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Dr. David Clarke: Am I Being Abused?

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
June 23, 2022 10:00 pm

Dr. David Clarke: Am I Being Abused?

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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June 23, 2022 10:00 pm

"Am I being abused?" Psychologist Dr. David Clarke helps identify red flags in a friend's relationship or your own and what to do when you see those signs.

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Today working to continue our conversation that we started yesterday about abuse heavy topic and if you find yourself in the situation we really hope you will get help. The abuser won't say much about his family. Typically, other than it was the greatest family in the world war was horrible, but these are generalities. If you hear the words my dad was abusive. Okay, red Clay that the caveat would be if you can talk to what happened and he's gotten therapy and he's different okay what is hates his dad and Kimberly was abusive know that would be a red flag. Welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationship to matter most and will and I'm Dave Wilson and you can find us if we live or on our family life, family life today so I'm not sure I know what you're saying but have you ever counseled a wife to leave her husband. Yeah, I have done that several times actually win. Why want names but the first time dressed me a big reason first time that I did this I felt really bad because I missed it. By the way what I say leave her husband under me divorce her husband but to separate way for a while. Yeah it was a woman in my Detroit Lions, Bible study, and she was amazing.

I loved her funny great husband was incredible.

He was one of our favorite guys just really personable charismatic just fine.

We loved him, and I noticed that she was coming in with her sunglasses on quite a few times. The Bible study and pastor like you have some eye thing done. Are you okay and she took her glasses off and she had a black eye and I didn't think anything about it.

It makes me feel bad I never questioned or more, but later I found out that he had been beating her and abusing her. And you remember we were shocked. Just because the sky's the greatest and I've had other cases like that where now I could recognize it more easily and I will even say this at the weekend.

Remember marriage get away from the stage from the front. If you are in an abusive situation. The most loving thing you can do for your spouse is to get out to separate into get safe because the most loving thing you can do for him is this will wake him up to think this is an issue and we need help. Use like Dr. David Clark for Alex that he sit right across the studio from his welcome back.

Family life today is that we are they going to say that I like that I've upset him thousand was melting. The word indicates you will see this to these are the greatest guys in the world to the outside world and help me. He's funny, he's godly correspondence. 20 ribbons like you do anything for me and they were shocked to find out behind closed doors different story. The wife's living the nightmare and nobody knows your usual Christian wife, Tony. What is my husband. I love him. The kids what you got until somebody and get out. You just have to have to dove supporting me get out you will you do this every day your psychologist a writer 15+ books married. I didn't even know this couple kids and grandkids. How many for grandkids. We been promised more.

That's their job, job to count on you right come through for everyone to talk quite a bit about definition of abuse and abuser you written a book called enough is enough. Great title. A step-by-step plan to leave an abusive relationship with God's help and a lot of people look at that subtitle.

Thank you. Tell them to get divorced but you really are saying what aunt said no.

Sometimes you need to get safe. It's a wake-up call for the abusive spouse and maybe change can happen in meeting of the dream is that you come back together and have a whole different marriage and family talk about you know the red flags because if I'm a wife or your arm in a marriage, and I'm not sure. Is he really in abuser or is he just a selfish guy that sometimes messes up how I love the red flags how I put that in that category were why I pray do need to get safe.

One thing is it is not stopping and it is been years couple months okay young man knew the first year of marriage. I was not very impressive is selfish. My mother is my mother's fault because I like all these things from her. I was a Dell seminar is a great guide. Halfway through my two years and is rat infested apartment of the story was very impressive, but I would do things you want to handle for dollars. All these reports all these euro arguments of the Bible Bible books.

I would however I'd finish my work at like about nine and not handed to her literally expect her to type it normal that first three will grow his company got it and here's a were eight-month and or new marriage and she sat me down. It was more like three pages a day, but this is ridiculous. You know, I know you're the baby, but I cannot cook every meal I'm working on working the Dell seminar switchboard and I can keep this place clean with what I was doing nothing. Nothing except my important seminary work. She said here's what you have to be given out to the laundry from now on you have to help with the meals Typing one more of your dumb seminary, Ontario is God's work and I love try thought well I did, I change yes I did.

