Morning friend,

I hope you had a wonderful day celebrating Jesus. I know holidays can be hard for many people, especially when marital relationships and family dynamics are tense or broken. But even if that’s you right now, can you take a bit of space this week just focusing on your relationship with God? Not with your spouse or your kids but just with the “wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace?” (Isaiah 9:6).

You are loved with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) and when you know that full well (1 John 4:16) it gives you the CORE strength to manage the painful jabs of others with truth and grace. Click To Tweet

 

Today's Question:  My husband consistently accuses me of lying, betraying him, being a home wrecker, having home wrecking friends, and vow breaking.

He checks my cell phone call records, and I'm not sure what else. I have changed cell phone companies to have a separate contract and privacy. Previously, he was recording in home conversations to show he is not abusive (your book is hated in my home!).

I've asked him repeatedly; to please ask me about the lies – I do not know what he is speaking about.

In one conversation he accused me of lying about a phone call I made since he didn’t see it in my call history. I replied that I used my office phone- and he did not believe me. I feel like I'm defending myself against a false reality, and I do want to save my marriage.

I have done things against his preference in the past- overspending, getting a credit card in my name only, etc. Those were betrayals to him since we agreed to not get into more debt.

I feel like if I don’t do exactly what he says and when he proves his points about my behavior even if the perception and logic are untrue.

It's like I'm fighting a world he's created in his head.

I almost believe him.

Any advice would be appreciated!

Answer: This is another question where I don’t have enough information to answer clearly in one direction or another so I’m going to present both sides as concisely as I can.

Scenario # 1 – Is that your husband has a pattern of being controlling and a bit paranoid and this has escalated since you got a credit card and overspent after you both had agreed not to get into more debt. He fears that he can’t control you 100% and he is feeling more anxious about that, thus the delusions or made up stories of what you “might” be doing or “have done” are escalating.

I’m sensing this might be the case because you’ve said that my book was already in your home and he wants to prove he’s not abusive by recording home conversations. You’ve switched phone carriers for more privacy which indicates to me that he’s in the habit of being controlling and your resistance to that control only escalates his fear that you might be up to something.

As far as the stories he’s making up in his head about you lying or making secret phone calls, or vow breaking stuff, it could also be his own projections. It is possible he’s accusing you of things he’s feeling guilty of himself.

Scenario # 2 – Is that your husband’s hyper vigilance started after the betrayal because trust was broken. Similarly to how a wife might become hyper-vigilant and even a bit controlling once she’s discovered that her husband is watching pornography.  

There is something that gets triggered in us when we fear our world is about to collapse around us. We tell ourselves that if only we can find out everything that’s going on and control it or stop it, then what we fear might happen won’t. It’s a lie but our vigilance provides a temporary comfort from the terror we feel.

This viewpoint doesn’t account for your resistance to his control where you got your own cell phone for more privacy or why you had my book on destructive marriage in your house in the first place.  

So you asked for some advice. You clearly state that you want to save your marriage. That’s a starting place. Hear me. You can do your part, but you can’t save your marriage all by yourself unless you want to continue the same pattern of him accusing and you defending. But I want you to ask yourself these questions: “What were the good elements of your marriage that you have lost or are not happening because of what’s going on now? Was there ever a time where you did experience mutuality, reciprocity, and freedom in your marriage?”   

Another question I want you to ponder is: “What specifically have you done to rebuild broken trust, which happened when you agreed to not get into debt, and then overspent and secretly got another credit card?” I see you are defending yourself against his accusations, but are there any positive things you have done to rebuild that broken trust?  

The last thing I want to mention is that it sounds as if his delusional thinking or internal storytelling is taking its toll on you. You said, “I feel like I’m fighting a world he’s created in his own head….and I almost believe him.”  

I remember when I was doing therapy with a few clients who had some paranoid delusions about things going on around them. Things like people listening in their house through radio transmitters in the walls, or things like someone following them all the time, yet reality did not confirm their fears.

Their stories sounded crazy but believable because a delusional person is firmly convinced that what they think is true regardless of contrary evidence or your explanations or defense. When his delusion is primarily around a certain topic (you), but he is functional or rational in other areas of his life, it’s even harder to hold on to your own grasp of reality because you begin to wonder, “Maybe it is true. Maybe I’m the crazy one and he’s right? Maybe I don’t know myself at all.”   

I’m concerned for you and it’s important that you allow other fresh perspectives into your own thinking right now so this doesn’t happen. Self-examination and self-reflection are good things, and healthy people do take seriously what other people may say. But when you start to doubt your own thoughts or reality, it’s time for some fresh air and outside perspective.  

Since you stated your first goal is to try to save your marriage, here are a few additional recommendations I have for your next steps.

  • Reassure him of your love and your desire to have a restored marriage. Whether his control has been a long-standing problem or more a result of your betrayal, controlling someone is never a way of feeling secure or loved. Keeping someone a prisoner doesn’t help him feel loved. If your marriage is going to be restored, tell him that you’d like it to be better than before.

If he wants clarification about what that means, you might say, “I don’t ever want to go behind your back again and do something that will break trust. But in order to not do that, we need to have the kind of marriage where I am free to disagree and to make decisions for myself. I want us to function as two adults in this marriage and two adults can disagree and work it out. I don’t want either one of us to feel afraid to be honest with each other or like we have to lie or hide in order to do something that is important to us.”

  • Ask him if there is anything you can do to help him trust you again because living in a marriage where there is no trust isn’t going to last long term. This puts the burden back on him to reflect upon what would help him feel less afraid. However, if you need to be locked inside his cage and never do anything for yourself or by yourself in order for him to not be afraid, this presents a problem for you.  

Therefore you may want to say something like, “I would like to rebuild your trust in my honesty. I can assure you that I won’t go behind your back anymore. If something is important to me, like my cell phone privacy, I will tell you straight out. You may not always like things, but I won’t hide them anymore. I am committed to working on our relationship but if you keep accusing me of things that aren’t true and don’t even believe me when I tell you they aren’t true, I’m not sure how that can happen. So where do we go from here?”

  • Practice JADE when he starts his accusations. What that means is you will no longer JUSTIFY, ARGUE, DEFEND or EXPLAIN anymore. This is for your benefit as well as his. It keeps you out of that crazy loop that you’ve been in where you start to doubt your own sanity. You will simply say something like, “I have come to accept that I don’t have the power to change your mind. So if you believe those things about me, what do you want to do? Where do we go from here?”   

This gives him the opportunity to reflect on what he is doing and why? I suspect he uses these arguments and wants you to get all upset because somehow that reassures him. When you stop doing it, he will have to deal with his own anxiety instead of depending on you to calm and reassure him all the time.

If you can do these things with CORE strength, they will give you the best shot at turning the marital dance around. No guarantees because having a better marriage will require that your husband begin to look at his own things – his craving for control, his fears and insecurities, his verbal battering when he feels that insecurity and do his own work to heal and grow. And in the likely event, he chooses not to, please write back to discuss your next steps.  

Friend, when you have wanted to work on your part of the marital dance, what steps have you changed and what were the results?  Did your spouse reflect and begin to change his own steps or did things get worse?

176 Comments

  1. Aly on December 27, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Leslie,
    You wrote:
    “Friend, when you have wanted to work on your part of the marital dance, what steps have you changed and what were the results? Did your spouse reflect and begin to change his own steps or did things get worse?”

    Often things get worse when any change threatens a person who prefers ‘sameness’ or status quo/ comfort.
    As in my journey things got worse because I stepped off that dance floor to try my best to grasp what was taking place.

    I think the first thing I would want to look at; is does my behavior look suspicious? Do my actions offer consistency of trust and respect? What type of behavior do I show to offer any second quessing on my husband’s part? Are any of his accusations accurate?
    I guess what I’m describing is first doing a *thorough look* at myself and my actions.
    And especially my response actions to my husband.

    Second, I would want to try my very best to stand in my husband’s shoes.

    Those who have something to hide, hide.
    Sometimes there are innocent reasons for them, they have behaviors that are familiar to them ~ not saying there is serious deceit? But having private compartments such as what was described within a marriage above may not realize the overall affect it can have on a specific partner.

    My husband struggled with projecting a lot early on in our marriage, I was quite naive. Very!
    What he ended up doing to cope with his own fear of ‘not trusting me’ was to do things that would evoke ‘untrustworthy behaviors’ and having me going in circles feeling fear that he had, not myself originally.
    He intentionally yet ‘subconsciously’ sought out things that would ‘look suspicious’ to get a reaction from me. Brilliant ~ who looks like the chaotic one in the dance? My insecurities were highlighted. I looked like I was defending myself because I was!
    Sadly, this brought comfort and distraction from his own intimacy issues he didn’t want to look at. He would have rathered believed a lie if it matched his internal belief about himself. This in my case was a battle I was far from understanding. Interventions essential.

    I think you gave good directives of what a person can immediately do. I also think the info is limited in details.
    But the trust factor determines the domino effect.
    I can relate to be accused or someone misplacing their trust or anger issues on me unjustifiably! It’s horrible and often creates such a chaotic environment ~ my husband struggled with this a ton! He self sabotaged often as a poor ‘coping skill’ to not face his own fears and vulnerability.
    Dancing on the dance floor ~ this is ‘hard’ to see, one must step back and slow the steps wayyyy down. Slow the emotions down and get as objective as possible. Because I didn’t allow my husband to control things just to feel better as he was used to doing life… he saw ‘me’ as the controller. It took a lot of unraveling for him to see himself as the one actually being controlling and self sabotaging the relationship to avoid pain.

    I think it’s good that you also pointed out the husband could be the true offender of these issues and projects to relieve his own guilt. Something to evaluate and investigate.

    The writer says;
    “My husband consistently accuses me of lying, betraying him, being a home wrecker, having home wrecking friends, and vow breaking.”

    These are serious accusations to put against a spouse but also deeply important to be explored! If these were brought to me, life would halt! Life would halt because of the seriousness of the situation, life would not be normalized, day to day operations would not try to remain, no space for normalizing. If both parties can’t have a conversation about these accusations and possible beliefs, then intervention is necessary immediately.

    Do we all need to do our own part? Yes! but often those comments above scream ~ ‘fear’ to me or her husband has had serious past betrayal issues and needs help also with his beliefs and his trauma about betrayal.
    These all need to be broken down in as much objectivity as possible. The first one about ‘lying’.
    Is the wife lying about past or present things and more importantly what is the motivation to lie? I think many people lie for many reasons. Not saying she is lying. But having separate phones and getting a separate CC is going to create a strong reaction from the other spouse.

    Back to the expressions of the husband:
    I would want my husband to explain how he defines a home wrecker, and how he would define the home wrecker friends? Does he believe that lying equates to vow breaking because it violates trust?

    For me, getting curious about the behavior (on both our parts) helped me see my husband through a lens that offered compassion for his past but not acceptence for his behavior, it gave room for me to invite him in to difficult work but also put me on a journey of courage that I wasn’t equipped for. Thankfully the Lord takes our hand✝️

    • Amy on December 27, 2017 at 11:26 am

      Wow Ally your response offers so much perspective and hope to those who are in the thick of it. Gods grace in your life gave you the ability to speak truth into others lives. Blessings to you

    • Leslie Vernick on December 27, 2017 at 11:46 am

      Thanks Aly as always for your input. I think there is a wise community of women who have walked through some of these things so I leave off some details so that others can contribute their details. Plus my blogs are already too long so I struggle with how much to say. But as i’ve been doing this for a very long time, the dialogue gets started and there is always a pretty lively and wisdom packed discussion which I think benefits all.

      • Aly on December 27, 2017 at 1:06 pm

        Leslie,

        Thanks for continuing to give space for writing. Goodness I’m sorry for my length! I feel bad going on but have also been misinterpreted when I try my best to be concise.

        These things and topics are far from microwave instructions. Once I read a recipe 15 pages long, it was my best friends birthday and I was planning to bake her favorite treat.
        After 15 pages I realized, flying to S.F. And purchasing at the bakery began to look more reasonable🤗 Seriously!
        Either way we enjoyed the effort together, laughed and found that life pleasures are simple, complex at times..& yet full of pages to be explored!

        Thank you again for all you do for our hearts! 💜

    • Nancy on December 27, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      I really liked, Aly, how you likened your part to ‘getting off of the dance floor’ entirely. I also liked how you spoke about slowing things wayyyyyyy down.

      These two images speak to the drastic moment-to-moment changes that need to take place when someone gets serious about their destructive relationship. One of the things that manipulators are REALLY good at is keeping things spinning so that the other person cannot get their footing.

      If someone can’t succeed in slowing things wayyyyyy down ( for WHATEVER reason), then distance is essential in order to accomplish this. As Wendy said, below, clarity is very important. I would say that clarity the goal ( after safety and sanity ( maybe it’s part of sanity)) and if we can’t extricate ourselves from the destructive dance while under the same roof, then physical separation is in order.

      • Wendy on December 27, 2017 at 5:17 pm

        I so wholeheartedly agree Nancy! Well spoken and great wisdom!!
        Keep speaking … I believe this is what women need to hear.
        Staying in the home to work on the marriage IS NOT always the best.
        Wendy

    • Casey on December 27, 2017 at 8:48 pm

      Aly
      I feel you described my situation almost perfectly. I will be reading this several times. Thank you

      • Aly on December 28, 2017 at 12:16 am

        Casey,

        I’m sorry to hear this but I do hope you can benefit (at least not feel alone) from some of my experience. Intervention was critical and me requiring the necessary help to get safe and sane.
        Similar to get off the dance floor and see if someone is willing to learn ‘how’ to dance (love)?
        Not everyone is willing to learn and consider their part and consider their partner. Ours was very imbalanced.

        Not sure where you are in your process but we benefited a lot from Attachment work, identifying our histories that were colliding.
        (How we Love -book)
        My h had a lot of unresolved rejection, grief and betrayals.
        ….That he hid ‘sort of ‘ well, plus mixed with my history I was a prime candidate to put up with it.
        Once the rejection, grief and betrayals were exposed…. God could pour into my husband and walk him through the actual offenders and walk him through the forgiveness process.
        Lean into the Lords Promises for your heart and your journey regardless of what your partner has chosen or chooses. The Lord sees you and He keeps His promises, He will equip you💜 Hugs & prayers

    • Renee on December 27, 2017 at 9:40 pm

      Big THANKS to Leslie and Aly for your response to the blog post.

      I especially find this part to be true.

      [What he ended up doing to cope with his own fear of ‘not trusting me’ was to do things that would evoke ‘untrustworthy behaviors’ and having me going in circles.]

      A very, very, fast moving merry-go-round.

    • Diane on January 2, 2018 at 5:36 pm

      I can’t find any one to intervene! We need help and it is always “my fault”. He is great with a counselor and it seems to point to me being a victim. He says I can ask him anything, we can go or do anything but I make my requests and somehow it is my fault that he didn’t hear or I didn’t say it in the first place or say when I wanted to do things or he was doing other things and I interrupted him etc. I just feel crazy. I don’t want to talk to him or be in his presence because he will tell me I am distant. Leslie, I know you have taught sound things. I just can’t seem to put them into practice. I stopped the facebook chats because he is always there during that time. He never is there or uses sound except when it is facebook call time. He will deny it but it doesn’t change that fact. The scary part is he used to be contrite but he is belligerent the past few years. He says I won’t follow, submit or even that I am not a Godly wife. What I need is a personal voice recorder so I can hear myself speak. Maybe I am wrong. I am willing to change. I beg God to change me. I guess I don’t pray right either.

      • Linda on January 2, 2018 at 5:58 pm

        Diane, I’m sorry you are in that position. I was in that place as well. No one would intervene and I had no support system at all. After I left, I found a therapist and the first thing she said to me was they have a mesmerizing spirit about them. It’s like hypnosis, they keep you looking at their charm while they stir your brains with a spoon. Nothing you say sticks, it’s like nailing jello to the wall. No one you tell the story to believes you because it’s not in their experience. He has them mesmerized too, but he’s not stirring their brains…yet. There’s a lot of subliminal and covert communication going on that is making it impossible to see the truth of what is happening. But your body knows, and your brain is being rewired to accept his abuse as love. After I left, about 2 months later, after I had done the work of securing housing, a job, a church, and a therapist, my body broke down and I went into a sort of nervous breakdown. I had had no idea that I was under that much stress. I mean, I knew I was under stress, but I was still holding it together. After I was safe, that’s when I fell apart. Now, these past few days, I’ve realized that in truth, he damn near killed me. Just from his ability to mesmerize, isolate, and confuse me. The tone of your message makes me think you are in a similar situation I was in. I hope you can find your way through the darkness.

      • Aly on January 2, 2018 at 8:21 pm

        Diane,

        I think what Linda posted is very important! I’m wondering if he is getting more hostile as you are beginning to see better and see his abusive behavior.
        As you change, & get equipped it will threaten his control he has had and it could be why you are feeling the craziness?
        Or at least the struggle to put some practical things into place while being manipulated by him. It’s exhausting.

        Documentation is going to help if you are able to write things down. He’s crossing your personhood places of good care for your own heart in my opinion.
        He doesn’t get to be on Facebook chat/ calls that are not pertaining to him? Right?

        What individual work is he being required to do?

    • JoAnn on January 2, 2018 at 11:39 pm

      I really like your response, Aly. Very well said, and it looks like your approach really worked for you. thanks for sharing. Hugs.

