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TROUBLESHOOTER / I’m sad over feud between my son and my 2nd wife

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a male company employee in my 60s. I’m worried about my relationship with my son, who’s my only child.

My wife died when I was in my late 50s. After some time, I began seeing a woman with two children. We arranged for our two families to meet, and got married after we gained their approval.

My son is now dating a woman whom he seems to be considering marrying. Unfortunately, he’s not willing to invite my wife to their wedding.

I suppose I could put up with that.

But there’s something else I’m concerned about: my grave. My son has asked me whether I want to rest together with his mother, or with my current wife.

My son seems most concerned with this issue, and our relationship soured when we were talking about this in the presence of my wife. She now sulks when I talk about him, and he finds it harder to visit me. I’ve started seeing him outside my home. This makes me a little bit sad.

How I can solve this situation and have them reconcile with each other?

W, Kanagawa Prefecture

Dear Mr. W:

I think your son is feeling awkward about the new structure of your family and has become somewhat obstinate. I’m sure time will ease the discomfort he is feeling.

You may have to wait until he gets married and starts his own family. I’m certain that will change his feelings.

I’d suggest you stay calm and keep your relationship with him as it is now. I understand your desire to have all your family living happily together, but that will take time because everyone has his or her priorities.

As for your grave, I recommend you follow your wife’s suggestion. Purchase a grave for yourselves if that’s what she wants. In that case, you should entrust your son with maintaining the grave of your deceased wife. I don’t see any reason for you to get bogged down on this issue.

I’m concerned about your relationship with your wife rather than conflict with your son.I think you should first seek your wife’s opinion in every case to make things work better.

Tatsuro Dekune, writer

(from Nov. 6, 2018, issue)Speech

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