A Cry For Justice

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

You MADE Me do it! – A Common ploy of the Abuser

Recently a wicked abuser, a police officer nonetheless, murdered his wife in public right in front of their daughter. When we featured that news article on our Facebook page, we received a comment from a certain genre of person who really gives me the creeps. He was one of these “fathers’ rights” types, and his take on this brutal homicide was that we should understand that the poor, poor husband was DRIVEN to kill his wife because of all the stress and suffering and torture his wife and the court system had put him through. In other words, these guys love to claim, “you made me do it!”

I have seen this thing and I suspect most all of you have too. After all, we know that abusers are never, ever wrong, right? Even when they are caught on camera, still, they didn’t really do it. But we saw them do it. We heard them say it. No, no, you have to understand. YOU made them do it. So they always have an out.

Myself and two other witnesses saw this very thing when we were dealing with just such a person. We had all heard him make an accusation against one of us. Plainly, openly, he said it. Then, just a short time later when we confronted him with his need to repent of his sin in saying this lie, his response was, “did I say that? I didn’t say that, did I?” All three of us had heard him and we told him so. “No, I don’t remember saying that.”  Then, some months later after he had once again made an evil accusation (abusers love to accuse), we confronted him again about it. Now, his “I don’t remember saying that” tactic hadn’t worked that well before with us, so this time — you guessed it — he said “I didn’t say that. YOU made me say it! YOU said it!”

Now, do you see how evil and twisted that kind of tactic is? Christ said that our words reveal the real nature of our heart. So it was with this guy. His “logic” was that even though the words of that accusation and lie proceeded from his own mouth, nevertheless HE wasn’t really the one who said it. Rather, WE had actually said it because WE made him say it. Of course what we had really done was pin him down, back him into a corner, so that he blurted out the evil that was already in his heart.

You made me do it. I didn’t want to hit you, but you made me do it. It really is your fault.

There is no reasoning with such a twisted mind. The only way to deal with such a person is to separate from them as far as is possible.

108 Comments

  1. Still Reforming

    The title of the post alone reminded me of how much these individuals are like toddlers, albeit with guns. I suppose, however, the comparison is unsound since toddlers are children and need to be taught and disciplined. The grown-ups have no such excuse, try though they may.

    Your account of the person saying, “No, I didn’t say that,” brings to mind vividly one such time in my marriage where the same thing happened and our child was present. No sooner had the words blaming me for something escaped my husband’s lips than I asked why he had said them. (He hadn’t seen me rounding the corner to the room, so he was blaming me for something my child had wanted to do that we didn’t do.) When asked why he said it, he immediately said, “I didn’t say that.” So I asked our child if he had indeed said the words, to which she replied, “Yes, dad said that.” So he shrugged and said, “Huh. Don’t know why I would have said such a thing. I don’t think I did.”

    It was then that I started researching sociopathy. I even recounted this incident to our pastor who agreed that there’s something very wrong about it, but…. it was swept under the rug. More and more I’m seeing that Christ’s real church wouldn’t do that – neither the sociopathic lying nor the cover-up.

  2. namedeleted

    I know this !! And I never recieved justice in the state in which I reside from my head trauma from my abuser !! I am still waiting for justice .

    (comment edited to protect the commenter’s identity)

  3. bright sunshinin' day

    “There is no reasoning with such a twisted mind. The only way to deal with such a person is to separate from them as far as is possible.”

    So true, Jeff.

    Bill Eddy’s book, It’s All Your Fault, says the same thing as you. I think ACFJ has done a post on his book in the past.

    • poohbear

      I wish I’d learn to stop trying to reason with him… 😦

      • Same here, Poohbear. I do so well for a length of time, and then I get roped back in to a series of long, draining conversations which only result in me giving up information for him to use against me later. They do serve to remind me who and what I am dealing with, but they are not worth the energy expended and lost and the symptoms I have to deal with physically for weeks after. It is so tempting to treat him like a rational being. I don’t know if I will ever get it down to be done trying to reason with him. I hope so.

  4. Anonymous

    These narcissists / psychopaths / abusers are masterful at their game. I heard it said, “The only thing that keeps them to the task, is the task itself.” And then there’s this: “I rode this tiger of deceit for so long I was afraid to get off, lest it eat me up.”

    I am worn out and exhausted playing the game along with them. Without success I have foolishly pursued trying to reason with my abuser. He won’t “wake up” short of divine intervention; and so I must wake up, and I have.

    These are VERY dangerous people and I understand now why our Lord said, “Have nothing to do with them…” They really do have twisted minds, they deny reality, and we see this happening before our eyes and still can hardly believe it. We must move on!!

  5. poohbear

    It’s scary, isn’t it? I used to believe I was “psychotic” (as he’s been telling me since I was 19), and actually hearing things wrong somehow, even though HE is the only person around whom I have these supposed auditory hallucinations.

    Years ago, for whatever reason, I still don’t know why, he’d made a bizarre comment, something to the effect of, “I wonder what would happen, if I took a knife and just cut it across your throat…” I wish I could remember the exact words now! But he DID say it. I know he did, God knows he did. He said it in one of his “joking” ways; we weren’t in the middle of an argument or anything. Maybe he was drunk; I don’t know. But I do know what I heard.

    I remember being in contact with the local women’s shelter at the time. I shared his words with a counselor over the phone. She said she’d certainly be afraid, if HER husband had said such a thing.

    I once sent an e-mail to a friend and told her. He and I used to share a computer, and I’d foolishly failed to sign out of my e-mail account. Well, he went on and read what I’d written. He was furious. He swore up and down that he’d never, EVER said any such thing! But I know he did! He just conveniently “forgot,” as he does so many other things.

    Why is this so common in abusers? I honestly do believe by his reaction, that he probably DID forget. But, how could you forget saying something so horrible to someone you claim to love?

    • Anonymous

      Poohbear,
      When I first started journaling (after 18 years of marriage) it was because I wanted to see if it was me that was lying or had forgotten what was said. I was brutally honest about every word said and what I was thinking at the time. It became obvious very quickly that it wasn’t me, and that’s when I started searching on-line for answers. (Prior to this I NEVER read self-help or psychology stuff and I’d been trained that as a Christian wife, my husband was always to be catered to.)

      It’s been nearly a decade now and the truth of the amount of lies and evil thrust on those of us forced to pretend that evil is good and good is evil, still amazes me. If journaling will help you, try it but I know how private this can be and you may not want him to find it. You can always start earmarking things in your brain, and you will not have to wait long before the next abusive thing happens, especially if you don’t point out that you notice it–they often use the same ploys over and over.

      You are not alone and evil is real. As a Christian, you can pray for protection and ask God to guard your heart and your mind in Him. He is wonderful about doing this and He is ever so sweet to your heart when you start to turn to Him concerning these things. It’s not an accident that you started waking up to this evil, and he won’t leave you. I was so afraid a decade ago, afraid of my own shadow, but now I have a solid history of God working in my life. Oh how he loves us and oh how he hates evil and those who dump it on us.

      • poohbear

        Trying to “like” your response and say thank you, but am unable to 😦

      • i don’t know why that happened, poohbear. Sometimes WordPress is not perfect.

      • poohbear

        Thank you…still having trouble with wordpress, and need to find out how to enable cookies?

      • You might like to email TWBTC and ask for her help, if you like. Or just google ‘enable cookies’ and see what you get.

      • poohbear

        Thank you, Anonymous. I’ve actually tried journaling, but I can hide nothing from him. He’s the sort who somehow manages to come across everything I write…earlier this year, he “found” something I’d written and went into a rage over my “drivel” even though I snatched it away before he could get through the first paragraph. I need to keep my books on abuse hidden, a password on my computer, and everything hidden from him. I really do hate living this way…

      • I began journaling so I could look back and “see” what is happening. I didn’t know he was reading it. The kids told me one day. I had wondered why in counseling everything I brought up as a complaint or was going to was being brought up against me. He would say “I feel she does that too.” Not too long ago I had written down what had happened with him saying he wanted to die. After reviewing my notes I called my counselor and then my pastor. I accidentally left the notebook out :-/ He found it,read it and found me immediately. The war was on. The pastor confronted it immediately. Everything I said had him responding I don’t say that. If I hadn’t written it down I might have believed him. They certainly work the “I didn’t” so hard I start questioning myself. Did I twist that. Am I trying to make it seem worse than it is? Etc…..

  6. poohbear

    Sorry, but I don’t see the usual “your comment is awaiting moderation…” Did I do something wrong?

    • I have no idea, Poohbear. Sometimes Word Press just has glitches.

  7. 7stelle

    “Did I say that?

    I didn’t say that, did I?

    No, I don’t remember saying that.

    I didn’t say that.

    YOU made me say it!

    YOU said it!”

    The progression begins subtlety, but a steady pressure reveals the core lie. It is jolting to see it written out and a wonder we all have made it this far after being subjected to this kind of distortion & cruelty.

    Subtle can denote:
    –softness, delicateness
    or
    —sharpness, wisdom, perceptiveness, discernment
    OR (the abuser’s way)
    —skillfulness, cunning, guile, craftiness, deceitfulness

    All the above said to me over and over again through the years. It rolls effortlessly off his tongue. It’s who he is.

