Relationship Truth: Unfiltered

Relationship Truth: Unfiltered is a place for people of faith to find real answers when it comes to destructive relationships. Leslie Vernick is the author of seven books, including the best-selling, ”The Emotionally Destructive Marriage.” She has dedicated her life to cutting through the religious confusion and teaching women to grow in their relationships: with God, with themselves, and with others.

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6 hours ago

Leslie's Quick Start Guide:
If you'd like to ask a question for a future "Ask Leslie" episode, go to Questions in this episode:
Doesn’t there have to be infidelity, domestic violence or abandonment as a reason for divorce? 
What does it mean to detach and can I detach from my husband who shows contempt for me and dismisses my feelings and needs
How is empathy different from people pleasing?
What is a narcissist and how do we appropriately use this term?
What does chronic indifference look like in a relationship?

Monday May 13, 2024
Quick Start Guide
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
Marital Challenges:
Rachel describes her passiveness in her marriage, emphasizing the tension between maintaining peace at home and the public persona she had to project.
She recounts instances of emotional and verbal abuse from her husband, including public humiliations and controlling behaviors.
Custody Battle and Legal Struggles:
Rachel talks about the difficult decisions she had to make regarding her children’s well-being and her work-life balance.
She details her harrowing experiences with the legal system during her divorce and custody battle, highlighting the allegations and the temporary loss of contact with her children.
Health and Recovery:
Rachel discusses the impact of stress on her health, leading to hospital visits and a brief institutionalization.
She shares her journey towards healing, emphasizing the role of her faith and community support in overcoming her challenges.
Empowerment and Advice:
Rachel reflects on the lessons learned from her struggles, discussing the importance of recognizing one's worth and the potential dangers of staying in destructive relationships.
She offers advice to listeners who might be in similar situations, encouraging them to seek help and prioritize their safety and mental health.
New Beginnings and Continued Challenges:
Rachel discusses the ongoing challenges of co-parenting with an abusive ex-partner and the strategies she employs to maintain stability for her children.
She explores the emotional impact of her journey on her relationship with her children.
Spiritual Growth and Personal Insights:
Rachel shares how her understanding of biblical teachings on marriage and divorce evolved, highlighting how new interpretations helped her find freedom from oppression.
She discusses the role of her faith community and resources like the Conquer program in providing support and validation during her recovery.

Self-Compassion in Action

Monday May 06, 2024

Monday May 06, 2024

Dr. Alison Cook
I Shouldn't Feel This Way
"The Best of You" Podcast
Lesllie's Quick Start Guide
I. Story: Understanding Emotional Triggers A. Example of anger towards adult child B. Framing emotions: Is it about the other person, oneself, God, or circumstances? C. Importance of recognizing the source of emotions
II. Three Practices for Emotional Health A. Naming Emotions 1. Recognizing and labeling feelings without judgment 2. Importance of self-awareness and emotional vocabulary
B. Framing Emotions 1. Understanding the context and underlying causes of emotions 2. Examining personal responsibility and perspective
C. Braving Action 1. Taking intentional steps based on emotional understanding 2. Balancing discernment and action in response to emotions
III. Selfhood and Agency in Relationships A. Acknowledging personal needs and boundaries B. Exploring societal and Christian expectations for women C. Embracing selfhood as essential for healthy relationships
IV. Recognizing Self-Gaslighting A. Identifying invalidation of personal experiences B. Cultivating self-trust and authenticity C. Partnering with God's discernment in navigating emotions
V. Benefits for Spiritual and Psychological Growth A. Integration of faith and psychology in emotional healing B. Understanding the role of emotions and the body in spiritual life C. Tools for self-compassion and emotional resilience
This episode delves into practical strategies for emotional discernment, emphasizing self-awareness, framing emotions, and taking intentional action. It highlights the importance of embracing selfhood and offers tools for self-compassion and growth, regardless of one's spiritual beliefs.

