American pastor and former prisoner in Iran Saeed Abedini returned to his family in Boise, Idaho, on Tuesday only to be greeted by the news that his wife Naghmeh Panahi had filed court documents to legally separate from him, citing spousal abuse as the reason for their broken marriage, reports said.
The domestic relations case, Naghmeh Panahi vs. Saeed Abedini, was filed Tuesday in an Idaho court with Judge Jill Jurries, according to CBN News.
Writing on her Facebook page on Wednesday, Naghmeh said she still loves her husband, "but as some might understand, there are times when love must stop enabling something that has become a growing cancer."
She also said that she had longed for reconciliation and "wanted nothing more than to run to him and welcome him home."
However, she said "things did not work out that way."
Nevertheless, she indicated that she is not closing the door for a future reconciliation, saying that her family is actually working on that.
She made it clear though that she wants their reconciliation "to be strictly based on God's Word."
"I want us to go through counseling, which must first deal with the abuse," she said. "Then we can deal with the changes my husband and I must both make moving forward in the process of healing our marriage."
Naghmeh said she had taken "temporary legal action to make sure our children will stay in Idaho."
In her Facebook post, Naghmeh cited one intriguing piece of information that she appeared to have deliberately left unexplained. She said three months ago, her husband demanded that she do certain things in order to promote him in the public's eye, threatening to end their marriage if she didn't.
She declined to reveal what it was that he allegedly wanted her to do.
Naghmeh apologised to her friends and supporters for not disclosing sooner to them the abuse she claims to have suffered from her husband.
"I do deeply regret that I hid from the public the abuse that I have lived with for most of our marriage and I ask your forgiveness," she wrote.
"I sincerely had hoped that this horrible situation Saeed has had to go through would bring about the spiritual change needed in both of us to bring healing to our marriage," she wrote. "Tragically, the opposite has occurred."
Abedini has yet to release a statement or comment about his wife's claims.
The 35-year-old pastor was one of four Americans released in Iran under a negotiated prisoner exchange on Jan. 16 after being sentenced by an Iranian court in 2013 to eight years in prison. The U.S. agreed to free seven Iranians as part of the exchange.
Before Naghmeh revealed her marital troubles last November, she was a tireless advocate for her husband's release from his Iranian imprisonment.
Later, she stunned her supporters with the revelation that Saeed had been an abusive husband and that he suffered from a pornography addiction.