ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
Am I being an ungrateful bastard rather than than am I being unreasonable? long, sorry(32 Posts)
So, I'm living with DW, DSiL, DBiL, DMiL and 2DNs (4 and 1).
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.
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.
We're going to move this to AIBU in a mo, at the OP's request.
although from what I can gather, its probably that expensive for commuter passes into London from the counties...
It is nice, but it creates a terrible fear of losing your train pass, which gets less and less as expiry date approaches. Three months teiki costs 395,000 yen.
are you one of those people who take the shinkansen to work?
I wouldn't say I'm SO unhappy exactly. Rather like a lot of long-termers in Japan, I fall in and out of love the place. Only "the place" means this house, rather than Japan.
I am indeed working, a long way away, in fact. But I have to live in this prefecture. This will seem inconceivable to people unfamiliar with Japan, but DW's employers are insisting that we live together and that we live in this prefecture. Fortunately my employers have rather reluctantly agreed to my commuting from quite far away.
just in case anyone's interested
will post something on that thread and revive it...
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
ooh near the sea? do you live near me?
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)
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.
bloody hell...FIVE YEARS??
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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. )
OP i would definitely move out in that case.
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.
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?
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