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 episode, Leslie shares her expertise and guidance on recognizing, addressing, and overcoming financial abuse within intimate partnerships.
Understanding Financial Abuse
Financial abuse involves controlling or manipulating a partner's access to money and resources.
Leslie highlights the importance of recognizing the signs of financial abuse, such as limiting access to funds, monitoring spending, or making unilateral financial decisions.
The Impact of Financial Abuse
Financial abuse has far-reaching consequences, affecting not only your finances but also your emotional and psychological well-being.
Leslie emphasizes the need to acknowledge the seriousness of financial abuse and its potential to trap victims in unhealthy relationships.
Signs of Financial Abuse
Leslie provides a detailed list of common signs of financial abuse, including withholding money, sabotaging employment, and forcing financial dependence.
Understanding these signs can help individuals identify if they are in an abusive relationship.
Breaking Free from Financial Abuse
Breaking free from financial abuse requires careful planning and support.
Leslie advises listeners to gather evidence, seek legal counsel, and create a safety plan when considering leaving an abusive relationship.
She highlights the importance of having a support network and a therapist to help cope with the emotional challenges.
Navigating Financial Conversations
Open and honest communication is essential for addressing financial abuse.
Leslie offers strategies for initiating conversations with an abusive partner and setting boundaries.
She encourages seeking professional help, such as couples counseling, to address underlying issues.
Empowering Yourself Financially
Financial empowerment involves taking control of your finances and planning for your future.
Leslie recommends consulting with a financial advisor to gain clarity on your financial situation.
She emphasizes the importance of setting financial goals and becoming self-sufficient.
Legal Protection and Resources
Leslie advises victims of financial abuse to consult with an attorney to understand their legal rights and options.
She highlights the role of restraining orders and protective orders in ensuring safety.
Leslie also encourages individuals to access local resources and support organizations for help.
Healing and Recovery
Healing from the trauma of financial abuse takes time and self-compassion.
Leslie emphasizes the importance of seeking therapy or counseling to address emotional scars.
She offers encouragement to survivors, reminding them that healing is possible.
Encouragement and Prayer
Leslie concludes with words of encouragement and a heartfelt prayer for those facing financial abuse.
She encourages listeners to take proactive steps toward healing and freedom.
Remember that you have choices, and there are resources and support available to help you on your journey to healing and empowerment.
To join Empowered to Change:

Monday Nov 20, 2023

Introduction: In this enlightening podcast episode, we delve deep into the power of forgiveness as a catalyst for personal transformation. Our guest, author Rose Ann Forte, shares her insights and experiences regarding forgiveness, self-care, and substance abuse. 
Key Takeaways:
The Importance of Forgiveness:
Rose Ann emphasizes that forgiveness is not only about forgiving others but also forgiving oneself. It is a cornerstone of the healing process.
When God forgives, He wipes the slate clean and remembers our sins no more, allowing us to move forward without the burden of our past mistakes.
Breaking Free from Shame:
Rose Ann explains that genuine forgiveness, as God intends it, releases us from the shame and guilt associated with our past actions.
She draws parallels to the Apostle Paul, who acknowledged his past sins but no longer felt the shame and self-hatred associated with them after experiencing God's forgiveness.
Healthy Self-Care and Transformation:
Rose Ann highlights the significance of healthy self-care as an alternative to self-destructive behaviors like excessive drinking or substance abuse.
She shares her personal journey of realizing that alcohol was negatively affecting her health and well-being, leading her to prioritize self-care.
Challenging Destructive Habits:
Rose Ann recommends taking a 90-day challenge to go alcohol-free as a form of self-care. This challenge allows individuals to observe positive changes in their physical and emotional well-being.
She emphasizes that it's not about completely forgetting the past but rather breaking free from the emotional baggage associated with it.
Understanding Habitual Sin:
Rose Ann discusses the concept of habitual sin, where certain behaviors or substances become destructive and steal one's time, talent, and treasure.
She encourages individuals to recognize when these behaviors are negatively impacting their lives and seek a healthier path.
Breaking Free from Toxic Relationships:
Rose Ann compares the destructive relationship with alcohol to toxic human relationships. She advises recognizing the similarities and the need to break free from both.
Healthy self-care and self-awareness can help individuals distance themselves from destructive habits and relationships.
You Are Not Alone:
Rose Ann offers support and encouragement to anyone struggling with substance abuse or destructive behaviors, assuring them that they are not alone in their journey.
Conclusion: Forgiveness, whether of oneself or others, is a pivotal component of healing and growth. Rose Ann's insights shed light on how forgiveness can free us from the shackles of shame and lead to a more fulfilling and purposeful life. Taking steps toward healthy self-care and challenging destructive habits can pave the way for transformation and self-discovery. Remember, you are not alone in your journey, and God's forgiveness and love are always available to guide you towards a brighter future.
Rose Ann's Daily devotional
Rose Ann's Website
Sign up for Leslie's FREE Webinar:

