She would push me in public when we were with friends - a shove on the shoulder or a smack at the back of the head – but I found it really embarrassing. Also she would make personal comments about me which were degrading; remarks to our friends about my sexual habits or my underwear or something else about me that was extremely personal. She would say these things as though they were completely arbitrary and I knew she was mocking me. I was being treated as though I was her property but of no real consequence or importance. If I showed I was upset she would laugh at me and tell me to run to the Attorneys.
Then there was her temper when she would kick, punch and scream at me; sometimes she would take my clothes out of the cupboard and drawers and throw them on the floor and around the room. Other times she would take some of my possessions – once it was my favourite mug, and a model racing car my young brother made for me that she smashed by throwing them at the wall - and break them. Once she even tore up some of my collection of shooting magazines – a hobby I used to have when I could afford it. Again, if I showed any anger at this treatment of my things she would tell me if I didn’t like it I could get a divorce.
I cannot begin to tell you about her alarming fits of jealousy over other women. Her jealousy and possessiveness was legend amongst our friends who just shook their head and rolled their eyes. It was absolutely unfounded but it became so overwhelming that I had difficulty in being barely pleasant to the women at my office – and my wife didn’t even work there.
My life was spinning out of control because her cell phone calls, texts, skypes and emails were horrendous to the point where I actually stopped using skype at the office. I lied and told her it was a new rule of the company. My cell phone I turned on to silent for a while so that there were only vibrations – not good ones either! In the course of a few days I missed quite a lot of import calls from clients so I had to alter this arrangement. I got another cell phone with a number I used only for work, so I didn’t tell her about it – problem solved.
It was about this time that a friend of mine suggested I went to see an Attorney just to find out what my rights were. I didn’t like his idea and told his straight to his face. Strangely he was quite
patient with me and gave me the name and phone number of Specialist Divorce and Family Law Attorneys, Martin Vermaak Attorneys. He’d gone through a divorce only last year and they were the Attorneys who’d handled his matter. He spoke very highly of them and he did seem to be enjoying his life lately. So, although I said I wouldn’t dream of it, I picked up the phone and made an appointment for consultation.
The Attorneys were even better than I’d imagined. They were helpful and resourceful and did not judge me for even a second. They advised me fully of my rights and the various choices open to me; however, when they saw my complete reluctance they suggested I establish a dialogue with my wife and talk things through.
We never really had conversations. All she ever wanted was to know was where I was; what was I doing; who was I with; why hadn’t I contacted her; when was I going to realise who was important in my life; and so on. She even checked the texts on my cell phone and checked my e-mails and gave me a third degree on what they were all about if she saw a woman’s name on them.
Every time I asked her to sit and discuss our relationship with me and the problems we were having, she had a bout of hysteria and clearly no discussion took place. Things got so bad that on a couple of occasions I said that we couldn’t go on like this and it would probably be best if we separated, then she’d burst into tears and say she couldn’t live without me and she’d kill herself if I ever left her. I suggested counselling but got almost beaten up from her rage at my suggestion.
Beaten and bewildered, I was lost. I e-mailed my Attorneys and instructed them to forget the whole thing. In my mind it would cause more trouble with the wife than my nerves could handle.
I found myself acting in strange ways and doing almost anything rather than letting my actions cause any further emotional disturbance. Also, I cut way back on our social life because I was too self conscious and embarrassed to have people around to witness the way she was treating me.
During that time I was very confused about whether or not I was guilty and really causing all of this or if she was simply a control freak. I was scared to even think about the latter and decided I really was to blame.
Trapped; isolated; lying to my family and friends; insecure as hell and frightened of my wife. What sort of a man did that make me? My wife refused to have children because they might take attention away from her. Really! What sort of a future were we looking at?
Most of my weekends were spent doing a good deal of the housework, helping with the cooking and also doing the gardening. All the while my lovely wife would be nagging me to hurry up and get on with the next job or, calling me back to finish my last job properly. She would hurl abuse at me, calling me all the names from useless and inadequate to boring and moronic.
I became more withdrawn and eventually I had such trouble in sleeping that I was exhausted during the day and fell behind with my work. It was around that time that I realised I was getting a serious case of depression.
The realisation hit me that I had no option but to seek a divorce. I felt a bit embarrassed but contacted Martin Vermaak Attorneys again and I’m so happy that I did. They handled my matter so professionally that never once did I feel ashamed or insecure or have second thoughts about proceeding with the divorce.
That was last year and now my depression has gone in fact, my divorce has released me from misery and low self esteem and opened the door on a whole new life. I’ve started dating a really nice woman who makes me very happy but I’m in no rush, so we’ll wait and see how things turn out.