Why Do Christian Spouses Abuse Their Marriage Partners?

There is hardly a subject more confusing than trying to figure out the reasoning behind why one Christian marriage partner could ever even think it’s acceptable to abuse their spouse, who they vowed before God to “love and honor.” It’s amazing how a Christian can so deeply hurt the one they say they love and hide behind Bible verses and the slanted logic of blaming their marriage partner, to justify wrongful behavior.

Below you will find several links to articles that could possibly explain why Christian spouses abuse their mates.

We would love it if you could add comments at the end of these articles to help the readers in their understanding of these issues, and minister to the needs of those who are trying to deal with this difficult situation.

Please click onto the links provided below to read articles on the following subjects:

From Todayschristianwoman.com:

• The Silent Epidemic

 

From the Web site, Soencouragement.org:

Why Do Christian Husbands Abuse Their Wives – Part One

Why Do Christian Husbands Abuse Their Wives – Part Two

Why Do Christian Husbands Abuse Their Wives – Part Three

And even though the Department of Justice reports that approximately 95% of the reported victims of violence are women, we can’t neglect the fact that many men are abused by their wives and some are even battered. It’s one of those “lesser discussed” subjects.

It seems to be something that most battered men don’t discuss for a variety of reasons (i.e. pride, teasing from other men, shame, it’s a “guy” thing not to discuss such things, fear of incurring further wrath of their wife, are just some of the reasons).

However, to read an article that might help men in this situation, please click onto the Sounds of Encouragement web site link provided below:

Why Do Men Stay in Abusive Relationships?

For a little additional insight into this issue, the following article, written by Patricia Jones, would be a good one to read:

MEN ARE ABUSED AS WELL

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.
Isaiah 5:20-21

This article was compiled by Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International.

If you know of additional articles and resources that could help others, we’d sure appreciate it if you could share them with us. THANKS!

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64 responses to “Why Do Christian Spouses Abuse Their Marriage Partners?

  1. (USA)  I am a man who was abused and then after 7 years of putting up with being hit, with bruising, being financially abused by my wife and her father, and countless other ways of being abused, I finally spoke up. I was done being pushed around and done being quiet. I was taught a godly man doesn’t yell, he doesn’t hit, he doesn’t do any of those things. So naturally the only other option was to be subservient and take everything that was given to me.

    When I finally spoke up, I yelled. I didn’t call her any names, I just said what I had been feeling for years in a loud voice because she wasn’t listening the hundreds of times I said what I thought in a calm voice. I told her to leave and I had to repeat it 100 times. Get your things and get out, because she couldn’t believe that I had finally said no to her. She immediately went to the church and I was labeled an abuser.

    This ladies, is why I am fed up with women who fake abuse. I’m sure many of you have been abused like me, and for that I am sorry for what has happened to you. But I too was physically and emotionally abused and you know what? I didn’t go crying to the church and friends and make up some fake story about how horrible it was. I accept that I allowed her to do the things she did to me PERIOD. It’s my fault for allowing it to continue to myself and to my children, PERIOD.

    You don’t like the situation you are in? GET OUT and accept the consequences of your own actions. I wish I would have much earlier.

  2. (USA)  I feel such a relief after reading this article. I agree in the regilion abuse in the verse. It’s nice that the true intention in God’s word is revealed as intended by God, not by man/women decieving their spouse to commit to abuse in the relationship or else God’s wrath would be upon them. I truly know God is kind and loving and abuse is not an act of love. I would like to see articles about God’s structure in a marriage and roles that the family plays out in obedience as God planned for in a family.

  3. (USA)  I have recently left my abusive husband of 32 years. Although he and I are both Christians, he was PHYSICALLY abusive to me for perhaps 25 of those years. He also was mentally, emotionally and verbally abusive the entire time. I only stayed because I really thought God wanted me to do so… and because we had 7 children, eventually.

    I did not have much education and we raised our children without TV so I didn’t realize there was help out there. I did have Christian radio, which I searched and listened to for many years to try and hear something about what I should do scripturally –to tell me it was OK to leave and protect myself. But there was nothing. Of course, my husband was all over the Scriptures about submission and that the woman was the first to sin, among many other verses. Any verses that said to forgive and forget would be used against me, that I should forgive him. I tried to do that but he always hit me again and again.

