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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Cultural differences in marriage

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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 09:49 PM
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Re: Cultural differences in marriage

Unfortunately, cultural differences are real. They aren't always so extreme as in your case but they're real.

The question is, what can you do about it? Is the legal system in the UK able to handle this? Do you have the financial and human resources to pull it off?

Can you document abuse and put him away? Get a restraining order? Things like those.
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 10:31 PM
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Re: Cultural differences in marriage

I am a Canadian, married to an African.

I completely relate to what your going through. I also feel my husband pulled a "bait and switch" on me. I am starting to post here to get some courage to do what I feel like I should do.

Today is one of the last straws on the proverbial camel. I didn't sleep well last night, had a 12 hour shift where one kid was acting up all morning, the other kid was crying for an hour straight in the evening, my coworker -- who I met for the first time yesterday -- was infinitely more appreciative and helpful to me than my husband is. I came home, vacuumed for reasons (yeah I had to). He came home from tree planting so I get he's wiped as well, but I asked him to at least appreciate everything I've been doing (there's more than what I'm posting here) and show me that he cares about me and his replies were: "why don't you marry your coworker?" "**** you" and "next week I'm not coming back."

Feel free to PM me. I'd be happy to talk with you and if you'd be willing to listen to me, as well. :'(
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Cultural differences in marriage

I don't know if there is anything I can/should do about it. I chose to marry him. I agreed to marry him. I have innocent kids who are dependent on a family. From what I have read I could divorce him on grounds of unreasonable behaviour, not adultery because I continue living with him. I don't think I could do it. There is too much at risk. As long as I am making him happy he will stay with me and our kids are ok. I don't trust him to parent them alone. I want them to be ok and right now I'm the main caregiver. If he takes them out of the country back to his native country I could easily never see them again.
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 11:33 PM
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Re: Cultural differences in marriage

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Originally Posted by ellsie View Post
My husband and I have been married for 6 years. I met my husband in year 9. He is originally from Saudi Arabia (mum from Afghanistan) but moved to the UK when he was 7. (And we have stayed in the UK. Travelled back once but live here.)

We were friends throughout secondary but we didn't date because his family was against him dating a "white non-religious mutt". I met his family a few times (introduced as a friend) and I was a bit intimidated by the culture differences. He was a really great friend and guy. We started dating at 19. He was an amazing boyfriend. Incredibly sweet, caring, there was no jealousy, we went out on dates often and did a variety of things, travelled, my friends loved him, he was always doing romantic notions. His family was not supportive, because I am non-religious and he was not allowed to marry me. They also said I would be a bad wife. My family liked him but was not supportive for similar reasons, cultural differences and worries and didnít want me to marry him. I loved him, he was an amazing partner and we had an us against the world complex. He was perfect and everything I wanted, I thought I was so lucky.

We engaged after 3 years, and married 2 years later (age 24). I was pregnant when we married but we donít tell anyone that. After we married he started changing. Cultural differences that didnít bother him before started bothering him and he started bringing in a lot of rules. He began insisting on no alcohol (which was fine) but he continued to drink and I couldnít. He wanted me to eat with my right hand and has enforced that in me and our kids (Iím left handed). He wonít have anything to do with me while Iím on my period and has seen other women during that time, telling me matter of factly when he is going to see someone else. I canít stop him because I still have to fulfill his needs. He flirts with and charms other women, when I am present. Spontaneous sex disappeared because he introduced rules about thoroughly washing before, after, during (depending on what was done) sex. Washing after going to the bathroom, only cleaning with my left hand. Sex has become a twice daily requirement not something fun and bonding. I do what he wants, when he wants. He insisted that we stop using birth control to prevent children. He doesnít care about my feelings, wants or needs. If I want something I have to earn it by pleasing him. He buys me jewelry and insists that I wear it, knowing I dislike it. He controls everything that I do. What I wear, who I am friends with. He has hit me on more than one occasion because to him it is ok. He has forced sex when I say no, because Iím not suppose to ever say no. Itís just as wrong as me sleeping with another man. When something is wrong itís my fault. He makes very real threats of what he will do if I divorce him. We are 6 years into our marriage and he has done a total 180 from the man I married.

