Unstable wife's contemptuous letter revealed

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I've finally decided to publicize a small portion of my wife's egotistical, contemptuous writings to the readers of this site. The first is a handwritten letter. It dates back more than a few years, but my wife has not fundamentally changed, nor has she ever apologized or displayed the slightest semblance of remorse for a single word she had written.

My purpose is not to smear her name (which isn't even in the letter, nor will I release it without further good reason and the go-ahead from my lawyer), but to demonstrate what kind of person has been withholding my older daughter from me and ruthlessly using her as a pitiful weapon against me since October 2002. If by any chance my wife or her friends find this online, I urge them to ask my wife to get professional counseling - not just go once and call it a day, but to work through her problems, and to invite her (my) daughter to do the same with her father (myself).


Any kind of "healthy" relationship and any semblance of trust between myself and my wife is now long gone, but the kids still remain; and I refuse simply to wait around for the family court to make some royal pronouncement that is supposedly "for the welfare" of the kids, when in fact their real psychological and parental needs are hardly touched upon.

- Jeff

Edited 23/02/2004 14:29:55
Posted By:
Andrew (51 posts)
2/23/2004 10:32:17 PM
Mental health issues & Japanese ...   profile
Jeff, I had a look at the letter.....I just couldn't read it as my Japanese level isn't up to it (and I suspect your wife's handwriting isn't so "kirei").

In Japan, somebody can show all the signs of mental illness, yet nobody will acknowledge this person has a problem, particularly the family courts, who have a duty to protect the children within their ward.

In the UK, you can get the child welfare team to investigate a claim. In Japan, no chance. My own wife has a record of physical violence, both to me and her own family members. My physical scars testify to this (3 of which are permanent bite marks). I showed such evidence to the family court choutei-nin. All I got was a rising "eeeeeEEEEE...." as a response. I asked them if they would investigate my claims regarding her violence. They told me they'd look into it......this was over a year ago. They have not responded to me regarding this yet.

My wife had (no doubt still has) a rotten temper. Most of the time she could release it being passively aggressive, a tactic she got from her own mother....this manifested itself as ridicule, silent treatment, extreme controlling methods (e.g. telling me what to do and what not to do right down to the most inane of requests around the house). I'd bring up such behaviour to her but she would deny anything was wrong. However, when she was genuinely happy, she was kind and good natured (this was rare, and all too much proved her opposite behaviour was actually malignant). This played havoc with my own feelings towards her.

Sometimes the steam would blow her lid off though.... during an argument, but more often her irritation and wrath would go unseen by me - a sudden punch or kick in the most domestic of situations (me taking a plate back to the kitchen - sudden whack! to my ear):- punches, hot drinks thrown, biting, and kicking......I saw her violence towards her brother (punches, bites) too. Outside the house, she was all smiles and friendliness. Visitors come round, the same. Tatemae and honne - a classic example. She would argue with her mum a lot too, who was the master of passive aggression. In fact, I think her mother was the main source of unhappiness for my wife.

The family courts kind of work the same way as my wife. Anything goes behind closed doors. They accept these things happen, but choose to do nothing about it. What if my son takes a punch, or has hot tea poured over him, or is knocked to the ground? Who will be there to protect him from someone who already has a history of physical violence? This is where the family court should step in, to at least investigate. However, they are either useless (ignorant of such violence) or they are, I suspect, simply evil and willingly do nothing.

The mediators are human beings like us, who read about domestic violence incidents in the newspapers. What do they think when they read such news? Everytime I read an article of some kid being tortured by his parent(s), I think "that's another peice of evidence reflecting the apathy/cruelty of the Japanese family courts".

Edited 23/02/2004 23:01:31
japchap (48 posts)
2/24/2004 2:42:38 PM
Less or more gentle?   profile
My wife seems gentle at times compared to the person you described, Andrew. You really went through hell and back. And now your son lives with her... you have really gotten the short end of the stick. Is it possible for us to pressure her into getting help? What if the community, her friends, and family, and neighbors know? I recently read on the CRC Japan web site that social pressure can be a very powerful thing for Japanese people.

My wife also describes the same fundamental kind of two-sided, flip-flop personality as your wife. It was easier to predict her mood swings, but then again they would so often surprise me all the same. I'd be just riding on the train with my family, and suddenly my wife would become insanely jealous and accuse me of staring at some other woman. Then she would proceed to tell me that I was fundamentally a lustful, illicit man because I had supposedly looked the way of another woman. Once she got started, the insults kept rolling.

