Great news. The Village Church has apologized to Karen Root and agreed that their tactics were controlling and harsh when they implemented church discipline against her for having the State of Texas annul her marriage to Jordan Hinkley after she discovered him viewing child pornography.
Karen has graciously accepted their apology and the church promised to review cases of other individuals they may have hurt through their policies. If you want to read more details CLICK HERE
I share this because I want you to know when we speak up and stand up for what’s right and good, God sees. When we stand up and say “No More”, understand that we are not only standing up for ourselves but we are standing up against sin, injustice, and the abuse of power in relationships. These are the things Jesus stood for and therefore we should never apologize or be afraid to do what he did.
By standing up publically and noisily, the Church has taken notice. The Church is beginning see that they have not always handled situations of serious sin and marital abuse correctly and are taking a second look, getting outside counsel, and admitting that they have gotten some things wrong. This is good news for you who still feel judged, misunderstood, and mishandled in your own church and Christian communities. You now have evidence from other conservative churches like Bethlehem Church in Minnesota and The Village Church in Texas that have publicly admitted they have gotten it wrong and hurt the victim instead of helping her by their lack of knowledge and abuse of power.
Let’s not grow weary. I so appreciate your prayers. Thank you.
Today’s Question: My husband is a perfectionist. We have 14 years of marriage and I always thought it was normal to be treated the way. (I grew up in a physically-and emotionally-abusive home so I knew nothing different.)
He is now realizing he’s a perfectionist and his tendencies are hurting me and our five children (ages 7 to 13).
Though he is trying to change, I am still fearful of him ‘blowing up’ and yelling at me for some small thing I did wrong or didn’t do at all. I resent him. I work a full time and part time job and attend college part time.
He homeschooled our kids and works 26 hours a week outside of the home and does nothing with our new church plant.
I’ve thought of leaving him. I’m hurt but don’t want to throw in the towel. I love him and believe God brought us together, but I hate me. I hate who I’ve become. I hate that I make no decisions in our marriage or the decisions that I do make are scrutinized under a microscope by him and are never good enough.
How can I heal? What steps do I need to take? How can I help my husband?
How can I talk to him without hurting him, cause that is not my intent, but something needs to change or I’ll have to leave to keep me alive.
Answer: Your letter is very familiar. So many women will recognize themselves in your pain. You’ve been beaten down and beaten down and beaten down until you don’t recognize yourself anymore. You said, “I resent him and I love him, but you added, “I hate me.”
I want to focus there because the only person you can change is you. You not only have an external persecutor (husband), but also an internal one (you).
Psychological negativity via constant criticism, whether it is done by someone outside or whether it comes from our own internal voice has very real consequences on your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health. The Bible warns us that life and death is in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Words have the power to heal, and words have the power to destroy.
This past weekend while I was in Chicago, I was talking with my sister and she told me how she “tricked” her mind to help her over some mental rough spots. At the time, she was trying to get a better job. She needed to make more money because her kids were nearing college. She got a great opportunity to advance her career, but to do so would require her to take a fairly lengthly, rigorous test called a Series 7 test. My sister had not been in school for a very long time and her major was communications not math. This test involved a lot of math, formulas and technical financial information that put her way outside her comfort zone.
When she started studying, she felt overwhelmed. She told herself she was stupid, she couldn’t possibly pass this test and it was too hard. She felt terrified and defeated. She realized if she didn’t change her approach, she would surely fail this important test. She made a small but significant change. She began to tell herself out loud that she loved math. She told herself that studying was enjoyable and that she could master the things that were on the test by putting her mind to it. Every day, over and over she told herself these positive messages. Guess what? She passed her test – and – went on to take a few more additional tests that dramatically changed her income potential.
You ask how can you heal? For starters, you must change your own internal self talk and replace it with God’s truth. This is easier said than done. Studies show that human beings tend to believe the negative more than positive and once your mindset is negative, like my sister did, it takes a concerted effort to change it. Your husband’s criticism is something you have little control over. But your own internal self-talk and self-hatred is another.
If you want to heal, make me a promise. From today forward the words you choose to use with yourself and the words you choose to listen to and believe are going to be life giving words of God’s truth.
Please understand an important biological/neurological reality. When we are under constant criticism, our brain registers “attack” (whether the attack is real or imagined our body and mind don’t distinguish). Our body immediately sends the “stress” hormones adrenalin and cortisol to aid in our survival. These hormones make our heart beat faster, our breathing more rapid, our muscles tense and our vision more acute so that we can “survive” the attack. The rest of our bodily needs become less important because we are trying to survive, we’re not thinking about living for the next 10 years.