  2. Roxanne on December 27, 2017 at 11:54 am

    I have to smile at the title of this one. It that both parities are delusional. 😉 Save a marriage? Was there ever really one to begin with? I just keep going back to the bible description and purpose of marriage. If only one person is doing it than the convenient is broken. It is sad, but one of the partners couldn’t do marriage. They can’t keep a covenant. Therefore in my mind the contract is null, void and heretical.

    So the dance change I recommend is a cha cha right out the door.

    • Roxanne on December 27, 2017 at 11:57 am

      Of Gosh, a post with so many errors. It must be corrected, sorry!

      I have to smile at the title of this one, in that both parties are delusional. 🙂 Save a marriage? Was there ever really one to begin with?

      I just keep gong back to the biblical description and purpose of marriage. If only one person is doing it, then the covenant is broken, right? It is sad, but one of the partners couldn’t do marriage. They may have thought they could, but they couldn’t do it. They can’t keep the covenant. Therefore, in my mind the contact is null, void and heretical.

      So the dance change I recommend is a cha cha right out the door or a tango or a waltz. Just get out.

      • Renee on December 27, 2017 at 5:27 pm

        Don’t take offense Roxanne. You remind me of some TV pastors from back in the day. They’d say, “two choices – heaven or hell.” Choose today they yelled.

        You are the evangelist on this blog.

        I guess in a way, choosing to stay in a destructive marriage is like choosing hell. However, as I mentioned on a previous post, it doesn’t mean we have accepted that fate to be a forever thing. At least some of us.

        • Roxanne on December 27, 2017 at 6:52 pm

          Do you mean it is not forever because people are picking the best time to leave or because they think the situation will get better? I understand the many reasons women stay, yet have any who got free and healthy ever said, “I wish I stayed longer?”

  3. Aleea on December 27, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    “Friend, when you have wanted to work on your part of the marital dance, what steps have you changed and what were the results? Did your spouse reflect and begin to change his own steps or did things get worse?”

    I started slowing down the interactions and processing way more instead of just reacting. In other words, taking hurts and slights to God in prayer and really reflecting on them before commenting and reacting. This was so, so hard for me. . . . .I learned to ask more questions: “Lord, why does this bother me so much?” “Lord, what is my part in this chaos?” —What would bring most glory to God? Also, asking forgiveness much more frequently and apologizing more often.

    It worked and works outrageously well! In fact, I marvel at how well it works. It is unbelievable to me how when you work on you, confess and ask forgiveness, the same flows back to you. We want to project our issues out onto others so we don’t have to face ourselves and change but no spouse draws into criticism and negativity.

    Now, I certainly don’t know what to say if your husband has neuropsychological measures outside of the norm: —interpersonally exploitative, totally psychotic, emotionally unavailable, devoid of empathy, etc. but I really wonder what the real percentage is (—really) for those issues. —Nor do I know how to really know how we truly test for them. Also, I have never come to terms with how for most of Christian history, —before all the post-modern versions of Christianity, domestic issues were redemptive suffering and marital submission was actually real submission. . . . .I guess, like everything else, we have to change the charter documents as we move along in history but then I wonder about how God-inspired such documents could possibly be if they are in need of amendments. —I have never come to peace with that. It is either timeless truth or it is not and simply floating along with culture. I mean this is supposed to be God Himself, not people just writing down what they thought with all their errors winding up needing lots of amendments. Once you use advanced scripture text deconstruction and hermeneutics to take apart what the church fathers and the actual texts really say (—to get where you want to go with divorce, remarriage, et.al.), —you realize that applying that approach fairly deconstructs lots of other historical truths too. God’s truth becomes a pathless land, sans special pleading. How do you keep the fire of logic, reason, et.al. that you use with the divorce/remarriage issues from burning into all other areas? —Especially when these individuals had access to documents and resources no longer extant. —And, yes, maybe I have the answer but just can’t accept the answer. That’s always the possibility for so many mysteries.

    . . . .Anyways, if your spouse is —at all— good willed, things will really fall into place as you work, focus and concentrate on yourself and the logs in your own eyes. . . .Realize it often gets worse before it really gets better. You have to learn how to fight without wounding each other and that is no small task. For me, it is a full time job dealing with all the logs in my own eyes. —Also, just because it works well for me does not mean my experience is normative. For example, nothing works with my mother . . . .but lately, I am wondering if that is because I have only tried the relatively safe things with her. —I just don’t know. —Our own motivations are complex and highly nuanced. The “dance” is much more of a negotiation / dialogue, . . . .maybe one determines the direction, the other determines the distance traveled in a given direction. One leading with love and respect and never seeing the follower as being weak or inferior because they are demonstrably not —they are powerful beyond measure. And in the same spirit, the one following follows with trust and submission . . . .never feeling too important to be led or scared to jump. —Because there is like a blind assurance that someone is there to catch us and that someone is Christ Himself!!!✞💕†ރ ✞❣♡ 😊 💕

  4. Linda on December 27, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Sometimes it’s really hard to tell who is the delusional one. There are so many things to discern. Intention is the key. It’s so important to get a professional involved.

    So what are the intentions behind the behaviors? And it may not be even what each of you thinks because deeper hurts are often hidden. The heart is also very deceitful and looks for affirmation of its own desires.

    So…behaviors can look the same but intentions can be opposite. That’s what makes abuse so difficult to describe and why outsiders have such a hard time understanding.

    But a well trained professional can help sort things out. You just have to be prepared to look at yourself deeply and allow God to reveal your own motives to you.

    • Roxanne on December 27, 2017 at 6:55 pm

      Delusional goes both ways, yet one is plotting evil and one is living a fantasy hinged on what they think of as hope. The intent is the difference. I agree.

    • Diane on January 2, 2018 at 5:44 pm

      My husband says,” I didn’t intend to hurt you or it wasn’t my intent”, so he acts as though since he didn’t intend it, it didn’t happen. Tone of voice only applies to me not him.

      • PW on January 2, 2018 at 7:58 pm

        This is exactly the rationale that my h relies upon. For example, “I didn’t mean to back your car into the rockery … forget that we had plans tonight and come home late … neglect to feed our son dinner when you were out .. ” Consequently, there is no apology necessary, since no harm was intended.

      • Aly on January 2, 2018 at 8:04 pm

        Diane,

        I’m really sorry for this exchange. I do think it’s quite common what you posted~
        You wrote:
        “since he didn’t intend it, it didn’t happen. Tone of voice only applies to me not him.”

        By common, I don’t mean healthy.

        About the intent not equaling ‘actual’ offense, I find this belief to be highly woven into insensitive individuals that are also quite defensive people. They lack accountability and responding with maturity overall. Painful to be in a marriage with.

        In regards to intent…
        I once told my father, “so just because You didn’t intend to plow into that vehical, doesn’t mean the vehical isn’t damaged by your actions… intent doesn’t negate an actual outcome”

        As far as the tone of voice reference I’m assuming your speaking of the double standard you are also dealing with in your marital situation.

        Are you able to get some individual counseling? Do you have some women that are able to be a support also?

  5. Wendy on December 27, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Sounds and looks like she is swimming in a lot of “pollution!”
    I’m familiar with this scenario… because it’s “crazy making” and draws you in to DOUBTING yourself. My marriage of 20 years was at this state when I began to try to not allow my husbands “controlling ways” to continue to dictate the relationship and myself personally!
    I had to separate and remove myself and my kids from the “daily atmosphere” of pollution.
    In the separation, I worked on my stuff and lived in more clarity!!
    I had to get out of that atmosphere so I could see the real reality!
    I challenge her to live life with him away for awhile… working on their own stuff. I believe it will be telling what he is willing to do for himself to make his life better as well as their marriage environment. It’s about CLARITY!

  6. Nancy on December 27, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Aleea, how you take your hurt to God first. I am learning this, and it is SO hard. For me it’s so much easier to get angry with my h for hurting me, instead of getting vulnerable with God and then, in humility, taking it to my h. But when I go to God first, like you said, “it works outrageously well!”

    • Aleea on December 28, 2017 at 5:12 am

      Hello Nancy,
      . . . .About three weeks ago, —I got offended and I was planning to be seriously mad about it for at least a week. The next day, I was praying and it was just like God Himself said: —Aleea, —I so love you . . . .I want you to stop praying, go downstairs and fully apologize. —But I was ready, this was so, so foreseeable, I had my opening statements ready to go: —Lord, I have following reasons and specific evidence: . . . . . blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, —Lord I will not be ________blah and blah, blah, blah. . . . .Finally, . . . .Oh, A-l-r-i-g-h-t Lord, I going. . . . .I always have to humble myself, —I’m so sick of it. . . . .but on the way downstairs, I took ten minutes to pet my cat and complain to him about it. . . .because he was there when it happened and he fully agrees with me. . . .

      . . . .So, I apologized for one small thing. —I got *four* detailed apologies back and two promises!!!!! —And it was so right and true and beautiful and . . . . .God knows what He is doing and He so loves us and He wants us to *deeply* listen to Him even when we don’t understand. . . .And we prayed and held and thanked God that we can be open, honest, etc. —And you know how wonderful that feels when things are clean, clean, clean and your heart just sings. —Doing what God tells us to do is dangerously powerful. —Woo Hoo✞ރ✝❣😊 💕

      . . . .Heart as clean as possible; broken before the Lord, thankful, grateful and humble. That is where I want to be: down low where the Grace-of-God can find me. —All things as they move closer and closer toward God are so beautiful, and they are so, so ugly as they move away from Him. ✞ރ✝❣

      Terms and Conditions: This general information is not intended to diagnose any condition or to replace your relationship with the Holy Spirit; Wise Others, or your healthcare professionals. This may not work with neuropsychological measures outside of the norm: —interpersonally exploitative, emotionally unavailable, devoid of empathy, etc. The information contained herein is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment in any manner. Always seek the advice of truly Christ-centered, qualified persons with any questions you may have regarding non-normative conditions.🔣

    • Ellen on January 4, 2018 at 11:38 am

      I can identify with many things said here. As I continue to work on changing the things in myself that need to be changed, I have found that “speaking the truth in love” to someone who says or does a hurtful thing to me helps me to not take those things personally. Sometimes it may mean that I leave the room, house etc. if he keeps on shooting verbal arrows. I may say as I leave, “I would like to talk about these things when we can talk and listen as adults.” I really like the JADE reminder, it helps me to focus on the truth of the situation.

      • Aleea on January 4, 2018 at 6:27 pm

        Hello Ellen,

        “. . .I have found that “speaking the truth in love” to someone who says or does a hurtful thing to me helps me to not take those things personally.” ―Excellent. Very Good!!!

        “I would like to talk about these things when we can talk and listen as adults.” ―That’s very good too and maybe pray together before these discussions. When we pray it gets our hearts centered and keeps Christ in our focus.

        Re: I would like to talk about these things more when we can talk and listen in a way that truly honors God and is respectful and kind to each of us. . . . .Lord, we pray you would help us to really love one another, look out for the interests of the other and *deeply* listen. Hard conversations can go well and end well. ―And the best part? When we wait and trust Christ, He gets all the glory in the resolution.

        This I use a lot: “―What do you need me to hear that I am just not hearing?” I even use that with the Lord!

  7. Renee on December 27, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Aleea: You have to learn how to fight without wounding each other and that is no small task.

    Wow. How many marriages could be saved if this statement would be followed?

    But many spouses go for the knockout or aim to be a right-fighter.

    In the end, everyone loses.

    • Aleea on December 28, 2017 at 5:23 am

      “. . . . .many spouses go for the knockout or aim to be a right-fighter.”

      —Absolutely Renee❣😊

      Maybe see: “The Good Fight: How Conflict Can Bring You Closer” by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott . . . .Dr. Gottman, The Gottman Institute, and others in peer-review have found some of their research to be incorrect but lots of it works well and they love and honor God and that generally means they think more clearly.

      Conflict is definitely the price you pay to have a deeper relationship. Happy, Christ-honoring, successful couples disagree just as much as couples who’s marriages just explode. You can use disagreement to deepen all your relationships, or use it to blow them apart. I state the obvious, but you have to get r-e-a-l-l-y good at fighting, setting boundaries when fighting, etc. Which really means deeply understanding, validating, negotiagting, et.al.

      Re: Being “Right” “. . . .knockout or aim to be a right-fighter.”—Absolutely Renee❣😊

      I always say: You can’t cuddle up at night and share life in Christ with “Being Right” . . . .Or, in my world, a good compromise is far better than even a whole string of very powerful lawsuits, —even if we “win.”💟✝
      ↪✈📶

  8. Kimberly on December 28, 2017 at 12:29 am

    Where do you even start. Being in a broken, controlling, verbally and mentally abusive marriage from day one. My
    husband is demanding, unforgiving abuser. Never seeing
    a fault to his “duty” to “help” me. A “Helpless, dumb women that knows nothing and just needs to shut up.In his words. He is a business owner and very knowledgeable about things of that nature. People think he is a great guy. As well he is very critical of others in business and at home. I.e., his own children. Our oldest son just wants to please his dad and have him approve of him. Our son has a very tender and considerate heart. Our two other daughters, 15 and 17 seek boys out for escape and attention. Very common. He is critical of the girls and their choices.When in his youth….he did many things that were very bad. As I did. But God’s grace and forgiveness for me is overwhelming. But he just sees the kids poor choices and condemns them for it. There is SO much to this picture that has been going on for 20 years. Our kids have been broken in different ways. They of course are separate individuals that God has created so it has affected them all in different ways. I am a born again believer and believe in the power of the Holy Spirit and Gods Word. As well I have never met a man with such disdain, indifference, and totally lack of ability to love or forgive or even care. Calling himself a believer. Its scary too me. I need to get healthy. My heart is completely broken for each of our children. They as well know Jesus. But even as almost adult. The state says they are adults at 19. I remember nineteen???? What?? Mentally, emotionally they are not. How do they even know where to start to know what being healthy looks like? Especially living through so much brokenness growing up. Or even how to know how to know they need to get healthy. There is so much in this social media world vying for their hearts. That can show them its normal. Just look cool. You will be cool. Be fine. But God. I believe God wants me to start with me. I wish I did not have to be with this man. Not a divorce. A separation. He threatens if I do that. Then it is over. He doesn’t have the finances to support me and the children living separately. He says at that point I will break everyone. He has been struggling in His business and has screamed at me for years about how hard its is to deal with thieves, cheats and liars. I know the world is ugly. He tells me that I have no idea having been a stay at home mom for 20 years what the real world is like and I should appreciate being in my bubble I have been in. All be it a loveless bubble. But….I got to stay home with my kids. Which I will always thank my God for…always. We sought Christian counseling when the kids were very little. I had one counseling session w, out my husband with me at the time. The-then counselor said “I should get as much information on financials and get out. He is a very emotionally angry and controlling man. I am starting to share with people the abuse we have all gone through for years. So now my husband wants to see my current church counselor to tell him what hell his is living with. Its so destructive. He doesn’t want to get healthy. He wants to take me down and prove he is right. When in reality we have been living in a verbal and raging abusive environment and lies about what is really happening all of this time. He manipulates the truth and lies about it. Its truly, truly awful. I go to God. I know He loves me, our children, our family. My husband doesn’t see a desire or need to change anything of himself. Its a daily walk on egg shells and yelling or silent death in our home. He will be really ugly to me. Then really nice to our kids alone. Our kids never want to be home. To be honest. We are devastatingly broken. I don’t even know who I am anymore. I cannot stay in this frame of mind. As a believer, a child of God. A mom. A person. That is why a good friend lead me to your blog. Book. I have to start getting healthy. Knowing who I am in Christ. Then by Gods great grace and love. My children will realize and want to be free. Amen

    • Nancy on January 9, 2018 at 2:20 am

      Hi Kimberley,

      Thank you so much for sharing. Welcome!

      Do you have support? It sounds like you might have some safe places to share…? Talking is so important. Yes, stick with this blog and read Leslie’s book ‘Emotionally Destructive Marriage’.

      I like what you said about starting with you. I think that that’s the ONLY effective place to start.

      God loves you. Lean into Him and just take one day at a time.

      • Aly on January 9, 2018 at 8:34 am

        Kimberly,

        What Nancy said is very true about How much God loves you and the more you lean into him, you can take one day at a time.

        Being with God changes us. taking one day at a time we can see what our true and best options are in these places.
        I’m so sorry for what you have gone through and endured. Your children too.
        I’m glad your on this blog, there is a lot of support and care here especially for these types of dynamics.

        Your husband’s anger isn’t his biggest problem and what you wrote he has said about you, isn’t true. You are a child of God worthy of much love, care and protection.
        God will equip you for your journey💜

    • Aly on January 9, 2018 at 8:59 am

      Kimberly,

      I posted earlier on Nancy’s, hoping you are still able to see it below.

      You wrote:
      “We sought Christian counseling when the kids were very little.”

      What brought you both to counseling then? Same issues or something else….

      You wrote:
      “I had one counseling session w, out my husband with me at the time. The-then counselor said “I should get as much information on financials and get out. He is a very emotionally angry and controlling man. I am starting to share with people the abuse we have all gone through for years. So now my husband wants to see my current church counselor to tell him what hell his is living with. Its so destructive. He doesn’t want to get healthy. He wants to take me down and prove he is right. When in reality we have been living in a verbal and raging abusive environment and lies about what is really happening all of this time. He manipulates the truth and lies about it. Its truly, truly awful.”

