A father at the end of his rope...

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Here's a post I found recently on Gaijinpot, regarding a father who's about ready to take his wife and kids down with him in his misery over being alienated from them. The guy sounds like he needs to settle down, re-evaluate his situation from a more objective perspective and get legal help, but I don't know his situation. Might be interesting to follow up on these posts.

Posted By:
Andrew (51 posts)
2/20/2004 4:40:55 PM
Sounds like a loser to me   profile
To be honest, the guy isn't making much sense with his post (the one you link to). He seems furious regarding his wife deciding to become a born-again Christian. Not sure what's caused his incredible anger regarding this, it's not like she's admitted to having a 15 year affair or something....also he seems preoccupied with money, more so than his own family. And he's had an affair. And his wife is trying her best to keep the family together. And that's HIS point of view! He doesn't win my sympathy.
japchap (48 posts)
2/21/2004 2:13:40 AM
Trying to keep his sanity   profile
Yeah, there are a few common points between his situation and mine, although certainly I wouldn't think of burning down the house or killing my wife and kids, no matter how much I hate what she did. I invited the guy to a more serious discussion here if he wants to have it.

My older daughter, at age 6.Part of the reason why I left my house and kids is precisely because I knew I couldn't tolerate my wife's verbal and psychological abuse and beration any more. I've lived out of the house for over a year now, and it really is a relief not to have to live with her. I feel much better as a person, more in control of my feelings and thinking. I have met new friends and I don't hate myself or feel despair about life as much as I used to. My biggest regret is that I had to leave my kids and now my older daughter (7 years old; shown at left at age six) refuses to even meet me. I haven't seen her since last December, I think. But I was at the point where I had to choose between either (a) living with my kids but being subject to my wife's beration and mood swings; or (b) leaving my kids but being able to reclaim control over my own thinking, feelings, and living in a more stable environment. I chose (b). It was a decision I slowly came over the course of many years of enduring serious troubles and hearing "I have nothing to do with this, you go see a counselor yourself!" from her.

Also, I think it's hard to judge someone without knowing their full motivations and story. Usually, spouses who have affairs in Japan automatically have the losing hand in any legal battles in court, and there is a prejudice against them. But spouses cheat on their wives or husbands for many reasons. What if your wife refused sex with you frequently, teasing you and running around the house nude after a shower, but then saying "Maybe later" after you tried to make it with her? A one-time occurrence, that's excusable. But a willful pattern of neglect of the psychological and sexual well-being of your spouse is definitely inexcusable in my book. I don't think affairs are a good sign in any marriage, obviously. But I feel that we have to dig down and look at the core behind what's happening, before we pin the blame on one or the other spouse. That is one serious problem with the Japanese judicial system as of this day, the assumption that just because something appears normal, it really is.

This is another reason why child abuse is becoming such a huge problem here now. People here often assume that because their coworkers or friends are having family outings or doing things that seem normal, they must be a happy family. Life is rarely so simple. We have to get behind the tatemae and find the honne.

Edited 21/02/2004 02:34:43
Andrew (51 posts)
2/21/2004 11:49:17 AM
Psychological abuse   profile
Jeff, I agree.....because of tatemae and honne, psychological abuse is rife in Japan.....I've seen it in the workplace and in the home. Specifically, I saw a lot of passive aggression - bullying, teasing, ridiculing, the quiet treatment, freezing someone out of decision making etc. Emotional terrorism, call it what you want. I saw it everywhere in Japan, no exaggeration.

The facade of Japan is that it's a peaceful country - but underneath there's all that boiling stress that gets released somehow - the definition of passive aggression is to release aggressive tendencies stealthily through apparently peaceful behaviour that actually emotionally hurts others. Apparently peaceful motives, with the aggressive ulterior motive hidden away. Very very toxic these people - avoid at all costs - as you have ended up doing! The heart of the matter, the honne, is the big elephant standing in the living room that people pretend isn't there.

I don't blame people for having affairs when their marriage has no sex or little in the way of intimacy (a very common feature of a Japanese marriage) - in that case, the inevitable is going to happen.

In your case, you had to protect your sanity as much as anything else.....maybe that's the case with the guy you link to at the top of this thread, but he didn't state his case very well - he just came off as totally selfish:-

"Well my wife did her best to destroy our realationship and get be to move back in with her and the kidswhich eventualy I d but now when ever i go out she starts to say when I come home oh where have you been ? who have you seen ?..............Lie it has anything to do with her anyway."

FRIJ recommends you also visit crn japan, who are fighting international abduction to Japan and working to assure children in Japan of meaningful contact with both parents regardless of marital status