Morning friends,

This is one hectic week. Please pray for me that I am grounded and centered in His will as I scurry around trying to get everything I need to get done.  

I thought this week’s question was an appropriate follow up to our discussion from last week.  

Question: Your last blog post could be my story. I too married at 28, and he was wonderful, but after the wedding things immediately changed. Throughout the years, there has been verbal, emotional, financial, sexual, and some instances of physical abuse, although none so severe as to leave bruises or visible injury.

Unlike last week's writer, I am the wife who has waited for years (23) hoping for change. I've seen at least 6 counselors throughout the marriage trying to figure out what was wrong. Finally, about 7 years ago, I came out of the fog thanks to a wonderful Christian counselor who could see exactly what was happening and told me he would not do marriage counseling but would help me to see clearly and do what I needed to stop the abuse.

He finally advised that the only hope I had was to kick my husband out and if he lost his family, then maybe he would change. For various reasons (financial, 4 children, upcoming move) I held on and continued to pray for a miracle. About that time we moved to a different state and his sister came to visit. She witnessed his abuse, told his parents, and they told him and me that we needed marriage counseling.

Sadly, that counselor did not have the same knowledge about abuse or maybe he just hoped he could fix it with some communication and listening coaching. In counseling, my husband said all the right words and acted like he was sorry, but when we got home it was back to the same. That counselor told me my husband was the abuser, I was the enabler, and I could keep coming to him for methods to handle the abuse, but that my husband wasn't changing.

Last summer after another instance of physical abuse (hitting my glasses off my head and then punching me in the back and side while I was loading the dishwasher), I completely shut down. It was truly a degrading and horrifying experience. He thought I was calling the police (which I probably should have) and said in a harsh voice “I'm sorry for overreacting!” That was the last it was discussed until two weeks ago I brought it up, and his immediate response was “Let's talk about YOUR role in that night!”

Hearing him try to blame me felt like he was hitting me all over again. Knowing that he once again blamed me for his abusive behavior, I quickly disengaged and told him I had heard enough and didn't want to talk. This week he decided (I think because he knows that I have told people about the abuse) that we should go to marriage counseling again. He called a local marriage counselor and asked if I would go.

He does not like that I now practice the JADE method and have set firm boundaries and says that I am the abuser. He shows no evidence of any heart change at all, and the emotional and verbal abuse have continued.

I have read that couples counseling is not effective when there is abuse. I know that if I say no to couples counseling, he will tell others that I am refusing to work on the marriage even though he is trying his best (he says the same thing when I practice JADE). I feel like counseling won't work, since nothing has changed in the past four years since the last time we tried it. Please help and give advice about counseling in abusive relationships.

Answer: You are right. I don’t recommend couples counseling when there is unacknowledged on-going abuse. Here are three main reasons.

  1. It’s not safe.  How can you talk honestly in the counselor’s office if you are afraid of what might happen when you get home?
  2. Your husband is not acknowledging his abuse and instead has morphed himself into a victim of your control and boundary setting. He also has rewritten history, claiming that it was your fault he knocked your glasses off and punched you because you had some role that justified his actions. His strategy in counseling will be to get the counselor to focus on you as the problem and direct the treatment towards “fixing” you so that he’s not triggered and that you “keep him happy and not make him mad.”  

When marital counselors are not experienced in recognizing abuser’s tactics and thinking, this is often exactly what happens. The focus of treatment becomes how you can try harder to not “trigger him or upset him or disappoint him or frustrate him” instead of him learning to take responsibility for his own emotions and behavior and how he expresses himself when he is upset or angry.

3. Marital counseling by its very nature is supposed to be neutral. In other words, the counselor is not supposed to take sides. Therefore your marriage counselor will not be an advocate for you with your husband even if he is abusive. Instead, a counselor will probably try very hard to empathize with your husband’s point of view and feelings knowing that if he or she doesn’t, it will result in a lost client. You will probably feel unheard and invalidated with the counselor’s effort to “help you” not trigger him anymore.  It will not end well because your husband will feel excused and justified to continue his same behavior whenever you “upset” him and you will feel crazier and devalued.

Here is what might work. First, your husband must take full responsibility for his abusive behaviors (all of them including past and more recent) and get help through a batterer intervention group coupled with personal counseling and accountability that checks in with you on how he’s doing. The fact that his sister witnessed his abuse and told her parents can actually validate your insistence that he get help.

His parents were concerned enough 7 years ago to say you need marital counseling because they didn’t know what else was available. Now that you know that didn’t work, when you refuse to do that again you can calmly tell them and others that marital counseling is the last step in reconciling an abusive marriage, not the first step. Hopefully, then they and his sister can also advocate for you with their son.

Second, if you chose to stay living together versus separate, you need to tell your husband that if he ever physically or sexually assaults you again – you will call the police and press charges. It doesn’t matter if you have any visible injuries. Nor does it matter what he believes “your role” might have been. He’s 100% responsible for his actions and what he did to you is abusive and illegal.   

One of the reasons men abuse or bully is because they can. There are no consequences. Click To Tweet

I was speaking to a man recently on the phone who was rationalizing and making excuses for his abusive behavior. He was telling me (and himself) that he just loses control and he can’t help it.

I said to him, “Have you ever killed anyone?”

He said, “No, I would never do that?”

“Why not?” I asked.  

“I don’t want to go to jail.”  

Of course, he doesn’t. You see he knew exactly where the line was and what he could get away with and what he couldn’t get away with. He had perfect self-control when he knew it would cost him. Your husband has allowed himself lots of excuses as to why he behaves the way he does. He knows it’s wrong, but he’s making it all about you. He wants it to be about what you did to make him do it. Don’t buy it.  

I understand that there are times women provoke their husbands, or children provoke their parents, or husbands provoke their wives. That’s what happens when you live with sinners. However, we are still responsible for our own actions all of the time. It’s never okay to excuse our own poor behavior just because of someone else’s poor behavior. He may try to use that excuse but don’t fall for it. He is totally responsible for his abusive actions. Until he faces that and works on a plan so he doesn't repeat it, marital counseling is ill-timed and inappropriate.

So enough about him. What about you? One of your counselors said your husband was the abuser and you were the enabler. What do you think? I’m curious why you didn’t call the police after this last incident. I’m glad you are setting firmer boundaries now and practicing JADE (Don’t – justify, argue, defend, or explain) when he baits you. But what about your future safety and health? What toll is living like this having on you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually?

I’m a firm believer in a woman having a choice on whether she stays and whether she goes but I’m concerned for you. Evidence shows that he’s not going to change. As you get older you may have fewer options. How can this community help you take the next steps you need to get stronger?

It may be helpful for you to attend my free webinar coming up March 7 on (4) lies that can make you feel crazy and powerless in your destructive marriage and what you can do to STOP it.

Register here by answering a few question >> http://quiz.leslievernick.com/sf/d818a842

Friends, what helped you to move from gradually getting stronger, to finally taking a firm stand against any and all abuse?

195 Comments

  1. Kristine on February 28, 2018 at 9:05 am

    I feel so badly for you. I was right where you are several years ago. I found Leslie’s book among others about 4 years ago and began rebuilding who I was, having been systematically dismantled by my husband of (then) 21 years. I finally left last May. I cannot tell you the joy and peace I have every morning when I wake up-not having to live in that toxic environment anymore. When I started this journey everything seemed dark. It was only by Gods grace and walking one day at a time that I got to where I am today. Give yourself the gift of freedom. Your husband will probably never change, and most certainly won’t while he continues to get away with his sin. My greatest obstacle was overcoming the spiritual oppression perpetrated by my husbands “Christian” family and my church. They rebuked me for my failure as a wife and my sin In wishing to abandon my marriage. I just clung to God and His Word. He gave me step by step guidance and peace. You will not find Scripture to justify allowing a person to continue to willfully sin and sin without consequences. And for a man to persistently and without repentance any person as your husband and my husband did is grounds enough to call them unbelievers. Take the support that has been offered, educate yourself, and seek validation. You have been told lies about yourself and your situation for so long you now have trouble grasping what is really true and how terrible he has been. You need voices speaking truth into your life. But you will get yourself back. I will pray for you right now that God will give you the courage to take the steps today and every day to follow that will eventually lead to freedom.

    • Lost on March 6, 2018 at 10:37 am

      Do you have children, Kristine? How old were they when you left? Were they angry with you?

      • Shannon on March 7, 2018 at 12:04 am

        I would like to know the answer to this as well.

  2. Pam on February 28, 2018 at 9:06 am

    I noticed in Leslie’s reply, that she chose to leave out the part of how enabling also affects the children, how it sets up a whole other abusive dynamic with the children that will be passed down to future generations. I was in a similar marriage for 25 years with 2 children but I finally became emotionally healthy enough to leave. I urge this woman to attend Leslie’s webinar. She & her children are in a very dangerous situation.

    • Remedy on February 28, 2018 at 5:06 pm

      Amen to that!!! Living the second generation…..praying for the Lord’s mercy it does carry over with my sons!!!!!! Only wish I would have been stronger back when I first got hooked in.

    • Kristine on March 1, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      This is so true. I really felt I left when God had made me ready to leave, but I am so concerned about my oldest son. I see behaviors in him that make me so afraid he will follow in his fathers footsteps. I can choose to be one emotionally healthy fir myself—but not for him. I just pray that Hod works in his heart.

      • Free on March 1, 2018 at 9:03 pm

        Life Skills has a program for teens exposed to domestic abuse. Certainly there must be other groups. Does anyone on the blog have some suggestions? I wonder with the rise of “me too” if we will see more public programming to help youth make more informed decisions.

        I strongly recommend the book “If I’m missing or Dead” a memoir, by a sibling who realized her sister was in an abusive relationship. It would make a great book for a young adult book club.

        • Maria on March 3, 2018 at 5:18 pm

          Free,

          What kind of program is it?

          • Free on March 3, 2018 at 7:15 pm

            The program is offered in certain cities and in Colorado. It is a ten week session with curriculum. It is better than nothing. At least it gets teens talking about this.



  3. Kim on February 28, 2018 at 9:31 am

    What finally moved me from getting stronger to taking a stand? When my husband kept telling me I was crazy, I went to a counselor for help. I never made a secret about it, and I invited my husband. The day he came, the counselor asked him what he thought was the problem. He launched into his explanation of how I was the root of all the issues, and the counselor listened. But when he was done, the counselor said he didn’t think it was all my fault. And my husband immediately dismissed him and any of his counsel. That, and my husband uprooted our family from the church we’d been in for almost 20 years, the church family our kids had grown up with, because they weren’t paying attention to him (yes, they were, but they weren’t agreeing with everything he said). Being totally on my own like that forced me to stand up for myself.

    I now have grown children. Most of them are in healthy relationships and understand that how Dad treated Mom was unacceptable and broken. But one of them is repeating the pattern, and I grieve, because if I’d stood up for what was right earlier in our marriage, my son would not have imprinted on the bad behavior.

    • Melossa on February 28, 2018 at 10:17 am

      Wow! How self centered.
      It’s interesting that you said he blamed you to the counselor. My husband did the opposite. He actually “admitted” he was the problem bc this also made him look so compliant. And the focus shifted to me and my un forgiveness. In a nutshell, she said if I just forgave him, my feelings towards him would change. I left there feeling defeated. And I didn’t agree to go back.

  4. Lynn on February 28, 2018 at 9:32 am

    My first step in my progress of taking a stand against my husband’s abuse was to realize that it was abuse. He had hit me, which I knew was abuse, but I did not realize that his rages of anger, breaking and throwing items, control and manipulation, and other aggressive actions were also abuse. I read an article which changed my life – it was called Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – and it spoke about emotional and verbal abuse. After reading this article, tears streamed down my face and I realized that I had actually been abused for years. I knew his behavior was wrong, but I was so confused about what was going on. l Now having an explanation for what was happening, gave me strength to begin looking for answers for me. I began searching for online support groups so that I could grow and strengthen myself spiritually and emotionally. I began to reach out to friends and family members and found much loving support. We tried counseling, but unfortunately couple’s counseling did not work for us, as it made the abuse worse, and we struggled to find someone who truly understood how to counsel domestic abuse situations. I finally realized that unless my husband’s heart would break and he would acknowledge his need to deal with what was causing the abuse and desire to get help for it, there was nothing I could do. We are now going through a divorce, but I have continued strengthening my CORE and healing. I want to be ready for whatever God has for me to do next in my life. It is not always easy, and this is not the path I ever wanted to take, but it is my path now!

    • Linda on February 28, 2018 at 5:30 pm

      I am on the same path now – getting a divorce after 18 years of emotional abuse and 2 years of a separation which convinced me my husband was thoroughly unrepentant. And Praise God – God has been amazing in this, guiding, protecting, comforting through his Word and godly friends.

      But what about my children??? My soone-to-be-ex is now using the same abusive tactics on them, and I don’t know how to guide them through this. To make matters worse, they are teenagers and respect for parents and authorities is in short supply anyway. How do I teach them to respect the man that abuses them??? I no longer have to spend time with him, but they do…

      • Lynn on March 1, 2018 at 12:15 am

        Linda,
        My last two children were in college when I left my husband and so I did not have to deal with them spending much time with their dad. However, they grew up seeing the abuse at home and abuse directed at them. They are each dealing with their relationship with their dad in their own ways. They all totally support me and love me, but 3 out of the 4 still are trying to sort out a relationship with him. I pray for each one as this has been a very hard time in their lives, but I believe God will direct them. For your children, I would continue to be open with them, be there for them to talk, love them, and definitely pray for them as they sort out this new family scenario. This is not easy for them or you.

  5. John on February 28, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Leslie and Writer,

    I still have to read your books so forgive me, I’m green 🙂
    My wife has your book “The Emotionally Destructive Marriage” and I look forward to taking it in.

    Would it help if the writers husband read your best book, or other excellent books on the subject, that relates to this situation? Then at least he’d have a clue to the concerns his wife has. I am sure communication may have broke down long ago. As pathetic as it sounds he may be clueless,…….willfully to some degree I’m sure.

    If time apart is in order then reading a book of course is no substitute for that, however it seems that a lot of the time, people can be just plain oblivious to their auto-pilot, instilled by upbringing unacceptable behavior. It seems crazy to think, how can they not know what they are doing is not destructive, yet at the same time, everything is a learned response, good or bad.

    The writer had mentioned that she did have an excellent christian Councillor who was able to see the situation clearly.

    What are your thoughts, if the husband were to reach out to the same Councillor, in hope that him hearing a professional outside overview of the situation from someone other than his wife may open his ears and sink the message is deep?

    These things could happen while the husband and wife are separated or living in the same home unless of course the battering is continuing in which case she may need to seek refuge elsewhere.

    Possible Scenario:
    Honey, I am away from the home (hopefully she has a safe place to go) with our children (not sure of the age) to get some clear perspective on our marriage and would love to be able work on things together when the time is right. Yes there are things that we both need to work on but there are some things that I am seeing that I can absolutely no longer live with. I cannot live in this relationship the way it is any longer. I am not doing this to hurt you. I am hurting too, more than you can imagine. Our children are hurting. I truthfully do have all of our family ‘s best interest at heart. I left a couple books and a couple phone numbers on the table. If you believe there is any hope for our family to walk this out together, please seriously consider reading the material and getting in touch with the Councillor and Men’s Batterer support group. Both offices will be in contact with me to keep me posted on the situation. Please don’t be offended that I have had to get in the driver seat here. This is not my first choice, but for the well being of myself and our family, this is a decision I cannot afford to put off any longer. Right now (husband) I am finding it hard to feel connected with you and have found it hard for a long time. I don’t see the same man that I married . We are in trouble and it is going to take some time to get back on track. I will be checking my e-mail and have my phone if you should need to get a hold of me. Also, until we have a better idea how things are going to look going forward, if and when we do communicate know that I will be making every effort to do so constructively and not destructively and I hope you will meet my effort with the same hope. I hate what is happening right now but I do love you and am praying for us always as many others are as well (I hope……I am praying for you right now :).

    Just some thoughts:
    Also, just ordered this book. It may not address violence. Thats what the Police are for but have been told it is great and look forward to fresh perspective.
    https://www.amazon.ca/How-Stop-Pain-James-Richards/dp/0883687224

    Here are two video on the same subject matter as the book:
    How to stop the pain:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVn70q8TqUo

    The secret Source of Pain:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mU_HkKgVP3w

    Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
    1 Corinthians 4:5

    Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
    John 14:27

    • Aly on February 28, 2018 at 7:52 pm

      John,

      I think your comments are sincere and I think it’s great that you are doing your work in your journey.
      I am wondering though….
      have you been on the receiving end of an abusive mindset person? Physical, mental emotional, spiritually abusive also?

      Many professionals that assess destructive abusive relationships and those doing the harm.. will often tell you the abusive person has a problem to deal with. (first)
      Reasoning with an unreasonable person is where things go off track. (Sadly)

      Your possible scenario is ‘soft’ given the offenses and the behavior. This has to be taken into account.
      The reason why I believe this is because my own husband had a counselor ~ who he himself says was too soft and was too easily manipulated!
      This is coming from my own husband!

      Your possible scenario sounds reasonable and ‘well inviting’ to a reasonable person (audience), but considering what the abusive destructive person ‘hears and interprets’ is up for well, sometimes a multitude of interpretations based on their ‘mindset’ and their unique ability to become the victim .. when in reality they are the perpetrator.

      C.S. Lewis is highly known for his famous quotes on pain having purpose.
      One common element in abusive mindsets is the ability to defend and deflect all sources of healthy pain, guilt and natural consequences of behavior.

      • Aly on February 28, 2018 at 8:02 pm

        John,

        One other thought.. if the writer happened to be ‘your daughter’ who was just hit ~ getting her glasses knocked off and getting punched in the back while loading the dishwasher..
        would that be your honest response to this situation!

        This husband is out of control and the wife is getting frozen by the unbelievable actions against her.., it’s called Trauma & Shock!

        Trust me, Godly men are sick to their stomachs when they read such horror a

        • Aly on February 28, 2018 at 8:04 pm

          And take firm action to Stand against such behavior!

    • Seeing the Light on February 28, 2018 at 10:59 pm

      John,

      I found myself wondering if we had read the same post when I read your response. It seemed like you had missed something.

      You said, “Would it help if the writers husband read your best book, or other excellent books on the subject, that relates to this situation? Then at least he’d have a clue to the concerns his wife has. I am sure communication may have broke down long ago. As pathetic as it sounds he may be clueless,…” —I’m not sure how he could be clueless that his wife is concerned that he punched her or physically assaulted her such that he knocked her eyeglasses off and later blamed her for it. I’m thinking any man with a remnant of a conscience should have a clue as to his wife’s concerns in this scenario without reading a book. Does he need to read a book so that he can have a moment of revelation that it’s wrong to hit his wife?

      “If time apart is in order then reading a book of course is no substitute for that, however it seems that a lot of the time, people can be just plain oblivious to their auto-pilot, instilled by upbringing unacceptable behavior. It seems crazy to think, how can they not know what they are doing is not destructive, yet at the same time, everything is a learned response, good or bad.” —If a man does not know that punching his wife is destructive, I am concerned about just how deep his obliviousness goes. Can he possibly have a functioning conscience? I myself don’t find that everything is a learned response, good or bad. Some things, sure, but not everything. Abuse is a choice. I just don’t think hitting your wife is the sort of thing a non-sociopathic person would have a hard time realizing is destructive. Now, a sociopath maybe.

      I completely agree with Aly (from two comments combined): “Trust me, Godly men are sick to their stomachs when they read such horror…And take firm action to Stand against such behavior!” Amen.

    • Lynn on March 2, 2018 at 9:32 am

      John, I tried this type of communication many times during the marriage and during the separation. I did not matter. My abusive X husband never took responsibility for his abuse and 5 years post divorce he still blames me. An abuser, especially one with a personality disorder will say anything to get what they want but genuine repentance does not happen and the cycle starts over. This might help with a normal person but unlikely with an abuser. We went to marriage counseling with 4 different counselors and his behavior would change for a while, but his heart never did.

  6. Bunny on February 28, 2018 at 11:13 am

    Wow…almost exactly like my marriage of 21 years…even to the punch on my back I “found” a book at a garage sale about 5 years ago called “The verbally Abusive Relationship”. It described my marriage. That was a huge turning point for me. I left him with 5 kids (he wouldn’t leave our home) 3 years ago. My divorce was final 1 year ago. Best decision ever! I didn’t have family to help me so it got a little rough but you have family who have witnessed it. Let them help you and GET OUT. God has been there with me though the whole ordeal and I am progressing well in healing with the help of a solid Christian who is my therapist. Make a decision that you are worth so much more. This year I was even able to get a house for the kids and me. Enough is Enough. Trust God because He cherishes His daughters and hates seeing them abused.

    • Audrey on March 3, 2018 at 11:15 pm

      I’ve had the punch on the back too. I was walking ahead of him. He wants me beside him or behind him, never ahead of him. Silly, silly, crazy man. What a waste of my life.

  7. Caryl Ann on February 28, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    I moved out and rented a house. I have moved all of my furnishings, pictures and personal items from his house. I took my 2 puppies and my cat.

    He is totally alone and doesn’t like it. I have agreed to see him on my terms. If one thing happens he knows I will call the police. He is on probation at the present. If he has one more incident the judge said he will spend the rest of his two year probation in jail.

    I have enjoyed my time alone. It is calm and peaceful. It is nice not having to be afraid that I will say or do something that will set him off.

    I use to get up every morning and ask God to help me not to do something that would make him mad so that we could have a peaceful day.

    At this point I am taking it one day at a time.

    • Caryl Ann on February 28, 2018 at 12:06 pm

      Okay

    • Renee on March 8, 2018 at 8:26 pm

      Hi Caryl Ann

      You wrote: [I have enjoyed my time alone. It is calm and peaceful. It is nice not having to be afraid that I will say or do something that will set him off.]

      So, so agree!

      You wrote: [I use to get up every morning and ask God to help me not to do something that would make him mad so that we could have a peaceful day.]

      It’s something how we all have our little prayers. Another one of mine was God help me get through the next one. It was like he was uncomfortable when everything was going extremely well.

