The following are Web Site Links and Resource descriptions (alphabetically listed) that deal Abuse in Marriage. These links are given to help you to survive the damage that can occur because of abuse. We pray you will find them to be helpful.
Abuse in Marriage Links:
First, if you are in imminent danger, and you live in the U.S. you can call 911.
Also, there is a web site you can visit to give you information at: THEHOTLINE.ORG. Please know that your computer use can be monitored and is impossible to completely clear. If you are afraid your internet and/or computer usage might be monitored, please use a safer computer, and/or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224.
Additional Abuse in Marriage Website Links:
• Ccada.org This is the web site for the Christian Coalition Against Domestic Abuse. The following is a little explanation about their ministry: “We are committed to ending all abuse in our community and helping those affected by abuse. We desire that every woman, man and child is safe and enjoying the respectful and honoring relationships that God intends.”
• Changingmenchanginglives.org This is a web site that presents a “Christ-centered approach for ending men’s violence against women.” They offer information and resources as well as explaining about a 27-week program, titled, “Changing Men, Changing Lives (CMCL), which “is designed to help men develop God’s plan for intimacy, partnership and unity with women. It is predicated on the principles of safety for women, accountability for men and real opportunities for change.” They are located in Duluth, MN, but they offer opportunities to learn how to become a facilitator for the “faith based men’s nonviolence class.”
• Compassionpower.com This is the web site for Steven Stosny, PhD, who is the founder of Compassion Power. He has written many books and articles on anger and relationships and has been featured in most major print and broadcast media. His interest in the healing power of compassion grew from his childhood in a violent home. We must tell you that this is not a Christian web site. But his work is very good and very helpful to thousands of people throughout the world.
• Cryingoutforjustice.wordpress.com The aim of this blog is to awaken the evangelical church to domestic violence and abuse in its midst. Led by Jeff Crippen and Barbara Roberts who are both Bible believing conservative Christians, it seeks to untangle the misunderstandings of scripture that are exacerbating the problem of domestic abuse in the Christian church. Many victims and survivors of domestic abuse are finding support there.
• DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INTERNATIONAL RESOURCES On this web site page you will find resourceful links to informative articles, important information, and International web site links to organizations all over the world that can help you concerning domestic violence.
• FOCUSMINISTRIES1.ORG, with co-founders Brenda Branson and Paula Silva. This is a not-for-profit organization devoted to offer hope, encouragement, education, and assistance to women who are struggling in difficult circumstances, including spousal abuse. With offices in Illinois and Kentucky, FOCUS Ministries provides help for women suffering the horror of domestic violence and for those who want to help. You can contact them at: FOCUS Ministries P. O. Box 2014, Elmhurst, Illinois 60126 Phone: (630) 595-7023. If this is not an emergency and you would like to reach FOCUS Ministries, you may contact them through their web site or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• FOCUS ON THE FAMILY COUNSELOR REFERRALS: The ministry of Focus on the Family offers free “counseling services by phone,” which you can avail yourself of by clicking into the link above. They also offer “referrals for licensed Christian counselors in your area.” They can help you to find Christian Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychiatrists as near to you as it is possible.
Unfortunately, they do not have area counselor referrals outside of North America. However, they DO have web sites for a variety of other countries such as Australia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ireland, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Africa, and Taiwan, which may be able to direct you to counselors in your area when you contact them.
• Hidden Hurt.co.uk This is a UK-based Abuse Information and Support Web Site. The articles “are designed to help understand the dynamics of an abusive relationships, the different forms (or faces) abuse can take, it’s effect on both direct victims (i.e. person being abused) and indirect victims (i.e. children living in a house where abuse occurs), specific issues facing the Christian abuse victim, and helpful links and telephone numbers inside the UK.”
This is not a Christian web site, but it has a lot of good information on it. Please glean and use as the Lord leads. It’s important to know that the founder of this web site states: “Please note that I am not a counselor, or hold any qualifications apart from having been there and survived myself. The information is neither comprehensive, nor infallible!” But we believe it can be helpful!
• Hotpeachpages.net This is a global list of abuse hotlines, shelters, refuges, crisis centres and women’s organizations, plus domestic violence information in over 110 languages.
