A Cry For Justice

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

Prayer Requests 2015

We at A Cry For Justice desire to come along side those of you who have been wounded by abuse.  We strive to do this through our teachings and through praying for the victims that we are aware of.


Jamie January 6, 2015 — I don’t understand how I can leave. All these articles and Bancrofts book, why does he do that? have finally awakened me from the nightmare I have lived for 15 years. I just don’t understand how to leave. I’ve been to a dom center but they wanted physical or sexual abuse, I’ve tried to file for divorce, he wont sign (now I am terrified to try that again), the lawyer was not helpful, the sheriffs can’t help me with the inlaws. I have 5 children, my wicked in-laws live in my house, and I’m an uneducated stay at home mom. I feel like that makes it 5 times worse. I feel so stuck and can’t make a plan that won’t drown me with their bullying or terrifying my children! I just don’t understand what to do or how to do it. Please pray for me. I have a great counselor who teaching me to be a powerful person, my church is supportive to me and the kids, God Himself has always been with me and we have been through some ca-raazy stuff. But I’m still confused and scared too. I cant find a next step….

Jeff Crippen January 6, 2015 — Jamie, I have passed your prayer request on to the people of our small church and we will be praying for you. Only the Lord can untangle these seemingly impossible webs – but we know He can do it. We are very, very glad that you have awakened and are seeing the abuse for what it is. May the Lord guide and teach and send you into freedom.

Barbara Roberts January 6, 2015 — Jamie, if you haven’t yet done so, I suggest you look at our Hotlines page and our Safety Planning page. There may well be things there that will help you, give you ideas of how to proceed.

Sometimes the justice system and the domestic violence support services cannot or do not give victims all the help they need. There are many reasons for that- some are to do with lack of funding, some are to do with bias and prejudice and lack of understanding in the justice system for the realities of domestic abuse.

One thing I have found helpful: if I don’t get the help I need at first ask, keep asking, keep being the polite pest, the squeaky wheel, till someone tells you something or offers something that is truly going to help you get to safety. Keep calling people, keep asking for help if they don’t reply the first time. (I know that’s hard when one is already strung out near the end of one’s tether; so I’m only offering it as a tip from my experience.)

Still Scared But You Can Call Me Cindy January 7, 2015 — Jamie, Praying! It is so hard to make that step, the step out of the boat into an unknown storm. I know. It has been really hard but after 17 years of being a stay at home, homeschooling mom I am now , 4 and 1/2 years later, working at a great job, homeschooling my last two kids and see a future. It is still very hard at times, and exhausting but we are FREE.

A Bruised Reed January 7, 2015 — Hi Jamie. I know your situation feels impossible to your right now but I am living proof that the Lord can provide a way where there does not seem to be a way. Since you have the support of your pastor, I would begin there. Tell him you and the children must leave and ask him for help. Perhaps there is someone in the church who has a vacant home that you could stay in? You never know until you ask. Dear Lord, I pray for my sister Jamie. She is in need of provision and guidance that only you can give. Please provide a way of escape for her and her children. Shut the mouths of the lions in her life that want to control and abuse her until she can get free. Help her to know that you are with her every step of the way and that You will help her to provide for her children once she leaves. Give her strength, courage, determination, and wisdom to navigate her trecherous situation. You can do all things, Lord. We pray that you will uphold Jamie with your righteous right hand and lead her to safety. In the mighty name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Anon January 6, 2015 — Dear One, In my opinion, if you are in fear, you need to leave (I think that might be written in Pastor Jeff’s book somewhere)… and take the kids with you. You are so blessed that the church is supporting you… now go to your pastor and the leaders and ask for physical help… they need to physically escort you out of the house… help packing and moving you and the kids out, help housing you if that’s the need. If they are afraid, they need to call the cops and you all need to meet at your house so that you can get out… for the time being. If you and your husband are buying the home, my guess is that, over time, the judicial system will rule that the children need to return to their home with their mom and that your husband needs to make the house payment.
As far as you being an “uneducated, stay at home mom,” this could work to your advantage. Husband makes the bulk of the income, yes? It shouldn’t be hard for a lawyer to prove that he’s been your provider and still needs to be: ie… alimony and child support while you get some training in a career that will support you and your children. Get your pastor / the church involved in finding a good lawyer.
I will be praying for your clarity and boldness to really open up to this church that you say is loving and supportive of you. It’s a head game that your husband / his sick family has you trapped in… and I’m guessing you know it.

TWBTC January 11, 2015 — I am submitting a prayer request for one of our readers who needs to remain anonymous. Please prayer for her. She will be making some very difficult decisions soon regarding her abusive situation and the fog seems so thick. She would like prayer for God’s direction, and the strength and discernment to make wise decisions.

Barbara Roberts  January 11, 2015 — I’m praying.

Anon January 21, 2015 — Not sure if this is the right place to put this prayer request. Admin, please feel free to move it to its best spot.
I am asking for prayer for a friend, a sweet man, who has a beautiful family, what he’s longed for his whole life (he was abused as a child.) He just found out that his “godly” wife has been committing adultery. He was so distraught he actually put a gun in his mouth for “practice.”
My guts feel torn open… I ache for him but for his babies… Oh LORD the babies!
Please petition the LORD to shine on TRUTH and to give this man God’s wisdom.
Praise God that (supposedly) my husband confessed to him that we, too, are in big trouble. How he “described” and “labeled” that trouble could be super deceptive as it has always been… but God works miracles all the day long and He can totally turn all of this ugliness into beauty.
King David of the Scriptures wrote to us today: Ps 27:14 —
“Wait on YHVH: be of good courage and He shall strengthen thy heart. Wait, I say, on YHVH.” As we all face our dragons, sometimes needing to take direct, immediate action, move with calm to a safe place. YHVH’s got this. Let us all keep our faces on Him, our hearts in His Hands. He is perfect in Goodness. Praise Him!

Still Reforming January 21, 2015 — If you would remember me in prayer at some point, I would appreciate it. Having spent the entire day talking with my attorneys – at a very expensive law firm – I get the impression I’m up against a wall. It doesn’t matter what the anti-husband has said or done. I’ve documented everything diligently since late summer 2014, but it doesn’t seem to matter . Everything instead seems to be all about potentially pleasing a judge (who is all about father’s rights, being a single father of five). So if anti-husband’s attorney hasn’t answered my concerns about abandoning us financially, cleaning out our safe, removing things from the property, scaring child by leaving strange notes and popping up in the dark outside windows and doors, but his attorney suddenly calls frantic because he might lose the anti-h’s (and more importantly, anti-h’s employer’s) business, we at the snap of a finger need to “look good” to potentially look good before a judge (or risk sharing custody 50-50 and overnights) and / or to keep our case from getting before the judge (by settlement meeting in February), that’s what child and I need to do. So I need to get child together with the anti-h tomorrow. Please pray. I’m despairing of any justice in this world. That anti-h can leave us months ago, drop us financially, scare the child and me by crazy behavior over the past half year, but….none of that seems to matter. Tonight I am despairing. I wish there were justice this side of Glory. It’s hard to be encouraged right now, when I’ve got to dance to the anti-h’s tune – no matter what he does. Child has nightmares about the anti-h holding a gun to her head, and yet my attorneys do not want her to have her own attorney ad litum to get the child’s fears voiced in court; I’m told by my attorneys that would be seen as adversarial. We do nothing but be standing targets, yet are told we risk being seen as the adversarial party. I can’t get child’s concerns recognized in court because only the judge’s opinion will matter. And every time I cry out to the Lord, it only seems to get worse. I wish He would intervene in some miraculous way, but…. There doesn’t seem to be much point to making one’s best efforts to document, fight to protect, whatever. It all seems to be for naught. Thank you for being there to pray and to at the very least, read the concerns and “get it.” I feel like I’m being run over by a bully, then he backs up and does it over and over and over – and I can only stand and watch it happen. My voice doesn’t seem to matter. A judge doesn’t have time for the details. Only the appearances.

Jeff Crippen  January 21, 2015 — Still Reforming, Your story and despair here is something that we hear over and over and over again from abuse victims locked up in these court proceedings. We need to keep telling this story as loudly as we can. “Family” courts just don’t seem to give real justice – at least we sure don’t hear of it happening. Why? It doesn’t take a real genius to figure out that an abuser could care less about his children and that he is only fighting in court for custody and visitation to punish the victim further and to WIN. I know of cases where the guy has hardly ever even been home, yet all of a sudden he demands custody of the children. Victims have little money in most cases, yet they have to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on attorneys, and on top of that those court proceedings just drag on and on and on. What is energizing this? Is it money? I think someone wrote on the blog at one point that the family court system, along with all the psychologists and case managers and attorneys and everyone else who gets involved – is an industry. I have to think there must be some truth to this.

With all of that said, don’t give in to despair. Christ is your champion. Let’s ask Him to see you through it.

Barbara Roberts January 21, 2015 — “Family” courts just don’t seem to give real justice – at least we sure don’t hear of it happening.”

We need to factor in that the cases we usually hear about are the cases where justice wasn’t given. There are cases where the courts get it right, or get it fairly right. And we need to bear in mind that judges are limited in what they can do by the legislation that governs them. Sometimes they are hampered from delving better justice to victims of abuse by the requirements of legislation and government policies.

I myself had a pretty good outcome in the Family Court of Australia, in that custody of my daughter was granted to me, and her father was only granted fortnightly weekend access (visitation). It could have been better (his access could have been even less) but it could have been a lot worse.

Readers, if you are in the throes of a court case, do not despair on the basis of all the sad stories we hear on this blog. Naturally, people who have had disastrous experiences in court tend to lament more, and our blog is a place where it is safe to lament. 🙂

Barbara Roberts January 21, 2015 — SR I shall pray. In fact, I’ve been praying already about this, even before you put the prayer request up.

I am puzzled and slightly amazed that your lawyer does not want a GAL for your daughter because it would be seen as ‘adversarial’. That’s something I’ve not heard of before. Maybe your lawyers know the way this judje operates, from past experience, and that is why they are advising you to not have a GAL. (?)

Yes, some Family Courts don’t give much if any time or interest to the allegations and documentations of abuse. They don’t see their role as being to judge that. I know. Go Figure!

Anon January 21, 2015 — “I’m despairing of any justice in this world….”

Oh God, we cry out to You to force truth to come out of this father’s mouth and open the eyes of this judge. If dumping this lawyer and getting another is what is best, shine light directly on the path to take. Father God, I plead with You to protect this child and to give this mother wisdom and direction. Show her, too, LORD, that even in the darkest of dungeons, YOU are there. Take her to Scriptures to remind her of that. Make Your Presence penetrate this woman’s desperate heart.

King David gave us a powerful thing to remember in Psalm 27:14: “Wait on YHVH: be of good courage and He shall strengthen thy heart: Wait, I say, on YHVH.” King David knew about danger and fear and injustice. He also knew sin and knew how to repent.
My prayers will cover you in these coming days, Dear One.

Still Reforming January 22, 2015 — Barbara, Since the anti-h left us (physically and financially), I procured an attorney at a firm I thought would fight for our child and found a pediatric counselor to help our daughter sort through this. I met with a local former policeman who now counsels victims (and perpetrators) of domestic violence. He’s read Lundy’s books. Because the anti-h never “crossed the line” into hitting and actual molestation, the counselor said he can’t appear as a witness in court to testify about DV, but he recommended a psych eval (specifically for social-sexual issues and parenting) for the anti-h with a certain psychiatrist in mind. My attorneys said no. The head of the law firm said it would be viewed as antagonistic and that the judge has told this attorney privately that he doesn’t respect counselors or psychiatrists.

When my anti-h left us, there was a different judge on the bench (one more child-centric), but she stepped down for medical issues and this judge (male with five kids, raising them on his own, and sympathetic to the industry in which my anti-h works) is now presiding. Since our child raised concerns w/ respect to her dad’s anger and fears she’ll be harmed by her dad, I requested an attorney ad litum for her, but that was when the former judge was on the bench.

The head of the law firm representing me (at $400 / hour) has now spent several hours trying to get me to “extend the olive branch” to get the anti-h and child together, this in spite of his behavior and her fears. I did write a letter to this end and ran the idea past our child’s counselor, as my attorney recommended. In the middle of revising this letter to email to my attorney, I got the calls yesterday about how we have to all of a sudden get them together today because anti-h’s attorney called frantic (fearful of losing anti-h’s employer’s business), so against child’s counselor’s advice to do this in a public place and / or at the counselor’s office, it will be today outside our home (a remote farm) with no one but us present (so he can be abusive and I as the only witness won’t count being one of the parties divorcing and child’s testimony won’t be admitted).

It’s astounding to me because when I was our child’s age, this would have been a no-brainer to the courts. The mother would get custody and the dad would be seen as deadbeat, having left his family and not contributing financially or seeing the child. Nowadays it seems that the bullies can be bullies and when they scream, attorneys hop. Judges have the final say without knowing the full details, and I’m told when we get to court, we won’t have much time there, so if I don’t get anti-h and child together at my own initiative, I will be seen as having a “parental alienation syndrome” and stand to lose a lot.

Barbara Roberts January 22, 2015 — SR, I just read this now. And am praying. yes, the PAS accusation did not exist when we were kids. It’s been invented and used by abusers. And the tragic thing is, real parental alienation does go on: but it’s abusers who do it, worming their way into their children’s minds and lacing them with falsehoods and half truths about the protective parent, so that the children start to not trust the protective parent and get alienated from the parent who actually loves and cares for them.

We have a tag about Parental Alienation Syndrome.

Still Reforming January 24, 2015 — Barbara, Thank you. I’m printing that link for my attorney. Indeed this is exactly what I see happening, as I have documented the words my anti-h has used to alienate our child from me, before and after his own desertion of us.

Still, I will fight this with truth. May the Lord have mercy on us, His children, in court (Feb. 12).

Thank you again – so very much.

