Foreign men share their reasons for divorcing Japanese wives

Foreign men share their reasons for divorcing Japanese wives

TOKYO —

Earlier this month, we brought you an article about foreign men sounding off on the difficulties of having a Japanese wife. While some of their complaints were understandable and others were just downright silly (you can’t deal with tofu? C’mon!), international relationships in real life don’t always end as happily as in the movie “My Darling is a Foreigner.”

Continuing the international marriage theme in a more unfortunate direction, we now bring you the voices of some foreign men who have gone through the experience of divorcing Japanese women. You might be surprised to learn that the main catalyst for divorce in each of their scenarios was rarely related directly to cultural differences. Instead, it seems that a combination of other factors played the decisive role.

While there is a certain allure to the thought of having a spouse from another country, such marriages also comes with their own hardships, and it is said that as many as 40% of international marriages end in divorce. Japanese blogger Madame Riri recently posted an article exploring this issue by sharing the stories of men who were asked to described the reasons they divorced their Japanese wives. Let’s take a look at some of those reasons.

First, practical issues concerning family and money played a large role in their decisions. One man mentions how he couldn’t afford to keep up with payments month after month. He tried to please his wife by buying a nice house, car, and going on overseas vacations. But such an extravagant lifestyle on top of paying off expensive school fees, child support from a previous marriage, and helping his wife’s parents financially proved to be too much:

“I think the reason for my divorce what that I mistakenly thought I could make everyone happy because I had a well-paying job. Ultimately, I couldn’t live up to those expectations.”

Another man was placed in a different terrible situation. According to him, although cultural misunderstandings were present in his marriage, they were not the root cause for divorce because he and his wife were both aware of and accepted the differences. Instead, it all boiled down to logistics:

“Because there was no one but me to take care of my aging parents, I would have had to leave Japan. Either I would have to bring my parents to Japan or my wife would have to bring her parents to Virginia.”

In the end, the couple decided to split. The man remarks that he and his ex-wife still love each other, but cannot be together due to the circumstances. Our hearts go out to you…

Like any other couple in the world, issues surrounding children can either make or break a relationship. Here’s what one man had to say about his experience:

“In my case, the reason for our divorce was simple. My wife wanted to have kids, and I didn’t. I’m not saying that the divorce wasn’t painful, but we could split fairly amicably. I ended up remarrying a woman who like me also doesn’t want children but would rather focus her energy on work.”

The next anecdote is a bit different, as the writer happens to be a foreign woman in a relationship with a Japanese man. They had once dated in the past, but the relationship eventually became strained due to their different ways of thinking and separate values, especially regarding work. However, after a period of 12 years, they have started dating again, only to be met with opposition from both families:

“My family is very opposed to this relationship. They like him as a person, but they don’t believe that he can make me happy. His parents feel the same way. We really do love each other, but I guess in reality love alone isn’t enough. It’s sad…”

Many men listed issues of love, sex, and compatibility as being big factors in their divorces. Here’s from a man whose marriage appears to be in a critical condition:

“I’m currently on the verge of getting divorced. Things have spiraled down to the point where my wife and I are discussing whether or not she will take the children back with her to Japan. If we split, the reason will be due to the absence of sex in our marriage. My wife seems to have lost all of her sex drive, although I still have mine. Apart from that, everything in our marriage was going well…”

Next, a man describes how he and his Japanese wife were married at a young age, which led to a conflict of interests as they grew older:

“When all of her friends were getting married, I was her boyfriend. When all of those friends were getting divorced, I should have realized what was going to happen. Many people blame their failed international marriage on cultural differences, but in our case it was simply avoiding responsibility on both of our ends.”

In his words, he was so young when they got married that he didn’t yet know what he really wanted to do in life. When he finally figured it out, that route didn’t include his wife. From her end, she became unhappy married to a husband who had to work 70-hour weeks of manual labor to support their living. In her loneliness she resorted to cheating on him with her ex-boyfriend. Because they weren’t honest enough at the onset about their real desires, their marriage arrived at a dead-end.

Next, a number of men remarked that their Japanese wives’ tendency to resort to anger or violence played a central role in leading to divorce. Let’s hear from a few of these cases.

“The reason that my marriage of 20 years failed was because my wife would often make a mountain out of a molehill. Many problems that could have been solved in a few minutes were blown out of proportion. It wasn’t good for our mental health.”

Similarly:

“I’m glad we got divorced. We split during our tenth year of marriage. I am now raising our two children in Australia. My ex-wife’s violent side was terrible. I couldn’t stand her lies anymore, or her neglect to our sons. It was a very bitter experience, but after getting divorced I am now living a much better lifestyle.”

The following comes from a man who has been married for seven years but whose marriage is rocky to say the least. He claims that married life would be easier if they didn’t have two young children:

“I heard this from my professor friend who specializes in international cultural exchange, but Japanese men and women are skilled at adapting themselves to different roles depending on the place and situation. For example, they almost seem to undergo a transformation in character when they change from a student into a working adult, or from a wife into a mother. I don’t know if this is related to my case at all, but my wife used to be a calm and carefree woman. But after the birth of first child, she became almost like onibaba” [Onibaba refers to a “demon-hag” in Japanese folklore that appears as an old woman and eats humans].

Now consider this bizarre case. I think anyone would want to divorce a wife like this, regardless of her nationality…

“I first began to have doubts about the future of our marriage after just returning from our honeymoon when my wife farted right in front of me. Because she had irritable bowel syndrome, it was really smelly. Our marriage crumbled apart like flakes of paint falling from a wall. She would steal food from my plate and take anything she wanted. And she was really demanding in bed – if I couldn’t meet her demands, she would pinch my ears, hit me in the ribs, or kick me down there.”

She probably couldn’t help the flatulence, but the rest of it? Yikes.

We hate to leave you with a such a gloomy ending, so let’s finish up on a more positive note with a man who encourages us all to find a partner who is a “perfect fit”:

“I’m in my mid-60s, and my Japanese wife is in her late 40s. We’ve been married for 23 years. We’ve been through good times and bad times, but have overcome them all and never had to think about getting divorced. I have been divorced twice before, and concluded that I just can’t get along with Western women. But regardless of whether you’re of the same nationality or not, as long as you’re willing to accept any cultural differences and respect one another, you have a chance to be happy.”

As we have seen, despite preconceived notions relating to cultural differences, men who have actually divorced their Japanese wives have a lot more to say about the matter. Issues surrounding mutual feelings of love, faith and compatibility seem to be at the heart of most cases, regardless of the nationality of each person. 

Source: Madame Riri

Read more stories from RocketNews24.
Survey Reveals that 65.5% of Japanese Male Office Workers Have Considered Divorce
Four things to think about before you and your Japanese sweetheart tie the knot
Foreign men sound off on the difficulties of having a Japanese wife

RocketNews24

  • 20

    SimondB

    Well, apart from one or two extreme examples I think you could say that any of the above could apply to any marriage: money, marrying to young, opposition from families etc.

    If the divorce rate amongst mixed Japanese/other marriages is 40% then I'd say that is about in line with most developed countries and in some cases a lower rate of divorce.

  • 7

    CanadianJapan

    I'm currently on the verge of getting divorced. Things have spiraled down to the point where my wife and I are discussing whether or not she will take the children back with her to Japan. If we split, the reason will be due to the absence of sex in our marriage. My wife seems to have lost all of her sex drive, although I still have mine. Apart from that, everything in our marriage was going well

    After 12 years in Japan, I've heard that one more than enough. One not listed here that was the reason for a friend of mine is that his wife ran away with his daughter, not sure if they got divorced before or after she "stole" his daughter though.

    I was told by so many people not to ever marry a Japanese woman, seeing most of my friends either divorced or in a zombie marriage, I can say the advice has served me well.

  • 13

    Tiffany Jean Shimbo

    And a hushed silence came from those of us who have married Japanese men...I think a western woman marrying japanese is WAY more extreme then these men complaining about their zombie sex lives. How about dealing with company sponsored hostess outings and the like... ??? Or the fact the sex industry is literally in every corner??? THAT is marriage issues.

    Btw I'm very happily married...it just took a while to lay down the ground rules.

  • 36

    kickboard

    Not another one of these articles again.

  • 17

    philly1

    they have started dating again, only to be met with opposition from both families. My family is very opposed to this relationship. They like him as a person, but they don't believe that he can make me happy. His parents feel the same way. We really do love each other, but I guess in reality love alone isn't enough.

    How selfish to stand in the way of your children on some bogus pretext. Clearly it is the parents who--likely out of fear for their own comforts in old age--who will kibosh any chance the couple might have to enjoy a good life together after many years apart. No wonder the kids--even though they are adults--have learned that love counts for nothing. They can't even count on their parents' love and acceptance.

    Generally, a spouse does not make you happy. Nor is your spouse responsible for your happiness. You have to be in a relationship already in a state of happiness and maintain your own happiness. That another human being is the source of your happiness is an illusion that is doomed.

    But the speaker is correct, if the couple isn't prepared to stand up to family pressure, their love isn't enough. Better to learn that before they marry.

  • 3

    John Andresen

    We have witnessed that Japanese spouses who accompany their husbands to the U.S., are reluctant or unwilling to assimilate or adjust to American society whether it be food, social contacts or other. They whine and complain that what they were accustomed to in Japan is not present here. They are a miserable lot who not uncommonly flee back to Japan with their children.

  • 7

    JoshuYaki

    I don't think there is a 'Canadian' type or an 'American' type (Etc...etc..)

    Just because japan seems so mono-cultural and every Japanese person seems to want to associate as a whole with the country, its difficult to read the feedback from these individuals and just be able to paint the whole country with the same color.

    If sexless marriage, money focused wives, angry women was limited to one island on the pacific rim the rest of the world could enjoy life-long sex intensive marriages just by avoiding japan.

  • 8

    cracaphat

    Not another one of these articles again.

    My sentiments exactly.Another round of the same ol',same ol'.

  • 21

    Graham DeShazo

    Yeah the sexless marriage thing. What's up w that? Why would I (er, I mean "a person") magically stop wanting physical intimacy due to a change in marital status? I know we're not 20 anymore, but we're not dead either.

  • 8

    Sensato

    a number of men remarked that their Japanese wives’ tendency to resort to anger or violence played a central role in leading to divorce.

    This seems to be a major factor in many failed and failing marriages involving a Japanese wife — controlling and dysfunctional personalities, regular meltdowns, and daily verbal abuse against the children and husbands.

