A Cry For Justice

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

Living With a Lie

John 8:44, You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

That last phrase pretty well characterizes the abuser.  He is a liar.  He lies.  We do not exaggerate much at all when we say of him, “there is no truth in him.”  This is why, I believe, abuse victims live in a fog of confusion.  They live with a lie.  As Carla van Dam notes in chapter 8 of her book The Socially Skilled Child Molester [*affiliate link]

Child molesters lie.  They lie to themselves, and they lie to others.  They lie even when they know their audience has direct access to the truth.  They lie with blatant ease, such good effect, and are so accustomed to having their lies accepted, that they lose track of the truth.

This is also a very apt description of the domestic violence abuser.  He lies.  All the time.  Lying is his habit and falsehood is his medium of choice.

If we are going to get out of that cursed fog of deception that abusers cast, we have to come to grips with this: he is a liar. Though he speaks with such certainty and confidence when he accuses us, he is lying. When he describes to his victim how stupidly she acted last Thanksgiving, he is lying.  When he goes to his pastor or fellow church members and tells them that his wife is unstable and difficult, he is lying.

To face up to this, we need to be tough.  Really tough.  Unbending and willing to be targeted and accused for being “unkind and unloving.”  “But he said he is sorry!”  He’s lying.  “He told us he has tried and tried to love his wife but she just won’t accept him.”  He’s lying.  “But he says he is a Christian.”  He’s lying.  This is the only right approach when you are dealing with children of the devil whose father is the very origin of lies.  Jesus did this when the Tempter came to Him in the wilderness.  Satan would talk and quote Scripture.  Jesus countered with truth.  Essentially, He was saying “you are a liar” each time.

When the abuser speaks to his victim, she needs to confidently and firmly hold on to the truth — he is lying.  “You are an unfit mother.”  He’s lying.  “You always shoot my ideas down.”  He’s lying.  These are all accusations launched with the intent to destroy and control, and they are lies.

Just imagine.  You are living with a person whose whole life is a lie.  Whose words are habitually and normally lies.  Even their actions are lies, laden with false motives.  He expends huge amounts of energy through threats and deceptions to maintain this facade.  Darkness hates light.  The lie hates truth.  So it is in this very environment that abuse victims live.  Day after day after day.  Is it any wonder that they are confused, that they doubt their own perceptions, that they shoulder loads of false guilt and shame, that they feel like they are going crazy?

The path to recovery from this confusion begins with this realization:  “He is lying. He is a liar. Everything he has been telling me all these years has been a lie.  Everything.”  When pastors and churches wake up to the same understanding, the victims in their midst will start receiving justice instead of the shameful treatment they typically receive now.  We need to be Nehemiahs —

Nehemiah 6:8-9  Then I sent to him, saying, “No such things as you say have been done, for you are inventing them out of your own mind.”  For they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done.” But now, O God, strengthen my hands.

 

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21 Comments

  1. *This* was hard for me to accept.

    How can anyone live this way, day in, day out, 24/7? But he did and he still does. I couldn’t grasp how big, how bold, how anyone with a conscience could go so far over the top with a perfectly straight face– I just could not imagine the scope of his lying ways.

    Really appreciate this– no real need to discern with these types. If their mouth’s moving, they’re either lying or setting up for the next big whopper.

    • Jeff Crippen

      The answer is, you really can’t truly live this way. That’s why abuse is murder. Living in abuse is like living in a world where down is up, right is really left, and just throw away your compass because the directions keep changing. No wonder there is all the confusion. And it is the lies that do it. Christians especially get into trouble because we naively think people aren’t that much different than us. Stupid. Unbiblical. The lights start coming on when we can say, just as you did, “if his mouth is open, he’s lying.” All the time. Little things, big things, good reason or no reason. He’s lying. That’s what he does. So like that one character in Peanuts the kid who has a cloud of dust hovering around him all the time -the abuser has this cloud and fog of confusion traveling with him and it comes over everyone around him. What’s the solution? Get out of the cloud. When he’s gone, the sun can shine again. Of course, that’s easier said that done for many victims who can’t simply “leave the jerk.” But they can leave him in the sense of realizing what he is and not thinking for a minute any longer that he couldn’t be lying. I read somewhere recently that a victim who had finally come to realize what was happening to her said, “I used to think that he lied sometimes but told the truth most of the time. Now I realize that he lied most all the time and very rarely told the truth.”

