Friday, April 8, 2011

The Joke Was On Me (Part Three)

In the last post I touched on how his email had altered the landscape of things, and was the moment when things went from strange and different to destructive and needlessly hurtful. In the weeks between his email and the eventual telephone blow up between the two of us, he'd begun applying considerably more pressure on her, twice berating her to the point that she'd called me in tears. It just made my blood boil. He'd tell her things like, "I've requested that the two of you slow the pace, but neither of you seem to be listening to anything I have to say about this!" That one came after he learned I had told her that I loved her. He spent an hour giving her the what-for, the how-come, and the respect mah authoritay over that one. She had outright asked me if I was truly in love with her. What was I supposed to say?..."No, I think you're ugly and your feet smell bad"?

Her dad was at least half right - I wasn't listening to anything he had to say if I could help it. 

This lead to me eventually telling her that if she insisted that our relationship be about the two of us AND her parent's "requests", then despite how I felt, I needed to walk away before we all got hurt extremely deeply. This kind of situation would be hard enough to deal with if we'd lived close to each other, but I didn't stand a chance in a relationship-by-proxy, with dear old dad at the controls, from 2800 miles away. We had been planning a Christmas visit, with me traveling out there and staying in their home for a few days as I normally had a 2-2 1/2 week break at Christmas. Once he determined that he didn't approve of "the pace", he came up with a lie to thwart the plan. I'd bring up alternative scenarios, which he'd manufacture new lies to thwart, from "I'm ashamed of our home" to "We're too busy then" - when they had an entire week off. Total lying snake of a man. I'm a stickler about honesty. Lie to me once and you decrease the value of every future word that'll ever leave your lips headed in my direction. 

Then, I learned of a concert date that her family had booked in Topeka, KS (not at Westboro Baptist - as fitting as that may have been) that fell during my Christmas break. I told her I was gonna come there to see her, even if it were only for an hour or two. She said, "Lew, I really think you need to talk to dad about that first." I snapped just a bit, and I said, "No, no, no! Not coming to see him. I'm coming to see you, and I don't care what he thinks about it, or even what the President of the freakin United States thinks about it. This isn't his home. I don't need his permission. I need yours. If I have that, I'll come to see you when I want to, where I want to, and why I want to." Within a couple of weeks, this KS date "mysteriously" disappeared from their schedule.

All of this lead up to her pleading with me to make the phone call to her dad which I described in the last article. It was keeping me chewed up all the time, but having already fallen in love with her, walking away would've been brutal.

After the big telephone blowup between me and the patriarse, she and I were both hurt, but we trudged along for a couple of weeks, still growing closer in various ways, but always waiting for the next bomb to drop. I knew she cared about me, but she was so incredibly afraid of her own emotions (just as she'd been taught to be) that I seldom caught any glimpse of them. That made things more difficult for me.

A couple of weeks after the phone fight, the artist I toured with performed on a Christian music cruise to Mexico, so I was stuck on a ship for a week. I only called her twice, VERY briefly, from Mexican ports during that week (those few minutes ended up costing me about $40 - yikes). She wasn't the same, so I knew she was getting worked over. I later found out that her papa's buddies (people she'd always thought were "godly" and she respected - I was wary of ANYONE her father called "friend") were now helping him out, heaping their own doses of guilt on her hoping she wouldn't lapse into "rebellion". By the time I got off the ship and really got to talk to her, she was someone else...cold, distant. We struggled through a week or so where she'd have lukewarm days, and follow it up with the cold distance in the next call. I could always tell when someone had been in her ear. When I couldn't take it anymore (I don't like tap-dancing), I said, "Ok, something's obviously going on. Please tell me what it is." She told me that she felt like we needed a week's break from each other - no calls, no contact - to reevaluate and see where things stood. I said, "This isn't your idea is it?" She swore up and down that it was. I knew better. (A few months later she admitted that it was the result of constant pressuring from her parents and their friends - her dad had been continuously telling her what a "dishonorable" man he felt I was, how I had no respect for authority, that she needed to take a week away from me to "hear from God", all the typical patriarchal BS. She said there was little reprieve from it and it overwhelmed her with guilt)

I gave her the week she asked for. I was flying blind, and in my then ignorance of the patriarchal dynamic, I held out hope that her heart would win out. Was I stupid or what? I now realize that given the dynamic, one man on the other side of the continent against every person of significance in her life pouring buttloads of patriarchal guilt on her, I didn't stand a chance. Her week off to "hear from God" was designed to be a week for her to figure out that she needed to end the relationship if I wouldn't submit to her father. No more, no less. I stood less of a chance of coming out on the good end of the deal than Keanu Reeves has of ever becoming a good actor - and that's saying something.

