A Cry For Justice

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

Thursday Thought — Divide and Conquer is his Method.

Now the works of the flesh are evident:  sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealously, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.  I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  Galatians 5: 19-21 ESV

Strife, Dissensions, Divisions. Why would a person want to produce strife?  Why would someone crave to turn the people, for example, in his family against one another? And how does he go about doing it?

Remember, for the abusive person, it is all about power and control.  A family that is divided, a church that is divided into factions — is much easier to control.  Unity is the abuser’s enemy. Therefore, he will do things like —

a.  Undermining his wife’s authority. When children know that mom’s authority is usually overruled by Dad’s power, they know that they can play one parent against the other.  They vie for the favor of the parent with the final say.

b.  Abusive behavior is divisive by its very nature. When the abuser unleashes one of his weapons, family members start to blame one another for the incident.  “It’s your fault!  You set him off!”

c.  By showing favoritism. The abuser may treat one child as his buddy and ignore the others. The children who choose to distance themselves from their mother and draw closer to the abuser receive very, very powerful emotional rewards from him for doing so.

d.  Openly shaming children. Boys are ridiculed for being “mommy’s boy.”

e.  Telling family members lies about one another.

f.  Using collective punishment.  One child’s supposed misbehavior results in consequences for everyone.

The abuser utilizes all of these tactics (and more) to sow division so that his power and control are increased.  Divide and conquer is his method.  People who are fighting with one another forget who the real enemy is.

 

[Excerpt from Ps Crippen’s sermon, “The Deeds of the Flesh ‘Fleshed Out'”. (Sermon eight of Ps Crippen’s sermon series on Domestic Violence and Abuse) Audio and PDF of entire sermon can be found at this link.]

 

 

42 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    This hits the nail on the head, for what I witnessed.

  2. Letting Go

    Yes, all this happened to me .. verbatim. He triangulated our daughter to further discredit me to his family and our son, and “our” friends and even our church.

    My son was preteen when family broke up and he stayed with me first 3 years. As soon as he got to high school with older sister, the “mama’s boy” ridicule began, suddenly I became “bad”, and he too went to dad.

    Grieving my husband is something easier to get over because of all his abuses, but I never in a million years comprehended that either or both of the children would go with him!

    Neither of them ever contacts me unless they want something. Son still does weekend visitations, which are sort of automatic right now; daughter I havent seen in 3 months since she graduated high school. Barely answers calls and texts, and makes excuses not to visit unless holiday or occasion involving gifts.

    • Herjourney

      The abuser will groom his child like a sex offender grooms it’s victim.
      I am trying with God’s guidance to open the heart of my daughter to this hideous crime.
      In Jesus name!

    • Remedy

      This…Letting Go, is my worst fear having boys. You have no idea how reading this just paralyzes me in my tracks making moving forward feel like death, rather than a new and safe life. If you had it to do over again, would you attempt to stay and just create a different life within the darkness of an abusive situation?

      • Still Reforming

        Remedy,

        I confess I’ve had those very thoughts – pondering if I should have just stayed with the abuse because of this … as you well stated “paralyzing” concern related to the children. If I thought it was hard before, oy! This week’s events are actually causing the same wake-up-witih headaches I had when he was here.

        I have to verbally state out loud to myself, “It’s STILL better like this than were he under the same roof. It’s STILL worth it to not be yoked with that man.” But I have to tell myself that over and over because…. it does not necessarily get easier now that we’re divorced.

        I keep trying to look ahead to the day when our child is of age that she and I are not legally bound to serve his “rights” (and “wrongs”).

        In the back of my head and somewhere in my heart though I still think and believe, there’s a reason for it all. There’s a reason this is all happening. Somewhere in God’s righteous plan this will glorify Him – perhaps it does already – and He will bring beauty from these ashes. It is my child who continually says to me, in spite of her own deepening hardships, “Mom, God has something for us in this trial – even if it’s only at the very end – the reward for all this suffering.”

