Marriage Missions International

Leaving Your Spouse Because Of Abuse

The following article comes from the book, Beloved Unbeliever, which is written to women with spouses who are unbelievers. However, the principles outlined in this article, in reality, apply to every spouse in an abusive situation. So whether your spouse professes a relationship with Jesus Christ or not, please prayerfully read and consider what the author Jo Berry has to say, as it pertains to your marriage. (And then afterward, please read the linked article written by Leslie Vernick, which is an important one to consider.)

Jo Berry begins this portion of the book by citing the scriptures in 1 Corinthians 7:15 explaining that letting the spouse “leave” goes beyond physically leaving the marriage. As you read the article you’ll better understand what she means by this:

But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.  (1 Corinthians 7:15)

Rather than demanding that an unequally yoked wife stay in a situation where she is abused, defamed, and oppressed; where she is tortured by the temptations that such mistreatment put in her path, our precious Lord gives her an option. He does this because, Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust (Psalm 103:13-14). He understands her humanity and takes pity on her.

A Christian woman who is facing emotional or physical abuse needs to understand both the terminology and the implications in this verse, so she can act on it within the dictates of her own common sense and conscience. The word “leave,” as it is used in 1 Corinthians 7:15, means to depart or let go. While this most obviously refers to a physical separation, the concept of letting go embodies more than mere physical absence.

Since thought always precedes action, I believe we can assume that abuse and cruelty are outward manifestations reflecting a mental state of abandonment of the essence of the marriage. So, although Paul is dealing with physical separation, certainly there can also be a psychological severing, an emotional letting go, that is just as devastating and real as a mate’s actual departure.

Scripture does not deal specifically with this problem of abuse, but Christ’s attitude and certain biblical statements can help us draw conclusions about how to respond to it. The Gospels are saturated with statements about and examples of Jesus’ compassion. He was especially tender toward women and children. Think of how gently He approached the woman at the well; how respectful He was to the woman caught in adultery; how He met Mary’s needs by teaching her as she sat at His feet; how, during excruciating agony on the cross, He committed His mother to the care of His friend, John.

In the fifth chapter of Ephesians, the apostle Paul commanded husbands to love [their] wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25) and to “love their own wives as their own bodies (Ephesians 5:28). Christ, in love, sacrificed His life for the church. This example is the antithesis of abuse.

It appears, then, that any man that constantly mistreats and maligns his wife, who wounds her psychologically and/or physically, has “let go” and departed from the intent of his marriage vows. He may be living under the same roof and sleeping in the same bed with her, but if he neglects her needs and destroys her as a person by attacking her body, soul, or spirit, mentally he has left! If he is cold, cruel, and uncaring, he has already separated himself from her, even if he shares a house with her. In his sick mind, the relationship is over.

The idea of leaving, then, can legitimately include the unbelieving husband mentally and/or emotionally abandoning his wife. The final act of “leaving” may mean he will physically remove himself, but the psychological process leading up to that moment may manifest itself in ongoing abusive conduct.

The Bible says that when this happens a Christian wife is to let him leave. The Lord does not expect or want her to suffer mental or bodily harm at the hands of a husband who is supposed to sacrificially love her. God does not want her to be oppressed or incapacitated by fear. Quite the contrary, the sister is not under bondage in such cases (1 Corinthians 7:15), and any woman who is physically harmed or verbally belittled, insulted, or harassed by her husband is under bondage. Any wife whose husband controls her mind and activities with threats or brutality is enslaving her.

In this same chapter, Paul reminds us, You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men (1 Corinthians 7:23). God did not buy an unequally yoked wife out of the slave market of sin so she could be under bondage to another human being. He purchased her with the blood of Christ and freed her so she could voluntarily become His bond-servant.

She has to draw the line if her husband consistently oppresses her, by whatever means. In Luke 14:26, Jesus said, If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate[the comparison of her love for Me, her] own father and mother and[husband] and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even[her] own life, [she] cannot be my disciple. She has the right and responsibility to choose freedom impossible for her to fulfill her Christian calling.

We have already seen that submission is voluntarily choosing to yield or surrender to someone. When God instructs wives to subject themselves to their husbands, He is asking them to surrender to their husbands’ love and God-given position. Nowhere does Scripture imply that the Lord expects a wife to accede to verbal castigation or physical assault.

Many times women who are in this position convince themselves that they would be unsubmissive if they fled. So, instead of retreating and protecting themselves and their children (who may be scarred for life from exposure to continual abuse), they become passive; but passivity is not the same as submission. Whereas submission is voluntary, passivity is forced oppression. Whereas submission allows for individual dignity, passivity breeds self-hatred, and eventually a wife who subjects herself to abuse starts believing that she deserves it!

She convinces herself there is no way out and that she is only getting what she has coming to her. This is especially pronounced in cases where Christian women knowingly married unbelievers. Frequently they stay to punish themselves, to pay the penalty for their sin. Their attitude is: I got myself into this, now I’m stuck with it. So, they become passive. It is vitally important that a woman who suffers maltreatment in her marriage draw the distinction between submission and passivity.

Also, some women stay because of guilt. They believe that their faith in Christ is the reason for their husband’s abusiveness, so they think that staying is a cross they must bear —part of their suffering for Christ. They need to realize that there is an immense difference between being persecuted for the Lord and for righteousness’ sake, and being physically or emotionally abused by a man who is a tyrant.

Although, an unbelieving husband might use his wife’s faith as an excuse for attacking her, that is not the real reason. Men who batter or consistently demean their wives are emotionally ill. The emotionally yoked wife who is being vilified by her husband does not have to submit to his tirades. God does not ask her to yield to outrageous attacks.

Sometimes a Christian woman who is being harmed by her mate stays because she believes that the Lord will protect her no matter what her husband does. Candy thought that, until Glen shot her. Eleanor thought that, until Ed fractured her back and skull when he threw her down the stairs. Emily thought that, until Howard burned down their house when he was spaced out on pot and booze and fell asleep on the sofa with a lighted cigarette in his band. Their three-month-old daughter suffered severe burns over 30% of her body and was in the hospital for months.

Claudia thought that, until she had a mental breakdown. Her children had to be put in foster homes while she recovered because the court ruled that her husband was not a fit father.

If there are children involved, the repercussions of living under such disparaging conditions can leave them with lifelong scars. Scripture teaches the importance of example. We are warned not to associate with fools, liars, fornicators, idolaters, blasphemers, or hot-tempered people, because if we do we will imitate their behavior. Statistics show that many parents who are child abusers and many men who batter their wives were themselves mistreated as children, or came from homes where one or both parents were abusive. Like begets like. Removing herself and her children from danger isn’t selfish, isn’t sinful, isn’t unsubmissive —it’s smart.

God hasn’t called the wife to live in a spirit of fear and mental instability but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV). He hasn’t chosen her to live in a state of confusion, not knowing what to say or do next, or what tirades her well-intentioned responses might bring. God is not a God of confusion but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33) and has called [her] peace (1 Corinthians 7:15).

The above article comes from the terrific book, Beloved Unbeliever: Loving Your Husband into the Faith by Jo Berry, published by Zondervan Publishing House. This book could truly help those who are married to unbelieving spouses. Jo knew what it was like to live with an unbelieving spouse and also interviewed dozens of women who are married to unbelievers. In this book they share the greatest difficulties they encounter(ed) and practical ways to handle the problems.

— ALSO —

On Leslie Vernick’s web site, she answers the question on whether or not scripture supports separation when the spouse has been abusive. I highly recommend you read it:



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158 Responses to “Leaving Your Spouse Because Of Abuse”
  1. Christine says:

    (US) I got married the weekend after my husbands divorce was final from his first wife. I was young and didn’t see any red flags. He had joint custody of his 6 week old son. I eventually got pregnant and he started to change. Told me if I ever left he would kill me.

    After out child was born it got so bad. She had bad reflux and never slept. He started calling me a horrible mother for not wanting to just lay her in her bed to cry and throw up. He eventually just dropped me and my child off at my parent’s house. For a year he didn’t see our child or ask about her. He would text me and say he wanted us to work and then spend the next few days saying he worships Satan and I’m a worthless whore. I put up with it because he threatened to take my child if I didn’t.

    When we together he threw things at us. Hitting my child with a cup of frozen coffee. I was terrified of him getting her alone. I found out he was getting food stamps claiming us and not sharing. He won’t help at all. I finally asked for child support. He said he will hurt me even if he has to use my child to do it. He filed for divorce and wants my child alone on the weekends even though she doesn’t know him and is scared of strangers. She has Aspergers. I am petrified and he says nobody will belie me. He has a lawyer. I can’t afford one. God help us please.

