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OneSoLoved Heals from the World of BDSM and ” Christian Domestic Discipline”

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Last week, I ran the post “Do I Condone BDSM or ‘Christian Domestic Discipline.‘” Today, I am thrilled to share the story of this beautiful sister in Christ and how Jesus has set her free from a lifetime of abuse at the hands of her father and then further abuse (by her own choice)  at the hands of her husband and how He is healing her, her husband, and their marriage for His greatest glory! I pray her story might bless you, as well. You can find her at her new blog www.onesoloved.com. (A warning – if you have never read about this lifestyle, it is sometimes a very dark one, often involving abuse of women (and occasionally men) on multiple levels. There is a spectrum for BDSM and for CDD which are sometimes separate ideologies and sometimes combined. It can go all the way from being “just playful and fun” to literal slavery. I don’t condone either of these lifestyles as I defined them in the post from last week.  I believe that this sister in Christ has been careful not to share too many details from her former life. But, you may want to read the disclaimer at the top of the post from last week before reading this story. The best part is how Jesus has healed her! I am so excited to get to share all that God is doing in her life!)

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I grew up in a home where love was expressed as brutality and humiliation, where discipline meant a total loss of boundaries and personal dignity, and where obedience was crushed out of me long before I could even consider offering it out of willing love. As I grew I didn’t question these values but unthinkingly absorbed them, becoming a person without boundaries or self-respect, which sadly made me a target for more abuse and humiliation from men outside of my family.

When I met my husband at the age of 18, I was a mess. We were both from dysfunctional families and latched on to the kindness we recognized in each other, becoming inseparable. Neither of us had any real idea of what a healthy relationship should look like, but I was especially confused.

Because of how my father treated me as a child, I believed that if a man really loved me, he would “care” enough to be controlling, that he would take the time to physically hurt me to teach me how he wanted me to be, that he would help me to obey him using humiliation.

I no longer remember how I found websites about Domestic Discipline, but I remember as I devoured every post on these websites that I had a strong sense of finally coming home to a world where I was understood. Some of the websites I looked at were “Christian,” some were not. What the sites shared in common was an expressed belief that a husband should essentially play a fatherly role with his wife, taking control of the relationship and using spankings, corner time, and other methods to keep the wife in line.

I remember reading a post by a man who explained how Domestic Discipline was the farthest thing from abuse, because he used this with his wife because loved her so much that he cared enough to be a strong leader for her and he spanked her out of love and caring. He wrote that she was his princess. He posed the question, “Don’t you want to be your husband’s princess?”

Of course I did. All I had every longed for was to be someone’s princess.

I had been waiting my whole life for someone to understand my craving for punishment and humiliation and validate it. I showed these websites to my husband, and not knowing any better, he agreed to use these methods in our relationship.

I have always struggled to control my emotions during arguments. I have a tendency to use words as a weapon and go for my husband’s most sensitive emotional places during arguments in order to “win”. I struggle to use a gentle, kind tone. With Domestic Discipline, my husband finally had an edge. If I got out of control, too harsh and hurtful, he could shut things down right away by giving me a spanking. When the pain got to be too much, I quickly forgot about my pride or anything else and apologized. The overwhelming humiliation numbed my heart to the point that emotional engagement really wasn’t required.

Submission could be brutally extracted from me just like when I was a little girl being punished by my dad, a willing love-filled heart not needed.

I TURNED TO CHRIST

In the midst of this, I became a Christian. It’s hard for me to pinpoint how or why it happened, because I did not grow up in a Christian home and I did not know any Christians personally until I was a teenager, but from the time that I was a little girl I longed to know more about Jesus and would try to learn what I could by listening to Billy Graham on my little Walkman radio at night. I had prayed a prayer along with Billy Graham once but always felt frightened and confused by the Bible when I tried to read it on my own and didn’t have anyone to whom I could ask questions. I almost intuitively longed to give my whole heart to Jesus but lack of understanding, fear, and confusion kept me from doing so.

All I can say is the little ache that had been in my heart all along for God at a certain point grew into full on faith, and when I realized what had happened I still struggled not to surrender to it, but experienced – in a moment – God tangibly clearing away the barrier I had put up in my heart between us and finally making me His.

After this happened and I realized I was now a Christian, I reached out to a Christian ministry in my area that serves college students. I was not a college student myself, but was the age of one so this is where I looked. I became involved in a Bible study but was unable to connect with the students or form relationships since most of them were from Christian homes and I felt they did not understand the world of sexual immorality and brokenness that I came from.