Her requested "week off" ended on the Monday prior to Thanksgiving. We spent several hours on the phone that day, and both of us shed lots of tears. I asked, "Are you willing to make this work?", and her response is heart-breaking even to this day - "I don't see how this CAN work." Translation: "Unless you submit, my family will always fight us." (Remember this from Part Two?... "But Lew, they've fed me and sheltered me and cared for me and clothed me!...I owe it to them to do things their way! I HAVE to do this their way!") 

I literally have nothing good to say about such sick, demented, stunted people who would do any such thing to their own flesh and blood. Disgusting. Yes, I consider her parents disgusting people for having done this. May God be merciful to them when they answer for this evil.

So...On that night, we broke up.

Over the next couple of days, I felt compelled to wash my hands of any wrongdoing on my part, and decided to call her parents and offer an apology for any real or perceived "sins" against them. It literally made me want to vomit, as I didn't, and don't to this day, feel I wronged them in any way. I just thought it was what a man trying to live a decent and blameless life should do. I almost choked and gagged on words that I didn't truly believe were merited, but I got those words out. It went uneventfully with her mother (her father wasn't home when I called) - even though her mother is equally as disturbed as her father, neck deep in the apostacy. Her father returned the call, I said my words, he acted as if he deserved those words and more, and all hell broke loose again, culminating in these loving words from his royal patriarse-ness (in Canteen Boy voicing again)...

"Yeah! That's right, Lewis! Not such a big shot when you have to come to someone else's playing field, are you, huh?! Not so fun then, is it! That's right! Can't have it like you want it now, huh?!"

The man would need at least a dozen promotions to be a jack-ass. I WANTED to say, "Dude, if this WERE a playing field, I'd physically steamroll your sniveling, weasely crack like Armageddon was a freakin vacation day and bury your ignorant head in the dirt! I wish to God I COULD get you on a playing field even if only for a minute!" But the truth is, what can you say to such a moron? 

At this point, I decided to completely end my fight for her and give up any hope of salvaging the relationship. Later that night I sent her what amounted to a concession email, a "goodbye" type of thing, crying over every word. Like I said, I loved her, and this hurt. About an hour later, she replied to my email in similar fashion, having obviously written from turmoil that she admitted to freely in the text.

And that was that. An amicable, but painful, break-up for us both, but with the necessary closure to move forward once healed. This was the night before Thanksgiving (my lifelong favorite holiday), and the next day, my folks and I were going to spend it together, just the three of us, with Mom making my favorite comfort foods, and the two of them helping me lick my wounds in togetherness, quiet, and peace. Needless to say, I slept little that night. Broken hearts aren't the most efficient of sedatives.

The next morning, I awoke to find the following in my email...


I must confess amazement at your email message to **** this afternoon after our conversation earlier today.  I was left with the impression (which I conveyed to ****) that you were willing to wait for her and willing to do whatever it took to pursue a relationship with her.  I'm sorry for the way things have worked out.

Certainly not the expected outcome. 

I don't understand your fear of our intrusion/involvement in yours and **** 's relationship - particularly in light of the fact that both ***** and I adopted a hands-off approach to it.  We had little to say, and only came up with one reoccuring concern - the fast pace of the relationship.  Our concern over the fast pace of your relationship with **** coupled with our hands-off approach to what went on could hardly be construed as unfounded or manipulatory.

I want to again reaffirm that **** made her own judgements and decisions about the future viability of your relationship based upon her exchanges in phone conversations with you - NOT the input and/or "manipulation" of her parents.  Her decision to pull away didn't come from us...and there is NO "other guy".

We were as surprised as you.  She has, however, received a steady stream of advice/council from well-meaning friends, family, and acquaintances along the road that led her to re-evaluate - as have you.