      So he had to find that grain of rice. (Someone mentioned that phrase here)

      • Caryl Ann on March 12, 2018 at 12:34 pm

        Hi Renee, We would have what I called “grace periods”. I always knew they wouldn’t last long. Last Summer he got extremely mad at me because I spilled my drink. We were on the screen porch and I bumped the corner of the table. He got enraged!! He cussed me over and over. He refused my help in cleaning it up. Told me I had ruined ANOTHER perfectly good evening. I kept telling him that I was sorry and it was an accident. His reply was that there were no accidents, that accidents were CAUSED!! He said I need to pay attention to my surroundings.

        I was crying so hard that I left out the front door and went down the street to a neighbor’s that knew what was going own in our home.

        About an hour later I returned. The mess was cleaned up and he was sitting on the porch. I tried to talk with him but was told to go in the house that he could not stand to look at me. I was heartbroken. That night he slept on the couch and did not speak to me the next day.

        I got to where I was afraid to move in fear I might do something to set him off.

        I never will be able to wrap my head around his insane behavior. This way of life is so foreign to me.

        I am done with him.

        I know pray for God to help me heal from all the stuff that went on. It will take time, but God is in control and I know He has a plan for me.

  8. Aly on February 28, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    “Friends, what helped you to move from gradually getting stronger, to finally taking a firm stand against any and all abuse?”

    Identifying the crazy pattern and realizing this is a pattern and not ‘normal’, healthy or reasonable!
    Getting educated, getting professional interventions and persevering to expose the abuser and the abusive behavior.
    Changing my mindset from surviving as a victim to thriving as a person worthy of dignity, value and respect.

    Taking that firm stand can really change a lot of relational dynamics not just the marital one…. that I was not prepared for. But taking the stand of what is unacceptable treatment or not tolerated soon reveals ‘the truth about the overall health of the relationship’.

    Having a professional counselor walk along side is essential when recovering from abusive relationships.

    • Bunny on February 28, 2018 at 2:16 pm

      I totally agree…first recognizing it and getting educated was so important. then just believing yourself that the abusive treatment was not right and you didn’t deserve it! I am now recognizing abusive nonsense quickly…been nearly 5 years since facing it and deciding to heal

  9. GL on February 28, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    We tried couples counseling . He would quit. We tried church counseling separate. I did leave and he stayed at home this was a wake up. Church saw all of his behavior as sin and lacked compassion when he didn’t understand his behavior cause he had justified for so long. He decerned well they were no help. They saw me as the victim so I was counseled I needed healing but my counselor was heading me down the same path of confessing sins but never knowing Gods love and healing.
    I gave up filed for legal separation. He called a psychologist with biblical counseling degree and had much compassion for H. Taught him to use armor of God when he didn’t like what I said or others. She got him to see his sin behavior was cause of bitterness and guarded behavior from past abuse from parents and brother. He repented and we are building trust and growing more in love. Counselor and Leslie Intro to Core class helped me have a voice forgiveness trust and saw my eorthiness in Christ. I didn’t have to be liked by sisters or anyone. God loved me. Of course if I sinned against anyone I confessed but using the armor of God I was set free from offenses.
    Praying you separate that is true boundrysetting. I felt so free and protected by the Lord after leaving. Stand for righteousness it’s Biblicle.

  10. Free on February 28, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    A combination of things helped me leave, but a real fear gripped me when my abuser began to be abusive in public. He yelled at me in a crowded restaurant. People were all around, more and more he escalated and not a single person helped us or stopped him. He yelled at me in the parking lot and banged on the steering wheel for emphasis on the ride home. Again, no one did a thing to help me.

    He even went off on me at church. The congregation milled around us as he yelled at me citing his comparison of my behavior as compared to the sermon we just heard. His point, ranting on about me not being affectionate enough and not giving him more attention and appreciation. What ever I did it was never enough. Again, people watched from a distance but no one helped me or stopped him.

    These incidents made me realize that he had crossed a new line into actions on invincibility. He was accountable to no one! If he could treat me in public like he treated me in private without any consequence what so ever, I was in real danger. His supremacy was secure.

    • Kim on February 28, 2018 at 9:14 pm

      Knowing what I now know, I would step up in a heart beat. But 15 years ago? I’d have thought he was off the rails but maybe it was a one-time deal, maybe you’d done something to tee him off, maybe it’s none of my business. I was coming from a mindset of “a woman needs to submit to her husband, if I’ve done something to make him angry, then I should take responsibility and change that behavior, etc.”

      I now understand that for decades, I was enabling his unhealthy patterns, that the Lord did NOT want me to cover my husband’s sin, that I could be a respectful, loving wife and still have a voice, that as a daughter of the King, I should expect my husband to treat me with grace and dignity, neither of which were present in our marriage.

      When I stood up to my husband and exercised boundaries and CORE strength, he had what he calls a nervous breakdown, but I think it was withdrawal. We still occupy the same home, but we don’t share a bedroom and we rarely talk about anything other than business or daily schedules. He is still hostile to my opinions and reacts with disdain when he doesn’t agree with me. However, I believe that for now, this is where the Lord wants me, because I can live with joy and grace even in the face of my husband’s unhappiness. My children are seeing me make rational decisions, loving choices, and acting with hope. I can model Christ’s love to my husband, even when he rejects it.

      Leaving at some point may be an option, but it is not one I choose at this point. I’m healthier than I’ve ever been in our marriage, and others are noticing! Praise the Lord!

      • Kerilyn on March 3, 2018 at 10:13 pm

        Kim, thank you for sharing this. You’ve absolutely described my life and relationship with my husband. Praying that I can be more like you in CORE strength in the days ahead. Working hard here to cling to Christ without my husband’s expectations, moods and emotions being the ever moving target that I’m supposed to be looking after!

        You encouraged me. May God bless you. (And thank you Free for being so open in your sharing. cyber hugs to you!)

    • Ruth on March 1, 2018 at 7:00 pm

      I am so glad you are safe now. How horrible that the men in that church did not step in and protect you when your ex-h attacked you like that!! I think this behavior will falls into the same category Jesus talks about in Matthew 25:
      41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels! 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. 43 I was a stranger and you did not receive me as a guest, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not give you whatever you needed?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘I tell you the truth, just as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for me.’ 46 And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

      • Ruth on March 1, 2018 at 7:01 pm

        My comment is to Free. 💜

    • Aly on March 1, 2018 at 7:12 pm

      Free,

      I read your post and maybe you have shared parts of your experience here prior but I just want to say I’m so sorry for the treatment of your husband and mostly of the people who stood and watched!
      Unacceptable!…. I can have some space for maybe their fear or shock but ‘come on’??

      I think the bystander dynamic is additional trauma. This grieves the Lord deeply.

      I’m glad your free, free!

      • Free on March 1, 2018 at 7:42 pm

        Thanks Aly and Ruth. It would be a topic for another discussion, but have other people experienced this too? The frozen public that just stares at someone being abused. It is a common phenomena.

        When I went to my church counseling service for help, the enormous, well know mega church licensed counselor said they can not help me. They were “not insured” to have domestic violence issues on campus.

        • Nancy on March 1, 2018 at 8:19 pm

          Wow, Free. Talk about a lack of faith on their part. How do they sleep at night? Really. The height of hypocrisy.

          • Maria on March 3, 2018 at 7:47 am

            Free,
            I haven’t experienced being abused in public, but it seems that most people don’t want to get involved.
            Nancy,
            The sad thing is they probably don’t feel they’ve done anything wrong.



          • Aly on March 3, 2018 at 9:33 am

            Maria, Nancy, Free,

            Maria I think what you said speak true of some aspects I dealt with too.

            I think some of what is being touched on here is the hidden epidemic that is much larger than we understand about ‘who gets involved?’ And reasons for why they don’t etc.

            It’s my opinion that many men (especially baby boomer generation)and yes ‘some women’ are so hard wired ‘wrongly’ about physical & emotional abuse.

            Many years ago when I was doing everything to get get help for my situation with my husband, both my parents tried to comfort me and assist a (sliver of time) as long as it didn’t disrupt their other planned activities etc.

            I was a mess, a complete mess from the emotional abuse and the crazy! I have some space for the fact they are a bit ignorant, and ignorant by choice I’ll add.
            My father hugged me and tried to comfort me and said,’ I’ll only get involved if he hits you!’
            I couldn’t believe it, because my mother also agreed that there was nothing they could do unless I had physical evidence of what was taking place. I was also often told (by them) the problem ‘was me’ because they thought my complaints were about me wanting to be happy! Which happiness was the furthest thing I was reaching for, I was needing clarity and safety and healthy boundaries. ~Talk about blaming the one being ‘hurt’ by another’s misplaced anger and unresolved issues.
            This was their easy button and often what many experience when they try to get outside help.

            I believe that they ‘still’ are so hard wired about physical abuse as is many of their peers. Many of these people are in our churches, are leads, are those in the front line and yet they are so ill ~ informed of how to get involved and help their own people with real problems.

            I’m going to also highlight ‘men’ here because some men that understand and are a bit more willing to be educated about these things are far from the coward posture. And this is what needs to also change in our culture.
            The men (and women) who are clueless about right and wrong need to wake up to the epidemic and to their participation.
            We all as Christians will give an account for our responses & Non responses.

            Free~ again I’m so sorry for that behavior and the abuse you additionally received by the bystanders or those who certainly could have taken some sort of action. Especially in a church environment.
            When nothing is done it’s my opinion that it only reinforces the abusers mindset and pulls them further down the destructive hole of what they consider ‘acceptable and reasonable’.

            Hugs to you all and your journeys out!



    • Caryl Ann on March 12, 2018 at 12:39 pm

      Free, Mine also attacked me in a public place. I was lucky, 4 onlookers called the police and he went to jail.

      • Aly on March 12, 2018 at 12:45 pm

        Caryl Ann,

        Are you able to go to a women’s shelter or that neighbor you mentioned that you ran to for safety?

        • Caryl Ann on March 13, 2018 at 9:48 am

          I rented me a house back in October. I had a couple of lapses in judgement and let him convenes me that he would change. My mistake!! In less than 48 hours I found myself in our bedroom with one of his hands around my throat and the other arm pulled back in a fist. He was breathing so hard from his anger that he was spraying spit as he cussed me. That night I truly thought I was going to die. He held me like that for a few minutes and then he let me go and hit a picture of us on the wall. The glass shattered and that stopped his episode of anger. He is truly crazy!!

          I have an Order of Protection on him and it is driving him crazy. He wants me to drop it so he can once again have and carry guns. That won’t ever happen as long as I am alive.

          I can renew that OP every year and I fully intend to do just that.

          I have become friends with the wife before me. She is a lovely woman.

          He told me so many lies about her. Come to find out, he did the thing to her. It is his pattern in life.

          I have to say it is so wonderful to live in peace and not be afraid every minute that something bad is going to happen.

          I had NEVER been exposed to anything like him before and it has really messed with my trust in men. I am not sure that I will ever be able to let someone get that close to me again.

          I pray everyday for people that are in any kind of an abusive situation. NO one should ever have to experience any from of abuse.

          • Sunshine on March 17, 2018 at 9:25 pm

            Caryl Ann, good work. Stay in counseling so you have someone to talk to. You are right on every level. You deserve better.



  11. Susan on March 1, 2018 at 5:05 am

    For me, it was the realization that after 35 years of marriage he was not going to change. I started looking at what was broken in me to continue to allow his behavior towards me. I gave up trying to change him and I toke the steps to start changing and valuing myself and see myself as God does. The more I changed the worse he got. Working on the broken things in me gave me the courage to walk away. I still pray for him and I still believe that all things are possible but it is the work of the Holy Spirit that will change him. It is no longer my responsibility to tell, beg or plead with him to “get it”. I am responsible for me! In yielding to God for guidance and direction He has given me peace that I am right where I should be… helping other women who God sends my way to start looking at their broken places that cause them to stay in abusive situations.

    • Aly on March 1, 2018 at 7:00 pm

      Susan,

      So true what you expressed here:
      “The more I changed the worse he got. Working on the broken things in me gave me the courage to walk away. ”

      They lose power they once stole and cannot believe they can’t claim it anymore.
      So glad for your courage and the willingness to work on you for your well being and future!

      I also find it so encouraging that you reach out to others from your own experience, something that is needed in our communities more than we really know. Education on these things especially emotional abuse which is that much harder for some women to see in the early stages and often in the early stages they are Hard to see.
      I blamed myself a lot for thinking how broken & what low self worth I must of had.. but that wasn’t really the full story of where I eventually found myself in an Top-down marriage dynamic.
      The abuse (especially covert) happens over time and chips away at a person’s healthy intuition and healthy sense of self.
      I was raised to believe someone loved me and trust in the ‘overall good’ in that person. Which this can be a good thing for healthy mutual relationships that are not destructive. Not perfect for sure, but it’s patterns that make the biggest highlight … something isn’t right here.

      Anyways, back to our own brokenness and sometimes misguided blame ~
      I was recently watching a video series ReWire ~ a ministry for women.
      What is alarming to me is that many of us who have been in a destructive relationship or victim to abuse DO get lured in.
      Yes we all have broken places to deal with~ for sure.
      What I mean is, they don’t begin the relationship showing all the abusive tendencies and manipulations .., often that comes after ‘much investment’ and the victim/survivor believing and wondering where did that Safe person who I thought was mutually healthy & a professed Christian go?

      • Nancy on March 1, 2018 at 9:44 pm

        This is important Aly, ” the abuse ( especially covert) happens over time and chips away at a person’s healthy intuition and healthy sense of self.”

        I’m pretty hard on myself ( for my part in the dance) and have to remember that. Thanks.

        My h did the How We Love online questionnaire, twice.

        No surprise he came out a pleaser first. But every other love style was very high too. At the bottom of his assessment, it said, ” you have scored very high on many of the Love styles, this result means that you likely had a very hard childhood. We’re so sorry to know that, but we are here to help…”. Boy, did they get it right. Very. Rough. Childhood.

        He told our counsellor, ” I lived it once, I have zero desire to go back there”. The counsellor talked to him about patching a road verses tearing it up and re-paving it.

        He’s scared. But he’s moving forward.

        Meanwhile, I Am discovering that he is a great ‘container’ and listens really well. We both thought he’s try to ‘fix’ but he’s doing really well sticking to the ‘comfort circle’ script. And I’m discovering that my emotions are STRONG.

        When our counsellor asked my H if he thought that he might try to ‘fix’ when listening, and my h said that yes, he was afraid he would, the counsellor then turned to me and asked,

        ” is there anyone else that you’d trust to do this work with?”

        My vehement answer was “no, I would not trust another soul with this” ( not even the counsellor!)

        The counsellor turned back to my h and said,

        ” just remember that, when your listening”.

        We were both very touched by how much I trust him now. It brought tears to both of our eyes.

        God is good.

        • Aly on March 1, 2018 at 10:42 pm

          Nancy,

          Your right! God is good!
          What you wrote about the comfort circle~ please keep!
          It’s so true and so important for you to experience because you both are so worthy of that healing!
          We all are;)
          Sometimes that healing doesn’t happen in our marital relationships but in other vessels and it’s still God showing us something SO intangible.

          My h and I have had similar experiences in counseling and outside of counseling and they are such important stepping stones of ‘reparenting’ ~ we hold them close.

          I’m so thrilled for your willingness to persevere through.. its rough at times but I’m thankful you have a partner taking the trek with you and you are in my prayers for His will continuously.
          I’m thankful your on this blog 💜 because I feel like so much of our journeys rel

          • Aly on March 1, 2018 at 10:43 pm

            Relate!

            Sorry my phone and fingers yet again~



          • Nancy on March 2, 2018 at 6:47 am

            I agree, Aly, God can use any trusted person as a vessel for healing, and it is God showing us something SO intangible.

            Each story is unique, each individual so complex…and yet He meets us each in our stories, in our hearts, in amazing ways.

            What a great God!



          • JoAnn on March 2, 2018 at 11:43 pm

            Aly and Nancy, I am always so encouraged by your posts. You both have been on a long journey of recovery, and your experiences and wisdom are valuable here. Thank you!



          • Nancy on March 4, 2018 at 3:27 pm

            Thank you JoAnn. That means a lot to me 🙂



  12. Aleea on March 1, 2018 at 7:03 am

    “Friends, what helped you to move from gradually getting stronger, to finally taking a firm stand against any and all abuse?”

    I would say my counselor. Without her love, . . . without her prayers, I would still be interacting with my mother. Dr. Meier helped me to stop cold but not a day goes by that I don’t miss my mother and want to call her. It’s my mother . . .even though she is a total monster. I guess it is the right thing, even when it feels so, so wrong. . . .My mother abused me all my life and psyhically too. . . .but still, . . .still, so many nights I really miss her and although I know what I should *not* do, I so feel like calling her. . . .It’s my mother. . . .And I know I can talk to Jesus, which I was doing weeks back when that feeling I should call her just overwhelmed me. What if I never get to talk to that monster ever again Lord, I mean ever Lord? I was rotting in an airport with a 5 hr. delayed flight and I so wanted to call her. . . .Mothers have too much power. It feels even stronger than Jesus’ even though I know better than that . . .I know better than that but I don’t feel better than that.

    . . .Oh, and my sister’s kids so help too. They are such a help. . . .I called one of them instead. They so help me and they don’t even realize it. They are always laughing and I so love to laugh, especially at myself because life is just really c-r-a-z-y. I think people are their most beautiful when they are laughing, playing, *really* and *seriously* telling the deepest, *most* honest truths (—I love that!) . . . —Oh, and being chased in a fun way! . . . I don’t know what to say about Jesus because Jesus simply did not go around really laughing at stuff, that we know of. . . . .To me, laughter is a tangible evidence of hope. As I say, those kids of my sisters go around laughing at everything —What are they always laughing about? I have no idea, probably me (—Good!) . . . ha, ha, ha. . . .When people laugh together, they tend to talk and touch more and to make eye contact more frequently. It is so easy to observe. —Think about what happens when we really, really laugh. Our defenses are down. It is a very Holy-Spirit-like moment. We are completely open, completely ourselves when that message hits our brains and the laugh begins. That’s when new ideas can be implanted!!! . . .But I still miss my mother. I so miss my mother. —Yes, I am taking a “firm stand” but. . . .sigh.

  13. Aly on March 1, 2018 at 9:13 am

    Aleea,

    This post had me in tears. I’m sorry for what you have been through and as someone also who is separate from her own mom I understand the pain and pull of wanting to call or reach out.
    ~Wanting things to be different~ doesn’t make them that way.

    I’m so glad you have your sister and your nieces to interact with! This is such a blessing and I love that you also enjoy laughter💕
    My husband and I tend to laugh often and have our own world together about silly things~ it’s precious and I often take that for granted but then your post here reminded me yet again so much of what is a normal day~seem extraordinary;)

    You mentioned taking a ‘firm stand’ and yes often being healthy requires this but I believe it requires a firm stand because the stand isn’t just about safety but about True Love~ truly loving not just ourselves (because He first loved us) but also our mothers or those who abuse and use.

    The ‘stand or better yet healthy invitation’,healthy boundaries or requirements, etc certainly represents something that often the destructive person can’t offer themselves or others for that matter. This invitation although set apart~ is love.

    When this (invitation/stand) involves marital or parental wounds it’s even that much more difficult to process because these relationships are and ‘were designed in our core’ to be sacred safety dwellings by God.., but our sin entered.

    Aleea, your mom was wrong and I’m grateful you have good counsel to break away from that experience. I pray that God will continue to bring other ‘mothers’ healthy and healing mothers & fathers alongside you🙏
    He does replace those individuals as he cares for the hearts of His own.

    • Aleea on March 2, 2018 at 4:12 am

      Thank you so, so much Aly. . . .I love you and so apologize for my behaviour a number of posts back and for not being sensitive to your deep pain. I was acting like my pain was way worse than your pain. . . .Dr. Meier e-mailed me. . .“You have the Holy Spirit in you– ask God to show you how to let him love you– if that’s what you want…” Part of me does and part does not. Everything seems fine until I become afraid. Then, . . . .then I feel like I’m about to get deeply hurt and then I want to deconstruct, demythologize, de-weaponize God because I am afraid. I am terrified. . . .Also, notice Dr. Meier’s statement, notice the end “if that’s what you want” she says that constantly and I notice that seems the way all counselors operate: “if that’s what you want.” I notice when I don’t want to move forward in healing. . .well, the neuroscience of “free-will” can be used to show that I don’t have a choice not in the sense she uses “free-will.” I need to tell Dr. Meier about that so that she can just by-pass that. If we don’t help our counselors, we can never, ever be healed. We have to help them heal us. . . . . “ . . . . just be honest to Him where you are and what you need…” I don’t know what I really, really need, but I ask Him for it anyway. I know what I value: . . . .I value a really clean heart (yeah, it is really hard work), real love, real forgiveness, real prayer (I love prayer), real compassion and real tenderness. But I realize that strength and healing can’t be centered around the idea that I am right, strong, pure or good but rather around my wounds. . . .I hate that.

      . . .Sometimes it seems this simple: God is trying to sell me something, but I don’t want to buy it. That is what my suffering is: my fantastic haggling and manic screaming over the price. . . . Maybe if I am paralyzed with fear it’s a good sign. It shows me what I have to do? I’m going to have to become way more afraid before I can become less afraid?

      Those nieces: Y-E-S!!! They love to laugh. . . . .This book helped me realize it was not just me: God Is Disappointed in You –August 29, 2013 by Mark Russell, Shannon Wheeler. . . . yes, it often feels that way. That book is so honest it will have you laughing so hard. God and I still have a good laugh about it sometimes. “God is Disappointed…” is not an exegesis of the Bible, just a book on the Bible’s texts and why ordinary people would think what they do think about those texts. After all, what is the first rule of Bible interpretation? If the plain sense makes sense, seek no other sense. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. . . .

      From 8/21/2017
      Hello Nancy,
      “. . . .Oh Aleea! You make me giggle. I hope you know that I’m not laughing at you!” . . . .Nancy, even if you are totally laughing at me, I want you to. —I know your heart is good and that you want to help me. . . . and I love to laugh, especially at myself. . . . Historically many, many, many Christians thought we get what we deserve in life. That if we just tried hard enough, God would bless us. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. . . .We know better. He does what is best for us, not what makes us happy.

      Aly, those nieces: Y-E-S!!! They really love to laugh. They laugh to the point of being incapacitated. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Belly-shaking-tear-jerking-snot-producing laughing but it is great stuff because it gets me laughing hysterically too, as well as everyone else laughing along. Sometimes it even happens when we are reading the Bible. . . .

