Here are some helpful resources in your journey to understanding emotional and verbal abuse, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, divorcing a narcissist, various Christian perspectives on separation and/or divorce, and self-care while going through a separation or divorce.
Destructive and Abusive Relationships:
The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope by Leslie Vernick. This book by Leslie Vernick made me go “WOW”, I’m in a destructive relationship and need to stand up and find my voice! I’ve got to do something! And when my words and actions didn’t make a difference, I knew it was time to take a stand.
Leslie also has a website with great blogs and articles on destructive relationships.
Mending the Soul. There are seminars on healing from abuse from a group called Mending the Soul. I went through this 10 week seminar at my church and wept the entire 10 weeks. It was hard to admit that I had been emotionally and verbally abused. Me? A professional woman who looked like I had it all together? Yes, I realized it was clearly abuse when I looked at the definitions. Most emotional abusers and narcissists are deft at hiding it to the outside, but inside the home it feels like a private torture chamber to the victim. I urge you to see if there is a group forming in your area. It’s very healing and helpful to go through the study with a group. Even though it might feel like your guts are getting ripped out to admit it publicly.
Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft and his daily guide called Daily Wisdom for Why Does He Do That?: Encouragement for Women Involved with Angry and Controlling Men are both helpful and encouraging if you are involved with an angry and abusive man. Right now I’m reading “Daily Wisdom” and wishing I had read it 3 years ago! He reiterates in multiple ways the fact that abusive men try to make you feel crazy and assures you that you are absolutely not the crazy one. Your memory is fine. Trust yourself.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder:
Why Is It Always About You? : The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism by Sandy Hotchkiss
Out of the Fog – Narcissistic Personality Disorder: an excellent description of the behaviors and “games” that Narcissists play.
Divorcing a Narcissist:
Bill Eddy’s books are excellent on “High Conflict Personalities” including narcissism. Here are a few that were helpful to me:
Divorcing a Narcissist: Advice from the Battlefield by Tina Swithlin
I Promise to Hate, Despise, and Abuse You until Death Do Us Part Marriage in a Narcissistic Age by Andrea V. Oelger This book is a little harder to find, but a friend gave it to me and it described my situation EXACTLY and gave me hope that I was not crazy and not alone. It’s not as sophisticated as some other books, but I found it very helpful. It also gives interesting scripture references on why they believe divorcing an abusive spouse is not against God’s word.
Christian Resources on Separation/Divorce:
Divorce and Remarriage by Tony Evans
What God Has Joined: What does the Bible really teach about divorce? This article by David Instone-Brewer was very enlightening and freeing for me. Hopefully it will be meaningful to you. He also has an excellent book, Divorce and Remarriage in the Church: Biblical Solutions for Pastoral Realities.
www.cryingoutforjustice.com is an excellent website with good resources on the church and divorce.
This excellent and thought-provoking blog by Barbara Roberts addresses the biblical grounds for divorcing an abuser.
Taking Care of Yourself/Healing/Staying Sane:
Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young
Walking with God: Talk to Him. Hear from Him. Really.by John Eldredge
Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.
One day at a Time in Al-Anon
Courage to Change – One Day at a Time in Al-Anon II
FYI – Some of the Helpful Resources links to books are affiliates. I make a small commission if you purchase through my links – this is how I keep my blog updated. Each resource listed above is one that I used myself and think is helpful on this journey.