When I go to work I often don't want to leave, I feel appreciated. Every day when I step into our home I feel like I am stepping into another life. In a way I am. The cultural differences are beyond difficult, as a ďwhite mutt with no cultureĒ as my husband refers to me as. I know that there are going to be differences between us, and that is what I agreed to when I married him. To him, he isnít doing anything wrong and never has. I donít know how to find peace in my life of who I married. I feel like it will be easy for another ďwhiteĒ person to say heís horrible and to leave him, but cultural differences are real and I signed up for itÖ I canít talk to anyone I know because they will report back to my husband and he always knows where I go. My mum passed away last year and my dad has been AWOL since, so I can't even call them to just talk it out.
This is one of the key reasons I would be totally against my children marrying anyone from any of those countries. I myself am from a mixed marriage but my H is from further East, we have struggled with cultural differences, in law interference, etc. His faith however, is one which treats women equally and since he has converted to mine of his own volition, which has reduced differences there.

My daughter dated someone from the same type of background as your H and he started telling her what to wear, putting her down, etc. I told her to dump him asap, and she did. She was only 20.

However, when you throw a certain religion into the mix, one which is practiced strictly and women are regarded as second class citizens then you have this. He may have grown up in the West but if his family are there you can bet he will start to practice what they do. In fact many of those that move to Western countries are so much more strict as they try and ensure their children are not 'corrupted' by the western values. It's ok to have the benefits of the country but not its culture apparently. I have seen this happen time and time again. The kids grow up and many become more strict than the parents themselves. All of the things you mention are classic. He is allowed to marry 4 times too, so you have no rights with regard to him flirting, etc. The only good thing is that you are in the West, get away from him as soon as you can. Seek help from a woman's organisation and the steps you need to take.

What he is doing is abusive, he probably thinks it is his right. To hit your wife to discipline her is also his right according to his faith, you are basically his property. However, the country you live in has laws about this kind of thing, which supersede his tribal/religious mores.
Use the law of your country and get away from him. What will you do when he takes another 'wife.'? Leave now before things get worse. Do you have any close friends you can talk to and rely on?
You are still young, time to get out and go. If you stay too long you will become like the frog in the boiling pot of water, unaware that you are being abused.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 11:50 PM
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Re: Cultural differences in marriage

Unfortunately, what you are experiencing is not uncommon. Not all Muslims live their lives this way. But some do.

From what you have said, you did not sign up for what you have now. You signed up for the guy you were dating. I'm pretty sure that if you knew what your marriage would turn into you would have run. Don't let this idea you have in your head that this is what you signed up for twist you in knots. Again, this is not what you signed up for. Your husband pulled a bait and switch on you.

Can you make phone calls from work? Here is a hotline for those who are experiencing domestic abuse. Please contact them and find out what help you can get.

https://www.womensaid.org.uk/informa...port/helpline/

You are also going to need to talk to a solicitor. The abuse hotline should put you in touch with a local organization that can provide you with counseling. They will most likely also have a list of solicitors that handle cases like your pro bono. You need to find out how to prevent your husband running off to Saudi Arabia with your children if and when you leave him.
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 11:59 PM
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Re: Cultural differences in marriage

By the way, Islam does not view marriage in the same way that Christianity and Judaism does. It's not a sacrament in Islam. It's only a contract between a man and the woman's father. (Note that a woman does not even sign her own marriage contract under Islam).

Under Islam a man can have 4 wives. He can also easily divorce a wife. Under strict Islam a woman can also divorce easily. However, the culture in most Islamic countries does not usually allow women easy divorce. So divorcing under Islam is not all that big a deal. However, under Islam, the children belong to the father and he always gets 100% custody and the mother gets nothing. She would only get the children if the father did not want them.

