I Have No Say. What Are My Next Steps?

Morning friends,

I’m back at my home near Phoenix, and it’s pizza oven hot. Temperatures yesterday hovered around 115. But it’s been a nice change, and I got a chance to walk my 10,000 steps yesterday in our community pool, which has a walking track right in the water. I also got to visit with my granddaughters, which is always fun. Thanks for your prayers. Feeling a little lighter this week.


Today’s Question: It took me many years to know (almost) for sure that my husband is emotionally abusive. At the beginning of our relationship, it seemed like a fairy tale. I wanted to make him happy. I catered to his every need. I do want to add that I was not a Christian when we met. I would look for love any way I could get it and thought that usually meant through sex and being servant-like to guys.

So my husband seemed terrific and made me feel secure at first. But soon, that all changed. I was a stay at home mom, and he took control of all the money. He would not give me money to do laundry at the laundry mat. He had to come with me to the grocery store. He refused to pay the bills but bought himself whatever he wanted. 

He told me I was too sensitive and that I always make him out to be the bad guy. He lied to me about small things and big things and said (and still says) that he has never lied to me and that I always think the worst of him.  

Once I became a Christian, a light went on in my head. I was worth something. We have been married for 16 years and have two boys. My oldest son wants me to leave. He says, “mom, he treats you (us) terrible.”

I feel like I am crazy one minute, and then the next minute, I know that it’s emotional abuse.

This morning my husband said, “You seem to think I lie to you all the time when I have never lied to you.” He can seem so calm and in control at times and so out of control others. He will not listen to me, and when I comment about his behavior or something he said, he tells me, “That’s ridiculous.” Or “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Am I crazy or what? What are my next steps?

Answer: It feels crazy, doesn’t it? My heart goes out to you and anyone else who lives this way. This doesn’t sound like a healthy marriage but more like a POW camp. But here’s the deal. Nothing will change if nothing changes. That means that if you want something to be different, you will need to initiate some changes. Why? Because the way it is right now is not only toxic for you and your boys, but believe it or not, it’s destructive for your husband as well. 

First, it’s important for you to get some good Christian support. When we are isolated, the words of an abusive person ring truer than when we have other voices to listen to. A while back, I read Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. “Unbroken” is the true story of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who was a prisoner of war during WW2. Isolation was one of the tactics used by the Japanese to mentally and emotionally break the soldiers down. When they weren’t allowed to communicate with their fellow prisoners of war and receive support, comfort, and validation, many of them couldn’t stay strong, hopeful, and even sane. 

But another important thing I realized as I read this book is that the Japanese soldiers who treated American prisoners inhumanly didn’t feel good either. Lording over someone and being cruel doesn’t only dehumanize and degrade the victim, it dehumanizes and degrades the person doing the abuse. For the best interests of everyone in your family, it’s time to initiate some changes.  

There is a tremendous imbalance of power and control in your home. From what you describe, your husband has all the power and control, you have none. You indeed are the slave. He controls the finances and the mood of the home. He controls what you do, where you go, and even tries to control what you think and how you feel. That’s why you are constantly questioning your own thoughts and feelings. Ask yourself, “Am I crazy?” For example, when he twists reality (saying, “I’ve never lied to you”), but your gut and experience tells you something very different. He tells you that you are too sensitive and are not seeing things correctly. That’s called gaslighting, and it’s crazy-making. This pattern is not God’s best for you or him.

On my website’s free resource page, there is an article called, Who Has The Final Say? God’s design for marriage is to be a partnership, not a dictatorship. When you became a Christian, you began to experience your true value and worth. Now it’s time to learn to live as if those things are true. Click here to read the article Who Has The Final Say?

When you know and believe that you are a loved, valuable, worthwhile human being, and live from that core place, toxic people lose their power to manipulate you. They can’t control and intimidate you as they once did when you felt worthless, dependent, and needy.  

