Addressing Gaslighting that Takes Place in Church

Mar 06, 2022

A new group for divorced singles was opening up at Megan’s church, so she decided to join. On the first night there, she shared a story about the issues with her husband. 

“He was an addict, and I made excuses for his behavior all the time. I didn’t want to believe things were that bad, so I tried to overlook it for awhile.” 

Another member of the group interrupted her. “Well, did you pray for him?”

“Of course. With friends, too.”

“Have you forgiven him?”

“I’m working on that,” Megan said. “That’s why I’m here.” 

At the end of the group, Megan was hesitant about going back. She knew that she needed to forgive her husband for the hurt he brought in her life, but she was still working on processing the trauma that happened within their relationship. 

Sometimes when we’re sharing our pains with another person, they think they’re being helpful when they say things like, “Oh, you’ll get over it in no time. You’re such a strong person!” Or “Keep your head up and just give your problems to God.” Many times their sentiments have good intentions, but they still take away from the reality of your experience. 

When you hear comments like that, it’s OK to say something such as: 

  • "I know you mean well. I’m still working through my feelings, and it’s difficult." 
  • "It would be helpful if you could pray for me, too. I’m still struggling." 
  • "Sometimes I don’t feel strong. It’s been a lot for me to process."

I'll be talking more about this in my upcoming workshop, Mentally Healthy Faith. Scroll down to sign up and learn more.