Monday Apr 29, 2024

RESOURCESwww.leslievernick.comSuicide and crisis hotline: 988
Challenges in Recognizing Unsafe Relationships
Dismissing Own Feelings and Needs
Fear of Confronting Truth About Relationship Dynamics
Addressing Misguided Advice
Forgiveness and Forgetting
Importance of Remembering Past Actions for Setting Boundaries
Illustration: Story of the Songwriter Behind "Amazing Grace"
Understanding Need for Repentance and Growth
Maintenance vs. Repair Work in Relationships
Analogy: House Maintenance and Repair
Necessity of Addressing Trust and Safety Issues Before Other Issues
Recognizing Difference Between Maintenance Tasks and Repair Work
Understanding Individual Capacity and Emotional Management
Importance of Self-Awareness in Managing Emotions
Recognizing Emotional Capacity and Limitations
Analogies: Understanding Emotional Capacity Through Everyday Examples
Taking Ownership of Personal Growth
Individual Responsibility for Personal Development
Importance of Prioritizing Self-Care and Emotional Well-Being
Recognizing When Individual Work is Necessary Before Addressing Relationship Issues
Seeking Help and Support
Encouragement to Seek Professional Guidance and Support
Highlighting Available Resources for Personal Growth and Relationship Support
Empowerment to Prioritize Personal Growth and Safety in Relationships

Friday Apr 26, 2024

Setting Boundaries and Prioritizing Self-Care
1. Introduction to Boundaries
Boundaries are essential for maintaining healthy relationships and self-respect.
Understanding the importance of boundaries in various aspects of life.
2. Recognizing Boundary Violations
Signs of boundary violations include feeling drained, disrespected, or overwhelmed.
Identifying situations where boundaries are being crossed and acknowledging the need for change.
3. Establishing Boundaries
The importance of clear communication when setting boundaries.
Examples of effective boundary-setting phrases 
4. Dealing with Criticism
Addressing criticism that may arise when implementing boundaries.
Seeking support from understanding individuals who respect your journey.
5. Respecting Yourself
Embracing self-respect and understanding that boundaries are not selfish but necessary for personal growth.
Recognizing and valuing your uniqueness and individual needs.
6. Knowing Yourself
The importance of self-awareness in establishing and maintaining boundaries.
Understanding your preferences, limitations, and values to make informed decisions.

Monday Apr 22, 2024

RESOURCES:Find Joel Muddamalle's books and more at: Find Leslie's books, programs, and more at: Find Lysa Terkeurst and the Therapy and Theology podcast: I. Introduction: Setting the Stage
Acknowledging the complexity and sensitivity surrounding the issue of divorce and the Bible
II. Interpreting Malachi 2:16
Analysis of the New King James Version's interpretation of Malachi 2:16
Emphasis on the importance of understanding cultural context and nuances in translation
Addressing misconceptions and criticism regarding biblical interpretation
III. Unpacking the Statement "God Hates Divorce"
Clarification of the implications of a unilateral statement from God
Discussion on the potential impact on individuals experiencing divorce
Emphasis on the need for a nuanced understanding of biblical teachings
IV. Marriage, Divorce, and Biblical Context
Examination of Exodus 21 and implications for marriage and divorce
Discussion on the complexity of marital relationships and divine understanding
Exploration of the New Testament teachings on divorce, particularly Jesus' response to the Pharisees
V. Understanding the Cultural and Historical Context
Insights into the debate between the Hillel and Shammai camps regarding divorce
Analysis of Jesus' response to the Pharisees and its cultural implications
Consideration of Paul's teachings on divorce and remarriage
VI. Pastoral and Ethical Implications
Reflection on the pastoral responsibilities in addressing divorce and marriage issues
Advocacy for seeking specialized help and guidance in dealing with complex marital situations
Emphasis on the importance of theological honesty and discernment in interpreting scripture
VII. Encouragement and Final Words
Affirmation of God's love and care for individuals, particularly women
Encouragement to uphold one's dignity and worth as children of God
Call to discernment, prayer, and reliance on the Holy Spirit in understanding biblical truths.

