lifestyle

Letters From Japan: 'Why must we visit my Canadian husband’s home every year?'

59 Comments
By Hilary Keyes

Savvy Tokyo's resident "Love in Japan" columnist, Hilary Keyes, answers anonymous questions from readers on everything from dating in Japan to women’s health issues. Got a question you’d like to ask Hilary? Email it to editorial@gplusmedia.com with a subject "Ask Hilary."

Hi Hilary,

I am a Japanese woman. I married a Canadian guy.

When my husband and I went on our first date, there is something that he made very clear: If we ever get married, we have to visit his family in Canada every year. I agreed. We married 5 years ago and we have visited Canada every year. His family is very kind and I feel very comfortable with them. And I love Canada.

However, recently, I’ve been having different ideas. I want to visit other places in the world. I don’t want to spend our money and use our holidays in Canada every year. I would like to go once every 2 years. My husband still wants to go every year as his parents are getting old (87 and 77-years old). I told him to go alone, but he and his family think that that is strange. Additionally, my husband wants us to go to Canada together. Help! – Wanderlust

Dear Wanderlust,

Aging parents and vacation time sharing — these are two huge issues that a lot of couples are faced with nowadays. It’s all the more difficult in an international situation where 10+ hour flights can eat up a lot of your travel time.

Click here to read more.

© Savvy Tokyo

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

59 Comments
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Gosh, commanteer, assuming money for the plane tickets every year isn't a problem, spending a few days with the in-laws once a year seems pretty reasonable. Even if they want you to watch NHK, lol. Now if it's any of the other stations, we got a real problem, haha

1 ( +1 / -0 )

She must be rather cold if she doesn't understand the primal need to see family and friends and the place you grew up. If I couldn't come back to the UK I'd go mad 

Except she does understand, and he can go back any time. Let's reverse the issue:

Say you met your Japanese wife in Seattle, where you live. She wants to visit her parents in Nagano every year. But the catch is, she insists that you come every time. Your friend has an open offer on his place in the Cayman Islands, but Japan has priority. She insists her parents would find it strange if you don't come every year to sit and watch NHK tv all day with them. If you complain about this on line, you are called cold and selfish.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I get the wife’s feeling. While I would like to go to the homeland yearly, It’s a big world and there are a lot of countries in the world I’d like to visit, and often choose other countries instead of the homeland.

I also get the husband’s feeling - aging parents means he doesn’t have a lot of opportunity left to see them.

What I don’t get is why he insists that she also go. It’s an international relationship. No need to be codependent. If his family thinks it’s weird, he should explain it to them. I’ve gone back alone or with one of my kids a few times. The trips with my kids have been great, such a good bonding experience.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The husband is being childish and selfish; he is definitely a man child. Parents are old is no excuse to force your wife to go to Canada once every year and not give the family a chance to go elsewhere on vacations. Does he even consider her feelings? Obviously, it is going to be awkward around spouse parents and the fact that you gotta act all nice too is difficult. Then again, the only reason why the guy came up with such a forced proposal is because he is immature and childlike. Sorry but I don't have any recommendations on how to deal with this kind of a situation. Dealing with man childs is a very difficult thing to do! You see, the norm should be once every 5 to 10 years per visit; that would be acceptable, right?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

The comments are more interesting than the article. Both halves of the couple have good points. Being old (and I wish wise) I believe this type of situation always has a unique twist for each couple. Hope they can work this out in such a way that suits both of them.

I have seen both extremes through the years here in Japan and the only thing this old guy can see is that I recognize the unique challenges an intercultural marriage where both parents are so far away can present. Seems there is no 100% right answer.

Hope all in this situation can find a suitable solution.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They'll end up getting divorced. She must be rather cold if she doesn't understand the primal need to see family and friends and the place you grew up. If I couldn't come back to the UK I'd go mad and the issue would mos likely have damaged our marriage.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Here's an idea - move to Canada and visit the wife's parents in Japan once a year or so.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Asking a person to go on the same trip once a year for the rest of their life is a big commitment,

Are you for real? His parents probably have one foot each in the grave. I bet she gets to see her parents whenever she wants. She should have just married a Japanese guy but I bet she likes the financial benefits and the chance to have a cute hafu kid.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Just for the record, are you saying that she supports your taking those trips, spending what's necessary, or that this expectation includes her coming with you each and every time? If the former, of course, if the latter, naturally to each their own but I don't see why that has to be the case every time as in the article. Last summer I went home for a month with my daughter. My wife swooped in for the 10 days she could get away. This year I'm going for nearly as long and she's opted out b/c she'd rather go somewhere else, somewhere that will coincidentally be a lot cheaper. I'll take the kid to see her American grandparents, who like yours, aren't getting any younger. My folks understand completely, and frankly it's great fun traveling just with my daughter. This year we're going to see the Redwoods for a week and on our return we're stopping off in China.