• LifeAbundantlyFree.org Living in Freedom and Empowerment is a ministry that reaches out to help others live the life God intends. In a world of disrespect, we believe God wants to restore respectful relationships, and we are committed to helping that happen. They are a ministry devoted to helping people live lives free of disrespect and abuse so they can be all God intends. We provide help, hope and healing through counseling, support, resources and seminars.
• Lifeskillsintl.org Life Skills International is a non-profit educational corporation whose network of affiliate centers around the world teach the “Learning to Live, Learning to Love” curriculum dealing with abusive issues, developed by the Founder, Dr. Paul Hegstrom. They also have a Stepping Stones counseling ministry in Colorado, which can benefit those who are hurting from abusive relationships as well.
• MALE VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE This is not an entire web site dedicated to abuse that husbands suffer at the hands of women in their lives, but rather a UK web site that focuses on abuse, in general. However, this particular page contains a long article, useful links, and related pages dealing with this issue.
• Marriagefriendlytherapists.com, is the web site for the National Registry for Marriage-Friendly Therapists. Although this is not a Christian web site, it is one that we believe can be very helpful. Their “mission” is to “help marriages by linking couples with the most highly qualified therapists in the country. As they say, which we believe to be true, “Right now it’s hard for couples to find a good therapist. Many therapists lack training and experience in marriage therapy, and some are lukewarm in supporting life-long commitment. The Registry only accepts therapists with many years of training and experience in marriage and couples therapy. These therapists value marriage and life-long commitment, and are dedicated to helping marriages succeed if at all possible.”
• RENEWALCENTER.WORDPRESS.COM Their focus “is to provide a service of love and compassion to battered women/men by renewing the mind through biblical principles, and recover what has been lost to the person by the malicious acts of abuse.” They “have a holistic approach to concerns of: domestic violence, rape, date rape, coping with teen pregnancy, and CPS (NC only).” They also are a “Renewal Center for Battered Women: Life Coaching and Support Services, dedicated to serve clients in guidance and assistance in making better life choices through Biblical principles.” They “educate, instruct, edify, and coach. They also “encourage, help to instill confidence, persuade and support you in your efforts to live a non-violent lifestyle.” They “help to build your self-confidence and self-esteem through enlightenment, encouragement, and empowerment through biblical principles.”
• RETROUVAILLE.ORG RETROUVAILLE (meaning: “rediscovery,” and rhymes with pie). This is a program for couples with serious problems who are disillusioned, separated and/or on the brink of divorce. You’ll be helped by volunteer couples who have also “been to the brink” —who have experienced serious problems including affairs, alcoholism, gambling, violence, etc. or who have simply fallen out of love —but who have worked their way back. They’ll teach you how to fall back in love again and heal your own marriage and make it stronger than ever before. This successful program (85% when both partners work at it) teaches simple techniques of communication and exercises to work on forgiveness, healing, and restoration of trust.
The program begins with a weekend and includes 12 follow-up meetings over 3 months. These are not spiritual retreats, sensitivity groups, seminars or social gatherings —there are no counselors involved and you don’t have to say anything in front of anyone else. Couples discuss the topics and practice the skills in private. It has a blank envelope donation system and is open to couples of all faiths and to the non-religious. For those in the USA: to find a program in your area call, 800-470-2230 or you can visit their web site at Retrouvaille.org.
• WIFE ABUSE: This is a PDF document —a Quick Reference, Counseling Key Excerpt from the ministry of Hope for the Heart. It’s from their Biblical Counseling Library, that they have made available for us to read. This is not a comprehensive document, but one that can help in certain ways with questions such as, “Why does he do it?” and, “Would God have my husband abuse me in order to punish me for sin?” also, “If I am in a violent or threatening situation, is it all right for me to leave?” plus others, with Bible verses to support the answers.
• WOMEN HEALING.COM This is a website and resource for Christian women healing from abuse. They offer a variety of resources you may find helpful.
ABUSE IN MARRIAGE RESOURCES:
• Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them: Breaking the Cycle of Physical and Emotional Abuse -written by Paul Hegstrom, published by Beacon Hill Press. This book is written by a former pastor who battered his wife. Facing a charge of attempted murder and a prison term, Hegstrom got the wake-up call he needed. With professional help and an intense struggle with spiritual issues, he began the lengthy process of healing and recovery.
