Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft

*Notes: I know this book polarizes people.  If you found this site because you love this book and you hate my critique of it, please don’t comment about how I must be an abusive man myself or that I am a woman who hates women.  There is enough of that on Amazon.com.  If you go there you will find many reviews of the book and in the comment section of the one star reviews is where you will find those kind of responses.  So all readers, if you are interested,  go there because you aren’t going to find that kind of nonsense here.
Second note, I do know there is abuse out there.  I do recommend leaving during physical abuse and even sometimes with verbal abuse (with the hope of reconciliation).  But bad communication skills are not abuse.
Fourth note, I tried not to get too personal.  I didn’t go into great detail because I don’t want to on the world wide web!
Fifth note, I have not read all of the book because…. (Update: by the time I had written this post, I had read most of the book – minus a page here and there.  As I have stated in the comments section, nothing in my review changed.) 

Head Explosion!!!

That is the way my family members felt when we tried to read, Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft.  This is a book my GCM sister read and loved.   This book was recommended to my sister by people on GCM.  It too has a cult-like following.  If you disagree with it and you are a man, it is because you are an abuser.  If you are a woman and hate the book it is because you have a low view of women (see my notes above about Amazon).

My sister wanted my parents to read it.  They tried.  My mom made the suggestion that all men should put duct tape over their mouths so they wouldn’t be accused of abuse.  My parents, my other sibling and myself, which makes a total of four of us, tried to read it.  None of us could make it the whole way through the book!

First of all, where are the footnotes?  As I was reading I kept wondering where Mr. Bancroft got his information.  Where are the footnotes for the studies he mentioned (page 26 for one example)?  How did he know what was myth and what was reality?  In a book like this you would think there would be footnotes!  Most often he based everything on his experience instead of any scientific study.  So wives who read this please keep in mind this is one man’s opinions and might not reflect reality.

My family got the impression that Mr. Bancroft believes only men are abusers (although he does state that women can be abusers, the reader is still left with that impression nonetheless).  He doesn’t know my sister!  While reading this book, my other family members could see my GCM sister in the abuser role.  We could easily sub he for she and she for he and so much of it fit their situation.  She was manipulative  and very controlling (especially through the separation and divorce).  Neither were very nice to the other during their entire marriage.  I would rather call them both sinners than abusers.  But if she wants to call him an abuser, I would have to call her one too.  She fits Mr. Bancroft’s descriptions of an abuser just as much as my brother-in-law.

The saddest part of this book is that it ruins families (the GCM website is not the only destructive thing in my sister’s life; however, it is where it started).  A Christian knows that salvation is not possible with man, but possible with God.  God works miracles in  the hearts of those who repent and put their trust in Christ.  But according to Bancroft, once an abuser always an abuser (of course his definition of abuse is anything that makes the woman upset! Why do I say this?  Page after page describes the different kinds of abusers.  By the time you get done any man will fit the abuser profile!  Actually, any woman too.  I know my sister fit at least 2 abuser profiles really well).  He will state that a man can change but quickly pulls that hope back from the reader.

Overall the woman is going to be left with little hope after reading this book.  “My experience with abusive men is that small or even medium-level improvements generally slip away over time…”  “Sometimes when a woman reports to me that her abusive partner has been doing better, it turns out that he hasn’t been doing anything at all.  He isn’t swearing at her or scaring her, but he also isn’t spending time with her, talking to her, or showing her any affection. (page 349).”  So not talking to your wife is abuse, gentlemen!  You better always show her affection, but not too much because then she will think all you want is one thing and that is abusive too!  Mr. Bancroft even says that the “abuser” may wait two years before he starts testing you.  So even though he is perfect for two years and starts to act in a way you don’t like after TWO years, it is him clearly being abusive?  It couldn’t possibly be that he is a sinner doing what a sinner does?  Where is the grace?  I can say with 100% confidence that the wife is not perfect either.   How can I say such a thing?  Because ALL humans sin!  We must do what Christ did: FORGIVE!  After two years your spouse does something you don’t like, it is not abuse!  No person can live up to the expectations in this book.  Nobody but Jesus is perfect!

This book should not be treated in high regards by any Christian.  It is dangerous in the wrong hands.  It leads to destruction instead of reconciliation.  It is very possible for a woman who is unhappy in her marriage to come away from this book thinking she is abused when in reality she just isn’t happy with her marriage.  Another reason a Christian should not read this book for marital advice; on page 87 Lundy says, “You may be sorely tempted to have a secret affair, since your partner shows you so little kindness or tenderness.  A positive sexual connection may be especially affirming to you, because of how sexually degrading the Drill Sergeant tends to be.  But cheating on him can be deadly if he catches you.  Consider holding off on seeing other men until you have gotten yourself safe.”  Does that sound like what a Christian should be doing?  If a Christian women is reading this book and already is getting the impression she is abused and she is in a low mental state, she may actually think it is important that she have a positive sexual connection – which of course would be adultery.  Where is the focus for the woman?  On having a satisfying sexual encounter.  Where should a Christian woman’s focus be?  On Christ.  On how to handle trials in a way that will be pleasing to Him amd not necessarily to self.

What does this book scream to people who know both the husband and wife well? Women are to be in control of EVERYTHING.  It makes a controlling woman even more controlling and if you don’t like it then you will be labeled as an abuser.  There is very little grace or forgiveness for a husband.

This book makes a woman paranoid.  My sister started to see abuse in everything my brother-in-law did and wrote (of course the GCM people encouraged that because that is what they do.  If you can’t see abuse they will help you find it!  Nice of them isn’t it?).  She would share e-mails with me from him and the only thing I saw is confusion on his part.  She didn’t want to hear that though.  She tried to twist things around.  She wanted to see abuse.  Her GCM friends already told her she was abused so obviously everything he did was abusive.

Again, as I have stated in a previous post, I want to emphasize to all readers: DO NOT GO TO GCM FORUMS WITH YOUR MARITAL PROBLEMS!!!!!  They will tell you, based on Mr. Bancroft’s book, that if you don’t support her 100% (and this means that if you say anything nice about the husband or if you say she has faults too) then she will be unable to talk to you because “you don’t understand” – the book says so (page 369).  You too will be cut out of her life for as long as she is in this cult-like place.

If you are unhappy in your marriage, http://www.rickthomas.net/ would be a great resource to start with.  I have been impressed with the articles I have read on this site.  Mr. Thomas is Christ centered in everything and that is hard to find in counseling!  They do have a recommended book list for marriage here.  I have not read any of them though.  If you think you are abused, they would be a great resource to start with.  They should be able to point you in the right direction.


51 responses to “Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft

  1. All abusive behaviour is sinful. A book that helps identify what sins might be present in a marriage is not a harmful thing. Sin ought to be exposed to the light, repented of, and healed in the context of any Christian relationship, including marriages.

    Every Christian should be free to say to their spouse, “When you did/said xyz you sinned against me, and I want you to stop.” A Christian responds to a confrontation like that with grief, prayer, repentance and a strong desire to overcome whatever issue their spouse has identified.

    This book helps spouses know that they do not deserve to be treated sinfully, and that they have the power to choose separation due to physical, verbal, emotional, financial or spiritual abuse. Christian separation says, “When you can show the fruit of repentance, I will consider rebuilding a relationship with you.” (And, as I have mentioned before, the first fruit of repentance from abusive sin is respect, including respect for the separation.)

    Abuse is not a checklist of isolated behaviors. It is a pattern of systematic relationship choices designed to establish the control of one person over the other person. If a person is *in fact* controlled by their spouse and fearful of their spouse, that person is abused. It’s only abuse when it’s successful. I think that might be the difficult part for a bystander to understand… because, yes, many people act poorly in their marriages. People are unkind, upsetting, and bad at communication. That’s not always abuse. It’s abuse when one of the people has their choices and freedoms reduced to nothing because they fear the way their spouse will treat them if they assert themself.

    I hope you continue your investigations on this topic, because I’m sure you have the intelligence to make sense of it as you look into it. Abuse is one of the few sins that the secular world takes seriously, and I’m glad they do… because sometimes Christians fail to take it very seriously at all.

    • I would agree with you that all abuse is sinful. But I don’t agree with you that any book pointing out abuse is not harmful. This is not an issue about abuse being a serious sin. It is. It is not about leaving an abusive situation (I have already stated people should keep themselves safe). There needs to be discernment among believers because there is a lot of teachings/writings/beliefs out there that go against Scripture. Just because a book is about something I feel strongly about doesn’t mean I should take the time to read it if it is full of errors. For example, love is a good thing so how can a book about love be bad? Easily! If it goes against Scripture or glorifies sin, Christians have no need to read it to get answers about love. Likewise if a book about abuse goes against Scripture, leads a person into sin (which Lundy does by advocating adultery), lacks in love, mercy and forgiveness, it is best for the Christian to pass it on by.

      And this is where lack of discernment leads: Since reading Lundy’s book and getting worldy advice from GCMers my sister has left a trail of tears, confusion, bewilderment, sadness, and hurt behind her. This is not what happens when Christians love. My non-Christian family (brother-in-law included) did not see Christ in all this. What did they see: a bossy relative becoming even more controlling, hatred, no forgiveness, cult-like behavior because of some unknown reason for shunning family and friends forever. It is heart breaking to see no family members see a Christ-like attitude in all of this. This is what the world offers, not Christ.

      • A real christian would never be an ally of abuse. God and Jesus teach us to love. We can forgive abuse but we can not allow abuse to be acceptable. We need to support and love victims of abuse and let there abusers know that this abuse is unacceptable.

  2. If you have not read all of the book, how can you know that anything you have asserted is in fact, true? Mr. Bancroft ran his own studies, extending much more grace to battering men and women than was warranted, attempting to help them reform. He gathered all of his own material. How would YOU have had him substantiate his information?

    • If you are writing a book and quote a study, it is standard procedure to tell the reader where the information was obtained. Mr. Bancroft did not have any footnotes. I read most of it by the time I finished the post. The few pages I skipped here and there would not have been any different from the rest of the book.

    • If he ran his own studies he could self quote. It is common to do that in the scientific community. The issue here is that he is not open to scientific review. Also, he disregards the fact that men are also abused sometimes. But, he prefers to sell to his audience than to be objective about a topic that affects men and women.

  3. For a professional field that values degrees and certifications. Lundy Bancroft has No degree, no certifications, no license, and no research cited in most of his books. Just saying, very un biblical and trash , show me the degrees Lundy!!!! There are none!!!

  4. Just because it is sin, does not mean that continued grace should be given for unrepentant sin! God does not condone nor approve of continued repeated sin. As Christians, we are all called and equipped to put away our sin. Marriage should be a safe place. When it is not, it is no longer marriage that glorifies God, but rather just a place where one gets away with their “sin” ie abuse, and the spouse and children begin a spiral downward into immense suffering. Ephesians says that we “were formerly” like sinners with no hope, but if one has been truly redeemed, then we are to be new creations, not the kind anymore, who abuse their spouses and children. Bancroft’s book simply helps to clear the fog that comes from living with an abuser and he needs no footnotes, because he is the expert who has done the research over 20 some years of studying and counseling abusive men and/or women. If your focus is Christianity, then let’s get that right. “You will know them by their fruits”. If they don’t bear those fruits, or they are just still “sinners”, instead of new creations, then they most likely are not Christians.

    • It doesn’t matter if Bancroft is an expert or not. If he were an expert, he should be smart enough to know that if you mention a study then you should cite it. It really is a no brainer to quote a source. Why should anybody believe him? Maybe he made the study up that he was referring to? How is the reader supposed to know? It really isn’t hard to add a footnote to say where the study(ies) came from. I really did want to know more about the study I mentioned him acknowledging in his book. But I shall never know because he was not professional enough in his writings to include it.

      Please remember that Bancroft does not come from a Biblical perspective. He isn’t writing it to Christians. I don’t think he talks about Christianity at all. (He might mention religion once or twice in a general context. I can’t remember.) I’m sorry, I guess I am not sure why you are writing as if both have to be Christians. It isn’t in the book.

