A Cry For Justice

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

Checklist for Repentance

If they are genuinely repentant, abusers will:

    • Stop all blame-shifting. Stop blaming their spouse. Stop making excuses.
    • Commit to going to a professionally run Behavior Change Group for spouse-abusers.
    • Admit, confess and accept responsibility for all their abuse, in full detail.
    • Identify the attitudes that drive their abusiveness.
    • Relinquish their attitudes of entitlement and superiority over their partner, even the last bastion and stronghold of their selfish sense of entitlement.
    • Be accountable to probation officers, courts, and any others who are overseeing their actions and attitudes.
    • Accept the consequences of their actions.
    • Resist feeling sorry for themselves if they have to pay consequences.
    • Be honest and non-manipulative in their communication.
    • Be empathetic to the multiple and long-lasting effects of their abuse on the partner and children.
    • Attempt to right the wrongs by restoring losses which they’ve caused to their victims.
    • Allow the hurt partner and children to take as much time as they need to heal.
    • Not attempt to use behavioral improvements as bargaining chips.
    • Not demand credit for behavioural improvements.
    • Carry their own weight in all matters, including parenting.
    • Develop respectful, kind, supportive behaviours.
    • Change how they respond to the grievances of their partners.
    • Accept that overcoming abusiveness will be a decades-long process.

 

33 Comments

  1. Now Free After 42 Years

    Lundy knew well that abusers seldom change. Show this list to an abuser, and he will in all likelihood throw it in your face. It’s a very reasonable list, but too many changes for the abuser. The ones who are willing and actually do change….that is truly a rare person indeed.

  2. Shante

    I have been in a relationship with my husband for 8 years. for 5 years we were engaged and married for the last two. The first year was absolute perfection but then we did not live together nor did we see each other very often as he was away on work quite a lot.

    in the second year we moved in together into a house he bought. This was when truths about his lies were revealed. When we first met we had strict rules set out that each would adhere to and if broken each is to accept the consequences and admit to wrong doing. When he was first caught at his lies about chatting on social media that he denied, I could not believe the trust I had in this man and when I showed him proof of his lies he could not defend them or own up to them and became abusive. He was oh so apologetic when his mother became involved. He was 26 at the time but could not face the problem and made his mother intervene to win my trust and forgiveness. We were engaged for just 1 month at the time so I thought I should forgive him. The trust however was broken and if I questioned him about further infidelities he so strongly denied them but never could or was never willing to prove it to me. I gave him the benefit of the doubt. As time went by I discovered more and more infidelities and each time his denial was stronger and his violence greater. Each time he never owned up to the wrong doing or the abuse that came from it and each time his mother got involved to keep us together. At one time he even blinded me for 7 hours from fisting my head about 30 times non stop. We were on vacation at the time and instead of seeking help he just drove around with me in the car. He was so remorseful, I actually felt sorry for him and forgave him, only for it to happen again a month later.

    Unfortunately I became pregnant before I could get out bringing a whole new dynamic to the situation in having to protect my child from him. On the 1st December this year he attempted to strangle me and when I passed out for a few seconds with my 19 month old son laying naked and screaming on the bed as we had just given him a bath, he left the house and ran away to mommy. I got a protection Order against him and he has not been home since, but in the meantime has asked for a divorce, but with visitation rights to see my son. He denies strangling me and said I am trying to sell stories. it was the first time ever that I went to the police to report the abuse in 8 years. I have learned something about him over the years that it is not just the violence but the fact that he is always involved in something he should not be doing and whenever I told him to stop doing it or why it is wrong he always held the opinion that I think I know everything. I strongly believe he has some kind of mental illness as his violence is not only towards me and my child but many people in his day to day life, he blames me for his aggression and says I accuse him constantly, but my accusations are always proven true when months or even years later I find proof of the wrongs he has committed.

    I have not yet decided if I want to go through the divorce but I do know for sure that I will not allow him near my son until he has a full psychological evaluation. This is something I have asked for repeatedly in our time together but both himself and his mother fervently refuse the testing. His mother says I do not support him and make him stress which is why he is so abusive and she overlooks his aggression with everyone else where I am not involved, including breaking his father’s arm earlier this year.