      That is awful and it is horrible just how willing a destructive person will go in order to over power a situation.
      I find it interesting that he now wants to see your church counselor, would it be possible for you also to have a meeting with your counselor alone?
      Sometimes bringing more light to a situation can help but it depends on the kind of help that they can offer.

      The hard part about church counselors is if they are equipped and educated to see the abuse and how your husband chooses to deal with his stress/anger wrongly ‘on others’.

      I stayed home with our children too, and I had no idea what ‘cost’ my husband would have me pay for that joy of mine.
      My husband secretly resented me for a long time in our marriage and the disrespect and dismissal gave clues to his internal thought process.
      It took him a long time to get to the maturity level of seeing his irrational and unrealistic expectations.
      Blaming me overtly or covertly for his stress was his only way to cope early on in our marriage.
      It was a roller coaster. His ‘versions of things’ came from such a distorted place, so I can relate to the ‘awful lies’. Just wanting to share a bit with you so maybe you can feel understood by some of our experiences here.

      I’m so sorry and I will pray for you and your family.

  9. Liberty on December 28, 2017 at 12:48 am

    I can only imagine this woman picking up a pen while feeling great pain. She is living in a fog and its understandable that she’s asking these questions because they are symptoms only. There is a horrible weight on her that isn’t her own. First and foremost she should step back each time her husband accuses her and not engage. Tell him I’m sorry but I’m unable to process these accusations I don’t understand. And just repeat that every time she is falsely accused or unable to make sense of this madness. One liners are great when we’re learning to get healthy. We owe only God all aspects of our life and everyone else requires boundaries. Even husbands!!!

    • Nancy on December 28, 2017 at 8:06 am

      Yes. One-liners – repeated, word-for-word, each time the line is crossed- are very useful indeed, when we’re learning to get healthy. They are a tool that teaches us to stand firm as well as shines the light on repetitive boundary busting.

      • Maria on December 28, 2017 at 8:56 am

        Nancy, I am reading the book, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality right now (because of your recommendation). For a while now, I have been pursuing being authentic and not fake or pretentious. It’s interesting to find out being fake is usually a cover for some weakness in us. Also, it is interesting to see that not too many people want to be authentic. Thank you for the recommendation.

        • Nancy on December 28, 2017 at 2:22 pm

          I’m glad you are enjoying it, Maria.

          Pervasive emotional UNhealth in my church growing up, was the reason that I saw Christianity as hypocritical. I thought that being a Christian meant being fake, sweeping feelings under the rug, etc…. and I ran from that as fast as I could.

          I find it amazing that The Lord has allowed this to be introduced into our church family through me. He is amazing.

  10. Nancy on December 28, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Love the cat part! I have a cat…who doesn’t have much time for me. Maybe I’ll complain to her and we’ll become closer ❤️

    • Aleea on December 28, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      —Yes Nancy, most cats are like that . . . .but not the Bombay breed🐱 (—they look like the cat Salem in Sabrina the Teenage Witch). I didn’t know this until I had my cat for awhile because he was homeless when I took him in but the Bombay’s are a highly social breed that love to be in the company of others. They absolutely crave attention 🐱 —and love to cuddle for any reason, —they are highly suitable for children. Mine loves my attention and really dislikes being left alone for too long —good thing someone is always home because I travel for extended periods of time. Intelligent, playful, and great with my sisters children! Also, they don’t shed as much as other breeds and require no grooming. —Wonderful distinctive purr.🐱

      “Maybe I’ll complain to her and we’ll become closer” —I know your kidding . . .because no one draws into criticism and negativity. . . .ha, ha, ha, ha. 👏❤ 😊 🐱
      🙏🎀💕❣

    • Nancy on December 30, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      Hi Aleea,

      Your cat sounds super adorable! I think I’d like that type of cat 🙂

      Just a little cat story:

      Our cat is a regular black and white one ( no idea of breed- we got her from our next door neighbour who was neglecting her). Even before she was ours, she’d meet our eldest in coming home from school. We’d say, “there’s your cat coming to meet you!”. Then when we took her in (with our neighbours permission), she just stuck to our eldest.

      The cat used to come to the bus stop in the morning and afternoon with me, to meet the girls. Now that she’s older she doesn’t do that, but she follows our eldest around the house, sleeps in her room, cuddles with her ( never on her, but beside her). I call the cat…nothing. She calls the cat…she comes running! When we look after our friend’s dog, the dog stays in her room too. She is an animal person, and the animals know it. They just LOVE her!

    • Aleea on December 31, 2017 at 8:03 am

      . . . .Beautiful! 🌟 🌷

      “. . . .She calls the cat…she comes running! When we look after our friend’s dog, the dog stays in her room too. She is an animal person, and the animals know it. They just LOVE her!”

      . . . . (smiling), she has a wonderful heart 💗 💖 💛 and the those critters know that. —Wonderful!!!🐶 🐱 🐹 🐰 🐻🐼 🐨🐯

  11. Aly on December 28, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Aleea,
    Renee too~

    Aleea, I agree here with many of your points.
    You wrote:
    “but lots of it works well and they love and honor God and that generally means they think more clearly.”

    It isn’t so much that they love and honor God and thus can think more reasonably, but it’s that we (or they) think not ‘less’ of ourselves, but ‘just less’ and more about caring of others and what the relationship needs to be healthier. Looking at a bigger picture sort of thing.
    However, when a person lacks internal self value and worth that can only come from the true receiving of Christ,
    (Love the Lord with all your Heart..,)
    If this love is lacking, often you will see all sorts of ‘behaviors’ that are defensive shame induced (such as the inability to take responsibility which is a key one) and you rarely will ever receive a true sincere apology.

    I read recently that the greater the transgression the longer a person will stay wrapped in defensiveness and denial to survive. Certainly not thrive.

    Aleea, it’s healthy that you (all of us) go to God to resolve and seek what action He directs. It’s a blessing that you have a healthy partner willing to also join in mutual ownership (especially if they also are contributing). It’s a healthy balance to have ‘two’ people surrendered to the Lord’s way and not our own ways. ~ just beautiful 🌸 And restorative.

    For a long time, I clearly didn’t experience this above in my life in a couple relationship dynamics. I was the first to initiate an apology, the first to want to repair, but with repair it’s important the one who does the harm should have the courage to repair, not make the offended repair and also feel guilty about it. Often I was the one harmed by a person ‘who lacked some internal value’ and then I became the one to repair, this was NOT healthy, but it’s what I learned in my early years and it’s what my FOO thinks is the norm. Granted it’s an internal core value issue but without the receiving of ‘His perfect Love’ it’s pretty hard to mature.

    Desiring Justice with growth and healing as the goal can have many facets to it, and it’s not ever about being a ‘right fighter’. It’s about doing our own part of getting things Aligned Right for His Glory alone. He invites us into this to participate;)

    Hugs and Prayers 💕

    • Aleea on December 28, 2017 at 10:29 am

      Hello Aly,

      “It isn’t so much that they love and honor God and thus can think more reasonably, but it’s that we (or they) think not ‘less’ of ourselves, but ‘just less’ and more about caring of others and what the relationship needs to be healthier. Looking at a bigger picture sort of thing.” . . . .YES!☑🔘 -I agree. Staying vulnerable is a risk I have to take if I want to experience connection.

      “However, when a person lacks internal self value and worth that can only come from the true receiving of Christ,
      (Love the Lord with all your Heart..,) If this love is lacking, often you will see all sorts of ‘behaviors’ that are defensive shame induced (such as the inability to take responsibility which is a key one) and you rarely will ever receive a true sincere apology.” . . . .Agreed!!!☑. When God loves us that frees us to not have to fight for our worth/ constantly prove ourselves.

      “. . . It’s a healthy balance to have ‘two’ people surrendered to the Lord’s way and not our own ways. ~ just beautiful 🌸 And restorative.” . . . .and it is FUN too and makes life an adventure of discovery😊 💕 😊 💕

      That encounter had pretty equal blame but I certainly see this point: “. . . .it’s important the one who does the harm should have the courage to repair, not make the offended repair and also feel guilty about it. Often I was the one harmed by a person ‘who lacked some internal value’ and then I became the one to repair, this was NOT healthy, . . .” . . . .Absolutely, when we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated. This is why we sometimes attack who they are, which is far, far more hurtful than addressing a behavior or a choice they made.

      “. . . .without the receiving of ‘His perfect Love’ it’s pretty hard to mature.” . . . .YES!!!☑. -And no one is greater than their prayer life. If we are weak in prayer, we are weak in every area of our lives.

      I don’t really know what a ‘right fighter’is but I know I need Christ’s grace to do/own my part of getting things “Aligned Right for His Glory alone.” . . . .Satan wants to destroy marriages and cause divorces everywhere. In our vast battles with evil, I say use only that which works, and take it from *any place* you can find it.🙌❤ 😊 Even if it comes from a multidisciplinary branch like neuroscience. Perfectionism is a self destructive and addictive belief system. Healthy striving looks to me as self-focused: How can I improve? Perfectionism looks other-focused: What will he think of me?
      🔃✈📶

    • Aleea on December 28, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      Re:Right-fighter

      —Okay, got it . . . .it is like a Pride-Fighter! . . . .Pride leads to conflict (Proverbs 13:10). A prideful spirit keeps us from cooperating, flexing, respecting, et.al.

      “I pray we all have a blessed new year!!!” . . . .Absolutely and waiting upon God and looking to the guidance of the Holy Spirit! . . . .No closed areas, no locked places in our hearts, where we think, with pride, that we are right. Lord meet our emotional suffering with spiritual encouragement and and Lord may my shame be swallowed up in my connection to You! —My rock, my fortress, my comfort, my peace, my salvation, my refuge, my God.🎆❤ 🎉 🎶🎈💒✝❤ 😊 ⌘

    • Aleea on December 30, 2017 at 6:11 am

      Re: “They can’t keep a covenant. Therefore in my mind the contract is null, void and heretical.” + Re: “I just keep going back to the biblical description and purpose of marriage. If only one person is doing it, then the covenant is broken, right?”

      . . . .With a contract, if one agreeing party does *anything* in violation of the contract then the whole bloody thing is considered totally broken. The whole contract becomes null and void. Basically the signers of a contract *only* agree to hold up their ends only as long as the other signatories hold up theirs too.

      . . . . .With a covenant, both parties agree to hold up their ends regardless of whether the other party keeps their part of the agreement. A violation of a covenant by one party doesn’t matter as far as the other party’s responsibility to continue to do what they agreed to do.

      Maybe . . . .maybe the deeper question is: Are people capable of any real, sustainable transformation? Is God *really* capable of transforming anything in reality or is God kind of null and void Himself? . . .I know from corporate contracts that are ―at least― four feet thick (―even with both trying to specify every last thing any party can possibly think of), both parties are in violation when they sign. The only contracts that are “kept” become largely covenants. Okay Stat Oil, you can move the pipeline to the adjacent pier because it was not foreseeable that those new tankers would be that huge and need a much deeper berth. Almost everything is compromise and working things out. Okay Hornbeck Offshore, you can miss the entire year of payments until that division can restructure its loans.

      . . . .But who knows, I have friends who do mediation in the family law courts all over. Many “Christians” (―re:Kinnaman, unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity and Why It Matters) even going to fundamentalist churches don’t even get married these days, thus “avoiding” all these questions. . . .but a whole new set of questions arises. . . . .We say Christ is in the business of changing lives, but is that really, really true? Is Christianity a distinction without any real, sustainable, measurable difference??? Why do we have this God overlay if ultimately it just looks just like any other secular situation? . . . .In early Christianity, I see nothing like the “nuclear family”, and the Old Testament, —ya got nothin! . . . . —what a bloomin’ mess those “marriages” are.

      In my church’s Re||engage and counseling classes, I do see marriages change and become redeemed but things almost always get *radically* worse before they heal. . . .Sometimes they totally heal and I think —Wow, Lord?!?!? —Lord you’re the only One I ever believed in . . . . .My Answer that could never be found. The moment I decided to let You in. . . .The end of fear: d-e-e-p-l-y telling the Truth, even if it deconstructs the Bible and God Himself.

      Unless it is just myth (not a zero probability) —Jesus stayed. He said, “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.” He loved us, not because we were lovely to Him, but to make us lovely. That is why I am going to love my spouse and fulfill the promises I made on my wedding day. But, who knows how I would think if I was married to someone like my mother. . . .If just seems she can’t become lovely no matter how much I love her. I am always at total wits end there. . . . .I can easily and justifiably say to myself lots of things like: the ancient “covenant” is in pieces. We are alone in the universe’s unfeeling immensity, out of which I emerged only by chance. My destiny is nowhere spelled out, nor is my duty or responsibility. . . . .But, I’m not sure people ever think their way into new ways of acting, they always act their way into new ways of thinking. . . . .Our vision seems to only clear when we look to Christ for answers and in our own hearts. Everything we do is connected to who we are as a person and, in turn, creates the person we are becoming. Everything we do affects those we love. All of life is covenant. I know when I pray down this blog every morning, I feel the invisible bonds and covenants that knit us all together. Instead of a fixed world, we live in our Father’s world, a world built for divine relationships between people where, because of the Gospel, tragedies become comedies and hope is born. . . .But again, trying to find answers outside of ourselves = dreaming.

      . . .Lord, I don’t want to be what I am. . . . .I want to be *what continually changes what I am* (Romans 8:26-27; John 14:26; Acts 1:8; Romans 5:5; Acts 2:38) . . . .Because, it seems to me that the things I most need are always to be found where I least want to look (―those dark places ―the deserts of the REAL). . . . To really grow in Christ is to die *voluntarily* and be born again, in great ways and small. . . . .I say transformative change by awareness of Christ in our minds and hearts -or- just simply, we can live by dying everyday: 1 Timothy 4:12; Ephesians 4:1; 1 Corinthians 15:31, et.al. . . .Again, nothing to do with trying harder or even trying at all. ―Woo Hoo!!!🎄✝ރ😊 💕

    • Nancy on December 30, 2017 at 11:24 am

      Hi Aleea,

      I want to share something from Nee that I’m reading. He talks about how we are already crucified with Christ. That it is ALREADY done. Nowhere does The Lord ask us to ‘crucify ourselves’ because that would be inaccurate. What is a fact is that we have already been crucified with him ( Romans 6:6) If we don’t KNOW this for ourselves, then the thing to do is to pray for a personal revelation of it ( not to pray that I could somehow accomplish it).

      And so your comment about ‘dying voluntarily’ becomes reframed to asking for His revelation to KNOW that I have already died on the cross with Him! And then thanking Him for that unbelievable gift ❤️

      The Normal Christian Life has been such a gift to me over these past few days.

    • Aleea on December 31, 2017 at 4:04 am

      Hello Aly,

      Thank you for commenting. . . . .I love comments, even if that makes me codependent, et.al.

      “My destiny is nowhere spelled out, nor is my duty or responsibility. . . . .” . . . .ha, ha, ha, ha. —Now girl, that is some *serious* quote mining. . . .ha, ha, ha, ha. . . . . —Aly, that was rhetorical, and went with the concept that either God exists —and we have *DO* have duties and responsibilities —or we are left to make it up ourselves.

      “I believe much is spelled out for us as to who we are to love and what comes with that responsibility.”☑ yes! —I totally believe that too!!! . . . . .rhetorical statements; hypothetical questions, etc. —I apologize 💐 for not being clearer.

      “. . . .If you study a flow chart on this you can see just how important what we think proceeds our beliefs and our actions. If I think and believe I am valuable as made in the image of Christ, chances are I am going to think of others from this place. Others are not going to be indifferent to me or lack value.”☑ yes! —Absolutely, I’m talking about the change process. I can think of all the excellent benefits from exercising —but if I just do it (Act) I get all the endorphins, et.al. —And by acting, the endorphins interact with the receptors in my brain (positive feedback loops). Similar to that, Christianity is a way of acting in the world. Christianity is about action! It is a way of acting in the world! . . .We deny the resurrection of Christ every time we do not act to help the oppressed (—across all the areas they are oppressed, even teachings that just aren’t true in any objective sense). . . . And yes, there is something precious in our being mysteries even to ourselves.

      Re: study a flow chart on this
      I believe this “flow chart” would be hinged upon preusppositions about how the brain/ central nervous system, etc. (a huge/ highly complex area that is always changing) operates. The fact of the matter, however, is that it really is not clear how all these interactions work. All these extant conceptualisations of causality but nobody can prove causality.

      It’s far more important to get on my knees and pray “Lord Jesus please help me. —I really need your help.” —Act?!?! The truth of acting helps me believe (Think) in Christ’s transforming love as truer than true. . . .Don’t sit there and think about it: 🍴 Taste and See that the Lord is good!!! 💯 ✔ ☑ 💐

      “. . . . .I want to be teachable and moldable to learn how ‘better to love’ as Christ would desire and much of what gets highlighted on this blog as it pertains to the cycle of destructive relationships, ….those are not places of actually ‘Loving well’, they are places of dysfunctional love.”☑ yes! —Absolutely. . . . . When I realize that Christ makes his gifts fit each person, there’s no way I can covet what you have because it just wouldn’t fit me. That’s what loving well is all about: giving people the time and space they need as they grow. Impatience blossoms when something becomes more important than someone. —I can “see” your heart and I rejoice with you! Not only do self-love and love of others go hand in hand but ultimately they are indistinguishable?

