Posted by: Mr Tee | 2009/01/13

Coping with divorce

Parent of son going through a divorce. Married for 6 years, no kids financially well off no debt, pandered to wifes every wants, ran the entire household including cooking all meals. Wife came and went as she pleased, had cosmetic surgery and just wanted to go out and socialise. We felt he was being treated like a doormat but never said as much. He was trying to encourage her to take more responsibility for her home but she simply refused, using the home as a place basically to leave her suitcase ! This had caused friction and arguements and over a period of time they discussed parting. Counselling failed as she felt it was a sign of weakness. Eventually they decided to part ways, almost mutually but she initiated it just before Christmas. Lawyers letters filing for divorce arrived within the week. On parting they decided to cut out all communication with each other. My son is now battling to cope, reading all the " right " books and discussing his feelings. We are finding it difficult to help. It seems as if his wife could be suffering from some sort mental illness. Why would she suddenly give up this life of luxury and pampering.? Did he indulge her too much or was her drive to revert to teenager status/bad girl life style just too much to stay in an adult relationship even though she is 30. ?

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Our expert says:
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Sounds like a grossly selfish and over-indulged "wife" who seems to have had no concept of the duties of being a spouse. Your son has indeed been very badly treated by her, and deserives some proper personal counselling or therapy to help him cope and tobecome stronger and wiser from these unpleasant experiences.
I very much doubt that the ex wife suffers from any mental illness --- maybe an immature and somewhat psychopathic / antisocial personality disorder, but that would be beyond treatment, anyway.
I agree with Jason. Though this is a sad time for him, your son will be better off without this person in his life. He needs to be cautious to defend himself properly through his lawyer in the divorce, and to give her as little as possible,, as she is likely only to waste whatever she receives --- indeed, having to earn enough to support her wasteful and selfish way of life might help her to wake up to the actual realities of life.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Mr Tee | 2009/01/13

Hi Doc and Jason, thanks so much for your very much appreciated response. We of course see it in that exact light and have communicated this to him in almost the exact same terms.He says he knows and understands it all, but is battling to come to terms with it. I think when he sees the response coming from someone else other than us, it will mean a whole lot more. I said that his head is too far ahead of his heart but if he persists working on the problem the heart will eventully catch up and the penny will drop. Thanks again !

Reply to Mr Tee
Posted by: Jason | 2009/01/13

Hi Mr Tee,

As a person who' s been through the exact same process, I know exactly how your son is feeling.

The hardest part for you as a parent is the feeling of helplessness. Unfortunately you can' t go through this for him - he is the only one who can do that. The best is just to be available to listen. Does he see a psychologist? That helps immensely for building confidence and assertiveness and making sure that he doesn' t settle for this kind of treatment in future.

What your son is feeling at the moment is the feeling of despair and being a failure.

The positive side is that he' s now rid of someone who seems incredibly childish, spoilt, who doesn' t want to take responsibility for her actions and most likely has serious issues of her own. And he cannot fix them for her - only she can do that.

The most important thing for your son to remember is that there ARE women out there who will treat him better - I have experienced that. So has a good friend of mine.

Hang in there - there' s light at the end of the tunnel.

Good luck!


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