Hi Friends,

I’m in Italy this week, my first time. I’m very excited to be here with my sister, her husband and mine. We are visiting three cities, Rome, Florence, and Venice. Instead of answering a question from one of you this week, I thought I would give you an article I wrote to supply biblical support for when someone may need to separate.

See you soon.

  

Scripture Supports for Separation from a
Destructive Spouse

The Scripture that most people use to discuss grounds for Biblical separation is 1 Corinthians 7:10 where Paul writes, “To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord), the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.”

Separation between a husband and wife should not be done for trivial reasons. It is a grave decision, but when necessary, there is biblical support.

When one spouse biblically separates from his/her spouse it is usually for one or two primary reasons:

1.  Separation as a consequence of serious unrepentant and/or repetitive sin: The spouse who chooses to separate does so for the purpose of waking her unrepentant destructive spouse up to the destructiveness of his ways. In most cases (with the exception of physical/sexual abuse or adultery) she has already had numerous conversations about his actions and attitudes that she find destructive and hurtful, with little change to their relationship. The destructive pattern continues. Separation is the only consequence she knows that has the power to jolt her spouse awake with the message that “I will not pretend that we can have a good, safe, or healthy marriage when you continue to ___________ .”

Where there is physical/sexual abuse or adultery, separation may be the first and immediate consequence in order to send a clear message to the offending spouse that his behavior is completely unacceptable and damaging to their marriage. In cases of physical/sexual abuse, in addition to separation, legal consequences should be implemented.

Biblical justification for implementing separation as a consequence.

Below are some examples from Scripture that supports the necessity of confronting serious sin (rather than forbearing) as well as implementing consequences.

1 Corinthians 5:9 “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people – not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindles, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler – not even to each with such a one…..Purge the evil person from among you.”

James 5:19  “If anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. (is a wife to be an enabler of sin or a champion of truth and righteousness?”

Proverbs 1:30,31  They rejected my advice and paid no attention when I corrected them. Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way, choking on their own schemes.

Proverbs 6:26,27  For a prostitute will bring you to poverty, but sleeping with another man’s wife will cost you your life. Can a man scoop a flame into his lap and not have his clothes catch on fire? Can he walk on hot coals and not blister his feet?

Proverbs 18:21  “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”

Proverbs 19:3 “People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord.”

Proverbs19:19 “A man of great wrath will suffer punishment; for if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.” Consequences are the best teacher

Proverbs 20:4 “Those too lazy to plow in the right season will have no food at the harvest.” (You can’t expect the blessings of a good marriage if you’ve been too lazy to do the work of maintenance and repair).

Proverbs 29:1 “He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing.”

Jeremiah 4:18  “Your own conduct and actions have brought this upon you. This is your punishment. How bitter it is. How it pierces to the heart.”

Galatians 6:7  “Do not be deceive, God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.”

Ephesians 5:11 “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”

Colossians 3:25  “But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites.”

2.  Safety and Sanity as a reason for separation: The second reason a spouse may decide separation is necessary because to continue living in the home with her destructive spouse is unsafe and taking a serious toll on her (and/or her children’s) physical, emotional, mental, financial, relational, and spiritual health.

God values the sanctity of marriage but not more than the safety and sanity of the individuals in it.

Below are some examples from Scripture that support safety and sanity goals in the body of Christ and in relationship with one another.

Safety:

1 Samuel 18-31 For example, in spite of God’s general instructions to submit to the laws of the land and to higher authorities, when David feared for his life because of King Saul’s jealous rages, God didn’t instruct David to “submit to the King and trust me to take care of you.” Instead, David fled, always respecting the position of King Saul, but not allowing himself to be abused by him.

Matthew 2:13-15 When Jesus was born and King Herod sought to exterminate all the Jewish babies two years old and younger, God told Joseph in a dream to flee to Egypt until it was safe to return.

Hebrews 11:31 When Rehab hid the Jewish spies, she lied to keep them safe and God commended her.

Luke 14:5 Jesus himself valued safety and said even the well-being of an ox was a higher value to God than legalistically keeping the Sabbath by not working.

Proverbs 27:12 teaches us, “The prudent see danger and take refuge.”

Safety is an important component of trust, especially in marriage. There can be no freedom or honest communication if someone feels afraid or is threatened, either physically and/or emotionally, or has a price to pay whenever they honestly share their thoughts and feelings.

Women (and sometimes men) fear taking measures to protect themselves because they’ve been taught it’s unbiblical or ungodly. They suffer endlessly with verbal battering, even physical abuse, believing that by doing so, they’re being godly martyrs.  Keeping the family together at all costs is seen as God’s highest value.

Psalm 12:6  “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”

Psalm 120:1,2  “I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer. Rescue me, O Lord, from liars and from all deceitful people.”

Jeremiah 9:8  “Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceitfully; with his mouth each speaks peace to his neighbor but in his heart he plans an ambush for him.”

Sanity:

The scriptures are clear. People influence and impact us, both for good and for evil. When we live with an abusive, destructive, manipulative, deceitful person, it definitely takes its toll on our mental, spiritual, emotional, physical and spiritual health. Often separation is not only good, it’s necessary for one’s emotional, physical and spiritual health.

Proverbs 2:12  “Wisdom will save you from evil people, from those whose words are twisted. These men turn from the right way to walk down dark paths, they take pleasure in doing wrong, and they enjoy the twisted ways of evil. Their actions are crooked and their ways are wrong.”

Proverbs 3:5,6,7  “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing for your flesh and refreshment to your bones.”

Proverbs 4:14,15  “Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. Avoid it, do not go on it, turn away from it and pass on it.”

Proverbs 4:23  “Keep your heart with all vigilance for from it flow the springs of life.”

Proverbs 12:4  “A worthy wife is a crown for her husband, but a disgraceful woman is like cancer in his bones.” (The same health consequences would be applicable to a wife’s bones when her husband is disgraceful).

Proverbs 12:5  “The plans of the godly are just; the advice of the wicked is treacherous.” (So how is a wife to submit to treacherous advice without serious harm to herself and her children?)

Proverbs 14:7  “Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge.”

Proverbs 14:11 “The house of the wicked will be destroyed…”

Proverbs 16: 27-29  “A worthless man plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire. A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends. A man of violence entices his neighbor and leads him in a way that is not good.”

Proverbs 22:10 “Drive out a scoffer and strife will go out and quarreling and abuse will cease.”

Proverbs 22:24-25  “Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man”

Proverbs 29:9  “If a wise man contends with a foolish man, whether the fool rages or laughs, there is no peace.”

Psalm 1:1  “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers.”

Psalm 26:4,5 “I do not sit with men of falsehood nor do I consort with hypocrites. I hate the assembly of evildoers and I will not sit with the wicked.”

Psalm 51:6 “Behold you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.”

Psalm 120: 6,7  “My soul has dwelt too long with one who hates peace. I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war.”

Psalm 123:3,4  “Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorn of those who are at ease with the contempt of the proud.”

Romans 16:13  Watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naïve.

1 Corinthians 15:33  “Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.”

2 Thessalonians 2:3  “Don’t let anyone deceive you.”

2 Peter 3:16  “…There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.”

2 Timothy 3:1-5  “For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self- control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”

2 Thessalonians 3:6  “Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.”

Titus 3:10  “As for the person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.”