      “How God loves us as we receive Him is transformative. It can’t be anything less because of the Nature and Glory of God.” . . . .Beautiful.☑ yes! yes! yes! yes! —Absolutely. Treat your relationships as if you are growing the most beautiful sacred flowers. Keep watering, tending to the roots, and always make sure to pray and worship Christ. Presence, listening, praying with and for. . . . .❣ 💟 🌷 🌹 🙋✨💐🔝

    • Aleea on December 31, 2017 at 5:04 am

      —🌟Wow Nancy, that is so, so, so good. . . . .And really deep too. συνεσταυρώθη, [was *already* crucified with Him]

      . . . .And yet Paul says: καθἡμέραν ἀποθνῄσκω (Paul is saying he lives to Christ by dying everyday) —and yet συνεσταυρώθη [we are *already* crucified with Him] . . . .hmmmm. . . . I’m going to have to really seek clarity on that. . . . .Here was my thinking in saying what I said above:

      Truth is the handmaiden of love. Dialogue is the pathway to truth. Humility is the recognition of my personal insufficiency and the willingness to learn through dialog. To learn is to ἀποθνῄσκω [die voluntarily] and be born again, in great ways and in small.

      “The Normal Christian Life has been such a gift to me over these past few days.” . . . .Nancy, your a gift to all of us over the course of the entire year!

      . . . .and Nee, oh my, what can be said. . . . I am so interested in what he is discussing in “Release of the Spirit” the difference between spirituality and letting ourselves be totally controlled by the Holy Spirit. Letting Christ *really* live His life through us. —That’s what I want. . . . .I have to be emptied again and again and get the junk out of my hands to be able to receive and serve Christ wholly and faithfully. God totally breaks us so the Holy Spirit can be released and Christ can live His life through us. —Whew! . . . .giving up self and being led by the Lord to live the surrendered life. Galatians 2:20 . . . . .”I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Woo Hoo. . . . Electrifying. . . .†ރ ✞ރ✝❣😊 ❄📡 🔋 🔌 💡◄•• ❣

  12. Renee on December 28, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    http://www.familyresource.com/relationships/communication/are-you-a-right-fighter

    Right-fighter is a phrase Dr. Phil uses often. That’s where I first heard it used.

    I pray we all have a blessed new year!!!

  13. Connie on December 29, 2017 at 10:27 am

    I just reread the question. What jumps out at me is, “I tell him…I ask him…..” etc. And in the answer, “Reassure him…..tell him……” I’m sorry but I learned a long long time ago not to engage with someone whom you already know doesn’t believe you. That’s like spitting into the wind. Detach. Keep the ball in his court. If you must say something, let it be, “You’re wrong and you know it!” Firmly spoken, then walk away. Repeat as often as necessary. Appeal to his sense of manhood if you must, “I’m going to stay at my friend’s for a time. You are bigger than this. Call me when you decide we can talk like adults.”

    She might listen to Patrick Doyle’s video on value ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6ibM2jOkGs

    She won’t get anywhere if she’s waffling and unsure of where she stands. He can smell that ten miles away and will use it until she’s in the psych ward. Ask me how I know.

    • Aly on December 29, 2017 at 10:48 am

      Connie,

      I like your examples. I agree and certainly can relate.
      Often times, my strong appeals were similar to yours;
      “Let me know when you are ready to have an adult conversation?”

      That appeal was and probably will never come natural to me. 😥I don’t like it, it’s far from the kind of person I prefer to offer to anyone ‘really’. It’s arrogant and off putting to me, but our counselor has been strong to lead me to that place and show me what it takes to be firm and direct.
      It was necessary in dealing with my husband’s level of avoidance and intelligence.

      Had I included it as a joint place, my husband would see it as a joint offense and would have every reason under the sun to dismiss his responsibility to resolve in an adult manner and take ownership in an adult manner.

      Hugs and love to you🤗

      • Connie on December 29, 2017 at 11:40 am

        It’s terribly hard to do, and feels so contrary to all the supposed humility that we have been taught, but I’ve learned a lot from you, Aly. The books ‘Bold Love’ and ‘Respect Me Rules’ and many others have been helpful, but you gave me hope for change. So many say there is no hope. Lots of prayer and surrendering all my hopes and dreams to God……..last week I was almost sure I would have to call it off, but suddenly there has been a breakthrough. Lots and lots of prayer and pushing back the darkness. I’m still waiting for a few more things to fall into place, like appointments with an accountant and some dealings with his FOO. He had to come to realize that 1. he was very angry. 2. It should have been directed at his dad, but I was the convenient (no longer willing) scapegoat. 3. My heart is for him (all of his relationships so far seem to have been competitive, causing him to have a get-her-before-she-gets-me attitude) 4. Only a complete surrender to God will fix it, and He is big enough to do so. 5. I’m not God and neither is he. No matter how controlling we try to be, we are not in control of our lives. If we don’t give it up to God, the other guy has it by default.
        He has been listening to a number of Patrick Doyle’s interviews. His counselor doesn’t seem to have much of a clue and we’d probably have to drive quite far to find one who does, so that concerns me. He is considering phone counseling with Patrick. I think we need ongoing good help and accountability. Our pastor is supportive and learning along with us, for which I am so so grateful.
        We have also been watching Dr. Caroline Leaf’s DVDs which are really good. All about toxic vs. healthy thinking and what it does to our brains and bodies. Some people think that they aren’t emotional, but she explains how every thought has an emotion and an attitude connected with it.

        • Aly on December 29, 2017 at 12:42 pm

          Connie,

          Your post is so very good and yes we have walked similar experiences here!
          Everything above is critical in my opinion.

          I am listening to your recent post Patrick Doyle YouTube; so good, so fundamental and clear!
          My husband also has benefited greatly from his you tubes. And other reinforcing interventions.

          I’m so thankful how the Lord blesses this blog and our hearts💜

      • Nancy on December 29, 2017 at 5:38 pm

        Aly and Connie,

        I can so relate to what you wrote Aly, ” that appeal was and probably will never come naturally to me.”

        Upon receiving my brother’s very arrogant email ( telling us his very busy Christams schedule and then ‘offering us’ a two hour time slot, before they fly out), we took our time to reply, but then did so extremely clearly – saying that we were unwilling to be treated as a last minute add on to their busy schedule.

        The guilt that overtook me a couple of days afterwards, was big. I am not at all comfortable being that direct. It feels like we’ve had to use a sledge-hammer in order to be heard.

        I suppose because I am sensitive, and consider others, I am expecting others to do the same. When I receive an arrogant email like that I’m shocked ( although I shouldn’t be, he’s never operated any differently). Meeting his ‘direct’ language and tone does not feel like ‘me’ at all. And yet, The Lord is changing ‘me’.

        Love needs to take on different forms depending on who we’re dealing with. Bullies only respond to extreme clarity ( if anything).

        Connie- Caroline Leaf has been very helpful to me in replacing destructive thoughts with Biblical ones.

        • Ruth on December 30, 2017 at 3:50 pm

          Nancy,
          I read your account of what happened with the Christmas email from your brother and I thought “Wow, Nancy is brave. She stood up for her nuclear family against the rude a extended family member.” We all know the unspoken status quo is the overbearing people get what they want while the nice people rearrange their plans.
          Nancy thank you for sharing your act of courage.

          • Roxanne on December 31, 2017 at 6:19 am

            Now I read it and saw something different. Not that the family victory isn’t great and of course I don’t know all the dynamics but I could see another wrinkle in the story. I have been in the brother in laws shoes, traveled from far away and everybody wants your time. I have done what he did, tried to carve out sometime for everyone. Certain people are more demanding than others about that time, so there is a pecking order or rather a triage for the problem and time must be managed. There are also consequences for who you don’t see and those you see which you stayed longer. If you from my family they also compare which house you stayed in and who got the longest visit. They compare the actual holiday and the eve…etc…. So, I get where the brother in law came from. I felt Nancy, response was weighed on past incidents, and maybe they should be. Yet, from my perspective, the response was a little too harsh.



        • Nancy on December 31, 2017 at 1:29 pm

          Roxanne. This has nothing to do with how he spends his time on his vacation, or where, or with whom. I would be happy to see them for an hour out of their 10 day stay – that’s not the point.

          The point is that in communicating with us, there was absolutely no consideration for our family- what could work for us, or not.

          It’s not respectful.

          • Roxanne on December 31, 2017 at 3:06 pm

            Nancy, I was trying to say put yourself in his shoes. People were pressuring him for his time.

            Oh, course you had the right to say “No.”



          • Nancy on December 31, 2017 at 3:26 pm

            Hi Roxanne,

            I can put myself in his shoes. Ok. He has limited time, lots of people to see, a busy schedule. Ok. He feels pressure. Ok.

            Does that give him any reason at all to treat us disrespectfully?

            My sharing this story was to convey that my h and I have decided to no longer allow ourselves to be treated disrespectfully by him.

            What is the purpose of me putting myself in his shoes? When someone behaves like a bully, is ‘putting myself in their shoes’ a wise thing to do?



          • Roxanne on January 1, 2018 at 4:15 pm

            I guess I missed the disrespectful part. I don’t see it.



          • Aly on January 1, 2018 at 4:28 pm

            Roxanne,

            I can see why this scenario might be confusing especially since many of us just went through the holidays with schedules etc.

            I think the disrespectful part was that of the ‘attitude and overall posture’ which I’m thinking has been a dynamic for a long time. Just a hunch.

            I think the brother could have come across differently in initiating a meeting option and see also what might work with Nancy and her family.
            It’s not like Nancy and her family are sitting by the phone waiting for the call and need to be ready to jump to the ‘time slot’.
            Most healthier people that are in the brothers shoes will approach this differently with kindness and regard for other people’s space and time even if they have a narrow slot it’s all about the attitude and posture.
            Those that act entitled expect people to adjust to their time conveniences not thinking of others predicaments also.
            This is self centered and quite immature.
            I think the psychological term is ‘theory of mind’. I could be wrong.
            But when this is underdeveloped you see it play a repetitive pattern with individuals and they are not that affected by the loss in relationship because they are usually the one ‘least invested’ if that makes sense.



          • Nancy on January 1, 2018 at 7:34 pm

            You nailed it Aly. Thanks

            And while, yes, this attitude is nothing new, it is very evident in this one communication; and that’s how we chose to deal with it.



    • Roxanne on December 31, 2017 at 6:23 am

      Connie, thank you for pointing this out. The more I detox from my poisonous spouse’s behaviors, the more I see my role in appeasing, pleading, begging, cajoling and tolerating the ridiculousness of it. I like that you pointed out the writer’s fruitless actions which are repeated over and over without results. Why do we keep doing that?

  14. Nancy on December 29, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    Today I read Hinds Feet on High Places.

    Wow.

    • JoAnn on January 3, 2018 at 12:02 am

      Oh, Nancy, you make my heart sing. Isn’t that a wonderful story? I see myself in it over and over each time I read it. Very insightful.

  15. Roxanne on December 29, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    https://www.ted.com/talks/leslie_morgan_steiner_why_domestic_violence_victims_don_t_leave/discussion

    While we are sharing websites. This TED talk on why women stay in destructive relationships is interesting.

  16. Aly on December 30, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Aleea,

    “My destiny is nowhere spelled out, nor is my duty or responsibility. . . . .”

    Is this true? I believe much is spelled out for us as to who we are to love and what comes with that responsibility.

    You wrote:
    “But, I’m not sure people ever think their way into new ways of acting, they always act their way into new ways of thinking.”

    I would not agree based on understanding just how much ‘our thoughts’ influence our behaviors. If you study a flow chart on this you can see just how important what we think proceeds our beliefs and our actions.
    If I think and believe I am valuable as made in the image of Christ, chances are I am going to think of others from this place. Others are not going to be indifferent to me or lack value.

    You wrote:
    ” . . . .Our vision seems to only clear when we look to Christ for answers and in our own hearts. Everything we do is connected to who we are as a person and, in turn, creates the person we are becoming. Everything we do affects those we love. All of life is covenant.”

    I agree. I believe I fail often at loving well but I want to be teachable and moldable to learn how ‘better to love’ as Christ would desire and much of what gets highlighted on this blog as it pertains to the cycle of destructive relationships, ….those are not places of actually ‘Loving well’, they are places of dysfunctional love.
    How we define ‘love’ and how we think of ‘Love’ is critical to our growth and our healing journeys.

    Early on in our marriage I believe my husband believed he loved me, and how he treated me ‘revealed’ his understanding of love, (It was not love the way Christ offers Love or speaks about how husband’s are to love their wives).

    How he though about Love and Christ’s love for him directly influenced his actions of love or lack of actions.
    How God loves us as we receive Him is transformative. It can’t be anything less because of the Nature and Glory of God. 💟🌈

  17. Ruth on December 30, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    Aly mentioned the book “How We Love”. I first heard about that book here. It’s been a book that’s given me tremendous insight on my husband’s emotional wiring. He never fit the typical abusive husband profile- no porn use, no dishonesty, or physical abuse. He didn’t control my social activities.
    He ran hot or cold either happy with me or disgusted with me.
    One thing I never understood was why he always wanted to do everything TOGETHER. If I just needed to run to the grocery store for a couple of items, he’d want to come too. I could tell he wasn’t coming along to be controlling or bc he was suspicious. If my daughters wanted to shop for a dress, he wanted to come too. This bugged them bc they thought he would rush them. Once I made him mad bc I told him: middle daughter wanted this to be a ‘girls only’ shopping trip.
    Where his desire for TOGETHERNESS was the most extreme is our sleeping arrangements. One night, I left our bed to sleep on the couch bc he was badgering me. He came to the living room and said, “I can’t believe how you’ve hurt me.”
    I said,” You were the one who wouldn’t stop badgering ME. I didn’t do ANYTHING to you.”
    Then he bugged me about coming back to our bed. He does that almost everytime I sleep on the couch.

    Here’s what I figured out by reading “How We Love”. When. I read the chapter about the Controller, I thought my H would fit that mould. But he did not. His childhood wasn’t perfect, but my husband had a loving mother who despite health problems gave him consistent care. His parents did not fight. There were no addictions. No, my h’s childhood did not match the chaotic controller’s.
    Then I read the chapter about Vacillators. That chapter describes my H to a tee. He is the oldest child. His brother is 1 year younger. When his brother was born their mom was stricken with severe rheumatoid arthritis. She couldn’t walk. She was in a debilitated state off and on for a few years. H said his maternal grandmother came down and helped take care of him and the new baby.
    In reading the book together, H also told me some very rigid child-rearing practices his father had. H said at bedtime as small children he and his little brother went thru their nighttime duties downstairs- use the bathroom, brush your teeth, and get a drink of water. Once they went upstairs to bed, if he or his little brother, came back downstairs in the middle of the night they got a whipping. So, that drink of water, you made it last. That hug from mom, that’s all you get – she belongs to dad now.
    I believe my H was conditioned to feel abandoned by having his mom takien away for long periods by her chronic battles with illness. He was too young to understand. Then when he needed extra comfort at night, his harsh father isolated him from his mother. Again he felt abandoned. That set up a strong need for connection.
    As a young man my FIL ran his house with iron fist. He wasn’t a Christian then. He become a Christian later on. But I still see ways he controls and disrespects my MIL. It irritates me. Maybe you’re thinking, “well Ruth he got saved late in life Just let it go. I think I could let it go except that my MIL talks about my FIL like he hung the moon. She goes on and on about how wonderful he is. It’s nauseating. Their family has a powerful ability to see what they want to see.

    There was a window of time while we were reading the Vacillator chapter together that my H had some excellent, but very painful insights into why he has a critical nature (the critical, rejecting nature of his father). The problem is my husband constantly wants to go back to seeing his father through rose colored glasses. And it’s true there ARE many good things about my FIL. but he’s also been harsh and chauvinistic.

    I guess I’m wondering how much does it really matter if we accurately see the toxicity of our FOO?

    Where H’s clarity of mind REALLY concerns me is is his tendency is label HIMSELF as a GODLY MAN regardless of his abusive actions. At least in AA, the person acknowledges they have the propensity to fall off the wagon. I worry that my H will fall back in abusiveness and his pride will blind him from humbling himself and asking for help. But this is the longest he’s ever been kind, reasonable, and decent, so time will tell.

    Another thing the “How We Love” book gave me insight on was my 2 daughters’ personalities. Now, I can’t peg my son. I really don’t fit into any their categories either. I might be an Avoider?
    My 13 yr old daughter is an Avoider. Getting her to open up is so, so difficult. 😞 Now, my marriage issues haven’t been ‘loud or angry’ at least for 6 months i’m hoping, she will feel more secure to talk about anything that’s bothering her.
    My younger daughter is a Vacillator like her dad. I can’t figure out where she would have experienced any abandonment issues which the authors say are core to Vacillator, but she definitely has the Vacillator behavior (runs hot and cold; idealizes then de-values; ruminates). It kinda sounds bipolar just not as extreme. She holds it together at school just fine. At home she is stable most of the time, then we have a few days of an emotional roller coaster.
    It’s an excellent book.

    I just got “Bold Love” but I haven’t started it yet. The author has a blog which is quite good.

    Speaking of books,
    thanks for reading my novella. LOL.
    😛especially my in-law vent

    • Nancy on December 31, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      Hi Ruth,

      My h’s mother also has had RA since being a young woman – she is severely crippled now. My h became her emotional ( and physical) caretaker when he was very young.