        Sometimes I think that’s just the child’s perspective – a reward, but then I recall Paul’s words, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)

        That’s hard to embrace in the heat and headache of trial, but it is easier when I come here and am offered locusts on a platter, huddled around cave-mates who share the same journey. Through (and with) you all, He is the lifter of my head.

      • Letting Go

        Remedy: I would not stay if the abuse is hindering your lives and your emotional health. If you get to the point of being beaten down and cannot function in your own strength, your sons will not respect you and will go to their father for safety. There is a natural tendency for them to need male bonding at puberty anyway, and that works against the mother. These men/husbands do not get better because they do not want to. Most are addicted to pornography since it is so rampant today, but I don’t know if true in your case. There are vast numbers of women who do not know their husbands are doing this. They are choosing their own selfish desires above the health and livelihood of their wife and family.

        I know it is hard, I know where you are. The pain, the denial. Not knowing what will happen. The denial works against you — feel it but don’t let it stop you from doing what is healthy for you and your boys. The hardest part is realizing that making the move to separate and protect you and the boys, if that is indeed where you are, is not putting responsibility for ending your family in your court. Your husband already did that. Life will be different, yes, but better eventually. You won’t be living with deceit, manipulation and sin. No one can do it very long.

        Put away as much cash as you can and do not use it if you do not have to. And know that your husband has probably already been doing this for some time if the marriage relationship is in deterioration. Everything in your accounts can be traced and will be divided in the divorce most likely. Any help from your family, make sure it is documented as from them somehow and not marital property.

        Denial and fear of a future you cannot see yet are your worst enemies. They are paralyzing to you and enable the abuser in so many ways. Gives them more time to prepare/alienate. They will eventually leave anyway once they “figure their way out” in a way that saves face for them.

        I reached out for help from my church elders/pastor and they did not help me. No one would stand up to him. I was basically ignored, and have left the church.

        More detail of how my husband alienated my children from me, and the consequences of waiting too long to do something, are in a reply below.

      • Letting Go

        Remedy: A reply for you is also below..

      • Remedy, I know your question was to Letting Go, not to me, but I’ll tell you my perspective. If I had to do it again I would leave the abuser, even though it meant he would escalate after separation, win allies in the church, and later on seriously mistreat our daughter while she was on visitation. God has used all of that for good in the long run. My daughter is not a Christian, but that may have happened regardless of whether or not I left her dad. And if I had stayed, the black hole I was in would only have gotten deeper and I would have been less and less able to parent well because of the fog and his coercive control. As it is, I have been able to give my daughter a good example — that it is good to resist abuse and to flee from abusers. And now I am able to help others. If I had stayed, I would be of little use to others, I believe.

      • Letting Go

        Yes, well explained. Thank you Barbara.

      • Still Reforming

        Barbara,
        Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this matter of “should I have stayed”? Although I wasn’t the one to leave, my taking action on a few serious matters in the home did start the domino effect that lead to his leaving. One year later, I’m feeling bone-weary again, sometimes waking up with headaches again, pressed from all sides, etc. It causes me to ponder at times if I should have just let sleeping dogs lie; Even though I’d be in the midst of lies and manipulation, well, I wonder sometimes if it wasn’t “easier” back then. Your words helped me, and I know in my heart of hearts that this dry crust in peace and quiet is better than a house full of feasting in strife. (Proverbs 17:1) Thank you for that reminder. I needed to hear it.

        And I do thank God every day for all I have, including the difficulties in this stage of the trial, because I believe He is drawing me closer than I was even when serving in the church or attending Bible studies or doing all the Christian things.

        One interesting observation I keep seeing is that the professing Christians I know all ask the same question of me, and that is: “Are you attending (church) anywhere?” They don’t ask how I am. They don’t ask if I have needs. They don’t ask what’s going on. They just want to know if I am attending church somewhere. My now former employer balked at my telling him that I served nearly a decade in the church I just recently had to leave (and the employer knows why). His reply was, “I don’t care what you did then. I hear testimonies people give saying (mocking voice here), ‘I was saved 50 years ago….’ Well, I don’t care what happened 50 years ago. I want to know what Jesus is doing for you today, so if you’re not in a church in a few months, we’re going to have a problem.” When I left his office, it was like coming out of that old familiar fog. Correct thinking crystallizes only after I have left the encounter, and outside his door I thought, “That’s not what I was saying. I didn’t say Jesus saved me 50 years ago….. etc.” Amazing how easily abusers can twist just the smallest thing and send the conversation down a rabbit hole.

