A Cry For Justice

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

Typical Accusatory, Manipulative, Guilting Tactics of Abuse

Recently we received a communication from a person unknown to us. Here is the brief interaction we had. How would you handle this? What tactics do you see him using here? What is he trying to do by using these tactics with us? What is the most revealing phrase he uses that tells us what he is really up to? Comment and let us know. Oh, and why do you think he ended with “may the Lord bless you”?

Husband to ACFJ:  “I’d really like to talk to you. My marriage is about to go through a divorce.” (Requests to talk to ACFJ via phone)

ACFJ Response:  “I refer you to the resources on our ACFJ web page. There is a wealth of helpful info there.”

Husband’s Reply to ACFJ:  “My wife is relying fully on your literature … I’d like to speak with you one on one if at all possible. We have gone thru the ringer and have had so many false people giving guidance and council [sp] and are so far away from reconciling now. If your [sp] too important to hold a phone call I fear my wife may be being lead [sp] down the wrong path yet again….”.

NOTE: When we told him “no, we are not going to talk with you,” here was his reply. Notice how people who crave power and control simply will not take “no” for an answer. They hate it and they just have to get in the last shot:

His Response to our “no”: I’ve been involved in ministry for years now. There are many guys like you , for instance Joel Olsteen. Have a whole entourage and can talk a good talk but when it comes to one on one they are not capable. I don’t appreciate how you turned the energy around on me but I assure you that I only came in good favor and love looking to know who we are dealing with . The evidence shows exactly that. I’m not sure if your Christian but if you are you are not displaying love at all. May the Lord bless you and help you in all your need.

NOTE: This is very, very typical of the abuser, the narcissist, the sociopath/psychopath. What I mean is, this kind of a reaction they give to being told “no.” Another one, a slick sociopath I am sure, several years ago pulled this on me. He showed up at our church impeccably dressed and had all the Christianese lingo down, along with a story of having mixed it up with some relatively famous people. On just his second Sunday at our church he emailed me (that afternoon) and said he wanted to make an appointment to see me and talk about me “discipling” him. I told him that we disciple people every Sunday in our church through the classes we teach and the sermon in the worship service and that he should step up and take advantage of those. Right away he fired back an email almost identical to what this guy here in this article did — “Oh, well I see that you have no time for someone as unimportant as me.” So this tactic is very typical of these types and we must beware of it and NOT yield to it.

 

 

54 Comments

  1. Overcomer

    Projection- I don’t even know if you’re Christian. False people giving guidance.
    Guilt trip (manipulation)- you are causing his divorce.

    He ends with May the Lord bless you to sound pious and sincere. So you will think he is a Christian and make you feel bad for shunning him.

  2. Freed by God

    And, Jeff, isn’t part of the sociopaths tactic to butter you up by asking you to disciple him? He’s “complimenting” you and is offended that you don’t take the bait. I am finally learning (after too many years) to recognize the phony christian appeal in both men and women.

  3. joepote01

    Hah! Classic!

    Basically: Although I’m the one asking help from you, I demand you do things my way. Although I am the one seeking your guidance, I demand that you be accountable to me rather than I being accountable to you. And when you refuse to acquiesce to my demands, I will lay a guilt trip on you, accusing you of mistreating me and failing to display Christian love toward me.

    What a load of bull!

    Glad you recognized it for the putrid pile of filth it is.

  4. Anonymous

    “Woe is me” and “You owe me” are the main themes throughout this conversation. These also happen to be two of the signifying features of a sociopath, according to Martha Stout. (“Keep my secrets” and “We’re the same” are the other two. My daughter and I made up a tune to go with these four phrases and when my husband would start displaying these behaviors we’d sing it. He would always just look at us and say nothing. After all, how did us stupid women come to know “gods” ploys? He would sometimes even SAY, “Yes, woe is me, you don’t even care!” meaning, “Your only purpose for living is worshiping me so how DARE you not bow down and why aren’t you shriveling up in terror at my threats anymore! It used to be so easy to make you comply!”)

    They love to talk to people “alone” because they believe they have a better chance to manipulate them–plus there are no witnesses. This way, even if they don’t hear the words they want to hear, they can simply make up a conversation in their head and say that’s what you told them. Sadly, they may really believe the things they make up as being the truth. Over and over again sociopaths, even when there is video and audio proof, still deny what they said and still claim that others said things they didn’t or they completely mix up the point of the entire conversation. There is no truth in them (John 8:44), not a single drop of truth resides in them AT ALL so morally, spiritually and mentally they are shifting sands and therefore liars and deceivers. How about that for a dating profile?!

    By the way, this conversation is all about HIM, and he’s pissed that his wife has finally– through strength she’s gained from this website through the Lord–become strong enough to leave and divorce. As many of us know, it may take several attempts until we are finally successful and he’s trying to manipulate it so that she seems crazy and is easily swayed by every preacher and teaching, thus she is unstable and weak-willed. (Seriously psychopaths, get some new material!)

