Dear Thelma: We have a baby, but hubby is planning his ‘escape’

  • Family
  • Sunday, 19 Jan 2020

She has married a man who doesn’t respect her, who cheats on her and who appears to be planning to dump her in a few years’ time. And now there’s a baby in the mix.

I have been married for seven months now and have a baby. Before we got married, he was my boyfriend for seven long years. He is six years older than me, and a Japanese. I met him when I was a university student.

After I graduated, he was very excited about choosing which path I should go. I was a bit annoyed because I couldn’t do whatever I wanted to do with my life. It ended up with me becoming too dependent on his decision and not knowing what I wanted to do with my life since he was deciding everything.

After six years together, he became interested in another girl and decided to break up with me. I felt so lost and accepted his decision.

A few months after leaving him, I got a message from him, saying he wanted to continue our relationship. I went back to him. While being together for just a few months, I got pregnant. We decided to get married so he went back to his family home to save money.

Unfortunately, I caught him cheating on me. I found out he was using a lot of dating sites. I confronted him about it and he didn’t deny it but instead broke up with me and told me he was not sure about me and wanted somebody better. I was devastated. He had already spoken with my parents about us getting married. I begged him and he decided to go ahead and get married.

Unfortunately, I found out on the same day when he said we were going to get married, that he had paid for more dating sites. I acted as if I didn’t see it because I didn’t want him to get angry and change his mind about marrying me.

Before marrying me, he was researching about divorce; if he could find a younger wife after five years of marriage; if he is going to be happy; if he will be sad if he is separated from the child. I also saw that he was checking how to find a girl with the same hobby as him.

Now that we are married, I am not happy at all. I feel devastated. I shouldn’t have gotten married. He bought our wedding bands and found that his was too big for him. I asked him to have it fixed but he ignored me and didn’t do anything about it.

He is married and has a child but he has never posted anything about this on social media but he always posts other things, like meeting new friends, working out at the gym, his travels, etc.

He never informed his closest friends about our marriage, only his family and five other friends. When he went back to Japan to fix my visa and child’s nationality, I saw that he was researching about getting prostitutes and having sex around the world. It made me very unhappy.

I always feel anxious and that he will leave me soon and cheats on me all the time. I also pity my child if I get a divorce. I’ve spoken to him about divorce but he just got angry and asked me to make more money since I am just working as a freelancer now.

I don’t know what to do anymore. I can’t talk with my family and friends about my situation since I just got married and gave birth. I feel very desperate.


Oh dear, this is a mess. You’ve married a man who doesn’t respect you, who cheats on you and who appears to be planning to dump you in a few years’ time. If you were just married, you could simply divorce but now there’s a baby in the mix, it’s going to be a lot more difficult.

I think the most urgent matter is to get legal advice. You need information about divorce proceedings, custody and other matters.

My first step would be to go to the relevant authorities. They have people who can advise you on basic things to consider when you divorce a partner who is not the same nationality. My second step would be to consult a divorce lawyer with experience in this area.

As you married a foreign man, and you say he’s gone to his country to fix your child’s nationality, I suspect your baby is stateless. If so, that needs to be rectified too. As I understand it, such matters can take years, so be prepared for a lot of red tape.

While you are sorting out the legal issues, I strongly advise you to stay put in your country. If you go to Japan, you’ll be dealing with a system you don’t know and in a foreign language. Japan is also a very expensive country and the costs may simply be unaffordable. So be sensible and stay home.

Divorce is never fun but as you two have a child together, I do hope you can work together for the good of the child. Ideally, you two work out a reasonable custody agreement where he can see his baby regularly and contribute his half to the cost of raising a child. But as Japan is far away, I think you should be prepared in case he disappears and you are left to raise the child as a single parent. It’s a big job but there are lots of ladies who do it. So, gather your courage!

Also gather your support group. That means talking to your parents, your family and your friends.

I can see you’re embarrassed about this situation but you need their help. Tell them what’s happened and ask them to help you set up a life that will allow you to raise a happy, healthy baby.

I know it sounds overwhelming and therefore I think you need to go to a counselling centre as soon as possible as well. As you’re going to need money for the baby and to get the paperwork in order, either ask your local council where to source their free services, or contact a relevant NGO.

For your counselling sessions, I suggest you start by discussing why you let another person make your life decisions and why you were so desperate to marry someone who didn’t like you very much. You need to understand what you were thinking and to learn new behaviour so that you create positive change.

Add in some help in stress management as you’ve got some tough times ahead, and count on putting in some extra sessions just for maintenance, a safe space where you can unload when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

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