But what’s important to note is that during this stress response, less “important” bodily functions such as digestion, repair of muscles, our immune system and cognitive reasoning,get compromised. When we regularly live under this “attack posture” what happens is our body, our mind, and our personality begins to deteriorate. Soon we don’t like the person we are, we don’t even recognize her anymore.
As a child you lived with physical and emotional abuse. Now for 14 years of marriage you have endured constant criticism from a man who regularly tells you that you are not enough, that you don’t do enough, that you don’t do it right.
What if I told you that you that I know for sure that although you are not perfect, you are beautiful, precious, valuable, worthwhile, important, and special? How do I know that? Because God says it. He’s the final authority on who you are and who you were meant to be, not your husband, not your mother, not your father, not even you. Therefore what God calls good we must value and take good care of.
Remember the woman at the well? (John 4). She did not feel very good about herself. She was looking for love in all the wrong places, married five times, living with a man who was not her husband. Jesus initiated a conversation with her while she was there fetching water, all alone because even the other women of the town didn’t like her. It startled her. Not only was she an immoral woman, she was a Samaritan woman and Jews despised Samaritans. Yet Jesus had a lengthy stimulating conversation with her about God, theology and even disclosed to her something he rarely told anyone, that he was the Jewish Messiah. Although she was far from perfect, Jesus treated her with dignity and respect and offered her a special gift, living water.
Jesus saw something in this woman. He saw beyond her gender, her race, her mistakes and failures. He understood her past history, her personal flaws and sins but he saw something more, he saw her beauty, her value and her worth. He saw the woman he created her to be and spoke life into her battered heart.
Healing starts with you not with your spouse. You must start to value you because God values you. (tweet that)
When you value you, then you will stop your own negative self-talk it its tracks. When you value yourself your husband’s words will lose their power over you because you will stop believing them. When you value you, you will start to build up your strengths, instead of dwelling on your weaknesses. When you value you, you begin to realize that you were put here on this planet for a purpose and your purpose is not to be shaped into your husband’s image of who you should be but God’s.
Friend, you change the way you see yourself and feel about yourself when you believe and abide in the truth of what God says about you. The hard work is not in changing yourself, striving to be enough to earn some human creature’s love, but in believing what God says and abiding in His love (1 John 4:16). Once you believe, the rest of your healing comes naturally.
I want you to start today to speak God’s truth to yourself instead of the lies you’ve internalized that you are not enough. Despite what your husband or anyone else (including your own internal voice says), every day remind yourself:
I have value and worth to God Matthew 10:31; Matthew 12:12 ; Hebrews 2:7; Psalm 8:5;Psalm 139:14
I am deeply and fully loved by God Romans 5:8; John 17:23; Romans 8:31-39
God desires to give me a clean slate by forgiving me and bringing me into a close relationship with him. Psalms 103:8-12; John 5:24; Acts 3:19; Acts 13:38,39; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:13,14
I belong to him, he adopts me into His family. John 14:18; Romans 8:15-17; Galatians 4:6,7; Ephesians 1:4,5; 1John 3:1
My life has meaning and purpose. I am not an accident. Romans 5:10,11;Romans 8:1-39;1 Corinthians 1:8; Ephesians 2:4-10
As you live from a position of CORE Strength, you will be empowered to speak the truth in love to your spouse, not to hurt him, but to help him and your marriage.
If your marriage is to heal, your husband has to own his internal changes and work to do. You can’t do his work for him and he can’t do yours. The biggest thing you can do for your marriage right now is to do your own work and get strong enough to hold him accountable, with grace and truth, for the changes he wants to make.
Friends: What helped you to start to value and take better care of yourself, especially when your childhood and marriage have not provided those foundational elements?
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He Said I Should Be Happy He Came Home To Me
Morning friend, So glad that you chimed in on not seeing some of your responses on the blog posts. We’re checking into that on our technical side so hopefully all will be running well. In the future if you have questions on issues related to the tech side of things, please reach out for help…
Is Resisting Abuse Sinful?
Morning friend, We’ve had a great discussion on our blog regarding suffering and whether or not an abused wife should willingly suffer in an abusive marriage. I’m so glad that women are waking up to the error of this traditional teaching. Here’s another question I receive often that I want to help you think through….