When does reconciliation take place? A spouse may choose to stay separated from a destructive spouse when she sees no evidence of genuine change (in heart or in habit) despite the offender’s pleas to the contrary. John the Baptist said it best when he challenged the Pharisees “Prove by the way that you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God” (Luke 3:8).

Genesis 42-46  Joseph forgave his brothers before they ever came to Egypt seeking to buy bread. He was kind to them in meeting some of their needs for food, but he did not trust them nor did he reconcile with them until he tested their hearts to see if they had truly changed.

Proverbs 20:11 “Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure and whether it is right.”

1 John 1:6  If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not PRACTICE the truth. (Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:22)

1 John 1:8  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (Talk is cheap and deceiving)

1 John 2:3  Now by this we know that we know Him. If we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him, and does not keep His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

Jeremiah 7:4  Do not trust in deceptive words and say…If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the alien the fatherless or the widow and do not shed….THEN I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your foregathers….But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.

Jeremiah 9:4 “Let everyone beware of his neighbor and put no trust in any brother, for every brother is a deceiver and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer. Everyone deceives his neighbor, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves committing iniquity. Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit, they refuse to know me, declares the Lord”

Jeremiah 12:6 “For even your brothers and the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you; they are in full cry after you; do not believe them; though they speak friendly words to you.”

Psalm 55:19  “For my enemies refuse to change their ways, they do not fear God.”

Psalm 55:21  “His words are as smooth as butter, but in his heart is war. His words are as soothing as lotion, but underneath are daggers!”

Jeremiah 7  In numerous verse throughout this this chapter we are told not to trust in deceptive words.

94 Comments

  1. Brenda on May 13, 2015 at 7:33 am

    Amen, Leslie,

    I am so glad you are enjoying your time away. I think a couple of pictures should be posted when you get back!!

    This a great resource. I printed it out for review and perhaps memorizing for times when those that would say there is no reason for separation and/or divorce ever should show a little more compassion.

    Thank you,
    Brenda

    • Laura Di on May 13, 2015 at 8:42 am

      Amen, Leslie, and amen Brenda,

      I wish I had this scriptural compilation resource handy years ago. The verses compiled here are so valuable and when placed in one writing a astoundingly powerful tool. To know now the breathe of these wise Biblical teachings are handy for immediate reference has me covered with strong words of blessing. Though they were at my fingertips back when I was struggling with hard choices and facing challenging difficulties I didn’t receive the full impact of their powerful lessons. Years ago, if I had been taught these lessons of separation, safety and sanity I might not have dragged my feet in doubt of my own internal truths. It is impactful reading one verse after the other. I will copy and print this article out as a resource to help me reconcile any form of relational uncertainty I may face in the future and to share with anyone God points out as needing them.

      With that said, I thank God for this venue, the wisdom Leslie shares and the honesty of each faithful followers contribution. It has connected me to a network of caring, understanding brave warriors armed with the strength of Christ’s promises. I have been furnish with the armor of a fellowship of Jesus Christ that keeps me hopeful, vigilant and with God’s glorious grace safe.This great venue is a home, a source of support and guidance. I plan to keep coming home in hopes of holding onto awareness for avoiding past mistakes and building a brighter future based purely upon the word of God.

      In gratitude to all,God Bless,
      Laurie

  2. Robyn on May 13, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Could the reference for Psalm 12:6 belong to Psalm 12:5 instead? Thank you for such a comprehensive article!

  3. susen on May 13, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Hello to everyone~

    I have been reading the boards as I am able. Eye surgery this month limits what I can do. But I pray daily for everyone on this board.

    This list of scripture is invaluable. I imagine that most, if not all of us will print it out and post it in our hearts.

    Proverbs 4:23 “Keep your heart with all vigilance for from it flow the springs of life.” This is key to my well being. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 Giving my heart again and again to my abuser has thwarted that abundant life that Jesus wants for me.

    So why do I always go back? A childlike dream that miraculously I will have a mother who loves me–the lifelong expectation of my father to “make nice.” And later, the thought that living as a godly daughter would help save her soul. Ain’t happening.

    Someone wrote weeks ago (please forgive my lack of proper attribution) that we give our hearts away and then have to pay a dear price to purchase them back. It is our very lifeblood that is spilled in abusive relationships. I have decided that I am worth the “dear price” and that I am a fool to hang on to childlike dreams.

    All this being said, it is in God’s plan that my mother and I were placed in the same family. I have given our relationship to God. With the power to move mountains, He can move us from this impasse. In the meantime, or forever, whichever comes first, I am responsible for my responses and my heart won’t be in the bargain.

    Godspeed to each of you. susen

    • Leonie on May 14, 2015 at 4:03 am

      I am so glad you are here and give input on this board. We all benefit from you sharing your experiences. Thank you for your prayers for each of us. God is slowly bringing me to the light and revealing how bad my marriage has been and how completely deceived I have been. I am realizing that I need to get a lawyer after reading Robin’s posts because my husband is extremely deceitful and evil with me and the kids from my first marriage. He makes my first husband who was abusive & had a serious pornography addiction he began acting on, look like a cuddle toy. I will pray for your healing. Will you go back to teaching again? God is so good and I am so thankful he will wake us up if we ask him and listen to his voice.

      • susen on May 15, 2015 at 1:36 am

        Thank you, Leonie. I have missed actively participating, but I have been here in spirit.

        I retired from actively teaching seven years ago. But I do enjoy getting to teach vacation bible school each summer and I tutor occasionally. Running the family ranch keeps me active and engaged in all kinds of doings. I am humbled by the blessings of the time I got to spend learning with kids and now getting to live my life’s dream of being a rancher.

        I had to shake my head at your “cuddle toy” remark . . . my second husband made my first one look, while not good, at least a little less bad, at least on the surface! But the second one was a con artist who turned out to be a convicted felon, bipolar, out of control alcoholic who committed suicide after nine insane months of a marriage, so it’s not a character endorsement. But, after thinking about it tonight, the first one was evil, in methodically crushing my spirit in order to gain complete control, while the second one only took advantage of a free meal ticket.

        Doesn’t say much for my ability to choose well back then . . . either time!

        But what I finally made of both errors, was that God had lessons for me to learn–about independence–and I was going to keep getting the opportunity to learn until I got it.

        So I had fifteen years of figuring out how to grow up–until I realized one day that I was grown up–and that’s when God sent me my teammate. This September, it will be ten years.

        There are a lot of “shoulda, coulda, woulda’s” but now I know it was all a part of God’s plan for me. And I have learned to praise God for the blessing of the bad times–a big step forward for my faith–and the opportunity to once again reinforce the lesson that He is in charge.

        So, dear Leonie, you know the steps you need to take to begin to prepare for leaving. Three or four weeks back there was a great discussion on how to set things up financially and legally. You have already taken so many good, good steps toward getting emotional and familial support.

        Take time to breathe. My mantra through the bad times is “Be still. And know that I am God.”

        I continue to pray for your safety and the well-being of your family. susen

  4. Amy on May 13, 2015 at 10:31 am

    How I wish I’d had something like this to read over 20 years while remaining in an abusive marriage. I was afraid to leave and fellow Christians made sure I understood how God only valued marriages staying together. I felt trapped because I was sure I was not good enough in God’s eyes and if only I tried harder, etc, etc.