So you're saying we're we do dumb things when we first got married, but that's not the definition of an abuser know everything changed because I love my wife and I'm normal. I thought well under the selfish pig when you see trains and not just these guys.

The abuser will change for couple days maybe a week or two and then go right back to know if it's consistent change is really growing as a man and is learning and is meeting your needs. My job is to meet Sandy's needs care what she needs to fill in the blank. I will do anything for my job when she's happy because I'm having everything works out. So don't think that what it's all about me, so that they do not change, not in the context of a reasonable marriage, you bring up a topic that they know, like, as I mentioned earlier in the earlier program. They won't talk about it they will not but you can't do anything with a person like that and then I ice his eyes, look, look, I'm looking at you and were talking through and I see there's damage being done. Let's look at what's happening to you, and that's one of the key red flags all kinds of physical problems through 35 years old or 45 or 50 you falling apart.

Why is that is because the stress of the trauma of the emotional abuse you experience high-tech and physical physical physical damage to genetic weaknesses and so that's where stress goes, heart problems or kidney issues, all kinds of emotionally panic disorders. Your your your depressed all the time you're anxious. Are you all these things are happening. Your self-esteem is being stripped away, you're not as close to God or spiritual impact to your distance from him because you're wondering why she put me in the situation you're not serving as you have no energy you're physically exhausted all the time and I said let's talk about your kids like the mama bear energized. Maybe that will do it for you maybe do for your kids, your kids are also suffering. I will tell them looking and we look at the grades and this and that you try to protect them, but the abuser will turn your own kids against you will spend decades poison them against you. They do that something happens and you will be criticized right in front of them at at the at the dinner table. This isn't a good meal literally as you burn this so that this wasn't on Mayor told you I don't like fish. I'm just harsh kids are sitting right there front row seats what the wife does, and the usual wife will just take it okay pattern established so much wrong with mom and so you don't challenge that idea the fear that your get your crazy rapport, cook, or whatever else you do that in so many different areas sometimes right in front of you a lot times outside of into the kids are thinking someone with mom so they'll start disrespecting us they will. Oh yeah, they're not listening to you really don't have to because the abuser will come in behind you. He wants to be the hero when Sandy she's raising her four kids.

Mostly I'm at the one problem I practice when I came home and she said here's what's happened and I want you to back me every time I backer.

I believe my wife.

The abuser will do that. He sees a chance to win and get the kids on his side is a now you can simply not a clock watching TV even though there were problems and so you also relate to you noticing they're not respecting you listening to following through on your consequences as I know they don't have to and what's happening little boys who grow up in this kind of a home with an abusive dad and the mama takes it there abusers and training their learning the lessons. It can be a young man little boy I will never be like my dad because he was hurting my mom. He's a good to be exactly like that guy 85% of the time he starts abusing the mom because that's what my dad's teaching me that modeling is so critical and the little girls abused and waiting to be drawn to a guy that's abusive.

They were to marry him and the whole generational sin thing never stops.

We have to stop it.

You only started by saying I'm getting ready I'm following the steps and I'm good now. Yeah, and sometime even said earlier that you know you were first married to Sandy. It was a couple months and she let it go. But if I'm a wife whose being physically abuse you don't wait a couple months now. I remember early unite pastor for 30 years. I remember one of the first or second or third message I gave about unconditional forgiveness right and this can be a theme that as a pastime to revisit you know over the years a member of mentor and a psychologist in our church came out to me, Jack, and he said hey, just a note anytime you talk about forgiveness and God wanted us to forgive others. Always make sure you footnoted and say something to the a wife who sit there thinking okay I'm getting beat every day and I'm just heard from my pastor need to forgive. Just make sure she understands she shouldn't stay there and keep getting hit. She should get safe.

She still got have to forgive guy calls or forgive but gets safe. I remember that I was like oh my goodness.

And every time I'd start in that area in a sermon like I got a footnote this and everyone SWAT wife would come up and say thank you. I thought the Christian way was to let it go. Just forgive and be the wife that doesn't say anything.

Sometimes they get a get out that day because clearly they and their children.

You can give him two months you can get more.

