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Christian Marriage Advice Encourages Abusive Relationships - Part 3 of 4

Updated on May 2, 2018
Joy At Home profile image

Joy has had a love relationship with Jesus since she was 14, and has taught Christian religious classes to various ages since she was 16.

Control Freaks Adjust Your Reality to Match Their Own

Control Freaks Adjust Your Reality to Match Their Own. A narcissist cannot permit you to believe something of which they do not approve. You will not be allowed to see things as they are.
Control Freaks Adjust Your Reality to Match Their Own. A narcissist cannot permit you to believe something of which they do not approve. You will not be allowed to see things as they are. | Source

Introduction

For the basis of this 4-part article series, describing how common Christian relationship advice sets up women and children for problems, see Part 1. Part 2 explores control tactics, maturity factors, and sexuality. Now we move on to conversation considerations, lifestyle choices, and habits.

Conversation Aspects to Consider

Now we will move on to things to notice while talking with your partner (or potential partner).

  • How does he respond or react to your heartfelt desires, dreams, and needs? Notice how he speaks of your talents, dreams, ambitions, hopes, fears, and other personal responses - to you and others. How he responds to these things reveals what he thinks of you - your heart, soul, and spirit. If he says that he loves you, but belittles what you think and desire, you can assume you are nothing to him but a form of masturbation. And no matter how well he seems to treat you now, in a few years’ time, the only thing you will be able to count on is the tension of instability. He needs to be allowed to disagree with your perspective...but he should never cross the line of disrespecting your passions, dreams, and talents, by scoffing at or otherwise belittling them. If you accept this behavior from him, he will continue to use you as a step-ladder for his ego, and may even take joy in your subsequent misery. Your life will grow smaller, not larger, and the drive and passion you now feel will dissipate, as you become used to having your emotions crushed. You will become sub-human, but a shadow of your former self. It is difficult to get yourself back, even if you leave behind the emotional abuse that erased you.

  • Does he interrupt you often (or mostly).

  • Does he make fun of you? - your vocabulary, mannerisms, health, diet, lifestyle, house or location, pets, or other aspects of your life.

  • When speaking, does he tend toward monologues, or does he understand give-and-take? Does he actually listen to what other people say - with his heart as well as his head? Does he listen at all?

  • Does he usually state his needs and wants clearly and directly, and without being manipulative? Or does he seem to expect you to read his mind?

  • In what ways does he demonstrate that he is capable of seeing someone else's perspective?

  • What revelations have you had about his sense of humor? What does he find funny?

  • What are his favorite movies, and why?

  • Who are his heroes, and why?

  • Has he ever lied to you? Why, and about what? What is his attitude toward getting caught in a lie?

  • In what ways has he made you feel as if you are less than he is, or as if you deserve less?

  • Does he ask your opinion on everyday matters? When you disagree with something, how does he respond? Does he offer lip service, but disregard your desires or intuitions? Does he stare you down, or get verbally abusive? (hurling accusations, screaming, calling you names, making threats).

  • Does he speak to others of what he considers to be your flaws? - stubbornness, habits, accent, etc.

  • How does he speak of other couples?

Lifestyle Choices of Which to Be Aware

A person’s lifestyle can reveal quite a lot about their core beliefs. What can you guess about your man, based on his lifestyle decisions?

  • Does he seem more interested in prestige, or in helping people?

  • How does he really feel about his money? Notice what he does with his spare change. For example, is it all over the floor of his car? In a jar on the counter, with a designated purpose? In a growing personal fund for charity?

  • How does he feel about your money? Does he want to use it? Feel threatened by it? Or seem to feel that you are entitled to what you get?

  • Does he know how to budget his money? Is he willing to do so, and where in that system might you fit, supposing you did not have your own income for a time? Are his bills paid regularly and on time - with a cheerful attitude? In what condition is his credit? What debts has he incurred, and what is his system for paying those back? Does he regularly bounce checks, or take out small loans of family and neighbors...which go unpaid for months or years?

  • What is his work record? In what ways has he attained his positions, and how does he respond to co-workers, his boss, and others in the workplace?

  • Is he making a living doing what he loves, or just killing time until some magical point at which he can advance? Is he at least working toward something which he is passionate about, perhaps in his spare time?

  • What does he feel is his mission or purpose in life?

  • Can he outline for you what his goals are for the next year, five years, or perhaps even 10 years? Is he making serious efforts to achieve his goals and ambitions?

  • How does he spend his down time?

  • What hobbies has he, and in what ways does he devote himself to these enjoyments - time, finances, education….

  • Does he study or learn on a regular basis, even when he does not need to because of classes, etc.? Does he make consistent efforts to grow as a person, even when no one is watching?

  • Does he ever engage in Bible study on his own? In what way does he apply or use this learning? Does he regularly use it for divisive purposes, or for impressing others?

  • What lifestyle and living arrangements does he think are ideal?

  • Has he demonstrated a clear ability to truly care for his own home and possessions, including keeping up on laundry, dishes and basic cleaning chores? - or does he always leaves these responsibilities to someone else? What about basic cooking skills?

  • If you meet him outside of an official date, how does his appearance strike you? In other words, what is his norm when he is not trying to impress anyone in particular?

  • In what condition are his vehicles, and how did he acquire them?

  • What is his normal hygiene?

  • How would he describe his goals for his family and children, whether current or future?

  • How does he feel about pregnancy, child rearing, adoption, and similar matters?

  • If he has traveled, for what reasons has he traveled? Has he done it for business, or pleasure - perhaps for vacation - or because he was running away from something? (Emotionally, if not legally?)

  • How does he view education? Particularly, in what way has he used any education he has gotten? Does he ever use his education to put other people down, or to show superiority?

  • How does he respond to beauty, whether man-made or natural in form? Does he make special efforts to cultivate beauty in his life?

  • In what ways does he demonstrate healthy boundaries?

Your Senses, Physical and Moral, Will Be Dulled

Long-term psychological and emotional abuse frequently leads to exhaustion, then to autoimmune disorders, in which your body begins to obey orders to be totally destroyed.
Long-term psychological and emotional abuse frequently leads to exhaustion, then to autoimmune disorders, in which your body begins to obey orders to be totally destroyed. | Source

His Personal Traits, Failings, and Shortcomings

In this section, we will examine more minutely what sorts of details go into your partner's make-up. This is not a personality test. These questions are designed to reveal, under greater magnification, those things which will probably lead to trouble down the line, or of which you should be aware as you consider making a commitment.

  • To whom does he turn when he has a problem? - and after airing the situation, what steps does he take to resolve his problems?

  • Can he stand to spend time alone with himself, even when he is not simply exhausted and planning on sleeping or relaxing?

  • How does he feel about self-help and self-improvement materials and efforts? Therapy and counseling? Especially beware if he thinks therapy is great for you, but not for him.

  • In what ways does he show off? What are his attention-seeking behaviors?

  • To what things and conditions (circumstances) does he feel entitled?

  • Does he regularly spend time examining his own heart, and in what ways does he deal with what he finds there?

  • From what kinds of things does he have a tendency to run?

  • Does he demonstrate a poor-me attitude, or a lack of empathy?

  • How about frequent negativity or pessimism?

  • What are his criminal and traffic records? How did these records develop?

  • Does he seem to attract trouble, or always seem to be in crisis?

Bad Habits Checklist

What are his bad habits, and to what extent is he willing to go to continue these habits? Examples might include:

  • smoking

  • drinking to excess; drunkenness

  • recreational drugs

  • sex with strangers, or with many different people on a regular basis

  • rage

  • addiction to drama

  • addictions to p***, TV shows, or other fantasy driven media

  • compulsive spending

  • destructive eating habits, including eating disorders and compulsive eating

  • gossiping

  • uncontrolled talking, or constant talking

  • procrastination, and many unfinished projects

Taking Back Emotional Power - Narcissists Destroy You - Are You Finishing Their Job?

About Captivating

I met the book Captivating after reading its companion volume, Wild At Heart. Written by a husband and wife team, Captivating is addressed to women, and Wild to men. I loved both.

What I adored - and found most helpful - about Captivating, is the fact that it is deep and includes life changing teachings, yet is calm, thoughtful, and heroic in its lack of condemnation. It is also never dry or stiff. It is like sitting down for lunch with the wisest woman you know, and discussing a wife’s role in creation. Not wife...all women. This book is a woman's advocate… yet never short-changes the men, either. Its approach is balanced and even fun.

The main teaching that is atypical is that women were created - and designed - as a crown for creation - not merely as an emotional and sexual appendage for some male. I found this not only refreshing, but instructive, as well. This helped me begin healing from years of emotional and verbal abuse by chauvinists, beginning in childhood.

Other points which were well explained: God woos us, as Christ’s future Bride, much as a man woos a woman during courtship. He does this even before we properly know Him, by putting things in our lives that point us to His attentions and care for us. (Several examples are given.) He wants to go on adventures with us, and help us experience new things.

All in all, this is an excellent book!

Marriage Materials - Comment Below with Recommendations

Are There Relationship Books or Audios Which You Can Wholeheartedly Recommend?

See results

© 2018 Joilene Rasmussen

Have You Experiences or Questions to Add to This Discussion?

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    • Joy At Home profile imageAUTHOR

      Joilene Rasmussen 

      23 months ago from United States

      Very nicely said!

      I laughed: "Very few people are walking around with one hand raised in the air screaming:

      'I’m looking for someone to change me!'"

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 

      23 months ago from Chicago

      This article is very helpful for those needing help in creating a mate selection process for themselves. Knowing what one wants and needs in a mate or relationship definitely makes all the difference in the world when it comes to (choosing) a partner.

      In a world with over 7 Billion people there's someone for everyone!

      However for the most part it’s not about “right” or “wrong” but rather “agree” or “disagree”. For example a smoker dating another smoker would not consider smoking a “bad habit”.

      Ultimately if (both people) are {into the same thing} they naturally feel “compatible”.

      Most people want to be loved and accepted for who (they) are.

      Unfortunately we live in a world where instead of people {moving on} they “take on projects” in an attempt to get their mate to “change”. I’ve heard more than one woman proclaim they have to “teach/train” men how to treat them.

      School is out! He’s not “the one”. Move on!

      Life is too short to be trying to "change water into wine".

      If you or your mate has to “change” their core being in order to make a relationship “work” odds are you’re probably with the wrong person! Very few people are walking around with one hand raised in the air screaming:

      “I’m looking for someone to change me!”

      Knowing what one wants/needs in a mate or relationship and having the self-discipline to stick to their “must haves list” can save time and avoid unnecessary drama and heartache.

      The one thing everyone must be careful about is expecting anyone to be “perfect”. In fact some people get so carried away with their must haves list that they never stop to consider what (they) have to offer “Mr. Right” in return. Ask yourself:

      “If I were him would I want me?”

      Don’t expect to sit next to the moon unless (you) are a star!

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