I'm a homemaker in my 30s, and I don't know how to handle my husband, who is a lion at home and a mouse outside.
He takes out his frustration on me by talking harshly, especially when he is having hard time at work and on other stressful occasions. He is also fairly particular about meals and their ingredients.
If I had to define myself, I'd say I'm a relatively obedient person.
I think I take proper care of him at home, and I make a sincere effort doing various things every day.
However, my husband tries to get along with people outside and always adopts a condescending attitude toward me.
Recently, I learned he received a "friend" request from a female colleague on Facebook, and I felt terrible. Immediately afterward, I felt miserable and cried while thinking I'm such a narrow-minded person to be so upset about it.
I even want to divorce him and return to my parents' home after finishing my duties as his wife by raising our children and taking care of his parents.
My husband works earnestly and is not violent toward me. He is also kind to his children. Am I too demanding?
Please tell me how I can be more positive.
I, Fukuoka Prefecture
Dear Ms. I:
I assume your husband desperately tries not to make mistakes at work and not to be disliked by his colleagues. If he is pleasant to others, it's because he wants to be acknowledged by them. It has nothing to do with being a good husband. Such husbands seem to often behave arrogantly at home as they are free from other people's evaluations there.
To you, he probably seems to have a double personality. It's natural you can't understand him. So you don't have to blame yourself. His attitude won't change even if you change your mind-set.
Although he does not inflict physical violence on you, there is a risk that you could be mentally damaged if you continue to endure this situation. I'm very concerned as you seem to be a self-tormenting type of person.
I think it's time for him to undergo shock therapy. Tell him openly right now that you want to divorce him. I believe it will work well because you have contained yourself and devoted yourself to your family so far.
As he thinks a lot about his public image, he would probably be upset at your request for a divorce. If he asks why you want to divorce him, tell him how angry and sad you are at being so disrespectfully treated by him for such a long time.
It may be good for you to return to your parents' home to be away from him for some time.
If one partner of a couple requires the patience and obedience of the other partner, the relationship will collapse sooner or later. I learned that from people who divorced after they became elderly.
Hazuki Saisho, writer