My husband is physically abusive. I’m afraid.
Question: My husband constantly loses his temper. Sometimes he throws things, other times he hits me or pushes me around. It’s getting worse. I’ve tried to make him happy but nothing works for very long. I am trying to honor God and stay with him but I’m afraid. The kids are also seeing all of…
Three years of prayer, Bible study, many hours on Leslie’s blog and ACFJ (and their books). The book, “When a Woman Meets Jesus: Finding the Love Every Woman Longs For” by Dorothy Valcarcel is amazing. One of the chapters that I reread often is specifically about the Woman at the Well reminds me of just how much Jesus loves all of us. He went out of his way to meet her. He was loving her when no one else really did. She is on my list of people that I want to meet in Heaven after my Lord Jesus. All of these things helped me to find me and realize that I am worth loving.
There have been people and events over the past 5 years that have helped nudge me further on the journey. I have a neighbor who went out of his way to find out when my birthday was and give me an inspiring card. That card gave me incentive and the gentle push I needed to change my phone number so that the xh could no longer call or text me vile messages any more. You can’t change him, but in my case I could do the final thing that it took to be free.
I pray that the person who wrote the question finds peace and the love she deserves. Jesus loves us even when no one else does.
Thank you for this encouragement!! For years, I was told that I had to fix my marriage. When I finally found those who did not put that responsibility on me, they simply told me that when he changed, healing would automatically take place for me. That left me stuck because I have no control over whether he changes or not. My healing was in his hands–not a secure place to be at all!!!!!!
Now I have a counselor who is helping me with my internal beliefs and my relationship with God and hearing the Holy Spirit. This has made all the difference in the world! Thank you for confirming that we are on the right track!
Survivor, I’m so glad you have a counselor who is helping you on your journey with the Lord. It was only when I sought a Christian counselor that I began to truly see the truth in my situation.
Susanne, it certainly makes a difference when you have a GOOD counselor!! I wasted a lot of time and money on Christian counselors who were no help. One actually told me that I couldn’t call what I was experiencing ‘abuse’. He told me “we can’t go putting labels on things”. And this was AFTER I showed him horrible bruises H had put on me. I was rather jaded about counselors for a number of years, but about a year and a half ago, decided to give it another whirl. This time, I looked up domestic violence counselors on Focus on the Family’s website. I found one in my area who also works with children and I took my son as well! Eventually, he closed his office and I was referred to another–who turns out to be even more helpful!!! He is trained to do EMDR therapy for traumas and has really helped me with the PTSD!
Survivor, I have been doing EMDR with my counselor since December and it has made an amazing difference for me
Lynn I just started about a month ago and I find myself wondering what took me so long!! It really is helpful!
Islandgirl, it is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a type of therapy used to treat trauma and recover from PTSD. Basically, when there is severe trauma, the brain is unable to process completely and store the event as a memory. This allows the event to stay alive and active in the brain and causes the individual to experience it as though it were still happening. The therapy helps the brain to process and recognize the event as a past memory rather than a current event.
Survivor, that is a great explanation of EMDR. I have made amazing connections to how past trauma has kept me stuck in bad situations in the present. It has freed me from so many unhealthy attachments
My journey started 2 and 1/2 years ago when i received an email that contained the transcript of the eulogy given by our pastor after Christmas for a young police woman who was killed by her husband after coming home from Afghanistan. The words affirming her life and her value in Christ resonated with me. But also the compassion for the young soldier who was mentally ill due to trauma at war. I was overcome with emotion and reached out to a friend and for the first time put words to my pain, to no longer pretend was such a relief. She lead me to another woman at our church who was teaching classes and wrote a book. It was about building a better marriage with God and skills. I began reading anything I could read and took her class at church that followed her book “Warrior Wives”(by Kathy Schoenborn). It was there that I learned about emotional abuse and Leslie’s book.on Emotionally destructive marriages. It was as if I was set free from being a victim. For the past 6 months I’ve have been in Leslie’s class “Empowered to Change”. I highly recommend watching Leslie on U-tube, reading her books and taking her classes. I’m now signed up in her new class Conquer. There were just so many skills I had to learn. I’ve taken my time and gradually I’m getting stronger and stronger. I think the best advice that was given to me when I was starting this work was “Put your husband and his issues on a shelf for a while” and focus on you and your relationship with Christ!
Elizabeth, That was great advice to focus on yourself and your relationship with Christ. We all need to be reminded of that now and then. Jesus always needs to be our focus in any situation we find ourselves in.
