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The Crazy Things Your Pastor or Bible Counselor Told You to Do In Your Abusive Relationship

The Crazy Things Your Pastor or Bible Counselor Told You to Do In Your Abusive Relationship

I recently asked the following question on my public Flying Free Facebook page:

What’s the craziest thing a pastor, Bible counselor, or church leader told you to do in your abusive relationship?”

The Crazy Things Your Pastor or Bible Counselor Told You to Do In Your Abusive Relationship

Within eight hours there were over 180 comments.

That question struck a nerve.

These women lived out their prime years within prison cells built on these lies. Each lie a thick, unbending iron bar.

I’d like to share a few of the answers here, and then I’m going to tear down some of the most prevalent ones.

The Crazy Things Your Pastor or Bible Counselor Told You to Do In Your Abusive Relationship

“All couples fight.”

“You are not in God’s will.”

“You need to give him more sex.”

“Give your 11 children to the elders to be placed in three different church homes to prove that you’re telling the truth. If you insist on keeping your children, you must be lying about the abuse.”

“You’re not praying hard enough.”

“Do what he wants you to do. Whatever makes him happy.”

“You made a vow. You have to keep it.”

“All marriages are hard.”

“If you leave, you don’t love your children.”

“Are you keeping the house clean enough? Do you cook him good dinners?”

“You had too many babies, so that’s why he abuses you.”

“Back away from your relationship with Jesus. It intimidates your husband. You must decrease so he can increase.”

“IF these things are really going on in your house (and that is a big “IF”) then it’s your responsibility to get him the help he needs.”

“You are slave to Christ and your husband. There is no greater love than to die for your husband. Treat him as if he were God. He stands in the place of God for you.”

“Compliment him more. He is discouraged and just needs to be affirmed by someone who thinks he is good looking.”

“Quit focusing on the bad stuff. Focus on the WINS!”

“Your personality is too strong. You need to be meek in order to let him shine.” (This woman said she tried to be less intelligent, not have opinions, submit, and not use her sense of humor. Basically, become a non-person.)

“He’s not complicated, but you are. You need counseling.”

“You don’t know how good you have it. Be thankful he isn’t worse.”

“The only right you have is to die to yourself.”

“You’re husband had an affair with your sister? You need to initiate sex, then. Because love covers a multitude of sins.”

“Jesus is pleased with your suffering.”

“If your husband is addicted to porn and sleeps with other men and women, it’s because you are frigid and unimaginative. Work on that.”

“Just because your husband recently cheated on you, and you are nine months pregnant, doesn’t give you the right to refuse him sex.”

“Remember the reasons you married him.”

“Your quest for the truth is damaging your marriage. Stop making him feel bad.”

“You’re blowing things out of proportion.”

“You obviously haven’t obeyed him perfectly.”

“Because of Eve, you owe him obedience and loyalty no matter what.”

“Stop expecting a Hollywood romance.”

“When he gets home from having an affair, smile at him.”

“Christian marriage is hell. Accept it.”

“It’s just his sin nature. Give him grace.”

“Stop complaining before something worse happens.”

“He’s not abusive enough for your to divorce him. We can tell.”

“Grow a thicker skin.”

“Forgive without limit. Respect him.”

“You are having problems because you let him have your body before marriage.”

“Study Hosea who married a prostitute and stayed no matter what.”

“Buy a sexy nightie, and he’ll stop sleeping around.”

After attempted murder and a sexual assault, her pastor told her “your situation is a 3 out of 10. Let him move back home or you’ll be held accountable before God for putting a nail in the coffin of your marriage.”

“Repent of your bitterness.”

“Churches are exempt from protective orders, so your husband can be here.”

“Win him without a word.”

“You are obviously mentally ill.”

“He’s not hitting you. What’s the big deal?”

“The word ‘abuse’ is not in the Bible.”

“A man would never treat his wife like this unless she were doing something wrong.”

“If you don’t stay, you have no faith.”

“You aren’t a Christian.”

“God will kill your child if you leave.”

