Divorce is normally a tragedy and hardly any couples divorce without much heartache and regret. Despite this there are times when an unhappy or abusive marriage should end. Should a wife stay with a husband who actively encourages men to be violent to their wives?

Mrs Phelps

Unfortunately Mrs Phelps didn’t leave her husband perhaps she was too brainwashed. In the 1960s, Fred Phelps instructed a parishoner to punch his wife to settle arguments with her; the parishoner was arrested and Phelps was forced to put up bail. The following Sunday, Fred's sermon focused on the righteousness of spousal abuse: "A good left hook makes for a right fine wife. [1] The children say Mrs Phelps was thrown down a flight of stairs and she sufferred injuries consistent with that. Marge Phelps, the boys' mother, suffers from bone chips and severe cartilage damage in her right shoulder, consistent with a story three of the Phelps children tell about Fred throwing her down a flight of stairs. [2] Fred Phelps abused his children severely as well and it’s sad that Mrs Phelps didn’t take them away from him.

Other abusive husbands

Mrs Phelps was not alone, it is estimated that between 2 and 4 million women are battered yearly in the United States alone and 170,000 need medical treatment because of domestic violence. Potentially violent boyfriends and husbands typically groom their victims for it, they isolate their girlfriends and wives from other people who would tell them how badly the man is behaving, they work to lower the woman’s self esteem so she feels she deserves nothing better and tell her she’s at fault for the beatings.

Wives aren't the only victims. When a woman hits a man, it is also bad.


Adultery and the sexual jealousy it causes are a frequent cause of divorce. husbands or wives frequently feel they can't trust their partner ever again after someone else has had him/her. One woman who came close to divorce for adultery, (Christians claim undeservedly) was Mary mother of Jesus.

Fundamentalist Christians

Fundamentalist Christians in the USA have a higher divorce rate than Atheists. Traditional Christians are under pressure to marry early, have large families, the wife is expected to be the servant of her husband. Also a fundamentalist Christian mother is expected to carry too much of the burden of child care with the father doing too little [1] All this can lead to an unhappy relationship and break the relationship. [2] Conservatives and funjdamentalist Christians typically disapprove of divorce unless their own marriages become so bad they are driven to it.

References useful as external links

  1. Even if the mother is the primary carer the father should help.
  2. Religion is destroying the nuclear family