Monday Nov 13, 2023

Segment 2: Seeking Guidance and Empowerment
Mentorship from a couple within her denomination.
Realizing her right to financial independence.
Support in confronting deception in her marriage.
Involvement of church leadership in her marital issues.
Segment 3: The Power of Supportive Community
Joining a Bible study and a revealing conversation about divorce.
Articulating the decision to leave her abusive marriage.
Difficulty in deciding to leave due to various abuses endured.
Recognizing the abuse with the help of a friend.
A New Beginning
Pursuit of educational growth, including a bachelor's and master's degree.
Commitment to a slow and steady approach to personal growth.
Desire to help others find their strengths and break destructive cycles.
 Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG)
The role of the Conquer program in setting and achieving BHAGs.
Importance of utilizing resources like Conquer and courses by Leslie Vernick.
Developing a clearer sense of identity and purpose.
Overcoming Self-Doubt
Sharing a poignant poem from 2008 reflecting past self-perception.
Contrasting past self with the empowered woman she has become.
Flourishing comes with a price but is worth pursuing.
Quick Start Guide:
Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard by Liz Murray

Monday Nov 06, 2023

Segment 1: Identifying Abusive Behavior
Leslie and Julie discuss the challenge of identifying abusive behavior in relationships, even when it occurs infrequently.
They emphasize the common tendency to believe the best about people while acknowledging that everyone has flaws and dark sides.
Segment 2: Evaluating Responses
The importance of evaluating the husband's response when he acts abusively.
Unhealthy responses, such as blame shifting and deflection, are signs of an unhealthy, controlling person.
Leslie contrasts these unhealthy responses with healthy ones, emphasizing that healthy individuals take responsibility for their actions.
Segment 3: Biblical Examples
Biblical examples, specifically David and Saul, to illustrate different responses to wrongdoing.
David owns his mistakes and his repentance stands in contrast to Saul's blame shifting and excuses.
Segment 4: Assessing Patterns
Leslie introduces the concept of assessing patterns in abusive behavior.
Ask specific questions to determine when the abusive behavior first occurred, the most recent incident, the worst occurrence, and typical patterns.
Recognizing these patterns, especially if they are increasing in frequency and intensity, becomes crucial.
Segment 5: Taking Action
Practical advice on taking action to address abusive behavior.
The importance of finding safe ways to remove oneself from potentially dangerous situations and encourage open communication about the need for change and boundaries.
Segment 6: Making Decisions
The importance of making decisions about what is healthy and acceptable in a relationship.
"Normal" does not always equate to what is good or right and encourage reflection on personal boundaries and values.
Segment 7: Manipulation and Love Bombing
The difference between genuine good behavior and charm used for manipulative purposes, urging listeners to discern their partner's true character.
Conclusion: Prioritizing Well-being
The significance of recognizing patterns, evaluating responses, and taking appropriate action in response to abusive behavior.
The importance of prioritizing safety and well-being and invite listeners to seek support when needed.

Monday Oct 30, 2023

Trust in God After Divorce
Many women struggle with trusting God again after a painful divorce.
Georgia shares her experience of feeling betrayed when her husband, a Christian, turned out to be a porn addict.
Thers is a common feeling of being cheated by God when life doesn't align with expectations.
Georgia emphasizes the importance of being honest with God about our doubts and anger.
It's okay to ask why God allowed certain events to happen, even if answers may not always come.
Cultivating Spiritual Well-being
How Georgia cultivated her spiritual well-being post-divorce.
Tthe significance of spiritual well-being for a meaningful life.
The role of honest expression of emotions and doubts in the journey of faith.
Suffering doesn't mean one is not following Jesus and that storms can happen in one's Christian walk.
Making Wise Decisions
The challenge faced by women who haven't made significant decisions on their own due to long-term marriages.
Georgia's guidance on making decisions, the "three H's": heart, head, and Holy Spirit.
Seeking wise counsel from fellow Christians who share similar values.
Mistakes are opportunities for growth and learning.
Finding Joy and Purpose
The importance of finding joy and purpose after divorce.
Questions women can ask themselves to explore what brings them joy and meaning.
Encourage reflection on life experiences, strengths, talents, and passions.
The value of focusing on small moments of joy and appreciating everyday beauty.
Rebuild After Divorce Membership
Georgia has an online coaching membership called, "ReBUILD After Divorce" which offers a community as well as a coaching platform for christian women navigating divorce. 
Resources:Join Conquer! Georgia Shaffer: www.georgiashaffer.comGeorgia Shaffer's "ReBUILD After Divorce" group:

