Sign in to follow this  
eddified

Divorce reasons: "Abuse" and "Addiction"

Recommended Posts

In other threads on this forum, it has been stated that the only justifiable reasons for divorce are the "three A's": Abuse, Addiction, and Adultery. Now the adultery part is clear. My question is about the addiction and abuse reasons. 

Besides this forum, where has it been stated that these two things could be justifiable reasons for divorce? I don't recall having heard this. LDS sources are preferred.

And what constitutes abuse? My sister in law's husband is emotionally controlling, as deemed by a mental health professional. (I'm also shocked at the kinds of things he does to his wife.) Is emotional abuse a justifiable reason for divorce, (assuming no physical and sexual abuse are going on)?

And addiction: what constitutes a "bad enough" addiction for divorce to be an option? Does a hypothetical husband who brings home a steady paycheck, yet use the bulk of the evening on video games (video game addiction) give his wife justification for divorce? If not,what if he *doesn't* bring home the bacon due to his video game addiction?

Thoughts? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest LiterateParakeet

Well, what constitutes adultery?  Different people will give you different answers on that.  

10 hours ago, eddified said:

And what constitutes abuse?

Good question.  Notice what Elder Oaks says here in his talk titled Divorce:

Quote

There are many good Church members who have been divorced. I speak first to them. We know that many of you are innocent victims—members whose former spouses persistently betrayed sacred covenants or abandoned or refused to perform marriage responsibilities for an extended period. Members who have experienced such abuse have firsthand knowledge of circumstances worse than divorce.   https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2007/04/divorce?lang=eng

I don't think that we can give hard and fast definitions.  Each situation/marriage is unique and these decisions must be made with prayerful consideration.  Some marriages afflicted with adultery, abuse or addiction might be salvageable, others may not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, eddified said:

In other threads on this forum, it has been stated that the only justifiable reasons for divorce are the "three A's": Abuse, Addiction, and Adultery. Now the adultery part is clear. My question is about the addiction and abuse reasons. 

Besides this forum, where has it been stated that these two things could be justifiable reasons for divorce? I don't recall having heard this. LDS sources are preferred.

And what constitutes abuse? My sister in law's husband is emotionally controlling, as deemed by a mental health professional. (I'm also shocked at the kinds of things he does to his wife.) Is emotional abuse a justifiable reason for divorce, (assuming no physical and sexual abuse are going on)?

And addiction: what constitutes a "bad enough" addiction for divorce to be an option? Does a hypothetical husband who brings home a steady paycheck, yet use the bulk of the evening on video games (video game addiction) give his wife justification for divorce? If not,what if he *doesn't* bring home the bacon due to his video game addiction?

Thoughts? 

Here is what James E. fuse said:

"Divorce can be justified only in the rarest of circumstances. In my opinion, “just cause” for divorce should be nothing less serious than a prolonged and apparently irredeemable relationship that destroys a person’s dignity as a human being." https://www.lds.org/ensign/2007/04/enriching-your-marriage?lang=eng

I think the determination of that rests between the individual and the Lord according to the light they possess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, CV75 said:

Here is what James E. fuse said:

"Divorce can be justified only in the rarest of circumstances. In my opinion, “just cause” for divorce should be nothing less serious than a prolonged and apparently irredeemable relationship that destroys a person’s dignity as a human being." https://www.lds.org/ensign/2007/04/enriching-your-marriage?lang=eng

I think the determination of that rests between the individual and the Lord according to the light they possess.

I like that quote. Is a husband who comes home from work and plays video games destroying the other person's dignity?  I don't think so-are they being a jerk about working together as a family . .. probably and they should probably change.

Abuse is a just cause for divorce . . .but I think emotional abuse is quite tricky. Verbal and physical abuse are pretty easy to spot; emotional abuse can be harder-and I take with a grain of salt what mental health professionals say as it is just pure quackery with a bunch of fancy titles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, yjacket said:

I like that quote. Is a husband who comes home from work and plays video games destroying the other person's dignity?  I don't think so-are they being a jerk about working together as a family . .. probably and they should probably change.

Abuse is a just cause for divorce . . .but I think emotional abuse is quite tricky. Verbal and physical abuse are pretty easy to spot; emotional abuse can be harder-and I take with a grain of salt what mental health professionals say as it is just pure quackery with a bunch of fancy titles.

