I don't know how to tell my Christian parents-in-law I want a divorce

By Nguyen Thuy   August 16, 2023 | 04:00 pm PT
I want to file for a legal separation with my husband first, but I don’t know how to notify our families.

My husband and I are both 31, we have a four-year-old daughter. We live with my husband’s siblings in a house bought by my parent-in-laws in HCMC.

My mother said I should not marry him when we were dating, but I loved him, so I got pregnant and we had a shotgun wedding. My husband told me to quit my job at the time as I often got tired, and promised to support me and our child financially.

But he quit his job two months before my delivery. He wanted to start a startup with his cousin, but they argued and dropped their initial plan without even implementing it. My husband applied for unemployment compensation and worked as a moto courier until the pandemic hit.

He has not been back to working since then, even after the pandemic got under control. All he did in a day was playing video games and cooking for me. He did not take good care of our kid as well since he was busy playing games.

Because of that, we argued many times. And everytime we argued, he beat our kid, saying that she got beaten because of me. He also swore at me, at my parents, and at my whole family.

I was sad and regretted not following my mother’s advice, but I didn’t dare share my problem with her. I didn’t want her to feel bad for me and cry.

Also, my husband always apologized after our arguments, so I forgave him.

I started working again in early-2022. Things were fine at first as my husband took care of the house chores while I was working.

I gave him VND4 million-5 million a month (around $168-$211), and he got another VND5 million a month as the interest of his investment. I was worried that we could not go in the long term with that total income, so I urged him to find a job, but he refused.

He started leaving our house for his hometown everytime we argued and stayed there for at least a month.

I felt like I was living like a single mom who worked and took care of our kid all on my own at the same time.

So I stopped giving my husband money. And he stopped taking care of the house chores as a revenge.

My mother passed away last year. I got sad, and during a big argument with my husband after my mother’s death, I decided to end my relationship with him. I moved out with our daughter.

But again, I forgave him when he apologized, not because I still loved him, but because I wanted my daughter to have a complete family.

My husband treated me nicely for a while after that incident. But it was not long until we started arguing every two or three months again. I told him again that I wanted to divorce, however, he didn’t want me to do so.

We have been living in that tense situation ever since. And he showed no signs of wanting to look for a job, despite that I have suggested it to him many times.

Then we got into another big argument recently. My husband swore at me, at my family, and even at my deceased mother. I felt hopeless with this man, and was motivated to file for a divorce this time.

I found a house to rent, and I think I will move out with my daughter. If I have to work overtime, I will send her to a private childcare service. Whether we can live like that in the long term will be considered later.

The only problem left is that I don’t know how to notify my in-laws and my own family about my decision. My in-laws are Christians, so it will be hard for me to tell them that I want a divorce. Not to mention that they treated me pretty well.

I have been not close to my father, because he divorced my mother as she had bad health and couldn't take care of him. I have an older brother, but I don’t know how to start a conversation with him about my story either.

What should I do now?

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