If you truly didn't want to do anything to hurt **** , I can't understand what would lead you to have conversation after conversation with her that were obviously deeply emotionally troubling to her.  It would seem that at the first hint of emotional pain she exhibited,  the conversation would have ended or headed off in a different direction.  As an outsider who was not privy to your conversations, it looked like you were trying to get her to ignore instead of embrace the one request of her parents.

In closing, we don't harbor any ill-will toward you.  I was sincere in extending forgiveness to you for real or imagined offences.  It's a relationship that didn't pan out.  We all entered into this thing with the idea of an exploration to "see if it could work".  It didn't. 

I hope that we can all get past the discomfort and pain of the moment and be loving and civil to each other as God intended if/as our paths cross in the future.



PS - I won't be offended and will understand if you choose not to respond.

(Strong language alert ahead for Church Lady types - yes people, I have faith in and a relationship with Christ, and don't particularly like strong language, but I'm also not plastic, and sometimes the shoe, or in this case, the word, fits)

He should've replaced "Blessings" with "Bullshit", because that's what this email was. Even my ex will tell you that there's nothing truthful in it after "Lewis:". It was a figment of his demented imagination.

I've never known a level of anger similar to that which coursed through my veins when I read this. I mean, it was over, for goodness sake, yet he had to pee even on the fenceposts of the break-up to mark his territory and establish his dominance. It would've been too much for him to have just shut the hell up for once in his life and leave well enough alone. I've never known a bigger fool.

There HAD to be a response to this. Later, I let my folks read it, and my little southern spitfire Mama wanted to chew the man a new orafice or three. I told my folks that I needed to respond to this, and asked them to pray with me about how to respond. After we prayed, we discussed it for a bit, and I decided that I had to respond HEAVILY. I needed to jolt the man, if for no other reason than to get him to ease his dictatorial iron grip over his family. I was still trying to think about her future - and that of her sisters.

My response began as follows...

What is this????!!! What possible good could have come from this email, *******??? Once again, in your attempt to be "honest", you let your mouth or fingers have the upperhand over wisdom. I don't believe anything you say to me and there was nothing to be served by writing this, except maybe one last hurtful parting shot at me. You have chosen to belittle and demean my opinions and concerns in our every encounter. Why does everyone realize this but you??? At what point are YOU the problem???

Other choice sections I offered were...

You refuse to acknowledge that your way of doing things is completely crazy and lacking in logic to all others, not just those in "my loop", and certainly not foolproof.

You choose to refer to an event that my family lived through, suffered through, and had to recover from over a period of several years as my "lollipop", insulting my entire family by default in the process. You, sir, are the one who is far less than honorable. Your attitudes and decisions are poisonous, controlling, destructive, and leave people feeling less for having encountered you. You attempt to make up for your own personal weaknesses by subjecting those around you to your "authority", thereby making other people pay for your own poor decisions. My choice to go ahead and end this had to do with a definitive realization after talking to you yesterday. Whatever it would take could be summed up by you being out of the picture. That's what it would take. I now understand that there is no way that I can, or want to, be your friend.

I love your daughter very much, but I can't, and wouldn't, deal with your hurtful, condescending manner toward me for very long before things would get ugly. That isn't fair to ****, and I'm certainly not going to subject myself to your "leadership". I don't need your help and I'm not going to allow you to make my life miserable.

These recent experiences for **** and ******** are just the warm-up act for events that will follow if you don't allow your children to become adults. The very fact that, at age 23, you think you need to help **** so much doesn't speak well for your work in preparing her for her adult life, and it's just downright creepy. There are so many things she doesn't know about how the world works, and at her age, that's a shame. It suggests to me that there are many things that you don't know about how the world works, which is a suspicion I've had from the get-go. You have no concept, NONE, of just how far from normal your way of thinking is, which probably explains your need to disregard or belittle the concerns and opinions that I've had. 

From what I have gathered in snippets of my conversations with both you and ****, it seems that trouble follows you guys. **** even suggested that your own church was working AGAINST you in a particular situation. Proverbs 16:7 says "When a mans ways please the Lord, even his enemies are MADE to be at peace with him". That's pretty absolute. At what point are YOU the problem?

