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Husbands who take active role in family life have more loving wives: study

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A long-term study has been carried out by a research team and a group of 144 couples, in an attempt to ascertain how marital love and relationships are affected by the birth of children.

The data suggested that although women tended to report decreased feelings of love toward their spouses after childbirth, women whose husbands went the extra mile to make time for their families were better able to maintain marital love.

The study, which was conducted by the Benesse Institute for the Child Sciences, Parenting, and Aging, asked 288 people from across Japan "Do you have true feelings of love toward your spouse when you are together?"

The research team surveyed the couples at regular intervals from the time at which the women became pregnant until the child was two years old. The study showed that during pregnancy, 73.4% of men and women said they did feel love for their partners. The study also showed almost no discrepancy between the male and female respondents at this stage.

However, following the birth of their first child, female respondents who reported having feelings of love for their husbands dropped by around 30% to 45.5%. When the child reached one year of age, the percentage fell to 36.8% and at two years of age, the percentage dropped again to 34%.

On the other hand, men reported a far smaller decrease in affection. When their children were two years of age, 51.7% of men still reported having loving feelings for their wives.

Among the women who reported no change in their affection, 79.9% said that their husbands made an effort to create time for their families. Moreover, 71.5% said their husbands recognized and appreciated their work as a housewife. Benesse concluded that in order to maintain marital love, it is important for the husband to make time for the family and to be considerate toward his partner.

Masumi Sugawara, a lecturer at Ochanomizu University, who participated in the research project said, "It would seem that nowadays men's busy working schedules are adding to the difficulty of raising children and exacerbating the feelings of loss of love reported by women. We can conclude that it is important for both husband and wife to express their gratitude to their partner and to find ways to help each other. Sharing the burden of raising children is the secret to maintaining love in one's marriage."

© Japan Today

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Wow! What a shock it was to find this article and a relief to know that I am not the only one. Well it wasn't actually the article itself but some of the comments that have been left about their abusive wives. I too have suffered in an awful marriage (I'm married to a Japanese wife) who not only used to verbally abuse me but physically as well :( I can completely understand and sympathize with what some of you guys are going through right now!!! But there is light at the end of the tunnel, but I feel that I have been incredibly lucky in how my misfortune has slowly started to change more towards fortune but it has been an incredibly slow, painful, heartbreaking and torturous three years of my life. One which has seen me have panic attacks and feel knots in my stomach at the thought of going home after work to such an awful and abusive environment. To cut a long story short, my problems have eased considerably with moving back to the UK from Tokyo in 2011 and having my wife seen by our local GP who recommended anti depressants and counselling sessions which have recently just finished. Don't get me wrong, getting my wife to the doctors and encouraging her to take the medicine in the first place was a long hard battle but one which I am glad I persevered with :) She has changed a lot over the past year and has a much better outlook on life now but I am lucky in a sense because I had strong support from our doctor and also my family. Having somebody to tell all your problems to is a huge relief and help, which I didn't have when we were living in Tokyo. As the article mentions and from what other posters have said it all started to occur shortly after getting married and my wife falling pregnant. We found out that we were to have a baby in January 2010 and within two months the physical violence had started to slowly creep into our lives (before this I would never have expected this to happen). As you do, you think it won't happen again or its just her hormones affecting her thinking and it will pass but sadly it continued long after my daughter was born in late 2010. I had seriously thought about packing my bags and leaving but when you know that part of you is growing in your wife's womb you cannot force yourself to leave. Well, I couldn't although it crossed my mind many times!!! The physical violence continued with mental abuse on a weekly basis which slowly spread to every day or so. I have been slapped, punched, kicked in the privates, bitten (still have the scars on my back, stomach and legs), hit with hammers, wrenches, stabbed with scissors and had knives thrown at me. Just as bad was the dressing downs I would get in public if I didn't agree with her plans! Once when I tried to walk away from her in Yamada Denki because I become tired of being treated like a dog, she shouted that I had stolen money from her and I actually had members of the J public trying to do a citizens arrest. They soon realised that something was not right when my wife started speaking English to me, to which they soon walked away and left us :( The thing that makes this all the more worse is watching your baby daughter wandering around the house while all this is happening crying her eyes out and wanting me to cuddle her from the scary monster. But if I did try and cuddle and console her my wife would grab her out of my arms. This sort of behaviour destroys you emotionally and even now when I think back to it I start to get hot and flustered. It was heart wrenching to watch your child endure such terror. To cut a long story short I eventually discovered that her family upbringing is to blame. My wife would watch her mother abusing her husband and my wife just thought it was normal behaviour. Slowly and I mean very slowly she has realised that her mother is a complete pyscho and is far from the norm (but obviously her behaviour comes from her environment as a child). As one poster mentioned early about checking out a potential Jap wife, it would be advisable to enquire very thoroughly about her upbringing and what her parents are like. It is a preview of what your life will be like in the future. But of course every situation is different so I'm not sure if the way I went about it would work for you but it might be worth a try not only for your marriage but for the future of your child (children). However, I was determined to stop this family tradition from re-occuring long into the future. and to give my child a fighting chance of a normal upbringing in caring and loving environment with no violence. The ironic thing is that when my wife was not angry she was a great mother All I can hope for now is that her problems don't come back to haunt both myself and my daughter sometime in the future! Good luck to all of you out there who are currently suffering in abusive relationships (whether male or female). You are not alone out there and a problem shared is a problem halved but if you stay in Japan your options are severely hampered. If you can return to your own country and try and get help for your wife (or husband) maybe it might help to resolve your problems. Lets hope so! All the best and I know that my comment is a little late but I feel all the better for it :)

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goinggoinggone

Some people are really "ISHI ATAMA" they are ALWAYS right and other people are always wrong... Where does it say we got on the 'plane ? Please try to READ correctly. I drove my car to Tokyo and that's as far as we went. If your partner said to you they'd be happy to spend the rest of their days in prison having killed you, you might wish to get away as far as possible too.

