My 2nd Husband and I Don’t Talk to Each Other, Live Completely Separate Lives

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a homemaker in my late 70s, and my husband is in his 80s. We met more than 10 years ago at a meeting for seniors and later got married. It’s my second marriage.

I decided to marry him because I thought we had similar interests, and he seemed kind, but now we don’t talk at all.

I have two children, but this is my husband’s first marriage. He doesn’t have any friends and just spends every day drinking alone in his room.

He has asked me to travel abroad with him, but since I refuse, he goes on group tours by himself. If I want to go somewhere, I’ll go on a group tour either by myself or with friends. I only go on day trips with my husband.

He’s not very social, so when we have guests, I have to instruct him on how to greet them. His lack of common sense also bothers me, such as his inability to refuse unwanted invitations and his lack of awareness about crime prevention.

My husband leaves everything to me, but now I want to run away. Every day I think that I’m wasting the few years I have left. How can I live my life with hope?

— N, Saitama Prefecture

Dear Ms. N:

You said your husband seemed like a good person when you first met, but you found that was not true after getting married.

I want to give you a big round of applause for the courage and strength you showed in getting remarried in your late 60s and staying married for 10 years.

Having said that, it seems as if you have already made up your mind.

I mean, there is nothing to be gained from staying married, right? Your husband drinks in his room alone and goes on overseas trips alone. You have more fun spending time with your friends. It’s your husband’s first marriage and he does not seem to have any friends. You have two children and seem to have many friends, so you probably will not feel lonely if you get divorced.

However, considering your husband’s age, he has probably reached the average life expectancy for Japanese men and might not have much longer to live. In that case, some might think it would be better to just hang in there for a few more years and inherit his money and whatever else he owns.

But, to be honest, you might not have time to travel freely and have fun in the next 10 years. Please cherish the time you have left.

— Eiko Yamaguchi, writer