My mother wants my father to pay for her palm-reading course

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I am a woman in my 60s. I’d like your advice about how to live out my golden years with my husband. He is five years younger than me, and I married him 13 years ago after being married before.

My husband suddenly gets into bad moods. When that happens, he doesn’t speak, doesn’t come home until late at night and doesn’t eat the meals I cook. I have no idea why he is angry, so I just apologize. He never tries to get on the same page as me. He denies or ridicules whatever I say, so I’m careful not to express my opinions.

He is kind and gentle when he is in a good mood. He once told me, “I’ll protect you,” but he hasn’t kept that promise. He recently told me, “I can’t live with you.”

Thinking about having to spend the rest of my life trying to keep him happy depresses me. I don’t have to worry about financial issues as long as I stay with him, but I have no hope. I’m always struggling over whether to live out my golden years peacefully, or with financial stability.

O, Aichi Prefecture

Dear Ms. O:

Your husband repeatedly gives you the silent treatment when he’s angry for no reason, looks down on you and ridicules you. I think his behavior is nothing but emotional abuse. You are trampled and psychologically dominated. You accept your husband’s kind words only to be betrayed. You must have needed courage to seek advice under such circumstances.

Emotional abuse, which gradually deprives victims of their independence, is insidious and done without physical violence, making it difficult for others to understand. First, it is important to realize that you are a victim.

Recently, social awareness has increased regarding emotional abuse, and municipalities have set up consultation services. Using such services would help you.

Please keep a diary, too. If you keep a detailed record of your husband’s words and actions, you will be able to realize how much you are being abused. This record is also useful when you ask for help.

If you decide to get a divorce, proceed cautiously. Please be careful not to let your husband know you are talking to a lawyer. If he realizes that his threats won’t work, he might change his attitude. More than anything, a man like him cannot stand his wife trying to live independently.

No matter whether you choose financial stability or peace of mind, you must make your own life choices. I hope you will step forward into a better future.

Tomomi Fujiwara, writer