My son when he finds out will be dispointed he can not attend church with me and my mum too we are christains and been baptist but my daugher is of the rails and i have no friends to support me so i asak for your prayer as i take the matter up with the church a little more i took it first to the rev of the church no i need to go to the prest and go higher up as formal complaint on disibilty discrimanation i got no idea what i am doing but i can not go through life with out standing up for me and my family at the moment i can do with prayers to sort this out. i thought this church would have accepted all things but as my life gets harder i find they back off. and lots of misunderstandings and they always call a socail worker when all i need is a nice cup of tea a chat and to pray with some one. but when i ask that they think i need profectial help too so i ahve to stop this sitgma with in the church so it does not happen to another family with so many problems and disabilitys. i hope you can pray for this if any one has any ideas what i can or can not do with regards to the church and my family i thought once as i have a elder boy whos mid 20s years ago you would get teen support advice and prayer from your local church but i feel it as started to change with new poliscys in place to protect children and vonarble adults some how i do not understand it all myself. thanks
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Please check out our Hotlines Page and our Safety Planning page for lots of links, especially this one which I am copying and pasting here:
Evidentiary Abuse Affidavit also known as DOCUMENT THE ABUSE
Ensure that a 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.
Anonymous February 2, 2014 — Praying (((( ))))
Anonymous February 7, 2014 — So many decisions, so many voices. Pray that as I continue to meet with counselors that I will be able to discern the Lord’s truth and even if it is painful that I would have the strength and courage to obey His Word. Pray especially for pastor/shepherds; that their hearts would be open to ‘protecting all the sheep’.
A note of praise for ACFJ … I have been making others aware of your ministry. Yesterday, a woman came and hugged me; asked how I was doing and then proceeded to rejoice and explain how she had finally convinced one of her girlfriends to take control of an abusive situation. She recommended her friend link up to ACFJ. Hearing of others experiences was enough to convince this woman that she had to take action … the fog was lifted.
Jesus’ChosenBelovedLittleLamb February 13, 2014 — I made the mistake of going to a marital counseling session with my abuser and he managed to get the counselor to minimize my perceived abuse so he keeps lording that over me. He did exactly what you said he would do with his power and control over. I tried to set boundaries, but he continued in our van with our children. He is abusive to me and our children, but he is a master at POWER AND CONTROL, MINIMIZING, DENYING, AND BLAMING, making light of the abuse and not taking my concerns about it seriously; saying the abuse didn’t happen; shifting responsibility for abusive behavior; saying I am an abuser.
I need to keep fleeing/continually repenting of idolatry/codependency and keep crying out to my chief Shepherd. Please pray that He will hear my cries and deliver my children and me from bondage and captivity to evil. The parenting style that God led me to keeps my children close to me. He has likened me to a shepherd obeying the voice of my chief Shepherd and protecting my flock from the wolves.
I was hoping this article on “ABUSE PROTECTION from Meier Clinics was going to help us, but it didn’t”
The only time we are ever told to “turn the other cheek” is when we are slapped on our cheek for being a believer. Otherwise, God absolutely hates all forms of abuse and wants and expects us to protect others and ourselves from abuse. In Romans 12, God promises to get vengeance on all abusers— although His timing is not always immediate like we sometimes wish it was. In Psalm 68, we are reminded how much God loves us, and especially “widows and orphans” which also includes psychological “widows and orphans” who have husbands/fathers who ignore or abuse them. God promises to take the lonely and place them in new “families”—other believers who will love us and
treat us with dignity and accept us the way we are. God also warns abusers in Psalm 68, promising to eventually smash their heads against the rocks. Like I said, God gets really angry at any form of abuse against His children”
My abuser is scared that I am telling lies about him that he is an abuser. Please pray that I would stay under the protection of my Heavenly Father as He has told me to cry out for justice. Jesus said, “Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.” Acts 18:9b-10
Barbara Roberts February 13, 2014 — Dear Little Lamb, I removed some of the text of your comment because it could have identified you to those who know you. Please do be careful — this is a public blog and anyone can read it.
I do hear your pain and your struggles. If I may, I’d like to suggest a few ideas for you to consider:
Sometimes victims leave their abusers and then feel that God is telling them to return to the abuser. Almost universally, this ends up with the abuser getting more entrenched in abusive behaviours and the victim becoming even more downtrodden and exhausted and psychologically shredded and her health gets even more compromised. I suggest you might like to consider that it may not be the Holy Spirit which prompts victims to return to their unreformed abusers, rather, it’s things like false guilt, wrong understanding of the doctrines of suffering, persecution, forgiveness, divorce, etc., and pressure from kids/extended family/friends/Church networks. And fear. Fear of all sorts of things, some of which are very valid fears and some of which are probably not valid.
I suggest you stop trying to explain to your abuser that he is abusive and what he does that is abusive. He is clearly unwilling to listen and take it on board, he just uses all your explanations and advice about how he needs to repent by turning them back into boomerang weapons to throw back at you. It is a waste of time explaining things to an abuser. Try not to fall into the explaining trap.
Don’t bother with reading any resources other than what we list on our Resources pages. We have vetted these resources carefully.
I suggest you make a secret list (so your abuser can’t see it). On one side of the paper list all the reasons why you think you ought to stay with your abuser, and on the other side list all the reasons why it might be a good idea to leave. You might like to think that through by asking yourself “What am I afraid of if I stay? What am I afraid of if I were to leave?”
I strongly suggest you phone the Hotline and ask them to put you in touch with your local domestic abuse support service. Here is out Hotlines page and our Safety Planning page. I believe your are in danger and at quite high risk, from what you described. You could do the Mosaic Method Risk Assessment to find out your level of risk.
Idolatry of one’s husband is dangerous, no husband is sinless, and abusive husbands are outright evil. To repent of making an idol of your husband, or making an idol of cultish Christian teachings, means to cast out their directives, resist and refuse to believe the false guilt and commandments they lay on you, and removing yourself from their infection. No one can easily repent of such idolatry while remaining in the atmosphere where all that idolatry is promoted and enforced. You are not made of titanium. You are, like all of us, a frail creature — we all get affected by false teaching if we sit under it and remain in its influence. The only way to really clear it out of our brains and souls is to flee. Come out from Babylon. Do not expect yourself to be able to sit in that poisoned atmosphere and be able to resist and reject its toxicity. All it will do is drag you down more into the black hole, deplete your energy and health and render you even less able to find the strength to walk away.
Hugs from Barb
Anonymous February 13, 2014 — Barbara, Excellent counsel to Little Lamb and all of us. The ‘fear factor’ is an issue that we sometimes don’t want to admit to because as believers we keep reminding ourselves of how much we ‘trust God for every situation’. I can relate to, “Do not expect yourself to be able to sit in that poisoned atmosphere and be able to resist and reject it’s toxicity. All it will do is drag you down more into black hole, deplete your energy and health and render you even less able to find the strength to walk away.”
Once again, I commend you on such wise counsel.
Anna In The Temple Febuary 13, 2014 — Dear Lamb, I agree with Barb. I’m worried for you too and I agree it sounds like you are in danger. Barb made good suggestions especially re ringing a hotline. Do be careful if you make a list. I did something like that once and then dropped it accidentally. I will keep you in prayer.
Summer February 13, 2014 — Please pray, been tense for couple weeks now, 8:30 with judge and lawyer and perhaps ex and all it will be is more abuse, perfect day to say ‘no I won’t enforce what legally I am supposed to enforce’ is what the judge will probably say tomorrow’ Valentines’ hurray since he has gone against other laws every time so far. And then another mtg. with same judge two mondays later same time. Thanks for praying.
Barbara Roberts February 13, 2014 — I’ll be praying, Summer.
Anonymous March 6, 2014 — Pleading for prayers please-esp for covering for my kids. He is threatening that things are going to change in a “big way” and talking about custody/taking the kids. I can put up with anything-. anything but loosing the kids to him. I’ve ben staying just so they wont have to do un-supervised visits. My church has failed me. He has secret accounts where I know he has been hiding money, and i have no access to funds for a lawyer. I don’t know what to do. My heart is breaking.
Barbara Roberts March 6, 2014 — I shall pray. The situation you are facing is one many victims have faced. . . the threats are awful. I shall pray that God will not allow the abuser’s threats to be fulfilled, and that God will work all things together for you and your children’s good. 🙂
Nowfree March 6, 2014 — I’m praying for you and your children, Anonymous.
Anonymous May 29, 2014 — THANK YOU so very much for the prayers. God is answering them and moving mountains. Family and friends have helped me raise funds for a retainer, etc and God has lead me to an attorney with a real heart for protecting children. She even told me THEY are who she is fighting for.
Our old “c’hurch” is backing my abusive STBX and even initiated church discipline against me for leaving-but God has already blessed the children and I with a new church home. (And one that seems to “get” abuse situations!)
Please continue to pray for us. We have not yet had our first court date, forcing him to move out, so things are very stressful. My biggest fear is visitation..PLEASE pray for supervised or limited visitation.
Thank you Prayer Warriors!
Xeriwetherx March 9, 2014 — Please pray for me as I meet with a pastor at my church today. He is someone recommended to me by several friends at my church, some of which he counseled through their divorce. I feel fairly confident that he will be supportive of the decision I have felt in my heart for the past month or so: to divorce. Still, I’m a bit nervous. I recognize that ultimately this decision is between me and God, and that a pastor is not perfect. However, it would bring me so much more confidence knowing that my church is standing behind my decision. Please pray that God will be present in our meeting and make His will extremely clear to both of us.
Barbara Roberts March 9, 2014 — I shall pray XMeri. Your comment came through okay. We moderate all comments before publishing them so that’s why it didn’t go live straight away.
Xeriwetherx March 9, 2014 — Usually I can see it with a “Your Comment is Awaiting Moderation” message… but this time I couldn’t see it at all, so that’s why I was confused 🙂. Thank you for the prayer!
Marah March 27, 2014 — I’ve just found this site today, after being on an intense search for truth and wisdom regarding my situation for the last 8-10 weeks. My husband is out of the home because of my insistence (years of off and on deceit surrounding alcohol abuse). I’m still sorting it all out, trying to understand what seems so good, what’s clearly not good, and what’s just confusing. I’ve not had a job in over 17 years, raising my kids, and am exhausted emotionally and mentally, and have developed chronic health problems in that time. My kids are relieved their dad is out of the house, and don’t currently want to see him, but he isn’t happy about it and wants our family back. I have a fairly new church, which seems to be awesomely supportive and run by truly wise people, but it’s a fair distance away. I need prayer for continued truth to be revealed, wisdom, courage, protection, rest from fear and anxiety, God’s provision with money, health issues, and for my children. Thank you.
Jeff Crippen March 27, 2014 — Marah, Wonderful that you found us. Thank you for sharing your story (though I am sure there is plenty more to tell as there always is with abuse). There are very good resources listed on our resource page that will help educate you regarding abuse. As I recall, Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He do That?) notes that where there is abuse, alcohol and/or drugs may accentuate it, but they cannot be blamed as the fundamental reason. Abuse is always the result of an inflated sense of entitlement to possession of power and control over others, with a sense of justification for using tactics to gain and maintain that control. Please keep us updated as we pray for you. Many blessings on you and the children in Christ.
Anonymous April 15, 2014 — My Temporary Orders hearing is tomorrow. Please pray for God to grant me and the children protection from the abuser, and that the judge will see the clear pattern of abuse and rule in our favor. Because the physical abuse was minimal, we have to show a pattern of the verbal/emotional/psychological abuse, but the weight of my case falls on the long-term sexual abuse which will be hard to talk about in front of him and the others in the courtroom. Please pray for me as I testify; and the children too, as they speak to the judge in regards to what they lived with.
Barbara Roberts April 15, 2014 — Praying
Barbara Roberts April 21, 2014 — Praying for you and your daughter and grandsons.
Ang May 5, 2014 — I just hired my 5th attorney as I continue to try and escape my abusive marriage. Please pray that I will be able to follow through to the end this time, and my children will understand truth in time. My abuser Is very charming and is good at deceitfully doing what he does so it is hard for the children to understand why “I am doing this.” It’s hard to know what to say, and when I try it usually goes against me so I am having to let go of them and trust in God’s timing to expose truth to them. Thank you!