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...and you STILL got on that plane without him, instead of staying, like so many people in miserable marriages do, and left the boy with a man you couldnt stand to be with yourself, then you judge him for being angry?

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goinggoinggone

Who said anything about "walking out" ??? I had three airline tickets - one for each son and one for myself... You don't know half of the story - so please refrain from judging me... My husband made our elder son mysteriously "disappear" the day we were supposed to leave for Tokyo in my old car to catch the flight to freedom... That's why we stayed on in Japan - but as far away as possible from the ever present danger...

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Husbands who take active role in family life have more loving wives: study

Duh. We need a study to tell us this?

Every family man knows great love begins in the kitchen, helping with the kids—cooking, cleaning, helping with homework and enjoying it. You have to do these things because you love your wife and kids. You must mean it from your heart.

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Your ex is a very lucky lady... I have always had to fend for my younger son and myself - as a foreigner in the land of Wa... And one of the only times I got to see our older son (who was 19 at the time) it was when he "invited himself" into the office where I was working, punched me in the mouth and ran off with my keys - all this in front of my colleagues - (I was fired...) A real "chip off the old block"...

You walked out and left him, at five years old, taking his sibling. What did you expect him to do? Say "thanks for choosing my sibling over me?"

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Many Japanese men have been spoiled badly as kids, they were never taught how to live on their own, or take care of themselves. They look for a second/replacement mother that will do everything for them when they get married.

Who raised the men to behave this way? Japanese women!!

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D'uh!!!! Geez ....Is this not common sense????

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Many Japanese men have been spoiled badly as kids, they were never taught how to live on their own, or take care of themselves. They look for a second/replacement mother that will do everything for them when they get married.

Fortunately more and more guys are realizing that marriage is a partnership and not a one way street agreement and taking care of family is more important than their jobs or friends.

I wonder whether this is a regional thing or maybe it's just the circle of friends we have. We are very happy and I can think of many happily married couples here in Okinawa. Certainly not all, but a pretty good number.

Maybe then you can explain from the box you are living in why Okinawa has the highest, or at least close to the highest divorce rate in all of Japan, running at close to 50%?

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"Plenty of interesting comments here. Sorry to hear about your situations, Darren and Mr. Mexican. From the responses here it seems you're not the only ones going through these trials. I can only imagine how rough that can be." Jjoka sibalnoma

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I know a about four guys who are happily married to j-wives! Have met all but one and they are amazing - and don't tend to get one with other j-women for some reason!!

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Can anyone share a story of a happy international marriage where the Japanese woman contributes emotionally and financially?

Already have once in this thread.

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Readers, please note that this story is not about international marriages.

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Can anyone share a story of a happy international marriage where the Japanese woman contributes emotionally and financially?

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PS. I forgot to mention he had several years of Karate training...

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tokyokawasaki :

Your ex is a very lucky lady... I have always had to fend for my younger son and myself - as a foreigner in the land of Wa... And one of the only times I got to see our older son (who was 19 at the time) it was when he "invited himself" into the office where I was working, punched me in the mouth and ran off with my keys - all this in front of my colleagues - (I was fired...) A real "chip off the old block"...

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Hey Darren, I feel for you bro. I went through the same ordeal. My ex J-wife subjected me to 5 years worth of cruel physical and emotional DV after our daughter was born.

I somehow became worthless in her mind. She destroyed all of my personal things (I mean everything) and then destroyed my resolve. Would she go to counseling? No, because in her mind she was acting normal and I should be grateful that she cares for our daughter.... After 5 years of suffering her daily insults, abuse, total neglect and her viscous fury I had to finally give in and submit the divorce papers. Our daughter is now 8 years old, I just hope she understands why daddy had to leave when she is older :(

(PS I am still being blackmailed to this day. If I stop paying or try to reduce the 260,000 JPY a month I have to pay to support her, she has said I will never be aloud to see our daughter again)...

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interesting article, and good points by 7solace9

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It is good to have this article as a reminder of helping out at home since common sense points can be too easily forgotten in the midst of all the other demands of life. Godspeed to the brave homemakers.

What is with Japanese women and knives? My Japanese home-stay mom pulled that one on me soon after I had joined a martial arts club at the University. I get home at night and quietly sit down to eat at the table as usual and when I look up, she's in the kitchen glaring at me and holding a big kitchen knife straight up in one hand at chest level. I just looked at her for a bit and then straightforwardly said in my limited Japanese, "Abunai mono desu ne." She became thoughtful, put it down and things were back to normal.

On a humorous note, this forum has convinced me that katanas must have been invented by Japanese women. Way back when, men just popped into see their wives one day and were like, "oh dang, what's that, honey??" Hence forth, samurai armor was developed by the men with great popularity. And, clan fighting was the side effect of men going into other clan's territory to see if the women in that region were the same.

