Helping women of faith find hope and healing after emotional and spiritual abuse

Sign up to get new articles and podcast episodes sent directly to your email inbox.

I will also send you a free PDF copy of the first chapter of my book, Is It Me? Making Sense of Your Confusing Marriage as well as the first chapter of the brand new companion workbook. It’s like a super-charged therapy session!

In Which I Dissect a Letter From an Abuser Who Wants to Keep His Target Under His Thumb

by | Jul 7, 2019 | Boundaries, Emotional Abuse, Learning, Waking Up | 33 comments

Some blog posts just write themselves, and this is one of them. It was positively sinful how much fun I had.

WARNING: Snark Ahead.

Several weeks ago I asked for sample letters from abusers and their supporters in order to expose the mouse turds at the bottom of those tall glasses of delicious looking lemonade they’re always handing us.

Drink up, my Pretty!

Um, no thanks. And here’s why.

Mouse. Turd.

So we’re gonna deep dive into the glass of lemonade searching for the poo. Let’s find out what the abuser is actually saying in his love/apology letter below. Names have been changed to protect both the innocent and the idiot. (I know – I can be so mean sometimes. And this is just the beginning. Pray for me.)

Dear Beatrice,

I think that we’re making a terrible mistake getting divorced. This is definitely not what I want. (This is the lemonade. Sluuuurp.)

(Now here’s the poo…)

You are making a terrible mistake. You are doing this against my wishes. I don’t want a divorce. I want to continue to control and abuse you, and by golly, I won’t be able to do that if you divorce me. If we get a divorce, it will only be because YOU wanted it. Not me. And all the church cares about is who wants the divorce. Nothing else before or after matters to them. So take that and smoke it. Plus I love you.

This is not the time for to and fro recriminations. But I do believe that you’ve believed a lie – that you’ve built up castles in your mind – lying thoughts that have become strongholds or offenses that have been allowed to become mountains. All the while, the truth is and was that I loved you. (More lemonade. Are you getting this?)

(Time for the poo…)

If you think we will be going back and forth, criticizing one another, you’d be wrong. This isn’t the time for back and forth. This is the time (as always) that I will offer my recriminations, and you will hold your tongue. You’re not allowed to give me feedback because here’s the thing – when you think differently from me or have a different perspective than me, it’s only because you are believing a lie. Hmmm, how else can I put this? My reality is the only real reality. The entire reality of the world revolves around the view between my eyeballs. I’ve got the corner on truth. I’ve been trying to get you to see that for a couple of decades now. Not sure where the disconnect is, but I would like to wax just a wee bit poetic and say that you’ve built up imaginary castles in your mind. Like the little child that you are. Can you see them with the clouds softly floating past the turrets? You, like Eve, have believed the Lying Thoughts of the enemy, and now you are caught in his stronghold. You’ve taken the things I’ve done – obviously normal guy things – and made a Big Huge Hairy Deal out of them. But you know what? I’m so amazeballs, I love you anyway. That’s right. I stoop to love your deceived and greatly mistaken self in spite of how childish you are and how stuck in the devil’s stronghold you’ve become. That is the truth. I love you, and my love for you will never change. Ever. 

I have always felt that I was paying the price for your dad’s apathy & neglect – even though I’m different to him in every way.

Aaaaaand. It wasn’t me anyway. It was your dad. He was apathetic and neglectful—the louse. Unlike your awesome hubby. Loving, caring for, and pursuing you, the hard-to-love, love of my life.

I was very disappointed when he wimped out by saying that ‘you were difficult to love’. I was hoping that he would take responsibility & make things right.

Can you believe your dad said you were difficult to love? I mean, why would a father say his own daughter is difficult to love? What did that daughter do to make him say such a thing? I wonder…but no matter. The point is, because I’m such a sensitive and hopeful guy, I thought for sure he would take responsibility for saying such a wimpy thing about his daughter – you – and make things right. I mean, all the good guys do that. Good guys like me. But then, I’m different from your dad in every way…I love you even though it’s tough on me.

