“That’s not really abuse.”
Yes, I’ve heard this statement many times in regards to emotional abuse and I vehemently disagree with it. The Bible has much to say about abusive people and how we are allowed to deal with them.
See: Do you have biblical permission to leave a toxic spouse?
#1 Sign of Emotional Abuse
Recognize and Prevent Emotional Abuse
The Emotionally Destructive Marriage
Don Hennessy, Director of the National Domestic Violence Intervention Center, uses the term ‘psychephiles’ when referring to men who befriend women and then abuse them in long-term relationships.
“Skilled offenders are clever enough to be ahead of all of us and to be able to orchestrate our responses at every turn.” (How He Gets Into Her Head by Don Hennessy, p 100)
Here’s a word straight from our sponsor: God…
Scoundrels use wicked methods,
they make up evil schemes
to destroy the poor with lies,
even when the plea of the needy is just. (Isaiah 32:7 NIV)
…they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage. (Jude 16b NIV)
Don Hennessy says:
“We [counselors and other professionals] have all failed our clients to the extent that we have failed to understand what is really going on. (How He Gets Into Her Head, 83)
The process of being groomed by a skilled offender will begin as soon as we meet him or take a phone call from him. (157)
As a society we have already been groomed into an attitude of tolerance and this tolerance is used by the abuser to justify his continued abuse. … His experience of us is such that he believes he can manipulate any agency or individual into accepting his position. (120)
He knows above all else that we as a community will accept part if not all of his explanation.” (158) From Don Hennessy’s book How He Gets Into Her Head: The Mind of the Male Intimate Abuser
This is a series of writings from women living in difficult, disappointing, or destructive marriages…or leaving destructive marriages/relationships. When women are physically abused the harm is often visible, but what about verbal and emotional abuse? The injury is internal…on the heart, soul, mind and strength. You may never guess her husband rages in a different way but the family knows. Her body knows and it often manifests in depression, anxiety, and/or auto-immune diseases. Allow me to show you the inner cries of these women’s hearts.
These are all true accounts from women I personally know.
Many of the stories are close to identical. It saddens and frustrates me to know that most of the stories I’ll be posting take place inside the church body. These men wear a mask to church that is worthy of an Academy Award. Almost all abusers wear masks.
Domestic abuse is not a respecter of age, gender, socio-economic background, nationality, or religion.
This writing is from Melissa. Melissa has been to college, worked in corporate America, considers herself to be a strong woman, and is outgoing and friendly; so to meet her you would never guess this is her home life, or her struggle.
God, I don’t understand…
He spends hours reading his bible and praying.
He tells counselors I’m the Proverbs 31 woman
While the emotional trauma at home continues.
I cry myself to sleep more nights than not.
A child has anxiety attacks when they hear his voice or see him.
A child wishes he would move away.
A child wishes he were dead.
A child wishes he would get professional help.
A child wishes he would take meds.
Children want to have friends over to their house, but…
Children wish he would work more hours.
He exasperates his children.
The children’s bodies aren’t handling the stress well…even with counseling.
I would like to entertain guests in our home…but I would have to wear a mask.
He doesn’t understand other’s needs, not even emergencies.
The children and I live with continual traumatic stress disorder.
I asked God to take our lives and end our suffering.
My sanity is a battle .
Spending daily time with Jesus—studying and praying is the only way
I keep my mind sound.
I need an on/off switch.
This would make it easier to understand when my husband considers me
Worthy of relationship or worthy of alienation.
He tried to isolate me
Take away finances
Keep me off the phone
Keep me from friends and family
Keep me from outside commitments.
Many relational commitments were made before marriage but
At the marriage ceremony vows were one-sided…
For me to keep, for him…optional.
Love, cherish and honor… he’s not capable.
Forsaking all others, me yes; him no.
I’m nothing more than an object he owns.
You do not love, cherish, and honor your kitchen blender.
He cannot love that which needs his time, space, energy, emotion, or money.
Boundaries have helped…some.
Grateful lists have been beneficial to see the good God has brought through the pain.
Conversation…I listen; he speaks; after all a kitchen blender should not speak.
I have talent, accomplishments, and stimulating conversation…not in his eyes .
He doesn’t recognize much of what I do beyond providing meals.
No encouragement, no affirmation.
To him I’m a mom, cook and housekeeper.
I’m a human with worth, dignity, talents, and relational needs.
I often live with avoidance, neglect, and withheld relationship; emotionally, spiritually, sexually.
Who knew a man wouldn’t want to have sex with a spontaneous, fun, attractive, fit, creative spouse?
A wife who doesn’t use headaches or anything else to ever be a reason for ‘not tonight’.
A man who cannot deal with being pursued by his lover. Total turnoff.
I’ve lost my health, energy, creativity, zeal, hospitality, spirit.
It’s been years since I’ve had a normal night of sleep. Insomnia, night mares, restlessness.
I used to enjoy life, find purpose, make decisions, feel secure, speak freely, and feel capable.
I used to think I did a good job at whatever I set my hands to do.
Now I feel like a failure.
My mind can’t stay focused.
His rejection of me changed how I think God feels about me.
A difficult lie to see through.
You couldn’t understand unless you’ve lived it.
SARA GROVES: Cave of Adullam lyrics
Speak to me, speak to me in my cave of Adullam.
Reach to me, reach to me.
No one cares for my soul.
I thought I saw your kingdom,
But it’s not going to happen like I thought it would happen.
Remind me, remind me of the vision you gave me.
Remind me, remind me what anointing oil is for.
I need to know you’re near me.
I need to know you are holding me just as closely
Chorus: as the day you took my life and gave me a vision,
As the day you poured the oil and gave me a dream.
I can’t believe this is happening.
How does a shepherd become a king?