Through a thorough examination of the psychology behind various types of abuse, along with true examples from his own life and others, Hegstrom points the way back to wholeness and freedom. This can be an invaluable aid for the man who batters, the woman who feels trapped, and the pastor, counselor, or friend who desperately wants to help them both. It offers straight answers for those willing to overcome the cycle of violence. The revised and updated edition includes a new chapter that discusses the physiological and psychological changes in the brain when abuse occurs.
• Foolproofing Your Life: How to Deal Effectively with the Impossible People in Your Life -written by Jan Silvious, published by WaterBrook. This is a book to help you deal with difficult people. “In dealing with such people, we often try a number of coping strategies. Unfortunately, our best attempts at making peace often fail. This is because the difficult people in our lives are often what the Bible calls ‘fools.’ And dealing with fools requires a special kind of biblical wisdom. You’ve tried everything –from confrontation to passivity. You’ve found out what doesn’t work; now discover what does. Gain the tools you need to get along with others and conduct your relationships in a manner that honors God and preserves your sanity!
• Love Must Be Tough: New Hope for Marriages in Crisis -written by Dr James Dobson, published by Multnomah Publishers. In this book, Dr. Dobson offers practical help for the spouse who wants to hold the marriage together. He shows how to rekindle romantic interest and draw the offending partner back home. For new generations faced with ever-increasing threats to stable and loving bonds, Love Must Be Tough offers realistic hope.
“Dr. Dobson’s premise of tough love, which essentially means defining and maintaining the line of respect around yourself, seems sound and practical. Applying it avoids the drawn-out, torturous emotions that go with living in a decaying relationship. Dobson makes the seemingly radical recommendation that people facing infidelity or other marital crisis of similar proportions precipitate a crisis to bring the situation to a boil. Dobson’s point is that that boil will very often restore the relationship. Precipitating the crisis shows your mettle, which commands respect and even admiration.”
• Mending the Soul: Understanding and Healing Abuse -written by Steven R Tracy, published by Zondervan. This Christian-based book that “deals with the various types of abuse, the various effects of abuse, and the means of healing. Abuse can be sexual, physical, neglect, spiritual, and verbal.” One reviewer wrote, “This book was so instrumental in healing from my own past abuse in many forms.”
Another wrote, “I have read many different books on abuse, from both the abused point of view, and the counselor’s point of view. This is the most thorough, concise and ‘user friendly’ book I’ve ever run across. It’s thorough and concise in that it gives strong teaching in not only what abuse looks like, but how to unlock the damage done. It’s ‘user friendly,’ in that it provides several ‘real life’ illustrations that more clearly define the teaching that’s being done. I would HIGHLY recommend this book to both abuse victims, and their counselors. I learned more from this book than I’ve ever learned from any other given resource. If you are an abuse victim, or one working with an abuse victim, this book is a DEFINITE ‘must have.'”
• Not Under Bondage -Written by Barbara Roberts, published by Maschil Press. This book, written by a survivor of domestic abuse, explains the scriptural dilemmas about divorce which abuse victims grapple with. While carefully examining the scriptures and scholarly research, it shows how the Bible sets victims of abuse free from bondage and guilt. When is divorce biblically permissible and when is it forbidden? Is remarriage ever permissible for a divorced Christian? The questions are particularly difficult for Christian victims of marital abuse, who often believe they must choose between two unpleasant alternatives: endure abuse, or face condemnation by God and his church for disobeying the Bible.
• 10 Lifesaving Principles for Women in Difficult Marriages – by Karla Downing, published by Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City. This book helps women overcome their sense of powerlessness by giving them tools to improve their marriage. It examines misconceptions about Scriptures that cause confusion and even pain, helping women recover their faith that God cares for them. Women will begin to focus on what they can do to change themselves, instead of trying over and over again to change their husbands. As they learn to set boundaries with their husbands, they will protect themselves and their children from the effects of the difficult marriage. One day at a time, their lives will begin to change and heal as they apply the information, insights, and principles to their individual situation.
