Because I haven’t been abused, and because I was a dominant, controlling wife – my slant and approach are going to naturally be from the perspective of a wife who was not abused and who used to be dominant, controlling, and disrespectful with a husband who was passive and unplugged. Every writer has a slant. This is what I know. My blog will probably fit women in this category better than with any other marital dynamics. Even for wives who are not being abused but are just more timid, introverted, shy, overly submissive, or passive with dominant husbands – some posts on my blog may not be the best fit. (The posts about our relationship with God may be a fit for everyone, but here – I am talking about some of my posts about respect, conflict, and biblical submission, especially.)
Women who tend to be too quiet, “too submissive,” or “too respectful,” will have to approach many topics from an opposite direction than I do. They may need to learn to speak up more, to share their feelings more, to plug in more, to be more involved, etc… I try to have guest posts from wives with various marital dynamics to help wives in different situations. The reality is that many controlling/dominating husbands will not allow their wives to share what they have learned in a blog, even anonymously. And many wives who tend to be “too submissive” or “too respectful” tend not to be very verbal and don’t want to write posts. So – it can be more difficult to find resources for certain marriage dynamics.
The abuse issue is so much more complex than a simple “dynamics” issue. Let me be very clear-
I don’t EVER condone any sin against anyone. No one deserves to be sinned against or abused in any way.
Real abuse is always sinful.
A good definition of abuse:
Abuse is “fundamentally a mentality. It is a mindset of entitlement. The abuser sees himself* as entitled. He is the center of the world, and he demands that his victim make him the center of her world. His goal is power and control over others. For him, power and control are his natural right, and he feels quite justified in using whatever means are necessary to obtain that power and control.”- cryingoutforjustice.com. When leaders see abuse defined they are responsible for that knowledge. When targets of abuse see it defined, we realize that we cannot cause abusers to abuse. – Ellie from www.cryingoutforjustice.com
- To me – it seems that abuse an issue of idolatry of self and a demand that one’s spouse “worship” oneself, as well – to the detriment of the other person’s spiritual, emotional, mental, financial, or physical well-being.
I don’t condone lust, gossip, greed, pride, self-righteousness, materialism, selfishness, hatred, unforgiveness, malice, control, resentment, bitterness, stealing, hurting someone in any way (emotionally, physically, mentally, financially, or spiritually), violence, infidelity of any kind, idolatry, or any sin. Sin always hurts the one who is sinning, it hurts those who are sinned against, and it grieves the heart of God. No sin is ok. God never gives any of us a free pass to sin.
Some of my posts may apply to everyone – particularly the posts about our relationships with Christ. But some of my posts about marriage, respect, biblical submission, etc… may not be a good fit for certain women.
REASONS I DON’T WRITE FOR WOMEN WHO ARE ABUSED:
1. Some women believe they are being abused but they are not. Some of these wives are actually controlling, manipulative, and disrespectful and their husbands are desperately trying to get the family back on track with God’s Word.
This word, “abuse,” is so overused today. Many women use this word just to garner sympathy or justification for the way they mistreat their husbands. Some of these wives are actually abusive toward their husbands in various ways. They may believe that all of the problems in the marriage are their husband’s fault and take no responsibility for their own sins or their own obedience to God. That was me!
Almost any time that someone wants to blame someone else 100% for all of the problems in a marriage, that is probably a red flag. When two people are married to each other, they will usually both have issues they need to address (of course, there are some rare exceptions where there is severe abuse going on). Some wives in this group have husbands who are truly just trying to lead in a godly way and who ask them to do things like:
- stick to a reasonable family budget and don’t spend the family into debt
- avoid extremely toxic influences (ungodly friends/family)
- be content with the lifestyle the family can afford and don’t demand more luxury
- honor their husbands as fathers in front of the children
- don’t complain about or criticize their husbands to others
- don’t gossip
- don’t flirt with other men
- don’t go out drinking and partying
- take good care of the children
- be responsible
- be respectful of their husbands
- be sexually available and enjoy sex in marriage whenever possible (don’t withhold sex – I Corinthians 7:1-5)
- be respectful and obedient to God and His Word
- humbly admit when you have sinned against God and repent from it and turn to Christ
This group of women may wrongly call these kinds of things “abuse.” If anyone asks them to look at their own responsibility and accountability to God, to God’s Word, or in the marriage, they get very defensive. This particular group would probably actually benefit greatly from reading my blog. I don’t want to send them away. These are some of the very women I know God has called me to reach in this ministry.
2. Some women are targets of abuse by their husbands but do not realize or acknowledge the abuse to themselves.
They may believe their husbands that all of the problems in the marriage are totally their (the wife’s) fault. They may not realize the manipulation, brain washing, spiritual abuse, emotional abuse, mental abuse, financial abuse, or even physical abuse that is going on. They rationalize the abuse away and think that if they were just more respectful and more submissive, then their marriages would be great. They don’t see their husband’s part of the problem in the marriage. They take full responsibility for every problem in the marriage themselves and believe their husbands are completely innocent. They cannot correctly identify sin in their own lives or in their husbands’ lives.
For these women, reading my blog is not a good idea. It is easy for them to read what I say and “hear” that if only they were more godly wives, everything would be better in their marriages. They make no allowance for the issues that their husbands are responsible for and are overly responsible for every problem themselves. Of course, husbands in such situations often endorse my blog heartily and use my blog as “proof” that all of the problems in the marriage are the wife’s fault while these husbands take zero responsibility for becoming the godly men God calls them to be. That really upsets me! Men are also called to obey God and to love and honor their wives. Just because I only teach women does not mean that men are off the hook before the throne of God. They have even greater accountability and responsibility before God than wives do!
