Morning friends,

In honor of Christmas and the need for both Martha and I to have a less stressful week, I thought I would repeat a blog I did several years ago about a person’s vulnerability to being a repeat victim in abusive relationships.

Please do not take this to mean that you cause someone to abuse you. That is not true. If not you, it would be someone else. However, when you have any or several of these following traits, abusive people find it easier to take advantage of you and you may be victimized more often.

 

Question: Is there a prototype of person who is more likely to accept abusive treatment in relationships? My guess is that It’s someone with damaged self-esteem.

Answer: Many women wonder if there is something about them that attracts abusers, especially when they have experienced multiple abusive relationships. For a number of reasons, some women (and men) may be more vulnerable to predators. One reason you mentioned in your question is that they don’t value themselves or don’t think they deserve to be treated with kindness and respect, which is definitely an issue with damaged self-esteem.

But another reason a woman may be more vulnerable to being abused is that she is too naive and/or too nice. She has not been taught by her mother or father to “bare her teeth” when she is in relationship danger. Instead, she learns to ignore the warning signs, to pretend everything is fine, to make nice, to be accommodating to her own peril, and to go the extra mile.

While being accommodating and kind are fine qualities, a girl must also be taught how and when it’s time to speak up, set boundaries, say no, and walk away from a relationship that is disrespectful and dishonoring to her before it ever becomes abusive.

When a woman does not know how to protect herself against a predator, or she’s taught it’s ungodly or unfeminine, she is far more vulnerable to being manipulated, intimidated and abused.

Thirteen Traits That Make You a Magnet for Abusers (tweet that)

In my counseling and coaching work, I’ve observed 13 traits people possess that make them potentially more vulnerable to being abused. Having any one of these traits or all of them does not make the abuse you experience your fault, but in your naiveté and/or unhealthiness, you do become a magnet that attracts abusive people.

These traits are not in any specific order nor do you have to have all of them to make you more vulnerable. Just having one of them can make you more susceptible to abuse and put you in an unhealthy or dangerous place in your relationships https://modafprovig.com.

  1. When you initially become attracted to someone, you don’t look for good character qualities (such as honesty, faithfulness, diligence, and responsibility) but easily get swept away by charm (such as a great smile, a lot of money, the way he kisses you, his flattering words).
  1. You frequently ignore your gut instincts that something isn’t right. Instead you rationalize, minimize, or tell yourself you are imagining things or overreacting.
  1. You believe you don’t deserve a better relationship, therefore, you settle for what you can get and what he gives you, even if it’s hurtful and abusive. You believe that having someone is better than having than having no one.
  1. You fall for smooth words and fast-talk over looking at the hard facts and his or her past behaviors.
  1. You feel empty without a man (or woman) in your life.
  1. You have a hard time sticking up for yourself in assertive ways. When you get frustrated you may try, but in your anger you may sound overly aggressive. Then you feel guilty and revert back to your passive accommodating ways.
  1. You typically over-function and/or under-function in your relationships. You feel all the responsibility to repair what is wrong and take all the blame. You tend to not think for yourself or make your own decisions. You allow yourself to be controlled.
  1. You perpetually avoid conflict and feel bad or guilty saying no to people.
  1. You cling to fantasy story lines and love myths such as if you love someone enough he/she will change, and God will make everything work out in the end.
  1. You have few or no boundaries or you allow others to violate your boundaries with no consequences.
  1. You accept unacceptable behavior from others and blame yourself for what he does or says.
  1. You do things for the other person that are against your own values and better judgment (like co-sign a loan, let him sleep over when you barely know him, lie for him).
  1. You make excuses for abusive behavior or minimize and rationalize it. (He’s tired, he had an abusive father, he’s depressed, he’s had a hard day, he has poor self-esteem).

If you recognize yourself as having any of these thirteen traits and are tired of being an abuse magnet, NOW IS THE TIME to make some changes.

If you recognize that you need help to stop these patterns, check out my 6-month coaching class Empowered to Change starting in January

Friend, have you recognized yourself in any of these 13 traits? What steps are you going to take in 2016 to get healthier?

88 Comments

  1. Survivor on December 23, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Wow!!! I found myself at some level in 11 of these!!!! I thought there might be some things, but had no idea it was that many!! Thanks for posting, Leslie, this gives me some more things to work on with my counselor……

    • Jane on December 28, 2015 at 11:44 pm

      I guess I am the odd duck in this discussion, as I can not identify with any of the 13 posts suggested. My answer to each one is a strong “No”.

      • BELOVED on January 10, 2016 at 9:15 pm

        You’re not the odd duck… I darent even look at them. I darent face how many will refer to me, because despite receiving so much healing, I know that I’m STILL A MAGNET FOR ABUSE BECAUSE I STILL ATTRACT ABUSIVE PEOPLE OR ENABLE PEOPLE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ME, USE ME, SPEAK DOWN TO ME, MANIPULATE ME, BLAME ME, project THEIR ISSUES ONTO ME AND SOOOO MUCH MORE.
        ONE PART OF ME IS FULLY AWARE OF ABUSE SO MUCH THSTBI CAN ALMOST SMELL IT, THE OTHER PART OF ME IS STILL TOO FEARFUL OF DEFENDING MYSELF OR CONFRONTING THEM…THEN THERE IS A BIG PART IF ME THAT CONFRONTS THEM AND DEFENDS MYSELF BUT FEELS SO BAD/FEELS LIKE I GET WRONG/FEELS BAD/FEELS GUILTY for sticking up for myself… Then there’s the part of me that feels inadequate, inarticulate and not eloquent. So I keep my mouth shut and feel guilty , stupid and bad for that too.

        THEN THERE’S THE ME IN CHRIST, THAT IS STRONG, CONFIDENT, SURE, EQUAL, VALID, VALUED, LOVED, EMPOWERED AND ALIVE AND FREE!!!!
        THE TROUBLE IS, I CANT (YET) KEEP HOLD OF THE LATTER ME.
        THE ME THAT I LIKE AND DESIRE TO BE, ALL OF THE TIME. THE ME THAT WALKS IN THE SPIRIT…. KNOWING I HAVE AUTHORITY IN CHRIST!

        So I guess, I still need much more healing.

  2. Former Doormat on December 23, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Oh, my. I saw myself in 8 of these character traits. I am getting heathier, though. I am certainly stronger now than in my first marriage, but being too nice hasn’t served me well in marriage #2. I am finding my voice, learning to bare my teeth and how to set boundaries. Thanks to Leslie’s writings, EDM, and two support groups, I am making changes to escape the crazy dance. Hard lessons, but better late than never!

  3. Heather on December 23, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Great to the point article! It’s very clear to understand. I see about 10 or 11 of the traits in myself to some level. I feel like a lot of the behaviors I learned or felt pressured to do in childhood from within my family. I don’t think I was ever taught how to stand up for myself properly.

  4. Aleea on December 23, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Leslie, thank so much for this, —it is brilliant and I love the self-care modeling too: “In honor of Christmas and the need for both Martha and I to have a less stressful week,. . .” —wonderful.

    “Am I a magnet for abusers?” Yes, —yes I am.

    “Friend, have you recognized yourself in any of these 13 traits?” Yes, —almost all of them. As I said last blog post, so far from counseling I have learned that: My mother abused me; I abuse myself; I attract those types of people (they are familiar/ they feel just like family); they see my permission slip and they abuse me too. I abuse myself before anyone else does. If I can solve the inside, the outside will be mostly fixed. The abuse would not be happening *externally* if it is not happening *internally*. I have to BE the change I want to see in my world. . .

    “What steps are you going to take in 2016 to get healthier?”
    . . . sigh & huge exhale. . . .I have tried the steps, —I think all of them. . . . .and they don’t work but to cover over and mask the issues. . . . . So, in 2016, along with whatever Dr. Meier has me do in the counseling sessions (—she keeps saying we may switch to “short-term dynamic” —whatever that is). . . . . —Anyway, I will take a page out of the community living at the time of Jesus out at the Dead Sea and just, as Dr. Eisenman, (re:James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls) would say: f-u-l-l-y, as completely as possible, utterly embrace my pain and brokenness in 2016. —Move straight toward it, not hide from it. If I even think my pain is at the door, I will get up and invite it in, —all of it. That means I may need to stop going to the churches I currently attend because they are acting like some type of a drug den in my life with the leaders being like the nicest, most sincere, drug dealers ever. All the songs, sermons, workshops and seminars all help me avoid NOT confronting my suffering. These drugs are very appealing and a quick fix/ powerful high, but they are not helping me face up to, speak out about and work through my pain. . . . .You know what does? This blog because *mostly* folks here have Ph.D.s in what doesn’t work and have often reached wits’ end and are done pretending and are so, so beyond the next “quick fix” church program. —And the next fix that they know *will not* fix what is wrong. They are finished mainlining false hope. . . . . . In 2016, I am going to fully allow myself to cry and breakdown when reading posts and comments, not quickly moving on when that wall of emotions appears like a tsunami. In other words, a 2016 commitment to a liturgical structure that treats God not as a product that would make me whole but as the mystery that enables me to live abundantly in the midst of life’s serious pains and difficulties. A place where I can confront the reality of my abuse, not so I will despair, but so that I will be free of the despair that already is within me. The despair that really enslaves me, the despair that I so often am told is “not really there” and I, at times, refuse to acknowledge. . . . . By filling my life with all manner of activities, I am avoiding that most frightening of things: becoming really silent before God, with the realization that silence is all but impossible for me. . . . .So in 2016, I will frequently stop what I am doing and attempt to become still to discover and embrace my fears and anxieties and the truth that I am not okay but have massively suffered and am suffering. —Nor will I manipulate rescue (poor me) because that too brings false hope. . . . . I will fully embrace my brokenness because if I don’t, it will always seep out in other ways (—through frenetic activity, self-hatred, hatred of others, etc.) I can generally maintain my inner facebook profile (—the idealized image I have of myself) but only at great expense. Way too expensive, Jesus wants us to be truly free. The things we are told we must/ cannot speak of are the very things about which we must never stop speaking.