      I’ll just tell you a piece of our story here. 11 months ago, we started couples counselling. We’d deal with our own crap for a number of weeks, and then we’d go in and have to put our ‘couples stuff’ on hold to talk about one or the other of our mothers ( my father died years ago, his father lives across the country).

      Things went on and on like this, but increasingly we’d go into that counselling office and be dealing with ‘mother’ issues instead of ‘marriage’ issues. Our last appointment before Christmas we joked about this with our counsellor and said,” how the heck do we always end up talking about our mothers? They have taken SO MUCH space in this office!” He told us,” if you hadn’t dealt with the toxicity of your mothers by putting a boundary around your marriage, your marriage not make it.”

      The fact is, we never did the “leave” process. The level of our mothers’ unhealth absolutely permeated our marriage because WE LACKED the boundary that made our marriage sacred. They took up space in his office because they took up so much space in our own minds and hearts ( and therefore, our marriage).

      We had NO IDEA one year ago that our mothers were contributing such toxicity to our family. Only in retrospect can we see this.

      “leaving” comes BEFORE cleaving. We thought we could somehow still ‘take care’ of our mothers while trying to ” cleave” with one another. But all those ‘interruptions’ in our marriage counselling that became ‘mother counselling’ was The Lord, telling us to deal with this. Telling us we needed to leave.

      I’m hoping that this New Year will be about our marriage and ‘cleaving’. It has been good work to allow The Lord to extricate us from the enmeshment that was there with both mothers. Enmeshment is NOT love. It’s fear based. We can now learn to love our mothers in a whole new way, now.

      The roots of enmeshment can be removed, but it takes time and dedication ( and mostly dependence on The Lord) In our case, it took our marriage coming to the brink in order to be willing to ‘leave’ our mothers. That’s how enmeshed we each were.

      I want to say, here, that neither mother has changed – they are both still very unhealthy. It US who have changed. We’ve chosen to put our relationship above all others ( except The Lord).

      Also, Ruth, I’m not assuming that your story is the same as mine, I just hope that The Lord can use a piece of this, for His glory !

      • Nancy on December 31, 2017 at 3:47 pm

        I’d also add here that when someone ‘constantly wants to go back and see someone through rose coloured glasses’ as your h does with his Dad, this is a form of denial of reality.

        It’s a resistance to grieve and ‘get real’ about his difficult feelings about his Dad. This resistance to feeling difficult feelings will cloud our perception- of the relationship in question, for sure. But also of ourselves and our part in it.

        ( my h did this for YEARS with his mother. He refused to see her as the bitter woman that she is. When I would challenge his perception of her, I’d get attacked, or manipulated, or made to feel guilty, etc…. Keep speaking Truth in Love, Ruth. Keep building your CORE. The truth will set you free.

        • Ruth on January 1, 2018 at 2:12 pm

          Nancy, thank you for sharing part of your story.
          You hit the nail on the head when you said “it’s a resistance to grieve”.
          When I was reading the passage in “How We Love”, it was where a husband and wife were in the counseling office. The husband recounted a sad, abusive memory that he’d never shared with his wife before. It was after I read that passage that my H remembered a hurtful memory from when he was about 5 years old. His father was very harsh and had inappropriate expectations for a child that age.
          That night my husband did grieve having a harsh, unloving father. My H said he realized that his father’s harsh, critical nature was what he operated in as soon as he felt stressed and he’d never realized where it came from before. He told me it made feel so shamed as a little boy that he never wanted to talk to anyone like that again. My H said he felt like God was taking away that critical spirit. [I DO believe God does instant healings, however, H is MUCH more inclined to believe for an instant healing whereas I see, God wanting us to GROW US up in maturity which takes WORK and COMMITMENT to TRUTH; however, in that moment it was not appropriate to argue that point, so I just followed up with questions. I was interested in my MIL. I asked: “What did she do when your dad was being harsh?”
          He said his mom would sometimes look sympathetically at them (the kids) but she did not dare argue her husband.” She has always been the submissive wife.
          That’s where my H saw me failing to live up to what he saw as his internal standard of a godly wife. I was not submissive enough. Really though, I didn’t use a strong voice until the last few years when I felt like his behavior was hurtful to my children. However, he has been unloving from the very beginning of our marriage. It was a complete shock to me. He was extremely affectionate and talkative before we married. And as soon as we married, it was like a switch flipped. He became cold and aloof. I was not the sex goddess he’d hoped for. I wasn’t the awesome stepparent for his kids that he wanted. Occasionally, he would be affectionate, but his moodiness was unnerving. I was extremely lonely and depressed in those early years. My teaching job and hobbies and God kept me going. Why did I stay married?
          Guilt.
          He said that his first wife who left him for another man had hurt his PARENTS and his kids so bad. He never wanted them to go through that again.

          It’s a difficult thing for my husband to reconcile how to both grieve for the relationship he will never have will his father and love his father for the good things his father has done. I could write a post a mile long about the good works my FIL has done. But what means the most to my husband is when my husband’s younger brother became sick with brain tumor suffering from frequent seizures my from FIL cared for him at home for years and years until his passing. Now my MIL is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. It’s a comfort for my H to know his mom will be well-cared for.
          Denial about others is bad enough, but it’s the denial about ourselves that’s really scary;
          this is really one of my husband’s shortcomings. He is prone to see things in black and white; all good or bad. He does this with politics (drives me CRAZY). Family issues. And worst of all: his personal issues, which of course are also marriage issues.
          I’ve typed all this and I know I could have a log in my eye, so I pray:
          “Search me, O God and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
          24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalms 139:23-24

          I’m hoping to walk in TRUTH this year. 😊
          I’m also wanting to improve my relationships with my children so they don’t have so much mother crap to work out in their marriages LOL. Remember the article a few weeks ago “My DIL says I am a narcissist”? That article got me to thinking that assuming my son can fool a girl into marrying him that she is gonna be ready to kill me bc my son is a such a butt. I considered writing a parody fo Meghan Trainor’s “Dear Future Husband”, titled “Dear Future Daughter in Law” apologizing to my DIL for my son’s slubbish, rude ways 😛 and posting it to that article.

          • Connie on January 1, 2018 at 2:37 pm

            Just a thought: more often than we think, the son or daughter is angry at the dad for being harsh, but is in total denial how angry they are at the mother for not stopping it, for being weak and not standing up for herself or her children.

            Your FIL has done many good deeds. There is a flip side to everything. My 1st h said to me (after I told him I knew he wouldn’t stop badgering me until I cried), “Connie, don’t you know that when I can make you sick or cry, that makes a man out of me?” When I was sick and weak, he would be the model husband – showing me that his ‘duh, I have no idea what you’re talking about’ was total fake. He knew exactly how he was hurting me. He couldn’t stand my strengths and enjoyed the attentions and sympathy of being a good guy and taking care of me when I was sick. Remember when Jesus said, “you did lots of good things in my name but I never knew you”?



          • Aly on January 1, 2018 at 2:47 pm

            Connie,

            I agree with you here and can relate much to that anger against the ‘supposed healthier mother figure’ that choose to continue to neglect/abandon the children… while covering up all corners of weakness, but claiming a twisted version of Christ’s strengths in submission. Which it isn’t.

            I do think this is where a chain in the dysfunction system can be broken.



          • Renee on January 1, 2018 at 9:38 pm

            Connie: but is in total denial how angry they are at the mother for not stopping it, for being weak and not standing up for herself or her children.

            I wrote about my daughter having a moment on one of the other posts. During that moment she said I’ve never seen you cry. I told her oh no, not true. I thought it was my job to be strong for them, to hide my emotions from them, to not fall apart in front of them. But when my daughter asked me that question, it made me wonder if hiding emotions until we are alone is a good thing.



          • Nancy on January 1, 2018 at 4:13 pm

            Your sense of humour is precious, Ruth😂

            My sense is that his need ( and maybe yours, too?) to see his father’s ‘good deeds’ is another form of resisting the bad feelings.

            In my own experience, it is only now – that I have really grieved ‘the mother I didn’t have’ – that I am experiencing some authentic feelings of appreciation for her. Before I faced, and forgave her, my ‘looking at the bright side’ was actually denial of the truth.

            One idea might be for him to look at the hopefortheheart.org website for material on forgiveness. This was VERY helpful for me because it outlines the steps involved. Before one forgives, one must face the offence and feel it. It’s a process. If your h is willing to walk through this, he might need to limit contact with his parents during this process.

            Forgiveness is not an option for Christians. This can be a very hard pill to swallow. Often though, it’s hard to swallow because we don’t actually know what forgiveness means, or what is involved in it. In my case ( and it sounds like your h is similar?) I likened not facing, or feeling the offence, to forgiveness.

            Denial isn’t forgiveness. It’s using a Christian word to run from Jesus! Amazing how proficient we can be at doing that, eh?

            Love the ‘dear future daughter in law letter’ idea! That would be so much fun to write ( and probably healing, too!)

            P.S. I read Hinds feet on High Places. When Much-Afraid is led up to High Places, at the very beginning of the journey The Shepherd tells her that although He will always come when she calls, He is giving her two companions to help her make the ascent. Much-Afraid is distraught to find out the names of her companions: Sorrow and Suffering. At the beginning she doesn’t even want to go near them, let alone hold their hands in precarious places. But soon learns that they are invaluable companions on her journey.

            ‘Getting real’ about our Sorrow and Suffering is not something that can be skipped over. It is essential to even begin the journey!

            I LOVED that book ❤️



          • Renee on January 1, 2018 at 9:11 pm

            I have a problem with my son. I preached the same message to him all last year. If you end up married, your wife will soon drop you back at home for being a spoiled brat.

            My son will have you cater to his every whim if not careful. Will you fix my snack? Will you put this in the kitchen or bedroom? I need some clothes washed? He will say, but I’m your only son with a smile to guilt me.

            So as I was reading “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by Lundy Bancroft I came across a section called, is immaturity the problem? I had my son take the test and he scored off the charts. So that is a goal of mine this year to try and un-spoil this boy of mine.



          • Nancy on January 2, 2018 at 3:21 am

            Hi Renee,

            Now that you are emotionally safe (physically separated), you will be able to let your feelings out in front of your children. This is a very healing experience ( not to lean on them emotionally, but to show them what it is to be human). Seeing their mom take hurt to The Lord is a healthy thing to witness.



      • JoAnn on January 3, 2018 at 11:07 am

        Nancy and Ruth have both talked about getting insights into why both they and their husbands act the way they do.The thing is, while the insights are helpful, if the wounds are not healed, nothing changes. The FOO wounds are deep and difficult to access. But here is a truth that I have learned: the pain in those wounds is caused by the lies that are embedded in those memories; believing, for example, “I am not safe” or “I don’t matter.” When we allow the Lord to come into those memories and speak His truth to replace the lie, then that wound is healed, permanently. This is why having an intimate relationship with the Lord is so important. When we can open our heart/mind to feel the pain and then invite the Lord in to speak truth, wonderful healing takes place. This process has been around for a long time: “inner healing prayer,” “transformational prayer” etc. Sometimes we can do this ourselves, or other times we need a facilitator, but the key is to let the Lord do His healing work in our innermost being. So, when the insight comes, ask yourself “what did I believe about myself because that happened?” That is when the real healing can take place.

        • Free on January 3, 2018 at 5:43 pm

          When we waste our time trying to figure them out they like. Any distraction away from what they are doing to YOU is a victory for them. If you figure out what they really think, you would be long gone.

  18. Renee on December 30, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Again he felt abandoned. That set up a strong need for connection.

    So Ruth, how do you handle that – his need for a strong connection? Do you have to constantly give in? I don’t really know your story.

    Please ignore my question if you don’t wish to respond.

    • Ruth on January 1, 2018 at 7:38 pm

      Renee, this has been a HUGE problem for us. My H feels connected and loved through physical affection.
      But any wife who’s been in a rough marriage knows the LAST thing you want to do when your husband’s been acting like an a**hole is have sex. Why a man can speak unappreciative, hateful, judgmental words over his wife WITHOUT an apology and THEN expect sex IS BEYOND my comprehension, yet this was my life for many years. Well, sometimes there’d be a pathetic apology that would still re-blame me anyway.
      He has come long way in understanding the BASIC cause and effect that his abusiveness has in destroying ANY sexual desire I may have.
      Sex for me became a big tangled mess. Back before I was trying to live in CORE, you know the life of living with an angry man – I knew that initiating sex would be my only ‘bargaining tool’ to postpone the inevitable blowup. I resented having to have sex. I hated it. I hated having to pretend to enjoy it – just for his ego’s sake all the while him thinking he’s some great lover. Gross. I’d rather be at the dentist.
      Plus, I have always had some physical pain off and on during sex. (I do let him know about the burning pain and he would be sympathetic about it which is ironic bc he’s normally not compassionate about my physical ailments.)
      Then there was the stupid pressure. If I didn’t achieve his desired benchmark of arousal, he’d drag the whole process out forever. Sometimes, I’d feel sorry for him and not want to disappoint him. Sometimes, I’d just be so tired that I could really CARE LESS
      which he really doesn’t understand.
      So, to keep him happy I began to fake about 50% of my ‘responses’ (trying not to be to crass).
      Then on top of resenting sex and dreading sex, I then began to feel like I wasn’t being true to myself and that my conscience was bothering me. Prior to marrying my H, I had never been dishonest about anything.
      Over the course of a year, my H and I had some counseling and about 3 ‘do-overs’ where each time he seemed to admit more and more fault. But, where he seemed to be making a tiny bit of progress, my trust in him and mental health actually was getting worse. He was never physically abusive. But in June, while he was very angry, he did a few things that scared me – like once during an argument, I had to use the bathroom. Then right as I started to come out of the bathroom, he began pounding on the bathroom door. I was startled. My heart raced. It felt like an attack on me. There was another incident similar to that where all my anxiety toward him flooded out. I could not contain it. I had PTSD symptoms from then on towards him. After that, physical intimacy was impossible for me without a panic attack.
      Ideally, I would have pursued personal counseling but I didn’t think financially we could afford it. But I have been more open with ‘wise others’ and I’ve sought the Lord more whole-heartedly and read very encouraging and edifying books. My H has been much less abusive been our June episode which is so refreshing. My H has become much more stable. I could actually stop fretting over ‘what kind of mood is he in?’ I can delight in the Lord! I know that it’s possible to love the Lord with all your heart in the throes of an abusive marriage, but I found it be to VERY difficult.
      My H still has a difficult time understanding why it’s taking me so long to heal to the point where I don’t struggle with anxiety during intimacy (or even intimate touch).
      Plus, he’s gets his feelings hurt too easily if I don’t respond in a positive manner to his physical advances. Remember, I’m committed to telling the truth. So when he asks “Did you like that?”
      I’m thinking ‘I was dry heaving but you didn’t notice.’
      So, the kindest way I can tell the truth is: “I’m sorry, but I’m just feeling kinda anxious today.”
      His reaction is to get very hurt and to withdraw. It makes me feel awful. Back in the old days, I would have lied: “Yeah, I loved it!” He would have been elated and the afternoon would have been saved. I would have felt like a phony.
      He has got to get emotionally secure enough to hear my HONEST OPINION. Like Leslie and the Cloud/Townsend folks says: your partner needs to respect your NO.
      Unfortunately, we’re not there yet. He just doesn’t rage as badly, but he still doesn’t RESPECT and HONOR my NO. I look forward to the day when it’s completely safe for me to NO without fearing his pout-a-thon or manipulation.

      In regards in healing my sexual issue, I’ve got a bad cocktail to overcome: naturally inhibited personality, painful intercourse, resentment issues, PTSD/anxiety issues that sometimes kick in a fight or flight response during sex, and shame issues from the many times I’ve felt objectified during sex and abandoned by God.
      But I keep lifting it up to God and telling Him, if He wants to save my marriage, please heal me in the area.
      I know I need to pray more for my husband but it’s difficult to even know how to direct my prayers.

      We are have just recently made some progress in the area of intimacy. And in my heart, back in the summer when all heck was breaking loose, I intuitively felt like sex wouldn’t feel ‘safe’ for at least 6 months. And we’re now at that time-mark.

      • Free on January 1, 2018 at 8:19 pm

        Oh Ruth, this is one of the saddest replies I have read. Please, please, respect yourself and get out of your twisted nightmare. You are a victim, so terribly abused and brutalized. Such, horror, such lies, the man wants to use you, not love and respect you. Is there anyway you can find the courage save yourself from this man? Please, run from the sexual masochist role you have been coerced into thinking you must endure.

        I pity you and am angered at the a**hole you have bonded your with. I fee like I just read the script of a deep dark psychological XXX horror flick. Be careful his kind go for the kids for their sexual gratification next, if it hasn’t already happened.

        • Nancy on January 1, 2018 at 9:03 pm

          Free,

          I feel that your response is disproprotionally dark.

          • Free on January 1, 2018 at 10:13 pm

            Oh, goodness. I never thought of it as dark. Just truthful. Some of us are out of the circumstances and can the ridiculousness of the living arrangements we tolerated prior to being released from the madness. Many who respond her are still enmeshed int eh madness. My aim to to speak the truth as one free from the terror. It is only that so many of us have rationalized the injustice that we don’t respond in a similar fashion. Sexual assault as described is a punishable offenses under the law let’s remember that.



