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 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

Monday Feb 12, 2024

Topic: Reconciling After Separation
In this episode, we discuss a question regarding reconciliation after a 34-year marriage marred by issues of pornography and verbal abuse. Despite the challenges, both individuals have made personal progress over the years and are now contemplating the possibility of reuniting.
Key Points:
Assessing Individual Growth:
One crucial aspect is evaluating individual growth and whether both parties have made positive changes over the years.
It's essential to consider if the person seeking reconciliation has demonstrated genuine efforts to address past issues, such as seeking therapy or counseling.
Exploring Expectations:
Questions about expectations for the future arise, including whether the desire to reconcile stems from genuine personal growth or external pressures.
Both individuals should reflect on their personal desires and needs, independent of society's or family's expectations.
Establishing Boundaries:
Setting boundaries is crucial, especially regarding behaviors that contributed to the initial separation, such as pornography use or verbal abuse.
Both parties must demonstrate respect for each other's boundaries and be willing to uphold them consistently.
Testing Compatibility:
Before considering moving back in together, it's advisable to test compatibility through short-term arrangements or trial periods.
Spending extended time together, such as weekends or vacations, can provide insight into whether reconciliation is viable in the long run.
Prioritizing Self-Care:
Individuals should prioritize their own well-being and personal growth throughout the reconciliation process.
This includes maintaining boundaries, seeking support from a community or therapist, and engaging in self-reflection.
Conclusion: Deciding whether to reconcile after a significant separation involves careful introspection, communication, and a commitment to personal growth. It's essential for both parties to prioritize their well-being and assess compatibility before making any long-term decisions.
Video: When to Separate and When to Reconcile
For men seeking resources on personal growth and relationship improvement, Chris Moles and Andrew Bauman offer valuable insights and support.
Books such as "How Not to Be a Jerk in Your Marriage" by Andrew Bauman provide practical guidance for men navigating relationship challenges and personal growth.
The book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0 can help individuals develop emotional intelligence and strengthen interpersonal relationships.
If you are a man who wants to change: video. 
Disclaimer: Individual circumstances vary, and the decision to reconcile should be based on careful consideration of personal needs, boundaries, and compatibility. 

Monday Feb 05, 2024

In this poignant and candid episode of "Relationship Truth, Unfiltered," Leslie's guest, Mark Savage bares his soul as he shares his extraordinary journey from the depths of a devastating affair to the triumphant rebuilding of trust with his spouse, Jill. Mark takes us through the challenges of personal growth, honest conflict resolution, and celebrating individual strengths within their marriage. This episode serves as a powerful testament to Mark's inspiring story of redemption and resilience, offering a beacon of hope for those looking to break free from destructive relationship patterns and embark on the path to a brighter, trust-filled future.
Introduce the episode with a brief overview of the topic and the guest, Mark Savage.
Highlight the significance of rebuilding trust in a relationship and the journey towards becoming a trustworthy person.
Mark Savage's Personal Journey
Discuss Mark's personal journey of transformation and the challenges he faced.
Emphasize the commitment and difficulty involved in making profound changes.
Jill's Growth and "Inviting with Love"
Explain how Jill, Mark's spouse, played a crucial role in their healing journey.
Discuss Jill's commitment to personal growth and her approach of "inviting with love" to encourage Mark's return home.
Rebuilding Trust and Accountability
Explore the strategies and decisions Mark and Jill implemented to rebuild trust.
Highlight their commitment to healthy conflict resolution and open communication.
Mention their practice of reading books together to facilitate growth and understanding.
Explain the shift in accountability, where Mark took more responsibility for his actions and decisions.
Becoming Trustworthy and Embracing Strengths
Discuss Mark's personal transformation, his self-acceptance, and newfound confidence.
Highlight the importance of celebrating each other's strengths within a marriage.
Emphasize the evolution from rebuilding trust to becoming trustworthy.
Connecting with Mark and Jill
Direct listeners to Mark and Jill's website,, for more information on their ministries, courses, and resources.
Provide Mark's email address,, for direct contact and inquiries.
Closing Prayer
Share a heartfelt prayer for the podcast listeners, asking for hope, grace, and mercy in their journeys.
Conclude with a message of hope, highlighting the possibility of breaking free from destructive relationship patterns.
Sign up for Leslie's free webinar Tuesday, February 13th. Just go to: 
I Really Messed Up and No More Perfect Marriages books can be found at 
Other Resources
Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)

Monday Jan 29, 2024

In this podcast episode, Julie Sedenko talks to Traci, a member of Leslie Vernick's Conquer support group, about her experiences in a destructive marriage and her journey towards healing and self-discovery.
Traci opens up about her traumatic childhood, raised by a single mother who struggled with addiction and neglect.
She shares how her early life experiences, including abuse and gaslighting from her mother, influenced her perceptions of relationships.
Traci talks about her first marriage, which ended amicably, and how she entered her second marriage with hope and optimism.
She discusses the red flags she overlooked in her second marriage, such as her husband's emotional unavailability and inappropriate relationships with other women.
Traci highlights the importance of seeking counseling and finding support when facing a destructive marriage.
She reflects on her journey of self-discovery, growth, and faith in God, leading to her healing and peace.
Traci's story is a testament to resilience and the power of faith and self-worth in overcoming challenging circumstances.

Monday Jan 22, 2024

Welcome to this episode where we tackle the tough topic of sexual addiction. Julie Sedenko chats with relationship expert Leslie Vernick, and they dig deep into the emotions and challenges involved. If you or someone you know is dealing with a similar situation, stay tuned for some valuable insights and practical tips.
Understanding Anger:
Julie discusses the challenges faced by individuals dealing with a spouse's sexual addiction.
Leslie emphasizes the importance of acknowledging and addressing anger as a valid emotion in this situation.
Part 1: Dealing with Anger
Leslie shares insights on how individuals can manage their anger constructively when facing a spouse's sexual addiction.
The discussion covers the significance of not suppressing anger and finding healthy outlets for it.
Suggestions include venting to a friend, counselor, or support group, as well as engaging in activities like writing, physical exercise, or even crying to release emotional tension.
The importance of recognizing that anger is a signal that something is wrong and can provide the energy needed for positive change is emphasized.
Retaliating against the spouse's actions is discouraged, and the focus is on constructive ways to handle anger.
Part 2: Seeking Help and Making Choices
The conversation emphasizes the need for support and the importance of setting boundaries to protect one's well-being.
Encouragement is given to the spouse with the addiction to seek help and support.
Leslie addresses the question of whether it's possible for someone to truly overcome sexual addiction and explains the need for ongoing support and accountability.
The importance of making choices and reframing one's perspective is discussed.
A shift from asking, "Why is this happening to me?" to "Why is this happening for me?" is encouraged.
The conclusion emphasizes that individuals are capable of handling difficult situations and emotions and encourages seeking support and resources to cope with anger while navigating this challenging journey.
Individuals can do hard things, and there are people willing to help them through it.
Leslie's Quick Start Guide
She Deserves Better by Sheila Gregoire


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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