A Cry For Justice

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

Prayer Requests

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. If you wish to remain anonymous, please feel free to do so.  Leave prayer requests in the comments section below.  If you would like to read previous years’ requests and comments click on one of the two links below.

Prayer Requests 2013

Prayer Requests 2012

Some of ACFJ survivors have told us how God lead them to freedom from their abusive marriages.  We have compiled those testimonies here.  May you be encouraged!

Testimonies

154 Comments

  1. Psalm 37

    My dear Summer, you and I must be dealing with the same evil, unfair judge. I’ve been stuck with the same smug jerk for five years and have been revictimized by him every time I have to go before him. The ex is a self-employed plumber who this judge never requires to provide proof of income other than the obviously doctored (and very deficient) bank statements. I absolutely know the exhaustion you feel having to deal with this. It’s come to the point that I feel like this judge and the ex are two playground bullies attacking me, and I cry for help but nobody makes the suffering and hurt stop. I wish God would give both of us justice this year.

    • Summer

      Dear Ps. 37. I was going to write a prayer request and came here and you had written something. I just spent an hour pouring everything out but I removed it because no can do anything, only God can and He doesn’t want to, never has, and it is not a season like people keep saying on the radio and in books; it has been my whole life. Thank you for praying. It means a lot that someone might actually understand. My ex is an ATC and 4th man at last place of work, 2nd at previous place to abuse wife and abandon her and force her to file for divorce for some sort of support, so the lawyers said, what they meant was the wife sees no support period but the lying lawyers and the lying judge get tons of money. All six of them have moved up into management. Found out the judges keep postponing to keep filing their EIN number to make more money. But the worst is the constant constant lies and they are so good at it, there is no way to refute anything and I had witnesses for everything absolutely everything and in the courtroom and the judge has ignored it because he can. And ex is a christian. His family is a christian. The only 50% decent judges were the ones for the OPs. They actually admitted the evidence was beyond doubt (this divorce judge would have ignored it as he undid about ten OPs the day I was to go before him). Do you know I told the pastor’s wife that last year I was living in a “sort of prison”, I told her that last year things were not well in the marriage, I told others hints. No one wanted to hear and she and her husband ended up trying to help get the OP removed. They didn’t settle anything; made another hearing day to check on ‘progress in two months’ for something I was told should have taken one week six months ago. Anyway this has become so abbreviated all the context is missing-
      rather, Thank you to all of you praying.

    • Summer

      I am sorry about yesterday’s down response. I had just gotten another answer from the lawyer who earlier said we could get the support from ex, now back to saying we can’t get it direct deposited without ex say so and still more job nos. I am so grateful to all (Barbara, IAMB, Pastor C, TPW, AITT,Ps. 37…) of you for praying. Everything is so constantly confusing. I even once again started the read thru the Bible in a year which I have completed every year for years. But the harder I try to make sense of all this, the less anything makes sense.

      • Dear Summer and Psalm 37, your voices on this blog are important. Here’s why, and I’m quoting from an email I received recently from a woman who supports a survivor:

        “I’ve heard that when an elected official receives a letter from a constituent it is said to represent 1000 other voices that haven’t written. I must believe that when I see letters written to blogs from women in such obvious pain from the unseen abuse of a “Christian” husband those letters, too, represent 1000 other voices too frightened, too restricted and/or too despondent and without hope to write a letter themselves.”

        So let’s do that maths. We have Summer and Psalm 37 sharing their stories of being horribly treated by their two respective judges in the family court. That suggests we have potentially 2000 other readers or would be readers with similar stories, who are not sharing on this blog but they may be reading it and will be encouraged as they will know know they are not alone when they read your stories.

      • Jesus' Chosen Beloved Little Lamb

        Dear Jeff, Barbara, Sarah, and other trusted, faithful, fervent prayer warriors,

        Thanks so much for continuing to pray for me! I was so grieved today as the Lord showed me my shame in my sin of idolatry/codependency – trusting in man and looking to man to protect me and my children. The Truth (Jesus) set me free again. My Heavenly Father will protect me and hold my hand, but I keep letting go. God is faithful, and sadly, I am not. The Holy Spirit reminded me of Psalm 73:23-28, “Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast held me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go whoring from thee. But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.” Please pray that I would trust that my Heavenly Father will protect me, and as I hold His hand that I would listen to Him as He has told me no more and that I need to set boundaries. Over 10 years ago, the Holy Spirit revealed to me who my violator was and that I was sleeping with the Enemy. Thanks for the warning not to do couple’s counseling. Sadly, the other day my abuser joined my safe doctor’s appointment, and took control and won again. I’m tired of my abuser controlling and winning as I suffer more damage. Please pray that I would stay close to my Heavenly Father as He teaches me how to set boundaries. Any counsel you may have on boundaries would also be helpful. Btw, I set boundaries the other day and my abuser got so angry. Then, my Heavenly Father reminded me that when boundaries are set the abuser will get angrier.

        Please pray for my Heavenly Father to protect me as I give this note tomorrow:

        I have been in a difficult spiritual warfare trial since 01/12/14. After my husband/violator spiritually abused me with medication, the Truth (Jesus) set me free. My Heavenly Father said no more; He has been teaching me to set boundaries. The Holy Spirit convicted me to accept that I have been abused (off-and-on 26+ years emotional, psychological, and verbal abuse, off-and-on 21 years sexual abuse, almost 15 years spiritual abuse, 10+ years medication abuse, and at times financial abuse). The spiritual abuse = lies, deceit, modern day patriarchy movement (my husband/violator causes me fear by controlling, manipulating, intimidating, oppressing and threatening me in the name of submission to him and that God will bless me for submitting; twisting Scripture to keep me dependent on him and helpless.

        My husband/violator is counseling with a Biblical Marriage Counselor. The counselor said that in order for me to heal my husband (and others) needs to stop hurting me. The counselor contacted me via email and was very sensitive to me and the Lord gave me His peace to write my testimony of the last 26 years to the counselor and his wife only. God used one of His children to advise me not to do couple’s counseling (see attached article) as the abuser often controls and wins again and the abused/oppressed/afflicted receives more damaging abuse. So, in order to preserve what little bit left I have as a person, my Heavenly Father said no more and that I cannot counsel with you and my abuser/violator.

        “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;” Philippians 1:29

        “For even, hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:” 1 Peter 2:21

        “… but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.” 1 Peter 2:23c

        “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy… Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf… Wherefore, let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” 1 Peter 4:13, 16, 19

  2. Wife & Mom of Marines

    Barbara, in the effort to show abused women (I am not–but I support an abuse survivor) how the enemy of our souls works to keep us in bondage by making people think they are alone in their struggles, I share this story.

    Years ago I was battling suicidal thoughts and I knew it wasn’t “me”. It isn’t in my nature nor in line with my spiritual maturity, nor a product of a critical situation or environment. One of the enemy’s biggest tactics is to attack, but then keep us from speaking out either through fear, social stigma or embarrassment. I knew it was an out and out attack made by the enemy but it was a stupid move—he might be able to pull that one off on a baby Christian or someone with an emotional propensity to fall victim to those lies, but I wasn’t that person. I knew who I was in Christ. I knew where those thoughts came from. I knew I had an enemy trying to wage war against me. I knew where to go to find someone to join forces with me to expose and defeat the enemy’s attack. I recognized the battle didn’t just involve me. With the same mind pictures of the 1000 letters illustration you quoted above I knew there were others in our local church body that the enemy was hitting with this, not just me. People who wouldn’t come forward, who wouldn’t seek help, those who would fear being stigmatized as a ‘mental case’ instead of being supported as a victim of satanic wiles and those who would think it was ‘just them’ instead of recognizing the attack of the evil one.

    With that in mind (that 1 person speaking out represents 1000 others or is merely the tip of the iceberg) I went that Sunday morning and informed our pastor. From the platform that morning he prayerfully and decidedly dealt with that spiritual onslaught publicly rebuking those spirits that were attacking the sheep. I’ve never had a problem with it since and I was comforted knowing that my recognizing the assault for what it truly was, speaking out and having our pastor expose and crush it, resulted in others being saved from more damage. The enemy overplayed his hand when he chose me to be the target of those suicidal fiery darts!

    Therefore, the moral of this story is SPEAK OUT! #1. You are NOT alone. #2. You will be used to rescue others and in the midst of it gain freedom for yourself.

    • Thanks Wife&Mom, that is a terrific story. And what a great pastor. He didn’t say you were sinning by having suicidal thoughts. He didn’t tell you that there must be something wrong with your faith. He didn’t guilt you at all. Instead, he believed you and stood with you and rebuked the cause of the problem. Good stuff!

  3. G. F. Mom

    Please pray for me. I am struggling with the fact that I am abused and the other night I woke him up at 3 in the morning and told him how I was feeling but I was scared, almost shaking to tell him. He kindly responded but this kindness has gone on for weeks since he saw a therapist off and on for a month and took a stress leave. I have the symptoms of his abuse by his procrastinating, forgetfulness, tiredness and overall apathy. I see everything going against me financially. My mom’s house is the only place that has room for us but she can be emotionally controlling and guilt me if I don’t go back to the Mormon church. Pray that my husband really works on himself because he tends to procrastinate things a lot and pacify him and me. He can be very charismatic so my parents will think I am making too much of the situation as well as our 5 children. They adore their daddy. My husband is being a prince charming right now but I think he stuffs down my mistakes and I am too depressed to do a good job of meals and housekeeping. I feel like I am still walking on eggshells because I think he’s thinking I’m “milking it.” The other day he got an anxiety attack because he couldn’t find his medicine but it lasted a few seconds and he gained composure. I told him to get evaluated for anger and I am getting evaluated too. Please pray that we can fix it or that God has a plan.

  4. kereena

    i have a prayer reqest. could you good people pray for 2 storms in my life.

    first is my family my teen daugher is very hard work at the moment wont take authority from me or her school i am waiting to hear whether she can be accomodated she is now with her maternal gran. but she can have have her long term. my younger son is staying with me.. she is into street life at only 14 and drugs ect and vilent towards me and my mum who i also look after and my son as been suject to her behaveor too. she needs more help that i can give her. the other thing is i am not able to settle into a church that will accept us and feel so stigmaed out by my current church because in order for me now due to intimadation i am suffering by one leader and because of my own problems i am not alowed to go to any groups where she is she is a pastoral carer of the church runds lots of choirs not just though church and prayer meetings ect all because i wanted and needed a friend i thought she would help me but my crisis in my family no one wants to be friend me or get invoved. i have no one close to talk to i live in a small town where the groups i was attending i can not less i have a suppott worker with me as there poliscys are ver different to other churches i have attended more so i feel belittled because of my disibility too i have aspergers but i lead a perfectly normal life. i am a christian and that is the one thing i can hold on too.

    my son when he finds out will be dispointed he can not attend church with me and my mum too we are christains and been baptist but my daugher is of the rails and i have no friends to support me so i asak for your prayer as i take the matter up with the church a little more i took it first to the rev of the church no i need to go to the prest and go higher up as formal complaint on disibilty discrimanation i got no idea what i am doing but i can not go through life with out standing up for me and my family at the moment i can do with prayers to sort this out. i thought this church would have accepted all things but as my life gets harder i find they back off. and lots of misunderstandings and they always call a socail worker when all i need is a nice cup of tea a chat and to pray with some one. but when i ask that they think i need profectial help too so i ahve to stop this sitgma with in the church so it does not happen to another family with so many problems and disabilitys. i hope you can pray for this if any one has any ideas what i can or can not do with regards to the church and my family i thought once as i have a elder boy whos mid 20s years ago you would get teen support advice and prayer from your local church but i feel it as started to change with new poliscys in place to protect children and vonarble adults some how i do not understand it all myself. thanks

    • I shall pray for you, Kereena.