    Now that Japan has finally signed the Hague convention, the Japanese press has been increasingly trumpeting concerns about concerns of domestic violence against Japanese spouses, but not a thing about domestic violence perpetrated by Japanese spouses (for instance: http://www.asahi.com/articles/DA3S10943777.html). It is good to see this article shed some light on the issue.

  • -5

    timtak

    Why would I (er, I mean "a person") magically stop wanting physical intimacy due to a change in marital status?

    I hear that this may occur after childbirth, rather due to a change in marital status. I note that the Catholic church encourages its 1.2 billion followers to abstain when it is not for the purpose of childbirth, so while I am not sure how many follow that advice, it may not be such an unusual idea.

  • 3

    Strangerland

    And a hushed silence came from those of us who have married Japanese men...I think a western woman marrying japanese is WAY more extreme then these men complaining about their zombie sex lives. How about dealing with company sponsored hostess outings and the like... ???

    How is that a problem? No sex goes on at the hostess bars. I used to go to the hostess bars quite often when I was a company man, and my wife (Japanese) didn't have a problem with it, because I was coming home every night. It's an obligation a lot of the time.

    Or the fact the sex industry is literally in every corner??? THAT is marriage issues

    Women can pretty much go out and get sex on every corner themselves if they so want. It's not so hard for a woman to cheat if she gets it in her mind. Men deal with this, women should be able to deal with the existence of fuzoku (sex places). If your husband is actually going to them, that's a problem, but he cannot do anything about their existence.

  • 10

    fishy

    Not another one of these articles again

    that was exactly what I thought when I saw this article..

    how about some people share good things about their marriages with Japanese? i'd like to hear some positive stories!

  • 2

    StormR

    They whine and complain ........................ They are a miserable lot ......................

    This seems to be a major factor in many failed and failing marriages involving a Japanese wife — controlling and dysfunctional personalities, regular meltdowns, and daily verbal abuse against the children and husbands.

    Many of them are mentally unstable and lack the ability to have normal social and human interaction.

  • 12

    Mocheake

    Almost all of these situations could be applied to marriages worldwide. On another note, you shoulld never let others decide what is ultimately a decision for you to make. If the relatives have a real reason for their disapproval, let them air it. Just saying "It won't work" or "They won't make you happy" is a garbage reason. It isn't anyone's job to make you happy in anything in life. It's your job and yours only. Glad I didn't enter into marriage with that stupid reasoning in my head.

  • 16

    choiwaruoyaji

    Yes, it's true...

    Many Japanese wives think it is fine to unilaterally shut down sex after having kids.

    Not only sex, but they will also rebuff any attempts at affection such as hugging and kissing.

    Try to talk to them about it and you'll be dismissed with comments such as "It's normal" or "We've had kids so we don't need to have sex any more"...

    I think this "cold marriage syndrome" initiated by the wife is the number one reason for divorces between Japanese women and foreign guys.

    I think it is very selfish and heartless of these women to threaten the stability of the marriage in this way.

    Maybe Japanese guys can accept such a situation because it is so common in Japan but for foreign guys it's an awful way for things to end up...

  • 13

    Mirai Hayashi

    “Because there was no one but me to take care of my aging parents, I would have had to leave Japan. Either I would have to bring my parents to Japan or my wife would have to bring her parents to Virginia.”

    This is silly, and could have been easily negotiated. How about asking the wife to live in Virgina until you either find better living arrangements for the parents, or until they pass on. Or, visit the parents frequently or have them visit frequently or both. You think that the parents will be happy knowing that they were responsible for your divorce?

    In my case, the reason for our divorce was simple. My wife wanted to have kids, and I didn’t.

    And you didn't have this discussion BEFORE you got married? Another stupid reason.

    My family is very opposed to this relationship. They like him as a person, but they don’t believe that he can make me happy. His parents feel the same way.

    Who cares what your fricken parents think! Your parents aren't marrying him, YOU are. If you feel he's right, tell both of your parents to drink a tall glass of STFU juice and live with it. If he truly makes you happy, then prove them wrong, and they will come around.

  • 5

    SenseNotSoCommon

    If kids are involved, couples should have the maturity to sit down, realize that they've more in common than what's driving them apart, and focus on common interests and common goals.

    If one spouse is over-spending, how much gratification is he/she getting from the shopping, drinking, pachinko, and how much post-transaction/binge remorse? What mutual pursuits can replace that dopamine rush (if there is one)? If that doesn't work, picture living in poverty when all the money's gone.

    And if you really need to compete with your spouse, take up tennis or chess together. Who knows, it might lead to Twister and all sorts?

  • -10

    Peacetrain

    "their Japanese wives’ tendency to resort to anger or violence"

    See, this article must be fake. Japanese women always speak in high pitched voices, and are always so sweet and smiling and deferring.

    "Japanese men and women are skilled at adapting themselves to different roles depending on the place and situation."

    Now that is interesting. And quite true.

  • 13

    Weasel

    ...when my wife farted right in front of me

    A fart that ended a marriage? There's obviously something else that stinks about that story.

  • 0

    Slamdunk

    Another interest topic for the day kids.

    Time to write your thought and discussion.

    Good times

  • 29

    hampton

    Married to a Japanese girl for 12 years, no sex for 6 years. The last time we had sex she got pregnant with son number two. She doesn't view this as dysfunctional. As long as I go to work and give her plenty of money, the marriage is fine. Honestly, western men should be very careful because Japanese women are very good at changing their minds after a child has been born. The man no longer exists, and I mean not even 1%. Japanese women view a husband with kids as an ATM. He is supposed to pay for his family. The traditional Japanese cry of, "It is our culture" is there to defend the indefensible of course. Promises, vows etc. mean nothing. I would be divorced if I could be, but that would involve the complete loss of my two children thanks to the backward legal system and idiotic family courts also based on "culture".

  • 31

    sighclops

    I separated from my fiancee for the following reasons (some covered above, some not):

    1. She was extremely manipulative. Coming from a conservative household herself, she took it upon herself to control MY finances. I was given ¥600 allowance a day - and I work in Tokyo! I had no say in the matter, or...
    2. ... she would get violent. I'm talking punches, kicks, smashing my stuff, ripping clothes etc. Not fun when you're 10,000km away from family
    3. The non-existant intimacy. I can see the women collectively rolling their eyes, but it's crucial in any long term relationship
    4. She had no plans to return to work after having kids - The "shufu" aspiration is cancerous to Japanese society.
    5. I assumed being engaged and starting to live together would help work things out. In fact, it made them 10 times worse!
    6. Limiting my job / lifestyle (basically the rest of my life) by moving back to her hometown to be near her family. Because the 10,000km distance from my family was never a concern to her!
    7. Just overall ungratefulness and constantly feeling unappreciated and inadequate

    Seriously guys, if anyone is reading this and their partner fits even one of these points - GET OUT NOW!

    On a different note, I'm intrigued by Tiffany Jean Shimbo's point about foreign women dealing with their Japanese men going to hostess / "those" clubs - I've spoken to countless 'salarymen' here and they speak about it like it's going to the pub with a mate. Yet, if I ask them how they'd feel if the roles were reversed, they wouldn't even let their wives have lunch with a male friend! Double standards, much?!

  • 2

    Himajin

    You can bring your parents to Japan, and they can be added to your health insurance etc. I know a few people who have done it.

  • 4

    silvertongue

    The flatulent and rib-smashing wife story made my day! Classic!

  • 2

    Strangerland

    For all those that say the parents should have no say in the matter - that's the western way of looking at it. The Asian way is quite different. In Asia they say you are not just marrying the person, you are marrying the family.

    Neither of these ways of thinking is right or wrong, they just are. The problem(s) will come if/when either or both of you doesn't realize and respect that the other partner feels the way they do on this matter. Trying to impose one line of thought on the other party when they don't feel the same is just going to lead to frustration for both parties.

    if I ask them how they'd feel if the roles were reversed, they wouldn't even let their wives have lunch with a male friend! Double standards, much?!

    Not exactly, as it's not an equivalent comparison. Many wives are ok with their husbands going to the hostess bars, but would not be ok with their husbands meeting female friends for lunch. This is because hostess bars aren't 'real'. The women are paid to butter up the men. They are supposed to laugh at their stupid jokes and pretend they enjoy their boring work talk, whether they like it or not. It's all a facade, a show. Meeting someone for lunch however, that's real, and has a much higher potential to move on to something illicit.

  • 6

    cleo

    it is said that as many as 40% of international marriages end in divorce.

    So an international marriage in Japan has more chance of surviving than a same-nationality marriage in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many countries in Western Europe.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divorce_demography

  • -3

    StormR

    Japanese wives can be extremely selfish and demanding and care nothing for the partners feelings.

    Some are lazy and down right filthy who have no idea about house keeping even when they do not work, advice to anyone single here is to stay that way unless 100% sure the J potential wife has relationship skills and can interact in a normal human way with other human beings. As we know mental health here leaves a lot to be desired.

    Many are very beautiful, femmine, elegant and lady like though.

  • 3

    ccameo

    In my case, the reason for our divorce was simple. My wife wanted to have kids, and I didnt.

    How is this related to the international relathionships?

  • 15

    fishy

    interesting how they talk about divorcing JAPANESE women.. i bet that if the subject of this article was divorce from women, people would stlil come back with all sorts of terrible stories - after all, it's not so much about cultural differences but it's about two people and their families.

    i am in an international marriage (i'm half Japanese/french, grew up in Japan. he's American/Japanese, grew up in the U.S), and we have cultural differences and all that.. but we talk and we try... and work things out.. after all, I want to be and do what makes him happy and I believe he wants to be and do what makes me happy.

  • -2

    MaximumMan

    this is a dumb topic....marriage in any society or between any two people regardless of being same or different race presents its challenges...you get good and bad....marriages fail all over the world....it has nothing to do with them being Japanese women and foreign men

  • 0

    The_True

    Hey Guys, about this i read this a few months ago, let me posted here, but i think this right on the money:

    ROOT problems with marrying Japanese women are:

    1. Many will COPY what their MOTHER did.

    So if mom had or has a dysfunctional relationship with dad and is a stubborn no-sex parasite that treated dad as an ATM robot, than daughter can think that's how it's done.

    And mom can impart more of this insane "wisdom" when the daughter is about to or when she gets married.

    Be mindful of how her mom raised her and what she has told her.

    1. Many Japanese women will take advice from girlfriends in bad relationships that don't know how to treat men properly.

    In these "girls only groups" the ring leader and alpha females can be man-hating monsters.

