Hello Dr Snigdha,
My daughter and son-in-law live abroad. They have been married for six years now but they haven’t got along well till now. They even have a three-year-old daughter but things have only gone from bad to worse. My son-in-law likes to drink and smoke a lot and is an outdoor person who gives little time to his family. He is friends with like-minded guys who drink heavily (at his expense), at least twice a week.
Earlier in their marriage, they even used to hit each other when their fights blew up. I am not aware of any such activity recently but my daughter tried to ingest a handful of pills a few months back to end this trauma. We have tried talking to them both but to no avail. My son-in-law does not even listen to his side of the family. His mother is bedridden and father is no more, only brother and sister-in-law are there. He does not even correspond much with them, only supports them financially. He is usually very nice in front of others but then he would fight with her over mails and WhatsApp.
My daughter and he are now talking of getting a divorce and she wants to file a harassment case against him. Kindly guide.
– A worried Mother
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Dear Worried Mother,
You may surely be worried about your daughter. Your daughter’s relationship with the husband hasn’t been good since the beginning. It’s also clear from your message that they have decided to divorce.
There are a few things you can do or suggest to your daughter.
A Get a lawyer
B Seek a financial planner with the lawyer
C Seek psychotherapeutic support to handle the stress that comes with divorce.
This will take six months to a year at least if they mutually agree to divorce. Your daughter needs support and empathy and a sense of security that her family and friends can provide in this time of crisis. How to go about filing for divorce, filing it for harassment, etc. all come under the legal purview. I am not the right person to speak with you about this.
What I can suggest apart from the aforementioned points is, being patient. Practising patience and loads of it. Keep communication with your daughter open and be pragmatic. Despite all the chaos and emotional upset, their separation may make you as a mother, her pragmatic anchor – however, do seek inputs from a competent lawyer.
All the best.