“Out of sight, out of mind”

Why? Because the mind is in total darkness. Tormented. Confused. Guilt and shame ridden. The last place a person wants to be is in a place of torment that THEY have created for themselves. So they will avoid it, twist it…….and PRIDE will create an alternative place. 

That is what deflection does. 

A much kinder, safer place that was created to ease their guilt/shame/pain and remove them from all wrongdoing. Or at least it tries. This ulterior place is not real, and reality will always be there for them to face. And trust me, God is never going to let them fully escape it. They will forever be reminded of what they ran from and how they handled it.


Avoidance is when a spouse takes the escape route and chooses minimal or no contact. Even the thought of contacting you or the kids causes them stress and anxiety. Deflection is a close twin to avoidance. Deflection will tell the spouse they are blameless, YOU are the cause of all their stress, and gives avoidance the “right” to turn their backs.

Deflection and avoidance is an “all for ONE thing”, to keep your spouse from having a heart-to-heart, eye-opening, repentance-bound conversation with themselves and God. As long as they can keep seeing YOU as the bad guy and live in the lie that what you have done, or are doing is justifying their actions, they will avoid looking at themselves.

To remove ourselves from being the scapegoat is very important. It’s done by zipping our lips and not arguing, validating their feelings and reasons for choosing to harden their hearts. We must remove ourselves as the blame sometimes. We do this by apologizing for any wrongs we have committed, letting them know we hear them, understanding their reasons and feelings (we don’t have to agree) but we let them know what they think and feel is important to us. Once we are no longer the scapegoat, they can start to look at themselves and have a heart-to-heart talk with God!

But let’s get back to avoidance, it’s easier to keep up the ‘bad-guy’ persona than have to deal with facing the ones you hurt deeply. They may hide behind the mask of anger and justification, but they know what they did. They know what they are doing to their kids. And what makes it worse is NOT your anger and condemnation, it’s your unconditional LOVE to their bad behavior. Whether that is from a distance, praying and standing in the gap, or how you interact with them about responsibilities and kids.

Something happens when a spouse puts on their running shoes, I think they digress back into a school-age child! They run away from responsibilities and seek fun over doing what is right. Avoidance protects them from the stress and fears. The Holy Spirit is showing me a person in avoidance is very fearful. They fear they will get what they “deserve.” Fear to see and to hear about what mess they have created. For the parent that abandoned kids, they are afraid to face the repercussions. Some of them avoid contact because they are afraid to find out their spouse truly has moved on and no longer wants them back.

Another HUGE reason for avoidance is shame and guilt. If you have never been under the weight of this heavy garment, you will just have to take my word on this, it can keep the most loving and devoted parent from picking up the phone on the most important occasions because of the huge deception that surrounds them. Condemnation from shame and guilt will turn, manipulate, and twist absolutely everything about what should be a ‘no brainer’ into another huge letdown and disappointment.

Standing with you,
Sheila Hollinger