Books in our Hall of Blind Guides

We are not making any personal aspersions or accusations against the character of any person or author listed here. We are simply announcing that this list represents well known organisations, theologians, pastors, counselors and others who are in our opinion, not safe resources for abuse victims. 

There are two books which we need to caution about, although they are not as bad as the other books listed below.

The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope

by Leslie Vernick
Some victims of domestic abuse find Leslie Vernick’s work helpful; others find it confusing and even dangerous. This post explains why.

The Heart of Domestic Abuse: Gospel Solutions for Men Who Use Control and Violence in the Home

by Chris Moles
See our Chris Moles Digest for our praises and our concerns about his teaching.

The list below is in alphabetical order by title

A Loving Life: In a World of Broken Relationships

by Paul E. Miller

The Bondage Breaker

by Neil Anderson
This post explains our concerns.

Counseling: How to Counsel Biblically

by John MacArthur
This review warns how dangerous this book is for victims of domestic abuse. Julie Zepnick is a survivor of domestic abuse. Read her account of the harm biblical counseling did to her.

Created to be his Helpmeet

by Debi Pearl
This post explains our concerns.

Desperate Marriages

by Gary Chapman
This post critiques the book.

Divorce: A Gift of God’s Love

by Walter Callison
This post explains our concerns.

Divorce: Gods’ Will?

by Stephen Gola
This post explains our concerns.

Divorce and Remarriage:  A Permanence View

by Daryl Wingerd, Jim Elliff, Jim Chrisman, and Steve Burchett
This post discusses our concerns.

The Excellent Wife

by Martha Peace
See our blog post about Martha Peace. Here is a link to an Amazon review by Avid Reader that exposes Martha’s twisting of scripture.

Fascinating Womanhood

by Helen B. Andelin
See this comment for a commenter’s experience.

Formula for Family Unity

by Walter Fremont (Fremont is a professor at Bob Jones University – BJU)

For Women Only:  What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men

by Shaunti Feldhahn

Help! I Can’t Submit to My Husband

by Glenda Hotton
This post critiques the booklet.

His Needs Her Needs

by Willard Harley Jr
This post and this post spell out our concerns.

Hope & Help for the Single Mom

by Lori Little
This post critiques Lori Little’s work.

Hope for the Separated

by Gary Chapman
This post critiques the book.

How to Rise Above Abuse: Victory for Victims of Five Types of Abuse

by June Hunt
This post explains our concerns.

I Don’t Want a Divorce: a 90-Day Guide to Saving Your Marriage

by David Clarke
This post explains our concerns.

Lies Women Believe

by Nancy Leigh DeMoss (Author married in November 2015:  Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth.)
See our Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth tag.

Love and Respect

by Emerson Eggerichs
See Nate Sparks’ reviews of this book:
Love, Respect, and Proof-Texts
Love, Respect, and Consent
Love, Respect, and Science
Love, Respect, and Abuse

Nate Sparks’ critique of an article appearing on the Love and Respect blog page.

The Love Dare

by Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick
See our blog post critiquing this book.

Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage: Critical Questions and Answers

by Jim Newheiser
See our blog post critiquing this book.

Marriage Undercover: Thriving in a Culture of Quiet Desperation

by Audrey and Bob Meisner

Married Sex: A Christian Couple’s Guide to Reimagining Your Love Life

by Gary Thomas and Debra Fileta
The first chapter of this book is reviewed on Facebook here. The reviewer, Andrea Aleksandrova, writes:

Well, I started “Married Sex” by Gary Thomas and Debra Fileta. I’d like to point out that I mean to be fair while reading this book. If something is good, I plan to say so. The introduction was honestly fine. It was pretty basic without much real meat, but fine. If I were in a healthy, mutual marriage with a safe man, I think this part would have been helpful.
Then came chapter 1. It’s very bad. Not just a little bad, but very, very bad. The citations I’ve included are from the Kindle edition.
The chapter focuses almost entirely on women and tells them that they really need to be having sex with their husbands and enjoying it. Gary interviews a woman who says, “When wives push away their husbands, what amazes me is how much the wives are missing out” (7).
Women are blamed for any inability to orgasm and for pain during sex. These are viewed as her problems and her responsibility (😎. I’d like to point out that this directly contradicts the research that Sheila Wray Gregoire & Co. did when they surveyed more than 20,000 women and learned that the obligation sex message is what actually creates the orgasm gap and vaginismus (“The Great Sex Rescue”).
Gary says that wives are supposed to view sex with their husbands as the highest possible pleasure. There is no discussion of husbands actually making sex pleasurable for their wives. A wife is supposed to always be available for sex, is encouraged to sleep naked, and is told that her highest possible pleasure is when her husband kisses her all over her body (1, 5-8).
Gary is clear. Men NEED sex. Sex makes them better people. Without sex, men cannot thrive and their very identities are shaken (8-10).
Gary objectifies women. A husband is to be enthralled with his wife’s body. Not with HER. With her BODY. She is to allure him with her body because men’s minds are wired that way. Gary says, “God clearly wants a wife’s body, specifically her breasts, to enthrall her husband. . . . This gives wives an influence over their husbands that can reset any power balances that occur because of other issues. Many young women have learned how one quick flash of their breasts can change the climate in the room for their husbands like nothing else ever will” (12).
Yes, he actually says that.
More to follow–if I can tolerate it.

One star review of the book here. There are dozens more one star reviews of the book on Amazon.

In Barbara Roberts’ opinion, Gary Thomas is unteachable. He has a long history of playing both sides. He does just enough advocacy against abuse to entice naive victims into admiring him. But he patronises or censors victims and advocates who offer him constructive criticism. I assembled and documented evidence of Gary doing this in 2017, after he wrote his article titled Enough Is Enough in which he was portraying himself as deploring domestic abuse. To see the evidence of Gary patronising and censoring those who were trying to educate him, click here and read through the comments.

Me? Obey Him?: The Obedient Wife and God’s Way of Happiness and Blessing in the Home

by Elizabeth Rice Handford
See Avid Reader’s Amazon review of this book.

This Momentary Marriage

by John Piper
See our John Piper tag.

The Peaceful Wife

by April Cassidy
One of our readers has had this experience with the peaceful wife website. Another reader has this to say.

The Peacemaker:  A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict

by Ken Sande
See our Peacemakers tag.

The Power of a Praying Wife

by Stormie Omartian
This post explains our concerns.

Redemptive Divorce – A Biblical process that offers guidance for the Suffering Partner, Healing for the Offending Spouse, and the Best Catalyst for Restoration

by Mark W. Gaither
This post explains our concerns.

Sacred Influence:  How God Uses Wives to Shape the Souls of Their Husbands

by Gary Thomas
Many women testify that this book was used to keep them entrapped in abusive marriages. In my opinion, Gary Thomas is unteachable. He has a long history of playing both sides. He does just enough advocacy against abuse to entice naive victims into admiring him. But he patronises or censors victims and advocates who offer him constructive criticism. I assembled and documented evidence of Gary doing this in 2017, after he wrote his article titled Enough Is Enough in which he was portraying himself as deploring domestic abuse. To see the evidence of Gary patronising and censoring those who were trying to educate him, click here and read through the comments.

Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?

by Gary Thomas
Many women testify that this book was used to keep them entrapped in abusive marriages. In my opinion, Gary Thomas is unteachable. He has a long history of playing both sides. He does just enough advocacy against abuse to entice naive victims into admiring him. But he patronises or censors victims and advocates who offer him constructive criticism. I assembled and documented evidence of Gary doing this in 2017, after he wrote his article titled Enough Is Enough in which he was portraying himself as deploring domestic abuse. To see the evidence of Gary patronising and censoring those who were trying to educate him, click here and read through the comments.

Trapped:  Getting Free From People, Patterns, and Problems

by Andy Farmer, CCEF Faculty
See our CCEF tag.

Verbal & Emotional Abuse: Victory Over Verbal and Emotional Abuse

by June Hunt
This post explains our concerns.

What to do When You are Abused by Your Husband

by Debi Pryde and Robert Needham
This post explains our concerns.

You can be the Wife of a Happy Husband:  Discovering the Keys to Marital Success

by Darien B. Cooper

89 thoughts on “Books in our Hall of Blind Guides”

  1. I concur that Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie O’Martian furthers the patriarchal agenda. It was recommended to me, and its ideas were all about enabling the narcissistic and/or selfish husband, in my opinion.

    1. We are not willing to endorse Paul Hegstrom’s book or his program Life Skills International (or the other programs which LSI seems to have sprouted, which seem to be set up by people who model their programs on Hegstrom’s example). We are not convinced that Hegstrom’s approach is fully sound. In our honest opinion, he puts rather too much focus on the abuser’s arrested development, and rather too little on the choices which the abusers make and how abusers are actually able to make those choices, rather than being ‘victims of their own arrested development.’

      From what we’ve read from Lundy Bancroft and George Simon Jr, we believe both those experts would be in agreement with our view.

      We also find Hegstrom’s site to be very heavy on marketing his own products. That is off-putting.

      1. I was wondering about the same… I once saw a movie based on Paul H’s own personal experience and change, and for me that was a good sign that someone admitted their own responsibility.

  2. What is his needs / her needs about. After reading a lot by Lundy Bancroft I feel husband has abusive attitude. Husband is currently reading his needs / her needs so wanting to find out new things I need to watch for.

  3. I have been emotionally abused for years, but only had my eyes opened to it just under a year ago. I could never understand why the one thing I wanted to do most in the world, be a good wife, was the thing I was failing at so miserably. No matter what I did or didn’t do, no matter what I said or didn’t say, I was wrong, an idiot. My needs and hopes were considered selfish, unimportant. When my eyes were finally opened, I started counseling. After two months, I told my husband I was in counseling and why. He to this day has never apologized for the incident that opened my eyes or the previous years of abuse and from things he has let slip, I don’t think he believes he’s done anything wrong, that I don’t deserve to be treated well because I am an unsubmissive and disobedient wife. Even though he has become “complient” in acting like a “good” husband, I suspect that it is all for show because when stresses occur, it becomes clear nothing had really changed in his attitude towards me and abuse happens again. He just brought home the Love and Respect videos for us to watch so we can “improve our marriage” and I’m terrified that it will be just one more thing he can use against me if we watch them and if I refuse, one more reason I am the problem, not him. I don’t know what to do.

    1. Hi Anne, welcome to the blog 🙂 Do check out our New Users Info page if you haven’t already; it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog. For example, you may want to use a screen name that conceals your identity (I’m not sure whether or not Anne is your real name). If you want to change your screen name email and she can do that for you, from the back of the blog.

      It is a tricky situation you are in, re whether or not to watch the Love and Respect videos (I presume they are based on Emerson Eggerich’s book which we list above).

      If you watch them with him, there is every likelihood he will use the ideas in them to try to lay blame and guilt on you for ‘not respecting him enough’ yada yada…

      It’s up to you which way you decide to handle it. Here are some options for you to consider.

      Tell him you don’t want to watch them as you believe the most serious problem in the marriage is that he has an abusive mentality and conduct towards you, and that therefore he needs to address that first and foremost, on his own, taking responsibility for it and working har to change it.

      This of course would be a risky thing to put to him, and he is likely to escalate in his abusive tactics and ark up into anger or suchlike.
      However, if you agree to watch the videos, he can and will escalate the abuse in more subtle ways, more cold, calculating, manipulative chilling ways, using and twisting the teaching in the videos to put the thumbscrews on you slowly and tie you up in more emotional knots and tangles so he can keep you under more control.

      What a dilemma!

      Maybe you could discuss it with the counselor and work out what you think is the least risky way to respond to this request of his.

      One thing is for sure: your husband is NOT wanting to used these videos to change himself for the better or to actually make the marriage healthier; the fact that he is not admitting to his abuse shows that he is not willing to change it at all. He is wanting to use these videos because he believes they will serve his selfish ends and enable him to continue to maintain the status quo where he has power and control over you.

      Another idea: you could watch the videos with him and point out every teaching in the videos that is wrong because it bolsters the entitlement mentality of abusive husband and pressures wives to submit to mistreatment that violates their dignity and personhood. He will soon get sick of that, if you keep critiquing the videos!

      Whatever way you do it though, he is likely to go to the church and moan to them about how you refused to submit to him by watching the videos and heeding the teaching in them. You do have a battle on your hands. It may become the deal-breaker in your marriage.

      I also recommend you read our Safety Planning page. You may feel relatively safe at the moment, but it can be surprising how unexpectedly things can escalate in an abusive marriage, and it’s better to start wrapping your head around the basic principles of Safety Planning before a crisis hits.

      1. Thank you for your reply! I did not expect a response so quickly. I don’t have another counseling session for two weeks because of my schedule and my counselor is on a vacation for one week. Husband brought videos home a month ago, I’ve managed to avoid sitting down to watch them with him, but tonight he plopped them in the center of the kitchen table and said he thought we should watch them this week as they might be helpful to us. Good timing … not.

        I really appreciate your suggestions. I don’t think I can avoid watching them as I’d prefer, so critiquing them may be what I have to do. Thank you again for the fast response. I don’t feel so alone on this now.

        And no, Anne is not my name 😉

    2. Even though he has become “complient” in acting like a “good” husband, I suspect that it is all for show because when stresses occur, it becomes clear nothing had really changed in his attitude towards me and abuse happens again.

      I was unable to summarize this on my own. Thank you! Now I can more intelligently explain my complaint using this 🙂 I kept thinking…how is this change? There would be things done that had been a constant neglect in the past, there were some changes so I can’t say honestly there have been NO changes. But when I say there were or are a few changes it is instantly seen as see, there is progress. Then, a blast of hateful words or inaction / action and I feel it deletes all and anything seen as positive change. His actions and words haven’t really changed or his attitude toward me as is obvious in what was said and how devastating he purposefully did them. He even admitted he did it on purpose and added I deserved it. Not even trying to pretend or change how awful it was.

