Morning friend,

July is typically my month to take some time off to rest, refresh and renew…. so I’ve asked two of my team coaches, Susan King and LeAnne Parsons to fill in for me in answering your questions for two of our blog weeks. The other two weeks I will post video blogs from questions I have answered live in private webinar forums.  

This week's question has to do with a husband who feels threatened by his wife seeking help for herself.

Thanks,
Leslie

​Question: My husband is very threatened by me getting help. He feels as if I'm telling our business to too many people, and feels like I'm lying about him. I'm trying to get help, and he feels like I'm pushing us apart, and destroying our marriage by bringing up too much information.

Answer: He's lying to you, and he's lying to himself. So the person who has to get clear on you getting help is you. You can say, “I need help for me. This isn't about you. I'm not happy. I'm not happy with the way I've been showing up here, I'm not happy with the way I'm reacting…and, you know, if everything is cool in our life, why would you be ashamed of me sharing it? But things are not cool in our life and I'm not going to keep staying stuck. I'm gonna get help for me.” 

That's where you have to be really clear. You don't have to be shaming or degrading telling him that he’s a horrible person and that’s why you need help. Instead, you say, “I need to grow, I need to mature. God's calling me, to work on me. And I'm not happy with our story. I'm not happy with how I show up in our story.” Maybe you’re too passive or too aggressive. If he argues, simply say, “I'm gonna work on me and I'm sorry that threatens you, but I'm not happy with the way we are.”

It’s the same as if you were having to go to a doctor because you were sick. Or, if your husband sexually abused you, and you had an injury and he didn't want you to go because he didn't want you to tell the doctor what he did. You have to take care of you. Now, this doesn't mean you have to bad mouth him to the doctor and go into all the details. You can simply say, “Something happened in our sexual life, and I'm not happy with it and I need help.” You don't have to go into all the details if you don't want to…or you can. 

Listen, friend. If your husband did something wrong and you're suffering the consequences of that choice, and then he says, “I don't want you to go for help because it embarrasses me…” if you comply you’re just feeding the monster of his deception and his abuse. You’re feeding his belief that, “I'm entitled to abuse you with no consequences. I'm entitled to abuse you, and I'm entitled to use you, and I'm entitled to hurt you and you shouldn't hold me accountable for that. You're not allowed to tell, you're not allowed to get help.” 

When you collude with that mindset, both of you are unhealthy. He might stay unhealthy, but for your sake have the strength to say, “I'm not doing that anymore, I'm getting help for me.”

15 Comments

  1. Veronica on July 7, 2022 at 8:24 am

    I’m a bit confused with the answer.. how is she feeding the monster of abuse? Her question did not mention that he was abusive…

    • Ruth on July 9, 2022 at 11:07 pm

      I assume they left that part out of the part they chose to print in the blog. But if the guy were a good partner, why would he have a problem with his wife telling ‘about their problems’? Abusive people want to isolate their victims. They take away your voice and invalidate your experiences ☹️

    • JoAnn on July 14, 2022 at 11:44 am

      Veronica, the term abuse covers a lot of destructive behaviors. It includes behavior that is harmful to another person, and it can include emotional, financial, spiritual, physical and sexual abuse. The writer wants to know how to respond to her husband’s abusive behavior. Whenever we allow someone to mistreat us without appropriate consequence, we are “feeding the monster” by enduring it passively. That allows the abuser to avoid bearing the consequences of his behavior and he will continue to do it, and even escalate.

    • Anne on July 19, 2022 at 10:52 am

      Pray about this and ask the Almighty to show you. If your husband wants to stop marraige counseling …why? If its costly to him…is he wanting to prioritize this investmaent in you. Your marraige.?

      If he does not need or want more marriage help what does that tell you? Howdoes he plan to improve marraige without counsel?

    • Anne on July 19, 2022 at 11:01 am

      By not addressing her need to do more counsel for herself again would be letting the monster win as he trys to keep her silent. He is not having the love to show her by not wanting to encourage herto get all the help she believes she needs and support her or marraige.
      She adks the question what to do now. Stick by her gut of getting further help and counsel

  2. Terri on July 7, 2022 at 9:52 am

    I like this.
    Would you be able to elaborate on what it would look like to respond in a passive way; or an aggressive way?

    • JoAnn on July 14, 2022 at 11:39 am

      Terri, If you read her response again, Leslie talks about “colluding” with his abuse, in other words, letting it happen, not providing consequences for his behavior. Being aggressive would be fighting back with ugly words and/or actions. So she is encouraging you to take a firm stand about what you will not put up with and providing appropriate consequences, like walking away or even leaving the house when he starts yelling, or whatever. In the case of physical abuse, it would be leaving the house and/or calling the police, but not engaging in a fight. Counseling can help you to learn to make appropriate responses to his behavior.

      • Anne on July 19, 2022 at 11:02 am

        Love this

  3. Carla on July 7, 2022 at 10:15 am

    Good stuff!! Also let him know he’s welcome to come to counseling with you because we will be talking about you and you may want to be involved

    • JoAnn on July 7, 2022 at 2:37 pm

      I agree, Carla, and also Leslie’s point that if he truly believes he is doing nothing wrong, he shouldn’t mind her going for help. The script she outlined for the wife makes that clear.

  4. AnneM on July 7, 2022 at 3:33 pm

    I have a similar situation; my husband does not want to continue with marriage counseling because he says we don’t need it, why did I start the counseling for us, he brought up the issue of the cost; it does not help [him], he does not want to discuss problems; the counselor disagrees with those statements and so do I disagree, but after 2 years of much work on this, I think the counseling is helping and I want to know this: should stay with the same counselor and continue working on the marriage or switch to another counselor, to continue healing/strengthening for myself? My husband does agree to work on the marriage in a class/enrichment program, he says it is more what we need and he enjoys it better, so I have to count my blessings!

    • Autumn on July 7, 2022 at 6:09 pm

      Just get counseling for yourself. His attitude speaks volumes. Do you see any change in his behavior?

      • AnneM on August 1, 2022 at 3:09 pm

        I think that is going to take some time; there is a slight amount of change for the better, thanks

  5. Anne on July 19, 2022 at 10:42 am

    You can count your blessings for this far however ifyou feel the need for more or different that is God talking to your spirit. Your husband is not programmed fir your consious. And only God can show you that. When we learn and we are readyfor more,.DO NOT LETYOUR HUSBAND BE YOURDIRECYOR OF YOUR HEART He can tellyou whathe is readyfor or not.but you have tobe trueto youeself and not afraid that your husand does not agree!!!!. He does not needto stop your growth if you are ready for more. He may not want you becoming more autonimous for yourself and tgat is on Him. Push forward girl…

  6. Anne on July 19, 2022 at 10:50 am

    Pray about this and ask the Almighty to show you. If your husband wants to stop marraige counseling …why? If its costly to him…is he wanting to prioritize this investmaent in you. Your marraige.?

    If he does not need or want more marriage help what does that tell you? Howdoes he plan to improve marraige without counsel?

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