DEAR DEIDRE: MY husband is divorcing me but won’t move out and he’s now parading his sex life in front of me.
We have been married for 20 years and have two teenage children. I am 47 and he is 49.
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Things started going wrong a few years ago. He was picking fights with me and putting me down in front of the kids.
Eventually, he told me he’d had enough of me — I bored him — and he wanted a divorce.
I was gutted, but accepted it, as he was making me miserable and I thought it was the best thing for the children.
But then he said he couldn’t afford to move out, so he would have to stay in our house until the divorce was finalised.
He moved into the spare room, as agreed, but within a couple of weeks had started seeing a woman at work.
I think she is in her thirties, and he has taken pleasure in telling me she is so much more fun and sexy than me.
Although he hasn’t brought her back to the house — small mercies — he flaunts his relationship in front of me.
He bought a big box of condoms and a tube of lube, and left them in the bathroom, where anyone could see them.
And last week he received a package from Amazon containing a spray to numb his penis to make sex last longer.
This is all so hurtful and humiliating.
The worst thing is he thinks it’s his right to have sex with me too.
Twice he’s come home drunk and climbed into bed with me in the middle of the night.
I know it’s hopeless and he’s simply using me, but we did end up having sex.
He thinks it’s fine because we’re still legally married.
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I don’t know what to do. I can’t move out because of the children.
I just want him out of my life.
DEIDRE SAYS: When you have been in a long relationship, what’s not acceptable may feel normal because it’s what you are used to.
But this situation does sound extremely unhealthy at best and abusive at worst.
Your husband is selfish and entitled. He has no right to demand sex from you.
He treats you like dirt, insults you, and then wants to pick you up for his own sexual gratification and this is not acceptable.
My support pack, Abusive Partner, has information and sources of support.
Being in this environment is also very damaging for your children.
Talk to a solicitor. It might be possible to force him to leave.
You can contact Rights of Women (rightsofwomen.org.uk, 020 7251 6577) to find out more about your legal rights.
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