      . . . .Like in Acts twelve when all “the brethren” are at the house of Mary and they are gathered together and praying for Peter’s release. When Peter is released and goes to the house where they are praying, Peter knocks at the door and Rhoda comes to answer. She recognizes Peter’s voice and is so joyful she runs in to the prayer group —the prayer group that is earnestly praying for his release— and announces that Peter is standing in front of the gate.…They are praying for Peter’s release, —praying for his release!!!— and they are so totally faithless that even when Rhoda keeps telling them —Peter is at the gate—they do not believe her but instead they tell her: [I will not put the original N.T. Greek in here] but from the extant originals it is basically saying “you are totally nuts, it can’t be him, it is his angel.” When Luke wrote that he must have been laughing about it because they are praying for Peter’s release and when it happens they totally disbelieve it with r-e-a-l conviction. That is a joke straight up. It r-e-a-l-l-y comes across in the extant copies [original N.T. Greek]. . . . . Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. . . . .It is so, so, so hard to believe and trust God!!! Why is it so, so hard???
      . . .Many prayers Aly, Aleea
      . . .Lord God help us all, especially me, to be gentle with people’s precious hearts.

  14. Brave Rabbit on March 1, 2018 at 11:59 am

    This topic is timely for me. Thank you to all who have posted and will be posting. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your heart breaking stories and stories of victory.

    I’m in the”stuck” position. My monsters of origin did a good job on having me be obedient to abuse. I feel as if I’m on the precipice of breaking free. I am living well, but know in my heart of hearts things can be better.

    I love the encouragement and wisdom of this community.

    Blessings to all. 💞💖

  15. Nancy on March 2, 2018 at 6:39 am

    Aleea,

    I don’t understand your point to me. You’ve pulled my words from 6 months ago, and then talk about historical Christians.

    Yesterday I told you that I was weary of having my limits disregarded by you, but you’ve chosen to disregard that, too.

    • Aleea on March 3, 2018 at 7:10 am

      Nancy, I sincerely apologize. I was certainy not, NOT trying to violate your boundaries. . . .I want you to be my friend but obviously, I don’t understand your boundaries but I am so willing to try. . . .The Bible and Christian Origins (the first 500 years of Chrsitianity) is so, so deep in me there may not be a me without them. . . .I’d make a parallel to your life but I am afraid to quote you anymore because I don’t want to offend you more than I already have. Maybe we can’t be friends but I am willing to try. . . .

    • Nancy on March 3, 2018 at 7:54 am

      I wrote out both my boundaries on Feb.28 (the last subject).

      – I’m here to apply the Bible to day-to-day situations (not talk about the Bible or history etc..)

      – I can only engage if I’m able to understand the point of what is being written.

      Thank you for your apology, Aleea. I accept it.

    • Aleea on March 3, 2018 at 10:20 am

      Thank you Nancy.

      . . .Would you see if you understand this and can answer?

      . . .When we want to go to the next step in our healing, no matter where we currently are in healing, what do we actually do??? What do we ask??? . . .Dr. Meier always says we ask questions. . . and then ask questions of the answers.

      . . . But Nancy, that just seems to leads to endless questioning. Is there something we should be doing not asking??? Is there something you would recommend??? Is that understandable???

      Do we constantly have to ask deeper and deeper questions (like we do in counseling) or can we just bypass that by doing/ by acting. I really have come to believe Chrsitianity is a Way of acting in the world and I learned that from you even if you don’t understand why.

      Can we act our way into healing or does it have to be based on what we realize by deeply thinking about our situations until it dawns on us???

      Dr. Meier says “BE” not “DO.” But it feels like “DOing” can lead to “BEing.” As in being healed. Is that wrong???

    • Nancy on March 3, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      Thanks for making your thoughts concise, Aleea. Yes, I understand.

      What comes to mind is a quote I heard recently:

      ‘Sanctification is redeeming me inch-by-inch, in the practical part of my life’.

      Something that Dawn wrote on this blog a while back was similar:

      ‘the question isn’t, ” is there healing here?” Rather, the question is, “am I willing to be obedient to The Lord in the receiving of that healing?”

      I hope this can somehow help you.

    • Aleea on March 4, 2018 at 4:57 am

      ‘the question isn’t, ” is there healing here?” Rather, the question is, “am I willing to be obedient to The Lord in the receiving of that healing?”

      (—Dawn: [Arise, Beloved] June 28, 2017 + Arise, My Beloved! Part 2 July 5, 2017 + et.al.)

      RE: “am I willing to be obedient to The Lord in the receiving of that healing?”
      Yes, I feel I am. I examine myself each day (some days I fall asleep trying to examine myself so I don’t get it done) but I feel I am obedient . . . but Nancy our hearts are so full of deception.

      Are you saying, or was Dawn saying, that anytime women and men do not heal, they don’t heal it is because they are being disobedient? Jesus says really hard, unworkable stuff: “If a woman divorces her husband and marrys another, she commits adultery; and if a man divorces his wife, he commits adultery.” “Everyone divorcing his wife, except for the cause of fornication, makes her an adulteress, and whoever should marry a divorced woman commits adultery.” Are we willing to be obedient there? That has, only by the Grace of God, never been my issue. I have been married only once and am still married. I guess I don’t understand this: “am I willing to be obedient to The Lord in the receiving of that healing?” Does that mean when people don’t heal it is because they are being disobedient to the Lord?

      I think Jesus saves us out of our disobedience or we would never be saved. Wouldn’t He heal us there too? I mean we always have serious sin going on. It is ever with us. . . . .Consider that the apostle Paul (Paul, —he had seen Jesus and had been to the third heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2)) . . .And yet Paul couldn’t keep from falling into grievious evil & sin again and again even late in his life. Paul said —and this is late in his life: Romans Seven “For the good that I want to do, I do not do, but I practice the very evil —the very wicked, evil *sin* that I do not want to do.” . . . .So, I guess I don’t understand.

      It seems to me that the point is to help break the false distinction between the idea that there are those who are whole and good –and- those who have a lack and are evil. For the true distinction seems to be between those who hide their lack under a fiction of wholeness and those who do not. Serious evil lurks within all of us and the battle against this evil is a daily battle. So if the Lord has to wait for Aleea to be obedient before He heals her, I guess I will never be receiving any healing??? Even though I feel I am being obedient, but again the easiest person to fool is ourselves.

    • Nancy on March 4, 2018 at 8:18 am

      This is a video on freedom from self judgment. He talks about the destructiveness of trying to ‘fix myself’. And how that stems from judging others.

      Involves repenting of the sin of judging others and asking The Lord to teach observation without judgment.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iSx5DxSFVnc

    • Maria on March 7, 2018 at 6:56 am

      I would like to share why I choose to interact with Aleea. I am certainly not her therapist. I have stayed away from theological discussions and offered suggestions. These are things I have learned in my journey which I hope will be helpful to others. I have shared before that I have decided to stay in my marriage for now. I realize that my kids will face challenges because they are growing up in a dysfunctional home. I hope someone is willing to walk alongside them if they are struggling. My kids could be Aleea in a few years. If they are willing to work on their issues I hope someone with compassion crosses their path and is willing to help. I have been on this blog for a few yrs and I have seen Aleea grow. I tell my kids that no matter what they face, if They are teachable there is hope. Our journeys are messy. I am grateful to those who have been there.
      Many of us have heard the story of a man entering a bus with unruly kids. People did not understand why the father was allowing this. Their perspective changed when he asked them to forgive them because their mother had just died. I feel compassion for Aleea and I think Aly felt that too when Aleea shared the abuse she has suffered.

      • Aly on March 7, 2018 at 9:02 am

        Maria, Aleea and others here;)

        Maria, I really can resonate with your post and I do agree with so much of your posture here. Yes, I do have compassion for Aleea and really ALL of us here learning and experiencing community in a different venue.
        I believe you have given tangible suggestions that I hope will bring about His purposes.

        I have also given suggestions ‘theological ones’ and deeper challenging ones for Aleea to consider. I think it’s a delicate situation by far.

        Maria, you mentioned your children and I will also pray that the Lord will weave support and care for them as they enravel certain things that make relationships more complicated at times. ~All families are dysfunctional by the way.~
        That’s why He places us in new families🤗

        I also see these things from a different perspective at times given what my own journey has been and walking alongside my husband.
        I can tell you with my h’s path (it was a team of care, certainly in the thick of it)
        My children would not have the father they have today if my husband was not surrounded by ‘men’ challenging his defensive scoping skills of avoidance. The ‘broken men’ in his group were and still are used for Gods glory.
        He even learned so much growth in being apart of someone else’s recovery and seeing himself from different angles.

        Goodness how many times (Here) do we see our stories in others? Often! and Leslie’s ministry used For Gods purposes are a bigger picture, far bigger than we can really articulate.

        Many of my interactions would offer Aleea to take things back to her Therapist and to consider some thoughts that many have brought to her. Also many of my replies are to engage at a level that does bring the issue back to the issue.
        With deep Attachment injuries ~ this is fragile yet essential and for many of us…maybe we can relate with others walking alongside our junk at different places. (Sometimes we don’t even realize it when it’s happening, but God is doing His profound interruptions in our lives)

        I have met too many ‘Christians’ who won’t walk alongside another sister because of how uncomfortable and messy recovery can be at times, this is also another Attachment formed issue from the other side where as Christians I believe we can all seek to grow and be challenged.

    • Seeing the Light on March 7, 2018 at 11:30 pm

      Maria and Aly,

      Just a few additional comments:

      What I am most concerned about is the potential for harm to others. If someone who is new to the blog or who does not come often and does not know the depths of Aleea’s spiritual struggle comes out here and reads her comments, often they will hear what sound like deep and profound thoughts from her (often not her original thoughts at all and sometimes similar to the thoughts of atheists), mixed with Christian sounding things. I am concerned for those who do not know the situation. I am concerned about the effects of un-Christian thoughts – including frequent strong statements regarding the insufficiency of the evidence for Christianity – being given play buried amidst and intertwined with Christian-sounding rhetoric and empathy-inspiring emotionalism and protestations of intense love for Jesus. She actually says many things here that I think would inspire others to speak up and confront the content sharply if it were coming from another source and in another manner.

      I am not unfeeling for Aleea. It’s just that I don’t think her sufferings are greater than everybody else’s. Perhaps some perspective might be gained by reading “Glenda’s Story: Led By Grace,” by Glenda Revell. Her childhood abuse is unspeakable. (I would certainly consider her mother a “monster,” and Glenda was also the victim of ongoing childhood sexual abuse). Yet her perspective on it and her own sin is amazing. I recommend it – especially for Aleea.

      From your comments today regarding your interactions with Aleea I guess my reaction would still be that I don’t understand why you wouldn’t just want to continue this more personal level of coming alongside one individual this in depth via personal email. I assume that you have already emailed Aleea before, Maria, as I recalled that you had previously invited me to email you and that I could contact Aleea to do so as she has your email (January 31, 2018 post – February 4, 2018 9:16 am comment). I would certainly never suggest you not come alongside her if that is your desire, I just thought personal email correspondence might be one solution for you to continue this kind of conversation and give her the support you want to give her, while still looking out for the good of others. Then she might be more able to keep her comments on the blog in line with the topic. I’m off to go do that myself now.

      My nature is strongly that of a protector and a guardian. I would have already moved on from this if I weren’t continually convicted in my heart of speaking up about the potential damage I have been concerned about. That has driven me to speak. I have said my piece.

      • Aly on March 8, 2018 at 9:39 am

        Seeing the Light,

        I would agree with many of your concerns and I can certainly understand why you care for others with little or no anchoring of faith and thus the responsibility.

        Your opinion is valid and makes a lot of sense given the importance of this blog.
        I feel similar things when certain individuals (sometimes men) write their perspective and their skewed beliefs that can cause all sorts of second guessing for women who are ‘still’ trying to survive in an abusive dynamic.
        As you may notice I also speak up to these things … OFten without a response or any dialog from the person making their comments. Which I also feel are quite concerning and can normalize abusive experiences!

        Just to be clear, I personally have not been engaging with Aleea on this thread the theological issues she brings up, i left that direction a long time ago. I usually bring it back to Fear and control issues….
        She has recently admitted ~ her struggle isn’t about the Bible.
        I can’t speak for Maria, but this is progress of humility & courage (even if it is a small step)
        Many on this blog have no problem with small steps.

        I have spoke up *often* and pointed out the complete inaccuracy of certain ‘reckless’ statements she has written and I will add Leslie’s Administrator has allowed for those to be posted to the blog for us all to read.
        The valid concern you bring up I feel is the responsibility of the blog owner/administrator to gauge because regardless if Aleea is getting response or not from any of us she has continued to post here those things that you highlighted as a big concern. Even at seasons where I have not engaged. Have contacted the administrator or Leslie on these issues that you are concerned over?

        I do think Leslie addressed Aleea gently a week or so ago about this and asked her to not continue with the deflection.

        I feel like what you are saying is that I should not have any dialog with her ‘on this blog’ unless it stays on topic to the original poster/question? Please correct me if I’m wrong?

        • Leslie Vernick on March 8, 2018 at 10:59 am

          This response is for everyone, not just Aly: I see this blog as a big family. We don’t always agree. And sometimes it gets burdensome when one person seems to be having a big struggle and our “help” or “suggestions” don’t fix it for her. Some of you may need to set some boundary’s for yourself. For example, “I don’t think I can continue to respond to Aleea because I’m not sure she hears me or I’m getting anywhere.” Some may want to interact with her privately. Some may choose not to read her posts – or other posts from more contentious individuals that trigger them. However what I think is really really important is that no one tries to set a boundary on someone else. That isn’t boundary setting that is controlling. Part of my goal in this blog is not to simply answer a question each week. My vision is to equip you to wisely answer each other’s questions. To think deeply about things. To be empowered to set boundaries for yourself if you need to or to speak up when you have concerns or questions. This is a place to practice the very things that you may not have felt free to do when you were in a destructive relationship. But I also believe that Aleea is here for a reason. She has been a strong long time contributor, a prayer warrior for many, and right now she needs our love and support coupled with truth and grace. If you think a conversation is taking up a lot of space and perhaps going way off topic, I would think it wise to continue it privately. Just like if you were at a gathering of people who were talking about helping to raise money for orphans and you were debating with someone about the validity of evolution. It is an important topic but not for that forum or that time and so perhaps those who are interested in that discussion, can connect another time or place. So I want you to know that I hear all of your concerns and want to encourage you to continue to slosh through them with respect and love and grace for all.

          • Aly on March 8, 2018 at 11:45 am

            Leslie, and Seeing the Light,

            Leslie is this response to me?
            To us all.. the window says (aly)
            I don’t feel I’m the one with the biggest concern here and I have tried my best to validate where STL is concerned.
            I don’t feel like I try to determine another’s boundary on this blog, I have my own… in fact for me, I felt that was what was being asked of me?

            Am I misinterpreting this posture?



          • Leslie Vernick on March 8, 2018 at 1:36 pm

            Sorry Aly, not it’s not to you, it was just to everyone, but your comment was the one I picked to respond. I will edit it.



          • Leslie Vernick on March 8, 2018 at 1:38 pm

            Nope, it was not meant for you, yours was just the highest on my post and I didn’t want to respond to each person’s concerns in chunks.



    • Seeing the Light on March 8, 2018 at 8:41 pm

      Aly,

      Thank you for what you have said in your comment.

      I am really becoming quite weary and think it is time for me to move on from this issue, but you asked me a question, so I am going to try to answer it and then respond to the issue one more time. You said, “I feel like what you are saying is that I should not have any dialog with her ‘on this blog’ unless it stays on topic to the original poster/question? Please correct me if I’m wrong?” 
I am not trying to tell you what you should or should not do. I was posing a suggestion. I do believe it was repeated out here by many that members of the community wanted Aleea and her conversations to stay on topic. To be straightforward, I myself wish they would follow the directive given by Leslie in her comment February 17, 2018 at 1:05 am on the February 14, 2018 blog post: “Aleea…I want you to feel valued and heard, but I fear that some your angst around your own battle regarding Scripture is taking this blog in to places that may not be helpful for the majority of readers. So I encourage you to fully participate in the areas around the question and relationship issues, but as others have stated, let’s keep this blog about destructive relationships and not the questions regarding the inerrancy of Scripture.”

      I believe Aleea has demonstrated that she is unable to interact with many of the kinds of questions that you and some others pose to her without going over the same issues that defy even Leslie’s request. I have heard the frustration of others here (for that matter, frustration with her comments goes all the way back to 2015). So my mind simply turned to offering an alternative solution that might meet the needs and good of all, including Aleea, by the way, as I continue to firmly believe commenting in this manner here in the full view of all is not good for her. To borrow from Leslie’s analogy of the gathering to raise money for orphans and the validity of evolution conversation – I would be the person hearing the evolution conversation, noticing it getting more distracting to others, seeing the frustration and confusion others are experiencing, even experiencing it myself – so I walk over and say to you, “Would you mind having your evolution conversation in the other room over there? This conversation is disturbing others, and that room is really quite nice and would suit your needs.” That’s it. You have the freedom to say, “No, we won’t do that.” I’m not setting a boundary for you at all. In such an example, I don’t think most of the people in the room would see speaking up in that manner as inappropriate or controlling. It was a simple suggestion. I only asked a second time because I did not see a clear response to the suggestion the first time.

      My responses to other parts of your comment:

      “She has recently admitted ~ her struggle isn’t about the Bible.” —Aly, did you read her most recent comment (today, March 8, 2018 at 2:28 am on the March 7, 2018 blog post)? What more can I say?

      You said, “I can’t speak for Maria, but this is progress of humility & courage (even if it is a small step)” —If you believe she is making progress, I encourage you to go back to around February 2015 and begin reading her comments and the reactions of others. If you are so inclined, compare that to where things are today.

      “I have spoke up *often* and pointed out the complete inaccuracy of certain ‘reckless’ statements she has written and I will add Leslie’s Administrator has allowed for those to be posted to the blog for us all to read.” —Yes, this is true, and it has left me completely astounded.

      “The valid concern you bring up I feel is the responsibility of the blog owner/administrator to gauge because regardless if Aleea is getting response or not from any of us she has continued to post here those things that you highlighted as a big concern. Even at seasons where I have not engaged. “ —I agree, and I say again that astounds me.

      “Have contacted the administrator or Leslie on these issues that you are concerned over?
 —No, I have not. When I posted some of the things that I did in recent weeks, I was in shock that Leslie and/or the administrator did not immediately block Aleea until they investigated the matter fully. See my comments: February 18, 2018 at 11:53 am; February 18, 2018 at 7:56 pm; and February 22, 2018 at 2:35pm (scroll to the area surrounding the link about Robert M. Price) all on the February 14, 2018 blog post. See also February 27, 2018 at 10:00 am (see the link) on the February 21, 2018 blog post. This kind of thing was happening all the way back in 2015 and there are many instances of it. I honestly have not seen the point of going that route given what the response to this issue has already been. I truly don’t get it.

      “I do think Leslie addressed Aleea gently a week or so ago about this and asked her to not continue with the deflection.” —Yes, I know. Do you think that is going to make a difference?

      I’ve only continued to comment about this situation here for the reasons I have already given, most especially concern for others. I get nothing out of this. It only drains me, and I am drained. I am relieved that I think I have finally gotten to the point of satisfying conscience in this matter.

      I think it may be time for me to seriously consider that I may be the one who does not quite understand the purpose of this blog.

      God bless you, Aly. I believe you have a very kind heart.

      • Aly on March 8, 2018 at 11:18 pm

        Seeing the Light,

        I appreciate your time and clarity in this matter. I want to respond to the best of my ability without sounding ‘confusing’. I believe we both and many here have best intentions ~we also have many differences and journeys too.

        Here is my best effort to try to explain something I think is rather ‘complex’ and hard to see at times. Let me emphasize Complex!

        I can certainly relate to the weariness so I don’t want this response to be long or jarbled 😜… I’m trying to articulate as best as i can.

        Here is goes….
        My posts to Aleea are to the
        ‘Real Aleea’ not the false coping Aleea who posts all the scripture hooks etc.
        The real Aleea shows up in moments of her posts but often she is covered by all the theological hooks that can easily get any of us ‘ spun’.
        When the real Aleea shows up, that’s who I dialog with and I dialog with much of her painful experience as a sister in Christ. I also challenge much at times ~ which if you notice, doesn’t often get a response. Her choice.

        I would also like to add that given the thread there have been several times when I have questioned Aleea and she has responded in a posture of ‘taking full responsibility for some of the hurtful things her posts of comparisons ‘, which I respect.

        It’s a complex issue in my opinion. We ‘as a family here’ as Leslie pointed out earlier, are just a small part of bigger process.

        I hope that brings any closure here and I apologize for the weariness. I get that and my hope is that in our differences we can see parts that help us all grow. 💜

  16. Debbie on March 2, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Nine years ago, my marriage was in crisis and we went to counseling where we were asked to read “The Emotional Destructive Marriage”. My husband finally admitted that he was verbally abusive. Our marriage slowly healed, through God’s grace and mercy. Fast forward and we’re back in a destructive pattern. And, to complicate things, he is showing signs of dementia and is refusing to see a Dr. He admits that he expects to be offended “all the time”, so you can imagine how our conversations go. I live in a home with a man who is angry, mean, uses hurtful words and is constantly offended. After 38 years, I am worn down, exhausted, have insomnia and constant headaches. I feel so stuck, with no end in sight. I am ashamed that I want to leave….but I know I won’t. I know this is not how God wants our marriage to be! All I can do is cling to Him….oh, and that annoys my husband too! When I listen to Christian music, he makes mean comments. He does not like that I serve at church. He literally sighs loudly when he sees me studying my Bible! He’s furious that I went on a mission trip recently. (He would adamantly claim he’s a believer.) It’s sooooo exhausting. Anyone have any suggestions or encouragement?

    • Aly on March 3, 2018 at 11:18 pm

      Debbie,

      I hope others chime in here too. I just read your Post and I’m so sorry for what you are going through.
      Do you have a counselor currently?
      What kind of other support do you have (women) bible study etc?

      So just admitting to verbal abuse is the very basic of acknowledging there is s problem and certainly a very deeper problem going on with him.

      You mentioned your marriage slowly healed but then now you say the pattern has reemerged?
      How long was he working on his recovery? How long did you have a healthy healing safe marriage dynamic?

