Ask Dr Louise
My husband and I have been together for 10 years and have a son. He was married before and has one child. The problem is, his family dislike me and continually insult and embarrass me, calling me and my son fat – and my husband does nothing about it.
His family worship the ground his ex-wife walks on and still invite her for family gatherings. They’ve told my husband they’d be happier if he got back with his ex-wife. I just keep quiet about it all. He doesn’t respect me either – he looks at other women in my presence and is addicted to pornography.
I was ready to walk away from the marriage but the pastor I spoke to said I should give him another chance. But I’ve started to despise him. I tried to commit suicide by overdosing but it didn’t work. My life feels like a punishment. I can’t leave him because I don’t want my husband to take my son from me. Death seems like a better option. Cara, email You probably feel like your husband is invincible, with his whole family behind him and being hostile towards you. It seems he’s learnt from them how to treat you with utter disrespect. But death isn’t a better option.
What about your family? If they’re not already aware of the abuse you’re suffering at the hands of your in-laws, you should make them aware so they can possibly take it up with them. If you don’t have any family, ask the pastor to speak to your in-laws, with your husband present too, so he realises how much this is affecting you.
Leaving your husband will not automatically mean you’ll lose your son. Consult a good divorce attorney to discuss this with him. If your husband also allows your son to be verbally abused by his family, it would be a case of emotional abuse which would affect his chances of gaining custody.
Keeping quiet has made you believe you don’t have a voice, but you need to stand up for yourself. Start thinking about how to get yourself and your son out of this situation by using the legal system. The law is on your side.