A Cry For Justice

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

How Reconciliation Works — by Patrick Doyle

‘How Reconciliation Works’ is an excellent youtube video that we have added to our Resource page under the headings: What does Scripture Really Say? and Video & Audio.

Counselor Patrick Doyle of Veritas Counseling discusses four things that are required before reconciliation can be considered:  conviction, repentance, confession, and forgiveness.  And each of these four things is to be done by the offender.

Thanks to the reader who brought this to our attention!

 

42 Comments

  1. Hopeful

    What would you suggest to a spouse who has spent the last 3 years repenting, asking for forgiveness, asking for reconciliation, jumped into therapy, Christian healing small groups, etc. only time be stonewalled, rejected, ignored, yet treated nice when husband needs to have his physical needs met?

    I have pleaded, turned myself into a pretzel to make amends and it is never good enough. My husband has threatened divorce for almost 3 years. He has given me.mixed messages the whole time. After 2 verbal confrontations within the last 6 weeks when he made it clear that he was done with me and no way to restoration, I have finally set a boundary and refuse to be sexual with him until I can have all of him. Now he calls me mean. He has always called me abusive, but now that I have had enough of being treated with disdain unless he wants sex, he now calls me mean. I am losing my mind.

    • Misti

      Look at Matthew 7:16-23

      We are to evaluate people by their fruits, not their words.

      Ask yourself: What are your husband’s fruits?

      • Hope Always

        Misti..he has no fruits towards me. None. In fact he just told me again that I should have thought about caring about him long ago. And I still too late now. He is mean to me, bullies me, is critical of me. His spirit towards me is very dark. He is stuck and everything is my fault.

        I am in a real pickle in many ways. Financially, stuck our son is graduating in June, we live separate lives.

      • Misti

        So he does have fruits. They’re just consistently bad ones.

        Good trees cannot produce bad fruit.

        He swore to love and cherish you. He has broken that promise.

    • Lost

      I’m so sorry, Hopeful. I, too, have experienced very specific things you shared: stonewalling, threats of divorce, sexual objectification, etc. No one can live this way. Men like this want us to feel crazy and confused and to take the blame. They know exactly what they’re doing. It’s beyond disgusting. It’s murderous. Im so sorry. You don’t deserve this (not one of us does, of course) and you’re not crazy. You’re fighting for your life. These men fight to die but they think they’re ALIVE with this sick fantasy of power and control. I’m very glad you’re here.

      As for me…I will do my best to never speak a word or have any contact with my abuser again. No matter what it takes. I suffer greatly because of what my abuser has done. So many triggers that sometimes I can’t function. I hate my life and the pain I live with. I hate him. I hate what he’s done to me! All the lies and abuse. The abuser can have everything he wants to deceive, lie, twist scripture, feel powerful and to be in control of others but he’s on his way to Hell. I just wish it were sooner than later.
      Yes I’m a born again Christian and saying these things. God sees my excruciating pain and he sees my abuser’s evil lies.
      I want justice. I know God gives it.

      • Hope Always

        My heart aches for you.

  2. Stronger Now

    Whew. Wow. Nail, meet hammer! I can’t say enough superlatives about this! Just, WOW!

    Any doubts I was having have just been swept away. I see everything with such clarity now. I was wondering if my abuser had truly changed and repented and so forth. In the back of my mind I kept thinking about what a good faker and manipulator he has always been. And could this be just a change of tactics?

    It is completely clear now. No cobwebs, no fog, no questions.

    If anyone is reading this without watching the video, WATCH IT!!

  3. Joy

    This is incredible. I am fortunate to have a pastor that gets it! I am still figuring out how to set the boundaries and remove that person from my life. I wish it was as easy as I would like it to be, but unfortunately when there are children and court systems involved, it is tough. Thanks for this resource. I plan to listen to more by Mr. Doyle.

    • Hi Joy,

      Welcome to the blog! We like to direct new commenters to our New Users’ page. It gives tips for protecting one’s identity when commenting on the blog – which is the reason I altered your screen name 🙂

      Again, welcome!

      • Joy

        Thanks! I have actually been following the blog and have posted before. Just changed emails. Your site has given me tremendous information. I share your info with my pastor often. He then in turn shares with others.

  4. newcreation

    I have been listening to Patrick Doyle on the dove station in Oregon for over year now. I absolutely love his interviews with Perry Atkinson about emotional abuse and on marital issues. Excellent. I would recommend him to everyone on these posts!!. You can go to thedove.us and he also has a counseling agency called Veritas counseling. I have personally counseled with him about three times and he is excellent.

