A Taiwanese man recently had his petition for divorce approved by the New Taipei City District Court after claiming psychological torture due to his ex-wife’s hygiene habits, or lack thereof. The woman, surnamed Lin, allegedly bathed just once a year and only occasionally washed her hair or brushed her teeth.
The unnamed plaintiff said that Lin’s hygiene was questionable at the time they were dating when she bathed weekly, but that her behavior worsened after their wedding. Her weekly showers became monthly showers, then biannual, and when she started bathing only once a year, he just couldn’t take it anymore. The man said that due to Lin’s unsanitary habits they only had sex once a year, which prevented the couple from producing any children in their decade-long marriage.
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Both the plaintiff and Lin are unemployed, with the former claiming that she had dissuaded him from working, convincing him instead to stay home and care for his elderly father-in-law. “I had an opportunity to work as a building security guard,” the man told Taipei Times, adding that Lin had told him that it was demeaning work and prevented him from taking the job. Lin’s mother paid the couple’s daily expenses, but without another source of income, they could barely get by.
“We remained poor, as neither of us had a job,” the man said, adding that he wasn’t even able to pay his National Health Insurance contribution which meant that he could not afford to visit a dentist.
In late 2015 the plaintiff moved out of the house and found a job in Hsinchu. It was when Lin showed up at his new workplace after only one month demanding he quit that the man finally decided to file for divorce.
Lin, who opposes the divorce, claims that the man is lying and that her parents had treated him like a son. She says that she only visited his workplace because he had not been taking or returning her calls. The mother-in-law told Taipei Times that she periodically sent money to the couple because of their long-term unemployment and that she never wanted to subsidize their living expenses.
The court supported the plaintiff’s case, stating that the couple was at odds over work, family chores, and hygiene and that after a two-year separation it was evident that the marriage was not going to work.
The judge granted the divorce, but Lin can still appeal the ruling.