    “…but if you are {a Christian} you are not displaying love at all.” He’s probably used to the kind of “love” that many of us were wrongly taught which was to totally cater to men and bend over backwards to their every whim and desire. Self-entitlement you see, always craves attention and worship. Wrong biblical teaching has severely harmed true believers as well as our witness of Jesus to the world. Catering to psychopaths and putting them as heads of churches loudly sends the message to the world that WE ENDORSE PSCYHOPATHS AND WE THINK THEY ARE SO GREAT THAT WE PUT THEM IN CHARGE OF US. Discernment between good and evil and right and wrong is supposed to be the hallmark of Christianity. This website is the ONLY place I have found it and by reading the original posts here, I can see you’ve had it all along–that the Lord has been here this entire time. THANK YOU AGAIN!

    • Abby

      I learned a long time ago to record everything when you know that you are dealing with a manipulator.

    • Stands with a Fist

      Yes, Martha Stout! She wisely pointed out the easiest way to recognize “the sociopath next door”: the pity party. This guy invites you to his pity party, demands you feel sorry for him, then takes his ball & goes home like a spoiled little brat. Poor little victim. Good riddance.

  5. Cindy R

    Oh there were so many red flags in his language. If his wife is reading your literature as he says we know what type of fellow he is. He wants you to tell her the rules don’t apply to him because he is a special case. Sounds like he knows his Jedi mind tricks don’t work over email and he is going to try and goad you into taking a call from him.

    Sad to say I was like oh I know how this is going to go. Once you have learned the language of abusers or learned narc decoding it is hard not to see it sticking out in red letters.

    To the husband, why don’t you worry more about changing your heart and your attitude that brought about your wife needing to check into blogs and posts that speak about abuse. From personal and meeting thousands of women online that are part of groups like this, they do not check into a group like this lightly they are pushed to the very edge and have been given bad advice for years mainly from sites you would like her to get information from. Your only hope is to change your heart and stop blaming others and minimizing and rationalizing your behavior. The damage done will take a long time to heal and if you want to push her the only thing she can do is get away from you to heal. If there are children involved that adds another layer of damage that needs to be addressed.

  6. cindyrapstad

    Badger Badger

  7. Yeah, Jeff– how dare you sit over there with your thousands of followers and your mansion and your helicopter like Joel Osteen and refuse to accept responsibility for this guys divorce?

    (And on another note entirely– when the record books are opened one day, I’m betting the teachings of Mr. Osteen have sparked divorces by the score and *not* of the needful variety.)

    Love this one, ” I don’t appreciate how you turned the energy around on me. . .”

    And with that we say, Run, Lady, Run.

  8. Annie

    This guy knows his wife is on to him and he can’t take it. So he does what these type of people do–search out a situation where he can prove to himself it’s not him and still feel good and justify his behavior. No doubt if he actually were to talk to you it would be to make you feel awful so he could feel good about himself (and then use the conversation to abuse his wife further) This is not a man seeking understanding for his situation. In fact, a normal man who loves his wife would, I think, be so sorry that his wife is at this point (divorce/reading about abuse) that he would seek to make amends. But then a normal, loving husband wouldn’t be in this situation.

    Anonymous, you made me laugh with this: Seriously psychopaths, get some new material! It’s amazing how abuser all run true to type. They all think they’re special. And they think that excuses their behavior!

    This is my thought on anyone who thinks they’re “special”: 1) you’re not if you’re thinking it, and 2) if you are you better be doing a lot of good stuff for your fellow man because if God made you that special he expects a lot from you.

    Being a self-centered, abusing, jerk isn’t the way to show you’re special nor to thank God for his blessings on you as special.

    • Ng

      Exactly – the more a person feels they’re special, or have a special talent, all the more reason to help, serve and love others in humility.

  9. Alana

    Such great perspective and loving all the comments!

  10. Sunflower

    A few years ago, the Lord said to me, “No more excuses.” Not to accept them, not to make them. If they don’t have an excuse, they founder. So your saying no gives him the excuse that you won’t talk to him, so he can’t learn anything from you. Now he doesn’t have to pay attention to this website anymore. He WANTED you to say no.

    About 25 years ago, three years before leaving my 1st h, I felt the Lord saying to shut up, stop letting him talk to me for hours because it never went anywhere and just made me crazy. I know now that that is common knowledge here, but at that time I had no information on all this, and I felt really guilty ‘not communicating’. After we separated, I wouldn’t talk to him except by email, and to this day he still tells everyone that the problem of our marriage was that I wouldn’t talk to him. Why not email? Then I have a record. I believe this man is so used to badgering people to death with words and rewriting history of what the other person said and doesn’t want a record of what has actually been said.

    Through insults and guilt-trips, he was baiting you to defend yourself and give in to him. Obviously this has worked for him in the past. High time for everyone around him to show a united front toward him.

  11. susan

    His wife is following your info and so should he! So full of himself!!

  12. cindy burrell

    “You’re just too important to deal with people one-on-one. You’re afraid to talk to me… (guilt and manipulation) And my wife has been led down a path of deceit that will result in an unnecessary divorce.” (arrogant supposition, blame and shame)

    The man had a plan; to talk to you, Jeff, and try to work you and gain you as his ally, to attempt to convince you to guilt his wife into going back into the relationship, to compel her to look beyond the truth and to continue enabling the man’s sorry behind – all in the name of God.