• The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope – written by Leslie Vernick, published by Waterbrook Press. This book is for any woman caught in an emotionally destructive marriage. In it, Leslie offers a personalized path forward. Based on decades of counseling experience, her intensely practical, biblical advice will show you how to establish boundaries and break free from emotional abuse. Learn to: – identify damaging behaviors – gain the skills to respond wisely – promote healthy change – stay safe – understand when, why, and even how to leave (if that’s necessary) – recognize that God sees and hates what is happening to you. This book comes HIGHLY recommended by many counselors.
• The Heart of Domestic Abuse: Gospel Solutions for Men Who Use Control and Violence in the Home is written by Chris Moles. This book is published by Focus Publishing. “Domestic abuse and violence are on the rise in our culture today, and just as prevalent in the church. With an estimated one-fourth of women in the church living with abuse and violence, pastors and biblical counselors need to have the resources to offer hope and help. It is time for godly men in the church to call abusive men to repentance and accountability. Here is a valuable resource for every church leader and Christian man.” This book comes to us highly recommended by a man who was a former wife abuser.
• Violence Among Us: Ministry to Families in Crisis is written by Brenda Branson and Paula J Silva, and is published by Judson Press. “This book offers practical help in identifying abusive situations. It has strategic counseling tips, case studies and models of effective ministry to both the victim and the perpetrator. There are resource lists which include domestic violence hotlines and shelters, faith-based organizations, abuser treatment programs, and information on legal and safety issues.
“Reading this book is like taking an intensive course on addressing domestic violence; a great deal of substance is compacted into a relatively small volume. The authors do an outstanding job of taking a reader without firsthand experience of abuse into the mind, body, and spirit of the abused, as well as that of the abuser. The feature that makes this book a stand-out is the comprehensive ready-to-use resource section. This book qualifies as a must-read for every pastoral, counseling, social work, or education student.'” (The Christian Librarian)
• Violence in Families: What Every Christian Needs to Know – written by Al Miles, published by Augsburg Fortress Publishers. This book is a powerful in that it deals with emotional, verbal, sexual, and physical abuse within marriages and dating couples. It centers on Christians who misuse scripture to justify abuse and violence. It serves a wake-up call to the Christian community and our society of a very real problem and provides guidance and information about what needs to be done in terms of both prevention and intervention. The author “presents the information in a way that respects and honors faith while naming the reality that is prevalent in too many families, even Christian families, even every church.”
• When Love Dies: How To Save A Hopeless Marriage -written by Judy Bodmer, published by Word Publishing. This is a refreshing, honest look at one woman’s journey to the edge of divorce, her commitment to stay even though she didn’t feel like it, and her eventual rediscovery of the love that she thought had died. Some of the subjects she discusses from her own experience are: You Don’t Know How Bad Things Are; You Don’t Know My Husband; I Can’t Forgive or Forget, I Can’t Change the Way I Feel; I had So Many Dreams; I Don’t Love Him; We Can’t Talk; I Feel So Angry; I Married the Wrong Man; I Don’t Want Him to Touch Me; I Don’t Feel Loved; and I Just Want to Be Happy.
• When Love Hurts: Understanding and Healing -Produced by Day of Discovery, this powerful 4-part DVD series pulls back the curtain on the dark secret of abuse and offers hope and help to those caught in its painful cycle. Join Mart De Haan and experts in domestic violence such as Steven and Celestia Tracy, Dr. Nancy Nason-Clark, and Dr. James Beck in an honest, compassionate discussion about this problem and the help and healing that can come with a proper understanding of what God has to say about marriage, authority, violence, and the important role the church today can play in guiding abused women out of the darkness of abuse and into the light of God’s protective, redeeming love. You’ll also hear firsthand accounts of abuse from victims themselves —what they have experienced, how they eventually got help, and how God can heal even the deepest hurts made by those who are supposed to love.
• When You Can’t Say “I Forgive You”: Breaking the Bonds of Anger and Hurt -written by Dr Grace Ketterman and David Hazard, published by NavPress. Licensed physician Grace Ketterman shares her own shocking story of divorce, shame, and reconciliation. Through her gentle approach, compelling stories,and David’s teaching you’ll discover the power to make it through the process of forgiveness —past the pain, and anger —toward a true change of heart.
• Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men -written by Lundy Bancroft, published by Berkley Trade. Although we haven’t read this book, it comes highly recommended. We caution you that it approaches these matters from a secular viewpoint, however as you pray and read, we believe the Holy Spirit will reveal His truth through what is revealed to greatly help those of you who are dealing with abusive situations.