Fair enough. Its not a strict condition that my wife has to come with me, I have gone back a couple times just myself, nor is it a condition that we do it every year, though we try. We have small kids now though so we take the trip as a family, not because I insist on my wife going to Canada but because the kids want to be with her and she with them, but when they get older that might not always be the case.

Actually the more I think about it the more I see the wife’s point, if they don’t have kids, why does she always have to go?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

On one hand, I don't know why he can't go himself. I often do... it's not a big deal. On the other hand. she did promise, and she is only 5 years into the marriage. Which makes me do the math....

With the parents being so old, I am guessing the husband is not all that young. Maybe in his 40's. And they have only been married 5 years, no kids mentioned. He seems awfully clingy and inflexible, especially for a guy his age. The article mentions that he said his parents would find it strange of she did not accompany him on every trip. He is a grown man, so why is he jumping through hoops to avoid the appearance of something his elderly parents might find "strange?" That's not healthy.

There is just a weird inflexibility suggested on his part. Which may be why he A:got married so late or B:got divorced and had to remarry.

Might be entirely wrong, but that's what I get from reading between the lines here. And I think many of the comments here are way too hard on the woman. She is his wife and life-partner. Not a dog that has to follow on command.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Unfortunately this is what you get when you marry a Japanese woman. 

Speak for yourself. It's her choice and whilst I don't entirely agree with it, it's none of my business. We don't know the family dynamic and it might possibly be other reasons at play here.

Ye gods, the generalizations presented as fact here can be well depressing :-(

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Moral of the story: do not date let alone marry a clingy bloke/woman.

The wife sounds pretty cool I.e independent, curious etc. She deserves better lol!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Asking a person to go on the same trip once a year for the rest of their life is a big commitment, and I don't think it's one you really can agree to, because I don't think you can really predict how it'll be for you. He shouldn't have asked that of her and she shouldn't have agreed.

I think it's completely fair the husband wants to visit his parents every year, especially at that age. However, it is a bit unreasonable to expect wifey to follow him every single time - I imagine being bored out of my mind after going the same place again and again and again. I think it'd be very fair if she went on her own travels every other year and with him every other year. That way everyone will have to give up something, but also gain something. Besides, I can't imagine it being very fun travelling with someone who'd rather be somewhere else.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

the question at issue is whether its reasonable for the foreign spouse to expect to visit their home country regularly

In this case it appears to have been an up-front condition to which she initially agreed, so it is reasonable. Her problem appears to be that she never gets to go anywhere else, which I can understand she sees as not so reasonable.

and you seem to be arguing that because it is possible to make do without because you did, then why can't everybody?

Not at all. That was in them days, this is now. Different times. I was addressing the claim that being married overseas is necessarily a sacrifice.

Raising kids here involves sacrifices.

Raising kids anywhere....!

Are they worth it?

Good Lord Yes.

they require balances that people whose kids are grown up and have the luxury of spending their holidays on tropical beaches don't have to consider.

Indeed. Done the kid thing, now enjoying the luxury of an empty nest.

The lady in the article doesn't mention kids, just her husband and his parents. I think there are ways around her problem that don't involve him not seeing his parents or her not seeing other bits of the world. The two of them need to talk.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

ah_so, you forgot to add "all expenses paid + free local homemade food provided" you would be surprised, I dare you to drop that ad in some classifieds and see.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

This guy sure picked a dud. Utterly selfish and unreasonable. Oh how horrible it must be to go on an overseas trip with (I'm assuming) free accommodation. Self centered and atrociously selfish. Chuck her out I say.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

in my case I can tell you that expecting regular visits to Canada to spend time with my family is a reasonable expectation that my spouse supports and I am extremely grateful for that