    How thankful I am the Lord chose to remove my abusive ex over 6 years ago and bring me back to Himself. I found the strength and courage through the Lord to take a stand against all that had been wrong in my marriage.
    The Lord redeemed me and today I am in a healthy marriage to a wonderful man the Lord placed in my life.

    If you are still struggling through an abusive/destructive marriage please take what Leslie has written and put it in your heart. Know you are worth so much more than being hurt, demeaned, devalued and kept hostage to abuse. I firmly believe what Leslie said, and have said it often here and on my blog, that God cares more about the people in the marriage than marriage itself. If one of His children is being destroyed by another He is not happy about that.
    Value yourself enough to step out of the destruction and allow God to lead you in the direction He wants for you.

    Blessings!

    • Eileen on May 14, 2015 at 11:23 pm

      I didnt value myself enough to see after almost 30 years that enough is enough! I am separated, not divorced. I feel I can rest and have peace finally being away from my husband who is an controlling and angry, abusive person. We have tried it all and no change of heart. He refuses to see his behavior is abusive and will not give up the behaviors. My health, job, finances and family have been deeply affected by this behavior. Thank you for this post, it is life saving and much needed! Thank you Leslie!

    • Eileen on May 14, 2015 at 11:24 pm

      Thank you Amy!

      • Amy on May 15, 2015 at 9:53 am

        Eileen,
        Abuse does indeed affect every aspect of our lives, especially out health and mental well-being. I’m glad you are at least separated so you can start to clearly see the destruction abuse causes.

        Once my ex left it was like I had such clarity suddenly in my life because I wasn’t dealing with the crazy-making of his abusive behaviors. I could finally hear God speak to me because there was peace and quiet in my life for once in 20 years.

        I pray you find the right direction for your life and God heals all your wounds in His perfect timing..

        Blessings!

  5. Anonymous on May 13, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Thank you for the list of scriptures, Leslie. My husband has been abusive to our dog and I. He is now very angry at me because the cops had to be called on two occasions. He now says that I had “a spirit of fear” both times and that God commands us not fear. Therefore, if I had just stayed and talked with him once he had calmed down everything would have been fine and his career would not be in jeopardy. Both times while scary (because of the unknown and the things he had said and done) I acted because it was what I needed to do to get the dog and I safe. Honestly, through the both times I felt more lead and strengthened than afraid. It’s helpful to know that God calls us to be wise and not just remain in a dangerous situation and is nice to have these scriptures to reaffirm that.

    • susen on May 15, 2015 at 12:20 am

      Dear Anonymous~

      Been there with the abuse of the family dog, Sandy.

      Wonder if there is someone you could loan your dog to until he will be safe with you? Your spouse is obviously hurting you through hurting your dog, as well as threatening you.

      I don’t believe in arguing scripture, especially with the devil. Such unmitigated hypocrisy when he is the one who caused the fear! Please get yourself to safety and prepare to leave. Then you can make a clearer decision whether to return or not. Otherwise, you are letting him choose when the powder keg will ignite next time.

      Prayers for discernment and safety, susen

  6. Loretta P on May 13, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Leslie, Thank you so very much for this article! I needed to read it. I’m considering separation for abuse and have been reluctant because I’m a Christian and want to follow God’s will. My husband is working on change in counseling but unless he deals with the core issues of adultery and abuse separation will be necessary and I needed the Biblical reasons to permit me to leave.

    • Susanne on May 14, 2015 at 10:26 am

      Loretta, I stayed married to my abusive husband for 13 years for the very same reasons. I made a covenant before God and man when I married him and believed I was to stay in my marriage for better or for worse. I did everything I knew to do to keep the marriage going, however, I could not do it by myself. We went to many counsellors, together and separately. It came to the point where he pushed me down while he was in a huge rage and I am still on pain patches almost 3 years later. That’s when I knew I had to leave before it was too late. I do believe that God plucked me out of that toxic marriage before something even more dangerous occurred. Keep seeking the Lord and He will direct you. You will know if and when it is time to leave. I am praying for a hedge of protection for you. Susanne

      • Loretta P on May 14, 2015 at 6:58 pm

        Thank you for the prayers Susanne! It’s a difficult walk trying to figure out what is truth and when they are lying. To stay or leave, not easy choices with long term consequences.

        • Amy on May 15, 2015 at 9:56 am

          Loretta,
          I pray for God’s will in your life to be made so clearly to you there is no doubt in your mind the right thing to do.
          There are consequences to either decision, but sometimes the worse of the two is staying in an abusive situation.
          Praying for you!

  7. Debra on May 13, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Leslie, I am immensely grateful for your faithfulness to women who read and follow your emails. I find them encouraging and a lifeline on some of the darkest of days (like today). I chose to not separate at this time, although it is an act of mercy and grace which I draw from the Lord. The repercussions of a separation is too great, as family members would never understand. So many thanks for supporting us (me) even on a vacation.

    • Amy on May 15, 2015 at 10:10 am

      Debra,
      That’s how I always felt about Leslie’s posts too — a lifeline which was given to me at just the moment I didn’t feel I could go on.

      I pray you find the clarity to know the right thing to do in your situation and to not make decisions based around anyone else. Seek God with all your heart asking Him to give you a clear mind, peace in your heart and the courage if necessary to stand against any destruction in your life.

      Praying for you dear sister and hoping today is a brighter day!

  8. Lonely wife on May 13, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    Another excellent piece, Leslie! This will help so many women who are considering separation!
    I hope you’re having a restful time in Italy..a beautiful country!

  9. Judy on May 13, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    I fully agree with the reasons for separation. What does a woman do when her husband still continues to be deceitful, lie and be irresponsible after separation and yet the church doesn’t see this as a valid reason for divorce since there is no adultery or “abandonment.” My husband has a history of financial secrets and irresponsibility, job losses, and lying. He keeps claiming to have changed and be following the Lord, yet he does not have long term change of behavior. Do you advocate remaining separated indefinitely or is there a point where one must file for divorce and move on.

    • Amy on May 15, 2015 at 10:07 am

      Judy,
      I once had a very wise elderly man tell me that my abusive ex who had walked out on his family had clearly ‘abandoned’ us, but that his not providing for us financially was definitely a form of abandonment too. In other words, there are many ways to ‘abandon’ a marriage and it doesn’t just mean physically leaving.

      As far as making a decision to divorce, that is something only you can decide with God’s direction. You will be hard pressed to find any church or Christian who truly believes it’s okay no matter what the circumstances.

      How long does one wait to divorce after a trial of separation? Only you truly know your husband and can tell if he is genuinely showing the fruits of the spirit. Pray daily for God to give you clarity and the strength to make the right decision for you, not based on what anyone else thinks or believes to be right.

      I will pray for you!.

      • Susanne on May 17, 2015 at 10:39 am

        Judy,

        I agree with Amy. As you pray, God will show you what to do, step by step. Everyone has their own “opinions” on what you should or should not do but it is your decision. I have been separated from my abusive husband for 3 years. I said I would never go for a divorce. Some family members and friends could not understand my decision but I would not let their opinions move me. This was what I truly believed God was asking of me and lo and behold, my ex filed for divorce last week! Amy, I am praying for you.I

  10. Brenda on May 14, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Anonymous,
    Perhaps your h should have thought about his career before he abused you and your pet. I’m proud of you for calling the police. You are very brave!!
    Brenda

    • Leonie on May 14, 2015 at 8:45 am

      Anonymous, I had to call police a few months ago on my husband who rages and sometimes gets violent and in my spirit I felt confirmation also that calling them was the right thing to do, yes, and empowering. My abusive husband has calmed down his rages for now so it out him on notice. I wish abusers weren’t so cruel to pets. Look to Jesus, if you call to him and seek for him he will come to you and awaken you to the truth.

