I write my blog from the perspective of a wife who was controlling and disrespectful with a passive husband. I do not have a history of being abused. My parents were godly, Christian parents who set a beautiful example of marriage. There was never violence in our marriage on either side and my husband and I were never abused as children. My husband doesn’t raise his voice or yell at me. He has never attempted to physically harm me. He has never called me names or verbally abused me.
Some people raise concerns at times about my blog – saying that I am endorsing men abusing women.
Let me be as clear as I possibly can.
I absolutely NEVER condone abuse of any kind towards anyone. Abuse is sin. It offends God. It is destructive and it is wrong. People will be accountable to God for abusing others – unless they repent and find forgiveness in Christ – and they will be accountable to the law. Abusers need help immediately. And people who are being abused need help immediately.
Some people believe that because I don’t teach men and don’t tell them what to do – that I am saying that women are totally responsible for all relationship problems. That is not at all what I am saying. Men and women are all wretched sinners – capable of plenty of different kinds of evil. When two sinners are in a relationship, they both sin against each other. There are very few cases where one person is 100% responsible and the other is 100% innocent. We each must look at our own sin, our own accountability before God and our own obedience to God’s Word – and it is my goal to help women focus on their end of the relationship, their sin and their responsiblity. But men have an equal responsibility to focus on their sin, their accountability before God and their obedience to God’s Word.
There are absolutely times when the loving and respectful thing to do can be:
– separation until there is healing or breaking off the relationship
– creating healthy boundaries
– asking for abuse to stop
– seeking help outside of the relationship from a professional counselor/doctor/pastor
That is something for which people will have to seek God’s face, pray unceasingly and listen carefully to His Word and His Spirit for wisdom. I am not in a place to tell women what to do in these situations. God’s wisdom is infinitely higher than mine.
If there are serious problems in your relationship – physical abuse, major verbal abuse, major control by one person, substance or alcohol abuse, uncontrolled mental health disorders, infidelity… those things go way beyond the scope of my blog. I am not a psychiatrist or psychologist. I am not a licensed counselor. I am not a pastor. I have not experienced abuse myself. I am not writing for women in these situations.
If you are a woman who has gone almost totally quiet and silent and your man is extremely controlling – my blog may not be a good fit for you.
Some Signs of an Extremely Controlling/Abusive Man:
- he tends to try to isolate you from all other people including friends, family members, neighbors and church
- he may be very jealous
- he may have a very critical spirit about things, and be quite perfectionistic
- he tries to quickly get into a very committed relationship – maybe even marriage, not allowing you time to see past his magnetic, charming personality to the darker side of himself
- he may be quite demanding and insist on you wearing certain clothes, fixing your hair a certain way, having the house cleaned in a very specific manner or he goes into a rage
- he may blame 100% of the problems in the relationship totally on you
- he may never apologize or admit any sin/wrongdoing of his own
- he may not want to hear your opinions, your feelings or your desires
- he may try to force you to always agree with him
- he may “punish” you when you take the slightest mis-step
- he may be very unforgiving
- or he may constantly apologize after abusing you and promise it will never happen again
- he may have been violent with a past girlfriend/wife
- he may get REALLY, REALLY upset if you are 1 minute late
- he may stalk you and follow you around town and at work
- he may have been violent and cruel to animals in the past
- he may DEMAND submission and “obedience” instead of appreciating that biblical submission is a gift a wife (or wife-to-be) gives freely out of her love and reverence for Christ. It cannot be forced or coerced.
- he may talk a lot about your disrespect and make absolutely everything your fault
- he may have a history of being abused himself
- he may have a drug/alcohol addiction or mental disorder (respect and biblical submission are great, but they can’t cure diseases or addictions. It is impossible to rationalize with someone who is not in his right mind. If your man is not of sound mind – it is not safe to submit to him. You may need outside help ASAP)
- he may be violent
- he may make threats of violence
If you or your children are not physically safe – I want to say “LEAVE and LEAVE NOW!” But I know that sometimes a woman’s greatest risk of being severely hurt or injured is when she tries to escape from an abusive man. So – I pray that you will find godly counsel, wise and professional counsel – and seek God’s wisdom, not mine, if this is your situation. My blog is not written for women in abusive situations. I believe God’s Word is truth in every situation. But I don’t have the experience or credentials to guide women through abusive situations like this.
This is a link to a post by Nina Roesner – author of The Respect Dare – that I think may be very helpful.
The Salvation Army has programs to help abused women.
If you are experiencing true abuse – please seek a godly pastor, mentoring Christian wife, Christian crisis center for women or experienced counseling ASAP!