  5. One note here, Lundy is not writing a Christian book and I do not see anywhere that he “advocates adultery”. You can read anything into a book that you want to, but it doesn’t make it true about the book!! Christians are supposed to be smart enough to sort out what goes against the Bible and what does not and then prayerfully either apply it or toss it. If a Christian cannot sort out that adultery is wrong and that they should not take that kind of counsel (IF it is in Lundy’s book or any other book) then there is something wrong with that Christian!! It is so easy for people who have not been abused, to speak their minds on the subject. Bancroft specializes in it and his experience of 20+ years is credit enough. What are your credentials for dealing with or counseling abusers, that you should criticize him?

    • It is page 87. I even quoted it above.
      Christians should be seeking out godly counsel not worldy counsel.
      See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8 ESV)

  6. first of all, it is ‘cite’ not site. secondly- is it your intention to maintain that nothing that does not have the label ‘christian’ has any value? I want to be sure I understand you correctly. (if this is so- then much of modern medicine is of the deceiver, seeing as it has not been approved by a committee on how it lines up with the English translation of Scripture.)

    • Thank you, I have corrected the mistake.
      I didn’t say that something not labeled as Christian has no value. I have, however, stressed over and over again that it is important for Christians to first go to the Word of God and seek godly counsel and not that of the world.
      But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.(James 3:17 ESV)

  7. God's Beloved Daughter

    I’ve been reading along in your blog and am becoming more and more sad as I read. I am absolutely heart-broken and aching.

    I, too, am a Christian and my starting point is the Bible.

    I think, however, we are reading different Bibles or are reading them with very different understandings and we seem to be worshipping two very different Gods. The Jesus I know and love would be trying to woo your sister back with love, care, compassion, and concern. You seem to be determined to point out her every perceived sin, flaw, idiocy, and lie. Your blog comes across, to this Christian at least, as gossip and slander. It is the most unloving thing I have ever read.

    Your sister came to you and disclosed the years of abuse she had suffered at your brother-in-law’s hands and you chose not to believe her and instead believe your brother-in-law. May I ask why? You state over and over that Mr. Bancroft has nothing cited in his book yet you have not cited your evidence that your brother-in-law was NOT abusive and that your sister joined a cult. Where is your evidence? Without evidence you are simply being a gossip.

    If this is the type of reception your sister received when she told you about the abuse, it is no wonder she refuses to speak to you right now. No one was in that marriage, no one knows what happened there except your sister and brother-in-law. Or do they have children together? (Forgive me, I can’t remember if you’ve stated that before.) What do the children say about the way Daddy treated Mommy (and them for that matter). Were they equally unbelieved if they disclosed abuse?

    I pray that your sister never finds this blog. It would only push her further away because there is no love, no compassion, and no understanding in it for her. You seem to think her a simpleton who cannot accurately judge her own reality. Maybe getting away from her abuser finally has her thinking for herself and seeing that her reality is really her reality, not the one constructed for her by her ex-husband.

    Please learn more about domestic violence. You seem to have very little understanding of it. Especially the part where when a woman leaves she becomes at large risk of being killed by her abuser for leaving him. If you were in contact with her ex-husband when she left, separating herself from everyone associated with him could very well have kept her alive.

    I pray that you take my words into consideration. Jesus did not condemn the woman at the well. Why do you condemn your sister?

    • Be heartbroken and sad about what GCMers do to people. They take a bad situation and make it worse by twisting it into something it shouldn’t be twisted into. (My brother-in-law was going through a bad depression and my sister seemed to be too. How nice of GCMers to use this horrible time to almost destroy my brother-in-law. No showering of love, compassion, understanding or mercy there!) I have known my sister and brother-in-law for a combined total of half a century. GCMers know people on line but a few years. Instead of encouraging a woman to sever ties with family and old friends who they think don’t understand, maybe it would be wise to first ask themselves why family and in real life friends (who by the way know both wife AND husband.) are saying different things than GCMers are saying. Maybe they wouldn’t be pushing for nonBiblical responses to the situation. If a woman thinks she may be abused, maybe a good starting point would be to find out why her family thinks differently than you. Maybe they know that both are unkind to the other. GCMers making the assumption that they are right and the family is wrong is not a good starting point. Remember that the family have know their loved one for 2,3, 4 decades. This is their precious and loved daughter, sister, childhood friend. When you watch your loved one falling apart and notice they are pulling abuse out of every jot and tittle, it is sad. There is nothing that can be said or done because they have their GCM friends telling them that the other person is being abusive. Is that kind of slander not heartbreaking to you? Is it not sad to you that twisting and manipulating of people’s lives is happening? Are you not crushed in your spirit to hear that people on a supposedly Chrsitian website are advocating withdrawal of anyone who does not agree with them? Does this not sound like a cult to you? Is it okay to go along with the slander of my brother-in-law and my other family members (because remember I said in another post she started believing she was abused in childhood by my mother – when she wasn’t)? We were not concerned for my sister’s safety. There was no reason to be. She told us she was never physically abused.

      Her GCM friends are her biggest danger. Abuse is being abused on that website and as a family member who seen the destruction that resulted from this, I should just sit back and not say anything? NO, I can not. Others must be warned! This is not, unfortunately, an isolated occurance.

      Thank you for taking the time to write. I hope you will pray for reconciliation between all the families that have been hurt by GCM.

  8. God's Beloved Daughter

    Again, I ask, “Where is your evidence?” What posts have you read on GCM that lead you to believe that events happened as you say they did? Where is your evidence that your sister wasn’t abused? Where is the evidence that either of them was depressed? Where is your evidence that she wasn’t in danger?

    If your sister stopped talking to you, you couldn’t have been getting information from her. Are you simply taking your brother-in-law’s word for everything? Again, I ask, “Why do you chose not to believe her and believe your brother-in-law instead?” Abusers are notorious for twisting reality around to blame the victim. You seem to have fallen into his trap rather nicely. Blame does not lie with GCM. Abuse is always 100% the abuser’s fault.

    I think you need to sit back and think about where your information is coming from. I am praying for everyone involved in this situation because something really seems off about the whole thing. I am praying that everyone’s eyes are opened. I’m praying for Truth to be revealed. Most of all, I’m praying very hard that your sister never finds this blog.