      For the cycle to change, your husband would have to work on his part, and those deep roots that are core to his behavior.
      If all he wants to do is admit the verbal abuse then it’s empty because once a person has a repentant posture they have a response that wants to change. They will show willingness for interventions and will want to make restitution of the harm and trust taken.

      Based on the physical symptoms you are having I’m concerned about your well being, I think many of us here might relate to those symptoms when living with a destructive person who isn’t making forward healthy progress.

      His attitude toward your serving or loving the Lord are a sign of a heart issue! This is not the response of a believer, maybe he believes in eternal salvation but he’s not interested in surrendering his heart to God and having the Lord be his ultimate authority.

    • Maria on March 4, 2018 at 6:45 am

      Debbie,

      You also mention that he is showing sign of dementia. Are there any support groups in you area you can join to get more information/support?

    • Free on March 4, 2018 at 7:12 am

      I guess what I am thinking is why does age matter? Everyday of your life is precious, regardless of how old we are. Healthy people leave these kinds of relationships before they get to this point. So…here comes the tough love….what is it in you that you like you must stay in such a horrible environment? You have to get away from his abuse before your health deteriorates even more.

      Staying abused doesn’t glorify God, it makes the devil victorious. I agree with others who say you need counseling. I agree that your relationship with the Lord has helped you endure, but you were designed to thrive, not survive. Have you created an escape plan?

      • Maria on March 4, 2018 at 7:47 am

        I know a couple of people who have had to care for elderly parents with dementia. It certainly affects their behavior and moods. It can be very taxing on the care giver. It will be very important to take care of yourself and also find help if possible.

        • Free on March 4, 2018 at 8:42 am

          I agree about dementia changing the picture. Yet, at the moment his behaviors are calculated. People with dementia are not capable of that kind of thinking. I think Debbie is living with a person who has very difficult personality mix. I just want to caution Debbie that dementia is not an excuse for his behavior. I would address the abuse first and the dementia second. The behaviors she describes are abusive, not dementia. Paranoia, a common symptom, of dementia comes later in the disease process. Yes, learn everything you can Deb about both abuse and Alzheimer’s. Good plan!

    • Seeing the Light on March 4, 2018 at 10:36 am

      Debbie,
      Can I ask – what is happening that you are suspecting dementia?

      • Amanda on March 6, 2018 at 11:42 pm

        Seeing the Light, I thought your comment in the previous post was excellent regarding the suggestion to engage with Aleea personally rather than on this blog. Enough already!

        • Seeing the Light on March 7, 2018 at 6:24 pm

          Thank you, Amanda.

          • Renee on March 7, 2018 at 7:26 pm

            What I’ve noticed from this post. While everyone (not bad mouthing anyone on the blog) speaks of how helpful boundaries are, we are now reminded of how hard they are to keep. We set them and get pulled back in under a different tactic.

            God help us all.



  17. Caryl Ann on March 2, 2018 at 9:13 am

    My husband was prince charming! I thought I had died and gone to Heaven. It was the sweetest relationship I had ever had and I was 60 at the time. A few months after we married, only a year and a half ago, he started out with the mental and emotional abuse. He would get mad over nothing and blame me for it. I would be so hurt at the things he would say. When I would cry, he would look at me and say, “What are you crying about? This is all your fault.”.. He would sleep on the couch and not speak to me for a day or two. This would crush me. When I would try and talk to him about it and his behavior, he would always flip it around and say, “Let’s talk about what you did!.” I would ask him what I did, his reply would be,”Well, if you don’t know, then I am not going to tell you.” By the time it was over, I would be apologizing for whatever it was just so he would talk to me. I knew that he was manipulating me, buy I didn’t know what to do about it. He never apologized for anything. He never hugged me or comforted me when I would cry. That would just add to the hurt.

    • Aly on March 2, 2018 at 9:23 am

      Carolyn Ann,

      What you describe is to a tee what I experienced for a long time in my marriage ~
      So painful yet also confusing emotionally.
      It took me much longer to see what was manipulation and power tactics.. I didn’t think that was my husband’s position (or heart posture) during these examples like what you described.
      Again.. to a tee that was often our pattern and it was crazy making!

      What are you doing now for yourself and your well being?

    • Renee on March 8, 2018 at 9:06 pm

      You wrote: [My husband was prince charming! I thought I had died and gone to Heaven. It was the sweetest relationship I had ever had and I was 60 at the time.]

      If you don’t mind me asking, was this your first marriage? How long did you two date before marrying? We dated four years before marrying. I saw signs that you mentioned.

      • get mad over nothing and blame me
      • flip it around
      • not speak to me for a day or two (weeks)
      • Well, if you don’t know, then I am not going to tell you (don’t know what this is called. I just call it playing games)

      Because of what I was seeing (non-healthy relationships) I believed what was taking place was normal.

      You wrote: [By the time it was over, I would be apologizing for whatever it was just so he would talk to me.]

      I would try to have peace for a few and then try to get him to engage with us. I remember many days of dinner alone.

      I remember this tip (not from a counselor but well meaning individuals) to just set his food where he normally set at the dining table and let him know. If I had to do it all over again, I would have not put our children through seeing that empty spot with just a plate.

      That manipulation tactic played out. So if he wanted to be in a funk, I stop trying to pull him out.

      So please accept our comfort and our HUGS!!!

  18. Aly on March 2, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Aleea,

    Of course I receive your apology, I wasn’t upset with you but I agree your behavior in your comments felt a bit disjointed and maybe misapplied or misdirected to what you were feeling emotions about.
    (I’m reiterating ‘your comments’ not you as a person)

    I so appreciate some really healthy and truthful things your posted last! Also I think that what Dr. Meier said is very good… let me expand.

    You wrote:
    “Dr. Meier e-mailed me. . .“You have the Holy Spirit in you– ask God to show you how to let him love you– if that’s what you want…”

    I actually think this is an invitation where you ‘get to decide’. It almost sounds similar to what Seeing The Light asked you about your posture towards healing?

    Two very important things that Dr. Meier wrote, first:
    ~Ask God to show you how to let Him love you~
    Will you let Him love you?
    And second:
    “If that’s what you want?”
    She brought you back to your own choices, your own choice to participate toward your goals.

    Thank you for being so honest about this next:
    “Part of me does and part does not. Everything seems fine until I become afraid. Then, . . . .then I feel like I’m about to get deeply hurt and then I want to deconstruct, demythologize, de-weaponize God because I am afraid.”

    The part that does needs to defeat the part that does not Aleea. Your part that does Not is (at times not always) choosing to allow fear to sabatoge connection and trust.
    I have read in your past posts as you do try to deconstruct God~ and yes out of your fear.
    But that fear isn’t serving you well. It’s still your choice to deal with the fear and what it is that you truly are afraid of?

    There is good healthy fear in many scenarios, and then there is fear that pops up but doesn’t decide for us, and then there is fear that absolutely ~ takes over and controls the very thing that we say we want (fill in the blank here) yet fear that is clearly disproportionate will cause all sorts of chaos.

    Side note:
    When you were little were you allowed to be scared?
    Most little girls get scared and need comforting and that’s normal to growing up. Not all little girls receive the freedom to be scared and then comforted.

    What about considering looking at this a different way;
    You wrote;
    “Then, . . . .then I feel like I’m about to get deeply hurt and then I want to deconstruct, demythologize, de-weaponize God because I am afraid. ”

    You feel your about to get deeply hurt.. ok I get this none of us like or ask to get deeply hurt. Right?
    But go back to ‘you feel’.. your feelings could be driving an outcome or let’s say an assumption. But what if the assumption is wrong or skewed from some other bad experience?
    Now you have a skewed assumption (maybe) deciding a result.
    Ok what about instead of deconstructing, demythologizing & deweaponize God, you deconstruct & deweaponize Fear?

    His perfect Love 💜 casts out all fear!
    Back to Dr. Meier.., will you ‘let Him love you’?
    Will you let Him show you how you can be loved, safely?
    (My paraphrasing)

    • Aleea on March 3, 2018 at 6:59 am

      Aly,

      I sincerely appreciate all the time you spent on that e-mail and helping me think though it. Even if I never heal (God forbid!) I will remember that you cared deeply and gave me the most percious thing we have: your time. Honestly, Thank you. . . .and that goes for so many here who have done the same.

      Re: “Dr. Meier e-mailed me. . .“You have the Holy Spirit in you– ask God to show you how to let him love you– if that’s what you want…” I actually think this is an invitation where you ‘get to decide’. It almost sounds similar to what Seeing The Light asked you about your posture towards healing?

      “Do you want to heal?” . . .Here is that question as asked by Jesus: Aleea, do you want to pay and keep paying the excruciatingly painful price it takes to heal? The excruciatingly painful price it takes to heal.

      Dr. Meier says part of me does and part of me does not. She says that is the *really* honest answer from everyone, even from her and her issues.

      Do you want to burst into flames? Well no Lord, but YES, Lord let all the nonsense burn away and I don’t know which is which.

      For everyone: Do you want to pay and keep paying the *excruciatingly* painful price it takes to heal? Well no, but YES, somedays yes and somedays no, right???

      I know Leslie asks that question of people because Jesus asked it. . . .But Jesus is asking:“Do you want to transform?; Do you want to metanoia in the New Testament?” But the real base later of that question Jesus is asking is different because you, me, e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e wants to heal/transform IF IT IS EASY. The real question is do you, do I want to be SET ON FIRE, set totally ablaze and have all our old deadwood burned off. Everyone wants to raise again, to be regenerated. NO ONE wants to go down in flames and combust, and be burnt up to obtain new life by arising from the ashes of our predecessor (our old self burnt off –the pain of metanoia).

      RE: ~Ask God to show you how to let Him love you~
      Will you let Him love you? . . .Most of me will/does, but some part of me does not, it is very afraid of Him and that is the truth.

      RE: What is it that you truly are afraid of? . . .Aly, I think I am truly afraid of love. . . .The issue is that I am “occupied” and not even by an updated version of my mother but by the childhood version. . . . My mother can abuse me anytime she wants because I have internalized her. How do you get non-physical internalized relationships out of your head? It seems pretty straight forward to get a divorce from someone (I apologize everyone, my pain is not worse than your pain). How do you divorce someone who you have internalized in childhood trauma even though you never see them anymore? How do I get at these barriers and remove them?

      Inside of me is a little Aleea not used to love or compassion so she doesn’t know what to do with it. She is not my enemy. —And I am trying to tell her (little Aleea), tell her with love and compassion that I (—current day, grown up, Aleea) that it is okay that she (little Aleea) feels that way because she was just a child and little Aleea didn’t understand that the abuse was not from what she (little Aleea) was doing. . .

      Aly when you get too close to me. I call these the “—Oh NO, NOT the LOVE, —anything but the LOVE”, moments. I become just terrified. . . .Interally I need to see if she (little Aleea) will allow me somewhat near to her, so I can let her know I understand she has very, VERY good reasons for her barriers against healing love.

      —Honestly, it is a total mess because this little Aleea is afraid of everything. . . . Aly, I do pray during these times: “Lord Jesus help me to love this little girl the way you would, —please!” re: A Theology of Christian Counseling: More Than Redemption – Personality and its Transformations.

      RE: ASSUMPTIONS. . . .Yes, they are usually wrong but also they are often wrong about things we deeply cherish. I hate that too but it is just true.

      “But go back to ‘you feel’.. your feelings could be driving an outcome or let’s say an assumption. But what if the assumption is wrong or skewed from some other bad experience? Now you have a skewed assumption (maybe) deciding a result.” Aly, this is sad but that goes both ways. Assuming free will. Free will is a huge assumption. The Myth of Free Will, Revised & Expanded Edition – August 11, 2010; Who’s in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain –Gazzaniga is internationally recognized in the field of neuroscience and cognitive research. . . .Also, assuming everything in the Bible is just t-o-t-a-l-l-y, completely true. That is an assumption that can be shown to be false. The Five Gospels: What Did Jesus Really Say? The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus . . .22,500 plus scholars (because they are quoting other scholars too), 275 years of research (because we have the writings of other from the past), I really doubt that all of them have demon possession. I so, so want everything to be true but that is not true. Even Dr. Meier believes that but that was a breakthough that took a lot of time.

      . . .But I am willing to assume that Aly loves me because I have what Aly has written me over a long, long period of time and I view that as evidence that you do. I am willing to assume that God loves me too because some of what He has written is not full of textual issues and He says He does and I believe I have felt His love but I may have been kidding myself because I so desperately want Him and need Him. But I don’t know because I am totally motivated for that to be true.

    • Aleea on March 3, 2018 at 7:30 am

      . . .Aly (Anyone), when we want to go to the next step, no matter where we currently are in healing, what do we actually do??? What do we ask??? . . .Dr. Meier always says we ask questions. . . and then ask questions of the answers. But, for me, it just leads to endless questioning. Is there something we should be doing not asking???

    • Aleea on March 3, 2018 at 11:41 am

      Aly, how are you able to get your comments into the right order? I don’t even see a blue reply button on my side to do that with?

      Re:two different pains and choice.
      Re: the lifetime process of sanctification ~ where we are continuously being transformed into more and more the image of Christ. Am I understanding correctly?

      I think you are correct but I bet it is only one type of pain in reality: The pain of transforming.

      Re: can be reshaped and healed by Him and through Him.
      Re: do you want to de-internalize her and her once pivotal role?

      I’m maybe afraid to get rid of that idol of sorts because I am afraid I will put some sort of me in as an idol. We take our ideas of God and hold them as if they correspond to the reality of God but that is to merely construct a conceptual idol built from our human minds. . . .I want God, not other people’s or my ideas about God. All I know is that thinking too much deconstructs all of it because it can’t stand up to that level of deep questioning. . . .But if we just walk (Act) into the mystery of God maybe we heal. I can not define that mystery no matter how hard I try. Even saying “God” is never really naming God but only naming our understanding of God. . . .And so I have to walk into the mystery of God by serving others (Acting). In other words, Christianity is a “Way” to be followed.

      RE: How ‘available’ are you emotionally, spiritually to your husband’s love and connection? . . .Aly, I think I am totally available. I even have him in counseling with me when Dr. Meier will allow it (she thinks he is not a big part of this but I never understand that). Why??? I have received no good answer from her. I would even like him to learn enough so eventually he can take over for her because I am going to be with him until I die. He is there for the worst of it and when I really need counseling, he is there. He can’t look past the “Ds” —the demythologizing, —the deconstructing, the deweaponizing of God when I am afraid. —Maybe that is what Dr. Meier worries about. —She can look past it but I know he could learn to, too. Dr. Meier sees through it. It frightens him and then that frightens me and then I do it more and . . . .you know: feed-back loops.

    • Aleea on March 3, 2018 at 6:34 pm

      Hello Aly,

      “He is there for the worst of it and when I really need counseling, he is there. He can’t look past the “Ds” —the demythologizing, —the deconstructing, the deweaponizing of God when I am afraid. —Maybe that is what Dr. Meier worries about. —She can look past it but I know he could learn to, too. Dr. Meier sees through it. ”

      RE: Help me understand above.. because I’m not clear. . . .So, Dr. Meier has a Ph.D. in psychology but she also has an M.Div. or Ph.D. in theology as well. . . . .She knows N.T. Greek and understands s-e-r-i-o-u-s Bible difficulties. She really, deeply gets the issues. He does not understand them and starts getting lost and asking questions like: But God’s Word is without error and has no faults in all its teaching and does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact, right? If you have ever seen the old “Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy”, it is that type of thinking.

      Aly, I don’t want to deconstruct that because I really believe. . . .I deeply believe and I am pretty sure that in the end that this has nothing to do with the Bible. It is just that the Bible has been such a part of my life I can’t seal that off, you know. Any childhood abuse issue we talk about he brings up Scriptures (comforting and beautiful) but then before long I am back discussing the Bible and Christian Origins.

      This is what I have starting thinking of late: Dr. Meier will never admit things just straight out but I don’t think these issues have anything to do with God or the Bible. I actually think that could be serious overhead to solving the real issues. . . .You know Aly how you have got to get the questions right or you can’t solve anything? I don’t think these issues are God and Bible issues. But God and the Bible are all we know how to talk about in my home. Ditto Dr. Meier.

      RE: Does that bring any consideration for you? . . .I guess I don’t know what consideration means.
      RE: Vulnerable, authentic Love and connection. Safe Love.

      . . . H’s love is very safe and I don’t want to damage and destroy that. Not every childhood trauma can be healed by finding the right h. He’ll enter the pain and hears the screams but he can’t deal with it like Dr. Meier but she is not their when it happens. It happens late at night and in dreams. PTSD.

      . . .I have learned to cope in ways most have never had to. How do I see the world as a place of Aly-style safe love and respect and not a hateful place where all human relationships are based not on love and respect, but power, suffering, and humiliation (re: severely mistreated and subject to psychological and physical abuse).

      Not belonging, being unwanted, being chronically misunderstood, where questioning is constantly devalued. I’m sure my mother has vast unresolved traumas of her own. I have defenses around my most vulnerabe parts, absolutely.

      How do I reraise myself? I need to reraise myself I just don’t know how. Former complexly traumatized children, I think they need safety, predictability, and “fun.” I feel like I have that but don’t get better. I don’t see the secondary gains of not getting better. I want to get better but some part of me must not want that, but which. . . .Reinvent myself. Reimagine the world, somehow. . .

    • Seeing the Light on March 3, 2018 at 10:06 pm

      Aleea, JoAnn, and others,

      JoAnn said: “I am bothered by the imagery that you use: fire, flames, pain, etc. Must it be that way for you?” I, too, am bothered by this.

      From Aleea’s 6:59 am comment today (3/3): “NO ONE wants to go down in flames and combust, and be burnt up to obtain new life by arising from the ashes of our predecessor (our old self burnt off –the pain of metanoia).” Where is this imagery and terminology coming from – “flames”, “combust”, “new life by arising from the ashes of our predecessor”? Is this in the Bible? This just did not seem right or to fit the Scriptures so I did a little Google search and it is just awfully similar to the description of phoenix mythology. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_(mythology) – the second paragraph below the first one-sentence paragraph. Notice the terms – “new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor”, “flames”, “combustion”. Why is this mythology being mixed with Jesus as though He is asking this of Aleea or anyone else? This kind of thing is really sending up red flags for me.

      From the same comment by Aleea: “‘Do you want to heal?’ . . .Here is that question as asked by Jesus: Aleea, do you want to pay and keep paying the excruciatingly painful price it takes to heal? The excruciatingly painful price it takes to heal.” Where? Where did Jesus ever say this? Please help me – is there a chapter and verse?

      “Do you want to burst into flames? Well no Lord, but YES, Lord let all the nonsense burn away and I don’t know which is which.” Again – is Jesus supposed to have asked us all somewhere if we want to burst into flames? This is worded as though she is responding to a question from Him.

      Is it possible to stop putting words into Jesus’ mouth and stop mis-quoting Him? He deserves better than this. Please.

    • Aleea on March 4, 2018 at 4:06 am

      RE: table landing where maybe we could agree that you and I ask a lot of questions? Maybe we both see the value of asking questions and discovering trying better to understand a person or a belief? Connection trumping pain.

      Table landing??? Asking lots of questions??? . . .Aly, I have to force myself to think deeply Aly, I don’t do that naturally. I love petting my kitten, hugs and laughing, walking my black lab and sweet peace. I don’t really care about anything academic. But I realized years ago that was imbalanced. We need to work in areas where we are weak so we are more balanced people. I hate the first 500 years of Christianity. I am so glad I don’t live there. . . .

      That old, smelly, filthy Monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai Desert (the world’s oldest continuously operating library of ancient manuscripts); the Benedictine abbey above the town of Melk, in Lower Austria —the monastery’s scriptorium (very clean but super creepy; but important, founded in 1089 that monastery’s scriptorium was the major site for the production of Bible manuscripts all across Europe); the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, Ireland. . . .Where Papyrus 45, the earliest (AD 275) and best New Testament manuscript lives heavily damaged and fragmented, et.al.

      . . . . Those are creepy, c-r-e-e-p-y palces. Aly, I don’t even like antiques let along those places. . . ha, ha, ha, ha. . . .Aly, I hate antiques, they actually scare me. But, I think it is our responsibility to actually have really researched what we believe and why and to have looked at the primary source evidence o-u-r-s-e-l-v-e-s. Because when you do. . . .When you do, . . . .when *you* do, you will have so, so, so many questions they will not even fit on a table. . . . .

      I hate thinking, researching, questions. . . .It is totally depressing. All kinds of peer-reviewed research shows that deeply thinking and asking deep questions leads to total depression. . . .Petting my kitten, Henry. . . hugs and laughing, walking my black lab and sweet peace. I have to f-o-r-c-e myself to think and think deeply. . . .I hate thinking it decontrusts and demythologizes far too much. . . .Think of all the questions thinking triggers. . . .

      It is so, so hard to be open. I have to fight so hard to not just cling, discarding the evidence that doesn’t fit with my beliefs, giving greater weight to evidence that does. Lord God help me!!! With enough mental gymnastics, just about any fact can become misshapen in favor to one’s confirmation bias. ―And even peer-review can become just Group Think.

      RE: The word consideration means considering a perspective or a possibility…. In the context that I asked it.
      To consider, can also be a gentle way of, do you have ‘space’ for another’s lens or another lens in general? . . .Yes, yes I do.

      RE: How are the coping ways serving you today? . . .They work horribly. In tort law, res ipsa loquitur (“the thing speaks for itself”) Obviously they don’t work.

      RE: Hmmm that’s my style? Is that a kind compliment or a sarcastic jab.. I really can’t tell via blog writing ~ so I honestly ask here? . . . .But that is a nobel, good style. That was/is a total compliment!!! Maybe I am wrong but I view your love as safe, safe-love.

      RE: “there… it’s an invitation Aleea, in sorting through all bad verses all good theory.” . . .All bad vs. all good. I want simple, clean, black and white. The truth is very frightening, rudderless. The world and the Bible are totally messy, complex and highly nauanced places. I’m fairly sure God often thinks of pastors: Did you ever r-e-a-l-l-y research My Words, or did you merely finger through them for proof texts which you thought might valuably support an already conceived idea concerning some distorted connection between us.

