To Forgive Or Not To Forgive Your Abuser – The Unintended Fallout: Possible Emotional Abuse or Exploitation Of Your Codependent Friend or Family Member

To Forgive Or Not To Forgive Your Abuser – The Unintended Fallout: Possible Emotional Abuse or Exploitation Of Your Codependent Friend or Family Member

I was watching a video today by psychologist Dr. Ramani, who I like very much, and I agree with her most of the time.

I even agree with most of her comments in this particular recent video she made that I will be discussing in this post, but it brought to mind one over-looked aspect pertaining to volatile or abusive relationships.

In the video (link to that video here, and I will embed it below, the title is, “Is there virtue in forgiving a narcissist who doesn’t apologize?”), Dr. Ramani expressed that she pretty much disagrees with the concept that people should have to forgive others, or that forgiving others makes a person stronger, etc.

Dr. Ramani rightly points out in that video that continually forgiving pathologically narcissistic persons is a waste of your time, for various reasons I shall not explain here (you can watch her video for explanations). I do agree with her on that.

If someone in your life keeps hurting, abusing, or mistreating you, no matter how many times you’ve forgiven them and given them a second, third, etc, chance,
you need to accept the fact this person is more than likely NEVER going to change and that they merely view your willingness to always forgive him or her as a weakness to repeatedly exploit.
So cut that person from your life, or limit time around them.

It’s not that I disagree with Dr. Ramani’s comments in the video on the face of things, but, I am concerned for Codependents.

On a similar note, in years past, I’ve also read books or seen videos about how people can help their abused friends.

I’ve seen videos by women who divorced their abusive husbands who reel off a list of tips on how you, the friend, can be supportive towards the friend in the abusive marriage.

These videos, books, and online articles, contain lists of things to say or to avoid saying when trying to help someone who is currently in an abusive relationship or someone who was abused in childhood.

Many of these books, videos, and web pages (most by therapists, psychologists or recovered abusive victims) often stress that you, the friend, should just sit and listen to the friend – just validate the friend, do not give advice, judge, or criticize.

I am a recovered Codependent (I wrote a very, very long post about that here).

I am also an Introvert. Introverts naturally make better attentive listeners than Extroverts.

So, as someone who is an Introvert and a one-time Codependent, I was very adept at giving the sort of emotional support a lot of troubled people seek out and find comforting.

For over 35 years, due to the parenting of my mother and the guilt tripping-, sexist-, Codependent- pushing- teachings under “gender complementarianism” of the Southern Baptist church I was brought up in, I had no boundaries, I was not assertive, and it was implied it is my job or responsibility in life to rescue or help other people, whatever format that came in.

All of that was taught to me as I grew up under the false, gender complementarian assumption (and my mother and father bought into some of this thinking too) that God created women to be more caring than men, it would be un-feminine or selfish for a woman to have boundaries, and I was taught that it was women’s “duty” to be care-takers for the hurting.

For me, most often, the support and care-taking my Mom and church taught me to engage in came in the form of “Emotional Labor,” and it made my already bad mental health in years past even worse.

(I was diagnosed at a very young age with clinical depression, I also had anxiety disorders and had low self esteem for many years. I no longer have depression or low self esteem.)

If you are an abuse victim, or if you’ve been bullied at a job, or you were abused in a marriage, or you were sexually or physically abused as a child by a family member (or by a neighbor, or by whomever),
I know it can be helpful, now, as an adult, to sit and talk to an empathetic listener about it, it can feel so good for that listener to sit quietly while you do most of the talking, and for that person to validate you and your experiences.

It can be very healing and feel like a tremendous relief for that listener to refrain from victim blaming you, offering advice or platitudes.

It can help in the healing process for another adult to believe you and just offer non-judgmental emotional support as you relate your trauma and pain to them.

I realize all that.

But have you ever considered that the caring, non-judgmental, empathetic person you keep turning to, whether it’s a friend or a family member, might be highly codependent and your repeated use of that person as your emotional support system may be damaging to THAT PERSON?

Because I was that person, for over 35 years.

I was the sweet, caring, understanding, supportive listener that many people – co-workers on jobs, family, neighbors, friends –
would call, e-mail, snail mail, or text with their problems, because they KNEW I would always listen to them rant (for hours on end, if need be, over months and years), I would NEVER put time limits on their rants, and I would ALWAYS respond in a timely fashion to ranting or sad e-mails or texts.

I spent over 35 years giving a lot of non-qualified, no-strings-attached emotional support to a lot of emotionally wounded or abused people over my life.

Some of these people called or e-mailed me over job stress, health problems, troubled marriages, financial issues, or, they were single and were lonely – they couldn’t get a boyfriend (or girlfriend).

None of these people who called or texted me to complain or sob to me ever once considered how their regular, negative phone calls (or letters or face to face chats) were impacting me. For the ones who considered it, I suppose they didn’t care.

If you choose not to forgive your abuser, that is your choice to make, but…

Be aware that if you choose to not forgive but to also hold on to your hurt and anger, and to choose to ruminate on the abuse,
and should you choose to deal with and vent that anger and hurt by regularly calling your Codependent friend to listen to your rants or sobbing – you are abusing your Codependent friend or family member, which is not acceptable.

In all the years I granted emotional support to hurting people (including but not limited to co-workers who’d stop by my cubicle during work hours to bend my ear for an hour or more about their divorce or health problems), I was never once thanked.

The non-stop support I gave was never acknowledged. And giving that non-stop support was exhausting and taxing for me, as I know it can be for other Codependent persons.

A “thank you” once in awhile from these people who came to me to dump their problems on me would’ve been appreciated. I never got one.

Reciprocation would’ve been appreciated and helpful too, but the people who were abuse survivors, or assorted chronic complainers who used me to vent to, very rarely to never asked about ME and MY struggles in life.

Continue reading “To Forgive Or Not To Forgive Your Abuser – The Unintended Fallout: Possible Emotional Abuse or Exploitation Of Your Codependent Friend or Family Member”

“I’m a Divorce Lawyer. Here Are The 5 Most Common Marriage Problems I See” by R. D. Palmer

“I’m a Divorce Lawyer. Here Are The 5 Most Common Marriage Problems I See”

(Link): “I’m a Divorce Lawyer. Here Are The 5 Most Common Marriage Problems I See”

Excerpts:

by Raiford Dalton Palmer
March 1, 2022

The advice I always give people about divorce is this: don’t get one. The best divorce is the one you never have, if you can avoid it.

… Here are some of the most common problems that I’ve seen in my law practice.

Infidelity
It seems like the most straightforward reason for a divorce: someone cheated.

But in my experience, infidelity is most often a symptom, not the disease. Apart from pathological cheaters who are in it for the thrill of sneaking around, in my experience with clients, most people cheat on their spouses because intimacy is lacking in their relationship. …

Continue reading ““I’m a Divorce Lawyer. Here Are The 5 Most Common Marriage Problems I See” by R. D. Palmer”

New York Times: Respect Your Daughter’s Choice To Be A Married Man’s Mistress by T. Justice

New York Times: Respect Your Daughter’s Choice To Be A Married Man’s Mistress by T. Justice

(Link): New York Times: Respect Your Daughter’s Choice To Be A Married Man’s Mistress

January 18, 2022

Poetic Justice is an advice column that offers counter-advice to submissions at other publications whose contributors have failed the reader.

The New York Times last week admonished a woman who was uncomfortable about the prospect of allowing her daughter in a relationship with a married man to bring him on a Greek vacation.

[The letter reads]…

My 30-year-old daughter is in a polyamorous relationship with a married man.

Continue reading “New York Times: Respect Your Daughter’s Choice To Be A Married Man’s Mistress by T. Justice”

Carl Lentz’s Wife Says She Suffered from Depression, PTSD After Cheating Scandal

Carl Lentz’s Wife Says She Suffered from Depression, PTSD After Cheating Scandal

I hope this lady improves soon. This is yet another news item dispelling a lot of the Christian mythos built up around marriage.

