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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5 days ago

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: 

Monday Mar 18, 2024

Defining Self-Esteem and Self-Image
Julie poses the question: What constitutes healthy self-esteem, especially from a biblical standpoint?
Leslie explores the concept of self-esteem in relation to self-image.
Discussion on the formation of self-image through interactions and perceptions, particularly in childhood.
Highlighting the role of parental influence and societal standards in shaping self-esteem.
Understanding Humility and Self-Acceptance
Expanding on the notion of humility as a component of healthy self-esteem.
Drawing parallels between humility and accepting one's limitations.
Leslie emphasizes the importance of embracing truth about oneself and avoiding unrealistic expectations.
Discussing the difference between self-improvement and self-condemnation.
Biblical Perspective on Self-Worth
Julie prompts discussion on what the Bible says about self-worth and identity.
Leslie highlights biblical verses affirming inherent value and purpose in individuals.
Emphasizing God's unconditional love and acceptance regardless of human flaws.
Encouraging listeners to recognize their worth as God's beloved creations.
Overcoming Negative Self-Talk
Addressing the impact of negative self-talk and external criticisms on self-esteem.
Sharing personal anecdotes and struggles with self-esteem.
Strategies for combating negative self-talk, including renewing the mind with truth.
Encouraging listeners to challenge and replace self-defeating thoughts with affirmations of truth.
Balancing Self-Care and Self-Improvement
Delving into the fine line between self-care and self-absorption.
Discussing the potential pitfalls of excessive self-focus in pursuit of improvement.
Advocating for a balanced approach that includes consideration of others' needs and interests.
Highlighting the importance of nurturing healthy relationships and community support.

Monday Mar 11, 2024

In this compelling episode, we delve into the courageous journey of Amanda as she navigates through tumultuous waters in her marriage, finding strength, and healing amidst chaos.
Early Struggles and Expectations:
Amanda reflects on the early struggles in her marriage, feeling the weight of societal and religious expectations placed upon her as a wife and Christian. The pressure to maintain a facade of perfection made it difficult for her to seek help.
Impact on Family and Identity Crisis:
She shares the realization of how her marital struggles affected her children, prompting her to prioritize their well-being over societal expectations. Amanda opens up about the identity crisis she experienced when her reactions contradicted her perceived identity.
Overcoming Shame and Seeking Help:
Despite feelings of shame and embarrassment, Amanda reached a turning point when she recognized the need to prioritize her mental health and seek support for herself and her children.
Discovering Support and Resources:
Amanda discusses her journey of finding support through programs like Conquer and Walking in Core Strength, which provided her with valuable tools and biblical guidance to navigate through her challenges.
Facing Reality and Acceptance:
Amanda bravely confronts the reality of her marital situation, acknowledging persistent behavior patterns. Despite the challenges, she maintains hope and resilience, prioritizing personal growth and the well-being of herself and her children.
RESOURCES: Join Walking in Core Strength:

Is Porn Adultery?

Monday Mar 11, 2024

Monday Mar 11, 2024

The Danger of Pornography:
It's not just a biblical issue; studies in psychology and science show the harmful effects of pornography.
Pornography can lead to sexual dysfunction, making individuals less responsive to a normal sexual relationship with their partner.
Internet addiction, including pornography, is causing societal problems, making people less connected and more self-absorbed.
The Objectification and Harm of Women:
Leslie points out the mistreatment, objectification, and even trafficking of women in the pornography industry.
She quotes Jesus, who condemned those who harm children, linking this to the harm caused by pornography, especially when children are involved.
Is Pornography Adultery?:
According to the Bible, adultery is not limited to physical acts; it also includes unfaithfulness and lustful thoughts.
The reluctance of some churches to equate pornography with adultery may stem from the fear of increasing divorce rates in their congregations.
Addressing Pornography Addiction:
It's important to learn how to say no to oneself for a higher purpose.
If one can't be honest about their addiction and seeks to hide it, the lying becomes a deeper issue than the addiction itself.
If a partner is unavailable due to injury or illness, self-care may be appropriate. However, using masturbation to avoid intimacy can be harmful to the relationship.
Women and Pornography:
Pornography is not solely a male issue, as more women are exploring their own sexual desires.
Leslie highlights the dangers of pornography, emphasizing that it can lead to unhealthy relationships and addiction.
Talking to Children About Pornography:
Leslie provides advice on how to approach the topic of children watching pornography or exploring their bodies.
She emphasizes not shaming children but educating them about appropriate boundaries.
Hope for Recovery:
Leslie offers hope for those affected by pornography addiction, emphasizing the importance of forgiveness and redemption.
She encourages a path toward honesty and away from deception and addiction.
Support for Spouses:
Leslie advises spouses not to become consumed with fixing their partner's problem but to address their own emotions and needs.
It's essential to focus on personal safety, trust, and emotional well-being while being compassionate and supportive.