    My question is why would a mother not encourage her son to have the psychological testing if it will only help him? Could they be hiding something deeper? If he commits to the evaluation and counselling thereafter I am willing to give him a final chance for the sake of our child’s future that we had planned for him, but is it worth it to try and help him or should I just let him go if he doesn’t want the help?

    Desperately unsure.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Shante – What hard, hard lessons you have had to learn. I am thankful you have survived. Here are the fundamentals that you can confidently hold to: 1) He is never going to change. He is what he is. You already know enough about him to know this is a person to get as far away from as possible (I understand that the child custody/visitation issues complicate things). 2) This is not a relationship that needs to be fixed. It needs to be ended. People like this do not want “help.” They want what they want. As to his mother – well, it is sadly common for parents of abusers to defend them, even to the abuser’s own detriment. Why? Because his mother is perhaps somehow co-dependent on him or there is some other twisted relational dynamic going on between her and her son. Whatever it is, it is extremely dangerous for you. Don’t believe any of their blaming of you. Don’t keep extending “chances” to him that you do not have to give. This is a man who can easily kill you one day.

    • Shante, I second what Jeff said to you.
      I also want to underline that you are at HIGH risk of a lethal outcome with this man. A domestic abuser who has even once attempted to strangle is wife is a high risk individual. Attempted strangling: think about it. It is attempted murder. And threat to kill. In addition, the fact that this man is violent to others in his life, not only to you, indicates that you are at high risk from his violence (not to mention his manipulations, lies, etc). A man who has little compunction about being overtly aggreessive with many people in ihis life, is a man who has little fear of legal consequences and social restraints. Jeff is right. This man is very very likely not to change — in fact I would say the likelihood is zero. And the fact you had that first happy year with him does not reduce his dangerousness. Abusers can conceal most of their true ways for quite a long time, if they decide to because it serves their long term goals. His long term goal was to get you solidly bonded with him and into his power, so that he could have you as his abuse-toy for a very long time. Please do not give him another chance as that, I submit, would be foolishness on your part. It would put you and your son at more risk from him..

      Hey, if you stay away from him, go thru with the divorce, etc, then he is quite free to change ON HIS OWN if he wishes to. He does not need you to be there to ‘help’ him change. That is just his and his mothers’s lie, and it is from the pit of hell.

      I stongly suggest you read our tag on mental illness in abusers. If you read those posts, and that you read George Simon’s book Wolves in Sheep’s clothing which you can find in our REsources tab, and George Simon’s blog articles as well (his blog is linked in our sidebar to the right) you will see why I am saying this. We also have a tag for George Simon Jr which contains all our own posts on his work.

      In a nutshell, most abusers do not have mental illness. And even those who do have mental illness will not stop being abusers simply by their mental illness being treated. Those who are abusers and have mental illness have TWO problems, each of which needs different treatment.

      Abusers simply choose to be malignant to others. And even when mental health professionals sometimes diagnose domestic abusers with a mental illness (e.g. bipolar) there is VERY little that the professionals can do therapeutically to change the abusive individual. George Simon explains why this is so.

      So please don’t put your hopes in a psychological evaluation of your abuser and how it might lead to him getting counseling and thereby changing for the better. Even if he gets counseling he is MOST unlikely to change: he will simply use the counseling / treatment to become a more canny abuser, or will manipulate the counselor into being his ally. The Family Courts often order psychological evaluations for one or both parties in a divorce process, but do not put your trust in this making it any better for you, either for the divorce, or for any final go at reconciliation that you might contemplate with your abuser. Sometimes these psychological evaluations (ordered by the Family Court) do help the victim of abuse obtain more safety for her children from the abuser in the way custory and visitation is decided, but sometimses they don’t; sometimes they make things worse for the victim and the kids. And they do NOT in our extensive experience, make the abusers any better.

      One last note, even if your abuser attends a men’s behavior change group (a.k.a. batterer’s program, or domestic abuse intervention program) he is not likely to change. I say this becuase the practitioners who run those programs admit that while they are seeing some improvement in some of the men who attend such programs,
      a) they do not yet know whether this improvement is long lasting, and
      b) they know that they are seeing NO improvement in the batterers who are at the more severe end of the spectrum.

      And I can tell, from what you have described about your abuser’s behaviour, that he is at the more severe end of the spectrum.

