I hope I am home when you start to read this. Six weeks living out of a suitcase is way too long for me. I’m so happy to be back in my own nest. Our CONQUER 2018 Conference: Be Brave Grow Strong on October 12, and 13 is fast approaching. This is going to be one of the best women’s conferences you could invest in. So far we have around 600 women registered. It’s going to be amazing. You will not want to miss it.
I’ve invited some of our breakout workshop speakers for the Conference to guest blog so that you can get to know their hearts and their ministry. Today, Sandra Lovelace will talk about How to Invest Bravery and Gain Strength. Sandra attended the 2016 CONQUER conference and her life radically changed. She hasn’t looked back. For a sneak peek at her outward transformation, go to the end of the blog to see her before CONQUER 2016 picture and her after CONQUER 2016 picture. Jill Swanson and image consultant (another one our workshop speakers) helped the true Sandra come out and sparkle.
What does bravery look like? The image that comes to me is a person jumping off a small platform high above the earth. Maybe that’s because a recent episode of Returning the Favor shows Mike Rowe accomplishing that exact feat. In my mind’s eye, I saw myself up there and wasn’t sure I could do it. Could you?
Mike had the extra motivation of cheering friends and rolling cameras. A safety harness and members of his crew on the ground provided a sense of security. Yet, as he paused at the edge and looked down, the obvious risks and painful possibilities likely pumped cortisol through his veins. He jumped anyway.
Maybe you could use some bravery about now. You’ve started to realize how flat your life has been … tending everyone around you to the point you’ve lost yourself. Or you’ve known you’re stuck for a while … but are afraid to even consider ways to break away. Then again, maybe like me, you’ve taken steps toward freedom, but you could use encouragement and support to walk in the fullness of God’s design.
Our dilemma isn’t surprising. The Scriptures report similar stories of women living seemingly status quo lives who move into distinctly exceptional roles. For example, a relative brought an orphan girl from the countryside to his home in a distant city. A royal edict carried her to the king’s harem and eventually to the throne as his queen. The book of Esther records how she adjusted and grew through the challenges.
When the same relative informed Queen Esther of a conspiracy against her people, she turned to the great I AM who’d been beside her since childhood. She directed the Jews of the city to fast and pray for three days in preparation for her to petition the king for relief. She gathered with her own servants to do the same.
As she walked the hallways of the palace that pivotal day, she knew the moment she passed through the doorway into the throne room without permission she might forfeit her life. Surrounded by a community of support, she also knew her purpose and duty were clear. Confidence in the One who held her future took her across that historic threshold. And His strength and favor prevailed to the rescue of a nation.
The same provision awaits us modern day wallflower women caught in a wallpaper existence, decorating the lives of others. Jesus intends us to live abundant and dynamic lives (John 10:10). We’re God’s masterpiece, transformed by His work with a purpose designed in advance for us to fulfill (Ephesians 2:10). As He did for Esther, God provides the information, affirmation, and inspiration we need to grow out of our orphan selves into the heirs of promise He created (Ephesians 4:20-23).
Let’s all take hold of the opportunities He brings to exercise our bravery.
- Put our names on the list of people to care for.
- Pause and consider what we’d like to do, and do it.
- Respond with a gentle but firm no instead of always saying yes.
- Express how we really feel instead of what someone wants to hear.
- Be intentional about building a supportive community of safe people.
- Start detaching from a toxic environment, responsibility, or relationship.
If a boost of motivation would be as helpful to you as it was to Mike Rowe, the Conquer conference is definitely the place to be. Women who’ve stepped out to grow into their call will equip and empower you. I know because God used Conquer 2016 to encourage my transformation. And I’ll be there this year with a workshop titled Time to Be YOU: Without Feeling Selfish or Sinful.
Perhaps God is preparing you to step off that tiny platform, like a trapeze artist at the circus, to fly in the purpose He designed for you. If you sense Jesus inviting you to Be Brave, Grow Strong, register for the Conquer conference today. I hope to see you there.
Friends, what might God be asking of you to be or to do that requires a step of courage right now? What steps can you take to grow yourself stronger?
Sandra Allen Lovelace has been serving women and their families for nearly forty years. She’s an award-winning speaker who exudes authenticity and compassion forged in a chaotic childhood topped off with thirty years in church culture up close and too personal as a pastor’s wife. Sandra’s a homeschool pioneer known for her engaging style, as well as the portrayals of biblical women that intrigue and delight her audiences. Featured on television and radio in the US and internationally, Sandra’s makeover appears in an interview on Fox TV.
Sandra has an extensive list of published print and online articles, curricula and Bible studies, and two book titles. Her blogging world is more than 10 years old. She’s pleased to be the model for Chapter 1 of Jill Swanson’s new book, Simply Stylish – Look Great, Spend Less. Wallflower Women is the working title of her current manuscript. Through creative nonfiction, she provides a solid foundation of Biblical truth to evaluate the dilemma and offer practical strategies. Elk Lake Publishing Inc. is scheduled to make the title available in April 2019.
Sandra lives near Greenville SC and enjoys hiking with a camera, best done on an international adventure. Connect with her and keep track of the progress with Wallflower Women at SandraAllenLovelace.com, her Blog, Wallflower Women Conversations, Facebook, and Twitter.
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Can I say No To Sexual Practices I Don’t Like
Morning friends, I wanted to take a little space to respond to a comment in the blog thread about something I said in a previous blog which went something like, “in every good thing there is a down side and in every bad thing there is a good side, if we will look for it.”…
Should I Apologize To My Abusive Husband?
Morning friends, I am excited to let you know that we will be doing a 2 session Introduction to CORE Strength on Wednesday, August 10 and August 17. If you have always wanted to have some extra help in understanding yourself and how to get stronger, this would be the perfect introductory class. Also, we…
I Want To Change But I Don’t Know How
Morning friend, I’d love to give you all a challenge for the month of March. There are 31 days in March and 31 chapters in Proverbs. If you are lacking wisdom or struggling with toxic and destructive people, you will gain a wealth of wisdom from this book. Each day read one chapter. Read it out…
Moving through this journey of my husband’s abuse and porn addiction, then a long separation, and now going through the divorce process, I have had to make many decisions. Many of these I never had to make before – finding a place to live, establishing my credit, getting my car serviced, paying my taxes, etc. My friends told me how brave I was, but I did not see that – only doing things out of necessity. But God has shown me through His Word that He has given me strength and courage to do these things. Now I am moving out of state to live near my daughter and her family, which is another giant step for me. But when it seems overwhelming, I look back and see how God has, over and over again, given me the courage and strength to do these past steps, and He will be the One to walk beside me during this large step. God is so faithful and my faith and relationship has grown so strong during these years and through my trials.
You are incredible, brave and YES – God does provide what we need. You can count on that in the days ahead.
Thank you for your encouragement Missy!
Leslie, your articles have always been excellent but I have really enjoyed these guest writers. Thank you for allowing the strong voices of women be heard in various places on the journey. This has been a very good series!!
What and inspirational woman!
This discussion resonates with me as I am enjoying so much freedom now that I am no longer being abused. Having accomplished some of the same tasks that Lynn mentioned for the first time is empowering. It is not that I am not capable of such decisions, yet rather, my abuser spouse did not permit me to make them.
A passage that keeps rolling through my head from Proverbs 31 is, “she considered a field and bought it.” I now consider a field (and all kinds of other things) and buy it, using my excellent mind and reasoning skills to seal the deal with panache and flair! It is the same great mind I have always had until my abusive spouse took away my right to be an adult and exploited my Christ submission to his evil agenda. Ha! Freedom is so sweet!
Thank you for sharing the freedom you have found. It is amazing what it feels like to finally feel safe and alive after abuse!
Gosh, Free; I identify with every word!
When safe I am confronting my husbands sin, though still gently. I finally set the boundary that if I had to leave again for fear of my safety it would not only be for a day. I am also finally accepting that some of his behavior against me, I have been purposely in denial about, while it was tearing me to shreds and incapacitating me as a woman.
I am still struggling to confront the truth that he could truly do me physical harm. After speaking to a counselor that is familiar with abusers and my husband, my mind believes this is possible. It is taking a lot of bravery (that I don’t seem to have yet) for my heart to believe it though.
I’m not sure that I can force my heart on this matter. I have heard the truth over and over and my head gets it (especially since it was explained to me as to why it is scientifically a strong possibility, especially if I leave). I guess I have to continue to ask the Holy Spirit to work on this part of me.
I don’t need it reiterated to me that I could be in danger, but I do need ideas of how to open my heart here if anyone has a similar journey.
Jane, do you need to prove to yourself that the stove is hot when it is actually turned on? Do you stop for red lights because you could get killed if you don’t? Ask yourself what will need to happen for you to realize that those who are warning you are correct? Are you waiting for a trip to the ER? A broken nose, ruptured spleen? It will also help you to think about why you don’t want to believe that the danger exists. I know that you have said that you love him, don’t want to hurt him, and are holding onto hope that he will change. Please realize that these are fantasies. Just because you still love him (why???), doesn’t mean that you need to subject yourself to his abuse. You need to love yourself enough to stop letting him hurt you. I think that if you would read the book “Redemptive Divorce” by Mark W. Gaither, you will see things in a new way that might help.
As I am trying to be committed to the truth I must answer, yes, I am waiting for something to actually happen. I struggle believing it otherwise. I have said for several weeks now, it would be so much easier if he would just pop me.
Last week, when his counselor told me that violence is potential, I cried when the truth that I already knew deep down was spoken by someone that I trusted to provide this assessment. But then I start blocking it out, I am doing my own darn crazy making now, refusing to hold on to the truth because of how he is behaving right now (he is being a nice guy right now). I am frustrated with myself for this!
I will try to get to the book you suggest after I read Lundy’s. His is next on my list. I really need to reread Leslie’s too. It’s only been a couple of months but so much to process that a lot has slipped back out.
Jane, I will offer a few questions that you can answer to yourself, and maybe that will help, although I expect that your counselor also asks you: What do you hope will happen if you just ignore the warnings and go on like you do now? What are you afraid will happen if you heed the warnings of others and do whatever it will take to keep yourself and your children safe? What effect is your ignoring the warnings and staying having on the children (who you don’t mention very often….why?) Even though you “know deep down,” why do you keep blocking it out? How is that practice serving your greater good? Even if you think you know the answers to these questions, write it all out so you can reread the questions and the answers and over time decide if things have changed. Time, I think, for some heart searching. Pray and ask for some light from the Lord on these questions.
I felt this way after my husband made a full confession of his years of porn use, lying, and sneaking about. I heard his words with my ears, but my “heart” kept trying to find some other explanation! I was prepared to hear only a tiny portion of what the whole truth actually was. I showed up for a little muddy puddle and was hit with a tsunami.
Intellectually I knew it was possible and even likely, but I had spent twenty years training my heart to feel a certain way about him and us, and it was just too much to flip a u-turn without much notice.
The facts I already knew and the half truths I had accepted joined together in my brain and were doing serious battle with the new picture being painted by his words. I was experiencing shock as he spoke, I was shaking and I couldn’t breathe, my head pounded and I felt a physical pain in my chest like my heart was ripping in two.
My survival default was to keep saying: it cant be true, it must be a joke or a lie. IT CANT BE TRUE.
I think this kind of emotional denial is our limbic system trying to preserve us in that moment. But that little part of our brain doesn’t know right from wrong and it doesn’t remember long term consequences, it only knows what got us dopamine and other nice things the last time.
This is how our minds can know its true, and yet our “hearts” still feel its not true.
Essentially our “hearts” tell us we CAN trust our untrustworthy mate because we have a connection that works much more like an addiction than it does a friendship based on mutual good will.
That’s really hard to swallow I know.
The good news (VERY GOOD NEWS) is that we have another part of the brain that can override the strong feelings our limbic system creates. Our prefrontal cortex understands very complex and abstract ideas like “double minded men” and how anger and rage can escalate very fast when challenged. That part can use reason and logic, and make our brave plans that purpose to glorify God.
This is my favorite verse for doing right when it doesn’t completely “feel” right yet:
Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. Proverbs 16:3
Very helpful. Yes this explains it well! Now I have to exercise my prefrontal cortex so it becomes stronger than my limbic system. How did you do this? How did you over ride that self preservation lie?
There really isn’t a direct connection between the prefrontal cortex and the limbic system. The rational mind vs the emotional mind. That’s why it is so hard to think rationally when the emotions are activated. The pathway to the emotional mind is through the emotions (duh!). So, what has helped me, and those who I counsel, is to access the emotional pathway and then ask the Lord to speak His truth into that place: “Lord what is the truth you want me to know now?” So, when you are stirred up emotionally, just call on the Lord’s name: “Oh! Lord Jesus! Speak to me now!” Out loud. The demons hear and flee, and the Lord has a way to save us in that moment. Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Rom. 10:13)
Basically through pursuing the truth. The truth sets us free, and that’s a promise. We are transformed by renewing the mind with truth.
So my understanding was transformed by words of truth. Talking and reading and writing and using my online support community like crazy. Meeting others like myself and reading their sorrow stories that were JUST LIKE MINE. The more truth I heard & read, the less my own “feelings” seemed true.
It was uncomfortable, but I chose to ACT rationally out of my thinking brain and eventually it did “feel” like the truth to me as well. I finally was able to accept the two views of husband like a street and sidewalk running side by side: He was a nice man with a very not-nice secret life, and I had been taken in. Very sad, but very true.
JoAnn is right in that it’s almost like we are dealing with two totally separate brains. A thinking brain, and a feeling brain.
The question here is which one gets to decide our choices and behaviors? Which one gets to be in charge or “drive the bus” so to speak.
As infants all we used was the “feeling brain”. We cried for when we were hungry, angry, lonely, tired or scared. But as we grew and learned language and mimicked our caregivers, our thinking brain took over more and more responsibilities.
We call this growth process “maturity”. So that as adults whenever a person responds foolishly out of a highly emotional state we say that person is acting “immature”. In other words, they childishly chose the immediate feel-good dopamine surge over what was right and fair and reasonable.
Addiction, anxiety, co-dependency, PTSD, these are basically conditions that center around limbic system hijackings. Your bus is being driven 100 miles per hour down the freeway by a hungry, angry, lonely, or terrified toddler. You have lost your “felt choice”.
So we have to find a way to pull over, and switch drivers.
This “pulling over” happens when you use language and invite others into your story as you have already started doing. Word are very powerful and language used to explain is something that engages the prefrontal cortex .
When you find you are feeling soft towards an abuser who really needs your super-hard boundaries, you are having something very much like the “euphoric recall” that an alcoholic experiences just before he relapses and goes on a six day binge. Euphoric recall is a triggered memory of only the good feelings that came from acting out. The bad consequences are not part of this kind of memory.
What does AA suggest for the moment of euphoric recall? Call your sponsor or accountability partner or fellow recovery group member.
They are not feeling soft towards your abuser right then and they can remind you of all the info the REST of your brain already knows.
You have already started the mind renewing process by sharing your struggle and asking this question of the group. You were very VERY brave to poke your head up like that here, for it can sometimes feel like a highly competitive game of whack-a mole!
I know you want to bring glory to God with your life and your marriage and you are trying your best to do the right thing in a very difficult situation.
I really hope this helps some.
Caroline, TL, Aly, Nancy, et al.,
so helpful! My husband had an interesting day yesterday. He is reading Cloud’s book Changes that Heal. He says the first chapter was like someone finally but a mirror in front of him and he saw how hurtful his words have been. He seemed truly contrite and remorseful and broken, but a few key things kept my forebrain working: he claimed he has been speaking the truth but without love (often not truth though) and I think he only sees his recent issues, he doesn’t seem to see his root of pride and control. He was not repentant about other abuses because he doesn’t realize them. He also is blaming his behavior on demonic attack, which limits the amount of blame he is willing to take. While I know there are demonic forces that are making things worse, it is his own flesh that this is rooted in.
I thought I should have fallen apart last night while he was crying in front of me and hurting. I was minimally teary. I expected joy and hope to overflow, instead I felt a glimmer of hope mixed with despair that he only sees the tip of the iceberg so far. At first I was surprised with myself and afraid that maybe my heart is hard, but God showed me over night that this is not yet repentance. It should provide some hope but there is no indicator of change of heart and acceptance of root issues so it was right for me to be less moved than expected.
I was grateful that God spoke to me while my husband was talking last night. I wasn’t sure how to respond and God just told me to be quiet. Part of me wanted to hug my husband and reassure him that I know my words aren’t always perfect, etc. another part of me wanted to say, “truth? if you believe what you speak is TRUTH without love your delusional.” So I am glad I was silent last night, given today’s revelations.
I will continue to make note of my feelings brain, but let my thinking brain and spirit make the decisions like I did last night. It’s going to take practice I’m sure.
Excellent reply, Caroline, and a very good explanation. Thank you for sharing .
Such a good and I believe fruitful step for you!
Love Cloud and Townsend’s material too!
So, I just want you to know you have done some really good processing here. I know it takes ‘time and energy’ enormous energy really to write things out and share and respond, but you are really acknowledging your past ways of interacting to giving yourself space to evaluate.
This will bring greater growth because you won’t feel like you keep falling into the same old routine with him.
Couple things I want to mention in regards to his behaviors;
“He seemed truly contrite and remorseful and broken, but a few key things kept my forebrain working: he claimed he has been speaking the truth but without love (often not truth though) and I think he only sees his recent issues, he doesn’t seem to see his root of pride and control. He was not repentant about other abuses because he doesn’t realize them. He also is blaming his behavior on demonic attack, which limits the amount of blame he is willing to take. ”
Pay serious attention to this!! Did the counselor recommend this book?
Especially because you say he’s narcissistic.
I don’t like to use labels overall so I will try not to but point out that he’s ‘high on the Narc spectrum, so high that he has become very dangerous and destructive.
You said he ‘doesnt Realize his other abuses’.
Is this true?
These types of individuals are very crafty at their acting and often you can be convinced that they ‘really don’t see’ what they do see but won’t ‘hold’!
Can a person high on Narc traits hold and take accountability for negative truths about themselves?
Also the patterns of demonic attack, sorry but I think that needs to be taken off the table completely. No space whatsoever for that, especially for someone who can call on the power of the Holy Spirit.
I’m glad that you caught yourself about the heart issue of yourself, you are not getting a hard heart but a wiser and more discerning heart!!
Abusers can’t stand this because they can’t have the control of our empathetic postures as much as they have had in the past.
Since you are seeing more clarity it’s important to continue to take your steps, I know this is hard but know that taking steps closer to the Lord is essential, and you can see his response in you stepping back and gaining further space it’s important.
Continued prayers for your heart Jane.
Your breaking your part of the cycle by taking these unfamiliar steps ‘away’.
Jane, you handled that well. IF your h is going to be able to change, it will take time. You are correct that he needs to be aware of the root cause, but even that will take time, because pride is something that is very hard for us to acknowledge, let alone deal with. It’s a big can of worms.
In times like what you experienced yesterday, becoming a “gray rock,” that is, unresponsive, is a good strategy, and the Lord led you to do that. Just let it happen and trust the Lord to do the shining.
Jane that was amazing!!! This is just what I meant.
Your feeling brain was going “This is IT right, this is what we’ve been waiting for right, we should be so happy, right?!”
But your thinking brain was saying “Hmmmm…something fishy going on…doesn’t really sound like the godly sorrow that leads unto repentance, sounds like a small bone being thrown to me…and I hear some blame shifting and manipulation going on…Steady on, hold your ground…”
You let your actions be guided by the thinking brain, and then you came back to a source of “true words” that you’ve found, and were further validated in your good sound logical assessments.
This is the exact process I was describing, you are already learning how to pull over the bus and quickly change drivers!
The “grey rock” idea is also called “healthy detachment” and yes it can be perceived as hardhearted to us if we have equated emotionalism with loving care in the past.
Detachment begins to break that almost hypnotic “spell” that dopamine and oxytocin have woven into the relationship over the years. It was SO SMART not to hug him!!. Hugging paired with crying can often lead to sex and you can just guess which brain goes offline with that.
I am not going to say here that your husband can or cant change because that’s just not my call. I will say that because he is very haughty and rebellious, he’s very unlikely to change until he loses pretty much everything.
There are times when detachment paired with hard boundaries is the KINDEST and MOST LOVING gift we can offer someone.
Jane, I don’t understand why you think you need to open your heart to believe your husband might bring u harm. Abuse escalates, and eventually harm does come, or definite signs that are saying, others tell me I’m not safe, my counselor sees the possibility of harm……. is this a time you need to open your heart or is this a time u would be wise to recognize the signs and warnings and take a step towards safety. ? I’ve been divorced 3 years from a very abusive man. I struggled with leaving, because my heart wanted to believe there was some goodness in him. I left because the people around me warned me to get out. I’ve never regretted that decision, and everyday I am shown the terrible abuse and destructive relationship I was in — that I couldn’t see clearly while we were living together. Praying you will take a step towards your sanity and safety.
I couldn’t agree more Robin.
