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Question
Posted by: Lisle | 2011-03-14

Trapped in a relationship because i owe him money

i have been in a largely unsatisfatory relationship with a married man for almost 6 years now. The usual happened in the beginning - he made it sound as though he was in the process of getting divorced, going so far as to say that his wife has moved to Portugal and will not be returning to SA. I was batting financially as my older daughter had just had a baby and was unemployed. I do have a good job and i earn well but it''s been an uphill battle as i have been a single parent of two all along, and my parents also depend on me for financial assistance quite often. This man started offering to assist me financially after about a year, saying that i could take my time to pay him back, that i shouldn''t feel stressed. I was in awe of his ''kindness'' and soon ended up owing him more than i could pay back in a year - having never had this kind of assistance i admit that i went overboard - it was such a relief to be able to provide for my family and help others as well. It soon became apparent that he had not been honest about his marraige, that his wife had come back to SA and must have gone to Portugal simply for a holiday at the time that i met him. In these 6 years he has only slept over at my place one night. He goes home every night. When i started complaining about his continuous, obviously solid, marraige of 30 years now, he became defensive about it, saying that it had nothing to do with ''us'', that he wouldn''t be with me if he was getting love at home, without ever apologising for his obvious lies in the beginning, still insisting that ''she'' keeps threatening to leave, that he doesn''t want to be the one to upset his family. When i ask him to try then to work on his marraige and his family relationships, he insists that he ''can''t live without me'', then insists that i ''belong'' to him no matter what, then telling me that he will not leave until i pay him back, that i have been using him for his money etc etc, making me feel guilty about wanting to leave him, alternating with threats about wanting all his money at once if i want to leave him. He is so much a part of my family now (I, of course, have never met any of his family for obvious reasons) that my mom who has become ill depends on him for transport and other favours more than i do, and she also now blackmails me emotionally to stay with him because of how much he helps us, that i will cause life to be difficult for her , that i am being selfish now that she is so ill. The worst part of all is, he now continually throws in my face how much he helps me, convinced that i would ''be in the street'' if he wasn''t around to help me. i always respond by saying that i work very hard too and i pay him back, then he laughs at me and says that i always borrow it back anyway, that i can''t live without him. i have reached the stage where i am actually contemplating suicide because i don''t love him anymore - my skin crawls when he touches me, because of all the hurtful and insulting things he has thrown at me in the last 4 years or more. He is also a terrible racist, believes he is better than most other people because he has money and ''needs nobody''. Whenever i do try to leave him, i have to leave home very early to catch a bus to work - but afternoons, it is difficult to get out unless i leave at 16h30, which i really can''t because of the pressures of my job. He has somehow managed to ''bribe'' all the security guards at my workplace to watch out for me! When I do feel seious about leaving him, if he doesn''t go convincing my mom to ''talk sense into me'', usually accompanied by an unusual favour involving buying something for her that she can''t afford, he is asking my son in law to ''spy'' on me, when i walk to the stores or what time i leave home to go to work on a saturday, then he finds me along the way and forces me into the car, and proceeds to ''preach'' to me about how he''ll never let me go unless i pay all his money, or begging me to forgive him for saying such ugly things. Lately my reactions have become rather aggressive and violent, my work and home relationships are suffering, and my violent actions have caused for him to also threaten me with violence - i usually stop him from getting physically violent by threatening to have him arrested at his home. i cannot stand being near him anymore. although i am still battling financially, i would rather battle than have to deal with him again. Last night was no different from any other time, but i am just so tired of feeling bad and guilty and afraid and embarrassed - i do not want to hurt his wife or family but i have even considered writing her an anonymous letter or something. What i''d rather do is get an attorney''s assistance, although i know i''ll have to pay the attorney - i''d rather do that than continue in this relationship.
Please help me with advice on these lines?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFamily law expert

Dear Lisle,
I suggest that you see an attorney as it seems that you are prey for financial abuse, which in istself is a ground to obtain a restraining order.

Bertus Preller
Family Law Attorney
Abrahams and Gross Inc.
www.divorceattorney.co.za

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: clifford polokwane | 2011-03-23

dear laddy
your life worth more than money,you were in need of help and never asked the guy to help you but he volunteered to help,regardless of how he helped and your familly financilly,you still deserve a respect as a human being,he was using you while his wife was away and as she is now back he want to push you away but in an inditect way.This man doesn`t love you but is using you for his own purpose.
i suggest you lay a restraining order agains him,pay his money and walk away.you still have your own life to live and remember that your life dopesn`t depend on a living person but on GOD.HE MAY HAVE MONEY BUT HE DOESN`T CONTROL YOUR LIFE.

Reply to clifford polokwane
Posted by: FIO | 2011-03-15

I agree totally. This amounts to abuse, emotionally and also financially. I strongly suggest you go to magistrates court and fill in an application form for a restraining order against him, preventing him from contacting you, your work, your relatives or anyone associated with you, unless he does it through an attorney.

As for his generosity, its pure control and manipulation, nothing generous in it at all. Sounds like a bit of a scum bag, considering he is cheating on his wife as well.

But you also need to wrapped a bit on the knuckles for getting involved in a relationship with a married man. Hopefully big lesson learnt now.

Get the restraining order.

Reply to FIO
Posted by: family law expert | 2011-03-14

Dear Lisle,
I suggest that you see an attorney as it seems that you are prey for financial abuse, which in istself is a ground to obtain a restraining order.

Bertus Preller
Family Law Attorney
Abrahams and Gross Inc.
www.divorceattorney.co.za

Reply to family law expert

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