Spiritual abuse is widely considered to be committed by religious leaders and while this may be true to the degree by which the control and subversion are seen by the sheer numbers of people abused, spiritual abuse can also be found in relationships. People who use religion to subvert and control other people may actually believe that they are doing the right thing because some of these people may not be able to see anyone else’s point of view but their own. Some of them may only be able to view others and the world at large by their own experiences and their own interpretation of the sacred text.
Marriage is a sacred union and many successful marriages have a strong religious foundation, as the saying goes “the family that prays together, stays together”. However, in seeking this religious mate, you may have found someone who is using their view of religion to abuse you. There are some religions that believe that a man has authority over their wife and their wife is to submit to her husband in everything. This type of indoctrination may put a woman at risk to an abusive husband who may use this to isolate, restrict and control his wife based on nothing but his own jealousy for example. More and more women in high positions are doing very well and in some cases out performing their male counterparts. There is no reason to believe that men have more knowledge or are more capable of making the right decisions than women and any faith that spreading that may be, knowingly or unknowingly, paving a path for abuse in a marriage.
Spiritual abuse, like other forms of abuse, may occur based on the personality of the person and is not restricted to any religion. That is to say that even a religion that encourages the progressive movement of women may have husbands who will abuse their wives. People are people and you will find many different personalities in every organization so you must always remain vigilant to protect yourself while keeping an open mind and a friendly heart. People who only quote fear based scriptures or other religious text and offer no empathy may sincerely believe that they are doing the right thing without realizing the negative effect and harm they may be causing.
5 Warning signs of Spiritual Abuse
1. Is your spouse preaching at you and not fellowshipping with you?
This may erode your self-confidence and does not help you to grow.
2. Are you forced to attend religious gatherings or are your opinions not considered in matters religiously related?
This may be used to dominate your ideas and beliefs, turning you into a mindless slave.
3. Does your husband’s use of religion make you fearful, ashamed or guilty?
This may be used to control you and question your thoughts with the objective of changing you to their will.
4. Does your husband use religion to demand unquestioning loyalty or suggest that he is carrying out God’s will which cannot be defied?
Nothing is ever gained by unquestioning loyalty and anyone who is demanding such may be an egomaniac who you may not be able to trust. This may be very harmful in a marriage and may have the effect of subjugating your free will and actions.
5. Does your husband use religion to justify monitoring and invading your privacy?
This is a sign of someone who may be emotionally unstable. This person may use violence, and their belief that they are religiously entitled to do so makes this a dangerous situation.
It is important to build your confidence to make your own decisions, especially where it affects the quality of your life. Living in a spiritual abusive marriage is not healthy for you as fear and depression may be side effects. Your husband should be the person uplifting you and helping to overcome your fears, not the person adding to them. Fear-based religion does not show the beauty, compassion, and glory of God. It may be used to weaken and break people to be submissive and unquestioning. If you are in this kind of abuse, then you must seek the true strength of God and pull yourself out of it. People will abuse you emotionally, but God has no desire or purpose for you being in this type of relationship. So take heart in this and take action to make your life better.