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TROUBLESHOOTER / My husband had an affair while I was pregnant

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter

I’m a woman in my 30s. While I was pregnant, my husband had an affair with another woman. He told me that he did not have sex with her, but I can’t forgive him. He and the woman still work for a company run by my family.

The two of them started dating soon after I got pregnant. It seems that my husband complained to her about our oldest child and our relatives. He had contact with her also on my birthday and gave her what I had told him I wanted as a gift, while he told me to buy it myself.

After I found this out, he apologized many times. But regarding the reason why he had the affair, his answers repeatedly changed. At one point he said it was because of his own mental weakness, and on another occasion he stated that she seduced him. When I continue to criticize him for his infidelity, he sometimes reacts angrily by breaking furniture, and sometimes, when driving somewhere with me, suddenly hits the brakes of the car and gets out.

Everyone must have been happy before and after my delivery, but my feelings were replaced by the anguish caused by his cheating. Our children do not know about my husband’s affair and have taken to him quite well. People around me advised that I should restore my relationship with him for the sake of our children. But do I really need to make up with a person like him? My love has long since departed.

S, Tokyo

Dear Ms. S

It is natural that you are angry with your husband for having an affair while you were pregnant. If you are totally separated emotionally from him, why don’t you divorce and start your life anew?

To do so, the first thing you will have to do is to reach an agreement with him about a divorce. During that time, it will be necessary to work out who will have custody of your children, child support expenses, rules for visits and contact, division of property between you and your husband and a financial settlement.

If the two of you are unable to have that discussion, you have to resolve the issues through mediation or trial procedures at a family court. Regarding the details, I recommend you seek advice from a legal information center.

By the way, I don’t know anything about your economic situation. Can you support yourself financially if you get divorced? It’s important to plan your future carefully.

Looking at it this way, a divorce requires a lot of energy. Isn’t it possible to restart your relationship over with your husband by, for example, making him and the woman compensate you financially for their affair and having them write letters of apology? How about frankly talking with him again, while remembering your feelings at the time you met him for the first time?

Only you can decide what to do.

Sachiyo Dohi, lawyer

(From April 17 issue)Speech

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