In a way I understand what he meant – not that you’re unlovable but that it’s hard work trying to love someone who is unable to receive love.

I kind of get it. I mean, I’d have to be a dim wit not to – but after all, dads don’t say things like that in a vacuum. There must have been a reason for him to say that. Maybe it’s not that you really are difficult to love. Perish the thought. But maybe you are just unable to receive the love of great guys like your dad and me. At the end of the day, it’s not about your dad being an immature asshole when it comes to his daughter, but it’s more about his daughter not being able to be loved. It boils down to being your fault that you’re difficult to love. Nevertheless, I do so love you.

This has been a challenge for me in our marriage. To this end, you needed counseling not to survive me but to help you with your past wounds. I cannot meet all your needs, only God can. You will not find your sense of Self from me or any other man.

And WHEW! It’s been quite a challenge for me to be married to a gal like you. But of course, I have risen to that challenge and promise to do my best, as always, in the future. To make this challenge more doable for me, you need counseling for your past wounds. Not the ones I caused. But the ones you gave to yourself by never being able to take someone’s love. C’mon, babe. I can’t meet all your many needs. Sheesh. Only GOD could do that for crying out loud. You need to stop getting your sense of Self from me or any other man. I know it’s tempting – but for my sake, please! This challenge is such a heavy weight upon me! Yet I love you in spite of the challenge. 

I also have wounds from my childhood as you’ve identified. As a result of this I also need to feel accepted & admired. During counseling, you made it clear that your expectation was that I was to pursue you. I was happy to do to a point but it needs to be a mutual thing. While you want to feel needed & desired, so do I. Guys also like a woman to make them feel like a man – to be the hero of the beauty. But likewise, I cannot get my sense of Self from you.

And speaking of childhood wounds, I would be remiss not to mention mine. Here I will hang my head and shed a couple of crocodile tears as I remember my own desperate need to be accepted and admired. And how troubling and sorrowful that in counseling, instead of caring about my needs for narcissistic fuel, you make it crystal clear that you expect, no – you DEMAND that I am to pursue YOU! What a sick twist of events that was. Of course, I did my best to give you what you craved at the expense of my own needs to be admired, but slap my knee, it absolutely NEEDS to be a mutual thing. Mutual, my dear! Ever heard of that word? So you want to feel needed and desired? Big whoopie ding dong, ME TOO! And it’s not just me. This is a serious dude thing. We like a woman to make us feel like the rock stars we are. You’re supposed to make me your hero. You’re supposed to be my Beauty. But you can’t do that because you’re too busy whining about how YOU have needs. So annoying. But I guess I can’t get my sense of Self from you just like you can’t get yours from me. 

So we’re even up to this point. I love you, Beatrice. I hope that isn’t lost on you.

We both should have done a better job of receiving each other – as God’s gift to us, instead of trying to change each other into our image or idea of what our partner should be. We don’t have that right. You’ve said before that I’m not easy to live with but by now you should have got the message that neither are you. Maybe that’s Gods point with marriage. If we receive each other & overlook offenses, we cover for each other’s weaknesses.

It’s not just my problem. Sure, I can do better. But so can you. I will throw the word “God” in here a few times just so you know He is on my side. You’re on the outs with Him. You’re deceived, remember? You need to stop changing me into some ideal man. You have no right to expect anything of me. No right to think I should keep my vows to love, honor, and cherish you. You say I’m not easy to live with? Huh? Huh? Wellllllll…neither are you. So there! And maybe that’s God’s point. For you to back off and let me be break my vows without consequences. Yeah. That’s it. That’s the real point of marriage. And I’ll say the word “God” again so you know God is backing me up on this one. I love you with all my heart. 

In closing, you need to know that the truth is that I’ve always loved you, for the most part I did my very best by you & my only plan was to spend my entire life with you.