“You don’t know what your name is. You are ______’s wife. You have no name.”


The following is a lesson I wrote within the Flying Free Sisterhood as part of the new course: Recovering from C-PTSD.

If you’ve hung out with me very long, you know that I believe the root cause of abuse in the home and in the church is misogyny. The dehumanization of women. And I believe culture—and especially RELIGIOUS culture—perpetuates that attitude toward women by brainwashing people with subtle, twisted truths. You can see how this works by looking at that list above. For every comment above, there are thousands and thousands more who could say they heard the same thing.

In general, girls are raised to believe they need to be quiet. Domestic. Agreeable. Supportive. Submissive. Peace-keepers.

To express an opinion that differs from a man in the room is automatically labeled as rebellious. Divisive. Uncooperative. Bitchy.

This creates the perfect environment for abuse. A woman is treated “less than,” and if she protests even in the most humble way, she is immediately shamed for protesting. There is an unspoken law. Thou shalt not protest your discomfort when you are mistreated, lied to, and dehumanized. If you are a woman. A man is seen as strong and assertive if he stands up for himself, so he doesn’t have to swim against a tide of hatred and suspicion.

We can’t change society. We can’t change the religious environment that encourages this kind of insane treatment. But we CAN advocate for ourselves by kicking out a few of the pervasive lies we were brainwashed with for most of our lives. We CAN walk away from lies and the people who tell them in order to find sanity and peace with those who believe in treating all members of the human race with equality and respect.

You know, like Jesus did.

I’ve pulled some of the following concepts from the book Healing the Trauma of Domestic Violence. They’ve condensed many of the lies we’ve been taught into a few big ones. Most of the other lies are simply variations of these.

1. You made your bed, and now you’ll have to lie in it.

It’s a common cliche that isn’t rooted in reality. Consider another one: “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Really? What about “Out of sight, out of mind?” See how these kinds of cliches make no sense when it comes to real life? They are just societal truisms, and you can almost always find another one that contradicts the first one. We say them when we don’t want to actually use our brains, and we’re just itching to say the first thing that pops into our heads.

So what does it mean – that if you make your bed, you have to lie in it? It means you can’t ever change your mind.

Is that true? Are human beings not allowed to change their minds? Let’s say a mother is going to send her child to a camp, but then she finds out one of the class bullies who has been tormenting her child during the school year is going to be there. So she can’t change her mind?

Let’s say a general lays out a battle plan based on the intelligence he was given that morning. But later in the day, he receives new intelligence indicating that his first battle plan would be ill advised. Does this mean he can’t change his mind? Seriously?

No, this is a dorky lie for cartoon characters. You, a real human being, CAN change your mind. And sometimes changing your mind is the wisest thing to do. A woman who marries an abusive person now has new information. She can make a different decision based on that new information. She can change her mind.

She made her bed, but guess what? She can leave and make a new bed. And she gets to choose to lie in the bed that is safest for her.

2. Marriage is forever.

Um, no. A marriage is a covenant/contract between two people. Contracts or “covenant” vows can be broken by one person. Once they are broken, the entire thing is null and void. A divorce provides legal protection for the victim of a broken contract or covenant. And just in case you’ve heard that there is a difference between “covenant” and “contract” (a contract has to be kept by both partners, but a covenant [marriage covenant, for example] can be broken by one and must still be kept by the other), here is another perspective:

As originally written, there was no distinction between “covenant” and “contract.” There is only one word for both and there is no reason to believe that this word represented more than one type of agreement. This applies not only to the OT use of the term “covenant” but also to its use in the NT and beyond into the Church Fathers. Throughout this period, the term “covenant” meant a contract that could be broken if either side reneged on their half of the agreement.

In the New Testament and beyond, there was also a second, entirely separate meaning of “covenant” as the “New Covenant” (i.e., New Testament). This developed alongside the traditional meaning of covenant as contract.

The theological meaning of “covenant” is an agreement that a faithful person would not break even if the partner to whom that person is in covenant breaks the stipulations of the covenant. This new meaning of “covenant” is based on the covenantal relationship between God and his people in the later prophets and the New Testament. In the later prophets, God promised that he would keep his side of the agreement whether or not his people kept theirs. God would be faithful even if his people were faithless. This irrevocable covenant was portrayed in Ezekiel 36-37 and Jeremiah 31 as a “new covenant.” This is different to every other type of covenant found in the ancient Near East or in the Old Testament. It is this difference that made the “new covenant” so special.

Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible: The Social and Literary Context, by David Instone-Brewer

If your business contracted with another business for goods and services, and the other business didn’t come through with their end of the bargain, does that mean you have to pay them? Of course not. That’s ridiculous. A contract/covenant requires two sides keeping their end of the bargain. Period.

Women who are mistreated have absolutely no obligation to provide goods and services to their abusers who have broken their vows to love and cherish by neglecting and dehumanizing them. They are free to go.

God set precedence for this reality when He divorced Israel for not keeping covenant with Him.

3. Poor, poor abuser. He can’t help himself because he needs you for sex, so you should stay.

There are two people involved in this relationship. You and him. When you stay because you feel sorry for him, you are throwing yourself under the bus in order to protect an abusive person who willfully chooses to mistreat you.

He certainly isn’t feeling sorry for you. He’s feeling sorry for him, and he expects you to feel sorry for him too, because it’s all about him. You are a nothing to him.

Are you a nothing to yourself? You certainly aren’t a nothing to God. How does God view both of you? He loves both of you, but one of you is choosing to be selfish and destructive. Is it in the destructive person’s best interest for everyone to feel sorry for him and enable him to continue to mistreat other human beings?

Is it in his best interest to teach him that he isn’t responsible for his life? That others will mother him and slave for him simply because he was born with a penis?

You are not responsible for his well-being. For his choices. For his behavior. For the consequences he faces because he refuses to get help and transform.

You are responsible for you. God gave YOU your body, mind, and spirit. He won’t hold you accountable for anyone else’s life. Just your own. So let your partner take responsibility for his life, and you take responsibility for yours.

Feeling sorry for him is a horrible reason for staying.

4. He said he was sorry, so I need to give him a fresh start.

We hear this in religious circles quite often. “Forgive and forget.” “Turn the other cheek.” “Love covers up a multitude of sins.”

But here’s the thing. Just because someone says they are sorry doesn’t mean you have to be with them anymore. Abusive men know that their victims will buy their words and look the other way when their actions don’t measure up.

It’s ACTIONS, not words, that tell the true story. Apologies mean nothing. Anyone can say, “I’m sorry.” Big hairy deal.

And even if a chronically abusive man really did change (almost never, ever happens), you still don’t need to go back to him. Losing a wife and family is a natural consequence when you abuse a wife and family. A truly changed man will accept the consequences, give you an amazing divorce, and then work to make amends.

By the way, I’ve never seen an abuser give his wife an amazing divorce. What I HAVE seen is horrible, vengeful behavior when he realized his victim was no longer buying his “I’m sorry” theatricals.

5. If you try harder at doing all the right things, or if you say things the right way, he will change and you’ll save the marriage.

Abusive men can’t have a healthy intimate relationship with ANYONE. They can have surface, transactional relationships. But not intimate relationships. So it doesn’t matter what you do or say or how hard you try. It wouldn’t matter if you were Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, Himself. You can’t change an abuser. Ever. You can’t save a marriage when one of the players isn’t playing.

So you haven’t failed. You’ve just been thrown into a game you’ll never win. It’s fixed. And it’s not your fault.

How about putting all that energy and focus into trying harder to be free of him? Trying harder to advocate for yourself and your kids? Trying harder to see the truth instead of falling back into the pretty little lies that feel familiar?

Save your energy for YOU.

6. It’s your responsibility to make the marriage work.

This one is similar to number five. Consider this:

If two people are in a rowboat and each one has an oar, they both have to row to make the boat move forward. If only one person rows the boat, the boat will go around in circles and not get anywhere. Hearing this set of statements, one of our clients said, “I would just row harder.” to which her therapist responded, “Then I guess you would go around in circles faster.”

