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Sunday October 6, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday October 6, 2013 MYT 9:32:39 AM
I’M not sure where to begin. I hold dual citizenship – Japan and United States – and I’ve been living in Malaysia for nearly nine years. My wife, soon to be ex-wife, is Malaysian Chinese. Together, we have a daughter who will turn seven at the end of this month.
She has shown no affection, didn’t like me to hold her hand or being kissed, and wouldn’t let me touch her after our daughter was born.
We slept in separate rooms and when she wasn’t out with her friends and lovers, she hid in her room with the door locked, talking on the phone/online.
For the last three and a half years, she has been having affairs with four men that I know of. I finally threw her out in April as her behaviour started to affect our daughter. I have no living family except for my daughter and she means everything to me as I raised and took care of her on my own.
During the recent Mother’s day, I let my wife visit her to let her know how our daughter was doing. My wife got in a fight with a friend (who’s no longer one due to this incident) and she has disappeared with my daughter.
I sent her an SMS stating I want a divorce (her first marriage also failed due to her adulterous ways, I found out later).
I had tried many times to talk to her when we were married, but she always got angry and blamed everyone else.
She always complained that I never have enough money (I get a pension from the US government for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
I’m not rich but I paid the bills, put food on the table and gave her money every month. I supported her for eight years while she contributed nothing as she didn’t work until 10 months ago.
She would complain that she was broke in a week after getting paid (where does RM1,500 go in a week with nothing to show for it?) so I continued to give her money and paid for all the household expenses and my daughter’s school fees.
My wife viewed me as a stupid foreigner whom she complained about and scolded all the time. She couldn’t clean, cook or shop for groceries.
It took me four months of scrubbing, cleaning and painting to get the house cleaned up and threw out a tonne of rubbish she had collected. I’m still replacing all the things she broke around the house.
I’ve been clinically depressed the last three and a half years now due to how she treated me. I can’t get help though I tried at the hospital. I’m at a point where I want to commit suicide since I’ve nothing left to live for.
I haven’t seen or spoken with my daughter since my wife took her away. I’m in the process of divorcing my wife, but I doubt I will ever see my daughter again and figure I will lose anyway as she will lie and make up wild stories (about my PTSD). My depression has hit rock bottom.
Holding on for my daughter’s sake is getting harder each day. I can’t even find a lawyer that I can afford anyway so I plan to go to court and when it’s over, go home and end it all.
I can’t take being a walking ATM and emotional punching bag anymore. I only want my daughter back.
I’M so sorry to see that you have had such a bad time during your marriage. Even when you want it ended, the difficulties never seem to cease.
Judging from your wife’s behaviour, it may be that she had very different expectations from you with regard to your marriage. It could be that she had issues even before she met you.
Her badly-ended first marriage for one.
I don’t think you should bear any guilt for her behaviour. Nor shame. It sounds like you did your best in your role as a provider and father.
When we feel like the whole world is hopeless, perhaps we don’t see help where it is available. You have dual citizenship, and therefore two avenues for help. The American and Japanese Embassy both may be able to provide some form of help, or at least connect you with people who can help.
While you may not be able to afford a lawyer, the Malaysian Bar Council runs Legal Aid Centres in every state in Malaysia and will appoint a lawyer for you. Just because the service is free, people assume it must not be good. This is not the case at all.
Are you really willing to give up the fight for your daughter? It sounds like she will not at all be safe if she was with her mother. Are you ready to let her live a life of misery?
You have people around you whom you can rely on to speak on your behalf. Teachers and headmaster at school would be able to attest to your dedication to her well-being. Even those from the coffee shop you frequent with your daughter – can be rallied to your support.
If you think your wife is going to use your psychological problem to her defence, there is no reason to not preempt her. Surely the army would be able to supply you with reports to attest to your state of mind.
There are steps you can take to strengthen your case and get your daughter back. Speaking to the lawyers from the Legal Aid Centre as well as representatives from the embassies will surely provide more ideas and options.
There is still hope that your daughter will return to you. The suggestions I have provided here are but some that should be able to give you some hope to continue fighting. Your daughter needs you. You cannot commit suicide now. When you feel all hope is lost, think about your daughter and what she may be going through with her mother.
There is a saying that goes nothing good comes easy. When you think you really cannot endure it anymore, talk to someone. The Befrienders runs a telephone counselling line especially for situations like this.
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Dear Thelma, wife, divorce
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