  5. Sunshine. on December 23, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    I am all 13 wrapped up in a human package. At least I know it and can proceed cautiously from this time forward. My mother raised me to be kind and do whatever I was told. I was Never encouraged to speak my mind, give my opinion or speak up if I didn’t like something. My opinion was not valued. I was sexually abused for years as a small child. Even when I told, my mom and dad didn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of confronting the perpetrator. They shushed me and said I never needed to go to that house to see those people again. It was then a forbidden topic. When a boy came along to offer me a date, my mom pushed me to accept as if that was my one and only chance at love. I was convinced as a young adult that I was so worthless and damaged that no one could possibly want me. When I had come to terms with never getting married, my husband entered my life. I ignored all red flags. When I would have broken off with him, he confessed his love. I ignored my gut and didn’t want him to be disappointed so I went along with the relationship. When he proposed, I accepted. When we married and his nice persona fell away, I knew I had ignored Gods warnings and now I was paying for it. This many years later, I still am not sure if I am doing right by staying and trying to make it work or just prolonging this farce and his “perfect” world wife dream. I encourage my girls to speak up even if it comes across as rude.

    • Daughter of God on December 28, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      Sunshine,
      I am so saddened to read your post, but also so understanding of what you wrote since it almost describes my life as well. I am sorry for your feelings of worthless and will pray for God to begin to speak to you and your beautiful worthy self. It has taken me years and years to begin to realize that regardless of the pain that people in my life have caused and continue to cause, it is in Jesus that I found my worth! I have always looked to the approval of others to verify my worth but am beginning to realize that I am worthy of love, respect, care, having my own opinions, etc. only because of the basic fact that I am God’s daughter first above all other things. He loves me and thinks I am worthy, not based on my actions as a good wife, good mother, good teacher, good daughter, good forgiver, good person, but because I am his daughter! That has been hard to understand and I still struggle with it daily especially when my husband treats me as less than and belittles my feelings, opinions, self-worth, etc.

      I too am not sure if staying and trying to work on my marriage is what is right or best but knowing how much God hates marriage and my feelings of worthlessness I still struggle with knowing if my “feelings” are worth breaking up a 10-year marriage with two wonderful young children.

      I think that is the part most people do not understand. It is not easy for those of us who feel worthless to stand up for ourselves, especially in our marriages where we are trying to walk the fine line of being the submissive, good, faithful wife that God has called us to be, (even if we ignored the warning signs) and someone who is able to not be a “magnet”. Very hard to understand and work through for me!!

      Please know that this is not punishment for ignoring God’s warning signs, but that he will allow us to make choices in our lives and still LOVE and accept and help us no matter what. He will use all things to glorify himself even our “mistakes”. He is a faithful God and will not leave us or forsake us.

      While I don’t have all the answers or even know what I am supposed to do in my own life ( I have been in marriage counseling with a great pastor at my church with my husband for 5-months and still know that I have to draw near to God first and foremost because I still feel like my marriage is in the same place even though my pastor is beginning to see my husband more for who is really is), I did want to share with you the one truth I have learned through my life and years.

      Don’t give up on yourself Sunshine and humbly bring yourself to the Lord and pour out your hurt and pain to him and allow him to begin his work in you.

      P.s.
      Sometimes I think that through our struggles maybe part of it is to show our own children how not to make the same mistakes in their lives and how not to suffer as we have. Continue to lovingly teach your daughters how to speak up for themselves.
      In His Love,
      From one daughter of God to another

      • Janet on January 6, 2016 at 9:57 am

        Please Read Leslie’s book, emotionally destructive marriage. As you
        Prepare (with God, to leave).
        In there you will find your TRUE AND GODLY answer!!!!

        • Janet on January 6, 2016 at 9:59 am

          Please Read Daughter of God,
          Leslie’s book, emotionally destructive marriage. As you
          Prepare (with God, to leave).
          In there you will find your TRUE AND GODLY answer!!!!

          • Janet on January 6, 2016 at 10:05 am

            Delete this comment.



      • Janet on January 9, 2016 at 8:58 pm

        Sunshine. Please read Leslie’s book.
        The emotionally destructive marriage.

        She has also written the emotionally destructive relationship.
        Leslie Vernick is the only author to cover this subject comprehensively and with (scripturally TRUTHFUL) biblically correct.
        I’m sure Leslie’s book will help you decide what to do, clearly and decisively….
        I’m praying for you to have. Wisdom, strength and faith to seek the truth and act on it.
        God bless.

      • Janet on January 9, 2016 at 9:55 pm

        Oh daughter of God, are you teaching your daughters to speak up for themselves and yet still remain in a miserable abusive marriage????
        My mum stayed in an abusive marriage. (“Where could she go with 5kids??!”)… She’s still with him 25years AFTER the youngest and last child Left home…..
        Did she teach me to speak up for my self and not tolerate “physical abuse”/” “Domestic violence!”..
        ????????????????????
        Yes she taught me to stand up and fight for what was right. And,
        I have an extremely sense of injustice!!!

        I DID Speak UP AND SPEAK OUT for injustice, I DID fight for my rights, battle for my independence, and DID NOT TOLERATE PHYSICAL ABUSE….
        NEVERTHELESS!!!! I CONTINUED TO STAY in an abusive marriage for thirty years!!! ONLY TO DISCOVER that I was ACTUALLY fighting… (*for at least 25 years*) FOR NOTHING!!!…. I THOUGHT IF I LOVED Him ENOUGH, IF I TRIED HARDER, IF I LOVED HIM ENOUGH HE’D EVENTUALLY LOVE ME…. IF I….IF I…..IF I….IF I…….IF I….
        My trouble was that I did not know when enough was enough….
        Yes
        My mum taught me to fight for my relationship, to be strong and survive, to be the glue and the backbone…

        BUT

        she DID NOT TEACH me TO LOVE, RESPECT AND VALUE MYSELF ENOUGH TO LEAVE!!!! OR that sometimes it is right to walk away!
        OR THAT
        Sometimes u have to say no!!! And stick to it….
        SHE DID NOT TEACH ME
        To have boundaries, OR HOW TO IMPLEMENT EFFECTIVE CONSEQUENCES!
        SHE DID NOT TEACH ME
        self respect, or how to have a voice! Rather than make indignant noises that dissolve as soon as they leave your mouth because they hold no substance!
        MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME TO FOLLOW BY EXAMPLE….AND SHE WAS MY EXAMPLE!!!! SHE TAUGHT ME
        TO PROTECT MY ABUSIVE HUSBAND!, as i deluded myself into thinking i was protecting my self…. She taught me to COVER UP FOR MY ABUSER! deluding myself that It was to protect my children, SHE TAUGHT ME TO BE AN ENABLER! AS I DELUDED MYSELF INTO THINKING I WAS HOLDING ON TO HOPE!
        SHE TAUGHT ME TO DO AS SHE DOES… STAND AND FIGHT!!!!
        I CHOSE TO STAY….
        I FOUGHT, I BATTLED, I BEGGED, I PLEADED, I TRIED….. AND TRIED…AND TRIED…
        THEN
        I MET JESUS!!!!!
        &the truth set me free!

        Daughter of God, please, please, please, don’t think u are teaching your girls by what you say….
        We teach BY WHAT WE DO….
        WE LEARN FROM WHAT WE SEE OUR “PARENTS” DO….
        Yes I walked away from a physically violent relationship lasting 4years…. I’d been brought up with domestic VIOLENCE… BEEN THERE DONE THAT WORE THE TEA SHIRT!!!

        then I walked straight into a “COVERT EMOTIONALLY & MENTALLY ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP that lasted 39years before I saw the light and recognised AND FINALLY ACCEPTED it as DOMESTIC ABUSE.
        PLEASE, IF U R UNHAPPY NOW, IF YOU THINK YOU ARE IN AN EMOTIONALLY DESTRUCTIVE RELATIONSHIP….
        LEAVE NOW….
        NOW IS ALL WE HAVE.
        WE ARE THE ONLY EXAMPLE OF PERSONAL VALUE AND SELF RESPECT OUR KIDS HAVE.
        WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR DECISIONS AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES…

        If you want to teach your kids strength, value, self respect, dignity, personal boundaries etc… Leave now!!!
        If you want to show your kids THAT THEY ARE YOUR PRIORITY, ” NOW”…
        Don’t stay in YOUR abusive marriage.

        I almost didn’t live to regret staying!!!
        AND
        I have never regretted leaving.
        JESUS is my example now. JESUS is my backbone now.
        JESUS is my saviour and my salvation.
        This post is my living testimony that
        Knowing JESUS literally did save my life, and my daughters future.
        If it is your kids your thinking of when you choose to stay, I ask you to read Lesley’s book The EMOTIONALY Destructive Marriage
        And then “THINK AGAIN”.
        I’m praying for wisdom and truth, insight and understanding from our LORD JESUS to fill your heart and mind.
        God bless

        • Janet on January 9, 2016 at 9:59 pm

          Oh daughter of God, are you teaching your daughters to speak up for themselves and yet still remain in a miserable abusive marriage????
          My mum stayed in an abusive marriage. (“Where could she go with 5kids??!”)… She’s still with him 25years AFTER the youngest and last child Left home…..
          Did she teach me to speak up for my self and not tolerate “physical abuse”/” “Domestic violence!”..
          ????????????????????
          Yes she taught me to stand up and fight for what was right. And,
          I have an extremely sense of injustice!!!

          I DID Speak UP AND SPEAK OUT for injustice, I DID fight for my rights, battle for my independence, and DID NOT TOLERATE PHYSICAL ABUSE….
          NEVERTHELESS!!!! I CONTINUED TO STAY in an abusive marriage for thirty years!!! ONLY TO DISCOVER that I was ACTUALLY fighting… (*for at least 25 years*) FOR NOTHING!!!…. I THOUGHT IF I LOVED Him ENOUGH, IF I TRIED HARDER, IF I LOVED HIM ENOUGH HE’D EVENTUALLY LOVE ME…. IF I….IF I…..IF I….IF I…….IF I….
          My trouble was that I did not know when enough was enough….
          Yes
          My mum taught me to fight for my relationship, to be strong and survive, to be the glue and the backbone…

          BUT

          she DID NOT TEACH me TO LOVE, RESPECT AND VALUE MYSELF ENOUGH TO LEAVE!!!! OR that sometimes it is right to walk away!
          OR THAT
          Sometimes u have to say no!!! And stick to it….
          SHE DID NOT TEACH ME
          To have boundaries, OR HOW TO IMPLEMENT EFFECTIVE CONSEQUENCES!
          SHE DID NOT TEACH ME
          self respect, or how to have a voice! Rather than make indignant noises that dissolve as soon as they leave your mouth because they hold no substance!
          MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME TO FOLLOW BY EXAMPLE….AND SHE WAS MY EXAMPLE!!!! SHE TAUGHT ME
          TO PROTECT MY ABUSIVE HUSBAND!, as i deluded myself into thinking i was protecting my self…. She taught me to COVER UP FOR MY ABUSER! deluding myself that It was to protect my children, SHE TAUGHT ME TO BE AN ENABLER! AS I DELUDED MYSELF INTO THINKING I WAS HOLDING ON TO HOPE!
          SHE TAUGHT ME TO DO AS SHE DOES… STAND AND FIGHT!!!!
          I CHOSE TO STAY….
          I FOUGHT, I BATTLED, I BEGGED, I PLEADED, I TRIED….. AND TRIED…AND TRIED…
          THEN
          I MET JESUS!!!!!
          &the truth set me free!