  2. Now Free

    The abuser is the antithesis of the truth. My ex-husband to be is a case in point. He lied continually, and the lies were especially directed at me. Mainly to have me feel inferior to him. I wasn’t smart enough, I was “different” than him, a passive-aggressive way to insinuate that since I wasn’t like him, how could I be as good as he was?

    After I left him, he has been spreading vicious lies, verbally and in written form, that I am “not at all well in mind or body”, all the while pretending he is very concerned about my welfare. I suppose this is his way of getting revenge for my leaving him. Since he can’t lie and abuse me directly any more, he is using this evil method to “inform” people that I am not to be trusted or believed. I don’t hide his abuse any longer, as I did for over 40 years…the severe physical, the mental and emotional abuse. I don’t go around shouting out to everyone who will hear, but I have informed people I felt had the need to know…just the facts. After all, we are not together any longer. Little did he realize that when he called the shelter and crises centres, I felt the need to use damage control and spoke to the people there about what was really going on. So now he has unwittingly spread the word about his abuse even further afield. I guess he is upset that his dirty secret of abusing me is out in the open, and he hopes to discredit me. After all, who can believe a “crazy woman”?

    The fact is, the past 7 months have been the most satisfyingly balanced period of my life. The Lord has given me even more clarity of mind…the past months I have finally realized the severe abuse I had tolerated and denied for all this time. The Lord has given me the strength to leave him. In the four months since leaving, I have never once, even for one nanosecond, ever regretted this decision of separating from him. Now the Lord has joined me to Himself, , and He is guiding me. Sometimes it is painful, but through it all, I know that He is working wondrously and giving me the peace that passes all understanding. That is the truth.

  3. Dru

    God bless you Pastor Jeff , oh that the church be blessed with more shepherds like you.This is such a validation for me – 2 years after separation and I am still unraveling the lies, each day one or two incidents flutter across my mind and I realize …he was lying… he was sleeping with her…The cloud of confusion that you described is so apt.I was ‘No Contact’ for a while and my mind was clearer and I could see the sky was blue.I was pressured to ‘just answer his phone calls’ by our pastor and one phone call was enough- I started drowning again. I longed for the sun and so I stayed No contact.And now the sky is blue everyday (when it doesn’t rain that is 🙂 Again the Lord bless you for this work Amen.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Alright, Dru! You are out in the light now. Wonderful. Amazing how deceitful the abuser can be, isn’t it? That is one reason I believe the sin is particularly Satanic – it is of the Father of lies.

    • Have to add my Amen to this one, Dru. No contact is the way I regained my clarity.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Problem is that Christians put great pressure on anyone who is so unloving as to draw a boundary in a relationship. Just not Christian, you know. Love, mercy, forgiveness. For me, in separating from sociopathic, manipulative wolves among the flock, I have had to learn to tell the “should-ers” that come to me, “I have a right to follow my convictions and you have no right to pressure me to violate them. I have chosen not to have a relationship with this person.” Sometimes I have asked such people “Would you insist that I listen to the devil or maintain a relationship with him?” Actually, I think that the insanity in so many churches today would mean that such folks would have to pause a bit before answering ……hmmmmm……well, let’s see? Pressure or not, we stand anyway.

  4. Bitter But Getting Better

    This is absolutely true! It hits one of the core problems in my life. My unhusband will lie about stupid things like: “the sky is yellow”, things that you can absolutely prove are untrue but he hangs onto the lie.
    I read somewhere that sociopaths live in an alternate world of unreality and they want you to live there with them. This made me understand why he continually wants me to believe the lies and will fight to the death, trying to change my mind. When I disagree with him I attack his world and become the enemy that needs to be destroyed.

    • Annie

      Bitter But Getting Better,
      My husband does the same thing! Once years ago I made the mistake of saying something about the weather which ended up with him insisting it was still raining (it wasn’t) and unsafe to drive, He kept it up all day to the point of driving me to my meeting that night. The roads were as dry as a bone. He didn’t acknowledge he was wrong of course.

      He does this often and I’m always amazed at how he can keep it up for years for the same lie.

      Recently, one of my children asked to use the car to go shopping and I said yes. While said child was out it snowed a bit and someone rear ended the car with minor damage. Child told her father she’d asked for the car. Yet my husband went around telling everyone I’d sent child out in the snow to run errands for me.

      My children have often said what kind of man wants people to think bad things about their wife? They’ll ask me don’t most men want to brag that they got a great “catch”? I explain that he wants people to feel sorry for him. He likes being a victim. As often as I say it I think they still can’t believe anyone would want to be that way.

      yes, my husband is a liar. So much so that me and the kids never really believe anything he says. But we have to pretend we do so he leaves us alone.

      • Bitter But Getting Better

        Annie, I laughed right out loud when you said: yes, my husband is a liar. “So much so that me and the kids never really believe anything he says. But we have to pretend we do so he leaves us alone.”
        We do spend a lot of time pretending don’t we?

  5. KayE

    My ex is such a polished liar that I never even realized for years, until the day he admitted to a pastor that he’d lied about something. Furthermore, he had absolutely no remorse about that lie. Two things became instantly obvious; firstly that my ex was a pathological liar who’d probably lied all the time about everything, and secondly, that he lacked a conscience.
    Strangely the pastor didn’t see anything wrong at all.

    • standsfortruth

      KayE,
      During bible studies, when the men and women would split up to pray, my antihusband would use “selective confession” to convince the pastor and others that “he was just like them”. Struggling with sin with a bitter and unforgiving wife. His confessions were no more than a crafty tool to manipulate his church targets to support him in trying to control me. I saw right through it, although no one else did.

      • Bitter But Getting Better

        Like (can’t do that like-y thing!)

      • Yes, we have removed the ‘like’ function from the blog.

        (Eds. note: The ‘like’ function for comments only has been disabled. You can still ‘like’ posts.)

      • KayE

        Standsfortruth -Wow that’s awful

    • Bitter But Getting Better

      Like (sorry can’t do that like-y thing)

      • standsfortruth

        Perhaps this is how the typical married abuser in the church dupes so many church people to ally, and support his situtation.

        “See how I am so much like you, I struggle with the same sins that you struggle with! We are so much alike.”

        Little do these unwary church goers know, that they have become “his target” for the sole purpose of manipulating his victim spouse back to him.

  6. Tee3

    It’s so true! I just discovered the incessant lies last July when we went for counselling. He twisted a lot of truths and told so many blatant lies. Since then, I’ve caught him telling lies to me so many times. When I tell him he lied, he gets angry. I don’t trust him any longer because he finds it so difficult to tell the truth, even when the truth won’t cost him anything.
    Would you believe he reported me to the counselor that I call him a liar?

    • …he finds it so difficult to tell the truth,

      Rather than him ‘finding it so difficult,’ I suggest that he chooses not to tell the truth. And he chooses not to tell the truth because — any or all of these:
      — he enjoys lying
      — he finds pleasure and glee in manipulating the perceptions and thoughts of other people
      — he lies because it helps him evade taking responsibility for his bad behavior
      — he lies because it helps him win allies, allies who will pressure his wife to bend to his wishes and demands
      — he is a sadist
      — he is a son of the devil, he speaks lies just like the father of lies does.

      He is not a ‘victim of his own weak character’. He intentionally and craftily chooses each and every way he behaves. And he chooses those behaviors because that suite of behaviors helps him maintain power and control over those he chooses to target with his evil.

      • Believer

        Yes. And out of fear of our most holy God we MUST not go along with the pretense of any liar, for that is participating in the evil deeds of darkness. We must not go on pretending, no matter the cost. Rather, we must expose the lies, and refuse to go along with them.

        Once I “came out of the fog,” to a certain degree, and realized that my abuser was unsaved, I prayed so hard for him, and I learned all I could about repentance, wanting to help him somehow to repent. While listening to a sermon about repentance, I was totally amazed to find myself repenting. Broken over my sin. I was not conscious that I was sinning. But God brought me to repentance. Not long after, I started catching my abuser in constant lies. I did not, I could not accept or overlook a single one; I pointed them out and very soon I realized we just can’t even talk. Within days he viciously turned on me, and less than three months later he filed for divorce. I repented, I obeyed Christ, and this evil liar I had tolerated for so long but no longer did cursed me and left (slandering me as much as possible on the way out).

        I am horrified by absolutely everything but I see that God was very merciful to me. And I am scared to death of going along with lies now and sadly this has entailed no longer speaking with my family. For once I repented I couldn’t help noticing all the ways they were untruthful (despite confessing to know Christ, as my abuser also did). I understand now the cost of following Jesus–obeying and following the Truth, for some of us, means letting go of most of what we always knew & went along with. It’s amazing. But, Jesus has NOT ONCE left me or forsaken me, He is so kind and merciful and constantly providing, I am so thankful and love Him with all my soul.

Trackbacks

  1. Living With a Lie by Jeff Crippen (via A Cry For Justice) « The Cross Is All

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