So be careful. Do not allow him to take your children out of the UK.

I have a niece who married a Muslim man. He's no where near as bad as your husband. But she will not allow him to take both of their son's to his home country at one time. He can only take one at a time. That way she knows he will always come back with the one child. Sad way to have to live.

And he did the same thing. Before they married he was educated in the UK and USA. He was very western. Once they were married, he completely changed. Though I don't think he's as scary as your husband.
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 12:11 AM
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Re: Cultural differences in marriage

I understand what you are going through. My husband is also arab. I am plan jane american. So it is similar. Although my husband doesn't treat me that way your story is familiar.


I can tell you that the right hand thing is religious. In America some say left handed people are closer to God but in islam it is the opposite. But most muslims will tell you that if you cant help it than its ok. Especially you being an adult but the kids will be expected to learn to favor their right hand

The washing after sex is always required in islam because you never know when you will die and you want to meet your maker clean and pure. Plus you cant pray with the "stuff" on you. Islam goes by the traditional "cleanliness is next to godliness" thing.

The washing during sex is weird never heard of that.

Your husband seems to be off on alot of things like alcohol is forbidden in islam. And from your text you kinda hint at anal sex that is also forbidden in islam.

Hitting you is a big no no and is not tolerated in islam.

In islam divorce is legal and advised incases where people just cant be together.

Sex during menstration is forbidden but treating you like an outcast isnt.

Sex outside the marriage is forbidden as is flirting with the opposite sex as it leads to unpure thoughts and affairs

You will hear that in some countries divorce is very frowned upon and it is but that is a cultural thing with that country .. it is allowed in islam.

I dont know what advice i can offer you except maybe try to speak with him more on this. He sounds like a real jerk to be honest but maybe he just needs to be awakened. You might also want to learn about his religion more as this will help you understand some of the things he does. Hope this helps


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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 12:27 AM
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Re: Cultural differences in marriage

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Originally Posted by EleGirl View Post
By the way, Islam does not view marriage in the same way that Christianity and Judaism does. It's not a sacrament in Islam. It's only a contract between a man and the woman's father. (Note that a woman does not even sign her own marriage contract under Islam).



Under Islam a man can have 4 wives. He can also easily divorce a wife. Under strict Islam a woman can also divorce easily. However, the culture in most Islamic countries does not usually allow women easy divorce. So divorcing under Islam is not all that big a deal. However, under Islam, the children belong to the father and he always gets 100% custody and the mother gets nothing. She would only get the children if the father did not want them.



So be careful. Do not allow him to take your children out of the UK.



I have a niece who married a Muslim man. He's no where near as bad as your husband. But she will not allow him to take both of their son's to his home country at one time. He can only take one at a time. That way she knows he will always come back with the one child. Sad way to have to live.



And he did the same thing. Before they married he was educated in the UK and USA. He was very western. Once they were married, he completely changed. Though I don't think he's as scary as your husband.


You are very wrong about marriage not being sacred in Islam. Just because a man can marry 4 wives. You do know that in early Christianity and Judism this was also allowed. The reason because men have one thing in mind and that is to procreate. Marry more than one prevents sins etc. And they do not have to have 4 wives. That is only if they can afford it and each wife has to have her own house and under islamic law she can choose not to work and he will have to provide for all her needs. Dont get islam confused with cultural stigmas. Just because a country allows 50 wives doesn't mean that is islam.

I have been married to a muslim man for 14 years and he has never hit me, scared me or forced himself on me. There are differences in culture but it is very much like the culture in Europe.

I also know many women who have married arabs and their husbands are also kind and caring.

Islam doesnt mean that the man is gonna be a jerk. In fact he is suppose to be kind and trusting to his wife.

