Divorce, Child Custody and an Abusive Husband

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Reader’s Question

I am from India. I have a friend who has been married for 10 years. She has one child nearly 3 years old. Her family runs a business, and they are well-to-do people.

The problem is that my friend’s husband mentally abuses her. He will use coarse language when talking to her; and despite the fact that she is an educated, accomplished woman, he will say things like she is not qualified for anything.

My friend’s husband always contradicts any opinions she voices. She is also kept quite socially isolated. Just imagine: in their 10 years of marriage, she hasn’t gone to a single movie or on any trip or vacation.

Her husband has always been the way he is. His parents said he would improve his behavior once they had a baby, but this did not happen. In fact, things have become even worse, and my friend has now lost self-respect and her own identity.

My friend is now wanting to get out of her situation. Can you please advise about how much time it will take and what her chances are regarding the custody of her child?

Psychologist’s Reply

Different countries and cultures vary considerably with respect to divorce, annulment, and child custody issues. So, it’s fairly impossible to give you accurate advice. Also, there’s a good deal of variability in the type and ease of access to support and counseling services for those considering a major change of living circumstances. But suffice it to say that your friend would likely be best served by seeking out such counseling. An experienced marriage counselor can be a helpful resource not only to help a troubled marriage change but also to provide the necessary support and information a person might need when they’ve decided that their best course is to leave the relationship.

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