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Well, as I said earlier the mrs and I are good, largely because we dont have kids, touch wood. Though I often wish I did & I can see the potential for Japan to be a great place to raise them but like so many aspects of life I find most Japanese settle for so little & have no interest in making their lives better sadly.

And like PSmash I have sometimes dreamed/day dreamed about being divorced but then I suspect eveyone who is married worldwide has those haha just not as often as we do in Japan.

To those above in bad situations I hope you figure something out for you & your kids.

NOW, for you guys, young & old who are thinking about marrying a Japanese woman, this thread shud be food for a LOT OF THOUGHT, seriously you ignore at your own peril. Much as I wish it all werent so, its true, think hard how your girlfriend wud be as a MOTHER of your kids, and its essential you know A LOT about her family, seriously.

I know when I was younger, my hormones had me all fooled, I lucked out so far & I am almost at the 1/2century mark, in hind sight as I said above, I wud have either remained single or got hitched & tried living some where OTHER than Japan. But even that is a gamble we only have to look at all the child abductions by Japanese to see that outside Japan risk remains.

I really hate writing this I really do, I know so many nice ladies in Japan of all ages when I am out & about it makes me wonder how they change so much when at home, this jekl/hyde syndrome, I wish the J-ladies could beat this monster!

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I think the biggest problem in Japan is the rigid roles; the husband should be the breadwinner and the wife should be the homemaker and raise the children. This leads to a separation, almost as if the mother and children are on one side and the father is on the other.

Roles need to be more flexible. Then the father can help with the housework & child rearing and the mother can work outside of the home. This way both parents can feel more supported and they can be more like a team and a true family.

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Gosh, I'm sorry to hear some of your stories. Almost all of my J girlfriends sleep with their children and the dad's have "papa no heya". A lot of them seem to think the husband is the ATM. Did you hear of the salaryman haiku that went along the lines of "the only thing warm in my house is the toilet seat"? It was funny but also very sad. After having a baby, it is hard to look after your hubby - the baby is so demanding, your boobs hurt if you are breastfeeding, you are generally tired. Sometimes the last thing I want to do is make dinner for him but I want to show my appreciation to him and that he is still an important part of the family so he always has a nice meal and a smile. I do think that he is a great husband and dad because we (my three kids and I) show him how much we love him. I slept with all of my kids until they were six months old (my youngest is 6.5 months) and would have been happy really, to keep sleeping with them. But it was my husband's request that the kids sleep in their own room so at least the bedroom was kid free. I had to respect his wishes there because in reality, dads are sidelined by the demands and needs of small kids. But there is no excuse to be abusive.

Anyway, so many horror stories of mixed marriages, but my parents (dad American, mum Japanese) have been married for 40 years! Funnily enough, their only rough patches were when they lived in Japan. They have a happy retirement abroad now.

Good luck guys.

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Have you spoken to a lawyer? If she has a drinking problem, plays with knives... and you have this documented, you might actually get custody. No idea how old your child/children are but for their sake, I would try and get them away from their mom. Growing up with a nutcase like her as an example will up the chance their your kids will turn out the same. God help you and your kids. Sad to read/hear about such family problems.

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she went pycho and ripped up all the forms

@Daren Brannan: Your situation really sounds like my coworker. He was USN and when time came for orders, he had to go back to the states. Due to the fact that is his wife had done similar things to him as you describe with knives, attempted suicides, and other things that were documented, the US Embassy denied her visa claims. I was shocked to find that would happen since it seems that every deadbeat can get into America. So he transferred alone, and from the last reports the abuse is long distance. When we used to go on trips back to the States, he had to continuously be near a phone in order to accept calls from his wife. She gave him only a paltry $200 for a week (he worked she didn't) to spend while we were away and had to show receipts of what it was spent on when we returned. So I imagine his life is still going on the same way. A shame too, since he was not a playboy and actually wanted to be in his kids life, only to be saddled with a lunatic.

I know this may seem cruel, but many times he had to come home to find her attempting suicide. If I were in that situation, the next time she would have told me that she was doing such a thing, I probably would have taken my time getting home. I know that is wrong, but I guess it boils down to you have to protect yourself and any kids you may have, and not just throw it all away because someone may become irrational.

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thanks for the support e4veryone.I do have TONS of video evidence because it happens so often.Like the other day when she spilled hot soup all over me right next to my daughter, or the time she was waving three knives around stabbing at herself(for show)after guzzzling rum and meds..she ended up cutting my finger when I tried to get the knife off her.I have been scratched,bitten and generally abused..I have a bad heart and high blood pressure and she sends my blood pressure up to levels where I have had to call an ambulance.I thought that life with my family for a few years might straighten her out and getting away from Japan might offer her new opportunities but she went pycho and ripped up all the forms AFTER I had told my school I would be quitting in April.Fact is, without my money she will be worse than impoverished and that is the way she was brought up after her dad ran away..guess what? Her mum is the same. I know I won't have a chance of winning custody here and will in fact be penalised by having to remain in Japan to see my daughter.I guess it is looking like I will go back to Australia without a divorce and hope that she wakes up to herself.Otherwise she will never be granted a visa into my country and that defeats the purpose.I worry about my kid but she is equally a danger when I am around so who knows..

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Did the women go in just looking to have a kid and someone to pay for the upbrining,

I think this is the problem - this is what they want, not love, not marriage for what is actually is. They want a sperm donor and then then the want the donor to foot all the bills while giving nothing very little back.