So many Christian books, sermons, etc, create this view of marriage that once married, a person will be complete and the married sex will be great and regular.

But then we sometimes see these stories where the wife of a well known pastor admit that her spouse was committing adultery.

I think it goes to show that marriage and married sex are not all that a lot of marriage-promoters in the faith make it out to be (not that I am opposed to marriage, only the very unrealistic depictions of it in the church).

(Link): Carl Lentz’s Wife Says She Suffered from Depression, PTSD After Cheating Scandal

Excerpts:

By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor

Laura Lentz, the wife of former Hillsong NYC Pastor Carl Lentz, has opened up about how she suffered from worsening depression and PTSD after her husband was fired from the global megachurch due to alleged moral failures and infidelity last November.

…Lentz and her husband were the focus of many headlines following his cheating confession last November and termination by the Australia-based international church network.

Continue reading “Carl Lentz’s Wife Says She Suffered from Depression, PTSD After Cheating Scandal”

Christian MLB Star Ben Zobrist Claims Wife Had an Affair With Their Pastor and Marriage Counselor

Christian MLB Star Ben Zobrist Claims Wife Had an Affair With Their Pastor and Marriage Counselor

Assuming this guy is telling the truth, this one, lone headline manages to summarize about three or four the usual ten or so topics I regularly blog about!

Where do I even start with this one?

Okay. Many Christians – the ones who are obsessed with promoting marriage, parenthood, and The Nuclear Family – often like to claim that marriage (or being a parent) makes a person more godly, mature, loving, responsible, or ethical.
Clearly, this is false, because I have a shit load of news stories on this blog of married people (and parents) who are law breakers, selfish, or perverts.

Let’s see, what other garbage do pro-family values Christians and secular conservatives frequently teach that this story shows to be false that I’ve been covering here for literally years now?

Let’s see, oh yes:
Marriage supposedly makes Christian adults impervious to sexual sin… if Christians just get married, they will have great, regular, hot sex (with their spouse) and never have an affair on their spouse, or molest children, or use porn. All of that is false.

Other falsehoods: single (unmarried) adult women are sexual harlots and temptresses, so married men should stay away from them per the “Billy Graham Rule” (or “Mike Pence Rule”).
Well, the woman in this story is MARRIED. She is not widowed, divorced, or never-married (single), but a married chick who allegedly screwed around on her husband.

The male headship rule – Christian complementarians, and some secular sexist men in our nation – like to assume that men are specially or uniquely qualified to lead women, to lead on the job, to lead in politics.
But yet gain, we see via this news story that men commit sexual sin, some men lack self control and mores, and there is nothing special about maleness that causes men to be more virtuous or better than women.

Complementarians teach that only men “need” or “want” sex, but obviously, unless the married lady in this story was having affairs to meet emotional needs, she clearly enjoys boning men.
Women do enjoy sex, too, not just men, but this flies in the face of the sexist assumptions of many people in American culture both inside and out of the church.

And there’s just something ironic about the fact that allegedly, one of the men she had an affair with was a marriage counselor!
This is like the news story about the (Link): marriage counselor who murdered the woman he was going to marry, because she asked him to sign a pre-nup agreement.

There is nothing about marriage that makes people more worthy, ethical, happier, more godly or whatever else, than people who are single, widowed, or divorced.

(Link): Former MLB Star Ben Zobrist Accuses Pastor of Affair With His Wife and Defrauding Charity

(Link):  Retired MLB Star Accuses Pastor of Extramarital Affair with His Wife and Defrauding His Charity: Lawsuit 

Retired baseball player Ben Zobrist – the 2016 World Series MVP who led the Chicago Cubs to the franchise’s first championship in 108 years – is accusing pastor Byron Yawn of having an extramarital affair with his wife Julianna and of defrauding his charity.

In a lawsuit filed in Tennessee on May 6, Zobrist, 40, claims Yawn “usurped the ministerial-counselor role, violated and betrayed the confidence entrusted to him by [Zobrist], breached his fiduciary duty owed to [Zobrist] and deceitfully used his access as counselor to engage in an inappropriate sexual relationship with [Zobrist]’s wife,” according to NBC News, the Peoria Journal Star, and the Chicago Tribune, which obtained the lawsuit documents.

