Dr. Dobson – I love you, but I think you got it wrong.


Dr. Dobson, you got it wrong. No doubt you are smarter than I am, but you still got it wrong. And, I confess Dr. Dobson, I am angry about your post (read it here) and so I am sure there will be a bit more sarcasm than usual. But you got it wrong.

Most studies I read indicate that anywhere from 25-33% of the women in the United States are in relationships where there is physical abuse taking place. That means 1 out of 4 or 1 out of 3 of the women we all see at the grocery store, gas station and walking their cute children around our neighborhoods are being hit by their spouses or partners. These are real people, people we know, living in very real fear because the danger around them is not made up but is very real.

Dr. Dobson I believe it is irresponsible to encourage Laura, or any person in an abusive relationship, to provoke the abuser. In fact, I believe it is even irresponsible to encourage her to stay in the house. In her letter to you, which you replicated on your post, indicates that not only does he rage at her, but does so at the children as well. She, and so many others, is in physical (as well as psychological, emotional and spiritual) danger as indicated that she is being beaten with his fists, has had teeth loosened, been cut, and in fear for her life.  She is even in fear for having contacted you!

I wonder.

What if the next fit of rage happens while she is near stairs? What if during the next exchange she is hit so hard she falls and hits her head on something hard sustaining a closed head brain injury? What if they are in the kitchen and he happens to have a knife in his hand?

I wonder how the trauma of being beaten is impacting Laura’s understanding of God’s love and grace? I wonder what their children are learning about being men and women? I wonder…

I wonder who will raise their children if he accidentally kills her in his rage? Did you know that each day, 3 women die from domestic abuse?

Dr. Dobson, I wish you had encouraged Laura, and others in her situation, to find a safe place for herself and her children. I wish you had offered to help Laura created a safe exit strategy.

Laura, your husband’s rage is not your fault. You and your children ARE NOT responsible for his violence. You were not created to be the recipient of his violent outbursts. Loving your husband does not mean staying in a dangerous situation. You were created in the image of God and you are deeply loved by him. There is pain in leaving, but there is no shame or condemnation.

And while I know there are no simple answers and the ramifications of domestic violence runs deep, I do know the answer is not to stay and provoke him until his rage is uncontrollable again. It takes great courage to leave an abusive spouse. I know, I have helped others do so. And your leaving may just be enough to create the crisis needed for him to seek help.

Laura, the toughest, but maybe the most loving thing you can do, for your husband, your children and yourself, is to leave and find a safe haven.

7 responses to “Dr. Dobson – I love you, but I think you got it wrong.

  • joycegodwingrubbs2

    Reblogged this on Joycegodwingrubbs2's Blog and commented:
    As an advocate counselor of Domestic Violence for 40+ years, I am supporting pbstone’s response to Dr. Dobson. As a Christian, as a counselor/advocate trained and hands on with crisis line training I am also an author of 15 books of real cases written as narrative creative fiction to protect the identities of victim/survivors, locations, workers. I have seen the damage done by well meaning Christian counseling to “stay and obey” and seen deaths occur as well. Life long damage is done to children forced to stay in these violent episodic homes. I too love you Dr. Dobson, but you need to get “out here” and get a true immersion into the realities of the world that is domestic violence.

  • Dr. Michelle Harrison

    This is a case of the doctor being guilty of attempted assisted suicide.

  • Angie

    Wow. After reading both articles, I believe you BOTH are right. I believe his misstep is in advising her to confront him with his behavior while alone. That. Is. Crazy. not to mention dangerous. She needs to get out for her family’s safety. Dr. Dobson DID advise her to move to a separate place meaning, he suggested separation. I believe that taking steps he advises are wise, to give this man opportunity to take a hard look at what he is doing and to get help. To repent. I also believe she NEEDS to expose him to church leadership adn allow them to be invited into the confrontation and healing process. This would also be a place of accountability.

    That being said, there is free will involved. And while the man may say and do all sorts of things to get her back in the house, I believe she needs to proceed at extreme caution. So, really, I agree with you and I also agree with some things he is advising. I know from personal experience. I was in this place and basically followed Dr. Dobson’s advice, even though I didn’t ask him for it. It’s just what I did. At that time, I was married 23 years and didn’t want to give up on that many years of my life. Out of an act of desperation to SAVE my marriage, I chose to leave with my children in hopes of my husband at the time, getting help as I was. That did not happen. He made different choices. We are no longer married. I’m still dealing with the wake because we have children together. It’s beyond awful. But I know I made the right decision. My heart is breaking for this poor woman. I remember what it felt like being in those shoes. I don’t wish that on anyone. Tragic.

    Thank you for your point of view on this. Much truth.

  • joycegodwingrubbs2

    Dr. Michelle Harrison, that is a great “analogy?” or explanation of what he is advocating. Great insight.

  • joycegodwingrubbs2

    Angie, great response/reply and it shows insight into the fallacy of the advice given.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: