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19 Dec 2004

I am taking anti depressants. I am calmer and not as stressed anymore. I thought about my marriage. In the 18 yrs we have been married we have built up a property empire worth millions. I give my wife R35 000 a month for the household, her shopping centre I built and gave her yields R40 000 nett. Her new Prado is paid by another company. In the last 3 months I have transferred R0.4m to her account.
After we married she started putting on weight. I complained about it and was punished afterwards as a result. I have tried to be supportive and I have tried the threatening route as well. She weighs in at 120kg and is growing.
I have given up a long time ago trying to get her to lose weight. In the 18yrs of marriage the positive comments/compliments she gave me is less than five. Inevitably one makes mistakes in business and when I tell her about my mistakes it is used against me. 4 Years ago we lost a child in a car accident and the other one was crippled because the other driver fell asleep and drove into us. I was strict on the child that is now dead(he must be raised as a man). Many a time I am told I mistreated this child(I disagree - my dad treated me much worse and I am reasonably OK)
My day starts at 2am and ends at 19h30. I live on tonics and work at full pace the entire day. Our nett incomes and assets are more than I ever dreamed of getting.
I have become withdrawn and yearn to be isolated and away from people. As a result my wife sent me an sms the other day saying " thankyou for the car accident and being so supportive with S-----s therapy"
Also she hates everything I do. She hates my business associates, is not interested in my projects, checks my cellphone, checks my telephone bills and goes through my computer.
She never has a good word and always has "I TOLD YOU SO" attitude. She came into the marriage with a teachers diploma and will walk out a multi millionaire. My way of building up this empire drew a lot of resentment from her from day one despite the fact that it paid off.
I cannot help but feel that she hated me from day one(we got married as she thought she was pregnant - she admitted the other day she "had to make up my mind for me" about marriage)
This marriage has made me quiet and withdrawn. I am beyond tired of working these hours but do not want to go on holiday with her. I can retire and enjoy a life second to none as I have covered all possible things that can go wrong economically.
My bond between my child and I kept me going but I am afraid not even this can keep me going anymore. I do not see a reason for going on with this slog and I hate this thing called my wife. The responsibilty of married life is sapping me.
I am scared of moving out because divorce will make me feel a failure and guilty. Therapy does not help much. I want to make a change.
Answer 380 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi hubbie,
Pleased to hear the meds are helping, and that you're feeling calmer and less over-stressed. It's intriguing to hear of someone who apparently spends more on household expenses in a month, than I spend in a year. That must be some household ! it reall doesn't sound as if money is associated with happiness or positive self-esteem, in her life, or, indeed, in yours. In my years as a therapist, I have known some very unhappy millionaires, who ran the risk of believing that after the NEXT million, they'd feel happy. And so you work outlandish hours ( and send messages at 4.46 am !) Do you have a problem with delegating tasks to others ? Or perhaps with trusting others, not much unlike your wife's suspiciousness ?
Sometimes, one gets caught up in one's business, because one is good at it, and maybe it feels like the only area of life in which you feel successful and in control. And though this may contribute towards the difficulties in marriage and other areas of life, it becomes an area of retreat and comfort from the other contentious and unpleasant areas of life.
While for people tied up by financial constraints, your situation might seem enviable, you don't actually seem to have much more freedom, because you can't buy the things you most want, and you don't sound as if you have developed other areas of satisfaction in life --- hobbies, good friends, worthwhile activities with others. So there's an element of the hamster running round in its exercise wheel, always rushing and never reaching any real destination.
Maybe there have been some lasting and not altogether beneficial effects from your father having been harsh towards and demanding of, you --- producing that sense of being driven, and relentlessly pushing yourself towards greater achievement in your field --- which nobody appreciates as it ought to be appreciated.
If she would sincerely join you in a serious effort at marriage counselling, much might be achieved. But that doesn't sound likely. It sounds as though she has organized her life around a theme of being dissatisfied, and of seeing whatever makes her miserable, as being your fault ; and therapy would involve her opening up to the fact that all along she has had the responsibility to make what she wishes of her life, and that it was her, not you, who largely made it what it is today ( in terms of her satisfaction, etc.)
If the situation truly is an impasse, divorce would not be a failure on your part, nor something to feel guilty about.
I'd guess there might be some legal complications as is so often the case in wealthy families and multiple companies, but perhaps you have already seen to that, A settlement could ensure you continuing access to your son, and could actually be liberating for all of you, potentially.
I hear that you want to make a change, and I am sure you are capable of making changes for the better. Maybe you need a more creative and imaginative therapist to assist and support such changes ; maybe you can do it largely on your own.

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