My husband and I both grew up in the central region of Vietnam, but we lived in different provinces. We met in our last year of university, and he is six months younger than me.
We dated for two years before getting married, after which we had a baby girl, and then moved to Hanoi. We were a happy couple when we were still newlyweds, but after giving birth to my daughter, I was under extreme stress.
For years since my daughter’s birth, I have been waking up early in the morning to buy groceries, prepare ingredients, and then cook everything in the evening. I also made breakfast for my husband and child, and ordered out whenever my husband got bored with what I cooked.
My husband made more money than me and worked far away, so I took my kid to daycare and then went to work. To get to work on time, I usually wake up before 5 a.m. Our parents live far away and are not physically well, so I take care of my child by myself. I pick up my daughter in the afternoon and have a babysitter take care of her and do the laundry so I can cook and clean the house.
This daily routine leaves me exhausted and irritable. My husband acts like he’s tired from work every day. He only plays with our daughter for a short while and then is glued to his computer.
I only ask him to help me take out the trash or wash a few dishes when I’m too tired or busy. When I complained about the dishes being unclean, he said that I was nagging him. I even had to waste more time re-washing those dishes.
I kept my cool in the beginning, but gradually felt like I was being disrespected when he constantly called me “an annoying woman” every time I opened my mouth. I thought he would back down if I talked back, but he used even harsher words.
He didn’t curse, but he used very hurtful words. He said I should take a look into a mirror because my face was scrunched up like I just bit a lemon. He said he just wanted to cover up my face with a towel. Those words to me were the last straw; I felt like I was less than a maid.
After our biggest fight, he seemed shocked when I told him I had no feelings left and wanted to divorce. He didn’t think he had done anything wrong, instead, he told me to do whatever I wanted. He spoke badly of me to friends and relatives, saying that I was an insensible wife that only wanted to fight with her husband.
I ignored him because I was too tired at that point. I only wanted to focus on raising my child and doing my job well so I could get a raise. We remain married so our child can have both her parents on paper, but we sleep separately. I decided to wait until my daughter grows a bit more before filing for divorce.
I want to share my story to let everyone know that you can remain faithful and devote all your time and energy to your family, and still get belittled and disrespected.
I know there are many out there that are more fortunate than me, people that wouldn’t be treated badly by their husbands even when they do something wrong.
Thank you for reading.
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