Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope” as Want to Read:
The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Emotionally Destructive Marriage: How to Find Your Voice and Reclaim Your Hope

4.48  ·  Rating Details ·  229 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Something Has to Change…
You can’t put it into words, but something is happening to you. Your stomach churns, your heart aches, and the tension in your marriage is making you feel weary and a little crazy. The constant criticism, disrespect, cruelty, deceit, and gross indifference are eroding your confidence and breaking your spirit.    
For any woman caught in an emot
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 17th 2013 by WaterBrook (first published January 1st 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Emotionally Destructive Marriage, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Emotionally Destructive Marriage

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Douglas Wilson
Nov 19, 2015 Douglas Wilson rated it really liked it
This was a very fine book. For various reasons, I went into it with my guard up, but was very impressed with Vernick's balance, good sense, biblical instincts, and wisdom. I have written before to the "trapped wife." This book is the book that every such woman should have.
Christie Hagerman
Jul 16, 2014 Christie Hagerman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Having grown up in a Christian family, part of a strong community of believers, I've heard and even given my share of marriage advice based on the Bible. Looking back, I see that some of it wasn't healthy or even biblical, but based more on a spiritual list of what we'd imagined a Godly wife to be. The problem with that list was it prioritized an ideal more than realism, and many women suffered needlessly, thinking it was "for the cause of Christ".

This book put into words many of the thoughts th
Annie Slagboom
Jan 21, 2014 Annie Slagboom rated it it was amazing
Whether have a wonderful or tumultuous marriage you should read, "The Emotionally Destructive Marriage” by Leslie Vernick. The book gives Biblical and sound advice. The book breaks the barriers of shame and silence by giving tools for women to discern whether or not they are in a destructive marriage. The author is gracious and compassionate to both husband and wife. There are quizzes to assess yourself and your marriage. Her four core strengths to maintain good mental, emotional, spiritual, and ...more
Susan Lower
Dec 12, 2016 Susan Lower rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally a book that understands

There are many books out there about abusive relationships but finally here is one that addresses the inner bruises women carry and endure in marriage due to fear and miscommunication for their belief. I believe every Christian s Tina woman who is struggling and hurting from the emotional pain of a relationship needs this book.
Nathan Moore
Dec 21, 2015 Nathan Moore rated it really liked it
Leslie Vernick is tackling an issue few authors seems willing to address. As a complementary pastor and a Biblical counselor I have found it difficult to apply complementary principles when there is extreme emotional abuse in marriage and so this book addressed my question squarely.

My response to this book is widely positive. Vernick gives counselors a starting place on how to address and think both Biblically and practically on emotionally destructive marriages. I was relieved to see the autho
Exodus Books
May 03, 2016 Exodus Books rated it really liked it
Christianity is built on love—both God's love for us, and the love we as his people are to show each other and the rest of the world. Love nurtures, it seeks the good of others, it is kind, it is gentle, and it is beautiful. But a surprising number of marriages aren't characterized by any of those things, and therefore aren't characterized by love. Instead, they're ugly, cruel and cold. They are emotionally destructive.

At the outset of The Emotionally Destructive Marriage, Leslie Vernick is care
Apryl Anderson
Jul 28, 2016 Apryl Anderson rated it it was amazing
FINALLY!!! I have wasted so many years in trying to "bring him to Christ" by being a woman of light--not that personal character development wasn't necessary on my part! Boy 'o boy, how I needed to grow up! My mistake was that, in longing for him to be head of the house, I submitted to enough immature behavior to make a grown man shrivel. From being the nagging and needy shrew that he married to the far opposite extreme of ignoring his rants for my goal of personal Christlikeness, thereby missin ...more
Anne Snyder
Feb 13, 2017 Anne Snyder rated it really liked it
Maybe should have given it a 5, except I like to reserve those for the best books ever. But this book was quite good, balanced, and giving helpful insight into what makes relationships go wrong, and what we can do in our lives to strengthen ourselves, and respond in healing and helpful ways, to help ourselves others see their sin and weaknesses and to bring healing to our relationships.
Jun 18, 2014 Mia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Audio version review)

I love listening to books in audio format and was thrilled to discover that the author of this book was the narrator... I feel like its more personal when the actual author of the book is the one reading it to you.. In this case I do not feel like Leslie Vernick was the best to read the story.. At times it was hard to keep up with her because she reads really fast.. I found myself having to repeat a few sections just to get the words in..

