I debated on what to title this article. No matter what it is named, the wording doesn’t seem strong enough for this message. This article is intended to put out an “all-points bulletin.” I want to warn those who are dating, NOT to continue on in a relationship with someone who is abusive. Escape abuse before you marry, if you haven’t already married.
This to be a warning for women as well as men. That is because BOTH can find themselves in abusive relationships. Unfortunately, most of the linked articles we provide for you to read address women. But that doesn’t mean that men can’t be abused as well. It happens —whether there are many articles written on this subject or not. (We apologize that we haven’t been able to find many.) Whether it is a man or a woman that is being verbally, emotionally, and/or physically abused, it is devastating to be victimized in this manner.
We receive so many emails here at Marriage Missions from those who wish, with everything in them, that they had NOT gotten involved in an abusive relationship. Many of them have married their victimizer.
Red Flag to Escape Abuse
So, to help those of you who haven’t dated an abusive person yet, let this be your “red flag” warning of what to look out for, so you don’t end up the victim.
“The following red flags are characteristics of an abuser. This does not mean that everyone who demonstrates one or two of these qualities will end up abusing or battering their partners. However, these red flags should be taken seriously. If someone you know demonstrates one or two of these patterns on a consistent basis, he has the potential to become a batterer.” (Brenda Branson)
To read, these important warning signs, please click onto the Focusministries1.org web site link:
• HOW TO SPOT A BATTERER BEFORE THE RELATIONSHIP BEGINS
Further Warning to Escape Abuse
Perhaps you’re already dating a person who has some of these traits. It could be that you’re still questioning whether the relationship you are in is abusive. You might wonder what an abusive relationship looks like. NOW is the time to search your soul for the answer God wants to reveal to you.
Perhaps you need further clarity. Brenda Branson wrote two additional articles that would be good for you to read. It’s important to recognize those that fool you into thinking they have good intentions. But in reality, their behavior shows evidence otherwise. Please click onto the following Focusministries1.org articles to read:
If there are control issues going on, where the person you are dating is excessively trying to control your actions, and your relationship with family and friends, you are very likely in an abusive relationship. Please know that if thinking that he or she is just being protective and will eventually change their behavior towards you sometime in the future, you’re being naive. Most likely, things will progressively get worse as you continue on in the relationship —especially after the wedding.
“After marriage these behaviors typically escalate. Therefore it’s crucial to recognize the warning signs now. Tell someone you can trust, and get help. And don’t believe the lie that it’s not abuse until he/she hits you.” (Laura Petherbridge, from the article, “12 Traits of an Abusive Relationship”)
To learn more on how to recognize abusive behavior, please click onto the Crosswalk.com web site link below to read:
• 12 TRAITS OF AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP
It could be that your abuser claims he or she will change. IF you believe you should stick around to see if that comes about, Brenda Branson (from Focusministries1.org) writes the following to help you:
If he or she hasn’t changed, you will live (or die) to regret it. If you don’t believe this to be true, just read about those who ignored the inner stirring going on inside of them. They ignored the feeling that they should NOT to continue on in their relationship. They especially ignored warnings not to marry this person.
Below is a testimony written by Shana Schulte. In it, she tells what she learned during and after she found herself faced with a boyfriend who held a shark-like attitude towards her:
• ESCAPING AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP
Also, I encourage you to read the testimony of Gweneth Nelson. She did marry her abusive “Christian” boyfriend. I’m hoping that by reading and prayerfully considering what she lived through, you will see what could be your future if this relationship continues.
Please read this Talesfromted.blogspot.com article:
• HER ABUSIVE “CHRISTIAN” MARRIAGE
Abused Men Looking to Escape Abuse
And here is a compelling blog written by abused men who are speak outing out. This was formerly posted on the Heart-2-heart.ca web site. Again, hopefully, you will make decisions that will help you never to be in this place where you are looking to escape abuse after marrying:
I pray for you what is written in Psalm 20:1:
“May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
May the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
And may he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.”
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.
If you have tips you can share to help others, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.
More from Marriage Missions
Filed under: Abuse in Marriage Single Yet Preparing
5 responses to “WARNING – Escape Abuse BEFORE Marriage”
(U.S.) I am in a 5 year relationship that has been verbally, emotionally and physically abusive for most of the time. The first 4 months was wonderful so the first incident put me into shock. I had never experienced domestic abuse and didn’t realize what was happening. I tried to leave him more that 20 times but every time he’d apologize with flowers and gifts and persistence. I never dated anyone so aggressive and besides calling the police, I didn’t know how to handle it.
There were times when it was quiet for 2-3 months and then I would catch him cheating or lying and the cycle would continue. It went off and on that way for 3 years. We conceived a beautiful daughter during one of our “on” times (my first blessing in the storm). The last year and a half has been non-abusive, but he has also been in prison for a year. The last time he physically abused me I called the police (as I have done several times before). But this time there was no turning back (as I did several times before).