Barbara Roberts January 22, 2015 — SR, from what you said here, it sounds like the attorneys you have are in fact giving you probably the most appropriate advice: they know how this judge has behaved in previous cases, so they can predict how he will approach yours. As well as praying for you and your child’s safety, I am going to pray that on your day or days in court, you will have aplomb and dignity and your posture and tone of voice will elicit respect from the judge. Even if he does not usually expect to respect women, I’m praying that he will be surprised at how much he respects you. 🙂

Still Reforming January 24, 2015 — Barbara, Yes indeed. And that is exactly what they have told me – that they know this judge and this is why they are counseling me this way. It really rubs against my grain – knowing the truth and having to feel like I’m playing to a judge, but…. it is what it is. And so, to that end, I am truly deeply grateful for your words here and your prayers.

May God continue to bless your ministry here.

Barbara Roberts January 24, 2015 — SR. . . it may even be a blessing that your attorneys are advising you to play it this way. Why? because if a GAL were appointed, the abuser and his attorney may well ‘counter-attack’ and try to muddy the waters by asking the court to order a psych evaluation for you. Once psych evaluations come into it, it makes things much more complicated. And if the GAL were to request and / or the court were to order a psych eval for your husband, it is very like one would be ordered for you too. And as we know, many psychologists are not well equipped to detect the abuser mindset. . .

Barbara Roberts January 26, 2015 — God can still work goodness and justice for you and your daughter even though the legal system and the individuals within it are so flawed. God knows this judge. He knows every motive of his heart and every hair on his head. Maybe I’ll pray that God will shut the prejudices of this judge down just for you, like He so often blinded the eyes of Soviet border officials when Christians were smuggling Bibles into the USSR.

Still Reforming January 22, 2015 — Thank you, anon and Barbara, for your prayers. They mean a whole lot. Even more than I am aware of, to be sure.

Anon January 22, 2015 — Evil abounds, my friend. Know this though: YHVH, the One True God, cares for His Own. Cry out to Him, seek His Word (not man’s mistranslation and abuse of His Word), pant after His touch and His strength and believe that He is in the midst of doing most amazing things because He loves His Own. Seek counsel from people who TRULY live according to His Ways. (This is a great place to do that, I am learning.) Seek out quiet. Listen for His Voice.

From my own personal experience of living as a single parent for years (this mentally / emotionally neglectful / abusive marriage I’m in now is my 2nd marriage… I supposedly met the Godly man I needed. I know that God asked me to marry him, a stranger to me. What my husband did with the gift God gave him is another story! God’s not done, yet, tho! Praise Him!), [from my personal experience of living as a single parent] may I just say, “Watch for miracles in the most unexpected places / conditions.”

God will do things that you can’t even dream would happen… if you let Him. Your prayers might not be answered in the way you think best… Praise Him for that! Oh how many times we would have really messed up our lives had He given us what we wanted!!!
Praise YHVH! My prayers continue for you, your child, her father, the legal system, etc. The LORD hears the cries of His Own.

Still Reforming January 22, 2015 — Thank you. 🙂

Still Reforming January 25, 2015 — Barbara, as it so happens, two motions have already been filed against me. One for a psych eval, although the details list it’s “for the family,” but one of the reasons he cited for the eval is because I “put up curtains” (this after three months of sudden appearances at our windows in the dark, one of which I caught on digital recording). The legal assistant to the judge told my attorney that to hear these motions should take all of 15 minutes. The judge has seen them, and my attorney thinks that the judge doesn’t look kindly on these things. So perhaps the GAL or AAL would be seen as an aggressive move. (I still shake my head at that one, though.) I guess I’m just dismayed at knowing the truth of it all and feeling like my daughter does not have an outlet to get her voice heard before the judge. She is afraid and not by my doing. The link to PAS you gave earlier was spot on. I appreciate your words and thoughts here very much. I had hoped that his filing the motion may in fact lead to the psych eval which I thought could lead to exposing what I’m dealing with, but I expect that you are correct when you write ” as we know, many psychologists are not well equipped to detect the abuser mindset. . .” I know that I have seen many swayed by his facade, including “professionals” and people in the church I left (two of whom showed up at my door with him this past week when I had to orchestrate the first reunion of him with child; They showed up in defense and anger, telling me he needed to have witnesses). Anyway, thank you. Your words are helping me to digest the very unpalatable details of this time and sort through the unexpected. Strange how there are similarities to living with the abuser – things seem to be one way only to find out that they’re not. I expected the church to respond a certain way only to find out some have turned against me or try to remain neutral or don’t want to know. I expected taking notes and keeping details to help; Maybe they will, but I’m getting a sense that they won’t. I expected a judge to certainly see desertion and abandonment in favor of the one who stayed, but I’m learning that it may not be.

Still Reforming January 25, 2015 — Barbara, forgive me, as I wrote the above comment in haste. I certainly didn’t mean to suggest that it’s better to stay than to leave. I fully support those who leave abusive relationships. These just happen to be the details of my situation. I presume you knew my heart in what I was saying, but didn’t want to ever suggest or leave the impression that it’s better to stay than to leave – not at all. Just wanted to clarify that.

Barbara Roberts January 25, 2015 — No worries, SR, nothing to forgive, on my part. 🙂

Barbara Roberts January 26, 2015 — “I know that I have seen many swayed by his facade, including “professionals” and people in the church I left (two of whom showed up at my door with him this past week when I had to orchestrate the first reunion of him with child; They showed up in defense and anger, telling me he needed to have witnesses).”

SR, just a tip. He may be hoping or planning to bring those two witnesses to testify for him in the court case. If they are convinced that he (poor scared man) needed them to be there to be a witness if you mistreated him, then they are likely to be willing to testify accordingly in court. Just be prepared in case it happens.

But don’t worry too much, because even if those two witnesses do testify, I don’t think it would mean much to the judge. Abusers usually / always think the case they are presenting to the judge is so superlative that the judge MUST be convinced by it. They don’t have a good grasp of reality, in that respect. And their attorneys are not necessarily interested in dragging them back to reality, because the more inflated and complexified the abuser’s case is in court, the larger the attorney’s bill tends to be. . . . and attorneys are pretty good at working out who has deep pockets, and can run (milk) their clients accordingly.

However, not all attorneys are unscrupulous like that. I am just in a cynical mood this morning.

Anon January 25, 2015 — “many psychologists are not well equipped to detect the abuser mindset” Is this sad or what???

Still Reforming January 26, 2015 — Anon, I haven’t had a lot of experience with psychologists (yet), but based on my experiences with marital counselors alongside testimonies of personal friends with (now ex-) husbands, counselors seem to be easily swayed by the personalities of narcissists. I expressed this concern to a domestic abuse counselor with whom I met recently when he recommended that a psychologist evaluate my (soon-to-be-ex-)husband, and he told me to not underestimate the experience of the professional psychologists. Be that as it may, I have more respect for those of us here on this site who have lived in the school of the real world where – even though I’ve read that I can’t use the term narcissist in any documentation because I’m no psychologist – I know what my husband is from having lived it for more than two decades. No textbook or degree could teach me more than my own experience or the wisdom that I’ve gleaned from this website and the souls who have also lived it and graciously help us break the chains of bondage by shining light into the darkness.

Anon January 26, 2015 — “I know what my husband is from having lived it for more than two decades. No textbook or degree could teach me more than my own experience or the wisdom that I’ve gleaned from this website and the souls who have also lived it and graciously help us break the chains of bondage by shining light into the darkness.”

AMEN!!! I think this testimony needs to be copied / pasted in the “testimonies” page of this site. I hear ya on the counselor garbage; neither professionals nor pastors nor lay counselors helped me at all… ever, except for one psychologist who affirmed me and confirmed my self-diagnoses and my plans to remediate. Two years into living in Psychoville with my husband and his seriously wounded kids (from his nutcase of a former wife and then their divorce) and the constant intrusion of his family and ex, my dh (“dear husband”) finally agreed to go to “family” counseling (after I had found “my” “Christian” psychologist who confirmed to me that my body was literally shutting down from horrendous stress, severe depression and PTSD (his diagnoses which were right on. I used quotes around “Christian” because I never once saw him pray with or for us or pull out the Word… unless I insisted.)

DH refused to “work with him”… I think it’s because the Dr. also confirmed that my move out of the home and to an apartment would be the best thing for me at that time. He tried to get DH to realize that I would not heal if I stayed in the house under the present circumstances. DH just thought I needed to submit to him and “stay home where she belongs.” In fact, now that I think about it, I’ve heard those words from his mouth twice before because I left the home twice before during the time that “we” (he was always emotionally checked out) were raising “kids” (I raise baby animals now and they are MUCH more fun and obedient!!!)

DH did agree to go a different “family counselor” and whatchaknow!!! This guy, who counseled us as a couple… (uh, hello!!! In Pastor Jeff’s book, he makes it super clear that an abuser being counseled with the spouse is a no-no) would not even consider talking to DH about our current war zone and the fact that my body was actually dying (I lost my ovaries to stress!!!)… instead, he, being a recovering alcoholic himself, wanted to drone on and on and on into my early childhood and the alcohol rage there. Basically, I told him that I had spent years upon years addressing all of that and had a good handle on it. I left, telling him that he couldn’t help me because he wasn’t listening to the current problems… that he was obsessed with alcoholism and ACOA (adult children of alcoholics)… I went back to my psychologist for just a couple more intense sessions (super expensive) until I could get my feet under me (I had moved my kids and me to a very comfortable, tiny apartment in the same neighborhood as my home so that they could go back and forth to THEIR HOME whenever they wanted.) I would not allow my crazed step-kids to know where we lived because I needed a sanctuary away from them. They couldn’t have cared less… they got what they wanted= ole dad back so that they could do whatever they wanted.

Still Reforming January 26, 2015 — Thank you, Barbara. I do appreciate the tip. Just when I think nothing more could surprise me, something does – so I’m trying to hope for the best while being prepared for the worst. I read your words as those of a realist more than a cynic.

Anon January 26, 2015 — A great little story about victory in the courtroom just to cheer you a bit:
Our daughter lived with an absolutely arrogant, self-worshiping jerk for 5 years. He decided to break up rather than move with her (he agreed that they, as a family, would benefit from the move and he would back her up and support her and her daughter [not his child] the whole way) to another state where she was starting a new career. On top of that, once she did end up at her new location/job, all alone in a strange town almost a thousand miles from us, her served her with a law suit claiming she stole “all his stuff.”
The judge listened to his pity story and then told him he didn’t buy one word of it. He then turned to my daughter and asked her what she wanted… we weren’t prepared for that so all we could think of was that she wanted to be free of the car payment. She gave the car to him… too bad. She should have had him pay it off and let her keep it (she didn’t want that nice new car with a car payment that he forced her to put in her own name.)
The judge was way cool. My daughter was set free and was a happy lady when we walked out of that courthouse. I walked passed the abuser and said, “Wow. Really?”
We’ll all be praying for you.

Still Reforming January 27, 2015 — Thank you, Barbara. I like that prayer. I’ve been praying similarly, knowing that if any justice comes our way in court, it will be only from the Lord’s hand and none other – because all the cards appear to be stacked against me – wrongly so. So whatever comes that is just can only be from God and to Him be all the glory. My struggle too is that if justice does not come and things do not go the way that would make our child most secure and comfortable (likewise me) then I still must trust the Lord and know His ways are best. That is hard, but necessary and also true. I’m trying to prepare my heart for both. Your prayers are of great worth and treasured by me. Thank you so very much.

Wishing January 30, 2015 — Hi Barbara, I have no idea what to do. My husband say he loves me but he has been abusive on and off, we have a young son, and my son also swears at me a lot and gets abusive at times, my son is yet a wonderful child. I left my husband several times and he promised to change and now I left him a few weeks ago and he sometimes he emails me and SMSs me how he wants me back and can’t lose me, he like wants me to come home but when I refuse until I see a real change in him I can’t go back, and then he gets back to swearing me and telling me dirty things, I’m so fed up, I want my marriage to work and I wish for him to change completely cause he does have some good in him.

But I am scared of going back to an abusive marriage, I can’t be myself, I can’t dress up the way I want to, I can’t progress in my business cause he is always so jealous and hates me seeing male clients cause he thinks I might do something wrong, he is so insecure but he keeps telling me everyday to please come home and that he can’t live without me … but I can’t go back now until I see change, I went to see a divorce lawyer yesterday and she charged me quite a lot of money just for a consult and letter to me, and its costly on top of it.

I pray everyday, I know I used to pray everyday that I leave my husband but now it’s like I wish he would change cos I also think about the good times and I’m hurting so much

Why cant God transform him like how he transforms so many other men, but am I making myself a stupid again by wanting this, and a lot of people who know what I go thru are advising me not to, my husband and I have come a long way but he is always broke and I try to do as much as I can with my business which is not doing so well at the moment

I don’t know what to do, please pray for and I pray maybe God at least answers your prayers for me.

Barbara Roberts January 30, 2015 — Dear Wishing,
I have given you a new screen name for your safety. Welcome to the blog. I will pray for you.
I encourage you to read our New Users Info page as it will give you tips about how to guard your safety while commenting on this blog. If you don’t like the screen name I’ve given you, email TWBTC twbtc.acfj@gmail.com and ask her to change it for you.

I understand your wish that your husband would change. I think all of us survivors at this blog have had that kind of wish at some stage. Sadly, our observation is that abusers do not change in the vast majority of instances. They change their tactics of abuse, their disguises, their outward demeanour somewhat, but they don’t usually change at their core belief in their own entitlement and their right to put themselves first at the expense of their spouses. So, I can’t tell you what to do, all I can suggest is that you open you mind to the possibility that your abuser may not change and you may have to start wishing for new things: e.g., for the strength to stay away from him for the sake of your wellbeing and for the sake of your child — to give your child a better chance of growing up healthy (not being under the atmosphere of abuse all the time).

Since your child is already showing some signs of copying your husband’s abusive ways, this is really important to keep in mind and to help you keep motivated when you feel like caving in to your husband’s pleas. If you go back to an unreformed abuser, you child is likely to be even more deeply influenced by the abuser’s bad modelling. And your child will come to think that it’s normal and right for a husband to mistreat his wife, and it’s normal and right for a wife to suck it up and suffer in the face of continuing mistreatment. . . I’m pretty sure you don’t want you child to think like that.

So I encourage you to stay separated from your husband, and to continue, as time and money and the empowering of the Spirit allows enables, to continue keeping strong boundaries against your husband and his various manipulative tactics, and to continue doing what may need to be done to build a new — safer — life for yourself and your child.