Healing the Trauma of Domestic Violence by Dr. Edward Kubany

Or consider this: let’s say you and your partner bought a new house, and it needed some repairs. Your partner refused to do anything to see that the repairs were made. So you took matters into your own hands and started looking up YouTube videos in order to begin making some of the repairs yourself. But every time you’d start working on a project, your partner would come behind you and take away your tools and smack the thing that needed repair, doing even greater damage.

Are you responsible? Of course not.

Nor are you responsible for building a marriage when you’re tied to a marriage wrecker.

I was told many horrible things about what a rotten wife and Christian I was. Interestingly enough, I’m quite successful at my “wife” job in my new marriage. And it has nothing to do with my “wife” job. It has everything to do with the fact that in my new marriage, there are two of us working to make it amazing. (And it’s not even work! It’s sheer pleasure!)

7. Children need a father, therefore, you need to stay or go back. Or – children need an intact family, so you have to make this marriage work.

But do children need an abusive father who is a bad role model? Do they need a mother who is daily struggling with survival and symptoms of C-PTSD? Or would it be better if they had a peaceful single parent home with an emotionally healthy mother?

It’s true that the ideal family situation is a two parent home with two healthy, committed, involved, empathic parents who love one another. But that’s not what you’ve got in an abusive home. So THAT kind of “intact” family really isn’t an intact family at all. It’s a toxic family that is PRETENDING to be healthy. And THAT, dear lady, is one of the worst kinds of environments to grow up in.

The underlying psych issues children deal with as they grow into adulthood after coming out of homes like this are profound. And the chronic cover-up leaves them with zero skills for dealing with reality. They often suffer in their own relationships and personal lives for years until they finally get to the end of their rope and reach out for professional help to unravel the mess.

Now it’s your turn. In the comments section, pick one of the “wise” things a religious person told an abuse survivor to do (above list) and give an alternative response. What would you say to that same survivor to help her see the truth and be set free?

Flying Free Sisterhood

An online coaching, education, and support community for women of faith in destructive relationships.

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The Comments

  • Avatar
    September 3, 2019

    Oh my.. ‘Back away from your relationship with Jesus…’

    Paradoxically, I have been adviced by some guy that in order to find a husband, I need to be less about Jesus and ‘religion’, so I won’t scare the poor men off… lol.
    Thankfully, I haven’t been able to find a man who’s willing to tolerate me and my spirituality – yet. Which means, I’ll take Jesus over any guy, any day..

    • Avatar
      → NGal
      October 26, 2021

      It’s such a bummer that we ended up with a Christian marriage counselor that espoused all of these notions. It was three more years of abuse, just at the hands of a trained professional. Physical, psychological, emotional and financial abuse got me an “I feel bad for you that he doesn’t want to change, but you have to go back to your marriage.”

      • Avatar
        → Emily
        December 4, 2023

        Geesh!! I am struggling so hard and so confused presently. My 18 year marriage has been systematically destroyed by my husband. I want out! I fantasized about leaving for years and then would feel guilty. I have hated myself for far too long.

        I feel trapped and that if I leave I am out of God’s will.

        A couple weeks ago I was feeling tired and tired of his unsolicited advice about how to do my job at work. I finally just said you don’t know what you’re talking about at which point he proceeded to tell me to go F myself.

        I’ve become so checked out emotionally. It didn’t even bother me anymore. I have zero trust and zero respect for this man.

        I recently just flat out asked him if he’s cheated on me and he said “just about.” I don’t even care what that means or care to know any of the details at this point. I’m done.

        I recently went to see a woman I felt I could trust in leader ship at the church. I’m currently attending. I showed her all my cards and shared with her exactly how I was feeling, even that I had taken my wedding ring off.

        Her advice to me? I’m too controlling and that’s witchcraft.

