5 Christians Who Divorced and Are Thriving Now

About Me: If you're new to my blog, read this first. I started leading Christian divorce recovery groups in Evangelical churches in 1998. I write about "life-saving divorces," those divorces that are for very serious reasons. "Life-Saving divorces" make up nearly half of divorces in the United States. Read the definition HERE.  If you want to know why you should should have a nuanced view of divorce, see THIS. And here is the biblical rationale for condoning divorce. Although I believe many divorces are treacherous and/or sinful, I also believe a loving God gave divorce to protect the lives of his beloved people, who are made in his image, by allowing them to get out of destructive marriages.


Divorce after 40 Years of Abuse. Thriving After a Gray Divorce

Have you ever wondered why a person would get a “gray divorce” — just as they come into their retirement years? Well, today I’m interviewing Schari, a committed Christian woman and mother of 3 who escaped an abusive marriage just weeks before her 40th anniversary—and is now rebuilding her life. (GOOD NEWS! She is doing well!)

Part 1: Discover how she married a terrifying and violent man who endangered her and the children physically, emotionally, and financially—and why she stayed so long. It is important that we understand the religious messages that kept her in that destructive marriage, and learn from a Christian counselor who helped her break through the roadblocks that kept her there so long.

Part 2: We talk about the books that helped her identify abuse and break free. (It's very common for severely abused spouses not to know they are being abused.) Other topics: Developing self-respect after abuse, finding your separate identity (when you married at age 18), dealing with anger, forgiveness, depression, health problems stemming from abuse, finding a good therapist, toxic church messages that keep people in abusive relationships; how John Piper teachings pressured her to stay with a violent man.

Thriving after 20 years of abuse.

Part 1: Toni and her six children find happiness and relief from emotional abuse after a 20-year marriage. In Part 1, she describes her happy childhood, her budding faith, her ill-fated first marriage, followed by her second marriage to a Christian man who gave her the unspoken message: "You don't matter. You're not even worth looking at. You are here to serve me." As a committed Christian who homeschooled her children, Toni had read every marriage book, gone to Christian marriage retreats, prayed and fasted, signed the "Dennis Rainey contract" saying she'd never consider divorce, and sought both individual and couples counseling. But nothing could change her angry, sullen husband who wouldn't help around the farm...and sometimes was jobless for long periods of time. At one point her counselor told her, "This is the worst case I've ever come across. If you don't get out, you will die." Toni replied, "I can't get out! I don't have a choice." Find out how the counselor replied, and the miraculous way the Lord called Toni to get out.

Part 2 tells how she got out and rebuilt her life.

Married to a Pedophile, But Divorced and Thriving Now

Part 1—Pam, a mother of four, talks about her marriage to a man who was arrested and incarcerated for sharing child porn online just 5 months after their wedding. Due to his computer skills, she had no idea of his criminal behavior, even though they shared the same computer. In fact, she never caught him, not even once during their long marriage. Find out how law enforcement arrested and convicted him. She also talks about how her children interact with a father who has been on the sex offender registry or incarcerated for many years.

Part 2—Pam talks about a wide variety of topics: finding self-respect, talking with her kids, facing anger, fear, single parenting, forgiveness, friendships, helpful (and non-helpful) pastors, and the power of denial in these situations.

40 Years with A Raging Violent Husband, but Divorced and Thriving Now

Part 1: Today's interview is with Karen, an amazing woman of faith who stayed with her abusive husband more than 40 years before she finally left him—and his murderous rages—behind. What does it take to start a new life in your late 60s? How do you grab life with both hands? How do you find happiness again? You’ll hear her tell her story, from her loving upbringing and happily married parents, to her marriage to a man who tormented and manipulated her with false accusations, suicide threats, stalking, road rage, and worse. Discover how her relationship with the Lord — and a wise pastor and counselor — gave her strength to leave.

In Part 2, we talk about forgiveness, singleness, self-respect, financial fears, and how her health problems (arthritis and psoriatic psoriasis) have almost completely gone away. We also discuss the legal process, going "no contact," her faith in God, how she finally escaped, and her advice for others in long abusive marriages. "My life is stress free and happy. Divorcing him was the best thing I ever did."

Former Pastor's Wife and Mother of Four, Divorced and Thriving

3-Part Interview

Gina Kaye, ex-wife of a pastor, and Gretchen Baskerville, Christian divorce recovery leader, and author of The Life-Saving Divorce, tell their own stories about divorce and dating and the skills they developed when jumping back into the dating world. Both had young children when they divorced: Gina decided to date fairly soon; Gretchen decided to wait 15 years to raise her kids and remarried (very happily) a few years ago. Gina talks about the issues to consider before dating again.

NOTE:  These stories feature women, but I have men's stories in my book, The Life-Saving Divorce.

Financial Abuse and Escaping with 3 Kids and No Money - And Doing Fine Now!

Part 1—Shirley Fessel, author of the women’s workbook “Redemption from Biblical Battering” shares her own story of being married to a violent church leader who confiscated her paychecks for 10 years and refused to let her buy basic clothing. Find out how she and three children under 12 years old escaped (with no money), gained financial stability, and built a new joy-filled life after financial abuse.

Part 2—Shirley talks about the importance of anger, and harnessing that energy to move away from danger. She discussed the "7 Levels of Confusion" that abuse victims go through before they can finally leave. And she tells us her secret of rejecting the voices in your head that say you’re a second-class Christian and disqualified from serving God after a divorce.

For more on the myths of divorce, buy the Life-Saving Divorce.

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