      Thank you for this!

      1. HBOMIL, glad I helped you in some way! I am still struggling with this. Even though I know that so much of the “look what a good husband I am” is show, I so want to believe it’s true. And mine never admits he’s doing any of the mean things intentionally … It’s just “his big mouth”, or “not thinking” … or the big one, my fault because I don’t “respect him enough” and he can’t help but respond to me in negative ways.

        Keeping a journal of every incident that happens has been a HUGE help. It helps me to see things more clearly and not tell myself, oh I just misunderstood, am being too sensitive, too selfish. Some things are in a password protected file on an electronic device and I have a physical journal that I hide in different places.

        When I read them over, I can see the truth, not just what he wants me to believe.

        And this site has been a godsend, the support has kept me from total despair some days. Hang in there. You’re not alone. God is with you and so many of your sisters in Christ too.

      2. Anne, thank you, it is a big struggle!! I want to believe it is heartfelt change, also. This site has had me scared out of my mind that it might be true, and that it is true and then relief that someone gets it, finally.
        All of the nice things would melt my heart if all the things done on purpose were admitted, asked for forgiveness and there was even a little sorrow seen for the evil done. Without that it seems to be clanging cymbals and just meaningless things aimed at getting me back, back to pretending nothing happened.
        When my h does or says things my ex h did I almost instantly go numb. A few days later I am in full panic. It takes me a couple days to figure out what is happening and why.

        I started writing a journal for several reasons. To not forget the details and be accused of mixing things up. To be free to not remember or obsess over the incident. I wanted an accurate account that would be fair to him and not exaggerate or embellish the story. Several times it was found and read, without me knowing. Months later the kids told me. A few times I left it out (brain dead) and it was an immediate counsel appointment with our pastor. I stopped. I write it here now. Only here. But with key words to help me remember details (hopefully).

        Mine doesn’t say it’s my fault he lost his temper out right but he does say it frustrated him or fill-in-the-blank. Same thing.

        Our pastor did give me counsel about my h as far as when he really lit into me verbally and then said he meant it etc. I should go, the three of us ,and bring it to him to hear. I think my pastor would counsel my h that it isn’t Christian etc. And I’m sure church discipline could follow. But! I’m pretty sure it’s going to get tangled up and somehow the truth will be distorted and I will be dumb founded, stirring the hornets nest. Then I have to live with him for the resentment treatment etc. So, I was asked to prayerfully consider acting in faith and trust God to do the right thing what ever that ends up looking like.

        I’m pretty sure I can just wait for the “next time” and do it then. Deep breath. Holding it it always repeats.

      3. Our pastor did give me counsel about my h as far as when he really lit into me verbally and then said he meant it etc. I should go, the three of us ,and bring it to him to hear. I think my pastor would counsel my h that it isn’t Christian etc. And I’m sure church discipline could follow. But! I’m pretty sure it’s going to get tangled up and somehow the truth will be distorted and I will be dumb founded, stirring the hornets nest. Then I have to live with him for the resentment treatment etc

        HBOMIL, have you read this post of ours? Why Couple Counseling is not recommended for domestic abuse. If not, I suggest you read it. And your pastor needs to read it too! He needs to understand that if he counsels the two of you together, he is likely put you in more danger, not less.

        I want to believe it is heartfelt change, also. This site has had me scared out of my mind that it might be true, and that it is true and then relief that someone gets it, finally.

        How I relate to this! You have articulated the experience of so many victims. It is hard coming out of the fog. The truth is scary to contemplate.

      4. All of the nice things would melt my heart if all the things done on purpose were admitted, asked for forgiveness and there was even a little sorrow seen for the evil done. Without that it seems to be clanging cymbals and just meaningless things aimed at getting me back, back to pretending nothing happened.

        YES!!! This. When I first realized it was abuse (my adult daughter gently pointed it out), when I felt ready to confront my h about it, that’s all I wanted. To see a little sorrow, to hear “I’m sorry”, to have some sense that he understood how deeply his behavior was hurting me and that he wanted to change. But I got nothing. After taking to him about it, I was so much more confused and hurting. He threw every one of the things I told him he was doing to hurt me right back at me, I was doing that to HIM! No apologies. He only said that he couldn’t change the past and that he knew in the past his focus had been in the wrong place, not on his family. But he couldn’t change that so we (he meant “I”) needed to just move on from that.

        I still didn’t understand the mindset of an abuser. I expected him to react the way I would have, had he come to me saying I’d hurt him with this or that behavior. I never thought he’d be cool as a cucumber, no emotion except a small, smug, smile, turning every incident around on me. I spent weeks and months afterward, examining my own attitudes and behaviors, to see if he was right … I felt even worse. Maybe it was all me.

        I had already been on this site for about a month, but had not been able to read all of it, so so much of husband’s behavior still made no sense to me.

        I read Lundy Bancroft’s Why Does He Do That a few months later and suddenly, it all began to click. Even though he never hit me, didn’t yell or brash things, he was all about control. He’d kept me in a prison I’d created myself to avoid the things that set him off into sulking, coldness, muttering under his breath. Stopped doing much with friends, gave up pretty much all the things I’d loved to do creatively. Things that mattered to me were silly and frivolous to him. Any thought I had that was different from his was wrong, stupid. I stopped saying anything except yes, you’re right. I gave up my hopes and dreams for a bright future. Life became increasingly grey and oppressive. I thought I was going crazy.

        At least now I know the truth. I’m not crazy, he’s not right, I’m not an awful, selfish person. I’m still married, but I’m finding ways to add things that matter to me back into my life, no matter what he thinks or says. Just taking it day by day.


  4. I would be interested to learn what you think of Shaunti Feldhahn’s book: “For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men.”

    I would put it on this list for sure.

    1. Charis,
      Yes, Feldhahn’s book belongs on this list. We meant to put it on the list. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!!

    2. Hi Charis, we’ve known you on this blog for some time and we trust your judgement. But for the benefit of people who have not experienced domestic abuse themselves nor been well educated about it, could you please explain why you believe “For Women Only” deserves to be on our Hall of Blind Guides?
      Thanks. 🙂

      1. It has been several years since I read Shaunti Feldhahn’s book. Also, I do not own a copy of it, so I cannot reference specific portions – I am going by memory. I will list the observations I can recall and leave the rest for others to comment here.

        I remember reading the book whilst trying very hard to work on my marriage. It was one more “to do” book, in a long line of other books. It was yet another author’s voice in my head and heart condemning me for all the faults in my marriage. Not knowing at the time that my husband was sabotaging the trust, love and foundation of our relationship through his porn addiction, lies, deceit, covert aggression, and other behaviors. This leads me to my first point. I fully support Megan’s article on ACFJ that recommends books like these have a caveat or disclaimer in them stating that such material is for healthy marriages that wish to be made stronger. These books are not for toxic marriages or destructive relationships. That being said, I would not have understood at the time that my marriage qualified as such. Still, there is nothing in her book acknowledging that such marriages exist – or what to do if a wife finds herself in such a situation. I believe her unilateral advice is uneducated at best and dangerous at worst. (Open Letter to Authors of Christian Marriage Books)

        Next, I would say that in retrospect, I find her analysis objectionable. In a nutshell: Respect is a one-way street and “it’s all about sex” for the man. The man needs sex like people need oxygen or else he can’t face his day (sex is also his caffeine and his stress buster). These are my words, not hers. It is the wife’s job to be his prostitute and sex toy (never say no). And…in the realm of respect…we wives are never to criticize or question his opinion or behavior. The wife is to change for him, accommodate him…and in return, he will love her all the more for it.

