Posted by: self pitied | 2004/01/07

self pity

I went out with my husband when I was just 15. Got pregnant at 18 (if I only knew then what a bastard he is, I would have had him locked up for statutory rape!) and married at 22. I am 35. All was well when we used to date, but as soon as we got married I could then see his true colours. He belittles, insults, swears and shouts at me in front of people. I even tried to commit suicide because of that. When finally I made up my mind to leave him, his family comes and talks me out of it. I was, and still am, angry with them because I’ve suffered in silence all these years and could turn to no one and when I eventually have the courage to leave, they come pleading with me not to leave him and say I should think of the children. Since then nobody ever came to find out how we are doing – but that must be my fault, because in front of people I put on a happy face. Year before last when I suffered from anxiety attacks and depression, my doctor suggested I go and talk to them; I was ever so sorry I went; because then the step mom made it clears to me that what he is doing is OK.
Just because we grew up to know that it is OK for the father to insult, belittle etc the mother; I don’t want my children to grow up like that. But now I don’t know how to get out of this situation. The time I filed for divorce was by means of government funded lawyers (partly, I also blame him; because he took so long over two years on my case, and nothing happened), and when I went to him to cancel – then he told me it would not be long and we’ll go to court, but with the in-laws pressure I cancelled. For the past two years now, I strongly feel that I must leave this man, but I do not know how to go ahead. I don’t want to leave because I don’t have a place to stay, and I think he should leave because he is never at home – I think he only comes home because he knows there will be food (even if he insults it) and clean clothes waiting for him. Where do I get a lawyer who will not charge me a fortune, nor take forever to deal with a divorce? I have called a few – found their names in the directory – but I cannot afford it. I am also so scared of my husband, that I cannot tell him I want a divorce – the first time I did not tell him – the lawyer went to see him. I’m also sacred that I will not be able to provide for my kids on my salary, as he pays medical aid, f the bond and his car, I must see to groceries rates and taxes and electricity, car insurances, laundry lady, garden service and I have to buy clothes – even for him! Any suggestions besides telling me to talk to him (which you must understand I CANNOT DO).

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Dear self pitied,
Sounds like divorce might be a wise consideration, and that you should disregard the self-serving pressures of his family. It is not generally better for children to stay within an unhappy mariage, learning, as you say, that it's OK for a father/husband to hurt a mother/wife.
From the sound of it, he is being emotionally and psychologically abusive --- try calling POWA or some similar group dealing with spousal abuse, as they can provide practical advice as well as support. I don't see why you couldn't go the legal aid / government funded lawyer route again ( at least some of the paper work should be ready from the previous occasion ); and if you're anywhere near a University with a Law Faculty, they may well offer a free legal clinic for advice --- the divorce would need to be handled properly to ensure that he pays enough maintenance to provide proper care for you and the children.

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.

Our users say:
Posted by: De Bruyn | 2004/01/11

Remember there are three sides to a story. His, hers and the truth is somewhere in between. This story sucks.

I must say, I'm getting a bit tired of the male always being blamed for problems in a relationship when it is not always true. Women can also be at fault and maybe this husband is not as guilty as she says.

Lady Nina, who is more diplomatic than I feel at the moment, hit the nail on the head by pointing out some things that the poster did wrong and then waffled a bit. However, hear hear to her and Cybershrink.

"Self Pitied" met this guy when she was 15, fell into bed with him and married him seven years later. Didn't she learn anything in that time? How many times did she wonder if she was doing the right thing? Maybe the sex was so wonderful that nothing else mattered. Well, if so, she's learned the error of her thoughts. Maybe so has he.

She's still with him 20 years later after a suicide attempt and kids later? There is something fishy here.

Let's hear the other side, and then if the kids are old enough, let there be a divorce and all sides can get on with their lives.

We won't hear any more about this posting, I'm quite sure.

Reply to De Bruyn
Posted by: lady nina | 2004/01/08

hi there

i feel for you, however you have to take responsibility for you life and past and stop blaming everybody els... you knew this guy for years before you married him,surely you should have seen something fishy? surely atleast one friend told you he is a jerk? but it was still your choice

you never charged him for the rape, you got married to him, you listened to his parents advice, you cancelled the divorce.
looks like alot of mistakes from your side

take responsibility for your life and make some informed choices and then live with it.

sure you are going to suffer financially when you leave him, sure getting a divorce is expensive - but then nothing of value comes cheap -

get a restaining order - stopping the verbal abuse and then take some of the household money and pay the laywer monthly - shop around i'm sure you'll find one that will allow you to pay him off over a period of time, once the laywer is paid in full you can serve him with the summons - atleast it gives you time to think and plan and look forward to

it's not going to be easy so make really sure that really what you want so you can see it though, then stick to your plan and take responsibility for your actions

take care


Reply to lady nina

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