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Question
Posted by: Globus | 2010-08-26

End of my tether

I (38) am really at a point where I no longer know what to do. I am married, almost 5 years, to a woman (38) which I really love. She was married before and have a son from this marriage (now 8), we also have two kids of our own (almost 4 and just 2). Problem is that over the past couple of months if not years she has grown distant so much so that it is impossible for us to communicate. She does not talk to me, we do not spend time together, we are not intimate and it all seems to not be an issue for her. If I try to talk, or write letters, or try to encourage her it always turns out in a fight as the only emotion she can show lately is anger, resentment, disrespect and sometimes hate. There is never a tear of honest regret or hurt. She was made redundant almost 3 years ago and has since then started her own business, which I support financially although I have never seen 1 cent in return. I have taken over all the family expenses, everything including the costs towards my step-son as neither she nor the ex-husband contribute 1 cent towards his schooling, medical aid, therapy sessions due to ADD and ODD, medicine (on his own has used almost 60% of the families savings and cost me thousands out of pocket thus far this year), entertainment etc., if I try to talk about this then it is F* this and God that! I try, I am a good provider for her and our kids, and her business, and her ex-husband (which is R 130,000+ behind in maintenance) but it seems as if I am living a life on my own in my own house. I feel used as nothing I do gets through to her and nothing I ask or try ever gets reciprocated. Lots more details but my question is, what am I to do? I feel that a divorce is the only best thing for my children but if she does not even contribute to her own son can i demand to have custody of my own children? I am scared that if I pay money for my kids it will just be used for her business (which cannot even sustain her and I carry all the costs) and for costs (medical etc.) towards my step-son (as neither she or the ex-husband contribute financially) which will leave my children wanting and me no control over it. Do I have " case" , can I sue for divorce based on grounds of irreconcilable differences and demand custody of my kids with her having visitation rights? Will I be held liable for costs towards her business or my step-son just because I have been the only one that has been supporting his for the past couple of years? I am at my end, I don''t sleep, I have chest pains, I have stress at work and more at home but above all I want to protect my children. Please help!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Considering that you effective have paid for her business, and all the expenses including that of her son, your step-son, she seems to be showing thoroughly bad manners as well as ingratitude. And there is no reason for you to have no sense of contro over what you choose to pay for. It sounds more as though she is using you than married to you.
You should see a shrink or at least a very good GP for your own sake, as it is essential to look after your health, and not to allow her to drag it down. And also contulst a good divorce lawyer, who is the only one who can answer the sensible questions you ask. Custody can be a complex issue ; and you might be partly liable for the expenses of caring for your own children if she gained custody.
I see no reason why you would be expected to continue to support in perpetuity the stepson, who would become the responsibility of her and her ex-husband. Simiarly, I don't see any way in which you could be considered liable for the further costs of her business, which is her afair and not necessarily yours. It would be more of a question as to whether you should receive some share of any profits from the business, now or later, as you financed it from the start.
There are technical issues relating to HOW you were married. And in a divorce she would be required to disclose in full her earnings an perhaps expenditures on the business. She might have difficulty claiming any expenses for her own life after a divorce - especially if her first husband is apparently not payin anything - again, she'd have to disclose that.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: H | 2010-08-26

This is really bad! I am sure the step-son cannot be your concern after a divorce. I think you should talk to a good divorce laywer, and pay the half hour fee for good professional advice to all your relevant questions, interesting point you bring up, that she will not be able to support your kids and what will happen to your maintanance. Questions a divorce laywer can clarify. Problem might be that you may have to support her, hopefully not, only divide your assets (and liabilities).

Sterkte!

Reply to H
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010-08-26

Considering that you effective have paid for her business, and all the expenses including that of her son, your step-son, she seems to be showing thoroughly bad manners as well as ingratitude. And there is no reason for you to have no sense of contro over what you choose to pay for. It sounds more as though she is using you than married to you.
You should see a shrink or at least a very good GP for your own sake, as it is essential to look after your health, and not to allow her to drag it down. And also contulst a good divorce lawyer, who is the only one who can answer the sensible questions you ask. Custody can be a complex issue ; and you might be partly liable for the expenses of caring for your own children if she gained custody.
I see no reason why you would be expected to continue to support in perpetuity the stepson, who would become the responsibility of her and her ex-husband. Simiarly, I don't see any way in which you could be considered liable for the further costs of her business, which is her afair and not necessarily yours. It would be more of a question as to whether you should receive some share of any profits from the business, now or later, as you financed it from the start.
There are technical issues relating to HOW you were married. And in a divorce she would be required to disclose in full her earnings an perhaps expenditures on the business. She might have difficulty claiming any expenses for her own life after a divorce - especially if her first husband is apparently not payin anything - again, she'd have to disclose that.

Reply to cybershrink

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