I wish I could meet all of you. You bless my heart the way you encourage, strengthen, exhort and support one another. It’s truly amazing.
I’m reminded too, that Satan wants us to believe his lies. Lie number one is that we don’t matter, that our life is not significant, and that we are unloved and unlovable. The second lie that Satan tries to trick us with is that we’re the only ones who matter. Our feelings, our needs, our perspective, our pain are the only things that matter.
Friends, these two lies are different sides of the same coin. Self-hatred and self-absorption still center us on SELF rather than on God. Similarly, many of us put people (spouses) at our center and become overly distraught, anxious, fearful and/or controlling because we believe the lie that our well-being depends on another person valuing us, needing us, or loving us like we crave.
The truth is we do matter and we’re not the only ones who matter. The truth is that we do need people to care for us and love us but they will never do it as perfectly as we desire. Nor will we be able to do it for them. That’s why it’s so dangerous to put them at your center.
This leads me to our question for today – how do we move beyond the blame game?
Not only do abusers play the blame game, but sometimes victims do as well. As victims, we blame our abuser for our miserable life. For our own lack of growth. For our own poor reactions. Yet, if we want to get healthy, we too must learn to move beyond the blame game so that we can take responsibility (CORE) for our own lives and make better choices, even when dealing with difficult and destructive people.
Question: How do I deal with the blame-game that my husband and I are trapped in? He is definitely emotionally abusive and my marriage has been destructive since day one. It was shocking and subtle at first so I hid it from others, including myself.
Now that I finally see the truth and have been working on my CORE and calling out my husband's inappropriate behavior, we are caught in a vortex of pointing fingers at each other.
Him blaming me for everything is a hallmark of our entire marriage. Now that I am actually doing it back to him (I believe with righteous perspective and motives) he ramps up his scapegoating and turns it back on me.
At times, I get confused and actually start to question my version of events and my ability to interpret reality and make good judgments. Sometimes I feel like I am just as bad as he is, accusing and demonizing him as he does to me. How do we get out of this maddening cycle?
Answer: First let me applaud you for your question. It takes courage to admit that you are not handling things well and that you now see yourself accusing and demonizing your husband as he has done to you.
You are convinced that your motive is good and your perspective right–but I bet your husband is equally convinced that his perspective and motive are just as righteous. Therein lies the problem. The blame game never promotes healing, growth, insight, awareness, or change. It is hurtful. It fuels negativity and keeps the destructive dance going. (Click To Tweet).
It’s a power struggle about who is more right, who is more wrong and it keeps us from taking personal responsibility for whatever our part is and changing it.
Don’t be overly hard on yourself for getting caught in this cycle. The blame game started in The Garden of Eden when Adam blamed Eve and then Eve blamed the serpent. It is instinctive and pervasive. People do it. Couples do it. Children do it. Companies do it. Nations do it.
The blame game happens when no one wants to accept responsibility or look within to see where the problem is WITH ME. But as you participate in this destructive game, it will hurt you, hurt your husband and hurt your marriage more than it already is. Participating in it will keep you from walking in CORE strength and keep you from being the example of Christ to your destructive spouse that you desire to be.
Let me remind you (and our readers) of the four components of CORE strength:
C – I will be COMMITTED to honesty, internal and external – no more pretending. (I believe this is what you are trying to practice by refuting his attempts to blame you for everything, which is good. However, turning around and blaming him negates the last two elements of CORE strength).
O – I will be OPEN to wise others and the Holy Spirit to teach me new ways of thinking, feeling, responding, so that I can grow whole and healthy (This is why you’ve asked your question. Good for you.).
R – I will be RESPONSIBLE for myself and RESPECTFUL towards others (including my destructive spouse), without dishonoring myself. This is where you are struggling. By demonizing and accusing him, you are not being respectful and you dishonor yourself by paying back evil for evil and behaving in a way that is inconsistent with the person you say you want to be. This is one reason you are in turmoil and feel unsettled by things.
E – I will be EMPATHIC and COMPASSIONATE towards my destructive spouse without ENABLING the abuse to continue. Lobbing verbal bombs of your own – even if they are the truth, is not speaking the truth with love. Hard words need not be harsh words. To read more on CORE strength read Chapter 7 of my book, The Emotionally Destructive Marriage or watch this YouTube video, Building Your CORE Strength. Chapter 9 in The Emotionally Destructive Marriage talks about how to speak up in love.
Once an abused woman starts to regain her voice, she’s tempted to flip his accusations or abuse right back on her abuser. Then you’re both going at it, blaming and accusing, demonizing and attacking. No one is really listening. No one is reflecting. No one is changing. Paul reminds us, “But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another” (Galatians 5:15).
Remember having compassion and empathy for a person does not mean you enable their sin or the attitude behind it. However having empathy for your husband’s blindness helps you stay mindful that you too are blind to some things and without God opening your eyes, you wouldn’t have seen the truth either. Therefore we don’t judge, which helps keep us out of the blame/attack game.
When the Bible tells us not to judge, it doesn’t mean we don’t label something correctly or call a spade a spade. It just means that when we call something by its right names such as deceit, or abuse, we also are very aware that we also have the same proclivity within us as well. That’s why Jesus reminds us to take the log out of our own eye before we attempt to remove the speck in our brother’s eye (Matthew 7:3-5).
When we do choose to speak truth to someone, we do it gently and graciously because we also recognize we too are weak. We too sin (Galatians 6:1). We too are blind to things. We too have trouble resisting the blame game. We too believe we’re all right and someone else is all wrong.
Not judging means we refuse to have a superior or contemptuous attitude towards our abusive spouse, even when we now see clearly what he is doing is wrong. Instead, we feel brokenhearted. We feel compassion that he is so lost in his sin and blindness that he would sink so low as to ruin his own life and his family without even recognizing what he is doing. How sad.
The blame game comes from an underlying belief that everyone or everything outside of me is responsible for how I feel or act. That’s a lie. Your abuser may continue to believe that lie but if you want to build your CORE, you must stop.
Here’s a different approach. You won’t necessarily do all of these, pick one and see if it changes the dynamics between the two of you. If not and he continues to blame and accuse you, then you will have a clear conscience that you have done all you can do. Remember, the person you always have to live with is yourself so with Christ’s strength, you want to conduct yourself honorably even in a dishonorable marriage. You want to be free to respond out of who you are, not react out of the painful situation of your marriage.
First, instead of reacting and blaming him, listen. Respectfully hear him out. Don’t retaliate, or repay evil for evil. Validate whatever pain or truth he is saying and take responsibility for your own choices or mistakes or feelings.
For example, if he’s angry that you won’t be intimate with him and it’s your fault that he watches porn because you won’t be intimate and it’s your fault your marriage is where it is because of your hard heart, etc. etc.
You can validate and show compassion – “I’m sure it is very tough to live in a sexless marriage. I’m finding it hard myself. But it’s equally tough to live in a loveless marriage and I don’t know how to be physically intimate with someone who doesn’t love me or want anything to do with me except have sex.”
This is taking responsibility for your choice not to have sex; it’s owning that you have no idea how to fix this all by yourself in the current state of your marriage. You are compassionate with his feelings but not enabling his self-deception to continue that he is entitled to use your body when he feels like it but disregard your soul or spirit.
If your spouse doesn’t allow you to respond and uses monologue instead of dialogue, continuing to listen might not be the best approach as it will wear you down with his endless ranting and accusing and pretty soon you can’t stand it anymore and blow up or give in.
Therefore instead of blaming him for your blow up by saying something like – “You’re so controlling – or domineering,” take responsibility for yourself by saying, “I can’t continue to listen well anymore. This is wearing me down. I’m taking a break.”
Acknowledge your limitations when he blames you for general things like the poor behavior of your children or his own personal unhappiness. Say something like, “I wish our kids were behaving better too, but I don’t believe I’m responsible for the choices they make at this age. They know right from wrong.” Or, “I see you are very unhappy, but I spent the first 10 years of our marriage doing all I knew to do to make you happy. It didn’t work. I’m not capable of fixing your unhappiness inside.” Or, “I don't think I’m capable of removing every problem or every irritation in our lives so that you don’t feel stressed.”
Ask questions: When someone is on a blame attack, sometimes you can get him or her to stop and reflect on what was said by asking questions or by repeating what you are being accused of.
He blames – “It’s your fault I got fired from my job today. Things are so bad at home I just can’t function at work?”
You can respond by saying, “I’m sorry you’re hurting, but we’re all hurting here. Are you saying I’m responsible for how you function or don’t function at work? If you were feeling so distraught, why didn’t you get some help so you could function better? I can’t take the blame for the choices you have made.”
These examples are ways of speaking the truth, without blaming, accusing, or demonizing. Listen, validate where you can, show compassion for their distress, express your own limitations, ask questions, and take responsibility for yourself, your own feelings and choices while behaving responsibly and respectfully towards your spouse.
These changes will help you get out of the blame game. Let us know how it goes.
Friends, when you have found yourself playing that game, what steps did you take to break free?
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This is a divinely timed article! I am a struggling with speaking the truth in love but in ways that don’t come off critical and blaming in and of themselves. The success I have had in the past has mostly been more from understanding my limitations. As a self proclaimed (now ashamed) perfectionist, I thought perfection was a good thing, and expected from others as well as myself. As soon as I understood and accepted the flawed nature of being human, a huge weight was lifted off my back and I stopped raging against all the things that I noticed that were lacking, wrong, not good enough, and started to feel joy, gratitude and happiness about the things that were already there. These things are good, enough, and gifted by God. This was the first big turn around to not feeling so victimized by my husband’s criticism and negativity. When he tries to blame me for his own unhappiness, over inflated unfulfilled expectations or his own demands of perfection, I can make my way out from under the lies by understanding my limitations as a flawed human, and know I am still deeply loved by God EVEN THOUGH I am flawed. I don’t need the approval of one loud and contemptuous person when I have the love, acceptance and approval of a gentle, living and fair God.
Wow. That’s beautiful and well said!
I agree with JoAnn, this is so well said. You articulate your journey out of perfectionism so beautifully. I can relate! Dr. Kevin Leman says that perfectionism is slow suicide.
What do I do as a husband of a wife who has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder? If I ever disagree with her I’m labeled emotionally abusive. I love her dearly and we fight over what is real. If I don’t agree with her version of reality she comes unglued. If ever I try to point something out to her, she labels me abusive.
Due to feeling so unsafe with her I have lost all my ability to be empathetic to her. I’m so guarded and my B.S keeps going off, because her portrait of the same events are so paranoid.
She won’t accept her diagnosis, nor will she get help. She is convinced she is following God and I am the entire problem in the marriage. What is worse, is now she has begun emotionally abusing our young children. They have been devastated by her ‘on-again-off-again’ behavior, and when she flies into a rage over very little things. We had a family where I asked my kids to talk to her, and she just blamed me for brainwashing them.
Because she still struggles with her eating disorder, I do all the grocery shopping and probably 90% of the cooking–my 11 year old daughter helps me. I have tried to do everything to accommodate her and be a caring and loving husband.
Our past is strewn with wreckage of broken relationships because either she has cut the person off, or convinced me to do so.
She is a Christian and she has various counselors (over the phone) but she never shares her previous BPD diagnosis. She is very clever at painting a picture to the counselors about me, and they give her advice based on what she tells them. What they don’t know is she’s been in counseling a good part of her adult life and knows exactly what to say and what not to. The latest big issue is she filed a restraining order on me because I put the children in public school. I did it to remove them from the abuse they were getting at home. The so called evidence was I blocked the door of the guidance counselors office (and pushed her) from her getting out. I’m baffled because we do not share the same reality. I’d really love to hear Leslie’s advice on this. I lover her dearly but she is destroying our precious little family, all in the name God, with so called godly counselors’ approval.
My mother is Borderline. She never had a diagnosis because she’s so high functioning. My father never set limits with her, he let her have her way ( tried to do everything to accommodate her, as you put it). She pitted us kids against one another.
My father passed away many years ago, my siblings have all moved far away. I am what she has left. Guess who has to set the limits? Me. In 75 years my mother hasn’t had someone really love her. Why? Because we are all so darned scared of her, and her out of control emotions.
I know why you don’t set limits, Henry. Believe me. I know. Because there will be hell to pay. But not setting them will only make things worse. Taking the easy road leads to much damage in the future for you, and your children.
My counsellor told me something yesterday with regards to my fear of setting limits with her:
Someone who has a serious physical disability will have TWICE as much pain with a good physiotherapist. Think deeply on this,Henry. TWICE as much pain. Why? Because the good physio understands that pain isn’t a bad thing. They understand that the disability is the patient’s struggle, not theirs. It is between them and The Lord, and they need to struggle.
Her borderline is between her and The Lord. Get out of the way. You are enabling her by ‘accommodating her’ Henry. That is NOT love.
I suffered immensely because my father usurped his responsibility to her and to us. Me and my sibs try to be close but the damage is so deep. I have suffered depression since I was a teen and this is a direct result of being raised in such an unhealthy environment. My husband and I are now fighting for our marriage because we have no clue how to set limits – we never saw it done, we have no example to draw from. Do you see the long term damage? I’m sorry if this is harsh.
Read stop walking on eggshells, read Boundaries, get into a support group. Ask The Lord for guidance. If you can’t do this for yourself then please! do it for your children.
This letter is for myself as much as it is for you. I need to stand firm in the limits I have set with my mother and I can ONLY do this with the strength of The Lord.
God bless your brave heart!! What you wrote was so very insightful, and I truly hope that Henry takes your advice. So often we don’t appreciate the long-term effects of our decisions, and what you wrote was so helpful. Sometimes the best thing we can do for our children is get them out of harm’s way, and your experience made that so clear. How blessed you are that both you and your husband are trying to have a different kind of life. May God guide you into all Truth.
Thanks for the encouragement, JoAnn.
Henry, may God bless you as you continue to take steps on this very difficult – but with God, possible – journey toward health.
Wow, ladies you are so encouraging! I thank the Lord for you. Some great advice here. Thanks for taking your time to respond.
I now see I have been preventing her from reality. She has never had a full time job, couldn’t keep a part time one, and had no friends. She cuts them off for one reason or another. Her sister in law is her closest friend and if she doesn’t text her back right away or return a call she is ready to cut her off. I repeatedly have to talk her off the cliff.
I have been a wimp and set no boundaries because I have been afraid of her. I realize now I’m doing just about everything wrong. Everyone has been telling me to divorce her, but my heart breaks for her and I don’t know how to abandon a sick woman. We five young kids who’s hearts are breaking seeing their dad escorted out by the very gruff attorney.
If shes BPD, shes not sick. She chooses to be who she is. No mental illness. No sympathy. Theres no help for her. You need to get away. I know you wont, but in 3-5 yrs when you realize nothing worked or works, think of me and finally leave. Guiltfree except twd yourself.
Also, with that diagnosis, you should be able to get the kids away from her and let them start to know reality and love, not emotional vampirism.
Henry, you are a courageous man for receiving this feedback, admitting failings and getting help.
May The Lord be very close to you, and grant you His strength.
You will find a lot of great instruction on this website through Leslie’s posts and lots of support from us. Only The Lord knows the ending of each of our marriage stories. We are not supposed to know. But what He requires of us is to walk humbly with Him, as He shines the light on the path, just ahead.
Wow, Henry, that is a very heavy load you are carrying! Perhaps Leslie will want to use your letter to answer in a future blog. Meanwhile, keep on speaking truth in your relationship, but sometimes it helps to preface your comments with “perhaps you are right, but here’s what I see…” This might take the edge off the confrontational responses from her. I do know that BPD is very hard to deal with, both for you and for any therapist that might want to help.
God bless you and grant you His grace.
Hi JoAnn & Henry too
It’s good to see you again on here JoAnn, I meant to respond to your other post .. but went back to find it -and couldn’t. I’m sorry… I post from my phone😬
~I think what you wrote to Henry was well said.
Very hard and difficult indeed.
Henry, I’m so very sorry for what you are facing the challenges of. 😢
There is a lot of support here;) can I ask…
How did you find this site? Are you working with a counselor well equipped with being on the ‘receiving end’ of these dynamics?
Many of us can relate to the tephlon people in our lives, it’s so painful and can feel so crazy making. I remember a time when I felt like wow.. I’m really being trained well by a person who thinks they really are ‘more deserving’ than another…and most certainly the rules don’t apply to them, they must have special treatment.
This doesn’t happen overnight ~ they do this subtle ways at times.
Just my opinion, and thankfully this wasn’t my spouse (even though many of his tactics looked similar) but a friend of influence in my life. Sad and very hard to navigate. But I learned a lot, more than I set out too;)
Also just wondering how your wife went about getting diagnosed prof.
Aly, I found it by the title of the blame game. Re how she was diagnosed, years after we were married I came across her diagnosis in some papers. (she had been hospitalized for an eating disorder before I met her). I had never heard of BPD before so I asked her about it. She said, ‘Oh that was just something my psychiatrist had to put on there so my parent’s insurance would cover being hospitalized in the psych ward.’ I believed her. My dad always told me go into marriage with both eyes open, and when you get married close one. So, after years and years of difficulty and broken relationships, I thought back to that diagnosis, and began reading about BPD and I couldn’t believe my eyes! So I found a therapist who treats men who’s wives have BPD and have started reclaiming my sense of self. I also found out no one would put BPD on a diagnosis for insurance. Lastly, I just remembered a time when I spoke with one of her more recent counselors, and without using the name went over the BPD traits with me. So as I’m reading the book, I’m just now putting together what this counselor was saying. She is highly functioning BPD, and smarter than Einstien. I am completely at a loss of what to do or how to move forward.
One the most helpful books for me dealing with my husband who had traumatic brain injury and so was very volatile emotionally is How to Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist by Margalis Fjielstadt. Really helped me understand how to be impartial and non reactive in setting boundaries. So very hard.
