Morning friends,

Today's question is related to that process. A woman asks:

Today’s Question: How do I stay healthy in an abusive marriage when no one will speak into my husband’s life?

Answer: This is an important question and I want you to listen very carefully. First, it is very difficult to stay healthy in a destructive marriage if you don’t take specific action steps. Second, you will never get healthy or stay healthy if you are dependent or waiting until your husband changes.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m all for someone speaking into your husband’s life. It would be much easier if he would change and then you could feel better. But that’s not under your control. And, truthfully, it’s very likely that if someone did speak into your husband’s life, he still might choose not to change.

What is under your control is your own safety and sanity and for that, you must take full responsibility (Part of CORE strength).

This truth became so clear to me when I kept waiting and wanting my mother to change so that I would not feel so horrible inside. If only she would “see” the destructiveness of her behavior, then she could get healthier and I would feel closer to her, or be able to forgive her. If only she would stop drinking, then we could maybe have a decent conversation that wouldn’t deteriorate into hateful accusations. I continually linked my own sanity and growth to her sanity and growth, which kept me totally stuck because she wasn’t the least bit interested in changing her ways.

It was only when I let go of my need to have her change and decided to pursue my own healing that was I free to become the person God called me to become, whether my mother ever “got it” or not. I realized that my whole life was lived as a reactor to my mother. If she was nice to me, I felt good. If she was mean to me, I became devastated. My internal well-being was dependent on whether or not she loved me, valued me, heard me, respected my thoughts, wanted me as her daughter, or not. Do you see how unhealthy that becomes? It makes me the continual victim of my mother.

Instead of staying a victim who simply reacted to her abuser, I learned to become an owner. I made a life altering decision! This is my life now, and how did I want to be? What kind of person did I want to become, even if my mother never knew, approved, or liked it? Who was the person God called me to be, even if my mother never changed? That is the first step to getting healthy, choosing to move from victim mindset and simply reacting to life’s circumstances and other people, to an owner mindset and taking charge of my own sanity and well-being.

Therefore, if you want to get healthy, even while still in an abusive marriage you will need to make a similar shift. Your husband is not the final authority on who you are, God is. God gave you your beautiful and precious life, body, emotions and mind, to steward and care for (tweet that). 

Don’t allow him to dictate who you are or how to steward your mental, physical and emotional well-being.

Your husband may continue in his destructive ways, but how would a healthy, God-centered woman deal with it? She might speak up, set boundaries or implement consequences. She might ignore his remarks. She might call the police if he’s being physically scary or abusive. She might go back to school to get some training to get a job so that she is better prepared to leave the marriage. She has lots of options and in wisdom, she takes action steps to walk through them with truth and grace. None of these actions are dependent on her husband changing. Yet, she is strong, courageous, resourceful, and wise. She is a healthy woman dealing with a toxic situation in a healthy way.

In other words, she is an “owner” of the person she wants to be. She partners with God in the creation of her best self. She learns to make decisions out of her CORE, and not simply react out of her hurt, anger, or fearful emotions. That is what Jesus modeled for us when he dealt with destructive people and he teaches us to do likewise.

Please don’t wait for someone to speak into your husband’s life for you to get healthy. That would be a tragedy.

Friend, how have you learned to be an owner who responds instead of a victim who reacts?

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109 Comments

  1. Nancy on August 3, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Hi Leslie,

    I appreciate you being so transparent about your relationship with your Mother. I have allowed my Mother to dictate how I feel about myself. I came to Christ 4 years ago and began setting boundaries with her ( she’s Borderline). I told her she could see the kids but I needed some space ( she’s fine with the kids, for short periods). She pulled the biggest card ever: her minister thought that I was abusive.

    I was devastated.

    4 years later, having read Cloud and Townsend’s Boundaries for the umpteenth time, I am slowly moving into owner mentality. The first key though, as you’ve mentioned often on this Blog, is support. “You cannot develop or set boundaries apart from supportive relationships with God and others” – I just re-read this yesterday!

    This year I’ve had much more success in not allowing her perception of things to dictate my life. I see her much less and am practicing saying, “no, that won’t work for me.” and leaving it at that. The success though, is directly correlated to the support I have had.( I am part of two Bible studies and gradually connecting more with those in God’s Kingdom- what a Blessing!!)

    Interestingly, after I began setting limits with my Mother, The Lord opened my eyes to the nature of my destructive relationship with my husband. My counsellor recommended your book and I was floored! God is so good. He has used your Godly advise in a huge way in our marriage. Your CORE principles are key for me. I’m excited ( and sometimes very nervous) watching The Lord move in our little family.

    Thank you, Leslie for all you have done. The Lord has used you, in my life!

    • Leslie Vernick on August 7, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      Thank you. I’m so glad you are getting to a healthier and stronger place.

  2. libl on August 3, 2016 at 7:59 am

    As Nancy gave example of above, I think the hardest part about developing CORE strength is dealing with the fall-out. I had to say no to my husband this morning because he wanted me to do something illegal. He was not repentant about it, but rather frustrated as he walked out the door. I noticed that one of the hurts I felt as I cried out to God was the he was likely to be telling his coworkers what kind of wife he thought me to be.

    But, I don’t answer to my husband. I answer to God. However, it still hurts and negatively affects me. And it is a hard thing to be married to such a man. I don’t want my husband to die or divorce me, but I want out of this so badly sometimes…..

    • Leslie Vernick on August 7, 2016 at 9:31 pm

      Yes sometimes when you get stronger, he does not like your new found strength and villainizes you for your strength. But it’s important that as you get healthy you don’t allow your husband’s disapproval or “words” become the final say in who you are. Even Jesus experienced disapproval when he said to “no” to someone.

      • Lmsdaily115 on August 16, 2016 at 7:25 am

        I found that as I becam stronger in my CORE strength, I started seeing how ugly my husband’s sin was. I was very surprised at how disgusted I was with my husband. I, too, wanted out and although I wish no harm to him or wanted a divorce for the sake of my beliefs and kids, personslly, I wanted as far from him as I could get. I am still struggling with trying to love him because God wants me to, but I don’t feel lovING or even WANT to love him. All I see is his ugliness, his bully tactics, pride and blindness. I agree, I can’t wait around for him to “get it”, so I have moved on with my life…living it for God, knowing I can’t control him. But I still feel like I shouldn’t be “disgusted” toward my husband. Is this a common reaction as we grow stronger?

        • Charlotte on August 17, 2016 at 1:09 pm

          I don’t know if being disgusted is a common reaction to growing stronger but I would say it definitely is related to abusive treatment. I feel disgusted by my husband’s behavior and sometimes even feel repulsed by him. I don’t like having those feelings but feelings are a good gauge of what is going on around us and in our relationships.

  3. Sarah on August 3, 2016 at 8:18 am

    I wasn’t able to become an owner instead of a victim until I left the abusive situation. The victims mindset is based upon survival and, as long as I remained in that abusive relationship, my situation required survival. For me the victim mindset didn’t go away after divorce either. It took Counseling and hard work on my part to realize I was safe and to change my thinking patterns.

    • Leslie Vernick on August 7, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      That is true for some, not for others. But I think it’s important to understand that even “non victims” can have a victim mindset – I’m helpless, I can’t do this on my own, it’s everybody else’s fault, there’s nothing I can do, and true victims, can have an owner mindset – how am I going to deal with what’s happened to me?

    • Lyn on August 16, 2016 at 8:09 am

      Sarah, I think you were more of an owner than you realize…you left. That takes an incredible amount of strength! I’ve just left an abusive marriage and it took everything I had to walk away, but each day another layer of strength is revealed and every decision you make for your healing makes you that much more of an owner. Stay strong!

  4. ~ Pam on August 3, 2016 at 8:24 am

    God bless you, Leslie!

    While so many of the recovery messages I’ve heard during the past three years center upon understanding what is happening and so much of the conversation in recovery groups remains an endless venting about what someone else is doing– or not doing, they tend to keep me running on the same emotionally destructive hamster wheel, posts like this empower me to do something different…

    To step back and consider what God has done. To stop reacting as a mindless victim. To step up and risk what it means to own my own personhood in Christ Jesus and respond to Him– even if that means trying and failing and trying and failing– rather than to keep on doing the same old things that have ‘seemed right’ to me for so long.

    Thank you! The encouragement and connection I found in your FaceBook communities allowed me to see options I didn’t know I had and empowered me to take risks I didn’t know I had the courage to take… But most of all, the Truth in your books, videos, conference calls and online materials helped break the endless emotional orbit around an unchanging black-hole of destructive relationships and changed the course of my life– WHOOOHOOOOOO! And that is something I couldn’t even have imagined five years ago.

    • Nancy on August 3, 2016 at 10:16 am

      Yes, Pam! I know I’m off track when I spend any length of time thinking about his behaviour ( like the support groups you mention). I cannot control what he does or does not do- my concern is my response, and that comes from focusing on Christ.

      Would it be right to say that ‘over-focusing’ ( analyzing etc..) his behaviour is trespassing? Is that going too far? Questions like, ” why would he do that?” or trying to figure out what motivates him. Isn’t that The Lord’s territory? I’m not sure where the line is because his behaviour most definitely affects me.

      • Leslie Vernick on August 7, 2016 at 9:47 pm

        I think overfocusing on why is he doing that is mostly a waste of time. Let me take it to an extreme. Why does a person molest a child? Is it because he was molested as a child himself? Is it because he was exposed early to pornography? Is it because he experienced some other kind of trauma? In the end, it doesn’t matter to the vicim. The hurt is the same. The damage is done. If you have “understanding of why” does that make it okay? Less painful? I don’t think so. Address the behavior not the motive.

