My Wife Works Full Time But Never Pays Living Expenses

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a man in my early 60s. Since my children moved out, I’ve lived with my wife, who is the same age as me, for 15 years.

My wife hates housework and only does the laundry once a week. I do the shopping, cooking and other household chores. We eat and sleep in separate rooms and have not had sex in 20 years.

My wife always thinks she’s right and never listens to anyone. I don’t talk to her anymore because she denies everything I say.

She has been a full-time employee for about 25 years, and I think she has about ¥50 million in savings. However, I pay all our living expenses, including utilities and the mortgage of about ¥50 million. I also pay the taxes and insurance for her car.

Recently, I retired and told my wife to pay for her own car insurance, but she refused. She often asks me, “When are you going to get a new job?”

I thought I could live off my pension and other savings without working after I retired, but now I think I’ll run out of money before I get my pension.

I have two grandchildren in another prefecture, so I cannot go through with a divorce. What should I do?

— N, Okakayama Prefecture

Dear Mr. N:

Living with someone who does not share your feelings is not only betraying yourself but also ruining your own life.

You do the housework and unilaterally support the family finances. She has a certain level of income and savings. Why don’t you get the ball rolling on a divorce?

I don’t understand why your grandchildren who don’t live with you are the reason you’re reluctant to get divorced. I wonder if that’s actually the reason. It seems to me that you’re the one who’s putting up barriers to divorce.

When you’re subjected to emotional abuse by someone who always thinks they are right and never listens to others, it’s easy to feel psychologically subjugated.

You’d be mistaken if you were subconsciously putting up with the situation because you didn’t want to be seen as a weak husband or a weak man by the people around you.

Recently, some husbands speak up about abuse from their wives. There are surely others out there who understand the difficult position you’re in and the situation you face.

It’s best to have a third party, such as a lawyer, come between two of you and discuss the situation calmly.

Please be determined to live your life happily and peacefully.

— Tomomi Fujiwara, writer