Me too. Getting away from your abuser (even temporarily) gives you space to hear from God, think clearly, and heal. Jane, can you start getting an exit plan worked out with the help of your counselor, before something horrible happens?
Me too, Free and Robin. Jane, can you begun to work on an exit plan with your counselor? It would be good to have one for when you need it.
“Friends, what might God be asking of you to be or to do that requires a step of courage right now? What steps can you take to grow yourself stronger?”
re: Sandra’s Story “. . .The same provision awaits us modern day wallflower women caught in a wallpaper existence, decorating the lives of others. Jesus intends us to live abundant and dynamic lives (John 10:10). We’re God’s masterpiece, transformed by His work with a purpose designed in advance for us to fulfill (Ephesians 2:10). As He did for Esther, God provides the information, affirmation, and inspiration we need to grow out of our orphan selves into the heirs of promise He created (Ephesians 4:20-23).”
re: modern day wallflowers
re: The Books of Ruth and Esther, two of the very few biblical stories to focus on women
re: Esther: Character Under Pressure
. . .Many, many young women were brought to the palace and placed in the harem. What was the role of these women? Would Esther’s life, role and rights be different from the harem when she became queen?
. . .To me, the most courageous act is still to think for myself. Aloud. That said, we are going to pay a huge price for everything we do (me too) and everything we don’t do. We don’t get to choose to NOT pay a price. . . .So here is, maybe, a question to ask. It is the question I ask myself all the time: —Am I living in a way which is *deeply* satisfying to me, and which truly expresses me and The Truth?
. . . Nothing brings a better world into being than stating the truth, but you will pay a high price for that. . . . .And yes, all of us are biased, and uninformed, and unbelievably ignorant at lots of levels (—all of us, especially me.) . . . but if you state what *you* think, as clearly as you can while you keep learning and by the way. . . .
⏏Theology is just faith seeking understanding. . .that’s all it is. . .God to be God is incomprehensible. . .God can’t be limited by what we can comprehend.
and you keep on stating it as God lays it on your heart, with the Holy Spirit in prayer. . . well. . . .If you can do that, God will direct your life.
As per Jesus, the truth speaks the best possible world into existence. . . .Honesty forces any dysfunctions in our lives right straight to the surface. If we have no recourse to peace faking, withholding information, outcome engineering, our lives can unravel only so far. . . . Don’t underestimate the power of Truth to give you answers about this. There’s nothing more powerful, except maybe prayer. But, again, in order to speak what you regard as the truth, you have to let go of the outcomes. . . .For example, “I might lose this boyfriend, a father for my boys, etc.” Let go of the outcomes and put yourself in God’s hands by speaking the truth to all as clearly and as best as you can, —at all times.
Don’t be afraid of your fears. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it. The truth is always worth it.
. . .Whatever can be threatened, whatever can be shaken, whatever you fear cannot stand, is destined to crash. Do not go down with the ship. Let that which is destined to become the past slip away. Believe that the real you is that which beckons from the future. If it is a sadder you, it will be a wiser one. And dawn will follow the darkness sooner or later. Rebirth can never come without death. . . .That’s what Jesus taught me. . . .It’s your life; you don’t need someone’s permission to live your life.
One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.
. . .―But Christianity’s radical insight is this: Christ is not another identity to place alongside our others: wife, lawyer, et.al. Instead, Jesus cuts across all these concretely existing identities [Jew/Gentile, slave/free, male/female, etc.] so that those who identify with Christ are no longer held captive by categories [as much as is possible they are outside of them as total outsiders]. . . .Because we are all outsiders and die outside the city gates with Christ, with no identity just like when He died. Unless I don’t understand it, Christianity is not one more identity marker. It is the experience of losing your identity with the One who lost His identity on the cross. In those days, when you were crucified, you were no longer in any political, cultural, or religious system. You were ripped of identity.
. . .Anyways, the privilege of a lifetime is being who you are in Christ. . . .Who you are, who God wants *you* to be, not people pleasing (―just one of my many issues).
―Who Christ✞💖🌠 wants you to be. . . .It takes as much time to build walls sturdy enough for wallflowers like you and me to lean against as it does for us to just bloom.
Sisters, I am looking forward to the Conquer conference in October, and I hope to meet some of you there, face to face. i feel certain that it will be a life changing event.
Seeing the Light Aug. 21, 12:16….Yes, of course you are right. When those doubts and questions get into a person’s mind when they are so vulnerable, it can present problems down the road. We all need to pray for the Lord to “Undo, nullify” the works of the Evil One. 1 John 3:8: “He who practices sin is of the devil, because the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy (undo, nullify) the works of the devil.”
Thank you, Aleea. You always hit the nail on the head. And many thanks to Sandra too. And prayers going up for Jane.
Aleea. When you said “Don’t be afraid of your fears” this is so true. Fear also means that something in one’s marriage is terribly wrong. Fear is for a reason. Fear is there to ‘drive’ us to our Lord, and to make us get down on our knees and turn those fears over to God, which makes Fear worth it, like you said because of the truth which needs to be spoken.
Also, the crazy-making which goes along with the fear of the unknown, which causes one to hash and rehash incidents as we think within ourselves, things which happened or ‘might’ happen, which we do need to listen to that still small voice, and to others who have faced threatening situations; as the reality of things which could possibly happen, as far as abuse or violence IS a real threat; yet not let our own fears keep us from facing the reality of possible abuse, once we speak and realize our truth which will set us free.
Just like Sandra mentioned with the story of Esther. Esther stepped out in her faith because of the Living God and also because of her strong trust in her God to see her through.
And when a person lives with an abuser, the victim knows what the triggers are which cause the abuse. So, to be wise and avoid those triggers is also important, yet sometimes we have no clue what triggers an abuser to become violent as they are not trustworthy to begin with. They don’t think like a normal person. They are not realistic, nor do they want to comprehend where you are ‘coming from’ in their own disturbed abusive drama. What triggers their instant abusive reaction is NOT normal.
And it always seems that there is a calm before the storm, when they have been ‘nice’ for a while, and you think they have changed, yet it is all about them in the end, and how controlling they can be.
So, some of us here, have endured hardness as servants of the Lord, but the reason we are here on Leslie’s site, is because, we realize the Lord does not want us to stay in captivity of another person who has, to our own dismay, and sometimes ignorance from what we have learned in a church atmosphere which did not support the true women’s place in the church, we now have been equipped by the Holy Spirit to walk in our own newness of life, not allowing someone else to hinder us, which comes straight from the enemy of our souls.
God has not brought us this far to fail! He wants his daughters and sons to prevail against injustices so that we can live the life of Christ he wants us to live, and also the life that we want in Christ for ourselves.
It is all about Redeeming Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found and bound eternally to Jesus! Our life in Christ is really what it is all about.
Hello many years,
Absolutely true many years . . .and I wanted to thank Sandra too. And so many, many prayers I have prayed for Jane.
Fear does drive us to our Lord. I know for me, down on my knees naming every last fear and handing it over to God, yes, that so does make the Fear worth it.
When you are afraid you know you are directly over the target. Speaking the truth will set you free but the truth is a wildfire. The truth will set you free but first it will totally break your heart. I know it broke mine.
“Esther stepped out in her faith because of the Living God and also because of her strong trust in her God to see her through.”
. . .That is really, really beautiful isn’t it?
We only and always have two options is life: conversation or violence. Why would anyone use violence when we can have vast conversations?
“So, some of us here, have endured hardness as servants of the Lord, but the reason we are here on Leslie’s site, is because, we realize the Lord does not want us to stay in captivity of another person who has, to our own dismay, and sometimes ignorance from what we have learned in a church atmosphere which did not support the true women’s place in the church, . . .”
I know and I hope and pray I understand. I just can’t square what we do with what Jesus said. We can’t do what Jesus said, not in the plain sense of it. Once we leave the plain sense, we don’t know what He said. “God said it! I believe it! That settles it!” becomes “I said it! God believes it! That settles it!”. . . I hate what Jesus says on divorce and remarriage but that doesn’t mean I get to change it with logic, reason, evidence-based thinking about what constitutes human flourishing, context shifting, text twisting and text deconstruction. When I change it, I change Him and the One I worship.
. . .If I got back to the first century (—of course, I’d probably be killed because they thought I was a time-traveling witch or just a witch), I’d rewrite Mark 10 (hypothetical) “A woman of Judean never wanted divorce. Divorce was not at all what she wanted. But she was married to a Narcissist who was also Bipolar. The mental abuse she suffered was unbearable. She went to counseling, got the church involved, she went above and beyond to save her marriage but it takes two and he wasn’t willing (—in fact, he thinks he’s the victim). She filed for Divorce, which was granted AD18 and begged God to somehow forgive her. She was so riddled with guilt for not following God’s plan. But I say unto her: Daughter, you don’t have to ask my Father to forgive you, you have done God’s will in the matter. “
The basis of any good relationship is clear, very clear, crystal clear communication. Mark 4:11: And He told them, “The mystery of the Kingdom of God has been given to you, but to those on the outside, everything is expressed in parables, 12so that, ‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven.’” What??? Lord Jesus, You mean to tell me that the most vital information to human salvation is in secretive, hinty, mystical, unclear, riddles. . .Lord Jesus, I don’t understand that even though I love You!
πολλά χρόνια (pollá chrónia . . .many years), . . .many years, I don’t understand Jesus but I love Him. In fact, I have tried hard to stop loving Him, but I can’t. But He is infuriating, if you take His words seriously. You may not see it in the English, but in the Greek (in the manuscripts), in Mark four, Jesus wants those people to go to hell. The mysteries of the Kingdom of God have not been given to “them.”
. . .Anyways, many years . . . .I do appreciate you and what you said. In Christ, our fear is 💯❗dependent on us for its survival. . . .If we could kick the person in the pleated skirt responsible for most of our trouble, we wouldn’t sit for a month. . . .Our deepest fear should be that through Christ ✞💖🌠 we are powerful beyond measure. Our light, not our darkness, should most frightens us. . . .Lord may our darkness be broken into by inescapable light from You. Be with us in the times of flooding unbearable emotions, painful memories (—for me, my childhood) for many here their primary relationship.
God’s love is always there, just shining like the sun on us all: always and abundant and all we have to do is not block it —ἁμαρτία (hamartia) in the New Testament is blocking that love by missing the mark. . . .But it isn’t just “I have sinned”, it is the forfeiture of God’s love because I have. *Not* because God withholds His love but because my heart is sometimes covered with black smudges that keep His love/light out. —So, we work very hard to make conscious and repent of even little patterns of sin in our lives. . . .We want that pipe to God’s love✞💖🌠 as clear and clean as possible.
. . . .Speak the truth and see what happens. There’s no better way to bring a better Being into our relationships than to speak the Truth about them.
. . .And you will know when you are speaking the truth because things WILL be *on fire.* The truth is something that burns, it burns off deadwood. Remember that what you do not yet know is often far more important than what you already know or think you know. Be grateful in spite of your suffering. . . .But plan and work diligently to maintain the romance in your relationships because you are going to need to as you are speaking the truth.
. . . .And speak the truth . . .even if your voice shakes. The truth brings the best possible relationships into existence.
“And when a person lives with an abuser, the victim knows what the triggers are which cause the abuse. So, to be wise and avoid those triggers is also important, yet sometimes we have no clue what triggers an abuser to become violent as they are not trustworthy to begin with. They don’t think like a normal person. They are not realistic, nor do they want to comprehend where you are ‘coming from’ in their own disturbed abusive drama. What triggers their instant abusive reaction is NOT normal.”
I call these land mines! Dangerous and unnecessary places.
Saying we have faith and walking it out is very different from each other. Esther modeled this!
Many Years: praising God for your recent message here that you are clear on things now.
Oter ladies: I did some cutting and pasting and googling and found that most of what “she” was writing was plagiarism. Cut and pasted in from different authors: quoting writers without citing the quote. I found at least two different writers she stole from.
Anyway, FINALLY the distraction is gone. If anyone needs to talk about how they feel about being so manipulated and used, I would encourage you to do so, so we can then put the whole idiotic confusion behind us, and move on to what lies ahead; with our eyes on the prize of our high calling in Christ. (Phpp 3: 13-14)
Thanks for the encouragement to talk, T.L.
I am feeling really exposed, manipulated, and used.
About a year-and-a-half ago I had – what I thought was – a personal interaction with ‘her’. Even though it was on this blog, for all to see, I now feel exposed.
I feel sick thinking that this was all some calculated plan.
I feel very naive, and far too trusting.
I am indeed both grieved and disheartened about this.
I’m sorry for your grief here but also so glad that you are processing this.
I would like to highlight that is was a FAiLED calculated plan. Praise God for this!
And yes it’s sickening but it healthy to remember User’s -USE,
Yet, the early end up with the fullness of compassion and authentic connection.
Sad for them, but redeeming for us. We can pray but in these instances it is how the Lord separates and protects.
I hope this is encouraging I know from our time here you carry a sensitive heart and you also have a gifting in how you articulate clear insight and courage to offer to so many!
It’s the Spirit within us that replenishes and restores us in these times of valid injustice. But God sees all and as always keeps His promises.
Yet, they rarely end up with the fullness of compassion and authentic connection.
Nancy, please don’t spend any more of your precious energy regretting the interactions with Aleea. She was very deceptive, and we all participated in engaging with her, wanting to help her and lead her into truth. I am so very grateful that this all finally got exposed for what it is….thank you, STL and T.L. Let’s chalk this up to another learning experience, and thank the Lord that, as He always does, He exposed what was going on, in His time and His way. We can enjoy feeling relieved, and there is no need to feel ashamed.
Nancy, you are a very valuable member here, and your contributions are so very insightful and helpful. Take a breath, and praise the Lord!
Moonbeam, I agree with your last post completely.
When it comes to important papers I can see why this is essential down the road and why it can be wise to cover one’s basis.
This is what’s troubling I guess. In some ways if a survivor flees for safety, to me it seems all the more evidence against the offender that they would keep these documents away from their spouse etc. or that they would make it difficult for a parent to have access to them.
The abuser is confronted on just how ‘upside’ down they are and this shows tangibly the evidence of the criticalness of how abuse can extend to even issues such as papers!!
It’s shows just how far this offender takes ‘power’ that isn’t theirs to hold.
So why is the paper ‘work’ such the obstacle when the environment is so unstable?
Maybe I’m missing something critical (as more of an outsider and not having a specific example like this) so please help me better understand.
Aly, and to Jane
I have been keeping a journal (I am still with my husband, waiting for direction from God) about the verbal stew which issues forth from my husband for the fact that he may have Asperger’s along with the fact that he is definitely a narcissist. I am documenting our conversations because of a preexisting condition my husband has had for years. And, yes, a person can have ‘symptoms’ and characteristics of both personality/medical maladies. He is not a psychopath.
Plus the fact that my husband is most likely not a believer, yet he is ‘religious’ with doctrine which was pounded into his mind from the time he was a teenager. So the head knowledge he has is not in his heart, but it is a ‘form of godliness’ without repentance on his part, hence, the Holy Spirit has not performed a work of salvation, nor a ‘newness of Life’, of the new creature in Christ. I do not have that ‘Oneness of Spirit’ with my husband.
So your comment, Aly: “Saying we have faith and walking it out is very different from each other.” Were you making this statement in general, meaning when a person’s faith is at work, yet, putting it into shoe-leather, and ‘walking it out’ is a completely different ‘ball of wax’; or were you making the comment about yourself and my own faith and commitment in addressing my own marriage situation because of the verbal abuse? Just wondering.
As I am ‘walking it out’ with help from Leslie’s book, The Emotionally Destructive Marriage, and also, from the weekly posts which Leslie shares with her readers; and the comment section, from readers like yourself; and also from counsel from close Christian friends who know my situation.
I am ‘staying well’ (in my marriage) and growing in the Lord, and in awareness, to make some definite decisions. And when Leslie asks that question in her book ‘Are you staying well?’ Means to me, I am staying, and I am also well. Not just the ‘health’ aspect of ‘staying well.’ Meaning, I am more than just ‘surviving’ but growing daily in my own CORE strength, and learning deep down what it is like to have boundaries which keep me sane.
As I have and am confronting my husband for the verbal abuse, in love, and wisdom, and how I am not going to let my husband get away with the verbal abuse anymore, because for years I had no clue how to confront and place boundaries.
After one such confrontation, this past weekend, I told him that he may need to get a psychological evaluation to see if he has Asperger’s; as his ‘relational’ values are just not apparent, as he does not seem to be able to relate to other people’s feelings, nor does he care if he ‘hurts’ them verbally. Even when his mother was still alive, she told me one time, that ‘he used to say verbal things to me, and hurt my feelings.’ So, this has been an on-going condition for years with my husband, not just having to do with our marriage, but an ingrained habitual, and psychological condition which my husband has displayed.
I have been reading a lot of Jane’s comments here on the blog, and I can see she is still very much confused, such as I was. And it is a vicious cycle in which one lives with a Narc. The Narc will never change. Jane needs to see this clearly and become ‘healthy’ in her own choices, to protect herself and her children.
God will provide Jane with a way to make copies of documents, income tax return forms, bank account numbers, etc. There will be a time when the opportunity will present itself. And like she commented, bills sit around in envelopes, so she could copy those, if teh envelopes have been opened already by her husband.
Especially if she has been praying about it. I had to wait for over a year, and when I was nudged by the Holy Spirit that ‘this is the time to make copies’ I did not hesitate. Most of our income tax papers were in one box, and one evening, when my husband was gone, I made at least 50 copies of very pertinent bills and documents pertaining to our income and what it was spent for. And I have those copies in a safe place where (hopefully) my husband won’t even be looking for any copies in the first place. as one keeps their mouth shut when protecting oneself from an abuser. The only thing I don’t have is copies of the pink slips for our cars, which none are in my name, all are in his name. So that is the reason to take photos of the cars and put those photos in a safe place too.
I believe the Lord’s hand was in that scenario. of being able to make copies of important documents. I now have proof positive of bank accounts, my husband’s yearly salary, car loans, and utility bills, and house payments, etc. I do not have a copy of my own birth certificate, nor of my passport, and marriage certificate. I think those are also very important. Especially your own birth certificate!
And no! For God sake don’t tell your husband you printed up any copies of anything. Keep those in a safe place where he won’t look. And like someone else said in the comments to Jane, to take photos of all of your possessions including your husband’s too.
God brings situations not only in our own lives, but to get the attention of others, even though there may be suffering on our part, but in the end, we learn what we can and cannot take any more, nor live with the abuse.
I think God is using Jane’s circumstances to transform her life. “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may see that good, and perfect will of God.” The transformation has to begin with herself, in order for her to see change in her circumstances.. Her husband may never change.
wow, thank-you. I feel like I am grieving the marriage again right now. Reading your words are so striking, in a hard but truthful loving way. I do see God using this in my own life to grow and overcome my own insecurities, pride, and self loathing. For that I am grateful. It is a slow process but one worth pushing through.
I still just struggle with, if I can change, can’t he. And up to 5% of abusers will change but maybe this doesn’t include narcs. Maybe I am holding out because part of me thinks he doesn’t know he does it (which sometimes he probably doesn’t, he is sometimes incapable, or seems to be, of having any empathy for others, but then at other times he can seem profoundly caring- stupid crazy making!) then I sometimes see the intentional meanness when it goes beyond narc into sociopath and actually taking delight in frightening and bullying others.
All these ideas are so helpful. Now to just get me at home and not at work and get him and my daughter away from the house simultaneously! Then maybe I can get some of this done.
Jane, May I suggest that you print off the posts that ‘bring you into reality’…?
Your posts refleet the roller coaster that you are on. You seem well anchored in reality one minute and the next you are in denial. This isn’t abnormal given what you are living. But the more you can stay in reality, the better.
My comment was on the basis & context of your discussion with Aleea, fear and drawing near to God and especially Esther’s example.
It’s easy for anyone of us to claim our faith verbally and that we are more than conquerors, yet walking that out… does take steps ‘scary steps’ lost relationships sometimes. Etc.
I believe in Perfect Love of the Father does cast out fear as the Bible states.
For me my personal example is that fear drew me closer to the Lord, and the Lord help orchestrate resources to address my marital issues as well as our extended family issues.
I was never equipped to face this alone.
So Many Years, you posted that you suggested your h get an psychological evaluation, did he decide to follow through in action?
Given what you have been through with him is a suggestion a reasonable request, or should it be a requirement of love for his and your own well being?
Also, much of your post to Aleea seemed like you were describing your dynamic as still abusive, unpredictable and you were navigating ‘triggers’.
You also mentioned that the Lord doesn’t want us to stay in captivity.
Maybe you can expand on these examples you were giving and drawing parallels with Christ’s promised for His own.
You can request a copy of your birth certificate from the state you live in. If you can go directly to the social security department and get it yourself. You deserve proof of your identity. Also, you can call the police and have your personal items surrendered to you. Withholding documents from you is something human traffickers do. There are laws against such behaviors. Please utilize the laws and get your identification documents, all of them today!
Thank you, Moon Beam for that information about getting a copy of my own birth certificate from the social security office. It is time for my husband and I to both renew our passports, so he will be giving me my birth certificate at that time of renewal, so I will be sure to print a copy for myself then. Yes, it’s the crazy-making that keeps us trapped in a relationship with a narc.
