Japan Today
Image: iStock: Tero Vesalainen
lifestyle

Letters from Japan: 'Married men'

24 Comments
By HILARY KEYES

Savvy Tokyo's resident "Love in Japan" columnist, Hilary Keyes, answers anonymous questions from readers on everything from dating in Japan to women’s health issues. Got a question you’d like to ask Hilary? Send it to askhilary@savvytokyo.com.

Apparently, last month’s Ask Hilary (“He’s Taken“) got a lot of people talking and thinking. Here are two more messages from readers around the world struggling with relationships with unavailable Japanese men.

Hi Hilary,

I have a Japanese boyfriend but unfortunately, he’s already married. I knew it even before we got together. He was assigned to a job here in the Philippines but when our relationship was discovered he was deployed back to Japan. I love him so much and I know he feels the same for me. He even talked about getting divorced but of course, he will still support his family and I have no objection to that. Lately we had a fight because he doesn’t believe that I am missing him so much because I am still here in the Philippines. I am trying my best to get a job in Japan so I can transfer there.

What should I do to prove to him and to show him how much I love him and how much I miss him? I am already suffering from depression and anxiety because I really don’t want to lose him. I love him with all that I am. 

—I Want to be Mrs. K.

Dear Hilary,

I am a foreigner living in Japan. I fell in love with a Japanese married man. He says that he will divorce his wife soon. He is out of Japan for an assignment for five years, his family is not with him. He has two kids. I feel guilty for being a homebreaker but I love him. He loves me too and takes care of me. I am a single mother. What do I do about the guilt? Sometimes I want to see our relationship from a third person’s perspective. Does he really love me or is he just stuck? Please help.

—Confused Woman

Dear Want to be Mrs. K and Confused Woman,

I’m writing to you both in one message because your situations are so similar.

You have both knowingly fallen for married Japanese men. One while he was working abroad, and one who is still working abroad. Both have children with their spouses. Both men have claimed that they will divorce their partners and marry/be with you instead.

Neither of these men has divorced their partners as of the time of this article’s publishing. Given that divorce in Japan is a fairly straightforward legal procedure, especially between two Japanese citizens, I’m afraid you both seem to have fallen for one of the oldest lies in the adulterer’s playbook.

“I love you, I’ll leave my spouse for you, so it’s okay if we have sex” has been used by people around the world for centuries as an excuse to sleep with someone they wanted. I can think of very few times where this relationship turned into a real, lasting marriage.

Even in my extensive network of family and friends, I can think of about 30 people it’s happened to (on either end) and count on one finger how many times it’s resulted in a marriage. That marriage ended in divorce less than a year later—due to an affair on the husband’s part again.

These men may indeed love you and they may genuinely want to divorce their spouse but the fact of the matter is, they have not and statistically will not, either. While not especially taboo, the overall impact it would have on their lives is immense, and in all honesty, a lot more effort than just lying to you.

Click here to read more.

© Savvy Tokyo

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

24 Comments
Login to comment

Dating married people will always, always, always lead to drama. From my friends who have done it, they have all been at times deeply miserable. I would recommend to single people to not waste your time with people cheating on spouses and tell them to deal with the problems in their marriage before dating others.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

“I love you, I’ll leave my spouse for you, so it’s okay if we have sex” has been used by people around the world for centuries as an excuse to sleep with someone they wanted.

I think that about sums it up.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Well it seems that being gullible crosses international lines!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Given that divorce in Japan is a fairly straightforward legal procedure

This is absolutely not true and I question all of her other advice now. My friend tried to get divorced and he was dragged through court mediations for 5 years. Japanese women with children who are not working have no incentive to divorce quickly.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I’m afraid you both seem to have fallen for one of the oldest lies in the adulterer’s playbook.

WTF? It takes two for adultery. Both women voluntarily entered into the relationships knowing full well the guys were married. But it's the man's fault? How's that for misandry?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Redemption

Today 07:48 am JST

Given that divorce in Japan is a fairly straightforward legal procedure

This is absolutely not true and I question all of her other advice now. My friend tried to get divorced and he was dragged through court mediations for 5 years. Japanese women with children who are not working have no incentive to divorce quickly

Actually she correct as are you!

Mutual divorce (the most common) in Japan is one of the easiest and quickest if the developed world.

Where it gets complicated is like everyone developed country, that is when the two sides cannot agree on the terms.

Stay home wives/mothers are naturally reluctant to give consent especially with the poorly designed and poorly enforcement situation of support and child support.

