My wife seeks divorce because I can’t afford a house

By Quang Huy   March 5, 2024 | 03:00 pm PT
My wife has been adamant about us buying a home in Hanoi since before our nuptials, citing the necessity of having our own place once we got married and started planning for children.

I am 32, and my wife is 31. We met while living overseas and hastily married because she became pregnant. Although my job is lucrative, my income and savings are insufficient for purchasing a house outright. Consequently, I advised her to return to Vietnam for her childbirth, with plans for me to follow after our wedding to search for a house.

Acknowledging the difficulties faced by my pregnant wife without my presence, I endeavored to provide the best support possible. I secured a four-story house rental near her workplace for her accommodation. In addition, I transferred VND30 million (US$1,214) monthly to cover the rent and her living expenses. As she approached the final stages of pregnancy, her mother moved in to assist her. I also adjusted my work commitments to be present for the birth of our child, which was a few months ago.

Now that I’ve relocated back to Vietnam, my wife insists on us finding a permanent home to avoid the continuous expense of rent. Despite identifying a suitable property and preparing to make a down payment, we encountered additional financial hurdles.

Our desired house is priced at VND3.5 billion, yet my savings amount to only VND800 million, and my parents contributed an additional VND1 billion. The shortfall led us to borrow money from our respective parents and siblings, who generously offered support, despite my in-laws having to incur debts to assist us.

Nevertheless, my wife expressed dissatisfaction, reluctant to impose financial burdens on her parents post-marriage. She contended that providing a home should fall on the groom’s family, leading to a significant dispute that culminated in her threatening to leave with our child and pursue a divorce, citing unwillingness to let her parents accrue debt or share in the house’s financial responsibilities.

She said her threats of divorce also stemmed from conflicts with my mother and a desire for independence, leading her to refuse being confined or serving my family.These issues arose despite her only staying briefly at my home for our child’s first-month celebration and the week-long Tet Lunar New Year holiday.

I refrained from signing the divorce papers as I believe in maintaining a complete family for our child’s happiness. Despite not measuring up to some, I persist in my efforts and contribute to childcare and household duties. Yet, our child’s attachment to her complicates matters, as my attempts to soothe our child during nights or fussy periods are unsuccessful, leading my wife to blame me for not being able to relieve her during nighttime.

The future of our relationship hangs in balance, leaving me uncertain about the path forward.

What should I do now?

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