    • Letting Go,
      I don’t know if this will help or not, but there are abusers out there who failed to divide their families. My mom, brother, sister and I are closer than ever before, since asking him to leave in early spring last year.

      He tried– heaven knows he tried. But he failed. Miserably.

      That doesn’t mean we aren’t in pain, or that he hasn’t left twisted and broken places inside each of us. It means that he failed on his prime objective, which was to make himself the god of light in our lives. He failed. We won.

      I can’t imagine losing my whole family to him. It would be unbearable. I am so sorry that your abuser has had a victory over your children. But evil does not always conquer good, even in this world. Maybe someday they will come to you and ask to be your children again. I pray that that day comes soon.

      • Letting Go

        Harlequin Tabby: I am so glad for you that the abuse was black and white and easily discerned by others. It makes knowing what to do so much easier.

        In my family the abuse was so subtle, and secretive, and so gradual over time, I had to look back collectively to see the progression. My ex husband is so charming and helpful to everyone, very few are able to see who he really is. There was never any physical violence.

        I just pray my daughter sees things the way you do one day, because her father shared more of his life with her the last few years, and undermined me with her. He treated her like a wife in many ways (errands, activities, thoughts, opinions) in a way that was displacing, and an obvious slap in the face to me. Which made her feel grown up and important at a time when she was supposed to be concentrating on school, friends, and becoming her own young lady. Sometimes I can tell that there is shame there, but she is in denial too.

        Thank you for your prayers for the saving of a relationship with my children one day.

      • Still Reforming

        Letting Go,

        This is exactly what instigated the ultimate demise of my marriage – his making a surrogate wife of our daughter. Trouble is, the court decided in favor of 50-50 timeshare. My trust in the Lord’s sovereignty is the only thing keeping me from despairing of it all.

      • Letting Go

        Still Reforming: I am saddened to hear that making a surrogate wife of the daughter is also perhaps a common thing with these men. I had not encountered anyone else who shared the experience before. And know your pain.

        Sadly, the cause of “fathers for custody” has gotten so much press and acceptance, and I am sure in some cases justifiably so, that I think the courts are just trying to even the numbers to appear in compliance and trendy. Cases are no longer judged on their own merits. Courts don’t care nor want to hear about the breakdown of relationships or how much non-physical abuse the wife experiences. My attorney even admitted to me that he was known for taking hard stance and pursuing deeper investigations, and that he hesitates now to do it because it is giving him a reputation with the judges.

        There is no justice anymore. Everything and everyone has an agenda. Sounds like your 50/50 timeshare with your daughter is another example.

        My attorney also said that the judges are told the “experts” (whoever that is) say the children are better off seeing both parents unless there is evidence of physical harm or evidence of severe drug or alcohol addiction. Anything less, the courts are trying to go 50/50 because fathers feel “slighted” when they have to pay child support and not see their children.

        Again, no justice. These fathers should have thought of that before they destroyed their families.

      • Still Reforming

        Letting Go,
        There are books out now about this very thing. I purchased two right after my abuser left us. One is about mothers on trial and the other is about surrogate wives being made from daughters. I won’t post title so as not to burden the administrators of the blog. They’re up on the best reading anyway on all these matters and post titles they recommend. And to be honest, the mothers on trial book was so depressing I couldn’t finish it while I was in the midst of legal battle, but it proved to be true.
        I think that as devastating as the legal battle proved to be (with the judge not even reading the state’s investigative report, but merely asking in chambers if any legal line had been crossed and if not, it’s 50-50), the church’s acceptance of the bad boy behavior was as devastating if not moreso to me. I have always believed that the church is the family Christ gave to me. My real family. So no matter what happens with my biological family, God has given me a family.
        Well, to have the people I considered to be my God-given family just turn their collective backs and walk past me, like the beaten man on the ground passed by the Levite and the priest in the parable of the Good Samaritan, all the while accepting the man they know lies and manipulates to ‘worship’ alongside them, that really shook me. Like an aftershock in an earthquake. In my mind’s eye, it was like taking a second blow in a boxing ring – the one that fells the individual to the ground.
        The world’s (legal/state) reaction was a hard blow, but the church’s all the harder. I have to cling to Him in faith and hope that indeed He will complete the work He began in me (Philippians 1:6), because I’m reaching the stage of having nothing left in me to give – or at least that’s how it feels. Perhaps that’s where He wants me to be – totally reliant on Him.

