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  • Japanese men/Cheating spouses

    I'm particularly interested in what Japanese men have to say about this; however, all comments are welcome (from Westerners, other foreigners, women, etc.). (Sorry, my Japanese isn't good enough to post this where many Japanese people will read it.)

    To make a long story short -

    A friend of mine (really) has recently gone through a "situation". She was getting to know a man when, low and behold, she found out he was married. Of course, she likes him and doesn't know what to do. She says his situation is "special" (as opposed to other cheaters?!?) - they got married because they got pregnant (no ceremony; just some paperwork), live in separate prefectures most of the time (she with her parents), etc. I haven't the foggiest notion if any of it's true.

    I know every situation is unique. Further, I know no one can speak for the man in question. I'm just really wanting to give her some sort of helpful feedback. [I don't have any firsthand experience in this arena with which I can help her.] My personality is such that I would say, "A cheater is a cheater. End of story. Happened once; it will happen again. He's not worth it." Of course, even if that is what she has to hear, she probably doesn't need to hear it quite like that.

    I'm particularly interested in what Japanese men have to say about this because I'm wondering if there is something cultural to this. I mean, is it still accepted for men to have relationships outside of their marriage? I can only speak from my experience, but - though it happens often enough in the U.S. (everywhere for that matter, I'm sure) - it's NOT OK back home. Yet, this isn't back home, right? Further, since divorce isn't quite as common here in Japan, I'm wondering if - instead of getting divorced - this is how people "manage" things. I mean, if they are in effect living separate lives as she says, why wouldn't they just get divorced? What's the difference?

    Just to allay any fears - please feel free to be frank. I'm not "the friend". I am, however, a friend who wants to help "the friend". Helpful comments appreciated. They will be tactfully presented to best I can.

    Post Edited (08-08-04 16:01)

  • #2
    Re: Japanese men/Cheating spouses

    Just become a mormon and have five wives problem solve


    • #3
      Re: Japanese men/Cheating spouses

      Views on sex are quite liberal here, so long as everything is done at the right place, such as a love hotel or a soapland, and that it is all hush-hush. So you can shag around, just keep it on the quiet, and come home at night. It is even better to lie in Japan about these things than tell a confronting truth, but often the questions are never asked.

      That's my opinion anyhow.

      I'd say go for it. If she's serious about him and he's willing to get the divorce sometime in the future, fair game. If not, she'll still get a shag from someone who isn't really cheating on his wife, as they're defacto separated.



      • #4
        Re: Japanese men/Cheating spouses

        my advice is to just leave it alone.
        if op is right, she is eventually gone be mad at op
        if op is wrong, she is eventually gone be mad at op
        because she is a nut! i see the symptoms
        plus she gone get ol boy crunk and mad at op also... voice of experience

        "Further, since divorce isn't quite as common here in Japan, I'm wondering if - instead of getting divorced - this is how people "manage" things."
        that is it.


        • #5
          Re: Japanese men/Cheating spouses

          Thank you for the feedback.

          Buds - I'm sorry, but I don't really understand your post. Maybe I'm clueless, but who is OP?

          For her, I think it goes beyond just having sex. Although she has never actually said this, I think she wanted to marry this man. A little difficult to do since he is already technically married...and with a child to boot.

          I guess it just brings up the whole question of how/why a person would bother cheating like that. I mean, you're going to get found out eventually. What's the point of stringing someone along? Further, even if he did divorce for her, can she ever really trust him? I think she realizes this.

          On a related note -

          Recently, out of idle curiosity, I was looking online at some friend matching sites. I was shocked to see the number of HAPPILY MARRIED MEN looking for girlfriends. This struck me as odd. I mean, I would expect an UNHAPPILY married man to look for a girlfriend, but a HAPPILY married one? I don't know if the man she was involved with would consider himself happily married, but he obviously wasn't unhappily married enough to get divorced.

          I feel sorry for her, his wife/family, etc. And, ironically, I even feel sorry for him. I can't imagine what would compel someone to do such a thing. And, I have to admit, this hits home more than just a little bit as I wonder A) what I would do in a similar situation; and B) how I can ever REALLY trust someone when I see all of this around me. What makes me so special that I could prevent that which so many other men and women can not? It's kind of a little depressing...but then, not really a pressing concern at this point. Enjoy freedom?!?


          • #6
            Re: Japanese men/Cheating spouses

            Sounds like a bad scene to me. A No win situation.

            I think that Japanese men have no problems with having sex with multiple partners. That is why the soaplands are everywhere. As others have said, its pretty much part of the culture. So I think your friend needs to ask herself what kind of a relationship she is in. Is it a love match or pure sex. Love is going to lead to trouble. Sex probably fine, if she is fine with it.