    I’m wondering if anyone else has also experienced this when he lies: His eyes display a creepy, slit-like appearance and the color of the eye takes on a yellowish hue. I thought I was seeing things, but recently our child experienced it when a-h (anti-husband) spoke with disdain aimed at our child’s friend. Our child said hate was all over a-h’s face and that it was so awful any ounce of care he had left for his father was totally wiped out.

    • 7stelle

      * I’m wondering if anyone else has also experienced this when he lies AND accuses.

      • a prodigal daughter returns

        Yes, 7stelle, I’ve seen a facial change in the throes of an attack –it looked scarily inhuman and probably was. I’ve also experienced the switch routine, Jesus said to the abusers around him “you are of your father the devil” and while that may seem harsh, I believe that when we give ourselves over to evil, the father of evil eventually becomes our master. Psalms tells us, God will beautify the meek with salvation,. I believe those walking with Christ begin to look more Christlike and the joy is visible on their faces which beautifies them. Not so for those consistently ruled by the darkness in their hearts, they get uglier.

      • poohbear

        7stelle, I replied to your second post without reading thoroughly through the one you wrote before that…sorry. I have never noticed a yellowish hue in his eyes but, they sometimes look like they are bulging out of his head, and spit comes out of his mouth…the disdain and hatred for me could be cut by a knife. It’s frightening.

    • HappyToBursting

      YES! Oh, my goodness. Yes. I didn’t know anyone else experienced this. X’s eyes become reptilic. (If that’s not a word, I just made it one.) The color of hatred and disdain seeps through his pores and changes everything about his appearance. It is pure evil, and to this day, one of my most chilling memories of those days.

      • we have at least one other post about reptilic eyes, but I can’t remember where it is right now.

  8. a prodigal daughter returns

    Again another excellent post, that puts light on the darkness inherent in the games abusers play. I’ve found that to save my self I had to end all contact as Pastor Crippen suggests. My now ex was not going to repent, allow himself to be broken on the rock of recognition that he was steeped in darkness and needed to humble himself. In time I began to recognize his presence in my life wasn’t transforming him, it was diminishing my own walk with God.

    I realized that I was becoming an angry person. My always ready to erupt in fits of rage, foolish husband was rubbing off on me. He was also physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually dangerous. I saw him for the spiritual black hole he was, that thing in space that sucks all light into its dark orbit. I read the proverbs “don’t make friends with an angry man lest you become like him” . the passage convicted me that I didn’t want to turn into that monstrous person. I’d seen so many angry women my age enduring, in the name of marriage and God decades of abuse, insult, games, lies, manipulations that they were pickled in it and I did not want to become that. God never intended for people to endure that. Jesus died on the cross for sinners, meaning we don’t have to.

    By the grace of God, circumstances were taken out of my hands and no contact happened despite myself. It was my liberation from a hellish life with someone driven by the fires of hell to destroy me. Since that time I’m learning that no contact is sometimes the only thing you can do with those bent on ruining the lives of the people around them. This includes some narcissistic family members. People given over to serving themselves are on the prowl looking for whom they can devour and destroy because they are doing the works of the dark one that is actually calling the shots in their lives.

    • Kay

      Like you, Prodigal Daughter, I found that I was becoming angry. I had tried every other possible response and nothing worked. Too much time with an abusive person (more than thirty years for me) is detrimental in every way. I felt I could not truly be a witness to other people because I struggled with my emotions. I thought there was something wrong me, but then I realized that everything that I intuitively knew was happening was more real than I ever could have dreamed. When an abuser is so good that even the victim is fooled into believing she is the problem, it is no wonder that the church is fooled. However, it is shocking that the church does not find it unacceptable that a man would hit his wife. Instead, the thinking is that there must be a justifiable reason why he did it.

      • Still Reforming

        Kay,
        I used to give the leaders and congregants at church the benefit of the doubt over and over and over (not unlike I gave it to my husband over and over and over). After all, I reasoned, if it took me nearly two decades to catch on and I actually live with the guy, how could they ever catch on?
        BUT….. and I can’t emphasize this enough…. BUT there was my testimony. And it bothers me to this day that my word was not enough. Yes, it can be a he-said-she-said situation, BUT… Is not Christ’s church to discern truth and seek wisdom in such matters? Is not Christ’s church to take a stand and not sit on the sidelines, thereby allowing evil to have free reign?
        It finally, finally occurred to me that my testimony should be considered. That when I spoke up (and I did, and my husband confessed to lies to the pastor, and the pastor believed me or said he did). And it finally occurred to me that my testimony should be honored. That my word was true. That because I served alongside these men and women I considered to be brothers and sisters of mine in Christ, they should be my brothers and sisters. But they weren’t. They consider themselves every bit as much a brother and sister to the one who lies and manipulates and serves the enemy of Christ. So … it is starting to bother me less and less that they don’t love me, because I don’t think they are really my brothers and sisters in the Lord.
        I think our word as targets of abuse should count and should be enough. Pastors and leaders especially in the church must decide to take these accounts seriously and get to the bottom of the matter, because they can do it. Pastor Jeff and other men in leadership on-line have proven that. So any real brother in Christ, pastor or otherwise, can do the same. But he has to take a stand. And we have to speak up and believe that our testimony is enough.
        It took me aaaaaaages to get to that point – and it took Pastor Jeff’s saying to me (on-line) “You have evidence.” (Because I was protesting that I couldn’t speak up because I had no evidence.) I didn’t quite know what he meant at the time. I was thinking evidence to convict, but…. as it turned out, as I have come to believe. The evidence of my testimony in telling the truth is enough. It’s enough for me. And it resulted in my deliverance, God be praised.

      • poohbear

        Same here, ladies…I hate the person I have become. I’m so bitter now. 😦 When outside the home, I “behave” myself, and am always being told how nice and likeable I am. But when I’m home, I find myself muttering and complaining and filled with anger at HIM…and often, I feel anger towards God because it’s like He lets him get away with what he does with no consequences. I know how I feel is wrong but I’m being honest 😦

      • poohbear

        Kay, how can we ever truly know we’re NOT the problem? He swears he’s a true Christian, knows the Bible, shows such outward “love” to those he wants to have like him back, that he almost fools even me.

        Common sense tells me I heard what I heard, saw what I saw, that I didn’t imagine it all. But being called crazy/psychotic/delusional (and, “it must be so scary inside your head”) for decades can make you feel like someone ripped the floor out from under you, till you wonder which way is truly up.

      • Still Reforming

        poohbear,

        I hope you don’t mind if I ask you a question. It’s only asked in the interest of helping you determine an answer to your own question posed here: “How can we ever truly know we’re NOT the problem? ”

        I would ask you this: Can you imagine yourself ever saying to him (or anyone) what he’s said to you – like “it must be so scary inside your head”. The things that baffle you about what he says or contradictory actions – can you ever see yourself engaging in yourself without provocation?

        I don’t want to be out of line in asking this question. I don’t want to cause any confusion or be out of line. I just want to help you think it through – and ponder how you are not the problem. You do not behave as he does. You don’t cause confusion. Your own confusion is a result not a cause.

        I’m praying for your clarity of mind and heart, poohbear. And peace in the process. (hugs)

      • Hi poohbear, a couple of your recent comments have had so much identifying detail that we don’t feel it would be safe to publish them. I encourage you to review our suggestions about how to airbrush detail so that what you write will not be likely to potentially identifyf you to your abuser should he happen to come across this blog.

        Here is our New Users Info page, which gives those guidelines. https://cryingoutforjustice.com/for-new-users/

  9. Kay

    After I served a civil protective order on my husband, my pastor asked me to meet with him and my husband at the church. He told me my husband had an apology for me. I went to the church and this is what my husband said: “I was almost perfect, but now I am a wife beater.” The pastor and the woman counselor who accompanied me thought it was an adequate apology, but I understood what the implication was. If wasn’t for me, he would still be perfect. I was the cause of his ruined reputation. I explained to the counselor why this was no apology. She drew in her breath and said, “You are right!” She relayed this to the pastor whose only response was an annoyed frustration.

    • Kay

      It is laughable that anyone would consider that an apology. What person in their right mind tells others they are almost perfect?

      • a prodigal daughter returns

        Kay, same thing here, I’d moved out to get away from the violence, my pastor called me in, my husband was there. In a big showy tearful demonstration got on knees saying he’d been so overworked that he neglected me. Neglect and battery are two different things. I was speechless, the pastor looked at me and said “what more do you need forgive him and move back home. I did, and the violence nearly killed me because it escalated once he had the backing of the church. That pastor went on with his life, popular, loved, with his PhD while I lived a life in hellish violence. My ex was an incredible manipulator and in time I really questioned my sanity when the world saw him as saintly and I experienced him as demonic.
        Years later I wrote a letter to my former pastor telling him what the rest of my life was like, after he moved away. I told him how much children my children suffered in that home until they ran away, and one was homeless to get out of the violence I seemed trapped in at his pushing. No apology, no response, no recognition of harm done. He is still adored by congregants

      • “the violence nearly killed me because it escalated once he had the backing of the church”
        I had that experience too, and I’m sure there are many others.

