Leading Authority in Treatment of Narcissism and Emotional Abuse

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Finding A Safe Place

In my last post, I talked about my “safe place” being a place of sound, rather than a place of sight. A lot of times, the song going around in my head is usually bits and pieces of something I’ve heard recently. But, when I’m really down, I resort to “It is Well.” I grew up on hymns, so that rolls easily off my tongue, but I also love the modern Bethel Music adaptation.  More often than not, I’ll be singing it in the midst of weeping. Anyone looking on would certainly think it is NOT well with my soul! And yet I’ve learned that sometimes I have to tell my soul what to feel, and underneath everything going on, I completely entrust myself to God’s care.

I may be weeping, and the storm may be fierce around me, but I’ve learned to rest in His power and sovereignty. Maybe it seems a bit crazy that you could rest in the middle of the storm. (I won’t deny that I’m a bit crazy!) That may be one of the biggest concepts I try to model to every woman whose path crosses mine. We can keep our souls so wrought up in anxiety and fear – no state of “wellness” at all – that it negatively impacts the people around us, often tearing down the very things we are seeking to build up! While we cannot make the people around us change, paying attention to the status of your own soul will make a huge impact on how you think through boundaries and the direction of your steps. This is an important way to live well no matter what your circumstances look like.

This Week’s Question:

Hi, I’m in a verbally abusive narcissistic marriage. My husband is not a believer but I am. I don’t feel there is any hope for my marriage. My husband is not humble at all even after having spent time in jail and after the fact that I packed up the kids and left him for awhile. I speak the truth to him often but he will not humble himself to even have any sort of relationship with me at all. My question is, when is it okay to leave? My heart is not in my marriage at all because there’s no marriage here anyway. I would love to be free of him but I love God more and I want to do the right thing. I hate that my kids see this and think it’s what marriage is.

Everyone I tell wants me and the kids out of this situation but again, I want to do the right thing.

Sharmen’s Answer:

Honoring God in a marriage includes standing up against the sin in that marriage. Your husband not being a believer means that he has not subscribed to God’s way of doing things, so it’s likely he won’t understand what you are taking a stand about, but will more than likely just see it as an affront to his power and control. But, it could be worth the effort to draw a line in the sand with good boundaries and/or an intervention to see what he is really going to choose to do/be before you give up on the marriage completely. In other words, before you leave the marriage, give him a chance to see himself for the broken sinner that he is. He might not listen to truth, but no longer engaging with him in the same ways that you have may be a catalyst for him to begin to look at himself and want to change. It might also simply cause him to dig his heels in further to maintain his personal sense of power and control.

Something else to consider, though, is that God often uses marriage as a mission field. In other words, He may have you in that marriage to show your husband a bit of Jesus. If you think about it, no one else will pray for your husband like you would, or do that kind of spiritual battle on his behalf. No one else has the vested interest in his salvation that you do! It may be extremely difficult (and lonely!) but there are a myriad of ways you can be a conduit of grace and mercy to him to invite him to surrender to God without simply being a doormat who “prays more, endures more, and waits for God to step in.” Again, Jesus never enabled or minimized sin, and he’s not asking you to, either. He’s also not asking you to die for your husband’s sin – He already paid that price, too. Let him be both your shield and your guide as you seek to be salt and light in this marriage… He will give you the wisdom to know what to do, and the courage to do it – whether it’s to stay in the marriage or to get out.


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