Monday Oct 23, 2023

Understanding the Impact of Internalized Lies
The psychological impact of internalized lies among abuse survivors.
The debilitating effects of false beliefs on personal growth and recovery.
The Lies that Impede Healing
Falsehoods hindering women's capacity to heal and progress post-abuse.
The inclination to blame external factors while neglecting internalized lies.
The misconception surrounding divorce and the importance of understanding biblical perspectives in abusive relationships.
Addressing emotions like fear, doubt, and anxiety stemming from abuse and their potential to obstruct healing.
Discernment and the ability to differentiate truth from falsehood.
Navigating Towards Healing and Truth
The importance of taking responsibility for one's life and not relying solely on external authorities.
Prioritizing self-discovery, discernment, and establishing healthy boundaries.
The significance of formulating a personal mission statement.Resources: www.leslievernick.comQuick Start Guide: Quint:

Monday Oct 16, 2023

In this powerful episode, Jennifer shares her courageous journey of surviving a destructive marriage characterized by coercive control.  
Part 1: Unveiling Coercive Control
Jennifer reveals the insidious nature of coercive control, including constant threats of abandonment and emotional manipulation.
She emphasizes how these actions often went unnoticed because they were subtle but nonetheless destructive.
Part 2: The Impact of Coercive Control
Julie delves deeper into Jennifer's experiences, focusing on the profound impact of coercive control.
Jennifer shares an early experience that revealed her husband's manipulation tactics and how she was discouraged from setting boundaries or expressing opinions.
Jennifer began to experience anxiety and panic attacks that resulted from her husband's threats and unpredictable behavior.
Part 3: Coping and Staying in the Marriage
Julie explores Jennifer's coping mechanisms and they explore why she stayed in the marriage.
Jennifer discusses the gradual progression of abuse and her belief that her husband would eventually change.
She also reflects on a feeling of being trapped and how fear played a significant role in her decision to stay, particularly after having children.
Part 4: Isolation and Punishment
The conversation delves into the isolation tactics used by Jennifer's husband.
Jennifer describes how her husband never explicitly imposed rules but used various strategies to isolate her and exert control.
She shares examples of emotional punishment, including contempt, belittling, and affection withdrawal, emphasizing the need for recognizing the signs of abuse.
Part 5: Seeking Help and Church Response
Julie discusses a pivotal moment when Jennifer and her husband sought help from their church.
Jennifer acknowledges her husband's initial willingness to address the issue and recounts the church's response, including the pastor's advice and the lack of support from church members.
Part 6: Hitting a Breaking Point
The conversation shifts to a recent incident in 2021 when Jennifer's husband once again walked out on her.
Jennifer explains the unique challenges she faced due to her husband's control over finances, isolation, and living in foreign countries.
She describes the extent of her husband's rage, which lasted nonstop for nine weeks, and its emotional toll on her.
Highlights the power of coercive control and emotional abuse, even without physical violence.
Part 7: Seeking Help and Finding Conquer
Jennifer shares her journey of seeking help, including a turning point when she cried out to God for guidance.
Talks about her struggle to find the right support, navigating between secular and Christian advice.
Discusses how she discovered Conquer and the impact it had on her healing process.
Part 8: The Transformative Power of Conquer
Jennifer highlights the transformative impact of Conquer on her life.
Expresses gratitude for the safe and supportive space it provides for women facing similar challenges.
Discusses key insights and "aha moments" she gained through Conquer, including understanding the abuse cycle and victim mentality.
Emphasizes the importance of focusing on personal growth and wellness, regardless of the decision to stay or leave an abusive relationship.
Part 9: Encouragement for Others
Jennifer shares a message of hope and encouragement for those who may be listening and facing similar situations.
Encourages individuals to consider joining Conquer and emphasizes its role in empowering women to make informed choices about their relationships.
Highlights the significance of finding a supportive community and taking steps toward healing and personal growth.
Resources:Conquer is open through October 17th. Sign up at Leslie's book, "The Emotionally Destructive Marriage."Find other resources at 

