The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a part-time worker in my 60s.
I’ve discovered my husband was in contact with another woman before suddenly dying. I’ve also found out he was a regular customer at a soapland (an establishment that offers sexual services).
My husband had apparently fallen into a coma when I found him at home, and I called an ambulance. At the hospital, I was given the cell phone he had on him. As the phone showed a missed call notification, I checked it only to find the call had come from a woman. The records indicated she called back after my husband called her that morning. I also found the names of several women in his phone directory.
Moreover, I found a large number of items bearing the name of an adult entertainment shop in his car. I’m incredibly shocked. I don’t know when he started to frequent it. We married more than 40 years ago, and all that time I never suspected him of doing such things. I didn’t have the slightest notion to check his car, as I completely trusted him.
Thinking about his betrayal, I feel I have no obligation to hold memorial services for him. I can’t get over this incident and feel so miserable that I can’t help but cry about it. How can I feel better?
W, Ibaraki Prefecture
Dear Ms. W:
After reading your letter, I feel it is unlikely you will forget your shock as time goes by, nor can you get rid of your anguish by dumping all memories of your husband.
Instead, I suggest you take time and ponder, in depth, the facets of his life you didn’t know about and what your relationship with him was like.
I hope you can reach a conclusion that only you can reach as his wife, free from stereotypical societal norms. Married couples share a lot of memories while living together over a long period of time. They should also be held responsible for what kind of relationships they have built during the marriage.
Human beings have many different facets. We build relationships with various people in our lives, such as family members, colleagues and friends. However, it’s possible for us to build irregular relationships that cannot fall within any such framework. This means our lives are utterly vulnerable and embarrassing in some respect. After all, human beings are fundamentally absurd.
While bearing this in mind, I hope you will review your life with your husband, which lasted more than 40 years. You will probably realize little by little that you got many things from that life over the years and had a lot of precious memories with him. I believe this process will eventually help you feel better.
Megumi Hisada, writer