From this new place, you have some tough choices to make. If you feel safe, your first steps could be to initiate some needed changes and see what happens. Don’t talk about your feelings, which you know he already invalidates and minimizes. Instead, talk about a specific change you want to see happen. For example, you might say, “It’s not okay with me that you treat me like a child, and I have no say financially. I’d like to be treated as an equal partner.” That means…..”I want to have access to our bank account,” or that means…. “I will apply for a credit card in my name to pay for things”…or whatever small step you feel absolutely ready to follow through with.

If he refuses, don’t beg, plead, or badger or argue. Observe. Step back from the relationship because he’s telling you he doesn’t want a partner as a spouse. He’s also telling you that it doesn’t matter how you feel or what you want. Only his needs/wants count, and he wants a slave/servant for a wife. Pay attention to what happens next as you respond, “I don’t want to be that.” Does he get more controlling? Meaner? Does he withdraw and sulk?

If you still feel safe, you might also ask him a question to see if he’s willing and capable of being self-reflective. When the time is right (not late at night, not after a fight, not when he’s hungry or distracted), ask him, “What is the single most important thing you want to be as a husband and father?”  

If he says, “I want to be a good provider,” ask, “What else?” I doubt his response will reflect his current behaviors. I’ve never met an abusive man who said, “I want to be a cruel dictator, a liar, and someone who scares his family.” Deep down, most men want to be a good husband and father but don’t know-how.  

They get caught in their own internal lies, shame, and self-hatred over their inadequacies and failures (real and imagined) and usually do not know God’s forgiveness or the way out and are too proud to humble themselves and admit it. Remember that it does not excuse anyone’s mean and controlling behaviors. Still, it may help you feel less crazy and enable you to explore some compassion (versus resentment) toward him as you speak up and invite him to treat you and the children differently.

If he answers that question with a positive core value, such as “I want to be a loving person,” then the next time he is disrespectful, abusive, or controlling, lovingly but firmly invite him to live up to his core values (if that’s what they are) and treat you and your children from the person he said he wants to be, not how he feels in the moment. If he refuses (which he very well might do), then he not only loses the opportunity to grow as a husband and father, he loses the closeness and fellowship of his family. Unfortunately, sometimes consequences, including separation, are the only things that will wake an abusive person up enough to begin to see the need to change. 

Remember, just because someone wants to change, doesn’t mean they will change. And if your husband displays consistent traits on what is called the Dark Triad, or is diagnosed as such (Narcissistic, Machiavellianism (deceitful and exploitative) and Psychopathy (callous and cynical), there will not be any change. You will not impact him nor influence him at all. Instead, you will continue to feel crazy and scared. This personality type’s core values aren’t positive or altruistic. They aim to win, dominate, control, exploit, and take as much as they can with as little consequences as possible.

For some, it’s tempting to move straight from awareness of abuse to separation or divorce, and sometimes that’s exactly the right next step. For others, their conscience won’t let them take that big of a step forward without first making some effort to invite their spouse to genuine repentance and healthy change.  

But to do this wisely and safely, you will need the support of others to help you on this journey. There is no short cut to your own growth and healing, but it is God’s will that you mature and live in the truth of who He is and who you are in Him. It’s also His will that you and your children are safe from harm as much as it depends on you. Click To Tweet 

Press on, dear one. For your growth, for the benefit of your husband and the future of your boys and family, take these next courageous steps and see what God does.

Friends, what helped you know for sure when it was time to separate from your destructive spouse?


  1. Chuck on August 6, 2020 at 8:28 am

    Hi, just a little advice from a man who struggled somewhat with control issues.

    A. Leslie’s advice is good you must set boundaries!

    B. Your children are struggling so you have a responsibility to protect them. Separate if you have too , but this will effect your children long term if you don’t.

    C. Your husband needs a major epiphany. If he is a believer than your husband needs to ask God’s help to change ( not easy to do even then). He needs counseling and most importantly he needs
    several men to hold him accountable for his actions. If your husband is not willing to do this then IMHO things will never get better and you will be miserable and most importantly your children will suffer. I know it is not what you want to hear but I was like your husband. My adult children still struggle today with some of my attitudes and actions from several years ago.

