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TROUBLESHOOTER / My only daughter in her 40s goes unmarried

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a homemaker in my 60s and worried about my only daughter, who is in her early 40s and hasn’t gotten married yet. She doesn’t even have a boyfriend.

She was told she was “cute” when she was a child wherever I took her, so I believed that she would get married at an early age. I had the wrong idea.

She’s good at English and travels abroad all the time. She lives in a condominium that her father bought and lives with him. I live in another house to look after my mother, who is in her 80s and suffers from dementia.

I have continued to live in this house, even after my mother started living at a nursing care facility at the end of last year when the symptoms of her disease worsened. If something happened to her, I would move into my husband’s condominium. If that happens, my daughter said she would move out to live alone.

I want to have a grandchild, but it seems to be difficult to satisfy such a wish. I have no problem with my own life, but am I wrong to wish my daughter gets married at any cost?

W, Tokyo

Dear Ms. W:

It’s often said, “Marriage doesn’t always mean happiness” and “My daughter lives her own life, not my life.” You may think you understand someone, but can’t you help but hope that your daughter will get married like others. I know how you feel. I don’t think it’s bad to hope for that.

However, according to demographic forecasts, it’s estimated that about 20 percent of women in her age group will remain unmarried.

Not just hoping for someone to get married, but also wishing for their happiness even if they remain unmarried has become more and more important.

You have a good relationship with your family while you are away looking after your mother. You write in your letter that you have no problem with your life, but your daughter may be feeling the same way about her life.

Why don’t you bring your plan forward to move in with your husband and get back your life with him, and swap your home life with that of your daughter’s?

Now is the time of the 100-year lifespan. Have your daughter live alone and show her that you and your husband are living happily together. That may make her want to live her golden years like her parents. She may start looking for a future husband. If she does, wish her good luck in finding a good partner.

Masahiro Yamada, professor

(from Nov. 8, 2018, issue)Speech

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