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TROUBLESHOOTER / My husband quit his job, told me to mail salary back

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a female public servant in my 40s. My husband recently told me he’s going to give back the salary he received from a company he just quit.

He’s in his 50s and in spring this year, he got a new job through the introduction of a friend. However, he quit after just two months. He said he left because the company president had said to him, “We’re paying you too much,” which was a big blow to his pride.

My husband asked me to send back the cash from his final salary payment by registered mail. I refused because there is no reason for him to do so, but he replied: “If you’re not going to send it back, then just take it to the convenience store and throw it in the garbage.” There’s no way I could ever do that.

My husband has no hobbies, he works diligently, and he doesn’t drink or smoke. In the job that he quit, he didn’t have to be there until 8 a.m., but showed up at 4:30 a.m. and got right to work.

Still, in the past five years, he has changed jobs three times. In two of those cases, he quit after getting into an argument with the company president over differences of opinion regarding the job.

I’m at my limit mentally, and I’m having trouble sleeping at night. Moving forward, what’s the best way to handle my husband?

S, Ibaraki Prefecture

Dear Ms. S:

If you’ve been told to throw the money away, tell him you did, then just hide it away.

In other words, instead of making such a big deal out of it, just lightly dodge the issue and move on. This is the best way to handle your husband.

Your husband is trying to look strong in front of you. He doesn’t go into details about what went wrong at the company, but only complains about it. This is because he is embarrassed in front of you. It’s his way of coming up with an excuse.

If he wants to return the money, he should do it himself. He makes you do it because he himself knows that what happened at the company wasn’t grave enough to warrant quitting.

As he is a serious person, you are the only one he can take his frustrations out on. Please think of it from that perspective, appropriately dodge the matter and do what you can to humor him.

I suspect you and your husband have similar personalities. Don’t take the matter to heart.

If something should happen to you, there’ll be nobody to listen to your husband. Please always be on his side. But in all seriousness, sometimes it’s OK to fool around.

Tatsuro Dekune, writer

(from Sept. 4, 2018, issue)Speech

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