    Last year, when all of our children had grown up and moved out except one who is mentally handicapped and will always need care, I finally reached the end of my rope and left him, suddenly one morning while he was at the gym. (He is a weightlifter, but no, he never took ANY steroids so it wasn’t that.) I left with only a suitcase of clothing for each of us, me and my 18 year old MR son.

    I was so afraid I went all the way across the country to keep as much physical distance between us as possible and even then I did not speak to him at all for 6 months. I was afraid to even hear his voice and maybe have him say some awful thing to me again. My trust had long ago been broken and my feelings of love had long ago become none. I worked very hard to “act” loving as one of this site’s posters described. He was the envy of all his friends for how well I took care of him, making him pies and such. I hoped that would help him see that he should not treat me the way he did but it did not work.

    As for that long post from the fellow who tried to make a case for women being so emotionally abusive and that being equally as damaging, I too was fairly creeped out by it and could not finish reading it. Why? Because the “reasoning” he used reminds me of my husband’s sort of thinking: Scriptural principles mixed with his own opinions and preconcieved notions. I was very good at acting like a Proverbs 31 excellent wife, mother and spouse. I never held out on him sexually, and I did maintain a submissive attitude. Before the Lord, I believe I did my best to keep from being a stumbling block to him. And he still continued to hit me and threaten to hit me. I had to get out.

    Since then I am following the direction of 1 Corinthians 7:10 “To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. BUT IF SHE DOES, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.” It is very difficult to start over again from nothing but the Lord is helping me. My children were and are all very supportive of my decision and in fact pled with me to do it sooner. It’s just hard to do because I am naturally a homebody and nester. Now I have no home and no one to do for.

    I was looking for some Christian support and counsel for me in this situation and I am so glad I found this site which was, as one poster noted, the very first thing that comes up when you search “Christian marriage spousal abuse.” Thank you SO MUCH for the links which I will now go check out. I pray for each and every one of the women who have commented on here and have left physically abusive marriages. I understand why you stayed. Most secular counselors do not. Not at all. Most people do not understand the dynamics but they have not walked a mile in my worn down shoes.

    1. Doreen, I’m so glad you found this site and that it gave you some semblance of hope. I’m so sorry for the brutality you have suffered through. I pray the Lord binds up the wounds of your body, mind and spirit and ministers to you and your children. They, no doubt, are suffering from the memories that abuse throws at them. I pray they are able to sort them out and not carry the burden they can inflict.

      My heart goes out to you and your family. I pray for peace within the place you call your home, and peace of mind and spirit, as you sort through the devastation you have lived through and survived.

      Perhaps someday the “homebody” in you will be able to reach out to comfort and soothe those who have walked a similar journey as you. There are others out there who need someone to come alongside them to offer a shoulder to cry on and love shown in word and deed –not false pretense of God’s love, but true love in action.

      But for now, my Christian sister, please work on mending your heart and making a nest, which you and your 18 year old son can call home (whether it’s an apartment, trailer, or whatever) –one in which your other children can come to visit and feel at peace. I pray God’s peace upon you and yours, from this day forward.

  4. (U.S.)  It’s not okay to abuse, or hurt somebody. Ever. I’m a Christian. Whether someone is a Christian or not, though, there abuse is never okay. Abuse is not Christian, really, if you think about it. It’s like a slap to God in the face because does the Bible not say to honor, and cherish your mate? If it doesn’t please correct me.

    And not only that, but what about child abuse? What about yelling? What about using love and logic in any relationship?

    1. Yes, you are right but you have to try to save your marriage. Do you choose to leave alone? Is what you ask for yourself? Ask yourself what is love? Do you know how to forgive your brother or sister? Ask yourself do I need to put the devil in its place by staying in a Battered Woman’s shelter. It’s more common that men abuse women, then men, but I believe that it takes two to tango. Sometimes a partner can do something to promote the problem, but it’s common for a man to fight out of anger, because you didn’t know how to put the devil in it’s place.

      This is not name calling but the devil wants to kill, steal and destroy. I mean really destroy –your life. Your mature higher learning begins with the Holy Bible. Then the Holy Spirit will handle the rest, if you just trust and believe in him. I recommend that you read your Holy Bible and really try to understand it. But whatever you do God will forgive you. Remember to study about salvation, knowledge, and wisdom. Also, above all research faith scriptures, because faith is key to everything. You have to to separate man’s thoughts from Christian beliefs.

