Why is this happening?

Emotionally Destructive Relationships

"Words can punish and wound and don't leave any physical evidence."

Leslie Vernick, a licensed Christian therapist and relationship coach, helps people work through emotional trauma from past destructive relationships, with an understanding that comes from her personal experiences. She relies on the Word of God to find answers on healing for herself and others.  Leslie guides people in setting boundaries and choosing behaviors that invite healthy responses from others.
Leslie's powerful video provides a peek into her step-by-step process on how to navigate through and around, repetitive painful, emotional, and verbal attacks from others. Part of the process is recognizing that you are not a helpless victim, and you can be empowered as a child of God. You cannot change or control anyone else's behavior, only your own. According to Leslie, it is important to remember that when you love someone, you want what is best for them. Allowing someone to dishonor, devalue or destroy you is not healthy for you or them and does not glorify God. 

"God says that there is nothing more important
for us to learn than for us to love others well." Leslie Vernick

When describing unhealthy relationships, Leslie says, "Many people suffer in relationships where words and gestures are the weapons of choice; and they are used to manipulate, control, punish and wound and don't leave any physical evidence." Five destructive patterns are listed below as well as five steps to help you begin to make changes in your life. To find out more, you can check out Leslie's book The Emotionally Destructive  Relationship: Seeing It, Stopping It, Surviving It.

Leslie has identified five destructive relationship patterns, which are listed below:

1. Any relationship that involves ongoing physical, sexual, economic, spiritual, or emotional abuse.

2. Relationships where one person is consistently overbearing or controlling. These people generally believe "I am always right."

3. A relationship where one person is always dependent on another, and derives his or her self-worth from the other person.This essentially makes them into a god; a position doomed to failure.

4. Any relationship where there is an ongoing pattern of deceit.

5. A relationship with a pattern of chronic indifference or neglect. 


What can you do, if you are in an emotionally destructive relationship?

 1. Refuse to keep the secret.
 2. Get support. Don't tackle this on your own. 
 3. Talk to God about what is happening to you.
 4. Begin to name and face your fears.  
 5. Identify the lies you believe, such as thoughts like, "I am no good." or "I will never change."

Share Your Story:

Do you have a story that you can share about overcoming the effects of a destructive relationship? Someone else may benefit from your experience. To share your story, click here.

Words to Live By

"Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose" Proverbs 18:21 (MSG).

"With their words, the godless destroy their friends, but knowledge will rescue the righteous" Proverbs 11:9 (NLT).

“You have heard that people were told in the past, ‘Do not commit murder; anyone who does will be brought to trial.’ But now I tell you: if you are angry with your brother you will be brought to trial, if you call your brother ‘You good-for-nothing!’ you will be brought before the Council, and if you call your brother a worthless fool you will be in danger of going to the fire of hell. Mathew 5:21-22 (GNT, 1992).

Recommended Resources: 


 Emotionally Destructive Relationship: Seeing It, Stopping It, Surviving It - Leslie Vernick



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