The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a woman in my 40s. My husband started his own business 15 years ago, and I’ve dedicated myself to helping his business and endured not being allowed to take days off or being paid an appropriate salary. Now I can’t get rid of my grudge against him.
My husband has controlled my schedule and ordered me to do things he should have done himself. When our child was still young, I had a hard time balancing my family life and work, so I asked him to help more, but he just got angry. Ever since then, I have tried not to bring up the matter.
My husband worked for a company once, which he quit after he caused a loss to his employer due to a mistake he made. He had no choice but to borrow money from relatives to start his own business. Since then, he’s always taken his frustration out on me.
My husband recently closed his business and is set to do similar work to what he did before. His attitude to me has become less grim, probably because I brought up divorce. Nevertheless, it’s still hard for me to continue living with this man while repaying debts to relatives.
Our child also recommends I get a divorce, but I don’t have enough savings to start living on my own. How should I deal with my grudge against my husband?
S, Kyoto Prefecture
Dear Ms. S:
I have very little I can tell you, as you have endured a tough life with your husband and worked hard for many years. You spoke of getting a divorce, and your child has supported it. All you need to do now is just make a decision.
Think about what will be more stressful — getting a divorce or continuing your married life until you or your husband die. Which will be more bearable for you?
Living apart from your husband may be another option. If you are away from him and live a busy life, your grudge against him may diminish a little. Do you think that would work?
Regarding his debts, you don’t have to repay them unless they were borrowed under your name or you are a guarantor. To find a job, you will probably need to work hard, but will certainly succeed if you are prepared to do whatever it takes.
Beyond your course of action, I’m more concerned that you describe your feelings as a grudge, rather than anger or disappointment. It sounds as if you are crying out, “Give me back the years I’ve wasted enduring all of this!”
I hope you will ask yourself whether you can get peace of mind if you hear him apologize. In other words, the point is whether you still love “this man” and can continue doing so.
You used the word grudge many times in your closely written letter without a line break. I felt it symbolizes your life.
Hazuki Saisho, writer