    • Avatar
      Arno Dyck
      → NGal
      October 26, 2021

      Very refreshing perspective. Keeping you from the bumbs. Any man you scare off with Jesus needs to be

  • Avatar
    L c S
    January 17, 2019

    Amazing, but I converted to Catholicism because we were raising our children that way, but at the time we were on the outs. He was a drug and alcohol abuser, did horrible things to me, made my life hell. My priest called me in for a meeting. A couple friends had reached out to him saying I was being abused. He told me I did not have a marriage and encouraged me to leave, offering any help I needed. 5 years later when I remarried an incredible man, he came to our wedding with blessings.

  • Avatar
    June 29, 2018

    “Churches are exempt from protective orders, so your husband can be here.”

    Um no, not necessarily. And, if you’re breaking the law by allowing him to violate his protective order, you’re rebelling against God according to Romans 13.

    “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.” -Romans 13:1-5

    That being said, I’d probably just find a new church for my own safety and sanity.

  • Avatar
    Natalie Barr
    June 17, 2018

    I would say, “God does not love the institution of marriage more than the hurting woman in the marriage. God has NEVER called anyone to victimization in relationship. That is not the testimony God wants for his daughters…how we survived marriage abuse in God’s name…NO!”

  • Avatar
    June 17, 2018

    Natalie, You are doing such an important job here! Keep going, my sister!! <3 love you. 😀

  • Avatar
    June 15, 2018

    I went to my pastor and told him I was leaving my husband. I gave details why and he said all 5 of the pastors had delt with him and come to him asking what tjey should do ti help him, that they jad tried everything. My pastor told me the nravest thing I could ever do was to separate and he said he was proud of me standing up and leaving.

  • Avatar
    June 14, 2018

    It was hard to read this. I was told by my pastor, after I kept telling him how my h is so mean all the time, he said, “Why do you think you deserve better? Jesus died for you as a sinner. You have no rights.” It was devastating AND a wake up call.

  • Avatar
    June 13, 2018

    The one that grips me to tears is the church taking my 8 children and saying that that I was unfit,unwell, and that they should never let me alone with my 13 grandchildren and even convinced 4 of them to come to court after their father had been caught uttering death threat against his wife, me, in a public restaurant., When I had to appear in the courtroom and see my “Pastor and associate pastor” of 27 years sitting in the witness bench, My heart almost stopped and I felt like throwing up. Really? Would Jesus treat the wounded, broken loved one in this manner? The hypocrisy and Phariseeismm is totally disgusting to the name of God church. Slow recovery for me

  • Avatar
    June 13, 2018

    I believed marriage was forever and coming from a divorced home, if I ever got married i didn’t want that for my children. I just recalled a saying that my abuser would always say to me, “if two people say they love Jesus Christ then divorce is an impossibility.” Well, after having my eyes opened to the truth over the past two years and understanding that I have been abused over the past 28 years and seeing his behaviors, he is a fraud. He has now abandoned our family and is telling everyone this is what I wanted. What I wanted was a healthy relationship, friendship, companionship, intimate relationship with a Godly man. Not a relationship with someone who blamed everything on me and demanded respect and attention at all times. I would say to anyone, know your worth, keep your voice, know the red flags and know who you are in Christ. You are far more important and NO man should ever make you feel less than. Be empowered and stand up for yourself. DON’T be afraid to speak up and out. Don’t believe the lie that God hates divorce. Christ came to set the captive free and in no way would he want us to live in such bondage that he came to die for. Greater is HE!

  • Avatar
    June 12, 2018

    My pastor (Doug Wilson) told me “It looks like it is your path as a godly woman to take the kids and leave your husband, and stand up for the dignity God gave you. I will not tell you how or when, you need to make that decision yourself, but I want you to keep me updated daily how it’s going.”

    And another pastor wrote, “After meeting your husband, I believe you did the right thing in removing yourself and the kids from the situation. You are not crazy! You are not an idiot!” (referring to the things my husband apparently said.)

