When my husband passes gas, I can’t tolerate the awful smell

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a woman in my 30s. I can’t stand how bad my husband’s farts smell.

We’ve been married for three years, but recently, my husband has been passing gas more often than before. Of course, I hate the sound, but the unbearable smell really gets on my nerves.

He says: “My farts smell so bad because my stomach’s not well. I have to eat food that is easier for my body to handle.” But then he will say something contradictory like, “Cook more meat, because I want to build my muscles.”

I have an even-keeled personality. My husband used to marvel aloud at how I hardly ever show anger. However, recently, he has begun saying, “Why do you get so worked up over my farts?” It’s because it stinks so much and I think it’s disgusting.

I’m not saying he should never pass gas, because it’s natural to do so. But I just want him to offer a sincere apology when he does.

Every time I have to tell my husband, who’s older than me, things like, “When you happen to do something that someone doesn’t like, what should you say?” I feel it’s just a waste of time.

Even though I’m pregnant and my child-rearing years are about to begin, I already feel as though I’m taking care of a child.

On the one hand, it seems silly to get upset about such a trivial problem, but I still don’t feel like this is something I can let go. How can I maturely handle this?

—I, Hyogo Prefecture

Dear Ms. I:

Because I believe you’re very earnestly seeking advice, I will reply in the same earnest manner.

You say that he passes gas very often and the smell can be intense. I recommend you have your husband visit a doctor. This is something that only you, as his wife, can recommend, as others don’t tend to mention people’s physical problems.

Don’t simply write this off as excessive gas. It can’t be ruled out that there may be some unknown illness behind the flatulence.

And before making your husband apologize for farting, you need to strongly get across to him how rude it is to pass gas in the company of other people.

If he’s allowed to do so at home, he will do it in public as well. It may not matter if he does it in a place where there are no people around, but he’s sure to develop the habit and eventually won’t hesitate to do so even when there are people nearby.

Rather than thinking this is something that can’t be helped because it’s natural, you should make your husband learn proper etiquette at home, as a lack of it can invite criticism. Only someone as close as a family member can inform him about etiquette related to passing gas.

A strict scolding at home will help save your husband from suffering embarrassment outside. When it comes to farting, men in general are impolite and complacent.

—Tatsuro Dekune, writer