    • Before I even spoke with my brother-in-law, I could tell something was wrong. Before my sister cut me out of her life, I saw the e-mails and texts she was calling abusive. The only way to see abuse in them was to have wanted to see it.

      Maybe I should be asking you the same questions? How do you know my sister was abused? Where is your evidence? Are you simply taking my sister’s word for everything? Maybe it is you who have fallen into the abuser’s trap? (Again, I don’t like calling either one of them abusers. I know how mutually awful they were and are with each other. It really takes away from people who are truly abused.) Have you known my sister for decades like her family has? Do you know both her and my brother-in-law?

      There really is something off about the entire situation. Sorry if this seemed terse. It is very hard to have lost a sister. To see her losing a grip on reality and watching wolves lead her further along (Like you said, abusers must be notorious for twisting reality around to blame the victim because that is what I have seen some GCMers do). To watch my parents’ health slipping away because of all the stress and sadness. To hear my mom spending another night awake and crying because she doesn’t know what happened to her daughter.

      I encourage you to keep praying for the situation. It is a sad one. I pray God will reconcile the family (it will be impossible without Him!).

  9. I’m confused — if you think the way your BIL treated your sister was “awful” why aren’t you willing to use the word “abuse” for the conduct?

    And if you think they were both abusive, why do you seem to wish the marriage had continued? It seems like you are saying, “If a marriage has one abusive person, the pure one is allowed leave the abusive one, but if it has two abusive people, no one should end it, because that wouldn’t be fair.” Your sister lost her right to leave an abusive spouse because her own conduct was not up to standard either? That’s just absurd. It’s living in suffering forever because you aren’t ‘allowed’ to get far enough away from the person that is making you crazy.

    If he treated her awfully, she had the right to leave him. If she treated him awfully, at least she stopped doing so willingly — by leaving him. it is more honorable to leave someone than to go blithely on abusing them.

    • Gentle Christian Mothers are supposed to be Christian, right? Why would it be honorable for a Christian to leave their husband instead of stopping the abuse she knows she is doing? Is that what the Bible says to do as a Christian? Does the Bible not say to confess our sins and to sin no more, to be holy as He is holy?

      The Bible says that love is patient. I am glad my spouse and I have been patient with each other. If I were to list all the times we weren’t nice to each other, that would be a long list. But because we love each other, we are patient with each other. We can forgive one another. How patient Jesus is with all of us! And how much He has forgiven us!!

    • Nowhere does this blogger says that she wishes her sister and BIL stayed together. She also acknowledges that he was awful and abusive, but that some if the evidence (txt messages and emails) is mislabeled and is not abuse. If anything she wishes is that her sister had not turned around and began to call every disagreement or unpleasant childhood episode abuse.

  10. It is honourable for a Christian to flee from temptation. If a person is tempted to be abusive to anyone, a first response is to leave the situation — temporarily — in order to seek strength and improvement. In general, abusers need to re-shape their worldview, which takes time, which means that spouses would need to separate while that happens. It is difficult work to stop being abusive, and people who try to make those changes while living with the one they are tempted to abuse are at risk of more sin and more damage than those who live apart.

    The Bible in fact, advises and commands not only fleeing temptation, but also (on the side of the one being abused) requiring separation from someone who engages in ongoing/unrepentant sin against us. Therefore there are two Biblical reasons for marital separation in cases of spousal abuse — one on each side of the relationship. If a couple in an abusive situation really wants it to change, both of them would be more than willing to separate (temporarily) and work towards healing in their own ways.

    The separation only becomes permanent if the people involved either don’t repent (by completely changing their ways) or can’t recover from the damage of the abuse. Sin has the power to kill and destroy things. Sometimes repentance can lead to restoration. Sometimes what sin has destroyed can not be recovered.

    Repenting is hard work. An abused spouse is better able to be patient while their abuser works on repentance if there is enough of a separation that any further abuse isn’t happening, and the marriage actually might recover. To live with ongoing abuse/sin until it is intolerable and the damage is permanent is not the Bible’s way. The Bible tells us to remove ourselves from that sort of setting (not even to eat with an unrepentant person who sins against us) and hope for repentance while keeping a distance.

    • Where does the Bible say spouses are required to separate from someone who engages in ongoing/unrepentant sin against them?

      1 Corinthians 5 talks about not even eating with an unrepentant person. It is not talking about marriages but the church. It’s not even talking about nonChristians, but unrepentant brothers and sisters in Christ who should know to confess their sins and give them up, but refuse to do so.

  11. I am in the process of reading this book right now, at the request of a friend. The reason I am on this site right now is that I felt the whole book was so skewed towards the abusive male that I wanted to search for a website that explained Mr. Bancroft’s personal background, to understand the underlying anger and sense of the irreparable conveyed towards the “abuser”. (I am female)

    If I were an accused abusive male, Mr. Bancroft is the LAST person I would want as my therapist, as it seems one is guilty until proven innocent. In case after case he declares how he has checked with the receiver of the abuse and gotten an entirely different version, which he seems to accept without question every time. I have observed firsthand the exaggeration, or even the complete fabrication, of abuse by a woman who used it to ruin a decent man. Yes he’s a sinner and has made mistakes, as we all have, but as I’m reading the book I’m thinking that books like these are sources where women in unhappy marriages, who do not want to admit that some of the blame needs to rest on them, go not only for evidence that their man is the only problem, but also to research and concoct more evidence to corroborate their own case against him.

    Some of the Abuser’s Responses to a Possible Breakup (pp.213-214) almost made me laugh, they were so all-inclusive of normal responses (this section is prefaced with the comment “Some of their more common MANEUVERS include”: “Promising to change”, “Entering therapy”, “Making apologies”, “Saying that you are abandoning him”, “Turning very nice”, “Taking care of things you have complained about”, “Getting you pregnant”. Wow. Those are frightening maneuvers indeed. These were interspersed with real, frightening scenarios, so the reader is left to assume ALL responses by the “abuser” are wrong.

    The Danger Signs in Abusive Men is also astounding (pp. 226-227). They include items like “YOU are taking steps to end the relationship” (this is a danger sign in a MAN when the woman is trying to end a relationship?!), “He has access to weapons” (beware, all hunters), “He is depressed”, “He is familiar with your routines, the addresses of your friends and relatives, etc.”

    I was incensed to read the Safety Plan (p. 229) for those leaving a purported abusive partner. I know some of these plans are crucial if he is truly abusive, but they should be handled so carefully, not openly charging him. “Inform the neighbors”, “Inform people at your workplace”, “Tell your children not to talk to him”, “Advise the police department”, “Inform the school” are a few of the suggestions. There is of course a place for this kind of radical reaction. However, if this is simply a couple with marital issues on both sides, making these kinds of announcements to the general public destroy a reputation with careless gossip and also diminish the hope of reconciliation; giving the impression this problem is not fixable, even with counseling.

    I will be finishing this book, as I’ve promised a friend I would read it for a situation she is dealing with, but I am not impressed. I’ve seen the other end of the spectrum, just as the author of the critique has, and it reminds me too much of the manipulative female who can so easily saddle an undeserving male with this title and destroy his reputation. I have also wondered, as the author has – where are the footnotes?! No proof of any studies! Readers, beware.

    • Well said! Thank you for commenting.

      I too have wondered why Bancroft always trusted the female and never the male.

      It happened the way you said in my family. My sister was unhappy in her marriage, did not even think that any problems in their marriage could possibly be her, “research” and CONCOCTED evidence from the book that my brother-in-law indeed was abusive and she was perfect. Everything in the book makes a man abusive. I know that there was NOTHING my brother-in-law could do. Everything was twisted in her mind to be abusive. He wasn’t even allowed to be nice because as you have stated from page 213-214, that was abusive too. It was so sad to see. Of course, with my sister this so called abuse then went on to define past friends and family who didn’t support her slander and abuse of my brother-in-law.

      Your friend is blessed to have someone like you who can see the dangers this book presents. I hope she will listen to your concerns! Whatever your friends situation is I pray that God and His Word will be her guide and not this book.

  12. With all due respect, you can’t accurately review a book without reading it. That’s like reading only part of the Bible and discerning its veracity and usefulness with an incomplete knowledge of God’s Word.

    I also recognize that I might have felt the same way about the book as you do, before I was in an abusive marriage. Until you live something, you’re not going to understand it. Like a person who has never cooked reviewing a book about cake baking; it’s not going to be a useful review.

    Take care.

  13. I believe the intelligent majority who have read this highly accurate and informative Book, who have been or are being victimized predominantly and statistically by an abusive male or males significant in their life, have taken time out to expose someone who very obviously is offended by perhaps the truths in Mr. Lundy’s book? As a devout Christian I believe we are all called to expose evil. I would venture to say that anyone who does not read material in it’s entirety and leaps in a rush to judgement and attacks in the angry manner shown here demonstrates someone who as all the earmarks of a PA Narc who will go to any length to prevent such recognition and awareness of an ever growing evil in our society from going public- THEY do not want their cover blown or their agenda revealed and this INCLUDES THOSE THEY ENLIST TO SUPPORT THEIR DIRTY DEEDS and campaign. They all share the same common threads among them. If it walks like a duck, quacks like one, it is one.

    Annette is right on when pointing out the importance of this “publisher of warped opinion” formed from reading only half of the material that she claims, once exposed now claims to have now read the whole book after the fact. Can this person be believed? Quite frankly, I smell a rat in the woodpile who lost all credibility by ones own admissions. BTW- The Holy Bible Authored by God clearly warns about adding to or subtracting from the written word. I see no evidence here that you read that Book either. I would suggest the initiator/publisher do their homework in the future. And to support an abuser against your own flesh and blood is a devils minion. Absolutely the written Word in the Bible is the best and most truthful resource available to man. Keep in mind, throughout history since the beginning of time, God has chosen certain people to impart HIS wisdom and not necessarily someone with a PHD or ESQ behind their name because HE could trust that person or person(s) to represent HIM truthfully perhaps? You do not qualify. You not only have issues with Lundy B., but obviously with those who truly believe and put into practice their dependency, faith and trust in JC and God’s instructions, commands and LAW.

    I was a victim am now a survivor and 10 years ago I read Mr. Bancroft’s book and I can say without question this man who has spent many years studying serious personality disorders is spot on no matter his degrees or title, experience from countless he has listened to, studied, done research, and counseled speaks for itself. HE does a great justice exposing those who dare to “harm one hair on the head of one of God’s precious lambs.” EVIL NEEDS TO BE EXPOSED, REVEALED! Please, while your attempting to divert and project would you mind revealing your credentials?

    Exposegem? To answer your question (oh one who shoots from the mouth) you are clearly blind, ignorant and void of God as you go on the attack of Christians and to go one step further, to support your BIL over your own flesh and blood is highly suspect. Shall the majority go there? SHAME ON YOU. There is a problem and YOU CLEARLY NEED TO MYOB as you don’t have the sensibility to recognize when truth is staring you in the face. If anyone is dangerous, it is you. You’re being used dear. Satan has his minions who have their minions and so on and so on and so on. If you don’t want to be on the www and willing to accept critiques of your shoddy work, then why are you? Hows it working for you? If you can’t handle the truth perhaps you need to find a new hobby that is more productive then whatever it is you are reaching for here. Not willing to except all opinions is someone with a very skewed perception and reality. YOU EXPOSE, HAVE BEEN EXPOSED.

  14. To answer another of one of your antagonistic questions, perhaps because Mr. Bancroft’s years of experience provides him the 411 and stats to be able to confirm that the majority of PANARC abusers ARE MALE. He is a voice for the abused fems but offers to provide help and counsel to the abuser. The problem is, and this can be backed up (you might wish to explore) it is impossible to rehab these specific types. And, shoving all the labels aside for what its worth, SIN IS SIN especially against man. You might wish to bone up on God’s instruction about “loving thy neighbor and to the degree be willing to lay your life down for him/her.” NOT TO BE TARGETED AND ABUSED. Life is precious you seem to have lost or never possessed the ability to regard it as such.

