Research indicates that the first sign of a failure in marriage is a lack of respect between the two parties. Disrespect is the first yellow flag that the end is in sight and that the relationship will break.
I’ve seen this during my many years of pastoral care. If I detect any lack of respect between the wife and the husband, then I know the relationships is in serious trouble.
The curious thing is they may not know it. Let’s say the husband disrespects the wife. Some women see nothing wrong with this, or unusual. They take disrespect from the man as just life, normal, typical, or deserved. When I say to the woman that she deserves full respect and that her dignity should be honored, some are actually dismayed. But the seed may be planted. If the husband doesn’t come around to a position of respect, the marriage may fall apart.
I have strong advice for people in abusive or domineering churches as I do for women in abusive or domineering marriages: leave! Sure, there are always positive qualities to be appreciated within the unhealthy relationship. But these are far outweighed by the negatives. The toxicity of a bad relationship is always the stronger and more affective force. It prevails. Unless there is a miraculous transformation in the abusive or domineering one. But unfortunately these are rare.
This is my observation and experience.
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