January 20, 2021

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MaryannJanuary 22, 2020

My heart breaks for this sister. I understand her feelings about not wanting her children to be without a father, but his behavior will ultimately be extremely damaging to them as well. It is fine to say that she should "heed him not," but that is almost impossible for a woman who hears her husband verbally abuse her on a regular basis. I cannot imagine remaining in such a demoralizing situation. I hope this sister will reach out to her family for support and remove herself from this situation.

GP SCHATZMANJanuary 21, 2020

Very sad that a man could treat his wife this way, Temple covenants mean everything including treating each other with love and respect. Anyone that expects a woman's body to look like it did before children is just not realistic. Loving someone includes loving them UNCONDITIONALLY and without unrealistic expectations. Keep your love alive and be creative about it! most especially leave outside influences OUTSIDE and stay away from them.

LMJanuary 21, 2020

I needed this! I've been struggling for a dozen years with a similar comment by my husband. My second marriage, his first, we'd been married about ten years when he told me he didn't like to touch me intimately because he felt I was "dirty" since I wasn't a virgin like him when we were married. Yet I was "good enough" to have sexual relations on a regular basis. I was stunned and devastated. My first marriage dealt with adultery and I had body imaging problems I'd worked through, thanks to thinking my second husband thought differently about me. It wasn't like he didn't know when we were married--he became an instant stepfather.Because of the history of abuse in my life, it took me another ten years or so to recognize that HE too is verbally abusive and controlling--and has been since before we were married. At the time, I realize now, he was just less abusive than my family of origin and my first husband so he looked non-abusive. Years of him blaming me, saying I'm unlovable, barely tolerable, and yes, even abusive towards him (because I don't do the dishes every day) have made me feel like everything is my fault. I'm not perfect and I've made some doozies myself along the way but I see things more clearly now in regards to HIS treatment towards me. It's possible he's never righteously held the Priesthood since we married--and everything makes sense now. Unfortunately, health issues (most likely related to a lifetime of emotional abuse) trap me in this marriage but I'm in therapy to learn skills to "heed [him] not."Thank you!

V BlackJanuary 20, 2020

6. Do you follow the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ in your private and public behavior with members of your family and others?No.Children are harmed when they live with a parent that abuses the other parent.

SKnightJanuary 19, 2020

I wish I had the knowledge now to help me over thirty years ago to know I was a victim of my husband's verbal abuse. I took it for thirty-three years, in fear of losing my eternal marriage. What I didn't know was that he had already broken our covenants, so we really didn't have an eternal marriage due to his abuse. I never in a million years would have suspected he was into pornography, but I found it, and then my marriage made sense. He was comparing me to the teenagers he was viewing. He once told me, while I was pregnant with our first child (after six years of trying to have a baby), that he didn't realize just how grotesque I would look. He couldn't look at me. Years later, after four kids, he finally told me he lost all desire for me. I wish now that I wouldn't have waited another fifteen years to divorce him. I suffered from so many auto-immune diseases, my doctor didn't give me much hope of ever being whole or healed. Such a burden was lifted from me to not have to undergo all the verbal and emotional abuse I had taken for so long. The auto-immune diseases left my body the week I left him. Please don't let your "eternal marriage" get in the way of your eternal happiness in a normal, non-abusive life. You will still have your covenants as long as your sealing is unbroken. He has broken his covenants long ago. Please heed this advice. Abuse is a good reason for a divorce. I numbly waited until I discovered his pornography addiction and subsequent adultery as his addiction escalated. Abuse is enough, as the prophets have said. It's on him now. Your salvation is intact.

JulieJanuary 18, 2020

OmGosh this guy is absolutely lying about porn, an affair or something else. You cannot stay with this kind of man! He must be in counseling and fix himself first then you can think of giving it another try. He won’t change unless he hits rock bottom. Don’t think of it as tearing your family apart but what an awful example for your children! Do you want your sons treating their wives this way or your daughters being treated this way by their husbands? You’re teaching them that this is acceptable behavior! I’m so so sorry you’ve been treated this way. It’s NOT YOUR FAULT and you DONT DESERVE THIS!

SuzieJanuary 18, 2020

Very good advice given by Geoff. I would ask this poor sister what advice she would give to her daughter if she were one day in this exact situation. Would it be stay, continuing letting him abuse you or would it be to leave and save herself and her children? What example is she setting for her sons and daughters if she continues to stay and be abused by him? The message relayed to her daughters is it’s ok for your husband to treat you like this, and the example to her sons is it’s ok to treat his future wife like this. Staying will only reinforce to the kids this negative behavior as acceptable and it will cause a toxic cycle of possible future abuse. I would encourage her to break this toxic cycle, if not for her own sake for the sake of her kids!