      • Jesus'ChosenBelovedLittle Lamb

        The Lord led me to your website last week. For my safety, please do not email me since my husband and I receive our emails on each of our computers. Thanks. As the Lord allows, I hope to share more with you, but for now, please pray for the Lord to protect me as I have had increasingly strong spiritual attacks for over a week. Over a week ago, the Truth (Jesus) set me free. The Holy Spirit has been telling me for many years; I keep getting deceived, and I need to flee from idolatry/codependency. Jesus has been holding me close to Him. But, Satan doesn’t want me to get help. I need the Lord’s protection for at least the next 10 days to make it to an important doctor’s appointment. “For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.” Isaiah 54:5-6 The Lord placed it on my heart to call on you as trusted, faithful, fervent prayer warriors as you understand more than the few trusted, faithful fervent prayer warriors who are already crying out to the Lord to protect me. “The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.” Psalm 34:17-19 Thanks for praying for the Lord to protect me.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Prayer request received, Lamb.

      • Dear Lamb, I am praying.
        So glad you have found our blog. And thanks for letting us know not to email you.

  5. Sarah

    Dear Lamb I will pray for you too. Much love from a sister in Christ

  6. Been a bit… but needing prayer right now. My husband and I have been separated for almost 10 months now. I feel like maybe he will file for divorce soon. I am not ready. My emotions have been up and down. I’ll think that I’m okay, and than burst into tears at the most unexpected moments. My son and I are getting our own place (been staying with others) in just over a month. One moment I’m excited, the next I’m terrified. When I go to bed, my mind is racing. The court process has been horribly re victimizing and I don’t think that’s helping my mood. I don’t think I can DO anymore. I feel like I’m as stable as I can expect to be during this time and it’s not good enough. I cry out to the Lord…. all day long. But it’s so hard. I just want to forget what’s going on for a little bit. It’s exhausting.

    • I shall pray.

    • xmeri — I don’t know whether this may come across as patronizing, if so trash it, but the Serenity Prayer came to mind when I read your request.

      God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  7. Thank you for praying. I certainly could use some serenity right now :). I’d say the stuff stressing me out falls under the “cannot change” category. However, I do know that with time all this will calm down and that I will heal. It’s just hard getting through it- so yes, I need some serenity as I struggle through this! Thank you :).

    • Jesus'ChosenBelovedLittle Lamb

      Thanks so much for praying… my Heavenly Father has protected me so far. I still have 5 nights and 6 days until my important doctor’s appointment, so please continue to pray for my Heavenly Father to continue to protect me and that I would keep fleeing/repenting from idolatry/codependency. Years ago, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that I have been living Revelation 12 for the past 11+ years. Jesus has been holding me close to Him as I grieve and hurt physically, emotionally, and spiritually. My Heavenly Father heard our cries. I told my husband that my Heavenly Father said no more, and that after 10+ years of difficult spiritual warfare trials, he has to take care of his wife and children who are grieving and enduring a great deal of stress and need to rest in bed… a postpartum recovery. Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 Thanks for fervently praying for my Heavenly Father to protect me and my children as we have been deceived by Satan’s lies.

      • Jesus' Chosen Beloved Little Lamb

        Again, thanks so much for praying… my Heavenly Father has protected me so far. By God’s grace and mercy, I made it to today for my important doctor’s appointment Please continue to pray for my Heavenly Father to continue to protect me and that I would keep fleeing/repenting from idolatry/codependency. I know that my Heavenly Father has heard my cries and my children’s cries. Please pray that He would work through authorities to deliver us from captivity and free us from bondage from the modern day patriarchy movement cult/idolatry in our homechurch fellowship, who the Holy Spirit revealed to me are actually followers of Satan. I, too, was deceived by Satan’s lies and followed patriarchy to the point of 26+ years of abuse (psychological, emotional, sexual, and spiritual) until the point of spiritual murder. It was Satan, but Jesus gave me His peace that the Truth (Jesus) has set me free. So, my Heavenly Father says no more. I am a daughter of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Please pray for my children, especially my oldest son, Satan has deceived him through his father’s lies and deceit and the lies and deceits of the cult of the patriarchy movement in our homechurch fellowship. I desire for my children to know the truth, and be around others who know the truth and our Christ-like. “The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.” (Psalm 34:17-19)

      • Jeff Crippen

        Lamb – Persevere! You are seeing more and more truth. Seeing the idolatry and co-dependency is huge!

  8. Thanks for the update Little Lamb. I shall keep praying.

    • Anna in the temple

      Dear little Lamb

      I am so sad at the years of abuse you have gone through. That was never God’s plan for a marriage. It sounds horrendous. I will keep praying for you. Ps my hands are very sore so just a short reply

  9. collums74

    Please pray that God will protect my children from their abusive father. He left a loaded gun on our porch and rang the doorbell for the kids to find it. I’m afraid the courts are going to give him unsupervised visitation. Please pray. I have 5 kids and I need prayer. Thank you

    • Collums
      I shall pray and am praying. I also strongly suggest (if you’re not doing it already) that you seek help and safe refuge for you and your kids. This behavior by your abuser show that you and the kids are at high risk of a lethal outcome.

      Please check out our Hotlines Page and our Safety Planning page for lots of links, especially this one which I am copying and pasting here:

      Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit also known as DOCUMENT THE ABUSE

      Ensure that a victim’s words about her fears and previous violence will not disappear if she does.
      A victim can make an Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit (EAA) to document her experiences in ways that will help the legal system successfully prosecute in the future, even if she is disappeared, dead or in a coma.
      The process combines video taping of the victim’s actual words attesting to the abuse, coupled with witnessed and notarized legal documents that successfully satisfy legal hurdles often faced in intimate partner violence and stalking cases.
      A unique packaging of testimony + documentation + perpetrator historical profiling + pre-collected evidence delivered to established safe and legal persons = a delicate issue brilliantly wrapped up for successful prosecution.

    • anonymous

      Praying (((( ))))

  10. Anonymous

    So many decisions, so many voices. Pray that as I continue to meet with counselors that I will be able to discern the Lord’s truth and even if it is painful that I would have the strength and courage to obey His Word. Pray especially for pastor/shepherds; that their hearts would be open to ‘protecting all the sheep’.
    A note of praise for ACFJ … I have been making others aware of your ministry. Yesterday, a woman came and hugged me; asked how I was doing and then proceeded to rejoice and explain how she had finally convinced one of her girlfriends to take control of an abusive situation. She recommended her friend link up to ACFJ. Hearing of others experiences was enough to convince this woman that she had to take action … the fog was lifted.

    • Jesus' Chosen Beloved Little Lamb

      I made the mistake of going to a marital counseling session with my abuser and he managed to get the counselor to minimize my perceived abuse so he keeps lording that over me. He did exactly what you said he would do with his power and control over. I tried to set boundaries, but he continued in our van with our children. He is abusive to me and our children, but he is a master at POWER AND CONTROL, MINIMIZING, DENYING, AND BLAMING, making light of the abuse and not taking my concerns about it seriously; saying the abuse didn’t happen; shifting responsibility for abusive behavior; saying I am an abuser.

      I need to keep fleeing/continually repenting of idolatry/codependency and keep crying out to my chief Shepherd. Please pray that He will hear my cries and deliver my children and me from bondage and captivity to evil. The parenting style that God led me to keeps my children close to me. He has likened me to a shepherd obeying the voice of my chief Shepherd and protecting my flock from the wolves.

      I was hoping this article on “ABUSE PROTECTION from Meier Clinics was going to help us, but it didn’t”

      The only time we are ever told to “turn the other cheek” is when we are slapped on our cheek for being a believer. Otherwise, God absolutely hates all forms of abuse and wants and expects us to protect others and ourselves from abuse. In Romans 12, God promises to get vengeance on all abusers— although His timing is not always immediate like we sometimes wish it was. In Psalm 68, we are reminded how much God loves us, and especially “widows and orphans” which also includes psychological “widows and orphans” who have husbands/fathers who ignore or abuse them. God promises to take the lonely and place them in new “families”—other believers who will love us and
      treat us with dignity and accept us the way we are. God also warns abusers in Psalm 68, promising to eventually smash their heads against the rocks. Like I said, God gets really angry at any form of abuse against His children”

      My abuser is scared that I am telling lies about him that he is an abuser. Please pray that I would stay under the protection of my Heavenly Father as He has told me to cry out for justice. Jesus said, “Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.” Acts 18:9b-10

      • Dear Little Lamb, I removed some of the text of your comment because it could have identified you to those who know you. Please do be careful — this is a public blog and anyone can read it.

        I do hear your pain and your struggles. If I may, I’d like to suggest a few ideas for you to consider:

        Sometimes victims leave their abusers and then feel that God is telling them to return to the abuser. Almost universally, this ends up with the abuser getting more entrenched in abusive behaviours and the victim becoming even more downtrodden and exhausted and psychologically shredded and her health gets even more compromised. I suggest you might like to consider that it may not be the Holy Spirit which prompts victims to return to their unreformed abusers, rather, it’s things like false guilt, wrong understanding of the doctrines of suffering, persecution, forgiveness, divorce, etc., and pressure from kids/extended family/friends/Church networks. And fear. Fear of all sorts of things, some of which are very valid fears and some of which are probably not valid.

        I suggest you stop trying to explain to your abuser that he is abusive and what he does that is abusive. He is clearly unwilling to listen and take it on board, he just uses all your explanations and advice about how he needs to repent by turning them back into boomerang weapons to throw back at you. It is a waste of time explaining things to an abuser. Try not to fall into the explaining trap.

        Don’t bother with reading any resources other than what we list on our Resources pages. We have vetted these resources carefully.

        I suggest you make a secret list (so your abuser can’t see it). On one side of the paper list all the reasons why you think you ought to stay with your abuser, and on the other side list all the reasons why it might be a good idea to leave. You might like to think that through by asking yourself “What am I afraid of if I stay? What am I afraid of if I were to leave?”

        I strongly suggest you phone the Hotline and ask them to put you in touch with your local domestic abuse support service. Here is out Hotlines page and our Safety Planning page. I believe your are in danger and at quite high risk, from what you described. You could do the Mosaic Method Risk Assessment to find out your level of risk.