It’s hard to end this letter because it made me feel so good about myself to write it, but I guess it’s time to be done. I’ve always loved you. Isn’t that obvious? Don’t I tell you enough? I’ve done my best for you, and it’s never enough. You are a black hole that swallows up all my loving efforts. Nevertheless, my plan is to spend the rest of my entire life hurting you in passive aggressive ways that nobody can see but you and me. I bet the elders at church will think I’m the godliest man in town after reading this. They will believe my apology letter is sure to win you back under my thumb, and if you don’t buy it, they will think you are a descendant of Jezebel. Either way, you’ll get yours. I love you so much. 

No one wins in divorce & every member of the family will be adversely affected, with both you & I having to face hardship ahead. My preference is that we try again, not on your terms or on my terms but on the basis of receiving one another – forgiving each other as Christ forgave us. If not, we play into Satan’s hands. These wounds & the lies peddled are too well aimed & strategic to be accidental. I believe that we should fight back & for me this is definitely a battle worth fighting.

I’ll close with a threat. If you divorce me, you will not only lose everything, but you will make everyone else around you lose everything. People will die. People will go to hell. People will be tortured by flesh-eating diseases, not to mention the hardships you and I will face together – even apart. So that’s what you want – you crazy imbecile, you? My preference is that we try again. Not on your terms or mine. But by forgiving one another. I forgive you for being deceived, for deceiving me, for being unlovable and incapable of accepting love from your own parents and husband, for not caring about my need to be admired, for demanding that I be the perfect man of your childish dreams, for saying all kinds of mean things about me like I’m not easy to live with, for threatening to divorce me, and for being a black hole that sucks and sucks and sucks the life out of me. The least you could do is forgive me for putting up with you as best I can. If not – you are a child of the devil. You’ve been peddling well aimed and strategic lies that have wounded me. This is no accident. I’m a man’s man. I’m up for the battle of my life. I promise I will battle you until the day you die if you would only but stay with me. I love you so much.

I hope that you give this careful consideration.

Wasn’t this letter convincing? Give it careful consideration. That’s a threat. Because I’ve got a smear campaign that will light up the night if you dare to walk away from me now. I love you, dearest Beatrice.

Best wishes

Horace

May all the Beatrices out there fly far and fast and free.

33 Comments

  1. Judy

    I love your sense of humour, Natalie! I laughed so hard!
    I’ve been away from my marriage of 38 years for seven months now. The first four months I was living with a dear friend and her adult daughter. I would read h’s emails to them to help me process. It was the most helpful thing ever! One would say, “I can’t believe how manipulative that is!” Or ” He is SO controlling!” Or, Oh my goodness! That’s beyond ridiculous! And on and on……It was so healing for my soul to have their support and validation. My h. could have written that letter too. I filed for divorce 3 months ago, after there was zero cooperation with a separation agreement. 2 months ago, I asked to go no contact which he has finally respected. It’s been great. I can tell I’m starting to heal. Any contact was crazy making and gut wrenching.
    Thanks Natalie! I love what your doing and how you do it! A good laugh during these times really hits the spot!!

    Reply
  2. McKenna

    Wow! This is eye opening to me! This is what my husband does and why it leaves me feeling so guilty and confused!

    Our pastors from an extremely conservative, reformed Calvinist church told us to each make a list of 10 things we wanted to other person to change/work on. I’d love if you could dissect what my husband is actually saying in his list!

    “This is all out of love for the Lord and you as we seek holiness together.

    I’d love for you to accept & respect me as your head and leader, by appreciating the gifts that God has given me for our edification.

    I’d love for you to be bold & joyful when I get to witness to people in front of you especially your family, and to not criticize afterwards what I said because of people feeling uncomfortable or hurt.

    I’d love for you listen carefully to me (even when I’m not making much sense or I’m wrong) and consider really good what I’m saying before you feel attacked, contradicted or criticized.