In this day and age there is still little known about traumatic brain injury. My father was a survivor. He went through a lot of changes. Some were not so good. BUT I have to tell you miracles do happen and I pray you and your husband can experience that in your situation.
Before my Dad’s accident, he wasn’t a very nice person. During the early years he was worse. Volatile would be a good description of his mood swings. And then gradually through medications and therapy he began to relearn things to where he was nearly independent. And through that process, he became the father I’d always wanted. He was kind and loving and he found God along the way. We were told that my dad would never survive his injury. He kept proving the doctors wrong! I hope my father’s story gives you hope and encouragement.
Praying for you and your husband.🌷💞
Henry, I would just like to say “we believe you.” Both men and women can make up a destructive marriage and I would venture to say that the advise is probably still the same. A destructive marriage is still that, destructive. Must you stay in such a relationship?
I’m sorry you are hurting. We believe you. Prayerfully consider separation. My H was so horrible when my kids were younger but I stayed thinking God would be disappointed in me if I didn’t. I regret that no one told me I had other options. It has affected my kids greatly and it breaks my heart. I’ll be praying for you. I haven’t been on this blog forum until about a week ago and I am already finding it to be such a source of encouragement. Whatever you decide to do we are for you!!!
AMEN to Brooke, Free, and Estela!! There is so much experience and encouragement here. We are with you in this, Henry. i do hope you will prayerfully consider some kind of separation, for the children’s sake if not your own, though it sounds like she is pretty good at putting up her own defenses. You can pray that the Lord will somehow bring all her disfunction to light, so that others will witness the extent of the damage she is doing.
Brother I just want you to know that I feel your pain and have been through the same sorts of experiences. The absolute best book that I have ever read on the subject is called
“Character Disturbance: the phenomenon of our age
Simon Ph.D., George K.” and the author has also written another book called
In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People
Simon Ph.D., George K.
I wish I had read these books two decades ago. I can’t even possibly underscore the immense levels of suffering it would have saved me to have the knowledge of what is written in these books.
There are tons of books out there and you may get a shred of value in each one of them. But THESE books will change your life ! You will learn things that will have taken a lifetime in therapy to learn and may never even learn if you don’t have a specialized therapist who understands these issues.
If you knew who I was, and you knew my life story you would know that my response is not a random stab in the dark reply. These books are a BULLS EYE for dealing with the problems that you describe. You WILL have tools to change your circumstances and relive your suffering if you read these books. Read the reviews on Amazon. So many people say the same thing….”If we had only had this guidance years ago it would have saved us so much pain and destruction”.
BPD and personality disorders are not what we have been led to believe they are. It’s a new way of approaching these disorders. And you will know in every fiber of your being that what has been written is the truth. And you will be free because you will FINALLY have a road map.
May God bless you and free you from the bondage of your painful circumstances.
Lisa, have you found in your readings a theory as to how these personalitites develop? How does one become a covert narcissist? I know about entitilement thinking, yet have you learned about any other theories.
I would like to add that I am not interested in fixing the abuser in my life. I am just curious if any researchers have evidence about how such personality disorders emerge in a person. Sometimes accepting, the thought that they are “crazy” is enough to move on.
There are various theories on how they develop but I pretty much go along with the Biblical narrative which involves the fall of man and original sin. So ultimately, these issues are all inherited generationally and, depending on each individuals unique make up , will determine how each person responds to their environment and life challenges.
If I may offer a very frank and non politically correct response to your inquiry I would say that we have a generational issue of human animals raising their offspring as carnal “survival of the fittest” aggressive creatures with very little moral guidance or even basic secure consistent attachment to the caregiver. The age old myths of “might equals right” and “good guys finish last” and all those thousands of canal beliefs we are taught need to be corrected.
Of course there are cases where the child was provided the perfect circumstances and still wound up loosing their way, but that’s the exception, not the rule.
The bottom line is accepting that many adults have no ability to objectively interpret and respond to their environment . And they need help. And we ourselves also need help to learn to accurately interpret our own circumstances in our life. And clearing up all the distorted patterns of our own thoughts will enable us to interact effectively and live in harmony with others.
So when we have never had any healthy models for appropriate rules of engagement, we develop oceans of distorted beliefs. And all those distortions of truth ultimately culminate into a distorted word view . ….and depending on how numerous and how severe the distortions are (ie. how disturbed the character is) , will determine which particular ” personality disorder” one will be likely to develop.
And the Gospel of Christ is the only answer because only he can change us from the inside out. We can’t internalize all the millions of life lessons ourselves . We need God for instruction, correction , bonding, etc…
Wow so well articulated;) I agree with the broken fallen world because of sin and the offshoots of the core beliefs,bonding and modeling you noted., and mostly how Christ restores!
Our God is a redeeming God!
Thanks for your vote of confidence Aly.
You know what we are SUPERB at as a society though? We have absolutely perfected the art of the illusion of being ” good moral people”. We are taught very well how to put on a good show for our fellow man. We certainly are aware of what goodness is supposed to look like and we can confuse the shit out of unsuspecting people and the world at large with our academy award winning performances. And so we grow up thinking that that’s what morality really means. It means delivering an really believable performance. So believable, that we actually even fool our own selves into believing we are good.. That’s why we are so con-vincing. Because we actually believe it. And why should we have any reason to believe otherwise if that’s all we have ever witnessed? But when Christ comes along then for the first time we get to see what the truth actually looks like. And then we become humbled because we realize that our righteousness truly is like filthy rags. And then once that comes into perspective….we actually begin to become teachable. lol
People with personality disorders confuse the shit out of us because they are the epitome of contradictions due to the stunning performances, underhanded tactics and believability.
Shakespeare sonnet 147 ” For I have sworn thee fair and thought thee bright,
Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.”
Get those books guys. You won’t be sorry. After you read them you’ll be like Martin Luther King Jr. proclaiming…”I’ve been to the Mountaintop”.
All of this is why our Lord tells us to “be renewed in the spirit of our mind” (Eph 4:23). We learn to believe so many things as we grow up, and they are not always according to God’s Truth, so we need to have our minds renewed. But if we are not actively engaged in a walk with the Lord, to see our need to live and walk in the Light of God’s Truth, then we just go on, believing whatever we want. Paul tells us to bring every thought captive to the Truth. Friends, don’t believe everything you think!!!
I’m a bit familiar with those books, can’t speak into them clearly as I have not read in depth.
I think we align in the thinking of a broken world and sin, and especially desiring to be a teachable soul as God calls us to. A childlike faith, is one in posture of this I believe.
Some of this world do not desire this posture. For me.., that doesn’t mean they have a PD, etc..,and can’t be helped by prof and or influenced at least .. many can be very broken and ‘hard wired’ in places that are common to a broken lens. For me, here is where interventions begin to answer the questions (that I myself could not answer or declare on my own or even through my own research)
I can relate to the confusion at time and mind blowing behavior responses, but for me it’s not all that different than a toddler that is quite irrational (thinking and emotionally).
It’s all about ‘self’ in their thinking right?
Identity wounds can and usually do look very very similar to PD’s.
I do believe with many professionals.. that the boundaries and treatment to these are similar in approach. It takes a long time to dismantle and rebuild. Not all PD’s will lean into, but some do… those that cant, I don’t always think it’s a can’t, more of a won’t…they have little tolerance to ‘feeling at all’. Very sad and goodness empty.
Thank Goodness for the Word of God!
The Trinity itself is comprehensive in a way… so to me it seems reasonable that we worship a God that ‘comprehensively heals.’
Yes…i totally agree with all that you said, Aly. And Thanks for your input 🙂
Just to provide some additional information on those books….the author doesn’t approach the subject from the traditional perspective of ” PD’s” , per se, although he certainly does address the very nature of people who we tend to identify as having PD’s. But Dr. Simon addresses it more from the perspective of disturbances of character and unrestrained impulses of aggression and he cites innumerable specific features which require correction and which are deeply damaging to anyone who has ever had experience with them. And those features are not inconsistent with human development in general however he helps people manage the more extreme and complicated manifestations . And he also does also honor the reality that all these issues reside on a continuum . So the books reflect a very healthy balanced view of issues associated with what we commonly refer to as PD’s. But what is so important about those books is that he offers real help and real solutions that genuinely support all parties involved. The reason these books are so important is that the degree to which he honor reality and offer solutions. These are among those rare books that actually save real lives . He offers a number of case studies from his thirty plus years in practice and his guidance is sound. I believe his books have been translated into many languages.
But I fully get you stated in your response. And I agree. 🙂
Get counseling on your own from a counselor who knows BPD well–asap!!!
The only way out for you will be if SHE leaves you! My husband left a woman with BPD and she has destroyed her daughter and terrorized our family! She has falsely accused us, in court, of heinous things and sued 4 of the 12 psychologists involved in our custody case (we won custody when my stepdaughter was five but then she used her to destroy our family internally)! Read up on BPD! There are many books out there! This is a serious disorder!!
I don’t know why but when I read this week’s article I never read your post until now even though your post is the first one.
So.. i don’t know if you’ll see my response to you but it’s no big deal if you don’t.
I just wanted to say- your post was very good. Well, it was rough if that was a lesson you had to learn the hard way LOL. When a woman who is already a perfectionist marries man with a harsh, critical spirit- well, that’s a bad combo. But it does force you face your issues in a way you might otherwise ignore.
In my case, it was more of a harsh, critical man marries a woman who ALREADY had a spirit of rejection.
Right after I got married, I listened to lots of sermon series by Joyce Meyer and at the time I thought it helped me. I haven’t listened to her teaching in 20 years but I used to enjoy her teaching on emotional healing.
In fact the next time I go the library, i’m going to check out her book “The Battlefield of the Mind”. I saw it there a few days ago.
Blessings to you!
You made some comments on Joyce Meyer, and I have listened to her in the past, because my mom just thought she was so so helpful, but my experience was that she tends to minimize grief and deep feelings.
She for me reminded me of an ‘inspirational~ motivational speaker’ rather than a speaker who can understand abuse and the dynamics of these relationships. There are places where I found her scripture references to ‘over spiritualized enabling behavior’
I do have compassion for her and she came out several years ago with exposing her sexual abuse and trauma, the more I tried to understand her position the more I saw someone pushing away from ‘feeling and dealing’. Traumas can form these self talk narratives.
Due to the minimizing in her responses to pain, I struggle when others in my church that are in abusive dynamics.. ‘rave about how good she makes them feel’.
The sad thing is, the good feeling, doesn’t accompany the comfort in pain and or any solutions to move more into intimacy with God and others available for intimacy.
Praying for you Ruth, I hope you receive my experience of what I shared about Joyce M. with love and care for your fullest healing benefit. 💗
Aly, i was in my mid 20s when I listened to several Joyce Meyer sermon series and read her books. I liked all of them. At a certain point, when I felt like I had ‘graduated’ so to speak from her teachings, I went on to something else. However it bothered me when she changed her ministry name “Life in the Word” to “Enjoying Everyday Life”. At that point, I was also struggling with my confidence in television ministries in general. That’s probably about the same time it dawned on me that I should have never married my current H. I was struggling with testing the spirits of what ministries and voices I should be listening to. Again, I’m not criticizing Joyce, but just as she has changed, I’m sure I have changed too.
Aly, I always thought her teaching helped me not to be so easily offended and rejected. That was a problem area in my marriage like within 2 weeks LOL.
But I only listened to her REALLY OLD STUFF – 25+ years old. I would be curious to re-listen and see if she minimized suffering in that teaching but at the time I originally heard it, I was too young and inexperienced to pick up on it?
Some people didn’t like Joyce because she wasn’t soft-spoken and feminine. Then other people got all mad when she had her nose job. Who cares about that?!
I know you’re not talking about superficial things like that.
This is the scripture I am meditating on this week:
Psalm 139: 23 and 24 Amplified Bible
Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
I’m glad that you were able to find things in your past with Joyce M. that helped you!
Thank you for sharing your scripture with us too;)
Scripture is where I think we can find our healing and convictions. Reading or listening to additional messages that align to scriptural truths can aid in reinforcing this also.
Some things I can agree with Joyce M on, but many of her teachings are more pieces and parts of scripture rather than context.
This is where my mother won’t be challenged when it comes to what really is the lesson here, and what ‘really is’ being taught scripturally. It’s too easy to twist the Biblical truth to fit our uncomfortable pain or feeling. The Bible warns us about seeking pleasure over the Word of God.
I think Leslie’s Ministry does such a profound job in speaking into the context as well as it’s our individual responsibility to study scripture and weigh those things against it.
My mother tends to refuse to allow any negative feeling in, (some might say denial)
But my difficulty was with how Joyce M. reinforced my mom to ‘not feel’…, basically to not live in reality..which also added to her not wanting anyone one else to feel around her. We all were supposed to be (enjoying life)~ to me it seemed so superficial because that wasn’t the truth.
I’m writing this (lol) a little because many years ago she gave me another Joyce m book on moving ‘beyond your feelings’
I asked my mom, if she read it or if she only saw the title and thought of my her (feeler child~ It made her extremely uncomfortable that I could have a full range of emotions to ’emote’).
Btw: to emote is healthy.
She said she didn’t read it, but thought I could use it. I laughed a little because I said the imp part of getting beyond any feeling (is you have to actually feel them first and process them).
Just because I tend to feel doesn’t mean my decisions are based ‘only’ on my feelings, that would be quite childish in my opinion.
Even though I married my unresolved (mom issues), God has overwhelming blessed my h and myself out of the dysfunctional apathetic marriages that have found ‘not feeling’ functional.
I thank The Lord daily for our trials;)
Here’s one of my verses,
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
Blessing and hugs to you Ruth;)
Ruth, thank you for the book suggestion. I will definitely check it out. I have read so many books by Joyce meyer, Leslie vernick, Dr’s Cloud and Townsend and many others. I have done tremendous healing over the last 2 years and grateful for where God has taken me. I pray for my husband to have the same experience, but he is not a beleiver and has gone the opposite way emotionally. I see him as very stuck in the mud. I don’t know if he will change, but I’m no longer staying stuck with him. I have to move on. I love him dearly, but I can’t drown with him. I love reading the comments here, and I chime on when I feel led to. But I’m grateful for the support and love found here. Blessings to you.
Great Article Leslie;)
There might be a glitch on the other comment sight from ~’ What if he changes?’ Currently, I’m not able to respond to recent posts.
It could be on my side too? But wanted to see if this would post.
Nice to hear from you, Aly. I have been away from the blog for a while, but I have missed you all and hope to get back in touch.
I’ll speak to this part of the Questioner Dilemma:
“At times, I get confused and actually start to question my version of events and my ability to interpret reality and make good judgments…”
I recommend keeping a journal. Try to document what happened within 12 hours or so while your memory is still fresh.
When you go back and re-read the sequence of events and verbatim quotes, the truth will be obvious.
I use now use an online journal. My username and Password are totally unique that site. Plus, I periodically erase my smartphone’s internet history so H can’t see the site name (or this site). I learned the hard way that keeping a traditional notebook journal is a bad idea.
I am now editing some of those journal entries into statements to read when I go to counseling. (I just turned them into Word documents). We don’t have a computer so I need Word and a printer, I go to the library) I worked on that yesterday for about 2 hours; it was emotionally overwhelming.
The online journal is also a good place for me to save my favorite posts from this website and from A Cry for Justice.
I do the same thing. Of course, my H told me I was keeping a record of wrongs when he found my paper version, so I now do online as well. I refer to this in my post below but I thought H had really, really changed. He didn’t come home angry and throwing and breaking things and punching walls or blocking me in a room to “talk”…but when I re-read my journal from the last year, I see that the anger outbursts are the ONLY thing he has eliminated (and in the last 48 hours have started back). This journal, with dates and exact statements made by him has helped me see the light today as I spent all morning reading and re-reading what the last year has been like. It wasn’t nearly as good as I thought it was. And you are right. It is emotionally draining to re-live it all over again. I can’t stress enough the importance of taking the time to document not what you are feeling, but what actually occurred.
“Collecting Injustices” is a characteristic of an abuser. It is not uncommon that they project their thinking on to others. Remember they don’t think normally, like we do.
Documentation and journaling is your life line. Keep up the good work! Some people use their phones for audio recordings as well.
Hi everyone! I’m so sorry I forgot who told me about. Patrick Doyle but whimever it was…THANK YOU!!! He is sooo “spot in” and truly gets it and can communicate it. He so understands aiy all and tells it the way I couldn’t put into words. WOW ! I feel so relieved to know that the feelings and the place I’m in is sooo normal and real and logical!!! I will be sharing these videos with my husband with love not anger. Doyle says it all so perfectly and clear!!! I love it and know that the Lord was all in this Thank you for sharing this man’s work. It will change so much I feel. At least I feel validated!!!!! Bless you all for sharing all that you do!!!
Thank you Leslie for the example responses. For so many years, my husband and I lobbed verbal bombs at each other and our delusion cost us so much, emotionally, financially, mentally. I finally realized that I could not ‘stay well’ as you admonish. I needed to separate so I could grow up and stop continually disdaining, berating and falling into battle so unconsciously. I am in a much more stable place living alone and seeing him only for family events and talking on the phone here and there. Even then, I dip into self pity and thinking that if only he had not ignored our financial needs we might be in a better position. Truth is I envy women who have husbands who work and provide, so I see how I placed my self care on him. What is the right thinking regarding the husband being a provider and how do I avoid resentment that I have been left to manage financially by myself with a lower earning potential due to the fact that I was home caring for my sons and working part time? Also, how do I become free of the anger that it took him four years to realize that he needed to get a job and he began facing his inaction when it became clear he might lose his car only a year ago? I find myself working through great sorrow and loss over what I thought we had early on, I question whether any of it was in fact real since my heart is so dry toward him, and fight to hold on to the reality that we did something right in that our four sons are grown up and finishing college, getting great jobs, finding their dreams and strengths. Ah but we had such a volatile relationship!!!
