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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Monday Sep 18, 2023

In this show Julie Sedenko has a heartfelt conversation with Debbie, a woman who is rebuilding her life after a painful marriage.
Part 1: The Early Years and Marriage:
Debbie's background and early life.
How she met her future husband.
The early stages of their relationship and marriage.
Part 2: Recognizing Abuse:
The signs and patterns of emotional and verbal abuse in Debbie's marriage.
How Debbie came to recognize the abuse she was experiencing.
Attempts to seek counseling and the challenges she faced.
Part 3: The Turning Point:
The pivotal moment when Debbie realized she needed to make a change.
Her decision to initiate a separation from her husband.
The impact of this decision on her health and well-being.
Part 4: Finding Support and Healing:
How Debbie discovered Leslie's Conquer membership program.
How Conquer became a crucial source of support and empowerment for Debbie.
The importance of the Conquer community in her healing process.
Part 5: Rebuilding and Moving Forward:
Julie and Debbie discuss the steps Debbie took to rebuild her life after the separation and divorce.
How Debbie found her dream job and pursued her passion for teaching.
Debbie talks about the growth in her faith and her role in a new church community.
A message of hope and resilience for others

Monday Sep 11, 2023

Leslie interviews Jill Savage, host of the No More Perfect Podcast, a creator of online courses, and the author of 14 books, including "No More Perfect Moms" and "No More Perfect Marriages." The episode dives deep into Jill's personal journey of resilience, redemption, and unconditional love in the face of a significant marital detour.
The Marital Detour and Learning to Love Unconditionally:
Jill's husband, Mark, resigned from pastoral ministry after 20 years, a decision that initiated their challenging journey.
The difficulties they faced during a church plant took a toll on both of them.
Mark's personal struggles with self-worth and identity, stemming from his abusive upbringing, contributed to their marital problems.
Depression had been a recurring issue in Mark's life.
Jill describes the emotional detachment and emotional affair that strained their marriage.
She reflects on God's call to love Mark, even when he seemed unlovable.
Boundaries and saying "no" became essential components of her love.
Jill turned to Romans 12:9-21 as her guiding principles during this challenging time.
She aimed to honor Mark as an image bearer, despite his actions.
Jill learned that love isn't always soft; it can also include firm boundaries.
During their separation, Jill displayed grace and love, which Mark later acknowledged.
Heaping burning coals on his head meant allowing him to see his own actions more clearly.
A Journey to Healing and Treating an Image Bearer with Honor:
Jill shares how Mark's personal resurrection on Easter Sunday in 2012 turned their marriage and his life around.
The concept of redemption played a significant role in their journey.
Jill emphasizes that her journey was not about controlling the outcome of her marriage but focusing on who she needed to be in the process.
Leslie highlights the importance of treating a spouse, even during a crisis, as an image bearer.
Jill shares how she maintained honor and respect for Mark despite his behavior.
Loving unconditionally often includes setting boundaries and holding the other person accountable for their actions.
The Unhumanable Love and The Power of Keeping Your Side of the Street Clean:
Jill reflects on the term "unhumanable love" and how it became a central theme in her journey.
She explains how this type of love is beyond human capability and can only be achieved through faith in Christ.
Jill's actions and love towards Mark made him realize the depth of her love and grace.
Leslie and Jill discuss the importance of maintaining personal integrity and avoiding retaliation.
Focusing on one's actions and growth can lead to a clearer path to reconciliation.
Jill shares personal anecdotes about times when she struggled with anger and imperfection during this process.
Jill's journey is a testament to the power of love, grace, and redemption in the face of marital challenges.
The importance of maintaining personal integrity and heaping burning coals on the other's head is a valuable lesson.
Healing and restoration require effort from both parties, but unconditional love can be transformative.
RESOURCESWalking in Core Strength group coaching program:
Jill Savage:

