Happy Labor Day Everyone
I hope you enjoyed today and didn’t labor too much. What wonderful weather we had this weekend here. I opened my windows and let the breeze blow fresh cool air into my stuffy house. Don’t you wish we could do the same thing with our heart? Just open the window and let God breath in fresh air into the stale and stinky places?
As a matter of fact, that’s just what He promises to do if we let him. Our part is to surrender and submit, his part is the refreshing and restoring. Take a moment just to meditate on Psalm 23 – the first few verses. I’m going to write it in Nan Merrill’s Psalms for Praying that I’ve been using in my own devotional time.
O my Beloved, you are my shepherd,
I shall not want;
You bring me to green pastures
And lead me beside still waters
Renewing my spirit,
You restore my soul.
You lead me in the path of
To follow Love’s way.
If you are not on my newsletter mailing list, you’ll want to be. My September newsletter is going out Tuesday (tomorrow) and the topic is A Time to Say NO! You won’t want to miss it.
Plus there a lot of other news, but one of the most exciting pieces of news is that we have 5 new videos on my facebook fan page on women dealing with stress, emotional overload and conflict. My colleagues, Georgia Shaffer and Catherine Hart Weber joined me for a panel discussion, sort of like TV’s The View about these topics.
But being a novice on Facebook, we loaded them wrong, so just look for number #1 first because they are out of order. We discovered once you load them on to your facebook page,it’s impossible to change the order without unloading them.
Over the past few months I have received a slew of questions from women in abusive marriages. Do I need to take him back? How long do I wait for change to show itself? Does God expect me to stay for better or for worse?
So this week instead of answering another reader's question, I'm going to share with you a letter I received from a gentleman who responded to a blog I previously wrote called, A Biblical Response to Domestic Violence. If you'd like to read that blog first, go to:
Society for Christian Psychology Blog
Below is his response. It is an open letter to women who are married to abusive husbands. This is what he wrote:
1. Leave – until you leave, the abuse will continue. No matter how much the person protests or promises change, LEAVE! If not for you, then for your children. I learned watching my father beat my mother. It was my choice though to abuse my wife.
2. Get authority involved IMMEDIATELY–police, minister, social worker. As an abuser, the hardest step is taking responsibility, admitting and accepting it was all my fault. Turning myself in set me on the path to salvation.
3. Until you hear the words “It is my fault not yours. You are a God-given gift that I have sinned against and I will never sin against you again” do not believe he has changed. After this is said, you may hope but it took over three years for healing to occur in my case.
4. Never be alone with the person until you feel safe, see an actual change in the person (no enabling, true change not rose-eyed hope!)
5. DO NOT ACCEPT VIOLENCE IN A RELATIONSHIP EVER!
His response says it all. It reminds me of Edmund Burke’s statement, “all that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men (or women) do nothing”.
It is time to say NO to the sin of domestic abuse!
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Thanks for sharing an abuser's view of domestic violence, it is helpful to see through their eyes.
thank you for sharing that Leslie!
although my abuse situation involved more emotional & mental -and even tho we are currently seperated, I have still not heard those words from my husband. I have been convicted of my part and asked him to forgive me, but my husband still does not see his part – therefore I know that we are not close to reconciliation.
Wow, what a powerful message, and from an abuser himself. That is showing change for sure in himself.
A very different message from the one I received the church I used to go to. The men there, especially one man in particular that supports my husband because as he says, "he is head of the household", has told me how terrible I am not to stay in the marriage. And my husband was the one that left me. 🙁
Maybe I'll send them the link to this. LOL
Thanks for posting this Leslie. And thanks to this man for sharing. Please continue to speak out about all it took for you to get it and change.
Notice he said it took over three years for healing. There is no quick fix in dealing with abuse adequately. Men stuck in these destructive patterns of thinking and behavior need to experience serious consequences if they are ever to have a chance of accurately seeing their sin, taking responsibility and working to change. Even when they are willing it still takes time. I wish the church in general would get this.
You have done a wonderful job of unraveling the religiosity that is tangled up with Biblical principles when it comes to marriage. As you noted in the blog the gentleman read: "We have sometimes valued the sanctity of marriage over the emotional, physical, and spiritual safety of the individuals in it." Thank you!
I am currently going through a situation where it just started as grabbing me and now it’s escalated to him punching me in the side of my head and each time he cries and says that I say things to push him and he minimizes the punches and says I didn’t do it hard. He treats me like a queen other than that and i love him, it makes it hard to leave and I feel like if I watch what I say it won’t get so bad. I’ve always been a strong woman but I feel so stupid because I know it won’t stop. I have to leave him
Im in the same situation….my husband is usually patient with me and yes we bicker at times but then when he’s really frustrated and headstrung about something he gets aggressive. It also started with just pushing and a slap on the head now he grabs me and try to shove something in my mouth. Im torn because I never thought he could be like this.
