Posted by: Z | 2004/11/08


After 5 years of marriage I have asked my husband for a divorce, things were not going well since day 1 and I have decided to make the bold move to ask him for a divorce. This was 2 months ago.
Since then my husband has been abusing me verbally, he threatens that he is going to commit suicide if I dont say that I 'll take him back. This has happened many times throughout our marriage and while we going out (he even stabbed himself in the hand one day when I broke up with him - I was 21 when we got married). I now think that I have finally got the courage to make a decision as big as this.
My problem now is that he is phoning me at work and phoning my colleagues because he says that I am messing up his life. He has started blaming me for sleeping with someone else (something I would never do) and also told me that his parents never like me etc. He has even gone so far to tell me that my sisters have been lying to me and that they are using me. Now he blames me for him for not performing his job 100% and also for him being rude to his parents. I stay in DBN and he is in CPT. He SMS's me 2-3 o' clock in the morning to tell me that his going to commit suicide. I dont think that I can cope anymore. I just fell that I should either go back to him and suffer through the abuse or kill myself. I have managed to build a successful career and when I'm stressed I put my anger into my work. Not once have I been rude to him. However, he now threatens that he will take everything from me and leave me with nothing. The one day I'll told him that I feel like committing suicide and he told me that he doesnt care because the insurance policies will pay and he will be a rich man. What can I do. I dont want to involve people at work my having to explain why I need to change my telephone number? I cant cope anymore.

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Our expert says:
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it is unfortunate that he is trying to blackmail you into reconciling with him, rather than trying to recognize the problems that drove you to this decision and trying to solve them, or asking for mariage counselling in an attempt to see if a realistic reconciliation is possible. You are posing false alternatives. Killing yourself must not at all be considered an option --- why on earth should you be punished for his misconduct ? And ( though actually insurance policies might not pay out in the case of suicide ) --- why enable him to profit on driving you to death ? No, call his bluff. Whether or not he harms himself is his own decision, and shouldn't influence your decision to escape from continuing abuse ; either way he decides, you would be free from further abuse. If you change yout phoner number, you don't have to explain that at all, to anyone.
But DO call POWA and get involved with them, as they are very capable of advising and supporting abused wives in escaping from a hurtful marriage and protecting themselves.
As S says, you can, will and should cope. And S is right, too --- don't let him play mind games with you, refuse to discuss these threats with him, tell him he can communicate with you through your lawyer. And call POWA !

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Our users say:
Posted by: ec | 2004/11/09

Z - very wise words from S and CS- I agree completely with their advise.

Reply to ec
Posted by: popi | 2004/11/09

You MUST get out of that relationship,u are a wonderfull person,you deserve better.

Reply to popi
Posted by: S | 2004/11/08

You can and will cope. You are doing the right thing by leaving and divorcing him - he clearly rules you by fear and idle threats. You need to realise that HE is responsible for his life and his actions and you are responsible for yours. You deserve happiness and cannot allow this emotional abuse to continue any longer. What you can do is get an interdict against him so that he is not allowed to sms, phone you , threaten you etc - its all under the domestic family violence act.
Dont allow his threats of committing suicide to influence your decision to leave him. He sounds too weak a person to follow through with that anyway. And if he does, are you reallly prepared to llive the rest of your life with a man who treats you this way. You are still young and have your whole life ahead of you girl. Dont let someone like him ruin it for you.
Please dont even mention suicide - thats not the way out for you. You have far too much else going for you and by you even considering the cowardly way out you are letting your husband win. Get out while you can. If you get an interdict then he cannot keep harassing you by telephoning you etc.
And step no. 1 is DONT reply to any of his threats - he wants a reaction out of you. If he phones just repeat the same thing to him " i have nothing to say to you" for example. The more you listen to him on the phone the more he has a chance of getting into your head and playing with your mind. I have also been through what you are and I know its not easy to get out because you are ruled by fear but once you get your strength and power back and you have made up your mind to leave him, you will conquer all.
He sounds very pathetic and weak and obviously by abusing you makes him feel more manly. I feel for you but dont let him destroy you. There is life after divorce
Good luck

Reply to S

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