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#1 Pebbles

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 11:14 PM

My pastor called H and I in to see him to catch up on where we are at. I told him last year how H has been treating me the past 10 years and the first thing he said to me was that what is wrong with him is kind of a sickness and is very serious. It's when I first heard about EA/VA. He recognized it immediately by what I had told him. I had no idea that the problems in my life had a description and after I started investigating I found out just how prevalent it is in our society.

Anyhow we counseled on and off with him for 5 or 6 months and were getting nowhere so got referred out to a Christian marriage counselor. Been seeing this person for 3 plus months now and this counselor has yet to even define to H what abuse is, where it came from, or steps to change. Counselor keeps telling us how we have communication problems and that is what we need to focus on. Learning how to communicate with each other. Counselor also trying to help me to establish my own boundaries, but H just walks all over those. It especially bothers me when he demands sex, saying it's a normal God given gift in marriage. I always feel horrible about myself after he has done his deed. Needless to say the last 3 months with this marriage counselor have gotten us nowhere.

I brought this up to the pastor that maybe we need to get a counselor who specializes in abuse counseling. So in the meeting the pastor tells both of us that we are sinning by being idolators and each of us is being self righteous and not willing to make changes. He says our marriage is going to fail unless we are both willing to change. I have withdrawn myself emotionally from the marriage b/c it is my way of protecting myself. I was not expecting to hear my pastor tell me basically to just quit hiding and face up to my fears like that. I thought he understood. I thought he knew what abuse was and what it does to a person. I feel very lost now. I am willing to try to "change" but I also feel that the first time H slips up and hurts me that is going to be it for my marriage. I am feeling very guilty for not wanting to "try" to heal my marriage. My love and trust for this man is gone.

I've told my pastor how I don't feel H is loving me as Jesus loved his church, and isn't that how a husband is supposed to love his wife? Pastor did not even address that, he just said that we are both being self righteous and it needs to stop. I feel like he's all but forgotten where the problem started.


I am very confused. I have been praying to God to give me an answer, and this is what I got?

#2 Hermite

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 06:10 AM

Gosh, Pebbles, I'm so very sorry for you. I don't know what church you belong to but I don't think anyone has the right to judge you like that, calling you self righteous. If I were you I'd get away from all three of them, the counselor, the pastor and the husband. But that's very easy for me to say, since I'm not you.

I do know for a fact that not all counselors are great and it can take a while to find one who is a good fit for you. An ex and I, many years ago, spent a year and a half with a wonderful counselor. In the end he finally told me, in private, that my ex was deeply grounded in his ways and it would be extremely difficult for him to change. So I had to make a choice, either stick with it or get out. So I got out. And never regretted it because life is just too short to spend it with someone who makes you miserably unhappy, no matter who they are.

So I hope your prayers are answered and you are able to find some resolution. Just remember you have to still your mind and keep your eyes open, in case that answer is right in front of you, but you're just too stressed out to see it.

Love and compassion to you, my dear.

#3 Pebbles

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 03:56 PM

[quote name='Hermite' date='11 October 2009 - 06:10 AM' timestamp='1255259455' post='694417']
And never regretted it because life is just too short to spend it with someone who makes you miserably unhappy, no matter who they are.

Thank you, and I agree Hermite, life is too short to be miserable all the time.


So I hope your prayers are answered and you are able to find some resolution. Just remember you have to still your mind and keep your eyes open, in case that answer is right in front of you, but you're just too stressed out to see it.



I am trying to not make an irrational decision too fast, but this has been going on for almost a year now, and we are no closer now than we were last January. I keep telling myself to keep my eyes open, that eventually God will give me an answer. I hope He hasn't already and I missed it somehow. I have to admit that I was just floored when my pastor basically said just learn to play nice and this will all be over with. Obviously he's never dealt with an abuser before! They can play nice for awhile, but then they always go back to how they truly are.


#4 peach_papoose

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 12:40 PM

Pebbles, have you heard of this book?

What Every Pastor Needs To Know About Domestic Violence

And here's a website you might find helpful if you've not already checked it out:

http://www.divorceho...churchabuse.htm

And this article, also on the same site as the above link:

Verbal Abuse in Marriage

#5 Pebbles

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 07:26 PM

Pebbles, have you heard of this book?