*******, I never want you to contact me again in any way. Ever. I will pray for you and I have to love you, and I have to find forgiveness, but I don't have to include you in my life. You will be on my blocked senders list. Don't call my house. When you entered the picture you brought turmoil into the lives of everyone in my world, and turmoil into what had been a VERY happy relationship between your daughter and I. I am inviting you to leave. I don't want to be hurt by your "honesty" and "wisdom" ever again.

The above is just a collection of snippets. Trust me when I say I showed a tremendous amount of  restraint. I could've written the man a novel, which MUCH stronger language, and still not adequately covered the expanse of his ignorance or of the issues at hand.

Needless to say, Thanksgiving, which had always been my favorite holiday, has been permanently scarred. That one, in particular, was awful. I could barely eat any of the wonderful comfort foods my sweet Mama had made for me.

I'll get into the fallout of this in Part Four.


  1. Just like a narcissist. They thrive on the power they feel when people react to them. There is never any peace with a narcissist. Even the ones who fall for their superiority complex and serve them never know what new offense they will have committed. The seriously co-dependent, like your ex, just keep trying harder and harder to please and appease, but it will NEVER be enough and it will NEVER be over.


    I smiled wryly at the reference to Westboro Baptist, but of course two narcissists never befriend each other. They choose associates easy to manipulate and control, and the fight between two narcissists for who would dominate would inevitable end with the loser self-righteously stalking away to go somewhere his (whatever he thinks makes him unique- religious purity, racial purity, intelligence, etc.) superiority would not be challenged.

    When I say it never ends, I mean NEVER. My narcissist mother still tries to keep the family divided and in turmoil, even though her favorite scapegoats (my twin and I) have nothing to do with her. I'm closing in on 50! She continues to spread lies about the past and present, defaming our character and doing all she can to keep the two co-dependent sisters from using their brains and taking an objective look at life. A dominating narcissistic parent is a powerful force, and for the children who have been granted the position of trusted, obedient child, it's a force of mental/emotional destruction that will never abate.

    Those who break free, willingly or not, will be vilified, and that for the rest of our live, but the freedom we know in Christ is SO WORTH IT!

    In the end, I am so lucky to be the black sheep. My two co-dependent sisters are screwed for the rest of their lives on earth. They have no choice but to remain connected the the crazy. So sad. Sounds like your ex is in the same boat.

  2. It irritates the freakin' crap out of me when these parents say they are "requesting" something of their adult children, but we all know that it's NOT a request. It's an order with a "you better, or else" silently attached to the end. Or how they think they can dictate what you can and can't do in a public place (like not wanting you to come to the concert).

    I've heard that whole line of BS about "no respect for authority" so many times and what it really means is that these men just want people to respect THEIR authority. They really like a big bunch of little kids wanting being the bully on the playground and wanting their own way. Ever notice how they throw a tantrum like a 2-year-old when they don't get their way?

    Her father's email is infuriating. This is why I truly believe people in this lifestyle are a bit narcisisstic and her father is TOTALLY narcisisstic! Again, a request is just that, a request. If they wanted her to embrace it, they would have made it a command. Just another means of manipulation and guilt.

  3. It's like I always tried to tell her...Any "request" that comes with a corresponding punishment when not heeded (and theirs did) isn't a request at all, but a rule. She struggled with recognizing, or accepting, that.

  4. "I hope that we can all get past the discomfort and pain of the moment and be loving and civil to each other as God intended if/as our paths cross in the future." You catch that? " God intended..." Always standing on platitudes that everyone ELSE has to follow, judging others by the platitudes, knowing full well that they can't be reconciled in his own life, and yet, acting as if he is the most humble servant that ever walked the earth. So typical.

    The irony here seems to be that it is so clear he did the exact opposite of what he pretends to believe in. But, it can all be explained away because he is following his god's plan for a true familial relationship with his daughter. Its very sick, but very normal in that bullshit culture.

  5. Lewis, at this point, were you fiance/fiance?

  6. Not yet...That was still a few months down the line.

  7. And yeah, the platitudes kill me. They can treat you however they want, be as slimy and slithery as they want, do whatever damage in your life they want, but...if paths cross in the future, and you don't live up to that plastic platitude, YOU'RE the sinner.

    In a post from way back, I described my experience with them like this, and I think it applies to this point...

