Is it OK to Divorce an Abusive Husband?


If my husband is physically abusive. Would it be against my Christian beliefs to divorce him?


I would be hesitant to suggest divorce, even when it comes to something as serious as physical abuse. However, I would certainly think that a separation would be in order—at least until you feel that you can safely return home. In my book, When His Secret Sin Breaks Your Heart, I wrote the following to a woman in a similar situation: 


First, you must take control of the situation. You’re allowing him to control you with his anger. This keeps you beaten down, unable to find God for yourself, and it also keeps him from turning to God with his own need. Because of the severity of the situation, I strongly urge you to separate from him and to get a restraining order. Considering how violent and controlling he is, nothing short of this will work. If you’re in real fear of him, I would take the children while he's at work, and just disappear for a while.

Be aware that you will naturally start craving his affection and attention again. You’ll doubt the wisdom of why you chose to leave. You may feel an overwhelming sense of insecurity rising up in you. As the memory of his abuse fades, you’ll remember only his positive qualities. Sometimes you’ll feel an overwhelming temptation to call him just to see how he's doing. Stay strong! The less contact the better.

Give him a few days to get over his anger toward you for leaving him. When you do finally talk to him, stay aloof. He’ll try drawing you in through kindness. That’s just more controlling manipulation. Just cut him off and keep the conversation purely about business, i.e. controlled visits with the children, the bills, etc.

In time, if he has truly repented to the Lord, his frantic efforts to get you back will give way to a new passion for Jesus. You should look for "fruits of repentance."