In 2017, Yuki Saito was found to be having an affair with a married doctor. She was 51 at the time and held an apology press conference, which her family accepted. Her lack of retraction was even rather refreshing. Now, she has a successful career and a happy family. She seems very happy. But what about an ordinary woman who was interviewed by Sanae Kameyama, a writer who has been covering adult love?
The Most Common Reason Married Women Fall in Love
A few years ago, during an interview with a detective agency, I heard that “recently, we are getting more and more requests from husbands. The trend seems to be continuing even now. As a long-time infidelity interviewer, I too have noticed an increase in “extramarital affairs” among wives in their 40s.
There are several factors that contribute to married women’s feelings toward extramarital affairs. These include a lack of communication between husband and wife, as typified by a lack of sex with their husbands; stress from a life that is limited to the “roles” of wife and mother; and the awakening of the ability to fall in love that has been dormant deep within them. Wives who engage in adultery are not special; in fact, everyone has the potential to “fall in love.
It was four years ago that Midori (46 years old, pseudonym) fell in love with a male colleague at work.
The reason I fell in love? Because he was there.
She said with a smile on her face. She and her colleague Yuta, 48, were two years apart in age, but had joined the company in the same year. Yuta had been transferred to various sales offices around the country while making good business results, and returned to the head office in Tokyo about four years ago.
I haven’t seen him in a while. I thought, “Oh, he’s got a nice face. I had heard about his past work, so I thought his performance was in proportion to his face. I’ve seen him in both men and women. 40 When you get over the age of 40, your life starts to show up on your face.”
I felt empathy for him as a colleague and as a human being, which is different from romantic feelings. Midori herself joined her current company after graduating from college and married a senior student when she was 29. Since then, they have worked together to raise their two children while taking advantage of various systems such as maternity leave, childcare leave, and shorter hours.
When Yuta saw me after a long time, she said, ‘You’ve had a good life, haven’t you? That made me happy. There was a time when I thought that if I had never gotten married or had children, I would have been able to devote more time to my work. But now, as I look at my two children, a high school student and a junior high school student, I feel glad that I have a family. However, I no longer felt like a ‘man’ to my husband. He wasn’t bad as a family member or a father, but I didn’t feel like I was walking around with him as a partner.”
Looking at Yuta, I couldn’t help but think that if I married such a man, I could always consider him a man.
But when we went out for a drink together and I told him that, he laughed at me. I told him, “But when we went out for a drink together and talked about it, he laughed at me. I don’t think my wife is interested in me anymore. Both of us must have felt a sense of loneliness, as if we had lost touch with our partners. I think there was a feeling of seeking each other somewhere. We got drunk and went to a hotel.
‘Cheating?’ I had no guilt about it.
Midori had never cheated on her husband before, but she did not feel guilty about having an affair with Yuta. She said this was strange even to herself.
I felt like, “What the heck, this is what cheating and adultery are all about. I liked Yuta, and I did what I did on the spur of the moment, but I didn’t feel like I was doing anything wrong. Rather, it was fun, it felt really good, and it was all good. I wanted to spend time alone with her again.”
I didn’t feel the “humidity” inside me that is often associated with young love. I keenly felt the need for verbal and physical conversation rather than such things. So we met again. And I couldn’t get out.
We were in the same company, so I tried not to be noticed by others. We exchanged conversation in a very normal way and gave the impression to others that we were good friends. I kept in touch with them through LINE on LINE. When I returned home, I fulfilled my responsibilities as a mother and father. When it was just the two of us, we would be together as lovers and burn with passion. Those days continued.
She managed to juggle love and marriage, keeping her on and off the clock. Even as her feelings for him grew stronger and stronger, she was able to naturally switch between “being in love” and “being a mother and wife.
We don’t have a lot of time to be alone together. But because they were few and far between, the time they had together became precious and intense.
Changes in the COVID-19 crisis
About a year later, after the COVID-19 crisis had passed, Midori and Yuta’s company began to offer work-from-home programs. Midori’s husband also began to work from home. Yuta’s wife was laid off from her part-time job.
As the family environment changed, the form of their affair had to change as well.
We had a lot of days when it was difficult to see each other. When that happens, people come up with ways to see each other. He said, ‘There is a business hotel between our house and your house that rents out rooms as a working space. He said, ‘We both said it’s hard to work at home, so why don’t we go there during the day? Nice idea, right? On days when my husband works at home, I work at the business hotel. Yuta-san also has a reservation there. We actually do some work, but I get off work early so we can have some time together.”
Her husband said, “You don’t have to go out of your way,” but she insisted, “It’s stressful having two people working from home in one house. Indeed, many Japanese families do not live in such large houses. When her husband monopolizes the living room, she has no choice but to work in the small bedroom. I brought a small desk into the bedroom, but there was no space to spread out materials, etc., so it was convenient to be able to use the hotel for work.
The relationship continued as it was. Since last fall, I have been coming to work almost the same as before at my place of employment, and my husband’s company has also started coming to work three times a week. With the change in environment, Yuta and I felt we needed each other more and more, and we decided to discuss and overcome any problems.”
At the same time, she also realized that her feelings toward her husband were gradually changing. She no longer felt frustrated that she could not see her husband as a man, and was surprised to find herself naturally and sincerely saying “thank you” when he was doing the housework.
It was not out of guilt at all. Perhaps I have come to be able to take a step back and see my husband as a family member. If you look at him as a human being, he is not a bad person, and we get along well as a family. When I speak kind words to my husband, he speaks kindly of me. This is a fact that I got because of the affair.”
Suddenly, the “attack”…
If only I could continue to nurture the relationship with him, discreetly and secretly. But then, at the beginning of this year, an incident occurred. Yuta’s wife suddenly commented on Midori’s SNS, “You are having an affair with my husband, aren’t you?
After that single comment, Midori deleted her account and quit social networking altogether. She was afraid of causing trouble and ending her relationship with her husband.
However, on Monday, Yuta’s wife showed up at the company they both worked at. Midori was not prepared for this unexpected turn of events. Continue to Part 2: What Happened at the End of the “Shuraba” with the Adulterer’s Wife.
Interview and text by： Sanae Kameyama