    When I mean accountability I mean meeting a couple of times a week either by phone or zoom or whatever to check in . He needs sort of a mentor. Again, if he is not willing to do the basics then you have his attitude about the whole problem, he doesn’t care or get it! I don’t advocate easy divorce or separation but until your husband is broken over his actions toward you and your children NOTHING WILL CHANGE.

    • Leanne Friesen on August 6, 2020 at 4:04 pm

      And I’ve been married to my husband for 20 years and shortly after the marriage it became obvious that he had control issues. Six years ago he started becoming abusive if he wasn’t able to control me. Verbally and emotionally abusive and it became physical abuse in the last year. I finally separated from him five months ago. He sends hundreds of texts every day telling me how much she loves me and misses me and making promises to change. But if I don’t let him come home yet because I tell him that I need to see evidence of a changed heart, because the Christian man doesn’t treat his wife this week. He will resort back to verbal and emotional abuse. He refuses counseling. He refuses to see a pastor or have a mentor. He has already kicked all other family members or friends out of his life. And I have seen this affect my children. And that’s why I finally had to separate. if he doesn’t stop harassing me and focussing on the changes that he needs to make we will be headed for divorce because I cannot live with a controlling abusive man anymore. It affects the kids and I too much.
      since you have been a controlling man and you have changed, I am wondering if there’s anything that your wife did that was helpful to wake you up and make you change?

      • Free on August 7, 2020 at 5:11 pm

        Leanne, block his telephone number. He can email you if he wants to contact you. That way you are much safer, don’t hear the text notification and can show the email to legal authorities.

        • Leanne Friesen on August 7, 2020 at 10:51 pm

          Just in the last few days I have started doing that. It is helping. I find my physical and mental health starts to decline when he’s always angry texting me. I need to stop wishing that he would change, and I need to accept that this is part of my life story now. I suppose somehow I was staying attached emotionally because I wanted him to change. But if he hasn’t done so in the five months that we separated, I guess it’s time to MoveOn.

      • Chuck on August 7, 2020 at 6:38 pm

        I changed after my divorce, that is what it took for me to realize I had a problem. No mentor , no counseling ? He misses the home cooked meals, the lovin’ ( if you still did that) and all the rest.

        If he was truly broken he would do anything you reasonably asked him to do. WARNING, he is not iIMHO, let him back and he will be harder to kick out next time. Save your children! Change is hard and painful but doable. You really have to want it bad!
        Probably not what you want to hear but really the ball is in his court. You do t want a divorce but he isn’t willing to do the work so in his heart it is really about him still. Prayer for you. Again do it for your children, you want minimal damage to them.

      • Chuck on August 7, 2020 at 6:45 pm

        I agree with Free, Block his phone , he can call a close friend in case of an emergency, next door neighbor, pastor what ever. Give him a one time warning, email only, no texting unless you text first. That is controlling behavior, he is losing it texting you all the time because He KNOWS he is losing control over you and it is driving him nutso.

        • Chuck on August 7, 2020 at 6:58 pm

          You must stay the course, let him back home and the misery starts over and he will be harder to kick out the next time. If NOT FOR YOU, DO IT FOR YOUR CHILDREN!

          They need a peaceful home. What he misses is the interaction , home cooked meals and the occasional lovin’ he got from you.
          Now he is detoxing from controlling the family and he is angry, justifying his pain and blaming you. He has to hit rock bottom and be desperate or he will not change.

          Pray, STAy THE COURSE , and be committed to your path.

          • Chuck on August 7, 2020 at 7:11 pm

            One other helpful item from my history and experience , have your children sit down with your pastor, one or two more godly men, maybe your parents and carefully explain, why the separation is necessary, what you would like to see changed in their dad and what your future plans are so there is no confusion in their minds about what is going on.

