A Cry For Justice

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

A Typical Line by an Abuser — “I Just Don’t Know Why She Left Me”

UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.


[August 17, 2022: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]

Recently we have been watching the reality series “Life Below Zero.” One of the couples featured in the episodes is a clear example of an abuser and victim — Andy (abuser) and Kate (victim). If you want to see an abuser in action, just tune in and watch. Kate was in denial in earlier episodes but long about season three she left after coming to see the abuse for what it was. And Andy? Well, he doesn’t know for sure. Sometimes in life you know people just move on and we go our different ways. He sure wishes her the best. Yeah, right.

Seeing him in action reminded me of abusers I have had to deal with over the years in the church. And more than once I have been the target of this very same kind of line — “I don’t know why, but suddenly Jeff just left and ended our friendship. We are at a loss to know why.” Yeah, right.

In every single one of these cases myself and others confronted the abuse, specifically identified it to the guilty party, and told them their continuance in sin and unrepentance were the reasons we could no longer have a relationship. Oh of course they denied any wrongdoing at all, but they went on to tell people that they just had no idea why we had treated them “so shoddily.”

It is crucial for all of us to be wise to this very common deception. Just take a step back and think about it. It makes no sense at all. An abuser’s victim separates from him after years and years of abuse in most cases. And he would have us believe that he has absolutely no inkling as to why she left? That is an obvious lie and we need to reject it right at the get go. I mean, come on.

Let me give you a biblical example of this kind of thing:

“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the LORD’s table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts.  (Malachi 1:6-8  ESV)

And again —

And this second thing you do. You cover the LORD’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.  (Malachi 2:13-14  ESV)

See it? In both cases these guys were trying to pull this “gee, I just don’t know why the Lord isn’t blessing us” business and they were trying to put it over on God! Talk about stupid. They knew full well they were sinning left and right, breaking His law daily and then when He chastised them they were like, “What? How have we polluted you? How come you aren’t accepting our offerings?” This is out-and-out deception.

So don’t buy it the next time you hear it. Abusers know. They know full well why their victim left and the blood is on the abuser’s hands.

[August 17, 2022: Editors’ notes:

—For some comments made prior to August 17, 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 August 17, 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 August 17, 2022 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (August 17, 2022), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]


Related posts

Crocodile Tears

Truth Torments the Wicked: Insight into an Abuser’s Mind and the Real Nature of His Tears


  1. Amy

    What I love about this post is how you use verses from Malachi 1 & 2 to show what an abusive spouse may look like, when later in Malachi 2 the infamous [and wrongly translated] scripture of “God hates divorce” appears which us victims of abuse have had thrown in our faces as we struggle with the decision to leave our marriages.

    When my abusive ex walked out in ’09 and I decided there was no way I was reconciling and ever going back to what had been for 20 years, I started having that piece of scripture thrown in my face as a way to keep me imprisoned in that marriage. And finally one day I decided to see for myself what exactly was being said because I just could not believe that the loving God I worshiped would be so cruel as to want me to stay in an abusive marriage.

    So I read Malachi and found for myself that God hates the violence of one spouse towards the other NOT divorce itself. He hates the fact that divorce happens at all because of abusive behavior. And as I read and reread and reread those verses I just couldn’t understand why no one else got it, why did everyone just pull out those 3 words only and not understand what God was really saying?? How could it be that little ol’ me, who is no Bible scholar or theologian be able to see what is being said in those verses?
    But it was right there, as plan as day, and all you had to do was read all of it, not just pull out a small piece for your liking.

    So after that, when anyone would say to me, “But God hates divorce” I would come right back with this statement: while divorce is not God’s ultimate design for marriage, what He hates is the abuse and violence which often leads to divorce.
    And usually that was enough to shut them up, and sadly, most just never talked to me again.

    I’m grateful to God for leading me out of an abusive marriage and helping me see clearly what the message truly is in Malachi.

    • Hi Amy, I am working on a new post which will explain even more about that verse (2:16) in Malachi.

      • Amy

        I can’t wait to read it! 🙂

      • Eagerlabs

        Me too! 🙂

    • Some Anonymous Bloke

      Scripture is often used by abusers much in the same way as it is by their father, the devil. It is therefore not uncommon to discover wicked, manipulative, abusive people wielding Scripture as a weapon to control and deceive others, especially authentic believers. An evil person cannot be trusted – full stop.