  5. newcreation

    Patrick Doyle is an amazing counselor/pastor. I have personally counseled with him over the phone and have been listening to him on Youtube or the dove.us station for over a year now. I would recommend him to anyone on this blog. He has had many interviews with Perry Atkinson on the dove station that speak about emotional abuse in marriage, why marriages aren’t working and many other topics that support abused spouses. He also has sermons you can listen to online. He has been a counselor for many years. His counseling has been incredible. He has a wonderful redemption story of Jesus in His life as well.

    • Hope Always

      I would love a couple of sessions with Patrick. I am in turmoil over my marriage and how my husband treats me. His behavior towards me is almost like pay back time. I hurt him so now I am going to make you hurt twice as bad

  6. bright sunshinin' day

    Stronger Now and Newcreation – you said it! Patrick Doyle is a great resource! FREE counseling by watching his u-tubes. Thank you, ACFJ, for posting this!

  7. Lost

    A lot of things triggered me big time on this video. However I get the 4 points.

    Conviction from God alone. Yes this would mean it’s not a show but that’s it’s real. Of course this doesn’t mean you don’t speak up. I had church members telling me to wait on The Lord when I was afraid he was going to kill me.

    Repentance
    Contrition
    When he said both people have things to confess…yes in a healthy relationship you have that. In an abusive one I couldn’t see what specifically it was that I was doing wrong (although it seemed like it was everything) and my abuser used that against me saying “you’re so perfect- you never have to apologize for anything!” I still think that in that abusive relationship that I didn’t do many things wrong. I had to be perfect and even when I did something that could have been offensive I was afraid to say sorry and what for because he’d punish me later! I was under his control all of the time. Even so, When I was aware of something I would confess it and repent of it no matter how small if seemed. When he’d be angry for weeks he’d say it’s because I won’t see my sin and do that right thing. Yet he’d NEVER tell me how I hurt him. I would have no clue. Then weeks later he’d come up with something tht happened in the middle of that time. It would be a bogus offense- something he actually made up and distorted completely out of context. Id explain clearly what was happening during the accusation he made and then he’d say I never take accountability.

    Confession
    I couldn’t watch much past this point. Certain phrases and words really triggered me badly. Felt like a lecture in that way.

    Forgiveness

    Those were the 4, right?

    It is true that godly repentance must occur and evidence must be seen by the offended. Theyll know. This must happen before reconciliation. That’s essential. I agree. I like that he put a division between repentance and reconciliation. They are separate. I think that’s very healthy.

    • Dear Lost (… who God has found, and is holding in His most gentle hands)

      I get it that you were triggered by some of the video.

      I confess that when I watched the video, to assess whether it was okay to share it here on our blog, the thing that triggered you did register with me but I kind of passed it over, ignored it, downplayed it. I should have written a warning/caveat in the post, telling readers that there was that bit from about the 16.40 mark thru to about 19.00 which might be a bit triggering. I am sorry for not having put that warning caveat into the post, and thus having contributed to your present distress. Will you forgive me?

      I have clearly been too lax, rushing over things too quickly, not listening to the little hints that the Lord or my conscience or my supposed common sense gives me. And I think that as I’ve now had so many years free of major triggers or abuse-related stress, I must be forgetting some of what I used to know or be hyper-alert to. I need other survivors to remind me and keep me on track. But I’m so sorry you were an unfortunate guineapig in that.

      Thank you for telling us (me) your responses to the video.

      I have transcribed a fair bit of the video, to help me better respond to your concerns. I’ll put that in another comment, below. But let me say here that you DID hear the four main points accurately:— Repentance, Contrition, Confession, Forgiveness. And without God bringing the offender to repentance, they will not truly feel contrition, and will therefore not confess, and will not honestly ask for forgiveness, and therefore it will not be wise or appropriate for reconciliation to occur.

    • Lost, here is some of my transcript of the video. I am making a guess about what part(s) I think may have triggered you, and I’m putting those parts in bold type. Then I’ll write my own thoughts below the transcript. Feel free to respond.

      At 15:45 he starts talking about confession.

      16.42
      Patrick Doyle: Think about being someone’s who’s been offended, and the person who offended you seeks you out, they come to you and say, “Perry, you know, I was really convicted the other day, that when I did x, y or z to you, I was wrong. And I want to know: Will you forgive me for my sin against you when I did such?”

      When that happens to the offender, every single time they instantly drop a bit of their wall.
      As soon as person that offended them is honest, it starts the process of reconciliation. But without the offender being honest —

      And I see this all the time, the person who’s been offended keeps going to the offender, trying to get them to deal with it. But you’ve gotta wait. Until they come to that conclusion, it’s just you manipulating them to do what you want.

      Question from Perry: You’re a counselor. You’ve seen impasse, where you can’t get either side to own a conviction or repentance … So, what do you do when you reach an impasse? I mean: they’re both wrong and yet they see the other person as the problem and not themselves.