  5. (UK)  I have been married for 22 years; I love my husband and he loves me, but he verbally abuses me an it really hurts. It has been happening all my married life; I used to cry a lot and want to leave him, but I already left an abusive marriage when I was 22. We are both Christians and really love the Lord, but the verbal abuse comes when something goes wrong such as having to fix the house or go somewhere and if he doesn’t feel like doing something this is when the verbal abuse starts. I get called very wicked names and all the time I stay calm and try to pacify him to stop the verbal abuse. I pray and even ask the Lord if it is me doing something wrong to show me and i will correct it, but it is still happening and I wonder why the Lord allows it to happen. I had a very bad childhood, I was sent away to boarding school when I was twelve and had anxiety and panic disorder and still do. I was sexually abused by a doctor when I was fifteen and never told anyone. My husband knows all this and yet he still verbally abuses me. I have felt like leaving him many many times, but where would I go and how would support myself; I am an emotional wreck with no confidence and fear almost everything.

    I pray it will stop, but when that will be who knows…mabye never, and the only time i will be free from it will be when I am dead.

    1. I feel that you shouldn’t speak and claim such ideas like that. You may not know it, but you are really in need of prayer for the issues that you have in at hand. The book of Genesis (found from the Holy Bible) says God is the word. We are all born into sin but God gives us a second chance so that we might be saved, so that we can join him up in heaven. Salvation is very important to learn about. Please research and study about testimonies and being tested by God.

      God is just getting you prepared for a victory, so that you can get a good understanding and appreciation for how good God is; that is why the prayer of protection is so important for you. Whoever was your parent or guardian, it is their job to really pray for you. The devil tries and knows how to kill your fellowship with God. You have to keep receiving Christian counseling and remember to continue to keep praying to God, knowing that you will always have a friend in Jesus. Learn who Jesus really is. When you seek the chosen scriptures. Ask God before you go to bed at night to help you get a message revelation and ask him to help you to get understanding on the issues that concern you. God will open up to you in a dream.

    2. I hear your cry sister. I truly understand. You’ve got to understand that when it is like that you need to try to get marriage counseling. It sounds like to me, he has some kind of substance abuse problem, or he has a serious detachment from God that needs praying over. If you don’t see him changing soon, then you need to address the problem head on. If he is abusive to you, to the point he won’t stop, then you call the police, to show what he has done to you. God said to love your enemies, so I don’t see any point in leaving if you are married. I had to leave at first, because I was living with my partner, unmarried at the time. Sometimes you have to be a little aggressive sometimes with your voice, but not much, and say stop it and just keep talking about God. Sometimes you have to remind people that God doesn’t like anger. The devil wants you to be unholy, especially when you are angry. Anger is like murder to God. You can repent and confess and still ask forgiveness. Remember God still loves you as his child. You are the child of God. Just expect Lord Jesus to enter into your heart. It is important to keep God’s Word and live in God’s Word. Remember to study the Word. That is the only way to better living, to keep your blessings going. God will test you. As a good Christian, you should have full knowledge on what is going on. So it is so important to read your Holy Bible, to learn about the testimonies of God, his living instructions, his holy commands, and his praise scriptures and how the world will end. Also, learning who God really is, and how the world first began, because worldly society will try to lie to you like the serpent who lied to Eve in the beginning. Thank you,God Bless you and Amen.

  6. (ENGLAND)  The comment that we really love the Lord does not ring true. If he really loved the Lord he was feel the shame and disgust God feels about his ways. If he is of the Spirit, the Spirit would witness against his vile words. The Spirit is not at home in such a one. He cannot abide with such vile ways.

    The words that come out of the mouth show the content of the person deep down. Many believe they are forgiven each time, but God says otherwise. If they persist in their ways, he will give them over to their ways. They are resisting God when they continue to act in such ways. Many are fooled by those ones, they want to be tolerated and they want it to keep happening. God is clear cut on what we have to do with such ones. It is no better than having the devil under the same roof.

    1. (AUST)  Hear hear! By their fruits you shall know them. Julie, look at actions, not words. His actions are not that of a Christian husband, not a husband, and not even a friend.