I did find an interesting site today about good and bad authority in our lives. A discussion, written by a Christian woman, named Mary Friday blows away much of the clouded mindset about authority, not only in the church, but in government. The link is: http://gospelassemblyfree.com/facts/authority.htm and the article is: ‘Leadership, Authority, & Submission?’.
Thank you for your explanation. I know you are concerned for me, as a sister in Christ, and I believe your intent is to get me to think clearly.
And yes, the dynamics of my marriage have not changed in regard to how my husband assimilates things, but within the past four months, conclusions which I thought were in place, for my situation with my husband, HAVE changed dramatically, FOR MYSELF as I had asked the Lord to reveal to me who my husband was, his heart, his belief. And, I addressed this subject on a different blog post, as I had asked my husband what John 3:16 meant to him, and he was absolutely clueless.
As far as my own dynamics are concerned, I have come a long way from being the mousy, quiet, overly-submissive wife, to a woman who can now speak her truth to her husband.
But the problem is, since I truly believe he is not a believer, most of the confrontation I have faced him with in the past few years, he could not assimilate, as he cannot be moved by the Holy Spirit, because my husband has not faced the reality of repentance. And this is why I was getting no where with him as far as having any type of a spiritual relationship with him as the spiritual conversation was nil.
He is unable to even experience what Christ did for the Church, His Bride. So, he will not understand a true, unified, husband and wife union in Christ. The relational comprehension is not there for my husband. He is blinded by the god of this world, in that regard, and also by his own choices.
In some of my previous posts on other blog articles/discussions, I have addressed some of what I have recently faced with no accountability on the part of my husband.
So, it has almost been like going back to square one, in order for me to see where God wants me to go from here.
I don’t believe I have been vacillating in my desire to get to a place of equality in my marriage. But I don’t even know if that will ever be possible, when it has only come to my attention in the last four months that my husband is a ‘religious’ man, but not saved. There can be no agreement with the ‘natural man’ and the ‘new nature’ in Christ. And because I had been addressing my situation as though I had been living with whom I thought was a believer, the dynamics have changed.
So that is why I was talking about triggers, as there will never be a way for my husband to stop using triggers which are used to shut me down, because he is an unbeliever and he cannot change unless he seeks God. Only the Holy Spirit can change him. I can only pray. I shouldn’t say ‘only’ as God says that ‘The fervent, and effectual prayer of the righteous availeth much.’ I can hope, and hope makes not afraid.
You know, as well as I do, that Christ says for the believing spouse, to ‘stay’ with the unbeliever. This is what I have been attempting to address, and believe me it has not seemed fair, that I have come all this way, in the past two years with so much information about separating from a so-called believer because of the sins in their life, the abuse, etc. that my world seemed to turn upside-down, and I am now assimilating different scriptures applicable to the fact that my eyes have been opened to a totally different marriage scenario. It’s like my hope of escape was drawing near, and now it has been dashed to pieces, until God points me towards a way of escape.
And I will definitely keep everyone posted as to that scenario.
So, please bear with me, when it seems that I am still progressing very slowly, because I am seeing my husband in a new light, as far as who he really is. And I am like Jane, here on the blog post. So many of the abusive dynamics she has faced and is facing, I have also had to make decisions concerning when God wants me to progress towards a godly solution, not filled with fears, or failed goals.
As for Aleea, she ‘drew’ a lot of us ‘in’ to her intellectual, spiritual ‘stew’. And like JoAnn said to Nancy (in a comment above): “…please don’t spend any more of your precious energy regretting the interactions with Aleea.” And I would like for you to show me the same courtesy, about my interactions with Aleea. Aleea was employing a ‘spiritual word salad’ of confusion most of the time. Which can throw off most anyone, if we are not paying proper attention, ‘thinking’ she was here to help people, we were drawn ‘in’ to her long, detailed, yet, twisted, ‘doctrines’.
I hope you can see where I am coming from with the change in dynamics of my marriage at this point in time. I am having to re-read ‘The Emotionally Destructive Marriage.’ And I am having to re-think a lot of my spiritual progress going in a different direction in my marriage because of that of a believer and a non-believer and the wide gulf with separates the two, the earthly realm, and the spiritual realm. It’s like the verse in Amos: “How can two walk together except they be agreed?” The answer is, they can’t. And that is where I am at with my husband, all over again. But I do see God directing my path, slowly, but surely.
Just pray for me please, as I know you do, and I am also praying for you, and everyone here on Leslie’s site.
Many Years, the beauty of your heart, as shown in the love displayed in this post is profound and exemplary. Thank you for the patient and clear way you explained your position, and for recognizing Aly’s love for you in her posts. I think your name should be changed to Lion-Heart, for your heart is very big and very brave. I admire you for your patience, goodness, and honesty.
It’s true I do care for you and would want you to have the discernment of God to assist in helping you especially with how you describe your current situation. I do see in this last post that you are willing to take another angle at these dynamics even if it’s not how you have originally interpreted it.
I have great love for you to be free of anything that gets over spiritualized when something is toxic and harmful.
I encourage you and commend you in your progress! This is great news. Mostly Many years, my heart is for you to not be deceived through spiritual ‘salad’ or any of us for that matter.
For me, this means that many years I was taught (by older women through scripture and also ‘soundbite theology’ to offer grace to those that needed God’s love but was rarely taught boundaries and how to guard my own well being. This grace was really tolerance over time that in reality wasn’t true grace at all for the lost hearts.
I have been very hopeful for you being on this site and reading Leslie’s material that you might see God’s word in a way that can offer His word for Freedom and purpose.
I have read your posts for quite sometime and I do challenge certain things that are said from a place that I believe ‘even my own journey’ has had to run into and had kept me swirling’ and sometimes it’s just poor theology teaching throughout our lives that we are not aware of. It’s hard to unravel those once rooted beliefs and integrate wisdom from the whole counsel of God’s word. But as Christians it’s an important part of our walk. It’s also an important part of maturity to not be loyal to these twisted theology postures.
“You know, as well as I do, that Christ says for the believing spouse, to ‘stay’ with the unbeliever.”
Many Years, this would be an example that no (I don’t know this.. nor do I interpret this as maybe you might based on how you have been examining it from your own destructive marital situation).
I think Rebecca Davis’s article on this (two parts) would be beneficial to you and maybe others here. I will post it and maybe it will benefit you in seeing the scripture from the interpretation that I believe aligns with God’s character overall. 💜 and His heart for His children.
Here is the link:http://www.heresthejoy.com/2018/07/the-unbelieving-spouse-is-sanctified-by-the-believer-examining-1-corinthians-713-16-part-one/
There is a part two that is also very helpful.
Just to clarify I am a believer who believes in marriage and a marriage where two can become one (interdependency) and a marriage where both parties are mutually valued and loved. Marriage is to represent the glory of God and in many marriages I have seen this over and over and I give Praise to God for this work and for His heart to allow for His people to participate in this example.
Much love and prayers for your journey.
Here is Part Two: link.
Now my h was a professing believer which actually made things clearer for me as to what he said he was claiming.
Which one of us would ever know who is truly saved or not? That’s God’s Place although we can examine the fruit.
Having a husband who professed Christianity ended up
assisting in accountability to his beliefs and what God would have wanted his heart posture to be toward his wife. Rather than what I was living with and exposed to.
T.L. and Aly
T.L. Thank you for your powerful encouragement and wanting to give me a new name of Lion-Heart. Wow…you humble me, and I give Jesus the credit for who I am. And your name should be Tender Love!
I know sometimes it is difficult for me to hear constructive spiritual insight, but I need it in order to continue to grow. So, I thank you for what you have spoken through your own experiences.
And thank you also, for the links to Rebecca Davis’ articles. I do drink it in, when I go to other helpful sites.
And no, none of us can see into the heart of another person like God can, but, yes, ‘by their fruit you shall know them,’ which God’s Word points out what lack of good attributes indicates an evil heart.
And no, my marriage has not been one where the wife has been valued and loved.
Please continue to pray for me that I will work on my CORE, and continue to confront where I should, but so far, no confronting has done any good.
My husband is the type who would go to a psychologist to have an evaluation out of his own curiosity. And I could see him going without even letting me know, as that is what he would be inclined to do. At least I made the suggestion to him. So, yeah, that is where that scenario is, at the moment, and that was only this past weekend that I suggested it to him So I don’t have any further information about that.
And it has been a lesson learned by having Aleea on this site. I am now putting strongholds against spiritual wickedness, from suspected wolves in sheep’s clothing, which might subtly influence my thought process in my heart, so I am guarding God’s precious Word in my heart, which is our best defense against subtle deceptions. It was kind of like when James was making comments a while back too, as some of his comments were disrupting to the over-all theme of Leslie’s site.
I love you too, Aly and lots of prayers too.
Thanks for your response here and I’m glad your open to communication when it entails biblical interpretations, and looking at context as a critical factor of study.
I realize that you are in a complicated situation but mostly my heart for you is that you learn to consider yourself as a valuable partner and to be honored as a wife.
A wife hold a high calling also.
Your h sounds like a very immature yet unhealthy individual. I’m sad for you and for him. I’m circling back to the ‘landminds’ that we have touched on before.
If you find that you are surviving in a field of landminds, do you think ‘a suggestion’ to such a spouse as you describe is proportional to what your living in?
As always, safety first. I also am hoping that you are meeting with a good professional counselor to help equip you for interactions with such a person who you happen to share space with. Maybe you share more than space, but certainly correct me.
As Christians, married Christians too we are called to guard our hearts (Nancy is really good as describing this visually and giving examples).
The more we understand the truth of ourselves through Christ’s lens, the more we can drink His love and care for our well-being. The more we can embrace our adoption and acceptance of His profound Love for His children… the more we can fill and certainly realign the Love that is necessary to grow.
The more all of this gets placed where God firmly roots our identity in Him, the less we can tolerate and accept such abuse and harmful behaviors in our presence or relationships especially those that have the close ability to be harmful.
Now, this isn’t about staying or going etc. or there being 2 options etc. this is about getting honest with what the real dynamics are.
I would think that you might say your h needs help and he’s quite dysfunctional.
I believe it’s John Townsend who says, “ the more a person is comfortable in their dysfunction, the lesser chance that person will seek out healthier personal growth”
Help me better understand what kind of people you have in your corner to help equip you with strength in addressing these dynamic & abusuve issues with your h?
It sounds like your h has ‘trained you’ to not disturb his behavior but that as you are growing, you are bringing suggestions rather than boundaries to yourself for what you can bare.
When I was in tough waters with my very immature spouse, my boundaries and my consequences/requiments he would interpret as suggestions.
How convenient right!
The power dance that goes on and I’m assuming that’s been happening for a long while is where professional help can assist you in clearing out the fog and finding your steps.
My hopes and prayers are for your heart and our journey, and that your identity being rooted in Christ first will align with your response in behavior.
If this is not crystal clear for the abusers, the likelihood is that they will continue to do business as usual and further it will be reinforced that they do not believe what we ourselves believe about our own value.
If you need a safety plan first, get that in order.
Many Years, TL and others here;),
I wanted to bring up something that I have found very valuable in my own journey in regards to Joseph’s sorry and how recently we have touched on encountering evil things.
Many Years, I’m not sure how long you have been in your church community etc or how many yrs you have been in women’s bible studies, but I have been in many and often there were concepts (verses) repeated that I took notice of. A while back, there was a woman who was speaking about forgiveness and brought up Joseph’s story where he encountered such an evil detour, only to give Praise to God for His sovereign will overall.
This person was saying to another person that goodness if even Joseph can forgive his brothers than surely you can forgive your h! As if the issue was about forgiveness… which it really wasn’t, even though this very well articulated women tried to make it be so.
I asked if we could ‘pause that comment and that directive type of question’.
It was troubling because it’s important to study context and the order of things.
God is a God of order in general.
My heart concern was that no one was speaking up to the very facts and steps that Joseph went through in discerning the safety of his other brothers.
He trusted God that he might never see the fuller picture played out, that he would be a good steward based on His dependence of the Lord.
I bring this up in regards to highlight the importance of contextual places that establish a type of final verse of Joseph grasping what God’s power possesses, not the power of forgiveness or reconciliation of trust by Joseph.
Many times these examples get skewed. Many times.
They were often skewed for me early by my mom who was older, (I thought) wiser and certainly spent much more time in God’s word than I did.
As this relates to the good that can overcome come evil, I believe we have benefited in last weeks example here and seeing that we can embrace the lesson and the value in challenging beliefs and thoughts, holding one accountable given the forum, seeking God’s word for wisdom and especially discernment, and coming together in community as the Body is called to.
Thank you again ladies for your encouragement and support. I think we get to be the receivers of the good that comes from the experience.
I agree Aly,
Joseph framing Benjamin for the theft was all about testing his brothers to see if they had become trustworthy.
Had they chosen to ‘throw Benjamin under the bus’ – the story could not have ended with reconciliation (reconciliation cannot happen amidst distrust).
Joseph would still have been called to forgive. But he could have done that without a relationship with them.
I agree that this story over-all is about God’s power – not forgiveness or reconciliation ( although both happen).
The happily-ever after that we see between Joseph and his brothers involved ACTIVE participation and the walking out of CHOICES on BOTH their parts.
Joseph – to be willing to test his brothers to see where their hearts were, and a willingness to act based on their response.
Brothers- to humble themselves and ‘give themselves away’ for another.
This is what relationship is. It is mutual. Meaning it involves two ACTIVE participants.
I think your last paragraph Aly is a statement about what love-in-action looks like.
“as this relates to the good that can overcome evil…..embrace the value in challenging beliefs and thoughts, holding one accountable…seeking God’s word for wisdom and especially discernment…”
This is what love calls us to do for others.
Why would we not do this for our own husband’s? (unless the challenging, and holding accountable is dangerous)
I think I have pretty much written what the dynamics of my marriage is to the present time. Each day is one day forward from the day before.
Yes I feel stuck, and yes I feel stagnant as far as not being able to have any real conversation with my husband about our relationship. It’s just not there, and it’s just not happening. God knows I have tried to get my husband’s attention and he just ‘doesn’t get it.’ That, and with some things in his life he is in abject denial.
I am not free, to discuss at this time, much of anything else, as I am still figuring some things out for myself.
God knows the timing and if I rush into something without waiting upon God for HIS answer, I do not feel the Lord will bless me, as I will have forged ahead of a more beautiful plan for my life from God, than settling for something less than what God would bless me with if I go ahead of the Holy Spirit.
I don’t have all of the answers yet. I am still accumulating and digesting my dilemma.
Thank you for your timely input, and for the long discussions you have used to stress the importance of seeking godly counsel, and for your own counsel you have given me.
I am not going to discuss, in length, about the cult-based so-called Christian group I was associated with as it did so much damage to hundreds of people. That is just the tip of the ice berg. And I was in it for years, and years.
And it was definitely one of those types of groups where the men were the ‘entitled’ ones and the women were like Baalam’s ass, until God opened its mouth and freed it from the abuse.
And because of this, no, I never have had the blessing of being in a women’s Bible study group which discuss such things as abusive marriages. So, for that reason, I am here gleaning from Leslie’s blog posts and from the comments from ladies who have gone through much of what I have gone through. This insightful online community which is open to other’s discussing their own journeys.
Maybe it will take an act of God for my husband’s eyes to be opened. I am actually waiting for one more circumstance in our life to come to fruition, IF and when I make a separation. Otherwise,It would be disastrous for me if I went ahead of the Lord, in a circumstance which involves both my husband and myself, and will affect our grown children when it comes to fruition.
I have printed out all of yours and my joint conversations in this comment thread, so I can go back and slowly review the counsel which has been given. And I thank you, and each and everyone else who has contributed to this very trying post as far as having it interrupted by a wolf in sheep’s clothing in the midst of this fellowship in Christ.
So, in that regard, I am going to be very careful who I talk to as far as off-line, face-to-face counseling. I am just not there yet, to be truthful with you. So, do please pray for me in that regard that the Lord will lead me to someone in my own area I can discuss things with.
I pray that The Lord bring you a Godly counsellor who understands abuse dynamics and the application of scripture.
I pray that He enable you to step out on faith in finding a support team that can advise you in practical action steps that bring you, one step at a time, into His glorious promised land!
I pray that the development of such a live support network become your number one priority, that He would enable you to make the calls to wisely and with discernment seek such counsel and support.
My heart breaks for the cult-like experience that you described, many years! I cannot imagine the damage that did to your ability to trust ‘Christians’.
Trust the Holy Spirit within you to guide you to wise and loving followers of Christ.
May God guide and Bless you in each step you take ❤️
Nancy, Leslie, Aly, Jane, Moon Beam, T.L. and others,
Thank you so much, (Nancy) as I am attempting to seek out women’s fellowship, as I have dear friends who have also escaped from that cult group, and they are rebuilding their lives. I will be contacting friends to see where they found loving support in order to grieve what was lost, yet were able to move forward in their own growth in the Lord.
And my prayer is that the Lord will give each and every one of us here the insight to ‘let go’ and ‘let God’ do the healing and also let the Holy Spirit do the confronting in the individual hearts both of the victims and the abusers. So, that each of us will know when ‘enough is enough’ in our own situations, and give us discerning hearts as to the direction the Lord wants us to take.
I have appreciated Leslie’s latest video on the pitfalls any of us can fall into in our journey towards awareness and choices, and admonishing us to walk in our CORE and becoming spiritually healthy through God’s Word, fellowship, and prayer. I think it has been one of her most excellent, discerning presentations she has given. God bless you, Leslie!
The link you posted from Mary Friday was very good, such important distinctions to be educated on and have a fuller scope of things that she was pointing out!
There was a lot there so I need to go back, re-read and study alongside with more depth and focus.
Many Years, Nancy and others here,
This week a friend of mine forwarded me this article. Thought it might be helpful to cut through the foggy poor theology that seems to be a running theme in destructive ‘Christian marriages’
Here’s the link;
Maybe some of you have already come across this and have thoughts?
Thank you, Aly, and Nancy for your counsel and advice.
I do live in a Bible Belt area where there are many churches. I have been talking with one woman where I bank, and she said she goes to a women’s Bible study group once a week. I hope to pursue that opportunity to have some fellowship with some sisters in Christ. I will see what becomes of that endeavor and see if it is where the Lord wants me to be led.
Thank you for your prayers and help!
And thank you, Aly, for the link to ‘restored relationships’. It’s been a busy week, so I am just now getting back to this blog post to respond.
I just went to the Restored Relationships site, and read what Barbara Roberts had to say about domestic abuse and divorce.
She is very clear on what constitutes what type of severity of abuse is specified as being defined as qualified in scripture for divorce.
I have been to ‘A Cry for Justice’, Barbara’s normal site before, but I am not sure that I had read this particular post of Barbara’s where she blogged a post as a guest. I am very thankful for this concise description, as it specifies that this is not just a random type of abuse, but has been an on-going abusive pattern for years which would indicate spousal abandonment and negligence.
So, what I gleaned from reading the article, is, the spouse who is manipulative, and verbally, emotionally, financially, or spiritually abusive to a fault,that it’s not about their ‘sacrificial’ Christlike love for their spouse (the wife), but when the marriage is defined by the entitlement of the husband and HIS need to control the marriage in excess, and the wife being manipulated in providing what he wants from her, and he uses verbal abuse and manipulation; whatever it is he is demanding from his wife, and if this pattern has been a continual scenario in the marriage, and not just single, random events, that this on-going type of abuse constitutes the type of abuse which is defined for divorce through scripture. .
But what I saw, from reading Barbara’s post was the fact that, duh! Most of my married life has been about my husband needing ME for his use and at HIS convenience and how he has manipulated my life.
It’s not that he hasn’t provided well for me, it’s the fact in how he has manipulated the money, and finances, so that I have no control over any of it. I told him a while back that if money is the only thing holding this marriage together then what is? God is my witness, and yes God says the unbelieving spouse is ‘sanctified’ by the believing spouse, yet there is a point to where, God says ‘No’, this is enough. This woman has endured enough. God says he will provide ‘a way of escape’ so that we will be able to ‘bear it’. Amen, Sisters?
“It’s not that he hasn’t provided well for me, it’s the fact in how he has manipulated the money, and finances, so that I have no control over any of it. I told him a while back that if money is the only thing holding this marriage together then what is?”
This is a really important question that I think would be important to unravel.
If Money has been part of the control or ‘the control’ to adjust, or be oppressed by then you can see it isn’t a vow that is any part of a godly marriage.
The money that comes into the household is ultimately God’s money for the partnership to manage and be a good steward of. Neither partner has the right to think or behave as it’s theirs to own or take full ownership over.
I think you are doing a lot of important things as it relates to trying to better unpack many places of theology that can get misconstrued and keep (many of us) thinking we have some sort of power to change another by loving them as they are being destructive and harming.
I think Leslie has done a really great job at explaining what kind of environment can be harmful for ourselves as Ambassadors in Christ.