Susanne- I think especially women need to hear this because we are nurturers and taught to care for those we love. But it’s so important to love ourselves and honor ourselves- and working on our relationship with our Creator.
[…] I Hate Me And I Love Him – What’s Wrong? […]
Leslie, your words have helped me SO much. For 20 years I was married to a narcissistic, angry man. Our marriage was very volatile – filled with mental, verbal & emotional abuse. Unfortunately, our 3 children had front row seats to a lot of dysfunction. We divorced in 2011 but his narcissism won’t let him stop criticizing me and my new husband. Unfortunately, he & his wife have bashed me & my husband so much so that my oldest son decided last year (a week before Christmas) to not have anything to do with me or my parents & sister.
I would appreciate your prayers and any words of advice you can give. God bless you & your ministry!
I’m so sorry. It’s the toughest when the parent alienates the children from the other parent. I’d encourage you to read up on Parental Alienation Syndrome. And keep reaching out to your kids, showing them who you really are. Sooner or later, they will begin to see the truth.
To start to value and take better care of myself, especially when my marriage had not provided those foundational elements came with hitting rock bottom and crying out to Jesus to restore me. 1Peter 5:7 “ Cast all your care upon Him”.
Surrendering to acceptance that you can’t do the work alone provides the people, places and things that change the direction of the course.That crossroad had bold letters and flashing lights that blinked, “YIELD to GOD”!
Me again just woke up thinking that I have a daily connecting to working , “The Fruit of the Spirit”…it is a great tool to study the fruit individually. By incorporating them in my daily life I keep a personal inventory that keeps me safe emotionally, socially and personally. The Holy Spirit covers the roads I travel perfectly much better than when i make some wrong turns and need to be rerouted. God signs as STOP signs.
Thank you so much for another wonderful, very helpful post. I just love it when you write things like this: “What if I told you that I know for sure that although you are not perfect, you are beautiful, precious, valuable, worthwhile, important, and special? How do I know that? Because God says it. He’s the final authority on who you are and who you were meant to be, not your husband, not your mother, not your father, not even you. Therefore what God calls good we must value and take good care of.” And this: “I have value and worth to God. I am deeply and fully loved by Him. God desires to give me a clean slate by forgiving me and bringing me into a close relationship with him. I belong to him, he adopts me into His family. My life has meaning and purpose. I am not an accident.” And this: “If you want to heal, make me a promise. From today forward the words you choose to use with yourself and the words you choose to listen to and believe are going to be life giving words of God’s truth.” -Just absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much!
I could use a whole book with just chapter after chapter after chapter full of statements like those. . . . . . . . . .Anyway, you certainly identify the real issue: How to change our own internal self-talk and replace it with God’s truth and you say: “This is easier said than done.” I would say it is the same difficulty level as burning new chemical pathways in our brains, when the ones we have burned from childhood are as deep as the Peru–Chile Trench, 8,065 meters deep. In other words, this is going to be really tough going. I can choose and renounce all I want but it is like a rubber band, I get out only so far and then come crashing back.
I have been told by my counselor that I need to become consciously aware of WHY I insist and resist and persist believing the lies. In other words, being consciously aware of WHY I am holding these lies. I have also been told in counseling that if I don’t, they still have power over me even if I make promises, memorize scripture, repent, renounce, et.al. the lies. -Because they are all truly lies. That is so easy to see in others. For every women that comes to this blog, I just know, they deserve to be cherished; they are to be treated like a precious treasure; they deserve real affection; they are a champion eternal; they are a daughter of the Living Light; they are a person of the highest caliber; a child of God!!! It is so easy to see when it is them.
I also know what my mother told me were hateful lies about myself (“You are the daughter not worth having,” et. al.) but I continue to hold the lies because it feels so, so safe holding the lies vs. stepping into the light. I know that sounds just c-r-a-z-y but I am being totally, completely honest. My counselor says it is because the lies were re-enforced with physical beatings. But why would I believe my mother over God Himself? She can’t beat me now. That is really messed up (and even saying that is yet even more shame which fuels it even more). I can choose and renounce all I want but, again, it is like a rubber band, I get out only so far and then come crashing back. That just shows you how you can really, truly comprehend something but can’t operationalize it. I see the truth staring me right in my face and I still choose to let my mother’s image of me and her words control my mind. -And I even understand this the way the Lord God puts this in the New Testament: I have gnosis (γνῶσις), I have knowledge that is the intelligent comprehension but is not personal and experiential. What I need is epignosis (ἐπίγνωσις), “intimate, personal, experiential knowledge.” Again, that just shows you how you can really, truly comprehend something but can’t operationalize it to save your life, to save your soul.
