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What's New:

  • I will be posting several small teaching videos this week on my Professional FB Page. Please check them out and share them with your friends!

  • Save the Date For May 22! I will be doing a brand new Webinar, helping you to discern the difference between a difficult marriage, a disappointing marriage, and a destructive marriage, and when that line is crossed.

How Healthy is Your Marriage?

By Leslie Vernick

Marriage isn’t just a legal contract, it is a living dynamic relationship. Sadly, many marriages, even among Christians are not doing so well. As a Christian counselor and coach I’ve seen hundreds if not thousands of couples over the past 45 years who seek counseling to deal with their marital distress.

Sometimes when you’re in the fog of the problem, it’s difficult to tell the difference whether you are in a difficult marriage, a disappointing marriage and a destructive marriage.

To help you figure that out, I’ve listed 16 traits of a healthy marriage. Answer the questions to see whether your marriage is relatively healthy, even if it is going through a season of disappointing or difficult. First answer the questions about your spouse. Then answer them again, but ask yourself if you do these things for your spouse.

1. My spouse shows care and concern for me and my needs. Yes No

2. My spouse has my best interest in mind. Yes No

3. My spouse asks my opinion on things. Yes No

4. My spouse trusts me. Yes No

5. My spouse works with me as a partner to parent our children. Yes No

6. My spouse is willing to get help for our marriage problems. Yes No

7. My spouse takes responsibility and apologizes when he or she is wrong. Yes No

8. My spouse asks me how I feel our marriage is going. Yes No

9. My spouse is considerate of my feelings. Yes No

10. When we have a problem, my spouse is willing to talk about it. Yes No

11. My spouse uses the Bible to correct his or her own life. Yes No

12. My spouse listens to advice from wise people. Yes No

13. My spouse allows me to be myself. Yes No

14. My spouse allows me to make my own decisions. Yes No

15. My spouse allows me to disagree. Yes No

16. My spouse is a good steward of our finances. Yes No

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, your marriage is relatively healthy, even if you’re having some conflict or difficulties. One or two “no” answers indicate where there are weak areas in your marriage. More than three “no” answers indicate an unhealthy marriage. More than five “no”s point toward a destructive relationship.


The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope

by Leslie Vernick

For any woman caught in an emotionally destructive marriage, licensed clinical social worker, relationship coach, and marriage counselor Leslie Vernick offers a personalized path forward. Based on decades of experience, her intensely practical, biblical advice will show you how to establish boundaries and break free from emotional abuse today. Learn to:

  • Indentify damaging behaviors
  • Gain the skills to respond wisely
  • Utilize tools that promote healthy change
  • Stay safe
  • Understand when, why, and even how to leave
  • Recognize that God sees and hates what is happening to you

Trying harder to be a perfect fantasy wife won’t help fix what’s wrong with your marriage. Now initiate some changes that can.

Two winners will be selected in our next newsletter.

If you would like to enter to win, you can click here to provide name and email address.

The winners of “Self-Esteem: Looking Up Instead of Looking Inside” by Leslie Vernick are Adriane A. and Christine I.

How Do I Let Go Of a Dead Marriage?

By Leslie Vernick

Question: Now that I recognize my emotionally destructive marriage, we have separated. He has already quit counseling; this is our 7th marriage counselor.

He denies any abuse and can’t handle that I see him this way. I have been in recovery for several years. I don’t see any remorse or reconciliation. He wants to split everything and get his own place. I guess I need to take the next step and get an attorney.

Any suggestions on how to do this peacefully and how do I let go after 33 years?

Answer: Your husband has made it clear to you that he doesn’t want to be married anymore. He emotionally exited your marriage (or never really entered) but it’s obviously a dead relationship. Now he wants to make it official and legal.

He’s offered to split everything 50/50 and if that’s true and he sticks with that agreement, what are your fears? What things might make it adversarial?

You’re correct. You definitely do need a good lawyer. Start there, and prepare for some conflict. But the harder part of your question is how do I let go of a 33-year marriage that’s dead? It’s painful to face the reality of death. If your husband physically died, you would have to let him go by moving through the grieving process. You wouldn’t cling to his corpse hoping to find signs of life. You’d have to come to accept it.

You don’t have to face his physical death but you do have to grieve the death of your marriage.

Here is What People are Saying About Leslie's Conquer Support Group

Conquer helped me turn my relationship troubles into a training from the Lord.

When the true condition of my marriage became apparent fear overwhelmed me. Reality set in. What I saw was not God pleasing and the dynamic between my husband and myself was chipping away at my emotional and physical health. If I couldn’t make sense of what was happening in this relationship could anyone else? Would anyone else understand? How was I going to fix this? And of course, he had all the work to do or so I thought.

The Lord was faithful. Leslie Vernick’s book “The Emotionally Destructive Marriage” was placed before me. Reading this great resource spurred me on to join Conquer.

Now Conquer is equipping me with excellent teaching and practical tools. I am focused on working my side of the street, growing into the person God designed me to be – whether or not anyone else changes – and when troubles do arise in any of my relationships I can respond kindly, with wisdom and truth. My emotions and thoughts aren’t in the driver seat either. Now I can consider these and determine my own path instead of being derailed.

My new mindset hasn’t come easily. I have to practice what I learned and am still growing. But I have gone from helpless and distraught to knowing that there is hope for me.



Leslie wants to help you grow in your personal and relational effectiveness. Please submit your questions by clicking here.

Then, visit Leslie's Blog as she posts her responses to one question per week.

Note: Due to the volume of questions that Leslie receives, she is unable to respond to every question.


Leslie Vernick PO Box 5312 Sun City West, Arizona 85376 United States