  • Avatar
    Molly Broderick
    June 12, 2018

    My abuser WAS my pastor. I was married to an abusive pastor for 18 years. I heard almost all of this crap. Thank God for me and my kids that I’m out now and have been for 7 years. And now I am helping others stuck in the same lie. Thank you for this! i just sent it to a friend who confided abuse to me yesterday.

    • Natalie Hoffman
      Natalie Hoffman
      → Molly Broderick
      June 12, 2018

      As horrible as it is to get out of an abusive relationship, it’s double the trouble when the abuser is a pastor. I’m so glad you got out and can help others now! Your testimony an the hope it gives is much needed.

    • Avatar
      → Molly Broderick
      September 23, 2018

      My husband was a preacher. He’s still invited to speak at various congregations. He was well-liked and respected in our Christian community. At the time of the abuse which is still ongoing owing to the fact that we have a disabled son, he is still part of my life – he is now mentally and emotionally abusing me.
      I’m being punished for walking out of the marriage and exposing him for the hypocrite that he is. He said he had an image to maintain and I had ruined it.

      These are some of the abuse I suffered at the hand of my preacher husband.
      Sexual abuse; rape, Mental and emotional abuse. He regularly said to me that I’m stubborn and need a good beating. My mother abandoned me – at 3 days old. At this point in my life, her whereabouts are unknown to me. His exact words -” don’t you think it’s time you stop this nonsense, you are being petty – he thinks I owe my mother something because she didn’t abort me. “He said the bible said the man is the head of the woman as Christ is the head of the church and he has a piece of paper to prove that my body belongs to him and he can do whatever he wants with it.
      He approached my twin sister for sex. Told me he never loved me he only married me because I was a Christian and his first love wasn’t. This was another woman, not my twin sister. For the 20 years we were together, he talked about her and how much he wanted to be with this other woman.
      On numerous occasions, I went to the church for help. I was never supported. I sense there was a type of enabling that was taking place. It’s ironic – I wasn’t able to see it at the time I need help. I was been abused by a man and I was turning to the men in the church for help. I also felt the women were brainwashed. I was told if I want to be forgiven by God then I need to forgive him.
      I was told on one occasion. “Go home to your husband.” I was heavily pregnant at the time and he was still using me sexually. He was in love with one of the women in the church – I believe the feeling was reciprocated – he suggested a wife swap. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
      At the present moment, I feel traumatized and – lost. I’m now rediscovering who I am. I am hesitating to use the term – “wasted years-” Because I have learned and I have grown through the experience of a man who had to use the church to destroy his own family but as far as the church is concern – “he is a very nice man.”

      I was also told not to judge because we’ve all done something wrong or, “let’s not judge.”

  • Avatar
    Tamar Pundys
    June 12, 2018

    “Love covers a multitude of sins.”
    First off: God’s love and grace & Christ’s work on Calvary’s cover our sins-all of them. In fact the study no aren’t covered, they are REMOVED as far as the East is from the West. I am not God; my love doesn’t do the “covering.”

    Secondly, covering sin/abuse (in the name of love or for any other reason) is actually shame based covering , and that just feeds the shame. Uncovering the sin/abuse and putting it in the Light is what kills the shame-based lies.

  • Avatar
    Invisible girl
    June 12, 2018

    After 29 years of marriage, after explaining to my pastor of 10 years I wanted a 1-2 year separation because of the emotional abuse I had endured. His “prescription” was, you can have 30 days we will call it a sabbatical and you will come in for couples counseling in 21 days and after that you will be restored to the marital home” Just like that almost magical….

  • Avatar
    June 12, 2018

    I just hold on to the answer for #7! Told my kids one week ago that we are getting divorced. Their dad pretends nothing has changed. Living in a hard but acknowledged reality must be healthier for kids than pretending..

