TROUBLESHOOTER / I’m at my wit’s end with my doofus of a husband

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a woman in my 50s, seeking advice about my husband.

We’ve been married for 35 years, and our two daughters have grown up to be independent. My husband is 10 years older than me, and I got married to him expecting that I could respect him.

In reality, however, I’m fed up with his ignorance. He doesn’t have general intelligence and has embarrassed me many times.

He doesn’t care to learn how to use a smartphone or computer. He doesn’t check a dictionary when writing simple kanji characters but instead casually asks me. Of course, he doesn’t read books at all.

People may see him as a serious, kind and friendly person. But that’s not true. Whenever I’m with him, I’m stressed with the feeling that I have nowhere left to run and start hating myself.

But I’m physically weak and don’t have the courage to divorce him now.

The one saving grace is that we both go to work. I don’t want to cause any trouble to our daughters, so I can’t consult with them. How should I look at this situation?

E, Osaka Prefecture

Dear Ms. E:

I totally understand your story. You must be feeling overwhelmed.

How about looking at this situation from your husband’s perspective? He has his own world and has got by with it. He has a different sense of worth from yours and might be an expert on things that are totally uninteresting to you.

It’s said that two people living in different worlds end up becoming close after each of them finds something good in the other person’s world that could never be found in their own world.

To do this, you have to know more about the other person. You may at first believe that you know all about your husband and consider him a fool, but over the years, you may come to learn about his intentions and start respecting him.

If you still wish to make your relationship better than the current one where you just turn each other away, you should try to get closer to your husband’s views and feelings and at least understand them, even if you don’t share a sense of worth with him.

Do you think it will all lead to nothing? Think again. Your efforts will lead to enhancing your heart and patience, which will change something.

Taku Mayumura, writer

(from Sept. 14, 2018, issue)Speech

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