Barbara Roberts May 7, 2014 — Ang, I shall be praying for you.
Anonymous May 14, 2014 — So sorry you had to go through so many attorneys. Praying for you Ang. Understand about the abuser being charming. Mine too. Very affectionate and attentive with our child, which has contributed to my confusion over the years and my fear of leaving.
Celestebella July 21, 2014 — Get the book “Splitting-Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder” by Bill Eddy. And the Splitting doesn’t refer to the divorce itself, it applies to the narcissist. The book helps you on how to approach and navigate through a high conflict divorce to see it to its end.
Barbara Roberts July 26, 2014 — Thanks Celeste, we haven’t read that book by Bill Eddy, but we do recommend his book B.I.F.F, so we guess his other books would be okay too. Here is our review of B.I.F.F.
Anonymous May 14, 2014 — Feeling very heavy hearted. Found out today that my car repairs will take a huge chunk of our tax refund, which we were planning on using for much needed things we have been doing without for a while. We are low income & AH keeps me in the dark about his exact income & spending & keeps his paycheck in his private account & gives me very little to work with. So I saw the tax refund, which he let me have – surprisingly – as a welcome relief. Long story short, it’s gone & I am again without money.
Over the last several months AH has attacked me (roared loudly & grabbed my back after I climbed in bed a couple of hours after him) in his sleep (so he says-still no appt with sleep specialist), did something else that I can’t remember right now (tired) and most recently backed me into the wall with his body screamng at me to “stop screaming!” with his face nanomillimeters from my face. Then took me out to lunch the next day. Then took the grocery money out of our joint account the next day, without mentioning it to me. When I found out about it today & mentioned it – it was for my lunch! “Where did you think the money was going to come from?” He said.
So, I called local dv hotline over the weekend. Very knowledgable, kind & helpful. They offer free counseling. When I get my car back will go for appointment. Called the police hours after said incident & got info on their procedure, which led me to believe I should speak to a lawyer in advance to find out more about all potential consequences before I’d consider calling police to report dv.
Perhaps will try local support group (different shelter than one mentioned above) again, but did not feel comfortable with it when I attended a few times a couple of years ago. Felt talked down to, like I was a child & the leader misunderstood my situation & seemed think I wanted to take my son out of state without AH’s permission & said it wasn’t fair for me to do that if I didn’t want him to do it. But I will try again & see.
Will start setting up emergency safety plan.
Need to find part time work to start, at home preferable. Not much around here, but I have a few ideas. Please pray for guidance to the right information I need to pick one of the ideas to work toward & have some success in it.
Have multiple health issues that I’m working on resolving but it takes time and energy and money for gas, all of which are in short supply. I just recently decided to start using our health insurance to take care of myself & the result is that I need a lot of repairs and mainentance!:) Getting older is so much fun.
I hate the way AH & his abuse & foolishness has forced me to live all this time. Not afraid of him today, though terrified the other day. He seems calm & not ready to trigger, but he is hard to talk to. Things he says don’t quite make sense to me.
Really, really miss having a true spiritual community. Have social friends at my church but can’t be open about the abuse. I really miss having a small group Bible study & prayer with other Christian women.
Please pray for all these things. I feel overwhelmed about trying to get my head together to get these things accomplished while trying to homeschool our teen son with no money. I didn’t get enough sleep last night (AH tossing & turning & awakened me prematurely). I feel depressed one minute, angry the next & happy the next. Strange, I know. I have a great kid, an adorable dog & the Lord (not in that order) & a few social friends (not close enough to confide in or understand, but close enough to go camping with).
Please pray for wisdom for both short term and long term planning. I have not decided to leave, but I have decided to try to get myself in a stronger position so that is an option.
Appreciate prayers for my emotional strength & knowing where to land emotionally for lack of a better word, while still with him. I keep thinking of Finding Nemo, when Peach, the starfish says to herself, “Find a happy place, find a happy place.”
I really need the Lord so badly right now, yet he always seems so far away when I am upset and worried over AH & our finances. I’m not by nature a worrier, I’m the encourager, yet when I feel stressed out over the abuse I long for comfort and reassurance from the Lord, yet I don’t feel it. I have a strong faith, but I really long for a healing balm for my frazzled emotions and nerves.
Please pray I would be able to get a garden plot in a local community garden so I can grow some vegetables over the summer which would help a lot with our grocery bill.
And pray that I have less need to withdraw to heal. I feel I need to spend more time than I do actually engaging my teen.
It’s so hard to do this & still try to maintain every day life. I wish he’d just quietly go away. Does that seem mean? He never does anything quietly. It would hurt our teen though.
Prayers for strength & wisdom, support and healing. Thanks! This site was a big encouragement for me today, though sobering as well. I feel less alone & more clear-headed after reading some of the articles.
Barbara Roberts May 14, 2014 — I shall pray, Anonymous. I think your exhaustion and worry is totally understandable. Given all those adversities you are experiencing (fear of your abuser when he explodes, financial straits, chronic lack of sleep, chronic lack of time to recover and heal, your sense of duty towards your son, health issues, disappointment over the tax refund being swallowed up. . . . and that’s only some of them. . . the way your are feeling is completely understandable.
Not afraid of him today, though terrified the other day. He seems calm & not ready to trigger, but he is hard to talk to. Things he says don’t quite make sense to me.
Those words rang memory bells for me. Especially the last sentence.
If things he says don’t make sense, I suggest you don’t waste energy trying to ‘make sense’ of them, since they are non-sensical. Just chalk them up to more abuse. That may free your brain a little to focus on the ways you can get safe and away from him, longterm. And I understand your thoughts about wanting to get stronger so you can leave . . . just bear in mind that sometimes that is not an achievable goal. While the victim waits and tries to get stronger, the abuser may wear her down more and more so that instead of getting stronger she is actually getting weaker. Health issues play a big part there. And most of us find it really hard to recover our health while we are still living with the abuser.
But you know your situation best.
If you do go to the DV support group/service agency again and one of the workers talks down to you, you could try replying “Ouch! That hurt!” That might open her eyes and make her rethink the way she says things. She might even ask you to forgive her remark! You have the right to your feelings. You are not crazy. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Lord Is Good May 16, 2014 — Pls pray for us. 2 kiddos, both quite young. Custody eval recommends 50/50 split but did not talk to the kids’ teachers or therapists and accused me of lying about the DV.
We will be up for court battle very soon, with a judge who continues to give him more time. The cost of it all is overwhelming, I don’t know how I’m going to be able to pay for it all, but I have to protect my kids.
Son (under school age) is so terrified of his dad, frequently talks about killing him. He is struggling with PTSD. I have to work with him day in and day out, attending therapy and parenting sessions at the shelter twice a week, on top of working overtime.
It’s a huge mountain ahead of me. Goliath. It will take God’s miracles to move through this.
[Note from ACFJ Ed: this comment has been edited to remove some identifying details.
At times, family courts have taken objection to a victim writing things on social media like blogs. So we disindentify victims for their own safety.]
Barbara Roberts May 16, 2014 — I will pray.
Isaiah40:31 May 16, 2014 — Praying for you! I’m in the middle of court hearings too, and know how overwhelming (and expensive) it all is, as try to protect our children.
Ang May 28, 2014 — Trying to get away from a narcissist is a nightmare. I’m exhausted beyond words tonight. Today my middle son accused me of being everything my “husband” is and it is indescribable hurt. God says He doesn’t give us more than we can handle and I feel that this is. Asking for continued prayers through the battle.
Barbara Roberts May 28, 2014 — Sure, Ang, I’ll pray for you. It hurst like billy-oh when our kids bring out the knives like that.
Abusers typically accuse their victims of what they themselves do. And they often lie to the kids so adeptly that the kids believe them 100%. This results in the child being the abuser’s mouthpiece, the counduit of abuse from the abuser to the victim. And it happens most especially post separation. I suggest you don’t try to convince your son he is wrong in his point of view, as that is likely just to be a losing battle. I suggest you don’t spend a lot of energy defending yourself or explaining to him.
When my daughter accused me of being such and such, I used to often say to her, “Well that’s your view; it’s not mine” in a flat, matter of fact tone of voice. And leave it there. We can’t change others. But we don’t have to believe what they believe.
However, if your son persists in his tirade of accusations and you just don’t want to listen, you could maybe just say “Stop it! Stop slandering me!” And walk away. You don’t have to stay and listen.
Ang May 29, 2014 — Thank you for you encouragement, insights and prayers, Barbara. I am working my way through your book. I praise God for you 🙂
Still Scared (But Getting Angry) June 6, 2014 — Court got delayed again. It is now scheduled for July 11th. I am non functional. It has been two years with out child support. Last month the Judge agreed that he does owe me child support and does owe alimony and does owe a hefty amount of arrears but today he was supposed to say how much he owes and when it will start. I just want justice!! I don’t want vengeance I just want to be paid what is owed and to not have to work 75-85 hours a week. I am so so tired! Telling me that God is my strength is not helpful. I have nothing left to keep going. No tears, no emotions just raw wounds. How am I supposed to work and function to do anything this way?!?!?
Ellie June 6, 2014 — Hugs. I don’t know how. But you are stronger than you realize. You are going to make it. This is hard. This is very hard. But it hasn’t beaten you. You are going to make it. I am praying for you.
Jeff Crippen June 6, 2014 — SS, the court system really does this kind of thing to victims very regularly, doesn’t it? It is soooo wicked. What you write here sounds like it could be one of the Psalms written in contemporary language and terms. Oh Lord, where are you?
Isaiah40:31 Jun 6, 2014 — Praying for you SS. Since this is a regular occurrence in our court system, what can we do to change this? Where do we start?
Surviving June 6, 2014 — I am an abuse survivor. I was abused for years before the breaking point when he put me in the hospital and caused me to have to have surgeries. I dont know why I let men hurt me so bad. Its like I am gluttton for punishment. Every man I have been with has either hurt me physically or emotionally. I am missing the confidence and security I need to not let people walk over me. I keep attracting the same kinds of men. I am about to be 40-no children and I have never been in a loving relationship without pain. I am now being emotionally torn down by a man that I keep letting come back into my life even after he left me, got married and now has a child and those are all different occasions. I just want to be uplifted and prayed for. I hurt on the inside so bad. I have turned to abusing alcohol and cigarettes. My beautiful mother died of alcoholism and hurt from men. I dont want that for my life. I just need someone to care enough to pray with me as I try to save my life.
Ellie June 6, 2014 — I am praying for you. There is no hope outside of Christ. might be a helpful link. I have heard good things about the help that the LCMS offers. You are not alone.
Isaiah40:31 June 6, 2014 — Surviving – I’m praying for you. Get the help you need to take care of yourself. You can break the cycle. Reaching out for help here is a start. Read the whole blog! Get the recommended books if you can. But look for help in your local community as well. You are worth it, and you can do this!
Anon June 6, 2014 — Jeff, I just read . Boy could my friend write a book about that. I’ve discussed her case with Barbara. At one point the missions sending organization sent people to the missions location and they asked her questions in front of the husband. They reported back that things seemed ok and she stood up for him. Now she can say “Duh! You can’t ask those questions of the abused IN FRONT OF THE ABUSER!” Of course she stood up for him, which is what the sending agency reported. She could do nothing else.
I once heard Rodney Howard-Browne at a meeting teaching ministers tell them that if they are ever speaking at his church they had better bring the wife (and family) or they will never be invited back. Why? He said he wanted to watch the wife cuz he could tell by the look on her face if the man was living what he preached. I really appreciated that.
My friend was NEVER taken to the churches her missionary husband was soliciting support from. She’s home with the kids. No one knew her. No one could look for the problems. Now he’s kicked out of our denomination, but still ministers in churches that will having him using the words “we,” “our,” etc and wearing a gold ring on the 3rd finger of his left hand (not his wedding ring according to my friend just a deception). Thank you so much for your ministry!