        Idolatry of one’s husband is dangerous, no husband is sinless, and abusive husbands are outright evil. To repent of making an idol of your husband, or making an idol of cultish Christian teachings, means to cast out their directives, resist and refuse to believe the false guilt and commandments they lay on you, and removing yourself from their infection. No one can easily repent of such idolatry while remaining in the atmosphere where all that idolatry is promoted and enforced. You are not made of titanium. You are, like all of us, a frail creature — we all get affected by false teaching if we sit under it and remain in its influence. The only way to really clear it out of our brains and souls is to flee. Come out from Babylon. Do not expect yourself to be able to sit in that poisoned atmosphere and be able to resist and reject its toxicity. All it will do is drag you down more into the black hole, deplete your energy and health and render you even less able to find the strength to walk away.

        Hugs from Barb

  11. Anonymous

    Barbara — Excellent counsel to Little Lamb and all of us. The ‘fear factor’ is an issue that we sometimes don’t want to admit to because as believers we keep reminding ourselves of how much we ‘trust God for every situation’. I can relate to, “Do not expect yourself to be able to sit in that poisoned atmosphere and be able to resist and reject it’s toxicity. All it will do is drag you down more into black hole, deplete your energy and health and render you even less able to find the strength to walk away.”
    Once again, I commend you on such wise counsel.

  12. Anna in the temple

    Dear Lamb

    I agree with Barb. I’m worried for you too and I agree it sounds like you are in danger. Barb made good suggestions especially re ringing a hotline. Do be careful if you make a list. I did something like that once and then dropped it accidentally.

    I will keep you in prayer

  13. Summer

    Please pray, been tense for couple weeks now, 8:30 with judge and lawyer and perhaps ex and all it will be is more abuse, perfect day to say ‘no I won’t enforce what legally I am supposed to enforce’ is what the judge will probably say tomorrow’ Valentines’ hurray since he has gone against other laws every time so far. And then another mtg. with same judge two mondays later same time. Thanks for praying.

  14. anonymous

    Pleading for prayers please-esp for covering for my kids. He is threatening that things are going to change in a “big way” and talking about custody/taking the kids. I can put up with anything-. anything but loosing the kids to him. I’ve ben staying just so they wont have to do un-supervised visits. My church has failed me. He has secret accounts where I know he has been hiding money, and i have no access to funds for a lawyer. I don’t know what to do. My heart is breaking.

    • I shall pray. The situation you are facing is one many victims have faced. . . the threats are awful. I shall pray that God will not allow the abuser’s threats to be fulfilled, and that God will work all things together for you and your children’s good. :)

  15. Nowfree

    I’m praying for you and your children, Anonymous.

    • anonymous

      THANK YOU so very much for the prayers. God is answering them and moving mountains. Family and friends have helped me raise funds for a retainer, etc and God has lead me to an attorney with a real heart for protecting children. She even told me THEY are who she is fighting for.

      Our old “c’hurch” is backing my abusive STBX and even initiated church discipline against me for leaving-but God has already blessed the children and I with a new church home. (And one that seems to “get” abuse situations!)

      Please continue to pray for us. We have not yet had our first court date, forcing him to move out, so things are very stressful. My biggest fear is visitation..PLEASE pray for supervised or limited visitation.

      Thank you Prayer Warriors!

  16. Please pray for me as I meet with a pastor at my church today. He is someone recommended to me by several friends at my church, some of which he counseled through their divorce. I feel fairly confident that he will be supportive of the decision I have felt in my heart for the past month or so: to divorce. Still, I’m a bit nervous. I recognize that ultimately this decision is between me and God, and that a pastor is not perfect. However, it would bring me so much more confidence knowing that my church is standing behind my decision. Please pray that God will be present in our meeting and make His will extremely clear to both of us.

    • I shall pray XMeri. Your comment came through okay. We moderate all comments before publishing them so that’s why it didn’t go live straight away.
      (hugs)

  17. Usually I can see it with a “Your Comment is Awaiting Moderation” message… but this time I couldn’t see it at all, so that’s why I was confused :). Thank you for the prayer!

  18. Marah

    I’ve just found this site today, after being on an intense search for truth and wisdom regarding my situation for the last 8-10 weeks. My husband is out of the home because of my insistence (years of off and on deceit surrounding alcohol abuse). I’m still sorting it all out, trying to understand what seems so good, what’s clearly not good, and what’s just confusing. I’ve not had a job in over 17 years, raising my kids, and am exhausted emotionally and mentally, and have developed chronic health problems in that time. My kids are relieved their dad is out of the house, and don’t currently want to see him, but he isn’t happy about it and wants our family back. I have a fairly new church, which seems to be awesomely supportive and run by truly wise people, but it’s a fair distance away. I need prayer for continued truth to be revealed, wisdom, courage, protection, rest from fear and anxiety, God’s provision with money, health issues, and for my children. Thank you.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Marah – Wonderful that you found us. Thank you for sharing your story (though I am sure there is plenty more to tell as there always is with abuse). There are very good resources listed on our resource page that will help educate you regarding abuse. As I recall, Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He do That?) notes that where there is abuse, alcohol and/or drugs may accentuate it, but they cannot be blamed as the fundamental reason. Abuse is always the result of an inflated sense of entitlement to possession of power and control over others, with a sense of justification for using tactics to gain and maintain that control. Please keep us updated as we pray for you. Many blessings on you and the children in Christ.

  19. Anonymous

    My Temporary Orders hearing is tomorrow. Please pray for God to grant me and the children protection from the abuser, and that the judge will see the clear pattern of abuse and rule in our favor. Because the physical abuse was minimal, we have to show a pattern of the verbal/emotional/psychological abuse, but the weight of my case falls on the long-term sexual abuse which will be hard to talk about in front of him and the others in the courtroom. Please pray for me as I testify; and the children too, as they speak to the judge in regards to what they lived with.

  20. Praying for you and your daughter and grandsons.

  21. Ang

    I just hired my 5th attorney as I continue to try and escape my abusive marriage. Please pray that I will be able to follow through to the end this time, and my children will understand truth in time. My abuser Is very charming and is good at deceitfully doing what he does so it is hard for the children to understand why “I am doing this.” It’s hard to know what to say, and when I try it usually goes against me so I am having to let go of them and trust in God’s timing to expose truth to them. Thank you!

    • Ang, I shall be praying for you.

    • Anonymous

      So sorry you had to go through so many attorneys. Praying for you Ang. Understand about the abuser being charming. Mine too. Very affectionate and attentive with our child, which has contributed to my confusion over the years and my fear of leaving.

    • Get the book “Splitting-Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder” by Bill Eddy. And the Splitting doesn’t refer to the divorce itself, it applies to the narcissist. The book helps you on how to approach and navigate through a high conflict divorce to see it to its end.

      • Thanks Celeste, we haven’t read that book by Bill Eddy, but we do recommend his book B.I.F.F, so we guess his other books would be okay too. Here is our review of B.I.F.F.

  22. Anonymous

    Feeling very heavy hearted. Found out today that my car repairs will take a huge chunk of our tax refund, which we were planning on using for much needed things we have been doing without for a while. We are low income & AH keeps me in the dark about his exact income & spending & keeps his paycheck in his private account & gives me very little to work with. So I saw the tax refund, which he let me have – surprisingly – as a welcome relief. Long story short, it’s gone & I am again without money.

    Over the last several months AH has attacked me (roared loudly & grabbed my back after I climbed in bed a couple of hours after him) in his sleep (so he says-still no appt with sleep specialist), did something else that I can’t remember right now (tired) and most recently backed me into the wall with his body screamng at me to “stop screaming!” with his face nanomillimeters from my face. Then took me out to lunch the next day. Then took the grocery money out of our joint account the next day, without mentioning it to me. When I found out about it today & mentioned it – it was for my lunch! “Where did you think the money was going to come from?” He said.

    So, I called local dv hotline over the weekend. Very knowledgable, kind & helpful. They offer free counseling. When I get my car back will go for appointment. Called the police hours after said incident & got info on their procedure, which led me to believe I should speak to a lawyer in advance to find out more about all potential consequences before I’d consider calling police to report dv.

    Perhaps will try local support group (different shelter than one mentioned above) again, but did not feel comfortable with it when I attended a few times a couple of years ago. Felt talked down to, like I was a child & the leader misunderstood my situation & seemed think I wanted to take my son out of state without AH’s permission & said it wasn’t fair for me to do that if I didn’t want him to do it. But I will try again & see.

    Will start setting up emergency safety plan.

    Need to find part time work to start, at home preferable. Not much around here, but I have a few ideas. Please pray for guidance to the right information I need to pick one of the ideas to work toward & have some success in it.

    Have multiple health issues that I’m working on resolving but it takes time and energy and money for gas, all of which are in short supply. I just recently decided to start using our health insurance to take care of myself & the result is that I need a lot of repairs and mainentance!:) Getting older is so much fun.

    I hate the way AH & his abuse & foolishness has forced me to live all this time. Not afraid of him today, though terrified the other day. He seems calm & not ready to trigger, but he is hard to talk to. Things he says don’t quite make sense to me.

    Really, really miss having a true spiritual community. Have social friends at my church but can’t be open about the abuse. I really miss having a small group Bible study & prayer with other Christian women.

    Please pray for all these things. I feel overwhelmed about trying to get my head together to get these things accomplished while trying to homeschool our teen son with no money. I didn’t get enough sleep last night (AH tossing & turning & awakened me prematurely). I feel depressed one minute, angry the next & happy the next. Strange, I know. I have a great kid, an adorable dog & the Lord (not in that order) & a few social friends (not close enough to confide in or understand, but close enough to go camping with).

    Please pray for wisdom for both short term and long term planning. I have not decided to leave, but I have decided to try to get myself in a stronger position so that is an option.

    Appreciate prayers for my emotional strength & knowing where to land emotionally for lack of a better word, while still with him. I keep thinking of Finding Nemo, when Peach, the starfish says to herself, “Find a happy place, find a happy place.”

    I really need the Lord so badly right now, yet he always seems so far away when I am upset and worried over AH & our finances. I’m not by nature a worrier, I’m the encourager, yet when I feel stressed out over the abuse I long for comfort and reassurance from the Lord, yet I don’t feel it. I have a strong faith, but I really long for a healing balm for my frazzled emotions and nerves.

    Please pray I would be able to get a garden plot in a local community garden so I can grow some vegetables over the summer which would help a lot with our grocery bill.

    And pray that I have less need to withdraw to heal. I feel I need to spend more time than I do actually engaging my teen.

    It’s so hard to do this & still try to maintain every day life. I wish he’d just quietly go away. Does that seem mean? He never does anything quietly. It would hurt our teen though.

    Prayers for strength & wisdom, support and healing. Thanks! This site was a big encouragement for me today, though sobering as well. I feel less alone & more clear-headed after reading some of the articles.

