My Parents Oppose My Possible Marriage to My Lower-Income Boyfriend

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a female healthcare worker in my late 20s. My boyfriend is a full-time employee, but I’m dissatisfied because his salary is low and he has few holidays. I’m thinking about marrying him, but I’m also gravely concerned about potential financial problems.

He grew up in a single-parent family and struggled financially. As a result, he gave up on further education and started working.

I told him to change his job and earn a decent wage if he wants to marry me. He started looking for a new position and received an informal offer. Even so, the new company is unlikely to pay him enough to be the main breadwinner.

“I want to do a job I enjoy, even if the salary is low,” he said. “It was difficult, but I found a new job in your hometown, so I don’t want to compromise further.”

My own salary isn’t so high, but I have qualifications in my field, so it’ll be easy for me to return to the workplace after having kids.

My family is against our marriage, because they say my boyfriend seems to lack the spirit to make me happy. What should I do?

P, Aichi Prefecture

Dear Ms. P:

Based on what you say, it seems your boyfriend is earnest and sincere, and cares about you.

He started looking for a new job at your behest, and, not without difficulty, finally found a company he wants to work at in your locality and received an informal job offer.

You say you are worried because his salary will not make him the family breadwinner, but you are qualified and have a stable job. In that case, it will likely be possible to get by in your marriage, even if his salary cannot meet all the household finances.

Raised in a single-parent family, he struggled financially and was unable to progress to higher education and get a higher-paid job. He was simply unfortunate; his circumstances should not be attributed to a lack of effort or willingness.

I do not understand why your parents claim that he lacks the spirit to make you happy, though I assume that they are unhappy about his low salary and educational background.

I will not comment further as I am unfamiliar with how strong the bonds are between you and your boyfriend.

However, if you are looking for a marriage partner with a high salary, I do not recommend that you marry your boyfriend. If you seek a higher-level earner, then please seek out such a person, in line with your parents’ wishes.

Eiko Yamaguchi, writer