Momof4 June 16, 2014 — I’m so glad to have found your site!! I have been in an abusive marriage for 20+ years. The psychological abuse is the worst! he abused me in every possible way, except that he never hurt me hard enough for me to need medical attention (also means I had no proof to report) nor did he force me to take drugs or alcohol. He has always been SO good at controlling his behavior in public and saving his cruelty for times when he is alone with me. I made the mistake of trying to do marriage counseling and that only made things far worse!
a while back my pastor saw a bruise on me (that I had tried unsuccessfully to hide) and decided that he knew how to handle the situation. He cornered my abuser about it. I won’t go into details here because it could identify me, but let’s just say that I have been living with my abusers revenge ever since. he is furious that he was “falsely accused”
He has now left me and the teenage children but has turned on his charm. my entire church is siding with him but I can’t leave at this point because of some situations that I can’t explain. I have also been “disciplined” by the church for sharing anything about my situation with anyone in the church. I am being accused of lying and gossiping. I am being silenced (I suspect it’s because they don’t want to lose the financial support of my ex)
I feel very much like a leper in my church. I need God’s strength and protection until such time that I can leave that church. (I’ll lose my children if I try to leave now)
he is so smooth with his games that our children have not recognized what he has done. Sadly they have seen my reactions when he had me in situations that felt like traps because I knew what would happen. They would not know why I was “over reacting” and “over emotional” and have decided that I am the problem and always have been. to me,
it feels like carbon monoxide leaking everywhere – you can’t smell it or see it, but it’s deadly.
He is now going for full custody. PLEASE PRAY!!!!! I need a miracle!! I start to feel crazy, like, if I am the ONLY person who sees this side of him, that maybe I AM mentally ill (one of his accusations) or maybe I AM just “too sensitive” …am I imagining all this???
my kids and exclaim that I am the one who was abusive and I know that in the last few years, I did get disrespectful with my comments. I didn’t know how to hold the hurt back anymore and it started to spew out of me in anger and bitterness. he has managed to turn the kids against me but claims that I have done that to him.
I need a miracle for my relationships with my kids!!!
thank you for your prayers!!!
Barbara Roberts June 17, 2014 — Dear Momof4, I shall certainly pray. I’m glad you have found our blog — welcome. You will find many others here who believe you and who understand.
Barbara Roberts June 17, 2014 — By the way, Momof4, even you ‘only’ have bruises you can document them by taking photos of them and writing about the incidents in a diary. Here is a very good simple video that gives instructions about how to collect evidence that you can take to the police. And you can go to a doctor and show the bruises and ask them to document them. Their documentation can support own record and can be subpeonaed by the courts if necessary. And you can also sign a release if you wish to permit the doctor to share her notes with a professional (like a pastor) who you have designated .
You are not crazy. It is part of the abuser’s tactis that they try to make the victim feel like she is going crazy. Almost all victims say “I feel like I”m going crazy”. The abusers are so skilled at twisting things and making up seem like down, left seem like right, and facts seem like delusion.
Momof4 June 17, 2014 — thank you so much!! I do *know* that crazy making is part of the game, but sometimes that is just a “head knowledge” and it’s hard to keep yourself from wondering it, even though you’ve learned otherwise!!
I was REALLY pleased to see that you recommend Lundy Bancroft’s book “why does he do that” because that book was a God send to me (sadly I only read it after he had left and started his plan to take the kids) It was as if Lundy had been a fly on my wall for all those years!
another book that you guys may want to check is called “When Love Hurts” and it’s by Karen Mcandless Davis and Jill Corey ( whenlovehurts.ca ). Bless you guys for your work! It is a desperate need and you seem to be the pioneers in this area!!
Barbara Roberts June 17, 2014 — Yes Momof4, we recommend “When Love Hurts” on our recommended books list (see our Resources tab above). I’m glad to hear you endorse it. I have not read it myself but have read enough about Karen Mcandless Davis and her own experience of abuse to know that whatever she writes would be trustworthy. From what I gather, her husband is one of the very few abusers who seems to have really changed. But she doesn’t have her head in Pollyanna land. She gets it.
Kay June 19, 2014 — my young teenage daughter’s father is trying to use the courts to force her to stay with him regularly.She is very afraid of him -she never wants to see him for more than a few minutes, and never ever wants to be alone with him.I am extremely afraid. We need the professionals involved to believe us and to act wisely.
Barbara Roberts June 19, 2014 — Kay, I shall pray hard for this! Yes, you need the professionals to believe you. But if the worst comes to the worst, you and your daughter may have to defy the court orders. I’m holding you up before the Lord.
Kay June 19, 2014 — Thanks Barbara.I’m not sure about defying court orders though,you don’t really get away with that round here-I really want to avoid getting into that situation!
Barbara Roberts June 19, 2014 — Yeah I get that Kay. Easy for me to say; not easy for anyone to do! I shall put sellotape over my mouth. 🙂
Sherry June 26, 2014 — Please pray for me to find a way to escape my marriage. I’ve put up with verbal, emotional, and financial abuse for 29 years. I believe God has set me on this journey, helping me see what was happening in my marriage and why I was so miserable. I wanted to wait until my kids were grown and the last one was out of high school, then I would leave. That was last year. I feel so sad that I’ve been so intimidated by husband’s rage and anger and financial constraints. I manage his business, including cleaning the office and handling the paperwork and he pays me very, very little. Our part-time helper gets paid better than I do – because of my husband’s control. I have tried so hard to build a support system but I’m not doing very well in that area either. I’m just beyond frustrated. I know it’s not up to anyone but me to get out of here but I’m afraid of not finding a job and starting over at 59. It’s not being alone that scares me, it’s being able to support myself and to help my kids if they need it since they are all starting out as young adults.
Twbtc June 26, 2014 — Sherry, I am praying! Your situation is similar to mine. I was married 29 years, primarily a housewife, when I filed for divorce. My youngest had just started college. I didn’t know how I was going to support myself either. And starting over…that was scary! That was about three years ago. In these three years it hasn’t always been easy, hasn’t always been what I had planned, hasn’t always been what I expected. But one thing that has been…God has been faithful.
May I suggest that you don’t wait for the fear to go away before you take that first step. It’s OK to be scared as you take that first step. (((hugs)))
Barbara Roberts June 26, 2014— Praying for you, Sherry.
Isaiah40:31 June 27, 2014 — Praying for you. Work on that support network, and have a safety plan in place.
Celestebella July 21, 2014 — 1.) Prayer request: to be healed of multiple health problems so that I can seek employment and be free of financial abuse. 2.) To find a place to stay for a few weeks while I visit extended family so I can reconnect with them and so I can also have down time to help towards my body healing.
Barbara Roberts July 22, 2014 — Okay, I will pray celestebella.
Celestebella September 12, 2014 — I wanted to let you know that God did indeed provide a place for me to stay for two weeks!
I called my old church back home and within minutes the secretary had connected me with a family who said I could stay at their dad’s apartment (I have known this family and their Dad for 35 years). He is an elderly man and initially I was told I would probably have to help cook him some meals. He is a very kind man, but he enjoys his privacy and I became increasingly anxious that my extended stay may become unnerving to him. He travels once a year, but it’s usually in Oct. and I was needing the place in August. I asked God if he could have Mr. H. go on a trip. The next day I spoke with his daughter and I mentioned to her I hoped her dad would not get weary of me staying for the two weeks. She responded, “he’s not here, he left on a trip yesterday!” What relief flooded my soul! The apartment was in my home town! and it was BEAUTIFUL and clean! The bed I slept in was like sleeping on a cloud! I got to see both my parents! I was reunited with extended family I have not seen or spoken to in 5 years! I had a taste of unbelievable freedom!!! from my narcissistic/abusive husband and it was so GOOD!!!
The only downside was when I had to leave; it brought GREAT sadness, I wanted more time with my parents and I was getting acclimated to being there. I felt like NOOOOOOO, don’t make me go back!
All to say that God orchestrated that fantastic stay!!! I pray He can make that a permanent reality in the place he chooses for me.
Thank you for praying for me. Hugs, CelesteBella
Peggy July 26, 2014— Would appreciate your prayers Have filed for divorce six times over the past 38years and my husband always goes to a church for counseling and we end up back in the same abusive situation just a different kind. I tried to join a group Shelter from the Storm, but they said I was too late . Does anyone know a true believer in San Antonio tx that could help me. The churches always take his side. CAn be very convincing saying he remembers nothing about abuse and just to forgive him. I see my son going thru same in his exmarriage.
Barbara Roberts July 26, 2014 — If any of our regular readers wants to offer help to this lady, email me, Jeff and TWBTC (see our About page for email addresses) and let us know.
Peggy, our suggestion to you is read as much as you can on abuse (see our Resources pages for recommended books, and read this blog). That may help you see through the fog (the lies and manipulations of the abuser and his allies) so you are less likely to be sucked back in.
And you may find it helpful to give up the hope that your local churches will fully support and believe you ad not be conned by your husband. If you keep holding onto that hope for support from your local churches and counselors, you may stay on the merry go round forever. It is rare to find a church or counselor (esp Christian counselor) that sees through the abuser 100% and stands with the victim 100% rather than take a ‘neutral’ or ‘mutual blame’ stance. So you may have to let go of that dream.
Also Peggy, if you want us to change the screen name you gave yourself on this blog, let us know by email. We can edit comments even after they have been published. Please read our New Users Info page (tab at top of blog) and our CyberSafety page (in our Resources tab) for tips on how to stay safe on the internet.
Peggy July 26, 2014 — Thanks for your reply. I did go through Love is a Choice study. My problem is I am so frustrated with trying for a divorce I just want to leave and go back to the State where I am from. I have this imagination that the Lord will do a miracle and work it out . Just one close friend would be miraculous right now. I do appreciate all your prayers. My husband confused me because he started praying for me all the time, but his outward treatment of me was the same. It has been like this since I was pregnant with my first son when he started beating me. Am so confused.
Barbara Roberts July 26, 2014 — Peggy, abusers INTEND to confuse their victims. They plan and strategize how to confuse the victim, because the more confused the victim is, the more likely she is to stay in the marriage. Or go back to the marriage. Abusers WANT to be a mystery. And they WANT and CHOOSE to abuse. And when their victim starts to wise up to their tactics, they just make the tactics more sophisticated, or more subtle, or more scary so the victim is too intimidated to leave. But if you are aware of these facts, you are more prepared. And you are less likely to be thrown off balance if the abuser escalates or changes his tactics and starts looking like he is changed and now there is hope for the marriage. We have a lot of material on this site about how to distinguish genuine change in an abuser from phony change. Use the key word ‘Repentance’ in our search function, or look up our tags and our Resources pages.
God may work a miracle and make your move easy. But He may not. It might be a good idea to plan in the pedestrian everyday way, and if He intervenes and makes part or all of it unexpectedly easy, then well and good. But if you just sit around hoping for the great miracle that will get you to where you want to be, it might not happen, and you might get more tired and more confused while you are waiting.
I like this term “spiritualised common sense.’ Many Chrisitians are good at the spiritualising stuff, but not so strong on the common sense. But we all of us have common sense, if we chose to use it. 🙂
Hope you find your way. . . one small step at a time, if need be. And we hope you keep reading and commenting here, if you find it helpful. 🙂
Anonymous July 26, 2013 — Praying for you Peggy … especially that you could find ‘true’ believers In Christ. Many abusers also want to condemn the victims by saying ‘we must move on’, the past is the past, forgive and forget, etc … What they and many churches refuse to acknowledge is that there is still present day abuse because ‘nothing has really changed’!!
Peggy July 28, 2014 — Thanks for your prayers. The last two counselors would never make him admit to the abuse. It was as if it had never happened. They said a lot was my fault and we were only meeting to work out the marriage. Please pray for my sons, who saw all this. The cycle is happening in one of my sons, who has children of his own. Two years ago when I filed for divorce last, it was after that son had a fight with hid dad and told him that the images in his mind of him abusing him had almost destroyed my son. He and the his children came to live with us after a divorce from his wife. Unfortunately his wife is like my husband and my son can’t let go of her. She is very abusive. It is like I see my own relationship with my husband all over again. It is really unnerving and I blame myself.
Ellie July 28, 2014 — Praying Peggy.
Barbara Roberts July 28, 2014 — Peggy, it may help to remind yourself that when a child is raised in a household where one parent is abusive, it does not mean that the child necessarily becomes a victim or an abuser in adulthood. There seems to be a slight increased risk of that, but it is no means a sentence that is totally determined. And let’s face it: abusers are out there, looking for targets. They sometimes target people who were victims previously, but they may target those who have never been victims of abuse before. So try to remind yourself of that and not be hard on yourself for the way your son’s adult life has gone so far.