Everyone is welcome here. I love ALL of my sisters and brothers! But I want to be sure that everyone benefits from being here. I don’t want anyone to misunderstand or to be hurt in some way because her needs are different from the things I am addressing. I want each woman to find the help she needs to find emotional, spiritual, mental healing. And I know that each woman has different needs. I do have limitations. God does not. But I certainly do. I am not a professional or certified counselor. I am not a pastor or a theologian. I have not been trained in dealing with severe marriage issues. I am just a wife who wants to share what I have learned and share my journey with others to bless them. But I realize my blog may not be the best resource for everyone and every possible situation.
3. Some women are being targeted by abuse by their husbands in some way but are not honest with me about the abuse.
They don’t tell me how bad the problems are. They tell me that things are going much better than they really are. I appreciate wives wanting to be respectful of their husbands. But, I cannot know how severe problems are unless wives tell me what is going on and give me an accurate picture. Of course, I have no way to know when wives are telling me things that are not true. Some wives expect me to magically know that they are leaving out critical details and that what they do tell me is very sugar-coated. They expect me to give them appropriate advice without me having any idea what is actually happening. They sound like they only have minor issues then are upset that I didn’t figure out the truth and say that I told them to submit to an abusive husband. I don’t tell wives to submit to a truly abusive husband. I tell wives in that situation to find appropriate help! (For more details, please see the bottom of “Spiritual Authority.“) This is just not a reasonable expectation for people to have of me. I am not omniscient. I have no mind-reading abilities. I depend on women to be honest with me about what is actually happening.
This group of women will not benefit from reading my blog and will need specialized and individualized assistance from someone who is spiritually mature and who can get to know them and their particular situation in person and with whom these women are willing to be honest.
I believe that women do need to take personal responsibility if they seek counseling that what they are telling the counselor is accurate and truthful. It is not being disrespectful to be honest with a counselor when you are seeking help for your marriage.
4. Some women are honest about how they are being mistreated in their marriages but are so afraid that they cannot go into much detail.
It is very difficult for me to address problems that are not fully disclosed. I understand why many women would not be able to share many details and that they are afraid of their husbands finding what they wrote. That is a very legitimate fear in cases of real abuse. These wives DO need to be extremely careful what they share online in a blog format where their husband may see what they have written. But, just like with #3, I am not very good at mind reading, and, without the entire picture, I will be quite limited in what I could share that might be helpful. If I don’t have all of the information, I may make wrong assumptions and may give advice that would not be appropriate. I don’t want to mislead anyone or misdirect anyone ever. I want everyone to find healing and to find the power, love, mercy, and grace of God, and His wisdom.
Again, this group of women will need specialized, specific, individualized help from someone who is very spiritually mature and experienced with dealing with abusive situations. My blog is not a good fit for women whose husbands are abusive. They hear me saying things that I don’t say and never intend to say. I don’t want to cause harm. That is my first priority – to do no harm to my sisters. I want everyone – men, women, and children – to be safe.
5. Some women are targets of abuse and do share about it in detail.
Because I haven’t been abused and haven’t spent years studying about abuse, it can be difficult for me to predict how women who really have abusive husbands might take what I say. Their paradigm and “filters” are so very different from mine. Sometimes, women in actual abusive situations think I am saying that they have to just stay there and be severely mistreated and take the abuse. I NEVER EVER say that. There are times when separation is very necessary, as much as I hate that and wish that every marriage could be healed immediately. But women who have been abused hear me talking about “normal” situations and just normal respect/biblical submission issues and hear vastly different things than I ever intended. My talking about normal situations can be triggers for women who live with abusive husbands. They are going to need very specialized resources and help from people who are familiar with abusive situations.
My blog is not a good fit for women with truly abusive husbands or who are dealing with husbands with uncontrolled mental health problems, active drug/alcohol/gambling/sex addictions, infidelity, or major sin issues. It may not be safe for a wife to submit to a man who is not in his right mind – as men in these situations may not be. I am just not able to address severe marriage problems in a blanket way and would strongly encourage women in any of these situations to seek godly, experienced, spiritually mature, biblical, personalized, one-on-one help. I can help wives in such situations with their walk with Christ, but I am not prepared at this time to give specific marriage advice to women in these severe situations.
Why I Don’t Recommend Many Resources Specifically
If I were to recommend a website or book – I am then endorsing every single word in that website or book. I am also endorsing the way that the women in each of these groups would “hear” every word in each website or book. That is a very tall order. Readers sometimes share comments on my posts about abuse and share resources that helped them. That is awesome. Y’all are more than welcome to share resources that have been helpful. But there is no way that one particular resource would be appropriate for women in all of these different groups – or that women in all of these categories would be helped by one particular resource. There is also no way for me to anticipate how each women in these various groups might take what is said in different books or websites.
I encourage women who are actually being abused to seek out godly one-on-one counsel with a trusted, mature believer who can help each particular woman find the resources and support she needs individually.
The Salvation Army has counselors who are able to help women who are really being abused.
The National Domestic Abuse Hotline may be a necessary resource for women who are in true physical danger
Please check out the resources listed in the comments on this post – please read any resource prayerfully and compare it to the truth of God’s Word!