      Again, all I know is to ask God: Please Lord, don’t let me become even more of an idiot than I already am. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. . . .Aly, I’m as dumb as a rock and I don’t r-e-a-l-l-y like to think. I hate deep thinking. ―I pray Lord, Help me. ―I so need your help to find my way. Lord God, I *seriously* lack wisdom but You said “. . . .if anyone lacks wisdom, let them ask of You, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given. . . .” Help me Lord God, please change me and I don’t even know how to ask what that change should be!

    • Aleea on March 4, 2018 at 4:07 am

      Hello Seeing The Light,

      . . .Seeing The Light, this can’t be about any of this that you wrote. Can it??? If you choose to, R-e-a-l-l-y talk to me beyond that.

      Listen, I want to heal, but I wonder if some part of me doesn’t want to pay the full price to heal. Healing is really painful.

      You were saying that you had issues in the past that you were able to overcome. How did you do it??? I seem to keep looping on the same problems and I am totally sick of it. So, YES I want to heal.

      I think I may have to walk away from Christianity (if that is even possible) to really heal and I am deeply afraid to do that and I don’t want to do that. I fear Chrisitanty is actually the overhead keeping me broken and from healing but I so love Christ, praying, et.al. I just can’t walk out. I don’t want to know what I already know.

      Again, you were saying that you had issues in the past that you were able to overcome. Seeing The Light,
      How did you do it??? Did you just say: I’m just going with this true or false. I feel that way so often. I get so worn out with the quest for what is really, really real.

      Here is the rest of the Reply. . . .I wrote it but I don’t think it is really helpful to either of us. . . .
      ===========================

      Again, I admit, I am talking about what Jesus means, not what He says. . .

      Θέλεις [Desire you] ὑγιὴς [well] γενέσθαι [to become]? Yes, Jesus says very Yoda-like things. . . .Actually Jesus spoke Aramaic but the gospels were written d-e-c-a-d-e-s later in Greek. . . . .But if we cross reference those words to all the other places where those words are found Greek and Aramaic. When/if you do that I think you see that is exactly what it means.

      Often folks here don’t let Jesus just say things. Jesus is not allowed here to say what He says. They start putting words in Jesus’ mouth about what he “really” means. How is what I am doing any different??? I have the right to get offend too do I not??? I have the right to seek what Jesus meant not what He said???

      “If a woman divorces her husband and marrys another, she commits adultery; and if a man divorces his wife, he commits adultery.”

      “Everyone divorcing his wife, except for the cause of porneia, makes her an adulteress, and the person marrying a divorced woman commits adultery.” [Plus all other manuscripts as well Vaticanus, and the Sahidic versions.]

      ( K W P N.-A. Greeven AV RSVJB NJB): “Everyone divorcing his wife, except for the cause of porneia, makes her an adulteress, and whoever should marry a divorced woman commits adultery.” Codex Sinaiticus shares this reading and illustrates a very clean text there.

      Again, folks here don’t let Jesus just say those things. Jesus is not allowed here to say those things. They start putting words in Jesus’ mouth about what he “really” means because “it can’t mean what it actually says.”

      Actually, Seeing The Light, I am not offend at all because I don’t think the issues are actually “the issues.” I think you sense that too. You know it is about what it means and not what it says.

      Maybe see: The Bible: N.T. Greek text with critical apparatus (all the textual variants on each word) – Aug 23, 2015 by Eberhard Nestle and The Spectrum Multiview Book Series from InterVarsity Christian Press: Biblical Hermeneutics: Five Views – May 20, 2012.

    • Maria on March 4, 2018 at 6:37 am

      Aleea,
      I know you compare the ancient writings (validated by respected scholars) to the Bible and have found discrepancies. I also get the feeling that you truly want to believe the Bible. Are you interacting with people outside this blog who have read these manuscripts? Could these peer reviewed manuscripts be inaccurate? All these questions coupled with things you are dealing with from childhood sure complicates things! And I think it’s ok for us to admit we don’t have all the answers. And even after all the research and answers to these questions (if there are answers) we still need faith (given by God) to believe. Do you think that what you read etc is affecting your healing? Do you deconstruct etc when you don’t want to deal with things? Is all this reading and deconstructing making you even more confused? A healthy person has healthy boundaries and is responsible for their emotional health. If this is impacting you in a negative way, you are responsible to put limits in place. If it is not impacting you in a negative way, then I hope you can find people who have read what you read and can have these discussions. Theoretically, if Christianity is true, then no matter what belief system one is born into, if they truly seek and God calls them they will find Jesus. I am glad that Leslie allows us to interact with different people (we encounter all kinds of beliefs in the real world).

    • Seeing the Light on March 4, 2018 at 7:07 am

      Aleea,

      We have already covered the divorce for abuse issue. I know what you believe. You should know what I believe. We disagree. I am not covering it again now.

      I do not think you are accurately representing what Jesus really means when you paraphrase Him or what have you. From my perspective I do not think you approach these issues with an adequate godly fear (and I don’t mean the fear you have described – I mean godly, reverent fear).

      You are asking me questions again – this time asking me how I have overcome my past issues. You have not responded to the conversation I have already engaged with you. I do not have time or energy to waste after this manner.

      I have a question for you. It’s a really hard question that I have been wanting to ask you and/or others, but I have been concerned that it will not be appropriate or that my comment will be rejected or remain “in moderation”. I will ask your permission first – are you willing for me to ask you such a question – a hard, personal question?

    • Nancy on March 4, 2018 at 9:28 am

      Hi Maria / Aleea,

      ” a healthy person is responsible for their enotional health. If this is impacting you in a negative way, you have a responsibility to put limits in place.”

      Yes. And the lack of those limits on this blog also impacts the health of the community. Which is why, personally, I cannot engage with you Allea, as I did before. ( I need to protect my emotional health).

      Maybe after answering, ” do you want to be well?” is the question,

      ” are you willing to take responsibility for your health?”

      Because the answer might just be, “yes, I want to be well, but I want others to be responsible for my healing”

      • Aly on March 4, 2018 at 9:59 am

        Nancy, Aleea

        Nancy I think this post is very important and I think you bring up such a pivotal aspect of our awareness and steps forward to growth.

        By this reply it isn’t to ask you to participate or engage you via Aleea and Myself’s conv. ~
        Please know that.

        Nancy I saw something similar in a previous Post by Aleea about her expectations of her husband.
        Nancy you wrote;
        “Because the answer might just be, “yes, I want to be well, but I want others to be responsible for my healing”.

        I think this is an example of a victim mindset versus a owner survivor mindset and that is where the switch has to take place cognitively.
        Aleea, I’m wondering if you see some of this in your posts?

        See I think if the answer is (yes!) I want to be well…
        And I think others have a responsibility to my wellness ~ when ‘they fail’ then I don’t have to grow and I can continue my familiar coping skills that are keeping me from the freedoms.
        The blame then becomes on others inability to help.

        ~ this then correlates to Your old little Aleea belief, of no-one helps and is there to save Aleea. Which is not to say you didn’t experience this Aleea, You DiD!

        But you are replaying it so it matches up your childhood message.

        I don’t want this for you! I want you to be willing to be free💜

    • Maria on March 4, 2018 at 11:25 am

      Nancy,

      Like you, I sometimes don’t post on this blog. That’s a decision we are free to make on this blog. Sometimes when I’m emotionally spent, I don’t take part in the conversations. I imagine this back and forth is also draining for Aleea.

    • Seeing the Light on March 4, 2018 at 11:54 am

      Maria,

      I didn’t understand Nancy to be saying that she is too emotionally spent to participate in conversations or post comments on the blog. I heard her saying she needed to enforce limits/boundaries with Aleea specifically. I also heard her concern for the well-being of the community, which I appreciate and agree with. I certainly am blessed by Nancy’s presence here and would not like to see her contribution limited by her need to alter her interaction with one participant here.

    • Maria on March 4, 2018 at 2:27 pm

      STL,
      I too agree that Nancy was talking about setting limits. And I know really enjoy reading her posts. In fact I am doing the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality devotional that she has talked about. I have also told many people about it. The comment about being drained and not posting applied to me not her.

    • Nancy on March 4, 2018 at 3:18 pm

      Hi Aly,

      I agree about it being easy to fall into victim mindset. If I say, ” yes, I want to be well” then it means that I am willing to accept the consequences that come with that.

      The paralytic, who likely survived all his life on charity would – when healed – have to get a job. That’s just one example of a ‘healthy new way of being in the world’ that he would have had to live out. He would have had to take responsibility for himself in many new ways.

      Hi Maria and STL,

      I appreciate your comments. I have struggled a bit setting those boundaries. My purpose is to guard my own heart, without controlling, or lashing out. So, I’d ask that if you think that a comment crosses that line ( into control or lashing out) please let me know. This is a new skill for me and I don’t want to be hurtful.

    • Aleea on March 5, 2018 at 4:20 am

      Hello Maria,

      . . .Maria, there is never going to be any answers are there? . . .I just have to live with all that confusion, uncertainty and doubt???

      There are no answers because people see in the Bible’s texts what they bring to the texts. People disagree about e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g, even how people come to know the Lord. . . .And maybe somehow I can’t comprehened, that does’t even matter. Basically, anything goes as long as you are sincere. Maybe we are closer to the Lord in our utter vulnerability than in any “safe certainties” which do not exist because the Bible is the Big Book of Multiple Choice and all the answers are correct as long as you are sincere. . . . But that is utterly confusing to me.

      “Do you think that what you read etc is affecting your healing? Do you deconstruct etc when you don’t want to deal with things?”

      . . .Yes, I do. . . .But that means I need to stop reading the Bible and comparing Scripture with Scripture. It’s not other books that are creating my confusion. In the worse cases, I can usually talk to those authors and find out exactly just what they meant.

      It is the Bible that is utterly confusing. The Bible seems the most effectibe text for confusion *ever* created. Different authors say totally different things.

      There are no answers because people see in the texts what they bring to the texts.

      Maria, I don’t feel that way when I pary. Prayer clears my mind and does not lead to u-t-t-e-r confusion. Reading . . . .which leads to studying the Bible crashes my mind.

      “Is all this reading and deconstructing making you even more confused? A healthy person has healthy boundaries and is responsible for their emotional health. If this is impacting you in a negative way, you are responsible to put limits in place.”

      . . . .But unless God can talk to me verbally, how else do we hear Him but through the Scriptures?

      . . . And I have too much of it memorized, so I can “study” it without even looking at it. I always thought that looking at the earliest extant copies would lead to less confusion.

      “. . . .then no matter what belief system one is born into, if they truly seek and God calls them they will find Jesus. I am glad that Leslie allows us to interact with different people (we encounter all kinds of beliefs in the real world).”

      . . . .that’s beautiful: . . .I’ll go anywhere, learn any language, pay any price to find Him. . . .But people’s interpretations can only be as inerrant as they are which means it will always be a mess of confusion from salvation to marriage issues. I want to heal, but the “balms” I see in the Scriptures are just bombs. I have so much of it in my mind that I can compare Scripture with Scripture without even looking at it. . .

      . . .My own mind is the most dangerous place I go. Memorizing vast sections of Scripture did not bring me anything but utter confusion. I don’t have a Bible, it has me.

    • Aleea on March 5, 2018 at 4:37 am

      Seeing the Light,

      I prayed a lot about what you said. I have never, ever set boundaries, like never, e-v-e-r . . .but now I am. Maybe boundaries are an answer in some way I don’t understand. I’ll keep praying about it, but no. . . .

      . . . No . . . I think you are trying to set me up and trap me and fight with me. So no, I don’t want to be asked your hard, personal questions. Maybe that is a mistake but it doesn’t feel like a mistake and I prayed a lot about it.

      I appreciate you taking your precious time to even ask that and for all the things you have talked to me about.

      . . . .You win. Whatever “win” even means. I’m utterly sick of it. Maybe boundaries are important. I’m always getting lectures about it in counseling and I never do it. But if I don’t ever do new things, not fighting, I can probably never learn.

      I’d love to be your friend and I so wish we could *all* work together on things together and not divide into armed camps but that applies to me too. I’m utterly sick of trying to prove myself to others.

      The reason we can’t all work together is because I am not good enough. I am so working on that.

      . . .I have to start walking away from challenges because there is nothing to prove and certainly nothing to discover/win. . . .There is nothing to prove and certainly nothing to win. . . .And there are no answers. I want certainty and there is none. We all live our lives in shades of gray and God dances on the gray. He is on all sides all at once.

      I’m always amazed by people who can live with vast uncertainty and mystery.

      . . .I am fighting with myself, I don’t need external fights but I may be totally misreading you.

    • Aleea on March 5, 2018 at 4:39 am

      Nancy & Aly,

      “Because the answer might just be, “yes, I want to be well, but I want others to be responsible for my healing”.
      I think this is an example of a victim mindset versus a owner survivor mindset and that is where the switch has to take place cognitively.

      Aleea, I’m wondering if you see some of this in your posts?”

      . . .Yes, I do. The more I read them the more I see that. I ask others what I should do instead of doing. Even if I do the wrong thing at least it is me taking action. There is something I am getting from staying stuck even if I can’t understand it. Not being responsible makes me weaker. I see that, absolutely.

      “The paralytic, who likely survived all his life on charity would – when healed – have to get a job. That’s just one example of a ‘healthy new way of being in the world’ that he would have had to live out. He would have had to take responsibility for himself in many new ways.”

      . . .I have a job and responsibility that would probably kill most people on this blog, but that is not the point. . . .In the area of healing and childhood abuse, I do see my victim posture and my making my issues everyone elses but mine. I have to slay my own dragons (healing from childhood abuse), I can’t make it other people’s responsibility, not even professionals and my counselor. They can’t heal me. No one can slay the internal dragons and fight the critical internal battles for me but me. I am not disabled but I am paralyzed by fear but I need to take action inside utter fear.

      All my growth isn’t going to come from what I already know.

      I have to act myself into new ways of being.

      Act not think. Even paying attention is more important than thinking. . . .But acting = change.

    • Aleea on March 5, 2018 at 5:20 am

      RE:I want others to be responsible for my healing

      I desperately want someone else to tell me exactly what to do but that is searching for truth out of fear. Numbing myself with Scriptures. I enter into my own pain but it gets so bad, and then I deeply feel it and I need to keep feeling it no matter the outcome, no matter the frightening mix of good and evil.

      . . .I wanted to file a criminal and civil case against my mother and have worked on it and that’s always the advice I’m getting from Scriptures. But maybe I see in texts what I bring to the texts. My litigator friends say no. . . .I think: what do they know, maybe that is the action I need or maybe it is just a revenge distraction from healing. “Always work inside first, heal you heart first,” but in acting we heal, not in contemplating and feeling our pain. . . .I like thinking but acting. . . .We take action and that is our way into healing.

    • Nancy on March 5, 2018 at 7:31 am

      Aleea,

      There have been many wise sisters here, who have come alongside you and clearly told you what they see with regards to the destructive thought / mind habit that you allow.

      You yourself have called it an addiction.

      If you want to be well, Aleea, then that starts with taking responsibility for the health of your mind, and getting the help you need in order to set limits on what you consume.

    • Seeing the Light on March 5, 2018 at 9:44 am

      Aleea,

      I really don’t have much to say in response except that I am relieved to get a clear answer to my question. Thank you for that. I respect your decision.

      As we all can read all comments here and we often chime in on various conversations, I am moved to remark on the following from your comment addressed to Nancy and Aly: ” . .I have a job and responsibility that would probably kill most people on this blog, but that is not the point. . . ” I find this to be demeaning to the “most people on this blog” to whom you refer and that it hints at arrogance. I am not just talking about me. This isn’t personal for me. I actually think what some of these other women have carried might kill me. I am also not speaking out of any reaction to our personal interaction as you have alluded to before.

      • JoAnn on March 5, 2018 at 1:49 pm

        Yes, STL, that was especially insensitive of Aleea, as several women on this blog are actually in fear of their lives, or have been at some point.

        Aleea, the issues that you continue to bring up here do not in any way relate to the purpose of this blog. We are not here to debate your philosophical confusion; we are not here to be your therapist. Personally, I enjoy the Bible as the Lord’s food for me, and He speaks to me through the Bible that I have in my hand. Your rantings are confusing and not helpful. If you have a word of comfort for anyone (2 Cor. 1:4), then please, share it. Note that in that verse, the comfort that we share with one another comes out of our own experience of being comforted by God. Then verse 5: For even as the sufferings of the Christ abound to us, so through the Christ our comfort also abounds. Do you have experience of the Lord comforting you in some way, as through His word to you? That is what will help us here. If you want to help others, then we will be blessed by your sharing of your experience of being comforted by God. But the kind of help that you are asking for here is not the purpose of this blog. We are not here for the purpose of satisfying your addiction to theological reasoning and disputations. We have pleaded with you to stop this, and yet you continue. Several of us have offered help from scripture, which apparently you reject. The word of God helps us, and yet you say it doesn’t help you. Okay then, simply stay away from debating about scripture, and refresh us with “the comfort with which you have been comforted by Christ.” If you are bothered about the way Leslie teaches about separation and divorce, then leave it alone. It isn’t your issue, anyway.
        Each thread has its own topic, so please adhere to the topic at hand and stop bringing in your philosophical disputations, which take us totally off topic, and is confusing for those who come here for genuine support. I, for one, will not engage with you any longer.

    • Maria on March 5, 2018 at 5:22 pm

      Aleea,
      Have you ever dealt with the pain you experienced during childhood (and ongoing pain into adulthood)? It is so important to deal with that pain and not use God or the Bible to run away from it. I am reading the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality devotional that Nancy has talked about. Every day there are a few verses to read. Maybe, you can start there- meditate on a few verses instead of delving into the controversies in the Bible. Maybe you can also practice the presence of God by being still with him instead of reading. And later on, when you have made progress with dealing with your pain, you can continue your research. For now it seems like it is destructive. You are choosing to torment yourself. For that you need to take responsibility.

      One of the problems of growing up in a disfunctiontional home is that one does not learn healthy boundaries. The good news is they can be learned later if one is willing. This journey is not perfect and lots can be learned from mistakes made along the way.

      Aly, I love your responses to Aleea- lots of wisdom.

      • Aly on March 5, 2018 at 10:05 pm

        Maria, Aleea,

        I’ll be as brief as I can to try to maybe put some closure of sorts to this thread from my perspective and my earlier posts and interaction.

        Maria,
        I think you have posted some great examples here of simple tangible steps to taking a step or trying something different.

        You also addressed the unresolved pain as such a barrier which I fully agree. This is something many of us have to face and sort through (if willing that is).

        Aleea,
        Maybe you can take this to Dr. Meier;) we are certainly all on our own recovery journey, my heart is sensitive to your Attachment issues because I have had quite the road with my husband who formed harmful coping skills from neglect and other traumas but certainly not your kind of traumas you went through.

        My thoughts on your deconstructing and theological points work well to Deflect and Avoid (someone safe coming close to comfort).

        To clarify what i mean… as you bring up these theological places it ‘resets the table’ to a different posture overall and the deeper intimacy and comfort for pain and grief get set aside.
        Think of it as holding someone at arms length (a really long arm).

        Your deflection is quite intelligent but hopefully your Dr. can assist you in seeing how those coping skills are not serving you well ‘today’~ with what it is that you truly want?

        Hugs and prayers for us all on our healing process💜
        You all are an amazing community of such important roles and relationships!

    • Maria on March 5, 2018 at 6:00 pm

      Aleea,

      I reread your post. You talk about how you don’t have to read because you have memorized things. Another important boundary- we are responsible for our thoughts. So maybe when the first destructive thought comes into our minds, we can’t do anything about it, but we are responsible for the next thought and the next one and so on. A practical way to stop this type of building of wrong thoughts is immediately we think a self defeating or destructive thought, choose to think of something true/good/beneficial instead (take the thought captive). It is a choice and the more you practice it, the better you get at it. Hope this makes sense.

    • Aleea on March 6, 2018 at 6:46 am

      . . .Courage??? But courage just makes a total complete mess of everything.

      . . . .Courage means you actually say things and then what a total mess of misunderstandings. . . . Counselors often say they wish they could get family members to love each other the way they love their pets. I think the pets are so deeply loved because they love, cuddle and snuggle and aren’t opining on things, giving advice, “coaching.” There are far less ulterior motives, less second-guessing, no complicated negotiations or bargains. ―And you can make a total a fool of yourself with them, and not only will they not rip you or use it against you, but they will make a bloomin’ fool of themselves too just so you don’t feel bad.

      What’s the equivalent of that with people? Maybe praying for them, telling them they are not alone. . . .Jesus is no person’s personal property. He belongs to *all* of us who know Him. . . .And who really knows who knows Him??? I remember in Bible College, before I deeply started studying and memorizing vast sections of the Bible, having a professors say: If you get to heaven, you will be amazed at who is there and who is not there. . . .But an even better question is probably not will you live after you die but can you live, r-e-a-l-l-y live, before you die.

      I deeply apologize to everyone for my part in this bedlam. . . .I can’t be clear to save my life, too many years as a lawyer. What is true is what serves life and maybe that is why it just has to be about encouragement not what is “true.” I was reading in my churches periodical that a young women in our church had committed suicide because she was gay or transgender —I don’t even really know what that means— Anyways, I often see in other research that lots of gender issues cause people to kill themselves. It’s horrible. Just horrible. —Let’s let everyone into the Kingdom. They are totally *not* safe either. They are killing themselves over people constantly judging and condemning them based on texts that probably no longer serve life jut like in the areas of divorce and remarriage too. They are being completely abused and shunned. . . .Who cares what the texts, the church fathers and whoever say if it doesn’t serve life. Truth serves life. . . .What is true is what serves life and again, maybe that is why it just has to be about encouragement not what is “true.” What is true is what serves life and helps people glorify God and not kill themselves over theocratic shunning, guilt, shaming, et.al.

      God have mercy on me and help me to handle my emotions with grace, so that in the end everyone benefits. Motivate us by raising our expectations of ourselves, especially me who seems to be the most childish among us. . . .And Lord help me to not be a victim or an owner. Help me let You own me.

    • Maria on March 6, 2018 at 6:29 pm

      Aleea,
      Many of us have offered very practical suggestions. Could you let us know which ones specifically you are willing to try and hopefully commit to?

    • Seeing the Light on March 6, 2018 at 6:53 pm

      Maria and Aly,

      First, please know I mean no unkindness or disrespect to anyone.

      It seems great progress has been made in the realm of bringing the conversation back to the purpose of the blog and that there was some hope of ending the kinds of conversations that have been going on, especially with Aleea. I have been glad to see this as I sincerely believe that it is what would be most beneficial to the community and to individuals here. I also strongly believe it would also be most honoring to God.