Just for the record, are you saying that she supports your taking those trips, spending what's necessary, or that this expectation includes her coming with you each and every time? If the former, of course, if the latter, naturally to each their own but I don't see why that has to be the case every time as in the article. Last summer I went home for a month with my daughter. My wife swooped in for the 10 days she could get away. This year I'm going for nearly as long and she's opted out b/c she'd rather go somewhere else, somewhere that will coincidentally be a lot cheaper. I'll take the kid to see her American grandparents, who like yours, aren't getting any younger. My folks understand completely, and frankly it's great fun traveling just with my daughter. This year we're going to see the Redwoods for a week and on our return we're stopping off in China.

Earlier you said:

it wasn't a choice made without some sacrifice of things I value, and spending a couple of weeks each year (or two) back home to let my kids see where I come from and connect with my parents and family is a pretty reasonable way of accommodating that.

And I couldn't agree more. I can't imagine anyone, no matter how conflicted about their homeland, who wouldn't agree. I always say that international marriage is a sure-fire recipe for a lifetime of longing and regret. My wife and I both miss the US terribly when we live here and vice versa when we live there. But having been there and back again, as the Hobbits say, there's some freedom in acknowledging this too.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Maybe the guy wants a companion on his trips, shoot if the wife doesn't want to go, there a million other Japanese women who would love to go for a short romantic trip with a friend? 

"Would like to meet Japanese woman for short-trip to Canada with middle aged man to spend time with his elderly parents"

I can't see many Japanese women being eager to take up this offer.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I did have young children at one point, back in the days before Skype, when even international phone calls were prohibitively expensive. We managed by me making sure the kids spoke English and were familiar with British culture. It was hard work, but some of the money we didn't spend on trips to the UK (couldn't have afforded to go every year anyway - managed it a couple of times, and my Dad came out a couple of times, too) could instead be spent on buying books, videos etc, for the kids.

Good for you. But the question at issue is whether its reasonable for the foreign spouse to expect to visit their home country regularly and you seem to be arguing that because it is possible to make do without because you did, then why can't everybody? This isn't very compelling as an argument.

The writer mentioned in the article doesn't say if they have kids and its hard to judge their overall situation so it might be unfair to call her complaint selfish, but in my case I can tell you that expecting regular visits to Canada to spend time with my family is a reasonable expectation that my spouse supports and I am extremely grateful for that. Raising kids here involves sacrifices. Are they worth it? In my case yes, I'm very happy here. But they require balances that people whose kids are grown up and have the luxury of spending their holidays on tropical beaches don't have to consider.

Like I said, for us even Skype wasn't an option. It certainly isn't a substitute, but it can be a help, a stopgap. A friend of mine who has grandkids in other parts of Japan enjoys 'spending time' with them over Skype every few days. It helps fill in the gaps until they can get together.

Exactly. Its great to fill in gaps and makes things immensely better than they used to be. But its not a substitute for in person time, which is extremely valuable.

I can appreciate that the 'elderly parents with health problems' situation is a problem in itself, which I didn't have to face since both my parents died before they became elderly. So really it's a problem I would rather have had than not....

I'm sorry for your loss. I wouldn't describe watching your parents slowly die from afar as a problem to envy though. Better than losing them completely at an early age, but its another one of those things that has to be balanced out at the expense of trips to the beach for those of us fortunate enough to have them still around.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Maybe the guy wants a companion on his trips, shoot if the wife doesn't want to go, there a million other Japanese women who would love to go for a short romantic trip with a friend? It sounds terrible but its already happening, I know several gents who are married to Japanese women, who would rather spend their time going to Disney land reliving the child hood fantasy's through their children.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Husband sounds totally selfish expecting this poor woman to travel half way around the world every year and forego other trips. Buy an i-phone for god's sake and schedule regular video calls. One trip every 3 years is more than enough!

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

 If on the other hand you had young children who are being raised entirely in a country and culture not of your own and if you had elderly parents back home with health problems who may not be around for much longer

I did have young children at one point, back in the days before Skype, when even international phone calls were prohibitively expensive. We managed by me making sure the kids spoke English and were familiar with British culture. It was hard work, but some of the money we didn't spend on trips to the UK (couldn't have afforded to go every year anyway - managed it a couple of times, and my Dad came out a couple of times, too) could instead be spent on buying books, videos etc, for the kids.

 the idea that you seem to have that sitting kids in front of a screen every once in a while is a substitute for physical presence with family is frankly idiotic

Like I said, for us even Skype wasn't an option. It certainly isn't a substitute, but it can be a help, a stopgap. A friend of mine who has grandkids in other parts of Japan enjoys 'spending time' with them over Skype every few days. It helps fill in the gaps until they can get together.

I can appreciate that the 'elderly parents with health problems' situation is a problem in itself, which I didn't have to face since both my parents died before they became elderly. So really it's a problem I would rather have had than not....

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

While I can understand that he wants to enjoy his parents while they are still there, it is also very selfish of him to monopolise the little holidays japanese typically have to basically force her to always go to the same place. She is absolutely right to tell him to go alone. No matter how much you love your spouse, there are other places on this earth to visit than Canada... Personally I see troubles at the horizon given his apparent lack of ability to compromise.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I wish her

never comes that day , without children at her old days

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Because they are his parents and how many times do you get to be with your parents before they pass....I visit mine every 6 months 10 hour flight with wife and kid if she doesn't want to do it well she can get a divorce its really that simple...

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

This is an interesting article, and question. The husband was up front about his desire/need to visit his parents every year, but it does seem reasonable, after five years, to want to change the agreement. Some alternatives mentioned seem reasonable, such as once every two years, or stopping along the way to visit someplace else. I have thought about going to visit relatives without my wife, but the idea does not appeal to me.

This article made me think about the way my parents handled things. Dad came to the States after WW II. Going back to the old country was not an option for many years, due to finances. After I decided to go to Europe, while in college, it occurred to them that they could also afford to travel, and they started doing so, although not every year, and not exclusively to the old country. If he were single, visiting his parents every year would make more sense. Perhaps there is a reason why he feels so strongly about visiting them every year?

BTW, one of the places that Mom visited, without Dad, was Japan, and I think it was her favorite trip of all time. Dad had no interest in visiting Japan, but it sounds interesting to me.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Well I'm living in Japan and I don't feel I've 'completely given up' anything. Mr. cleo and I agree that holiday time and money is best spent on southern islands surrounded by clear warm seas, coral reefs and tropical fish. Unless of course there's a family event in the UK (wedding etc.) that we want to be a part of. Skype and FaceTime are very handy tools

That's great if your situation allows it. If on the other hand you had young children who are being raised entirely in a country and culture not of your own and if you had elderly parents back home with health problems who may not be around for much longer, like I do, then you might appreciate that in fact for many people living here means "giving up" something.

This isn't complaining on my part BTW. I made a choice to live here and am 100% happy with it. But it wasn't a choice made without some sacrifice of things I value, and spending a couple of weeks each year (or two) back home to let my kids see where I come from and connect with my parents and family is a pretty reasonable way of accommodating that.

Skype is great, but the idea that you seem to have that sitting kids in front of a screen every once in a while is a substitute for physical presence with family is frankly idiotic.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I can't believe all these men (I assume you're all men) calling the woman selfish for wanting a holiday in a place other than Canada, and suggesting a divorce is the best solution.

A divorce is the very last step to take, when all other roads have been tried and found wanting. A holiday is surely not worth considering divorce over.

I've already suggested she should earn the money to pay for a second holiday.

He could be a bit more flexible and, as others have suggested, make the Canada trip part of an extended trip to somewhere else.

He could buy his parents a big-screen computer and teach them how to use Skype. That would come in extra-handy when kids come along, the kids are too small to travel to Canada and his parents are too old to travel to Japan to see their grandchildren.

Personally I would not countenance separate holidays, but it might work for this couple, if only once in a while.

If you are living in Japan, then the foreign spouse is completely giving up their life in their home country

Well I'm living in Japan and I don't feel I've 'completely given up' anything. Mr. cleo and I agree that holiday time and money is best spent on southern islands surrounded by clear warm seas, coral reefs and tropical fish. Unless of course there's a family event in the UK (wedding etc.) that we want to be a part of. Skype and FaceTime are very handy tools.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

I've been married to a wonderful Japanese woman for nearly 20 years. We've lived here and in the US both for extended periods. When she wants to come with me on visits home, great, when she doesn't, no worries. This year she's using her money to go elsewhere. I don't remember signing any international marriage contract dictating that my spouse must never leave my side. This couple has issues.