      
Patrick Doyle: Well those are days when I’m trying to tell people, “Look, neither one of you are owning anything! And so until somebody gets some conviction, I can tell you wants going to happen, you can tell me what’s going to happen: there’s not going to be an intimacy, there’s not going to be any change, there’s not going to be any forgiveness, there’s not going to be any transition. Because until somebody owns something, we’re stuck!” And I’ve never met two people who were married where both parties didn’t have things to confess.

      So — conviction leads to repentance; repentance leads to confession.

      Now here’s the thing I want to say about confession: it has to be a specific confession. It can’t be “I apologise for the last ten years.” That’s not a confession! — tell me what sin is in that? There has to be some specific harm.

      And you can’t, as the offender, feed it to them [by saying] “Tell me what I did?”

      Why do I have to tell you what you did?

      This person [this kind of offender] is very conviction resistant, and if you don’t live in that reality [if you don’t recognise that that person is very conviction resistant], you will get chewed up by it. Listen, if you’re with someone in a relationship and they never do those things, you’re in an unhealthy relationship.

      When someone tells me they’re a Christian, I don’t believe them right away. …
      Somebody who is wanting to look like a Christian can fake it. They can fake all the fruits of the spirit. …

      26:30 [after advert break]
      Perry: Okay we’re back with Patrick Doyle. …
      I also want to say very clearly here: reconciliations are not mandatory. Sometimes you can’t be reconciled, and your have to set a boundary and move on. And I want to be clear about that because I think Christians are under this incredible pressure, if not guilt, to ALWAYS reconcile. And that’s not the case. So we’re dealing with conviction, repentance and forgiveness.

      Doyle: Yes. And if those things don’t appear in the relationship, then that’s your sort of ‘directive’ to say [to yourself], “Okay, that person’s unwilling to they’ve unaware, unwilling, in denial, whatever — they’re not going to own their behaviour. So, should I, at that point, continue to be close to them?”

      Perry: No.

      Doyle: Right. So this is where we’ve really failed, pretty significantly historically—

      Perry: So, as a counsellor, you have to make a decision, a judgement, at that point. Because, maybe the offender is saying, you know, they’re the problem too. At what point do you say to somebody: “This isn’t a safe position to be in. You need to come apart.” I mean, that’s a big thing to say!

      Doyle: It is. So really, it’s not about me making that decision. It’s about the person that’s being harmed making that decision.

      Perry: I guess what I’m saying is, How do you know that what they’re saying is true? I mean, you obviously have to weigh both sides.

      Doyle: Yeah, you do. And I wish it was an exact science: it would make my life a lot easier!

      … And you know, many times in my life I’ve had to put people outside of my life because of their unwillingness to own their responsibility, their harm. And early in my Christian experience, I was told pretty significantly that that wasn’t okay. And I’ve even put some parts of my family out of my life, because they’re harmful.

      And here’s the other thing: I think we also take some of the power away from the offended when we say they don’t have a right to choose what harm is. But listen, if I believe it’s harmful, that’s what matters! So, everybody has a different level of sensitivity. One person may be able to handle one thing, and another person may not. So we have to also take into consideration the frame of the person we’re dealing with.

      But in a reconciliation — if someone is convicted, repents, confesses and asks for forgiveness — the offended it going to naturally open up when they see that behavioural change. And like I said before, you have to be from Missouri: those people [the offenders] have to show you, they can’t just tell you.

      The other thing I see all the time is: as somebody that’s been offended, I really want that relationship, I really it to get back together, I don’t want the offence to be there, so I kind of deny it myself, and I just keep going back into that — and getting harmed. And the more you keep going back into that relationship, the more you get harmed, the harder your heart’s going to get. And it’s my belief that hardness of heart is the one thing, the one thing that will destroy a relationship.

      So, how do I maintain softness? Well in some cases, it’s a boundary so that person can’t keep harming me. Sometimes it’s my confession, because I’m the offender. But without humility and brokenness and conviction, I don’t think you’re going to have a healthy relationship longterm. Because I don’t know two people who are in a relationship where somebody’s not wrong occasionally.

      Perry: Is reconciliation conditional?

      Doyle: Yes. If the person does not own their responsibility, then reconciliation is not advised. So you’re not going to have a healthy relationship.
      END OF EXCERPT

      Barb’s thoughts in following comment.

      • I’m pasting here the rest of my transcripted portion of the video. Since I went to the trouble of transcribing it, it seems more sensible to put it here than simply to delete it or archive it in my laptop.

        Keep in mind that I didn’t transcribe the whole video.

        PICKING UP FROM MY TRANSCRIPT WHERE I LEFT IT OFF ABOVE —

        Perry: Is reconciliation conditional?

