A Remarkably Insightful and Accurate Description of the Deceptive Evil of Abusers
The following incredibly descriptive comment was submitted to the blog by TB in response to the article “The Patriarchal Father as Idol God.” We are making it a stand alone blog post to highlight it to our readers. Many, many thanks to TB for sharing and blessings on her.
I had followed a religion loosely in the years prior to meeting my husband [“h” from here on], but I had no relationship with Jesus at all. Then my boyfriend, who soon after became my h, told me I needed to accept Christ. So I accepted Jesus, but over the years that followed, as husband and wife, we never developed and grew in relationship together as a couple in God.
I never really noticed my h didn’t have much of his own personal relationship with Jesus because I didn’t know what a relationship with Jesus was supposed to look like. He would pick up the Bible and read from it every now and then. He listened to radio teachers. He’d pray before we ate. We’d go to church on occasion, but never for any length of time. He did not have a passion for Christ and neither did I. I knew I was forgiven and aware I had been saved, but I honestly did not have a close relationship with Jesus, myself. I looked to my h as my spiritual mentor because I honestly did not know how I was supposed to be doing this “Christianity” thing. And I spent most of my time trying to please my h.
When we would go to a church for a short while, I would connect with the people quickly, but he never would. Church was like my extended family because we had no family nearby for many years. But it was always my thing, not his. And he would always, always unplug after a short while. Eventually he quit going altogether. I would end up going alone or with my kids over many years of our married life.
He complained about me early on, telling me I was not feminine enough, I was not sweet and submissive like other women, that I was more like a man than a woman. He was the Christian first, and knew God better than I (at least I thought so at the time), so surely he must be right. I wanted so much to be a Godly wife, to make my h happy, to please him. So I began to learn all I could about how to be more of the things he wanted…which led me to resources by the Pearls and Vision Forum and the like. The info looked and sounded wholesome, but applying their ideas of submission and unquestioning respect and loyalty, etc, only served to create a monster in my h. He became more demanding and I felt more pressure to perform in ways that I really didn’t know how. Then I’d feel condemned, shamed, and like a failure because the things I was learning and applying and trying to do and live up to, still didn’t seem to be enough, or to be the “fix” for my situation. I felt like Leah in the Bible who kept having sons for Jacob, each time thinking, “Now, Jacob will love me.” But she finally realized it wasn’t so.
In my efforts to be the excellent wife, my h still found reasons to berate and criticize me. I was a homemaker, homeschool mom, Sunday school teacher, stay-at-home mom, had a big family, stayed fit and always tried my best to look good for him, making myself available to him whenever he wanted, all while doing the domestic stuff most men say they want. Yet, in all that, I was still falling short in his eyes all the time. And I found I really wasn’t enjoying my life anymore. I felt like a Stepford wife, just going through the motions. I was offering up sacrifices to an idol god who could never be satisfied.
And my h, who you’d think would have been satisfied because I was the epitome of the all-American wife/mom, was continually raising the bar, or changing the standard, or finding fault, all the while demanding more honor to him — above all family, friends, and church.
I didn’t know how to give him any more than I was giving. My girlfriend’s husband even said he wished his wife did for his household all the things I did in mine. I could not understand how my h could be so demanding of more. I was just so sure he was right about me missing the bar, that I kept trying another method to modify myself, my behavior, my attitude. I never really stopped to think that maybe my h was wrong. Maybe I was okay, and he was not. Maybe it wasn’t really me who needed to keep changing/morphing into someone else to keep him happy.
As Jeff said about idol fathers, but I’m making it husband not father to make it more applicable to my situation:
And so it is with the wives of the idol husband. “Husband, wrong?” Show them hard, concrete evidence to the contrary of what their husband said, it will not get through. He has become their surrogate Christ. Really, an anti-christ. And such a god can do whatever he wants.
That, in my experience, is exactly the truth.