Two weeks ago on the podcast we told you about a women who wrote in to Emerson Eggerichs of Love & Respect, saying she was crying in the shower before sex.

She said that if she didn’t have sex with her husband, he would treat her very badly. His response? Her husband had a goldmine. She was being obedient and should rejoice! At least she wasn’t being crucified or tortured.

It was abysmal. 

Well, that woman heard our podcast, and wrote in to me, and today’s podcast features an interview with her! (And don’t worry; she’s doing great now!). 

This was an important podcast to do, because I talk all the time about how harmful so much of this teaching is. But it’s rare that we can actually put a story behind that harm. Now we can!

Or, as always, you can watch on YouTube:


Timeline of the Podcast

0:10 Background for today’s guest
4:00 Our guest shares her story
13:00 The process of seeking help in church settings
25:00 Her experience with the original podcast
32:15 Experience with counseling
37:15 Getting out of the marriage
45:45 Research segment with Keith
48:30 RQ: My mom is being abused!
54:30 Closing thoughts

Thank you to our sponsor, the Intimately Us App!

Intimately us is such a fun app! I’d call it a foreplay app, but it’s so much more. You can play bedroom games that help you spice things up, but you also learn about what you each like (and don’t like), and discover so much more about yourself. Plus it helps foreplay last longer, and that helps her to enjoy sex more!

Main Segment: We must face the fact that Emerson Eggerichs cannot identify abuse and encourages abuse to continue with his advice.

We saw so many red flags in her letter to him; he didn’t see a single one. It was obvious she was being sexually coerced (to anyone who believes that there can be sexual coercion in marriage) yet he did not pick up on it.

You’ll hear what her marriage was like leading up to writing that letter; how desperate she was when she wrote it; and what she thought afterwards.

You’ll hear how she eventually realized she was being abused and left her marriage.

And you’ll hear her say what she believes Emerson Eggerichs needs to hear. I have her a chance to speak directly to him.

One thing I found so interesting (and devastating) about her story was that in the middle of the worst abuse she was suffering, she and her husband read Love & Respect. He loved it so much that he volunteered to lead two studies on it at church.

So here’s a man who is abusing his wife, and he finds Love & Respect an AMAZING book, and then he teaches on it at church. This is the fruit of this book. And again-this is the #1 marriage study done in North American churches today. Listen to this woman’s story. Tell your pastor about this woman’s story. Please, let’s stop this insanity.

New Research: Domestic Violence in Brazil is linked to evangelicalism

A sobering new article in Christianity Today, translated from the original when it was published in Brazil, shows how what pastors are teaching is exacerbating the domestic violence crisis, especially among the poor. Violent crime is dropping in Brazil, EXCEPT crimes against women, which are rising.

Vilhena’s research reveals that churches and their leaders have inadvertently helped to perpetuate this tragic scenario. As they turn to their local pastor for advice and support, hoping to escape physical and psychological abuse, many women invariably receive the same sermon: “Sister, you must pray more, fast, cry out to God for the conversion of your husband.” They quote 1 Peter 3:1–2: “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.”

Marila De C. Cesar

Domestic Violence Harms Thousands of Brazilian Women. Is the Church Making It Worse?, Christianity Today

Reader Question: My Father Has Been Abusing My Mother for Decades

I’m sorry; I deleted the actual reader question after we recorded the podcast so I can’t write it out here. But Keith and i took a stab at this one. I just want people to remember three things:

  1. You can’t make someone leave who doesn’t want to leave
  2. You CAN assure them they have options and that they can stay with you
  3. You DO NOT have to keep anyone’s secrets

If you recognize yourself in these stories, please contact a Domestic Violence Hotline

  • Canada: 800.799.SAFE (7233)
  • United States: 1-800-621-HOPE (4673).
  • United Kingdom: 08 08 16 89 111
  • Australia: 1800 015 188
  • New Zealand: 0800 456 450
  • Kenya: 0-800-720-072
  • Nigeria: 0800 033 3333
  • South Africa: 0800 428 428

Things Mentioned in This Podcast:

The Woman Crying in the Shower is Here

What did you think of her story? What would you want to say to the teachers who don’t understand the harm they’re doing? Let’s talk in the comments!

Other Posts in our Love and Respect Series:

Plus our Resource Pages:

The Biggest Supporter of Love & Respect is Focus on the Family

They publish the book and heavily promote it, and promote video series with Emerson Eggerichs. They also heavily promote his book Mothers & Sons, which primes the next generation of boys to feel they deserve unconditional respect, regardless of how they act. Please consider your giving to Focus on the Family, and contact them about your concerns. Without Focus on the Family's support, the Love & Respect ministry would dwindle considerably.

The Following People Have Endorsed Love & Respect

  • "Millions of lives and marriages – and in many ways, our whole culture – are completely different today because of the work of Emerson Eggerichs and Love and Respect ministries." Shaunti Feldhahn, best-selling author of For Women Only
  • "Occasionally I run into somebody whose material, what they’re teaching, and the quality of the person rocks my world." Dave Ramsey
  • "probably the most helpful [marriage book and seminar] we have ever experienced." Michael Hyatt
  • "With his Love and Respect concept, Emerson Eggerichs has discovered what can only be described as the Holy Grail of marital counseling." Eric Metaxas
  • "Dr. Emerson Eggerichs …is … balancing this scale [towards respect]" Dr. James Dobson
  • "People around the world, in every kind of business need to hear this simple yet life changing message." Anne Beiler
  • "I couldn't recommend Dr. Eggerichs highly enough. I call him the Billy Graham of marriage." Kendrick Vinar, lead pastor Grace Church of Chapel Hill

If any of these people would like to rescind or qualify their endorsements, please reach out, even confidentially. If any would like a confidential conversation about the problems with Love & Respect, please reach out. 

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Sheila is determined to help Christians find BIBLICAL, HEALTHY, EVIDENCE-BASED help for their marriage. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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