  15. Rather curious you have not posted my comments. For good reason? In other words you have this blog but have determined to censor that which likely offends you or disagrees with your opinions which again, one who jumps before checking the bungee cord falls on head. A cracked noggin can be a problem such as critiquing admittedly, half read material especially speaking on the subject of domestic violence. Nothing changes my view either and I speak from vast experience.. especially when support perps go off like cocked guns and perpetuate mental abuse to those who are hurting terribly. For shame.

    • I believe God’s word when it says that salvation is impossible with man, but possible with God (Mt 19:25-26). While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:7-8). Through God’s amazing love, He is patient with us and calls us to repentance. He doesn’t leave us to what we deserve. Paul admitted he was the worst of sinners (he had Chrsitians beaten, arrested, murdered), yet God saved him. If God can save a murderer like Paul, he can save anybody. Please read the Bible. God is more powerful than any man. He can take a nasty and proud person and humble them. Praise be to God for his indescribable gift of the gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 9:14). That through Christ’s death on the cross, He separates our sins from us as far as the east is from the west. And because of Christ’s magnificant display of forgiveness for the worst of us, we can then forgive others who hurt us. We can forgive much b/c we have been forgiven much. I would encourage you to pray for your ex-husband and not continue in your lack of knowledge to the power of God. If we Christians are to pray for those who persecute us, bless them, etc. (please see: Mt 5:43-48, Lk 6:27-36, Romans 12:14-16, Proverbs 25:21-22), then how much more can we do this for our spouses and ex-spouses?

  16. I don’t think it is fair to review a book you haven’t completely read. You have misquoted him based on assumptions. One example of you misquoting him is your statement that he says “once an abuser always an abuser”. He states it is possible for abusers to stop abusing, but it requires a series of consequences.These consequences have to be unpleasant enough for the abuser to stop using abuse as a means to get what he wants. Consequences he suggests are: losing the relationship due to his abuse, condemnation of his abuse by those he cares about, abuse therapy, and sometimes even jail time. Also, I don’t know your sister, but I do know you can’t possibly be with her 24/7 and see everything she sees and experience everything she experiences. You seem to be very angry with her for turning away from your personal religious beliefs and I wonder if your anger is clouding your judgement. Often times abuse victims are seen as controlling because they are fighting to get away, stay away, and keep their children away, from a dangerous situation. They are even seen as manipulative for speaking out about their abuse. If a woman fights to get away, she is not being abusive, she is fighting for her survival. I think the right thing to do, and the compassionate Christan thing to do, is to offer her your love instead of your anger and suggest that she seek counseling in a supportive manner. Whether it is for the victim, or the abuser, counseling can be a huge help in the healing process and as a Christian, the healing process should be your main concern instead of the blaming you seem to be doing.

    • Based on the book, my sister was an abuser too. My BIL should be seeking out counseling and healing for the abuse he endured at the hands of my sister according to you. They were mean to each other! It was mutual. But you are automatically taking the woman’s side.

      My sister, saying she was a Christian and all, should have repented of her sins and shown mercy to her husband. She should not have been slandering him left and right to everybody. That was not a loving thing to do. So before you know the entire situation, maybe it is best to not assume automatically the wife is always abused. You don’t know my BIL even though you might know my sister. So please don’t make such assumptions just b/c it is in Lundy’s book. Remember, I have know both my sister and my BIL for over a half century combined. How long have you known my sister? My brother-in-law?

  17. Long term studies have shown victims of violence will take on characteristics of the a abusers in their lives. Defense mechanism self preservation. I reiterate, expo demonstrates abusive tendencies by defending sisters abuser and accusing sister of being abusive. Clearly her sister is in a dangerous situation. God will hopefully intervene and remove these obstacles of abuse in sisters life before it’s too late.

    • Here is the thing…I have known my sister all her life and you haven’t. I know how she treated people before she got married and how she treated people after she was married. I don’t want to defend the actions of either my sister or my BIL. They were not nice to each other and they are still not nice to each other. It is very hypocritical of so called abused woman to call their husbands abusers even though they too fit Lundy’s definition of abusers. They just happen to be female not male. This is what is wrong with Lundy’s book! It creates hypocrites.

      It is strange that you would say, “Clearly her sister is in a dangerous situation.”? She never was in danger. There are women out there who do have to fear for their lives, who have had their lives threatened by their husbands. Your kind of comments really hurt the cause of those who are truly abused. These woman need help. They need prayers and protection. But the woman who do the same things that their husbands do need to be called to repentance and faith in Christ (and definitely not faith in Lundy’s book).

      I am not posting your other comments b/c they attack personally. If you want to stick with the facts then I will be happy to post your comments. Please read my posts called Online Dangers and Commenting Guidelines. (I also didn’t even understand who you were referring to when you were talking about narcomaniacs. Who is addicted to drugs or alcohol?)

      • Dear expo: Considering I was abused I speak from experience. Would you like to view photographs? It did not in my case cause me to abuse. I hurt no cause. I have not violated the rules of conduct here any more than you have. Your sister if abusive as you say, it is a learned behavior either way. Has she adapted in order to survive? Victims can take on their abusers behaviors. What leads to or causes one person to abuse another? You demonstrate anger and aggression, defensiveness- evidence of some history of DV. Keep in mind without Godly upbringing you leave your children open and vulnerable to the evils of the world. You are seemingly obsessed with your sisters affairs, condition, supposed behaviors and experiences. Are you a helper, or a hinderence as you attempt to convince you are a follower of God’s law? You exercise freedom to present what is most troublesome/burdensome in your family, invite opinion and seemingly when some critiques don’t’ meet with your mindset you threaten now? We’re speaking about one who would read half a book and proceed to attack the author. Irresponsible reporting. Perhaps I’ve touched a nerve. Lundy speaks from long term experience and education and to the most abused, women. BUT the abuse he speaks about and characteristics of, are not limited to the male gender and is applicable to females as well. And I believe he makes this very clear. This happens to be his area of expertise. Domestic violence statistically speaking, is predominantly committed by males against the weaker sex. Other than personal experience what are your qualifications and background? Could your time be better spent in searching for help for this sister and even agree to participate because again, the picture you paint is one who clearly has suffered and the behavior is an attack against your own flesh and blood. Is she aware you have gone pubic and is the topic of your conversation/obsession, if not, why not invite her to join so we can observe her side of the story? On that note you are attacking and obsessively so, someone you call sister who is not here to defend herself. That in itself is Abuse and maybe the truth hurts. Perhaps she refuses your aggressive approach, intrusion so you come here? Post or no post is of no consequence to me. I prefer speaking to those who speak and act responsibly and don’ use the social media as a method to release pent up anger and a forum to lash out and Invite argument. This is how you come across. Stick to KJV and prayer and on that note remember commit yourself to the LIGHT- Galatians 6:2 ” carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the LAW of CHRIST. “Your sister obviously needs your love. Perhaps the time you spend here could be better spent taking her hand and helping her understand and heal.