        • Robyn on August 16, 2016 at 7:46 am

          I’ve spent too many precious years of my life focusing on the “why” / and I am stuck. Praying our counselor can help guide us – or me – so I can be healthy enough to make the right choices in the midst of h destructive behaviors.

      • MHMC on August 16, 2016 at 9:09 am

        I think we overanalyze and ask “why” because, like usual, we take on the responsibility of helping, fixing, or excusing our abuser. If we know why, then matbe we can “help” him stop what hes doing. But thebteuth is, no matter what we know to be true, unless our abuser is interested in figuring it out for himself, he will never change. No matter whatvwe say, or how messed up his childhood was, he abuses because he wants to. And if he wanted to stop, he would be looking dor the same answers we are.

    • Leslie Vernick on August 7, 2016 at 9:34 pm

      Thanks Pam, I know you’ve come a long way.

  5. Daisy on August 3, 2016 at 8:40 am

    I have a good friend that I’ve known for 34 years. She is a Christian and is married to a pastor of a very large church near where I live. Three years ago I had to leave my husband when I could no longer take the emotional, psychological, and spiritual abuse that I was under. She was always there to counsel me and she tried her very best to help me. But somehow whenever I talked to her I felt condemned inside. I do not believe it was conviction from the Holy Spirit. I believe that she does not understand the seriousness of what emotional and psychological and spiritual abuse could do to a human soul. She would attack were it would Hurt me the most, my kids. She would say things like, “those kids need a family.” “God can do anything if you only believe.” She would always underestimate what I had gone through and would say things like, “he never beat you, and God hates divorce.” “Marriage is hard. Just bite the bullet and do it and return home for your kids.” I have been a Christian for 40 years. Nobody has to tell me that God hates divorce. I know that verse all too well. I need to have read the book boundaries. I just did not want to reject her the way my family and friends have rejected me when I decided to leave my marriage. I came to the conclusion that I did not have a choice but to cut her out of my life. It was a very hard decision, but I don’t regret it. I have talked to her twice since then because I do want to be the person who reminds her that she has a huge responsibility to all of the women in her church. Many of them are in abusive relationships and that God will hold her accountable for the council she gives each of them when they come to her with these issues. This friend did not serve me well and I made the right decision.to separate on my terms. I have blocked her from my phone. But like I said, I have called her a couple of times to check on her and her family. I haven’t rejected completely. It is never an easy decision to draw the line in the sand that others cannot cross, but sometimes that is the only way to heal and move forward.

    • Leslie Vernick on August 7, 2016 at 9:38 pm

      I think when you are barely able to catch your breathe (metaphorically) you have to be very selective with who you trust your mental and emotional health to. Good for you to recognize that this person was not helpful to you during this journey.

    • Wanda on August 16, 2016 at 9:19 pm

      I too have had a person say that God hates divorce, but God also hates for his children to be mistreated. Often a person who hasn’t experienced emotional or psychological abuse doesn’t understand the impact it has on the person’s emotional health. My family was afraid I would have a mental breakdown if I stayed and they have been so supportive and loving. I also had a Christian therapist that encouraged me in a biblical way, but fully understood the possible implications if I stayed in the marriage. She told me that God loves his children and it grieves him to see one mistreated. How thankful I am for her words of wisdom. When I finally had the strength to leave my marriage, my husband filed for divorce immediately. He had always threatened divorce and as soon as I told him I was leaving, he announced he was filing. He used it as a scare tactic, but it just verified the abuse and the unwillingness to work on our problems.

    • Peggy on August 27, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      Oh my dear sister in the Lord…oh how I so relate to what you have just shared… I am so thankful that the church is beginning to see that many women cannot continue to stay in an abusive marriage. I was so bound for 40 yrs in an abusuve marriage. Because my vows were ‘for better or for worse’
      I realize now that those are not even biblical … But oh it took so so many years of such great heartache and pain… It made it much worse that he was an airline pilot and was away so I could caught my breathe and recover to some degree from each and every bully behavior… I continued to be held captive for we continued to attend church all our years of marriage … Having 3 children now 40, 35, and 30 this year.
      He knew exactly how to control my whole being…
      I kept standing on scripture such as James 1:4, consider it pure joy ,
      Or my grace is sufficient , you know the list goes on and on. But finally my doctor gave me the book
      called Bold Love , which explains how the church has failed to set women free from abuse. As well a pastor I met finally did show me how the enemy had me bond by scripture.
      16 years ago I finally met a counselor whom began this long journey with me to be set free… After two burn outs , and post partum depression I was very much beat into the ground….I thank God she became my dearest soul mate sister and to this day still makes this journey with me… She tried to get me out of the marriage years ago, but I wouldn’t let go of the fact I’d have a broken family and that as you said God hates divorce … I wasn’t giving the enemy this one… But in hindsight he already had it for a very long time.
      I am finding out now from my adult children how living in such an unhealthy marriage while they grew up has so impaired them in their relationships now of their own. They didn’t learn to respect women from their father. My sons have both gone for counselling. One understands my stay and the other blames me for staying a victim all those years. My daughter 35 whom has delayed development and is 35 and continues to live with me now has had wry difficult circumstances as well to deal with …
      But finally it all came to an STOP.
      In 2914 I was horseback riding with my daughter . While on the horse in a canter ,I heard a crack in my back ….
      Discovering I now have severe osteo … After my release from hospital , after one wk my husband said I can’t do this anymore. He left my daughter to do all the care giving for me. That was in June and by Sept he was out of the house finally but now an easy step… He spent our 40th anniversary in the camper van in the garage … It was also my 61th birthday …
      Of course I am now aquainted well with the word narcissism !!!
      Up to two yrs ago it had never been mentioned…
      Well I could say ever so much more !!!
      But now the big question Bitter or Better ???
      Better of course because HE lives I can face tomorrow. Through His ways He had lead me to this website and I will be attending the Conquer Conference in Oct…with my counselor … I now live in Vernon ,British Columbia and she is in Barrie , Ont.
      I was released after 40 yrs of marriage in the desert and in His promise land now…
      I desire now to help women walk out of abuse through finding their wholeness Him.
      In His love and grip ,
      Peggy

  6. Michelle on August 3, 2016 at 8:58 am

    I have learned to take charge a little bit. I have been making personal professional decisions to better myself and better prepare myself for whatever my future holds for me and my children. We have been looking for a house, and my husband talks more than he takes action. So I’ve been setting up appointments and then telling him what the schedule is. It’s worked out so far. I’m learning to take a little more charge. Although, my mind and heart keep reeling from the constant tense turmoil in our homelife. It’s getting to me physically. Feeling sick right now.

    • Leslie Vernick on August 7, 2016 at 9:40 pm

      It does take it’s toll, that’s a given. But the more you get stronger and take charge of you (owners mindset) instead of allowing yourself to be controlled, you will get healthier. Baby steps are still steps forward.

  7. Aleea on August 3, 2016 at 9:47 am

    “Friend, how have you learned to be an owner who responds instead of a victim who reacts?”

    . . . . whoa, that’s huge! Taking and owning personal responsibility. . . . An outrageously important question and I am going to focus where my counselor says I need to really work: ―internally. The abuse (―whatever form it takes) would not be happening *externally* if was not happening *internally* first. I have to BE the change I want to see in my world. What would be a healthy, Christ-centered approach internally? Re: How do I speak up, set boundaries, implement consequences with myself. . . . So, 1) ―I can be true to my values. If I compromise my standards, it costs me emotionally. I am unsure of all my deepest values but I can still guess at them and live in a way that does not violate my inner sense of right and wrong. I can defend my actions, but internally they are earning my own disapproval. . . . 2) ―I can be careful to say what I think in love. Saying one thing while thinking another throws my whole being into confusion. I may not even initially be consciously aware of the disruption, but my nervous system certainly is. How can I approve of myself if, on some core level, I am saying one thing while thinking another. . . . . 3) ―I can show even more consideration for those around me. I want to be treated in a way that is gentle, tender and kind. . . . .So I need to clothe myself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. There is no way to justify hypocrisy on an emotional level. My brain can make excuses, but that won’t prevent the disapproval and inner conflict. . . . ―Oh, I love Truth but it is tough and sharp and at times brittle but without truth, all love can get sloppy. Without love, truth can feel really harsh. Together they better nourish the soul. . . . . 4) ―God calls us to have the strength to trust Him over our hopelessness and to let Him give us the strength to overcome what it is that we feel hopeless to change. I simply can’t believe at times but I can still cry out to God to help me during those times. That is, use believing doubt to strengthen my beliefs and trust God to become stronger as I encounter, engage, and overcome unbelief. ―That is, see doubt not as the opposite of faith but as an element of faith. ―Be proactive and preemptive.

  8. Sunshine. on August 3, 2016 at 10:03 am

    About two months ago I realized I had a serious victim mentality. I really didn’t make plans or commitments because my free time revolved around reacting to my husband’s plans. I couldn’t plan to do something unless he was home to take care of the kids. Well when I realized that I was being manipulated and I was allowing it, it was like ice water dashed in my face. I have choices. I may not like them but there are choices. I started making small decisions like what to make for dinner based on what we like and have rather than what won’t make him scowl and ignore us all. I started making plans for Saturday’s and Sunday’s. I announced my plans. I made things happen rather than waiting for him to make a choice. He was welcome to join in with us all but he chose not to do it most times. We carried on and had a fine time. Small choices, making decisions and sticking with them, that’s how I stepped off the crazy-making wheel of destruction.