Tuesday Sep 05, 2023

In this episode, Leslie & Julie discuss the following listener questions/topics:
How does staying calm help others see their own behavior more clearly?
What distinguishes appropriate reactions from inappropriate ones?
How should one handle a spouse who insists on arguing in front of children?
What advice can you provide for overcoming the fear of speaking up and handling criticism?
How can one respond to a spouse who uses profanity and initiates fights?
What strategies can be employed to address criticism and communication shutdowns?
How do you balance assertiveness with expressing love in a relationship?
How does personal healing and growth impact communication patterns?
What steps can one take to recognize control and choose battles wisely?
How can difficult conversations be handled in a productive and empathetic manner?
How do you address resistance to feedback and constructive criticism in relationships?
RESOURCES: Walking in Core Strength:

Monday Aug 28, 2023

In this episode, Julie Sedenko & Leslie Vernick discuss the importance and the challenges of speaking up in relationships, particularly in difficult or destructive marriages.
The Challenge of Speaking Up:
In destructive marriages, speaking up can be scary and unsafe.
Balancing the need to speak up for oneself with the potential negative responses.
Referencing Matthew 7, where Jesus warns about casting pearls before swine.
The Value of Learning to Speak Up:
Emphasizing the importance of speaking up for oneself in mature relationships.
The need for effective communication to build healthier relationships.
Acknowledging that speaking up doesn't always mean speaking in the heat of the moment.
Guidelines for Speaking Up:
The wisdom of using biblical teachings to navigate different situations.
Differentiating between speaking about someone else's behavior and one's own feelings.
Self-reflection is important before addressing others' behaviors.
Approach others with humility and understanding.
Navigating Difficult Conversations:
How to keep things calm when a partner isn't interested in listening or finding solutions.
A different approach to asking about their perspective on a healthy marriage.
Recognizing contradictory expectations about marriage and communication.
Preparing for Meaningful Conversations:
The importance of preparation and groundwork before discussing sensitive topics.
The significance of speaking with love.
Balancing truth with love to avoid coming across as harsh.
Hard conversations require personal preparation for effective communication.
The Five Levels of Conversation:
Superficial chitchat.
Sharing news and facts.
Sharing personal thoughts and ideas.
Sharing feelings.
Sharing one's essence and deepest self.
Creating a Safe Space for Conversations:
Understanding potential reasons for a partner's escalation or shutdown.
Addressing a partner's potential fear of feeling incompetent.
Encouraging compassion and patience in understanding each other's limitations.
Comparing emotional intimacy to physical intimacy.
Overcoming Resistance and Creating Safety
What happens when one partner resists opening up or having deep conversations. 
Establishing a safe space is crucial. This can be done through various boundaries and techniques. 
Balancing Expectations and Reality
Sometimes partners have different communication styles and comfort levels. 
Understanding your partner’s background, upbringing, and communication patterns can help bridge the gap. 
Recognize that not all conversations need to be extensive or immediate. Patience and consistency are key.
Navigating Disagreements and Escalation
How to handle situations when a conversation has escalated. 
Emphasize mutual respect and recognize when emotions are becoming heated.
Resources:Walking in Core Strength Group Coaching Program:
Love Talk Starters: 275 Questions to Get Your Conversations Going by Les & Leslie Parrott