When we are in the environment we don’t always see the options or see what it’s doing to our internal beliefs about ourselves.
I think it’s great that you are considering a Bible study with other women, but please be discerning. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in wisdom here and maybe it will be a safe place for you to further study His word alongside others with like-minded understanding or at least the type of teachable hearts.
I still think it’s rare in many churches these days to find a large population of women who are educated and have an accurate biblical view about these hot-topics.
You wrote this and maybe I missed your point:
“God says the unbelieving spouse is ‘sanctified’ by the believing spouse, ”
This is a place in a much larger context. When taken out of context it can be highly misused. And it can feel like ‘we owe an obligation to God’ as the believing spouse!
I think I might have shared this with you before but I’m dealing with destructive people… sometimes staying in their presence is interpreted by them as ‘approval’, approval of their behavior, approval and behavior of unconditional love.., etc.
Some in fact appreciate that there is someone ‘even a roommate’ in the same dwelling is enough for them to be satisfied with that type of marriage. But this can be rejected by the person who Knows her Value and her worth, she doesn’t have to accommodate another who is choosing ‘unbelief’. Let them choose, we all have to give an account of what we believe and what we did with those offerings of invitations to live a life worthy living.
Ah, that one verse, ‘The unbelieving spouse is ‘sanctified’ by the believing spouse.’ That verse can be a doozie! And I do think it has been used to ‘trap’ women who are in destructive marriages and relationships. As I do feel that some of the Christian community HAS used that verse to ensnare the unsuspecting ‘victim’ into ‘staying’ in an unsafe environment, as though the ‘victim’ is the responsible one to ‘bite the bullet’ and suffer the pain, the agony, the on-going abuse, and like you said ‘approval’ of the destructive person, thinking the abuser can continue to ‘get away with’ the abuse.
It is probably one of the most misconstrued verses to keep a woman hostage in her own home. So, no, I was not using that verse in the context of what a lot of Christendom still uses as the basis for the believer having a commitment to ‘stay’ with the unbeliever.
That is why Leslie has written other scripture verses which disengages that mindset. I think, if a victim has stayed, and is now aware that she is not obligated to stay in a destructive environment, that she/him has the blessing of the Lord upon her to leave.
And that releases her/him from further obligation, and also releases the victim from the marriage covenant which has been blasted apart by the abuser in the first place, who tore it apart by their own choices which went against God’s Word, which defines what the obligations of the husband is to the wife, and vise versa, the marriage covenant.
And exactly what you mentioned: ‘..she doesn’t have to accommodate another who is choosing ‘unbelief’. Yes, let them choose, as no one is going to escape the faithful, and true, judgement of the Lord with the fact that they either accepted the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit in belief or unbelief. Thank you!
You haven’t responded to questions in the past couple of blogs that some of the ladies (including Leslie) have asked you. Why?
re: the ladies (including Leslie)
Maria, . . .often when a new thread opens, I can’t get back to the older posts, —at all. I don’t know why, software, networks, spam filters on either side of networks/ firewalls, etc.
. . .Given my posts for years and years and years, I am totally flummoxed by Leslie’s brief comments. But even more than that, I have listed untold references and texts and church fathers and so, so many females scholars discussing Jesus’ commands on marriage and remarriage. These people are language and context experts, and their work has gone through international peer-review. Their work is very frustrating because it involves the study of context, original words, et.al.
In fact, I have listed those so, so, so many times that I can’t even list them here anymore, try as I might, without the blog blocking them as SPAM. Never once has anyone here, ever to my knowledge, checked, read, consulted a source I have listed or referenced. This may be true because if they had they would not be so sure of themselves. I used to be so, so sure of myself, how little did I know and I am still learning so, so much.
Unless they are deleted, they are all in my much older posts re: untold footnotes and references. I have referenced and cited the best peer-reviewed evidence in the entire world, time after time, after time. I had to start listing less and less of the best references as the site started blocking sources as SPAM or whatever is happening on either side of the firewalls.
Anyways, Maria, you know me from e-mailing back and forth. Honestly now, do I ever *not* answer things? I answer fully, and as best I can, always . . .but I have to be able to cite Bible manuscripts, Bible variant apparatus, church fathers and Primary Source evidence without SPAM filters blocking them because I have posted them so, so many times in the past.
. . . .Anyways, I have never stopped praying for you and your family. I pray that God would do exceeding, abundantly, above-and-beyond all that we ask or think. —Let’s ask even more regarding this for His glory while being aware of God’s wonderful presence!!! God will help us all if we really, deeply, want the Truth.
. . .And I am pretty sure that all of us will be fully humbled in the process, all of us: Aleea, the ladies (including Leslie). . . .all of us.
Would it be possible for you to use a public computer like at the public library so you could read the questions from previous posts, Aleea? It would be a courtesy to all of us if you would stick with the topic at hand for these discussions. Maybe a link to you discourses could be added as addendum to you post if someone is interested in the topics you bring up. For the rest of us, we could concentrate on the topic presented without distraction to your agenda. So, I am asking you, will you do that? Respond ONLY to the topic Leslie suggests? Will you do that?
Hello Moon Beam,
I always restate the topic before I post. If the post is about a reverse triangular merger, I am not going to talk about the Bible. But this is supposed (I don’t know maybe not) to be Christ Centered Counseling and when the whole of it is about what Jesus said, well? How do you do Christ Centered Counseling without what Christ said? . . . .You can imagine how confused I am?
Like when I met Gretta Vosper recently, she is an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada who is an atheist. She even has best selling books like: With or Without God: Why The Way We Live is More Important Than What We Believe; Amen: What Prayer Can Mean in a World Beyond Belief; et.al. . . .A minister in an old line church who is an atheist. . . .No wonder people say Christians are totally confused. I certainly was.
Gretta says she is all about values, social justice, behaviors not beliefs. She claims to live truth unfiltered. What do you think about Gretta, Moon Beam? I think what is going on is that she needs to show what grounds her moral view after she discards the plain meaning of the Biblical texts, especially Jesus’ commands. She needs to show why her values, social justice, behaviors, and personal revelations should trump that expressed by Jesus. . . .Or maybe the world has just moved on. . .
If the world has moved on Moon Beam, it is just really hard to let go of Jesus and what he said, at least for me. I’m lost without that grounding. Gretta told me that she was cured of cancer and that so, so many in her church were praying for her. She says it was not God, just modern medicine and probabilities. She did tell me that if every last person on the earth was cured overnight of cancer and that she received a note in her mailbox the next morning saying “Gretta, that was Me!” she would then believe.
. . . Maybe Gretta is correct but I don’t see how: only behaviors matter, beliefs divide us, doubt unites us. Jesus has the value of truth for us, —whatever that means. It’s all about making this life better (social justice) because there is no other. Or as Gretta says: the Bible is a human product: it tells us how our religious ancestors saw things, not how we should sees things. Believing something to be true has nothing to do with whether it is true. . . .I just totally don’t understand that and yet she has done works of charity far greater than I.
Yes, I can shut up and try to be concise in the future . . .maybe, maybe . . .I just don’t know. I just don’t know. I can try for concise: What we teach and promote here appears to not be what the Jesus of History and the church fathers in history taught [see the first five hundred years of Christianity]. . . .Moon Beam do you believe Gretta is right, our salvation, our healing, is here on earth? Jesus and what He said is a label for social justice and self-empowerment? . . .It has nothing to do with salvation or a future eternity. . . .Wow, I just don’t understand that. But, maybe what I don’t know yet is far, far more important than what I do know. That’s certainly possible.
I hate to interject here, and I generally have ceased reading and interacting with Aleea, but I have read a bit of the recent attempts to request yet again that Aleea respect some boundaries and rules, so I have something I wish to say.
“What we teach and promote here appears to not be what the Jesus of History and the church fathers in history taught [see the first five hundred years of Christianity]. . . ” Your obsession with repeating yourself thus has not gone unnoticed. Your obsession with repeating yourself in general has not gone unnoticed. At any rate, I believe someone recently (and I have not taken the time to re-read to find it) pointed out your use of “we” instead of choosing the correct pronouns for the context – likely “you” or “I”. It is a clever way to get yourself heard, but it is not right. “What we teach and promote here…” It is nonsensical to continue to align yourself with the group – among whom there is a general consensus of agreement with Leslie’s teaching on abuse and an abuse victim’s options in such situations – and then to continue to repeatedly disagree vehemently with that group at a very basic level. Your are not part of the “we”. You have made that clear. Yet how much more difficult it would be to get people to read your comments if you said it straight out, “What YOU teach and promote here appears to not be what the Jesus of History and the church fathers in history taught [see the first five hundred years of Christianity]. . . “
Seeing the Light,
I agree with your post and it was ‘Nancy’ who brought up the important distinction about the ‘we’ statements.
So much of the circular conversations are such a reminder of clear signs of something deeper going on.
However, my heart continues to feel for those who are brave to come to this site for whatever circumstances they are in and for them to find community and encouragement.
Most of us here have some things in common when it comes to Leslie’s material or her blog and we found ourselves open to searching for answers while being in usually pretty toxic situations.
I fear for those that do read these threads of Aleea’s will misinterpret this ministry and will find themselves still on the roller coaster trying to figure if they ‘really are in a destructive relationship’?
Not all women have access to good biblical counsel in these places and some rarely have internet access to use.
For me, I want to be a good steward of my writings and my freedoms here to write, and I feel if several people were pointing out my duplicity I would hope that I would have the opportunity to show respect to others and especially those who challenge me.
A person who ask for feedback or ‘help’, and then receives responses yet disregards, doesn’t ‘authentically’ want feedback or help, or dialog.
I can only make such a statement based on the actions of response I have received, or witnessed.
I teach my children there is usually a lesson in everything and it is my fault that ‘my alarms’ are going off..?
Yes, I think I’m ways, yet I also think it’s a good reminder of these issues we see all the time in destructive relationships!
Recently, I read something on ADD and it floored me based on experiences with such individuals. I got sad because some people will get help for what’s neurologically treatable and others will not.
Hello Seeing the Light & Aly,
I made the same points years ago with much better evidence and documentation, but I used those references too many times and especially the extant Greek texts and now they are considered SPAM, I assume, by the site filters on whichever side of the firewalls. —Anyway, they don’t post. I’ve confirmed that dozens and dozens of times.
But, I’m making a normative point, which is a very old and established one about the textual evidence: No one I see in the first five hundred years of Christianity is disputing this (No one meaning those Christians who had access to manuscripts we do not have).
Trobisch curates Hobby Lobby’s new Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. He is in charge of manuscripts there. . . .Sixteen years ago Trobisch published evidence confirming these church fathers and the way they understood the extant NT manuscripts (re: The First Edition of the New Testament)
The reason that is important is that they had access to manuscripts we no longer have. I talk to God too, but He is not giving me corrections to the textual evidence. So, it may be important to know what it is. . . .If you want to see the Bible’s texts in the earliest extant copies available —and equally dated fragments do often differ from each other —but none in the way we want them to chapter 5: Jesus’ Sayings on Divorce, Remarriage, etc. They are here: https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/living-text-of-the-gospels/6A44C5F7C878C1C42B2B3444E30E0E45
When we challenge each other, we help each other (—whether we know it or not). When we have dialogue, that’s a really good thing. I’m willing to be changed by you —I do listen—openly, often naïvely, and innocently. —As best I can, you know I have limitations aplenty. . . .and there’s a chance, there is a chance, that a true dialogue and real communication will take place between us. The way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but truth should be the aim, and truth is really hard stuff. The pure and simple truth is never that pure or that simple.
Anyways, thank you for your comments. . . .I’m thinking about them.
A step of courage God may be asking of me is to make some decisions without my husband’s permission or blessing. This is so hard for me, because I desire to do what God wants, yet it seems like rebellion. I feel that I need to get away from the emotional abuse for a time, and want to visit family. My husband says it isn’t a good time. I haven’t had any vacation for over a year. I also would like to get part-time work since my husband is also financially abusive and money is tight. I am also torn emotionally as I see my husband in some very difficult struggles, and want to be empathetic to him. At the same time, I know this doesn’t excuse his poor behavior. It is like a roller coaster, as sometimes he is very loving. He wants me to see a counselor, and gave me permission to join Leslie’s conquer support group. He said he will pay for these things. I want to learn how to stay well, and I need lots of help and counsel and prayers to do so! I am thankful for the encouraging words on this blog!
Confused, I sure relate to your place right now. When I was where u are, I would go visit family and stay away often. This helped to clear my thinking and gave me time to see ‘healthy behaviors’. When I would return home, I had clarity. But it’s not that u are rebellious but that you are having healthier thinking and yes your husband will strike back for independent choices u make on your own. A quote that helped me thru those times was, God needs me out of the way to work with my husband.
This is a really important post for yourself, your request and others here who have had similar stepping stones or are walking them out. I’m so sorry for your circumstances here and I wanted just to break it down a bit and see if you are able to process this from a different place maybe a bit more objective.
“A step of courage God may be asking of me is to make some decisions without my husband’s permission or blessing. This is so hard for me, because I desire to do what God wants, yet it seems like rebellion.”
Could you give an example of what could be done without your husband’s permission or blessing?
If your h is controlling and dominating the relationship his posture is skewed and so would his blessing, nor would you want this place of a blessing/approval of originating from that kind of dynamic.
“ I feel that I need to get away from the emotional abuse for a time, and want to visit family. “
Is this one of those places of you doing something without his blessing or permission?
Do you need permission or a blessing to visit family? I’m assuming your family of origin? Maybe he is in a place of not seeing it benefit him of sorts.
“My husband says it isn’t a good time.”
Why isn’t a good time? For you or for him? He wouldn’t be going right?
“I haven’t had any vacation for over a year. I also would like to get part-time work since my husband is also financially abusive and money is tight.”
This right here is a critical statement. It’s a Double bind! You ‘want to get part time work’ yet your financially abusive husband isn’t giving the freedom to do so, yet $ is tight?
Abusive and controlling people tend to ‘take from both angles’.
An person or partner should not be tolerated to control the household assets and also control the available resources for the assets! This creates more oppression and less avenues for freedom and healthy individuality between what should be two mature healthy adults.
Having the posture he has about $ seems very immature and unrealistic overall.
“I am also torn emotionally as I see my husband in some very difficult struggles, and want to be empathetic to him.”
Can you expand by what struggles, is he involved with Porn? For example.but you mentioned ‘emotional abuse’ and often these things go hand in hand with immaturity and exposure to pornagraphy~ where women in general are seen as objects and possessions, not human beings and God’s children.
“At the same time, I know this doesn’t excuse his poor behavior. “
Your empathy shouldn’t be about excusing poor behavior but your empathy can move you into action for wanting the best for him and yourself as you are married and what one spouse does (or does NOT do) will affect another.
Praying for your courage here and your willingness to seek out His will with all your heart and strength!
Confused, I like that decision: to make some decisions on your own. Also, do take advantage of the times when your h is willing and cooperative. He is willing for you to see a counselor….Yes!! You will have someone in your corner when you need it. Learn to set some boundaries; learn how to ask for what you want, expecting that you will get it; learn how to take action when the situation calls for it. Even though he is controlling, perhaps he recognizes that the counseling and the Conquer group will benefit you. Maybe he is controlling because he sees that you have a hard time making decisions?? Standing up for yourself?? I don’t know, but you will surely get the benefit. May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
Thank you, Robin and JoAnn, for your replies! I need to grow in my ability to set and keep boundaries. I appreciate prayer! I’m in the process of finding a counselor, and trust that will be a big help!
Confused, yes, finding a counselor will be a big help. Your local battered women’s shelter might be able to refer you to someone, and I would try to find a christian counselor, if I were you. The web site for the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC.net) has a directory to help you find someone near you. We will pray that you will be led to the best one for you.
I don’t understand why you bring up the topics of divorce & remarriage & manuscripts into every conversation. It is extremely insensitive and unempathetic. The last thing someone in a very painful situation wants to engage in is some obscure theoretical debate. Like many of the ladies here have suggested, why don’t you confine your answers to personal experiences?
Some things here are confusing and some are not.
It’s none of our responsibility to convince ‘Aleea’ of her behavior and her incongruent words.
Aleea, your Avatar says;
“If you have any suggestions for helping me…”
I struggle even giving a response at this time but as some of you know I tend to look at ‘patterns’.
How well as not engaging worked or ignoring worked?
Sure it lessens the thread but it eventually pops back up!
So Aleea, your last comment on your post said you were ‘thinking’ about what our responses have been.
This isn’t true based on patterns here and my concern ‘heart felt’ concern is that you are in a position giving ‘marital directives’ to others in the Christian community.
Who could be even more naive than yourself.
First of all I strongly recommend that you SEE the writings here as a clear indicator that you have a looping neurological pattern going on and I believe it’s severe.
I also would think that this is a residual from your early brain shaping in an abusive environment.
You need to get with your Dr. Meier and other professionals, psychiatrist esp. to treat the neurological issues here.
Something s very wrong and I don’t believe you want to be in a position ‘knowing’ that you are intentionally hurting others?
Yes, I said intentionally.
It’s intentional by your responses and your past abuse isn’t a excuse to sit on but to give you an opportunity to be free.
A looping pattern, is rarely looking for freedom and you will continue ‘to get in the way of yourself’ while also rippling harm outward.
I believe this is very treatable with a lot of structured interventions.
If you are wanting to hurt another, because you have been hurt it will never fill the hole in your heart.
You talk like you have a deep personal relationship with Jesus but yet your actions continue to show you don’t have the love to pour out, nor the wisdom and empathy to care about others where they are.
I will continue to call you out on this blog when you ‘dismiss and disregard’ others and then try to talk about how much you love them and are praying for them. This is incongruous and it’s not representing ‘Christlikeness’
It is my opinion that the danger you are offering is that You are toying with vulnerable places to control, dominate and sabotage the belief you have in your head about yourself.
A belief that isn’t true if you say you have Christ as Savior.
The abuse you suffered did impact your ability to connect dots emotionally and I’m very sorry for that. But help is available and so is the treatment needed for you to cognitively move forward.
Please see the hearts of others here too and ‘stop thinking’ about what is requested but start doing. You just may find what you are searching for!
Aly, I appreciate your straightforward and insightful assessment of what’s happening here with Aleea. Thank you.
Aly, good observations and evaluation. Thanks.
I agree that we are not responsible for convincing others of their behavior.
Thanks for breaking down Aleea’s posts so clearly. I hadn’t heard of looping neurological patterns – very interesting.
Thank you, Aly, for your direct and loving confrontation of Aleea.
I had tried to come on here multiple times since your comment addressed to me yesterday, but got interrupted with life (divorce is extremely time and energy consuming). I was going to comment and let you know how much I agreed with you and maybe add a thought or two. I am now glad that I did not get it done.
Your comment today at 11:55 am is so spot-on and well-said, and I am so grateful to you for your willingness to speak the truth so clearly. Amazing insight.
. . . .yes, I’m obsessed by it, because it is what Jesus said.
You ladies are pulling drowning women out of the river way, way, way downstream. I’m trying desperately to figure out who is actually throwing them in the river UP-stream. —I fear it is Jesus Himself and the actual words He said and people trying to implement those words, even in *highly* modified ways.
. . .I know all of you have been so patient with me, it is so easy to love people like that —and I do.
. . .It is so, so meaningful to talk to all of you here. I’m so, so appreciative that Leslie lets me post anything here and I so need what you tell me because I can’t see myself. I know I’m not a good listener but I am all over that even if you perceive very little progress. I’m starting to really see my failures there. . . .sans that, what I am talking to you about is real stuff, —real life and it goes to the very heart of the abuse we are *all* trying to solve.
. . .I think everyone here has realized something in their actions (in their actions) that I can’t admit. There is no real afterlife, so this is all we have. This is all we have! This is the *only* life we are ever going to have and we can’t let our husbands take all we have in this world because it is all there is. Just right here, right now. It doesn’t matter what we say, what we believe is our actions not what we say we believe.
Aly, I sincerely do appreciate suggestions for improvement. I’m just human and obsessed with knowing the truth. Truth unfiltered.
Aly . . .it is the nature of human life to feed our ever-present security needs by displaying fear in the presence of anyone who is “different”, —me too Aly!!!
Especially me, I’m afraid of everyone. I’m terrified by talk like this:
“. . . .Now, I don’t really get the “tell me you love me or I’ll send you to hell” Biblical preaching promotes. If demonstrations of love to my husband were the result of threats he’d made to my well-being, I’d recognize him as an abusive brute and also be thinking he was some sort of twisted man if he really thought the “love” he got through such intimidation was of any value or meaning. If we believed in a benevolent Creator of the Universe, we would be even more surprised at such behavior, yet it continues, to this day, to be a significant characteristic of the Christian deity. . . . Will the very real consolation we have known disappear when we accept that its source is imaginary?” —Gretta Vosper, Minister, United Church of Canada, West Hill United Church; Governor, Centennial College; Director, et.al.
That woman terrifies me and hundreds of thousands of people like her exist. She is not talking about a Christianity she knows nothing about. . . . .I can blow her off or say she is crazy or demon possessed or a tool of Satan —or I can actually and deeply think about what she is saying and when I do I am even more terrified.
