A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Choose your own misadventure

This story is a composite of many many accounts we’ve heard from victims.
Take a deep breath,  and select the options that best describe your case from each set of bullet points below.

At first my church was okay with me

  • disclosing the abuse to a pastor/ elder/ women’s ministry leader
  • separating for abuse
  • divorcing for abuse

But then my ex had a meeting with one of the pastors and I know he told them a bunch of lies about me, because all of a sudden they were

  • rebuking me for not being submissive enough
  • reminding me  “You’re a sinner too!”   (sin-leveling)
  • questioning my faith
  • questioning my prayer life
  • questioning my sanity
  • inferring things about my hormones
  • telling me I wasn’t really an abuse victim
  • wanting to send us to a marriage enhancement program
  • telling me to attend couple counseling
  • pushing me towards reconciliation
  • trying to push me out of the church

I don’t know exactly what he told them, but I know it was soon after that they treated me differently. They

  • bullied me
  • criticized me
  • condemned my actions
  • pointed out how my husband was ‘trying really hard’ to be a godly husband
  • wrote things on Facebook or put things in sermons or newsletters that were veiled sleights on me for the choices I’d made
  • shunned me
  • did not answer my calls /emails/ letters
  • took a long time answering—  and when they did answer, their answers just avoided the issues
  • called me to a meeting to excommunicate me

41 Comments

  1. Lynette

    I am not an abused spouse, but much of those were what was recently done by the church to me when I confronted some ministry leaders about what I saw going on in said ministry. I was feeling very defeated, I can only imagine what actual abused spouses must feel.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Lynette- Sounds like you got a taste of it alright. I don’t know your circumstances or the situation, but I do know that in organizations where power and position and money are on the line, everyone is expected to go along with the company line. A church is to be radically different. Many are not. And many are not really even churches.

  2. fiftyandfree

    I was so very fortunate that by the time I found my last counselor I had enough wisdom and insight to NOT allow the counselor to be alone with my anti-husband. The counselor simply could not understand it, but my intuition, or the Holy Spirit gave me a good, strong, gut level fear of letting the counselor talk to my anti-husband alone. And in hindsight I can see that I was definitely wise to deny him that opportunity! I did submit to couple’s counseling which was bad enough because the anti-husband tried to convince that counselor that I was a hormone driven, raging lunatic, among other things. We had 5 couple’s sessions and in each session the anti-husband cried, faked humility and a contrite heart so well that if I hadn’t been living with him for 12 years he would have convinced me (!), and lied incessantly. Then when we got home he’d twist things the counselor said to further intimidate and manipulate me at home. I wish I would have tape recorded the sessions because it is mind boggling how the anti-husband could distort the counselors words and use them to intimidate me later.

  3. Barnabasintraining

    Oh…The things I could add….

  4. Jeff Crippen

    This post needs an “All of the Above” checkbox at the bottom:)

    • I was just thinking that! Most (not all) of these amply to my situation with the church in San Diego. So glad I’m away from there and have absolutely no contact with any of them!

  5. This is strikingly concise. I just smh throughout reading the entire thing. If only I could have seen it all coming at the time . . .

  6. Katy

    oh yes been there, done that. I did finally find a counselor at the end (who was outside of the church) who helped me a bit. But even he was unprepared for dealing with abuse.

    I’m really shocked that domestic abuse is not a required education credit for those seeking counseling certificates/degrees.

    • Yep Katy. Isn’t it shocking? The ignorance, misinformation and misunderstanding of so many mental health professionals when it comes to domestic abuse… I would like to say it is scandalous, but that would not be the correct word because for something to be a scandal a lot of people have to know about it and be scandalized by it. But very few people-in-the-street realize that domestic abuse is not a required education credit for those seeking counseling certificates/degrees. We need to keep telling people this fact, so that people WILL become scandalized about it, and training colleges will start incorporating domestic abuse education in their core curricula.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Just like the nature and tactics of evil are not taught in seminaries – the very places where the shepherds of the flock are supposed to be prepared to guard the sheep against those very things.

  7. Now Free

    Another area where this evil desperately needs to be acknowledged…in our legal systems. The “no fault” divorce system is not helping at all.

    On a more positive note, 2 days ago our local paper had a front page story about the police forming a special unit to deal with domestic violence. The officers are specially trained and are very eager and willing to help the victims and to lay charges.

