The New Taipei City District Court on Thursday approved a petition for divorce by a man who claimed psychological torture due to his now ex-wife’s unsanitary habits.
The plaintiff, who remains unnamed, said that his wife, surnamed Lin (林), only bathed once a year and did not brush her teeth or wash her hair on a regular basis.
The plaintiff said that Lin’s hygiene habits were off-kilter even when they were going out — when she had bathed once a week — but that her behavior worsened after their marriage, as showers, brushing teeth and washing hair were first put off for one month at a time and then half a year.
The man said that due to Lin’s unhygienic habits, they only had sex once a year, which prevented the couple from having children for a decade.
The man said Lin did not have a job, but also dissuaded him from working, asking him instead to stay at home and cook for his father-in-law, who had difficulty moving around.
“I had an opportunity to work as a building security guard,” the man said, adding that Lin said it was demeaning work and forbade him to take the job.
Lin said that after her father obtained the rights to start a lottery store they could do that for a living, but the man said his father-in-law never managed to draw the lucky straw.
“We remained poor, as neither of us had a job,” the man said, adding that he was even unable to pay his National Health Insurance contribution and could not afford to visit a dentist.
The man said their daily expenses were paid using what little money his wife had been able to get from his mother-in-law.
The man said he moved out of the house and found a job in Hsinchu in late 2015, but finally decided to file for divorce when his wife showed up at his new job demanding that he quit after earning only one month’s salary.
Her husband lied about their relationship, Lin said, adding that her parents had treated him like a son.
She had opposed a divorce and had visited her husband at his job because he had been unwilling to return her calls, Lin said.
The man’s father said he had not known that the situation was so dire until his son complained a year ago that he was unable to work.
Lin’s mother periodically gave her daughter and son-in-law money because the couple was without jobs for many years, she said, adding that she did not wish to continue subsidizing their living expenses.
The couple was at odds over work, family chores and hygiene, the court said, adding that as the two had been separated for about two years, it was evident that the marriage was not going to work.
The judge granted the divorce, but the ruling can still be appealed.
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