          • Free on January 1, 2018 at 10:14 pm

            Oh, goodness. I never thought of it as dark. Just truthful. Some of us are out of the circumstances and can the ridiculousness of the living arrangements we tolerated prior to being released from the madness. Many who respond her are still enmeshed int eh madness. My aim to to speak the truth as one free from the terror. It is only that so many of us have rationalized the injustice that we don’t respond in a similar fashion. Sexual assault as described is a punishable offenses under the law let’s remember that.



          • Nancy on January 2, 2018 at 5:10 am

            The truth that both you and I speak Free, is clouded by our own perceptions, our experiences, our personalities, the kind of day we’ve had etc…. it’s subjective, not objective Truth. ( Now we see but a dim reflection….1 cor 13:12) We need to remember that none of us see clearly – especially when posts hit on our own tender experiences.

            We’re all just doing the best we can to find the support we need. This blog is a place where personally, I have been encouraged by woman who have not only broken free from destruction but are experiencing the resurrection Life that Christ intends. There are many, many stories here of healing and of Hope.



          • Free on January 2, 2018 at 5:48 am

            Nancy, to a lower post I would say, struggle or wallow? Over and over and over, spiritualizing and dissecting the obvious. It’s a new year, when will we say enough?



          • Nancy on January 2, 2018 at 9:08 am

            I’m sorry that you feel that this blog is that one-dimensional ‘over and over and over, spiritualizing and dissecting the obvious’.

            My experience is quite the opposite, I am so grateful to God for it, and the support from many lovely sisters here ❤️

            Yes. It is a New Year 🙂

            May 2018 be -for each of us here – filled with new revelations of Christ Himself, in our hearts.



          • Free on January 2, 2018 at 1:53 pm

            I don’t think the blog is one dimensional. Did I write that? Rather some posts reflect ruminating and wallowing rather than moving forward. I am trying not to enable wallowing. Of course we all have our own pace and style. I want healing, action and solutions not an opportunity to circle around the drain over and over. Each thought and style had value. This is my style and I like it.



          • Nancy on January 2, 2018 at 4:34 pm

            Your right, Free, you didn’t say it was one dimensional. I’m sorry for that generalization.

            It is one thing to not want to enable wallowing here, it is quite another to say that you pity someone, liken their story to a psychological horror, and then inject fear that her h may have pedophilic tendencies.



          • Free on January 2, 2018 at 6:49 pm

            No need for name calling or judgement Nancy. As you said you have your own filter.



          • Nancy on January 3, 2018 at 4:07 pm

            I did not call you any name Free, nor would I. I only listed what you wrote.



      • Renee on January 2, 2018 at 5:52 pm

        Ruth, I was lost for words last night and still now. I really don’t know how to respond or help care for you. I was thinking maybe you were not allowed alone time (trying to isolate). I read in your post, “he was never physically abusive.” You’ve endured enough.

        • Ruth on January 3, 2018 at 11:45 am

          thank you Renee.
          yup. that was raw.
          I haven’t been sharing the REALLY real stuff lately. just chiming in, bc, well the real stuff is ugly. But I love you ladies because you’re not fake. I’m just so glad for a place that’s ok to be real.
          you’re kind. you’re compassionate.
          you all are full of hurts, but even more full of love and wisdom.

      • Jolene on January 4, 2018 at 12:01 pm

        Ruth,

        I could have written your post.

        Did you know that sexual abuse can exist in a marriage? In Christian relationships, the coercion often goes along with spiritual abuse, “Your body is mine, and my body is yours…” Really? Then go mow the lawn, big guy. Yeah. Thought so.

        Lust, one of those seven deadly sins, can also exist in a marriage. And God HATES it. For a husband to lust after his wife, to objectify her, to disrespect her, make her feel unsafe, and to use her as a means to his pleasurable end…God hates that for us. And he is right there with us as its happening. He never leaves us.

        I, too, have PTSD from my husband’s sexual behavior. If I refuse him, it is a guaranteed rage where I am followed around the house being yelled at how “this marriage is a disaster”, “you are such a b-tch”, and many other abusive phrases, all for my children to hear from their beds. He has jimmied the lock on the bedroom door, then the subsequent bathroom door, to find me 9 months pregnant using the toilet,, because he had more to say face-to-face after I refused him sexually. I understand your reasons for giving in to his desires, and not wanting to go through that. I understand the dry heaves.

        Even during the tolerable days, I feel like a designated driver during sex. He is having all the fun, I get all the responsibility for getting him home safely without lifelong consequences.

        I was sexually abused as a child for many years. There is a part of my abdominal muscles that I cannot voluntarily activate, but at times when I have to have sex with him to keep the peace, these muscles activate as if trying to somehow lift my genitalia into my body for safe keeping. I got the same involuntarily feeling in these muscles when I was being sexually abused as a child. My body equates the two.

        I had an exit strategy that was dependent on help from my narcissistic mother, who passed away 3 weeks ago leaving all of the promised financial help to my Borderline sister. No mention of the divorce retainer, lawyer’s fee, or her car, and now no place to stay. It’s probably deliverance, really.. I am a stay at home mom, at his insistence of quitting my job because no one ever got a break because I worked weekends. Now I stay home and take care of the kids and his needs, while he sleeps and relaxes. No paycheck, of course. Just my allowance out of his personal bank account, when I am desperate enough to appeal for it. I am starting from square one again on my exit plan, and when I am able to return to work, I will have to start my career completely from scratch. I have lost 10 years of experience, 401K, salary, and raises. Please, so many of us want to leave and can’t because of finances. If I had the money, I would be gone. Ladies, don’t give up your job. Don’t be financially dependent on a man. I don’t care if it’s working one day a week in a fast food joint. Have some money for yourself, which will give you choices and freedom, should you ever need it.

        • Jolene on January 4, 2018 at 12:09 pm

          And in trying to empathize, I have regurgitated all my problems toward you, Ruth. I’m sorry. Please know I was only trying to validate your experience. You are not alone. I am in prayer for you!

          • Ruth on January 5, 2018 at 9:13 am

            Oh Jolene,
            That’s totally ok bc reading a similar story does trigger our hurts from the unhealed wounds.



        • Free on January 5, 2018 at 10:27 am

          I just wonder when we read something so horrible as Jolene’s situation, are the authorities alerted? Is there a process in which blog posts are screened and someone tries to contact the blogger and help me them?

          Jolene remember you can call the police about your repeated sexual assault. His behavior is against the law and warrants jail time. Gather information and record his tirades on your phone. There are lots of men just like him in jail. Why isn’t he there now so society and you are protected from this menace?

          • Jolene on January 10, 2018 at 7:04 am

            That’s a great idea. I haven’t recorded his antics yet. I should do that. I’m pretty sure it’s not admissible in court because he hasn’t consented to the recording, but it wouldn’t hurt to have. How do we define rape in a marriage? Does it have to be violent? I eventually “consent” because I don’t want my kids to be woken up with his tirade. But I would be perfectly fine without him every touching me ever again. My skin crawls. I just want to get away.



        • Ruth on January 5, 2018 at 10:37 am

          Jolene,
          That is terrible what happened with your mother.
          I am so sorry for the sexual abuse you suffered as a child. I wasn’t abused as a child, I was just naive sexually when I got married. But I believed the fairy tale the church was telling at the time to young people: “if you save yourself for marriage, then God will bless your marriage.”
          Well, that didn’t happen and now that I look at the Bible for myself, I see they had no scriptural references to back such promises up with. Jolene, I am impressed that you’ve kept your faith with all the tragedies you’ve suffered.
          I never turned away from God, but I have struggled with my faith bc of the spiritual abuse. I also struggle with issues of condemnation, self hatred, and rejection.
          I feel like God is walking me out of a black valley. It is so tragic that abuse can cause you to question God’s Love.
          God led me to read the book “Mending the Soul “ by Stephen Tracy. Through reading that book is God revealed to me how scarred my heart was and how I cowered before Him. I had thought since God did not quickly stop my H’s abuse that God did not care as much about me or my suffering as God cared about other people. I had felt like I was expendable. I felt like a sexual object given to keep my H satisfied – without regard for my destruction. SLOWLY, God is replacing that mindset of mine with His true love.
          That mindset was very painful and it ran deep so it’s not leaving easily. 😞

          • Jolene on January 10, 2018 at 7:13 am

            Strangely, all of this happening with my husband is what brought me TO God. And I have an unwavering faith. I can’t imagine anything that could ever take it away. Sometimes I have to imagine the Holy Spirit laying in bed next to us, and angels all around protecting me. And I absolutely live for judgment day, when God will serve His justice. God will see that he pays for how he treats me. I don’t even have to bother with any kind of vengeance.

            I, too, have struggled with feelings of hate, condemnation, and rejection. The kindest thing that anyone has ever done to me during this time, was when my counselor sat across from me and read Psalm 139 to me in its entirety. Please do this for yourself in front of a mirror today, from me. Our Father loves us, he knows how we are suffering, and he tells us he has plans for our future. I hold this in my heart. He will never leave us, and he values us so much that earthly rejection is meaningless. I don’t know why we walk this path, but we don’t do it alone.

            Psalm 139
            1 You have searched me, Lord,
            and you know me.
            2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
            you perceive my thoughts from afar.
            3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
            4 Before a word is on my tongue
            you, Lord, know it completely.
            5 You hem me in behind and before,
            and you lay your hand upon me.
            6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
            too lofty for me to attain.
            7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
            Where can I flee from your presence?
            8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
            if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
            9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
            if I settle on the far side of the sea,
            10 even there your hand will guide me,
            your right hand will hold me fast.
            11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
            and the light become night around me,”
            12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
            the night will shine like the day,
            for darkness is as light to you.
            13 For you created my inmost being;
            you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
            14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
            your works are wonderful,
            I know that full well.
            15 My frame was not hidden from you
            when I was made in the secret place,
            when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
            16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
            all the days ordained for me were written in your book
            before one of them came to be.
            17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
            How vast is the sum of them!
            18 Were I to count them,
            they would outnumber the grains of sand—
            when I awake, I am still with you.
            19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
            Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
            20 They speak of you with evil intent;
            your adversaries misuse your name.
            21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
            and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
            22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
            I count them my enemies.
            23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
            test me and know my anxious thoughts.
            24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
            and lead me in the way everlasting.



      • Seeing the Light on January 5, 2018 at 12:17 am

        I don’t even know how to put this, but there is something very wrong and “off” about husbands feeling connection and love through sexual contact when there is abuse or manipulation or when the wife is in a completely different place. I know often the terms physical intimacy or affection or some such nicer sounding thing is used, but that could mean a hug or snuggling or other affectionate contact. What I am hearing is that they mean sexual contact. My own husband – who displayed almost no emotion, no connection, no heart for decades – once I put distance between us and separated (but still in the same house) then talked about equating sex with emotional connection. He actually told me that for him our sexual interaction was where he experienced emotional connection. He experienced something that pleased him, but I can guarantee you he was not connecting with ME. This is a serious problem if they claim to be connecting. Perhaps they are emotionally pleased at that moment, but I don’t think they (abusive husbands) are actually experiencing connection with us through sex – they are substituting sex for connection and calling it connection. There can be no real intimacy of heart when we are feeling violated, disgusted, shamed or, as in my case, lying there with tears silently flowing down the sides of one’s face, while they roll over and fall fast asleep. It’s absurd.

        Ruth, I think there is something just really deeply “off” going on here. The way you have described your husband’s reaction to your honesty about sexual things is creepy. He sounds completely and entirely manipulative or selfish to a pathological degree. If one were to give him the benefit of the doubt as to his motives and weakness, I can only say that he is so mentally unwell that I would question whether he has the capacity to marry – as in a reasonable judgment that he lacks the necessary mental and emotional ability to enter into such a contract and covenant.

        • Ruth on January 5, 2018 at 9:00 am

          Seeing the Light,
          You’re right. My husband would benefit greatly from seeing a personal counselor would seriously challenge his selfish ways. But this counselor would have to be able to see through my H’s charming facade. H can really become instant buddies with anyone.
          Seeing The Light, I am so sorry you were abused as a child. AND you say your mother was narcissistic, you’ve suffered abuse , at every turn 😢
          My heart goes out to you.
          You read my description of my H and it gave you that creepy vibe – I was trying not to exaggerate, but to tell how the marriage felt from my point of view. Here’s the ironic thing, if my H were to read my posts
          on a good day he’d hold his tongue bc sometimes he’s actually not being abusiive, but when he responds in his old, default abusive self here’s how he would react to reading my posts about him:
          1. He would say I totally misjudged him.
          2. He would say If I was that miserable, that I should tell him.
          But if I complain, there’ll be Hell to pay, so why bother? 🤷‍♀️BTDT.
          3. He would get angry at my FALSE accusations and tell me all the GOOD THINGS he does that makes him a GREAT HUSBAND no matter what I say!
          4. He’d finish up by telling me how terrible I am and make threats of abandonment against me and how God is against me.

          Sorry if there’s a bunch of typos

          • Ruth on January 5, 2018 at 9:08 am

            Oops, Seeing the Light I mixed up Jolene’s testimony of abuse with your Post.
            Sorry



          • Free on January 5, 2018 at 10:13 am

            His responses are called justification. Is his vascilation ok with you? Can one be kind of an abuser? A little salt ruins the whole batter. I am glad you can recognize his rouse.



          • Aly on January 5, 2018 at 11:27 am

            Ruth,

            I think you wrote out some important thoughts.
            I hope that individual counseling you will continue to seek out because your worth it!
            Remember counseling doesn’t replace other support places.

            Recovery work and healing is multifaceted.

            Your husband’s counselor as you said would have to be very good at seeing through his manipulations. I would highly recommend you ask for a release from the counselor so on occasion the counselor can hear your point of view, privately.

            Which by the way your point of view ‘MATTERS’!

            You wrote:
            “Here’s the ironic thing, if my H were to read my posts
            on a good day he’d hold his tongue bc sometimes he’s actually not being abusiive, but when he responds in his old, default abusive self here’s how he would react to reading my posts about him”

            Holding one’s tongue does not make them ‘not being abusive’ infact many abusers ~ will first abuse in their Thought Patterns.
            So just because he doesn’t say anything ~ doesn’t mean he isn’t saying ‘abusive things to himself about you’ which usually will find its way out of his mouth or behaviors eventually. Contempt and resentment start somewhere.

            Those abusive comments that you listed are to break you down and not want to challenge his behavior and his need for serious help. Interventions immediately!

            We all have good and bad and it’s imp to integrate these, but what do we do when someone as sacred as our spouse has a complaint or huge grievance against us?
            Your husband’s offenses are not small or minor.

            Abusive men that lack worth and value will often deflect and deny the offense~ which is abandoning in and of itself.

            Your #4 is what greatly concerns me and tells me that your husband understands your ‘fears’ and chooses to abuse them rather than help you with them. That is not the behavior of a friend, let alone a sacred partner.
            None of us want to experience abandonment.
            Many who are in destructive marriages don’t realize just how abandoned they have been and just how much they have survived it.

            Our True Father~ never abandons us! In fact he rescues us and gives us the strength to work through the pain of abandonment. He equips us with courage and truth that sets us free.
            Often that truth leads to new choices and decisions about our own self care and protecting our hearts as we continue to grow emotionally and spiritually.

            I’m praying for you Ruth💕



        • Jolene on January 10, 2018 at 7:24 am

          Seeing the Light,

          I agree wholeheartedly with your thought that something is wrong with men who connect emotionally through sexual behavior when their wives are resistant. Perhaps it’s a power trip, an oxytocin release, or some other factor, but it isn’t mutual connection. If anything, when this is happening to me, all I can think of is wanting to disconnect and get AWAY. I suspect my husband is bipolar (his mom, dad, and sister have it, as does his grandmother), so for him, hypersexuality could be a symptom of mental illness. I also look to the possibility that there is some type of evil that infiltrates them in those moments, at least in my husband. I see a lot of evil in him, the closer I am to God. He has a completely different set of morals and ethics he lives by, as he proclaims he was raised in the church. I’d never have known it from his behavior, and certainly not from his treatment of me.

    • Free on January 2, 2018 at 5:43 am

      Is that statement that he feels abandoned your problem? Let him wrestle with it. The roots of that feeling came long before he ever met you.

      • Ruth on January 3, 2018 at 10:08 am

        Free,
        Your words from a post above: “when is Enough, enough” have been going over and over my mind.
        I am torn.
        I am torn between wanting OUT with a weariness that says: “I’m done” and between a fear that if I leave, that i’ll regret it.
        I think the best thing for me to do is to say it’s imperative for my mental health to get personal counseling.

        • Aly on January 3, 2018 at 11:15 am

          Ruth,

          I think that sounds very wise.
          I also believe it’s very acceptable to REQUIRE your husband to also get intensive individual counseling and many other accountabilities to do his ‘own work’. If he chooses to not, then I think you have a glimpse of what could not be regret down the road but a glimpse of more of the same ‘maybe different versions here and there’ but without transforming heart change that’s committed to growth, often those old dance partners want to dance to their old tune.

          I might not be very popular to suggest the word require because it can sound like making someone ‘change’ but to require someone get the necessary help in order to be in any form of a relational dynamic given what you have spoke about your situation and his abuses & betrayals of not being a safe partner is….offering hope, love and an invitation to healing and health.

