Chapter Six of the Book
|My husband wrote this short book a long time ago. He never published it. Maybe you can help me get it ready for publication by helping me with spot any typos, suggest corrections, or anything else. Thanks.
I am going to submit each section or chapter separately.
He is still not finished with the drafts for chapters 4 and 5
So then, what is the problem? The problem is that you are in a trap? The trap is the lies. The lies he tells you and the lies you believe. Actually, both are one and the same. They just seem different. You would not believe any of his lies if you did not already want to believe them anyway. He knows this and uses it against you.
He is banking on that premise that you will not seek advice outside the home. He is banking on his experience with you that you will not question the truth of his statements, and that even when you do, you will just ignore it and keep believing the lie. Finally, he is banking on you hoping that maybe this time he really means it and is going to change. Lies are the bases of a relationship at this point (and this is a very unstable foundation). The truth is what will destroy the lies, and start building a solid, lasting, and durable foundation.
There are specific lies and truths which apply in every one of these cases, and the results are always the same. I will endeavor to explain these truths so that a woman can recognize them in her own life and make the necessary adjustments and changes.
First the lies, and then the truths.
Lie: He doesn't really mean to hurt me, he just can’t help himself.
Truth: It's all about control.
The main problem with this lie is that it tends to imply that the abuser is really innocent and that something else is making him (or her) do what he (or she) does. Either he is trying to control you, or you are trying to control him. Yes, you may be trying to control him in a very indirect way.
Abuse, whether physical, mental, or emotional, has only one benefit to the abuser: Control over the person upon whom they are inflicting it. Even the threat of abuse is abuse, and it is intended for control. Yes, he really means it when he hurts you. It is intentional. And, no matter how many lies you tell yourself he still has only one objective with the abuse: Control.
Lie: He wouldn't hurt me if I would just not keep on doing the things which make him angry.
Truth: abusers don't care what you do, its how they can control you that is important to them, and if taking advantage of you works then that's what they will do.
Read the above.
Lie: I know he has changed because he told me so.
Truth: Everything he says is a lie (or at least it’s with intent to deceive).
How many times has he made the same promise, only to do the same thing again? And, how many times have you lied to yourself that this time it was going to be different? Every time you lie to yourself you only end up feeling worse about yourself. You may not be responsible for what he does, but you are fully responsible for your choices.
Every time you listen to another of his lies you are only telling him that he can continue to lie to you and that you'll believe him no matter how many times he lies. What he sees is that the pattern is continuing and therefore he knows that the same old tricks will work again.
No. He will not learn to tell you the truth if you start giving him the benefit of the doubt. He will only know that he can keep lying and that you will keep believing the lies. He will stop lying to you when he learns that you are going to hold him accountable by watching his behavior, and NOT listening to his words.
Lie: I can help him change
Truth: Only God can change a man.
Too many times what the woman is looking for is not for him to change, as much as trying to control how he changes and what the specific changes will be. Any woman out to change her man is doomed to failure even before she starts. Of course, that has not stopped women from trying.
Women try to change their men in many different (but basically the same) ways. For instance, Maria may nag at him about the things he does that really bother her. Cynthia may use anger outbursts to try to keep him from doing something, Felicia may break out in crying spells. Donna may go into depressive moods. All these ways (and too many others to list here) seem different, but all are the same. They are all intended to get the guy to behave in a manner appropriate to her.
I am reminded of the woman who for years wept and prayed before the Lord for her husband to come to know Christ in his life. Their marriage seemed to be on the way to divorce court unless something changed in "him." After getting numerous prayer partners, filling out countless prayer requests, and besieging the pastors of her church to pray for her situation, the guy gives his life to the Lord. Strangely enough, months after his conversion she is in the pastor's office again. "Pastor, she cries to him, "Before he was a Christian, my husband never paid attention to me. And, now that he's a Christian he is paying more attention to the things of the church than to me. I'm still in the same predicament." "Sister," the pastor replied, "it only proves what your motives were the whole time. You didn't want him saved, you wanted a way to control him."
Lie: If I could learn the right ways to deal with my marriage problems, I would do them always.
Truth: Even when you learn the right things to do, you will end up choosing the opposite (over and over) until you realize it won't work your own way.
As weird as this may seem, the truth is that women going through similar circumstances as you are have developed a delusion that their situation is completely different from everyone else's. And, that though the things you are learning (or will learn) may have worked in everyone else's case, yours will be different. Sorry, it is the same.
