This week, many people have talked to me about Steven Crowder’s (political/social influencer) alleged abuse situation and his view of no-fault divorce. His wife Hilary's family has released a video (link) purporting to show his behavior toward his wife when she was pregnant, suggesting that his entitled attitudes had been part of their marriage for a long time. 

Conservative media host and commentator Steven Crowder can be seen on a Ring Camera video berating his wife Hilary, who was at the time nearly eight months pregnant, and demanding that she handle medicine for his dogs that she was concerned was toxic to pregnant women. In the video, he snaps at her to put on her gloves to give his dogs medicine, walk the dogs, and otherwise "perform wifely duties," as she is clearly emotionally distressed.

Towards the end of the exchange, Hilary Crowder says to her husband, "Your abuse is sick," he snaps at her, saying, "Watch it. Fucking watch it."   (LINK)

Apparently several months ago, Steven Crowder published a 1-minute video rant against no-fault divorce laws (LINK).  Perhaps he knew that his wife was terrified by his behavior and wanted to send a message, repeating the old trope that divorcing wives are only after their husband's money, and parroting the standard talking points that abusers and their allies use.



Is "no-fault divorce" problematic? Should individuals seeking divorce have to prove that their spouse's wrongdoing?

At first glance, this may seem like a reasonable requirement, especially for those who hold marriage in high esteem, such as Christians. However, it is important to consider cases where one spouse repeatedly commits adultery, is violent, emotionally abusive, or has a family-crushing addiction. In these situations, requiring the innocent spouse to prove the marriage is beyond repair can be unfair and even dangerous.

Before 1969, divorce laws in the United States required a spouse to provide evidence of wrongdoing in order to obtain a divorce. This meant that those who were being abused or mistreated had to go through a lengthy and expensive trial in front of a judge, and they still might not be granted the right to divorce. Each state had different rules, and some required jury trials to determine whether a spouse could divorce or not. In some cases, the only option for the abused spouse was suicide or fleeing to save their life and sanity.

Furthermore, in states that only allowed divorce for adultery, a cottage industry arose to fabricate evidence, such as photographs, to show a spouse in a compromising position with another person. Wealthy individuals could move to states with more lenient laws to establish residency and obtain a divorce, but this was not an option for most people.

Overall, while the idea of requiring couples to prove their marriage is beyond repair before obtaining a divorce may seem reasonable, it can be unfair and dangerous in cases of abuse or mistreatment. No-fault divorce laws provide a more equitable and accessible option for a victim seeking to end their marriage. This is why, in 1969, then-Governor of California, Ronald Reagan passed the first state-wide no-fault divorce laws of their kind.  

TRUTH? No-fault divorce literally saves lives.

A study was done several years later, and published in the Harvard Journal of Economics.

The researchers found that where unilateral no-fault divorce was passed into law ...
—The suicide rate for wives dropped by 8-16%.
—The domestic violence rate by and against both men and women dropped by 30%.
—The homicide rate of women murdered by an intimate dropped by 10%.

The balance of power tipped from the abuser to the victim, and victims could finally get away. For the next 14 years, there was a lot of pent-up demand, and in 1984, the divorce rate hit the highest point in U.S. history.  But from that time, it has dropped. Today the divorce-rate-per-married-woman is lower than it was in 1970. Abuse victims and their children are saved by no-fault divorce.

What about the Divorce Rate?

Although the divorce-per-married-woman rate leaped up for the next 14 years, it slowly started a path of decline. Today, the divorce-per-married-woman rate is lower than it was in 1970. (See how this is calculated, below.)  Shocking but true: We don't have a divorce crisis in the U.S. (The divorce rate is lower than it was 50 years ago. The high was in the late 1970s and early 1980s. And no, it's not because the marriage rate has dropped. See below.)


Divorce Rate

How is it calculated? The divorce rate = [(number of women divorced in the past 12 months) / (number of women divorced in the past 12 months + number of currently married women)]*1000 s are represented as the number of women aged 15 or older who married in the past year per 1,000 unmarried women aged 15 or older.