As one commentator said, “Lundy Bancroft has captured within this book the heart of one of the biggest problems being involved with abusive and controlling men —the constant and never-ending struggle to understand why he can be so cruel when he swears he loves so much. It is at times a very painful read, especially when Mr. Bancroft tackles all the myths women have relied upon to rationalize and somehow justify or downplay the abuse. He has de-mystified these types of men and has explained the source of their actions and mindset with a clarity that can be as frightening as it is freeing.”
• Would the Real Church PLEASE Stand Up! – written by Susan Greenfield, published by Xulon Press. This book is a necessity for all ministers, counselors, and Christians. It is an informative resource that will help you to identify abuse in a Christian home. You will be challenged to Be the Real Church and Stand Up as you read this up close and personal account of living in an abusive environment. After reading this book you will be more equipped to minister to victims of domestic violence. Maybe the victim is a neighbor, a co-worker, or a bank teller. Maybe the victim is your minister’s wife. If you are in an abusive relationship, you will be enlightened by reading this book.
• You Don’t Have to Take it Anymore: Turn Your Resentful, Angry, or Emotionally Abusive Relationship into a Compassionate, Loving One -written by Steven Stosny, PhD., published by Free Press. This is a non-religious book, but it’s a good one. Dr Stosny suffered the effects of an abusive home life, so he knows first-hand, many of the problems that victims and abusers encounter. He’s made it his life profession to help stop the cycle of violence. This book aims to turn your resentful, angry, or emotionally abusive relationship into a compassionate, loving one.
8 responses to ““Abuse in Marriage” Links and Recommended Resources”
(USA) Hi readers, I post on this site a lot, usually on the "power of a praying wife" article comments section but on other sections as well, when I feel led by God to share my own insights and/or experiences. As a victim of spousal abuse who is recovering and seeing how strong God has made me, I take abuse very seriously and it’s something that is near to my heart.
I just found the following book I’d like to recommend. I wanted to pass on a book that, when I went to the amazon.com page, it had up as a suggestion for me based on past purchases. I just felt REALLY strongly to share that on this page, and probably one or two of the other pages here on this site, that deal with abuse.
At any rate – not all of you that read here are in abusive marriages, I know, so this may not be for you but if you are, you know who you are. There are a lot of women out there, who are part of couples who haven’t "come out of the closet" of abuse yet but if you sit around even wondering whether your marriage is abusive or not, then chances are it is. My experience is that people who are in healthy marriages with a minimal level of respect on both sides, aren’t the ones sitting around wondering whether their marriages or abusive or not.
At any rate – I haven’t read the book but the description spoke volumes to me. If you have an account with amazon, as I do, you can go in and look at excerpts, as well. This isn’t written from a Christian perspective so please keep that in mind. It will probably have "worldly" suggestions that you may not want to take to heart, so read it prayerfully if you decide to read it, but the core of the subject matter is important enough if you are dealing with it in your life or know someone who is.
My own experience with how God brought my situation to light and started working his healing power was that I went to the church first, not man’s institutions (ie, the police). I’d recommend this. Always go to God and His people first. If the necessity arises later on, for various reasons, to eventually go to wordly institutions, such as the courts or the police, then that might happen but always do everything prayerfully.
The book is called "Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft. Here’s a blurb I found on amazon that seemed to really say it all.
From Publishers Weekly: This fascinating investigation into what makes abusive men tick is alarming, but its candid handling of a difficult subject makes it a valuable resource for professionals and victims alike. Bancroft, the former codirector of Emerge, the nation’s first program for abusive men, has specialized in domestic violence for 15 years, and his understanding of his subject and audience is apparent on every page. "One of the prevalent features of life with an angry or controlling partner is that he frequently tells you what you should think and tries to get you to doubt or devalue your own perceptions and beliefs," he writes. "I would not like to see your experience with this book re-create that unhealthy dynamic. So the top point to bear in mind as you read [this book] is to listen carefully to what I am saying, but always to think for yourself." He maintains this level of sensitivity and even empathy throughout discussions on the nature of abusive thinking, how abusive men manipulate their families and the legal system and whether or not they can ever be cured. Jargon-free analysis is frequently broken up by interesting first-person accounts and boxes that distill in-depth information into simple checklists. Bancroft’s book promises to be a beacon of calm and sanity for many storm-tossed families.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The book above is helpful if you are a victim. There’s also another book I’d recommend to the victim and the abuser and it’s called "Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them." If you are in an abusive relationship you’ll see yourself and your marriage in this book as you read it.
