Biblical Grounds for Divorce | Is Adultery the Only Biblical Reason?

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In Christian circles, women are often made to feel like regardless of their situation, divorce is not an option. Today I want to take a look at Biblical grounds for divorce and really see what the Bible has to say on the matter.

Biblical Grounds for Divorce | What does the Bible Say? @ AVirtuousWoman.org

At the young age of 21, I was a divorced mother of three small children.

Two years later I married my husband, Mykal, who had also been divorced. After we had been married for three years and I was pregnant with my fifth child, a “well meaning Christian” told my husband that we were committing adultery and that we both needed to go back to our first spouses.

Sounds crazy, right?

Well, I thought so anyway. I mean, who was she to say I should have never left my ex-husband? Really, did she know any of the circumstances?

My first marriage was very, very difficult. I generally don’t talk about it much because I do have children from that marriage. However, there were a lot of reasons I called my mom that day and asked her if I could come home.

Making that call was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I had a lot of pride and admitting that things were bad, that I needed help, that I had made a huge mistake was hard.

I believe with all of my heart that God gave me the courage to leave a really bad situation.

I was a broken, broken young woman desperate to be loved, cared for, and cherished. I can’t describe the depth of pain and despair I found myself in at that time in my life.

So, today I want to look at what I know is a sensitive subject and could be controversial. Is divorce ever okay? 

Biblical Grounds for Divorce

The reality is that divorce is painful for all those involved. Divorce has long term consequences and ramifications. God hates divorce {Malachi 2:16} and with good reason – it was never in His plan that people would hurt and manipulate each other.

Ideally, divorce would never happen. Husbands and wives would always work together, always respect each other, and never hurt or harm their spouse.

Unfortunately, we live in a sin sick world and there are men and women who are in marriages where vows are broken on a consistent if not daily basis.

When a couple gets married, they make a covenant with another person and vow before God to love, honor, and cherish – for better or worse.

Vow – n. a solemn promise, pledge, or personal commitment

Within those vows there is an assumption that each person will be treated with respect and treated with kindness and grace. What happens when a husband begins to assault his wife with punches or lashes out verbally calling her names and belittling her on a regular basis? Has he broken those vows to love and cherish? Absolutely.

{Women can be just as guilty as men, but for the purposes of this article I’ll be discussing this from a wife’s standpoint.}

  • What if a man spends every night sitting in a dark room in front of his computer looking at pornography and never looks twice at his wife or has a kind word to say to her?
  • What if a husband is extremely controlling and blows up every time his wife “disobeys” or simply makes a mistake?
  • What if a husband is so controlling that he won’t let her lock the bathroom door, check the mail, have any money, or drive the car?
  • What if a husband calls his wife names, belittles her in front of the children, yells at her for no reason, and emotionally abuses her for years?
  • What if a husband treats his wife with disdain during the day and expects her to be his sex kitten at night?
  • What if a husband never pays the bills or never pays them on time leaving his wife and children without electricity or water on a regular basis? What if he neglects to take care of his family?
  • What if he pins her down until she screams or whispers hateful words in her ear over and over again until she feels like dying?
  • What if a husband has an emotional affair at the office but never takes the woman to bed?  What if he does take her to bed?

Does God expect a wife to endure until the end no matter how much it hurts? 

I’ve had almost all of those things happen to me. I can’t say I was a perfect wife. I was young and emotionally unprepared for marriage. But when I finally made the decision to leave I knew that if I didn’t leave I would never be whole. I thought about suicide a lot.

For a “well meaning Christian” to judge any woman and say she should stay in a miserable marriage without considering her personal circumstances is unfair.

I can’t imagine how different my life would have been had I stayed.

I remarried a man who was broken, who needed healing, but who loves the Lord and loves his family with all of his heart. I married a good man who loves me. God has richly blessed my life after my divorce. I am so thankful my three children from my first marriage have a step-father who loves them and who takes care of them and who teaches them about God.

Is adultery the only Biblical reason for divorce?

You would hear most Christians adamantly agree that adultery is the only grounds for divorce sanctioned by God and that any other reason for divorce is sinful. But is that what the Bible actually says?

Does God not care for the woman beaten with fists every night? Does God not care for the woman who listens to hate spewing her way everyday? Does He care more about sex and the sexual needs of a husband than he does for the heart of the wife? For the woman who is emotionally abused or physically abused, telling her that she is never to deny her husband of his sexual pleasure is heartless.

Deuteronomy 24:1,2 says, “When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife.” KJV

Let’s look at the New Living Translation of the same verses: “Suppose a man marries a woman but she does not please him. Having discovered something wrong with her, he writes her a letter of divorce, hands it to her, and sends her away from his house. When she leaves his house, she is free to marry another man.”

So, for a divorce to be lawful in God’s sight, there must be a written document stating the divorce has taken place. In other words, the divorce needs to be legal if the man or woman wants to remarry otherwise they would be committing adultery in their new marriage because they weren’t really divorced.

But note that with a legal divorce document in hand, the divorcee was free to remarry.

Deuteronomy doesn’t even say that the reason for divorce has to be adultery. A husband can divorce his wife if he found something unpleasing or wrong with her. Maybe they really don’t get along well. Whatever. The point being, he could divorce her because he wanted to.

But what about Matthew 5:31,32?

I’m glad you asked. Let’s take a look at the King James Version:

“It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

New International Version:

“It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

Obviously, this sounds like adultery is the only Biblical reason for divorce. So, let’s take a look at the verse again, paying special attention to the words put away and divorce.

“It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

In the original Greek language, the words for put away and divorce are two different words.

put awayapolyō


However, when they translated the Greek into English, they used the words interchangeably. So, let’s look at the verse again:

“It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away [apolyo] his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: but I say to you that everyone who divorces [apolyo] his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced [apolyo] woman commits adultery.”

Notice that the Greek word in each instance is for put away which basically means “separate.” So, in other words, Jesus was saying that a man who “puts away” or separates from his wife without a legal written divorce makes her commit adultery because if she remarries someone else she’s still legally married to her first husband.

The punishment for adultery was not divorce but death. A spouse caught in adultery was stoned to death.

God Divorced Israel

Did you know that God divorced Israel? Divorce in and of itself is not sin. God followed the law in Deuteronomy 24 by giving Israel a legal written certificate of divorce.

“I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery.” Jeremiah 3:8 NIV.

Israel committed spiritual adultery. Rather than worshiping the One True God, they gave their hearts over to other idols. Just like Jesus said, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:28 NIV.

You can commit adultery in your marriage without ever touching another man. It begins in the heart.

There is no doubt that many people end up in divorce for selfish reasons. We live in a world where “self” is number one. But there are times when a marriage will never heal because in order for a marriage to heal and be fruitful both the husband and the wife must desire to seek out God and change themselves. I believe with all of my heart that God can work miracles and divorce should be seen as a last resort measure.

Many, many women suffer in marriages where the husband has no desire to be a good provider or a loving husband.

If you are a woman who is suffering in a difficult marriage, I want you to know that God loves you very much. He knows your pain and he knows your heartache. I hope and pray that you and your husband can find healing from the One who is able to heal all broken hearts.

Enabling Sin

When the man you are married to hurts you – whether it be verbally, emotionally, or even by having an affair – it’s perfectly acceptable and even right to forgive. Every marriage requires hearts ready to forgive. And often.

But there is a difference in forgiving someone and allowing them to continue abusing your loving heart, your willingness to forgive, and your desire to believe that things will change. That he will change.

“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8 NASB.

If you are being physically or emotionally abused; if you are married to a compulsive liar; if you are married to a man who repeatedly commits adultery; if you are in a situation that feels desperate, I want you to know I’ve been there and I understand. Pray hard. Love as much as you can. But don’t feel like God will punish you if you feel it’s time to end your marriage.

God is a God of Mercy. His love is immeasurable. He can heal broken hearts after divorce and He can bless you abundantly despite your circumstances.

Help for  Marriages in Crisis

I mentioned before that divorce should be considered a last resort option. Before making a decision that will change the course of your life and impact your children, pray and ask God to help you reconcile your issues whether it be through counseling, reading a book, or learning to communicate better. If you are in a situation where any type of abuse is occurring, I urge you to seek help immediately from a trusted friend.

If you were blessed by this post, I’d really appreciate it if you’d help spread the word! You can use the share buttons below for your favorite social media! Thanks!

