Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

Am I being an ungrateful bastard rather than than am I being unreasonable? long, sorry

(32 Posts)
BadLad Mon 03-Dec-12 04:01:50

So, I'm living with DW, DSiL, DBiL, DMiL and 2DNs (4 and 1).

The good:

It's a very nice house.

We have a few rooms to ourselves, although we share kitchen and bathroom.

We're saving plenty since we don't pay rent, and renting here is expensive and buying a house is just throwing money away in this country and particularly this part of the country. We pay board, and I always remind MiL that she can up it any time if I am costing too much.

Very little housework to do. Before anyone jumps on me too much for that, I do anything involving heavy lifting, keep our part of the house clean, do the ironing for myself and DW, and change bedsheets. But I've specifically been told to keep the housework I do low key so as not to undermine BiL, who is nice but old-fashioned, and does parenting but no housework whatsoever.

Everyone is fantastically nice to me.

The not-so-good:

It doesn't feel like home. I still worry about marking the walls, breaking something or opening a drawer and finding something I shoudn't like Lynn in Alan Partridge. Also, I can't invite anyone to visit.

I can't do as much as I would like in the house. I like cooking, and have cooked about five times since I moved here. It was appreciated, but they would rather I didn't, as I take a long time, make a lot of mess (which I cleaned up) and spent a lot of money (I paid for it, but MiL still sees that as money DW and I should be saving). Also the in-laws are conservative and don't really enjoy foreign food that much. Plus, MiL seems not to like men in the kitchen, seriously!

The culture is starting to feel oppressive. Everything is so very Japanese, but I honestly and starting to feel like a homestay student living with a foreign family to learn the language rather than a married adult.

First world problem I know, but am I just not knowing when I'm well off? There are times when I am really happy living here, but other times, and today is one, when I really want to live somewhere without the in-laws, who, I say again, are lovely.

BadLad Mon 03-Dec-12 04:07:47

Balls - reported for hopefully move to AIBU.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Mon 03-Dec-12 04:10:36

i couldn't live in that situation unless i really couldn't afford to rent or buy.

is it possible to cook just for you and DW? also, why does MIL think she gets a say in whether you splash out on food with your own money? surely it's up to you and DW what you spend your own money on, even if it is on shit you never use! does she comment on all your spending?

TanteRose Mon 03-Dec-12 04:13:34

move out

that is all smile

none of my foreign wife (married to Japanese) friends have ever found living with the inlaws easy. I told my Jps DH that I would never do it. (Luckily he agreed, despite being chonan...

what is stopping you from moving out? apart from the money issue, and it would be surely worth EVERY yen to have some privacy surely?

TanteRose Mon 03-Dec-12 04:14:51

oh Santa...you have NO idea about Japanese mothers-in-law grin

the stories I could tell...(luckily none about me!)

BadLad Mon 03-Dec-12 04:18:26

There's only one rather cramped kitchen, and my workschedule means that the only time I can conceivably cook for anyone is Sundays. With five other people here, kitchen time and space is usually for cooking for everyone.

As for the money, she doesn't comment on all our spending as such, but takes the view that there's no point BadLad taking a long time and spending a lot on preparing one meal (the money is for buying from the import food shops) when someone else could do it much more quickly and cheaply, and cook local food.

When I wasn't living with them I often cooked for DW when she visited, and miss it a bit.

That's just one example, however. The overall feeling is hard to describe, but it's a bit like being well-meaning suffocated.

deXavia Mon 03-Dec-12 04:18:33

Sorry just clarifying - are you actually in Japan? In which case you have centuries worth of cultural differences to get past and frankly that's going to be 'challenging' without being rude. Best bet is to accept that for what it is and work out how to move out to your own place as soon as possible - I assume your wife is Japanese but with a more westernized outlook?

CleansLate Mon 03-Dec-12 04:20:09

What Price Sanity, I always say. Having lived in Japan, there is nooooo way I could cope with your situation.

If your DW is okay with your moving out then GO. What are you ultimately saving money FOR, if you are not intending to buy?

BadLad Mon 03-Dec-12 04:23:09

I think what stops me apart from the money is the fact that there is nothing I can bring up and say "this is why I'm not happy". As I said, my mother-in-law is very nice if you ignore her knicking the strawberries from when we go strawberry picking. I am not sure if I would be making fuss about nothing. DW doesn't have long to go until retirement - about five years until she wants to - and the in-laws have said we can live here until at least then, but then we will move closer to my job.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Mon 03-Dec-12 04:24:26

grin

i really dont! i didn't realise there was a stereotype japanese mother. ( i dont mean you are stereotyping but cant think of another word. sorry. blush)

OP i would definitely move out in that case.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Mon 03-Dec-12 04:26:43

saying "i'm not happy" is enough reason in itself. you dont have to be able to prove why. but for starters i would say, it just isn't your home and you cant relax as if it were. that can cause alot of stress to build up over time.

