Emotional abuse is a covert, dehumanizing, psychological and spiritual reframing of reality that causes deep damage to the core of a person. Survivors of emotional abuse often struggle with depression, complex-post-traumatic-stress-disorder, muscular pain, vascular problems, brain fog, sleep disorders, and more. As long as you continue to live in the poisonous atmosphere of emotional abuse, you may wrestle with the ability to breathe the clean air of Truth and find the freedom and joy of living as the person God created you to be.
Christians believe it is loving to encourage and support chronically hurtful, unrepentant spouses, and many tend to criticize and isolate the spouse who leaves the destructive relationship. But that isn’t love. That’s enabling and empowering destructive sin. From an eternal standpoint, it is reprehensible and has ramifications that reach well into future generations.
What is right is wrong, and what is wrong is right.
The Religious Leaders gnashed their teeth at Jesus when He healed on the Sabbath. How dare He break their Sabbath Laws? Today they gnash their teeth at Christian women when they flee destructive marriages. How dare they tell the truth about the broken marriage vows they lived with?
We erase mistakes. We delete irrelevant material. We edit out unimportant points.
But have you ever been erased by someone?
There was once a Christian woman who got married. Shortly after her wedding day, she was attacked by her husband. He took her dignity and reputation, shamed her, blamed her, treated her like his property, and left her half-dead, alone in her home.
The whole “God Hates Divorce” mantra is just that, a modern day catch phrase often used to keep women stuck in destructive marriages.
Anger provides the energy necessary to fight for life sometimes. It can be the fuel that inspires courage and initiative to right wrongs, stand up for the weak, and defend the helpless.
If you are tangled up in a confusing relationship, one effective strategy to gain a solid footing (and eventually a voice) is to write things down. It doesn’t matter if you are a good writer or not. Your purpose isn’t to win a Pulitzer prize. Here are three important things you can record on paper (or on your computer) that will be tremendously helpful to you over time.
Can you have a healthy relationship where there is lying, covering up, pretending, overlooking, and ignoring? Does that foster intimacy? Of course not. Healthy relationships are grown in the soil of vulnerability and safety. When two people are open and honest, they can get close and experience authentic acceptance and love. Anything less is dysfunctional in some way.
Someone who is truly sorry will not make excuses, blame you or something else, rationalize their behavior, or justify what they did. If a person is doing any of those things, they are not sorry. Period.