Dear Dr. Archer,
I've been married for 11 years to a macho man. Initially, I was attracted to him because he was strong and I knew he'd protect me. He comes from a military background, and his life was all about order and discipline. After coming from a marriage that was totally the opposite, I felt somewhat important in this relationship.
It didn't take long before he started behaving in a manner which was disrespectful. He yelled, threw things and would come very close to my face with anger as he pointed his finger in my face. Since I wasn't used to this kind of treatment, I began my silence and became introverted. All the while he has used this type of treatment, he has given me suggestions on how to manage my life.
With time, I found myself getting sicker and weaker emotionally. It didn't take much to anger him, and he'd make all sorts of accusations. He didn't want me to visit with my daughter and grandchildren; we don't have friends because of his insecurities; he doesn't like it when I do things on my own, such as going to the doctor, grocery, or such. I have felt like a prisoner in my own home!
Yes, I know he's very controlling, there's no question about that. About two weeks ago I saw a receipt and saw that he bought a dildo. Well, I can tell you that dildo was not for me! I confronted him over Skype, since I felt safe, and he lied and lied. Then he said he was getting me a surprise! I called the company where he bought the item and found out many of the things he said was a lie.
The next day over Skype, he confessed he bought the dildo for himself. A couple of days later I confronted him with more questions, and he admitted using this 15 inch dildo on himself. I won't go into all the details, but it turns out he had more anal toys around the house, as well as other sexual toys that I didn't know about. He still doesn't know I found these items.
What bothers me so much is the way he talked to me, and tried to make me look like a suspicious woman. The fact that he's been doing this for a long time makes me sick! The big question is whether or not he is experimenting with other men and/or women. For the past 11 years he's been asking to have anal sex, which I have always refused.
He has tried to make me believe all men like to massage their own prostates, and if they say they don't, then they're all liars! So, is it true? I don't believe it, but then I don't know anything anymore. He's been looking at porn on the Internet, probably for a long time. He always denied it, but just last week admitted to looking at it.
My question is whether or not he's having sex with other people. I'm very worried, because we have been sexually active, and I don't know if I have a disease! I have lost respect for this man, and all I can think about is walking out of the relationship.
He is so controlling to the point where all accounts he has are all in his name, and he has put his daughter as beneficiary of all his accounts. He told me for years that the house we have since the beginning of our marriage is in both of our names. I just found out it's never been in my name!
I confronted him with that, too, and he said he was sorry and that he'd change that. I could go on and on, but I think you understand my point. I want to leave but I'm scared. He has such a bad temper, he scares me. Can you please advise me on how to proceed? I'd appreciate any and all help. Thank you.
I want to address a couple of things first. Couples can engage in whatever kind of sex they want, as long as both parties are consenting. But no one should be pressured into having any kind of sex that makes them uncomfortable. Also, men do NOT 'love to massage their own prostates.' This is an outright fabrication by him.
But, let me be clear, this whole deal is not about the sex or porn, Nancy -- it’s about the lies. AND, if he lies to you about these things, you have no idea whether he is being faithful or not. Infidelity is just another type of lying.
The fact that the house and bank accounts are in his name, only illustrates further that he has no regard for you. Still not convinced? Making his beneficiary his daughter rather than you, his wife, seals the deal. He has made sure his daughter would be taken care of in case he died while you received nothing. That's a huge unspoken statement that he cares little for you.
My advice is to separate immediately and talk to an attorney about a divorce -- but not just any attorney. If I could give you one piece of advice it would be this: Get the best attorney you can find -- he will be well worth the money spent. Go to your family court and ask the women who work there.
Family court personnel, like secretaries and bailiffs, will know the attorneys and how successful they are. Be polite and they'll probably help you out. You want someone who will fight for you and your rights, not someone who can be pushed around. You can also ask friends who have divorced who were happy with their attorney's work.
Your attorney, Nancy, is the key. As Florynce R. Kennedy said, I presume tongue in cheek, "The questions arises ... whether all lawyers are the same. This is like asking whether everything that gets into a sewer is garbage." There are a lot of average ones out there. In a case like this you want one that stands out from the rest.
When you have the name, call and make an appointment. The initial consultation is usually free, so meet and tell him your circumstances. Eleven years in a marriage means you own half of everything you and your husband acquired over the past eleven years.
You should have access to your bank accounts, so take the advice of your attorney as to making a withdrawal. Tell him your concerns about the house and also your fear of leaving. He will have the answers you seek.
And then, Nancy, follow his advice in terms of how to leave in the best and safest manner. Everything he tells you to do, do it. He's been through this before and knows what to expect.
Divorce is absolutely best when both parties recognize that ending it is for the best and remain civil to each other, but it doesn't always happen that way. That's why you want an aggressive attorney watching your back. If you do this, you'll come out ok and get what's rightfully yours. I sincerely wish you much success.