      • Letting Go

        Still Reforming: It is sad that courts automatically go 50/50 unless legal line is crossed speaks a lot. Judges never even read your evidence. Men are figuring this out, and no doubt have sites telling them how to “beat the system” and play the “fathers for custody” card. Too many of them are succeeding in getting away with it.

        My husband was intimately involved in his boss’s/friend’s divorce and knew exactly how to orchestrate ours. The malicious intent coming from a professing Christian keeping up appearances is astounding. And he “played the victim” so well.

        I am right where you are, sort of devastated, in disbelief of how custody played out, and trusting in God to intervene in His way in His time. He is seeing this through. He will take care of the children commensurate with their trust and obedience to Him as well. They are “old enough to choose” after all???

      • bright sunshinin' day

        HT, I’m glad to hear that the abuser’s attempt to “divide and conquer” failed! Your prayer for Letting Go offered to the God Who Hears is hopeful: “But evil does not always conquer good, even in this world. Maybe someday they will come to you and ask to be your children again. I pray that that day comes soon.”

  3. Sunflower

    For (a), I would add: Undermining wife’s authority, while at the same time making a big show of telling the children they need to respect their mom (subtly implying that they need to do that in spite of how easily angered and overemotional and wing-y she is).

    At least that’s my experience. Even now, years (25) after.

    • Letting Go

      Sunflower: Yes, yes! Exactly! So devious and undermining!

  4. anonymous

    Sunflower – your comment describes perfectly what Dr. Scott Peck describes in his book People of The Lie. He speaks of the evil, precisely what you described; abuse heaped upon abuse..

  5. Letting Go

    HerJourney: Yes, “The abuser will groom his child like a sex offender grooms it’s victim.”

    My husband was a porn addict and I did not know until we had been married for decades. I did not know signs or how to interpret them, but in hindsight they were there in flying colors. Sadly, I discovered his addiction when I heard him admonishing someone else about the dangers of porn. The language he used, and the intensity, “It’s an addiction and it will take you over and you won’t be able to stop…” My heart sank. I then started looking and quickly found multiple evidences that he was deep in addiction, from stashes in the house dating all the way back to beginning of our marriage, to links to escort services and wife revenge sites on his smartphone, and other evidence.

    I calmly and respectfully asked him if he was addicted and he denied it. Then 6 weeks later I calmly brought it up again. He said, “I told you to leave me alone and you won’t do it. So I’m leaving.”, and walked out.

    He had left us some year before that, but reconciled and began Christian counseling. I thought he was working on the marriage and wanted to save, but he was deeply into an affair with his secretary even then and was just too chicken to admit it. Porn addiction is connected to narcissism, and I learned he is a covert narcissist. They have the big ego like a regular narcissist, but are ashamed and embarrassed to receive the attention and praise they so deeply crave. All about their public image. So he, instead of working on the marriage, set about manipulating me and setting me up to be the fall guy to end our marriage. But God had me.

    I admit I reacted in wrong ways, and was dealing with a lot of anger at his ridiculous behavior, but he turned it all back on me and convinced his family and our children and friends that “no one could live with that b____”. That’s what he called me all the time even in front of our children. But beyond anger and treating him with disrespect, he had nothing on me. I was squeaky clean. I kept myself home and engaged in activities to not be tempted to stray in loneliness. So all he had was that anger to work with.