      Exodus 154:15 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!”

    2. We will like to make sure that we can keep in mind that Lord Jesus saves. When you do the sign of the cross, he is the three in one -The father, the son, and the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus is real today because he made it known that he rose on the third day after his death. We are all born into sin first, but we get baptised after your testimonies and after your trials and tribulations experiences in life.

      God already knows we are not prefect, only Jesus is known to be perfect in the flesh. God loves us that is why he die for us. God said he is the King of Kings, Lord of Lords. We are to praise him and worship him. My word to you is faith -just trust and believe that. Only a few are chosen to enter the kingdom of heaven. If you have the kind of Holy Bible, that have the red texts writing shown where the new testament is, that would be good to read. He said that my home is not of this world, his home is of many mansions.

      So, he was murdered for wrongful death. After the third day he left out of the tomb, and Jesus ascended up in heaven. This why the gospel is so important because he still lives and he can still live in your presence when you just call on him. Glory to God, he still lives. Thank you Lord Jesus.

  7. (USA) My hubby grew up in a rough family where the stepfather was distant to him, and mistreated his mother, with her remaining silent and taking the abuse without responding back. My hubby mirrors the anger, psychological manipulation, dictatorship, and rudeness he saw displayed in his stepdad, in his attitude toward me, whenever he loses his temper arbitrarily. I refuse to defend myself until he calms down. I walk away and take my burden to the Lord on my knees, claiming the Lord’s promises that He is my fortress, defense, my husband (Isaiah 54 and other references); the Lord is so gracious to deal with my hubby’s heart in each situation, and soon he comes back to me repentant, tears in his eyes, tender and loving, asking for forgiveness. I give it each time.

    I’m glad for the Lord’s forgiveness of me and my sins. The hurtful incidences are frequent, but it will only stop when my hubby remains in a close relationship with the Lord Jesus. I am praying for him. In the meantime, the Lord has made me more sensitive and empathetic to the troubles others go through; the Lord has used my situation to comfort others. Sometimes I’m so hurt I wonder if the Lord will take me home. He always sends comfort and tells me of my value to Him. I love the Lord Jesus and can’t wait to see Him!

    1. We are all living in the flesh. I have to tell you that sins are real, so you have to learn how to count your blessings. Just keep on praising him, and just keep on worshiping him. God wants me to tell you that God loves you and he will never leave you or forsake you. Just trust, follow, and believe in him. I pray for you. Stay prayerful, and God Bless.

    2. Karin, I too recognize that I’m in an emotionally abusive marriage that has seriously affected my health. But the Lord has been to me, what my husband hasn’t. It has forced me to look “up” instead of that old “son of Adam” – my husband, to meet my needs. I don’t have it down yet, but I’m working on it. It also forced me to look around on other sites, and realize “hatred” for spouses is “normal”.

      “Abuse” today has been carried to extremes in its diagnosis. I’ve been hit, screamed at, and had those things done to me. I NEVER deserve to be hit. Am I responsible for my partner’s actions? NO! As long as I’ve self-examined to be certain I haven’t, not because he blames me, but because I want to make certain after self-searching that IF the Lord came, and IF I had to stand before Him, would I have any responsibility? And, if the answer is no, then in my heart of hearts, no matter how much blame my partner places on me for his behavior, I KNOW before God it’s my partner’s problem, not mine to answer to God for.

      Each woman has to decide for herself how much ill-treatment she will take from her mate. God will help her, and will be with her regardless. Sometimes separation is the answer, sometimes not. Counseling? Maybe. If he’s willing. But, no matter how we cut it, it is God who has to make the long-term deep changes, that will last. So, whatever you do, ladies, stay close to the Lord, and look to him for the help you need. He’s the only solution, his presence, his peace, and his strength. Do look to his face always, and not the secular world with its temporary answers.

  8. The answer is quite simple (from a man’s perspective). Christian men usually have an ideal they hold Christian women to. This ideal is the biblical one, which the apostle Peter teaches when he refers to Sarah being submissive to the point of considering Abraham to be her master. This is the pattern of Christian womanhood within the bible and men instinctively want this kind of woman.

    When they are denied this type of respect (or believe that they are being denied it), many men lose control, either sometimes or all the time. Violence is the resort men usually turn to when they feel cornered, hurt, and/or slighted.