    • Shannon from United States says:

      Contact your local DVIS, Domestic Violence Intervention Services. They should be able to provide legal help.

    • Tracy from United States says:

      I agree with Shannon that you should contact a DVIS, a battered women’s shelter or the like. From my own experience, they will provide you with a place to stay and they will contact Legal Aid on your behalf. You will not have to pay for the services.
      The more afraid of losing you and the child, the more he will threaten you. Sometimes you will be convinced staying is the only way because you do not know to start, or feel nobody can help. I went back to my abuser a few times before the final physical separation. The cycle was mentally cruel and overwhelming: he blamed me for all the ills of the marriage, threatened me (luckily, not my children), he was not a responsible father and I was not able to leave my children with him alone for any amount of time. He broke things, called his family and the cops on me, made me out to be the crazy person, but the law protected me and my kids, the police saw straight through his lies.
      Once in shelter, you can get help getting child support, housing, food and medical care. I hope for the best for you and your daughter!

  2. Donna says:

    (USA) Hello, I have been married to my husband for 23 years. When I met him, he was wonderful to me, a totally different person. The day, we married, I became ‘enslaved’ to him. He turned the tables on me & became quite the opposite person – it was like Jekyll & Hyde. The things he would say to me made me cry -and this was on the way home from our honeymoon! When I would point out nicely how badly some things he’d say to me in front of others hurt me, please don’t do it again, he passed it off as it was all in ‘fun’ and I had no ‘sense of humor.’

    Well, 23 years & two sons later, I’m still in the same boat. I’m a Christian and I have prayed for him for a long time to ‘come around.’ I’ve turned the other cheek, no matter how much he hurt me, I have ‘let things go’ but it HURTS me, cripples me and I have very little self esteem left. He has not physically hurt me but wouldn’t be surprised if one day he does. It is mostly verbal/emotional abuse, which is horrible. I know God LOVES ME & my children. HE also loves HIM but isn’t going to MAKE him change. My husband doesn’t think he does anything wrong & doesn’t ever say I’m sorry -ever. I don’t expect change anymore.

    I know my life has been in a ‘box’ for 23 years. It’s only because of finances and yes, some fear of what he would do, that keeps me in this horrible place in my life. I feel that I made a hideous mistake every getting married to this man as he honestly doesn’t KNOW what a Christian is or who God is… and he truly doesn’t seem to want to know. I pray that when my 14 yr old reaches 18 in 4 more years, if I can hang on that long, that I will have the finances and the strength to get out of this mess and live in the peace that God wants me to have. Divorce isn’t what God WANTS by any means, but He loves us and is a forgiving God. Jesus paid the price for our sins, past, present & future and I believe God wants us whole, happy and at peace so we can truly be what he needs us to be on this earth. Life is too short to stay in a prison at the hands of someone else who berrates you. God bless all who live this way. God loves you!!

    • Angie from United States says:

      I’m in your situation! There have have been so many cruel things said to me and he turns my words around. I always feel unbalanced and on the defensive with this man. I know I saw you wrote back in March of this year. Have things improved for you? I’m in such pain living here. I’m trying to get away but want to make sure I’m doing the right thing for the right reasons at the RIGHT TIME. I know timing is very important. Please advise!!

      • Cindy Wright from United States says:

        Angie, Please go into the “Links and Resource Descriptions” part of the “Abuse in Marriage” topic. You will find links to different resources listed that you may find helpful. One of them is titled, The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope written by Leslie Vernick. I believe you will find that book (and others) helpful as you prayerfully read through it (them) so you best know if you are “doing the right thing for the right reasons at the right time.” You’re right on believing that timing is very important –please don’t underestimate its importance. I heard Leslie talking about her book. I have no doubt that you will gain much from reading what she has to say. I hope you will, and pray the Lord will give you wisdom, discernment, and safety –emotionally and physically.

        • Praise from United Kingdom says:

          I was in the same plight for twenty four years. My husband on the eve of our wedding physically abused me. I was eight months pregnant when he hit me, and apart from that he also verbally abused me and made me feel depressed on the day of my wedding. I kept his actions secret and never wanted to let my father or my only sister know for fear of not being allowed to continue the marriage. I wanted to stay married to remain a good Christian.

          After my wedding I thought my husband will change but he became even more abusive. I lived in fear and in bondage. I was not allowed to fellowship with brethren because he would not allow me to. One day he came to my place of work and challenged me because he met a male staff in my workshop. He started shouting and I took him aside to speak to him and he started hitting me on the road side.

          • Praise from United Kingdom says:

            My husband called me names like “prostitute” in the presence of my children. He left condoms in his jacket and told me that he purposely left them for me to see that he has moved on with teenagers,and that I am old for him.

            He left the town where we were residing together and planned for me to be evicted from our home. He completely subjected me to emotional trauma. I couldn’t bear it any longer after the disgrace I suffered because of the eviction.

            My sister planned to move me abroad to study. I left the children with him but communicated and trained and guided them from where I am living abroad. I have also sent him some money. He’s too bitter that I fled his abuse and has continued to send me abusive text messages. I am happy that I groomed my children in the way of the Lord and they have all grown up and entered university.

            I have separated from him for six years and this year I met another man who is completely the opposite of him. Although he’s not a born again Christian, he doesn’t hinder me. He looks after me and even my children. He’s not the talkative type. He overlooks the things my former husband will hardly overlook. He looks at my face and knows when I am tired and asks me to rest.

            One thing I regret was that while I was in the abusive relationship, I was very depressed and needed someone to confide in. In one instance I confided in a deacon in my church when my husband left me. Initially he was very sympathetic and was advising me in the light of the scriptures. That drew me closer to him and he took that advantage and abused me sexually. I didn’t know such a thing would ever happen until I found myself not refusing him.

    • Nanette from United States says:

      I feel like you are talking about my husband. We’ve only been married 10 months (but together 9 years), and thankfully have no children together. The relationship had not been perfect, but tolerable. I married him (my and his 2nd) because I really missed being married and being a part of someone’s life. He changed the day I married him, and I didn’t find out until on the way home from our honeymoon (which I had to pay for with a promise he would pay me back, but never did), that his son was moving in with us because his mom kicked him out of their house. His son is almost 16, and is worse to me than his father is, and his father not only allows the child to act that way, but encourages it, and blames me, in front of the boy, for how the boy treats me.

      My husband constantly tells me he “doesn’t do anything” and neither does his son. I was in a car accident a few years ago and have a neck injury that keeps me from being able to work. I’m not immobile, but in a lot of pain and discomfort. Because of this I haven’t any money or any where to go, so I stay and live in hell. I won’t go to a shelter, I have seen them, not exactly great places. And, they are just a temporary fix, I need something permanent. So, I pray… A LOT! about my situation. My faith is my hope… and I refuse to give up.

    • David from Canada says:

      Where does the Bible promise us happiness!?

      • Tracy from United States says:

        David, your comment was very short but it seems aimed to make the point that abused people should suffer because happiness is not the ultimate goal in a Christian life. I apologize, if I interpreted it incorrectly, and please expand if I am being unfair.
        I do not believe abused people are seeking happiness and leaving marriages because happiness is what they are pursuing. Abuse stands in the way of a Christian life, it contradicts our beliefs. If we are in such a situation, most likely, we are unequally yoked. The Bible states believers may be free if the unbeliever walks away (spiritually, physically, emotionally) from the believing spouse.
        Marriage is to bring man and woman together with the purpose of His kingdom (not man’s, or even woman’s kingdom), and also, in many instances, to raise Godly children (though this may not always be the case). If a victim wishes to stay, then so be it, but never does God not offer a way out if we feel we can’t endure. This is the case in adultery, too. The innocent party may stay, but also may separate.
        Divorce or separation, pursuit of either, is not a path to happiness. Being brave enough to support your family, protect them and yourself, is merely a result of one person not fulfilling their godly role to love their wife as Christ loved the church. Abuse and adultery is not loving your spouse, it is hate, which is not from God.
        I pray I did not misinterpret the meaning of your comment and I wish no malice.

    • Beth from United States says:

      I read your article and I felt as if I was reading about myself. I feel I made a mistake as well. My husband is emotionally abusive. It is not as if he can’t help it because according to people outside the home, like the gym or a work party; they say he is so nice. Well, not everyone. My close friend and my son are starting to notice peculiarities in him as well. He just does’t seem to care about the feelings of the people he lives with. Shortly after we were married I noticed a jeckel and hyde personality as well. He also puts down my friends and family when he feels mad at the world which is almost always.

