I don’t even know why I read stuff like this anymore, but I’m sucked in and I read it anyway, then I think to myself, “I’ll read the comments,” and I’m almost always disappointed. I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and a link came up, to a Christian site explaining signs of an emotionally abusive relationship.
This is good right? Women, and men, are being emotionally abused all the time in Christian relationships and we would want them to recognize the signs so they could either A) get the help for themselves and their spouse that they need to rectify the situation or B) get out if the situation is too bad. According the comments, apparently, it’s not good that a Christian site would even mention the idea of emotional abuse.
The comment above is something I grabbed real quick. Upon a quick read, not knowing what exactly it was in relation to, you might think this comment was referring to small disagreements in marriage. We all have to work through agreements in marriage, because that’s what marriage is all about. We compromise, we give, we take–all of that and a bag of chips, so forth, and so on.
This comment was not about that though; this comment was a comment made concerning emotional abuse. When we talk about emotional abuse, we’re not talking about simple disagreements or simple problems with anger. We are talking about people who thrive off of being emotional terrorists to the people they supposedly love. It’s abuse, not simple disagreements.
No doubt, this same person would praise the idea of treating your spouse with respect and dignity, right? This same supposed Christian would counsel us to be forgiving and loving of our spouses. Does that not mean that you’re not supposed to be emotionally abusive to them? Look, if you espouse the idea of being an unconditionally loving person towards your spouse, then you should also espouse the idea of not being emotionally abusive to your spouse.
For those who have actually been through emotional abuse, it’s not just disagreements or something that needs to be worked out, it’s terrifying and soul-crushing, but for some reason, people who say to love everyone, think it’s ok for you to be in a situation where you’re not loved and you’re essentially being tortured emotionally. How in the heck does that make sense?
You know what you’re supposed to do in a situation where you’re in danger and you’re going to keep being in danger–you’re supposed to leave, or move, or get out of the way. You’re not just supposed to stand there and let a steamroller roll you flat. God gave you legs and a brain for a reason.
Thinking of this from a religious perspective, there are times in the scriptures when God told his children, whom he loves, to leave a situation when the situation was too much of a danger to them. He didn’t just tell his prophets to tell the people, “Oh, you’re just having a disagreement.” He told them to get the heck out of Dodge, or Israel, or Egypt, whatever the case may be.
In some cases getting out may have been very dangerous and may have involved surviving in the desert or the wilderness, but this was preferable to staying in the situation they were in. The situations these people were in would have led to the breaking of their spirits, abuse, the loss of their faith, and eventually their deaths.
Knowing this, why would anyone think it was acceptable to stay in a situation that crushed a person?
How can you say love everyone unconditionally, but somehow your spouse doesn’t count in that love unconditionally thing? Just because you marry someone, that doesn’t give them the license to treat you like gunk on the bottom of their shoe.
Emotional abuse can be a very dangerous situation and these attitudes of people who claim to be Christian can be extremely detrimental, but those same people should look to the scriptures for stories about Moses and the Children of Israel, or baby Jesus and his family when they fled from King Herod, or even Nephi and his family when they had to separate from members of their own family because of the abuse they were suffering.
God told them to leave because he feared what might happen to their minds, souls, and lives at the hands of their fellow-men and even family members. God does not expect a woman, or a man, to stay in a soul-crushing relationship.