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:
Expert ImageDivorce support expert

Hi Karen,

your concern is genuine but your are putting yourself in a difficult position. Even though your advice may be wise and well justified, your friend has to be the one to face his choices.
As outsiders we may often see better what is at stake but the person involved has a learning experience to fulfill.
The way things are going it sounds though that the relationship is well on the way of breaking up. Just keep being supportive that he should follow his instinct. he may need added support in his emotional conflict to have you call the lawyer to ask for a copy of the divorce decree. These are the kind of things that need to be addressed consistently and look at carefully. A divorce should be undertaken thoughtfully especially when there are children involved.

As for a personal advise, keep being who you are. You are a great friend and you will know what to say when it is needed, but remember, a good friend sometimes doesn't have to say anything.

All the best

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