Jun 14, 2011

The Bible DOES allow divorce for domestic abuse

One of the problems when dealing with domestic abuse in a Christian context is, “What does the Bible says about divorce for domestic abuse?” I believe the Bible allows divorce for domestic abuse, and the key text for this is 1 Corinthians 7:15 – But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. For God has called us to peace.

This verse has been generally assumed to relate to desertion: when an unbelieving spouse walks out, abandoning a marriage with a Christian spouse, but not legally divorcing them. However, in the Greek text the word “depart” (chorizo) means “to place space between, to separate” and it was one of the standard terms for legal divorce in the first century. Typically, perpetrators of abuse do not walk out of their marriages – they want to stay in the relationship because they enjoy the power, privilege and control they obtain therein. So the victim of abuse thinks this verse does not apply to her. However, when correctly understood, it is the verse which gives her freedom. (And yes, men can be victims too; my new husband suffered abuse in a former marriage.)

In my book Not Under Bondage: Biblical Divorce for Abuse, Adultery and Desertion I define domestic abuse as a pattern of conduct by one spouse which is designed to obtain and maintain power and control over the other spouse. It always includes emotional and verbal abuse and may also include financial abuse, social abuse (restricting the victim’s contact with family and friends), sexual abuse, physical violence, and spiritual abuse such as twisting scriptures to justify the abuse. Abusers who never use physical violence (and there are many) are still very frightening and controlling to their victims. Post-separation, many of these abuses may continue, with the added element of legal abuse leading to protective mothers sometimes losing custody of their children to the abuser.

The perpetration of domestic abuse effectively pushes away the other spouse and divides the marriage. The fact that many victims eventually leave abusive relationships testifies to this pushing away. Perpetrators usually protest that they want the marriage to continue, but their evil conduct conveys the exact opposite – it effectually pushes the opposite spouse away.

When applying 1 Corinthians 7:15, the key question is not “Who walked out?” but “Who caused the separation?” Would it be sensible to say that David was the sinful rebellious one when he left Saul’s court? No, he left because of Saul's abuse. David left, but Saul was the cause of his leaving. If we translate the word chorizo as “separate” we see this more clearly: if the unbeliever separates, let him separate. The unbeliever is doing the separating; the believer is commanded to let it be done. This tells the believing spouse (and the church) to allow the marriage to be over, because the unbeliever has destroyed the covenant. It permits the victim of abuse to take out a legal divorce. Let there be chorizo = let there be separation = let there be legal divorce, because the word chorizo means both separation and divorce.

In Not Under Bondage I also show that since the brother or sister is not under bondage, the victim of abuse is free to remarry a new partner (unlike the instance in 1 Cor. 7:10-11 where marriage to a new partner was forbidden).

This idea isn't new
Before no-fault divorce came into vogue, there was a ground for divorce under English law called “constructive desertion.” Constructive desertion was deemed to have occurred if one spouse so ill-treated the other that the victim was justified in leaving the abusing spouse, having been driven to do so. The act of desertion was understood as having been caused by the abuser. The concept of constructive desertion was recognized by Puritan theologians who saw it in 1 Corinthians 7:15. My interpretation of that verse is not new, it's just been lost (buried under male-privilege?) for several hundred years.

What if the abuser is a professing Christian? 1 Corinthians 7:15 only applies to marriages where the opposite spouse is a nonbeliever. If an abuser is a professing Christian, efforts should be made to bring them to repentance (Matt. 18:15-17). An abuser who doesn't demonstrate genuine repentance should be treated as an unbeliever. The believing spouse who has suffered domestic abuse will then be at liberty to take out a divorce under 1 Corinthians 7:15.

When it comes to domestic abuse, biblical discipline has been appallingly neglected or inappropriately employed by church leaders. But there is a line in the sand and churches must draw it when it comes to the perpetrator of domestic abuse. It's not okay for pastors to take a neutral stance vis a vis perpetrator and victim. Neutrality is not neutral. Neutrality effectively means you become an ally of the abuser, because if you take the view that both parties are contributing to the marriage problem, then you're effectively saying 'It's not abuse” which serves the agenda of the abuser. When responding to domestic abuse, the proper feeling is outrage, and the only righteous stance is to fully support the victim, while making the perpetrator accountable.

