Communication in Marriage

Every time I spend time with my friends – meaning: over-30 Indonesian housewives, they never fail to talk about 3 topics: their housemaids (how hard
it is to find a good one, how sloppy their work is, housemaids who steal, etc.), their children’s schooling (how expensive school fee nowadays, grades, and how smart/stupid their children are), and their husbands (the “I do everything for him but he doesn’t even say thanks! He doesn’t love me!” kind of stuff).

I never enjoy these 3 topics so usually I just stay quiet and listen, and wait
impatiently for the time to leave. How I wish to be 15 so I can talk about K-pop, concerts, and learning Korean. 😉 Oops, no, I don’t want to be 15 again, I was miserable when I was 15.

So for some reason, I am almost always the youngest one among ‘the girls’, and
everyone is always eager to give me advice so my husband will not run away with a younger girl. For example: you should put on make up to welcome him home – I can’t do this, he comes home from work after I go to sleep. You should treat his family nicely and make them happy so your husband will be happy – I hate his relatives, I never talk to them. The house should always be neat and tidy – I don’t clean the house, either, my husband does this for himself if he wants the house clean. You should cook his favorite dish – I don’t cook, and I don’t know what his favorite dish is. I asked him, and he didn’t know, either. Wow, I’m such a bad wife. Why did he even marry me? Hahaha.

I agree, they are all good advice, but if you think about it, all those games and tricks to manipulate your husband to love you, can those really work if deep inside you believe you’re unlovable and he will leave you at whim? I mean, those wives who give me the advice are still complaining that their husbands don’t love them, and they’re all admitting ‘communication problem’ with their husbands.

It reminds me, long time ago I lived in Japan, and I happened to know a married couple of a Japanese man and an Indonesian woman. They had been
married for more than 20 years and they had children who were bilinguals. The
funny thing was… the wife didn’t speak Japanese very well (she was satisfied
with her basic level of Japanese), and the husband didn’t speak Indonesian very
well, either, so I wondered to myself, how they got married, and how they kept
their marriage lasted if they only had very limited vocabulary to communicate
with each other. Unfortunately, I wasn’t an intimate enough friend to ask them
that, but I think, maybe communication in marriage doesn’t have to be so
complicated. Maybe just believing that your spouse loves you and you just love
your spouse can be enough. No words are really necessary. No manipulation or
tricks are necessary.

I’m not worried about my husband leaving me because he is welcome to leave
me if he thinks it makes him happy. (Hmm… but maybe I’ll want the house. Hahaha.). My husband is not my prisoner.

I don’t doubt that he loves me even though he doesn’t say it and we don’t talk much to each other (it’s funny if you know that we share 3 languages: Indonesian, Japanese, and English). I don’t doubt that he loves me because he stays! And I think it’s very sweet that he chooses to be with me, today, and today, and today… ###


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