  11. Brenda on May 14, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Judy,
    Your h has abandoned you. His physical location is in the home, but his heart is far from you or our Lord. Lying, being financially irresponsible, job losses that I would expect were his own doing, All of those things are abandonment. His fruit is not showing love for you or God.

    When “the church” say you don’t have enough reason to leave they are actually over stepping boundaries in an area that is between you and God. I found out through my divorce that if the church I attend doesn’t like it, there are others.

    I would suggest you read, Barbara Roberts book, “Not Under Bondage”. It opened my eyes to what the Bible says about divorce, which the church often does not see.

    Praying for you right now.

    Brenda

  12. Susanne on May 14, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Thank you so much Leslie for this great article. I am also going to print it out. God has given us various gifts and sometimes the church will not allow you to use them while you are going through a separation/divorce. Although my church leadership said they understood, I was definitely held back “because of my situation” and now that my husband is going for a divorce I have to wonder if I will ever be allowed to be in ministry. There are people in my church that have been previously divorced and are remarried…..they are now elders in the church. Wow, wonder if I would have to get married again in order to serve in ministry?! I really love my church and am not prepared to leave at this time, so I am thinking of presenting a copy of this article to them to read. Perhaps it will open their eyes to the biblical support for separation and/or divorce.

    Susanne

  13. Le on May 14, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Two years ago I separated from my spouse and moved all of my belongings to the empty upstairs apartment in our two family house. My children went downstairs with him at bedtime but for the most part they were with me during the day. I almost filed for divorce but gave him second chances when he pleaded and made empty promises while telling me he didn’t know what was wrong. He made many threats to instill fear in me to give in to sex and I found out I was pregnant just when I was ready to file for divorce. The lessons I learned was hard and my baby is one now. I must do what I have to do to protect my two older children from verbal and emotional abuse and myself as well. Years of staying to get myself healthier has prolonged my healing and moving forward. I worked on leaving for many years after I saw his dictatorship and parenting style so detrimental and finally when I was ready, I was met a twist and turn of direction by my pregnancy. I shocked to my core when all I want is to protect my children from abuse and couldn’t leave but ended up pregnant. The over 10 years of problems never got solved but had compounded with more trouble.

    I have only God’s strength to do what’s necessary to wake him up in his denial and entitlement. The last straw was seeing him making threats over and over again no matter how I tell him that the destructive pattern has to stop. His indifferent to my words and letters asking him to not treat me like a child went no where The only next step is action and making the decision to stand firm with God’s help to step back and give all the consequences to him. It is painful and hard when all you want is to show love. When there’s fear and intimidation, the only way is tough love for someone so domineering. It is hard to get out of the comfort zone but pretending and living a lie take a huge toll on all aspects of health. And that is a huge price to pay even if the stakes are high where the children are concerned. But I finally realized that the price isn’t high when our children’s sense of self are diminished by him by the way he talks and treats them. Being force to comply with him in his requests all these years has been traumatic. I’ve found that people just want to avoid you when you are having family problems. They are too uncomfortable and it’s okay. As long as I made the decision to do something better for my future and my children, and as long as I’m sure now to move on, I feel confident that there are people who are kind to offer understanding and some help. Please pray for me in the coming weeks as I work on taking the actions needed. I’m beyond grateful for this group and the help from Leslie. Everything I’ve learned from her has been the saving grace for me in gaining the courage to do the most difficult thing which is to move out when no one is supportive in my circle.

    • Leonie on May 14, 2015 at 11:50 am

      Yikes Le, it is just so hard, they have instilled so much fear that keeps us paralyzed & beaten down. Many of us have been there! I will pray for you, be bold & very angry about what he is doing to all of you. It is wicked and wrong and you can get out and get to safety for you & your children’s sake.

    • Debbie on May 14, 2015 at 12:19 pm

      My prayers are certainly with you Le. I can so relate to your comment ‘It is hard to get out of the comfort zone but pretending and living a lie take a huge toll on all aspects of health.’ Although my physical health is fine (so far), my emotional well-being bears a tremendous burden. I have wanted ‘out’ for some time after trying to reach out to my husband for many years with no success-he refuses to even acknowledge his abusive behavior, let alone go to counseling. Lately I feel like I’m stuck in cement. I don’t understand it. Maybe it is the ‘comfort’ of the familiar? I feel like a mere curtain of ’tissue paper’ is all that is holding me back from taking action. I could walk right thru it, yet I hesitate and stew and hesitate some more. I tend to distract myself with other things in my life, but always the bad marriage remains. I don’t have a large support network-maybe that is my fear? Being ‘alone’. Please pray for me- that God clearly guides me and I have the courage to do what I need to do to move on. It’s time.

      • susen on May 14, 2015 at 11:45 pm

        Debbie~
        Some weeks back there was a good discussion on what to do to get prepared, for example, getting credit cards in your name, putting cash aside for emergencies, maybe even talking to a lawyer. These steps do not have to lead to divorce, but you might feel more empowered to act if you have made some preparations, and the preparing will help you feel like you are taking some steps.

        I know the darkness of on my knees crying, praying repeatedly, “God give me strength. God give me strength.”

        He answers prayers.

        My prayer for you is strength, discernment, and peace. susen

        • Debbie on May 18, 2015 at 9:19 pm

          I have taken many steps already just very very slowly. I closed joint credit cards over three years ago because of his reckless spending and unwillingness to budget together. I opened my own bank account and have savings. I spoke to a lawyer a year ago. I have slowly been copying records. I am inching forward. I guess I need to trust myself and God more to get this done. Talking to an accountant or financial advisor is next on my list. Thank you Susen for making me look at myself and realize I have made a lot of forward progress actually.

    • susen on May 15, 2015 at 12:10 am

      Dear Le~

      You have my prayers! This is the most awesome group of women–the love and compassion here is simply amazing.

      My girls were middle school and high school age when I left their father. The care they both showed in choosing their husbands showed me that they had learned. They are both around forty now, and they have dug their heels in when necessary to have at least an equal voice in family health and well being. They have the respect of their husbands. Both girls also earned degrees and have experienced professional and financial success. These are lessons they took from my failures–but also my ultimate successes as I pioneered our life without their domineering, misguided, self-serving (and many other adjectives that I could note) father.

      Re: supportive circles: I found that those who were not supportive were the ones who were in crisis themselves but too afraid to act. Mostly, people asked me what took me so long to leave! Even my mother-in-law, with whom I was very close for twenty years, supported me up to the actual divorce. And twenty years later, she told me she understood. That was a precious gift to me. You will find support. Your strength will attract friends who are good for you,

      I hope that you can find strength for your decisions and hope for the future in my experience.

      Godspeed,
      susen

  14. Leonie on May 14, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Yikes, my husband pushes me a lot and I never called police for that. I always felt that he had to beat me black & blue or I needed to be badly injured for me to need to call police. I put up with a lot but know better now, Thanks for sharing, Susanne.