Foreign women sometimes get accused of being "jealous" when warning foreign men about marrying Japanese women. I won't bother anymore - I'll give them the link so they can read it for themselves.

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Many Japanese wives will divorce you if you lose your job. If you don't bring in money, what is your purpose. Many have not worked and got a free ride their whole lives they think you are partying all day at work.

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NetNinja : When it comes to domestic violence and abuse, nobody does it better than Japanese women.

I beg to differ... If only my (then) 3 year old and I had managed to take my (then) 5 year old with us...

And what's this about "Hello Work" handing out money to "single parents" ? I wish I had known about that !

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I'm with Laguna on this one. The article has made sweeping assumptions about cause and effect, which may not be accurate. the second paragraph could easily have said:

"The data suggested that after childbirth, women who went the extra mile to treat their husbands like human beings found that they were better able to maintain marital love. Plus it encouraged their husbands to take a more active role in family life."

But NOOOOOOO......that would not be politically correct. I'm sick of all the male-bashing and assumptions about men being the bad guys, when we all know that 99.999% of women become bitchy and jaded by middle age and do nothing but complain all day.

Ok I am kidding about that last part...but girls, how does it feel to be marginalized that way, when it is true only 90% of the time?

Darren Brannan, I feel for you brother. My wife used to be so sweet, loving and understanding. That is why I married her. She admired me for working hard at my profession, making good money, bringing romance into her life and for generally "having my act together" when there are so many deadbeats out there (her ex-boyfriend included)

Once we had a kid, she started wondering "what I did at work all day when she's slaving away babysitting" and that "all you men just do whatever you want " and "by the way, can I have $100 to treat my friends to coffee and cake in the Ginza this weekend?" In the same breath, she would get upset because "I could not take a 3 hour lunch so she could go shopping, I didn't care about the family, and how she want's our 5 yo daughter to "marry a rich guy so she won't have to worry about her future".

WTF?!?

At some point I got so tired of her BS that I looked her straight in the eye, told her to shut up, start respecting me and that I deserved better. That was about 2 years ago - it got her attention, and she's simmered down a bit, but I can tell that she still just doesn't get it.

I wonder if it's a biological thing?

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Plenty of interesting comments here. Sorry to hear about your situations, Darren and Mr. Mexican. From the responses here it seems you're not the only ones going through these trials. I can only imagine how rough that can be.

I'm curious to know if there are any couples here who have moved back to the foreign husband's/spouse's country before their child was born and how have their experiences been. I'm thinking that it's this stifling system, the cultural and societal expectations imposed on the J-wife greatly influences these dramatic changes in attitude and behavior toward the foreign husbands, particularly after childbirth. Having removed her from a conformist cultural environment and detached from deep-rooted societal expectations, wouldn't that be conducive to a more harmonious marriage and we'd hear less of sad stories of cold, uncaring or downright contemptuous J-wives? I know I'm speaking in general terms but I'm just thinking out loud here and know that not all couples have the opportunity nor desire to move back to the foreign spouse's country. But for those that have, I'd be interested to know if your experiences have been good so far.

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Those comments come as Reality check!!! Geee Mr. Mexican.. tough situation... We still wait for that someone who will tell us a good story with a happy ending.

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Well, This article and the comments was so mind opener for me. I'm on the same position as Darren and many of you guys. I clean at home, I try to come back home around 7:30pm so I can see my daughter before sleep, I used to give all my money to my wife, payed her credit card, payed her pension, etc, but nothing made her happy. She always wanted more, she hates me, we don't sleep together since a year and a half, plus, Plus... Her mother controls her mind. I don't see the point in continuing more this suffering but I know I'm going to lose my daughter and that's the thing that doesn't let me sleep anymore. There is nothing I can do. If I stay here at home I'm just going to get crazy. Family Court as we know, is not on our side, 30minutes for her and 15minutes for you. This 6 years of being married went from happiness to craziness like sky rocket after my daughter was born, this is not the life I want or deserve, this is not the society I want for my children. I really prefer to keep my soul alive than become a gray suit guy on the train sucked by the whole Japanese society. Freedom!!!

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I barely know any happy couples in Japan. I know many Darren brannans and can see these common stories. I think part of it is Japanese culture. They complement strangers and treat people out of there group first class and the closer you become the less they try to make you happy and those complements turn to insults. Soon you will never be complemented and the woman will make sure they think everyone besides you are incredible. Guys, do you find you are the one paying for the bill, making all the planning yet they only complain or wont lift a finger to help? Such ugly personalities.

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Darren it sounds like your wife may want her freedom and you and your baby may be in Danger if your wife is getting physical. Please be careful.

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@ Darren Brannan: I had a coworker in a similar situation to yours. The funny thing was, if he had his wife out in public, then she acted normal and one would have never known she was "batty." I guess it has something to do with some Japanese not wanting to show a bad face in public. It got to the point where the only way he could find peace at home was to have people come over so that his wife would be on her P's & Q's. That is no way to live, and I hope that you can find a solution to your problem.

Just curious, what are her parent's situation like? You can tell a lot about how a person will enter a relationship when you look at what they had to develop role models from.

I think some of the results of this survey can also be cased by the expectations that the couples went into their marriages with. Did the women go in just looking to have a kid and someone to pay for the upbrining, or did they see it in TV and the movies about marriages and didn't really realize that it takes work to make things go right, and even then your are going to have problems.