    • Leslie Vernick on August 7, 2016 at 9:43 pm

      Yea Sunshine. That is a huge realization and subsequent action step. Keep going.

  9. SaraJane on August 3, 2016 at 10:07 am

    After several groups with Leslie, it was almost like a “click” in my brain. I saw the reality of my situation and decided I would no longer be a victim. Our marriage of 30 years wasn’t what I thought it was and I didn’t like the weak person I had become. I didn’t even recognize myself. I wanted to be the kind of woman my adult daughters could be proud of, not have to be worried about all the time. Thank you, Leslie for being used by

    • Leslie Vernick on August 7, 2016 at 9:43 pm

      Thanks Sarajane. So glad my groups have been helpful to you.

  10. Daisy on August 3, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    My favorite part of your advice, Leslie, was this section…

    “This truth became so clear to me when I kept waiting and wanting my mother to change so that I would not feel so horrible inside. If only she would “see” the destructiveness of her behavior, then she could get healthier and I would feel closer to her, or be able to forgive her. If only she would stop drinking, then we could maybe have a decent conversation that wouldn’t deteriorate into hateful accusations. I continually linked my own sanity and growth to her sanity and growth, which kept me totally stuck because she wasn’t the least bit interested in changing her ways. It was only when I let go of my need to have her change and decided to pursue my own healing that was I free to become the person God called me to become, whether my mother ever “got it” or not.”

    For my situation, it was not my mother, but my husband who held me captive. For my own sanity, I got divorced. I was not able to heal and become me while living with him. That was 6 years ago and still I struggle with the question – did I do the right thing? I see people around me, in my life, and online (like this group) who struggle in marriages that sound even worse than mine, yet they stayed. So, I’m left feeling guilty, like a quitter, like I gave up. The voice in my head tells me, “They stayed. Why couldn’t you?” Do you have any advice for me, Leslie? Why can some “tough it out” while others (like me) end up divorced?

    • libl on August 4, 2016 at 6:21 am

      I’m toughing it out, but I don’t hold that as something to be proud about or think less of divorcees.

      First of all, I am not being abused per se. I am in a difficult, sometimes destructive marriage. It did get to a point of abusive at one point, but while my husband is selfish, he isn’t a narcissist and a few boundaries and some prayer helped him not go down that path.

      Sometimes I even think my marriage is good. It certainly can look and feel that way, and I believe he is trying, but then he acts out of selfishness again and everything comes crashing down on me again.

      He has not repented for 98% of it. No closure. No resolution, and after years of confusion and stress, I am a mess and have even considered putting myself in the mental ward of the hospital.

      Does that sound like someone proud of “toughing it out?”

      It isn’t “bad enough” for divorce, and I agree, but it isn’t good enough for me to stay healthfully, either. I have frequent dreams of life without him.

      Do not feel badly about your divorce. You didn’t divorce him. He divorced you long before you signed that paperwork. He broke his vows. He didn’t act like a husband. He didn’t take the marriage seriously. You just stopped beating a dead horse.

      I see this more and more. Abusive husbands are too cowardly to be the ones to leave and divorce, so they abuse their wives until she does and hope everyone points fingers at her. This is prominent in Christian or wife-Christian, husband-not households because they know the stigma against divorce in the Christian church. They use that to keep her in her victimhood.

      I argue this fact over and over. In cases like these when the wife gets the legal paperwork rolling, it is usually because the husband has already divorced himself from the marriage in his heart, but is too much of a coward to do so legally.

      The Bible says if an unbelieving man puts away his believing wife she is free. But we get legalistic in that he has to initiate the legal divorce, and that is what holds her hostage. But Jesus looks at the heart more than legalism. The husband has already divorced her in his heart. Daily, he divorced her, and worse, often still expects marital rights in the bedroom!!

      You didn’t give up. You gave all. You are toughing it out, still. Divorce isn’t easy, either.

      • Sue on August 4, 2016 at 2:26 pm

        Agreed.
        Adding on only to say, your ex chose his consequence- by treating you poorly, he chose not to have a marriage with you.
        And as libl said, divorce isn’t easy either. Been there, done that.
        Be gentle with yourself ????

      • Daisy on August 4, 2016 at 2:59 pm

        Libl,
        My Pastor has told me the same thing, “You didn’t divorce him. He divorced you long before you signed that paperwork.”

        • Robin on August 4, 2016 at 3:03 pm

          Daisy, an excellent book that underlines this very well and built up my confidence strongly as one was filed for divorce, was
          A CRY FOR JUSTICE, by Jeff Crippen. I hope for more women to read this book and get relieved of any guilt.

          • Daisy on August 4, 2016 at 4:33 pm

            I’ll have to look for that book, Robin!



      • roger on September 12, 2016 at 10:46 am

        Libl, your comment about being cowardly hit a nerve for me, I think we should use caution on speculating why a husband (or wife) chooses to stay in a difficult marriage, I, myself, as the offender, have chosen to stay and I would say with certainty that doing so was not done out of cowardice, but rather strength, knowing how bad I hurt my wife, and up to this point she has not chosen to divorce me, I have done my best to fight for our marriage by giving her time and space to heal hoping that perhaps we could resurrect a broken relationship, after almost 2 years, I can tell you with honesty that I do not care what anyone thinks, nor am I afraid of being judged if I had chosen to divorce her and move one with my life……I do feel released from my marriage vows, and I know that my wife has every reason, biblical included, to divorce, and I must respect that if she eventually decides to do so, yet I will remain till that day happens, asking God for a miracle, knowing he has my marriage in his hands, and trusting him to handle whatever may come my way, That takes strength and courage, to face the unknown, and I know everyone around us, at this point would not point a finger at either, but would rather love us and hope that we both make it through this devastating situation….I ask god daily for strength, for his help on making me a better man, regardless of the outcome, that takes courage, I hope perhaps you might be able to see both sides of the story, thanks…..

        • roger on September 12, 2016 at 11:33 am

          typo, I do not feel released from my marriage vows…sorry bout that

    • Robin on August 4, 2016 at 8:34 pm

      Daisy, your situation sounds a lot like mine. I fought for my marriage for 30 years, and when I was done I was done. My counselor said, we need to get him out, so you can heal. I didn’t understand at first, but after he was gone, I understood. My husband was a very sick man that didn’t want help. He hurt our children and our grandchildren, and my story ended up being — a divorce was needed. I would encourage you Daisy not to compare your story with others. God has a plan for each of our lives, and they don’t all look the same. I have never regretted one day, divorcing. There was too much pain for everyone. It was time to slam the door shut on sin and abuse and move on and blossom.

      • Daisy on August 5, 2016 at 4:10 pm

        Thanks, Robin. Even though it’s been six years, I’m still working on moving on. I don’t necessarily struggle with wanting to go back and be with him again, like some people do. He married 6 months after, was married 4 years, divorced, and married again, so I’m understanding the “pattern.” My biggest struggle is, in some ways, I had it better when I was married (financially, being with my kids, influencing my kids, free time – now I work constantly so I have no free time, etc).

      • Leslie Vernick on August 7, 2016 at 9:57 pm

        Thanks Robin.

    • Leslie Vernick on August 7, 2016 at 9:51 pm

      Daisy, everybody is different. There is no cookie cutter to how much one can “take” before he or she cries enough. I liken it to childbirth. Some women can manage it fine without drugs. Others cannot. Should we judge one a better mother, or Christian than the other? I think that would be very uncharitable and wrong. Satan is trying to accuse you – there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus ROmans 8:1. Even if you come to a conclusion that you did make a mistake exiting the marriage too early (I have a friend who did such a thing – he was not destructive, but she just wanted to be out,) God is a forgiving God, full of grace and truth.

  11. Sue on August 3, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Deliberately and intentionally focusing on CORE. All day. Every day.
    I have think about everything in my marriage relationship.
    Lots and lots of self-talk.
    What are you thinking? Why are you thinking that way? Is that thought based in truth or in a lie?
    God how do you want me to think about this? Do I have a healthy boundary? Am I being healthy?
    Really important: who are you giving the power to right now? Your husband or yourself with God?
    Why are you hurt, unhappy, sad, etc.?
    Asking God where those feelings came from and what to do with them.
    Immediately rejecting self-pity and self-loathing.
    Reminding myself who GOD says I am and sticking with that mind-set.
    It is SO much work for me. It is not my natural inclination to live by CORE. I was not raised that way and I have not lived that way for most of my life. So many times I want to push the easy button and go back into codependent, dysfunctional, victim mode. But I have to remind myself that path is wide and leads to destruction.
    It’s almost like I have an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other, each whispering into my ear.
    Who am I going to listen to…

    • Robin on August 4, 2016 at 12:01 am

      Excellent Sue. Wow, you are working hard!!!! You go girl!!

      • Sue on August 4, 2016 at 1:13 am

        Thanks, Robin ????
        Some days are better than others and I still have a lot to learn.
        But yes, overall I’ve become more contained- not letting my emotions take over and I am just starting to see the benefits of that in my relationship both with my husband and daughter.
        I am definitely looking forward to the day when that is my “new normal” and it’s not such an effort.
        There but for the grace of God, go I…

    • Leslie Vernick on August 7, 2016 at 9:52 pm

      Great description, and I hope you are listening to God more and more.