We agree. For now I want to mount it with emotional abuse is can't quite pull it off at the physical yeah it's today through shelters you circle the wagons family friends yet. Today is the day get out and even ladylike that they find.

Of course always be very hard to do. Hope springs eternal. While only we don't feel like where is spiritual. If we do that because Jesus conquers all. And so I think we put ourselves in that position at that Todd can save this and you're saying he might, but in order to say that you have to get out first right I will tell them up on the authority of Scripture and I'll read the passages Jesus is telling you get out. I want you to get out. I think my three precious daughters with an eye for their husbands or more than what was abusing them as I as a loving father. What would I do so are you stuck in that situation is probably your fault anyway. Like many pastors might say no I would do anything to get them out even more loving. Of course I could ever be.

He's not in favor of that kind of ongoing suffering and frankly destruction Nono he wants about how do you convince a couple or maybe it's the wife if the husband's abuser that separating for a time. You know how long I could be a could be a long time and may not ever come back together but we sure that we here defeat.

We think I'm giving up but yours you're saying is the opposite you're actually giving up your take in a movie or at your you're making a move that God can use in much better way help us understand how that's victory rather defeat.

I have to sell them on this look your pattern is so strong it's been 10 years it's been 50 my right, how long they've been married 2025. Whatever 50 okay. It's like a monster you're feeding it. If you stay together, it will never go away. It's too strong, too much for you. Plus, as you say together. The only place you can spin right now.

Until it is getting yourself healthy. You're not healthy.

He needs the space to work on his abusive tendencies, his abusive behavior, figure it out.

You can only do that, apart from motivating them and ma'am, your you're a rat you a unemotional physical wreck women look what Idella met and I love I'm going to love you hold your hand much on the beach stuff but you gotta restore your life you've lost your voice. You lost your identity. You know who you are, the kids of turned against you, your phone apart. Your healing is just as important as is.

You can do that when when you're interacting with the person so your marriage is right on the edge, you can't. One more time.

You know of is happening is only one more time, but we might push over the edge. We gotta create some space as the best chance you got to actually make this work now. Guess and someone could be listening, thinking I'm not married.

I don't want to have this kata marriage, what red flag.

Should I be looking for if I'm dating or I'm in a relationship with a guy or gal. Other signs should I be able to see that this guy, this gal could be a problem there almost always red flags in the hundreds lays up talk to. Looking back, say, my saw those but I was in love with them.

I thought he change what you're looking for. Always take a look at the guys family. If you're getting serious where your parents live welder divorced okay with you if you need interact with those people in there together see them together spend the weekend you can, and women are or are intuitive. You can pick up a lot from what goes on in the home, and you're in a quiz this guy that the abuser won't say much about his family.

Typically, other than it was the greatest family in the world war was horrible, but these are generalities.

You don't you don't marry someone, or even take them seriously as you've got the sketch was like in your home will my if you hear the words my dad was abusive. Okay red flag that a caveat would be if you can talk to what happened and he's gotten therapy and he's different okay but it is hates his dad and can't believe he was abusive know that would be a red flag and when you're seeing his parents in a racket. They're still together. The New York these guys can help themselves, even of the course of the weekend.

They'll be small things, you'll pick up as you wait on him hand and foot. Is he sharp with there is a research, criticism, and of course his relationship with you. His interaction with you with these guys will do is the control starts very early on, they will begin to separate you from your friends friends in Japan for a lifetime or key) know I I want you to be with me were you thinking he loves me so much he wants to be with me and wants to control you are normal man would never fool with your friendships. You can have both will start cutting you off from your family. Other instances of control and the guys got a financial problem and you check out his financial history.