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  1. Thank you for this article. It spoke so much to my heart as I just recently divorced my abusive husband of 18 years. I've felt so much guilt because I've only been told that divorce is sinful. Thank you again, Kristen
    1. Kristen, similar situation for me, 18 years of emotional abuse. Recently a friend, who is also a pastor, showed me several verses from the New Testament where my husband has failed to live the marriage covenant (without involving any adultery verses) and explained that emotional abuse is still grounds for a Biblical divorce for the safety and mental well being of myself and my children. It was one of the most powerful conversations for me because up to that point I had only heard comments of guilt, or blame, or lack of trust in God on my part. God is a God of Love. I am with you on the journey.
      1. I wish you would share these verses. Struggling so hard with reasons beyond adultery...but bound to abusive and unhealthy marriage (33 years)
  2. Thank you so much for the affirmation and support to get out of an abusive situation. The church induced guilt for leaving a marriage is so hard, thank you for this positive Biblical perspective.
    1. thank you. thank you. thank you sooo much. i been separeted from my husband. we are about to be divorced. he cheated on me multiple times even since we wete dating. (yup i was so immature about that) after marriage he kept cheating had another woman pregnant same time as me pregnant with my second daughter. yet i forgave him. we try to fix it. but he did not want to do nothing with God or me. so he left to other state for "work" 2 months ago i found out again he cheated on me already had plans with the other woman. that moved to the same state he did coincidence i don't think so. again thanks for so much good bible rooted information. now i can sign those divorce papers happy. im tyerd of feeling less. God bless you.
  3. Thank you so much for this post. I'm sorry you were in this situation. I'm currently awaiting a divorce that my abusive husband actually filed for after I tried to get help. We've been waiting for it to go through for a year and a half, and we've been separated for 2 1/2 years. The children and I are doing much better, and I just can't believe sometimes what we went through for 12 years. Thankfully our church has been supportive and helpful to us, though they haven't come to the conclusion that abuse is a reason for divorce.
    1. God bless you, Emily! I'm glad you've found support at church. I'd love to help change the minds of Christians every where so that divorce does not come with such a stigma for suffering Christians.
      1. Hi Melissa, I really appreciate all you write! Thank you for following God's leading and sharing with all of us. Please check your links on this article. I think one of them has changed content since you originally wrote the article and now links to something you wouldn't support. Praying for you and your family!
    2. I left my husband because he started doing drugs again 11 days after we got married and have been in and out of jail for 4 years that we been married. I left I started a relationship before and we are still married. Its taking a long time because I cant find him to give him the papers. I feel like because of my actions I should go back to him. I dont feel like I will be accepted into heaven if i get a divorce and stay with this man who is treating me like a Queen. im lost and confused.
      1. Spend time with God every day, put him first even more than you may have been. He will lead you and guide you and never leave you. Don’t be afraid, James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
  4. THANK YOU. My abusive husband left me and our children 8 years ago. I have since remarried a wonderful man. I have heard over and over and over again how I'm adulterous, I've now made my husband adulterous, I've forfeited my right to God's blessings and purpose...etc. I've carried this for years! And then your post...thank you so much. So very much.
    1. Melissa I'm in marriage to my wife and dont see many post. I haven't been the best husband to my wife of now 14yrs. We separated about 6 months ago to her admitted to several affairs. I am back to reading bible and trying to be the Godly man I always should have been. I dont see us being able to reconcile marriage for now she doesnt want to hurt me any more. I dont believe in divorce but without her wanting to be in relationship how do I please God in being patience with failing and falling into own temptation.
    2. Stacie, for the people who say that you are adulterous, I would ask you one question: Did your abusive ex remain celebate after he left you? Many people forget that even if someone leaves for one reason, they often take up with someone else. So if that happend you have two grounds for divorce that most people will accept: abandonmet by an unbelieving spouse and adultery. That is usually enough to shut most people up.
  5. I was always raised that divorce was a sin but if someone had gotten a divorce before they were saved (or were forced to get one) and then became a Christian remarriage was absolutely 100% not allowed because they would be living in adultery. I have a friend in this position now who is a new believer and asked if she had to stay single for the rest of her life because her husband left her. Since you didn't touch much on that I was wondering what your thoughts to her would be? I don't want her to be lonely and I would also hate to tell her to go ahead and sin
    1. Hi Vanessa, you're friend is a new creation! The past is the past. It can't be changed. God doesn't dig our past up over and over again to remind us or punish us! That's Satan's work. According to Deuteronomy 24, if she is legally divorced, she is free to remarry. God does not keep us bound in misery, lonliness, or guilt. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
      1. I have stayed in a marriage with a man who became an alcoholic 4 years into our marriage. At first, it wasn't that bad, but now it is a different story. After years of his drunken ragea in front of the children, calling me names, belittling me, and numerous occasions of physical abuse (including in front of the children), I feel like you have given me a peace and have helped me decide this isn't the Godly life I want myself or my children to be a part of. Thank you for this, I cant explain what this means to me.
      2. Melissa, how would you compare your statement regarding Deuteronomy 24 with Christ's statements on divorce? You seem to be, in your comment, stating that divorce is no big deal. Can you clarify?
      3. Rick, I don't know where you got the idea that I feel like divorce is no big deal? I specifically state that divorce is not God's ideal. God would rather His people love one another and treat each other with respect. Jesus did not say that adultery is the only acceptable reason for divorce. It is important when studying the Bible to look at all the verses on a subject.
  6. Melissa, Thank you for writing this article.. Twenty years ago, I was a SAHM with two preschool aged children nn, praying to God for guidance. My husband was having an affair, one of his many. He had physically and emotionally abused me. The married couple that had been our maid of honor and best man at our wedding kept telling me to stay, go through marital counseling and work it out. I was stuck on the passage 'Wives, submit to your husband.' One evening, I went to church to pray, crying out to God. My Pastor's wife came in and sat with me. I didn't know she had been divorced. She showed me many of the passages you refer to. I made my decision to divorce. While waiting for it to be finalized, I prayed to find a Godly man, who would be a good parent to my children. God knows I am a bit impatient and sent me just that only 3 weeks later. Many in our small town had other opinions, but I knew he was the one. We married 8 months later and will celebrate our 22nd anniversary soon. My children are well rounded, college graduates. I still believe he is the man God sent.
  7. This is the best article I have ever read on this subject. It's wonderful! Other articles get very close and hold a ton of good information along this brave wavelength of truth ...but you have written it in a way that is perfectly succinct, clear, tender, courageous and beautiful. Thank you for taking the time to share your heart and journey. I was very encouraged, blessed and moved to tears. Divorce is the most painful thing I have ever gone through, even though necessary. The second most painful thing was feeling alone, discouraged, judged or "branded" in the Body of Christ in many ways. However, what you took the time to write is a beautiful interpretation of what I agree with and believe to be our Abba Father's TRUE heart on the matter. Thank you! Blessings! ~ Kirstin
  8. I just wanted to add what an encouragement it is that some of you have re-married to godly men who love you. That is so, so encouraging. I sure hope one day that God will give me that, because I am raising 7 children on my own, who I'm sure could use a good, godly father.
      1. This really touched me.. my husband is an alcoholic... I have tried so hard. But, he has to choose to not drink so much or the grandkids cannot come see us anymore... faced with this choice, he said he would not slow down. So it’s time to walk away...I have been praying and I always get the same answer, to end this. I need God. I need Salvation. I need help. Thank you for these words. I was looking at online divorces when I found this. Have. Blessed day.
  9. Truth and grace shared with such compassion here. I appreciate your affirmation of divorce as a last resort, while still offering gentle mercy and compassion toward women who are hurting in their marriages. I believe God will use your transparency here to bless many, many women!
  10. I separated from my first husband 16 years ago and married my wonderful second husband almost 12 years ago. I suffered through many people in church using God's word against me over and over. They forget that as wives of abusive/adulterous husband's, the whole bible still applies to us too, not just the selective few verses they've chosen for us. You have a very good list of passages in your post but there are some others to add. 1 Corinthians 7:10-16, "But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances". I believe that it's possible for a spouse to 'leave' the other but still live in the same house. They could choose to travel all the time for work, they could never be available emotionally for instance because they're always on the computer viewing pornography, etc. Another passage is 1 Corinthians 5. ' . . . you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.' Instead we are to, 'hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.' If we know a spouse who calls himself a brother (only God knows what is in their heart) is living in sexual sin and we just keep on letting them use us and keep up their sin without any consequences, we're actually committing sin ourselves. That's a very unloving thing to do. By standing up against their sin, they are forced to confront some of the consequences of their sin themselves. If we just keep on allowing it, we may be inadvertently 'loving' them right into hell. Marriage is a type of Christ and the church. Jesus would never be unfaithful to the church. He cannot because it would go against who He is. So when a husband is continuously unfaithful to his wife, it's blasphemy (Ephs 5:25-33). For a woman who is being abused or knows her husband is unfaithful, there is a biblical remedy in Matt. 18:15-20. This is for the marriage where the husband calls himself a believer. If he is not a believer, then I believe 1 Corinthians 7 that I quoted above would apply. I had so many people quote to me from Malachi 2, 'God hates divorce'. Each time I reminded them that they should read that whole passage, Malachi 2:11-16. It was the adulterous spouse who 'divorced' so he could get a younger model. I reminded people that it was my husband who did the 'divorce', not me. They really should have been talking to him. Some people in the church can be really hurtful when we need them the most, but God never leaves or forsakes us. He is good and kind and tenderhearted. I agree, Melissa, that we should not jump into divorce, but if we work at our marriage for years and our spouse never takes a step toward doing right, I believe we have lots of biblical backing for divorce as the last resort.
      1. My spouse had many affairs, he repented , join the church and said he gave his heart to Christ. This is yet the verbal passive aggressive man ever. Says nasty words , he tries to turn everything I say around and make it seem like I said the opposite. He is a psychologist. He works in a office not a hospital. He walks I the house at 4:30 am, 3:00am , 2:30 am etc.. Leaving out for work, so he say maybe at 8:00am and return the next morning at 4:30-5am. Says he is working? Needless to say we live under the same roof. I have been praying that god remove him from the house, I feel that he will not change, gets angry if you confront him or talk with him about anything. We have little or no conversation. Now my question is what am I suppose to do. Thank god the kids are older and attention college at home. I drive them back and forth. My daughter has narcolespy(a sleeping disorder) she cannot drive herself at this time. As far as marriage it was destroyed by his adultery many years ago, I have forgiven but Iam not able to feel for sexually. god is my source and I feel free nknowing the God has my back. Please pray my strength in The Lord.
  11. Thank you so much for this well-written post. Ten years ago this month, I was thrown to the hardwood floor by my then-husband, which herniated my back so severely I was partially paralyzed. This was the culmination of ten years of verbal, emotional, physical and sexual abuse. He was an unbeliever and demanded I choose between him and Jesus. I chose Jesus. I had emergency surgery on Feb 1. Before he left on Feb 9, for eight days he regularly abused me, even though I was recovering from major surgery. Now, I am very happily married (for 7 years) to my soul-mate, and we have my two boys from the previous "arrangement" [I cannot call it a marriage], his daughter from a previous marriage, and we have a beautiful 4 year old daughter together. God has richly blessed me. Since that first marriage was made through lust and a pregnancy out of wedlock, I have a hard time thinking God even approved of it. But no matter, it's in the past... It takes a lot of prayer, support and yes, counseling, to even attempt to get over such abuse in the past. I still, even with my husband now, have trust issues stemming from the abuse.