    Being a victim of severe physical abuse by my “husband” (although it did not happen where I now reside), I am heartened by this news, and have been keeping special watch over the happenings of this new awareness and work of the police and various other community agencies involved. I’ve also been helping other victims of abuse in my community, and hope to offer further assistance when these difficult legal proceeding (separation and divorce) are over. They are difficult because my “husband’, with his lying and covert- aggressive tactics, is delaying and obstructing which should be a relatively quick and fair settlement.

    I also suffer from PTSD, and am receiving counselling. He has been spreading vicious lies about me, and there are some people who appear to believe him, unfortunately.

    • Yes, legal abuse is terrible. And rampant. Abusers often use the legal system to bully and further abuse their victim, and in many situations the judges, the lawyers and the custody evaluators and GALs (guardian ad litem — lawyers employed by the State to represent the interests of the children) are ignorant of the dynamics of domestic abuse and have been enlisted to believe the myths that abusers promote.

      Legal abuse is one form of Systemic Abuse. Another common form of Systemic Abuse is abuse via the mental health system, where the abuser enlists mental health professionals to diagnose his victim as mentally ill.

      • Now Free

        How about systemic abuse through friends, family and business associates? He’s been spewing false accusations about me ever since I left the marriage. The letters his lawyer wrote since that time have been horrific…echoing his malignant, venomous and hurtful lies, especially the first letter days after the separation.
        I have never responded in kind, did not even instruct my lawyer to write nasty (and true) things about “husband.”

        On our first court date this week, I finally met his lawyer. I decided to be nice to her regardless, and made small talk with her. I liked her…we could have been friends in a different situation, had a cup of tea together, just hang out, I felt so comfortable with her and I’m sure she felt likewise with me. But this is “war”, I’m afraid, and she will likely continue to protect him legally.

        I don’t think “husband” was pleased that we got along so well. 🙂

      • While spreading slander to friends and family and business associates is indeed awful, I would not call that systemic abuse, but social abuse. I am using the term systemic abuse to designate particular systems that we have in society: the legal system, the health system, the disability support system, the education system. But that’s just the way I’m using the term; I’m not saying that my use of the term is the only ‘correct’ usage. I picked it up from my reading somewhere, and I find it useful, that’s all.

  8. Memphis Rayne

    Now Free, and Barb……loooooong heavy sigh…..I get so upset, I need not comment on this, I think I exhaust myself on the issues above.

  9. Memphis Rayne

    In my perspective I honestly cannot tell which system is worse. The church is in a tie for first place because I think most make the assumption these two venues (church and legal system) will be there last refuge for help, when the time comes and they are actually ready to get out, these two places fail them miserably with all the evil twists and turns we discuss on this blog, it apply s to both church and legal system…putting the victims in continual double binds where there is no way out. OK. I said something but thats it!! Thats all Im going to say!! = )

  10. Now Free

    Memphis, I’ve been though the system of church abuse as well, and that is why I am no longer attending church. I am open to finding a new church but will be even more cautious and circumspect in the future. When I started attending this new church a few months back, I told very few people about the abuse, 4 to be exact, and that included the pastor. The others were people who knew us at another church, 3 and 4 decades ago. I guess they fell for his false persona of righteous and charming behaviour at the time. True hypocrite he was. He continues his hypocritical posturing today.

    I know Memphis, it is very tiring to try and deal with our situation. I don’t know how abusers ever get the energy to keep on being so hostile and ugly in their behaviours towards their victims. In time they will be dealt with by God. In the meantime, we need to keep on trying to live our lives as best we can. It’s hard, but I find that God always provides. I know you have been blessed by God’s continued guidance.

    At the conference this week, he blew his usual cover. He tried to interrupt the judge..twice. Didn’t work. Even though the second time he thought it would work by calling the judge “your honour”. Life goes on… 9_9