Usually a large sum of money upfront and a binding legal agreement on child support can settle the issue quilky without going to court!

But in some cases one or both sides refuse this path and then like in most other countries it becomes a long drawn out battle.

I know someone here will say well in XYZ state in the USA it takes a simple form, Blah blah blah, yes s simple form divorce is not exclusive to Japan but unlike certain other countries the system of divorce here is universal throughout the country, many other developed countries marriage and divorce is a state/province/regional authority control, making it vastly different from one end of the country to the other.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Social establishments like marriage and others would never stop basic animal feelings; the core of our beings. What the mind thinks or believes, is a tenuous barrier to the assaults of reproductive hormones since the human race appeared on earth. Hence we humans are so many.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I am not young and this may just be my observation but over the decades from as far back as highschool (Jr high in Japan) as I watched friends parents get divorced due to infidelity, right up to today.

It always surprises me that when a person marries the cheating spouse ( the person they knew was married and cheating on their spouse).

They seem surprised and shocked when that person cheats on them.

Seriously if you are having an affair with a married person, don't be surprised that "if" they leave their spouse for you, that in the future they do the same to you, especially if they got away fairly clean and little consequences.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Quite so, leopards rarely, if ever, change their spots.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

WTF? It takes two for adultery. Both women voluntarily entered into the relationships knowing full well the guys were married. But it's the man's fault? How's that for misandry?

Yes, this article is exactly the response I would expect from this so typically female writer.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Wandora

Today 08:19 am JST

I’m afraid you both seem to have fallen for one of the oldest lies in the adulterer’s playbook.

> WTF? It takes two for adultery. Both women voluntarily entered into the relationships knowing full well the guys were married. But it's the man's fault? How's that for misandry

Harry_Gatto

Today 10:44 am JST

WTF? It takes two for adultery. Both women voluntarily entered into the relationships knowing full well the guys were married. But it's the man's fault? How's that for misandry?

> Yes, this article is exactly the response I would expect from this so typically female writer

Actually you are only saying this because she was responding to 2 letters by two women.

I am fairly sure her response would have been the same if it was a man asking about his affair with a married woman.

Nothing about "blaming men" here she says.

you both seem to have fallen for one of the oldest lies in the adulterer’s playbook.

This would by default apply to female and male adulterers .

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

“I love you, I’ll leave my spouse for you, so it’s okay if we have sex” has been used by people around the world for centuries as an excuse to sleep with someone they wanted. I can think of very few times where this relationship turned into a real, lasting marriage.

My answer before even reading this. These guys are going to ride this until these gullible women wise up or wife finds out and threatens divorce.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The one lady says she feels guilty about what she is doing and wants to know how to make the guilt go away. There is a reason she feels guilty and honestly, it's good that she does feel guilty. Just as pain is your body's way of telling you that something is wrong, guilt is your soul's way of telling you that something is wrong. The best way to make the guilt go away is to stop doing what is causing you to feel guilty.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

AntiquesavingToday  11:13 am JST

Actually you are only saying this because she was responding to 2 letters by two women.

Of course it works both ways, but there isn't even an attempt to make this neutral. From the title down.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Was a cheater, always a cheater. Look at DJT.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

the reason to sleep with married people is BECAUSE they're married...sex is sex...zero politics...you don't get in trouble because you forgot her mother's birthday...nice day...glass of chilled wine...an afternoon in the sack....sure...you may fall in love...but don't be stupid...there are other married folks out there...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Marriage works fine for some people and for others it is too constrictive... how many married couples truly love each other after 10+ years is anyone's guess.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If someone will cheat with you, they will cheat on you.

Plenty of single people out there if you want to roll the dice to be in a couple.

There is no perfect partner out there. Life is not a romance novel. It's easier to accept that than hang on to a daft fantasy and discover the truth the hard way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you can’t be with the one you want, love the one you’re with.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

having an affair with a married man is never a good thing however charmed we may be with the person, remember, they are just a person same as millions others, what makes a man worth your commitment is high morals. I think the women were charmed by narcissists. They are good at charming, seducing, lying and cheating.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

One thing you know immediately if you decide to date a married man/woman is that they are a cheat.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"If someone CHEATS WITH YOU, there is a possibility that that person will also CHEAT ON YOU."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The reality is if you are stuck in a marriage with kids and your spouse thinks sex is a mendokusai burden, you eventually will partake of forbidden fruits out of desperation.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites