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20 Lies That Keep You With Your Abuser- Paperback

20 Lies That Keep You With Your Abuser- Paperback



  • My definition of christian codependency
  • Why abuse victims believe the lies
  • The fears underneath the lies
  • What the Bible says about the lies
  • What my experience says about the lies
  • Small action steps that destroy the lies


With God's help and God's truth, I will get you healthier, stronger, and ready to be free.



  • Introduction

    The Curse of Christian Codependency   

    You are way beyond unhappy.  You are miserable.  Discouraged.  Exhausted.  But you stay with your abuser.

    Your physical health is being destroyed. Your body is breaking down under the unrelenting stress and pain and trauma.  But, you stay with your abuser.

    Your emotional health is being destroyed.  Your self-esteem and confidence are way down.  Your depression and anxiety are way up.  But, you stay with your abuser.

    Your children are being destroyed.  They see abuse as normal and are gradually taking on the characteristics of your abuser.  They are losing respect and love for you.  But, you stay with your abuser.

    Your spiritual health is being destroyed.  Your closeness to God is slipping away and you don’t have the energy or motivation to serve Him effectively.  But, you stay with your abuser.

    You have tried everything to change your abuser:  talking to your pastor, talking to a marriage counselor, attending marriage seminars, reading multiple books on marriage, trying to meet your abuser’s needs, praying a million times, crying, pleading…  Nothing has worked.  But, you stay with your abuser.


    Why You Stay with Your Abuser


    Why- when you and everyone and everything around you is slowly being destroyed- do you stay with your abuser?

    You stay because you suffer from a condition affecting millions of Christian women.  I call this condition Christian Codependency.

    This condition, this curse, keeps you with your abuser.


    Definition of Christian Codependency


    Following popular Christian advice, you give up your identity in a destructive, addictive, unbiblical, and never-ending quest to change the abuser you live with.

    Popular Christian Advice

    The majority of Christian pastors, leaders, and experts want you to be a codependent.  They want you to keep on trying to change your abuser.  They want you to stay with your abuser no matter what.

    You Give Up Your Identity

    You become an emotional pilot fish to your shark of an abuser.  You give up who you are in your desperate attempt to survive the ongoing trauma and change him.  Your voice, your feelings, your thoughts, your needs, and your dreams.  All gone.


    You and everyone you love and everything you love is destroyed along the way. The longer you stay, the more destruction you allow to happen.


    Your quest to change your abuser takes over your entire life.  It’s all you know and it’s all you do.  And you can’t stop doing it.  You are chasing a fantasy: “maybe if I do everything just right, he’ll change.”


    Though many Christian “helpers” will try to convince you otherwise, the Bible does not support staying with an abuser.  The Bible supports leaving an abuser.

    Never- Ending

    The codependent quest is fruitless.  Abusers rarely change and never- never -when you stay with them.  You kill yourself trying to change him and he resists.  That’s the never-ending game.

    To Change The Abuser You Live With

    This is not God’s goal for your life.  God does not want you to waste your life trying to change someone who isn’t going to change anyway.  The only person you can change is you.


    You’re Not Ready to Leave Yet


    I wrote a book called, Enough is Enough: A Step-by-Step Plan to Leave an Abusive Relationship with God’s Help.  In it, I do three things:

    • I carefully define abuse
    • I explain the biblical support for leaving an abuser
    • I describe exactly how to leave an abuser

    What I discovered is that many women and men could not follow through on my escape plan in the Enough is Enough book.  They were unable to take the steps necessary to physically separate.

    You are in this category of those who are not ready -yet- to leave an abuser.  And that’s okay.

    You’re not healthy enough to leave.  You’re not healthy enough to even consider leaving.

    Enough is Enough is the book that gets you out of your abusive relationship.  This book gets you ready to get out of your abusive relationship.

    Enough is Enough is about the end of the journey to freedom.  This book is about the beginning of that journey.

    This book is designed to get you healthier and stronger and ready to leave.  This is your personal rehabilitation program for your Christian Codependency addiction.


    It’s All About the Lies


    There’s a final element to my definition of Christian Codependency.  Here it is, in bold:   

    Following popular Christian advice and fueled by deeply entrenched lies, you give up your identity in a destructive, addictive, unbiblical, and never-ending quest to change the abuser you live with.

    It’s these lies that created your Christian Codependency and continue to sustain it.  You have been taught these lies by:

    • your parents and others who abused you in your childhood
    • those who betrayed you and traumatized you in adulthood
    • many in the Christian community
    • Satan, the father of lies
    • your abuser


    I’m going to shred these lies and, in so doing, help you shred your Christian Codependency.

    When you’re done with the twenty lies in this book, you’ll be done with trying to change your abuser.  You will no longer tolerate being abused.  You will be ready to take the steps to leave your abuser.


    My Credentials


    I’ve been a practicing psychologist for over thirty years.  I have a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and a masters degree in Biblical Studies.  I use God’s truth in the Bible and God’s truth in psychology in my work with those who live with abusers.


    The Book’s Target Audience


    If you are living with an abusive partner and are not ready to leave, this book is for you.  You might be married or not married.

                Throughout the book, I refer to the man as the abuser.  But the woman can just as easily be the abuser.  Whether your abuser is a man or a woman, my anti-Christian Codependency principles are the same.    


    My Style


                I am a direct, honest, no frills, blunt person.  I’m not known for my empathy and sensitivity.  I won’t feel sorry for you.  I won’t hold your hand.  I will be very straightforward and clear.

               I will communicate with you the same way I communicate with my in person and phone advice clients.  No wasted words and right to the point.

               Though I will seem harsh at times, I want the best for you and your children.  And the best is not continuing to live in Christian Codependent prison.  The best is learning how to reclaim your identity, your worth in Christ, and your freedom.


    My Kill Your Christian Codependency Plan


               My plan has three parts.

                      Part One: What Abuse Looks Like, Sounds Like, and Feels Like

               Using the actual words of those living with abusers, I present a clear picture of abuse.

                      Part Two: The Twenty Lies

                I explain and refute the twenty lies that are sustaining your Christian Codependency.  Each chapter has a lie as its title and contains five categories:

    The Voice of the Abused:  in their own words, abuse victims describe why they believe the lie.

    The Fear:  underneath the lie lurks a powerful, crippling fear.

    The Bible:  what the Bible says about the lie and the fear connected to it.

    The Experience of Dave Clarke (DC):  what my over thirty years of counseling experience has to say about the lie.

    The Actions:  small but significant steps that will start killing the lie and get you on the road to your new life.

                       Part Three: The Top Thirty Bible Passages Twisted to Keep You With Your Abuser

               I cover the Bible passages most commonly mis-used to keep spouses in codependency and with their abusers.


    How to Use the Book


           I recommend you read the entire book with an open, prayerful mind.  Ask God to speak to you and let you know if He wants you to act on what I’ve written.

           Read all the verses I list in the Bible section of each chapter.  I don’t write out the verses, so you’ll have to look them up.

           On your first reading, don’t worry about my action steps at the end of each chapter.  Read these action steps, but don’t do them yet.

           After you’ve read the entire book, take a few days to process, pray, and think.  If you believe God wants you to get rid of your Christian Codependency, then read the book again and this time do my action steps.

           In John 8:32, Jesus says: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

           I pray the truth in this book sets you free from the prison of Christian Codependency and life with your abuser.

You can talk to Dr. Clarke about your abusive relationship by using his phone advice service. 

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