It’s completely natural for married couples to have the occasional spat (and the proverbial silent treatment that typically follows). But one man reportedly took it to a whole new level — and it had nothing to do with an argument.
Otou Yumi is an elderly man from Nara, Japan, who lives with his wife, Katayama and their three children. To outsiders, the family is living a completely normal life, but according to their kids, Otou hasn’t spoken to his wife for more than 20 years.
Katayama has reportedly made multiple attempts to talk to her husband over the past two decades, but he solely responds with grunts or nods. This must have been very awkward at times since their youngest child, Yoshiki, is 18.
Hoping to fix the situation, Yoshiki contacted a popular Japanese TV show on Hokkaido TV and asked them for help to reunite his parents.
“My father doesn’t talk to my mother but my mother talks normally to him,” Yoshiki said on the show.
Clips show Otou ignoring his wife after she welcomes him home and offers him juice. He acknowledges the juice, but not his doting wife.
Concerning Otou’s silent treatment, he told the show: “There’s no going back now I guess.”
Yoshiki and his two sisters (21 and 25 respectively) said that they couldn’t remember their parents ever speaking to each other, although the father does have regular conversations with the kids.
To encourage the couple to talk, producers arranged a “date” for Otou and Katayama in the very park where they first met.
Yoshiki and his sisters observed secretly from the background, and were shocked to see Otou finally open up to his wife.
“Somehow…it’s been quite a while since the two of us have talked,” he said as he stared at the ground.
“I know,” she responded.
“You were so concerned about the kids. Up until now, you have endured a lot of hardship,” Otou told his wife. “I want you to know I’m grateful for everything.”
He admitted that he was jealous of the attention Katayama gave the kids.
“When the kids were born my wife was very involved and busy in raising the kids,” Otou said. “I was kind of… jealous. I was sulking about it.”
The future looks a little more promising — Otou hinted that he is now willing to communicate with his wife.
“I also want to talk,” he told Katayama humbly. “After this I hope we could work together from here.”
Maybe he just needed a little push in the right direction.