Can I say No To Sexual Practices I Don’t Like

Morning friends,

I wanted to take a little space to respond to a comment in the blog thread about something I said in a previous blog which went something like, “in every good thing there is a down side and in every bad thing there is a good side, if we will look for it.” The initial responder asked me to clarify what I meant. She also said my comment triggered bad memories for her where Christian cliché’s were used to motivate her to try harder to look for the good in her husband. Let me try to explain my point a little clearer.

In every thing that happens to us, we can’t always discern whether it is good or bad. It may look good to us – such as winning the lottery, or landing the job of our dreams, but there are also down sides, such as long work hours, time spent away from family or relatives and friends who now expect you to fund all their living expenses since you now have won millions of dollars.

In the same way, things that we would initially define as bad, such as the diagnoses of cancer, a divorce, the death of a child or spouse, or even depression bring gifts to us if we are willing to receive them. My friend Georgia was diagnosed with breast cancer. She lost her marriage and her job and she felt terrified. She was given only a small chance to live and required a bone marrow transplant. How as a single mom with breast cancer was she going to make it? Although breast cancer would have never been something she chose, it did bring opportunities for her to value the preciousness and brevity of life. She no longer got anxious over small things. She began to appreciate beauty in a new way and cultivated deeper relationships with those who supported her through her illness. She describes it as the best worst time of her life.

Recently a relative of mine lost his wife unexpectedly. It was a bad thing, but through it he learned lessons he would have never learned had he not experienced this particular hardship. He figured out how to manage his household responsibilities, his finances and speak up for himself, things he always relied on his wife to do. He became a better dad to his young children and developed a deeper spiritual life not in spite of his loss, but because of it.

So friends, many of you are in destructive marriages. You have a choice. You can stay angry at the bad part (which you have every reason to feel), but please don’t get stuck there. You can also learn lessons from this pain. For example, many of you are learning for the first time how to set boundaries, how to find your voice and speak up for yourself, implement consequences, and to dig into God’s word for yourself to see what it says. Some of you are looking for new jobs or careers, and praying more fervently than you ever have. You are growing stronger, saner, and more centered in God because you are in a bad marriage. Are these not good things birthed in the suffering of a bad marriage?

When God commands us to give thanks in all things (not for all things, 1 Thessalonians 5:18) we do that by seeking the good, growing the good, and nourishing the good within the bad. When we do that, we can feel thankful because we know that God brings about our good, even when we’re smack in the middle of bad (Romans 8:28,29).


Question: How should I handle it when my husband continually pressures me to use profanity during sex because it turns him on? I’ve already told him I don’t like to do that, but he doesn’t hear me. I was sexually abused as a child and I don’t feel this is helpful for our sexual relationship. Also he wants oral sex from me. Sometimes it’s OK but he pressures me every time, verbally and nonverbally, not letting up until I give in. Am I being prudish or do I have a right to my own feelings about these things?

Answer. You are not prudish and you have every right to your own feelings about your sexual likes and dislikes. From what you described, your sexual relationship with your husband is one sided. You’re being treated like an object that is there to do what your husband wants with no consideration or respect for what you want or don’t want or what you find appealing or disgusting.

For those who have been regular visitors to this blog, what’s wrong with this picture? It is NOT a healthy relationship, sexually or otherwise. You are being disrespected and not cared about. This is painful when you are married to such a person and presents quite a dilemma for a Christian wife who wants to honor God

However, despite what he and others may tell you, the Bible doesn’t say that marriage is all about him and his needs. A healthy relationship requires mutuality, reciprocity, and freedom. A healthy marriage is impossible without those 3 elements being practiced by both partners. That said, what can you do now that he doesn’t show care or respect toward you? Nor do you seem to have the freedom to say no?

You say you have already told him that you don’t like using profanity during sex and why. Yet he still pressures you to say it because it excites him. You’ve told him that sometimes you don’t’ want to do oral sex but you also indicate that he disregards this and not only verbally pressures you, but you imply that he may force you as well .

It’s time to stand up against his sexual abuse in your marriage. Yes, a married person can be sexually abused. Biblically, it is not a spouse’s right to force you to do things that you don’t want to do just because he is your husband. Disrespecting your right to say no to certain practices that you find hurtful, sinful or unappealing is unloving and disrespectful. It’s time to stop protesting and to start confronting his disrespectful and unloving behavior…and if it continues move to a different bedroom with a good lock on the door.

Here is a sample dialogue you need to have with him. Prepare it ahead of time and say it in a firm but neutral voice tone. Don’t wait until you’re having sexual relations to say this first part, but you may need to say it again if he continues his disrespect, followed with specific action.

Here is an example of what you might say:

“Honey, (or name) we need to talk about something important, when is a good time?” When he agrees to have a conversation, start with this:

“I love you, I want to have a good marriage (if this is true). I desire to have a healthy sexual relationship but I feel hurt and angry that you continue to disrespect me in the bedroom, pressuring me to say and do things that I do not want to do. Sex is not just about your feelings and needs but it’s about a loving interaction and I’m feeling used and abused.”

Then stop talking and wait for him to respond. If he minimizes you or makes fun of you, say “you’re doing it again right now. You’re disrespecting me and I won’t continue to let myself be treated that way.”

Then stop and wait for him to respond. If he gets mad and walks away, let him, but next time he pressures you to do any of the sexual things you don’t want to do, get up out of the bed and tell him firmly, “I told you I don’t want to do those things and I feel disrespected when you pressure me. I’m sleeping on the couch tonight.”

If and when he apologizes, thank him for showing concern for your feelings but if he reverts to the pressure tactics during sex, reinforce your boundaries by getting up and leaving the bedroom. Hopefully he will soon learn that pressuring you doesn’t work anymore and it only makes things worse,

I want to encourage you to stand up to him straight from God’s Word. Ephesians 5 has some important things to say to husbands and wives but if we look at the entire chapter, it starts by saying, “Imitate God…live a life of love.” And then it goes on to say, “Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes – these are not for you.” And then in verse 6 it says, “Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do.”

God is talking about sexual immorality, and sexual greed, which your husband is struggling with. Later on in verse 11 it says “Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.”

As I’ve said repeatedly, you can’t change your spouse, but you can change how you respond and what you do. And, when you change, things change. (tweet that)

I pray that your husband wakes up and repents of his sexual greed and unloving attitudes towards you. But know that God sees and you standing up for what’s good and right is exactly where God wants you to be.

Friends, sexual abuse in marriage is something that feels shameful to talk about. What have you done to stop being treated as a toy or an object?


  1. Emily on August 12, 2015 at 7:42 am

    I was in a similar marriage where I felt like an object to be used for his pleasure only.There was physical force and pain on my part but that never seemed to stop him.For me the biggest issue was figuring out why (now that we’re divorced)did I out up with such unlocking behaviour??It is the dilemma of wanting to please God and please your husband while everything inside of you is screaming no.It’s no wonder so many wives end up having zero libido in the context of this chronic dysfunctional dynamic. I see now that real love is mutual, reciprocal, tender, kind And protective.In retrospect I don’t think i felt worthy of that kind of wonderfulness. I hope I have another chance in this life to have a healthy sex life with a day.Hopefully I will recognize what true love and respect looks like.

    • Leslie Vernick on August 12, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      I’m so sorry you didn’t feel worth being treasured, protected and loved. I hope that is healed inside you so if there is a next time, you will experience that wonderfulness.

  2. HisEzer on August 12, 2015 at 8:03 am

    I was continually pressured to have relations approached from the back side (the non-graphic way to describe it). It was very uncomfortable and made me feel like an animal or object rather than a wife. Sharing those feelings, however, made no difference to my husband…

    • Leslie Vernick on August 12, 2015 at 1:16 pm

      So sad. I know this is such a tough topic and it grieves me to hear of the total disregard for your feelings.

    • Sampson's wife.. on August 12, 2015 at 1:45 pm

      This has been my experience as well.. God will not fail me even though, from wat I can see, things look bleak.

  3. Survivor on August 12, 2015 at 9:50 am

    I stood up to these types of behaviors and was firm enough that they don’t ontinue. However, I believe it is only because I was able to convince him that I would not tolerate it rather than out of love and care for me. Now, his sexual,actions are not abusive, per se, but they still are about his needs and I don’t feel the loving connection that I wish to feel in marriage. It is disappointing, to say the least…..

    • Leslie Vernick on August 12, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      Can you speak up again and say something “Aren’t there two people here?” I want this to be about love and not about sex.

      • Survivor on August 12, 2015 at 3:45 pm

        Yes, I have done this, but he seems not to know how to have any sense of another person’s feelings/emotions/needs. There are definitely evidences of narcissism. He *says* he wants to be different and even makes some gestures at it, but I just don’t know how much to trust it……so far, I have not sensed the Holy Spirit’s green light to go ahead and trust it fully. What help would you give to someone whose heart is so stone like that they say they need to be angry about something in order to feel any passion?

        • Carol on August 12, 2015 at 8:05 pm

          Trust is earned over time. Consistency over time, just like building back your credit score.

          Maybe your heart is cold right now for a good reason.

          What has he been doing to prove his change in character is for real? Can you list them right off or must you dig around a while to think of any real changes?

          I am big on offering grace, but not big on trusting too quickly, it never helps anybody.

        • HisEzer on August 13, 2015 at 12:07 am


          Leslie may have a different take/answer, but I feel led to at least make this suggestion: Porn. Porn addiction often produces various disrespectful behaviors like that in men. Some focus more on demanding certain visuals and positions. Others need some sort of violence or aggressiveness involved… and still others lean toward profanity as a stimulating factor. His need for that may be due to something else — I certainly am not saying dogmatically this is the cause — just that I would not doubt porn plays a role and that it is just a dark secret which has not yet been exposed. I never dreamed it would be the case for my husband … until the day it was discovered. Then it made all the other forms of destructive behavior make sense.

          • Survivor on August 13, 2015 at 9:41 am

            Yes that was definitely there for several decades. Just over a year ago, he finally gave it up and got clean from that addiction. But I think we are still dealing with the aftermath and the total self focus that goes with something like that.

          • Leslie Vernick on August 13, 2015 at 11:16 am

            When assessing marital history if the sexual relationship was once mutual and reciprocal and then turned abusive, I would highly suspect porn to be involved. If it was never good, porn also may be involved because habitually turning to porn is the ultimate act of selfish sex. You have a “non person” adoring you and telling you that you’re “the man” and she wants you and you do everything right and you have to give absolutely nothing back to her. You can abuse her, you can use her, she is not a person, but simply an object to feed your ego, your insecurities and your self idealization. There is no relationship work involved at all, and this entitlement thinking spills into the marriage and bedroom.

          • Emily on August 14, 2015 at 5:18 pm

            You are absolutely correct in that porn addiction destroys intimacy bc.They don’t needt to connect at all with their fantasy women.It’s all about them and not a mutual give and take. I too discovered this after my husband left.It was as if the pieces of the puzzle came together and it all made sense.Unfortunately it was too late and I think the addiction got the best of him.When you research how porn affects a man’s brain and his inability to be emotionally intimate,you don’t feel so crazy and guilty anymore for feeling used, abused.and uninterested in sex.

          • Denice on November 10, 2015 at 12:08 am

            My husband was molested terribly as a child so he acted out sexually. He saw porn and naked women at a very young age so he had this distorted view of what women looked like and what they did. He used to pressure me a lot also for certain things. He even wanted me to control him with sex. I never wanted to do that, I always felt that was wrong. He used to get mad at me for not controlling him with sex. He has gotten a little better over the years as he has sought the Lord but when he is backsliden things are different. It’s very sad and has hurt our intimate relatiomship.

  4. Daisy on August 12, 2015 at 11:13 am

    I agree with Emily (no wonder why so many wives have no sex drive) and HisEzer (feeling like an animal). That was my experience, too. If I tried to stand up for myself, he would tell me I was being selfish and question why my desires were more important than his. He would also point out we were married and so we could do anything (it was all legal, right, good, etc – even to the point of role playing we were other people).

    • Carol on August 12, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      An animal, yes.

      The biggest problem with silencing our intuition and going along with anything even slightly bothersome to our souls, is that it always gets worse.

      They want the bad degrading things precisely BECAUSE they are bad things, and the very idea of doing them came from bad sources like pornography or even their own history of abuse. As we go along with this garbage, the bad becomes normalized and a new lower “bad” must be always be found. Yuck!

      Might as well go for broke and set our boundaries really high in the first place…or at least as soon as we realize.

      My husband is in recovery from a lifelong addiction to vile pornography and our sex life has been so cleaned up, it’s to the point that he will not even call it “sex” anymore but making love.

      By transforming his mind with the truth of God’s design for human sexuality, he has lost his desire to drag our marriage bed into perversion. It’s like a whole new marriage.

      We do not have to stay silent and compliant, and NOR SHOULD WE STAY in any perverted situation, even a “christian” marriage bed.

  5. Jessica on August 12, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    There are a few issues with this post about setting boundaries. First, you say “go to another room with a lock on the door.” Then later, “I’ll be sleeping now on the couch if this continues.” When you take the stance of leaving, it is communicating that you are in the wrong and you must be the one to suffer a bad night’s sleep instead of the one who really should be there. Furthermore, the living room does not have a lock on the door, so for you own safety, stay in the bedroom and have him go elsewhere (possibly under another roof while you go to counseling). Counseling isn’t always a viable option either if he is truly a narcissist/sociopath and only cares about himself.

    • Leslie Vernick on August 12, 2015 at 1:14 pm

      I don’t disagree with you Jessica but if she doesn’t have enough strength to keep herself from being sexually abused, it might be too big a step to kick her husband out of the bedroom, although that might be an eventual step, I wanted her to know what she could do right now. Plus kicking him out of the bedroom is dependent on his willingness to comply and when you set boundaries, it’s usually only on something you can control – like where you sleep, not where he sleeps.

      • Carol on August 12, 2015 at 7:57 pm

        Maybe each wife has to judge which action would communicate the clearest message.

        Some abusive husbands use manipulation and threats of abandonment and not so much physical force. Actually requiring the wife to willingly offer herself for mistreatment or else suffer various forms of neglect , silent treatment, and even justifying his private porn use and adultery.

        In this case the sofa for the wife might not only be safest option but sending the clearest message: “I’m outta here”

        I know my own husband often threatened to leave the bedroom or home as a way to control, so sending him to the sofa or guest room was not really effective as a boundary.

        • Melanie on September 1, 2015 at 9:25 am

          My ex too, would go sleep in the living room (even toward the end set up a “room” on the floor in the basement) as a way to get me to give in because of how he was suffering by my failure to love him that he couldn’t even bear to be in the same room with me where once I really loved him and didn’t set boundaries on his behavior toward me.

          I kind of thought the same way– if he’s leaving then that’s not me making the statement, but in the end I thought, I can’t change your interpretation of these events at all, but if I don’t respond to your manipulation, then the end result is I sleep peacefully. As long as that’s what I choose to do and see this as God’s gracious gift to me this night.

          • Valerie on September 1, 2015 at 9:56 am

            I can relate to so many of the comments here. I understand what Jessica is saying about him being the one who should leave, which is how I felt as well in my situation. He was the one abusing, disrespecting and being downright evil toward me. Why should I have to leave? He chose to take his frequent silent treatment up a notch to actually leave the bedroom. I could have written the first paragraph of what Melanie just said. It was then that I noticed the marked change of atmosphere in the room. Finally I could breathe. I didn’t cringe at the thought of going to bed. It was a sanctuary for me for a few hours to be away from his abuse.

            But then he changed gears when he saw I wasn’t begging for him to come back. Leslie makes a apt point when she talks about his willingness to comply. After a blissful period of rest from his abuse and neglect (in the bedroom and not necessarily all involving sex) he came back to the bedroom. I was miserable. I asked him to leave and he refused. I have a bad back and he knew sleeping on the couch strained it; conversely, he often told me how well he slept on the couch. This, too, was a blinding realization at who I was dealing with. He arrogantly and adamantly refused to leave when he knew I was hurt and refused to acknowledge it. When I reminded him of my back he ignored me and just pressed further into the mattress to affirm him stance. He was finally getting what he had wanted from me for awhile- for me to be hurt and for him to feel back in control. At that stage I was at a point of realization that this interaction made so glaring obvious the truth of his abuse. It sickened me to be in his presence.

            When I consider how grateful I am to no longer have to be subject to his oppression and cruelty…when I think about what God saved me from…it feels reminiscent of what I have been saved from eternally. Jesus truly does save in all respects of the word!

          • Leonie on September 1, 2015 at 8:16 pm

            I remember this too, when I pulled back and no longer wanted my ex in my bed & bedroom there was peace. After he would rage and explode at me, he would move to the basement and when he came back upstairs 10 days later, I had a huge knot in my stomach and couldn’t sleep. I knew we had to separate but I was scared to do it. Finally, I could stand it no longer, I just did it, thankfully the torment is over but recalling it brings back the feelings & lump in my chest. Even if things go badly in the legal system, I never have to live with him & experience the chaos of living with his anger and misery again!!

  6. Remedy on August 12, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Because it can for many become a slippery slope going many many steps away from God’s plan for sexual intimacy. I had a friend whose husband demanded mutual porn watching, outfits, objects, then a movie camera in room to film themselves all to which she was coaxed and guilted to participate in as this was ‘normal’ sex between all married persons. Then he wanted another female to participate with them… which FINALLY she said resounding NO!!!

    Needless to say, the 15 yr marriage ended

  7. Finallyfree on August 12, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    During my “marriage” my husband wanted oral sex a lot – I finally got the courage to say I was not comfortable with it after about 10 years of “marriage.” His response continually was that I made a unilateral decision to stop giving him oral sex and that was not right. My body is not my own, it belongs to him according to the Bible, he would say.

    Once, when I did not want to have sex because I was very tired, he berated me and said how I was selfish and not being obedient to the bible, etc. I told him I thought he should care about how I feel and he obviously does not. He kept on. So – I got a bottle of warming lotion and said – Hey, here you go- you make me feel like a prostitute. I can get you off – is that what you want? Come on, this is how I feel anyway – you treat me like a prostitute, so I can treat you like a customer. I know how to do this.

    He looked at me in shock as I started. Finally, after about a minute, he said, no – don’t do this. I don’t want it like this.

    I thought maybe that would help him see – even though that night he apologized, the next day and many days after that, it was the same story.

    Thankfully I am now divorced after three years of fighting for my freedom. That incident was about five years ago – it took me a very long time to get strong enough to do what I eventually needed to do.

    It is a process – a long process, and different for each of us. The Lord is so good though – He stayed with me through it all and guided me with so much love and kindness that I never knew before.

  8. Cherri on August 12, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    My exhusband told me that he wanted a “cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom.” He said it kiddingly but in truth that is how he acted. He had trouble reaching climax so I was expected to do whatever it took to get him there, including bad language and uncomfortable positions. It could take literally hours of work. It was exhausting and demoralizing. Sometimes he would wake me up at 2 or 3am wanting sex and I was expected to wake up with enthusiasm. It took me many years and reading The Emotionally Destructive Relationship to fully recognize that sex was just one area of disrespect and destruction in the relationship. After confronting him several times, I realized that things were just getting worse, as he was unwilling to change, and I ultimately left the marriage. Dealing with the sexual abuse has been one of the hardest areas from which to heal. No woman should ever have to be subjected to that kind of treatment. I am thankful, Leslie, that you have had the courage to talk about these tough areas that the Church for the most part is silent about.

  9. Maria on August 12, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Leslie, I agree that when we go through difficult times, we can grow in a number of ways- deeper relationship with God, becoming assertive etc. Unfortunately this same teaching is used to encourage women to stay in bad situations by pastors and other people. They tell women that it’s God’s will for them to endure the abuse for their greater good ie. to become more patient, humble, reliant on God etc. I know that if I’d read this a few years ago, that would have been my thinking. Could you please clarify this for someone who may be in this position.

  10. Angela on August 12, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    My pastor husband of 33 years has been very selfish, and harsh sexually. I moved out last year, and have thanked God every single night for my own safe bed. He is in deep denial and thinks I’m coming back. I’m following closely after God, and He has told me I am free. The cage door is open, but I am reluctant and am not at peace. I have exhausted myself being responsible for his feelings! Prayers appreciated…

    • Lisa on August 12, 2015 at 5:41 pm

      Hi Angela, God said you are free! — what are reluctant about?

    • wilma on September 1, 2015 at 10:10 am

      After 33 years, the guilt does not leave quickly but you can be confident that God will continue to guide you. Hang on to Him! He will not let you go. I am walking too, maybe a little further down the road (I started stepping away from abuse three years ago) and can say with confidence, the peace will come. It takes time. Learning that you are only responsible for your responses and not his, has definitely been tough for me too but it is vital to remember. The fact that you are thankful for a safe place of peace shows that you came from a place that was not. God has provided a place for you to heal as he did for me. His grace will supply. “One day at a time” is a well worn phrase for those journeying through deep waters for a good reason. Give yourself grace, space and time to work through this. I praise God that you are free. You will know the truth and that is what will set you free. Keep stepping into truth!
      Praying for you now…

  11. Paula on August 12, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    I had similar scenarios to HisEzer – the kind that made me feel like an animal. It started on the honeymoon. I was in tears. He was stone cold. Fast forward two decades: we have been living separated in the same house the last few years because we have minor children. I have no intention of ever allowing myself to be touched by him in any way.

    Sometimes when I read the posts and comments, there is something that bothers me. It is even more intensified with a topic like today’s. I hope I can communicate what I mean. It seems if a man is treating his wife like an animal sexually and/or abusing her in other ways, the issue runs very deep. This is a core problem with how he views her as a human being. I did try for almost two decades to express myself to my anti-husband. I tried multiple ways over many years. Sometimes it made things worse. Sometimes it did nothing. Sometime, however, it made him behave in a compliant manner for a time. It changed nothing in his basic attitude toward me. I guess I don’t understand what the purpose is if you have to tell someone to stop treating you like an animal or an object. If there was anything good in their soul toward you, it should naturally flow from it. Our words and our actions flow from our hearts. I don’t want someone cajoled into compliance to treat me like a human being because they aren’t allowed to get away with what they really want to do to me. If a spouse has been abusive and the victim speaks up, I rather think it should be something like David having his eye-opening moment with Nathan over his sins regarding Bathsheba and Uriah. Once the heart has repented or been awakened, new fruit should grow from the new heart. I can’t even imagine going back to trying to explain to my anti-husband why he should treat me like a human being and then have to give him the lessons on how to do it.

    I don’t mean to be negative here at all. It just perplexes me.

    • Lisa on August 12, 2015 at 5:52 pm

      Paula I agree with you 100%!

    • Susanne on August 12, 2015 at 6:44 pm

      Paula, I understand what you are saying. I’ve basically said the same things you have stated here and I totally agree with you.

    • Carol on August 12, 2015 at 7:34 pm

      Paula, I don’t want to sound like a broken record here but boundaries still really are the answer.

      But, before we set any boundaries in earnest, we have to let go of wanting marriage above wanting God’s will.