In the same boat. He says it is always my mistake with my answers he gets agressive. He wont stop the argument n hitting till hours. Cant leave him rightnow as i am not financially independant. I always think he will be a better person in the future nd for our daughter i want him to be with us. He is a good man but when he is irritated even for a silly reason,that day it is hell for me. I wonder that god gave me so much patience that i am bearing this person.
[…] • AN ABUSERS RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE […]
Monday, 5th September 2016
I met this boy in 2013 he instantly became my best friend we spoke for hours and hours and hours , this led to many many road trips one of which led him to get angry and then me to walk off then I pushed him away and he took a stone and hit his head ..but then something went wrong somewhere , we got abusive physically we started fighting a lot but we tried everyday to make it work.. Every single day we got up with hope and more hope that love was enough , the fights got painful emotionally leaving us distraught and feeling tired low on energy , I saw my self change from a happy happy person to someone who has cried every other day if not everyday .. Yet we were not quitters so we arrived on , oh and we were just what should I call it , exclusive friends (with benefits) we were always in a relationship , just the boy had had a broken engagement before and was not too keen on love marriage so we remained friends … He told me I must get married but I too was somewhere in love with him ..
I finally gave in started meeting men to marry but the first time I spoke to a prospective man, he called me and said ‘listen don’t, will you marry me’ and I was taken aback for a minute but in my heart was happy that he had finally made a move, I agreed .. Our official courtship started , we met the parents , we got officially engaged.. I am an only daughter, an only child of absolutely amazing parents.. My dad was over the moon that his little princess had told him that she was getting married to a man she absolutely adored..
But the fights, they didn’t get better , they got worse, verbally abusive and very very disrespectful… Yet we chose to marry .. A week before the wedding there was a showdown I told my dad that no papa I should not marry this man, he said darling sleep over it .. I begged that if I did I would be hopeful again tomorrow morning .. And so was the case .. I was hopeful again..
Wedding preparation was the worst most tiring time of my entire life .. He made it worse everyday by telling me how much money is being spent he daily spoilt his mood and it spilt over to me .. I didn’t look like a bride to get married, instead I looked like a girl just out of a relationship ..
Yet I micromanaged my wedding danced at my cocktail had the prettiest photos and was the happiest girl when he held my hand to get on the stage ..
We moved to this parents house, we went for our honeymoon where things were as bad mood spoilt usual fights , just terrible .. But each day we’d find that moment of pure bliss that would give us hope once again..
We then moved into our own house in nirvana , I built it piece by piece as did he.. But there were fights about money everyday and how I am too hi fi like he called me.. How just because I went to London I think am smart or just because I can speak well I think I am smart.. We fought everyday to a point that it became physical abuse .. He would verbally abuse me and I would sit at home that day drink alcohol to ease the pain and in the night he would come back in a bad mood and abuse me some more and I would get angry push him away and that meant him coming at me holding me by my throat pushing me on the bed screaming at me choking me , kicking me after I fell, pushing fingers down my throat banging doors in my face and when I would beg for help he would tell me go call your dad .. I have slapped him too once I had had enough and I squeezed his balls he broke the bed .. Our parents got involved .. I was constantly bruised broken teeth scratched .. Yet they gave us chances many many chances but it didn’t stop .. Then one day I drank too much and he had left the morning before abusing me and I couldn’t take it my parents came I pushed them away I even pushed my dad and then finally he left ..
We decided a divorce was the best option .. Actually no he decided … Then I went into therapy hr counselling got off alcohol got calmer ..
He came back in one month and asked if I would like to give it another shot .. I agreed in a blink we courted again for 3 months and moved back together … But in 6 days the behaviour was back again I was off alcohol but he was still smoking up daily .. He suffers from GAD and SAD severe anxiety disorders and took weed to calm his nerves .. He stutters .. One day I fell asleep he came back angry and our dog who was spending his first day in our new house had peed everywhere and I had fallen asleep.. He came back accused me of being an alcoholic got verbally disgusting and I screamed at him .. Then I said your parents have had a terrible marriage your father must have been an asshole to your mom don’t be one to me .. Then he slapped me hard across my face not once not twice not thrice but four times .. I realised be it his cleanliness obsession be his need to always have his way be it me being calm me being angry me being mean it was always never justified but his behaviour was always justified .. And eventually he would always hit me ..I packed my bags and walked off.. Knowing one thing for sure that come what may I will not be hit again not for falling off to sleep .. He has abused my mother my father my dogs my friends me but he cannot take it back.. He can call me a bitch say main tere Ghar Aakar Teri maa choodonga but that was okay but me saying similar things deserved a hammering ..