    Because his manipulation didn’t work, he must accuse you of being an ungodly man while claiming that God is on his side and cursing you for not buying in.

    I swear these guys are all cut from the same disgusting cloth.

  13. Sister

    My response to the husband’s comments:

    “I’m not sure if your Christian”

    I’m quite certain you are not, that you are worse than an unbeliever. (Reference: 1 Timothy 5:8)

    “I’ve been involved in ministry for years now. There are many guys like you, Joel Olsteen for instance.”

    You are likely lying about being involved in ministry in an attempt to convince/con people into thinking that you have some sort of Christian street credibility. Not that wicked/worse than unbeliever people aren’t involved in ministry, many are. However, I suspect you are lying because you aren’t very good at faking being a Christian.

    You immediately lost credibility when you compared ACFJ which does everything to expose sin to Joel Olsteen who purposely avoids talking about sin. I don’t know if you are that ignorant on both or perhaps more likely you are not, but think you are smarter than ACFJ (and everyone else for that matter). Perhaps you hoped they would be so insensed at the comparison that they would cave to your demands to talk to you just to prove they are not like Joel. Or at the very least, maybe you hoped to offend them with the comparison.

    The other statement that showed you’re not very good at faking being a Christian:

    “I don’t appreciate how you turned the energy around on me but I assure you that I only came in good favor and love looking to know who we are dealing with.”

    Using the terms “the energy,” is using New Age lingo not Christianese.

    • Sister

      Oops! Make that Joel Osteen. Obviously, I am not a fan/follower. I did not catch that husband had his name wrong and I repeated the error.

    • Misti

      Actually, he might well be in ministry. There are entire cliques where that form of communication (including the misrepresentation and outright false analogies) is the norm rather than the exception. Personal experience, with more than one denomination.

      The entire misuse of buzz words (ex. “energy”) is also consistent, with abusers who are acting Christians and even ministers, in my experience. [wry smile]

      • Anonymous

        Absolutely he could be in ministry. I’ve seen some of that same language and manipulation practiced on a friend who had been married to a malignant narcissistic abuser for decades. Thankfully, the denomination he was affiliated with withdrew his license and fired him. That hasn’t stopped him from preaching and raising money from unsuspecting parishioners from other churches.

      • Sister

        Thanks Misti & Anonymous, good to know. 🙂

  14. Came Alongside

    ”I don’t appreciate how you turned the energy around on me. . .”
    Translation: “You saw through me and exposed me for the fraud that I am. Therefore my fraud isn’t the problem; you exposing it IS a huge problem.”

    I have seen this in operation against someone very close to me by more than just the abuser, but his familial allies, too.

    And the sanctimonious closing? That has been directed on the one very close to me AND to us because we stood with her. I’ll bet this guy didn’t expect to have his fraud exposed on public social media. Glad it was! I hope he hasn’t somehow restricted his wife from reading this website.

  15. jesusdidntgiveuponme

    Don’t reply to him in any way, shape or form. By doing so you are giving him power. He will do his best to bait you so expect him to increase his postings for awhile after you go silent. God bless his wife. I pray she can make a clean break from him.

  16. BBGB

    Re: “If your too important to hold a phone call” Unfortunately I have been victimized by statements like that for a lifetime. Knowledge is power. Lord help us all to have the wisdom to see these lying manipulators for who they truly are.

    A thought, when reading all the gospels it is always the leaders of the church that pecked away at Jesus continually in His ministry. It wasn’t the wicked it was the “supposed” holy & righteous. We are all in good company, with our precious Lord.

  17. standsfortruth

    I definitely would not have further interactions with this person. He is mad at his loss of control, and looking for “anything” he can use to create mayhem or “any response” that will give him something to “push against”. Thats all these abusers are looking for,- is a target to shoot at, because they are angry that they cannot control their targets anymore. Giving him nothing (no reply-grey rock) will squelch his ability to try to further manipulate, while entertaining himself, at the same time. It shuts them down cold.

    Since you have already set the ground rules, and this man does not respect them, this proves that he has the charactoristics of an abuser. At this point he is purely looking for any vunerable coordinates of yours to consider for unscrupulous retaliation or attack. And any reply will surely be fully scrutinized for attackable material by him.

    It has been known that Grey rock does not upset people that are normal, because normal people understand boundries, and respect them. But to a sociopath, abuser, or phychopath, it is a effective accellant to their frustration, because they are not getting the necessary feedback they need to “push against” to retaliate. Since we all know how an abuser can make much mayhem out of little. ( why give them anything to work with?)

    The comment he made at the end, the Lord bless you seemed like an attempt to try to throw off our abuser sensors. It seems like a ploy to initiate second guessing, as a last ditch effort to appear sheep like. After all he is loosing his ability to manipulate and control his captive.

    To the wife, This same thing happened to me, over a year and a half ago, and it is a “good sign” for you, proving that your abuser realizes he is loosing his phychological control over you. Your first step of freedom. (One strike for you.)

    And may the Lord strengthen you with many more until you are fully set free. I will be praying for your strength, courage, clarity of mind, stedfastness, wisdom, and continued conviction, as well as well as the Lords protection and guidence along your path. May the Lord bless you as you stand your ground and move towards your freedom as you see fit.

