Helping women of faith find hope and healing after emotional and spiritual abuse

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Episode 43 – When Abusers Demand Reconciliation

by | Nov 25, 2019 | Boundaries, Flying Free Podcast, Learn with Natalie, Learning | 7 comments

Abusive people almost always demand reconciliation with their victims. Why is that? What is their motivation? And do victims owe their abusers trust and relationship after having prior trust and relationship violated over and over again?

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  1. Unhappily Ever After

    Dear Natalie,

    I’ve been waiting for your book to go on sale (I’m on an extremely tight budget) so you can bet I clicked that link super fast!

    Your podcast resonates with me, because recently I’ve been in this situation not with any authority figure, but with my husband. From ugly name-calling and emotional arm twisting, my husband has switched to being super duper nice.

    So what changed? I’m not naive enough to think he did. Recently a lovely woman told me, “I think my husband is no longer emotionally abusive because I don’t put up with this kind of crap anymore and I’m the breadwinner now”. I told her, it’s like saying your husband isn’t an alcoholic anymore because you took away the key to the liquor cabinet.

    But what will he do if those bottles are staring him in the face?

    Essentially, this is what happens here. I have a job and my husband doesn’t. We live in a house that belongs to my family, not to him. I manage my bank account. Legally, it would be extremely easy for me to kick him out. I have asserted this and his attempts at lording over me have failed. He knows that and is trying to be on his best behavior.

    And I kind of despise this. I don’t trust it one bit. I have seen who he is and what he is long enough to know that I’m safe around him only as long as I’m strong. I keep writing things down to remind myself of this, because life has been so much nicer lately and it’s hard to keep checking myself and telling myself, “Hey, girl. You’ve seen the real deal. You saw how he behaved when you depended on him.”

    And that’s what he is and I see no signs of INNER change.

    • Natalie Hoffman

      Nobody can change another person. And survivors don’t “put up with crap.” We each have our own ways of dealing with it. Some survivors can’t confront their abusers because they will be punished in severe ways. I remember someone close to me saying the same thing, “Well, if I were in your shoes, I would NEVER put up with that.” Which only told me that she had never been in my shoes before. She didn’t understand the abuse dynamic at all.

      I hope you benefit from my book – thank you for your comment here! (((HUGS)))

      • Unhappily Ever After

        I just finished your book last night and it is such a treasure! Someday, when I’m no longer afraid of him finding it, I will buy a paperback copy.
        I was nodding throughout it all, and now I am able to answer the question of Is It Me? With Yes, it’s definitely me. Unfortunately.
        I actually gaped when I reached the part about the woman drowning her pain in homeschooling, gardening, raising chickens and knitting. It was so me it felt like you’ve been a fly on my wall.

        • Natalie Hoffman

          It’s tragic that there are so many of us – and we all have basically the same story. At least we are not alone. I see you there in your your garden. I see your heart and soul.

  2. Amy

    Why do abusive people demand reconciliation? I think it is in order to continue to shove what they did under the rug. If you’re “reconciled” then there is no need to speak of it anymore. And they sure don’t want it spoken about. It lets them off the hook which is their only concern.

  3. Debby

    Demanding reconciliation is a SURE sign the heart has not humbled enough to trust.


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