Because abusers are great at feigning repentance and enlisting allies among clergy, an abuser's supposed repentance should be cautiously evaluated and stress-tested over time, just as Joseph tested his brothers’ repentance before reconciling with them. Repentance is not mere words, it should be demonstrated in changed attitudes and behavior. I have a Checklist for Repentance on my website which can help here.

Church leaders should always check with the victim to know how she sees her abuser's demonstrations of reformation, whether she thinks he is really reforming or just feigning it. This principle has been followed for years by best-practice secular programs which run behavior change groups for abusers. Clergy who are assessing an abuser's repentance need to follow the same protocol: they should consult with the victim at all stages.

Liberty, but not license
The principles outlined here don't open the floodgates to all divorce. Allowing divorce for abuse, on the principle of constructive desertion under 1 Corinthians 7:15 is not the same as allowing divorce for any disaffection. Because abuse is defined as a pattern of conduct designed to obtain and maintain power and control over the other, my teaching cannot be misconstrued to allow divorce for the catch-all excuse of “incompatibility”, or for the occasional instances in non-abusive marriages where one spouse shows a lack of consideration for the other spouse. In all abuse, efforts should be made to bring an abuser to repentance. However, it is important to be aware that most victims of abuse have already made many efforts in this direction before they seek help from a pastor or other professional. Indeed, the victim has usually borne too much for too long and the pattern of abuse has become deeply entrenched.


(this article was first published as a blog on Restored Relationships)

29 comments:

  1. As a Christian victim of abuse, I struggle with this concept, which goes against the grain of mainstream teaching.

    All my life as an active church member, I have been taught that the priority is always to save marriages. Perhaps the question should be asked, why is the church having to save so many marriages, and why is their mission to save marriages not succeeding, since the rate of breakdown seems to be no different to that of the world?

    The usual answer is that worldly teaching has crept in the church, and people think like the world. However, teaching on marriage is as strong as ever in the church, so the average churchgoer doesn't view marriage in the same light as an unbeliever. I personally don't know of mature active Christians who regard divorce as the easy way out. Yet I know of many who have divorced, after much anguish and deliberation.

    Maybe church leaders are missing this elephant in the sanctuary - domestic abuse. It is wrecking marriages. You can't save such marriages without addressing the abuse. If you make saving the marriage the priority instead of tackling the abuse, you will probably fail. If you tackle the abuse, you may lose the marriage too, but at least you save lives.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree Flamingo that it's vital for the church to open their eyes and tackle the abuse.
    Probably most church leaders would agree with the 'motherhood statement' that they ought to tackle abuse. And sadly, many believe they are tackling it properly simply by preaching that husbands should love their wives. But much more is required than pulpit platitudes. They publicly bemoan the prevalence of divorce in the church, but they generally shy away from public discussion about the victim's liberty to divorce when an abuser DOES NOT change.
    I think many victims are tired of being rendered invisible.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm a Christian, but my husband is not a believer. To him, my faith is a "myth" and he could care less about what the Scripture says in regard to "loving your wife." It would be ideal if all husbands and wives followed the Bible's advice on marriage, but what is the church to do for its believers who are suffering and struggling but have spouses who could care less what a pastor or church leader, or even God Himself, has to say? My husband won't leave (as I know many Christians would then think divorce was fine since the unbeliever departed) because he refuses to work and I'm the breadwinner. He's not going to leave a situation that benefits him - where he gets to abuse me and have me support him, too. I don't attend church because I know no one there would understand or care and would just tell me to keep giving a "good witness" to save him - not going to happen. I'm hurting and feel no care from the so-called "family of God."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. know that the lord loves you, he fights for you. you are worth a new dream. praying for you

      Delete
    2. I would recommend Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Marriage by Lee and Leslie Strobel. I found it very honest, compassionate, biblical, and comprehensive. It also has very practical advice on how to make the marriage work and be a good witness to the husband. It has a very balanced perspective that although the Christian spouse has a huge spiritual impact on the non-believing spouse, it is ultimately not their responsibility but God's to work in their hearts. A must read if you are in such a marriage or ministering to someone in such a marriage. I bought the book to minister to someone who was in such a marriage and also got her a copy. She said it helped so much because it convicted her and described exactly how she felt about the marriage and helped her so much.