Sure, I also tend to think of psychology as a lot of quackery. In this particular case, though, I think the label "emotional abuse" is warranted. I'll give you a taste of what this man (who is currently in prison) does to his wife [when not in prison]. He demands sex every. single. night. Doesn't matter if his wife is sick with a burning fever, tired, whatever. He does not force himself, physically speaking, on her. He gets it by not allowing her to sleep. He will poke her and bug her until she relents, not allowing her to get any rest. This has gone on for hours and hours into the middle of the night until she gives in. Because she has been forced to give of herself (albeit while not being physically raped per se) no matter her feelings/circumstances, she has become emotionally controlled and abused. She has stated she hopes she never has sex again, ever. This man committed adultery with an underage teen and is now in prison for a few years. His poor wife has suffered his adultery and his abuse, but she hears all these talks in church about wives forgiving adulterous husbands and so she still can't make up her mind whether to divorce him or not (they have 6 children together, oldest is only 12). I feel so bad for my sister-in-law, but her decision to stay with him or not is her decision. I do not know what is best for her--I can't pretend to know--but I just wonder about her submitting to his abuse for the rest of their lives.... <sigh>.

I'm just venting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, eddified said:

I would say that for sure he " destroys [her] dignity as a human being". 

Now that you have said a little more; I agree.  That situation sucks.  That's just horrible that they have 6 kids and the dude was with an underage teen. In jail for several years . . .wow. I'm not one to advocate divorce, but she probably should have left him yesterday.

Is there anything in your sister-in-laws background, was there abuse as a child-did she live in an environment that was not a good upbringing? The reason why I ask is that not only is there a certain attitude for the abuser but the abused also has a certain attitude and bares some responsibility for the relationship. Most women would probably never put up with this level-but she is . . .why?  I'm sure it isn't just because she loves him. Until she figures that out, even if she left him today-she would most likely end up with another man who was abusive in a similar way.

But it might be good for her to figure out what she can do on her own so that when her husband gets out, she will be a different person and he will have to change.

Edited by yjacket

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, eddified said:

she hears all these talks in church about wives forgiving adulterous husbands

How strange. I am 54 years old, active in the Church my entire life. I have doubtless heard thousands of sermons. I recall talks that mentioned wives forgiving adulterous husbands, as examples of forgiveness.  I don't recall any about how wives are required to "forgive" adulterous husbands instead of divorcing them.

If you just meant the first -- talks that use as an example a wife forgiving her adulterous husband -- then why is that objectionable?

If you mean the second, then in over a half-century of Church activity, I can't recall ever having heard that. Strange that it would be so common elsewhere and never manage to reach my ears -- or that I would selectively forget such a common teaching.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest LiterateParakeet
6 hours ago, CV75 said:

Here is what James E. fuse said:

"Divorce can be justified only in the rarest of circumstances. In my opinion, “just cause” for divorce should be nothing less serious than a prolonged and apparently irredeemable relationship that destroys a person’s dignity as a human being." https://www.lds.org/ensign/2007/04/enriching-your-marriage?lang=eng

I think the determination of that rests between the individual and the Lord according to the light they possess.

I love this....that is exactly why abuse is so determential...it "destroys a person's dignity as a human being."  Well said.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
2 hours ago, eddified said:
  • He demands sex every. single. night. Doesn't matter if his wife is sick with a burning fever, tired, whatever.
  • Because she has been forced to give of herself (albeit while not being physically raped per se)
  • she has become emotionally controlled and abused. S
  • This man committed adultery with an underage teen and is now in prison for a few years.
  •  
  • she still can't make up her mind whether to divorce him or not
  • I do not know what is best for her--I can't pretend to know

If you want doctrinal discourse: I'd believe his adultery including statutory rape would be ample cause and justification for a divorce even if all the other stuff wasn't there.  But the other stuff should just make it a whole lot easier for her.

If you want professional advice from a seasoned, wisened, experienced, LDS minded therapist, tough luck.  I'm not any of those.

If you're just asking for opinion, here's mine: TELL HER TO GET THE DIVORCE PAPERS SIGNED BEFORE HE GETS OUT OF PRISON WITH A RESTRAINING ORDER GIVING HER THE RIGHT TO (deleted further suggested conditions of the restraining order for the sake of self-restraint), AND MOVE AWAY TO ANOTHER SAFER PLACE WITH NO PARENTAL VISITATION RIGHTS FOR HIM.

Unfortunately, if he lives in Colorado, that might not be an option.  I hope I wasn't too harsh.

Edited by Guest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest LiterateParakeet
2 hours ago, eddified said:

In this particular case, though, I think the label "emotional abuse" is warranted.