  15. Brenda on May 14, 2015 at 11:14 am

    There were many times that the xh would throw things at me or in my general direction. At the time I didn’t consider that physical abuse even when the glass broke and landed on me, but no blood. If I knew then what I know now, the police would have been called.

  16. Martha Gerber on May 14, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Hi Everyone! Just wanted to let you know Leslie is having a great time in Italy but is still reading all the comments. We have such a great community here!

    • Susanne on May 17, 2015 at 10:42 am

      Leslie,

      So good to hear you are enjoying your time in Italy. Praying for a hedge of protection for you and your family.

      Love and blessings,
      Susanne

  17. Brenda on May 14, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Le,
    Will be praying for you and your precious children. Strength and courage through Christ our Lord.
    Brenda

  18. Brenda on May 14, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Martha,

    What happened to no computer while on vacation? lol That must mean she still has a phone or other small device that she is cheating with.

    Brenda

  19. Val on May 14, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Leslie,

    I’m glad to hear you are having a wonderful time in Italy. Thank you so much for this bible study; especially, all the scriptural support. It came at the right point and has been a blessing. I have been struggling with considering separation as a way to no longer enable evil behavior and stand for what’s right as well as give myself the space to heal. It has validated what I have been considering. Thank you again for this and God bless you!

    Val

    • Martha Gerber on May 14, 2015 at 2:35 pm

      Thanks Val! She will be TONS of photos to share for sure. Thanks for being part of the community – Martha

    • susen on May 14, 2015 at 11:32 pm

      Val~when things get really tough, I reread Psalm 37. It begins, “Do not fret because of evil men . . . .”

      Prayers for peace and discernment,
      susen

  20. Debbie on May 14, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Psalm 120: 6,7 “My soul has dwelt too long with one who hates peace. I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war.”
    This scripture really jumped out at me. It fits my marriage to the tee. His idea of perfect peace would be me always agreeing with him; never asking for anything; never telling him the truth he doesn’t want to hear. And of course this is not realistic-I am my own person, not his appendage. So when I speak up and express myself there is often ‘war’.

  21. Sandra on May 14, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Dear Leslie: I hope you and your husband, and your sister and her husband have a wonderful visit in Europe. You certainly deserve it!

    Thank you for this article. It truly helps to enforce why I separated from my destructive spouse. I’m pleased to inform you and my dear Sisters in Christ on this blog that I was finally granted a divorce this past Tuesday; and the judge also granted my request to resume my birth name. What a blessed release from 57 years of bondage!

    Thank you and my dear “Sisters” for your kind empathy and support.
    Thou I walk in the midst of trouble, You preserve my life….. Psalm 138:7

    • susen on May 14, 2015 at 11:09 pm

      Sandra! I so remember the euphoria of walking from the courthouse, my “new” real name resounding in my ears. Birds sang. I couldn’t stop smiling. My heart had wings, and the whole world was mine.

      Enjoy! Fill yourself up with the best of blessings. Live in the light of the Lord.

      I am so happy for you. susen

      • k on May 15, 2015 at 8:45 am

        I’m struggling with the decision to take back my birth name but don’t want my children to feel like I’m not connected by name with them. Thoughts?

        • susen on May 15, 2015 at 9:47 am

          Dear k~

          On nametags at functions for the kids, I just wrote: “Sammy’s Mom” on the tag.

          Both kids were married within ten years of the divorce and they chose to take their husbands’ last names.

          Actions speak louder than words. I was and still am, “Mom.”

          That’s my two cents.

          I went from the nickname “Susie” to Susen, respelling my first name, but neither my mother nor my ex have honored my choices. susen

    • Amy on May 15, 2015 at 10:15 am

      Sandra,
      So glad to hear you have been released from years of bondage! Praise the Lord!
      When my divorce was final over 4 years ago after a 20 year abusive marriage I felt so free and ready to live life finally after all those years of oppression.

      May you live freely and courageously, dear sister!

    • Susanne on May 17, 2015 at 10:28 am

      Sandra,
      Praise the Lord! I signed our separation/divorce papers last week. It was not until I got out to my car that I took a deep breath and thanked the Lord, saying ” Thank You Lord, I can breath”. Something lifted and I feel so free now, truly free after battling and struggling through 3 years of back and forth with lawyers and 13 years of a very abusive marriage prior to that. Glory to God. I rejoice with you!
      Susanne

      • Susanne on May 17, 2015 at 10:45 am

        P.S. I went back to my maiden name after about 1 1/2 years of separation, when I could clearly see there was no attempt of repentance and reconciliation. That was my first step to freedom. It does take some time to change your name everywhere but it was so freeing!

        Love to all,
        Susanne

  22. Brenda on May 14, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Sandra,
    That is so good to hear. I am so glad that you are free. I took back my maiden name too. It was worth the time updating everything to be completely free.

    Brenda

  23. Brenda on May 15, 2015 at 9:16 am

    k,
    I didn’t take back my name until my kids were grown. I did remarry though while they were growing up, so it was changed anyways. It was more of a problem for teachers at parent teacher conferences than it was for my kids. They understood why. I don’t know how old your kids are, but it might not be as big an issue for them. We have a tendency to make more issues for ourselves than need be. What do you feel comfortable with?

    Brenda

  24. Dea on May 16, 2015 at 8:56 am

    I left my husband after four months of marraige and three separations.

    My husband was emtionallly abusive and neglectful of me emotionally and physically (of my health) he was also deceitful and very covert in his abuse.

    I moved states to marry him, leaving all my support behind. I also became the immediate mother of four step children.
    To add to that, I began to uncover neglect and abuse in his first marraige, which (I believe) made his wife very I’ll, she eventually died. Learning this about him I felt a huge amount of pressure, like a pressure cooker. Alone, no whee to go, nobody to turn to and four kids and knowing he harmed her and was harming me.

    I eventually became physically aggressive with him when he emotionally abused me, I don’t know what happed, I just popped from fear and pressure I think. I supprised myself.

    The problem with this is that it gave him material to use against me that distracted from his abuse. It seems my physically lashing out after him abusing me distracts now from the abuse he gave me cyclically and unrepentant.

    I actually wish a I had left sooner, so that it did not come to that for me, I was very sick and mentally unwell due to his abuse. I’ve struggled with guild from my actions and also know the strain I was under.

    I know I stayed too long because of my feeling for the children (whom I love) and trying to hold the marraige together and the home together for them, this was hard.

    Since I left he has not been repentent for his actions. I believe he has focused on mine. I have lost hope for reconciliation or change from him, but expected this.

    I’ve had terrible advice from pastors who do not understand covert abuse (despite my efforts to convey the issues) my husband got to one pastor and covertly won him over. I was told to focus on my own sin and that my husband loves me very much, and that I should reconcile.

    I am struggling with feeling guilt about my angry response to his neglect and abuse, I know I got pretty desperate and unwell, I was also trapped (no money, car, job, friends)

    Am I being to hard on myself for lashing out physically? He really had me trapped there (I’ve moved states back home now)

    I really want to own my behaviour and feel deeply grieved that I became abusice back to my abusice spouse.

    Thoughts ?

  25. Dea on May 16, 2015 at 8:58 am

    I left my husband after four months of marraige and three separations.

    My husband was emtionallly abusive and neglectful of me emotionally and physically (of my health) he was also deceitful and very covert in his abuse.