    • I shall pray, Anonymous. I think your exhaustion and worry is totally understandable. Given all those adversities you are experiencing (fear of your abuser when he explodes, financial straits, chronic lack of sleep, chronic lack of time to recover and heal, your sense of duty towards your son, health issues, disappointment over the tax refund being swallowed up. . . . and that’s only some of them. . . the way your are feeling is completely understandable.

      Not afraid of him today, though terrified the other day. He seems calm & not ready to trigger, but he is hard to talk to. Things he says don’t quite make sense to me.

      Those words rang memory bells for me. Especially the last sentence.

      If things he says don’t make sense, I suggest you don’t waste energy trying to ‘make sense’ of them, since they are non-sensical. Just chalk them up to more abuse. That may free your brain a little to focus on the ways you can get safe and away from him, longterm. And I understand your thoughts about wanting to get stronger so you can leave . . . just bear in mind that sometimes that is not an achievable goal. While the victim waits and tries to get stronger, the abuser may wear her down more and more so that instead of getting stronger she is actually getting weaker. Health issues play a big part there. And most of us find it really hard to recover our health while we are still living with the abuser.

      But you know your situation best.

      If you do go to the DV support group/service agency again and one of the workers talks down to you, you could try replying “Ouch! That hurt!” That might open her eyes and make her rethink the way she says things. She might even ask you to forgive her remark! You have the right to your feelings. You are not crazy. :) :) :)

  23. Lord is Good

    Pls pray for us. 2 kiddos, both quite young. Custody eval recommends 50/50 split but did not talk to the kids’ teachers or therapists and accused me of lying about the DV.

    We will be up for court battle very soon, with a judge who continues to give him more time. The cost of it all is overwhelming, I don’t know how I’m going to be able to pay for it all, but I have to protect my kids.

    Son (under school age) is so terrified of his dad, frequently talks about killing him. He is struggling with PTSD. I have to work with him day in and day out, attending therapy and parenting sessions at the shelter twice a week, on top of working overtime.

    It’s a huge mountain ahead of me. Goliath. It will take God’s miracles to move through this.

    [Note from ACFJ Ed: this comment has been edited to remove some identifying details.
    At times, family courts have taken objection to a victim writing things on social media like blogs. So we disindentify victims for their own safety.]

    • I will pray.

    • Isaiah40:31

      Praying for you! I’m in the middle of court hearings too, and know how overwhelming (and expensive) it all is, as try to protect our children.

  24. Ang

    Trying to get away from a narcissist is a nightmare. I’m exhausted beyond words tonight. Today my middle son accused me of being everything my “husband” is and it is indescribable hurt. God says He doesn’t give us more than we can handle and I feel that this is. Asking for continued prayers through the battle.

    • Sure, Ang, I’ll pray for you. It hurst like billy-oh when our kids bring out the knives like that.

      Abusers typically accuse their victims of what they themselves do. And they often lie to the kids so adeptly that the kids believe them 100%. This results in the child being the abuser’s mouthpiece, the counduit of abuse from the abuser to the victim. And it happens most especially post separation. I suggest you don’t try to convince your son he is wrong in his point of view, as that is likely just to be a losing battle. I suggest you don’t spend a lot of energy defending yourself or explaining to him.

      When my daughter accused me of being such and such, I used to often say to her, “Well that’s your view; it’s not mine” in a flat, matter of fact tone of voice. And leave it there. We can’t change others. But we don’t have to believe what they believe.

      However, if your son persists in his tirade of accusations and you just don’t want to listen, you could maybe just say “Stop it! Stop slandering me!” And walk away. You don’t have to stay and listen.

  25. Ang

    Thank you for you encouragement, insights and prayers, Barbara. I am working my way through your book. I praise God for you :)

  26. Still Scared( but getting angry)

    Court got delayed again. It is now scheduled for July 11th. I am non functional. It has been two years with out child support. Last month the Judge agreed that he does owe me child support and does owe alimony and does owe a hefty amount of arrears but today he was supposed to say how much he owes and when it will start. I just want justice!! I don’t want vengeance I just want to be paid what is owed and to not have to work 75-85 hours a week. I am so so tired! Telling me that God is my strength is not helpful. I have nothing left to keep going. No tears, no emotions just raw wounds. How am I supposed to work and function to do anything this way?!?!?

    • Ellie

      Hugs. I don’t know how. But you are stronger than you realize. You are going to make it. This is hard. This is very hard. But it hasn’t beaten you. You are going to make it. I am praying for you.

    • Jeff Crippen

      SS – the court system really does this kind of thing to victims very regularly, doesn’t it? It is soooo wicked. What you write here sounds like it could be one of the Psalms written in contemporary language and terms. Oh Lord, where are you?

      • Isaiah40:31

        Praying for you SS.
        Since this is a regular occurrence in our court system, what can we do to change this? Where do we start?

  27. Surviving

    I am an abuse survivor. I was abused for years before the breaking point when he put me in the hospital and caused me to have to have surgeries. I dont know why I let men hurt me so bad. Its like I am gluttton for punishment. Every man I have been with has either hurt me physically or emotionally. I am missing the confidence and security I need to not let people walk over me. I keep attracting the same kinds of men. I am about to be 40-no children and I have never been in a loving relationship without pain. I am now being emotionally torn down by a man that I keep letting come back into my life even after he left me, got married and now has a child and those are all different occasions. I just want to be uplifted and prayed for. I hurt on the inside so bad. I have turned to abusing alcohol and cigarettes. My beautiful mother died of alcoholism and hurt from men. I dont want that for my life. I just need someone to care enough to pray with me as I try to save my life.

    • Ellie

      I am praying for you. There is no hope outside of Christ. might be a helpful link. I have heard good things about the help that the LCMS offers. You are not alone.

    • Isaiah40:31

      Surviving – I’m praying for you. Get the help you need to take care of yourself. You can break the cycle. Reaching out for help here is a start. Read the whole blog! Get the recommended books if you can. But look for help in your local community as well. You are worth it, and you can do this!

      • Anon

        Jeff, I just read . Boy could my friend write a book about that. I’ve discussed her case with Barbara. At one point the mission€™s sending organization sent people to the missions location and they asked her questions €”in front of the husband. They reported back that things seemed ok and she stood up for him. Now she can say “Duh! You can’€™t ask those questions of the abused IN FRONT OF THE ABUSER!” Of course she stood up for him, which is what the sending agency reported. She could do nothing else.

        I once heard Rodney Howard-Browne at a meeting teaching ministers tell them that if they are ever speaking at his church they had better bring the wife (and family) or they will never be invited back. Why? He said he wanted to watch the wife cuz he could tell by the look on her face if the man was living what he preached. I really appreciated that.

        My friend was NEVER taken to the churches her missionary husband was soliciting support from. She’€™s home with the kids. No one knew her. No one could look for the problems. Now he’s kicked out of our denomination, but still ministers in churches that will having him using the words “€˜we™,” “€˜our€™,” etc and wearing a gold ring on the 3rd finger of his left hand (not his wedding ring according to my friend ”just a deception).

        Thank you so much for your ministry!

  28. momof4

    I’m so glad to have found your site!! I have been in an abusive marriage for 20+ years. The psychological abuse is the worst! he abused me in every possible way, except that he never hurt me hard enough for me to need medical attention (also means I had no proof to report) nor did he force me to take drugs or alcohol. He has always been SO good at controlling his behavior in public and saving his cruelty for times when he is alone with me. I made the mistake of trying to do marriage counseling and that only made things far worse!
    a while back my pastor saw a bruise on me (that I had tried unsuccessfully to hide) and decided that he knew how to handle the situation. He cornered my abuser about it. I won’t go into details here because it could identify me, but let’s just say that I have been living with my abusers revenge ever since. he is furious that he was “falsely accused”
    He has now left me and the teenage children but has turned on his charm. my entire church is siding with him but I can’t leave at this point because of some situations that I can’t explain. I have also been “disciplined” by the church for sharing anything about my situation with anyone in the church. I am being accused of lying and gossiping. I am being silenced (I suspect it’s because they don’t want to lose the financial support of my ex)
    I feel very much like a leper in my church. I need God’s strength and protection until such time that I can leave that church. (I’ll lose my children if I try to leave now)
    he is so smooth with his games that our children have not recognized what he has done. Sadly they have seen my reactions when he had me in situations that felt like traps because I knew what would happen. They would not know why I was “over reacting” and “over emotional” and have decided that I am the problem and always have been. to me,
    it feels like carbon monoxide leaking everywhere – you can’t smell it or see it, but it’s deadly.
    He is now going for full custody. PLEASE PRAY!!!!! I need a miracle!! I start to feel crazy, like, if I am the ONLY person who sees this side of him, that maybe I AM mentally ill (one of his accusations) or maybe I AM just “too sensitive” …am I imagining all this???
    my kids and ex claim that I am the one who was abusive and I know that in the last few years, I did get disrespectful with my comments. I didn’t know how to hold the hurt back anymore and it started to spew out of me in anger and bitterness. he has managed to turn the kids against me but claims that I have done that to him.
    I need a miracle for my relationships with my kids!!!
    thank you for your prayers!!!

    • Dear Momof4, I shall certainly pray. I’m glad you have found our blog — welcome. You will find many others here who believe you and who understand.

    • By the way, Momof4, even you ‘only’ have bruises you can document them by taking photos of them and writing about the incidents in a diary. Here is a very good simple video that gives instructions about how to collect evidence that you can take to the police. And you can go to a doctor and show the bruises and ask them to document them. Their documentation can support own record and can be subpeonaed by the courts if necessary. And you can also sign a release if you wish to permit the doctor to share her notes with a professional (like a pastor) who you have designated .

      You are not crazy. It is part of the abuser’s tactis that they try to make the victim feel like she is going crazy. Almost all victims say “I feel like I”m going crazy”. The abusers are so skilled at twisting things and making up seem like down, left seem like right, and facts seem like delusion.

  29. momof4

    thank you so much!! I do *know* that crazy making is part of the game, but sometimes that is just a “head knowledge” and it’s hard to keep yourself from wondering it, even though you’ve learned otherwise!!
    I was REALLY pleased to see that you recommend Lundy Bancroft’s book “why does he do that” because that book was a God send to me (sadly I only read it after he had left and started his plan to take the kids) It was as if Lundy had been a fly on my wall for all those years!

    another book that you guys may want to check is called “When Love Hurts” and it’s by Karen Mcandless Davis and Jill Corey ( whenlovehurts.ca )
    Bless you guys for your work! It is a desperate need and you seem to be the pioneers in this area!!

    • Yes Momof4, we recommend “When Love Hurts” on our recommended books list (see our Resources tab above). I’m glad to hear you endorse it. I have not read it myself but have read enough about Karen Mcandless Davis and her own experience of abuse to know that whatever she writes would be trustworthy. From what I gather, her husband is one of the very few abusers who seems to have really changed. But she doesn’t have her head in Pollyanna land. She gets it.

  30. Kay

    my young teenage daughter’s father is trying to use the courts to force her to stay with him regularly.She is very afraid of him -she never wants to see him for more than a few minutes, and never ever wants to be alone with him.I am extremely afraid. We need the professionals involved to believe us and to act wisely.

