The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a male company employee in my 20s. My wife, who is two years older than me, works as a doctor. She suggested to me that I quit my company and become a househusband. It is true that her job as a doctor is so hard that she has little time to sleep. As a result, the reality is that she cannot do the housework.
Compared to my wife, I’m an ordinary company employee without any redeeming points. If possible, I would like to realize my wife’s wish for her. Fortunately, I like cleaning and washing as I used to enjoy them as a hobby.
If I’m honest, I don’t mind becoming a househusband at all. But I am concerned about just one thing. What will other people think of it? It would be painful for me to be regarded as a man who lives in idleness with his wife’s income.
I know in my mind that it is worthless vanity, but I can’t shake this feeling. I’m worried about what other people would say.
I’m asking you to advise me on a way I can persuade myself.
B, Tochigi Prefecture
Dear Mr. B:
I’d say you are lovely, or honest ... I believe that your character probably attracted your wife to you.
I can feel from your letter how proud you are of your wife and how much you love her. You think, “If possible, I would like to realize my wife’s wish for her.” How amazing you are!
I guess your wife may be thinking of what to do when she gives birth in the future. For the good of your child, she probably wants you to stay home as much as possible.
According to my opinion — though it is just my own theory — a couple is better when one supports the other than when both are active players. My husband has greatly reduced the work that he had before, and most of his work involves supporting me. In marathons, he runs with a “I am Akemi Masuda’s husband” written on his race number. It is very popular among athletes and people along the routes, and I greatly respect my husband, who does this without hesitation.
You say you are worried about what other people will say, but this will change with the times. There was a time when people looked coldly at a woman who went to work and left her child. Now and into the future, the number of couples like you and your wife is likely to increase.
Have the belief that “I support women who devote themselves to work!” And do your best as if you were opening a window for society. I believe your love will certainly defeat your vanity.
Akemi Masuda, sports commentator