    • Anonymous

      “The comment he made at the end, the Lord bless you seemed like an attempt to try to throw off our abuser sensors. It seems like a ploy to initiate second guessing, as a last ditch effort to appear sheep like.” Yes!

      While my daughter was in college she worked at a fast food place in the Bible Belt. She was forewarned by her co-workers that the worst and most demanding customers where those who said, “God bless you!” or “Have a blessed day!!!” as they drove off. This was usually after much abuse and rude behavior. She said it was true nearly every time–that these were the people who verbally abused others the most. Most waitresses who work on Sundays would agree–the church groups are so often very demanding, selfish and don’t tip. It’s almost as if to say, “We’re God’s children, YOU’RE lucky to serve us!” As is often pointed out on this website, actions are what display our heart and the words only count if they line up with the actions.

  18. kind of anonymous

    His may the Lord bless you bit at the end sounds to me like an attempt to water down the contempt in his words, as if that means he somehow hasn’t sinned in being insulting and manipulative. There is a military version of this. If you want to speak your mind to a superior officer, you follow everything you say with the honorific “Sir’. The protocol is that as long as you are respecting the uniform and rank, you can speak your mind. However, it can also be abused as a way of getting away with being totally disrespectful and contemptuous, while maintaining a fiction of respect. As in ” That’s a reallly dumb idea , SIR . If you want me to fix the problem I;ll need a commanding officer with a brain, SIR.” Disrespect is still disrespect no matter how it gets dressed up.

    Re the guy who wanted to be discipled by the pastor,I don’t have a problem with someone wanting to meet to discuss mentoring per se, if they are sincere. Some life issues do need one on one and a discipling/mentoring relationship can be very good. It just doesn’t have to be the pastor and I think that’s the test; is this person willing to be pointed to a godly elder or other godly man in the church or is he demanding that it be the pastor only? That smacks of a hidden agenda. If they are asked to take a certain course or program first to build a foundation prior to considering such a relationship, are they willing to submit to this request? Some folks just want to control someone with position or authority into being involved with them on their terms. I actually saw a guy do this sort of thing, he presented as being in need of real help but in the end, his motive was to get involved with the leadership and eventually insinuate himself into the inner circle. And he did have a history with having been a bully to his wife and step son.

  19. Pam

    When I was reading this I thought Immediately of my husband who I am trying to divorce because it sounds exactly like something he would say…slick talker.

    • Hi Pam, have you read our New Users Info page yet? If not, please do so. I just want to help you keep safe as you comment on this blog.

  20. I love your response to his request to be discipled.

  21. Mary

    I see the accusation in his message. The not getting his way so the need to shoot an arrow with accusation in it.

    Also the passive aggressiveness.

    Just as an aside. I was wondering if any of you have done a post on mothers of abusive men. It seems sadly sometimes they are a vital link and continue on the abuse of their daughter in laws by either blindly supporting the abuser or by passively aggressively attacking Her, or maybe overtly attacking.

    I experience ongoing enabling of abusive behaviour and believe I may even get emotionally abused by my mother in law.

    Sorry if this is not the appropriate place to write this but was very interested if you have addressed the topic of mothers of abusive men, christian mothers in particular.

    Thanks

    • Jeff Crippen

      Mary – I don’t recall any posts specifically on the mother of an abuser, though we have discussed his allies before. You might do some searches on the blog search feature under various topics and see if you can find any. Certainly family members of an abuser can and perhaps even often serve as his allies and be abusers/abusive themselves.

    • Anonymous

      What Jeff said is vital–mothers/fathers/sisters/brothers can all be allies or assistants of the abusers as well as being an abuser themselves. Psychology is FINALLY moving away from solely blaming the mothers and this is great because we can now look at the INDIVIDUAL abusers and stop pointing the finger at others. But, we also know through studies done on identical twins that there’s a huge genetic link to all these personality disorders, so it’s certainly possible that she too is an abuser. It’s why Jesus pointed out that, “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother” as well as, “They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” These are all forewarnings of the reality of how it will be for many of us.

      One of the many things that kept me in the dark and kept me from seeing the truth about what my family and husband were, was the mishandling of the true nature of what was at the core of these evil ones. Psychology is WAY behind in helping us, as is the legal system. In the past, professionals in the mental health field would come up with their own theory based on certain behaviors, and then come up with a name to cover their theory. In writing the DSM, they would basically use these theories and place a label on people and then the experts would adopt it as “fact” (as far as psychology goes) so a person was categorized. BUT, we now have biological tests that can be done as well as MRI’s and other tests that can much more strongly tell the truth about the inner workings and functioning’s of people’s brains. So now what? How can these experts who misdiagnosed many people and who’ve kept people like me in relationships with evil ones come out and say, “We screwed up! We didn’t realize some people were hard-wired to abuse others! We figured we were all basically the same and born as a blank slate and as such if we all worked hard enough we could bring these evil ones ’round! Now we know this is IMPOSSIBLE in some cases but if we admit this to the world, and if we give everyone access to these tests that can prove people are this way and we can’t as yet fix it, it may take away all our credibility!” So, rather than do this they continue to let those of us with a conscience work ourselves to death. End times baby! Should we expect any less?!

