The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a woman in my 60s, and I can’t forgive my husband. He has been in an intimate relationship with a man and is neglecting his family.
We have two daughters. I also worked for my family and bought our house with my husband. I felt I was just as happy as the next person. But when he turned around 60, he began dating a man he met at a drinking place.
He suddenly began spending money carelessly. Even when I had a high fever, our grandchild was hospitalized or other problems happened to his family, he didn’t care at all as he was so crazy in love with his boyfriend. I thought of divorcing him many times, but I’ve put up with all this, thinking I should stay with him until our daughters marry.
One day, we had a big fight after I yelled at him for not breaking up with the boyfriend after having dated him for over a decade. He said to me: “I was wrong. I apologize. I won’t leave you alone any more, so let’s find a way to work this out, shall we?” His words sounded so selfish.
Over the last 10 years, he has been cold to me as if we were living separately under the same roof. So it’s too late for him to apologize to me.
I should have divorced him earlier. I live with regret every day.
K, Fukuoka Prefecture
Dear Ms. K:
Your husband is a homosexual although he fathered two children. Both you and he worked hard, raised your children together and bought your house. After undergoing these tough times, he fell head over heals for a guy when he was in his 60s. It must be shocking.
It seems you’ve reached your limit, and that’s only natural.
The public’s attitude about homosexuals has been drastically changing. A generation ago, they were regarded as immoral and sometimes persecuted in society. Recently, same-sex couples have been accepted little by little globally. Even though they are a minority, they are not abnormal but are merely expressing one of many kinds of sexuality — this view has been taking root more and more.
In your case, take his affair to mean he has been unfaithful to you, even though he has a boyfriend instead of a girlfriend. He wasted a ton of money, which was supposed to be used for his family, neglected his wife, and didn’t take care of you when you were ill. Even if he had lost his affection for you, he should have cared for you when you were ill. That’s a basic principle for any married couple.
So it may be an option for you to petition the family court, claiming your problem is a grave situation that hinders you from continuing your marriage.
However, it seems your husband cannot afford to pay a divorce settlement.
You have another option. You can forgive him if he breaks up with his boyfriend and sincerely apologizes to you. Then, have him write a statement vowing it will never happen again and continue living with him. It’s totally up to you which way to go.
Keiko Higuchi, critic