  10. My ex would take this one step further. Rather than saying “You made me do it”, he would say “I didn’t do it -you did it”. If I told him he was hurting me and the children he would respond angrily, “You’re abusing me”. When he came in the door unexpectedly, and I jumped in terror and said I was afraid of him, he got angry and said “You’re lying and you’re saying that to intimidate me.” Those are the twisted versions of truth that he has relayed to everyone he knows. Anyone aware of my personality and physical build should find it ridiculous that a bigger stronger man would be intimidated by me. But people believe the lies and that is very, very scary.
    This kind of abuser never takes responsibility for anything, nothing is ever their fault, someone else is always to blame. My ex genuinely believes he is actually perfect. He has no concept that he has ever, or would ever, be doing wrong. This is a person that people need to be protected from, and will need help to get way from. Not a person who should be enabled by church leaders.

  11. earthenvessels

    Sometimes, I wonder how much responsibility I hold. I was bitter and controlling in ways as well. Like, he wouldn’t have hurry myself and the kids if life was easier for him. I know the response will be, off course I’m not responsible. But, I still feel like I am guilty for making the situation dark by my own un forgiveness.

    • poohbear

      I know, I feel guilt as well. I said nasty things back at times because I didn’t want to just sit down and let him hurt me. I equated “forgiveness” with just turning the other cheek and letting him do as he would…isn’t long-suffering a Christian virtue? So I hung onto every hurtful thing he did that he never owned up to. But for all the cheek-turning and forgiveness victims so often offer their abusers, does it cause them to change? I don’t think it does; it just enables them. But I understand how you feel…

      • Still Reforming

        poohbear,
        I woke up last night in the middle of the night and so I talked to God and then prayed the Lord’s prayer. When I did so, I stopped at the words, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” It occurred to me that maybe there’s another way of understanding that than how I’d understood it for years. I always thought that since God forgave me all, I’m to forgive all (all people and all trespasses).
        But as I thought about it I realized that God doesn’t forgive everyone and God doesn’t forgive everything. He forgives the repentant. Does God allow unrepentant people into heaven?
        Anyway, as I wondered about that, I wondered whether I’ve had it kind of backward in my head – as if it’s about me and my forgiveness and I wasn’t really thinking fully about God and His forgiveness.
        I’m still ruminating on all this – and I know that forgiveness is a very rich and complex topic with much to be said, so what I’ve written here isn’t to be taken in any way other than the small thought that it is… but I just wanted to share that, in case it helps. 🙂

  12. Melody

    This reminds me greatly of a recent event where I said based on some evidence that someone’s behavior was divisive and was immediately asked why I was being divisive. Despite objective facts or truth, people who wish to remain blind will shoot the messenger. And thus they are part of the Accuser’s schemes.

    • Thank you, StillReforming.

  13. jusme2015

    Wow. I was accused by my ex recently when he said I said something and I told him I said no such thing! He pretty much called me twisted and sick because I did not remember saying something that I KNOW I did not say!
    I know this is very vague, but I do not want to say too much…

    • Hi Jusme, all the comments on this blog are moderated, so it takes time for them to be published — it may take minutes or hours, depending on how busy with other things our team of moderators are. 🙂

    • HappyToBursting

      X did the same thing to me. There are two specific instances – one where I was told that I said something was my favorite, and it was actually my most disliked. Coincidentally, that thing was actually HIS favorite. I was also told that I had been taken somewhere that I wanted to go. This never happened, but he always insisted that he had taken me there. So bizarre. It really does make you question your sanity. I totally understand.

  14. IamMyBeloved's

    I remember when I tried to confront my abuser’s abusive mother. She had beat me up when I was pregnant and I felt it was now time to confront her evil actions and set boundaries for her. I took her to a nice restaurant – believing it was the safest place to confront her – and paid for her meal. When we arrived, I sat in a quiet spot with her and began to address, politely, some of the things she had done to me and to my children, stating that I hoped we could come to a peaceful conclusion.

    She immediately bristled and became angry and loud. Very loud. But her cries were not anger like, “Shut up and listen to me”, but she began saying loudly, “Why are you attacking me? Why do you hate me so much? What are you doing to me now?” I was taken back by her twisting and didn’t quite know what to do.

    When I finally confronted her about beating me up and then hitting, shoving or pushing me around repeatedly during my pregnancy, she yelled as loudly as she could, “YOU HIT ME!!! I NEVER HIT YOU!!!!”

    At that point, I told her the meeting was over and that there was no sense in trying to work things out, that I would just accept there was not going to be any change. I got up to leave and she began grabbing at me, crying and begging me not to leave – again loudly.

    After I left and got safely to my vehicle, as I was backing out, I saw her coming out of the restaurant, with a relative of hers and they left together.

    She did not ever hit me again after that meeting, but continued to emotionally, verbally and financially abuse me and my children –

    The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Or is it – the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree?

    • Still Reforming

      IamMyBeloved’s,

      How interesting you had that encounter with his mother. I had a similar experience and it was that that lead me to research covert aggression.

      It was my now ex’s mother who verbally attacked me one Christmas in front of all of the family – as I was just about to get in our car to go, no less. I think she did it because months prior I had politely requested that she call to request coming over before just showing up at our home, as she was wont to do over and over and over.

      And as a dutiful Christian wife, I asked my husband about if we could request that she and his dad call first before just showing up, most times when my husband wasn’t even home, but was at work. When he finally agreed that “we” could speak with her and his dad about their surprise visits, we drove the nearly three hours to their house (they used to drive from that far away to just show up) and on the way, my husband told me that I could just meet alone with his mom and explain it all to her myself. So I did, and during that polite discussion, she bristled at the suggestion that they call before visiting and told me that if I insisted on that happening that all the men in the family would be afraid of me. To this day, I still don’t understand that response.

      Anyway, after she lambasted me on my way to our car that Christmas, shouting that “I will not have my granddaughter call me “Mrs. (LastNam),” I asked if our daughter had called her that, by her last name. She replied, “No, but YOU did!” I must have looked confused because she added, “You wrote ‘Mrs. (LastName) on your Christmas card envelope.” I knew she wanted me to call her “mom,’ but I wasn’t comfortable doing so, so I merely replied, “You’re not my mother,'” so she said, “How about ‘Grandma’?” and I replied, “You’re not my grandmother either.” and I got in our car.

      All the way home I pondered this and the term “passive-aggressive” kept flashing in my mind, even though I knew very little about what it really meant. I only knew that she and I had had several moments alone in her home that day, during which time she had every opportunity to tell me if she wanted me to address her by a familial title, but she didn’t. This included a time she gave me a big bag of hand-me-downs in her bedroom for our daughter and another time when I took her alone into her kitchen as a ruse to get her out of the living room so her kids could measure the TV to buy her a new one as a surprise. But she chose to lash out at me instead in front of the family about something really trivial.

      That was the first clue I had that I needed to look into what was going on in my own home a bit more closely because it was really odd behavior, and I thought there must be some connection with my husband’s behavior. He always had a really strange defensive connection with his family of birth that went beyond what I would have considered healthy. A friend of mine who also had a narcissist husband suggested that it’s like buddies in a foxhole, that these men had such dysfunction in home of childhood that they formed bonds to survive it and that they are then inseparable because they survived that trauma together.

  15. Because of ACFJ and all the posts I was able to “see” exactly what was happening when another child was at our house visiting. His mother would say how incredibly sweet her son was. How he wouldn’t hurt a fly. There wasn’t a mean bone in his body. It just went on like this for a couple months. He was extremely polite, friendly and my children were happy to have him over. Well most of my children. My daughter groaned when he was invited over. She even told me privately “I hate it when _____ comes over.” She seemed distressed. So I told her I’d pay better attention. Wow! Did I notice many things. And each one was responded to…I did? I didn’t mean to. I had questions in my mind about the truth of all I saw.
    We were at a park with others and this child. He wouldn’t go down a slide all the way. It was a covered slide so us parents didn’t know what was happening. When my daughter went down and ran into him (he’s as big as a full grown man, she’s still small) he became angry and bit her on the inside of her leg!!! Then took a stick and poked her in the knee.
    She of course was crying and came to the bench I was at with the other moms. When I got down to what had happened I was overwhelmed with all the info. What? He bit you!? Then he stabbed you with his stick!? I looked up to see where he was. He was within ear shot, back to us. When I called him he didn’t respond. I realized he was able to hear but chose not to respond. I said very loud “______, I know you can hear me. Come over her now.” He turned and walked up to is. I asked him why he bit her. His response was at first. I DIDNT. Then he said “I did? I didn’t know I did that”
    He was so calm and so bewildered. It was then that I realized how dangerous and what a liar he was. I called him on it in front of his mother and all. I said, “How is it possible to BITE some one and not know? You are lying! And we all know it. You are a full grown man biting a little 2nd grader! ” his mother said she couldn’t believe he would do that on purpose. I explained to her how he had denied it then after all efforts confessed it, more couldn’t get out of it in front of all of us. He had no remorse AT ALL. Not even a smidgen of regret. Every excuse she gave I shot down. I know it was so very hard for all of us that day. I felt grieved to have the responsibility of unloading the awful truth about her son. But I’m glad she has her eyes open to his evil ways. My children will not be friends with that or allowed to play with that person again. Since that incident that grown child has had some kind of sickness and is unable to get over it. There has been no talk of his progress in repentance. Only how sick he has been. The mother did say (and I do miss the mother) has said she didn’t think he knew his own strength and gave me an example of him grabbing her arm and hurting her. My response was that’s a lie. He is doing it to hurt and is playing you pretending he doesn’t know he is hurting you. Which brought other things to her memory. There is a lot she is trying to avoid. But I know how you just don’t want to believe what you just saw for what it is.
    If it wasn’t for ACFJ I wouldn’t have been so bold and able to confront this and protect my family. I am amazed at how clear things are becoming.