In Iran the children belong to the father. Shia muslims believe this. The rest they stay with the mother. There is a friend of outs who is muslim and married a muslim woman from his own country they stayed married for 2 yrs and divorced. Their son lives with her in her country bc she wanted to go back home. He flys every 2 months to see him. He didn't even try to take the kid from her. He just accepted their divorce and still does visitation with him.




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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 01:07 AM
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Re: Cultural differences in marriage

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Originally Posted by rsexton View Post
You are very wrong about marriage not being sacred in Islam. Just because a man can marry 4 wives. You do know that in early Christianity and Judism this was also allowed. The reason because men have one thing in mind and that is to procreate. Marry more than one prevents sins etc. And they do not have to have 4 wives. That is only if they can afford it and each wife has to have her own house and under islamic law she can choose not to work and he will have to provide for all her needs. Dont get islam confused with cultural stigmas. Just because a country allows 50 wives doesn't mean that is islam.
I disagree with you that in Islam marriage is sacred in the same way that it is in Christianity. I have studied Islam extensively with Imam as instructors. I have lived in Islamic countries. I have Muslim family members. Basically, I have a clue. But we will have to drop this discussion here because this thread is not about the tenets of religions. If you want to debate/discuss religion, please open a thread in the Politics and Religion Forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsexton View Post
I have been married to a muslim man for 14 years and he has never hit me, scared me or forced himself on me. There are differences in culture but it is very much like the culture in Europe.

I also know many women who have married arabs and their husbands are also kind and caring.

Islam doesnt mean that the man is gonna be a jerk. In fact he is suppose to be kind and trusting to his wife.
Surely you are not addressing me here since I never even suggested that Islam means that a man is gonna be a jerk.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsexton View Post
In Iran the children belong to the father. Shia muslims believe this. The rest they stay with the mother. There is a friend of outs who is muslim and married a muslim woman from his own country they stayed married for 2 yrs and divorced. Their son lives with her in her country bc she wanted to go back home. He flys every 2 months to see him. He didn't even try to take the kid from her. He just accepted their divorce and still does visitation with him.
ellsie, can look up the custody laws in the country her husband is fro

In Saudi Arabia, child custody is based on Islamic law. The primary concern of Saudi courts in deciding child custody cases is that the child be raised in accordance with the Islamic faith. ...

Saudi courts generally do not award custody of children to non-Saudi women. If the mother is an Arab Muslim, judges will usually not grant her custody of children unless she is residing in Saudi Arabia, or the father is not a Muslim. ...
...
Normally, under Shari'a law, a mother can maintain custody of her male children until the age of nine, and female children until the age of seven. In practice the courts favor keeping children within a strict Islamic environment. Shari'a court judges have broad discretion in custody cases and often make exceptions to these general guidelines.

Even when a mother who is residing in Saudi Arabia is granted physical custody of children, the father maintains legal custody and has the right to determine where the children live and travel. In many cases, the father has been able to assume legal custody of children against the wishes of the mother when she is unable or unwilling to meet certain conditions set by law for her to maintain her custodial rights. For example, if the mother moves to another country, the father is entitled to have custody. A court can sever a mother's custody if it determines that the mother is incapable of safeguarding the child or of bringing the child up in accordance with the appropriate religious standards. The mother can lose custody by re-marrying a non-Muslim, or by residing in a home with non-relatives. Shari'a law allows custody of children to be awarded to the closest male relative of a Saudi father in the case of death or imprisonment of the father, even if the Saudi father has made clear his wish that the children's mother have full custody (Jan. 2002).


Refworld | Saudi Arabia: Whether Saudi Arabian laws concerning child custody are applicable to Palestinians in Saudi Arabia, and whether Islamic Law provides that following a divorce a child must live with his or her mother for a period of seven year


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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 01:48 AM
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Re: Cultural differences in marriage

My advice: Don't leave the UK at any cost. Drop this excuse for a human being like a hot potato.

