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Sammy414

Forgiving when action keeps occuring

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I need some advice on how to forgive my husband. We've been married 6 years this month and have 2 young sons. He has been verbally abusive almost our entire marriage and denies that he is verbally abusive. I've been seeing a therapist and he has repeatedly told me that the things my husband says to me are abusive. 

 

I've spoken to him several time about how he makes me feel and he tells me he won't change.

 

I have a lot of anger towards him, and I know I need to forgive him, but how can I forgive him for hurting me when he keeps doing it? (He has never physically hurt me.)  I've been praying a lot, but feel I need to be doing more.

 

 

Examples of some of his verbal abuse:

-Repeatedly telling me while pregnant that I'm disgusting and I repulse him

-While pregnant with my first child I had horrible back pain and was working about 50-56 hours a week. I would come home and lay down to relieve the pain - he always told me I was lazy

-Telling me I'm gross when he sees me in my garments - he makes me change in the closet or bathroom

-Telling me I need plastic surgery

Edited by Sammy414

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You may be confusing forgiveness with tolerance. You need to recognize him as an imperfect child of God whom you are required to forgive. But the middle of an abusive situation is a hard place to forgive from. You know how to forgive him, but you are in a bad spot right now.

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Examples of his verbal abuse:

-Repeatedly telling me while pregnant that I'm disgusting and I repulse him

-While pregnant with my first child I had horrible back pain and was working about 50-56 hours a week. I would come home and lay down to relieve the pain - he always told me I was lazy

-Telling me I'm gross when he sees me in my garments - he makes me change in the closet or bathroom

-Telling me I need plastic surgery

That's some pretty evil stuff, if you ask me.

Yeah. Evil. I said it.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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The best way to forgive this guy is going to be leaving him.  

 

Make a plan for yourself, put some money in a bank account only you can access, talk to a lawyer, and figure out how to remove yourself and your children from that home without shooting yourself in the foot legally.

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Your husband is definitely abusive, and has already been said, forgiveness is not acceptance for what he has done or is doing. You do not need to accept his abuse. However, exactly what physical steps to take will be your decision. At the very least, as he is giving such abuse I would leave. This will show him that you do not accept what he is giving you and will not allow him to keep attacking. 

 

Now apart from that, no matter how you move forward, I believe you will be a happier person if you can learn to turn this over to God and drop your attachment to it. If you stay, no doubt this will be an on going effort as he throws verbal barbs and you must learn to not let them stick. If you do not forgive, you in some sense allow his words to harm you either by holding on to them so you can build up anger, or believing them and internalizing your pain. Neither is healthy.

 

The first step is to pray for him, which you have started. As Jesus said, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven". Ask Heavenly Father to change his heart. When anger or sadness start to enter in because of his words don't fight back or internalize. Instead turn to God. Use all that feeling and that hurt and pray that God will soften his heart. Then pray that he will strengthen you to be able to withstand the attacks and see him as God does. Over time you will change and he may also if you pray in sincerity. I have seen it happen in my own life. 

 

If you stay with him, and when the Lord begins to change your heart, start to do kind things for him. They do not need to be large but they should be sincere. By doing this you will be returning his anger with kindness.

 

Over, and over, day after day, year after year. This is the process. No doubt you are already a good person, but if you can do these things you will grow. I cannot imagine what a beautiful person you will become. Full of love, slow to anger, resilient, humble. I wish the Lord's blessings upon you in this difficult journey. 

Edited by james12

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The statement "you teach people how to treat you" used to really set me off.  But as I've gotten older I've realized its true.  Until you change your response to him he won't see a need to change.  You can't change him but you can change your response to him.  When you change the status quo he will no longer get what he expects the reaction will be to his abuse.  He is getting something he needs when he treats you badly.  When he quits getting that because you don't respond the same way then one of two things will happen, either the abuse will get worse thus making it easier for you to leave or he'll wake up and realize how hurtful he is being when he does the things you've described and then hopefully repent. 