If you have questions, please post back. I check this site often, and always respond when I feel led by God to do so. Steve and Cindy Wright are also very attentive to the site as well for those in dire situations and in need of help. With love, LT
(USA) Dear LT, I’ve been doing a lot of reading on this website and you have been most inspirational. I’ve never responded to anything like this but I feel a need of sharing and hoping for a little advice and support.
I’ve been married for 16 years to an abusive alcoholic. We have 2 daughters 8 and 15. For whatever reason, I still love my husband, but I’m finding it harder and harder to stay with him and feel I’ve reached a point that I just don’t want to try anymore. About a year ago my husband decided to give his heart to the Lord and hoped he could be delivered from his addictions. We started seeing a Christian marriage counselor to help, since both of us had decided that our marriage was pretty much over. The Counselor has helped us tremendously. Unfortunately my husband is still struggling and is unable to overcome the drinking, and because he’s been struggling with this for so long, he feels it’s not worth it, and feels God is not helping him enough. He is angry with himself and God and turns that anger towards me.
My daughters have seen and heard more than their share of horror between their dad and me and I can no longer allow them to see and hear this abuse. The marriage counselor gave me new hope and for a while things seemed better, but with my husband’s regression, I feel I can no longer support him and feel a need to leave before he hurts me again, which he has threatened to do several times.
As I said before I do still love him, and have prayed for years that things would change, I have read The Power of a Praying Wife. But I can’t do this for him anymore; I feel he’s got to, at some point do something for himself instead of waiting for everyone else. I’ve tried to get him to go to AA and promised I would go with him. I’ve also advised him that God will help him if he shows effort to help himself. I can’t do it for him!
I guess I have the feeling of deserting him and with that comes some guilt since I’m old school and have that whole “in sickness and in health till death do us part” thing in my head. But I’ve also done enough reading and praying to know when the Lord would not want me in such a bad situation. I too must help myself. I’m torn.
Of course then there’s this whole other fear that I can’t make it without him, and what if I fail my daughters?
(USA) There’s more: Two years ago my husband and I separated, he was being physically abusive and I moved out of our home. My work schedule was such that our two daughters had to stay with him. In the midst of all this I met up with an old flame on the net and we started talking. At first it was pure platonic as we each thought the other was happily married, and the fact that we live 2 states and 300 plus miles apart, kept it that way.
Eventually our everyday “how are you” chatter turned to deeper more emotional issues as we discovered that neither one of us was as happily married as we first thought. After nine months we did manage to meet and out emotional affair then turned physical and we pledged our undying love for one another.
Being a Christian woman I know right from wrong and some months later my AP and I decided we would end our A and rededicate ourselves to God and to making our marriages work. He felt a tremendous guilt from our A and decided he couldn’t live with that. I moved back in with my husband in hopes things would get better.
For him it has been a wonderful experience to be able to be closer to God and his wife and I’m truly happy for them. For me it has been different, I haven’t experienced the same happiness, in fact my husband shows no affection for me whatsoever, and hasn’t for some time, which may be one of the reasons I felt drawn to my AP. On occasion my XAP will send an email to just “check in” and make sure I’m ok. He thinks that things for me are going as well as things are for him. Since, I don’t want to be emotionally dependent, I haven’t told him any different. I know that the only way to be truly over him is NC but for now I think I’ve made great progress.
(AUSTRALIA) Hi Cat. I think you will find lots of help at our blog cryingoutforjustice.wordpress.com. We are conservative Bible-believing Christians who are calling on the evangelical church to respond to the horrific abuse that is being perpetrated behind closed doors against may sincere and devoted Christian spouses, by their partners who should be loving and cherishing them but instead are violating them heart, soul and body on a regular basis.
Hope you read this message and come to our site. You will be most welcome. It’s a safe site for survivors and you can comment anonymously if you wish.
(USA) Hi Cat, Thanks so much for writing in to this website and asking for my thoughts. Wow – that shows God must be using me in a positive way for someone else to ask my opinion. Praise God!
