Category Archives: Abuse

Showing Love

How can you show love to a person that twists everything into being abuse? I have no idea!

My family and I struggle with this.  My mom loves my GCM sister, she is her daughter.  How can she just say good-bye to her?  She sends her gifts at Christmas and on her birthday.  How does my sister respond?  She thinks my mom is trying to pull her back into her “crazy”.  Somehow my sister thinks this is passive aggressive.  I don’t get it.  She will not say any of this to my mom.  She doesn’t even acknowledge my mom at all.  She will just talk to all her new friends about it.  All my mom wants to do is show my sister she loves her by sending her a gift.  She doesn’t want to ignore or treat her differently than her other children.

I too send a gift every once in a while to let her know I love her and am thinking of her.  I also know my sister is not living in reality right now and if she ever comes out of it, I want her to realize I never left her and I am there for her.

So what do you do with someone like this?  Do we just not send gifts or thinking of you cards since she twists it into abuse?  Will she be happy if we ignore her like she ignores us?  Can we in good consciousness ignore my sister?  We would feel like we are turning our backs on her if we never did anything to acknowledge her existence.  It is a terrible situation.  She changed her personality then her name.  It is like the person we know and love doesn’t exist anymore.  Maybe we should just consider her as dead?  My family is so torn.  We don’t know what to do (except we do know we can always pray for her!).

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Two Very Different Endings

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).

Excellent Article on Abuse

Rick Thomas has done it again!  He posted a most excellent article he and Tracy Keen wrote about abuse.  It is not only about rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep, but the need for the gospel for everybody- the abuser and the abused as well as the family of both.

Here is a link to the article, Practical thoughts on how to enter into the prison of a person’s pain.

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.

WHAT HAPPENED TO MY WIFE?

  • Has your GCM wife gotten mad at you for not being more gentle with your children? 
  • Does she treat you as a third wheel in the raising of your children? 
  • Have you started to notice her pulling away from you in all areas of life? 
  • Has she accused you of being abusive?
  • Has she then taken your children away from you?
  • Did she give you a set of boundaries to follow (i.e. only allowed to talk with her about the children and finances)?
  • Does she act like she wants a divorce but denies it to you?
  • Has she been acting as if everyone is against her (i.e. you, relatives, friends)?
  • Will she only communicate with you through e-mail?
  • Do those e-mails leave you with the feeling you are the only one guilty of everything bad with the marriage?
  • Are her e-mails cold, impersonal, condescending and angry?
  • Does she say she will give you a year to fix all your issues?
  • Does it feel like you can’t win no matter what you do?
  • Are there so many conditions and boundaries that you think she wants you to fail?

If any of the above sound too familiar, you are not alone!!!

Unfortunately, if the above sounds like what you are going through, it doesn’t get any better.  Not as long as she is on GCM.  If you feel like she wants a divorce, she probably does.  If you are taking responsibility for your part in the failing of your marriage, that is great, but don’t expect any encouragement from your GCM wife.  She has been told you will not change, “once an abuser always an abuser.”  Forget what Jesus said about salvation being impossible with man but  possible with God! 

What is likely to happen is she will go to Celebrate Recovery and/or she will see a therapist at a domestic violence center and she will will get more and more distant as she realizes the “abuse” she has put up with since she married you.   She may even pull away from friends and family, mom and dad, sisters and brothers if they don’t 100% agree with the way she is handling the situation.  She will consider them unsafe.  She is under a delusion of nothing she does is wrong, but everything other people do that she doesn’t like is wrong. 

Some of the women on GCM will tell her everything you do is abusive.  They will twist everything you say and write…EVERYTHING.  They are self-made psychological experts.  They will give your wife nonbiblical, pop-psychology advice.  And if there are other GCMers in the area, you will have the pleasure of them standing by your house while you try to get your children for a visit.  They need to be there because you are “unsafe” and your wife is scared of you.  In their minds they are there to protect your wife, but in reality they are there to intimidate you. 

Know that you aren’t alone.  Other men have went through this.  My sister cut her immediate family out of her life because we didn’t 100% agree with the way she was handling things (boundaries galore, not making much sense, not being very nice), so we got in contact with my brother-in-law to hear his side.  Wow!  Poor guy.  I am glad we were there for him otherwise he might have been driven insane.   I hope knowing that you aren’t alone will help you keep your sanity during this time.  (Actually my brother-in-law reached out to us first.  I told him what my sister told me to say, “Only talk to my sister about the children and the finances and I will not discuss her with you,” but my sister still wasn’t happy with that.  So when she wrote us out of her life, I contacted my brother-in-law.)

Even though things are bleak, there is hope.  It is in the Lord Jesus Christ.  He is all powerful.  Admit to God that you’re a sinner and repent (turn from) your sins and put your trust in Christ.  He will take you from death from sin to life in Him.  With Him, there is hope!  Be praying for your wife and your marriage!

More About Psychology

 The quotes below come from this article: http://www.angelfire.com/psy/idolatry/  

“We cannot act or believe as the world does, or follow its worldly teachers or those who try to mix worldly wisdom of the ungodly with God’s pure Word and call it holy because they themselves are perhaps “christian”.”

“He promises to send those who do not love truth a strong delusion so that they will believe the lie. What lie? Any lie, any falsehood or expert opinion of some professional, some outstanding member of the church hierarchy, pop “christian” author, highly recommended “christian” counselor, televangelist, “christian” politician, et al.” 

“To continue, some very well known men and women would have us believe they have been called by God to practice “christian psychiatry” or to teach
psychology to the church. They mostly say the bible is “insufficient” to solve the problems of the body of Christ and that the pastors and lay believers cannot handle the tough problems with the tools provided them in the Word of God. However, the Holy Bible says that God’s written Word and the Living Word, Jesus Christ is sufficient. These experts who encourage a psychobabble gospel fail to disclose how many clients such professionals have led into despair, divorce, or suicide while replacing the truth of God with a lie.”

“How many marriages have been weakened or “put asunder” in the name of helping achieve empowerment or personal fulfillment? Where is their absolute stand for the foreverness of marriage and family as required by God’s holy Word?  Where do such christian psychologist’s get the authority to justify encouraging divorce on the basis of abuse allegations or spousal misconduct?” – This is what happened to my sister!!!  The women on GCM aren’t psychologists, but they sure do give this kind of worldly advice.  They don’t know the men and often don’t know the women IRL (in real life), but that doesn’t stop some of these women to encourage others to separate, lie to their husband about their intentions of divorce, then file for a divorce.  It seems like a recurring theme on the site.  Now I don’t want to downplay abuse so I will soon be posting on that topic in greater detail as well as what the Bible says about marriage.  But knowing both my sister and brother-in-law, I know my sister was not abused like the women on this site have convinced her of.  In fact my sister read abuse books recommend from women on GCM, she then “discovered” she was abused by her own mother!!  She loved her mother up to this point and never would have assigned that mischaracterization to our dear mother before she read all those books!

“Godless ideas do not produce godly lives, marriages, or families.”        

“Jesus said his followers are to deny self.  Why then do therapists encourage almost every client to focus on self?  Where is our response to Apostle Paul’s command for us to esteem others as better than ourselves?”

“Psychotherapy and its unproven theory has become a false religion for millions. It has even become a destructive cult. Those ensnared follow their
therapists into idolatry instead of obeying the Word of God which can set them free. Until one comes to rely upon the Word of God as being wholly sufficient, one remains ensnared in false doctrines of demons.”

The article continues with the importance of godly counsel and the
sufficiency of Scripture and is worth reading in its entirety.