  12. Aleea on August 4, 2016 at 6:03 am

    . . . . and maybe something so simple but such an incredible, unbelievably helpful technology: the truth. Always tell the truth as kindly and gently as possible to our spouses. Just tell the truth, always. . . .about how you really feel, about what you really think, about what the facts really are, etc. The reason the truth is so important is that we have absolutely no idea what is best for us, we sure think we do however. . . . Jesus’ when He is praying. . . . . Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me. Yet not My will, but Yours be done. . . .Look at His human side totally taking over. . . . Left to ourselves we have almost no ability to know what is best for us. We think we know what is best for us (a model we got from Satan). . . . the spirit of the times; things in this world that we deem more important than God’s perspective; the goals and values of this system. . . . —but how could we possibly know what is best for us? Look at Peter, no way Lord we are not going up to Jerusalem, that is just crazy talk. Peter’s words become an adversary of God. Not consciously, I’m sure. I have no doubt that Peter sincerely didn’t understand what he was suggesting. He just wanted Christ to live; he loved Jesus, and didn’t want to see Him die. Nonetheless, his suggestion was in direct opposition to the will of God. —Anyways, I have no real idea what path is best for me. When we try to manipulate situations, that has “the lie” at its core, not the truth at its core and we get things that are ultimately not good for us. . . .And this is one hard lesson that I and I am sure lots here have learned re: marriage:

    There is only one thing worse than not getting what you want and that is actually getting what you want.

    . . .Always tell the truth and see what happens. We simply don’t know what is good for us, only the Holy Spirit can guide us into that. . . . All we can do is keep our hearts as clean as possible, let the Holy Spirit really get ahold of us and be open to the Holy Spirit to teach us “new ways of thinking, feeling and responding.” It means we allow the Holy Spirit to teach us to see everything from God’s perspective, even dying to our dreams. . . . But that is so sad to think about (re: Christ having to go to the cross, to hell to pay for our sins.) . . . .Serious prayers for everyone. . . .I was thinking today about how terrifying it is to accept ourselves completely. I am really afraid of that but there’s no coming to consciousness without serious pain. . . .It is the same with Christ; religion is a major defense mechanism against a REAL experience of Christ.

  13. Maria on August 4, 2016 at 8:22 am

    I am married to a man whose siblings, mother will not tell him the truth. They know they have a lot to lose if they do. They all live out of town and see him once every year or two. They seem like a very tight knit family but their relationships are not deep. His treats them very well when he does see them and regularly keeps in touch with them over the phone. They know about his emotional abuse, but choose to ignore it, make excuses and blame. They believe that a wife shoul submit to her husband, no matter what.
    I too believed that in order to be happy, my husband needed to change. Looking back, I had the victim mentality-I was a victim and there was nothing I could do about it. When I realized What I was responsible for my reactions, my thoughts, feelings, emotional, physical and spiritual upkeep etc. things began to change. As time goes on, we seem to be moving in totally different directions- I see him becoming more and more miserable. I am so grateful for God’s grace and mercy. I try to respond with truth in my dealings with him, but all he does is blame. He believes he is a victim, a victim who was unfortunate to marry a person who will not treat him like God and has a mind of her own and will not do everything he desires. If I had chosen the victim route, I would be headed in the same direction. Surprisingly, of late I am more view him more compassionately ( that does not mean I excuse his behavior). I feel sorry for where he’s at. I’m grateful that God opened my eyes to my victim mentality and and feel compassion for him because he is so blind. I wasn’t able to pray for him, now I can. God is good.

    • Aleea on August 4, 2016 at 10:17 am

      >“. . . I wasn’t able to pray for him, now I can. God is good.”
      . . . Maria that so blesses me to know that because I really believe that blesses and strengthens your heart too. . . . Prayer, what is it about prayer? It is totally, it is completely other. . . and so helpful.

      >“. . . They know about his emotional abuse, but choose to ignore it, make excuses and blame.” . . . Think of what could happen if they started seriously talking to him about those issues. . . . That’s another very important thing we can pray for too. Keep telling them the truth as objectively as you know how. . . . . —You know what?. . . When we find our authentic selves, those who loved our masks are really, very disappointed (—we should not have been wearing them to begin with.) We may end up even alone, but as my counselor says: even if we are in a field alone, we are not alone if Christ is with us. It’s painful but it is not a tragedy, it is opportunity. Now, we can find people who understand the importance of looking for truth and being really authentic. Now we can find people who want to connect deeply instead of constant worthless small talk. . . . .and even more importantly we can always have real intimacy with the Holy Spirit. —He’ll go as deep as we can possibly handle. In fact, He has been showing me that to choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation. —I still fall in that hole, even though I see it. . . .But I know when I take even a half-step towards God, He runs to me!

  14. Maria on August 4, 2016 at 10:07 am

    Aleea,
    In an abusive relationship it may not be wise to disclose how one feels etc. It can be used against them.

    • Aleea on August 4, 2016 at 10:57 am

      Thank you Maria. . . . I do see the logic there. I will have to think about that more. . . . .But spouses, wow, they are really advanced creatures. Would not they detect how you feel. Would not it be all over your face and body language? . . .Would not that speak as loud as words? . . . . I guess you could deadpan it. . . . blank, expressionless but it is your spouse, they know you.

      I don’t know Maria, maybe you are correct. I just don’t know. . . . . I am always worried that unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways. . . . . But I can also see how not reacting to his or her feelings, and not sharing your feelings could be wise (-because of the repercussions).

  15. Nancy on August 4, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Alreea. I can relate to you in that I too cannot hide anything that I am feeling, and if I do, I feel as though I’m somehow lying.

    In my case, I become quiet and get lost in a world of thoughts and emotions. I know my family senses this. I’m learning to use my voice by acknowledging my withdrawal but still maintaining privacy until it’s the right time to share ( if at all ). This way it gives me the space I need to process it with The Lord.

    I grew up believing that to love someone meant I owed them every thought, feeling, explanation, twinge etc.,, that needing privacy was wrong, and even more than that, it was unloving., selfish etc….

    that’s a total lie.

    My heart belongs to The Lord, and I must guard my relationship with Him. For me that means keeping things private with Him, first 🙂

    • Nancy on August 4, 2016 at 12:40 pm

      Ok. I just realized that the lie I believed is this:

      to want privacy is to abuse those I love. ( which is why my mother called me abusive when I began setting boundaries)

      Wow.

    • Aleea on August 4, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      >”. . . My heart belongs to The Lord, and I must guard my relationship with Him. For me that means keeping things private with Him, first. . . This way it gives me the space I need to process it with The Lord.”
      —Nancy that is so beautiful. That sounds really helpful because the Lord can truly help us put Grace in our Truth or just simply, sometimes, drop issues.

      >”. . . to want privacy is to abuse those I love. ( which is why my mother called me abusive when I began setting boundaries)”
      . . . Oh, do I know. . . . My mother said I was destroying the family when I set a boundary with her and then forgave me; —Forgave me, imagine that!!! (—psychoanalytically I don’t know what to make of that!?!?!) —So boundaries, we have to have them because we get what we tolerate. God’s solution for “I can’t live that way anymore” is basically, “Good! Don’t live that way anymore.” Set firm limits against evil behavior in a way that best promotes change and redemption (—which is really a loving thing to do. I mean, I know I need all the help I can get trying to live for Christ.) . . . . Get the love and support you need from other places to take the kind of stance at home that redeems relationships (—I know that is way harder than it sounds.) . . . . Suffer long, but suffer in the right way. And when done God’s way, chances are much better for redemption (—And I know God’s way is really hard to know at times too. I am guessing at it in many of my situations.) —Oh my do I get the issues, complexity squared.

  16. Maria on August 4, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Aleea, I agree that our emotions can be read by others, but what I meant was we need to be careful with whom we share our hearts desires etc. Also when dealing with a bully, the bully doesn’t care about hurting your feelings, so expressing this to him/her does no good. Also, showing fear to a bully only energizes them.

    • Aleea on August 4, 2016 at 5:26 pm

      Re: our hearts desires; the bully doesn’t care about hurting your feelings; fear is exploited

      . . . It is so, so sad that some people only understand power (—like raw legal power and the more the better.) I hate that place, it is so destructive but I understand a place for it certainly exists. I understand dominance hierarchies where people are brutes and any weakness is exploited until you fight at every level. . . . If all you are getting is dominance and control you have to utilize all the defenses. It is our duty to defy unjust dominance and to challenge unjust control. I agree with you Maria, certainly . . . . But wouldn’t it be incredible if we also really, deeply, fully understand how it happened so we could solve (—avoid) that whole class of issues in the future and maybe pass that knowledge on to others? . . . . You want to be a brute but you also want to be mine. —No way, you can’t be both. Dominance is only for GOD. All evil seems to arise from the desire to dominate others. Most in our society are taught from a very early age to try to dominate. It isn’t something that they even think about consciously. It operates at a subconscious level. They are taught by the adults around them and their peers. Someone dominates them and they in turn try to dominate others. They do it without even realizing it (—some engage in benevolent dominance but it is dominance all the same) and they do it without even thinking about why. It is without question. Dominance hierarchies are everywhere: at work, at church, etc. It is the structure and fabric of society. That is why actions trump words any day because actions speak for what really motivates from a subconscious level. I think that’s the level to get more awareness of. —Only God can really help us with that, i.e. prayer, self-reflection, et.al.

    • Leslie Vernick on August 7, 2016 at 9:54 pm

      So true. We can be authentic without being naked. You don’t take off your emotional clothes in front of everyone, only your most trusted, intimate friends.