    They will tell other women the worse advice possible and even push other women to do the most fracked up things possible to their husband and men.

    You may have a heart attack knowing the type of stuff her girlfriends advise her to do. Have a talk with her and find out.

    1. What many foreign men don't know, is that many Japanese can be constantly talking bad about you and against you.

    Whenever there is a relationship problem or she asks for advice, there can be some racist Japanese hater there saying the problem is that she married a foreigner. Like as if the Japanese were a separate species and alien race, and mixing with other humans on Earth isn't really possible.

    Japanese women are constantly bombarded with this ultra nationalistic and racist propaganda. Books, magazines, TV, friends, etc...

    It can wear her down over time and exploit her anytime after having an argument or she has the slightest doubt. Then, you are the foreign enemy.

    Keep this mind, and talk with her about it to see where her mind is at.

    1. Sex can be seen by her as a duty or burden, OR something she becomes TOO OLD to do.

    The thinking is messed up, but it can be reinforced by bad female advice. It's a negative thing embedded in the culture.

    So after having a baby or turning only 30, she can be thinking she is DONE with her "sexual duty" or sex is only for young women. Now it's time to be MOMMY dearest. You, the man, are the robot ATM dad who caters to her every whim and cash withdrawal requests.

    1. Many women are VERY SNEAKY and use SEX as a weapon of manipulation.

    If she WANTS SEX, she can easily find sex friends OUTSIDE the relationship.

    She does NOT need the husband for sex. Therefore, she can use this position as power to MANIPULATE and CONTROL the begging for it husband.

    DON'T BEG your wife for sex, it usually doesn't work. Even if she gives you some, you are now deeper in a TRAP and in her CONTROL.

    1. For many Japanese women, there is NO negotiation.

    Either do what she wants, or get LOST. There are Japanese women that are outright cute little devils... Especially if you are a foreign man depending on a visa, want sex, or want to see your kids.

    And for many Japanese women, the more you complain or whine about something or about being treated badly, the weaker she thinks you are.

    1. Being a weak begging nice guy, does NOT work.

    As a man, your only real options are negotiating from a position of strength.

    If she is not giving you sex, go without it or find a sex friend outside (as she might be sneakily doing).

    Don't let her abuse and manipulate you, the more you do, the worse it usually going to get.

    She either understands logic and how to be a TEAM PLAYER, or she doesn't. All the weak man begging and arguing will not make her understand.

  • -1

    John Constantine

    Marriage is not always easy no matter what ones nationality is & coming from different cultures may make it harder. However I would think that it is those differences that leave you room to grow as a couple. As for myself I would be honored to have a Japanese wife.

  • 0

    ReformedBasher

    @fishy

    how about some people share good things about their marriages with Japanese? i'd like to hear some positive stories!

    Most mixed couples I know get on great. And by that I mean super awesome :-)

    @those with the loveless/sexless marriages

    While I feel sorry for you, and also assume you're not at fault, please realize that some of us don't have this problem. All the best in sorting things out though.

  • 2

    fishy

    Reformed Basher - glad to hear that :)

    The_True -

    1.Many will COPY what their MOTHER did. this applies to women from countries outside of Japan, too! And I believe many men copy what their fathers did.

    1.Many Japanese women will take advice from girlfriends in bad relationships that don't know how to treat men properly.

    again, this applies to women from other countries, too! and just like many people on this thread are taking advice from posters like you!

    1.What many foreign men don't know, is that many Japanese can be constantly talking bad about you and against you

    Is this a Japanese thing? I don't think so.. this happens when marriages are not going well, regardless of where you are from. And I hear men talking bad about their wives, too (and they are not always Japanese!)

    1.For many Japanese women, there is NO negotiation

    again, is this a Japanese thing? I've heard the same from non Japanese guys who are married to women from their own countries.

  • 0

    danalawton1@yahoo.com

    It may be true that a higher percentage of Kokusai marriages end in divorce but for every one that does another one goes well. My feeling is that Japantoday only publishes stuff like this so it can be translated into Japanese.... I'm sure the regular Japanese readers must get a kick out of us.

  • 2

    powderb

    1) We really don't need any more of these articles.

    2) As has been pointed out, almost all of these problems happen regardless of where the people are from. These are issues couples sometimes have, no matter where they are from.

    Why focus on the differences?

  • 6

    timtak

    I believe Simone De Beauvoir and believe the West is a patriarchy, where to be human is to be a man (or a toned down, gentle-man, but a man all the same). Humans are interested in "Love."

    I think that Japan is a matriarchy were it is assumed everyone is a (toned down) woman. Humans are interested in being parents.

    So all the things that are said above of Japanese women could be said of Western men. Taking one of the lists of gripes above, and replacing "Japanese women" with "Western men" and "SEX" with "HAVING CHILDREN" we get the following list regarding Western men:

    1. Many will COPY what their FATHER did.
    2. Many western men will take advice from bloke friends in bad relationships that don't know how to treat women properly.
    3. What many Japanese women don't know, is that many Westerners can be constantly talking bad about you and against you.
    4. HAVING CHILDREN can be seen by him as a duty or burden, or something he becomes TOO OLD to do.
    5. Many men are VERY SNEAKY and use HAVING KIDS (or not) as a weapon of manipulation.
    6. For many Western men, there is NO negotiation.
    7. Being a weak begging nice woman, does NOT work.
  • -1

    smithinjapan

    What's with all these fluff pieces "Foreign men and Japanese wives/girlfriends/Japanese wives and foreign men" recently?

    Fact is, some 70% or so of international marriages end in divorce, regardless of if it's a Japanese wife and a foreign husband or not. It's not so much about cultural differences as it is just about differences in general.

  • 4

    bigfujiyama

    and Madame Riri is using your comments from Japantoday on her blog as reaction to these articles.

  • 0

    CH3CHO

    Married to a Japanese girl for 12 years, no sex for 6 years. The last time we had sex she got pregnant with son number two.

    It sounds like a "postpartum depression".

    Postpartum depression (PPD) is a type of clinical depression which can affect women, and less frequently men, typically after childbirth. Studies report prevalence rates among women from 5% to 25%. Symptoms include sadness, fatigue, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, reduced libido, crying episodes, anxiety, and irritability.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postpartum_depression

  • -1

    CGB Spender

    Divorce is the refuge of the arrogant and selfish who haven't learned that for a successful marriage both partners need to be selfless to a certain degree. If you think that you really picked the wrong partner then you haven't waited long enough before getting married (and likely not waited long enough to make babies). Most men and women don't fit together perfectly and there are always differences. All it takes is tolerance, patience and understanding to overcome these difficulties. Unfortunately only few people have (or figure out) these virtues.

  • -9

    Zartan Woods

    Since Japan Today commenters seem to hate Japan and Japanese so much, these kinds of articles get lots of attention -- like red meat thrown to dogs.

  • 9

    Roxana A.

    I am married with a japanese man and it's not always easy as in any marriage I think, but we overcome with heart and mind. What is important is to have a solid basis in common such education, moral values, especially when children come. Of course that for the rest of the package we both had and have to give up or negociate. In my experience I can say I like my japanese husband because he is so responsible, correct, timely about family matters which It was hard to find with other guys in my country (I'm not saying there are not). About romance, well sometimes I have to remind him that I am not japanese and that I like and I need that and he gives his best, at least he tries and that is good. But come on, I also realized he is japanese and it will never become a latin lover, that would be extremely suspicious.

  • 5

    Strangerland

    Fact is, some 70% or so of international marriages end in divorce, regardless of if it's a Japanese wife and a foreign husband or not. It's not so much about cultural differences as it is just about differences in general.

    I've never heard this number of 70% before. Highest I've ever read is 50%, and often the number is smaller than that. Care to elaborate on where you read/heard this?

  • 7

    sighclops

    Urgh the number of armchair critics on here crying "Oh it's not a Japanese thing - all marriages have their difficulties!"

    NO NO NO.

    Don't you even dare. You're selfishly derailing the thread! There is simply no question that there are certain cultural aspects involved here. These are engrained int he person from a young age. Take, for example, the wife controlling the finances. I have never heard of this system outside of Japan.

    There are many more examples I could give (10+ years experience), but let's not got there. Just stop creating some baseless argument in an area you have ZERO experience in - spare a thought for the victims here!

  • 8

    fishy

    Take, for example, the wife controlling the finances. I have never heard of this system outside of Japan

    Well, you might call it "controlling" but a lot of Japanese husbands (I'm not going to say ALL but many do) actually appreciate the fact that the wives take care of financial matters within the budget. Before you criticize those women, I'd actually talk and explain what's good and not good about wives being the "budget person" with your wife. If women do not hold a family wallet in your own country, it might actually be a surprise to those Japanese women, just like you are surprised that women hold a family wallet in Japan. While I was growing up, my mother was holding a family wallet and my father got "allowance" and I've never seen him complain about it. When I married my husband, he told me how it's done in his country (US) and so we talked about it. We both work, so we basically have 2 wallets/bank accounts... decided who pays for what, and that's all we had to do. No complaining, no issues.

  • 8

    Spanki

    I guess i'm pretty lucky then because my Japanese wife is a fun loving, house cleaning, great cooking sex pot and a really good mother! wuhoooo!

  • 13

    lucabrasi

    @Spanki

    I wonder... have you ever been tempted by that proud old suburbian tradition of "wife-swapping"?

    Nothing kinky, I'm talking permanent ; )

  • 4

    pointofview

    Keep an out for how your wifes mother is, Thatll give you an idea. It`s basically a monkey see monkey do society.

    Unfortunately, Japanese woman pretty much always throw their man to the side if there are kids. Then its 100% to the kids. Japanese guys dont care about this because they dont have to be home as much. Foreign guys are more hands on. Japanese guys just go hang out with coworkers and visit the countless sex venues around town if the wives dont bother with them. Foreign guys push harder for more intimacy. In the end, ignore your partner enough and you`ll be single again. Husbands came before the kids so the Japanese women dropping the guys to the back of the line have their priorities mixed up. Basically, Japanese guys can tolerate more nonsense and hense the lower divorce rate between Japanese..

  • 5

    fishy

    slenderman-

    or is it more acceptable these days to actually play the role of a father in every sense of the word, such as helping shape the kids' values, handing down family traditions and manly wisdom, acting as a role model and mentor, etc.?