        Now that I am out of the fog – this mentality nearly jumps off the page there are so many red flags! My mind is literally popping with Bancroft abuse labels. I could wax eloquent about why this is wrong on seven different levels. I would rather let this husband who reviewed the book on Amazon tell you his thoughts, he summed it up quite nicely. His review was titled “Do I get off this easy?”

        Do I get off this easy?

        I recently ordered this book for my wife’s birthday as a way of opening up one more avenue of communication and understanding in our marriage. After reading it myself first, I increasingly felt very hesitant to give it to my wife. Why? Although the book certainly raises important issues that are a great conversational starting point, I can’t help but feel that Feldhahn’s book is saturated with a particular kind of “submissive wife” ideology common in various evangelical Protestant circles. One of Feldhahn’s driving theses is that men are wired a certain way, so the key to a successful marriage is for women to discover the intricacies of that wiring and then adapt themselves accordingly (Feldhahn tells her women readers that these “fascinating new secrets” about men are “supposed to change and improve us (women)” (p.19-20)). Although that might be in fact what men want, I’m unconvinced that is always what we or our marriages need. Following the suggestions in this book might make a happier husband but a more unfulfilled, subservient wife.

        Wow. From his lips to God’s ears. “It might be what men want – it’s not what we or our marriages need.” I like this guy. “Following the suggestions in this book might make a happier husband but a more unfulfilled, subservient wife.” BINGO

        I could end my review there. I won’t. I will offer a few more observations regarding the research that went into the book.

        First, her research is sloppy. Her website states that Shaunti’s book is “based on rigorous research with thousands of men” yet the actual sample size used for this book is 400 men. (For Women Only [Internet Archive link])

        And as sample sizes go, it’s not much – certainly not “thousands.” It is stated as being random. Maybe it was. How random? Were demographic differences considered? Race? Socio-economic differences? All were heterosexual males between a given range of ages. How did they accomplish or verify this? Do we know they were heterosexual or did they just happily check the box regardless of veracity? Were follow-up, in-person interview held with double-blinds to make sure the sample was pure? Were people rejected on the basis of parameters? Qualitative research is extremely complex…I doubt that much went into this; it just doesn’t bear up under scrutiny like other academic journals doing similar types of studies under peer review.

        The person who designed the survey and the criteria previously worked for the Census Bureau. Drill-down is not their strong suit and neither is qualitative research. They are looking for broad brush strokes. In a topic like this; however, we don’t want broad brush strokes…we need detail. This survey doesn’t stand up to review and its criteria for “research” doesn’t offer me that peace of mind. Where is the internal review board, p value, peer review, blinded interviews or any other such details typically found in academic research of this caliber – making such boasts?

        Additionally, the follow-up survey that was sent – because one question “fell out” in the original survey – was conducted by Multonomah Press and was sent to a completely different sample set, specifically “Christian heterosexual males.” This is not traditional research practice. If there is faulty question on the original survey, it is my understanding that follow-up should be done with the original 400 to clarify the question…or throw out the question altogether, even if that means your p-value will be diminished.

        I could be wrong. Perhaps they just didn’t report all their academic values. I don’t see where the book or the website are written from an academic research point of view. Thus, I question the method. It breaks down rapidly under scrutiny.

        Second, as qualitative research surveys go, it was poorly constructed. The form was closed with leading questions and narrow answers. What happens if a given answer best describing a choice for that subject is not listed? He is forced to choose the next best option. And that option may be far from accurate. Now the results are skewed…in favor of a particular outcome. This is not good research practice.

        Third, Ms Feldhahn’s analysis and interpretation of the results seem to reflect that she made the data say what she wanted it to say based on her worldview / religious beliefs rather than looking at the data with an open mind and simply reporting what she found. This is not good research or science.

        For instance, Question #3 of the Follow-up Survey asks: “Suppose you are doing some minor project, and it’s not something you discussed with your wife / significant other. She gets that “What were you thinking?” look on her face and clearly has a question about what you are doing. Choose the situation that happens most frequently.”
        47% answered: I did think about it, and I decided that this was the appropriate action.
        36% answered: I did think about it, and even considered her potential objection, but decided my action was the best.
        18% answered: She’s right—I didn’t think about this.

        According to Feldhahn’s perspective, analysis of this data would fall under the category of: “don’t criticize your husband – only give him respect, trust that he is doing what is good for you and you will reap more love. Do this and your marriage will improve.”

        For those of us educated in covert control, we might interpret these results differently. We might say: Wow, of the 400 Christian heterosexual married men surveyed, 83% don’t consult their wives prior to starting a project. “They decided” on behalf of their wife. Might this be a symptom of a larger problem? (You bet it is!)

        This is the Sleeping Giant. Feldhahn sees the Sleeping Giant and devises complex, enabling plans for wives to tiptoe around it, not waken it, coddle it, respect it, don’t hurt its feelings…and in return, you will discover that the Sleeping Giant is really a Giant Teddy Bear. If you do these things…and completely change your personality…the Sleeping Giant will love you more and life will improve. Those of us married to the Sleeping Giant know better. The Giant has teeth and nails and claws…and no amount of tiptoeing, coddling, respecting or playing nice will change anything for the better. It is best to simply call the Giant for what it is: a Troll – seek safety and leave altogether.

        Thus, one of my bigger criticisms for Feldhahn is that she conducted sloppy research and then reported only what she wanted to see. It could’ve been an opportunity to report against a much more interesting data analysis…and she missed that opportunity. I wouldn’t call her research “rigorous” by any stretch.
        (For Women Only Survey – PDF (Internet Archive link])

        This review is already too long. I will leave you with this final article, also on ACFJ that references some others observations on Ms Feldhahn’s book in the comments.
        (Hall of Blind Guides – Resources that Will Not Help (and may harm) Abuse Victims)

        I apologize for the rambling…and the length. Hopefully I made some sense in there somewhere.

  5. I was working through many of the books listed above during a separation / reconciliation period with my ex. Sad to realize it now, in hindsight. Wasn’t doing a bit of good. (It was actually Piper’s book, This Momentary Marriage, that really made me depressed and I brought it up with my counselor at the time. I asked, ” When does long-suffering actually become “doormat”?! And he completely agreed.)

  6. What do you know about the book: The Controlling Husband: What Every Woman Needs to Know by Ron Welch.

    I didn’t have a chance to read through the whole thing but it seems to minimize the effects of control, abuse, and domestic violence. He spent 3 chapters on the wife and how she allowed herself to be controlled through learned helplessness and she needs to take responsibility for it and stand up and take her power back. Every time I have tried to stand up or take back my power–he has made me pay dearly for it.

