Help! spouse wont leave, becoming mentally abusive


I have been married for 20 yrs. My wife is a very jealous, and vendictive person. I have been accused by her of having affairs with everyone. (I haven’t) She does not allow me to go many places without her, and if I do she calls my cell every 15 mins. She recently told me that she had received a phone call, from an unknown person saying I was seen in the Parking lot (at my mother’s rest home) kissing another woman. It never happened. And she has done this to me numerous times over the years. She says to she if she catches me lying. She saw me and my co-worker talking in the halls at work. So now she is accusing me of her also. And threaten to call out supervisor. We fight and argue night and day. And have been for the last 5 years. She belittles me and she threatens me. She even pulled a gun on me, but that was years and years ago. But I am scared of this woman. I told her I just couldn’t take no more, and asked her what I could do to get out of this marriage. She told me to give her $20,000. I agreed. She said once I place it in her hands she’ll go. Then the next day she cusses at me, yells, screams, and tells me she’ll ruin both my careers and my name in our town. And that she hates me and I am no longer her husband. And hopes I live a life of hell. The the day after that she tells me if I do this she’ll kill herself. And now today she says’s she is not going any where that I can suck it up, that If she can’t be with me she’ll make sure no one can. She has also told me she’ll take half my home and my retirement. My grandparents gave me the land before I met her, and I bought the home before I ever met her. But I didn’t finish paying off till after I married her. But she has never paid not one bill in this house in 20 yrs. But she did put in $15,000 in repairs and upgrades. Can she get half of my house? And can she get half of my retirement? If she gets half my retirement can I get half of hers? She also said because we don’t have sex she’ll have me up for alienation of affection. Can she do that? And please tell me…How in the world can I make her leave legally???


OK. First things first. Start discreetly separating your finances (don’t take it all, just half). Second, get an attorney who is experienced with dealing with opponents who have borderline personality disorder (BPD), preferrably someone who has trial experience, because from the sounds if it, this will go there. Third, start recording your conversations with your wife. Capture speech that is abusive and threatening in nature. Store the tapes/recordings off-site. Document all instances of abuse. In the meantime, learn what you can about BPD, especially what tends to trigger their episodes and how to best manage the behavior for your safety.

After you have separated your finances and have seen the attorney, you will probably want to file for Divorce from Bed and Board to have her removed from your house. If your recordings and other evidence supports it, I would also have her slapped with a restraining order. You will probably need to maintain some sort of records (recordings, email, certified mail) of any dealings with your STBX for the rest of your life.

Since the house and the land were yours prior to marriage, she shouldn’t be able to get 1/2 of those if you can prove that they were solely yours prior to marriage. She will probably get any gains/losses to the property that took place during your marriage, 1/2 your retirement, and 1/2 post marriage assets. She will probably attempt to prove an affair and will probably have you followed after separation. If you make more than she does, then you will most likely have to pay alimony. If you can prove her abuse, you may be able to get alimony reduced, limited, or removed…but Erin can speak more expertly than I on that kind of thing.

I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. Like it or not, it is now war and you’ll have to be in it for the long haul. This doesn’t mean get even or get nasty, it simply means protect yourself and those around you from harm, physical or financial. Give her fairness as much as possible, but don’t continue to allow yourself to be abused.

(Side note about the Alienation of Affections [AA]. She cannot sue you for AA, only a 3rd party, whether it be a girlfriend, your parents, or potentially even a workplace. So, for everyone’s sake, do not get emotionally involved with another woman until after you have your divorce final judgement in hand.)

I’m so sorry to hear you having this problem. My BF went through over 10 years of similar treatment from his ex. At first he felt sorry for her, because all her past BFs ‘abused’ her. It started subtly with her being jealous of girls he knew in high school. It expanded over the years with him being forbidden to talk with other women outside of work, attacks on his personality, his intelligence, and his success in his career. She also tried to alienate him from many of his friends and refused to have them over to visit, even though she had been friends with some of them in high school.

She refused to work (and still makes excuses as to why she can’t). When he wasn’t at home, she stalked him following him around (even leaving the kids unattended at home), and researched all of his colleagues at work, male & female, sometimes even their families! She physically abused him in front of his own kids and eventually pulled a knife on him. (I didn’t find out any of this until well after they had separated and he and I started dating.) She accused him of cheating with most of his female colleagues, including me, which was absolutely untrue.