          Daughter of God, please, please, please, don’t think u are teaching your girls by what you say….
          We teach BY WHAT WE DO….
          WE LEARN FROM WHAT WE SEE OUR “PARENTS” DO….
          Yes I walked away from a physically violent relationship lasting 4years…. I’d been brought up with domestic VIOLENCE… BEEN THERE DONE THAT WORE THE TEA SHIRT!!!

          then I walked straight into a “COVERT EMOTIONALLY & MENTALLY ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP that lasted 39years before I saw the light and recognised AND FINALLY ACCEPTED it as DOMESTIC ABUSE.
          PLEASE, IF U R UNHAPPY NOW, IF YOU THINK YOU ARE IN AN EMOTIONALLY DESTRUCTIVE RELATIONSHIP….
          LEAVE NOW….
          NOW IS ALL WE HAVE.
          WE ARE THE ONLY EXAMPLE OF PERSONAL VALUE AND SELF RESPECT OUR KIDS HAVE.
          WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR DECISIONS AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES…

          If you want to teach your kids strength, value, self respect, dignity, personal boundaries etc… Leave now!!!
          If you want to show your kids THAT THEY ARE YOUR PRIORITY, ” NOW”…
          Don’t stay in YOUR abusive marriage.

          I almost didn’t live to regret staying!!!
          AND
          I have never regretted leaving.
          JESUS is my example now. JESUS is my backbone now.
          JESUS is my saviour and my salvation.
          This post is my living testimony that
          Knowing JESUS literally did save my life, and my daughters future.
          If it is your kids your thinking of when you choose to stay, I ask you to read Lesley’s book The EMOTIONALY Destructive Marriage
          And then “THINK AGAIN”.
          I’m praying for wisdom and truth, insight and understanding from our LORD JESUS to fill your heart and mind.
          May God bless you.

          • Sunshine. on January 10, 2016 at 8:52 am

            Thank you. You speak passionately and from experience! I appreciate your honest and bold words. Have you seen the movie War Room? I identify with Elizabeth. I wonder if I pray passionately, will God change my situation? We are in a comparatively quiet and peaceful spot on our roller coaster of life. I don’t feel threatened as far as safety but I get your message about my girls catching what they are seeing and living, not what I am saying. I really don’t value myself enough to get out of a bad situation or make changes enough to change the living arrangements. Fear and comfort of knowing what to expect are strong motivators…in a negative way. I am conflicted. I have read the books mentioned. I am in counseling. I am being held accountable by a small group and ladies who have been in my position. I am doing what I can at this time.



    • Janet on January 6, 2016 at 9:55 am

      Read Leslie’s book, emotionally destructive marriage. As you
      Prepare (with God, to leave).

      • Janet on January 6, 2016 at 10:03 am

        Daughter of God,
        Please read Leslie’s book, emotionally destructive marriage.
        In there you will find your TRUE AND GODLY answer!!!!

    • Janet on January 9, 2016 at 8:57 pm

      Sunshine. Please read Leslie’s book.
      The emotionally destructive marriage.

      She has also written the emotionally destructive relationship.
      Leslie Vernick is the only author to cover this subject comprehensively and with (scripturally TRUTHFUL) biblically correct.
      I’m sure Leslie’s book will help you decide what to do, clearly and decisively….
      I’m praying for you to have. Wisdom, strength and faith to seek the truth and act on it.
      God bless.

  6. Karen on December 23, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Thank you Aleea, you have explained better where I have been the past 8 months (trying to allow my self to feel –for the first time — and heal from all the pain) and the 6 months I was with my Mom 2 years ago for the first time in my entire life. Folks at church certainly don’t want a church leader/minister to be transparent and honest about these things so I have pulled away from my church family of 20+ years and left my husband there to find what healing/help he can with them although it may not be much — or so it would appear. I am beginning to feel the need for a church family again but having no success yet but am praying for God to lead me where he desires in his timing. Thank you for speaking my heart and brokenness so clearly……praying for you!

    • Aleea on December 23, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      Karen,

      Thank you ever so much for the prayers. . . . —Oh, how I need prayer! . . . —We all need a church home and other believers too. We can’t just be out there alone where Satan can pick us off but it is so hard to get the balance in a church home. It seems it is either Pharisaic doctrines, guarding the ‘truth’ with 17th century interpretations or a six-flags over Jesus (—an amusement park!) —I’d love a church that cuts through the false distinction between the idea that there are those who are whole and those who have a lack. The true distinction is between those who hide their lack under the fiction of wholeness and those who are able to really embrace it. Chruch needs to be a sort of a: “Hello, my name is Aleea Rodgers and I am addicted to satisfaction and certainty and, I am not sure, but I think that salvation may only take place within our unknowing and dissatisfaction.” A faith that can only exist in the light of victory and certainty is one which really affirms the self while pretending to affirm Christ. Pastors may say they are broken and have doubts but it is all tame, easily managed and controlled “issues.” They don’t come clean with the forest fires (—the towering infernos) that genuine, earthy, real real people have. The “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”—style stuff.

  7. Betty on December 23, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Aleea, This post makes me yearn to face my pain, too. To not cover over and mask the issues, to be real and honest and open. I don’t quite know how to do that, but your explanation strikes a chord deep in me. It says, “Yes, Lord, that is what I long to do, please make it happen in my life.” I am printing your paragraphs, and pasting them in my 2016 journal cover. Thank you, Aleea, for taking the time/effort to put into words what my heart cry is/should be!

    • Aleea on December 24, 2015 at 11:00 am

      “Yes, Lord, that is what I long to do, please make it happen in my life.”

      Betty,
      Thank you for the kind words. I don’t know, I simply don’t know . . . . . but I think we have to take the first step and then the Lord will just wholesale carry us. I think the Holy Spirit always does like 99.999% of what gets done but I don’t think He will violate our initial wills (—but I don’t know that, I often pray for the “desire” also; —actually, I was praying that He would just force me until I realized that force is incompatible with love). Lots of stuff takes a really long time to dawn on me. . . . . I just don’t know, but obviously the first step is the really, super tough part (re: Maria’s post below). If we choose to stay broken, unfortunately, I think He’ll let us stay broken. I think it has to do with God being pure love and love is never forced, not ever. Force and Love are never love (—that is what I see the earliest Christians teaching each other.) . . . . Anyways, I am seriously praying for you. —We are meant to love. Deeply and beautifully love! . . . .and if we deeply and beautifully love, everything has meaning even if all our relationships end (—mother, husband, et.al.)

  8. Robin on December 23, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    It is very comforting to see my growth since last time this was posted. I remember thinking then I am most of these. But today I can see myself still working on about 3-4 of these. What helped me was to work on my self, and get a healthy identity of who I am and start speaking up for myself and standing up for what I believe. In addition to that making the investment of spending time with a therapist weekly for 3 years has brought many good changes as is evident reading this list. I have much to celebrate!!!!

  9. Ruth on December 24, 2015 at 12:30 am

    After reading Leslie’s list of 13 qualities that make a person easy to abuse, I’ve thought about how it applies to me.
    At 24, I was gullible. My now-husband ‘talked the talked so well’ that I never questioned his heart. He was charismatic and I was lonely. I married him after only knowing him for 2 months. I suppose no one wanted to butt in and tell me to be careful. I wish they had. Then within the first year of our marriage, I found out about his enormous debt that he never told me about. And I found out about some horrendous things from his past that still to this day his does not know that I know. But the worst is finding out that his heart does not match his confession. He is selfish, impatient, unappreciative, unpleasant, and the list goes on. Fear, made me ignore the little red flags I should have heeded. And during those first few years when I could have and should have easily gotten away from him, again I was fearful. I also believed bc there was no adultery I was stuck with the no Biblical grounds for divorce. Like a fly caught in a spider’s web, as the years have gone by Ive become more and more tangled in this trap. Now, there are children to consider. Now, I’ve been out of my career for 11 years so I could stay at home with my kids so I am financially dependent on him. We’ve now been married for 19 years.
    I don’t think I’m an abuse magnet, but I definitely had POOR judgment when I #1 married so quickly and #2 stayed back in the early days when I could have gotten away. Sadly, this lifetime of regrets makes me doubt that I can hear from God. But I do not doubt His goodness or sovereignty. I am SO thankful that even though i feel confused about the mixture of light and darkness in my husband that I will never have this confusion towards the Lord. Jesus is 100% good, no darkness! Thank you Jesus. You are my Rock.

    • Sunshine. on December 24, 2015 at 10:46 am

      I can completely relate to your story. I feel stuck. I go back and forth between going and staying to keep family together. Just a few days ago, we came home and dad was already home. Our children made it clear they were not happy he was home. We were all hoping to enjoy a Christmas movie and peace before he got home.

      • Leonie on December 26, 2015 at 8:18 pm

        I am deterermined to no longer be an abuse magnet. With the help of counselling, abiding in Christ & with the leading of the Holt Spirit!! When it was time for me to get out of my marriage, I kept cycling around to the same point. I would determine to hang in there for my child (to keep having a daddy at home for her) but kept arriving at the place where I had to deal the craziness and with leaving and I had no peace until I did. It just kept becoming more and more obvious – I stayed long past the time I should have.

