Consequences Work When Talking Does Not

To be whole, we need to take a stand against toxic people and destructive things. One way to do this is by natural consequences that follow hurtful behavior after one's "best effort" is made to talk things out.

One time, I saw a couple of lawyers who were husband and wife. The husband was verbally and emotionally abusive. He was also having an ongoing affair.  After a difficult time of waiting and talking things out as well as processing during her sessions, the wife finally learned to take a stand. She was able to say to her husband something like, "Faithfulness is essential in marriage. I will not tolerate being cheated on. You can leave until you figure out what you are going to do about making this right."

Indeed, if a person does not respond to light, all we can do is confront in love and offer consequences. If the hurtful person wants to remain in darkness, so be it. But this healing blueprint applies: Stand against bad, damaging things. Do not go forward to participate in evil or the darkness. We may even need to separate our self from the toxic or dysfunctional person until he or she faces the issue and is willing to change.