The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a homemaker in my 50s.
My husband, who runs a company, is always comparing me to two women at his work, which has been terrible for me to endure.
When my husband started his business, he wanted me to help him and leave our children in day care or with his mother, but I devoted myself to child-rearing and doing housework. Since then, my husband has compared me to those two employees — who worked hard and put their children in day care — to the point where he has verbally abused me.
When my child-rearing responsibilities became less demanding, I began caring for my parents-in-law. After that, I started caring for my own parents. I barely have time for myself, let alone time to work. My husband, however, has continued his verbal abuse. He doesn’t like that I’m taking care of my mother and has even hinted at wanting a divorce.
In contrast, he dotes on those two employees. He even tells me he loves them more than me, even though he claims he isn’t having affairs with them. He goes out for dinner and drives with them on his days off.
At the moment, if I get a divorce, I need to work while taking care of my mother, which is next to impossible for me. I feel miserable and unhappy when at home every day.
E, Chiba Prefecture
Dear Ms. E:
It certainly must be annoying having a husband who constantly insults you by comparing you to his two female employees. Such abuse must be painful and difficult to bear.
There are many different ways for married couples to get along. When your husband began his business, you chose to be a homemaker — doing household chores, raising children and looking after your in-laws. What you’ve done in your life is admirable and you’re certainly not inferior to his female employees. Please have confidence in your life choices.
Furthermore, your husband has no basis for suggesting divorce.
Your husband has been very selfish as he leaves all the housework to you while enjoying his time off with those women. Even though he claims he isn’t having an affair, he says he loves them more than you and ignores you. This is really serious as he has already betrayed the trust needed in marriage.
What will you do with such a husband? I have no idea what you hope to do.
If divorce really is next to impossible, I suggest you reevaluate these circumstances you’ve reluctantly accepted and plan a new future for yourself. You still have the second half of your life ahead of you.
Sachiyo Dohi, lawyer