What Every Pastor Needs To Know About Domestic Violence

And here's a website you might find helpful if you've not already checked it out:

http://www.divorceho...churchabuse.htm

And this article, also on the same site as the above link:

Verbal Abuse in Marriage


Thank you so much for the info. I look forward to reading thru it tonight. I feel so devasted by how my pastor is treating the whole situation. And the counselor too.

#6 Pianolady

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Posted 16 October 2009 - 12:09 AM

My pastor called H and I in to see him to catch up on where we are at. I told him last year how H has been treating me the past 10 years and the first thing he said to me was that what is wrong with him is kind of a sickness and is very serious. It's when I first heard about EA/VA. He recognized it immediately by what I had told him. I had no idea that the problems in my life had a description and after I started investigating I found out just how prevalent it is in our society.

Anyhow we counseled on and off with him for 5 or 6 months and were getting nowhere so got referred out to a Christian marriage counselor. Been seeing this person for 3 plus months now and this counselor has yet to even define to H what abuse is, where it came from, or steps to change. Counselor keeps telling us how we have communication problems and that is what we need to focus on. Learning how to communicate with each other. Counselor also trying to help me to establish my own boundaries, but H just walks all over those. It especially bothers me when he demands sex, saying it's a normal God given gift in marriage. I always feel horrible about myself after he has done his deed. Needless to say the last 3 months with this marriage counselor have gotten us nowhere.

I brought this up to the pastor that maybe we need to get a counselor who specializes in abuse counseling. So in the meeting the pastor tells both of us that we are sinning by being idolators and each of us is being self righteous and not willing to make changes. He says our marriage is going to fail unless we are both willing to change. I have withdrawn myself emotionally from the marriage b/c it is my way of protecting myself. I was not expecting to hear my pastor tell me basically to just quit hiding and face up to my fears like that. I thought he understood. I thought he knew what abuse was and what it does to a person. I feel very lost now. I am willing to try to "change" but I also feel that the first time H slips up and hurts me that is going to be it for my marriage. I am feeling very guilty for not wanting to "try" to heal my marriage. My love and trust for this man is gone.

I've told my pastor how I don't feel H is loving me as Jesus loved his church, and isn't that how a husband is supposed to love his wife? Pastor did not even address that, he just said that we are both being self righteous and it needs to stop. I feel like he's all but forgotten where the problem started.


I am very confused. I have been praying to God to give me an answer, and this is what I got?


Hi Pebbles;

I am so sorry you are so confused on this issue. So many of us are and it is hard to find someone who really understands VA/EA.

Each one of us has to make decisions as to why we try to mend things. Some of us have deep convictions when it comes to our marriage vows. Some stay for financial reasons
and some stay out of fear because they do not think they can escape(this is me).

Go to the web site Peach provided for you. It is clear and it defines what many of us face with abuse.

As we are here looking for answers, we really need to remember that no matter what we face, we can always take it to the King of Kings!

I have found it very hard to swallow many times when I have read and heard, you have to stay with your abuser but I have not found any where in the Bible that says you have to stay. Many Pastors will use the adultery issue as the only reason to leave. I could use this but that is not the reason I am leaving him. Yes, we should always try to mend the ills we face, but when the problems continue, it is very hard to go on trying. This is when we totally have to depend on the Lord to take care of us. He does however, gives us ways to use our common sense!


So many Pastor's do not understand about mental issues and they give meaningful council but it does not seem to work for that person who is being abusive. If you are confused, remember, the devil is the author of confusion and he wants us to be defeated all the time. I know this to be true as I have, like so many others here, have felt this way for decades living with abuse.

Read self-help books! They give you insight as to who your abuser really is. The book, "why does he do that?" , showed me that my abuser does it because of anger and other issues he faces. I really think that fear is also a factor with abusers. It's all about control! Once you take away some of that control, you can at least start to feel good about yourself. It might be by going back to school to better yourself or preparing yourself for a better career. It might be by telling him the conversation is over before it really gets into swing! This works for me sometimes and then sometimes my abuser keeps going on. You see, it's all about control Pebbles.

I have done things to give me autonomy and it is taking along time, but I know that I allowed my abuser to take away my autonomy even though I did not do it purposefully. I believed the traditions that I grew up with which told me that I had to allow that in my life. I am so glad I do not have to allow that kind of treatment though.