      • Aye noni mus

        I have been married for more than a decade now with several children. I met my husband at a friends party. He saw me and then pursued me. I was not interested but then I said okay I will chat with him over the phone. He was the sweetest guy I had ever seen. He would bring me flowers with the puppy eyes. It was actually magical. He was my knight in silver armor, my savior. I wanted to get to know him and stay engaged for a year, but he started insisting on getting married, we got married in less than 6 months of knowing him.

        Now that I think about it, the signs were there but I didn’t notice them because his charm was blinding me from seeing the truth. One time I was sick before marriage and I told him, his response was so very cold, as if I was infected.. I said if someone really cared, they would atleast come and ask to see how I am doing when I am sick, so he came….

        Then after marriage, I found out his secrets, lies, and his troubles with the law…I was okay well whatever he did, he probably left it behind because we are starting a family now…then I became pregnant, had a baby…. I was, have been financially dependent on him. He would gas light me then when I got frustrated he would hit me and then blame it all on me…He would put me in time outs in a closet then tell me to come and perform sex on him. I would be under shock that how can someone get aroused after hitting and putting their wives in time out…He would spit on my face and tell me to get in the tub so he could urinate on me because that is how low I was to him. He would tell me I should be grateful for he is not peeing on me and it is just spit.

        Then he would beat me up and say its my fault…everything the blogs and books say about abusive men, he had ALL THE QUALITIES.
        He would lie, manipulate, deceive others to get what he wanted. He would tell me if I left him he would get new women and he spoke about the degrading things he would do to them sexually….It was all so hurtful and embarrassing to share but I broke my silence a while back. I stopped making excuses for him.

        The reason why I share this is because the counseling that court orders DOES NOT work and he is the proof. He was ordered to take Sex Offender Counseling and he took it but got off of it early. He actually asked his counsellor that what he needs to do to be able to get off the counseling early, and he was told to take the blame and then he can get off early. He actually told me that his counselor told him that I deserved the beating.. which I do not believe. He got the clean bill from the counselor that he is not a risk but when he is….He did not change a bit and things only took a turn for the worst, he came back into my life with apologies and promises, which he broke of course… its when it all started again, this time even worse, I thought to myself..what have I done, I released a monster.. he was about to hit another member of my family who was trying to save me from him hitting me.

        I have gotten a PPO and filing for divorce, I am still in love with “A VERSION” of him that was charming during the honeymoon phase.

        I will miss being with someone since he is still not out of my system and it was a man I have ever loved but what can you do..move on I guess….

        [Eds: screen name and details modified to disguise commenter’s identity.]

      • Dear Aye noni mus, I changed your screen name for your safety. Please read our New Users Information page carefully; it gives tips about how to guard your safety while commenting on this blog.

        I am glad you found the blog. I encourage you to read as much as you can here, and to read Lundy Bancroft’s book Why Does He Do That (look for the link in our Recommended Books list)

        You will find lots of support here from people who have been through very similar experiences to you.

    • Also Shante, I encourage you to go to our Resources tab (at the top of the blog) and read the links we have under the heading “Safety Planning”. We also have a Hotlines heading in the Resources which I encourage you to check out. You may find it very helpful to seek support from a Womens Centre that specialises in supporting victims domestic violence.

      And btw, welcome to the blog! 🙂

    • One more thing, Shante. Please read our New User’s Info tab. And please consider disattaching your WP gravatar from any photo of you. We cannot do this for you, it’s something you have to do yourself at your WordPress account. You might want to create a new WP account just to write at this blog, and to not have anything on that account that would identify you.
      Once you’ve read out New Users Info page, you will have more of an idea why I’m saying this. We care about your safety.

  3. Battered

    I thought that I married a man that really loved me. I have known my husband since college we were just friends and then we started dating and then got married. I had a previous marriage before and had a child with my x-husband however the marriage did not work because he was abusive and did not want to work.

    Two years later after having my son that’s when I married my husband. He was very charming of course and he never showed signs of abuse. While I was pregnant with my second child he started to change and then after I had her that is when the abuse started. On our ride home from the hospital me and my husband got into an argument and he hit me [details of body part hit removed]. He told me that he was going home and that I needed to pick up my first child from my relative’s house because he wasn’t going to and I just had a baby three days ago. He has become much worse now I have had many black eyes from him.