I can't tell you how many times I had to leave the house to escape my wife's temper. I did this many, many times for years. Typically, she would lock the door and put the chain on the door, regardless of what time it was. I ended up sleeping on park benches or just walking up and down Tenpaku river talking to myself. I was afraid to bother people about it, because it happened so much. On a few occasions, friends or acquaintances would let me stay at their place for the night. I eventually unscrewed the deadbolt chain from the door frame, because my wife would use this trick so often. I still believe that it was truly for the better of my family that I left at these times. I was able to regain control of myself and think things through more carefully, away from her insults.

And she never forgave me for dating two other women (at different times) before I married her... during a time when my then-to-be wife simply had no interest in coming up to visit me, and continued to stealthily hide our relationship from her parents for three years. My wife bitterly and ruthlessly criticized my choice of movies, books, friends... you name it, she would have to voice her opinion, and she felt no compunctions in doing so.

And the worst part of all of it, was the constant concern I had that she would violate my privacy, read my journals, pry into my carrybag. Not that I was hiding anything - but when somebody randomly treats you as if you are over the course of many years, reading through letters that friends wrote to you without your permission, and then accuses you of being "sneaky," it certainly gives reason not to trust that person any more. My wife just never got it. And everything I would say, she would have a comeback to defend herself. She never allowed herself to concede defeat or error in an argument.

I think it's right and proper for a wife and husband to forgive each other for various errors and mistakes that each other might make. But the worst kind of relationship, is one where the other partner finds some kind of bloodthirsty enjoyment in pointing out and recalling the errors of the other. Over many years, my wife continued to do this. Although I was perfectly willing to set aside her offenses, she could never fully forgive my own. When mutual trust has deteriorated this much, it's time to hang it up.

My older daughter, now seven years old, was convinced by my wife that everything between my wife and I was quite happy. She even told me so in front of my wife's lawyer, making a fool out of me by saying "You were so happy with Mom." My wife's lawyer must have been eating it up, hearing the kid support my wife's side. My wife even brought a bunch of photos to a family court session last year, showing myself and the kids in the family car with smiling faces. One showed my younger daughter "at the wheel" with a big curious grin. My wife did this to perpetuate the lie that "everything was fine" with our family. And that is the story she still clings to up to this day.

I can't deny that there were good times. My wife had her happy moments. It was just that I could not trust her for the reasons stated above and more. Nor could I predict when her temper would flare up or when she would begin to criticize me again. And I was just supposed to "take it," for the sake of a "happy family."

Sorry, but I don't buy it. I never did, and I never will. Now I have to pick up the pieces and live with less than half a family. At least I have still have visitation rights to my younger daughter, about once every week for three or four hours. I don't know how long this will last. If I manage to get a legal divorce, these rights may eventually be simply ignored by my wife. At which point I will be in roughly the same place as you, Andrew.

Hey, why think negative, right? Right??? Uhhhhh...

- JC
Andrew (51 posts)
2/24/2004 4:49:36 PM
Societal influences   profile
What if the community, her friends, and family, and neighbors know? I recently read on the CRC Japan web site that social pressure can be a very powerful thing for Japanese people.

Yes, absolutely. Shame is all in Japan. However, we're onto a loser here, being gaijin. There is the inevitable group loyalties in Japan. The outsider will always be the outsider. If your wife badmouths you, the neighbours will want to believe it, as you are outside the group. The converse is true. You confide with Japanese about your problems and they show sympathy on a tatemae level, but strangely they never pursue the conversation further. Some so-called friends even stopped contacting me. Seems I spoke out of turn, a gaijin mouthing off about how badly behaved Japanese can be at times.

I've seen it happen many times before. Japanese are groupthinkers.....they see themselves as Japanese first (the main group), then they divide themselves up into smaller groups. If you are not Japanese, you cannot get other Japanese on your side in a community setting. They'll talk the talk and give the lip service, but their words are not deeds. I remember telling a Japanese couple (good friends at the time) about my marital problems. They appeared to be really concerned. After that day, they dropped me like a stone and acted different to me from that point on.

I know you've been in Japan for many years Jeff, and you know all this. It amazes me how some long-term gaijin in Japan still get sucked in by a Japanese tatemae performance and pass it off as genuine.

Edited 24/02/2004 16:57:00

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