My husband and in-laws lack respect for me

By Hang Ngan   July 2, 2024 | 03:01 pm PT
My husband is neither capable of supporting the family financially nor adept at childcare, and respect from him and his parents has always been absent.

I am a university graduate and three years senior to my husband, who was once a driver and is now self-employed. We have two children—a 14-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son.

Financially, my family’s background is more stable than his. I come from Hanoi, where I am the youngest sibling, whereas he is the eldest from Hung Yen in the north. Domestic tasks are not my forte, but I manage cooking, cleaning, and other household duties, except farming.

Our marriage has faced numerous challenges. Initially, our parents objected to our union due to differences in age, economics, and education. Despite this, love prevailed, and we married. My husband financed our wedding furniture, photography, dress rental, and a honeymoon in the mountainous town of Sapa, all without informing his parents, which made them uncomfortable.

Post-marriage, when our first child was born, we resided at my parents’ home. My husband left his job, took up gambling, and accumulated debt, once even pleading with my father for money, which I had to repay by borrowing. His financial irresponsibility continued, worsening with high-interest loans. I had to use my own savings for childbirth expenses.

After our second child was born, he revealed a debt of nearly VND1 billion (US$39,285). Although his family proposed to assist, his debts only grew.

As our older child began school, I chose a school outside our district, incurring substantial fees, soon followed by another debt of VND70 million from my husband. Left without support, he turned to me again. I helped him, but his financial mismanagement persisted.

He attempted a food stall business, then failed, and later planned to purchase a truck for transporting goods. I initially opposed but relented and financed the truck as the Covid-19 pandemic emerged. His frequent absences from home left me solely responsible for our children’s education and home management. He also continued borrowing money without transparency.

Ultimately, he filed for divorce, which I accepted, yet we have not proceeded with it. I am torn about saving our relationship, particularly as I have never felt respected by him or his family.

Is my perspective justified?

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