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Dr. David Clarke: Enough Is Enough: Leaving an Abusive Relationship

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
June 22, 2022 10:00 pm

Dr. David Clarke: Enough Is Enough: Leaving an Abusive Relationship

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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June 22, 2022 10:00 pm

When the abuse starts, enough is enough. Psychologist Dr. David Clarke helps you form a plan to get out so you can assess your marriage for the long term.

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Hey just a heads up before we get started. Today's topic is heavy and if you find yourself in this situation, we hope you'll take steps to get help. I want to let you know. Here's the truth, he is abusive and then we will work with the lady in the bottom line is your leaving let's get you ready, let's get you stronger graduate ready today could be for five months now could be a year let's get you ready and solid with the support team and everything and then let's get you out when you're out and safe will give a gunshot separation is key for safety and for healing and protecting your kids and maybe it's the only way you can get this guy's attention is actually a loving thing because it gives that guy a chance he'll never change. Otherwise, I guarantee you that. Welcome to family life today where we want to help you.

First, relationships that matter most and Wilson and Dave Wilson and you can find as we live today.com or on our family life, family life today.

Okay, I will throw a question that I'm not sure I know the answer to that. I know I mean you know everything. Now I don't what percentage of you could put a number on percentage of spouses that you think are in an abusive marriage that I know I didn't I didn't define abusive and distorted us or the general had an idea, not just a guess. 10. I guess 7% 7%. Well depends on abusive taking physical, emotional, physical could be any above jester living in a relationship that's not well then probably higher again.

I don't know you know I've ever read the stats, but we got somebody in the in the studio today that I think what he think he is to give you some good answers will answer. He's got a PhD behind his name. So you know he's now you know smart Dr. David Clark, PhD though forget you call me Dr. David Clark, PhD today I'm going to have a dock, everything we say that we as aviation Dr. day is good does sound good, but Dave's five day sign really work on family life. Dave my privilege to be here.

My great privilege to tell us a little bit about what you do. I know your psychologist married couple kids and grandkids. How many for grandkids. We been promised more.

That's their job. We had a job as the earth to count on you. That's right, come through for you speak you've written. I do know this 15+ books I have. While my wife says it with the same book 50 times… True. Your dad has cowritten some of those with you. Here he is every book except for the last one of the divorce recovery book that already passed. He passed out a few months ago but you can help with that but help with every single book we were great team godly man running about with Moses on it was incredible. The Bible backwards and forwards enzyme over an edge. You guys you as you got to know, but she soft and gentle and he said David you can't say that in a book you might say that the speaking thing you can say that in the book why not because it's offensive okay so we were great team know my new book service to be all offensive so well with the psychologist as well and was was was a marriage and family therapist paid for my education so I nobody else would give me a job so I ended up coming to Florida.

Work with my dad for five years, which was awesome. And when he left at the big office but he will I we talk about cases throughout the day. It was great training. I bet you miss them. I do and that's just in your passion is really about helping marriage is in trouble and I received a guess you do that lot a lot in your practice.

But even your latest book, enough is enough. A step-by-step plan to leave an abusive relationship with God's help to talk about where we started. You know I throughout the and like what percentage of marriages are in an abusive relation.

What is the answer I say 3 to 10 if you can look at all the abuse altogether. Wow, that's a Christian population. The numbers are about the same in my experience I travel I talked to passions all of the country in about 35 years at the numbers of the same in the secular and and in the Christian, you're saying that in the church. It's no different no different. Doesn't that alarm you like it should. Why wrote this block you somewhat wise and will will say is good and you knows in the Christian community. It's bad enough in the secular but he wanted under wraps. He wanted to be secret. He wanted to be denied, and most pastors will deny it and they won't handle it well to open this book also educates pastors visited it and women in the church know their smart they know the ins and outs and I went to the front of it went to the pastor and didn't get help so that the vibe is your on your own.

No one to help you here within that just perpetuates the problem.

We do passes from the pulpit say okay or if this is happening you come to see me and will do something about it and will be a line out the door and we can change marriages and save women in children's lives almost literally, certainly emotionally maybe physically. If you feel do that and we can talk about it.

So it really hasn't historically been talked about is just sort of the quiet secret little thing going on in homes and families in the church and what you're saying is where these people going to get help right. They need to come to someone like me, and even let a Christian counselors. I know a lot of these people to passive well meaning they'll drop the ball to be tough and when I have a couple in front of me and I found out the guys abusive or could be reversed right there in front of him not changing this guy in this session and will give him a chance to change like the book says. But I went in for the ladle site so you're an abuser and expand why what she said. I believe her. Well you eat please my office like pretty rapidly and replace a few doors, but I want to let you know.

Here's the truth, he is abusive, not really give a chance to change, we gotta get protected but most counselors won't do that, let's do marriage counseling possibly if you communicate better and handle conflict and and unique needs.

They'll go away no will go away on their skills in case I wanted to leave my office in pretty good getting them out and then we will work with the lady in the bottom line is your leaving let's get you ready, let's get you stronger get ready today could be for five months now could be a year let's get you ready and solid with the support team and everything and then let's get you out, and then when you're out and safe will give the got shot and that's what were going to date. You're saying if there in a decent situation. You're saying they do need to get out. I do the way I'm defining it. This is not an unhappy marriage like the books for that and I work with is my hope, my whole life career.

Notice of this is a different animal.

As one person slowly destroying another person after children them to and frankly even himself usually abuser and some will change okay and you have a golden opportunity, but that's after your out you stay just enabling them so you said earlier that often the woman and I know can go the other way. It could be the woman in use of the man I'm guessing statistically it's more the man abusing the woman yes but 8020.

I think you okay you said earlier, often when she sit in your office.

She doesn't even realize she's being abused or that he's an abuser.

Now she soaring doesn't think he's abusive. It's all her fault.

She's bought that lot if you this if you that if you fill in the blank. I would have to act this way.

So it's all justified. So I have to convince her. She's really my audience taught him how he's a he's a goner until he changes baby down the line after she's left, I insert this is emotional abuse. I devoted my sessions, no blaze across the country and their calling in to find out if in fact they are being emotionally abused a lot of listeners right now are saying yes I feel like I am that I don't what is that mean and how do I know if I am right. It's clearly defined portal talk about.

Not sure, but were included of six chapters of defining it in the book so we don't have any confusion about that because that's the first level of change if I if I'm in denial and I'm not being abuse on minimizing it and so was the pastoral it's not happening. I will have to do with it but if I am I'm going to have to do something.

Okay will you are in is all kinds of things you can do to get stronger to change yourself and to get away. So what would be some signs of I mean, I think we know of physical abuse maybe should clarify that as well.

But if you're getting hit yeah when you finish in a place oh yeah, well, it's the book we focus on emotional abuse any kind of physical. My dad taught me this and this is a course from the Bible itself how to treat a woman you love her as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her first 37 gentle tenderness of utter sensitivity. So if you ever lay a hand. Dad told me you ever lay a hand on any woman other than a loving way. That's physical abuse, grabbing somebody's arm that counts women will will minimize that to Willie didn't really hit me. He kinda shoved me onto the floor you kidding me that's physical violence.

No emotional is even tougher to define because it's it's a nebulous Nagarjuna lie his head off and his guys are consummate liars. I've heard some women say my pastor or this person just that I was being overdramatic or emotional. Yes women are so sensitive and overdramatic land kidding me talk all these pastors are trying to educate them pastor. This is abuse. Now what are you saying that you would say, is abuse and they're not thinking it is. Here's what it looks like it's criticism that never stops is a constant barrage and you you're not good enough in any area.

It is in this is the man. The woman your attractiveness, your weight, your mothering, your financial acumen and you name it Juergen to be criticized for all. It just a steady drumbeat and mostly it is what will tolerate debt for a variety of reasons and try to continue to improve.

We are never going to go nuts again you try. I never let you be good enough in that area to area needs your needs are completely neglected. They'll even reach his radar screen all about him and his needs and thinking is if you meet my needs never quite do that, then maybe someday I'll meet your needs.

That day never comes, because you're never good enough is always about him.

Silent treatment is one of the classic hallmarks. This guy won't talk about any topic he doesn't want to talk about. It's difficult to achieve any given issue. He doesn't want to hear that and so he'll just shut you down.

Snappy media really angers often part of it and then he'll shut down and ignore you for a week or 10 days talk to three ladies this last week who are right right in the middle of eight and 10 days of been completely ignored up by their husband over the dumbest little thing I brought up that if you would do this in the laundry and boom your you have to be punished, they will punish you for every infraction will that's ridiculous as a normal control big part of the narcissism and abuse as well control the money I can to how many ladies will be a million.

I've seen to have no idea what the man makes where the investments are what the accounts are. There were no passwords. I see where the guy drops over dead today. You can be in really bad shape. They don't want tell her and he loves that control the corsets everything is always your fault, but for the hallmarks of nurse assistant and who are abusive in most abuses narcissists everything is your fault. Every little thing he never owns anything. Now, if he is caught in some massive sin and he's not sorry but he'll be sorry it happened that he got caught and he will he will brush it off and go well, I said I was sorry much as move on.

You can't talk your way through it like a normal husband wife would have to do I want to hear that stupid kid morphs into not the horrible thing I didn't fare whatever else my lost money but the fact it you will forgive me.