  12. Excellent article! My first husband was an abusive liar and had three affairs that I knew of(!) in the three short years we were married. Because he was in seminary to be a pastor, I tried to be the best wife I could be, hoping he would be kind and faithful. He decided he wanted out when I was pregnant with our daughter, even telling me I should abort her. That was the final straw for me and as much as I hurt from his rejection, I knew I was saving the life of a precious baby and my own well-being. Long story short, God gave me a wonderful, faithful, God-fearing husband only 13 months after the divorce was final. We have our daughter who he raised as his own, and we have a son also. God has given us 34 years together and blessed us beyond what I could have ever hoped for. Keep your eyes on Jesus. He loves you and will give you what you need - possibly more!
  13. Thank you so much for doing the Biblical, scholarly research for this topic. I cannot bear to share my story like others have, but I have also been divorced(after 6 children and 16 years of marriage) and remarried. I just got over another round of having to let my kids go for "holiday vistation" and this is a particularly difficult time of year - it hasn't really gotten any easier after nearly 9 years. The guilt, the condemnation...the difficulties whenever "that" New Testament portion comes up in our family reading schedule...the pain of no longer fitting in according to old labels I had applied to us - anyway, I can't even really form a cohesive thought about it all right now. I only want to thank you for this blog and for addressing this issue, and express gratitude for the man I have been remarried to for 8 years now. Like Terrie above, we have also been blessed with a 4-year old who is my light and joy! It is so easy to "stuff" my divorced status and live a joyful life, only to have it resurface at later times due to unsettled opinions and controversies. You have really helped, and I thank you so much. Maybe I can make more sense later, ha ha! May the LORD richly bless you for your courage.
    1. Oh, Christi, I wish I could give you a hug. It takes time to heal, but God is the Master Healer. If you haven't read my story of shame, I think it might be of help to you: http://avirtuouswoman.org/2014/11/09/when-you-feel-unlovable/ Also, you might want to read my Letting Go series: - http://avirtuouswoman.org/2014/04/12/embracing-imperfection-day-30/ - http://avirtuouswoman.org/2014/04/12/ive-been-set-free/ - http://avirtuouswoman.org/2014/04/13/letting-go-of-expectations/ God bless you!
      1. Thank you so much! I plan to get on this evening and do some serious reading through the links you provided. I appreciate you - and your virtual hug - and I am looking forward to the reading.
  14. Thank you for this article. I have not been with my husband now for 4 years. He was charged with two counts of uttering death threats and producing weapons. I left with my youngest daughter on the night before her 18 birthday and went to a woman's shelter. I have no interest right now in dating or being with another man because I am so afraid to get back into an abusive relationship. We were together for almost 25 years but the last 5 years of our marriage is when the abuse started. He said he never abused me because he never put his hands on me. He would tell me how easy it would be for him to kill him and how he would do it. Most people don't know to the extent of the way he would talk to me because I have never ever told anyone the whole story. When I left him I was a robot and still to this day if there is conflict or yelling, I shut down. I will be 45 years old this year and hoping to be able to put this all behind me.
    1. Abuse comes in many forms - not just hands on. He lied to you when he said he never abused you, and that was a form of abuse itself. He manipulated you into doing what he wanted. Control and power are forms of emotional abuse. Glad to hear you got out and hope you and your daughter continue to be healed.
  15. Thank you for this article. The Church needs to understand abuse and respond in ways that will protect targets of abuse rather than send them back and tell them to try harder and learn to appease, placate, and respect abusers so much that they will stop abusing. Abusers abuse because they are abusers, not because their targets have wronged them. Would you consider suggesting that people who think they might be targets of abuse call or visit http://www.thehotline.org/ to help them make a safety plan? Often trusted friends have no idea how to respond. If that friend has no training in advocating for targets of abuse, she might offer advice (as I was offered by well meaning trusted friends) that is not only not helpful, but dangerous. The hotline has trained advocates who don't pressure people, but help them make plans to stay safe. As you likely have readers around the world, here is a page with links to help readers who are outside the USA Thank you, Ellie
  16. I think divorce is a hot topic because of "rights" and how people focus on rights. Ultimately, God DOES hate divorce. Does he hate the woman who leaves her abusive husband? ABSOLUTELY NOT. But divorce is the exact opposite of his divine plan, an evidence of our brokenness, and also of an enemy who hates us and our God. I think we must be careful to avoid condemning anyone who seriously considers divorce and truly pour out compassion. There is frivolous divorce. We all know it. But we also know that divorce, even in difficult circumstances, is an excruciating process and it is not our mission or calling to point out anybody else's anything in self-righteousness. It is our calling to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Thank you for sharing your heart and God's Word here.
  17. Hello Melissa, Wow, what you went through was so awful, I am glad that you got out! I have two very dear friends that went through horrible, abusive marriages. I watched as these two sisters in Christ tried to hold up their end of the marriage. How they tried to love their husbands, be Godly wives, etc., pray for them for decades, forgive. They are both now separated, one is divorced. There comes a point where enabling the other person in their sin is not loving. Christians are so afraid to condone divorce, they do not always give other Christians good advice. Many churches do not have the wisdom when it comes to helping the abused wife. My one friend had to struggle with scripture for a long time before she realized she was free to leave. God has blessed her with a loving Christian man and she is finally thriving emotionally and spiritually. It was painful to watch her for so long, my heart ached for her. My mom, not a Christian, also stayed in a bad marriage for 13 yrs. She tried hard, but my dad refused to go to AA or deal with his anger issues. Once he tried to choke my mother to death. I lived with that, as a child, for 9 yrs. The day my mother finally packed us kids up and left was the happiest day of my life. I felt such a relief. I've heard people say that kids would rather have their parents together fighting, than have them separated, but not ME. That was not my experience. It was so stressful. It was scary to see my dad drunk and blow up and get crazy. Give me the divorced parent any day over that! Thanks for your blog post, so glad you are free!
  18. So...a little male perspective. My ex-wife and I were married in 2009, and she nearly immediately became a different person. Did not contribute to anything in the house, no intimacy (physical or emotional), bought frivolous things daily (savings spent, etc.), had hoarding tendencies, tried to isolate me from friends and turn me against family, so on and so forth. I tried taking her to counseling but she would barely talk. She wouldn't work on the assignments we were given by our counselor. She wouldn't talk to me when I would ask her point-blank why things were the way they were. It was rough. After a little over two years into the marriage I couldn't take it any more. I would drive home from work every day and contemplate running my car off a ravine and being done with it all. I haven't lived in that area for years now, but the place I thought about doing it is burned into my mind. This is obviously no way to live, so I started contemplating filing for divorce. I grew up in a very traditional Southern Baptist church, and although the church I was going to wasn't specifically Baptist, they held a lot of the same views, one of which is the only reason for divorce is unfaithfulness. This made the decision to get out that much harder. Once I filed, guys in my church tried to talk me out of it. They even had the audacity to tell me that what I was going through wasn't any different from what every couple dealt with; that if I was having problems with my wife it was because of my inadequacy as a leader in my household. That just added to the depression, despair, and confusion. Thankfully, I came across a lot of resources that challenged the traditional teachings on divorce. This article in particular: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/october/20.26.html It's almost 6 years later and I've remarried to an amazing woman who strives to be the best wife she can be, and I strive to be the best for her. I couldn't ask for a better wife. I know that I still deal with vestiges of that past relationship, the hurts, the struggles, the confusion, and depression, but my wife understands what I've been through and we're moving forward and working on helping each other to be better people. Anyway, that's my story. Thanks for posting this and letting people know that there IS hope and forgiveness. Nobody should feel pressured by their church to stay in a relationship that's going to destroy them. God forgives, and his mercies are new every morning.
  19. Thank you for writing this post. While I am blessed to be married to the man I am, I have friends whom I love that I wish could read this post. I really appreciate your openness and your use of scripture in this post. Thankful that God delivered you from where you were and brought you out of it.
  20. Thank you for having the courage to post this. I suffered 20+ yrs with a husband that was addicted to drugs/alcohol, worked only a total of 8 yrs of the 20+ (not consecutively) treated me as his slave - both during the day and night - and spoke badly OF me to everyone who would listen, not to mention the things that he would say to me. When I finally left him, after a short hiatus living with my son, where I was constantly terrified that he would show up causing problems for not only myself but my son and his family, I moved to help take care of a dear old friend, so that my estranged husband had no idea where to find me. It took me almost 3 yrs to finally get my divorce from this man, because he consistently avoided service and/or disappeared for months so that service could not be made. Once I'd settled in with my friend, he and I both attended a church sanctioned class entitled Divorce Care. Even that country wide class couldn't point out as clearly as you've done here, that God loves us and regardless, that adultery isn't involved you can be justified in divorcing due to other reasons. Thank you.
  21. I never seen all this on the biblical side of divorce, it is great to know all these things! Thanks for sharing!
  22. GIANT KUDOS to you for taking the time to write this. If only one woman is helped by your message, it was worth opening yourself up here. I too, was raised with "divorce is wrong" but like you, too immature to know what was really going on in my first marriage. 9 years of emotional and verbal assaults, controlling behavior, lies (he is a sociopath) and mental damage that we all live with daily... the kids were also subjected but in more subtle ways. If any of her words ring even slightly true, step back and GET HELP. Unfortunately families can be judgmental to women, so try to find an outside source of help. Hugs and thanks again for bringing this to light. The biblical verses were a blessing to read today. Wish I had know them many years ago... but most churches do NOT teach this.
  23. My abusive marriage of 21 years was legally severed 3 days ago. I have struggled with breaking a vow I made to this man before God. Your words are a balm of understanding. Thank you.
  24. Thank you for this post & the comments. I don't feel alone anymore!! I feel stuck in a very unhappy marriage. I emailed you more details in hopes of some advice. Thank you again!!
  25. Thank you so much for this article. I've had a rough past few months with my husband telling me he no longer loves me and no longer wants to be married to me, kicking me out of our home. I tried my hardest to bring him back to me, begging God to open my husband's heart to me again. It really hit me hard when I had gone to get more of my things and he had packed up all of my belongings, like he was so ready to extricate me from his life. It broke my heart. I have been blessed by my loving and supportive network of friends and family. They've helped me not to let go, but just to focus on myself. I have also gotten involved in my mother's new found church that I gladly call home. All this has shown me how strong I never new I was. I still love my husband and still pray that God fills him with His love, because thats what he needs most. I realized he didn't just fall out of love with me. He had something happen in his life and while I did my best to be there for him, he never opened up to me and communicated to me how he was feeling. He felt like less of a man, and not only fell out of love with me, but with life abd everything else. So until, or if ever, he wants to try for us again I have to be ok with the decision he's made for his sake and mine. It's really refreshing to read that my impending divorce does not make me a failure. Thank you.
  26. Thank you for this, and for sharing from your own story. John 8.15, 'I judge no-one' is one of the least-known and least-quoted phrases of Jesus. Certainly it's one of the least-taken-seriously by many so-called Christians. If Christ himself leaves judgement to God, why on earth do we seem to spend so much time and energy judging each other? I try to go to meet the spark of the divine already present in every person that I meet. So whatever the label they stick on themselves, there is something of God's spirit already there, His gift from before birth to every human creature. So if I encounter an atheist with an open heart, he or she can teach me something of God's love...
