I felt I was playing the children’s game of plucking daisy petals, asking, “Does he love me? Does he not?” Life with my husband was so confusing.
It wasn’t until I went to my fifth or sixth counselor that I learned my husband was a “crazymaker” and what that meant. In my just-published memoir, God, the Devil, and Divorce: A Transformative Journey Through Emotional and Spiritual Abuse, I include a scene with that counselor.
“Confusion and shame is exactly what crazymakers want their victims to feel. All these things you’ve told me about Jim—saying one thing and then later, the opposite without acknowledging the difference, his lack of empathy for your physical and emotional state, trying to make you seem the bad one in the relationship, encouraging you to doubt your feelings—they convince me he’s a crazymaker,” she told me.
My counselor warned me that crazymakers are not likely to change. I didn't have the tools to try to effect that change, and, after twenty-five years, I finally left. It wasn’t until I began writing my memoir that I understood the extent of my husband’s crazymaking.
Here are eight of several types of crazymaking behavior
These are but a few of the techniques crazymakers use to gain control over their close relations. Please note that my references here are all about men, but women can be crazymakers, too. If you suspect you are dealing with a crazymaker, I suggest you get counseling with a professional who understands this personality type.
As for my question, did my husband love me? You'll have to read the memoir.
Resources: Psychology Today’s article, “How to Handle a Crazymaker,” explains crazymaking and offers suggestions for dealing with this personality type. David Hawkins’ book, Dealing with the Crazymakers in Your Life, is also helpful.
Linda M. Kurth is a writer and a divorced and remarried Christian. In going through the divorce, she experienced a dichotomy of responses from the Christian community. After sharing some of those experiences in her new memoir, God, the Devil, and Divorce, she's heard many stories of divorced Christians who have struggled with the same issues. This blog invites divorced Christians to tell their stories with the goal of encouraging churches to resist condemnation and become a source of healing and grace.
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