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Can Viagra Use Be Grounds For Divorce?

Question (by e-mail):

Question (by e-mail): My husband and I -- both in our mid-sixties -- have raised two children and had a terrific marriage until lately which is the cause of my concern. Even though my husband is not impotent, his brother, a physician, prescribed for him that new anti-impotence pill, and I am ready to leave home. My husband has become obsessed with having sex, sometimes four times a day, which is totally out of character for him.

At first I tried to keep up with him, thinking that all of this would blow over, but after weeks of marathon sessions, I have been to my doctor several times. He tells me that I am being physically abused, and I agree. I tried to talk to my brother-in-law, but he laughs it off with "boys will be boys" and "let him enjoy his last years" comments which I don't think are too funny since I would like to enjoy my last few years too. My husband brags all over town about his sexual prowess, and I am the brunt of his boasts. Now I get calls from the wives of our friends who want to know all of the details about how this wonder drug revived our sex life. Even our children are appalled at his behavior.

While my husband is having a great time, I am being abused emotionally and physically, and don't know what to do. My husband is a different man, and I can't reason with him at all. I hate to think about separation after nearly 40 years of marriage, but I don't know how much longer I can hang on. When I approached my husband about my concerns, he told me that if I want to leave, that's my decision as he now knows he can find any number of women who would be willing to move in with him -- which I find suspicious. He also told me that if I wanted to sue him, I should go ahead because he believed that any male judge would throw me and my case out of court. I am afraid and don't know what to do. Do you have any suggestions?

Answer: After receiving a number of questions like yours from throughout the country, we checked around with some of the leading matrimonial lawyers from throughout the United States about possible solutions to this unique, but apparently growing problem.

Some suggest that by prescribing this medication for a person who is not impotent, your brother-in-law has left himself -- and possibly the drug manufacturer -- open for a lawsuit by you for damages. While this might help you financially, recovery is not certain, it will take a long time. And suing your husband's brother will probably not engender good family relations.

Others suggest that before you even think about filing for divorce or separation, you and your husband should attend counseling; but if he is reliving his teen age years and having that good a time, we think this might be a waste of time -- at least now.

Even if your husband won't, we believe you should attend counseling with a professional you trust and try to give things a little more time to see if they even out. If they don't, we would suggest that you contact an experienced matrimonial lawyer in your area who will be able to fill you in on whether you have a cause of action and what to expect in your state.

Whether this type of conduct constitutes physical or emotional abuse legally is a big question that must be answered. There are always risks when it comes to litigation, and so, if you are going to sue, you need to get your ducks in a row. Document everything. Think about writing your brother-in-law about the problem and asking him to help you so at least you have documentation that you made efforts to resolve the situation. Get a clear understanding of the risks, match them against the potential rewards, and then make the best decision for you.

SoloFact: When grandparents and their children's families have disputes, the result is often a denial of contact with grandchildren. What can be done by grandparents to preserve their relationships with grandchildren in these circumstances? Generally speaking, unless one or both parents are deceased, divorced, or separated and living in separate homes, grandparents are generally not entitled to court-ordered visitation with grandchildren.

Jan Collins is an award-winning writer and editor. Jan Warner is a matrimonial, elder, and tax lawyer. Please send your questions by e-mail to or by mail to P.O.Box 11704, Columbia, South Carolina 29211.



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