I have read that this is how you induce psychosis in rats. You behave inconsistently with them; you keep changing the rules. One day when they press down the right lever, expecting a serving of grain like they’ve always gotten before, they instead get a shock. And eventually the switching back and forth drives them mad. Ann Lemont, Traveling Mercies.
Abuse can include, but not confined to, actual or threats of physical violence, actual or threats of sexual violence, emotional or psychological abuse to oneself or others in the home (e.g., name calling or putdowns, mind games, swearing or screaming, sarcasm or ridiculing, emotional or physical withholding), stalking (e.g., excessive calls/texts/emails, monitoring daily activities, using technology to track a person’s location), financial abuse (e.g., withholding money, ruining credit, stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job), and spiritual abuse (e.g., not allowing the partner to practice his or hers morals/religious beliefs or culture/values, using religious or spiritual beliefs to manipulate the partner).
In giving writing promps to guest bloggers who are interested in telling their Christian divorce stories, I've developed a broad definition of abuse.
I advocate for healing of divorced people within the church by gathering stories of Christians who chose divorce because of abuse, and the response of their churches to that decision. (I'm interested in both helpful and hurtful experiences.) I also include those who have divorced because of their spouse's infidelity but have nevertheless been blamed by their church for the divorce.
If you’re interested in having your voice heard by contributing your divorce story in relationship to the church, please email me at LindaMKurthBlog@gmail.com for guidelines. I’ll be happy to help you share your story.
Know that I encourage respectful comments, keeping the blog a safe place to dialog about this subject.
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 upcoming memoir, God the Devil, and Divorce, she's heard many stories of divorced Christians who have struggled with the same issue. 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.