  11. Gods Grace

    Well, I am new to this forum and so very thankful. I am looking forward to ALL that Jeff, and Barbara have to offer. Listening to the comments that have been made by other’s that have been down that ugly road with an abuser.
    For now, I have separated from an 18 yr marriage. You would say “How did you not know” Were there not sign’s. He’s a GREAT guy right, he is having just a bad day. My hope is to be a more loving, caring, supportive, provider, WIFE, I would say to myself. Oh goodness,
    Proverbs 31, The wife of Noble Character. That one always stuck with me. And then there is verse 23 : Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. Well, my husband is not an elder, but he is very involved in our community, and is known for his expertise in the field of sports. Parent’s, students, co-workers, people in general who meet him think he is the most wonderful man, and has his respect. He presents himself very well. “BUT”, there is a very different person that comes home when the world is not watching. And that has been the hole in my heart for so many years. Like everyone has been sharing, we as survivors of abuse in marriage, always have a smile, always supportive, but knowing in our hearts that something was wrong, something very wrong. “I just can’t seem to put a thought to what it is”. Psalm 143: 1-12. I would pray this prayer, and trust in the Lord with an understanding of His love for me. Even those days of craziness, I felt the Lord with me.
    Since I have been separated for 10 weeks now, I have been seeking the Lords council, and scripture, and a Christian Councilor. A few pictures to put into your mind of how my husband processes info. He is VERY good at controlling, manipulate, I think a term that is used out there is Passive/Aggressive, and to save on typing time, he is 100%. All the listings of an abuser, he is that and some. What has been so very interesting, some of the family members have been subject to his wrath, were very concerned about my well being and safety. Now that I removed myself from the home, I have become the one that should seek help, find yourself, cause, we will call him Tom, has really felt sorry for what he has done for 18 yrs, and in one month has made this AMAZING turn around and has spoken to every family member as to ALL that he is doing to do it right. I have a very large family, and he has convinced them all but a few that he is new. He is now professing he is a Godly man, and elevates himself to this place of Sainthood. Sharing that he is a Christian. But I tell you, he is drinking milk. The abuse that has been felt for 18 yrs had taken me to a place where I didn’t even know who I was. The craziness that one feels is horrid. Nobody knows what that is like unless you experience it.
    Haven’t found it in the church, since I have not a church at this time, but the family I am receiving it. And subject of Divorce, THAT is what everyone is waiting for. WHAT am I deciding. Not where can I come along side you and be there, or lets read scripture together and understand Gods work, it’s WHAT are you going to do, u Sinner. Yikes, thanks Family. What got me to your sight was on line, and I read Interview with Jeff Crippen “Awakening the Evangelical Church to D. Violence and abuse in the midst.” Thank you so very much. So very helpful, and gave me so much comfort. I will continue to seek scripture on this since I do not plan to go back to this abuser. So, I would like to post later and continue with my story. Not familiar with how this works, can I start my own Blog here.

    • Hi Joanne, welcome to the blog! Yes you can share as much of you your story you want to.
      Your husband sounds like he is a classic abuser in how he’s working double-time to spread misinformation and recruit the extended family to be his allies. So glad you are seeing through it and are determined not to be swayed by the pressure.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Welcome Joanne! Great to have you here and glad we have been of help to you. Blog away indeed!

    • Barnabasintraining

      Hi Joanne. Welcome. I’m glad you found this site too. It has been a life line for me.

      He sure does sound like a classic abuser.

      Tom, has really felt sorry for what he has done for 18 yrs, and in one month has made this AMAZING turn around and has spoken to every family member as to ALL that he is doing to do it right.

      This gets a big snort from me. Puhlease.

      • fiftyandfree

        Hi Joanne. I’m pretty new here too, but I found Barbara’s book quite some time ago (my memory is foggy, probably two years ago) and it helped to free me from the straitjacket of scripture which counselors, friends, and pastors were using to try and convince me to stay with the abuser. I am so thankful for Barbara’s book because it gave me so much peace and comfort with my decision to finally get divorced after 12 years of abuse. I hope your counselor is wise to the wiles of abusive men. Barbara’s book helped me immensely but it was the workings of the Holy Spirit which ultimately freed me. Seek Him and His will and He will guide you.

    • Hi Joanne, I am glad you left. He is not a rare breed in all his tactics and manipulatoins, also regarding his newly found “sainthood” that is obviously too easy for abusers to acquire these days……I mean if it were to happen randomnly, like without you changing a thing, then I could see maybe your family going “wow, he is doing work”……But remind them to add the 1 plus 1, meaning YOU want away from his abuse, YOU made the change, what he is doing is simply reacting to that, just a temporary reaction from him to get you to bend to his will again……the MIW was always bending an ear, claiming sainthood, crying, working for change ONLY when I stood up for myself and kids and had him removed from the home, or we left in the middle of the night on our own….what he is doing and I am glad you are aware is a complete and utter LIE!! He sounds like a stellar “”Actor”” same as the MIW…..I am sooooo glad you are out!!!! All his fake sainthood will never truly mask what he is, and same as the MIW sounds like he cannot maintain his coolness at all times in front of others…..I hope you write back. He only wants attention and sympathy, and doesnt want to lose the ability to coeherce you back with him….its sick that abusers use God as their front man, just something to hide behind. Its sick and wrong. Your on the right path for sure….cannot wait to hear back