    I’d love for you to hug me more and to give me more affection.

    I’d love for you to understand that I love & care for our daughters as much as you.

    I’d love for you to not dive so deep into the all social media world, like taking a long time and energy into editing a photo or writing a eloquent post so that people may like it.(probably see together with #9)

    I’d love for you to ask me before getting stuff in the house, like tables, chairs, etc.

    I’d love for you to not keep records of the things that I do, so that later you can rube them in my face (like martial arts, Surf, sleeping in, go to Bible study, etc)

    I’d love for you to be willing to spot and work the real causes of your anxieties.

    I’d love for you to pray the Lord constantly to give you genuine joy and desired for our sexual encounters as well for all the things He has you doing right now at home.

    I love you so much and I pray that Lord will teach us lots of stuff but working out our weaknesses.”

    Reply
    • Natalie Hoffman

      These are the words of an extremely ego-centric human being. He would like you to accept him just as he is, allowing him to do whatever he wishes whenever he wishes it with no complaining. He is perfect. He would also like you to change several things about yourself for his benefit. You have a lot of problems he has to put up with. Plus, he throws in some spiritual language to make himself sound godly – but it doesn’t work. Because he actually sounds like a fraud times a million.

      Run. Run fast and far.

      Reply
  3. J

    Yes! These guys must buy a manual because it’s so eerily similar.

    Since mine will never see this post I’ll give you one I just got. He wants me to keep the house but then wants me to not move for five years unless we both agree. I told him we could compromise and agree to two years. This was his response:
    “Well, there is a saying that a compromise is only real when both sides give something up. 2 years is no sacrifice, as you won’t be able or in a position to sell the house and move. So you’re giving up nothing. Would you not agree?

    Umm allowing ANYONE to dictate where I live is a compromise. I read this to be: ” you are being selfish and not giving anything while I am only asking for a mutual agreement. You are on bending on flexible and unfair. I am having to deal with your inflexibility and insufferable desires.”

    Reply
  4. Patricia

    This is so very familiar. I have a stack 9f letters from my ex with these phrases and comments in them. It is good to again know these guys are predictable. I hope that means I will not be susceptible to another one.
    In my case I also have a letter almost the exact same from the church I attended. Written by more men who allow my ex to sit amongst them. I could vomit. He is a wolf sitting there not even needing to hide in sheep’s clothing. They know his actions from porn to gambling to dating other woman. But NO me and my 10 year old are out of place. God be with me and her, and he is!

    Reply
  5. Tracy

    Could someone invent a kind of electronic machine we could feed our emails into so that they can be decoded like this one?!!! I got one which I was so messed-up by that I sent it to 4 trusted friends – one of them was taken in by most of it and picked up only on what she knew was a re-writing of history re the children. It feels to me like walking over quicksand to get these letters – and being kind means we give the benefit of the doubt as we have for years, day in, day out – 38 years in my case….

    Reply
  6. Shelly Fullerton

    Oh my gosh Natalie. Brilliant. I don’t think I’ve come across anyone who is really addressing how incredibly subtle this kind of abuse can be. Any of us who have been handled in this way by our spouse can feel the tone right away. Sadly, almost everyone else is entirely fooled by the calm and “kind” demeanour and language of the manipulative spouse. My ex recently tried once again to get me to consider couples counselling (for the “sake of the family, and the memories”, and the fact that he is “sad every time he sees me and is reminded of what we once had”). He acknowledged with just the right touch of regret that I of course have “every right to divorce” him because of the repeated infidelity. When I mentioned that it was the pattern of deception, behavioural issues and the fact that he refused to address any of my concerns that were just as troublesome, he took the trouble to remind me that “of course those would never be grounds for divorce”. This was the man who during our last couples counselling session, when asked why he had never considered my opinion on issues during our marriage replied “Well I guess I just never thought Shelly had anything to say that I needed to listen to”.
    Side note – I just realized why we all use quotations so often. It’s because the language our spouses use mean one thing on paper and entirely another thing in the mind of the abuser. We use quotations because almost everything we hear sounds like double-speak!