    • Jeff Crippen

      HisBanner – This is a very, very choice piece of WISDOM we should all sit up and take heed to. This is a perfect example of how evil – and that is what it is, evil – hides among us. Sooo very glad you were able to see it for what it is and call this boy out on it. Thank you.

    • Anonymous

      Their mind does not work the same as people with a conscience. Once you realize this it’s amazing. There is no way to make them see truth or reason–none. If gaining an understanding of people who have no conscience gives us insight into how demons and the evil one view things (which it seems like it does) we are dealing with creatures incapable of having any kind of understanding except what 2 Pet 2:12 says and who are brutal in the most primitive regard. The word for brutal in 2 Tim 3:3 is used only once and here’s what it says,” anémeros: not tame; fierce, savage.” We KNOW the minds of animals work in certain ways. A horse thinks like a horse, a mouse like a mouse etc. We know that each mouse and horse has unique qualities; unique onto each individual animal, but it still always thinks within in the realms of the horse mind or the mouse mind. The same is true of those without a conscience. Some are more social and can mimic positive emotions that others genuinely feel, but they can never be anything but how their brain is wired.

      The behavior you described is more primitive than some I’ve seen but typical. Some people without a conscience never use physical harm but instead destroy others emotionally by twisting truth and destroying self-worth. They often REALLY BELIEVE that they did no harm or that the other person provoked them first (even when it’s on camera, they still don’t see the truth). By never forewarning people that these evil people exist and what to look for, the church, psychology and most societies have denied us a chance to protect ourselves or learn the truth. Some of us have given birth to these people, only to realize that a lifetime of love and care and consistent parenting or any other gimmick we’ve been advised to employ, only ends with the result that we have a person without a conscience who now has more access to a wider group of people because we’ve ensured that we did everything we could to help them and provide them with opportunities. (This is considered being a successful parent to the world, by the way, dressing up evil with the façade of normalcy.)

      I’m grateful that you saw what happened and were able to protect your child. Some people don’t realize this until later and much harm has been done. If this is what 2 Tim 3 is talking about, it will get much worse. We have the advantage though–we have the truth and eyes that see. As hard as it is for all of us, I’m grateful I’m not alone. I’m grateful that none of has to be alone because we have this website to share on. Thank you all again for keeping up the good fight.

      • The book of Romans seems to teach that God has placed the conscience in each person. And the Bible talks about how the conscience can be seared and become ineffective or to all intents and purposes inoperative. My observation is that conscience is on a spectrum: some people have a lot more conscience that others, some people are very sensitive to their conscience, others seem to have a less sensitive conscience. I don’t know that there are people ‘born’ without any conscience at all, becaues that would seem to go against what Romans says. But I’m certainly in agreement that some people have seared and deadened their consciences.

      • KayE

        I know a person who has no apparent conscience. Far from being unaware, they are extremely intelligent and socially sophisticated. They are very well able to understand what is true and right. But they have made repeated and calculated decisions to choose wrong. Such a person should never be underestimated. Or excused.

      • Still Reforming

        Anonymous,

        I am so grateful for your contributions here because I’m learning so much, but I must respectfully disagree on one point.

        You wrote: “They often REALLY BELIEVE that they did no harm or that the other person provoked them first (even when it’s on camera, they still don’t see the truth).”

        In my experience, I think they don’t necessarily believe that they did no harm. It’s that they don’t care that they did harm – therein “no conscience.” Whether or not they do harm is inconsequential. Doesn’t matter to them. What matters IS them.

        I would also caution people against giving the perpetrators of the evil the “benefit of the doubt” if the targets think “Well, s/he really believed that there was no harm done.” I took way too long coming around to the truth by giving him more credit than he deserved. He lied, he knew he lied, and he didn’t care that he lied. It served his self-serving purposes.

        I really enjoy your comments. Thank you for sharing your insight with us!

      • Sunflower

        I agree that we should not give the abuser even a tiny out, or they will run with it. I used to get the, “I don’t understand” and similar lines, and one day God spoke to me, “NO MORE EXCUSES!” I was not to allow him any excuses, nor to allow myself to ‘let things get by’ but to call him on it every time (hard to do). When I got the “I don’t understand”, I would either say, “Yes you do, but you’re using this as an out” or I would tell him to go to God for wisdom, and it’s all in the Book. And we live in a time where there are lots and lots of resources for help. At times I would simply withdraw until he decided to have his aha moment….or not. Sometimes he’d get really mad that I wasn’t buying it anymore, but I was ready to leave if things escalated and he knew it. In this case things have gotten bearable for now, much different than a few years ago.

  16. poohbear

    HisBanner, this site is wonderful, isn’t it? I’m so glad you are starting to see things in their proper perspective.

    I wonder if abusers were like this boy when they were young….totally in denial, and then even when caught red-handed, they somehow fail to see the hurt they’ve inflicted on others?

    This might me off topic but, years ago, he refused to even give me a little hug. It was like I had the plague…he’d practically bolt if I came near him. This went on for months. I began to think he had someone else. Finally, I confronted him. He said, “You’ve let yourself go, and I’m just not attracted to fat women!”

    I burst into tears. I admit, I’d gained 20-something pounds since I’d been the skinny little girl I was when we’d met, but, he’d gained weight himself, and lost all his hair to boot, but I’d never treat him that way. I don’t think anyone else would’ve considered me “fat.”

    After that, he got all giddy and said how good it felt to finally tell the truth. For weeks after, he was all lovey-dovey. I was wary and didn’t want him near me, now that I knew how he saw me. But, he kept gleefully saying how God had delivered him and how wonderful it was.

    He never, ever said he was sorry for hurting me, or even admitted he’d said anything wrong. A real Christian husband would maybe encourage his wife to exercise, or pray that God help him to see past a body that had weathered multiple pregnancies, or just love her as she is.

    It’s like part of them justifies what they do, or that they’re in complete denial. I don’t understand this…

    • Poohbear it is a wonderful site.

      Mine has said he was sorry AFTER the pastor told him it was wrong and obvious hitting he agreed was wrong. Just the other day and on many occasions he takes back his apology by saying things like…”I’m sick of all of this (counseling and meeting about episodes of anger etc.). I can’t believe what my life has become(meaning weekly counseling with pastor).Im not going to continue this forever you know. YOU have made this out to be something bigger than it is. It didn’t used to be a big problem but you have made it into a bigger problem and now it is.”
      This made my stomach turn. I’ve been weepy ever since. I woke up in the middle of the night after tossing and turning in bed, hot from summer night and this scene repeating. His words vehement against me and how I’m doing all of this. No thought of his own words, actions or lack of leadership etc. Just how I made it worse by getting help and telling the truth. Also threats of how IF the pastor says anything about………..we are leaving to another church. Then the friendly visit with the pastor I felt like a wreck. And it wasn’t like he thought it would be but then we are all supposed to be ok now. I feel traumatized from all the spouting and IF/THEN statements on top of a complete switch back to I’m causing this stuff.

      Leading up to this were spouts from him of “CAN I TALK TO my OWN CHILDREN!!!!?”

      “You will shut up!!! Because I said!! I’m head of the household and YOU will SHUT UP!!!!” (This is new ever since pastor has been counseling him on HOW to be a husband and father).

      He was extremely nasty toward me and by the end of the day said how I’d been riding him all weekend. Basically blaming me for his own bad attitude. I don’t want to go into it all but the last few weeks since the pastor wasn’t meeting with him was like back to how he IS and no meeting until this week. I shouldn’t be shocked how it’s all flipping back to opening the car door,smiles and here some coffee dear. No apology for the hateful words before and leading up to the church door. Just aww 🙂 isn’t everything nice now?

      • Aw, “hisbanner,” I’m so sorry and understand your pain! Mine has never ever even attempted counseling… “GOD is my counselor” was always his reason. “Our problems are our own and no one else’s concern…” his way to keep what’s going on all hushed up…then come the accusations that I’m “gossiping” and “slandering” him for ever breathing a word to anyone. Why can’t I just go to the Lord, and stop talking to other people about our private affairs…?

        I don’t know you obviously, but to me it looks like he’s just going to counseling to appease you, not because he honestly thinks he needs help. Mine would do the “nice” act for awhile, just to prove I was all wrong, after all, about him ever hurting me. I’d imagined it…oh, it’s the act they put on in front of pastors, Christian friends/acquaintances, family (especially his), that they’re so loving to us, and that everything is fine, that can hurt the worst, because it invalidates the truth of what is really happening at home.

        I know about the blame thing, too… It’s all MY fault and I always need something to complain about, as much as I need the air I breathe.

