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TROUBLESHOOTER / My husband in his mid-80s still dates other women

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a housewife in my 70s. I’m having trouble with my husband, who is in his mid-80s.

Ever since his days as an office worker, he’s had women around.

Even though I worked full time to pay the mortgage — while doing all the housework and child-rearing — he would go on a trip with someone once or twice a month. He once declared he was “leaving” me when our older child was still at university.

I begged him to at least wait for the child to graduate because I thought it was impossible for me alone to cover the expenses for the child. I can’t forget the way I wept over such a selfish and irresponsible person.

I thought those kind of things were over when he finished working, but they weren’t. A housewife living in the neighborhood told him she loved him, and they started dating in secret.

But when I told him I wanted to leave him because I couldn’t take it anymore, he simply went out and returned late at night, telling me he was “full because he ate and drank a lot.” He seemed to have been on a date.

I really regret feeling happy when he told me he loved me. I don’t know what to do.

F, Saitama Prefecture

Dear Ms. F:

Your story sounds like a typical TV drama or novel, with your husband as the villain. It even had me thinking you must have embellished parts — forgive me if this is not the case. Still, there might be a few men like him in reality.

If what you wrote is all true, I don’t think there’s anything we can do. For whatever reason, your husband has probably become a person whose purpose is to be with other women.

I suppose you are asking him to treat you more kindly, to think more about your family. But I don’t think that’s possible.

I would recommend you look for something else — something you can enjoy, something you feel is worth living for. Don’t just keep on thinking about him.

Besides, I think it’s usually unlikely that a man over 80 can continue to appeal to women forever. He will keep growing older and his looks will continue to fade. He’ll come to understand that, too. It might be a good idea to start thinking about the kind of relationship you want with your husband in the future.

Taku Mayumura, writer

(from Sept. 22, 2018, issue)Speech

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