So I have this thought record I keep to feed my counselor all my thoughts that are distressing me. The thought record tool gathers information on everything and so she has lots of data and even understands thoroughly the situations associated with the automatic thoughts that are happening day-to-day. I was thinking this morning, how do I convert a total shame downward spiral melt down fueled by memories of my mother’s words into a totally unashamed upward spiral (melt up) fueled by God’s Word? I know so much scripture that for every positive verse (. . . we are God’s masterpiece. . . ), I have a negative verse (. . . you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect, etc.) and they come into my mind all at once, immediately.
Anyway, I am always praying: Create in me a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires. -And, when we are God’s children, I understand that what He wants most from you and I is relationship and friendship (-who would turn that down?) He wants to be involved in the big and small moments of our lives (I want that too. I want Him to control my mind.) How do you accomplish this? How do we access the limitlessness Love? How do I get the greatest possible abandonment to God? If God’s love is always there: infinite love, infinitely offered, how can I choose God’s Love in every moment of my life? . . . Lord, I believe, help my unbelief. Bring the excuses to my awareness and destroy them with Your inescapable Light so they no longer have the energy to hold me. . . . Reburn new chemical pathways in my brain Lord God!
Could you list the resources you mentioned in a previous post?
Hi Lisa, I’m not sure which post you’re remembering. Is it a blog post or a response post and if so, to what question? That will help me find it.
Hi Leslie, it’s from the blog post, “My Wife Say’s I’m Controlling? Is She Right?” There’s 380 responses on it. I was explaining my situation and you were at the airport and said when you got home you would look up some resources.
With your mom I wonder even though her words and actions were destructive, maybe you hold onto them, because it was something “from her”— it’s basically the only thing you had “of her”, your only connection???
You know what? . . . . I never even thought about it that way before. Sort of like these are at least memories of a mother. . . hmmm . . . But they are really painful memories. If it wasn’t mocking, it was just bitterness with her. I say, God, you will protect me but then into my mind comes: where were You in childhood? . . . I know I want Christ but my family of origin is not on that way, for sure. It is like I am leaving them behind to follow Christ. Many times I’d rather “seem safe” than venture out for real Love. I am always repenting of my definition of safety. My definition of safety is NOT God’s definition. Regardless, I will sing praises to You, Lord. I will choose thankfulness, and not bitterness today. I don’t understand (at all, at times) but so want to trust You more. Lord I believe, help all my unbelief! . . . Btw, I was praying hard for you this morning!
Yes it’s a connection, be it though not a good one–Stockholm Syndrome. It’s like me with my husband–I learned to be unhealthily dependent on him. Looking, hoping that what he did and said towards me wasn’t as bad as it really was/is wanting him to genuinely care about me, be a safe place. Because after all he is my husband and it’s reasonable to except him to be safe—the marriage vows. The hard part is accepting the truth–he is not safe. That means I have to let go and step out into the world without a partner–and must find in experience God is enough, more than enough. It feels very scary.
I have memories too of childhood and adulthood happenings wondering where God was. I guess we can turn it over to Him and say, “God, I can’t handle having these memories, take them from me.”
Hugs to you Aleea.
Oh, Lisa. . . . .God is really, very jealous of us, isn’t He? He cuts away all hope but Him. God wants us in a state of weakness and dependence on Him (—that’s tough for pride driven people like me.) Just like you will not allow your husband to stay broken without consequences, if we are God’s child, He will not allow us to stay broken. God will not let us look to anyone else, especially ourselves. He must be our only hope. He will be our life or He will be nothing to us. I know God doesn’t want a partnership with me. He wants ownership. God doesn’t want to share my life or yours. He wants to own them! . . . Whoa! . . . .We all know the crooked walls we erect in codependency cannot protect our hearts. To be able to live healthy, safe lives the walls we build have to be in accordance with God’s Word, not my idols. God wants me to come close, so close that I feel at home in intimate fellowship with Him as a child in the arms of a good mother (not my mother, who was and is very unsafe.) My mother taught me that real love did/does not exist. God wants me to trust Him that He is real Love and fall up into His arms. All these things we work on in my counseling, to me, they are the very essence of all of our faith decisions: The way we rid ourselves of “issues” is the exact way we always find our way back to God’s heart! It always seems the problem is letting go. In letting go there is a perception of a loss. Yet in most cases it is the loss of something that is an illusion. —Just an illusion.
