The following two stories are about the same husband and wife. For this example, the woman will be a believer and the man will not be. The first story will go through this fictitious scenario from a biblical perspective. The latter will be from a GCM perspective.
A wife is unhappy in her marriage. She is getting more and more depressed not understanding what is wrong. Some people start making comments about the behavior of her husband and how badly he treats her. She starts to realize that she is being verbally attacked on a day-to-day basis. The stress is too much for her to handle. This unhappy wife wants to please God. She stays. She tries hard to do what is right. It is not working. Finally, she decides to leave. She wants to reconcile but she also knows she can not continue living with her husband in this way. During their separation (be it a month or more), the husband calls once a day. They e-mail regularly. He comes to see her once a week. The husband, by this point, has realized all was not well or his wife would not have left. They discuss the way they fight. She realizes that she tried to control too much of his life. He starts to realize he shouldn’t yell. She decides it is time to move back in and see if things will be different. Things are different, but by no means ideal. They have a rough couple of years, but she has a new outlook. Instead of taking all the abuse or any of the various things she did or did not do in the past, she does things differently. She stops trying to control every situation. During the separation, she realized she does truly love this man. She recognizes that he doesn’t know how to deal with the stresses of his life much like she didn’t know how to deal the stresses of her life (i.e. her husband). She knows his stress should not be taken out on her and that she is not a doormat. She doesn’t need to be treated this way. She also realizes they are both sinners, the only difference is she is a saved sinner. She does not do things for him out of fear like she used to, but now out of love. Her compassion for him has grown because she recognizes the undeserved compassion that Jesus has showered on her. She wants to see him be a better man and husband. She has patience with him knowing that God has had to have a lot of patience with her over her lifetime. Slowly through the next couple of years, he starts responding to all that kindness and love showered on him. Slowly he stops reacting and starts to listen. Before they know it (but after a lot of hard work) they are enjoying each others company. They are getting along. Their disagreements aren’t pleasant, but what disagreements are? But shouting matches are a thing of the past. They work alongside each other. They love each other. They are patient with each other (for the most part). They are kind to one another (for the most part – hey, they are two sinners living together). She forgave and moved on. She thanks God for her blessings.
A wife is unhappy in her marriage. She is getting more and more depressed not understanding what is wrong. Her GCM friends tell her she is being abused. She believes what they are saying is true. She takes their advice and leaves her husband to go live safely with another GCMer. She restricts contact with her husband to only one e-mail once a week. He thought everything was okay. Not great, but okay. He doesn’t understand so he calls to question her so he can understand. She accuses him of being abusive for not sticking to her boundary of e-mail only communication. She becomes more controlling and because of the advice from GCMers, she then restricts e-mails to only discussions of bills and children. Meanwhile, she is attending abuse counseling and reading Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft. As she reads she gets more depressed. She now believes she was sexually abused, financially abused, spiritually abused. Her GCM friends encourage her to drink to ease the pain. She does. Her GCM friends encourage her to do body piercings and different body mutilations to help with the healing process. She does. Meanwhile, the husband realizes he was not good to her like he should have been. He attends counseling. Something doesn’t seem quite right though. He asks her questions about her friends. The wife is very unhappy about this. She can not get away from his questions (in her mind, abuse) so she files for divorce. Her family start questioning her new behaviors. She quickly shuts them out of her life. She now believes her family is abusive and toxic. The divorce is finalized. She spends her time trying to heal from all the abuse from childhood she just started remembering. But her memories by this time are distorted and she thinks any sin against her is/was abusive and unforgivable. Everyone else is toxic; old friends, the court system, social workers. Her only friends are GCMers. They have gone through all of this too. They know the pain. Only they understand. She spends the rest of her life trying to heal from all her abuse. She is alone. She is bitter. Nothing she did to her husband or family were wrong because she was the victim of abuse. All the men that come into her life turn out to be abusers too because they realize she is controlling and they don’t want to be micro-managed. She is never truly happy and blames God for all her troubles (as well as her family and ex-husband).