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My wife hasn’t spoken with me for as long as 4 years

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a male company employee in my 50s. My wife has not spoken to me at all for the past four years. It makes my home unbearably gloomy.

My wife is in her 40s. It’s the third year since she started working. Our three children in their teens to 20s speak normally with my wife, and also with me.

I may have to endure the situation by assuming my wife is going through menopause a bit early. However, I think going through menopause and having no conversation with me are totally different matters.

My father, who used to live with us, died in his 90s in 2014. He had surgery and lived in a facility for people in his condition for his last seven months. I cared for him by myself throughout that time and was at his deathbed alone. My wife could seldom care for him, but I’m not especially unhappy about it.

My wife and children are very precious to me. They’re my beloved family, my treasures. I at least want my home to be always peaceful, warm and comfortable. I hope to live as peacefully and quietly as possible at home without making waves.

Please give me some good advice.

B, Tokyo

Dear Mr. B:

Oh no! Four years? She hasn’t spoken with you for four years. And you have no idea of the reason or cause?

But it’s not just that she hasn’t spoken to you — you haven’t spoken to her, either, right? Think of this as your fault, not your wife’s.

Menopause has nothing to do with this problem. There is a different reason, and it probably has something to do with you. If you have no idea, ask your children. They can probably tell you something.

What will you do if they say you’re responsible for the problem? That is the key issue.

You’re vaguely aware you are responsible for having caused the current situation. Because you feel guilty, you emphasized that you alone attended your father’s deathbed. That’s a kind of excuse.

So what should you do? Only your three children can give you good advice.

And you need to follow their advice obediently. Even if they offer you a severe suggestion, you need to accept it with gratitude.

Tatsuro Dekune, writer

(from Feb. 5, 2016, issue)Speech

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