    He has come home from work and my and the kids were watching tv in bed and he attacked me and beat me in front of my kids. He has ripped out my hair and now he is starting to hit me in public while I am driving he back hands me in my face. I now just feel ugly and worthless he blames me for everything and says he is going to change he says sorry and says he won’t do it anymore but I know that is a lie. If I refuse him sex he states to me that I am fat and that he will go and get someone else and he has cheated on me as well :/

    Once I have stood up for myself and I started talking to others and had cheated as well because he was so mean to me and I just wanted to escape now that he knows that I have cheated and I told him which was a huge mistake because I nearly gotten beat to death he disreguards his affair with another woman. He states that I verbally abuse him, however, when I don’t respond to him so that he doesn’t hit me now he follows me into other rooms of the house and taunts me and then hits me.

    I suffer from health problems [… details redacted]. I am ready to be done I told him that I want a divorce and he states no and that he can change which he hasn’t and the abuse has been nearly for a year now I look at my kids and I see that I have failed them. [… ]

    I feel so lost and so broken because he is so mean to me and when he gets done being mean to me he wants me to have sex with him…..I know if I don’t I will be hit or taunted the whole night until I give in and have sex with him. This is no way to live and I just want out of the situation because I am starting to feel crazy and I am sad all the time. I also don’t want my children to see this happening to me because I don’t want them [modelling themselves on this as they grow older].

    I pray to God everyday to get me out of this situation because it’s worse. I called the police once because he attacked me and then chased me all over our property [details redacted]! I am now so upset and angry that I have allowed a man to hit me and call me so many degrading names. He says my family has destroyed his life when they really know and believe that he has destroyed mine by hitting me and beating on me right in front of my children. He states it’s all me…..idk what can I do now I have tried to save the marriage but I really do see myself filing for divorce….

    • Dear sister, I changed your screen name to “Battered” just for your safety. Welcome to the blog and thanks for sharing!

      I removed some of the details from your comment, to protect you from being identified by your abuser or his allies.

      Please read our New Users Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

      If you want us to change your screen name to something else, just email twbtc.acfj@gmail.com

      And I encourage you to read our Safety Planning and Hotlines pages — the are under our Resources tab which you can find in the top menu. You might also want to read the Social Networking and Cybersafety page in our Resources.

      I believe you. You are not to blame. It is not your fault. You are being abused. The abuser is lying lying lying to you. Do not believe all the false accusations he makes about you.

      And we have a book give-away offer which may interest you: https://cryingoutforjustice.com/2016/05/24/blog-news-gift-books-offer-additional-news/

      I hope you keep reading and commenting on the blog. You will find much support here. 🙂

  4. HisBannerOverMeIsLove

    My husband has told me how unforgiving I am. How do you know if it’s unforgiveness? Can’t we talk about what happened and still forgive? Does it have to be kept silent?

    He says I think I’m such a great Christian and I pretend to be one way to everyone but I’m not.

    Soooo hurtful. I can’t remember telling anyone I think I’m great or even feeling like I’m a super wonderful Christian etc. I asked him if retaliating with this stuff was better or deserved? He said he felt it was justified because I don’t see myself for who I really am or how I act.

    All of this because I applied the speak to your spouse with respect, be honest and vulnerable, rather than keeping everything in and growing bitter and resentful. Practice asking forgiveness etc.

    I think it should be okay to tell your spouse you are disappointed and a bit angry when [Eds have removed the details of the string of events as it would be too identifying. But basically, HBOMIL expressed her very justified disappointment and grievance that her abusive husband had done x, and he then accused her of being unforgiving and proud, and cursed her out.]

    But I can’t let anything go (so I’m told) and so felt ( I’m guessing) the need to get the hurt off my chest. Which was met with a quick, yep, sorry. And a lot of attitude. What came out of his mouth after that did the most damage. Really sorry I mentioned anything at all. In the end he [did y]. I told him it kind of ruined it because of the hateful things he said about me. He said I really don’t care. I’m trying to make it right but nothing is ever good enough for you. I said I was sorry but you can’t drop it.

    I guess I pushed it to the point of him cussing me out, calling me unforgiving and a horrible faker Christian. Seems like it got turned around. […] . Maybe he did apologize correctly and I’m to0 critical and that led to him being frustrated and blasting me. Seems I was wrong too.