I want to applaud you for how far you have already come, and for the fact that you are seeing how your husband is not really showing evidence of true repentance. You are right to see that he is not changing. Sending you those pitiful text messages that all have a sting in the tail (a sting that guilts you, that hints that you are to blame for his misery) — that is clear evidence that he is not changing. All he’d doing is trying to switch tactics till he finds the tactic that manipulates you to come back to him… so he can reinstate his power over you.

I hope you keep commenting on the blog and reading here. You will find much support among our readers. I also encourage you to read the stuff we recommend on our Resources pages, esp Lundy Bancroft’s book (Why Does He DO That?)

Do take care when you are writing comments to not say things that would be too identifying of you and your child. Our New Users Info page gives you tips on that. 🙂

Bless you and hugs, and thanks for joining our little blog community. 🙂

Pressed But Not Crushed February 7, 2015 — Prayer request: I have just come to the realization that I am my family of origin’s scapegoat. Your posts on the topic described my life PERFECTLY! My family of origin groomed me to accept abuse from the world which I have been the target of my whole adult life. My family of origin overplayed their hand last August, and it woke me up to what they’re doing — what they’ve always been doing to me. Before then, I simply thought we suffered from chronic misunderstandings, because I have endured under chronic false accusations from them. My life has been a nightmare. The blessing in it is that it has brought me to the Lord!

But since waking up in August and realizing that we don’t have a misunderstanding, I have calmly and respectfully attempted to draw and defend boundaries with them. As you might imagine, it has not gone well. The abuse has escalated, and now they’re attempting to turn my children against me. Please pray that I am able to give this battle to the Lord! Please pray for His supernatural wisdom and protection over myself and my children! Thank you, and GOD BLESS YOUR MINISTRY!!

Barbara Roberts February 7, 2015 — Hi Pressed but not crushed, I’ll pray for you.

Pressed But Not Crushed February 7, 2015 — Thank you, Barbara! I KNOW this is a spiritual battle and that prayer is the answer!

Denise April 3, 2015 — Dear Pressed But Not Crushed, My mind is blown. I thought I wrote this letter and completely forgotten about it until I got to the end. Almost the exact same thing happened to me this August. The only thing that is different is my family of origin has always been indifferent to my children. I suppose that’s a blessing.

I’m also setting boundaries for my own sanity. I’m so sorry that the abuse of your family has gotten worse. I will pray for you dear sister.

God bless you! Denise

HealinginHim April 3, 2015 — Denise, Thank you for bringing attention to Pressed But Not Crushed … I can totally relate to her life as my husband knew I was my family’s scapegoat. He, his family and now my children have done the same. Doctors and counselors are amazed at the dynamics. Praying for everyone posting prayer requests

Pressed But Not Crushed April 3, 2015 — Thank you, Denise! 🙂 My family has always been indifferent to my children, as well … but once they realized their usual ways of hurting me won’t work anymore, they’re trying to think of a new way to hurt me — through my kids. It is a spiritual battle, and I am so grateful that I found Jesus! It was actually the pain and dysfunction of my family of origin that brought me to the Lord! I pray to stay mindful that I am wrestling not against flesh and blood. I will pray for you as well! “Father God, help us put on the whole armor of God! Help us remember Your promise in Psalm 27:10 — that when our father and mother forsake us, You will take us up!”

Still Reforming February 8, 2015 — Please do pray about my upcoming court before the judge, the very one who has the power to remove me from the marital home that day, leaving my child alone with her father. I have documented everything over previous years and the past months since he abandoned us, but in spite of my documentation I am concerned how the judge will rule.

[Eds. note: comment has been edited to protect the commenter’s identity.]

Thepersistentwidow February 8, 2015 — Still Reforming, I will definitely be praying that you will find favor in the court. God is in control and we will pray that God will soften the court towards you and give you justice.
Praying that you will find safety and peace from the continuing emotional abuse. God is faithful. He brings us to these hard places so that he can deliver us. And he will deliver you in the way he things best. God bless.

Still Reforming February 8, 2015 — Thank you, TPW. I waver between disbelief that I’m living all of this and bracing myself for the storm. Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. I can’t even think too much about it lest I despair. If I start thinking about all of the truth of the details I tear up and can’t stop crying. So I stick to the intellectual level of it all – what’s a disaster plan (so to speak) for us, what if this or that, where will I go, what facts do I present that are most relevant to the court and in our child’s best interests, etc etc etc. I hope when I get to some other side of this I can articulate with some sense of clarity what I have lived through to the glory of God and to the aid and good of the rest of His children living through the same – and sometimes worse – nightmare. “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!” – Psalm 126

Still Reforming February 12, 2015 — Court date today. Hearing on two motions before the judge. Please pray for God to be glorified and that His children (child and I) are protected and delivered from the present evil threatening them. That we are left to continue to worship Him in peace as we are without significant changes unless to His glory and our good – and that whatever is decided both I and child have peace with the Lord’s provision and care. Thank you….

Jeff Crippen February 12, 2015 — StillReforming, “Lord, here is another court hearing for SR. Please grant her and her children safety and justice. Oversee the rulings, even if the judge is an unrighteous person.”

Still Reforming February 13, 2015 — Thank you, JeffC. We were granted safety though not necessarily justice. But I praise the Lord that child and I are still in the marital home. That’s huge. Very thankful to God for that – and ongoing deliverance. Child is highly anxious now – as dad is demanding time with her. Not in ways to quell her fears, but ways to meet his demands. That starts by court order this weekend, working up to possible 50-50 depending on how things go in the next two months with their time together. I’m focused now more intensely on her transition and fears (particularly re: overnights with him starting in two weeks – wherein she is most likely to not sleep due to fear). But God hasn’t abandoned her nor me. And He will see us through to ultimate deliverance, however that looks. Thank you for your prayers – and your ministry here, without which we would probably not be at this stage in our deliverance. The Lord has used you in this, and for that I thank God for you, Barbara, twbtc, persistent widow, and the entire team at ACfJ, as well as your church, Jeff. Please thank them for me. I know they’ve been praying too. If they would remember a child with two diagnosed disabilities as she goes through these next two months, I would be grateful. Thank you all so very, very much. Words cannot adequately express the depth of my gratitude.

Barbara Roberts February 13, 2015 — SR, I’m so glad you are still in the house with your daughter.

I shall now pray that the scheduled visitations work to the abuser’s detriment, and that in some way or other the Lord brings diminution rather than increase to the amount of visitation he gets. Diminution to zero, hopefully.

Be assured, however, that even if the visiting times increase and she stays overnight, she will be looking to you for her lightning rod of de-compression after each event, and you can use each and every such occasion to take her to the Lord for His Comfort and Healing and Soul Repair.

Many was the night I prayed with my daughter at her bedside, after an access weekend. She still remembers those times, and she cannot erase from her mind the knowledge that Jesus helped her explicitly and personally during those times of prayer.

Still Reforming February 14, 2015 — Thank you, Barbara. I needed to hear that and be given that direction. I shall remember that. It is all the more incumbent upon me now to speak to Jesus with her in prayer after these “time-shares.” The Lord has a plan in this, and I’m grateful for your pointing me to Him as part of this. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Princess February 15, 2015 — Please be in prayer for me. I left my controlling & emotionally abusive husband the end of October. We tried counseling but had a bad experience with it. I left the church I loved because I got the “submit more” message from the pastor. I now have an apartment and we have agreed to split our time with the kids equally. He claims to have done much changing, that the Lord has truly shown him the man he needs to be for me & for the children. I don’t trust him. I see it, but I don’t believe it. And, I honestly just feel “done”. I don’t like feeling this way. I am afraid that I am just giving up & that God won’t be happy with me. Don’t I have a responsibility to my marriage to try to make it work, if he is truly repentant? I just want to be done with this whole mess & move on with life. I have been learning many things & am getting stronger all the time. I am rediscovering who I am, for she has been gone so long… And, in the midst of all of this, my oldest son (10) is behaving just like his dad. And my daughter (almost 15) behaves just like I have all these years, making excuses for the behavior. I’m the “bad guy” all around. I know it really hasn’t been all that long, and that these things take time, but I am so tired of limbo. Anyway, please pray that I would hear the Lord clearer than any other voice and that I have peace in what He says to do. Thank you for this site. It has helped me so much. God bless…

Ann February 15, 2015 — I’ve been fighting a skin condition for a long time. It has invaded my left ear. I tried diluted tree tee oil, but it irritated it and bringing on cellulitus. It looks like I may have to go to doctor. It may require an antibiotic which will worsen my gut situation that affects my skin! I need a miracle healing.

Barbara Roberts February 15, 2015 — Ann, you might like to ask the doctor if a topical treatment of silver would help. It would be preferable to an antibiotic if the antibiotic is to be taken orally (which would affect your gut). There is also antibiotic ointment which the doctor might prescribe. But orthodox medicine now recognises the antibiotic properties of silver, and they often use it in infected wounds and in dressings for infected wounds. So you won’t be suggesting anything weird to the doctor. 🙂 I was at the podiatrist today and even saw silver socks! They must have silver in the thread from which the socks are knitted. My dad has silver in the lining of his slippers, which helps keep foot infections at bay.

Ann February 15, 2015 — Hi Barbara, Thank you for these suggestions; I never thought of an antibiotic cream.

[Eds: details edited to disidentify, but Ann, I hear you and sympathize. – Barb]

Ann February 18, 2015 — Hi Barbara, My ear is 80% better today! The doctor did not give an antibiotic! Praise to the Great Physician! She is giving me some other meds. to address the gut situation, starting with one. I pray I only need the one as the others are very strong with many potential serious side effects. If the first one works, it will elevate one huge health situation that is presently stopping me from pursuing job opportunities and financial freedom. Thank you for praying!!!

Still Scared But You Can Call Me Cindy February 18, 2015 — Praise God!! That is wonderful!! Will continue to pray.

Barbara Roberts February 18, 2015 — wonderful news!

Angie March 4, 2015 — It’s been a long time since I’ve been on your site. Forgot how encouraging it is.
Would you please pray for my family? My abuser and I did mediation in October and we are still “playing games.” I don’t feel like it will ever end. My biggest heartache and concern at this point is for my children. It is taking it’s toll on them as they are being lied to and manipulated into believing things about me that are not true. My middle son lives with his dad and he is being involved in the process too much. All the children are very confused and hurting. Please pray that God will supernaturally intervene and stop this. I pray that truth will be exposed so that the patterns of deceit, manipulation, greed, abuse will not be passed down any further in this family. I am seeing it is a long time bondage in my soon to be ex-husbands family.

My children are being misled and it hurts so badly to have them doubt what God knows you have been all these years. Aside from God, my children are really all I care about. Thank you!

Anonymous March 11, 2015 — This isn’t a prayer request I just didn’t know where to post this. On your blogroll you have a website “The Profligate Truth.” I checked it out for the first time today and noticed the second or third article was about about how the author wants to start reading tarot cards and just wanted to alert you to this.

Barbara Roberts March 11, 2015 — Thanks Anonymous for that heads-up. We’ll check it out and if what you say is correct we will be removing that blog from our blog roll.

Anonymous March 15, 2015 — I am at my wits’ end with a situation spanning years in a church that enables abuse and manipulation (all with the best and most honorable intentions– I truly mean this non-sarcastically.) In trying to address it I have been ostracized by my best friends, kicked out of my small group, and stonewalled by leaders. I am considering issuing an open letter to the whole church and the denomination to “out” my story, and am terrified of the consequences to everyone involved if I do. (Of course they think I’m the only one who sees things this way, and don’t realize the level of outrage others might feel if they knew the truth.) Prayers for wisdom and protection are very appreciated. I pretty much feel totally abandoned and alone in this.

REDEEMED! March 16, 2015 — So weary from the battle, and fearful for my little ones. Legal fees are mounting, and he is refusing to pay full support. Thankfully the custody eval said I was to retain physical custody-but it was riddled with errors and fell short of really protecting the children as I had hoped and prayed for. Visitations are so very hard. Working on next steps to take-just so worn down, and feeling like this is never ending.

Still Scared Buy Your Can Call Me Cindy March 17, 2015 — I just ache for you! Praying for you Redeemed. Praying for favor and safety and that God would regrow what the locusts have eaten.

Anon March 17, 2015 — Please pray for me & my kids. I am in the middle of a nasty divorce from an abusive sex addict. I am seeking primary custody and want to move. He is fighting on everything. Comes across to everyone that he is great husband and father and that I am a terrible mother and crazy wife. At am at the end of my rope this evening. I am devastated and feel like I am losing my kids. Pray for the strength to continue this fight and so I can know peace and joy and surrender.

Barbara Roberts March 17, 2015 — Praying!

KitaBunch March 29, 2015 — Please pray for me. I have finally – a few of years after filing for legal separation and a protection order, and then returning to my abuser because he seemed to have changed – feel total PEACE about separating again. I just cannot rebuild this house using broken plastic pick-up sticks when I know there is strong good lumber out there. I am so much stronger now than I was before and I cannot tolerate using such shoddy materials for my house.

Despite his purported contrition and seemingly long-lasting changes, there are still things he says that make me think the change is not deep in his heart. I told him a week ago, I would be executing our financial division and expected he would convert our separation to a divorce as he said he would always do. Now he says ‘no’, … and that I was free to convert it myself and if I do it will prove my hypocrisy. I just no longer want to be married to this man. But, I feel so much fear that I will be judged by others and what about God if I am the one who converts the papers. This is such a hard road.

Please pray I could just take this final step myself. I am SO READY.

[Eds: comment edited for disidentification / safety.]

Barbara Roberts March 29, 2015 — KitaBunch, would you like a copy of my book as a gift? If so, email me and let me know a safe shipping address to send the book to. My book will help dispel your anxiety and false guilt about being the one who files for divorce. The Bible condones divorce for abuse: it gives full liberty to a victim of spousal abuse to divorce the abusive spouse.