      I hated the reality of my life for years but still wanted “a good marriage” more than anything, so I devoured rotten advice books like an addict and tried to “manage” my husband’s sin from my side. Ridiculous.

      God, in his mercy, wooed my cowardly self into what many in the church would call “feminist rebellion”. I came to the point where I could honestly say:

      “I would rather die than ever do these things again. There is nothing you can offer me that will make me choose you over God, and even our kids will be better off with God as their only dad if you will not repent and be the man he designed you to be.”

      This was my only boundary really: Live right before God (serious recovery, and all that it entails) or get out of my life in any capacity. Death is preferably to being your wife.

      My husband happened to choose life. As a fruit of that choice, his heart was changed and he fell in love with me again. I don’t have to retrain him, he pursues me and wants to know the truth of what a woman (me) really wants, instead of the degrading filth that porn taught all his life.

      So, the working out of his sanctification did eventually benefit me, but I was WILLING that he choose his pornographic perversions over God and leave us all for good.

      I was made ready by the Holy Spirit to force that issue, and be at peace with whichever way husband chose. In other words, boundaries.

      praying for us all in this mess.

      • Leonie on August 13, 2015 at 12:19 pm

        I am so happy to read about your strength in the Lord, thanks for sharing this!

      • Paula on August 14, 2015 at 8:39 am


        I agree with you about the significance of boundaries. I was thinking the other day about how in the past I thought it was wrong to have any. I certainly grew up in a very dysfunctional family where there were zero boundaries. Even now boundaries are loudly declared – in unpleasant ways, to put it mildly – to be evidence of lack of love by family members. I no longer believe this way, but you can imagine me taking that into a marriage with a man who believed I didn’t have the right to any boundaries, even if he did, which he absolutely did. I have a much more balanced perspective on this now. It seems to me that in a healthy, reciprocal relationship the boundaries can be something like a nice picket fence that everyone respects. With my anti-husband, mine now have to be 6-foot chain link with barbed wire – electrified – a couple of guard dogs, and me standing guard, armed. (I’m having a little fun here, but it’s pretty close to reality). The biggest danger to keeping the boundary intact seems to be when I think I need to treat him like a rational human being who can be reasoned with and who would want healthy interaction. That generally turns out very poorly.

        I don’t know how common it is among other women to put their desire for a good marriage above God, but I never idolized my marriage, at least not in that way. On the contrary, I never actually sought marriage. It was some bad theology that I fell for – which my anti-husband brought into my life – that I was supposed to want marriage, even though I never felt a calling for it, that got me into this situation. [Side note: I now know that singleness is a high and holy calling. If the Lord chooses to heal this marriage, that is fine. I, however, do not long for re-marriage and would not seek it]. I did, however, believe that once married, whatever I thought or felt about this no longer mattered and I was to fully give myself to my marriage and my husband. It was a mess. I could never please him or adapt myself enough to even have a semblance of relationship. There was spiritual abuse, and I ended up equating his displeasure with me as God’s displeasure with me. I lived in fear and couldn’t even get to God’s will for me without going through my anti-husband – which means I never got there. So much spiritual deception! When God finally turned the light on, he did so in a big way and revealed not only the lies and the reality of His love for me and ability to lead me Himself, but he revealed who my husband is and was. I was floored because I had continued to doubt myself and give him the benefit of the doubt over the years as inconsistencies and lies surfaced. Praise God I now see 🙂

        I walk a tightrope with minor children, my now broken health, and what a custody battle would mean. He would probably fight. I wait for God’s green light.

        I am so glad whenever I hear a happy ending, especially when someone chooses life. I am happy for you.

    • HisEzer on August 12, 2015 at 10:36 pm

      ” I don’t want someone cajoled into compliance to treat me like a human… If a spouse has been abusive and the victim speaks up, I rather think it should be something like David having his eye-opening moment … Once the heart has repented or been awakened, new fruit should grow from the new heart. I can’t even imagine going back to trying to explain to my anti-husband why he should treat me like a human being and then have to give him the lessons on how to do it.

      Paula, I couldn’t agree with you more. Once genuine contrition is in place, a heart does not have to be coached or prodded on “next steps”… “how to rebuild trust…” or “how to demonstrate empathy…”
      I like the example of Zacchaeus most of all when examining what real repentance looks like in follow-through.

      • Leslie Vernick on August 13, 2015 at 11:12 am

        I like Zacchaeus’ example as well. Once his heart was changed, he wasn’t told to make repairs with his money, he offered. He initiated it and made it public so that people would know he meant business.

    • Paula on August 13, 2015 at 8:07 am

      Thank you for your responses, Lisa, Susanne, and HisEzer. It’s very confirming for me to know I am not the only one who thinks and feels this way.

      • Leonie on August 13, 2015 at 9:37 am

        I agree too Paula – I could never figure out why my husband wanted to stay married or in a relationship when all he could express was disgust, anger & misery toward me – while taking & using many things & opportunities that he didn’t bring into the relationship for his own advantage & benefitting himself in many ways while short changing and being nasty to everyone in the house & playing the victim. Who even wants that scenario – wouldn’t any self respecting man want a mutual, reciprocal, edifying relationship that benefits both partners?

        • Paula on August 14, 2015 at 7:48 am

          Leonie, I know what you mean. Over the last year and a half I had some conversations with my anti-husband, usually started over some area of disagreement, that led to him revealing his true beliefs regarding me, women in general, and marriage. I am sure he didn’t intend them to be as revealing as they were. He wasn’t looking for “a mutual, reciprocal, edifying relationship that benefits both partners.” He would probably tell you that he was if you asked it straight out that way (because he would look bad if he were honest), but what he revealed was that a wife’s purpose is to be there for his support, to prop him up constantly. A wife obeys, likes all of his ideas, and is unfailingly grateful that any half-decent man would have her (as though the single state would be the worst thing that could have happened to me and he generously rescued me – definitely not our history, by the way). He said some things that made it clear that he evaluated me before marriage the way someone would shop for a tool, having in mind the job they wanted to do. He was unashamed of this and thought it was normal and good.

          “…while taking & using many things & opportunities that he didn’t bring into the relationship for his own advantage & benefitting himself in many ways while short changing and being nasty to everyone in the house & playing the victim…” Well put. He takes to fill up his own voids and to make himself look normal to the world and gives nothing back. Then he tells us that we are the problem.

          • Elizabeth on September 1, 2015 at 7:37 am

            Paula, I am so concerned for you and for your children! The model in which they are LIVING is unhealthy at best and CANNOT do anything but harm them and any hope for good marriages in their futures. I am praying for you all!

    • Survivor on August 13, 2015 at 9:45 am

      I also agree! I have felt exactly the same way–even though I have resorted to explaining it to him. It always just feels like he is following a script–not like he actually cares about me or wants to know me and how I feel and what makes me tick!

      • Paula on August 14, 2015 at 7:56 am

        Survivor, you are absolutely right about the script. He tries to get me to explain how a decent person acts so that he can look good to the outside world and so he can play the part with the kids when he is in the right mood. In the old days, when I would try to have relationship with him, and I would just be honest about some of the things I wish he would say, the kinds of conversations I wish we could have, he would get angry that I wanted to put words in his mouth. Now I can see him trying to glean hints from our conversations that will help him play the role, whenever he is feeling like playing it.

        • Leonie on August 14, 2015 at 12:05 pm

          Paula, that was my experience too. It is like the lights went on and I could see his horrible attitudes toward me, my bigger kids, about marriage and women in general. My ex had no empathy so was always fishing for normal people experiences so he could act normal too.
          It leads them to ask odd questions and you are right, they totally reveal what they are thinking and nothing was more important than his image. He does well at his job but now I know it is because he is wiling to say or do anything to climb his way to the top. It is a ruthless way of being, they feel no guilt for anything.

      • Jennifer on August 14, 2015 at 12:02 pm

        Liz, I think you are more of a woman than you H will ever be a man! H seems to be a hostile, disturbed, selfish, angry boy in an old man’s body. Driven by his own inadequacies he lashes out as he spews lies at you. Gee, why does this sound like the demon possessed man at the tomb to me? Maybe because he is equally as evil. You 100% woman and you have the hormones to prove it!!

      • Mary on August 14, 2015 at 12:12 pm

        I have to agree with the script comment. He is calculating how he can gain power over you and get what he wants. You read Lundy Bancroft’s book, right? The abuser doesn’t have an anger problem he says in the book, but rather a problem with You having any anger.

      • Lisa on August 14, 2015 at 4:08 pm

        Yes! Survivor mine followed the script until he got whatever it was he as after then the script was shelved and I was ignored.

    • Daisy on August 13, 2015 at 10:51 am

      I had hoped my husband would have been repentant like David and turn from his ways, too, when I finally decided to get the divorce. I’d hoped it would be a “wake up call,” since I really struggled with God wanting me to stay married (divorce is against what He desires) vs God wants me to be safe, happy, cared for, and loved (this can’t happen in an abusive relationship). I finally chose divorce. Even since the divorce, his treatment of me has only gotten worse. Someone mentioned narcissistic tendencies. I think that’s exactly correct. And like Angela, my husband was a Pastor, too.

      • Paula on August 14, 2015 at 8:06 am

        Daisy, I am glad for you that you are not with him anymore. If it weren’t for my health and custody issues, I would leave. I keep my eyes open for a green light from God to take on that battle if the situation becomes intolerable here. Many destructive husbands seem to be narcissists. The entitlement at the core is so basic. My husband is not a pastor, but he does try to find a way to put himself in a position to teach youth whenever he can. I just don’t think he is polished enough to pull it off with a whole congregation of adults. His maturity level is too lacking as well.

    • Mary on August 14, 2015 at 11:42 am

      In my mind there is a huge gulf between the Song of Solomon and any of these discussions. The outpouring of love in a physical and covenant based union never (not sometimes or occasionally) contains such disrespect of another person’s body. It doesn’t sound like even one person has ever been loved as God intended. So what do we call this behavior? It is another form of power and control, right? Isn’t an act of selfishness and evil that only Satan could be pleased with? Ladies, precious, precious women made in the likeness of God, this distortion of sexuality must certainly be what one would find in the chambers of darkest hell.

      • Leslie Vernick on August 15, 2015 at 1:05 pm

        Mary you are so right. When people have a good relationship dishonor and abuse is never a part of that dynamic, even when they’re tired, stressed, out, angry, or hurt. They have healthier ways of dealing with those emotions than to be cruel towards someone else physically, sexually, emotionally or spiritually. The sexual relationship was created to be mutual, reciprocal, and loving. Anything short of that is sexual greed and lust, which should not be a part of the martial bed.

    • Robin on September 3, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      Paula, I understand where you are coming from and you are not alone. I’m in a situation very similar to yours. After years of verbal and emotional abuse I started my own journey toward healing and establishing boundaries. Years of secrecy allowed my husband to continue his treatment of me and the kids. When I finally got the courage to leave him he ran to our Pastors and got help. He claimed to have changed but I didn’t believe him. Was he acting differently at home, yes but only to stop me from leaving him. I was one week away from moving into my new place with the kids and then fell under so much pressure from family & our Pastors that I stayed in a last ditch effort to save the marriage. My pastors told me that if I left him I was going to go with out God and that I’d be on my own out there with the kids. They said that he really had changed and that if I left it was only because I didn’t like him which isn’t grounds for divorce. So against my better judgment cause I knew it was over, we went to counseling and he lied to the counselor about things that had happened in our marriage. It was then any glimmer of hope left me, I was mad at myself for listening to the wrong people and not trusting my own instincts. My husband wants others to think he’s a good guy but the people living under this roof know what his true heart is. I liken him to a dog that’s been muzzled, the dog hasn’t changed, it’s the muzzle that’s keeping him from tearing into folks. I am still with my husband because we have minor children and it would be a financial hardship for me to leave right now. We have had separate bedrooms for 4 years now and it suits me just fine. I had my attorney draw up a separation agreement and that is now signed and in place. My husband wants me to rip it up but I told him no, that its my insurance that his behavior is kept in check. I can leave now if he reverts back to his old treatment of me. I do plan to leave eventually just praying for the courage to do so and for the Lord to show me His timing of it. Paula, I pray for you and your kids, I know what it is to live with someone who treats you like an object with no love. It’s a very lonely existence to be married with no love. Work on developing some close girlfriends if you can to spend time with. Maybe attend a support group. I did and it helps so much to be able to vent and share problems. Very healing and freeing to let the secret out.

  12. Elizabeth on August 12, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Paula, they are my exact sentiments. It is not about pasting fruit on the tree but new fruit out of a heart that loves God first and then others (family etc.). I struggled with many counselors with this over the years. I wish I had known then that marriage counseling for a narcissistic emotional abuser only fuels the fire. That was my experience. I have said no, set boundaries and moved out of the bedroom with absolutely no change in attitude or behavior. We live separated in the same house and considering our age it is the best solution for us. God has given me so much support from my family and church along with deep friendships in my church. I am learning to be content with Him. Thank you all for your blogs. They have encouraged me to be honest with myself and my husband trusting God for the outcome. God bless you all….

    • Remedy on August 12, 2015 at 9:38 pm

      May I ask you, Elizabeth, how you navigate the in home separation? This has been here for two years…. tortuous for me as I feel I’m not operating effectively in any area of my responsibilities maintaining as minimal contact as possible.

      • Robin on August 13, 2015 at 2:32 am

        If I had it to do again- I would not do a in- house separation. I look back at all it cost me, not him but me. I was in denial about how awful things were thinking God was pleased with this compromise of spouses living separately. It breaks my heart to see clearly now how much damage we caused our family by pretending to be married. All the red flags were there but I felt I needed to keep my family intact. What I know today is what I needed was to separate, get some peacefulness back and live with my children without abuse so they could witness honesty and healthiness. I grieve for you ladies living separately. I know the pain well – you are living and I pray for you to find freedom joy and how to love and care for yourselves.

        • Leonie on August 13, 2015 at 9:45 am

          I agree Robin. Torturous is the right word Remedy!

      • Mary on August 15, 2015 at 1:15 pm

        Remedy, I have to confess that I have never heard of “in home separation.” Who recommends such a thing? Do both parties agree to it? I imagine there must be a financial reason for it, but in men who rage, going to a different room doesn’t work. My H can break down door with a few good kicks. Heck, I have seen him destroy just about anything and everything, a kitchen table with four chairs piece by piece, bannisters on a staircase broken, smashed our granite counter top with a sledge hammer too…so I am having trouble with “in home separation.” Yet, I guess each person’s situation is different. .

    • HisEzer on August 12, 2015 at 10:59 pm

      Same here, Elizabeth. In-house separation until further clarity from God on what to do… Some days are more difficult than others, (especially when observing the con-game performance before children, relatives, and friends) but overall, with time and strengthening of core, they are gradually getting easier to bear and producing glimpses of a future day when life might actually feel meaningful and joyful again… (My heart and mind already know there is much to be joyful over in spite of earthly circumstances… but being able to feel that joy on the emotional level is a whole other thing). It is a test of our faith for sure when we know God is the only one who really sees the truth of what is going on…

    • Paula on August 13, 2015 at 8:18 am

      Elizabeth, thank you for your response. I moved to separate bedrooms and initiated the in-house separation a few years ago. My anti-husband is also narcissistic. There has been no change of attitude or examining himself to see if he might have had anything to do with why I separated. He believes I am the problem, as he always has, even when I gave my all and wore myself out trying to make the marriage work. I continue to pray for discernment whether to make a move. My support system, however, is almost non-existent as I am homebound with serious chronic illness from the years of stress. I am so glad you are finding support and friendship. I do believe God is also delivering me and my children in His time and His way.

      • Mary on August 14, 2015 at 11:47 am

        Paula, if you can get the strength to leave, your health will improve. You have to trust us on this, step out in faith and you will soar on wings of eagles. Even if you have to hire some kind of support, you only need one person and Jesus to reach freedom. Do you miss being a girl? Can you remember what that was like to dream, imagine, plan and play. That is what is ahead of you. Grab life with gusto and enjoy the drive out of town!

        • Paula on August 15, 2015 at 8:13 pm

          Mary, oh, how I wish I could. I do believe you that my health would improve. However, there are logistics that affect my ability to gain custody. (I have consulted with an attorney). The majority of my children want to get away from him, but they don’t even want the time alone with him (without me present) that would be likely if we divorce. They want me around whenever he is.

          Yes, I do remember what it was like to dream and plan and have hope for my future. I remember a kind of optimism and confidence that is only a memory now. That all started dying once we got engaged. I know if he were ever out of my life, my cells would finally be able to breathe! I need prayer that God will make a path clear.

  13. sophia on August 12, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    I am so glad to see this topic posted here. But my situation is a bit different (maybe). Throughout my marriage my husband (H) has been the main one getting his needs met. He has not really taken time to ensure that our intimate time together is sometime where we both enjoy each other and are fulfilled in the end. I gave into some things such as pornography, using sex toys and other sexual practices to make him happy. But as time went on I began speaking up for myself in regard to what I was comfortable with and what I was not comfortable with. Needless to say eventually H got entangled in an affair for a few years. We are currently separated but I have struggled with coming out and being separated from him sexually also because I have desires and struggle not to turn to masturbation to fulfill them. But our intimate time together is one sided. He gets what he needs and he continues on with his day and Im left to clean up and deal with my emotional stuff. I want to come out and be separated from him and really allow myself to experience healing for my sexuality and from all the things I allowed because I wanted to be the accomodating wife. Please pray for me. I want to be able to walk free right now in this and as I enter counseling truly work through this and come into my own.

    • Leslie Vernick on August 13, 2015 at 11:11 am

      Sophia, thanks for your honestly and I”m sure your struggles are not unique. As women we have our own sexual needs and selfish, abusive partners are not interested in a mutual and reciprocal sexual relationship. We will pray for you so that you are free.

    • Mary on August 14, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      Please forgive me if this in inappropriate, but there isn’t any mention of masturbation in the bible, is there? It would seem that self gratification would be wiser than returning to an abusive man. You aren’t trying to make love in this act but rather cleaning the pipes so you can live life fully. Am I crazy with this comment? What do others think?

      • Lisa on August 14, 2015 at 4:25 pm

        I think that is sinning against one’s own body. Sex was created for husband & wife. If God brings you out of the marriage, He can help you go on without sex.

      • Leslie Vernick on August 15, 2015 at 1:02 pm

        Never heard it described as cleaning the pipes but I understand. Masturbation isn’t directly talked about in the Bible and I’ve heard people talk about it in ways that would say it’s okay and others where it would say it’s not okay. I think a lot of it depends on the context. However, One of my clients who was a compulsive masturbator even though he was married, decided to go on a sexual fast. He knew he was “ruled” by sex and gave it to God. He came in one day laughing and said “guess what happened? God cleaned my pipes.” He didn’t use that wording but in essence while he was sleeping his body did what his body needed to do. He wasn’t aware of it, didn’t decide to do it, but the result was the same.

  14. Lonely wife on August 12, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    My H and I haven’t been intimate since June of 2014….this after telling him the previous 2 years that I felt “used” by him, and didn’t like sex, that I felt nothing when he touched me…and my H would say is, “I’m sorry you feel that way” then he’d want sex again the next night….he just didn’t care about me and my needs at all…
    Then I read Leslie’s book and what I read on pages 56 and 57, Karen and Stan’s “story” well, that was MY story, my life, my marriage…and I finally said, “Enough!”
    I asked my H the same questions that are in the book, and my husband just didn’t seem to care…so I then told him that I didn’t feel I could be intimate with him any longer, not until I could see that he actually cared for me, that he put my needs before his own…BTW, he has a history of marital infidelity….so far, he’s been all talk and NO action, so I’ve stood firm and I feel much happier, though it has caused things to escalate in my marriage.
    And like so many others have said here…his sexual desires made me uncomfortable also…It shows me that these men are very deeply damaged and probably have no real respect for most women.

    • Mary on August 14, 2015 at 11:53 am

      I remember listening to a broadcast of Focus on the Family and Dr. James Dobson, years ago. He talked about that over time, he and his wife became more and more gentle with each other. I have thought about that. Healthy, loving people as the grow and age, enjoy each other until the later years of life. Years of building trust gives a gentle comfort between couples physically, even in old age.

      • Lonely wife on August 14, 2015 at 12:56 pm

        That’s true Mary…I know I’ll never have that with my husband.
        I see older couples who are obviously very much in love, tender with each other…and it makes me sad…

  15. Liz on August 13, 2015 at 8:07 am

    My heart breaks to here so many women have lived lives like mine

    Thank you Lesley for bringing up this difficult topic

    It’s not easy to air you have been sexually abused by your husband for years.

    It don’t really understand why but it took be over 20 years of my 33 year marriage to even realise that it was abuse. He always told me I was ‘too straight’ or a prude or there was something wrong with me I must be frigid ( which j wasn’t. Not only did he need to do it a different way each time front back oral etc when I hated everything but ‘normal ‘ but he only felt safe and secure when he was performing so he insisted on multiple times especially in the weekends. He also insisted on doing it in public which I also hated – the last time he did that he was angry and it was very rough.

    When I finally learnt from a Christian counselor that I could say no she forget to give the advice Leslie just did – to get out of bed – because after trying everything he knew to make me comply he broke me emotionally by forcing me. I’ve never been the same person since.

    I left eventually but came back and now think I need to leave for good because he still won’t respect me and he still tells me multiple times a day that there is something wrong with me as a woman because I won’t be intimate with him anymore. And if I ever try to remind him why he plays the ‘won’t you ever leave the past in the past. But he held me against my will momentarily even just a few weeks ago when he wouldn’t leave my room ( we have separate bedrooms but I don’t have a lock that would incense him )

    Anyway sorry for sharing so much – I’m just having to face the fact that I need to leave. I just don’t know whether I will ever heal.
    Prays for you all, may the Lord never leave it forsake us. We need Him so much

    • Leonie on August 13, 2015 at 9:20 am

      Liz, you will heal if you leave! Please get out – this man has terrorized you in so many ways. I know it is hard to leave again but at least you will no longer be terrorized from within your own home. Can you go to police & tell them the things he has done to you & get a restraining order against him if you are scared that he will harass you after you leave? Putting his hands around your neck or holding knives up at you are very grave threats that police will take seriously.
      When we remove ourselves from evil God will restore our dignity – we no longer need to be subjected to being degraded by men who have given themselves over to evil. He will bring healing to your soul, ask Him to supply all your needs, he will!
      I agree with Robin, the in house separation would not have worked for me either, my husband said he could live in the basement & actually set a room up for himself there but it would have just been a moving of the control tower and he would have still terrorized the whole house from a “different post.” I had no peace in my home until he was out. Also that horrible lump in my chest constantly reminded me that I needed to get out somehow & there was no peace as long as we were still in the same house & I was at his mercy.

      • Liz on August 14, 2015 at 3:17 am

        Hi Leonie

        Thanks for caring!!!!

        I will be careful and do what needs to be done if necessary.

        I’ve been in a separate room for a few years ( I didn’t last long back in the main room). But you are right it’s still hard to hold your own – I continued to deteriorate significantly- it’s why I have to start being realistic about my need to leave, whatever the cost.