Monday Aug 21, 2023

In this episode of "Relationship Truth Unfiltered," join host Julie Sedenko in a powerful conversation with Kim, a courageous woman who shares her story of transformation from a brutally destructive marriage marred by serial infidelity and emotional abuse. Kim's journey of discovering the truth, finding her self-worth, and rebuilding her life offers hope and inspiration to women facing similar challenges.
From the struggles of uncovering deception to the healing process of breaking free and eventually finding love and acceptance, Kim's story reminds us of the importance of recognizing our own value, seeking support, and embracing the potential for positive change.
Uncovering the Destructive Marriage
Kim's Experience: Victim of Serial Infidelity and Emotional Abuse
Dealing with Confusion and Suspicion in the Marriage
Living in Denial and Silent Suffering
Unearthing Clues and Inappropriate Behavior
Coping with Deception and Anonymous Infidelity
Struggles of Identifying Anonymity and Facing Denial
Kim's Inner Struggles: Dealing with Shame and Silence
The Emotional Toll and Breaking Points
Emotional Impact of Discovering Infidelity and Betrayal
Coping with Emotional Abuse and Trauma
Living with Fear and Anxiety in the Marriage
The Silent Suffering and Desperation of Seeking Answers
Wrestling with Values and Church Influence
Conflicts between Religious Beliefs and Personal Well-being
Coping with Conservative Church Teachings on Divorce
Kim's Internal Struggle: Balancing Family Values and Personal Safety
Overcoming Societal Expectations and Finding Self-Worth
Discovering Truth and Seeking Healing
The Turning Point: Finding Leslie Vernick's Book
Kim's Revelation: Recognizing the Destructive Patterns
Lessons from Leslie Vernick's Coaching Groups: Empowered to Change, Walking in Core Strength, and Conquer
Preparing for a New Journey
Learning to Value Oneself and Seek Safety
Overcoming Destructive Thought Patterns
Finding a Healthy Love After a Destructive Marriage
The Transition from Victim to Survivor and Thriver
Embracing a New Beginning
Kim's Journey to a Healthy Relationship
Night and Day Difference: Old Marriage vs. New Marriage
Transitioning from Idolizing Marriage to Finding Personal Wholeness
The Importance of Focusing on Safety and Healing First
Advice for Those in Similar Situations
Face the Truth and Seek Safety
Take Time to Make Decisions
Acknowledge the Painful Process of Transformation
The Precious New Life on the Other Side of Struggle
Continuing the Healing Journey
Accepting Imperfection and Continuing Personal Growth
Dealing with Triggers and Self-Esteem Issues
The Lifelong Process of Overcoming Deep-Seated Patterns
Empowering Women to Embrace Their Worth and Seek Healing

Monday Aug 14, 2023

Empowering Survivors and Shining Light: Addressing Abuse in Churches
Guest: Rachel Denhollander - attorney, author, advocate, educator.
Role in exposing sexual abuse, notably Dr. Larry Nassar's abuse in USA Gymnastics.
Highlighting the importance of discussing abuse in religious contexts.
Rachel's Background:
Pursuit of justice against Dr. Larry Nassar.
Over 300 survivors, including Olympic medalists, came forward.
Book "What's a Girl Worth?" recounts her journey and exposes the truth.
Collaboration on "" for educating church leaders on abuse and trauma.
Importance of Speaking Up:
Debunking the misconception about survivors' reluctance to speak up.
The lack of safe avenues for disclosing abuse.
Community responses and institutional support as empowering factors.
Role of media coverage in enabling survivors to share their stories.
The Role of Church Leaders:
Creating safe spaces for survivors within religious communities.
Misunderstandings within the church about unity, authority, justice, and forgiveness.
Theological views hindering appropriate responses to abuse.
Need for education among church leaders about abuse dynamics and trauma.
Value and Worth:
Discussion on devaluation of women's worth and expectations of suffering.
Motivation behind Rachel's books "What's a Girl Worth?" and "What's a Little Girl Worth?"
Initiating conversations with children about identity, value, and speaking out against abuse.
Personal Experience:
Insights from Rachel's memoir revealing challenges of speaking out against abuse.
Unveiling legal processes, abuse dynamics, and survivor trauma.
Acknowledging the privilege and difficulties of supporting survivors.
Progress in Churches:
Positive changes in churches' responses to abuse survivors.
Establishing support systems, offering resources, and standing with survivors.
Understanding the hurdles survivors face in seeking justice.
Highlighting the Positive:
Intentionality and Learning: Pastors seeking knowledge about trauma despite lack of formal training.
Engaging Difficult Topics: Addressing abuse, oppression, and trauma in sermons to foster communication.
Empowering Survivors: Creating safe spaces for sharing stories, fostering healing and support.
Practical Support: Providing legal fees, counseling, resources, and tangible assistance.
Championing Transparency: Standing against silencing tactics, supporting survivors' public speaking.
Advocacy and Legislation: Pastors engaging in legislative efforts to criminalize clergy abuse.
Final Words of Wisdom:
For Survivors: Worth is not defined by others' actions, find hope in the existence of light.
For Supporters: Stand with the vulnerable, embodying Christ's love and care.
Closing Prayer: A heartfelt prayer for comfort, advocacy, and justice for survivors.
Sign up for Leslie's free webinar on August 17th! It's titled,
“I'm Not Okay When You're Not Okay: Defining My Problem, Your Problem, and Our Problem.”
Leslie will even answer your questions - live! Register at 

