I’ve had enough of my abu­sive hus­band


I felt so lonely on my wed­ding day 12 years ago. Af­ter the ser­vice my hus­band ig­nored me and we didn’t have sex on our hon­ey­moon once. Af­ter that, I was con­stantly turned down if I tried to ini­ti­ate sex. It was al­ways on his terms and pro­vided that I dressed up in la­tex. Within a year, he cheated on me with an older woman, but he de­nies that they had sex. We now have two chil­dren. He has never helped with them, even when I strug­gled with post­na­tal de­pres­sion. All I needed was a cud­dle and words of re­as­sur­ance. The last time we had sex was when our sec­ond child was con­ceived seven years ago. I re­cently found porn on his mo­bile phone. Coun­selling has not helped. He swears that he loves the chil­dren and me. When I tried to leave four years ago, he screamed at our ter­ri­fied chil­dren and held me by the neck against the wall. My mother is in­cred­i­bly sup­port­ive. I feel like such a hor­ri­ble per­son. Should I put up with this mar­riage for the sake of my chil­dren or be brave and leave? You must feel so hurt and re­jected by his unlov­ing at­ti­tude and not want­ing to make love. It sounds as though he is ad­dicted to porn. You are not a hor­ri­ble per­son – he has made you feel this way by un­der­min­ing you, as well as emo­tion­ally and phys­i­cally abus­ing you. You could seek a di­vorce on the grounds of his un­rea­son­able be­hav­iour. If you think that he would be ag­gres­sive or vi­o­lent if you ended the mar­riage, then you and the chil­dren need to find a safe place to stay, such as with rel­a­tives or a women’s refuge. You may need to take out a re­strain­ing or­der to stop your hus­band ha­rass­ing you and the chil­dren. Con­tact the Law So­ci­ety of Ire­land (01 672 4800, law­so­ci­ety.ie) and Women’s Aid (1800 341 900, wom­en­said.ie) for fur­ther ad­vice on start­ing di­vorce pro­ceed­ings and how to make sure that you stay safe.

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