Regarding verbal bombs, I wonder if in some way this is a behavior of a woman who has not yet been crushed by abuse. Maybe women who fight back are easier to save and more likely to safely flee.
What I mean is that, the reaction to defend oneself seems normal. I am even more frightened by those of us, (me included) who didn’t dare fight back. We may have tried to fight once, but we were quickly and repeatedly over taken and smashed into submission. Like prisoners of war, some of us are listless, drained, obedient, submissive wife/slaves to our abusers.
I find that all that questioning just fuels the fire. The only thing that works for me is to use complete ‘I’ statements. I may start with, “I’m sorry you feel that way” but mostly it’s, “This does not work for me.” “I simply cannot handle this.” “I don’t believe this is the correct way for me to handle it.” etc. And even those statements often have to be said only in my head. Mostly I simply live my own life and if I need someone to talk to, I call a friend. Detach emotionally. If one’s spouse does not believe in repentance and is so fragile and immature that they feel threatened in seeing any fault at all in themselves, you really can’t address any issues, can you? Either they are willing to cry out to God and hear the Holy Spirit, or not. If not, who am I to think they will hear me? God doesn’t make us listen, then how would I? Forgive, and let go.
Connie, I know what you mean; I am learning that my H is so emotionally traumatized and immature that he does not see what he is doing. I too am seeing my reactions to the indifference and anger that he shows. I have healing to do as well. It is so overwhelming to know the emotional states that we are both in—wow, that I attracted someone who was so emotionally unavailable to me. That is what really hurts to know.
I just don’t buy that he doesn’t know what he is doing. He may be doing a good job fooling people that he doens’t know, but he does.
Once when my husband thought I had fallen asleep, he murmured. “I resent you.” He didn’t think I heard him, but in the small quiet place, he exposes his entitlement and self centered thinking. It is just carefully hidden to the world.
I don’t see immaturity as an excuse. If the person is an adult, it is no longer immaturity, but bad character . I see an adult of poor character.
I agree with some of this you wrote. They do tend to have a level of awareness of their behavior and thinking.. the problem is that ‘they’ think it’s normal and functional on some level. (Again we are taking about a person ‘believing’ they are entitled to have control.)
It is also common that they think.. this is how most people, ‘think too’ which is quite telling how self consumed and boxed in those beliefs are!
Free, I see what you mean, I have seen this in myself too and God has been showing me my wrongdoing too and I want to ‘honor myself’ too by being respectful. Yes there is some awareness-thank you. I’ve read about emotional detachment in 12 step recovery and on this blog–I just am not really sure how to do that. Now I am grieving over how bad our circumstances really are. He works, pays bills does not hit me but I have mentally moved out. I am emotionally done with him. We work in counseling to ‘change the dance’ but I am checked out. I don’t know what to do–I tried to find someone I could stay with for a while that was suitable but no luck so far–just hard to accept I may need to do that.
Helen. It’s hard to have connection with someone when there is a wall in between. It is a fine line between protecting yourself, and secluding yourself. Humans are meant to be with other humans. The wall keeps others out, but it also kerps us in. Do you think your husband has ever felt like you do now?
I pray that you seek God and ask Him what your next step should be. He may not reveal His whole plan to you, but He will reveal your very next step. It may be to stay, it may be to learn something you haven’t learned yet, consider a different perspective, or it may be to go. But you need to be willing to trust that God is working on the other side of this mountain on your behalf. Yet, He also loves your husband too. We are all His children.
I am tempted every week to just call it quits, too. I struggle with those exact feelings of deep apathy for my husband too. I get it. It’s kind of a mental survival tactict. But I need to make sure I don’t shut down completely, either. That would be no good for the kids, myself or anyone. Thats not the life we are designed to live. We are to thrive, not just survive. We both need to keep our head into the game, even though we feel benched and unvalued, like a place holder. We are valued. But trust that God has you where you are force reason. Sometimes, we feel like there is darkness all around us, spiritual and emotional darkness. But what if we are the the very light that God is trying to bring into that dark place? He has taught us and given us the very thing that will bring light. I think of it as a talented and good teacher being placed into a school that is riddled with gangs, hardships and failure. That teacher may feel like life is unfair that she has to work in such a dire situation, but it is her very attitude that those kids need to see in order to improve, succeed and find a different way in life. Sometimes, we don’t see the light, bease we ARE the light. A flashlight is no good in the daytine, but oh the power it has at night!
When I pray for God to show me where my next step should go, and if I should go or stay, i keep feeling for me to stay. I don’t understand it, and it doesn’t feel like what I want to do, but I’m trying to obey Him. So I stay. Who’s to say that my example isn’t being seen by my husband, my kids, neighbors, friends? My husband wanted a divorcec2 years ago, but for sone reason, he is still here too. Who’s to say that this is just as much a test and a growing opportunity for me to learn how to do the right thing, even when it seems the wrong thing is happening? Me and my family have always had the attitude of avoidance, flee, shut it down, become an island, but that attitude has only left me lonely and feeling unloved in the past. It is how I was raised, but not what I need to stay as. I’m choosing a different path this time. I have grown and learned so much more because of it. I have a deeper faith, and honestly, I feel stronger than I ever have. I know that no matter what happens, I will be ok. But that I don’t have to be in control of everything anymore. I am only responsible for me, my actions, words, responses, not my husbands. He will have to deal with his own consequences on his actions, I’m busy enough dealing with my own consequences of my own actions. I was once a very disrespectful, angry, controlling, perfectionist who tried to bend the world to my own way, and was able to wake up and open my eyes to see the destruction I was causing. If God can open my eyes, I know He can open my husbands eyes and others. God works it all out, if only we get out of His way and hand over the reigns…and it usually turns out better than we could ever have devised.
Yet, I am constantly wanting to quit, leave, shut it down. Like the pull of gravity when I’m trying to fly like an eagle. I have to work hard to resist staying on the ground (which would be easier to do), but staying on the ground is not where an eagle is at her best.
My husband does not physically abuse me either. He pays the bills, he comes home at night, but there is no emotional connection, physical connection or anything that resembles love. He doesnt know how to fix things either. It resembles duty. But I don’t beleive it will always be that way. I honestly think he may be suffering from a mid life crisis, some sort of functional depression or something else, because he was not always so checked out, but he refuses to see a doctor, therapist or talk to anyone. He runs fast away from anything having to do with the church. He is a true prodigal son, trying to live life his own way and as an island himself. I am constantly trying to NOT become just like him. There is a different way, and it involves keeping faith that God is in control, and living every day to please God, who loves us as a precious child, not to please man.
I find that being thankful for all the truly good things in my life, like kids, a job, air to breath, freedom, beautiful sunrises, ood, water, a chance every dawn to do my best for God keeps me filled with joy and gratefulnesd. No matter what my husband does or doesn’t do, I am still able to live a life I can be proud of…to be able to go to sleep at night knowing I did my best with what I know today to try to thank God for all He has given me on earth….mainly, life and forgiveness.
An attitude of gratitude is a real golden key to breaking free from depression, self pity and darkness. Focus on the good in life and it will get bigger. If you focus on the bad, then that will get bigger. What do you think will benefit you more in the long run?
I will pray for you today and all on this site that God can give all of us the provision of strength, energy, patience and discernment that we need just for today. Tomorrow, I will pray for what is needed just for tomorrow, and don’t worry about a week from now, month, year. We are called to live out today, tomorrow will take care of itself. I pray God can keep us focused on the right path, even though we may not understand why or where it leads us, but that it leads to life. I pray that we can be persuaded to give up control of all of it and allow God to take us through it all. I pray we can hear His words and obey Him, because He will never take us into harm. I pray we can see His wisdom in what and how He teaches us about our own selves…as a caring, loving parent who knows what is best for us.
All my love to you and all on this site.
Accepting the reality of your circumstance does take time. Feelings of loss are normal and will be worked through in time. The facts haven’t changed though, at some point, let the logical side of your brain speak so you can take action. Emotions can bog us down and trip us up, the abuser is counting on that. It gives them superiority and always them to continue to control you. You have written to us that you know what to do. When you take action, your healing will happen much faster and you will see things clearly. It is hard to heal and grown when you are still in the oppressive relationship,.
I’m very sorry for what you are seeing realities in. I’m sorry for the hurt that you mentioned as being hard to believe being attracted to someone emotionally unavailable.
I understand this hurt and lived for a longtime with my h being this way. I felt alone and felt that it was my fault for being attracted in this fashion.
What helped me take steps was to look at those first years, especially the dating ones, many emotionally unavailable partners do not begin with putting their cards on the table, in fact they are quite charming and do show care for the other. So for me the emotionally unavailable part of my h came full steam after the marriage. Maybe that was not your experience but most men (spouses in general during the courting phase) don’t openly say, “let’s get married and share a life together, oh and by the way I’m going to be very emotional unavailable and not care how my behavior impacts you in the future! And then the other partner thinks wow that sounds like what I want;)!
I guess the reason why I’m writing here is in hopes that you will be gentle with your heart as your healing.
Lastly, many things in this world are not an outcome of our choices, meaning many things will not be ‘our fault’ but because certain things may not be our fault, it doesn’t mean that we don’t still have the responsibility to take appropriate action toward growth and healing.
I do understand the emotional unavailability and the horrible pain it can create. I find a common thread with those that are quite satisfied with ‘one dimensional expressions’… they also are unable to experience a multi dimensional God, and this makes me the saddest for them.
Hugs for your journey and prayers over you.
Connie, can you say more on how you detach emotionally while living in the same house with someone? For me the expectations I have had involve that he would want to be kind to me and do things with me, but I am accepting that as reality has not happened. I am struggling with how to be in this house and not crumble in my heart.
Helen, I am sorry for the pain you are experiencing in your marriage. I agree with you that you are expecting something from him that he is not giving you; that hurts, especially because we go into a marriage with the desire to be loved and cherished in that relationship. So, there is a vital need for you that is not getting met. Bottom line is that the Lord Himself is the only one who can reliably fill the emptiness in our hearts. Cultivate a loving and personal relationship with Him, as so many of us on this blog have done and testified. When you read through the different messages here, you can see how these difficult circumstances have drawn us all so much closer to the Lord, and Praise Him for that!! I can also recommend that you get involved in something outside your home, volunteer work, or a part time job, so that by giving to others, you find some fulfillment for yourself. Grace be with you, Dear Sister.
Thank you for sharing your views about this. I was wondering whether this form of communication is encouraged with a person who has a narcissistic personality disorder. I find emotional detachment to be the safest place for me regarding relating to my husband who has npd. Detaching has helped keep me at a safer distance emotionally and not get triggered by his disorder. It has also, to my pleasant surprise, fostered companion and mercy for him in his disorder.
I did appreciate Leslie’s perspective here and can see how applying these communication tools with others in my life could be very helpful!
I meant “compassion”, not “companion”. We are currently separated.
I have a feeling I will be reading and re-reading this particular blog. My spouse is blame shifting every thing to me lately. His anger is returning, after him improving for a long period and giving me false hope. I am at a place of desperation today because I truly feel its over and that I just can’t keep living like this. Last night H was wanting a bath and he completely blew up b/c I left the room to go eat a late supper after working all day. He got angry that I didn’t stay in there and talk to him. He sent me an email TELLING me how I feel about him…not asking me questions…TELLING me what I feel and think. I responded back to him as kindly as I could (after deleting my response several times and starting over) and then I saw this blog this morning and am happy to say that I did several things Leslie recommended. A year ago that isn’t what would’ve happened so although I feel incredibly week I know I am getting stronger and am able to speak the truth respectfully (most of the time) now. I did tell him that we would communicate by email from now on if it was at all controversial because last night when he went on a tangent the kids heard him say that I wouldn’t make love to him anymore b/c of how he looks (NOT true..he is handsome if you are only going on that) and they heard him say that I wish he hadn’t started changing and doing better so I could’ve left him and started over with someone else. My daughter was destroyed by these comments. She knows it isn’t true. She was hurt that he said hurtful things to me. She asked me today if I could find her a counselor to talk to b/c right now she hates him and knows it is wrong. I haven’t slept in a solid 48 hours over the way he has been the last few days. He tells me he wants me to either completely forgive him like GOD did or to cut him loose and put him out of his misery b/c he can’t take it any more and is in despair. Its not about how I feel. Its about how I make HIM feel, I guess. I’m just so heart broken today but to hear it from him, I am the rigid one that has caused him heartbreak. Never mind the fact that the last time we did have sex he cussed me out the next day and called me a B^&*(& and said “F” you over something so small and insignificant that we disagreed on. Made me feel like a prostitute or like I had been raped. I don’t know how to explain it but that is when the sex stopped b/c my heart just couldn’t take it any more. He also told me I had a decision to make b/c he couldn’t keep living in a loveless marriage and that he loved me with all his heart and I was the only one he had ever truly loved. I am so tired of crying myself to sleep. Crying in the shower. Being alone. Sad thing is, if I look back over the last year his anger actually has drastically improved and gave me hope. Most of what I am saying has nothing to do with the actual blog post and I know I’m pretty much rambling at this point. I pray for healing for all of you that find yourselves in a similar place.
Oh Brooke, your situation breaks my heart. I am so sorry for what you are living. May you feel the presence of our Lord wrapping you in His protective arms. May you be blessed with an overwhelming knowledge of His deep, deep love for you. May He enable you to set your sights on Him, and Him alone. May he envelope your children under His mighty wings.
Brooke I think it’s a good sign that your daughter has asked for help. Do you have support?
I will keep you in my prayers ❤️
I don’t yet but I am looking for a counselor that understands abuse. I have a ministry organization that I have spoken with and they were very helpful with advice but they don’t take on regular clients understandably and they are in another state.
Ok. I’ll pray that you find a good counsellor. Women’s shelters will often offer free counselling by phone or in person.
You are not rambling at all. You are not alone.. many of us here… see you Brooke, and see the very toxic situation you are trying to navigate through.
My h and I have been able to break through, so I can relate to turmoil of living and trying to love a very disturbed injured person…. it takes a lot of intervention.
I do think you need to get somewhere (where) you can detach. Where your children can find a safe place without being anymore exposed to the traumas that are taking place in my opinion.
Just a note on the forgiveness thing.., I think many of us here would agree that forgiveness isnt immediate reconciliation or any reconciliation for that matter.
But let’s go back to forgiveness… it’s quite impossible to forgive someone if the behavior is continuing and ongoing… such as your h destructive verbal behavior toward his disappointments.
Your h has a ‘long road to repair’ to get to your heart, and your heart is worth it Brooke!
If your h doesn’t do the necessary groundwork to repair the road won’t be safe for either of you to be on.
I’m sorry that we are in this blog format, I do wish I could just sit with you and hold your hand as you give space for your healing. God wants to move into this place go you Brooke, He takes us under His wing and protects us like nothing we can express.
I’m praying for you!
Hugs and care for you💕
Your words comfort me immensely. H told me he wouldn’t fight a losing battle. I interpret that as him saying I’m not worth the effort if its not immediate. It hurts but I’m getting ok with that. If he doesn’t want to win my heart back and do the hard things, that is on him. Last night I was feeling defeated and worthless. Today I realize that God loves me and thinks I am pretty amazing. As are YOU…and ALL of you in this group.
Brooke, I understand where you are coming from! I too have been told what to think. It is so had to accept one is in an abusive relationship. There is a period of disbelief, or at least there was for me.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to start building your support team. This blog is a great help and outlet. Now, who else will help you?
You need a game place to leave or change your life safely. Making and keeping boundaries will be challenging as abusers don’t like boundaries. I storngly encourage you to reach out to domestic violence organizations. You may think your situation doesn’t apply, but it does. Try your state and national hotlines. They, of course are rarely Christians, but they will know the laws in your state and cane help with all kinds of practical information.
Sadly, tnis problem does not go away on its own. It can’t be denied, prayed or wished away. Believe me, I already tried that tactic.
game plan not game place
Thank you for posting back. My heart has been heavy for what you are in the thick of… I do think many of us here can relate to being in proximity to the person such as your h. I’m glad for you that your seeing your worth through Christ and that lense will help you make critical decisions.
I do agree with the things that FRee mentioned, building a team is really essential and it sounds like you are already getting counseling lined out.
I do hope you continue to write, because when I read your h’s comments to you… it shows the division.
Here are my thoughts on his comments… they sound like the ‘addict talk’
By addict talk nothing or rarely an addict says can be worth listening to. I’m not trying to be mean, but your h is saying those things because he wants to the power to not have to do the work, all addicts want the (1 button solution)
They want the resolve to be simple and EScApE the painful process of looking at their behavior and their thinking!
I say thing because I want you to see the objectivity in some of this as being essential in your journey.., regardless if the marriage recovers, it’s important you try understand deeply ‘the mind set’.
This is so you don’t get taken under…,
Ok so back to not believing anything they say, this goes for both negative horrible comments and positive hopeful ones.
For me when my husband was fighting himself.. ughhh and unable to see how good he was at self deception… my Job was only to watch the behavior.
Ofcourse I wanted to believe he would turn the world, but those are words and the ‘bread & butter recovery’ for addicts, are actions and accountability.
This is only a part.
Brooke, I’m not saying I see all of the dynamic but the patterns seem quite familiar.
I’m thankful that you are feeling some strength and taking healthy steps to hear your daughter’s heart. I love that;)
I am sorry for all the pain, but I do think you are being wise be getting the resources you need for your heart!
Hope you can stay connected here also as a resource.
Much love 💟 To You and to all too!