    Reply
  7. Karen

    I can laugh reading your in between the lines response. However, a few years ago, reading a very similar letter to this from my abuser, wouldve had me gulping and gasping for air. I wouldve shown it to others to get their reaction so I could discern if my reaction was correct. Most of the time they felt pity for him and advised me to give him another chance because he was so sincere and trying. Ha!! Trying! He’d been “trying” for 22 years , expected mercy and grace towards himself, and showed me nothing but contempt. I would love to see your YouTube girl (Eunice?) telling us your response – she really gets to my funny bone.

    Reply
  8. Linda

    Unbelievable how I have been told almost everything in this letter!! Just recently he said, God showed him that he has to understand that my “perception” was my reality. In other words, I made a big deal out of nothing! But he is being so understanding about it! His perception is Truth! Yeah, right! Thanks for the laugh! Helps me to see I’m not the only one who has to maneuver through the mouse poo!

    Reply
  9. Kim

    Has this guy been reading The Screwtape Letters or what!? I have to say this letter is just downright creepy. His tone and attempt at poetic prose or whatever that was makes me feel like the devil is breathing down my neck as I read it. He sounds so… eerily calm. Which is terrifying.

    Well done, Natalie, exposing the lies and the twisted crazy-making words! From my experience we really can’t see things objectively (even though we know deep down this isn’t right and we know all the tactics) and need another person to dissect and analyze it like you’ve done. Sometimes we need this daily. It almost feels like dismantling a bomb when someone like you steps in.

    There is a sense of peace and sanity now. Like his words just…. fell off the page. (Kindof like a sandcastle taken out by sea!? Dare I laugh!?) ) No more power.

    I am so relieved to read in the comments that *Beatrice got out! Saying a prayer for you, girl, whoever you are. Your future is bright, and healing is absolutely possible, and you have an army of women behind you and the God of the universe who loves you and who is so all-encompassing in his being, he is your warrior protector while also being your wings of refuge, your safe place. And really so much more….

    Reply
    • Kim

      And p.s…. “May all the Beatrices out there fly far and fast and free.” gave me absolute chills! Amazing ending Natalie! Yes, yes! Godspeed (in your face wormwoods).

      Reply
  10. Cindy J McKnight

    I can see how people might see your UBT as funny, but it was very painful for me to read! I took my children and fled over 10 years ago, and he died 2 years ago, and I still suffer from what he did to us. I’ve read so much of your stuff and it has been a balm to my aching heart. I still struggle with the idea of the love of God. I grew up in an abusive home, and married an abusive man, who brainwashed all of us and controlled and belittled and beat. I’m chronically depressed (since childhood), and have only had intermittent counsel, which helped a little here and there. I have struggled with what forgiveness even is, and would love to read an in-depth dissertation on just what forgiveness is and what it isn’t. I’ve read lots of women’s stories and the requirement to “forgive” kept them in bondage, as it did me. Well, I left anyway, but still feel in a sort of bondage! I started a “recovery” program (which I’d heard had great success), but I was frustrated and angered by them asking me questions, while I was looking for answers! Questions like, if I had it to do over again, would I do it differently. Describe how. So my answer to that was….I wouldn’t be in this f….g class if I knew the answer to that question! I quit. I’ve learned a lot, but I feel like I’ll never recover.

    Reply
    • Natalie Hoffman

      Here is an article on my website about forgiveness: https://flyingfreenow.com/to-forgive-doesnt-automatically-mean-to-reconcile/

      And here is an excerpt from my book, Is It Me? Making Sense of Your Confusing Marriage which you can get on Amazon.

