Divorce papers reveal Lysa TerKeurst's husband spent over $100K on extramarital affair

Lysa TerKeurst, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries and author of 'Forgiving What You Can't Forget.'
Lysa TerKeurst, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries and author of "Forgiving What You Can't Forget." | Proverbs 31 Ministries

A recent court filing has shed light on the divorce proceedings between Proverbs 31 Ministries founder Lysa TerKeurst and her husband, Art, including evidence the latter spent over $100,000 of the couple’s money on an “illicit sexual” extramarital affair with a woman he met online.

Lysa TerKeurst filed for divorce in December 2021 and publicly announced her decision in January, revealing her husband of nearly three decades had engaged in “chosen patterns of behavior that dishonor God and the biblical covenant of marriage.” The couple has five adult children together.

In 2017, TerKeurst revealed she would be pursuing a divorce from her husband due to his infidelity and struggles with addiction. At the time, she wrote he had “been repeatedly unfaithful to me with a woman he met online” and was abusing substances. However, the couple renewed their vows just over a year later after working to restore their marriage.

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In her latest divorce announcement, TerKeurst said her husband had "broken" those renewed vows.

In February, Art TerKeurst filed a response to the divorce petition, requesting post-separation support, alimony, an equitable division of property, damages and the rescission of a post-nuptial agreement, Ministry Watch reported.

He claimed that he signed the post-nuptial agreement under duress, at a time when he was suicidal and preparing to enter a treatment facility for alcoholism. Art TerKeurst argued that after he finished treatment for his addictions and the couple renewed their vows, he believed the post-nuptial agreement was invalidated as part of their “fresh start.”

Though admitting he’d engaged in “illicit sexual behavior” prior to the post-nuptial agreement, he claimed to have been a “faithful and dutiful spouse” ever since. Seeking post-separation support, Terkeurst said he is “actually and substantially dependent upon [his] wife for his maintenance and support,” adding the does not possess the “financial ability or adequate resources” to meet his accustomed standard of living.

But in April, Lysa TerKeurst entered a motion to dismiss Art’s counterclaims, a request to compel arbitration and a reply to his allegations, according to Ministry Watch.

In her filing, the ministry leader said her husband freely agreed to the post nuptial agreement and voluntarily withdrew from the alcohol treatment program without completing it. She claimed his allegations of being suicidal were false, and that Art TerKeurst had exhibited “narcissistic and sociopathic tendencies” over the years.

The Forgiving What You Can’t Forget author claimed that the couple “maintained completely separate financial accounts pursuant to the post-nuptial agreement” even after reconciling, and said that post-separation support and alimony ought to be denied due to her husband’s infidelity.

The filing also includes text messages between Art TerKeurst and “Mistress X.” He allegedly met the woman on the website and spent at least $118,000 of the TerKeursts’ money on the relationship. Expenses included paying for the mistress to move from Atlanta to Charlotte, North Carolina, and buying her a “pre-engagement left hand ring.”

In her January divorce announcement, the 52-year-old said she’d fought “really hard to not just save my marriage but to survive the devastation of what consistent deception of one spouse does to the other.”

“It’s brutal and heart crushing to constantly fear the hurtful choices of someone you love. I’ve had to learn the hard way there’s a big difference between mistakes (which we all make) and chosen patterns of behavior that dishonor God and the biblical covenant of marriage.”

In an April Instagram post, the ministry leader shared an update with her followers, reflecting on the moment she said, “No more. No more devastation. No more betrayal. No more being lied to. No more.”

“Sometimes ‘no more’ means implementing good boundaries that will help hold each person accountable to healthier relational patterns,” she wrote.

“Sometimes ‘no more’ means acknowledging a heartbreaking reality that wise counsel has helped you see is no longer sustainable. Both dynamics require that we pursue healing. We need solid truth from God’s word to help guide and direct us. We need a godly professional counselor who is specifically trained to educate, comfort, and challenge us.”

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