        Doyle: Yes. If the person does not own their responsibility, then reconciliation is not advised. So you’re not going to have a healthy relationship. Let’s say it’s your spouse. You’re in a conflict with your spouse. They won’t own it. How do you set a boundary with that person, someone you’re living with, you’re completely intertwined with, how do you set a boundary with that person that’s effective and helping them see that that’s not okay with you — and maintain some sort of family life? I’ve had this conversation many times with people, the struggle with “I don’t know what to do.”

        Let’s just say that someone in a relationship is verbally harsh — it’s not abusive, really, but maybe they’re snippy, it’s hurtful, maybe they’re unkind with their tone, and it hurts you. So, what are you going to do? How long are you going to live with that before you get harmed? You could die the death of a thousand blows. Not like they’re shooting me; they just keep cutting me. So what are you gonna do? And that person doesn’t seem to have any idea that they are harming you. What do you do? And maybe it’s because you’re acting like it doesn’t hurt.

        Perry: Isn’t that kind of like an act of love? I’ve said that because I’ve had people say, “I just put up with it; it’s just one of those things.”

        Doyle: Yeah. And what that leads to is distance. Because, if someone’s harming you — if they do care about you, don’t you think they would want to know? In many relationships, the person that’s being offended knows the other person doesn’t care, which is why they rationalise it. And then they’re too afraid to bring it up, because they don’t want to make it worse.

        So here’s the deal. I think that if you’re in a relationship where it’s a sensitive subject or the person is reactive, I prefer having some of those discussions in writing. Because usually in a relationship like this some of those issues have been brought up multiple times,and they have the same bad result. It’s what I call a looping argument — the same thing over and over again. And you never get to a good place. And you start to get defeated about it like “It’s not going to work; it doesn’t matter.”

        One of the things I would to is that the person who feels offended needs to sit down and write what they’re feeling, what they’re opinions are, and just get it out. Then put it away. A couple of days later come back and look at it and like “Okay, is that all still true? Okay, that’s a little too much halapeno I might want to take that out… “

        So, when you write, there’s not all that reactivity. When you write, you’re not in the presence of that person who’s having that impact on you.

        So, once you get all that out. if you have somebody that you trust, that really knows your circumstance (if you take that to somebody that doesn’t know you, chances are, they’re going to make it worse because they don’t understand the context) …. So, if you have somebody like that, let them look at it, get some feedback, ask God to help you. And I would also say this, in your confrontation, written, I would always want to include that in most situations I think it’s a good idea to say, “I do not want to have a conversation about this. Please write me back. This issue is very sensitive or hurtful to me (or whatever). Please let’s have this conversation in writing so we can keep the harm down. Because I really want to resolve this.” So you want to get that person to respond in writing because if they’re trying to avoid their responsibility, they’re going to use whatever tactics they have.

        END OF BARB’S TRANSCRIPT.

        Note from Barb: I don’t think that putting one’s grievances in writing to a domestic abuser is going to be of much help at all. An abuser will still twist and turn whatever you’ve written and shape it into bombs to fling back at you. An abuser won’t respect your request to write back rather than speak to you. An abuser will ride roughshod over all your attempts to keep it courteous and matter of fact. An abuser will not stick to the point. An abuser will simply use whatever you’ve written to shift the blame and make you feel like you are going crazy…

        Like new creation reports Patrick Doyle as saying: An abuser is responsibility teflon.

    • Here, as indented quotes, are the bits I had made bold in that transcript. My comments are aligned left.

      Perry: … they’re both wrong and yet they see the other person as the problem and not themselves.

      If a victim had been through couple counseling, especially under a counselor or pastor who was unable to detect the abuser’s lies and coercive control, this part of the video could be triggering. It might have reminded the victim of that awful situation in the counseling where the abuser snowed the counselor. Or it might have brought back to mind a counselor or even the average know-it-all Christian who, as soon as they know a marriage is in trouble, has the pre-determined belief that both parties must be contributing to the problem so their job it to discover and point out the serious sin and fault in both spouses — and of course such a person can usually much more easily pick on the victim’s supposed faults than the abuser’s highly-concealed faults. …

      
Patrick Doyle: Well those are days when I’m trying to tell people, “Look, neither one of you are owning anything! And so until somebody gets some conviction, I can tell you wants going to happen, you can tell me what’s going to happen: there’s not going to be an intimacy, there’s not going to be any change, there’s not going to be any forgiveness, there’s not going to be any transition. Because until somebody owns something, we’re stuck!” And I’ve never met two people who were married where both parties didn’t have things to confess.

      Yes, I an see how that could have sounded like a lecture. And victim’s have been so often lectured, unfairly and mercilessly lectured by their abusers, that I can see you might have heard it that way, Lost. All I can suggest is that you try to take comfort from another part of what Doyle said:

      And here’s the other thing: I think we also take some of the power away from the offended when we say they don’t have a right to choose what harm is. But listen, if I believe it’s harmful, that’s what matters! So, everybody has a different level of sensitivity. One person may be able to handle one thing, and another person may not. So we have to also take into consideration the frame of the person we’re dealing with.