Monday Mar 04, 2024

Understanding Abuse Dynamics:
Andrew and Leslie delve into the multifaceted nature of abuse, encompassing emotional, psychological, and spiritual manipulation.
They highlight the insidious tactics employed by abusers to exert control and maintain power over their victims, emphasizing the importance of recognizing red flags and setting boundaries.
Breaking the Silence:
Both hosts underscore the significance of breaking the silence surrounding abuse and fostering environments of safety and support for survivors to share their experiences.
They encourage listeners to validate and honor their own narratives, while also extending empathy and understanding to those who may struggle to disclose their stories.
Navigating Victimhood and Empowerment:
Andrew and Leslie engage in a nuanced discussion on the concept of victim blaming, emphasizing the importance of holding perpetrators accountable while offering compassion and support to survivors.
They explore the complexities of maturity and self-empowerment, challenging harmful narratives that perpetuate cycles of shame and self-blame.
Spiritual Dynamics and Healing:
In the context of Christian faith, Leslie addresses the challenges faced by women reconciling teachings of submission with experiences of abuse, highlighting the need for discernment and critical engagement with scripture.
Andrew shares his personal journey of confronting his past actions and embracing a process of self-reflection and transformation, emphasizing the role of truth-telling, accountability, and therapeutic support in his healing journey.
Practical Steps Toward Healing:
Practical advice is offered for individuals experiencing abuse, including seeking support from trusted networks, consulting with professionals, and prioritizing safety and self-care.
Both hosts emphasize the importance of recognizing triggers, practicing self-awareness, and advocating for healthy boundaries in relationships as crucial steps toward healing and empowerment.
RESOURCES:Join Walking in Core StrengthAndrew Bauman's book, How Not to Be an #ssChristian Counseling Center for Sexual Health & Trauma Andrew Bauman's Website

Monday Feb 26, 2024

Podcast Show Notes: Managing Emotions and Conflict Resolution
In this comprehensive discussion on managing emotions and resolving conflicts, various tools and strategies are explored to navigate challenging conversations and maintain healthy relationships.
Understanding Emotional Responses:
The conversation begins by acknowledging the complexity of emotional responses, especially in high-conflict situations.
Emotions like frustration and desperation often arise when individuals feel unheard or invalidated by the other party.
Tools for Emotional Regulation:
Practical tools are discussed for managing strong emotions during difficult conversations.
Grounding oneself internally is emphasized, highlighting the importance of not overly relying on external factors for emotional stability.
Preparation for Conflict:
Prior preparation for conflict is recommended, including affirming internally that one's validation doesn't depend on the other party's approval.
Setting boundaries around communication and emotional engagement is crucial for maintaining composure during heated discussions.
Biblical Principles in Conflict Resolution:
The discussion incorporates biblical teachings on conflict resolution, emphasizing the importance of gentle communication and avoiding harsh words.
Anecdotes are shared to illustrate how calm and empathetic responses can defuse tense situations.
Addressing Lingering Relationship Issues:
The conversation shifts to addressing unresolved issues within relationships, such as past infidelity.
The importance of acknowledging the impact of past actions and showing compassion for the affected party is emphasized.
Individual Responsibility vs. Relationship Dynamics:
While individuals are responsible for their own healing and emotional well-being, genuine efforts from both parties are necessary for resolving relationship issues.
Seeking professional help for unresolved trauma or emotional distress is encouraged, alongside self-reflection for personal growth.
This comprehensive discussion underscores the importance of self-awareness, boundary-setting, and compassionate communication in navigating challenging conversations and resolving conflicts within relationships.
Practical strategies are integrated with biblical principles to provide a holistic approach to emotional regulation and conflict resolution.
Resources:Sign up for Walking in Core Strength -
Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)
JADE stands for Justify, Argue, Defend, Explain, a tool to recognize unproductive patterns in arguments.
BIFF stands for Brief, Informative, Friendly, Firm, a method for managing communication in contentious situations.

Empowering You to Thrive

Monday Feb 19, 2024

Monday Feb 19, 2024

Julie and Coach Diana answer all your questions about Walking in Core Strength... and offer valuable insights you can apply to your life today.
Understanding Core Strength: Diana explains how Walking in Core Strength focuses on nurturing maturity and rediscovering one's identity rooted in Christ.
Unveiling Destructive Patterns: Learn how the program helps women identify and challenge destructive beliefs and behaviors.
Cultivating Empowerment: Discover the importance of setting healthy boundaries and taking responsibility for personal growth and well-being.
Embracing Faith and Transformation: Hear about the supportive community and deep Christian fellowship that participants experience in the program.
Taking the Next Step: Interested listeners can sign up for Walking in Core Strength at and embark on a journey of faith-based empowerment and transformation.
Join Julie and Diana as they explore the life-changing potential of Walking in Core Strength and invite Christian women to step into a renewed sense of purpose and freedom.
To learn more and sign up for the program, visit


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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