  12. Mary Lloyd

    Hi everyone and welcome Joanne,
    I am new here too and still finding my way around. I have recently been brave enough to put the label “abuse” on what has happened to me over the last 25 years. It wasn’t just my husband but also my church, and others since. My HB is one of those guys like yours, who can charm the birds from the trees, and they all line up and soak it in. He is intelligent, funny, surely not someone who would intentionally damage another person, wait, it must be my fault: (sarcasm) if I could just be a little more tidy, a little more efficient, a little more this or that….When I found out that he had been having multiple affairs with men all through our marriage, that was bad enough. I finally saw I could never be what he wanted. It was the start of the sorrows here, and then looking back at all the lies that have just fallen from his mouth so easily, his eyes wide with innocence, like how dare I suggest he was up to no good?
    It is funny how God has a way of getting your attention. I had been watching a film called “notes on a scandal”, which was about control in the workplace. It rang a bell inside me and I started to follow a search which led me here. My search turned up covert-aggressive, and then narcissistic personality disorder: like you I was ticking all the boxes and saying “yep, that’s him!”. How did I get myself into this mess?
    I am still here with him in the family home, privately working on a strategy, not willing to lose any more of the things I considered to be of value. First of all I have signed up for the freedom programme, a course run by the local womens’ aid to assist women who have suffered abuse of different kinds. It starts tomorrow: I am scared because it is a group thing: what if the others there blab about what I share? There could be repercussions. It might not be the right thing for me. I know I need help to break away and stop somehow doing what he manoevres me into. (sorry folks, uk spellings here, hope you can make sense of what I am saying).
    So grateful of this place to read and write and listen and learn. Please pray for me!
    Much love from Mary

    • Mary I will pray for you. And I’m happy to see a British speller here — I honour British spelling as it’s what we use in Australia. I have forced myself to use US spelling on this blog (counseling with one ‘L’ has to be consistent in all our tags, for example), and in my book Not Under Bondage I made the conscious decision to use US spelling because I knew that was going to be my biggest market, but believe me, it hurt. And it grates on me still when I have to write it. When WordPress puts a red line under some of my most beloved spellings, it annoys me, — colour, honour, Saviour, behaviour, targetting, labelling, etc. So hey, I’m happy to have another person on my side in spelling. 🙂

    • fiftyandfree

      Hi Mary. I’m sorry you need to be here. I can’t imagine the pain you must feel right now. I will pray for you too. (I was betrayed, but not in that way… with men, I just can’t imagine). My ex was a real charmer too, until you got him home alone where no one but God knew what was really going on. And to make matters worse he’s a licensed psychologist and he used his training and status to intimidate and control me, and to try to convince others that I was “unstable.” I used to ask myself all the time how I got myself into this mess. I’ve stopped asking myself that question for the most part because that question suggests that I was at fault, but I wasn’t. He deceived me, pure and simple. I did not ask to be deceived, nor defrauded, and neither did you. May God lead you safely out.

      • It gives me the chills, thinking of an abuser being a licensed psychologist. I’m sure you ex is not the only one. The systemic abuse he could have exerted on you, by using his knowledge and power in the health system as part of his weaponry of abuse! And my mind flinches when I imagine how he might have treated victims of abuse who consulted him as clients. Uugh!

      • Barnabasintraining

        he’s a licensed psychologist and he used his training and status to intimidate and control me, and to try to convince others that I was “unstable.”

        That is scary.

      • Now Free

        Mary, welcome. There is so much of your life situations that resonate with me. I too, am married to a man who was/is an expert at convincing people that he is a wonderful, charming and just an all round great guy. Even though he put on a great show, he did not have any friends. He was very critical of others but didn’t show it openly. It wasn’t until over 40 years of abuse that I finally realized that he did indeed abuse me! He abused me physically (one time but it was severe…I stayed home 2 weeks to hide the bruises on my face), and also abused me mentally, emotionally and verbally. He made a career out of his superiority towards me, putting me down as being “less as”, and just had an all around attitude of arrogance and contempt in his words and actions. My loving attitudes, words and actions towards him were not enough. I finally left him.

        It’s natural to feel apprehensive about baring yourself to a group. I felt exactly the same way, but I found it to be very freeing. It also gave me an opportunity to help other women. The first group was with younger women, some of them looked young enough to be my grand-daughters. Recently I joined a group for age 50+ women and attended another meeting yesterday. I find this group to be a great experience also, and it’s very interesting to see the difference in outlooks between the two age groups. What is not different is that abuse impacts all of us in very hurtful and damaging ways, no matter what our ages.

