Divorcing Due to Mental Abuse

by Jason Deines

in Questions & Answers

Submitted by Shellee

As a Christian experiencing divorce, there are so many levels of emotion that we go through, come back to, rehash over and over again. We never envisioned ourselves in this devastating circumstance and go through feelings of guilt that we have become like the world concerning marriage and divorce. Surreal has been a keyword in my vocabulary for quite sometime now. When you finally follow through on this torturous decision, as I did, it doesn’t prevent you from not being able to grasp that this is actually happening to you.

I am wondering if there is anyone else that has made the decision to divorce due to mental and emotional abuse? My ex-husband had many wonderful qualities and I truly loved/love him dearly but the emotional rejection I went through was sucking the life right out of me. I was told that I sent him into the “pits of despair” that I made his life a “living hell.” He called me very hurtful names and when he stopped working he told me it was because I had “taken his desire to take care of me away.” He accused me of “defaming him” when for years I suffered in silence because I didn’t want to put him in a bad light with anyone. I begged him to start counseling and to look into getting on medication for his severe depression and he told me that I was “psychotic” and that if “you would get help, we would be just fine.” The final “straw” was when he agreed to go to counseling with me; which gave me hope and then “pulled the rug out ” and said he believed we could work our problems out on our own and that he wouldn’t go. I could go on and on and on about the rejection I went through for years and years. I could share many incidences of hope and then despair. The mental games that leave you questioning reality and leave you in a constant state of turmoil.

I think it is human nature for us to try and defend or justify the decisions we make. When we know that what we do is going against God’s perfect plan for our lives, the justification flies out the window and yet you’re still left with emotional emptiness.

I believe that although God hates divorce, He also hates what we do to one another under the canopy of marriage. He hates that we punish one another, condemn one another’s motives, abuse our freedom etc.

I believe that for the most part those of us who suffer from the devastating effects of divorce whether we “chose” it or it was chosen for us, our objective was that of good will. We do not embrace divorce we are forced to accept it.

If I could start over, although I was the one rejected (yes I divorced on paper what he had already done in spirit) of course there are things I would do differently but having your life determined for you by the person you trusted and gave your heart to is overwhelming at times. Knowing that they have made the decision to stop trying and all the begging in the world isn’t changing their stance; conceding is the hardest decision you will ever have to make.

I thank you for your time. I pray that each one of you give yourselves grace and patience on this long journey. We must remember as we walk in this “desert”, to let God be our Manna. He promises to never leave us or forsake us.

With hope for each one of you,


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jason

It his hard when others blame people that are close for the problems in their lives. We should all take responsibility for our own actions and happiness. We can choose to let someone make our lives a “living hell” or no. It is too bad that your ex puts that all on you instead of living up to it and/or making the necessary changes to be a healthier person.

2 Kat

I am going through this right now. Although, I had a whirlwind romance and thought God had answered my prayers when he brought this husband into my life. It wasn’t a week after the wedding that his true colors came out. It started out as emotional and mental abuse, and has since escalated to a more volatile state. We are only a few months in to the marriage. I am a strong woman, and know that I don’t deserve to be treated this way. He has tried to place all the blame on me, and his behaviors mimic the cycle of power and control. He even tries to use my Christian faith against me. He is a believer too, but it is confusing how someone can be a believer and treat his wife the way he does.

I think the hardest part is that I have never endured anything like this in a relationship. It is my second marriage, but my first didn’t end for these reasons. We were just two different people without a true Christian perspective.

I’ve filed for the divorce to keep myself and my child safe. It just hurts because I feel like I lost someone so wonderful, but it really is grieving someone I never really had. I just wish I could somehow defend my reasoning for a divorcce in this circumstance with the bible. Instead I have to swallow all my pride and admit that I am knowingly choosing against God’s will for marriage.

3 Diane

I am currently separated from a man whom I no longer know to be the man I married 5 years ago. After being completely broken when my 1st husband of 20 years left me for another women, I reconnected with a friend from my high school days. I thought this was the answer to pray. He was so attentive and said all the things I hadn’t heard in a very long time. We had so much in common and enjoyed each others company I thought this had to be God’s choice for me. But as I look back now I can see I ignored so many warning signs. After we married I started to notice that he was jealous of any time I spent with anyone other than him, even my own family. He had to constantly know where I was and what I was doing. He would question my every move and phone call. He also had a addiction to pornography that I did not know about when we married. His obsession got to the point that he accused me of having affairs with men and even digitally recorded me during the day without my knowing it. He created in his mind an alternate fantasy life that I was supposedly living and convinced himself that is was reality. There was no talking to him or reasoning with him. Counseling didn’t work, he only dug his heals in deeper. He said I had a split personality and needed psychological help. I was going out of my mind not believing what was happening to me and my marriage. Where was the attentive, thoughtful man I had married? He had been replace with a paranoid, delusional person I no longer knew. I have tried to be patient and allow God to move and show me what to do but the situation is not getting any better. I can no longer be in this relationship. We have been separated for over a year now and know the only answer is divorce. It’s the hardest thing I have ever done. I still love him but know it’s best for both of us to not be married. I have to get my life back and continue in my walk with God. I believe this is God’s will even though he does not believe in divorce; but had I listened to Him in the first place and not my own selfish wants I wouldn’t be here. I have learned a valuable lesson at an extraordinary cost to myself and my family. Always put God first, in everything you do.

