How can I get rid of this leech in my marriage?
My husband is essentially a boarder in our home – he only eats and sleeps here. He spends his evenings texting a female colleague until late into the night on the pretext of research.
This 35-year-old colleague has weaselled herself into our family life. On weekends she even stays over at our house – something my husband manipulated me into – because her husband travels a lot for business. My husband says he could be over at her place instead but he’s not. It’s a small consolation but I’ve reached the end of my patience.
I’ve spoken to him about setting boundaries but he says he’s the only one with the expertise to help with her research. I think he’s being selfish and inconsiderate. He spends no quality time with our kids and refuses to acknowledge the pain he’s causing me.
I’m considering contacting the university to ask that he be taken off the research team as it’s causing a rift in our marriage. I want this leech of a woman out of our lives.
- Andrea, email
Dr Louise’s advice
You’ve allowed your husband too much leeway – to the point where he thinks he can simply do as he pleases.
Tell him the woman is no longer welcome in your home when her husband is away and that he’s welcome to go to her home but that you’ll contact her husband to find out how he feels about it. Tell him you’ll be honest with her husband about their continuous texting and about the effect she’s having on your marriage and family. This might be a wake-up call for your husband.
Set ground rules for your husband’s future interaction with her – no texting after hours or at weekends, for example. And tell him if nothing changes you’ll have to discuss his involvement in the research with his boss. Tell him you’re thinking of suing her for destroying your marriage. Your husband must then decide what he wants to do.
He doesn’t want to have sex with me
My husband and I are having sexual problems. Every time I tell him I want to have sex he says he’s not feeling well or makes up another excuse. He sleeps with other women but not with me.
I’ve tried talking to him about it but when I bring it up he snaps at me or threatens to hit me. What should I do?
- Phatshiwa, email
Dr Louise’s advice
If your husband is having sex with other women he obviously isn’t experiencing a sexual problem – for some reason he simply doesn’t want to have sex with you.
The fact that he wants to hit you when you want to speak to him about the problem clearly indicates that he’s a bully and a coward. Instead of talking to you about the problem and trying to come up with a solution, he’s trying to intimidate you with violence to avoid the issue.
From what you’ve described, it seems the quality of your marriage is poor. You should tell your husband that if things continue in this manner you’ll have to think about ending the marriage.
You don’t deserve to be ignored, ill-treated and abused – but deciding whether to accept this treatment or not is up to you.
I fell into a honey pot – now it’s too sticky
I grew up in an extremely poor home and my family struggled a lot financially. There were many nights that I was unable to sleep because of hunger pangs and I promised myself I’d marry a rich man.
I wanted to live a comfortable life and make sure I never went to bed hungry again.
I’m an attractive woman with a good figure, so it wasn’t difficult to attract the attention of rich men.
I’m now engaged to an incredibly rich man who promised me the world when he asked me to marry him.
Although I respect him for what he’s achieved as he’s a self-made man, I don’t love him at all.
I find that I have to drink a lot of wine before we go to bed so that I’m not revolted by him touching me.
I feel as if I’m caught in a trap and I don’t know how to escape. Why am I not happy if I have all the things I craved?
- Leonora, email
Dr Louise’s advice
Being deprived as a child and growing up poor created the impression that money can buy anything – including happiness. But this is a myth.
While money certainly makes life easier, it can’t buy happiness, health or respect – the things in life that are in fact the most important.
You’re doing a great injustice to yourself and this man if you carry on with the relationship and marry him while you feel this way.
Going through life unhappy will be very difficult, and you might end up being disloyal by indulging in extramarital affairs in an attempt to fill the void caused by the lack of happiness and love in your marriage.
It would be best to end the relationship sooner rather than later and start working on yourself so you can earn a good living and not depend on a man to provide for you.
This will allow you to have a relationship on more equal terms, where you won’t have to pretend to love someone because of what he can offer you.