    I moved states to marry him, leaving all my support behind. I also became the immediate mother of four step children.
    To add to that, I began to uncover neglect and abuse in his first marraige, which (I believe) made his wife very I’ll, she eventually died. Learning this about him I felt a huge amount of pressure, like a pressure cooker. Alone, no whee to go, nobody to turn to and four kids and knowing he harmed her and was harming me.

    I eventually became physically aggressive with him when he emotionally abused me, I don’t know what happed, I just popped from fear and pressure I think. I supprised myself.

    The problem with this is that it gave him material to use against me that distracted from his abuse. It seems my physically lashing out after him abusing me distracts now from the abuse he gave me cyclically and unrepentant.

    I actually wish a I had left sooner, so that it did not come to that for me, I was very sick and mentally unwell due to his abuse. I’ve struggled with guilt from my actions and also know the strain I was under.

    I know I stayed too long because of my feeling for the children (whom I love) and trying to hold the marraige together and the home together for them, this was hard.

    Since I left he has not been repentent for his actions. I believe he has focused on mine. I have lost hope for reconciliation or change from him, but expected this.

    I’ve had terrible advice from pastors who do not understand covert abuse (despite my efforts to convey the issues) my husband got to one pastor and covertly won him over. I was told to focus on my own sin and that my husband loves me very much, and that I should reconcile.

    I am struggling with feeling guilt about my angry response to his neglect and abuse, I know I got pretty desperate and unwell, I was also trapped (no money, car, job, friends)

    Am I being to hard on myself for lashing out physically? He really had me trapped there (I’ve moved states back home now)

    I really want to own my behaviour and feel deeply grieved that I became abusice back to my abusice spouse.

    Thoughts ?

    • Listening Ear on May 17, 2015 at 7:25 am

      You seem to to be repentant of your understandable anger in a toxic situation. ‘Call upon the Lord to confess your failings as his mercy are new every morning and pray for the wisdom to respond appropriately when in such situations – using Leslie’s core strength model –

      When the Lord forgives us we can forgive ourselves and move on. i hope you find support system and I will pray for you

      • Dea on May 18, 2015 at 10:00 am

        I was so blessed by your reply, thank you for taking the time to encourage me….I live in Australia and it was just so good to,feel that someone heard me and took the time to reply and encourage me!

        Deeply appreciate it.

        Dea x

    • Susanne on May 17, 2015 at 10:57 am

      Dea,

      I also experienced some bad advice and very little support from my church as my ex somehow, once again seemed to win them over. One of the pastors had promised that they would ask him to go for inner healing and deliverance, however, after speaking with him, I was told that he was walking around with so much guilt from the past, they were going to start with (yet more) counselling for the two of us! We had already been to several counsellors, individually and separately. He needed help before our marriage could ever begin to survive! Then I was told that the church had always believed me. I believe every church leader needs to read Leslie’s article on Scripture Support for Separation From Destructive Spouse.

      I certainly can understand how, after years of abuse, a spouse could retaliate. One can only take so much of being beaten down. Thank God for your heart of repentance. When we truly repent of our sins, He forgives us and no longer holds us accountable. Let go of the past and walk in the freedom of Christ my dear sister. Praying that you will be totally set free to walk in His fullness.

      God bless you, Susanne

      • Dea on May 18, 2015 at 10:04 am

        Thanks for your reply Susanne. It was good to share my story and it helped me with the guilt I have felt. I’ve been up and down with it.

        I know the terrible pressure and strain I felt and also all the things I could have done better, the firmer boundaries I should have set etc.

        I will work on my CORE, this is a great concept and reading blogs and articles is really healing and has helped me decide to leave in a clear way.

        Thanks for your compassion and your reply.

        It was very very appreciated

  26. Linda on May 17, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Wish I knew about this blog a few years ago. I am just recently separated and still feel so stuck. The behavior has been going on a long time, no matter how hard I tried, I just ended up feeling totally defeated, lost myself and just felt paralyzed. I’m not feeling as though I am moving fast enough in breaking out of the fog, the hurt, the total lack of confidence that has left me so ruined.

    • Dea on May 18, 2015 at 9:57 am

      Hi Linda,

      I am so sorry to hear your pain. I do feel for you and I can relate.

      I have recently separated also. I don’t have parents and the journey has been lonely.

      I recently heard some great advice for when you find yourself stuck in a ditch flat on your back (so to speak) as life has knocked you down…..and all you can do is look up….it’s the 3B’s….it helped me, in my deepest pain.

      It was breath….just BREATH, and keep breathing ! Deeply!

      The next one was BELIEVE; which can be hard in the tough times, just believe (as scripture says “a bruised reed HE will not break)

      And the last one was BOUNCE BACK…

      You will bounce back amazing lady! Look how far you have come….

      I truely hope this helps you dear one…you were prayed for tonight !

    • Amy on May 18, 2015 at 9:57 am

      Linda,
      Give yourself time and patience to heal. Pray night and day, and read through the Psalms to find your worth in the Lord. See how powerfully strong He is and cling to the Rock.

      I was married to my abusive ex for 20 years and it’s been 6 years ago he walked out on me and 4 years ago our divorce was final.
      And I am STILL healing! Some days I cannot figure out why I haven’t just gotten over it yet. But twenty years was a long time to lose myself in the midst of abuse and I need to allow myself the time to heal.

      Continue to read Leslie’s blog and another good one is Hurt by Love by Cindy Burrell. If you haven’t already, find a good Christian counselor who has experience with abuse.

      I will pray for you!

  27. Brenda on May 18, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Linda,
    I understand completely. I have been through this more than once. : ( It takes time. It is like grieving the death of a loved one in a very real sense. Everyone grieves differently. Everyone wakes up to the reality of abuse differently. I woke up to the reality 3 years before leaving. At that time almost 2 decades had passed. During that 3 years I found this blog and ACFJ. I read Leslie’s, Barb Roberts, Boundaries and many others that were recommended reading, all the while preparing to leave.

    I would have liked to have known about these resources after my first marriage. Perhaps I wouldn’t have made the second mistake. Although they were very different, it really didn’t matter, the outcome was the same.

    I am very happily divorced. I feel like I am a very different person all together. I am not afraid of today. God is working on me. He will do the same for you, Linda. Prayers and Hugs. Brenda

  28. Linda on May 18, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Thank you all for your responses and prayers. It means so much to me, and your advice is so much appreciated and I intend to follow it. I thank God for a place like this where there are godly women willing to help others to stand, when they feel they cant. God bless you all 🙂

  29. Sandra on May 18, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Thank you dear Susen, Brenda & the rest of you dear “Sister” for your sweet blessings regarding my recent divorce. I can only say, “Why did I wait 57 years?!” I know I was fearful to leave while my two girls were growing up because my ex-h did support us and supply a decent home, and I didn’t think I could do so, even with child support, and didn’t want to resort to welfare. Then my church advised me to “keep praying for his salvation because we were married until death, so I could leave, but not remarry.” At that point, I still loved him, so kept forgiving and praying, not wanting to be single until one of us died. Well, I finally read Patricia Evans’ and Leslie’s books, and decided I needed to set a boundary that I’d no longer sleep with him until the abuse stopped. Well, as I’ve written before, it only got worse, until he finally left (although he kept begging to return, but never admitting wrong, only continuing to blame me). Of course, I was basking in the peace in freedom I enjoyed without him, and would never reconcile, and finally the blessed release by divorce!
    Dea, I also want to add here that I also have prayed about words of anger toward my ex-h’s abuse, even yelling the last day that he was “crazy, just like his mother.” He replied, “You’ll go to hell for saying that!” —
    My church is also against my divorce, and even though I wrote a blog about it on Facebook, only one of my church Sisters responded. I think I’ll print Leslie’s current article and pass it around for them to read.
    You are all such a blessing to my heart! I send my love and prayers, Sandra xo

  30. Brenda on May 18, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Sandra,
    The only one that you need to please is God. Church folks have no right to make themselves judge, jury and discerners of all things Bible. That is just not right. Let them tend to their own marriages and when one of their kids comes home and announces they have been abused, let’s see how long it takes them to change their minds about all of that. Perhaps introduce them to Barbara Roberts book, “Not Under Bondage.”