      This is one reason I think it’s important to look up behaviors using all the titles placed on these abusive personalities (passive-aggressive, sociopath, narcissist, anti-social, borderline, psychopath, etc.) because it was different people labeling people who may have the same disorder. .Plus, the statistics that are quoted on psychopaths has never been verified and is often based on research conducted in the prison system and as Dr. Hare points out–those in the prison system are the FAILED psychopaths–the successful ones are the ones who can blend in and wear the mask of sanity much more convincingly–and as such the number of them may be much higher then they’ve guessed–and far more dangerous to us. And just like some people have no or low empathy, many of us here have high or “hyper” empathy. The blank slate theory that we were forced to adopt as fact did us much harm and forced many of us to deny what we observed–which was that some people DO NOT have the best interests of others in mind and these people may actually desire to harm as many people as possible. The bible has never hidden this from us however, but wrong handling of it has. So look up all these labels while keeping in mind that they may be diagnosis’s that were made without the benefit of the physical research we now have available to us, and that many of these disorders may actually be the same thing. One expert wisely pointed out that it doesn’t matter if an abuser has low or no empathy, they still always harm those of us who have normal or high amounts of it–especially if we haven’t been taught that there’s a difference.

      • Mary

        I do agree that any family member (mother, father, brother, sister and so on) can be an enabler of the abuser and even an abuser themselves, but I mentioned mother in laws because of the special role they have in raising sons. There is no denying some women do have emotionally enmeshed relationships with their sons and practically worship them as they grow in adulthood, which can have the final outcome of a grown man who thinks he can do no wrong, is ‘special’ and is a complete narcissist. I don’t think we can dismiss that mothers can sadly do this. Then one a man is an adult, they can blindly support their sons even in the face of obvious evidence of ongoing sin in their sons life…turn a blind eye, continue to feed their egos and defend them against any valid accusations againt their character. The reason it takes on a whole other level with a mother compared to another family member is the huge emotional attahment some mothers have to their sons (sometimes formed as a replacement to their own abusive husbands lack of love) and of some sons attachments to mothers. For example no one can ever compare to mother, acting as if they are married to mother, no one can say a word against mother. It can be a destructive pairing in the world of abuse that a daughter in law can come up against.

        As an aside, on the subject of family members enabling abusers and blindly supporting them even in evidence of grevious sin, I am reminded of the family of man accused of murdering his wife and unborn child. I believe her name was Laci and her husband’s name was Scott Peterson. I remember the extroadinary effort this family went to defend their sons name. Creating a website etc. It was classic enabling of an evil, abusive man by his family members. Jesus said, if you love mother, father, son or daughter, sister or brother more than Me, you are NOT worthy of Me. These kinds of family members love their abusive son, brother and even the idol of their family unit being held in a false peace at all costs, above all else, most of all God.

      • Mary has referred to the case of Laci Peterson who was murdered by her husband.

      • A regular commenter has very kindly let me know that some of what I had written in response to to Mary was incorrect, so I’m now trying to fix it up.
        Here is the information she sent me:

        There were 2 famous Peterson murders by abusive husbands and the wives had similar names so it’s confusing. Mary (another Mary not me) is referring to Scott Peterson who killed his pregnant wife Laci. She’s saying Scott’s parents defended their murderer son even setting up a web site to defend him. The other story is Drew Peterson the cop who is presumed to have murdeted his wife Stacy although het body was never found. He’s now in jail for murdering his previous wife who’s death had previously been called an accidental drowning in the bath tub which was preposterous. The case had been reopened when Stacy disappeared.

        I am therefore re-editing Mary’s comment changing the name “Stacey” back to “Laci” — which is the name Mary had originally given.

        And I will also amend my comment a bit. Thanks so much dear reader for giving me a heads up on this. I never knew that there were two different well-publicised Peterson DV murders where the two women had such similar sounding names.

      • The case of STACEY Peterson led to the setting up of a website called Document the abusehttp://documenttheabuse.com/ That site gives clear step by step instructions for how to create an Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit to ensure that the victim’s words about her fears and previous violence will not disappear if she does.

        A victim can make an Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit (EAA) to document her experiences in ways that will help the legal system successfully prosecute in the future, even if she is disappeared, dead or in a coma.

        The process combines video taping of the victim’s actual words attesting to the abuse, coupled with witnessed and notarized legal documents that successfully satisfy legal hurdles often faced in intimate partner violence and stalking cases.
        A unique packaging of testimony + documentation + perpetrator historical profiling + pre-collected evidence delivered to established safe and legal persons = a delicate issue brilliantly wrapped up for successful prosecution.

        Note: we have a link to documenttheabuse.com on the Safety Planning section of our Resources.

    • KayE

      It’s interesting that you raised the role of mothers of abusers. When I read this post I thought it sounded exactly like my ex m-i-l talking. It’s striking to me how often the parents of abusers go to great lengths to defend and justify the abuser’s behavior, even if that behavior is murder. I don’t believe it’s all just genetics. Children learn attitudes and character from the people who rear them. If they are taught that they are so special that they never have to take responsibility for their actions, they will likely take those attitudes into their adult life. I don’t think it’s surprising to find that the mothers and fathers of abusers often have the same set of beliefs as their offspring.

