I am a 43-year-old housewife with five children and a husband who had a stroke last year. He physically abused our children over the years before his stroke, and now that he cannot punch them anymore, he has turned to verbally abusing us. He is good to his friends and his relatives, but to me and our children, he is our worst nightmare. Sometimes we wish he would just die. When my boys were little I would invite him to do family activities with us, but he always had an excuse and would even say he had better things to do. Now he seems to be making up for lost time and wants to be with his children, but they don’t want to be with him anymore.
Since his stroke, he has begun listening endlessly to a fanatic radio preacher till the wee hours, which is fine with us. But he is brainwashing our kids to turn away from our faith because he now says it is full of false prophets. He is not very educated, having only finished high school, and is easily fooled. I am a college graduate who almost went to medical school had I not married young.
I can’t get out of this marriage without having to part with the properties left to me by my mother. He doesn’t want out because he has interests in them, although they should be for my children. My life is really complicated and all I have are my children.
When animals are kicked frequently and suffer pain needlessly, the memories of these cruelties are etched so deeply that they never forget them. How much more with impressionable children?
Imagine how hellish your lives must be—from a history of being punched by a horrid man to now being lectured by a gullible fanatic who probably doesn’t even know what he’s talking about! It looks like a never-ending climb to nowhere for you and your long-suffering kids!
If your mother gave you those properties before you got married, you are home free because they’re considered paraphernal, and your husband will not be able to touch them. You’d be in trouble if you got them after your marriage.
But consider this. However small your share from the properties, it will still be worth it if you get back your freedom! Your properties are just material stuff! You and your kids can start building what you’ve lost later on—and far away from him. Think of the quiet conversations you’ll be having together at last, the freedom to laugh and discuss worthwhile topics without any harebrained interruptions.
Keep on praying that your husband’s addled mind develops some maturity or common sense. But if you truly think this is a dead-end marriage, talk to your children for guidance. They are the most important part in your decision.
In a short while, you will be either old or dead. As one writer said, “Don’t break speed limits getting there.”
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