Are you a sulker? Do you feel rejected by your partner and, as retaliation, refuse to talk, for maybe a few hours, or even a day? Well, a Japanese man took sulking to another level and stopped talking to his wife for 20 years.
Sounds almost impossible, but this was what happened between a couple from Nara, southern Japan—Otou Katayama and his wife, Yumi—even though they lived together through it all.
Otou had given Yumi the most extreme case of silent treatment, lasting 20 years. The husband had not had a conversation with his wife in the past two decades, with his only communication with her being just an odd grunt or a nod in response. That was until one of their three grown-up children decided to take matters into his own hands.
Otou Katayama and his wife Yumi sat on the same bench where they had their first date, and he was forced to confront…
Imagine this: For the past 18 years, the couple’s son, Yoshiki, had never heard his father speak to his mother. So, Yoshiki wrote to a popular Hokkaido TV show asking for assistance in helping his parents overcome the problem.
“My father doesn’t talk to my mother but my mother talks normally to him,” Yoshiki revealed on the TV, Yahoo! News reported.
To mend the couple’s strained relationship, the TV show arranged for Otou and Yumi to go on an outing in the park where they had their first date, with three caring and tearful children secretly watching on from a distance.
— Daily Express (@Daily_Express) January 1, 2017
Sitting on the bench in the park, Otou finally opened up to his wife: “Somehow it’s been awhile since we talked.”
“You were so concerned about the kids,” the husband said, according to MailOnline. “Yumi up until now, you have endured a lot of hardship. I want you to know I’m grateful for everything.”
Otou later confessed to her that he had not spoken as he was jealous of the attention she gave to the children. “I was kind of… jealous. I was sulking about it. There’s no going back now I guess,” he said.
The couple’s children were heard laughing in the background as their proud father suggested to Yumi that they would speak to one another again sometime.
“I also want to talk after this,” Otou told Yumi. “I hope we can work together from here.”
It’s such a shame that they both had to endure 20 years of silence because Otou could not deal with his emotions. But was there more to the story than just Otou’s jealousy? We can’t be sure. However, it’s obvious that not only Yumi suffered from her husband’s cold shoulder; Otou himself was a victim of his own emotions.
He was jealous of the attention she gave to their kids.“Somehow it’s been a while since we talked,” said the husband.
If you find yourself sulking for long periods of time, it might be wise to communicate your feelings to a third party to help you overcome such a destructive habit. It is not healthy to let disagreements go on too long … certainly not for 20 years.
Yumi has shown such forbearance to suffer such an extreme case of silent treatment for so long. Let’s hope the couple can enjoy the rest of their lives together in a more sharing manner.
What are your thoughts on how this story evolved? And would you have done anything differently if you were in Yumi’s situation?
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