Learning the Language of Abuser
In a visit to Dr. Morven Baker’s blog, I saw her recommendation of a book by Sandra Scott, Charmers & Con Artists & Their Flip Side. So, it was off to Amazon to check it out and I found the following “one star” review (most were positive). I usually read the bad reviews first – I don’t know why. Anyway, I advise an exercise for us. Here is the negative review of Scott’s book. I propose that you read it and then post your thoughts and comments, telling me and our readers what you think is going on with this fellow. This is real life stuff, so it affords us an opportunity to learn. Who do you think is the culprit here? Alright, just to be clear, from this point on, these are the negative reviewer’s words, not mine-
“I am very critical of this book, and I’ll tell you why.”
“In short, I’ve lost my marriage and family because, in part, of my wife’s improper application of this book to me. We were married for 16 years and the only reason she gave me was to “read this book with an open mind”. That was two years ago and me & my three children have been utterly devastated. I’m just now beginning to heal from the sadness of this crushing blow to our lives. I was a Christian minister for 15 years and took a much needed leave of absence from that work when my wife literally lost her mind with unwarranted suspicions, ideas, and notions of me due to her own issues of trust (she was sexually abused as a child by a family ‘friend’ and I had to deal with the fallout of that for our entire marriage). I absolutely adored my wife and never abused her in ANY way.”
“In my questioning about why this happened to me, I went to her diary (it was actually ours together – it was our prayer journal as well) to try to understand her confusion. You should know that her family is rampant with professionally diagnosed mental illnesses (her father’s father died in an asylum in Oregon, her dad is not “normal”, her brother has spent parts of his life institutionalized with manic depression, bi-polar disorder, and her mom has been diagnosed with dissociative disorder also known as multiple personality disorder, to name but a few – bi-polar is rampant in her family). When she found this book and listened to other divorced women in her life who were coaching her, I could not win her no matter what I did, whether taking her to counselors, praying and fasting, or showing her as much love as I could muster in the midst of my intense pain, or just reasoning with her. I believe this book gave her some sort of justification for what she was doing and now I’ve somehow been labelled in her mind as being a Con-artist or “charmer”. In reality I’m just a man who loved her, was faithful to her, and had some faith questions arise in my mind that i needed to process, and felt that integrity demanded I do that away from the ministerial office for a while (something I’ve now done). This made her conclude that I had been faking my faith for all those years, which is simply ridiculous. I believe now that my being a church leader gave her some kind of security in this world, since her dad is a fanatical wild-eyed hyper-religious type.”
“I’m sure there are people who are like what the author describes in her book. However, if my tragedy is the result of her work – to further empower unbalanced people to justify their selfish and destructive actions and be able to pass the responsibility to others simply because they are confused and have found a label they relate to somehow, then she’s just selling books unethically. Anyone can call someone else names and label them. If the author’s so-called expertise is being used by women (as it was in my case) to justify their lack of commitment to their husbands in America today, it seems to me the author may be to blame for causing a LOT of PAIN. I sure did in my family, and that pain continues to bear its fruit in my children. I’m angry. I wonder if she thought of that possibility when she wrote it. Perhaps my wife would have found some other reason to destroy our family (who knows), but this book was a BIG part of our problem apparently. What a load of garbage if it doesn’t properly distinguish for readers her supposed “science” from a reader’s dysfunctional biases. Readers come in all kinds, and it’s probably mostly anyone who thinks they are a ‘victim’ already. Maybe they are and maybe they aren’t.”
“Be careful how you apply or misapply the opinions of others, no matter what their “credentials”. My father is a psychotherapist and I can tell you they draw many wrong conclusions all the time. They are products of their schools. They themselves usually come from broken backgrounds, which is why they choose their career paths. Hopefully they find themselves before they make even bigger messes in those they “counsel”. Not everyone who is considered charming is a ‘charmer’ and not everyone who is artful is a con-artist. My wife had a lot more freedom when she was with me, ironically, than she does today. I never told her what to do or where to go and I always sought to help her achieve her own goals. I would like to see a chapter added which honestly distinguishes the difference between the real con artists and those who are just getting her labels. From where I’m standing, the author is the most destructive manipulator of my life.”
End of Review. This is Jeff again. What do you think? Is this still “another example of a godly man’s marriage being destroyed by the venom of feminism”?