          Prayers and hugs for your journey💜

          • Nancy on January 3, 2018 at 3:58 pm

            I totally agree with you, Aly, on the requirement.

            An h’s response to his wife asking that he be responsible for his own wounds (by seeking individual counselling and perhaps an accountability group) will give the wife a good glimpse into the future.



          • Free on January 3, 2018 at 5:48 pm

            I think it is wishful thinking to think we can require our husbands to do anything. That is the fallacy that keeps many of us stuck. Most abusers who want to change don’t need their wives to do it. The requirements are just another exciting challenge in his game for power and control. Now if we are talking about a difficult marriage, there is more give. Not a chance in the destructive relationship.



          • Nancy on January 4, 2018 at 7:14 pm

            Destructive marriages vary tremendously. Leslie’s book is fantastic because it walks us through a process. Boundaries and requirements are a critical part of that process.



        • Free on January 3, 2018 at 5:39 pm

          Have you read a single post from anyone who regretted leaving? It humbles me that my words impacted you. I am just on this journey too. The only difference is that I am free and the scales have lifted from my eyes. As someone wrote on this blog, my abuser is no longer “stirring my brain” any more.

          • Nancy on January 3, 2018 at 6:30 pm

            I can’t think of one post of anyone who has left ( or separated), who ended up regretting it.

            This is a good point.



    • Free on January 2, 2018 at 2:06 pm

      Or an excuse to have his own pity party and be the focus of every emotional discussion.

    • JoAnn on January 3, 2018 at 11:11 am

      The “strong connection” that will heal the pain of abandonment is a connection to the God of love. When we look to people to fill that void, it puts a heavy burden on the one who is asked to fill it, and it misses the reality of God’s purpose: that He wants to fill those voids in our hearts.

      • Ruth on January 3, 2018 at 12:24 pm

        Free and JoAnn,
        you are both right.
        My husband has almost a ‘sinners falling into the hands of an angry God’ theology. I didn’t realize this about him when I married him [and obviously alot of other deal-breakers].
        These are verses that he needs revelation on:
        1 John 4:13-19
        13 By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, bc He has given us of his Spirit.
        15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
        16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God and God abides in him.
        17 By this is love perfected with us that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, bc as he is so also are we in this world.
        18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
        19 We love bc He first loved us.

        I can’t be the person to explain this to my H. There’s too much fear and torment in his theology therefore, he’s not been made perfect in love. I am saying I’ve been made perfect in love either, but I am fairly open to correction.

        Here’s another Scripture I believe the Lord gave me in regards to understand my H. It would apply to most men that are in church leadership who spiritually abuse their wives. [my H is not in church leadership – I just mentioned that in case it was validating to anyone else reading who was ever abused by a pastor]
        Luke 9:51-55 World English Bible
        51 It came to pass, when the days were near that he should be taken up, he intently set his face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before his face. They went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, so as to prepare for him. 53 They didn’t receive him, because he was traveling with his face set towards Jerusalem. 54 When his disciples, James and John, saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from the sky, and destroy them, just as Elijah did?”
        **55 But he turned and rebuked them, “You don’t know of what kind of spirit you are.

        • Ruth on January 3, 2018 at 12:27 pm

          oops- meant to say I’ve not been totally been made perfect in love either.

  19. Renee on December 31, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    I wonder how the husband should handle this credit card business. Yes, the wife may have gotten the credit card with the intent of separating.

    If it was for that reason, should he help pay? On the other hand, if the debt was created for any other reason, should he help pay off that debt if they agreed no more debt?

    In my mind, I would want my husband to handle that debt if he went and created the debt after we had agreed no more debt. That’s considering he did not get the card with the intent to separate.

    • Roxanne on January 1, 2018 at 4:11 pm

      The problem is because you are married it is both of your debt. You can get legally separated to prevent further debt issues, but any debt while married is both of your. In the US you can draw up a legal document that decrees you will not be held for your husband’s debt going forward. The court will honor that motion, but not all creditors will. It is a start anyway. Mean what you say and take action to end financial abuse.

      • Renee on January 2, 2018 at 7:08 pm

        Thanks Roxanne for responding.

        I still would find this upsetting if my spouse was continuing to create debt after agreeing not to.

        So if I were to say no honey not this time you’ll have to pay this card off, then some resentment may come about.

  20. Hope on January 1, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    I’ve enjoyed reading all your invaluable insights, wisdom and experiences, thank you.

    I’m new to here and looking for godly advice on how to separate from my husband. His emotional abuse and controlling has gone on for several years now and made me physically sick. Last night (New Years) he disappeared to a woman’s house for dinner. He just did it out of spite/attention as he’s not a womaniser. I spent hours looking for him, then found the message on his open Facebook page and saw that he had planned it at midday. He came home at 1am indignant saying he’d been praying. He had – for the last hour only. Just so sick of his pathological lies. He’s a narcissist, a projector, arch manipulator, undealt-with abandonment trauma and unrepentant in his sin and the likelihood of change is slim as he’s been getting worse. He has zero emotional intelligence and is a v angry person with a chauvinistic upbringing. He believes women should submit no matter what. He convinced me for the longest time that I would go to hell is we split up.

    I’ve been going through full-blown grief ever since. We need to separate today before things blow up more but there’s not the money to do it, and nowhere to go. I’ve asked to look and so will I as one of us needs to find a temp place, but he just got aggressive. He is in my country and is dependent on me, i.e has given me the responsibility of doing everything for him. I’ve been waiting for a financial miracle to leave but right now I have the motivation but no-one and nothing to help me do it. Welcome your wisdom!

    • Aly on January 1, 2018 at 3:16 pm

      Hope, Renee

      I’m so very sorry for what is taking place. I think Renee asked some really important questions. I also think Safety is your first step.
      The aggressive comment concerns me and it’s well documented that when the abuser is seeing ‘he can’t control ~ things get more dangerous and you need safety.

      Renee, did you recently separate? It’s seems like you have from what I have read on your posts but don’t want to misquote you.

      • Hope on January 1, 2018 at 3:39 pm

        Thank you Aly. Yes, he isn’t physical but does things like soak the bed, and I think this kind of situation could go up in any moment. The reality is though that leaving requires money. I just want to be strong enough to do this!

        • Aly on January 1, 2018 at 3:44 pm

          Hope,

          Soak the Bed?
          I’m confused but this sounds very hostile. I have no idea what this means…..
          You do need to seek immediate interventions for safety. Did you look at the link that Renee sent?

          • Nancy on January 1, 2018 at 4:26 pm

            Welcome Hope,

            I too see cause for alarm. I also agree that behaviours say a lot more about a person’s relationship with The Lord, than their words.

            Please make safety your priority!



          • Hope on January 2, 2018 at 8:33 am

            Thanks. Yes, it’s certainly not normal behaviour. Because he can’t hit me, to punish/control me he throws water at me, or throws all the bedding in the shower. When he’s really lost it he pours water over the bed. (We live in one room so basically it’s flooded). I have ltd strength and have had to pick my battles carefully, but for now I basically avoid anything that would cause that as I’m at the end of my tether and without the financial resources to act.



          • Aly on January 2, 2018 at 10:06 am

            Hope,

            You may have to go to a shelter to get safety. Your post is so sad and I’m so sorry for what you are going through. This is not a safe environment no matter how you reason it…the behavior is hostile and will only escalate. I fear for your safety.
            How long have you been trying to get resources together so that you can make other steps?

            We tell ourselves a lot of things in order to survive, and Yes Hope~ you are a survivor! Survivors have choices to take action on.

            To say he can’t hit you is just about as low of a standard to give and I want you to know that the abuse he is actively committing against you is very serious, even what he did on NYE. It’s traumatic and you are deserving of some good care for your safety and your heart💜
            This is all about control as I think you know based on your ability to see him and his behavior.
            Do you have others in your circle for any support?
            Most shelters also offer counseling and strategies to remove yourself from this harm.

            Praying for you and your healing🌸



      • Renee on January 1, 2018 at 9:46 pm

        Hi Aly. Yes, we did the in house separation starting July of last year. However, by the end of November, we physically separated (two different homes).

  21. Renee on January 1, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    What do you mean he got aggressive? Do you mean he has gotten physical?

    You said, “He is in my country.” Can you share? That may help others that will come along because the laws may be different?

    You said: He convinced me for the longest time that I would go to hell is we split up. So does he think he’s going to heaven? Every one talking about heaven is not going.

    You said dear sister: I spent hours looking for him. My question is why? Let him go!

    Hugs to your Hope for reaching out!

  22. Hope on January 1, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Hi Renee,

    Thanks for your response and qs.

    He was verbally aggressive. He was also sweet, trying to poke me, and then insulting, all attempts to manipulate.

    He is from a chauvinistic country where women are subservient. We’re in the UK where he’s able to work but won’t.

    He thinks he’s going to heaven most definitely. Although he has not been doing God’s will, in his innermost self he has a heart 100% for God, and for discipline which he takes to extremes.

    I spent hours looking for him because it was NYE. Usually when he disappears I’m just happy to have the space if I’m really honest.

    Much love!

    • Aly on January 1, 2018 at 3:21 pm

      Hope,

      You wrote:
      “He thinks he’s going to heaven most definitely. Although he has not been doing God’s will, in his innermost self he has a heart 100% for God, and for discipline which he takes to extremes.”

      I don’t think him going to heaven is the issue at hand here. Your comment above about him being 100% for God is contradictory to his behaviors so I worry that this is wishful thinking. I dont mean this harsh. But the evidence isn’t there.

      • Hope on January 1, 2018 at 3:41 pm

        No, his behaviour isn’t, I just mean he loves God and that is his prevailing default tendency.

        • Roxanne on January 1, 2018 at 4:02 pm

          People who love God act differently. He may like identifying with God’s power and assigning the concept of forgiveness or s chosen person to himself, but he doesn’t love God.

        • Renee on January 1, 2018 at 10:07 pm

          [I just mean he loves God]

          Um just NO as my kids like to say.

    • Renee on January 1, 2018 at 8:50 pm

      You said: He was verbally aggressive. [He was also sweet, trying to poke me], and then insulting, all attempts to manipulate.

      Your remark in the bracket is totally confusing. Aggression and sweet do not go together. Do you mean he tried to make you forget about what just happened by being sweet a few minutes or hours later?

      • Hope on January 2, 2018 at 8:46 am

        I mean he’s off his trolley. If speaking sweetly doesn’t get me round, then he prods me to get a reaction, then finally he reverts to shouting.

        He’s emotionally abusive, period. He loves God essentially but is sinning. He can’t be boxed or labelled, he’s unique and creative in his abuse. There’s no point even analyzing it because I’ve done it death and it’s just led me here. He;s just abusive and I can’t take it. He won’t change because he doesn’t even see it. He won’t even accept we’re separating.

        What I need is a plan to get away from him asap, keep my sanity/start building a new life meanwhile and not lose that resolve while I’m plotting.

        • Hope on January 2, 2018 at 9:02 am

          And most of all I want it to be a God-ordained plan, not one done in anger or disobedience. And that’s hard knowing that God doesn’t support divorce under these circumstances.

          • Aly on January 2, 2018 at 10:27 am

            Hope,

            I’m wondering a lot about those comments you posted on anger, disobedience and God not supporting divorce.
            Have you read 1Timothy 5:8?

            A lot of what we tolerate is tied into what our beliefs have been rooted in. Not always, but sometimes. Not saying all our beliefs are correct or accurate. Sometimes they do need to be looked at and analyzed to see if they do align with the Lords love of His own✝️



        • Aly on January 2, 2018 at 10:44 am

          Hope,

          You wrote:
          “He loves God essentially but is sinning.”

          What evidence do you have that says he is a God lover? He certainly doesn’t have God as an authority based on what you have described in his behavior.
          Many love God and sin.. including myself here.

          Sinning and breaking a marital covenant is what’s at hand here.
          Abandonment & betrayal is covenant breaking.
          You are right you need to be wise, but you also need some immediate help to secure safety.

  23. Renee on January 1, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    I apologize that it’s taking some time for others to chime in. However, it is the beginning of a new year. I know they will come.

    In the mean time, some additional questions: Is it just you and your husband? Have the authorities ever been involved? Have you called the shelters?

    I apologize but I have to run now as well. Tomorrow will be back to work, back to homeschool for the teens, plus hopefully my daughter will be starting work in a few weeks.

    In the meantime, see if any of the resources listed on this page can help. You will need a safety plan.

    https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/homelessness/your_situation/domestic_abuse

    • Hope on January 1, 2018 at 3:46 pm

      Renee, thanks for your message. No problems, I have bad timing with my little crisis. The truth is I don’t have the funds to leave today and it’s cold outside.

      It’s just us two. The authorities have never been involved, and I wouldn’t involve them unless he touched me. I was in contact with shelters before, not for this but because I was nearly homeless before as I didn’t have a deposit. It would be my least favourite option as I want to go somewhere where I can lick my wounds and nurture myself, and I don’t want to report him for abuse, whatever happens. Thanks for the resource, I’m working on a plan.

      love, Hope

      • Roxanne on January 1, 2018 at 4:06 pm

        Can you get airfare together and send him back to his own country? Tell him you will go too and then leave him at the departure gate after security.

        • Hope on January 2, 2018 at 8:54 am

          Thanks Roxanne. Have thought about that very thing! It would have to be that way, otherwise he wouldn’t get on the plane! Unfortunately, he can’t go back now/yet for reasons I won’t go into but there’s a cost attached to removing those reasons – about $10k. Would be such a dream if he could!!

          The problem always goes back to finances. And because of this abusive atmosphere and my resulting stress I’m trapped at home and have been unable to get a job or have the creativity to get our business going, despite working day and night trying. He can work now but is waiting for me to find him a job. For me right now, money really would equal freedom, but he’s like a boulder tied around my neck. I’m treading water and he’s pulling me under.

          • Roxanne on January 2, 2018 at 10:05 am

            I agree that you are in an extremely difficult situation. As tempting as it is to isolate ones self the cure lies in finding trusted others. Those get out of such horrible situations do so with the combined strength of others. It is difficult to discern who to trust with this information.



      • Renee on January 1, 2018 at 10:32 pm

        Hope, nothing about what you’ve posted is little.

        [He just did it out of spite/attention as he’s not a womaniser.] This also is not a little crisis. So what if it is only one? He is seeking comfort elsewhere.

        Amazing grace! how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch; like me! I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see. {lyrics from Amazing Grace]

        I hope you’ll see your crisis is not little.

        • Hope on January 2, 2018 at 8:59 am

          You’re right, none of this is little, it was just a turn of phrase.

          What I meant was he went to avoid me/coming home to eat and get some positive attention as he feels so crap, He didn’t have sex, nor has he with anyone else, it’s not his motive (I did say he was a strange one!) 100% sure on that one.

          Def in need of some amazing grace!

      • K on January 2, 2018 at 3:14 pm

        Hello, Hope

        I’m so glad you have found your way to Leslie’s website, and these conversations! Praying you will be strengthened and blessed by the wisdom and care that you have found here from so many women who understand, and trust the Lord with you.

        Reading through the BBC site this weekend, I discovered some information that you may find helpful as a woman living in the UK. Use the search term “Coercive and Controlling Behaviour” — it will pull up print & multimedia information for you that are directly related to the things you have been sharing. New laws are coming into effect in your country, i think as of the 1st of this year, and police are currently being trained to understand the signs & effects of coercive & controlling behaviours (what we in North America would identify as emotional & verbal abuse). BBC also included a lengthly list of active resources that you may find helpful.

        Perhaps you already knew all this, but it seemed wise to pass it along!! Praying for you.
        K

        • Free on January 2, 2018 at 3:59 pm

          Excellent post! Yes, coersive control is the term to use.

  24. Roxanne on January 1, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    The problem is because you are married it is both of your debt. You can get legally separated to prevent further debt issues, but any debt while married is both of your. In the US you can draw up a legal document that decrees you will not be held for your husband’s debt going forward. The court will honor that motion, but not all creditors will. It is a start anyway. Mean what you say and take action to end financial abuse.

    • Hope on January 2, 2018 at 8:27 am

      Thanks Roxanne. That’s an interesting thought. The debt is all in my name but that could be an option as you say. He’s not silly enough to put anything in his name and isn’t eligible for credit at this stage but when we separate I’ll put that on the list – thank you!

  25. Ruth on January 1, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    Free, I am sorry. I should have put a trigger warning on my post. For anyone who’s had a history similar to mine, that’s a very traumatic read. 😞
    We didn’t have sex for a month after the big blowup in June. It’s not been on a very frequent basis at all since then.

    Free, I see now he was terrible and I can’t believe what I stayed through, but he is starting to show patience and self control. He hasn’t raged or badgered me in this 6 month period.
    I pray I’m not on here a year from saying ‘He’s gone crazy again. I wasted all that time trying to save my marriage for NOTHING. I wish I had pursued a divorce earlier.’
    I just don’t feel God leading to divorce now. I wish God would give me a promise that it we will live ‘happily ever after’, but God rarely tells us but one step of His plan at a time.
    Free, I appreciate your compassion and I’m sorry for the history you must have that unfortunately triggers you bc it felt so familiar to the ugliness of my story 😞.

    • Free on January 1, 2018 at 11:10 pm

      Please don’t say you are sorry. It is YOU I am worried about. I can only hope you don’t need this blog in a year.