    Resorting to this kind of behaviour is morally wrong and displays weakness of character; but the underlying cause of the violence is that HE BELIEVES THAT HE ISN’T GETTING HIS DUE RESPECT AND IT HURTS HIM. Christian couples are to model biblical standards; both men AND WOMEN.

    1. I have to disagree with Charles. The main reason men abuse their wives is because they believe they are allowed to. My husband and I started our marriage out on the typical evangelical path. My husband never hit me, but he was highly critical of everything I did and treated me like one of the kids. I accepted this behavior for far too long. I knew the reason why he did it was because he was angry and I was convenient and never called him out for it. Abusive men tend to marry those who will put up with the abuse. The women who tend to be abusive find and marry men who will put up with them.

      More than two decades into our marriage, I had to stay in the hospital with one of the kids for about two weeks. Even though it was extremely hard, I preferred being there than at home, putting up with the constant criticism. I told my husband he had to do something about his anger because there was no way I was going to live like this the rest of my life. He did end up seeing an excellent Christian counselor. I knew I couldn’t change him no matter what all the marriage books say, which are mostly written for women I notice. It was going to have to come from him.

      He did change and we’re healing from all the years of missed opportunity. I know perfectly well it could have gone either way, but I couldn’t continue living life like this. I know God hates divorce. I believe He hates abuse too. I’m also trying to mend the relationships with my children who had lost respect for me over the years. My husband taught them how to treat me by his actions. Through all this I learned that a lot of the teaching on marriage is not as accurate as I once believed.

      The word submission is not the same as the word obey. Obey is used later in Ephesians when describing relationships between children and parents and slaves and masters. If it was supposed to be obey, that’s the word that would have been used. Instead it’s the same word where we’re are told to submit to one another in verse 21. We aren’t told to everything that other Christians tell us to do. That just wouldn’t work. Instead we’re to cooperate with each other. Don’t live like you’re the only person that matters. This is the same word that is used in verse 22. We’re to cooperate with our husbands.

      One more thing. When the wives are told to win their husbands by actions and not words. It’s not an invitation to stop communicating with your husbands. We’re not to nag them to death, but we aren’t to keep all our opinions to ourselves.

      If anyone, man or woman, believes that they’re in an abusive relationship whether they’re being hit or not, don’t wait to make changes. It’s not going to get better on it’s own. You can’t be perfect enough to make an angry person happy. Get help now!

      1. Thanks for your detailed honest message to the public. Do you know that many people are relying on Satan’s works when they don’t have the proper knowledge about God? You’ve got to get right with God and that is for everybody. It is very important to be with someone of the same yolk, as you. That is if anyone is seeking a blessed marriage. Just keep bearing good fruit and continue to try to be one with God. As Christians, we are trying to have a protective covenant over our lives.

  9. My best answer to why some Christian men or women abuse each other. I haven’t really known this to happen, but we have to remember that we are all sinners because God says that we are all sinners. I believe in the fruit of the spirit, it is how you bear good fruit. The good fruit maintains through the practice and the deliveries through the word of God, because God is the Word, according to the book of Genesis.

    How you can really fight the problem is by loving your brother or sister, because God is love. If you believe in God and the holy trinity, you will know that the devil is real and as Christians, it is your job to follow Christ and do the teaching of Christ. What you may be experiencing. The answer and the tool is prayer and your book of fundamental teaching of living and real testimony, is in the Holy Bible, not the satanic bible.

    It is not my job to tell you what to do because God gives you the answers through the Holy Spirit. A person who divorces is an adulterer. You need to just keep loving the lord and seek marriage counseling, if you are not married, but you are pretending you are, you are lying and you have developed a curse and a demonic possession needs to be prayed over because people can get weak and your strength to me is only through God. I RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO YOUR RESEARCH ABOUT ALL OF THIS BECAUSE SATAN WANTS TO KILL, STEAL, AND DESTROY. IF YOU WANT YOUR SOUL TO BE SAVED, THEN BE ONE WITH CHRISIT. God Bless you and pray the prayer of protection over your family.

  10. Christian abuser? There is absolutely nothing christlike about an abuser. People who abuse others are not Christian but are goats disguised as sheep. I believe our Scriptures call them “wolves.”