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Why of course husbands who take active role in family life have more loving wives. Did that really needed to be studied? That is common sense!!!

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I can't provide the link for this but I swear it's true; a similar study was conducted involving homosexual couples after one year of marriage. The question was how do divorce rates for homosexual couples compare with the divorce rate of hetereosexual couples. The results? After one year of marriage 87% of the lesbian couples had split with the reason being "irreconciable differences" (a polite of way of saying "pain in the ass to live with"). 93% of the gay men couples were still together. We can draw our own conclusions. Darren Brannan, your story broke my heart. Stick with it for your kids (that's what I'm doing) and then leave after the kids grow up and move out.

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Don't sweat it guys.

If your wife is making it plain after the child arrives that she is not interested in you... well, she'd better be prepared to accept the consequences of that stance.

IMHO in this situation you are completely justified in going out and finding someone who will give you love and affection... preferably a married woman who is similarly being ignored by her husband.

Find comfort where you can. And remember, as a foreign guy in Japan... many many women are interested in you.

And if your wife starts to feel lonely on a Friday night while you are out having a good time... Well she might want to reflect on how she approached the marriage...

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Well, I hope yours is ;-)

I hope so too!! Though we have no kids - I may turn into the evil wife if we do! ;)

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I should have added--The secret to keeping love in a marriage is having good communication, intimacy, doing things together and keeping things fresh by trying new things.

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We can conclude that it is important for both husband and wife to express their gratitude to their partner and to find ways to help each other. Sharing the burden of raising children is the secret to maintaining love in one’s marriage.”

Wow! They needed a long-term study to come to that conclusion. Duh!

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"have more loving wives"

How many loving wives can they have, ha ha!

Well, duh!

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Wow...what an interesting assortment of comments. To the westerners, this seems pretty obvious, but the study shows how oblivious many Japanese can be about relationships. The work ethic in Japan seems to be held higher than any other priority, and becomes the basis for a 'common sense'. The excuse of 'I have to work' is never doubted, and everyone seems to engage in the practice at the expense of socializing with friends and family. New Years, a wedding or a funeral is the only time many show their faces.

As a westerner married to an even-keeled Japanese woman, I don't have the complaints of some here, but I too have observed the falling off of affection after our first child was born. However, it happens in many cultures, and my US and European friends complain about it loudly. There's definitely a psychological change many women of ALL cultures go through once their equipment converts from recreational to reproductive.

Having been married previously to an American-born nut-job, I recommend documenting the behavior (video, audio, witnesses, AND photos) and getting out whether you have kids or not as soon as your 'sweety' makes threatening gestures or wishing death on you. I was too young to know how to deal with my previous situation, and it just got worse. The kids will suffer in this environment more than if you're not there. Or take the kids with you and leave the country. One could attempt to make the in-laws aware of the situation, but chances are that their behavior is being echoed by their son or daughter, it's just the way that 'the Tanakas' carry on in private.

My heart goes out to those that are suffering through this. No one could blame them if they hook-up with someone else, but it's not going to solve their more immediate and bigger problem.

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I feel kinda bad being the odd-one-out here. My wife is the world champion and she goes out of her way for me and our little fella. She did have to fight off a lot of competition to get to me though. Maybe that keeps her in line...?

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I'm involved. They didn't talk to my wife. I have a mean evil wife.

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Then again, I don't really know ANY happily married Japanese men

Well, I hope yours is ;-)

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Even with counters for "single mothers" at Hello Work it ain't easy for them starting with renting an apartment.

Don't get me started on "Hello Work", etc support for "single dads"(non-existant), heck they only started paying allowances for single dads and many of my friends got dropped due to a technicality.

Good friend did with 2 kids(one suffering from downs) and for the sole reason his ap was still in his ex-wifes name. Another was told at Hello Work, we got a great job for you working 17:00-21:30(daily) he got a 5th grader in school.

Still a long way to go.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Wow, this article really strikes home – for me it’s not a “puff piece” at all. It’s real, and it means a lot just to see the reality of this stated boldy – that, along with the comments.

I got married to a great J-gal at a time when I was a young guy still building my career, and she hers – although being a few years older than me, we didn’t have the luxury of putting off kids as long as I would have liked. We went down the pregnancy path several times before one was successful; the change of personality came not from those attempts, but after the successful one. For a couple years, the fun of being a new dad was enough to make one not notice the difference – but eventually the reality sets in. That’s when you realize that your glowing wife has put down roots So Deep, and So Possessive towards the child that anything that gets in the way of that (which means you, Sodai Gomi) makes you the Enemy. Why? Because from that point on, you simply Do Not Matter. And even if you talk this out beforehand, anticipating change - her promises not to forget you are, alas, soon forgotten.

It really gives you a new sympathy for the men who take on mistresses. That’s one less burden for the wife, no? And if your J-wife is of the practical “I packed some condoms for your business trip, Honey” type there’s a lot of pressure just to roll with that and do as others do. But if you had a real connection (and we Westerners can be so foolishly romantic) it’s shallow comfort indeed.

I have to say that we stuck it out all the way through college largely because in the end she was loyal and patterned herself after her parents, which meant sticking it out for the long term. Eventually, as our daughter grew up and began to find a bit of her own independence, I watched in slow-motion as Mommy was forced to let go and guess what – you’re there to fill that void. But you’ve both endured a lot of relationship scars by this point – the relationship future looks a bit brighter, but do you still want it to be?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

tmarie, I agree totally. Foreign women can be happy with Japanese men, but they hardly ever see them.