Monday Aug 07, 2023

The importance of mutual respect and understanding in a partnership.
Part 1: Understanding Unhealthy Relationship Dynamics
Traditional perspectives on gender roles and submission in relationships.
Misconceptions around submission and headship.
The danger of oppressive relationships and their impact on women's well-being.
The need for women to reclaim their identity and voice.
Part 2: Communicating and Asserting Boundaries
The importance of respectful communication in relationships.
Healthy mutual decision-making in relationships.
Potential consequences of asserting oneself in an unhealthy relationship.
The importance of being a God-centered woman rather than a husband-centered one.

Monday Jul 31, 2023

Disclaimer: The content shared in this episode contains sensitive and potentially triggering topics related to domestic abuse and miscarriage. Listener discretion is advised.
1: The Beginning of the Destructive Marriage
Ayana and her current husband met after both having experienced previous failed marriages.
They initially appeared to be a perfect match with similar spiritual values, but things changed drastically after they got married.
Ayana's husband started exhibiting controlling and verbally abusive behavior, and she couldn't understand where it was coming from.
Friends and family were concerned about Ayana and tried to check on her, but they were unable to share their concerns before the wedding due to her husband's request for secrecy.
2: Unraveling the Truth
Ayana gradually realized her husband had deep-seated issues and unresolved trauma from past relationships, which led to a hatred of women.
He would use Scripture to condemn her instead of using it to support and guide her on her spiritual journey.
Ayana's husband also struggled with financial control, withdrawing money during arguments and insisting on separate financial plans.
3: The Accusation After Miscarriage
yana and her husband experienced a traumatic miscarriage after arguments and stress surrounding her previous husband's near-death experience.
Heartbreakingly, Ayana's husband accused her of "murdering" their unborn children, causing immense pain and emotional distress.
4: A Mother's Struggle: The Desperate Cry for Safety
Ayanna discusses hitting a breaking point in her marriage, facing abuse on every level, including physical, and her realization that she needed to seek help for the sake of her children.
The traumatic incident with her ex-husband that led to a life-altering injury and its impact on Ayanna and her family.
Ayanna's internal conflict and emotional turmoil when her current husband demanded her not to make physical contact with her ex-husband during a visit.
Ayanna shares the intense emotional and physical abuse she endured during a heated argument with her current husband.
The fear and helplessness she felt when he aggressively confronted her and the moment she realized she needed to escape for her own safety and the well-being of her children.
Ayanna's internal struggle with the decision to leave and her faith-based approach to seeking guidance from God.
5: Finding Support and Strength
Ayanna's discovery of Leslie Vernick's work and Conquer, which provided her with the language and understanding of emotional destructive marriages.
The transformative power of being part of the Conquer community, where Ayanna found support, biblical guidance, and the encouragement she needed to build her safety plan and exit strategy.
How prayer, surrendering to God, and surrounding herself with a supportive community empowered Ayanna to face the challenges ahead.
6: The Decision to Leave
Ayanna's spiritual journey in seeking God's guidance in her decision to leave the abusive relationship.
The pivotal moment at a prophetic event where Ayanna received a clear message from God, affirming her path towards healing and restoration.
The importance of recognizing her worth as a child of God and setting boundaries to prioritize her safety and well-being.
7: Embracing Healing and Wholeness
Ayanna's gradual transition towards healing and wholeness after filing for divorce and separating from her abuser.
The importance of taking ownership of her emotions and focusing on self-improvement and self-love.
Ayanna's current state, working full-time, and living with precautions in place while she prepares for a new chapter in her life.