  27. Thank you for writing this. I left an emotionally and physically abusive marriage a little over two and a half years ago. My divorce has been final for two years now. While I was married, I came to a point so low that I felt less than human. It was by God's grace that I realized that I had hit bottom and that there was nowhere to go but up. I came to the realization that I deserved to be loved. I had walked away from my relationship with God before entering in to my marriage, so my disobedience was part of the cause to my suffering. Had I heeded God's leading, I never would have placed myself in that harmful relationship... but God. When I came to the decision that I needed to file for divorce, I opened up to my family (from which I had isolated myself) about the situation I was in. There is no way to explain how I was able to walk out of the marriage with such little difficulty except that God was placing people in my path to give me a safe place to live and the means necessary to secure a lawyer who could help me. I thank God now that he helped me to find a way out of such a destructive relationship. I still hadn't completely reconciled with God after leaving my marriage, but thankfully, my path lead in that direction. About six months after my divorce was final, I was led in to a time of seeming isolation. I felt alone and cut off from the type of social life I thought I deserved. Little did I know that it was God's way of leading me back to an amazing church I had attended for a few months before I ever got married. I completely walked away from the church while married. After finally realizing that I needed to be plugged in to the body of Christ, I decided to once again check out the church I had attended earlier. Through that church, I have found meaningful connection with other believers. I've been getting back into the Word more now that I'm taking notes while listening to sermons. I'm a student at heart and love to study the hows and the whys of whatever I'm learning; I have a background in linguistics and I love to dig into the meaning behind what God's Word is saying. Lately, I have found a deeper level of fellowship with Jesus that I never had previously in my walk with Him. I guess it's due to the thankfulness I feel for his restoration and forgiveness; I don't deserve it at all, but He freely gives it to those who receive it.
  28. Thank you for your article and your sharing! It helped me a lot, I left my partner last year, I'm Christian and he is a Muslim. While I was together with him there were some of your points you mentioned and I was praying a lot and asked our Heavenly Father what I should do. The result was, I left him.. And I know it was the right step, I'm walking with God and I try to not be distracted like I've been while I was with my partner. I guess a lot of Christians think that you should stick with your partner until you return back to God, but there are circumstances, which are not in the will of God, so it's better to leave and stop and return back to the good God way! Thank you! Sarah
  29. Please seek God for direction in what you should do in your particular marriage situation. Using a difference of interpretation does not constitute validation for actions. God's word says repeatedly that He does not approve of divorce and that He is the only one who can break the marriage covenant. He granted a narrow window for divorce because of us and our hardened hearts. Because God knows all, sees all and can do all, including changes of heart, again I say seek His wisdom and direction for your particular situation. God is not pleased with those who twist His word for their benefit. Ask God for direction and He will answer.
  30. I am busy weighing my decision of getting out of an abusive marriage. It's physical but the verbal abuse is the worst! After these tantrums he throws I'm left broken for weeks but still have to be a sex slave. I've been with him for 16 years and stayed because I truly believed God was about family and that divorce was not an option even though I keep researching it. Thank you for this. I'm still lost in the decision making process feeling broken and hurting but I know that because of this article God will not turn His back on me.
  31. Thanks for this! A friend shared your blog post with me and it opened up my eyes. I feel so broken in every way.. I don't know how to deal with my situation. I'm pregnant with my 3rd due on our 6 year anniversary, he's mentally, emotionally, & verbally abusive and I truly want my marriage to work but knowing that you had 3 kids to your previous husband gives me hope. I want a man of God and someone to lead my children in the right direction and he is clearly not it. Thanks for sharing I really do appreciate it!
    1. Hi Angela, I'm so sorry you are going through this is emotionally trying time. I know how uncertain and scary it can be among other things. I pray for God's wisdom and guidance upon you in the days to come. God bless you!
      1. Thank you I appreciate that. I'm heading home today and absolutely terrified to go.... I'm so afraid of the damage he can do to me mentally and emotionally.
  32. Angela, if you are terrified of going home -- get the kids, and don't go home. No one should live in terror. Call a shelter, get a hotel room, call a friend for an overnight visit -- what ever it takes. Trust me, I wish I had done that years before I actually did. I would have saved me from continuing physical pain (my story is above) stemming from abuse. I also read where the convenience store QuikTrip (QT) are designated Safe Places -- people fleeing domestic violence or abuse can go there, tell someone they need a Safe Place, and they will hide you, call the police, and get you help.
    1. Terrie, thank you for sharing this with Angela. You said exactly what I wanted to say. I did not know that about Quick Trip stores so thank you for sharing that with us too. Angela, Terrie is right, you need to find a safe place to stay. If you need to, leave while your husband is not home and take your children with you. Please keep in touch and let me know how things are going for you. I'm praying for you.
      1. I did come home... things are fine I think it was more of an anxiety thing I listened to some podcasts on my way home that calmed me down, prayed A LOT. He throated to get a court order if I didnt come home. He's not physical just very verbal and manipulative. He twists everything around to be my fault and portrays his controlling behaviors onto me as if I do them. Its a bad situation but praying and focusing on getting the help I need to get out. thank you ladies!
      2. Angela, I'm glad to hear you are safe. Please take care of yourself! Read the book: Boundaries in Marriage - http://amzn.to/1HMiB8g - there is a section on controlling spouses. Please seek out help!
  33. After finding this article on Pinterest, I feel lkri finally have some clarity on the topic of divorce according to the bible. My husband and I have been together since we were 17 and unfortunately our relationship is at its end. It's been 10 years and we have 2 beautiful kids and it pains me to have to go through a divorce. Thank you very much for the black and white clarification that I so badly needed.
  34. I am crying after reading this. I have been staying in an abusive marriage for years thinking that God would not want me to get a divorce. This is the first time I've had anyone explain this to me. This article has taken a huge load of guilt off my shoulders. I wish I could have found this years ago.
  35. Melissa I came upon your website through Pinterest. What I was feeling that night was one of hopelessness and despair. I and my husband our both born again Christians. After about five years of marriage I found out my husband was cheating me. We spoke to the Bishop of our church who reprimanded my husband sharply, you see he was also a Deacon at our church. It took much prayer and soul searching to forgive him. I even separated from him for awhile. I did return to my marriage and we talked about the issue and even counseling. About two years into the reconciliation he began speaking to this lady again. I took it hard. Can you believe that I put up with it for a few more years. Thank came the verbal abuse constantly I wasn't the right woman. Oh it gets better. I left him and divorced him never remarried. Nine, yes nine years later because I believed I angered God by not obeying him we remarried. He said he'd' changed, I said I could change (change to what I wasn't sure). What a fool I was, nothing changed. Oh after a few years he and the lady stopped talking, but the verbal abuse continued. The most heartbreaking thing was the letter I found on his computer; asking her to marry him two months before he had asked me. You see she wanted live with him, but not marry him. Fast forward, off and on we have been together 35 years. Our universality just past and not a word. I love the Lord with all my heart and soul. And because I do that is why my contemplation of suicide would never do. This article made me cry a thousand tears. I was told to wait until he physically removes me from our house, truthfully I can't.
  36. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this article... I have only been married 4 years but my husband has become more abusive (verbal, emotional, sexual) as time has gone on. I love God and have felt so desperate with conflicting messages about a godly marriage (or divorce). I breathed a sigh of relief reading this article and the comments to know that I am not alone. Right now I want so badly for the marriage to work out but feel that my soul has been crushed with the weight of the issues between us and feeling like I am some how betraying God for thinking divorce is an option.
  37. I so needed this. I am 20 and currently going through a divorce from an emotionally and sexually abusive, adulterous man. I have prayed and prayed for the extent of our marriage (two years) begging God to change him, or me, or both. After a long battle, I finally asked him to leave (with the help and support of my wonderful parents). The hardest part was what people would think of me. It didn't bother me too badly how God felt, because I knew He would forgive me and love me, Just as He always has. Still, I waited. I waited for a spiritual release from my ex. I just recently got it. I just recently felt Holy Spirit peace about my decision. I am so grateful for women like you who are outspoken in their faith, and honest about their lives. Thank you for reminding me that I am not alone in this fight. Thank you for reminding me that I am not the only Christian woman walking through the valley.
  38. Thank you so much for this article. Because of my being raised in church and taught that divorce was wrong, I stayed 17 years in an emotionally abusive marrIage. I finally got the courage to leave and I believe that God has blessed me. Everything fell into place as if it was an affirmation from God that I did the right thing. I had married a man that was just like my father and I felt that if I stayed in this bad marriage my daughters would make the same mistake. I had to stop this generational curse. Although I believe that I did the right thing, my ex husband was also raised in church and has repeatedly told our daughters that I am going against the Bible and God's word. I just continue to tell our daughters that God is a forgiving God and if I did the wrong thing He will forgive me. It has been a very difficult time for my daughters and me, but God continues to show his love for me despite the hell we've been through. This article was a gift to me. Thank you so much for writing it!!!!
  39. Thank you so much for this! I have been at a cross roads with my marriage for months now. I believe it's time for a divorce. My husband is so much of what you described in this article and my heart cannot endure the pain any longer. The part where you said God knows brought me to tears. I pray every night for the strength and the courage to do what it is I have to do. File for divorce. He will never change and I know that now. My heart breaks for my children cause deep down I know they will never really know him after this. Which probably isn't a bad thing considering he is a selfish man with no empathy. Anyway I have worried about how the Lord would feel and this article helped me to understand that he doesn't want me to suffer and it's ok to get out of a bad marriage. Good will still love me regardless. Thank you again and I am happy for you for getting out of your bad marriage. Gives me hope. Take care.
  40. Dear Melissa, Thank you for this article and especially for the words. I have been divorced for an year now and have been through lot depression, guilt and condemnation. The main reason being I was on the wrong side, I committed adultery which I regret sincerely. My ex-husband abused me verbally and threatened too. Being in India, woman committing adultery is enormous enough for a big issue, he started behaving differently and always grew suspicious of every word and act I did. The more he didn't believe me I became so distant from him and started lying(because that's what he thought I would).Since he was employed abroad and I was in India, his suspicions grew worst.I felt that the trust is broken and anything that I try to restore would be waste. He finally came to India to take me home, but before that he had published all my wrongs to his family, who were waiting to judge me. I was in a situation of such a shame and guilt that I could not take anymore, so I resorted to divorce. I always had the guilt of committing adultery(which I repented and turned back from) and taking the decision of divorce. I went through a mental torture I couldn't explain and neverthless said the pain& shame I caused to my parents. I had suicidal thoughts always.I still sometimes struggle to forgive myself.I isolated from everyone I had in my life then except for my parents and sis. I don't know how to face them and answer that haunting questions.
    1. Vaishu, I am so sorry you have struggled with shame and guilt. I want you to know that there is no sin too big that God cannot forgive! God wants you to have peace. If you have repented and asked him to forgive you with a sincere heart, he has already done so! It's time to forgive yourself. You might want to read my article on Finding Forgiveness and How to Forgive Yourself: http://avirtuouswoman.org/how-to-forgive-yourself/
  41. Hi Melissa, I just wanted to share a quick testimony.. I have been in an abusive relationship since i was 16.. now 26, at times physical but mostly mentally and verbally. We have 3 small children. I came across this post a few months ago and i think about it often..although it had been a year and half that i was separated from my husband, i still let him in our lives and stay with us weekends. Gods been speaking to my heart and i know he brought me to this post a few months back, i started looking through some of your other posts and quickly realized you were a fellow Adventist, and at that moment i was like.. yeah gottcha God this was meant for me. Stubborn though.. i continued to try and work things out with my husband only for it to turn sour... as always. As of October I finally said enough, its been crazy coming to accept the fact that the man you love and wanted a happy life with has cause you so much pain and abuse. I'm so happy and praise God that he has opened my eyes and has set me free of this bondage. My marriage was my bondage and He used your article in a special way to help me understand. I'm now taking all the steps to get legal custody of our children and put an end to the abuse. Just thought I would share this with you :) Thank you <3