      • Robin on January 10, 2016 at 10:31 am

        Sunshine, I have read several of your posts that sound like you are saying you need help and so do your children. I stayed in a relationship for 30 years not thinking I would be strong enough to fight for my children and get out. I found out I was wrong. My faith was weak and I had listened to the wrong leaders who kept me in a very destructive relationship. I would like to help you if I can. What could the women on this blog do to help you make the first step? You can do this, God has a plan for you. If you are too weak to consider it, do it for your children and their futures!! There is help out there, but we must seek it out!!!!

    • sunflower on December 24, 2015 at 9:46 pm

      I love your description of the tangled web. I hear you saying that you haven’t worked in 11 years. Yet, we do not know the future and careers come and go with time. You do not know for sure that you could not find work. Might you consider taking online classes or training for something similar in your field? I read other women fear leaving because of financial issues. God will make a way. He always does. Are you tucking away a little money so you can leave? Have you begun to put things in your name? Do you have access to the family finances and are you aware of government services in your area? Do your research and begin to gather information, in case you chose to use it some day.

    • Vivienne on December 28, 2015 at 6:33 am

      Hi uth, I so relate to your story as it is mine too. I have invested 34 years, spending 18 of those at home to care for my children. Now, I have two choices, stay or go. I want to go but then I would have to leave my children behind as they want to stay (we are ex-pats) and yet I worry about leaving them; at the same time I see they would have a safe haven with me should they need one.

      I too ignored all the Red Flags..I ignored my gut instincts, rationalized bad behaviour, made excuses, gave way too often against my better judgement. I realise now how frail I was emotionally, I was an easy target, I was a doormat. Since 2002 I have begun to re-claim my life. I regret not leaving with my children earlier because now being an ex-pat in a foreign culture where my children feel more at home I now fear I have lost them to that culture, one in which I am not, at this juncture, sure if I could remain without my husband’s financial support…..I am tangled up in a spider’s web but I’m still alive and wriggling to get free…I will not give up.

      A question for Leslie: I am interested in your support / counselling / growth groups but live the other side of the Atlantic to you so that the timing of your workshops may not fit easily with me…do you have many people from Europe in your workshops?

      • Leslie Vernick on December 28, 2015 at 1:13 pm

        Vivienne, yes I do. People from China, Australia, France, POland, England have worked with me in coaching groups as well as joined CONQUER. Times are different but they have made it work, or listened to the recordings later. Would love to see you be a part.

  10. Maria on December 24, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Aleea, you are so right about embracing the pain, dealing with it and not covering it up. When I first went into counseling, I was in so much pain. I remember telling the counselor that the pain was unbearable. At that time I found it odd that he did not comfort me by telling me it was ok etc. He wanted me to feel the pain and not lessen it with comforting words that were not true. Now, after having shed so many tears, and accepting reality, I think I have healed. Not dealing with pain is dangerous-we can get into really unhealthy habits trying to run away from it.

    • Aleea on December 24, 2015 at 11:05 am

      “He wanted me to feel the pain and not lessen it with comforting words that were not true. Now, after having shed so many tears, and accepting reality, I think I have healed.”

      Maria,
      I think you have healed too because when I interact with you I see your strength, your wisdom and your unseen power. . . . I don’t know what the healthy absorption rate for pain should be because I think if we dealt with it ALL at once, our bodies might just shut down completely but without going through it we never really heal. I have been looking for that healthy absorption rate for pain data but to no avail. This is a book I have been reading recently, you may have read it: “The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us” by Ross A. Rosenberg, 2013. . . . .page 43 “According to research data, since the 1975 diagnosable levels of narcissism among college students have steadily risen. A large-scale epidemiologic study suggests that young adults are much more likely than older adults to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (Dingfelder, 2011). According to Dr. Jean M. Twenge author of Generation Me (The Narcissism Epidemic 2010), narcissism is on the rise, especially with the twenty-something generation. Dr. Twenge suggested that the “millennial” generation, those who were born roughly between 1982 and 1989, may feel more entitlement and self-centeredness than previous generations. Dr. Twenge’s findings were based on the largest intergenerational research study ever conducted. The study analyzed data from 1.3 million young people dating back to the 1970s. Her research demonstrated a progressive generational trend in self-esteem, assertiveness, self-importance and high expectations, all of which are associated with narcissism. According to Dr. Nathan Dewall’s 2011 research, late adolescents and college students are demonstrating more narcissistic traits than in previous generations (Dewall, Pond, Campbell, Twenge 2011).” Bottomline: Lots more narcissism, that’s sad. Anyways, that book has lots of serious, recent research:

      Chapter 7 The Human Magnet Syndrome
      Chapter 11 Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)
      Chapter 12 Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
      Chapter 13 Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD)
      And the last chapter is good too: It’s Never Too Late To Be Who You Might Have Been (—I like that!)

      Maria, as always, I am praying for you and your whole family.

    • Kim on January 5, 2016 at 11:02 am

      Aleea, thank you for your post. It spoke very clearly to me. I have finally figured out (sheesh I’m 46 — took me a while!) that I have not faced the pain of my very violent, unhealthy childhood. I had never really put together the connection of living the way I did with the choices I would make in my now ended marriage and newer relationships — not just romantic ones but across the board.

      We’re so quick to brush those painful feelings aside because we don’t like discomfort. I’m learning sometimes sitting with the feeling, although uncomfortable and working to identify it and see where it comes from is really, REALLY helpful. 2016 is definitely the start of a new journey for me. I wish each of you continued and renewed health. (((hugs)))

      • Aleea on January 6, 2016 at 7:02 pm

        Kim,
        Thank you so much for the kind words. I really appreciate that. . . . I do believe we bond most with those that abuse us repeatedly and with the greatest frequency. I have totally let go of my mother (—my childhood abuser) only to then run back terrified. The rubber band only stretches so far before it snaps back. . . . I definitely have trauma bonding and I am clingy. . . . . —Idols, everything is an idol that promises satisfaction and certainty: a marriage; a job; a family; a certain amount of money; a program. This very pursuit is, however, itself destructive (—as all of you know), for we either don’t get what we seek above all else and thus always long for it, or we do get it and discover that it is *actually* unable to offer us what we sought (—like my honeymoon and early in my marriage. —My then idol! —Now, thank God, that is better but my mother is worse than ever or I just notice it more.). . . . . Also, I think we have a natural and destructive disposition to seek out certainty but anything that we believe offers this type of happiness and confidence (—marriage, religion vs. a relationship with Christ, et.al.) is actually nothing but an idol that offers, ironically, the opposite: dissatisfaction and uncertainty. . . . . I am not sure, but I am experimenting with totally embracing brokenness and not pursuing happiness, satisfaction, certainty, et.al. . . . Somehow, I think when we pursue fix-it programs and the next supplement (—seminar, behavioral model, et.al.) we have failed before we start. For me, I get hit the hardest when trying to run or hide. Life is very difficult and we are in the dark on so much. Any product that will render you complete, remove your sufferings, etc. is illusion. . . . . I will embrace my brokenness, try to resolutely face my unknowing, and courageously accept the difficulties and —Lord willing, that may be what truly robs it of its sting and where we enter into the fullness of life. Maybe the ordinary becomes extraordinary when we really let go of satisfaction and certainty because when I am honest, those are illusions.

  11. Maria on December 24, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Aleea, I think the “rate” for each person is different. Having supportive people around us who want our good helps a lot. One thing I had to do was avoid pretentious people. Also, being aware that it is easy to numb the pain by being busy, over doing things etc. is important.
    Thanks for your prayers.

    • Aleea on December 26, 2015 at 6:12 am

      Maria,
      Hmmm, I had to sleep & pray on that. . . .Conclusion: I have pretentiousness and I think it is a form of self-hatred. . . . I have learned the hard way to never trust myself when I claim *internally* that I care little what others think of me. Instead of conquering obstacles, I have found, that leaves me simply pretending they don’t exist, ―they do: scapegoating, lots of fixes, endless supplementing of the “this works” fixes that didn’t work, etc. All I know to do is keep trying and risking and I have been finding treasures in places I did not want to search and wisdom from those I did not want to listen to but real answers are few. . . . .Like this Linda Boone who wrote this Life Lessons book, she says “We face our greatest opposition when we are closest to our biggest miracle.” ―Okay, wonderful, —love it !!! . . . . but goes on to say things like: “. . . .honestly share your feelings with Him. You need to be brutally honest with Him in how you are feeling. By pouring out your heart to Him honestly, being totally transparent and vulnerable. . . “ —How is that possible??? How can we hide things from God? We are all telling our counselors brutally honest things, would there be people really not opening up to God if they are seriously praying to Him and spending serious time in His presence? . . .From Hebrews “. . . all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” and from Acts “For in him we live and move and have our being.”. . . . Anyways, ―if we love deeply, we are going to get hurt but I don’t see how life is worth it if we don’t deeply love. . . . . I am insecure and the approval of God is NOT all I need and I tell Him that and it is so easy to tell Him that because He already knows that. I pray, a lot, that one day it will be different but that is the truth and, again, it is easy to tell Him that because He already knows that.

    • Maria on December 26, 2015 at 7:26 am

      Aleea, I didn’t quite understand your post. By pretentious people, I meant people who are fake, like some in church who pretend everything is fine, who want only a superficial relationship.

    • Aleea on December 26, 2015 at 3:50 pm

      Hello Maria,
      I am sure you did mean that, and that is how I understood it. . . . .but it was/is an opportunity for me to self-examine. It disturbs me when I catch myself pretending. That actually frightens me at one level. . . . .Anyways, I want to be more aware of and work on that.

      “. . . some in church who pretend everything is fine. . . “ I know, but that load of pride and pretense will just break hearts. There is no release from our burdens apart from admitting our brokenness. Unyielding optimist will pretend that the forest is not burning but that creates more havoc. . . . . The couple across the road from us had this frenzy (hundreds) of happy, ecstatic pictures appearing on their Facebooks right when things were actually at their worst in the relationship, before it exploded. In hindsight, the strength and repetition hinted at a last ditch attempt to cover over a repressed crisis they hadn’t faced.

