Overcome Your Anxiety, Fear, and Powerlessness in Your Hurtful Relationship! Are You Being Abused?
I remember waking up with knots in my stomach—in protection mode for my children, and in survival mode for myself. During thirteen years of my painful marriage, I read a hundred self-help books by 1995 trying to find answers to my confusion and hurt. I understood where some of my husband’s anger came from However, I couldn’t find a way to fix him or how he treated me.
The violence in my marriage escalated to a life-threatening situation. I fled to a safe house for women to find help for myself and my children. I met with a counselor, and she asked me to read a list like the one below. After reading the first few sentences, suddenly the knowledge from the books I read collided with the truth about abuse and my reality and came together like a big jig-saw puzzle. I saw the truth of my life—I was a victim of abuse and domestic violence.
The reason you downloaded this resource is to find the cause and solution for feeling anxious, fearful, and powerless in your intimate relationship or marriage. Read the following list to empower yourself with truth to help you or another woman who is a victim of abuse.
Place a Check Mark in the Box Next to Statements That Are True in Your Relationship
- You feel like you are walking on eggshells, even though he says he loves you.
- He refuses to help you when you are sick, injured, or pregnant.
- He calls you or your children bad names and degrades you.
- He is jealous, angry, and accuses you of flirting or having sex with other men.
- He publicly shows sexual interest in other women.
- He humiliates you or your friends and family in public.
- He keeps you from working and controls your money.
- He lies, and breaks promises continually
- He has a sense of entitlement and superiority
- He blames you and other people for his faults and mistakes.
- He subjects you to reckless driving or prevents you from driving.
- He punches walls slams doors and brakes your belonging.
- He gets in your face or positions himself to tower over you.
- He shoves, pushes, thumps, grabs, squeezes, bruises, cuts, scrapes, or chokes you.
- He gives you the silent treatment or uses guilt to get his way.
- He drinks alcohol, uses drugs, or picks fights.
- He hurts your pets.
- He threatens to take the children away or abandon you.
- He isolates you from friends and family or any support system.
- He threatens to harm or kill himself or others.
- He forces you to have sex, sadistic, and hurtful sexual acts
- He threatens to kill you.
- He constantly quizzes you about where you have been, with who, and what you discussed.
- He sends you abusive texts emails, or via other social media or electronic viruses.
- He posts improper information on the internet, with your private information available.
- He follows you everywhere—he stalks you.
Knowledge About Abuse and Domestic Violence Bring Clarity
After reading the list above, you need to know the legal definition of abuse according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “Domestic Violence or domestic abuse is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.” The main categories of abuse are: Physical, emotional, verbal, financial, sexual, financial, and psychological.
If you have discovered that you are a victim of abuse after reading the list and the legal description, I’m here to let you know you are not alone, you can be healed through God’s transforming grace, and you can live safe, secure, and loved.
Right now, you may be asking yourself, how did you become a victim of abuse? Your answer can be found in the 4 Unrecognized Reasons of Victimization listed below.
4 Unrecognized Reasons of Victimization
- You weren’t taught about abuse; therefore, you don’t know the signs, cycles, and consequences of abuse and domestic violence.
- What you don’t know can hurt and even kill you. You do what you know from your experiences concerning love and marriage.
- You don’t know you have a Biblical right and responsibility to learn and live in the facets of faith and how this looks in your life and relationships with healthy boundaries.
You were created with five main ultimate needs—to be loved, feel safe, valued, belong, and have a purpose. These primary needs were described by Abraham Harold Maslow, an American psychologist.
You didn’t have the privilege of knowing God the moment you came into the world and have all your needs filled by Him like Adam and Eve. As you grew from infancy, you molded your beliefs about love, marriage, and God from the good and brokenness of others along with your life experiences.
The brokenness of my parents left me feeling love-starved, unsafe, not belonging, and with no value unless I served others. The starvation in my ultimate need to be loved drove me to find and accept ANY attention and interpret it as love. My thirst to be loved and my unawareness of abuse made me a perfect victim for an abuser. When I tried to fill my ultimate broken needs without seeking Jesus to fill them, I opened the door of my mind for the abuser and the devil to use my brokenness. The devil tried to deceive and tempt me to dull and escape my pain through alcohol. For many of you, the devil may tempt you to escape your pain through drugs, food, sex, and other self-destructive behaviors. The bigger the voids in your ultimate needs, the more vulnerable you are to be deceived and become a victim.
My healing journey began, and my mind, heart, and life slowly changed once I consistently studied each ultimate need in God’s word, He exposed the string the enemy used through my abusive husband to connect to my heart and manipulate me. I realized even though I didn’t know the starvation in my ultimate needs the devil knew them from watching me throughout my life. The devil knew my weakness, and he knows yours too.
It’s imperative to realize the voids in your ultimate needs. With your knowledge, you can partner with Jesus to fill them and to guard your heart and mind against the enemy and an abuser.
- Lack of God’s truth, role models, and mentorship
“You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. Matthew 22:29 NIV If you haven’t studied God’s word and learned the design and plan of God’s love for your life and marriage, it will be difficult for you to believe He designed you to walk in His power and live your life in a healthy marriage where you are safe, secure, and loved.
- No matter who raised you, no one can do everything right. Everyone comes with their unique brokenness into marriage, and they’re often unaware of the pain and distortions they pass on to their children. Both my parents were Christians. However, their brokenness, co-dependency, and dysfunctional relationship led me to believe their marriage model was God’s design. My parents did their best, but it didn’t change the fact that their marriage wasn’t God’s healthy model.
- I was in my forties before I came to understand and grow from the mentorship of other mature women of faith because I had moved so much. Through various Bible studies, I learned from their life experiences, revelations, and consequences. They challenged me to grow and held me accountable to stay true to God’s word. God used their mentorship to equip and empower me to be a champion for abused women.
- Not Commited
Salvation is a gift of grace from Jesus Christ, and it can never be earned. However, you don’t have complete understanding and maturity of faith the moment you are saved. When you have lived in the worlds ways, morals, and values these are your default settings for your thoughts, words, and actions. You are a new creation in Christ Jesus at your salvation. However, your imperfect mindset, characteristics, and habits will take time to mirror those of Christ. As you commit to walking hand-in-hand with him all day long, the fruits of your spirit will grow and mature. Being transformed into the likeness of Jesus is only possible when you commit to partner with him and surrender, change, or grow whatever is necessary to love and honor his sacrificial love for you. Without instruction from God’s word and your commitment to cultivate your relationship with Jesus and be his disciple, (a student, pupil, apprentice); you will be frustrated, uncertain, and more vulnerable to the devil’s temptations of sin or to walk away from Jesus.
Why I Struggled to Leave my Abusive Christian Marriage
I spent thirteen years in an abusive marriage to a “Christian” man because I believed if I separated from him or divorced him, God would be mad at me and not forgive me. I was in the same place many of you are right now—confused, and uncertain.
For many of you, the information about abuse is not enough to empower you to choose to stop the abuse from your husband. Like me, you may believe your vows to God and your spouse, demand you allow your husband to abuse you. For these beliefs to be correct, the design of God’s love lived out in the heart, character, attitudes, words, and actions of Jesus Christ must be untrue.
Why Christian Women Are Deceived
To understand God’s design for love and marriage you need to study God’s word to know His truth for yourself. Jesus himself tells you why you make an error in life again in the book of Mark. Jesus said, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?” Mark 12:24 NIV.
The whole essence of your faith is to believe, trust, and follow a loving God who is moral, just, forgiving, righteous, and full of grace and mercy. Jesus showed us what it looks like to live out God’s greatest commandments. “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it:’ Love your neighbor as yourself,” Matthew 22:37-38 NIV.
At the last supper, Jesus instructed his disciples, and us, in John 13:34 NIV, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Jesus never used manipulation, threats, humiliation, or physical violence to gain control or power over anyone. This is not God’s love.
God doesn’t sanction any form of abuse, especially spouse abuse anywhere in His word. In fact, men are instructed to, “love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” Colossians 3:19 NIV. The word love in this scripture, described in context commentary, is a sacrificial kind of love; the kind of love that seeks the very best for the one who’s loved. All forms of abuse diametrically oppose the concept of selfless sacrifice; such behaviors are selfish and self-seeking.
In the 1990’s it was common practice to twist the meanings of sections of marriage verses found in Ephesians to deceive and manipulate women victims. The most common scripture used by abusive Christian husbands is found in Ephesians 5:22 NIV. “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” When you study this verse in its written context, you understand God’s design for love and marriage, and you see His loving protection for women. The word “submit” in this scripture does NOT mean you must allow yourself to be abused. The complete context of all the scriptures in this passage instructs a husband to love his wife selflessly as if she were Jesus Christ himself. When she receives this pure love, she willingly chooses to place herself under her husband’s headship because she respects him. A wife’s submission of her heart cannot be taken; it can only be given as a gift.
You Are Not Responsible For, Nor Are You Able to Save or Fix Your Husband
There is only one Savior and healer, and it is Jesus Christ. As a Christian wife, you are not responsible for, nor are you the cause of your husband’s destructive, sinful abusive behavior. Your husband CHOOSES to abuse you. His choice is NOT your fault. Only he can choose to repent and work with Jesus to heal and permanently change his heart, mind, and beliefs apart from you.
Knowing God’s design of love for you gives you spiritual understanding. Jesus would never abuse you, and it is not his will to allow your spouse to hurt the Jesus in you. With Jesus in you, there is NEVER any reason to allow anyone to abuse you, especially in a Christian marriage.
Your decision to protect Jesus in you is your first step to healing. You are only responsible for working with Jesus on your healing as you aim to treat your spouse as Jesus would. All God is asking you to do is to partner with Jesus and find people to help you journey through your healing and end the legacy of abuse in your children’s lives.
If your spouse is abusing you, you need to find professional help from a Christian counselor specializing in abuse. They will help you create safe Godly boundaries while you work on your healing.
If you are in danger, even in a Christian marriage, please contact the hotline below right now and create a safe plan to help you leave safely. http://www.thehotline.org/ or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224.
When you’re ready to work through your healing journey, send me a request to notify you when my online course is available. I won’t bombard you with emails. I’ll keep you informed periodically of events, gift giveaways, resources, and online courses to empower you to complete your journey of healing and break free from abuse. Your information will be protected and kept confidential. It won’t be shared or sold.
As a daughter of God, you have the Biblical right and responsibility to ensure the Christ that lives in you is treated with God’s love, respect, and honor from people in your life, especially your husband. Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40 NIV
My life is proof that you can live safe, secure, and loved in the arms of Jesus Christ.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 NIV
Stand with me to end abuse and domestic violence!
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