Sorry to jump in here. You say above that your job while your h was fighting himself, was only to watch the behaviour. What if that behaviour turned on you? I’m thinkng of using some kind of ‘safe word’ to communicate to him before removing myself. Yesterday
I got sucked into something. I wrote it all down and I honestly don’t know what I could have done differently. The only thing that came to mind was that I should have exited sooner.
He’s taken responsibility, but whatever that was will be revisited in the counsellors office.
Sorry, I sounded quite generalized with the comment.. ‘my only job’ statement.
For my sanity, I needed to remind myself that the behavior was going to be the only thing to access, rather than fall into the lip service… that trust me they themselves believe.
For my h it was such a learning process ‘to apply the tools of responding rather than reacting.
Maybe this is what you are dealing with in the dance dynamics…
I do think it’s great to write things down less time to ‘rewrite history’ in the counselors session…and I like your idea of exiting sooner. Sometimes this is very helpful but it does depend on the individual you are dealing with.
Many of our conflicts were ‘time sensitive’ so exiting would have been my h’s preferred response because he could stop the ‘uncomfortable feelings’ and go escape (hit golf balls, you name it) but not really self reflect toward problem solving together. (Again, not resolved!~ how convenient for the one who isn’t most impacted)
When things were more triggered..
I had a word or I guess a statement… and it went something like this.
“I don’t feel like we are having a mutual adult to adult conversation” I don’t feel heard, how do you think you are doing in this conversation? And then also myself for reflection. Our counselor helped me in this area tremendously;)
Self reflection was not something in the beginning my h could do.
But eventually he could.
Nancy im praying for you and you are working so smart/wise as God is equipping you all the way! So thankful we have such a place to connect and encourage each other on such painful and trying journey.
Sending hugs from afar😊💕
Thank you Aly, that really helps. To not pay attention to his words, only his behaviour. Yes. Key. I can feel it a MILE away; when he gets agitated the conversation will escalate, no matter what I say or do.
And yes, with each interaction yesterday, I wrote it all down. Very comforting to know that I will be bringing that record, when we go next week 🙂
Aly: Brooke’s openness in sharing her situation and then your response have really helped me. I felt compelled to write to you to ask for prayer for my situation.
My h and I have been separated for over a year after I found him making out in our kitchen with my handicapped son’s assistant. This was the “final straw” for me because I had watched this sickening “emotional affair” unfold right in my house. (She had been my son’s assistant for 15 years.) Years ago, I told my h that I was uncomfortable when he was alone in the house with her while I would be out doing errands. But he not only didn’t try to assure me; he actually did the opposite and would laugh and talk and chat with her a lot. Right in front of me.
Then, just a week later, one of my closest friends admitted that she had made out with my h 7 years ago. In the meantime, my h was carefully and subtly making me look bad to my other adult children.
So the betrayal was huge. I was so shattered, I could barely function. This, along with 35 years of his indifference and me feeling like he doesn’t care about me…well, I had had it. My heart couldn’t take this anymore. He is what I guess is called an “covert narcissist”. He doesn’t yell at me, doesn’t get violent. He actually always helps a lot around the house. (I was told that his “keeping busy and helping around the house” is a common characteristic of an adult child of an alcoholic.
He had been a worship leader full time at the two largest churches in this area for over 20 years. So literally thousands of people “know” us. My h is very gifted musically and always had every song practiced, all his scriptures ready to read,…looking like a really solid spiritual leader. At home, not the same guy. I think I can count on one hand the number of times he has prayed just with me. In 40 years.
When I read here on this blog about husbands who yell, swear, blow up, criticize, my heart aches for those women. I can’t imagine having to live with such a constant barrage of anger. So, compared to my situation, my h looks like a pretty good guy. But his anger and struggles were kept inside; and then once in a while, his “true colors” would show.
Another huge aspect of this situation: he financially made a huge mess because he had to step down from his position. Our income dropped DRASTICALLY….down to $6,000/yr. He’s now working at two places, minimum wage.
This has been a year of depression and anxiety. I would try to stay “steady” for all of our family events (including my two daughters’ weddings), but by New Year’s Eve, I bottomed out. Had a severe breakdown. Even with the depression and anxiety meds I was on. I was alone. And I reached a point of UNDERSTANDING why people commit suicide. I was not suicidal: even at this level of deep depression, I knew that I will eventually get on the other side of this valley and God has more for me…I sense that a “new chapter” is coming, whatever that is.
Leslie’s ministry has truly helped me; I have a good counselor,I love my church. And I thank God that I am feeling steadier. But I am still grieving, I’m scared; some friends who we’ve known for years have reached out to support my h but haven’t called me. So the hurt continues to get stirred up.
Wow, I’m rambling on, too. Sorry for unloading my mess!, …but I sense that you are a compassionate person who will pray for me. Thanks, Aly…
Dear Polly, please know that we all pray for each other here. Your situation is truly heartbreaking, but I’m so glad you are seeing a counselor.
It sounds like whatever agency you used to hire your son’s caregiver should know about the affair, and perhaps what you need is a male caregiver for him. There were red flags all along the way, but now you know, and you shouldn’t have to continue with this person in your household.
You will get a lot of help here. I’m so glad you told us about your situation. Grace be with you.
I hope it’s ok to come alongside you here. Thank you for sharing your story. What I mainly want to say is that covert abuse is just as destructive ( and often more confusing) as overt abuse. Please don’t minimize what you are living with by comparing your experiences. Your husbands behaviour is simply outrageous. I’m also SO sorry that you are seeing friends come alongside your husband and not you. This must add to your heartbreak.
Polly, God sees you. He sees your heart and knows your pain. You are a precious daughter of the most High King. ❤️
You have courageously reached out here- good for you!
I’m so glad to hear that you have a good counsellor, and a good church 🙂
I pray for His strength for you, Polly. Did you know that the Greek for ‘comfort’ [ Holy Spirit as comforter] means ‘one who comes alongside and provides STRENGTH. I pray you feel His COMFORTING presence as you journey each day into a new life of continued healing. 🌷
Thank you sweet sister for risking and sharing here, such amazing women here to come and help carry such a burden. I’m so sorry for this,any words seem minimal compared to what my heart is hearing and feeling.
The fact that your h was in ministry just adds to the trauma and the isolation, I love that Leslie’s ministry has created a safe area for the wives that need to be able to reach out and find help to get out~ and begin a journey for their hearts!
“I knew that I will eventually get on the other side of this valley and God has more for me…I sense that a “new chapter” is coming, whatever that is.”
Wow! This is true and beautiful Polly, and you will see that other chapter, because He loves you so.
Goodness, I’m so glad you had Had it, and got away to detox yourself from what you described as a covert narc. behavior.
I think many here can relate and want to come along to encourage you! The words these women have given to me have been powerful and healing to my heart, something only God can orchestrate. Praise Him for this;)
I am PRAYing for you, so glad you have a counselor and a church home for added support! Hugs to you 💜
Forgive me please if you have already said, but are you currently seeing a counselor for you? Also, I am very concerned for your precious daughter. Do you plan to help her find counseling?
You are not alone and I think this “community” offers a very safe and solid good hope for healing.
May I encourage you to avail yourself of lots of good articles here and know that there is healing and hope for your heart. It may be slow in coming, but with staying in it, it will come.
One last thought, can you separate for a season to allow safer distance emotionally for now? (Thinking of your daughter here also. The adult dialogue she is exposed to can’t be good for her).
Praying for guidance for you.
I agree. It isn’t good for her at all. I am looking for a counselor for her to meet with…and SOON. She is the most precious thing in the world (her and my son, both…) and I hate seeing her hurt. I hate seeing her want so badly to have this amazing relationship with her earthly father. Thankfully she is a strong believer and loves her Lord. I am also starting to talk to someone. Just did tonight and it was SUCH a help!!! As far as a separation, I am preparing myself that that might be very necessary in the near (very near) future. I’m planning for it. Thanks for your advice and feedback.
I am writing for the first time and my marriage has gone a totally unexpected 180 degrees since the elucidation of the infidelity from many years ago. I guess the point is that never in a million years did or would my brain have processed this as a possibility. In short there were apparently issues from the lack of good father modeling and thus the infidelity. So as much as I completely trusted and over the moon loved this man I find myself numb, hurt and at times angry and disappointed. I seem to see him through different eyes and resentment flairs in me. I forgave him early on but cannot of late seem to get past the whole thing. I’ve found myself feeling that I should “go” and not be available as I feel that I was always there and made sure all and anything was done. With this infidelity I found deceit as well and the loss of trust is just huge. It has been 1 1/2 years since I learned of the infidelity and I think the blame game is going on in my soul. Sooo I’m trying to find myself “finding myself” and feeling love but I’m coming up short on those feelings. The infidelity was many years ago but new for me now. I’m not sure today how I truly feel other than unhappy, disappointed and frustrated. I’ve recently realized how “on the ball” about everything that I have done. I almost feel like his mother running a check list and this man is a professional!!! I feel like I’ve done so much for so long but without any appreciation or genuine love. Now I’m sure there was some appreciation but I just don’t “feel it” at all. I feel that I’ve been the compliant, loving, devoted wife and this allowed him to check “all the boxes ” and I was just so convenient and useful. I have 3 amazing grown children that are my trophies of grace and I look at them and know I did good things whether anyone truly respected me for what I did for 35 years or not. I know my own heart and my motives were pure as I was totally committed to this marriage with no other thoughts. Sooo now what do I do or where do I go from here. I feel empty however I’m striving to inject my career with some new energy as I try to learn who I am. Because surely I was in the dark for many years – innocently. Help!!!!
Bebe, your post is very sad and I am sorry for the pain you have experienced in your relationship. Adultery is painful and it does destroy marriages. Do you want to continue to live in the consequences of some one else’s sin, when biblically you are free to leave the marriage?
Thank you for sharing with us. I’m so very sorry for your pain and the place you are in with something so (blindsided)… that in of itself is traumatizing.
I do hope you are able to stay on the blog, there are amazing women here who can comfort and understand what you are experiencing.
Do you have support or a counselor?
You have gone through so much and for me had I found out something similar .. the amount of time passing, I don’t care if it was in another century…, it’s not ok, and time doesn’t heal, nor lessen the affects of losing the sacred trust in a marriage.
“In short there were apparently issues from the lack of good father modeling and thus the infidelity. So as much as I completely trusted and over the moon loved this man I find myself numb, hurt and at times angry and disappointed. I seem to see him through different eyes and resentment flairs in me. I forgave him early on but cannot of late seem to get past the whole thing.”
I think you spoke to your feelings really well here, I would feel similar and sometimes when we are dropped a bomb it’s very natural ‘human nature’ to want to move quickly to forgiving and getting back to a reconciled place, I think this is common. What I think also is that you are being very Brave by listing the feelings you are experiencing and allowing yourself to process! I want you to know I see your courage and I think it is going to be pivotal to your healing.
You mentioned getting past the ‘whole thing’, i understand this, I do think it’s more about getting through, than past and those that go through find and can treat the ‘core issues’ rather than the surface behaviors, in this case your h’s adultery. This isn’t to state that it’s surface.., that’s not what I mean, the surface issues are extremely painful and damaging and if left not rooted or dealt with, not only will you struggle to authentically reconcile, but your h will be short changed as well, and thus pass that on.
Betrayal comes in lots of colors and shapes, and many of us on this blog have been exposed to betrayal, we are here to hold you hand and understand what your healing journey is telling you.
Trust is something that takes time to earn and within one moment or choice trust can be lost.
Forgiveness isn’t trust repaired. Many times growing up we are told that forgive and move on right.. this betrayal doesn’t apply to what you have waken up to.
Have you seen any of Patrick Doyle’s YouTube videos on forgiveness/ affairs etc. he has some really good ones out there that might help validate.
Just because this might have happened long ago, your h has plenty of work ahead of him now.
Sending a big hug to you Bebe and praying for your heart❤️
I do love your bravery and it will serve you well in the process;) keep us posted!
Thanks for the Doyle videos info. Yes!! I agree my h has a lot ahead of him but the place I fear I am now is that my efforts to be who/ what God would prefer that I be has seemed to generate no effort on his part to “heal” and “deal” with what he has done. I sometimes think he doesn’t even process the need for change or empathy or anything to make this situation better or toward healing. It has been 11/2 years now since I had knowledge of all this and I think that he must be so traumatized that he can’t move. Like he can’t see “the forest for the trees”. I have grown very weary and feel rather numb and sad looking at life forward b/c he has no response or mostly no initiation of discussion/ conversation regarding healing or a path to move toward. I feel pretty dejected in general and it’s becoming tougher to climb to a better place. Lots of life’s disappointments recently. Thank you for your encouragement as it is most comforting as I do feel rather unloved, “not cherished ” after all the many devoted years I’ve spent with him. I just keeping asking God for help and comfort and encouragement. Thx!!
I think it’s a good thing that you are starting to look into more self care of your heart and the long time betrayal.
Maybe you mentioned it prior but are you seeing a counselor that can help assist? Good counselors are just one essential with any trauma and betrayal.
“”It has been 11/2 years now since I had knowledge of all this and I think that he must be so traumatized that he can’t move.”
I’m wondering about this and why you might think he’s traumatized?, or maybe what mean is more of parallized as you wrote below more of this..
(I’ll copy down in a minute)
You don’t have to answer but what brought him out to confess the affair? Or did you find him out somehow?
“I have grown very weary and feel rather numb and sad looking at life forward b/c he has no response or mostly no initiation of discussion/ conversation regarding healing or a path to move toward. I feel pretty dejected in general and it’s becoming tougher to climb to a better place.”
This makes me very sad with you! I would feel similar if this was a my husband’s response to such a reality of ‘his choices’
I wonder if he thinks that’s it’s his intiation to fix? He behavior seems to place you in the drivers seat of much.. similar to what you were expressing previously about the marriage .., that you were (all in) and this was such a shock.
Most of us have ‘legitimate needs’ in a marriage dynamic and too many that are very ‘undeveloped like you h sounds’ (putting it as gentle and real as I can)…find ‘illegitimate ways’ of meeting this legitimate needs.
Even his responses now toward you seem less than legitimate given the infraction.
Do you think it would be reasonable that you ‘require more of him’ to restore the trust? I think as does the Lord say in His Word that you are worth being cherished in this covenant! 💕
Maybe I’m wrong here, but there is something that’s seems like he’s dumping more responsibility upon you.. like your the parent role having to fix it or deal with the mess of it?
Does he seem familiar with how consequences to choices and behavior work? Maybe a loving thing is to allow those consequences to rest upon his shoulders.~
My last question Bebe, this might be hard, and you most certainly don’t have to answer… but I’m wondering if you have allowed any anger (healthy anger) to be processed or give a voice to..?
Hey Aly! Just found your post and realized it was you who suggested listening to Patrick Doyle! WOW is he “spot on”. I sent a reply a few minutes ago hope you see it. And again thx for the info if Doyle. It has been so validating!!! Gotta go for now but I’ll chat soon!
I’m really glad you found Patrick D. helpful for your situation. I think many also referenced him too!
He also has other audio posts on his site which are helpful when (we can’t sit and watch him via YouTube etc)
My h also has gotton a lot out of listening, and writing down (that’s helps him process the info)
I would say that Patrick was a good reinforcement of the other interventions my h had in place.
Prayers for your journey and usually with these dynamics there can be and in my case we’re many moments of relapse with my h but usually those relapses are blessings to reveal more interventions ‘possibly’.
There is so much love and support here, thank you all so much…such a blessing to His Kingdom;)
re: “These examples are ways of speaking the truth, without blaming, accusing, or demonizing. Listen, validate where you can, show compassion for their distress, express your own limitations, ask questions, and take responsibility for yourself, your own feelings and choices while behaving responsibly and respectfully towards your spouse.”
re: “The blame game comes from an underlying belief that everyone or everything outside of me is responsible for how I feel or act. That’s a lie.” re: “The blame game happens when no one wants to accept responsibility or look within to see where the problem is WITH ME. . . . Participating in it will keep you from walking in CORE strength and keep you from being the example of Christ. . . .” “Friends, when you have found yourself playing that game, what steps did you take to break free?”
. . . .This post is just full of really great examples and model language to use and is an almost identical post from 2015 but is even more valuable to me today as it highlights to me just how little progress I have made since then. But one big difference from then for me is key: Yesterday I was “clever,” so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wiser (—I hope, who knows), so I am working hard on changing myself. More than this, I don’t think the working is as important as the realizing. Realizing that the real issues are usually internal and we must attack the evil that is within ourselves, rather than attacking the evil that is in others. Personal responsibility means living with integrity and that means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, your “C”, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe. This puts our lives back in God’s hands. Especially the “C – I will be COMMITTED to honesty, internal and external – no more pretending.” . . .The power behind speaking the truth as best we know how and taking responsibility for our actions means I no longer dwell on whom I’m going to blame (—in my case my mother). That wastes time and builds roadblocks to healing. Most hate, in fact, is the result of people refusing to take responsibility for their own lives. I was thinking about that the other day: —My life, this isn’t just the way things are. This is the way I made them. It is the result of my choices, —my actions. In my life, the right thing to do and the really hard thing to do are usually the same thing Christ wants me to do and I know it. That means cutting out the self-pity, and quitting with the righteous indignation. I even blame Jesus for things (—failure to communicate/— not making all ancient extant Bible manuscripts indestructible, unalterable and self-translating —vs. scholars constantly, I mean constantly! disagreeing over context and the meaning of words, phrases, chapters, paragraphs). But all that is just diversion/ misdirection (—even though it is all true). Why do I love righteous indignation? Because if I can prove I am a victim, all the rules are off. I don’t have to be accountable for anything. But in reality that is nonsense, these last years I realize I am the one who hurts myself the most, by how I receive, by how I perceive. Not that I don’t need to speak my shame and my pain courageously in order to recover but within a healing context realizing that it is important to that process not to make being a victim a stance of pride or a location from which to simply blame my mother and Jesus. If I can love myself as much as God does, I won’t see other people as the source of my pain. How can my chains ever be be broken through blame, instead of truth in love, as well as kindness and compassion, especially internally. Blame really is the water in which dreams and relationships just drown.