  12. Aleea on December 28, 2015 at 11:31 am

    All,
    Good article in the New York Post on the 26th: “How To Raise Kids Who Aren’t Narcissists —9 steps.” . . . . The most interesting part of the article was pulling and reading the study behind it jointly done by University of Amsterdam and Ohio State University (Origins of Narcissism in Children March 24, 2015***: Eddie Brummelman, Sander Thomaes, Stefanie A. Nelemans, Bram Orobio de Castro, Geertjan Overbeek and Brad J. Bushma) . . . . that study confirms that narcissists are largely bred, not born. The study found that “narcissism in children is cultivated by parental overvaluation: parents believing their child to be more special and more entitled than others.” (—the Special Snowflake Syndrome, et.al.) . . . .The article was saying: Say “no” more often. Teach children good manners. Teach your kids life is NOT fair and it’s never going to be equal. [ . . . . To me, the pleasure we imagine receiving from what we want most of all is fleeting at best. . . . . Salvation takes place within our unknowing and dissatisfaction. . . where God is not approached as an object, but as a mystery present in the very act of deep, kind meaningful love towards others (—actions, not just beliefs). In Christ, in concrete terms, that means that the darkness and dissatisfaction that make their presence felt in our lives are not finally answered by certainty and satisfaction but are rather stripped of their weight and robbed of their sting by deeply loving and caring for others, which is really, really, really hard.] . . . . . Anyway, the article went on to say be kind and be kind to other people, not just your child. That may seem painfully obvious, but it’s worth remembering that kids don’t just notice how you treat them —they really notice how you interact with the world. Also, as we all know, love and approval are different. Loving your kids unconditionally is one thing, but as those researchers point out, that love can’t translate into constant, 24/7 approval and praise of everything they do. Also, it said to read to them (even teens) and run errands with them (even teens). i.e. Not all of life can be fascinating, interesting and wonderful, and no lesson reinforces that better than bringing your kids along on some boring, tedious errands. While “quality time” is fine, apparently boredom is its own powerful life lesson. . . . Hmmm, that lesson could really be learned by getting them in the air-travel system with its constant departure delays, missed connections, flight cancellations, etc.

    ***In the study, they had good descriptive and longitudinal data analysis, and those studies were also cited. . . . Anyway, the bottom line: Narcissism is a growing problem “proof-effective self-esteem interventions” i.e. where parents raise self-esteem by lavishing children with praise, telling them that they are special and unique, and giving them exceptional treatment is the cause of much of it.

  13. Leslie Vernick on December 28, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Thanks Aleea, I agree. I wrote about this in my book How to Find Selfless Joy in a Me-First World in 2003. Finally, finally it is coming out more.

    • Aleea on December 29, 2015 at 11:42 am

      . . . . hmmm, that is excellent that you recognized that all those years ago. . . .Everything seems to swing too far in either direction, over-correcting. . . . . Leslie, I very much liked that book (re: How to Find Selfless Joy in a Me-First World). When I read that book in the summer, I noted in my journal you said: “. . . . God says that he is the only one worthy of our fullest love, greatest attention, and deepest devotion. In both the Old and New Testaments he repeatedly commands us to love him with everything that is in us—all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. God knows that the most important and satisfying love relationship we can possibly have is not with another human being but with God. As our Creator, God has designed our heart to find its fulfillment and satisfaction in loving him.” . . . .That’s really beautiful. . . . . In deeply loving Him and loving others, we find true meaning. . . . Meaning, I do see the meaning, absolutely, BUT I can say I have not found joy. Instead of joy, I see vast mystery. My prayers include unknowing, God’s unsearchable void that we are expected to believe, and lament. . . . .But God is a really good listener! He will listen forever to my broken heart. Yes, I sort of understand why things had to happen this way. Yes, I understand, sort of, God’s reasons for the pain. But understanding does not bring joy or chase away the hurt. Hearts are really breakable and I think even when you heal. . . . well. . . .

  14. Kate on December 29, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    I am having a hard time forgiving myself for falling into this trap and ignoring the red flags. I have decided to stay well in my current relationship because if you could rate abuse on a scale of 1-10 (1 being no abuse and 10 being fearing for your life) mine would be about a 4….drives me crazy, but not bad enough to leave.

    Anyhow, I have also decided that should my husband choose to divorce me or should I happen to become widowed, I do not plan on getting married again or even dating. I do not want a man within 5 miles of my life.

    However, if God places a man in my path for marriage, I will prayerfully and full of counsel be open to it. But on my own? No freaking way! I am done!

    • Robin on December 29, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      Kate, Many of us regret not seeing the abuse and destructive behaviors sooner. You are definitely not alone in this, so please forgive yourself and move forward!!!!!

  15. Robin on December 29, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Kate I should have said, not see it, but act on it.

  16. Brenda on January 5, 2016 at 8:33 am

    I have seen most of these in past experiences and relationships, but the list is shrinking to 2 or 3. I joined a “Christian” site to meet gentlemen this past weekend. My daughter said I put out ant bait and she isn’t far from wrong. I said, “It’s Raining Men”. I have been single again for going on 3 years and had only come across one man that showed any interest at all. We are good friends, but it is not a doable relationship otherwise.

    The majority of those that have asked to communicate with me have also asked after only one or 2 messages through the site for a phone number or personal email address. The reasoning: a more intimate form of communication would allow them to get to know me better. I have politely said I am not ready for that and would it be alright if we communicate through the site for a time before going that route. Some have not answered any questions about themselves whatsoever. My daughter met her now h online through a game they both played and it has worked out well. A baby is expected next month. I find this to be a learning experience. If they are not willing to respect my wishes now, they certainly won’t later.

    I have pulled the plug on a dozen or more since Saturday and a few more that I didn’t respond to in the first place. My desire is that I learn to spot the red flags from a distance and get my boundaries well established just in case I actually do meet someone in person whether or not it is initially online, at church or the grocery store.

    • Maria on January 5, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      Brenda, don’t you think it this is a great setting for a narcissist or sociopath- it’s easy for them to pretend to be a great person?

      • Janet on January 6, 2016 at 10:22 am

        Yes, I have spoken to many people that met their spouse/partners in this way….
        Refering to the book ” human magnet syndrome” – Ross Rosenberg…..
        I dare to ask, Are you ready to meet me right???? or just prepared for Mr I’m always right?

  17. Brenda on January 5, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    Maria,
    Narcissists and sociopaths can be hiding anywhere. They can be sitting next to you in church. They can be putting on a great show as a guest at a family gathering. I read a blog about a life long pedophile who stood behind the pulpit for over 40 years and preached to the congregation while looking out for his next child victim. He had 11 children who he did not molest, but his dear wife was abused by him at every hand while she lived in the fog. Evil is everywhere. We must learn to discern and pray for wisdom.

    I have already weeded out many that I find untrustworthy and it has only been a few days. I have read and reread all of the safety tips and have set them as my boundaries. I do not feel any danger sitting behind a keyboard and asking or answering questions. I will block anyone that seems suspect, which happened the first day on the site. I questioned his asking for my phone number before even saying hello. That was the world’s largest red flag blowing in the breeze.

    If I can use these experiences to have them in my mind as a guide, I believe it will make me that much more alert when meeting some one on the street, church, grocery store, gym etc. Reading all of the safety suggestions was a great help.

    I spoke to someone today who knows a couple that met on this particular site and are very happily married and on baby #3. I find this a great way to find out what I am looking for and what I’m not. Ultimately, God will allow me an opportunity or He won’t. Either way, His will be done.

  18. Charity on January 5, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    After reading all the comments, I realize that there are definite steps in the healing process and that life cycles through this process time and time again. However, after experiencing the hurt and pain and healing from one relationship, I’ve come to accept where I am now after a second abusive marriage. I appreciate your reposting this blog, Leslie because I have been asking myself that very question. Am I an abuse magnet? I certainly don’t want to attract another abuser! Or the same one back. I feel like my trust is like Humpty Dumpty–irreparable.

  19. Shar on January 6, 2016 at 1:12 am

    Wow what an honest and fresh post to read! I truly appreciate your candidness and ability to share. I could have written the same post! Id love to hear from you to see how you are doing 🙂

    • Aleea on January 6, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      Shar,

      “I’d love to hear from you to see how you are doing.”

      I’m okay, just okay, —but okay. I’m not alone in this. I have Christ, who I doubt at times but He knows why I doubt and He can see my heart. He knows I am desperately in love with Him even when I seriously doubt Him. I also have, I believe, a very good counselor (Dr. Meier) with decades of experience in this and lots of other professional resources to call on and work with. I have my family and we have each other here on this blog, as well as Leslie to make sure we don’t drive off into a ditch. I am not in a good place but I have good resources and good support. I also pray for everyone that posts here every morning because I know other hearts are shattered too.

  20. Shar on January 6, 2016 at 1:37 am

    I am so grateful to have found this site and knowing I am not alone with my feelings of inadequacy and low self esteem. I divorced 2 years ago and am learning how to be alone (kids are off to college) and it has been a challenging time. Dating again but with the same dysfunctional relationships because I feel I don’t deserve to be treated well because I never really was as a child… I’d love any suggestions that have helped others ;). Thanks!

  21. Brenda on January 6, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Charity,
    How long have you been past the 2nd non-marriage? I have felt like my trust is irreparable and I am still very skeptical. I don’t expect to find a good relationship with a man. I am a jerk magnet. I have said that if a jerk is within a 5 mile radius, he will find me or I him.

    From now on I am going into life with eyes wide open and perhaps never marrying again is the wise choice. I have also been told and believe that God is the God of many chances and he will take away the magnet from us. He will make us into strong women with soft hearts that will attract men with soft hearts and a gentle spirit. The potter can do anything with the clay and what we have experienced in the past does not have to predict our future.

    Brenda

  22. Janet on January 6, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Wow!!!! Aleea, That is the most candid And Self knowledgeable answer to the all knowing questions… “Why me?” “why LORD? AGAIN?” In fact, I found myself wondering if Leslie herself had written that post in a new style to “get us thinking about our part (responsibilities) in our lives”.

    THE LORD HAS TAKEN ME ON SUCH A HEALING JOURNEY OVER THE LAST 4 YEARS. IT MAY HAVE BEEN THE MOST HURTFUL AND PAINFUL JOURNEY THAT I HAVE KNOWINGLY ACCEPTED, (HE ASKED me “DO YOU WANT ME TO HEAL YOU?”).
    I CAN SURELY SAY, WITHOUT DOUBT; IT HAS BEEN THE MOST FULFILLING, EXPERIENTIAL, LIBERATING, INTIMATELY WONDERFUL, HEALING JOURNEY OF MY LIFE TIME. (Im 51&until last year I was being, and had been abused in EVERY RELATIONSHIP since birth!)
    Except 1… At 9 yrs old, I lived, for a very short while, next door to an old lady that ‘showed me love’… I have held on to this hope, that I now know is JESUS, ever since!