        I’m trying to listen to Leslie and take one step at a time otherwise it is completely overwhelming.

        I still feel like I’m waking up more from a lifetime dream / nightmare.

        I hope you are doing well now

    • Jennifer on August 14, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      Liz, I think you are more of a woman than you H will ever be a man! H seems to be a hostile, disturbed, selfish, angry boy in an old man’s body. Driven by his own inadequacies he lashes out as he spews lies at you. Gee, why does this sound like the demon possessed man at the tomb to me? Maybe because he is equally as evil. You 100% woman and you have the hormones to prove it!!

      • Liz on August 14, 2015 at 5:21 pm

        This made me smile – thanks !!

    • Lonely wife on August 14, 2015 at 1:00 pm

      Liz, I’m praying for you…that you will have the courage to leave and see that this is EVIL that you’ve been living with!
      You are a daughter of the King of the most High…you deserve to be loved and respected, and the first step is taking care of yourself.

      • Liz on August 14, 2015 at 5:27 pm

        Thank you, yes courage is what I need now I know I need to leave – courage and provision of a suitable place that I can afford on my very limited budget. Thanks heaps.
        I pray for us all that God will be with us and make a way where there is no way

        • Robin on August 14, 2015 at 7:47 pm

          Courage is most important Liz- but I would add to that, belief that God will provide and faith to know He will. As we stand for justice, God so wants to work for his wounded daughters.
          I left with absolutely no provision of my own. God was true to Hos Word and to me. Even when difficult circumstances came- He always provided. I think it’s important to step out in faith. And watch what He does and how He does. Praying for you and proud of your bravery!!!!

          • Liz on August 15, 2015 at 5:20 am

            Thank you. I’ve struggled with faith and hope over the last few years but I love God heaps and I know He will be there. I just don’t want to run ahead or got to slow so I’m hoping He will guide me

        • jennifer on August 14, 2015 at 8:37 pm

          Liz, I wish you live closer. Do you need us gals to make a road trip to help you out? Just call and we are there!

          • Liz on August 15, 2015 at 5:21 am

            I so wish you all were loser. I really appreciate all your support over the last week.

          • Liz on August 15, 2015 at 5:21 am


  16. Andrea on August 13, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    I am so happy this subject is being addressed. This was a problem for us too until I spoke up and moved out of the bedroom. Boundaries worked for me but I really feel for those of you who are still struggling through this issue. It is so hard to handle and not easily shared. Thank God this sharing place exist.

  17. Lorraine on August 13, 2015 at 11:03 pm

    almost brings me to tears that the subject is even being talked about in a Biblical manner. I have dealt with that for over 15 years. Couldn’t find my way out. Church was unsupportive. I felt I was forced to leave my husband and my church never being confident that I made a decision that was ok. You just lose yourself. I want to say thank you to Leslie Vernick for conversation and direction using scripture. I love you.

  18. betsy on August 14, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    I just read what everyone shared. My story isn’t as physically abusive, but emotionally. My gives me very little attention during the day, yet at night wants to be sexual. Not every night, but 1-2 times a week. During the day he avoids any physical attention and absolutely no kissing. I often dress in clothes for him such as tight underware, lingerie, pose for him. I do this because this is what he likes….and I hope that he will, in return, start respecting and loving me again.

    He just left for a weekend away. If I didn’t get up to hug him he would have just left. He gave me a wimpy hug with a pat on the back.

    When he comes back on Sunday I can bet he will be touching me all bed of course, not in a public display of attention.I am so glad he is gone. It will be 48 hours for me to breathe.

  19. betsy on August 14, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Something I read in one if the shares opened my eyes. Several months ago my husband wanted me out of our bed. I guess it was a very loose in-house separation. I slept in the basement and felt so punished, like I was a bad girl put away. I would listen to my husband and two boys rough housing upstairs and having all kinds of fun while I was sobbing 2 floors down. My husband will never leave our room. He feels that since he lived in our house befor we got married , this is HIS house. We have been together in this house 22 years vs 6 years before I moved in.

    If I look at sleeping in another room as a good thing for me and a break from his emotional abuse..I will be much better off.

    I am not sure what to do. I do need to confront our “come close, go away” mess. Regardless if I have hurt him I am getting better and stronger each day. I am tired of the crumbs he tosses my way in order to have his sexual needs met.

    • jennifer on August 14, 2015 at 8:51 pm

      Betsy, I can’t shake your post out of my head. Living in the creepy basement is making me feel scared and it isn’t even my situation! Imagine how confusing it was for your sons. If your husband wanted someone in the basement, it should have been him. I fear for your sons mental health and safety. Have you contacted a local domestic violence shelter? Obstructing an exit is a crime. You need protection wonderful woman. The sexual stuff is objectification. Do you really want him to teach your boys to degrade women too? Be brave! Make a plan and tell, tell, tell people about his evil deeds. Abusers win when we keep their secrets. Thanks for reaching out on this blog and telling the truth.

    • Leonie on August 15, 2015 at 12:40 am

      Betsy, that’s horrible, was he hiding something from you, like scratches on his back or a messed up conscience from a recent encounter? You would know best why he made you leave. I think I would insist on staying in the bed & asking him to leave if he wants to sleep separately – if you have been there 22 years that is the matrimonial home & you have equal rights. I hope he didn’t lock you in the basement, that is illegal. Yes, I am glad you get 48 hours to breathe too. You sound like a capable person, you don’t need his disrespect and “love you or hate you on a whim”- many of us have lived with the same unnecessary torture. Pray and ask God to help you see the truth and to get out, for your sanity & for your kids sake. God heard when the Egyptians were trapped into slave labor, they didn’t even pray, they cried out loudly in agony and pain and God brought them out miraculously and with the splendour of his presence leading them and protecting them all the way. He loves you and will make a way, I am glad you have friends who work for a local shelter.
      I didn’t realize how much my husband was twisting things and how under that spell I was, I began praying to see & understand the truth & He brought me out of the darkness & confusion into enough light to get out. I realized that when he was blaming me, a lot of times he had done the offensive behaviour, decided I had his same motives and it was usually an accurate reflection of him & not of me, that is one of the faces of evil is though – twisting things and lying to us about our selves.

  20. betsy on August 14, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Jennifer.. I want to defend and say that our basement is finished…however, if he can’t stand me that much, then he needs to leave and sleep else where. I am working on the courage to say what I feel and stick to it.. I have friends who work at our local shelter and believe it or not I am in the counseling field so I am well aware of various ways DV takes place. When it happens to you..the denial is so deep, plus he is very good at blaming me. I ask God every day to build me up and show me my value, not my husband.

    • Robin on August 14, 2015 at 10:08 pm

      Betsy please retread Jennifer’s post to you again slowly and take it in deeply. She said what I’ve wanted to day. You are in a very abusive, dangerous relationship. You need help. Denial needs to fall away. Your children are living in a danger zone. If u can’t take action for u please do it for them. We care about you very much, and you do need help. Please don’t delay another day!!!

      • Robin on August 14, 2015 at 10:09 pm

        Sorry for spelling errors!!

      • Betsy on August 15, 2015 at 6:39 am

        Robin…I have a lot to think about. I have a calander in my purse where I write down things that happen. This helps me feel less crazy and overwhelmed.

        My husband was in therapy with a Christian counselor when he wrote me a letter addressing issues in our marriage that led him to ask for a divorce. I have a part to play in the breakdown as well. A lot of what my husband defends himself with feels very familiar to what Leslie teaches. I often wonder if my husband and his counselor were using Leslie’s materials in his therapy.

        My boys idolize their father. Especially my 14 year old. They are like best friends. My 14 year old has the same tendencies towards me as my husband…or he is just a 14 year old boy that thinks mom is annoying.

        I am in denial…however willing to start taking action to stand up for myself.

        • Leslie Vernick on August 15, 2015 at 12:47 pm

          Betsy, your husband asked for a divorce, but a few posts before you said he doesn’t want to a divorce but he doesn’t want emotional connection either. So which is it? I know he messes with your mind – because as a self-reflective person, when someone tells us it’s our fault, we pay attention and look within. But it sounds like you’ve owned your part, but it’s not ALL your part. So again what stops him from saying either, “I forgive you and want this to work,” or “I forgive you but can’t ever trust you and this marriage is over.” or “I don’t forgive you and can’t be married to you.” But to play this game with you is torture. And for you to allow it to continue for so long is also unhealthy.

          • Betsy on August 15, 2015 at 3:01 pm

            Leslie…he asked for a divorce in July 2014 and continued to threaten until a couple of months ago when he said that he doesn’t want a divorce yet won’t connect with me and doesn’t trust me. I don’t know what holds him back from seclaring that he is in or out of the marriage. It is becoming clear to me that I wait for him to decide what I need to do…I have always done this in our marriage and most of my life. Classic Codependency.

            My truth is that I am willing to own my part, willing to work on my part, and willing to not allow my husband to use me any more. The games he plays is torture. And you are right, I allow this to happen.

            I am in therapy on my own and we are in counseling together. I have begun to write down things to bring into our sessions. We do not address our marriage when not in a therapy session because the feelings escalate.

            I am very slowly gaining courage and strength. Two nights ago he started lecturing me about how I communicate and started with the ” you always…..” I remember what you said on the call that just because he says something may not be right. I listened to his complaints, acknowledged his concerns, tried not to talk over him to defend myself, and calmly redirected the conversation to answer the question he asked. He will never admit that he doesn’t communicate effectively. My husband uses a ton of big words that often make talking with him very confusing. Someone pointed out to me that he is covering up his inadequecies with using scholarly words. This makes me sick when he goes off on his rants.

            Thank you Leslie for taking the time to respond to me.

    • Leslie Vernick on August 15, 2015 at 12:53 pm

      Betsy, are you getting some personal therapy or coaching to help you through this? I would highly encourage you to do this because it’s crucial for your future as well as your children’s future that you see clearly what’s going on both internally and in your marriage.

  21. Jerrie on August 15, 2015 at 6:56 am

    As I slowly gain truth in recovery, I come to the conclusion that I was a whore who performed domestic services as well. As a SAHM I was totally dependent. With each passing year I became more dependent. I was compelled to have sex with him so as to be financially supported. He never threatened nor verbalized these conditions. I did this to keep him from cheating and keep a roof over my head. (Yes, I see all of the crazy in me now, but this is how emotional abuse works – erroneous methods of coping, shifting, conforming…) Doesn’t a whore exchange her body for money? So basically sex was a weekly exchange of goods and services.

    My H’s abuse is withholding: never raises his voice, never threatens, never starts an argument. He withholds pleasure, sexual pleasure being the ultimate denial. Dear Abby says, ” It’s all in the mind”. Well, I say skill and delivery are of importance, too. I thought H was a slow learner as I tried year after year to show him how to please me. After I understood the silent abuse, I realized that he could please me. He just would not. (Over 30 years only 3 O provided by him. Indeed, the body can respond even if the mind is not there!) Eleven months now without sex and I assume he is cheating.

    During the last couple of years of submitting I tried to bring Jesus into our bed. I would pray over each area of H’s body as I touched him in foreplay. I told him of this during one of our fights about sex…….”and satan smiled” is the way I frame his response.

    I do not consider myself lowly because I whored myself to my husband. I consider him broken. I did what I did to survive at the time until God brought me to truth of my situation. I am not ashamed. I am proud. I survive and now am beginning to thrive. But I will not lie to myself. I was his whore.

    • Liz on August 15, 2015 at 8:06 am

      Hi Jerrie
      I relate to your post. The first time I felt like I had to ‘buy’ my H help was several weeks of sex to put up a fence and gate so our small children – at the time – could play safely in the back yard.

      It continued over the years – down to just needing to do it so the weekend went ok.
      For much of that time I was off work with a disability – I used to feel like I didn’t deserve to eat or even to breathe

      I’m glad you can see it for what it is now – I’m learning to as well.

      I’m sure it’s not the way the Lord meant the marriage bed to be.

      Take care of you xx

    • Leslie Vernick on August 15, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      Jerrie, I hope you are getting stronger now in every way, including financial independence so that you have more choices available to you. This is a very sad story, with I hope a better ending.

    • Mary on August 15, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Jerrie, You are not a whore. You are a sensible married woman who was forced to engage in whore like behavior for survival. I read a book a few years ago written by a man who had survived WWII. His mother slept with German soldiers to obtain bowls of soup for him. As a boy he didn’t fully realize what was happening, yet his peers told him that his mother was bad. Now, as a grown man he loves his mother even more because he fully understands what she did was out of love for her family. She was not a whore. She was using any tool available to survive. She and you were extremely resourceful, resilient and strong. It is time to renewal and healing now. Enjoy the journey and hold your head up high.

    • Lonelywife07 on August 18, 2015 at 3:44 pm

      Jerrie, that’s how I felt, and that’s why I stopped having sex with my H last year, it just made me feel bad about myself, I KNEW I was being used, and I started hating myself because of it…I did it to “keep the peace” and honestly, I’ve thought about having sex with him again, because I can see his “quiet anger” escalating against me…but I remember how I felt then….and how I feel now, FREE, and I won’t do it!
      Praying for you sister!

  22. brenda on August 15, 2015 at 8:29 am


    How are you “thriving”?

  23. Lisa on August 15, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Lundy Bancroft points out that even when an abuser is romantic and gentle when having sex it still comes from a selfish place–to prove to *himself* he is a *great* lover. And I add, to insure having sex continues.

  24. Jerrie on August 15, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Leslie – yes, my financial situation is improving. I have not yet reached my goal, but I am working very hard and God has blessed my effort. I am a good steward of His provision. He is amazing!

    Brenda – I am reclaiming my worth.

    Mary – I believe your intent was to comfort, but I will claim the truth of what was. How can I expect to be healed of the horrible experiences of being nothing more than a receptacle without claiming my portion?

    Several years ago H sat with me as I had a uterine biopsy, a painful procedure. That night he insisted on oral sex because he did not have to even pretend to offer me sexual pleasure. I was hurt and refused (very uncommon!). He did not speak to me for the three days I awaited results of the test. This man, an elder, did not pray with me or for me. Yet the next Sunday he was at the altar, available for members of the Body in need of prayer. Here is the important part: no repentance, only time for it to pass. The message was clear: my health, my life, was not worth a prayer to his Savior. Sums it up succinctly, does it not? Yes, we both knew I was his whore.

    Many of us have incredibly painful stories about abuse in this most vulnerable area of married life. Mine are no better or worse than another’s. We hurt here and I think we need to process the pain in a way that we can heal, which is different for each person. For me, it is to accept ME as I see myself. Posting the words here in a safe place allow me to own myself, to move through the pain of the past so to prepare for the future. This is MY truth. I own it.

    Thank you so much for your responses. I never shared this before and I appreciate those of you who will stand along side without judgment while I free myself from the chains of abuse.

    • Mary on August 16, 2015 at 1:49 am

      Jerrie, Thank you for you courage to post such a difficult situation.

  25. Jerrie on August 15, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Liz – I am sorry that you know this, too. Facing the truth of our sexual value is so hard! I hope you see and experience the loving kindnesses of our Father, and that somehow you will receive recompense for what was taken from you.

    • Liz on August 15, 2015 at 5:32 pm

      Thank you
      You are very strong and courageous to share your truth. It’s so good that we have this safe place to do so.
      I pray for a better life for you in the days and years ahead
      Take care

  26. Robin on August 15, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Betsy- why are you in couples counseling with s man who tortures you?? Every abuse book I ever read says DO NOT ATTEND COUNSELING WITH AN ABUSIVE SOUSE. IT ONLY GIVES THEM AMMUNITION TO USE AGAINST YOU!!!!!

    • Robin on August 15, 2015 at 3:14 pm


    • Betsy on August 15, 2015 at 3:23 pm

      Robin..he agreed to go to counseling so that we could communicate about our boys. In my fantasy, I was hoping that our marriage would improve. He has said things in thenpastbthatbif we could parent together then that would be a start. I took that as if we could work together as parents he would work on our marriage.

      I have a lot to sort through. Can’t ya tell???

      He is out of town until Sunday night. If he comes home and treats me coldly it will be one more sign that I need to pay attention to. We also have a financial situation that needs to be addressed as my job is ending ( it was a grant ) and I will be starting a new job at a substantial drop in pay. I won’t be able to pay for bills like I have been able to.

  27. Robin on August 15, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Betsy, what I hear from your posts is– you are keeping a hope FOR YOUR MARRIAGE.

    have you considered letting go of all hope for your marriage,
    Focusing on you getting healthy, and let God work for your husband and marriage.? When we let go of our hope and allow God to take over- you will be at peace you have not known.

    • Betsy on August 15, 2015 at 3:42 pm


      I understand what you are saying. My fear is how do I live letting go of hope for my marriage? How do I live as a married women raising two boys living with a friends/roommate/husband? How do we conduct our lives?

      I follow another blog/website and the message is hope and standing for our marriages.

      • Robin on August 15, 2015 at 5:44 pm

        Betsy I wasn’t fond of this website. It’s for marriages that have a healthy foundation. I saw nothing for destructive relationships. Hurting relationships have different rules than destructive, abusive relationships.

  28. brenda on August 15, 2015 at 3:41 pm


    i think you are full of courage and wisdom….praying for you

    • Betsy on August 15, 2015 at 3:44 pm

      Jerri…praying for you too.

      Praying for Leslie and all the beautiful women here.


  29. Robin on August 15, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Betsy- I don’t believe you are standing for your marriage when you are sitting in abuse tolerating it.

    Leslie gives excellent advice on standing up, speaking up, when we are living with an abusive spouse.

    To do nothing and accept being treated as you are– is not standing for your marriage because it cannot thrive when stops are not being made against the abusive spouse.

    It is your choice. The women on this blog only give advice in accordance with what they’ve experienced and want what’s best for you!!

    • Betsy on August 15, 2015 at 4:25 pm


      Tolerating is a good word. That’s exactly what I am doing. Pathetic.

      I just finished Leslie’s book. I am going to read it again. And pray for God to make my legs strong as steal while I tell my husband that if he is not committed to working on our marriage and rebuilding trust, then there will be no sexual relationship. He will have to find someplace else to sleep. I can do this.

      • Robin on August 15, 2015 at 4:45 pm

        Another thought Betsy………

        When I separated from my husband I did so because he wouldn’t respect my boundaries, and I made a choice to quit tolerating his abuse.

        When I filed for divorce– I WAS STANDING FOR MY MARRIAGE.
        I knew if I kept tolerating the disrespectful and destructive ways he treated me- it was not working FOR MY MARRIAGE.
        What was working for it- was when I said enough f you sinning against me. If you choose to love me and work on our relationship you can come towards me at anytime. But I’m done done done with the separate bedrooms and no quality of marriage and broken covenant. He could have his marriage back anytime he chose. But I was not going to choose for him.
        I was going to be a good steward of myself and walk in dignity . But my heart always desired for him to choose reconciliation. I just knew it wasn’t up to me to fix.

      • Robin on August 15, 2015 at 5:41 pm

        Remember Betsy it’s more important what you say to yourself- than what you say to him.

  30. Betsy on August 15, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Robin…walk in dignity. I like that. Thank you.

    My husband uses the word dignity when he describes why he is finished with our marriage ( that was months ago that he said that) he isnt going to lose his dignity.

    I also love how you said….if you choose to love me and work on our marriage……

  31. Robin on August 15, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    What I learned Betsy was I alone was responsible for the life I chose and lived. It was hard for me at first also as I thought my family’s needs were to be priority. What I learned was my focus on continuing to need a unhealthy relationship to endure—- hurt my family very much. As I took responsibility for me and started to develop as a healthy person that never accepts abuse— every single person in my family prospered also. Maybe not immediately but it came in time. My job was to take very good care of all my woundedness and get in personal therapy. My counselor commends me weekly for my miraculous growth and changes. A very wise gal on this blog said something that I never forgot. WHEN YOU ARE LIVING IN THE MIDST OF A DESTRUCTIVE RELATIONSHIP ALL YOU DO IS SURVIVE EACH DAY.

  32. betsy on August 15, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Robi . Those are very true words just trying to survive each day.

    Did u ever question whether you were really in an abusive marriage? Some days I think.. Maybe he is right?

    • Robin on August 15, 2015 at 11:44 pm

      I think one way is listening for God to speak to us, and tell us the Truth.
      Another option is grab a hold of resources by Leslie Vernick, Lundy Bancroft, Patricia Evans
      And read and learn how abusers deceive our minds/ meaning to cause us great confusion. It’s important to learn from these authors/experts they can help us unwind some of this crazy thinking so we can think clearly!!

      • Betsy on August 16, 2015 at 8:26 am

        Robin…I watched a couple Patricia Adams videos last night. I am going to re watch and take notes this afternoon. Just like I have with Leslie’s videos. I will also look at Lundy Bancroft.
        I may change my name on this blog, just so I feel that this is a safe place place for me to get support.

    • Jennifer on August 16, 2015 at 12:54 am

      Women of the Most High God, He is lying to you!!!!! The strategy he is using to make you think “he is right” is crazy making. Adolph Hitler said, “If you tell a big enough lie, often enough it will be believed.”

      AND I was talking to a Pastor friend who counsels drug addicts. Someone asked him once, ‘How do you know when a drug addict is lying? They can seems so very sincere.” The Pastor replied, “I can assure you that they are lying every time they move their lips.”

      Women, they are lying to you, lying, lying, and lying some more to get you to submit to their demands. Think about it, if they encouraged you and met your needs, would you be so confused, weak and vulnerable? They need to keep you down so they can push you around.

      • Robin on August 16, 2015 at 1:12 am

        Amen Jennifer..
        Very well said.

      • Betsy on August 16, 2015 at 8:35 am


        Thanks for your thoughts. I work with people in addiction so I understand the lying part. The crazy part is that I have such a hard time believing that my husband who I have put on the throne for 22 years could be lying to me, could be messing with my head, could be manipulTing me, etc.

        He tells me that I am doing all those things to him, and I admit that I have throughout our marriage.

        The only truth that I have is Gods word.

        • Robin on August 16, 2015 at 11:57 am

          Betsy, what does your own counselor/therapist tell you? Does she agree with you that it’s your fault it does she tell you you are dr wives by his deceptions of lying, twisting, etc??

    • Betsy on August 16, 2015 at 8:29 am

      Island Girl

      I often listen to his complaints about me and I really start to question myself. I think I am losing my mind on a weekly basis.

      Somedays I am too exhausted to challenge my husband.

      We need to rely on God and have him make our paths straight.

      • Robin on August 16, 2015 at 11:58 am

        Sorry for misspelling. Does she tell you – you are deceived

        • Robin on August 16, 2015 at 12:04 pm

          If I was you Betsy I would separate whether that meant go live with a friend, a relative, however you could arrange it. If after 30 days your life ismuvh better you will know it is not you that is the problem. My husband had a job that took h away often. It was a no brainier for me – how peaceful life would become everytime he left. I knew life without him would be wonderful. When I filed and then after 2 weeks was allowed back in my home, each day showed me how great my life could be alone. I had issues in my own life to overcome, but one thing I knew by separating was there would be no more abuse and my confusion day by day dissapeared.

