Friday, November 28, 2008

Trapped in a Marriage

Dear Zane,

I just wanted to let you know I appreciate your writing and the vivid details that capture the reader in those moments. I have read most of your books and, in most cases, I can relate to the characters.

I don't love my husband. I am currently married to a man that I never loved. I feel as though I forced the marriage on him when we both were just okay around one another. Unfortunately, because of this fact, he has been unfaithful for several years. After finding out about just one of those affairs, I asked him to leave. He left with resistance because, at the time, he had been out of work for almost a year with no promise or effort to become employed again. I gave in after only two days and allowed him to return. He is a great liar and very manipulative with promises of faithfulness to become a better husband.

Once again I discovered he was still seeking women elsewhere but just covered his tracks better this time. We had the knock out, drag down argument and I stayed with him knowing in my heart I would never trust him. I would have liked for him to have told me before acting upon his urges. As I recall we did not have a problem with intimacy because that was a daily or four times a week activity. It has not been four months since the last incident and still I find single hook up numbers on a cell phone bill I am paying for him.

I pay all the bills in the household, even after the fact he is now employed but he tells me that his check was less than two hundred dollars before taxes. With this job, he is paid weekly and stays at work on most days eight to sixteen hours. We have had the argument about why his check is less than the hours he has claimed to have worked. His excuse was that he has a problem with his payroll dept. every week. I am struggling to pay everything with my income and he continues to ask for gas money to get to his job.

We had another argument and he refuses to leave the house we are renting. He has also admitted to staying because I am paying everything. He has threatened me with violence and tells me to call the police, so if they do come, it will be bloodshed. He leaves the house when he is off from work and doesn't come home for hours. If I ask him where he's been, he always tells me he has been at a relative’s house visiting. I am trapped by bills and a lease for a house. I do not know what to do, to leave without having myself more in debt and having a bad reflection on my credit history for breaking the lease.

After our last argument we no longer sleep in the same bed together and are not on speaking terms. The rent is due and the bills are still coming in. I have left him a note with what is needed to cover his half of the bills but he tosses it to the floor because he knows that I am going to pay it. I feel as though familiarity instead of love and respect played a major part in this relationship. This is a safety net while he was still searching for companionship. I do not know what to do. Is there any advice you can offer to me?


Dear Trapped,

The best advice that I can give you is to seek legal representation immediately. You have to divorce this man and you have to get him out of your home. While being married does mean some legal responsibility to your spouse, he has you living in fear. He has made threats and you cannot take that lightly. He has no respect for himself, rather less for you. He has spent years attacking your emotional well-being and there is nothing left to your marriage. You are wasting precious time every moment that you allow this to continue.

I know that you are afraid and that is exactly where he wants you. He cannot be reasoned with and you cannot deal with him alone. You need to take out a restraining order and then he will have no option but to leave. Otherwise, you will be in this same situation five or ten years down the road, unless he finds another meal ticket.

Do not suffer in silence either. Tell your friends and relatives what he is doing to you. If his parents are alive, tell them. He will surely be ashamed if confronted by them. Abusers prey on the weak but they do not like exposure. That is their greatest fear.

Also contact some local agencies that deal with spousal abuse. He may not be hitting on you—yet—but he is verbally and mentally abusive and that is illegal in this country. Protect yourself and your rights. You are not his property and you deserve to have a decent life.


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