Monday Oct 09, 2023

In this episode you'll meet Geri, a mentor in the Conquer private membership group. She bravely shares her story of walking through a destructive marriage. 
Lesson on Forgiveness and Reconciliation:
Distinguishing between forgiveness and reconciliation.
The misconception that forgiving automatically means rebuilding a close relationship.
The need for comprehensive understanding of forgiveness in abusive situations.
The Love of God and Malachi 2:16:
Geri's realization about God's love surpassing the institution of marriage.
Reference to Malachi 2:16 and its impact on her perspective.
Emphasizing that God values individuals more than preserving a dysfunctional marriage.
The importance of knowing God's love and protection.
A Supportive Church Community:
Geri's experience with a supportive church community during her divorce.
The role of her pastor in providing guidance and perspective.
The blessing of having a church community that encourages healthy boundaries and protects against abuse.
Differences After Joining Conquer:
Geri reflects on personal changes since joining Conquer.
Transition from self-doubt and insecurity to self-acceptance and inner peace.
No longer relying on external validation for self-worth.
Desire for a future relationship based on a healthier self-perspective.
Preparing for a Healthy Future Relationship:
How Geri's newfound self-awareness will inform future relationships.
The importance of healing personal insecurities and self-development.
Cultivating a God-centered relationship as a foundation for future relationships.
Final Advice for Listeners:
Geri's essential advice for listeners in similar situations.
The importance of pressing into the love of God.
Personalizing Scripture to reinforce God's love for each individual.
Encouraging honesty with oneself and willingness to hear the truth.
Trusting in God's good plan and faithfulness.
Resources:Join Conquer now through October 17th!

Monday Oct 02, 2023

Leslie's special guest on this episode is Sheila Gregoire, author of "She Deserves Better" and "The Great Sex Rescue." Together Sheila and Leslie delve into debunking harmful stereotypes and fostering meaningful connections with your daughters.
Segment 1: Harmful Beliefs About Girls and Their Consequences:
Sheila discusses (and debunks) the damaging belief that girls talk excessively and its adverse effects on their lives.
Explore the potential consequences of buying into this stereotype, including the risk of marrying an abuser.
Segment 2: Nurturing Healthy Communication with Daughters:
Sheila underscores the significance of parents actively listening to their daughters and allowing them to have a voice.
Encourage ongoing and open dialogues, with an emphasis that parents need not be perfect in these conversations.
Parents are encouraged to teach their children the art of respectful disagreement and independent thinking.
Segment 3: Impact of Toxic Relationships on Parenting:
How toxic relationships, particularly abusive marriages, affect parenting.
Sheila emphasizes the importance of recognizing and breaking free from authoritarian and harmful patterns in one's life.
Parents are urged to treat their sons and daughters equitably, imparting values of mutual respect and shared responsibilities.
Delve into setting boundaries and recognizing red flags in relationships.
Segment 4: Parenting Daughters in Healthy Relationships and Non-Negotiables:
Sheila offers valuable advice on parenting daughters and identifies non-negotiables.
Emphasize that daughters should not be instrumentalized to make parents look good but should be recognized as unique individuals.
Encourage parents to provide guidance, maintain open conversations, and embrace imperfections.
Resources:Register for Leslie's free workshop on October 5th, 2023: "If He Doesn't Hit You Is It Still Abuse?"
Leslie's website:
Sheila Gregoire's website: 
Sheila's podcast: Bare Marriage (formerly "To Love, Honor and Vacuum"):

Monday Sep 25, 2023

No Relationship is perfect. But when does "not perfect" cross the line into abuse? That's the question Leslie answers in today's episode. 
1. Types of Relationships:
Differentiate between difficult, disappointing, and destructive marriages.
Difficulties can bring couples closer if handled maturely.
There are many external stressors in marriages.
2. Disappointing Marriages:
Discuss common expectations that lead to disappointment.
Emphasize the importance of accepting imperfections in a spouse.
3. Recognizing Destructive Relationships:
Define abusive and destructive relationships.
What the Bible teaches about love, harm, and taking responsibility.
If an abusive incident happens, it is very important that the behavior does not continue.  
4. Types of Abuse:
Emotional, financial, sexual, and spiritual.
Leslie explains the motivations behind using these abusive tactics, primarily control and power.
What is the impact of abusive tactics on the victim's self-esteem and freedom?
5. Addressing Sexual Abuse:
Misconceptions about sexual abuse in marriage.
Analyze 1 Corinthians 7 and its interpretation regarding consent.
The importance of mutual respect and consent in marital intimacy.
6. Emotional Abuse:
Is "emotional abuse" talked about in the Bible?
The power of words and their impact on individuals.
Scriptural references about the impact of words on relationships.
7. Taking Responsibility:
Leslie and Julie discuss the notion of provocation in abusive relationships.
The reality of individual responsibility for emotional reactions.
Self-awareness and self-improvement is encouraged in order to break the cycle of abuse.
8. Seeking Help:
Guidance for individuals in abusive relationships.
Free test to discover if you're in a destructive relationship
Kindle version of Leslie's book, "The Emotionally Destructive Marriage"


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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