Day 2 of the big chill has dawned. After the wife’s comments on Sunday night, I feel totally disinclined to engage with her at all, on any topic. I have always understood marriage to be, essentially, 2 people working together for a common aim. Her understanding seems to be, one person (her) maintaining a tight grip on her own self-interests, while the other (me) works himself into the ground financing it. Of course it is a husband’s duty to provide for his family – nobody is questioning that. However the wife has an equal obligation to support and protect her husband’s interests while he fulfils this commitment. I can’t see how a marriage can work any other way.
There is a cultural issue here, of course, and I am fully aware of that. For that reason, I have been extremely tolerant of her (to my mind) completely insane ideas on domestic finance and the rules governing conduct in the house. The Japanese way is for the man to become a slave to his family; paying for everything while taking a minor role in all household affairs and being the last to be considered when it comes to common courtesies like not making noise late at night. Unfortunately for her, I am not Japanese and nor do I wish to become so. The fact is that she has chosen to travel to Europe to marry a European. From that, one would surmise that she also felt this attitude to be out-of-step with enlighted modern thinking. She is very critical of Japanese men staying out late drinking with friends and chatting to girls in bars, and yet she seems totally unable to connect their motivation for doing so with the intolerable atmosphere created at home by the woman of the house. I find that quite bizarre and extremely immature.
So, I’m giving her a taste of the good-old English cold shoulder: No cups of coffee made for her, no tables laid or plates cleared, no shopping done, no conversation and no consideration for her feelings or quality of life. Hey – maybe I’m turning Japanese after all.