The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a company employee in my 50s. My husband had a stroke and there is no hope of his regaining consciousness. When I sorted out his desk, I found out he had an affair about 20 years ago. I was so shocked and can’t even eat.
I found many letters from the woman, who was one of my husband’s classmates in junior high school. They met again at a reunion and seemed to have started an affair soon after because they were each other’s first love.
The letters said they had a sexual relationship and promised to get married in the future. I also found a draft of a letter my husband wrote to her, which said, “I always want to see you.”
My husband had been family-oriented and affectionate both to our children and myself, so I didn’t notice his affair at all at that time.
Their relationship ended in about three years because I got pregnant with our third child. It seemed that my husband decided to give up on the woman because he found it difficult to abandon our kids, even though he didn’t love me anymore.
I’m going through difficult days because I can’t ask him what really happened.
R, Kanagawa Prefecture
Dear Ms. R:
I know these kinds of things happen in life. I feel what a hard time you’re facing. But I believe even if you could check with your husband about the affair he had about 20 years ago, you wouldn’t be able to learn what actually happened.
Proverbs say “love is blind” or “a new romance starts from a misunderstanding.” When you fall in love, you become irrational, thinking and saying anything.
However, your husband and the woman came to their senses after three years, and their relationship became a distant memory. I think the results say it all. He said he couldn’t leave his children, but this was just his excuse. I don’t believe he didn’t love you. He made that decision because he loved you.
Everyone has crushes or falls deeply in love with someone in the course of their long life. But different people have different forms and depths of love. You’re the only one who can decide how to accept what is happening in your life.
In the past, I promised myself I would go through my life just with my power of loving someone, without asking someone to love me from a desire for love.
Rather than questioning the affair your husband had in the past, I think it’s more important for you to ask yourself whether you love him and if your love for him has supported your life so far.
I hope you can overcome this hardship and look toward the future.
Megumi Hisada, writer