What will he (or she) do this time?

Grace for my Heart

It’s Narcissist Friday (a little early)    

(I rerun this post occasionally, hoping to offer some encouragement for those who have to handle holidays with narcissistic people.  Although the references are to a male narcissist, we all understand that wives, sisters, mothers, daughters, and other women can be narcissistic as well.  Please understand that this is not meant to empower the narcissist, but to help you have a reasonable holiday.  This is about you and your family/friends.  I would not suggest these for normal use in a narcissistic relationship, but these things might help to make the narcissist’s presence bearable for you and others.  I hope this helps you to have a blessed holiday.)

Narcissists aren’t very good about holidays or family gatherings.  Unless they can be the center of attention, they sulk or tell odd jokes or intrude on conversations or something strange.  He might even flirt with…

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More than an abused wife

Even though abuse has dominated my life, I am more than an abused wife. I’m a woman, created by the Lord, for a purpose outside of pain. God, not my abuser, has a claim upon my life. No matter what my abuser has said or done, no matter what lies he’s told, no matter what excuses he’s made, none of it can change who God created me to be.

I’m a Christian, a woman, a mother, a homemaker, and a homeschooler. I love the Word of God. I devour books, love words, and steal as many minutes as I can to write. I can’t imagine life without children or pets. I read cookbooks like novels, and easily get lost in the beauty of trees. I like to escape outside for a few minutes just as day is breaking and night is falling. I am created in God’s image whole and complete apart from my abuser’s definition or treatment of me—I just failed to grasp that for a long time. I gave up many of the things I loved because my husband demanded that I do so. I gave up me, trying to please him. But there was always a real me hidden behind the facade of the fearful, broken woman I became. Due to the grace of God, I’m rediscovering who I am.

The Word of God is sufficient to help as we seek to cast off the cruelties of the past, and embrace who God has created us to be. God, through His holy Scriptures and the application thereof, can help us not only to overcome, not only to survive abuse, but to thrive. We no longer have to feel like a kid standing outside of a candy store, with her nose pressed against the glass, looking at the goodies she knows she can never have—except, instead of looking at sweets, we looked at and longed for normal, didn’t we? For kindness. To be loved unconditionally. I know I did, and I imagine you did, too. But God fulfills all of that—and so much more.

It can be hard work peeling back all of the layers of your abuser’s lies but it’s worth it. You, just as God created you, are a fabulous person. Sure you’ve got flaws, we all have flaws—but there is a world of difference in having flaws and being flawed. Dear one, you aren’t flawed. Your abuser lied to you when he told you that. You are beautiful. You are precious. Anything you don’t like about yourself and want to work on, you can—but because you want to, not because he’s forcing you to. Always remember that you are worthy of finding you and of finding the freedom that awaits you.

Futile? No, but hard!

Grace for my Heart

It’s Narcissist Friday!     

I often read or hear about people who suggest that we should just fight the narcissists in our lives. After all, they are wrong and we are right. Stand up to them. Gather others against them. Tell your story and others will listen and believe you, they say. Just say no to the narcissist.

But that’s easier said than done. In fact, I wonder if those who give that advice have ever tried to do it, and I wonder if they succeeded. Most of those who try to stand against a narcissist find an opponent far stronger than they expected.

Why is it so hard to fight a narcissist? Well, most of us have never really fought anyone, and a narcissist is one of the most formidable people you will ever meet. Many strong and capable people have lost everything when they dared to go…

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Who is he really?

You’re married to a man who sometimes seems to be the greatest guy in the world. When he wants to, he can be so wonderful. During those times, he’s a loving husband, an involved father, and just an all around great guy. At those times, you just wish that you could stop time and it would last forever. But those times won’t last forever—will they? He won’t remain a loving husband and father because that’s not who he really is. He isn’t really the greatest guy in the world, is he? No, he’s not. Because the greatest guy in the world wouldn’t systematically try to destroy you. He wouldn’t try to hurt you. He wouldn’t lie to you or about you. He wouldn’t be addicted to porn or use it as justification for sexually abusing you. He wouldn’t break your heart again and again and again. And he’d never, ever, do anything that would endanger his children. But your guy does, doesn’t he? All the time.

But maybe he’s not really an abuser; maybe he just hasn’t gotten over the things he went through as a child. Depending on the case, that is possible but it is also doubtful. It’s true that there are some folks who take a long time to heal but it is also true that, even if this were the case, if he loved you, he’d be doing his very best to be a better man, a better husband and father, and he wouldn’t be systematically hurting you and your children. Maybe he wants to do better but hasn’t learned how to yet. You must ask yourself if he is doing everything he can to heal and to grow? Is he actively working on improving himself? Has he stopped abusing you? Is he devoting himself to being a better husband and father? Or is he making excuses for why he’s not farther along in his healing? For why he’s not able to control his temper or his mood? You need to seriously consider these questions, pray over them, and be honest with yourself.

The most important thing to consider when you’re trying to decide if your husband is an abuser and you are a victim of domestic abuse is this: Are you afraid of your husband? If you are afraid of him, something is dreadfully wrong and needs to be addressed immediately. If you are in danger, don’t just continue reading—find a way to leave NOW.

Do you need more convincing or you are just not sure? Ask yourself these questions: Do you walk on eggshells around your husband? Have you changed your beliefs, the way you speak, act, or dress, or what you like or dislike, in order to please him? Do you go out of your way to accommodate him? If you are constantly stressed when you are around your husband, if you believe you must do whatever he says or accommodate his wishes no matter how bizarre, if he gets angry for little or no reason, if you’ll do anything to keep from setting him off, the chances are very, very great that you are in an unhealthy or even a dangerous relationship.

Questions for the abused woman

Has your husband or boyfriend ever hit you, slapped you, pushed you, or gotten physical in any way with you—even once?

Are you afraid of him?

Has he ever threatened to kill you?

Are your children afraid of him?

Do your children show signs of fear or anxiety when he is around?

Has he hurt your children or threatened to hurt them?

Has he hurt your pets or threatened to hurt them?

Do you feel that you have to make excuses for his behavior?

Are you afraid to let your family or friends know how he treats you?

Can you say “no” to him without fear?

Do you feel as if you can never please him?

Does he control your time, your money, your choices, everything?

Do you feel like you are going crazy?

Do you feel hopeless or helpless?

Are you stressed when you are around him or when you think about him?

Does he make you feel small?

Do you stay with him because you are afraid to leave him?

Do you have any solid reason to believe that things will ever change?

This man is an abuser. Now ask yourself this: What are you going to do?