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Why Women Stay in Abusive Marriages

  As a counselor in the Violence Against Women (VAW) program for many years, I have heard many reasons why women tend to stay in toxic, oppressive, controlling and abusive relationships. Although there are many reasons, here are the six main reasons:

·         1. Fear

·         2. Financial: Lack of money, fear of not being able to make it on their own financially

·         3. Deceptive religious beliefs = fear of disappointing God or going to hell

·         4. They believe they can change him.

·         5. Guilt and self-blame, lack of knowing their value

·         6. For the children = fear of the family breakdown, shame and fear of failure



According to domestic violence statistics, one in three women are violently abused. Many more are emotionally or psychologically abused. However, research shows that all abuse has the same impact on the victims and the children that witness the abuse. These wives are yelled at, put down, treated without value because the belief is that they are “inferior humans” who need to obey their husbands. What an affront to the Creator. Many abusive husbands threaten to kill her parents, those closest to her, her pets or others, or they threaten to take the children away if she tries to leave. These women are in a constant state of fear and anxiety.


Many women, especially Christians, tend to stay home and be dependent on the husband for income. It is honorable to stay home and raise your children, but, at the same time, it would also be wise to make sure you have the skills and education needed in case anything happens. Also, know what is going on with the family income and budgets. Be involved. Do not leave everything up to your spouse. Be informed. In a healthy marriage, finances are a shared responsibility. A wife should never have to ask for money. Remember, 100 percent of the finances belong to both spouses when married, even if one does not work. Divorce is usually split 50-50.


Did you ever ask God for who He created for you to marry? Most people do not bother asking God. Pastors will often quote Mark 10:19: “therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” However, many people marry for the wrong reasons and marry the wrong person. Secondly, people tend to stay stuck on the translation in Malachi 2:16 that states “God hates divorce” to justify staying in an oppressive / abusive marriage. However, many translations do not have God making that statement. Also, the list of what God hates in Proverbs 6:16 (TPT) does not include divorce. God hates abuse and attitudes of superiority: “I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech” (Proverbs 8:13). Doesn’t all forms of abuse count as evil behavior? If God has not consented to the marriage, then it is a contract and not a covenant. Contracts can be terminated. If a man abuses his wife in any form, physical or emotional a) he is not a Christian, and b) he has broken the covenant of marriage. Abuse is considered betrayal, which is also defined as treason. We focus on divorce like it’s this evil thing. It’s abuse that is evil. Divorce becomes necessary when people refuse to repent from their prideful, oppressive, misogynistic, controlling, narcissistic, arrogant and abusive ways.


Women must understand that power and control issues that cause the many forms of abuse are about the condition of the man’s soul. It is not about you! It is a heart and sin issue. Choosing to mistreat and abuse is a sin. These men act on beliefs, indoctrinations, and misinterpretations they were taught as a child or by the church. It is a learned behavior. Fixing the other person is not the purpose of a relationship or marriage. You should not want a project you should want a partner. Jesus is the Savior, not you. Stop feeling sorry for people, it is not your job to fix them or change them. These men prey on women who have unhealed wounds and have low self-worth. Work on yourself, get healing for your own wounds and insecurities. As psychologist Les Parrot stated, “Your relationships can be only as healthy as you are.” Abusive, controlling men, rarely take responsibility for their behavior. They are blamers. When there is no accountability, there cannot be any change.


We are still living in a world where girls and women are treated as insignificant, inferior, less intelligent, easily deceived, excluded and not important. Do we actually think this is the Kingdom way? Sexism, misogyny, and attitudes of superiority are still continually active and condoned in the church. More so in certain denominations than others. Women believe submissiveness to their husbands is their duty. What are we saying about God when we believe these deceptions from the enemy? Where is our spiritual discernment? Numerous humble male theologians have already debunked the inaccurate translations regarding women and wives from the Bible. Get my book Let My Women Go! for the more accurate translations.


What women do not realize is even if the misogynistic, controlling and abusive spouse seems to be a “good” father, he is not a good husband. Children learn from observing and hearing, more than what they are told. Oppressive / abusive men do not make good role models. Because of the father’s constant blaming and abuse on the mother, the children see their mother as weak and without authority, and therefore, they do not respect or value her. Many of them grow up to be abusive themselves because it is learned behavior. The girls will grow up with low self-esteem and may become victims themselves. You are not doing them a favor by staying in a toxic abusive relationship. From doing group therapy with children of all ages, we came to know that all children want their parents together and to live in a happy home. However, when it comes to oppressive, abusive homes, the children stated they would rather see their mothers happy than stay in an abusive, toxic home.

            Abuse is not a reaction to women’s actions. For example, many abusers will say “I only did it because she did this…” or “She provoked me.” It is not about the women or the victims it is about power and control issues, and these men believing they are in charge. However, no one is in charge but King Jesus inside His Kingdom, which includes in marriage. He gets the last say. As stated, it is a heart and sin issue.

Leadership in the Kingdom is about serving others, not being served. The greatest in the kingdom are those who are humble (Matt 18:4). Humility is thinking of others as more significant than yourself (Philippians 2:3). The Bible says to outdo one another in showing respect and honor (Romans 12:10), and to submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21).

It is important to know that oppressive / abusive / narcissistic people are not known to repent (turn from their wicked ways). They are quite happy keeping the control, getting their way, and having the last say. They do not like to be vulnerable or seek counseling as they see it as weakness. They also don't believe they are the problem. They prefer keeping others down so they can feel lifted.

God created His daughters with the highest value. We are the life carriers and life givers, yet where is the honor? There is no freedom in someone ruling over you or taking your rights away. God created us differently so we can need each other and work together with our different spiritual gifts and anointings, not to usurp authority over each other. The spiritual authority that Jesus gave to ALL His disciples (male and female) has nothing to do with gender, marriage, titles or positions. God created us to rule and reign together (Genesis 1:26). We were all created to become the leaders, to be above only, in the Kingdom (Deut. 28:13). Every Christian has Jesus’ authority to undo and destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) not be his victims.

Holy Spirit once told me, staying in an abusive relationship is not a marriage, it is a prison sentence! Jesus came to set us free and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

(II Corinthians 3:17), not bondage.

For additional information, and the more accurate translations regarding women and wives in the Bible, get my book: Let My Women Go! Setting Women Free from Oppression in the Church and Marriage. You will learn:

 • God is not the oppressor- the devil is,

 • The desires of God’s heart and what He intended for women,

 • The truth of what is written in the original Greek texts of the Bible re women,

 • The tactics and red flags of an emotional abuser and narcissist,

• The effects of oppression and abuse on women and children,

 • The beauty of a healthy relationship and what that looks like,

• The weapons to use against the spirit of oppression,

• The tips for moving forward.

To know how to have a healthy marriage, get my book “Before the Ring and Beyond, the Ultimate Key to a Healthy Marriage. Also to understand Kingdom leadership and how to live in God’s Kingdom on earth, get my new book” Life in God’s Kingdom, How to Manifest Heaven on Earth”.

Be Free to be Mighty for Jesus!

In freedom and might,


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