And as others have pointed out, stopovers are usually free these days. I have two scheduled around my visit home this summer and the airfare is not a yen higher than it would have been direct.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

This is exactly my situation (I'm Canadian, wife is Japanese, we have informal agreement to visit Canada once a year, though in practice we usually manage about once every second year or so, my parents are elderly), except my wife is understanding of the situation and doesn't complain about not going to other places.

This complaint seems incredibly selfish.

If you are living in Japan, then the foreign spouse is completely giving up their life in their home country, something the Japanese spouse doesn't have to do. Its hardly a drastic imposition to ask that you forego a trip to Hawaii (or wherever) to give the foreign spouse time to spend in their culture with their family for a couple of weeks a year and that you be with them the same way they are with you the other 365 days a year.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I agree with your comments. But differently I lived it in my own flesh. I got married Uaoanese woman, baby on board, lawyers, child dispute and divorced. The whole package! So far we have good relationship. I agree my Child grows-up in Japan and I understand my ex-wife as single Mom, in so both man-women machist country still. If you to split the trip, I think is the best idea. It is true the girl has the chance to stay in her country and visit her Family much easier, husband has upper hand there, the girl commited to this deal. However, if this does not get resolve by a combined trip or any other best option and frustration gets deeper for other issues. Better be upfront with your husband and ask for divorce. I let my ex-wife go with my Child so they are happy, I am happy as well, noone bothers my life and still have good contact with my Child who gets best of both worlds.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Mike James: I am sure this guy has to endure watching TV, eating mikans and drinking the same old beer.

I hear you. Japanese New Years TV has got to be the worst torture on the planet. Just sitting all day in a crowded hot room drinking beer and trying to forget reality. I had it even worse when the JP uncles would come over and get red faced drunk and start making racist comments...

5 ( +7 / -2 )

if the guy is paying already, he should just get different women to go with him , every year fresh romantic trip! ...the wife can stay home...

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I am sure she can wait and outlive his parents and then all is good in the world :)

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Another one of those stories that tells me “damn, how lucky I am”. My wife/FRIEND loves going to the States to hang out with the folks. As long as we’re together.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

My first reaction was to agree with other commentors, she sounds selfish since a) this was something she had agreed to and knew about in advance and b) he's giving up something living all the rest of the year far away from his family (whom he seems to have a good relationship with/enjoy being with if it's that important to him to go every year).

But then, it does seem inflexible of him that this is not up for re-negotiation--parents in their 80s don't get any younger, so skipping a year might worry him, but other arrangements like him going by him himself some years, or shortening the time and saving up for a second trip elsewhere if it's so important to her to do so, seem feasible to me.

I know how it is though. It does seem every large chunk of vacation time/savings gets spent going to see fam. Stuff like this can get expensive and really emotional in an international marriage, so I think it's best to keep things open for negotiation and stay flexible.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@RecklessToday "In defense of Japanese women, I find that they are well-traveled compared to many Westerners, so the point of the woman's letter above may not so much be about complaining about visiting his family as not being able to travel as she had done before. "

She has more than 49 weeks in which to travel. No need to defend Japanese women, they do just fine, and in this case, is simply a gold digger. Let it go.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Most Japanese will go home twice a year, in July and December. I am sure this guy has to endure watching TV, eating mikans and drinking the same old beer.

If she cannot "endure" taking a free trip to Canada, he should simply divorce her. How ungrateful.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I know many couples in Canada (Canadian husband Japanese wife) who have parents and extended family living in Japan. Annual visits are common with these couples (some of whom have children and want them to know their grandparents, learn Japanese and spend the summer holidays there).

One Japanese woman in such a situation confided that she wished that she could travel elsewhere sometimes. The visits are not a holiday for her because she spends the whole time cooking, cleaning and caring for her elderly parents. Of course, she loves them and wants to see them; however, it's no vacation the way a trip to Hawaii might be. Like anyone else, she'd enjoy and would like to have--even needs--a vacation.

