UNDERSTANDING TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS THROUGH SUBTLE RED FLAGS
I’m grateful to God that I’ve moved past Adam’s abuse; I can only hope I’m able to help other people find healing from the hurt I once endured.
You may not realize you’re sharing life with your version of Abusive ‘Adam’ because your partner is a believer or you’re, in fact, a minister’s husband/wife. Despite being in a Christian relationship, you’re afraid, not knowing how long before you’re verbally abused or traumatized because you cross the line—their lines.
This might be a moment in your relationship, whether with ‘Abusive Adam’ or ‘Pretentious Pastor’, to stop and ask yourself, “What am I doing?” many people in abusive and toxic marriages have no idea that they are oppressed!
HOW PEOPLE USE MARRIAGE TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOU
“A healthy relationship doesn’t drag you down. It inspires you to be better.”
Very often, the word marriage is synonymous with love, and love, in other words, will mean vulnerability –Giving the other person the ability to affect your emotions. This is a good thing, but it is also a bad thing when used to enslave and harm the other person. When mind games and manipulations are used to enforce obedience and compliance to something totally against one’s will, there is a problem.......
The Christian community especially has experienced a lot of setbacks with shameful and shocking realizations on how they treat their partners. We are called to show love to our neighbors and enemies because that is the foundation of our faith. And because of this truth, many men and women fall prey to emotional predators and manipulators, all in a bid to leave socially right. Note these signs.
HOW TO KNOW EXCESSIVELY CONTROLLING SPOUSES
1. Intense Cleaving:
We’re meant to be joined to our spouse, but aren’t their boundaries? I am so much in love with my husband, who is dear to my soul. But in this love ordeal, he respects my time and understands that sometimes I need my privacy and quietness.
He also understands that I have my women’s ministry that God has given me responsibility for. He does not intrude unless I need his help about a thing. He does not choke me with his input. That’s how marriages should be, so whenever you find yourself locking up in a room, overwhelmed with so much attention, or when you feel like escaping, then there is a problem.
2. Lousy Jealousy:
Jealousy is expected in a relationship and sometimes is used as a measure of healthy relationships. But when there is this high sense of possessiveness and mistrust in the relationship, filled with threats and a strong sense of insecurity, that is your sign. I experienced this with the man who hurt me.
Adam’s jealous spirit also works in Christian spouses despite their faith background. This spirit makes people obsessively controlling and domineering. It often indicates deep-seated emotional issues they’re dealing with. This is one to marinade on.
3. Isolation from Family and Friends:
When God talked about leaving your mother and father and cleaving to your partner, he meant building wholeness through oneness, not isolation from other relationships in your life. Transferred commitment and attention should not mean turning yourself against other people.
But when your partner totally cuts you off and separates you from family and friends who have been in your life before you got in with them, all because he/she doesn’t feel comfortable, you need to be careful. When your partner stops you from communicating with your parents, siblings, or friends under the guise of “they hate me” or “they are breaking our relationship” or plainly because he/she doesn’t like them, you need to ask yourself if the accusations are true or baseless.
Adam tried telling me who I needed to cut out of my life because HE didn't like them. He was jealous of them and the connection we had. Over 20 years and they are still around!!! Be mindful of the control......
4. The Use of Hurtful and Hateful Words:
Hurting people, hurt people. Words are beautiful and soothing when used correctly and as tools for edification. But when the person you love and trust uses those same words to defame, abuse, and belittle you, there is a huge problem.
The words from the person you love should be uplifting, encouraging, and empowering, not the other way round. Do not make excuses in your head for the person who uses hurtful words on you. Don’t do that. Please stop it.
5. Spiritual Oppression
God’s word is a sword against the enemy (our spiritual enemy), For we wrestle not against flesh and blood. But when your spouse begins to use the Word to micro-manage you, even criticize you, and pull you into obscurity despite the evident hand of God and grace in your life, you need to stop and ask difficult questions.
Does my spouse feel threatened by my ministry? Is he/she understanding, or does he/she need help to manage emotional issues? I’m I submitting to manipulation while resisting the grace of God? Does my husband/wife feel honored by my sacrifice, or does he/she suppress me like a slave? I’m I letting myself be controlled, micro-managed, and abused? I’m I experiencing the Love of God and Grace from my spiritual spouse?
When the Pastor incessantly discriminates against your voice or the choir because you’re leading it, you need to tell them to stop! God’s hand has always been over women and men alike throughout the Bible. Let me not go on a rant! I digress!!!
In my next blog, I will discuss
HOW AND WHERE TO GET HELP! I hope that you've enjoyed this week's journal entry and you will return next week for part 3. My goal is to send love and encouragement to you and your household. Wherever you are in your journey, know that you are not alone. God is with you... If you are in an abusive relationship, please know that there is help to aid you 24 hours a day. No need to be ashamed. National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-7233 Thank you for reading and please share. © I am Coach Shonda Disclaimer: If you're reposting my blogs, please tag me and or mention me as the author on social media or any other platforms. All blogs are copyrighted by the U.S. Copyright Office. Please by all means share, but put some respect on my name.