But it’s been 3 weeks since then and he again asked for a divorce and I said okay but I miss him like crazy .. You know why? Because we had moments of pure bliss .. You might not see it and maybe I am in denial but he has been verbally abusive and feels no remorse .. Physically abusive and he still feels no remorse .. Says he hit me cause I screamed at him or pushed him away.. He once scratched my face cauSe he insisted on sitting at the parlour with me .. And I got late .. And I had told him to not come .. But he insisted and then got irritated for having to wait too long .. Then when I raised my voice and said did I tell you to come, why are you screaming at me for getting late I told you to not come .. He scratched my face .. I still have scars he tore my blouse and then he cried and cried .. Strangely we went off to the friends wedding I fixed my blouse put some make up on and went anyway.. Next day we fought again cause I saw my face in the mirror and I screamed at him and then instead of a sorry he screamed at me and hit me some more .. One time he pulled my hair and called his mom and whispered in my ear that say it tell my mom what I am doing to you.. I refused to open my mouth .. It has been terrible .. He banged doors on my fingers .. He once hit me so hard that I fell and broke my teeth .. My parents lent us a cooler once cause our acs were still to be installed he said thank you dad thank you mom and the minute they left he screamed at me.. Saying how can they get something without his permission.. The same was the case with thchristmas tree I once bought home.. He said why waste money without my permission .. He left me sitting in my car after both of us had been partying and I was a bit drunk and couldn’t drive but he left me in a city like Gurgaon while I begged and begged for him to come and get me .. He once banged his hands at the steering of the car cause I couldn’t drive properly .. His mom would write him emails saying beta she is trying to take you away from us .. And he would reply saying mom don’t expect anything from her but no one will ever take me away from you.. He would abuse my family my dad my mum me call me a bhen ki lodi but if I who never abuses in Hindi would call him something back it would result in some more physical abuses ..the day we first decided on a divorce I told him let’s get therapy .. But instead he said No we are different I said yes but let’s go to counselling and he said okay what have you done for me how much money have you saved in the last 6 months .. Oh don’t get me wrong he would buy me things take me out but always always remind me that how much money has been wasted .. He told me 98% of the fault in this marriage was mine .. Told me I didn’t split the honeymoon expenses.. Told me I am shit and I suck and I cheat and I have sex chat with men.. I all my friends are sex maniacs and cheaters ..he told me each time we went to the therapist that He is giving it one more shot because He has nothing to lose ..
I changed myself completely for him from a person who has never done any real house work I kept the house so so clean .. I listened to him rant about jhaddoo pocha machine to be run how dusting should happen cause that’s how it happens in his house to being someone who sat at home all day after work with him on the bed and roll a joint cause that’s all he wanted to do.. Be high ..I budgeted I ironed his clothes I stopped talking to all my friends I stopped meeting them I stopped drinking I stopped the occasional smoking I stopped meeting my parents cause he hated me seeing them everyday cause we lived 5 minutes away ..and he lived two hours away from his parents and couldn’t meet them daily ..
One time we had to go for lunch to his relatives house .. He said be ready at 9 but later told his mum we Ll come by 1 so I simply asked should I get ready or will we go late but he instead of answering a simple question screamed his lungs out at me .. I was calm I told him I was just confirming.. He said I don’t care about his parents .. And then took a cleaning cloth and started cleaning the floors of our house .. I knew we would go so I got ready nevertheless and we went ..