            Lets say best scenario here, its a loveless dysfunctional marriage and the couple are playing it out. Ok. IT means they are following a traditional Japanese approach under such circumstances. They probably both have their own lives 90% of the time and keep up appearances for family gatherings.

            Now lets consider the child, frankly your friend is irrelevent the child is all important. In the Japanese traditional approach should this couple get a divorce, one parent will get custody of the poor child and the other will disappear from the child`s life. There is no half way solution for such families. Does your friend want to play a role in this? She needs to consider it. It could be very ugly and she`d have some pretty serious tuff on her conscience.



            • #7
              Re: Japanese men/Cheating spouses


              Is your friend knowing him better?
              I mean did she feels that he is very very special that she is still trying or thinking to start something with him?Or did he told her after something happened between them that he is married.
              I was just wondering...

              Maybe you are right and a Cheater is always a Cheater,but one the other side it could be also that there meet two people and there are something very special between them,just the wrong timing..Is it fair to keep this going on,and do not get a divorce because of social etiquette(which is in Japan more important than in other countrys).
              Like I understand it that in Japan it is very much troubles when lets say the kids are babys and the parents have a divorce.
              Isn´t it there a very bad thing?

              How does your friend knows that he does not only want to have sex or having a foreign girlfriend as a status symbol or something like that...

              Head says No but Heart says Yes...Heart is stronger but more painfull


              • #8
                Re: Japanese men/Cheating spouses

                Florina -

                Thank you for your message. I think you summarized it very well.

                Unfortunately, my friend probably isn't telling me everything. I think she is embarrassed (though she shouldn't be), disappointed, depressed, etc. I'm not sure if they are continuing to get to know one another.

                I think she wants to believe what you wrote about timing. Particularly given the fact that they got married 4 years ago because they got pregnant (no ceremony), she wants to believe that maybe it's not a "real" marriage. However, I did learn that they lost the first baby - if she was actually ever pregnant to begin with - and then stayed together and had another baby one year ago...changes the picture, doesn't it? I guess he said there was no reason to divorce her - it would have been mean, there was no reason to do so (for example, another person), etc.; having another child together must mean something, though, no?

                According to my friend, he said he always thought he would marry a foreign woman. "It's been inside him always." It's something he's always wanted, blah, blah, blah. But is he willing to get a divorce? I don't know. He's a successful surgeon (distracting himself by overworking - perhaps just to keep himself busy so he doesn't have to go home, deal with his situation, etc.), but he has done more than one thing in his past that shows he doesn't care what society thinks (for example, 10 years ago, after he was already a doctor, he quit his university job and went to the U.S. to study business and try to pass the U.S. medical licensing exam; he failed though so he couldn't practice if they were, for example, to move to the U.S.).

                From what she says, living in the U.S., marrying an American, etc. is his "dream". More than that, though, I think when they are together, they get on well (he's happy, she's happy, etc.). Is it because it's just a release from his regular life? I have no clue. From my perspective, if he's really telling her the truth about not living with his wife (she with her parents...but is that only because they just had a child one year ago?), why does he continue to be married?

                I was interested in what Jayboy wrote (about one parent "disappearing" from the child's life). I wonder why that is. Sadly, I think this would make my friend happy because, never having gotten married herself, I don't think she wants all the excess baggage of ex-wife (assuming he got divorced), child (for the rest of their lives), etc. However, before any of that can even be considered, she worries about the trust aspect. No marriage is for certain (this we know). However, is he just a cheater? Or did he finally find what he has been searching for all these years? Is he willing to "give up" what he has now? Will he regret it and want to go back?

                Of course, no one knows the answers to the above questions. He has to explain himself to her. However, since it is a gaijin female/Japanese male relationship, I just wondered if there was something cultural to this. Maybe it has less to do with culture and more to do with universal human nature. I don't know. Thank you for your thoughts though. It's so hard to know what to say to someone.

                Post Edited (08-10-04 09:07)


                • #9
                  Re: Japanese men/Cheating spouses

                  “Maybe I'm clueless, but who is OP?”
                  original poster

                  “I think that Japanese men have no problems with having”
                  most men regardless of race, religon, etc. don't have problems. it's women who have the problem (of men having it)

                  "probably fine, if she is fine with it."
                  the only women i ever met (in this current life ) who were fine with only, their minds were bad, ie: almost "actress" level


                  • #10
                    How does the wife feel?

                    If she were married with a child, and the marital relationship had a few problems, how would she like it if some other woman knowingly coaxed her husband into having an affair or even got him to get a divorce so they could go off and live happily ever after? Just curious..


                    • #11
                      No Subject

                      CuriousII - Your question is an interesting one. However, in her situation, it was not like that. She didn't find out that he was married until several months into their relationship. Once she found out, their "relationship" is...I'm not sure what their status is actually. She's trying to figure things out.