You always offer such wonderful guidance.
I think it’s a process to grow beyond blame. And I think it can be a long process in some cases because many people have been very disempowered for long, long periods of time . But I definitely understand that it’s counterproductive to allow allow ourselves to maranade in blame self for prolonged periods of time because that can open doorways to other problems…big doorways. Blame can also easily snowball into many issues which can contribute to real health problems.
I think the best way for us to limit the run away trin of blame is to be aware of the best way we can glorify God in our suffering while still giving a voice and an outlet to our own legitimate grief and suffering.
My well being does not depend on ‘another person loving me, valuing me, or needing me like I crave.’ My WELL being!!! I can be WELL independently of others. Thank you, thank you, thank you….for TRUTH. What hope and joy are here.
As far as blame is concerned, I think like Connie said – its a waste of our energy. When you pretty much have figured what motivates your H, then I find the most peaceful life is to engage as little as possible.
Here are some of the Jewels of Wisdom that I’ve Read on Here Recently: 💎
This was from Joanne.
As my H and get ready to begin individual counseling, I will keep in mind her wise observation. [I don’t remember who she was responding to. ]
Joann said some counselors working with abusers just chop off the outgrowth of abuser’s problem but the deeper roots never get dealt with.
My husband believes his problem is simply anger. He also says he has a problem with Forgiveness.
Most of the time, he justifies his anger bc his many criticisms of me, the kids, and his employees. He spends so much of his time criticizing others and praising/defending himself.
I believe my husband’s deeper sins are pride and selfishness/entitlement. [Selfishness and entitlement might be about the same thing; I’m not sure what the difference is; someone can explain that?].
He has a double standard for himself.
Example: He can be rude; my teenage son cannot be rude.
He expects patience.
He does not give patience to others.
Pride blinds him to his OWN faults while it exaggerates the faults of others ESPECIALLY the faults of people closest to him.
Joann’s comment about the deep root of sinful attitudes being ‘THE thing to deal with’ rather than the surface issues is so true. Otherwise, you’d just treating the symptoms rather than curing the deadly disease.
🌼🌱 I visualize it like a dandelion: I can go out in my yard and pull out all the ugly dandelions off at the ground level. But 24 hours later they’ll be right back up, complete with stem and big yellow flowerhead because I didn’t get out the big, mean taproot. Just think about that this spring when your daughters or granddaughters bring you dandelion bouquets 💐 LOL.
Aleea you responded to me in last week’s article. There wasn’t a “Reply” Button under it so I copied the part of your post I wanted to talk about and pulled over it here to this week:
Aleea from March 28:
The issue, especially for me, is that we accept the level of love we think we deserve, —not good if you have a low self-image. —How do you know when its love? I don’t fully know but I think love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. . . . —And, obviously, those are the two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we really love (—pure, Christ-like love), we open to all that life has to offer. We need to learn to love ourselves first, —that’s my issue. —And my task is not even to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within myself that I have built against it, which are a lot.
Aleea, you have GREAT points in that little paragraph. I’m copying that into my journal. 🙂
I like what was posted here..
Aleea you wrote:
“When we really love (—pure, Christ-like love), we open to all that life has to offer. We need to learn to love ourselves first, —that’s my issue. —And my task is not even to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within myself that I have built against it, which are a lot.”
In regards to ‘learning to love ourselves first’…, I feel this is quite impossible without first ‘receiving’ the Love of Christ. I can’t pour out what is not poured in by Him, let alone can I love the Lord with all my heart, love myself, and my neighbor/other.
Prayers and hugs for you both.💗
. . . I know. I love the things the Lord brings to my mind when I pray and I type the basic ideas into my laptop right on the spot . . . but I so, so need to be better at actually doing them, —actually doing them not just writing about them. One thing Dr. Meier (my counselor) has told me is to stop reaming myself when I have done something I consider “not up to standard.” She stopped me at one point and said “You want me to start yelling at you, —don’t you? Because that is what your mom always did. Aleea, I’m not going to yell at you but you still have your mother internalized and she is yelling at you constantly, isn’t she?” . . .The issue is that I am “occupied” and not even by an updated version of my mother but by the childhood version. . . . My mother can abuse me anytime she wants because I have internalized her. How do you get non-physical internalized relationships out of your head? It seems pretty straight forward to get a divorce from someone. How do you divorce someone who you have internalized in childhood trauma even though you never see them anymore? How do I get at these barriers and remove them? . . .Inside of me is a little Aleea not used to compassion so she doesn’t know what to do with it. She is not my enemy. —And I am trying to tell her (little Aleea), tell her with compassion that I (—current day, grown up, Aleea) that it is okay that she (little Aleea) feels that way because she was just a child and little Aleea didn’t understand that the abuse was not from what she (little Aleea) was doing??? These I call the “—Oh NO, NOT the LOVE, —anything but the LOVE”, moments. I need to see if she (little Aleea) will allow me somewhat near to her, and let her know I understand she has very good reasons for her barriers against healing love. —Honestly, it is a total mess because this little Aleea is afraid of everything . . . . Aly, I do pray during these times: “Lord Jesus help me to love this little girl the way you would, —please!” re: A Theology of Christian Counseling: More Than Redemption – Personality and its Transformations.
This is really good;) I enjoyed reading what you wrote…I think I understand,
so based on your writing above..are you experiencing His love as your source of value/your identity?
…are you wanting to be accountable to receiving that truth?
For me, truth and Love are integrated ~ truth does bring freedom ‘ultimately’. I don’t believe that Love can exist apart from truth, nor do I believe that truth can exist apart from Love.
Much love and hugs;)
Thank you for your comments Aly.
“…are you experiencing His love as your source of value/your identity?”
—I would say yes! . . .But, it is very tricky because honestly/ truthfully I still do care what others say about me at some level.
“…are you wanting to be accountable to receiving that truth?”
—My heart just cries out for Christ and He so seems the only way to anything real and worthwhile. . . . The things I value: A really clean heart, real love, real forgiveness, real compassion, real tenderness, —kindness. I simply do not see sense and goodness without God. How can you keep your heart tender, clean, less greedy, etc. without Christ? I don’t see it and I don’t believe for a minute that anyone can. . . . So, I can embrace more total mystery and sit with Jesus at the “kids table” more often (—which I have always felt comfortable at anyway).
Aly, it’s not easy taking my own advice, accepting what I don’t like hearing, and seeing the grey instead of black and white. I have a natural and destructive disposition toward the pursuit of certainty. Faith is not a system that offers certainty (—its faith after all) but it is a mode of living free from these drives? Maybe??? In the real world, the truth is riddled with doubt, complexity, ambiguity and brokenness. Dr. Marie Hoffman is a dear Christian women who loves Jesus Christ and is a clinical professor of psychology, psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. . . maybe, if you choose to, listen to how she explains how people’s personalities (—psychological trait make-up) determines what they will and will not believe: re: Trauma and the Soul of American Evangelicalism (Integration Series) Nov. 22, 2016. You can also hear her on YouTube: “Evangelicalism’s Buried Traumas.” —It provides research about the traumas that completely influenced the early founders of Christian fundamentalism and evangelicalism. Unless we are fluent in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Coptic, Syriac, Old Church Slavonic, are experts in Christian origins, etc. (—who basically no one is) we are following some type of systematic theology (—belief system) even if we are unaware of it. Those systems were constructed by people with all kinds of motivated reasoning/ psychological issues. Here is the real shame: the untold number of people like me who fail to experience the joy and healing of their life in Christ because of continued inattention to suffered and unworked-through trauma. You can see clearly in her work how the psychology, especially the depth psychology (—the unconscious) literally creates the theology . . . .the things you believe. Many of these beliefs truly are defense mechanisms against an experience of Christ. Our relationships with Christ are actually profound and dynamic relationships with the psychological self too! . . .Christ knows I love Him and that I really need Him. He also knows I always just want the truth even if it makes a sadder me. I just want the truth, even if it breaks my heart.
These articles are why Christian abuse exists. The woman needs to R. U. N., not look at herself/behaviors. Or the man if the wife’s disordered. PDs do not change. They choooooose to be subhuman. PDs are not pitiful. They are not mentally ill.
Run. Run now.
I wish so much i could erase this destructive advice from the internet and therapists’ offices. The PD isn’t affected but the abused spouse and children are destroyed.
Helene, The purpose of this blog and the help offered here are to not only help us deal with our challenging situations, but also to help us to grow through them. Not everyone is able or in a position to R.U.N., as you proposed. And, truth to tell, no matter how badly one spouse behaves, the other can learn from the situation how she might have contributed to the abuse by enabling, so learning how to set boundaries is the first step in gaining the strength to eventually leave, if that’s the only way to protect herself. As some have testified here, in a few cases, once the wife developed a backbone, things changed, sometimes for the better, but often it forced the issue to the point of leaving. It takes time for all of this to play out.
Hi Helene and JoAnn,
I agree with everything you said, JoAnn. There’s another aspect too. As we set boundaries and learn to walk in CORE strength we begin to see why we chose to marry an abuser to begin with. Also, with children, legally, you can’t just R.U.N.
If we chose to just R.U.N. without confronting in love and working through the pain of that, chances are we might end up R.U.N.N.I.N.G into the arms of another abuser.
Until we are healed, cycles repeat. That’s what generational sin is.
Legally you can leave. Once custody is established you might be embroiled in ongoing litigation and there are sources of help to deal with the abuser while staying as no contact as possible and also navigating an often abusive court system. The PD is a master manipulator and can continue abusing you thru the kids with the courts permission! Its wrong and its commonplace.
Sometimes the PD will say, ok, ur gone, fine. The kids mean nothing to them anyway. These are beings without feelings, without ability to bond. A son or daughter is like a couch or camera, simply a possession. Something else shiny will catch their eye instead.
Totally agree here, so well written.
I do believe that many of us are dealing with some ‘complex aspects’ that (like JoAnn said, take ‘time to play out’ as we ourselves are growing and changing) …..
And in many cases can benefit us with more life through transformation than the former life of powerlessness. Even though the pain of grief and loss is a reality in this world, sometimes they can be an opportunity for growth rather than just an obstacle.
Nancy, you are SO RIGHT!
In my case, I didn’t chose to marry an abuser. He was charming, well educated, hard working and had a great many friends. I had no clue until the honeymoon that I married an abuser. On the honeymoon, when he was sure he owned me, he let down he mask. I will in no way accept any blame that I selected such a person. His resume was exactly was any woman would want. I was deceived, not attacted to a troubled man. I was tricked, manipulated and lied to. Christian women in my day didn’t live with a man or have sexual relations before marriage. There was just no way to know when I was young and so was he, that he was an abuser. So, with all due respect, not everyone can identify with self reflection which includes “why we married an abuser”. Just a thought.
You are right, Free. You can’t always know ahead of time how things will play out once the wedding bells have stopped ringing. Like you, my sister knew on her honeymoon that she had made the wrong decision. So sad. The real issue is, how can I grow through this terrible situation? Sometimes it is just to gather up the strength to leave. While you still can. Lots of marriages end this way. That wasn’t as easy “back in the day” as it is now. And the pain and damage often lasts longer than the marriage did.
Good point, Free. Sorry that I over-generalized with the “we” in my statement.
Nancy, No harm taken at all! I just wanted to throw my two cents in.
JoAnn, I stayed for a long time. But I wised up pretty quick and used my CORE to endure. I got my tubes tied very young so I wounldn’t have to have any more children with this man and could endure his raping behavior with less consequence. I used diassociation and endured, pretended and got the kids raised and out of the house ASAP. The saving grace for me was that I never believed a word he said. I felt married to God and was patient, kind, beared all things etc…What a waste of my life!!
You are always in a position to run once you realize its intolerable. Sadly, ppl get support that says work it out, be the loving one, dont enable. As if any of that makes a diff. If you dont be loving and “enable”, the PD will just move on to one who will. Ppl are simply supply, not human, to a PD. Our behavior, our response, has no impact on the PD, other than possibly allow abuse to continue unabated. Growing a backbone, setting boundaries, etc is futile, the PD will cross you & them the second they feel its necessary for their benefit. The world exists for THEIR benefit. The only protection for the victim(s) is to leave.
All the growth to prevent further entanglement with another PD can be done with no contact at all with the present PD. Saying you have to stay for this is ludicrous.
There is naught to be learned in this relationsh*t. Leave. Period.
Then start finding your self-respect again and picking up the pieces of what used to be ur heart. Bathe your parched soul that the PD has sucked dry. They are emotional vampires and their victims have been raped worse than any physical rape.
Helene, it sounds like you have been hurt deeply by someone, and I am so sorry. I hope that some of the caring sharing here will help you to move on and heal your heart. The Lord loves you and wants to bring peace to your soul. We all will be praying for you.
I’m praying for you, too.
I don’t know you, but The Lord does.
Helene, I can see where you’re coming from for sure. Sometimes among Christians things get over-spiritualized and over-complicated because we are so afraid. Afraid to move out of hell because we know the names of all the streets. Afraid that ‘God is going to be mad’ if we make the wrong move and don’t do the supposedly loving thing (when actually we are doing the ‘nice’ but unloving thing). Afraid what the neighbours/friends/kids are going to say. Afraid we may never be loved. Afraid of financial ruin. And on and on and on. Fear is not faith. There actually are lots of places in the Bible that tell us to ‘just RUN’. The bit about casting pearls to swine. They not only will trample your pearls (wisdom, beauty, confidence……..etc.) underfoot, but then they turn around and rend you. The bit about shaking the dust off your feet if they don’t listen the first time. All the Proverbs about how to deal with a fool (as in NOT). And in Paul’s writings. We so badly want to come out loved, and the hero and saviour of everyone, but there is a Saviour and it’s not me. Love is not always ‘nice’. In fact, I’m thinking more and more that ‘nice’ is highly overrated. Just watch “My 600 lb. Life” on TV and see where ‘nice’ has gotten those who are constantly bringing junk food to the person who can’t get out of bed. And then the poor doctor has to try to undo all that by setting boundaries…..should not be his job.
Mark Gungor (he has a conference called, “The Butt-kicking Woman”) says if women would only just leave, the first time, but they won’t. Anyway, thanks for chiming in and encouraging us to take action and cut the excuses. A few years ago the Lord said to me, “No more excuses”. Since then I see how we grab for excuses all the time. I mean, all. the. time.
Helene, I understand you passion. Thank you.
Helene, You are describing a Narcissistic Personality Disorder very well. These people feed off of their victims and when one goes away, they find another to feed off of. You will find mention of this type of person (NPDs) mentioned many times in these blogs, and in most cases, we realize the futility of trying to stay, and we encourage the suffering spouse to leave. However, we also have compassion for how difficult that can be for some people, especially women who have had their power taken away for many years. From what you are saying, I gather that you have escaped such a relationship. Good for you!! We support you here in your journey toward healing from the abuses of that relationship, and as someone said previously, if we don’t heal, then we may find ourselves getting involved with another abuser. It takes time, and we all are praying for that healing.
From my experience with dealing with narcissists, there’s a wide spectrum. There is no one solution that applies to all situations. Helene, sounds like you were involved with a person on the extreme end of the spectrum.
Maria, that is true: there is a spectrum, as with many things. And different components that all have to be addressed specifically. That’s why the sharing here is so helpful, because it comes from a variety of situations and experiences.
I’m very sorry for what you are going through. I will pray that you will seek Him and find the peace that your soul longs for.
Thank you for sharing more of (little Aleea). I’m sorry for all the blame she was trapped in and especially her fear. I don’t blame her, why wouldn’t she be fearful. (I get this)
“The issue is that I am “occupied” and not even by an updated version of my mother but by the childhood version. . . . My mother can abuse me anytime she wants because I have internalized her.”
I totally understand the occupied childhood version you speak of, but just because you have ‘in the past’ internalized her
in the self talk, is it possible that you can counter the false belief/message with what is true about Aleea ‘then’ and now?
“How do you get non-physical internalized relationships out of your head?”
What does your therapist say about this?
“How do you divorce someone who you have internalized in childhood trauma even though you never see them anymore?”
~Is your therapist working with you on the trauma messages?
“How do I get at these barriers and remove them? . .
Hmmm, I’m not sure Aleea, do you think your barriers are to protect you? And are they serving you well?
“Honestly, it is a total mess because this little Aleea is afraid of everything . . . . Aly, I do pray during these times: “Lord Jesus help me to love this little girl the way you would, —please!”
Aleea I think it’s ok to be afraid, your not bad or somehow less than because you feel or felt fear as a little girl… Call it what it is, it’s ok to say you are afraid if you are.
Bring it to light, He gives such comfort! He understands why we would fear and why fear can drive our behaviors.
Aleea, it is my understanding that ‘Theology’ is technically the study of God, and that Psychology is the study of the soul.
I believe these both combine, because God is the creator of the soul.
My prayer is for your heart Aleea🌷 God loves you and wants to internalize by renewing His truths in your mind.
I too the blame game. However, my marriage has been verbally abusive of over 40 years. I feel guilt and worth nothing. My husband has worked hard all these years, but I cannot stand the terrible things that come out of his mouth.
Some of which is true. However I dont know how to get back the marriage we once had. We are tearing our family apart. I am tearing my family apart. I feel at a loss. The words that should come out of my mouth should be more positive but because he blames my family for our marital problems I cannot get beyond it. I feel I need to leave. Is this wrong>
I’m not sure anyone has responded to your post, but I just want you to know that what you are experiencing is indeed very painful and I’m so very sorry that the verbal abuse has stolen your worth as you mentioned above. You are not alone though in what you have been tolerating.