    Someone has sent my soon to be ex-husband this book and I was curious if anyone else has read it.

    1. Sara, I have not read the book but read the summary and customer comments at Amazon for it. Your assessment is spot on. Books like this serve to enable the abuser and place guilt on the abused. We do not agree with this approach and find it to be false and destructive.
      This book is not in line with our non-negotiables, so I suggest that you disregard its teachings altogether. This link will prove helpful concerning our beliefs: Non-Negotiables for Effective and Biblical Abuse Ministry

    2. Every time I have tried to stand up or take back my power–he has made me pay dearly for it.

      Yep, those punishing counter moves. I used to be assertive with my h, but I am so shut down now.

      1. RomansEightOne, if you haven’t yet read Honouring Resistance, I encourage you to check it out.

        I am sure your shutdown-ness is an eminently sensible and understandable response to the coercive control and domination which your abuser is subjecting you to. Your shutdown-ness is one way you are resisting the abuse.

      2. Thank you Barbara, I’m just seeing your reply today. I read your link on Honouring Resistance, it is very affirming and (that word I’m wearing out lately) validating. I believe you are spot on about being shut down!

  7. Wow. I’m just in awe at that list, as I’ve read several of those books over the years trying to be a “good wife” and improve myself for my marriage and husband (now, ex-husband).
    Now, one year post-divorce, I am still healing from my ex’s lies, deceit, verbal and emotional abuse, cheating, etc. I’m still trying to overcome the guilt and worthlessness that he made me feel.
    Thank you for this site…and this list. NOW I can see why those books seemed to always make me feel worse as I felt like they encouraged me to stay in a horrible situation, instead of getting out and getting help. 17 years of abuse….I’m so thankful I finally found my way out, for myself and my children.
    There were a lot of books I read that encouraged me to stay when I should have been gone.

    1. Hi Bumble B

      Welcome to the blog!

      Yes, it is sad how these books have kept many victims in their abusive situations.

      Also, may I suggest you check out our New Users’ page. It contains tips for staying safe when commenting on the blog and also gives other pointers.

      Again, Welcome!

  8. It took me a year to “find” this list. I was a bit stressed out. I have 5 of these books! Read and reread them. Several of them…. Actually ALL five have had me in tears feeling like I can’t do that! I’m not ever going to be able. The prayers and cries to God to help me to do and be able seemed to fall on deaf ears. My h would say YOU ARE NOT DOING what it says or Scoffing how a friend and I could get together and read one together because I wasn’t doing it how can I be helping her. He thought I thought I was so awesome and had all the answers. Never thinking friends like to be with friends and help each other?
    Some of the most PAINFUL years of my life. I’m happy to toss them now. 😀 I think I can understand WHY they are on this list also. That knowledge is powerful. Feeling happy. And that’s a big deal, lol.

    It is very sad there isn’t more Christian resources to fill the void. Everywhere I look there are big problems with the resources. I’m praying God will raise up leadership (along with ACFJ 🙂 ) to educate, build up, instruct people and that it will spread like a wild fire…truth.

    1. HBOMIL, Me too! I owned five of them and had read and re-read them over the years and read a couple of the others. Often thinking … how can I do this? Trying some of the things, but never really being able to do it as the books said to, feeling like such a failure. And as the marriage went south, “knowing” it just had to be me because I could not be submissive and obedient enough.

      I even bought the Emerson Eggerich book and work book (Love and Respect) when they first came out and was going to ask my husband to do them with me. But I read a few chapters and something just checked my spirit and I couldn’t … they are still under my bed in a box, brand new, barely cracked open with the sales receipt still with them! I got rid of all the others five or so years ago because they made me feel so bad.

      1. I tried the Love Dare. It took me a couple weeks to get past day 1 or 2. It really irritated my h. He hates those kind of books. Our church started it and we started it together. The pastor dropped the whole thing 18 weeks in. It didn’t help anyway.

        Created to Be His Help Meet. I can say there were helpful things, like simpler dinners and word studies (I hadn’t ever done or tried before). The examples of the women winning their husbands over were heart wrenching!!!! I felt I was doing that and yet not getting the same results. The hurtful comment about the girl being stupid or kind of dumb marrying some unknown man etc…I thought, wow, what would she say about me? I’ve made some dumb choices, but does that mean I can’t expect grace or compassion for my difficulties? The part about having a horrible day, dinner not made and an outraged husband advice was disheartening. The husband was to be served constantly without any regard to the wife’s feelings, health or challenges. That’s my life 24 / 7. I can actually remember a time when I was sick, exhausted and just needed to rest. My h said I could and should lay down AFTER I make dinner. He plopped into his chair, feet up, reading or whatever…ignoring the children, me and definitely not lifting a finger to help set the table, change a diaper, or prep or help in any way. That was an eye opener.

        I still have the books. More to point out what is wrong with them.

  9. I wanted to comment about Paul Hegstrom’s Life Skills International. I did take the full course. They interview you and you pay on a sliding scale (it was reasonable price). The course is quite intense as far as the commitment and homework, etc. I don’t know how the program differs in other locations (although I know the curriculum is VERY quality controlled) but the classes I took had women’s classes and men’s classes. They are not designed to help your marriage (as the abuse could be from any relationship, not just intimate man / woman relationships), but to help the individual find healing and change perspective / actions as they see fit.

    The women instructors always let me vent, never tried to steer me in any particular direction, gave me ample opportunity to share my anger, my sorrow, my emotions, etc. It is not a Biblically-based curriculum, i.e.. it doesn’t quote scripture, etc. (and I sure needed a break from that!) but is usually done at a church setting (which I was leery of at first), and the instructors were Christian. They absolutely do NOT adhere to the “marriage at any cost” lie! The women who were running the program were victims of abuse who had been through a lot and had experienced individual healing. Three were divorced and one was still married with big changes in her marriage. I was never made to feel guilty for contemplating separation or divorce and they never tried to “advise” me on what to do.

    The curriculum gives a LOT of spot-on info about abuse, abusers, the cycle, what to look for, what a healthy relationship looks like. I do agree with you, Barbara, that it is “commercialized” and the program does give information on “arrested development” but I think that was more for an abuser who is actually looking for answers to understand WHY he does things and gives him something new to shoot for. Some of these men don’t even know what normal IS (I’m not saying they don’t know they are doing wrong, but rather, they don’t know anything else). I never got the impression that they were teaching me about “arrested development” to get me to go easy on my abuser (as in “see, there’s a REASON he treats you like crap so be patient and hopeful and don’t give up, etc”), it was just part of the curriculum.

    I got some valuable information and developed some friendships in the class that continue to be helpful. I am not advocating or discouraging, just sharing my own experience. I, myself, would tweak and adjust the program based on what I have learned about abuse, healing, self-esteem, etc. and it was a 26 week commitment for the 4 or 5 Aha! moments, but I can confidently say the program won’t hurt anyone and may help (certainly more than my clueless church counselors did).