The person who suggested stopping in Hawaii on the way offers a great idea. But it's true. When family members live far away and the cost of visits is high, then sacrifices must be made. Those include a range of options: only one person goes, or if the parents are in advanced years (as seems to be the case in the article) then agree to fill the wife's bucket list after the parents die.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Stopover for a day or two somewhere en route-it’s not that difficult is it?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

In defense of Japanese women, I find that they are well-traveled compared to many Westerners, so the point of the woman's letter above may not so much be about complaining about visiting his family as not being able to travel as she had done before. Therefore, one compromise is a shorter trip to Canada, with a second trip at another time of the year to another destination. Of course many families, especially with kids may find this too expensive.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

i can understand the husband wanting to go see his aging parents but he sounds like a big baby if he can't go by himself once in a while.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Maybe CANADA is the problem, another Canuck here, my Mrs doesn't like going to Cda anymore LOL!!

We don't have kids so no issue there, I have given up trying to get the Mrs to get a new passport, so like JeffLee said just go on your own, makes it easier to do what you want & actually REALLY relax, I love going back on my own every year or two as time permits.

Here in Japan together we do several short 1-2nighters here & there

That all said surely the couple in question could work out a little something no need for this to become a "problem"

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I agree with JeffLee, I go back alone, and have a good visit with my family. Once in a while my wife will join me, and even though my family invites her, they know the cost, and other reasons she doesn't come with me. Not sure why this guy and his family insist on her going, but she still shouldn't refuse, if that is what she promised.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

As others have pointed out, the wife is being selfish. She knew the deal when she got married and should not renege on her promises. She could always work harder herself if she wants other material things.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Work out a compromise. There's got to be a happy medium somewhere.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Move to Canada and then see how often you want to visit Japan.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Unfortunately this is what you get when you marry a Japanese woman.

No, you're stereotyping here, they're not all the same.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Don't think she's being selfish at all I.e 'pls go alone'.

She just married one of those needy, insecure and controlling blokes who want/need to be with their wife 24/7 or at the very least know where they are, what they're doing, who with etc.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

A western guy on the first date said that? Come on. Get real.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Try to get your husband to compromise. Get a cheaper flight with a stop-over, (get a real live travel agent to help you), or go to two destinations: 5 days in Hawaii, 5 days in Canada, for example.

Are there any children involved in this equation?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Unfortunately this is what you get when you marry a Japanese woman. Best you can do is try to make it a bit more fun by having a layover in a major city for sightseeing, or taking her to a good restaurant in Canada.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

I really related to this one. My wife hates going to Canada. No culture, junkies/beggars on every downtown street corner, need a car to go anywhere, etc.

Last time was over 5 years ago. I don't mind at all. I get more freedom and the cost is a lot less. The writer's husband should likewise rejoice.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

No you are one family, you go together.

exactly.

Get a job and pay for the second holiday yourself?

Exactly. And since this is just a vacation for sightseeing, SHE should go alone.

So the husband chooses to live and work in Japan, for whatever reason, leaving his home, family and country to be with his wife, and when he wants to go back once a year to see them she balks? I think that is being more than a little selfish.

Absolutely. She is a spoiled brat. PLUS she agreed to this before they got married.

Makes me appreciate my lovely, selfless, level-headed wife even more.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Bit selfish, no? Any visit could be their last and he already spends the rest of the year in your country, immersed in your culture, around your family, in your language... once a year to visit aging parents and you still complain? Can you be more selfish? If you want to travel elsewhere and money is really a problem (doesn't seem to be the case here) get a seasonal job, wouldn't take that much to save up for a plane ticket. Travel yourself.

I only lost my Father last year, quite suddenly. As a long term expat, you never know when the last visit is the last visit. I'm glad our last visit he got to see my whole family. She should be ashamed of herself.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

So the husband chooses to live and work in Japan, for whatever reason, leaving his home, family and country to be with his wife, and when he wants to go back once a year to see them she balks? I think that is being more than a little selfish.

13 ( +20 / -7 )

I want to visit other places in the world. I don’t want to spend our money and use our holidays in Canada every year.

Get a job and pay for the second holiday yourself?

14 ( +22 / -8 )

divorce?

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

My husband still wants to go every year as his parents are getting old (87 and 77-years old). I told him to go alone, but he and his family think that that is strange. Additionally, my husband wants us to go to Canada together. Help!

This is very typical thought for Japanese spouse. Going alone? No you are one family, you go together.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

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