      “What does it mean to forgive? Forgiveness is only appropriate when someone has taken something from you. When you are an abuse target, you’ve had many things taken from you over the course of many years. Your voice. Your personhood. Your dignity. Your money. Your safety. Your freedom. Your opportunity to be loved. Your career. Your truth. Your past. Your emotions. Your ability to think clearly. Your dreams. And many other opportunities both tangible and intangible.

      Forgiveness is letting go of your right to make things right. Forgiveness is not letting the other person off the hook but rather letting him off your hook. He’s still on God’s hook! He doesn’t owe you anything anymore. Now he owes God. You forgive his debt to you for taking all those things away, and now he stands before God with his debt.

      You can forgive on your part without the other person ever acknowledging they took anything at all from you, which is good news, because abusers will not acknowledge their need to be forgiven. Remember? In their view, they didn’t do anything wrong! The fact is, your abuser owes you, big time. The other fact is, they won’t ever admit it. And the last fact is, they will be held accountable one day. To be a daughter of GOD means letting Him dole out the appropriate justice. “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’” (Romans 12:19)
      But you? You don’t need to worry your weary heart over making sure that he receives justice for his wrongs toward you. You get to forgive the debt and move forward. Vengeance is a waste. It’s a heavy burden in and of itself. It drains you of the emotional energy better directed toward your healing and moving forward into all the future opportunities you’ve previously missed out on because of him. You’ve got catching up to do! Letting go of the desire to have your vengeance is freeing.

      And guess what else. Forgiveness isn’t just a one time thing. You don’t say “I forgive you” and all the emotions just magically fade away. That’s not possible unless you are a robot or a cartoon character. Forgiveness is something God does in you, and it’s a process that can take a long time depending on the level of the abuse or wrong done. Fake forgiveness might make a good story in a Sunday school class, but if it isn’t real, it means nothing. Why not be patient with yourself as you go through the process and trust God to see you all the way to the end?
      If someone bumps into you at work, you can forgive them easily. If they hit you, you will have a harder time forgiving them. If they sabotage your work and get you fired, it will take a long time to recover and forgive. If they seriously injure your child, you may spend a lifetime struggling with forgiveness. You may think you’ve forgiven one day and then something will trigger you, and all that hurt and rage will rear up and howl at you, threatening your stability. That’s what the gospel is for. Jesus died for that. He loves you. He gets it. Let Him do His work in you over the course of time. If others don’t understand and can’t handle the process, that’s their problem.

      Here’s what forgiveness is NOT: “Hey abuser, you stole from me, and I’m going to be a good girl and let you keep stealing from me over and over and over again until I’m six feet under and you can’t get anything out of me anymore. Why? Because I FORGIVE YOU.”
      That’s what many Christians will try to tell you it means. “Forgive and forget.” Because if you forget that they stole your dignity yesterday, you’ll let them do it again today. They love that. They are counting on you to do exactly that because it enables their chronic sin of abuse. Look at it this way: If a person kept loaning money to someone who never paid it back, they have one of three choices. One, they can keep willingly loaning the money and expect to continue doing so forever, thereby making the negligent recipient happily growing in greed and irresponsibility. Or two, they can keep loaning the money with resentment in their heart, hoping for payback one day. Or three, they can stop loaning the money, forgive the debt, and tell the chronic money taker to either go get free money somewhere else or go get a job. When it comes to chronic abuse, the last option is the wisest. Forgive the debt they owe you, and then stop investing your precious life in an abusive relationship and get yourself to a place of emotional and spiritual safety.

      Here is a way to capture the essence of forgiving someone for a lifetime of abuse:

      “Hey, abuser, you wronged me, injured me, and stole from me over the course of many years, and this is something I can never forget. I have the right and responsibility to remember all that you did to me. You deserve my vengeance. But I’m choosing to give my right to vengeance to God so I can move on with my life. In this sense, I forgive you the debt you owe me, but my forgiving you does not restore our relationship or give you back any rights to me, my mind, my choices, or my body. What you did doesn’t just disappear, and you still bear full responsibility for the results of your actions. You will still have to accept the consequences for what you’ve done. My forgiving you doesn’t mean everything goes back to normal, as if it never happened because that isn’t possible.

