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Question
Posted by: Nicks | 2010-04-28

What is goin on?

Could sum one pls help in trying to solve my mystery.

Married for 10 yrs to wonderful (i thought!) man have 2 kids under 8. He turns 40 in a few days and i am late 30''s. Since February the following has occured:

1. He generally has a history of working slow meaning he works to late in the night at his office, not really an excuse to be at the office as he has a laptop, lets just say he was better able to concentrate at the office. I did not mind him coming home 10pm for the past 3 yrs. There was odd occasion i phone his desk and he wont answer that or cell, then he would have excuses about being in the loo or a mtg.
2. As the kids grow up they started missing him and asking for him, comparing to their friends dad''s who are present not absent, SO from about late last yr i start subtly asking nicely that we really miss him and want him home, not for anytthing other than to love him and have quality time. I am a stay home so i do everything, would not expect him to come home to clean etc...
3. Nothing changed, From Feb when his changes occured i really started to nag re working hrs. He then hit an about turn and decided to come home not 10pm BUT after 12 anywhere up to 5 am now!!! Of course he no longer says its work says he is now with friends of whome i have never met, says he needs his own time, sick of my nagging (which i never intended but i had to get it across that kids and I suffering) also says problem is with him not with me.
4. Over the past months since Feb things have gotten worse, we dont talk, slp in different room, his decision! he does not bother telling me where/with whom/what time/wont take my calls nothing! says the friends he is with whn not working i have not met he met them on a business trip and i am not likely to meet them because its a guy thing....
5. He says he goes to night clubs sometimes, something he never did before, then one minute he is pursuing a hobby but is secretive even about this hobby!
6. When i force him to tell me what has happened, just keeps saying he is tired of me not being happy with him, the working hrs is the ONLY thing i had problem with by the way! also uses words like:" the marriage is broken, cant be fixed, only on paper!

I have given him an ultimatum that says: since you seem to be moving on with your life, i would like to move on with mine too, since i have done nothing wrong in my opinion or you refuse to tell me, then pls proceed to a divorce, since that is WHAT you want. I am prepared to work and fix whatever i have to and suggested counsilling, he has refused!

Its been a month since i said he can proceed with a lawyer every wk i ask, he replies that the lawyer is working on it, This past weekend whn he walked in 5 am i again said pls dont put me through hell proceed to next level, its obvious you have another woman, wedding ring and all. He says i should go ahead with process. When i niggled further as to what he meant he then turns around and says that if his process is too slow for me then i should go ahead with lawyer. I refuse of course as i did not ask for this, i believe that you fight before you give up, also as example to the kids!

My opinion:

Yes i think there is another woman, whether she is there for 3 yrs or only since Feb i dont know.

I also think that 20 % of this is health related, he has HBP under control and had ED problems last yr due to work stress. He is under a lot of work pressure, but why take that out on me...

My question if how do i deal with this situation? do i get a PI to investigate so i have evidence of his whereabouts? will this evidence possibly help me to get a better settlement or not? At this stage no matter what i find out i would not be shocked as i now at a point of being totally prepared for worst and have become cold and bitter and will deal with the mourning later. I am not the type who could stick this out for years and years and hope for the best... 3 months is too long and i am prepared to move on, i just need advice as to how to go about doing exactly that. SHould i proceed with legal matters or do i wait for him since its obvious he wants out yet i made it clear i would like to fight for the marriage.

Lastly is this a MID LIFE CRISIS? BRAIN TUMOUR WHAT?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDivorce support expert

Dear Nicks,

Although you seemed happy with your life it sounds like signs of "infidelity" were present for a long time in your relationship. Your accepting behaviour only allowed this to go on for such a long time. Your husband says he doesn't want counselling which indicates that he does want out of the marriage. Because there are children involved I always first recommend to consider mediation which will assist you in putting your children's needs in perspective. Your children have already expressed stress to their father's absences. Dealing with a divorce in a pro active will spare them from further harm. Involving a PI will only reveal a hurtful truth...which you seem to know already. Ask yourself: How will it change the situation to have stranger bring you proof of many years of lies? Offer constructively that you would like to explore your problems together and if he still doesn't want then ask to then have the truth. ( but only if you are prepared for it). The truth though will help you move on to a better future. For yourself and your children.

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Our users say:
Posted by: J. | 2010-05-07

Firstly, yes, you can get maintenance from your husband even while going through a divorce (rule 43 application), you can even get him to pay your legal costs. You will get maintenance for the children, and if you are not working, you might even get rehabilitative maintenance, maintenance for instance 24 months, while you look for a job.

BUT in South Africa there is a no-fault clause, which means, that even if you can indeed get proof of an affair, you can only use it against the woman. Especially in your case, where you are not the partner that generated the income. There is no way a court is going to give you all the assets that he has basically paid and worked for, while you stayed at home. The law Zorry was referring to here, is called " forfeiture" , but it is used mostly in cases where the spouse who was the breadwinner, discovers his spouse is committing adultry and asks the court to forfeit their share of the profits that the working spouse has accumulated.

Secondly, you can sue the woman for " alienation of affection" , but this is a long process, an expensive process and a very difficult one to prove. The highest payout to date that I know of was R75 000 and that was in the case of extremely wealthy people, the husband and wife was back together and it took more than two years to conclude, which I think the lawyers bill was probably twice/three times that amount. You will only have a case if you can prove that the woman MALICIOUSLY and INTENTIONALLY led your husband astray from a happy marriage. Which means if he says that there was problems in the marriage prior to the affair, you are basically doomed.

If you file for a divorce, apply for interim maintenance for you and the children, get him to pay your lawyers costs. Interim maintenance is generally higher than the actual maintenance and you will get by, and stay in the house with the children, let him move out. I talk under correction, but I dont think that the maintenance amount payable to you and the children may be more than a third of his salary, so bear that in mind when calculating what to ask for, remember it must be based on ACTUAL expenses, not calculated ones (keep receipts!!!). Then sit down and discuss the distribution of the assets depending on the way you were married. Try and claim spousal maintenance for a while in order to look for a work. And do look for a job, the courts do not take kindly to people not wanting to work and looking for a free meal ticket. Keep all your expenses and work out a just maintenance amount for your children and general access for your husband (taking that you will want the children with you). Above all else, keep you side squeaky clean, ask just what you need to get by and what the law entitles you too. I have heard nasty tales of spouses making the other do out of character things in the heat of the moment, just to turn around and use that against them in court.

If you guys can work it out on your own, you will save a heap in lawyers costs. If you cannot agree, go for mediation first, since mediators is way cheaper and they get people to settle far quicker.

That is about all that I know of the process, good luck to you, hope it helped.

Reply to J.
Posted by: Zorry | 2010-05-03

Hi,

In my opionion.
If he doesn t want conselling there is nothing you can force him to do so and without two working together the marriage will not come right by itself.
I would get a PI to investigate and take pictures as evidence of an affair. Then take him to court and you can sue her too.
If you are going to divorce him you can get a settlement as you have rights to sue the woman whom he is seeing as well! IF you have hard evidence as only a PI can get you. Get Proof and say nothing about it because as soon as he know what you want to do he will just be more tricky and hide it. As you are not working you can have him pay you a maintenance as well as your children. Don''t let fear of money problems hold you back.
Do not move out of the house unless he becomes abusive and then have proof of that too as he will say you walked out for no reason and that makes you look bad.
Remember everything you say needs to be backed up with proof.

Lastly, you don''t have to live a life that you don''t want. You try to make it work and if he wont then you need to make the right choice for you and your children only you would know that one.
Go and see a good lawyer to advise you before you do anything!

Good luck and always prayfully make your decisions in life...

Reply to Zorry

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