Since my husband’s death, I’ve grown dependent on my parents and sisters

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a woman in my 40s. I lost my husband three years ago to an illness. He was kind and did whatever I asked him to do. I became too dependent on his kindness and only did what I wanted to do. I feel like I’m partially to blame for my husband’s illness.

Currently, I live with my two sons, one who is in elementary school and the other in junior high. It is just the three of us living in the house my husband left me. My parents’ house is located a few minutes’ walk away. On weekdays we eat there and take a bath before returning home.

My sisters also live in the same city and come help me whenever I’m having issues. I’m hopelessly bad at driving, so they give me a ride when I need to go somewhere far.

I’m blessed to be able to work without any worries. Honestly, work is the only thing I can do properly. I don’t think there are many people who live their lives dependent on others as much as I do.

I feel ashamed of myself for not being able to change, even though I know how much I depend on others. When my husband passed away, I made a resolution to give my all to protect and raise my children, but I still rely heavily on my parents and sisters. What can I do to change?

C, Tokyo

Dear Ms. C:

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. I’m clumsy and not very good at buttoning things or assembling products.

Of course, I also feel like I have to overcome these issues so that I will be able to do everything. But recently I have come to realize that there is nothing wrong with having some weaknesses and there is no need to overcome them.

You have people close to you who can cover for what you are not good at. There is nothing wrong with relying on others.

Rather, I think your good nature has brought people into your life who you can rely on, and this might be how your late husband is taking care of you from heaven.

You might already be doing this, but I want you to show appreciation and gratitude to those around you.

You are a single mother, raising two children and doing a good job at your work at the same time. That alone is enough. I believe you should have more confidence in yourself.

When you eventually have to do something you are not good at, you will be able to do it when the time comes. I suggest, however, that you consider that right now is not the time to do so.

Masahiro Yamada, university professor