      I too have been married to him for a long time – almost 19 years. I can’t wait till my 16 year old goes to college. My husband has been talking about having him commute to school to save money, but I am pushing for him to live at college so I can leave and not have any commotion. I know God does not want me to be a prisoner of this man’s manic-depressive personality any more.

      • David from Canada says:

        What is wrong with a legal separation vs a divorce? Seems a divorce is what you want so can remarry. Obviously, you are not a Christian.

  3. Lisa from United States says:

    I faced all kinds of abuse in my marriage: physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual, etc… I was living in hell on a daily basis and I spent much of my time in the prayer closet on the floor crying my eyes out to God everyday. What God showed me in His word floored me because I thought surely God, I can leave him look at what he is doing to me… he might kill me. God said no.

    I asked God “How do I live then?” God said to wholly and completely trust in him and just come to him for EVERYTHING and watch him work… I did exactly that and it took 3 years but God did it! My husband became saved and baptized he no longer abuses me in any way and has become quite protective of me. I am so in love with the man it is ridiculous.

    • David from Canada says:

      See it works!!! The other women are either not saved or their belief in their God is very weak. God can change anyone.

  4. Renee from United States says:

    I sympathize with all of you, women and men, who have had to suffer through abusive marriages. Abuse does not demonstrate the love of Christ. NO WHERE in God’s Word is there scripture to support the idea that an abused spouse must continue to live with their abuser! That is absurd for anyone to even speak such blasphemy. Many women and children have lost their lives believing man’s word instead of God’s Word. We’ve all been commanded to love one another. For those of you who are searching for answers, please know that LOVE IS NOT ABUSE. God is not the author of confusion….man(kind) is.

    It is quite evident that the Scriptures have been twisted in order to keep an abused spouse under horrific bondage. God has never given authority to the husband to turn his wife into a punching bag. Christ never treated the church that way. So if Christ lived the perfect example of how a husband should treat his wife and has commanded that husbands love their wives, then why on earth does a man think he has authority to treat her otherwise??? Man cannot change God’s Word and enforce his own rules. SUBMITTING TO ABUSE IS MAN’S RULE, not God’s. Wives are to submit to their husbands as unto the Lord. Not submit to the husband as if he is the Lord. The husband can never supercede or take the place of the Lord in your life because he has to submit to God too.

    Husbands have been commanded to protect their wives. He cannot rationalize nor justify being the abuser and the protector at the same time. He is simply out of order. The same goes for wives who disrespect their husbands with abusive language and actions. You too are out of order. God is keeping record of all who have disobeyed, twisted, and mislead people concerning his Word.

    I’m inclined to believe that some of these comments where people are recommending that the abused wife continue to live with her abusive husband are actually written by men posing as women. These “men” have no desire to follow God’s Word. They only want weak-minded, confused women to feel guilty about the thought of leaving the home/marriage so that they can continue their reign of terror. No woman in her right mind would ever encourage another woman to stay in an abusive marriage.

    • Alana from Australia says:

      I agree with you completely Renee. I too was in an abusive marriage for almost ten years. My children suffered terribly! My oldest child ended up on drugs and alcohol due to the physical and emotional abuse he endured from that hideous person I was married to. My son tried to take his life on a few occasions. Praise God he didn’t succeed. It didn’t help either having Christians from my church at that time telling me it was my fault that my ex husband treated us this way! I ended up divorcing him 15 years ago. I am disgusted and appalled by the other comments made that women must stay in an abusive marriage no matter what. Her comment should be erased immediately! I don’t believe for a second that staying in a sham of a marriage and having your children and yourself brutalized brings glory to God in any way shape or form. Shame on that persons wicked and vile comment!

      • Cindy Wright from United States says:

        Alana, I agree with you and Renee that NO human being should pass judgement on those who are being abused, telling them that they can’t leave under any circumstances. Somehow, Lisa’s comment was posted without my being aware of it. Because of what you pointed out and the tugging of the Holy Spirit, I took out her statements where she said tells abuse victims to stay, no matter what. Those types of blanket statements are dangerous and just aren’t scriptural to project upon others.

        Lisa’s testimony still stands, as far as how her marital situation was turned around in a redeeming way. But it is rare where this type of situation turns out where the abuser (whether male or female) turns his or her life around and stops abusing. It DOES happen as Lisa testifies, but it is rare. For this reason, it’s often best to find a place of refuge when it can be done for the safety and best of all, rather than staying and subjecting her or himself to violent, demeaning, and dangerous behavior, no matter what.

        Thanks Alana and Renee for your compassionate comments. We appreciate it (and so will others who are in such horrible circumstances, who need help.

        • Monica from United States says:

          I was not able to read all of Lisa’s comments but her testimony is so powerful. My mother was getting abused in her marriage to dad and left. In no way am I saying anyone should put themselves in harm’s way by staying. That person should separate for a while. But if they divorce they are not allowed to remarry. God hates divorce. I agree someone should leave the spouse, if abuse is involved. But according to God’s word they are unable to remarry. In 1 Corinthians the wife is bound to her husband until he passes away vice versa. God’s word is true and there is no error. I believe people read God’s word is taken out of context to fit their own personal needs. Please ladies, pray about this matter and try not to go against someone’s comment because you disagree. We are all Christians so we need to present ourselves as such. There is a way to correct in love.

          • Cindy Wright from United States says:

            Monica, Lisa’s testimony IS a wonderful one –one that should cause us all to rejoice and praise God along with her and her husband. I’m glad she wrote it. But the part of Lisa’s comments that you didn’t see was where she said that ALL women who are being abused should stay. I won’t even go into what she said because I believe it is harmful for those who are in true danger. Yes, if God Himself tells a spouse to stay, they should… If they are certain this is what God tells them, then there’s no argument there. But she gave a blanket statement for everyone else to do as she felt God told her to do.

            As far as divorce, I’m the last person who will push someone towards it. That’s not what this web site is about… we’re trying to HELP those who are married, not push them to divorce (although we realize that not all marriage “partners” are open to being helped). But lets not forget the next part of Malachi 2:16 (that you referred to) where in the same sentence it says a “man covering himself [or his wife] with violence” is on the same level of God’s hatred, as it is with a man divorcing the wife. If we refer to God hating divorce, lets not forget God hating the “violence” that is committed against a wife too.

          • David from Canada says:

            The posters on here will NOT like this – you speak the truth! It is not welcomed here. If they disagree with a post it will be erased.

          • Cindy Wright from United States says:

            Hi David, You’re wrong in thinking that we erase posts that we disagree with. We erase posts that don’t line up with the guidelines laid out above the box where people can leave comments to be posted. We post many, many comments we don’t agree with. But we won’t post comments that involve name-calling, disrespectful, hostile wording, personal information and/or advice that can cause danger, and the such. The original testimony was great… it’s just that some of it involved advice that could endanger those who read it –that might take that advice. We took that part out because of the possible endangerment issues, but left the rest to stand. Remember, this topic is on the topic of abuse. We won’t be a part of allowing advice to be given to women (or men) to just “take it” and subject themselves to violent, dangerous abuse. Please don’t be so quick to judge. We try to do the best we can to help those that we can, as God leads.

          • Allen from United States says:

            You are wrong…..

            ..”.but in such cases, let them LEAVE!!! God has called us to peace”. This is where the compassion of God comes in.

  5. J from Qatar says:

    Dear Sir, Only one question. I’ve been married 9 months ago. I’m a husband to my wife. My wife and myself are working members in the family. All I need is, my wife to respect and value my words. I don’t believe when a husband tells his wife, lets go for praise and worship, (if she is not interested), she would bluntly say, I’m not feeling well, or say, I feel sleepy, etc… something to slip the going. At the same time, she is an evangelist and she loves going to her church. As per our family set up, it’s the husband’s church the wife is supposed to follow (by saying this, I’m not saying, her church is wrong or bad). Above all, if the husband is more interested in going for praise and worship sessions, I would claim, a normal wife should be more than happy, shouldn’t she? Regards, J

  6. Trusting from United States says:

    For 14 years I’ve been married and my husband was verbally abusive and emotionally abusive also. Then it became physical on a handful of occasions. We went for counseling. He yelled at me. On the way home he would scream at me and want everything to be my fault. I separated from him for a short time after he hurt me. I got the cops involved. He was more concerned at how they treated him than how he had ever treated me. He continues with the verbal and emotional abuse occasionally.

    I have prayed. I have been living or just existing. I have no love or passion or trust in him. He gambled away thousands and thousands of dollars of our money. He visited a stripper for close to a year and spent over $30,000 on her and bought her flowers twice. I’ve stayed through it all, only for the kids to live in the same home they grew up in with both parents. I prayed for my own happy life where I can worship God in church. He won’t or doesn’t want me to go to a church of my choice.