    As far as your H saying you would go to hell for any reason is putting himself on a very high place. He may want to rethink that.

    Brenda xo

  31. Caroline Abbott on May 19, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Awesome. I cannot thank you enough for this list of verses Leslie! I will be sharing these with my readers! Bless you! Caroline

  32. Hope on May 19, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    I’ve worked my way through Leslie’s Destructive Marriage book this past year. I remember picking up the book when it arrived and thinking that really summed it up ” destructive”, never would have thought, but taking a deep breath excepted it that moment. Page by page the same feeling, breathing deeply and crying all the way through. It has been a handbook, I have worked my way to the end recently, I don’t mean reading it, living it. I could only really grasp some parts after soaking up the acceptance of what was happening all these years and that it was real, and Leslie has experienced it looking in through many women’s lives. Satan isn’t mysterious like our Lord and Savior he is a liar through and through, this is his attempt to destroy destructively with entitlement, pride and selfishness at it’s core. Please pray I will not fall prey as well as my husband. I can now boldly discern sinful behaviors and have been lead to expose them, not the motive, but the behavior. We are entitled to live safely in our homes, that is Godly entitlement, and we should be proud to be Christian, Godly pride; we need to take care of ourselves and let others know, right now I need self care, not self service. These are fine lines and I’ve asked God to show me how, Amen. Now at the close of the book as well as possibly my marriage, do I separate. My husband is in grave denial and actually thinks I’m creating the problems with my response to his sinful behavior. I feel God’s provision and safety like never before. God has walked me through the book step by step; I could not comprehend where I am today in the first stages. When separation or divorce is on the horizon; He’ll carry me through. I am so tired of the pain myself and kids have consumed. I would love to be released, I want newness of spirit to stay and not have to be renewed daily, because of the poor choice I made twenty years ago(I ignored the warning signs, they were many. I believed God could fix him and I still believe. Only if he’d let Him, he won’t ). I am truly grateful for the soundness and truth that has been revealed in His time.

  33. birdie on May 20, 2015 at 1:00 am

    Hi,

    I am doing research & have a question for those that posted to this blog. If you have the time & are comfortable answering the questions to provide better info & understanding…thank you.

    1) Was there “red flags” or warning signs before you married, if yes, why did you still marry?

    2) If you answered yes to #1 do you have children with the current/and or ex-spouse? With the problems why did you make the decision to have children?

    3) Did you chose a separation before divorce? Did you find help with your church (with separation) or with a counselor? Was the goal to reconcile?

    4 If you are still married…was the separation a good tool in helping to allow you both to stay in the marriage? If yes, how did it help?

    Thank you.
    Birdie

    • Hope on May 20, 2015 at 12:23 pm

      Birdie,

      I suggest you research on abuse elsewhere, this is a healing site. Abuse and it’s many heads cannot answer five questions in such a form. Usually abuse doesn’t raise it’s hand and say hey I’m abuse and it’s happening to you. This is an agonizing experience that goes undetected for years, maybe that answers all your questions. Marriage and children are gifts from God and when that is forgotten there is abuse.

    • Leslie Vernick on May 20, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      Birdie, I appreciate your interest in these questions but this is not the forum for your survey. I was in Italy and could not post sooner.

  34. birdie on May 20, 2015 at 1:15 am

    Forgot one last question, when you & spouse decided to try a separation first was your family/friends supportive, faith community?

    Again thanks & blessings to you.
    Birdie

  35. Brenda on May 20, 2015 at 4:18 am

    Birdie,
    What is this research for?
    Brenda

  36. Brenda on May 20, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Hope,
    Good response to Birdie!!

    Brenda

    • Hope on May 21, 2015 at 1:50 pm

      Thank You Brenda for all your encouraging words here.

      Hope

  37. Leonie on May 23, 2015 at 12:15 am

    Ladies, I have news! I told my husband I wanted a divorce & was going to retain a lawyer on Tuesday morning. Then I got scared about what he would do to me when I returned home from work so I went to the police station to report the incidents of physical abuse that I had evidence for & then fled my home to stay with a friend in a different town with my small daughter! I recorded a video taped police statement with the domestic violence unit to be used in court on Wednesday. My friend was interviewed as a witness today and the constable just notified me that my abusive husband is going to be charged with 2 counts of assault.
    I hope to be able to return home when he is arrested, hopefully by Monday! There will be a protection order against him and he will not be allowed come near me, best of all I get to stay in my own home! Thank you all for your prayers, there is a lot yet to come but I did it & now I am free! The biggest things that pushed me were lots of prayer from lots of people, including you ladies, lots of great advice Thank you Robin, Brenda, Susen, Aleea & more people on this forum, watching an 1 hr & 50 min. incredible lecture by Lundy Bancroft “inside the minds of angry & controlling men”and that jolting, eye opening post by Valerie!!! And of course finding Leslie’s amazing counselling website & book & all of her insightful advice!!! Much love to you all & thank you for bearing with me through the agony!!!

    • Leslie Vernick on May 23, 2015 at 1:46 pm

      Brave, brave, girl. Let us know how it goes. We will keep you in our prayers.

    • Robin on May 23, 2015 at 6:58 pm

      Leonie, wow I’m so proud of you for finding the strength to stand up!!! I want to caution you, to keep your safety foremost important. Be careful who you could talk too that could relay your location to him. I was told the first two weeks is the most important to be safe. I was able to hide out after my husband was served P.O. And I was told he was driving by and asking everyone where I was- but he never found me because I had friends very much keeping me hidden. I will be prYing for you and your daughter and the freedom you now wAlk in! I am so so happy for you!!!!!!!! The best is yet to come!!!!!!!

  38. Brenda on May 23, 2015 at 6:19 am

    Leonie,
    I am glad for you. You did the right thing for you and your h. You’re not enabling him anymore and much needed consequences await him. I most of all am thankful for God giving you the courage, peace and safety you needed to go to the police One day at a time, Leonie. Sending your name to God and for his glory.

    • Robin on May 23, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      Amen!

  39. […] SOURCE:  Leslie Vernick […]

  40. […] Spouse” by Leslie Vernick.  For a complete list of the verses, go to Leslie’s original blog. Here is a […]

  41. Melissa on October 13, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    Leslie,
    I am so grateful for this extensive list of scripture. When debating about whether I had made the right choice to separate from my abusive husband, I was so heartened to read your thoughts and the accompanying scriptures that said my safety and sanity were important to God. I feel like the church (or members of the church) often put the institution of marriage above the individual in the marriage. So “marriage at all costs”. This thinking kept me in an abusive torture chamber for many years, but I am now thankful to be separated from an unrepentant abuser.