He is now serving a 2.5 year sentence for that last incident. We broke up immediately after his arrest to later get back together 2 months later. And we stayed together until he went to prison.
A few months after he was gone, I feel like I had a revelation – “why are you still with him, why are you keeping yourself in bondage?” I asked myself. This is your chance to get out I told myself. And I did. I broke up with him (again). Some how I talked myself into going back last December. “I love him, he’s changed, and he is the father of my child,” I told myself then. I have been writing and visiting him frequently and we are talking about marriage before he comes home. But again I find myself in this place of – “what are you doing, what if he hasn’t changed, what if he comes home and the abuse starts all over again?”
My friends say he changed before he went to prison only because he couldn’t get into any more trouble or his sentence would have been stiffer. And of course he is being good now because he’s in prison. I don’t know, I think he could still be abusive in either case if he was still that person. I am a different person than I once was and I want to believe he is too. If the Lord can save and change a sinner like me then He can do the same for him.
So much has happened since his arrest. He lost his other child’s mother to suicide and a brother to murder. I can’t help but believe he values life a little more than before. Also, I have introduced him to Jesus and he’s reading the Word and praying and trying to understand God’s purpose for his life. He accepts all responsibility for all he put me through, he acknowledges he was a controlling and abusive monster at times. And he says he will never be that person again.
The abuse he put me through was a nightmare, I wouldn’t wish on any one. I am in the healing process and have already declared Victory in Jesus name! But I continue to find myself in doubt and afraid of displeasing God by being in this relationship. I also don’t want to keep leading him on just to keep letting him down. We have children, his daughter and our daughter together, that I am also thinking about. I know that only God can see me through this and guide me in the right direction but I thank you letting me share.
(AUSTRALIA) Dear Tanya, I don’t know where you are at now, but you might like to visit our blog http://cryingoutforjustice.wordpress.com. There is lots of information and support there for Christians who have or are still suffering from domestic abuse. You would be warmly welcomed, I promise.
(UNITED STATES) Hi. I’ve been in an 8 year relationship, with a man who has a very stronghold on me. I can’t call out about my hurts to him because all he does is turn it on me. He is physically abusive and verbally. He says he has not cheated on me but when we go places he stares at women. He plays the victim role all the time. I don’t feel ok about any of this. I have this brain fog; I can’t seem to take action.
He never apologizes for his actions. He gives me the silent treatment. I love him but I also feel sorry for him. He had been sexually abused as a child. He also was in a relationship with a man at age 16 or 17. He has been abused sexually and physically. So I want to show him that life is so much nicer and healthier than what he has been through. He calms down for a few weeks than falls again. What should I do? Please help.
Jackie, Please read through the “Abuse in Marriage” topic, because this could very well, and most likely will be your future if you stay with this man. You are not married to him. Why are you staying? You can’t show him the “healthier” part of life if you are showing him that you are unhealthy by putting up with this abusive behavior. Please consider what could happen to you if you keep taking him on as your project to show him the “nice” side of life. You could be sacrificing your very life.
Yes, it’s horrible that he was sexually and physically abused. It was absolutely unfair. But obviously he needs more help than your showing him the “nicer” side of life and allowing yourself to be his punching bag because he’s allowing his past abuse to be a pathway to being an abuser himself. Feeling sorry for him and trying to show him another side of living is obviously not working. He is treating you disrespectfully by how he hurts you physically and verbally and by staring at other women (which probably means he does more than this to other women when you’re not aware –possibly subjecting you to all kinds of potential STD’s and AIDs and such). All of this will only escalate in seriousness if you keep putting yourself out there for him to treat you in monstrous ways. HE needs to decide that his behavior is not acceptable. HE needs to reach out and get help for it. But he won’t do so as long as you enable him to treat you worse than a dirty rug to be kicked around.
Please consider contacting a women’s shelter to talk to someone about abuse. You need someone to show you how bad it can get before you end up beaten to a pulp and/or dying at the hands of this guy. (I can’t even call him a man, because a real man would not treat a woman like this.) You also need someone to help motivate you to find a way of escape from this horrible behavior. Obviously you need help too if you “can’t seem to take action” and find a way to get away from being treated in this dehumanizing way. Please read through the quotes, articles, go to web sites through the links we provide and/or find a woman’s shelter to talk to someone. Please, please value your life more worthwhile than this. Pray for him, but don’t keep subjecting yourself to such animalistic treatment (even worse than animalistic). I hope you will and pray that you will take the strength and the way of escape I’m praying that God will give you as you call out to Him.
Will you consider this abuse? I am a partner to a woman that leaves her son at home to be with her friends, yet when I get angry at her I am the abuser!!! Reading this article made me believe you’re naive for even saying “traits of an abuser” – there are no traits!!!! It’s just people getting too emotionally attached that they can’t control themselves. So if a person wants to act irresponsible it’s okay to neglect your partner and child!!! Please try to be more general.