      Since you felt lectured, and felt hurt as a result, you have every right to say that! And every right to feel that, and for no one to tell you you are being ‘too sensitive’. The frame you are dealing with is having been abused and lied to and falsely accused and lectured for YEARS. So it’s perfectly understandable that you feel offended if you are being spoken to in a ‘lecturing’ mode. There is nothing wrong with you for having been hurt or offended or triggered by that.:) In fact, your response shows how acute your antennae are to any hint of things like that – and that acuity is a healthy way of guarding yourself against being hurt again.:)

      I know how hard it can be to always take into account the possible sensitivities of all members of the audience (I’ve done a bit of public speaking myself, and put my foot in my mouth many times, probably a lot more times than I am aware of) so I can see Patrick Doyle’s position too … but I have the impression he would be quite open to feedback from his listeners.

      Perry: So, as a counsellor, you have to make a decision, a judgement, at that point. Because, <maybe the offender is saying, you know, they’re the problem too. At what point do you say to somebody: “This isn’t a safe position to be in. You need to come apart.” I mean, that’s a big thing to say!

      So many of us have experienced this The abusers shifts blame onto the abused: “You know, they’re the problem too.”
      Or the abused says “Yeah, I’m part of the problem! I neglected my wife and kids. I didn’t spend enough time with them… ” or some really mild ‘confession’ like that which masks the horrendous extent and scale of abuse they have actually been doing for years. Both things hurt. The abuser’s blame-shifting and the abuser’s mini-blame acceptance – they both hurt! And they are both major lies.
      And I can see this could easily have triggered you, Lost.

      Perry: … you obviously have to weigh both sides. …

      Another potential trigger for memories of sin-levelling by counselors and bystanders.

      Doyle: … And the more you keep going back into that relationship, the more you get harmed, the harder your heart’s going to get. …

      This could possibly be a trigger if the victim has been tied up in knots of false guilt about whether or not she has become an abuser by being so hard, so cut off, so cold, so detached or so angry and volatile towards her abuser or her kids.

      What I think Patrick Doyle would say, and what I certainly say to such victims, is this: “Rather than being down on yourself for ‘hardening your heart,’ I suggest you honour yourself for resisting the abuse and for erecting walls (emotional boundaries) to protect your heart from a person who doesn’t care about you at all, a person who is highly resistant to repentance and is only using you for his own selfish whims.”

      • newcreation

        If you listen to more of Patrick’s videos on emotional abuse, struggling relationships, why marriages aren’t working, etc. you will find that Patrick defends the abused victim who finds him/ herself in a situation where the abuser will not take responsibility for the abuse. He refers to one as being responsibility Teflon and the other responsibility Velcro.

        Many times we women have tried everything to help the situation and exasperate every means to find help only to find we will never change what is happening in the home. Patrick is a defender of the abuser and understands that unless someone is convicted by the Holy Spirit to change. (i.e. the abuser) the relationship will never reach reconciliation.

        He is a great support and I think many readers will find more support and less triggering on some of his other videos. They helped to clarify that I am responding to what my husband initiates because of the abuse and that my job as a Christian before the Lord is to guard my heart and forgive but understand that reconciliation cannot happen with a man who never takes responsibility for the abuse.

      • Thanks newcreation! 🙂

      • lonelywife

        Rather than being down on yourself for ‘hardening your heart,’ I suggest you honour yourself for resisting the abuse and for erecting walls (emotional boundaries) to protect your heart from a person who doesn’t care about you at all, a person who is highly resistant to repentance and is only using you for his own selfish whims.

        Thank you Barbara! My H just told me that I’m part of “the problem” because I’m not affectionate AND because I’ve refused to be intimate for almost 2 yrs now…and my response was pretty much what you stated!
        I told him I HAVE to protect my heart from his emotional abuse, from his lack of TRUE repentance…and he said nothing!
        He just does not get it, and I am now more certain than ever that separation is the way to go!

      • Annie

        I agree a letter to an abuser isn’t a good idea. I did that. I thought if I could just get him to read my thoughts he’d get it. He never listened when I tried to talk so I thought reading would force him to “listen”. Nope. He used it against me.

        But I tried.

        I am secure in the knowledge that I tried — I tried everything. Rather than be depressed that I couldn’t find the “right” thing that changed him or the situation I know that I did try and I didn’t give up. But when nothing works there comes a time when you have to say time to move on.

    • standsfortruth

      I saw some dirty bathwater in this video too Lost. Although I saw good points too.
      At my age Im getting better at deciephering between the two, and unfortunately sometimes they come side by side like I noted in this video.