When I first saw this book I was t
Karla Owen foisy
Feb 20, 2016 Karla Owen foisy rated it it was ok
This author describes the type of abuse that may not be physical but that is still destructive to a person's emotions over time. She challenges those that might feel like the treatment they are receiving is not really that big of a deal, and she encourages them to share the truth with those in their support circles. The rest of the book is pretty common knowledge: "talk about how you are feeling, don't blame, don't use excessive language (never, always), recognize your part, be okay with giving ...more
Strong medicine for a very serious problem. Christians who have never experienced abuse might look with skepticism at this title. Sadly, it is only through seeing real world examples of this phenomena that I regard this subject matter as important and timely. This book is aimed at Christians, who might possibly be the prone to diminish the seriousness, or dismiss the harmful effects, of abuse in marriage. They might be genuinely trying to honor the sanctity of marriage with this stance but I pra ...more
Jul 16, 2014 Gayle rated it really liked it
This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it. I would like to read her other book, The Emotionally Destructive Relationship: Seeing It, Stopping It, Surviving It. Contains practical steps to take to stand up against being emotionally abused in a marriage and offers hope and advice in deciding whether or not your spouse is sincere in making changes. This is an area that I have come in contact with way too many times in my lifetime and I feel the church has done a poor job of recognizing, s ...more
Jul 16, 2015 Heidi rated it really liked it
Excellent treatment of a difficult and not always easily recognizable subject. Written for those who are in difficult marriages, and for those who want to be able to help and counsel them. Vernick has a way of clarifying the issues, exalting God and His Word, and advocating for those who are being mistreated. Her book "The Emotionally Destructive Relationship" is equally valuable, pertaining to family interactions, dating relationships, and friendships. This is a must-read for ANYONE wanting to ...more
Suzanne Anderson
Feb 11, 2014 Suzanne Anderson rated it it was amazing
A Christian perspective on difficult marriages. Outlines the difference between a disappointing and a destructive marriage. Really addresses in a concrete way the grey areas of abuse in a marriage as well as the overt. The grey area she calls "indifference". She provides a broader definition of love which does not have to do with sacrificing oneself for another to the point of pain or losing oneself but describes the responsibility of loving in a way that invites our partner to be their best sel ...more
Bev Burrell
May 13, 2016 Bev Burrell rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent resource for those who are in difficult marriages or who are helping friends in difficult marriages. She carefully explains the difference between a disappointing marriage (every person encounters disappointment at some point in their marriage) and a destructive marriage (where abuse is present) and how to spot the difference. I am hanging onto this book as an extremely practical and helpful resource!
Kristine Vigil

This is by far the best marriage fix it book I've read. Not only does it help identify the various types of emotional abuse but gives suggestions on how to stop it and still fight for a marriage that has been destroyed in one or many or pretty much every way. I also love how it's not just wives submit to your husband and putting all the blame on the wife like I've read in a whole litany of other books. I love this and have already recommended it to friends.
Diana Kramer
Jul 18, 2014 Diana Kramer rated it it was amazing
I recommend this book because it validates what you may be feeling emotionally and what your body has been telling you physically is and is not ok for you. It gives you advice on how to stay strong whatever your choice is. Either way, God is with you, and supports you, the person He made the way He wanted you to be, so no one should insult that or try and change that.
Jan 03, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Vernick's book is eye opening and life saving! This book is paradigm-shifting in regards to all the other marriage books out there that I'd read. Hear this counselors: There is a difference between a D+ marriage and an Emotionally Destructive marriage. It is vital that you know the difference. This should completely affect how you diagnose and counsel others.
Apr 11, 2015 Kymberly rated it it was amazing
This book is so helpful to understand what a destructive marriage looks like from the inside out and how to help those that are in a destructive marriage. This is defiantly a book I will keep for work and I'm sure I will be using it often. Thank you Ms Leslie for writing it, showing such love and compassion for these women and families.
Nov 15, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it
Good Insight for those struggling with the damaged Emotions in a marriage. Leslie helps you get healthy, develop boundaries, decide what is best ofr you and whether your marriage can be redeemed. For my full review go here. http://myseasonsofopportunities.blogs...
Jan 05, 2016 Vicki rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
What a fantastic resource full of biblically faithful wisdom. I've never read anything quite like it. In summary - how to honor God in the midst of an abusive marriage. Wish I would have read this book 20 years ago.

