According to the artist, all it takes is one simple thing to live happily ever after.
Marriage is a big commitment in any country, and in Japan the assumption that a husband will take on the role of hardworking breadwinner while a wife assumes the traditional role of stay-at-home housewife still remains strong throughout much of the country.
Thankfully, though, times are changing and not everyone is resigned to taking on a stereotypical role in a partnership, and they don’t place those restrictions on their partner either. Here to prove that point is illustrator and Twitter user @tricolorebicol1, who has been with his wife for a total of seven years (four of them married) during which time, he says, they’ve never had an argument.
@tricolorebicol1 sees his wife as much more than just a cooking, cleaning housewife, and believing this has something to do with their argument-free years together, he decided to share his secret to marital bliss through a series of illustrations online.
人と仲良くする秘訣。自分なりに考えてることの一部を描いてみた。４枚の画像にまとめるのって難しい。 #漫画 #結婚 #マンガ https://t.co/OEJPZpGt6u—
さわぐち けいすけ (@tricolorebicol1) May 14, 2017
After posting the above Tweet, it received more than 50,000 likes and over 40,000 retweets, with many people nodding their heads in agreement and sharing his illustrated story with contacts and friends.
The comic strip begins with a placard announcing the couple’s argument-free seven years together. The artist then goes on to explain his motivation for drawing the comic, saying that after hearing acquaintances complain about arguments and the annoying things their partners said, he got to thinking about the different styles of communication that exist between partners. One day, when someone commented on his happy relationship and asked him what his “hiketsu”, or “secret” was, he had to stop and think about it.
He pondered what the secret might be while gazing at his wife, who responded by asking him what he was staring at. After much thought, he realised that there were lots of “secrets” that went into keeping a happy marriage; so many that it would be impossible to put them all together in one neat package.
Yet, if he were to give one example to illustrate the key to a happy marriage, it would be this: “Your wife is another being“. According to the artist, this is a point that should not be forgotten.
Though the statement might sound logical, the artist says it’s easy to see friends or lovers as other beings, but once you’re married, you can fall into the dangerous trap of assuming that someone should do something, like cook meals or pay for everything, simply because they’re your wife or husband. According to the artist, this can be the source of many arguments, because these are demands you would never make of a friend or lover.
▼ And that’s why you should never forget that a wife, and a husband, are essentially “other” people.
In a polite group-oriented society like Japan, “other” people outside of one’s group or family are treated with extreme courtesy, which even extends to the type of language used in social situations. However, looking at your partner as if they’re one of these people doesn’t mean you have to start acting reserved and putting on polite airs around them. Instead, it’s a way to remember that this is a special individual who you will be with for a long time, which helps you to remain caring and courteous. Something as small as not expecting your partner to cook and wash the dishes, or expressing thanks if they do, is an example of this in action.
The artist concludes his comic strip sketch by saying that this is one example from his own personal experience, and there are probably people who won’t take his advice. For readers who think he’s off his rocker, he says they should feel free to forget his story.
Though the artist’s key to a successful marriage might seem like a logical way of thinking for many, especially for those in countries outside of Japan where traditional roles and expectations aren’t as deeply entrenched, it’s easy to take your partner for granted after years of being together, no matter where you live.
Still, it’s just as easy to take a step back and see them in a new light as an individual. That way, you can be reminded of the fact that your partner chooses to remain by your side despite all your quirks and bad habits, which is something to be grateful for!