      Anytime I see a blanket referance to “mutualize the blame” in relationship disfunction, without a caveat for various forms of abuse, I smell a rat.

      I think both Perry and Doyell glossed over that fact at the statement about
      ” Each partner has something to confess” so I caught that too.

      Yes I have something to confess to them with that comment in mind…
      How bout this for a confession?
      “I was abused by my spouse and each time I was abused I responded appropriately.”
      Now what would they have to say?

      • standsfortruth

        Also for an abuse victim, I dont see the term “hardening ones heart” having any proper application in her situtation.

        “Guarding one’s heart through resistance” would be the right application for the actively abused person.

        The bible even instructs the believer to Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it flows the issues of life.

      • Trapped

        This wicked idea that “it takes two”, and “no one is perfect”, and “we all sin” contribute to the idea that both parties are guilty, thereby neutralizing some idea of vilifying one party apart from the other. (I use the term “vilify” cuz that’s how a third party perceives it, in my experience.) The whole “both individuals must give 100%” really makes people ignorant to the possibility that one spouse could actually be working to destroying the other. My pastor told me that I just need to submit. Clearly, he operates with the above-mentioned mentality. That’s so unhealthy.

    • Charis

      I agree that Mr Doyle’s comment about having never counseled a couple where there wasn’t some blame that couldn’t be shared for the marital problem was a bit breath-taking. Like Barbara, I have progressed a lot in my own healing and try very hard to consider “the source.” I understand that some presenters/pastors have an intended context that is larger and more inclusive than our personal frame of reference. Still, to hear this phrase was disappointing considering that he seemed to toggle back and forth between generically healthy and unhealthy relationships and examples of blatantly toxic situations – having previously listed tactics and abuse briefly in his dialogue. All that to say. I agree with you. That phrase was difficult and confusing – leaving me questioning if he was “safe” as a counselor.

      I also found it difficult to piece apart his reference of fruit. I understand what he means – that anyone can “fake” the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians. Indeed, many of us grieve the fact that our h’s put on this charade at church and have so many fooled. I think this is what Mr Doyle is saying and I agree with him. Mr Doyle also uses a very apt phrase by saying we need to adopt for ourselves the motto of Missouri: “Show Me.” We are to sit with this idea during the 4 steps leading to Reconciliation. We here often speak (as does Mr Doyle) about needing to see proof of change. That is more than just lip service. I agree with this, too.

      What I found unfortunate was how he mixed these concepts during this particular segment. Maybe it was due to the format of the interview and how many rabbit trails were introduced and how often Mr Atkinson interrupted him (which was terribly distracting). I would have liked Mr Doyle to separate the two ideas and clearly delineate them. It seemed Mr Doyle introduced the idea that we cannot tell a person is a true believer by their fruit during the segment on repentance…and I find that unfortunate because we DO judge the fruit of true repentance. This is potentially very confusing. Maybe I am just hyper-critical. I found his word choice rather poor in this particular segment, probably because it seemed rather muddy and (due to the interruptions and rabbit trails) he never got back to clarifying several items during this segment: like how to implement boundaries or what “Show Me” looks like.

      Finally, I found the general demeanor throughout the interview off-putting. This is a rather serious topic – not just for spouses but for siblings, workmates, friends – for anyone considering how or if to repair a relationship. These men are attempting to debunk a longstanding error and repair damage within the church. In this film they are joking, laughing, giggling throughout the entire interview – like there is some private joke none of the rest of us are “in” on. I found it especially unfortunate that Mr Atkinson continually interrupted Mr Doyle right in the middle of an explanation: why contrition is important, what true repentance looks like, how to implement boundaries whilst still living with someone who has offended you and is oblivious to the offense, etc. There were SO many rabbit trails and interruptions the dialogue quickly lost flow and became difficult to follow.

      What I found especially beneficial about the film is the first 12min or so. To me, that is the most powerful piece of the presentation. I think Mr Doyle’s best points are made during the first segment (before the break). I have sent this link on to my parents, who are currently struggling with the idea of trying to pursue reconciliation with a family member and are not sure how to move forward. It will be interesting to hear their thoughts if they take the time to watch this presentation. Thank you to ACFJ for sharing it.

      • Thanks Charis, and now I know what he meant by “You have to be from Missouri!” That’s obviously a yankee idiom that Australians like me haven’t heard of.

      • Alone

        I agree! Seems like they were enjoying doing the show, which might account for the giggling and joking around, but I wonder if they were doing that as a vehicle for keeping the show “light”? Being such an incredibly serious and delicate topic, I wonder if they were wanting to cover the material, but still not make it too heavy for listeners who aren’t familiar or interested in this specific topic? I know some radio stations have rather vocal listeners in terms of feedback, and often feel it their duty to impose their expectations on services they use, etc. Whatever the reason, yes, it was slightly distracting for me also.