        You might find it hard to speak at the first meeting or two, but in time you will feel comfortable in sharing your thoughts and feelings. I think you will find speaking about your experiences a huge help, and will really benefit from the friends you will make in the group, even if you don’t see them outside the meetings. There are special bonds formed. I never could really speak to others about my problems with the husband until I received counselling shortly after separating and joined a group. Now I feel very free to express myself and it’s a great feeling to be understood and validated. Everything said is confidential, and yes I was concerned for awhile that someone would blab about me, but you know what? I didn’t care. I was telling the truth, and if the truth leaked out after all these decades, then that was fine with me. That is just my experience. If others feel that it would be dangerous to confide in a group if anything did leak out, then I would advise to seek counselling on an individual basis.

        Don’t worry about your British spelling. I live in Canada and was raised on British spelling. Old school and all that.

        My prayers are with you today.

  13. fiftyandfree

    Yes, it was utterly terrifying. I was literally paralyzed with fear because he’d say things like, “You know, I could have anyone committed at any time.” And he’d constantly accuse me of having all kinds of mental/emotional illnesses, and he told me that he knows all judges in town (he probably does) because he testifies in court in competentcy cases all the time (his poor clients), and he threatened since I was only weeks pregnant with our first baby that he’d paint me as unstable, psychotic, and rageaholic and he’d get custody if I dared to leave him.

    • Oh Lord that is unbelievable. What a snake – to think you were in such fear and bondage for so long! 😦 I have another friend who lost custody of her young child to her abuser because it’s a small town, her ex knows the judges, and well – that’s all she wrote. The good ole boy network is alive and well, here in 2013. I can’t imagine having the threat of commitment hanging over my head like that. I’m sure that many abusive people had their spouses wrongly locked up in asylums, when that used to be easier… I’m so sorry for what you endured, I’m so glad you are free now. (())

  14. Mary Lloyd

    Hi all, just checking in to say thank you so much for your prayers, and for the understanding and “alongsidedness”. The patterns of abuse seem so similar in all our posts, regardless of whether it is physical, emotional, verbal or any other kind with any combination.
    I went to that group yesterday and it was good to talk. I didn’t have to worry in the end about speaking up, because everyone was so nice, and all of us in the same boat. I was reminded that I don’t have to do anything until I am ready, and that because I am not under physical threat I can take my time with what I decide to do. Meanwhile the talking will help me develop a proper strategy, and build up my confidence. I mentioned you all here to the lady who runs the group, and she could see that you provide a necessary outlet and real support also. It is a valuable thing to me that I can come here whenever I like, day or night, and that this is Christian fellowship, which I desperately need. The Womens Aid group is not Christian, but thats OK, I get to see people who are struggling outside the church and as “nowfree” says, there are opportunities to help, at least in terms of encouragement.
    This morning walking the dog, the rain had come, and the wind was getting up in the trees. It suddenly struck me that for once, the roar of noise was outside my head and not inside it. Relief! Praise God.
    Many thanks all for your help.
    Love, Mary

    • fiftyandfree

      Mary, I’m so glad to hear that you are finding some encouragement and understanding. Being stuck in an abusive relationship is a very lonely road. For years I suffered alone with no one to talk to and no one who understood or supported me. (My family cared very much but they are geographically too far away to do anything to help me). My ex had driven my few good Christian friends away (they were afraid of him) and my church was no help to me at all. I remember that for five straight years I spoke to no one about my situation. I had given up. But Praise God! The Lord did not give up on me and He planned a rescue operation for me and I finally found the support in life (a Christian Counselor and some new Christian friends) that I needed to finally break free. I pray that the Lord’s rescue operation for you is in full force and you soon will be free too.

      • Memphis Rayne

        Hi Mary, That is a good realization about the noise being outside your head instead of only inside, I am going to throw my focus outside my head today!!! I am going to purposefully remind myself that my life is good, the air I breath is fresh, new, clean and everything in my head and heart can start anew!!! Sometimes we get trapped in our own thoughts without even consciously being aware that those thoughts are controlling the reality of your life, especially when you are finally free….you have to peel off all those layers of crap (because I have no other word for it except shi….which I wont use on this blog)…..lesson for today, slough old thoughts, flush them down the toilet, replace them with something of our own thats fresh and lovely….like warm brownies, or u know what ever is fresh and lovely to each person!
        Thanks Mary.