      • Sister

        Anonymous said:

        “The blank slate theory that we were forced to adopt as fact did us much harm and forced many of us to deny what we observed–which was that some people DO NOT have the best interests of others in mind and these people may actually desire to harm as many people as possible. The bible has never hidden this from us however, but wrong handling of it has.”

        KayE said:

        “I don’t believe it’s all just genetics. Children learn attitudes and character from the people who rear them. If they are taught that they are so special that they never have to take responsibility for their actions, they will likely take those attitudes into their adult life. I don’t think it’s surprising to find that the mothers and fathers of abusers often have the same set of beliefs as their offspring.”

        I wholeheartedly agree with both commenters except attributing any of it to genetics. The Bible, God’s Word, is right. Psychologists and “c”hristians are wrong. I’m ticked off that I attended fundamentalist and evangelical churches virtually all of my life and totally missed the blunt and pervasive theme of people willfully choosing evil over righteousness throughout the Bible. There are a lot of wicked people in this world who delight in doing evil. People enjoy having power and control over others, manipulating and inflicting pain on them. Children do learn from their parents and may choose to follow their abusive ways, but it’s not genetics. It’s a choice. Adam disobeyed God’s direct command to him and God held him accountable. Likewise, Adam’s son, Cain, was told by God what to do to present a pleasing sacrifice. Cain like his dad, directly disobeyed God. He chose to murder his brother instead of presenting a pleasing sacrifice. God held Cain accountable for his sin. Abel (and Seth as far as we know) chose not to follow in their dad’s footsteps. Conversely, Eli’s abuser sons were raping the women serving in the tabernacle, bullying the Israelites, stealing the fat part of their sacrifices which belonged to God and Eli like the majority of “c”christian leaders today covered it up/did not stop it. God held all 3 accountable for their choices and took their lives for it (1 Samuel 2-4).

        Psychologists will try to find a physical reason for people being evil because they (we) don’t want to fathom that people deliberately enjoy choosing evil and hurting people for no reason at all.

        Christians sin level using verses like Romans 3:23 and Isaiah 64:6 and then will claim that everyone has a “God shaped hole” in their hearts (It’s not their fault. They are just trying to fill that void. This mentality desensitized me and continues to desensitize most Christians to the true nature of evil. Again we don’t want to fathom that people deliberately enjoy choosing evil and hurting people.) While it’s true, we are all sinners in need of the Savior, we have to choose whom we will serve and abusers masquerading as Christians (like Eli’s sons masquerading as priests), have made their choice to serve themselves over God which is really choosing to follow Satan rather than God.

        It seems so elementary now. How did I miss it my entire life? I always wondered why the Pharisees were not wowed by Jesus’ miracles and accept Him. They didn’t care about the truth. They were of their father the devil. They did not want to give up their power and control.

        John 8:44

        “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

        John 9:22

        “His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.”

        John 12:10

        “But the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also; because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and were believing in Jesus.”

        John 3:19

        “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”

        Ultimately, that’s why they murdered Jesus because they didn’t want to lose their followers to Him (power and control). Verse after verse. Again, how did I miss it growing up in the church?

        Real Christians wonder how the abusers can sleep at night knowing the harm they’ve caused. This verse is a real eye opener:

        Proverbs 4:16

        “For they cannot sleep unless they do evil; And they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.”

        But to end this on a more positive note: Satan and his children will not prevail. The abusers put Him on the cross, but He did not stay there. Tomorrow, we celebrate, “He is Risen!”

      • Different readers may have slightly different viewpoints on this, so let’s respect that. Dr George Simon who is a Christian and a very well read and experienced psychologist says that scientific research has found a link between low empathy and certain genes, but genetics are not the only factor in what leads to a person being an abuser. Nature (e.g. genetics), nurture (environment, upbringing, culture) and personal choice all influence what a person is like.

      • Annie

        My in-laws aren’t abusive. But they have willingly closed their eyes to their son’s behavior. He grew up thinking he was entitled because his mother did everything for him. He was an only child for years before other children came along and I think he never got over it. But they don’t see this. And now he convinced them that it’s me and poor him he’s doing the best he can.

        I didn’t see that entitled attitude until we were married. I fell for the “poor me” when we were dating.

        But whatever the reason that brought him to abuse doesn’t matter to me. He chooses to abuse.

    • Here is a post by Taylor Joy Young. “Dear Sheldon….” A Story of Maternal Abuse. Taylor Joy’s childhood was this: her mother abused her father. very badly.

      So her story is not quite what you are looking for — it’s not about a mother of an abusive man — but it may give you food for thought in some way or other.

  22. bright sunshinin' day

    Annie – YES! You said:

    “In fact, a normal man who loves his wife would, I think, be so sorry that his wife is at this point (divorce/reading about abuse) that he would seek to make amends. But then a normal, loving husband wouldn’t be in this situation.”

  23. standsfortruth

    Just some of my observations Sister,

    Genesis 6
    The Wickedness of Man
    1Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, 2that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. 3Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.

                   Also Ecclesiastes 1:9-18  
           
    9 That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun. 

    10 Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us. 