    He yelled and swore at me repeatedly about my face. He has called me everything in the book. He talks over me, makes fun of me. We have no quality time. I feel alone. I want to leave him but am nervous about how he’d act. I’d rather leave in a few years when the kids are in college. But I want to leave now. There is no physical abuse anymore for ten years. But it has taken its toll in me. Please give me some advice. Thank you.

  7. Jill from United States says:

    Trusting, please leave. Get yourself and your kids out now. It is never good to wait. You need distance to begin to heal and just to breathe. You need to to find a place of peace so you can get a relationship with Christ and his true people to see you through.

    I just had a 3 month marriage to an abuser who I thought was at first the most Godly man. I was fooled but got out quickly. It is not easy to love and be torn apart. We need Christ and like the Bible says trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Amen! Only Christ can give us peace.

  8. Ann from United States says:

    Hello, I have been with my husband faithfully since I was 16. I’m now about to be 41 (Lord willing). We have 7 kids. I had a very rough childhood. I was abused in every way by my father. I always swore I wouldn’t be in an abusive relationship and I would have a family of my own. My husband has been abusing me verbally, emotionally, mentally and physically. The most hurtful things are verbal abuse when he calls me names and throws my past in my face as if I wanted my father to molest me or something.

    He’s also controlling, jealous and obsessive. He accuses me everyday of being unfaithful, whether it’s looking at a man, to looking at a man on TV, or sleeping with every man who is around. I have never cheated on my husband and never gave him a reason to think otherwise. About 2 months ago the last incident he broke my nose. I got the 4 kids that are left in the home and went to my grandson’s mother house. I have no friends whatsoever. The domestic violence shelters didn’t have any room for all 5 of us and I have an autistic son who is 17 so it was harder to get help.

    I came home, he promised he will change. I want to believe him because I never left him before so I figured that was enough to get him to change. He hasn’t hit me since then but he still says negative things. I prayed about it I had forgiven him for the past 25 years of abuse. The problem I’m having is that when he starts his nonsense I get very angry because I feel like nothing is going to change and I have nothing to look forward to. He says sorry sometimes afterwards, but lately I have been not feeling so forgiving. I feel used and abused. He is not a provider financially but he cooks. Could it be my heart has become hardened? He has gotten away with a lot before. I now feel so stupid. How many chances should I give him? I’m starting to feel like this is not God plan for me. I pray the kids can have normal healthy life.

    • Blessing from United States says:

      Ann, except for the abuse by my father, I’ve been married almost 40 years, and my story is almost exact. However, my husband is a Christian and not physically abusive, but mentally and emotionally, and he has cheated since we have been saved; and he leads a church. And for the sake of my children, and the church, I feel trapped and full of mixed feelings about staying. I want to go because there is nothing in my heart for him but compassion for his soul and regret. I don’t know what to do, still praying, waiting to hear from God. But you have to make that decision. I’m looking for support groups, maybe that may help you. God bless you and keep you.

  9. Dawn from Canada says:

    I am 40 and my husband is 55. We’ve been married for 12 years. I was a single parent when we married. My oldest daughter is on her own but we raise her 2 and 4 year old children. Our youngest is 18 and will be moving out in July. She longs to remove herself from this home. She often has told me I was a perfect mother until I married but I never really realized why until the grandchildren came to live with us.

    My husband came from a home where is father was really abusive. His mother was meek and perfect. She could raise 5 kids, keep a perfect home and was a high up leader in the girl guides. I’m not her. Yes, my husband has tried to support me but when he gets angry… watch out. I started to become angry… then lonely. I was embarrassed by how he would ‘joke’ to my friends and family about all my negative attributes. But he was so nice about it.

    I was so lonely I spent a lot of money. I know… stupid. 3 times I did this so now he holds that against me. I work for a living. It’s your fault we can’t do anything. I already know this. I’m sorry and trying to rectify it. I can’t work because of the kids and the tax bracket thing. It was my fault we live where we live… my fault we got involved and then a bully family brutally bullied me. If we were not involved in the small town that would not have happened. He says to get over it then brings it up again if something goes wrong.

    He tells me to go make friends. Sure, as long as he doesn’t have to meet them. One day my favorite chicken was mauled by a raccoon. I was going to cry when he started yelling horrible things at me. I was stupid and yelled back. He overturned a coffee table… 150 records thrown… 20 kids puzzles everywhere, and then he grabbed me and shook me so hard my teeth banged and I chipped a tooth. He claims I spoil the kids… I don’t potty train fast enough… his mother knew how to do these things.

    I can’t seem to do all the chores fast enough. I get more depressed and start moving slower. I sleep on the couch. One morning he woke me up screaming at me because I’m so selfish and I don’t think of anyone but myself because I forgot to pre-make the coffee. He tells me I’m not to speak anymore unless it is positive, and if I want to stay negative I should find a bullet and do everyone a favor. He told me he only loves me when I’m happy. He doesn’t understand why we only have sex about 4 times a year. He has been overly aggressive and belittling of my children. Yes, my oldest is in a bad place. But pray…don’t call her names, especially in front of her children. And he will tell the kids they can go to a foster home if they aren’t good… they are children! My biological grandchildren.

    I know I deserve everything I’m getting… but now the kids… they don’t. Overall he’s a nice man. Everyone loves him. People tell me all the time I should be so happy with a supportive man like him. He tells me no one pities me… get happy or just kill yourself. I have nothing. If I leave there is no where to go. Plus I owe him to stay as I can’t afford to help pay down the debt so I stay to earn my keep. I am his servant and I do deserve it… but please pray for me to find contentment and pray the Lord puts a covering of protection from the words, for my grandchildren.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Dawn, I’m so sorry for the horrible circumstances that you are living through right now. NO one deserves this type of abuse… NO ONE. Your spending, when you shouldn’t have, or whatever else you think that you did that was “wrong” doesn’t justify his inhumane, monstrous behavior, when he is abusing you… and your children and grandchildren. Please know that they’re an audience to all of this. YOU are not the problem… his inability to stop himself when he goes where no man or woman should go, or do or say what no man or woman should is the problem. Please realize that. He doesn’t abuse EVERYONE in his life (or others wouldn’t think he’s so “supportive” or “love” him as they do). For some reason he has given himself permission to just act out and abuse you and your family.

      What’s so sad is that he is writing on the slate of who those children are and will be for the rest of their lives. And what he’s writing is negative and horrific in so many ways it’s difficult to put into words. Name-calling and belittling is degrading and changes who they think they are. And for him to lay his hands on you and to say horrible, demeaning things to you is ABSOLUTELY unacceptable. Who does he think he is to do such a thing to you and the kids that the Lord has entrusted to your care? I’m sorry that he had a difficult upbringing, but his being abused doesn’t give him the right to abuse. Please, please, please know that. And please don’t go down the road of thinking ANYTHING you have done causes you to deserve this type of low-life behavior. It never, ever, ever will.

      Dawn, I HIGHLY encourage you to talk to a counselor who specializes in abuse –perhaps at an abuse shelter or elsewhere. You need to put together some type of plan to rid your life of that type of talk and behavior –for your sake and for the sake of your “kids” and grandkids. He is riding high under a false impression that other people are painting of him. But what REALLY matters isn’t just what goes on in public but what goes on behind closed doors. Right now he is going further and further down into treating you and your family as sub-humans –those who he feels entitled to abuse and kick around. That is flat out wrong! And the longer you allow it, the worse it will get and the less energy you will have to make the changes you need to. Your past spending habits do not make you an indentured servant. It doesn’t justify his loathsome behavior.

      If you do something at this point, perhaps he will be motivated to get the help he needs and your marriage could be saved. But if you wait, the resentment and bitterness and horrible memories will continue to grow and will wipe out any chance of that happening. Putting together a plan to get out on your own, with a planned separation until and unless he changes may be a viable thing to consider. Perhaps your 18 year old or another adult (such as a family member or such) can work on some type of a plan with you. Perhaps a counselor can help you to come up with a plan. You might even contact Focus on the Family – Canada to help direct you to someone who can help (just put that term into Google and you’ll find their web site).

      Yes, you have a 2 and 4 year old to consider. And I understand very well the tug on the heart that grandchildren can bring. But for them to be raised in this type of place is horrible. Even a foster home with visitation rights would be better for them… and I say that with MUCH hesitancy (I LOVE my grandchildren… and I’m sure you love yours). I just know that your husband is not thinking or acting right and he needs to have reality hit HIM in the face so he stops, realizes the depravity of his words and actions, and makes some serious changes. Abuse escalates, if it’s not dealt with properly. You need to be the hero here for those yourself and especially those little kids. They need YOUR bravery to help them have a better life, now and in the future. I understand depression… but what’s worse than pushing through the haze of depression now to make the necessary changes, would be to wait longer and longer and longer and THEN push past the haze (which would be even worse then) to do what needs to be done. Adding more damaged emotions on top of what you’re already dealing with is worse.