  17. Robin on August 4, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree with Maria. I learned there were many things I was feeling/thinking that only people who I could trust- would I share them with. By learning wisdom I learned sharing the wrong thing with a Destructive man could be enough to start a war.

    • Aleea on August 5, 2016 at 6:54 am

      “. . .sharing the wrong thing with a Destructive man could be enough to start a war.”

      ―Oh, for sure. Robin, no doubt about it. In a healthy relationship, vulnerability is wonderful because it leads to increased everything: intimacy, closer bonds, all the good stuff. When a healthy mother realizes that they hurt you, they feel remorse and they make amends. It’s safe to be honest. . . . . In an abusive system, like with my mother, vulnerability is very dangerous. It’s considered weakness (which is totally mental), which acts as an invitation for more mistreatment. Maybe she feels a surge of power when she discovers a weakness and exploits it to gain more power. In the past, my crying or complaining only confirmed that she stabed me in the right spot. ―But it is total destruction, complete lose-lose. . . It would be interesting to know what it is that people are really, deeply most afraid of. ―Really, depth psychology-style, psychoanalytically, with all the terms (destructive, et.al.) clearly defined. . . .What is going on? . . .Emotionally abusive because of their fear of intimacy? . . . . ―Sure, but more than that is going on. I think so often we end up unnecessarily prolonging our abuse because we buy into the notion that the abuser must be coming from a wounded place and that only patient love and tolerance will help them heal. . . . Anyways, I don’t know how to be silent when my heart is speaking (―Maybe I need to learn that.)

  18. Robin on August 4, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    I don’t think we always tell the truth Aleea. Wisdom pauses and asks the Lord if this is wise to share with a destructive spouse.,it is a good thing to speak truth as long as we know when not to- to not hesitate to speak truth at times could be disastrous. In the last year of my marriage, I barely spoke to my destructive spouse at all and when I did I chose very carefully what I could trust him with. It wasn’t worth the abuse he would return on the family.

    • Aleea on August 4, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      “I don’t think we always tell the truth Aleea.”

      . . . . Robin, I think I understand what you are saying because at that stage you have got to be fearing for your safety, so maybe you don’t. —I agree, good point. . . .But back that relationship up a ways. . . . Wouldn’t the “relationship” end quicker if we did? . . . .Maybe if, from the start, we did just that (—always clearly telling the truth. The first “C” —commitment to really being honest) we would not waste so, so, so many years? Wouldn’t it be better to trigger, in love (truth without love is brutality) that house of cards, especially in dating or at worst in year one? —One and done? . . .Maybe that is a naive way to think about it. These situations are multiples of complexity, they involve developing detailed and realistic contingency plans.

  19. Maria on August 5, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Aleea, the C, commitment to be honest doesn’t mean we have to tell everyone what we feel etc. In certain situations , I may not chose to divulge a certain piece of information, and that does not mean I’m not being honest with myself. It may just mean I don’t trust that person, or I don’t think there’s any point in telling that person based on past behavior.

    • Aleea on August 5, 2016 at 6:02 pm

      “. . . I may not chose to divulge a certain piece of information, and that does not mean I’m not being honest with myself. . . “ —Absolutely, I understand, at least I think I do. . . . If you have the patience, let me try what I am getting at a different way. How do we use honesty to not wind-up in these situations to begin with (—honesty with ourselves and others)? —Is it possible or are these situations just too complex? . . . . So, for example, instead of putting our best foot forward when initially dating someone, we put our most blatantly honest foot forward. —And on the other side, if we see this “too good to be true” ideal image (—charming, irresistible, makes you feel as though they understand you like no one has or ever will), we really go on high alert. —Or is so much of this happening unconsciously we can’t really parse it out? . . . Maybe it is the wrong way to think but it seems the reason the truth is so important is that it totally guides us to what is best for us. So, —truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, truth loving even if we wind-up all alone. —What do you think? . . . Part 2 of that would be if we haven’t learned to love and accept ourselves are we doomed to be attracted to and, in turn, to attract people who can’t give us love. In other words, it feeds into our core beliefs—for example, that we are defective and unworthy of love. Because if that is going on unconsciously would not that put us forever in a vicious cycle of attracting people who aren’t capable of loving us because we believe we are unlovable or unworthy of love? Does that make sense?

  20. Robin on August 5, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Daisy, I understand. Does he have full custody of your children??
    We do have to count our losses but for me, I didn’t have any. Mine was a win-win situation. I don’t think divorce is easy but it was necessary. My husband swayed 3 of my 4 children to his side. But from what I’ve learned, it’s common with very sbusive men. I’m working now with one of those children so that part is looking up. I think my advice would be to build a new life. I understand you work a lot, but think about what new things you’d like in your life. If you don’t set new goal and look for a new life/ the old life you had will be on your thoughts.

  21. Sue on August 5, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Robin’s post reminded me of something I’ve been thinking about for the last week or so.
    I know how difficult it can be to see beyond the here and now, especially if your husband’s criticism and verbal tirades are an everyday occurrence. You are simply trying to make it one day to the next in survival mode.
    But may I encourage you to think of his bad attitude as HIS not yours. Don’t own it, don’t take it on as who you are, don’t let it define your life.
    What is something you really enjoyed before you were married? Maybe as a teen or even as a kid? Music, crafting, baking, gardening?
    I grew up as a marching band kid- in the color guard. I was exposed to a ton of fantastic music of which I have my all-time favorites. After everyone is in bed at night, I sometimes look up these songs on YouTube. I then have them playing in my head for several days and can hum them to myself whenever I want/ need. They take me to a happy place where I can feel good about myself.
    No, it won’t immediately change your marriage but it can slowly begin to change and empower you to stop believing all the lies and reacting so strongly to them. That is where the shift can begin to take place in the miserable dance you’ve been stuck in with your husband.
    There has been discussion about sharing/not sharing feelings, etc. with your husband.
    I say don’t share this. You know he will most likely be nasty like he has about everything else, making fun of you, saying its stupid. Enough. He doesn’t get access to your heart & soul anymore because he didn’t earn it.
    Some of you have been saying how difficult it is to hide hurt feelings from him. And it is hard because they are so strong. But as you start taking these baby steps to reclaim yourself as an individual, an adult, a woman a value and worth, you will also begin to take the power away from his attitude.
    Yes, it will still hurt at times. But your thinking will be changing and you’ll see him as immature, selfish, foolish, ridiculous and eventually hurting. And you will be able to think, “yeah, okay, buddy, whatever. You want to be miserable, that’s your choice, but I’m not joining in.”
    And the best part, you’ll walk away in freedom, not sinning and the ability to walk with God and hear much more clearly from him.
    So, think about it- what is one “secret” thing you can do that you enjoy and will bring happiness and peace to your heart?

    • Nancy on August 5, 2016 at 7:03 pm

      I love this question, Sue.

      As someone who had made my husband my saviour for almost 20 years, I shared everything with him. Everything. That was not healthy for me, or him. It put so much pressure on him, not to mention gave him way too much power over me. Our relationship was so unequal. Since confronting him and separating emotionally and sexually from him, I try to remember not to share hurt feelings with him (not always successful- last week I ended up in a pool of tears by myself!). He has no ability to respond to me. In this, Hosea 2:16 is so helpful; The Lord is my “ishi” ( husband) – I also have the image of ‘the prodigal daughter’ as my lock screen. So comforting.

      Worship is my secret, and not so secret thing. It’s the thing that is 100% mine.

      I’m going to think on other things as well. Things I used to love- before my relationship with him.

    • Robin on August 6, 2016 at 11:22 am

      Sue, I hear you wanting to work so hard to accept your difficult marriage. I am wondering something that I believe is very important in an abusive/Destructive relationship. Are you stopping sin?
      Or do you put all your energy into being able to survive your difficult relationship??

      • Sue on August 6, 2016 at 11:40 am

        Hi Robin,
        I’m not completely clear on what you’re asking me.
        Could you please elaborate?
        Thanks

    • Leslie Vernick on August 7, 2016 at 10:01 pm

      So important. Thanks for sharing Sue the value of taking care of you.

  22. Sue on August 5, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    And lest you all think I am so perfect Pollyanna.
    The other night I was mad about his actions/attitude towards me.
    I shut down verbally, gave glaring looks and answered, “yes, I am mad!” (Thank you very much for asking).
    Then I returned to calm, cool exterior demeanor and tried to have a “nice” discussion about it: “would you like to know why?”
    Too late, he shut down for the night. He’ll sit and listen until I’m done and then go to bed without a word. As he was going up the stairs I asked, “this hurts me, don’t you care??” Nothing. And I’m left to my fuming.
    Sigh…
    He did acknowledge that I kept my cool but that was it.
    So, of course, I followed up to our bedroom.
    And (all in my head) I prayed and argued with myself and prayed some more and stood there watching him sleep peacefully. Grrr…
    But I knew I would just make matters worse if I woke him and continued to plead my case.
    And finally I left him alone and spent time with God.
    Baby step.
    Small victory.
    Only possible with the Holy Spirit.
    But possible.
    Don’t grow weary in doing good ladies ????