I’ve got some personal things going on at the moment, but I wanted to let you know that I will write back when I can. I need a point where I have a lot of time to do that. You are in my thoughts and prayers until I can write more. With love, LT
(USA) Hi Cat, In my long overdue response to you, the Lord finally gave me enough time to gather all my thoughts and put them together in a response to you. Please read it prayerfully. If anything I tell you contradicts with what the Holy Spirit may be telling you directly, then, obviously, go with what you feel God is telling you over anything I might say.
The first response I have to you is when you say, for whatever reason you still love your husband. Well, my sister, that’s the love of God in you for a partner, in a bond of marriage, that God ordained and does not want to see die.
Mark 10:9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
So that is why you still feel love for your husband. That, coupled with the emotional bond that developed during your dating time and early marriage. That’s hard to let go.
Secondly, I wanted to address your husband’s alcohol struggles. For any of us who have been born again, we all go through a maturation process that is long and arduous, whereby we make progress and learn a lot but it’s the type of process that can best be referred to as "growing pains." Just like a child goes through the terrible two’s, etc. We are children of God and learning to live according to God’s word and grow in the spirit, is the same as what our physical process was when we were children. I applaud your husband’s efforts to reach out to God (the only true hope of change and redemption for all of us), but it’s a spiritual growth, just like the physical growth was when we were younger, learning to grow through our teenage years and early adulthood.
Thus we all tend to get angry at God and frustrated and wonder why we bother and where is it all going, etc. That is where your husband is. My suggestion to you, when/if that comes up in conversation is to simply give him your own experiences in your own personal faith walk (experiences you had to grow through) and give him the analogy that changing from the world’s way to God’s way is hard and is like growing up again, but it’s far more worth it than anything we could have received growing up as kids in this physical world (if that makes sense).
Regarding your AP – I, too, fell into that trap years ago because of the horrible state of my marriage so I’ve been there as well. If you’ve read some of the articles on this site about infidelity as well as using the "guarding your heart" principle to protect your marriage, you will know that Godly Christians recommend not seeking friendships with those of the opposite gender and I agree. Some exceptions would be a Christian counselor or a pastor or something of that nature but your AP does not fit those descriptions.
I suggest you keep contact with that person minimal. You don’t have to lie, you just don’t have to go into great detail either. You can say something such as, we are struggling, but I know God will show us the way and please pray for us. This keeps the conversation honest (no lying) but also points toward God, not the flesh.
If this man is the type to say/respond, I wish your husband treated you better, I’d never do that to you, etc. etc. please see that for what it is – that is Satan trying to bait you into thinking for this man in an emotional way that is not healthy and will not move your forward toward your goal of Godly living and reconciliation with your husband. Therefore, I strongly recommend, dare I say, urge you to keep contact with this other man at a very, very bare minimum. Ultimately, what’s he going to give you that God can’t? This human can’t possibly offer things that God can offer.
Always keep your eyes on God in all your struggles. When you need Christian counsel and companionship, do so with Godly women and use this website, too, as it is a wonderful tool and it is a supportive environment.
I want to share with you my own personal experience in the healing of abuse in my marriage (and it is still not all the way there yet, either). It takes years to fully recover. During the recovery process, it is a time for you (and your husband if he chooses), to become more spiritually mature. There is a work God has in store for you as you grown and once you’ve grown more and the only way He can bring it about is to test you and mold you in times of trial, such as now. But I want to be realistic that it takes years to heal this kind of dysfunction so strap your boots on for a long walk.
Regarding divorce – well, God hates it. Regarding separation, of course that is necessary at times, especially in abusive houses where that is sometimes necessary not only to prevent violence but also the abusers are sometimes (dare I say, usually) so psychologically/emotionally unhealthy they tend to need to be faced with dire consequences to even wake them up out of the denial they so greatly desire to live in.
Separation should NEVER be done with the intent of divorce, however. Nor should it ever be done out of an emotional state of frustration or in a desire for revenge. It can be done, sometimes, because it’s the only thing to shake a bad situation up to where some attention would be paid, but even then it should be made clear that both parties have reconciliation in mind. Separation, by a Christian, should always be done with future reconciliation in mind. That is something I will stand by.