My husband also became a Christian shortly after I did, and we would go to church sporadically, but did not allow ourselves to be truly known by anyone. We grew in our understanding of the gospel by reading the Bible and listening to sermons online, but did not grasp that Domestic Discipline was wrong and continued in it, though to a lesser extent.

Years went by. Though I was continually growing in knowledge, I struggled with my faith and spent seasons wandering away from God. My heart was incredibly cold and closed off to everyone, now including my husband. I thought getting spanked and humiliated by him would make us closer by forcing vulnerability, but it was exactly that forced vulnerability that had made real vulnerability impossible to me. How can you make yourself vulnerable with someone who regularly humiliates you?

HEALING BEGAN

We were invited to go to a new church by a friend. He said this church was really different, that the people really loved each other and valued relationships; that the gospel was the center of everything and this church was doing amazing things in our area. We began to go to this church, became members and joined a small group, finally creating actual relationships with other Christians and becoming a part of a community.

I grew and grew in my faith and made a lot of friends, but I continued to keep everyone at a distance. I refused to tell anyone anything about my past, pretending I was just a nice little Christian girl like I thought they wanted me to be, dorky even, and naïve. The truth is I was prideful and didn’t want anyone to know about the ocean of hurt, confusion and brokenness inside of me and in my marriage because I wanted to be in control in all my relationships.

I didn’t want to be anyone’s “Christian Project”.

I finally stopped getting spanked at home, but my husband and I didn’t talk about it or address it. I refused to acknowledge our past, be vulnerable, or open up to him at all. Finally, a friend got too close, and learned some things about the history of my marriage. She encouraged me to go see her therapist. I was horrified, but my husband insisted and so we went.

WE FOUND A GODLY, BIBLICAL COUNSELOR

This therapist was a Christian, but he wasn’t like any Christian I had ever met, and he wasn’t very “nice” in my opinion. He didn’t seem to buy my Bible-thumping façade and he did not take kindly to my shut-down coldness. He pushed me to bring the darkness of my past into the light, where God could redeem it, but I refused, because I had been abused by so many men that I believed if I opened up to this man about my abuse – he would only take pleasure in hearing about it.

Slowly though, I started opening up in therapy bit by bit, if only because the stress of going every week to face my therapist’s disapproval was getting to me. Life began to come back into my heart, but it was pure pain. Everything I had been hiding and denying broke loose inside of me as I admitted to the truth about myself and my past and old memories of abuse replayed themselves like videos in my mind at all times. I could not fake it anymore, and for months I worried that I had made a horrible mistake by letting the truth out.

In the midst of the pain though, I began to realize that God was with me. I had never even opened up to God about the darkness of my past. I didn’t really believe that He could handle it. I thought that the fact that God is holy meant that He would keep His distance from the dark and broken parts of me:

  • the way I craved humiliation and punishment
  • my addiction to soothing myself with porn and masturbation
  • my total lack of boundaries
  • my confusion about the difference between love and abuse

What I began to see though, is that it was God Himself who was leading me through it all, and actually piecing me back together bit by bit, helping me tell the truth and bring the darkness into the light so that I could understand that He really knew me inside and out and I didn’t have to hide anything from Him or try to clean myself up all alone so that He would tolerate me. His Holy Spirit was willing to physically live in my violated body with me while I was going through the torture of reliving abuse memories. I saw that God’s love is so huge and bold and powerful that He was willing to enter into my perversion, confusion and brokenness and sort through it with me with incredible gentleness and grace. I began to love Him like I never had before.

I found that I was healing. The work was far from over, though, because now I had to learn how to live like a whole human being. I had to confront the past with my husband, and talk openly about it with him in therapy, something so embarrassing I put it off for a full month after my therapist helped me understand that it needed to be done. When the time for the conversation finally came though, it was amazing. My husband shared with me how he actually felt that me getting spanked and punished and treated like a little kid was wrong, and we acknowledged together that the things that happened in our past were wrong. I felt put back together in a new way. I could be vulnerable with him again!

Now I opened up to him about how I confused I was about what love is, about how I still longed to be humiliated, controlled and dominated, about how I didn’t understand how men were supposed to treat women. He was very surprised and upset to learn how hurt and confused I was. He decided we would start reading Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood to help me.