(Link): Ex-Cubs star Ben Zobrist claims wife Julianna had affair with their pastor, lawsuit says

(Link): Christian MLB Star Ben Zobrist Claims Wife Had an Affair With Their Pastor and Marriage Counselor

Excerpts:

By Jeannie Ortega Law
June 22, 2021

A recent court filing on behalf of outspoken Christian and former MLB player Ben Zobrist alleges that his wife, pop singer Julianna Zobrist, had an affair with the couple’s former Tennessee pastor, who also served as their marriage counselor.

Zobrist, who played in the MLB from 2006 to 2019, is now suing the former minister for damages, claiming he defrauded his charitable foundation.

Continue reading “Christian MLB Star Ben Zobrist Claims Wife Had an Affair With Their Pastor and Marriage Counselor”

North Carolina Adultery Law Remains On Books After Repeal Effort Fails

North Carolina Adultery Law Remains On Books After Repeal Effort Fails

(Link): North Carolina Adultery Law Remains On Books After Repeal Effort Fails

North Carolina is one of only a handful of states that have similar laws

by Brie Stimson

North Carolina lawmakers killed a bill this week that would have repealed a more-than-a-century-old law that allows people to sue their spouse’s lover for “alienation of affection,” according to reports.

State Rep. Wesley Harris, a Democrat who sponsored the bill, contended the law was both “archaic and antiquated.”

“This was started in the 1700s in Great Britain when women were still treated as property of their husbands,” he said, according to WRAL-TV in Raleigh.

Jere Royall, director of community impact and counsel for the North Carolina Family Policy Council, disagreed.

Continue reading “North Carolina Adultery Law Remains On Books After Repeal Effort Fails”

Married Mother and Lawyer Reveals She Works As A Part-Time Prostitute

Married Mother and Lawyer Reveals She Works As A Part-Time Prostitute
 
A lot of Christians falsely promise that marriage will make a person more godly, mature, ethical, and responsible.
 
A lot of them also said in their teachings – at least when I was a teen and in my twenties – that if one remained a virgin until marriage, that the married sex would be frequent and excellent.
 
But here is a news story about a married woman (who is also a mother), works as a lawyer, yet she also spends part of her time getting paid to have sex with other people. Did being married and a parent make her more sexually ethical? Nope.
 
 
 
 

Married Mother and Lawyer Reveals She Works As A Part-Time Prostitute

Christians will falsely teach people that being married will make them become more godly and mature, and as they will supposedly be getting plenty or regular, great sex with a spouse, they’ll never commit adultery or other sexual sin ever.

At least, I was exposed to this sort of teaching from Protestant and Baptist sources when I was a kid, teen and twenty something.

But as we can see via this news story below – and stories like this one – no, it’s not true. 

Marriage and motherhood did not cause this woman to be more godly or mature, nor did married sex keep her from having sex with other people – and getting paid for it.

(Like): ‘Sex is fun, and I can get paid for it’: Married mother and lawyer reveals she works as a part-time PROSTITUTE and once made $55,000 at a brothel in Nevada in just THREE WEEKS

A criminal defense lawyer has opened up about her life as a part-time prostitute, revealing she once made a whopping $55,000 in just three weeks.  

Katherine Sears, a married mother of one from Des Moines, Iowa, started working as a prostitute three years ago at the age of 27. With her husband John Sears’ approval, she spends three weeks at a time working at a brothel in Nevada, where prostitution is legal.  

‘I like sex. Sex is fun, and I can get paid for it,’ she told KCCI of her side hustle, which she hopes to help decriminalize by sharing her story. 

Continue reading “Married Mother and Lawyer Reveals She Works As A Part-Time Prostitute”

Mega Church Preacher Bill Hybels in Trouble Again For More Sexual Harassment

Mega Church Preacher Bill Hybels in Trouble Again For More Sexual Harassment (2018)

I don’t think I ever blogged about this Hybels guy before.