    1. Em, thank you for sharing part of your story with me. God is so good to give us exactly what we need. I know it's a hard, hard time for you right now, but He will keep you strong. I'd love to hear from you again. Let me know how things go!
  42. You forgot one more "situation" - and it is becoming more and more prevalent in this current age of sin - when a man prefers a man over his wife. To stay living with sin is detrimental to a child of God. I was in that situation after 23 years of marriage - and I still refused to ask for the divorce... I made him file. Therefore, he has given me the divorce... I feel if I am meant to remarry, God will introduce me to a Godly man who will put me second to Him, and that I can remarry without feeling as if I have committed adultery... Praise God for His Grace... to be left as a wife for another man is also abuse...
  43. Wow thank you for writing this, it spoke profoundly to my heart. I don't believe in coincidences, God is very strategic and I believe what you wrote here is God answering some very SERIOUS questions I have asked Him in prayer. God bless you sister and thank you for your transparency.
  44. After 27 years of marriage, and going thru several affairs by my husband. I found out he is paying for porn sites, meeting a woman for a naked massage. I had enough, and screamed, cried, threw need to divorce. I knew there had to be a reason. I demanded a answer. He confided that he was sexually abused by other boys in his neighborhood at about age 11, and nothing was ever done. His parents talked to the boys parents, and it stopped. He hasn't spoke of it since, no counseling. I told him he must get. Help, counseling, join a group. It's been 2 weeks, he hasn't made a call. I need help. I am out of state, visiting our daughter and grandkids, that was already planned.
  45. Thank you so much for this! I grew up in a Biblical home, where you are not to be unequally yoked, or divorce with Biblical reason. My husband and I have been really struggling for the past 2 years. In the beggining thinking he was a wonderful father and husband after 4 years it was like over night, he was someone I didn't even know. Lying , staying out late, bills never getting paid, money missing, finding condoms in his car, which is something we have never used, finding his phone always hidden, with a pass code that I didn't know. And much much more things going on. After separating for 2 months he agrees to go to marriage counseling, we have been working on these issues for over 5 months, for me to still find him lying about everything, never helping with the children, being abusive verbally,and mentally and emotionally, not just me but our children as well. He never admitting to having an affair, but I know that he never felt the need to give me an explanation the night I found them until 2 hours later.nor the pass code to his phone until 24 hours later. After agreeing to give our marriage a second chance, he still lying and doing all the things I mentioned above. He's also started taking advantage of me in my sleep (sexually) . I know pornography was in his life at one point, but I can't honestly say that for sure at this point, as he makes it very hard to double check on him. After catching him lying to me, over and over again and continuing the mental and verbal abuse and now the taking advantage of me while sleeping,i told him ibwasnt putting up with it anymore. After doing so, hes trying to manipulate me by making me feel scared that he will kill himslef, or acting so crazy and non stop hounding and yelling , i know hes trying to make me scared to leave . Even though im not letting him see my fear, i am afraid . Not just for me , but my children as well. I have talked with both of my parents and both feel biblically i have grounds for divorce. But i am trying to do research for myself on the matter. Not because i dont believe my parents, but because i know that me being there child they want nothing but the best for me. I love the Lord and trying to become closer to him. But i also kniw somethings in the bible can be very hard to understand on the actual meaning of the verse and the wording. After reading this post , and the sciptures to follow,i feel more comfortable with my decision. But i would love any feed back that u may be willing to give. I want to do whats absoulutley best for my family and be in the Gods will . Any advice or thoughts u have i would love to hear.
  46. Reading your thoughts on this subject has helped my heart today. I have spent the last months reading scripture over and over and searching the Internet on the topic of divorcing as a Christian. I have been married for 16 years and have two beautiful little boys. My husband and I have never had an emotional relationship. He has been a great provider for our family and has a strong work ethic but when I sit and think about anything else that he's brought to our marriage, I draw a blank. It's been a constant battle of let downs and heartache for me. He is totall incapable of giving anything other than physical. I've been in a battle in my mind for quite a few years. When I'm honest with myself, the only reason that I'm still in my marriage is because of the financial stability and because of my children. I also live in fear of the reputation that a "divorced Christian woman" brings. I can't say that I've been physically abused or that I'm afraid of my husband. The truth is that I can never really remember a time when either of us has raised our voices to one another. There has never been enough communication or compassion to bring about this type of argument. I married young. My husband is the only man I've been with intimately. I married thinking that I would have what my grandparents had. That my husband would be my provider, my protector and that I would show him love, respect and be the Godly wife that I was supposed to be. What I got was a man that was addicted to pornography and had a really messed up view of what sex should be. It was a complete shock to me when I discovered this a few months into my marriage and that one sinful thing has been the beginning of the downfall. I have done so many thing out of obligation over the years to keep the piece and it literally killed me inside. Sex often no matter how I felt about it because I would be given the silent treatment for days until I gave in and complied anyway. Small things that I would say and do would lead to him not speaking to me for days until I finally begged for forgiveness and knowledge of what I'd done to being on this unfair treatment. I could go on and on but won't. There was a lot of unhealthy, emotional abusive treatment over the years. Once we reached the 14 year mark, I began to change. I spent some time honestly angry with God because I had done my part as far as being a Godly wife and prayed for a long time that my husband would change. He would do okay for a few weeks after we'd have an honest talk about our marriage then eventually I would stumble upon something that let me know he was once again lost the battle and dove into his need for pornography again. Once I finally broke and realized that I couldn't live my life angry and away from God any longer, I began to draw closer to Him and started working on a closer walk with God. I know this is the most important thing that I need to do. With that, I realized that I couldn't take this unhealthy relationship Any longer because it had literally almost killed me. My self esteem and sense of self worth suffered so bad over the years and it has taken me a lot to start the healing process. I was scared, hurt, angry, bitter then came to a place of peace. I decided that I couldn't stay in my marriage any longer. My husband totally panicked when he realized that I was finally done and has made attempts to change. We started counseling which he is now doing alone for a while at the counselor's request. He says that he loves me and can't imagine life without me. My biggest issue that I'm struggling with is that 5 years ago, I'd have been elated. Now, I feel that it is too late. I don't feel that it would be in my best interest to allow myself to let my guard down and allow him back in after the damage done and I feel guilty about that when I read scripture and ask opinion of those Christians around me. I hear so much about needing to forgive him. I HAVE forgiven. Until I got to the place of peace about it and let it go, I wasn't ready to let go. I have no hard feeling toward him. I fully realize that he has deep issues and pray that he continues counseling and gets them worked out. I want to see him do well. I want him to be happy and enjoy life, heal from the past and be able to go in to have a real relationship with someone that our kids can see and model their future relationships from. I just feel that I can no longer go back because the trust and respect is gone. There was so much damage done and because of his addiction and its consequences, the sexual act was made to be an only physical, non emotional ugly thing for me. I know that there's no way that I can ever have the kind of relationship that is meant to be between a husband and wife with him. When I was finally able to come out and say that I would no longer continue a sexual relationship that meant nothing, it freed me to begin healing. I guess I don't really have a question, just looking for opinions or support. I struggle with it biblically being wrong and have a fear of having a future relationship if I let go of my marriage. I worry about my children and am scared that I will change my life for the negative if I walk away when all I want, all I've ever desired is to have a marriage with a man who desired to have the marriage that the bible teaches. Do you feel that I'm wrong?
    1. Hi Janie, I'm so sorry you've been through so much. I know it's hard. I can't really say whether you are wrong or not because I only know part of the story and it's not my place to make a judgement. However, I do know that within any marriage it's important to have healthy boundaries, trust, and respect. Divorce is a hard thing. I was blessed to be able to remarry after my divorce, but there are no guarantees when you get divorced that you will find someone new. Not that I'm trying to discourage you. I just want you to really pray hard about it before you make any drastic decisions. It's scary going into a divorce, but after so much emotional abuse it can also be very freeing emotionally. If you think there is a chance your husband could heal and work through his issues, you might want to stick it out. But I would continue counseling for a long time. One thing I have learned is that even a good marriage is really hard. My second marriage has had it's own uphill battles, although not like my first. So you really just have to decide what you want and then work toward that goal - whatever it is. God knows and He'll speak to your heart. Let me know how things go for you!
    2. Any updates? I could have written your post myself, except my husband isn't going through counseling. Did you get a divorce? But I feel exactly as you do. I have zero feelings towards him. No hate or love. I'm completely neutral at this point. I can't imagine staying married any longer. The only reason I am still here is bc I am a stay at home mom with no income. I have no where to go and I'm terrified I will lose my 5 kids if I leave.
  47. Powerful post that needs to be heard. I can identify with a lot of your story finding me in a similar beginning as you were. I was not a Christian and I had a baby at 17 then married after an abortion and then getting pregnant again. After two more children I too needed to get out of my situation. However God used this this dire straights situation including adultry to get to me. I too contemplated suicide because I am a runner and hate conflict. I came to Christ as a very broken woman with three crazy kids and many wounds. I have often pondered if it could have been different if I had known the Lord. That being said, I came to the Lord, eventually married the man I had been living with and God has restored the years the locust had eaten in my wounded spirit! Isn't God so kind and good to bring healing to his wounded lambs? Again, thank you for this as I know it is a touchpoint for many, whether contemplating or having took that plunge. the Lord bless you Melissa!
  48. Thank you so much for writing this, for all the Christian women contemplating divorce. I have been with my husband for 18 1/2 years. He has been an alcoholic since his teens. While I was never physically abused, I did face emotional, mental, psychological abuse, as well as abandonment and neglect due to his alcoholic tendencies. I only found out recently, how long he has been an alcoholic. In our first year of marriage, I had an emotional affair with someone and stopped it when I realized that what I was seeking from this person, I had really wanted from my husband. He thought I had sexual relations with this man and had gotten pregnant from this. I had miscarried and he was secretly happy because he thought it wasn't his. We had discussed this situation and I had thought it done, that he believed me and eventually trusted me again. I have gone on for 16 years thinking this was true. When we started talking about divorce recently, this truth came out. That he had secretly wanting a divorce at one point over this topic and had never trusted, believed in or had faith in me that I was telling the truth. All these years of trying to do my part and finding that out, sealed the deal for me. I have no doubt now about my path. 7 years ago, was the beginning of the end, when I had left with the boys for a few days and we were seperated for a couple weeks after, then I took him back, with the understanding that if things got so bad that I wanted to leave again, it would be for good. About 4 years ago, I was really done emotionally, physically, mentally. But God wasn't done making me into who I am now, strong, capable, over comer. But, during this time I would go to friends in the church, and talk about how I thought I was done with this marriage, and they threw all the things back at me that you mention. So, I continued on over the last 4 years, struggling with my faith and my marriage and myself. I think there is a point, in a marriage, when you know you have done all the things you possibly can, and want to call it quits. Not because it is the easy way out, but because you have battled an impossible situation, that has no end in site, and are just done.