      And abuser, any time you are demanding forgiveness or you are critical of me for not forgiving you the way YOU think I should, you are showing me that you don’t care about me or our relationship. You are not righting the wrongs you have done. Instead, you are confirming that you are an abuser and that it would only harm me further to forgive you in the sense you are wanting me to. Because of what you did, forgiveness of the ‘forget it ever happened and go on as before’ variety is not possible. I will now get myself a safe distance from you, and I will let God handle giving you the justice you deserve.”

      Reply
  11. Sandra

    I have been married to two different men either one could have written that letter. In the process of getting free from the second one. I wonder what would happen if we turned around and wrote that letter back to them. It’s mysterious how they can all use the same lines and tactics. Hope to be flying free soon. Getting off the ground is sure difficult. Thanks for your encouragement and help.

    Reply
  12. Loree Montoya Delacuadra

    Oh-my-gosh !!! I always pray for you (Natalie) because I believe God has assigned to you ~ and you have been honest enough, devoted enough to Him, and courageous enough to accept and take on such a HUGE, extremely difficult, but necessary calling ~ to show His love and support toward us by enlightening and assisting the emotionally abused. I pray that God keeps you from bitterness and emotional exhaustion, yet strengthens you in and for this calling. That being said, sometimes I can’t handle what’s in the emails – not always prepared for the truths. With this one, at first I thought, “Too much bitterness but I know there are gems in here as always…” and felt compelled to read on. Holy cow – new layers peeling back of how I have been deceived and bamboozled ! As if coming out of a dream-like/drugged state of mind and the LIGHT of REALITY exposes the darkness ! “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” Thank you so much, for saving sanity and saving lives and saving children, and may God continue to bless you, and your supportive husband in this, your God-given endeavor !

    Reply
    • Loree Montoya Delacuadra

      Oh and yes, SO TRUE ~ “…all that the Church cares about us who files…” not the sin and abuse and desire for sanity behind the decision. God forgive us as a Church Body for the destruction of hearts, minds, spirits and souls of the abused. I can honestly say this, as I have served many decades in Church in various capacities including counsel. I was blessed to attend a Church that supported the Truth. May the Lord continue to strengthen and come alongside you.

      Reply
  13. Grace

    Oh my, you did a wonderful job of analyzing this letter. It would almost be the same letter, it I take the things said separately in person (nothing in writing). I have heard those things said to me, and it having them all together in one place like this, is unnerving, but so accurate. In fact just recently he said that I should know how the enemy likes to put wedges in between spouses. Ugh. So glad to hear that Beatrice is free!

    Reply
  14. Rebecca

    OMG i can’t even read through the whole thing right now. My stomach is in knots…..it is so familiar. Ugh☹

    Reply
    • Jennifer

      Agreed! I have gotten letter after letter from the narcasist who called himself a man of God (and still does). I feel sick just reading this post because it reminds me of what I will gave to deal with until my kids leave home in 8 yrs. may God gave mercy on us all!

      Reply
  15. Jennifer

    Right on Natalie!! You did an excellent job of seeing that mouse turd! Like so many emotionally abused women, I have heard all of the strategies of Horace. It’s gross, but you make us laugh at it and I appreciate that!

    Reply
  16. charlinda

    This is a great article! My X used to speak like this to me all of the time. He twisted everything. Saying that I was a Christian and it was my Christian responibility to be the Good Samaritan to him.

    Reply
  17. Michelle

    I was laughing out loud at Natalie’s very accurate “reading between the lines” of this ridiculous letter. I’ve gotten stuff like this from my ex, and it’s CRAZY how they all say the same things. I think it speaks to the spiritual aspect of the narcissism trait. In any case, I know I’m at a much better place in my life and in my healing journey now since I can laugh at this and not just ache and cry that I endured similar. I do hope Beatrice is free and never going back….praying for anyone out there who is still in a situation like this. Bless you, Natalie, for all you are doing to educate, enlighten, empower and support victims of emotional & spiritual abuse.

