The BTR.ORG Podcast has helped many women find language for what is happening to them. Words like gaslighting, sexual coercion, and spiritual abuse have helped victims become educated and empowered.
On the flip side, abusive men occasionally address Anne in reviews, social media communication, and emails with the same kinds of comments. Anne addresses those comments in the podcast and explains that BTR is pro-safety. Listen to the podcast and read the full transcript below for more.
BTR.ORG Is Pro-Safety
For victims, boundary-setting is an important step toward safety. Sometimes a divorce boundary is necessary. And BTR supports women in their decisions to separate and/or divorce from the abuser.
Of course, abusers will call this, “destroying the family”, “ruining the marriage”, and so forth.
Our Mission is to Educate Women About Abuse
“Your abuse is what destroyed your family, not educating women about abuse.”
Anne Blythe, Founder of BTR.ORG
Healthy individuals take no issue with others becoming educated about abuse.
You know who takes issue with women becoming educated about abuse?
Abusive men. And then when women take action to move toward safety, they blame the victim.
BTR.ORG Is Here For You
If your husband has taken issue with you listening to the BTR.ORG podcast and using our resources, including reading our free, informative articles, please consider that he is taking issue with you learning about emotional and psychological abuse. Consider attending a BTR.ORG Group Session today.
Welcome to BTR.ORG. This is Anne. I’ve been doing a couple episodes where I just talk, so thank you for listening. This one is about a bunch of one-star reviews that men have left on the podcast and Trauma Mama and emails we’ve received from men. I’ll actually start with one that came from a man. That’s a good one. He said, Hi BTR team. I know Anne’s podcast is for abuse victims and they’re betrayed, and she’s pretty vocal about abusers not listening to her podcast. It’s true. I do not want abusers listening. Do not share this podcast with your husband. Please, please, please, please, please, because your safety is my top priority and it could put you in danger, so please do not do that.
Do not share that you’re listening with them. He’s saying he’s in recovery. I don’t know if he’s in recovery or not. A lot of men write and they want to come on to share with other men their recovery story. Usually I don’t have them come on because I think they’re trying to use it to groom their wives. Anyway, this guy says that he went to a bunch of different pornography addiction recovery things. He said he went to every man’s battle that he’d been working with a CSAT. He’d been doing all this stuff with pornography addiction recovery and therapy, and then he said this, I never once read anything or had anyone refer to me as an abuser. That was until Saturday, March 11th when I needed something to listen to and your podcast was suggested to me in Apple. So I listened, and then he says, I was in tears the entire time I was listening to your podcast.
“Don’t give this podcast to your abuser.”
Now, sisters, don’t give this podcast to your abuser. Okay? This guy just happened to come upon it, I guess, and then he wrote me. He said, It was hard to hear, but I’m so glad and thankful that I heard it. I am an abuser, emotionally, psychologically, and financially. I’ve abused my wife for most of our 15 years. He said, Recently, a neighbor I knew well was removed from his home due to a protective order for physical abuse to his family. When I learned of this, I thought I was nothing like him, but I’m coming to grips that in many ways I am and I have you to thank for that.
Now, he might be hoping that his wife is listening to this podcast and that he’s like, “Hey, I’m changed. I get it now and Anne even vouched for me on the podcast!” and I don’t know what he really thinks.
So if you are his wife, please get to safety, but I thought that it was interesting that he said that he’d been to all this pornography addiction recovery. He’d been doing all this stuff, he’d been to a CSAT and he’d never even considered that he was abusive until listening to this podcast. So again, don’t give it to them.
Alright, here’s some other things men have written me. Most of them negative. One guy wrote and said, I would like to take a moment to challenge your model, and then he’s extremely emotionally and psychologically abusive. He’s talking about how his ex-wife left him because of BTR. I think it was one guy who did all of these, but basically he was like BTR told her that it wasn’t a marital issue, that it was an abuse issue, and that he was the abuser, and then he goes on to say that he’s not, that she’s the abuser, that she’s the one abusing him…this is why I do not want you to give this podcast to your abuser.
“This message does not make sense.”
Then he uses all the language that we use in the podcast to be emotionally abusive to her. He said, I would not tolerate the gaslighting, the blame shifting and me being responsible for her reactions to fair questions, and then he lies and said that his wife was diagnosed as a narcissist and that we didn’t figure it out, and I’m like, No, no. You’re mad that your wife decided to create some distance so that she could separate herself from the harm. That’s why you’re upset and you’re now trying to prove to me that she’s the one that’s sick and that we ruined their marriage. The ironic thing about this letter is that he’s saying if it weren’t for BTR, his marriage would be intact and everything would be alright, BUT she’s a narcissist apparently, and she’s abusive and she’s all this other stuff. This message does not make sense.
