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Health And Family

‘I’ve had enough of my abusive husband, but he doesn’t want to divorce me’

THE SEX ADVISOR - Eppy Halili Gochangco - The Philippine Star

Dear Eppy,

I’ve been reading your columns, hoping I’d get some tips and sound advice regarding my present problems.  I am 45 years old, married for 22 years but recently filed for divorce because of an abusive husband (emotionally and recently getting physical due to his pointless jealousy and being suspicious).  Before, I tried to break up with him twice, but for the sake of the kids I stayed.  Now, my two kids are both grown-ups and I am not afraid anymore to leave him.  I have been faithful to him since we got married so it hurts to be accused of things I never did.  I’ve had enough and I’m tired.

I long for total freedom from him, but now, he won’t sign the papers and said that I would be miserable for my decision to leave him.  He’s accusing me of having an affair because he cannot accept the reason why I’m leaving him. He threatens me, too. 

I only want a peaceful exit.  Can I ask my children to help him understand and accept that I’m not going back to him?  Until now, he is still hoping.  How can I make my kids understand my decision to divorce their father?  As a mother, it hurts to see my kids confused and in pain, too, about the decision I made.

Abused Wife

Dear Abused Wife,

If your children are as young as 10 years old, then you shouldn’t let them be part of your problem.  But if they are young adults, then they should be able to take anything.  No matter what you say to them, they won’t be damaged anymore.  However, this is not about your children.  Your situation is about you.

I suggest that you don’t bring your children into the conflict between you and their father.  If you do, then they will have to choose sides.  If they should choose sides, it’s either your husband will suffer the anguish of betrayal or you will.  Worse, your children will have to hate one of their parents.  That’s not a good situation to be in.

Your children are all grown-ups.  They should understand that women shouldn’t be enslaved and abused by their husbands.  If your children are males, then they should learn that women have feelings.  They should learn that women have rights and deserve to be respected.  If your children are females, then you should be a role model to them, that men shouldn’t hurt women and should respect them.  If you ask them to fight for you, then you’re teaching your male child to disrespect women by showing them that you are not empowered to fight for yourself.  If you ask your female child to fight for you, then you’re teaching her that it is acceptable to act weak and helpless.

You are not helpless.  You have done the most important thing of all.  By divorcing him, you have shown your husband that he is not the source of your life.  You have shown him that you can stand on your own.  You have to follow through with this message to him.  There are so many legal ways to get away from him.  Use them.

You speak of divorce.  That means you are not from the Philippines.  You are from a country that legalizes divorce.  In the Philippines, we have a law that stops men from abusing women and children.  You may have the same law in the country you live in.  I suggest you use those laws to protect you and help you move on.

If you are in the Philippines and have used the word “divorce” loosely, then I suggest you file for an annulment.  There is a chance that your husband has a personality disorder.  If one abuses, the chances are high that the person has a personality disorder.  This disorder is a ground for an annulment case in the Philippines.                      

Eppy

* * *

Email [email protected].

DIVORSE

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