      It would be interesting to hear testimonials from those who can report that they no longer experience abuse in their marriages. It would be encouraging to hear from those whose destructive marriages were transformed into everything God designed in complete love and humility.

      That might be a great blog post. I don’t know of any reports of changed behavior that lasted more than a few months. Then again, we victims don’t change our behavior much either. We hope and pray and endure our burden with new resolve.

      I understand you saying that you don’t think God is leading you out of your destructive marriage. What would it look like if he was?

  26. Free on January 2, 2018 at 5:58 am

    I would like to comment on “un-spoiling” the boy. Is it possible that rather than being spoiled the boy has grown up to incorporate and internalize his father’s values? Has he learned to be entitled? Does he see woman as subservient? If, so you know your action plan, but little will change without a male influence. He too will need detoxification from false rhetoric and then both accountability and proper behavior modeling to change. Immaturity may be the least of his problems. If only it was that easy.

    • Aly on January 2, 2018 at 10:54 am

      Free,

      All of what you wrote is critical from going from an immature ‘functioning’ to a mature response and interactions with others.
      Men ‘in recovery’ go through this process with many types of professional interventions.
      Often it’s a type of re-parenting to simply.
      I don’t know the age of Renee’s son but I’m wondering if this is what she was meaning to describe.
      There are many facets to undoing ~ bad behavior that’s been rewarded ‘not always consciously’.
      I totally agree with the critical healthy & mature Christlike male modeling you spoke of! It’s key.

      • Renee on January 2, 2018 at 6:37 pm

        Aly my son made 15 last month

        Free, the things I speak of he did not get from his father. I’ll give hubby his due. His father helped run the ship when it came to responsibility. He was not afraid of a mop, laundry, dishes, diapers, etc. (cleaning) He did not cook much in the kitchen but grilled for us often and would come help if he thought I was getting overwhelmed. He helped financially care for us. Never went without a job and we did many self-employment endeavors together. He kept our vehicles well cared for most times by hand and other times by getting them to the shop. He helped care for my parents, his parents/grandparent. Would step up if any of us got sick.

        Now the part I was speaking of with my son. I believe it’s a rebellion thing he is trying to ride all the way to the bank. In the book it had questions like does he leave messes for others to clean up, does he wine when you ask him to meet his responsibilities, does he want others to do his laundry?

        Did you brush your teeth? Why I can’t just brush my teeth ….
        It’s time for school, get up. Why I got to get up so early….
        It’s time for bed. I’m 14/15 years old and you still trying to tell me when to….
        Come back here and hang up your clothes. Why you can’t just….
        Your turn to take out the trash, put up the dishes. I wish …….

        His counselor had us setup a chore chart (before dad left). Informed him that as long as he did what he said he could handle on his own then we (the parents) would not bug him. Well, that did not work. Wasted ink.

        Now he will go ahead and do those things but he still has to let you know how he feels.

        • K on January 2, 2018 at 7:00 pm

          Hi, Renee

          Your description sounds like the exchanges between SO MANY parents and teens!! Rebellion, even in the weird things like brushing teeth, may just be part of the growing up experience.

          So, you need to give yourself some space, a bit of a break from having to be the ‘reminder’ all the time. Something you might find helpful is to separate in your head those things that are ‘absolute essentials’ (ie health & safety of all who live under this roof) from things that are only impacting your son. For instance, not letting him play with draino is an absolute essential, that impacts everyone in the home. However, his lack of tooth brushing isn’t an absolute essential impacting the health & safety of everyone else. At 15 yrs old, sonshine knows everything he’ll ever need to know about how to pick up a toothbrush, put the paste on it, put it in his mouth……you get the picture. He also knows about cavities, and bits of stuff stuck between his teeth, and bad breath. And he knows how to prevent them. He just doesn’t want to. So, ok, leave it to him!!!. You’ll still have a clean cavity free mouth because you choose to look after your individual oral hygiene. Not mentioning his leaves him nothing to protest in that regard. And the friends & classmates will let him know soon enough if he stinks!!!!! If he sleeps in and misses school, let him be confronted with the realities of missing the bus, late passes, unsympathetic teachers………. If he doesn’t do his own laundry, or participate in the shared chores with everyone, he’ll be the guy having to content with no clean boxers & stinky gym clothes. Again…..the friends will let him know…..you won’t have to! By the sounds of things, you are ‘overparenting’ a young person who is no longer a little child, and is a bit beyond the need for it. This is such a common thing between parents & teens (can you tell I work with families). :c)

          I hope this is helpful!!!

        • Connie on January 2, 2018 at 7:13 pm

          I raised a bunch of children (10 plus foster and daycare). What I learned was that when they are teens, don’t remind, don’t nag, but there HAVE to be consequences that hurt. We home-schooled. My daughter, at 16, just dawdled away her time. One day I gave her a sheet with everything on it that she had to do to graduate. I said, “You know, I don’t mind having you around, so if this takes you till you’re 30 to get done, that’s just fine with me, but you don’t get to leave home until it’s done. It was done in less than a year. 🙂 Things left lying around went in a box. They either had to buy it back or it went to the thrift store. Bed not made? Mom says, “I’m sorry you don’t seem to know how to do that. I will go with you and give you a lesson.” Or, “If I have to do your chores, you pay me for my time out of your allowance.” Read Proverbs, it will back up what I said. Even the little ones I baby-sat got it figured out fast. I had a 6 year-old for a while. A new 5 year-old came and started whining a bit. The first one whispered, “You don’t get ANYTHING around here with whining.” I just ignored whining (but made very sure to pay attention when they spoke respectfully). Dr. Phil always says, “Don’t ever reward bad behaviour.” You have to be creative, but I always say the teen years were the best. I enjoyed them so much at that age. I miss them a lot.

          • Renee on January 2, 2018 at 8:03 pm

            K and Connie. Thanks so much!

            This is causing me a bit of anxiety. However, I am going to take and follow your advice. I pray this will make things better for us both.

            Thanks again!



          • Ruth on January 3, 2018 at 10:15 am

            Connie,
            you are awesome! You need to come to my house!



        • JoAnn on January 3, 2018 at 4:00 pm

          Teen behaviors need consequences. For example, clothes left on the floor get tossed into the trash; trash not taken out gets left on the teen’s bed; teeth not brushed? you get to pay your own dental bills, do your own laundry or wear dirty clothes, etc. You don’t have to nag, and neither do you have to listen to whining: make a consequence for that, too. Kids need boundaries and consequences; that’s what discipline is. Not punishment….consequences.

          • JoAnn on January 3, 2018 at 4:07 pm

            I agree 100% with K and Connie. Voices of experience. Eventually, managing money has to be part of it, too. When my kids were teens, I gave them a clothing allowance each semester and summer. They had to make the most use of the money. The first time, my daughter spent the whole wad on two garments; the next time she went to the discount store, and came home with an armful. 🙂



    • Renee on January 2, 2018 at 7:00 pm

      but little will change without a male influence

      I wonder if all the single moms of the world had/required male influence to raise honorable sons?

      I don’t know if that is true.

      • Maria on January 2, 2018 at 7:34 pm

        Nancy,

        I have a question about the ‘Silence, Stillness & Centering before God’ in the EHS devotional. Is it being silent and focusing on God? Could you please explain?

        (Sorry for posting here. I know it’s off topic).

        • Nancy on January 3, 2018 at 9:00 am

          Hi Maria,

          The 2 minutes of Silence and Stillness before God at the beginning and end of each devotional is KEY to the ‘spirituality’ part of the course.

          Put simply it is ‘practicing the presence of God’ or just being with Him. A relationship is two-way. Prayer is us talking to Him, this is us RECIEVING from Him. It’s opening our hearts to Him, to allow Him to love on us. It’s really beautiful.

          The average person can do this for about 15 seconds so don’t give up if it’s hard – you are not alone.

          Here’s a few steps before each office:

          -Sit down, take a few deep breaths to settle into silence
          – Choise a simple prayer to express openess and desire for God ( Abba Father, Holy Spirit, I am here, Lord)
          – Close your eyes and offer this prayer to Jesus allowing Hisvwill and live full access to your life.
          – When you become distracted, offer again your simple prayer back to God.

          The goal of doing offices throughout the day is to ABIDE in Him.

      • JoAnn on January 3, 2018 at 4:11 pm

        Ben Carson’s mother had to hold down two or three jobs to keep rent paid and food on the table, yet look at her son: renowned plastic surgeon and now Secretary of Housing. Probably the most honorable presidential candidate we had.

        • Free on January 3, 2018 at 5:33 pm

          Amen.

  27. Diane on January 2, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Thank you Aleea, I will try again.

    • Aleea on January 2, 2018 at 7:24 pm

      Diane,

      re: “Thank you Aleea, I will try again.”

      Diane, I don’t even know what this is referring to but if you want to tell me more about the fact pattern, I can try to give you a response.

      Please be *very* careful with anything I say, lots of it is highly nuanced and very specific to my situation. More than this, I am sure lots of it could just be wrong.

      Diane, I don’t know your situation but *I do believe you* because my mother is that way. Please seek and trust the Holy Spirit and Wise Others. I’m praying for you!

  28. many years on January 14, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    Sorry to be so slow in responding to this post from Leslie.
    Leslie, you hit the nail on the head for the encouragement and well-thought-out advice to the poster gal.
    I can relate to everything she has gone through. In my case, most of what she is going through already happened to me 15 to 25 years ago, when I knew it was the mentality of the group of Christians my husband and I were associating with, which kept the men, the husband’s in an extremely, controlling, and authority position over their wives and children. It was an unhealthy environment where the Holy Spirit was stifled.
    Because I primarily began to peruse the internet for answers, namely, at first, personality disorders as I knew there was something so drastically wrong with the way the men in the fellowship treated their wives, that I needed to find release and hope. Of course, there was no internet access for sure things until ten years ago. So my wait for such help had to come from books on the subject of submission, etc. Which there was not a lot of information, or the information was distorted by the ‘old school’ where the woman was to ‘keep silent’ and ‘obey in everything’. Which, that concept left out entirely the obligation of the husband to be what the Lord wanted him to be, as Christ is the head of the man, yet so many men, over-lord it and ignore Christ all together.

    My husband does allow me to voice my opinion on things like what my preferences are as to what kind of used car I would like to drive, or what colors I want in our house, etc. It wasn’t always this way. But, my husband has mellowed out, possibly because he is older now, and his world of control and angst doesn’t freak him out as much as it used to.

    But, there is another scenario to this predicament and that is, the Dissassociative Personality Disorder, where the person with the dysfunction ‘hides’ themselves between multiple identities. I just found a site which talks about such personality disorders and gives some good advice, and ways in which to reach the person with the disorder. And some disorders involve talking with a deliverance minister, be it a woman counselor or a man, and definitely a born-again, believer in Jesus Christ! As the solution will involve dealing with entities which DO EXIST in our day and age.

    Here is the site link: http://www.greatbiblestudy.com/dissociative_identity_disorder.php
    I hope this helps to relieve some of the minds of women and men that they may be dealing with not just a narcissistic personality disorder, but with something which invades the psyche even more so.

    So much of what was presented in the particular article in the link fit my husband so thoroughly, as he had so much of the narcissistic disorder present, yet there was the underlying childhood trauma he experienced in his own family generational dysfunction. Years ago, I already knew in my heart that most of his dysfunction was due to family abuse, verbal and physical. Yet, my husband could not speak about it in relation to how he was treating myself and our own children. Yet he continued to treat us the same way his own dad had treated him. Yet he said ‘I am NOT like my father!’. His step-sister said about her brother (my husband) “No, he is worse than daddy ever was!”

    So, after all of my research, and finding certain disorders did fit my husband, I did the confronting with my husband, I did the praying together, and looking back, I see many similarities listed in the article I have the link to. So, I am not writing my husband ‘off’ as a Narcissist. No, I think the problem is much deeper of a spiritual one, and he has kept hidden the living hell he had to go through as a child, yet, not knowing how to cope with normal life in general as far as being the head of his home in a more loving, and godly way, as he never did have that in his own home, so how would he really know how to do that? Especially when generational Christian men had ‘taught’ the men to be the controllers over the home in a fierce and macho way.

    God help us all to figure out how to save our loved ones. One verse which was used was when Jesus opened up the Word of God while he was in the temple and proclaimed: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor (in spirit); he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach DELIVERANCE to the captives (of the spiritual wickedness of this world) and recovering of sight (spiritual) to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.”

    Wow, what a verse, and Jesus did that continually throughout his life, and we too, have the same mission to accomplish within ourselves, within others, if they will be receptive to the Holy Spirit. Life is serious when faced with striving to help lost souls. This put a totally different aspect on how I should go about viewing my husband. Not that it doesn’t hold him accountable, yet, that it also up to the Holy spirit.

    You just have to read the article and ask God to open you heart to discern what may be able to be helped. Yet, you may not be the one able to help your husband or wife. But at least you may be able to put a name on the affliction, and Jesus DID heal the broken, fractured souls (and please read the definition in the article, which is about twelve pages long.

    I have been blessed with this post here, and hope to send some healing prayers to everyone here and their families of origin, and marriages. It is a constant battle between flesh and spirit. “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.”

    Don’t give up! But do get out of unsafe situations, as there are legal ways ‘out’ to protect from the violence which can ignite when someone is not right in their own mind. It is not something to fool with, as it takes much prayer, and patience, and even then, the person who is the abuser may not even know what they are really doing. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of darkness, and spiritual powers in high places.” This isn’t just some simple thing to put a bandage on. I pray for everyone here. May God give you the grace to prove what is truth, and to walk in it, even while under affliction.

    I would say to observe and be quite, and God will give you discernment on what to do to keep yourself safe and others whom you have the charge over. Satan comes to kill, steal, and to destroy. Satan wanted to be like God, but he didn’t want any fellowship with God. That is the proof, when something does not line up with God’s truth.

    Another verse used on the site was: ‘Hereby know ye the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God and THIS IS that spirit of Anti-Christ (totally against Christ) whereof you have heard that it should come; and EVEN NOW already is it in the world.” This is Satan’s mindset, to destroy what he can, lives of lost souls, and we are here to answer the call to save who will hear us.

    • Seeing the Light on January 15, 2018 at 2:07 pm

      Many years say, I just wanted to reply briefly here to some of what you shared. I checked out the link in your comment. I hear your heart for the lost and the broken and that you desire the salvation of those who are sinning against and controlling their spouses. I just want to stand up for those who may be feeling guilty when they have to say, enough, and proceed to “avoid such men as these.” (2 Tim 3:5).

      My husband definitely fits the criteria for narcissistic personality disorder. I have discussed my situation in counseling at length and there is also some suspicion that he is a sociopath. I have no doubt that his childhood was traumatic and left him wounded and scarred. So was mine. Yet he has chosen to be an abuser. Not everyone whose childhood scars them chooses to abuse others to cope with life.

      As far as dissociative identity disorder goes, this is quite rare compared to personality disorders in general. For a person to develop distinct identities and personalities means that they are shifting from one to another and losing time or experiencing what they perceive as blackouts. (This is at least my understanding from what I have researched and read). I highly doubt most of the abusers we have experienced are experiencing this disorder.

      I just don’t want any women out here feeling any more obligation to “save” their abuser or to not give up if it is indeed time to give up (on their husband changing). It is not their job or responsibility to fix this or tolerate it indefinitely – even if they are not in imminent physical danger.

      “No, I think the problem is much deeper of a spiritual one, and he has kept hidden the living hell he had to go through as a child, yet, not knowing how to cope with normal life in general as far as being the head of his home in a more loving, and godly way, as he never did have that in his own home, so how would he really know how to do that? Especially when generational Christian men had ‘taught’ the men to be the controllers over the home in a fierce and macho way.” I think the problem is much deeper for my husband as well. He chose to save himself and to deal with his own pain by controlling and using and abusing others. It is most definitely a deeper spiritual problem. He chose evil and not good to deal with his pain. You ask how would he really know how to do that (as in being loving, godly)? He would be taught by the Holy Spirit. Many people who are raised in terrible homes and environments or people who are not taught to be loving and godly can still choose to follow God and learn the right way. God is an amazing teacher. Zaccheus is a wonderful example of someone who was living a sinful lifestyle using others and as soon as he had an encounter with Jesus Christ, he knew in His Spirit what to do to change course and make restitution for the damage he had done. I am not saying all wounds are healed immediately or that there is not PTSD and so on. I am saying that the spirit in a man changes and using and abusing should no longer be consistent with the spirit within him. These men do not need excuses made for them.

      I mean no unkindness to you personally. I just wanted to stand up for women like myself, who have long felt burdened that it’s my job to keep making excuses for these kinds of men and keep taking more mistreatment in the name of saving them.

      • Nancy on January 15, 2018 at 2:35 pm

        Hi Seeing the light,

        Thank you for posting your very articulate thoughts. I completely agree with you here.

        A post like this certainly can add false guilt to a person who has decided to stop tolerating being treated badly.

        It is dangerous, I think, to speak in terms of ‘saving’ a loved one. We can only be responsible for our own hearts and that’s because that is all we have control over.

        Many years, what would happen if you took all the energy you’re pouring into diagnosing and analyzing your husband, and began focusing only on your own heart, and walking in CORE strength?

        • Seeing the Light on January 15, 2018 at 10:34 pm

          Thank you, Nancy.

  29. Jacqueline on November 1, 2021 at 12:34 am

    Where do I order this book? Please send link to buy.

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