Posted by: Linda | 2009-02-21


I have a very very big problem. I have been living with a man for 20 years. I am 38 and he is 45.
One night something went wrong and I tried to leave. He said to me many times that if I leave I will be sorry because I don' t work and he can dump me any time. And I will be homeless and in the streets,. He is very possesive and controlling. I have two children from him. 18 and 15 years old.
If I really do leave will I have any right to get anything? I think I earned it. I can' t take this life anymore. I am really looking after everything at home and working to keep my children good and happy, I am very good at that, I look after my house because it is mine it is beautiful. (surely this house is mine too). It' s on his name of course.
I never had any freedom. If I am with alot of friends that has boyfriends he says I am his wife but we are not married. And he is very rude to them (the guys) he gets very angry. Even if I say hallo or if I just have a innocent chat.
I suppose it is common law is marriage. If I invite my friends to my house without his knowledge and he finds out things are really bad. I can' t live with this fear anymore. I am always scared. Even my children are afraid of him.
He doesn' t hit me, but if he gets really angry he will slap me through my face (but that hardly happens because I don' t do anything wrong). He even did that with my son two years ago. It is so humiliating. I can' t even walk out and say I am leaving you. Because I have nowhere to go. I am so depressed and tired. If I really leave, will I be able to at least get something?
I don' t want money, just security so I can live. he likes to spoil, but he wants alot in return. I am so miserable. And lonely, my friends don' t even want to visit anymore because of him. They only come when he is out of town.
I don' t actually want to leave, but if he does something wrong that I don' t like that other night, will I legally protected? I usually stay with my sister (one night) when something goes wrong. He gets very bad if I do that. He sometimes just goes there and fetches me.
But that specific night my sister was not in town. So I had to go back to him with my tail between my legs. i can' t take this humiliation anymore.



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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDivorce support expert

Hi Linda,

it's a very delicate situation to address in one "email".
It obvious your companion controls you and that you are not happy in your life. You have a right to be happy and not live in fear like you do.
You first need to be clear about what you want and also contact a lawyer to address your rights if you were to leave. I would encourage you to see someone also who can help you sort your feelings. It's obvious you have reached a point where you need to make a change in your life so start by addressing the legal issues since he seems to threaten you with this.
Talk to your friends and family, wherever you can get support. Their insight into your situation can possibly provide some valuable advice as well.

You may also reach me directly on
All the best

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