    • Aleea on August 6, 2016 at 6:49 am

      ―That is beautiful and if we need helping doing that. . . . How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong by Leslie. . . . I love that book. . . . it always challenges and convicts me. . . .this does too:

      re:“. . . If you are tired of being stuck, not knowing how to get centered and strong in Christ this is the class for you.”
      —Excellent, I have been praying lots & lots sign-up for the CORE Strength class. . . . I am sure if it is like the books, it is very practical, very tangible ideas and action steps and especially biblical wisdom (—I really love those parts of all the books (and especially the model prayers): a life of discipline, a firm determination to live a life of prayer and self-contemplation, a life of self-denial and Christlikeness, that’s life transforming stuff.) . . . . . I can’t take on another thing now without drowning (—yes, I realize from counseling that may be an excuse at some level). . . . . . .I was thinking yesterday, the best seminar ever (—and I realize why this can’t be done), the best seminar ever would be to get some Military Police, the worst NPD mothers we can find and the abused in a room and role play, role play (live) until we had it down, cold. —Burn some new chemical pathways into all our brains.

      HTARWYSAW, page 90 “. . .We don’t really believe God when he tells us that these hardships can and will be used for our good. We don’t believe him when he tells us that he is our deepest source of satisfaction and joy.” ―Oh, so true. I certainly do not always believe it, but sometimes I really do. . . . Page 90 again: “There is a deep and very old voice in us that whispers that God can’t be trusted with anything so important as our life. That fear is the root of sin. It moves us to believe that life is only what we make it. Gripped by that anxiety, we fear that we will not get the respect we want or the accomplishments and possessions we think we deserve unless we grab as much as we can. . . .” ―Yes, exactly describes me at times. . . . . but I have also learned there is only one thing worse than not getting what you want and that is actually getting what you want. It is a common thing to be overly impressed by and attached to masks: ours, others . . . . we need to let the Holy Spirit control our for and against.

      Anyways, Sue, here is the point I wanted to make (I am sure you know this): No one can interact with the old you, if the old you is really not there anymore. When we really/ truly change, every one interacting with us changes. —They can’t interact with an “us” no longer there. . . . .I’d like to become who God wants me to be, if possible. . . . Every morning I let go of myself and surrender to God under the assumption [and it is a difficult one for me] that trusting God is the wisest step. . . . .but I have to keep telling myself during the day: I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything that cannot be reasonably explained as a fraud.

      “. . . .What is one “secret” thing you can do that you enjoy and will bring happiness and peace to your heart?” Great question. . . .I have no idea, just blank (―just like so many times in counseling). . . . I’ll have to really think about that.

    • Leslie Vernick on August 7, 2016 at 10:02 pm

      Yea – thanks for sharing small victories. These are the small steps that lead to better emotional and mental health. Choices you make even when you made a few bad ones, you didn’t just throw in the towel. You made the choice to go to God instead of battling it out with your sleepy spouse.

  23. Robin on August 6, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Sue, for way too many years, I was continually working on me. Wanting to be better. Wanting God to change my heart. I really truly invested in loving my husband. But I didn’t do the thing Leslie suggests in her books – to confront and stop sin. Our homelife was not better simply because I worked on me getting healthier. It’s needed to build up our cores and stand up to our abuser. But it’s also necessary not to just live with his sin and destructive path.

    • Sue on August 6, 2016 at 11:58 pm

      Robin,
      What do you think would have been different if you had confronted your ex?
      How would it have changed you, your marriage and your kids?
      These are not meant to be “leading” questions, just gaining more insight into your thought process
      Thanks 🙂

      • Robin on August 7, 2016 at 12:13 am

        Sue, in my dealing with 30 years of destructive living, I know for me the right thing would have been to confront him and know the truth right then. If he refused to acknowledge his abuse, then I would separate. Not separate to end the marriage. Separate to stop sin. And it would give me time to have a clear head and also remove children from destructive environment. If there’s one thing I know- children NEED PROTECTION FROM MAMA. To not give them this protection, will cost them big in later years. A separation us something an abusive man never wants; but that could have worked for the good of the marriage. He would have been given instructions of what kind of things needed to be accomplished in both of us- before reuniting. Don’t misunderstand me, I did confront him with his sin and he denied it. There wasn’t much I could do but I did expect him to go to a counselor. And we did. And the counselor told him to move out while he helped the rest of the family. But he was so belligerent about being kicked out of his home I let him back too soon. I think you sound like you’re doing a good job building up your core and getting healthy. I would be concerned with your lack of confronting his destructive behaviors. It’s honorable to work on the relationship- but dangerous to not confront sin issues.

        • Sue on August 7, 2016 at 2:47 am

          I guess I’ve been blessed a couple of ways. For the most part, if I remain pleasant, so will he. And when he doesn’t, I can confront by saying that I have been calm, pleasant, helpful, etc. and can ask him what’s wrong. He is now more willing to answer truthfully. Whereas if I’ve been nasty as well, he’ll immediately take the conversation to blame shifting to get the focus off himself.
          Also, God is giving me discernment and understanding as to what trips his stress “trigger”. Not saying they are a valid excuse, but if I can help him deal with it and share the burden, he decompresses and again, is more pleasant.
          So I am seeing working on myself is affecting him positively. He attempts to give to me by acts of service (which is his love language, not mine so much, but whatever). He knows my likes and dislikes and will sometimes try to do things how I like them done.
          In general, he is very loving towards our daughter and if he’s too harsh with her, I do say something. The thing she hated most was our nasty bickering. Since that has stopped she is doing well. As well as any Tween girl can be anyways. He will calmly back me when’s she disrespectful, disobedient, etc.
          Because of these changes in attitude and action I have hope and believe this is the way God wants me to be in my marriage. I’m sorry that wasn’t the case for you and your kids.
          I hope you have forgiven yourself 🙂

          • Aleea on August 7, 2016 at 5:58 am

            . . . If we are praying for guidance, studying the Bible, seeking Christ-filled counsel, asking the Holy Spirit to give us specific direction, deciding what we believe and should do. . . . .That’s it, we go with that. . . . Hold your convictions but hold them in love. . . . . What else can we do but what we believe God wants us to do? What can we do? God leaves us with all kinds of unanswered questions (―Enough to . . . . well, that’s a massive discussion.). . . . The merciful thing is that Love (God) infuses the world with meaning regardless of what we have been told to do. . . . .For me, the hardest place to apply this is internally. Loving myself costs nothing, but not loving myself costs me everything. . . . . I can forgive insults, love my enemy in the name of Christ. . . . but since that often does not include myself, at those times I’ve got nothing. I am the enemy who must be loved; that is in need of long-suffering instead of calling myself “Raca,” and condemning and raging against myself. . . . . I can hide it from the world. . . . I can refuse to admit ever having met this least among the lowly in myself/ ourselves. . . . I know I myself stand in most need of the alms of my own kindness. Love, especially internally, should be the defining mark. . . . And maybe that is why what is most personal is most universal because when we let ourselves really understand others, ―really, deeply understand, we are going to be changed by that understanding. ―And we all fear change. I know I do. So, it is not an easy thing to permit myself to deeply understand others.



          • Robin on August 7, 2016 at 10:49 am

            Sue, yes much forgiveness was needed. In my situation I very much wanted to stop the cycle of abuse. I knew there would be pain if I was brave enough to sepsrate and stand up against abuse. A counselor told me once when one person chooses to get healthy she interrupts the cycle and starts walking opposite of everyone else.
            It takes time for others to follow– but they will in time. I’ve been divorced for 2 years now and the pain is behind me and I now get the privilege to see my family one by one begin to heal.



          • Robin on August 7, 2016 at 5:09 pm

            Sue, one thing I’ve learned from reading and studying abuse and learning from those on this blog……… women are so easily deceived and esp so when it comes to their destructive relationships. If it’s true that your husband stays healthy as you do, that’s great news. But it’s easy to have a false reality because we need and want our relationship to work. I was shocked the first time my counselor asked me if I was seeing the true reality of my relationship– OR what I needed it to be which wasn’t true reality. But immediately the Lord allowed me to start seeing truth about my narriage. I hope what you think you see is the truth. But I would encourage you to ask yourself some questions. Does he acknowledge he is abusive? Does he on his own, work to change destructive habits? Does he acknowledge the times he has wounded his daughter and his wife? The sad thing about abuse is it grows- it very seldom gets smaller. I wish you all the best in finding the answers you seek!!!!!!



  24. Sue on August 6, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Good thoughts, Robin.
    I’ll just reiterate what I’ve said in another post.
    It’s a work in progress. I’m on a path of healing with God and I’m taking it one step at a time.
    I believe as I build up my core, I’ll learn better how to confront and not accept sin.
    I’d like to think that in the process I’m doing more than just surviving. I’m growing, changing and transforming into the woman God designed me to be.
    Several years ago my husband said to me, “give me something positive to respond to”.
    Okay, I’m finally doing that.
    Does that excuse any of his sinful behavior? Never.
    But I am seeing positive responses from him.
    My hope and prayer is that one day, enough trust and intimacy had been rebuilt into our marriage that he can be honest and upfront about all his struggles with sin and I can support him as he works out his own transformation.
    Lofty dream? Perhaps.
    But just recently he acknowledged a short-coming in his personality and took the responsibility of modeling that to our daughter.
    He said, “she gets that from me”. In the past, all her short-comings were blamed on me.
    Small, but significant progress.
    And so I press on in faith, believing for the best in our future while acknowledging the reality of the present.

    • Leslie Vernick on August 7, 2016 at 10:06 pm

      That is encouraging.

  25. Robin on August 6, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Sue, I respect every spouses views on how they choose to live out their Destructive relationship . To be honest I disagree because I tried that and it didn’t work for me. I believe today it is imperative for women to be speaking confront ice truths to their spouses when it comes to sin. If we do not that sin will crouch at our door, and start deterioate G our families and homes. I think this is very serious in re: to are we protecting our children from being damaged if I don’t deal with his sin??? These are hard questions each individual must wrestle and work thru for themselves. To delay in standing up to sin- are we risking our children’s well being as they become young adults????

  26. Maria on August 7, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Aleea,

    People are emotionally abusive for different reasons-to control, to hurt, they enjoy the power, fear etc.

    As far as being loving so they heal- I think we should be loving, return good for evil be please God and not with any expectations that they will heal. If we have expectations that our good works will help them heal, we’ll become discouraged.

    • Aleea on August 7, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      “If we have expectations that our good works will help them heal, we’ll become discouraged.”

      ―Thanks Maria. We talk about that in counseling, “I encourage no expectations.” At first I thought that was crazy but I kind of see why, you will become discouraged being attached to an outcome. But I still don’t really, fully understand it: re: Blessed is she who expects nothing, for she shall never be disappointed. . . . . I can tell you what a good day is, it is a day I don’t have a 500 lb alligator attached to my leg, because I have days when I do. . . . Do you think God expects us to try hard to become who Jesus wants us to be? . . . .because that leaves us in that blurry, frustrating land of should be rather than trusting in the One who is.

    • Leslie Vernick on August 7, 2016 at 10:18 pm

      So true Maria. Jesus was loving to Judas, and he went and did what he was going to do. After Judas felt bad about his sin, Jesus would have forgiven him (as he did Peter) but again, Judas did what he wanted to do. Our love can be a picture of God’s love, which can draw them towards God or it can actually turn them away from God (as it did with the Pharisees). Only God’s love heals.

      • Aleea on August 8, 2016 at 6:35 am

        Leslie,
        Those guilty of killing Jesus would be simply carrying out God’s wishes without the free will to have chosen a path for themselves. . . God knew that and Judas did later choose. God knew that too. . . . . Only a lunatic would choose hell over heaven (―no one aware chooses hell, you can’t choose any path if you are blind) and blind lunatics deserve treatment not eternal condemnation. . . . If you fall, you can rise again because even the ability to repent is a gift of God. . . . . “Judas said, “Master, as you have listened to all of them, now also listen to me. . . . . . And when Jesus heard this, he said to him, “. . . why do you try so hard? But speak up, and I shall bear with you.” “Look, you have been told everything. Lift up your eyes. . . . So Judas lifted up his eyes and saw the luminous cloud, and he entered it.” ―The Gospel of Judas together with the Letter of Peter to Phillip, James, et.al. (Codex Tchacos) . . . We know so very little, all of us, and we have no real idea of the multitude of truths untold. We will all certainly carry out God’s purpose, however we act. All anyone can do is keep repenting, keep seeking. . . . Think about the reverse logic that God always uses: The way right is left; the way up is down; the way to save your life is to lose it completely. . . . . It most be absolutely jaw-droppingly amazing who is in heaven and who is not.

  27. Maria on August 7, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Aleea, I think we do good because we love Christ. We also need to accept that we are not perfect, we are broken and live in a broken world. So when we fail, we don’t feel burdened, but realize that we’re human and accept it. Christ is not waving a stick when we fail, He is there with open arms to pick us up.

  28. Leslie Vernick on August 7, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    Thanks Aleea.

  29. Brenda on August 8, 2016 at 3:06 am

    Thank you Sue and Robin for your transparency and
    respectful discussion….

  30. Aleea on August 8, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Certainly Maria. . . . nobody I know is not in agreement with that 🙂 . . . . The most terrifying thing is to accept ourselves but knowing our own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people. I think greater psychological and spiritual development always requires a greater and greater capacity for anxiety and ambiguity. We need difficulties; they are absolutely necessary for our spiritual health.

  31. Sue on August 10, 2016 at 1:53 am

    Aleea,
    Thank you for your many replies to my various posts.
    I am finally taking some time to read through them. They are so rich in content, that I need to slowly peel back the layers and ponder the depths of insight you’re sharing.
    I especially like the idea of others not being able to interact with the old me because she doesn’t exist anymore. I’m going to take that little nugget and run with it. Love it!
    Thanks ????

    • Aleea on August 14, 2016 at 7:12 pm

      . . . . Sue, it is simply Jesus’ idea that we allow the Holy Spirit to really, deeply, fundamentally change and keep changing us —first, and always— and things outside of us are then changed. You know you have it right when you hear other’s say: “Sue’s not the person that she was before.” . . . . Can’t interact with the old Sue = a new relationship. . . . . And that does not mean we do not confront other’s sins, that is absolutely necessary and actually such a blessing for both in the relationship: page 166 “How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong” by Leslie Vernick . . . . . “. . . . In this instance, Harry didn’t need Elaine’s acceptance of his weaknesses. He needed her to love him enough to confront him with the truth—not only the truth about his weekend jaunts, but the whole truth about what he was doing in light of God’s Word.”

      I so love your heart for your marriage! I’m praying for you. Listen to God when you pray and let Him direct you.

  32. Sue on August 10, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    I did it! I’m doing it!! Praying I continue!!!

    I have remained 100% in core strength since last night.
    Hubby was mad and giving me the silent treatment.
    Pretty sure it was a combination of running our daughter around all day while I stayed home and watching both Olympic swimming and gymnastics so he had to watch the local news late.
    We usually go for a walk every night together after the news.
    Me: “do you still want to walk?”
    Him: “it’s late, I’m watching the news and going to bed.”
    Me: (attempting to talk to him about something else and him ignoring me) “you’re not talking to me.”
    Him: “I don’t want to talk to you.”
    So… I argued? No
    I pleaded? No
    I asked what’s wrong? No
    I replied with nastiness? No
    I put on my tennis shoes, gave him a light tap on the knee and walked out the door.
    The word “VICTORY” was exploding in my head like fireworks.
    I wanted to shout to the heavens, “I did it! I finally did it!!”
    Maybe I should have, but it was late and I don’t think the neighbors would have appreciated it.
    I had several moments of doubt last night lying in bed, but I didn’t give in to them. This more I attempted a friendly touch and he moved away.
    Me: “what’s wrong?”
    Him: “nothing”
    Me: “you don’t want me touching you?”
    Him: “whatever”
    So… I reverted back to “old Sue”?
    NO!!
    I went about my day, remaining calm, pleasant and respectful.
    His pouting didn’t work and he’s back to having adult conversation and behavior with me.
    YES!!
    WOO HOO!!!!

    Sorry, I know this post is old but I wanted to share good news and be an encouragement. Believe me, if I can do it, anyone can.

    THANK YOU, JESUS! ❤️

    • Nancy on August 13, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      That’s BIG, Sue. Congratulations 🙂

    • Aleea on August 15, 2016 at 5:59 am

      Oh, and that silent treatment (above) should not be confused with taking time to cool down. That sounds like this: “Sue, I can’t talk to you right now, —I am way too angry, but let me collect my thoughts and we can certainly talk about it later.” Silence might seem like this dignified, high road response but it’s not. It’s a way to inflict pain but without the physical marks. Being noticed is so close to being loved, that, —to me they basically feel the same. . . . Oh, and yes, clearly, anger is a prominent emotion fueled by both using and receiving the silent treatment. The fact that anger plays such an important role, I think, provides ideas about why the silent treatment may be self-sustaining. We all have to take responsibility for our own feelings not “punishing” others for them. —And I just convicted myself on that. That always happens when I write too much. —I always have so much work to do too! . . . . empathic and compassionate without enabling (see Chapter 7, The Emotionally Destructive Marriage). . . . and every single day consider “listening to God together,” because Bible reading is absolutely the best way for us to listen to God. Generally, —generally, whatever the Bible says, God says, and it’s amazing how timely God’s Word can be, even when we read it on a schedule. His Holy Spirit has a way of lining up life so that we read just the right passage at the right time. . . . or we are projecting into the passages but, —anyways, it works. . . . . And you know what? The silent treatment takes control away from the user of it too, when you think about it. It requires a huge amount of ridiculous effort.

  33. Lisa on August 14, 2016 at 9:16 am

    I have lived with a destructive and emotionally abusive husband for 16yrs, of my 23yr marriage. My husband accepted Christ in 1999 and, as contradictory as this may sound, its been a living hell ever since. I never questioned his acceptance, trust and belief, however I do question his surrender. I daily bare whitness to the evidence of the giants in his life , (jealousy, anger, revenge) that the devil continues to have a strong hold on, resulting in the destructive marriage relationship and in the relationship with our children. After years of counseling, and anxiety medication , I began developing my Core Strength; to… speak up, set boundaries and apply consequences. I felt stronger, however my relationship is getting worse! He is even more destructive over the fact that I am now, taking a stand, speaking up in truth(about his destructive words or actions), setting (behavior) boundaries, and applying (bedroom intamacy) consequences. Last week I retreated alone to our mountain home for five days to spend some time apart. I dug deep into God’s word, to which he showed me that i need to forgive (again). After 16 yrs , forgiveness has truly become the “easy” part. Now that im back home and have forgiven, where do i go from here?

    • Nancy on August 14, 2016 at 4:09 pm

      Hi Lisa,

      Here’s how I see it:

      Forgiveness and reconciliation are two different things. Forgiveness is between you and The Lord. You have released your husband to Him. Reconciliation is ALWAYS dependant on repentance. If your husband is non repentant (as evidence by changed BEHAVIOUR), there can be no reconciliation.