    • Dear HBOMI, I edited your comment for safety reasons. And I’m too tired to reply now but I will try to do so tomorrow.

    • Misti

      Let’s assume your confrontation was poor. He is still responsible for his reaction.

      The fact that he’s refusing to take responsibility for his own actions but is instead redefining what “forgiveness” is to foist all responsibility on you—and even your own willingness to take responsibility, and that nice thing he did after being cruel—are all signals that you are not the problem. That you are his victim.

      Your comment describes several tactics of emotional/psychological abuse. (Emotional abuse and psychological abuse aren’t exactly synonymous, but they are related and tend to be appear together.) They are domestic abuse. Depending on where you live, it may even be outright illegal.

      Anything “nice” that an abuser does is actually a bribe, used as a tool to convince you it isn’t as bad as it is. (It’s bad, dear. I’ll guess you have or are developing insomnia, malaise, and allergies, among other issues. Looking at the cycle of abuse might help you.)

      [HUG]

      You are not responsible for his actions. Even if you cussed him out, yourself, or slapped him in the face or otherwise provoked him, he would still be responsible for his reaction to you, which means he’d also be responsible for the consequences of his actions.

      Your hurt feelings are a consequence of his actions — and you have a right to be hurt because what he did to you was very inconsiderate. You’d have a right to feel that way even if your hurt feelings stemmed from an actual mishearing of what was said! His ‘hurt feelings’ (and his pride) do not supersede your hurt feelings and your dignity and your right to be treated with respect.

      • Thanks Misti, I’m so busy I’ve not been able to reply to HBOMIL, but I think your comment does it well so I’m very thankful you wrote it. I tweaked a little bit in the last paragraph; I’m pretty sure you will approve. Cheers — Barb

      • Thank you both for responding 🙂 I don’t mind any tweaks at all. I know I’m not a writer and during these times and trials I get a bit of panic and things come out scrambled or not concealing enough.

        I have a question for Misti. The emotional and psychological abuse. Which is which from what I posted? I’d like to know if you can reply. Thanks for the wheel link. The crazy thing is I will look at it and feel like all but one thing is true. Another time I’ll look at it and think I can’t in good conscience say any are true. How can this be? Am I losing it or what?

        I was disappointed and could have waited until I could talk to him without a reaction on my face. I didn’t yell, didn’t slap or touch him in anyway. I definitely didn’t cuss him out. ( I don’t feel like you said I was just explaining here ) I thought it was very just a matter of fact. I’m hurt x wasn’t done. It was late, I was tired and had made things easy for everyone else and was not thought of.

        So my hurt feelings were a consequence of his actions/in actions NOT unforgiveness? Is that what you are saying?

        I did mention that it should be okay for me to say I’m hurt and upset without getting made fun of, called names and cussed at. He yelled at me to shut up. And he got in my face saying he doesn’t care anymore I need to move out and just leave.

        Today, our children asked if I ever thought he might hit me. I didn’t want to say he already has. But it’s been years now. Just goes to show he’s pretty mad. It was so quick.

        The insomnia only happens after an incident. Usually the next day I need to be up and going early so it causes an exhausting day or two after. . Otherwise I’m exhausted and fall right to sleep. There are physical things I’m dealing with. I know it’s stress related. I’ve been asked by Christians “why all the stress?” Trust Christ, look up etc. I thought I was.

        A couple months ago I had the weirdest sensation I had only heard of other people having…I felt like I was going to die. For real, just die not from an attack. Just an over wheelming thought it was going to happen. Malaise? Is this what you mean?

      • A couple months ago I had the weirdest sensation I had only heard of other people having…I felt like I was going to die.

        It sounds like you were having a very strong gut feeling. I think it is very probable that it was a prompting and warning from the Holy Spirit: that you are going to virtually (if not really) die because the situation you are living in is so life-sapping, life-destroying.

        There are a number of lethal outcomes that sometimes happen in domestic abuse. The victim may decide to take her own life. The abuser may take the victim’s life. The abuser may kill the victim and/or children. The abuser may kill himself. Usually abusers only kill themselves after they have killed the victim or the kids or both.

        And there is the emotionally lethal outcome: the coma of numbness which the victim goes into as the black hole gets deeper and deeper.