I’m sorry in advance for my questions, and please know you don’t have to answer.
Do you have a counselor? And also other support around you that understand what’s taking place?
You mentioned that you want to get back to ‘what your marriage once had’… can you share more about what you mean?
I can understand and relate to the tearing apart, it’s so painful and sometimes necessary for the possibility of redemption things to come along.
Have you been able to read Leslie’s books or watch YouTube to get more information about what is taking place in your marriage dynamic…
There is a lot of support and love here from such caring women who do understand the swirling emotions and the confusion.
I have not met a women/man yet who has been able to navigate alone.
I’m so sorry for what your going through. I did respond to above, but it might not have posted, based on how the website reloaded when I hit send.
Maybe this message will…
I’m sorry for all you’ve endured and continued to endure.
I lift up my sister Aleea to you. You are the Father to the Fatherless. You are a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Draw her into your presence by your spirit of Adoption that she would know that she is LOVED. She is not rejected. She is chosen.
She is lovely.
You delight in her. You are pleased with her. Let her fellowship with You be full of joy! Take away her mourning and anoint her head with the oil of gladness. Replace her fears with peace, Love and wisdom. Take away any confusion and thwart Satan’s schemes to bother her anymore. Bless her with excellent health and a sound mind. Thank you for Aleea! Help her heart to receive your love!
In the mighty Name of Jesus!
For all of you who are struggling with living with a narcissist or Borderline Personality Disordered person, a friend suggested I listen to H.G. Tudor on youtube. He is a self-proclaimed narcissist who is in therapy, and as part of therapy, started blogging about “his kind”. His insight is eye-opening to those of us in these relationships. Take a listen – many youtube videos to choose from. Most interesting – learning about “fuel” and how the narcissist derives both positive and negative “fuel” from you, and how “no contact” is one of the best ways to respond.
I’ve been thinking about this a little lately — the idea of “fuel” for a narcissist. In so many ways, don’t we all enjoy positive “fuel”? I know I enjoy when a friend compliments me or encourages me or my gifts. I enjoy knowing that someone would do something kind for me because they were thinking of me.
How is this different than what a narcissist is looking for – other than maybe they might be insatiable in needing that?
(Maybe I just answered the question).
A narcissit needs manipulation like the rest of us need oxygen, without it they have no sense of self. Think of a predator or a parasite that craves to devour. They MUST feed off something. Manipulation is their oxygen.
To Free and the others who are dealing with a NPD, you are right about the parasite aspect of this disorder. Another aspect that I learned bout but have not seen mentioned here is their “love-hate” relationship with their children. It was spoken of on a YouTube video I watched. He said that the narcissist has this love-hate relationship with children because of how they touch on the self hatred that the N has with himself. Their vulnerability, their neediness, etc, all of which are normal for children, but they hate it within themselves, so they can be both loving and abusive toward children. My friend was married to a N, and when she left him, he never again made any effort to see his three children. To him, they were a responsibility that he no longer needed to carry, and he went off in search of others to feed off of. Pretty sick. My point is, that having a N for a father can be very damaging, and if not for yourself, it is vital that you protect your children from his manipulations.
Aly/ Ruth/ Nancy
I so appreciate the prayers, so, so much. Prayer I see as just so very powerful.
Re: getting non-physical internalized relationships out of your head
“What does your therapist say about this?” + “~Is your therapist working with you on the trauma messages?”
I’ll explain this as best I can. I don’t know if I am doing it justice or using terms correctly, however: Apparently I am resistant to the methodologies she has tried. She keeps thinking we should try “short term dynamic therapy” but that is radical, in her mind. Apparently, if we could get to the guilt without it (short term dynamic) then that is where we need to drain the pain. . . but I believe I can’t get to the sealed off guilt until I see my sealed off anger played out (so to speak). Again, I don’t know if I am explaining this correctly but “We can’t kill (so to speak) a bad mother in effigy; we have to kill her (so to speak) live.” We are only getting glimpses of my mother in hiding (in counseling). We need that monster front and center and to stay with all the feelings so that I can really grieve and mourn. My counselor wants me to attack her verbally (I really fail at this). Shredded by me and survive my childhood trauma. In that, I would discover she is not the wounding parent (monster) I thought she was (Obviously, I mistake her for my mother even though I completely know better. It is repressed very deeply.) That requires she unjustly suffers (bears my sins and survives me crucifying her.) Crucified by the client in hand-to-hand combat with my evil (my rage out in the open so I can grieve and mourn it.)
1) Enact the relationship trauma and repair it live in real time.
2) I cannot have a resurrection without crucifying someone.
3) No amount of kindness and positivity will stop the cycle; the recidivism rate is over 90%. (Non-relationship techniques have a very high rate of recidivism.)
4) I attack my counselor and she survives my childhood distortions.
As you know, a child being entirely dependent on its mother, clings to that tie with ferocity. If any aspect of the tie is not satisfactory in the actual relationship, the child will create an unconscious tie through identification, which becomes part of the relational template used for life. I think they call that “attachment to bad internal objects.” From that unconscious place, the parental figure (my mother) “haunts” the life of a child turned adult, who cannot understand what is going on. Because of the hunger for a relational tie, the “sins of the mothers are visited to the children.” The whole thing is getting to those sealed-off pockets (swamps of pain) and draining those swamps.
Anyways, I’m sure I don’t describe it well but you can’t just cover over the pain with kindness and love, that apparently represses the issues and ultimately makes them worse. This horrific trauma has to be witnessed and validated to be healed. Caveats notwithstanding, neuroscience shows that validating reconfigures mirror neurons. . . . .hmm, . . . .you have to erase and re-write. It’s something like that.
Re: “God loves you and wants to internalize by renewing His truths in your mind.” . . . .I know He loves me and wants to help me. I love Him too. He knows that.
. . . Thank you so much for the prayers and I trust that God has heard my tears and prayers for all of you too. One of the most important things we can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone. My memories and my associated affects of my traumatic experiences are “almost entirely dissociated” . . .I think that is the way to say it. Lord God, please, may every dissociated aspect of my trauma be addressed and integrated so I can move on to helping others. Maybe it is my pride, but I don’t want to be a victim. I’m just sick of it.
Aleea, I’m sorry for how difficult this is for you, but the way you are describing what your therapist wants you to do, I can surely understand why you are resisting….”killing/crucifying” your mother??? I just don’t see this being helpful. When I had “mother issues” my therapist led me through a process that allowed me to see my mother through the eyes of Jesus, and to “give her back” the pain she had dumped on me. In reality, it was a way for me to forgive her for what she had done, and it totally freed me from all the triggers that existed between us. And I never had to say a word to her about it. It changed the whole dynamic of our relationship in a very positive way. By the way, I don’t recall whether or not you said that your mother is still living.
Thank you for this reminder JoAnn- if I recall you had described this process before. This week, for homework, my counsellor asked me to see my mother with compassion. I REALLY resisted this, “that’s what’s gotten me where I am, ” I said, ” I’ve ALWAYS known the enormous void in my mother’s soul!”
Then he went on to explain (I’ve written this elsewhere, but it’s worth repeating) how a person with a serious physical handicap experiences twice as much pain with a good physiotherapist. Because the good physiotherapist understands that the handicap is not their struggle. All pain is not bad. It takes a lot of strength to stand back and allow a person to struggle AND maintain compassion.
So, it is with this ‘good physiotherapist’ / compassionate mindset that I am attempting to see my mother. To allow my heart to feel for her,without getting sucked into enabling or the blame game. That’s the boundary I need to set. It’s a boundary around me and Christ. We’re standing inside this circle of compassion. Outside that circle on one side is enabling, the other is blame.
My counsellor is challenging me to stand with Christ ❤️
Amen! I like that: in the circle with Christ. Ask Him to let you see your mother through His eyes and heart, not the eyes and heart of your wounded child. A very different perspective, and an important one.
“. . . to “give her back” the pain she had dumped on me.”
I know. . . .I know that approach is so, so much better. I believe Dr. Meier knows that too, but Dr. Meier and I have spent way too much time with that approach to no avail. We have been at the “give her back the pain” “sending back the pain,” “refusing to accept delivery on what she is dumping,”etc. mode way too long. None of it is getting any results. JoAnn, Aly, Ruth, Nancy, Leslie, Jesus can tell me how valuable I am but it is worthless if I don’t believe it because of my internal mother. That is why Dr. Meier always gets me to this question: “I accept my mothers view of me because. . . .” and JoAnn I never have any answer, I just blank-out . . . . with Dr. Meier explaining to me that I have so internalized my mother that I am in the service of her (—like an employee) even though I don’t interact with her. Dr. Meier says it is as easy as taking off the button that says “in the service of my mother” and just handing it back to her (—so to speak). JoAnn it may be “that easy” but all the times I do that it leads to nothing sustainable.
My mother is alive but Dr. Meier doesn’t want me confronting or interacting with her until we can make some progress. I still send my mother cards with messages on all the holidays but I don’t have interactions. . . .JoAnn, I so feel I have forgiven her and I so hate grudges, etc. . . .I have vast compassion for people as I am still in the service of my abusive mother (—in my mind) and although I limit her physical presence, I have internalized her (—it is that sad.) Nevertheless, wrong is wrong. My sin (—of accepting this and treating myself this way) is ever before me. Even if it is not the “best” method, Dr. Meier had serious issues with her father and the short term dynamic approach healed her. I don’t know what really to think.
I keep thinking I must have —somehow— a “secondary gain”??? somewhere that I just can’t see that it is blocking me moving forward. I still have no idea why I am waiting for my mother at the train station (—so to speak), i.e. what do I get out of it versus just turning my back on the train station and walking away? —And I have really prayed over and thought about it so deeply, —so seriously.
Re: Treating Affect: A Manual for Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy (Statistically significant, evidence based research-supported models of “Changing Character,” underpinnings and clinical models.)
. . . .I’m trying to read that book but honestly, Jesus knows, it so reminds me of theology where everything is in the air: “transference resistance can become an unconscious therapeutic alliance?” . . .what is even going on with things like that? But, it appears the objective is remembering with your emotions to unlock the sealed off areas of trauma.
—Anyways, I love emotion. Like music, —it is all emotion. There are lots of other doctors of psychology that practice with Dr. Meier it is my observation that none of them treat, cure, or change a person. They provide relationships which the patients can use for her own personal growth. Like encouraging them to give grace and compassion to themselves by modeling it. —And they ask such great questions: “Has Jesus ever been a radically disturbing and transforming presence in your life?” —yes and —YES! Maybe that is the secondary gain. I don’t get to go there once I’m better. . . hmmm. I don’t know. We have to learn how to learn and keep changing. People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, “Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner.” I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds. I have no idea what is going on most of the time but as I talk with people in my travels I find that when a person realizes she has been seriously, deeply heard, her eyes moisten. I think in some real sense she is weeping for joy. It is as though she were saying, “Thank the Lord God, somebody heard me. Someone knows what it’s like to be me!”
Aleea, I am wondering if you and your therapist have explored what you are afraid will happen if/when you separate yourself from your mother? It may be that you anticipate some kind of outcome or consequence of that “divorce” that is unacceptable to you. It’s worth looking at if you haven’t yet. What’s the first thought that comes to your mind when you consider that? Whether it makes sense or not, that will be your answer.
Thank you JoAnn,
I have separated myself from my mother, —yes. I have no contact but still send cards/ notes on holidays, birthdays, etc.
“What’s the first thought that comes to your mind when you consider that?” When I did that two years ago, the first thought was just total sadness because, —because why does life have to be so messed up? —Oh my, she just raged and raged with me for so long.
I wanted to be the one who had an understanding and a forgiving heart who looked for the best in her. I still want that so much. Life is for loving, sharing, learning, laughing, hugging, healing, and even more loving. —You know, you always have the hope that the relationship will be mended and can be healed. I totally forgive her, she knows that as best I understand, but she can’t stop yelling/ raging at me. I had lots of unhappiness, I assume because of my lack of boundaries . . . .but I also had to recognize my inability to love before I could accept love the way God loves. His version of love is so unfamiliar: sacrificial, selfless, beautiful deep love. . . .divorcing resentment and marrying forgiveness —a forgiving heart filled with love and gratitude. My cuurent problems, I think, stem from not forgiving myself and deep pockets of undrained trauma.
“Your mother must have had a terrible childhood to be so full of rage, and then dumping it all on you. Remind yourself that the rage belongs to her, not to you.” . . . .Absolutely JoAnn, for my mother from some even unconscious place the parental figure (—my mother’s mother who is dead) “haunts” the life of her child turned adult and because of the hunger for a relational tie, the “sins of the mothers” are visited on the children and children’s children all the way down. Until someone breaks the cycle.
“May our dear Lord flood your soul with His powerful love and wash away all that anger and rage.” . . . .Absolutely. Thank you so much. We have to get to those sealed-off pockets (swamps of pain) and drain those swamps. We can’t just pave over them or everyone would already be healed. Those traumas are buried alive and keep haunting us until we turn those ghosts into our ancestors.
“Even so, your advice on this blog is always so caring and sensitive and helpful. I thank God for what He is doing in your life. You will get through to victory!” I don’t know about that BUT I so want to help. Some of the things I know however, don’t appear to be very helpful. But I do know that helping others is the site of our own salvation (so to speak re: childhood trauma.) Another women in counseling told me: “In my experience, God actually uses the very thing that broke us, to heal us…” . . .Hmm, . . .it is like helping the poor or the homeless. . . . We don’t rescue them, they save us!!! They are the site of our salvation. They totally rescue us, not the other way around.
. . .People need to really know God wants them to heal as soon as possible. We need a church culture that supports and understands why divorce is absolutely necessary. People have gotten in their minds and for good reasons (—because it was totally taught by the churches for 1900 years) that divorce means that Christianity does not work or that Jesus isn’t real. If it doesn’t/ isn’t there are vastly more powerful arguments than divorce that you often see haunting me even here. . . . deep, deep breath. . . .All we can do is keep seeking God in Christ and let Him direct us. I so don’t want to lose the center of Christianity (—Christianity’s CORE), it is so, so beautiful . . .praying, caring, loving, sharing, taking responsibility for my actions, facing my trauma and suffering so I don’t pass it on, killing my idols (—satisfaction, certainty, knowing, etc.), learning to embrace unknowing and anxiety. That is the power of the cross. That is why Christ came, period. The rest is unsupported by primary source evidence and fosters legalism, misogynistic —on and on and on— and trying to control people instead of deeply loving them. Outside the CORE, there are unsupported doctrines so malevolent that there is no safe way to handle these “Christian ideas” unless they are totally de-weaponized. But I need to be so careful with that because for me it can be just a total numbing device. It’s hard to stay focused on my healing, my pain. —Too easy to scapegoat and numb. —It’s so much easier to work on everything else instead of getting to my own swamps of trauma and draining them clean. Many abused children cling to the hope that giving our hearts to Jesus will bring escape and freedom, but we are still prisoners of childhood; attempting to create a new life, all I do is reencounter the trauma. Trauma is personal. It does not disappear unless you can find it and validate it. JoAnn, so often I don’t want to enter the pain and hear the screams so healing can begin. It is so much easier, obviously, to distract myself. —Do you want to heal? As Dr. Meier always tells me: “Aleea one part of you desperately wants to heal but another part is fighting that with everything its got.”
Thank you so, so much JoAnn —especially for the prayers!
Re:“Transformation Prayer Ministry” “. . . .I had come to realize that their present emotional pain was NOT because they had been abused, but rather because of what they came to believe in the context of their abuse. It was the belief that followed them into their present life and not the memory of the event that was at the root of their problem. It was not the memory of what had happened to them that caused them their current emotional pain, but rather the belief they had learned and still currently believed. The reason that their memories of the abuse still felt bad was not because they had been abused, but only because of what they still believed. Beliefs such as, “It was my fault,” “I should have stopped it,” “I am dirty and shameful,” “I am not in control,” “I am going to die,” “There is something wrong with me,” (and much more) was the root of their current emotional pain. . . . ” —I’ll seriously look at it. . . . Anything with transformation and prayer has my attention.
—Whoa, —on my left; —to my right, . . . . .the amount of insights and ways into this is just u-n-b-e-l-i-e-v-e-a-b-l-e —re:Small Wonders: Healing Childhood Trauma With EMDR. This just shows you how utterly, completely individualized and nuanced all these issues really are. Even correctly, —clearly diagnosing the issues is no easy task. I’ve been even thinking of the information in this book: Getting Even: A Manual for Healing Childhood Trauma by Dr. Hildegard W. Messenbaugh – 2015. . . .because it just seems that it is shame [re:Transformation Prayer Ministry] plus revenge, no matter what form that takes [re: Getting Even: A Manual for Healing Childhood Trauma]. . . .that are the triggering events.
—And thank you so, so much Aly —especially for the prayers! Lord God speak the truth into ALL our memories. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.” . . . .little children are precious and so wonderful but they are totally gullible, they have no critical thinking skills and they will just believe whatever anyone tells them. Their minds are ripe for programming. The Bible has vast, clearly demonstrable structural issues. . . .And yet I want the Lord to give me tranquility wrapped in PEACE and I so, so believe in prayer. Prayer is not going through transmission, interpretation and vast patriarchal filter issues.
Transformational Prayer. . . that’s definitely something I can be as a little child about. What is more honest and free from dogmatic overhead than: “Lord, please help us to know the path to healing because our traumas and brain chemistries are so individualized that we don’t even know the questions to ask.” . . . If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path. . . . The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. . . . .But along the way, precious people definitely have useful clues that are so helpful and more importantly the fact that they care is such an incredible gift. . . .It is just such a beautiful gift. Thank you so much for the prayers and, as I say, I trust that God continues to hear my tears and prayers for all of you on this site too. I use it as a prayer list. . . .One of the most important things we can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone. . . . even though we have to slay our own dragons, ourselves. I so appreciate those help me sharpen my sword.