  2. Neverthetruth

    It started with that phrase, then moved through an ever-changing diatribe of accusation. There have been some very interesting versions of why I left him, but never the truth. He got close once…he said he was “only a little abusive”.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Neverthetruth – changed your screen name to protect your anonymity. If this is your first time commenting, we recommend you check out our FAQs section here on the blog and the New Users’ section as well. You can find the tabs for them at the top of the blog home page. And welcome, by the way.

      There have been some very interesting versions of why I left him, but never the truth.

      Oh man, we know what that is! Thank you.

    • Hi Neverthetruth,
      Your comment is fine, but since this may be your first comment or your first comment for quite a while on this blog, may I encourage you to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

      And after reading the New Users’ Info page, you might like to look at our FAQ page.

  3. John

    Thank you. A friend has been sharing your blog with me.

  4. everydayBRAVE

    Those are great verses. Thank you for this post.

  5. M&M

    Sheesh……yet another way my friend’s ex fits the pattern……although he admitted part of the reasons for divorce (the less severe offenses of course), he “couldn’t understand” why they can’t be friends. He even wrote an “apology” letter, which was worse than nothing because it minimized and demanded.

    The more I read about other abusers, the more I think the best thing about her ex is that he’s too lazy and unintelligent to play “good guy” in front of the church so he didn’t turn the church against her.

  6. CeeKay

    ….And because the truth is never in these abusers, it is high time that others STOP referring to them as “Christians.” They are no more a Christ Disciple than satan, their lieing father is.

    • curly

      So true!

  7. Sorrowful

    I don’t know if mine is saying this yet, but I am sure it will happen. He frequently talks about “my agenda” when I call him out on abuse. I’m still living with him as we are starting divorce proceedings. God-willing I will be able to have my own place soon.

    • Hi Sorrowful, I published your comment unedited, but if on reflection you feel it might be too identifying, let me know and I can remove it.

      ((hugs)) from Barb

  8. cindy burrell

    This is great exposure of the dynamic here, particularly to see an example of it in the mainstream media.

    This tactic is a prime example of an abuser’s use of denial and presumed innocence subtly paired up with an implication that his wife must have some hidden, selfish agenda. These guys don’t miss a trick. Sad to realize a lot of folks are quick to buy into this nonsense.

  9. Lily

    Exactly. Over 20 years ago, “I have no idea why she left me.” And the crocodile tears. And they still believe it, although it has morphed a bit into, “It must have been because she wanted all those kids. I only wanted 2 or 3.” Uh-huh. And who wouldn’t use or allow the use of prevention, even when I was deathly ill? And who loved the attention of, “Ah-h, I know what you’ve been doing at night!!!” when they saw him with the family? (I NEVER heard him say he didn’t want more, until after the separation when he wanted to avoid having them at his place too much.)

    True, I have no regrets having the children and raising them, I love being a mom, but that’s surely not why I left him. Good gracious, if he were a good guy I’d have been devastated being single. The doc in the psych ward who told me to leave him, asked me to make a list of what I wanted from h. I said, “kindness”. Is that so hard to understand? Apparently.

    Oh, and he left behind his ‘list’ of my concerns that he’d asked me for a few years earlier. It was in his Bible, so it’s not as if he’d lost it. No, he had no idea.

  10. AKSDA

    18 months later, my XH showed up on my doorstep needing to ask family (his adult son) for a place to live. His new “love” and he had not hit it off as expected you see. He also wanted to talk with me “privately”, which we did and for the next hour I heard all about his failed relationship, all the fights they had, all the work he did on her house, their break-ups (multiple), his rebirth in Christ (this is a regular happening with him………..over and over and over)………and now the financial mess he was in plus homeless…………
    As we concluded our conversation and prayer (he asked me to pray for him), he turned and said:
    “I do believe you were a good wife………but I still don’t know what I did wrong”.
    I had no reason to answer…………and he hadn’t a clue……………..and he just turned 74……….truly sad.

  11. jesusfollowingishard

    He said I left because he was a real Christian. Anyone else hear that line?

    • KayE

      Oh yes. My ex told me that I was “pseudo Christian”. He used physical violence to prevent me from attending church and then continued to regularly attend himself, telling them that I didn’t want to go. He divorced me so that he could marry someone else from that church. I’m not sure if those church people think I’m a nonbeliever or just a really contemptible lower grade kind of Christian. The look on their faces whenever I happen to come across them suggests the latter.

      • KayE

        I think it’s shocking for a pastor to take the side of a man who used physical violence to stop his wife from attending church.

      • Yes indeed. It is diabolical for a pastor to take the side of a man who used physical violence to stop his wife attending church.