    • Kay, I shall pray hard for this! Yes, you need the professionals to believe you. But if the worst comes to the worst, you and your daughter may have to defy the court orders. I’m holding you up before the Lord.

    • Kay, you may find some ideas and encouragement here: http://protectivemothersalliance.wordpress.com/

      • Kay

        Thanks Barbara.I’m not sure about defying court orders though,you don’t really get away with that round here-I really want to avoid getting into that situation!

  31. Yeah I get that Kay. Easy for me to say; not easy for anyone to do!

    I shall put sellotape over my mouth. :)

  32. Sherry

    Please pray for me to find a way to escape my marriage. I’ve put up with verbal, emotional, and financial abuse for 29 years. I believe God has set me on this journey, helping me see what was happening in my marriage and why I was so miserable. I wanted to wait until my kids were grown and the last one was out of high school, then I would leave. That was last year. I feel so sad that I’ve been so intimidated by husband’s rage and anger and financial constraints. I manage his business, including cleaning the office and handling the paperwork and he pays me very, very little. Our part-time helper gets paid better than I do – because of my husband’s control. I have tried so hard to build a support system but I’m not doing very well in that area either. I’m just beyond frustrated. I know it’s not up to anyone but me to get out of here but I’m afraid of not finding a job and starting over at 59. It’s not being alone that scares me, it’s being able to support myself and to help my kids if they need it since they are all starting out as young adults.

    • twbtc

      Sherry,
      I am praying! Your situation is similar to mine. I was married 29 years, primarily a housewife, when I filed for divorce. My youngest had just started college. I didn’t know how I was going to support myself either. And starting over…that was scary! That was about three years ago. In these three years it hasn’t always been easy, hasn’t always been what I had planned, hasn’t always been what I expected. But one thing that has been…God has been faithful.

      May I suggest that you don’t wait for the fear to go away before you take that first step. It’s OK to be scared as you take that first step.

      (((hugs)))

    • Praying for you, Sherry.

    • Isaiah40:31

      Praying for you. Work on that support network, and have a safety plan in place.

  33. celestebella

    1.) Prayer request: to be healed of multiple health problems so that I can seek employment and be free of financial abuse.

    2.) To find a place to stay for a few weeks while I visit extended family so I can reconnect with them and so I can also have down time to help towards my body healing.

    • Okay, I will pray celestebella.

    • I wanted to let you know that God did indeed provide a place for me to stay for two weeks!

      I called my old church back home and within minutes the secretary had connected me with a family who said I could stay at their dad’s apartment (I have known this family and their Dad for 35 years). He is an elderly man and initially I was told I would probably have to help cook him some meals. He is a very kind man, but he enjoys his privacy and I became increasingly anxious that my extended stay may become unnerving to him. He travels once a year, but it’s usually in Oct. and I was needing the place in August. I asked God if he could have Mr. H. go on a trip. The next day I spoke with his daughter and I mentioned to her I hoped her dad would not get weary of me staying for the two weeks. She responded, “he’s not here, he left on a trip yesterday!” What relief flooded my soul! The apartment was in my home town! and it was BEAUTIFUL and clean! The bed I slept in was like sleeping on a cloud! I got to see both my parents! I was reunited with extended family I have not seen or spoken to in 5 years! I had a taste of unbelievable freedom!!! from my narcissistic/abusive husband and it was so GOOD!!!

      The only downside was when I had to leave; it brought GREAT sadness, I wanted more time with my parents and I was getting acclimated to being there. I felt like NOOOOOOO, don’t make me go back!

      All to say that God orchestrated that fantastic stay!!! I pray He can make that a permanent reality in the place he chooses for me.

      Thank you for praying for me.

      Hugs,
      CelesteBella

  34. peggy

    Would appreciate your prayers Have filed for divorce six times over the past 38years and my husband always goes to a church for counseling and we end up back in the same abusive situation just a different kind. I tried to join a group Shelter from the Storm, but they said I was too late . Does anyone know a true believer in San Antonio tx that could help me. The churches always take his side. CAn be very convincing saying he remembers nothing about abuse and just to forgive him. I see my son going thru same in his exmarriage.

    • If any of our regular readers wants to offer help to this lady, email me, Jeff and TWBTC (see our About page for email addresses) and let us know.

      Peggy, our suggestion to you is read as much as you can on abuse (see our Resources pages for recommended books, and read this blog). That may help you see through the fog (the lies and manipulations of the abuser and his allies) so you are less likely to be sucked back in.

      And you may find it helpful to give up the hope that your local churches will fully support and believe you ad not be conned by your husband. If you keep holding onto that hope for support from your local churches and counselors, you may stay on the merry go round forever. It is rare to find a church or counselor (esp Christian counselor) that sees through the abuser 100% and stands with the victim 100% rather than take a ‘neutral’ or ‘mutual blame’ stance. So you may have to let go of that dream.

      Also Peggy, if you want us to change the screen name you gave yourself on this blog, let us know by email. We can edit comments even after they have been published. Please read our New Users Info page (tab at top of blog) and our CyberSafety page (in our Resources tab) for tips on how to stay safe on the internet.

      • peggy

        Thanks for your reply. I did go through Love is a Choice study. My problem is I am so frustrated with trying for a divorce I just want to leave and go back to the State where I am from. I have this imagination that the Lord will do a miracle and work it out . Just one close friend would be miraculous right now. I do appreciate all your prayers. My husband confused me because he started praying for me all the time, but his outward treatment of me was the same. It has been like this since I was pregnant with my first son when he started beating me. Am so confused.

      • Peggy, abusers INTEND to confuse their victims. They plan and strategize how to confuse the victim, because the more confused the victim is, the more likely she is to stay in the marriage. Or go back to the marriage. Abusers WANT to be a mystery. And they WANT and CHOOSE to abuse. And when their victim starts to wise up to their tactics, they just make the tactics more sophisticated, or more subtle, or more scary so the victim is too intimidated to leave. But if you are aware of these facts, you are more prepared. And you are less likely to be thrown off balance if the abuser escalates or changes his tactics and starts looking like he is changed and now there is hope for the marriage. We have a lot of material on this site about how to distinguish genuine change in an abuser from phony change. Use the key word ‘Repentance’ in our search function, or look up our tags and our Resources pages.

        God may work a miracle and make your move easy. But He may not. It might be a good idea to plan in the pedestrian everyday way, and if He intervenes and makes part or all of it unexpectedly easy, then well and good. But if you just sit around hoping for the great miracle that will get you to where you want to be, it might not happen, and you might get more tired and more confused while you are waiting.

        I like this term “spiritualised common sense.’ Many Chrisitians are good at the spiritualising stuff, but not so strong on the common sense. But we all of us have common sense, if we chose to use it. :)

        Hope you find your way. . . one small step at a time, if need be. And we hope you keep reading and commenting here, if you find it helpful. :)

  35. Anonymous

    Praying for you Peggy … especially that you could find ‘true’ believers In Christ. Many abusers also want to condemn the victims by saying ‘we must move on’, the past is the past, forgive and forget, etc … What they and many churches refuse to acknowledge is that there is still present day abuse because ‘nothing has really changed’!!

    • peggy

      Thanks for your prayers. The last two counselors would never make him admit to the abuse. It was as if it had never happened. They said a lot was my fault and we were only meeting to work out the marriage. Please pray for my sons, who saw all this. The cycle is happening in one of my sons, who has children of his own. Two years ago when I filed for divorce last, it was after that son had a fight with hid dad and told him that the images in his mind of him abusing him had almost destroyed my son. He and the his children came to live with us after a divorce from his wife. Unfortunately his wife is like my husband and my son can’t let go of her. She is very abusive. It is like I see my own relationship with my husband all over again. It is really unnerving and I blame myself.

      • Ellie

        Praying Peggy.

      • Peggy, it may help to remind yourself that when a child is raised in a household where one parent is abusive, it does not mean that the child necessarily becomes a victim or an abuser in adulthood. There seems to be a slight increased risk of that, but it is no means a sentence that is totally determined. And let’s face it: abusers are out there, looking for targets. They sometimes target people who were victims previously, but they may target those who have never been victims of abuse before. So try to remind yourself of that and not be hard on yourself for the way your son’s adult life has gone so far.

        You might find it helpful to look at it as glass half full, rather than glass half empty. Now your son is separated from the abuser, he stands a much better chance of wising up and becoming super-astute and vigilant against other abusers who might target him or his kids or his friends. Maybe he would like to read this blog, or Joe Pote’s book. Joe is a survivor. And we have a tag on this blog for male victims of domestic abuse.

  36. peggy

    Thanks for the info. Now it has been two years since I last filed for divorce and the lawyer was disbarred and it is closed now. That is not the problem. I notice that I am different and not in a good way. This new church that my husband went to believes in some things that are permitted in a marriage that I did not. I find myself in a downward spiral doing things in never would have considered right for a person who belongs to the Lord. I should have never taken him back, but my actions are my fault of today. I don’t care to go to that church anymore. Being as we only have one car, I have been. But what is going on with me really concerns me. Have I completely give up? I appreciate this forum and will look up the books. Really need the prayers though and fellowship.

    • Peggy, if you would like to email me, I am curious to know what things that church believes are permitted in marriage which you did not believe were permitted. I understand it might be too difficult or dangerous to talk about it on the front side of the blog. My email is barbara@notunderbondage. No pressure to email me, only if you wish to. And please don’t make it a long email as I am always flooded with things to do and can’t read everyone’s long stories. But a brief outline of those things would be of interest to me, because maybe a post might come out of it. Not a post that identified you, just a general post on that topic. Hope this makes sense. Love, Barb

      • But Peggy, don’t email me if you think there is any chance your abuser can monitor your emails. Make sure you are safe!

  37. peggy

    Tried to email you, but it did not take the email address. The author that can tell when a person truly repents or has a program men go through , what is his name?

    • Jeff Crippen

      Peggy – that was a misprint. Try barbara@notunderbondage.com I know that Lundy Bancroft has a section in his book Why Does He do That? on how to know if someone is not truly changing (ie, repentant). Its around about pages 350 or so in that book.

      Ed. addition: Starting on p334 is the chapter titled “The Process of Change”. Within that chapter is a subsection called “How to Assess an Abuser’s Claims of Change” (p346) and a section called “The Abuser Program” (p355).

      Also, you may be interested in this post: Checklist for Repentance

  38. peggy

    Just read Anon’s testimony. Very uplifting.

  39. peggy

    Barbara, that was a very enlightening article yesterday. I pray the young lady returns to the Lord. Ordered my first book yesterday. Can only get one a month on Social Security. Ordered Why Does He Do That. Was told get a divorce and get it over with. Funds are a big reason. Just like I do not like the counseling games, I do not like the court games. Are there agencies for people in my age group I don’t know about? God Bless all you who started this site and keep it going. Love Peggy

    • Peggy if you can email me safely and tell me a safe shipping address, I shall get my book shipped to you And Jeff C’s book too, if you want it. Bless you.