Pastors could save themselves from unnecessary heartache, helping troubled marriages in ways that don't help, and wasted time for all, by reading this important book.
Jul 05, 2016 Joyce rated it it was amazing
After reading many books about the biblical standards for marriage, this is the first book that looks at divorce in a real way. God loves individual people. Each one of us has value if we stay in our marriage or choose to leave. May God bless this author for her insight and compassion. She has given me hope and courage for the future.
Dec 14, 2016 Shari rated it it was amazing
Great book if you are dealing with an Emotionally Destructive Marriage. Highly recommend! She comes from a Biblical perspective and offers hope and help through the Scriptures on how to deal with this very important topic.
Rachelle Kauffman
Aug 24, 2015 Rachelle Kauffman rated it it was amazing
This was an incredibly sensitive, insightful and empowering read. I had been avoiding it for a while because I wasn't ready for the self-examination and because I was afraid it would be preachy. I'm glad I read it, now to deal with the fallout....
Nov 22, 2015 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
Insightful and courageous, very good read for someone who needs strength to do what is necessary to get on track. The book helped me realize that I wasn't really crazy after all and that I can do something about my life and emotional well being. As I have been caught saying recently, "I do matter".
Lisa Fisher
Sep 30, 2015 Lisa Fisher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book on restoring shattered marriages!!

A direct but balanced treatment plan for emotionally destructive marriages, and the broken individuals affected by them. If you think your marriage needs help, read this!
Jan 15, 2015 Dawn rated it it was amazing
This should be on the shelf of anyone ministering to God's Flock. Well-written with a good plan of action included.
Mar 29, 2016 Anna rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Great book for people in this situation (thankfully not me).
Kristen Munson
Oct 25, 2016 Kristen Munson rated it it was amazing
Excellent book for those struggling in marriage and need to determine what the next steps are to repair, reconcile and/or separate.
Jan 11, 2017 Laura rated it it was amazing
Challenging and convicting. As well as encouraging.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault
  • Teach Us to Want: Longing, Ambition & the Life of Faith
  • From Forgiven to Forgiving: Learning to Forgive One Another God's Way
  • Living in Christ's Presence: Final Words on Heaven and the Kingdom of God
  • Heaven Misplaced
  • Everyone's a Theologian: An Introduction to Systematic Theology
  • Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave: Finding Hope in the Power of the Gospel
  • Heaven Taken by Storm: Showing the Holy Violence a Christian is to Put Forth in the Pursuit After Glory (Puritan Writings)
  • The 5 Love Languages Military Edition: The Secret to Love That Lasts
  • CrossTalk: Where Life & Scripture Meet
  • No More Narcissists! How to Stop Choosing Self-Absorbed Men and Find the Love You Deserve
  • For Women Only: A Novel Approach to Depression in Women
  • Holy Subversion: Allegiance to Christ in an Age of Rivals
  • By This Standard: The Authority of God's Law Today
  • Teach Him How to Treat You: Dating and Relationships in 2014
  • Creatures Here Below
  • Subversive Spirituality
  • The Mystery of Marriage: Meditations on the Miracle

Share This Book

“Jesus commands us to love God first, with everything we have, not only because God deserves our love and is worthy of it, but because he knows how crucial it is to our long-term well-being. God knows that whatever we love the most will rule our lives. That’s why the Bible counsels us to let the love of Christ control us (see 2 Corinthians 5:14), not the love of lesser things.” 2 likes
“He needs a wife who will love him enough to tell him the truth and to respectfully challenge his selfishness, his self-absorption, and his self-deception.” 1 likes
More quotes…