  • Avatar
    June 11, 2018

    This really struck a nerve with me..I couldn’t believe the awful things I read. My own pastor told me that he couldn’t help me because my husband would probably assume that he and I had something going on…He is over 70 and I am in my 40s. He wasn’t being dishonest because my husband is horribly jealous and he had witnessed the abuse first hand, but he wouldn’t stand up for me either. No one would. They would just cower in embarrassment in public while my husband lashed out at me at Sunday dinners in public at restaurants. They would say I just don’t see how you take it…the abuse. They didn’t want to get involved. I left 11 months ago and feel as lost as I did the week I left. One week I’m the greatest thing ever..the next I am treated like a rug. It never ends…does it?

  • Avatar
    Lisa Ash
    June 11, 2018

    A wise Christian told me that God loves me more than my marriage and that I was worth saving, God loved me too much to want me in an abusive marriage where there was no hope for change. They also said they wanted to see me happy with someone that could truly love me as God intended.

    • Avatar
      → Lisa Ash
      June 11, 2018

      You are so right! Thanks for sharing this. When I said our vows at our wedding it never mentioned abuse. I never vowed to be abused in any way. God Bless You!

      • Avatar
        → Jenny
        June 13, 2018

        Had I known what I know, I never would have said “I Do” as the abuse in the marriage was highly disguised that all appeared normal on the outside, but I know before I said it that something was really wrong. Listen to you inner self before.

  • Avatar
    June 11, 2018

    I can’t tell you just how GREAT this was to read!! Common sense!! Speaks volumes!!

  • Avatar
    Sonya Williams
    June 11, 2018

    This so struck a cord with me. I remember coming home to an empty farm. My ex left and the church immediately went to his side. They didn’t know he had encouraged me to go on the trip. Then, when I went for counseling at my church of 23 years, I was told that I would not be counseled. I would be prayed for and I needed to change. Not the deceiving man, but I needed to change. I stood in shock at this man who was supposed to be a man of God and pastor. I was totally confused as to why I was to change.

    • Avatar
      → Sonya Williams
      June 13, 2018

      Yes, you are soooo not alone, dear sister, only difference is The farm is still with the man, the church and the children and grands. I am abandoned and shunned before I would no longer conform to their abusive manipulation anymore, supporting a man suffering with mental illness, which was never diagonised or treated and the abuse was never in the light for others to see. A very difficult road to go, however, with God on my side, He is giving guidance to TRUTH of Himself, not religion.

  • Avatar
    Shandler Dada
    June 11, 2018

    Hurry up and grab a bucket! This girl is on fire! Natalie, you are a threat to the kingdom of darkness. You’re words are like swords tearing through metal. Each time, I receive a post, I find more strength to continue overcoming my trauma.

    • Natalie Hoffman
      Natalie Hoffman
      → Shandler Dada
      June 11, 2018

      Awesome! I’m getting hate mail, so I know I’m on the right track. Lol. Keep fighting for your freedom, Shandler. God is on your side.

    • Avatar
      Carolyn Decker
      → Shandler Dada
      June 11, 2018

      Agree!!! Oh I wish we coul have a face to face conference !! You are fighting for all of us Natalie. Thank you.

    • Avatar
      Carolyn Decker
      → Shandler Dada
      June 11, 2018

      When i finally told A pastor at our church what I realized was going on in my marriage. First he didn’t respond for almost a week after I basically dropped a bombshell ( at least to me it was but not to him bc it just wasn’t this big of a deal to him). Then when we met he compared me to a woman he had met with who was “emotionally unstable “ even though he’d known me for 15 years very closely since my husband is a fellow pastor with him and his kids were in our youth group and he had known this other woman a year maybe. Then he told me that he was concerned for 1 the reputation of the church 2 my husbands vocation and 3. My husbands reputation. So a different response I would wish for someone going through what I did would be 1. Email you back immediately and tell you how sorry he was for what’s been going on and ask if You are ok. 2. He would Be concerned for and ask about your physical emotional and spiritual safety 3 he would be concerned for and ask about your children’s emotional physical and spiritual safety and 4. He would have cried in sadness and anger at the damage that a person he thought he knew had caused to a precious woman in his church who he loved and who he Lord loves.
      Oh I wish we coul have a face to face conference !! You are fighting for all of us Natalie. Thank you.