    Yes, most definitely. The actual role of the Japanese fathers has been changing dramatically, I see Japanese fathers dropping off & picking up their children at daycare all the time and they interact with other fathers/mothers. When my husband and I take our kids to stores, park, or wherever, we always see fathers pushing strollers or holding small babies, I sometimes see fathers and kids at a park in the morning on weekends, I'm assuming that they are letting mothers take care of the house work or maybe so she can sleep late on weekends when fathers are home.

    I am not talking about EVERY Japanese father, of course I cannot say every father is involved, but it is not a rare scene that J-fathers and children hanging out spending time together. You go to park, stores, school events.. and you will see what I am talking about.

  • 1

    Strangerland

    I think the whole 'uninvolved J-father' is a myth. It's just that they've been busy. But many/most fathers will do stuff with their kids on their days off, and that's the major priority in their life. Because they work long hours, they don't get to spend as much time with their kids as many western fathers to, but that's not a choice, it's just happenstance. I would bet that the numbers of uninterested fathers are probably similar between the west and Japan.

    Basically, Japanese guys can tolerate more nonsense and hense the lower divorce rate between Japanese..

    Depending on which numbers you are looking at, the divorce rate between Japanese is the same or higher than international couples.

  • 2

    doedel

    @Spanki-san: ^5 man! More than 20 years together through the downs and ups of life. This German-Japanese combi seems rock solid and never faced any of the issues mentioned as problematic in the article.

  • 4

    mffdvr

    I must be the odd one out....I told her that I was financially set for life and would never have to do any work ever in my home country. So if she wanted to live in my home country and have the same, that would be fine. She said she wanted to live in Japan, and I said fine but I would have get a job and work like every other man. Then I told her that I didn't want any children in Japan and if we have them, they'll be born in my home country. She says fine. So we get married and have the usual ups and downs without children. We argue like anybody else usually over money and when our finances got into dire straits she went and got a job. Recently my work situation has increased and I told her she could quit anytime, she just says that she enjoys her work and the new friends she has made. We've been married for 30 years. All is well.

  • 9

    choiwaruoyaji

    Some posters seem to be implying that the reasons for collapsed Japanese marriages are common to other countries too.

    Nevertheless, I think we can observe some Japan-specific traits.

    Specifically the one about Japanese wives deciding to shut down sex after having kids.

    That seems to be almost the norm in many Japanese marriages.

    I think it's great that we have the internet now and can share the information that marrying a Japanese woman can turn out to be a horrible experience.

    That cute Japanese girlfriend you think is so sweet can turn into a nasty selfish stubborn hag once kids are on the scene...

    And, as The_True correctly points out above, in many cases it will be her girlfriends who are "advising" her to be like that.

  • 0

    frank07

    40 percent divorce rate? Still better than 50 percent in the U.S.

  • 1

    Fukuppy

    And she was really demanding in bed – if I couldn’t meet her demands, she would pinch my ears, hit me in the ribs, or kick me down there.

    Seriously? I'd pay for stuff like this! Lucky guy gets it for free and then complains about it.

  • -3

    Thunderbird2

    Some are lazy and down right filthy who have no idea about house keeping even when they do not work, advice to anyone single here is to stay that way unless 100% sure the J potential wife has relationship skills and can interact in a normal human way with other human beings. As we know mental health here leaves a lot to be desired.

    Sounds like you want a Stepford Wife.

  • 1

    Slamdunk

    Zartan WoodsJAN. 29, 2014 - 01:41PM JST Since Japan Today commenters seem to hate Japan and Japanese so much, these kinds of articles get lots of attention -- like red meat thrown to dogs.

    Word. That's why JT push hard on these kind of topics so that the JT commenters can relief their stress ONLINE.

    Good stuff. Drive up the internet traffic for JT website. WIN -WIN situation. oh yah baby $$$...Smart -> Making real dough for the website.

  • 3

    bass4funk

    Married to a Japanese girl for 12 years, no sex for 6 years. The last time we had sex she got pregnant with son number two. She doesn't view this as dysfunctional. As long as I go to work and give her plenty of money, the marriage is fine. Honestly, western men should be very careful because Japanese women are very good at changing their minds after a child has been born. The man no longer exists, and I mean not even 1%. Japanese women view a husband with kids as an ATM. He is supposed to pay for his family. The traditional Japanese cry of, "It is our culture" is there to defend the indefensible of course. Promises, vows etc. mean nothing. I would be divorced if I could be, but that would involve the complete loss of my two children thanks to the backward legal system and idiotic family courts also based on "culture".

    True, very true. But another problem that I have seen after living in Japan for over 14 years, many of these so called dysfunctional women that shun their husbands, quite often pick up the slack somewhere else and this is something people don't often talk about. But when I came to Japan back in 1999, I was young and inquisitive like many young normal single men and many of the women I was with were married. That means, if there are women out there, that perhaps abstain from having sex, you never, ever truly know. Now older, wiser and married, marriage to a Japanese will keep you busy. Have to work out a lot of issues. Differences do arise, but I'm NOT going to say so much that it's about Nationality more than it is about social upbringing and let's face it, a lot of women in Japan have it made living at home, before they get married,they have the best life living with their parents. They usually don't have to cook, clean, give up any money, ever worrying about NOT having a roof over their heads, the way, I was raised, we HAD to help out with the chores, cleaning, cooking, plus homework, all of it. My house we couldn't sleep in late. We all had responsibilities, but most of these women don't and then once they leave the house and get into a marriage, they expect the same kind of treatment from their husband, a sort of continuation from their previous life and like some people already said, make a deal about sex and after the kids are born and they got that one precious thing they really wanted to complete their life is a child. For many, after that, the man has fulfilled his job. I don't know what happens to some of these women afterwards, if they really don't like sex and the bonding or they are just not interested in the man they married. I'm not saying I'm an expert on the issue, but I have seen more than enough married women seeking an affair, many don't want to get divorced ( for obvious reasons ) but do want a little action on the side, which always perplexed me, and there are some that will live with their husbands, have open relationships, but NOT leave or file for a divorce. I think for a lot of women and especially Japanese men, it's a status thing, to go around and tell everyone you will have a $30,000 wedding and a couple of kids, meets the basic criteria of what a Japanese family should appear to look like in public, it's socially accepted. It's the norm. Add to that a great paying job, Mom's can hang out together with the kids or go out talking, shopping etc, on the outside at least, perfect life. I'm not trying to label all Japanese women, but there sure are a whole lot of them that think this way.

  • 4

    Magnet

    How sad and shallow the commitment of marriage has become...

  • 2

    tmtmsnb

    "choiwaruoyajiJAN. 29, 2014 - 09:44AM JST Yes, it's true... Many Japanese wives think it is fine to unilaterally shut down sex after having kids. Not only sex, but they will also rebuff any attempts at affection such as hugging and kissing. Try to talk to them about it and you'll be dismissed with comments such as "It's normal" or "We've had kids so we don't need to have sex any more"... I think this "cold marriage syndrome" initiated by the wife is the number one reason for divorces between Japanese women and foreign guys."

    Generally speaking, Western world is built base on Love between Man and Woman--Ren-Ai, while Japanese, nay, the Asians, are not. Westerner’s chiseled features, the body shape, the voice, colors of eyes and hairs, the sweet talk, the thought, all results of millions of years of natural (sexual) selections through the process of that “Love”, while in Asia (originated from China), those are the results of thousands of years of “Authoritative Selection”---by the parents, the society, the authority. In most Western world Love precede other things, while in many Asian regions Ren-Ai was, or still is, a capital offence. In that light, Sex plays a major role in enhancing and maintaining Love between Western couples, while to an Asian wife, it’s not only unnecessary after child-birth, but even harmful, as her (supposedly) socially superior husband needs to spread his excellent genes far and wide (like the great Walrus), that clinging to her old sexual habit could destroy such system, which her body clock does not allow.

    If you are married to a Japanese wife, congratulations, her country’s “system of “Jiyuu Ren-Ai”---freedom to fall in love and to date, and marry, has been going on since after the war, meaning, she is constantly moving closer to you.

  • 1

    cracaphat

    Definitely feel like some guys have allowed themselves to be put under manners.Establish ground rules on both ends prior to a kid's birth and apply the squeaking wheel approach when a tune-up is needed. A kid,so no loving is unacceptable/non-negotiable.Cutbacks afforded,Denial? Really?

  • 2

    genjuro

    I feel for the men who suffer the loss of intimacy and are given the cold shoulder by the J-wife after marriage and the birth of children. When I first heard of this awhile back I thought they were just isolated cases but it appears it happens often.

    I'm wondering if many of the foreign men had a proper talk and discussed this issue before they tied the knot, i.e. what their expectations are going into marriage, the marital duties even after the kids are born, etc. so there would be no surprises later. Communication is the key to any relationship, and openly relaying your expectations and desires to the other before marriage is just a practical thing to do. I recall some of the posters here who are happy in their marriages did just this.

  • 2

    billyhelpher_33

    i heard about that. they completely shut down and refrain from having any sex after having a child. in a way, i can see why, as the true purpose of having sex IS to have children dosed with a bit of other stuff... BUT, every now and then…i personally don't see the harm in it... don't know. haven't been married. was close to it, living with my fiancee. i couldn't imagine NOT having any affectionate holding and kissing... which is why i sometimes think its maybe a blessing me j-people don't really click and why the women seem to hate me.

    I also heard a lot of the women let their husbands go out and fool around. they are totally ok with them having a mistress and fooling around on the side. i personally think that is sick and selfish, but hey, thats just me and my beliefs.

  • 12

    FightingViking

    It is not always as "clear cut" as some people seem to think... As the ex-(foreign)-wife of a highly educated Japanese man, I can vouch that it is not always the wife who loses interest in sex after having children... In this case, the husband preferred to beat, punch and kick his wife instead... We were both working - and I continued working even after giving birth - and would have done so anyway, not only because he gave that as a prerequisite "condition" for getting married but because I've always been interested in continuing to work outside the house (and at the beginning of his career, we needed the extra cash anyway). When he started slapping the kids around, I managed to escape with the younger son but the elder one was "hidden away", which explains why I'm still here...

    I could never have imagined such a change in the seemingly refined, considerate young man I met when we were both students in France...

  • 5

    lucabrasi

    @Viking

    That's awful. Hope you find a way through. For what it's worth, all my sympathy... .

  • 6

    sighclops

    @cracaphat (love the name btw)

    Definitely feel like some guys have allowed themselves to be put under manners.

    If only it were that simple! Have you never experienced the wraith of a manipulative woman? There is just no reasoning with them whatsoever.