That's with a swing to so they only swing it back to that spouse always. It's their fault that even when they acted like this. It's their fault in its opposite world. These guys turn it on you every like a human backboard if you tell him something that he's done bona fide that is done he'll put it right back on you, will you didn't.

You know you didn't talk to me. This point will either, did you or you did this. We got the you've done this the John these 10 things. That's not how you handle your woman you listen to when you understand what she's saying.

This is a far beyond regular defensiveness that a man would bring. Oh no it's it's shoved right back in your face so when that woman walks into your office and she's been married a while. Describe what you see you see a woman who engineered it doesn't take long.

If it's just her and I and she's telling her story and on the first person with a validating her and say I can't believe you do that, that's abuse that tell me more their dislike shocked really, they were ML, epilepsy, fighting tooth and nail because they don't want to believe it's abuse what they want is marriage counseling. I'm seeing you.

First, a kind event you are, that's fine. Here's my because my say look, I believe you are looking to see your husband, to waste my time or yours. He's abusive. I believe you the level of detail you've given you love the Lord.

I got your background, your dad was the same way. Look, I believe you were not doing marriage counseling was a welcome back to see me go find some other counselor who will try marriage counseling don't do that with an abuser. The pre-step is getting away from him, which I don't want to hear and then giving him a chance to after seven or eight months of working on himself. Some will do that most won't look at that point, and he's proven it still separated. That's when you would start a couple counseling process in the first part of that would be him helping you heal all the damage he's done to you that day. That doesn't sound his spiritual know now because we feel guilty, like the first thing we want to deal with you like the biblical plan would be. We need to work on our marriage because this is the covenant that I'm in and you're saying it's not can help. Nope. It's called enabling and in this context. I've seen trouble couples for 35 years is that the different animal is balance.

What you doing what you doing and it's it's very collegial and and Elaine were working together doesn't work with an abuser. If I do find that and I believe it's true.

Totally different operation, then you're not saying get divorced, you're saying get out explain that I'm very clear on this on is playing God. If you if you recommend someone get divorced is not my purview.

God is fully capable of releasing from marriage or ship the biblical reason. Even then, I wouldn't recommend because is not my business, but separation is key for safety and for healing and protecting your kids and maybe it's the only way you can get this guy's attention is the only way he maybe is going to change, and that's a big maybe I'll tell these ladies it's hard for them to sort women are nurturing and their caring is all about him.

It's been about him for 20 years. How's that going it's not working for you.

Now it's your turn. Not selfishly protect yourself and the kids.

I'm trying to sell them to us why what the book is to lay it out so they can really before God. Read the whole package and see all the different components it's actually loving thing because it gives that guy a chance he'll never change. Otherwise, I guarantee you that pastors and well-meaning Christian counselors will tell you if you just love them more, just a little more maybe five more years to be two more years.

He would try this try this seminar.

Try this book, then he'll change that's the hope it's bogus. It's not gonna work with that guy.

The back to your knocking yourself out. Tell me this, because I'm listening to and I'm like all these women are going through my head that I've talked to over the years and then this will happen. Husband will come back and said hey I prayed a prayer and now I'm a Christian for all good but I say I quit that looking like in his life like is he involved with another man, is he going to church because the wife is so hopeful like finally but she will run right into his arms. Even these acts to come to Jesus. Fantastic. That's exactly what has that many guys think they know Jesus and they do not, but that's the first step. Sanctification has not had any chance to play.

He sorry. Now he gets it, but he has not changed and will be run right back in.

Motivation goes down to zero you have a couple weeks.

Maybe the month of of Nicene nicely to go right back to because of his old patterns and young probably that he hasn't dealt with in his life right these guys guys will have seven or eight months if not longer real work why what makes me abusive. Why am I like this.Jesus will help you do that without them. You can even do it if you can find the right therapist so many tough with a clear plan of action he's got work to do but I think he's got it. Now he didn't got it, and frankly it's not just his work. The ladies got the work to do to get a voice get your identity back.

He shredded that you belonging to shred your self-esteem and your voice and the kids of you and turned against to these guys will turn your own kids against you, and enjoy doing it because they have to win. Okay, we have to shore all that up. We we were to make sure and there's all kinds of ways he can make sure that I was able upon, that living with you. How can I possibly prove it. Any number of ways and I'll tell you exactly how all have read this book.

It is really serious read this this is you get a clue and start working on yourself and giving her space and time to heal is one way you can show her you're getting it.

How often do you see marriages come back together. I mean, you talk about the guy leave in and working on himself. The wife work on herself doesn't work.

Do you have stories of flow. I mean, I know you have a story where it really didn't.