vickieJanuary 17, 2020

I remember years ago when I had my first child..my only daughter a woman living in our apt complex came over to see my new baby...I didn't know her. she looked at the baby and then said..her husband hates pregnant women's bodies. he hates the way they look. I felt insulted. I was only 19yrs old. I told my husband when he came home what that guy thought...and my husband said he was stupid. I realize now that this woman must be struggling in her heart because maybe she wanted a baby and couldn't because of how her husband told her what he thought of pregnant bodies. or even maybe he didn't want any children and that is how he was accomplishing this. I noticed in the story the woman said she had 5 kids and then she said he wanted one more child. well, if that is the case and he wanted another child he also knew that when she got pregnant she would be fat again. if that is the case then why encourage her to be pregnant or was it herself who wanted to have another baby. I find when a man who is married and has that many kids says those kinds of tings, it means he is seeing another woman or is into pornography. because he says he isn't doesn't mean he really isn't into either. or he might be having issues with his own self such as mental illness and needs help. what this woman needs to do is throw herself into something she really likes and really get into her kids as taking care of kids can be a lot but also get into something she enjoys and not be so dependant on what her husband says. if she accepts herself as she is just get busy with something she enjoys and take care of the kids...then see how things go with that....

CharlieBrown2292January 17, 2020

When I met my wife, I was not only drawn to her outgoing personality but also attracted to her good looks. Almost 30 years down the road, and three magnificient children born through C-sections, her weight has nearly doubled. I do certainly miss the slender young woman who shared my life for many years, but I have grown to love and value the beautiful individual she is regardless of her appearance, and suspect that her pain in dealing with her weight issue, both from a physical and emotional standpoint, is far greater than my own frustrations in having to deal with such a significant physical change. I do indeed believe that such are defining moments in the choices we make on whether remaining selfish and superficial or growing into a true man of God through loving our spouse unconditionally. Reading your account does not only make me deeply empathize with your current challenges but gets me to wonder about what keeps your husband from realizing how blessed he is having married such a wonderful individual as you. In a way, this gets me to feel more sorry for him than for you, because no matter what, you will always be rewarded with the company of loving people for all the goodness of your heart, when he may enf up a very lonely individual.

JaredJanuary 17, 2020

I was shocked when I read what this man said to his wife. On the one hand, I really hope this man can change his ways. On the other hand, I don't think he will change unless he sees there are serious consequences for his hurtful expressions. I thought it was very telling that Pres. Hinckley's quote said that we will not be asked about worldly accolades at the final judgment, but there will be searching questions about how we treated our wife and children. This man's behavior is pathological because he's hurting himself by tearing down his wife. Geoff Steurer gave good advice, because it doesn't help anyone for this wife to tolerate this horrible behavior, specifically it doesn't help the husband. And he'll probably have to learn that the hard way. I've gone through some hard things in my life, and I've come to terms with the fact that there are some things I couldn't learn as long as I was insulated from the consequences of my decisions.

LorettaJanuary 17, 2020

I'm so sorry you're going through this. As I read your story and the response, the old poem "The Touch of the Master's Hand" crossed my mind:'Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer Thought it scarcely worth his while To waste much time on the old violin, But held it up with a smile. "What am I bidden, good folks," he cried, "Who'll start the bidding for me?" "A dollar, a dollar. Then two! Only two? Two dollars, and who'll make it three?""Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice; Going for three…" But no, From the room, far back, a grey-haired man Came forward and picked up the bow; Then wiping the dust from the old violin, And tightening the loosened strings, He played a melody pure and sweet, As a caroling angel sings.The music ceased, and the auctioneer, With a voice that was quiet and low, Said: "What am I bid for the old violin?" And he held it up with the bow. "A thousand dollars, and who'll make it two? Two thousand! And who'll make it three? Three thousand, once; three thousand, twice, And going and gone," said he.The people cheered, but some of them cried, "We do not quite understand. What changed its worth?" Swift came the reply: "The touch of the Master's hand." And many a man with life out of tune, And battered and scarred with sin, Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd Much like the old violin.A "mess of pottage," a glass of wine, A game — and he travels on. He is "going" once, and "going" twice, He's "going" and almost "gone." But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd Never can quite understand The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought By the touch of the Master's hand.We can be scarred by life and the terrible words and actions of others. However, your beautiful body bore six beautiful children. It continues to allow you to care for them, to serve your family, and to exercise your talents to glorify the Lord (whether it be music, cooking, running, teaching--God gave us all gifts, and He rejoices when we grow in them). I'm sorry that your husband can't see the beautiful music you play. Hold on to those who can hear the touch of the Master's hand in you, who can see your value. God, above all, certainly does.

KarenJanuary 17, 2020

I wish I had known this so many years ago. My husband used words to undercut me whenever he could "find" a reason. Thirty years later I sometimes hear his voice and what he deliberately said to hurt me. It does it easier over time to shut those voices out but the words hurt more than the smacks ever did.

DJJanuary 17, 2020

Unfortunately I am sure many women are in this or a similar situation. As a newly wed, my husband told me, “It’s so hard to love you when you are unattractive to me 90% of the time.” That was 45 years ago, and it took many years for that sting to go away. As to temple covenants, listen to the words of the sealing ceremony and you will see that it is the husband in this case who has broken his covenants. The objectification of women is so pervasive many of us just accept it as normal—but it is not! Thank you for a timely column.

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