Advice for marriage difficulties

  1. Make sure you have an APRC in your pocket, or better yet, an ROC ID and passport, before you even consider the possibility of divorce, either voluntarily or not. Without any of those, you are a sitting duck. A dead sitting duck.

  2. If you haven’t already, start documenting all your contributions to the household. In detail.

  3. Get a safe somewhere, hopefully not under your name. Put your passport, the kids foreign passport, and a stack of cash, as much as you can. Tell a close non mutual friend of where it is. Keep building a cash emergency fund.

All these are measures in case the worst happens. You will be grateful if you do not use them but even more if you do. However, the first point is non negotiable. You need a firm, legal way to stay here without depending on her.


Or you could stash them at the office.

First place anyone would look. Taiwanese co-workers may let the wife in.

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  1. In terms of APRC, I will be eligibe next month, we have discussed it before and she is ok with helping me get APRC.

  2. Yes I will do that.

  3. Most of our money is invested in my name outside of Taiwan. The only big investment we have here is our house (although mostly under a bank loan).

I know her well enough after nine years that she is not evil, she may have be a spoiled child that thinks she is entitled to be treated a certain way or to push responsibility on to me and manipulate to get her way but I don’t think she is the type to screw me over financially or get me deported.

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Really?! Man. Ignore that, OP.

You never know what’s going to happen when push comes to shove.


Of course, if we do divorce, then it is uncharted territory and all bets are off.

Just a few safety measures based on previous cases. As said, we hope the manure does not hit the fan, but if it does, remember the law is with her because she is a local. The kids are Taiwanese and it will take an act of God to get them out if things go bad. So tread carefully. Take care of yourself first. Protect yourself, then you can help others.

Exactly what I was going to say. If I could count the number of times I’ve heard, “It was like she/he became a completely different person.” This relationship sounds very one-sided and not sustainable in the long run, so something needs to change. It’s hard to know how she’ll react to any ultimatum, so it’s best to be prepared for the worst case scenario.

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I know, not having good Chinese, she has a large advantage in terms of legal terms here.

Surviving until I have APRC is not an issue and you bet I will be applying as soon as I am eligible (I believe the form is on my desk somewhere and has the eligibility date written on it).

If I just go along and do everything she says and just accept then it won’t be enjoyable for me but it won’t be hell either. I don’t dread going home from work, I just don’t get any enjoyment out of the relationship.

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I don’t think it’s worth staying in a relationship like this when you could be better off alone or with someone else. Life is short.

No, unless something changes it is not.

I am just saying until I am clear with APRC I can survive.


Have you actually sat down with her and communicated all the issues you laid out in your first post?


Your words earlier were 'I’m going crazy '.

You’re a hostage in this relationship, this marriage. No enjoyment, no intimacy, not a way to live.
If you can split but keep closely involved in the kids lives , living nearby, this could work out better for everybody. You can start to enjoy the part of your life that has been missing .


I have tried.

Anything to do with her study is very sensitive and likely to spiral into a big argument.

Anything to do with accepting me or spending time together or how she feels about me is met with I don’t treat her the way she wants and she is sorry she cannot give me what I need and I should leave her and find someone else.

You have some cards in this situation. Your wife isn’t coming across as the motherly type. She NEEDS you even after a divorce. Three kids is a lot of work.:sunglasses:


I may be wrong, but it sounds to me like she doesn’t love you and is looking at her eventual master’s degree as an escape route from you and the marriage. I’d be preparing for the worst at this stage if I were you.


Your right but there are so many difficulties in divorce.

We own a house and I would like the children to stay living there (less disturbance to them). The problem for me is being a single father, I obviously need to work to pay the bills and house loan and children need picked up at 4pm, I am 1 hour 30 commute away when I am at work and get home at 7:30pm.

Either I need my wife to still deal with children every day, or I need to put them in some sort of after school care until I can pick them up (probably around 8pm). I really don’t think thats fair on the children.

Yeah, that is a definite possibility.

Think about what you can change in terms of housing or your job ? Believe me I know it’s hard to find good jobs in Taiwan so I get that but look at the options . Work from home two days a week ? Flexitime? More and more international companies, even in Taiwan are doing this now. The HR people know it’s common in their offices worldwide and it reduces their office costs .

Do you envisage the kids staying with mom in the house or you as the principal caregiver?

If you move out you’d have to pay rental somewhere else and the house loan ? Maybe rent isn’t too much in that area anyway.