The guy never did change, but you have some stories that you got a few you're listening to David and Wilson with David Clark on family life today will hear about those stories in just a minute. The first family life today has made a difference in your life would you consider paying it forward. As you may know where listener supported in this week when you give a donation of any amount you want to send you a copy of my book actually called what's the point asking the right questions about living together in marriage to be helpful book for a young adult in your life you might be struggling with different views of dating and marriage in all the confusion surrounding that topic will send you a copy as our thanks when you give this week@familylifetoday.com when you call with your donation at 800-358-6329 that's one 800 F peasant family L as in life and in the word today. Right now, back to Dave and Anne's conversation with David Clark and the unfortunately you stories of abusers truly changed.

Not many and 35 years for 6% of the bona fide abuser bona fide narcissus left abuser now for 6%, not to ladies only God knows it is in that percentage could be we give them a chance. Now we know what God can do. If the abuser truly breaks we see in the Bible.

I'm in the narcissus there. You know the Jacob fighting got all night. Are you kidding me ship and scraped off the face of the earth.

God gave him a shot and it worked out so Saul, not so good. So this is a case where he could change he's gonna have to really do some work, but had a case of impact recently claiming narcissist multiple affairs arming solid gold world class narcissist in my office last that long as it's her urine abuser. He was there for marriage counselors. You could check the dumb box part of the narrative, I tried marriage counselor that Clark's aquatica did work course it did so were uncertain of the lady and she got strong. She got a voice he was out she is she that she kicked him out. She had some leverage because he was just caught this latest affair and he did leave but incredibly enough, he saw a friend of mine who works with narcissist and he did his work took him seven months, but giving reports to me and to his wife was growing and getting strong and she was blessed to be skeptical. Who knows, but he really did prove himself and they came back to see me as a couple is kind of a joke when it whenever I form people out. I never see them again. This case I'd I'd vetted him and I saw him. This guy is the real thing he could prove it.

We came back together was a great story of restoration healing. He really got it was unrecognizable while it was like Jesus, I thought what know this is what I'm talking about, and you're saying it when it happened had she stated no way no way he would had affair after five on the narcissus on the changing.

If you will stay with me and you'll put up with everything I do on the going anywhere you're okay with it. You can trying to vegan give me a hard time here on care but had no conscience.

HOW do empathy so does make a difference to me, that's addiction.

These guys are we addicted to narcissism in their own ego and of course women are often part of the other women are pornography, whatever which is adultery to and so if I can do it one more time and you're gonna be okay with that.

I'll do one more time like back to an empty house and you, my kids are gone I might get a clue and figure it out so there's a wife listening right now and she's like wow Dave you're describing my husband and my life talk to her but would you say to you know what, dear lady, I am talking to you. Hopefully God through me and and Dave and and yet, that this is your time.

It's a God thing. I'm telling you this is not the life God has for you to suffer to be destroyed and there is a way out that you got fears you got lies in your head. You don't think you can't know with God's help, we know you can do it. I give you a game plan.

You can get out and protect yourself and the kids and so there is an escape hatch. There is a God. Not only is okay with you doing it. He wants you to do it.

I'm thinking of just the women there listening to that our thinking friends who are living the same life. I think it be great if you shared this with them and highest.

I feel compelled like I just want to pray for, especially the women that many are struggling with that link right now. Father, thank you for Dave that he is shedding light on some areas that had been in the darkness, and a lot of times, as Christians, we don't have to deal with that. Even his friends and so Lord I pray that as women have been listening or even maybe some man in your checking off these boxes in their heads like that's me, that's me, that's me father I pray that you give them strength to reach out to a counselor, a friend somebody that safe somebody that they can talk to that will biblically walk beside Dan encourage them love them and help them to be strong and even I feel like Dave's book is just such a gift because it's so practical and it's a step-by-step journey like that.

I pray that you would remind them of how much you love them, how you see them how you care about what's happening and you don't want them to suffer and so Laura got a paint wrap your arms around them and I pray that you give them courage and help them to be brave to make these next steps help give them even the words and how to talk to their kids of what's happening in Jesus and can do that sweet praying your name. Amen. I'm Shelby Abbott you been listening to David Anne's conversation with David Clark on family life to his book is called enough is enough step-by-step plan to leave an abusive relationship with God's help, you can get a copy@familylifetoa.com or by calling 800-358-6329 that's one 800 F peasant family L as in life, and then the word today. If you know anyone who needs to hear today's conversation. Be sure to share it from wherever you get your podcasts and while you're there.

It really help us out if you rate and review us to. How do you know the difference between your spouse just being a broken center or an actual abuser. Dr. David Clark will join Dave and and again tomorrow to talk about just that, on behalf of David and Wilson.

I'm Shelby Abbott will see you back next time for another edition of family life today family like today's production of a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most


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