    • Now Free

      Hi Mary,

      That’s great that you found that you found it easy to speak at your group. You’ll find that as time goes on it will be even easier to express yourself, not only to your group but to others.

      As for the group not being Christian…I found that it can actually be a benefit, as there is no judging and comparing of churches, preconceived notions about what and what is not godly, etc . At this blog we can feel free to express ourselves, in Christian matters and otherwise.

      Asa matter of fact, at the very first meeting I attended of my group, a lady (who happens to be of the Seventh Day Adventist faith), spoke in a very pious, high-minded and condescending way for a very long time. I slipped a note to the outreach worker. It said “If I wanted a sermon, I would go to church”. She handled it in a very gracious and polite way and the next meeting the pious one had changed her tactics.

      Having said this, of the 2 groups I’ve attended, both have been very receptive to my telling them of God and His work in my life in a very concise and natural way. I don’t proselytize. That is the key.

  15. Mary Lloyd

    Hi Fiftyandfree and Memphis, and hi all.
    Yes I do think things are going to change now that I have finally acknowledged what has happened to me, and have stuck the proper label on it (abuse). I also had no one to share it with for years, especially when my son was growing up: you can’t just share it with anyone.
    I have often thought of my situation and its isolation as being down a dark hole. But there comes a time when you have been down there so long you know what the nature of that darkness is, finally. Not many understand it, I wish they did, but worse…churchy people sometimes don’t WANT to understand it, so they would rather make us the bad guys, it is easier for them. We don’t need that cruel put-down.
    Memphis I chuckled at your use of words, I have become more “creative” in that respect since I allowed myself to be angry, ahem. I must finish with the Womens Aid version of the princess and the frog story which I heard yesterday: it will make you smile.
    Once upon a time there was a princess, and as she sat beside the pond in the sunshine, she saw a frog. The frog whispered to her, pssst, I am not really a frog, though I look like one and feel like one and sound like one. I am actually a handsome prince, but an evil witch turned me into a frog one day and that is how I stayed. But, if you will just kiss me, I will turn back into a handsome prince and I will become your suitor, the love of your life.
    I will marry you and we will have many children and live as a happy family. I will take control of all the finances and make sure you have a small allowance to do with as you wish. I will be the answer to your prayers, the one you might look to as the head of the family: the king of my castle. You will look after me and put me first in all things, cooking and cleaning and running the household. You will take care of all the laundry and give up your right to a life of your own, because of your great love for me. We will live together happily, ever after.
    Next morning, as the princess was enjoying her dish of frogs’ legs in tarragon sauce, she said aloud at the breakfast table:
    “I don’t f-ing think so”
    hehehe
    Love from Mary xx

    • Memphis Rayne

      OMGoodness!!! I loooooove it!!! Standing “O” Thanks for that!!! Gave me a well needed long giggle!!!!
      oxox

    • Barnabasintraining

      Good one! 😀

      • fiftyandfree

        Funny, Mary. Do you mind if I add a few lines that my “frog/prince” would have added? “You will never complain about anything I say or do. I am always right and you are always wrong. Nothing you need or want will ever matter to me because it’s all about me and what I want and what I need. If you are unhappy with me and this relationship, you are crazy and I will never tire of trying to prove it. You will never leave me. If you dare try, I will use the children, the finances, and any other means to make it impossible for you to leave.”

  16. granonine

    As a therapist who often works with abused wives, I can only add a hearty “amen”! It’s utterly amazing to me how quickly some — emphasize SOME –not all are guilty—churches and church leaders jump to the conclusion that HE must be right and SHE must be wrong. In spite of the bruises, makeup to cover the shiner, hospital visits for split lips and broken bones. Duh.

    • Barnabasintraining

      It’s utterly amazing to me how quickly some — emphasize SOME –not all are guilty—churches and church leaders jump to the conclusion that HE must be right and SHE must be wrong. In spite of the bruises, …the shiner, hospital visits for split lips and broken bones.

      How is that ever right? How is it right that he bruised her? How is it right that she has a black eye from him? How is it right that he’s damaged her so badly she has to be hospitalized? Chapter and verse please. Explain how it is God approves of this. Explain how “husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her” looks like this. Explain how this is part of love, honor, and cherish. Tell me how it is that this is not a blasphemous picture of Christ’s relationship to the church, since that is what marriage is all about.

      I’m waiting…..

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