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Frustrated wife, mother wants out of marriage

Published:Tuesday | December 9, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Q. WE HAVE been married for the last 19 years, and now, for the last three and a half years, my husband has not worked. We have two teenagers to support.

He is a professional with a good education and had a great job. He lost his job due to malice, and he also lost much of his investment because his partner took him for a ride. He has to be paying a debt he signed for but from which he did not benefit.

I have to be carrying the financial burden of mortgage and other housekeeping matters, not to mention the children's tuition fees. We had to sell one of the cars. Our savings are non-existent, and sometimes my siblings have to be helping us financially.

He is no longer interested in seeking a job, having had many interviews for prestigious positions but has nothing to show for it. I believe he went into these interviews with a bad attitude. He spends a lot of time on the computer, thinking up some grand project to make us wealthy again. The rest of the time he spends watching TV. He does not communicate with the children and is irritable with me.

He sleeps in the guest bedroom and sex has been absent for a while. He shouts at our live-in helper and would have dismissed her if I did not insist that we need a helper for our large house. Even our annual vacation is no longer fun as he criticises everyone, including waiters and security. I am now very frustrated and do not know what to do, and, truthfully, I want out of this marriage. What should I do?

A. You and your husband have suffered a lot. It is unfortunate that he lost his job due to regrettable circumstances and lost his investment due to corruption, and he is losing his sense of balance as he goes forward. Naturally, it has left you confused and feeling down and wanting out.

You and your husband should be commended for selling one of your cars in order to make two ends meet. You also need to seriously consider the harder one of selling your large house and getting a smaller house. This could provide some funds. It would also prevent your husband from sleeping in the guest room. Being in the same bedroom can lead to sexual intimacy again. Furthermore, with a smaller house, you might not need a full-time live-in helper with all the attendant costs. In addition, your teenagers need to be more involved in the daily chores.

You seem not to be communicating well with your husband, hence you are not aware of his conduct at interviews. You need to ask him how the interviews went and even offer some tips about doing interviews. Additionally, he should consider taking jobs he feels he is overqualified for as a start, and then he could move up in the organisation. At least a lower-paying job than what he had before can help to put food on the table.

Similarly, he needs to start small with business ideas and not wait on one big idea. In fact, most big companies started small.

Please seek counselling before you move out as you and your husband have many difficult issues.

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