Dear Annie

Thank you for your advice that I always enjoy reading. My problem is not about a relationship that I am in, but rather about one that I have got out of!

I was married for four years and have been divorced for a year.

I married for the wrong reasons as I was too immature

Basically, my home life was very volatile with a stepfather who was an alcoholic. When I had the chance to get married and move out of that situation, I jumped at it. I did love my husband but in my haste to be living somewhere else, I ignored the warning signs that were there from the beginning.

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My ex was quite jealous of other people in my life. At first I was flattered as I thought it showed how much he loved me. Once we were married it became far worse. He hated me going out anywhere without him and he would get angry when I wanted to go to movies or bookclub with my girlfriends. We had huge fights about this all the time.

I thought that when we were married and he felt secure in my commitment that he would not hold onto me so tightly. Things just became worse with him constantly checking my phone and even reading my mails. He started accusing me of having an affair which I absolutely never did.

My life became so restricted in order to keep the peace

This began interfering with my work as I need to attend evening functions as part of my job description. He wanted me to stop working and stay home even though we could not afford this. I also love my job and it’s the only way that I get to spend time with other people. He always claimed to love me and said that he treated me well because he helped around the house and was never abusive to me.

The final straw came when I discovered that he had put a tracking device on my car and had tapped into my cell phone

I had nothing to hide but I felt violated and felt with this level of distrust there was no future. He then gave me the ultimatum to either give up work or he would walk out.

We ended up getting divorced even though he came back and begged me for another chance. I am so relieved to be out of the relationship and still realising ways that he was controlling me, now that I am free of it. I have moved on and go out with friends and have an active social life again. I feel like I am living again.

Jealous ex

I recently met a man and we started dating. My ex found out about it and showed up at the restaurant and caused a huge scene, accussing the man of being out with his wife! He has also showed up at work functions and embarrassed me by causing a scene.
He says that we are still married in the eyes of God and he is not going to ever accept the divorce.

I don’t know what to do as he is increasingly embarrassing me and I just want to move on with my life without him.

Please help
Love
Dailia

Dear Dailia

Thank you for your letter. It seems that you are much happier now that you are out of your controlling relationship. It sounds like you have also realised your mistake in your first relationship: a. getting into it for the wrong reasons and b. thinking that you could change your man. You can change your hair colour, your political views and maybe even one day, your planet. You cannot change a man with a ring.

“Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.” – Albert Einstein

Man tend to be singly focused on what they set their minds to

When they are not invading countries or leaving their footprints on the moon (because leaving them all over the clean kitchen floor was not enough) they channel their energy into complex things like what to do with the belly button lint they discover or how to drink beer, eat chips and scratch something without losing their grip of the remote. They certainly excel at whatever they set their minds too! This applies to marriage too of course. It is however clear that your ex was very content with the situation and had no intention of changing it and is even after your divorce, wanting you back, but not planning on changing anything!

Your ex claimed not to be abusive to you, but this is exactly what he was

Attempting to control and manipulate someone is abuse! You can get a restraining order against him if he refuses to keep his distance from you. Clearly he is not respecting of wishes that he hears form high heel wearers and perhaps he will be more willing to listen to a black-loafer wearing uniform man who happens to also be carrying a gun. Your ex sounds paranoid and it’s good to remember that being slightly paranoid is like being slightly pregnant – it tends to get worse!

Don’t allow this man to continue bullying you. It sounds like you made a good call getting out of that situation and together with old Gloria you need to sing:

“ I should have changed that stupid lock
Oh made you leave your key
If I’ve known for a second you’d be back to bother me
Go on now, go walk out the door
Turn around now
You’re not welcome anymore”

I am sure that you will find the right man for the right reasons and hopefully live happily-ever-after

You are beautiful!
Love and blessings
Annie