    11 There is no remembrance of former things, Nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come By those who will come after.

    I have lived with an unexplainable evil in my family for so long that it drove me to researching the bible for reasons why certain children in my family, seem to be “bent to do evil from the very early on stage”.

    It baffeled me that at least “one half” of my children produced by myself and my “psychopathic abuser” would do things so outrageously wrong at a young enough age to know better, and while doing so, show no concience of it being wrong.
    Ive even had them tell me at an older age, that they have no concience.
    For years, I told myself that these perticular children did not know what they were doing, and they were just making bad choices.
    But as they got older, they showed a striking similarity ” of the same charactor disorter to my abuser.
    The others did not have this “Lack of concience” behavior about them.
    So I started researching genitics with phychopthy, and there is scientific findings that a certain specific gene has been identified in these psychopathic types .
    These scientific tests were done on specific individuals incarcerated within the prison system, that carried a blatent history of repetitive horrific crimes, that have the aspect of “no conscience”.
    So anomous is right about the phychopathoc abusers in the prison system being “not so smart”, because they are the ones that got caught. The smarter ones are not in prison because they are more covert in their evil.
    But the fact does remain that a gene has been identified with their type, (this type that has no concience about doing evil to others) and it can be identified with tests like a MRI.
    I believe it could be possible that the biblical history of “this type” could be repeting itself with the increasing amount of wolves in sheeps clothing that we are witness to..
    Not to say that there are not many individuals, who dont have this physically identifiable gene, who decide, in their heart to not serve God for their own personal reasons.

    • Abby

      Oh my gosh, Standsfortruth. I am so glad that you posted this. Some people can understand abusive spouses or abusive parents and siblings, but I have found no one who understands abusive adult kids. You are the very first person. I’ve lost three of my four kids because of their abuse. It is grief and heartache that I don’t think I’ll ever get over. Is it really safe to talk about that here?

      • standsfortruth

        Well, I hope by sharing what happened to me could offer a possible explaination to others that may be going through similar findings in their own family.
        As one neuroscientist explained in his findings,
        Environmental influences( upbringing) can have a strong positive sway on children with this genetic predisposition.
        But if these same children grow up in the environment of an active abuser, then the outcome is not likely to be positive.
        Especially when the children begin to reach puberty.
        Its important to keep in mind that the target spouce is innocent of any wrong doing, and the Lord knew our hearts and our intentions when we married our spouces.
        I was set on producing Godly children, and the Lord knows how hard I tried, but my abusive husband played a larger role of negitive influence than I was aware of.
        There is one child of mine that is older, and shows a honest concience, but because of the way his father treated him, he doesent believe in God.
        But I am hopeful for his future because he is truthful .

      • Of course it is safe to talk about that here, Abby.

        I personally know one woman who was raped multiple times by her young-adult son. The woman had been a victim of severe abuse in her family of origin, and she had also in her adulthood suffered ‘ordinary’ domestic abuse from a few intimate partners (a husband, one or two predator ‘boyfriends’…) and one of her adult sons who was a bit intellectually impaired raped her as well, several times.

        She was in a complicated moral and emotional dilemma:— as her son she wanted to do her best to protect him from the potential traumas he would probably suffer if he was sent to prison, but she also needed to protect herself from him… Thankfully, the justice system dealt with him quite well and he has matured as the years have gone by so his mother no longer feels in danger from him.

        And it is not that uncommon for teenage children (male or female) to abuse their protective mother when their father has abused the mother for years. If you are lucky you might even be able to find a support group for mothers who have suffered (or are currently suffering) abuse from their teenage or adult children. You could try asking your local DV support service if they know of such a group in your area.

        And here is a post I wrote ages ago on my solo blog: When Kids Blame the Victim Too

    • Anonymous

      Standsfortruth and Barbara,
      Thank you! I too search God’s word looking for HIS truth in all this. Another good example is found in the lineage of Ishmael.

      In my opinion the world would be a better place to live if there were no psychopaths. Psychopaths are not needed for any occupation that civilizations have. The reason why psychopaths dominate over people who can feel emotion is because most psychopaths are greedy aggressive people who are incapable of feeling shame or embarrassment. Psychopaths can easily out compete the people who feel emotions for high status jobs but that does not mean that people who feel emotions lack intellect.

      Thank you again Standsfortruth and Barb, as this is NOT something that I EVER wanted to learn about. Who would?

  24. Valerie

    Everyone has offered excellent observations. The only thing I would add is that I question this as a possible form of triangulation. He may have overheard his wife talking about this page or possibly been secretly monitoring her internet use to find this info. So he sees if he can get you to talk to him. Then after you’ve done so, he uses the convo to blindside his wife by name dropping that he’s talked to you as a way of trying to isolate her. (He may likely use the common tactic of twisting what you say in order to manipulate her into believing she can’t go to you for help because you’re not safe or feel hopeless in assuming you side with him.)

    As for the last retort about blessing it appears to me like his dialog reverted back to putting his mask on after letting it slip through his outing himself through his previous words. Mask on—> concerned husband wants help. When request denied—> mask slips, narcissistic injury due to not getting his way so he resorts to threats and intimidation. After he feels he has vented his “injury” he puts the mask back on and goes back into character- i.e. God bless you. The fact that he can seesaw between the two extremes (masks) like this is indicative to me of his unstable mental state.