    "Ok then - well just up & leave then!" is the answer you're probably thinking of next, right? Well, when you've been with someone for a number of years and have made countless sacrifices, it all gets a bit messy. Then you throw the extended family into the mix and you only get deeper into a never-ending hole. The control-freak knows this and will play on this whenever they feel the need.

    It took me years, but I got out in the end!

  • -3

    Fukuyo

    What I heard from a girl (USA)who taught English in Japan was that these foreign men who hook up with the Japanese girls are secretly called (among the foreign girls in Japan)"LBHs". They are "Losers Back Home", but they can get a girl just because they are native English speakers. (This is what I heard, not my opinion, off course.) My analysis: maybe these guys ARE losers back home an in any country. Do these guys think these problems occur because the wives are Japanese? Really? Sexless? Maybe these guys are really BAD in bed, maybe from not getting any at all back home. Try to PLEASE your wife by taking expensive vacations while you have to pay child support for your previous failed marriage(s)? It is your problem, not the Japanese wives'. Where is your normal husband and wife communication? Where is your "normal" family building plan? These are regular human relationship problems, not because the wives are Japanese. "I don't want to have kids. If you do, or if you think you will change your mind, then we should not get married." I am sure your Japanese girl friend will understand (emotional aspect set aside).

  • -1

    GyGene

    Hey, don't fart on me.

  • 1

    Fandango Spoonmonkey

    how about some people share good things about their marriages with Japanese? i'd like to hear some positive stories!

    Sure thing. She's nice enough to give me sen yen everyday so I can buy some coffee and an onigiri and get bus home if it's too cold.

  • 1

    bass4funk

    Sure thing. She's nice enough to give me sen yen everyday so I can buy some coffee and an onigiri and get bus home if it's too cold.

    Yeah, I remember those days as well, but now I get 3000yen at least got bumped up. I can go now to Starbucks and have enough to get those Hot Chicken nuggets at Lawson as for transportation, I go on foot, but I pay the car bill!

    @yah00netstar

    Come on, dude.....I mean, really....

  • 6

    optikool

    After readying many of these posts, a lot of memories came flooding back with my ex fiancé that I new for 6 years before deciding if I should marry her. Pretty much all I read here I saw the potential in her. Not willing to be married until I bought a house is cash, wanting a 20K wedding, saying if I ever lost my job, she would take the kids and go back to Japan, wanting to start a business here in the states while she was still in Japan, asking for my help to manage it here but not wanting to be partners, telling me when we got older we would have separate sleeping areas. Eventually it got to the point where I had to ask myself, what kind of future will I have with a woman I totally adored knowing this could be the outcome. I mean, I thought she was kidding when she would tell me this but over time I came to realize this may be the case. My advice, listen to both what she says when you two are separated in other countries as well as when you are together, and ask her to elaborate on thoughts you find not the norm. This will help to give you an idea of what to expect. I decided not to marry her and married a Filipina instead...

  • 3

    kaimycahl

    Wow To wrap this up in a "NUTSHELL" the J-Girl is all about unfinished love!! It's easy to get into but hard as hell to get out. I read where some posters said you knew what you were getting into. I don't have the problems but think about it some of the posters said these J-Girls are very smart they say what you want to get what they want and then after you are trapped under their spell you can't say no, you are on the hook with kids and bills, but no thrills. People change over time so how could you negotiate LOVE? I mean just talk about it and plan it that's not going to work these stories prove that!.

  • 3

    Himajin

    these foreign men who hook up with the Japanese girls are secretly called (among the foreign girls in Japan)"LBHs"

    I find this really catty. I've been hearing it for years. Surely foreign women in Japan would be insulted to be referred to as being here because they couldn't make it at home. While they may exist, they are certainly not the majority of foreign men in Japan.

  • 2

    muchas55

    Most of the cases above are not cultural difference issues but personality issues. I'm sure the wives side have a lot to say.

  • 3

    Strangerland

    What I heard from a girl (USA)who taught English in Japan was that these foreign men who hook up with the Japanese girls are secretly called (among the foreign girls in Japan)"LBHs". They are "Losers Back Home", but they can get a girl just because they are native English speakers.

    It's not because they are English speakers, it's because they are foreign. The Italians, French and other non-English speaking foreigners also do well here. Foreign men are liked by women anywhere in the world. It's an evolutionary response by women to potentially being able to introduce new genetic lines into the local population, thereby strengthening it.

    As to the 'LBH' designation however, it's only somewhat based in reality. There are a number of guys here for whom this designation is apt. But there are many guys, more even, who were normal back home and are normal here is well. The type of girl who makes this designation (and it's not all of them by any means) are usually the ones who are frustrated because they are used to having the upper hand back home, and they come to Japan and suddenly face a severe draught in terms of attention from men. Most of the foreign guys are into Japanese girls, who generally (though not always) treat their men they way western men are used to treating their women back home. And most Japanese guys don't have the confidence to approach western women, and the women don't know phow to approach the men, never having had to. Between these factors, many foreign women get bitter, and explain it off by claiming all the foreign men were 'losers back home', trying to make themselves feel better about their situation.

    What this often does is drive the foreign men even further away. Suddenly they see their Japanese girlfriend as a princess, and overlook issues she may have, in comparing those issues with what they see in the foreign women around them. Then they marry these women, overlooking the issues, and the result? The divorces you are reading about in this article.

  • 3

    FightingViking

    @ lucabrasi

    Thank you for your kind words. It is not always easy to "relive" the past but this article just got to me... It is over now, my "ex" died a few years ago but I still don't know what has happened to our elder son. To tell the truth, I'm a little afraid to try to find him - the last time I saw him, he punched me in the mouth...

  • 0

    Strangerland

    Wow, that's a rough story altogether. Sorry to hear it. Don't count your kid out yet though (which obviously you haven't). As kids get older and more mature they also start to be able to see the world more objectively.

  • -1

    Jaeae An

    There are obviously a lot to be said about this article. And it certainly should be alarming for anyone considering international marriages. I think calling someone angry or mentally unstable is not right though. I think anger is an indication that the wife is obviously unfulfilled and disappointed at somethings. Instead of taking the blames on themselves and question their behaviors people like to blame the partner and point the fingers. And woman being demanding in bed is a problem? I thought its mans obligation to fulfill his partner in bes at whatever the cost. Why would a woman stay with a partner who cant fulfill her mentally and physically? A lot of men seem to be confused with the fact that east asian women at least more than 50percent could live without sex. Even though they may need physical intimacy.

  • 2

    pointofview

    Nobody knows the circumstances of an individuals life in their home country. LBH? Just silliness. What do Japanese know about this? They are so out of touch with other worlds it`s not even funny.

    Getting divorced is a part of life. There is lots of life to live so dont waste it being unhappy and stressed. You can only try so much. Japanese women not supporting their foreign husbands and trying to rule their lives are nothing but trouble. They are some of the coldest people Ive met.

  • 4

    lesenfant

    Was dating a Japanese girl here for over four years, we were living together and it amazed me how quickly our relationship turned into a scarily close representation of the "typical sexless, affection-less Japanese marriage" after we started living together. In the end our physical needs brought it down... A sad thing but we are still great friends though. After living in a different country she seems more affectionate and sexual now... The next gf will get a hard talk about physical needs before getting serious...

  • 3

    genjuro

    @FightingViking I'm sorry to hear about your situation before. I can't imagine how hellacious your experience was. I hope things are much better now. As for your eldest son, I'm glad you haven't given up on him. It may take time, but I'm sure eventually he'll come around. Wish you the best.

  • -5

    Neo_Rio

    My experience has been that by having many different girlfriends in Japan, I actually started to feel bad about the idea of getting married in case I upset one of the girls.

    And besides... why feel the need to flip any of them off unnecessarily? I just don't get it.

  • 3

    FightingViking

    @genjuro

    Thank you too for your kind words - I could have used a little more of that while I was still married but, on the contrary, I had a German "friend", married to a man from Taiwan, who used to hug him in front of me and say things like : "You'd never do anything like that to me now would you darling... ?!" (I'm sure you'll understand that stories like this are NOT "made up"...)

  • 3

    anonymouscaveman

    The only issue that frequently comes up that I'm okay with is the "stay at home wife" concept. My S/O is aiming for that and I don't mind because I don't necessarily like the idea of someone else raising our kids. My only concern is making enough money for us all and that my wife maintains her drive. I would be happy if she worked as well when we had kids but for me one of us raising our kids trumps both of us working.

  • -3

    Tessa

    I don't necessarily like the idea of someone else raising our kids.

    This is an issue that comes up repeatedly, and I confess to being puzzled. At what age is it going to be acceptable for your children to be exposed to non-related grown-ups and their nasty cooties? Three? Six? Sixteen? If you are planning to raise a family in Japan, with a Japanese partner, then I can't think of a better place to outsource the raising of your young ones than this country. Let's face it, most of the nursery school workers are Japanese women who have been through exactly the same education system / indoctrination as your Japanese partner. They speak the same language (and no other), they eat the same foods, they share the same religion (or lack thereof), and it's highly unlikely that your child is going to pick up any strange antisocial beliefs or habits from spending a few hours a day in a Japanese daycare center ... and if they do, then you obviously haven't done your homework, and have only yourself to blame.

  • 5

    cleo

    At what age is it going to be acceptable for your children to be exposed to non-related grown-ups and their nasty cooties?

    It isn't about exposing kiddies to 'nasty cooties' or fear of them picking up 'strange antisocial beliefs or habits'. Regardless of the country, some folk do not see the point in going through all the bother and discomfort of pregnancy and childbirth only to then pay someone else to do all the fun stuff.

    If you are planning to raise a family in Japan, with a Japanese partner, then I can't think of a better place to outsource the raising of your young ones than this country. Let's face it, most of the nursery school workers are Japanese women who have been through exactly the same education system / indoctrination as your Japanese partner. They speak the same language (and no other), they eat the same foods, they share the same religion (or lack thereof)

    Leaving aside the fact that it's not always the Japanese partner who stays at home and not all Japanese who opt to marry non-Japanese 'have been through exactly the same education system / indoctrination', your attitude is supercilious, dismissive and insulting to both parents and nursery school staff. How do you know what language(s) people speak in their own home? Isn't it more than likely that in an international household especially, more than one language is in use? Why would the parents want to deliberately limit their child's exposure to the secondary language, which needs more, not less, input, by placing him in a monolingual environment? Why wouldn't parents want to pass on their own mixed food culture, their own beliefs and morality, their own world view?