    While I'm away, a thief breaks out a small back window of my home, gets inside, ransacks the place, knocking pictures off the wall, turns the furniture upside down, ripping the stuffing out of the cushions, pulling out all of the desk and dresser drawers and spraying the floor with their content, taking an axe to the drywall, ripping out ceiling tiles to get into the attic, and once he's gathered up everything of physical and material value, he loads it up in the back of his truck and starts to drive away as I return home. Seeing me, he sticks his head out the window and says, "Yeah, this is all of your good stuff here. I'm taking it. You're just gonna have to close this chapter of your life and deal with it. Turn the page, dude. Turn the page. There's a HUGE mess inside. That's your problem to deal with. Turn the page. What?! Did you just call me a thief?! How dare you?! Where is Jesus in you calling me that?! You're unforgiving and bitter!!!...Oh yeah, umm, I'm very, very, very sorry about that window I busted out in back...God bless you! I wish you well in your future endeavors!" And he drives away, with all my stuff in his truck, and with a piece of mistletoe taped to his backside.

    The aim is for the illusion of virtue despite the vile offense committed. The character of Christ would be an obstacle in the way of this illusion.

  8. "Oh yeah, umm, I'm very, very, very sorry about that window I busted out in back..."

    That one catches me guffawing over here. Its a sales tactic I used very well to cover for my company (or my own) mistakes when I used to do sales: Apologize for something that is meaningless to gain the upper hand. The upper hand here is defined as trust. Trust is gained by the other viewing you as honest and well...trustworthy.

    The person doing the apology knows full well that the REAL meat of the situation, all the trashing of the place in this case, was at issue, NOT the broken window. Thus, he drives off, leaving the victim feeling confused, like he must be cordial to this fellow who was genuine and sincere.

    Unfortunately for them, people who actually see the trash for what it is - trash - don't fall for the window apology. They confront the losers with the trashing of the house and the thievery. Why? Because it is readily available evidence!

    These patri-asses looks at life one day at a time, never looking back, when it comes to their own life, which allows them to ignore past "failings". And yes, "failure" is a buzz word. To not call it blatant sin, stupidity, ignorance, or whatever else defines their drivel only enhances there false humble view of themselves. After all, they can't help being a failure. SA

    The irony is that when others become involved in their little world (that they perceive to be everyone's world in a utopia), those people MUST be viewed with the readily and conveniently available gift of hindsight.


  9. Wow, he sounds a lot like my dad. It sounds like my dad said a lot of the same things to me about Scottie that he said to your girl. I'm glad I got out when I did. I can't imagine the stress if I had a whole bunch of people like that pressuring me at every turn!

  10. Oh yes. My hubs and I heard those words when we were dating, too.

    "...that you were willing to wait for her and willing to do whatever it took to pursue a relationship with her." check

    "We had little to say, and only came up with one reoccuring concern - the fast pace of the relationship." check (except he'd ask "do you want me involved or do you just want my approval?" - I wanted both, but not his control. Involved for him = control.)

    *sigh* The hurt these men have caused. :(

  11. Anonymous. Don't you think that the men are not the only ones to blame? In my experience with this, many of the women are hard faced and very bitter. They see it as their job to keep the family going in the direction THEY want it to go. So, they implement a crafty manipulation against their husband. I can only imagine what this would mean in the intimacy department and I get sick thinking of it.

    Everyone on the outside sees only a submissive wife, because that is what the women WANT others to see. They feign submission and preach it to the hilt and then secretly teach their chicks how to subvert the man for their own desires.

    I know many men who are pricks and yet seethe inside about their wives, only exposing it to me in a backhanded sort of way or in a WEIRD way by being overtly open about it in small talk. Some of these men are softies and the patriarchal glove doesn't fit their hand, yet the wife wields her mind-control and guilt machete well. Others are very prick-ish and deserve the bed they've made for themselves - literally.

    I must add a very large disclaimer here. All women are not to blame for this crap. In fact, many of them see the light and want out. Some get there, but some don't. Its the families where the husband and wife work together for the destruction of others, all the while destroying the marriage between themselves, that I am referring to.

    May their god help them.

  12. Anonymous...It's literally like they all follow the exact same playbook.

    I was willing to wait for my ex, but I wasn't willing to do "whatever it took", something that's been used against me since to justify the slithery ending of our relationship. In the case of my ex's family, "whatever it took" would've meant compromising my principles, turning a blind eye to a lot of spiritual and emotional abuses (and perhaps worse), ignoring some pretty blatant and injurious lies, and largely, shaking hands with the devil.