            Secondly, have some safe , godly man and or couples hang out with your children, fishing, game playing and just listening and talking to them. It helps , trust me.

      • Chuck on August 7, 2020 at 6:52 pm

        Leanne, hopefully, this one will go through, it took a divorce for me to change. Your husband shows that he is NOT prepared to do the hard work to change., He is NOT BROKEN, by his sin and his unwillingness to do the reasonable things you have asked proves my point and yours.

        • Leanne Friesen on August 7, 2020 at 10:47 pm

          Chuck thank you so much for your responses. I feel that I need to stay the course and be tough in blocking him and filing for divorce. And yet it is also difficult at the same time and I wish that he would just wake up and change. Obviously he needs to hit rock bottom like you said. Even though things have not been difficult during the separation, I already feel the difference in myself and my children. Both my family and his family support me and the kids. And there are strong Christian men who are becoming even more involved in our lives now that he’s gone. And my kids have really wonderful uncles and grandpa for male role models. I cried reading all of these responses, I guess I already knew what I needed to do this with the reassurance I needed. I find it helpful to speak to people who’ve been there. I’ve been very encouraged and blessed by this website. Thank you

          • me on August 8, 2020 at 9:33 am

            I feel the same way. I cried reading the responses. I am very
            encouraged and blessed to have your “listen ear” and support.
            Love and Prayers for you all.

          • Chuck on August 8, 2020 at 10:54 am

            Leanne, I know divorce is not what you want but He left you with no other choice! Not even a half hearted attempt on his part. I can’t be more clear to you or anybody else that where this was headed. God bless you that you have great support, especially his family. What could be more clear to your soon to be ex then when his family back you. . Sounds like you have a great support system in place. You are doing you and your children right, see you feel better because the stress is gone, I guarantee your children feel the same.

            There is a great song that helps me and usually listen to it several days a week, it is by Alabama Shakes and the name is Hold On, it is a Little Rock and roll but listen to the words and lol insert your name and it is definitely a picker upper!

            May God bless you in decision and walk. One never knows what God can do.

      • Moonbeam on August 7, 2020 at 11:47 pm

        I just reread what you wrote. I was taken aback by the phrase “six years ago he started being physical.” Six years?!

        Why do we Christian women have stories of the “years” of abuse we endured? Why do my friends and colleagues (that are not Christians) say, they endure six hours and got the heck out of that relationship ASAP? They called the police immediately. They dumped his clothes out on the lawn and took a sledge hammer to his car. They took action and defended themselves. They retaliated ( not in a way that I endorse), yet at least they valued themselves enough to stop their abusers.

        Who fooled us into thinking we have no right to object to such treatment? Did our church teachings tell us good women must learn to suffer? I know I was told that. Why don’t we react to harm and flee from it the first time?

        I just don’t get it, threatening another person’s safety, be it emotionally, verbally or physically is wrong. Such behaviors are prohibited in the workplace, and in our communities, schools and government institutions. Why do we Christian women tolerate it in our homes? There is something really sick here, really sick. Come on ladies, let’s enact the first strike policy. You lay a hand on me once, ….you demean or belittled me once, ….or you betray me sexually, financially, spiritually….just once and I am out of here!

        • JoAnn on August 11, 2020 at 12:05 am

          Moonbeam, I agree with everything you said. There is a place for patience and long-suffering, but it is not in the face of abuse.

        • Moonbeam on August 11, 2020 at 5:42 pm

          Thanks JoAnn for the affirmation. I can think of many reasons for long suffering. I can see suffering together through sickness, grief, war, famine, bankruptcy, unemployment and natural disasters. I still get tripped up when I think about my abuser as sick. I stayed “in sickness” which was more like evil than mental illness.

          Just yesterday I was thinking about a time my spouse came after me with a sledge hammer, smashing things around him as he yelled at me. My crime? I went out in the backyard when he wanted me to remain in the house because he wasn’t done yelling at me.