Perhaps I am one of the lucky ones but mine is home at a decent hour - usually 7:30 - and we have dinner together every night unless one of us has a work dinner or plans with friends. Indeed, some guys get home late and it can't be "helped" due to work. However, many stay out late to avoid their wife and the nagging that goes with seeing them. I have chatted to numerous guys who claim they have to go out for work but actually go out so they don't have to go home. I find it sad that men here sometimes avoid the home they pay for because of the woman they married. Doesn't seem far to the men at all.

If this country would change their stance of child custody and enforce visitation rights, I think the divorce rate here would skyrocket. Men these days don't "need" a wife. Sex, cleaning, shopping... can all be purchased. God help the reality check the women would get if the courts did indeed come to grips with dads having rights to see their kids or gain custody in the event of a divorce.

Mind you, would "benefit" the women in the long run with better pay and more equality at work. They'd have to work to support themselves. Change the custody laws and the 1.3 million house wife present and see Japan catch up with the west!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It's unfortunate to read and hear about cases of international marriages gone wrong. Among my friends, this has been the exception and not the norm, but then again this is JT. I just wanted to say that it always goes both ways. There is never a case where one person is 100% right and the other 100% wrong. Sometimes I've had to swallow my pride and be the first to apologize or to change. However, they'll notice that and appreciate that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Stupid spell checker! That should be "often".

(Really wish we had an edit button!)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have offered heard (and subsequently stated) that the highest divorce rate in the world is between a non-Japanese person and a Japanese person. Wonder why?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I complain your husband. Don't make a generalization of your case.

??? Anyone want to "translate" this into English?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Incidentally, if anyone would care to shoot me in the head, could you please wait until December 26th, then please do give it your best shot. I welcome your marksmanship.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Well, if reading this thread has taught me anything, it's that the bundle of people I know (who married a japanese beauty who was a great friend, consoling partner in life's ups and downs, and went like a steam engine come lights-out, only to have her replaced by a shrieking miserable harpy the moment she's done her duty and calved a grandchild) are not the unlucky few - they're the norm.

Seriously, I don't know a single bloke who can say he's glad of his decision to marry a local - and I include not only myself here, but all my Japanese friends. One does one's best, works as hard as poss, but still makes time to do what it was that used to impress - cooking, showing affection, being spontaneous and at the same time a responsible father - and still find that, on the few times one's erstwhile giggling goer shows any emotion at all, it's to express dissatisfaction in the life you're doing your damnedest to provide.

There really is no pleasing some people, regardless of what this "study" wants us to believe.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

My advice for those marrying Japanese women, do one thing & you will vastly increase yr chances of future happyness, HAVE NO KIDS.

Thats how the mrs & I turned out, wasnt our plan initially but with all that happened & especially they way the future looks we are both glad we dont have kids & we enjoy each others company I wud say more so that the majority we see around us.

Now, if I went back in time to when I was single I wud do one of two things, one STAY SINGLE or two get married & then leave Japan to increase your odds at happiniess, the odds are stacked against you in Japan, I am pretty lucky but when I look around I dont see many others like us.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Duhhhh Someone actually wasted money to conduct a long term study on what anyone with a tad of common sense could tell you if you simply asked.

japanmanj,

True & I agree but like I have said many times on jt, common sense just isnt common enough on these isles!

johninnaha,

Okinawa is Japan but it also ISNT, I mean that in a good way, in this regard dont become like the mainland!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Then again, I don't really know ANY happily married Japanese men...

I complain your husband. Don't make a generalization of your case.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I wonder whether this is a regional thing or maybe it's just the circle of friends we have. We are very happy and I can think of many happily married couples here in Okinawa. Certainly not all, but a pretty good number.

It's a very family oriented society. You often see extended families out together. You also see kids everywhere here too. They haven't totally bought into the "dangerous environment" hype that the media gives out.

Mind you, when discussing marriage and happiness, it's important to realize that not everyone's values or demands are the same. Some people expect a lot from their spouse/partner, others very little. Some relationships seem to work with a one way arrangement, where one partner puts a lot more into it than the other, whereas this kind of situation is grounds for a divorce in other cases. Some couples fight a lot, others never do. It's very difficult to make hard and fast rules for everyone.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

NetNinja, i finally get where ur bitterness comes from. I do agree with ur post to get out. As for different parts of Japan goes. It would be nice to know where the people who comment live. I have this theory that not all j people behave the same. This is a very old country and i believe people behave differently depending on where u live in Japan as well as if u live in the suburbs, city, or country side . Are most of you posters with these unfortunate stories from Tokyo?? Just a bit of advice, this is not 100%, but i remeber parents saying to marry into a good family. See what their family is like. If they are a loving, peaceful family tjat enjoy laughing, etc. There is a good chance ur partner will want the same.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

They the women here were independent and had jobs, they could live without...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As some English comedienne (Jenny Eclair?) said:

"Husbands, eh? Can't live with them ...can't batter them to death with a hammer without going to jail."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So I guess I am not the only who is repulsed by spouse calling each other otosan/okasan. Yuck!

