updated 10 Jan 2012, 12:20
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Sun, Jan 08, 2012
The Star/Asia News Network
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Unending marital problems

I'VE been married for over 25 years and have three children. Last year, one of my sons broke the news that he is gay. I think he is confused about his lifestyle. He tried to explain but my husband told him to shut up.

My husband should have spoken to our son privately and tried to solve the situation. Instead, he started yelling and blaming me for everything, including pampering my son and treating him like a girl when he was small. He keeps bringing up my past.

I was not a virgin bride - my husband was aware of this. He hates my family and gets angry each time I go back to see them behind his back.

The hatred arose over an incident early in my marriage. My brother was angry upon seeing blue-black marks on my body - my husband had hit me - and confronted him. A heated argument erupted and my brother hit the dinner table.

I was also badly treated by my late mother-in-law, and my husband's sister. My husband is egoistic, selfish and vengeful, but think he's perfect.

I have no form of enjoyment or entertainment (I don't even have access to the TV at home). I also don't get to spend time with my own family during the festive seasons or even attend any funeral which involves family members.

I have never committed adultery although many times, my husband has accused me of contacting my ex. In fact, he had an affair for a few years, but I was willing to forgive him and start afresh.

I have spoken about all this to my family and close friends, who give me lots of moral support. They say to surrender everything to God. But everyone has a limit when it comes to patience and tolerance and I'm afraid I have reached mine.

My husband does not appreciate my sacrifices, which my sons are aware of. I've finally come to my senses and intend to do the things which please me because age is catching up.

He is jobless again. For years now he has not provided a single sen for the family, yet he behaves high and mighty. I felt ashamed when my youngest son asked why my husband and I could not sit down and discuss things like adults, without hurting each other. I think he wishes he had not been born into this family.

I have tried my best in my marriage but I don't think it will work if my husband continues to hate me and my family. I don't know what he really wants and what I should do to satisfy him.

I'm a working mother with a very responsible job. He tests my patience by leaving the house in a mess for me to come home and clean up.

We're in our 50s and I don't have the strength anymore to argue or put up a fight. But I still pray and hope for a miracle.

Many times I've wanted to leave because it makes me angry to see him live so freely while I have to work hard to pay all the bills. But running away will not solve our problems. Moreover, I have my youngest son to think of. The two older boys are living on their own.

I did file for divorce but my husband refused to sign the papers.

Unending Marital Problems

YOU are a truly strong and resilient person to have been able to endure 25 years of spousal abuse. It is remarkable that you still have a fighting spirit that should steer you clear over the final hurdle in your marriage.

Your husband is a tyrant who has physically and emotionally nailed you down to a life of misery and cowering submission. He lashed out at you because he cannot accept that his son is gay.

You've been his perennial punching bag and have taken the blows silently for too long. It is good that you know this has to stop, that you have had enough. How dare he accuse you of adultery to provide the excuse for his own affair? You have been forgiving and too tolerant of his manipulation and betrayal.

Pray to God to guide you because you need peace in your heart and clarity of mind to act. You must seek legal advice because even if your husband refuses to sign the divorce papers, you can plan for separation. You must show him that you cannot live with his abusive tyranny.

Do this for your son, too, or he will blame himself for your suffering. By turning on you, your husband has effectively planted the seed of guilt in your son.

Walk away for yourself, and your children. They must see that their father is wrong in treating you so badly. It is fortunate that your sons are not like their father or they might believe that victimisation of women is their right.

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