  49. My husband had not been able to provide for our material needs for seven years of our marriage; currently he is still on welfare using our daughter whom he has abducted as his means of economic support. My husband started out the marriage with lies and is a compulsive chronic liar and manipulator. He verbally , emotionally and psychologically abused me. I have been so unhappy in this marriage and stayed because we have a two year old daughter. Currently he abducted her in Germany through fraud and deception and I am fighting for her return. I never want to have anything to do with him or his parents again. I have sole residential custody of our daughter and he has two days access rights , however he had interrupted these arrangements by the illegal abduction. He worked 2 years out of the seven that we were married and has minimum employment skills.Nothing much has changed since I first met him. I am so sick of him however need to still interact with him because we have a child. For example I need to see him in court for the upcoming Hague Hearing. I am a Christian and want to know if these issues constitute biblical grounds for divorce
  50. I am so thankful that you wrote and shared this. I've been married for over 20 years and have seperated from my husband. I've always been a christian but really became born again 4 years ago. My spouse has cheated on me several times physically as well as emotionally. He has also had an addiction to pornography. He has been verbally abusive to me and my children and has done nothing but lied to me through out our marriage. He would do nothing but scream and swear at me and my children. Over and over again I forgave him. After being born again in 2012 I prayed for my husband to be saved. He never wanted anything to do with Jesus. He would mock me for my faith and the verbal abuse just continued. He had another emotional affair in 2015 and I kicked him out, He all of the sudden "accepted" Jesus and made me,my pastor, and my church believe that he had changed. He arranged for us to renew our vow which we did in front of our church. Several months later all his old habits came back. Last year he got into a nasty verbal fight with our 17 old son to the point my son didn't want to come home. Right then and there I decided that I could not live this way anymore. I have been pretty much a single mom the whole time we have been married. I took care of the bills, children, home, cars, etc. He pretty much worked, came home, and would sleep our whole marriage. He would never participate in any family activities. We haven't been together since July 2016 and I haven't missed him. There is an amazing peace in my home. It has been so hurtful. I love God and I don't want HIm to be mad at me. Of course once again my huband has found Jesus and plays "christian". He tells everyone that he wants me back and he goes to another church yet just this week I have found out that he is on dating web site talking to women. When I confronted him about it he once again lied. I'm thankful that my Pastor and his wife have been fully supportive unlike other christians. Nothing hurts more when you have been the victim yet are made to feel like the bad one. I don't believe God would want me to live in a marriage always wondering if my husband is cheating me and putting myself in risk of sexually transmitted diseases. Reading this article has made me feel so much better. Thank you
  51. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.I am in the middle of thinking about divorcing my husband.I have been with him for 27 years since I was 16.I have been a victim or survior of sexual,physical,mental abuse from my natural father since young child,in and out of foster homes,no mother for positive parental figure.When i met my husband i was 15 living with a stepsister who didnt give much guidance,I moved in with him and his family at age 16.We have 7 kids,I am 43 and he is 47.He stopped being physically abusive 3 years ago but he is mentally and verballly abusive.He is extremely jealous and controlling and when he gets angry hensays rhe most hurtful things,such as bringing up my father and why he did to me.He would say i have that in me.Im a pervert ,etc,I never cheated on him.We started to go to church again and is in counseling .My problem is that he accuses me everyday and its no piece of mind,i cant go nowhere by myself,cant have a cell phone,cant go with my kids no where without him.I feel like a prisioner.I was feeling diconnected from God because I have a gentle spirit but when my husband accuses me or asks alot of questions I get frustrated.We will go to church and or have a counseling session and he foes right back to his delusions.He currently accuses me of being on a dating hook up site and meeting men.I am never out his eyesight.We have a resturant and he swears the men come in to see what I look like.They pastor and church make me feel like I should just be more patient.I feel his behavior is hindering me spiritually and when he blows up on me he calls them crying saying how much he loves me.I feel that this is not love.I feel we are going back and forth and I want to live a peaceful life and show my kids love.I feel like I am dying inside and thinking suicidal thoughts.My mothere was a abused woman died early cause her husband set her on fire.I dont want to hve generational curse of dying for love.I forgive him daily but he says something again to hurt me and Im like here I go again!Then when I look at him lately all I feel is sadness of all the hurtful things he said and did to me.Am I wasting time?My spirit says I can be happy and serve God without this negativity in my life.My children are 25,24,22,20,17,16 and 15.They understand what I been through and going through.Unfortnately they witnessesd it all.Your wisdom is much appreciated.God Bless You!
  52. Too often many leaders or fellow believers don't understand this pain, abuse, manipulation and struggle and I THANK YOU MELISSA AND YOUR OTHER READERS FOR YOUR BOLDNESS, as you share your testimony. I pray you are safe and that you have a refuge of people or places to hide till the current storm passes...as I read your testimony it brought back the 10 painful years I felt stuck in a marriage that was just as cruel and manipulative. Until you walked in the shoes of an abused spouse, most likely most outsiders find hard to believe, (because of their manipulative ways) continue to be strong and sharing your stories, there is healing in sharing, be STRONG AND COURAGEOUS ..this situation and the reality IS BECOMING MORE understood in the wake of all those women and men who are sharing their heart felt stories...GOD BLESS YOU ALL AND MAY THE STRENGTH OF OUR SWEET LORD BE WITH YOU
  53. Can you speak to the issue of child sexual abuse? What if one of the marriage partners has committed such a crime? What if the statue of limitations of pretty much gone. What if they (there were 2) are his own children? He says he is changed and forgiven, but there are now grandchildren in the family. How does a woman keep her family safe? What should she do?
    1. This must be a heart breaking situation for you. Your first obligation is to keep your children/ grandchildren safe at all costs. Divorce is a definite option. But whatever decision you make, this man cannot have access to children.
      1. Your answer was timely. This disclosure is not quite 2 years for me and I struggle terribly with denial. Not denial that it happened, but that it will ever happen again, denial that we need a separation, denial that he needs very strict boundaries. I am desperately trying to make my head rule my heart. Our granddaughters are five and one...
  54. Dear Mealisa, I am so happy I came across your story, it means so much to me and I appreciate you, other women that had and are going through this terrible ordeal and of course myself . First of all, I just want to thank the Lord for my 3 beautiful children. I was and still am in an abusive relationship myself. I was demeaned, insulted day and night, isolated from friends and family, controlled in every aspect of my life, I guess the only thing he didnt control was when I blinked, and when my nostrils inhaled and exhaled air. I was manipulated and was brainless, I lost the ability to think for my own self. Alot of mind games Crazy making schemes and gaslighting. I had no confidence and believed that there was no point of living because my soul was going to hell anyway for the" bad wife" that I was. I belived it because that was what was drilled into my head day and night , and that I am not submissive like God wants me to be. I found it pointless to carry on with living, but in small whispers I would hear...what about the children?, your salvation? I became a "bad wife" because I spoke up and out, seeking advice and looking comfort from loved ones, my husband found out.Who gives a man the right to record your every move in the house to monitor you while hes away? Who is he to stalk you? To tell you what you can and camnot wear? To withhold money completely from you when you are a stay at home mother of more than 10 years, with chikdren with needs?To belittle you infront of your children? To accuse you of sexually cheating on him when its not so and you lost your virginity to him 18 years ago on your literal wedding night. Who is a man to declare that he is God and he must be obeyed? To mishandle you as if you are a peice of meat at the butcher shop, with no regard? I became crazy, I began to loose it and behave not as a mother, nor a Christian woman, but behaved as if I was high, drunk and not in my right mind. All because I spoke up and out of what was going in in the house hold. When he found out I confuded in a close friend the abuse escalated beyond words. I finally decided in my heart, its time to go, the children were suffering tremendously and he started on them too. I left and went to a shelter, with only clothes, as he drive the car off that morning, I left too shortly, with hidden pre packed toys and the kids little nicknacks. I have witnessed him suffering from some mental health issues. He is highly paranoid, says and behaves bizarrely, and appears to hear voices which he denied, and does very erractic things. He finally hit rock bottom and was in the hospital getting assessed and diagnosed. While I was visiting him in the hospital, his nurse said to me that, it might not even be her place to say this but perhaps I should situate myself and my children because they can always treat his mental health issues but not who he is and his character. The hospital had a little back ground information about the dynamics of our family life. Another funny thing was a few weeks later, his own Psychiatrist said something similar to what the nurse said. We have been apart for 3 years and 3 months, and I still am being emotionally abused, I desired so much of working things out but he still blames me for everything. He lies so much, I have no idea what to really believe so try not to believe nothing that comes out if his mouth. He still with holds financially from the children, he hasnt given me one red cent. He says come back home first, then when I come back home, the children will get all the financial support they need. He will continue to pay for the mortgage, and everything to do with the house hold and the part time job I just got 3 and a half months ago, I can use that money to look after the children with that. Mealisa and Readers,...does that not sound like i would be placing myself and the children back into the same situation again? I have considered divorce, I have even felt guilty thinking of it, infact I filed for it and consistently putting things on hold and purposely delaying the court process, hoping he will finally acknowledge his wrong and take accountability for his faults as I had. I became abusive too, but I sought help, gone through extensive therapy,support groups but find myself not being able to let go of this relationship. One main reason is because its my childrens father and I am afraid of step fathers because mine was an abuser towards me himself. Hearing stories like this gives me some hope, I always thought I was never allowed to look for love and recieve love in a second marriage ever again, unless the spouse dies then I would no longer be under the adulterous category if I remarried. I have recently started pullung away from him and has completely stoped all communications with him. After trying to reason, communicate rationally with him, I get nowhere; only broken,feel more rejected, disresected, mentally exhausted, shamed, confused and hopeless to the point where I say to myself, you may as well go back to him your worth nothing and hes the only one for you because you can't get better . When I finally snaped out of this nonsense thinking, I wonder...how did I let a mere man make me feel so badly of myself and I would never want any, nor allow anyone to treat my 3 daughters this way. It isn't easy breaking away from an abusive relationship, its almost like being sucked into a vortex, if not careful. This article has enlightened me and has caused me some hope, I am glad that I was able to share my story too. I will follow up to let readers know how things are going.
  55. Dear Melissa, As I lay here in bed tears streaming down my face, I am finding comfort in your words and the words of others who are struggling or have struggled in the past with this. I have been in a mostly emotionally abusive marriage for 23 years, I was also physically abused by him the first few years of the marriage. I have been belittled almost daily, manipulated, controlled, kept from having relationships with my children and family members. Somehow he always made me feel it was because of something I did or said that made him treat me so bad, that it was me. I have tried to leave many times but was always manipulated in to going back. Using bible verses to make me feel that I will pay if I divorce him. I finally left him left everything and moved away for 3 months. I returned just 2 weeks ago to live with other family members, not with him and he will not stop the abuse. He will stop at nothing and I am scared he is going to hurt me or.one of my loved ones, I'm afraid to go to the police or to get a lawyer for fear of retaliation. He said he will burn our house down so that I will get nothing from him and he will make me pay for the rest of my life if I do anything other than what he says. I pray that God will forgive me as I struggle with this, and I pray for him also, and for everyone going through a similar situation. Thank you for giving me some comfort and hope.
  56. My husband had a one night stand while on a business trip that turned into a ten day emotional affair after that. Only reason it ended was because I found their texts. That was two years ago and I am still struggling. I found out my husband had a porn addiction our entire eighteen year marriage which explained his mean, controlling behavior to me and his withdrawal from our family. It was not a good marriage before the affair. My issue now is that even though my husband ended contact with the other woman immediately, ended his porn use, treats me much better, and has started participating in the family, it just isn't enough. He does not want to do things together to work on making God central in our family. I don't see how I can ever begin to trust him again if he refuses to put God first. I have struggled with if I can Biblically divorce him if he isn't still cheating and treating me badly. I feel our marriage ended two years ago and I want to move on. He wants us to stay married, but without him spending time to see God, I don't see if ever working. Thank you for sharing this post. It gives me a lot if insight into what God truly wants for us.