      • jesusfollowingishard

        My ex told me I was following the wrong Jesus. He wanted to make me go to a different church that would teach me to “submit”. I quit sitting with him at my church because I needed space emotionally / spiritually, he was emotionally spiritually abusive, and he stopped coming and blamed me. Thankfully my church and pastor saw through it. He had also grabbed the steering wheel when I was driving. I had to physically wrestle him off and we could have crashed with two littles in the back. I was driving 45 on a road I usually drive 55 on. I stopped being in the same vehicle with him so that may be when he quit, I’m not sure. I pray you find a church who “gets it” if you haven’t already.

    • KayE

      I’m so glad your church and pastor saw through it. That’s how things are supposed to be.
      So far I have not found any church in this whole town that truly “gets it”. Most of them think my ex is a fine Christian, so therefore there must be something very, very wrong with me.

      I stopped being in the same vehicle as him too, a long time before he left. Even then, more than once he backed the car towards me as if he was trying to run me over, and mocked me for saying anything about that.

      I’m pretty sure it’s these men who are following the wrong Jesus!

      • jesusfollowingishard

        I wish you lived in my town there are two churches that would “get it” at least. I pray God blesses you and brings you to a fellowship that has love for you along with some wisdom, nuance, and understanding.

  12. Sarah

    Mine said to everyone.. “I still don’t know why she sent me to jail.”
    ? um.. maybe the blood, bruises etc?

    • M&M

      Most police won’t put him in jail without evidence……but he acts like you can put him in jail without reason. Wow you must have some political power to do that. 🙂

  13. Rachael

    I’m not sure about abusers always knowing why their victims leave. To this day my abusive father can’t imagine why my mom left a great guy like him (he has a typical abusers narcissistic entitled attitude). He’s convinced himself that she must have had an affair. I think in some cases abusers sin completely blinds them to the truth.

    • It’s the eternal conundrum… how much does the abuser know what he is doing, and how much has his inveterate sinning made him blind? I don’t think it’s easy to answer that question. And the Bible talks about how sin blinds the sinner, but it also talks about how the sinner PLANS his evil deeds. So it’s both.

      Ps 36:1-4
      Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart;
      There is no fear of God before his eyes.
      For it flatters him in his own eyes
      Concerning the discovery of his iniquity and the hatred of it.
      The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit;
      He has ceased to be wise and to do good.
      He plans wickedness upon his bed;
      He sets himself on a path that is not good;

      He does not despise evil.

  14. Eagerlabs

    On top of “I don’t understand”, I’ve also heard, (after 6 yrs to get rid of him, termination of parental rights, records in seven counties and three states, five outstanding bench warrants in one state…
    Still another ready for felony stalking when / if he goes into theirs, a cease and desist order and a nice reminder about violating the commerce clause from officials on top of being told numerous times by numerous civilians, after 11 years of precious silence, “You’re the only one I ever loved”, followed by twisted stalker lyrics about murdering the one they can’t have due to implying their victim taunting them, topped off with, I kid you not, referencing himself as “being a lamb taken to slaughter” from lack of communication and in effort to rekindle communication.

    I think he got it all in one paragraph…doesn’t understand, he’s the victim, blame the victim, threaten the victim, cuz HE is Christ. Neverthetruth is right…for now. 😉 The Lord is not slack. 🙂

  15. LR

    If it’s ok to share this on Facebook, could you please teach me step-by-step instructions?

    • twbtc

      Hi LR,

      Yes, you may share this post and any of our posts on Facebook. I assume you mean your Facebook page. Here are the steps:

      1) Go to the bottom of our post (before the comments section) and you will see a section called: Share this: The first option on the left is a blue box with the Facebook logo in it. Click on this.
      2) You will be taken to a screen where you have the option ‘say something about this” post. If you choose to, type what you want to say in the area provided. Then…
      3) In the lower right cover is a box that says “Post to Facebook”. Click on this box and the post will be put on your Facebook timeline.

      Any further questions, feel to email me at twbtc.acfj@gmail.com

      Hope this helps.

  16. I cannot unsee what I see now

    I am not making light of any of this. The Lord knows I haven’t found the journey to freedom to be easy. I try to never pass up something that makes me laugh or smile these days. It is a sign of life and healing.

  17. Daffodil

    I shared this with a friend who speaks on domestic abuse in her church!

  18. sunshine

    I want to thank men like you for seeing the real truth and calling it what it is.

  19. Finding Answers

    I Just Don’t Know Why She Left Me Us”

    (Strikethrough / addition of the word “Us” done by me.)

    Applies to my entire family of origin – all abusers.

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