If I Leave My Abusive Marriage Am I Giving Up On the Power of God to Change My Husband?

by | Divorce, Flying Free Podcast, Listener Questions | 9 comments

Natalie and Rachel answer three questions about staying or leaving. What if he is starting to show some change? If I leave, am I giving up on the power of God to change my husband? Is five years too early to leave an abusive marriage?

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If I Leave My Abusive Marriage Am I Giving Up On the Power of God to Change My Husband? [Transcript]

Episode 27 Transcript Download


  1. Nia

    What if there is real change but you dont want to stay anyway? You feel like you cant love him again..when you are with him you are ungappy, and he gives you anxiaty. I am starting to think after seeing his acknoledgment that he abuse me emotionaly (wich I still have a hrd time calling it this way, I dont think he is terrible just oblivious to his choices). But after 12 years all I think is about leaving and I am afraid I am cought in a fantasy, I know the grass is not greener and I am afraid I will break my family . I feel I am the one giving up.

    • Natalie Hoffman

      There isn’t an easy answer to this question. Are you in the Flying Free program? Going through that program may help you figure things out. We do a lot of inner transformational work that enables us to see things (like our brain’s programming) more clearly so we can make healthy choices for our lives. We only open up every six months – and we happen to be open now through October 6. https://flyingfreesisterhood.com/sign-up

  2. Monique

    Thank you Natalie. I have been wrestling with what to do and what the right decision is for me and my kids and your podcasts have shed light into my dark situation and given me clarity and truth that has silenced all the fear and doubts. This has been an excruciating journey but the more I walk through it with God and your podcasts and this community, the easier it gets and the more settled I become. It’s not an instant change after the instant awakening to reality of the pain of the truth and that’s hard but it’s baby steps to freedom that I chose to daily take and one day my day of freedom will come and I will be prepared and strong.

  3. Louise

    Only the abused woman knows when & how it is safe for her to escape, & we need to accept her decision. As horrible as it is to be in an abusive relationship, sometimes it’s safer to stay than to flee.

  4. Kimberly

    Natalie, your podcasts are so life giving and affirming. I am in my second abusive marriage, currently separated 1year 2months. He has taken big steps to get help. Even enrolled in a batterrs class, counseling and many people supporting and holding him accountable. But there is still signs he is not willing to let go of control, manipulation tactics. My councelor(very blessed by her) said that time will tell and I will know beyond a ‘shadow of doubt’, that he has made a heart change. I’m saddened to say that hasn’t happened. Now I’m praying for the courage to take my next steps to freedom, for myself and my 5 kids. Thank you for what your doing for women that desperately need this wisdom. Bless you, Natalie!

  5. Gina

    I feel like God is not helping me get out. I have 5 kids. I told my husband a year ago I do not think there is any way forward except through separating, and if I feel I can really believe things will be different and see it and feel it, and feel safe emotionally, then we can start to build something we have never had.
    But I can’t afford to move out. I have no family here. He has said he will not leave and is keeping the house the kids call home. I have applied for jobs but have not “worked” in 20 years, and cannot find one that pays enough to have a place for my kids….
    I feel so stuck and staying in the home sleeping on the couch is so confusing and probably hurtful to my kids. I feel like God is making me stay because “it’s the right thing”. I don’t know what to do.

    • Natalie Hoffman

      I’m so sorry for your frustration and pain. Please know that God doesn’t control us like puppets. Sometimes our circumstances are prohibitive, and it may take time to get out, but that doesn’t mean God is the one doing it or that God is the one keeping you stuck. Life keeps us stuck sometimes. All of us! God promises to be faithful to us no matter where we are. But that doesn’t mean He promises to do everything we want Him to do immediately. In time you may find a way out. Keep looking! In the meantime, create a safe place in your home where you can get away and find a refuge. You can actually file an action with the court to have your husband leave as well – but you’d need to get a lawyer to help you do that. It is an option though.

  6. Enijuwura

    Thank you so much Natalie. Thank you Rachel for being part of this podcast. This is what most women going through abuse need to hear. The abuse is not going to end and he is not going to change. Culture and religious institutions make us believe the spouse is unaware of the harm and hurt they are causing even after you have brought their attention to how you are being mistreated and abused over and over again.
    I was married for 7 years to a narcissist. The final straw that made me leave, was when I won’t bulge until I saw real change. After about 4 weeks of what I considered an act, he owned up that he had no intention of changing. He felt I would fall for his act and things would go back to normal. He said he never loved me but if I agree to go back to doing the things he wanted maybe he would love me in the future. It was the most gut wrenching blow I had ever been dealt with. I thought I would die from the pain I felt. I was totally heartbroken but I took my things and left. I have never looked back since. The reason I had stayed so long was because I am Catholic and the church doesn’t recognise divorce and annulments are very difficult to process in a 3rd world country. I am Nigerian.
    Would you believe he kept calling priests to intervene that I had abandoned my home but he never told them that he had said he never love me? I just kept telling the priests the issue wasn’t up for discussion.
    He came after me on social media because I left the country for my safety and sanity. He raised false accusations against me and requested that I be deported. None of his plans worked. I filed for divorce and he was really mad. He told the court to throw out my petition because he is the one that should divorce me and not the other way round (lol). That really made me laugh. I was lucky I had a female judge who approved my petition and so I got to divorce him. The divorce was finalised in Dec, 2018.
    I have been putting into practice a lot of the healing strategies and recovering from the gut wrenching trauma of narcissistic abuse and your articles were really helpful. I am thriving and I believe it can only get better.
    Am grateful to God for you and the work you do. God bless you super abundantly.
    Hugs (I hope you don’t mind)

    • Natalie Hoffman

      What a beautiful (and sad) testimony. Thank you for sharing!


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