It was in the pages of this book that God showed me why exactly Domestic Discipline is so wrong:

Unlike Christ, all husbands sin. They are finite and fallible in their wisdom. Not only that, but also, unlike Christ, a husband is not preparing a bride merely for himself, but also for another, namely, Christ. He does not merely act as Christ, he also acts for Christ. At this point he must not be Christ to his wife, lest he be a traitor to Christ. He must lead in such a way that his wife is encouraged to depend on Christ and not on himself. Practically, that rules out belittling supervision and fastidious oversight.

Even when acting as Christ, the husband must remember that Christ does not lead the church as His daughter, but as His wife. He is preparing her to be a “fellow-heir,” not a servant girl (Romans 8:17). Any kind of leadership that, in the name of Christlike headship, tends to foster in a wife personal immaturity or spiritual weakness or insecurity through excessive control, picky supervision, or oppressive domination has missed the point of the analogy in Ephesians 5. Christ does not create that kind of wife. (Page 59)

 

I finally saw how wrong it was for me to want my husband to be anything but a husband the way Jesus is to His church!

With my therapist’s help, I also came to understand that I’m an adult, and that it’s wrong for me to be spanked or punished like a child because God wants me to grow into mature femininity.

One of the most important and healing aspects of therapy for me was my therapist’s character as a Christian and as a man. At the beginning, I didn’t understand what love looked like, and I had not experienced a man loving me or guiding me in a safe and appropriate way. For this reason it was very hard for me to understand that God is my father or to relate to Him as a daughter.

My therapist was so accepting, gentle and careful with my boundaries while also being firm about what was and wasn’t healthy and acceptable that I finally began to understand what a father’s love feels like. By the way he related to me, he helped me understand that God is a gentle and good father, that His discipline and care for me is not humiliating or degrading but builds me up and makes me whole, and this helped me love God so much more and finally allow myself to be vulnerable with Him and surrender my heart to Him out of love and not fear or guilt.

I can’t say that I am completely healed today, but I am getting closer and continuing to work hard at understanding the truth and become a real whole person. Now that I know I’m not going to be humiliated or punished by my husband, I finally feel free to be truly vulnerable with him and learn what it means to submit to him and respect him with my whole heart engaged, only willingly and because I want to love him well and be who God wants me to be as a wife and a woman.

I finally have real, deep friendships with other Christians because now I can share openly about my past and my sin with others knowing that God accepts me and is able to redeem everything and anything.

Above all, the journey God brought me on from shame, hiding and brokenness to honesty and light is so precious to me because He revealed Himself as one who loves so powerfully and with such grace that He comes and meets us in the darkest, scariest parts of ourselves to bring us home.

COMMENTS BY PEACEFULWIFE:

The issues of BDSM and CDD, in my understanding, are a great stumbling block to many, and create confusion for many. Is it possible that some may be able to participate without sinning? Yes, I suppose that it could be possible in some circumstances. I don’t know everyone’s definitions of BDSM. I don’t know everyone’s definitions of CDD. I don’t know people’s hearts, minds, actions, words, or motivations.

But with so very many wives who are deeply wounded from these practices, I simply cannot condone BDSM or CDD. I don’t believe Scripture teaches or promotes either of these lifestyles as I described them in last week’s post or as they are described here in today’s post. I very much want women who have been hurt by these lifestyles to find healing, hope, peace, and new Life in Christ Jesus.

Please pray with me for those who are hurting and confused that they might find clarity, truth, love, acceptance, forgiveness, healing, mercy, and grace in Jesus Christ and that they might come to Him as both Savior and Lord and get to experience God’s beautiful design for them as women and wives.

If you are living in this lifestyle of Christian Domestic Discipline and/or BDSM and you are wounded as this woman was, please seek out a godly, biblical, spiritually wise counselor who can help you work through the long process of healing! The wife who authored this post said her counselor recommends finding a godly, biblical counselor on this site. (I am not affiliated with this site and do not know any of the counselors. This tool may help you find a good counselor, but it will be up to you to determine which counselor is appropriate and truly able to help you. Please weigh anything that any counselor says against God’s Word and look at the fruit – Galatians 5:22-23 – in that person’s life before receiving counsel from him/her.)