Honesty ladies, —real honesty. Truth unfiltered. I saw that in Gretta even though I was terrified of what she said. If we are able to disregard the commands of Christ in our actions, it doesn’t matter what we say we believe.
If I ever got back to the first century, . . .If I got back to the first century (—of course, I’d probably be killed because they thought I was a time-traveling witch —or just a witch), I’d rewrite what Jesus said in Mark 10 to “A woman of Judean never wanted divorce. Divorce was not at all what she wanted. But she was married to a Narcissist who was also Bipolar. The mental abuse she suffered was unbearable. She went to counseling, got the church involved, she went above and beyond to save her marriage but it takes two and he wasn’t willing (—in fact, he thinks he’s the victim). She filed for divorce, which was granted AD18 and begged God to somehow forgive her. She was so riddled with guilt for not following God’s plan. But I say unto her: Daughter, you don’t have to ask my Father to forgive you, you have done God’s will in the matter.”
Again, you ladies are pulling drowning women out of the river way, way, way downstream. I’m trying desperately to figure out who is actually throwing them in the river, UP-stream. —I fear it is Jesus Himself and the actual words He said and people trying to implement that even in *highly* modified ways.
I say be brave, everyone, and speak the truth, even if your voice . . .even if your voice shakes. I know mine is.
The truth brings the best possible relationships into existence. —So help me God!
. . .I do need suggestions on listening better to all of you and asking you way more questions. I always feel like if I ask lots and lots and lots of questions . . .well, I feel like I shouldn’t be asking you lots of questions —but how can I learn anything otherwise? Otherwise, otherwise I am just lecturing. . . .People don’t even care what you know until they know you really, deeply care. . . . .I do. . . .I will not stop trying desperately to figure out who is actually throwing them in the river UP—stream. —Can we solve the issues by working only downstream???
Aly didn’t give you a ‘suggestion for improvement’. She confronted you on a highly destructive pattern.
Your response only confirms it.
I hope that you will get the level of help that you need.
Aleea, (and Aly, JoAnn, Nancy, and everyone else trying to deal with her) I’m going to “face the truth” and call it out as I have seen it for a couple of years now: that Aleea is not who she says she is. That she is a “poser.” Someone who pretends to be someone they are not, for an ulterior purpose. Aleea, you use “niceties (“I pray for you all the time!”) sweet pseudo-confessions that make you sound humble, (“Me too ladies! I need so much help! bla-bla-bla.” But in all honesty you are one of the proudest people I know, as evidenced by your lack of change. This message you wrote reveals your true agenda, which you mask and cloak with smoke and mirrors of “sweetness” and “humility.” What you are actually believing and promoting and that is clear to those who can see through your deflections: 1. You do not believe the Bible is holy, true, or trustworthy, and that people who do need rescuing, and you are here to rescue them. This is what you call “saving them upstream.” If you can only get them to see how ridiculous belief in the Bible is, they will be free. This is your “mission ground” as an atheist who pretends to be a “confused Christian,” which you clearly are not. You pretend (pretty well in a few instances, but not usually.) You say you know Jesus. But you are lying. You use some of the same language we do, but you are not of the sheep.
If you knew our Jesus, like we know Him, you would know what many of us know and others are coming to know: that His intentions for us are always good: that He is the good shepherd who cares for his sheep, leading them in and out to find safety, peace, and pastures. That abusive spouses who fed on us were imposters. They came to destroy, not to care for. Like you, Aleea. Feeding on the sheep for your own purpose as an atheist: find hurting Christian people, pretend to be one of them, pretend to be hurt, (even feign mental illness; they’ll feel sorry for you) confused (they’ll want to help you—after all, this is a bunch of weak, impressionable empathy! If you can’t draw them in, who can you?!) humble, sweet. Get in the midst of the sheepfold and sow doubt, confusion, suspicion about the Bible, God, Jesus. Perfect time to do it, while the sheep are hurting and confused. Maybe you can wake up a few of the stupid women, eh?
From the beginning, 2 years ago, I have suspected/discerned in Aleea: imposter. Pretender.
Other ladies: please do not be sucked in to the Aleea swirling cycle. The looping arguments are always the same. She claims to want help but only wants a soapbox to peddle her unbelief. She packages it as something other than what it is. Don’t be taken in.
Jesus words are true. He really did say them, because he came to a place and time and culture where men had ALL the power and women were powerless. The average woman in society was entirely dependent on her husband for well being and survival, like children are. If he divorced her she had no recourse but to find another man or become a prostitute or beg or starve. The words of Jesus, spoken in that culture, were to protect those who were powerless, oppressed, and being abused by “a certificate of divorce.” When Jesus cited the creation account, how in the beginning God made them one, he was reminding his hearers (Jewish men in that culture), of God’s good intention forvmarriage: a man, made in his image, uniting with a woman, made in his image, in Holy Unity. She was not to be viewed as his possession to use and discard! She was and is his equal, and in marriage they are called to reflect the holy unity of Christ and the church to the world. Jesus was exposing Jewish men for their wrong thinking and failure in an effort to protect the downtrodden, in this case women, as he did at every turn: he rescued the oppressed, he lifted them up. He welcomed them, he broke the unjust established norms of society. He is the bringer of Justice. He is our champion and hero. When he came, he was inaguerating his kingdom, and showing us what is to come. Those of us that love him, carry the rule of that kingdom in our hearts. And we know his voice, and we will not listen to another. And we have the Holy Spirit to help us discern and recognize those who don’t: especially the wolves; even the ones in sheep’s clothing who are here to feed off of the sheep.
We were confused for awhile, because the men who were supposed to live and care for us, like Jesus, stole from us, harmed us, tried to consume us. But the Good Shepherd is exposing them, faithfully teaching us here, and rescuing us as he equips us to discern.
Ladies please note that Aleea stated there is no afterlife, there is only here and now. Aleea stated that she is trying to rescue upstream : to undo believing in the Bible as God’s word. I suspect that if we knew her real name we would find it on the roles of Atheist Societies. Did you know, Ladies, that atheists have Bible studies? They get together, and study the Bible in an effort to disprove it. And they actually try to make converts. Yep. And I think, at the bottom of all the Wizard of Oz effects, that’s what we have here, in our “poor Aleea.”
Praise God for the truth you have spoken boldly!!! AMEN!!! Before I came to this conclusion the strength of some of the comments I made to and regarding Aleea caused enough of a backlash that by the time I arrived where you are, I was afraid to speak as bluntly as you have today lest I be unwelcome to comment further.
I completely agree with you 100%. Today’s comments alone – including what you have highlighted reveal this person’s true state.
T.L. (Aleea) others,
Thank you so much for clearly giving this exposure! I also appreciate you speaking truth of who God is for the oppressed.
John 10:1 says
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber.”
Who protects the sheep gate! Our faithful shepherd. 💜
I think you gave Light to something critical and I disagree with Aleea’s analogy of ‘pulling women out of the river’.
I think it’s more like trying to keep them from getting close to a dangerous river, while someone ‘very dark’ is trying to draw them to the edge, with confusing conflicting spiritualized conversations. (Retract, one way communications)
By the way Aleea, as you have claimed your legal profession (which could be true or untrue), you continue to violate the LAW of NON Contradiction in documentation on this blog.
To say such a statement about afterlife, as if you have evidence of this being proven. Such a ridiculous and foolish ‘hook’ type of gesture.
And for those who cause hurt to God’s children, He sees and they will be dealt with.
See Matt. 18:1-6
You have made a huge error in reasoning here:
“Aly . . .it is the nature of human life to feed our ever-present security needs by displaying fear in the presence of anyone who is “different”, —me too Aly!!!”
Where is your evidence in such a statement?
This is a clear example of Ad Hominem.
Again, a common pattern of not having a true argument of your issue.
If you think this is about ‘just being different’ your misaligned.
Yes there are differences everywhere on lots of issues.
But those in Christ are ‘united’ in the ESSENTIALS of the faith.
There are places where there are differences in Non-essentials and there is room for this but in context of agreement in the essentials. And this is what separates us … as it should! As Christ’s own words represent and confirm for ourselves.
Sometimes it’s these essentials that even separate us from those we love, those we had married & those we want to be close to. Aly
I have been very aware of the darkness in much of what Aleea writes in her posts, along with many untruths (no afterlife!!), and I want to thank you, T.L. for finally calling her out. She may try to deny all this, but we have so much written documentation of her beliefs, that I believe it would be futile for her to try to defend herself. To be injecting doubts and fears into this ministry of compassion to hurting women and men is none other than causing division, which is anathema to the people of God. The apostle Paul said that when someone causes division in the church, that person should be turned away from the fellowship. (Rom 16:17; 1 Cor 1:10; Jude 1:19). We have the articles of the faith, as T.L. mentioned, that bind us together, and then there are other matters that should not become cause of division among us. These arguments coming from historical records and which cast doubt on our faith are not welcome here.
Aleea, if you are still following this, I would caution you: you mention being “terrified” about several issues that a true believer would not be afraid of, but as you continue to bring darkness into this blog, what you really need to be “terrified” about is facing the God of Truth. Jesus said, “You search the scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life, but you will not come to me.” (John 5:39) Jesus is Truth. Worship Him.
I am hopeful that things are finally being fully exposed in regard to “Aleea”’s participation on this blog. Given that, I would like to add something else I have noticed that I want to share in case anyone else is interested. Please excuse the length and details; I can think of no other to accomplish this.
Please note my concern that the person commenting under the name “Aleea” bears a striking resemblance to one commenting on another blog under the name, “Jeff Beck” and on this blog near the end of 2014 and the very beginning of 2015 under the name “Jeff”.
Reference the following link: https://ninaroesner.com/2014/12/01/miss-him-died/ On this post, “Jeff Beck” comments four times that I saw. From the December 8, 2014 at 8:03 pm comment “But all I know is this: You can walk hand-and-hand with Jesus in the FRIGID freedom of really surrendering to Christ (–and it is almost impossible to do, maybe actually impossible –and it sure looks at times like the foolish path). —Or you can stay on those shadowy elm streets where you let your insecurities cut you to gummy ribbons.” Note also: “The last 275 years of textual research has taught us…” and “The reason that we don’t know is really complicated and involves many dissertations on textual variants/ interpolations/ redactions/ textual alterations/ additions, et. al.”
Compare the above to “Jeff”’s comments: On the November 12, 2014 post, “How Do I Live With A Basically Good Man Who Is A Tyrant?” in a January 11, 2015, 7:34 am comment, “ . .You can walk hand-and-hand with Jesus in the FRIGID freedom of really surrendering to Christ (–and it is almost impossible to do, maybe actually impossible –and it sure looks at times like the foolish path). —Or, you can stay on those shadowy Elm streets where you let your insecurities cut you to gummy ribbons. . . . .” Also, “The reason that we don’t know involves lots of dissertations on textual variants/ interpolations/ redactions/ textual alterations/ additions, et. al. That’s where the Bible’s manuscript evidence has been demonstrated.” and “The last 275 years of textual research has taught us…”
“Jeff Beck” and “Jeff” sound very much alike.
Now compare this to “Aleea”’s comments: On the May 6, 2015 post, “I Don’t Trust My Husband, Should We Be Having Sex?” in a May 8, 2015 at 11:53 am comment of “Aleea”’s, “You can walk hand-and-hand with Jesus in the FRIGID freedom of really surrendering to real Love, real Life (Christ) —and it is almost impossible to do (—I’m being honest!) —and it sure looks like the foolish path at times —Or, you can stay on those shadowy Elm streets where you let your insecurities cut you to gummy ribbons.”
On the December 7, 2016 post, “Do I Owe My Husband An Apology?” in a December 10, 2016 at 7:15 am comment of “Aleea”’s, “The last 275 years of textual research has taught us…”
On the January 3, 2018 post, “I’m In A New Relationship But I’m Reacting The Same Old Ways” in a January 13, 2018 at 4:53 am comment of “Aleea”’s, “You also have to get your words, numbers, timelines correct (—this is so, so hard because of textual variants/ interpolations/ redactions/ textual alterations/ textual additions/ textual contradictions, et.al.)…”
An additional comparison between “Jeff” and “Aleea” on this blog:
“Jeff” on the December 9, 2014 post, “How Will I Know If I’m Ready To Date Again?” in a December 15, 2014 at 11:04 pm comment, “The locomotive of New Testament textual research and archeology will not stop for suicidal persons astride the tracks. . . . . ”
“Aleea” on the September 14, 2016 post, “What Is A Godly Woman Like Revised” in a September 14, 2016 at 7:06 pm comment, “The locomotive of New Testament textual research, paleographology and archeology will not stop for suicidal persons astride the tracks.”
There are other hints and similarities. “Jeff” mentions doing some of his blog-commenting on a plane. “Jeff” references meeting with one of his firm’s clients; once wanting to file lawsuits; and something that applies to our criminal/tort system. These are not conclusive by any means, but they would fit with someone who represents himself or herself as a attorney, as “Aleea” has.
The styles are uncannily similar. “Jeff” also casts doubt on God’s Word in multiple places. The actual quotes with similarities in them are very plentiful, but it is a lot of work to write this up so I just picked a sampling. There is SO much more.
The last comment of this “Jeff” that I can find was January 10, 2015. The first one I can find of “Aleea” is February 19, 2015.
I agree with T.L. that the one presenting himself or herself as “Aleea” is a pretender indeed.
Seeing the Light, THANK YOU for your research into this. I am immediately going to unapprove Aleea’s comments from this blog until such time I can personally talk with her regarding her continually derailing the conversation here to be about her own agenda – the fallacy and unreliability of God’s word.
Thanks for all your patience and persistence with this. I am very concerned that Aleea has her own agenda here and it is not helping women heal but to draw them into her own confusion.
STL, my goodness! It’s incredible that you found all that!! It is so very disheartening that someone would intentionally inject him/herself into a site like this for the sole purpose of bringing in doubts and division. I am grieved by this.
I am also wondering why we haven’t heard from Leslie on this??
Seeing the Light, Thank you for the work you did of exposing the fraudulent activity of whoever this person is. Couldn’t be clearer that it is either the same person, or blatant plagiarism, neither of which is innocent.
Wow thank you for posting this and noting.
I’m assuming Nina’s site has been notified as I’m sure Leslie’s site will address soon.
Well, searching for truth really is valuable.
Many Years, I do hope you have been following this thread?
STL, T.L., Aly, JoAnn
Thank you for speaking so candidly, here. Especially for the research, STL, on the similarities and timing of ‘Jeff’ and ‘Aleea’s’ comments.
JoAnn – disheartening is the right word. You articulated that so well. I’m sure I will get to that feeling….for now I feel a bit sick, and very angry.
You’re welcome, Leslie.
STL, Leslie, Aly, JoAnn, T.L. and also to Aleea,
I had posted a comment after one of Aleea’s comments ( see above), as she had made some good points. But, after that, her comment back to me was so full of confusion. I was unable to be on the site again to comment back to her, and I am so glad I did not return her comment, as she was ‘adding to God’s Word’ which is condemned in the book of Revelation.
She mentioned, in the post back to me, that if she could, she would ‘rewrite’ Mark chapter 10, and she proceeded to write what she would ‘correct’ or ‘change’ to fit today’s so-called church format. It is not a light thing to add to or take away from God’s Word.
So I am sooooo thankful for you ladies who have confronted Aleea, as I have really not been on Leslie’s site long enough to have seen the wolf in sheep’s clothing. But now, I certainly do!
I believe that ‘Aleea’ she/or he is a very confused individual, and most of us here are very trusting souls, yet ‘to prove all things’ is what each of us as individual believers needs to prove for ourselves, not just the ‘we’ mind-set which Aleea was promoting as though she were ‘one of us’ in the Spirit. I see no common unity in Christ with Aleea’s format, now that others have brought it to attention.
@ Seeing the light
Amazingly good work doing that research on “Aleea” and the other matching earlier posts from Jeff!
It’s funny, just last week I was scrolling though some much older blog posts of Leslie’s and I saw responses from a man who prattled on and on and said such weird stuff, (Probably the Jeff, but I cant recall the name). He flattered and flustered , and said he preferred to discuss scripture and theology with females as they are much more open minded about all the parts that didn’t fit. Or something like that.
I realized the confusing statements, and the restating and then un-stating of whole long phrases sounded so much like Aleea. I wondered if it was the same person. Then I wondered if maybe they were just both mentally disturbed in the same way.
It is really sad when this happens on open forums that were meant as a safe place. I started a support website almost two years ago and I had to make it by approved membership only because of this problem with predators. Sometimes its an angry stalking husband posing as another betrayed & abused wife.Talk about a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Anyway thanks for the good work.
Caroline (Aug 21, 6:55) , I actually believe that this blog is a safe place and always has been, because there are a few “watchmen” on the wall who have consistently called her out, and now she is fully exposed. I truly hope that no real damage has been done, and if anyone has been stumbled by her comments, then please, speak up and allow us to help you to get “unconfused.” The ones I am most concerned about are the ones in the marriage class that she teaches….if that is true. With her twisted views, she has the potential to do some real harm there. We can hope and pray that the ones that she is in closer contact with will not be harmed by this “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
Thank you so much for your comment.
“He flattered and flustered , and said he preferred to discuss scripture and theology with females as they are much more open minded about all the parts that didn’t fit. Or something like that.” Yes, I saw that, too, about preferring to discuss such matters with females – we probably saw the same comment.
I’m glad to hear that you noticed the similarity for yourself before I shared what I found. There really is so, so much more that I wish everyone could see. It’s hard to hold back. The time-consuming part is typing it up in a fashion to point to the sources and quote the items adequately.
I earnestly hope that his or her influence here is finally done.
I know you addressed caroline, but I hope you don’t mind my remarking here.
The problem with persons like “Aleea” is that the damage they do can be imperceptible until it’s too late. Sometimes, people notice the harmful words and react immediately with confusion or offense. Other times, it is so cleverly done that something gets through and a seed is planted without even being noticed. By the time it comes to full growth, the source is long-forgotten. Then you see the fruit – doubts; battered, if not destroyed, faith; unbelief; despair.
You are one of the strong ones, JoAnn. It is clear that you have a solid foundation and a stable faith in our Lord. For some who don’t and are going through the fires of abuse, comments such as those from “Aleea” have probably done untold damage at just the moment they were hanging by a thread, damage that will never even be able to be traced back to its source.
Scripture is so clear not to allow such things in our midst. It’s too dangerous. I do hope it will be a safe place going forward.
@ Seeing the light & JoAnn&others
NOTE: This may be totally lost in the thread, so I’m speaking here of the safeness vs safeness of the forum.
Open posting is both the strength and the weakness of internet support sites. And of course its the state of the church too, where the wheat and tears are growing up together. When all are welcome, sometimes all kinds come!
But, just like with James some months ago, attack and confusion can be a golden opportunity for more readers to enter the conversation and offer a solid defense of the truth.
But its risky, and can be triggering because its very much like when your first feeling out the situation with a longtime abusive/neglectful spouse or family member. So, while its hard, it can also be good practice for listening very carefully and standing your ground.
When an iffy person comes on we first give the benefit of the doubt and invite more dialog. Their response will either clear the way or block the way to true communication. Defensiveness or counterattack will show a if its a shallow understanding and/or a hidden darker agenda.
Some weeks ago, when I urged Jeffaleea to live out her “convictions” (ie: to follow whatever she claimed were the “actual” directives of Jesus) before she offered them to others, it was really clear by her response that understanding & encouragement were NOT the intended goals, only seeding confusion and doubt and despair.
This is tiring, I know, but we don’t move in our own strength and we are to be on guard and ready with an answer for our own positions of faith. So maybe the questions will cause some who were faltering to go back and make sure they “really believe that what they believe is really real” (-Del Tacket, from The Truth Project).
We live in an age of noisy confusion, and false truth claims abound. Everybody has a “happy formula” for sale. Crumbled walls are everywhere, and sometimes our job is to rebuild them and fight off the enemy at the same time. So we have to work like Nehemiah: trowel in one hand, spear in the other.
I so appreciate all the brave builder/fighters who post on this site!!
Yes, thanks Caroline. I like that this site is open to people of different perspectives because we can all learn something, even if it’s learning not to be so easily taken by a smooth talking person who uses the Bible or lots of references about something. We also need to learn to be compassionately truthful, yet still brave and strong in our refuting of error. And, those who seek to detract others from the main purpose of this blog will be removed because we are not here to argue, but to understand and to help women get safe and sane.
correction; “sefeness vs. unsafeness” sorry!
Thank-you for this site. I have found such support and care here. I may still be struggling to figure it out, but the individuals here are patient and encouraging, and, in general, are godly people. Your book is an eye opener for sure. The first chapter alone has helped several women and one man that I care about to help see more clearly the truth of their situation.
You and your ministry are a God send and I pray the time away provided the true restoration of your soul as you are constantly pouring out to others, which, even if it is who you are meant to be, can be quite exhausting at times.
God bless you and your family.
Not sure where to post this under so starting new.