  25. keeningforthedawn

    Thank you for sharing this. It’s a great exercise in spotting manipulative verbiage and the abuser’s escalating grasp for control. Keeping survivors and their friends sharp will help to nip these tactics in the bud.

  26. Charis

    Here is my interpretation:

    Husband to ACFJ: “I’d really like to talk to you.” (Some people might approach first contact with more diplomacy and reservation – “I have some questions.” or “If possible, could we speak together?” or “I’d very much like to speak WITH you.” Not him. He wants to talk TO you. It’s almost the same as saying “I want to talk AT you.” Which is what the monologue ends up becoming; a one way street. He’s not interested in hearing…only talking.) “My marriage is about to go through a divorce.” (Notice here…he’s not going through a divorce, his *marriage* is. He has distanced himself, detaching from the potential pain and responsibility. This is not a good sign.)

    ACFJ Response: “I refer you to the resources on our ACFJ web page. There is a wealth of helpful info there.”

    Husband’s Reply to ACFJ: “My wife is relying fully on your literature” (But not him. He hasn’t even looked at it. How do I know? There is no “Thank you for the resources, they were helpful as I read through the article about (insert topic here) which I have a question about.) … I’d like to speak with you one on one if at all possible. (because I wish to get you locked behind closed doors without witnesses.) We have gone thru the ringer (he’s the victim, too ya know) and have had so many false people giving guidance and council [sp] (so many…like…how many? 1… 2… 10? And who, exactly? The DV advocate? The therapist? ACFJ? Who are these people and who are they giving guidance to? He says “we” but he really means “her.”) and are so far away from reconciling now. (Because she’s listening to sound advice and he’s not getting his way – mostly because he’s not really changing or showing signs of true repentance). If your [sp] too important to hold a phone call (blame shift and derogatory insult) I fear my wife may be being lead [sp] down the wrong path yet again….”.(Now it’s YOUR fault if they end up divorced. Not his. Minimization, blame shift, guilt trip, lack of responsibility.)

    NOTE: When we told him “no, we are not going to talk with you,” here was his reply. Notice how people who crave power and control simply will not take “no” for an answer. They hate it and they just have to get in the last shot:

    His Response to our “no”: I’ve been involved in ministry for years now. (Deference. He is leveling the playing the field. Jeff is a pastor. So he’ll throw out his “years of ministry” card. So he’s done something: stuffing bulletins, greeted visitors, taught Sunday School, played guitar, ran slides, helped out at VBS, drove the bus, picked up donuts, cleaned the bathrooms – some sort of volunteerism in service at his church. And to him…well…he’s been serving in ministry and just because YOU don’t know WHAT that is, well now, you’re equals! He can keep his cards close to the vest and no one will be the wiser. He likes having an aire of mystery. It works for him. Tries to keep you guessing and knock you off balance.)
    There are many guys like you , for instance Joel Olsteen. Have a whole entourage and can talk a good talk but when it comes to one on one they are not capable. (Superiority. See, he’s the smartest guy in the room. Neither you nor J.Osteen are capable. Another derogatory comment. That, plus, the supposition that he “knows” both of you…which he doesn’t. He doesn’t even truly know himself. He is self-deceived. It’s why he’s in this mess w/ his wife.) I don’t appreciate how you turned the energy around on me (Blame shifting. Again, it’s your fault.) but I assure you that I only came in good favor (This is an underhanded attempt at playing the victim. “I came in good favor and you turned the energy around on me; not fair!”) and love looking to know who we are dealing with (Thou dost protest too much! This is the truth of his intent. He wanted to know who he was dealing with. It was a witch hunt from the start.) The evidence shows exactly that. (Case closed – judge and jury. In his own mind. Yet there are no details. What evidence?)
    I’m not sure if your Christian but if you are you are not displaying love at all. (Accusation and escalation in the space of three sentences. From crying victim that he came with good favor to accusing Jeff of not being Christian nor displaying love…whatever THAT is to him.) May the Lord bless you and help you in all your need. (Image grooming and polishing the shiny exterior. Now…doesn’t that make him look good..”God bless!” Well, he MUST be a Christian and we must be wrong and seek forgiveness. NOT.)

    • Jeff Crippen

      Very good!!

  27. Anonymous

    Replying to Standsfortruth, Thank you!

    Yes, what you said is true. What I was trying to say is that even though a psychopath has decided to play on the law-abiding side of the fence (today anyway), doesn’t change the fact that he’s still a psychopath and abusive to his wife and family and others.

  28. TOTALLY typical verbiage. I’ve seen these types of comments on Facebook and on my own blog. (And of course, in my personal life.) It’s abuser-speak. The nauseating thing is how many people can’t see through it – which is why they get away with hiding. I’m so glad you are giving examples. This blog does a great job of pulling back the curtain on these kinds of people. The more we know – the less they will get away with this kind of crap. We have to muster up the courage to get in their face. That’s when their claws come out and their true colors flap in the breeze. Evil can be predictable if we can learn to recognize it. Great comments on this post, too. I love this community.

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