The Yomiuri Shimbun Dear Troubleshooter:
I’m a male worker at an association in my early 30s. I got married two years ago. I’m worried that my wife, who also works, wakes up too late in the morning.
She stays in bed until the very last minute, then after getting up, quickly takes a shower and does her makeup. Then she snatches the bento lunch that I prepare for her and rushes out the door.
I myself get up before 6 a.m., go for a jog and take a shower before making both our breakfast and bentos. I have to leave for work right after eating breakfast. Even after all I do, my wife often complains about some household chore I didn’t do, or how I did it. Sometimes I snap and this leads to an argument.
It’s not that I want her to cook the meals and prepare my bento. I just want a morning in which we eat a leisurely breakfast together while having a nice conversation, perhaps with nice music in the background, before heading out to work.
Before we got married, my wife lived alone and had to wake up on time and do everything for herself. I have heard from her and her colleagues that she is strict and well-organized at work.
I’m probably aggravated because I consider her an equal partner.
To handle this, I keep telling myself that there is a big child in the house. Still, I find myself getting angry at her.
M, Fukuoka Prefecture
Dear Mr. M:
Going as far as preparing her bento lunch — you are indeed a super husband. I was amazed. You are the type of “good husband” who is desired by women around the world. But I’m a bit concerned that you are being a little too good.
Your wife, who is very strict at work, has become unable to look after herself, although she could do it before getting married.
I can think of several reasons for this. She may have come to depend on you as you do whatever she needs done. Or, as you always have everything so well organized at home, she might feel she has nothing to do and can’t help but stay in bed sulking.
I suggest you thoroughly discuss with her what she wants, and how you want the marriage to go. It is necessary to convey your feelings to each other, so you can also get repaid for the effort you have made.
While I understand your wanting to regard her as a big child, this might have the opposite effect. Some women want to be spoiled by their husband, but your wife is so independent that she will seek an equal relationship.
Junko Umihara, psychiatrist