        Lately I’ve noticed I’ve become hypersensitive to noise, which bothers me. … it’s odd how I often just wish I could crawl into a silent, deep hole.

        Are you there with him for all his “counseling” sessions? I do wonder if some of these pastors are proponents of the “submit to your husband” not in the manner that the Bible says, but crawl under a rug and be a good little mouse.

        I hope you (and the others here) can take comfort in knowing that God sees all, and knows what you are going through (hugs).

      • Hisbanner. . . that pastor doesn’t have a clue how to deal with an abusive man. The only thing that may have a minute chance of helping an abuser change is if he attends, long term, a specialised program for domestic abusers. The vast majority of pastors have no idea what appraoach the facilitators of those programs have to take to make even the merest impact (dent) on the mentality of the abuser.

        Your pastor is naive. And therefore, dangerous for you.

      • HisBannerOverMeIsLove

        There isn’t a respond button under each of your comments so I am replying under my own.

        This pastor is very good about his approach but admits himself he isn’t sure what to do other than what he is doing. They are reading thru a book chapter by chapter. Each week my h waits and doesn’t read the material until the day of the meeting on lunch break or right after work.

        A while ago I called the p and mentioned some things. He said it’s a slow process. I need to trust the process, be extra ordinarily patient with my h, I need to be helpful where ever possible and I will have to put up with a lot. He needs a heart change.

        Although there was nothing wrong with what he said….there was something wrong with what he said. I cannot communicate the patience and putting up with things I have already gone thru. It’s taken weeks for me to not cry just thinking of this. I decided I will not be sharing anything with him anymore. If he wants to know he will have to ask. I no longer am in the sessions.
        I say I’m not telling him because of several reasons. The p told me doesn’t want to hear or know of every argument and problem. He said he has plenty of info to go off of. When I contact him he says now we need to make an appointment and share all of this with your h. So we do. It takes a couple weeks for things to calm down. I’m exhausted. I don’t want to share all of it with my h because of his thinking the reason the pastor is looking at this and going about everything is all wrong but it’s because of what I’ve told him so he has no choice but it’s all wrong. Ugh.

        I don’t really know what to think any more. I was told to stop reading this stuff. Pretty sure it’s because I was not very stable and my h was claiming I call everything abuse when it isn’t. P noticed my decline and I think summed up the fact that I read about abuse too much. P said I could talk to my counselor about all of this and stop sharing with a friend of mine or anybody else. Back to the closet feeling. I do take comfort in knowing God sees and knows all. My sinful thoughts to the treatment show me I have enough wrong with myself to worry about. I was reacting in anger and snappy words this last week. I’m tired of taking it and trying to smooth it over. I want to fight it out or something, but I really don’t at the same time.

      • Still Reforming

        HisBannerOverMeIsLove,
        I understand your feelings of wanting to “fight it out,” and yet, you probably know that even that won’t change your husband. His behavior won’t change by fighting it out, even if it would help you to get some things off of your chest, you’ve likely been explaining and talking about things that he’s done throughout this whole process and likely since for quite some time now, and yet, nothing changes. Tactics of his may change, but not behavior.
        When your pastor says you need to be more helpful and put up with a lot (more), then the pastor is already admitting, whether he knows it or not, that your husband is in fact the problem. Your pastor likely wouldn’t admit that’s the case though because (from the little I read) it sounds like he wants to be “impartial,” not showing preference one way or another, and he just wants to “fix” the marriage.
        Your pastor sounds greatly – I mean very greatly – unfamiliar with abuse and the evil that causes it. As I walk through this process I’m learning very many in the church are unfamiliar with it. As Christians we are to be innocent in perpetrating evil but not in understanding it. Too many are.
        I want to encourage you to know that you’re not reading too much in learning about abuse. You need to know it to help you. You are not alone in this and you need to understand what your husband is doing. It’s good to read about abuse and no one should discourage you from that.
        I understand exactly what you meant when you wrote: “Although there was nothing wrong with what he said….there was something wrong with what he said,” I went back and read the pastor’s words you were referring to: “He said it’s a slow process. I need to trust the process, be extra ordinarily patient with my h, I need to be helpful where ever possible and I will have to put up with a lot. He needs a heart change.”
        Think about these things. “It’s a slow process – need to trust the process.” I would disagree. What experience does the pastor have with other cases like yours and is it the same “process”?? I would instead think of words spoken by men like Lundy Bancroft (author of “Why Does He Do That?”) who have worked years with abusers and manipulators. Lundy doesn’t say to “trust the process.” For crying out loud (I’m yelling at your pastor here), shouldn’t HisBanner trust her husband and not the process? Sorry, but…. those are words uttered that sound superficially good but lack real depth.
        You have already been extraordinarily patient with your husband – and it hasn’t worked. Your pastor is taking this from the point at which he himself got involved without acknowledging all the work you’ve done for years prior. You have already been helpful and you have already put up with a lot. And yes, your husband needs a heart change – but that’s the Lord’s domain alone and unless He does such a thing, you need to know your options – which aren’t limited to being trampled underfoot.
        Sorry. This comment may not see the light of day but, I’m really ticked off at your pastor right now.

      • Jeff Crippen

        HisBanner –

        ” He said it’s a slow process. I need to trust the process, be extra ordinarily patient with my h, I need to be helpful where ever possible and I will have to put up with a lot. He needs a heart change.”

        There is everything wrong with this statement, and that is why you sense it isn’t right. This is a certain formula for futility and more suffering on your part. Really, this is couples’ counseling that the pastor is doing even if you aren’t present at every meeting, and that is just a wrong approach in abuse cases. I recommend that you keep right on reading “this stuff” and not yield to pressure to stop. You have already been incredibly patient. Waiting for a “heart change” in your abuser is going to be a wait for nothing.

      • His Banner, you may find this post helpful. It’s about how pastors can act like they are Superpastors.
        Let’s Put This “But he hasn’t physically abused you” Nonsense to Rest Once and For All

  17. OrphanedOnly

    [Note from Eds: comment has been heavily edited to remove details that could identify the commenter to her abusers]

    I have experienced a lot of ignoring from a family member who (by normal standards of family life) ought to care about me. I’ve been advised by a clergman to not hesitate to move far away from this family member.

    Recent events have caused me to finally break and question my faith, … One thing after another and I just don’t understand. I’ve asked God to help me deal with being abandoned and going through what I went through. I don’t ask Him for anything else as I was always told I was extremely “selfish”. … Silent treatment continues, disinherited, etc. I question His reasoning. I question why this happened constantly. I am grateful, blessed, for everything I have. That doesn’t seem to make any difference. Evil continues to win and win big.

    To the author — thank you. While I’m still questioning my faith [I feel tremendous guilt doing so] I find extreme comfort in his words and would like for him to know. Thank you.

    • Hello OrphanedOnly
      welcome to the blog. I encourage you to read our New Users Info page to get tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on this blog. You will notice that I edited your comment.

    • Still Reforming

      OrphanedOnly,

      This may seem like a stretch but…. since I know someone in your situation – the daughter of my (now ex’s) sister – I have to ask – Is there a family member in whom you can confide or talk freely about this? Someone you trust?

      I had reached out to this daughter (my niece) for a few years before things got so bad in my own household that I had to “go dark,” lest my now ex- share with his sister (who abused/s the daughter horrifically). There are VERY few people in that family I would trust, but…. on the off-chance it’s you, I wanted to ask if there’s anyone in your family you could trust to share your heart with about this? Because that someone else might be able to help you….. (((((((hugs)))))))

  18. Babylove

    debating or arguing with an abusive person is useless and unproductive…they are like defense lawyers…..never wrong, belittling and always right

  19. Babylove

    abusers never ever admit when they are wrong nor will they ever say sorry….everything wrong in their lives is always always someone elses fault

    • poohbear

      Thank you for your reply, Babylove. How I wish I wasn’t such a pitifully slow learner!

      • Still Reforming

        poohbear,

        Don’t think of yourself as a slow learner; Think of him as a very skilled liar.

      • Still Reforming

        poohbear,
        In response to my response (golly, I’m redundant), I hope I didn’t come across as bossy.
        I should have written: You’re not a slow learner; He’s a skilled liar.
        (hugs)

      • Kandyce Brothers

        it wasnt your fault….he blindsided you

    • except when they say fake sorries and half-sorries, to make themselves look good.

    • My ex apologized, once only. He later told the pastor that he had lied about being sorry, because he wasn’t sorry at all, he just wanted to “keep the peace”, and in fact I deserved the treatment he gave me. The pastor seemed to accept both the mistreatment and the lying as justified. But that was the point I realized I was dealing with a pathological liar with no conscience at all.

      • KayE
        He wasn’t sorry he just wanted to “keep the peace”. I’ve heard this one too many times!
        In fact…today! It was more like….” I just said that to agree with you so we can get thru this with the pastor and be in agreement.” ?????? How is that helpful?????

        My emotions are welling up on me from all that was said now. He changes the past and says “we’ve always thought this or that…” When actually I’ve said this and for years and years he wouldn’t hear it or have me think such things. Now it’s like he’s ALWAyS thought this. Ugh!!!! It doesn’t matter and it DOES to me.