        • Robin on August 16, 2015 at 12:08 pm

          Betsy since you’re changing your name and I might not recognize you – let me leave you with one thought. Only you can change your life.

        • Jennifer on August 17, 2015 at 10:24 am

          I just want to mention that I have to change my name sometimes when I put entries in this blog. My husband is well aware of Leslie’s work and I can not trust that he would not recognize my writings. It is not my intent to be dishonest but rather, I am protecting myself from a physically violent man who has reminded me “I could kill you any time I want.”

  33. betsy on August 15, 2015 at 5:45 pm true. Speak love and kindness to me first.speak the truth to myself. And speak to God.

    • Robin on August 15, 2015 at 6:07 pm

      And sit in the quiet place with God and allow Him to speak to you!!

  34. Robin on August 15, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    DEFINITELY Betsy I doubted myself and I doubted what my marriage was. Could I possibly be the wrong one?? But then I read Pateicia Evsns books on abuse and learned that an abuser is skilled and very focused on getting my thinking very confused. That’s what they do. It took me a long time to accurately understand the mind of an abuser.

  35. betsy on August 16, 2015 at 12:05 pm


    She feels that he is abusive. She helps me work through old childhood stuff that still influences my belief system of today especially in this situation. And she helps me plan and create a life for myself regardless of the outcome of my marriage.

  36. betsy on August 16, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    I am not leaving my house or my boys.. And my attorney told me not to.

    If he is not willing to work on our marriage he can go.

    I am going to write down several points that have come up in this particular blog post, a couple other’s from Leslie’s blog and another I follow and bring them to therapy. When he comes home tonight and in the next couple of days I am going to monitor his behavior towards me, document it in my calendar and bring it to therapy. I spend so much time thinking how to fix my marriage that I nudge God out

    I have a big change coming up with my job and will fund out more this week. This will substantially change our financial situation.

  37. betsy on August 16, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    With the help of God I can Change my life.

    • Robin on August 16, 2015 at 12:18 pm

      I’m a little confused. Your counselor tells you he is abusive and you still choose to idolize him??

  38. betsy on August 16, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Yes..isn’t that nuts? I don’t know what the blockage is for me. Why do I still wear rose colored glasses? The good news is that I am seeing reality little by little.

    • Lisa on August 16, 2015 at 1:53 pm

      I did that too Betsy. Fear of how I will provide for myself and health issues that hamper my day to day life weigh heavily. I also didn’t want my children dragged through family court decisions.

  39. Leonie on August 16, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Here is a quote from a book I am reading – it is eye opening but I believe it speaks truth at least to the relationship I just got out of.
    “My husband always refused to have discussions by denying, discounting, accusing or diverting. The verbally abusive interaction, the abuser’s refusal to discuss it, his denial that the/an upset occurred, and his motivation that the partner said ‘something wrong’ to cause the upset all undermine her well being.
    “As long as the (abused) partner believes the abuser is being honest and sincere, she remains a victim of verbal abuse. As long as there is no one to validate her reality, she may remain doubtful of herself, in fear of saying or doing the wrong thing, hesitant, afraid to be spontaneous, and concerned that there is something wrong with her. The partner that does not recognoze her mate’s hostility (toward her) may simply assume that he just sees things very differently from her. (Patricia Evans – the verbally abusive relationship.)
    P.E. says the abuser views the world from a completely different reality than you & I. We want mutuality & connection & he wants to win & have power over us. She says he can’t even see or hear you and we make the mistake if thinking he is the same as us and we explain ourselves to death when in actuality he is not operating as an equal but as someone who thinks he is superior. Instead of recognizing & responding to the power imbalance & his tactics we legitimize what he is saying and twist ourselves inside out trying to explain & figure out what is wrong.

    • Robin on August 16, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      Leonie you have become such a warrior for Truth, speaking words of power to help those still stuck. You have been and continue to be in flaming fires yourself- but still you pursue to walk away from all the reasons that once kept you in denial.
      I pray the Lord pours blessing upon blessing over you for your boldness and courage.

      • Robin on August 16, 2015 at 2:18 pm

        Btw- what book are u presently reading????

        • Leonie on August 16, 2015 at 5:25 pm

          Patricia Evans “the verbally abusive

    • Lonely wife on August 18, 2015 at 1:26 am

      Leonie, that is sooo true! I’ve read that book and it is spot on!
      My H was out of town all week….so on Sunday, I told him I needed to correct something that he had said before he left…I KNEW it would get me no where, that he’d never accept responsibility, but that’s not why I brought it up, I wanted him to know that I wasn’t going to accept his lies…he can lie to himself, but I won’t be a part of it…I won’t let him blame me for our marriage being a disaster! I’m not going to be a Peacefaker any longer.
      Anyway, I could see his eyes behind his sunglasses, and he was disgusted with me! He was rolling his eyes, and closing them..
      My H tries to hide his facial expressions but I watch closely now and I can pretty much read his face and know what he’s thinking…his eyes close, his mouth thins out, he looks everywhere but at me…it’s subtle, but it’s there.
      I’ve given up all hope that my marriage will ever be what I want it to be…it’s never going to happen, but for now, I’m doing what makes ME happy, I think I’m staying well, I’m back in counseling, preparing myself for an unknown future…But God is there, so I’ll be ok 🙂

      • Paula on August 18, 2015 at 8:50 am

        Lonely wife,

        Your word: “My H tries to hide his facial expressions but I watch closely now and I can pretty much read his face and know what he’s thinking…his eyes close, his mouth thins out, he looks everywhere but at me…it’s subtle, but it’s there.”

        Yes! Exactly. Especially those thin, thin lips. They are practically gone. It’s pretty easy to tell just what he is feeling and thinking about me when he looks like that.

        • Lonelywife on August 18, 2015 at 3:55 pm

          Yes, if you watch closely, you can see it. I also point it out to him, I tell him, “You’re upset with me right now, I can see it on your face.” He doesn’t say anything, because he knows it’s true!
          During our last conversation, when I was letting him know that he wasn’t going to blame me for the marriage being so bad, and it was a calm conversation, I saw him getting angry and I asked him “Why are you angry? I’m just trying to have a conversation with you? This is how married couples communicate…”
          And he said, “I want to have a nice day, but now you’re ruining it! WHY do you have to ruin everything??”
          Trying to have a conversation, a quiet, calm conversation, just doesn’t happen with these men.
          All my PA Husband wants to hear is lighthearted conversation, jokes, gossip, etc…we never, ever talk and resolve ANY conflict….EVER!
          Even when he flirted with a co-worker in front of me…this after him having two emotional affairs during our marriage, we didn’t discuss it, he said he was sorry and now “You need to get over it and stop bringing up the past!!”
          Yes, that’s what he told me, and yet, he expects me to fawn all over him…to be romantic and sexy, and he is upset because I won’t do that any longer!
          Well, I did that for about 6 months after his last affair….and it got me nowhere…so no thanks, I’ll keep my distance AND my sanity!

          • Jennifer on August 19, 2015 at 1:05 am

            Your comment reminded me of the rule my husband made that I am not to say any sentences with the word “you” in it. It makes me laugh now. How ridiculous! Also against his rules are the word “abuse” and under no circumstances may I complain in the morning. Just crazy, isn’t it?

  40. betsy on August 16, 2015 at 2:14 pm


    WOW. Thank u for sharing this.
    I am constantly trying to twist my world to please my husband so he won’t leave

    I wonder how many of us herer also struggle with deep abandonment and codependency.issues. Healing has to take place within us if we struggle with those deep sounds before we can venture out and stand up for ourselves. For me anyways I need to heal and see how valuable and capable I am.

    • Robin on August 16, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      Consider one of Leslies classes and esp Building up the CORE.

    • Robin on August 16, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      It’s very difficult to heal- when you’re in abuse. I remember my counselor saying, ‘we need to get you out of there so you can begin healing. ‘ as long as I was in the house with the abuser, I stayed on survivor mode.

  41. Robin on August 16, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Oh brother Leonie that’s the first abuse book I read. And have several copies. I will re read!!!

    Btw- how’s things going with your daughters visitation??

    • Maria on August 16, 2015 at 6:28 pm

      Betsy, here’s a link to an article that talks about how abuse victims think that they are the ones ill treatinng the abuser:
      I think your husband is blaming you and because of your state of mind right now, you’re believing him. I think a number of us here have gone through this. As you keep immersing yourself with truth, good counsel, hopefully your thinking will change.

      You are wise to seek legal counsel before you decide to leave. I was also told that if I left courts consider it abandonment if I left the kids behind.

    • Leonie on August 16, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      Yes, Robin, somehow I have never read it but it is rrally resonating with me. She actually does have a book out for men who want to change too – I don’t think she is a Christian though, but like Lundy, she speaks truth & has helped millions of people.

    • Leonie on August 18, 2015 at 7:41 am

      Hi Robin, things have calmed down, my ex is still not being honest about his location, giving only partial info (building # but not apartment number – guess he doesn’t want his mail) about where he stays with our child when he gets access. I was able to get away for a week to visit family out west so that was nice. I came back on time for my ex to have his regular weekend with her but he didn’t pick her up so I am sure there will be some sort of backlash but if I begin the back & forth it will degrade into abuse as always so I will let my lawyer stand in between & only go through him.
      I liked the comment that Paula made earlier about the biggest threat to a boundary is “when I think need to treat him like a rational human being that can be reasoned with and want healthy interaction, that always turns out poorly!” That is my mistake too, but they never fail to remind us of their reality – like oil & water, it doesn’t mix with truth.

      • Jennifer on August 19, 2015 at 1:10 am

        I was thinking about your child, and I don’t know your situation, but might this child be old enough to have a cell phone? I think it might add to his/her safety when with Dad. What do you think? Sending pictures and texts when with Dad could help you too.

        • Leonie on August 19, 2015 at 10:29 pm

          Thanks Jennifer, she is too young for a phone but maybe in 2 or 3 years that would work. I found out when he picked her up tonight that he is keeping her for 5 days – he was supposed to take her for 2 hours. I am getting scared to take her for the access visits because every time he changes the drop off time and then tells me not to cut into his access time. Now I have to cancel her birthday party on Sunday, I’m very stressed out & upset that he is so forceful, I am at a loss as to who can help me deal with this.

          • Jennifer on August 20, 2015 at 4:23 pm

            Leonie, Do you have a good relationship with any of his friends or family? Maybe they could be a positive influence. Sometimes kids roll much better in a storm than we do. They don’t always perceive the nuances of what is going on. If you can say anything positive about her visit with Daddy, it would probably be easier on her. One day, as a grown woman the picture will be crystal clear, but for now, she needs to have a Daddy of some kind.

  42. Leonie on August 16, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Betsy, Patricia Evans who wrote “The Verbally Abysive Relationship” says “she is giving women their minds back” by making them aware of the craziness that is in the relationship and naming & defining what is happening to them. She says they are not crazy but the abusers behaviour is crazy – “plain senseless behaviour”. I think it is truth about the basic dynamic of any abusive relationship. I am also reading “boundaries” by Cloud & Townsend. I just want to learn how to not get into another abusive relationship & also how to recognize & deal with other abusive people when necessary since they are everywhere.

    • Robin on August 16, 2015 at 6:52 pm

      Leonie I love that sentence- we are getting our minds back. Oh for the tornado mine was in, that’s why I’m in favor of women separating for a week, a month, or for good. If they get away from the craziness they will soon recognize- I’m NOT THE CRAZY ONE!!!
      Leonie another good book by Cloud is Necessary Endings’. I learned so much from that book!!!!

      • Leslie Vernick on August 16, 2015 at 7:50 pm

        I liked that one too.

        • Leonie on August 16, 2015 at 9:41 pm

          Thanks, I will look it up!

  43. Robin on August 16, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Leonie I usually am inclined to prefer Christian authors- but Lundy Bancroft taught me the value of hearing from another perspective as they leave out the churchy talk- and spell it out for us very clearly. Lundy Bancroft has had a deeply influential voice that I very much needed.

  44. betsy on August 16, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    Maria….Thank you so much.

    I have faith that my vision will become crisp and clear. I will be able to stand tall and feel empowered. I will know that I have been forgiven for my failings and that I am a trust worthy person. Whether my husband joins me on this journey of restoration or not, I I will be okay.

    • Leslie Vernick on August 16, 2015 at 7:49 pm

      Yea! You go Betsy.

  45. betsy on August 16, 2015 at 7:53 pm


    Thank u for sharing. I have the boundaries book and have led a small group using the book. that was several years ago. Reading the book again is on my list of ” books to read”.

    Some of the things that my husband does is senseless..that’s a great word for what he does. I know he would say that he does what he does because I am not a trustworthy person. That is his response to everything.

    • Leonie on August 16, 2015 at 9:06 pm

      Well, that stops pretty much any dialog, doesn’t it. He’s the authority & he’s pretty firm in what he has decided about you, isn’t he?
      Patricia Evan’s examples are so good – it really is truth. The abuser behaves like he needs power over his spouse, not a mutual relationship like equals -which is the truth of how God made us. She just says that it is important to recognize the dynamic and speak to the inequality rather than getting pulled in and go around & around trying to figure out what is wrong with their words & to recognize that your abuser is hostile toward you (not thinking of what is in your best interest like you are for him) She says they can’t even see you but only see their projection of who they think you are! I guess that’s how they can tell you about yourself and define your feelings & who you are!
      That is what Leslie talks about the fantasy doll that they want & can’t see who the real person is that is in front of them!

      • Lisa on August 17, 2015 at 2:26 am

        They don’t want to acknowledge we are real people, because that eliminates: meeting needs, listening to our dreams and supporting them, comforting us in sorrow, standing with us against our fears. Time, support, resources are all about them—they are insatiable pits of selfishness.

        • Leonie on August 17, 2015 at 5:01 am

          I agree Lisa.

  46. Robin on August 16, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Betsy, one of the earth shattering things my counselor spoke to me that rattled my cage and woke me up was this…

    Abused women make their reality – their abuser.

    I so didn’t want that to be true !! But why is it true I asked myself?? Because they brainwash us and dominate us.

    I want you to know every woman on this blog who has overcome this brainwashing — has worked very hard to turn this around. !! It is a difficult journey – but one we must take.

  47. betsy on August 16, 2015 at 8:19 pm



    I tossed and turned for at least an hour from 2-3 am thinking over and over about my marriage. As soon as I wake up…the thought s started. It is like this every day for me. This must be the brainwashing part.

    Tomorrow I am going to wake up and make a list of everything that is positive in my life and think of only good , true,noble , loving, kind, and thankful thoughts.

    Thank Robin for taking the time to share with me.

  48. Vivienne on August 16, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Hello ladies, my but I am so encouraged reading your comments. I have only recently realised that I was for sure being abused, emotionally, sexually, financially, isolated from friends, family, church; and because I was confused about Gods will in my situation I hung in there thinking I was being obedient to God. I have also recently realised that I was merely, and desperately, trying to save a marriage when really there no relationship, and hadn’t been for many years. The recognition of the damage to my children’s emotions and subsequent bad behaviour has been difficult for me to acknowledge and I only hope that now I can see much clearer I will be able to salvage something on their behalf, for myself too. Currently, after 34 years, my husband has all but abandoned me. We still occupy the same home but for the last 5-6 weeks I have slept in a spare bedroom and use it also as my living room when I want space. I have two teenage boys, aged 18 & 17. Both boys are sick of the trauma, the arguing, the discussions about who is right and wrong. My situation is awkward in that 9 years ago my husband coerced me to move to a foreign country. I was abused spiritually in that he used the God card on me. because I said No to the move he said that since we disagreed we should throw a fleece before God to obtain his will regarding the decision. How dumb I was not to see it for the manipulation it was – I almost lost my faith in latter years because I thought God approved of this move – but maybe – who knows – maybe he did allow it so that I would eventually see the level of abuse my husband would stoop to. So, any way, we ended up in France, and for several years I lived in a bubble, not being able to talk anyone, make friends, find employment, find activities that I liked and worse I had no church fellowship for support.. I lost so much , it has been so painful for me and no empathy at all from my husband 0 he just says I am being selfish. I have experienced all discussed in the various comments above – my heart goes out to ladies – none of us should ever have been treated the way we have been but thank God that we are stronger, or getting stronger day by day to bring it to an end. I have begun confronting my husband with his behaviour but he does not accept he has a problem – he projects it all back to me. As I am his third wife, I checked with his first wife to see if there was a distinct pattern in his behaviour and there was. It feels good and validates me to know this. My biggest problem though is that my teenage sons see this country now as their home, while I don’t because all it has cost me – perhaps I would have felt differently under different circumstances but haveing pleaded with my husband to take us back to England he has ignored all my protests until now when he is actively encouraging me to go. At first he said it was so I could get it out of my system, saying I would not be happy until I tried to go it alone and see that I couldn’t do it. I believe there is a very subtle message he is imparting here – like I could not possibly exist without him. My reluctance to go isn’t about whether I could survive because I know I could but I cannot find it possible to leave my boys in his care. Because I have stalled, my husband is pressing me to make a decision and not least because he has other motives. Now he is threatening divorce.

    • Leonie on August 17, 2015 at 10:16 am

      We are glad you are here & glad you are recognizing what is happening to you! Please don’t go back without your boys! can you schedule a vacation to visit family back home with your sons!
      Can you begin to help yourself by learning French and finding out what your legal rights are as a wife/woman in France? If he left, you might qualify for social assistance until you can get on your feet there, like any other French citizen?
      I lived abroad in Peru for 2.5 years when my 3 oldest children were very small & my husband said I could go back to Canada but not take the kids but we had an “end date” on our contract. There was no church near us but I found a Canadian missionary (that I had a connection with from college days) we were able to connect with in a city about 2 hours away, that was fun!
      So I waited it out – I would never ever leave without my children! (He was deep into a pornography addiction -that I didn’t know about- and the relationship became unbearable when we went abroad -he kept telling me really stupid things such as Columbian women are the most beautiful in the world … and lots of other nonsense that he should have discussed with his work buddies & not me!
      I was definitely living with & the recipient of the attitudes & behaviour of an addict. I stayed & when we returned to Canada he quickly found a girlfriend & moved out 4 months later but it would have been scary to go through a separation while we were down there – I don’t think I would have had as many rights there as a woman as I do here! God definitely took care of us!

      • Vivienne on August 18, 2015 at 5:44 pm

        Hi Leonie, thank you for responding to my story. I think you are the first person that has been able to relate to being in a foreign setting and all the associated difficulty. I do have an exit plan of sorts in that I jointly own a small house in England that I could occupy within two months notice (we have tenants at the moment) and then maybe I could begin to grab back my life. Like you, I do not want to leave without my children – this is why I am still in the family home but they now consider themselves French and want to remain in France come what may. My eldest son is hoping to join the Royal Navy as an officer (Marines Corps) and if successful would be stationed in England; but even so he says he regards France as his home. My youngest still has two years to complete his education and I am hoping I can stay here for him but it is becoming increasingly difficult emotionally to stay in the house, merely existing for the practical needs of my children while I have very little companionship with them or much of a life at all. In this part of France I have found it incredibly difficult to find activities I like and because I was so depressed I found it hard to reach out to French people with my limited language ability – I still find that hard. Location wise, we are situated about an hours drive from any major town where I might find language schools and since I still cannot see my future in France I lack the motivation. I know this must sound very lame, ordinarily I am a self-motivated individual who knows there is always more than one way to skin a cat but please trust me when I say that I have exhausted the local possibilities and I guess I have given up.

        As for my relationship with my husband, I do know that he has had a history of watching Porn. I thought that he had been able to overcome it but no – I searched the history on his computer recently, when he stepped out of the house for a few minutes and forgot to shut it down; I saw he had viewed porn sites and web cams. I think that was the final straw . I have not confronted him yet – but I will – I am keeping my powder dry until I know what my legal rights are – both here and back home.

        I don’t know that my husband has found anyone else, he may be looking – he looked before until I found out about it and confronted him. I think the worst aspect of our relationship is – we don’t actually have a relationship, just a marriage contract. I recently discovered he fits the profile of someone having a borderline / narcissistic personality disorder which has shaken me quite a bit to understand that I may never have been truly loved at all from the very beginning – just used as his supply.

        So today, after several weeks of my husband alternating from sometimes being nice or sometimes cross, encouraging me to move back to England or stay here and him move out, tonight he told me how sorry he was that it had come to this. It was just lip-service though, there has been no gut-wrenching sorrow for all he has put me or our children through; he still cannot see that he has done anything wrong. He said all he wanted was for the back stabbing to stop and the past being brought up. I am not sure what he meant by back-stabbing and as for the past I would agree it’s not best to drag it up except when a person refuses to own or be responsible / accountable for their poor behaviour, in which case it needs to be addressed and not swept under the carpet as he would like. I know that I have to find the strength to confront him but feel I can only do that with the full knowledge of what my legal rights are – which will give me added steel to my spine -does that make sense? Then, if he refuses to see his behaviour for what it is i.e. abusive, I will know that I have done absolutely everything I know to do to bring him to accountability because Pastoral counselling, marriage guidance, healing retreats, various discussions etc have all failed to convict him so that separation will be the next action I can take. I am aware that my husband knows the difficulties I would face if I returned to England and is maybe banking on me staying here because it is easier – he has at times accused me of staying only for those same reasons. Maybe he thinks I am not serious about leaving, he knows I don’t want to leave my boys, I have made that clear so many times but I don’t want to stay in France indefinitely and they don’t want to return to England. I believe financially it is difficult for my husband to leave me here with our boys- so there is no easy solution. What the answer is only God knows at this juncture. Perhaps it will become clear as time goes on; meanwhile we continue to lead separate lives.

        I am planning a trip back to England next month, maybe I can get a clearer idea of what to do after that.

        • Mary on August 19, 2015 at 2:01 am

          Although, it was only for a short period of time, my husband was abusive to me when we were on vacation in Italy and then again many years later when in Ireland. It was extremely frightening to be in a foreign country with no support of any kind. One of the abuse styles my husband has used is to abandon me somewhere. He pushes me out of the car or leaves me strained somewhere with out transportation. He did this to me in both Ireland and Italy. I was left standing in a square in Florence not knowing a soul and had no knowledge of laws, no language, no money, no food or no cell phone. It was so very frightening and a masterful way to control another person into submission.

          • Vivienne on August 19, 2015 at 4:00 am

            Wow, Mary, I am so sorry you experienced that. My husband is more subtle than yours but still it is difficult to be in a foreign setting while being abused. I really have been abandoned because a) I could not speak sufficient French to give me the confidence I ned to approach French DV support groups and b) when I contacted a DV group in England they told me they were not able to help me because I lived in France! So frustrating!! It is almost as though Satan himself has orchestrated my situation – it certainly has diaboilical handwriting written all over it; and I truly have felt like I was living with an enemy. I find it interesting that narcissists all seem to do the exact same things – Satan is not creative, he uses the same ideas all the time. So, I do believe there are demonic strongholds in my husband but if he refuses to do the work to get free I can’t help him – and I’m losing the will now anyway.

