The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a housewife in my 50s. My husband has been unfaithful to me for about the last 30 years, dating the same woman. I can’t forgive them.
The woman is in her 50s. We all used to work at the same workplace. They had the affair via their e-mail, phone calls or meeting secretly. Each time I tackled them about this, they made excuses and insisted they did not have a sexual relationship. I’m aware of five or six such occasions. The woman is married and has a child. Although her husband is aware of the situation, he doesn’t seem to care.
The other day, I told the woman to ignore my husband if he makes an approach. But she responded by saying, “You should discuss this matter thoroughly with your husband.” Although I repeatedly demand they break off their relationship, they refuse to do so.
I’m thinking of asking the woman to pay compensation to me over this matter. I’m also considering divorcing my husband. However, if this matter is brought to court, it would take much time and money.
As my husband has yet to retire, I’m wondering if I had better continue living as I am at present, while overlooking my husband’s actions.
Please tell me what to do.
Dear Ms. M:
You want the woman who is having an affair with your husband to pay compensation and you’re also considering divorcing your husband. Yet, you also think it may be easier for you to continue living as you are at present by letting things go.
As you say, it’ll be tough if this matter is brought to court. Also, various facts will be revealed during the legal process.
Don’t you think both you and your husband are responsible for having built such a marital relationship over the past 30 years? You’re both adults, so divorce rather than ignoring the situation might have been the solution. Love affairs between married men and women are nothing special.
So, why don’t you declare to him, “We’ve failed in building a good marital relationship,” discuss and settle financial matters in the future between you two before he retires, and then give him an ultimatum: “As you caused the trouble, you should leave our house.” It’s probably a quick solution.
If you allow the situation to continue, you will probably keep having unpleasant feelings toward your husband even if he breaks up with his paramour. You will feel ill at ease every day.
You’ll live for another 20 or 30 years. So why don’t you start over now? You can’t really go forward without resetting your life.
Megumi Hisada, writer