  • 3

    cracaphat

    @sighclops.Thanx for liking my name. My wife's Japanese and been married 18 years and she like all women can give me a whole world of pain.But as my grandmother used to say,"Even the king and queen have problems." Talking it out and if that fails re-evaluate. You got out and you're happy for it.And I'm pleased for you. I just feel clumping one race of women all alike is amiss.That would be like saying all western women are.... which when the topic of Asian women vs Western women come up,the same generalizations are made as to why such and such is more attractive than the other.

  • 1

    Strangerland

    If you are planning to raise a family in Japan, with a Japanese partner, then I can't think of a better place to outsource the raising of your young ones than this country. Let's face it, most of the nursery school workers are Japanese women who have been through exactly the same education system / indoctrination as your Japanese partner. They speak the same language (and no other), they eat the same foods, they share the same religion (or lack thereof), and it's highly unlikely that your child is going to pick up any strange antisocial beliefs or habits from spending a few hours a day in a Japanese daycare center ... and if they do, then you obviously haven't done your homework, and have only yourself to blame.

    I'm not worried about the teachers at the kindergarten giving children anti-social behavior, on the contrary they are for the most part pretty good (though I do know of at least one teacher who bullies some of the children). But I don't spend time with them talking with the teachers at length about the values I want to instill in my child, and for that matter, expecting them to give my child special treatment to instill these values would require them giving everyone that opportunity, which is definitely going to lead to conflicts between differeing parent's views. My wife and I on the other hand have spent lots of time discussing the values we want to instill in our child

    The kindergarten is giving overall values to a wide-range of children, and in some situations we want to elaborate on that. For example, one of the kids in my older child's class doesn't know how to deal with stress, and often hits other kids, including our son. My son doesn't want to be a tattle-tale, so the teacher doesn't even know it's an issue with him. My wife and I have discussed with our son reasons why the boy is the way he is, and ways that our son can deal with the situation. These are not things that are taught in the kindergarten, and if our child was at a nursery all day, we likely wouldn't be talking about it with him either.

    So it's not an issue of 'nurseries are bad for children', it's an issue of 'we want more input into our child's life, rather than having the teachers at the nursery responsible for most of it'.

  • 3

    iLikeTurtles

    You might be surprised to learn that the main catalyst for divorce in each of their scenarios was rarely related directly to cultural differences. Instead, it seems that a combination of other factors played the decisive role.

    Nope, that's not even a little bit suprising. My wife (Japanese) and myself (British) knew about the cultural differences before we got married, and they are, frankly, a minor consideration. As long as you are generally open-minded (which you are likely to be if your partner is foreign) you’re fine. I actually find the cultural differences help keep things interesting. Her family welcomed me with open arms, and I get treated like a celebrity whenever we visit them in Japan.

    The biggest issues would always be money, children, intimacy etc – in ANY marriage.

  • -1

    kurisupisu

    To find the reasons for divorce look to the crappy economy;that is what drives my friends to divorce-lack of money!

  • 2

    fishy

    dear Japan Today - I'd like to see what kind of things people say if the topic is about happy marriage/relationship with J-women.. just curious. It's sad to see all these negative comments, while I understand that international/intercultural marriages can be challenging, I believe there are positive stories as well..and I'd like to see what people have to say about their marriage/relationship with J-women.

  • 2

    Strangerland

    dear Japan Today - I'd like to see what kind of things people say if the topic is about happy marriage/relationship with J-women.. just curious.

    I'm hoping that is upcoming in this series they seem to be writing. I'd imagine that now that they have done divorced foreign males, next will be divorced foreign females. Then I'm hoping for happy foreign males followed by happy foreign females. I'm not holding my breath though.

  • 0

    Rohet Pokrel Nepali

    Complaining is our basic instincts. It is not Japanese girl who got problem, its we Gaijin who are hypocrite. Every country has different culture and if we are not ready to accommodate the same, we should not be married to girl of that country in first place. Working women may be norm in western nation but not in most of the Asian nation. So, providing money to run the house is responsibility of husband, how can one say she is treating him as ATM. It is so naive and immoral reaction.

    I have been living with Japanese wife from last 5 years and have seen ups and downs of life but we come to compromise and that is what life is all about. Problem do arise in relation but we should be able to solve as being a superior beings of this planet. Coming to social webpage and voicing negative comments about own wife makes us no different to animal. Time for soul searching.

  • 4

    AmericanSurfer

    Never marry a Japanese woman unless you take your children to your country. In Japan after divorce the women can steal your children and if your a foreigner you have no rights. japan is a black hole for child abduction. When they sign the Hague convention in April 2014, don't expect any changes.

    If you marry, do it in your country and get your kids passports in your respective country. Japan steals children and the lawyers, courts, politicians enjoy the flow of money knowing you are up against a brick wall. Tim Johnston Japan

  • 0

    Strangerland

    Never marry a Japanese woman unless you take your children to your country.

    And how many happy marriages would never have happened if everyone followed this advice?

  • 3

    thuganomics79

    Love conquers all? Never has, never will. What's the best advice anyone's ever given me? Never even think about marrying. It's certainly served me well so far. Fact- a wife has her husband by the b**** irrespective of nationality. And in Japan she pretty much dictates every decision you make from how much you spend to how to take a p*** Stay single. Enjoy life. That's all I have to say.

  • -3

    billyhelpher_33

    There are so many insightful things on here about cultural experiences living here. The good points of the internet, eh?

    I don't know, people always want to say cultural differences are too difficult to work out. International/interracial marriages are compacted. I personally think they are wonderful. But some have hoary stories. When I was with my ex, things seemed so perfect. I don't know what happened. Its like she just changed into a completely different person. But then again, Maybe she was never the person who she portrayed to be in the first place. In the end, she mentioned how our thinking and culture was different, and that it would never work out, and how it would be better if she be with a japanese man, as her mother thought it would be best. But waaaaay Before she did what she did, i was the one who suggested we break it off. But at that time, she was the one who wanted to keep it going saying how we shouldn't give up so easily. So i thought i had a fighter….? But as some people told me, maybe she just didn't want to be the one who got dumped, whatever that meant to her.

    There is obviously a word in japanese that most of you heard of -- ZUU-RU-II. Its like, cheap or kinda selfish. I personally find these people to be exactly this. Between all of the child abductions and aborting foreign mens children last minute, the salary men fooling around with other women being married, concealing their intentions with the Sha - ko -ji -rei…They just come off to me as being selfish, dishonest, deceiving people who just work hard and are perfectionist in competing…Thats it! But life and humanity is so much more than this. I think relationships require mutual trust, communication, and honesty. Most importantly love.. Putting your cards out on the table and doing what you can for that person, not only taking something. But i don't feel they want to do that. Culturally, they are just not that kind of people. Of course there seems to be some success stories here. I guess it requires a certain type of gaijin or something. They seem to like their gaijin 'nihonjin tekki'. Whether it be fashion style or whatever. I would like to think not everyone is the same, and people are NOT robots, you know? like everyone has a sense of individualism. We have feelings of our own. But these days, I feel like you meet one of them, you pretty much know most of them! The salary men here make such good money and have such comfortable lives. They have everything! Their little worlds are all laid out for them. All they have to do is just follow the process and do a bit of overtime at the office, go drinking with the colleagues, poor sake, go to the kyabakura, and they have everything! Not jealous. Just comparing to other people in other countries who don't have anything. They just seem selfish. They have their mistress while their wives are perfectly ok with them fooling around. Their population is on the decline, But yet they don't want to mix with certain type of foreigner. I personally feel I can testify to the world with conviction that most of the worlds darkest devils reside here.

    If you look at things from a psychological perspective, You can also see why marriages are really damaged from their side culturally, and how marriages don't work for some foreigners. Most of the girls at H.S. here are reading these manga where in the manga these h.S. boys are being molested and fondled by other boys in their h.S., and these girls really seem to be into these. Have any of you ever heard of these manga? They are mostly popular among H.S. girls.. I don't really know the title. But there seems to be this twisted, pedophilia/homosexual twist that a lot of them seem to like, starting from kids sticking their fingers into one anthers butt and doing all kinds of crazy stuff... Thats why a lot of these boy bands and models you see on the trains look like women. I also heard lot of these women who are married actually have husbands who are gay, fooling with another man, and are totally ok with it because of this... it all seems wrapped up into one ball. For as long as I have been here, I have seen everything under the sun. I should seriously look into writing a book. But all these pollutants will cause many problems in a society and people. Overall, they are putting toxic into these children's heads so they will not be with a foreigner. And/or, they just like some craziness. LIke I said, you can have it. But I just don't want this crap seeping into my country and toxicating my people.

  • 3

    fishy

    Never marry a Japanese woman unless you take your children to your country. In Japan after divorce the women can steal your children and if your a foreigner you have no rights. japan is a black hole for child abduction. When they sign the Hague convention in April 2014, don't expect any changes.

    If you marry, do it in your country and get your kids passports in your respective country. Japan steals children and the lawyers, courts, politicians enjoy the flow of money knowing you are up against a brick wall. Tim Johnston Japan

    I understand you've been through real tough times but to say Never marry a Japanese woman is not making sense. I'm in an international/intercultural marriage and all our kids have 2 passports. I do understand that there are many people who married Japanese and things didn't work out, but please know that there are many people (and I am one of them) who are not in your situation.

    I don't have any solutions but to put all Japanese people or Japanese women in one category, to me, is nonsense.

  • -1

    frenchosa

    The person who let this girl go back to her mother should get eight years. The mother should never see the light of day.

  • -1

    Peacetrain

    I think he's similar to Trump saying never get married without a prenuptial.

  • 0

    Neo_Rio

    I think relationships require mutual trust, communication, and honesty. Most importantly love..

    what I was trying to say (before being rudely bumped by the moderator for being too blunt), was that IN GENERAL, MY experiences taught me that western notions of love and romance and happy "together forever" are somewhat alien concepts to Japan. Love and sex is something of a primal urge, and seems to be understood in clinical terms by the Japanese. It's not too unlike some other primal urges, some of which are dirty and messy, that you may not really want to do, but are instinctually driven to.

    I think Japanese look at western notions of romance as some kind of weird anomaly... and where it works for foreigners probably has a big part to do with how much the Japanese woman truly understands and buys into the whole thing.

  • 0

    ka_chan

    Wow, makes me loose some respect for Japanese women. Can't believe the couple that's divorcing because he has to take care of his parents in Virginia. Traditionally, that is one of the duties of a Japanese wife, to take care of her husbands family. It used to be a dishonor to the wife family if she gets divorced. Also the kids are part of the husband family and rarely goes to the wife. Well, gets tradition means nothing in Japan regardless of what Abe says or Taiji.