Excellent questions JoAnn. d/w my counselor. quite frankly she understands why I can’t accept it yet, because then I would have to act on it and I am not emotionally, physically, legally or financially ready to do that. I guess that makes good sense.
I will just have to keep switching bus drivers to keep myself safe. I love caroline’s analogy here.
I do keep the info and worry about the kids off the blog as much as I can. I am afraid the information is too identifying. 2 of my kids are of legal age but 1 is not. My counselor agrees that next time I leave I must take her with me, or have one of the older two bring her to a meet for me to take her if I have to leave and can’t get to her safely to bring her like last time. Valid concerns about this are that she so desperately wants her dads approval and has adopted so much of his thinking that she says some of the same abusive things to me and cuts the same looks and lacks the respect for authority. I have concerns that if she is with me, he will use her to find us. My counselor has some ideas of what to do and I will try to implement these but this will require cooperation and agreement from both my daughter and my husband so I’m not holding my breath to be honest.
I do have a safety exit plan in place that is ever developing into a safer and better developed and thought out plan. I still need to get a burner phone, etc. Any specifics that others have found helpful for exit strategy safety I would very much appreciate.
Hopefully this answers all the recent questions as best as I can answer them.
Also, for those that have been following the questionable repentance of heart of my husband. My heart is broken today!
1 week ago my husband confronted me to “talk” and we actually did. During that talk one of the things I told him was that I would like to give a certain amount of money to one of my children to help him buy a new used car as the absolute junk one we bought him a year ago was wrecked.
I also told him it was not fair that we spent a significant amount more on our oldest with his car. I confronted that the way he did not let me help look for the car and limited it to $2000 whenever I would try, then suddenly my husband was the hero and found the right one for significantly more money and decided to buy it (yes I got to go see it first but it really wasn’t a discussion) was hurtful. I told him that this was not right. I understand that our finances were rough the year we bought our other sons vehicle but that he needed help now getting a safe car, my son is working full time and saving up but could use the help and I think deserves it. He is driving around a vehicle held together by duct tape!
When my husband tried to act like there was no money for this (which is true if you look at the bank accounts) I told him we could use the money he has hidden throughout his sock drawer. He acted shocked that I would know this! Dude, I usually do the laundry and put it away, including his, why wouldn’t I have seen this? He tried to argue that it wasn’t that much because the one visible wad is not that much, but he has several wads hidden deeper and in specific envelopes. I confronted that there was well over a thousand dollars in the drawer and that I am not sure where that money comes from. He tried to say it was from birthday money, etc. I know this is not completely true because this was mostly spent on classes for my daughter. I do know where most of it comes from, he lies about what he does with the cash that is paid to the business! He doesn’t put it into the bank, he hides it in that drawer.
Well, yesterday I went to grab $20 from this stack to take two of my kids to the $2 movies as I didn’t have time to drive to the atm and wanted to pay cash. The money is gone! All of it. My husband doesn’t know I have humiliated myself by going to the bank and had to explain to them that I do not have access to my own financials and have finally gotten this access! I checked the accounts today, he did not put that money in the bank! He has hidden it somewhere else.
This is the man that last Saturday night was telling me God was telling him he was having a pity party and the next morning he was apologizing to me. Now he continues to hide money from me! Legitimately, intentionally, hiding it. Not put away for a rainy day or emergency and making sure that I know, but hiding it!
It puts the whole apology for “speaking truth without love” thing into such perspective. Is this truth? It is obviously not love. I am going to have to get a lawyer now to figure out how to legally secure my assets. He has bought expensive items over the years without discussing it with me and these items are in his name! I can’t sell them if I want to in order to get some money back, and there is no way he will sell them. He won’t even let me sell our wedding china, stemware, and flatware that have never and will never be used (It’s been well over 20 years)! He forbids it, instead it just takes up room being stored for nothing.
I want to confront him and ask him about the money, but I don’t think that will lead to a good outcome in any way. I wonder if he would lie and tell me he put it in the bank? I just think this is confirmation of what I was concerned about, this is not real repentance yet! And may never be.
So sad, was a bit hopeful and now just so very disappointed, violated emotionally, whatever that feeling is where your ability to trust has been completely stripped from you, and a bit fearful financially of what he is doing behind my back yet under my nose. Guess I should have taken a picture of the money in the drawer and actually written down the amount. Learning this too late! I don’t know where to find the time but I need to inventory all of our items of worth (not that there are many, but they are predominantly things he bought and are in his name). This sucks!
Aww, Jane. He is terrible.
So you work, but he does have a business through which he has income?
Let me guess your income has to help float some of his business debt. 😒
Jane, I can still remember some of the excellent counsel the ladies here gave me. FWIW, I’m staying well ‘for now’ but I still have 3 school-age kids. And when I really confronted my H with the ultimatum of “STOP BEING AN A**HOLE OR I’LL DIVORCE YOU”, then he has started behaving civilly. Oh, he’s still a jerk on occasions but it’s not often. And he doesn’t expect sex very often any more or a big performance during sex which is good bc I made a promise to myself to stop pretending to love something I loathe.
The advice Caroline and Joann have been giving you are excellent. I remember one think specifically Joann told me that I think might also apply to your H- “he is spiritualizing his tantrums”. We have gone to full gospel churches off and on, so I believe in the spiritual realm, but the Bible says in James “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Many people just want to rebuke the evil spirits. Much of our spiritual work is done in step one – humbling yourself before your God.
Without this the other steps will eventually flop.
MANY abusers will LOOK for the WHAT DID I DO WRONG in books like the Cloud and Townsend book. When your H found the ‘answer’, it was an easy crime to confess to. He just didn’t speak the truth in love. He was only trying to help. He just has an anger problem. He’ll try harder. He’s sooo sorry that he hard everyone.
Jane, my H did essentially the same thing. He would admit to getting ‘too angry’. He said “I was in the right but I let myself get carried away in anger and that was my sin”.
Jane, I think you need hard boundaries ASAP. I hope you can get your finances separated.
Is there anyway you can kick HIM out of the house?
What if you worked with your pastor to work to get your husband to leave the house for a separation? Sometimes a prideful man (narcissistic etc) will work with another man to save face even if they’re not genuine about what they’re doing. But if you had some male leadership backing you up your husband might cover and give you the house.
The church is supposed to help the oppressed (orphans and widows); just bc every single victim of oppression and abuse didn’t get listed on that list- orphans and widows OBVIOUSLY does not mean God doesn’t care about the other oppressed people. It does not mean we should turn our faces away from them. You Jane, you are clearly oppressed the point where your stomach in literally tore up about it. He is financially abusing you. (I hope you can get your finances separated.) He has some gall taking money from a woman who works hard! What a fruitcake! What entitlement!! Don’t believe his stories about demons making him so this. This is his flesh. His CHOICE. I am a full gospel person Jane. I believe in the spirit realm 100%. One time Joann gave me excellent counsel about my own husband; Joann said: “He is spiritualizing his tantrums.”
Ruth is so clear here and she has pointed out such important things!
I’m sorry for all the pain and trauma of this! It’s horrible to put it mildly. I’m glad your taking the next step with an attorney this is wise.
Jane, in some ways as painful as it is to see that he is doing this with ‘$’ something tangible to see, it can be a very important revelation for you to see what he is doing tangible .., this aligns also what he is doing to you in intangible ways which has only left you wishful thinking rather than true hope.
How does he have the ability to make purchases that are only in his name in the first place, when you have said that you are the one who works?
And Jane prepare yourself well, for when you see 1 rat, there are usually 50 more!
More will most likely be uncovered.
Remember, those on the high Narc traits think that all the rules apply for everyone else but themselves.
Along with all the control over what is purchased and not purchased, sold or not sold.. in this there is no mutual value and position, only his decisions and his rights.
Only you can change you Jane. And your posture on non-tolerance.
Get Safe, get a plan, get your finances in place, know your rights. Get your support system.
If he wants to put on another ‘acting episode of Changes that Heal’.. he certainly can and who knows maybe he will hit bottom.. down the road (I’m not holding my breath) when he has lost the ability to control and over dominate you. When he has lost the comfort in thinking he has successfully manipulated you.
Hiding money from his wife? Who does such a thing!
To inventory get a memory card for a camera and take pictures of things. (Unless the pictures you take on your out phone are private.) Then you can assess value later.
Yes, and yet part of me, that stupid limbic part questions the need for a lawyer. Thank God for your voices of truth because I will choose to let the rest of my brain drive this bus. I used to make 3xmore than what I do now and he was always saying we were near bankrupt, it almost drove me out of my mind. Now we barely make it, but we make it. I had the realization while talking with a dear friend tonight who is going through a similar situation… where is that money from years ago, or did we use it all when I took a sabbatical for health reasons (it may have been all used).
Don’t know if I need a lawyer or a forensic accountant!
I am not sure how I let things get this way except that I was very very young when we married and I just let him have control of the things I had never managed before. I am having to learn to be a grown up in these things so that I can take control of my own life!
And, as for buying things, I am not sure about how he bought my car for me so many years ago without even consulting me about the car (it was necessary but it would have been nice to have some vote on 2d vs 4d and the like), I don’t know how he did it except that I just waltzed in and signed papers that he told me to. Duh on me. My latest used car is in both our names I believe, this vehicle I chose against his preference because I clearly heard God telling me what to do and I was not going to disobey God, even if my husband, who I am supposed to respect and submit to, says otherwise. Especially when I can clearly see he is not being godly (I told him God told me not to haggle price and to bless the man by just buying the vehicle. My husband wanted to print out a bait car ad on the internet, you know the kind where once your on the car lot they say oh we sold that one but we have…, and show the man just how blessed he was because of what a deal this other car could have been (though I know it didn’t exist.) I was appalled by this and explained to my husband that you do not bless somebody by rubbing in their face that you are choosing to bless them).
The rest of the expensive purchases are guns, and hand guns require a permit. The permit and thus the guns are in his name, so only he can sell these guns. But it doesn’t matter, I don’t even feel safe enough to sell that useless china, etc and I don’t feel safe enough to purchase for him a new recliner as the leather is destroyed in his and there is a spring sticking out the back that has cut my thigh when I was vacuuming. I told him I want to cut off the sticking out piece but he got mad about that and told me the spring can be fixed and put back in place (that was over 6mo ago and the spring stays out!)
Because my husband is also a sociopath he does not submit to any form of authority, honestly probably not to God either. My pastor confided in me when he was learning about how bad the situation is with my husband that he resigned to not being my husbands pastor as my husband would not submit to any teaching and believes his own knowledge and spirituality to be greater than my pastors. My husband even told me he believed he was at this church so he could reveal to the pastor those special things in the scriptures that my husband knows and teach my pastor how to get those special deeper things out of the Bible. I don’t think he would submit to his dad nor mine either, so who knows what to do as far as male figures leading him. I am not ready to throw him out of the house or under the bus, despite this thing with the money. I do want to know how to secure my finances better and how to protect myself in this situation if separation is inevitable. I want to be better prepared and capable of handling my own finances.
If you move on to separation, there will be a court process to reveal all the hidden money. It is called fact finding. He will be required to reveal and sign under oath all his hidden money. If he has illegal cash, talking about it can get you in trouble if you haven’t paid taxes on it.
Yes, you need a forensic accountant. Who does your taxes now? Start by going to every bank you think may have an account with and ask for balances. Do it in person.
Also, if you get a restraining order, his guns and gun permits will be taken away in most states. A restraining order always places a federal alert on passpiets. My abuser had a terrible time getting back in the US after a holy lands tour, because of the restraining order alert on his passport. The fact that he went on a holy lands tour shows his delusional entitlement thinking!
afraid to tell you, he has done all the accounting for home and business. At least we just survived an audit!
I have secretly obtained access to the two accounts that I know about. That’s how I found out he is lying about putting the cash that the business gets into the bank. The office has business software that documents each payment, including cash so I am pretty sure this has all been accounted for in the taxes. We do very little cash business.
We do have a small 401K type thing, I think 2 or 3 types via insurances and prior businesses. I have no idea how to get the information from these companies.
I am sorry you have been through this and I appreciate your insight. Yes, the irony of their holiness is kind of funny at times, yet very sad. Overall I choose to find the humor in it all, if not I’m not sure I could emotionally handle all the yucky emotions that come with this amazingly humbling and self revealing experience.
Can you get a copy of your own tax return Jane? Can you stop in his desk or files and find out more information?
Problem 1: He’s pretty much always at home
Problem 2: there is no filing system or recognizable organization so finding them will be near impossible, I am sure they are somewhere in the massive piles of paperwork; either in the study, the excuse of a dining room, in the kitchen piles, or somewhere in the family room cabinets. The sheer amount of, what I think is useless, paperwork is overwhelming, and whatever you do, don’t throw anything away unless you want to see him super angry. If he loses any of his papers in his piles, I am blamed for it. I may shift the pile off the kitchen island to the kitchen desk so I can clean or cook, but that’s it. And the only thing I throw away are opened envelopes, unless they are ones that have dates that might be important such as ones from the IRS or state, etc. Then he may want to keep the envelope so he can show when something was postmarked if there is a question as to when we may have received it.
Problem 3: If I even suggest a certain bill might be good to put on autopay because I have noticed a couple of late payment fees on it, he becomes livid because this is his thing (managing money, paying the bills, etc.) and I have no business interfering, never mind it is money I worked hard to make. $80 out the door because he can’t just pay the bill when it comes in. Somehow he thinks the 0.0008 cents we make on a dollar each month warrants keeping a couple hundred in the bank for an extra 2 weeks (easy math 16 cents a month is obviously well worth the $80 we were fined at least twice in one year- yup, but I don’t have a mind for finances according to my husband and now my daughter! 1.92-160= -158.08 net loss!) I don’t really think asking to see the tax returns is going to go over well. I may have to obtain these reports from the IRS, just don’t know if they will send them to an address different than our home. That’s concerning…
Have you or he prepared your own tax returns, or did you have a paid preparer/CPA?
all our own, his undergrad degree is in economics and he knows lending so he uses quickbooks, I know he does some creative accounting, usually the kind that is perfectly legal within the loop holes, but I wouldn’t put it past him to step a baby toe over the line to be honest
That’s what I was afraid of. I was hoping you could get a copy from the preparer. I wonder if the IRS is up to emailing copies of tax returns to filers yet, so you wouldn’t have to worry about the address thing…
The guns part makes me very nervous, Jane.
yeah, me too sometimes, though I think if “push came to shove” he would be more hands on. He’s the only one with a key to the gun closet. I plan to ask him to make a copy for me, “just in case something happens on the rare hours he is not at home”. Then I can at least go through the guns when he’s not home and ensure they are not loaded, there are no bullets in the chamber, and the ammo is stored in such a way that it would take time to load one of the guns. It kind of defeats having them for our personal safety, but really they’re more for family events of going shooting at targets for fun. It’s one expensive hobby to go a few times a year tops and I don’t even want to mention how expensive ammo is right now! He finds the money to spend on that when he wants to go shoot though!
What is scarier is he thinks he’s an expert at ALL things even though he is little more than amateur at most of these things. (This may be a revealing story if he finds the thread but at this point if he’s looking here it’s better that I find out, judge his response, and just leave home if he’s upset). After his uncle died he brought home a rifle after the funeral. He was aiming through it to evaluate the sites and was looking at it in the family room. At various times the gun had been pointed in the direction of all of us (me and the kids). Not aimed at us, just in moving it around the barrel faced down each of us. This was making me nervous, not to mention I expect my children to follow proper gun etiquette and, loaded or not, you never allow a gun to point at another person. I confronted my husband that I was uncomfortable and I was getting upset. He became very angry and insisted it wasn’t loaded, he wasn’t an idiot, then BANG, gun went off and thankfully shot a hole in the ceiling.
We now have a bullet lodged in our 1st floor ceiling/2nd floor flooring and a patched hole in the dry wall. Out of terror and justifiable anger, I did use an explicative towards him that I am not proud of, but man that adrenaline was pumping hard, he put my kids life at risk!!! He did not really apologize or repent, though he was surprised. He tried to laugh it off and just checked to make sure there were no other bullets in the gun and then took it upstairs. This event, with his total disregard for our lives, no respect for my legitimate fear, and his overt lack of responsibility haunts me to this day (the kids and I try to joke about it when we talk about it, but truthfully it still angers me.)
So, as much as I enjoy shooting on occasion, to me, it’s not worth having them anymore. But I have no right to sell them or even take them. Though purchased with “our” money, they are in his name (at least the handguns are), and I have no right to them. I would gladly sell a few, if not all of them, then I would have more money to pay for my children’s education without as much stress on me to earn more and we can help my middle have enough to buy a respectable vehicle that can get him to and from college next year when he starts (I hope).
Thank-you all for continuing your prayers. My husband needed me to tell him how to correctly communicate to me that using the insulation on the hot water heater pipes would not be helpful in the house because the house acts as an insulator, without sounding condescending. (Not what I am reading but not worth the debate and the insulating tape was a free offer). Part of me wants to think this means he is trying for change, but if his heart was different and he didn’t feel haughty about being right, wouldn’t it come out that way? Or is this something that people like my husband need to practice? He questions if he has some autistic spectrum thing because he is an emotional nincompoop and he does share some emotional quotient issues with my son who does have sensory processing disorder, but most of his emotional inabilities fit more with his personality disorders I think. But if he does have an ASD, maybe he does need to learn how to be nice?
Any thoughts on this anyone?
Jane, he was wrong about the insulation tape. Who cares what makes him crazy, but rather care that he is crazy and lives in your home endangering all who enter it. You can’t fix him or understand him better. Just work on yourself. If he has a miraculous transformation you would know it immediately. No reason to waste what precious energy you have thinking about his issues. Be strategic. She what you can find out in those stacks of papers and take pictures if you like, yet if you move on to decisions of self protection, all will be revealed in court.
Jane Dear, I am even more alarmed. Do you have a Safety Plan in place? You are precious, and you are not safe. Praying for your protection and for a way of escape from an obdurate and impenitent and dangerous man. Jane, this is long, but it was helpful to me in my process of understanding what I was dealing with. Maybe it will be to you: http://bibleapps.com/commentaries/romans/2-5.htm
Off to work now. Praying as I go for you and all the dear sisters and at least one dear brother (Sheep) here.
This is exhausting and so saddening. I know how I should feel, yet I think I am almost numb to it now unless it is in my face and on point at the moment. I read back over that incident with the rifle and I should be incensed and clearly aware of his idiotic behavior putting us at risk. But I just remember feeling powerless to do anything about it and I just gave up the fight altogether.
Why is it you always want to give him one more chance, like this scratch on the surface of sorrow is actually change! I am so in turmoil right now. I don’t want God’s wrath for him unless that wrath will bring him to repentance and right standing with God! Why do I love a man so deeply who, though he may try, can not return the love? It is a strange state to find myself in.
Thank-you for all the prayers.
I’m really sorry for all that you have been put through.
You asked about why do you love a man who can’t love in return.
I don’t know.
I can only wonder about ‘love’ and What is Love in these dynamics?
I don’t doubt you when you say you love this man, but do you think you are loving him well when he clearly is a person who is acting harmful and showing risky behavior to your own well-being, your children, and himself?
Is this ‘love’ that you are doing?
Personally, I think his surface sorrow as you mentioned is him responding to seeing you awaken to the real situation you are in and he is hoping you will ‘give him the benefit of doubt’ or offer yet one more chance. It leaves the window open for you to keep hanging in there and tolerating more and more.
He has proven he needs serious help in many areas and he has proven he is unable to be trustworthy that do cause danger to you.
Even if it comes down to he has a spectrum issue, that in itself is enough for him to be getting intensive interventions based on the behavior level he shows.
Do we let 12 yr olds buy and carry guns legally? Even unloaded.
Thank you for sharing the link to the commentaries beginning with Romans 2:1 thru 16, and the many other verses, and thoughts in the commentaries.
Profound and timeless truths are what you shared at that link.
Proof positive and poignant in dealing with an abuser.
Many Years, I’m very glad it was helpful to you; same for me!
Remember what the book of James says Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
An arrogant person never overcomes the enemy. They try to do stuff in their own power. They skipped the important step – humbling themselves before God.
I am so sorry for you and your children especially your daughter who has been influenced for the worse by her father’s evil ways. 😢
Much love to you!
I am recently separated( 3 weeks) in my own apartment after 26 years of marriage.I am committed to my vows and believe in the permanence of this most sacred and intimate relationship that our loving,gracious Heavenly Father created.I have been diligently reading,and very occasionally commenting on this blog site for over a year and have found healing and support through the many tragic and powerfully honest stories of incredibly brave women( and a few men).I believe the Lord has brought me to a safe,sane place and I leave the future in His loving hands. I don’t know what Aleea means about Jesus throwing women into the river?? This is not consistent with our bridegroom Jesus who loves and cherishes His bride.I want to encourage all the women here to keep leaning into truth and know how grieved and righteously angry the Lord is about a husbands abuse and neglect of his wife.This is not OK with God!! Leave all judgement to Him but ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern the truth of your situation.
