If only I could be skinny, prettier, smarter or perfect; then my husband would love me and not get mad at me. These phrases repeated in my mind for years. I spent all my energy trying to find ways to fix myself. However, the fixes my abusive ex-husband wanted were impossible. I couldn’t be six-foot-tall, a size zero, or be perfect. These demands kept me spinning around feeling hopeless and powerless most of my thirteen-year abusive marriage. My ex-husband used mental, verbal, and emotional abuse to create “his” unrealistic goals for me to try and achieve. These goals, expectations, and demands were all about keeping and manipulating CONTROL over me, which is abuse!
Don’t let your abusive spouse’s expectations, desires, or demands drive you to try and be perfect or to be something you aren’t. The definition of perfection is to be free from all flaws or defects. My question to you is, why are you allowing your imperfect abusive spouse to determine if you have flaws or defects?
World View of the “Perfect Woman”
The world doesn’t look at a woman’s, morality, character, and heart. Instead of celebrating your unique qualities and gifts, the world demands you to alter your appearance and conform to the woman they’ve deemed “perfect.” The world judges a woman by her looks and sex appeal which devalues her into an object and possession for the abuser’s pleasure. The superficial mentality of the world is also shared and demanded by an abusive husband.
These facts may seem obvious. However, women are often caught in the trap of abuse because they long to have their ultimate needs met—to be loved, to feel valued, to belong, and to have a purpose. The voids they’ve experienced in their life drive them to look for a man to fill these ultimate needs. The manipulation of these voids is a favorite tool of deception for the abuser and the devil. With the new knowledge and understanding you are learning, now you have the power to see the deception of control verses sacrificial love.
God Knows How He Created You
God knows your unawareness, voids, and needs. He knows you’ll make mistakes and sin as you grow up on this broken earth. For this reason, He sent Jesus to earth so he could experience our life challenges, to be our example, and to save us. Jesus never said you must try and be perfect on this earth or in the eyes of other imperfect people. He’s looking for a willing heart to love and follow him. Jesus longs for an intimate relationship with you to help you live in his love, grace, truth, forgiveness, and power on this earth. As you grow together, he’ll empower you to overcome the challenges in your life.
Jesus told us as we come to know him, not just believe in him, we will be transformed by grace into his likeness. Your transformation starts with your decision to be Christ’s disciple and to progressively grow close to him in faith every day. To keep your feet on his path of truth and love you will need to keep scripture in your mind where the enemy is always trying to deceive you.
When people, including your husband, demand you to try and fix yourself to be perfect in their eyes, they’re NOT following God’s truth, love or will. God’s word says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 NIV
If God doesn’t require you to be perfect or something you are not, then it’s not God’s design for your spouse, who professes to love you, to demand perfection from you. You alone have the power to choose what you believe as your truth. Will you believe Jesus, the only perfect person who ever walked the earth, or will you believe your hurtful, abusive imperfect husband? Stand in the priceless value Jesus gave you when he died for you. Ask him to help you when you must face these comments from your abusive husband and put them at the feet of Jesus!
Knowing the Truth of Abuse Gives You Awareness
Once you identify and understand the types and signs of abuse, you’ll see how you’ve been trying to change yourself to stop the pain caused by the demands of your abusive spouse. Your knowledge can help you see your goal to be perfect in your abusive husband’s eyes is merely a coping mechanism. When you recognize you’re trying to fix yourself to win your abusive husband’s approval, attention, or love; stop and take a deep breath. Ask Jesus to help you. Close your eyes and visualize yourself dressed in Christ’s love as he lives in you. The only one who can fill these ultimate inner needs perfectly is Jesus Christ.
Always remember, abuse is about CONTROL. No matter what you say, do, or try to be; you can’t “WIN or EARN” the love of an abusive man. You are only responsible for working with Jesus and being transformed into his likeness, not your abusive husband’s ideas or desires. You were knitted together in your mother’s womb by God himself, out of His love and made in His image. Therefore, your unique looks, talents, and characteristics were personalized for you. God doesn’t make mistakes.
Love is a gift freely given as Jesus models for you, not a demand for perfection. Do not be deceived. Don’t get caught in the spin cycle of confusion, self-doubt, or devaluing yourself by what your abusive husband says. Walk in the confidence of Jesus and ask him to help you let the demands of your imperfect abusive husband go.
You Are Loved
Rise up in the power of Jesus Christ in you. Celebrate the unique person you are and the one you will become in his transforming grace as you choose to go forward on your healing journey with him. Jesus loves you just as you are. He’s excited to walk hand-in-hand with you and help you live in his love, joy, and peace. My life is proof you can find your healing and happiness and be free from the oppression and desire to be perfect in the world’s expectations!
To understand if you are being abused and the complexities of these manipulations, download my FREE Handout: Overcome Your Anxiety, Fear, and Powerlessness in Your Hurtful Relationship! Are You Being Abused?