I have no idea what you ought to do. Being friends with an abused friend, if your heart isn't REALLY in it, is very draining. Well, it's draining either way.
I was friends with a woman at work once. She would tell me about her "boyfriend" who would sleep with a gun next to him in case she would leave in the middle of the night to go home. Then she would drive out to him again the next night...? Anyway, lots more. The weird thing is that I found myself entering into a similar abuse cycle with her. (THis is NOT something I am proud of, just a thing I realized) For a loooong while I would offer her an ear, a shoulder, a ride, whatever she needed. Then I would be like, 'LEAVE HIM!!! WHAT! YOU DROVE OUT THERE AGAIN?! WTF!!!???"Then I would go back to the support part, then to the incredulously annoyed part. Ack. Awful whenever I think about it.
Why did I tell that awful and revealing story (shiver)?
I guess just to warn you what a toll it can take on you if your heart isn't really in it. Perhaps you are feeling it already yourself...?
OH, what a sad life she has lived! If only she could find comfort.
What are you thinking you "should" do and what are you thinking you want to do?
Sorry. No advice.
God apparently doesn't want his faithful and loyal followers to actually be happy life. What a F'n prick.
I want to be there for her since she is my MIL I kind of feel obligated, because DH just won't have anything to do with it. When I told him what she said about god telling her to stay he said she was crazy, rolled over and went to sleep. He has told me tons of times that there is just no reaching her, he has tried his whole life.
I know! I've tried telling her that. It's like you follow him, why would he want you to feel the way you do?! I don't understand the viewpoint, even when I considered myself christian I still didn't understand it.
I would suggest talking to the local community violence center/women's shelter. Maybe the violence center will have some ideas for you to help your MIL. Just a thought. I was once in an abusive relationship and I can't imagine having the pressure of some crazy religion weighing down on me too at that time.
Good luck - I hope everyone can find peace.
Is it possible her entire social network revolves around the church?
Her social network IS the church.
It is a very sad situation and unfortunately it happens a lot more than we care to recognize. When religion is used to control a person or a populous, we outsiders, get to see religion's ugly face. :(
The Bible is silent on the topic of abuse due to spousal abuse. I believe this is because it was written in a time when women were considered property more than actual sentient human beings.
I feel bad for this woman, but at the same time I have no clue how to help her. As a believer, if she actually 'hears' God, she is not going to disobey him. Although if she is hearing God I wonder if she has schizophrenia or some other undiagnosed psychiatric disorder.
Hugs to you. What a sweet soul you must have to be so compassionate to someone so self destructive.
First and foremost...you CAN'T save her, she is the only one who can do that. You have done more than a reasonable amount to help her. You cannot breathe for a drowning man, he MUST do something on his part, too. Most abused women stay because that is all they know. All you can do is give her the information and let her work it out for herself. When you add religion in to the mix, whoa. It is even harder to get someone to walk away from an abusive religion. I realize you arent trying to change her beliefs but she has to see for herself that these people from the church do NOT have her best interest in mind.
Any advice I can offer would be to not allow her to make you a co-dependent to her instability with this subject. Being the kind heart that you are, you will likely continue to listen and offer a shoulder as she continues to complain about how hard it is for her. Once you reach the saturation point, however, you can say "Enough already!" and tell her to make a change or leave you out of it.
I hope she sees what good support you've been for her and appreciates you for it. Best to you and to her. I really do hope it ends up turning out better than it sounds right now and I am sorry you are suffering on her behalf.