He moved in with me after about six months of dating. A mature couple in our sixties who both had a marriage or two in our respective pasts, for some reason - which escapes me now - within a few months of living together we were married in great haste and Community of Property. Looking back I should have known better. I felt lonely and neglected when my last husband died and being a widow for over ten years I suppose it had become my identity.
For more than for over twelve years, I’d worked hard and built up a small, profitable business. My work took up all my time and I’d remained alone without men friends. One of my older sisters and my eldest brother moved into my big sprawling house and had lived with me these past ten years. Neither of them was well enough to work so they kept house for me while I supported them with the business: we managed quite nicely.
Suddenly there was this man who found me desirable and wanted to spend his life with me. I couldn’t have been happier. My family disliked him intensely. They told me to get an Ante Nuptial Contract drawn up by Attorneys and I knew they were right but, when I mentioned it to Harry, he said we should save money and time and just get married. He said that he would help me around the house and with my business and we would share the work and the benefits from it. I believed that his intentions were good and that he would follow through. My family shook their heads.
None of the rest of my family or my friends liked him. Sour remarks and warnings were made and no-one trusted him. Admittedly I neglected everyone I knew, but I thought they should be more understanding because he was taking up all my time. The invitations stopped arriving and my family and friends stopped visiting. I knew it was just jealousy of my new found happiness.
Almost overnight I realised that my new husband had nothing – clothes, money, savings, property, possessions – he was poverty stricken and in debt! He said he was the victim of a bad marriage and that his ex wife had cleaned him out. I didn’t quite understand because there were no children or maintenance involved and it had been over fifteen years ago but instead of asking questions I took him out and bought him things. We started with clothes because he had nothing decent to wear. Then he said he wanted to start off a little handyman business so I got him a small bakkie, some expensive tools and equipment and then gave him quite a lot of money to get him started.
One way to advertise his business was to offer his services to all my company’s clients so I did just that and got him quite a bit of work. Unfortunately, soon after that my own business went through a bad time. He had an accident and smashed the bakkie after fighting with a client. It was a tight squeeze for me to buy him another one when the insurance didn’t pay out because his breathalyser test showed he was well over the limit. Some sixth sense told me things weren’t right but an appointment with Divorce Attorneys seemed too drastic.
Then he started staying up very late at night so that often I had gone to sleep before he came to bed. Every night he sat with the laptop I’d bought him, but would close it the moment I appeared on the scene. When I made a comment about his secrecy he simply dismissed it by saying he was working on some new ideas he didn’t want to show me yet. One night, I heard voices and strange sounds before I went off to sleep. I ask him the next day and he said he’d borrowed a horror movie on dvd from a friend. I thought that was a strange answer - he only ever watched comedies but I said nothing. Eventually I begged him to him come to bed earlier because our sex life was really suffering and I felt lonely and abandoned. He said he would but continued to stay up every night.
The next time I heard noises, I got up to confront him; but when I silently tiptoed into the room and saw he was watching a pornographic movie, I was so shocked that I just stood rooted to the spot. He nearly jumped a mile when he realised I was standing behind him. He was flustered and couldn’t get his words out properly. He said he’d stumbled on the website by accident and was just as shocked as I was to see that sort of thing. I didn’t know much about computers but a friend of mine showed me where to look and, when I followed that advice I was appalled to see that his visits to pornographic websites had increased.
He was always asking for money and he seemed to have no interest in working. Then the phone calls started and he would get all secretive and then drive off into the night – ostensibly to see a friend. Every member of my family was nodding knowingly with that ‘I told you so’ expression and I just couldn’t bear it any more. We had a terrible fight and I accused him of being an expensive pervert because all of his visits to whores were costing me a fortune and scaring me half to death.
I had been too embarrassed to see Attorneys because I was ashamed of myself and the mess I was in. However, I called the Specialist Divorce Attorneys at Martin Vermaak Attorneys in great trepidation and was amazed at how they treated me.
There was no embarrassment whatever, in fact I began to think they were the only people who actually understood and didn’t judge. They handled my divorce so smoothly and in such a dignified manner that I found my confidence returning. I just wish I’d gone to them sooner.