TROUBLESHOOTER /My boss keeps telling me to get married, have babies

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a female company employee in my 30s. I’m worried about what to do to deal with my male boss who asks about my marital status every time he talks to me.

I’m still single and I’ve never been in a relationship with a man. But I’ve never thought I’m unhappy about that.

Among female clerical workers younger than 40 at the company I work for, I’m the only one who is not married. Whenever one of my younger female colleagues has a baby, he asks me, “When will you have a baby?” and “When will you get married?” He even said to me: “Your parents are to blame for your not being married and having no babies.”

When my parents are criticized over something that is not connected with my work, I feel upset on their behalf and can’t stop crying. I understand that my only option is to ignore what he says. But as I’ve been the target of these remarks over many years, I came to feel, to be honest, that there is something wrong with me.

When I ponder my future life following the death of my parents, I feel acute anxiety and am overwhelmed by a sense of loneliness. Please tell me why I cannot get married. I wonder if the day will come when my worries will disappear.

F, Miyagi Prefecture

Dear Ms. F:

How insensitive your boss is! In dealing with his extremely rude acts of harassment, I suggest that you seek advice from your company’s consultation service or at a prefectural labor bureau.

There are many unmarried women around me who are older than 40. One thing they have in common is that they enjoy their jobs and they have good friends who are not married, either. Some of them have made a promise to live together in a nursing home in the future.

Whether to marry or not is up to you. Please ask yourself what you should do to enjoy your life. If you prefer to be unmarried, you should not mind what people around you say about you. It is advisable to work hard and save up money to prepare for the future.

If you are thinking about getting married, you’d better become aggressive. Officious aunties, who love mediating others’ marriages, are less common now than they used to be. It is also important to take action to seek a wonderful encounter.

You are concerned about living alone in the future, but I’m sure your parents have the same anxiety about you. While I was unmarried, my father said, “I hope someone will always be at your side after I die.” The existence of close friends or a partner is important.

Akemi Masuda, sports commentator

(From Aug. 24, 2018, issue)Speech

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