If he genuinely thought that she was all of these terrible things that he’s saying in this message, would he not thank BTR? Wouldn’t he be like, “Oh, I’m so grateful. I didn’t realize how bad it was until she left me. Thank you BTR, and now that there’s been some distance and I recognize all these unhealthy behaviors, oh, I’m safe!”, because why is he getting so upset that his ex-wife, who is in his mind a terrible, awful, abusive, crazy person, separated herself from him? It does not make sense.
His last line in this message is, please don’t sell them and their families short like you did us. And I’m like, Okay, from your description of your ex-wife, you sound like you hate her. Why in the world would I feel bad about her divorcing you? That makes no sense whatsoever. That happens quite a bit at BTR. They write and say, ‘You broke up my family, so you’re a bad person.’
BTR is Pro-Safety.
Which by the way, we’re not pro divorce. We’re pro safety, safety, safety, safety as the woman recognizes like, “Whoa, I’m enduring emotional and psychological harm. I need to get to safety.” Then we get all of the blame. We’re “man haters”. We’re “family killers”. It’s really interesting to me that when I get a message like this, they also explain to me how terrible she is at the same time. So no abuser ever writes and says, “Hey, BTR, you broke up my family and my wife is a wonderful, loving, caring, honest, loving person, and I’m so sad about it. She decided that I was unhealthy and I don’t think I am. I’m pretty healthy, but she decided that I wasn’t, and she’s such a good, smart person. I’m sad that she made that decision and I love her so much and I’m really bummed.” I never get messages like that.
Never, ever, ever, they go like this, Hey, BTR, you ruined my family, my awful abusive, psycho crazy, terrible, damaging wife who was awful to me our whole marriage left me because of you and it’s all your fault and you’re breaking up families. And I’m like, What? You don’t even sound like you like her not even a little bit. Why are you trying to tell me that I had something to do with the breakup of your marriage if you genuinely hate her? If she really is all those things you’re saying, should you not be thanking me that now you’re safe?
Abusers, if you are listening, stop writing me ridiculous messages about how your abusive, terrible, psycho wife left you because of me, because that makes no sense. No sense whatsoever.
I’m not sure if this is the same guy, but he wrote a one star review on Trauma Mama Husband Drama.
Trauma Mama Husband Drama
If you listen to this podcast and you love it, if you wouldn’t mind, go to Amazon, buy Trauma Mama Husband Drama, and then please give it a five star review to bury this. At the same time. I kind of like the one star review because it sort of proves the point. It’s sort of like, Wow, if this guy thinks that this book is one stars, then for sure it’s five stars for me. Also, he is not a verified purchaser, the guy that gave this review, so he doesn’t even own a copy. I’m not sure he even knows what it’s about. Well, I know he doesn’t know what it’s about because his review says a bunch of stuff that’s not even in the book, but he knows me really well because he hits the nail on the head so his review is accurate.
So that’s another reason why I wanted to read it. He says, “A valuable addition to the ‘it’s not you, it’s him’ genre of self-help literature.” And then he says, “Also good for adults who are challenged by chapter books and books without a lot of pictures.” So then he insults all of our intelligence as if we are completely stupid, and that’s why I wrote it. No, the reason why I wrote it was because this is very complex and most people don’t want to read Why Does He Do That? And so it makes it really easy and it’s really obvious. If it were so bad and so terrible, why would he be worried about warning people about it? Wouldn’t he be like, Oh, nobody’s going to learn anything from this. Why would he be coming after me?
“This is someone whose wife recognized that he was an abuser, and then decided that I was the cause, rather than his abuse”
He said, “It’s telling that the author’s thoughts and ideas about the subject matter are communicated in a picture book.” Yeah, because I wanted it to be very simple and I wanted it to be very obvious. And then he says, “Good versus evil…” Yes, I do think this is a good-versus-evil thing. So he hit the nail on the head there. “…it appears to be rooted in the author’s faith.” True, but that’s not anywhere in the book. The book doesn’t have anything about religion in it whatsoever. It’s very secular. I mean, actually that’s not true. The character in the book goes to church, but it’s not a religious book. There’s nothing overtly religious about it. And then he says that my goal is to separate the wicked from the righteous, and that’s true too. So, nailed it. Then he says, “…leaving destroyed marriages and families in her wake.”
So this is someone whose wife recognized that he was an abuser and then decided that I was the cause rather than his abuse. I think it’s the same guy, but I’m not sure. It gave a one star view on the podcast and he says, “Abandon all hope who enter here.” It’s very wordy, but he goes on to talk about how the only purpose of BTR is that women who want to get a divorce for no reason at all come to BTR and then they can feel good about it. I’m like, no, that’s not what’s happening. Women who find BTR are like, “Oh, I’ve been abused for years and I didn’t know it. I need to get to safety.” That’s it. That’s all we talk about. I’m not promoting divorce per se. I mean lots of women decide that they do need to set a boundary of divorce to further separate themselves from harm.
