In early August, my sister sent us an e-mail about how happy she was because my brother-in-law was admitting he was abusive (NOTE: I know too much. My sister always shared personal information with me. Then after my sister said good-bye to us, my brother-in-law shared very personal information with me. I can tell you from what I have heard out of both of their mouths, they would both be labeled abusers according to Lundy Bancroft. My BIL was at least admitting he was a jerk in some situations, something my sister would NEVER acknowledge. He wrote her and told her how he realized the times he didn’t listen to her, acknowledge the times he did, told her his perspective on certain issues in their marriage in the past.) They weren’t together long (I think it was a few days???) because he got a temporary job several states away. When he moved away, he even started to attend church.
But within a few short weeks things took a drastic turn.
He sent her an e-mail about his sins and about how he was going to church. He was giving credit to God for some of the blessings he was noticing in his life. From how much he hated God and the church, this was a big step. He was actually opening up a Bible and reading it.
Her next e-mail to him was cold and distant. It was about something she was very hurt by. He answered her. It quickly went bad. She thought he was having an affair. He explained that he was too friendly with women at work (though he said there was nothing physical and to this day he still says this). He admitted it was wrong and that he needs to be more careful so people don’t get the wrong impression.
At the same time this was happening, she started to contact an old friend who happens to be a male. He knew this or at least had reason to suspect this. He was trying to change and she was upset with him but now she was going out of her way to contact someone who used to have a great interest in her.
My sister had told me when she was home she had a dream about this man. I won’t go into details but it made me raise my eyebrows. When she went home she told me she contacted him. I tried to remind her of something she said to a member of the family who was being “helped” through her marriage separation by another man. My sister knew this was wrong. She talked to this family member about it. I don’t know exactly what was said, but the relationship ended on a bad note. (How did I handle this situation you may be asking? This family member went to church so I approached her as a believer. I told her it would be wise to go to the women of her church during this time and not to another man who is divorced and is probably interesting in more than friendship. She ended up getting divorced and married this man. Our relationship was strained for awhile, but we have moved past it.) Now maybe a year later my sister was doing the same thing!
Now, dear reader, you have to understand that whatever a GCMer does is a-okay. The same things are considered sin in others though. They have grace so they are alright. The truth of the matter though is that this is hypocrisy to say it is not okay for others to do something you yourself do and think is fine. As Romans 2:3 says, “Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?” I was getting quite concerned for my sister’s relationship with Christ by this point.
My sister was also being hypocritical about saying my brother-in-law was projecting his sins onto her. NO! He was concerned because in his mind, she was moving onto a new man (I really don’t think my sister knew that he knew what she was doing. I knew because she had told me. I later thought maybe she thought I told him and that is why she kicked me out of her life. I tried to tell her I didn’t say a word to anybody about it. He knew and he was asking the family if they knew anything about this man.). He was trying to do what ever she asked. He was trying to be the man that she wanted. I want to make it perfectly clear, he was/is no saint! Although he didn’t physically cheat, he did have some questionable stuff on his computer. So if this is wrong of him (which it is), is it not wrong of her to contact a man out of the blue while her husband is trying to fix himself so he can fix his marriage? A man that she had a dream about? A man, I later found out, she texted flirtatiously with? Plus, during this month she wanted to know if remarriage was okay. I was learning about the beauty of Christ pursuing us even though we have strayed after other gods, and how amazing His love and patience with us is. I was telling her how we often rush into the arms of another but our prayers should be for our spouses no matter what happens. I could tell she didn’t like my answer because she quickly got off the phone. It was getting harder and harder to share what God’s word says with her.
So within two weeks of sending us the e-mail above about how happy she was that he was getting help, she writes us another e-mail about how things are escalating out of control very fast.
She was upset that he was going to church. This was spiritual abuse because he was talking about the 10 commandments in relation to himself and her. He was learning the commandments at the church he was attending.
She wanted all the money and if he wanted any of it, then he was being financially abusive.
She didn’t want to divorce him yet because she wanted to get more money out of him first, but she just had to end it as soon as possible.
She said she felt unsafe. I am not sure why. There wasn’t anything in his e-mails that made me concerned for her well-being, plus he was 16-18 hours away. Things were escalating out of control because of the advice her GCM friends were giving her.
At this point, looking back, I can see the cult really striking. Instead of taking things slow, one issue at a time, boundaries had to be put up. Not your normal kind, no. These were total control boundaries – it was a control tactic. To someone who isn’t used to any boundaries, let alone total control boundaries, there are going to be questions. But asking questions is a big no-no. GCMers are NOT allowed to be questioned! Cults don’t like to be questioned! She made a boundary only to discuss finances and children and how dare he ask questions about her or the future of the their marriage.
I just want to add here that all summer she would show me texts and e-mails and talk about the abuse in them. He was just asking questions for the most part. One particular e-mail was a list she made for an agreement of some sort. He typed up questions/concerns under each agreement. She saw abuse in them. I kept saying things like, “I think he means this because he said this.” She wanted to see abuse. It wasn’t in there. They were reasonable responses. But she was talking to her GCM friends who can spot “abuse”. They help each other see it when the wives can’t! Yes, sadly this is true. They put up their personal correspondences on a web forum and have people rip the husband/family/church apart. This is NOT Christianity.
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. (Proverbs 10:12 ESV)
Let us seek to do what David asked of God in Psalm 141:3, “Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!”
*There was a lot that happened in August. One thing might have happened before the other, I don’t remember the exact order. It all happened in August. It was a bad month!*