  18. If your sister is involved with abuse either as the victim or the perpetrator, it is dangerous to both mental and sometimes, physical health. You attack your sister and Lundy Bancroft and now me because simply put you have stepped into something out of your expertise and knowledge. If you can’t handle the heat get out of the kitchen? Psalm 141:3-4 Proverbs 15:22 Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. 1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.

    Circumstances are like a feather bed; comfortable if you’re on top, but smothering if you,re underneath. Insomuch as anyone pushes you nearer to God , she/ he is your friend. Peace be with you…

  19. I have explained in my first post why I have started this website. GCMers have hurt many families. This isn’t a site to personally attack my sister, but to warn others of GCM. It may seem like an attack b/c she is the example I have to use (this is why I don’t use names and keep it confidental and don’t share all the details.). I know others have gone through the same painful experience that my family has had with losing a loved one. But I can’t write their stories. I have spoken to several people hurt by GCMers. They are confused and bewildered by the change in their loved ones. But according to you, it is fine b/c they are woman and doing this to men. With no proof, it HAS to be that the woman are exhibiting coping mechanisms, right?

    I guess the anger you have shown towards me is acceptable b/c you have been abused? (BTW, I am sorry you were beaten. I am glad you are no longer in that situation.) You have told me to mind my own business, but what are you doing? I am not talking about a woman who has been beaten or has had her life threatened (I can see why you would be angry with me if I was, but I am talking about someone who says mean things to people but isn’t allowed to have anybody say mean things to her otherwise they are called abusers. I am talking about hypocrites.). You are putting me down b/c I don’t like Lundy’s book? You have said I need a kick in the pants, that I am a sick individual, need locking up (For having my own opinions? Only Lundy’s opinions are right and worthy and all others are obvisously wrong???), you called someone a narcomaniac – who, I have no idea – I have no idea what you were even going on about. I am pointing out the troubles my family has gone through, but I think it is you who is “attacking and obsessively so”. I keep pointing people to the forgiveness of sins through Christ Jesus, but I am somehow a minion of Satan? I believe that Jesus can take the worst of sinners and forgive them. I believe that love is to be shown to all people, not just to woman. Oh, what hate (yes, that is sarcasm). I guess when you wrote, “Galatians 6:2 ” carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the LAW of CHRIST.” That only applies to woman and not to men or husbands? Obviously only my sister (b/c she is a woman) needs love and not my BIL. No, he should be treated like dirt. Is that the loving thing to do? I tell my BIL when he is being a jerk to my sister. He can take it. And I have told my sister when she wasn’t being nice, but she would have none of that. She is perfect b/c she is a woman (yes, a bit more sarcasm).

    I am glad you were able to calm down and write a comment that was not personally attacking me like some of your other ones. Without personal attacks maybe you can start to see that I am not talking about truly abused woman. My prayers go out to them. I am talking about hypocrites who do the same thing that they tell others not to do and then use the “abuse” excuse to treat other people like scum of the earth.

  20. I used to discredit authors of books on abuse myself, until my eyes were opened to living in an abusive marriage myself.. (14 years) After some time, I began to see many similar relationships in my life and upbringing…not because “everyone is an abuser” – they are not- praise God! BUT I have been accustomed to that sort of interpersonal relationship which is why when someone begins to speak truth it upsets many family dynamics and systems. Other abusive patterns or individuals may be revealed which is why many families will side with the accused abuser in order to discredit and silence the truth teller.

    I am a born again Christian and very conservative. These beliefs kept me enduring abuse. But thankfully, I am no longer under that false bondage which is not from God.

    1. We are not meant to enable another’s sin.

    2. God rebukes hardness of heart towards a wife….which is what causes cruel treatment.

    3. Reviling- speaking evil of – is a gross sin.

    Basically, when a woman speaks out and makes changes the abuser has the opportunity to get right with God and repent of his evil actions. Would you have her allow him to walk in gross sin for year after year until he falls into eternity?

    Jesus rebuked unrepentant sin so much people wanted to kill him. He REBUKED AND EXPOSED the cruelty and abuse of the religious leaders. He came to SET THE CAPTIVES FREE….Read Isaiah 61…freedom from oppression…breaking the patterns of generations….

    Jesus is not an ebabler of abuse in any way shape or form. Please read The Emotionally Destructive marriage” by Leslie Vernick. That is a lie from the pit of hell literally.

    Who the Lord makes free is free indeed! Our God is a God who set a whole race of people free from literal physical slavery.

    I really enjoy and appreciate Lundy Bancrofts writings. He speaks with great compassion, clarity and empathy. His heart for women has is evident. I strongly encourage women in “difficult” marriages to read “Why does he do that.” It’s a painful read, for me at least, because he’s putting to words the things I have been trying to excuse and suppress…but remember God gives us light to walk in…so we can be healed and delivered….not to stay in the darkness of confusion and lies.

    • I don’t discredit all abuse book authors, but Lundy’s book is dangerous in the wrong hands. When he labels every sin as abuse, anybody male or female, fits his description of an abuser. If a woman would read the definition of the abuser and ask herself if she does any of those things, I am sure she would have to answer in the affirmative many times. How can anyone take him seriously? I don’t say abuse doesn’t happen. I don’t say people should stay in abusive marriages. But when every sin gets twisted into abuse and if someone is not perfect they will be considered an abuser all their lives, this is not anything near Christianity. This should be avoided. Please reread page 349. It gives the woman no hope b/c the man has to be perfect for the rest of his life or he will still be considered an abuser.