      As JoAnn commented above March 5, 2018 1:49 pm to Aleea “…we are not here to be your therapist.” I completely agree.

      When the general category of the kinds of questions that you are still asking her have been put to her in the past, it opens the floodgates for the same kinds of comments from her.

      Therefore, I must ask: If you desire to continue counseling her or communicating with her along these lines, could you just email her directly? She has offered many times to be in direct contact with individuals via email.

  19. Caryl Ann on March 2, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    on July 30, 2017 we were at our favorite restaurant. All of a sudden that look came across his face. He got up and walked out of the restaurant. I was waiting on the waitress to pick up my card to pay. I thought he had left me there. I finally got tired of waiting and went up front where you wait for a table. I told the hostess I needed to pay the bill. My husband walks back in and looks at me and says, “get your ass in the car.” I told him that I was trying to pay the bill. Once again he repeats what he had said, added NOW to it.His tone and facial expression caused all the people waiting to look up at him. He is a tall man. I way 105 pounds.

    When I walked out he pulled up and repeated it once again. I felt something inside that this time was different from all the other times. I was truly afraid. I decided not to get in his car. I walked across the street. He got out and put me in the car three times. The last time he had me by my hair and throat and was dragging on the grown. After he put me in the car I stayed. I was too afraid to get out again. 4 people saw and called the police. He went to jail.
    I went to stay at my brothers out of town for six weeks coming home only to hire an attorney and go to court. we have been in and out of court and I went back twice. He always makes me promises and then goes back to the bad behavior. He went to jail during one of the times I went back. He pulled me to our bedroom and wouldn’t let me out. That night he actually had one hand around may neck and the other hand pulled back in a fist. For some reason he stopped.
    I was staying with a friend from high school and then I found me a place to rent. I also had to get a job. He wanted me to quit the job I had when we married so we could be together.
    Our divorce has been put off until October. He has a chapter 13. My lawyer is going to try and get me temporary support. He can’t do that until after the Chapter 13 is over.
    There is an order of protection in place. However he contacted me and ask if he could see me. He has come over a couple of times. He does not want the divorce.
    It seems that once I was in my rental it took away his power. I need help with money and he is helping me. I told him, no sex, no sleeping over.
    I decide if I want company or not. I will follow through with the divorce when the time comes. I think he can only be good for a while. I think if I went back, in time it would be the same abuse all over again.. He is angry at the world. I have found and met the wife before me and he did the same thing to her.
    He use to look at me and say, “You know if I ever hit you, you won’t end up in the hospital. If I ever hit you, it will be hard enough to kill you.” The first time he said it he followed it up with, ” and I will dance on your grave and laugh.’

    I was horrified and devastated that the man that I loved so much could be so heartless and say such a thing. He is a dangerous man. He thinks he is always right.
    It has taken me a while to fully realize that he will never change and he will do and say whatever it takes to try and get me back. I won’t ever live in his house again. I don’t deserve to be treated like I am dirt under his feet. I use to get up every morning and ask God to help me not to do anything that would make him mad. That is no way to live.

    I am a child of the most high God. He loves me and wants me to be out of that mess. He has my back and will take care of all my needs. Without Him I would not have made it this far.
    I am still healing and will for a while. I adored this man I thought I would be with him until I died.
    I have wonderful friends that love me and have had my back.
    NO one will ever treat me that way again. I deserve better and so do you.

    • K on March 2, 2018 at 7:05 pm

      Hello Caryl Ann

      Your story is harrowing; I’m so glad that you have begun to put space between yourself and this incredibly destructive man. You mention that there is a no contact order in place. That is obviously for your protection, since your spouse has shown that he is capable and willing of exerting tremendous violence against you. But then, Caryl Ann, you add, “However he contacted me and ask if he could see me. He has come over a couple of times. He does not want the divorce.
      It seems that once I was in my rental it took away his power. I need help with money and he is helping me. I told him, no sex, no sleeping over.
      I decide if I want company or not. I will follow through with the divorce when the time comes. I think he can only be good for a while. I think if I went back, in time it would be the same abuse all over again.. He is angry at the world….”

      These sentences broke my heart for you!! He is ignoring the law that says you are to be protected from him!! He is deciding that he still has the right to crash into your life for his purposes whenever he feels like it, and that you should feel beholden or grateful because he is ‘helping’ you. Caryl Ann, he is NOT helping you, he is helping HIMSELF but slowly drawing you into the place of confusion, letting him off the hook for accountability on his behaviour, convincing you that even living apart from him you cannot make it without his ‘help’. HE does not want a divorce; but YOU had to flee living with him because of his violence. Total strangers on the street and in a restaurant called the police on your behalf because your spouse felt he had the right to bully, assault, and hurt you……..in broad daylight in public. You have described a little bit of what he is capable of in private….

      You say that you decide when you want company or you don’t, whether you will sleep with him or not………all the while he is ignoring your safe place AND THE LAW, because he believes he is entitled to his own law above anything else.

      Please, please, Caryl Ann…..think carefully, prayerfully and with deep clarity about the situation as it is now. You are still not safe.

      • Aly on March 2, 2018 at 7:40 pm

        K,
        & Caryl Ann

        What you describe K is truth to this horrible abusive dynamic.

        Caryl Ann originally posted about emotional abuse and that interaction and yes the last post shows such horrific escalation!

        Hasn’t he violated the protection law put in place?

        Ok ~ so I had to go back to your post Caryl Ann.. his words are completely dangerous!
        He’s telling you he’s dangerous!
        Dance on your grave? Who says stuff like that ?

        He should not be near you or in Jail!
        He shouldn’t even know where you leave this is how dangerous this situation is.
        Better to be safe.

    • Free on March 2, 2018 at 7:30 pm

      Caryl Ann, there is a mighty power with in you called the holy spirit. Use that strength to get away from evil and to resist the serpent’s sharp tongue. Zero tolerance, don’t let him near your rental.

      Are you getting counseling?

    • Renee on March 8, 2018 at 9:23 pm

      Psalm 119:105 King James Version (KJV)
      Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

      I just don’t know.

      I was telling my friend today that I guess sometimes we just need to be hit over the head.

      • Aly on March 8, 2018 at 10:12 pm

        Renee,

        It takes a lot of time and certainly helpful healthy voices to ‘heal trauma’, especially the covert traumas that make anyone in that dynamic ‘feel crazy’.

        Be compassionate and kind to yourself as you are recovering from a lot of ‘untangling’.

        Once a person gets some space and can process often times that opens the doors to grief.

        I have experienced that the most jealous insecure people go to great destructive lengths to not feel vulnerable or what really is at the root of the issue.
        I do feel lots of sympathy for them and their lack of understanding.

  20. Annie on March 3, 2018 at 2:01 am

    I am new here and want to start by saying how much I appreciate Leslie’s ministry and all those who post and respond to the trials that are shared and discussed in this forum. And not just the trials, but also the resolutions!

    I have recently read two of Leslie’s books; “The Emotionally Destructive Marriage” and “How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong” and learned so much about dealing with abusive people, not just in my marriage relationship but also with others.

    This information is so valuable. For a long time I believed that others were always right, and I was always wrong, so I blamed myself when I found myself in difficult and/or abusive situations. And I see that I was often abusive in retaliation. But no longer. What I am learning is how (and when) to stand up to an abuser without being abusive myself.

    I am very thankful for Leslie’s godly insight into the both the mind and the techniques that abusers use to control us.

    Someone on this board a while back posted a reference to the book: “Why Does He Do That” by Lundy Bancroft. In addition to the excellent advice in Leslie’s books, I found this book another good resource in learning more about the techniques abusive people use, myself included.

    I hope I am not overstepping protocol for posting on this site by sharing that book in my very first post. But what I have learned from Leslie’s information, from Lundy’s book and from the posters on this forum is that once you understand what is happening in an abusive situation, you are better equipped to deal with it.

    It is not easy to understand or deal with abusive behaviour when you are emotionally distraught or at the end of your rope. It is never easy dealing with an abusive person, but I find that when I can identify or understand what is going on in the mind of the abuser— that makes it so much easier for me to put a stop to it as much as it is in my power to do so.

    Often, I can’t stop the abuse. But when possible, I can choose my next step. My prayer for the original poster is that she will have the wisdom and courage to choose her next step, as well.

    • JoAnn on March 3, 2018 at 9:50 pm

      Welcome, Annie. We are glad you wrote. We often share books and other sources that have helped us, so don’t worry about that. There is no protocol against that. Leslie probably has many of them on her shelf. Feel free to share your experiences and insights, and needs for prayer. This is a great support group.

      • Annie on March 4, 2018 at 1:09 am

        Thank you for your welcome JoAnn. I appreciate being here and am thankful for everyone who shares, and for all the resources, support and prayers that are posted here. And I agree. This is a great support group!

  21. Aly on March 3, 2018 at 10:08 am

    Aleea,

    You wrote several examples but here is one I think is imp about healing and pain.

    You wrote:
    “Do you want to heal?” . . .Here is that question as asked by Jesus: Aleea, do you want to pay and keep paying the excruciatingly painful price it takes to heal? The excruciatingly painful price it takes to heal.”

    This is your interpretation of that question and I think it must be evaluated in context. (But you and I are not going there, here)
    That question is Pivitol & was more about two different pains and choice.

    The pain of staying on the mat position (stuck) or the pain of risk and courage to move forward away from the familiar (stuck) pain he had been so accustomed to.

    One pain leads to the same painful continued place and probably gets worse, the other pain is about the pain of growth, uncertainty and change?

    You mentioned the excruciating price it takes to heal and this isn’t this question referring above, the excruciating pain you are referring to if I’m understanding you … is the lifetime process of sanctification ~ where we are continuously being transformed into more and more the image of Christ.
    And I understanding correctly?

    Aleea, abuse is painful and especially can be longterm but there is freedom from the abuser.
    The choice is still yours ~ as to what you want to participate in through recovery work.
    This is the invitation.

    I agree and can understand your pain of when you say you are ‘occupied’ by a childhood version of your mother.
    I get this and I’m sorry for this horrible imprint, but that imprint can be reshaped and healed by Him and through Him.

    You say your mother can abuse you anytime she wants because you have internalized her. Well do you want to de-internalize her and her once pivitol role?

    Personally, if your willing to consider that ‘her role or power’ was (and could still be) the idol of sorts, you might find that being one of the barriers to knock down?
    When we have idols~we have bondage and sometimes that bondage is painful and sometimes that bondage is keeping us from seeing just how Free we can be only because of Him!

  22. Aly on March 3, 2018 at 10:19 am

    Aleea,

    You wrote:
    “Aly when you get too close to me. I call these the “—Oh NO, NOT the LOVE, —anything but the LOVE”, moments. I become just terrified. . . .Interally I need to see if she (little Aleea) will allow me somewhat near to her, so I can let her know I understand she has very, VERY good reasons for her barriers against healing love.”

    I have quite the challenge & question here..
    How ‘available’ are you emotionally, spiritually to your husband’s love and connection?

    Because those barriers you speak of just might be huge barriers keeping you from a spouse who has a lot of love to pour into your marriage. I assuming he does based on some things you have posted.
    I’m not saying I know or implying anything but I’m just wondering…Based on the things you describe above.

  23. Aly on March 3, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Aleea,

    Not sure on the reply button thing?
    Mine pops up and I’m on my phone.

    You wrote:
    “He is there for the worst of it and when I really need counseling, he is there. He can’t look past the “Ds” —the demythologizing, —the deconstructing, the deweaponizing of God when I am afraid. —Maybe that is what Dr. Meier worries about. —She can look past it but I know he could learn to, too. Dr. Meier sees through it. ”

    Help me understand above.. because I’m not clear.
    You say he’s there for the worst of it and then you also say he ‘can’t’ look past the (D’s)…
    By the (D’s) I’m assuming you mean your coping skills that actually makes a barrier of (not healthy protection) to receive.
    Which to me …goes back to control, or feeling a sense of control about being vulnerable and receiving authentic Love and connection. Which is safe.
    Not the kind of love that was (unsafe) in those formative years.
    But the kind that is safe now as you are an adult who can choose and decider safe love and unsafe love.
    Does that bring any consideration for you?

  24. Brave Rabbit on March 3, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    I’ve been reading the book, “The Verbally Abusive Relationship.” I live in a power over relationship where my spouse use “power over”. Often times I feel like the enemy. Has anyone ever asked their spouse, “Do you hate me?” Sometimes I want to fly that question from my lips. Is that wise? Especially since he lives in Reality I and I live in Reality II.

    • Audrey on March 3, 2018 at 11:23 pm

      I’ve had the punch on the back too. I was walking ahead of him. He wants me beside him or behind him, never ahead of him. Silly, silly, crazy man. What a waste of my life.

    • Renee on March 5, 2018 at 9:14 pm

      Brave Rabbit [Has anyone ever asked their spouse, “Do you hate me?”]

      I do not recall asking that question. I didn’t ask that question but surely felt that I was not loved and cherished.

      • Aly on March 5, 2018 at 9:27 pm

        Renee,

        Yes I have asked that question.
        I think it was an honest question given what I was experiencing in his behavior and the inability to resolve conflict ‘on our own’.

        • Renee on March 5, 2018 at 10:42 pm

          Aly I don’t recall asking that question because I felt the answer with the behavior of my spouse.

          What I do recall is telling God I give my husband back to you because I can’t do anything with him. Get this man away from me. I still ask this of him unless things are different. Right now, they are not.

          Therefore, some of us may ask and then others may feel why bother. Maybe it will come now that Brave Rabbit asked. But right now, I honestly don’t recall asking.

          • Aly on March 5, 2018 at 11:01 pm

            Renee,

            I agree, I think ‘behavior’ speaks volumes in many cases. In more vague areas, sometimes it’s hard to discern covert emotional abuse & reactivity.
            So maybe then for your situation it’s clear and yes no need to ask a question of such.
            The answer is given in action and clear.

            In my scenario my h had such low awareness of his behavior and reactivity that for me to ask that question was a stark moment for him to consider more ‘self reflection’ .
            Questions he certainly didn’t ponder on his own..

            His honest answer ‘then’ was yes he hated a part of me…
            The part we later discovered was my challenge and my unwillingness to not collaborate with enabling.
            He’s grown to respect and value that challenging part of me, but only through his willingness to face his own pain.



      • Caryl Ann on March 7, 2018 at 5:03 pm

        Hi Brave Rabbit, I got to where I would ask that question a couple of times a week. I couldn’t understand how he could say the crude and vile things to me and love me. When I would ask him he would either look at me like I was crazy or just walk away. Besides being terribly hurt and confused by his crazy behavior, it truly did feel like he hated me. He would throw things at the back of my head, stand in my way and not let me by all the while cussing me out, slam door and drawers, and sleep on the couch every time he got mad over something. He also stopped being intimate with me which crushed me.
        Life is not supposed to be lived in that kind of environmemt. The man I married was so very different from the one I dated. I felt like he had died and I mourned him. I missed him so much that I got depressed and had to get some medication to help me cope. I am waiting on the divorce to be final but the damage to my soul, heart, and mind haven’t healed . I am working on that with God’s grace one day at a time.

    • Renee on March 6, 2018 at 9:08 am

      After Aly’s final response last night, a thought did come to mind. Still did not ask the question (don’t think) but hubby did tell me he hated me through text one day when he was not having his way. We had been physically separated just over a month.

      So I listed my post and Aly’s response to me. It came from here https://www.leslievernick.com/can-separation-help-reconcile-marriage/

      Renee says: January 18, 2018 at 7:47 pm

      Aly, Nancy, others

      Don’t get upset (well try not)! Not one person but the Lord really, really knows what each person has had to endure in our marriages.

      My husband even with physically separating is not trying to change his behavior. Nothing Godly about calling your wife the B word and telling her you love her but you hate her at the same time.

      So whenever one makes a decision to divorce or stay together, there will always be those who don’t agree with your decision even church folk.

      Aly says: January 18, 2018 at 8:33 pm

      Renee,

      I’m sorry for what you have gone through with your husband. Ugh!!!

      I can personally relate and experienced a similar situation with my husband. It’s heart wrenching to be hated for actually doing ‘the right thing’.

      And you probably already know this but what your husband hates is your ‘unwillingness’ to continue the cycle.

      He hates that you challenge him at a level he doesn’t see a need to correct or grow in.

      He hates that you are willling to choose freedom over his bondage and ‘false’ control.

      He hates that you have different resources that you walk in to chose healthy over the same toxic scenario.

      God gave me some great peace in realizing I might as well be hated for doing the right thing, than being ‘occasionally liked’ while doing the wrong enabling thing.

      That was not the love my spouse needed. That was all about me and my own fears and misunderstandings of who God is and His ways.

      Hope this helps you Brave Rabbit and others who may want to ask that question.

      • Aly on March 6, 2018 at 10:11 am

        Renee,

        We’re those interactions helpful for you and your journey?

        I think often culturally we have a ‘common belief’ that states,
        “Doing the right think will be easy, accepted, or smooth”…
        Then we have a church culture that twists this even more to state:
        “Doing the right thing ‘culturally & more secularly’ speaking doesn’t align with scriptures and suffering”
        So often we find ourselves trying our best to offer love to a destructive person where love is just taken advantage of~ and yet not really received anyway.

        Are you familiar with love and logic? Dr. Charles Fay

        He quotes;
        “When we do the right things, they often feel like the wrong things in the short term.”

        How true is this with someone having a trantrum? As in the cases with many of our grown spouses (on the outside) we have experience a trantrum response from

        • Aly on March 6, 2018 at 10:19 am

          Oops!
          Hit the send~

          We have experienced a trantrum response and the first common reaction ‘humanly’ is this is not going very well….
          I want to do the right thing but the response is clearly giving a negative message.

          Simply put when I see a child throwing a full explosion in the store ~ and get handed a lollipop after the explosion or sometimes during~ what gets reinforced?

          Not suffering for the child but for the ‘other’ trying to make the trantrum stop.

          The child is reinforced that ‘they’ don’t have a problem to solve~ because they are no longer flailing at not getting their way.

          Again, it goes back to short term pain, verses long term learning in my opinion.

        • Renee on March 6, 2018 at 8:34 pm

          Yes Aly,

          I don’t believe there would have been rest for me that night without those comforting words given to you by the Holy Spirit.

          Special delivery indeed.

          • Aly on March 6, 2018 at 9:22 pm

            Renee,

            Giving praise to God for those necessary moments and His orchestrating💜

            My prayers are still for your well being and His outcome overall, because that is the Peace that can bring healing and comfort.



  25. Aly on March 3, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    Aleea,

    Lets both get to a table landing where maybe we could agree that you and I ask a lot of questions? Maybe we both see the value of asking questions and discovering trying better to understand a person or a belief? Connection trumping pain.
    Is this …
    True? Or false?

    The word consideration means considering a perspective or a possibility…. In the context that I asked it.
    To consider, can also be a gentle way of, do you have ‘space’ for another’s lens or another lens in general?

    You wrote;
    “I have learned to cope in ways most have never had to.”

    Is this true? I don’t think you’ve met my husband 😂
    How are the coping ways serving you today?

    You wrote:
    “How do I see the world as a place of Aly-style safe love and respect and not a hateful place where all human relationships are based not on love and respect, but power, suffering, and humiliation (re: severely mistreated and subject to psychological and physical abuse).”

    Hmmm that’s my style? Is that a kind compliment or a sarcastic jab.. I really can’t tell via blog writing ~ so I honestly ask here?

    Here my point heart breaking heart truthful answer for you….
    As best as I can give with not having other body language in our conversation.

    Answer to how to be willling to see the world from a different point of view….

    By choosing to do relationships with healthy ‘others’ (not perfect but broken people working out their junk)
    What you describe about destructive unhealthy relationships above are just part of the world, they don’t include everyone there… it’s an invitation Aleea, in sorting through all bad verses all good theory.

  26. JoAnn on March 3, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    Aleea, Your fear of love, or rather, being loved by the Lord, has brought up some thoughts in my mind. One is that this is surely an “attachment” issue. Your relationship with your mother caused you to learn to be afraid of her love. If you have not learned about Attachment Theory, it would help you to understand better. “Attachment in Adults” by Sperling and Berman might be helpful.
    Another thought: your fear of love reminds me of the central character in “Hinds Feet on High Places,” by Hannah Hurnard. Her name is Much Afraid, and her journey reminds me of things that you have shared. In the end, the Lord plants love in her heart in the form of a thorn, which she thinks is going to be painful, but isn’t.
    I wonder why you are convinced that to let the Lord’s love in will be painful? You have already told us how you love to sit in the Lord’s lap and let Him hold you. This I have learned: fear is a tool of the devil to keep us from experiencing the freedom that we have in Christ. Fear is bondage. Perfect love casts out fear.
    Now, the words of a song that I love:
    Thy mighty love, oh God constraineth me.
    As some strong tide it presses on its way,
    Seeking a channel in my self-bound soul,
    Yearning to sweep all barriers away.

    Shall I not yield to that constraining power?
    Shall I not say, O tide of love flow in?
    My God, Thy gentleness has conquered me,
    Life cannot be as it hath hither been.

    Break through my nature, mighty heavenly love,
    Clear every avenue of thought and brain.
    Flood my affections, purify my will,
    Let nothing but Thine own pure life remain.

    Thus wholly mastered and possessed by God,
    Forth from my life spontaneous and free,
    Shall flow a stream of tenderness and grace,
    Loving, because God loved eternally.
    ********
    I am bothered by the imagery that you use: fire, flames, pain, etc. Must it be that way for you? The Lord, as we see Him in the gospels was always very gentle with the wounded ones. On the cross, He bore the pain that we deserved. By His stripes we are healed. You can choose to believe that. The fire is reserved for Satan and his demons. The burning sensation of His love is a pleasant sensation. There is a line in another hymn that I like: “Like wax before a glowing fire, He melts the heart….” So, maybe, Aleea, it would help you to reframe your paradigm: A candle flame instead of a conflagration; The relief felt when pain is gone. God’s truth does not cause pain; the pain comes from the lie that is embedded in our history, buried in our memories. When the Lord speaks His truth to the lie, the pain is gone. No pain. Also, remember that the painful memories are the containers of the lies, and once the Lord speaks His truth into the memory, the pain will be gone. Just invite Him in. Your “Little Aleea” needs to hear the truth. Let Him speak to her what He knows she needs to hear. He IS Truth.

