A Cry For Justice

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

Thursday Thought — Abuse: Cancer or the common cold

The misdiagnosis is deadly. If a doctor diagnosed cancer as the common cold, he would likely be sued for malpractice. When counselors misdiagnose an abusive marriage as simply requiring a higher level of commitment by the abuse target…they generally seem to refuse to admit error and stand by their original misdiagnosis of “if only you would have…”  (by Joe Pote)

From our Allegories, Analogies, and Fairy Tales page

The original cancer analogy can be found at this post: The relational cancer of abuse is not like the common cold.  Joe’s comment can be found in the comment section of this post – here.


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  1. Brenda R

    Taking this one step further, “if only I hadn’t been born, I would not have been sexually assaulted by the wicked step father!!” The fairy tale, actually realistic ending, is seeing my blessed Savior in Heaven. Fairy tales can’t do better. Sure wish that one would have been read more when I was young.

  2. Herjourney

    It’s like the counselor(s) lived in my home. Paid the bills. Prepared the meals. What to have for dinner. Told me when to have sex with my abuser. What to wear. Where to sit in church. Who I could make friends with.
    Currently not attending a regular church.
    And it’s 👌 .
    I know the truth. He leads me beside the still waters.

  3. LH

    When you’re in an abusive marriage, your spouse has secretly and deliberately inflected you with cancer, and will do all he can to prevent you from getting treatment. Meanwhile, the church keeps telling you that your spouse has a cold and you’d better take good care of him so he can get better.

    • Anne

      Spot on, LH!

  4. Kim

    I call narcissism the moral AIDS of our time.

  5. Yvette

    I’m curious if you have an estimate for how many marriages are infected with this cancer? My christian counselor tells me I’m an exception and that my abusive marriage is extremely unusual. It has made me feel all alone and it’s easy to fall into the guilt ridden thought patterns when you feel like you are an exception. When I look at the statistics for child abuse, rape and physical assault in our society it just leaves me thinking that marital abuse has to be occurring in a similarly high % of marriages. Am I wrong?

    • Welcome to the blog 🙂 I changed your screen name to Yvette as a precaution. If you want us to change it to something else, just email The woman behind the curtain: twbtc.acfj@gmail.com — she will be more than happy to assist. 🙂

      We always like to encourage new readers to check out our New Users Info page as it gives tips for how to guard your safety while commenting on the blog.

      How many marriages are abusive? We tend to avoid statistics on this blog. We are not experts on the stats, and we steer clear of it because the statistical aspect of domestic abuse is hotly contested because abusive men like to disseminate distorted statistics. Having said that, the population-based studies in western world countries indicate that one in four women who have ever been partnered are abused by an intimate partner at some point in their life. The incidence of males being abused by female partners is a fair bit lower than that.

      I think your counselor is most likely not well trained in domestic abuse to have told you that your abusive marriage is ‘very unusual’. Basic counseling training does not usually cover domestic abuse well at all. And ‘c’hristian counseling training covers it VERY poorly in many cases. (see here)

      You are by no means alone. Most of the readers at this blog have experienced abuse from their partners, some have experienced abuse from other family members, fellow Christians, and/or church leadership.

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