About Stockholm Syndrome:
I have read that blog and I agree with Pastor Crippen: “But we certainly aren’t ready to throw out the reality of traumatic bonding.”
I have often said “my abuser is my rescuer”; it has worked very well for him since we are very far from family and long time friends; we have also moved ALOT. He abuses and then as the emotional aspect takes it’s toll he comes in to calm and say “everything will be o.k.” Who would believe this church going, financially successful, community helping man would be abusing his wife in any realm?—no one. It has reinforced the traumatic bonding all the more.
If you are reading ACFJ, you know how often the wives of pastors, elders, missionaries etc. live for decades with an abuser who puts on the outward appearance of Godliness but profession and possession are 2 entirely different things. A man who abuses his wife and family is worshipping a false Jesus. Jesus would not treat you the way you have been treated.
Thank you Brenda.
Just recently he commented about a public figure who made a remark that all his efforts must mean something in the life after. He turned to me and said, “to bad he doesn’t know Jesus.” Yesterday he remarked to our child, “Praise the Lord”. The hair on my neck stood on end. These on the heels of admitting to a close friend he is preparing for divorce and has no problem charging up a storm (me responsible for 1/2 in this state) and withholding funds from me. He really understands the scriptures and has said several times it’s about worshiping God in spirit and in truth. I just leaves me constantly feeling maybe he is sincere ans struggling in his walk with God. I just don’t know…makes me very confused.
It is shocking but I keep hearing more & more about this too!
My husband told me I should come back to him for the sake of Jeaus Christ but my thoughts were that I don’t want to be beat up or yelled at or lied to or cheated on or my big kids locked out of the house anymore and I am sure Jesus doesn’t want that for me either.
Head knowledge and heart knowledge are very different. A person can have enough head knowledge to judge others but not themselves. We need to examine ourselves regularly to clear up anything that might be hindering us from relationship from Christ. Calling out others wrongs and saying “Praise the Lord” does not a Christian make. Running up debt that he knows will impact you is blatant sin against you. Talking about divorcing you while he is doing this….I don’t see a teachable, repentant heart in any of it.
The debt thing—he is misusing God’s money to punish me–it’s so–against God.
The friend said a-h has justified the whole financial thing, because I wouldn’t sign the joint tax return. BUT a-h didn’t tell the friend WHY I wouldn’t sign it. He was withholding supporting documentation and if I signed blindly then how would I know what U was legally pledging myself to? So he took more money away from the food money and is charging like there is no tomorrow! His friend said, “he treats you like a child, if you won’t obey him, he will punish you.”—that is spot on.
what *I* was legally pledging myself to?
That is also true!! Everything belongs to God and he will have to give an account for that. He is also doing it against you and not even thinking about what Jesus would do or how he would treat you. Jesus, is a gentleman and would never treat you that way. Your h is retaliating and yes, punishing you, which he has no right to do. You have every right to refrain from signing forms that will bring you down with him. Would this friend be willing to testify?
He’s afraid to be discounted in court because, he had a past charge against him (quite a few years ago).
Lisa, I was thinking about your situation and a couple of things come to mind. First, you’ve been told that leaving your home for more than 30 days constitutes abandonment, but your a-h lived out of state for 9 months, 4 of which you had no address for him. Can you document this? Sounds like he abandoned the home himself!
Next, since your local DV shelter has not been helpful, perhaps you could call a shelter in another city in your same state. Same for finding a responsive attorney. I’m just brainstorming ways for you to get solid, factual information. You are in my prayers as you find your way through this!
Hi S says,
He made sure he came home at least one weekend out of each month to avoid the abandonment charge.
Here you must choose a lawyer within your county or one at least licensed to practice here. In the case of the latter I wouldn’t want someone who splits their time from multiple locations. I tried contacting a lawyer that did this; the first contact was an answer service. Then it took several days to even get a return phone call and then it was some part-time secretary. It would also mean I would from time to time have to drive long distances to go to their other office.
I have tried and tried to get personal referrals by calling a single moms’ ministry; I wanted them to ask their membership if they could leave referrals on their Facebook page—-nothing.
It’s so frustrating.