    1. Thank you very much for this feedback, Debby. I have not heard detailed feedback on this course from a woman who participated in it, until I read your comment just now. Bless you for taking the time to share your experience here. 🙂

      1. I’m sorry to be tagging on to this post but I wanted to know if you could steer me to any teaching ACFJ has on the “love bears all things” Bible quote (one used against me and kept me bound). I saw it on Facebook and sometimes when people put those quotes out there, it triggers me. Usually I have something intelligent to say for the benefit of any abuse targets that may be reading those isolated Biblical “truths” but for this one, I wasnt sure how to respond. I need to study on who was speaking (Paul?), who was being spoken to (believers in Corinth?), in what context it was used, etc. but was wondering if you had anything I could read over that would clarify that verse? Also, ACFJ is my church and counselor right now and I don’t see anywhere to donate? Thank you seems so inadequate at times so I thought I’d throw some money at you guys! 🙂

  10. The permanence view technically is restricted to not allowing remarriage if the former spouse is still living. Divorce may be allowed for sexual immorality and for desertion. I am definitely interested in reading more on your site about abuse = desertion. Thank you for listing these and making me think through this issue more.

  11. Interesting to see For Women Only on here. That book and For Men Only brought a vitality to our marriage that did not exist before. We reached a new level of understanding as our eyes were opened to the inner thought life of the other. Is there an explanation on how these books arrived on this list?

    1. Some of these books are good books if they are being read and adhered to by a healthy couple where both partners are doing their best to have a healthy, mutually respectful relationship. But when you are in a topsy-turvy relationship where none of the responses make sense and one person’s goal is to control or subjugate the other, this same “advice” becomes a snare. (And then some of these books are just destructive, period. They are designed to control and subjugate the wife in a “Christian” “marriage.” VERY harmful.)

  12. In the list of poor resources, the blog ‘The Peaceful Wife’ is listed. There are 2 links to comments about the blog. When I click the links, they don’t work. Is there another way I can look up the comments on this blog??
    I did a little reading on that blog one day and honestly, it left me feeling depressed and physically even a bit nauseous. I’d like to know from the insightful people here what’s ‘off’ about that blog. It’s like a could sense something was wrong but I can’t explain it.

    1. Hi Ruth,

      Welcome to the blog!

      I have fixed the links, so you should be able to find the comments now. Thanks for letting us know.

      The blog, Peaceful Wife, is yet another typical blog on marriage that mixes tidbits of truth with error, so it’s hard to pull the two apart. But your ‘senser’ (I just invented that word 🙂 ) is serving you well. Listen to it!

      Some examples:

      –She (the peaceful wife) loves the teaching of Wayne Grudem.
      –She “wholeheartedly” agrees the Council on Biblical Manhood and Woman and their statement on abuse.
      –She is a Piper fan.
      –She supports the erroneous teaching that Eve’s curse was that she would desire to control her husband based on Genesis 3. Barbara has recently posted a two-part series that soundly refutes that line of thinking. (Part 1 here)
      –Her list of her favorite marriage books will give you good insight into what she believes. I just glanced through that list and saw that at least nine of the books we don’t endorse on this blog because of their effects on victims of abuse. (And in some cases I wouldn’t endorse the book for a healthy marriage either.)

      Keep listening to your gut. Keep learning truth and as you do you will find that as you encounter error you will recognize it more and more easily.

      Also – as a side note – we like to encourage new commenters to read our New User’s page as it gives tips for staying safe when commenting on the blog.

      Again, Welcome!

      1. Thanks for your quick response! The links work now and I’ve read them. I appreciate the help and this website.

  13. Ugh. Blind guides. It was Emerson Eggerich’s dvds on “Love and Respect” that my husband brought home a year or two ago that led me to this website.

    I’ve been cleaning out closets and under beds, etc today and found the set of books by him, the book and workbook. I bought them in about 2008, on sale at the local Christian bookstore. I was desperate to fix my marriage, learn what I was doing wrong and thought that since there was a lot of positive talk in our evangelical circles about the book, that maybe if I asked my husband to work with me on the workbook, it would help, he would see I was trying to be a better wife.

    I got them home and read the book first, before I brought it up for discussion. After reading it, I couldn’t do it. Just couldn’t. I don’t remember exactly what it was, just a feeling of discomfort and unease. It didn’t ring true somehow and seemed very unfair to a wife. Trivializing her needs, I guess.

    I tossed them in a pile of books under the bed and forgot about them. Just found them again today. No, I don’t often clean under the bed. And I have a lot of books … LOL

    Hmmmm. Trash them, recycle them or burn them?? 😊

  14. I was surprised to see June Hunt’s book (How to Rise Above Abuse) on the list of Blind Guides. I have that book and it lists many things that are abuse, that she clearly defines better than I ever could have. I was planning to delve into it soon to assist me in defending my position to the extended family.
    I would like very much to know what it is about this book that you gives you pause. Anyone? Thank you.

  15. Hi ACFJ friends. Jeff has personally helped guide me out of a marriage with an abusive husband / pastor and church / denomination. I am two years divorced and FREE! HALLELUJAH! I just finished a DivorceCare group. It was very helpful for the most part. I’ve been reading your books, blog and other resources enough to separate the good and bad advice. My question is though, our group would like to stay connected and has suggested we do a book study to help us prepare for a ‘health’ marriage. They chose “Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy”, by Gary Thomas. I always check my books, movies, etc. though your site, but don’t see anything. However, I do see “Sacred Influence: How God Uses Wives to Shape the Souls of Their Husbands” by Gary Thomas which could be a red flag because its the same author, but was just wondering if anyone has actually reviewed it yet.

    Also, would you have any suggestions for a good book for us to do as a group of men and women alike preparing for a healthy marriage. I checked your resource page, but they are mostly for women in abusive situations.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi pain2peace. Welcome to the blog. 🙂 I like your screen name — it’s well chosen!

      You may know this already, but we always like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

      Gary Thomas:

      Here is a post from our blog which mentions Gary Thomas:
      There is a virus of bad theology in the church — an analogy with Hepatitis C

      And here are a few comments where Gary Thomas’s book Sacred Marriage is mentioned:

      comment by Lisa
      comment by Megan C
      comment by Ellie
      follow up comment by Megan C

      We are also planning to publish a post soon about Gary Thomas’s ignorant use of the term “functional fixedness”.

      Any suggestions for a good book for us to do as a group of men and women alike preparing for a healthy marriage?

      I don’t have any suggestions off the top of my head. I am not even sure any such books exist; all the books I’m aware of ignore or negligently skim over the topic of abuse.

      You might like to read our posts tagged premarriage counseling. There are a number of posts with that tag.

      And you might like to read this post by Megan C over at Give Her Wings (we will be re-blogging this post soon).

      Differences Between an Abusive Marriage and a Healthy One [Internet Archive link] (Give Her Wings post)

      Differences Between an Abusive Marriage and a Healthy One (ACFJ re-blog of Megan C’s Give Her Wings post)

      1. Thx Barbara. This was sooo helpful. I can now be a part of the book study and know that he fully supports victims and I’ll feel okay bringing it up during the study.