          • Leslie Vernick on August 19, 2015 at 10:09 am

            Mary since you know his pattern, never leave yourself in that vulnerable position again. So, next time you are going anywhere with him – especially in a foreign country, make sure you have cell phone that works, that you know how to call a taxi, that you have foreign currency in your pocket and you can deal with his abusive behavior in a safe way. OR – an entirely better approach is to refuse to drive anywhere with him again unless you are behind the wheel. That way, if he wants to be away from you, he can leave the car.

          • Mary on August 19, 2015 at 11:15 am

            Thank you Leslie. He has thrown my purse out of the car at one location in Chicago and then pushed me out a little further down the road. A police officer stopped and tired to help as I was wandering in the median looking for my road destroyed leather purse. I should have told her the truth when she asked if I needed help. I said that I was fine and just lost something. Ugh!

        • Leonie on August 19, 2015 at 10:59 pm

          Will you take your boys on your trip? If you go back they will have opportunity in both countries! If you stay you may need to do “French immersion” with the neighbours & people who live near you, just learn by being immersed in the language – it is tough but effective! I remember a woman coming to my door, telling me something & leaving & I disn’t understand 1 word that she said..
          I am praying for you and that you can meet the people you need to & get it figured out! In your & your kids best interest – it sounds like your husband intends to move along. It is so very isolating to be in a bad marriage so farr from home and with the language barrier. That is s classic move that abusers like to use – to keep you far from any support system & keep you at a disadvantage. My ex “went to town treating me badly without the prying eyes” of family near by.

    • Jennifer on August 17, 2015 at 10:20 am

      He has asked you to leave and you have been functioning separately for quite a few weeks now. Why do you think he has changed his behavior in the last month or so? I am just wondering, do you think he has a girlfriend? Will the boys go to University soon? Can you hold out until then and use the time to formulate an exit plan? I also wonder if you are do for a trip back home. Can you share your heart with your loved ones in England and let them support and guide you in your plan?

      • Vivienne on August 18, 2015 at 6:05 pm

        Hello Jennifer. I find myself in a very strange place at the moment. My husband does not make any effort to reconcile, nor will he accept the need to be accountable for his share of dysfunction in our family, he believes all fault lies in one direction, mine. My usband meanwhile continues to act as he always has – as he sees fit, answering to no one. He has recently viewed porn on his computer and yet holds me and his children to such high moral standards, chastising us for every little thing.

        The last couple of weeks, he has sought legal advice and has come to the conclusion that we need to agree what we should do and then have it rubber stamped; he is anxious to avoid a costly court battle. I am still waiting for a response from a French lawyer to know what I could hope for i.e. my rights in the situation I find myself in so until I know for certain what those are, I am not going to do anything above and beyond what I am already doing i.e. I continue to perform duties around the home as before but I have the bare minimum of fellowship (if it can even be called that) with my husband. I am civil with my husband but keep my interaction with him about the needs of the children or things pertaining to the running of the house. My husband does not seemed overly concerned to restore our relationship but rather to navigate it’s demise to his advantage. I did however get a verbal “sorry it has come to this” but he was not truly repentant; after 34 years I know him well and he is not sorry.

        Thank you, I do hope to visit England soon and I have already begun to share with relatives.

        • Vivienne on August 18, 2015 at 6:27 pm

          I am formulating an exit plan and am blessed that I have a house I jointly own (with my husband) back in England which he has offered to transfer his share to me in return for my share in the French home. It sounds good in theory but I have no savings, I am almost 57 and have been away from the workplace since my children were born; so my CV is not attractive to prospective employers. Some years back, my husband persuaded me to opt of the State Earnings Pensions Scheme so I will not get a full state pension when I retire – and that won’t happen for another 10 years. In addition, even though I am a British Citizen, I have been out of the UK for almost 9 years and have no entitlement to benefit / support as a single person, yet if I had dependent children with me I would qualify after a few months for manner of support, including subsidised courses (if not free) for higher education and re-training. As a single woman with no dependent children residing, I would get nothing. .I feel like I have been totally stitched up.

          • Lisa on August 19, 2015 at 1:01 am


            I am in the same situation only the American version. He made some ploy to get me to agree to having a certain asset while he get the home. *That* would leave me with no cash. He has charged up an enormous amount of debt too. I don’t know if this applies to French law, but it might be helpful in the long run anyway. Here in the US, if you make a verbal agreement to asset distribution outside a court of law and he secretly tape records or there are witnesses in the room, it can be upheld in a court and there can be no modifying it. Don’t ever give him an indication of what you want. DO look out for future needs when negotiating WITH the counsel of your lawyer; don’t short change yourself. Where I live alimony is almost non-existent; you have to prove you have no fault in the demise of the marriage—doing that with an abuser, also known as a “persuasive blamer” and the chances for a”no fault” status for the victim goes to zero.

          • Jennifer on August 19, 2015 at 1:29 am

            Vivienne, First of all I must commend you on your extremely well written posts. I can only imagine that you are equally as eloquent in manner and speech! Certainly any employer would be blessed to have you in their service.

            I believe Jesus encouraged us that each day has enough worries of its’ own. I think you are making wise decisions in your present circumstances. Well done!

      • Vivienne on August 19, 2015 at 4:15 am

        Thank you for your kind comments Jennifer. I am posting my thanks here because I couldn’t reply directly to your last comment. Bless you sister.

        • Vivienne on August 19, 2015 at 6:19 am

          Also Thank you Lisa for your response. I too would be left with no cash if I simply agree to my husband’s proposal for settlement. I am waiting for a response from a French lawyer (I wrote them an email a few days ago). My husband knows how to conduct himself in the law courts, he has won many legal cases, sometimes representing himself and I am keenly aware how he appears to enjoy the cut and thrust of the courtroom drama. I am not anxious to go to court but I may have to if I want to obtain what is rightfully mine according to the law. One thing may go in my favour and that is he is 71, he has a heart with a sticky valve, and says he is tired now and doesn’t want to go to court – but maybe this is just so he can persuade me to do things as he would like it. I have yet to see his reaction should I make a demand upon resources he feels are out of bounds. I would add that he is not great with money and is now in debt again – not by much but enough to make him want to look toward selling joint assets. This is why we have reached a cross-roads, because I refuse to allow him to sell our house in the UK.

          • Lisa on August 19, 2015 at 8:35 am


            As to his sticky valve and being too tired for court my first thought was something I read, “an abuser has three channels he rotates through: rage, charm, and sympathy”—all meant to control.

            The author of “The Sociopath Next Door” (Martha Stout) says, “How can I tell whom not to trust?” the answer I give usually surprises people. The natural expectation is that I will describe some sinister-sounding detail of behavior or snippet of body language or threatening use of language that is the subtle giveaway. Instead, I take people aback by assuring them that the tip-off is none of these things, for none of these things is reliably present. Rather, the best clue is, of all things, the pity play. The most reliable sign, the most universal behavior of unscrupulous people is not directed, as one might imagine, at our fearfulness. It is, perversely, an appeal to our sympathy.”

          • Leslie Vernick on August 19, 2015 at 10:04 am

            I agree with that. It makes our compassion and empathy stir and we “feel sorry” or “pity” for them which then usually means we take down the consequences or boundaries that we have set. Compassion and Empathy are possible WITHOUT enabling. That’s the 4th step of CORE.

          • Mary on August 19, 2015 at 11:18 am

            I am so glad you did not let him sell the UK house. It will be a refuge for you in the near future. Hold tight. Jesus loves you.

          • Mary on August 19, 2015 at 11:22 am

            Lisa, Thank you for the reminder about sympathy and thank you Leslie, for the reminder about enabling. My life has been very difficult lately and the fellowship of other women on this blog has been a blessing.

  49. Vivienne on August 17, 2015 at 7:01 am

    Can’t see the comment I posted yesterday – was it not OK?

    • Leslie Vernick on August 17, 2015 at 8:11 am

      Welome Vivienne, I approve the comments that are new and I just didn’t see your earlier comment yesterday before I closed down for the evening.

      • Vivienne on August 17, 2015 at 9:12 am

        Thank you Leslie – very glad to be here.

        • Autumn on August 17, 2015 at 10:07 am

          Thank you for sharing you situation. I am wondering what laws would govern your decision to leave or stay. In the USA, if a Mother leaves a minor child and she knows the father is abusive, it is often stated that she endangered the child by leaving them with someone they knew was unsafe. You say your boys are almost grown and that they seem to like France. Even if you did take them back to England, they may pine for all things French. It would seem to me that you need to be back in your support group (family, friends, church) in England to heal and grow stronger. I noticed some of the other women on the blog have mentioned that it is very hard to heal from abuse when you are still being exposed to it.

          You are not alone sister. You have been very brave for a long time.

          • Vivienne on August 19, 2015 at 6:03 am

            Thank you – I am coming around to this conclusion too and I also want to ensure my future financial needs will be maintained where possible.

  50. Caroline Abbott on August 17, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    My ex used to make me do things in bed that made me feel dirty. I did them because I was being abused outside the bedroom as well. I like your suggestion to get up and leave the bedroom. This might work, if he isn’t very abusive in other ways. If he is, he will probably escalate his abuse when she does this. Of course, if he does escalate, she will then need to decide what to do about THAT. It might help her make some tough decisions.

    • Mary on August 19, 2015 at 1:36 am

      Caroline, I understand the volatile natural of an abusive man. Some have posted that they wish their H was physical and show some emotion. If you have experienced what I have experienced, any challenge can lead to increasing violence. Leaving the bedroom was not an option for me I tired it once and he smashed down the door of the room I hid in and chards of the mirror that was on the back of the door cut my face, chest and hands. So, each abuser has his own strategies, we need to think smart to survive.

      • Leslie Vernick on August 19, 2015 at 10:09 am

        YOu should have immediately called the police. I know that is a scary step for many but that is a huge wake up call for husband’s who act like that.

      • Leonie on August 19, 2015 at 10:14 am

        Mary, my heart aches for you, It sounds like you are not physically safe if you are still living with your husband, can you develop a safety plan & get your paperwork & some clothing into an emergency bag & look for a chance to leave?
        I went to police & told them I was scared my husband might hurt me when I broke up with him, if you have photos & medical records from being physically abused – like stitches from when the mirror broke and maybe a friend who knows what is going on & how violent he’s is with you, they might help you – or can you leave and apply for a protection order, it sounds like you might need it. Do you have a friend or close relatives in a different town that you could stay with for a few days just to make that initial break?
        Just know you don’ have to live in fear like that, your DV shelter can help you too. That is why they are there.

        • Mary on August 19, 2015 at 11:25 am

          Leonie, Thanks for the love. The mirror incident happened many years ago.

      • Vivienne on August 19, 2015 at 12:52 pm

        Yes, thank you Mary: That house in England was an answer to prayer – truly. My H had been embroiled in a three year court action which he won and the money was used to buy an investment property. Initially my H set his sights on two rental flats, which I didn’t like at all so I prayed about it and my husband decided not to buy them. Then he found this lovely cottage in a market town in Devon, England; it is a favourite of mine. I was quite excited about it but his offer which at first seemed to be accepted, then fell through because an earlier offer had been approved by another colleague with the estate agent. Crestfallen, I went back to God in prayer and a few days later received the news that my H’s offer was now accepted as the other buyer’s could not obtain a mortgage – we were cash buyers ! Hallelujah!! God is soooo good and has my future in his hands 🙂

        • Jennifer on August 19, 2015 at 4:47 pm

          Vivienne, Please invite us to the house warming party!! A little trip across the pond would be good for us all!

          • Vivienne on August 19, 2015 at 5:03 pm

            Haha…well it’s not a huge house but maybe we could have a virtual party if that is where I find myself. You would all be most welcome!

  51. Aleea on August 18, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    . . . Sadly, virtually none of the non-egalitarian marriage books relate marital submission to the specific behaviors that porn has influenced many men to request or flat-out demand or to the way pornography programs men to demean and objectify women.  While any Christian wife with any basic knowledge of Scripture will be able to recognize that her husband’s demand that she view pornography with him while they “make love” is clearly unbiblical and need not be submitted to, other sexual behaviors she finds objectionable are not plainly addressed in Scripture.  So must we submit to these since Ephesians tells us that we must submit “in everything”?  -OF COURSE NOT!  . . . . . .I will not list the sorted filth church fathers had to address early in the church’s history specifically and directly influenced by “Christian” men pressuring their wives for ____________ you name it.  (-Actually, actually you could not name it or even believe it because we live in the 21st Century.  -We should thank the Lord God for that!)  . . . . Anyway, today pornography has unquestionably made appealing to husbands sexual practices that torment us with a sense of revulsion that our men even make these kinds of sexual demands, however, we have no confusion over what we must submit to (RE: less than 5% of the sex pictured in the pornography –see below- depicted vaginal intercourse).  What helps to explain these sordid requests, as we all know, is the fact that sexual sin has an escalating quality due to the manner in which it deadens one’s conscience so that traditional intercourse is no longer sexually stimulating. . . . . Studies show that in the past decade pornography has become much more degraded, particularly in terms of violent content. . . . . See for example, Martin Barron and Michael Kimmel, “Sexual Violence in The Media,” The Journal of Sex Research 37 (2007): p.161-68, et. al.  In fact, I would expect Kimmel’s 5% finding to be much lower today. . . . . . . . So, enough of all that. . . . . 
    Can I say no to sexual practices I don’t like? YES. . .  I would say always avoid minimizing the issue by saying to yourself: “That’s not such a bad word.” et. al.
    Can I say no to sexual practices God would not demonstrably like (-filthy carnal talk, et. al.)? YES YOU CAN  “Things will get better” –NO, they will not.  They will escalate.  “Who will believe how I’m treated at home?”  You know by now that all of us will believe you!
    Can I follow Christ instead of following men out of fear? YES, we ALL can.
    Can I speak the Truth in Love? YES
    Can I pray for every soul here that God will always show them how very special they are and how much worth they have to Him?  YES!!!

  52. janet on August 18, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    it would be helpful if the Christian churches didn’t promote unhealthy sexual relations by guilting the wife to satisfy his needs. it would also be helpful if the church finally admitted that women have sexual needs also. it would be even greater if just one preacher would stand up there and say… you know jesus died a virgin at 33. you can do it men. but instead its all about pleasing your husband. I am sick of it.

  53. Vivienne on August 18, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Hi Janet. I totally empathise with your statements concerning the church. I too am disappointed in the lack of exposure re; the difficulties we women face in confronting our husbands about their demands. I wish there were some really strong men in the church that we could employ, to confront our husbands, but sadly they seem to be rare. We need men that will not allow our husbands to avoid being responsible for their poor behaviour. I so well remember sitting next to my husband during a sermon and the vicar saying how there was no getting around the scripture that called for women to be obedient to the husband in all things, and he also mentioned the “s” word – submissiveness. I saw my husband smile and nod his head like oh yeah, I am loving this sermon and I knew he had misunderstood the context of that scripture i.e. he did not also understand that husbands should also love their wives in order to foster and grow their wives obedience and free submissiveness. Men ought to love their wives n the sense of self-sacrifice – not just a yourself no questions asked kind of way. .When I encouraged my husband to go see our vicar, I have no idea what they discussed but my H came home saying he felt good about their discussions but only went just the once. Seeing no improvement in his behaviour, after some months I saw the vicar’s wife to share how difficult I was finding my marriage but she just told me to submit more, prayer more, stop judging my husband because I had no right to judge another’s faith (I told her I did not believe my husband was a Christian – and I have not changed my view still). The idea that the problem in my relationship was all mine was thus reinforced so I bent over backwards changing myself, reading the word more, praying more, getting counselling, listening to teaching on how to be a better wife etc., but all the while my husband sat back and did nothing to change himself. I became exhausted, sank into a deep depression and almost lost my faith in God . The church has not supported me well because it fails to understand the problem.

    • Vivienne on August 18, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      I meant to say “help yourself no questions asked kind of way”

    • Lisa on August 19, 2015 at 1:24 am

      “Pastors” such as Mark Driscoll with a cult like following who peddles porn from the pulpit & guilts wives into violating their own conscience need to be PERMANENTLY removed from preaching. Patriarchy needs to be shut down. Women need to be taught and encouraged they are free to say “no” to sexual practices they do not want and being truthful pleases God.

      • Mary on August 19, 2015 at 1:42 am

        My 90 year old grandmother was a firm believer in castration and thought it should be used liberally as a punishment. Got to smile at that old gal. 🙂

        • Vivienne on August 19, 2015 at 4:13 am

          Yes, that did cause a smile and maybe we would get the gut wrenching repentance we look for from our men at the immediate prospect of losing their best friend 🙂

  54. Mary on August 19, 2015 at 1:40 am

    A counselor at a domestic violence shelter told me that I shouldn’t have to have sex if I didn’t want to. Can you imagine such a luxury?!!

    • Aleea on August 19, 2015 at 5:57 pm

      Well, Mary, you are correct.  I can’t imagine that but I can understand that!  . . . So much sexual callousness. . . . I don’t know how we focus everything on more kindness, more caring, more love, more Christ . . . except to just be the change we all want to see.

  55. Vivienne on August 19, 2015 at 4:27 am

    Some years ago now, I think maybe 2003, I sought counselling and the subject of oral sex came up. I did not like this aspect of my sexual life so when I was advised (rightly or wrongly) that it was not Gods will, that I should make a stand and say no, I decided to follow that advice. I asked God to help prepare my husband’s heart – and he must have answered that prayer because my husband told me it was OK – if I didn’t want to do it any more, it was fine by him. I believe God did a work in his heart for that moment because later my husband reverted back to pressuring me about it. He said I should not have listened to my advisers, he felt it was wrong advice. I told him it wasn’t wrong because I didn’t want to do it and he shouldn’t make a big deal about it, or guilt-shame me. I said if he was so convinced it was a Godly practice to go discuss it with our Vicar – he declined to do so because deep down he knew I was right; but he always brings it up when we argue. The advice I received helped me to walk through, what was at that time, a real fear of how my husband reacted when he couldn’t get his way; it was a small beginning, for me to stand in the face of fear and obtain victory knowing God was with me, holding my hand.

    • Vivienne on August 19, 2015 at 4:31 am

      I would like to add here that, after stopping that practise our sex life improved (well for me at least). I felt it was clean, I began to enjoy sex again, it felt like God was approving it as something good – when it hadn’t been before and displeased him.

      • Mary on August 19, 2015 at 11:31 am

        Oral sex is a delicate subject. Isn’t sexuality for procreation? How does oral sex help with procreation, it seems to be designed for selfish pleasure and gratification. One day I might ask God to answer all these questions, yet again, when I get to heaven who will care.

        • Vivienne on August 19, 2015 at 12:43 pm

          My advisers considered it ungodly and I was happy to go along with that because I personally found it distasteful. All I know is I felt heaps better for not having to do it any more.

  56. Vivienne on August 19, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Hi Lisa,

    Yes, you are right. My H likes to get sympathy for all his sorry life, all his losses, all his business failings, the loss of marriages, loss of children and now loss of god health. Although my H is 71 he could easily pass for 55-60 and his physique is as good at that of a young man; he’s attractive too. He is so charming, quite gregarious when he wants to be, but now for the benefit of others outside our immediate family.

    Even knowing my disdain for being in a foreign country, and being more than aware how our marriage is over, he just now read an article to me from the AOL news page that claims life in the UK is no longer desirable whereas France provides a much better quality of life. I did so much want to say back to him – except when your significant other is abusing you. Still keeping my powder dry for the moment though. But really? What planet is this guy on? Does he think I would be persuaded to stay in France with him just because a news article claims the life is better here? Nuts!

    • Vivienne on August 19, 2015 at 8:49 am

      That should read good health.

    • Lisa on August 19, 2015 at 9:57 am

      Vivienne my anti-husband has used similar manipulation veiled as helpful advice wrapped in fake concern. The serpent appealed to Eve in such a way as to get her to question a hard cold fact God had established. Your husband has twisted the matter at hand–it isn’t whether living in France or England is better, it’s whether staying married to him or divorcing him is better for you.

      I read the AOL article—everything written about France having better road ways, cheaper restaurants, nicer layed out villas along the countryside has nothing to do with your mental health. My guess he conveniently left out the fact stated that France has *significantly* higher unemployment than England—now THAT is a real problem!
      Did he also read it within ear shot of your sons or to them at another time. If so, reading it was really meant to keep them with him.

      • Mary on August 19, 2015 at 11:36 am

        Lisa you are very wise. I imagine your wisdom has been very hard earned. The manipulative tactics of those trying to control us can be nothing short of brilliant. I know Patricia Evans states the actions are senseless but I beg to differ, they are rather wickedly calculated and egocentrically driven.

        • Lisa on August 19, 2015 at 1:45 pm

          Mary any wisdom was gained by having my “gut” feelings validated through authors like Leslie, Lundy Bancroft, & Susan Forward. They lifted the fog so I could definitively know I am not crazy, but *he* is a crazymaker.

          I agree Mary that Patricia Evans has it wrong and you nailed it—“differ, they are rather wickedly calculated and egocentrically driven.”

          • Lisa on August 19, 2015 at 2:01 pm

            Just read this on a social media group:
            “A very fast litmus test to the question “Do they know what they’re doing?” can be answered by observing whether they act the same with others as they do toward you or if they change their demeanor or wording when someone else is suddenly present. It is a very painful process to come to the realization that what they’re doing is, in fact, very intentional. Yet realizing this also solves the other question that has likely been lingering in your mind, “Why doesn’t anything I do or say change anything?” You aren’t crazy or deficient in some way because things aren’t changing…when abuse is intentional it won’t change unless their entitlement and control issues are addressed. ~Ruth”

    • Jennifer on August 19, 2015 at 11:37 am

      Good job keeping you powder dry. That takes fortitude.

  57. Vivienne on August 19, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Yes Lisa, he is extremely manipulative. I have been telling my H for years that England would provide our sons better opportunities for employment – my words fell on deaf ears. In the past, the H has even employed others, even complete strangers, to come and tell me how awful England is and how wonderful France is – yes, it can be if you are retired, do not have children, and just want to relax, enjoy the scenery – it’s a whole different ball game!

    • Vivienne on August 19, 2015 at 12:29 pm

      Oh, and the one verse I heard audibly (internally audible but clear) was 2 Cor 11:2 where he says ” I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him” and verse 3 says “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ”

      Well I didn’t know why I was given the verses back then – but I do now, along with all the deception I have fallen for.

  58. Vivienne on August 19, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    Yes, thank you Leslie, I would be interested in your next course on CORE although the holy spirit has already been guiding me to not be suckered back in.

  59. Leonie on August 20, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Mary, I am horrified that your husband has abandoned you several times in a foreign places! I always had a fear that my first husband would do that to me – he actually told me that he almost left me behind a few times when I was pregnant with my 3rd and had to make frequent bathroom stops at gas stations when we still lived in BC & made frequent trips to Calgary with our small boys who were about 2 & 4 at the time. I guess that’s where my fear came from,
    After our trip to Cuba last year when my now ex was really ramping up his abuse I vowed I would never go to his country (an African country with horrible abuses going on there right now & women don’t have rights or a voice) & I would never go on a cruise with him. Those are places where if he wanted to make me disappear & get away with it, he possibly could. If he pulled something like that here I can get myself home. Leslie’s advice is good.

