The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a female nurse in my 20s. My family fiercely opposes my dating a man who is 20 years older than me.
He runs his own company. Although our ages are far apart like those of a father and daughter, he respects and supports me. I’m thinking about marrying him. I’m even prepared to change his diapers if he can’t go to toilet by himself when he becomes very old.
However, my family is very concerned about the difference of our ages. Even though I try to tell them about his personality and my feelings toward him, they won’t listen to me but just say, “Break up with him immediately.” When I told him about it, he just said: “Blame me. I apologize.”
Up until today, I’ve always listened to my family’s opinions when choosing jobs and at other turning points in my life. However, this time I want to decide by myself and take responsibility for my actions.
My beloved mother says to me in tears, “I can’t help but be anxious. Come back to me, please” and “I don’t want to cut my ties with you.” It wrings my heart and makes me cry. How should I come to terms with my family?
Dear Ms. S:
As you have such strong determination, he must be a very sincere and considerate person. So I thought you two should marry as soon as possible.
However, things don’t go smoothly, do they? It may be natural as you’ve so far asked your parents for their opinions before deciding various matters. Because your parents deplore your plans and are so sad, you are worried and shed tears — what a kind daughter you are!
You seem to have built a wonderful relationship with your parents at a time when many parents and their children are extraordinarily dependent on or indifferent to each other.
After learning about your good relationship with your parents, I’d rather suggest you hang on. Have him come to your house many times until your parents meet him. Together you should seek the permission of your parents. Don’t give up trying to persuade them. Do it again and again until you succeed.
We don’t marry as a result of coming to terms with somebody. You probably have directed your affection to your parents so far, but after marrying him, you should redirect all of it to him. It does not mean directing part of your affection to him and the remainder to your parents, but 100 percent to him and nothing for your parents. If you are not ready and lack the courage to do so, you shouldn’t marry. If you still want to marry him, remain constant for the rest of your life.
And if your parents finally approve your marriage, allow your father to beat him once.
I sincerely wish you live a happy life with him.
Hazuki Saisho, writer