The Emotionally Destructive Marriage Webinar

Tim Jackson —  March 5, 2014 — 9 Comments

destructivemarriage-650x220 (1)All marriages struggle. A certain level of conflict is normal. But some conflict goes way beyond normal. It becomes harmful to the body and soul of those who are victims of this emotionally destructive form of abuse. So when does it step over a line and become destructive and dangerous?

Leslie Vernick and Chris Moles joined us on March 5, 2014, for a heart-to-heart conversation about how we can begin to address the growing problem of emotionally destructive marriages. Leslie brought her 30 years of experience as a counselor and relationship coach to help us better understand that there is hope and help for those entrapped in emotionally destructive marriages.

Chris is a senior pastor and a Batterer Intervention Specialist who brought his experience and wisdom from years of teaching the Scriptures to his local flock and ministering to over 200 men who have been convicted of some form of domestic violence.

Together they combined forces to enable us to offer a uniquely Christian perspective on how to see, understand, and confront the emotionally destructive patterns in marriages at risk.

In keeping with our ministry commitment to make the life-changing wisdom of the Bible understandable and accessible to all, we are making the content of this webinar available without cost or obligation to you and anyone you’d like to share it with.

To listen to the audio recording from the webinar as well as the bonus feature 30 minute Q&A after the webinar, click the link: The Emotionally Destructive Marriage.

To download the PowerPoint from the webinar, click the link: The Emotionally Destructive Marriage PPT.

To get a free sample download from Leslie Vernick’s book, click the book title link: The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope. For additional resources from Leslie, check out her website at:

For a free download of an RBC booklet by counselors Jeff Olson & Tim Jackson (one of our hosts) click the title link: When Violence Comes Home. Another booklet on verbal abuse by Jeff Olson is also available at: When Words Hurt.

For further resources from RBC Ministries to help you understand more about abuse and what can be done to stop it, click the link: Abuse.

Tim Jackson

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Tim Jackson is married to his college sweetheart, Cole. They have 3 adult children. Tim is the producer for the website, writes Discover Series booklets on a variety of counseling issues and hosts webinars for RBC Ministries. He's also the founder and president of Still Waters Counseling & Equipping Ministries, PC, a local counseling practice serving individuals, couples and families. When not in the office, you will probably find him up a tree with a bow, in a duck blind or fly fishing on one of Michigan's many rivers.

9 responses to The Emotionally Destructive Marriage Webinar

  1. I am trying to relisten to the Webinar and not able to see where I should click.
    Can you please direct me.
    Thank you

  2. Thank you SO much for addressing this very difficult topic. I’m in the process of reading Leslie’s book The Emotionally Destructive Marriage and your discussion was just the clarification I needed to recognize I am indeed in a desturctive marriage. Like the majority of the men/women in abusive marriages, I was told God hates divorce and you need to stick it out. On top of that, I work for a Christian organization and must give them a biblical reason for my divorce because they too (and rightfully so) hate diovorce. After 15 years of suffering and 3 separations, (and 15 yrs. of marriage counseling, including an “intensive”), I feel God has given me permission to divorce. Best of all I am at peace and carry no guilt. But I still need to give my employer the “biblical” reason for filing and there is no clear one. THAT makes my heart ache.

  3. 1jan,
    I apologize for your frustration but the audio from our webinars are not available immediately. They will post 7 days after the live event. We’ll send you an email to let you know when and where you can get to it.


  4. landerlm,

    Thanks for your encouraging words. It’s our desire to use these webinar discussions to address these kinds of difficult struggles from a perspective of biblical wisdom that reflects the heart and mind of God. I’m saddened to hear of your struggles over the last 15 years and the lack of support from Christians around you. I’m sure that many are well-intentioned but unfortunately are misguided or simply untrained and don’t really know how to help. Repeating the “God hates divorce” text doesn’t help. And it’s certainly not the whole counsel of God on the matter. And that’s unfortunate, because Scripture used in that fashion is, well, unbiblical and only increases your suffering. God uses the words “adultery” and “idolatry” interchangeably when it comes to issues of the heart. There are forms of “unfaithfulness” that breach the covenant of marriage that are a reflection of “the hardness of heart” that is of primary concern to God when it comes to making the decision as to whether to go or stay. Either way, as Leslie shared in the webinar, I agree that if you stay, you must stay well, and if you leave, you must leave well. God bless you as you choose to faithfully follow the Spirit’s direction in your life. Tim

  5. Thank you for your wise counsel Tim. Blessings to you. Linda

  6. I have experienced much of what you discussed in this webinar. The reacting to abuse, trying to confront and being told I’m not scriptural and need to submit, etc. etc. , being fearful, and told “I’m not doing anything, it’s you”. etc. I have heard from the church, “just submit, listen to John Piper, have sex with him more-you’ll smile more and you can tell the women who are not having sex with their husbands-they’re sour looking, you have to make the first move to be nice, you can’t complain-he works hard, everyone else thinks he’s a nice guy, etc. etc.” We were in counseling for years and got no where. I’ve looked and looked for help. I thought I was going crazy, because he’d tell me I was and after a while-it seemed I was going crazy. I probably sounded a little crazy because my head was always swirling and confused. I’ve gone into debt trying to solve this and finding someone who gets it. I did find someone eventually and Leslie’s books have helped. The other issue is that his family has the same entitlement issues. I was expected to keep them all happy and if I didn’t, I’d be scolded, yelled at, told how to raise my kids, etc. (They’re Christians) I don’t have family-so, it appears I’m the problem.The decision to make a move for change was treacherous and lonely, and unsafe feeling because of children as Leslie said.

    I’ve looked and looked also for Christian support groups locally so that help comes from turning me to God rather than secular support. I’d like to see counselors trained in this and informed. Possibly support groups around the country.

    I want to say, I REALLY APPRECIATED hearing one of the hosts saying one role he can play is confronting the sin in a man who is being abusive and dealing with the woman’s response outside of that. I would have loved a safe, responsible man to step up for me when I was so afraid and worn out. My husband knew I had no one to go to that he was embarrassed by or afraid of.

    I appreciate what you are doing. Thank you.

  7. I am amazed to learn that I am not alone. I have put up with so much abuse from my wife for the 26 years we have been married. I had planned on attending the webinar, but had a class at that time. I am a full time non-traditional student working on my nursing degree. I have 9 children with 6 still at home. I have just recently come across the book ” The Emotionally Destructive Marriage”. I heard the author reviewing her book on a Focus on the Family radio program. The author described my wife perfectly. I couldn’t
    believe it ! I have since been doing everything I can to stop this cycle of abuse. I could use help in this regard. Are there christian counselors that specialize in this area ? The pastor at our church is clueless, saying he is sorry. I found a suicide letter from my son which prompted me into action. I am not afraid to start all over again if that is needed. The abuse is financial,verbal, and emotional. The kids have undergone physical abuse from her too.
    Please contact me concerning this issue.

  8. I found this link through my facebook page. I found this webinar to be very informative. After watching the webinar, I think I fall into the abusive side. I wished there were more infomation like this out there to help us out. You are correct when you say the church and pastors don’t quite understand this. My wife and and I have recently divorced after 20 years of marriage. This has been a wake up call to me. I have been seeking information and counseling to help me through this. I feel that if there were more informatiion like this out there, it would help maybe more than just the victim but also the abusive. I also realize that pride as you mentioned in your webinar might get in the way of the abusive person so that he/she might not see this. I want to thank you for this webinar


    Mark Marchincin

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