          So, where do I put something like that? It would seem that if someone came into my house threatening me with a sledge hammer over head, that I should call the police. Sounds like a terrorist to me, not a husband. Yet, I stayed, prayed and obeyed.

        • Leanne on August 11, 2020 at 11:20 pm

          It’s the whole love and respect thing. He’s had a lot of abuse and trauma in his childhood, and here I am trying so hard to love him, respect him and help him recover from childhood, that I end up making it worse and allowing abuse. Eventually I just had to get out. But it’s so hard. He’s still harassing me. And refuses to take ownership of himself. Or change or get help. Because he thinks he already has Jesus.
          There really should be more teaching about this. Allowing abuse is not ok. When you’re taught divorce is wrong, it’s tough Emotionally to leave. But as Christians we really should have even less tolerance with abuse, especially if the abuser claims to also be a Christian.

          • Chuck on August 12, 2020 at 9:33 pm

            Hi Leanne, as a suggestion, talk to the police ( often they have someone who deals with these family issues) who might advise you to stop the harassment. ( or an attorney)

            The “Love and Respect” only works if the spouse really is committed to doing it and has good faith, if not then it is disastrous as it can be used by the abuser to inflict more emotional control over the opposite spouse.
            Yes, I agree 100 percent there should be less tolerance when a spouse claims Christ.

        • Lori on August 12, 2020 at 9:53 am

          Moonbeam. I think what you say is so true and, in my case, I feel I have fooled myself all these years.

          I believe we have been raised to listen to man’s knowledge, interpretation and expectations not God’s and to believe it without question. We have been raised and instructed that to forgive and endure is love and what God commands. However, I believe the way we have been raised and instructed by man is faulty at best and false in the worst cases. We all have proof of it by what we see happening in our own lives and homes. Somewhere deep down, we know something is very wrong.

          We have not been raised or instructed to pursue a relationship with God or to love as He does. He loves and supports us but gives us the freedom to find His path and purpose, make our own choices and learn from those choices. He shows love in the greatest way possible through discipline and consequences. We have been raised as people pleasers not instructed to live our lives as Jesus lived. Jesus made God’s plan and purpose for his life priority even if it wasn’t what his disciples, the authorities of his day or the people who came to him wanted or expected of him.

          We have not been raised or instructed to create healthy boundaries for ourselves which God and Jesus practice repeatedly in the Bible. We have not been raised to love God, seek Him first in everything we do or show that same love not only to others but to ourselves. Thank God, now we hear His call. It is the day we begin to hear God’s voice to break free from the bondage we have allowed ourselves to be enslaved with.

          • me on August 17, 2020 at 10:07 pm

            Amen !!!

    • JoAnn on August 6, 2020 at 11:06 pm

      Chuck, Thank you for your courage to share your experience.

      • Free on August 8, 2020 at 12:09 am

        I agree, Chuck. Thanks for your insight.

    • me on August 7, 2020 at 12:43 am

      I agree.

  2. Chuck on August 6, 2020 at 8:38 am

    Two other quick items, counseling usually doesn’t help in my opinion because like I was, you can always make an excuse not to go, find something you don’t like about them or what they said etc., Like a drug addicted, they have to hit rock bottom before you have their attention.

    Secondly, if you get mentors to help your husband, they have to be tough and in it for the long haul. This is a long term project. Hard to find men that are willing to do that. Pray of course, God works, but your talking about a total personality and heart change. Rock bottom for him might be losing his family for a time or forever.

    • Julie on January 30, 2023 at 2:03 pm

      Chuck, I would like to hear more of your story, if you’re up to sharing. I am on the Leslie Vernick team. We don’t often hear from men who can admit to their mistakes and have done the work to change. If you would, please email me at julie@leslievernick.com. Thank you.

