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I want to change my life before my fourth marriage

The Yomiuri Shimbun Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a female company worker in my 40s. My fourth marriage is about to be decided. To prevent another divorce because married life is too hard for me, I want to set a rule for myself that I will definitely observe, but I haven’t been able to do it yet.

In my first marriage, I couldn’t put up with my monotonous life. I started working, got a divorce and left my two children behind. During the second, I had another child. When I divorced, I took the child with me. My third marriage lasted for only a month.

Maybe I get bored too easily. In daily life, the feeling of loving somebody always grows weaker and weaker in my mind. When I had money, I wanted something that couldn’t be bought. When I was always required to live economically, I became sick of a thrifty life and started working outside the home.

I should probably tell my partner openly what I’m not happy about. In the past, I turned to divorce each time for a feeling of relief. If I’d had stronger moral support that encouraged me to make the best of the life I was leading, I probably wouldn’t have put my partners through so much trouble.

Please tell me something that is so powerful that it enables me to break this unhealthy cycle of marriage and divorce.

F, Osaka Prefecture

Dear Ms. F:

You want to hear something that will influence you to change your life. But it’s difficult to communicate such a thing in only a few short sentences. If, after hearing this, you still want my advice, I suggest you keep telling yourself that you should never run away again.

You’ve decided to change yourself from here on out. That’s marvelous. I feel you’ve always been aware of the problem and have already formed an answer in your mind. So you’ve already realized “not running away” should be the rule you should observe from now on.

You don’t easily get bored. But if you face something you feel is difficult, you give up on dealing with the matter instead of making efforts to overcome it. You don’t want to quarrel with your partner, so you bottle up your real feelings toward him and then run in the other direction. Am I wrong? Even if you run from one place to another, you’ll always end up facing the same difficulties unless you attempt to overcome your own problem.

You’ve already taken a step forward to change yourself. Don’t be scared of telling your partner about your problems. Be confident in going forward even if you make waves.

Junko Umihara, psychiatrist

(from Feb. 7, 2016, issue)Speech

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