My husband started divorce proceedings without discussing it with me

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a female company employee in my 20s and will likely get divorced after just two months of marriage. I can’t give up on my husband and would like your advice on how I should move forward.

It started as a result of him being loose with money and lying to me. We got married on the promise that I would handle the household finances. However, he didn’t show me the bank book at first. When he finally let me see it, there was hardly any money in the account, and he gambled away more than twice the amount he said he did on horse racing.

He then got mad at me, and we couldn’t properly discuss the issue. When I told my parents, they called his parents, but instead of talking to their son about his behavior, his parents ended up getting angry and said parents should stay out of it.

Apparently, after that, my husband was told by his parents to cut off contact with me, live separately and start divorce proceedings. I haven’t seen him since.

I haven’t been able to stop crying, as everything happened so quickly. I also can’t focus on my work. I haven’t been able to talk to my husband, and divorce proceedings are moving forward whether I like it or not.

— D, Aichi Prefecture

Dear Ms. D:

You felt something was wrong, so that is why you wrote to this column. Am I correct? However, you are unable to fully express what that problem might be. That is what I got after reading your letter.

First of all, his parents were correct in saying that parents shouldn’t interfere in a marriage between adults. Even though it was done out of love, your parents have to bear a lot of blame for making it impossible for you and your husband to have a calm discussion. Your husband is also just doing whatever his parents say by starting divorce proceedings without talking to you.

I understand parents love their children, but we are no longer living in an old-fashioned patriarchal era. What both your parents did is, without a doubt, a human rights violation. It shows that both your parents do not respect their children as people.

In any case, you should try to talk to your husband about whether you two want to get divorced or if you want to work on your marriage. If you want to stay together, you will have both to work out what kind of rules to set for the finances. It is an issue between the two of you, so the two of you will have to talk it out.

If the divorce has already been filed, you should go to the Japan Legal Support Center, a national support organization for legal issues, and request a family court mediation to nullify the divorce. Do not leave important life decisions to others, and do not try to run away from your problems by blaming your parents.

— Hazuki Saisho, writer