Monday Apr 15, 2024

In this deeply personal episode, Elizabeth courageously shares her journey of facing the reality of her marriage and finding the strength to pursue freedom and healing. Here's a comprehensive overview of her story:RESOURCES:JOIN CONQUER:
Leslie's website: 
Darby Strickland: Lysa Terkeurst: Episode with Jeremy Pierre & Greg Wilson: 
"When Home Hurts: A Guide for Responding Wisely to Domestic Abuse in Your Church," by Greg Wilson and Jeremy Pierre
Peaceworks Live 2024
Quick Start Guide
Early Signs of Trouble:
Elizabeth describes the early signs of trouble in her marriage, including controlling behavior and emotional manipulation from her husband.
Despite her efforts to maintain peace, she grappled with feelings of rejection and struggled to assert her own autonomy.
Escalation and Confrontation:
The situation escalated as Elizabeth's husband exerted more control over major decisions in the family, leading to confrontations and emotional turmoil.
Elizabeth recounts instances where she stood up for herself, challenging her husband's authority and facing his disapproval.
Coping Mechanisms and Inner Conflict:
Elizabeth shares her internal struggle between wanting to honor her husband and feeling suffocated by his control.
She alternated between coping with strength and exploding with anger, grappling with feelings of guilt and grief afterward.
Awakening to Unhealthy Dynamics:
Through reading Leslie's book, "The Emotionally Destructive Marriage," Elizabeth began to recognize the unhealthy dynamics in her relationship.
She realized that she had inadvertently made her husband the center of her life, prioritizing the marriage over addressing underlying issues.
Separation and Reconciliation Attempts:
Elizabeth opens up about the difficult decision to separate from her husband and the subsequent attempts at reconciliation.
Despite seeking counseling and church support, the marriage continued to deteriorate, leading Elizabeth to face the painful reality of divorce.
Finding Peace and Acceptance:
Elizabeth reflects on her journey towards finding peace and acceptance amidst the shame and pain of divorce.
She emphasizes the importance of taking responsibility for one's own behavior and finding grace and support from others.
Community and Support:
Elizabeth highlights the profound impact of joining Conquer and the supportive community she found there.
Through Conquer, she found a safe space to share her struggles, receive practical tools for growth, and form deep, lasting connections with other women.
Encouragement and Hope:
Elizabeth encourages listeners to be honest with themselves about their own behavior and seek support and community as they navigate their own journeys.
She finds hope in the midst of brokenness, recognizing the transformative power of God's love and the possibility of growth and healing.

Monday Apr 08, 2024

Segment 1: Setting Boundaries with Compassion
Leslie emphasizes the importance of setting boundaries for safety without resorting to shaming or demeaning language.
Discussing the misconceptions around divorce and the true essence of God's stance on marriage, rooted in love and protection for women.
Segment 2: The Journey of Forgiveness
Examining the stages of forgiveness and repentance in rebuilding a fractured marriage.
Understanding the woman's role in moving forward, including evaluating trust, releasing resentment, and embracing personal growth.
Segment 3: Confronting Painful Realities
Sharing poignant stories of tragedy and anger to illustrate the lasting impact of recklessness and the necessity of processing emotions.
Encouraging listeners to rewrite their stories beyond victimhood, embracing resilience and new beginnings.
Leslie emphasizes that, regardless of the outcome, finding peace and growth is possible.
Julie reinforces the idea that even if the desired ending differs from reality, a happy conclusion can still be achieved through personal transformation.