What’s So Wrong with Domestic Discipline? by OneSoLoved

Do I Actually Need a Spanking? by OneSoLoved

Biblical Manhood and Womanhood – David Platt www.radical.net

Biblical Manhood and Womanhood – John Piper www.desiringgod.org

Do I Condone Marital Rape or Abuse? – Peacefulwife

Spiritual Authority – by Rev. Weaver (a minister at Peacefulwife’s church)

A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage – by Rev. Weaver

I Am Responsible for Myself Spiritually – I am to be a grown woman, seeking God with all my heart, allowing His Spirit to work in me so that He gives me the power to walk in holiness and obedience to God. I do not need my husband to be my father, my disciplinarian, or the Holy Spirit. My husband needs a true helpmeet who is a mature woman and believer in Christ, not a little child.

Godly Femininity

30 thoughts on “OneSoLoved Heals from the World of BDSM and ” Christian Domestic Discipline”

  1. Wow!! what a testimony! April, I couldn’t see the woman’s name anywhere but that is a testimony of miracles, patience, God’s amazing sovereign grace for allowing the testimony to mature through some obviously ridiculously painful situations through so many years and i can’t work out who has the more amazing journey – the wife or the husband….and the writer may never have actually been to college but her ability to articulate so clearly the effect of the devils lies at a young age and how this translates and how this grows and becomes a plane of reference for who you believe you are in later life can only be written by someone who has been truly released into a new freedom that only Jesus Christ can provide.

    Identifying pride as the block to being free is extraordinarily perceptive and whilst I had identified with many of her observations and experiences through my own life I had never even seen the blindingly obvious step of taking responsibility for the pride that stopped you looking for change or maybe hope, again similar to your story April, but I had never seen how powerful and yet subtle pride is in victim type situations. Whilst an air of submission and humility is seen on the outside it is actually more of a facade that has come from a deep sense of internal pride and I am so thankful for your sharing of this amazing testimony.

    To the writer I would say, based upon my own journey, you are now in a place where you will start to see or may already be seeing God’s mercy, grace and beauty in a way that many people are not able to see and where He really does make something beautiful out of the ashes. I would love to hear about how this transformation is going to be lived out – i’m so excited for what is coming up in her life…it is going to be awesome indeed!!!

    1. Thank you, Gary! It is really all God, I believe that He chose me for this ministry of openness and sharing my journey with others because of exactly how closed off I was… this way I would know that it was only Him who changed me because never in a million years would I have seen this coming 🙂 He is awesome. I am so grateful for the things He has revealed to me and yes exactly like you said He makes beautiful things out of broken things! His redemption is amazing!

  2. I was not abused nor was my husband. We have been married for 12 years, we have an awesome relationship and we know God brought us together. I am a Christian and have a beautiful close relationship with Jesus. I pray that this will not go on deaf ears and hearts will be soften. Please do not judge those whose lifestyle includes bdsm. If you’ve never experienced it and are going off word of mouth or a movie, then you have no idea what it really means to be in a true D/s (dominant/submissive)(which is what bdsm is mainly about) relationship. When you are truly in a bdsm then it is not abuse. . It is not done in anger EVER. My husband and i have incorporated bdsm in our marriage for over 8 months and when we first started i prayed and asked God of it was ok in His sight, because like all of you i had prejudged that it was for sickos etc., even though i felt safe and at peace. Every scripture that God had put in my heart to read put my heart at ease that it was ok for us as a married couple to continue. Everything about our marriage..communication, respect, love, our connection has grown 10 folds. I put God first, then my husband. Please know that it is not true that everyone in bdsm are psychos and abused, that is furthest from the truth. Also when we as God’s people start being the judge of others then we are not doing what Jesus had called us to do and that is to win others to the Lord. Ps if someone is in an abusive relationship, whether it’s a vanilla (a “normal”) relationship or a so called bdsm relationship, then get out.

    1. Karen,

      Thanks so much for sharing your story. I praise God that you and your husband were never abused and that your husband doesn’t act out in anger to you. I am thankful that you, apparently, didn’t have a misunderstanding between love and abuse the way that the woman who wrote this post did. I trust you can see that her view of love was not healthy or godly before she found healing in Christ. I pray that you are growing in your walk with Christ and that His Spirit is regenerating you. 🙂

      Certainly no one answers to me. We will all answer to Christ alone. My goal in writing about these topics is to reach out to other wives who are deeply hurting and who do not understand the love, healing, power, and redemption available to them in Christ Jesus and who think that CDD and BDSM is what the Bible means when it teaches about submission and respecting our husbands. I do not believe that is what Scripture is teaching. There are many in these lifestyles who are deeply wounded and distressed. I want them to know that there is healing. And if they are ensnared by lies and imprisoned by ideas that are not supported by God’s Word, I want to shine light for them to find their way to Christ. I know that is your desire for them, as well.

