Afternoon Dr. Buckingham,
As I write to you, I’m feeling lost & disrespected. I’ve only been married for 51 days and it seems since we said “I do”, all hell has broken loose.
My husband just called me from Maryland, but our residence is in Atlanta. Just last night we had a serious altercation, his ex-wife showed up with the boys (19 & 16) and he practically rode off in the night! Actually it was heated, he’s been expressing how our son & daughter have been disrespecting him & so have I. Yet he stresses that he didn’t know they were coming. I think it’s bull! Not only did they come, one of the boys shoved me in the middle of the altercation screaming obscenity & that I’m nothing to them. That’s after our doorbell rung and my husband left for an hour.
There’s so much to tell about this 2-year-old relationship & only 51 days of marriage! The bottom line is this little scenario has been played out one too many times, & I’m wondering if I should stay in this marriage or get a divorce? Is Disrespect and Emotional Abuse Grounds for an Annulment?
Lost & disrespected
Dear Lost & Disrespected,
Sorry to hear about your marital discord. As I read your dilemma I could not help, but wonder if you missed the signs prior to saying “I do”. You stated that all hell broken loose after taking your vows. However, it appears that the altercation occurred as a result of unresolved and underlying problem between you and your spouse and the children.
Without having additional information about relationship it is difficult to provide guidance regarding potential interventions and/or solutions. However, the things that do stand out and should not be tolerated are as follows: your husband’s fleeing behavior, the verbal and physical disrespect by one of the boys and the screaming. I typically do not give suggestions about whether an individual should remain married or get a divorce. I have seen good marriages turn out bad and bad marriages turn out good.
I can empathize with your feeling of disrespect. Your husband’s ex-wife and sons violated you by showing up unexpectedly and attacking you. As a wife, you were expecting that your husband would protect and support you. Sorry for the lack of respect and support. On another note, I am concerned that your communication pattern with your husband may be to hostile. I mention this because you used the word “serious altercation”. When individuals interact or try to address tough issues when emotions are high, violence is likely to occur.
I am not sure if your husband started the conflict or you. Either way, conflict resolution skills are needed. Given this, I highly recommend that you all seek marital therapy. Also, I would recommend that you consult with an attorney to secure an answer to your question about having your marriage nullified. I pulled the information below from Divorce Lawyer Source.
Annulment is the process of nullifying of a marriage where the court declares that the marriage never took place. In order to annul a marriage, the person seeking the legal action must have sufficient grounds for annulment. What follows is a list of requirements or grounds for annulment, which must be presented to the courts to terminate a marriage in this way.
- Grounds for annulment typically involve one party’s lack of capacity for marriage or some type of fraud. One grounds for annulment is if one party had another living husband or wife at the time of marriage. This is valid even if the spouse knew about the other spouse prior to marriage. In some cases a person may have been legally denied the right to remarry, in which case this is sufficient grounds for annulment.
- Grounds for annulment may involve one party being under the age of consent at the time of marriage. These requirements may vary by jurisdiction. Generally speaking, if the court determines that the party was too young to get married and no parental consent was given, the court may find this to be adequate grounds for annulment. In some cases, these statutes may even be applicable if the couple went to a different state to get married and returned to their state of residence where their union is deemed unlawful.
- Grounds for annulment may also include being forced or threatened into marriage, mental incapacitation at the time of marriage, temporary or permanent insanity, intoxication (drugs or alcohol) at the time of the marriage, or marrying based on fraudulent statements or actions by the other party. Fraudulent marriage can be if one of the parties never intended to be married, the marriage was sought to deceive the other party, the marriage was for the purpose of gaining citizenship rights, and the like.
- Grounds for annulment can also include impotency and incest. A person whose spouse is physically and incurably impotent during marriage has grounds for annulment, so long as they were not aware of the impotency prior to the marriage. If a marriage was never consummated, this constitutes viable grounds for annulment. Grounds for annulment also include unions between two people who are too close in relation such as: whole or half siblings, first cousins, parents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, and the like.
The grounds for annulment must be presented to the court on behalf of the innocent party. In order to be considered, the grounds for annulment must be presented to the courts within a specified time period. This time period is set forth in the statutes created by each state. This time restraint also depends on the specific grounds for annulment. In some cases this time period may begin at the time of discovering the factor, which gives valid grounds for annulment.
I hope that the information listed above is somewhat helpful. I wish you the best and pray that you find peace in your marriage. If you or your husband is interested in receiving coaching, please contact me at www.drbuckingham.com
If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to [email protected]
Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.