Thank you so much for praying for me!
same type of situation. what released me from perfectionism is receiving the truth, that I am a child of god. I am not a wife, mother, (profession), etc, etc. I am a child of god. that is the truth. in that truth lies other truths. Reading the FAther’s love letter (which you can google) lists scripture references of these truths. when I received that I am a child of god, my walk changed because I began to take on god’s thinking of me and my own thinking of me and others. my answer to others who are perfectionist, haters, jealous or envious is….SO WHAT! AND WHO CARES! or silence. I am allowed by god to love and care for myself even when others don’t understand. when others won’t give me what I need in a relationship, I give it to myself and fulfill that need (in good ways). I don’t need everyone’s permission or everyone’s understanding any longer. that is not is not biblical it is control and manipulation. all because I received the truth that I am a child of god and the truths that come with that. if the creator of the universe thinks I am awesome, I am to agree with him. Jesus reconciled me with god through his tormented death at least I can do is live in that relationship the way god intended and not let his death be for nothing. god has given us so much. now… on to believing and receiving god’s truth about us so that we can be continuously blessed by them. I pray the eyes of your heart sees god’s real truth. (I am still in the same situation, and I changed, because of the truths I believed) (I may still end up separating, and I will know that when the time comes, waiting for god’s timing with that.) but I am still being blessed by knowing that I am god’s child and am living up to what he says about me.
I was just thinking of the things Lisa and Aleea were talking about today. My thoughts and what I felt safe with were not safety at all. My husband kept pushing me to renegotiate our mortgage and then taking money out of the mortgage that way, but not using his own money for our family but using the home equity which was not his because I brought the equity into the home. He always made excuses and was intimidating with me…. in the end I realized I was being used and exploited even though for years I felt safe with him in spite of it all. I think that is where part of praying to God to show me the truth really helped me. I just question myself about how I could feel safe with him when he was exploiting me, doing evil and intimidating and controlling me and my kids from my first marriage. It of course came with a lot of ‘propaganda’ as Lundy Bancroft labels it – which I think kept me in the fog and somehow unaware.
This morning I was feeling particularly down and depressed or oppressed and just couldn’t shake it. I am preparing for an appearance in family court on Friday and it has been stressful to relive and dig for all this dirt. I am just asking God for wisdom as to what to put in the brief because the judge chewed me up and spit me out the last time I was in court. At first I was feeling hopeless, I had written the truth of what was happening in my home and marriage and she said I had clinical issues and was using a tactic to keep my child from my husband. In reality I am so concerned about my child’s safety and was trying to describe things that happened in our home alarmed me for her safety. Then I realized later that it sometimes doesn’t matter how I feel. What is the truth of what God tells me in his word? I can praise him and look up his promises for those who love him. I can set aside what my feelings or low blood sugar or whatever is making me feel overwhelmed and depressed and speak the truth and pray and read the bible to bring his truth and loving promises to mind. There is so much of God’s word that is a love letter to us and it is so amazing – it is waiting there for me to find it and partake of it. I was listening to a song on our christian radio station, it was really long but full of beautiful phrases that God uses to tell us that he is for us and I have to find out what that song is called and who it is by. Leslie, thank you for the lovely post about the S.C. church and their outspoken forgiveness for the boy that tried to incite hatred with his gun by killing 9 people. Thank you also for helping us to know God’s truth and that he is truth and sometimes my feelings don’t matter as much and knowing God’s truth and that he is there and he does care and how important it is to be actively opposing evil, exploitation and abuse in all it’s forms and to take a stand for truth and what is right and stand up against all kind of evil like Leslie shows us – as it is manifested against us in our abusers. They show themselves for what they are in spite of things falling in their favour. Alexa & Lisa I am praying for you both. I am asking God to heal that thing in me that feels safe when I am not and seek for safety in His truth alone.
I am praying for Aleea & Lisa, and others who are having trouble getting out of or over those wrong things that have been done to them and into the healing only God can bring.
Thank you Leonie, I appreciate your prayers -very, very much!
Leonie, I would encourage you to stick to facts in court – not feelings. Judges don’t look at feelings, just facts. So if you have documented evidence of deceit, fraud, intimidation, etc, then bring that to court. Make sure your blood sugar is at a good level so you don’t drop and “appear” unstable or irrational. Stay calm as you can. It’s important for you and your child that you are not labeled as the crazy one.
