The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a woman in my mid-60s, and I’ve been with a man who is about 10 years younger than me for nearly 20 years. I love him so much. He is a company worker and is married. My husband died three years ago.
I want to continue our relationship until one of us dies, but I don’t dare say that to him, and I have a good reason.
My love for him has been growing deeper and deeper. He, on the other hand, is a bit cold, or at least not exactly proactive about our relationship. I feel so lonely and impatient to see him that I find myself emailing him.
The biggest concern for me is that our time together has been growing shorter and shorter, and we make a trip or go to a hotel less and less often.
I do my best to look attractive for him, and I’m sure I look younger than I am, but I’m worried he might be fed up with me. Is he turned off by how in love with him I am?
Nevertheless, he affectionately kisses me whenever we meet. His attitude suggests he still loves me, though he doesn’t actually say this. He doesn’t say we should break up, either, though.
How should I deal with our relationship from now on? Should I be less forthcoming and endure my loneliness? I can’t give up on him.
D, Aichi Prefecture
Dear Ms. D:
You’ve been having an affair with a married man for nearly 20 years.
Time changes our lives. Your husband died three years ago, and that upset the balance of your reciprocal infidelity. In addition, now that he is about to leave middle age, he may have started having different feelings about a woman 10 years older than him. It’s not surprising he finds it tiring to continue an affair with you and has started to place more importance on a peaceful family life that he can enjoy in his old age.
No matter how devoted you are to him, you are treading on thin ice here, and you should be aware of that. If his wife realizes her husband is having an affair with you, she could file a suit demanding compensation, claiming you have infringed on her marriage. If you want to date him for the rest of your life, you should wait until he becomes single, too.
Like you, I want to live a positive life without giving up on my dreams and in which I take on new challenges. On the other hand, it’s difficult for any of us to get everything we want for our lives. Something’s got to give.
I’ve given up on having a romantic relationship for a long time now, but that doesn’t mean I want to die soon.
Keiko Higuchi, critic