      I trust God to give you and your husband wisdom about what to do in your marriage. I do not know what anyone does in private, and I am not attempting to judge what others are doing. Perhaps God does bless the way you and your husband are relating and there is nothing sinful in what you are doing. That is entirely possible. I don’t know your motives, your actions, your heart or your husband’s motives, actions, or his heart. Only God knows those things and they are private issues between you, your husband and God.

      My point in talking about these issues is that I do not personally condone BDSM or CDD (as I defined them in the post last week) as I seek to teach women about God’s definition of submission for wives and how God desires us to honor and respect our husbands. There is often confusion that if I am teaching about biblical submission, that I must be referring to BDSM or CDD. I want to be clear that I am not teaching or endorsing BDSM or CDD.

      There are posts at the top of my home page that explain biblical submission, disrespectful behavior, and respectful behavior for anyone who is interested.

      Thank you for sharing! May God richly bless your walk with Christ and your marriage for His greatest glory. Much love to you! 🙂

  3. Ladies,

    The issues of BDSM and CDD, in my understanding, are a great stumbling block to many, and create confusion for many. Is it possible that some may be able to participate without sinning? Yes, I suppose that it could be possible. Perhaps there are some couples who are completely spiritually whole and healthy and just do something little sometimes “for fun.” None of that sounds like fun to me. But, I don’t know everyone’s definitions of BDSM. I don’t know everyone’s definitions of CDD. I’m sure there is a wide spectrum of ideas and practices encompassed in both of these ideologies. I don’t know people’s hearts, minds, actions, words, or motivations. I don’t know their woundedness or their understanding of Christ or their spiritual maturity levels.

    I am working off of the definitions of BDSM and CDD from the post I shared last week. With so very many wives who are deeply wounded from trying to live out these practices in real life as a lifestyle, and with the definitions that I understand, I simply cannot condone these ideas. I want to make it clear that I am not teaching BDSM or CDD. I don’t believe that is what Scripture teaches. I also very much want women (and men) who have been hurt by these lifestyles to find healing, hope, peace, and new Life in Christ Jesus.

    Please pray with me for those who are hurting and confused that they might find clarity, truth, love, acceptance, forgiveness, healing, mercy, and grace in Jesus Christ and that they might come to Him as both Savior and Lord and get to experience God’s beautiful design for them as women and wives.

  4. April, I can see where you are coming from on this issue, especially because you are in a position to counsel women, many who come from hurtful pasts, possible abuse, and brokenness in their own marriages.

    From the testimony of OneSoLoved and from what you have described of other women’s testimonies that are hurting from this type of lifestyle, the underlying current seems to be a feeling of humiliation, degradation, and possible abuse. Those feelings and negative experiences are very far and foreign to my own experience and marriage with my husband, and it truly saddens me that any woman would ever feel humiliated or shamed by their spouse…the one person on this earth that is supposed to cherish you the most, and hold you in the highest regard.

    I fully agree that anyone who feels less than respected and cherished by their spouse deserves to have that wonderful marriage, and I pray for anyone that is in a situation where they feel humiliated and less than a partner in their marriage. They certainly deserve to have a glorious union that is nothing short of the best.

    1. Mrs. G.,

      Thank you so much for sharing. Yes, I have great concerns for many wives in these situations who are hurting as much or more as OneSoLoved was. I know that none of us want to see anyone hurting the way that this wife was hurting before. 🙂 And I know we all want to see them find healing and help in Christ and healing in their marriages.

  5. Excellent article, awesome that she actually found a truly biblical counselor. This story I can relate to and it gives me pause to think and pray.

    April, just want to issue a sort of caution I’ve mentioned before, if that’s okay with you. If not, edit away my sister. I’d caution those reading , that if you go to seek similar help, recognising similar issues in your lives, really bide your time in determining that the potential helper IS a biblical pastor or counselor. Really seek the Lord. There is a lot of cultural Christianity out there, and the presence of a church, a steeple, a pastoral studies diploma and a pastor doesn’t automatically equal truly biblical, truly saved Christian if you know what I mean. I’d suggest checking firstly for someone who walks with a deep awareness of their own depravity and who is deeply grateful for undeserved grace, who knows that except for Christ, they would be on their way to hell in a hand basket. They must be loyal to Christ and to His word, and not be man pleasers who water down the gospel .

    Only from this deep heart stance can someone first be a real believer and second genuinely walk beside another sinner in need of help. Secondly, they must truly look to the word of God for truth with depth and have found that deep counsel themselves. It must be more than just a doctrinal distinctive statement. I’ve been in churches that officially endorse such statements but in practice they go by their own feelings on things and generally do what they prefer, even when it clearly contradicts scripture. Not good. A person who walks in this kind of humility and grace has God’s love and mercy for others (not the sappy “acceptance” that passes for grace these days) and is usually quick to admit when they are wrong or have sinned against another. They are entreatable, which means they can actually listen when someone is has a legitimate concern.

    I am well aware that many professing Christians cannot deal with real sin problems, esp. anything relating to sex, which really makes me wonder. If someone reacts to your sin struggles as if its ” Eeeewww, too icky for someone respectable like me to handle”, chances are they haven’t really faced the cross themselves and so cannot really help you. If we have really faced the truth abut our own sin and depravity, and accept the word, we shouldn’t get all rejecting when we see it in others. Just issuing a caution because this sort of issue is at the core of our hearts and lives and sharing with the wrong person can bring great hurt and compound problems.

    1. Patricia, this is so true! This is why I link to a page called, “What is Good Christian Therapy?” on my website that talks about exactly this. This part from that page reminded me especially of what you said:

      “A good therapist is able to help you by containing aspects of your self that you are unable to tolerate, unable to grieve or feel or experience, talk about, or even recognize in yourself. He or she is like a good parent who sends the message, “I can deal with this black hole part of you. And my being able to deal with it and talk about it means that, in time, you’ll be able to deal with it, too.” This containing of a person’s emotions can make all the difference between competent and incompetent counseling”

      It is so very important for a therapist to have a solid grasp of grace, yes real, blood bought grace that is so precious!

  6. Men and women are NOT to be abused. 🙁

    This is so sad. But thank God for healing, and the revelation that He has us here for His love and life.

    1. Salahgrace,

      Thank you for sharing your story! How I praise God for what He is doing in your life!! I’m right here if you need to talk about things. I know that for me, writing down all of the lies I believed and all of the things I told myself (in detail) and then writing down the truth of God’s Word was so critical to helping me forsake the lies and embrace God’s truth.

      I pray that God will direct you to all of the resources, encouragement, love, and help that you need as you begin to heal.

      Praise God that He can take our lives – no matter what a big mess we have made, or others have helped to make in our lives – and He can make us NEW, clean, holy, pure, and fit for Himself as He transforms us by the power of His Spirit. No one is beyond the reach of Jesus. There is no sin that His blood cannot cover. How I praise Him for drawing you to Himself and for your willingness to allow His blazing Light to begin to invade your heart, mind, and soul so that He can begin to heal and change you by His power. We cannot change ourselves. We cannot save ourselves. Jesus does all the work to save us. He even gives us the faith to come to Him. And He does all the changing. We just have to lie still and allow Him to work, trusting Him with all our hearts as He tears out the old toxic stuff and creates new life in us.

      Much love to you, my precious sister!

  7. My husband is a christian leader but had some wounds as we all have. One of the most difficult thing for me is that he yells at me many times, he always criticize me saying I do everything wrong, never affirm or encourage me -even if I do my effort to affirm him, he oppress me many times to be somebody else and doesn’t accept me. These last two weeks, we have been fighting quite a lot because I arrived to the point of not standing it anymore. I decided to got out of the room when he yell at me but it is so hard to live with a person that always remind you that you are a failure as I am in the process is loving me and accepting me and healing from a poor self image. I prayed so many times that God would change him but sometimes, I get really discourage about the situation and know I need to work on me and let God be God in my husband’s life. He just doesn’t realize he is so abusive and dominant. Any advice?

    1. Sonadewonderful,

      How my heart breaks for you both. It has been a painful few first years of marriage 🙁 I wish I could give you a big hug!!

      Nina Roesner has a post about dealing with angry husbands. If you search Google for “Nina Roesner Got an Angry Husband” – I believe her post will come up. Might be interesting.