A church, in its willful siding with the abuser, or through unintentional blindness, may condemn you for divorcing your abuser, but God will not condemn you — not at all. 🙂

You may also find this post of mine helpful:
The Bible virtually commands divorce for domestic abuse

KitaBunch April 8, 2015  — Thank you! I received the book and have read through much of it. I am working on the last details of separating our assets and then will be all done- neat three years after the first legalities. It is hard because he is acting so much better but I trust that if he has truly changed, he will continue to act this well even after we divorce. I am scared but know that we are ‘done’. Twenty plus years of hell lived through….

A Bruised Reed March 29, 2015 — Hello my brothers and sisters. I would like to ask for prayer about what I think the Lord may be leading me to do. I feel like I should bring my former church up against charges that they are turning a blind eye to the abuse of my 16 year old daughter who has chosen to live with her covert narcissistic father after I fled the marital home to escape his abuse. If the court system does not care that the church mishandled my abuse, maybe they will care if it is found that the church mishandled my case and caused the child to be in a dangerous abusive home after I left. I do believe my attorney who is helping with my divorce will be able to help me with this. I have asked him to give me advice on it today via email. There could be major fall out, not the least of which is my daughter could be forced to live with me (which she DOES NOT WANT TO DO DUE TO HIS ABUSE and his painting me as a mental patient) in my one bedroom condo that she hates. She will really think I am crazy because she thinks her father is a saint. But if the Lord guides and provides, I am willing to do this. Oh, and I should mention, my former church is pastored by a celebrity pastor, who really had nothing to do with my case, but he is the head of this reformed, independent, patriarchal, homeschooling, head covering, misogynistic congregation. My complaint is against his associate pastors. He’s no walk in the park either but I don’t think he had any direct bearing on my particular case. Thank you for your prayers.

Barbara Roberts March 29, 2015 — Okey Dokey! I will pray.

Anotheranon March 29, 2015 — Sisters (and brothers) in Christ, I would like you to pray for me to have strength. I need to be “Abigail” again and undo my husband’s horrible financial decisions that have put us deeply in debt. My son is supporting me and I am talking to an attorney and the banker to enlist their help as well. Also, I do have a strong support system of friends, family, neighbors and church members who have known me all my life.
My husband always goes behind my back doing these things so pray for God’s protection for me. (I am not in physical danger) I am ready to leave if needed but do not have a job outside the family business so please pray I could find a job and a place to live if I am pushed too far.
I believe God can do exceeding, abundantly beyond all that we ask or think. Thank you all.

Barbara Roberts March 31, 2015 — I will pray.

Anotheranon April 15, 2015 — Things are getting ugly these past few days. Lots of yelling. And today I heard it—I am abusing him! After all the horrible things he has done. I understand now that I have never been anything to him except his possession. Now that I have stood up for myself more forcefully than ever before, he is laying it on pretty thick—I should feel sorry for him! Please keep praying for strength for me! This is difficult after so many years of giving in to keep the peace. (My son is on my side helping me, thankfully.)

Jeff Crippen April 15, 2015 — Disregard any of his false accusations of abuse on your part. They are lies and they are the common evil language of these abusers.

Carol  April 8, 2015 — So grateful for finding this blog! Please. please pray for me to be finally and legally free! It took me two years to get the courage to escape the abuse I suffered and my children. I have filed for divorce, after nine years of separation. The attorney has received full payment, yet there is very slow movement. I choose not to be victimized by him. Please pray for this attorney to DO what he has been paid to do. I have been waiting since July. Thank you.

Jeff Crippen April 8, 2015 — Will do, Carol. Boy, your story is so common, unfortunately. The “legal justice” system is such a painful process and we hear these kinds of reports about attorneys very frequently. Glad you found us. Please keep in touch and let us now how things proceed. Blessings in Christ.

Barbara Roberts April 8, 2015 — Hi Carol, welcome to the blog and so glad you are finding it helpful.
I shall pray as you asked.

Waiting since July sounds fishy to me. . . I’m wondering whether that attorney is stalling in the hope or expectation that your abuser and / or the abuser’s attorney will throw some new red herrings into the mess so that your attorney can extract even more money from you to deal with those red herrings. . .

Is there a way you can report the situation to some legal board? I suspect this attorney needs to be reprimanded for professional negligence or something like that.

Mary April 10, 2015 — I have been married for nearly 30 years. I have several children who are young adults or nearly young adults. My husband is a narcissist and an emotional, psychological and financial abuser. A few years ago he began to refuse all intimacy both emotional and physically. I went to the church and they tried to help but this ended up making things worse because my husband convinced them that he was the victim of my abuse. At one point I tried to communicate that my husband was viewing pornography and they accused me of gossip and slander.

I ended up calling the women’s crisis hotline. They put me in touch with a Christian domestic violence support group. I went to these classes for two years and came out of the fog of the guilt and shame of never being able to get it right.

The abuse has continued and I recently filed for separation. We own a small business which is struggling due to my husband’s bad choices together, so it will be a difficult and expensive legal process.

Over the years I have had the suspicion that my husband views pornography. In the past few months I have documented proof using the internet router that he is viewing pornographic web sights that include the terms; girls, teens, youth and boys.

I have gotten the church involved now and they are in the process of church discipline. After some of my kids went to meet with the pastors to explain the emotional and psychological abuse they finally believe me.

The kids don’t know about the pornography, just that their father is in a very dark place. I am struggling with the idea of him being the children. I don’t know if I can legally get him to move out or how expensive it will be. There will also be financial consequences to support another household. The separation / divorce will probably take another a while yet to be final.

Should I be fighting to get him out? Am I compromising spiritually by letting him stay because of the finically consequences? Are there any words of wisdom that you can give me? I know this is my decision and I am praying for wisdom. I just need support to think clearly.

I remember being on my hands and knees in tears begging God to help me be a good wife and to get it right. God didn’t answer that prayer and I didn’t understand that the problem wasn’t me. I felt like God wasn’t there for me. Sometimes I feel like I don’t even know what to pray for. I am praying that I will trust in God and have more faith. I sometimes wonder if other peoples prayers are more powerful than mine.

Thank you for all the help from your web sight. It is a safe place and shelter from the storm of abuse.

Mary (not my real name)

[editors note: details edited to protect the commenter’s identity]

Jeff Crippen April 10, 2015 — Mary,  May the Lord bless and keep you through all of this, as He has been doing. Those are difficult questions that most likely require the input of a domestic violence / pedophile wise counselor and/or attorney. I don’t think you are “letting him stay,” but that in fact if you could your real desire is to have him out of the house away from the family now. So don’t burden yourself with guilt on this. Getting him out immediately is probably no easy thing. You are taking good, sound, wise and courageous action now to get all of you away from him. Thankfully your children are the ages they are and not little children.

TWBTC April 11, 2015 — Hi Mary, Welcome to the blog! Very glad you found our little community.

I too had been married nearly 30 years, had young adult children, and we owned a small business when I made the decision to file for divorce. I understand the confusion you are feeling and understand the difficult decisions you will be making. But you are showing great strength and courage in the steps you have already taken. And God will continue to direct and lead you out of bondage. I am praying for you as you move forward.

Also, Mary, if you haven’t already you may want to visit our New User’s page. It has information on how to stay safe when commenting on the blog. I see you are already not using your real name. Very wise, and there are some other things to be mindful of that the New User’s page will explain.

Again, welcome!

Came Alongside April 10, 2015 — Jeff, you probably know the answer to this, but if Mary is in the US, and she has probable cause via the website information she has obtained on her husband’s internet viewing, couldn’t she take this documentation to the police and have them get involved since it appears that he is probably involved with child porn? If they confirmed it wouldn’t getting him out of the house non-negotiable because they’d be taking him to jail?

Jeff Crippen April 10, 2015 — If it is child porn then absolutely! Good point.

Mary April 10, 2015 — I took it to the police and they went out to investigate him. I’m sitting in a public place waiting for my lawyer to call me back. I’m afraid to go home because I don’t know what his reaction will be. Thanks for the continued prayers.

[editor’s note: some details changed for the commenter’s safety]

Denise April 10, 2015 —  I prayed and will continue to pray for your and your children’s safety.

Came Alongside April 10, 2015 — I would suspect that the police should be able to tell you what the outcome was and if he was at the house because they would know that your safety was in question. I didn’t see this for several hours I hope it’s all worked out by now.

Mary  April 10, 2015 — Thank you for the prayers. The investigators took his phone to the station. A man from church came out and defused the anger. Husband said an apology to me (I think) Then the investigator brought back the phone and told him to be more careful in the future.

Still Reforming April 11, 2015 — Mary, I’ve been following this and praying for you. What I read just now made me want to throw up. “…the investigator brought back the phone and told him to be more careful in the future.”?? More careful? Why? I’m presuming they found untoward images and he’s claimed they came up accidentally, not by his intention? Are you still at home? Are you safe? I’m praying for your clarity, wisdom, and safety.

Mary April 11, 2015 — Husband came home tonight to apologize for the last year of internet sins. I asked him to leave and he got his stuff and went to a hotel. My teenage son was in tears when I told him. Please pray for my son who doesn’t know the details of his fathers sin, but is hurting.

Jeff Crippen April 12, 2015 — Mary, Looking for actual fruit of repentance is very wise. Apologizing is easily counterfeited, as you know. May the Lord bless and keep you and be a real comfort to your son. One of the reasons sin is so ugly is because of what it does to the children.

Barbara Roberts April 12, 2015 — Mary, you have been brave and strong to ask him to leave! Well done!
I am praying for you and your children.

Don’t be surprised if your husband tries to come back with his tail between his legs and tries to coerce you into letting him return. That is very typical behavior for abusers after they have put on a show of ‘apology’ and have followed — for a short while — the victim’s request that he respect a boundary she wishes to impose. Expecting chips for ‘good behavior’ is typical abuser conduct, and sadly many churches endorse this expectation. (I hope your church does not soften in the discipline procedures they are taking against your husband.)

I encourage you to give yourself the liberty to continue to say NO to your husband if that is what you want to do. If you don’t want him to come home, continue to maintain that position. If you don’t feel safe with him being round you or your kids, you are at liberty to continue to keep that boundary up.

If you are making contact with a domestic abuse support service (which I encourage you to do) you could ask the workers if they know of any good counselors and any good attorneys who really understand domestic abuse and how it can often co-occur or overlap with the sexualised abuse of children.


Mary April 13, 2015 — Husband has been gone for two nights and he is looking for a place to rent. I feel sad even though I have wanted him gone for years. I know I shouldn’t, but I feel sorry for him out there on his own. But maybe I just feel sorry for the husband that I wished he was, the husband that never existed. This mornings post about the car is exactly what my marriage has been like. I feel very confused even though I’ve been through the abuse classes. God has opened the door for me to leave, but in a strange way, I’m afraid to go out. Afraid and sad that I am leaving my “imaginary husband” and not the abusive controlling person he really is. I am free to go because of the adultery and abuse, but my emotions are all over the place. Please pray for me to be strong and for my finances during the separation/divorce. I have an appointment with my therapist, who understands abuse, to talk through the issues of how this is affecting my kids.

Barbara Roberts April 13, 2015 — Dear Mary, again today I’m v busy so this is only a brief reply to your comment (I may have time for a longer reply later).

I read Ex 14 this morning and am planning to write a post about it. You might like to read it yourself and see if there any any things in it you relate to . . . like the way the Israelites felt afraid, and for a little while felt that being back in Egypt as slaves to Pharaoh would be preferable to running the gauntlet of separation.

Your feelings of sadness are not unusual. Many of us have felt similar things when we separated from our abusers. I just want to reassure you that it’s okay to grieve.
hugs from Barb

Heather April 16, 2015 — Hi, I am in the process of leaving a 22 year long abusive marriage. About 22 years ago, after a sting of bad relationships, I whole heartedly gave over finding a future spouse to God. I let go of “trying to find the one” and prayed continually for God to bring the right one when it was His timing. I put my trust wholly in God to bring my future spouse. A few months later, along came the man I married, charming and wonderful. I believed God told me he was “the one.” Since I had been waiting and trusting God, it seemed like God had “brought us together.” Although I recognized a few red flags just before the wedding happened, since I believed God had “brought us together,” I thought they were no big deal and could be worked through. 22 years later, I am finally realizing that those things will never be “worked through.” (I so appreciate your blog and several others that have been truly eye opening for me.)

However, now that I am getting free, I feel confused and betrayed by God. I trusted Him to bring me a godly husband and instead I got 22 years of abuse. Literally half of my life has been spent dealing with this abusive situation all the while trusting God and trusting His plan. I have been a stay-at-home mom homeschooling my children for several years. My youngest is quite young and I have no way of supporting myself and them. I find myself afraid and feeling like I am not sure I can trust God to take care of us. After all, I trusted Him to bring me a godly husband and look what happened. How can I trust Him now? What am I missing? What am I not understanding? I feel sacrilegious for even asking these questions. Who am I to question God?

Thank you,

[eds. note: Comment edited for safety and identity reasons.]

Judi April 18, 2015 — Heather, I too, have struggled with the same issues. I am also a homeschooling mom. I trusted God in all of the trials and such and thought that He would reward my “sacrifices”. You are not alone in this. That is the biggest thing I have learned in this journey. I understand your confusion and pain in trusting God. I also learned (am learning) how Scripture has been twisted by others and even in my own mind, and has brought me bondage, not freedom. I am just 6 months into my separation and while I am much stronger than I was then, I know I have a long way to go. I will be praying for you as you find freedom. You are NOT alone. And, God is STILL good, even in this.  FreedomGirl

HealinginHim April 18, 2015 — Heather and Judi, I’ve been there: homeschooling mom, faithful … can’t say much more except that I will pray for you and others because I truly understand.

I recently read this quote and felt I should share it with you: “As we are strengthened by the Lord, part of God’s purpose is that we help others to find that same strength. We should be like Jonathan: during a difficult time he went to David, and helped him to find strength in God (1 Sam. 23: 16). When brothers or sisters in Christ, or others we love are passing through a difficult time, they need someone who can help them find strength from the Lord. We are to pray for one another, and bear one another’s burdens. Then God will use us as His instruments, to bring His strength to those who need it.”