        If I tell him why something is the way it is…it’s like he takes notes, tells others how he’s always thought or known that and it’s just not true. I’m glad he’s coming around to different things but it BuGS me how he communicates it. Why not just say the truth. I never believed her and now I do because of x. Maybe I’m being petty already. I feel I have suffered much because he wouldn’t listen or even try and now he’s doing it forced by circumstances and it’s he-knew-this-all-along thing. Then WHY couldn’t we or didn’t we do things differently.

        Lol,I don’t know if that makes sense 🙂 talking in code here.

      • Moving Forward

        Its a code all too many of us understand completely. I sure do. When it comes to apologies, though, I dealt with the opposite. He was sorry often, but that meant a closed door to any further discussion. Forgive and forget, isn’t that what the Bible says!? Apologies from him were so meaningless. I told him once that for him, saying sorry just gave him permission to do it again.

      • “forgive and forget’ . . .

        God didn’t forget Moses’ disobedience in twice hitting the rock to get water when God had only told him to speak to the rock. In fact, He remembered that incident so well that He deemed it a just reason to cause Moses to die before he entered the Promised Land. God forgave Moses that sin (after all, Moses appeared with God at the Transfiguration!) but He didn’t have amnesia about it.

      • You’re making sense, and your code-talking is good!

        ‘being petty’ . . . With coercive control, many of the tactics of control are ‘small’ when considered separately. But the abuser does all those small things intentionally, calculatedly, making sure that most or all of them are ‘small’ so that if the victim reports one or some of what he does, her story sounds ‘petty’.

        The way to know it’s abuse is to look at the overall pattern of conduct. What do all those ‘small’ things mean, when put together and the pattern is seen? For the victim, it means she is coercively controlled. And for the abuser, it means he can plausibly deny that he’s doing anything bad, because he can say that each discreet thing is no big deal ….

      • Still Reforming

        HisBannerOverMeIsLove,
        You wrote “If I tell him why something is the way it is…it’s like he takes notes, tells others how he’s always thought or known that and it’s just not true.”
        This is one of the things that I find so hard to explain to people – why I stopped telling my ex-husband things. Why things eventually had to be reduced to a “need to know” basis to tell him anything. Because honest conversations ended up coming back with words thrown at me and twisted around to portray me in some negative way – either in private or in front of others. It was bizarre, and yet I kept trying over and over to have reasonable respectful conversations with him about things, then the words would come around at me in some weird way.
        It’s very hard to communicate this to people who haven’t lived it and get them to see it because they don’t know it by experience or they don’t see that side of the abuser so it’s like the person recounting it is just a worrier or twisting things herself.
        I hear ya loud and clear because those are the things that are so insidious and seemingly trivial – just everyday things quite often – but they end up like weeds in the undergrowth that trip you up. And part of the reason why it’s so important to wake the church up to this, because she’s allowing herself to be hoodwinked by evil men (and women).
        You’re not being petty, btw. If things seem convoluted maybe it’s because they are. If he won’t just speak plainly, there’s a reason. Someone once told me that some people would rather climb a ladder to tell a lie than to just stand on the ground and speak the truth. Seemed that way to me in my marriage. And now that we’re divorced he’s still that way. He won’t change unless the Lord sovereignly moves upon him – because first and foremost he’s a liar. And everything comes from there. He has no desire (speaking of my ex- here because I don’t know your husband) – he has no desire to tell the truth because it’s not in him. His motivation is love of self. Whatever serves him. Whatever “works” for him. So truth really isn’t important because if it doesn’t serve his needs,
        Don’t worry about whether or not your comment makes sense. It makes total sense to those of us who have lived the same thing. He may seem at times to be “coming around,” but if it’s not full circle – in other words, if he’s coming around in some things in your view but not others, I would just ask that you please please be careful. Don’t presume upon him some great turnaround or repentance if you’re not seeing it in all things. If he’s okay in this area but not that, I would take that to heart. It means he’s not come around. It means he’s not changed.
        I always thought in the back of my head that if my ex- were to really change, I would know. And I think it’s the same with you. If your husband really changes, you’ll know beyond a shadow of a doubt. There won’t be niggling concerns and wondering why he still does or says such-and-such.
        Praying for you for wisdom and clarity in this…. ((hugs))

      • Kandyce Brothers

        allies of abusers are usually abusers…your story sounds eerily similiar to mine…may i suggest u like fb pages I WILL STAND LUNDY BANCROFT AND A CRY FOR JUSTICE

    • ROund*Two

      I recently reminded ex he has never apologized to me for the times he screamed in my face, for the times he shoved me around, and for all the times he has lied to me. (I was not even close to completing my list),but His response was “i am going to end this conversation” and he did! I wanted to see if he would admit to what he did but he did not, because in his eyes it never happened!

      • Kandyce Brothers

        they never do…..abusers are incapable of remorse, empathy or emotions….

  20. Anonymous

    Thank you Barbara for your response above @2:58 am, I have struggled with this for years.

    We often forget that God knows the bigger picture. He knows what and who a person will be before they were created. He knows who will be against him and have a hard heart. We have the case of Pharaoh who had a hard heart that God continued to harden–as a result of Pharaohs own choice. It’s known that there are people born without the ability to feel love, gratefulness, shame, and empathy. This is known medically, and in other fields but most of us have a hard time accepting it for many reasons. Once I realized the truth of this (it took me years to accept it and I had to mourn the loss of all of my old beliefs, hopes etc. for the people in my life like this) God also revealed how arrogant it was on the part of humans to deny that he allowed these people to be created (even though he knew they would never love him and would be against him, he let them be born). He gave these people certain traits so that people WITH the ability to love and know him would be able to discern the difference but we as a society denied each other this ability We basically said that WE could fix this thing with enough love and patience and care and we also denied these people the right to be completely evil. (What if we aren’t meant to “fix” it because there’s nothing “wrong” with them in the sense that this is who they wanted to be and God allowed it? ) That’s right, we’ve DENIED THEM THE RIGHT TO BE WHO THEY WANT TO BE. When we force them to act like they are good or can love, we deny them their right to be who they are. (Doesn’t our society tell us that we all have the right to be who we are?) And when we forget or arrogantly deny that these things (love, kindness, perseverance etc.) come from God and that they are meant to help the helpable, we put ourselves in the position to BE God, thus wearing ourselves out and allowing evil to have access to our life.

    There is a genetic link, as is known today. And we know there are differences in how people who are BORN without the ability to love respond to situations vs. those who are rendered without the ability to love via brain damage from surgery or an accident. Those born like this MUST victimize others in some way. They lie and deceive and they desire to do this. There are families full of these people. But we must be discerning, and this is one of the areas God directs us. King David came from a large family with lots of handsome boys. But they were rejected by God–except for David. If we see that in a large family or a large community of aggressive citizens or people without the ability to love others, that a few are not like this, we need to intervene. If we simply pretend that all are helpable we will exhaust ourselves and our resources (as we’ve been doing for years) and nobody will be helped. We are NOT all the same and some people are 100% evil and we need to help those who are helpable–it’s what our empathy was meant for–to help the helpable. (Did Jesus help every single person alive in His day? Or did he help those he was sent to help?)

    I never want to be “right,” but I always want to know God’s truth. This is one of my prayers: that God shows me the truth through His word and in my life even if it goes against what I WANT to believe. If what God has shown me (what I’ve written here) is incorrect, I pray he shows me and that no one is deceived. But if it is true, I pray that others can be helped and that they realize this help comes from the Lord, as this is the only place true help can come from.

    • What I’ve never in all these years been able to comprehend is, I met him at a Bible study he’d invited me to, for goodness’ sake! I was still a teenager reeling from a breakdown brought on by my “addictions” and past trauma. He was SO nice, he was a knight in shining armor. He knew the Bible so well, he prayed, he seemed to love the Lord so much. He shared that he’d just prayed the night before that God send him a woman, and well, there I was! From the day we met, we were practically inseparable. I didn’t realize I’d been swallowed up whole, till too late.

      There is much here about evil people with deliberately hard hearts but, what about those who sincerely seem to love the Lord so much yet they are completely oblivious to the things they are doing to hurt their wives? He knew just what Scripture to knife me with…I heard all about the “dripping faucet” verse, the “contentious woman,” even before I married him. I was “contentious” if I disagreed with him about ANYTHING. I tried to break things off, but he kept on coming back and trying to convince me that GOD wanted us married but that I just needed to get “fixed” because I was terribly defective the way I was.

      Is it possible for someone to sincerely believe they love God and are serving Him, yet continue to do cruel things and be blind to that? How does this happen?

      Years ago I was at a church where a lady with a spiritual gift came to minister, who laid hands on me with what was supposed to be a word from the Lord…all I remember was her saying over and over: “He knoweth, He knoweth, He knoweth…” I still wonder to this day what specifically was meant by this…

      Thank you for listening…

      • Jeff Crippen

        Poohbear – I think that what you are wrestling with is due to the incredibly powerful deception that wicked abusers are capable of. No, it is not possible for someone to, as you put it in your question, “sincerely believe they love God and are serving Him” while at the same time doing cruel things and yet be blind to it. Here is how I can say this so confidently:

        Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. (1 John 2:9)

        Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:8-10)

        These people do not love God. Their claim that they do is a false claim and in fact their hatred of Him and His Word and of anyone who truly belongs to Christ (as Cain hated and murdered Abel) demonstrates their willfulness in this hatred.

