Divorce and Abuse
Updated: Mar 23, 2019
This site was created to offer resources for adults with divorced parents. Two of the many reasons are, (1) too few are working to assist this group that is millions strong,* and, (2) we want to disrupt the generational divorce cycle that results because ACD are up to 200% more likely to divorce than their peers from non-divorced homes.**
However, a site visitor shared her frustration with people’s negative and judgmental reactions to her divorce, when, in fact, it was necessary for the safety of herself and her children. She also expressed concern that the Considering Divorce tab on this site didn’t address people in similar situations. She was right, and it’s been corrected.
Her concern arrived as the country learned of the man, in Southern California, who killed his ex-wife, four others, and then himself. This was the latest in a series of divorce/custody/separation incidents. And there are more situations that don’t end in death, but are every bit as troubling—as our visitor can attest.
Given adults with divorced parents, particularly females, are more vulnerable to the controlling manipulation of abuse, it is important to address that, although two thirds of divorces are low-conflict and not due to abuse or infidelity***,****, too many women (and some men) are caught in dangerous marriages and shunned when they leave them.
Dealing with Abuse
First, it’s important to recognize abuse. Second, if you are in an abusive situation, get help. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline. They can assist you with the necessary steps to deal with the abusive situation. Third, speak with your pastor or church leader. Their first priority should be your safety and the safety of your children. There is no biblical excuse or rationale for domestic abuse. If they don’t agree with this, find another Christian leader who can help you.
Dealing with The Abused
True Christians are filled with God’s Holy Spirit. This is not a matter of choice. What is a choice is whether we listen to and obey the Holy Spirit and the scriptures the Holy Spirit brings to mind when we need them.
The fruit of being filled with the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.***** So when we come in contact with people who escape abuse through divorce, this list should describe how we deal with them. If, instead, we are blaming, demeaning, judging, gossiping about, ignoring, or shunning these individuals, we are unfairly harming them and grieving God’s Holy Spirit at the same time.
Whether on this site or at a workshop or other presentation, I always note that this organization does not seek to dishonor or bash divorced people. Our goal is to bring relational healing to adults with divorced parents through the power of Christ, and help individuals avoid unnecessarily replicating their parents’ divorce. May this goal guide us all.
Image web-woman-alone-pew-church-jeffrey-bruno-1 alone by beautifulflower
* Terry Gaspard and Tracy Clifford, Daughters of Divorce, 2016. ** Nicholas H. Wolfinger, Understanding The Divorce Cycle, 2005, 108-109 *** Elizabeth Marquardt, Between Two Worlds, 2005. **** Alan J. Hawkins and Tamara A. Fackrell, Should I Keep Trying to Work it Out, 2009. 44. ***** Galatians 5:22-23, ESV