    • Lisa on August 20, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      Mary & Leonie,

      I also grew to fear going any places alone with anti-husband. Too many times I didn’t feel well while out and he wouldn’t bring me home. I once found in his computer “top 10 secluded beaches” and feared it was either for him to have an affair or to take me to one and do away with me!

  60. Betsy on August 20, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    My husband told me today in therapy that he is not interested in our marriage. I had my hopes up as there was some physical tenderness shown and we were getting along well. I decieved myself into thinking we were headed into the direction I wanted.

    After the therapy session, I suggested he leave since he does not want to work on our marriage. He got angry and turned the situation onto me. I plan to ask him to leave our bedroom. It was suggested to me that he be the one to tell our boys that he does not want to work on our marriage.

    This stinks ladies. I do not want to end our marriage. I am willing and able to work on the pain BOTH of us caused…yet I have no control over him.

    Has anyone ever written up a contract while living in the same home? And sharing the same bed?

  61. Robin on August 20, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Betsy, I never used a contract and wouldn’t feel it would be a useful tool for a spouse who is not honest and abuses me. I think if my spouse wasn’t interested in the marriage, I would start preparing myself to grieve my dissapointments in it ending. Looking back one thing I did learn was many women don’t move forward as they are fearful of their relationship failing and ending. But what I found is when you move towards a stronger YOU and start having boundaries, you open up an opportunity for your spouse to feel the consequence and it just might make them see how important reconcing might be. But as long as I stayed and did nothing, nothing good happened. It’s important for the woman to go towards a greater health and growth. Let your husband see you are strong and will fight for the marriage- but will not be treated like a doormat anymore.

  62. Betsy on August 20, 2015 at 3:23 pm


    Its time for me to set strong boundaries and stick to them..and grieve that our marriage could very well be over. I cannot convince him to trust me.

    Just the few short weeks on this blog talking to you and others, and a couple other blogs I follow and taking the 2 CORE classes, I feel have am developing strength. I am not ready yet to make any decisions..just baby steps.

    I understand what being treated as an object is. I understand that I am a friend with benefits, I understand that I have made my h. my God.

    Time to reclaim myself. He is doing the same thing as well. I did hurt him in our marriage, he will not let that go.

    • Robin on August 20, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      As long as he can convince you and keep repeating to you how you hurt him- you are allowing him to be your reality. Gods reality says, Betsy I love and forgive you. Now walk in the power I give to you. But an abuser uses those words to control you and keep you weak.

      • Betsy on August 20, 2015 at 8:32 pm

        I forget how much God loves me when I am groveling ans fighting for my marriage. I forget the value I have when I am being told how bad I am

        I am forgiven by a wonderful God that adores me and all of us here on this blog.

    • Lisa on August 20, 2015 at 4:05 pm


      How convenient for him to always throw your sins in your face, but never take responsibility for his own. I’ll bet his actions against you are FAR more grievous and damaging than yours against him. You probably didn’t know what to do with the onslaught of abuse and basically zoned out and shutdown. It wasn’t a premeditated response, it was an unconscious self-protective state. I remember you writing you found a book he said belonged to a young woman friend of his. I believe he is projecting on you *his* *UNTRUSTWORTHINESS*! He wants to say you’re untrustworthy often so you’ll do whatever he dictates. He knows you are of tender conscience and will assume the guilt that rightly belongs to him.

  63. Betsy on August 20, 2015 at 4:12 pm


    Thank you for your insight. I wrestle everyday whether to find out what actually happened with the young women. It would take a couple of phone calls for me to find out the truth.

    My friend says that if something happened between them, the universe will reveal it.

    I am going to stand up for myself, even if it is a baby step here and a baby step there.

    • Lisa on August 20, 2015 at 4:25 pm


      Without a word to him—try to find out and get much evidence as possible. That can come in real handy in court. If he has I would *not* confront him about. If true, then he has been keeping a dirty little secret and won’t confess anyway. If it is true go get yourself tested for sexually transmitted diseases. I would not have sex with him until you find out the truth. Men can be carriers of some VDs and never show symptoms, the wife on the other hand carries & manifests the disease. Also don’t confront, because he will make a beeline for the finances and block you from them. Keep looking into it and anything you do afterward close to the vest–tell no one!

      • Robin on August 20, 2015 at 4:34 pm

        Great advice and counsel Lisa!! Love it!!

      • Lisa on August 20, 2015 at 4:51 pm

        And other reasons *not* to tell/confront him if true:

        1.) He will start badgering you for just how much you know.

        2.) He’ll start formulating a defense against it.

        3.) He will do a preemptive strike by telling people you are making it up.

        4.) He will get others to lie for him to “prove” you are wrong.

        5.) He may start a false rumor that you had or having an affair to take the attention off himself.

    • Jennifer on August 20, 2015 at 4:36 pm

      Baby steps are a great start. I am glad you are gettting indiviudal counseling. Please continue to tell, tell, tell, safe people about the abuse you have suffered. They will help you be strong when you are tempted to return to worshipping your marriage as an Idol instead of worshipping God.

      • Betsy on August 20, 2015 at 8:33 pm

        Thank you ladies

        • Robin on August 21, 2015 at 11:59 pm

          I woke up thinking about you today and how your husband tears down your self esteem and reminds you of the ways you have hurt him that he can’t forgive. I was thinking about your question- does any of us ever doubt ourselves?? Yes I do. Poor self esteem is something I have really struggled with, since my marriage of 32 years ended and I have had many memories of how he belittled me, told me I was stupid, and inadequate and could never make it on my own . I have done my homework, I have worked on personal issues, and yet I have many moments where I doubt myself, after being so put down and referred to as ‘worthless’. I don’t feel bad about it. I know I have forgiven myself and can adjust my thoughts easily and move on when this happens. I think it’s an important part of healing to be honest with myself and take note when I’m doubting myself. I know it will take time to fully believe in myself again, and I wanted to share that with you.

          • Leslie Vernick on August 22, 2015 at 1:47 pm

            Robin thanks for sharing. I think we all doubt ourselves if we’re healthy and honest. The Narcissist does not doubt himself because he’s always sure he’s right. You don’t want to be there. Any human person who has an ability to self-reflect upon themselves could not possibly feel 100% great about themselves in every area of their lives. They cannot feel 100% sure about every decision or every feeling or thought. That would make them God. So we walk by faith, not by sight. We walk in faith that God will take our wobbly imperfect walk and meld it into his purposes and his plan and so we do not need to be afraid, even when we doubt because it’s not up to us it’s up to Him.

          • betsy on August 22, 2015 at 2:55 pm

            Robin. Thank you for sharing. I like how we are free to ask ourselves if we are doubtful of who we are. I never realized that asking ourselves was even an option????Now I know that it is. I am learning that just because my husband says something, it doesn’t mean it is true.

          • betsy on August 22, 2015 at 3:11 pm

            Robin. Thank you for sharing. I like how we are free to ask ourselves if we are doubtful of who we are. I never realized that asking ourselves was even an option????Now I know that it is. I am learning that just because my husband says something, it doesn’t mean it is true.thank u Leslie for your sharing as well. My legs feel wobbly a lot.

  64. Leonie on August 22, 2015 at 8:00 am

    I think it is really hard to get our sense of self & who God made us to be back to truth after absorbing so many damaging lies about ourselves through the years. When I think about all the things I used to do well and how enthusiastic I was about life when I was in my 20’s – I pray that God would bring healing and restoration to us, because we have let those things go and replaced them with the words of an angry jealous enemy. I need to remember that God delights in his children, he made us well and wants to walk in fellowship with us!

  65. Robin on August 22, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Betsy I very well remember the first time I learned that very thing. And then I learned it and relearned it. In my mind- I have learned ABUSE IS A FORM OF BRAINWASHING. Someone said the other day that Patricia Evans teaches women how to regain their mind . I love that thought. It requires refusing the brainwashing he has been successful in. It takes a lot of hard work. It’s been almost 3 years since my marriage was over. I’m just now feeling I have had a victory in the fight for my mind. My reality is God now- He is the main power source in my life.

    • betsy on August 22, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      I have to get her book. I am tired of all of the head games I go through. I called my husband a couple hours ago and asked him what it meant to say in therapy on Thursday that his position is till the same and that he is not willing to work on our marriage. Then Thursday night he is hugging me and the same thing Friday morning. He got defensive on the phone and called me frigid . I made it clear in therapy that oif he isn’t invested in our marriage then there will be no sex or physical intimacy. In his mind sex is intercourse, so whatever else happens didn’t head is spinning.

  66. Robin on August 22, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    My name is Robin and I live on the state of Washington. I have many friends on here – so I ask you take a moment to pray for our state. Wildfires are devastating every city, county in our beautiful state. We are on emergency alert and help is coming from all over the U.S. And some out.
    We covet your prayers. My family has evacuated as most iny town were also. Thank you!!!

    • Liz on August 23, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      Hi Robyn
      Praying for you and your family and your town.
      It’s the end of winter here in Aus – I heard on the radio the other day that a large contingency of our experienced bush firefighters were heading to the U.S. to support your guys.
      I pray Gods protection and grace for you in this difficult time.

      • Robin on August 23, 2015 at 8:46 pm

        Our whole state is burning up. So glad we are getting more help. I have been evacuated since last Thursday and now the smoke is so thick it’s hazardous to be there, so I’ll stay gone a few more days at least!! Thanks for praying Liz!!!

        • Jennifer on August 24, 2015 at 1:44 am

          Praying too. A giant rain cloud would be delightful! Be brave friend.

        • Leslie Vernick on August 24, 2015 at 6:09 pm

          It is so sad and scary. We are praying for you Robin.

  67. betsy on August 23, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Keeping you and the beautiful state of Washington in prayer.

    • Robin on August 23, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      Thank u Betsy. We are in EMERGENCY STATUS and need much prayer!!!!

      • Vivienne on August 25, 2015 at 8:37 am

        Praying both you and your home survive untouched Robin. Please keep us updated on how things are over there. Keep safe.

  68. Liz on August 24, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Hi All,

    Sorry to bother you all but I just wanted to run something past you all. Having lived the above and other stuff for 33 years I finally told my H on Sat that I wasn’t coping anymore and I was thinking about moving out again ( I did it 4 years ago for two years). He was surprised and devastate even without me telling him HOW BAD I really am ( I couldn’t risk doing that).

    I’ve been listening to Keslues conquer messages and reading more of Patricia Evans books and that morning in the space of an hour or so I wrote down 15 very familiar statements my H directed towards me before I’d even had a chance to have a shower- all defining me as him

    Because apart from being emotionally verbally and sexually abusive ( with a little minor physical thrown in over the years) he is also an ASPY and because I realise more than ever I am just a projection of him so that he earnestly doesn’t think he will ever ‘hurt me’ one of his responses to my news really triggered me

    He suggested that I stab him – so then it will officially be abuse

    I know I shouldn’t dwell on being triggered but it still felt like an irrational threat to me – am I being ridiculous

    I KNOW he isn’t going to hurt me – that is more than he does everyday – to the point where I no longer want to exist – but the bizaarness of his mind never ceases to amaze me

    I’m not actually scared of him – literally but he plays these ‘mind games’ and in the past as I’ve written before he did on one occasion hold up big knives and ask me if I trusted him. – as well as on several occasions putting his hands around my neck – without chocking me – ( except by me struggling to release myself) to ask the same question

    But these are long in the past – the only thing he has done in the last few months physically was to hold me against my will momentarily after I refused sex and asked him to repeatedly leave my room.

    Sorry I know I sound pathetic but I am slowly taking steps towards my freedom – I only work two days a week so it will be very hard to rent so I am going to contact the mortgage broker today to get the house valued and see if I can purchase a small unit or house using the main house as collateral. The other thing he said was that one – he wants me to give him time to try and change – he even brought home stickers he made up from work to put around the house – they say – be nice to Liz. But he also said I could do whatever I need to do as long as it didn’t cost him anymore money or put him in more debt – ( when I had earlier this year cleared all our other debts with a small inheritance) – his wish isn’t practical I couldn’t afford the new repayments on my own he will need to pay my share of the family home as well as his. I can only afford to pay any difference

    I know I should probably go to a lawyer but I am so fragile I don’t think I’ll cope if everything escalates – which it would. The only way to cope is to let him think I might one day come home again – until I can get away and heal. I’ve deteriorated further than I thought possible since I came home these 4 years.

    Sorry everyone – if this annoys you just ignore it.


    • Liz on August 24, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      PS apologies for all the typos and bad grammar – I wrote it on my phone and it’s so small it’s hard to recheck – I meant devastated and Leslie and other corrections

      • Robin on August 24, 2015 at 7:44 pm

        Liz it’s not annoying to see a woman gain enough strength to stand up for herself and SAY ENOUGH!!
        I say YEAH FOR LIZ, keep moving forward Liz!! We support you!!!!

        • Liz on August 24, 2015 at 8:34 pm

          Thanks Robyn xx
          How are the fires going? Are you still evacuated. Thinking of you xx

          • Robin on August 24, 2015 at 9:44 pm

            Fires are still blazing but many more firefighters are here helping out– now it’s just a matter of days and weeks to get it under control. I moved westward today to a Bavarian Village who is out of the hast dots smoke. I have met some lovely people here, it’s much better than being at home worrying when or if your house will torch.

          • Liz on August 25, 2015 at 2:37 am

            Glad you are safe where you are. I pray you will be able to return to your home as you knew it in the days ahead. Take care xx

    • Vivienne on August 24, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      Hi Liz,

      You are currently where I was, emotionally, about three years ago. I was so fragile, afraid to confront my H about his behaviour (so I didn’t trigger another outburst) I had no strength at all. Like you, I have been with my H for 34 years and it’s a long time to be messed up.

      I coped by finding a blog similar to this one where I found encouragement to stand up by women experiencing similar difficulties. It sounds as though you have a plan. Do you have family members nearby that could help you? Especially if you do want to find a lawyer at a later date. If you could find someone close by who would stand with you, it would strengthen your resolve and protect you.

      I am realising how much better I feel, the more space I put between myself and my H yet it has only been a couple of months and I am still living in the same house; and I am sleeping in a separate room.

      Your H sounds more menacing than mine and just from your comments above I am concerned for your safety – even though you believe he wouldn’t harm you physically that doesn’t mean he wont, so I am glad you are planning to exit your home..

      Please keep us updated Liz, we will support you in whatever you choose to do.

      “‘“The Lord bless you and keep you;
      the Lord make his face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’

      Big hugs xx

      • Liz on August 24, 2015 at 7:36 pm

        Thanks Vivienne xx hugs to you too xx

  69. Leonie on August 24, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    if you have no where to turn could you go to a shelter? Did you take the “Stab ” comment as a threat – to me it sounds bizarre that he would suggest you stab him but if you are triggered you must have a valid reason – pay attention to it. Is he twisting it to say that you are abusive and now pushing you to prove it? If you understand it to be a direct threat please call police.
    I know my husband was.violent with me and then twisted things around and told me over & over that I am violent a violent person and he had proof and if I went to the police I would be arrested because he had proof against me. It was his way to stop me from reporting the abuse … And it worked for awhile!
    I am praying for you – it is so very hard but you can do it! When you get legal help, you might be surprised what you are entitled to since you have been together for so long but get out first and never look back!! We are rooting for you!

    • Liz on August 25, 2015 at 2:38 am

      Thanks Leonie
      I’m taking one day at a time , but heading in a positive direction – I hope – thanks for your care and encouragement.

      • jennifer on August 25, 2015 at 3:41 pm

        Liz, I am disturbed by the “Be nice to LIz” stickers. That is a new level of creepiness. His sticker idea both mocks you and belittles the depth of the problem and undermines your request.

        Have you read some of the other posts about the cycle of abuse? Your H is trying to put you in the honeymoon stage of your cycle. Interestingly, this is the best time to leave, yet many women don’t because their abuser is fianlly being nice.

        H makes promises he may even act like he wants to keep, however he is incapable of keeping any of his promises without cognitive and behavioral therapy. Please don’t be fooled that this man can or will change on his own. Give him some consequenes and leave. The doubts you are having are normal but you must move forward.

        You have shared many valid concerns about H’s behaviors. He is dangerous. I believe our blog group is sincerely concerned about your emotional, spiritual and physical safety. I pray God will direct you with what steps to take next. Life will be so very wonderful. Be strong. It gets better.

        • Robin on August 25, 2015 at 3:45 pm

          Jennifer if u were standing next to me I’d give you a high five. I totally agree about the stickers and the honeymoon stage. Great words!!!!!

        • Liz on August 25, 2015 at 5:34 pm

          Hi Jennifer
          It’s really interesting that you picked up on the stickers. To be honest they are ‘creeping me out’ every time I see one.

          I do understand about the abuse cycle

          The thing that does complicate things – in my head at least is that my H also has Aspergers. I’ve come to realize that his abuse isn’t so much caused by his AS but that the AS is another level of complexity. I used to share on AS sites but my H often seemed ‘very different’ from the typical AS person – and it used to confuse me .

          Now I realize that I’m dealing with both

          I think the stickers thing actually makes sense and probably isn’t meant to be creepy when you view it fro. The AS lense but of course I don’t have AS so my natural reaction was abd is of it being CREEPY.

          Uggh it’s so complex, apart from a my very broken childhood abd my total desire to please the Lord I struggle with the AS thing feeling guilty that if it was anything else any form of sickness I wouldn’t leave

          But recently things have cleared for me – partly because a couple of times I nearly step over the line of not being here anymore but also because all your stories and support have clearly shown me that I have been verbally emotional mentally sexually and a bit physically abused over the 33 year marriage – AS or not

          Trouble is obviously abusive partners react eye. You want to leave and the AS statistics during breakdown are really bad too, so I’m trying to take everything I know about him and me and I’m taking it one step at a time

          I really appreciate Kate your support and your ‘gut reactions’ they help keep me feeling ‘ ormal’ – well as normal as you can be after you have allowed yourself to be abused for most of your life

          Thanks heaps – apologies for any typos


          • Liz on August 25, 2015 at 5:39 pm

            That was supposed to be all your support lol – I should have turned up the brightness on the screen before I typed that. Sorry it’s just morning here and I didn’t sleep that well last night. At 4.30 my H wanted to talk about our future – well he wanted to get into bed as well – and I’d only got to sleep a couple of hours before that. I did say no but now I have to get up and face that decision then get myself to work. Sorry this was supposed to just be a typo update

          • Jennifer on August 25, 2015 at 8:28 pm

            I’m not buying the Asperger’s excuse. The truth is Asperger’s and abuse are NOT linked. Someone has conned you into tying the two concepts together. They should be ashamed of themselves!

          • Jennifer on August 25, 2015 at 8:34 pm

            How did it go today at work. You must be exhausted. To heck with kid gloves for his Aspergers! Where is the love for your PTSS (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome ) of 30 years. Don’t give in to his nonsense Liz! You got this girl.

  70. Leonie on August 25, 2015 at 7:17 am

    Robin, I am praying for you, I’m glad you met some great people. Take care & stay safe!

    • Jennifer on August 25, 2015 at 8:35 pm

      Robin, Did you like the new area enough to consider relocation?

      • Robin on August 25, 2015 at 11:09 pm

        Liking it isn’t the problem. When I filed my eldest daughter stood beside and with me, while my husband manipulated the other children. We are very close and have gone thru a lot together. I am very committed to her and her 4 children in this season of my life- but I am traveling often. There will be no reason after this week for me to bump into my ex anymore. I totally love my life awAy. 8i chose to attend a church 60 miles away to start a new life. My counselor is 90 miles away and I take one day off weekly to have a day to myself in a town with new people and new opportunities. I have made many deliberate choices that will spring me forward- forgetting what is behind me.

      • Robin on August 25, 2015 at 11:09 pm

        Liking it isn’t the problem. When I filed my eldest daughter stood beside and with me, while my husband manipulated the other children. We are very close and have gone thru a lot together. I am very committed to her and her 4 children in this season of my life- but I am traveling often. There will be no reason after this week for me to bump into my ex anymore. I totally love my life awAy. 8i chose to attend a church 60 miles away to start a new life. My counselor is 90 miles away and I take one day off weekly to have a day to myself in a town with new people and new opportunities. I have made many deliberate choices that will spring me forward- forgetting what is behind me.

  71. Robin on August 25, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Ladies thanks for your prayers . Our state is definitely blazing and not safe. We have been evacuAted and those that returned home Re now reevaluating as there is so much risk to stay in your homes now.

    • Robin on August 25, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      I also want to share a rid bit as one who left their abusive relationship and marriage and divorced. I do so to encourage you because it takes a lot of strength to stop the roller coaster and JUMP OFF!
      My divorce was final July 1 this year. Just to shpw you I have no regrets- I have to go to court this Thirsday because my ex husband always controls. -always is looking for how he can destroy me. This time he is trying for a lawsuit against me because I hired movers to move all his possessions to a storage unit so he could get them. He wanted to come to my home and have free reign in it for 7 days to move out. My lawyer said NO WAY. So I moved him out without telling him and he is RAGING. Ladies it never ends. Abusers- abuse.
      This is his last shot. He is going for the deepest he possibly can. My lawyer says he wl look like a fool in the courtroom . He doesn’t have a leg to stand on. So do u wAnt to hear what I would say?? Ladies get strong- learn to take care of yourself- stand up and have courage- and these continual fits abusers have, you’ll hardly notice– as Lundy Nancroft said so well BECAUSE YOU WILL HAVE MOVED ON.

      • Jennifer on August 25, 2015 at 8:41 pm

        Robin, It will be fun to hear how great you feel a year from now. I suggest you host a huge July 4th party next year to celebrate your 1st year of freedom from abuse! What better time to celebrate. I make a wicked pulled pork recipe if you need one. 🙂

        • Robin on August 25, 2015 at 10:55 pm

          Jen send that pulled pork recipe anytime. I do agree a year from now will be interesting.
          But honestly my life changed so much in the months after I filed over divorce, that I feel I’ve been celebrating everyday. He never took me in a vacation – and in the 2 years since I filed I’ve been to a resort in San Diego, Hawaii with my daughter and her family, and Oregon Coast several times as the beach is a healing place for me. Yes I have plenty of rough days but most have been celebration days!!!!!

      • Leonie on August 26, 2015 at 9:14 am

        Oh Robin, of course, these guys refuse to lose. My 1st husband refused to lose and kept taking me back to court for 8 years after he left (he had a girlfriend.) In the end he was proven to be a stalker and now if I bump into him in town he looks at the ground and walks the other way really fast. We did go to the brink of a trial to get there though. I have had peace from him for awhile now I had to fight hard for it. Ironically the husband I have just separated from helped me get through that.