I’m glad you posted and certainly thankful you are taking steps toward healing. Even if those are painful steps. I’m so sorry your dynamic and what you have been through especially 26 years.
I agree with you in that the Lord is NOT OK when a husband is abusive/neglectful toward his wife because ultimately that is a contradiction of the vows taken.
Many of us have been on the receiving end of this for such a long time… crazy making dynamics. The long-term patterns of a husband or wife responding in such a way take their toll on a spouse.
I’m thankful you are feeling the safety and sanity to separate yourself. As you continue to heal and do your own work it will be much clearer if the marriage can have redemptiveness, but so important you are educated on what that looks like authentically and that there are plenty of wise counsel involved.
Prayers for you!
Janice’s post supports your comments and concerns about Aleea’s post. I think it is a crime that Janice has been violated by it.
Janice’s, please stop reading Aleea’s posts. The content is dangerous and disturbing. Sadly, she continues to post comments that are harmful to survivors of abuse. For now, please ignore her writings for your own health and safety.
Thank-you for speaking up. Your voice is valuable here.
Thank you for posting Janice. The first few weeks out of immediate danger are often surreal. It is so wonderful to be out of danger, yet there are still many problems to solve. I want to encourage you that God will not leave you at this time. He hears your prayers, knows your heart and will keep you in perfect peace.
Leslie, Thank you for your response to this problem with Aleea. The whole thing is very disheartening, and though I have been aware of darkness and twisted thinking in her posts, I really had no idea of the depth of what was going on. Nancy said she is angry, and I am, too. For someone to use and abuse this site as she has is offensive, to say the least, both to us and to the Lord. I, for one, will be glad not to have to deal with her anymore.
I know and I’m also sad that she has misused people’s trust and this site and perhaps misrepresented herself.
Did I miss something? What are you talking about JoAnn?
That comment thread was taken down because of blasphemous and damaging comments made by one of the posters. I’m glad it’s down and wish the others were down, but I wish some of the responses had stayed up because they so eloquently worded the love and defense that our Lord Jesus provides for the oppressed
Thank you. I feel such a sense of relief now that they are down too.
I’m sorry. I didn’t intend to take the entire thread down, just one person’s comments. Trying to fix it. I’m not tech savy and just unapproved one person’s posts. But apparently it impacted the thread. I’ve asked Martha to restore it. So hopefully it will be back.
Thank you, Leslie! For that but more for everything you have done for all here!
After all the excitement I have to say:
Thank-you Jesus for being my Lord and Savior, for giving Your life for me. Thank-you for caring about me and fighting for me and speaking absolute Truth in Your Word with every breathe You took on earth! Thank-you for the love and compassion You showed to the woman at the well, to the Samaritans, to the lepers, to the unloved, oppressed and outcast (including me). Thank-you for showing me tangibly the heart of our Father God.
Thank-you Father God for loving me enough to sacrifice your Son. Thank-you that You are the God who sees. That every time I am kicked or beaten down, You reach down with Your balm of healing; every time my heart is wrenched in two, You weep with me; every time the beauty You created in the act of becoming one is defiled, You are sickened; every time a lie is uttered, Your fire of righteousness burns hot! Thank-you that You have been with me through every time I have felt unloved, unwanted, unworthy, stupid, useless, dirty, unrighteous, angry, lost and alone.
Holy Spirit, thank-you for being the Comforter and wiping my tears away. Thank-you for instilling peace that passes beyond all understanding in the midst of terrifying and trying times. Thank-you for gently changing my heart and bringing me to truth. Thank-you for revealing Your kindness and goodness to my heart every day!
Thank-you God for being my God. You are unequivocally the Way the Truth and the Light! And I will trust Your Word and Your Spirit to speak truth into my life forever more and into all eternity!
If there is anyone on this post who can’t fathom how those of us who are going through such junk can hold tight to such faith with peace and joy in our lives despite heartache, please reach out. I am sure one of us, including myself, would be glad to explain to you how having Jesus in our hearts and the Holy Spirit in our lives with God as our true head and covering gives us hope anew every day!
I pray a hedge of protection around the minds and souls of the individuals who may have come across any counsel contrary to the Word. Lord provide supernatural discernment for each of us here, with ears to hear and hearts to receive!
Amen, Jane! ❤️✝️❤️
I have also been blessed by Patrick Doyle’s videos and teaching as many here have also testified to.I believe the Holy Spirit does indeed guide us into all truth as Gods word states. It is a slow process and at times very painful however His grace is there for every step we take in faith.Leslies teaching about God caring about our safety and sanity was liberating as I was raised by a mom whose favorite bible verse was “God hates divorce”. She proudly and self-righteously stayed with my dad even after she learned about how he sexually abused me as a child. Her misguided understanding of scripture as well as my legalistic upbringing kept me in a 26 year marriage to an emotionally unavailable man who has failed to ” leave and cleave”. We are now in mediation for legal separation and I am living on my own. I pray for my husband and have peace about my future as he is in Gods hands.Perhaps with me gone he will face the truth about his priorities and disordered relationships. It seems unlikely given his age and level of denial,however I am continuing to embrace the life that the Lord has provided for me. This is not a site anyone would wish to be part of yet it is truly a miracle that I found Leslies teaching and recognized it as truth.Keep on asking,keep on seeking,keep on knocking and the door shall be opened… Don’t accept lies,half-truths,deception from anyone, especially from a man who claims to love you and care for you!
I am so sorry you endured this now and as a child. It seems the greater betrayal sometimes is that of the person you expect to protect and rescue you. I am sorry that the legalistic twisting and spiritual abuse was compounded on top of everything you were going through. I encourage you to continue your brave journey to freedom from oppressive sin by following as the Spirit leads you and I pray you receive healing for the trauma and pain of your past.
To those who commented to me yesterday, I did briefly see your remarks and had not responded yet. (At least I don’t think I missed any). Thank you.
May the good, loving, and gracious LORD protect HIS people.
I got the temporary domestic violence protection order today. I have to go to court again next week to make it permanent. I’m so sad. My wedding day was the happiest of my life and I still love him so much. I was really having trouble deciding to get the order until I spoke with one of my doctors. She explained that my h has a personality disorder and is not really capable of the love I feel for him. She said this situation and his reactions are textbook. Obviously I would rather hear that everything will be ok. Still I’m relieved that the choice was much more clear. He once made a joke about me being raped. I was shocked but he didnt understand why. Now I know he has no empathy. Anyway really sad day but on the flip side I was brave today and that’s something.
This was brave!! Good for you and your own protection from someone so ‘disturbed’.
I am thankful that you are piecing things together to get safe and sane, yet I know this doesn’t take away the pain of it.
The appt next week is critical, because you are so trauma bonded to him (it seems) you may feel yourself talking yourself out of the permanent one, but listen to the wise people who have come alongside to assist you in safety.
Mindy, it is t just that he doesn’t show empathy he doesn’t show a conscious and that is very scary.
Stay connected and have your support system in place it will be essential to ‘walk this out’.
You are courageous and as you begin to deal more with the residuals of what you have been affected by you will begin to feel freer and discover more of yourself and receive the Love & protection God has over you.
Protection orders are so important. Brave work Mindy! What terms can you pick for the permanent order? I took the full three years and have not regretted it.
A subject for another post is the frequency in which victims break their own protection orders. I hear the statistic is close to 😯 percent of victims get manipulated with one plea or another to break the order. ( a visit, a conversation, a sexual experience) Those actions violate the order.
Praise God for protection orders friends, but let’s not break them prematurely. I would like to hear us discuss what trips us up with getting sucked back into the dynamics of a harmful relationship.
Such an important topic to discuss and expose!
My first thought is something like this;
Although I don’t have actual personal experience in PO.
“Can’t we just move on”
“Can’t we just wipe the slate and start fresh?”
“Let’s let the past be in the past and move forward”
Just some thoughts…
I appreciate the comments and advice. I really don’t think I’m just trauma bonded (though not sure I really understand the term). I feel genuine love for my husband. Honestly it hurts to hear that my marriage is only about the trauma he caused me. I think there was more than that.
I will definitely not break the temporary order because I know he is really angry now. I’m hoping he won’t do something stupid. I think it will be very hard to keep the order for a year. In my state one must be separated for a year before filing for divorce. This would mean we could get really far into this without have a chance to talk. I’m sure that sounds naive. I do realize how much has gone wrong, but I remember a lot of happy times. I wish my marriage was not over just yet. Maybe he will keep going to his DV counselor and maybe the Lord will repair his heart. I think we will find out soon if he has any openness to really commit to counseling. I’m hanging on to my faith that God can make the poorest souls to become holy.
Free and Aly, I agree with you that discussing “what trips us up with getting sucked back into the dynamics of a harmful relationship” could be a good topic for discussion. No doubt there are some on this blog who have been convinced to violate the order and can offer some helpful advice. Mindy, I did comment previously that you will need to have a plan in place in case he does violate the order. Also, I wonder… if it becomes necessary to discuss some things with him, can it be in the presence of a counselor, as a term of the protective order? That way, when things need to be discussed, it can be in a safe place with a mediator. In that context, you will be able to assess whether or not he as really changed.
I’m so sorry for this pain. I want to clarify my ‘it seems’ like trauma bonds based on your postings.
You did a brave and correct thing in getting safe and putting a PO in place. Your Dr. has a much better scope as you are in person with her, so please defer to her.
I do not think that you don’t have genuine love for your husband especially all the good and normal moments that ‘made things seem’ like the relationship was in a good place.
Boy do I get that on many levels.
By trauma bonding it has more to do with the abusive cycle that’s in your marriage environment.
What would you think if your dad or another male ( or Co-worker) thought it would be funny if you were raped?
Does this seem extreme and so misaligned from the person saying it?
Because this came from your spouse who you have been emotionally and physically bonded to it’s really hard to see this objectively as very much a ‘character problem’ or disorder as we see so rampantly.
This is just one example of many disturbing behaviors or comments your h has made toward you.
Ultimately even the word rape is about taking own personal permission and power from them. It’s criminal in our country to commit such an act because it’s violent.
Should this word and his comment every find it’s place in a category of ‘humor’?
I think not! And I don’t want to even think what his deeper thoughts that he doesn’t expose would be.
There is nothing wrong with you in that you say you love him genuinely… I interpret that to mean the part of him when you are treated as you should be with dignity and respect. But this is only in moments I presume?
I also interpret that part of you that loves him, wants the best for him but that you have to stay far from him because he harms you.
It is possible to have Love to offer someone yet stay away from them because they are not in a ‘safe place character and behaviorally’ to embrace all the love and relationship you have to offer.
They miss out. And you miss out on further dynamics of being abused.
I can’t reme the book, but it’s something like..
Love shouldn’t Hurt.?
Mindy, if you can make yourself ‘fact lists’ of the dangerous and destructive behaviors that he has done.
Also, it’s more like a trauma bond in that you are linked to ‘his destructive ways’ of how he does relationship overall.
You or I probably don’t operate at that level nor would we consider it. But when we engage with the abuser at their level in ways we are engaging with them destructively so and giving them the environment to ‘misuse’/abuse.
Plus, this cycle for the abuser escalates, they don’t think their behavior is ‘all that dysfunctional’ because it’s their normal way of being in relationships for numerous reasons.
This is why many of us identify so easily with ‘crazymaking term’
I hope any of this helps you process this pain.
By the way it’s jot your fault that you couldn’t discern if this person was truly an abusive destructive individual prior to the interactions.
Right now you are loving your self and him well while placing the PO to keep him safe and you safe from further harm!
Mindy, you would “talk” through lawyers, counselors,mediators or a trusted clergy member. All communication is in writing and reviewed by the overseer for your safety. No, Mindy do not talk to him! That violates the order and dilutes your case and its’ power. It also gives him access to manipulate you.
I agree that trauma bonding is a complex idea to grasp. I think you can have both love feelings AND trauma bonds going on especially if your partner is highly dissociative.
It might even feel like you have two (or more) distinct men you are dealing with: one that you have wonderful times with, and another that scares and confuses you. Addiction can also cause this “two faced” aspect or multi-division in a personality.
Trauma bonding is sometimes called Stockholm Syndrome, and its just how we explain why a person would willingly go along in situations that are clearly against what is good for them and others.
It was first observed in extreme cases like kidnapping and hostage situations but similar dynamics also appear in other relationships. Basically it’s where one person has all the freedom, power and control, and fluctuates back and forth between different levels of kindness and intentional cruelty.
KEY WORD here, intentional. So I’m not talking here of the average highs and lows of normal human interactions.
So think here of lopsided-power marriages as well as children living with addicts/abusers, or even just keeping old relationships with siblings, friends, and bosses who are well known bullies.
The “hostage” is allowed to see a softer side of their “captor” and begins to identify with that small showing of humanity. To resist the feelings of powerlessness, the “hostage” will sometimes take on the responsibility to “bring out the best” in their captor, and avoid anything that might “set them off”. The hostage will begin to see themselves as the caretaker of the captor, and this gives them back a feeling of some control over their situation.
Then when the captor commits another act of cruelty, the hostage can blame themselves for not being careful enough and determines to do better next time. Sometimes that tiny little challenge of “doing better next time” is all it takes to keep them caught in that relationship cycle.
And speaking of challenges, please be EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA careful now that you have put the protective order in place. Maybe even leave the area for that one year, if possible. That paper being filed is documented proof that he was generating danger and fear. That’s all it is, evidence for your case. That paper is not going to protect you from any dangerous contact. You must be on guard.
A man who will respect a piece of paper would also respect his marriage vows and all the already existing laws about how to treat people.
I don’t know why it’s not being said here but it’s well known among law enforcement that when dealing with a certain kind of abuser, a legal order on a piece of paper often acts as the catalyst that escalates their dangerous behavior.
Like being calling him out for a duel, for honor’s sake.
And it’s the very same with a divorce certificate, its a piece of paper. We still need to think in terms of safety first.
Thank-you. This helps clear up a little on the difference of trauma bonding vs. codependency. I know I am no longer codependent with my husband, his love or not, I got God and I’m good. But I’m still so stuck on wanting him to be okay, to figure out truth and become the honorable man of God that I do see specks of, I think. I care about this, even if we end up separated so that this can happen. I very much still love him and always will, but it is now true love, not puppy love or hopeful love, but it is still hard to speak truth in love because I either don’t want to hurt him or I fear his response to the truth.
And yes, risk escalates at this point. I have been blown away by Mindy’s bravery here and question if I would do the same in her situation as I know my husband has no respect for authority, so what is a piece of paper going to do. Yet for legal purposes its so important, but may be the very thing that escalates a situation. Catch 22 I know. There are many other safety measures such as changed locks, security system, dog, tazer, security escorts at work, keeping phone on you 24/7, etc. Does anyone else have good suggestions here?
I’m replying to your last post to Caroline.
I think I am confused or maybe I am not understanding the level of danger you are truly in?
“as I know my husband has no respect for authority, so what is a piece of paper going to do. Yet for legal purposes its so important.”
Do you mean he doesn’t respect the law or legal system? Has he already found himself in jail or with charges against him for other things?
Your situation sounds so severe.
Ask yourself this, since you say he has NO respect for ‘authority’….
Does it seem disproportional that you are walking around or even daily interactions in proximity with such an individual?
If you know this truth at your core, then is there a voice that is telling you another version to keep you in an unsafe situation?
To Aly for her response to Jane: well said. Anyone paying attention to this blog is worried for you Jane. The situation looks perilous. To answer your question- yes you would do the same thing I did because you are a strong woman who knows she is a child of God.
To all, a book was recently recommended to me called “The Gift of Fear” supposedly excellent for understanding the dynamics of an dangerous/abusive situation BEFORE it escalates to a fatal confrontation. Then I was skimming a Psychology Today article online and came across this quote: “Gavin de Becker says in his bestseller, The Gift of Fear, “Sometimes when we engage, we enrage.”
So I’m passing this on to anyone who sees patterns of rage, violence and extreme control, a legal paper order is just that: paper. You’ve got to be prepared to back it up with something. Leaving an abusive situation is usually the most dangerous point in the abuse cycle because you’ve challenged their ownership and entitlement.
After getting a restraining order against her hubs, a friend of mine woke up in the middle of the night to said husband standing at the end of her bed watching her as she slept. He never touched her, he just laughed, and left by the still locked door. She never knew how he got in.
Please be wise.
Certainly you are bringing up critical things given a physically abusive situation and there are many people on this part of the scale.
The story you shared is still about fear and power over someone. Truly frightening. Each situation has its own level of escalating but often the more sever the more predictable at some level for professionals to be able to advise them best.
Verbal, mental, emotional & spiritual abuse can also take such a toll on a person that they are paralyzed in fear and believe they must stay in the dynamic as that is ‘what they are familiar with’ versus getting out and facing the unknown.
Getting help and getting things exposed to wise counsel will be an avenue for those who do have access to other people.
The more isolated someone is the higher their risk factor I would think.
So what do you think their options are for getting a safety plan in place and getting safe?
Again, not all situations we discussion here are at this fear of life risk, sometimes they can be.
Aly, Caroline, Mindy, et al.,
no jail time, no; though he was suspended for a semester from college due to something he claims he did not do (won’t go into more).
But, when we were dating his radar detector went off and we ran from the cop at over 100 miles an hour, terrified me. After we were married ,but before kids, I was following him in the middle of the night, in my truck with a u-haul attached, moving furniture from his aunt to our new apartment and I was not in a town I knew at all and he was speeding so I was pulled over and I flashed my lights at him and he just took off and kept going while I was pulled over. Again, left terrified. Cop was so pissed at my hubby because he knew I was following him that he did not ticket me and told me if he saw my husband he would ticket him for multiple infractions. This was long before cell phones, so in tears I just started driving straight down that road hoping I would find my husband or a highway that went somewhere I knew. He was hiding several blocks down in a parking lot. I was so upset and not completely trained by him yet to just take it and I fussed at him through my tears. He said it made no sense for both of us to get a ticket, and see I was just fine! I didn’t feel just fine, I was terrified!
He blows by parking security traffic people at the college games he goes to. He intentionally ignores driving laws when he gets frustrated at another driver that doesn’t turn when he would and blows around them near causing an accident or will drive through medians or whatever he deems is okay to do. Won’t stop for the Walmart guy when he wants to check the cart. Won’t stop for any “security” person, he claims they have no real authority. I think he would try to buddy up with a cop to avoid getting a ticket or jail though, this does not mean he respects their authority as he would probably just as soon laugh at them.
Even my pastor said he gave up on trying to be his pastor years ago because he will not submit to my pastor’s authority or teaching at all. He does not submit to the authority of his bosses, hence no job. He would not submit to the authority of his parents or mine, in fact he treats my mother with contempt (after all she’s a woman and she treats me like he does on a much smaller scale because she is also a narc). He will walk past security at a hospital or event knowing he’s not allowed and just act like he should be there (and he usually gets away with it) and he brags that he can do that. As far as I know I am the only person he has stolen from. He lets the dog do his business on other people’s lawns and does not clean it up and when confronted by the neighbors he just laughs at them, then complains about their attitude to me later.
So no, I don’t think a piece of paper would stop him and yes I can see the above scenario that caroline talks about happening, yet, like that story, I doubt he would hurt me (not that he absolutely wouldn’t just percentages wise I doubt it). I think he would try to contact me somehow and coerce, manipulate or frighten me back to him, that’s what I think would happen and he would not go no contact as ordered. He is very sneaky and finds ways “around” the rules. He’s a big loophole believer.
God’s word to me about staying vs going has changed from a clear “stay” to a clear “not yet”, whatever that means. I am ready if I have to leave to stay somewhere safe for the most part. Still need to get a burner phone with all the numbers needed preprogrammed just in case. It costs too much to get a copy of my car key so I can’t do that yet. I don’t know that I am ready to have a dvpo taken out like brave mindy did and force my husband away from my kids, though he has plenty of family to go stay with and I know he would be ok, it is more the dynamic change with him, myself and the kids that I fear overall. He knows that if I leave again for fear of safety that it will not just be for a day, so at least that’s set. I have that sneaky suspicion that something is going to pop up next week but I hope that is just me anticipating the next thing (my son sees this in me, that I am always waiting for the next attack so even the innocent stupid things my husband says are hurtful and feel like an attack instead of a dumb poor emotional quotient move- though maybe it is intentional at those times too, who knows)
I still haven’t had the guts to ask him to make a copy of the key to the gun closet so I can inventory and ensure everythings unloaded and ammo is far from guns etc. I am not sure he will “allow” this and I don’t want the fight. I also have the name of a counselor for my daughter to see if we can work on deprogramming her but I am afraid to bring this up because I can’t really explain to my husband or daughter why I want her to go as she thinks shes fine and of course he thinks shes fine. The counselor has some ideas on what to say, but I don’t think they would fly. That is one thing I am very afraid to ask permission for, because even if I can work the angle and get my daughter to go, I think my husband will see through my reasons and never allow it! And even if you would say that I should take her anyway, if he doesn’t agree, she will shut down and would of course not go then.