 

Right now in the middle of a problem is a really hard time to forgive but it can happen.  You need to change how you respond to him.  What he's doing is harmful to you and your children but you have the power to change it.  Because in the end the person he's hurting the worst is himself.

 

Step 1 is to examine your reaction to what he's doing/saying.  Then decide a better way to react/respond.  Then do it.  

Step 2 is to reevaluate.

Step 3 is to repeat Step 1.

 

Make sure you pray, fast and pray, and pray again.  Make sure your reactions/responses are such that the Holy Ghost stays with you.  

 

There might be a time when you have to leave, so prepare, but don't move forward from here thinking this will end in a broken marriage.  There might come a time when his behavior escalates, be prepared.  Put protections in place.  Verbal abuse is often the beginning.  However, everyone can change, including your husband.   

 

I wish you the best.

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Okay, listen up. Take a deep breath, and think about this for a moment.

You are a literal child of God, a child of an almighty, glorified, perfect, and all knowing God. You are created in his image. You have the potential to become just like him, to become a queen, and inherit all that he has. Right now you have more power than Satan and that power was given to you by God because you deserve it. You come from noble lineage. You are entitled to be treated with honor, respect, and dignity AT ALL TIMES.

It is required of all of us to forgive always, but forgiving does not mean subjecting ourselves to abuse. You are being abused, it needs to stop, and now is the best time. Call the bishop and set an appointment. You can live in a life free from abuse. You can.

I hope and pray for your success.

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Examples of his verbal abuse:

-Repeatedly telling me while pregnant that I'm disgusting and I repulse him

-While pregnant with my first child I had horrible back pain and was working about 50-56 hours a week. I would come home and lay down to relieve the pain - he always told me I was lazy

-Telling me I'm gross when he sees me in my garments - he makes me change in the closet or bathroom

-Telling me I need plastic surgery

I'm sorry you are married to a monster, you can forgive him if you want but you don't need to spend one more minute taking his abuse.

 

What kind of example is being set for your kids? is this how they should treat their spouses? 

 

Talk to a lawyer.

Edited by omegaseamaster75

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Time to go.  Unless you want to be an emotional punching bag for him, and for your children.  Don't try and fool yourself into thinking that your kids aren't picking up on this as a way to treat both their mother, and women in general.....

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Why did you marry an abusive man? You said it's been happening your entire marriage which is troubling esspecially because you then new he was abuse and had two subsequent children with him? Did your therapist ask you why you had two children with an abusive individual?

 

From how you've described your husband he sounds like a very shallow person. He also disrepects garments and that is a spiritual red flag.

 

Advice--pack your bags and start the transition to divorce endless he changes behavior. A toxic relationship like that will only hurt your children as well. He needs theraphy and has a lot of unprocessed trauma. Good luck.

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You might find this scripture helpful:

 

D&C 98

 

 41 And if he trespass against thee and repent not the first time, nevertheless thou shalt forgive him.

 42 And if he trespass against thee the second time, and repent not, nevertheless thou shalt forgive him.

 43 And if he trespass against thee the third time, and repent not, thou shalt also forgive him.

 44 But if he trespass against thee the fourth time thou shalt not forgive him, but shalt bring these testimonies before the Lord; and they shall not be blotted out until he repent and reward thee four-fold in all things wherewith he has trespassed against thee.

 45 And if he do this, thou shalt forgive him with all thine heart; and if he do not this, I, the Lord, will avenge thee of thine enemy an hundred-fold;

 46 And upon his children, and upon his children’s children of all them that hate me, unto the third and fourth generation.

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Sorry to hear of your situation. One thing is for sure and your husband is a shallow guy. But In his defense the american media/culture drills into our heads that women need to look and act a certain way. some men are affected by these messages to certain degrees and some are not. Could be a subconscious fear in his mind that his wife needs to look like the tv models or atleast the same as when you were first dating.

 

My wife is not a petite woman but I fell in love with her because she does have a little meat on her bones :) but the "unwritten" expectation was that she would maintain her weight. After our first baby she basically let her self go. I have to admit that i was not too happy, I didnt verbally abuse her about her weight but instead I internalized it and kept those thoughts and feelings to myself and it showed in my behaviour.

 

All I remember growing up in the 90's were my mom and aunties running around with multiple babies on their arms keeping the house clean and in order etc...I had those same expectations of my wife during our marriage, wrong thing to do, its taken me 10 years of our marriage to realize that as long as there are kids under the ages of 8 in the house, the house will never be clean and I am fine with that.

 

I only noticed and observed the good things in my parents relationship, they made it a point to keep all the "dirty laundry" stuff away from us kids so I thought once you got married all was perfect sailing.

 

All these people in here telling you to divorce or leave him, need to ask these questions first.

 

First of all, does he bring more happiness into your life then sadness?

lets say he is a 60% great husband, meaning...

- he keeps his temple covenants

- provides well for the family

- is 100% sexually loyal and dedicated to you

- a great father to his kids

...if so then you guys need counseling and need to work it out.

 

If he is less then 50% of the above items then yeah maybe he needs to be on his own to realize that he is losing a good thing in your companionship.

Edited by priesthoodpower

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I came from an abuse family, Father was an alcoholic, mostly it was verbal but occasionally physical toward my Mother.

Remember that your children are being effected by this behavior and will have to find a way to deal with it. They might accept it and become the same, believe it and be negative about themselves when they get older, or rise above it but will still have to deal with it.

 

I won't tell you to leave him because I don't know him or you or the situation to offer that kind of advise. Others are correct in that it is abuse and the Lord does not expect us to accept it. How we deal with it can make a big difference. 

 

In my old Ward there was a family parents, and a daughter who were wonderful examples of the gospel, the kids of the Ward loved him, he would bring treats every Sunday. The mother and daughter took my wife under their wing and helped her out a great deal and she continues to stay in touch.

 

One day during fasting testimony he went up and gave his testimony of the changing power of the Lord and my jaw hit the floor. This wonderful man and model family was not what once was. He had physically and verbally abused his wife until she fled into another mans arms. He ended up going to jail over it, while in there she had a baby from the other man. While in jail he found the church. I can not imagine the pain and trials it must have taken for this family to bind their wounds, heal the past and become the shinning example they were.

 

Two reasons I tell you this, one people can change IF they really want to. And when I talked to him about it a few months later he explained the problem was the pressures he was under dealing with life, job, health, his past with abusive parents undermined his attempts to rise above how he acted. He did not use this to excuse his horrible behavior, he just explained that at that stage of his life he couldn't get out of the circle he was trapped into and it was only by going to jail and forcing a change in perspective that he was able to deal with fixing himself.

 

Protect yourself and your children first and foremost.

 

Do not accept the situation as normal. Do not jump to any options. Talk to professionals and Church Leaders about what is going on. And take the time to try and see into his perception. Is he lashing out at you because he has medical issues, employment issues, personalty issues, or continuing a cycle from his childhood.  Non of these are acceptable excuses for such behavior but neither you or he can deal with this if you don't understand where it is coming from.

 

Seek guidance from the Lord only you and the Lord truly understand your situation.

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Sweets, it sounds like you are feeling guilty because you are feeling angry and defensive.

 

As far as I can tell, you have a lot of good reasons to be angry.  You are getting hurt!  Of course your insides would choose defenses.

 

I'm not sure I know everything about anger. And I know lots of people are afraid of it because "it's not like Jesus" or because it leads people to be reactive and destructive.  But don't forget that anger has a really important job to do.  It alerts us when something is wrong.  And tries to protect us when other parts of the self aren't as empowered.

 

Instead of feeling so guilty about not forgiving, maybe its time for you to listen to your internal warning system and take empowered steps to protect yourself.  Anger tends to settle down after we honor it and forgiveness tends to come easier once we are safe.

 

You are not safe yet.  So, worry about forgiveness once you are.

 

What needs to happen so you can get safe?

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