Posted by: Karen | 2009-08-31


I have a male friend. (friends of mine and hubby) He has been married for 8 years. This is his 1ste marriage.
Wife was married previously and has 2 kids from first marriage. (kids are teens). Together they have 2 kids.
(kids are 7 and 2 years) His problems started around the time when their first child was 6 months. She was
Abusive. Complained about him to the neighbours, her family, his friends. She left
Home several times. Even went to the extent of giving his clothes away, also items she
Brought into the marriage was given away so that he had to replace this. (married ANC)
2 years ago she started divorce proceedings and although he asked her to cancel the
Proceedings she went ahead. He did not appear in court on the assumption that she would
Have cancelled this. To date he has not seen the divorce decree and has asked her for a copy which she won’ t give
Him. All he knows from what she has told him that he has full custody of their 2 kids.
She does not contribute to Any household expense, including expenses for her 2 kids from the first marriage.
According to my friend the ex-husband, who left before the 2nd child was born, entered
her life just before the divorce. He feels that she is in contact with the ex-husband and maybe planning
to get back with him She also moved out of the bedroom prior to the divorce. He wants to get a PI to follow her.
The ex no longer pays maintenance for his two kids which was initially stipulated at R250 per child. My friend seems to
these kids needs except for their school fees. They are also disrespectful to him, argue with him, threatened to assault him, etc.
The started counselling. He went for the first session. She went the second. After her session she suggested that they
Cancel the counselling as she thought it would not work.
My friend has to borrow money to make ends meet every month. She earns very well but will not contribute to
The household. Will not contribute to the 2 kids that they’ ve had together, be it clothes, food, creche or school.
She always threatens to leave him and has left and returned on her own accord on numerous occasion before.
The past weekend she told him that she wants to leave as she cannot take the fighting anymore.
He says that he does not want her to leave but knowing her can’ t tell her that. I suggested they continue counselling.
Please advise me how to advise him. In my personal opinion and account of their history together I would say to him to let her go.
Pls help as I don’ t know how to answer him anymore for fear of saying the wrong things but I would also like to see him happy.

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Our expert says:
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Sge sounds like a disturbed, selfish and unstable person. He is foolish to make any assumptions about the divorce, for inbstance --- he must contact the court and a lawyer and get the paper-work --- he can't be sure whether he's actually divorced or not, or what has happened about custody, etc. He is surely entitled to go to the maintenance court to require her to at least pay maintenance for her children from her first marriage. And as she brought to divorce for apparently no very good reason, and she earns well, the court, which is supposed to be concerned with the needs of teh children, may well order HER to pay maintenance towards the care of their joint children.
It is highly peculiar for a court to give her a divorce without the husband being present or represented, and for him to give the unseen unheard husband custody of the older children which are not even his. And if the kids asre rude and threatening towards him, he can approach the court to have the custody for them revert to their mother, if indeed it was ever dumped onto him. She is not entitled in law to refuse to pay towards her kids welfare, especially as she can well afford it.
If her ex's maintenance towards his kids was stiipulated by a divorce court, he has no business stopping payments until the kids are legally adult.
I don't understand how she can claim to alrady be divorced from him, yet she still lives in the same house, but contributes nothing to the care of her own children. He needs to see a good lawyer long before he thinks of hiring a PI

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