A Cry For Justice

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

Thursday Thought — When His Put-Downs Sound True

Some of the hardest put-downs to deal with are the ones that seem to have aspects of truth to them.  Maybe he’s snarling at you that you can’t handle money, and it’s true that your finances really are in a mess.  Maybe he’s calling you fat, and in reality you have put on some pounds.  Maybe he’s saying that everyone thinks you’re a psycho, and the truth is that some important friends have indeed turned against you.

Does this mean that he’s trying to help you face up to things?  Are you wrong then to feel bad about the ways you are being verbally torn apart?


The truth is that even when he seems to be right, he’s still wrong.  Why?

  1. Because he’s exaggerating your difficulties in order to hurt you.
  2. Because he’s telling you that everything that is difficult in your life is your fault, and that it shows what a weak person you are underneath.  And that’s false.
  3. Because he’s ignoring how profoundly his mistreatment of you has contributed to these problems, or even created them entirely.  When you live with a chronically insulting and undermining partner, your self-esteem suffers, your friendships suffer, your concentration suffers.  He’s certainly not helping — he’s making everything worse.
  4. Because people’s difficulties don’t — and shouldn’t — define who they are.

A man who chronically mistreats you is a terrible source of information about who you are.  His vision is too distorted, too self-centered, and too self-serving to have any useful clarity, especially when the subject is you.  In short, it is impossible for a man to see a woman clearly while he is controlling her, abusing her, or cheating on her.

(Entry from Lundy Bancroft’s book, Daily Wisdom for Why Does He Do That? [*Affiliate link] pp139-40)

***IMPORTANT NOTE:  While we endorse Lundy’s writings about the dynamics of domestic abuse, we do not recommend anyone attend the ‘healing retreats’ Lundy Bancroft offers or become involved in his ‘Peak Living Network.’ See our post, ACFJ Does Not Recommend Lundy Bancroft’s Retreats or His New Peak Living Network for more about our concerns.

*Amazon affiliate link  ACFJ gets a small percentage if you purchase via this link.



  1. Fogislifting

    Thank you. I needed to read that today.

  2. Annie

    Besides all that above which is true–he’s your husband shouldn’t the first response be KINDNESS towards his wife?

    My husband would tell me I’m fat and lazy and can’t keep the house clean because of it. Did he ever help? NO! Because that’s not his job!! LOL HIs job was to complain to me about me!

    Even if everything my husband said was true and not just exaggerations he still doesn’t have the right to be mean about it.

  3. layla1111

    They are primed to look for supposed “faults” or “flaws” to note to thenselves to use as ammunition for why they decide to “punish” you. When mine 1st started isolating me, he kept digging in his heels saying that we could not go visit my best friend who was back in town and had invited us to dinner at her mother’s. When I kept pressing him on why he said “Do you have a razor?” And I said “Huh?” And he said “You forget to shave one little part on your legs.”

    They are always searching for imperfections to justify why they will later punish you. Mine is now trying to come back after leaving for 9 months after 17 years and completely discarding our son for 9 months, trying to bribe with money and gifts to our son and texting and calling me offering to buy me things (sure, tempting for a second when my son and I have been living penny to penny for a year. due to him, but I refused, Id rather have my dignity). Suddenly, he went from being a demon to the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet. It makes me want to vomit. It feels like the devil at my door.

  4. standsfortruth

    The Great underminer. What a deserving term for an abuser.
    Everything mine did was either to invalidate or undermine me in some way for his evil adjenda to destroy me.
    But God always allowed my abilities to break through in spite of my abusers intentional words and lies..
    Remember, God is for you, he is not against you. Believe in yourself.
    What so ever you do, do it with all your might, and the Lord will be with you.
    My abuser hated this, but really it was Gods strength and ability working through me, against the abusers lies.

    • Rebecca

      Thanks for sharing this. I am a songwriter and i used to sing with worship group, etc. I began to notice whenever it was a day that I was going to sing, he’d be in another awful mood, etc. Took me some time to see it was intentional.

  5. Karen

    Your husband with serious issues is exactly the same as my husband. They become the sweetest, kindest, most sincere individuals you will ever meet when they want something OR when they in church or around church people in public. When they have gotton what THEY wanted, then turn around and treat the wife like the article written above. And most of those wicked and evil words are said IN PRIVATE with that evil smirk on their faces for they know exactly what they are saying and doing. There is no innocence in evil.

    I am in awe when he’s so syrupy around church women and I want to throw up in his face, because I secretly long for him to be as kind and loving to me as he is to all of those other women.

  6. Free

    There were times when the abuser would clearly articulate the evil things he was doing. He even expressed clearly what was happening to me because of his abuse. He loved that I was dying. Then he would punish me b/c of my beaten and worn down condition. He had no shame whatsoever. When I left for good it was because I knew he was going to actually kill me if I stayed.

  7. Finding Answers

    3) Because he’s ignoring how profoundly his mistreatment of you has contributed to these problems, or even created them entirely. When you live with a chronically insulting and undermining partner, your self-esteem suffers, your friendships suffer, your concentration suffers. He’s certainly not helping — he’s making everything worse.

    The one common thread between all my abusers….

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