4 Elva

God never intended for one person to have dominion over another person. Marriage is not about control, but two people submitting themselves first to God and second to each other. When we can trust God with our soul, then we should be able to trust Him with everything else. Every marriage is different and when things go wrong, we must truly trust God for His will to be done in our particular situation and not lean on our understanding or the understanding of others, but allow God to direct your path. Speaking from experience.

5 Jake

I am on the other end of you’re stories. I met my wife 5 years ago at church. We were together for about a year and a half and had a daughter together before she left. 6 months later she came back and we were married within days. Later I found out about what she had done with other people in that time we were separated and I became angry and hurt because I felt these were things I should have known before we got married, and she intentionally hid them from me. For the first 2 years in our marriage it was constant ups and downs and because of my hurt I have been emotionally and on VERY RARE occasions physically abusive throughout our marriage. I know my pain is no excuse for acting that way, but I’m trying to be honest, I am human and I made mistakes just like everyone else. We recently decided to move 3000 miles from home to start our lives over. 2 months after moving she met someone else and decided she didn’t want to put up with me anymore. I am not making excuses for what I did to her, I know it was/ is wrong. I am crushed. I see the mistakes I made and I would give anything to take them back, but now it’s too late and she won’t give me a chance to make things right. I really do love her and the last thing I ever wanted was to hurt her or make her unhappy. I have finally forgiven her for everything, even leaving me now for another man, I forgive her. I’m not having such an easy time forgiving myself and I know she can’t or won’t forgive me. I don’t want this for us or our children and I think she’s making a mistake. I don’t know how God wants this to play out. We are both believers, but she believes that God put this guy in the way of our marriage as an answer to her prayers. I’m struggling with what is really God’s will and I think she may be right, but it hurts that God would do that to me even if I have been a jerk (to put it mildly). I can’t understand why God would show me how bad I’ve been now that she’s too far gone to show her my changes. I can’t change what’s happening, but I can change myself. It was said in another post, “we don’t embrace divorce, it’s something we are forced to deal with”. I’m just not dealing with it so well at the moment.

6 dazedandconfused

Hi, i’m so sorry to hear about your horrible experiences. I’ve just been sitting here writing down mine in case i decide to divorce my husband using ‘unreasonable behaviour’. I don’t know if i can justify it biblically or not. So many conflicting opinions!! All i know is i cannot possibly live with this man anymore. I will turn into the woman with the ‘severe anxiety problem that clouds all her judgement’ that he has been telling all my friends i am, if i were to go back. To protect my own mental health and that of my kids i’d rather consider a life of celibacy.

It wasn’t until a counsellor and close friends told me that i was in an emotionally abusive relationship that i started to see things clearly.

I’d spent years thinking the rubbish marriage was mainly my fault. I finally plucked up courage to tell my husband i wasn’t happy and then suddenly all hell broke loose and the abuse really got going. Can’t believe it happened to me. I was terrified and i felt like i was losing my mind. God gave me a way out in the form of a friends house and i took it. It was the hardest thing i’ve ever had to do.

I’ve had variable support from the Church and friends – some brilliant, some not so good. I think that theres a pervading attitude thats not so bad as physical abuse but actually research shows that emotional/psychological abuse can be much more harmful and that emotional abuse can escalate to physical violence. Why stay and find out?

The main help for me has been a local Domestic Abuse charity. Yes its secular but if you were sick you’d go to the Dr for treatment right? I really recommend you try to contact your local Domestic Abuse help. The people i talk to have been amazing. I’ve even had free legal advice through them.

Keep your eyes on Jesus in all of this. He won’t let you down, pour guilt on you or put pressure on you to go back. He knows what has been going on behind those closed doors. He is your witness. He hates violence of any kind. There will be so many voices clamouring for you to listen to them, so many opinions. Please don’t forget that whilst God hates divorce, He also hates a lying tongue, a haughty look etc (Proverbs) – we don’t treat those as the ‘unforgiveable’ sin do we?.

I have been amazed at His provision to me and my children through this. Let Him treat you as a man should xxx

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