Thanks Leslie, I do have lots of things I can give proof for! Court was postponed today. I feel like no one else can see truth – all these highly trained & highly paid people are overlooking the obvious. I shouldn’t have to pay my lawyer for this kind of representation. Basically anything abut my husband’s sex addiction is out of bounds, I don’t get it, that is exactly what puts out little one at risk, also, he beats people up when they don’t do what he wants them too, especially behind closed doors where no one else sees, isn’t that another obvious risk factor?
It’s like no one can see the larger than life truth in front of their noses so we all have to play this politically correct charade. Do I have to wait until she is violated before someone will protect her? Basically the judge said that I could lose custody of her because I am using a tactic. My tactic was to convey what was going on in the home. It is like they think I am not credible, why, because my husband tricked me and lies to me, cheats on me and beats me up – whose credibility does that destroy, mine or his? We negotiated a summer access schedule & then the lawyer said, there, now you both look good because you look like you can work together in the best interest of your child. I feel like the child got shovelled out with the horse manure. I don’t get it.
There is a website I read, www. ChumpLady.com It is not Christian, but I find some good practical advise there. (Warning: There are curse words on there.) The site aims at those who have suffered infidelity, but I find alot applies to abuse of other kinds as well. There is a lot of info about dealing with divorce and children. If you to the near the bottom of her page you’ll find a search area by topic.
Here is an example (i’ve removed the curse words):
“Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT act defensive and angry in court or around his lawyer. I know this goes against every natural impulse, but you need to project an air of calm competency.
Because these _____ are trying to throw you off balance and get you to appear to be a crazy. See? We can’t reason with a crazy! She’s making this all personal.
You’re a wholesome person with good morals and he was a dreadful influence and was creating dysfunction in your home. You sensibly removed yourself from the situation.”
“When you’re classy and calm and the bullying doesn’t work — it underscores his crazy.
Anywhere I find good advice I copy it whether from Leslie, Chumplady, and from the comments sections. It’s good to learn from those who have already gone through it.
Thanks Lisa, that is sensible advise!
He was already crazy at the school Monday morning and the teacher & principal refused to meet with him until they
Keep a daily journal; document *every* encounter with him. Put the date, approx. time, who was present, what transpired. Save all email, text exchanges. Try to keep your responses to him bare bones—yes, no, maybe.
He seeks to punish; expect nothing else.
I read when in court *don’t* look at him or his lawyer. Keep your eyes on the judge or your lawyer. When he exhibits craziness *don’t* react with any facial expressions; judges watch stuff like that.
Anything he says that you are concerned with write it down immediately and hand off to your lawyer. Stay focused on what is being said without outward reaction; like you are an outside observer.
When asked a question, pause for a minute and think how you want to answer so you don’t get sucked into his lawyer’s attempts to make you appear unstable.
You can also ask your lawyer what she anticipates questions you will be asked. Then practice your responses so they are delivered succinctly and calmly. You can even practice by recording yourself and adjust your tone, volume, and words until you feel it will represent you well in court.
Lisa is making some very important points and that’s why it’s important to practice CORE strength before you get to court. It’s like Lamaze – if you don’t practice it ahead of time, when your in the trenches, and the pain is coming fast, you won’t be able to do it. Breathe, stay calm, pause before you speak, observe don’t absorb (their arrows towards you), assert yourself without attacking the other person.
Here’s another thing I learned to be aware of:
Do not discuss or make any agreements of any kind (financial, child custody, etc.) whether verbally (he could be recording it or have someone as a witness in the room or on his cellphone line) or in writing (text, email, handwriting), because in some courts of law they consider it “the” final agreement and you will have to abide to it.
Thanks Lisa, that is sensible advice! I think he will show hus true colours all over the place before long, it is already happening!
Good points, Lisa. To me it all comes down to: How do you stop your emotions from hijacking your intellect? We talk about external boundaries but without internal boundaries (inside of us), I think the dance does not really change. So much of it is coming from the inside.
That was a truly beautiful post. I pray for your strength to continue in the Lord and His Word. I am praying that He will put a hedge around you and your daughter. I also pray for the judge to have her eyes opened to the truth.
Blessings to you, Brenda
Thank you so much, Leslie – when I look back at saved exchanges I see how he has abused me intentionally and there is not much documented evidence of the abuse and now I can see how deliberate that was on his part. It is shocking actually! I am going to reread & relisten to the Core strength materials that I have. I need to approach my lawyer this week also because I feel like she us representing my exhusband & not me & I am afraid no one sees how at risk my daughter is.