  27. JoAnn on March 3, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    Aleea, you asked how to get to where the blue reply button is…you close the thread, the bar at the top of the screen, and it takes you back to where the original posts are. Those posts have the reply buttons. I don’t know if I make myself clear, but I use a computer, too, and it took me a while to figure this out.

  28. Aly on March 4, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Aleea,

    I’ll try this post to be as easy to read as possible.
    You wrote a lot above so I won’t be able to comment on all of it and I think I’m going to stay with our original conversation about your fear of love and true connection (being seen, being known, valued and accepted even if we are quite different)
    To be known and understood and loved yet, is an intimate knowing if the heart ~ its Pivotal.

    You wrote;
    “Maybe I am wrong but I view your love as safe, safe-love.”

    Thank you for the compliment and yes my love and care is safe. I don’t always believe we can give out what we haven’t first received from Him.
    Praise to the Lord for His love!

    Your full response above went back to ‘deflecting’ on our conversation about a simple route about connection.
    This is where you push back from getting what you say you want and choosing to push safe care/ love/ connection back.
    Fear decided here.

    You say you want simple, clear, black and white.
    Sometimes things are simple and clear and sometimes they are not.
    Yes you are right life is Messy in a broken world but that messiness doesn’t have to be ALL bad.. sometimes I find plenty of beauty in my messy!

    I’m concerned about how you define truth and I believe you have this mis-wired?
    You said Truth is frightening and rudderless!
    Truth is this above?
    No ~ this is not accurate. Sometimes truth is as simple and clear and Freeing.

    You may be frightened by the very thing you need most to set you free!
    But you may like your situation just because it’s familiar and I understand that based on having many examples of people who choose familiar over freedom and Following Him and His love ~

    What JoAnn brought up about your Attachment wounds as you describe is relevant. Maybe Dr. Meier is already working with you on these places.
    I believe we all have Attachment injuries (wounds) to consider. And you & I have discussed in many other posts prior the urgency of why these injuries/ wounds are important to get proper care for.

    Aleea, you did not create the injuries or wounds that are clearly there based on your coping patterns, but you as an adult and as a professing Believer ~now have the responsibility to be willing to tend to them and grow in healing so that they don’t get to decide any longer your connections and your behavior toward your loved ones and others you care for.

  29. Aly on March 5, 2018 at 8:35 am

    Aleea,

    What you wrote here is really important and it needs to be slowed way down.

    You wrote:
    “Yes, I do. The more I read them the more I see that. I ask others what I should do instead of doing. Even if I do the wrong thing at least it is me taking action.”
    Yes, this is true and no shame or really wrong doing in trying to take action.

    You continued:
    “There is something I am getting from staying stuck even if I can’t understand it. Not being responsible makes me weaker. I see that, absolutely.”

    Yes I agree here, but I don’t think this is your true heart desiring to stay stuck ~ but it’s familiar… is it not?
    Go back to your own words,
    “I am getting something from staying stuck”
    True to any addiction and yes there is an addiction in ‘staying stuck’.
    Ask yourself;
    What do you get? Make a list and make another list of what you don’t get~ when you are getting what you get ‘stuck’.

    Aleea, I mean this with sensitivity and compassion & care… this is a gentle voice and once that cares for your journey.
    I think that the reason you want others to be responsible is because first ‘the hurt and fear you experienced WERE another person’s responsibility!’

    Just because we are injured that way, doesn’t mean we get resolve that way. We take responsibility for what is our part and within our power to do so.

    Yes Boundaries and requirements are part of giving yourself the freedom to care and protect yourself from the ‘reckless individuals of your past’.

    I do believe it’s hard to truly begin grieving when distraction has been a common theme here as many have interacted with you..Theological distraction.

    (I will post More on this theological distraction and why I thinks it’s so easy to choose for you or any of us really. It won’t be a debate about deconstructing or minimizing the Truth of who God is~)

    It’s in our vulnerability that we are held and are willing to ‘feel’ the grief of what is hard to feel.

    The abuse that was done to you Aleea, is not about you. The abuse is about your mom’s unhealthy and dads unhealthy.
    Your mom was very unhealthy and choose horrible ‘addictive’ abusing behavior.
    But you are no longer a victim there and you have the rest of your life and marriage to offer your recovery self to.

    The only ‘lifetime’ parent we truly need is God himself!

  30. Aly on March 5, 2018 at 8:40 am

    Aleea,

    You wrote above;
    “Not being responsible makes me weaker. I see that, absolutely.”

    Actually I don’t think it makes you weaker, it makes you stuck and in the same familiar loop that has given you a sense of protection.
    But the protection is false protection and not forward healing for your very valid hurts and pain.

    Someone who is stuck, is more stubborn than someone who is weak, reaching for help and being truly vulnerable ~ there is a difference.
    Remember vulnerability is about courage not weaknesses.

  31. Free on March 5, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    This post started out so helpful and then it digressed to an Aleea fest. I feel we are being disrespected and manipulated into dysfunctional behaviors when interacting with her. Dr. Meirs has her hands full but at least she is being paid to listen to her go around and around and around in her head. We need to disengage unless she stays in topic. It hurts the support and growth of others who truly have no where else to turn.

    • Barbara B on March 6, 2018 at 9:47 am

      I agree, Free. Also, it’s not good for Aleea.

  32. Leslie Vernick on March 5, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    Aleea, your growth and healing is not going to come from more knowledge. You are like an encyclopedia of information, none of which comforts you or brings you any peace or healing or closure. Did you know that the craving to “know” can become idolatrous? Isn’t that what Satan tempted Eve with – to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil? She wasn’t content being limited or not knowing. She wanted to be “like god” Part of being a limited human being and being at peace is trusting God with what we don’t know, can’t understand and is too hard to figure out. He says, “My ways are not your ways, my thoughts are not your thoughts” I agree that right now a lot of attention, energy and focus is on helping you “know” something. I’d actually challenge you to take a fast from “knowing or learning” right now. Just be. Just trust. Just live without having to tear everything into a thousand pieces. Let your mind take a break and definitely discuss this with your therapist as it seems like you are a bit OCD on this quest. But I do want to return to helping our dear sister who asked the question not keep diverting on other trails.

    Aleea, perhaps you need to start a blog for theologians and others who are questioning all this stuff, but I don’t honestly think it will bring you the peace you crave. Just more torment with uncertainty. But to live wisely is to live trusting even in and with uncertainty.

  33. Renee on March 5, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    Free I agree wholehearted. Thank you so much for bringing this up. I wanted to speak up but decided to ignore this post instead.

    God help us if someone really needed help the last few days. Their cry would have gone unheard from people ignoring the fest as you’re calling it.

  34. Barbara B on March 5, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    Leslie’s question this week reminds me of the story of the tortoise and the hare. The slow tortoise won in the end because he didn’t give up but just kept plodding along one small step at a time. Looking back in my life, it does seem as though many small steps led up to that one last tiny step of saying No More. It wasn’t a big dramatic leap for me; it was just the next small step. I’m still pressing on to learn and grow. It’s the same process: study my Bible, worship, pray, fellowship with likeminded Christians (such as on this blog), repent of sins revealed by the Holy Spirit, and give thanks continually. It’s not glamorous or fancy, but even a poky turtle can cover a lot of ground if he just keeps going. I want to be stronger in my resolve of No More and, more importantly, be able to teach younger women how to defend themselves early on.

    • JoAnn on March 6, 2018 at 4:14 pm

      Well done, Barbara. I really appreciate your perspective, and your endurance. That is the Lord’s grace.

    • Maria on March 6, 2018 at 6:22 pm

      Barbara B,

      I commend you for wanting to help younger women. There aren’t enough people especially in the church to walk along side women in emotionally destructive relationships. Many would rather not be involved.

    • Ruth on March 6, 2018 at 8:06 pm

      Very true!!

    • Renee on March 6, 2018 at 8:30 pm

      Love It Barbara B.

  35. Amanda on March 6, 2018 at 7:34 am

    I agree Barbara little by little I began to get clarity. I knew right from the start that something wasn’t right, but I didn’t know what it was. It took me years to slowly figure out that the sporadic odd behaviors of my husband’s were labeled abuse and that his behaviors were typical of many other narcissistic people. I had never even heard of the term or knew people could behave and worse yet, think like he did. I was an innocent led to the slaughter, bond by faith and duty, which made me a perfect target to be used and objectified. It took a team of people and my continuously seeking help to finally get me away from my abusive spouse.

    • JoAnn on March 6, 2018 at 11:52 pm

      Amanda, congratulations for fighting your way through! I’m sure it was hard, but you did it with the help of a team, and that’s what is needed: Lots of support and guidance.

  36. Aly on March 6, 2018 at 9:00 am

    Aleea, and many others on this Thread.

    Leslie’s Article;
    Does couples Counseling in Abusive relationships work?

    By work, I’m assuming the writer is asking, get better? help? Improve?
    Maybe even the concept of bringing about healthy resolve and more safety stability to a destructive marriage?

    I’m open for different opinions especially if I am wrong in my assuming of the context above.

    I think there are a lot of variables but the biggest one is that of the awareness of the person’s destructive choices and behavior that have damaged the relationship.

    Can a person (spouse in this case) participate in repair if they cannot acknowledge the level of damage?
    Can the injured spouse continue to place themselves in a vulnerable position toward such an individual? Most often No because that person (abusive) is still so very twisted with their defenses that they are not safe to be in such an intimate setting about healing. Maybe in time, but repentance and true humility must take root.

    Personally, Aleea I believe the common theme in abuse dynamics is power and lack of true vulnerability at its core.

    You wrote;
    “I deeply apologize to everyone for my part in this bedlam. . . .I can’t be clear to save my life, too many years as a lawyer. What is true is what serves life and maybe that is why it just has to be about encouragement not what is “true.”

    Authentic Encouragement and truth go hand in hand. Truth is vital to healing especially victims of abuse. To say it’s only encouragement is to minimize someone’s experience, when often they need validation and clarity.

    Again I go back to;
    What do you get out of that statement and posture of sorts above?; you wrote:
    “What is true is what serves life and maybe that is why it just has to be about encouragement not what is “true.”

    The truth IS l….it takes courage to be authentically vulnerable long enough to be able to experience the healing pieces little by little in a safe setting with safe others who care deeply.

    Stay on what ‘you get’ from your comments and you might discover more what is driving the defensive posture Aleea.

  37. Janice on March 6, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    I so appreciate Barbara B’s description of the tortoise and the hare as an analogy of our slow progress in healing and moving away from “crazy”!. Many times I begin to feel pressured to” move faster” from well-meaning friends and my counselor as well.I pray and ask the Lord if I am resisting his guidance and do indeed need to make a final decision about leaving my almost 26 year marriage. I am not there yet and know that although the Holy Spirit does convict He never pressures.I am also taking small but significant steps as He leads and this is where His ” peace that passes all understanding” is found.I pray daily for confirmation that my ” in-house” separation is the right place for me to be and am sure that it is.The Lord is faithful to his grieving daughters…

  38. Renee on March 6, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    Writer: [That counselor told me my husband was the abuser, I was the enabler, and I could keep coming to him for methods to handle the abuse]

    My first dealing with a counselor was for that reason. Teach me how to deal (the methods). She asked me to bring in some type of exchange that happened between us.

    A few weeks later when I least expected it, “she said your husband stated you’re not a good wife.” Tell me about that. I stated all the reasons I was a good wife and how I could not understand him saying such a thing.

    She then stated, he said you’re not a good mom. By then I was very emotional proving how he was wrong. Suddenly she said do you hear yourself?” “Do you hear how crazy you’ve become?” Please listen to me!

    I set there in disbelief and speechless.

    That’s when I learned my relationship was not the norm but was instead abuse. That my husband’s concerns were not valid but a tactic.

    So don’t become crazy trying to learn method after method because I feel a true abuser will just up the game.

    • Remedy on March 7, 2018 at 6:59 am

      Absolutely true!!!! The aim is not a mutually loving relationship, but your total destruction so they may have total control over you. Tactics…..yes!! Thank you for that!!

  39. Maria on March 7, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    Thanks Aly for your prayers. I have often wondered and been hurt when people whom I have confided in have distanced themselves. I realize now that one of the reasons is because they don’t want to be involved in a messy situation. I admire you for walking through the mess with your husband.

  40. Kaycee on March 10, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    This is an update on my situation that I posted a while ago and an acknowledgement to all the ladies who wrote back to me then – encouraging me, praying for me, giving advice, suggestions and even asking me some very hard questions. I spent the past year strengthening myself in CORE, I purchased and read the Emotionally Destructive Marriage, listened to many Patrick Doyle’s videos as recommended by some of the ladies here and got strong enough to go out there and get legal advice. In the midst of it all, I stayed very close to God, my Anchor, strengthening myself in Him and in His Word. He has been so faithful to sustain me and continues to do so through the pain, heartache and current uncertainty.

    H and I have been separated but living under the same roof since December 2016. I made the decision during the course of 2017 that I would not ask him if he was still in contact with the other woman, as I knew that it would be only lies that would come out of his mouth. At the beginning of January, after he had a bit too much to drink one late Saturday night and thinking that the other members of the family were all upstairs sleeping, I overheard his phone conversation with the affair partner. The Monday after, I contacted the lawyer and instructed her to begin the divorce proceedings.

    The divorce papers were served at the end of Jan and he was willing to have an amicable divorce. Since that day, he asked me a few times for another chance (he had been given a few chances already) and I told him that I could only consider giving him that chance on condition that he resigns from his job overseas. Each time he replied that this was not an option for him and he could only do so in at least 2-3 years’ time. I, in turn, replied that this was not an acceptable option for me, considering that over the last many years, he continued to maintain the extramarital relationship when he went to work overseas, all the while lying to me that the relationship was over.

    We were to go to my lawyer 3 weeks ago to finalize the marital settlement and spousal support agreements but 15 minutes before we were to leave home, he told me he was willing to resign in October this year and requested that I give him till then to sort out things on that end. I was stunned and we still went to the lawyer’s office where I instructed her to suspend the divorce proceedings while we work on reconciling. She was quite surprised by the turn of events and …. I was too!

    Now for the crux of the matter – since the divorce suspension, I have told him what my requirements and expectations of him are, in addition to his resigning from the overseas job. As we stand on the threshold of divorce, I have told him that we need to go to marriage counselling and he needs to go for individual counselling for anger issues and pornography use (he told me he still goes to porn because I have put him out of the bedroom). He says that he will not go, that he does not see any problem with our marriage or with himself. He wants me to go to therapy alone and when I ask him how that is going to be helpful for us if I go alone, his reply is, “only time will tell”.

    He also told me that he will not give me the PIN to his cellphone and the PW to his computer but whenever I want to check his CP or PC, he will just put in the PIN/PW for me. In other words, he will not be completely transparent to me. I have other requirements of him, like writing a letter of apology to me for the wrong done over the years and writing a letter to the affair partner for closure. So far, he has not done any of those things and he still wants to operate under his terms, in his own ways and timing – no deadline.

    I have been experiencing much cognitive dissonance since he asked for another chance. Some days, I wonder why I am still in this ‘crazy’ situation and I simply get exhausted. I also ask myself and God if I should give him another chance when he is so adverse to and non-cooperative in what I am requiring of him at this point. He wants another chance, but he has not shown any remorse or even verbally apologised to me or come up with what he is going to do to win back my trust.

    At the lawyer’s office, he expressed that he was feeling sorry for himself. He has been very good at adopting the victim stance this past year. He displays many narcissistic behaviours of the covert type.

    Ladies, I appreciate your input, especially from those of you who have been in a similar situation. Thank you!

    • Aly on March 10, 2018 at 9:10 pm

      Kaycee,

      Yes I remember you! Good to hear from you and so much ground you have covered!
      I do hope others will chime in with their own experiences that might mirror closer to what your back up against and my heart does ache for the yet again cycle you have discovered.

      I do have questions more in the sense that I don’t want to make assumptions.

      When you had filed for divorce etc and at the last min he found ground to convince you he was going to make changes …
      what women or support that know of your situation where with you?
      Support that you could get feedback and help decide your next step… especially sense you mentioned cognitive dissonance.

      So it’s clear in his lack of follow through that he doesn’t take your requirements seriously and he obviously is lacking the broken heart for his betrayals.
      If he was truly repentive the behavior and posture would be Day and night. You wouldn’t even have to question his authenticity ~ given the scale of his betrayal.

      Always watch the behavior and never listen or give credit to the words. It’s always action that will offer the truer sense of a person wanting to make restitution.

      It seems:
      He wants both his worlds technically and does not want to do the necessary repair work on his own part.
      His double life is something he’s comfy in and he doesn’t want the financial consequences which will be painful I’m sure.

      What do you think ‘you need’ to be sure that moving on is the best for your own future and healthy life?

      One thing to remember that often betrayers like him are very good at lying through their teeth you need others in your corner to be a healthy voice … to drown out his voice.

      I’m cheering for you and will pray for your heart and I know the Lord will carry you💜

      • Kaycee on March 17, 2018 at 7:18 pm

        Aly,

        So good to hear from you!

        I have partly confided in two ladies at my church. They are aware that H wants another chance and one of them told me that at least I am doing everything I possibly can to save the marriage but this does not seem to be working with H who refuses to comply. The other one told me to give him that chance, and try to work on the marriage first, without expectation of him going for counselling at this point but give him time until he is ready. I don’t know if this is good advice and if he will ever be ready ….

        I have two older sisters who live in the same city as me but I am always hesitant to share on this personal issue with them as I found it is not safe to do so.They are both non-Christians. One of them ‘minimises’ H’s misbehaviour overseas and I just know she is not a good person to speak to about this whole situation. The other sister seems like she does not want to get involved or maybe she just senses my unwillingness to share.

        I did not even tell them that I was going to and have filed for divorce. I kind of hinted about it during one of our exchanges and one sister quickly said to not do anything yet because there are two big family events coming up in summer and it would not be a good thing to rock the big family ship and cause our parents to be disappointed and saddened by this turn of events. BTW, H is a well-esteemed son-in-law and can do no wrong in their eyes. My parents who live in a different country from me and they have no idea what is going on in my family. It also took me a long time to tell the ladies at my Bible Study Fellowship about my marriage situation. I don’t know what it is about me, but I have not even told them that I have filed for divorce, except for one, and I told her to keep it confidential for now until I am ready to tell them myself.

        You asked me: “What do you think ‘you need’ to be sure that moving on is the best for your own future and healthy life?” I think, among other things, that I need to go back and look again at the long list I made last year around this time of reasons why I need to exit this marriage. This is so hard to do and I have been postponing this exercise for a while now ….

        Thanks, Aly, for listening to and praying for me . God bless you!

        • Aly on March 20, 2018 at 10:20 am

          Kaycee,

          I think it is so wise to rethink and question your circle of friends who are giving ‘input’.

          Those who are quite conflict avoidant and tend to be more passive or ‘peace keeping’ will find ever kind of reason to enable evil behavior based on their own fears ~ not even based on your circumstance.

          You wrote:
          “The other one told me to give him that chance, and try to work on the marriage first, without expectation of him going for counselling at this point but give him time until he is ready. I don’t know if this is good advice and if he will ever be ready …”
          There is SO much upside down here!

          Without expectation or give him time until he is ready? Ok, this is horrible advice to leak in because it’s puts the husband ‘who is the offender’ still the one in control of all the wrong choices.

          His behavior has clearly shown how and who he serves! His behavior has disqualified him from being the one until ~ ‘he is ready’ as getting more of the same treatment and lack of any respect.

          That kind of message says to a person like your husband that ‘you will trust’ he is a good judgment of decisions and your safety.

          No!
          He has been reckless and abandoning.
          Even our justice system doesn’t operate on the offender being the one ready for…
          Consequences.
          Such as anger classes, or losing a license because of dui’s, the list can go on but you get the picture.

          I’m not saying your friend doesn’t mean well, but she is ill equipped to offer good advice or care for you because she is asking something that will actually invite you into more enabling of evil and bring more heartache of your situation.

          Maybe in her defense she doesn’t want to see you in ‘pain’ but in reality it’s a slower harder pain of a process playing out.
          Think of it as deferred pain.

          You can reject someone’s input and not reject the person or the friendship as long as there are healthy boundaries and respect in place.

        • Aly on March 20, 2018 at 10:26 am

          Kaycee,

          One other thought:

          You are not the one exiting the covenant of a marriage!!

          Your husband did that exiting along time ago, and for what ever reason he will most likely not want to look at himself and his motivations he will want to think it’s a Kaycee problem more than a husband problem or something that is greatly broken within himself.

          You may be choosing to exit the ‘non marriage’ you currently have. And maybe someday you can be involved in a ‘real committed marriage’ but currently your husband doesn’t have the tools nor the insight to get the proper care to be that kind of a friend, let alone spouse.

          The offender doesn’t get to define the healing process or timetable.
          Does that make sense and does that give any perspective on requirements for moving forward?

    • K on March 12, 2018 at 4:46 pm

      Hello Kaycee

      Your husband’s “repentance” just 15 minutes before going to see the divorce lawyer together was, in fact, a manipulative ploy to buy himself more time for his self-serving arrangements, while convincing you to put a hold on a very clear, healthy decision you had already struggled to. And it succeeded in doing exactly what he wanted it to do; created confusion for you by tossing a crumb of counterfeit hope in your direction.

      Unfortunately, immediately afterward, he again showed his true self and intentions by rejecting the need for counselling individually or as a couple, by placing ‘blame’ on you as the source of problems, and by claiming additional space/time for himself to end the marriage when his self-serving plans have been met, but giving you a “time will tell” response to a very clear question.

      A man truly willing to work on his marriage would not have given the answer “i’ll resign in October” ; he would do it immediately. Wife and marriage and family more important than any job!!

      A man truly willing to repair his marriage and make amends for his selfish and sinful behaviours would not shirk getting into doing the hard work of cleaning out his own heart/soul/mind, but would be getting into counselling and a men’s discipleship group immediately, rather than waiting for his wife to suggest.

      A man truly willing to redeem his marriage from the mess he created by infidelity and other brokenness and damage to his wife would not be blaming her as the source of his problems and bad behaviour. He would not blame her for his use of pornography.