    And he was masterful. I did not even realize what was happening until I found the porn at the end and began researching porn addiction and narcissism. Statistics show between 60% and 90% of men watch it at least monthly. There are a lot of women out there who do not know what their husbands are doing. And that is the reason the divorce rate is so high.

    Having been through it, I can almost look at a man and tell if he is into pornography if he says much at all. Their lack of respect for women as real people gives them away. We are just objects for their own selfish purposes.

    And I can look at a woman and tell if her husband is not nourishing their relationship in a give and take way. These husbands are the ultimate selfish pigs. And heap their own guilt on their wives.

    [Eds: some details removed for protection]

    • Herjourney

      Letting go
      Thank you for confirming the real problem. I might add the following
      Insight-
      The wife of a porn addict may act out in his addiction.
      She may take on what he is viewing.
      It’s a hook the enemy uses to enslave his victim. The enemy knows he has the hubby. Then try’s to deceive the woman.
      Kinda like the garden scam.
      I have seen too much to convey here.
      So pastors like Piper who say that porn in not a reason for separation or divorce is really siding with the enemy.

  6. Crazy Is Catching

    My H is so insulting to our children that they completely avoid him. When he comes in the door, they head to their rooms or go outside. I think it’s because most of his interactions with them are negative. His tone of voice completely changes when he addresses them. It is SO frustrating.

    I just don’t understand how he can be so nice and well liked outside of our home, but so harsh and authoritarian away from the public eye. It’s like meeting and befriending a wonderful person and then when you’re alone, he/she reaches up and pulls a mask off and there’s an ugly monster underneath.

  7. Letting Go

    Remedy: Your question: ” If you had it to do over again, would you attempt to stay and just create a different life within the darkness of an abusive situation?”

    No, absolutely not. I was in the classic “without adultery or abandonment” I cannot leave trap. I was beginning to believe his blaming and deflection. I knew something was wrong, but not exactly what. Finding the porn changed everything.

    In hindsight, I should have hired the detective 10 years sooner to prove the adultery. But I thought he was a Christian, and as a covert narcissist, he was VERY good deception and keeping up false fronts. I still do not know what happened in his childhood to make him put up so many guards and self-protective fronts. I can only dismiss it now as ultimate selfishness.

    The real answer to your question is no. I would not have stayed. I did try to create a new life within the darkness, and it is simply not possible. Things will/did eventually deteriorate to the point of intolerableness and ridiculousness. All it did was destroy and weaken me, and make my daughter disrespect me (she recently told me she would not have put up with what I took from her dad, but then she knew more of what he was doing than I did because she was friends with his secretary — can you imaging a daughter enabling the affair and turning on her own mother!!!).

    Ultimately it gave my abuser time to create a compartmentalized second life, engage in a 10+ year affair with his secretary on business trips (half of which were bogus), while volunteering for every non-ministry committee he could at church to make himself look good, destroy my children and me, destroy our relationships with each other, hide our money (never found in divorce even with forensic accountant, but I clearly heard his mother refer to “all the money you’ve got”), remove everything he cared about from our home, dispose/hide any assets so they would not be split, allow our home to go into complete disrepair that cost me $15,000 to bring to sellable condition, purchase only used vehicles so he owned nothing valuable, and make me doubt my own ability to function again.

    He is childhood best friends with his boss, so they hid monies from each other’s ex wives.

    No I would not have stayed. I would have left while our children were still young enough to be dependent upon me and not be manipulated by him and his money. He bought our daughter a car when she was 16 to move out with him, gave her a credit card, and she runs the roads with her friends with little supervision.

    The courts do not recognize pornography as a problem, and say as long as he keeps it hidden, the children are better off having a relationship with their father. Once they reach 12-16ish years of age, the courts let them choose which parent to live with. Now my son is with him, and I am so afraid of all the things my husband is probably teaching him about porn and masturbation. I know they talk about girls. My son just turned 15.

    I don’t know if my son knows about the affair, though she works next door in his office still. But I know our daughter does.

    My new counselor, pastor, and attorney all say I have to let go or they will rebel. That I have to wait until they are in their mid- to upper-20’s and mature/figure things out. Meanwhile, I lost half their childhood, they never knew what a healthy family looks like, and I may never have a relationship with them in the future at all if the alienation continues or worsens.