        I really appreciated your insight and comments regarding the topic they discussed though; thank you for that! 🙂

  8. Anon

    BR, I reacted similarly as Lost. It seemed to me that Perry was not truly believing the way ACFJ does and was trying his hardest to not so subtly put in there that it was the target’s fault, she needed to admit her part, etc. It seemed like Doyle was doing his hardest to counter. Until they hit the part about Adam and Eve and where there is strong translational disagreement and most no longer agree that it says woman will be ruled over. Again another situ like with Malachi and translational subterfuge to promote an agenda. So that I then began to need to be careful about Doyle. Until then I felt like he had finally gotten it. Again Crippen’s post on evil this week was it Mon., anyway, it got it, abusers choose evil doing being evil and only thing we can do is depart from evil and do good. Thank you all. Still a lot of Doyle was helpful and I passed it along.

    • standsfortruth

      I felt the same thing as you did about Perry..he seemed to be on board with Doyle as long as the relationship problem was perceived as a “mutual problem”.
      In the bible Pharaoh is a prime example of an abuser displaying a hard heart, as he did not want to let Gods people go, as he considered those people his to control.
      It is the abuser that clearly has a hard heart. One that likes to keep his captives under control.
      But isn’t it funny that when I chose to set up boundaries to finally protect myself against further abuse in my marriage, I was labeled by the “c”hurch, and my abusers allies, as being “a bitter, and hard hearted woman”.
      But both God and I knew this was a lie.
      So when they saw my being proactive to protect myself from further abuse by setting safe boundaries for myself, they wrongly labeled me as being hard hearted, or a bitter woman.
      Some of my boundaries included using selective grey rock, and firming up my personal security, but it probably wouldn’t matter what type I used.
      This type of “wrong motive labeling” is a lie designed to try to confuse the target back to the abuser. But thats all it is.
      False motive labeling.
      Who are these people to judge a persons heart, when they don’t even care to support you against your abuser?
      Bitterness and hardheartedness are the furthest thing from a targets mind when she is setting boundaries against her abuser.
      My thoughts were wanting to protect myself, and ultimately free myself from my abuser.
      So just don’t be surprised if you are “falsely” labeled this way as you plan to protect yourself or strategize your way to freedom.

    • Hi Anon,
      if its safe for you to do so, would you kindly email TWBTC — only to discuss your screen name so we can be clear what you want it to be. 🙂 Her address is twbtc.acfj@gmail.com

    • Another possibility is that Perry wasn’t talking there about abuse situations, but about other kinds of marriages — the kinds where actually both parties are selfishly disregarding their marriage vows. There ARE such marriages. They are very different from marriages where one spouse is abusing the other by using power and control to keep the other under. Bear in mind that in this interview the two men were canvassing lots of kinds of relationships; they were not speaking just about abusive relationships.

      • seekingtruth

        Barbara,
        You made some great points. I have watched several Patrick Doyle videos, and I believe you’re right – Perry and Patrick do try to cover different relationship dynamics. I was triggered similarly to Lost when I first watched this video. Perry often seems to play devil’s advocate, but I do think it’s bc he has seen other relationship dynamics – like the normal marriage in which one party won’t admit any fault, or in the case of the “hardness of heart” video I watched last night, the reality that sometimes one spouse plays the eternal victim and likes that status. And Patrick typically agreed with him, because he’s right – we are all sinners and need to examine our own hearts. I appreciate, however, that Patrick usually later clarifies how things apply differently in an abusive relationship. At the end of the “hardness of heart” video, Perry states that there are real victims, and Patrick clarifies that we all need to examine our hearts for hardness, but if we are being abused we do that in order to not hurt ourselves while still holding a boundary to guard out hearts. Good stuff! Thank you for what you do.

      • standsfortruth

        Please forgive me for coming back in and finding it necessary to defend the woman who finally finds the backbone to set up boundaries against her abuser.

        This comment is only for the abused woman who wants to protect themselves without guilt.
        There is NO WAY I could have avoided this “hardness of heart accusation” from the pious club… Bam. It was just waiting for me to set up any boundry.
        (Like the devil when Jesus finished fasting.)
        -along with the abusers fake pity party-
        The label of having a hard heart will follow the setting of any boundaries against your abuser.
        This type of label is a “counter tactic” to your defending yourself, just don’t let it make you second guess yourself.
        So please note that “although we are all sinners”, we are far from thinking like the abuser, who continually works to wear us down with psychological warfare.
        The act of mustering up enough courage to set boundaries, is necessary to your protection, but will be labeled by the blind guides, as having a hard heart.
        But don’t waiver. Stay the course.
        Have a plan, believe in yourself, and God will see you through it.

