAY “I AM CRAZY A LUNATIC AND SHOULD BE LOCKED AWAY OR HOPE I WILL BE PUT OUT OF MY MISERY!!!!! AND YET THROUGH WHAT GOD SUPPLIES TO ME I STILL DO ONLY HAVE THE CONCERN OF MAKING SURE THEY ARE PROVIDED FOR FROM DISABILITY WHICH MY FORMER JOB WITH ALL THE HELL JUST FINISHED ME OFF!!!! I FEEL USED, UNLOVED AND HATED ON TOP OF ALREADY WHAT I HAVE TO FIGHT AGAINST!!!! WHAT REWARD DO I GET FOR TRYING TO HANG IN THERE AND SOME OF THE CLOSES ONES DON’T WANT ME!!!!

  88. Bonnie on December 19, 2016 at 6:56 am

    Thank you so much for this post. I am trying to clarify in my mind what has happened in my marriage with an emotionally abusive husband and was questioning whether he had a mental illness, and if so, whether I needed to take him back. This post answers my questions so clearly. I feel like now I have some peace and closure.

  89. Yvette on April 29, 2021 at 12:34 am

    I am a Christian woman whose been married for 5 years. My husband is bipolar and a alcohol and drug addict. He’s verbally abusive towards me and he always refers to the past when having an argument. During most of our arguments if they get to heated I get it my car and leave. We’ve had to move twice because he draws the wrong type of people as friends or associates which disrupts the neighbors. Very embarrassing. When we moved the agreement was that he would go to get help and I would continue to stay with my friend. Well unfortunately he has procrastinated for about a month. He finally went to detox but then their was some miscommunication and they refused to send him to a residential facility. He relapsed while finding another treatment center. He’s been sleeping in his car saying he’s going to go. Everyday he calls me needing financial support but I say I don’t have it so then there’s the blame game of why he is without a place to live.He is disrespectful, yells and curse at me. I will admit at times I’ve allowed him to push my buttons because I’m so mentally drained from the name calling, yet he says he loves me. I do go to God and ask for forgiveness. I pray for him daily. He always states that I’m supposed to be a Christian woman and What Christian woman does this to her husband? He blames me for it all. I must say where I’m living there is peace and I’m able to spend time with God when I’m not involved with him. He’s not on his meds and thinks marijuana calms him. I don’t believe that at all. Exhausted!

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