Woman Files Lawsuit Against Husband for Not Showering Often Enough

A Turkish woman recently filed a lawsuit against her husband, claiming that he rarely showered, smelled of sweat, and brushed his teeth only once or twice per week.

The woman, identified only as A.Y. by Turkish news media, filed for divorce from her husband, C.Y., citing his lack of personal hygiene as the main reason. The plaintiff’s lawyer told the 19th Family Court in Ankara that the defendant wore the same clothes for at least 5 days in a row, rarely showered, and constantly reeked of sweat. Witnesses were brought in to confirm these claims, including mutual acquaintances and even some of the husband’s co-workers. They all gave statements confirming the defendant’s poor personal hygiene. The court approved the woman’s request for a divorce and also ordered the husband to pay her 500,000 Turkish lira ($16,500) as compensation to his now-former spouse for putting up with his lack of personal hygiene.

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“Spouses must fulfill the responsibilities of the shared life,” A.Y.’s lawyer, Senem Yılmazel, told Turkish newspaper Sabah. “If the shared life becomes unbearable due to behavior, the other party has the right to file for divorce. We must all be careful in human relations! For this reason, we must pay attention to both our behavior and cleanliness.”

In Turkish civil law, the accepted reasons for divorce are divided into two categories – special reasons and general reasons – with the latter including all the reasons that make life unbearable for one or both parties. In this particular case, the husband’s poor personal hygiene was deemed valid grounds for divorce by the Regional Court of Justice and the Supreme Court of Appeals, whose recent verdict was final.

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Court documents showed that, according to witness testimonies, C.Y. took a shower at most once every 7-10 days, and only brushed his teeth once or twice a week, which caused his breath to smell “unbearable”. Interestingly, some of the man’s coworkers agreed to appear as witnesses in this case and stated that his foul body odor made working with him torture.

Poor personal hygiene has been used as a cause for divorce before. In 2018, we wrote about a Taiwanese man who divorced his wife because she only bathed once a year, and three years later we featured the case of an Indian man who tried to divorce his wife because she didn’t shower daily.

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