And don't buy into the whole 'moderate Islam' as people are are trying to sell wholesale and I am sure many will do in the thread. To believe any of that toilet-paper rubbish, you have to be at least radical in thought. I am Agnostic and wouldn't even date a Muslim. Just asking for trouble.
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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 01:54 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Cultural differences in marriage

I should have listened to my parents when they told me not marry him. They didn't think - or didn't express - that it would turn out like this but they thought we would struggle too much. Now my mum isn't here and I have no one to lean on. This last year has been horrible with my mum passing and marriage problems. I don't have any friends that I can talk to about this. My husband only lets me have friends that he approves of. They are all more his friends than mine. He checks my phone every day to see who I call or message and what I search for. I can make calls at work and it's private but I work with a friend, who is married to my a friend of my husband. I don't work directly with her.

He has said that he doesn't want our children to be corrupted and wants to be firmer to put good values in them before they are corrupted. He has expressed interest in moving back to Saudi Arabia but I'm not onboard with that and never will be. He has threatened that if I divorce him he will take our kids back and I won't see them again. That could be bluff, but I don't want to risk it. He doesn't think he is doing anything wrong. That makes it hard for me to say that he is doing anything wrong. Who am I to say that his beliefs are wrong... I married into it.

He does pick and choose what rules he follows. I have no religion and have not converted, he wasn't suppose to marry me. I try to learn about his beliefs but I find it overwhelming and find contradicting information. My husband has never encouraged me to learn about it, but rather go along with it and "learn along the way" as he puts it.

Starting at our wedding my husband implemented right hand/left hand for eating or cleaning. I thought it was because his family was there and I tried to be respectful. It stuck and every time that I use the wrong hand he corrects it. Still to this day it’s not natural for me to eat with my right hand. He does make our kids do it and is very strict about that. Left hand has to be used to remove impurities. Have to enter the bathroom with left foot, leave right right foot.

Sex is something that I don’t talk about with anyone so this bit is going to be very uncomfortable for me to write - probably no biggie for someone else. I might get the terms mixed up. We haven’t had anal sex/penetration, because it’s prohibited/haram. He does not totally omit it though. The washing during sex is after coming into contact with bodily fluids, because they are impure. It’s not the full ritual/ghusl. We are allowed to touch each other’s genitals if it is for arousal. I have to give my husband oral sex but it has to be before vaginal penetration and he cannot ejaculate, but after that I have to wash my hands, arms, mouth and face. He has a term for it, it’s not coming to mind (something with a ‘g’ maybe, or ‘m’). If he does ejaculate in my mouth, which is frowned upon but not forbidden, then the whole cleaning ritual is required. He can’t perform oral sex on me because it is impure.

There are two other women that my husband spends time with. Only when I am menstruating or if I do something wrong. If I understand correctly he can see other women but he has to spend equal time and resources on each which he does not do. He says that he is allowed to see other women, but will not bump them up in status unless I give him reason to. He is intimate with them, and tells me about it. I am not allowed to have male friends unless he has chosen them, because it will lead to impure thoughts and actions.

In the last year I have had 4 miscarriages. They all happened before 81 days so sex was still required, unlike the 40(?) days or when the postnatal bleeding stopped after childbirth. My husband has been saying that if I cannot give him another child (a son) he will go elsewhere.

I could probably go on.

Last edited by ellsie; 05-19-2017 at 02:05 AM.
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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 01:54 AM
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Re: Cultural differences in marriage

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I don't know if there is anything I can/should do about it. I chose to marry him. I agreed to marry him. I have innocent kids who are dependent on a family. From what I have read I could divorce him on grounds of unreasonable behaviour, not adultery because I continue living with him. I don't think I could do it. There is too much at risk. As long as I am making him happy he will stay with me and our kids are ok. I don't trust him to parent them alone. I want them to be ok and right now I'm the main caregiver. If he takes them out of the country back to his native country I could easily never see them again.
OMG woman listen to what you are saying... basically you are staying and continue to allow him abuse you because (you fear) he holds your children as hostages.