    Whether it was right of me or wrong of me, one of the last things I ever said to my ex in my extremely limited communication with her since she disappeared was..."I never, ever thought you'd ask me to become a lesser man to be "worthy" of marrying you." By then she was so brainwashed, defiant, and cold that it was probably like water off a duck's back.

  13. @Incongruous,
    What you said makes sense, but my real mother is dead. Certainly my step-mother had her fair share of mongering in the relationship, and I dare say she made everything worse (from miniscule things like "he says 'ridiculous' too much, it shows he's immature" type of things.) But I had hardly any correspondence with her during all of this. But yes, she spread her own lies, but she's also not that submissive, quiet kind of woman she thinks women should be either. Ironically. Again, though, they weren't that deep in it. I'd hate to know what my life would have been like had they been!

    @Lewis - " "whatever it took" would've meant compromising my principles," EXACTLY!!!!

    In many ways, I truly feel my dad was acting out of regret. He is ashamed of the way we were all raised and tried to make up for it all with the last three kids in the home. I am the most like my (rebellious and mess-up mother - and I don't mean patriarchal rebellious either, though I'm sure there was possibly that too). I think he was trying to "save me from her fate." So using words like rebellious always echoed back to my mother. Personally, I think he needs therapy to heal from his loss. :/

  14. @Anonymous. I'm sorry for the loss of your real mother. Usually, when a patriarchal person says you are rebellious, you are more than likely doing the right thing. But, the freedom you are enjoying flies in the face of their lock-step formulas and thus needs to be warred against. Keep it up!

  15. This is all so sad and horrible. My heart goes out to you and your ex-fiance, Lewis.

    "Mistletoe taped to his backside"! That one really made me laugh. This kind of person is really amazing. They stand over someone and slap them hard on the face, and then say, "Jesus says YOU have to turn the other cheek! YOU're not a very good Christian, are you? If you REALLY love God, you'll let ME keep slapping you as long as I want to, because I'm doing it for your own good!"

  16. @Kristen. You must have met my mother! Thanks for the insight too.

  17. Lewis, that is exactly the same kinda crap the cultic pastor would pull...and she was a female!SS was right when she said that you were dealing with a narcissist...they do indeed THRIVE on people's reactions to their BS....
    They way you are describing these peeps almost makes them sound like they are or at one time were affliated with a group of churches called "The Body of Christ". It is actually the cult that the cult I was in sprang from.
    It was founded by William Sowders in the early 1900's and was "Patriarchial" before the actual movement began. The men were the kings and no woman dared question any thing they did. For the whole awful story see Wanda Mason's "Gospel Assembly Free" webpage and Shari Howerton's "Breaking the Chains" page.
    Because these men had absolute authority there were many, many cases of molestations and abuse.
    What amazes me is that my ex-pastor took all the abuse men heaped upon her and the women around her and became just as much of an abuser as they were in the emotional sense (there was never any sexual abuse that I knew of)
    So sad seeing the cycle of abuse perpetually in motion.

  18. As someone who has seen the other side of this, being married to someone who parents are into the patriarchal movement, I can tell you that they would have continued to control and manipulate any way they could long after you said " I do". Heck, they still control and manipulate what goes on between us when we discuss visitation schedules for the kids. He lives across the country from his kids and things would go so much smoother if they weren't always whispering in his ear about how I'm out to get him.
    It's kind of funny, because they've been "out to get me" ever since I married him, and in the end they won. We got a divorce. But of course I'm the evil one for that, too. I've had so many outright lies and outrageous stories about me spread around that it still shocks me, even though it shouldn't.

  19. I'm sorry, Rachel. I hate it that you have to deal with all of that mess.

    Once my relationship with my ex turned more serious, a person whose counsel I valued, speaking of her parents, told me, However you have to deal with them now is how you'll be dealing with them for the rest of your life, so your choice is to walk away from all of this, or to stand up to it and try to put a stop to it. I think I could've put a stop to it, but only if she had stood with me consistently. She was usually only as strong as the last voice in her ear, so there wasn't a great deal of consistency.

