My wife, and mother of our four young children, has turned into a monster and she’s scaring me. She drinks herself into a stupor, does drugs, and drives around in this condition. She’s befriended a couple of young men and regularly brings them back to the family home when I’m at work. They’re not anyone’s idea of role models for family friends. They’re always dirty and look unclean. Their clothes are torn and soiled; their teeth are bad; they wear tattoos and use foul language. They swear habitually, snort drugs and display their hand guns in front of the children.
That’s a huge fear of mine – I’m petrified. The other nightmare that frightens me is that my wife is promiscuous in the extreme and physically demonstrative with these men to the point of having sex with them: and all of this takes place in front of our young children. It’s obscene, reckless and licentious. My life is spinning out of control. My kids are being abused in some way by being exposed to this. I have to get help for them. I didn’t know how I was going to explain this to a Divorce Attorney. They might accuse me of being a bad father and maybe they’ll even think it’s my fault.
The fear eats at me and at night I am unable to sleep. How can she expect me to lie next to her in bed, knowing what she does? I lie still and awkwardly on the settee listening to my own breathing; knowing that she could get up and leave at any moment to drive to these men – or to find other men – and have what she calls ‘a party’. I think I should disable her car so she cannot use it; but would I be within my legal rights to do this? How do I go about facing Divorce Attorneys and talking about this as though we’re discussing the weather?
Paralysed with the fear of what this is doing to my children; I realise that these days I even think of them as my children and not ours. No mother who cared about her children could behave this way: no woman who cared about her husband could do these things. No, she has clearly decided to stop being a mother and a wife. Will the Divorce Attorneys ask if we’ve tried counselling? We used to go to Church together but no more. Must I tell them everything she’s doing? I’m too embarrassed to contact them.
I know I’ve lost her and I don’t know how to deal with that yet. First, and more importantly, I must protect my children from her. They are my reason for living and I am being double the father I was in the past. Every morning I get up early and make sure they are all washed and wearing clean clothes from the skin out. I make them breakfast and pack them lunch then drive them to school. Then I must get myself to work and concentrate on working hard. I cannot afford to lose my job through sloppy work just because I’m under pressure at home. In the evening I make them supper and help them with their homework. At the weekends I deal with the laundry bundles, buy food for the week and try to take the children out if only to the park. The stress is unspeakable, but the fear of not doing it is greater.
Realising I was in a downward spiral and my children needed me, I face some of my fears and consulted with the Specialist Divorce and Family Law Attorneys at Martin Vermaak about the mess I was in. I knew it was best to get a Specialist because my case had such twists and turns it would take a Specialist to unravel the chaos and bring order to bear. I held back quite a lot of information and the only excuse I have is that I was too ashamed to tell them everything.
You walk into the Attorneys for consult with great trepidation, thinking you’re going to be judged. At Martin Vermaak Attorneys nothing could be further from the truth. I was put at ease almost immediately and as the consult progressed I felt more comfortable and grateful that I’d finally taken my matter to the Experts. I also felt guilty about holding back many details but I was way too scared of sharing this information with anyone.
The Attorneys started work on my Divorce and I was called to another meeting with them. The second meeting went even better than the first but I still held back on the dirty little secrets I’d decided to keep hidden away from the world.
By now I’d disabled my wife’s car so she couldn’t crash it, or maim or kill the children or herself. I told myself it was a necessary precaution but then I couldn’t understand why I felt so at odds with my decision. It occurred to me how contrary the situation was: I didn’t want her in the house as she was such a bad influence on the children, yet I’ve prevented her from leaving.
At night I worried about all this and many other things. The fear gripped me in a vice and I couldn’t move. I didn’t understand how it was possible for one person to handle all this stress and not go insane. I knew I had to keep going and protect the children and I held on to that thought all the time. The Specialist Divorce Attorneys made me feel better, but I had to pay them and still give the wife spending money: I worried about that also as I was scared of running out of money.
Her habits got worse and more intense and her moods were frequent and unstable. Somehow she managed to get the car going – I think it was probably one of the men who helped her. In my turmoil and stress I had inadvertently left her car keys at the home and when she came home that night she almost crashed into the house. She lurched out of the car leaving the lights on, the engine running and the door wide open, wobbled for a minute or two and then lost her balance or consciousness or both and nose dived onto the soil of the flower bed that was freshly wet with rain.
We had an argument that night about her behaviour; I told her I’d suspend her allowance until she sobered up and went to rehab. She threatened me that I’d be sorry for talking to her like this: she said I’d better watch myself because she would get even with me.
Today I was served with a Protection Order. I couldn’t believe she could do such a thing. In the eight years we’ve together I’ve never raised my voice or my hand to her in anger. I should have got a Protection Order against her! I’m shaking with fear, shock and anger at her betrayal. I count my blessings. I have Specialist Divorce and Family Law Attorneys in whom I have great faith. This time I must tell them everything. I’m scared if I do and I’m scared if I don’t; but somehow, I know I’ll face down the fear and give them the whole truth.