You might find it helpful to look at it as glass half full, rather than glass half empty. Now your son is separated from the abuser, he stands a much better chance of wising up and becoming super-astute and vigilant against other abusers who might target him or his kids or his friends. Maybe he would like to read this blog, or Joe Pote’s book. Joe is a survivor. And we have a tag on this blog for male victims of domestic abuse.
Peggy July 28, 2014 — Thanks for the info. Now it has been two years since I last filed for divorce and the lawyer was disbarred and it is closed now. That is not the problem. I notice that I am different and not in a good way. This new church that my husband went to believes in some things that are permitted in a marriage that I did not. I find myself in a downward spiral doing things in never would have considered right for a person who belongs to the Lord. I should have never taken him back, but my actions are my fault of today. I don’t care to go to that church anymore. Being as we only have one car, I have been. But what is going on with me really concerns me. Have I completely give up? I appreciate this forum and will look up the books. Really need the prayers though and fellowship.
Barbara Roberts July 28, 2014 — Peggy, if you would like to email me, I am curious to know what things that church believes are permitted in marriage which you did not believe were permitted. I understand it might be too difficult or dangerous to talk about it on the front side of the blog. My email is barbara@notunderbondage. No pressure to email me, only if you wish to. And please don’t make it a long email as I am always flooded with things to do and can’t read everyone’s long stories. But a brief outline of those things would be of interest to me, because maybe a post might come out of it. Not a post that identified you, just a general post on that topic. Hope this makes sense. Love, Barb
Barbara Roberts July 28, 2014 — But Peggy, don’t email me if you think there is any chance your abuser can monitor your emails. Make sure you are safe!
Peggy July 29, 2014 — Tried to email you, but it did not take the email address. The author that can tell when a person truly repents or has a program men go through , what is his name?
Jeff Crippen July 29, 2014 — Peggy, that was a misprint. Try firstname.lastname@example.org I know that Lundy Bancroft has a section in his book Why Does He do That? on how to know if someone is not truly changing (ie, repentant). Its around about pages 350 or so in that book.
Ed. addition: Starting on p334 is the chapter titled “The Process of Change”. Within that chapter is a subsection called “How to Assess an Abuser’s Claims of Change” (p346) and a section called “The Abuser Program” (p355).
Also, you may be interested in this post: Checklist for Repentance
Peggy July 29, 2014 — Just read Anon’s testimony. Very uplifting.
Peggy July 31, 2014 — Barbara, that was a very enlightening article yesterday. I pray the young lady returns to the Lord. Ordered my first book yesterday. Can only get one a month on Social Security. Ordered Why Does He Do That. Was told get a divorce and get it over with. Funds are a big reason. Just like I do not like the counseling games, I do not like the court games. Are there agencies for people in my age group I don’t know about? God Bless all you who started this site and keep it going. Love Peggy
Barbara Roberts July 31, 2014 — Peggy if you can email me safely and tell me a safe shipping address, I shall get my book shipped to you And Jeff C’s book too, if you want it. Bless you.
Barbara Roberts July 31, 2014 — And Peggy, did you realise you can comment on any post on this blog, not just on the Prayer Requests page? To comment on another post or page, you need to find that post / page in your browser, and then scroll down to find the comments section.
Barbara Roberts August 2, 2014 — Peggy, you didn’t tell me your safer email address — you gave me the address you use when commenting here.
If you want to let me know the safer address, pls email me again.
Peggy August 9, 2014 — The email address is ok. It is the only one I have.
Anonymous August 9, 2014 — Would appreciate prayers as we have a court date coming up soon. He is contesting the restraining order and wanting visitation of the children-who do not wish to see him. CPS and the prosecutor are involved, but things are moving slowly. Trying to have faith that all things will happen in God’s timing.
Praise Report ~ Our new church home is wonderful! They get abuse, are familiar with the limitations and dangers of nouthetic counseling, and have pledged to be a safe haven for our family.
Barbara Roberts August 9, 2014 — I shall pray, anonymous. And I think i prayed for you a few hours ago while I was in church (it’s Sunday here) because I was praying for all the unnamed and maybe to me unknown women who are struggling to get through the mire of abuse and the family court gauntlet.
I’m so glad to hear your new church is very supportive. Maybe some folk there may even read this blog, or Jeff C’s book, so they can be even better equipped to help you and any other victims that may come through their doors. 🙂
Anon August 16, 2014 — I have a meeting with the church contact for DV outreach soon and will be making sure she knows about ACFJ. Keep up the wonderful work-GOD BLESS!!!
Still Reforming August 17, 2014 — I decided to ask our pastor if he would meet with her privately without me present (our pastor’s suggestion) so she can speak with him. I plan on fasting and praying that day. No time of day yet set by our pastor for that meeting. I don’t know if he’s spoken with my husband…
Jeff Crippen August 17, 2014 — SS, I have only included this brief portion of your reply to us in order to protect your confidentiality. But it is vital that you understand something regarding how your pastor is proceeding here. All law enforcement officials and experts in child abuse and molestation strongly discourage what your pastor is going to do – ie, interview your daughter. Why? Because he as an untrained person is going to “muddy the waters” as they say. What that means is that he is going to talk to your daughter about the case, ask her questions, and later when the case is investigated by the police, they will not be able to be dealing with a clean slate and fresh start in their investigation. Without knowing it, the pastor will be putting things into your daughter’s mind OR the suspect’s defense will be able to claim that he did so. You are dealing here with the molestation of a little girl – a crime. It needs to be investigated by people trained in this field, which your pastor is not. And I want to caution you once more that “fasting and praying” in lieu of taking proper, wise action that the Lord calls us to take (reporting to the police) is not wise. Please listen to these things very carefully, cancel the meeting with the pastor, and report your husband to the police immediately.
Barbara Roberts August 17, 2014 — SS, I agree 100% with Jeff’s reply to you. Here is an article by Boz Tjividjian — it underlines the importance of reporting rather than investigating any allegation of child abuse.
The temptation to investigate: Resist and Report
Ellie August 17, 2014 — SS, I used to pray that God would send someone to protect my children. One night as I was praying, I felt that God said, “I sent YOU.” I was hoping that God would send someone to confront X about his abusing me, that God would change him, that I wouldn’t have to take risks and expose him, take risks and leave him. But having that assurance from the Holy Spirit that my acting to protect my children was part of my duty as their mother empowered me, helped me, freed me.
God sent YOU to protect your children. You are her first line of defense.
Barbara Roberts August 17, 2014 — Here is another post by Boz Tjividjian, explaining why Matthew 18 is NOT the right scripture to default to when there are allegations of child abuse.
Child abuse and Matthew 18: The Dangers of Distorting Scripture
Anonymous August 17, 2014 — I am utterly humbled. I have always been amazed at how the Lord protected and guided me as I hungrily studied the Scriptures in my desire to love and serve Him. ACFJ finally opened my eyes to the fact that I had succumbed to the ‘twisting of Scripture’ concerning the permanence view of marriage.
Now ACFJ points out again so succinctly the ‘twisting of Scripture’ when it comes to child abuse.
Many years ago several churches in this small community were slinging shots as a molester was being ‘protected’. Many verses were used to claim that after several allegations that the ‘outstanding member’ had repented? Really? Why then, did he keep on with this sin until a “Christian” family finally brought legal action against him?
This incident still weighs heavy on my decision to be locally involved; the man and his wife are no longer here, however the condoners are all in various churches in leadership!
Barbara Roberts August 17, 2014 — “he man and his wife are no longer here, however the condoners are all in various churches in leadership!”
And any other abuser can slickly sniff out those condoners, schmooz them, become their buddies, be the guy who helps out whenever the leaders want help . . so that when this new crop of abuser’s victims spill the beans, waving their brave little orange flags in fear and trepidation, the condoners will not believe them.
aarrgggh Wake Up Church!
EVERY adult person needs to read The Socially Skilled Child Molester [amazon affiliate link]
Especially if they are in leadership.
Anonymous August 17, 2014 — The problem is that many within leadership are using their positions to cover up their own deviancies. What is so very sad is that the spouses in their quest to also remain within the leadership role, will look the other way.
This is the prayer-request-page: PRAY – as I am repeatedly told that I should be in a church and that no one can really help me with my marriage or separation — they don’t want to get too involved unless I become a full blown member of their church, whereas I don’t want to be part of a church that may eventually re-victimize me.
Barbara Roberts August 17, 2014 — Welcome to the church outside the camp, anonymous. We have mugs of cocoa and warm fires on the scrubby hillside for all refugees!
To my way of thinking, any church that demands you officially take up membership before they get very involved in ‘helping’ you is going to be No Help anyway.
You can’t change what they think, but you can ignore their criticism and judgmentalism and you can decline their baited hooks and ask God to give you such confidence and enlargement of heart that their poisoned arrows will not penetrate your skin. I mean you can ask for enlargement of heart towards Christ, or better, enlargement of heart in Christ, not enlargement of heart towards those demanding church-goers who want to cram you into their ticky tacky box. Our hearts towards them need to be guarded, like a tortoise shell.
Did Jesus say “What synagogue do you have membership in? Have you signed the membership covenant? Have you vowed to submit to that synagogue’s leadership?” before he healed anyone?
And even with the Cannanite woman who had the demonized daughter, he helped her when she faithfully humbly begged him for help. He didn’t look down his nose and say, “Convert to Judaism first, then I will help you!”
And I know it’s a hard saying, but when he said “”It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs,” I think he may have been led by his Father to respond that way to her initially, so that her she would be moved to make a profound and beautiful confession of faith in him:
“She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” (Matt. 15:27)
I hear in her words that she acknowledged him as her Lord and her Master. Oh blessed Redeemer! What a friend we have in Jesus!
Anonymous August 17, 2014 — Barb, Thank you again for the invitation to “the church outside the camp” … I’ve been outside the camp for many years and although I’ve been growing more as I glean from pastors and teachers via the internet, it is obvious the enemy still throws rocks of guilt at me for not ‘assembling together with the “s”aints’.
Your two scripture references shall be tucked away for further discussion with others when they poke their fingers at me AND yes, oh yes, what a blessed Redeemer; Lord and Master:-)
Still Reforming August 18, 2014 — Thank you, Barbara, for your link to the article citing Matthew 18 as inappropriate for the child abuser. Yes, that makes total sense. I’m afraid no one in our church leadership is well versed in narcissism so they have no clue who they’re dealing with in my husband. Just confronting him does nothing.
Still Reforming August 18, 2014 — <[Note from Barb: Comment edited to disidentify in order to protect the writer]
We live in an area where police services are sparse. I just phoned two police services near me and both times got the recorded message “This is the (____) Police Department. If this is an emergency, please dial 911. If you’d like to leave a message, please do so at the tone. BEEP!…” That’s it. Same message both times I called. Now what do I do? I wouldn’t leave a message, it felt too unsafe.
Barbara Roberts August 18, 2014 — SS, I suggest you ring the Hotline. They will advise you the best place(s) to call for the particular issue(s) you are dealing with. Go to our resources page that lists Hotlines in various countries, and find the number that applies to you.
Also, you might like to scan all our Resources, by clicking on the Resources tab at the top of this blog. I think you will probably find other pages we have that pertain to your particular needs.
Xeriwetherx August 21, 2014 — I recently received an e-mail from my husband’s therapist. He has been working with him for 4 or 5 months now I believe.
His e-mail consists of sending me to his website so I can read about his educational/professional background (which includes no domestic violence experience), telling me that my husband has informed him of our “relationship difficulties,” and a couple excuses for my husband’s financial and verbal abuse. Not sure if my husband informed him of the time he put his hands around my neck, threatened to break down the bathroom door, threatened to drop our son down the stairs (among a million other stories I could share).. or maybe those go under the category of “not communicating in a give and take style.”
I haven’t responded on the grounds of, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Don’t think I’ll find that in Proverbs, however 😉.
I’d appreciate prayers that if I am meant to try and impart any bit of wisdom to this man, who obviously has no understanding of domestic violence, that I will be able to do it in a Godly way.
