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home > Marriage and Divorce


What about an abusive spouse?

The answer is very plain: If you or your children are in physical danger, get out now and contact the authorities. Don't go back unless you feel safe--with no doubts or concerns about your safety. Being married does not mean you need to subject yourself to an abusive spouse. Being married does not mean you must stay in a place where you will be physically harmed.


Does this mean divorce? Not necessarily. However, if someone is physically abusing their spouse, it's most likely that person is not a Christian and for all practical purposes that person has left the marriage. So based on 1 Corinthians 7 the Bible allows divorce. But whether you divorce should be based on the circumstances.

For example, if the continued marriage opens the door to continued abuse--possibly the legal system does not allow you to get as far away from your spouse as needed--then a divorce may need to be considered.

Important: If you stay in an abusive situation you are an enabler. You are enabling your spouse to continue in their abusive ways. Don't do that. It is important that you get out and get away from them ASAP.

IMPORTANT: Remaining married does not mean physically remaining in a location near your spouse. If you are being abused, get out, get away. Get yourself to a place and situation in which your spouse can not harm you. If necessary, get a restraining order. Do what you need to do to protect yourself and your children.

If you don't know where to turn, Focus on the Family offers telephone counseling for people in abusive relationships. They are available Monday through Friday from 8am until 4pm (mountain time, 11am until 6pm eastern time). Their number is: 1-719-531-5181.



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