My abusive husband
has another love
I married while quite young Roque, a guy I hardly knew. I met him through an officemate and he courted me right away. I was simply swept off my feet and before I knew it, we began planning our wedding. During this time, I could see that he had a bad temper and was jealous of my friends, but he said this was because of his great love for me. I felt flattered to be so loved that I ignored the warning signs. Our wedding was held on my birthday with our family and friends present. We were married for only two months when he saw me talking to a former college friend who had just arrived from Manila. Instantly, Roque pulled my arm and dragged me home where he slapped me, accusing me of flirting with a man. I tried to explain that he was just a former classmate but Roque wouldn’t listen.
This happened a lot of times so that I avoided talking to my former friends, even my female friends from college. After I gave birth to our son, things got worse. Roque was very temperamental and I had to be very careful not to do anything that might make him lose his temper. I had changed completely from a fun-loving, high-spirited girl into a sullen, tense woman, afraid to voice out my opinion. My parents and siblings noticed the change but they said nothing as I kept everything hidden from them.
One day Roque came home early from work and he got mad because I wasn’t home. I had gone out to buy some medicine for my cough and got caught in heavy traffic. By the time I got home, he was in a rage. He accused me of going out to meet a man. I was so shocked that I tried to explain where I was but he was so angry that he hit me and my front teeth flew off. It so happened that my mother and brother had come to visit me and they heard the commotion. When they saw what happened to me, my brother challenged Roque to a fight but Roque wouldn’t dare fight with my brother, a taekwondo expert. They took me home with my son and refused to let Roque see us. After a week, Roque resigned from his job and left for Cebu. I later found out that he was living with his Cebuana paramour. He never sent us financial help and so my parents have to shoulder all our expenses, including my son’s hospitalization when he got sick with dengue. I tried to contact Roque to ask for financial support but he did not respond. I heard that he is earning good money now. How can I get him to support us?
FORMER BATTERED WIFE
Dear Former Battered Wife,
You have to get a lawyer to help you protect you and your son’s rights. Since you are the legal wife, you have a right to claim for support. You should have reported all his physical violence to the authorities. Nevertheless, he can not shirk his responsibilities to his family and continue to enjoy his money with his paramour. Do this as soon as possible. We have laws that protect women and children’s rights.