Also, that my husband will find a new therapist. Not for the sake of our marriage, as we’ve been seperated for some time now and I have no intention of returning… but for the sake of his soul, and for our son.
Lastly, some prayers that I will find a little peace… wanting to punch something (or someone??) right now! I won’t, but I’d like to stop feeling like I want to 😉.
Ellie August 21, 2014 — I wouldn’t call that man a therapist. He sounds like and excuse making con man sycophant. I wouldn’t know how to respond to him. I might tell him that the law calls the “relationship difficulties” of [describe the criminal abuse] the crime of [whatever your local criminal code calls those crimes].
Twbtc August 21, 2014 — xmeriwetherx,The decision to respond to the therapist is a decision you will have to make, and I am praying God will show you what is best for you.
From what you said I would caution you if you do decide to speak to the therapist. As you said he doesn’t appear to have any extensive training in domestic abuse situations, and he is already, without even meeting you, blaming you for part of the marriage situation. By using the term “relationship difficulties” instead of “abuse” he is minimizing your husband’s behavior – a common example of victim-blaming. The therapist is also minimizing your husband’s financial and verbal abusive behavior by making excuses for it.
When my ex and I separated I chose the no-contact/no-response strategy, and I extended that to include people that I knew were in contact with my ex. I had found that the time and energy I spent on trying to get people to understand was a waste of time and it also slowed my personal healing and recovery. It already sounds like your husband has this therapist wrapped around his finger, so may I suggest you proceed with caution, if that is what you choose to do.
Also praying you experience an abundance of peace, not the kind of peace that is dependent upon circumstances or people, rather the peace that transcends all – in other words – God’s peace.
Barbara Roberts August 21, 2014 — “His e-mail consists of sending me to his website so I can read about his educational/professional background (which includes no domestic violence experience), telling me that my husband has informed him of our “relationship difficulties,” and a couple excuses for my husband’s financial and verbal abuse.”
Well depending on how you feel and how safe it might be for you to do this, you could reply to him by curtly sending him a link to ACFJ. I don’t know how to do a smirk face, but I’ll have a go :~
Xmeriwetherx August 25, 2014 — Thanks for the support and prayers everyone! My internet has been down.. so I haven’t responded to him at all. Undecided if I want to say anything or what, but I am feeling a bit calmer about it. It always helps to know that I’m not alone, so thank you all for that!
I don’t think I’m going to refer him to ACFJ, as I’m always nervous about anything that might link my husband back to the webpage (although I don’t put anything identifying on here.. if he knew I was on here and read through the prayer requests, he might know who I am… and I don’t want to deal with any fall out from that). However, I might refer him to the book… via an Amazon link instead of through this webpage. Or, as I don’t believe he’s a Christian therapist, I may refer him to Lundy’s work.
Maybe a simple “You may want to read this book _____ before continuing to work with anyone involved in Domestic Violence.” Not agressive, but still making it pretty clear that I’m not going to engage with someone who apparently has no knowledge on DV.
Thank you everyone!!
Barbara Roberts August 25, 2014 — “Maybe a simple “You may want to read this book _____ before continuing to work with anyone involved in Domestic Violence.” Not agressive, but still making it pretty clear that I’m not going to engage with someone who apparently has no knowledge on DV.”
I like it!
SeekingHelp August 25, 2014 — I am so lost right now. I believe I am in an abusive relationship. if anyone told my husband that he would laugh. he would disagree. he would say its all me. its always all me. it I weren’t such a b@#ch or a c$%t or disrespectful or dismissive….that’s just today. and its about every single thing that we have a reason to communicate about. i look at the texts he sends me and my heart breaks. why can’t i be stronger? why can’t i leave and not put up with him? why am i so scared? i feel paralyzed. i feel stuck. i feel hopeless. i am ashamed and embarrassed to admit to people. he has put his hands on me a few times – held me down on the bed, put his hands on my shoulders/neck and has threatened me. he continually complains and nags about every thing i do. its the way the laundry is done. its the way i park my car. its the way the food it cooked. its the way i look at him. its the way i talk to him. its the way i communicate with him. its the way i answer questions. its the way i respond to texts. its the way dress my son or take care of him. it literally feels like every single thing i do is offensive. he said that “we” needed to call the dr for my son. of course that means me so i did. i let him know i was waiting on the nurse to call me back. i then let him know what the nurse said and that i would update him. somehow i handled that situation wrong. when he tried to accuse me of not calling the dr and i told him i had he then reverted to saying how i responded to him was wrong. that i was dismissive, disrespectful, etc.
He thinks i am the problem. the way i was raised, my upbringing makes me unreasonable and irrational. “all his friends agree” that i am the issue. we see things differently. we have different points of view and that is enough to be cause for divorce. yet he threatens to leave and doesn’t ever leave really. i believe he is sick. my counselor thinks maybe bipolar or drugs. i don’t know anymore. i am tired. i don’t think i can fight anymore. prayers for this situation is greatly appreciated. this is a little ray of hope in my lost world.
Thepersistentwidow August 25, 2014 — SeekingHelp, I am so sorry that you are going through this. Your husband is abusive and you are not the cause of his actions. I suggest that you call your local domestic abuse help center and see what resources are available for you. It is imperative that you have a safety plan in place as your and your son’s safety are top priority in this situation. The abusers usually go from bad to worse and it is likely that will happen in your case. You should take his threats seriously. I suggest that you read through the many resources we have at ACFJ as you plan for your future. Praying for your safety and peace, PW
Seekinghelp August 25, 2014 — thanks, i appreciate the response. i know that but its sometimes so hard for our heart and head to get on the same page with things. my son is my first priority
Barbara Roberts August 25, 2014 — SeekingHelp, welcome to the blog and thanks for sharing. 🙂
I endorse everything PW said to you and I join her in emphasizing how important it is for you to seek support from a domestic violence service/ shelter /agency. And to develop a safety plan, with their help and guidance, or just by yourself using the links we have under our Resources tab for Safety planning. See the tab at the top of this blog called “Resources”.
I would like to encourage you. And I also hope that other readers will see how I’m replying to you and use it as a model for how they can so easily encourage others in similar situations to you.
From what you said, you believe your are being abused — and I believe you are right: you are being abused. And from the way you wrote you are also feeling overwhelmed by the forceful ways your abuser presses on you HIS reality (which is a tissue of lies), his version of the situation, so that it almost crushes your version — your gut feeling knowledge of the truth. So here is my encouragement for you, embedded into your words:
I am so lost right now. I believe I am in an abusive relationship. if anyone told my husband that he would laugh. He intentionally and tactically laughs and scorns and scoffs at you to pressure you into doubting your own thoughts.
he would disagree. he would say its all me. He is lying. It is not all you. It is all him. He is an abuser, and abusers always shift the blame to their victims.
its always all me. it I weren’t such a b@#ch or a c$%t or disrespectful or dismissive….that’s just today. and its about every single thing that we have a reason to communicate about. He is clearly a bully, he is slandering you with his malicious tongue, he is a very wicked man to do that.
i look at the texts he sends me and my heart breaks. why can’t i be stronger? Don’t blame yourself. He constantly works at tearing you down. No wonder you feel weakened!
why can’t i leave and not put up with him? You can. Read our Resources and think through ways to plan for your exit. Break it down into a step by step process if you can, if you have time to get all your ducks in a row. Or just leave, suddenly. Each victim who chooses to leave her abuser does it slightly differently, and there is no ‘perfect’ way to leave. But you can do it. And we will support you if you do leave, but we also know that each victim makes her own choices in her own time. And some chose to stay for a season, for various reasons e.g. that they decide to acquire a job qualification first so that they are more able to support themselves once they have left.
why am i so scared? Probably because he has made various overt and covert threats to make you afraid. And maybe also because you know full well that there are many people in your network who may judge you if you leave. But we won’t judge you, we will support your choices and respect you.
I feel paralyzed. i feel stuck. i feel hopeless. i am ashamed and embarrassed to admit to people. I understand that kind of shame. I felt it myself for years. It does pass, gradually, as we move into recovery and come to realise more and more fully that it was not our fault and we were not to blame for marriage ending up the way it did.
he has put his hands on me a few times – held me down on the bed, put his hands on my shoulders/neck and has threatened me. This means you are at risk of him being physically dangerous to you again. Take that risk seriously, no matter what anyone tries to tell you. I suggest you do the Mosaic Risk Assessment tool on our Safety Planning page under the Resources tab.
he continually complains and nags about every thing i do. He is trying to keep you on the back foot and subjugated to him, that makes it easier for him to control you. His attitude sounds tyrannical to me. And criticism is one of his major tactics of abuse.
its the way the laundry is done. its the way i park my car. its the way the food it cooked. its the way i look at him. its the way i talk to him. its the way i communicate with him. its the way i answer questions. its the way i respond to texts. its the way dress my son or take care of him. it literally feels like every single thing i do is offensive. He is making all of these criticisms up. They are not justified. Even when you do every little thing the way he ‘said’ he wanted it done, he finds some new thing to criticise you about. That proves that his criticisms are not valid, he just criticizes you to maintain power and control over you. It is not about what you do. It is about his determination to have power and control over you and to keep you on the back foot.
he said that “we” needed to call the dr for my son. of course that means me so i did. i let him know i was waiting on the nurse to call me back. i then let him know what the nurse said and that i would update him. somehow i handled that situation wrong. No, you didn’t handle it wrong. He claims you did, but he is lying.
when he tried to accuse me of not calling the dr and i told him i had he then reverted to saying how i responded to him was wrong. that i was dismissive, disrespectful, etc. See what I mean? Whatever you do, whatever you say, however you try to explain your actions and motives to him, he is going to criticize you and tell you you are wrong. You are not wrong. He is an abuser. period. He pushes his falsehoods and slanderous lies on you to make you feel weak and to intimidate you. This is wickedness on his part. Sheer wickedness.
he thinks i am the problem. You are not.
the way i was raised, my upbringing makes me unreasonable and irrational. That is a lie. You have clearly shown us by what you’ve written that you are not unreasonable or irrational.
“all his friends agree” that i am the issue. Well he is either making that up, or else he has worked hard at manipulating his friends so that they swallow his lies.
we see things differently. we have different points of view and that is enough to be cause for divorce. yet he threatens to leave and doesn’t ever leave really. Many abusers use that tactic of threatening to leave. It’s pretty common for abusers; it’s one of the weapons they have in their arsenal. Most abusers don’t leave. They just threaten to, in order to keep their victim more more anxious and to increase her false guilt.
i believe he is sick. my counselor thinks maybe bipolar or drugs. Your counselor clearly doesn’t understand abuse well if she is seeing this problem as one of the abuser’s mental health. Please read this post by one of our readers: https://cryingoutforjustice.com/2012/12/18/treating-his-bi-polar-didnt-fix-his-abusiveness-a-story-from-a-survivor/ and also here is our tag for mental illness in abusers. Abusers do not abuse because they are mentally ill. They abuse because they chose to abuse.
oh i don’t know anymore. i am tired. i don’t think i can fight anymore. prayers for this situation is greatly appreciated. this is a little ray of hope in my lost world. We understand the ‘lost’ feeling. It is like being lost in the fog.
Please forgive my use of bold text here. I hope it didn’t feel to heavy on your spirit.
You might like to use what I have just written as a model for how to talk to yourself. Whenever he criticizes you or lies, quietly say to yourself “That is a lie, it is not true. It is not my fault. I am not to blame.”
Irene September 2, 104 — My husband was physically abusive the 1st 3 years of our marriage and he has been pshycologically abusive for 15 now. I want to leave, but have a lot of complications and excuses. Please pray for me and my children. I am depressed, my children are hurting and my oldest son will not come home to see me.
Twbtc September 2, 2014 — Irene,Thank you for trusting us with your prayer request. So glad you are here.
Yes, I am praying for you and your children. One of the hardest things for us moms to endure is when our children are hurting and rejecting us. Praying that the rejection is only for a short season.
Barbara Roberts September 2, 2014 — Irene I shall pray. It sounds positive to me that you are aware of your complications and excuses. Teasing those things out can be helpfuL, because as we look at each complication or excuse, calmly and analytically, the Holy Spirit and our spiritualized common sense may show us ways we can get around or deal with or face each of those complications or excuses. Breaking it down into baby steps and bite size pieces is often a good way to go. But you know your reality and situation better than I do, so if my words are not fitting, just trash them.