Some of these guys saw their your high-powered workaholics you never been to see on there driven in their career more important in your liberty or their slackers and they don't work in your paying for most of the meals and if you date a man long enough, five, six, seven, eight months is to become serious if you won't talk about any issue okay what it is in an abnormal, like, then he can become anything in the world and and I'm to listen, understand, and was about me that's tough but I got I won't have the truth, this guy will do that he was that he might say quick. I'm sorry and you move on. He will not work through an issue. I choke a young couples you don't marry anybody you don't get engaged anybody world engaged get the engaged Alonso. We've never had a fight. Are you kidding me how many files you have in your marriage. You need to figure out how to do that right now so you want to see the abuser when he's angry when something hasn't gone his way. That's what I tell you what you need to know about the guy because the abuser guy can handle the scary thing is is you started Sharon some of those red flags. I want to turn in and say wow I had a lot of those which I think is a good discussion because no honestly, I think it all you talk about my dad to talk about my mom and dad. Yeah my family I met Winston my dad was in abuser but there is a control there is an emotional abuse. They were divorce. There was alcohol problems. We didn't we didn't resolve conflicts. We sort of avoided them because it was bad. There was loud news and so anyway as I listen to you talk like wow I think what I could ask you. Did you ever think I was even close to being emotional, emotionally abusive to you or others now know, but I had some of those flags. So that's the question I have talk about the difference I guess is he was naming those as I think back, always willing to talk about yourself in terms of, this is where I came from and you are vulnerable of saying this is what I feel these are some of my insecurities Mueller strongly saying I never want to be like that but the thing I watched in you is your pursuit of Jesus and your pursuit of other men and discipleship and being under the authority of other man to me. That was like other flags like this guy yet most of us have messed up backgrounds but you are willing to look at it and you're willing to have other men speak into it and that's the question you your you're an expert on this, you see this all the time. What did I do different.

That would say oh you got some brokenness but you're not abusing I'm close. It's not a red flag.

It's a flag in your to do it that your marriage and we have but it's not like. While this guy is in that category.

What separates the abuser from somebody just broken. I think answered it beautifully, that concerned about the fact that maybe your your backgrounds a disaster because is as of yet most of us have that. Okay, it's what you do with that and and if you bring it up you you been to his house and soon his parents were.

He's talking about the problems. How does he talk about that Willie talk about in detail, will he be vulnerable.

Here's what I've learned from this and here's the work that I've done to not be like them.

Okay that's key in the back he's talking about all that will take away a lot of red flags. If you have the discussion anytime you want.

I'm concerned about this concern about that anything on the dating relationship that bothered me. What you said this morning you were 20 minutes late does negative. It's your testing and he's always there listening okay if you just can't do that they can be charming and loving the can't pull that off, not for very long.

And of course Jesus that not just says he's a man of God and I'm on the committee arrived I go to church know will be spiritually bond with you. Will he pray with you in a regular basis will you open the word of God is he leaving you spiritually easy open to you really talking about a spiritual life really following Jesus is have accountability. Is he a men's group okay though that that is sounds like as I listen to sounds like, and it's what Jesus does in a manner woman's heart as he takes away defensiveness I guess would be arrogance, narcissism were you are now and and you might not of been before Christ for Christ is a work on the heart where it softens to the point where like I have brokenness I want to grow help me grow rather than anytime you point some out. You're wrong you know that's a control side right so there's a there's a humility and a lack of defensiveness. That's gotta be there. Whether you're dating or in marriage. If that's gone you're looking for trouble, but I can say I can't count how many times you kind me and said I'm an idiot morning that this would never do never work in progress there. Find their perfect now and don't give me any input still give some words it may say well I guess I messed up mono it's very rare and they move right on that humility. If you get a humble man who believe oversight I messed up there.

I hurt you. It will because a real apology in the society anymore. All were mistakes made will, of course, there were that's not apology apology as I was wrong. I hurt you, and then if the woman I hurt Sandy to do it in on want to, but we couple times a week and not then, not only am I sorry blew it my fault. But then she got talk it out. What happened in and relive it to make sure I know what happened and I get it. And that's how women operate, the abuser will you do that if I'm going to give you. I'm sorry. That's all you're getting. Be thankful of how to do the stone tablet apology and that's it MoveOn would know it's got to be talked out what he reassured you really get it and that's how you bond to be just will do that they won't do it. I'm when I seen the gauge couple is not very often you can imagine what was brought I'm really hard on them almost trying to break them up. I what I want them to have a real relationship before they get to the wedding. You know, we say we thank you thank you should go really hard mission trip them under stress under stress. Under no sleep under hard living conditions. Others, yeah hello I love that reveals a lot. It is your sleeping on the horde while you are you kidding that's what I'm talking about that's good that is good i.e. this could be a scary actions that for a married couple bring him say it anyway. I think one of the greatest gift you can receive from your spouse is truth and it's hard because we don't want truth, we'd sorta like. Here's your zero amazing, but I called the gift because when your spouse speaks something. Maybe that's hard for you to hear like I see something in your life. I like to to point out and goes both ways. That's the moment of truth where my can resist this or my gotta go.