    My life before Christ was beyond “normal” human comprehension…
    My journey WITH JESUS AS MY LORD, IS COMPLETELY BEYOND ANY COMPREHENSION AND HUMAN DOING!!!!

    IT IS AND HAS BEEN A COMPLETE MIRACULOUS HEALING JOURNEY… ONE GENTLE STEP AT A TIME, YET TURBULENT, TUMULTUOUS & RAPID. WHAT WAS A CONTINUUM OF WHIRLWIND EXPERIENCES, HAS TURNED INTO A BEAUTIFUL, TENDER, DEEPLY INTENSE, SATISFYING, LIVING & BREATHING LOVE STORY!!!
    GOD IS SOOO GOOD, SOOOO FAITHFUL, SOOOO TRUSTWORTHY, SOOOO ALWAYS THERE, SOOOOO BEAUTIFUL, SOOOO PERFECT!!!! MY HEART SWELLS TO BURSTING POINT EVEN AS I THINK OF THE FULLNESS OF HIS LOVE, GRACE AND MERCY, that now dwells in me. I am humanly inadequate when attempting to verbalize each and every situation He’s taken me into and brought me through. All I needed to do, each time, was say “yes LORD”. Just As I answered Him the very first time.
    He did only ask me that first time. However, I discussed, questioned, asked, begged and cried out many times, as i told Him ‘LORD, JUST DO’… or ‘DO ANYTHING TO GET THROUGH TO MY HEART’ or ‘PLEASE GOD I NEED… or “LORD GOD PLEASE! BREAK ME TO GET BREAKTHRIUGH’ etc.
    And He was faithful to complete each new work He started.

    There are still a few more gravel roads to travel, and a few more mountains and valleys to visit in order for OUR God of ALL creation, to get to the last roots and pull them up, but I’m a willing and empty (of myself) vessel, NOW, waiting for MY POTTER to break, mould and fire me again, ready to be filled with ALL THAT HE DESIRES!!
    May God bless you and keep you as you continue on this healing journey, with Jesus leading you, Aleea, (I believe your name could mean stepping up and coming home).
    To all who feel that they too may want to enter in…. U WILL NOT BE HURT BY TRUSTING GOD, YOU WILL FEEL THE HURT. AS HE HE RELEASES YOU FROM THE PAINFUL CHAINS THAT HAVE BOUND YOU OVER YOUR LIFETIME!
    BE ENCOURAFED TO KNOW, HE ALWAYS REMOVES THE TRAUMA!!!. GOD BLESS TO YOU ALL.

    • Aleea on January 6, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      Janet,

      “Aleea, (I believe your name could mean stepping up and coming home)” . . . . Yes, that is very good, in Hebrew it means ascent. . . . Exactly! Ascent/ rising to home.

      “At 9 yrs old, I lived, for a very short while, next door to an old lady that ‘showed me love’… I have held on to this hope, that I now know is JESUS, ever since!”. . . . . Wonderful, love changes everything!!! I simply don’t understand people who are not motivated by real love. Love calls everything good into existence!!!

      “I am humanly inadequate when attempting to verbalize each and every situation He’s taken me into and brought me through. All I needed to do, each time, was say “yes LORD”. Just As I answered Him the very first time.” . . . . . Yes, Lord Jesus, I say “Yes” to You. You know I love You and so need You. I really need a Savior and I have no way to understand You but I embrace You as mystery.

      “May God bless you and keep you as you continue on this healing journey, with Jesus leading you . . . .” Janet thank you so much . . . . . one of the most important things we can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.

      Much love!

  23. Brenda on January 6, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Shar,
    Don’t take any abusive talk or actions from anyone. Maybe you should stop dating for a while if it is not working for you yet. You are valuable and do not deserve abuse in any way from anyone. God sees you as his child. Remember how good he is to his children. I prayed hard for over 5 years between the end of the marriage, through the divorce and through learning to be single. Do you have godly support? Do you have a local shelter that might have a support group that can lift you up. I will lift you up in prayer.
    Brenda

  24. Brenda on January 6, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Janet,
    I am not sure if you were asking Maria or me, but I will answer. I am ready to make friendships and see where they lead. There is no Mr. or Ms Perfect or Right for that matter. I think this is a good way to separate the weeds from the flowers and have done some weed pulling already. I will not settle for Mr. I’m Always Right. I will not keep a friend who thinks they are always right. I am not always right, but do have convictions that I will not back down on. I have learned to set good boundaries and trust Christ to see me through. He is the one that I run to. It has been a long journey, but yes, if I meet a special person I am ready for that. I am ready to make good memories. It is amazing how much a rocky friendship has made a change in me for the better. I can and do stand up for myself. I will always love him for it. He is NOT Mr. Right, but he is my friend for life.

    I haven’t read the book you referenced, but it does sound like it could be a good read. Brenda

  25. Teressa on January 6, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    I have 11 of the 12 characteristics. My mother was my first emotionally abusive relationship. She criticized me. Nothing I did was ever good enough for her. Even getting saved I did wrong. Even my testimony of my life before Christ was wrong. Even the positive changes in me were somehow wrong. I did college wrong, everything. She demeaned me for the gifts I gave her.
    Then, next my first husband verbally and emotionally abused me for the next 20 years, now this husband for the last 19 years. It’s so comfortable for me. Out in public I am fine and act with confidence and know when people are being rude to me but with them it was/is just natural to let them put me down. In between mother and husbands:, date rape twice, abortion, and for a few years a magnetism for married men, among other trauma.
    So I get verbally assaulted then go into depression before even identifying what hit me. So in depression I go back into my past and start poking around to see why I’m so depressed, and all those old things that I’ve already been forgiven for and worked through come up and I use them as an excuse to be depressed and wallow in self pity.
    After Hearing several hours of Leslie’s books and videos I now know that I am being verbally/emotionally abused and need to start saying “ouch”. But I still am having a hard time identifying the exact nature of the abuse before it goes deep into depression. You could kick me fifty times a day and I’d think somehow it’s my fault.
    Once in a while I have recognized it and said “ouch” and he says sarcastically “yeah, I’m such an abuser, I just beat you all the time.” (he’s never physically laid a hand on me.)
    I set a boundary a few weeks ago. Sex felt abusive. I didn’t know why, for awhile it felt like incest, like I’m his mother. Then it was feeling like prostitution. I finally figured out that I do sex in exchange for him being nice to me. I had realized that if we start out the weekend with sex he’d be nice to me all weekend. so I made myself do it whether it felt good or not. That went on for years. My body started rebelling at that when my mind would not. I literally started leaping out of bed at the slightest sexual touch. He felt terribly rejected. I stuck with “NO”. Then one night I started laughing uncontrollably/hysterically as I was leaping out of bed and managed to cover it up with coughing. Then after a visit to our pastor and H. lied to him, then I said no more, and told him “no” to sex until we could be best friends again, until he was willing to try to love me like Christ loves the church, until he started treating me in “an understanding way”.
    So having set the boundary and stuck with it for several weeks I’m feeling pretty good, and am starting to see more and more the other verbal assaults, and the uncaring attitudes.
    Now that he can’t get me to cower at his every demand he’s confused, trying more aggressive control, and even trying to impress me a little with how other people like him and think he’s such a great guy. It’s getting very interesting. As long as I pray for him and me and let Go and Let God, I can see that this new behavior is very confusing to him. And we are both just kind of going “what’s going to happen next!” He’ll be home in an hour for supper, and it’ll be ready for him. He’ll tell me about his day, but he won’t want to hear about my alanon meeting, or about my new friends in my “victims of abuse” support group. He’s very confused. But every time he does something like buy me earrings, or give me a hug, he still thinks he deserves sex. I just tell him no. For now that’s OK. I still feel safe here. I’m 64. He thinks I should feel very grateful that he still is sexually attracted to me!
    Leslie Vernick, you have changed my life! Thanks you so much. I especially loved listening to your conference for pastors and counselors. I can’t believe how many times over the years I’ve heard “just have sex with him”, and never “treat her as Christ loves the church” from pastors and Christian counselors. I love you!!!! Thanks.

    • Vivienne on January 9, 2016 at 8:47 am

      Hi Teressa,

      I too am exactly where you are with your H. I felt all the same stuff as you re: sex and six months ago I said no more and moved to the spare room. I was then coerced / bullied / threatened to leave my home and while I wanted to, very much, I hung on because of the needs of my two children. My H is very confused; he knows I am unhappy, he resents the boundaries I have put in place, he has upped his anti and still I remain. He tells me how much this confuses him. He never wants to look at his behaviour only my distress (a reaction to his poor behaviour) and says I am not the same loving, warm person I was before…he simply cannot grasp why even when I tell him. I am now awaiting his proposals to settle our affairs…i.e. how we go forward from this point. I too am thankful for Leslie Vernick, her experience, her book and this blog not least all the women who post here to share their stories / experiences. I am hopeful that come what may my life is going to change for the better and will not return to the misery I allowed to fester for way too long and in that I recognise my sin. Teressa, I hope you too will begin to find hope and a new life, filled with peace and goodness. Big hugs xx

  26. Shar on January 6, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    I’m glad you’re here & doing okay ;). I understand exactly what you’re saying and hopefully we can gain greater strength in our abilities to understand the way things are. I’m keeping the faith knowing our Father has been faithful to me.

    Blessings,
    Sharon

  27. Shar on January 6, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    Hi Brenda,

    Thank you for your kind reply and prayers. I do attend church and joined a women’s group at church but dropped out once I started in this relationship. I am slowly backing myself out of it as I know it is unhealthy and I deserve so much better! As stated in another post, if there is a psycho 5 feet way, they will find me! I think I’m always rooting for the underdog & they seem to want to cling to me because of it and my kindness.
    Thanks again ~
    Shar

  28. Shar on January 7, 2016 at 12:46 am

    I just want to say I feel so blessed & grateful to have come across this site with all of you wonderful, amazing strong women rallying for one another. ❤️????

  29. Brenda on January 7, 2016 at 5:03 am

    The only thing that completes us, is Christ. When we begin to embrace our brokenness and ask Father God to seal those broken places in our hearts we truly become whole….or as whole as we can be in this part of life. It begins to start forgiving those that have hurt us. There is nothing wrong with marriage, looking for a better job or taking a vacation to a place you have never gone, as long as you take the Trinity with you. You don’t know when and where he will reveal Himself. Live in Him today and plan for tomorrow saying, if it is His will.