Welcome to the blog. You might like to check out our Resources pages (see tab at top of the blog) as there are links in there which you may find useful to help you gain strength and strategies to help you leave. Look esp at the Safety Planning and the Hotlines sections.
Irene September 5, 2014 — Thank you Barbara, I am so confused. All I have ever wanted to do was honor God and I never wanted to be divorced. I am so sad and scared and ashamed. My daughter disclosed that my husband showed her porn in 2011, I believed her but was in denial until her younger brother said they looked out the door and saw the videos (they had been sent into the bedroom to play). Then in 2013, I left and reconciled within a month. Guess what I found out in January that my daughter told a counselor that my husband molested her. Every time I go to think about it, I have panic attack. How could I have not known? How could I have not protected my daughter. Now I am so ashamed and I am afraid that I will go to jail for letting him come home. I want him to leave but I do not know what to do. I know some people may look down upon me, but I would never have let him come home if I had known the truth.
Barbara Roberts September 8, 2014 — Dear Irene, have you ever thought about ringing your national hotline for DV? I think if you talked your situation over with a worker there (and you can do so anonymously) you might find it helped you a bit. I get the fear that you will be viewed and judged as not having protected your daughter. But please try to not let that fear paralyze you. The reality is, it was him who molested her, not you! And you had multiple things holding you back in denial/ fear/ confusion, etc, and all the pressure he put on you to let him back. You were very alone. Please don’t judge yourself harshly for what your former choices have been. I encourage you to take some baby step, no matter how small, or how seemingly insignificant, to help you shift the mountains, grain by grain, so that you can find the strength to walk out towards freedom and help your child to safety if possible.
The devil desires to hold you in the bondage of false guilt, but you are not the abuser and you are not to blame for the abuse your husband has done.
When I have been down and depressed or fearful or paralyzed with guilt at different points in my life (of which there have been many) I have rung Lifeline which is the suicide helpline in Australia. The don’t just take calls about suicide, they take them about everything. And a DV hotline may be even better, since they can give you information about shelters and other services that may be in your local area. I think you might find that talking to someone by phone may relieve some of your emotional burden, and thus open up a feeling or window from which you may be able to act.
Here is our Hotlines page. https://cryingoutforjustice.com/resources/hotlines/
It’s not as scary as you might think, to make that call. And make it as often as you like. I did
Irene September 9, 2014 — Hi Barbara, I am more terrified and paralyzed now then before, tell me what should I do. If I get arrested or lose my kids, they will be more traumatized then they have been because of the abuse. I feel as if I cannot breath, because I let him come home. The bad thing is I had lied to CPS about him being home. I want out of this mess and I want to protect my kids.
Irene September 9, 2014 — I am all my kids have.
Barbara Roberts Sepember 9, 2014 — Dear Irene, I am sorry I cannot tell you what you should do. All I can do is make suggestions, like the suggestion I made above to ring a hotline or a shelter. Remember, you can do that anonymously. I would think that if you told them what you’ve told us here, I think they could advise you much better than I can. I understand your fear. However, I think that if you admit to the fact that you previously told a lie to CPS, that would at least show that you now want to be truthful and want to protect your kids more fully now.
Remember, you have been trying to protect your kids and yourself for a long time already. You have been doing that within the limits and constraints that you felt you were facing. Those constraints have made you feel (with good reason) that you are between a rock and a hard place — where it seems like the only choices you can chose from are all horrible and dangerous. So please pat yourself on the back for the fact that you have probably been trying the best you could with the light (or fog) (or fear) (or threat) (or shadows) that you have had available at the time.
I think that the only thing to do from here is to be wisely truthful. If you take the option of anonymous disclosure and anonymous help-seeking in the first instance, that may help you become a bit more clear and a bit less afraid of the next step: disclosing non-anonymously. And it may also give you some ideas of how, where and to whom you could wisely disclose non-anonymously.
What is certain is that if you let yourself remain paralyzed by the fear of disclosure, your children remain at risk.
Maybe this passage will help you:
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. (Philippians 3:12-15 ESV)
Irene September 9, 2014 — thank you, I will call anonymously. pray that God will protect me and my children, and that I can find favor with the local legal system and that the repercussions will not be to great, pray that they will help me to get free from this oppression, pray for my children that they will heal and not become abusers or marry an abuser and that they will grow up to bring God glory. (Note from Eds: some identifying details and info given by the commenter have been removed for her safety.)
Barbara Roberts September 9, 2014 — I will pray for those things, Irene. And I already have been praying for them – I prayed right after I wrote my last comment to you.
Redeemed! September 30, 2014 — Irene my heart is aching for you. PRAYING dear one!
Twbtc September 22, 2014 — Eds note: this comment was originally left on another page and is being relocated here on the prayer request page on behalf of Newcreation.
Comment by Newcreation: I am first unsure of where to create a totally new post for a request sp please forgive me. I would like to ask Jeff for prayer and advice. Without going into huge details (I have posted my story before) I need to ask this. A counselor friend (She is actually a life skills counselor) and I have an opportunity to share with my pastor on Thursday. I have no positive expectations for support or help for change. He has been abusive with me on phone calls lately and is very much siding with my husband as well as having the same issues. He is giving us two hours to “share”. If you were to have two hours in front of a pastor who has no clue and is not very open to different ministries of help out there, what would you communicate first? I thought about starting off by asking what his understanding is of all of our issues and what top five things he has (or does not have) on his list to start helping us (he really has not given us any advice yet).
We meet tomorrow with the pastor and I am meeting with my friend (whose husband is a close friend of our pastor and deacon of the church) today to plan what we want to say. Already she is receiving a little harassment from her husband and is wondering if they have talked including my husband….tight bonds here….funny how my husband has a tighter bond with them than he does with me….more than one spouse here??? Sorry for the sarcasm,,,just weary and tired!! thanks!!
Jeff Crippen September 11, 2014 — New Creation, You probably have already had that meeting, but I will answer as if you have not just to keep the chronology clear. Nothing I say here is meant to criticize how you decided to handle that meeting. I am sure you did quite well.
Here is my take on such a scenario. I am a pessimistic realist optimist because Jesus is coming back! In this age, I am the pessimist and I think a realist. By this I simply mean, I would recommend that such a pastor does not need education. He needs rebuke. His problem is not mere ignorance, it is ignorance coupled with arrogance and that is always a very bad combo.
He needs to be rebuked for adding to the suffering of victims and for enabling abusers. He needs rebuke for twisting the Word of God and teaching as Scripture the mere traditions of men that enslave.
And then, following that rebuke, I recommend that you walk away from that church and don’t look back. It is an unhealthy and harmful place. It is probably a place where men are taught to look down on women. It is a place of the Pharisees. Go out of it and find Jesus.
Barbara Roberts September 11, 2014 — Newcreation, I agree with Jeff C’s reply to you here. The pastor does need rebuke.
At the same time, I don’t think you need feel that you are the one who must give him this rebuke. If you tried to do that, the most likely outcome is that he would say or do things to you that are even more hurtful and coercive than what he has already done.
I would like to add, also, that another possibility (maybe one your friend might like to take) is to put in writing to this pastor, somethign like this. I suggest put it in writing rather than verbally as that is more at a safe distance, and it creates a document which might be useful in the future. What to put in writing? Something like this:
Rather than taking the approach that you have taken with husband _____ and wife _______, I would suggest you read two very good books on the dynamics of domestic abuse before you proceed any further. The two books are Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft, and A Cry For Justice by Ps Jeff Crippen.
If you have read both those books from cover to cover, then maybe you will be more equipped to tell what is going on in his matter, and how to most wisely respond to it.
In the meantime, I believe the best way you can help is:
1. To assist the wife practically in whatever ways she may have specifically requested (e.g. help with rent, house or garden or car maintenance, child care while she attends appointments, meals from the church freezer, or whatever help she have nominated she would like to receive, if any. Of course, you as the leader of the church are free to say that the church is unable to meet a specific request of hers. That is your liberty, just as it is her liberty to decide what help she may want to ask for. Do not assume you know what practical help she needs or how best you can deliver it. Ask her what she needs practical help with, and if she nominates anything, respect and heed her request and her conditions in all their specifics. She knows best what feels safe for her and what may feel unsafe for her. Give her time to think about what she may need; do not pressure her or expect an immediate answer from her.
2. To at least in the interim stand down the husband from church membership, instruct him not to take the Lord’s Supper, and remove him from church program involvement and privileges until you have read and digested those two books.
Still Reforming September 11, 2014 — Newcreation, I have to say after reading your prayer request that I had similar thoughts as to Pastor Crippen’s here. My first thought was that you should seriously consider changing churches, hard as that may be. I’m frankly aghast that your pastor set a time limit to air your concerns. Also that he has been abusive on the phone with you and already siding with your husband. If you know these things going into the meeting and have no hope or expectations for positive outcome with this meeting, then I shall pray for you for wisdom with regards to what to do next. It sounds like this meeting may well be mostly for your pastor and not you, ie, to provide your pastor with an opportunity to do the right thing with respect to standing between a victim and her abuser. And it doesn’t sound like you even expect that to happen. So…. now the choice is yours. You know husband is abusive. What are the roads open to you if you don’t have support from your church leadership? I came to a point myself where I prepared and readied myself to leave my local church, letting my abusive wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing husband stay. I reckoned if my church wouldn’t support me, I’d leave him with them and I’d find another church. It hasn’t (yet) come to that, but if need be, I’d do it. I don’t want to do it, but I’m now sharing documentation of what I’ve lived (and am living) with selectively within the church, and I’m silent no longer. Careful about with whom and how I’m sharing, but no longer protecting my abuser.
Irene September 15, 2014 — Please pray for me, yesterday I got the courage to tell my spouse I want to seperate, after he asked to go through my emails again, but then he started cry and I caved and told him he can stay at the house. Pray that I get strong and be empowered by the holy spirit to tell him to leave. Pray for my finances because w/o his income I will be 600 over budget. Pray for my four children. He has been abusive to me for over 15 years and I feel so weak and so exhuasted. I have begun to have physicall illnesses that I believe is brought on by trying to be pretzel for so many years. I do not know who I am or what I want anymore. I do know that I want to be free and live in peace.
Barbara Roberts September 15, 2014 — Irene, I will pray.
Xmeriwetherx September 20, 2014 — Not sure if this is a great place to put this… but, I have a friend who divorced her husband after he cheated on her (and from what I’ve heard he was also verbally/emotionally abusive). He has remarried, but she feels that she has to remain unmarried. I don’t believe this is true… but am having a hard time putting together sound biblical evidence. I was thinking there was a list of scripture on here related to remarriage, and was going to send it to her… but it looks like all the scriptures are more related to abuse. Any help would be appreciated! And prayers for her would be great too 🙂 And for me as I try to be a support to others with similar struggles!
HealingInHim September 20, 2014 — I would highly recommend the sermons on Divorce and Remarriage on the ACFJ resource page: https://cryingoutforjustice.com/resources/sermons/
Twbtc September 20, 2014 — Xmeriwetherx,Here are two links that you may find helpful.
A Discussion of Divorce and Remarriage: a post by Ps. Crippen
Does 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 mean a victim of abuse can’t remarry?: by Barbara Roberts (this article is located at Barb’s Not Under Bondage blog, a blog she doesn’t currently blog at since putting her time and efforts here at ACFJ)
Xmeriwetherx September 22, 2014— Thank you for the information everyone! I will be sharing 🙂
Anon September 21, 2014 — Please pray, less than two weeks and whereas the ‘ decree’ which wasn’t due to corrupt judge was used to ‘back up’ ex. falsely twice. Is now to be before same judge because ‘decree that wasn’t’ would actually back up me (but truthfully). My new lawyer says off record that the judge wants a way to legally lie
(I have seen what the judge has done to other women, he is pure evil. The only good thing ever was I got a dif. judge for the OP, because the one that is corrupt reg. throws out OPs-entire courthouse knows but no one stops him. )
and not follow what the ‘decree’ clearly says.
Anyway please pray it could all end finally. Pray for a real job and a yes from a school soon and a place to live. Thanks.