    • And Peggy, did you realise you can comment on any post on this blog, not just on the Prayer Requests page? To comment on another post or page, you need to find that post / page in your browser, and then scroll down to find the comments section.

    • Peggy, you didn’t tell me your safer email address — you gave me the address you use when commenting here.
      If you want to let me know the safer address, pls email me again.

      • peggy

        The email address is ok. It is the only one I have.

  40. anonymous

    Would appreciate prayers as we have a court date coming up soon. He is contesting the restraining order and wanting visitation of the children-who do not wish to see him. CPS and the prosecutor are involved, but things are moving slowly. Trying to have faith that all things will happen in God’s timing.

    Praise Report ~ Our new church home is wonderful! They get abuse, are familiar with the limitations and dangers of nouthetic counseling, and have pledged to be a safe haven for our family.

    • I shall pray, anonymous. And I think i prayed for you a few hours ago while I was in church (it’s Sunday here) because I was praying for all the unnamed and maybe to me unknown women who are struggling to get through the mire of abuse and the family court gauntlet.

      I’m so glad to hear your new church is very supportive. Maybe some folk there may even read this blog, or Jeff C’s book, so they can be even better equipped to help you and any other victims that may come through their doors. :)

  41. anon

    I have a meeting with the church contact for DV outreach soon and will be making sure she knows about ACFJ. Keep up the wonderful work-GOD BLESS!!!

  42. Susan

    I decided to ask our pastor if he would meet with her privately without me present (our pastor’s suggestion) so she can speak with him. I plan on fasting and praying that day. No time of day yet set by our pastor for that meeting. I don’t know if he’s spoken with my husband…

    • Jeff Crippen

      Susan – I have only included this brief portion of your reply to us in order to protect your confidentiality. But it is vital that you understand something regarding how your pastor is proceeding here. All law enforcement officials and experts in child abuse and molestation strongly discourage what your pastor is going to do – ie, interview your daughter. Why? Because he as an untrained person is going to “muddy the waters” as they say. What that means is that he is going to talk to your daughter about the case, ask her questions, and later when the case is investigated by the police, they will not be able to be dealing with a clean slate and fresh start in their investigation. Without knowing it, the pastor will be putting things into your daughter’s mind OR the suspect’s defense will be able to claim that he did so. You are dealing here with the molestation of a little girl – a crime. It needs to be investigated by people trained in this field, which your pastor is not. And I want to caution you once more that “fasting and praying” in lieu of taking proper, wise action that the Lord calls us to take (reporting to the police) is not wise. Please listen to these things very carefully, cancel the meeting with the pastor, and report your husband to the police immediately.

    • Susan I agree 100% with Jeff’s reply to you. Here is an article by Boz Tjividjian — it underlines the importance of reporting rather than investigating any allegation of child abuse.
      The temptation to investigate: Resist and Report

      • Ellie

        Susan, I used to pray that God would send someone to protect my children. One night as I was praying, I felt that God said, “I sent YOU.” I was hoping that God would send someone to confront X about his abusing me, that God would change him, that I wouldn’t have to take risks and expose him, take risks and leave him. But having that assurance from the Holy Spirit that my acting to protect my children was part of my duty as their mother empowered me, helped me, freed me.

        God sent YOU to protect your children. You are her first line of defense.

    • Here is another post by Boz Tjividjian, explaining why Matthew 18 is NOT the right scripture to default to when there are allegations of child abuse.
      Child abuse and Matthew 18: The Dangers of Distorting Scripture

      • anonymous

        I am utterly humbled. I have always been amazed at how the Lord protected and guided me as I hungrily studied the Scriptures in my desire to love and serve Him. ACFJ finally opened my eyes to the fact that I had succumbed to the ‘twisting of Scripture’ concerning the permanence view of marriage.
        Now ACFJ points out again so succinctly the ‘twisting of Scripture’ when it comes to child abuse.
        Many years ago several churches in this small community were slinging shots as a molester was being ‘protected’. Many verses were used to claim that after several allegations that the ‘outstanding member’ had repented? Really? Why then, did he keep on with this sin until a “Christian” family finally brought legal action against him?
        This incident still weighs heavy on my decision to be locally involved; the man and his wife are no longer here, however the condoners are all in various churches in leadership!

      • the man and his wife are no longer here, however the condoners are all in various churches in leadership!

        And any other abuser can slickly sniff out those condoners, schmooz them, become their buddies, be the guy who helps out whenever the leaders want help . . so that when this new crop of abuser’s victims spill the beans, waving their brave little orange flags in fear and trepidation, the condoners will not believe them.

        aarrgggh Wake Up Church!

        EVERY adult person needs to read The Socially Skilled Child Molester [amazon affiliate link]
        Especially if they are in leadership.

  43. anonymous

    The problem is that many within leadership are using their positions to cover up their own deviancies. What is so very sad is that the spouses in their quest to also remain within the leadership role, will look the other way.
    This is the prayer-request-page: PRAY – as I am repeatedly told that I should be in a church and that no one can really help me with my marriage or separation — they don’t want to get too involved unless I become a full blown member of their church, whereas I don’t want to be part of a church that may eventually re-victimize me.

    • Welcome to the church outside the camp, anonymous. We have mugs of cocoa and warm fires on the scrubby hillside for all refugees!

      To my way of thinking, any church that demands you officially take up membership before they get very involved in ‘helping’ you is going to be No Help anyway.

      You can’t change what they think, but you can ignore their criticism and judgmentalism and you can decline their baited hooks and ask God to give you such confidence and enlargement of heart that their poisoned arrows will not penetrate your skin. I mean you can ask for enlargement of heart towards Christ, or better, enlargement of heart in Christ, not enlargement of heart towards those demanding church-goers who want to cram you into their ticky tacky box. Our hearts towards them need to be guarded, like a tortoise shell.

      Did Jesus say “What synagogue do you have membership in? Have you signed the membership covenant? Have you vowed to submit to that synagogue’s leadership?” before he healed anyone?

      And even with the Cannanite woman who had the demonized daughter, he helped her when she faithfully humbly begged him for help. He didn’t look down his nose and say, “Convert to Judaism first, then I will help you!”

      And I know it’s a hard saying, but when he said “”It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs,” I think he may have been led by his Father to respond that way to her initially, so that her she would be moved to make a profound and beautiful confession of faith in him:

      “She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” (Matt. 15:27)

      I hear in her words that she acknowledged him as her Lord and her Master. Oh blessed Redeemer! What a friend we have in Jesus!

      • anonymous

        Barb – Thank you again for the invitation to “the church outside the camp” … I’ve been outside the camp for many years and although I’ve been growing more as I glean from pastors and teachers via the internet, it is obvious the enemy still throws rocks of guilt at me for not ‘assembling together with the “s”aints’.
        Your two scripture references shall be tucked away for further discussion with others when they poke their fingers at me AND yes, oh yes, what a blessed Redeemer; Lord and Master:-)

  44. Susan

    Thank you, Barbara, for your link to the article citing Matthew 18 as inappropriate for the child abuser. Yes, that makes total sense. I’m afraid no one in our church leadership is well versed in narcissism so they have no clue who they’re dealing with in my husband. Just confronting him does nothing.

  45. Susan

    <[Note from Barb: Comment edited to disidentify in order to protect the writer]

    We live in an area where police services are sparse. I just phoned two police services near me and both times got the recorded message “This is the (____) Police Department. If this is an emergency, please dial 911. If you’d like to leave a message, please do so at the tone. BEEP!…” That’s it. Same message both times I called. Now what do I do? I wouldn’t leave a message, it felt too unsafe.

    • Susan, I suggest you ring the Hotline. They will advise you the best place(s) to call for the particular issue(s) you are dealing with. Go to our resources page that lists Hotlines in various countries, and find the number that applies to you.

      http://cryingoutforjustice.com/resources/hotlines/

      Also. you might like to scan all our Resources, by clicking on the Resources tab at the top of this blog. I think you will probably find other pages we have that pertain to your particular needs.

  46. I recently received an e-mail from my husband’s therapist. He has been working with him for 4 or 5 months now I believe.
    His e-mail consists of sending me to his website so I can read about his educational/professional background (which includes no domestic violence experience), telling me that my husband has informed him of our “relationship difficulties,” and a couple excuses for my husband’s financial and verbal abuse. Not sure if my husband informed him of the time he put his hands around my neck, threatened to break down the bathroom door, threatened to drop our son down the stairs (among a million other stories I could share).. or maybe those go under the category of “not communicating in a give and take style.”
    I haven’t responded on the grounds of, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Don’t think I’ll find that in Proverbs, however ;).
    I’d appreciate prayers that if I am meant to try and impart any bit of wisdom to this man, who obviously has no understanding of domestic violence, that I will be able to do it in a Godly way.
    Also, that my husband will find a new therapist. Not for the sake of our marriage, as we’ve been seperated for some time now and I have no intention of returning… but for the sake of his soul, and for our son.
    Lastly, some prayers that I will find a little peace… wanting to punch something (or someone??) right now! I won’t, but I’d like to stop feeling like I want to ;).

    • Ellie

      I wouldn’t call that man a therapist. He sounds like and excuse making con man sycophant. I wouldn’t know how to respond to him. I might tell him that the law calls the “relationship difficulties” of [describe the criminal abuse] the crime of [whatever your local criminal code calls those crimes].

    • twbtc

      xmeriwetherx,
      The decision to respond to the therapist is a decision you will have to make, and I am praying God will show you what is best for you.

      From what you said I would caution you if you do decide to speak to the therapist. As you said he doesn’t appear to have any extensive training in domestic abuse situations, and he is already, without even meeting you, blaming you for part of the marriage situation. By using the term “relationship difficulties” instead of “abuse” he is minimizing your husband’s behavior – a common example of victim-blaming. The therapist is also minimizing your husband’s financial and verbal abusive behavior by making excuses for it.

      When my ex and I separated I chose the no-contact/no-response strategy, and I extended that to include people that I knew were in contact with my ex. I had found that the time and energy I spent on trying to get people to understand was a waste of time and it also slowed my personal healing and recovery. It already sounds like your husband has this therapist wrapped around his finger, so may I suggest you proceed with caution, if that is what you choose to do.

      Also praying you experience an abundance of peace, not the kind of peace that is dependent upon circumstances or people, rather the peace that transcends all – in other words – God’s peace.

      Blessings…

    • His e-mail consists of sending me to his website so I can read about his educational/professional background (which includes no domestic violence experience), telling me that my husband has informed him of our “relationship difficulties,” and a couple excuses for my husband’s financial and verbal abuse.