      Check out Patrick Doyle on Toutube, there are many videos- here’s just one.

      God Bless!

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yrNVTZdipjE

      • Lisa on August 16, 2016 at 7:49 pm

        The videos are wonderful and helpful. Thank you !

  34. Brenda on August 16, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Greetings Friends,
    It’s been about three years for me since I spoke up the words, “Something has to change, or I can’t stay.” We have been in counseling for the past year (he has his and I have mine in the same practice;we do joint counseling with the four of us once a month). I’m learning to be who God wants me to be in spite of my husband’s heart. Thing is, I can’t really say I love him as a husband and “soulmate”(whatever THAT is)…but I do love him as a brother in Christ which gives me a completely different perspective in my healing.

    Banana peppers. Yes, you heard me right, banana peppers. I wanted to share with you my “epiphany moment,” that led me on my roading to healing. It happened 3 years ago as I was standing in front of the banana pepper section in the aisle of a grocery store. I had planned open-faced subs for dinner and my husband likes banana peppers (the pic on the recipe had banana peppers on it that gave me the idea to fix his that way). So I’m standing there looking at a monstrous section of every kind of pepper known to man, and I look at the value time $1.99 jar and then my eye catches the $5.99 jar of Italian imported Dellallo banana peppers. So do I choose the $1.99 to save money (because you know I’m always spending TOO much); or do I choose the Italian-imported $5.99 jar of Dellallo peppers (because he’s italian and loves his genuine italian food also because he says he’s “worth it.”)
    It was right there in that moment that I realized it didn’t matter which jar I chose, he would have something to say about it. I started crying because I realized also right then and there, that it was never ME. It was never because I didn’t love my husband enough to know what he liked. I was also frightened at that moment because it opened my eyes to what a sick, twisted mind I was living with…. then I found Leslie’s books, and real healing began within me.

    I’ve grown closer to God than I ever thought possible. I still struggle with fear at times but NEVER like I did before. If this had never happened to me, would I have grown my Savior as intimately into my heart as I have needed to? I obviously can’t answer that. Although, I am learning to be free even though still in this marriage. Whether he chooses to change his heart and grow in his Savior is his choice which I have no control over. I had chosen to make having a godly marriage my idol, up to the point of becoming an empty shell of human flesh. The Spirit has opened my eyes to the only idol I will ever need, Jesus.

    Dellallo. I chose the Italian-imported $5.99 jar of banana peppers (because he’s worth it). To which my husband’s response was, “For as much as I eat banana peppers, you didn’t have to buy such a big jar.” I just smiled to myself. I knew it was coming. For the first time in our marriage my mind DID NOT react and say, “OH MY GOD, I SUCK AS A WIFE WHO CAN NEVER PLEASE HER HUSBAND.”

    It. Was. Never. Me.

    Love and hugs, God’s blessings to all,

    Brenda

    • Nancy on August 16, 2016 at 5:55 pm

      Hi Brenda,
      Love that you identified having a Godly marriage as an idol. The type of marriage we have is beyond our control because we are responsible for 50 % of it. But I am 100% responsible for my heart, and how I love God and others.
      Thanks for sharing.

    • Remedy on August 17, 2016 at 6:48 am

      Oh. My. Brenda….I can SO relate to your example! Thank you for sharing it and how it opened your eyes. We love and care so much to please our husbands and we believe they have the same good will toward us. Abusers do not. We spend ourselves in a crazy making fog trying to extract basic love and regard from someone who has no intention of offering it. It is so freeing when we awaken to the truth. Thanks again for sharing your a-ha moment.

      • Leslie Vernick on August 17, 2016 at 9:13 am

        Amen.

    • Ruth on August 23, 2016 at 10:53 pm

      Brenda,
      That was so good.
      I know too well that dilemma of the banana peppers- I’m darned if I do and darned if I don’t.
      But you didn’t absorb his negative lobb, GOOD FOR YOU!!

    • Teena on August 28, 2016 at 9:58 pm

      Brenda;
      Love it! You made me smile. Made my day! It was never you or me. I knew this ever since reading Leslie’s material but reading your comment tonight sends me to bed with a smile on my face. Banana peppers! That’ll probably be the tool I’ll use and say instead of exchanging reviling for reviling. Banana peppers!

  35. Robin on August 16, 2016 at 11:52 am

    I agree, I was once stuck in the question of why does he do it and it brought me nothing good to ask why. It really doesn’t matter why?
    The question we have to ask ourselves that will help us most is what action step will we take next to change our lives? Even if we knew why he did it, it wouldn’t be the answer we need to stop the abuse!!i
    The key to a healthier life is to start advocating for yourself. What do I need is a healthier question than take the baby steps it will require to meet that need.

  36. Sheri on August 19, 2016 at 10:40 am

    One thing I’ve discovered about my spouse of almost 33 years is that he has intimacy anorexia. He sabotages closeness because it’s too uncomfortable. I suggest looking into Dr. Doug Weiss’ Heart to Heart counseling. http://Www.drdougweiss.org
    There’s hope if your husband can see his need to live a healthier life & you can put boundaries down & continue to pray for him. I actually cried out to God for an intercessor to pray for us when my husband quit doing his work to heal. I got a phone call from Derek Prince Ministries. She prayed a good 15 mins for us! It was God saying I hear you, Sheri. I am working. Keep leaning on Me!
    My spouse has gone back to doing at least some of the work of sharing his feelings (2 a day), giving 2 praises to me & praying with me.
    I am either a bulldog that never lets go of hope for us or I’m really super sick inside & need Valium!
    I know my husband is about a 5 yr old in his feelings bc he hasn’t used those muscles. But our hubbies can learn especially if they get on board with recognizing their responsibilities…its a super slow process but I guess I am determined to wait & keep working on me. I still get super lonely at times but I can’t imagine marrying anyone else. So I just keep praying & growing me with God’s help!

  37. Itswell on September 3, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    I try to be a respond instead of reacting as victim
    However it seems very difficult and I break down every now and then
    1. I am saving money
    2. Stay connected with God
    3. Try to do things that enjoy even without his approval
    4. Take good care of myself and the kids
    5: learning from those that are or went though same issue like in this group

    6. I try to dis inner myself emotionally which makes it so hard to have sex with him
    We nene spend quality together since day one ” he could not afford homey moon but we spent thousand on wedding
    He is always too busy with work and with helping other people ( acting like a savour of be whole world or super Man” cis he Newhouse people praising him( narcissistic )

    I posted detail of my story under “trust …… Blog with name( itswell)

    God bless you Leslie

  38. Itswell on September 3, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    I try to be a respond instead of reacting as victim
    However it seems very difficult and I break down every now and then
    1. I am saving money
    2. Stay connected with God
    3. Try to do things that enjoy even without his approval
    4. Take good care of myself and the kids
    5: learning from those that are or went though same issue like in this group

    6. I try to dis inner myself emotionally which makes it so hard to have sex with him
    We nene spend quality together since day one ” he could not afford homey moon but we spent thousand on wedding
    He is always too busy with work and with helping other people ( acting like a savour of be whole world or super Man” cis he Newhouse people praising him( narcissistic )

    I posted detail of my story under “trust …… Blog with name( itswell)

    God bless you Leslie

    • Leslie Vernick on September 5, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      Thanks for sharing.

  39. Itswell on September 3, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Thanks Leslie
    ” …. Address the behaviour not the motive ”
    That’s awesome , new use my hubby always tells me ” don’t assess the behaviour but ask me why I did what I did because I always have good intentions”

    Really?????????????????
    But when I made mistake same principle or whatever you call it would not apply

    He would refuse to provide for the family when he is sad
    He will threaten me with divorce
    He will give me silent treatment
    He even did not care for me throughout my pregnancy doe our last baby because according to him I did not submit Moe respect him early in my pregnancy hmmmmmm

    Thanks again Leslie
    Cos most time I find myself arguing with him in my head while am away from him
    This make me more sad and absent minded at work

  40. Itswell on September 3, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Thanks Leslie
    ” …. Address the behaviour not the motive ”
    That’s awesome , new use my hubby always tells me ” don’t assess the behaviour but ask me why I did what I did because I always have good intentions”

    Really?????????????????
    But when I made mistake same principle or whatever you call it would not apply

    He would refuse to provide for the family when he is sad
    He will threaten me with divorce
    He will give me silent treatment
    He even did not care for me throughout my pregnancy doe our last baby because according to him I did not submit Moe respect him early in my pregnancy hmmmmmm

    Thanks again Leslie
    Cos most time I find myself arguing with him in my head while am away from him
    This make me more sad and absent minded at work

    Am really learning a lot for these blog
    This is expertly what u need right now

    • Leslie Vernick on September 5, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      Thanks I’m glad you’re finding it helpful.

  41. Lmsdaily115 on September 12, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Roger, I totally agree with you. I, too am standing fir a marriage that most think is irrepairable. However, it’s been 2 years. I have grown stronger and wiser through this test to see how I was more of a coward before. My husband himself has overcome great conventional wisdom as well to stay after the hurt we have caused each other. I think it is quite common for marriages to go through this type of desert or very dry time. Sone couples will dig deep and do the self work to learn about themselves and each other, sone will give up and live with whatever comes. Through this, I have learned among other things, how to speak up in a loving way, respect, real, sacrificial love, humility, honesty, courage, self respect, joy and contentment, true repentence, hope, resillience, persistance, overcoming fear and incredible strength I didn’t even know I had within myself. Hats off to you for fighting for something very worthwhile to fight for.

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