It has taken him a long time to realize just how badly he himself has been impacted and how much it has affected his kids. He appears to have a form of PTSD and unfortunately, his daughter has taken up the mother’s role and physically abuses her brothers. (It’s been a hard road to try to change her behavior.) We’ve both had to draw strict boundaries with her about how she is allowed to talk to us and treat us. If she becomes abusive, the discussion is OVER. Period.

Unfortunately, as his GF, in her mind I bear full responsibility for the break up of the marriage and it is what she goes around telling her divorce support group. She tells them about how he abandonned her and the kids because some coworker stole him away. (Nevermind that she asked him for the divorce, he took on all the debt, and that he has fought hard to have split custody of the kids.) Post-separation, she also went on a campaign to gain allies from our coworkers and friends, by either calling them up directly or conveniently “running into them” in public places, then proceeding to tell her “truth” about what happened, including many of the women she had accused him of sleeping with. He and I have both nearly lost our jobs because of her attempts to get even by getting us fired (She told the boss that she had seen us meeting at work for sex after hours…we didn’t even keep the same work hours!) and I’ve been threatened with lawsuits and/or physical violence on a regular basis. So, I can say from experience, expect this type of behavior and given how advanced it is in your case, probably worse.


She makes more money than me, why would I have to pay alimony? And if she gets half of my retirement, can’t I also have half of hers?


Ah, well then…no, she doesn’t get 1/2 your retirement. Equitable distribution means that you would get an equitable (not necessarily equal or half) division of all marital debts/assets. If the land and house can be proven to be obtained prior to marriage, then they are separate. In addition, if she makes significantly more than you do, you may be entitled to receive alimony from her. I’d probably go talk to an attorney right away…protect your individual assets, and protect yourself.


Thank you so much for your help!!! You can not imagine how scared I am.


I can…and I’m so sorry. Abuse comes in all shapes and sizes. Women can be as physically and abusive to men as men can be to women. Unfortunately there’s more of a stigma for men to admit to being abused.

Some people unfortunately also think that once you are married, you are their property and they can treat you as nicely as they’d like or as lousy.

In the case of those with BPD, if that is what your wife has, these people have such a low self esteem and they constantly fear abandonment. They often tend to emotionally abuse those who they are with in order to make themselves feel inferior and their victims feel dependent upon them by destroying their victims’ self-esteem. Thus controlling their victim from ever leaving them.

If put in a situation where they feel threatened with abandonment whether emotional or physical, real or imagined, they have a tendency to react violently either towards their supposed loved one or even internally to themselves by threatening suicide. Sometimes the abuser even makes false claims of being abused themselves in order to prevent being abandonned. And, often the police and courts will have a tendency to believe the “strong” man over the “weaker” woman, when a woman chooses to play the victim game.

Do see an attorney. Do get preprepared before removing her from your house. My prayers are with you.


You may have a case for a divorce from bed and board. Essentially this is a cause of action based on your wife’s cruel treatment and it gives the judge the ability to order a legal separation if he or she believes that your wife’s actions rise to the level of cruelty.
Normally these causes of action are based on more than cruel treatment and involve physical cruelty, abandonment, or other even more extreme behavior.
As for the property, North Carolina is an equitable distribution state and your spouse is entitled to receive her equitable share of the marital estate. Normally the courts consider a 50% distribution to each spouse an equitable distribution. The first step in the equitable distribution process is the identification of what assets are marital.
Since you inherited the land, and bought the home prior to the marriage some of the land value will be considered your separate property. There will be a marital component to any active (paying down principal on the mortgage, or doing renovations) increase in value on the home.
As for the retirement, any amount you have save during the marriage is marital property and will be subject to division by the courts. Your wife’s retirement will be taken into account as well, and the idea is that you will both walk away with equal retirement. By way of an elementary example, if you have 100k in retirement and she has 50k, she will receive 25k of yours with you both ending up with 75k.
As for your wife’s claim of alienation of affection, she is off base. That claim of action is not made by a spouse against another, it is a third party claim in which she would have to prove some other woman destroyed your affection for her. The suit would be against a third party and has nothing to do with whether or not you are having sex with your wife. She has no cause of action against you for not maintaining intimacy.