        I knew it would be difficult to find such a book for healthy marriage preparation, but it was worth the shot. I’ll definitely read the posts on the topic and suggest them to the group.

        So grateful for this blog. I had a great counselor from the Family Life Today radio broadcast hotline who told me to read Leslie Vernick’s The Emotionally Destructive Marriage and from her blog some one mentioned this one. And hear I am 3 years later… God DOES take care of us.

  16. Great article by Give Her Wings. I would love to see Joe Pote create one for the men as I have met many online who are dealing with such stress.

  17. What do you all think of the Cloud and / or Townsend books? I’ve specifically heard the books “Safe People” and “Boundaries” are good.

    1. Ruth, I recently read “Boundaries” by Cloud / Townsend and it was a very good book. This is not a book about domestic abuse, but about setting boundaries in your life — which ultimately can be about stopping abuse in a person’s life. Cloud / Townsend address what are appropriate boundaries and why they are so important. They also address what happens when someone is resistant to having boundaries in a relationship and they speak of safety and never talk about being forced to stay in the marriage for the sake of the marriage. In fact, they talk about how once you begin to set boundaries most destructive relationships will crumble. Abuser will not recognize that you have a right to boundaries in your life and will walk right past them. Cloud / Townsend use scripture, but they do not use fairy dust theology and say that an abuser will miraculously change. They are very forth coming about how hard it is to change relationship patterns and that not all relationships can or are worth saving. They speak often about the importance of a person taking care of them self first, which is extremely difficult for women who find themselves in abusive relationships. I found the book to be very helpful and I have tried to work on my boundaries.

      I don’t know anything about “Safe People”. Good luck.

  18. I am so happy I found this group. I am not abused by my husband but I came from an extremely abusive household growing up. And I went to a very conservative Christian college that only made things worse. I actually found this group because my counseling professor at my school recommended “His needs, Her needs” and I was so absolutely horrified by it. I felt absolutely depressed because all the other couples at my college read it together and loved it. I started to Google “book reviews for His needs Her needs” hoping someone else would understand my concerns. I was seriously starting to question my faith, the church and God himself. I didn’t know if everyone thought abuse was normal and if Christians were suppose to just “go with it” but I knew that something was not right.

    My own husband hated His needs Her needs and swore he would never objectify me like that. I just found it so scary that everyone else ate it up without question!

    I would like to nominate two books for this list. The first one is Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. I see that you already have Sacred Wife on the list and for that I am thankful. Another professor of mine recommended Sacred Marriage to my husband and I when we were engaged. And we felt disgusted and condemned by it. We wouldn’t want another engaged couple or someone who is trying to flee an abusive relationship to read that book and feel guilty. Especially since 99% of the book is personal opinions and anecdotes that seem to stem from self-righteousness.

    The second is Captivating by Staci and John Eldridge. I read this book when I was single and it set me up for some serious pain. Especially the chapter on “Arousing Adam” where a woman’s job is to make the man want to be a hero. Even if she isn’t married its her “job” to make men want to be heroes. Because “real” women make men want to be “real men”. I’m serious. That’s what it taught. Honestly I really wouldn’t recommend anything from the Eldridges. My husband and I read their marriage book “Love and War” and he taught that if anyone stayed single for any reason it was because of selfishness. That true Christians got married because it was God’s plan for everyone’s life. Every. Single. Time. Which flies in the face of 1 Cor 7:8. Of course he never brought that up.

    My school also had the same mentality. That Christians are better off married and need to get married ASAP. They even went to far as to get statistics about how women are getting married later in life (26 instead of 22) and lamented about how they were also having less children. My counselling professor believes we are going to have a population shortage in America because of it. Anyway sorry for rambling but my husband and I have had to wash that toxic theology from our minds and take back our marriage from the confused church and we just don’t want anyone else to go through the same pain those two books put us through. Thanks. 🙂

  19. Is the book “The Heart of Domestic Abuse: Gospel Solutions for Men Who Use Control and Violence in the Home” by Chris Moles recommended? I am going to order “Unholy Charade” and maybe “Why Does He Do That?”. Just wondering about the first one? I am trying to become better educated on this subject. Years ago before I was saved I was in a physically abusive relationship, but that seems like a different lifetime. Now though, I am concerned for a young friend who is trapped and isolated in a very dangerous situation. Our family has been confronting the abusive person(s), trying to learn all we can, and praying for wisdom and ways to help.

    1. Hi Jesusmyjoy,
      We have not read Chris Moles’ book The Heart of Domestic Abuse: Gospel Solutions for Men Who Use Control and Violence in the Home. But for some time we have had concerns about his work in respect of domestic abuse.

      He appears to have a better understanding of domestic abuse than many pastors have. But there are things which don’t sit right with us. For example, we are not confident that Chris Moles would fully endorse and practise all the principles which we have articulated in our post Non-Negotiables for Effective and Biblical Abuse Ministry. And while he does say in places that he thinks abuse can be grounds for divorce, he doesn’t seem to come out as strongly and clearly as we would like on that.

      How someone teaches about divorce really is in many ways a litmus test for how good their theology and teaching is overall.

  20. Thank you so much. I truly appreciate the reply and your evaluation. I hope you don’t mind if I ask about another book. Any thoughts on “Helping Her Get Free: A Guide for Families and Friends of Abused Women” by Susan Brewster?

    1. Hi Jesusmyjoy,

      Yes, it’s a good book. (To avoid any confusion Helping Her Get Free was originally published as To be an Anchor in the Storm.)

      Helping Her Get Free [Affiliate link] is on our Resource page under the subheading Books by Topic: Supporters of Survivors. Another book you will find on that page that is also excellent is Family and Friends ‘Guide to Domestic Violence: How to Listen, Talk, and Take Action When Someone You Car About is Being Abused [Affiliate link] by Elaine Weiss.

      1. Thanks again. If I just ordered one to start with would you recommend “Helping Her Get Free” or “Family and Friends Guide to Domestic Violence …”? Thanks also for the link to the excellent post on Non-Negotiables for Effective and Biblical Abuse Ministry.

      2. Hi JesusmyJoy,

        I personally don’t know if one book is preferred over the other. Maybe some of our readers have some thoughts.

        I do know that Lundy Bancroft recommends “Helping Her Get Free” and we think very highly of Lundy Bancroft’s expertise in the area of abusers and domestic violence.

  21. Oh my goodness. Probably about ten years ago (or so, it’s hard to count), our pastor recommended Love and Respect and even preached some of the concepts from it. He strongly suggested that many of the problems in most Christian marriages would be solved if the couples adhered to what this book proposed. Really, though, pretty much, the book just wants the wife to let the husband do whatever he wants and to ‘respect’ him as he does whatever that is. I read it and recall crying through most chapters, knowing that I was already being really mistreated (actually abused, but I didn’t realize it then), and that I COULDN’T respect most of what he was doing. I remember SOBBING at the last chapter (that I read, anyway, I don’t know if there were more) when it said that “she fears being treated like a doormat.” I KNEW I was already being treated like a doormat and I couldn’t see any reason to be respectful. I was not responsible for my husband’s abuse, but this book made me feel like I was. I’m no longer with him, thank God, but I do wish I had found your site years earlier.