Divorce is often a natural response to abuse
That would be a natural response to abuse. There are some women who feel like remaining married is safer for whatever reason, and our coaches help women navigate that. Anyway, he goes on about how the stance that we take that abuse has nothing to do with the victim and it’s not the victim’s fault. He’s like, no, women aren’t taking accountability for their part of the problem. And then he says that BTR is anti-God. And this one’s really interesting because basically he’s saying, if you guys would just pray, then God would change us, but you’re not praying enough and that’s what caused the problems. If you prayed more, then I would’ve changed. He says, “Being nice is described as love bombing.” Yeah, well, checking off boxes in order to exploit someone or deceive them, yes. Then he says, “Once you enter the BTR bunker and become fully indoctrinated into this way of viewing relationships between men and women, your marriage will be over.”
Uh, no. I do not view all relationships between men and women as an abuse issue. There are men who are not abusive. We’re not talking about them. If your husband is healthy and you listen to BTR, you’re going to be like, Wow, my husband’s not anything like this. BTR is not the issue. Educating women about emotional and psychological abuse is not the issue. Your abuse is the issue.
Here’s another one, and this one I love. I love this, Sisters. This one is titled, “Self-Admitted Non-Expert”, so he’s calling me a self-admitted non-expert, and I would like to say to him, “No! I am a self-proclaimed expert. That is what I am. I’m not a self-admitted non-expert, I’m a self-proclaimed expert.” And then he said, if you want counseling help go to a counselor. And no, we don’t think women need therapy who are being abused. You might want to go to a therapist, but you’re not sick.
“I’m just educating people about abuse”
There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re not diseased. You might need skills to learn how to set boundaries. You might need to be educated about what abuse is. You might need some strategic ways of getting to safety, but I hope you’re not listening for counseling. I’m not a counselor and I don’t pretend to be, nor do I think I’m counseling anybody. I’m just trying to educate people about abuse.
And here’s another one that says “Uneducated advice is destroying families.” He says that his ex-wife got all messed up, and I’m like, Again, your ex-wife felt like you were abusive, and that’s why she left. Your abuse is what destroyed your family, not educating women about abuse. The reason why I’ve kind of highlighted, for the last few episodes, abusive men’s response to women getting educated about abuse is telling. I talk to healthy men about abuse. They do not respond this way.
They’re like, “Whoa.” One man I talked to, he was like, “Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. You mean these guys think their wives shouldn’t get upset? Of course they’re going to get upset. Who wouldn’t?” Healthy men get it; it makes sense. Abusers don’t. Rather than worrying about all the things they’re going to say to weaponize and gaslight you out of recognizing that they are emotionally and psychologically unsafe, take a deep breath and take a step back. Look at our books page, read some books. I did not write those books. These are just general abuse principles, basic information about what is emotional and psychological abuse. This is not some weird earth-shattering stuff that I pulled out of the air and nobody’s ever talked about before. This is basic stuff. Now, what a lot of people don’t talk about that I talk about is pornography as an abuse issue, but when you really look at all their behaviors, it’s stuff that domestic abuse experts have been educating us about for years.
“The women who have been through abuse are the women who really understand it”
I have been trained in domestic abuse and certified, but you don’t have to be, to be an expert on abuse. The women who have been through it are the women who really understand it. They are the women who are the most experts on what abuse is, and that’s why our entire BTR team, every single woman on our team, has been through it. That’s what makes a woman an expert on abuse. When you come into our BTR group sessions, women get it immediately. You don’t have to try and explain it. It makes sense. And women who have dealt with it for years and understand the stress and the difficulty, they just get it, are the best people to give you support. I hope no abusers are listening, but if they are, and I am offending you, great.
I went to this singles event. I don’t do this often, and a man there tried to manipulate me, and it was really interesting what happened. He said, “Man, you’re so off-putting”, basically because I wouldn’t flirt with him or whatever. I just was kind of uninterested in him. So in order to get me to engage with him, he said, “You’re very off-putting. You’re going to scare men away.” And I said, “Great. That sounds great.” And he was shocked. And I said, “Well, I’m not really interested in dating or anything right now. So great”, because I am not doing it for him, so I could just be myself. And he did not know what to say. He was just very, very confused. And that leads me to my last topic that I’m going to talk about and I’m going to talk about that next week, which is the concept of agreeing with your adversary quickly. So stay tuned for that.