The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a man in my 40s. After getting divorced, I continued spending time with my former wife and our daughter, such as taking trips together. However, this was revealed to her relatives, which has harmed my relationship with her.
For some reason, five years ago we got divorced. Ever since, she has lived with our daughter while working regularly and receiving financial assistance from her relatives.
I thought I would restore our marital relations for the well-being of our daughter, and said this to my former wife. She declined, but the three of us have spent time together on weekends and trips.
However, her relatives found out about this and showed their disapproval. When learning about it, my ex-wife said she wouldn’t travel with me anymore. This has clouded our relationship. Although I discussed this matter with her a lot, she has maintained she must follow her relatives’ opinion. I have no way to deal with her.
I’m willing to wait to restore our relationship and get remarried, no matter how long it takes. I hope it’ll take place before my daughter has grown up.
W, Saitama Prefecture
Dear Mr. W:
I’m answering you without knowing why you got divorced, so please forgive me if I miss the point.
I have to say, first and foremost, your wish is too selfish.
I have no idea why your former wife agreed to spend time with you on weekends or travel with you by letting your daughter join you, even though she does not have the will to remarry you. Is it because you just pleaded with her or forced her to do so? Or did she do so because she felt pity for you?
You say you want to remarry her for the sake of your daughter. Are you really certain your daughter wishes that? Objectively speaking, your behavior is so embarrassing. Don’t you think so?
Her relatives hate you because you are so shameless. Your former wife has also said she won’t spend time with you anymore. These are quite natural consequences.
You can’t expect your relationship with her to improve, no matter how long you wait. Your daughter won’t grow in the way you are dreaming.
You just have to accept there are some things you have to give up on. You have the freedom to stick to your way of doing things and try to materialize your desires. At the same time, however, you should realize it is unlikely for everything to go well for you and for all the people around you to be happy about it.
Taku Mayumura, writer