Visitor Question

Mental disorders from marriage?

Submitted By: Arline (Lawton, OK)

My husband and I have been married for 11 years. For the 11 years it seemed like every few years he was looking for a new woman on the internet. In 2004-05 while he was deployed, he had a cyber affair with his cousin and just admitted it to me recently, due to our divorce that we are going through now.

This past August 2014 I went away for a few weeks and he posted an ad looking for women while I was gone. I came home and he continued looking. In Oct-Dec 2014 I went away again, so I could figure out if I wanted the divorce or not, and while I was away he got a craigslist account and found many women on there (he actually got scammed by one of them for $1750).

I have Major depression with anxiety disorder which was diagnosed in 2003, right after he and I got married. In 2008 I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder on top of that. Then in March 2014 I was diagnosed with PTSD, which they are saying had to come from my current husband and the marriage.

He was not exactly physically abusive to me, but he did kick down doors to get to me, punch holes in the walls, threw a hot pan of grease at me, he grabbed me once and did leave a bruise, he yelled and screamed at me, he drove whatever vehicle we were in like crazy if I got him mad… I was more afraid of him than anything.

I don’t know why I stayed all these years. He always reminded me he wasn’t like my first husband, who was very abusive, mentally, physically, emotionally, and monetarily.

Even so, I was more scared of my current husband because I was told that he had thrown one of his girlfriends out of a plate glass window when she was 8 months pregnant (both his sisters told me that). I was told how he just snapped and not to be around him because there is no stopping him.

He pile-drived one of our dogs to the floor because he got mad at it, and luckily it was a big dog, but the dog even became scared of him.

So, would I have a case for emotional distress due to the mental disorders I was diagnosed with due to the marriage and my husband? What can I do? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Arline,

It appears you do not have the basis of a viable separate claim against your husband for emotional distress. You had every opportunity to extricate yourself from the oppression perpetrated upon you by your husband, and yet you chose to stay in the relationship.

The only way his emotional abuse can be used in your favor is to allege it in the divorce petition. Doing so may entitle you to a more substantial divorce settlement. This of course presumes there are assets in excess of liabilities surrounding the marital estate. Be sure to speak with an attorney.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 27, 2015

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