If your Pastor does not understand, first, pray for him that his eyes would be opened to the truth. I have tried to tell my Pastor in many ways what is wrong, but he refuses to see the truth. This is because he has been saturated in tradition and tradition says ignore those things. Don't get me wrong, I love my Pastor very much but he does not understand about abuse, so I am praying for his eyes to be opened to the truth. I have nothing else left to do except to leave and with the way things are economically, I cannot leave yet.

Your Pastor really believes that you are both at fault. I disagree with this. No one deserves to be abused. Love your Pastor and pray for him to have a burden for you. He is spiritually responsible for your spiritual growth. If this is hindering your growth, you might want to find a place where you can grow spiritually. If you feel you need to stay in our church, then do what you can do to endure the abuse you will continue to get.

As for your H loving you as Christ loved the church, he is not doing that! Jesus did not abuse his disciples or any other people. He did rebuke people for being unkind. Remember Mary of Magdaline? She was rebuked by the religious men and Jesus started to write things in the sand and they left one by one. I have wished that Jesus would write my abusers sins in the sand so that he would stop.

This subject is so touchy with many of us who are abused and we have asked the same questions you are asking. Rest assured though, God is still on the throne and He hasn't forgotten about you. I am finding that some of the answers are there but I was so overwhelmed with grief about my situation, that I missed hearing part of the answer. My answer came from this verse, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5. This is what I got from God. He will give you the answer Pebbles because He loves us. Just keep asking the Lord to help you find a way out if this is what you need. Of course, you need to do your part and prepare yourself for the escape route.

Don't think that your abuser is getting away with his abuse; I have thought this many times. God says our sins will find us out if we do not get rid of them. Now the way an abuser gets rid of his notion to abuse is through therapy with a counselor who knows about VA, not the Pastor who is trained in knowing the Bible. He will also need to admit that he is abusive otherwise, he will stay the way he is. Some just do not bend for whatever reason, and they stay the way they are. Of course, God can change the heart, but only if we want Him too. Our abusers are unique in their ways and it is up to us to either stick it out and try to work with someone to help them or we need to prepare ourselves and get far away from them.

I do have some things that sometimes work for me while I am preparing to get away. When my abuser comes to me with that look in his eyes, I let him talk and then I ask, "are you finished?", and then turn away from him and I do not answer his accusations. Another thing I have used is "talk to the wall" or "this conversation is over" after he starts in. I do not retort when he starts to accuse me of stupid things. This is what he wants, he wants control. My abuser is the master of words (he is a retired writer) so he has had many years of practice to keep me in a place of confusion and fear. Once I realized that I could fight back with these words and actions, I took away some of the control.

Also, my abuser abuses me at church and others are starting to hear him go at me. He is not rational so he is not paying attention to his actions, but I let him say what he needs to say and I either walk away or I sit there and listen without saying a word. My silence is golden right now. I have asked the Lord to let someone see and hear him abuse me other than my family. My ex son-in-law wants to tell our Pastor what is going on but I have explained that the Pastor would not believe him. It has to come from some one else other than family. This is where the Lord will reveal the truth. My position is to continue to work at my education to get away as well as trust in the Lord to take care of every thing else. I am not being altruistic. I am preparing to leave my abuser but I am trying to use my common sense right now while I stay.

Now, these things might not work for you, but this is what I do. I also avoid my abuser as much as possible. As we are grandparents, we have no young children to tie us together every day. I am an early riser. I usually do not see my abuser much during the week as I work during the day, go to school full time and study a lot! I have already told him I was done with him. I try not to ride in the car with him alone and I do not go out to eat with him alone. I am thin because I do not eat well, but I will not sit with him alone if I can avoid it. I sleep alone too. When I communicate, I write him notes! He hates this because he cannot retort to what I am saying! When I suggest things, he says its not necessary so I try to make it sound like it is his idea. He is so stupid many times that he doesn't realize that I do this.

His actions lately are being sloppy and this is what I am depending on. He is a deacon in our church and he thinks he is right in every thing he does. I am allowing him to bury himself!

No matter who you are, you do not deserve to be abused in any way, shape or form. Try to remember that what he does, is about control. Once you start to take away his control over you, then you can breathe better some days. My advice is to start small on this and let him get used to your autonomy since it is all about control with him.

I will pray for you Pebbles. You can ask any time for special prayer!