  3. me on August 6, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    Right now, I know it is time… but I fear retaliation. He is so covert that he just changes tactics. He would be the scary silent type. If I use one of those amazing phrases to speak truth…he ALWAYS finds a way to turn it back on me leaving me at a wall again. My youngest son and I are his scapegoat . I live in a very rural area and with C Ovid and all, there are NOT many resources to help. I am tied to our farm… and my home. I know change doesn’t happen unless I make changes. I have talked to him, explained, defended and I am done. My boundaries don’t seem to phase him. He says if I was a more pleasant person he would… I am a pleasant person. He had threatened leaving me for years and when I told him he could go that it was ok, he said he wasn’t. The toughest part is not having support. I talked my my pastor in the past and I thought he understood and suddenly changed. He hasn’t asked me once if I was doing ok since and his wife asked if it was really helpful for me to read about these things such as narcissism. Oh yes, it is. It is the only thing that has given me clarity and sanity. I praise God for people like Leslie and Jeff Crippen to speak out against these things that men use to hide in church.
    I thank God all of you to share and encourage one another and pray for you, too.

    • Autumn on August 7, 2020 at 12:23 am

      There is a non profit organization called “Give her Wings”. They will help you leave and front you the money in the form of a scholarship. Don’t tell your abusive spouse you are leaving, just pick a time that he is most cooperative an escape.

      I understand about your concern for the animals and the farm, yet God put you above the animals. He will provide for them and you too when you flee harm.

      There are many, many resources to escape domestic abuse now BECAUSE of Covid. Google Covid and domestic abuse. This is the perfect time that make a plan and take advantage of the resources.

      • me on August 7, 2020 at 8:44 am

        They are currently full with no new client nominations right now.

        • Autumn on August 7, 2020 at 9:11 pm

          I am sorry to hear that. I agree with Barbara that you have skills that make you resourceful and wise. If you can manage a farm, you can do anything!

    • Free on August 7, 2020 at 12:47 am

      I know of a family that was isolated in a rural area with an abusive man who was both a husband and father. He was a scary tyrant and their were no neighbors around to witness what really happened on their farm. Eventually, their oldest son shot and killed his father during an abusive episode. A jury found the teen not guilty of manslaughter. The father was that terrible!!

      Although this story is very sad. Once the people of the town realized what had been happening on the farm, they joined together and helped the survivors. The same son, now an adult, runs the family farm now. He is relationally scarred and is unable to form lasting intimate social relationships. He did save his mother’s life though, and he takes some peace in that knowledge. One, of his sisters, who I spoke to, moved to another state to hide from their family history. This is what happens to the children of abusers. They don’t thrive and escape the horror of unchecked entitlement and tyranny unless someone does something.

      • me on August 7, 2020 at 9:56 am

        That is one of the hard parts, he isn’t “that terrible” He is such a “nice guy”, poor me, my wife… not many would believe me. He already says things to other people, I have occasionally overheard comments.
        But my youngest some is one who would be the statistic and my other older sons, they know.
        The farm is what I have. We, I, grow all our meat and most of our vegetables. I don’t see how I could leave and feed myself. I don’t even technically own a vehicle. He let me know they are his and only his name is on the title.

        • ruth8318 on August 7, 2020 at 11:04 am

          I am so sorry.
          Big hugs 💗

        • Barbara B on August 7, 2020 at 1:29 pm

          Hi me, I am so grieved for all of this abuse you and your children are going through. I’m so frustrated to hear about the lack of support in your church. I just want to come scoop you all up and get you to a safe place! I hope you know how strong and smart you are. Anyone who can run a farm, growing meat and vegetables to keep food on the table, is resourceful and intelligent. I know this because for part of my life I did some of those things, too. It’s a special kind of resourceful and enduring intelligence, and you have it. I pray that the Lord will make a way, open doors, and show you the next step.

        • Autumn on August 7, 2020 at 7:42 pm

          A lawyer would get everything split in 1/2 for you. Yes, you have a car. Yes, you have 1/2 the money money legally. Go to the site “Confusion to Clarity” and read what other women wished they knew before they left. Many have beliefs and fears just like you have. They were shocked to learn of the child support and alimony they were do. You are too.