      I pray for you Dawn… and for your children (even though they are mostly grown) and your grandchildren… and yes, your husband. He needs help. You all do. PLEASE get the help you need to cause the “wake up call” to come into your husband’s life, so the future doesn’t look as bleak as it does now for you and your family. A call to action is very, very necessary here. Dawn, with my whole heart, I pray the Lord helps you, guides you, comforts you, speaks to you, and works in and through you in this situation. I also pray God infuses hope into your heart that you will eventually experience better days –ones that will bring a smile to your heart.

      • Dawn from Canada says:

        Thank you. I think it has reached the haze stage. We do not speak… at all. I can’t seem to say what he wants to hear. He knows he can be difficult but if I would just be a happy housewife and do my job he said he would be happy and could love me. He has made it clear… there is no love when I am like this… but I have realized how I became this way.

        I know it’s circumstance depression. I’m normally a strong positive and spiritual woman. I’ve had a hard life but through grace I was able. My biggest mistake was not dating him. I was homeless and no where to go, and for appearances sake we just married… unequally yoked to boot. I really screwed up. I feel I deserve what I brought on. I just went too far. I walk on eggshells or cry. I’m fine until about 1 hour before he comes home then the tension makes me shake. I live in a full house but am very lonely. I have no real friends. I pace not knowing who to call… and thank you for praying because I just can’t seem to even pray right now. I am sorry… I truly feel guilty about that.

        • Marylynn from United States says:

          You sound like me. Please just leave. Just leave. It will be one of the hardest (or the hardest) thing you will ever do, but you will feel better. You may feel worse for a while but once your head is clear and your heart is healed you will not regret leaving. I am only 3 days into leaving and I’m fighting myself every step to go back to him because I miss him. But do I really miss the insults, the names, the threats, seeing my daughter being oppressed? No thank you. I’m sure you had friends before him. Go to them and tell them what’s going on. They will listen, understand, love, support, and help you to leave. Sometimes your friends are your true family.

  10. Debbie from United States says:

    I’m glad I found this article. I left my abusive husband of 32 years, a month ago. He was neglectful, indifferent, belittling and sexually abusive (to name a few) for that whole time. I did think it would be wrong to tell anyone or ask for help. Anyway, my point is that he DID profess to being a born again believer just before we got married, and agreed that we would attend church etc. All these years that’s what held me back –his professions of love and faith. And I always believed him, but his behavior never really was consistent with his words.

    A few years ago God opened my eyes to the destructiveness of his behavior, and I caught him repeatedly lying to my face. Anyway, since then I have been setting boundaries and letting him know I don’t buy the things he says. That made him become more and more controlling and bullying. I begged him for many years to seek help but he continually refused –right up until I moved out. My husband even got abusive about my time of devotions and Bible study.

    So either he never really was a Christian or Christians can be abusive. Either way, I believe God still has provisions for wives like me, or I wouldn’t have left. I have been faith-filled for many years and agonized about this decision every minute for 3 years. I finally realized that God had a plan for me that could never take place in such a toxic environment with all the health problems it had caused. He has worked everything out so far and I finally feel at peace in my home. Maybe you could shed some light on this, it would be appreciated. May God bless. ~Debbie

    • Blessing from United States says:

      Your story is very encouraging to me. I think God is speaking to me to make a decision – a decision to leave, and see what his plan is for me to bring glory to His name, to serve Him. I’ve been stagnant, just sitting under my abusive husband’s ministry not fulfilling God’s plan; I really believe that.

  11. Jane from United Kingdom says:

    You are God sent. That’s me right there you are describing. I had to leave. Clutching my 3 week old baby I was called a cow, fatso, ugly girl echoed by my 2 and a half year old son. Hearing his father abuse me…what does he know? But my husband – a “born again” Christian – didn’t stop. Neglect, malice, treated me like a slave. He threatened that I would lose my kids and home and called and told social services that I have postnatal depression. I was broken.

    Our church said I wasn’t born again. That I should submit more. Little as buy me food..I was insulted that’s all I do at home. My baby was just 3 weeks, I was in pain, I had to clean, take care of the kids and stay awake all nite from day 1 I gave birth and came home. No help or support. I was told I will go to hell fire…I could go on and on. But I went back to God and found peace and left my abusive marriage. I left the church. Am happy now. You are saying the truth. Am a living proof. God bless!

  12. Toni from United States says:

    This is a great article. It sheds light on what I am dealing with in my personal life. Thanks for posting this article. Toni

  13. Ashley from United States says:

    Wow! This is by far the best Christian article I have seen on women who are abused by their husbands. It brings me a lot of clarity on what me and my children should and should not tolerate. Thank you so much.

  14. Marylynn from United States says:

    I just “left” my husband. After 3 years of constant mind games, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, and more recently physical abuse, I have decided to save my 2 year old daughter and myself from any more pain. I love my husband (I know, I wonder why as well) and I am scared to live my life without him. But I know that I can’t make him see what he does nor change what he does. I feel bad for him and guilty that I am leaving him because he has nothing (which is the same way he came into our relationship).

    I have just about the same that I had but I feel like I took from him. I am trying to talk to him and be peaceful and tell him that I still love him and want him to be a big part of our daughter’s life. But he has chosen to curse me and threaten that he will only watch our daughter until I can find childcare and then he will disappear out of our life forever. I had hoped that he might wake up and realize our relationship is toxic when I told him I was leaving (my intent on telling him was not to make him change or scare him; it’s truly for my daughter’s and my well being) but he turned into a victim. I know I need to be strong and look forward, but this loving heart and soul wants to give in and run back.

  15. Anonymous from United States says:

    I am a husband of a verbally and emotionally abusive wife. She has been abusive to me and the kids for 6 years. I confronted her months ago and things haven’t gone well. She has pushed me physically, tried to destroy my character, badgered, belittled, criticized, condemned, cussed at, and threatened the kids. All the while the church ignores the accusations of abuse by myself and kids. I am tired of “love her like Christ loves the church” being an excuse to live with her abuse. Thank you from me and all those who have been abused by our spouses while the church condones it.

    • Anonymous from South Africa from South Africa says:

      Men can be abusive but I have found that emotional/verbal abuse (and even physical) by women to be equally common. The continuous admonition of “husbands to love her as Christ loves the church” is quite out of context. Any “church” where Christ is treated with contempt seems to not have the presence of God. He leaves and does not put up with the abuse.

      The problem is the children. Men find themselves in a situation where they can’t leave and want to do what is best for the children. This requires Godly grace and wisdom.

      As the husband of your wife you have authority to bind and to loose in your wife’s life. That is, declare abuse illegal and mutual respect legal in your house, as it may be a demonic work of darkness. Nevertheless, I’m seeking wisdom on this issue myself and I’ll let you know what I discover. God bless, brother, be strong in the strength of the Lord.

      • Allen from United States says:

        Thank you for submitting. I was not only emotionally abused by my ex wife, but she hit, slap, etc.

        If sin is sin to God, which it is. Is the abuse against a male any less in the eyes of Christ? I don’t think so. After she refused counseling, and we separated (she left), I went back to her to try and make things work for the sake of the children; two sons who are now young adults. She destroyed the eldest, and is working on the youngest. All in the name of looking like she is a great mother on the outside, while inside quite the opposite. Now they are P.A.S.S. Parental Alienation Syndrome. The youngest, with whom I shared a relationship, has totally cut off all communication with me as of this entire year.

        I know for a fact there she was affected by demonic spirits. I have the gift of discernment, and am experienced with that realm of deliverance. All the praying, all the binding of spirits, seemed to have no effect on this evil woman. Yes, that was my mistake for not seeing it before I married her. I was 30 years old. Felt pressure to marry. And indeed I loved her, but (other than our sons) to no avail.

        This woman is now 52 years old. And still is immature, name calling (me and my sons), and all the evil of rage, anger, and jealousy. I spelled it out plainly to my sons, whom both told me that she is unstable, demonic. Most likely bipolar. The family courts would do nothing short of what she wanted. And due to P.A.S., they still, even after 21, and 19 choose to disconnect from me.

        • George from United States says:

          Allen, with some little differences you have described my wife as well. Never heard of P.A.S. Wow! God help you sir! My wife and I have three girls. I am their sole emotional support. They want their mom to leave our lives. In the process of supposedly trying to help, it became clear our “bishop” and his wife have a screwed up, co-dependent relationship and I fired them. I don’t want no messed up bishop wife and bishop messing up my wife’s mind even more than what it is already. She refused to let them go and instead chose to remain loyal, even to the detriment of her relationship with me and our kids.