  • 0

    Strangerland

    what I was trying to say (before being rudely bumped by the moderator for being too blunt), was that IN GENERAL, MY experiences taught me that western notions of love and romance and happy "together forever" are somewhat alien concepts to Japan. Love and sex is something of a primal urge, and seems to be understood in clinical terms by the Japanese.

    You're mostly correct. Traditionally marriages in Asia had nothing to do with love. They were a partnering of two families with the intention of having children, and raising the overall level of life for those families, as well as their descendants. Love-based marriages were almost unknown.

    Nowadays things are changing. They have moved further in the direction of western marriages, in that most marriages these days are love-based, but they have not abandoned the old ways at all. There are still very strong traditional influences in Japanese marriages, including a dowry, paid by the husbands family, which is supposed to be used by the wife's family to provide a new home and furnish it, as well as the terminology that the wife 'goes to the husband's household'. The families are still both heavily involved in the wedding, as well as the marriage after it.

    It used to be a dishonor to the wife family if she gets divorced.

    Fortunately they have moved beyond the point where women are required to stay in unhappy and sometimes dangerous marriages. There has been progress.

    Also the kids are part of the husband family and rarely goes to the wife

    Unfortunately this has gone in the other direction, where they almost always go to the wife, rather than the more appropriate parent.

  • -5

    Psyops

    Best thing I ever did was chunk my ex-jp wife, traded her in for a young korean gf and 2 jp lovers. Also even though child support and alimony are paid by me, I have seen an increase in my funds. life is good now and marriage is a forbidden word :D

  • 0

    wtfjapan

    yes a wife with no sex drive is sad, but as you get older you naturally dont do it as much as when you where young. but it can still be just as fun when you do. little tip for the men, make sure you wife has as much pleasure or more than you do when you make love. my wife has never complained about this part of our relationship, except maybe the lack of sleep.

  • 1

    Mennonite Maiden

    @FightingViking

    @ lucabrasi Thank you for your kind words. It is not always easy to "relive" the past but this article just got to me... It is over now, my "ex" died a few years ago but I still don't know what has happened to our elder son. To tell the truth, I'm a little afraid to try to find him - the last time I saw him, he punched me in the mouth...

    After nearly 2 years of being married, my Japanese ex-husband took our 1 year old baby son with the help of his family and kept him hidden till after our divorce. He obviously got granted custody and denied me any contact with my son who is now 8 and about to go to 4th grade in Elementary school. I pretty much missed my son's entire childhood. I know they still live in the house I used to live in and I know the school and everything but I am not allowed to meet him, period. I have fought in the family court for visitation rights for years, yet my request gets rejected each time. At this point I am trying to just focus on what I have in front of me right now. I remarried 2 years after the abduction and had two more children with my new husband (Japanese). As it turns out, he also lost 2 young children to an ex-wife(Japanese). I know I'm not the only one who has gone through something terrible like this, and I know my husband misses his first children as much as I miss my first boy and yes, there are mornings that I just don't wanna live when I think and wonder about my son, how is he, what is he doing? Things like that can truly drive someone into eternal depression. But as painful as it is, we shouldn't surrender to despair. Look what you have in front of you and fight for it. Life is worth fighting for... especially when you have more children that need you. FightingViking, you are not alone in this, I'm living here too. Endless Blessings to you and your loved ones always.

  • 3

    Serrano

    “Because there was no one but me to take care of my aging parents, I would have had to leave Japan. Either I would have to bring my parents to Japan or my wife would have to bring her parents to Virginia.”

    In the end, the couple decided to split. The man remarks that he and his ex-wife still love each other, but cannot be together due to the circumstances.

    This is sad.

  • 0

    FizzBit

    billyhelpher

    down thumbs???? unbelievable

    Nice post, can't agree with some though. Some/maybe most, get married too young. Back in the caveman days, marriage was the winner like a scene from Fight Club.

    Lets look at it another way. Maybe the genetic imprint from our thousands of years of fighting mother nature, the women are genetically conditioned to reject the corporatized culture (read: small condos/aprtments), and in Japan, it's an ART FORM! From this perspective, it makes perfect sense their reaction.

  • -7

    oginome

    My heart bleeds for the over-privileged and no doubt in many cases overweight white men who go into shock when they discover the Japanese women they marry aren't the compliant, obedient, giggly geisha they thought they were getting. You failed in your home countries so you thought you could come to Japan and get a wife who would shut up and let you take control? Oops.

  • 3

    YongYang

    It is not because one person is 'this nationality' or the other 'that' but because of who they are anyway. I met my now wife of ten years when I was 26, we both know who we are and what we need to be, we didn't marry until I was 35 --we dated on and off and round and about-- and now I NEVER go to sleep, no matter what's happened during the day, either at work or between us without... that's right. It IS hard work, you DO have let go the ego sometimes but make your woman happy and you'll be amazed the roads that open up. For me? Marrying my Japanese girl from Aichi has been The Best thing ever. Our children are loved, live is fun now and then and I still all my hair. It is NOT the nationality BUT the people.

  • -1

    wasabizuki

    Women lose their sex drive, men retain it forever(seemingly). There is nothing foreign or Japanese about it. Some foreigners might have the wrong pretext of what a Japanese woman is, based on what they think of them through anime and x rated films. Japanese women aren't their foreign husband's sexslaves. Just like any decent man, you need to romance your way into bed. A good start is a foot massage with oil. remember, sex is never free!

  • 0

    oginome

    Women lose their sex drive, men retain it forever(seemingly). There is nothing foreign or Japanese about it. Some foreigners might have the wrong pretext of what a Japanese woman is, based on what they think of them through anime and x rated films. Japanese women aren't their foreign husband's sexslaves. Just like any decent man, you need to romance your way into bed. A good start is a foot massage with oil. remember, sex is never free!

    Too many American and European men in Japan are entitled and self-pitying. They should take this advice on board.

  • 2

    FightingViking

    @Mennonite Maiden

    I am very touched by your post. I see I have a "sister-in-sorrow" for the children taken away from us. I chose my "pseudo" because it seems I've never stopped fighting ever since I came to Japan... I did manage to arrange it (when our younger son was about 8) so that he could stay for a few days with his father and elder brother. Of course I accompanied him (by Shinkansen) to the town where they lived and stayed with some friends in the area while he stayed with his father. At that time, things seemed to go well and our first son came to visit us in Tokyo for Christmas one year. Unfortunately, as he grew older, his father's rather "violent" influence had really rubbed off on him and when he was 19, he came to Tokyo, punctured one of my car's tyres, grabbed my keys (including the "house key") and when I tried to follow him out of the office where I was working, he punched me in the mouth... (I was asked to find a new job somewhere else...) The last time I saw him was at his father's funeral but he just ignored me...

  • -4

    Strangerland

    Too many American and European men in Japan are entitled and self-pitying. They should take this advice on board.

    This sounds like the opinion of a western woman bitter from not getting the attention she feels entitled to from years of having the upper hand in the west.

    The reason so many western male - Japanese female relationships work so well, is that both are used to being expected to treat their partners well, without receiving the reverse. So when they get together, it's a relationship where they are both treating each other well, which unsurprisingly leads to happy relationships, a low divorce rate, and mutual respect.

  • 2

    oginome

    This sounds like the opinion of a western woman bitter from not getting the attention she feels entitled to from years of having the upper hand in the west.

    The reason so many western male - Japanese female relationships work so well, is that both are used to being expected to treat their partners well, without receiving the reverse. So when they get together, it's a relationship where they are both treating each other well, which unsurprisingly leads to happy relationships, a low divorce rate, and mutual respect.

    Truth hurts? And who said I was a Western woman in the first place? Interesting how you assume that criticism would have to come from a woman. The entitled gaijin who throws his toys out the pram when he doesn't get what he wants is a well-worn yet sadly true to life cliche, unfortunately.

  • 0

    Strangerland

    I didn't say you are a western woman, I said it sounds like the opinion of one.

  • 0

    Mennonite Maiden

    @FightingViking

    It's heart wrenching to read what you have gone through. It reminds of the time when I turned "temporarily insane" after I went to pick up my baby son after I got out of work just to find out he was gone. I was told his father picked him up hours before I showed up. That morning when I dropped him at day care, it would be the last time I saw his face, hugged him and kissed him goodbye. After 6 weeks waiting for his return alone at their house, since they all fled with my baby son, I got to the point where I was having hallucinations and extreme suicidal thoughts, grabbed a kitchen knife and went to the grandparents house demanding the immediate return of my baby boy. As I had the knife under my neck ready to slit myself, the cops showed up and took me away. I spend the next 3 months in between the local police station and the detention house. 3 months that were plenty of time for my Ex to work with his lawyer and destroy my life in court. After he was granted custody, I had no choice but to go back home or just stay and fight. I decided to stay and fight for ME. I decided to continue my life and do the best I could with the little I was left with. I was broken in a thousand pieces and while it took forever to glue myself back together, I did. I met a wonderful man and started a new life. Little did I know that this man I met have gone through very similar things I experienced myself. Meanwhile, I have never lost track of my son, I know where he is and I know he seems to be a normal healthy and joyful 8 year old little boy. While money will never be a problem and he will always have everything he desires, I often wonder if he would ever remember me. I know I dream of him. There's thin vertical scar in my lower abdomen that will always remind me of his existence. He now lives in my memory and inside the chambers of my heart. That said, after everything I've been through and all the pain I've felt and keep feeling at times, it's the little things, the coincidences, and the fact that I am not alone in this, that made it all worth it. I had to experience a world of suffering to get to where I am now. I am a survivor. My only hope is that others can learn from this and educate themselves more about the current judicial system and their laws before making a decision that could change one's life forever. FightingViking, You are one living example of what is to stay alive even in the darkest hours when others have given up and died and for that I salute you. My dear sister-in-sorrow and fellow survivor. Endless Blessings~!!"

  • 2

    FightingViking

    @Mennonite Maiden

    I see we have both been through some pretty tough times. I'm glad you do know where your son is and that he seems to be all right. I'm sure there is a pretty big gap between our ages (you and I) and I'll no longer be able to find me someone new... I did have a few happy years with another Japanese man, who took care of my younger son with me. We were planning on getting married (he was also divorced) but thanks to an extremely stupid "mistake" at a hospital, he was misdiagnosed as being "drunk" when in fact, it was brain haemorrhage (as an ex-medical student, that was MY diagnosis but the dear doctor didn't believe me). Two years and three months in a coma before finally "slipping away"... His "legacy" though, is enormous ! He had the most wonderful influence on my younger son, who is now taking very good care of me ! (BTW, it was my fiancé's ex-wife - also a foreigner - who used to attack him, once with a big carving knife...