Anon October 3, 2014— Thank you for praying.
Still Reforming September 26, 2014 — Please pray – I made the call to DCF this morning. It’s entering a new realm here. I spoke the truth – and I’m praying for my daughter’s and my safety and continued protection. Our pastor is involved. He is supportive of whatever course is taken now given there is no reconciliation possible at this point. I am married to a narcissist, but likely not for long. Please pray our daughter does not get unsupervised visitation with him. Please pray for her supernatural comfort and peace through the days, weeks, months ahead. Please pray for wisdom and strength for me.
Redeemed! October 1, 2014 — Praying for you both-I understand the heartache and worry about visitation.
Barbara Roberts October 1, 2014 — Well done, Still Reforming! I shall pray!
Still Reforming October 2, 2014 — Thank you, Barbara. I have a consultation w/a divorce attorney today and my child is scheduled to be interviewed tomorrow by CPS. Pls pray for her to speak truth and that something come out that will deliver us from our accuser-abuser. (She has a disability and I’m concerned about her own fear level and the intimidation factor at home.) Pls pray that SOMETHING change instead of nothing. I pray too that some day I will be in a place to minister to other abused women now that I am living through it. I want to comfort and care for others who have been here too. So many of us out there. May God richly bless your and Jeff’s ministry here. I’m going to order your book in hard copy before it’s out on Kindle. I’m tired of living in the shadows.
Barbara Roberts October 3, 2014 — Still Reforming, i’m late getting to this, but I shall pray.
I’ve had lots of other things occupying my time recently, due to my elderly father’s health.
Redeemed! September 30, 2014 — Would appreciate prayers, esp for wisdom in the court system regarding our case this week. How the prosecutor handles charges will affect protection for the children, as well as which court/judge/prosecutor team actually handles the case. Trusting that God has a plan and His hand on this all-but still so very nervous.
Still Reforming October 1, 2014 — Redeemed! I understand the nerves in this situation. Sleepless nights here. I’m glad you understand my concerns about the visitation. I’m learning that courage isn’t lack of fear but acting in spite of it. God won’t leave you or forsake you. He has promised that. I am trusting in His sovereignty to protect His children, as we are trying to protect ours. Praying for you and the court situation and your children. For deliverance from evil.
God My Delivered October 1, 2014— Thank you for a place to be understood when asking for prayer to stand for truth against all the lies. I need prayer going to court Oct. 2, tomorrow. My attorney has requested to have a substitution of attorney, petitioning the judge. The result of my husband getting credit card co. to stop the payment of my charge to attorney for retainer fee. This is a battle against a manipulator, liar, controlling man who knows how to intimidate others through his words. I am moving forward with divorce, but I need God to give me strength and courage, wisdom for the battle. I really appreciate your ministry. Thank you for loving support.
Barbara Roberts October 1, 2014 — I shall pray right now.
Still Reforming October 2, 2014 — Praying for you, God My Deliverer. That has been my cry and plea to God too – for deliverance. I shall pray that He deliver you. Praying for your court date today and for God to give you supernatural peace, comfort and wisdom. Also for the judge to have wisdom. May the Lord’s will be done and may He protect you through it all. And DELIVER you!
Irene October 2, 2014— Praying for you, God My Deliverer. That has been my cry and plea to God too – for deliverance. I shall pray that He deliver you. Praying for your court date today and for God to give you supernatural peace, comfort and wisdom. Also for the judge to have wisdom. May the Lord’s will be done and may He protect you through it all. And DELIVER you!
Thepersistentwidow October 2, 2014 — Praying for you Irene. Hope this comes through for you.
Barbara Roberts October 2, 2014 — Praying
Still Reforming October 3, 2014 — I would be remiss if I didn’t ask for your prayers for my child today for her interview by CPS. Please pray that she is able to speak truth – and all truth – comfortably and without fear. I also request from the Lord deliverance from this evil with whom we live.
Still Reforming October 5, 2014 — Barbara, I shall remember you and your father in prayer. I’m sorry to hear of his ailing health. I lost my elderly father in 2010, and I miss him terribly, although I’m thankful he’s not around to see what’s happening to my family now. Thank you for your prayers. You pray for so many; We must pray for you too. I shall pray.
Still Reforming October 8, 2014 — Thank you in advance for your prayers for those of us out here caught in DV situations. Last night my husband did not come home or call. I locked the house. (He has a key.) This morning I found out that DCF interviewed him yesterday. At the advice of some wise friends who know DV, they counseled me to be ready to leave. So I have the car packed in case child and I need to leave tonight. Going to church (Wed service) tonight. Please pray for safety for us and wisdom for me. Child seeing psychologist tomorrow. Trying to not share more on-line. If you want to delete this, please do. I don’t know whom to trust at church anymore; I don’t know where husband stayed last night or who shared what with him to date. Thank you for praying.
Barbara Roberts October 9, 2014 — I’ve only just read this, newly, but am now praying. Let us know how things go, and whether you are safe, if you can.
You are very brave to have got this far!
Still Reforming October 9, 2014 — Thank you, Barbara. No worries re: when you read prayer requests. I believe God is beyond time and hears our pleas no matter when we make them, even if an event is already past. Child has her first meeting with a psychologist today to help us with all this. Last night I had to talk with her about family not staying together. When she and I came home from church, husband’s truck along with another (his employer and our neighbor’s truck) were at home taking things out. The trucks left quickly (I presume husband is staying at the neighbor’s – he hasn’t been home in two nights and hasn’t told me/us where he is). Then husband left an answering machine message how “it’s not right how I’m making (daughter) afraid of him…” I listened with child to the message and then she and I had a long talk and a sleepover as she knows I’m not making her afraid, but his unpredictability is.
My next meeting to file a petition for divorce is on Monday. He’ll be served as soon as it works its way through the court system. Thank you for your prayers. Very much.
I appreciate the note re: bravery. Indeed, it feels like the most courageous thing I’ve ever done in my life. I know the hand of God is in this because without you and a few others, I wouldn’t have taken these steps on my own. So I’ll continue to trust the Lord with the lives of His children (daughter and me) through the rest of this journey that is beginning – but it’s the beginning of the end of this torture, so I’m grateful. It’s much better to eat this small morsel in peace than a full banquet with a bully. Even on very little sleep (4 hours/night most nights), I feel stronger. Although for our daughter, this is the start of a long uphill climb, and she’s very weepy. She doesn’t yet know that in the long run, this arduous climb is better than the wrestling the mountain goat who was trying to keep her from ever ascending anywhere.
Barbara Roberts October 9, 2014 — That is good news! I suggest you take proactive steps to safeguard yourself financially, as sometimes abusers act very rapidly to cut their targets off from all the joint assets and bank accounts when separation occurs. Think of all the things he could do to throw spanners in the works, in that regard, and take whatever steps you can to try to prevent him from being able to cut you off at the knees financially. Ask you attorney for advice, and also if you are consulting a Domestic Violence Support Service, ask their advice on that too.
Here is a PDF about financial abuse and domestic violence. I strongly recommend you read it. I only just learned about the existence of this pdf myself, so it is not yet in our Resources pages.
Relationship Problems and Money: Women Talk About Financial Abuse
Barbara Roberts October 9, 2014 — PS, the PDF is quite long; sections 3 and 4 are the most relevant for your purposes, probably.
Barbara Roberts October 9, 2014 — BTW, Still Reforming, I edited out a little of your comment just for your safety’s sake. No point in letting the wolf know your plans!
Still Reforming October 9, 214 — Thank you, Barbara! I appreciate that very much!
Still Reforming October 9, 2014 — Reading and printing the link you provided now. THANK YOU!!!!
Samella October 23, 2014 — I’m sorry but I’m not familiar enough with your site to know where to post a question: have you heard of a book called Emotional Abuse;Silent Killer of a Marriage by Austin James? It’s an insider’s look at abuse. Interesting reading but can’t help thinking he’s using this book to get his wife back in a manipulative way. Just wanted to know what you all thought about it.
Jeff Crippen October 23, 2014 — Samella, I have not seen that book. Impressions are important. What gave you the impression that he is getting back at her via the book? Anything you can put your finger on?
Barbara Roberts October 23, 2014 — Hi Samella, welcome to the blog. 🙂 I haven’t heard of that book myself, not till you mentioned it.
When I want to check out a book, I find it pretty helpful to read the five star reviews AND the one star reviews of it on Amazon. That often reveals a lot. If the one star reviews seem to be written by abusers or their allies, the book is likley to be good. If the one star reviews seem to be written by survivors of abuse, the book is likely to be bad. It’s not a guaranteed system, but it’s a handy rule of thumb. . .
The term ‘codependent’ is problematic when applied to anyone in an abusive marriage. We have a tag for ‘co-dependency’ as we’ve got a number of posts touching on that subject. Here’s the link to the tag:
Barbara Roberts October 23, 2014 — Also Samella, it was okay to put your question here. But just so you learn your way round the blog a bit more, you might like to look at our our New Users Info tab in the top menu.
Samella October 23, 2014 — For starters, he calls her codependent. She “came into the marriage with lots of problems…” While he doesn’t focus on her a lot, a few of the times that he does, sounds like blame-shifting. He also highly recommends a former abuser-now psychologist who now studies abuse and offers help to abusers. Sounds good but this former abuser/physchologist remarried his wife. This author clearly wants to remarry his wife as well. (See! Miracles happen! Cough.Cough.) It popped up under recommendations on my Amazon homepage since I had just bought a Vernick book and a Bancroft book.
Celestebella October 27, 2014 — Dear Friends, My family just informed me that my father is dying. I have a very long trip to make by car and so much to prepare for that trip. I appreciate all your prayers for strength and health.
Still Reforming October 27, 2014 — I have been where you are, Celestebella. I will lift you up and hold you close in prayer. I’m so sorry for the time you are going through. The Lord is near to all who call on Him. He’s near – ever present – for you. He will sustain you through the days and nights ahead. Will pray for strength and health for you, as well as wisdom and comfort … and peace. (((hugs)))
Celestebella November , 2014 — Dear Still Reforming and All, Thank you very much for praying for me. A safe trip was made all the way around and I was healthy threw it all. Abusive husband only gave enough money for some food, gas, hotel stay up & back, but not for the time there—wake, funeral, and the responsibility of settling the estate. And he gave me such a hard time about the whole thing KNOWING he was not giving me enough. But GOD!; he worked in the heart of someone. ===>I found out a family member, who up until 3 months ago had chosen to be estranged from me & had taken a foot forward to be in my life again, was going to be away after the wake. I asked if we could stay at her home and she *HAPPILY* agreed. Myself and my children were allowed to stay at her home for the rest of the week! It was a peaceful place too. We had it all to ourselves as her family went on vacation following the wake.
I’m glad I came back here to record the answers to your prayers. Up until about 15 minutes ago I was beside myself again and in a knot, because abuser husband is racking up credit card debt to the tune so far of $25,000.00 and it continues to climb. (This state’s law doesn’t care who made the debt, it is shared equally in a divorce which is inevitable.) I feel so overwhelmed with how I will go on at my age and work (I have several health issues). When I came here to record the answer to prayer it was a comfort and took the edge off. I do wish my mind could just stay settled though; I’m tired of the roller coaster ride of feeling confident that God will provide and then doubting once again.
Love to all,
Redeemed! October 28, 2014 — Would appreciate prayers, as we have had to go into hiding. I’m afraid to post details, but would appreciate it if you prayer warriors would remember us.
Still Reforming October 28, 2014 — I will remember you, REDEEMED!, as you go dark. Will pray for God to keep you safe and in His comfort and peace. Praying for God’s protection for you all. ((hugs))
Barbara Roberts October 29, 2014 — Praying right now, Redeemed!
Seeing The Light November 2, 2014 — Please pray for my children and me. My health has been destroyed due to the years of living in a toxic situation. I am currently at a critical point physically and need help. We have almost no support system and I am almost totally home-bound. The isolation has made it nearly impossible to develop friendships. I am currently living separated in the same home because I am too ill to leave and fight for my children. I have been trying to make strides with my health while here, but I am going downhill. My children are being affected deeply spiritually and emotionally. I don’t know which way to turn.