    1. Hi M, this blog only began in 2012, so if you’d looked for it ten years ago you wouldn’t have found it. 😦

      Thanks for your testimony! And welcome to the blog. 🙂

      We always like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

      If you want us to change your screen name from M to something else, just email The woman behind the curtain: — she will be more than happy to assist. 🙂

  22. Sobbing, yes sobbing. I remember it so well. 4 years ago, I had “left” (again) and spent a couple of nights at a dear friend’s house. H came and I was sitting in my car in front of the house listening to this rubbish and feeling hopeless, helpless, completely like a slave with no recourse. He came over to the car, gave the “I love you, I want you back, this is not right, this is not what God wants, I’m sorry,” (whatever the trick du jour he hoped would work) and it was like I was an automaton. He got in his truck, I followed in my car, I saw his head in my headlights and I followed, completely numb. I still want to burn it. I’m not into book burning, but seriously, I could probably cross the line for this one with no qualms. I am so sorry it has hurt you as well. I am so grateful for this site and for hurtbylove, Lundy Bancroft, all of which taught me TRUTH and I am a completely different person today! Praise God!

    1. I would burn my copies with you!!! I can’t think that is ok to release these books back into the world to do more harm, so let’s burn them!

      1. I agree some books should be burned so they will not be read by others putting more lives in danger.

  23. I don’t know much about Gary Thomas, but noticed one of his books is on the above list. I just read an article by him called … Enough is Enough at Enough is Enough: Why the Church Needs to Stop Enabling Abusive Men [Internet Archive link] which someone posted on FB. If he didn’t understand abusive situations before or the importance of valuing the life of the victim above the institution of marriage he seems to have had a wake-up call. What do you think?

    1. We have plan to write a post explaining our view of Gary Thomas. So it’s probably better if you just wait for that. Briefly, we think he is the kind of person who understands DA just enough to be potentially dangerous for victims.

      1. I don’t know much about Gary Thomas, but know there is a series he is doing on Family Life (the marriage retreat, which I know for DA marriage counseling is harmful– been there, done that) called Cherish. Do you know anything about this? I have a feeling it might go right up there with “understanding DA just enough to be dangerous…” Came here to see what you had on Thomas and if my assumptions were correct. Thanks.

      2. I know that “Cherish” is the title of Gary Thomas’s most recent book which came out in the last few months. I’m sure GT would be promoting his book far and wide. So if he’s doing a series titled ‘Cherish’ at Family Life, that would be part of him promoting his book.

        I have a feeling it might go right up there with “understanding DA just enough to be dangerous…”

        I’m sure your feeling is spot on!

  24. Thanks Barbara. I’m getting a lot of resources and apologies but it comes from places like these (general marital issues or Christian niceties) which I am naming as still not identifying the root of the issue. When it comes to abuse it is not about the marriage but that the abuser needs to name some serious darkness and the victim needs to get some serious healing.

    I don’t know much of his stuff but don’t feel the need to spend my time right now reading it because, once again, it’s not the heart of the matter.

  25. Just found this helpful list. Wondering about your thoughts on “Conquer Series”. Jeremy and Tiana Wiles, Dr. Ted Roberts, Paul Cole, Dan Russell, Doug Weiss, Scott Mendes, Dr. Joe McIlhaney, Eric Hovind, Rob Smets. KingdomWorks Studios. Thanks. 🙂

    1. 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.


      The ACFJ team (myself, Jeff and TWBTC) don’t know anything about that series. Maybe some of our readers do?

  26. Even the title:
    Redemptive Divorce – A Biblical process that offers guidance for the Suffering Partner, Healing for the Offending Spouse, and the Best Catalyst for Restoration
    by Mark W. Gaither

    shows how OFF this author is. The “Suffering Partner” (agrees she is suffering) gets “guidance” while the “Offending Spouse” (because that sounds so much better than “ABUSER”) get “Healing” and the end goal is “restoration” (I assume “of the relationship” as opposed to restoration of the individual person). It sickens me that I used to read this stuff and try using their guilt-laden advice only to have things worsen.

  27. The book “Fascinating Womanhood” should be on the list. It is probably a great resource for normal marriages, but proved to be very dangerous for my abusive one. Because of it, I stayed in my marriage a lot longer than I should have, subjecting myself and the children to appalling emotional and physical abuse. It SHOULD have come with a disclaimer that it wasn’t for abusive marriages.

    [The author of the book Fascinating Womanhood is Helen B. Andelin and has been added to Books in our Hall of Blind Guides. Editors.]

  28. I was married to an emotional, physical, spiritual, financial, sexual, and mental abuser. He was a devoted evangelical church attender for 30+ years. I will not go into details of the abuse for fear of my identity being revealed.

    For many years I read and tried the techniques suggested in many of the do NOT read books listed here. They made a bad situation worse. The harder I tried to make things better the worse it became. I begged and pleaded with G-d to make me a better wife so I would not cause this man such distress to be so unhappy and angry with me.
    To be fair, secular therapists are also vulnerable to giving extremely dangerous advice. One therapist told me to mirror his actions to show him what he looks like. That did not end well.

    What helped me to completely understand the mindset of being married to such a person were these 3 authors. Martha Stout (The Sociopath Next Door [Affiliate link]), Robert D. Hare Phd (Without Conscience [Affiliate link]), HG Tudor (many books to choose from). The last author gives insight to how the mind of such person operates as he himself is such person. These books gave validation to my feeling terrorized and such information gave me the opportunity to move with greater safety out of this nightmare.

    Do not dismiss your worst nightmare scenario because he appears to be a lost soul. He is not a lost soul, he is deliberately tormenting and deceiving.

    My heart goes out to all who have suffered at the hands of an abusive “Christian” spouse.

    My prayer is that you find the peace of G-d to move through this darkness with His love to guide you.

    PS. It all started with just words and me being too sensitive and not being able to take joke.

    [Amazon Affiliate links added to book titles listed by the commenter. Editors.]

    1. Hi, No Name, welcome to the blog and thanks for sharing. 🙂

      I would like to suggest that you were not “too sensitive, and unable to take a joke”. That would be what the abuser claimed about you, but I suggest it was a false accusation.

      Who defines “too sensitive”? No one has the right to label anyone else as “too sensitive”. If a person wants to use that description about his or her self, that’s okay in my opinion. But all too often “too sensitive” is used by abusers and their allies as a derogatory label to dismiss the responses of oppressed victims.

  29. Lori Alexander, known for The Transformed Wife, needs to be exposed too. I haven’t read her books, but I’ve read some of her blog articles. She gives horrible advice to women about marriage.

    1. Hi Debbie,

      For your safety and protection, I have changed the name you submitted with your comment to the name you have used on the blog, as it appeared you might have submitted your real name when you submitted your comment.

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