Pride, (oops, did I use that word regarding you) has a way of blinding us to what may be the real problem. Yes, of course, he is responsible for his own actions. And, no, you are not at fault for what he chooses. But you very much responsible and accountable for your own actions. Refusing to consider the possibility that you are also a contributor to your abuse, means that you will only prolong that solution.
It would amaze you how many women are going through exactly the same general problems you find yourself in. Even sadder, is the fact that most women (even those who seek counsel) will flatly refuse to consider that they are contributors to their own abuse. "It's his fault," they state angrily, "He is the one that is doing the bad thing. He is the one who has to change."
For a while, what that Christian counselor is telling you will not sound right. For the most part that will be because he or she is not saying what you wanted to hear. Yes, that's right. You will show up with expectations of what the counselor is supposed to say. You know, about how is all that rotten guy's fault. How if he would just behave things would be so much better. Don't lie to yourself, you really do want people to agree with you, even if you do understand that you also played a part in the relationship's destruction.
Do your best to quickly get over the strong compulsion to keep doing it the way you've tried before. It didn't work then, and it will not work now. You need to do things differently.
Lie: My situation is different from every other case.
Truth: You are living a pattern that is the same in each case.
Yes, that's what I said. Pattern. You get a ball and throw it to the ground, and without any shadow of a doubt, you can expect it to bounce. All things follow patterns. Humans are no different in this aspect. You are living a pattern. If you pay careful attention to your life (since you remember starting to have these problems) you will notice a pattern.
On the other hand, in continuing to follow the pattern, your response will probably be that there is no pattern in your situation. To most women in these cases, to admit the existence of a pattern in their situations will only make them feel more ashamed that they are not even in control of that.
The quicker you admit the existence of the pattern, the quicker you can start working at changing it. We are encouraged in the Bible (1CO 11:2) to be "transformed by the renewing of our minds." Until you change your way of handling things, you are doomed to repeat the circumstances. Don't believe it? Ask the countless number of women who after having a terrible marriage, ended up marrying the same kind of guy again.
Why did they do that? Well, their thinking didn't change just because they got a divorce. Their process for selecting a man was the same, so they inadvertently chose the same way again.
WE ARE AS WE THINK. WE WILL CHOOSE AS WE THINK. These truths apply to you whether you like them or not. Change your mind and you change the pattern. Remember it’s the actual changing of the mind that brings change to the pattern, not just agreeing with it, or hoping it works, or even believing in it.
For example, the fact is that all you really need is Jesus. But just saying that is not enough. Believing it is not enough. Even wanting it to be true with all your heart is not enough. You have to learn His way of handling things and then start handling things the way you learned for you to see the changes take place.
Lie: If he would change, we would both be happier.
Truth: You both have to change for both of you to be happy.
Question: Why should God change him, if you won't change. Notice I said "won't," not don't. The point here is based on intention. You will have to accept one very real truth. Without God's help, it is impossible for him to make you happy. He may not even understand what true love is. God's kind of love for us is the same as what He wants husbands to have for their wives, and that is something that must be learned. He may have never had anyone to teach him about healthy, true, and Godly love.
Lie: It's all his fault our relationship is suffering.
Truth: It takes two to make it work, and it takes two to destroy it.
Rarely, is it ALL the fault of one person for a destroyed relationship. Most often, both persons are active participants. For example, he (whether knowingly or not) hurts her feelings for no apparent reason. She becomes angry and decides to retaliate by withholding sex from him. He decides that she is the bad guy for what she is doing, and lashes out with a verbal attack. She not being a wimp in those matters, verbally attacks back, this time with mean and personal statements. He hits her. She hits him. On and on.
On the other hand, it may take two people to destroy a marriage, but God needs only one to begin making the changes needed for the healing to take place. Usually, it's you (the one who feels like the victim) that has to start making the changes first. It seems unfair, right?
Lie: I don't have to tell anyone about my problems, we will eventually work them out.
Truth: The guy's biggest weapon is your silence.
He loves it when you keep quiet about your problems. The fewer people who know about it, the more he can get away with it. The biggest enemy he has is the truth. If it got out what was happening in your relationship, well gosh, things would have to change wouldn't they? If he knew others were aware of his actions, he would then know he was accountable to others (like it or not) for his behavior with you.
On the other hand, it would also mean that you would be accountable as well. Some ladies don’t like that. They want others to know what he has been doing, but they don’t want anyone asking them how they may be participating in the breakdown of the relationship.
Lie: The longer it takes, the less chance of reconciliation.
Truth: God has no time limit, he is an eternal being, he will do it at the right time.