Mandy November 16, 2014 — My husband and I are in desperate need in prayer during this holiday season. As so many of you know, the holidays are often the hardest days of the year in any relationship, much less an abusive one. This one though includes my husband’s ex. She is financially and verbally abusive towards both of us and she has custody of the child. Right now the ex is hitting us left and right because we don’t have the money to fly the child home for christmas. We don’t have the money because she is taking over a third of my husband’s paycheck in child support and refuses to negotiate down. We live paycheck to paycheck, struggle to pay the bills and often skip meals just to save a little money. She only uses a work email to communicate so that she receives a “read receipt” which she then uses to further abuse my husband. She tries to do the same to me but I have told her repeatedly that I am not legally required to have contact with her except in case of emergency regarding the child.
It is so heartbreaking to hear my husband cry out in his sleep as he has nightmares of her; reading emails or texts often leaves him so upset that he has a physical reaction as well. Our lawyer refuses to do anything to help since we have no money to pay. It seems like there is a tremendous bias in the legal system towards abused husbands, especially those who were not physically abused. We know that once the child graduates from high school we can legally end all communication with the abuser and plan to. I just don’t know what to do in the meantime. Please pardon the rambling nature of this post.
Redeemed! November 22, 2014 — I’ve pushed back as hard and long as I can. The judge ignored the testimony of several experts, and the children are forced to spend overnights with their father, against their wishes. They are so distraught. I’m crushed-I’ve failed in keeping them safe. Please pray for their physical and emotional safety, and that we can eventually overturn this awful ruling.
Jeff Crippen November 22, 2014 — Redeemed – you have not failed to do everything that you can, I am sure. Thank you for sharing this request for prayer.
Still Reforming November 23, 2014 — Redeemed, my heart is breaking for you. I’m still praying for you…. Praying as your requested too – for your children’s physical and emotional safety, and also for you for peace that passes all understanding – for God to comfort His people (you and your kids). God *must* have a plan in this. Surely this is for the good of His people and His glory some way somehow …. Praying that God gives you the strength, courage, and means to continue the uphill climb to overturn the ruling.
A Bruised Reed December 8, 2014 — Hi everyone. I would like to ask for prayer regarding my divorce and custody issues. My husband has a very nasty female lawyer and I have no money for an attorney. I used a paralegal to file the initial paperwork but I really need to hire an attorney. I make 100 dollars too much for legal aid. So that’s not an option. My husband’s abuse drove me to a severe emotional breakdown and a subsequent psychiatric diagnosis (Which I now believe was demonic, brought about by his evil dealings with me). My prayer request is that the Lord would provide the money for an attorney and also that my daughter would be with me at least half the time. She is in her teens and has been manipulated and abused into believing that her father is wonderful and that I am an unstable mental patient. She comes over about once a week for a few hours but that is it. Please pray that the Lord would work in her heart and continue to turn her heart toward me. I also pray that she begins to see through his fake façade. I really do believe he is evil and she needs to be with me. But with his abuse of me and my psychiatric diagnosis, he and his evil lawyer will likely convince the judge that I am an unfit mother. I am also looking for alimony and child support but my real concern is for my daughter, Thank you for your prayers! I love all my brothers and sisters on this blog!
Barbara Roberts December 8, 2014 — Bruised Reed, I shall pray! If it gives you any comfort, I had the psychiatric thing flung at me in my custody case. I had a history of psych hospitalization because of suicidality secondary to bulimia. God closed the mouth of that lion in my court case, as well as the mouths of a few other lions as well. But I was fortunate to have a good lawyer and excellent barrister, and to have found a Christian psychiatrist who testified about me that “She was mixed up, but she’s found her religion and she’s okay now.” And the presiding judge was a catholic, so that may have helped the psychiatrist’s testimony to be accepted. God orchestrated many adjournments and delays in my case before the final hearing, and I think He may have done that so that the judge would be the catholic man, not some other judge.
Maybe you could ask your local DV service if they can suggest any pro bono lawyers.
A Bruised Reed December 10, 2014 — Hi Barbara! Thank you so much! Your personal story was encouraging. I keep coming up short on the lawyer thing. I need to keep praying. At this point, I just want to get it over with and get on with my life. But thank you for your prayers. XOXO
Lee December 9, 2014 — Hi Barbara… please agree in prayer with me that I will hear the Lord clearly concerning my marriage. I know I have experienced abuse due to my husband’s addictions. We’ve been separated, a year yesterday. He is a spirit filled Christian. We have been married 15 months, so if you do the maths, we were separated 3mths after the marriage. I am trusting the Lord to heal me and help me know what to do next. I understand I cant change him and that I must keep my hands off. Ive been told I need to totally let go and give my life over to the Lord and not try doing things my self. My biggest problem is being double minded and that just brings in confusion as to whether I should proceed with divorce. I have not seen any real change or fruit during the past 12 mths that would indicate any real repentence. May be I need to just fast and pray. I continually cry out asking the Lord to help me coz I don’t know what to do next.
Jeff Crippen December 9, 2014 — Lee, We will indeed remember to pray for you. Might I make a suggestion? Consider – can a genuine Christian habitually walk in sin, abusing you without repentance? If you read through 1 John, for example, and ask yourself that question in light of what John says there, you may well find that wisdom from the Lord you are praying for. Many blessings to you in Christ.
Barbara Roberts December 9, 2014 — Hi Lee, welcome to the blog and I shall pray for you. Also, if you would like to make contact with other survivors in your local area, email me email@example.com — I may have info about others in similar situations near you.
I suggest you read our New Users Info tab at the top of the blog, as it gives tips for staying safe while commenting here.
And I also suggest your read not just our latest few posts on this blog, but look at older ones too. There are many that will help you sort out your peplexities, I think.
I understand your uncertainty about what would be good and wise options for you to take in your current situation. I don’t think fasting and praying is likely to be enough. With the field of domestic abuse and Christianity, there are lots of scriptural misunderstandings taught by the church and believed by the victims of abuse, and these misunderstandings need to be brought to the light and examined and tested against the whole counsel of the Word, so that unbalanced and sub-biblical doctrines are challenged and ultimately cast out from one’s mind. And while God can do miracles in transforming our minds, His usual way of transforming our minds is through us putting in the Berean work of examining doctrines and scripture with our mind and intelligence. Of course, He can wave a miracle wand over a person’s mind which clears all the false beliefs out in one go, but that is not the usual way He seems to transform our minds. More often we have to put in the effort of thinking things through.
One of the purposes of this blog is to offer help in that thinking-through process. So, I encourage you to take your time in reading here, and also look at our Resources tab in the top menu. Blessings to you. 🙂
Sunny December 10, 2014 — I endured an abusive marriage for many years, knowing it was not right. When I turned to my childhood family, they said I deserve to be treated poorly. (No surprise there since I grew up in an abusive home). When I asked clergy or friends for support, I was chastised for not trying hard enough and not having enough faith. I can relate to a lot on this website because I was repeatedly told that the abuse was MY problem and I had no way to stop it.
God recently brought me to the place where leaving became my only option. I have no doubts about my choice and am optimistic about the future. For now, however, I am in a challenging place – I am alone and every day I face many challenges without support. I am caring for my young children, trying to emotionally recover, dealing with one child’s special needs, and facing financial worries. Also, an absurd number of things in my relatively new house have broken since I made the decision – multiple appliances, multiple doors, multiple plumbing problems, etc. Please pray for our family to find the strength and to overcome the isolation.
Barbara Roberts December 10, 2014 — Hi Sunny welcome to the blog and ((Hugs)) 🙂 Praying for you.
Sometimes Womens Centres for domestic abuse have funds they can access to help with emergencies and repairs like the ones you are facing. If you contact your local service, they may be able to help a bit. You can find your local service(s) by digging into our
Domestic Violence Agencies Around the World page
or our Hotlines page
Ann December 10, 2014 — I need prayer for strength, peace, and also the endurance and wisdom to be able to finish a legal matter to which I was entrusted. An extended family member who I thought was turning a corner and renewing a relationship with me has turned on me once again. The name calling—“you are mentally ill, you are paranoid”, etc… have once again begun. This always leads to voiced veiled threats to have my underage child taken away. Yep, they always go for my children (all of them when they were underage). Why? Because I stood up for myself when they accused me of wrong doing in a legal matter, which I was vindicated by the legal system itself.
I have finally–30 years in the making–cut ties with this person. My children use to tell me how much they didn’t like this person, they have witnessed that person’s ugliness to me on many occasions, but I would tell them to forgive and give another chance. There just comes a time when a toxic person must be cut out of your life. In just a few short weeks it has affected my health condition.
I was leery of letting this person back in my life and now rightfully so. Listening to one’s gut is so important.
Eloise December 28, 2014 — Hello, can someone please pray for me and my family? I have a 15 month old daughter with a man who is psychologically, emotionally, and can be a little physically abusive. I don’t want to paint him in a negative light and say that he beat me, but he would use his size and stature to over power and scare me: knock me in the floor, push me down if I wouldn’t get out of the way, etc. I definitely had my hand in the way things went between us negatively. I have my own impulse control issues, and anger issues that I am dealing with and recognizing. I can not explain what being a family means to me. I know that I should not love this man, but I do. We are separated now and under going a lot of legal issues including a custody battle, and he is cruel to me still. I try to reach out for the sake of our daughter and I am often met with sarcastic remarks, ignored altogether, or just flat treated with disrespect. I am afraid of what will happen to my daughter as she is exposed to him through out her life. I know he will alienate her against me, he has already tried and started. I fear for her emotionally and mentally as she gets older being a product of someone who is so mentally and emotionally manipulative. My best shot is to ask for protection from God for her, to cover her and teach me how to minimize the damage that he can do to her. I know that it will take a miracle for God to restore this family and get through to this man that his infidelities and self-denial, projection, gaslighting, and manipulation are real. I just ask for as many prayers as I can get. Please pray for us, all 3 of us. I need a miracle work of God.
Barbara Roberts December 28, 2014 — Hi Eloise, I shall pray for you. It sounds to me like your husband (soon to be ex?) has the hallmarks of an abuser. He treats you with disrespect, sarcasm or ignores you when you reach out. And he has been physically violent to you as well. Do not discount any abuse, whether it is emotional/verbal or physical or other kinds.
Having a child with a man like this is a nightmare, I know. And custody battles can be awful.
I agree with what you said here:
My best shot is to ask for protection from God for her, to cover her and teach me how to minimize the damage that he can do to her.
Have you read Lundy Bancroft’s book Why Does He Do That? You can find it listed (along with a lot of other good books) under our Resources tab at the top of the blog. I also encourage you to read our New Users Information page as it will give you tips for commenting on this blog while protecting your ID.
We are glad you have found us. Hope you stick around and keep commenting. 🙂
Still Scared Buy You Can Call Me Cindy December 29, 2014 — Again, again he did not pay the COURT ORDERED child support and did not give me any warning that he was not paying. Again I have to go to the courts, again I have to face this battle. I am so very weary! Please pray for provision.
Barbara Roberts December 29, 2014 — GRRRRRRRRR! to the abuser and the System for not coming down harder on him.
I shall pray, Cindy.
Still Scared Buy You Can Call Me Cindy December 30, 2014 — It is the “againness” of it. I have done everything I can possibly do, go without vacations (because I can’t afford the time off work), accept that I cannot help pay for kids college, put off dentists, cut expenses to the bone but I cannot live in the area I live without child support and I can’t move for another year. No win situation. I feel like a wall fell on me. Just hurting and angry.
Jeff Crippen December 30, 2014 — StillScared, Yes, the “againness.” All I know is that the Lord (see 2 Cor 1) brings us up against these “Red Seas” and tells us He does so in order that we cannot trust in ourselves, but in Him. If HE doesn’t part that sea, then we are going to perish. Lord, please swoop in and part the sea for your daughter here!”
A Bruised Reed December 29, 2014 — Dear Lord, I pray for my sister Cindy that you would provide for her in ways that she would never have expected. Help her to plan her life independently from her abuser, including financially. Please provide work for her, food, shelter, clothing, and things she and her children may not need but may want. We know you shall supply all our needs according to your riches in glory. I also pray for a righteous judge that will come down on Cindy’s abuser and make him pay. Put some teeth into the court order, you might say. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray, Amen.