      I want to thank you for not attacking me personally. I think you may be the first Lundy supporter that didn’t do that. You presented your ideas clearly. I think the main thing we disagree on would be Lundy’s book itself. I see much danger in his book and you see only good.

    • I am trying to find a copy of the book you mentioned, “The Emotionally Destructive marriage” by Leslie Vernick. This book seems like a much better alternative and more godly approach to abuse than what Lundy recommends (Lundy is not a Christian so it is far from a Christian approach). Based on the reviews, Leslie gives hope and real help. I look forward to reading it! Thank you for the suggestion.

    • Refreshing critique of Mr. Lundy’s book which was highly recommended to me many years ago and opened my eyes to the abuse I had endured and at that point in time was still subject too (even since). Abuse is abuse and it is sinning against another human life. God is the only source of healing if you are a victim/survivor. It’s a long and painful process, one step, one day, one week, one month and one year at a time. I believe God instills gifts in each of us which can be perverted and squashed… perhaps Mr. Lundy’s gift is his tireless efforts in research and work in the field of abuse. I agree expose that this book in the hands of an abuser can only add more to his/her arsenal. I also agree that it can can influence those who believe they are the abused when in reality they are the abuser. God must always be at the forefront when approaching materials from the secular viewpoint. It is of my opinion that Mr. Lundy is a truly sensitive, kind and caring person with the best of intentions. His heart is in the right place.

  21. This is a fantastic blog. I am a man. I have read this book from cover to cover. I agree that this book can help many abused women. On the other hand, I absolutely think that it can definitly walk a couple to the doorstep of divorce in an otherwise salvageable marriage because that is what it did to mine. It’s been three years since my divorce and I still fear relationships because of what I endured at the hands of this book. I have to say that if you end up on the wrong side of this book (wether truly abusive or not) you are doomed.

    There is more to my story that I would love to share but it’s late and I have to wake up early as mornings are much more difficult as a single father. Thanks (sarcasm) Lundy.

    I completely agree with the Anonymous (female) comment from May 16, 2013.

    I would love to see a debate on this book where religion was left out of the conversation.

  22. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this outstanding blog!
    I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to fresh updates and will talk about this site
    with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

    • I’m a male. I have been abusive and abused as a child. I came upon this book because my wife was trying to point out how abusive I am after she called me a piece of shit, told my son “daddy has more important things to do than being with you”, and stormed off leaving my son and I standing at a corner.

      I am not above criticism, I have mistreated her, as well. I have also insulted her.

      What really upsets me about this book is that it is not about abuse, it is about “men being abusive only”.

      She has also called my son “piece of shit” and at times hurt him (never has she beat him up). But there is a double standard when she does it, something that Mr. Bancroft points out about abusers feeling excerpt from the norms they impart to others.

      It is true that abused people take on characteristics from their abusers. I don’t know how to put an end to this vicious cycle. I believe that we all have moments of frailty at which times we are abusers. I am very sorry for what I’ve done. I am trying to save my family and marriage. We are young, under 30 and with a little boy who can discern where the abuse is coming from. I don’t think I need more evidence than him saying “I want to stay with daddy”.

      I feel helpless. If I point out that she is being abusive based on Mr Bancroft’s book then I’m called “manipulative”.

      This book assessment is not impartial, it is a book written to sell to women the idea that no man can change, that their wants must be fulfilled, that any disagreement is abuse.

      Thank you for blogging this. I will continue to try my best and love and forgive. I hope someday I’m also forgiven by my wife and that someday we can both move past the vicious cycle of reciprocal abuse.

  23. My wifes mother got her hooked into this book and after the was she changed to being scared and really dark..our marriage is now on the rocks really bad we have 4 little girls..
    She was all for our marriage then after this book she wanted nothing to do with reconciliation. ..such a marriage distroyed.
    What God puts together let no man separate.

    • Unfortunately, this book is all about destruction. I haven’t heard from any women who read this book and their marriage is still intact. Of course the point is to show women how bad their husbands are. I hope and pray for the sake of your four children that reconciliation through God will be possible. I recommend a book called, “When Sinners Say I Do,” by Dave Harvey. I like the title. Truth be told, I have only skimmed through it. But from what I remember I liked it.

  24. Ruined my marriage. She literally finds fault in all that i do. My case is a little special. I took testosterone for several years and it changed me, the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide affect. I didn’t realize it, until too late, when the doctor decided to recheck my levels due to my own pleadings with him. I asked for two years that we go to counseling, she refused saying exactly what the book says, i would manipulate the counselor. for two years she initiated arguments with me, looked for the bad in all that i did. Even when I got off the testosterone, i worked daily through following Christ and the Love Dare. This made our situation even worse. she attacked me for being nice, buying her flowers, even got angry at me for getting her Birthday presents. My marriage is over, and even today, she says everything about me is bad. After reading the book, the entire book, I saw where all of the things that have happened over the past two years, were written in its pages. Her words, her actions and most importantly, her unwillingness to work on anything. No, I have never hit her. We argued together, called each other names at times, and ignored each other. Withheld emotion or feeling, behaved badly instead of through Christ. I have lost the greatest part of my life, and this author, with his Natures Way Spirituality calling for us to all be animals, live in commune with ecstasy, and eliminate technology, has used his single minded opinion to destroy marriages.
    I do not condone my actions or those of my wife, we could have worked through this. But thanks to the book, we are now left empty. I am off the drug, doing amazing things in my life and loving her more than I ever did. Unfortunately, all I do angers her, because the book tells her, it is wrong for me to do anything.

    • Sorry for the late reply. It is truly heartbreaking to hear all the sadness this book causes. It seems really hard for any marriage to to be saved when the woman has read this book and believes it 100%. But I will pray for you and your wife since there is very little forgiveness with Lundy followers. Thank you for sharing your story.

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