                      Interestingly, I was talking to an older married Japanese man yesterday. He was telling me how there are many couples in Japan who simply got married because they got pregnant (this I knew, of course); after "getting married", they essentially live separate lives...sometimes even in separate homes (so what's the point I have to ask?!). He went on further to say that, if a man is married and gets another woman pregnant, according to Japanese society, he should divorce his wife and marry the other woman. This SHOCKED me. Now, I don't think my friend is in such a situation, but it explains a lot.

                      He said a man who "takes responsibility" is always considered more admirable, etc. I guess even if it is at the expense of his current family. Maybe this is my friend's "boyfriend's" way of getting what he always wanted?!? If he got her pregnant, he would "have to" marry her, thereby fulfilling his "dream"?!? One problem though - I'm not sure my friend would even consider marrying just because she got pregnant (if she were to, that is).

                      All of this is really interesting for me...particularly since I tend to date only Japanese men. It's interesting for me to see what I might/could possibly be in store for. I've never much understood this whole "taking responsibility" business. In my opinion, it's more often just about looking for a scapegoat and less about making real change. For example, with any corporate wrongdoing - instead of just letting the CEO (or whomever) go and thinking that will change the whole situation, people have to look at the culture - and the many people who helped the fraud, corruption, etc. along - that allowed the situation to occur in the first place/allowed it to continue for so long. This isn't wholly related to the topic, but I think it's one of the things I don't understand about this culture. I think being a responsible citizen is important. However, when "taking responsibility" (for an affair, for a pregnancy, for corporate wrongdoing, etc.) is nothing more than just some outward display that lacks any real value, I don't understand it. Why bother?

                      At any rate, back to your original message, I don't think that situation describes her situation. And, in my humble opinion, any woman who knowingly has an affair with a married man, and then (worse yet) expects him to leave his wife for her, is only counting the days until he does that to her. I'm using my Western "love marriage" frame of reference, and maybe it changes when people only get married on paper (don't live together, etc.), but then maybe not.

                      Thanks for your perspective.

                      One additional sidenote - I do kind of wonder what his wife thinks. I mean, maybe she would welcome a divorce. From what I hear/read, more often than not, it's the Japanese WOMEN who want a divorce. I mean, it's got to be terribly lonely I would think (rarely seeing your husband, simply raising his child(ren), etc.). Of course, who's to say that she's not having an affair too? I mean, why couldn't we assume that?

                      Post Edited (08-12-04 08:58)


                      • #12
                        Just wondering how the status is on your friends realation.
                        Also does she lives in Japan or do both live in the same country?


                        • #13
                          SImply put and straight from my darkened heart: Your friend should cut off his balls, figure out where to hang them, and move on to somebody who is, at least, somewhat honest. Carry on. Ignore this. Had to generate something. Interesting thread. Learned a lot.


                          • #14
                            Four important things here that she needs to think about:

                            1. He started a relationship with her without telling her up front he was married. He lied to her from the very beginning. This does not set a healthy tone for a relationship.

                            2. He said "marrying a foreigner is his dream" not "marrying YOU is my dream" He obviously has been looking for his chance to have an affair with a foreigner. I doubt that he cares much who the foreigner is, as long as she is foreign. I've noticed that there are a LOT of Japanese men for whom having a foreign lover is a kind of fetish. Often, they are not in love with anyone but themselves. When a Jguy says to me, "I only like foreign women" I immediately become suspicious of his motives.

                            3. He has had a child with his wife. In Japanese society, divorce is looked down on, especially if if there are children. It's extremely unlikely he will get a divorce, unless he really truely is so much in love with your friend that he'd willing to go against society. And that remains to be seen.

                            4. Even happily married men cheat. Men like sex- it doesn't matter if they are happy with their marriage or not, they still want to have sex with other women. The only reason men are monogomous is because women force it onto them. So for all you know, he IS happily married- and made up the story so that he could continue getting some from your friend.

                            If she really loves this guy, then she ought stop having sex with, and then tell him he has to get a divorce before she'll continue the relationship. If he refuses, then she'll know how sincere he is.

                            If she doesn't love him, then why not just have fun ____ing him? It won't hurt his wife if she doesn't know about it, and it's pretty much the truth to say that Japanese are open minded about sex. It's fairly common for husbands to live in different cities from their wife and children for business reasons, and the wives KNOW he isn't going to be faithful. It's a "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

                            Finally, my personal opinion: she should kick his ass to the curb. There are PLENTY of men out there, and one with this kind of baggage isn't worth it.


                            • #15
                              I can't give any advice that hasn't already been given, but I feel really sorry for this woman. This thread has been an interesting read.
                              BTW, I signed up for a personals site once in America and somehow accidentally checked a box that said "married partners okay" or something like that. I was deluged with emails from married men who wanted action on the side. It was depressing.