Defining Emotional Abuse: An Assault on Reality

This article is part of a series that examines different aspects of emotional abuse.  I will focus on one of the primary control strategies of emotional abuse, which is an assault on the wounded partner’s view of reality. The clinical terms for this are “gaslighting” and “crazymaking”. These refer to one person’s attempt to change, distort or deny the other’s understanding of events. The goal is to keep the partner off balance and make them unable to trust their perceptions. I often hear women in emotionally abusive relationships say things like, “Did I just imagine it?” or “Am I making
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Cultural Narcissism in the US

As with all things evil, the origin can be found at the fall of Eden. We see there our father and mother, Adam and Eve, deciding to take what they believed they deserved instead of trusting God to provide. COVID-19 has only exposed this problem. It turns out that the virus among us isn’t simply biological; it’s a virus of the spirit and heart as well.
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Of Myths and Men: Men Who Are Abused

Our culture is a hard place to be a man, and even harder for men who are abused. The models of manhood we hold up are more caricatures than truth. On the one hand, you get TV shows like Raymond and King of Queens where men are clueless, large, children who have to be nagged into responsibility and adulthood by their wives. At the other end of ridiculousness is the picture of the action hero who gets shot twice, stabbed 4 times, thrown off a building, and pummeled for 10 straight minutes only to get up and save the day.
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Covid 19: An Invitation to Stillness

For many of us, life is usually such a whirlwind of activity that there isn’t room or time to really get things in order. We’re too busy, too rushed, overcommitted, and stretched thin. But what if someone called a big time out? What if life slowed down? What if I got stuck in my house for a few weeks because of a worldwide pandemic? And what if, just maybe, this big time out actually contains an invitation for us? What if it’s an opportunity to look at how we live, what we value, and where our priorities lie? Maybe it
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Finding Sanity in the Age of COVID-19

You may never have looked at it this way, but relationships have personalities, just like people do. Some are calm, durable, steady, and comfortable; others are fiery and full of ups and downs. Some marriages contain partners who are joined at the hip and who live most of their lives in each other’s company, perhaps even managing to work together as well as live together. Others function better with more time apart, where each person pursues individual interests while still being able to come together over shared enjoyments. When you take the personality of the marriage and combine it with
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How Strong is Your Foundation?

One of the primary themes at the Marriage Recovery Center is the concept of “Healing Together”. This philosophy refers to the concept that a marriage can only heal if both individuals do their part in the process. We frequently ask husbands and wives to do individual work in addition to the growing they do together. Men, this one is for you!
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The Attack on Marriage in the Fall of Eden

Directly after sinning against God by entertaining and agreeing with Satan’s accusation against Him, Adam and Eve got straight on to sinning against one another and against their marriage. The result has echoed throughout the ages. There is a principle in scripture that the older and more original a thing is, the more power it has. What this means for us is that the sin that Adam and Eve committed against one another and against their marriage tends to be a powerful stronghold present in many marriages today. Genesis 3: 9-12 records that as the snake engaged Eve in conversation,
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When Sleeping Dogs Won’t Lie

People often have anxiety about getting help for their marriages. That anxiety can have many sources. For example, concern about what others will think—will they assume our marriage is in trouble? Sometimes the anxiety is that talking about the marriage with someone else will stir up problems and “awaken sleeping dogs.” We tend to work hard at sweeping things under the rug, stuffing away our feelings and learning to live with the way things are. Looking at the truth of our feelings and relationships can be intimidating and frightening.
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