Monday Jul 24, 2023

Podcast Show Notes: Living in Alignment with Core Values
Importance of living in alignment with core values
Definition and significance of core values
Discovering Core Values
Reflecting on personal beliefs and principles
Identifying core values through introspection and self-awareness
The Impact of Living in Misalignment
Consequences of not honoring core values
Recognizing signs of misalignment in life
Prioritizing Core Values in Decision Making
Aligning choices with core values
Making decisions that resonate with personal beliefs
Cultivating a sense of purpose and fulfillment
The Power of Pausing, Noticing, and Choosing
Understanding the three-step process for mindful decisions
Being present and aware of one's actions and choices
Taking responsibility for well-being and making conscious choices
Embracing Personal Growth and Courageous Conversations
Promoting personal growth and authenticity
Choosing courageous conversations in alignment with core values
Handling potential challenges and feedback
Encouraging listeners to explore and embrace their core values
Emphasizing the positive impact of living authentically and in alignment with God's purpose
Acknowledging the potential impact on relationships and making choices accordingly
CORE Values Exercise:Many have never taken the time to uncover, explore and learn to articulate just what their CORE values are. When you have values in conflict, it can lead to frustration with yourself or with those around you. Knowing your core values helps you prioritize life so you can say “no” to good things so you can say “yes” to the best things.
Look at the following list of values. Pause, pray, reflect, and choose.Then, on a piece of paper or in your journal, circle or write down the 10 values that are most important to you. Make sure that your list includes values that are meaningful to you and are relevant to your life today. Feel free to add values not listed here.After you've chosen 10, pray and inquire of the Lord to narrow your list of values down to five. You can do it!  Write the name of your top five. Then, define what the value means to you. Begin to live and make decisions according to your core values!
AccomplishmentAdventureAppearanceAuthorityBroad MindednessBeautyBraveCommunityCompetencyCompetitionConfidenceCollaborationConnectionCooperationCreativityEducation/LearningFaithFamilyFast PaceFlexibilityFreedomFriendshipGenerosityGraceHealthHelpfulHonestyIndependenceInfluenceIntegrityIntellectual StimulationJoyKindnessLegacy Now LivedLeisureLoyaltyManagementMaterial StatusMoral FulfillmentOrderPeacePowerRecognitionRestSecuritySelf-ExpressionTrustworthyVarietyWalking Your TalkWisdom

Monday Jul 17, 2023

In this episode of Relationship Truth Unfiltered, Leslie provides valuable insights and guidance for Christian women who find themselves in destructive marriages. Drawing upon her expertise as a counselor and Christian author, Leslie discusses the importance of recognizing destructive patterns, setting healthy boundaries, and seeking personal growth and healing. With a focus on faith and wisdom, she offers practical advice on emotional regulation, rebuilding trust, and creating new patterns of behavior. Join Leslie Vernick and Julie Sedenko as they empower women to navigate their challenging relationships with grace, love, and self-care.
Part 1: Recognizing Destructive Patterns  
Understanding the warning bells within ourselves and the accidents that occur when we ignore our capacity.
Exploring emotional regulation and learning to control anger in safe ways.
Recognizing the importance of self-awareness and accepting responsibility for our actions.
Part 2: Creating New Patterns of Behavior  
Embracing our unique personalities and learning to love ourselves and our partners as they are.
Understanding the significance of heart change, not just behavior change, in fostering growth and transformation.
Exploring resources and programs for personal growth, counseling, coaching, and support groups.
Part 3: Seeking Healing and Setting Boundaries  
Addressing the challenges of rebuilding trust and creating new patterns of behavior after recognizing destructive patterns.
The importance of self-care and recognizing the impact of a partner's refusal to change.
Praying for wisdom, support, and the strength to set healthy boundaries and appropriate consequences.
Visit for a free Quick Start guide that provides clarity on whether your marriage is difficult, disappointing, or destructive.


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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