Pianolady

#7 Pebbles

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 04:26 PM


Piano Lady,
Thank you for your insight. I know that God will get me through this in His time, it just feels like such a long process and I want answers sooner rather than later. I am aware that I need to either learn to disengage and ignore H's nonsense or else make an escape plan. I am actively trying to disengage, as I see that trying to get counseling thru church and secular is not working. I personally think that he needs a counselor that specializes in abuse counseling, and I was just floored when I told my pastor that, and he just said that no I was being self righteous and I just need to learn to play nice. It was as if he'd forgotten all the things I poured out of my heart to him.

QUOTE "So many Pastor's do not understand about mental issues and they give meaningful council but it does not seem to work for that person who is being abusive. If you are confused, remember, the devil is the author of confusion and he wants us to be defeated all the time. I know this to be true as I have, like so many others here, have felt this way for decades living with abuse."

I think you are right, my pastor does not understand what it is like to have lived a decade of abuse,and he just does not understand the mental issues. I will pray for him.

QUOTE: "
No matter who you are, you do not deserve to be abused in any way, shape or form. Try to remember that what he does, is about control. Once you start to take away his control over you, then you can breathe better some days. My advice is to start small on this and let him get used to your autonomy since it is all about control with him."


I do know that I do not deserve this abuse and am learning how it is all about his control. I am working very hard to not let him make me feel guilty about every little thing I do or say. I pray every day that God allow me to become more disengaged, or give me the strength to endure until such time as I am out.

#8 Pianolady

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 06:10 PM


Piano Lady,
Thank you for your insight. I know that God will get me through this in His time, it just feels like such a long process and I want answers sooner rather than later. I am aware that I need to either learn to disengage and ignore H's nonsense or else make an escape plan. I am actively trying to disengage, as I see that trying to get counseling thru church and secular is not working. I personally think that he needs a counselor that specializes in abuse counseling, and I was just floored when I told my pastor that, and he just said that no I was being self righteous and I just need to learn to play nice. It was as if he'd forgotten all the things I poured out of my heart to him.

QUOTE "So many Pastor's do not understand about mental issues and they give meaningful council but it does not seem to work for that person who is being abusive. If you are confused, remember, the devil is the author of confusion and he wants us to be defeated all the time. I know this to be true as I have, like so many others here, have felt this way for decades living with abuse."

I think you are right, my pastor does not understand what it is like to have lived a decade of abuse,and he just does not understand the mental issues. I will pray for him.

QUOTE: "
No matter who you are, you do not deserve to be abused in any way, shape or form. Try to remember that what he does, is about control. Once you start to take away his control over you, then you can breathe better some days. My advice is to start small on this and let him get used to your autonomy since it is all about control with him."


I do know that I do not deserve this abuse and am learning how it is all about his control. I am working very hard to not let him make me feel guilty about every little thing I do or say. I pray every day that God allow me to become more disengaged, or give me the strength to endure until such time as I am out.



#9 michigan_mom

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 06:58 PM

OK, I would also suggest the book,"Christian Men who Hate Women". There are so many christians who don't understand. And really they can't understand unless they have been in it. My father was a baptist minister and is still in the ministry. He pleaded with me to leave my ex husband. I had to deal with the guilt I felt, and the feeling of disappointment. Religion is a wonderful thing, and I will allways have a relationship with God, but don't allow men, even christian men who have no clue what emotional and verbal abuse is about tell you anything other than God will be with you. He did not intend to for anyone to be mistreated or to have children raised in that kind of atmosphere. My ex husband was very religious, and he is the most hateful mean person. He was verbally, emotionally and physically abusive, and he would pray for an hour every morning, never missed church, would read his bible, and when I would ask him about how he could treat me the way he did, and then pray and act like nothing happened, he would say, "its a new day every morning, God forgives me" God may forgive you, but I think the point of forgiveness is to not do it again. But then he would just deny it ever happening any way, or he would just blame me for it happening..you know, if I wasn't so stupid, or hadn't forgotten, or what ever he can think of. You need to align yourself with people who know about abuse. And I would consider either christian councelor or not. And you can ask them when you make your appointment if someone there understands verbal abuse. I understand your hurt and frustration.It is men, not God. Don't put your trust in any man, they will continuely let you down.

#10 Pianolady

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Posted 17 October 2009 - 07:12 PM

Hi Pebbles;

I have had a lot of time to think about what I have endured throughout my staying in this marriage. I have also learned that even though he will probably not change, I had to do what I was called to do in life. I had to take control of that part of my life. I found strength through friends who were abused and listened to me and of course, through God's word encouraging me that He will fight my battles.

