The Pain of the Invisible Wounds
[June 15, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]
A trusted anonymous reader wrote to us:
There is deep pain when you know you’ve spent many years with a man who really doesn’t love you, who really isn’t your friend, who really doesn’t care. And that you’ve basically been “alone” all of these years is sometimes unbearable.
My friend just shared with me a cute little e-mail between her and her husband. It was simple and beautiful — so ordinary for a married couple! But it left me in a pool of tears. Happy tears for what they have, sad tears for what should have been for us and what will never be in this marriage.
It’s beyond my imagination to see couples hold hands, enjoy being with each other, have arguments that show respect and even find resolution. I live with my spouse in what others consider a dream home and family, but I feel thoroughly alone and it’s oppressive.
He acts like the only way we could be companions is (1) if I adopt his ideas of spirituality and patriarchal rule, and (2) I repent to the family and say I’ve masqueraded as a Christian all of these years. In his mind I am the problem. He staunchly refuses to go to counseling.
I get angry with the complementarians at CBMW who try to make their message sound so palatable. Like this comment that Owen Strachan wrote about how wonderful CBMW is. “It is life-giving to work with a pulsing, dynamic, international movement that stands for a rich body of doctrine.”
It makes me want to vomit. I don’t want any woman to live under emotional and spiritual bondage. The reality for me is that the church wouldn’t care unless my spouse left physical black and blue marks on me. They’ve known of this situation for years. They’re indifferent. How is that like Jesus Christ?
Owen Strachan doesn’t care that he advances a message that controlling men may use against their wives to beat them down spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. If you really pressed him on it, he might say that he cares, but it would be just words. CBMW doesn’t do anything to show they really care. They don’t denounce or expel the men who abuse their wives. They don’t deal with pastors and churches that enable the abusers.
While there might be more discussion about domestic violence as physical abuse these days, there’s still a huge isolation in the church from those of us who feel imprisoned in our homes because of emotional and spiritual confinement. I hope that y’all continue to make noise about this situation. Many victims will dismiss it because “I don’t have black and blue marks.” Actually, they sure do have marks, but they are invisible.
[June 15, 2022: Editors’ notes:
—For some comments made prior to June 15, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to June 15, 2022 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to June 15, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (June 15, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]