By Natalie Hoffman
Is It Me? Making Sense of Your Confusing Marriage
A Christian woman’s guide to hidden emotional and spiritual abuse.
One out of three married women sitting in an average conservative Christian church is in a confusing and painful marriage. If this sounds like you, join me on a journey of discovery that will change your life. We’ll look at exactly what is going on in your marriage (no more confusion!) and what a normal marriage looks like.
Available in Paperback, Audible and Kindle Formats
Experience the First Pages
Is This Your Marriage?
Does This Sound Like You?
“Why do concerns I bring up never seem to be resolved? Why do I feel like Charlie Brown, flat on his back from ahving the football snatched away? Why, when I bring up a concern, do I always end up justifying my existence or being the one to apologize? How do things seem to get turned around on me?”
“I knew something was off for years but didn’t know what it was exactly. I knew that we were different—I would hear of other husbands supporting their wives in pursuing their dreams and be absolutely blown away. I would hear of husbands encouraging their wives to go out with friends and not be able to relate at all. I would hear of decisions being made mutually and not understand how that even looked.”
“I feel like I walk on eggshells, and I’m scared of his reactions to grievances I express, so I keep them to myself.”
“Praying, bargaining with God, and submitting more hasn’t ever improved our relationship. But I am stuck here, because if I don’t hold up my end perfectly, I can’t ask him to do anything.”
What Does a Normal Marriage Look Like?
If you grew up in a dysfunctional home, or if you’ve been in an emotionally destructive marriage, you might think what you’ve always experienced is normal. It’s what you’re familiar with, and you may have no reason to believe there could be another way for two married people to relate to one another.
I’ve got news for you. A normal marriage never feels like you’re living in the Twilight Zone. A normal marriage is not confusing. So what does a normal marriage look like?
I believe there are six characteristics of a healthy relationship: mutual love, mutual respect, mutual honesty, mutual vulnerability, mutual responsibility, and mutual submission.
If you’ve been marinating in dysfunction for any length of time, you might be tempted to think that the things I’m sharing in this chapter are descriptive of a fairytale marriage that’s almost non-existent in the real world.
I want to assure you right here at the beginning that this is not the case. This chapter is really and truly a description of a simple and normal marriage relationship, and certainly a Christian one.
The Propaganda Machine
Propaganda is biased information spread within a closed group in order to influence the group to believe or behave in specific ways.
For example, in World War II, Hitler spread propaganda over the course of several years that influenced the German people to buy into his idea that some people were more deserving of life and liberty than others. His propaganda plan was so effective that he was able to murder millions of Jews while his countrymen either helped or looked the other way.
During the Civil War, some Bible-believing white people believed black people were created to be enslaved by whites. It was God’s order of things, so they said, and they believed they had Bible verses like Ephesians 6:5 and Titus 2:9 to back them up. (I can almost hear their battle cry: “It’s BIBLICAL!”)
Just like any tool, propaganda can be used for good or evil. It’s obvious to us now, many years later, that Hitler and the southern slave-owning Christians were pushing their own prejudiced agenda, but what about today? Where do we still see injustice toward a segment of the human race? And who is spreading propaganda related to the subjugation of that segment?
I believe we see propaganda in the conservative, evangelical Christian church. And the target? Women. Misogyny, the prejudice against women, is alive and well in the conservative Christian church.