One Japanese man took giving a silent treatment to a whole new level after refusing to speak to his wife for 23 years.
Although Otou Katayama continued to live in the same household with his wife Yumi and helped raise their three children like any responsible father should, he remained unresponsive to her for over two decades.
And it wasn’t due to lack of trying on Yumi’s part – she never gave up on trying to initiate conversations with her husband, but the most she could ever get out of him was a simple nod of the head or quiet grunts.
The stubborn man’s behavior came to light when his 18-year-old son Yoshiki wrote to a local television show asking for help reuniting his parents.
Yoshiki revealed that neither he nor his older sisters, aged 21 and 25-years-old respectively, had ever heard their parents have a conversation.
“My father doesn’t talk to my mother but my mother talks normally to him,” he said. “It’s a one way chat.”
A meeting was arranged at a local park where the married couple spent their first date as young lovers in their southern Japanese town of Nara. It was there that Otou finally opened up to his wife about why he had remained silent for so long.
“I was kind of jealous about losing your attention to the kids. I was sulking about it. ‘There’s no going back now I guess.” he explained. “You were so concerned about the kids. Yumi up until now, you have endured a lot of hardship. I want you to know I’m grateful for everything.”
The couple’s children watched from afar and broke into tears of joy as their parents sat on a park bench and spoke to each other for the first time in their lives.
The pair promised to have a more talkative relationship moving forward.