  57. I completely agree with your post! I read it because it was in my inbox and because of past family history. There are varying degrees of "emotional abuse" and I think people should seriously consider if they are looking for a reason to give up. Is it really unreconcilable? If you are like me (we are all married to sinners!) you may be able to read through the comments and find that you can be thankful for your man- he isn't really quite as bad as you thought! There are some women struggling with real serious problems out there.
    1. Well, forgive me for viewing my porn addicted, emotionally abusive, lying our entire marriage, cheating husband who refuses to get help as a "serious problem." If you read the initial blog post, my situation is what to talks about. Nowhere does it say your cheating husband must be really bad to seek out divorce. It's about a lack of willingness to change and make marriage a safe place. I can't trust my husband because he refuses to do the work necessary to ensure his cheating, lying , and abusive ways do not reoccur. To me, I am in a serious problem. It's not our place to judge whose situation is worse.
      1. I think my situation is similar to yours. I have been lied to, cheated on on several occassions and there is no conversation. Its like I am pleading with him everyday to talk to me to save our marriage. But he does not respond to any of my questions. I have let him back into my life and the same thing. I have prayed and ask God to forgive me, but I can not live in a house with someone that do not care about me. Its like he caters to his son that is 22 that has moved into our house. He makes sure he has everything. So I know that I must let this go. God has blessed me to much to continue to live with a man, that does not want to help with bills and there is no communication at all. He has packed some of his things. Have not said nothing to be about his plans. So if he leaves this time. God forgive me, but divorce is in order.
  58. I'm having to deal with finding a text on my wife's phone from a male co-worker, proclaiming his love for my wife of 18 years. I had to find out from him that my wife is going to leave me,he knew two months before I did,then a week and a half later she exchanges numbers with him,then acts shocked when he tried to kiss her. Im having to try and work through the fact that she had a crush on this guy, I've been paying the bulk of everything, dealing with the kids, and any problems that she's had for over 5 years now. No communication, disappeared with her friends drinking, driving drunk, and lies. I know that nothing physically happened, but what if I didn't see that text. She's wanting to stay now, I'm terrified of what could happen down the road.She quit her job and has slowed her drinking down to a minimum. I'm so afraid of what I don't know, what could happen, and I feel like I don't know her anymore. I'm finding the past 10 years, that our relationship/marriage is reversed from regular people's. I want to hold hands, talk to sun up, and want complete honesty in our marriage. I had to fight some things early in our relationship and put her through some stuff also, but I never brought anyone else in our relationship at all. I'm thankful for finding this, but I'm still unsure about everything and I'm still trying to figure out exactly what to do. I'm praying, and he's really been giving me several things to consider. I'm still on the fence about it though, there's no definitive answer, and this is the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life. I'm tired of reliving when she told me about him, my throat falling through my heart and hitting my stomach. She had his number stored under her sister.We went to a therapist and she lied about the nature of the relationship with him. 20 years is hard to walk away from.
    1. I see this was posted a few months ago. I pray that you have found peace with the situation you are currently in.
  59. Hi I stumbled upon this post because I feel like I need reassurance. I had been married for 8.5 years however we had been together for 14.5 years. I was 15 he was 23. The age difference never mattered to me and it doesn’t now either but thought I’d share everything and be open about myself. For years I felt neglected by my husband. I felt alone. He was always doing his thing. Usually work for 10-12 hours a day then the gym. On the weekends he worked on Saturdays then went to the gym. Sunday’s we stopped going to church because he didn’t want to go anymore but he always went to the gym. I would see him mane 1-2 hours a day and that was even broken up because he would be getting ready to go to the gym for like an hour or so. During holidays I would go to his family’s house but he wouldn’t come to mine. Everyone always asked for him and when I asked him why he stopped going to my family’s house he said it’s because he never sees his nieces or nephews except for holidays and he wanted to spend as much time with them as possible. We didn’t have kids together and my family is small and at the time no one had kids. He comes from a large family and at that time there were 15 nieces and nephews so I kind of understood. Long story short I felt he was emotionally abusive. I tried for years to get him to get help with me but he never would. At one point I called the church asking for prayer because I told my husband I wished he’d die that way it would be easier for me. I never believed in divorce. It was always a struggle for me staying married but at the same time I felt like I’d go to hell if I got a divorce. I started having feelings for someone at work and after awhile i realized that this wasn’t right. I hadn’t admitted it to anyone not Ben to myself at the time. I was a devoted wife. I admitted my feelings to my husband and told him that people always said if you’re having feelings for someone outside of your marriage it’s because you’re late cling something in your marriage and that’s why I was admitting this to gonna so we can work on things. In the end he said he didn’t know what to do. I went to counseling 2 times with him and I went alone other times because I felt like an adulterer even though nothing happened with the guy from work. My husband admitted the same day I told him about my feelings for this other man that he had been “talking” to another woman but nothing was ever physical and this had been going on for a year. I told him that day that was the reason why and we needed help. In the end he still didn’t do anything to change our marriage so I left and filed for a divorce. Since that time I have been with the other man. I’m now 5 years later and my ex husband told me he apologizes for everything and he still loves me and basically told me he’s waiting for me to go back to him because we’re meant to be together. I feel confused now because I have been in a relationship since our separation / divorce.
  60. My husband and I married in Church but we separated before registering our marriage. For 5 years I have been praying for reconcilliation but he said we are not legally married and so we can go our sepaate ways. What do I do. How do I go about this marital issue where thee its not legal mariage before the law but marriage before God?
    1. Hi Sophie, If you've been waiting 5 years for your husband to come back, I would advise you to ask God to heal your broken heart and let him go. He has abandoned you and broken the vows he made before God. I know it is painful, but we can't make people love us or treat us fairly if they don't want to. God will forgive the situation and you can move on will a free conscience.
  61. Do you have a contact email? I have a very personal matter, too personal to write here for everybody to see. I really need your advice.
  62. Thank you for this sane, sensible article. It's sad that there aren't more like these.
  63. Thank you so much for this article. I've been married to a man for 10 years who has a serious issue with hoarding as well as anger and depression. I've been fighting a never-ending tide of stuff taking over our house and I can't keep up anymore. The house is just a mess, and borders on unsanitary. I have just one place that I can go and feel comfortable which is our bedroom and even that is being taken over. In addition to that, he has a deep-rooted anger that comes out when he talks to me. He's always critical and somehow whatever goes wrong is my fault. he acts like I'm stupid and that he's intellectually Superior and is the only one in our house who has a direct line to God. If someone disagrees with him, they obviously are wrong. He has never turned this anger towards me physically, but he has taken it out on objects, like the time he tipped the couch over, or the times he his driven dangerously on the freeway because he's angry. I am afraid to ride in the car with him to the point where I always drive. I never wanted to divorce, But I don't feel there is any other choice if I want to stay safe and not be dragged down by his mental illness and unwillingness to deal with it as well as his anger and depression. I came to the conclusion two months ago that my husband has chosen to put all of this ahead of his relationship with God and his vows to me, and after much prayer and thought and counsel with people experienced in these areas I've come to the conclusion that I have to divorce him for my mental health and well-being, and that he chose to break our vows. I told him 2 weeks ago that I wanted a divorce, and he actually took me seriously. He's been much Kinder, but it's only been two weeks and the problems are still there. We've tried to clean out one of our two storage units, and it has not gone well. I care about him, I'm not looking forward to hurting him, but I can't do this anymore. I can't be his therapist, I can't be the find who rescues him or heals him, that is between him and God, and he is the one that has to want it. I realize with this decision that I'm entering a world where I am going to be judged by many other Christians, but I can't live my life like this anymore. I'm sinking into depression and on the verge of just giving up. I need to be free of this, I want to be happy and not always frustrated and angry and feeling like I'm drowning under a mountain of stuff and unkindness and anger. Thanks again for your article, I'm definitely going to be keeping it and reading it again
  64. My husband and I have been married for 13 years and this past Janurary I told him I wanted to seperate. This isnt the first time this has came up in our marriage. My reasoning for it was because for the 13 years of marriage he has had maybe 6 jobs and none have lasted more than 3 months. I have always provided for us and have worked 2 jobs at times to make ends meet. When I asked him to seperate he told me its not the Godly thing to do and that we need to just work it out. Well he left for 2 days amd ended up in the hospital because he had a panic attack amd wanted to come back home so I let him. He knew how serious I was so in March he found a job and has held it since. My problem is I feel like its too late. I feel like hes going to quit eventually. Im just so tired of it and im truely not happy and I feel like I have so much resentment towards him and its depressing.
    1. I'm so sorry you are going through this Emily. Perhaps you should seek out counseling. Not necessarily marriage counseling. I would go to counseling alone at least at first. God bless you.
  65. Hi my name is Rachel. I was in a seriously abusive marriage for 17 years. My husband had pornography issues, he was violent sexually , he was violent with our animals , I was called a bitch and a retard and a looser constantly, I was eventually choked and he bashed my head into our kitchen window, he killed animals, I finally left in 2015 after a spinal surgery. I’ve fought for my faith, my son, and my life with no help but God did miracles for me, including providing my son and I a home with no expense for three years while my spine healed. I’m pursuing a divorce and legal settlement. Where can I find deep support in prayer and interaction ?? Someone with time to help me and befriend me personally ??
  66. I'm so blessed to have read your blog. I have been staying in broken marriage trying to figure out if I should leave. What usually stops me is the question of, "Am I just taking the easy way out", or "is what my husband did/or does really that bad". Or my favorite, "it could be worse". Slowly my heart aches lie after lie, deceit after deceit. I have no love for someone that doesn't love me. I know my husband doesn't love me. How can anyone call it love? We have a daughter and I've already experienced a failed relationship;that left me single mom. I guess the question is, how much do I love myself? Can I love myself the same way God loves me? If I stay, then I feel that I would stay not expecting to be loved by this husband or expect anything from him. I will be in prayer.
  67. Thank you for this I feel like I can let go and move on now. Prior to reading this I was holding on to the hope that my husband would come home after being gone a year, I felt I had to stay because I vowed to the end I felt I was being disloyal for thinking of go on.
  68. Thank you SO much for this article. I have been fighting my husband for 9 of our 10 years of marriage. I have yet to discover a form of abuse that I have bot endured from him. I had also heard that adultery is the only grounds for divorce and that a divorcee who remarried is engaged in adultery. I had wondered so long why that was it. Why did God not care about my broken, walked up, numb heart? Why do I have to endure this through the rest of my life? I'm not even the same person I was 10 years ago, what will the future years cause? I am considering divorce this evening because a life of being alone repenting for my divorce would be better than my life now. I was ready to do what it takes to be free. When I read the verse you quoted I immediately started to cry and thank God for leading me here. Although this will be a lengthy process to get things ready so I do not have to fight for everything I have before even filing I will be taking steps toward my healing. When I am not stifled I am better able to serve Him and shine His light. God bless!
