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My family has broken down due to my wife’s affair

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a jobless man in my 50s. My family has broken down and I’ve also lost my job due to my wife’s affair. I can’t stand that her former lover hasn’t been affected at all — he works and has a happy family life as usual.

During an out-of-court settlement with the man, my wife behaved meekly and asked me not to disclose the matter to his family and workplace. It seems she kept contact with him during the discussions and he told her to ask me not to say anything. I agreed to her request because I wanted to protect my family, too. However, once the settlement was concluded, my wife filed for divorce mediation, claiming that our family had already broken down before the incident due to my domestic violence.

Our child was deeply shocked and failed their university entrance exams. I also began suffering depression and became unable to work.

The man did not show any sign of remorse and instead posted disdainful notes on the Internet. He ruined the future of my child and still lives unaffected. How can I teach him a lesson?

S, Kyoto Prefecture

Dear Mr. S:

I understand how angry you are over this matter. But I suggest you take it as a matter only between you and your wife.

You hold a grudge because your family has broken down while the other man’s family isn’t disturbed. In reality, we can’t guess whether other families are happy just by seeing them superficially. His family isn’t disturbed despite his affair — don’t you think such a family is rather problematic?

On the other hand, your family has broken down due to your wife’s affair — it’s a more natural consequence and quite sound, I think.

There is nothing good if you blame others for your unhappiness. We all face unexpected difficulties and often suffer from them in life. How can you overcome your current plight? That’s where you can display your capacity.

The first thing you should do is support your child who failed the entrance exams. Your wife won’t return to you, given that she filed for divorce mediation on the grounds of domestic violence. Why don’t you allow her to be free from you?

Raising children to live on their own is one of the reasons for having a family. You and your wife have almost finished the work. Since your family has broken down, you can both start over for the first time.

Megumi Hisada, writer

(from March 29, 2016, issue)Speech

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