I think I read a book from archive.org and it was by Patricia Evans and it was called Controlling . . People? I have such a bad memory when it comes to names of books and I’ve read 6 or 7 in the past month. It was very interesting how people can be so controlling. When I read Brooke’s post, it was as if I’d read her life in that book. Brooke was Teddy in the book. I’m a Teddy too. My H has an idea of whom I’m supposed to be and when I break that”spell”, I’m not being his ideal wife and he would then use what ever controlling tactics he needs to in order for me to return to conformation.
Where God has me right now is learning and reading everything I can set my eyeballs on lol. I don’t have a lot of money and books are expensive plus I have to hide what I read so I’ve been learning of creative ways to get what I need plus I’m sure the Holy Spirit is guiding my path. It’s amazing how many ebooks are at public libraries. I also use Hoopla and archive.org. I’ve really learned a lot lately. Leslie’s books and Patrick Doyle’s videos are amazing.
Right now I’m currently reading Verbal Abuse Survivors Speak Out. The next one I want to read is on BPD.
I’ve learned from this blog I’m not alone and there are more people here whom love and care about me than I will ever meet this side of heaven.
The point I’m wanting to make is to educate ourselves and take what ever pieces of what we learn and apply it to each of our own lives as is fitting.
Brooke, I feel your pain. I can relate to a lot of what you said. I cannot explain how I came about to emotionally pull away from my H’s hurtful ways other than I think it was a process I naturally went through to keep him from hurting me. I think I’m still in the process. And maybe all the reading I’ve been doing has helped me look at my life through a clinical perspective? I cannot say that sometimes I don’t hurt, but I’ve learned to lean more into God. I love my daily devotionals and prayer time and I pray frequently through the day oftentimes.
I send prayers to all who post and I included those whom are readers only. We are all precious children of God. XOX to all! 🌞💞
Thank you so much, Brave Rabbit. I am going to look up the books you mentioned. I am praying about how to confront him. I spoke with a counselor this week and after giving our long history AND the fact that I wound up at the ER this week from the overwhelming stress, I needed to adopt a no tolerance policy if I was to where I could mentally and emotionally do that. His advice was to tell H if he in any way…even once…used manipulation, isolation and a few other of his usual tactics to tell him he had to leave the house for a week. And that if he refuses I will leave but if I do I am filing for divorce. Please say a prayer for me because that is the point I am at right now and I need wisdom on how to tell H. The timing stinks of course because this week is our 21 anniversary. Also it’s a crazy busy week with folks all around. But after a major health crisis from the stress and weight of it all, I HAVE to do something. This can’t keep going on.
I lift Brooke up to you. Hear her cry and heal her pain. Wrap her in your protective arms. You know her suffering. Protect and guide her and keep her safe during this pivotal time in her life. You know her needs Abba Father. Let her feel your agape love. Amen.
Brooke, listen to yourself and follow your instincts. Your body is speaking to you. Keep yourself safe and I hope you have a network of good support people.
As far as what to say, write it out and practice so that you can feel more confident. And pray. You’re probably in spiritual warfare. The evil one wants to keep you stuck while God is trying to lift you up. We have a lot of prayer warriors here! Feel out battle cries and our love for you Sweet Sister!
That means the world to me. Thank you so, so much. I appreciate your prayer over me and I know God will see me through.
I will pray for you! It’s good to hear you found a counselor and are beginning the process. I do hear strength in your voice and I agree with the ungency of the situation.
My heart goes out to you and I understand about anniversary dates/birthdays.., family members etc. it does add to the stress but what you are facing with your h… you will find that there won’t really ever be an ideal time. In my perspective the sooner the boundaries are given, the sooner the process of the ‘bleeding so to speak can stop’. This doesn’t mean he won’t throw a fit a push back against them, minimize the seriousness of his offenses through the years, etc.
You could also get the very accommodating response from him that is where he is making you ‘feel like your drawing the boundary’ but he will use the nice guy approach.. to buy some time given your emotional place right now.
I say these things to caution you but also to help you predict behavior, my counselor helped me a lot by predicting behavior and role playing.
I do think it would be a very good idea, that these boundaries and consequences be ‘in writing’ with copies….As well as possibly have a 3rd party in my opinion present. Like the counselor or someone else that understands the abuse that has been taking place.
What you are navigating through is difficult but I do think with prayer, support and strategy you will find your journey out and the possibility of a husband willing to get intervention help.
I do think (just my opinion)… while drawing boundaries, it can also be a good place to give requirements for the kinds of interventions your h needs to dive into.
Requirements to me are essential…and can be very hard because sometimes they feel like they are controlling, they are another form of a boundary (especially in a marriage covenant situation) where the person has clearly broken the covenant and is required to repair the covenant.
Because of ‘all’ my h’s past manipulation tactics etc, ‘to control’
The list of requirements was quite long.
Fast fwd: my h is so glad he was given boundaries and interventions of ‘help’ he likes the kind of husband he is today and each becoming more like what Christ would be proud of, but most imp. he has found his security and peace in Christ and not in all of his old survival tactics wired in at a young age.
I’m praying for your journey Brooke and that you will find the safety and sanity the Lord wants to bring to your heart and your healing💖, regardless of your h’ choices.
You can gain understanding about divorcing an abuser from a from the website A Cry For Justice
Thank you Ruth. I will check it out.
Brace Rabbit if u havnt read Jeff Crippens book– A CryForJustice, I highly recommend it. He brought me so much relief by explaining in his book what abuse victims live with. His motivation for writing this book, was to thechurch so they could understand the life of a wounded abuse family. I can’t commend it enough. He gives solid BIBICAL advice and shows the leaders in the church how they handling abuse cases in the wrong.
Leslie recently spoke at a seminary about this and asked us for prayer. I wonder if she will be writing a book to address this issue with pastors and Christian workers….Leslie??
Thank you Robin I will look for it.
Tell us. What were your boundaries with your H when you were working through your this intervention?
I’ll try to answer this as simply as I can. My h had a few forks in the road when it came to boundaries and what those boundaries would look like especially in the beginning.
Many years ago, my boundary was that he needed to work with a counselor at our church (every week) and uncover what was feeding his avoidant behavior style. Especially his independent marriage view as why he didn’t have a partner (we) view.
He was already in a bible study but it was more monthly exposure..
We cannot live off of one good meal a week let alone a month? Spiritually speaking here;)
I also asked that he get into God’s Word daily ..to immerse himself into a process of discovering God,
(verses getting a couple of hours of good nutrients a week) their was significant math and ratio discrepancies so it made sense why ‘he thought and behaved’ the way he was toward me!
His attitude and reactivity continued to reveal that he wasn’t filled with the truths of God’s view, rather he was immersed in the worldly view and messages. Such as tv, music and many other medias that he wasn’t aware of filling his thought process.
What was being pulled out, needed to be fills with Good nutrients for his heart.
He needed to politely find some new friends that were going to be better influences to reinforce what he was learning in God’s word and in his counseling.
Sorry but the old friends with the old college teenage beliefs patterns of (self) had to go.
Ok that was a long time about and I would say was the first stage of many boundaries and growth for the both of us.
Hope that answers your question.. sorry I’m not very good at condensing this journey but like I said there were more boundaries to come as he could make progress for some time, but then the behavior would occasionally find its way to the surface again, which was the blessing because then he could add to the recovery process and seek out the healing he first thought ‘he didn’t really need’ but eventually he became brave enough to face the realities, even though it was painful to peel back.
How painful it must be to be you! Your mother must have had a terrible childhood to be so full of rage, and then dumping it all on you. Remind yourself that the rage belongs to her, not to you. May our dear Lord flood your soul with His powerful love and wash away all that anger and rage.
Even so, your advice on this blog is always so caring and sensitive and helpful. I thank God for what He is doing in your life. You will get through to victory!
Aleea, may I suggest?, that when you enter that painful place you invite the Lord to be there with you in “the swamp” and speak His truth into that place. The pain we experience in these memories is the lies that are embedded there, things you believed because of your mother’s rage or that she said to you, that’s what causes the pain. The event is over, not happening any more. It’s the lies that cause the pain. When you can identify the lie, then the Lord can heal by speaking His truth into that memory. this is what is called “Transformation Prayer Ministry” and it is very powerful. I have been deeply healed with this approach. (TPM.org) Maybe this will be helpful.
Such great dialog and Aleea your questions are such good ones!
I also am so sorry for the rage of your mom-parent and the places of your trapped trauma. I am praying for you and I think JoAnn gave such caring and loving ways to move toward the pain. Scripture for my h’s past trauma bonded to fear, gave light and strength for him to even look closer at the trapped fear based beliefs of (little h).
I am praying you Aleea💜, I’m praying that you are experiencing God’s truths for your heart each day.
I find the love of the Lord is what empowers us to break the legacy chain of the generational sin as you and JoAnn have dialoged about regarding your ‘pain-filled mom’ and her mom’s mom.
“People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.”
Mark 10:13-16 NIV
To be ‘blessed’ is more than happiness or joy it is the ultimate well being of eternal salvation of the Kindgom of God.
~Sending you hugs and praying for healing and life to the full!
What do you say about this BIG ball of wax:
And anyone else who’d like to chime in LOL. 🙂
Psalm 139:19-24 Amplified
(the last 2 verses of the Psalm are a favorite 💜)
19 O that You would kill the wicked, O God; Go away from me, therefore, men of bloodshed.
20 For they speak against You wickedly, Your enemies take Your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22 I hate them with perfect and utmost hatred; They have become my enemies.
23 Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart; Test me and know my anxious thoughts;
24 And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.
I have been meditating on the last 2 verses in prayer as I put my heart on the examination table for the Lord, asking him to show me if my heart is pure. I understand that God already knows my heart, but I can deceive myself into thinking it’s all good when I have hidden sin. I want to get these areas straightened out.
My H and I are yet AGAIN in a period of:
– me sleeping separately, not because I am enraged at him, but because I do not feel emotionally comfortable with him.
– him saying he’s repented for mistreating me (I feel he’s sincere but don’t trust how long it will last)
– he is somewhat open to criticism but he still blames me for pushing his buttons but he is the gentle and open to back and forth to conversation rather than a hateful MONOLOGUE
– our pastor is supposed to be getting us both into individual counseling
– me saying I’ve been emotionally and sexually scarred and with terrible anxiety towards sex
– he responds that he can be patient and wait for sex for a long, long time or never have sex again (I have my doubts and anxiety about that “patience”)
– he admits that he’s been bad and torn me down and he knows that I couldn’t possibly love him because he already torn me down so bad
– but my H keeps on talking about HOW MAD I’ve made him through the years but I don’t feel like I have unconfessed sin in my life
– I finally asked him WHAT DID I DO THAT MADE YOU SO MAD?
– he says “Your Deception”
– yes, I started telling little untruths to not have to deal with his pride, contempt, unreasonable anger, and critical spirit
– I took money from our business
– I spent too much money; my Achilles’ heel is shopping 😬
– I wasn’t naturally a dishonest person so I’m confident that the Lord with help me go back to total honesty. I HATED lying. I know I’ll have more difficulty curbing my desire to buy things because I had that weakness before I met him. But between the two grievances he could deal with my shopping more easily anyway especially since I go to cheap places LOL. Now, that it’s spring my main place to shop is going to be to greenhouse for plants 🌹
[Sorry, I rambled.]
I went to the Psalms looking for the “Search me” verse. It never occurred to me that right before the Psalmist would say something so broken as “search my heart oh God and show me if there’s hidden sin inside”, that the psalmist would say: “I hate people who cause trouble for God with Perfect Hatred!” I’ve read this before, but it had been along time.
Now, this verse about “perfect hatred” has been eating at me.
I don’t understand that.
Is that anger from Ps. 139 the same as the righteous anger as you should feel towards your abuser? Some people say that is the Biblically appropriate response.
But other people say we should have compassion for the abuser because that fulfills Jesus’s command to love our enemies. Some folks just say that’s just OT talk. NOW, we live by grace!!
The NT says Jesus had righteous anger; it was usually directed at religious leaders. He even called them insulting names. “White washed tombs”
Jesus got exasperated with the disciples sometimes. He needed a break to get away and pray.
[NOTE TO SELF: I need to remember that if JESUS THE SON OF GOD NEEDED TO GET AWAY TO PRAY so that He wouldn’t get depleted and mess up the calling on His life, then obviously little dinky-rink I with less wisdom, less power, less gifting to pull from need to spend take with the Father where I can get wisdom, power, and gifts so that I can be a blessing to others].
There seems to be a continuum.
On one end is the Law. It’s God’s wrath, judgment, righteous anger, getting what you deserve.
On the other end of the continuum is God’s Love and Grace. Not returning evil for evil, not overcoming evil with good.
I am struggling with how to “look” at my abusive husband and the abusive spouses I read about on this board and ones I encounter IRL.
[Hopefully my H’s abusiveness is past tense. He says it is. But this would make 3 “repentances” in 8 months and the first 2 didn’t stick. So, I am hopeful yet skeptical that this third one will stick.]
I am struggling with the horror stories I’ve been reading on this blog. Some days I have to turn my phone off bc it’s more than I can handle reading. It’s especially difficult when you consider the DECADES of abuse that are being endured. Women are throwing WHOLE LIVES AWAY. Like lambs led to the slaughter.🙁
there’s a problematic scenario I see played out quite often it looks kinda like this: The abused spouse hears Scriptures preached along this line:
“Love your enemies”
“Love is not easily offended ”
“Love keeps no record of wrongs ”
“The husband is the head of the wife; the wife must submit to the husband.” [I know Leslie teaches a more balanced, accurate view of scripture.]
The abused spouse (usually a woman) is compelled to stay. It does not matter how severe the abuse escalates. Those scriptures give her no escape route. She is trapped.
If her abuser doesn’t profess to be a Christian, then the poor woman unfortunately feels like it’s her responsibility to be a good witness so that he will get saved. What a terrible burden on this woman! She might otherwise leave him but she’s concerned about his salvation.
Then there are the abusers who claim to be Christians. That’s confusing.
Personally, I think maybe *mild* abusive types might be saved (bc that’s where I think my H falls on the continuum and I do think he is saved).
I know on a A Cry For Justice they say flat out “NO! An abuser cannot be saved.”
I don’t think you’re saved if you’re a raging abuser.
I hate the confusion it causes for children in homes where they see dad being abusive to mom but when it’s time to go to church there’s a phony family that goes. I hate the message that sends to children! 🙁
Now, Connie and all wise ladies here, I just threw all what’s been stirring in my heart ❤️,
It’s a BUNCH of stuff. Unfortunately, it’s curvilinear and rambley, but that’s my thought structure.
As always, sorry for the typos.
Please pick an issue or two and tell me what you think. 🙂
Aly- thank you for the answer on boundaries. I think as my husband and I work through yet another “do-over” the men’s accountability group would be a great idea for my H. Where he can get sorta testy with me when I call him out on a “tude”, I bet my H would receive that correction much better from another man and it’d take the pressure off me. I don’t really want to be his “corrector” – well, not very often.
[TL, praying for you 💕]
I really appreciate all that you wrote out and expressed. Much of which makes a lot of sense and I can see why you might be experiencing the difficulties in assessing your dynamic and ‘how bad the dynamic of abuse is’ and what is your role.
I agree with what Connie wrote out especially about taking a fuller context of all Biblical principles as a larger whole!
I also see that your h has the mindset that you or your actions decide his responses, which is classic abusive mentality.
Basically he’s saying that he’s not in control of himself therefore he can’t take any responsibility or accountability for his actions.
This is a convenient lense that many of these mindsets have and they usually are quite ‘loyal’ to them.
The very fact that they blame others for their behavior is evidence in something is not right here and something deeper is going on with how he thinks.
The men’s accountability group is just one aspect of recovery and I would think professional counseling is a ‘necessary requirement’ given the climate and attitude you have shared that he has. In my our journey with my h and with lots of studying and research I have come across that these ‘mindsets’ take quite the interventions and are very comprehensive with mutilple resources for a man to first surrender, and secondly to decide to grow in a process.
If you don’t treat the disease, you are only treating the ‘do-overs’ technically.
Will he go get professional help? Maybe he is already?
Are you willing to require that of him in order to bring about a possible change in healing?
Hi Ruth, I’m glad you posted this at the end, ’cause sometimes a post comes into my email and then I can’t find it on the blog. 🙂
Lots to talk about, but so important. It seems I’m learning new things about God every day, at least. Those Psalms are apparently called the “Imprecatory Psalms”. You’re right, there are lots of ideas about them, mostly ‘let’s ignore them because we want to be nice to everyone’. But Jesus wasn’t. It seems to me that He didn’t even talk to the other thief on the cross. And He only said that salvation has come to the household of Zaccheus after he repented and talked about restitution. We do need to forgive, but that does not mean to keep relating……though even that is up to the Holy Spirit, since Jesus kept relating to Judas for some time. But He called him the devil. Jesus said to walk an extra mile. Not 10 though. And many of the epistles talk about not tolerating evil people, especially pretenders.
I guess what really jumps out at me in your post, Ruth, is that he blames you for his actions and attitudes. Someone here referenced Transformation Prayer ministries and I’ve been reading that site yesterday and today. It is quite similar to Elijah House. Their very first point is that all your attitudes and responses are yours and never anyone else’s fault. Negative reactions are a signal of wrong beliefs and the need to ask the Holy Spirit what those wrong beliefs are and to implant in you the correct ones. I don’t think you and he will ever come to peace until he owns his reactions to you and stops EVER blaming you for them. To call you on a sin is one thing, to blame you for his abuse of you is totally different and wrong. I would personally keep my distance as long as he keeps those ‘back pocket’ excuses. These people feed on your guilt and can smell a mile away when they can poke at your soft spot. And abuse is an addiction. Most counselors say not to trust an alcoholic until they’ve been dry for a year or so. So why not give our h’s a year to live without you and show fruits meet for repentance in all areas of life. And yes, I’ve never yet seen a man change without other men around for accountability, and I mean men who are strong in spirit.