    I wish you every happiness with your new family.

  • -2

    Tessa

    @FightingViking, please don't enter into a dialogue with so-called Mennonite Maiden. And Franchesca? You need help. Get some.

  • 2

    oginome

    I didn't say you are a western woman, I said it sounds like the opinion of one.

    Please, it's pretty obvious what you were implying. You assumed I was female because I called out the gaijin men on their misogyny which is very real and is evident nearly every time you meet a male foreigner in Japan.

  • -1

    SprSynJn

    I'm one of those western men who have been contemplating whether or not I will divorce my Japanese wife. My reasons are close to those already mentioned here, but the main reason is because my wife simply does not respect me. No matter how much work I do, no matter how much love I give, no matter how much help I provide, none of it is enough for her. It has become very stressful, and I think her selfishness is going to rub off on my daughter. That is my main concern. I don't want any man she may marry to have to deal with what I am going through now. It is why I decided never to marry a westerner. Looks like I really did in the end.

  • 3

    KOKUJIN

    Married to a Japanese women for 16 years. Three children. Our relationship is fun and loving. Sure it is not like when we were in our 20's but our commitment to each other is strong. Infact, all of our friends are American/Japanese couples and not one has divorced. Divorce is everywhere ...not just mixed couples.

  • 2

    Fandango Spoonmonkey

    Well, aside from being a gaijin loser, a misogynist (we're on every street corner in Japan, apparently) entitled and self-pitying (did I miss anything?) I'm also a dad who adores his daughter and works hard to make sure there's food on the table.

    I'm not asking for much from my marriage. A little recognition of the fact that I'm busting my arse wouldn't go amiss though.

  • 4

    oginome

    No, I directly said it sounded like the opinion of a bitter Western woman. I still have no clue whether you are bitter, western or a woman. But you have the opinion of one.

    Here's what you originally said in your reply to me

    This sounds like the opinion of a western woman bitter from not getting the attention she feels entitled to from years of having the upper hand in the west.

    You're going to pretend that wasn't aimed at me now? Come on, it was very obvious. Immediately assuming that whoever had this opinion was female was very telling. Plus, the very fact that you say these 'bitter' women have 'the upper hand in the west' shows you yourself subscribe to the self-pitying male gaijin narrative.

    Then why do you sound so bitter about it?

    Not bitter at all, just find entitled, spoilt behaviour from white men a bit much to take.

    Fandango SpoonmonkeyFeb. 03, 2014 - 12:49AM JST

    I'm not asking for much from my marriage. A little recognition of the fact that I'm busting my arse wouldn't go amiss though.

    What do you mean by 'recognition'? As in thinking your wife owes you sex because you're the breadwinner?

  • 5

    canadianbento

    It is good to see different comments. Marriage is a tough gland it is WAY tougher when a cole of different ethnicity marry. I can speak from experience, having been married to a Japanese Woman for 57 years. Times have changed dramatically in our marriage time. We used to get threatening telephone calls, written letters and snide remarks on the street, but, we over came this and still have a great life together.

  • 2

    Tamarama

    Like all relationships, I know some that are great, and some that fizzled into nothing.

    Just be cautious, take your time to get to know the person and don't get rushed into anything. You should figure out if it's going to work for you or not. The signs will be there.

    I'm very happily married to a Japanese woman - she is a great girl. Open minded, adventurous, good natured, well mannered and just generally a pleasure to spend time with.

    Honestly couldn't think of anything better.

  • 0

    Mennonite Maiden

    TessaFeb. 02, 2014 - 08:48PM JST

    @FightingViking, please don't enter into a dialogue with so-called Mennonite Maiden. And Franchesca? You need help. Get some.

    Why are the mods in this forum so low class to allow certain posters to post personal information? Why weren't all my posts deleted and that's it? Instead you pick and choose to your convenience because the only accomplishment you had in life was to become a Japan Today mod. Congratulations. I will report this low class behavior to G Plus Media and if you don't delete all my posts I will then go ahead and post your real names in here to see if you are gonna like that, mods of Japan Today.

  • 0

    Fandango Spoonmonkey

    What do you mean by 'recognition'? As in thinking your wife owes you sex because you're the breadwinner?

    I don't recall saying that I require sex for services rendered. Still, it would be an improvement I suppose.

  • -4

    oginome

    I don't recall saying that I require sex for services rendered. Still, it would be an improvement I suppose.

    I didn't say you said that. I asked you what you meant. And gross @ your answer. Proving my point.

  • 4

    Li Li Aikawa

    What is interesting is that I am going through some of these things w/my Japanese husband. When we were dating, he was very sweet and loving. Gentle.Would hold my hands and we would always have dinner once or twice a month. Right after we married, he became so cold. We don't make love (only when he wants to which is rare), we don't go out and he just...ugh..I have no idea what to do. Maybe divorce is option. When someone mistreats you, it is hard on you. Especially when always trying or at times blaming yourself when it isn't you at all.

  • -1

    Neo_Rio

    No-one's going to like this comment, but here goes:

    Women have to juggle two types of men in their life. There is no "the one" magic man who fits everything. It's impossible.

    Women categorize men into two categories: The "quick fling" and the "provider". If you're the quick fling, sex happens pretty quick and then you're let go to meet other woman and do the same thing to them. If you're the provider, you're the workhorse who is supposed to pay all the bills. To a woman, a man cannot fill both roles at the same time. They are mutually exclusive by their very nature.

    Women only respect horn-dogs who love them and leave them, but then they go around saying that these guys are somehow "bad" in order to trick a provider men into a relationship where they are forced to work and disrespected for doing it.

    And when you point this out this fallacy, women will categorically deny it and start with the ad hominem attacks.

  • 2

    FightingViking

    @Li Li Aikawa

    If you're really thinking about divorce, I hope you don't have any children yet. It's REALLY hard on them and you. Better to do it before having any babies.

  • 2

    Mennonite Maiden

    @Li Li Aikawa

    I read your post and sounds just like the "old song" of similarities with my Ex-husband. Deja-Vu. The only problem was that I had a baby with him and he took that 1 year old baby away and I've not been able to keep in contact with my baby boy who is 8 years old now. If we didn't have any children, it would have been a piece of cake to file divorce perhaps in an amicable way but a baby changed the whole game and left me with the bitter part. I try not to despise him but I wonder if it's just pure ignorance or malice. or both? Every man is completely different to one another, just like every woman..it was never about nationality or skin color...it is all about personality and habits. Some people are just not compatible, but then again, some are like soul mates. Due to my short experience I'm definitely the last person to give advice about these things, I wouldn't dare but there are others that posses better wisdom and can provide you with life-saving tips. Remember that you are NOT alone in this. Blessings.

    @FightingViking

    Amen!

  • 2

    Li Li Aikawa

    @FightingViking: No kids. Just me, myself and my heart. But thank you for advice and many blessings.

    @Mennonite Maiden: I am sorry for what has happened to you and I hope you become reunited. I will send good vibes your way. I believe everyone shares ways and expressing their love,disdain or anything differently. All people of various backgrounds do the things and these things that are mean. I just thought for the past 3 years that I was the problem in my marriage when it is not me. I believe we are not compatible (husband and I) and I don't regret my marriage. But I see everything in my life as "lesson learned". Many blessings and good vibes.

  • 1

    Peacetrain

    There are many great Japanese marriages. And many people married to Japanese who have plenty of affection and sex.

    But what anyone marrying a Japanese man OR woman needs to understand is that there really are MANY (notice I didn't say all) Japanese who think it's completely normal for romance, passion, sex, shows of affection to be for outside of or before marriage. Anyone who has been in Japan for a long time and really knows Japanese society knows this, as do Japanese people.

    And for many, if it doesn't end at marriage it ends when the wife goes back to her parents to get ready for having a baby.

    Notice this is NOT ALL, but it's very common.

    Many if not most Japanese people think that's normal. The people I feel sorry for are those who thought their Japanese lover was different, but then saw a radical change after marriage.

    @Mennonite Maiden, I love your name!

  • 1

    sfjp330

    PeacetrainFeb. 06, 2014 - 08:20AM JST There are many great Japanese marriages. And many people married to Japanese who have plenty of affection and sex.

    Where? Japan ranked dead last among 30 countries in the frequency of sex. Men and women need to get more realistic. Men need to start helping with the housework and supporting their wives' careers. Women need to stop waiting for the flawless man who's never going to show up. They have to compromise. Problem in Japan is that fewer and fewer women care about tradition.

  • 2

    genjuro

    My heart bleeds for the over-privileged and no doubt in many cases overweight white men who go into shock when they discover the Japanese women they marry aren't the compliant, obedient, giggly geisha they thought they were getting. You failed in your home countries so you thought you could come to Japan and get a wife who would shut up and let you take control? Oops.

    While not the case every time, there's definitely some truth to this.

  • 0

    Mennonite Maiden

    @Peacetrain

    Thank You! :-) Peace and Blessings to you and your loved ones.

  • 0

    Li Li Aikawa

    I was thinking about what Neo_Rio was saying about: "Women have to juggle two types of men in their life. There is no "the one" magic man who fits everything. It's impossible.

    Women categorize men into two categories: The "quick fling" and the "provider". If you're the quick fling, sex happens pretty quick and then you're let go to meet other woman and do the same thing to them. If you're the provider, you're the workhorse who is supposed to pay all the bills."

    To me, that is not a "woman" but a "girl". When a woman is with a man, or in any marital situation, things need to be 50/50. When you date/marry a "child" than that is what you expect. Child behavior. I have never been the one to have my husband "provide" or was dependent on anyone. We did things in a 50/50 manner. I had a job as a special needs aide for autistic children as well as speech therapist. He is a head chef downtown Manhattan. You have to know what the person is bringing to the table. But what you described can be easily said about men. Boys want "quick flings" and a "provider" also. (notice I said boy and not Man?) But I understand what you mean but that isn't the case with women/men but rather girls/boys. Just my opinion..

  • 0

    Thomas Morris

    I have been married to a Japanese women. For 42 years yes it can be hard but most things said here don't sound right after all these years we are still very much in love the sex has slowed down but that is because of age and my medical conditions.she has adapated to the US and we also follow her customs.she can get bossy absolutely can I. We are all different people live with it and talk things out.

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