  30. Brenda on January 7, 2016 at 6:41 am

    Shar,

    You said:if there is a psycho 5 feet way, they will find me! I think I’m always rooting for the underdog & they seem to want to cling to me because of it and my kindness.

    I am right there with you. I believe we show too much kindness far too quickly. I’m learning though. I have said if there is one within a 5 mile radius they will find me. I now put myself in places where I can be friendly, say good morning, put myself out there, let Christ be glorified in what I say without being a target. I want no arrows coming my way.

    You/we all deserve better. We can rejoice in our brokenness, but Jesus won’t let us stay broken if we draw near to Him.

  31. Brenda on January 7, 2016 at 6:44 am

    Shar,
    Our strength comes from the Lord. : )

    Brenda

  32. quizical on January 7, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    ,so hard to call it quits after 42 years of ignoring red flags.

    • Janet on January 10, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      Quizical.
      Seek FIRST HIS KINGDOM, and His righteousness, AND ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE GIVEN TO YOU!!!!!! LOOK QUIZICAL, SEE THE PROMISE??? this is the fruit; the tree (is THE CONDITION that precedes or follows EVERY PROMISE from GOD). Every promise has its roots in GOD (THE WORD). WHEN OUR ROOTS (faith, trust, hope, fear, love and satisfaction) ARE IN GOD we discover THAT HIS HOLY SPIRIT HOLDS OUR FOOD, NOURISHMENT, HEALING, JOY, STRENGTH AND FULFILMENT.
      Our strength can only be gained through understanding, and The kind of understanding that we need to deal with, and heal from this kind of abusive behaviour and attitudes, can only come from the knowledge we get from God.
      JESUS opened my eyes to the abuse I was suffering. I had no idea it was abuse… It was all I’d ever known…. Abused as a child from birth, I did not recognise my husband’s treatment as ABUSE because he was the opposite of THE ABUSE I recognized. (He worked, We had a comfortable home and life, he did not shout, argue, hit out EVER PHTSICALLY, and he was affectionate…..
      Then I met JESUS…. I discovered why I had struggled with depression for 30years….sought PSYCHIATRIC HELP, SELF HELP, OTHER SPIRITUAL (HYPNOSIS) HELP ETC….I WAS EVEN DIAGNOSED AND TREATED AND DEFINED BY A MENTAL ILLNESS!!!
      Then one day, I was led (by the Lord) to hear about a word, a description and a personality disorder!!!
      Narcissistic PERSONALITY DISORDER. (COVERT EMOTIONAL ABUSE)!!! AND THIS SITE, ALL YOU EXPERIENCED FIGHTERS, AND LESLIE VERNICK!!!
      NOW I TRULY CAN SAY “I AM FREE”. 50 YEARS A PRISONER!!!! NO MORE!!!
      Jesus opens the eyes of the blind, heals the brokenhearted and makes the PARALYSED walk. Darkness cannot hide from the light and The word of the LORD is a light to our path and a lamp to our feet. If we keep to His (JESUS’) teachings, THE TRUTH WILL SET US FREE!!!! One day at a time we will learn to dance again and see the rainbow through the storm!!! NO MORE A CAPTIVE, NO MORE A PRISONER, no more feeling like a dog, waiting for scraps to fall from the table, NO LONGER FEARFUL! COS PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT ALL FEAR!!!!

      WE CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO GIVES US STRENGTH AND THE JOY OF THE LORD IS NOW OUR STRENGTH… HE NEVER LEAVES US NOR FORSAKES US AND WE CAN FINALLY BELIEVE AND TRUST THAT THERE IS LIFE, (OUTSIDE OF OUR PRISON). WE CAN LEARN TO LIVE LIFE ABUNDANTLY, JUST AS JESUS SAYS.
      NOT LONGER LONELY, BUT UNITED, AS ONE, IN CHRIST.

      keep going forward! VIVIENNE, THERESA, MARIE, SUNSHINE, DAUGHTER OF GOD, ALEEA, ROBIN, RUTH…. ET AL….
      I MAY NOT HAVE MENTIONED YOUR NAME, PERSONALLY, BUT GOD CALLS YOU ALL BY YOUR NAME, PERSONALLY!!!! EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU. EVEN YOU, QUIZUCAL!!!
      take His hand, TRUST HIM and Him only, everything will be OK!!!!
      You have people praying for you that you will never meet, but you’re in OUR Hearts. And being covered.
      Jxx

  33. janet on January 8, 2016 at 9:09 am

    9.You cling to fantasy story lines and love myths such as if you love someone enough he/she will change, and God will make everything work out in the end.

    this myth is taught in church. I was actually given a book to read that used this example over and over again. the book was not shy about describing the abusiveness, without calling it abuse; and praised the women for staying in this relationship because they were married. the book described the abuse and when the men would finally say they loved their wives, even though they didn’t change their behavior, the book identified that as proof that the women’s unconditional love changed their husband. This book promoted the idea that a marriage is a ministry. women, be careful what you are being taught. I have learned that I have to study for myself and I will never take the word of a church again, nor with I take the full word of any book. I will study for myself just like the bereans and this has been the best saving grace for my life in these difficult situations. my own relationship with god and Jesus and the spirit and getting to know them through prayer, study and action in their character. (I quit my good job, to be a submissive wife, based on what I was taught at church because I did not study for myself) I remained silent so that I didn’t cause any more problems with my speech. I continued to work and work and work in a relationship and remained the only one responsible for anything that was wrong. you know how difficult it is to have a one person relationship of two! all taught by church. study for yourselves, you will be complete in his character and be able to follow with your heart and the spirit. this article triggered old wounds of falsehood committed by many churches. do you know that not one church that I went to would show me how to study. I asked over and over and over again. I explained the reference books I had already purchased and the process I put into my studies and I just wanted to go over my process with them so that I knew I was on the right track. not one church would help with that. not one. I eventually realized I was on track because of the changes that I made in my life and that I had studied well and connected with god and the spirit and that my faith continued to grow. I finally began to accept I was being lead by the spirit even though I didn’t measure up to any standard of any church what they taught or didn’t teach. How can this be happening in our churches. Because we are not studying his word for ourselves. We take the word of everyone else. Study for yourselves. whatever you come to know, BELIEVE IT! THAT IS HOW YOU DON’T WAVER. If you know without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is the son of god who was sent for your sin because you have studied this for yourself in faith. YOU MUST THEN BELIEVE IT! BELIEVING LEADS TO ACTION. Apply this same principle to your life situations. know through study and then come to believe it. your lives will change and you won’t be tossed to and fro.

    • Maria on January 8, 2016 at 5:45 pm

      Janet, what is the book’s title?

      • Janet on January 9, 2016 at 10:16 pm

        Hi Maria I’m not sure if there are two Janet’s posting on here.
        I replied to your question believing that you were asking about was Leslie’s Emotionally Destructive Marriage book.
        I then received your question again asking for the marriage ministry book….
        I have spent hours trawling every reply on here….
        The reply that discussed this book was not from myself (janet), although the name on the post is janet… And it very much could be refering to my journey… However, I (janet) did not post this particular one.
        So I’m really sorry Maria, I cannot help u…
        I HOPE you find it.
        Although it sounds to me like its a book to avoid rather than look out for if you want to know the TRUTH.
        God bless.

  34. Janet on January 9, 2016 at 10:14 am

    The emotionally destructive marriage. Leslie Vernick

    Also Leslie has written the emotionally destructive relationship. For those not married. I have not read them both yet, but I’m sure they will be quite different in many ways.
    Leslie is the only person I have found during 3years of research and needing to understand these behaviours, responsibilities and accountabilities, that completely covers this subject fully, with complete understanding and from an unbiased and Christian perspective. Thoroughly using SCRIPTURAL truths and without being directional or aiimg to influence the reader.

    Thank you Leslie for unraveling this often misunderstood subject, compassionately, effectively and comprehensively.
    Janet

    • Maria on January 9, 2016 at 5:20 pm

      Janet, you mentioned a book that talks about marriage as a ministry, what’s the title of that book?

      • Janet on January 9, 2016 at 10:20 pm

        Maria.
        The above reply names Lesley’s book.
        I also mentioned the human magnet syndrome by road Rosenberg. Although I have not yet read this one. They are experts on this subject.
        The bible and these two books should be all you need.
        I hope you find the right person that wrote the post youbarr referring to. Sadly this is not me.
        Although it very much sounds like my journey.
        I did not post that blog.
        God bless.

        • Maria on January 10, 2016 at 6:39 am

          Janet,

          This is what I was referring to in your post :

          “this myth is taught in church. I was actually given a book to read that used this example over and over again. the book was not shy about describing the abusiveness, without calling it abuse; and praised the women for staying in this relationship because they were married. the book described the abuse and when the men would finally say they loved their wives, even though they didn’t change their behavior, the book identified that as proof that the women’s unconditional love changed their husband. This book promoted the idea that a marriage is a ministry. women, be careful what you are being taught. I have learned that I have to study for myself and I will never take the word of a church”

  35. Janet on January 10, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Vivienne I have been strengthened and encouraged by reading your post.
    The strength you now have, i know, can only be gained through understanding, and The kind of understanding that we need to deal with, and heal from this kind of abusive behaviour and attitudes, can only come from the knowledge we get from God.
    JESUS opens the eyes of the blind, heals the brokenhearted and makes the PARALYSED walk. Darkness cannot hide from the light and The word of the LORD is a light to our path and a lamp to our feet. If we keep to His (JESUS’) teachings, THE TRUTH WILL SET US FREE!!!! One day at a time we will learn to dance again and see the rainbow through the storm!!! NO MORE A CAPTIVE, NO MORE A PRISONER, no more feeling like a dog, waiting for scraps to fall from the table, NO LONGER FEARFUL! COS PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT ALL FEAR!!!!