Babylove April 26, 2015 — pls pray for my ex that God will convict his heart with the fruits of the spirit and that he confess, repent and submit his abusive behavior to God. amen

Still Reforming April 27, 2015 — Court (again) today. Please pray for the judge to be given supernatural wisdom in our case. And if it pleases the Lord, for stbx to be caught in his lies. Also for deliverance from the oppression of the legal system – to end this at least in the courts and through ongoing legal motions and lawyers. It takes a lot of energy, time, and losing sleep to stand up to abuse delivered via high-paid attorneys, mediators, judges, and associated costs. I’m praying for justice here on earth. Thank you.

Jeff Crippen April 27, 2015 — Will do, Still Reforming, “Lord, bless and watch over SR today. Give the judge wisdom and direction (even if he is an evil, unjust judge) so that he will be directed in his decision by You. Bring the hidden evils to light and we ask You to bring this all to a conclusion and a return to peace. Amen.”

Still Reforming April 28, 2015 — Thank you for your prayers on our behalf. Update: To avoid further hearings, I gave up everything to husband that he wanted (except for one minor concession on his part). The judge sided with him on the few points raised in the 25 minutes we were given. Otherwise, the judge wanted to push issues to a later date. If I wanted to contest anything, it would demand a separate hearing later down the road, so I declined. Child support was shelved (in spite of his non-payment), along with child’s safety issues. Husband filed the motions so he was heard, judge read the mediation agreement, and then made his decision re: division of marital assets in a snap. Basically dissolution of marriage was achieved and anything else would have to demand a separate court hearing months down the road. I just can’t afford it anymore and am not litigious. The drama is still going on this morning, with husband jerking child and me around, but…. the Lord has kept us – and the court drama (for now) seems to be at an end. So thank you!!! I am grateful for all the Lord grants by His hand. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away; Blessed be the Name of the Lord. He has provided amply for child and me and has never ever forsaken us. He gives all we need. We are defined by our life in Him and nothing less. Thank you for being His faithful servant and coming alongside us in our time of need. I thank the Lord for you.

Heat April 30, 2015 — It is a blessing to find your site. I have always been the nice Christian girl. Always loved the Lord following Him and serving Him. Graduated Bible school and served on the mission field always hoping and dreaming of the husband God would bring me. Then I met him. I was in an emotionally vulnerable place and he swept me off my feet. The biggest decision of my life became the worst decision of my life. We married quickly and then it started quickly.

One of the hardest things was the “joking.” It started on our honeymoon. I was a virgin and he thought it was great fun to tell me I was a “lousy lay.” As the months went by it all played with my head so much. It truly was “crazy making.” I kept thinking “why do I feel this miserable? He is not hitting me?” Eventually after talking with a close friend she helped me see this truly was emotional abuse. I started looking up emotional abuse online and there were so many signs. Because of my childhood I really worked hard for the self worth I had and knew it still needed work. So the biggest sign of abuse for me was how utterly worthless he made me feel. I always heard growing up that communication was key in marriage, and so I tried to express how the things he did made me feel. Instead of taking responsibility he just told me he could never please me. My close friends and family encouraged me to leave. But I had to get my mom moved out of state and settled. I was out of state with my mom when my husband told me he wanted a divorce. I thank Jesus because I do not know that I would have had the courage to leave him. We were only married 10 1/2 months.

Thankfully we have no children and I pray I am not pregnant since I only left a couple weeks ago. I just need prayer as I cope and go through this. For one reconciling my heart and my head. My head knows this is best, but my heart hurts. I have moved out of state to my moms. I need to find a job. And I will need to find a church. But I am so sick nervous about it.

Saying the word divorce makes me feel like a fallen woman when I have been nothing but a good Christian girl my who life. Christians are so harsh and judge so much. I am so thankful for the things have read about divorce and remarriage on this site. Please pray as I continue to weigh these things in my heart and in my head. And pray that I can come back into right relationship with Jesus, I have felt so distant from him and I know he is my only hope.

Another anon May 2, 2015 — Dear Heat, God is gracious and merciful. He understands that your husband abandoned you (at least that is what it sounds like to me). Let Jesus be your comfort in this time. He will never leave you or forsake you. I worry too about what others will think, but in time they will understand.

Barbara Roberts May 2, 2015 — Dear Heat
Welcome to the blog. 🙂 I’m glad you’ve found us.

I shall pray for you. It is such a shock when life turns upside down and inside out, isn’t it?
You are indeed luckily to have had less than a year married to that man. It makes no difference whether or not he used physical abuse as part of his tactics of control: from what you’ve described he most certainly was an abuser. Belittling you with jokes is a common tactic of abusers; and when you object they say “Can’t you take a joke?” It’s a wicked behaviour, and it shows how much he didn’t care for you feelings but just wanted power and control over you.

You may find it helpful to read Patricia Evans’ book The Verbally Abusive Relationship for its analysis of the different types of verbal abuse. And even more helpful is Lundy Bancroft’s book Why Does He DO That? See our Resources tab in the top menu for all our recommended books.

Your abuser would quite likely have hit you in the end, if the marriage had gone on long enough. Abuse generally gets worse over time. Not that physical violence is any ‘worse’ than emotional abuse! In fact, most survivors say that the emotional abuse was much harder to recover from than any physical violence they might have suffered at the hands of their partner.

I hope you keep reading our blog and dig into the old posts as well as reading new posts as they come out. Here are a couple to get you started. 🙂

Let’s Put This “But he hasn’t physically abused you” Nonsense to Rest Once and For All

Is emotional abuse classed as “Domestic Violence”?

Barbara Roberts May 2, 2015 — Also Heat, I encourage you to read our New Users’ Information page.

Xmeriwetherx June 2, 2015 — Please pray for my son’s safety. I just found out that I will be going to court to fight for my husband to not have him alone… again… this will be the third time in the past year and a half. I am so scared, as the judge ruled in my husband’s favor last time… a long story that will be somewhat identifying, but I was able to keep him from actually seeing him alone. However, I think there’s a good chance that I will not be able to this time. Please pray that my lawyer will fight well for me. Pray that the conciliator will believe me that my son’s safety is at risk. Pray that I will calm myself enough to think clearly and be able to function at work/ as a mother in spite of my fear. Ultimately, please pray that God works some kind of miracle to get this man out of our lives.

Jeff Crippen June 2, 2015 — xmeriwetherx, The court scene has to be one of the chief miseries of abuse survivors like yourself, particularly because of custody / visitation issues just like the one you are facing. Deceivers can be soooo smooth in court. Praying.

Psalm 37 June 17, 2015 — Court again this morning. I don’t know why God won’t stop this torment. It’s going on 7 years, 3 or 4 appearances every year so far. This is a case management conference in front of the same wicked judge I’ve had for those 7 years. God is still ignoring my suffering, and I just wish he would help me and give me justice.

Jersey Girl June 17, 2015 — Psalm 37- I lift you up in prayer today. I am SO SORRY you are having to go through this for so long with a wicked judge to boot. I can tell you that God is NOT ignoring your suffering. You may not, as many of us may not, see justice this side of heaven. God will one day make everything right. And that day is coming. A day no man can escape. A day of reckoning. The Bible calls it the great and terrible day of the Lord. For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low. Isaiah 2:12

And 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10- (5) This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— (6) since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, (7) and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels (8) in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. (9) They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, (10) when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.

God is the only true, righteous Judge. The people who are causing your suffering will be repaid by God. And He will grant you relief. God loves you and so do all of us here on this blog. Be encouraged. Hang in there. May the Lord grant you peace.

Collums74 June 20, 2015 — Please pray for my sweet 4 little girls. The guardian ad litem and counselor are trying to force my 4 and 8 year old daughters to visit their father without their 14 and 16 year old sisters. My ex has abused the older 2 so the courts solution is to send the younger ones without anyone to protect them. Their father left a loaded gun on our porch and rang the doorbell and the kids found the gun. The courts solution is to make the kids go to visitation without me. It is a horrible situation with no one to help. I feel as if the people at the cry for justice website are the only ones who will understand the horror of sending your kids to an abuser because of court ordered visitation. Please pray for these children. Thank you.

Jeff Crippen June 20, 2015 — Collums74, may the Lord protect you and the children, bring any evil plotted by your oppressor to nothing, and grant you justice.

Anontheranon June 24, 2015 — Heavenly Father, I pray for a wall of protection to surround these girls, and that you would give them wisdom and courage. I pray that the court system will realize their error and reverse the decision they made, and that those familiar with this case will rise up and help this family to keep them safe.

Collums74 June 20, 2015 — Thank you! May God bless you for all you do for abuse victims. It has brought me such encouragement and hope. I read your posts every single day.

Serena July 7, 2015 — My first marriage was full of verbal and physical abuse. He abused me when I got born again. I divorced him and left with my life and a toddler and nowhere to go. It took 5 years to get over that.

I met this husband now, he hid everything about himself. Alcohol, porno, then did a crime and went to prison for many many years. Left me with 2 kids. I visited him for all those years he was in prison. He said he was changed and gave life to Lord. He played mind games, lied for years, never kept any promises. Angry abuse, yelling at me all time. Got out prison took off and left me and children last year. Went back to his home state to live with parents. I have had nothing but heartache and abuse for three decades from 2 husbands.

He has now sent me divorce papers and I have no money for an attorney.

My whole family are not saved and turned on me because of all this abuse. I am alone now.

Pray God to heal me and send me Christian friends and justice be done
so I will be granted alimony for all the years of pain, pain, and heartache
he has given me.

Barbara Roberts July 7, 2015 — Hi dear sister, you will see that I changed your screen name to something less identifying. If you don’t like the name I chose (Deceived4Decades) then please email our helper twbtc (The Woman Behind The Curtain) twbtc.acfj@gmail.com and ask her to change it to whatever you prefer.

I am so sorry for all that you have suffered. And I’m glad you’ve found us. Please keep reading here and sharing. 🙂 But first, I strongly encourage you to read our New Users’ Info page as it gives tips for how to disidentify yourself while commenting on this blog, in order to guard your safety.

You will notice that I airbrushed some of the details out of your comment above, with this in mind.

Cagednomore July 12, 2015 — Hello, I am about to make some huge decisions in my life about my marriage, which has been laced with verbal, emotional, sexual, and spiritual abuse. I come from a rigid religious system where divorce is condemned except when physical abuse is present (which it is not in my case), so I am terrified of leaving, even more so because my husband has not been abusive in 3 months, and with this change of behavior I feel like I have no grounds for divorce and will not receive support for my decision.

I cannot begin to express the guilt I feel having thoughts of wanting to leave. Everyone in the community thinks he is wonderful, especially our congregation. He is a leader in our church, and high-esteemed. He has told me over and over again that divorce is selfish and that the kids would suffer needlessly if I choose to leave. But he also has moments of kindness which contradicts the other side of him, especially in the last few months. I am confused, gaslighted, and completely alone in this. I have no support system outside of my religious community. My family is against divorce and believes I’m over-exaggerating and overly sensitive. It’s been a very hard journey.

When I saw this prayer request, my heart felt overwhelmed with relief. That people could actually be praying in my behalf. So perhaps I will ask for a prayer that the truth of who my husband truly is and his motives will be clear. That the decision I am up against will be clear, and the path God wishes for me to take full of light and hope for me and my children.

Thank you so much.

Jeff Crippen July 12, 2015 — cagednomore, Thank you for sharing this request and part of your story. If you have been reading the blog here for even a short time I hope that you have seen that you are by no means alone in your hard experiences of abuse, and in particular your abuser parading as a “fine Christian.” And I hope that you find this encouraging and validating. Leaving is a fearful thing and to add to the confusion, the abuser often quickly goes into “nice mode” for a time if he gets wind his victim is thinking of leaving him. Not all abusers do – others can become very threatening and even violent. But let me suggest that his 3 months of no abuse could very probably be merely part of the same old abuse cycle that these guys go round and round with. Inevitably the abuse returns.

Also, and perhaps this might help you put things in a bit clearer perspective, consider this. Here is a man who puts on a front in the community and particularly in his church. He is a church leader. He enjoys “reputation” there. And YET, all the while, he knows full well that his marriage is not by any means healthy, that his wife is suffering greatly, and STILL he continues to put on the religious facade at church. A truly repentant person would be overwhelmed with grief, would withdraw from church leadership, would let his fellow Christians know that he has been sinning grievously against his wife and playing the hypocrite, and he would not care who knew. He would ask for nothing. But your husband continues right on with the show at church and in the community. Clearly he is quite unrepentant and in most of these cases the episodes of “kindness” are nothing more than efforts to set the victim up, put her trust in him again, and then wham! More abuse.

“Lord, you are the Lord of Truth. You are Light from whom no evil can hide. We ask in Christ’s name that You plainly reveal the truth of who this man is, shine Your light on his heart and motives for all to clearly see, and guide and direct this sister in your wisdom.” Amen!!

Cagednomore July 12, 2015 — Thank you. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and relief for this.

Barbara Roberts July 17, 2015 — I’m praying for Loves6. We haven’t heard from her for some time and I’m worried.

Another anon July 19, 2015 — I have been praying for her too, Barbara.

Still Reforming July 20, 2015 — Me three. I hope we hear from her soon…

Debbie July 24, 2015 — It hurts so much. It feels like healing will never come. Please pray for me.

Jeff Crippen July 24, 2015 — Debbie, it is painful isn’t it? To come to realize that this person you gave your life to never did love you at all. Yet the healing begins with truths like this and is our path to freedom. In Christ we have a whole new life ahead of us which really is our true life. It is real. Life in a new body, in a New Earth, lit up by the glory of the Son. Look ahead, not back. Your life is really just beginning and we will see you there!

Debbie August 18, 2015 — Thank you so much Pastor Jeff.

Anna in The Temple July 24, 2015 — I understand Debbie. I will pray for you.

Barbara Roberts July 26, 2015 — Anna in the temple, how lovely to hear from you again! I hope you are going well. 🙂

Still Reforming July 25, 2015 — Praying for you, Debbie. You’re not alone. Pastor Jeff’s counsel here is trustworthy. Healing begins with truth, even (especially) hard truth. You’re turning a corner in your life. What’s in the past is back there. Your future is held by God, and He is truth, and He is trustworthy – unlike those in your past. You have family in Christ here praying for you. It may not feel comfortable now, but there is hope. It can (and often does) get better. This isn’t the end (although it is an end); It’s also a beginning.