Mindy, perilous seems like such a strong word but perhaps that is the picture I am painting. To quote a friend of mine, “Maybe it’s just the way I’m making it sound, maybe I’m just over reacting.” While you and I and the others on this blog know this is not true of my situation, I still feel confused as to how much physical danger you and the others seem to think I’m in. I guess denile is a very deep river and I need to keep praying for the truth to be revealed to me by the Holy Spirit.
Jane, JoAnn, Aly, Caroline, I understand the denial thing. I’ve been going back and forth for a while now. I need to tell you all something so that you can remind me never to go back. I learned something at my psychologist appointment today that for some reason I had not known. 2 weeks ago I was in such a bad state of depression over leaving my husband, his mind games and the asault from the prior weekend, that’s I had to be hospitalized. My husband’s gas lighting literally drove me to be suicidal. I didn’t realize all this until today. I remember the doctors talking to me before the hospital about my husband and his effect on me. I just never incorporated that as the cause of my suicidality. It has been so strange, people ask me when he started treating me this way. I wish I could say after we were married. The truth is it started the day I met him. I feel so embarrassed that everyone saw this happening except me. I’m still just figuring all of this out. My psychologist used the word sociopath today and it scared me. I wonder what else is right in front of me. Anyway I need to remember when I miss my husband or become convinced that this is all an over reaction, that in reality he almost destroyed me.
Mindy, what’s good about what you wrote (Aug 23, 7:24pm) is that getting away from him is allowing you to see things more clearly. As others have said, once you get out of the fog, then you begin to see the situation more clearly. We are so proud of the courage you have displayed here. Keep on leaning on the Lord. He will direct your path.
Jane, I think that your husband would probably eventually find you, unless you get very far away. I also think that getting your daughter into counseling before separating from your h is not going to be helpful, and as you already noted, she doesn’t see the need now. She will, once you take her away from him, so be prepared for her to act out quite a bit, when that happens. That’s when you are going to need the help. Are your older children supportive? You are going to need a good team in your corner for this to work. We are praying for your safety and well- being.
My last reply went down below, but I wanted to speak here too.
Mindy- thank you for sharing whats been going on. I am so sorry you were feeling such terrible despair. Sociopath is a scary word, and I understand being embarrassed about being taken in. But we all have blind spots, we need others because they can see what we cant. When you are the focus of a sociopath’s goals they tailor their attentions to you, so others would not be moved by the same tactics.
Jane- Your husband is indeed a rebel. I wonder is he still somewhat afraid of God? My husband was not violent or especially lawless, but spiritually and morally he answered to no one but me and of course he was lying to me! But he was still terrified of my prayers and of God squashing him out like a tiny bug. Is your husband concerned about God’s intervention or does he think he has the direct line there too?
I sense that you are actually 100% ready to spring into action if things get suddenly violent, but you just don’t have the solid green GO light from God in your soul just yet. Is that close?
Your daughter’s loyalty to dad seems like the biggest worry, and that’s not insignificant. If this is the case I suggest you continue to stealthily work on your own restart plan, keep watch on hubs like your life depends on it, and pray like crazy.
Prayer: Lord we know you see every detail of every story and we only see bits and pieces. Father give each of us enough of your strength to take the step right in front of us. Whatever it may be.
Help us to see your hand in the long road behind and help us see that you are leading each of us on to greater intimacy with you. Help us trust you with the outcome, because you are the good storyteller. In Jesus name, Amen
We can continue to want good things for those we love, even when we are holding them accountable for the bad things they have chosen. Consequences are LOVE.
I have the same sense, Caroline, about Jane being ready to spring into action.
We are all praying for you Jane.
mindy, caroline, nancy, aly… everyone,
I am so proud of you for your willingness to be vulnerable here Mindy. Thank-you for sharing your story. You’re absolutely understood when you talk about the embarrassment when you look back with those 20/20 goggles that let you see clearly and go, what the heck is wrong with me that I didn’t see that. Especially when it was there from the beginning as it was for me too. But a lot of this is due to the goofy glasses we wear from FOO stuff and other prior traumas that color and distort our vision and our thinking. Not everyone here experiences this, it is not unusual for the abuse to start after the wedding, but I understand in cases like ours that there are usually past traumas that set us up to accept this behavior. Be sure to address these things too as you see your therapist.
Yes, you are all right. I am ready to leave, if and when, and I suspect its really just when, the Spirit leads. My biggest fear is having to take my daughter. I can only do this if I fear for safety and take out a dvpo, and yes, she will be so ticked at me. I would like her to be established with a counselor ahead of time so there is some rapport, but again, I think you are right, there would be no fruit, yet maybe its worth trying as it is what my counselor recommends (and it’s a totally different place so not a financial motive).
As to God’s authority. My husband has that so darn twisted. I think he thinks he fears God, but his behavior doesn’t show it and he is very religious. Spiritual abuse has been a big part of what has kept me “in-line” or at least trying to be the good wife. He loves the power that being a Christian allows, praying for healing and demonic deliverance and commanding the body to be healed and commanding the demons to go, and the pride he feels when he can do this and how he can tell others how they are wrong when they try to do the same or don’t get the healing, etc. I don’t see the evidence of love behind it. I see celebrating my husbands ability to wield power and not celebrating God’s love or the awesomeness of what has happened for the individual. It breaks my heart. I don’t know how to really answer if he fears God, but part of me is afraid the answer is no, and I know he doesn’t fear my prayers because he sees me as weak and useless, even before God (don’t worry, I see how God answers my prayers and speaks to me so very clearly- I know God hears my prayers too).
My counselor is satisfied enough with my safety plan that now she is working on the parts of me that make it easy for me to be stuck or get sucked back in. The self loathing, guilt, insecurity, worthlessness, you name it… I don’t feel like much of a person, and realizing the one person that I thought truly loved me (at least family wise) really doesn’t, has messed with me quite a bit. I understand how Mindy could get to where she did. They say they love you, they miss you, yet treat you like the complete opposite. My husband messed with my mind yesterday because my middle son was on another date with his girlfriend last night, spending as much time together before school starts as they can. My h said, “I know what it feels like to want to spend all of your time with someone”, and then recounted the early days when he would do this. Mind you, this was done in a suffocating way. Even back then I couldn’t even go to the grocery store without him wanting to come along. I don’t know if that was control or just wanting to be with me but it was smothering (though he loved taking the opportunity to tell me how to shop and what to buy so bummer). He then said something else to reel me in and make me feel guilty and I am just glad I can’t remember the words this am. I wanted to journal them when I got to work this morning so I tried to file them away but I guess God is protecting my heart from these words and I am glad!
My middle kid understands that the way my husband acts is wrong and hurtful and my h arrogance and putting down of others ideas and mean teasing does tic off my son quite often. My h has scared and embarrassed and hurt his girlfriend too many times. But I know it would really upset my son if we separated, I know he is afraid of this, yet when tensions get high in the house it drives him to suicidal thinking (but not depression). He recognizes the oppressive spirit in our home and has decided he definitely wants to go away to college next year after his gap year and, now that I have heard this, I support him fully though it will cost money I do not yet have (praying this will change). My oldest, he can’t be “supportive” because he does have sensory processing disorder (SPD) which is an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). This means his ability to understand the situation emotionally and process it is a bit limited. He is afraid of my husbands moods and responses and will walk on egg shells most of the time. He wants to do anything my h asks to keep things okay, so not really sure what his response will be if I leave or have to do a dvpo and have my h leave. He may just say forget it and get his own place if he can afford one, but I hope he doesn’t, I don’t want that stress on him as he is trying to do one more semester of college (though I honestly wish he would drop out and go to mechanic school or something as school is also such a stress for him).
Support wise, I have my mom AND my dad on board finally, my office staff and coworkers as they are afraid of him as well, my church family that knows about this including the pastors and the elders, my doctors and counselor, and a couple of very special friends, as well as this wonderful crew here. I know I still struggle with accepting truth in this situation but I am continuing to hear what is said and I am keeping my eyes and forebrain open as I take one step at a time. This is what my counselor and some very special people in my life have said. Trust God with the outcome, whatever it will be (though it kills me not to know the end game) and move forward one foot, one little bit at a time.
Thank-you all for your wonderful love and support.
I’m sorry if this posts out of alignment!
I have more to respond to via your last post.
But do you think you could get your burner phone ‘today’ get your numbers placed where you need them and secure other necessary docs?
bummer, now that I was reading the other posts from the newest blog I remember what was said.
I asked my husband how the books he was reading were going, he has now bought boundaries in marriage. I pray it helps him understand what I am doing but as his heart is coming from the wrong place I am afraid it will make him feel justified in being mean, here’s to hoping. He said he was reading a lot and he had a lot of thoughts on it that he would like to bounce off of me. Yikes, I don’t like that ever. Last insight he had was that he was speaking TRUTH but without love! He has not had another counseling session in a couple of weeks and doesn’t go back til next week. I encouraged him to bounce those off his counselor first so they can discuss the experiences and emotions behind these. He then said he would but he prefers to do this with me because “he trusts me”. Heart cut. Don’t trust me. I am pretending! I didn’t say, what truth, you are lying and manipulating and hurting me on purpose. But I know the counselor is likely to confront this. But that little, he trusts me, was a grab to get me back emotionally. It also cuts me that if he trusts me, why did he move the money out of the sock drawer and hide it. Why is hiding money to begin with. Why does he look for where I am if I am not home when he expects and I don’t answer his text within 10 min. Another lie! This hurts.
Jane, do you have a plan for what to do if your daughter refused to leave with you? If you know she is extremely unlikely to be hurt by your h, then I hope you would still leave in an unsafe situation. Of course I don’t have children so my situation is more simple. I just worry that you would hesitate and the situation could escalate.
Just remind yourself, with every breath, that you are a child of God with innate worth and a unique mission. You are loved for all that you are by the God that Sees.
actually my h is going to another game with my brother in law tonight out of town so I may have time to find certain documents and photocopy them. I am afraid to take the originals because he may notice. My kids may ask about it, not sure what I’ll say. I’m also not sure that I can find these documents, he is incredibly disorganized and we have had to reorder birth certificates, etc over and over with the kids, etc.
To ALL: What are the most important docs to have copied?
Might could worry about burner phone tomorrow morning. Not sure what to buy or how, probably will just go to Walmart and ask someone there.
I have to smile at you and love you, your words are beautiful and I hope you practice them in a mirror regularly!!
I have been told that I must secure my daughter. If I leave for safety and can’t get her, I need to get one of my boys to bring her to a safe location. And I guess if I am that worried and she refuses, then I will have to get the police involved. That idea just sucks! But no, I will not stay if I am sure she is safe and I am not, no worries.
Jane, about making the copies….just explain that it is important to have extra copies of important papers and keep them in a safe place, since your h is very unorganized. You could take them to a bank and put them into a safe deposit box. That would be the best place for them in any case. You will need birth certificates for the kids and yourself, social security cards, insurance papers, car and house titles, names and numbers of your insurance people. Passports if you have them. Be strong and take action!!
The thought of trying to find all of that in the messes all through out the house is overwhelming. I suspect most of the ss card and birth certificate stuff is going to be in the gun closet which I can’t access. Crap how did I get myself so screwed up and deep into a controlled and confusing and overwhelming situation? I wouldn’t put it past him to be hiding those papers from me as he is the money that he moved.
Sometimes this is so overwhelming that you just want to say, forget it, I’m stuck, I just can’t figure out how to do everything I need to to be fully prepared, run my business, earn an income, keep up at least with laundry and dishes, try to invest at least some time with my kids, and invest so much mental and emotional energy into the whole situation. I know I can’t give up but I feel like I am barely keeping my head above water right now.
Please continue with prayers and that these papers will miraculously be in the right places that I look tonight.
If possible, take a deep breath and try to step back from thinking about ‘all tasks’ and focus on one item.
Since you have support system in place and few people who understand your dynamic.., can you ask one of them to help assign a task or ‘tasks’ being like an operations mgr. of your team.
Jane, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. If it helps you to make lists and prioritize tasks, that can help. Overwhelm is really about biting off more than you can chew. As my very busy daughter says, “I’m eating this elephant one bite at a time.”
Also, may I suggest that certain household tasks be assigned to your kids? They can do their own laundry and wash the dishes. Even a three year old can dust the baseboards. Relieve yourself of some things that others can and should do. This will help you very much and it will help them to learn to take some responsibility around the house. You are a working mother, so you shouldn’t be the only one to take care of the home.
You are going to get through this, but I hope that you can make it a little easier on yourself in the meantime.
thanks guys, I’ll try to delegate what I can. An amazing friend offered to pick up the burner phone. Much help and so kind, actually blew me away.
Being that I am home very little I can’t enforce much around the house for help. My h sets the tone for this and the fact that they do more than he does at times really cheeses them off. My oldest is in school full time and works 30hrs a week so I mostly ask him to pick up the bonus room that he is in all the time and take care of his area like the bathroom. It’s like pulling teeth to get this done. The middle works 40hrs a wk but certainly could help out more. At least he takes off the trash on occasion. My daughter is probably the most helpful and will surprise me by folding clothes or doing dishes from time to time. It’s a fight though when I ask her to do something. Given their dad was the one that raised them, he never properly set boundaries or expectations and it was very hard for me to set those when I wasn’t home enough (I used to work 120-140 hours a wk- no that’s not a typo). Now that I own my own business I work about 80hrs a wk so I am home more but its so late in the game its hard to set boundaries and make them stick. If I was a single parent, even now, it would be easier. A large part of why they don’t want to do anything is they are resentful to their dad for not doing anything yet telling everyone else they don’t do enough and aren’t good enough.
I’m sorry I sounded so pathetic and desperate above. I am just panicking at thinking about trying to find these important papers. There are so many hundreds if not thousands of loose papers in various stacks and areas throughout the house. I will let the Holy Spirit be my guide and trust that I will find what I am supposed to.
If I can be praying for anything for you all please let me know. I find praying for others is a recharger too.
Jane- How I understand how all the fears and pressures mingle together and create what looks like a giant mob. Its likely not as big a mess as a it feels. Make all the fears/stresses be still and line up, take them on one at a time.
I was never afraid of my husband being aggressive and dangerous but I was always afraid he would leave me and then I would die. So my survival was still connected to doing everything “the right way” and therefore not rocking the boat. I know its not the very same, but I guess I’m saying I know how the mind plays tricks…
Also- The dishes and the laundry and the meals the toilets and anything else that is easily done by teenagers the world over.: screw them. Your kids are not actually “kids”. I cleaned older peoples homes for money starting when I was 15 years old. So these are not things that only you can or should do.
2nd- pray over those paper stacks and follow Jo Ann’s list. Ask God to bring the needed ones to your hands & take pics with your phone in case you lose possession of them again.
3rd- when those accusations come do not waste energy defending yourself or drowning in self contempt. Even with the kind that plague us during the dark of night there’s usually some truth in them, so the only thing left for us is repentance and gratitude for where God is leading us TODAY.
This is really difficult stuff. Praying for you sister.
You can pray for these things for me, one little, one big: 1st I need a good sized pocket of time this next week to get all my homeschooling books and supplies reorganized and loosely plan out all the September & October events, projects, etc. I would prefer if my kids were not in the middle of it.
2nd, I am really wanting to buy a little house next to our property to use for a B&B for half the year, and a trauma recovery retreat house during the off season. I really want to be able to offer it free of charge, so I didn’t want to take on a mortgage payment. Neighbor wants 100K. Its way too much for me, but perhaps God has a sock drawer, ha ha !!
I wish I had more time to interact with all of you, my dear sisters. But I don’t, at this point in time. I do try to keep up with you all, and pray for you all. And I praise God with all my heart for the beautiful way that the Lord ministers through his daughters, for his daughters.
Jane, my husband, who was “so busy” with his ministry to the church, was happy to let me do all the cooking and clean up, while he busied himself emailing congregants, etc.) One day, my 17 year old daughter declared: “The person who cooks should not have to clean up, most day!” So she made a schedule, Dad weekdays, me the one weeknight he was out, her weekends when she wasn’t busy with homework. She wrote up the schedule, handed it to her dad, and said, basically, “This is what we are doing, since Mom does most of the cooking.” To my surprise, he complied.
I mention this, because we “have been trained” to do everything and have low expectations. If you matter-of-factly say, “This is not working for me. I need you to _____” there are sometimes surprising results.
Regarding the papers:agreeing with you in prayer that the omniscient and kind Spirit of God would direct you to those necessary papers. Have your phone ready to take pictures, in case you haven’t Time to photograph them.
I cannot believe the hours you have slaved away for your family, while your abuser (NOT husband) has loafed about.
On another note, I think I am feeling the Holy Spirit’s righteous anger that the church has given “safe harbor” to so many scores of absolutely unchristian men, and colluded with the enemy in the pretense that these imposters are Christian. These men would NEVER have found shelter in the early church. They would have been met with an Ananias and Saphira-type confrontatio, I believe. Praying for our mighty King and Priest tocleanse His Church, that it might be a true sanctuary for His redeemed and beloveds, male and females.
Mindy, YES!!! That was a brave thing to do and I give you a GREAT BIG HUG for mustering up the courage to file the protective order. You still need to have a good plan in place in case he doesn’t honor it, so talk to a counselor or even a policeman to work out a plan for what to do in case he violates the order. That will be important. Keep your phone with you at all times and have speed dial set for emergency numbers.
Again, I commend you for taking action. Feel good 🙂
Aly, good questions.
Disclaimer!! This is just MY opinion based on observance of others and my own research. I have never had to run for my life from a spouse, confronting my crazy brother is not the same thing. I have only ever been a safe house for other fleeing people.
So Aly, I think you are so right in pointing out that isolation breeds more danger and risk. Further, everyone I have read says never confront when you are alone with the person, and always have an emergency exit plan that includes unadvertised counter force. This resonates with scripture: You go out as sheep among wolves, be wise as a serpent harmless as a dove. Matt 10
Ignorance is never our friend, so this is true for the less violent situations as well. If you think hubs is hiding something like pornography, drugs, or prostitutes/affairs, educate yourself on what hiding those things might look like. If you see rage and control issues research about domestic violence. Understand what you are dealing with.
Being nice and always thinking the best of others works really well for getting tips as a waitress, but it will destroy you in real relationships. Unearned trust is a foolish thing. People of goodwill do not mind being tested before trusted, but abusers and addicts will get angry when having to prove their trustworthiness.
Document whatever you can secretly and share with your “team” that understands what’s really going on. They will help you remember the truth when you are feeling weak and drawn back into the abusers web. That team could include a counselor, a pastor, a family member, a friend who has been through it, the police. People who you know for sure will believe you and you can trust NOT to tip your hand to the abuser.
Note: that last part is really critical, especially in religious circles, sad to say. Many well meaning people, sometimes even pastors/counselors, have actually been the trigger for increased violence on a family because they “helped out” by talking to the abuser and listening to “both sides of the story”. In other words, a lot of BS lies about the victims. This is why assembling a trusted team is so important.
So with my earlier statement about legal orders, I’m not saying don’t ever get them, just understand that they are only symbolic protection, and if the orders are broken without consequences they actually empower the abuser. What I see being needed is more solid barriers or significant distance between the victim and the danger. My sister & her kids moved 3000 miles away because thats where her safety was, but that’s extreme for most folks.
Also if you can, make copies of your evidence and leave them with or send them to a safe other. Before my sister left her husband, she had made a video recording of her husband screaming the craziest stuff at her. Her phone was recording through her shirt pocket so you could only see shadowy outline images of him as he yelled. After she got to my house (we are in a different state), she let me watch it. Soon after that, her phone was stolen, so I think I’m the only other person to have seen that video.
I found a group of amazing quotes from the book I mentioned
Caroline, I have spent the last hour reviewing and contemplating the information on the site you recommend. Thank you!!
These are amazing.
This quote hits home:
The worst response when someone fails to accept “no” is to give ever-weakening refusals and then give in.
― Gavin de Becker, The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence
This is what happened to me when we were dating and continued to happen fairly regularly up until this past May when I learned that I am being abused. But I just realized this continued coercive and forceful behavior is wrong and abusive even in marriage a couple weeks ago. Sad.
Thank-you for these quotes. It is reinforcing that my previous tolerance and dropping of boundaries has allowed this to continue. In order to not remain a victim, I have to take responsibility for my own actions and inactions and how they are part of all of this.
BRAVO Seeing The Light!! I stopped reading this blog because of Alea…She (he!!!) constantly hijacked every thread, spewing crap…sorry, but I call it the way I see it, and trying to show just how intelligiant they think they are!
I come on here for SUPPORT, not to get a lecture from someone who doesn’t truly understand abuse!
I hope Leslie bans anyone in the future who comes on here and tries to “preach” their opinion!!
I share your hope Teresa, that Leslie would ban known ‘preachers’.
That was the objection that I had about James, as well. I had no problem that he had a different opinion. My issue was that because he did not share himself openly by answering the blog question, or choose to support others in his posts, he ‘preached’ from a position of superiority, as opposed to ‘entering in to’ healthy discussion as an equal.
It felt demeaning.
The situation with ‘Aleea’, especially not knowing if ‘she’ is a ‘he’ was very unsettling.