I was his friends and extended families favourite person his little nieces favourite Mami. He on the other hand refused to talk to my friends or interact with them he would ridicule me in front of them and yet I laughed with him .. He never spoke to my relatives never once said let’s go to your house for lunch today .. It was always about him saying how I think his family is our servant .. And strangely very strangely my parents helped so much they would sit in an empty house when our bed was getting made .. They would help us with basics they have helped so much in setting our house up and his parents have done nothing .. Yet my family was always abused .. In the end during the first divorce when our house was being sold.. I refused to take anything even though I had spent an equal amount on it .. Gorgeous Wooden furniture .. The expensive curtains his mom made such a big fuss about the beautiful wooden bench .. The anokhi cushions the pottery from pondi he found expensive is now all a part of their house .. They sold their old furniture and our living room is now theirs .. The same curtains hang in their living room .. The beautiful centre table and entry way table I handpicked and he cringed at the cost is now part of their house .. Our tv is now in his room.. And yet I was told everyday that I am selfish that I am a bitch that I am obnoxious and that my parents don’t respect him that my parents have given me too much independence .. He fought with me over how good should be warned and eventually it was warmed his way..how towels should be hung .. what sort of potatoes I should buy or how I should clean the sink or how I should dress or how I should get liposuction cause he has always preferred thin women or how during our first trip when we first made love the night before and the day after all of us friends were sitting together and saying what we expect in a partner everyone said something I said I want a simple man and he said whoever she may be whatever she may be she should’ve thin that’s all I want .. I know how much it hurt cause well I am not thin but I am gorgeous and smart and pretty but it hurt .. He couldn’t take me to get my scratches mended or my teeth fixed that he broke or pick me up when he kicked me in my lower abdomen but he took an hour off work to take me to a liposuction clinic .. There are many things that I can add here .. How he would check my phone and accuse me of cheating because a friend from school sent me message in a playful way saying go to sleep you donkey ! Or go make out with your husband .. He told my parents about how a boy once messaged me saying what’s up sexy or how my dressing is sometimes cheap .. Or how I look like an Aunty sometimes or how I have no idea how to dress .. Sadly all my life the one thing everyone’s always been jealous of is how I dress so beautifully .. His Instagram would always be full of women of a type fair skinny red pout and blonde hair .. Indian mind you! But that was all okay… But me saying hello to a friend with a smiley meant I was fantasising about having sex with them .. How I got so fat one time because I took a baby out of me.. He even told my parents that she called me a stammer so well let me tell you at least I am not so fat like her because of the baby she’s been popping out (for reference here – I had a miscarriage once after unprotected sex with an ex) he told my dad that..
But I miss him dearly .. Am I crazy? Now I think I am.
Hi, my name is Kathleen. It took me several years to cycle out of a relationship. I was in a relationship for almost 7 years. We are close in age in our 40’s. He had been in a previous relationship, a marriage. His ex-wife (God has revealed to me, yet I am still waiting on Him to continue to make this truth clear; that his ex-wife in God’s eyes is still my ex-boyfriend’s wife). This is initially why I began to move away from my boyfriend; that is, to be obedient to God’s Word. Of course, this was not easy at all. It has been and still is a process. In addition, I began to move my heart away from the one I love. I had to keep feeding myself with the words that I need to love myself, and not allow this man to choose power and control over me. It begins with emotional and mental forms of abuse, power and control – even subtle things that occurred. I saw from the beginning, yet continued to allow myself to be in this way of harm. The emotional and mental forms of abuse and power and control do eventually (even right up front for some people who are being harmed in this way). And recently the physical ways he harms when I begin to ask for more intimacy – like talking with me, and building our friendship more. More specifically, it is when I have a deeper need that I ask him to fulfill, he typically will yell at me. It took me a few years to realize that this was not my fault. And that there was absolutely nothing I could do or say to make this scenario change. It took me this long to allow myself to understand as well as to understand that he had a problem that was not mine. Of course, we both had/have problems as every person does to work through and process. I had to read and listen through the wisdom of people like Lundy Bancroft in his book titled Why Does He Do That. I had to read and reread his insightful and powerful information to help myself to begin the journey of walking away. I had to come up with a plan to walk away. This included finding the ways that I was closely attached to this man – then, planning how to meet these deep needs in other ways and build mismatched support in order to build support around myself. I had to begin to accept areas of hurt and lonliness for myself and God to begin a journey of how to carry these, and how to build, repair, and heal these. Part of this process was to find ways to keep going, keep functioning, and keep walking in my own life, that God has given me. I am a person that has had a lot of sadness to carry. It is really hard to let God lead me through it, and speak to me in it. What helps me is to allow the tears to come, and to chit-chat with God as I search for people to talk with – safe people – and retreat because that person did not help. Then stick myself out there again and keep trying to connect. This is like the ocean waves pushing across the sand, then pulling back to retract itself. This powerful movement is how I describe my overall relationships of seeking deep, meaningful connections with people. I love life so much. Yet, I really have been hurt and neglected, dishonored, unknown to people, and yet I keep reaching out and finding life. This I trust is the evidence of God moving and working in my life. And that after I continue to grieve and heal, the hope that He will use me to touch other women’s lives with His powerful hope, love, ministering healing and deep, deep to the spirit for inspiration and to keep on going. Love, Kathleen P.S. Thank you for listening. Again, I love this man deeply. It is time to love myself deeply, and learn to love this man with a kingdom love at a distance in order to protect myself. And to love God’s Word deeply.