I am looking for some urgent advice with how to proceed. My wife is constantly emotionally and physically abusive to both my 3 and 5-year-old. She belittles both, plays favorites, talks about her impending death, threatens them with all manner of scary stories and regularly slaps then on the head or back with an open palm.

I am convinced she has a personality disorder including OCD and NPD (I suggested therapy and was told to f-off). She has been drunk while they are in her care on many occasions as well.

She is currently a stay-at-home mum, however, we have had a maid since the eldest was born who bathed and fed them, and now I work from home and do most of the cleaning etc.. She is simply a person who wants to continue her life undisturbed by kids, she still has her Friday night (though they can be a midweek one as well) blow-outs, coming home blind drunk and vomiting like clockwork.

I am scared to leave her with the kids as she is extremely lax when it comes to safety. We live on the 38th floor and she has left the balcony door open many times, and now she is not bothered about closing the baby gate and letting the boys run free in the kitchen. Her latest act has been to go clubbing and drinking in pubs during this coronavirus outbreak without taking any precautions and coming home completely wasted. (BTW we live in Hong Kong).

I am writing this from a coffee shop as I have been forced out by her gal pals who are over for drinks. I have endured this for 18 yrs now. I want to get advice on how I can proceed? Do I simply rock up at the CPA and tell them the situation? Why would they believe me? How to prove this? I would give her everything as long as I can care for the boys.

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    speaking as a dad myself, youre a better parent than many are. Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 13:46
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    If you decide to go any route where evidence will be important (CPA, divorce, any legal route, etc), start gathering and documenting it now. It will work out a lot better for you if you have detailed notes (what happened, your concerns, her actions/reactions) with dates and times, photos if possible, etc.
    – Becuzz
    Commented Mar 20, 2020 at 12:21
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    Lots going on here. You have the choice between leaving with the kids to let her self-destruct, or getting her professional help. Obviously, she's resisting help, but it really comes down to how much you care for her. By your description, she is acting selfish and, frankly, as though she's single and free of responsibilities, including the responsibilities of a stable marriage. If you really want to fight a (likely losing) battle for her, get her help. If not, high tail it out of there with the kids. Commented Mar 20, 2020 at 16:12
  • Tag for your country as lwas and rules change heavily from one to the other.
    – MakorDal
    Commented Mar 23, 2020 at 10:04
  • @MakorDal There is no "hong-kong" tag, and I think he's already added the maximum number of tags anyway.
    – nick012000
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 1:37

3 Answers 3


The mother does not seem like she will change her ways. Some people might encourage you to try to talk to her about her treatment of the kids, to give her an ultimatum, but personally I think this could just make the situation worse. You need to get the kids away from her. The best way to do this would be the legal route, unless you greatly expect that she will happily let you have full custody, not wanting to see the kids for them, or out of spite against you.

Any evidence you can get will be very useful. The maid may be able to support what you say, depending on how open your wife is with her mistreatment of the kids. I'd also suggest trying to get some video or audio recordings, but you should look into whether these can be used in court if the other person is not aware that they are being recorded.

In terms of the kitchen, I suggest kid-proofing it. Try to store any dangerous items out of their reach, and any low cupboards that need to store dangerous items should have childproofing locks.

  • Dear DarkSeren, many thanks for your time and advice, I will have to be extremely tactful about my next step. I really appreciate your reply and it is just great to tell somebody about my situation as I've had to bottle it up and lie to everyone including my mum....Thx Rob Commented Mar 20, 2020 at 17:25

If she refuses therapy and wants to party lifestyle she is clearly not fit to be a mother. Child Protection seems to be your best bet because what else can you do? I don't know how it works in Hong Kong but here the child(ren) are often placed under supervision where a counselor comes by to talk tot hem and regularly keep an eye on them (asking how mommy and daddy are behaving).

But how far along are you in the divorce? because you can make your case during it..if she really is such a party girl she will probably not put up much of a fight in court. Also having your maid or others testify on her behavior can help...but sadly there is the issue of gender bias...many judges/courts still believe a mother would take better of a child then a father could so you will have to make a hard case... i would also suggest seeking legal aid before you make your move.

  • Dear A. Bakker, many thanks for your helpful advice, its gonna be a tough road ahead, still got a lot of thinking to do. I will go to the local CPA for a chat to see what they suggest. Thx again Rob. Commented Mar 20, 2020 at 17:26

The question seems like the thing I'd write after having a big fight. The difference is that I would not post it and I know I'll regret posting it after a few days once both of us calm down. She's been like this for 18 years and you are still together, so no matter how bad it is, you tolerated it for 18 years and chances are you will collect yourself and carry on with her (probably by now after 4 days of posting).

However if you decide to go otherwise, I suggest getting a divorce lawyer.

  • I don't see how this answers the question.
    – sleske
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 10:10
  • Even if it has lasted this long it is clearly an unhealthy relationship and a very bad situation for their child. Something HAS to change there.
    – A.bakker
    Commented Mar 24, 2020 at 10:18
  • Thanks to you all. I assure you I have no regrets about posting and was never in a state that needed collecting. This behavior is new and has coincided with her having to stay home, hence why I am now seriously considering my options. The boys are in danger and I can't stand still, I have made contact with the social services and will follow this through. I have collected more than enough evidence over the past week including a disturbing slap on my eldest. I am truly grateful that u guys would even respond in the first place. Wish you and your families well in these dangerous times. Rob. Commented Mar 26, 2020 at 16:18
  • "no matter how bad it is, you tolerated it for 18 years and chances are you will collect yourself and carry on" -- each to their own, but I have remained with my wife for 25 years, first to protect the children from abuse, then when she faced cancer, her dad's death, COVID-19, her mum's death, and I am separating from her now. Remaining with someone has all sorts of causes, and in at least my it is not a sign that all will be well.
    – boisvert
    Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 16:49

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