          The Church is RIDICULOUSLY incompetent in these matters, many or even most ministers and counselors see the woman as a victim and you already know the legal system is completely demonized and biased in favor of the perpetual victim being the female.

          • GodsFriend from United States says:

            Hello, I’ve been married for just about 2 years and my wife has repeatedly (over 5 different times) spent over 10 minutes kicking, punching, and scratching me while cussing me out using language that would make most sailors blush. I usually stand there and just take it because I’m afraid what might happen if I do fight back. I’m above average height and have good upper body strength but will not retaliate. During the beating I’m tempted to call the police but I know they’d believe she was the victim and I was the perpetrator. I do try to leave but she’ll confiscate both car keys (since the vehicle is in her name). Usually I call a friend and try to get a way for things to cool down. There have been interventions, prayers, and counseling, but to no avail.

            While I don’t see any biblical verses that justify me divorcing my wife I do some, which allow me to separate for both of our sakes. She may very well be bipolar, had a hard childhood, etc but I need to protect both myself and her mental, physical, and emotional well being. I’m simply amazed how little there is about this subject online or anywhere else in the media. It’s clear that most think of the wife as the victim since she generally has the weaker physical stature. I love God and her very much and have decided to stay after each of the 4 beating sessions, the last one happened two days ago (still have bruises) and she also makes it a point to find my possessions and break or throw away as much as she can. I don’t hit women and I don’t think I ever will but enough is enough. Please pray for God to make clear how I can separate in such a way that will help us both heal. Any of you have thoughts on this? Love to you all.

          • Steve Wright from United States says:

            Dear Friend, you are in an untenable situation. You’re right – there are few places you can turn, as a man, to find help for spousal abuse. Without any physical evidence of what your wife is doing that you could show the authorities, she will probably never be motivated to change. She feels she has the upper hand and has complete control over you.

            Now, here’s the tough question: If you did have evidence of her abuse would you press charges against her? That could be a game changer. It could work positively that she would finally realize she has a problem and gets treatment, but it could also mean the end of your marriage if it goes the other way. We aren’t counselors and are in no position to tell you what to do. You need to reach out to a domestic abuse center. I know where you live there will be some. BUT, will they be willing to accept that the husband is the one actually being abused?

            If you go back to our web site and into the section again you can look in the links and resources section for a few suggestions as to whom you might want to contact about this.

            Friend, I wish there was a “sure thing” that we could give you that would change your marriage overnight. Cindy and I want you to know how much we admire your tenacity and courage to stay in your marriage and to “believe” that things will heal and change. Please don’t give up on finding the solution – even if people dismiss your claims. God will honor your faithfulness. -Steve Wright

  16. Nikita from United States says:

    I am in the same type of abusive marriage. I married my husband 5 years ago. He dragged me down financially, emotionally, and physically. Recently, I had been staying with him and his mom, and I was told to leave because of course, he wanted to go our separate ways. I left without a place to go, grabbed whatever I could in tow. Now he expects to live separate lives and for me to still meet his sexual needs. I mean I do not know what I have done for him to treat me so low. I am tired. He is winning. I feel like the loser because, I am the one that has to start over and over. So you guys I feel your pain.

  17. Renee from United States says:

    So it’s only ok for a Christian woman to leave the above situation if her husband is a non-believer? But if we are married to a Christian who has emotionally left the marriage and is emotionally abusive, we just have to grin and bear it?

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Did you read the Leslie Vernick article that was linked to this one? If you read both, I’m not sure why you would ask the question you did.

  18. Kathy from United States says:

    I have been married for twenty one years to a man that finally admitted over the phone to talking to his friend that he has bad intentions towards me. He says that God will not forgive me if I leave or divorce him. I should have known better since I only knew him for three months.

    My biggest mistake was listening to others that had no clue about physical or mental abuse. I feel fustrated and burnt out living with someone that puts me down, trying everything within his power to stop me from getting my masters. What hurts the most is that he used the children. I pray that one day he will realize what he has done. After reading what Jesus wants us to do and what Jo wrote, gave me the strength to mentally and physically let him go even though he let me and the children go years ago, for drugs.

  19. Dale from United Kingdom says:

    I’ve been married for 6 years and in total I’ve been with him for about 11 years. My husband is sweet for a while then we fight. I am guilty too because I fight him back when he pushes me around and puts so much fear in me. He is really big and extremely strong. He breaks things! He has slapped me before, strangled me and sexually mistreated me. I’m almost certain he has been unfaithful as he has had some questionable mails on his phone that he has strange explanations for. When I try to leave, he dramatically apologises with tears in his eyes and begs me not to leave.

    We have 3 children. I cannot survive financially on my own. What do I do? I fear for my life. I stay because of my kids and financial reasons. I have no friends; my parents did not raise me but my granny did. No parents to run to. What do I do? Therapy does not work, we’ve done that. It’s ok for a while and then it just goes haywire again. I haven’t been to church for almost 2 months, I know this is wrong. Please help, people I do know do not know what I’m going through, I have no one to turn to.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Dearest Dale, How I wish we had the resources to help you, but other than what we offer on our web site, and praying for you, which I am, I can’t do too much more humanly for you. But please know that I care and am praying for you. I also encourage you to read everything you can in the “Abuse in Marriage” topic to try to protect yourself, as best you can. It’s important for your sake and the sake of your children. Tragically, once a spouse crosses the line of abusing the other, it usually escalates in danger. So please, please be careful. And sadly, your children are being exposed to this behavior and it WILL change who they are and who they become unless your husband stops giving into his impulse of trying to resolve his frustrations by abusing you, all of this will spiral down into an ever-growing, impossibly unhealthy one.

      Please know that in the “Abuse in Marriage” topic you will find Recommended Links in it. There are two in particular that may be able to give you some direction in some way. The ministry of Hidden Hurt is based in the U.K. The gal who runs it may have suggestions for you as to what you can do, given your circumstances. Also, Hot Peaches has lists of hotlines, shelters, and much more that could possibly guide you in some way if you contact those who could possibly guide you. Both are a good beginning for you to try to get some guidance on this. I hope you’ll take advantage of them. You definitely need some guidance.

      Also, you need to let some other people know what’s going on. I know this will be hard, but it’s more dangerous for you to try to go this alone. You need others who are aware of the dark side of your situation. Your pastor may be a good one to talk to, as well. I hope he is wise… some pastors are good on these types of situations, and others aren’t. But it’s sure worth a try to reach out to him and/or others in your church. You need help –especially God’s help in gaining wisdom in what to do concerning your husband’s abusive behavior and your children being exposed to this. Even if they don’t see it all, they will still pick up on the toxicity of what’s going on. I pray that you’re able to find the help you need and the wisdom and discernment you need, as well. May God help you, and wake up your husband to reach out for the help HE needs to stop all of this before it’s too late.

  20. Maggie from United Kingdom says:

    I’m in a similar situation. Been married for almost 8yrs now, together we’ve got 4 children. When I met him, he seemed alright, we both felt in love. After a few days he started behaving strange to me but I had to stick with him as he impregnated me soon after meeting him. He started shouting at me in the middle of the night just for turning around to change position in bed. I knew I was in trouble. He became controlling, jelaous of my friends & even at one time broke my telephone cutting me from them. We got married for the sake of our son. We moved from country. When we got there, heck broke loose. He assaulted me day and night while pregnant. I cried all the time as I knew no one couldn’t speak the language of the local community. I thought of ways of freeing myself. One day while he was in his bed I stormed out of the door running for my dear life I met two strangers who kept me warm as they did the necessary things to help me, calling the police and the ambulance. While at the hospital I gave birth without him. He started calling and making threats if I left him. Went back with him as he promised he’d change. After two months he started again. I left him again, got shelter away from him but he found out and persuaded me to go back. I became pregnant again with second child. Seven months after baby was born, he seriously assaulted me, battering me against the chest of drawers and almost strangled me. We were separated and he was ordered not to approach me unless for parental responsibility. I had custody of our children. After one year he started again trying to persuade me as usual promising not ever hurt me. I took him back. For a while he stopped physical abuse but didn’t stop controlling me emotionally as in what to wear, what to eat. I told him to leave my house & he eventually left. We got separated again. After living separately for a while he thought that kids needed both of us. He was looking after our three children for a while until the social workers suspected that he was neglecting their vital needs and emotionally abusing them. He started calling me to get him out of the mess and save the children from being taken into foster. I agreed, as I love my children. After two months of living together, I feel suffocated, belittled, angry, and resentful all because he is controlling every thing I do. I have to ask for permission to cook. I cannot go to church as he won’t let me bring my children with me. One time he poured my food away while I was cooking then he almost broke my fingers right in front of the children I called the police who told me to get in touch with domestic violence agents. We don’t share a bed now. I sleep on the sofa just because he discovered that I’m using contraception without his knowledge.

    My option now is leaving him for the sake of my mental well being and the children. .

  21. Allen from United States says:

    This is written as most, with the assumption that it is the woman who is physically or emotionally/or both, abused. Well, I (the ex male spouse) was the one who suffered the abuse…both physical and emotional. She left after refusing counseling. Then I divorced her. She waxed worse and worse, much to the detriment of our two sons. What do you say of that? I believe I am free to remarry.

  22. Tess from United States says:

    I am at a pretty bad spot. I have let this man abuse me mentally and spiritually for almost 25 years now. Yes, he did hit me once a long time ago and has threatened to do so but has never again. I have had 12 pregnancies and 7 beautiful children. He uses 3rd person talk right in front of me with the kids like “she” and “her” over pretty much anything. He has convinced the lack of housekeeping is all my problem and that I am a horder etc. My teenagers are all going through some rebellion towards everything and often refuse to do even the basic chores. This give me more work than I can handle. We are at 5 loads of laundry a day, 3 full loads of dishes and if it does not get done it leaves a terrible mess. I do all the transport to functions for school and extra curricular as well as doctors and emergencies. I am constantly told what a failure I am. I have found myself snapping lately as I cannot take the abuse anymore. I have actually found myself saying a bad word or two as he has gotten me so frusturated. I need some immediate support so this seperation does not do me in. I am mentally to the end of my coping but I know I need to figure this out to still be a good mom to the 5 of my 7 still at home. We are broke and have no extra for anything. He will soon get a large inheritance but that has nothing to do with me. Please, if anyone has any advice/Thanks

  23. George from United States says:

    Folks, what about women who abuse men? Do you really think abuse is an exclusive male attribute? I’m dealing with a wife who abuses me verbally, emotionally and at times physically and then turns it around and cries wolf and presents herself as the victim. She LOVES articles like these that only speak of women as victims. Open your eyes and get yourself updated. Female abusers abound and they use he legal system all the time to destroy the lives of decent men.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      George, It’s difficult to find info on husband abuse. There are many, many reasons for this, as you can read in an article posted on this web site at: Trust me, we’re well aware of the fact that many men are abused by their wives. We’ve met some of them and know of others. This is a very real problem, but an under-reported and under acknowledged one. In today’s world it’s easier to get help if you are a woman being abused than a man –there is a real stigma. It shouldn’t be, but it is. Abuse is wrong no matter who does it –a man or a woman.

      • Karen from United States says:

        I have fought to sustain my marriage for over 45 years but the infidelity continues on and off (at least that’s how I see it). It got to a point where he physically attempted to squeeze the life out of my diaphragm, so I left and live 2600 miles away. Previously he held a knife to my throat because I had gotten my passport. He turned up at my door, apologized again but refused counseling. It is now 5 years since the separation but he still will not keep away from my home. I don’t want the police to be involved. He claimed to be a Christian from I met him. He even brought his outside child who is younger than our last child into our home to live without our biological children knowing. Am I right to leave the home?

        • Cindy Wright from United States says:

          Karen, You need to find a way to protect yourself. Some of these abuse agencies can help you figure out how to do this. This is the type of behavior that can escalate into a real dangerous situation. You aren’t doing your husband any favors by staying within his reach (even moving, as you see, still causes him to seek you out, but at least you aren’t as accessible to his everyday impulses).

          You ask if it’s “right to leave the home. To that I would say, it’s like putting money out in front of someone you know, who steals. You remove the temptation AT THE VERY LEAST until they get the help they need to stop that type of behavior. Promises are empty and sorrow is empty without the appropriate behavior behind it to show it’s true. If he refuses counseling that will help him change his behavior –to stop giving himself permission to cheat and hurt you mentally and physically, then it seems wise to remove the source of temptation (in other words, remove yourself –although you need to be even more careful).

          Please talk to some people that can help you. Go into the “Links and Recommended Resources” part of this topic on “Abuse in Marriage” and locate people you can talk to, so you can come up with another plan to better protect yourself. I’ve seen this type of situation end in disaster too many times. Please find a way.

          Also, one more thing, just because he “claimed to be a Christian” doesn’t mean that he is. I can claim that I’m an opera singer, but that doesn’t mean that I am. The proof comes when I open my mouth to sing. When your husband opens his mouth to yell at you the vile things he does, and hurts your heart by cheating on you and by causing you physical harm, he shows that there is no way that he is a follower of Christ. You can’t claim one thing and live another, and live in Truth. In Matthew 7:22-23 Jesus made this clear that just by calling out the name of the Lord (in cover-up), it doesn’t mean that the person really lives what he says he does. (We call it living as a wolf in sheep’s clothing.) One day the Lord will tell him to depart forever from His presence, because he really doesn’t know the Lord… he’s just playing along as if he does. Don’t believe that claim. He cannot be a Christian if he lives like the devil.

      • Bob from United States says:

        Then don’t disrespect men who are already abused by using gender-specific language when describing abusers/abused persons. Is that too much to ask? Reading this page is like a knife in the heart of abused husbands. Bob Mackey

    • Bob from United States says:

      Amen, George. By the lack of response to your question in the last month… I assume the folks in charge JUST DON’T CARE. I asked the same thing.

  24. Amy from United States says:

    My husband is physically and verbally abusive. Pretty much, I always have a bruise or old bruises. I was molested as a child and he throws that up in my face constantly. The fact that he constantly does that bothers me way more than the molestation event. He threatens to kill me or cut my throat very often. When my kids were smaller he threatened to kill them if I left. When I confronted him about other women that he has online relationships with, but claims to love, he then became very violent and blacked my eye and knocked out my tooth. I have multiple sclerosis and am very afraid I will not be able to take care of myself.

    Right now I am ambulatory and to God be the glory. You really wouldn’t know if you saw me. Lately I can tell my symptoms are more pronounced. The Dr says I must avoid stress. That is not a option now. I’m so confused, just really don’t know what to do and don’t have very many options. I get an SSI check in the amount of 721.00 every month, so I have to work within that budget. Please pray for me, that God will open doors and more so, that I’ll have my eyes open to see. Pray please, Amy

  25. Rokeya from Anonymous Proxy says:

    Hi, I’m from Bangladesh. I have been married to my husband for 5 years. I was young, my age was 18, when I got married. We loved each other. But after marriage, suddenly everything changed! The 2nd day of my married life, he slapped me because I asked him about phensidyle; he was addicted to. He always takes 2-3 phensidyle a day, even more. When I was going to say something and if I asked something like, why are you doing all this, then he tortured me, abused me and used many nasty words. I cried a lot, and I’m still crying.

    He didn’t give me peace a single day. After 2 yrs I got pregnant then I thought that maybe everything was gonna be all right if a child comes. But I was wrong! Still now, he couldn’t change himself. I’m tired, and really lost myself. I don’t have any self-esteem. He makes me crazy. I don’t understand that what to do or what should be done! Now my baby girl is in running 3 yrs. She got afraid when she saw us two fight and when I cried loudly. I can’t control myself. It seems that I’m mentally and physically broken. I’m worried about my child’s future and I don’t want my child to see us to fight.

    But I couldn’t take any decision coz that time I got confused. If I divorce him then how can I bring up my child alone? I really am afraid of these things. Many times I tried to make him understand that we have a child; we shouldn’t do these things… I mean beat, and abuse. But he didn’t hear me. He always beats me up and abuses me without any reason. I just can’t bear it anymore. I want to be free from this. But I don’t know what is good for my child and myself. Please, I beg you, please help me make the right decision.

    • Angel from United States says:

      Rokeya, Men who abuse their wives very often abuse the children eventually. I don’t know what it’s like for women in your country if you can support yourself, but if I were you I would start planning your escape. Ask God to help you make the right decisions and provide a place for you and your daughter to go. You must get yourself and your child out of danger. I will pray for you.

  26. Marga from Philippines says:

    I have been with my partner for almost 14 years and have 3 kids. 4 years ago I become a believer of Christ. Throughout our years together, I’ve had a lot of issues with him. He has been with many other women some of which I caught, some I haven’t. He used to be a gambler, he almost molested my younger sister and lastly he hit me in the face. I have begged him that I want to get out of our relationship but he won’t leave the house. I don’t have anywhere to go and my children go to school near our place. The business that I have is located in our home in which it not possible relocate. I don’t know how to ask him to leave.