        • Robin on September 1, 2015 at 9:15 pm

          So Leonie, and others want to hear my latest?? So my husband filed a court order against me- because he wouldn’t accept any of my terms for moving his possessions out so I hired some movers to put it all in a storage unit. When he found out he was RAGING!!!
          So he drags it to court but says it’s a three way phone call between lawyers and judge. I believe him and guess what? He appeared in court alone with judge and I stayed home thinking it was a phone call. The judge took his side and treated me like a harlot. He gave my husband permission to enter my house for 4 hours this Saturday. The judge also said I would pay attorney fees that it cost my husband. And because my husband said the movers treated his stuff poorly which they did not- I have to pay for any and all damage. My exhusband is a sociopath that always has to win- and when I went ahead of him and had his stuff moved out- he was dying to get me back. Why the judge believed him I’ll never know. But hear me out ladies- no matter what it cost me- it is so much better than living with him. I hate what he has done- but I hated worse living with a man that abused me and his children everyday. I will work thru this and come out stronger. Am I mad?? Yes I am. I want justice to prevail!!! And it will. Just not today.

          • Leonie on September 2, 2015 at 3:25 pm

            Robin, I feel for you. It sounds like someone tricked you so you wouldn’t be there to defend yourself. Who can be there with you when he comes in the home? Also, if all his stuff us in storage, why does he need to be in your house for 4 hours?
            My husband got a bail variation to come in with police and it is only to collect personal belongings. He got it the end if July and still hasn’t come in so that is hanging over my head. Apparently I can dispute anything that he thinks is his but isn’t & police won’t let him take it. We haven’t settled yet so he is restricted. I had to pay his costs on a motion already when the restraining order for our daughter went back to court – the lady at the shelter that was helping me understand called it ‘a return on a motion.’ The judge had everything upside down even suggesting that my older kids meet my ex every 2 weeks for dinner. He terroruzed all if them and they would never go. I laughed because he hated them so much it would be like a punishment for him. There was no reflection of truth or reality in her judgement! If you have a restraining order in place maybe police could be there for you when he comes in. I am praying for you.

  72. Finallyfree on August 25, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    No kidding, when I read your story it scares me and gives me flashbacks. You may have been in a dangerous situation for so long that you don’t even realize how dangerous it is. And once you get out and look back you will be praising God that He led you out.

    I was in a dangerous situation also, but didn’t think it was that big of a deal because I was in it for 27 years. I also struggled with trying to be a good wife and not leave without doing all I could that was mine to do first.

    My therapist saw the danger I was in and welcomed seeing him also individually. Then she saw us together. She was very wise in that she then explained she was having a small bible study in her office which she thought would help me. He would not agree to it until she very carefully introduced it. Then he agreed and I went. During that group, I met three others who were in similar situations and when they would hear what I was dealing with on a daily basis they would be so worried for me and I was oblivious. I could see their situations no problem, but not my own. It took time for me to clear just a bit of the fog.

    I made a vow to these ladies that the next time he would be with someone else (long history of it) I would ask him to leave.

    Well, not long after that, he did (about a month or two later). I called one of the ladies and said my usual, what am I going to do now? and she reminded me of what I said. She held me accountable. I had to stand up and tell him I wanted him to leave. And yes, in the abuse cycle, there is that lovely window of opportunity where he will do whatever you ask. That window gets shorter and shorter though, over time. So, I had to act fast and be very careful.

    I knew he would freak out, so I had to get some men he respected to help me and to be a shield around me so he would behave. My therapist also encouraged him to move out and see where we are in 30 days. He heard that in 30 days he was coming back in the house.

    In the meantime, I gathered via email and phone calls, 7 men who I knew he had some tiny bit of respect for and asked them to pray for him and meet with him so he could possibly come to his senses. Those men were helpful in that they did meet with him, and they knew so he behaved for the most part. We met with them together with their wives also. And THEY SAW HIM FOR WHO HE REALLY WAS. This was key. Some of them stopped seeing him altogether because he was so crazy in his thinking about me .
    So by that time, (6 months) I am AWAY from him and getting stronger, the fog is clearing!!! AND THERE IS NO WAY I need to go back into prison!! I understood the beginning of my worth. All this time though he was very frustrated that he was not getting his way – so it was still very dangerous for me. I had the men get him to promise he would stay away from the house so I could have a safe place. ALL my neighbors knew what was happening so it helped me be safer. If he was following me home, I would call my neighbor and ask him to be outside. That was enough to deter him!!

    As soon as he signed for an apartment, he came to me three days later in my daughter’s counseling appt and got down on his knees and said “I love you and I’m taking about three months sabbatical off work to get my family back together and I’m going to move back into the house.” Real meaning: I need to get you all back in line behind me!

    So I knew that was my chance and it was clear it was an open door from the Lord to say, “Don’t quit your job, you will need the money. i am divorcing you.” he was stunned.

    After the lawyer got involved, I had the lawyer deal with him and two and a half years later, I am divorced, with my kids somewhat intact, I have a new job, real friends, sold my house, living in an awesome rental and loving it.

    The fog will clear when you GET AWAY from him and it’s safe to discover who YOU really are and whose you really are. he does not own you. You are a gem and he has no right to treat you as property.

    All this to say: Get with women in similar situations so you can hear the truth about your own situation and you can help them. Also, TELL some men, some safe men and their wives so they can help you and confront him and stay with you through it. And get him out of the house. Pray about it and the Lord will show you what He wants you to do.

    You matter. Be wise, it will help you be safe.
    Praying for you!

    • Jennifer on August 25, 2015 at 8:57 pm

      I just loved your reply. I get it. I get it. I get it. It is so very key to have men involved. Often abuser are misogynists and see women as objects rather than people. I so love your community! Your neighborhood, your faith community, your bible study group and your friends. I am amazed by their love for you!! Wow! I also thought I was going to get out of my chair and clap when you told H that he had better keep his job because you want a divorce. Wow again! The fog has lifted!

      Please continue to blog with us. You encourage and inspire. 🙂

    • Liz on August 26, 2015 at 3:25 am

      Thank you for being supportive and sharing your story. I’m glad you are free. I hope I can be as strong as you.

      It’s funny my H doesn’t really have anyone he respects even a little these days ( he doesn’t really even have any friends) and as I also needed to leave church – ( it’s another story) there aren’t really any men I can turn to for support. But I can see how it would help.

      I really really appreciate everyone’s support – I’ve just got home from work – a day of trying to pretend my life isn’t falling apart. It is very comforting to have the support of all of you who REALLY UNDERSTAND

      My H has gone to his parents for tea so I am alone and feeling very vulnerable – probably just tired. I really hope the Lord shows me which road forward to take

    • Leonie on August 26, 2015 at 8:52 am

      Support from your church and men who are on to him and support you makes all the difference! I am so glad you are free and nice to hear you had great support! Thanks for sharing, that’s amazing.

  73. Broken on August 27, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Throughout my whole marriage, my husband has done things to me that I didn’t think were right but I didn’t have the “word” to describe what was happening. I felt it was my duty to do whatever he wanted and would just cry during sex or go to a different place. It always hurt. I would tell him, but he never changed. We were both virgins so I thought it was us getting used to each other sexually but flash forward 8 years and there has been no growth. No changing in what he would do. A few months ago he “sexually violated” me…as he puts it. I didn’t want to have sex. I said no over and over. He even did some things intentionally in front of our children (7 and 2). He later said in counseling, he was trying to be a “bad guy”. I felt disgusting. Like a whore. Once the kids went to bed, he finished what he started no matter how many times I said no or that I wasn’t interested. The counselor said he verbally pinned me down. A few weeks before that I was in the shower and he opened the door and started touching me down there. I didn’t ask him to do it, nor did I want him to. I didn’t think he had the right to just touch me like that whenever he wanted. He said he did have the right, but maybe not now under our circumstances (we are in serious counseling because our marriage is failing). It has been four months since he raped me, thats what I call it. He can’t bear the word rape, so I go with sexual violation. We had our first couples counseling on Monday (we have been going to the same guy individually for a year) and the counselor, who knows everything, said he made a knucklehead mistake. Sexually violating your wife isn’t a knucklehead mistake, right? It isn’t like he left the toilet seat up and I fell inside! He had an agenda- to have sex with me. No matter what. I haven’t healed. I wake up seeing his hand coming after me in the shower or I see the dress color I was wearing when he forced sex and wake up in full panic. How could the counselor minimize what I went through? How can my husband? I know what I went through was horrible. It was traumatic for me and opened my eyes to the horrible ways he treated me sexually before I had the “word” to describe it. I now have the words to describe what I’ve been through our whole marriage. It is empowering, but I feel like I am going to have to act like those moments are just normal marital mistakes and I have to forgive and move on but how do you forgive and then act like something so intimate and precious wasn’t completely DESTROYED? I can forgive, but how do people expect me to have an intimate relationship with him again? I can’t comprehend it. I can’t fathom hugging him. I can’t even look him in the eyes. It is too intimate. If a woman was sexually violated, no one would expect her to have a close relationship with her offender, right? If a child was molested, they wouldn’t expect that child to continue to hang out with the person who molested them right? So, what do I do? Is it just a knucklehead mistake and I move on? …

    • Vivienne on August 31, 2015 at 4:33 am

      Hi Broken,

      I was very touched by your story, not least because I experienced the same things: crying myself to sleep after robotic sex so that I learned to understand what it must be like for a prostitute i.e. sex without intimacy. I too had no words to describe what was happening to me and because I had children to care for, in an isolated and foreign setting, I went to another place mentally in order to cope but this culminated in my having a complete emotional breakdown that my H like to call my being “menopausal”. He adds insult to injury!

      Many years ago now, and after I had received counselling for what I thought were “my issues”, I went to bed one night but was disturbed by my husband’s portable phone making a noise after which my H got up and went to the bathroom (leaving his phone on the bedside table). I checked his phone which was lit up showing a photograph of my lower regions. I knew I had to confront him and did so when he returned to the bedroom. His response? He said he had every right to take photo’s of me, I was his wife! And he saw no harm in it at all. I told him that firstly I was not in agreement with him taking photographs like that and secondly I am not an object or a possession he can do what he likes with. I forgave him, despite the fact he was not repentant, I forgave for my benefit.- he still has to face God one day.

      I have also been violated while sleeping……I pause here, I am beginning to remember stuff I had forgotten. Suffice to say, Broken, I share your pain and were it not for my children and God’s spirit strengthening me, I would not be with him still ….but I am planning a departure, either his or mine…not sure yet which.

      I know my H is into pornography, maybe yours is/was too, and until they stop, repent (true heartfelt with tears repentance) there seems to be little hope of reconciliation and there shouldn’t be; I realise that now, but circumstances for each of us is different and we navigate storms in different ways to survive.

      From my own experience now, I took way too long to share with others what was actually happening in my marriage; it was kept between us and counsellors. Again, because of being in a foreign setting, and isolated from the church, I allowed myself to believe that I was a witness for Christ in this place (something my husband actively encouraged by the way) and therefore kept my personal issues hidden – this was a big mistake on my part. Someone once said that with Christ we need to,do the opposite of what the world does by putting our worst foot forward – then healing can come.

      I do hope your counsellors will take a confrontational attitude with you H and assist you both to come to a better place relationally. May the Lord bless you richly.

    • Liz on September 1, 2015 at 1:26 am

      Hi Broken
      Thank you for sharing your story, it sounds so familiar – even the shower episode a few days before the ‘rape’. When mine happened I had said no for a whole weekend ( our counselor told me I could say no) – he had even got up on the Monday dressed and got in the car before he came back and forever me to say yes – so it ‘wasn’t rape’ I said the yes but it didn’t make any difference something tore inside me like my emotions tore in two ( if that’s even possible) and I could see the word ‘violated’ stamped across my forehead. Like you I’ve never been the same since.

      It isn’t nothing, no matter what anyone says – it is rape and it’s harder to deal with because it is with your ‘intimate life partner’ – that’s what the books say. But society doesn’t understand – my Padtor told me to go home and do my wifely duties more diligently.

      For me this all happened years ago but I still struggle with it.

      You sound like you have a very young family. If your H can’t understand can you get help to leave while you’re still young and your children are young. It’s not healthy for you or your children and it’s up to you but from what I’ve eventually learnt it’s not Godly to stay if it’s not safe emotionally sexually physically or spiritually.

      Read what you can and listen to people like Leslie and come to your own conclusions but be careful of others including counsellors who don’t get it. The ladies on here are so kind. I can’t get over how many of the stories shared I relate to. I always thought there was something fundamentally wrong with me.

      My H has just read Patricia Evans book about whether husbands can change and it is the first time in over 10 years of trying to get help and several different counsellors that he can finally admit he has been abusive to me. What difference that will make long term I don’t know, but I’ve had 33 really tuff years.

      I hope you find a good way forward for you. Are you in Keslue’s conquer group, they were talking about EMDR helping for PTSD – I haven’t tried it but I’m wondering now if it could help me get past the rape and other things so I can start to heal. It may be something for you to check into. It’s hard to be raped without ending up with Post Traumatic Stress and or depression

      Hugs, hope Hod shows you His grace, mercy and love xx

  74. Leonie on September 1, 2015 at 12:16 am

    Broken, thanks for sharing your story. Could you call an assaulted women’s hotline or go to or call a woman’s shelter for support. You were raped and it sounds like your counsellor is minimizing it. Maybe you need to go stay with your parents for awhile

  75. Leonie on September 1, 2015 at 12:21 am

    Sorry that didn’r finish – I meant to say – or go somewhere safe for awhile to take a break from the pressure of having to continue to be intimate with your husband. It is too bad he doesn’t like the word “rape” but it sounds like that is the truth of what happened.

  76. janet on September 1, 2015 at 10:25 am

    what I have done to prevent myself from being treated as a toy or object? I say no. my husband is not open to a healthy dialogue. I also stopped believing the lies that are in the world and in the churches regarding sex between married couples. some Christian books say we are to give into our husband needs as submission and that our husbands sexual needs are greater than a womans sexual needs. all of this information is false and meant to oppress women and elevate men. I was created to desire and experience great sex in a moral godly way. the end. if my husband isn’t on the same page. it si not going to happen that way. church leaders listen to this and stop spreading oppressive messages. so what I am doing about being a toy or object is simply to believe the truth and speak the truth and act in the truth.

  77. Hopeful on September 1, 2015 at 10:32 am

    Curious on what your thoughts are on this:

    Sunday I expressed a need to my husband for physical affection such as a hug, kiss, some sign that he knows I am present by a touch. I especially feel comforted by this when he leave for the day or comes home. He has yet to do this. This morning I gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek for helping me with a flat tire. he responds to me like I am a fired…looks away, wont put his face near mine, past me on the back like I am a dog or he is burping an infant. I am crushed. I took a big leap Sunday by being vulnerable with a need, and he continues on like I don’t matter.

    • Valerie on September 1, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Hopeful, I have said this here before but it is what comes to mind as I read your post. I mistakenly thought that my husband’s nasty/evil behavior was him acting out of character. Similarly I thought when he was seemingly kind (i.e. an absence of overt abuse for a brief time) that this was his true nature. I kept myself on the hamster wheel for 20 years trying to get the “good guy” to come out. Why wasn’t he acting himself and so unlike himself so often, I wondered.

      The truth of the matter is that his nasty/evil behavior WAS his true self. I was beating my head against a wall all those years trying to bring about more natural feelings but this is in fact what he WAS giving me. He was acting out of character when he was decent. It was only a way for him to set me up for more get me off kilter enough that I would be more open to his manipulation. Peppering just enough decency for me to believe what I hoped was true- that he was actually decent.

      It was excruciating for me to realize that my husband’s abusive actions toward me were an accurate reflection of him and how he felt about me. Well…in actuality he didn’t “feel” anything for me.

      We naturally attribute desires and motivations to others that we have ourselves. We don’t want animosity or tension in the marriage….I mean, who would, right?? Well, abusive people don’t have the same goals as healthy people. They DON’T desire connection. That took me a long time to accept and come to grips with. I kept thinking there was this scared, emotionally fractured man behind all that evil toward me. He may be disordered, but he isn’t scared. The kinder I was to him the more abusive he got. Sure he let me know that I was acceptable when I was his doormat but that brief time of acceptability was only met with more insidious abuse.

      I am disgusted at his treatment of you. You gave him a hug and kiss in part because it is what you long for. You hoped for reciprocity, sort of like smiling at someone new you meet. You feeling like a dog is painfully familiar to me. The words prostitute and refrigerator are also terms that came to mind when I saw myself through his eyes.

      What you’re longing for is normal and healthy. His response to you is not. Period.

      • Hopeful on September 2, 2015 at 7:21 am


        Thank you for your comment. I have read it twice.

        He hurt me again last night accusing me of ” starting a fight where there is none.” We have a wedding invitation that needs to b responded to. It is his neice who is getting married. The last big family event was his mothers funeral in November 2014. He would not allow me to sit with him and our boys, nor attend the celebration meal afterward. I sobbed the whole way home. I am waiting for him to tell me that I am not welcomed to the wedding. I’m Hate him right now. I tried to hug him last night and got a very wimpy response,. I wish he would leave.

        • Hopeful on September 2, 2015 at 7:24 am

          I should have added that I attemp to talk to him last night about responding and also planning something for the long weekend. He ignored me so I told him that I felt like he was blowing me off….he does not like to be confronted about his behavior….it’s always bounc d back to me as the wrong one.

          • Valerie on September 2, 2015 at 9:57 am

            The things you write regarding your increasing awareness are things nearly identical to things I wrote in my own journal as my awareness increased. There is so much chaos and confusion they create that it is hard to find stability, let alone patterns. Yet time and time again I found that his response toward me was consistently inconsistent with healthy (or even normal) behavior. I had thoughts of wanting to die at times because it felt so hopeless. Nothing I did changed my circumstances and at the time I thought that leaving in any sense would anger God and show I was not His follower. Feeling so stuck and helpless is what made me not want to live any more. But…God delivered me and that all without any guilt!! 🙂 Praise God!

            When you say he doesn’t like being confronted and it always bounces off his back to you that is exactly what I wrote in my journals over the course of several years. Something in me made a mind shift from what “should be” to “what is” and I stopped trying to get him to be kinder and instead worked with what I knew to be true from years of experience. My pleading and begging stopped and I replaced that with assertiveness. Confronting made no difference so I mostly stopped confronting and instead put up boundaries. I called out things for what they were, no longer expecting him to change but saying it as a way for me to not lose my voice and for him to have no excuse to say at some point that he didn’t know these things were bothering me. I also changed my interactions with him based on what I knew to be truth- that he did not have good intentions toward me and was not out for my good. Therefore, I stopped sharing things with him that would make me more vulnerable to his abuse. I no longer shared any dreams/desires with him because I had learned that he would either put me down for having them or do what he could to make sure they didn’t come to fruition. I stopped telling him some of the things he did that hurt me because I saw how he was actually fueled by my pain. Some of the things he did randomly that I knew were meant to hurt me I showed no reaction to because I knew from experience that if I shared those things it would likely increase the frequency of occurrence. I did my best to not show pain in his presence and instead when he wasn’t around I would have good cry sessions to release my pain.

            What I was not prepared for was how he had been methodically and strategically going to mutual friends behind my back in order to discredit me. Lying and twisting truth (which is still lying) in order to set me up as unstable basically. When they see that their traditional tactics are no longer effective they implement new tactics. If they see the writing is on the wall they will show no mercy in discrediting you- especially if they are a narcissist who can not risk his false self being outed.

            Toward the end (and even to this day) I am careful with what I say to him because I saw how he would quote me but attribute those words as his own thinking to others so he was seen as God-fearing, insightful into the relationship as well as empathetic. It is downright creepy. So now I don’t give him anything that he could potentially use to manipulate others.

            I hear a righteous anger stirring in you and I tend to think that is healthy. Not being an angry person, per se, but anger at injustice. Not a vengeful anger or one that wants to get even but one that internally screams that the situation is not right!! We become our own advocate, I think, in the midst of that righteous anger and begin looking for ways to protect justice- in this case for ourselves. I think that kind of anger is a sign that we are ready to take the next step from feeling hopeless and stuck.

  78. Amelia on September 1, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Leslie, I have been married to my husband for over 28 years and the last 13 years or so he has had erectile disfunction due to health issues. He has never been a real “talker” in our marriage and when I try to speak my truth to him or discuss the issue, he gets defensive or responds with “I can’t please you”… “you don’t love me”… “you don’t want me.” As a wife, I want to do my ‘duty’ but the only way he can be pleased is with oral sex. I almost feel like a prostitute because we have no real relationship outside of the bedroom. I am resentful. He has never left me without satisfaction when we are having sex. He can please me with oral sex and he doesn’t seem to mind doing that at all, so it is not like he is the only one getting pleased. However, when he wants to have sex with me I rarely want to do it because I know that ultimately I will have to give him oral sex. I have told him how I want more intimacy and communication in our marriage outside of the bedroom because I don’t feel connected to him. I don’t even feel like a friend to him. I just feel like we are cohabiting. I believe that in order for me to feel more passion and intimacy our relationship, how we are outside the bedroom would need to change. When I speak to him about that, his response is “I’m just that way, I don’t talk.” What I hear from that (in my mind) is “I am not willing to change to make you feel more intimate with me but I want you to fulfill my needs anyway.” What else can I do to speak my truth in this or what boundaries can I set to make this easier to deal with?

    • Rebecca on September 6, 2015 at 9:22 am

      Amelie, I have been married thirty years the last two separated. I knew from my honeymoon night that my husband didn’t want me sexually. During the good years it was once every month or every other month. He didn’t want to have vaginal intercourse, wanted a blow job, would hold my head down until I gagged. Always made me feel inadequate because I didn’t swallow. (Sorry to be so graphic!) He would use the f word and p word during sex. Never once did he see me around the house (naked or dressed) and grab me with desire. I am fit and told not unattractive. Guys make passes at me at work. I never nagged, never had boundaries. Always begged for love and affection. No affection-kisses,hugs,”I love you’s” nothing, totally un affectionate. Raging anger directed at me frequently, verbal abuse, no eye contact, sitting in the dark alone. My father was a pastor-told to pray harder, God was using this in my life… As did all the counsellors over the years. Until I coached with Leslie! Spiritual abuse! He knew how to put on the show at church and around others. Affectionate only in public. He is mad that I won’t go to church with him now. I have searched and searched for answers. I found the book intimacy anorexia and married and alone. It so perfectly describes my marriage. Also my daughter caught him with porn years ago. She told my dad but they didn’t tell me! After much research I have discovered that an affect of porn is premature ejaculation (due to masturbating), number one scene in porn is a woman having her head held down until she gagged, and not wanting sex with spouse. I have filed for divorce as my husband dropped out of support group. He just says he is healed. Says he loves me and wants me back but won’t do the work. I am watching for change and dated him over the last two years. Amelie ask God to reveal truth and what you should do. God has been faithful to me. I have been blessed with two kids who love the Lord and are behind me. My parents now see too and regret their advice all those years. Amelie get help this is not normal! I had been suicidal, depressed and almost had an affair. It’s abuse! God loves you more than he hates divorce!

      • Leslie Vernick on September 6, 2015 at 7:03 pm

        Thanks Rebecca for sharing your experience.