        Now, you have the case of the Apostle Paul who in fact did have a zeal to serve God – a sincere zeal. But it was a wrong zeal and Paul says of himself-

        understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted. I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 1:9-14)

        Paul was an “honest” but misguided enemy of Christ and when the gospel came to him, he repented and came to genuine faith. In contrast, your abuser has willfully and intentionally and KNOWINGLY twisted God’s Word for many, many years, hardening his heart against it and using it to harm others. He does not believe he loves God. He actively suppresses the truth of God and has embraced an idol of his own making that he calls god. Put the demands and truths of Christ to him and his hatred will evidence itself.

    • Anonymous,

      Yes, God being in eternity, and omniscient, knows what will come to pass and who will harden their hearts against Him.

      However, I would like to suggest to you that it is an over-generalisation to say that “It’s known that there are people born without the ability to feel love, gratefulness, shame, and empathy” if you are referring to a person’s genetics. From what I have read (e.g. in Martha Stout’s book, in Dr George Simon Jr’s works summing up his lifetime of experience and knowledge of clinical psychology, and other neuro-psychologists) the state of current knowledge in this field is that there seems to be a genetic component in character deficiencies like sociopathy, lack of conscience and lack of empathy, but that genetic element does not totally determine the outcome.

      Martha Stout, in her book The Sociopath Nextdoor, says, “a predisposition for the characteristic [lack of conscience] is present at conception, but the environment regulates how it is expressed.” She goes on to say that it is unlikely that extremely complex characteristics are determined by a single gene, rather they are probably caused “by multiple genes acting together. And the exact way in which these genes go about shaping brain function and then behavior is currently unknown. . . and heritability studies tell us that for sociopathy in particular, biology is half of the story at most.”

      Biology and genetics are only part of the story. Nurture and envirnoment can modify and shape genetic predispositions, and even if someone has a genetic predisposition to lack empathy, they can be taught and raised in a way that counters or ‘mutes’ that predisposition.

      I have lent out my copy of Simon’s book Character Disturbance, so I can’t quote from it here, but Dr Simon says this in a (2012) article:

      “there are biological factors at work and some of these factors are strong contributors to some of our more serious character disturbances. And there at least appears to be a strong genetic component to an individual’s capacity to experience empathy, guilt, and remorse. . . And in Character Disturbance, I not only outline the entire spectrum of character dysfunction but also address the biological, environmental, and other factors thought to contribute to character development. And I make the case that the degree to which genetics outweighs other factors as the main causal agent for a disturbance varies.”

      I know a lightbulb switched on for you when you learnt about the biological (genetic) factor in sociopathy, but please don’t over generalise what you have learned, or try to convey that genetics/biology/what you are born with are THE cause of sociopathy or psychopathy. Genetics may be a contributor, but not necessarily the cause, and it seems misleading to suggest otherwise.
      As admins of the blog, we want to be careful that the blog imparts accurate information where possible.. .

      And btw, this blog is not really a forum for pursing this debate in detail, as none of us are experts in the matter. If you have difficulties with me saying this, please email me but let’s not get into a big discussion on the blog, if you don’t mind.
      And I suggest that you might like interact with Dr George Simon on his blog Manipulative People, and read his books, if you want to explore the nuances of this subject more. 🙂 He is much more expert on this than any of us on the ACFJ team are, when it comes to this matter.

      • Moving Forward

        Question – I have a child who is very much like the father, narcissistic, no conscience, manipulative, and blind to it. Since I can see it now (at age 10) are there any helps out there to try and point her in the right direction, rather than helplessly sit by and watch history repeat itself, and see other people get hurt?

      • Jeff Crippen

        Introduce her to Jesus Christ and His heart-changing gospel. Point out her sin to her and show her in Scripture what the Lord says about it and what happens when a sinner meets the Holy, Holy, Holy God without being clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Explain to her that the Lord sent His Son into this world to perfectly obey the Law of God for us and to take our sins upon Himself. By repentance from sin and faith in Christ alone our sins are transferred to Christ and His righteousness is credited to us. Emphasize to her, “unless you are born again, you cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nothing else is going to transform her.

      • Moving Forward,

        Found on page 304 Lundy Bancroft has this to say in his book Daily Wisdom For Why Does He Do That? It may be helpful.

        Keeping the Children from Thinking Like Him

        Women with controlling partners (or ex-partners) often worry about their children following in their father’s footsteps. You may see signs that your kids are absorbing some of his negative social attitudes. . .Or he may tell them lies about you.

        You need to counter this tendency, but carefully. When your partner tries to get the children to think like him, it won’t work for you to respond by pressuring them to think like you do; he will win this competition. He is skillful at manipulating the kids, by withholding all praise from them except when they are being just like him, making them feel stupid when they disagree with him, and getting them to feel that being on his “team” makes them superior. You can’t beat him at his own game.

        So what is the alternative? Two approaches matter the most.

        First, teach children to think for themselves. The best defense against bad messages isn’t good messages; instead, it’s learning how to evaluate messages yourself. Keep asking your kids questions like “What do you think about that” and “Does that make sense to you? and “Why?” Guide them to use their analytical skills and trust their own thinking, rather than following what they are told.

        Second, keep the focus on being loving and kind with them. You want to send the message “What matters in this family is how we treat each other, not what goes on in our heads. Opinions are always secondary.”

      • Moving Forward

        Thank you. That is helpful, as was Jeff Crippin’s thoughts.

    • Anonymous, also, you said

      [God] gave these people certain traits so that people WITH the ability to love and know him would be able to discern the difference…

      I don’t think it’s wise to talk about God’s reasons for doing certain things, in cases where the Scriptures do not make God’s motives and reasons crystal clear. And my reading of the Bible is that NONE of us have the ability to love and know God, unless he regenerates us — quickens our dead spirits to life. This is tricky stuff, and the theology needs to be most carefully articulated, or we can err. Jeff Crippen is better at it than I am, so if he chimes in here, all to the good. 🙂

      Certainly God wants us to discern and be wise about human behaviour, but I think we go too far if we say that God made (or allowed) certain people to be evil so that other people could discern the difference between good and evil. That is saying that we, as creatures, know why God did or allowed certain things. To me, that is hubris, to say I know what God’s motives and intents are, when I don’t know for sure in such detail, and the balance of the whole scripture does not tell me with certainty.

      …but we as a society denied each other this ability. We basically said that WE could fix this thing with enough love and patience and care and we also denied these people the right to be completely evil.

      I am not really comfortable with the idea that evil people have the right to be completely evil. After all, God in the Old Testament said that if a son was consistently and defiantly rebellious, the parents should deliver him over to the priests for execution by community stoning.

      If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, 20and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear. Deut. 21:18-21

      • I should have added to my above comment:

        God is not the author of sin.

        From the London Confession 1689 (Reformed Baptist Confession of Faith):

        Chapter 3
        GOD’S DECREE

        3.1 God has decreed all things that occur,1 and this he has done in himself, from all eternity, by the perfectly wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably.2

        Yet he has done this in such a way that God is neither the author of sin, nor does he share with anyone in sinning,3 nor does this violate the will of the creature, nor is the free working or contingency of second causes taken away but rather established.4

        In all this, God’s wisdom is displayed in directing all things, as is his power and faithfulness in accomplishing his decree.5

        1. Dan 4:34-35; Rom 8:28; 11:36; Eph 1:11
        2. Pro 19:21; Isa 14:24-27; 46:10-11; Psa 115:3; 135:6; Rom 9:19
        3. Gen 18:25; Jas 1:13; 1Jo 1:5
        4. Gen 50:20; 2Sa 24:1; Isa 10:5-7; Mat 17:12; Joh 19:11; Act 2:23; 4:27-28
        5. Num 23:19; Eph 1:3-5

    • If we simply pretend that all are helpable we will exhaust ourselves and our resources (as we’ve been doing for years)

      I agree with that.

  21. Susan

    i have, in the past, visited several professing “christian” fathers rIghts websites – and they all play the blame-game. Their legalism would shame a pharisee.

    • Sunflower

      I see those types on some forums, and they are really scary. Disrespectful, contemptuous, condescending………

    • Hey Susan, can you please read our New Users Info page and give thought to your safety. If you want to change anything about the comments you’ve had published on this blog, email TWBTC twbtc.acfj@gmail.com and she can make the changes behind the scenes. And if you are not sure what I’m talking about, email TWBTC and she’ll fill you in. 🙂

  22. Scaredmomma

    Has been long long time. Trying to divorce h but he won’t leave . . . And I’m in a precarious financial situation. Never knew I could be living in this scary situation for months on end, great legal system we have.

    Now anytime I disagree with anything i get the same response — he claims that his lawyer told me I am not allowed to disagree with him so I need to stop doing it. I have no agreement with his lawyer.

    [Blog Admins: we have edited and recast the commenter’s language in what follows, to help disidedify her]

    I have politely asked to stop giving me orders as if they come from his lawyer. He pushes back rudely and unfairly at all such requests I make. He orders me to stop disagreeing with him, and makes out that I’m breaking a law by disagreeing with him. He falsely accuses me of screaming and yelling at him, when my voice is soft and quiet.