Debbie August 18, 2015 — Thank you SR. Knowing there are people I don’t even know are praying for me is such a blessing!

Anna in The Temple July 27, 2015 — Hi Barb, Sorry I’ve been AWOL for a while. Have been dealing with that family stuff I told you about so nightmares and lots of flashbacks. Now diagnosed as having complex PTSD. Hope you are well. Have been meaning to fill you guys in because I have no pastoral help but it’s hard to know where to start. A recent nightmare provided a lots of insight. The whole thing is pretty horrific.

7stelle August 18, 2015 — Appreciate prayer for healing and no side effects from a new medication I will be taking today. I’ve had a skin condition for sometime; tried natural remedies for a long time, but it is not resolving. The medication is strong and has some serious side effects, but at this point I need it. Being healed will enable me to get a job which I will need very soon. Thank you.

Healinginhim August 18, 2015 — Praying for you 7stelle. I know the feeling as I have a couple of meds which are fine but there are some days that I am sure they are causing some uncomfortable symptoms. That’s why I an grateful to be able to ask others like ACFJ for prayer. I am hoping to heal so I can have at least p/t employment.

Barbara Roberts August 18, 2015 — Praying

Anotheranon August 18, 2015  — I have been offered a 3/4 time job that starts next week with training tomorrow. Please pray that my computer skills will be up to the task. I believe the other aspects of the job will be fine. This is probably the start of a new stage of my life. I’ve been praying about it for a long time now.

7stelle and Healinginhim, I will pray that God provides the healing you need.  🙂

Barbara Roberts August 19, 2015 — Okay, I will pray.

Xmeriwetherx August 21, 2015 — Thanks for all your support Barbara (and everyone else)!

Barbara Roberts August 21, 2015 — I shall pray for those things you asked for, xmeriwetherx.
It’s big stuff you are dealing with! Lord God, please stand with xmeriweatherx and give her courage and help her know how to best navigate this awful situation. Please give her clear guidance, inspire her, strengthen her spirit.
And please Lord break the arm of the evil and wicked man, and his allies. And please give our sister the courage she may need if she ends up having to direct and instruct her attorney seemingly against the attorney’s counsel. Help the attorney to see her plight more clearly, and to work WITH her valiantly, rather than work seemingly against her. Help them as a team stand against the lies and injustice that the court system may be involved in or complicit with. Please Lord, keep her son safe!

Verbena August 21, 2015 — prayer request. I was brought to this country from Australia. Husband physically and verbally abused me. I walked out alone with young daughter. Locked me up like a prisoner.
It took 5 years to get over the abuse and words. Get on feet, alone raising daughter struggling to make it.
I get on my feet, got apartment job etc. never went out anywhere then I met next husband who I told how much I went thru. Said I was saved could not date anyone who was not a Christian. He went to church with me, got saved.
We got married 2 weeks later the nightmare started. He had bottles of whiskey, vodka in cupboards everywhere, was an alcoholic, into porno. I was devastated. Moved, fell pregnant. Soon after that child was born he got arrested and he went to Prison for 20 years. He hates women!!
I did not know. Left me 2 kids, I got evicted, lost my career, had to raise kids alone, struggled so hard. No family too help.
I forgave him, visited him in 5 states. Waited 20 years for him to get out said he was changed, came back to the Lord, that’s why I waited.
He got out, he was very very angry more than before.
2 years he was out, he took off paroled back to mother who he is obsessed with. Lives off her. Did not tell me.
Has not provided whole time. Now he has sent divorce papers and he goes to divorce court soon. I cannot afford to fly down there I have suffered untold abuse, mentally, mind games. Left us with out income.
I have no words to speak. heart is broken.

My whole family turned their back on me and his family over this.
I am all alone now with grown daughter. He stole my youth 20 years of my life.
I have been standing, trusting, praying for God to change his heart and he is still the same.

I pray for justice, vindication that the judge will grant me some kind of alimony. I am now in late middle age. hard to find work at this age.

More than three decades years of solid abuse from 2 husbands, all my life I had abuse from my mother. I picked men just like her I see it all now.

Now my daughters run me down to ground over waiting for him and this divorce.
I have no one and nowhere to turn. I am saved and have God on my side at least.
I just want to be happy once in my life. I want everything the years the locusts have stolen, I lost my country, husband, family, jobs and my youth.
Thankyou for allowing me to get everything out.

[name changed and details airbrushed to protect identity.]

Barbara Roberts August 21, 2015 — Dear Verbena,
I changed your screen name and airbrushed some of the details in your comment, for your protection. Welcome to the blog. Your pain is great and very raw, and no wonder! You’ve suffered so much abuse and been led astray and betrayed so often.

We hope you stay around and keep reading on this blog. I encourage you to read our New Users’ Information page which gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting.

PS I chose the screen name Verbena for you because that’s the scent of a soap I was was given by a good friend recently and which I opened today. If you don’t like that name, email twbtc (twbtc.acfj@gmail.com) and ask her to change it to a name you prefer. But not your real name or any name that your family and friends (and abuser!) might identify.

Still Reforming September 1, 2015 — Barbara,
The way you chose Verbena’s screen name made me smile. Thank you. I don’t smile or laugh often enough anymore, but I found the way you chose that name to be really precious and sweet, not unlike sending a fragrant offering to our Lord.

Anotheranon August 21, 2015 — Dear Verbena, I will be praying for you. And I want to encourage you. I am in my 50s and just got an office job after being a stay-at-home mom for over 30 years. I have been praying for a long time for God to make me stronger.
It sounds like you have been strong for many years dealing with your family situation. Remember Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Him (Christ) who strengthens me.” And remember as a Christian you are God’s precious child.

Barbara Roberts September 28, 2015 — Dear Verbena, the email addresses of all the blog team (including my own) can be found on the About page of this blog. If you are using a laptop or desktop, look in the top menu for the ABOUT tab. I’m not quite sure where that tab may show up if you are using a mobile phone (cell phone).

But please be aware that I don’t have much time to interact with readers by email.

Collums74 August 31, 2015 — Thank you for all your prayers! The judge put off the trial which postponed the guardian ad litem’s parenting plan which is awful. So supervised parenting remains in place for now. Unfortunately, my ex has deep pockets and I have nothing. He will continue fighting in the courts but today I am thankful for Gods protection.
Please continue to pray for my four children who have gone through hell because of their dad’s abuse. We can’t escape he torments us wherever we go. With that said though we are not living with him and I could have never gotten out of the fog without this site. I cannot ever say enough of the encouragement and truth that I get from a cry for justice. I can’t go to church because he follows us so this is where I find support. Thank you. Maybe you can’t see the lives you’ve touched but your words are like a life line for me.
Please pray for some sort of relief it’s been almost 3 years since I filed for divorce and there’s no end in site.

Overcomer September 1, 2015 — Hello my brothers and sisters in Christ. Greetings to you in His holy name. I would like to please ask for prayer about a ministry I feel the Lord has for me, as a result of the abuse I suffered at the hands of my phony, evil, wicked narc ex husband. It involves coming against the powers of darkness and principalities and powers and against spiritual wickedness in high places. Eph 6:12. I feel like the enemy is coming against me big time and trying to prevent a key relationship from forming- someone who will be a partner and help in it all. If you would please pray for me, this relationship, and this ministry, I would greatly appreciate it. I am thinking that maybe the Lord would have me do a YouTube channel but I am not sure. I feel like He will allow me to reach many people somehow. I have taken a whole year to study this abuse / evil and feel that I am like 99% healed and am ready to embark on helping others. I appreciate your prayers and I will try to give you all an update as the Lord continues to work and bring things to pass. Thank you so much!

Seeing The Light September 11, 2015 — Please pray for my children and me. I have been living separated in the home with my anti-husband for the last few years. It has been getting more and more tense lately. I have not moved forward because of my dire health situation. This evening he withdrew all of our joint money and cancelled our credit cards saying he is taking control because it is God’s will for him to do so to restore our family. Please pray for us. He says he will continue to provide for us, but everything will go through him, even our food. I can’t rest or sleep as I contemplate what to do next. My children are upset and frightened. Please pray that God will make a way. Please pray for strength and for deliverance.

Still Reforming September 12, 2015 — I’ll keep you in prayer, Seeing The Light. I’ll pray for your deliverance and peace of mind and heart. My now ex- did the same to me, but I didn’t have the health situation you do. Mine withdrew his paycheck from our joint account (and I had no income), but God provided for us by other means. Is there any way you can speak by phone with a local domestic abuse / violence women’s shelter for counsel with respect to your health situation, the children, and options?

Seeing The Light September 12, 2015 — Still Reforming, thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement. I have never tried the shelter for counsel before. I think I will need to do that, though. It’s all so overwhelming. Could I ask for a short synopsis of how you got free? Did he leave or did you? Did you get custody of the children? Thank you again.

Still Reforming September 12, 2015 — Seeing the Light,

I’m happy to share with you how God delivered me. I know there’s identifying info here, but that’s okay with me.

In my case, my now ex- (the anti-husband, or anti-h for short) had been working on our child as a tool against me for years, mostly by telling her lies and spending time with her that he hadn’t when she wasn’t useful to him (infant, toddler, young child stages of life). When she could be used to turn against me (which she never did) he started lying and keeping secrets with her. When one of those secrets involved personal touch, and I tried to hold a family discussion about it (first having spoken with her privately, then opening it up for a family talk), he became angry.

I alerted our pastor about the situation and put a prayer request here and at the Grace for my Heart website. At both sites, I received wise counsel about taking our child to speak with a pediatrician to make sure there was no inappropriate touch. I delayed, not wanting to put her in the spotlight or make her feel in any way responsible for the deteriorating situation in our home. I took other measures at home instead that I can share with you privately. Some of those measures angered the anti-h. Others he never knew about.

I can well relate to the mounting tension you describe, because it was that very thing that lead me to finally make the call – after about six weeks. Until then, I would call my local pastor who repeatedly said that I (a) had to seek legal counsel and (b) needed to get our child to a medical professional. Based on what I would tell him was happening in the home, our pastor was becoming concerned that something could happen to me physically, and I think that the pastor, like Pontius Pilate, just wanted to wash his hands of it and send me off to other professionals to deal with it.

So when I finally worked up the nerve to make the call, my child’s pediatrician wouldn’t do it. A nurse at the office instead told me that the situation needed to be documented properly, so I was pointed to Child Protective Services, who pointed me to an abuse hot line, who turned it over to the Department of Children and Families (DCF), who came out that very day I called.

In hindsight it’s interesting that everyone took it seriously enough that it needed to be dealt with “by the right professional,” but it was never the professional with whom I was speaking – be it pastor or pediatrician.

Within two weeks of DCF opening a case, they interviewed the anti-h at his place of work. It was that day that he never came home. Never called to tell me. That kind of secretive behavior was true to form. The next evening, however, he did come inside the home when he knew our child and I would be at church, but only to secret out the contents of our safe, our tax records, and more. Oh, and leave a note on our child’s bed saying, “I don’t know when (my first name) will let me see you again. Love, Dad”

We were stalked by him for months, until I was allowed by the attorney I eventually retained to put an alarm system on the house, which kept the anti-h outside, but not away from windows at night or the front door to slip cards to our child in through the doggy door. I finally put curtains up to prevent his sudden appearances at dusk at the windows. In return, the anti-h filed four motions against me in court – one for a psychiatric exam, and one of the reasons he cited for wanting me to be examined was that I put up curtains. The four motions really went nowhere, except for the timeshare request, and he now has her 50-50. So in answer to your question, in my case, unless he stepped over any legal line (ie, touched her bathing suit area), he is entitled by law to her 50-50. Also, for what it’s worth, although DCF documented his angry outbursts in front of our child, unless he called me swear words or words accepted by society as bad words, his Scriptural mischaracterizations of me screamed in anger meant nothing in the eyes of the law. (“You’re a dripping faucet!” You’re a nagging wife! You’re judgmental and unmerciful and unloving!”) I know they matter to my God though.

It never stopped being bizarre after he left, but at least he wasn’t there every evening or morning to glare at me or leave me notes of Scripture on the table telling me how the foolish woman tears her house down with her own hands and so on. I often think, although I never said to the anti-h, “May the Lord judge between you and me.” (1 Samuel 24:12)

We live in a day where a man can leave his family physically and financially and not have to pay for them even though they were 100 percent dependent on his income prior. In 1/2 year of his absence, the law determined he only owed 65 percent of medical and educational reimbursement, which means – he didn’t have to pay for her food, shelter or clothing from the day he left us, but is by law allowed 50 percent of her time. She has no rights; He has every right.

I find it odd that monthly child support was thereafter determined, and one month’s child support is greater than the total of six months support from when he left. It is not justice, which is another reason I find the name of this website so fitting.

So – it hasn’t necessarily gotten “easier” on me with respect to finances. In fact, it’s much, much harder, but…. I can breathe. I don’t have to seize up or cringe every time he walks in the door. I no longer walk on eggshells. My time is my own. I don’t have to wonder about what he means by x, y, or z. I don’t have to constantly re-explain to my child whatever lie I overhear that he’s told her. (And by now, she’s learned that while not all he says is a lie, anything could be.)

Much of my life has gotten harder, but… it’s better. I’d rather this crumb in peace than a feast in a house filled with strife. (Proverbs 17:1). And although I’m tied to this corner of the world until my child is of age where she is not longer legally bound to see him or attend school where he determined (unless the Lord intervenes, and child and I are praying for that), I have hope that some day I shall leave this place. And I have more hope in the Lord’s ongoing deliverance unto something, some place, some congregation or local assembly, in His time – more hope than I had when sharing the same home with a liar, a manipulator, an “angel of light” who still attends the church in which I once served and worshiped. I’m glad to be delivered from that ‘church’ as well.

Interestingly, I prayed for years for deliverance from both marriage and that pastor / church, and I received both. I’m lonely now. It’s trying in its own way to only get my Biblical teaching on-line, from afar, but God doesn’t require attendance in a local assembly. It’s desirable, but until He grants that, I’m grateful for the means through which He can teach me on-line, the means by which He continue to provides daily bread for me and my child, and a peace that passes all understanding

All to say – It doesn’t necessarily get easier, but it does get better. I’d rather struggle this way than the way I did for more than two decades with one who was like his father, the devil. Now my prayers are for my child, for her protection when with him, and for her wisdom and discernment through this stage where she’s forced to be with him, in spite of her desires to not be so much.

Sorry this is so long. I hope this helps. I really am praying for your own deliverance in God’s time, to His glory, and your good (and that of your children).


Barbara Roberts September 13, 2015 — Still Reforming — thank you for that profound testimony. I can relate to it in several ways, ways which I am not at liberty to describe in detail here.

See The Light September 12, 2015  — Still Reforming, I have read your whole post. Wow.

Barbara Roberts September 13, 2015 — Seeing the Light
I will pray for your and your children.

Seeing The Light September 13, 2015 — Thank you, Barbara.  We need it.

Xmeriwetherx September 15, 2015 — Please pray for an upcoming court date. I have good reason to believe it will not go in my favor, and I’m terrified for the safety of my child. It’s a week away, but my anxiety about it is full throttle. Please pray that I feel God’s presence and peace during this difficult time… I don’t think I’ve ever felt so distant from Him. Please pray that He humbles my abuser. Please pray for the people who hold our lives’ in their hands to have wisdom, to see through his manipulations. Please pray for protection. Please pray for a miracle.

Anontheranon September 16, 2015 — Heavenly Father, I pray for your safekeeping for this woman and her child. I pray that the truth will come forth in the court proceedings and the judge will see through the abuser’s evil ways. And I pray for her peace of mind and soul in the meantime. We trust in You to work all things together for good, to those who love You and are called according to Your purpose. Give us all Your strength in these difficult days, through our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Xmeriwetherx September 16, 2015 — Thank you so much for your prayers ladies. I so need them right now. I did have a friend contact me out of the blue today, just to let me know that she was praying for me. I’m sure that was from God…I feel like my faith is at an all time low right now, but things like this help me feel a little less alone. I am reaching out to God from this dark place… cried and prayed for hours last night. I will meditate on the promises that both of you shared 

Seeing The Light September 18, 2015 — I am praying fervently for you, too, Xmeriwetherx.

Babylove September 17, 2015 — pls pray for me to help ease the traumatic memories after living with a socio-path for 3 yrs…..I have been out of the relationship for almost 2 yrs however the nightmares continue, I suffer low self esteem and I am shaky with my boundaries. I do not know if I have forgiven him because sometimes I want bad things to happen to him, other times I just feel sorry for the shell of a human being he is! Prayers all around that I may begin to process and live life in a somewhat normal way. Blessings

TWBTC September 17, 2015 — Babylove, Recovery is a step-by-step process and often baby steps at that. Praying that your recovery begins and is steady and fruitful.

Seeing The Light September 27, 2015 — Xmeriwetherx, how did your court date go? I have continued to pray for you.

Barbara Roberts September 27, 2015 — I too have been praying, so I’m keen to know the outcome.

Barbara Roberts September 28, 2015 — I have a praise. I’ve been separated for 14 months (still no support from my husband) and have been No Contact for the past 6 months. The Lord is good, and had provided for all of our needs. I have no idea what the future holds, but I know it has to be good. I am thankful for freedom, peace, strength, wisdom and people like you and your site that bring light to a very dark subject and educate and encourage those going through abuse and healing. Thank you!

Still Reforming September 29, 2015 — ___, Thank you for your praise. It is encouraging to me, since I haven’t found employment that allows me to pick up our child from school three days a week – and I struggle with concerns about providing for us. My now ex- left about the same time (a year ago) as your separation. He provided nothing until a few months ago when the court required a minimum of child support (imputing a minimum wage on me and 50-50 timeshare reduces his requirement as well). Your own testimony is a help to me, as I struggle with fear and then chastise myself for lack of faith in God’s provision. He has provided since my ex- left, and I shall trust Him for the day at hand and future too. I just wish I didn’t go through such fear and concern about how to provide for me and our child. He has provided for us to date, and I must remind myself of that – and praise Him for it, to shift from fear to faith.

Seeing The Light September 30, 2015 — I have an updated prayer request. I posted on 9/11/15, when my husband took major steps to totally control our finances. I have been praying and seeking counsel what path to take next to protect my children and myself. My health has been very poor for years. Now, however, another potential health situation that could be a major crisis has surfaced. I will be having tests the end of this week. I am asking for prayer that everything will go well and turn out normal. If this goes badly, I do not know how I can do anything to fight for us. Thank you so much. I am trusting the Lord.

Barbara Roberts September 30, 2015 — Okay. will pray

Still Reforming October 1, 2015 — Seeing the Light, I have been praying and continue to pray for you. Trusting the Lord with you….. ((((hugs)))))

Anna in The Temple October 1, 2015 — Hi guys. I am just wondering if I could get prayer to get a job. I am currently a contractor and the years of abuse mean that my employment history is a bit all over the place. Please pray for favor at my work also. I would be so grateful to have some long term stability and a chance to stay in one place rather than struggling under the weight of abuse or fleeing from it. It is sometimes hard to trust God as I worry that it might not be His will for me to be settled as we are called to suffer at times and some for longer than others. I do so hope however that the years of suffering are over or at least that I get a reprieve to give me a chance to recover. I am not sure if I could take much more and have literally broken down and been homeless in the last couple of years. Thank you so much.

Anotheranon October 2, 2015 — Dear Anna in the Temple, your screen name means so much to me. I had a relative named Anna who was a widow for over 40 years and never remarried. She faithfully raised her family in near poverty and was always cheerful and loving. She had the support of young adult children and did mending and probably other odd jobs to get by. I never remember her complaining, and she had a quiet faith that was comforting to me.
I pray that God will find you the employment you need, in a place where you can put down roots. I will pray that He puts the right people in your life to help you.
A verse that is speaking to me these days — Isa. 40:31

“Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”

Barbara Roberts October 2, 2015 — I have been praying and will continue to do so.

Xmeriwetherx October 7, 2015 — Requesting prayer for me and my son. I recently lost in court, and his visits with his father have changed to unsupervised. After only two of these unsupervised visits, I got first a note and then a phone call from my son’s teacher. He has become noticeably more aggressive, and she asked if anything big had changed. The answer is pretty obvious. It breaks my heart that I can’t protect him from the harm his father is causing. Pray for wisdom in my parenting through this. Pray for the truth to come to light, and for someone in power to care and act to keep my son away from this. Please also pray that I have strength through this trial, that I can keep pressing on.. and that I’m just filled with supernatural peace and joy…. that I can be a lighthouse to my sweet boy, pointing him to the Lord as he weathers the storm of these visits without me present.

Barbara Roberts October 7, 2015  — Oh xmeriwetherx, I’ve been praying in an ongoing way since you let us know the court case was coming up. I’m so sorry to hear it went badly. I shall be praying now for the things you asked.

Xmeriwetherx October 7, 2015 — Thank you so much for the ongoing prayer.. it means a lot. I intended to post some kind of an update, but I’ve been in such a bad place since the hearing. Not being able to keep my son safe is the worst feeling in the world. 🙂 Knowing I have people praying for me helps though!

Barbara Roberts October 7, 2015 — I suggest you keep documenting the changes that you and the teachers notice in your son. And if you can get the teacher to put it in writing in some way, that might really help. Or you could write the teacher a letter stating what she told you. That would be a kind of documentation, in that if your account of the conversation was inaccurate, she could correct or refute it. Not that you will necessarily get another opportunity (or it be a good idea) to take it back to court. But just in case you do, or in case it ends up with CPS, you documentation may (only may) be taken into account by the professionals.

Sigh. I wish the system was a lot better at protecting kids!

Seeing The Light October 9, 2015 — Xmeriwetherx, I am so grieved for you. I hear your mother’s heart’s desire to protect your son. I understand it so well. I will keep you and your son in my prayers. You can count on it.

Healinginhim October 9, 2015 — I can’t give details; not knowing if ‘he’ is still reading this blog. I am exhausted. Feeling abandoned now by my lawyer. It’s not taking much for tears to flow. I seemed to have so many commitments that I must adhere to and am feeling like such a failure as many see ‘him’ as ‘just a nice guy’.
“Dear God. Forgive me for feeling so weak. I trust You but I’m just so tired and lonely; not having true Christian fellowship to turn to for support. Please. Please give me the fortitude to carry on.”

Barbara Roberts October 9, 2015 — I shall pray.

Collums74 October 10, 2015 — Please pray for me and my girls. The guardian ad litem is pushing for unsupervised visitation and the counselor is court ordered so she doesn’t care about what the girls say. Anything reported by the girls of yelling and horrible things he says is dismissed by the counselor as “that’s just how your dad is”. This has been going on for almost 3 years and I have lost hope. The crushing feeling I have every morning is unbearable. I know God is in control but if the girls have to go unsupervised with their dad it will have detrimental effects on them. Please pray that the mighty hand of God will protect these children. God has allowed supervised visitation to remain for almost 3 years which is a miracle in the courts these days. I need hope please pray.

Anon October 10, 2015 — Praying. x

Seeing The Light  October 10, 2015 — Collums74, I am praying for you and your girls.

NewLife October 11, 2015 —  posted a comment on today’s blog, but I would like prayer for tomorrow. I will look my husband in the eye with our counselors and tell him I am not reconciling. He is working very hard to make it look like he’s repenting and I just won’t get on board. He will NEVER leave me. I am struggling with all of these eyes on me also expecting me to “not give up”, and give him yet another chance. He is extremely self-deceptive and believes his own lies. I have to be the adult, and say NO MORE. I do have a lot of wonderful support from my family, close friends and church. I know I am doing the right thing. Thank you for all that you are doing for women like me. I have learned so much here and I praise God for you.

Freedom Girl October 11, 2015 — New Life, I will be praying for you. I understand that place you are in. I, too, had to be the one to say ENOUGH. I don’t have the support that you do, but that will just help you even more, to be strong in this decision. May your vision remain clear.

TWBTC October 11, 2015 — NewLife, You have seen through his deception, even though others may not have. You have “not given up”, he has. He gave up when he decided to be abusive and live behind the facade of Christianity.  I am praying!

Barbara Roberts October 11, 2015 — Hi NL, I’m a bit late replying to you, but here are some thoughts. You can choose whether or not you give him eye contact while you are telling him this. You might find it helpful to think of us as a great cloud of witnesses invisibly with you in the room, while you are doing it.  (hugs)

Anna in The Temple October 25, 2015 — Hi guys. Well I found out about my job recently and the news was not the best. At this stage they are only offering a 12 month contract. I have found this hard to take because I had my hopes pinned on finally gaining some long term stability following a protracted history of serious abuse that extends back to extreme child abuse. At this stage it has been hard to understand why God would not have granted me some stability – which is of course doubt on my part – I think I find this particularly hard when I compare what I have to what others have, including fellow Christians. This is also made all the harder when I reflect on my history of suffering serious abuse in that it is hard to understand why His answer to my prayers for some stability in life was no, or at best, not yet. I would greatly appreciate your prayers at this time for wisdom and peace, for strength not to doubt, and also for me to find another job that is permanent – if that is His will. I don’t feel good about either the situation or my doubt.

Still Reforming October 26, 2015 — Anna in the Temple, I understand your fears and doubts. I am without employment at present and unsure each day what will come. I have some savings, so I’m not worried about paying the bills for a little while, but…. that little while will end, and then what? I’m willing to work, but jobs have not been forthcoming, though I have sought and am seeking. So I have concerns and doubts too and I rue them all, yet by going through this process I’m learning that the Lord is providing for me, and I am to pray for my daily bread, not tomorrow’s.

That doesn’t mean that we can’t make plans, but as the Lord wills. I am sorry that you weren’t offered what you hoped for, yet in the Lord’s absolute sovereignty, your stability is in Him.

Re: the abuse, I too have a hard time understanding it in my own life. The Lord could have prevented it in my life, but didn’t. Why? I don’t know – Ultimately, it will be for His glory and the good of His people, and I hang onto that.

I’ll remember you in prayer, for clarity in the situation and for peace.

Barbara Roberts  October 26, 2015 — Thanks for putting up this request, Anna in the temple. I shall certainly pray.  After a lifetime of abuse — from childhood onwards — I do not wonder at your longing for stability and peace!

Anna in The Temple October 26, 2015 — Hi Still Reforming, Thank you very much for your response. You will have to understand if my reply is a bit higglety pigglety as I don’t have the Internet except on my phone. I feel for you in your trials and will pray for you also. I can hear how much you hate doubting at times – as you may have gleaned I feel just the same. Yes – you are right in that we pray for today’s bread-not tomorrow’s. I think my initial response to the situation was shock as there was much riding on the situation mentally. My history of child abuse was prolonged and severe and I think that was what had my hopes up high for stability as there are many clear evidences of how that abuse is still affecting in many ways and I was pining for it all to end. I know He is our rock and clearly my doubts extended to that also. I will keep thinking of you sister in Christ as you make your way through your own challenges with His guidance. Many, many thanks for your prayers and apologies again if my reply was a bit all over the place.

Anna in The Temple October 26, 2015 — Thank you Barb and thank you for understanding. 🙂

Still Reforming October 27, 2015 — Anna in the Temple, I wish my replies typed via keyboard were as coherent as yours typed on a phone! Your communication is anything but higglety-pigglety. (Love that phrase!) I really ache for you with so much instability throughout your childhood and on into adulthood.

I know that in my own case I struggle with God when I think I can see what he’s doing (I got a job a few months ago; Thank you, God!) only to lose it within two weeks, and it was with a “Christian” employer. (Wait, God… What? I thought you gave me this job.) I struggle with not understanding what He’s doing and then learning what trust in the Lord really means on a daily basis. I struggle with my struggling. (You are very perceptive, by the way.) I think I can relate to your doubts and fears, and that’s why I want to keep you in prayer. I don’t know why God allowed so much in your life, and I wish I could just hug you and sit and share a cuppa your favorite hot beverage and just talk. I will pray for you. There’s a big difference between knowing in one’s head that God is our rock – our stability – and knowing it in one’s heart, isn’t there? When I realized the abuse I was in, the Bible went from being a book I understood in black-and-white to one whose characters I started to relate to in living color. Being jobless and wondering daily about income and stability is transitioning that chromatic view to high definition. (((((hugs))))))

Anna in The Temple October 28, 2015, — Hi Still Reforming, Thank you so much for your lovely reply! It really did cheer me up. I should have written a reply back sooner myself. I also totally understand what you mean about the Bible becoming alive in living colour when you find yourself in the midst of abuse. That was also very much my testimony. When things went badly wrong in my marriage I turned to God in prayer and He revealed to me the lies I had heard in church as I had heard little more than word of faith heresy for all my years in church. And quickly He grounded me in more truth than I had ever had up until that point. I am so so very grateful for that.