  27. no name from United States says:

    My husband is a nice person to others but he is violent towards me. He calls me ugly in front of my kids; just this morning he pushed me out the room with a glass jar pushing it on my chest just because I didn’t have sex with him.

    I feel like I’m more than that! I don’t want much in life, just a nice person. He calls me a ho when all I do is stay home. In the past we both cheated but that was seven years ago. I have changed because I felt guilty.

    He continues to be aggressive to the point were he has kicked my leg where I can’t hardly walk. I feel trapped. I don’t have anyone to help me – no family. My mother was in a mental hospital when I met him; he was so nice to me but he did bring women in front of me and hurt me emotionally. I though, well this is how men are, but as of now 16 years later I’m tired of it.

    He talks about my dead grandmother who never did anything to him and I feel like I don’t know what to do

  28. Grace from Cayman Islands says:

    Hello I got married with my husband 8 months ago but we have been together in one house for 2 years. My home is too far away from him, like 10 thousand miles away. First time he hit me on my face because I threw away his cd because I got jealous because it is written in his name and ex wife. But after he hit me he asked for forgiveness. That time we were not married yet. I forgave him. The second time he slapped me again on my face because I told to his grandchild that he’s crazy and course him because he not listening to me every time I told his grandson something he’s always talking lies. He said I must remember that he’s 8 years old. So I say Im not hitting anybody I used my mouth. That time also I’m 18 weeks pregnant with our first baby. Im so hurt of what he did. I told him I’m going leave because I cant take what he did to me. Pls advice me.

    • Bob from United States says:

      I don’t know which of you is more screwed up. Then again… WE ALL ARE. Do you have a relationship with Jesus? Does he? If you don’t this is piddling stuff. God means for each of us to live FOREVER, so the little cruelties you guys pile on one another don’t amount to a hill of beans. take him to church. Treat him well, even if abused. Let God worry about the rest… and yes, if things don’t change… dump him.

  29. Bob from United States says:

    Are you guys blind to the angst of men?? Sounds like a rant straight out of the Women’s Studies class I took. At least use gender-neutral language… even if you personally think it’s only men who can be abusers. At least please don’t rub more dirt in the face of the abused who do not fit your own definition.

  30. Jequetta from United States says:

    I was wondering if anyone knows of who can help me leave the country. My abuser is so mean and crafty. He finds me no matter what or where. My only option now is to leave the country. I’m in another shelter again. Please somebody, anybody help me before he kills me.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      So sorry Jequetta… what a horrible place to be — to sense that your spouse will kill you and yet you don’t know of a way to protect yourself fully. How I wish we could help. The only help we know of is at abuse shelters, or calling an abuse hotline (which you can find in the “Recommended Links” part of this topic. I wish so badly we could do more. Our thoughts and prayers are with you but sadly (even though we wish we could) we don’t have the means to help you more than this.

  31. Travis from United States says:

    After another New Year and what could have been a restful day I find my spouse underfoot cleaning and inciting discord. She speaks and belittles me in front of the two step children that live with us most of the time. One is in college the other works fulltime and has two children who come and stay about 3 nights a week. We have been married 13 years and during that time things have never been easy.

  32. Katy from United Kingdom says:

    My husband could be verbally and sometimes physically abusive. He hid his chronic drug addiction from me but we had to endure his alcoholism. He has remained a liar and a chronic manipulator..The flip-side of all this is that he can be really kind, perceptive, understanding, reassuring and has similar goals and interests like me.

    I separated from him for our child’s protection with the hope of his taking action and later being reconciled. We have been apart many years without seeing each other. I still love him and don’t want to let his good side go. He might be clean of drugs now but he has still shown small signs of being abusive on the phone.

    My question is…Is there anyway you can still be married to a man like this without putting yourself and your child at risk? Is there any road to reconciliation albeit a very long one? He says he knows he was abusive and has changed and does not need to have long term help from abuse specialists (one of my requirements)… I am in the unusual position of wanting to stay married to this man, wanting to find anyway forward for us to be together and have tried everything… what should I do?

    The limbo is sooo painful and I am pulled in two directions… thanks.

  33. Jane from United States says:

    I just left my husband because of the physical and verbal abuse that I’ve been getting for the past 4 yrs of marriage. I felt like I was in a cage, walking on egg shells making sure that what I say to him was right and that I wouldn’t upset him. I didn’t know how much of a change I went thru by shunning my friends and family, just so he’d get all my attention. I don’t know why I let him do this to me.

    Both his parents and my parents had an abusive relationship and it was natural for him to hit and cuss at me just as it was natural for me to accept it, as well. This past 4 yrs he has threatened and left me before, tonight. I made my first move and told him it’s over. No one knows that I left him, and there is no one for me to ask for help or advice. My heart loves him and wants to be with him but my mind is fed up and just wants to move on.

    It’s hard because I have no one to share this with, so now I’m posting on here, I guess venting, letting out my emotions that I’ve held in for so long. Tonight I read something that highlighted everything when it came to walking with Christ, and it was my faith in God that he will continue to protect me thru this abusive relationship and that if I constantly pray, my ex husband will change. The first line changed my perspective and gave me peace… “Candy thought that, until Glen shot her”… I mean, WOW! I don’t know how far my ex-husband could go as far abuse but I didn’t even think about any of these circumstances.

    Thank you for this post. I have to read encouragements online to get through my emotions bc I have no friends. Thank you sooooo much again for this, PLEASE PRAY FOR ME. PLEASE. :( please pray for my ex-husband… I can never rejoice that I left him bc he is ill. I can never rejoice that he is suffering with anger because he really is a nice guy. He is romantic at times, but he needs help.

    You see, I have hope in so many people that even all the wrongs they’ve done, I can still see the positive side in them. I just hope God understands and forgives me for calling quits on a marriage. And please pray that my emotions of being alone will be filled with Gods love… I really don’t know what to ask for, I just need prayers. Thanks.

    • Jedi Knight from United States says:

      I’m so sorry that you were abused by your husband. The Bible is very clear that you have the right to divorce your husband for abuse. For more help, feel free to visit and click the Forum button. The website has been recommended by Marriage Missions and is founded and operated by Dr. Bill Harley. You can receive help from experienced posters on the MB forum utilizing Dr. Harley’s methods. Hang in there and remember that Jesus loves you!

    • David from Canada says:

      Would you ever give your husband another chance if he were to change?

  34. Amanda from United States says:

    I’m married to a man in which I have not lived with for the past 2 years. We separated 2 years ago under a horrible break up in which he was taking advantage of our finances to buy whatever he wanted and was taking it to his parents house. He barely paid the bills and wasn’t there as a husband for some time.

    He got heavily involved in pornography and promised he would stop. He went to our pastor many times. However, it would still come up. It made me so angry that he would choose these images over his family. So whenever the pornography was found of course we would have a big fight. It drove me insane to the point I felt so belittled as a female. Felt very down graded as if it was an assault against me. I finally gave it to God.

    He got mad when I confronted him about a girl he had been working with and was texting her so much. One of the texts said to her that she could stay with him and he would lend her a pair of his jersey shorts to sleep in, which I felt was way over the line for a coworker. He had just started this job when he was failing out of school mostly because of the involvement of the pornography. I was the only one supporting the family but I allowed him to still try to be the man of the house and manage our finances.

    So when he got a part time weekend job 2 hours away I supported him. As time went by he got meaner and real cold, very dispondent and admitted being far away from God. We didn’t have any intimate relations and he felt no need to justify and support our marriage. So one day he left on his last adventure to rank up the credit cards to purchase things for himself to take to his parents house and he saw I took him off the card. So he wanted a divorce.

    When he left I had a lot of healing to do and realized how trapped he was into pornography. Right now he is in a relationship with a younger girl with 2 young children. He has not wanted to once work things through and his parents support his behavior. So I pray for deliverance for him. I had concerns about him being so involved in pornography that it would affect the children. We had 4 children… 3 were mine… 1 girl was his. So he has kept me away from my step daughter and he has not seen the daughter he adopted with me, nor has he made any attempts.

    I have had to undergo a lot of personnel healing from the issues he battled and how he was. In this time I’ve healed greatly but God is still fixing me. I didn’t realize a lot of the damage that was done to me because of his addiction. I know he’s sick and needs help. I also know that only God can fix him and that I’m not him. So now we’re going to court for our divorce. I just pray God’s will be done and that no matter what that he truly, truly gets help and that God delivers him. I know when my step daughter is able to, she will look for me, and when she does God will fix those years we were away. I look forward to that time. Pray for me. It’s been along battle.

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