      • thanks, standsfortruth — and no need to ask for forgiveness 🙂

  9. lonelywife

    Not to be the convicter, that’s Gods job.

    How I wish I’d known this 5 yrs ago! As the offended, I jumped through hoops trying to get my H to SEE how his affair and behavior afterwards was grieving God…and hurting me so terribly. But he didn’t care….And like Patrick said….it only hurt me more! UGH!!!
    We are now on our way to separation, because he doesn’t respect my boundaries, he certainly hasn’t changed, and he’s admitted that, and I now feel that God is telling me, “It’s time!”

  10. Annie

    It’s hard for me to hear or read anything about marriage problems and not see it through the lens of abuse.

    I hear spouses call into radio programs and tell how they worked through problems and now they have this great marriage now. But no one is specific. What did those marriages look like? What does a difficult marriage look like? How is that different from abusive?

    People keep telling me I have a difficult marriage because they see the things he does that would annoy them—-he talks over me in front of people or criticizes what I made for dinner. If I were to give them the laundry list of all the things he does they wouldn’t believe me! No one can do all those things! They would surely accuse me of exaggerating.

    It’s not that I nitpicked him–it’s that I would tell him something bothered me and he would deny me my feelings about it by accusing me of being terrible, call me names or otherwise manipulate me into believing I had no right to feel anything.

    • Annie — YES to this:

      I hear spouses call into radio programs and tell how they worked through problems and now they have this great marriage now. But no one is specific. What did those marriages look like? What does a difficult marriage look like? How is that different from abusive?

      When so few people articulate what they mean by ‘a difficult marriage’, abuse gets lumped in everyone’s mind with all the more common and garden varieties of marriage problems. And most people remain in ignorance about what constitutes abuse and how prevalent it might actually be…

      • Annie

        Barbara, you used the phrase “common and garden varieties of marriage problems”. That is the phrasing I’ve been searching for. I wish I had those! In fact I’m sure he’s taken those garden variety problems and used them as instruments of abuse. Everything in our marriage is a major issue. He never quits. We don’t have one or two difficult issues in our marriage. We have difficult issues every single day. Different ones every day. And our issues aren’t things we can’t agree on like where we should spend Christmas. It’s him thinking it’s ok to be rude to me because I asked a simple question. It’s him thinking he can make nasty comments about me to other people. It’s him sitting on me one day because he was mad at me.

        Someday when I have the strength to do it I’m calling into one of those shows and ask how I’m supposed to deal with a guy that thinks sitting on your wife is ok.

      • We don’t have one or two difficult issues in our marriage. We have difficult issues every single day. Different ones every day. And our issues aren’t things we can’t agree on like where we should spend Christmas.

        YES!
        If only all the naive counselors and pastors and pew-sitters in churches would realise this!

        Abuse is different, radically different from the common and garden issues that from time to time occur in other marriages.

        And it is also different from the issue of adultery (though some abusers commit adultery as well as abuse). There are quite a number of cases of plain old adultery where the adulterous spouse has repented and the injured spouse has eventually felt willing to trust them again, and the marriage is fully restored, sometimes even becoming a stronger marriage than it was before the adultery. But that is so so different from cases of abuse. Wake up, church!

  11. Anonymous

    Responding to Annie regarding your response that everything is an issue and used to abuse. So true! I realized at some point that they make everything a moral / soul issue. Are we smiling just right? Fast enough? Oh, you aren’t serving your king (them) just the way they think they should be worshiped so you fail! You will be punished! But there is no end to their demands and we will always fail because after all, they are “god.” Big yawn. So boring. How can I think evil is boring? Because it’s always the same. Evil. 100%unadulterated evil. Not a drop of redeemable material anywhere near them. Not one single thing about them is worthy or good according to the bible. Their father the devil is always the same–evil and boring. As Jeff often points out their goals are always the same. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 “He opposes every so-called god or anything that is worshiped and places himself above them, sitting in God’s temple and claiming to be God.” They desire to be worshiped and to exalt themselves. Their minds are polluted. Titus 1:15, “To the pure everything is pure; but to the polluted and unbelieving nothing is pure, but on the contrary their very minds and consciences are polluted.” On the way to being worshiped and exalted, they need to destroy any others who they inherently know are truly of God. That old battle between good and evil that was started in the garden of Eden is still raging today. And we belong to the victor.

    It’s because of people not discerning and then forcing us to deny the discernment we receive from the Holy Spirit that we’ve been destroyed. But we really aren’t are we? Here we are day after day battling the lie we’ve had forced on us. Coming here, seeking the Lord through his word, battling valiantly to know the TRUTH, And God NEVER lets us go….it’s why we’re still here and it’s why we still care. We love because he first loved us. Thank you for sharing again. You speak of many of the things that I’ve lived. I’m grateful!

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