The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter,
I’m a civil servant in my 30s, and I recently found out my wife is having multiple affairs, although we have two small children.
Before we got married, she also had an affair and became pregnant. Since we didn’t know who the father was, she got an abortion. Even then, she continued having the affair until I called the guy and made him end it.
However, recently I found out she’s still contacting that guy. Not only that, she’s seeing another guy, an affair that started when I was living away from her for work. On top of that, there’s yet another guy. The more I look into this, the more I’m seeing the shadows of other guys littered around her as well.
My wife has never thought having an affair is a bad thing, but I thought she would change after having children.
I’ve considered divorcing her, but I’ve had an affair in the past, too. Therefore, we both signed a pledge about this, and in consideration of our children, we’ve decided we will never get divorced.
However, I feel depressed when I think about whether my wife will ever stop having affairs. I also wonder if my children are really mine. I have no idea what to do.
F, Kumamoto Prefecture
Dear Mr. F,
Even if you both signed a pledge, I highly doubt your wife will ever stop having affairs. I think you are dimly aware of this fact on your own, but as you continue to hold onto the idea that she might change, I suppose you’re suffering even more.
Regarding what to do from here on out, the following advice is based on the assumption that your wife won’t change: If you feel the pain of losing her will outweigh the pain you continue to suffer, then stay married.
If you feel you’re at your limit regarding her affairs, then I see no other choice but to divorce her. There is no right answer here. Please take some time to think about what you think would be best for you.
However, even if you find your young children are not actually yours, this is absolutely no excuse to abandon them, especially as they think of you as their loving father and have no other people to rely on.
Whether you divorce your wife or stay together, you two have the responsibility to keep protecting and watching over them, because they were born into this world because of what you have both done so far. If nothing else, I want you to always remember this important fact.
Masami Ohinata, professor