Thursday, November 4, 2010

Power and Control Wheel

Power and Control Wheel from Paul Hegstrom's Like Skills web site.

If you are very unhappy in your marriage because of the way your Christian spouse is treating you, please check out this wheel. Many of us hesitate to call abuse what it really is because it has not yet escalated to physical violence. Abuse starts our far more subtly than that, and escalates over time. Please check out the resources at the Life Skills web site, as well as any other resource you can find, if your partner treats you like even ONE spoke of this wheel outlines.

Bad marriage relationships can be healed in some cases, but not without treatment. Start getting the help and support you need to find healing or move on. Jesus loves you more than life itself! He certainly loves you as a person more than the institution of marriage and/or the reputation of the church.

Peace, SS (



  2. You're welcome, brother.

    Oh, and fyi, typing in all caps means that you are shouting in internet etiquette. If you find people think you are always in the midst of a massive emotional rant when you write, that would be why. =)

  3. I also want to add, women are also abusers, though it is much less rare.

    Abuse is an exploitation of power over others. Anyone can be abusive, but when one is culturally endowed with a position of authority over others, there is much more opportunity and cultural support to exercise that power over others in a self-serving, exploitative way.

    Bosses abuse workers, but it is rare than any worker would ever be in a position to abuse the boss. The power is all on one side.

    Similarly, parents of either gender can be abusive to children. The power is already all on one side. It's possible, if a parent is already used to being dominated and gives in readily, for a child to become abusive to a parent. That is extremely rare though, unless we are talking elderly abuse which certainly does happen.

    In a complementary Christian marriage, the balance of power is firmly fixed on the side of the husband. Culturally, he being "the man" and all, the power is his to wield how he will. Women are told over and over to submit to this Bible interpretation of man-rule, and thus the perfect scenario for continued abuse is created.

    I do know of occasions where the wife is an abuser, but even that becomes obvious when you look at the power and abuse wheel. She controls the length and temperature of her children's showers, for example. She has padlocks on the fridge and locks on the pantry door to control the children's access to food. She has a spy camera in the kitchen so she could find out if anyone is even trying to get around her system of control.

    So, while there are A FEW Christian women out there who are abusive, there are far more abusive Christian men. Sometimes a Christian man will so frustrate and torment a wife that she lashes out (in words or deeds) in an effort to protect herself. That is NOT abuse!

    Some women, like myself, thinking if only her husband understood how this made her feel he would stop, raise their voices and get quite emotional. That is NOT abuse!

    Though it also is NOT at all useful. So dear wives, if your husband is frustrating you to the point that you would be embarrassed for anyone to see you on video pleading, demanding, begging and screaming for him to care, please for your own heart's sake, STOP.

    Go as far away as you can and cry all you need to cry to eliminate the massive build-up of stress hormones in your body. Pour your heart out to God because he does care. Find a friend who will listen and love on you because YOU NEED LOVE.

    I wish I could whisk you out of that situation and hug you and tell you that I understand. Do not let him tell you that being frustrated and emotional is abusive. It is not abuse. It is a normal human reaction to crazy-making behavior. You are normal to be frustrated, hurt and yes, angry.

    There are no easy answers to being in an abusive relationship. Leaving is hard. It is not easy. Staying is harder. Unless the abusive spouse is willing to admit they have a problem and get help, staying is not worth it.

    Well, this comment has turned into a whole 'nother post. (;-) at WW) Time to get back to my life. Peace and good will, SS

  4. I also want to add, women are also abusers, though it is much less rare.

    OOPS! I meant to use either the phrase "much less common" or the word "rare" and the edit I made a confusing mix of the two that makes no sense at all. Sorry!

  5. Great link! I taught the equality wheel at a batterers education program (we were told NOT to allow the men to see the power wheel, so they wouldn't get ideas of more stuff they could do) and it is on target. I have one disagreement, and that is about male privilege. The abuser doesn't just claim the right to make the "big decisions." He claims the right to make ANY decision he wants to make, the right to over-ride his wife/partner any time he wants to. One man in group micro-managed his wife, including checking the wash machine and dryer when he came home, looking for stuff to criticize--like "Why are the clothes still in the dryer? They're all wrinkled by now!" He tried to tell her what she could and couldn't have on the bathroom countertop, etc.

    "There are no easy answers to being in an abusive relationship. Leaving is hard. It is not easy. Staying is harder."

    A lot of women decide leaving is harder. I think it makes a big difference if the woman knows she can make a good living on her own. But even then, I've heard some women with 6 figure income stay with their husbands because they are so intimidated/threatened/controlled at home they don't dare leave.

    And then there are the children. Currently, if an abuser fights for primary physical care, the courts are likely to give him custody and take the children from their Mom. Consider the work of Lundy Bancroft and Janice Levinson @ When children don't want to be with their abusive dad, the dad goes to court and claims his ex is turning them against him. The court cites her for "parental alienation" and takes the children from her and places them with their abuser. Bancroft and Levinson are working to change the laws so the courts will stop hurting women and children.

  6. Good point, Waneta. Only the woman herself can decide which is harder, staying or leaving. The answer will be different for each situation.

    There are no easy answers.