      And a man truly sorry and repentant for the destruction he has caused would not seek to stop his wife from life-giving choices she needs to make. A truly sorry man would recognize that if she chose to divorce him, he is simply reaping what he has sown by his destructive, cruel, sinfulness. He would hope, but not demand that she could consider him her husband again.

      Nothing your husband has shown indicates that he is a man truly repentant and seeking to build a healthy relationship. Everything you have described is very clearly his self-serving sinful behaviour, that led you to exploring divorce anyway.

      You have Biblical permission/freedom to divorce because of your husband’s ongoing infidelities. You do not have to exercise that freedom, but you would be wise to do so. God has provided you with a way of escape from the oppressive, destructive situation your husband constructed around you.

      Be wise. Be prayerful. Be strong and courageous.

      Praying for you, Kaycee, along with all the wonderful women here who encourage you. Blessings,
      K

      • Kaycee on March 17, 2018 at 7:33 pm

        Hello K,

        You have given me a lot of food for thought and I have been reading your comments over and over again to let them all sink in and really look

        Thank you so much for taking time to write and encourage me to be wise and prayerful. Yes, Lord, I need wisdom and discernment at this time so that I am not pulled back into this repetitive cycle once again. And thanks for praying for me 🙂

        Grace, peace and blessings to you on your journey K!

        Kaycee

        • Kaycee on March 17, 2018 at 7:35 pm

          Oops … really look into what is holding me back.

  41. Renee on March 10, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    Kaycee

    I am not familiar with you. I’m still in the middle myself. However, this is my input.

    You wrote: [We were to go to my lawyer 3 weeks ago to finalize the marital settlement and spousal support agreements but 15 minutes before we were to leave home, he told me he was willing to resign in October this year and requested that I give him till then to sort out things on that end. I was stunned and we still went to the lawyer’s office where I instructed her to suspend the divorce.]

    He gets until October to sort things out. (Exactly what does that mean??) What if your understanding is one thing and his is an entirely different one.

    You wrote: [He also told me that he will not give me the PIN to his cellphone and the PW to his computer but whenever I want to check his CP or PC, he will just put in the PIN/PW for me. In other words, he will not be completely transparent to me.]

    Not good Kaycee. Do not fall for the banana in the tailpipe trick. Old saying, look it up.

    You wrote: [At the lawyer’s office, he expressed that he was feeling sorry for himself. He has been very good at adopting the victim stance this past year. He displays many narcissistic behaviors of the covert type.]

    Don’t worry about labeling. Let’s just call it like it is – as Aly says, “lying through their teeth.”

    I understand that divorce can be bumped down to separate maintenance and vice versa.

    I’ll call attention on the newest post and see if others will come and respond.

    • Kaycee on March 17, 2018 at 8:04 pm

      Renee,

      Thank you for your input and advice.

      You said: “He gets until October to sort things out. (Exactly what does that mean??) What if your understanding is one thing and his is an entirely different one.” Just to clarify, H is involved in a business venture overseas and he says it would require him more time to wrap things up over there.

      About the PIN and PW to his cellphone and PC, I have already told him that this is not good enough and not acceptable to me and that it is a red flag that he is not committed to openness and transparency.

      Praying for you Renee, that God will strengthen and uphold you as you go through this time of turmoil.

      Peace and blessings,
      Kaycee

  42. Amanda on March 10, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    Kaycee, let him go over sea and not come back. At least with a job he can pay support. He tricked you again. Proceed with your freedom and self respect. You didn’t sign up for polygamy and pornography. You deserve better. If you ever improves you can always remarry him, at this point it is all a sham. The best hope for all of you is consequences. He doesn’t get to be in relationship with you if he doesn’t treat you with honor and respect.

  43. JoAnn on March 10, 2018 at 11:32 pm

    Kaycee, I haven’t been down the road you are on, but I do agree with Amanda. You have very definite grounds for divorce, even biblical, and I just don’t know how you will ever be able to trust him again. I think it would be a good idea for you to see a counselor, just to sort out your own feelings about this and why you are willing to continue to play this game with him. He is untrustworthy and unrepentant. There will be no change that would be in your best interest. You deserve better. Set him free to pursue his paramour (she deserves him, you don’t), and set yourself free from his abuse.

    • Kaycee on March 17, 2018 at 8:42 pm

      JoAnn, Amanda,

      I omitted to mention in my original post that I had been seeing a therapist for a while and she has been very good in helping me to verbalize my thoughts and feelings. This has been all new to me and, at the beginning, found it very hard to open up to a stranger about my personal problems. She did mention that she could sense, at the start, that I was anxious and hesitant about opening up to her but as the months went by, I became comfortable enough to be able to open up more and more.

      I have not gone back to her since the divorce was filed. She could see how I regained strength over the months – no longer an emotional wreck but strong enough to make the decision to file – and also how far I have come since our very first session I took a little break but I will be seeing her again next week.

      Thanks for your input and encouragement God bless you!
      Kaycee

  44. Free on March 11, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Kaycee, do you have children to consider in this situation? I agree with all above. There are biblical grounds for divorce. Now get back to the lawyer, sign those papers, wait for the hearing and then change the locks on the door next time he is at sea. Go no contact. Enroll in counseling for yourself. You will get stronger, wiser and Joy will fill your soul. Believe me free is better. Free to serve the Lots, free to be the woman God designed you to be, free from relationship abuse and free to build safe relationships. It is wonderful!

    • Free on March 11, 2018 at 8:20 am

      Free to serve the Lord not lots.

      The road ahead is challenging, but the most difficult doesn’t last that long. Don’t be afraid of being lonely God will provide for all your needs. I know this first hand. Lean into the Lord, he will be give peace and quiet the gift of his presence during this time. Yet remember you will get through this and the other side of life is fabulous beyond your imagination. You will have to trust me on this. I have walked in your shoes.

      • JoAnn on March 11, 2018 at 11:21 am

        Free, that’s a good word. The best advice comes from someone who has walked in her shoes. We all are praying for you, Kaycee.

        • Renee on March 11, 2018 at 12:23 pm

          We are praying for you, Kaycee.

          JoAnn I disagree. [The best advice comes from someone who has walked in her shoes.]

          You said JoAnn: I haven’t been down the road you are on] However, you provide great advice. Even we who are in the middle do see because we are walking in the shoes of many on this blog.

    • Renee on March 11, 2018 at 12:44 pm

      Free, it seems husband stance on transparency has not changed. See part of her post from August 2017. So I stand by what I said in that the October deadline (which was very specific) is of benefit to him and not Kaycee. It also seems from that post that their children are all adults.

      https://www.leslievernick.com/wife-says-im-destructive/

      Kaycee says August 11, 2017 at 11:59 am [At this point, leaving his destructive behaviour and marital misconduct without consequence will simply mean that H will have the freedom of continuing to do the same things again and again, just because he knows there will be no consequence. I am really not seeing any change in him. He refuses to be accountable to me and after having recently returned home from his work overseas, he has made it clear to me that he will never make available to me his cellphone PIN and computer password. When I had this rare opportunity to talk to him about the state of our marriage early this week, he has shown no desire, interest or intention in working on our relationship and going for counselling.]

      [Our adult children are aware of how emotionally destructive their father is and see the narcissistic personality traits he exhibits, and as far as they are concerned, I should file for divorce today. I have already consulted with a lawyer – it’s just a matter of time. I just don’t know if, at this point, I should formally separate first and divorce later or just file for divorce straight away.]

      • Free on March 11, 2018 at 2:28 pm

        I agree Renee. Thanks.

  45. Nancy on March 11, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Hello Kaycee,

    I agree with everyone here. Mostly on JoAnn’s point about seeing a counsellor to zero in on why you are willing to be strung along like this.
    Kaycee, you have come very far! I remember you 🙂

    He is clearly unrepentant. Aly said it, ” if he were truly repentant you wouldn’t have to question his authenticity”. I can attest to this, when my h surrendered our marriage to The Lord, there was no question – I was dealing with an entirely different man.

    Perhaps re-watch P.Doyle’s video on repentance. I watched that thing countless times. You will see that your h’s words are manipulative and self-serving. He is playing the same games.

    Counselling is key for you, Kaycee.

    Praying!

    • Aly on March 11, 2018 at 10:56 am

      Kaycee, Nancy,

      I agree Nancy with the importance of finding out the deeper drivers to why Kaycee would accept such terms in the final hour.

      Kaycee, I agree with so many others here who have posted some hard truths.

      Free mentioned loneliness~ there is Nothing more lonely that being with the wrong partner, because you don’t have a partner in your situation you have someone who doesn’t value you enough to give you the dignity you deserve as a Child of God, as a Daughter of the king.

      If you do some back tracking and try to look at the patterns you might likely find that he is the kind of guy that ‘acts like’ he wakes up and smells the reality at the last minute. This would go for many scenarios in your marriage even down to the day to day operations.

      Kaycee and others here in tangled situations…
      to be clear about not having to question the authenticity of a repentant heart is that the ‘behavior and action ‘ is Day and night (not the words)
      ~ now I don’t have a similar scenario to yours Kaycee, but I can attest to being told plenty of times ~ it will get better and end up with the same old broken promises. I mean who doesn’t ‘want to believe this’?

      My h had a lot of work to do to figure out his own junk but as far as the repentance posture there is a clear difference when they are serious about rolling up their sleeves and /surrendering to the Lord and other accountable men.
      Trust was not built in that repentance, but over time. That was the consequences for us both unfortunately.

      Kaycee, your husband has shown you in his behavior he is incapable (especially on his own) of being trustworthy.
      He continues to run from himself and his own consequences.

      I’m curious about the feedback you have received of other ‘virtual sisters here’?
      Even moving forward to freedom from being ‘fooled yet again’ as many have encouraged you to step, what would stand in the way? Counseling on the issue is critical, but so is the support of others to echo the healthy choices for you, especially given the nature of your situation.
      Your worthy of all that help, care and Love! 💜

      • Free on March 11, 2018 at 11:05 am

        Aly, you are right the support of others is so important. I asked my support people to just speak the truth to me, even if it was hard to hear. Over and over they grounded me in reality as my spouse tried to keep me on his manipulative merry-go-round.

      • Renee on March 11, 2018 at 1:00 pm

        Free mentioned loneliness~ there is Nothing more lonely that being with the wrong partner, because you don’t have a partner in your situation you have someone who doesn’t value you enough

        Ok honest moment. Alternative songs use to say a piece of a man is better than no man at all. Well, live and learn. That is false information and as you say, we should not accept those terms.

        Kaycee may come back and update us again. But for the benefit of others, how should Kaycee or others in her shoes handle such an event. I can hear the husband begging, pleading, perhaps shedding tears proclaiming that things will be different. Of course a wife just trying to give a simple no would not work. I have a feeling that hubby pulled out the stops right in front of the attorney putting even more pressure on Kaycee. And maybe she had a moment where she felt she did not want to appear unforgiving.

        • Aly on March 11, 2018 at 1:46 pm

          Renee,

          You bring up such a good tangible part.

          My opinion is that you work at ‘detachment’ and accepting that the overall marital outcome is truly up to God … speaking about the long term future.

          First, given the infractions and betrayals done to Kaycee, a separation might be the next step (along with the lawyers papers)
          Separating might be the help in detaching and seeing what behavior or actions the husband chooses to do or not do?

          I know I’m back tracking but trying to get to something from awhile ago:
          It seemed to me Kaycee was giving space for second chances *without* having any real hopeful evidence of change or repentance in her husband’s behavior.

          When the evidence is lacking then you often have ‘wishful thinking’.

          I’ve been there many times in my past scenario.

          Ok back to separation… a structure separation is essential with s list of requirements!
          Requirements are not controlling in this scenario they are an actually an invitation to health and responsibility/ restoration.

          The betraying spouse can do all of this in a separation state if it is truly that they want to make things better and take advantage of a slim chance they can get to the core of their own character issues.

          If they can’t do it apart from you, chances are they won’t do it with you.

          What often happens with those that are serial betrayers is they ‘betray’ their chances which adds all the more to the ‘victim’ wanting to believe their words and empty promises more that their real actions.

        • Aly on March 11, 2018 at 2:24 pm

          Renee,

          You bring up such an important aspect:
          Songs and lyrics!

          I had a counselor give me great advice on this…
          Listen carefully to the lyrics and notice the message that sometimes tends to get formed in our subconscious places.
          The counselor also mentioned to do this with ‘Christian music’ and the go back and align those lyrics with biblical scripture and attitudes.
          Eye opening for my recovery work of understanding the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation.

  46. Kat on March 11, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Leave while you still can…here I am 31 years in and it is still all about how I provoke him and how disrespectful I am, he is my ‘HUSBAND’ and I shoull honor him.
    He turned my 29 year old daughter away from me when she was 15 by giving her details of his version of our relationship (even intimate) and now she is in a terrible marriage with a man who can’t hold a job and she is a alcoholic/prescription drug addict.
    Please get out.

    • Free on March 12, 2018 at 4:29 pm

      Kat, are you safe now? Have you escaped from your destructive marriage?

  47. Renee on March 11, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    Support is important (I’m learning) for when you are feeling weak, confused, slipping back into denial, fearing the unknown, etc. Free, I asked one of my local supports last week to hold my feet to the fire. Nancy and JoAnn gave me a swift kick about a week or maybe two weeks ago.

    • Nancy on March 12, 2018 at 1:41 pm

      Good for you, Renee, for reaching out for help. We all need others to hold us accountable. None of us can do this thing called life, alone.

  48. Steph on March 13, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Oh I am so sorry for your situation and bless you for all of your efforts and patience to try and improve your marriage.
    I am recently divorced after a 20 year relationship and 11 year marriage to a man who was 10 years older than me. I was 24 when we met, and he charmed me over the years – he was a wounded soul. Divorced single dad, first wife cheated on him, came from an unloving alcoholic home full of dysfunction. I was too in love with him to realize some of these aspects could be difficult on a marriage. He was kind, tender, funny and everyone EVERYONE adored him. When we had been dating a few years and he mentioned that I was often too chatty (I am), instead of standing up for myself and saying this is me, like it or not, I was deeply crushed and felt I must try to be less chatty. In retrospect I think that was my unspoken cue to him he had free rein to “change me”. When we married I was joyful and happy, we were ready to start a family. Not long after my son arrived, I quit working to stay home and raise him-(we had agreed to this). His idea somehow became that it were the 1950s and the House should be spotless at 5 pm, children too, clean kitchen and dinner ready. No complaints about that me day. His loving manner became what everyone else “got from him” but me. It was like Dr Jekyll Mr Hyde. The door would close at 6:00 pm and he could not find one thing right. He criticized constantly, ordered me around, told me what to do. By now we had 3 children and I had no job, and felt trapped. I was nursing non-stop and my home was chaos in every sense. His use of alcohol increased as well, and though he never hit me, there was always such a sense of fear in me. Never to make him angry, to hope my home was clean enough, etc. It seemed that NOTHING was ever enough. He would corner me in the laundry room and argue, or tell me what a slob I was. It felt like I was losing my mind. During our marriage, there were happy times and that would lull me in to thinking maybe there was hope. I wanted a marriage and family forever. I never wanted a D. We did marriage counseling for years. Thousands of dollars. It turned things to simmer from boil, but the problem was always there. It never got better. Maybe ok. But it got worse actually. I couldn’t let myself plan for the future. No trips. No renovations. I just didn’t wavt to be “with him” in the future. I prayed and prayed for many years for my marriage to work, for peace, for hearts to be softened, etc. only after a series of my health issues, (I think God meant for me to break my arm) and realizing my kids health was suffering due to the constant stress in our home, did I humble myself and ask god in prayer to help me end my marriage. Only then, did I feel such amazing peace and then did miracles start to happen for me such as finding an apartment near my children’s school. I could hardly speak the words of divorce to him, he finally asked if that was what I wanted. I was so worn down I could not do it. A year later, I have peace. I have boundaries. I sleep alone knowing I won’t be awakened and possibly frightened by him. My kids have peace. They have sadness of course, but not homes that felt unsafe. I still have tremendous anxiety and PTSD that I never ever imagined. I am more insecure today than I was at 25. They can never lay a hand on you, but the emotional and verbal abuse, and living in a “fight or flight” environment is it’s own type of hell. The bruises and scars aren’t visible but they are there. Yes, there are times when I should have called the police on him because he was that threatening. My poor son even witnessed it once and asked if he should call the cops. Maybe it would have forced him to look ok at his problem by someone in an official capacity instead of me. I won’t lie, there are times I miss him because he was my spouse and I crave a support. But then I remind myself, he never was capable of supporting me in anyway.
    I don’t know you or your situation, but it sounds like all of the effort and trying is being done by you. My lawyer told me flat out that if he ever tries to threaten me or the kids again we have to call the police. I do believe in the cycle of abuse, and if you aren’t familiar with it, I encourage you to read about it ASAP. There’s also a book, its not in the Christian realm, but it’s a must for wives of abusuve husbands. It’s called “why does he do that?” By Lundy Bancroft. I don’t want to discourage you, but if your husband has been this way for 6 years, you might be looking for the wrong solution if you want your marriage to survive. Maybe Gods plan is for you to become strong enough to leave your marriage before he becomes anymore abusive and seriously harms you. You can’t pray the anger out of an abuser. And sweetie, it has nothing to do with you. That teapot of anger he has was brewing long before you were married. God bless you all and be safe. Take things one day at a time, it’s all we can do. And pray, no matter where you are. God never abandons us, we just may not be listening for the right message.

    • Aly on March 14, 2018 at 8:31 am

      Steph,

      Wow ~ such strength and courage God gave you! Praise God for your heart and your clarity on something that is hard to see and hard to know when & how to take action.

      You are so right when you mention the praying away the anger from an abuser~ I think often this is a natural response of survival, but then when those that are victimized see that they can pray for strength and change for themselves ~ a pathway opens up!
      Praise God for this!

      You wrote:
      ” It seemed that NOTHING was ever enough. He would corner me in the laundry room and argue, or tell me what a slob I was. It felt like I was losing my mind. During our marriage, there were happy times and that would lull me in to thinking maybe there was hope.”

      This is such the case of so many who find themselves in a destructive marriage or any relationship of this nature. The happy times do create such doubt and ‘skewed reality’ when dealing with an abusive mindset character.

      You mentioned the Jekyll vs Hyde and the alcoholic, criticisms etc.. I’m wondering if you came across pornography also …based on such anger that seemed against you? Treating you with such disgust and disregard is why I ask.
      Many studies today are linking so much of the hostility and abuse (not as the core reason) but as a deep disgust an abuser has with themselves. Porn has many tentacles of pathways that destroy so much!

      Praying for your continued Healing! The Lord will set you apart and nurture you back to health. I love how you say one day at a time~ it’s true in that sense.
      I will pray the The Lord will pour His love over you in profound ways that you can’t help but ‘smile’ and feel that peace and comfort💜

    • Jolene on March 14, 2018 at 9:17 pm

      Steph,

      I’m so happy for you that you got out. As I begin to plan my exit, I was wondering if you could share with me about how you find peace with sharing custody of children with a man like this. I read in Lundy Bancroft’s book that courts do not always take emotional abuse into account when allowing an abuser access to children. The thought of my children being alone with him (and his manipulation) keeps me from leaving, because at least if we are all together, I can protect them. Thoughts? Thank you.

  49. Steph on March 13, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    I should have mentioned about my kids, they had serious anxiety that began during our marriage. My son always wondered are they-aren’t they getting divorced, and that limbo made him so insecure. They started having harder time in school. It was like a plague just slowly settled over our home, and the only treatment for us was to divorce. It was that toxic. It maybe more toxic to you and your kind de than you can even see, because you are just coping and surviving and unable to see objectively. Please know I say that without judgment and wish I could give you a hug! My counselor told me just prior to my prayer for divorce- your home needs to be a sanctuary, it isn’t about pleasing your husband at the sake of you and your kids, it is about them. He is a grown man. That was a wake up call. Our marital home was never a sanctuary. I could never sit and just be myself, relax etc because he’d instantly lash out and order me or the kids to get up. I’d been an enabler in many, many ways (if you aren’t sure what that means, go read some of Melody Beatty’s books about co-dependency where she addresses enabling) to try and keep the peace. I grew up in a peaceful home and knew that was what I wanted for my kids. My H did not of course, but that didn’t give him a free pass for his abusuve behavior. My children have benefited from therapy since the divorce but your local YMCA or domestic violence shelter should have children’s support groups too. I have found there is so
    Much love and support in church and community. Even if you feel you need to find another church for awhile. ❤️

  50. Kaycee on March 17, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    To all of you who have chimed in here with your valuable feedback, comments, suggestions, advice, encouraging words, support and prayers, thank you so much! I really appreciate you all, ‘virtual’ sisters in Christ, for coming alongside me at such a difficult and trying time.

    I pray for all on this blog, that we may all experience the presence, peace and joy of the Lord as we continue trusting Him on our journeys, no matter how hard our circumstances get and no matter what the final outcome of our situations will be. He is forever good and faithful … Praise Him!

  51. Steph on March 17, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    Jolene, I understand your concern and worry. I’m not sure the age if your kids, but I can say that mine were able to comprehend more of the manipulation than I guessed. If you are truly concerned for their physical well being, than you staying at all v. Leaving is just an illusion of being able to protect them, and you. Your state has legal resources that not only can shelter you (ie a women’s shelter) but your local state bar or court has info to help you with a free protective order, and free or discounted legal services for divorce. You can ask ti have a guardian ad litem appointed who is an attorney to look after the best interests of the children. You can ask for supervised visitation Or no overnights, but you will need facts. Write down everything that happens and when. If you worry he’ll find it, Mail notes ti a friend or church leader to keep. Take photos of anything helpful. I hid things in secret files on my phone. I also would press the video record button on my phone and then slide it in a drawer or my purse when he has threatening me. Some states have laws about using that as evidence in court but it could be very helpful to you ti have if you need leverage to establish custody and his behavior.
    I will say that my divorce has made my H a better dad abc now that we aren’t in the same house his anger is less directed at me. It’s still there but it’s so so much better than before. It’s not easy. But really, what you are doing now isn’t either. You have to constantly put your faith over your fear- every day, every hour.
    You can do this because you’re already doing something even harder. I can tell you that leap is the biggest leap of faith I’ve ever taken and NOT what I’d ever envisioned. You really must believe you can do it, that God will see you through it, and that somehow his plan will be better for you, even though it’s so incredibly frightening. I’m praying for all of you in these courageous situations!

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