        This is a kind of death.

        I shall be praying for you, HBOMIL.

        And take courage: I have heard quite a few stories of victims escaping or being protected even when danger was extreme. But don’t be superstitious either: we are called to use spiritualised common sense — and we can prudently take practical steps for our own safety and wellbeing – so I urge you to do that too, while trusting God to help you and provide miracles if in his Providence he will do so. 🙂

        ((hugs))

      • Misti

        HBOMIL, my comment was the one Barb modified—I wasn’t as explicit about dignity in my original comment. I don’t think in those terms, myself, thanks to my own upbringing.

        So my hurt feelings were a consequence of his actions/in actions NOT unforgiveness? Is that what you are saying?

        YES. You’re not wanting vengeance or retaliation against him, nor are you even wanting him to redefine who he is. You’re just wanting him to show you some respect and acknowledgment and acceptance—things that are your right to have that he is refusing to give you and has stolen from you in general, even while you show them to him.

        He is demanding that you accept everything he does and says as if he himself is a god. He is retaliating when you don’t give him that nor fawn over him as your idol.

        When you’re being abused, a funky memory is normal. Memory can also be shattered. (I’ve been out for over two years, and there’s one example of poisoning that I’d recognized as wrong but not as poisoning until just now, when typing up this comment.) I’ve always been far better at remembering data than events in my own life.

        Malaise can be emotional, though I was thinking in terms of physical. That “Oh, I’m coming down with some illness, but what?” sensation, or “Something’s wrong or hurts, but ugh…”

        The fear that you might die is a warning from your gut that you need out; things are worsening and are going to continue to do so. To quote Gareth Emery’s song “Lost”: “There’s no smoke without reason—it’s a sign of something wrong.”

        Before I define emotional abuse and psychological abuse, keep in mind that these things can be done both simultaneously. They also can be done overtly (explicitly/directly) and covertly (indirectly). Some of the most dangerous manipulators and abusers are overwhelmingly supportive to your face — so if you’re telling someone your situation and they immediately ignore the specific examples and their implications, focusing only on the “big picture” and how brave and strong you are, I suggest that you do not put yourself in a position to be dependent on such a person. If they’re actually okay, no harm will be done by that caution, whereas if they’re not, much harm will be avoided.)

        • Emotional abuse is the redefinition of your rights as a human being, made in the image of God — your right to have emotions, to be respected, to have dignity, to have a sense of value and worth. (His denial of your right to be disappointed and a bit angry is a simple example.)

        • Psychological abuse is the redefinition of your responsibilities as a human being, made in the image of God — most often focused on denying your responsibilities to yourself, assigning his responsibilities to you, and shifting your responsibilities towards others to be consistent with that warping, to make it harder for you to see what’s going on. (He’s claiming you’re responsible to “forgive” — but he’s changed the definition of “forgive” so that what he really means is you’re responsible to ignore his actions and to let him do whatever he wants without consequences. Which you are not responsible to do, for the record.)

        Telling someone else what they are “really” thinking, feeling, believing, etc. is actually a psychological torture technique used in coercive persuasion/interrogation/brainwashing. (That “He says I think I’m such a great Christian and I pretend to be one way to everyone” is a direct example, as is the insistence that you’re being unforgiving and all. Is he saying you’re “bearing a grudge” yet? It’s quite possible that he’s seeking to get the pastor and church against you in general, and he’s likely already been complaining to church leadership.)

        So far as the “only” hitting you years ago is concerned… That’s a precedent. His doing it before indicates a willingness to do it again, so you’re doubtless behaving in ways to discourage it from happening again. Getting conciliatory when the signs show, for instance. (Not that hard if you can read microexpressions and body language — which abuse victims tend to learn fast, even if they don’t realize that’s what they’re doing.)

      • I really like the way you’ve differentiated between emotional abuse and psychological abuse, Misti. Thank you!

        I must try to remember it for future use. 🙂

  5. KayJay

    His Banner, this sounds so familiar to me. I’ve been thinking that dying sensation is a panic attack… I’ve had 2 in one night after a particularly traumatic episode with an increasingly irrational spouse. I didn’t know what to think when it happened, but after looking up “panic attack” on the Mayo clinic site, I’m pretty sure that’s what is going on. May God bless you and give you wisdom and peace as you work through this difficult journey.