      Well depending on how you feel and how safe it might be for you to do this, you could reply to him by curtly sending him a link to ACFJ. I don’t know how to do a smirk face, but I’ll have a go :~

  47. Thanks for the support and prayers everyone! My internet has been down.. so I haven’t responded to him at all. Undecided if I want to say anything or what, but I am feeling a bit calmer about it. It always helps to know that I’m not alone, so thank you all for that!
    I don’t think I’m going to refer him to ACFJ, as I’m always nervous about anything that might link my husband back to the webpage (although I don’t put anything identifying on here.. if he knew I was on here and read through the prayer requests, he might know who I am… and I don’t want to deal with any fall out from that). However, I might refer him to the book… via an Amazon link instead of through this webpage. Or, as I don’t believe he’s a Christian therapist, I may refer him to Lundy’s work.
    Maybe a simple “You may want to read this book _____ before continuing to work with anyone involved in Domestic Violence.” Not agressive, but still making it pretty clear that I’m not going to engage with someone who apparently has no knowledge on DV.
    Thank you everyone!!

    • Maybe a simple “You may want to read this book _____ before continuing to work with anyone involved in Domestic Violence.” Not agressive, but still making it pretty clear that I’m not going to engage with someone who apparently has no knowledge on DV.

      I like it!

  48. SeekingHelp

    I am so lost right now. I believe I am in an abusive relationship. if anyone told my husband that he would laugh. he would disagree. he would say its all me. its always all me. it I weren’t such a b@#ch or a c$%t or disrespectful or dismissive….that’s just today. and its about every single thing that we have a reason to communicate about. i look at the texts he sends me and my heart breaks. why can’t i be stronger? why can’t i leave and not put up with him? why am i so scared? i feel paralyzed. i feel stuck. i feel hopeless. i am ashamed and embarrassed to admit to people. he has put his hands on me a few times – held me down on the bed, put his hands on my shoulders/neck and has threatened me. he continually complains and nags about every thing i do. its the way the laundry is done. its the way i park my car. its the way the food it cooked. its the way i look at him. its the way i talk to him. its the way i communicate with him. its the way i answer questions. its the way i respond to texts. its the way dress my son or take care of him. it literally feels like every single thing i do is offensive. he said that “we” needed to call the dr for my son. of course that means me so i did. i let him know i was waiting on the nurse to call me back. i then let him know what the nurse said and that i would update him. somehow i handled that situation wrong. when he tried to accuse me of not calling the dr and i told him i had he then reverted to saying how i responded to him was wrong. that i was dismissive, disrespectful, etc.

    he thinks i am the problem. the way i was raised, my upbringing makes me unreasonable and irrational. “all his friends agree” that i am the issue. we see things differently. we have different points of view and that is enough to be cause for divorce. yet he threatens to leave and doesn’t ever leave really. i believe he is sick. my counselor thinks maybe bipolar or drugs. i don’t know anymore. i am tired. i don’t think i can fight anymore. prayers for this situation is greatly appreciated. this is a little ray of hope in my lost world.

    • thepersistentwidow

      SeekingHelp, I am so sorry that you are going through this. Your husband is abusive and you are not the cause of his actions. I suggest that you call your local domestic abuse help center and see what resources are available for you. It is imperative that you have a safety plan in place as your and your son’s safety are top priority in this situation. The abusers usually go from bad to worse and it is likely that will happen in your case. You should take his threats seriously. I suggest that you read through the many resources we have at ACFJ as you plan for your future. Praying for your safety and peace, PW

      • seekinghelp

        thanks, i appreciate the response. i know that but its sometimes so hard for our heart and head to get on the same page with things. my son is my first priority

    • SeekingHelp, welcome to the blog and thanks for sharing. :)

      I endorse everything PW said to you and I join her in emphasizing how important it is for you to seek support from a domestic violence service/ shelter /agency. And to develop a safety plan, with their help and guidance, or just by yourself using the links we have under our Resources tab for Safety planning. See the tab at the top of this blog called “Resources”.

      I would like to encourage you. And I also hope that other readers will see how I’m replying to you and use it as a model for how they can so easily encourage others in similar situations to you.

      From what you said, you believe your are being abused — and I believe you are right: you are being abused. And from the way you wrote you are also feeling overwhelmed by the forceful ways your abuser presses on you HIS reality (which is a tissue of lies), his version of the situation, so that it almost crushes your version — your gut feeling knowledge of the truth. So here is my encouragement for you, embedded into your words:

      I am so lost right now. I believe I am in an abusive relationship. if anyone told my husband that he would laugh. He intentionally and tactically laughs and scorns and scoffs at you to pressure you into doubting your own thoughts.
      he would disagree. he would say its all me. He is lying. It is not all you. It is all him. He is an abuser, and abusers always shift the blame to their victims.
      its always all me. it I weren’t such a b@#ch or a c$%t or disrespectful or dismissive….that’s just today. and its about every single thing that we have a reason to communicate about. He is clearly a bully, he is slandering you with his malicious tongue, he is a very wicked man to do that.
      i look at the texts he sends me and my heart breaks. why can’t i be stronger? Don’t blame yourself. He constantly works at tearing you down. No wonder you feel weakened!
      why can’t i leave and not put up with him? You can. Read our Resources and think through ways to plan for your exit. Break it down into a step by step process if you can, if you have time to get all your ducks in a row. Or just leave, suddenly. Each victim who chooses to leave her abuser does it slightly differently, and there is no ‘perfect’ way to leave. But you can do it. And we will support you if you do leave, but we also know that each victim makes her own choices in her own time. And some chose to stay for a season, for various reasons e.g. that they decide to acquire a job qualification first so that they are more able to support themselves once they have left.
      why am i so scared? Probably because he has made various overt and covert threats to make you afraid. And maybe also because you know full well that there are many people in your network who may judge you if you leave. But we won’t judge you, we will support your choices and respect you.
      I feel paralyzed. i feel stuck. i feel hopeless. i am ashamed and embarrassed to admit to people. I understand that kind of shame. I felt it myself for years. It does pass, gradually, as we move into recovery and come to realise more and more fully that it was not our fault and we were not to blame for marriage ending up the way it did.
      he has put his hands on me a few times – held me down on the bed, put his hands on my shoulders/neck and has threatened me. This means you are at risk of him being physically dangerous to you again. Take that risk seriously, no matter what anyone tries to tell you. I suggest you do the Mosaic Risk Assessment tool on our Safety Planning page under the Resources tab.
      he continually complains and nags about every thing i do. He is trying to keep you on the back foot and subjugated to him, that makes it easier for him to control you. His attitude sounds tyrannical to me. And criticism is one of his major tactics of abuse.
      its the way the laundry is done. its the way i park my car. its the way the food it cooked. its the way i look at him. its the way i talk to him. its the way i communicate with him. its the way i answer questions. its the way i respond to texts. its the way dress my son or take care of him. it literally feels like every single thing i do is offensive. He is making all of these criticisms up. They are not justified. Even when you do every little thing the way he ‘said’ he wanted it done, he finds some new thing to criticise you about. That proves that his criticisms are not valid, he just criticizes you to maintain power and control over you. It is not about what you do. It is about his determination to have power and control over you and to keep you on the back foot.
      he said that “we” needed to call the dr for my son. of course that means me so i did. i let him know i was waiting on the nurse to call me back. i then let him know what the nurse said and that i would update him. somehow i handled that situation wrong. No, you didn’t handle it wrong. He claims you did, but he is lying.
      when he tried to accuse me of not calling the dr and i told him i had he then reverted to saying how i responded to him was wrong. that i was dismissive, disrespectful, etc. See what I mean? Whatever you do, whatever you say, however you try to explain your actions and motives to him, he is going to criticize you and tell you you are wrong. You are not wrong. He is an abuser. period. He pushes his falsehoods and slanderous lies on you to make you feel weak and to intimidate you. This is wickedness on his part. Sheer wickedness.

      he thinks i am the problem. You are not.
      the way i was raised, my upbringing makes me unreasonable and irrational. That is a lie. You have clearly shown us by what you’ve written that you are not unreasonable or irrational.
      “all his friends agree” that i am the issue. Well he is either making that up, or else he has worked hard at manipulating his friends so that they swallow his lies.
      we see things differently. we have different points of view and that is enough to be cause for divorce. yet he threatens to leave and doesn’t ever leave really. Many abusers use that tactic of threatening to leave. It’s pretty common for abusers; it’s one of the weapons they have in their arsenal. Most abusers don’t leave. They just threaten to, in order to keep their victim more more anxious and to increase her false guilt.
      i believe he is sick. my counselor thinks maybe bipolar or drugs. Your counselor clearly doesn’t understand abuse well if she is seeing this problem as one of the abuser’s mental health. Please read this post by one of our readers: http://cryingoutforjustice.com/2012/12/18/treating-his-bi-polar-didnt-fix-his-abusiveness-a-story-from-a-survivor/ and also here is our tag for mental illness in abusers. Abusers do not abuse because they are mentally ill. They abuse because they chose to abuse.
      oh i don’t know anymore. i am tired. i don’t think i can fight anymore. prayers for this situation is greatly appreciated. this is a little ray of hope in my lost world. We understand the ‘lost’ feeling. It is like being lost in the fog.

      Please forgive my use of bold text here. I hope it didn’t feel to heavy on your spirit.

      You might like to use what I have just written as a model for how to talk to yourself. Whenever he criticizes you or lies, quietly say to yourself “That is a lie, it is not true. It is not my fault. I am not to blame.”

  49. Irene

    My husband was physically abusive the 1st 3 years of our marriage and he has been pshycologically abusive for 15 now. I want to leave, but have a lot of complications and excuses. Please pray for me and my children. I am depressed, my children are hurting and my oldest son will not come home to see me.

    • Irene,
      Thank you for trusting us with your prayer request. So glad you are here.

      Yes, I am praying for you and your children. One of the hardest things for us moms to endure is when our children are hurting and rejecting us. Praying that the rejection is only for a short season.

    • Irene I shall pray. It sounds positive to me that you are aware of your complications and excuses. Teasing those things out can be helpfuL, because as we look at each complication or excuse, calmly and analytically, the Holy Spirit and our spiritualized common sense may show us ways we can get around or deal with or face each of those complications or excuses. Breaking it down into baby steps and bite size pieces is often a good way to go. But you know your reality and situation better than I do, so if my words are not fitting, just trash them.

      Welcome to the blog. You might like to check out our Resources pages (see tab at top of the blog) as there are links in there which you may find useful to help you gain strength and strategies to help you leave. Look esp at the Safety Planning and the Hotlines sections.

  50. Irene

    Thank you Barbara, I am so confused. All I have ever wanted to do was honor God and I never wanted to be divorced. I am so sad and scared and ashamed. My daughter disclosed that my husband showed her porn in 2011, I believed her but was in denial until her younger brother said they looked out the door and saw the videos (they had been sent into the bedroom to play). Then in 2013, I left and recociled within a month. Guess what I found out in January that my daughter told a counselor that my husband molested her. Every time I go to think about it, I have panic attack. How could I have not known? How could I have not protected my daughter. Now I am so ashamed and I am afraid that I will go to jail for letting him come home. I want him to leave but I do not know what to do. I know some people may look down upon me, but I would never have let him come home if I had known the truth.

