During the four years we dated he seemed like a wonderful man. I’d dated only a few other men by the time I was in my late twenties: not many, and certainly none that treated me the way he did.
I was always too busy working in the family business to go out on dates and everyone thought I wouldn’t get married. Once he decided I was the one for him, he was so intent on marrying me that he swept me off my feet.
Funny how you think you really know the man you’re dating and after the wedding you find you’re married to a stranger.
It was in the first month of our marriage that I discovered he was an online gambler. He occasionally won huge amounts of money – though I’ve no idea what he did with such fortunes because I didn’t see a cent of it. However, he invariably lost a great deal more than he won – and his losses cost me dearly.
My very expensive jewellery - gifts from my parents, and other family heirlooms - would disappear and I’d later discover he’d either sold or pawned them. When I confronted him about it, I discovered that he had an explosive temper that seemed to arrive without warning and cause devastation. I had bruises and other physical evidence as proof of that temper.
It was easy for my family and friend to tell me to go to Divorce Attorneys but we’d started our family early and within a couple of months of marriage I was pregnant. I decided to stay and make it work.
He lost his job and lived off me and my family. He still gambled online; usually through the night. It was like he didn’t care about anything other than his gambling addiction. After a few months he found another job and then lost that because I later heard that he’d taken things from work – his Boss’s possessions – and either sold or pawned them to get money for his gambling debts.
Still my friends and family tried to persuade me to see Divorce Attorneys and still I ignored them. My daughter was born now and I was lost in the wonder of being a new Mother.
He was absent most of the time and so my baby daughter never really experienced the love and security of her father as he was never there to hold her and comfort her. He seemed not to care about her and the only time this little baby was aware of his presence was when he came home and caused a fight in front of her. One day he was punching me whilst she was in my arms.
Life was extremely difficult as he contributed nothing to the household except grief and suffering. He kicked me, punched me, broke my nose and physically, emotionally and financially abused me. My life was filled with worry and terror: I feared for my own and my daughter’s safety.
Because I worked in the family business, with embarrassing regularity they insisted I went to a Divorce Attorney. They could easily see my bruises and scars, and my sadness; and they could see the havoc it was causing me. He was breaking me down and my nervous and physical systems were taking a thrashing. I felt I had to hang on, but I eventually began to wonder why. I think it was pride – I didn’t want to admit defeat.
I had been diagnosed with cancer at an earlier stage, had undergone all the chemo and radiation treatments and it had been in remission for a few years. Never being particularly robust or healthy, I was blessed with strength of spirit and that’s how I survived all the bad things.
One Sunday I returned home from Church and instantly knew something was wrong. My regular habit was to return from Church and light up the gas burners and stove to start cooking Sunday lunch. As I opened the door the stench of gas filled my nostrils. My husband had deliberately turned the gas taps full on so that I would blow myself to pieces. I turned around and drove to my parents for the rest of the day hearing all about Divorce Attorneys and how I should see one.
Shortly after that I discovered that through his internet gambling, I was deeply in debt. I confronted him and he attacked me and pinned me to the ground whilst trying to strangle me. I moved around under him to try to use my legs and feet to fight my way from under him. I was experiencing intense pain and was on the point of losing consciousness when I heard a strange tearing sound and experienced a searing red hot pain in my knee. He had torn the ligaments and when he released me, I could not walk. The Doctor said I would need an operation to have my knee pinned back together. To complete that day, whilst on crutches, I discovered he had even pawned my wedding ring.
My nerves were shot, my body was in decline and I was also taking a beating financially. There was nothing left to do but call Attorneys. With such a treacherous husband as mine I knew I needed the best legal advice I could get. I went to see Specialist Divorce Attorneys, Martin Vermaak Attorneys.
The first thing they did was get me a Protection Order. That was the first time in years I had ever felt remotely safe. My cancer returned in full force and that pulled the ground out from under my feet. I cannot describe how sickness has debilitated me – and is still worsening as it spread; but nothing could stop me from continuing with my divorce. I was determined to stay alive at least until the divorce was over. The Divorce Attorneys could not have been more helpful. I often made appointments I had to cancel because the chemo made me too ill to attend. They remained flexible and supportive throughout this process and their patience was endless.
I went to Court in a wheelchair for the divorce, but at least I accomplished my aim to get this evil man out of my own and my daughter’s life. I just wish I’d divorced him years ago when the trouble first began: perhaps then I could have enjoyed life a little longer. I sometimes think that if I’d acted sooner, maybe the cancer might not have returned.
As I write this, I don’t know if I will beat the cancer or if it will beat me. Anyone reading my story should learn from my mistakes and get specialist legal help before it’s too late. Don’t wait and live in misery and illness as I did. At the first sign of trouble, go and see Specialist Divorce Attorneys for advice that could save your life.