    • Thank you. (((Hugs))) The LORD is directing us to information and sustaining us.

  6. Misty, hopefully one last question.

    My copy/paste won’t work here…above you mentioned before telling the difference between emotional and psychological abuse a warning about telling someone your situation and them skipping the details and going to the “big picture” to not depend on them.

    Recently I did disclose a bit of what I experienced above and the person replied “oh, but you are both here and you made it today.” Is this the thing you were warning about? I mean is that skipping to the big picture?

    • Misti

      That one, if a direct quote, is actually outright dismissiveness and redefinition of the picture. The “Oh, but” and framing what you said as in the past and over and done with are the major signals of that.

      My observation and experience is that there are two main causes of such dismissiveness: the person who said it is themselves either 1. in denial or 2. abusive.

      If it’s denial… Some folks actually don’t want to hear our stories, because it isn’t “lovely” and they’ve forgotten the first part of Philippians 4:8, which tells us to think on whatsoever is true and they haven’t noticed or aren’t admitting that they’re redefining the “good” in that verse to mean 100% positive even though that definition makes the verse blatantly contradictory to others, like the “weep with them who weep” of Romans 12:15.

      Those people who don’t want to hear it can mean well and may even be in the middle of an abusive situation, themselves, which fuels their desire for ignorance (because otherwise they’d have to admit their own situation is bad). But their discomfort, nervousness, and probable conditioning and training from abusers means that they’re high-risk people to confide in—their consciences can drive them to seek to be a “peacemaker” from Matthew 5:9, as they misunderstand the concept.

      And then dismissiveness is common in abusers who already have some form of (perceived) power over a victim. If the person you confided in has some kind of authority or position or social status that is somehow greater than yours, I’d personally consider that a “Run away!” signal until your gut instincts have regained their voice.

      Again, it’s a matter of caution. Toxics will get ticked off because you aren’t falling in line with their sheep suit; nontoxics who understand and can support you will recognize that you have good reason to be cautious. The nontoxics that such caution will push away, at this point, are the type who really aren’t safe anyway because they don’t know how to respond appropriately to your abuser.

  7. I wanted to add here. There isn’t any repentance in his words to me. His doing of daily chores has been helpful and I feel pained that all along this was possible and he refused to help or do it on a regular basis. He does it now and it is as I suspected….fake! Which was proven in his hateful words to me with all the “list of things” he listed he has been doing for me lately and I don’t even care so it doesn’t even matter, I can’t be pleased.

    The thing that twisted my brain on that bit was that the night previous I had thanked and complemented him on all I had noticed of this “list of things” he had been doing. He was distant and actually seemed seething beneath his breath, he wouldn’t stop his compute ring to look at me or accept the praise. So the next night to claim such things is telling to me they weren’t done to please me but to keep his “I’m doing all this stuff and you don’t even care, I could be doing nothing like I’m used to and it would be better for me”.

    I feel trapped. I know it will come out twisted from him no matter how much and how accurately I remember and am honest about how I was. It will be turned on me and misunderstood and made out to be different. He makes it out that we are the same and even that I am worse.

    • Misti

      He’ll trample whatever you give him and then rip you to shreds.

      “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine,lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”
      Matthew 7:6

      He is violating his marriage vows to love and cherish you, and he shows no interest in actually following through on what he promised. You may want to ask yourself: why are you the only one responsible to abide by that covenant?

      I Corinthians 5:11 and other verses also explicitly forbid verbal abuse: “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.” The various verses condemning “evil” or “perverse” speech also are speaking of such abuse, not some list of magically “bad” words.

  8. S

    I was married to an emotionally abusive man for several years and we were together for [x] years total. He was my absolute best friend in the beginning. We had so much fun and for a misfit and an outcast, I felt that someone finally got me. That all changed when we moved in together and fell on hard times.

    We were forced to move in with his mom for a while and that’s when the worst years of my life happened. His mom it turns out was both a violent and emotional bully that sought to crush me and get rid if me so that no one would take her son whom she had an emotionally incestuous bond and who she also abused since young. I fought for him to get him out of the situation but she laid the guilt on him so thick that he began to resent and attack me for asking anything of him. He became so cruel. It was night and day from the man I loved.
    I kept waiting for that man to surface again but with his mother beating him, manipulating him with guilt, stifling his dreams by making him think he needed to take care of her like a wife (never mind his own wife and dreams) he just got depressed and more angry (really at his mother but he took it out on me).