CleansLate Mon 03-Dec-12 04:28:28

BadLad I am assuming you are gaijin? Then just blame that, and your DW can too when her mum asks why you want to leave. FIVE YEARS is just too long to feel suffocated. Move closer to your job now, say that you need to in order to get a promotion or something. There's just no point being unhappy, especially if your DW is okay with moving.

BadLad Mon 03-Dec-12 04:29:44

Last post was @Tante, before that was @Santa

Father-in-law, who is estranged, bankrupted the family once, so they are all very money and budget-conscious. DW is indeed westernized, but she is reluctant to pay rent, which is expensive here, and it is near the sea, so she doesn't want to buy in case a tsunami wipes it out.

Apologies for drip feeding - hard to think of everything to include in the OP. But anyway, I'm getting the impression that I at least am not going to sound too unreasonable for saying that I sometimes find it a bit suffocating.

deXavia Mon 03-Dec-12 04:30:18

If your wife was retiring in 6 months I'd say just live with it in favour of the money and them moving. But 5 years - honestly can you see yourself never relaxing at home for 5 years? Of course if there is a master game plan for all the saved money that's different but it doesn't sound like it. Would your wife accept a smaller saving pot ( or working longer) for your happiness? Have you discussed that with her?

TanteRose Mon 03-Dec-12 04:30:32

bloody hell...FIVE YEARS??shock

there is plenty you can bring up - lack of privacy, wanting to cook, etc.

but you don't have to bring anything up - just say you will be moving out in the New Year and go down the estate agents this afternoon to look at some flats.

or maybe its your DW who is not on board?

CleansLate Mon 03-Dec-12 04:32:50

We don't think you sound unreasonable at all (you're not), but we're not culturally Japanese. I'd shift your focus from justifying it/being understood by your in-laws (may never happen), to just making it happen.

TanteRose Mon 03-Dec-12 04:32:57

by the way, I totally agree with not wanting to buy - unfortunately, we have and we live near the coast (gulp!)

We are on the third floor so hopefully would escape the worst (provided the building doesn't collapse - it was built after Kobe so probably OK)

TanteRose Mon 03-Dec-12 04:34:19

ooh near the sea? do you live near me? grin

BadLad Mon 03-Dec-12 04:40:32

DW is happy with the status quo, rather than not willing to move out, whichI can understand - it's her house, so she won't feel like a guest in it.

I'm not sure why we are saving other than the fact that the future is uncertain for everyone at the moment.

I have ups and downs - sometimes I am happy living here, but today I've dropped and smashed a cup, which isn't a big issue by any means, but sort of reminded me that this isn't my house, and that it would be nice just to clear it up, rather than point out to mother-in-law that I've done it.

Well, thanks for all the comments. I will tell DW the truth - that sometimes, not always but from time to time, I find it a bit over-powering.

BadLad Mon 03-Dec-12 04:44:44

Tante, I agree with that as well. I also know very little about buying here - whether I would be getting value for money or not, the fees involved, chances of it appreciating in future etc.

TanteRose Mon 03-Dec-12 04:55:01

Buying is not really good value - especially now.

But even before the earthquake, your property is never going to appreciate in value (like it did, say, in the bubble era). And property tax is expensive.

we were lucky in that we have paid off the mortgage (DH took early retirement) but our flat is worth about two-thirds, maybe even half, what we paid for it. We are pretty much stuck here. We could rent it out, and use the income from renting to lease somewhere else, I guess...

although if you are thinking of buying (maybe somewhere on high ground?), your wife would have to do it before she retires. You personally won't be able to buy if you don't have permanent residency.

BadLad Mon 03-Dec-12 04:59:36

Yes, that sort of puts me off. Although part of saving hard is so that we can buy, either here or elsewhere, without needing a loan. But my job is a long way from here, so when DW retires which will be at least a decade before I do, there will be no reason to live here, so we would either have to sell it or try to rent it out. I can fully agree that buying makes no sense for us. She doesn't even want to live in Japan after we retire anyway.

RingoBaa Mon 03-Dec-12 04:59:56

I'm also in Japan. I can manage three days maximum at my Japanese inlaws house before I start to get stressed out and they really aren't bad at all either.

I think you need to talk to your wife about the situation and how you need your own space. I'm sure many Japanese men wouldn't want to live with their inlaws either.

Are you working? Any chance of finding a job with accommodation?

RingoBaa Mon 03-Dec-12 05:03:23

Crossed posts loads.

We also haven't bought a house. My husbands job involves being transferred so it is easier to rent.

It's not worth saving for the future if you are so unhappy now.

TanteRose Mon 03-Dec-12 05:16:18

just in case anyone's interested smile

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/living_overseas/1218910-Living-in-Japan

will post something on that thread and revive it...

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now