      Delete
    3. Anon, I hear your pain and your frustration with the church. If you haven't already done so, I suggest you visit A Cry For Justice which is where I blog now. The community there is very active and will support you, even though your local church may not.
      here's the link
      cryingoutforjustice.com

      Delete
  4. Dear sister, I am convinced you have biblical grounds for divorce because your husband's abusive pattern of conduct (an intentional pattern of conduct which is designed to obtain and maintain control over another) is in effect pushing you away. He may not ever leave (indeed, as you describe, he has plenty of reasons for staying!) but he is actually driving YOU to leave should you choose to do so – it's your choice, but you would bear no guilt at all if you chose to do it.

    The church so often doesn't Get It. You feel no care from many fellow believers because they in fact don't care - they may not realise their beliefs and attitudes are uncaring, but they are. They need to be educated.

    Sometimes whey you point out to people that their beliefs and attitudes are supporting abusers and harming victims, they are dismayed, and want to learn how to do it differently. But in my experience, it's more common for them just to switch off, or discount what you say. Sigh.

    Whether or not you ever get support from local Christians, I want to affirm to you that you are entitled to leave and divorce your husband. Anyone who disputes this should read my book before they make the final judgement. I'm happy to answer questions and field arguments from anyone who disputes my interpretation of the scriptures. Trouble is, most objectors don't bother to read my book thoroughly.

    While there are wonderful exceptions, the church by and large has not picked up the ball on the issue of domestic abuse. In the 19th century, the church often endorsed slavery, but eventually the true teaching of Scripture was accepted and slavery was no longer supported. In the 21st century the church faces an equally momentous issue: will it properly respond to domestic abuse? We can all be part of the answer.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would say this is where an objective third party in the church would be the best judge.

    Today, it seems the term abuse is tossed about. Even no fault divorce cites mental cruety as grounds. However, no such grounds need be proven. All the "abused" spouse has to say is that they are afraid, or that they "feel" hurt and society and even the church gives them a pass.

    When my ex-wife had her affair, instead of holding her accountable for her behavior, I was asked what I did to force her to have an affair.

    She said I was controlling. Well of course I was upset that she was having an affair, spending marital assets on her love nest with another man. Who wouldn't be? But yet it was her that yelled, hit, lied, cheated, and manipulated.

    No one cared. When I went to the police after she slapped me, it was not taken seriously. The courts cared little about her behavior.

    The fact that I could pay off $70K in debt WHILE divorcing underscored the fact that she was a spend-thrift and once she was limited to child support only, there where ample funds to run the home she abandoned on my income alone AND pay off this debt during the divorce proceedings.

    I think there should be a way out for those who are abused. But I think those who claim the cause of Christ should be willing to have their claims examined by the Church to see if they hold water, or if they are merely fabricated justifications to deflect attention from their own abusive and destructive behaviors.

    ReplyDelete
  6. tbright, if what you say is the true and full picture, then it does sound like the church did not investigate thoroughly enough or make the best response. You did not mention whether the church actually made any ruling about the biblical grounds for the divorce, only that they questioned you about what you had done that might have inclined your wife to have an affair. I agree that if a wife has an affair that is sin, and there are no excuses for it, even if the husband was controlling.
    If a husband is controlling, that's a sin. If a wife has an affair, that's a sin. If these things are co-occuring, then both parties are sinning each in their own way. And they can't really cite the other party's sin as the cause of their sin.

    On the other hand, I agree that a classic manipulator/abuser will claim that their spouse's behavior is the 'cause' or 'provocation' for their misconduct. And this claim can often sound very believable to bystanders. I am unable to assess what exactly went on in your marriage, Mr Bright, but I can affirm that manipulative people will try to deny and evade responsibility for their bad behaviour.

    Your statements about the finances: if you were able to pay off that large debt while going thru divorce, and your income hadn't changed from before the marriage broke down to after it broke down, then that would suggest that your wife had been acting like a spendthrift before the marriage broke down.

    The secular 'no-fault' divorce system often produces 'no justice' for victims of marital misconduct.

    I am not really able to comment further. Thanks for visiting my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dear Barbara,
    I was in a relationship and my partner had come to know Christ while in jail. ( I had to call the police because of his abusive behavior). We have two small children. While he was in jail, he found Christ. When he came out I confessed that I had been cheating shortly before he went to jail. He forgave me but soon after started becoming abusive to the point where all I felt I could do was run. So I did. I left him but started in my old pattern of infidelity. He was so angry at me for not coming home (my children and I were staying with family)He became so abusive that he almost killed me and almost hurt the children. I had to go to the police. Things were too out of control.Now I can't help but feeling guilty. I feel like yes, his unforgiving attitude and abuse pushed me away, but I didn't HAVE to cheat again. I just went back to the old pattern. I feel that he did need a lot of time to forgive me because instead of my confession healing things, it worsened them. And his alcohol abuse was affecting our family AFTER he had been saved. Now I have a hard time forgiving myself for the choices I made but at the same time feel like because he knew of my past and that I cheated before he went to jail, he couldn't forgive me as much as he wanted to. There was a strong pattern before he went to jail and even though he almost hit the children with his car while they were in mine, I can't help but feeling sad that the children don't have their dad. I feel divorce was the safest option for my family but have doubts I made the right choice even now. Was this right of me to do biblically speaking?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Unknown, thanks for your comment. I don't have time to reply in depth just now but will do so as soon as I can. Bless you.

      Delete
    2. Here I am again, Unknown. It sounds to me like divorce was indeed your safest option as your husband had a pattern of mistreating you and the kids and alcohol abuse. I doubt that has really been born again, if he continued to behave so badly after his 'conversion'.

      Yes you cheated on him; that was certainly wrong. But your confession did not "make" your husband's behavior worse: he CHOSE to behave worse of his own free will.

      Biblically speaking it was right for you to divorce him for the well-being of yourself and your children. The sadness you feel (about the children not having their dad) could be coming from some wishful thinking - wishing he was a GOOD dad not a bad dad, and that your life with him could have worked out 'happily every after', and these feelings might be mixed with remorse and guilt for your own sins of promiscuity. I used to be very promiscuous myself before I was born again and made alive in Christ. I was desperate to be loved and held by a man, I was not seeking sex, I was seeking emotional reassurance. But of course I never found that reassurance was lasting, it was like an addict, seeking his fix but never being satisfied for long and needing another fix and another fix. I hope you can do whatever it takes to say NO to the temptation to give yourself to a man just for short-term satisfaction, and that you can find support and help so you can feel worthy of treating yourself with dignity and respect, so that if you ever find another man, you will attract one who treats you with respect.
      I don't know whether you have found Christ yourself, or whether you are just thinking about wanting to obey the Bible because you were taught that it was right to do so.

      I urge you to seek Christ: read the New Testament and ask Jesus to reveal Himself to you. Resisting the pull of sin is indeed difficult when we try to do it in our own strength. But when we are in Christ and He in us, and when we cling to Him and love Him more than we love the world, we ask for His help and He gives us power to turn from our sins with grief and hatred, and turn to God with full resolve and effort after new obedience. I pray that you will find and walk this path of life, and that you will be able to bring up your children in a safe and loving environment.

      Delete
    3. This comment was truly accurate...I. am now pregnant ( a few weeks) by a non believer and he wants me to abort. I know this is not biblical! Neither is having sex before marriage but like you I was just seeking emotional reassurance. Now I feel more stuck than ever. I want to seek God and set a good xample for my kids. I am thinking about adoption but how to explain that to my children. Certainly one thing is true...the broken road is certainly not the one God has planned for me to take...I have made poor choices. Please pray for me.

      Delete
    4. Unknown, if adoption becomes your choice I am a woman lacking the ability to have a biological child and would love and nuture a child within a Christian home.

      Delete
  8. If explaining to your children about why you would have the baby adopted is the biggest obstacle, then I would encourage you to 'face the music' and explain your reasons to them.

    Of course, how much you tell them depends on how old and how mature they are. But if you were to convey to them that you have sinned, and are very sorry for your sin, but are not wanting to do another sin to make up for the first sin, and you feel the child would have a better chance of a good upbringing if it were adopted by another family, then I think your kids would admire you for your honesty and integrity.

    Kids don't have to see us as perfect. When we confess our sins to our children, and they see us making efforts to not sin in the future, we are modelling to them how to live life according to God's precepts. Remember, the Bible says:
    "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:8-9)

    I have prayed for you, and will continue to do so. I don't know what the way through is for you, but I do know that "for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)

    I hope you can find more support. I think if you have people you can share with, a counselor, and/or friends who are able to listen with love and help you find and follow the path of righteousness, and as you gradually develop the muscle to resist the temptations that the devil places before you, you will come through this difficult pass. Bless you. Remember, Jesus is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

    And "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

    I would like to suggest that you read or listen to some teaching by R C Sproul. You can find his ministry at http://www.ligonier.org/

    ReplyDelete
  9. Well, I'm enjoying a peaceful Christmas morning alone, and this article has brought much needed relief to my soul. In the 24 hours after my [now ex] husband broke down a bathroom door to get at me, the Lord showed me clearly that He was setting me free. While I no longer live in fear, I sometimes struggle with doubt and the thinly veiled judgement of loved-ones in my church family. Thank you, Barbara, for your careful study of the Scriptures in regards to divorce. I am so thankful for the mercy of Jesus, and you are one who has shown it to me, albeit through a blog. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Dear Jenny, that is one of the nicest Christmas presents I've received. I love hearing that I have helped a survivor shed the doubts and be more able to resist the guilting fingers of others who don't understand abuse or who have wrong doctrine about what the Bible says about divorce for abuse.

    If you haven't already done so, you might like to visit the blog cryingoutforjustice.wordpress.com where I blog now with a team of people who "get" this stuff.


    God bless you, Jenny, and (((hugs))) from me.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Abuse is the opposite of Cherish. Women be free. I know my time is coming to leave and I feel the Spirit of God will be glad within me.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am a Christian married 32 years. My husband is not. For many years I have excused his abuse and belittlement, control & bad temper. But last week he hit me.....accidently of course!!!!
    I have decided once he comes home from work ina few days that I will be asking him to put some space between us until he gets his act together. My 3 adult sons support me in this. should this lead to a better him well & good. Should it lead to divorce, God has promised me in Psalm 121:7,8 NIV "The Lord will keep you from harm - he will warch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming & your going both now & forevermore." I believe this but mate, am I scared!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear sister, I understand your fear, and it is realistic: research shows that the period of highest danger for the victim of domestic abuse is the period around separation.

      I strongly suggest you make contact with your local domestic violence support service. Google or search till you find the right contact details and persevere until you can get an appointment with them. They will believe you, and they will NOT diminish your story just because your abuser has not used much violence. DV workers know that physical violence is not always present in domestic abuse, but abuse can be VERY BAD without any physical violence happening.

      There are DV hotlines in quite a few countries. A DV support service will help you develop a safety plan that is tailored to your particular situation. A safety plan can be useful whether or not your are still living with your abuser. You could also look here for examples of safety plans:
      http://www.thehotline.org/get-help/safety-planning/

      I also suggest you visit the blog A Cry For Justice, especially the Resources page
      https://cryingoutforjustice.wordpress.com/recommended-resources/
      which has lots of links for safety and risk assessment, and for books and other things we recommend.

      I want to commend you for your bravery in making this decision, and for your strength of character and creativity in resisting the abuse of your husband. I am sure you have only told me the tip of the iceberg of what he has done to you.

      You will find that A Cry For Justice has many survivors writing on it who will support you as you walk this path. Bless you, and hope to see you over at A Cry For Justice. :)

      Delete
  13. thnak you
    since i wrote to you my usband is telling his family I demanded we put space between us for at least 6 months. Not how it happened, but tuff. He also said funny how you don't remember what you said before hand. Strangely he won't tell me what I said. Of course you can't remember what didn't happen! Again he is such a compulsive liar hewr believes himself. I have made an appointment with lagal aid in 2 weeks. So, I am expecting a rough road, but know that I have no choice anymore. My BFF says that, due to him punching me, God is saying "you are free, leave him to me" I'm going to go with that. I'll keep in touch. Thank you for being there for me. L x x

    ReplyDelete
  14. Excellent blog. Christians are more likely to stay in abusive relationships. You cannot tell me God condones having our spirits crushed with verbal abuse every day or living in fear in your own home that could even lead to death. Thank you for writing this.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Just a thought, well a bibilical thought. "1Cor 7:10 But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife."

    It would seem that in cases of abuse there is no problem to leave, or even divorce, if the word 'leave' and 'divorce' are synonymous in this context. The issue that becomes more difficult is remarriage. So, you can leave, even divorce, but remarriage? Nowhere can I find in scripture that this is spoken of as being without the judgement of adultery. I do not personally judge on this, however, scripturally I cannot find anything different. God has promised to take care of all our needs, if we keep His Word. A huge test of faith, and I speak from experience, but either His Word is true, or it is not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Linda, I strongly suggest you read my book. It explains in detail why I find remarriage permitted under 1 Corinthians 7:15, and why the 'remain single until the ex-spouse dies' is not what the Bible teaches.

      There are so many entrenched misunderstandings in Christendom about the doctrine of divorce and remarriage, it really needs serious attention. So rather than try to re-explain it all in this thread, I encourage you to read my book.

      If you don't want to buy it, just request you local library to get it in. Then after you have read it it will be available on the shelves to help a survivor of domestic abuse.

      Thank you for expressing your thoughts courteously. :)

      Delete
  16. Thank you so much for this blog.

    I am a survivor of an abusive marriage. We use to go to my former father-in-law's church and I went to preacher to for help and he turned away from me as if I didn't say anything to him. Then while talking to a woman who I thought was my friend in the church, she told me that I was to "submit to my husband as he is to submit to God." The issue with that is he wasn't a Christian. He was only taking us to the church because his father was the cook for the free breakfast on Sunday mornings. I'm not going to go into all the deals but the marriage to him was extremely rough and filled with many tears and betrayals.

    But this blog does make me feel better about life after the divorce due to Christian faith about remarriage = adultery.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am divorced from my husband since 1988. He continues to make negative comments about me to anyone who will listen.

    The is still a memeber of the church we both attended when we were married. Because of all the negative comments he has made to me, the pastor at that church will not talk to me.

    Thise verbal comments will never end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous, I hear stories like yours so often!
      It is unjust. It shows how the church and church leadership is incredibly ignorant about the mindset and tactics of domestic abusers. I hope you come to A Cry For Justice where I now blog with Ps Jeff Crippen. You will find support there, and many others who you will relate to. Bless you, and thanks for having the courageg to comment here. :)

      A Cry For Justice can be found at
      cryingoutforjustice.com

      Delete
  18. I'm contemplating divorce from my wife due to the financial strain she has put on us. Our bank accounts are now empty and debt has reached close to $70K with about 95% run up by her. Every year she tells me she won't run up the debts any more and here we are again in November and I find that she has spent almost $19,000 on one Discover card. I'm not sure about other cards she may have that I can't see. I work hard every day to support my family. She works part time as a substitute teacher. She had a business that made about $40K a year and that was perfect but she shut it down and has done nothing to replace that income. Yet her spending has not been curbed. She constantly denies sex with me even though I help with the kids, clean the house with her, fix anything that breaks and on and on and on. I am not perfect by any means but I can no longer stay in this disaster. She is jeopardizing my financial future along with my kid's financial future. What does the bible say about this situation? We are both believers however her faith is stronger than mine. Church attendance is a whole different story. I am dying inside here due to the stress of the finances and the lack of emotional and physical love she shows. I have tried discussing these topics numerous times and even went so far as to write her a 3 page letter explaining it all. She didn't read the entire letter and when the conversations start, she quickly says she doesn't have time to talk about things now. I am not nor have ever been a priority in her life as I look back on our 20 year marriage. I'm at my wits end on this one. Does anyone have any suggestions other than divorce when she won't listen or adhere to anything I ask of her? Thank you in advance for any and all replies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suggest you read my book rather than ask me to explain it all on this blog post. If what you say is true, and you are being financially taken advantage of by you wife to that measure, that might constitute a form of abuse. However, from what you say it is not possible to identify whether she has an overall attitude of entitlement and shows a pattern of conduct that is bent on exert power and control over you -- so I am not able to determine whether she is abusive (by my definition of abuse). So, I suggest you read my book.

      Delete