The Bible word for ‘help mate’ is the same word used otherwise for Holy Spirit or God, not that we are that, but we are to be a ‘helper’ in the same sort of way, as in accountability. But most men are too prideful to accept that. Mark Gungor says it’s like in the OT where there were kings and prophets. The wife is the prophet. Notice that the only kings that did well were those who listened to the prophets? So yes, we should be able to call them on ‘tudes, but if that’s not happening, there is still lots of pride. Funny that, eh? ‘God hates divorce’ is shouted from the pulpits, but ‘God hates pride’, not so much. Proverbs also says, “Only by pride comes contention’. Hm.
Also the Bible word for ‘head’ is ‘giver of life and strength’ as in protector, etc., like it says to love your wife and make her without spot or wrinkle, etc. It doesn’t mean ‘power over’. Jesus said the gentiles lord it over each other but with us it should not be so, but with love serve each other. Pretty clear, besides that history shows us that ‘power over’ is the worst sort of lust of the flesh and corrupts, always. Just look at the messes in the patriarchal churches!!! The church is to be different than the other religions.
I think we’ve taken a lot of our philosophy from the world and that really trips us up. Especially the one about everyone having good intentions. And if you’re nice, people will be nice back. Or if you say just the right thing. nope.
Abuse, light? Um, is this supposed ‘christian’ open to validating your feelings about the abuse? If not, I’m not so sure there are categories. And what some would call ‘light’ abuse is often ‘minimized’ or ‘covert’, which can be more hurtful and confusing that the ‘big’ stuff.
Just my 2 bits worth, but the bottom line is always that when we seek wisdom, He gives it. You are His sheep and hear His voice. Years ago I cried out to God and He kept shoving Proverbs in my face and I’d ignore it because of my false beliefs in always being nice and never thinking ‘bad’ about my h. So I’d say, pay attention to what jumps out at you and then ask again, “Lord, what are you saying to me just now about this?” Bypass your head some, and hear His heart on your particular situation. Only God knows your h’s true intentions, I sure don’t. (OK, his fruit does give us an idea though) And yours. As in, “Lord, why do I want to shop more than I should? What is my real need here? Or am I hearing a voice of condemnation that is not You?”
I agree, the phoniness that the children see is really disturbing. I see the fruits of that in mine, and I pray a lot about that. Praying for you, and asking prayer for me as well. Thanks to all for all the input here. Blessings.
Thanks for the invite to “chime in”.
It is impossible to have compassion for someone who is continually harming us. It’s also impossible to forgive while being continually harmed. The result of allowing repeated harm to ourselves is inevitably a hardened heart ( I just heard Patrick Doyle say this, this morning).
That’s why the first step is to discern the boundaries that allow your healing to begin. Continuing to engage with your h in conversation about your relationship will only damage you further, and prevent your healing.
If your h has claimed to have repented a number of times, your trust of him must be non – existent. My guess is that the pain of whatever boundaries you’ve set is not enough. Ezer ( or helpmeet) is kind of like spiritual warrior. Your h’s best chance at being convicted is you getting out of the way and allowing God to be the convictor. I have fallen many times into the trap of trying to be my h’s convictor – this is damaging to his process ( not to mention your heart).
As long as you allow the fear of the outcome to drive your decisions (I see this fear in your statement about women throwing away their lives) you have not put your marriage in the Lord’s hands.
Lean into Jesus, Ruth. Ask him how He would have you guard that precious heart of yours.
As long as you have a tiny bit of softness left for your h, you need to guard that. Because once that softness goes, it’s a whole other ball game.
Praying that Christ envelops your heart, Ruth.
Wow Nancy, your words to Ruth were so eloquently expressed!!!!!
I really don’t know where to start, except a coroner knocked on my door today to tell me my son was in a car accident and died. I don’t have many words as my heart has been broken. I had not seen my son for 3 years due to the manipulations and deceit of his father during the divorce. Please pray my family will do the right thing, and walk thru all the preparations for his funeral to be honorable.
Robin, I’m so so very sorry. Praying.
Oh, my! Dear Robin, how awful for you. I am so very sorry. You can surely count on the prayers of all of us here to support you and comfort you. I know that your heart is breaking right now, and I am praying that the Lord will comfort and strengthen you.
I am weeping right now for you and your heartbreak. I am just so, so sorry. I don’t even know what to say other than I will pray for you. I don’t know you but I know the God who does know you. May He sustain you in the darkest of days.
Oh Robin, I’m so sorry for your tragic loss. Feel my love and prayers for you and your family. I wish I could be there for you. Feel my heart felt hugs. I pray for you to have a peace that passes all understanding.
Loving on you and praying for all.
Brave Rabbit XOX 🌷
Thank you for the support and kind words. I knew you all would hold my motherly heart, while it’s crushed.
Thank you very much.
Sending prayers and hugs to you and your family. I’m so very sorry.
May God’s promises comfort you. 💜
Oh my dear Robin, I am so sorry. I can’t imagine the pain you feel but I hope you feel our love and can allow us to carry a bit of your grief. Most of us are mothers and can’t imagine the pain of losing a child. I will pray for your other children and that they will be honorable and respectful towards you during the funeral. And we will pray for your broken mothers heart. That the God of all comfort will give you his peace.
Robin, I’m so sorry. As a mother, I can’t even imagine what you are going through. Am praying for you.
Robin, I am praying for you. May our God of compassion hold you ever so close during this terrible time.
Just read of your loss. So sorry for this unimaginable tragedy visiting your life. May you find comfort in our Lord’s loving embrace.
Oh, Robin, how terrible! How are you doing?
Hi Free, thank u for asking. I havnt written as it’s hard to be so transparent when your life has become so miserable. My son and I were very close. This has shaken my world upside down. My doctor and my counselor are keeping very close tabs on me. I know this sounds weak, but I’ve really been at risk as I just havnt had the strength to want to live without my son. He meant the world to me. Together we struggled thru so many abuse issues and I learned much from his wisdom. So many letters have come talking about his gentle heart and how he loved people. When someone asks I say I’m living one minute at a time. My counselor has asked me to be with people everyday to help me get thru this. So I do and it helps. I really struggle to imagine life without my son. My counselor says it’s okay to hirtblike that because the worst thing a mom will ever go thru is losing a child. I appreciate everyone’s prayers.
Robin, Not a day has gone by that I haven’t prayed for you since hearing this gut wrenching news. I have a son and can’t even begin to imagine your heartache. I pray God will surround you with people that will be there to love on you and walk this path with you. I wish those of us in this group had a way of personally connecting with you, but even though we can’t be there in person we are there in spirit and are covering you with our prayers.
Thank you Brooke, I receive your words with comfort. It’s the hardest when I’m all alone. My community has been very supportive and understanding of the pain this tragedy has caused .
Thank you friend,
Sending prayer to your heart. I can’t even imagine… but your strength in sharing is very touching here.
“So many letters have come talking about his gentle heart and how he loved people.”
I loved that you shared this… it feels like I get to get a glimpse of someone I didn’t get to meet, and what a virtuous quality he offered.
Hugs to you and your family;)
Thank you Aly. My pain is deep but my joy in knowing how much he invested in others, makes me smile often. He was a gentle soul.
Robin, I know the pain you are experiencing, and it is hard. When my son died, the Lord gave me a sweet word of comfort, and it took away so much of the pain. It might help you to think of your son as being in the Lord’s presence…a realm of light and intense love. You will still miss him, but knowing where he is will be a comfort. May God’s grace fill you abundantly.
Thank you Joanne. I will write those words on an index card and put it where I can see it often.
I’m sorry for your loss.
Free, I don’t want to sound like I am without help. God has graciously sent many helpers. I’m seeing 3 Pastors just because they are my friends. In addition my counselor keeps her phone with her and I receive contact from her several times a day and even in the middle of the night. An old friend invited me to a home group church setting last Sunday and it was heavenly to be with old friends who knew my son very well. People are coming out of the woodwork because they want me to know how much my son was loved. In addition, I wear my Core Strength when I need to talk to my ex husband and he is being very respectful. So in the midst of all the crushing pain- we can see God and know Hebis working…….
Robin, I just read this today. I can’t even find the words, they seem so shallow. Just know you are deeply loved and cared for and I will be praying for you often and as the Spirit reminds me. May our Father surround you with a shield and protect your heart, mind and soul during this time of grieving.
Content, thank u for reaching out. You’re right there are no words, but your heart reaches out to mine, and I am refreshed. Thank you, it’s the deepest pain I’ve ever known, but I am being covered with many prayers, and beautiful people expressing their sorrow for me.
I will be giving a tribute at my son’s service April 22 5pm. It’s a brave task indeed, but one this grateful mother will do. Appreciate all prayers!!!!!!
Robin, May the Lord speak through you and touch the hearts of everyone there. Grace be with you,
Thank you everyone for your thoughts toward my loss . This week alienated family will be arriving for my son’s service. For those who don’t know, when I filed for divorce from my abusive husband it split our family in half. This week gives opportunity for much chaos – but so far my exhusband and I have been able to keep things respectful. I would appreciate prayer as the service of laying my son to rest will be very difficult, and then whenbyou add all the difficult people that could add to that we need a lot of prayer. We are asking the Lord to use my son’s death to soften hearts and heal family relationships. Thank you
I will be praying, Robin, that this week, even in it’s heartache and grief, will bring healing to many relationships. You have been and will remain in my prayers.
I will be praying for you and your family, Robin ❤️
You are on my heart a lot, Robin. Will pray along with you and others that God will bring beauty out of these ashes and use what Satan means for evil for great good – this is what our God does. This is who He is. He is doing something here. And, yes, I have to say that in the deepest pain I’ve ever known that I’m going through currently with my marriage falling apart, I have thought of you in that context (of pain) and realized that yours is even deeper and I honestly can’t imagine it. My heart cries out to God for Him to bear you up and shower his grace upon you for this road that you must take. And He will. At times it won’t seem like He is, but He will. You are loved, treasured and held in His arms. I know He is near to the broken-hearted and so I trust that you are sensing His presence in a very, very real way.
Thank you Content in Christ, and also to many have responded to my losing my son. I pray that none of you will have to experience this excruciating pain. While I have had lots of caring people around me, the pain seems like it never stops. My daughter said to me today, ‘Mom is not normal for a mom to have to outlive her child’. I feel solace in that for a moment, Tomorrow is the service and hope it is a day of celebration and praise, among the tears. Thank you everyone.
Beautifully expressed, Contentinchrist. We say “amen” to your prayer and hold our dear sister up through this day and the ones that follow.
Robin, I hope yesterday went well. Either way, know that you can be honest and real here and we will love you and pray for you. And already do love you and are praying.
Robin, just wanted to let you know I’ve been thinking about you and lifting you up in prayer throughout the day.
Thank you Maria, it helps to be so supported!!!!!
Maria, thank you for continual prayers.The community was well represented in my son’s service, and many came out. The family divisiveness has not changed they had us sit on left so they could be on right and mostly ignored us. But even so, my son’s service was a beautiful tribute to his good name and how he loved people all alike. I felt very proud……. and yet sad . Doing the best I can. Thank you for praying everyone.
How sad for you and for them that they would hold onto their hostility at such a time. May the Lord heal your heart as the days go on.
I had come to back to the ‘bottom’ of this thread to thank the ladies who had responded to my post. Then, I read about you terrible loss!
I am so sorry. How sad. It’s like you lost your son twice. Once through your husband’s deceitfulness and now through an early, tragic death.
How your heart must be broken! You’ve already been through so much. I wish this horrible this wasn’t happening to you. 😔
I will be praying for you. I will also ask the ladies in my Monday Bible study to prayer to you also.💕
Thank you Ruth, what sweet words. But I do want to thank everyone that has written- the words of encouragement and prayers are so well received and valued. The first couple days has been very rough. But the community has risen up with much support. My son loved people and everyone was his friend. It brings much joy to see how many lives his —- touched. I’m surrounded by family and my counselor has opened her phone to receive texts day or night, while I walk thru this. Thank you each one!
This was something I needed to read….I read when it was first posted and God used it and a few other things to show me that I was continuing to try to be my husband’s Holy Spirit; that I was also, yes, involved in the blame game and that no good fruit was going to come from it. The Spirit has also shown me an area that I need to work on currently in my life (listening to others and praying and waiting instead of reacting in anger, blame and shame). I know God has already done a lot of work in me in that area over the years, but there is still more to do.
I have since been able to apologize to my husband for the ways that I’ve hurt him in my anger, hurt and frustration over the past several years and months and to let him know that I love him and that I desire our marriage to be healed and restored.
I knew when I apologized and said those words, that nothing would change in my situation with my husband…..buy I have peace knowing that I have come to a place where I am putting him fully in God’s hands. There is nothing more I can or need to say to him. I have said enough.
I can keep my head held high and treat him with respect when I see him. I feel free in a different way since God has done these things in me. Still incredibly heartbroken and grieving, but there is freedom in obeying God and humbling myself to take responsibility for my sin in reacting to his sin.
Been trying to find a few words of wisdom but to be honest I have nothing to give. The Memorial Service is over, it was so honoring g and expressed from all corners of our nation, how many people loved my son. Most important tho was the repeating theme that my son loved all men the same. He did not see people as good or bad. He saw all people as both human and honorable. My families fill full of the amazing life he lived……….but I never have experienced anything so painful. It just doesn’t feel right – that I had to lose my son. So speaking from my heart, I say fervently love your family. None of us know when their last day on earth will be. I love each and everyone of you and covet your prayers. My heart is so broken, and I do desire to heal from this terrible loss.
I know you don’t know me, but I have felt compelled to pray for you every day and to keep you on my list for a long time to come. As a mom, I can’t begin to imagine the intense level of grief that comes with the loss of a son. Somehow, God will give you the strength needed for each step of the way. I don’t know how, but He promised He would be faithful to you, so I am claiming that promise for you. We are all here for you to vent to, talk to, or just cry with you when words fail.
Thank you Brooke, I feel like I lightly know of you as I usually read this blog everyday. Thank you for your sacrifice of prayer and remembering me. I never use to be able to be this transparent but this blog has taught me when we share what we’re really going thru (and not what we think we are suppose to say) God uses each of us to lift each other up. I appreciate you Brooke, and you’re right, loosing a child is something we can’t even imagine until the coroner is standing at your front door. I still remember my response when he said is your son Joshua Caleb Baumann? I literally ran into the other room yelling no no no please no. I was fortunate as my soninlaw was with him and came and grabbed me saying I’m so sorry Robin, that’s when I knew it was true. Hard to even talk about it. But I think it’s important to say the good things as well. I have received so many notes and letters telling me what a wonderful guy he was. At his service people came from all directions saying, he was the best friend to everyone he met.
Sounds like he has left behind a wonderful legacy. Not easy to do in such a few amount of years. I pray God will flood your heart and mind with good memories, whether recalled or shared by others. It sounds like he was quite amazing.
He was raised in a Bible Camp that he went to every summer from age 5. The Lord grabbed his heart young and starting maturing him thru trials like we all go thru. A letter I was just reading said this– Josh was a person who loved each and every person in his life deeply. Wholeheartedly, he gave of himself to people. Just to bring a laugh, a smile or comfort in time of need. Had the compassion of Jesus on broken lives embracing the hurt, lost and lonely. A sojourner, adventurer, kindhearted, loyal and true to the end. You will be missed my friend and brother. You brought joy to so many people.
His childhood was tough with an abusive dad, but he chose to forgive those that offended him. I can take no credit. The Lord raised my boy and gave him a special heart for people.
What a beautiful, beautiful tribute.
He was very unique. Simple, had no want for material possessions except when he wanted a new guitar. He became a paramedic and loved helping to save lives. He surrounded himself with wise older men and mentors, something I prayed for continually. I felt very fortunate to be his Mom and for 30 years we had an excellent relationship.
How old was your son? And I am glad you have those times to look back on. It’s still never enough, I know.
He died on April 4th. At age of 33.
His birthday was 11 days later, when he would have been 34.
If you are in an abusive relationship please get out. Josh’s dad was very abusive . I believe God kept his promise to me, in saving him from following destructive behaviors.
I’m so very sorry for your loss and can’t imagine. Thank you for letting us come alongside and be invited into what you are going through.
I don’t know you personally but I do think that your son was blessed by a Brave and loving mother🌸
My hope is that you feel my hugs I’m sending and that you can feel the The Love of God holding your heart each moment.
Thank you to all who have taken time to reach out to me. I appreciate every single note that comes- and they are healing.
Too young. And great advice for everyone. Thanks for being open with us all, Robin.
Robin, I can only say, from my experience and the deepest place in my heart, that when you are in that dark and painful place, keep on inviting the Lord in. Sometimes you won’t feel anything, but other times, He might speak a word that you need to hear. He is there with you in your pain, and He wants to bring His healing light into your darkness, and while it is impossible here and now to understand why He allowed this thing to happen, someday you will be able to look back and see that God brought beauty from ashes. He is sovereign and also loving, and He always acts in our best interest. We just can’t always see that at the time. I know; I’ve been there.
I may never understand why so very often the Lord takes the really good ones and allows evil to thrive. I sometimes think that it’s because He is giving the evil ones time to repent of their sins, and perhaps that’s right. He is merciful. But when that happens, we really need Him to be our Comforter. Praying for you, dear Sister.
An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers