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

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Episode 64 – How to Respond to Emotional Abuse Tactics

by | Apr 29, 2020 | Boundaries, Emotional Abuse, Listener Questions, The Flying Free Podcast | 11 comments

Emotional abuse tactics leave a target feeling confused and powerless. Learn strategies to help you recognize the tactics when they happen and respond from a place of clarity and power.

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  1. Amy Jo

    Well….right after I listened to this podcast, a conflict happened between my h and I. I did just as you guys said, “I hear your opinion and I understand how you feel. I too have an opinion about it and I am respectful disagreeing”. And I left the room to go make dinner. He was angry and started following me wanting an argument really. I calmly told him that “ I deserve the same respect i just gave you, so kindly get out of my space, thank you”.
    I then proceeded to go make brownies ❤️.

    • Natalie Hoffman

      Lol – that’s awesome, Amy Jo! Way to show up!

  2. Juliana

    My husband has been doing the same thing with the crying and begging now that I’ve woken up to so many of these problems. I’m grateful to hear another woman’s story of the same thing bc I’ve been very conflicted and feeling terrible that I’m causing this pain for him. I’m still struggling but hearing your story helps me. Thank you.

    • Natalie Hoffman

      Pain is part of the human experience. You are not responsible for the resultant pain in your husband’s life when you get to be uniquely YOU! If that causes him pain – then he needs professional help.

      • Cath Eyers

        Thank you. Fabulous response. I need that imprinted on my brain

  3. Christi

    This is an absolutely wonderful and informative podcast. Thank you ladies for sharing your lives with us, especially Natalie for all your work for us.

    I love Natalie’s final statement that this is absolutely abusive and cruel and a breaking of the wedding vows. As I am just starting my exit, I need the reinforcement.

  4. Heather

    Thank you so much for sharing! I have heard Natalie and Rachel’s story and they have helped me so so much! I hope to hear more of Rebecca’s soon! The nuances she shared and how she responded were very helpful to me! Also how she shared that her husband now has conversations with her – He wants to hear her heart instead of an abuser that stonewalls, is indifferent, dismissive etc… and went around lying about her. I hope to hear more! Thank you for being there for all of us living this!

  5. Christel Salazar

    I’m having a hard time understanding how one of the speakers doesn’t think the abusers behavior isn’t of a NARC.
    I’m also having a hard time in the abuse survivor community of believers, that don’t see how this is spiritual warfare. Some call it the Jezebel spirit. It’s IN the churches. We can no longer go to “church” to find support. They are facilitating “narcissism “ because “narcissism” (evil spirits) are preaching in their so called pulpits.

    • Natalie Hoffman

      There are many different types of personality disorders that cause abusive behavior. Narcissism is just one.

    • Debby

      Chrystal Salazar, I and many survivors in this group, are women of faith who have spent YEARS “praying” about their abusers treatment of them and their children, crying out to God for relief, with no relief coming. It IS spiritual warfare, but in my experience, we have been taught to pray as a way of keeping us from taking practical steps that will help resolve the abuse. Paul prayed, a LOT. But he also plotted his escape and demanded his day in Roman court. Jesus did pray, a LOT, but He didn’t just always pray. He ACTED. He faced hypocrite, He called them out, He RAN, He HID, He turned over tables. He didn’t just pray. And when we see Him praying (as in the garden of Gethsemane) He was praying for strength for Himself to face the trial, not just hoping it would all go away. For me, seeing posts about “praying” and “spiritual warfare” reminds me of all the times that’s ALL I thought I could do and it left me hopeless, and still abused, and skewed my view of a God who wouldn’t rescue me. It’s not that we don’t BELIEVE it’s “spiritual warfare” it’s that we don’t believe that it looks the way we have been taught. Spiritual warfare looks more like praying for protection as I set boundaries or call a helpline or contact a lawyer or pack my bags. I don’t need one more person telling me to “pray against demons.” I need someone to tell me it’s ok to take practical action to remove myself from their clutches.

      • Judy

        Well said, Debby. I stayed 37 years, hoping, praying and believing that God would yet bring healing……..until I couldn’t any more.
        The Verbally Abusive Relationship is such a great eye opening book. Quite different than I imagined it would be but SO revealing and helpful.
        Thanks for sharing your experiences with us ladies! So helpful!


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