    WE CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO GIVES US STRENGTH AND THE JOY OF THE LORD IS NOW OUR STRENGTH… HE NEVER LEAVES US NOR FORSAKES US AND WE CAN FINALLY BELIEVE AND TRUST THAT THERE IS LIFE, (OUTSIDE OF OUR PRISON). WE CAN LEARN TO LIVE LIFE ABUNDANTLY, JUST AS JESUS SAYS.
    NOT LONGER LONELY, BUT UNITED, AS ONE, IN CHRIST.

    keep going forward! VIVIENNE, THERESA, MARIE, SUNSHINE, DAUGHTER OF GOD, ALEEA, ROBIN, RUTH…. ET AL….
    I MAY NOT HAVE MENTIONED YOUR NAME, PERSONALLY, BUT GOD CALLS YOU ALL BY YOUR NAME, PERSONALLY!!!! EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU. take His hand, TRUST HIM and Him only, everything will be OK!!!!
    You have people praying for you that you will never meet, but you’re in OUR Hearts. And being covered.
    Jxx

    • Vivienne on January 10, 2016 at 8:37 pm

      That is very encouraging to know Janet, thank you xx

  36. Janet on January 10, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Marie I’m sorry but this is not my post….I did not post this….I don’t know how a mix up like this could have happened, but I have no recollection of writing this post, nor do I recognise the writing style as my own.
    I recognise the experiences that are discussed in this post as being very similar to my own, and I have a vague memory of commenting on this subject (post). However, I no longer hold things in my mind that are unnecessary for my healing journey with God, therefore would need Holy Spirit revelation or a visual prompt from someone on this site to alert my memory recall.
    I’m really sorry Marie. I can’t help you on this, unless someone else can help me or verify what I have written here.
    God bless. Janet.

    • Maria on January 10, 2016 at 7:26 pm

      Jan. 8

  37. Janet on January 10, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    If any one can resolve this confusion between this book and the post, written as (janet says), that Marie is referring to can you please let us both know….I would also like to know the name of the book that promotes marriage as a ministry….

    I know there is word in some denominational churches that describe marriage as ‘The ministry of marriage’ or ‘the ministry of Holy matrimony’, but its not something I agree with….

    Marie (or anyone else), can you please remind me of the original date of this particular post?

    Thanks.

    • Aleea on January 10, 2016 at 4:48 pm

      1st Janet (above),
      . . . thank you so much for the prayers, *very* much appreciated. . . . I really believe that God shapes the world by prayer. Prayers live before God, and God’s heart is set on them. God makes astounding promises to faith and prayer and I am so trusting Him and praying for that for you too. —No woman is greater than her prayer life. If we are weak in prayer, we are weak everywhere.

      Janet,
      I have no idea if this is what you are talking about but books exist like this:
      Marriage Is a Ministry: Perfecting God’s love in your marriage will produce a happy marriage by Patricia E. Hardin, 2009; Let Not Man Put Asunder: Marriage Is a Ministry by Regina Mincey, 2008; Marriage is Ministry, 2013, etc. . . . . I have no idea what books like that say.

    • Maria on January 10, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      Janet, Thanks for your prayers. The original date for the other Janet’s post was Jan. 8.

      • Robin on January 10, 2016 at 8:20 pm

        There are 2 Janet’s on this blog.

        • Janet on January 10, 2016 at 8:44 pm

          Ahhhh. Thank-you Robin.
          I certainly hope so….
          I will try to change my name.

  38. Janet on January 10, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    Sunshine.
    God bless you sweetheart. I can understand your heart and situation. Thank-you for hearing mine.
    I empathise with you and your girls. (Children).
    It was only through divine intervention that I was finally able to say no more, and find the courage and strength to follow through and act on it this time.
    The value I now have, in myself has come from Gods teaching and healing, in the 2.5yrs since I ‘made my husband leave’ (Ifinally packed his case, placed it outside and locked my doors, never to let him inside again. This was my choice of action ‘because of my past experiences of previous attempts to leave, ask him to leave, or try to make him leave. (He now enjoys much sympathy from MY OLDEST DAUGHTER, family and other people, (Inc. Our Joint friends, that are now his sole friends, because of his version of events and choice of words, that I kicked him out).

    Believe me, I would not want to wish my journey, even from him leaving, on my worst enemy.
    I COULD NOT ADVOCATE STAYING TO ANYONE, BECAUSE OF MY LIFETIMES EXPERIENCES. Yét, I hope my experiences do not evoke fear in anyone, to stop them from leaving.

    I am fully aware that each situation/circumstance is different and that we are all ultimately responsible ONLY, FOR OUR OWN DECISIONS.
    I’m sharing simply to help and encourage others to find their strength in JESUS because HE WILL STRENGTHEN, HEAL, ENCOURAGE, SUSTAIN, LIFT AND CARRY YOU THROUGH, WHILE EVER YOU SEEK HIS GUIDANCE, LEAN ON HIM AND ALLOW HIM TO TEACH YOU.
    HE HAS COMPLETELY RE-PARENTED ME, THESE LAST 4YEARS!!! AND I LOVE HIM PASSIONATELY NOW 🙂
    Without God sustaining me throughout these last 3years, I doubt very much that I could have survived it.
    I often wonder how people that dont know Jesus, get through such times. I THANK GOD THAT I DO KNOW JESUS MORE SO THAN EVER.
    And I’m not ashamed to admit it.

    2011 (our last family holiday) God showed me how damaged and broken our family was, and how far away, my oldest daughter was from me.
    He opened my eyes to see, and my ears to hear, How “both,” my husband AND my eldest daughter (she had learned his behaviour) were manipulating my youngest daughter, so that all three, were now “ganging up” against me.
    Next, God led me to discover my husband’s condition, while releasing me from a burden of guilt,self blame, shame and a mentally ill label.
    Then God ALLOWED me to see that I COULD NOT FIX THIS, SAVE US, HELP HIM, SAVE HIM, RESCUE HIM OR HEAL HIM. NOR COULD I PROTECT, HELP OR HEAL MY KIDS OR MYSELF. God THEN enabled me to see the WORST!!!! The damage my husband was doing to my youngest daughter, in order to destroy our relationship, simply because I “foolishly” said that i would not allow him to do to us what he’d done to my eldest daughter and our relationship, (while i was blind to his ways), after he’d orchestrated a ‘suicidal’ breakdown for me (in 2002). He brainwashed her, manipulated and orchestrated a very clever drama triangle that enabled him to always shine as either the martyr or the victim and me, always as the mentally ill, bad guy.
    She was 15 at the time, and our relationship was very close prior to my hospitalisation.
    She is 27 now, and I am still seeking the LORD to help restore, redeem and heal our now, very damaged, relationship, as well as grieving the lost years and relationship between her and myself, & for neither of us ever knowing ME as the mother, I could have been.
    MY BOTTOM LINE CAME WHEN I SAW HE WAS KILLING MY YOUNGEST DAUGHTER, ON THE INSIDE, (FIRST), JUST TO GET TO ME.

    I knew then (2013), that i had to tell him to leave.

    I was the only WHO CARED, THE ONLY ONE in our marriage, capable, WILLING or responsible enough to protect her, help her find healing, ALLOW myself TO BE HEALED AND MAKE HIM LEAVE.
    I KNEW THAT DAY, I HAD A choice to make. I had a LIFE SAVING CHOICE TO MAKE.

    I PRAYED FOR GOD TO STRENGTHEN ME, SO THAT I COULD MAKE THE DECISION TO LET HIM GO.
    GOD HAS NEVER FAILED ME SINCE!!!
    2.5yrs later…
    Our relationship (youngest daughter and myself) is now healing well, She IS ALMOST HEALED completely, My healing is well underway and very successful, and my oldest daughter is BEGINNING to treat me with some respect.
    AND
    I have hope for so MUCH MORE!!!

    Thank you for the film suggestion, SUNSHINE (LOVE THE NAME) 🙂
    I’ll certainly take a look.

    I will pray passionately.for you….
    I DO KNOW THAT WHETHER YOU DECIDE TO STAY OR LEAVE, DO SO WITH JESUS AS YOUR HOPE AND HEVWILL BE YOUR EVER PRESENT HELP TOO.
    GOD BLESS!
    Remember SUNSHINE, WHATEVER WE ASK FOR IN JESUS’ NAME, AND DO NOT DOUBT, WE WILL!!!! RECEIVE!!!!!
    GOD’S WORD NEVER COMES BACK VOID.

  39. Janet on January 10, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Aleea, you have a gift with the written word. I look forward to buying and reading a book that you have written, one day soon!

    My dear Aleea, the query you have answered, was not originally from me….
    I was asking for help in clearing up some confusion with regards to a post that appears to have my name on it. This post mentions a book (no title or author stated) that was promoting the notion that marriage was ministry.
    I had been asked by a sister, for the name of the book (the post with my name on)was referring to.

    However, I am now sensing a VERY VAGUE MEMORY that this may be an old post… it may have been my post, but IV long since moved from that place and book, because of my teaching and healing journey with the LORD.

    It has raised my curiosity as to WHICH BOOK, IT COULD HAVE BEEN????

    the mystery deepens… 🙂
    Be blessed sister.

    • Aleea on January 11, 2016 at 3:15 am

      Re: the mystery deepens… 🙂

      . . . .ha, ha, ha. . . .that’s the last thing we need, even more mystery. . .ha, ha, ha. The Lord God has got that market cornered. . . . .My ignorance can be divided into problems and mysteries. When I face a problem, I may not know its solution, but I have insight, increasing knowledge, and an inkling of what I am looking for. When I face a mystery, however, I can only stare in wonder and bewilderment, not knowing what an explanation would even look like. The more God asks me to participate in His mysteries, the more disoriented I become, because He asks me constantly during prayer to follow my dreams and my heart and that always surprises me, that God wants me to be happy.

  40. Janet on January 10, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Robin and SUNSHINE I would like to offer my hand and prayers of support too.
    Robin i agree with you 100%….

    Romans 8:31 WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS THOUGH CHRIST JESUS WHO GIVES US STRENGTH…
    and he does.
    You are not alone with this SUNSHINE.
    Jxx

  41. Janet on January 10, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    Marie.

    This is quite unusual.

    I really cannot recall writing this post. I do not know which book the post could be referring to…
    I do remember seeing the post on the 8th….
    It sounds like a very familiar journey and something that I could have written….
    Yet that’s it… Nothing more…

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Hi Everyone, Thanks for your patience and prayers. I have recovered from my acute bronchitis and returned from Hungary although I’m still jet lagged and still behind on my writing deadlines for my new book. But I didn’t want to go another week without staying in touch. We had a wonderful time in Hungary ministering…

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