Sadly, I find it rather rare to know any foreign man happily married to a Japanese women. Most of the foreign women I know married to Japanese men are happy. Then again, I don't really know ANY happily married Japanese men... Seeing a theme here. I wouldn't wish a "typical" Japanese wife on my worst enemy. Once the ring goes on, the claw out or the men are totally ignored.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I would have LOVED to have been paid all the money these 'professionals' got for the mere two seconds it would have taken me to simply state that's the case. The way they say it they sound as though they've discovered a new element or something -- THIS IS NO SURPRISE.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

peoples would be happily married if they have much more $$$$

shopping, fashion, travel, sex,

i think this is the best medicines?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When this report was first released, scores of Japanese were heard to say: "Eeehhhhhhh......suuuugoiiiii."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

288

You cannot get any good and true data from this small number.

If I did this for my PhD. I would have been told to go take a hike.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Woah, woah, slow down. Eddisofbextar.

The man has no RIGHTS here in Japan. If you talk the talk you better have walked the walk.

Darren, there's no talking to that woman. Get out!!! Don't try to divorce here. It's ugly. There is a group of men out there who share a common pain. Men who have this mechanism inside them to do the right thing. Don't be one of them. Family Court in Japan has nothing to do with you. It's all about her.

If you leave her - She gets paid. If she leavs you - She gets paid.

You see that? What's mine is mine and what's yours is mine - T.I.J. Quit your job. Zero your income. Move your half of the nest egg. File for living expenses - Of course denied. Get Divorce in your home country.

If you should decide ignore my words and try to work it out, you'll end up in a world of hurt. She said she hates you. (Danger Will Robinson Danger). She'll use Family Court to whip you like an unfaithful dog. She'll be a whole different person in there too. Don't be surprised if she comes to Family Court in a Kimono. YOU LOSE!! Game OVER!!!

I'm such a Grinch now. I used to believe in Interracial Relationships. Most of my family is married to someone from a different background. My brother married a woman of German descent. My father married an Irish woman. My sister married an English bloke who loves Star Trek. I don't believe Japanese women can successfully make the leap. They are not raised, they are bred and traded like horses.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

How about "Loving wives more likely to have husbands who take a active role in family life"? Like others have said here one leads to the other.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Darren Brannan: I work with a guy who is in a similar situation. Mental disorders are difficult to treat here because of the shame involved in admitting it. I would suggest trying to get her to see a doctor. If that doesnt work, you could do the same thing the guy I know did - go to a weekly mansion and live there for a while till she calms down and recognizes your contributions.

On the flip side, there's always another side to it. Have you asked her to detail WHY she wants you to die/hates you etc... maybe she has valid concerns as well. Who knows.

Divorce is just about as simple a matter to do as marriage registration in Japan. You can even submit it without her consent/stamp if it involves abuse.

Always good to have video proof tho, and keep it backed up somewhere you can access remotely.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What my best friend (married) told me before I got married a few months ago: "are you ready to renounce a good romance and a close friendship for getting married?" well, I did, and he was right :)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Once a Japanese wife starts calling her husband "Papa," the marriage has changed.

I went to a seminar quite recently run by a friend of mine who works for an NPO encouraging better martial relations. The speaker was a female Japanese former Olympian speaking about how to make your marriage happier (she is actually married to a European). She had a lot of really good things to say but one thing that stuck out above all others on her bullet point list and made me laugh out loud was this:

"Sometimes, call your spouse by their real name rather than Otosan and Okaasan".

I agree - once you head down this road you may as well kiss goodbye to any kind of normal fufukankei

2 ( +5 / -3 )

2 way street. Dont dump it all on the father.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Darren Brannen - Come on down!!!!!

You are the next contestant on "Wheel of Misfortune" What do we got for him, Johnny? It's a cawaii Japanese girl and a new Toyota Prius.

Darren, you are not alone. When it comes to domestic violence and abuse, nobody does it better than Japanese women. They know what society thinks and they attack their partners. We've got no one to report this to. The police NEVER believe that their own Japanese women DESTROYED the living room.

When you have it on VIDEO, they don't want to watch it. She could still have her hand STUCK in the cookie jar and the police still won't believe it. I'm "Cawaii" and most importantly he's a Gaijin. Who are they going to believe?

You have to make a firm decision when dealing with such women. That decision is easy. Change the locks. Packs your bags, leave the country.

YES, I said LEAVE THE COUNTRY. You know why? Cause you don't have a chance in Family Court. You could have a gushing wound inflicted by your loving spouse and they would still take away all your things and give it to her.

If you are going to get a divorce, do it in your home country. Nobody says you have to come back here. You're a free man. You can divorce and remarry in your home country and there's not a thing she can do to stop it. These comments are all based on you not having children. If you have children......oh man.

If any of you have children and your wife is considering divorce, get in touch with friends and family fast. The pain will consume you.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I also noticed that most of my wife's energy and affection was directed towards our daughter, which I suppose is natural. However, I sat down and had a talk with her that displays of affection are very important for me and that I needed more of that in our relationship. She understood, and now there are more hugs and kisses for all of us in the house :) Of course, she also told me that she needed a greater commitment from me on my days off to take care of the baby, to which I have obliged.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Happy wife, happy life... so they say.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

If you really care, talk to each other, but do remember that Japanese culture is extremely different from western cultures. It takes time and patience to understand the reasons for things. And even after all of the time and patience in the world, you will still be baffled by things that for the Japanese people are perfectly normal. And no, they don't speak much about feeling and other such things, but they do show you affection through small gestures, but things can be so sublte that if you dont know about their way of doing, you wont even notice that they are screaming they care.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As Guile would say, "Go home and be a family man!"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I know so many foreign guys who are miserable because they are in loveless marriages with Japanese women. I know many Japanese husbands who are in the same boat but they are appear to be less miserable. I think they probably accept the lack of affection after the first child is born as the natural course of events.