    I am now considering moving to a new town because everything I do and everywhere I go here reminds me of the losses.

    • Remedy

      I……..am………speechless. Suffice it to say I believe the capability for MUCH of the same exists here, and some already occurring. Regretting the day I ever met this individual and began the enslavement of my soul. Much to digest here Letting Go and I thank you for taking the time to share it. Only when we’ve truly lived this nightmare, can we understand how unbearable it is.

      I pray your children will see the truth soon and your relationships restored.

      • bright sunshinin' day

        Remedy, I agree with your prayer for Letting Go, esp seeing the truth SOON: “I pray your children will see the truth soon and your relationships restored.”

  8. Letting Go,
    My dad tried with me what your ex is doing to your daughter– tried to replace my mom with me. It still creeps me out to think about it. Remembering how he looked at me makes me sick to my stomach with rage. There was never any physical violence in our family, either; I can totally relate to the fake charm and helpfulness! I think what saved me was my autism. Because I can’t read non-verbal cues like most people, I had a bit clearer of a perspective as to what was going on: my brain’s “disability” saved me from confusion about message vs. delivery.

    I learned to make excuses for him, of course, but I didn’t have to go through the same deconstruction of reality that my family did. I knew I didn’t love him. I just couldn’t admit it.

    Unless your daughter is non-neurotypical, she will have to endure that same breakdown. It is terrifying to watch; it looks like the mind is tearing itself apart trying to stabilize. It has to place all information on the same plane (dad’s opinion no longer holds the highest seat), take stock of what it has, weigh every piece, and then decide what is good, and what is toxic. It is an agonizing process. Do keep contacting your kids; if they do start to come around, they’ll need you as the stable, available parent while they try to sort things out.

    Disowning one of my parents was unpleasant, but logical. I can’t imagine what it would have been like if I’d had mixed emotions thrown in as well!

    • Letting Go

      Harlequin Tabby: Wow! That puts so many things into perspective… thank you! I had no concept of what thoughts my daughter is/will have to face as she begins to put the pieces together. I too thought it gross that he was treating her and forcing her into a wifelike role, but so far she is lapping it up.

      Thank you so much for this milestone of understanding!! I believe this deconstruction you describe is coming.

    • Still Reforming

      Harlequin Tabby,
      Your experience is one my daughter shares so your testimony is encouraging to me, although I’m so sorry you experienced such pain. We do a lot of talking about things going on and what truth is and the importance of protecting herself in different ways, etc. She seems to understand, and she’s already expressing desires to not have him rule over her as he does, but she may have no legal way out – yet.

      (Eds. Note – comment edited for protection)

    • bright sunshinin' day

      YES, this: “Do keep contacting your kids; if they do start to come around, they’ll need you as the stable, available parent while they try to sort things out.”

  9. Oops, didn’t see the part about your counselor saying not to contact them. Obviously, I am not a counselor. I’m just speaking from experience. It was invaluable to me to have my mom checking on me; I knew she was there if I needed her. I intend only to give the perspective of a child of an abusive father.

    • Letting Go

      Harlequin Tabby: Counselor did not say not to contact them. He actually said keep the door open and initiate contact as much as they will allow. It shows love and that they still matter regardless. When I referred to letting them go, I meant letting them choose to go with dad. I actually had grounds to take custody but they would have rebelled. Even high school govt classes tell them “they get to choose” once past 12 or 14 depending on state. My daughter threw this up to me many times. All I could do was back off.

      • Still Reforming

        Letting Go,
        Re: ” Even high school govt classes tell them “they get to choose” once past 12 or 14 depending on state.”
        Do you know how one can confirm this in one’s own state? My attorneys never stated anything like that and in fact talked about how difficult it is to force a teenage girl to go visit with her dad when she doesn’t want to, suggesting she has to anyway. A quick on-line search re: emancipation initiating by a minor revealed that it has to be at age 18 or upon completion of high school. I’d like to know more about child’s “rights” and ages in my own state, but don’t know where to get solid answers. I don’t trust my former divorce attorneys, and the era seems to be all about “father’s rights” over “children’s rights.”