Monday Apr 01, 2024

In this episode, we dive deep into Marie's inspiring journey of breaking free from an emotionally destructive marriage, finding strength in faith, and building a new life of purpose and empowerment.
Part 1: Recognizing Toxic Patterns
In the first part of our show, Leslie and Marie confront harmful beliefs perpetuated by society and religion. They discuss the misconceptions surrounding marriage, divorce, and self-sacrifice, shedding light on the importance of discerning between true biblical teachings and damaging ideologies.
Part 2: Embracing Healing and Growth
Marie courageously shares her story of recognizing warning signs, seeking support, and setting boundaries to protect herself from further harm. Through the Conquer Group and trusted family members, she found the strength to navigate the challenges of divorce and embrace the healing process with resilience and faith.
Key Points:
Challenging Toxic Beliefs: Marie and Leslie challenge damaging beliefs that perpetuate toxic patterns in relationships. They emphasize the importance of discerning between true biblical teachings and harmful misconceptions that contribute to emotional and psychological harm.
Recognizing Warning Signs: Marie recounts her journey of acknowledging the warning signs of abuse and the pivotal moment when she realized she couldn't ignore them any longer. She shares her experience of grappling with emotional manipulation and gradually coming to terms with the severity of her situation.
Seeking Support: Through the Conquer Group and trusted family members, Marie found the courage to seek support and guidance. She emphasizes the importance of reaching out to trusted individuals who can offer perspective and encouragement during difficult times.
Setting Boundaries: Marie reflects on the crucial role of setting boundaries in protecting oneself from further harm. She shares how prioritizing her well-being and asserting her needs, despite pushback from her ex-husband, helped her regain a sense of autonomy and self-respect.
Embracing Healing: Despite the challenges of divorce and rebuilding her life as a single mother, Marie embraced the healing process with resilience and faith. She shares how leaning on her relationship with God and embracing her identity outside of marriage empowered her to envision a brighter future.
Moving Forward with Purpose: Today, Marie is embarking on a new chapter of entrepreneurship, leveraging her experiences to support other women in similar situations. She encourages listeners to prioritize their own growth and well-being, knowing that they are deserving of love, respect, and fulfillment.
Join Leslie's free workshop April 9th. Register at

Monday Mar 25, 2024

Leslie interviews Rebecca Davis, author of the Untwisting Scriptures series. 1. The Genesis of "Untwisting Scriptures"
Discover the origins of Rebecca's groundbreaking series, sparked by the urgent need to address misuses of scripture in handling sensitive issues like sexual abuse.
Learn how Rebecca's journey evolved from social media advocacy to a comprehensive exploration of scriptural interpretations.
2. Challenging Authority and Misinterpretation
Rebecca's transition from missionary storytelling to theological discourse, as she courageously challenges flawed interpretations of scripture.
Understand the significance of Rebecca's work in addressing gender disparities and offering fresh perspectives within theological discussions.
3. Addressing Core Issues
Delve into the critical themes tackled in Rebecca's books, including the misrepresentation of Christian rights and the often misunderstood concept of biblical bitterness.
Gain valuable insights as Rebecca realigns these notions with the true character of God, providing a roadmap to understanding and spiritual freedom.
4. Cultivating a New Vision of God
Uncover Rebecca's mission to correct distorted images of God prevalent in abusive religious environments, revealing the loving, relational nature of the divine.
Experience a transformative journey toward spiritual clarity as Rebecca illuminates the true essence of God's word.
5. Reception and Impact
Explore the overwhelming positive response to Rebecca's work, underscoring the profound need for her message in a world hungering for authentic spiritual guidance.
Understand the formidable challenge Rebecca's engagement with scripture poses to critics, despite minimal direct confrontation.
6. Untwisting Bitterness and Beyond
Delve into the unjust accusations of bitterness often faced by victims in abusive situations, as Rebecca offers fresh perspectives on accountability and forgiveness within the church.
Gain invaluable insights into navigating complex emotions and reclaiming spiritual agency.Resources: Rebecca Davis: www.rebeccadavisinfo.comUntwisting Scriptures Book series: Leslie Vernick: 


Relationship Truth: Unfiltered

Relationships. They can be difficult and even disappointing. But what about when they become destructive? Does God want you to stay in a relationship "no matter what?" 
You know you're supposed to forgive. Does that mean forgetting? What if the sin continues?
In this podcast, relationship expert and best-selling author, Leslie Vernick tackles all of these questions and more. And she doesn't hand out the same old drivel you may have heard in the counseling office. 

Get ready for real, biblical help for even the most destructive of relationships.

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