Here are two books I’ve been reading and want to recommend to you:
1 – Praying Through the Deeper Issues of Marriage, also by Stormie Omartian – much better book (in my opinion) than the first Power of a Praying Wife. Her first book (in my opinion) was made for people who "have it pretty good." That’s how it struck me. Only 30% of the population deals with abuse so there aren’t many books geared toward that. This second book she wrote is actually for people like you and me, who have REAL problems that can sometimes be frightening. I’m not minimalizing the problems of others, it’s just that what I see in problems that aren’t abusive, tend to be people who are extremely emotional because they have the freedom to be. In an abusive house, as you know, you literally, at times, don’t even have the freedom to express your emotions because you might get screamed at, hit, have things thrown at you, etc. In other words, there is so much fear and manipulation, you can’t always express your emotions even when you want to. Abuse is a whole different animal from any other kind of marriage problems I’ve seen.
2 – Love Must Be Tough by Dr. James Dobson. It tells a lot of the advice through victims of infidelity, but the principles of respect and what love does and does not do in crisis situations, cross the boundaries of all marriage problems, including abuse. And there is a chapter on abuse, and alcoholism, as well. It’s well worth the read.
If you haven’t already done so, make sure you set boundaries in your verbal communication with your husband. No yelling/screaming on your part. No allowing him to threaten you or name-call, etc. I’m not saying you can keep him from doing it, but you have the right to calmly explain that you want to have healthier communication. If the cursing you out or name-calling (on his part) does start during a conversation, you should politely say I’ll come back when we’re (or you) are calmer and then leave the room.
If this will incite anger to the point of violence, then you should start praying about this approach. Obviously you should be praying (not that you aren’t) about your marriage situation in general and asking God to guide you in what to do in all the different types of scenarios that you are bound to come across when living with someone who has an abuse problem and an alcohol problem.
God will guide you and start putting it in your head what to do. Seek Him daily through prayer and the Word. Fast, too. I’ve been doing that recently because I’m in a similar place in my marriage right now as you, with similar dilemmas. Going to God for the answer, as opposed to acting from our flesh, is always the right approach.
Please let me know if you have any other questions and keep me updated. I may not always be able to get back to your right away. My marriage is still unstable, too, so sometimes I’m dealing with personal things related to that, but I’ve shared with you what has helped me in the last several months and hope that you can gain some insight from it. With love and prayers, LT
(USA) To all reading about abuse, Below are some quotes from the website http://www.brokenpeople.org. It’s a section called "Power to Make Hard Choices". There is a list of verses from Psalms 101. They are geared for verbal or physical abuse. I’m quoting the 2 most important ones that I saw but you should take a look at the whole list as it has valuable info.
I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors. I will not endure conceit and pride. (v. 5) Pride is the enemy of the soul that shows its face in many different ways. Some people delight in belittling others because it makes them feel superior. Verbally abusing another person gives the abuser a sense of power and authority, and keeps his hands clean from physical assault. If you tolerate just a little bit of verbal abuse (name calling, unkind teasing, etc.), it won’t be long before the floodgates of verbal vomit will scorch and wither your soul. You may not be able to control another person’s mouth, but you can set limits as to how much you will endure. Just a little bit is too much!
My daily task will be to ferret out criminals and free the city of the Lord from their grip. (v. 8.) You can replace the words “city of the Lord” with “my home” or “my church.” It is not loving to protect a criminal from the consequences of his actions. Physical battery is a crime! Don’t buy into the lie that you are not being a good, supportive wife if you call 9-1-1 and press charges against a physically abusive spouse. Fondling and other inappropriate sexual behavior toward children is a crime! When these types of crimes are swept under the rug, innocent people get hurt and suffer for years to come! A wise pastor once said it best, “You can sweep broken glass under the carpet, but it will work its way through the rug and cut your foot.”
Here’s the link to the whole page: http://www.brokenpeople.org/content/coaches/The%20Power%20to%20Make%20Hard%20Choices138873.asp?coach_ID=138873&K27=brokenpeople.org&A=View%20Article
God bless, LT
(USA) When I needed to save may marriage I was searching on internet and I visited a website that was http://howtohaveahappyandfulfillingmarriage.com. It helped me by its program that I was able to intimate in my marriage life.