        • Connie on August 7, 2020 at 11:31 pm

          Only you know when it is the right time to leave. You need to read up a lot so you are sure of who you are and who he really is, not who he pretends to be in front of others. I knew it was time when I ended up in the psych ward and the doctor said I didn’t belong in there but he wouldn’t discharge me until I had made arrangements to not live with him anymore.

          In the meantime, squirrel away money. Some women buy extra grocery items and then return them for cash. The Lord will let you know, and go before you. We are praying.

        • JoAnn on August 8, 2020 at 3:18 pm

          The best thing would be for him to leave. Then you can continue to have your productive life. It breaks my heart that it is always the victim that has to leave for safety. I wish there were a way to have abusers leave, but that usually doesn’t happen.

          • me on August 8, 2020 at 4:35 pm

            I have to admit, it will be hard. I have invested a lot of time and money into our farm. Not to mention the food that is already here…. our supplies, etc.

          • JoAnn on August 10, 2020 at 11:54 pm

            Me, As Autumn says above, a lawyer will see to it that you get your share, and in this case, since you do all the work, the farm may very well go to you. You need to know your legal rights. Get informed. That is the most important first step.

    • JoAnn on August 7, 2020 at 2:15 pm

      Arm yourself with a clear understanding of what the tactics are, and with the help of a support group and some of the YouTube videos recommended here, develop a strategy to deal with each tactic. Then, practice them in your mind, so that when he says or does one of them, you have a ready response. As you plan to leave, keep the details to yourself; don’t let him know. Do you have any supportive relatives? Friends? Can you make a way to hide some money for yourself? Do some planning without telling yourself it’s not possible. See what the Lord will do..Spend time in your Bible and prayer each day.

      • JoAnn on August 8, 2020 at 3:19 pm

        Lundy Bancroft has some very helpful YouTube videos. (I couldn’t think of his name before.)

    • Lori on August 7, 2020 at 3:58 pm

      Les Carter is amazing at detailing their motives and tactics and listing how you should or shouldn’t respond.

      You can find his videos on YouTube (Les Carter Surviving Narcissism) or I believe he just created his own website. survivingnarcissism.tv

      You are not crazy and you are not alone. God is walking with you, holding you every step of the way. Support, prayers and information are here for you to search through and find His wisdom and guidance.

      God bless and keep you and your family.

      • me on August 8, 2020 at 9:29 am

        Thank you all for you love and encouragement…
        it is so hard to believe my marriage ended up this way. I live far away from any family and no relatives around. I do have a couple of close friends who understand and one who has been through similar but her children are grown. I watched Dr Carter’s video on the aging narcissist… all I could think was OMG… it is EXACTLY how and why things have escalated and what he is doing. He is self-employed and is workless and less.. Others think why does he just act like that all of a sudden.. you must not be respectful to him…
        we did the Love and Respect series… it made me physically sick watching it. It is good advice for immature couples with communication issues. He came back at me saying our problems were so to my lack of respect.
        I love you all. Thank you for your help. 😍

        • Free on August 10, 2020 at 5:50 pm

          Have you tried Natalie Hoffman’s site, Flying Free Now? She is starting online small groups to help Christian women who have just come to the same realization you did. The groups are free and private. All you have to buy is her book and her workbook. Look for her Monday morning Facebook talk today and she explains everything.

          • me on August 10, 2020 at 7:50 pm

            I will !
            Thank you 😊♥️

    • Chuck on August 8, 2020 at 1:22 pm

      I was spending some thinking and praying about your situation. Only you can ultimately make the decision to know what to do.
      But as someone suggested, please see an attorney ( there is some attorney somewhere that has a particular heart for women and men in this situation) Please see what your options are , you may be surprised. Even if he isn’t working , he is still responsible for providing for his children.