What you described here is a form of sexual abuse, in my opinion.  It's her choice, to be made prayerfully, but if she were my sister, daughter or best friend, I'd say divorce him yesterday!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, everyone in the family advises divorce. But my sister-in-law just can't decide. She says she feels like a zombie-- she's going through the motions of life and just isn't feeling much towards him. She is attending therapy I believe. I know that the statutory rape is enough reason for divorce by itself. But, the perp does sound very remorseful. In fact, he called the cops and turned himself in within 72 hours after the statutory rape incident. (It was consensual-- the abused teen just adores him and loves him, to her it was a total love story.)

I can see my sister-in-law forgiving the adultery, but... the emotional abuse is the part that I have a really hard time with. I guess as I type this I realize that maybe I can't forgive him for treating her this way. Ugh. I have a hard time forgiving anyone who abuses daughters of God this way. I will work on that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Vort said:

How strange. I am 54 years old, active in the Church my entire life. I have doubtless heard thousands of sermons. I recall talks that mentioned wives forgiving adulterous husbands, as examples of forgiveness.  I don't recall any about how wives are required to "forgive" adulterous husbands instead of divorcing them.

If you just meant the first -- talks that use as an example a wife forgiving her adulterous husband -- then why is that objectionable?

If you mean the second, then in over a half-century of Church activity, I can't recall ever having heard that. Strange that it would be so common elsewhere and never manage to reach my ears -- or that I would selectively forget such a common teaching.

I don't object to forgiving adulteress spouses. I don't think the church ever taught that wives are required to forgive their adulterous husbands instead of divorcing them. Basically, you and I agree on this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest LiterateParakeet

@eddified. So sorry your family is dealing with this. Glad she is in therapy! 

About forgiveness...look up D&C 89. It deals with repeat offenses....I think what it says will surprise and comfort you. I can't recall the exact verses, just read the whole section for context. 

Edited by LiterateParakeet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, LiterateParakeet said:

About forgiveness...look up D&C 89. It deals with repeat offenses....I think what it says will surprise and comfort you. I can't recall the exact verses, just read the whole section for context. 

Yeah. Forgiving means forgetting, but you can't drink to forget. That's cheating. Important lesson.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The three A'a are an idea by Dr Laura Schlesinger a noted author and psychologist. 

Adultery seems clear to most of us, but addiction and abuse are also very clear cut ideas, especially when children are involved. 

Based on articles I've read in the Ensign I think the church is fairly naive regarding the last two.  True repentance is incredibly rare.  A spouse with children should leave a relationship where these are present to protect the children. Ask anyone (like me) married to a child that comes from such a situation. It's not healthy for the spouse, either. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, LiterateParakeet said:

@eddified. So sorry your family is dealing with this. Glad she is in therapy! 

About forgiveness...look up D&C 89. It deals with repeat offenses....I think what it says will surprise and comfort you. I can't recall the exact verses, just read the whole section for context. 

I think you must be referring to some other section.  D&C 89 is the Word of Wisdom, no?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
17 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I think you must be referring to some other section.  D&C 89 is the Word of Wisdom, no?

It was a typo.  She meant Section 98.

Edited by Guest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/14/2017 at 7:09 PM, eddified said:

In other threads on this forum, it has been stated that the only justifiable reasons for divorce are the "three A's": Abuse, Addiction, and Adultery. Now the adultery part is clear. My question is about the addiction and abuse reasons. 

Besides this forum, where has it been stated that these two things could be justifiable reasons for divorce? I don't recall having heard this. LDS sources are preferred.

And what constitutes abuse? My sister in law's husband is emotionally controlling, as deemed by a mental health professional. (I'm also shocked at the kinds of things he does to his wife.) Is emotional abuse a justifiable reason for divorce, (assuming no physical and sexual abuse are going on)?

And addiction: what constitutes a "bad enough" addiction for divorce to be an option? Does a hypothetical husband who brings home a steady paycheck, yet use the bulk of the evening on video games (video game addiction) give his wife justification for divorce? If not,what if he *doesn't* bring home the bacon due to his video game addiction?

Thoughts? 

it can be. If the abuser isn't willing to work towards a solution, then it would probably be more justified for a divorce. No idea where the line would be, i imagine it's probably different to every situation.

When addiction hits abusive or abuse by negligence levels.

your hypothetical situation itself would not be grounds for divorce, however a situation like that usually will spiral out of control and become a bigger problem involving further issues (such as your second part)... which certainly can be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest LiterateParakeet
5 hours ago, Vort said:

Yeah. Forgiving means forgetting, but you can't drink to forget. That's cheating. Important lesson.

4 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

 think you must be referring to some other section.  D&C 89 is the Word of Wisdom, no?

Oops temporary dyslexia...I meant D&C 98.  Here's the verses that I find comforting for situations like this:

Quote

 

37 And I, the Lord, would fight their battles, and their children’s battles, and their children’s children’s, until they had avenged themselves on all their enemies, to the third and fourth generation.