    • Dear Irene, have you ever thought about ringing your national hotline for DV? I think if you talked your situation over with a worker there (and you can do so anonymously) you might find it helped you a bit. I get the fear that you will be viewed and judged as not having protected your daughter. But please try to not let that fear paralyze you. The reality is, it was him who molested her, not you! And you had multiple things holding you back in denial/ fear/ confusion, etc, and all the pressure he put on you to let him back. You were very alone. Please don’t judge yourself harshly for what your former choices have been. I encourage you to take some baby step, no matter how small, or how seemingly insignificant, to help you shift the mountains, grain by grain, so that you can find the strength to walk out towards freedom and help your child to safety if possible.

      The devil desires to hold you in the bondage of false guilt, but you are not the abuser and you are not to blame for the abuse your husband has done.

      When I have been down and depressed or fearful or paralyzed with guilt at different points in my life (of which there have been many) I have rung Lifeline which is the suicide helpline in Australia. The don’t just take calls about suicide, they take them about everything. And a DV hotline may be even better, since they can give you information about shelters and other services that may be in your local area. I think you might find that talking to someone by phone may relieve some of your emotional burden, and thus open up a feeling or window from which you may be able to act.

      Here is our Hotlines page. http://cryingoutforjustice.com/resources/hotlines/
      It’s not as scary as you might think, to make that call. And make it as often as you like. I did!

  51. Irene

    Hi Barbara,

    I am more terrified and paralyzed now then before, tell me what should I do. If I get arrested or lose my kids, they will be more traumatized then they have been becasue of the abuse. I feel as if I cannot breath, because I let him come home. The bad thing is I had lied to CPS about him being home. I want out of this mess adn I want to protect my kids.

    • Irene

      I am all my kids have.

    • Dear Irene, I am sorry I cannot tell you what you should do. All I can do is make suggestions, like the suggestion I made above to ring a hotline or a shelter. Remember, you can do that anonymously. I would think that if you told them what you’ve told us here, I think they could advise you much better than I can. I understand your fear. However, I think that if you admit to the fact that you previously told a lie to CPS, that would at least show that you now want to be truthful and want to protect your kids more fully now.

      Remember, you have been trying to protect your kids and yourself for a long time already. You have been doing that within the limits and constraints that you felt you were facing. Those constraints have made you feel (with good reason) that you are between a rock and a hard place — where it seems like the only choices you can chose from are all horrible and dangerous. So please pat yourself on the back for the fact that you have probably been trying the best you could with the light (or fog) (or fear) (or threat) (or shadows) that you have had available at the time.

      I think that the only thing to do from here is to be wisely truthful. If you take the option of anonymous disclosure and anonymous help-seeking in the first instance, that may help you become a bit more clear and a bit less afraid of the next step: disclosing non-anonymously. And it may also give you some ideas of how, where and to whom you could wisely disclose non-anonymously.

      What is certain is that if you let yourself remain paralyzed by the fear of disclosure, your children remain at risk.

      Maybe this passage will help you:

      Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. (Philippians 3:12-15 ESV)

      • Irene

        thank you, I will call anonymously. pray that God will protect me and my children, and that I can find favor with the local legal system and that the repercussions will not be to great, pray that they will help me to get free from this oppression, pray for my children that they will heal and not become abusers or marry an abuser and that they will grow up to bring God glory. (Note from Eds: some identifying details and info given by the commenter have been removed for her safety.)

      • I will pray for those things, Irene. And I already have been praying for them – I prayed right after I wrote my last comment to you.

      • REDEEMED!

        Irene my heart is aching for you. PRAYING dear one!

  52. Eds note: this comment was originally left on another page and is being relocated here on the prayer request page on behalf of Newcreation.

    Comment by Newcreation: I am first unsure of where to create a totally new post for a request sp please forgive me. I would like to ask Jeff for prayer and advice. Without going into huge details (I have posted my story before) I need to ask this. A counselor friend (She is actually a life skills counselor) and I have an opportunity to share with my pastor on Thursday. I have no positive expectations for support or help for change. He has been abusive with me on phone calls lately and is very much siding with my husband as well as having the same issues. He is giving us two hours to “share”. If you were to have two hours in front of a pastor who has no clue and is not very open to different ministries of help out there, what would you communicate first? I thought about starting off by asking what his understanding is of all of our issues and what top five things he has (or does not have) on his list to start helping us (he really has not given us any advice yet).

    We meet tomorrow with the pastor and I am meeting with my friend (whose husband is a close friend of our pastor and deacon of the church) today to plan what we want to say. Already she is receiving a little harassment from her husband and is wondering if they have talked including my husband….tight bonds here….funny how my husband has a tighter bond with them than he does with me….more than one spouse here??? Sorry for the sarcasm,,,just weary and tired!! thanks!!

    • Newcreation, I agree with Jeff C’s reply to you here. The pastor does need rebuke.

      At the same time, I don’t think you need feel that you are the one who must give him this rebuke. If you tried to do that, the most likely outcome is that he would say or do things to you that are even more hurtful and coercive than what he has already done.

      I would like to add, also, that another possibility (maybe one your friend might like to take) is to put in writing to this pastor, somethign like this. I suggest put it in writing rather than verbally as that is more at a safe distance, and it creates a document which might be useful in the future. What to put in writing? Something like this:

      Dear Pastor,
      Rather than taking the approach that you have taken with husband _____ and wife _______, I would suggest you read two very good books on the dynamics of domestic abuse before you proceed any further. The two books are Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft, and A Cry For Justice by Ps Jeff Crippen.
      If you have read both those books from cover to cover, then maybe you will be more equipped to tell what is going on in his matter, and how to most wisely respond to it.

      In the meantime, I believe the best way you can help is:

      1. To assist the wife practically in whatever ways she may have specifically requested (e.g. help with rent, house or garden or car maintenance, child care while she attends appointments, meals from the church freezer, or whatever help she have nominated she would like to receive, if any. Of course, you as the leader of the church are free to say that the church is unable to meet a specific request of hers. That is your liberty, just as it is her liberty to decide what help she may want to ask for. Do not assume you know what practical help she needs or how best you can deliver it. Ask her what she needs practical help with, and if she nominates anything, respect and heed her request and her conditions in all their specifics. She knows best what feels safe for her and what may feel unsafe for her. Give her time to think about what she may need; do not pressure her or expect an immediate answer from her.

      2. To at least in the interim stand down the husband from church membership, instruct him not to take the Lord’s Supper, and remove him from church program involvement and privileges until you have read and digested those two books.

  53. Jeff Crippen

    New Creation- You probably have already had that meeting, but I will answer as if you have not just to keep the chronology clear. Nothing I say here is meant to criticize how you decided to handle that meeting. I am sure you did quite well.

    Here is my take on such a scenario. I am a pessimistic realist optimist because Jesus is coming back! In this age, I am the pessimist and I think a realist. By this I simply mean, I would recommend that such a pastor does not need education. He needs rebuke. His problem is not mere ignorance, it is ignorance coupled with arrogance and that is always a very bad combo.

    He needs to be rebuked for adding to the suffering of victims and for enabling abusers. He needs rebuke for twisting the Word of God and teaching as Scripture the mere traditions of men that enslave.

    And then, following that rebuke, I recommend that you walk away from that church and don’t look back. It is an unhealthy and harmful place. It is probably a place where men are taught to look down on women. It is a place of the Pharisees. Go out of it and find Jesus.

  54. newlyanonymous

    Newcreation, I have to say after reading your prayer request that I had similar thoughts as to Pastor Crippen’s here. My first thought was that you should seriously consider changing churches, hard as that may be. I’m frankly aghast that your pastor set a time limit to air your concerns. Also that he has been abusive on the phone with you and already siding with your husband. If you know these things going into the meeting and have no hope or expectations for positive outcome with this meeting, then I shall pray for you for wisdom with regards to what to do next. It sounds like this meeting may well be mostly for your pastor and not you, ie, to provide your pastor with an opportunity to do the right thing with respect to standing between a victim and her abuser. And it doesn’t sound like you even expect that to happen. So…. now the choice is yours. You know husband is abusive. What are the roads open to you if you don’t have support from your church leadership? I came to a point myself where I prepared and readied myself to leave my local church, letting my abusive wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing husband stay. I reckoned if my church wouldn’t support me, I’d leave him with them and I’d find another church. It hasn’t (yet) come to that, but if need be, I’d do it. I don’t want to do it, but I’m now sharing documentation of what I’ve lived (and am living) with selectively within the church, and I’m silent no longer. Careful about with whom and how I’m sharing, but no longer protecting my abuser.

  55. Irene

    Please pray for me, yesterday I got the courage to tell my spouse I want to seperate, after he asked to go through my emails again, but then he started cry and I caved and told him he can stay at the house. Pray that I get strong and be empowered by the holy spirit to tell him to leave. Pray for my finances because w/o his income I will be 600 over budget. Pray for my four children. He has been abusive to me for over 15 years and I feel so weak and so exhuasted. I have begun to have physicall illnesses that I believe is brought on by trying to be pretzel for so many years. I do not know who I am or what I want anymore. I do know that I want to be free and live in peace.

  56. Not sure if this is a great place to put this… but, I have a friend who divorced her husband after he cheated on her (and from what I’ve heard he was also verbally/emotionally abusive). He has remarried, but she feels that she has to remain unmarried. I don’t believe this is true… but am having a hard time putting together sound biblical evidence. I was thinking there was a list of scripture on here related to remarriage, and was going to send it to her… but it looks like all the scriptures are more related to abuse. Any help would be appreciated! And prayers for her would be great too :) And for me as I try to be a support to others with similar struggles!

  57. Anon.

    Please pray, less than two weeks and whereas the ‘ decree’ which wasn’t due to corrupt judge was used to ‘back up’ ex. falsely twice. Is now to be before same judge because ‘decree that wasn’t’ would actually back up me (but truthfully). My new lawyer says off record that the judge wants a way to legally lie
    (I have seen what the judge has done to other women, he is pure evil. The only good thing ever was I got a dif. judge for the OP, because the one that is corrupt reg. throws out OPs-entire courthouse knows but no one stops him. )
    and not follow what the ‘decree’ clearly says.
    Anyway please pray it could all end finally. Pray for a real job and a yes from a school soon and a place to live. Thanks.

  58. newlyanonymous

    Please pray – I made the call to DCF this morning. It’s entering a new realm here. I spoke the truth – and I’m praying for my daughter’s and my safety and continued protection. Our pastor is involved. He is supportive of whatever course is taken now given there is no reconciliation possible at this point. I am married to a narcissist, but likely not for long. Please pray our daughter does not get unsupervised visitation with him. Please pray for her supernatural comfort and peace through the days, weeks, months ahead. Please pray for wisdom and strength for me.

    • REDEEMED!

      Praying for you both-I understand the heartache and worry about visitation.

  59. REDEEMED!

    Would appreciate prayers, esp for wisdom in the court system regarding our case this week. How the prosecutor handles charges will affect protection for the children, as well as which court/judge/prosecutor team actually handles the case. Trusting that God has a plan and His hand on this all-but still so very nervous.

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