As for taking along time, it does take a long time. My friend at work told me it took her over 10 years to be able to escape the abuse she was going through. I wanted to sit down and cry a bucket of tears, but I just kept telling myself that I was going to make my goal. It was through God's grace and not through my strength because I had no strength left. I was drained from years of being verbally battered, told I was good for some things but not good for other things. I have been told that I cannot hear the Holy Spirit's voice because I was doing the wrong thing and he also told me I was a bad example to the younger women in our church.

After I thought about these two things, I realized that he was grasping for straws! When you are truly saved, Jesus said, "my sheep hear my voice.' As for not being a good example to the younger women in our church, well, I think staying with my abuser for almost 39 years, is the about the best example I can think of. You see, our abusers want us to feel inferior to them and I am not inferior to my abuser. I am smart--it took a real good friend to remind me of this--and I have discernment too.

As for disengaging from him, doing it abruptly can cause more abuse but if you feel that you are in any physical danger, you get away immediately! I have an emergency escape plan! My daughter is a cop! It has taken me almost 6 years to be able to get to where I am now and I still can't escape from his total control because of economic reasons. I cannot live on $20,000 a year, take-home in my state!

Also, ask the Lord to fill your void while you are trying to disengage from your H. I have done this and my prayers have been answered. It makes the time fly by faster.

Yes, I want out 10 years ago! (This is not a sentence syntax mistake! LOL!) The waiting is so long and lonely and sad, but I have found that while I have been preparing for my escape, I have had more to do than I have time for some days! Going to school full-time and working full-time is enough along with studying for state exams on top of all of that! :)

Your abuser needs the kind of counseling that focuses on his behavior. It doesn't make sense to me to go to a person who does not know what it is like to be abused or who does not even understand the mind of an abuser. Try to get the book, Why does he do that? by Lundy Bancroft. That book told me so much about why men are abusive. I read it in two days! It teaches you about how he thinks and what you can do to help yourself. It took a while to process but once I was able to understand everything, I gained momentum and it gave me hope.

I am praying for you to be able to hang on. We always have hope because we are children of the King of Kings! As for feeling like God has forgotten about us, you are not the only one who has felt that. I still struggle with wanting to know why the Lord has allowed me to go through this in my life. All I ever wanted was to do God's will and be submissive to my husband. Now, I want away from that man so bad that I press hard every day, trying to avoid him.

As for feeling guilty, we all feel guilty from time to time. There is still that small part inside of me that feels sorry for my abuser. I don't want him as my husband anymore, but I feel sorry for him none-the-less. When he starts accusing you of things, just listen to what he is saying and then analyze what he said. Remember, I said you don't have to retort to his accusations. It takes two to have an argument! LOL. This is how I stop my abusers mouth. He can say all he wants, but I know who I am most of the time and I know that when my abuser starts accusing me, it is all about control so I control myself and stay quiet.

Do you journal your thoughts and disappointments? I have done this for almost two years. I have my own lap-top, so I have put a password on it and no one knows that password. This protects my privacy in my journal. I have documented all the times my abuser has gone at me and I found a pattern! He does it at the beginning of every month and sometimes he keeps going on at different times of the month.

My abuser is also interested in someone in our church. A woman always knows when her man is wandering. I don't care if he likes someone else because I am done with him, but we are still married. My abuser keeps his phone calls on his cell phone and he left his password on the PC desktop so I can check his email. He even made a lunch date with her not too long ago at home. I was going to go upstairs and work but I heard him talking on the phone and I stayed where he did not see me to listen.

One thing I know about men in general, they are stupid! When they are wandering, they make mistakes eventually and it is sooner more than later. We have all read about Senators and other officials affairs. My spouse (he is not my husband anymore because I have divorced him in my heart)is consistent most of the time. He will trip up more and more and then things will be revealed. It is hard for me to sit on this, but I have thought about it and I asked the Lord to reveal that sin. Later, I thought about what I had asked for, and I repented of that because I don't want my sins revealed. I will wait on the Lord to move the situation. I am not being altruistic, I am being practical in my decisions right now.

I know that it is in His time that I will be able to escape the abuse I have had to endure for years. Try to find something that you can do that does not involve him and run with it if you can. My abuser will never be an accomplished pianist! :)

Pianolady




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