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From the Desk of McAlpine: 結婚しき。

Japanese marriage

A co-worker once told me that the best marriages are the ones where both husband and wife run a business together. 

Trust is key in any business, and what better business partner to have than your own spouse.   But, can a traditional style family nucleus model work also?  Can a working husband and a sit-at-home wife have a successful marriage, too?

Today, the perceptions of the role of man and woman in a marriage is being challenge more now than at anytime in history.  More and more women and men are asking, why marry?  What’s the incentive? 

Recently, I got into an argument with a ridiculous Japanese lady on Skype the other day.  She said that she had to have a husband who was not only able to work ten hours a day, but  come home and wash the dishes, too.  She went on to say that she was angry at me for even suggesting that she wash the dishes.   She angrily said that her role in the marriage would only be to stay home and cook!

I went on and asked her, “ What about your mother and father’s marriage now,  and what do they think about you?”   She said that her mother and father had assumed the traditional Japanese role of mother managing the household and the father working fifty hours a week.  She had also mentioned that her parents hated her and loathed the fact that she was still living at home with them at over 30! 

Japanese women, who are clear into their thirties, living at home with their parents is not uncommon in Japan at all.   In fact, in some instances it is encouraged for all the obvious reasons; save more money, help around the house, and so on.

More often than not, the Japanese women who choose to live at home with their parents is a growing trend nowadays.  Not only that, but there is  less interest in settling down into a marriage with a working spouse for all the obvious reasons; what role will the woman assume in this marriage?  Will she be able to manage the household affairs and support the husband, too?  Will she work, or will they share these responsibilities evenly amongst themselves?

But, could both husband and wife perform more naturally in a marriage that’s centered around a business that they run together?  Would roles be less ambiguous?  The wife could be more clerically inclined in terms of handling the paperwork, and the husband could be the negotiator…?  I’m not sure, but for sure , running business  and defining which role a husband and wife would play in that business would be less complicated than trying to define the role of both in a traditional style marriage, in my opinion. 


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