Once a Japanese wife starts calling her husband "Papa," the marriage has changed.

Whoever said that marriage kills romance and passion was right. I am always surprised at how few married men make an effort to take their wives out for dinner. Even if you have kids, you have to make an effort to have that private time together to keep the relationship as husband and wife, not father and mother.

6 ( +6 / -1 )

@ Darren Brannan I wonder what happened to the person I married too. She was completely different in America. I guess this survey is not true for everyone. It seems like a no brainer to me though. It is good to know you still have a good relationship with your daughter.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Damn Daz that is rough. i dont want it to become of the "thise" threads - but buddy, you have my permission to gallivant.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Darren I am truly truly sorry for the situation you have found yourself in. Mental illness notwithstanding, women who treat their husbands like this make me sick.

I agree it is stating the bleeding obvious to many, but here in Japan until it is "officially" confirmed people just dont seem to sit up and take any notice.

I kind of feel sorry for men - as if they dont have enough demands on them as it is (see kibousha above) they then have the added pressure of being the perfect man at home too. Its not as if women dont face the same kinds of pressures - I TOTALLY get that(!) - but our pressures are much more widely spoken about and publicised I feel, while the men are expected to become these "perfect" specimens without even really being told how or shown what a perfect specimen actually is. Especially in this country.

Well - all I can say from my own experience is that my hubby works hard but is here for us as much as I think he reasonably can be. In return I am eternally grateful, absolutely adore him (right now! Not gonna lie and say it was always like this and there have been many many ups and downs to get to this point!) and we have a very happy family and marital life together. We have 3 kids under 8 so it is very tough at times, but we must be doing something right.

Just hope and pray my bubble doesnt burst anytime soon! (Or my condoms for that matter!!! ;-) )

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Yeah well I have always been there for my wife and work two jobs to save money. Never go out gallivanting and spend more time looking after our daughter than she does. I pay the rent and daycare and utility bills. She in return sleeps in another room, tells me she hates me and that I should die and attacks me physically. So yes I wonder where the woman who suckered me into marriage disappeared and the maniac appeared. This article just confirms a lot of opinions I now have of Japanese women. When you are dealing with what I have to deal with every day it is soul defeating.

13 ( +14 / -2 )

It would have been more interesting if this survey had been compared with a similar survey carried out in a country with a different culture. Are we all like this? Nevertheless, I was not surprised at the findings, as my Japanese friends have been telling me similar things for years.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

... and yet, ever since I had my daughters, my Japanese friends, bosses all men, suggested that I should ganbarimasu harder at work (meaning, longer hours, coming in weekends), now that I have more responsibilities.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Causality - and I say this with no irony - may be reversed here: it may be that the happiness of husbands who are treated affectionately by their wives may lead them to participate more in family issues.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I imagine a future where the headline says, "The sun rose today."

Having said that, the following caught my eye:

However, following the birth of their first child, female respondents who reported having feelings of love for their husbands dropped by around 30% to 45.5%. When the child reached one year of age, the percentage fell to 36.8% and at two years of age, the percentage dropped again to 34%.

I wish we were given more details about this. What were the feelings of the women? Causes for this? I know it may seem obvious, but I wonder if the researchers looked into this?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The study showed that during pregnancy, 73.4% of men and women said they did feel love for their partners. Perhaps those other couples should have thought about how out of love they are with their partner BEFORE getting pregnant?

Nothing surprising here. Women in Japan focus on the kids, not the hubby. I feel sorry for hubbies that get left out in the cold after a kid and wonder what the heck happened to the girl they married. Indeed, men should be helping with their kids but women here often make that difficult.

7 ( +11 / -3 )

i am lucky - daddy always helped - even now that the baby chicks are on their own.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As a Non Japanese, maybe this news is a NO BRAINER, but Japan, especially the older generation, having men help out around the house etc..was unheard of, the cleaning, cooking, playing with the kids etc..was all done by women, and now this is changing, more and more Japanese men due to this terrible economy may have no choice but be at home, for lack of work, instead of being at the office almost 24/7 like when Japan Inc was in it's hay day. I try to help my wife as much as I can, but I can never become a MOMMY, just ask my 4 year old daughter!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Anyone that knows an average Japanese couple knows that this survey's findings are probably surprising to them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Weber-san I agree 100% with you. It's nice to see others in this world with simiiar old fashion values.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Now that is what I call a surprise... Irony mode off.

This is just too obvious. Show Your appreciation and do something together and feelings will survive longer (or even grow beyond the superficial attraction in the beginning). Normal people don't need a survey to understand this.

Be at home to maintain a loving marriage. Help each other. There are plenty of funny things You can do. Some might even result in more children. And You don't even need a cell phone...

I don't get why this is news. But maybe Japanese couples might consider it helpful advice if an official survey reports it.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Duhhhh Someone actually wasted money to conduct a long term study on what anyone with a tad of common sense could tell you if you simply asked.

16 ( +17 / -2 )

good, say goodbye to anime world and welcome to the world of (harsh) reality.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

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