There is No Divorce Crisis. There is a "Marriage-Endangering Sin" Crisis

Shocking but true: We don't have a divorce crisis in the U.S. (The divorce rate is lower than it was 50 years ago. The high was in the late 1970s and early 1980s. And no, it's not because the marriage rate has dropped. See below.)


We have a "marriage-endangering sin" crisis. We have an adultery and abuse crisis. If every spouse stopped committing adultery, using violence or intimidation to get what they want, squandering the family rent and grocery money, and stopped abusing drugs or alcohol, our divorce rate would drop like a rock.

Now let me be clear: Are there frivolous immature divorces? Yes, there are. Are there treacherous divorces where one spouse runs off with their lover or decides to go back to the single party scene? Yes, of course.

But our Evangelical divorce rates will automatically drop when destructive sinful behavior in marriages drops. If half of divorces in the U.S. are due to a pattern of adultery, sexual immorality, physical abuse, emotional abuse, severe addictions, abandonment, or neglect, then that is the place to start. We need to discourage people with major marriage-endangering sins from marrying. They need to come before the Lord and work on their issues and prove themselves to be safe and reliable mates, rather than hoping that marriage will automatically change them. We need to educate young people to identify and avoid potential spouses, even fellow Christians, who have serious abuse, intimidation, coercion, addiction, or sexual immorality problems. We also need to give them permission to point out new or increasing marriage-endangering sins that emerge during the marriage.

Our churches need a nuanced view of divorce. We need to accept that some divorces are life-saving divorces for very serious things that are condemned in the Bible and given as valid reasons for divorce.  If we do not, we will continue to see Christian divorcees and their children leave because our churches aren’t safe for them.

You cannot reduce divorce merely by condemning divorce.
If you wish to reduce divorce you must reduce unsafe marriages.


The divorce rate. People always say, "Well, of course the divorce rate has dropped! Fewer people are getting married." And while it is indeed true that the marriage rate has dropped, that does not affect this graph. This graph looks only at those who are (or were) married. and compares it with those who've gotten divorced. This graph is showing percentages of married people who've gotten divorced in a particular year, not the percentage of the population. How is the divorce rate calculated in this diagram?
The divorce rate = [(number of women divorced in the past 12 months) / (number of women divorced in the past 12 months + number of currently married women)]*1000



Focus on the Family Calls for Making Divorce Harder, Even for Abuse Victims

Some organizations wish to turn back the clock to 1969 and do away with no-fault divorce. Focus on the Family is one of them. This interview from November 11, 2021, features a call for repealing these laws that allow abuse victims to escape.



Are you going through a life-saving divorce? I’d like to invite you to my private Facebook group, "Life-Saving Divorce for Separated or Divorced Christians." Just click the link and ANSWER the 3 QUESTIONS. This is a group for women and men of faith who have walked this path, or are considering it. Supporters and people helpers are also welcome.  I’ve written a book about spiritual abuse and divorce for Christians. Also, sign up for my email list below.



Start Here

Physical and Emotional Abuse & Infidelity

God Allows Divorce to Protect Victims


Does God Hate Divorce? No, Most English Bible Translations Don’t Say That


How to Find a Good Supportive Church


What If My Pastor Says It Would Be Wrong to Get Divorced for Abuse?


Divorce Saves Lives: The Surprising (Wonderful!) Truth About Divorce Nobody Told You

Will I Ever Find Love Again? Dating After Divorce: Good News

Finding Happiness and Health After Divorce


Thriving After Divorce: These Christians Tell their Stories

Self-Doubt, Second-Guessing Ourselves, and Gaslighting

Children and Divorce: Researchers Give Hope


High Conflict Divorce and Parenting

Recommended Reading List and Free Resources for Christians and Other People of Faith


Common Myths






GET THE BOOK! The Life-Saving Divorce is about divorces for very serious reasons: a pattern of sexual immorality, physical abuse, chronic emotional abuse, life-altering addictions, abandonment, or severe neglect. This book will give you hope for your future, and optimism about your children. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.



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