  79. Tanya on September 1, 2015 at 11:57 am

    Thank you Leslie for being so Biblically honest and letting women like me, understand that as a Christian wife I am to be heard, respected, and treated with concern. Ive heard it all before in church counseling & a few others to keep “praying” for my husband, & for me to be submissive and gentle, and quite frankly I began getting depressed. Until I read your book Emotionally Destructive marriage i felt you writing pages out of my life, I felt encouraged knowing that I wasnt crazy!! I am so glad you encourage toughness with love, without feeling powerless for women. So often I didnt think I could stand up for myself regarding sex, even though my body was trying to signal me it was harmful to my spirit. I know now Much more of caring for myself, Thank you Leslie for your words of wisdom

  80. angelfree on September 1, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    May I say after reading all the stories and comments here, that it sounds like many are on the verge of divorce, or have gotten divorced over this issue. I have had my grey areas in sexuality. I do not condemn my husband for his need for sexual excitement. And, perhaps others could explore the topic with their husbands of what happened as they grew up in our highly sexualized society. Many are shown porn by older brothers, friends etc. It could be that your husband was an innocent bystander who got roped in. There could be a need for some compassion here and some wisdom as the wise women in the Lord that we are. Besides, Let’s face it, sex is suppose to be fun.
    I see evidence here that women are feeling objectified. That can be bad. But, women actually have a lot of sexual power that they hold. Hold your power. Talk to your men when the time is right, such as a much needed weekend together. They are not the inhuman beasts I see written about here that need to be gotten away from in every case. In many cases there is a need for simple human understanding and communication. Be well

    • Valerie on September 1, 2015 at 10:26 pm

      angelfree, with disappointing or difficult marriages (as Leslie points out in her book) your advice might work, but not in destructive marriages in which there is a partner who is bent on controlling the other and has NO desire to understand, change or repent. I had the mindset that I could change my husband’s abusive behavior toward me if I was only more patient, willing to overlook offenses and just prayed for him more. Try harder…try harder. You can grow up a puppy to adulthood among a family of cats, you can give him catnip but you will never make him meow no matter how much you train him, give him treats or show him this is what you want him to do. It just isn’t natural. I’m only saying this as an example as to how instinctive abusive behavior is to an abuser. Please understand an abusive person does not desire to change or have a healthy relationship. Therefore speaking to him as though this were true is pointless and fruitless. You are telling him how to better reach a goal he simply does not have.

      Talking does not help the kind of men we are talking about with regard to abuse. The purpose of talking is only to set boundaries because abusive men *do not desire to change*. The sexual issues discussed here are only a snapshot of the multi-faceted levels of abuse that are occurring in many of these relationships. It isn’t limited to sexual abuse. There is a persistent and pervasive pattern of degrading, minimizing and ignoring their partner’s pain. Many women on this post alone have indicated they have in fact tried multiple times in multiple ways to talk to their husbands. Yet the response to their pain heard throughout the stories can be summed up by saying making their spouse aware of their pain yields no change in the abusive behavior.

      If talking calmly and reasonably at just the right time would yield positive results in most cases it would seem that we would have less instances of war between countries. I’m not intending to be sarcastic but to show that there is a mindset that is distinctively different than the model you present.

      Like I said, I thought the same things you wrote (even up to a few years ago before I understood the abusive mindset). Unless you have experienced someone bent on evil it is difficult to wrap your head around someone whose motivations are markedly different than general society. I just felt the need to respond to what you said out of fear for others reading who are in abusive marriages. Reading books and listening to (other) counselors saying just such things is what kept me oppressed for many years when my gut was telling me otherwise. Now I know that scripture aligns with what my gut was telling me. When I read these posts I do not hear abusive men being labeled as inhumane beasts but what I do read is that how these women are being treated. God does not deal lightly with evil.

      “Speak up for those who have no voice, for the justice of all who are dispossessed.” Prov 31:8
      “For the LORD is righteous, he LOVES justice; the upright will see his face.” Psalm 11:7 (emphasis mine)

      • Diana on September 10, 2015 at 12:09 am

        Thank you Valerie for your well constructed reply to my post. What you say is really right on. I am a first time reader and just wrote my first response to this. I have since then continued reading, and been wishing I could take my previous post back. I am sorry I have it there now. I look forward to learning from the wisdom here in these posts. Thanks for setting me straight! You did it beautifully! Blessings!

  81. Finallyfree on September 1, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Many got divorced or are on the verge of divorce because this issue of sexuality is a symptom of a much larger, deeper problem in viewing women as worthy of human dignity.
    No one is condemning anyone for a need for sexual excitement – that is so not the issue here.
    Sex? yeah that’s easy. What about intimacy? Now that is the issue.

    Some men, many men in so-called relationships with the women on this site are inhuman beasts or rather, given over to a reprobate mind because of a lifetime of choices to sin instead to live righteously. Yes, some have been abused, some have been shown porn at a young age and got roped in at a young age to all this mess. AND we all have choices to make as far as how we will respond to what happens in our lives. Some men need to be left and it’s the most loving thing we could ever do for them.
    You can talk to some men, actually it sounds like most of the men if not all the men associated with the women on this site and talk and talk and talk when the time is “right” or wrong or indifferent and they will not hear because they have chosen not to be that guy – you know that guy – the one who just needs simple human understanding and communication. THAT guy is not who we are talking about.
    Men like these guys made choices to be who they are and have had no consequences for treating people (women) as objects.
    I am so tired of people not getting that these people are sick and will take all of another person and still want more. The answer is NOT try another conference, try a little love and understanding in the bedroom. No. You will be devoured.
    I could not just let this one go. When the women here are in a tough spot, dealing with men they are married to raping them, and taking pictures of them while they are sleeping and abusing them in all kinds of horrible ways, the answer is not just some simple understanding. No way.
    Each of us has had tough garbage to deal with because we had our own abuse as kids, we had our own distorted view of our worth or lack thereof and that’s why we chose men like this. But to say that in many cases there is a need for human understanding and communication is insensitive, invalidating, and minimizing the agony many of us have been through or are currently dealing with.

    Be well? I am well because I got away and now am healing.

  82. Finallyfree on September 1, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    You are not ever going to believe anything he says now, right? Please realize who you are dealing with. Justice will prevail. And it is prevailing, you just can’t see it now. But the Lord is preparing FUN for you.

    The other day I went for a run in this beautiful national park and it was astounding. I was so blown away by it all and the kindness of God – you know why? Because HE KNEW before that park was even made that I would be there that day and time to enjoy it AND He had me in mind when He made it.! So sweet!

    You are in the terrible phase of it, yes. But you will get to the other side, girl. You will. Hang in there. Be wise. Don’t trust ANYTHING he says.

    When he comes to the house, have others there with you. NEVER be alone with him.

    I haven’t even driven in a car with my ex for the last three years. It has helped me be safe and to keep my perspective.

    The Lord is FOR you – He is advocating for you. It will go well for you.

  83. Robin on September 1, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    I likely left out a few things . Havnt talked to the man in three years. My lawyet told me he wanted a three way phone conversation to save court costs. I just assumed that was a good idea, I too have not been in a car with him in three years. And when he comes here this weekend there wl be three males and one female owing him around. Yep I wouldn’t dream of being alone with him.

  84. Kelly on September 1, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    Leslie, you have been such a huge help to me in your blogs, books, and teachings! What healing, reading this and all these comments …so hard to talk about, even in counseling! I was sent a great article on 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 the other day by Jonathan Parnell and wondered if I could send you all the link I have always hated how this Scripture is normally one-sided. This interpretation has really helped me see that God does value women, too.

  85. Finallyfree on September 1, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Bravo, Robin!!!

  86. Vivienne on September 2, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    OK, so I my H today begins to talk about the need to settle our assets. He begins by saying that if we sell our UK home, we could completely finish our home in France and enjoy ourselves, that he is now 71 and should no longer be working at his age, didn’t I realise that our UK. home was an investment, for our retirement? I said, oh yeah, I realise that but we don’t have a relationship so I need somewhere to live and so do you so we each need a home. As for him needing to work now, this is a consequence of him wanting to retire to France, just when I am signing up to higher education to obtain new skills precisely for this time in our lives, but he wanted to maintain control over me so moved me and the family to France to isolate me. Some consequences are rough.

    So, the discussion then revolves around why we no longer have a relationship. he says because I will not let go of the past, and I say that is because he refuses to be accountable, or repentant for his poor behaviour. My head was banging on that brick wall again. I confronted him about forging my signature enabling him to put land we jointly own up for sale – he flat out denied it, then said he told me he had done it and that my memory was playing up. I told him that was a blatant lie, I was out of the country when the document was signed, and I think I would remember him telling me he had forged my signature! I also confronted him about his abusive behaviour, how that hurt me and the children. He said I was abusive to him and when I asked how he said this “because you snore and have done for many years so that I can’t sleep” I told him if that were true, all he had to do was request that I sleep in the spare room on occasion to allow him to sleep. I mean, come on, snoring does not harm his person-hood! So lame.

  87. elizabeth on September 2, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    I am floored and appalled and horrified by what I read in your posts… and mostly because I see my own life in so many of your lives– the “crazy-making” behaviors of a narcissistic husband that made me question my worth as a woman, my validity as a human, my position as a Daughter of the King, my ability as a mother of 5 children… it goes on and on. You all know the story– different degrees of the abuse but the same MO from ego-driven, selfish and evil men. It’s depressing and disillusioning at first, but then I pray and ask our Father who LOVES us to deliver us, to protect us, to empower us. Gather others you believe may be suffering too– obviously this is a problem way more prevalent than I realized–we must offer the comfort to others in the same way we ourselves have received comfort. 2 Cor. 1:4. We are drifting in an ocean as if we were thrown overboard– so let’s reach out and find each other, pull each other into the lifeboats, lash our boats together and keep encouraging and comforting each other.
    Love and peace to you all,

    • Hopeful on September 3, 2015 at 5:43 am

      This is beautiful.

      Thank you

  88. Robin on September 3, 2015 at 1:04 am

    Leonie, thanks for your note – relating our experiences. I appreciate how you look for others to build up, when they’ve been knocked down. I’m down but not to stay. I tried to get the judge to escort my exhusband and he refused saying I was too emotional and unreasonable. I have 4 people who will be in house with me. My counselor and I worked thru some of the possible issues that could come up today- and we both agreed that it was one of the most difficult sessions we’ve had together. Thank you Leonie.

    • Robin on September 3, 2015 at 1:05 am

      I meant have police escort exhusband – sorry

    • Liz on September 3, 2015 at 5:16 am

      Hi Robin
      Thinking of you.
      Sending lots of hugs
      Hope you get through this ok so you can get on with the rest of your life xx

      • Robin on September 4, 2015 at 9:46 pm

        Hi ladies– much thanks to many of you for your notes and concern. It’s been a very tuff week. I’m still reeling, but I have a great support team, that are standing with me. None of us can ever think there is not a COST to standing up to abuse. My counselor refers to it as suffering for Righteousness. I know it is worth it, every second. And I want you to know that the enemy has been chasing me and creating sleepless nights, extreme sleeplessness, intense nervousness. I have not seen my exhusband up close for a couple years .
        But Greater is He who is in US Than he who is in the world. I covet your prayers tomorrow 3-7 . May God be fully present and in control of everything we say and do!!!!!!

        • Leonie on September 4, 2015 at 10:53 pm

          Robin, I will be praying and thinking of you tomorrow. Thanks for letting us know. If God is for us, who can be against us. I will pray that God will surround you with his peace and presence and that he with strengthen your heart after this blow you’ve had to deal with this week.
          The Lord himself will go before you and he will be with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.
          Deuteronomy 31:8

          • Leonie on September 6, 2015 at 5:57 am

            Hi Robin, let us know how it went.

        • Hopeful on September 5, 2015 at 6:08 am

          Keeping you wrapped in prayer.

  89. Robin on September 6, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Thank you Leonie for asking. It was not good. Been in counsellors office all morning in therapy and recovery.
    My ex husband pulled up 4 vehicles to my house full of family I was alienated from since I filed for divorce. It was obvious he wasn’t there for possessions, but more control, dominance, and persecution. He very angrily said ‘we’re here’. I said only you will be allowed in- we have your things in den. He said we will go thru every inch of this house and yes we all will come in. He said he had a court order to bring whomever he wanted. I said show me the order. He said he didn’t have it with him. There were even young grandchildren there. Broke my heart. I had 4 people inside my house to help and support. They called it a mob. Got my counselor on phone and she talked to my main mover and helper and he went out and told my ex he could only come in with his brother, no one else. He also told him how inappropriate this is. My ex turned and said he would take me to court.
    I was very traumatized to see so many members of my family stand against me. All my husbands possessions were put in storage. There was minimal things in house and yet he could have grabbed them, but chose not too so he could continue the abuse and suffering. What kind of a man dies this to his children and grandchildren. I am better than I was last night but this will be a long journey. We are praying his sociopathy behaviors will not go to court against me. It could cost me thousands of it does for damages he is claiming and continuing attorney fees. In addition my lawyer is done with my case. I completely need the Lord to be my provision.

    • Robin on September 6, 2015 at 11:25 pm

      That’s the negative I wrote above.
      I would be forgetting something very important if I didn’t share all the Lord provided . I had 3 very faithful prayer warriors praying minute to minute for my protection.
      I had 4 friends in my home to back me if needed, and loved me thru every minute of the mob. It was obvious the Lord had in mind that my ex would not march in as if he owned the place although he definitely felt entitled to do so. I had a young man here way more mature beyond his age not only willing but delighted in stopping the chaos planned for my destruction. I have fought abuse for 30 years but never had a team put together so well and so strongly- to put a stopping place for my ex. I am very grateful that God loves and cares for me so much, and always is preparing the way, as we keep our eyes on Him!!!!

  90. wilma on September 7, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Just thinking, going forward, it would be good to video this type of insanity to present to a judge and ask for a restraining order.

    • Robin on September 7, 2015 at 2:59 pm

      I agree Wilma. But the judge on this case has been against me from day one. I did file a temporary restraining order before the first hearing- after I filed for divorce and this judge removed it and put an equal restraining order on the two of us saying neither party could go toward the other. This judge is leaning towards my husband, from day one. We requested another judge before First Settlement Conference and our request was refused.

  91. Leonie on September 7, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    Robin, your ex obviously still feels entitled to abuse you. I wish there was a fast and hard lesson to get them to drop the vendetta and realize you get to move along now too. I guess he needs to learn the hard way. I am realizing that is the thing that my current husband needs to figure out too – he is no longer entitled to abuse me or any of us anymore – I refuse it.
    If your husband’s lawsuit is frivolous and all about ego I would not rehire a lawyer – you already have your basic separation agreement (and it sounds like it was a good one and your lawyer took care of you well) & divorce. Someone needs to call his bluff – he is not as powerful as he thinks he is – nothing brings them down as badly as losing does.
    When my ex (1st husband) wouldn’t stop taking me to court I was faced with the reality of it all – it is very hard but I had to follow through and we went to the brink of a trial over spousal support. I said to myself that I had no more money for lawyers (- even if I got chewed up & spit out by the system) because I didn’t and just kept plodding through – responding to each motion & conference … & getting all the financial stuff laid bare … no matter what – he went berserk throwing money around and trying to crush me by any & every means he could think of – he had a private investigator follow me … to & from my friends house, to & from the kids piano lessons and other activities, while I was putting the garbage out in my PJ’s … all stupidity. A judge sided with me and decided that I had a right to move along with my life … And he was already paid out as part of the final settlement … He slowly found out that the court wasn’t going to do to me what he wanted them to do.
    Now instead of intimidating me he looks at the ground and walks away quickly if we accidentally meet somewhere! But it was painful & took years to get to to that point.

    • Robin on September 7, 2015 at 6:04 pm

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts Leonie. Sounds like you have had some miserable times too! Yes my ex definitely is entitled and wants to abuse further- it’s as if he just wants to linger on in destroying my life. After this is over I doubt there will be anything he can do as our children are grown and the finances were settled in Settlement Court. He is angry and raging because he can’t control and dominate as he has done so well in the past. My friends thought it was brilliant to move his possessions into storage, taking control away from him, since he was so disagreeable. But I’m not sure that was a wise move now- and perhaps one I made out of fear. His reaction could cost me thousands of dollars in attorney fees and damages. Friends keep asking me how will we know if he creates his own damages to the things in storage- just to make me pay?? This is hardball for sure. I appreciate your suggestions- definitely depending on the Lord for wisdom.

      • Leonie on September 8, 2015 at 9:56 am

        I thought it was brilliant too that you not let him back into the home & put his stuff in storage!! My ex always accuses me of having a lot if anger but it’s actually him that has the anger and rage problem. I just needed to get distance from him and his problems. I have no desire to damage his stuff – just deliver it to him so we can both move along and be finished with the nonsense.

    • Robin on September 7, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      Leonie, when you say you responded to each motion and conference can u give details since u did it without a lawyer.?? I see wisdom in that because the divorce is final and I don’t see a lawyer is going to be much help. But it’s very likely my ex husband will mob the courtroom with family members that will stand with him. I’m really fighting a losing battle. Did you file motions- or just responded to your husbands?? Did u ever do more or were you just d fending yourself and representing yourself in court??

  92. Leonie on September 8, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Hi Robin,
    I was defending myself. I was going online and using the court family law rules and writing my own documents & answers in response to his. There are some free resources – like using a lawyer in the family law information centre. On my birthday in 2007 he served me with papers to drop spousal support – I had just gotten an agreement in place in the spring of 2006 after separating in Nov. 2000 (I had already been in court a lot getting through the initial separation agreement, equalization & settlement) I was in college taking a 2 year program from 2004 – 2006 and almost every semester, I had to be in court the day after final exams – he was relentless and punishing and it was very hard. Sometimes I wonder how I got through it.
    He was hiding income and paying his new wife although she didn’t work for him but had her own full time emmoyment and lying about it to hide more income … But I thought he had a lot of nerve to do that in a year that we were going through court because he had to lay bare all his financial documents so everything he had done was right there on paper in front of me. He wanted all my finances and so he had to provide his too. (Mine were pretty basic & straightforward) Somehow he thought he was invincible and could hide stuff, it was quite shocking actually how presumptuous he was. He made it no secret that he would use the court to destroy me and I think his judgement was really clouded by the craziness of it all & his vendetta. I think he got careless and forgot to mind his own P’s and Q’s – he had always gotten away with his subtle & hidden abuse of me and was feeling quite emboldened and invincible by the time we were going through this.
    I made mistakes too, one time going to a pre trial conference not even realizing that is what it was (a court clerk asked me why I filed a case conference brief when I should have filed a pre-trial brief !! I was horrified) The court was very helpful and there was a lawyer I could speak to about an hour before my court times (duty counsel), they would advise me too. It was very stressful, my ex started going off on all kinds of irrelevant tangents, the end result was in my favour but it took almost a whole year and endless court appearances to get there. He spent so much money and was convinced he would decimate me but the reality still stood – I was still a single mom with 3 young children and he still had to pay support.

  93. Leonie on September 8, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Hi Robin,
    I was defending myself. I was going online and using the court family law rules and writing my own documents & answers in response to his. There are some free resources – like using a lawyer in the family law information centre. On my birthday in 2007 he served me with papers to drop spousal support – I had just gotten an agreement in place in the spring of 2006 after separating in Nov. 2000 (I had already been in court a lot getting through the initial separation agreement, equalization & settlement) I was in college taking a 2 year program from 2004 – 2006 and almost every semester, I had to be in court the day after final exams – he was relentless and punishing and it was very hard. Sometimes I wonder how I got through it.
    He was hiding income and paying his new wife although she didn’t work for him but had her own full time employment and lying about it to hide more income … But I thought he had a lot of nerve to do that in a year that we were going through court because he had to lay bare all his financial documents so everything he had done was right there on paper in front of me. He wanted all my finances and so he had to provide his too. (Mine were pretty basic & straightforward) Somehow he thought he was invincible and could hide stuff, it was quite shocking actually how presumptuous he was. He made it no secret that he would use the court to destroy me and I think his judgement was really clouded by the craziness of it all & his vendetta. I think he got careless and forgot to mind his own P’s and Q’s – he had always gotten away with his subtle & hidden abuse of me and was feeling quite emboldened and invincible by the time we were going through this.
    I made mistakes too, one time going to a pre trial conference not even realizing that is what it was (a court clerk asked me why I filed a case conference brief when I should have filed a pre-trial brief !! I was horrified) The court was very helpful and there was a lawyer I could speak to about an hour before my court times (duty counsel), they would advise me too. It was very stressful, my ex started going off on all kinds of irrelevant tangents, the end result was in my favour but it took almost a whole year and endless court appearances to get there. He spent so much money and was convinced he would decimate me but the reality still stood – I was still a single mom with 3 young children and he still had to pay support.

  94. Edmund on October 23, 2015 at 7:21 am

    An informal survey for those interested in weighing in:

    Suppose a husband and wife have been married for many years with no history of sexual coercion, save for one specific incident. 3 years into the marriage, the husband has a desire for physical intimacy. The wife declines as she is not feeling well. The husband repeatedly continues his appeal and the wife repeatedly says “no.” For whatever reason, the husband proceeds to get on top of his wife and commence with the physical intimacy as she continues to firmly but lovingly say “I am afraid I will literally get sick on you if we keep going.” The husband likely perceives his wife’s attempt to be sympathetic. He concludes that he will not be offended if she gets sick on him and, if that is the only reason for the objection, he can continue expressing his physical desire for his wife. They are not alone in the home and other adults are within earshot of the bedroom. Her choices are to literally remove him from his position and risk causing a commotion or endure the uncomfortable tension between pain and pleasure for this short period of time. Before too long, and quite by nature, her choice to hesitate resulted in the conclusion by default. She’s not sure if he was truly coercive in that instance, and he has never been sexually coercive since, but she always wonders what happened that night. It would certainly be easy to match the description of the events to those she has heard on the news or read in the paper so many times before. Other men have gone to jail for such things. Multiple choice:

    A. This was likely a one-time incident resulting from a combination of youthful passion and miscommunication. The wife should let it go.
    B. This situation provided a small window into a big problem with the husband’s heart that requires further attention. The wife should not overreact, but it would be wise for her to seek the counsel of a skilled professional regarding these events.
    C. The wife was raped.

    How would you answer and why?

    • Broken on October 23, 2015 at 10:29 am

      I would say b and c. I had a very similar situation happen to me. My husband said he’s not a rapist. My counselor said he was right but that he did rape me. A rapist does it more than once. I believe it shows a deeper issue in the husbands heart. The wife should definitely confront him and seek counsel. If he’s never shown any other behavior like that before then maybe there can be healing.

  95. Patrick Bateman on January 23, 2024 at 11:41 am

    The bible preaches no sex until marriage so, can we really be surprised that the result is people who not sexually compatible? If one spouse finds they are very titillated with dirty talk and the other spouse is repulsed by it you have an issue. If one person finds that they just love regular oral sex but their life partner is not fond of providing it you have an issue. Sex is one thing where compromise is difficult and chemistry/mutual likes is a tremendous plus.

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