My Daughter Cut Ties After I Pressed Her to Divorce Her Husband

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a homemaker in my 60s, and I was living with my daughter and her husband. However, they have moved out because I kept asking her to divorce him as he has a developmental disability. I don’t know how to feel about the situation.

She used to be a devoted daughter. She bought a newly built house for me by taking out a loan after I got divorced eight years ago, and we had a peaceful life for a while.

However, my life changed completely after she got married four years ago. I later found out he has a developmental disability.

I begged my daughter to divorce him for years. Of course, she never agreed to it and our relationship worsened. They ended up moving out while I was away from home.

She left behind a note saying, “I won’t contact you for a while, and even if you try to contact me, I won’t answer.”

I know it’s selfish of me to want her to get divorced, but I just can’t accept her marriage to that man. It’s hard for me because I feel like my daughter has abandoned me.

I don’t know how to handle this situation. I would be grateful if you could give me some advice.

H, Chiba Prefecture

Dear Ms. H:

Like you said, you seem to have been abandoned by your daughter. It’s a reasonable consequence, because you demanded that she accept your unreasonable demand. This goes beyond selfishness as a parent.

Unless you change your mindset and apologize to her, your daughter will probably never see you as a parent anymore and will likely never talk to you again.

No one willingly develops a disease or disability. Even if you think it is none of your concern, you never know when you yourself will become ill or disabled.

Developmental disabilities are said to be innate and caused by how the brain works. The number of people with such symptoms is on the rise in recent years.

A recent survey by the education ministry shows that 8.8% of students in non-special needs classes at public elementary and junior high schools could possibly have developmental disabilities. It is believed that many more adults than we know of have developmental disabilities and they have just not been diagnosed. Disabilities affect people differently and many such people can work in various settings depending on their strengths.

You not only treated your daughter’s husband unfairly on the grounds of his disability, but you also tried to tear the couple apart and expel your son-in-law from the family.

There are books about developmental disabilities written by experts, so please search them out. Once you learn more about disabilities and realize how much you have damaged your son-in-law’s dignity, only then should you try to contact your daughter.

— Hazuki Saisho, writer