    Reply
    • Natalie Hoffman

      She is free. You can’t see it in this letter, but he was a HUMDINGER of an abuser.

      Reply
      • K

        Natalie, I do so appreciate all the time, thought, prayer and energy you put into this blog! Thank you!

        Do you think with letters like these it would be possible to put in some generic background information so that we can understand what the guy is REALLY LIKE? If I read a letter like this from an average Joe, I would want to give him the benefit of the doubt – why did this guy not get the benefit of the doubt?

        I know there are people in all stages of the journey that come here, and the letter in and of itself isn’t abusive. It’s abusive *in context*. I think some sort of context would help other people see that you’re not trying to read something into his mind (judging motives) but that his motives were already out there and made perfectly clear – he really wasn’t just an average Joe. (Just in case that is confusing.)

        Please don’t publish this comment if you’d rather not – it was just a thought and I don’t want to detract from the *incredible work* you’re doing. May God bless you!

        Reply
        • Natalie Hoffman

          I can’t give any background information due to the sensitive nature of abuse. I know a bit of the background on each one – and this one is a horrible abuser. Their letters sound pretty decent, and it makes us want to believe that they are trying. But that’s why we need to learn how to read between the lines. This onoe wasn’t trying at all. Just wanted to make it look like he was.

          Reply
          • Kim

            Thank you both for your perspectives. Honestly I’m really glad this question was asked bc dang it, it could so be perceived as something that it is not. Its tricky. It’s so confusing (your book title nailed it!) This question proves further why you needed to write this post! (And more in the future)

            Natalie I love how you protect your tribe while also letting us know the basics to get it. This feels like such a safe place to ask questions and to get answers. That’s truly rare.

            Reply
        • Sarah O

          Re: benefit of the doubt, I would say to look at what’s missing before translating what’s there.

          What’s missing? Any personal responsibility or offer of personal action. If your marriage were at stake, wouldn’t you be promising the moon, begging for an opportunity to do better, throwing yourself at your spouse’s feet? This is a last ditch attempt to save a marriage on the brink – there is zero admission of wrong doing. Zero recognition of how HE can make HIS marriage better. Once you see that gaping hole, it’s easier to recognize the poop that is there.

          The entire problem and solution is laid at the wife’s feet. She’s deceived, wounded, incapable of receiving love, unforgiving, not recognizing her part in all this – why, SHE’S the one initiating divorce!

          So yes, let’s get better at recognizing the mouse turd in the lemonade, but let’s also wonder why we’re getting a glass of lemonade when we ordered a burger in the first place.

          Reply
  18. Siobhan

    “You’ve built up castles in your mind”
    ☝☝☝ That right there. Gaslighting.

    How twisted. Absolutely takes no responsibility for anything. All of the narcs I’ve been unfortunate to come across, including my husband and his family, never say sorry, and the very odd time they do it’s not an actual specific apology and ownership for their BIG and instrumental part in the mess, but rather an implication that it’s all in my head and you know… sorry YOU feel that way .

    Oh boy, this sounds like a letter I would get from my own husband as far as the gaslighting goes, perhaps not so eloquently written, and minus the emphasis on God because he’s a ‘Christian’ in title only— but you never know, could use the G-O-D word too if he thought it could work in his favor. *sigh*

    Reply
  19. Jenny N

    Oh, my goodness! This was THE BEST! 🙂 Another blog I follow; the writer does this to cheater/adulterers letters and texts. She call what she does the UBT. UBT = Universal Bullshxt Translator. You did a very fine job like the UBT! 🙂

    Reply
  20. Debby

    Oh! Thank you so, so much!! I’ve been getting these kind for months! Ugh!! They all use the same damn lines!!

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.