38 Behold, this is an ensample unto all people, saith the Lord your God, for justification before me.

39 And again, verily I say unto you, if after thine enemy has come upon thee the first time, he repent and come unto thee praying thy forgiveness, thou shalt forgive him, and shalt hold it no more as a testimony against thine enemy—

40 And so on unto the second and third time; and as oft as thine enemy repenteth of the trespass wherewith he has trespassed against thee, thou shalt forgive him, until seventy times seven.

41 And if he trespass against thee and repent not the first time, nevertheless thou shalt forgive him.

42 And if he trespass against thee the second time, and repent not, nevertheless thou shalt forgive him.

43 And if he trespass against thee the third time, and repent not, thou shalt also forgive him.

44 But if he trespass against thee the fourth time thou shalt not forgive him, but shalt bring these testimonies before the Lord; and they shall not be blotted out until he repent and reward thee four-fold in all things wherewith he has trespassed against thee.

45 And if he do this, thou shalt forgive him with all thine heart; and if he do not this, I, the Lord, will avenge thee of thine enemy an hundred-fold;

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest LiterateParakeet
7 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

The three A'a are an idea by Dr Laura Schlesinger a noted author and psychologist. 

Adultery seems clear to most of us, but addiction and abuse are also very clear cut ideas, especially when children are involved. . . .  True repentance is incredibly rare.  A spouse with children should leave a relationship where these are present to protect the children. Ask anyone (like me) married to a child that comes from such a situation. It's not healthy for the spouse, either. 

It's true.  I'm a child from such a home, and it has been difficult not only for me but for my husband and children.  My husband deserves sainthood for taking this journey with me!  So far two of my oldest children want to be therapists . . . (the other toyed with the idea).  

@Carborendum thanks!  Not a typo exactly...a mental hiccup!   How did you know?  You are a fan of Section 98, also?  

Edited by LiterateParakeet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to point out that while we talk about the 3 A's for divorce... we need to remember that our covenants are not just with our spouse but also with the Lord.  And the Lord never breaks his end first.  So if you are in a situation were one or more of the three A's are in play and you are seriously considering divorce you need to spend some serious time on your knees pleading with the Lord to understand his will concerning your covenants.

Historically in the scriptures when God's people get into trouble he either tells them to flee or endure.  Doing what he says can bring forth miracles.  I see no reason for it to be different for a marriage/sealing.

The 3 A's should not automatically mean divorce.  At best the 3 A's open a door to a possibility that should otherwise be firmly shut and locked. 

Edited by estradling75

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, yjacket said:

I like that quote. Is a husband who comes home from work and plays video games destroying the other person's dignity?  I don't think so-are they being a jerk about working together as a family . .. probably and they should probably change.

Abuse is a just cause for divorce . . .but I think emotional abuse is quite tricky. Verbal and physical abuse are pretty easy to spot; emotional abuse can be harder-and I take with a grain of salt what mental health professionals say as it is just pure quackery with a bunch of fancy titles.

I think the insidious nature of abuse is that the victim often loses self-respect and often cannot discern or appreciate the gravity of the Lord's expectation to rise above the situation so as to be able to engage in authentic forgiveness, whether the marriage must end or not. But the Lord will not abandon he victim; He will always reach out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, CV75 said:

I think the insidious nature of abuse is that the victim often loses self-respect and often cannot discern or appreciate the gravity of the Lord's expectation to rise above the situation so as to be able to engage in authentic forgiveness, whether the marriage must end or not. But the Lord will not abandon he victim; He will always reach out.

Not sure I agree. Some on this forum are being very naive. Remember that addiction within the family context is also abuse as well. 

Spouses who adopt a zero tolerance policy against any form of addiction or abuse are the most successful in breaking the cycle. IMHO.   Only if the offender truly repents can a solution be achieved.  This invariably results in painful separation, but it's the only way. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

Not sure I agree. Some on this forum are being very naive. Remember that addiction within the family context is also abuse as well. 

Spouses who adopt a zero tolerance policy against any form of addiction or abuse are the most successful in breaking the cycle. IMHO.   Only if the offender truly repents can a solution be achieved.  This invariably results in painful separation, but it's the only way. 

I'm not sure you disagree, either, since your reply seems to be a non-sequitur!

If addiction is abuse, my post refers to addiction as well. A cycle may be broken in the Lord's way and with His involvement, or not, and of course the offender must repent if he is quitting abuse and addiction in the Lord's way. The victimized spouse also has room to act in the Lord's way and with His involvement or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this