  69. God rescued me from my first marriage. I don't think I would have ever divorced, except the ex decided he wanted a divorce and filed. I have now been married 22 years to a wonderful christian man. The first marriage never made it to 3 years before we were separated. I still can't seem to talk to the ex without arguments, we didn't have children and I dont need to communicate. But still think of him daily. I know I dont love him, I dont even know who he really is know. But I still think of him every day. I try to just pray for him when I think of him. He is now divorced and I worried that if something happened to my now husband that God would want me to go back to him. But thank God I had found Duet. 24:3 about a year ago that says that would be wrong. I have a tendency to be OCD so I dont know if that's my problem or if God just wants me to pray for him. My husband knows all this, because I'm completely honest. The ex wants to hear absolutely nothing about my husband and told me I was the love of his life, his one true love. Which my husband also knows. Just pray that God will help me stop thinking of him and wpuld find someone else to pray for him.
  70. Ok I see you explained the part about the divorce decree but what about the except??? It says except for sexually immortality meaning a divorce decree can’t be done unless one cheats?!?!? Right??? I’m confused because I’ve never been married but my boyfriend has and my dad does not approve! I need it to be clearly explained!!!! Thanks!!!
  71. I am glad I came across your blog. I have been married for 9 years and the past two years my husband have been depressed and verbally abusive. He have also stop believing in church and God. I try my best to work things but I can’t do it alone. I need him to agree to go counseling. It’s gone so bad I feel like I am walking on egg shells and every morning I wonder what my day will be like. He asked for divorce because he says there is no more love. I feel so shattered as I do not believe in divorce and I can’t restore my marriage if he is not willing to work on it. Reading your article gives me the assurance that I am not alone and that despite our marriage coming to an end God still loves us. I am scrambling to look for a job. I pray for God’s divine intervention but only according to his will. My only hope is my husband reconcile his spiritual life with God again.
  72. Melissa, Thank you thank you thank you for sharing this! I wish I could explain how much I needed this. I wish I had read this when going through the things I went through, and was feeling so hopeless and condemned by God because of the way I was raised believing about divorce, and things people were saying who didn't know what was going on in my home behind doors. I can't explain with words what I really mean to say or how I felt, but just thank you!
  73. I can’t tell you how much I needed to read this. I cried so much reading it, but not tears of shame. I had all of the red flags. All of them and I stepped away just before he got violent. In short, he tried to punch me in the face and after years of aggressive behavior, begging him to talk to a counselor/pastor/friend/I didn’t care who and receiving refusal after refusal of any wrong doing — he told me his aggressive behavior was my fault and happened because I was garbage... with hands shaking and tears pouring down my face in a target parking lot, I text a friend telling them I didn’t feel safe, hadn’t felt safe in a long time and was planning to end my marriage. That was almost a year ago and we have been separated for 8 months. I have never felt so much peace, but there was the smallest part of me that felt shame. People at church that used to talk to me, invite me to events, birthdays, go to dinner with me... stopped inviting me, stopped talking to me. Because people create their own stories when they don’t know what happened... it hurt but I’m healing. I didn’t have to wait for violence for it to matter, for it to be enough. It mattered then, it was enough then. It was too much then. This post felt like getting a hug. I can’t explain how it has healed me, but it did. Thank you so much.
  74. Excellent article. I'm currently going through a divorce. My "husband" and I haven't been husband and wife in the biblical sense in over three years now. He feels God gendered him wrong and he's really a female. I struggled with that a very long time because I thought I could love and pray him out of his new thought pattern. I couldn't and not only did he deceive me as he says he's always felt this way, he's suggesting God made a mistake and I don't feel God makes mistakes so we were at odds. He's been seeing a counselor....even though he didn't want to see a marriage counselor....his counselor is encouraging him to transition. I can't believe God wants this for me.
  75. Thank you so much for writing this article! Very eye-opening... I have so much gratitude for the work you out into this.
  76. This article has helped me SO SO MUCH!! You have no idea. My husband was verbally abusive for years, he would disappear for days without contact, come home from work at 2-3 in the morning and say he was just working late. I had no money, I wasn't allowed to have play dates with other moms, go anywhere but the grocery store. When our daughter was born he would say how much he hated her and he didnt want to be around her. I left him in October and it has been so hard. He and his family keep bombarding me with versus from the Bible about how God is going to punish me. He has told me that I have to learn to forgive him and come back because hes changed and I'm ruining our daughters life. I believe an abuser never changes and that if I would have stayed it would have become physical, he would have gone from punching objects to me. I have prayed for signs from God to show me I'm making the right choice and he has answered faithfully every time. This article has given me so much hope!! Thank you!
  77. Wow where do I start. That pain of wanting to just die you talk about is happening right now for me. About 9 months until our 20th anniversary and I find out about a lie that had hunted me that my wife told me. Right after that my world turn upside down. I don’t know what to think or do when I find out that my wife never loved me. To her I was a child that never and I mean never needed to know anything my marriage was nothing but lies. Long story short this is what lost feels like. I know God had gotten me through but now that it is all out and still happens because she just doesn’t want to say the truth without weeks of weak words that go no where. Please pray if you don’t mind.
    1. Jason, I would suggest you pray and seek Godly counsel. DO NOT, and I say again, DO NOT, try to go through this alone. You will need help, so please get some from those who love the Lord and are wise. I hope and pray you come through.
  78. Melissa, You talk in your article exclusively of women being abused by men. Does your position hold to the same standard if the man is being abused by the woman? Or is it dependent on gender? I look forward to hearing your reply and position on this. Thanks and God bless.
    1. Absolutely not. Many men are abused by the women in their life. My audience is primarily women so that's who I write for. My heart goes out to men who are abused by women because many men do not talk about it. It's an issue I've given a lot of thought and have even considered starting a website just for men who are being abused.
  79. I just came across this while looking for something totally unrelated. Because I spent years in torment over the proper thing to do with my own divorce, and aftermath, I feel I must chime in. I was married to an unbeliever, up until the last year when he claimed to become a christian. He was verbally and mentally abusive or entire marriage. I was serving in ministry during this time, in a leadership position. Everyone at the church was of a different mind about what I should do. I was confused but desperate to get out of a horrible marriage. About 10 months after my ex husband moved out, he served me with divorce papers (which I was at the church). I signed about a month later. A couple years later I felt convicted that I should stay unmarried or be open to reconciliation to him. I wasted another 4 yrs in a self imposed prison waiting on an abusive man that would never return, and if he did, I honestly believe I would not be here any longer. Here is the truth. People make mistakes in life. If you believe in the gospel, you believe in grace and a god that forgives. If you do not believe that, than you worship doctrine. As for me, after many more years I had to leave the church and the christianity. In large part to the absolute nightmare of doctrine, busybodies, and complete lack of grace, forgiveness, and any form of goodness that I found in the church or in scripture as translated, and often as found in the bible (you can find proof for anything). Life is simply too short to put oneself in a self imposed prison, or be at the direction of someone else.
  80. Thank you for writing this. My husband of 30 years asked me for a separation on Valentine’s weekend, and brought me papers on Valentine’s Day morning. He has had several affairs, and lies about everything. I was looking a answer to my concerns about what to do, and this helps!
  81. Hello I am Rosie I am in this emotional and manipulative relationship and been here for 13 years. My husband is a pastor. So it is so difficult for me to get him to sign divorce papers. I am ready to get out of this. I am so tired and desperately seeking help. I am afraid because we have four boys and my health also is getting in the way. Please help
  82. Melissa, I want to thank you for sharing this. I too was in an abusive situation with my first husband and stayed many years because that is was I was raised to believe, once married always married. He verbally and mentally beat me down so bad it has taken me years to get past it and there are days that I can still hear him saying things to me that made me feel unworthy of ever being loved by anyone. I was also told by my pastor's wife at the time we were going through our divorce that I should stay and pray for him. Then our new pastor came and again was told that I should continue to pray for him and to stay in the marriage. Needless to say I left church service that day feeling like I was a bad person and committing adultery but I could not believe that our God would want me and my children to stay in that situation. I have now been married to a wonderful man that treats my children like his own and we have been married for 15 years. I thank you again for sharing this.
  83. Everything I needed to hear! I will certainly be reading my bible more closely in the verses you have inclosed here. I was divorced as of two days ago. I stayed with an emotionally abusive man for 20 years. I have been manipulated, alienated from my family and friends, spoken to in a condescending tone daily, made to feel like a horrible inadequate mother and human all under the smile on my face for years to hide my unhappiness until my teenage daughter began to be treated the very same way. I finally over searched for answers to no avail and just decided that there was no way that God would want me to feel the way I did. The longer I stayed, the more distant I felt from God and my in er gut was screaming to get out for the emotional well being of myself and my daughter in hopes I could save this type of behavior from ruining my youngest daughter who has Downs Syndrome. I will spend years trying to undo what he has done to my oldest. I should have left years ago but didn’t strictly for the reasons discussed in this article. I simply thought it was NOT ok to divorce for these reasons. I listened to all the Christian friends I have but I only felt worse each passing day. In the end a doctor told me he prayed It didn’t get physical because it sure sounded like it could easily get there…. that doctor not knowing about an incident in the past when my oldest was two. I started to see more anger and got scared to stay and decided to stand strong and with God’s protection filed for a divorce. I am not without sin myself; however, for the past 20 years I have done everything there was to do with the exception of cutting the grass and maintaining the vehicles. I can count on one hand how much time my husband helped me with anything to do with the bills or the kids and most of that time I was working too until I had my second child and spend the first year in and out of the hospital. I am thankful that God has seen me throughout it all. I feel closer to him today than I ever did! That can not be a bad thing. I know in the end as a Christian women I have done all I can do. I brought him to the alter and to Christ but he didn’t keep the faith nor did he practice his faith. I made him aware of everything before it got so bad. Narcissist never see the issues they have and instead somehow turn things around to make you the bad guy and make you believe what they see is true. Even as strong willed as I am, it STILL was done to me. Master manipulation can take under even THE STRONGEST of women if done right and he most certainly did. He still tries to this day. Please pray I can break free of this and please pray for good days ahead. I am back in school for a short time to get a job as I have had to stay at home with my youngest for medical reasons. After 7 years I will need to be all I am AND the major provider…. And now caregiver for my elderly mother. Prayers are most certainly needed and I feel God will see me through!!! He is good! I can not thank you enough for posting this!!
  84. Thank you so much for your article. I am married to a narcissistic husband, & am desperate to leave , but feel at 72 yrs old, I have waited too late. Hope others do not wait to have a better life.
  85. What about neglect as grounds for divorce??? I'm dealing with so much pain from years of being ignored, neglected, and put on the backburner by my husband. His job has always come first, and it's like I don't exist. I lie in bed every night silently crying because he doesn't touch me or talk to me. His excuse is that he's tired every night. I feel like I'm living in a horrible dream and keep praying I'll wake up. I want so badly to be loved and cherished by my husband. I have prayed and prayed. HELP!
  86. Virtuous woman? Are you sure? In whos eyes? It’s interesting you start the post with the same reasoning as Satan in the garden to Eve a woman. “Does the Bible say?” Satan “Did the Lord say?” Jesus was clear. A woman shall not leave her husband. She is bound as long as they both shall live, not love or feel something? This is a worldly view Christian’s adopt and try to put lipstick on a pig to make themselves feel better about violating Gods Law. I encourage you to read scripture and not attempt to fit God into your view.
  87. I just wanted to ask I know that the Bible says that the man has to find fault and divorce his wife. However if the husband has started another family but doesn't want that new family and wants to stay with his original but doesn't want to work on it just pretend that the latter situation isn't relevant because he is "choosing" to stay married. Does that mean the woman can file for divorce?

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