The experience of domestic abuse and its aftermath was very hard at the time. But I am very glad that He managed to bring something very good out of it by showing me in a way I won’t forget that I am entirely dependent on Him for what little bits of light from the Word I have been given.

I do hope you find comfort and peace in your situation and that things get better for you soon. I look forward to heaven in all of this where we don’t have to struggle anymore – although the thought of hell for the lost upsets and horrifies me. I wish we could have a cup of tea or coffee!!! Instead we shall just have to pray 🙂 bless you heaps!

Mary October 29, 2015 — Praise God I’m free! Thank you so much for the encouragement and prayer. My divorce is final and I’m free from emotional, spiritual and financial abuse. God has given me the beautiful home and property. God is good!

Jeff Crippen October 29, 2015 — Alright!!

Anotheranon November 2, 2015 —  I need prayer now as I have had to stay in a hotel for awhile after a very bad argument with my husband. I am looking for a place to rent. I have some money, I think that will be ok. My sons are pressuring me to work things out but I know from experience I will be lied to again. My husband is going in for pastoral counseling tomorrow (he has an appointment, we’ll see if he goes) and he wants me to go along. I said no way. I do not wish harm to him, but I don’t ever want to see him again. I’m under a lot of pressure right now. At least my job is going ok and the people I work with are very nice. That helps a lot. I plan to start divorce proceedings soon. My children will protest since their dad is pressuring them with the old “feel sorry for me” bit and crying a lot. I have heard It all before. I need to be strong. I know Jesus came to set the prisoners free.

Barbara Roberts November 2, 2015 — Praying! 🙂

Barbara Roberts  November  2, 2015 — Anotheranon, have you got a copy of Jeff C’s new book yet? If not, and if you want one but can’t afford it, email me. barbara@notunderbondage.com
It may help you stay strong if the pastor gets recruited by your abuser. 🙂

Anotheranon November 5, 2015 — I’m feeling a little low tonight but not too bad. I ended up getting a restraining order the other day because of stalking behavior. Will have to go to court in about 10 days. My appointment with my attorney (a woman) is next week.
Tonight after work I looked at a house to rent. The people are very nice and I would feel safe there. The price is not too bad either.
I will have to worship somewhere else on Sundays but there are lots of places I can go and they will not judge me. Everyone I know understands my situation and they support me. I do have one son though who thinks we should try to work it out because divorce is so drastic. But I have known this (divorce) would have to happen so I can keep my sanity.
It will be winter here soon so I’m a little concerned about icy weather. But I need to remember there are many people that will help me. I have been independent for so long that asking for help is not something I think of. I usually do everything for myself.
Please pray that I will be discerning throughout all of this. I have been trying to let God me lead me one step at a time, and trust my gut feeling when I think it is God’s leading, though I sometimes overlook the obvious.
Keep praying for strength for me!
Rom. 8:28 has had special meaning for me these past few years.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Amen!

Barbara Roberts November 5, 2015 — Hi Another Anon
can you email me if it’s safe to do so? I just have something which I could send you by email which may help you (re choosing a lawyer). barbara@notunderbondage.com

Barbara Roberts November 5, 2015 — And well done for the restraining order! It is hard doing all that kind of stuff, but you sound clear-headed and determined to stick with it, despite the opposition. Blessings.

Anotheranon November 6, 2015 — I’m using the hotel’s computer right now.

I chose my lawyer back this spring when things started getting worse. She was highly recommended as being tough and a real go-getter by another lawyer I trust. I hope to be set up in my own place soon and have internet access again. Perhaps then I can get your email.
The county victim / witness co-ordinator said I should have the restraining order based on her observations. It sends a strong message, I hope.

And I’m not worried about the pastor being recruited by the abuser. I am not backing down or changing my mind. The thought of (almost) never seeing him again feels so good. I know I’ll have to see him in court but he can’t bully me in front of the judge.

Barbara Roberts November 6, 2015 — Good!

Anotheranon November 14, 2015 — Planning on moving today. I am trying to feel excited, like this is the start of my new life, but in reality I am afraid. My emotions are all over the place. I have friends and family to help thank goodness. Will have to stay at the hotel a few more days but that’s ok. Turns out my pastor (a woman) has been divorced too because of severe verbal abuse so she totally gets it. She is also trying to counsel my husband to really look at his life and see the truth of how he has always treated me.
My husband is doing a lot of rotten things now and it’s hurting my children. That’s what really bothers me. I hope the family business can survive a divorce, but it may not. But I’m not turning back or giving in.
I am afraid of what the future will bring. Even though I know God is with me, I have never been on my own apart from the family business. Keep praying for me!

Collums74 November 14, 2015 — I will pray for yo and your children.

Still Reforming November 14, 2015 —  I am praying for you too, Anotheranon. For the Lord’s continued guidance, wisdom, and strength for you. (((hugs)))

Barbara Roberts November 16, 2015 — I will keep praying. And even if the family business fails, God will have some other way of of providing for you.

Barbara Roberts November 16, 2015 — Does anyone know a counselor or therapist in Edmonton Canada who Really Gets It about domestic abuse? If so, please email me barbara@notunderbondage.com

Trying to Escape  November 24, 2015 — Thank you so much for your work and dedication to shining the light on the sin of abuse. I am presently in divorce proceedings from an emotionally and spiritually abusive man. We have been married less than ten years and have 2 children. We are still living together and I believe he is speaking to my eldest child about me behind my back. His family supports him (my husband) and my family lives far away. I have some supports that attend the same church as my husband and his very large family but they do not understand abuse and are not confronting my husband the way they should.

I was led to this site via Lundy Bancroft’s book and subsequently read (in 1 day) The Unholy Charade. Wow, how the Lord has answered my prayers in finding someone / church that understands abuse! Thank you! I filed for legal separation (which is now being changed to divorce) and since then abuse has escalated (husband trying to set me up so he gets custody, make me look crazy, etc.). I have filed for a motion for temporary relief and was granted an expedited hearing to show cause but that is not for a few months. The Lord is protecting me and my children along the way however my husband continues to try and put fear into me by threatening certain things with the legal system.

I graciously ask for your prayers in that the Lord continues to give me the strength to be the mom my children need me to be, and gives me the wisdom to discern evil from righteous and not fear this wicked man, and that He gives my lawyer and any judges and custody evaluators involved the ability to discern my husband’s lies and attempts to destroy me in this process, and provides a way of escape to freedom from this web. Thank you so very much.

[Editors note: comment edited to protect commenters identity.]

TWBTC November 24, 2015 — Hi Trying To Escape, Welcome to the blog! So glad you have found our little community!

We like to direct all new commenters to our New Users’ page as it gives tips for staying safe when commenting here. You will notice that I edited details in your comment that would be identifying. We do that to help protect your identity as everything said on this blog is public and one never knows who may find this site; your abuser and / or his allies.

May I encourage you to continue reading and learning about abuse and the abuser’s mentality and tactics. Also, we have several posts on the process of leaving that you may find helpful. Just go to the right side search bar and type in “leaving” and you will see a list of posts that discuss various aspects of the leaving process.

Again, welcome! And I’m praying. ((hugs))

Barbara Roberts November 24, 2015 — Hi Trying to Escape. 🙂 The intensification and escalation of abuse you are experiencing is very common when victims make moves towards separating and / or divorcing their abusers. Abusers hate to lose control over their victims, so they escalate their tactics of abuse to try to either win back control, or at least to bamboozle and exhaust the victim so she is less able to stand and continue standing in her quest for freedom from abuse and injustice.

I say this to you to reassure you that what you are going through is the kind of thing that many of us have experienced, and we support you and empathise with you. 🙂

I’m very impressed with how much you have read — and so quickly! — on this subject. We are very happy you have found the blog and look forward to hearing more from you.

I shall pray for what you asked us to pray for.

Trying to Escape November 25, 2015 — Thank you so much. 🙂 Evil has never been so real to me as it is now however I do know the Lord is sovereign over this all and will protect those that belong to him. I sincerely appreciate your response and prayers.

Seeing The Light December 2, 2015 — I know what you mean, Trying To Escape. My anti-husband made an extreme move a few months ago to take financial control among other things. Whatever I used to think about him and the supposed Christians that are not only supporting him but actually driving him, I now feel that I am in the presence of total evil. It’s so strange, but at least I finally know who and what he and they are.

Anotheranon December 2, 2015 — Just got my internet hooked up today. I’ve been in my own house for awhile now and it’s going ok. I got a protection order and filed for divorce several days ago. I still need lots of prayer. He’s hired a lawyer with a very tough reputation. My lawyer came highly recommended too, but I am already intimidated. Please pray that God will give me courage and wisdom. It’s an overwhelming situation even with the help of family and friends.
Several people (even Christians) have told me “You are doing the right thing.” They have wondered how I could take being married to him for so long.
I’m struggling to feel close to the Lord these days and it bothers me because I know He is always present. Please pray for that comforting Presence day by day once more in my life.

Still Reforming December 3, 2015 — Praying for you, Anotheranon, with the specifics you requested. Praying for your peace in the trial and storm. Praying for your comfort and protection – and wisdom as only the Lord can give. (hugs)

Barbara Roberts December 4, 2015 — Anotheranon, it sounds like you’ve done and achieved so much in a relatively short time! Good work! You are probably pretty tired — that might explain why it’s hard feeling close to the Lord at the moment. When I’m exhausted or really ill I just remind myself that God never lets go of me, even if I sometimes feel like I’ve lost contact with Him or am unable to pray to Him for whatever reason. That comforts me, and it stops me going into a negative spiral of self-scrutiny and self-blame where I ruminate “Why can’t I feel God’s presence? Why can’t I pray?”

Collums74 December 13, 2015 — Please pray for a hearing that is set for early Jan. My abusive ex is requesting unsupervised overnight visitation with our girls. He has had supervised parenting time only for over 2 years. He has continued to abuse the children even during the supervised visitation and the court has turned a blind eye. Please pray a wall of protection around these precious girls. Ask God to burden the court officials hearts to protect these girls. I am terrified and have no peace or faith even though I know God is mighty to save. Please don’t stop proclaiming truth on your site it is a lifeline.

Barbara Roberts December 14, 2015 — I am praying. And I airbrushed a few details in your comment for safety’s sake.

December 13, 2015 — I want God’s justice in my enemies life. pray for my fight with mental disease.

Barbara Roberts December 14, 2015 — Dear S, I changed your screen name to help keep you safe. Welcome to the blog. I shall pray for what you asked.

You might like to read our New Users’ Info page. It gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

You mentioned ‘your fight with mental disease’. You might find it helpful to read the posts we have on this blog about mental illness in abusers.

Anonymous December 14, 2015 — Barbara, thank you for posting the link concerning ‘mental illness’. I must study these postings.
I am so confused as conflicting diagnosis have been made about my spouse. They refused another opinion and who knows maybe it wouldn’t make a difference.
My concern is that anything the spouse says or does can be given the excuse concerning the psychiatric diagnosis … Living under these conditions for several years has me realizing that the behavior displayed was coming because of ‘their comfort zone’ and I was destroying that in order for me to come out of the fog and confront sin.

Keeper December 29, 2015 — Thank you for this site and for the prayers. I am almost 10 years out of a physically / sexually abusive marriage. But I still have some major PTSD issues that are negatively affecting my life and current relationship. My current husband is also out of a physically / verbally / emotionally abusive relationship and his ex is still a part of our lives because of the children they have together. She has been very abusive to me in the past and we moved out of state to be away from her when we had costudy of the children, long story short she got custody back and my husband is feeling the need to be closer to his children so we have returned to our home state and in close proximity of both our abusive families and my PTSD has gotten so bad.

I went almost 5 years without a major panic attack (only small ones when the most physically violent person in my life came to visit) But now I am reaching a point of not functioning my fear is so bad. I am in my thirtys but my doctor told me I have the lung compasity of a 70 year old lady and he thinks it is from my PTSD, physical response to my fear / panic. I am at a loss for how to handle all these fears and trying to be on alert after years of living totally free.

Are there resources out there for couples dealing with abusive ex for the children’s sake? How do you deal with PTSD when it changes, I used to have major panic attack and not sleep for days – now it’s just this crushing fear and inability to breath if I have to be around or talk with my mom or his ex. My kids need me to be a mom not this fearful totally panicked rabbit who just hides in the corner or strikes out because of fear when it is not really necessary. I strike out at my husband and children when my fear is so bad it’s like they distract me from my focus on not getting hurt so I strike out at them in anger. I need to be planning and trying to guess what is going to happen next i feel the need to try and be one step ahead all the time so I (and my children and husband) don’t get hurt again. I need to stop this but I don’t know how.

[Eds. Note: some details edited to protect identity.]

Anotheranon January 4, 2016 — Dear Keeper, I will be praying for you. Some Scripture that comes to mind is Matt.7:24-25. Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. And the rains descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock.”
Build your life on the strength found in Jesus. He is the Good Shepherd of all who trust in Him.

I had panic attacks for a few years at one point in my life, but they gradually went away. I needed to put myself in the presence of believers who built up my faith. I needed to stand up for myself when abusers sinned against me and tried to cause me to sin.
I believe it also helps to distance yourself from abusers as much as possible. And I agree that you need to be prepared to be proactive and not reactive.

In my Bible I have many passages underlined that say “take courage” and “be brave.” Study the lives of the saints in the Old and New Testaments. How did they deal with fear? I marvel at all the biographies the Bible contains.
If you trust in Jesus and have eternal life, your future is settled. You are free from spiritual death. Let the Holy Spirit lead you step by step, day by day. Pray diligently every day for strength and wisdom.

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