      Praying for wisdom for you, my dear friend!

      1. Thanks April. We gonna celebrate 3 year anniversary of May 20th. It is not easy but we do have some good moments and things are better than they used to be. Though, et have so many things still to work on but I guess God’s timetable is not mine and I have to deal with that. Thanks for your prayer and for the post. I’ll read it. Big hug

        1. Sonadewonderful,

          I’m glad to hear some things are better. This whole process of sanctification often takes MUCH, MUCH longer than any of us would want. But I am praying for God’s greatest glory in your lives individually and in your marriage, my sweet friend!

  8. I have never been in this type of relationship personally, but I have known those who were and did not know what to say to them. Thank you for giving me a starting point and clear outline of basically what I was already thinking. It just wouldn’t come out of my head. I’ve been doing so much research trying to wrap my mind around addressing this issue. It makes me sad to see so many relationships perverting what should be a beautiful thing God gave us (intimacy with our spouses, both emotional and physical, for one)…. thank you again, I’ll keel praying for you and those like you who are still trying to heal or need to start. Sending love and support.

  9. Thanks for the discussion, very enlightening. And thank for an amazing blog, April.

    My husband isn´t physical with me but displays all the classic father shaming, and bullying characteristics you mention here. It´s quite strange given that he´s a lot younger than me (from a misogynistic culture) and I would be more likely to be the dominant person in a relationship, although I´m happy with and want submission in its healthy sense.. I´ve spoken with him clearly over the years: If you want me to do something (ie obey you in an area I´m not comfortable with), explain to me why and if it´s good I´ll happily do it. In that way I´ve accepted certain restrictions as I´ve seen the benefit in God´s eyes. But he continues to lead by orders, insults (foul names, I´m useless at everything, old), not walking his talk and punishment.

    He doesn´t sound like a godly man but he actually is in most other ways, vehemently so, but he believes it´s his duty to discipline me which feels like he´s trying to break in a wild horse. He´s stressed and out of work and that makes him even more tense. When I started to obey and submit before I thought things would get better, but instead he tightened the leash on me and jerked it harder (fig speaking). He thinks he´s purifying me. (I´ve had previous relationships and so can never be trusted as far as he´s concerned).

    I want to do God´s work and live a sanctified life supporting my husband but right now he won´t let me and I´m so unhappy when we used to be very happy before and just after we married. We were doing amazing work teaching G´s word. Now we´re an embarrassment To God. We´re from different cultures and he says he maried me to have a bit more control over me as I was a bit of a free spirit (too much so perhaps). and he takes over. Now we´re like two caged animals. I try to not answer him back when he calls me names but I can hold it for hours or even days but then the line gets crossed and I lose it which separates me from God.

    He won´t even let me see my family and when I went to see my sick parent the other day as we had agreed he flooded our tiny home and soaked my side of the mattress. I slept on the floor and it took me two days to dry everything out. He backs down quite quickly usually and acts as though nothing has happened and tries to be all over me. I´d be lying if I said I wasn´t rejecting him in my heart. I feel like a weary soldier who´s just trudging along without ever getting there.

    This situation and the financial pressure I´m under are making me ill. I can´t imagine life without him and what we´re supposed to do in life, but with him not working and shows no signs of improving. Your blog has helped me start speaking to God again. I realised I´d been angry at God because my husband had said God says I´m a this that and the other and I believed him. I understand that I´m not perfect and have maybe caused some of these things. Other things in our life today are as a result of mistakes in guidance. My home is being drenched as I write. I´m cold and wet and my heart is aching. I so want to do God´s will and help transform my marriage and many times I think it´s getting better but descends so quickly into this. I have nowhere else to go and nothing else to do. I´m not allowed to go to church and while I can chat to God under my breath my deep prayers are always disturbed.

    1. hopeoflife,

      My dear sister! I am very concerned about you and about your situation. Do you believe you are safe? When you said he floods the house, what do you mean? If you do something he doesn’t like or just to try to control you or discipline you, he literally purposely causes a flood of water in the home to destroy things?

      What happens if you go to church?

      Why do you believe that your husband is a godly man? What is his relationship with Christ?

      How long have you been married, my sister?

      What happens if you share your concerns?

      Sending the biggest hug to you! When I am sure I am understanding the situation properly, I plan to share some resources online for you. I am praying for God’s victory over this oppressive situation and for His healing for you both and for your marriage!

      Much love!

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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