  20. @ Incongrous and Anonymous,

    Don't be so hard on these wives/mothers without considering how they became who they are. These woman are abused, too- abused by false doctrine that keeps lying to them about who they should be and continues to lie and tell them that if they "do" marriage right (stuff their personalities, kill their hopes and dreams, live to serve their husbands with a "quiet, gentle" spirit) then their families will be havens of love, joy, peace and righteousness.

    Only it doesn't work that way. They may be earnest and sincere, fully buying into the b.s. they are being fed, but frustratingly their husbands (while claiming to buy it all) are NOT doing their part, leading the way to this spiritual utopia all the speakers claims to be living. So they push, and they prod, in exasperation as the promised utopia slips further away from their family every day.

    And now THEY are the ones to blame? I hope you will look deeper than that. These wives of patriarchy have been conned by religion! Add to that, they are usually unloved by their husbands and are either treated harshly by their husbands or, just as bad, victimized by passive aggressive rejections/inactions/apathy which still devalues them in their children's sight,breaks their heart and of course blocks their goals of a loving, nurturing Christian home.

    The wives fault? In the sense that we are all ultimately responsible for where we remain in life, I suppose so. But have a little pity before you wind up there yourself. Most of these women are earnestly trying to please God (but they have been taught falsehoods about what that is) and are dying on the vine so to speak because of the neglect and rejection of their husbands. To say only that these men are being manipulated by their wives is to ignore that the men could, at any time, stand up for what's right and get their families the heck out of this mess.

    These women get deeper and deeper into this crap in a desperate attempt to get their husbands to man up and care about the family. Their husband's do not cherish them, and their religion keeps telling them that it's because they aren't submissive or obedient enough. If only they get the religious role down right, then God will change their husband's heart and he will love and cherish them like they want so much.

    So the women get more religious, and the passive-aggressive men do nothing to stop them, do little to help them, and do not start cherishing their wives. In frustration, the wives push and manipulate the men, thinking still that all that is lacking for love, joy, peace and righteousness to flourish is the dad stepping up and doing what's right.

    The lie is that the wives can do anything at all to change their husband's heart, period. A passive man is just as cruel as a dominating man. These women are abusers, yes, but they are also abused, and as Rachel has experienced, no matter how things turn out, in religion's eyes is IS ALWAYS THE WIFE'S FAULT.

    Please look a little deeper.

  21. "To say only that these men are being manipulated by their wives is to ignore that the men could, at any time, stand up for what's right and get their families the heck out of this mess."

    I think a little more mercy on the men in general is warranted also. To be sure, some of them are abusers who find these doctrines exactly to their taste. But Lewis, even before he was married, found that if he loved his fiancee he was going to have to go along at least to some extent with her insistence that her father be involved. A man who loves his wife and does not want to be a strong-arm dictator will not be willing to just force her out of this movement.

    Here is another male perspective that is very telling:

    The fact is that people, men and women alike, are being duped by a group of false teachings that promises them security and happiness in exchange for complete compliance to its formulas. There is no pure black-and-white, he's-the-bad-guy-she's-the-victim simplicity here. Or vice versa.

    There but for the grace of God go all of us.

  22. Youch! In no way was I trying to portray that the blame could only go one way - toward the women. I'm sorry if that is the message that got across. In my experience, no dynamic is THE one dynamic for how these sick family units are put together.

    Sometimes, it is the wife that is the strong one, regardless of how she manifests it. Other times, it is the husband. Then again, sometimes it is both. Another dynamic is where neither the husband or the wife are the strong prick in the movement and the patriarchal ideas are held together in their lives by the ones they respect in the movement and are manipulating them to obey THEIR leadership and authority.

    That's it in a nutshell. Again, I have seen ALL of these. The last one seems to be the hardest to break but the most fulfilling to do so because the couple or family usually stay together and fall more deeply in love due to their mutual understanding of truth.

    Again, I apologize if it seemed I was saying only the women are to blame.

  23. You showed a truly impressive amount of restraint in your reply.

    It might just be my personal biases talking here, but from what I gleaned from the statements he made that you've put up here, he was threatening your health and safety if not your life.

    I've started to hate this man with as much fire in my heart as I've ever felt towards any bully, and I've only seen snippets of him.