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Is It Me? Making Sense of Your Confusing Marriage: A Christian Woman's Guide to Hidden Emotional and Spiritual Abuse

Narrated by: Natalie Hoffman
Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
5 out of 5 stars (34 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Do any of the following quotes sound like you?

“Why do concerns I bring up never seem to be resolved? Why do I feel like Charlie Brown, flat on his back from having the football snatched away? Why, when I bring up a concern, do I always end up justifying my existence or being the one to apologize? How do things seem to get turned around on me?”

“I feel like I walk on eggshells, and I’m scared of his reactions to grievances I express, so I keep them to myself.” 

“I knew something was off for years but didn’t know what it was exactly. I knew that we were different - I would hear of other husbands supporting their wives in pursuing their dreams and be absolutely blown away. I would hear of husbands encouraging their wives to go out with friends and not be able to relate at all. I would hear of decisions being made mutually and not understand how that even looked.” 

“I remember as a young wife thinking, ‘Is this normal? Does everyone feel this way? Maybe this is why old wives seem bitter?’ It wasn’t until year seven that I finally acknowledged something was wrong, and there wasn’t anything I could change to make it better. It was years 15 to 24 that I became unsure of reality and questioned my sanity.”

“He always apologizes after looking at porn or after blowing up at me or the kids. But nothing ever changes. And he gets mad if we don’t ‘forgive and forget.’”

“He was a mechanic by trade, yet I was afraid to tell him whenever the car was acting up or making a noise. He would tell me he didn’t want me putting miles on my car, so I would tell friends ‘no’ anytime they wanted me to come see them. I acted like a little kid afraid to ask permission to do stuff.”

“Nobody yells ‘Emergency! Call 911!’ or ‘Divorce!’ with all those tiny little ‘Hmmmm, that’s-a-bit-off?’ moments or maybe the ‘Ouch! He hurt me!’ scenes or the ‘What the heck was THAT all about?’ confusing moments that pile up over a period of years. All those tiny little pieces of the puzzle are things you just toss out with the trash because you’re too forgiving, too patient, too loving, too empathetic, too kind, too giving, too enamored with him - until you start to secretly collect them and put the real pieces of the puzzle (the truth) together and see a much clearer picture.”

One out of three married women sitting in an average conservative Christian church is in a confusing and painful marriage relationship. These women believe they are alone. I want them to know they aren't. They believe they can't find peace. I want them to know they can. They believe they don't have choices. I want them to know they do.

©2018 Natalie Hoffman (P)2019 Natalie Hoffman

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Empowering Christian Women in Abusive Marriages

I have had many Christian marriage books over the years. I remember standing at my full bookshelf at all of these books and not one of them addressed the issues I was facing. The vast majority of them put the blame on the wife while "encouraging" her to be more, do more, etc. as if she was the sole person responsible for the marriage and if she only did ___ then she would have an amazing marriage and loving caring husband. ALL of these books are destructive to women in abusive marriages and can put the woman at risk for great harm. I got rid of every single Christian marriage book in my bookcase.

I am so thankful for Natalie Hoffman and her willingness to pinpoint what is happening in abusive marriages. She takes the incredible confusion women in abusive marriages has and writes a clear path to define it. She takes Christian women through the process of identifying what is happening, giving the confusing abusive behavior names, helps to clear the confusion and empowers Christian women to take a stand against the abuse. Natalie also identifies spiritual abuse, gives examples and brings life giving scripture to dispel the destructive misused scripture. This book is a MUST READ for Christian women who are steeped in confusion knowing something is wrong in their marriage but they can't figure it out, traditional marriage books do not apply to her marriage and who is a shell of themselves as the person they were before the marriage is a faint memory. There is hope and healing in this book.

4 people found this helpful

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Waking Up to Hidden Dysfunction

The endless, foggy swirl of self-blame and confusion — that’s what Natalie’s book helped me identify and push through. I’ve said it before and want to shout it again to other women who are silently suffering. If you’re not sure if this book is for you, it’s for you! It’s a bonus that her speaking voice is warm, relatable, and well-paced. She feels like a real friend over a cup of coffee, walking with you through the hurt she knows so well.

3 people found this helpful

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Healing

This has been one. of the most healing books I have ever read!! I too have a very confusing marriage and have never understood why my attempts to fix things have failed and with no rational explanation from.my husband the majority of the time, other than to blame me for why it's not working....so many long and wasted arguments over things I was trying to negotiate with him on so it could be a win win for both of us and they always simply ended in his way or no way.....and with no explanation of why I should accept such an unfair situation....so confusing....this and so many other things have kept me confused in this relationship leaving me feeling like it must be me...even knowing it's not all me....but still wondering why anything I say or do never seems to help....makes me feel like suchban immense failure not knowing where to tirn....this book really has shpwn me so many things and reasons why nothing has worked....I can't thank the author enough for writing it in order to help me and others....it is part of my journey going forward to help myself to climb out of this pit I'm in

1 person found this helpful

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Is Your Marriage Hurting? Don't Miss This Book!

Natalie nails it in this powerful book, exposing the fallout of flawed theology to maintain power and control over women, shedding light on the path to healing after abuse, and bringing hope to those who have experienced hell in the name of Christian marriage.

If you're in a marriage that seems to have more than its share of drama and difficulty, and no matter what you've tried it just never seems to get better -- you may be suffering from hidden abuse. God wants to offer you healing and hope, and that's just what "Is It Me?" will bring.

1 person found this helpful

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At last!

Natalie’s description of emotional and spiritual is spot on and very helpful. I love hearing books read by the author, and Natalie does not disappoint. The audio is clear, the enunciation crisp, and provides an overall enriching experience.

Thank you Natalie!

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Deja Vu

I found myself feeling like I was reading my own journal as I listened to the stories and advice in this book. I’m in the middle of my own story of abuse and this book has been so helpful. Great resources listed. I have read most of them in my journey. I will recommend this to many women who need to know they are not alone.

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Thank you Natalie

This book is life giving, I’m grateful to God for the truths you are sharing to free so many of us in the road to recovery from abusive marriages.
You are a truth gift. Thank you for honoring God in seeking truth and not wavering when God showed it to you.
Love, Nancy O Kaye

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fantastic

this book is great for any woman of faith that finds herself in a relationship with a narcissist or any other emotionally/psychologically/spiritually abusive male. I been trying to know the right thing to do for years and I've been in complete confusion and denial. I've held on to hope that a miracle would happen and prayed so many times that God would touch his heart. The thing is, the abuser doesn't want to change because they don't think they do anything wrong. This book really helps you understand the biblical support in getting out of abusive relationships and the book also helps you with healing process. The author notes many other helpful books throughout the book and she is absolutely wonderful to listen to or read. I'd give it 10 stars if I could.

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Everything I needed to hear

So comforting to hear someone explain what I was dealing with in a way where I didn't feel guilt or ashamed of what was happening and that it wasn't my fault. Gives me confidence to move forward with my life without having to live in abuse and then pretend like everything is good. I feel like God answered my plea for help.

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Outstanding & Validating

What an incredible book this is! The author came to feel like a friend, walking beside me and encouraging me along the way. I am so grateful for Natalie Hoffman and the work that she’s doing to help shine a bright light on emotional abuse. Thank you, with all my heart for this invaluable resource.