      2. As for your pastor, I don’t know why he has changed toward you but he is NOT on “Team ME” anymore so if possible find another church. He and his wife should be supportive, he can learn the true facts if he really wants too. I bet he has a good idea what is going on already.

      Pray and pray some more, God is alive and He can help you. You have his ❤️. Ask for specific guidance on every step you take and watch and wait. ME, you know this breaks HIS heart, you are His daughter.

      You have unique skills as other have said on here, your a farm woman, I can’t grow tomatoes successfully. Your of that pioneer stock that survived Indians, droughts, plagues and locusts. Your tougher than you think.

      You may have to leave the farm eventually but it would be a small price to pay for peace of mind and to have healthy children.

      There is a book Ivread regularly called the autobiography George Mueller. He started an orphanage in the 1800’s under God’s leading. In his life he cared for over 11,000 orphans ( he lived a long time) and the most amazing thing was that he BEVER ASKED ANYONE FOR HELP NOR MADE THE ORPHANAGE’s NEEDS KNOWN. Mr. Mueller wanted the world to see that God can provide. Times were tight sometimes, but NO orphan every went without.

      Me , God can do the same for you, be encouraged!!!

      Get the book and read it regularly along with the scriptures to build your strength up so when the time is ready you can step out on faith.

      God bless you!!

      • JoAnn on August 8, 2020 at 3:25 pm

        Great advice, Chuck. I also have read George Meuller’s biography, and it is so inspiring. Many women here have testified to the incredible ways the Lord has provided when they turned their troubles over to Him. I believe that the Lord loves to demonstrate His lovingkindness, when we open our hearts to Him to trust Him.

  4. ruth8318 on August 7, 2020 at 11:00 am

    What do *YOU* want?

    You have a son that wants out for his own mental clarity. He is tired of living with his father’s toxicity. I don’t know about your younger son, but I assume he would probably follow the lead of his older brother.

    Your husband is so entrenched in the lies he tells that he believes them TOO! I don’t trust this kind of manipulator to change. Hmm, I bet he might put on an act of getting saved. Then you would get your hopes up. You would HAVE TO STAY then. In his devious mind, he played the Jesus card. After all this is a game to him. 😡

    I don’t think Leslie’s advice is bad, but when you already have kids that want OUT, it can drag out for months and years. For their sakes, I think you should start making your plan to get out.

    • Free on August 7, 2020 at 9:17 pm

      Thanks for the devil emoji. It reminds me that we are dealing with wickedness. For some reason, I can get in a worm hole of thoughts which lead me to pity my abuser. I often need reminding that he chooses to abuse, he chooses to harm and chooses to ignores other’s begging him to stop.

      As Lundy Bancroft says, “they abuse because they can.” Dr. Romona Probasco echoes the same reply. So, if they abuse because they can, let’s make it so they can’t abuse. Let’s remove our hearts, minds, bodies and souls away from the grasp and sphere of influence.

      • JoAnn on August 8, 2020 at 3:15 pm

        Good point, Free. Make it so they can’t abuse. Get yourself out of harm’s way.

  5. Nina on August 7, 2020 at 11:44 pm

    It is shocking to read the things this man said … my husband said the exact same words, phrase for phrase.

    • Moonbeam on August 7, 2020 at 11:59 pm

      Nina, the most valuable thing I learned when I attended a retreat for survivors of abuse, was that my husband wasn’t unique. Rather, his behaviors were just like all the other abusive men. He was pathological, meaning his behaviors repeated themselves, were cyclical and were documented, and diagnosed in professional journals.

      He wasn’t anything special at all, in fact he was typical. He tried to blame his bad childhood or stress at work or better yet, me for his behavior. But it turned out he was just an abuser. A bag of wind blaming everyone he could find for something that displeased him. He thinks he is entitled to anything he wants. He is sick in the head, depraved and wicked.

  6. me on August 9, 2020 at 8:48 am

    This verse comes to my heart and I pray encourages you, too.

    Psa 142:6  Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.

    Psa 142:7  Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

    God Bless you all.

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