    Even once we moved out of her house and into our own place and welcomed a baby, the assault from his mother continued. She would call him constantly looking for sympathy. Letting him know she was struggling now that he left. And of course he couldn’t deal with the guilt so he blamed me. Berating me withdrawing his affection from me for the slightest offenses criticizing my appearance and comparing me to other women. Usually porn stars. Taking away my choice in how I looked by blackmailing me in making the changes to myself that he requested. Wear a certain color or he would divorce me.

    Finally I felt God tell me to leave. It came after he started to become physically violent. I didn’t want to leave. I cried so hard because despite it all I loved him so much and knew that he would not get out of the cycle of abuse he was trapped in but God knew I had prayed and done all I could for him. He ended up back with his mother to her delight and I moved on sort of ( I still had to see him regularly because of our child).

    Fast forward to a year after our divorce. He, despite dating a new young woman, told me he is still in love with me. And hinted he would come back if I asked him too. I still have lingering feelings and he claimed to have done a lot of work on himself and completely owned up to his cruelty. Calling it evil. There is a part that wants to believe him but the other part knows he is still living with his mom and that he may be looking to me to get him out of that situation. I know you can’t trust his apologies. So my questions are do abusers change really if it is a ploy.

  9. Anewanon

    I think Luke 19:8-10 is a great checklist:

    But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give HALF of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back FOUR times the amount.”
    Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

  10. High Risk

    My spouse says there is nothing wrong with domestic violence. His verbal abuse started a few months into the marriage. He has lied, cheated, stolen, committed fraud, choked me, punched me. When he does these things, he turns around and denies doing it. The marks show. And when I stand up to him, he goes to be with someone else. Then when they get smart or he gets tired of them, he comes running back to me. He now says he does not love me. All along he has been saying he does not want a divorce, yet, he never acknowledges me. We can be in the same house or room and he acts as if I am not here. I am totally ignored unless he wants money, or me to feel sorry for him. He is currently trying to commit more fraud, he has been committing it for many years with government agencies. He says that domestic violence is ok, and that there is nothing wrong with it.

    He has been controlling me and abusing and disrespecting me for about three decades.

    • Dear sister, your husband is definitely abusing you. You are not to blame. It is not your fault. We will support you whether you stay with him or whether you leave. 🙂

      I changed your screen name to “High Risk” because, from what you wrote, I know you are at high risk of dying from his abuse. The abuser choking the victim is one of the risk factors for a lethal outcome in domestic abuse. A lethal outcome can be either the abuser kills the victim, or the victim ends up suiciding, or (heaven forbid) the victim kills the abuser because she sees no other option to keep herself safe.

      I hope you don’t mind me making your screen name on your comment “High Risk”. If you want us to change the screen name, just email The woman behind the curtain twbtc.acfj@gmail.com — she will be more than happy to assist. 🙂

      Your spouse says there is nothing wrong with domestic violence. He is lying. Domestic Violence is evil and wicked and very very wrong behavior. Your husband is trying to pressure you to back down from knowing what you know — this is just one of his many tactics of power and control over you. You know that domestic violence is wrong. You feel in yourself the pain and suffering it causes. So I encourage you to stiffen your backbone and privately hold to your belief (the RIGHT belief) that domestic violence is wrong.

      Your husband saying that “DV is not wrong” is just another of his tactics of fighting against taking responsibility for his bad behaviour.

      He is an inveterate liar. He is a bully. He is cruel to you. He is not going to change.

      I encourage you to follow this blog and keep submitting comments whenever you wish to do so.

      And even more importantly, I encourage you to contact the Domestic Abuse Hotline in your country and ask them to help you get support from your local womens center or domestic violence support service. I encourage you to consider leaving this man and going into a women’s refuge.

      I shall pray for your wellbeing and safety. And remember, we will support you whether you chose to not leave him, or you chose to leave him. We know it is a big decision to leave an abuser. That’s why I encourage you to get help from DV professional workers and/or the police —those professionals can give you info and support to help you navigate the dangerous path of leaving if you chose to leave.

      ((((hugs))) from Barb

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