      • Letting Go

        Still Reforming: I do not know how to confirm which states. My daughter’s textbook simply said it varies by state. So sorry not to be of help.

      • Still Reforming

        Letting Go,
        No need to apologize. It’s nice to know that it was in a textbook that you saw that information. You HAVE been of help. Many thanks! 🙂

  10. Letting Go

    Remedy, I am so sorry all this is a shock, and there is no way for us to speculate here what your husband may or may not be capable of. I just wish I had encountered someone with knowledge of these types of possibilities before I was 10 years down the road and in divorce and losing my children.

    Just get good help, plenty of friends around you and frequenting your home so you don’t have to tell your stories and go through this alone. Don’t isolate no matter how tempting that becomes.

    Crying out for Justice and another site [link removed by Eds because we don’t publish comments with links in them; we don’t have time to check out the links] have provided such clarity for me. I will always be grateful.

    Praying for you Remedy. Strength and wisdom to you!

  11. Letting Go

    Opinions please:

    My ex-husband has been no contact for several years since we separated, except for emails concerning children.

    Today I received an email from him with a restaurant coupon attached that says, “In case you were going.”

    How do I interpret this. I have not acknowledged or responded.

    Why do they do this?

    • Given that that child will be staying with you this weekend, I would guess the Ex has told the child he sent you this coupon. I would suggest you might ask the child if he or she wants to go to that restaurant and if they say yes, offer to take them this weekend. If they say they don’t want to go this weekend, offer the child the coupon to use another day. The chances are that if you don’t offer to take the child to that restaurant, Dad will later tell the child “See how mean mom is, I sent her that coupon to your fave restaurant and she wouldn’t use it on you!”

      You do not have to mention to the child that the ex sent the coupon to you. If the child brings that up, agree that yes, Dad sent it, andn make no further comment. But no need to raise it yourself.

    • Also, you do not need to acknowledge to your ex that you received the coupon. Did the Israelites say Thank-you to the Egyptians when the Egyptians gave them gold and jewellery as they were leaving Egypt after every first born son in Egypt had been killed by the avenging angel? I doubt it. They just took the gifts and left.

  12. Letting Go

    The coupon is for our child’s favorite restaurant, and will be staying with me this weekend.

    Why would my ex be caring what it costs, or acting nicey-nicey? He usually will not communicate at all and makes our children be go-betweens for all arrangements concerning visitation.

    Btw, my daughter came for birthday lunch today. Did her duty and was gone, but door is still open. She told lengthy story about president of a college being caught by his son in closet of cottage. How he lost job but secy still there. How ridiculous it was that he would have affair.

    I said sounds like someone else we know. She didn’t get it, or at least refused to acknowledge. Changed subject, but did not get mad. Still in denial.

    Anyway, opinions on the coupon email from ex — what his motives, purpose might be?

    • Remedy

      A gain of something for himself certainly. Unless he has truly, truly repented and you have seen visable fruit for an extended period. Otherwise, there is likely a manipulative reason behind it. I say use it if your child wants to go there and offer a very business like ‘Thank you ‘ and be done.

      I did just read the ACFJ article on stalking and was just shocked at all the behaviors that fall into that category. Pretty much my entire 25 yrs filled with this any time I actually left, threatened to, or removed myself from him within the home. A very eye opening blog.

      Still digesting all you’ve written for me. Only those who have experienced this kind of personality disordered individual can truly understand and offer the wisdom of hindsight….rights and wrongs. Heartfelt thank again, Letting Go.

      • Letting Go

        Am glad something in this has been helpful, at least gives idea of what types of things to be cautious of.

        I acknowledge I still am bitter and know it shows in my posts. It is humiliating to be “played” by a man who professes Christianity, and so thorough at maintaining appearances to prop up such an evil purpose. My son let something slip yesterday that confirms hiding of finances in divorce. But it will be deemed “heresay” I am sure. Just more fuel for the fire. So very hard to let go.

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