On a more general note, this whole thing reminds me why I am not a great fan of religion. Islam, nor any other religion, is an excuse for being a jerk. Men are good or bad and will treat others accordingly. Problem is, if they are bad and religious, they will cherry pick in their religion to justify bad behaviour, making it all the harder to reason with.

Anyway, OP, get out of there fast and go for full custody... otherwise your son will also grow up to be an abusing jerk and your daughter will also be abused in the same or worse manner.
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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 02:22 AM
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Re: Cultural differences in marriage

OP this sounds a lot more like abuse than just 'cultural differences' to me.

One question to ask is can you ever see your marriage getting better to the point where you and he are happy again? It really doesn't sound like the case so now would be the time to leave before things get even worse. You've done all you can, at this stage he seems to be using his religion as a mask for some truly spiteful behaviour and that's not right at all.
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 04:09 AM
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Re: Cultural differences in marriage

I was born in the Middle East as an ex-pat (British Army).

I know the cultures there extremely well. Of all the middle easterners, Saudis and the gulf/desert Arabs are true Arabs and many of the Islamic customs that you see now are actually Arab customs and behaviours. I say this because other countries only spoke Arabic after being conquered by Arabs who had nothing to lose (nomads) and everything to gain and were raiding groups of bandits. For example, modern day Iraq spoke Akkadian languages like Babylonian and Assyrian, Syria spoke Syriac and Aramaic, Lebanon spoke Phoenecian, Palestine spoke Hebrew and Aramaic etc etc. Arabic was invented by the nomadic tribes (like the Bedouin). All these are Semites and the languages sound the same but are different as are the cultures. By the way, Iranians, Afghans, (some) Indians, Pakistanis etc are not Semitic but follow Islam when it was brought into their countries. They are Indo-Aryans and have a different culture.

Saudis marry Afghans for their looks (the Afghans are known to be good looking) not because of cultural similarities.

And the word Arab means nomad (the word for four is Arba and anything with four limbs that moves around, theoretically is an Arab - taxis with four wheels are called Arabanas).

Now for what I need to say:

Most (not some like Ele says) Arabs behave this way (remember my definition of Arab). Many of the other Islamic Middle Easterners (Muslims) also behave this way. No matter where they were educated. The behaviour normally manifests itself after marriage particularly when one of the following occurs - a parent dies or a baby is born. That is when the need to implement the "old" ways raises its head. This is when an Arab man has every intention at the start of behaving Western when marrying a Western girl.

In your case, he had no intention of ever abandoning this behaviour (because he is Saudi). He most certainly lied to you and deceived you. He got residency in the UK as a result. And it will get worse when your kids are older - by then they will have been slightly brain-washed into believing that this is the right way and will be forced into marriages too that are not good for them.

The good news is that you have the power at the moment - not him. He will have almost certainly worked hard to make you as dependent on him as possible. He will have introduced you to some fake idea of living lavishly yet as a slave. And you might believe that without him you will have no money etc etc.

The worst thing that you can do is to believe this and rely on it. You need to start distancing yourself from him and his behaviour. You need to focus on educating your kids (especially the girls) never to accept any of this cr@p and make them fiercely independent. You need to show them how to be strong good people. And NEVER allow him to be alone with them or take them anywhere alone - it doesn't take much for him to get them out of the country if he has possession of their passports (never give him this and even take advice on how to prevent this) - the UK is very aware of this problem and there is a lot of advice available to help you.

You need to get away from this man asap. Start putting money aside and saving up for the break up. He is evil and there is no reason to sacrifice the rest of your life (and more importantly the lives of your kids) due to one mistake you made in marrying him.

Start getting help, protecting yourself and your kids and make a move as soon as possible.

Take care.

This is my quest, to follow that star
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far
To fight for the right, without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause
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