My Husband Has Abused Me And My Children And I Am So Confused

by Annie
(South Africa)

Dear Dr DeFoore,

I have been married 9 years but we have known each other 13 years. For 2 years before we got married my husband physically abused me when we fought. This stopped and only the emotional and mental manipulation continued. His family has never invited me warm into their family.

Two years into our marriage there were terrible family fights/feuds. I also fell pregnant and he could not cope with me being so ill. He came down the corridor of our house and told me the pregnancy is a F-up and he wishes it comes down. I lost that baby in the end.



Over this period I was drawn to another man and we started a relationship. I knew my husband would find out about it since he has always ensured to know what is happening in my life by breaking into my e-mails, tracking my car, checking my phone etc.

Nevertheless, when I wanted to leave he threatened my life and my lover's life. I was so scared and continued with my marriage. During this time he promised me that nobody knew (he told nobody) and that he got a PI that is how he found out etc. Months later I had to hear that these were all lies.

He ran to my family, all our friends, his family and I do not know who else. The PI story was also a complete lie. After he asked me the day we spoke about the affair to be completely honest he still chose to lie.

A year past and I fell pregnant, had my first daughter. She was 17 months old when I fell pregnant with my twin daughters. One of the twins was very ill and almost died. When she came out of hospital she was cholicy and screamed 4 months nonstop. One weekend I asked him to take her for a bit since I needed to do something in the kitchen. Lo and behold he took her to her room and I heard him hit her on her diaper (this prem child).

I was offered a very good position within an international company which I took on since I knew I needed to get into a better financial situation. He did not want to have me take on this position and the one night we had a fight, he called his mother to our house. It was so terrible since I had to hear what a bad mother I am, that I am manipulative etc.

This was the first time I opened my mouth about the physical abuse I had to endure. His mother looked at me and said I do not believe this one minute, he was not raised in such a family. He was sitting there taking no responsibility. My 2 year old was so damaged by this fight she witnessed, that she regressed a few months.

About the baby being hit, his mother's reply was he can hit her because she is naughty.... (What in the world!!!!). They told me if I take the job we divorce. I took the job and never received the papers.

Luckily I worked myself up in the company fast (by God's grace). A few months ago he hit the twins so hard they had bruised over their backs and bottoms. I took pictures. I also had to hear "I hate you", "you common thing", "you are crazy" etc. The worst is that when we went to our marriage councilor. I told him what was happening and what he was saying to me. My husband turned his face to me in front of the therapist and with a straight face said .... I cannot believe that you can lie like this! Can you believe it?

He would be verbally abusive to my kids as well, tell them to F-off, or they this or that, it rips my heart out.

I received my summons the same day and he moved out. He was furious about the pictures and said I am backstabbing him. We have been separated now for about 3 months and working on the legal proceedings. Still during this time he is tracking my every move. He knows exactly where I am and then continues asking me if I have slept with anyone else yet etc.

All of a sudden he is playing the soft spoken wonderful person again, great with the kids, etc. and he wants us to try and reconcile. I have given this so many chances and I do not know what to do. He owns a business and is wealthy, so my life in this aspect has been good. I am confused since I think I am afraid of what the future holds for me.

Also, I hear so many unhappy couples and problems with others that I am scared that if I ever go into another relationship again worse things can happen to me. He will also ensure that financially I get as little as possible for the kids, this is how he is (spiteful) and he is very materialistic so his money is everything to him. He is willing to go for therapy and work on him but why now?? What about all the pastors, therapist etc., we have tried in the past?

Also our educational backgrounds are completely different. I have two degrees and he never completed school. This is a problem since our sharing of information and communication is limited. Sexually we have had major problems. I would wake up at night with him busy with me on numerous occasions. I would tell him not to do certain stuff I am uncomfortable with and lo and behold 30 minutes later he will try what I told him is unacceptable. I really do not know what to do.

My kids (5 & 3) told me tonight that we should be a family again and I should ask for forgiveness and he should do the same.I feel so sorry for them. I know that they have no idea and cannot comprehend the relationship at all but it still breaks my heart to see them suffer.

Still I am afraid to give it another try and make them vulnerable for more damage. I am concerned that my soul will die in this, since I have already felt this happening. Also what scares me is that the rehabilitation success of these people are really low. Some days I feel strong and secure and know I will be fine. Other times I start doubting if it is the right choice.

Please help, I am desperate.




Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Annie, and thanks for telling your story here. It is clear from what you've written here that you need to be apart from this man, for your own sake and for the well being of the children.

Only you can decide what to do, and what is right for your family. If you do decide to divorce and fight for what is yours, the photographs of the bruises on your children will help you in court to prove that he is an unfit parent. You are right that the rehab for men like your husband takes a long time. I would suggest that you only consider getting back with him after he has had a minimum of two years of intensive therapy including family of origin work and anger management work. The chance that he will ever be a safe husband and father is very, very slim, and too big of a risk to take for your children.

You are worthy of respect and kindness, and you are the only person who can guarantee that you get that. I recommend that you read about the battered wife syndrome. This is a kind of relationship addiction, and you have more freedom and responsibility than you realize.

I also encourage you to read about letting go of a relationship. Sometimes the most loving thing to do for everyone concerned is to let go. You will benefit greatly from learning how to raise your self esteem, which will give you the strength to do what you need to do.

Please make the right choice Annie, and create a safe, loving home for your children.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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