Finally I’m free of him! Now, at long last, I’m living for myself and my children. This new life I have is full of possibilities and free of constraints. I make my own choices and it feels as if I’m being rewarded for all the years of misery and depression I had to endure when I was married to that bully of a husband.
I laugh and sing and enjoy the liberty I have put up with so much hardship to get – it didn’t come cheap – it cost me dearly physically, emotionally and almost financially. My Specialist Divorce Attorney, Martin Vermaak, helped me every step of the way toward my bright new future and although it sounds like a bad cliché, it’s true. His help and encouragement carried me a long way through the divorce and he was always there for me when I needed his help.
In the beginning when my marriage was strong and very together. We co-owned a beautiful home, nice cars, we had started a business which was a partnership between us and we worked together; we also had lovely children. It was a great lifestyle - what could be better?
There’s no way to pin point exactly when the downslide began but gradually over the years he became discontent, restless, foul mouthed and increasingly abusive. At first it was only towards me but it became bad and was both emotional and physical abuse – done in front of the children. It was degrading, embarrassing and frightening.
He was never at home unless it suited him to be and was spending less and less time both with me and the children. He avoided both sets of our parents but was also showing signs of rudeness towards them.
I threw myself into the business and discovered that money was disappearing. When I confronted him about this he became hostile and started screaming at me and physically pushing me around the office. I was feeling ill but I didn’t know if it was real or from stress. I left and took a few days off.
One morning I arrived at our business and found I’d been locked out. I was scared but angry so again I confronted him. He said he was divorcing me and I should leave now. I was stunned and froze like a deer in the headlights. I didn’t believe he would start divorce proceedings against me - but he did. The days got worse, life for me and the kids got worse, and my health got worse. It was a bleak time. A voice in my head said I should go to my Divorce Attorney and have this divorce.
When I chose my Attorney I took my time and selected carefully. I didn’t settle for the cheapest; I went to one of the very best. I thought of it as an investment that would pay off – and ultimately it did.
Martin Vermaak, who is a well-known and long established Divorce and Family Law Specialist Attorney, listened to every word I said as though he’d not heard it all before. He never looked bored and didn’t lecture me on how I should have seen him sooner. He listened attentively and talked to me about my present and my future – suggesting options I hadn’t even thought of. I didn’t want to launch any action against my husband and he was patient about that.
Mercifully, we reconciled eventually and the divorce was called off but much later he did it again and the numbness came back into my life. I felt crippled, disabled, I couldn’t function properly and his bullying was much worse. The kids were older and able to understand what was going on. They were in emotional and mental pain and torn between us but were helpless in their desire to protect me from the intense abuse. My health was much worse and I ended up in hospital for a while. It was like we were all on a flimsy raft in raging waters. I consulted with my Attorney and told him that I still didn’t want to get divorced.
Insanely, once again we reconciled. This time it was for the children and some damage control. I had really wanted to save the marriage and keep the family together but his uncontrollable rages and aggressive spiteful behaviour was making it impossible. The business was haemorrhaging money as a result of him siphoning it off into his own pockets. My poor, innocent children were suffering – even my parents were suffering – as was I. My health was deteriorating rapidly and I was having tests done to discover the cause. Frankly I needed time out to get myself together and prepare for the inevitable.
During these on again off again years everyone had voiced an opinion and it all came down to the fact that they felt I couldn’t win against him…see your Attorney by all means but really you can’t expect to take him on and succeed. I had other ideas. I was beaten and down but I was no quitter.
Months later, I was served with a Divorce Summons and this time there was no going back. Again my husband was his usual abusive self but this time I was focussed and went straight to my Specialist Divorce Attorney.
Martin Vermaak got me a Protection Order and then contested the divorce. He put a stop to the abuse, he stopped the money from disappearing, negotiated a really acceptable monthly maintenance figure for me, and made sure I received an amazingly high settlement - more than my husband got.