    Again, I am grateful for your boldness and dedication to the truth and scripture.

    Blessings,
    Melissa

  42. Violencia Domestica – My Blog on February 11, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    […] voy a tocar el tema para traer mas luz a esta situación. Por lo pronto te voy a dejar este link que trata de este mismo asunto. *Desafortunadamente este link solo esta en […]

  43. Sasha Cohen on April 25, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    god bless to you and this lovely list to help through the hard times. I have been struggling with personal issues for 10 years and have found reaching out online to seek the advice of others has helped me through the good and bad time. I have always had relationship issues and have started to follow the advice of Dr. Robi Ludwig. I saw her on a tv show once and I really appreciated her take on current psychological issues. I have been following her twitter for updates and advice https://twitter.com/drrobiludwig?lang=en I also pray to my lord savior to guide me through these times. I will keep this list close to my heart.

  44. […] The second reason separation may be necessary is to send a very clear message to a spouse that his (or her) patterns of behavior in the marriage are grossly unbiblical and damaging to you and your children. Separation is done after numerous attempts to talk about “what’s wrong” has been discounted, minimized, or ignored and you can’t continue to live together as if his behavior and attitudes are acceptable. Separation can be a means to wake your spouse up to the destructiveness and sinfulness of his own ways. For more information on reasons for separation and the Biblical support behind it, click here. […]

  45. Rebecca on December 24, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    What do you do when your husband is an angry, emotionally abusive narcissist? He moved out 5 months ago and threatens to divorce me, but then again, he has threatened that for years. I have been blamed for all the problems, but I promise you I have done nothing but try. He is unable to sit down and talk without dwelling on the past and blaming me for everything. He hasn’t tried to do anything to save the marriage including getting counseling, like he said he would. Its like he thinks he is punishing me if he doesn’t. I love him and would love to save the marriage, but I AM SCARED that it will be more of the same brow beating if he ever comes back and I do not want to go through that ever again. He came around a few times but to date, he has not tried to see me outside the house or called for more than just a couple of minutes. We have not had relations in a year. I didn’t know what to do until a friend of my told me about Dr, Ifa, That he have been a great man and he help her save her marriage and with all hope lost I have no choice but to give my life a try, I so much love my husband and I was ready to do whatever it take to make sure we live happily forever, I’m so happy sharing my story with the world because there are lot of people who really need help in there home, If anyone at there having relationship break down I will advice you to contact Dr Ifa (drifatomilolaspiritualtmple @ gmail . com and your story will never remain the same, Thank you sir I will forever be grateful.

  46. B.K. Ward on February 6, 2020 at 6:02 am

    Thank you for this enlightening information on what scripture has to say about this topic. The Holy Spirit led me to most of the above mentioned scriptures but I felt like most Christians do not share the same view. Most believe its marriage above all else, making me feel at times like I’m going coo coo and questioning my sanity severely at times.
    I am relieved to have finally read this Holy Spirit inspired piece of writing after all these years.
    I enormously appreciate this article and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  47. James on April 4, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    I’m dealing with it from the other side. My wife and I used to be so close and on the same page spiritually. But she turned aside and started to just add sin to sin, twisting the truth to blatant deceit, until she abandoned me. She just wants to live her own life now apart from me but still be married. It has destroyed our life and marriage, and to me it has been worse than if she had just died in a car accident. It’s a continual living hell. Our covenant doesn’t mean anything to her, her covenant with God at baptism doesn’t seem to mean anything to her. God’s word is ignored by her. I can’t speak to her as a Christian. I know that the Bible gives release for an unbelieving spouse who leaves, but I’m still trying to save our marriage and her. I’m the only one on earth who intercedes for her, who prays that her faith won’t fail, that she’ll turn back before it’s too late, for her and our marriage. I can forgive because I see how Christ forgave me, but just like Christ expects me to respond and love a transformed life, there has to be a turning around in her heart and mind. In this day and age people can just treat others anyway they want and do whatever they want with seemingly no consequences. There are spiritual consequences though. I’m trying to hang on, I’m trying to love, to pull her back, but it would take God’s intervention. I can’t wait forever, I’ve almost stumbled so many times from this. I don’t want my own heart to be ruined.

    • T.L. on May 16, 2020 at 1:41 pm

      Have you gotten any feedback on your situation? Mine has some similarities.

    • Trish on June 4, 2021 at 6:15 pm

      Dear Brother:
      I suggest you consider the ways you have treated her and whether or not you have created a safe and loving environment for her.
      We often see things from our own perspective and are blind to those harms we have done to others. We can be blind to obvious issues that may be at the root of this division- and it’s not necessarily her sin.
      The fact she still wants to be married to you is a sign she does respect marriage and is probably praying and interceding on your behalf for your spirit!
      Do you have Christian fellowship with another brother you can trust to be a safe sounding board-in confidence- enough to ask him what he thinks and will pray for your marriage.
      In situations like these, we have tough things to face- mostly ourselves. Your letter makes it sound like you have no fault and that she has left for no good reason.
      I know it is very painful. Sometimes, separating for a season can be God’s Way of straightening out harmful issues and restore stronger than before.
      During your time without her there, it will be very helpful to quiet your spirit before the LORD and ask Him to reveal the condition of your heart to you, and to ask Him to make whatever changes you need to make, regardless of what she does. Then, you will have His Peace.

      “ Be still and know that I AM YHVH”
      Psalms 46:10

  48. Amands on July 15, 2020 at 7:50 pm

    Very encouraging and thoughtful

  49. Nichole on November 1, 2021 at 2:52 am

    I have been in an abusive marriage, both physically and emotionally. I can also see my faults and am actively working on changing those things. We have been separated for almost 7 years and there is no love anymore. It’s not safe to be around him. I wish there was a way to remarry. A husband would be such a blessing and I’m only in my 40s. I pray every day for a husband, as it’s so lonely and I need a helpmate. However, I don’t think God will allow me one biblically. Other people are a priority to me so I focus on them and our grown son. But my heart longs every minute of every day for a husband. Maybe God will somehow allow that.

    • Maria on July 14, 2022 at 9:47 am

      Hi Nichole, if your husband haven’t seek for reconciliation and showed a genuine change for the last 7 years , then i think anybody can deduct he committed adultery , and if he did you free to remarry

Leave a Comment





Read More

How Do I Handle My Husband’s Defensiveness?

Good morning friends, This is my 150th weekly blog. I can’t believe I’ve been writing these for three years. To celebrate you, I am going to give the first five (5) people who respond to this blog, a free copy of your choice of any book, CD or DVD in my current inventory. I want…

Read More...

How Do I Stop Believing Lies And Learn To Walk In The Truth?

Morning friends, I hope you had a restful Labor Day weekend. Fall is soon to be upon us and many of you are busy, busy, busy. But are you intentional in your busyness? Are you doing what is important for LIFE or are you merely busy? Today I just reread the article I wrote for…

Read More...

Help. I Can’t Let Go. I Still Love Him.

Morning friends, I flew down to Florida on Sunday for some needed sunshine. I get gloomy without enough sun and although it’s been warm for about a month in Pennsylvania it’s been foggy and cloudy. Unfortunately the sunshine left here for more clouds and wind but I am thankful that I’m not in the 5-degree…

Read More...

Ask Your Question

Have a blog question you'd like to submit?