Ask Dr Louise

YOU (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - Write to Dr Louise, PO Box 39410, Morele­ta­park 0044, or email info@dr­louise.co.za.

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.