Wednesday, March 28, 2007

And you think we've got problems!

I was listening to a BBC News roundup the other night while driving home, and particular story snagged my attention.

In Tokyo, there's a group called the National Chauvinistic Husband's Association that's dedicated to changing members' bad marital habits in order to save their marriages. Their Three Principles of Love, which members chant over and over: Saying "sorry" without fear, saying "thank you" without hesitation and saying "I love you" without shame.


Sure, a lot of this might be driven by the change in Japan's pension rules, which allow women to claim up to half of their husband's pension if they divorce. Said divorce adviser Hiromi Ikeuchi: "In Japan, 75 percent of all divorces are initiated by women. They're waiting because if they plan to get divorced anyway they want to wait so they get part of the pension. They've been waiting for three or four years, ever since the government announced it was changing the law."

So come April, when the change takes effect, there'll be a lot of Japanese husbands in for a nasty surprise. But I've gotta believe that many men, like the members of the National Chauvinistic Husband's Association, are waking up to the fact that the way they treat their wives is not right -- and just because they behave in the way their fathers did, and their grandfathers did, and so on, doesn't make their behavior acceptable now.

Shuichi Amano, who founded the association in 1999 (after his wife threatened to divorce him) says men don't know how to communicate well because they don't have experience initiating relationships and communicating with others, and have only been trained to achieve in the workplace and to be loyal to the company. So, yeah, Japanese men have decades of learned behavior to overcome, and the fact that some of them are making sincere attempts to alter their behavior now is admirable.

The National Chauvinistic Husband's Association ranks each member according to the level of sensitivity in marital relations he has achieved, and I find these levels to be quite telling. Keep in mind that only one of the hundreds of members has made it to Level 10.

Level 1: Is still in love with his wife after three years of marriage.
Level 2: Does a good job helping with housework.
Level 3: Has never cheated on his wife -- or his wife has never caught him cheating.
Level 4: Can practice a "ladies first" policy.
Level 5: Can take a walk with his wife while holding hands.
Level 6: Can listen to his wife seriously.
Level 7: Can solve problems between his wife and his mother in one night.
Level 8: Can say "thank you" without hesitation.
Level 9: Can say "sorry" without fear.
Level 10: Can say "I love you" without embarrassment.

Kinda makes you want to call your partner right now and shout "I LOVE YOU!!!" for all to hear, doesn't it?


Anonymous said...

Hard to follow --gimme a new blog..

Anonymous said...

Well, if you had a partner to call out to...

I agree with anon 7:20. Give it up, ladies. This blows.

Anonymous said...

"Give it up, ladies. This blows."

So, because you can't follow this blog, they should quit writing it?!?

If you don't like it, don't read it, and keep your childish ranting to yourself. Get a life.