My husband suddenly wants to get divorced after just marrying last year

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a woman in my 20s. I got married last year and live with my husband and our dog. We recently built a house, and I was thinking that next we’d have a baby. But after we had a big fight, he said he wants a divorce.

Perhaps it is because he is tired from work, but since the fight, he doesn’t even care for the dog. He’s always irritated while driving, too. He has had second thoughts about the divorce, but he still told me that if I ever feel like splitting up, I should tell him.

He used to be kind and devoted to me, but now he is so cold and I’m lonely. We used to make up right away after arguments. But this time, he told me he can’t go back to the way he used to be.

I want to go back to our previous relationship. I keep talking to him and trying to make him laugh, but he doesn’t respond. Maybe I should keep my distance for a while, but I’m afraid that his feelings will cool even more in the meantime. What should I do?

— A, Ishikawa Prefecture

Dear Ms. A:

Reading about this baffling situation in which a husband does not quite explain why he wants a divorce reminded me of two couples I knew.

Both couples appeared to be happy, but they broke up. In both cases, the husbands — who had been kind to their wives — suddenly decided to leave, and when their wives asked why, all they could say was, “You wouldn’t understand.”

It’s not like the husbands had found someone else. It just seemed that they couldn’t stand to live with their wives anymore. This case of what appeared to have been a kind husband suddenly asking for a divorce happened twice to people around me.

A recent trend in dating where couples do not share their true feelings but instead read the mood and suppress their own opinions, seems to have extended to married couples as well.

Your husband has been “kind and devoted” thus far, you say. However, couples do better in a relationship of mutual support than one of devotion.

To start with, a wife who is unilaterally devoted is only an illusion. In real life, illusions quickly disappear.

At this point, you have no choice but to talk honestly about what the problem is and how you can both change. It’s best to frankly and persistently ask questions of your husband, while being prepared to have your heart broken.

— Tomomi Fujiwara, writer