Post by girlwiththebrownhair on Mar 6, 2014 20:37:57 GMT
I am really new to this but would really appreciate some advice from people who have been a similar situation.
I have been in a violent relationship for 15 years, initially my husband hit me infrequently but over the last year or so his drinking increased and so did the frequency and level of violence. I had never told anyone, my husband is well respected in the local area and I thought everyone would blame me and worst of all be dissappointed in me that I couldnt make my marriage work. In his worst tempers he said he would make sure that my children were removed from me if I tried to leave. Last year I finally plucked up the courage to tell some people - my sister first and then the minister of our church. My husband at the time promised ( as he had done more times than I could count) it wouldn't happen again. But just before new year he punched me so hard he broke his own hand. This prompted him finally to seek help. He refused to leave the home but has stopped drinking and is receiving counselling via the church.
Clearly I am really pleased that he is finally seeking help, but I cant help feeling more alone than ever. Both the counsellor involved and our minister have never once asked if I am ok or the extent of my injuries, am I selfish to feel like this?
First- let me say that NO, it is NOT your fault and you are NOT selfish.
The counselor and minister are clearly untrained or unwilling to acknowledge domestic violence within their church members it seems. Sadly that is very common and has nothing to do with love, the bible, God or Jesus or any of the above. The traditional church still does not accept women have rights and that divorce is ok especially when the woman is being abused and her life is at risk.
I am so sorry he is abusing you so badly- if he broke his own hand...my God I cannot imagine how hard his beatings have been.....
The one thing that is even more complicated if you are a believer of any religion really you have been brainwashed to believe marriage is until death do us part or else it is a sin etc.etc.... and i respect that people have faith and value marriage and vows. I really do.
But what about HIM breaking his vows? God did not intend for you to be harmed by the ONE person who should love you, respect you, protect you and allow you to grow and enjoy your one life. There are a few good passages in the bible which a normal church counselor would introduce you too in order to help you out. I am not familiar with them but we have had victims within church communities before and if you do get a good church counselor they would never ever ever ask you to stay with such a monster.
One thing you can do is contact a local domestic violence hotline or shelter. They will not tell you what to do but show you options and even suggest maybe a church counselor who is better trained and suited for you.
My concern is that men like that never change. He might keep it quiet to get the church off his back and have everyone believe he magically changed with the help of God but that will not happen. He might even return to be more violent than before.
Having said that I WISH faith would make people better and often it does. But...it is not your BELIEF that makes you a better person. It is your BEHAVIOR. So he can quote the bible and vows and responsibilities of a wife as much as he wants but he clearly doesnt care to pick up on his responsibilities as a husband.
It is not an easy situation and I understand why you stayed so long and still stay with him. You have hope and believe things might improve. That shows you are a wonderful and empathetic person. Give yourself a big hug for that...
What he does to you and did has nothing to do with faith or love or God. He is committing a crime that is punishable by the law. Sadly we live in a world where some places are very backwards and believe the man is the boss of the home and that dirty laundry needs to be washed at home. Which is completely wrong.
You were born to be free, happy, healthy, enjoy life, not walk on eggshells, not fear when he blows up next.
If i can recommend you one good book that might help you it is "Why does he do that?" By Lundy Bancroft. The book also touches the topic of religion and DV if I am not mistaken. Just make sure to maybe hide it from him when you read it as abusers often become more violent if they feel you can see through his control and his mindgames and might even think of leaving him...
They are also good at stalking and controlling your every move so please make sure you delete the history in your browser on your computer - so that he cannot see what you wrote here or which sites you visited.
I am Christian and believe in the value of a good marriage- however the bible and what Jesus said is so often abused by abusive men - to control, to harm and to make you suffer through year after year - poking at your forgiveness and willingness to make it work.
You will never make it work. He wont let you because he doesnt want to. He chooses to abuse you and has traumatized you - and hides it all behind using words like "love" and "God" to make you stay and make you feel guilty.
I hope I dont sound too harsh. I understand why you stay. It is not easy to see through the abuse in our relationships and you have already been very very brave to write about what happened and to share it with people.
believe you deserve better
believe that God never! wanted you to be scared within your marriage or used as a punching bag
believe that it will get better and can be better because this is no way to spend your one life
believe in yourself. you have all it takes to make the right decisions and to know and feel what is right and what is wrong.
we are here and listen- let us know if there is anything we can do. a domestic violence hotline will be a safe first step to get contact to someone in the church environment who has helped women like you before.
Post by girlwiththebrownhair on Mar 17, 2014 19:05:48 GMT
Thank you so much for this it means a lot that you took the time to reply to me.
I know that it is so wrong, but when it stops happening for a while I find myself asking was that real did he really do that? until the next time of course...
No one has even spoken to me about forgiveness... the sad fact is that they havent spoken at all. I guess that because he is getting help they assume it is ok. But even if it never happens again I cant forget (and I know that means I am bitter and may forfit my own forgiveness) but I cant. Sometimes the smallest thing and it all comes flooding back and he says its not fair for me to bring it up because its 'always about you'.
Im not a good wife. I am a hypocrite, a healthcare professional that talks to other women about violence but unable to deal with the truth of my own life. so ashamed of myself for allowing this continue and not being strong enough to move on.
I can hear the guilt and shame in your message that i used to feel (and still sometimes feel) about myself.
"Im not a good wife. I am a hypocrite, a healthcare professional that talks to other women about violence but unable to deal with the truth of my own life. so ashamed of myself for allowing this continue and not being strong enough to move on."
The reason you feel this way is that he probably puts those exact words in your mind by telling you that you are not a good wife, that you ask for too much if you want to talk about what happened etc,
I can really hiiighly recommend the book "why does he do that" by Bancroft. He talks about how they do not change. In fact him not allowing you to talk about his abuse and what you are unhappy about...IS abuse. he grooms you already to accept the next big blow and if you look at it from the outside- he is in a wonderful position to be in control of you.
For one he has your faith. He knows you believe in marriage and for better or worse. That is a tricky one as it is not only about two humans in a relationship but for Christians the guilt for thinking about leaving an abuser is ten times higher than for the less religious woman as it is.
He also has the community on his side it seems. And sadly in an uninformed or naive church the pastor may think the abuser needs the help, not the victim. And that with enough prayers the sinner will understand he needs to change.
And nobody sees he doesnt want to change. he chooses to control you and he is only sorry he got caught and needs to be more open about what happened to others. or else he wouldnt shut you down when you want to talk through it.
its all about the cycle of abuse, traumatic bonding and the power of belief.
and you are not a hypocrite. we all make mistakes - we all feel lost and need help ourselves sometimes. you can see the strongest soldier come back from a war and cry like a baby in a therapists office. that is OK and human!!! and sooo necessary for a healthy and well balanced life.
you are strong. you are worthy of love. you have a right to change your mind. you have a right to demand being treated with respect and feel safe in a marriage. it is never too late to move on and change. forgive yourself and love yourself -- because the lack of love for yourself and desire to please others, including your husband and your faith-can create dangerous traps for good women like you.
The drinking is not the issue and neither is your behavior. HE is the abuser. He needs his control over you and has done so for 15 years. Give the responsilbity to the person who chose to act abusive. He has to deal with the consequences of his choices and he has to answer to his community and God. No wife should fear her husband. It is not what any God ever intended.
stay strong, believe you deserve better and if you can, contact a local domestic violence hotline or shelter. they can just listen and give you tips. you dont need to leave him or even reveal what your name is.