He was first in the news many months ago for sexually harassing several different women in his church years before, who had worked as church staff.

His church first denied that this was true, and they attempted to say the women who stepped forward to discuss their harassment or abuse by this guy were lying.

There are so many of these pervy pastors it’s hard to keep up with them all. If all I ever did was blogged about perverted pastors, it would be a full time job, and I’d never have a break from this blog!

I’m pretty sure that Hybels is a married guy, too. Christians keep teaching that marriage is necessary to make a person a godly, responsible adult, and to keep them out of sexual sin, but as we see (yet once again!) marriage does not necessarily instill character into anyone, nor does it keep anyone from sexual sin or from sexually abusing others.

Let this story also go to show that a person does NOT have to become perfect, godly, or sinless to “earn” a spouse from God.

Yes, there are some Christians out there who teach that if you are single and want to get married, God will with-hold your spouse from you unless you become more godly, mature, or whatever quality. As  you can see from news reports such as this one, that is total bunk.

God did not withhold a spouse from Hybels (again, I’m fairly certain he has a wife), even though God had to know what a pervert the man is.

(Link): He’s a Superstar Pastor. She Worked for Him and Says He Groped Her Repeatedly.

Excerpts:

Bill Hybels built an iconic evangelical church outside Chicago. A former assistant says that in the 1980s, he sexually harassed her.

SOUTH BARRINGTON, Ill. — After the pain of watching her marriage fall apart, Pat Baranowski felt that God was suddenly showering her with blessings.

She had a new job at her Chicago-area megachurch, led by a dynamic young pastor named the Rev. Bill Hybels, who in the 1980s was becoming one of the most influential evangelical leaders in the country.

Continue reading “Mega Church Preacher Bill Hybels in Trouble Again For More Sexual Harassment”

Wife’s Shock As Husband, 26, Is Caught Cheating With a 72-Year-Old Lover at Premier Inn

Wife’s Shock As Husband, 26, Is Caught Cheating With a 72-Year-Old Lover at Premier Inn

I do not support (Link):  May-December relationships. They are so gross.

And I don’t care which gender is which age in the formula – I am no less grossed out that the older person in this story is a lady, not a dude.

(Link): Wife’s Shock As Husband, 26, Is Caught Cheating With a 72-Year-Old Lover at Premier Inn

A newly-married man aged 26 was caught romping with a 72-year-old lover at a Premier Inn.

The lothario’s wife, 24, from the Birmingham area, had called in private detectives after becoming suspicious about his behaviour.

Continue reading “Wife’s Shock As Husband, 26, Is Caught Cheating With a 72-Year-Old Lover at Premier Inn”

A Married Hedge-Funder Wooed His Beauty-Pageant Mistress With the Promise of An Ostrich Farm in Uganda – Only To Gift Her With An STD

A Married Hedge-Funder Wooed His Beauty-Pageant Mistress With the Promise of An Ostrich Farm in Uganda – Only To Gift Her With An STD

(Link): A married hedge-funder wooed his beauty-pageant mistress with the promise of an ostrich farm in Uganda — only to gift her with an STD

by Julia Marsh

Dec 2017

A married hedge-funder wooed his beauty-pageant mistress with the promise of an ostrich farm in Uganda — only to gift her with an STD, a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit says.

Former Miss Germany International Aline Marie Massel, 31, revealed the alleged seamy details of her two-year illicit relationship with Autonomy Capital CEO Robert Charles Gibbins in new court documents.

The beauty queen-turned-Tesla model met Gibbins while dining at Le Bilboquet in Manhattan in June 2014, her suit says.

Gibbins, who is in his 40s, told Massel he was unmarried and said he wanted to have four children with her, the suit says.

“He promised to buy a large estate for them in Canada called the Royal Antler . . . and an ostrich farm in Uganda,” according to court papers.

Continue reading “A Married Hedge-Funder Wooed His Beauty-Pageant Mistress With the Promise of An Ostrich Farm in Uganda – Only To Gift Her With An STD”

A Response to the Editorial “America Needs a New Sexual Revolution” by Melissa Mackenzie

A Response to the Editorial “America Needs a New Sexual Revolution” by Melissa Mackenzie

I guess Ms. Mackenzie drank from the Gender Complementarian Kool-Aid, or something like it.

The complementarian world is a world in which one is taught there are only two options concerning women (I know this because (Link): I used to be one myself for many years):

-either be and live as a traditional values person who believes all women are, or should be, passive, dainty, and delicate and should marry young and have children,
or,
-be and live as a bra-burning, man-hating, liberal feminist.

I present a third option, which is hated by some liberals (when I bring it to their attention), and it’s an option that is never even considered by other conservatives, which is as follows:
I am a right wing woman who rejects sexism, and finds fault in both the left and right wing on some women’s issues, but who also sees some merit to some arguments on either side, depending on the topic.

In this blog post, I am commenting upon this editorial on The American Spectator:

 (Link): America Needs a New Sexual Revolution by Melissa Mackenzie

A foundation of the opening of this editorial rests upon a presupposition that, and to paraphrase my understanding of the author’s perspective:

“Everything that is wrong today in regards to culture, sex, marriage, dating, and women, is liberal, secular, FEMINISM, and feminism is EVIL! One can directly trace the downfall of American sexual morality to the feminism of the 1960s!!”

Such thinking is a common trope in about every right wing publication I’ve ever read on these subjects.

To that point, about feminism supposedly being to blame for all of society’s marital or sexual problems, I would ask you to read this off-site post, which is by a Christian (not by a left wing, secular feminist):

(Link): Perhaps Feminism Is Not The Enemy

What I will do here is provide excerpts by MacKenzie then, under her comments, offer my thoughts.

MacKenzie writes (source again):

There’s a coarsening of relationships between men and women, parents and children, and people with each other.

// end MacKenzie quotes ///

I don’t think secular, left wing feminism was the start of the “coarsening of relationships between men and women” but is a response to it.

One can read the Old Testament of the Bible, which dates back several thousand years, to see men raping their own sisters, owning harems of women (in some cases, women having no choice but to be in a harem, or to be a concubine), and men committing adultery. There was no 1960s, American- style feminism around in Biblical days.

Continue reading “A Response to the Editorial “America Needs a New Sexual Revolution” by Melissa Mackenzie”

Complementarian and Pro Family Values Christians Claim to be Pro Woman and Pro Family But By Their Actions Show They Are Not

Complementarian and Pro Family Values Christians Claim to be Pro Woman and Pro Family But By Their Actions Show They Are Not

Complementarians claim to be respectful of women, but their theological views help to enable mistreatment of women and bar women from taking positions and roles that should go to them, if they have the skills, talents, and education.

Many Christians claim to be pro “Family Values” but in reality treat children and women (you know, who tend to be parts of families) like dirt.

Here are some posts explaining in detail or giving examples:

First post:

(Link):  When I Became a Single Mother, Patriarchy Let Me Down by Bridget Jack Jeffries (excerpts from this first link farther below)

Second post:

And by way of WW – that is (Link): Wartburg Watch – (from a February 2017 post entitled, “Ignite: Remove Alleged Rapist, Ben Roethlisberger, and Joe White, Who Is Being Sued for Child Sex Abuse Cover Up, From the Speaker Lineup!”)

Christian Liberty University is holding something called “Ignite,” which pertains to advocating godly manhood or family values, or some such. One of Ignite’s scheduled speakers is a guy named Ben Roethlisberger, who is accused of rape by at least three different women. The guy is, or was, a football player.

A sub-heading on the WW page reads: “The troubling history of rape allegations against Ben Roethlisberger”

The WW blog owners in turn link to this page in  their post about this guy here:

(Link):   Without Consequence: When Professional Athletes Are Violent Off the Field

So, a Christian university is allowing an accused rapist to speak at an event that is purportedly about encouraging men to lead godly lives.

Continue reading “Complementarian and Pro Family Values Christians Claim to be Pro Woman and Pro Family But By Their Actions Show They Are Not”