This is a gift decision actually make me better now. I know I just might've set up a couple to get in a huge fight. Right now you know what I would encourage you to be out of say okay honey when you tell me some I need to know and I'm going to listen to it not get defensive. See if you can do it. Funny, my date at first because only that, but what then will come back to one another and say I said often you like okay I overreacted and I got really defensive and I'm sorry about that. Let's talk some more.

That's a healthy couple my Sandy look much like my mom. She's a tough cookie. She calls me out. But he's made me a better man so much better.

She's right she's right. Every time she lives with me how to be wrong, she's experiencing me. I got the first eight months of thinking she was wrong that plaintiff looking like that's ridiculous. And she said look, I'm a reasonable person. I'm a degree in college. I'm living with you and your daddy at some of the time okay.

But as I as I've taken that course I love her has to be done anyway. But I've changed and matured abusers don't do that if your adult daughter is dating someone heading toward marriage and you as a parent seeing these red flags. When you do you have adult children as I do. They marry wonderful young man but if that wasn't the case.

The component and this is like a one time operation because they can marry who they want.

However, like Dave said, truth.

You sit down with a girl. It was it was the data can be the dad and the daughter like a one on one, because it's both of you as parents it is too much exactly the restaurant that's a social place can't talk. She's fill my water glass. Whatever private place and in the and it's a one-way statement and this is the best way to do it is not having a dialogue in this first meeting. I've got some to say to you, to say it is. Want to listen not only response that women get by the of defensiveness as can be right there. I love Bob Bob would never listen to me, to lay it out and you give specific examples. I've got a concern. I'm just saying, at least think about these issues and postpone the wedding and he's got some work to do but think it Miriam, but let's see changes think and pray about this honey and she starts to respond.

Not now in a couple of days. Maybe there's a better chance Alexi think about it and then you can have another conversation is worth a try. She could say no, but at least you made the attempt on appearance well that I rub some into what we were getting married, you know in three months, maybe you're not.

It is not against the law to cancel all the money the people. The wedding invitations bouquet errors.

The verge of mirroring adorable potential durable. Let's make sure that he's not, we live longer you pick up these things are not wrong, you're right. You're seeing things in the in the throes of love. You can miss it parents before I try that one on one, lay it on them and hopefully think and pray and get back to I'm shall be added in you been listening to David Anne's conversation with David Clark on family life today is book is called enough is enough step-by-step plan to leave an abusive relationship with God's help, you can get a or by calling 800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today, we have family life's president David Robbins with us today.

David tells about what's been on your heart, as you've been reflecting lately to take a moment to thank those of you who are partners of family life and help give to keep family life today reaching as many families as possible and bringing the timeless truth of God's word and helping that meet real everyday life wanted to share this message of the family life team received from a listener and wanted you know how your contribution is helping people know how much I appreciate their true forgiveness and kindness bring up topics that are so relevant, so needed and I haven't felt that with other Christian program lecturing to me, but they don't lecture to the person hurting from the bad abusive 50 more years of abuse in marriage as I hear her tenderhearted just reminds me that your gifts help meet people right where they are and help them experience God exactly where they need to experience God today in your gift really matters, yet really does and again this week when you give a donation of any amount we want to send you a copy of my book called what's the point asking the right questions about living together in marriage.

This will be a helpful book for the young adult in your life you might be struggling with different views on dating and marriage and cohabitation and all the confusing stuff surrounding that topic and you can give easily or call with your donation at 800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today. Men and women have different roles in marriage, the church will next week. David and Wilson will be joined by Kevin DeYoung to talk about men and women in the church will be a good one on behalf of David and Wilson.

I'm shall be added will see that next time for another edition of family life today family like today is a production of family life accrued ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most

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