    My h has never hit me, is so nice to everyone else. No one believes me when i try to explain why I need to leave. And when I try to tell someone about these kind of things, I get the standard kind of response. You probably upset him, you probably were yelling or so what little white lie. Your making a big deal over nothing. Problem is this is how every conversation with this man goes. Me and even little ones know that never even hint that daddy did something wrong or there will be h$&@ to pay.

    Not long ago he started seeing a therapist and now when we have these conversations, he is calm, calculated. Does not raise voice at all. I don’t know why but I find this scarier than when he did yell loud enough to shake the walls.

    Just needed to tell someone who might understand

    • Hi Scaredmomma
      your husband is a verbal abuser and you will never be able to get him to treat you reasonably or respectfully. He will fight against every attempt you make to get him to ‘understand’ or change his ways. He believes he is superior to you and he is intent on keeping you under his control and power. I encourage you to go ahead and do whatever you need to do to get free of him. I know it istn’t easy, esp when you’re in a tricky situation financially. But he will not improve, he will only get meaner to you, and your health will be even more compromised if you stay with him.

      Blessings and hugs to you. It is not your fault. You are not to blame. Keep reading this blog, and read Lundy Bancroft’s book Why Does He Do That — find it on our Resources pages.

      I also encourage you to seek help from a domestic violence support service (see our Hotlines page in our Resources section, for numbers that will guide you to your local support service). You ARE a vicitim of domestic abuse, even though your husband may not have ever hit you. Those DV support services will confirm that this is true.

    • poohbear

      You are understood, dear scaredmomma, because we’ve all been through so many of the same things. I’m so glad you found this site. There’s so much support and wisdom here.

      What right does his lawyer have, to tell you anything, anyway? It makes me so mad that he says things like that to you. 😦

      Non-physical abuse is particularly insidious because it beats you down from the inside, where no one can see…I know. People who don’t take you seriously, have never been through it! Or, they downplay it like you’d had a petty argument about who left wet towels on the floor…they’re clueless. I went in tears to a pastor a couple months ago after a nasty verbal beat down, foolishly thinking he might believe me since I was crying (I don’t cry easily), and he brushed me off and said something like, “Everyone says things other people don’t like…”

      Do you have a women’s shelter nearby, where you can at least talk to someone? They will take you seriously. It’s frightening when you feel like you’re waiting for the next shoe to drop, wondering what he has up his sleeve next. Please take care of yourself, and keep posting here for support…

      • There is every chance that the man’s lawyer has NOT EVER said that scaredmomma must not disagree with him. I suggest that the abuser is just making it up; pretending that his lawyer said that.

        Abusers lie lie lie lie lie lie lie . . . .

    • Scaredmomma, I agree with Barbara that his lawyer probably never even said the things your h is saying he did…why would he be sending messages for YOU through his client? Your h is trying to intimidate you.

      Abusers love to twist things, if not downright lie. And I believe they love to pretend they have lots of allies (including God Himself) in on their whitewashed evil schemes, to try to make their victims feel all alone and ganged up on.

      • Moving Forward

        So true. My ex tried to pretend he had a lawyer (just a call-in service!), but now that he’s been served papers, he had to actually find one (then reduce my support because of it – can’t wait for the law to catch up with him). He, also, is full of – “my gramma said years ago you were no good for me”, “God says you are bitter, ………”, “you are ruining my/our witness/testimony”,”people are watching you…..”, etc. Thankfully, I have come to a point that I now see his attempts to control by telling me what other people think, what he has “heard”, what the Bible says about me and my actions (lots and lots of that), or even telling me what I think, and they no longer affect me, nor do I believe them. I know what God thinks, and that is all that matters. The Bible, God, this blog, and the recommended books sure helped to clear the thick fog I was in just a few months ago. And I am still learning. Like another comment pointed out, I came to a point where I said very little, because it always came back twisted and changed and against me. It is so hard to show others how I am emotionally abused, because all people hear is a statement or two, and that doesn’t seem like much, but don’t get the big picture, which is a lot harder to explain. So I don’t, except to a crisis worker, who was a life-line when I was first trying to sort things out. Hang in there, Scaredmomma and others that are new or searching. One day at a time, one blog post at a time, and it is amazing how things will start to make sense, and what a help that is.

  23. Scaredmomma

    I tried to post last night, it said waiting for moderator and today it is just gone. Was it rejected?

    • Hi Scaredmomma, your other comment wasn’t rejected, I just put it into a folder we have on the back of the blog for a while, so we can give thought to how much it might need details airbrushed out of it, for your safety’s sake. There was some stuff in it which might have been identifying of you, to some people. Tha’ts all. And when I did that, it was late at night for me and I didn’t have the sharpness of mind to do a good job of scrutinising / ediding it then. We sometimes do this with comments from our readers. It’s all about safety. Hope yu understand.

      • and be assured I’ll look at that commment of yours today.

  24. Scaredmomma

    Thank you for editing my reply. I suspected I was giving to much specific detail, but he plays so many word games with me I felt I needed to be specific or it would be misunderstood. You did a great job removing details, but keeping my concerns clear.

    He constantly tells me I abuse him, I’m the one hurting him. When I didn’t see my post the next day, I had a moment of thinking it is me, that is why they didn’t post. I have read lundy’ book, and here enough to know that is not true, but at times, after being badgered those thoughts creep back in. Thank you so much for the reassurance that it is not me.

    Well, came out he got yelled out by his lawyer for something he did. So that is why I am getting all these comments. I am always in trouble when he gets reprimanded . ( not true example). If he would get a dui, then anytime I would drive he would yell at me that I need to stop drinking and driving. Even if I hadn’t had a drink in months. Then he would be upset that I am not saying sorry for drinking and driving. Constantly mad at me for not apologizing for what he does. A While back had conversation with him asking him to make sure when he is upset with me, he tell me what I had done wrong. That way I could apologize and improve myself. Didn’t go anywhere. He still blames me for everything he does. I guess I have it better than many here, because he rarely is mad at me for something I actually did.

    • For some reason, this reminds me of a weird thing my second husband did on occasion. When I was trying to probe how much he actually comprehended simple bits of feedback I was giving to him, and believe you me I gave the feedback in one short sentence at a time, so it could have been repeated back to me word for word, if he liked, or rephased in his own words very easily — he actually coudn’t do it. Or wouldn’t do it.

      In his attempts at doing it, he mixed up the pronouns: referring to my feelings/words/actions as his, and his feelings/words/actions as mine. This whole conversation was conducted at a normal volume, it wasn’t a fight or even a disagreement, the tone was civil and un-rushed. But in all his responses, he mixed up him with me in a way that was c.r.e.e.p.y.

      Makes you wonder. . . I can only say it’s part of the distorted thinking which Lundy says all abusers have.

      • To make my above comment a bit more clear: the conversation went something like this. I can’t remember the exact wording, so I’m creating an example as best I can.

        Me: “When you interrupt me while I’m speaking, I feel hurt. Now, can you please tell me your understanding of what I just said to you?”
        Him: silence
        Me: “Okay, I’ll repeat what I said, to help you. When you interrupt me when I’m speaking, I feel hurt. What do I mean?
        Him: “You always interrupt me.”

        … another example:
        Me: “I wish you would follow through on your promises. Now; please tell me what I just said, in your own words.”
        Him: “You don’t keep your promises.”

    • poohbear

      😦 Sacredmomma, I understand…mine got pulled over for driving unreasonably fast years ago, and actually told the police officer that I was talking so much, it was MY fault for distracting him.

      Regarding drinking (true example, in my case), he said months ago that God spoke to him about stopping, asking him who he loved more, his child or his alcohol. He professed to have stopped cold turkey, and went back to being sanctimonious about anyone else he knew who might have a problem. He works nights, and for the last month or so, I’ve noticed he’s been sleeping right up until it’s time to get up for work again…no time but for a quick “bye” to his child on the way out the door. I found big empty bottles hidden in his room…I don’t know how he would explain that. I’m so tempted to confront him on this but I know it will just result in a blow up. Yet, I so hate the hypocrisy…

      Please don’t ask him what you’ve done wrong…I think that is just asking for trouble. You’ve probably done nothing! I would not even open the door and give him a chance to throw anything at you. They can never see themselves as truly responsible for their actions…we are always to blame for their “backsliding” (“I was so close to the Lord, till I got involved with YOU!”). Been there, heard that…

      I know how you feel about worrying that you did something so that your post wasn’t put on the board…I go through that, too! It’s because we’ve been beaten down so much, that we see everything through the eyes of our abusers…innocent things are interpreted as something they aren’t. I believe that’s a symptom of how our thinking has been skewed. May God give us insight into how HE sees us, instead. Try to tune the rest of it out…

      (I hope my post will be put up…if by some chance he ever found this site, he would recognize my user name anyway, so it probably wouldn’t matter. Thank you for your concern, though.)

      • poohbear, if you want us to, we can change the user name showing in all your published comments, to a new name of your choice. And you could manually put in that new name when you submit further comments. Contact TWBTC if you want to do that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: