Thursday, September 04, 2008

AFFAIRS OF THE HEART


In Japan, there are companies that will help you get rid of an unwanted spouse, retrieve a straying one, get back with an ex or even get together with someone you’ve seen but don’t yet know. With all the technology and expertise in human psychology at their disposal, these companies, for a fee, will do it for you.

It used to be when a divorced woman was shunned by the Japanese society, doomed unlikely to remarry; thus, Japanese wives put up with any amount of infidelity and abuse.. Not anymore. Tomiya was one of those who founded such companies. "People want to be happy,” he said, and this desire has resulted to an enormous increase in divorces and in companies such as GNC that Tomiya founded 16 years ago. It now has branches across Japan.

Tomiya's staff perform all sorts of services, from trailing a straying spouse or looking into the background of a marriage or job candidate, to dealing with stalkers, domestic violence, sexual harassment, even hackers. But his main job is sorting relationship problems. In the past year alone he has dealt with 2,000 cases.

Some of the cases handled by Tomiya's company entails the use of professional seducers to help unhappy wives build a case for divorcing their husbands. Take this one case, for instance:

3.30pm. Mr A is outside a bank in a busy part of Ikebukuro, a faintly seedy area of Tokyo, waiting for his date. He beams as she teeters across the road on high heels. Kyoko, 20, is half his age. She has a mane of black hair, sloe eyes, a fetching smile and a cute giggle. Her blouse is open to reveal her cleavage and she has on a short skirt and sheer black tights. Mr A is a bald 40-year-old salesman in a crumpled grey suit and glasses.

Mr A met Kyoko by chance in the street; the first time she asked him for directions, then they bumped into each other again, and since then they have been exchanging flirtatious texts.

They stop off at a cigarette machine, then go to a cheap basement restaurant for spaghetti. He has bought her moisturiser and cleanser. She giggles coyly: “Next time, why don’t you give me a ring?” At 4.30 they’re outside a pawnbroker’s, looking at rings. Their shoulders touch, then they reach for each other’s hands.

Click here to read the rest.


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Here in Manila, even though divorced or legally separated women are not ostracized, there are those who, due to unknown reasons, opt to remain living with their abusive, alcoholic, or unfaithful husbands. One of whom is someone I know, Matilda (not her real name) who has been married to a relative of mine, Juancho (not his real name, either) for 35 years. Juancho has been maintaining another family.

Manila, being a small city, word got around from the onset. Juancho didn't deny it when confronted; however, he refused to let go of his other family in which he has two sons, while she refused to heed the advice of everyone: to leave him and move on with her life. Their four children are now done with college and enjoying their adulthood; two are married.

And although the situation brings her insurmountable grief, Matilda, has somehow convinced herself that she could change her husband and eventually win him back completely. It has been ten years.

Juancho divides his time between living with Matilda in Manila and with the other younger woman in the province where he maintains a business. A few months ago, Matilda had a terrible accident that caused severe injury to her spinal column. She was prescribed a regular dose of pain killers to assuage the excruciating back pain, as well as a series of physical therapy to help her walk again.

Despite being upset about this cruel twist of fate that befell Matilda, Juancho continues to divide his time between Matilda and the other younger woman -- much to Matilda's disappointment. She was hoping that this accident would awaken his senses to leave his other family. Regrettably, it didn't turn out that way.

Last I ran into him and asked about her condition, Juancho said that she is now walking but on very limited stretches. And then he muttered, "She should have just let me go instead of harboring all that anger for the other one all through these years." I was dumbfounded. But the earnestness in his eyes conveyed the love for the other woman far outweighs the love he has for his legal wife Matilda.


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In Nigeria, religious leader Mohammadu Bello Abubakar, who is 84, accepted an Islamic decree that would force him to divorce 82, or 95 percent, of his 86 wives; allowing him to keep only four.

According to a BBC report, one of Nigeria's top Islamic bodies, the Jamatu Nasril Islam, sentenced Abubakar to death last week. The sentence was lifted but he was threatened with eviction from his home. Mr Abubakar had earlier challenged Islamic scholars, saying there was no punishment stated in the Koran for having more than four wives.

"I have not contravened any established law that would warrant my being banished from the land... There is no law that says one must not marry more than four wives," the AFP news agency reported him as saying.




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posted by Señor Enrique at 5:28 AM


32 Comments:

Blogger EM said...

Very hot topic Senior. Controversial and sensitive. I would've ran far away if I'm Matilda. Find my own happiness or let happiness find me.

It's better to have loved and lost, than not be able to love at all.

thanks for the story. it reminds me of my own story...hehe

September 04, 2008 8:08 AM  

Blogger FilMasons NSW said...

Very hot indeed; and also very interesting. I am just amazed how we, as a Catholic/Christian nation somehow tolerate "two family system" (or more!). Even tricycle drivers would have two wives, so it is not only for the rich.

An eye opener as well re Japanese "companies that will help you get rid of an unwanted spouse". I am glad I am not in Japan, otherwise I would've been "got rid of"! LOL.

September 04, 2008 9:44 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hi EM,

My sister Inday has a low threshold for emotional pain so one day, she just packed up her stuff and took their three kids with her. She was miserable and uncertain in the beginning, but as time passed, she became more confident in raising the kids on her own without the womanizing husband.

As for Matilda, lesson to be learned foremost is that we are powerless to change anyone. I grew up with Juancho, and since his younger days, he has always been a 'playboy' ... and could be a jerk at that at times. Matilda, as we all tried to convince her, should have just focused on her own happiness and the kids'. She could've even remarried if she wanted to. Irony of it all is that money has never been an issue with either one of them so, she could've actually pursued whatever she desired; even live abroad for years if she wanted to. All we could do now is pray for her full and immediate recovery.

This is indeed a controversial and sensitive issue, but hopefully, we all learn from others' experiences.

Thanks EM :)

September 04, 2008 10:06 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

If I were a contemporary Japanese woman looking at how contemporary suffering Pinays would deal with erring husbands, I would be dumbfounded at the sheer stupidity. If I were a very traditional Japanese woman observing the same, I would sympathize.
I can also see myself in Matilda, look so pathetic so maaawa o magi-guilty yung asawa ko. But I have come to realize that a man usually knows what he wants. Shot gun marriages can be tragic for the woman in the long run.
There is still in our collective Unconscious about the Feminine gender which makes women clutch at being recognized and dignified---such as marriage and partnerships. To be single, independent and even childless is tolerated by societies but still frowned upon nevertheless. matandang dalaga, diborsyado, kabit at baog---negative connotations and usually said with a smirk or whispers. When you talk babaero, depende on the company. It is usually said with pride among men. The usual phrase the is said in prideful jest "ano ang gagawin ng tandang kung inihahain na ang patuka?" But when the wife starts to wear make-up, the erring husband (with chums) will say "pakawala!"
I guess machismo started even with the Bible ;-)..

September 04, 2008 10:09 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

"I am glad I am not in Japan, otherwise I would've been "got rid of"! LOL."

I don't believe you, Mario, mainly because I think you have your fellow brothers to contend with if you were to do such dishonorable thing ... hehehe.

But you're right! Even provincial bus drivers and conductors seem to thrive in their image as chick magnets, including our policemen.

Too much, eh!

September 04, 2008 10:26 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

"To be single, independent and even childless is tolerated by societies but still frowned upon nevertheless. matandang dalaga, diborsyado, kabit at baog---negative connotations and usually said with a smirk or whispers."

How true, indeed, Bernadette. This is why many of our women are forced to marry just anyone to avoid such stigma. But on my father side, four aunts opted to be old maids, and they all seemed to have enjoyed a fruitful life despite being single. And I think it was from them that my sister had inherited the steely resolve to leave her unfaithful husband.

And to this day, there is that double standard that somehow glorify the womanizing male but quick to deplore a woman should she demonstrate an interest to seek her bliss.

I hope none of our younger women opt for the same choice as Matilda had made, for no one has the power to change anybody.

September 04, 2008 10:38 AM  

Blogger BW said...

I think it is high time for divorce to be allowed in Pinas. Whether the court's decision can be effectively enforced is the 64 dollar question.

82 wives? What if they're all naggers? hehe.. they say 4 quiet wives is better than 1 nagger wife LOL :)

September 04, 2008 10:52 AM  

Blogger EM said...

"We are powerless to change anyone".

Very true, the change should come from within that person. Without any persuasion or influence. It's a personal choice. It's one of the risks one has to accept when entering such commitment. That one day, one of you will make that choice.

I wonder how many couples have remained faithful to each other at this time and age? In terms of percentage? 5? 10?

September 04, 2008 11:00 AM  

Blogger ka tony said...

Hi Eric,

T.E.Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), said... "the most difficult subject to discuss on this earth are; Religion, Politics & Women (or Men)."

I second that emotion!!!
...I was married to a Muslim Palestinian & lived in Jerusalem for two years.
...I was incarcerated & tortured for my ideology during the time of the "dupang" dictator marcos.
...I was divorced & working so hard on my second marriage!

...need not say more.
Ramadan Mubarak Eric,
ka tony

September 04, 2008 11:51 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

God created sex. Priests created marriage. ~Voltaire

I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. ~Rita Rudner

Marriage: A legal or religious ceremony by which two persons of the opposite sex solemnly agree to harass and spy on each other for ninety-nine years, or until death do them join. ~Elbert Hubbard

A wedding is just like a funeral except that you get to smell your own flowers. ~Grace Hansen

Why do married men gain weight while bachelors don't? Bachelors go to the refrigerator, see nothing they want, then go to bed. Married guys go to the bed, see nothing they want, then go to the refrigerator. ~Author Unknown

September 04, 2008 1:34 PM  

Anonymous El Cineasta said...

Relationships are not always sugarcoated. In fact, I am also one of those people who shall we say have experienced the ups and downs of love. I think the best thing to do is to love unconditionally and not to expect anything in return, enjoy it while it last.

September 04, 2008 1:45 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

For the sake of the mental health of everyone involved, including the children, I agree with you, BW -- divorce ought to be a legal option here; However, it may not come to pass considering the grip that the Church has on our politicos.

Won't it be hilarious if all 86 of those wives were chronic shopaholics? Hehehe.

September 04, 2008 8:56 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

"I wonder how many couples have remained faithful to each other at this time and age? In terms of percentage? 5? 10?"

Lol! Based on those within my circle of relatives, as far as men are concerned, about 90 percent had dabbled in extramarital affairs. I just don't know about the women, though.

That's right, EM, we cannot change anybody. We can only change the way we think about that somebody. That's about it.

September 04, 2008 9:01 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Enough said, Ka Tony ... hehehe!

I almost went to Israel for one whole summer to join a kibbutz, that one of my best friends was involved in. Unfortunately, the company I was working for refused to allow me to take a leave of absence for such purpose because of what was going on in Israel at that time. It was very much a Jewish company, too, and everyone there could be "motherly" to a fault ... hehehe.

September 04, 2008 9:05 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Lol ... all very funny, Sidney!

But you know what? A sense of humor is what we need more so than marriage :)

September 04, 2008 9:08 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

"I think the best thing to do is to love unconditionally and not to expect anything in return, enjoy it while it last."

Amen, El Cineasta!

September 04, 2008 9:11 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I'd like to share this with everyone:

Excerpts from "The Freedom To Love Again"
by J. Kennedy Shultz

A Round of Applause

We live in a day and age where people don't have to get married no matter what -- in order to be respectable.

We live in a day and age when people don't have to get married and stay married to be economically secure or religiously approved. We live in a day and age where people don't have to be married at all, and I think this is absolutely wonderful. We have reached a point in time when we have more and more economic, social, and religious freedom to live as individuals for as long as we need to or care to.

I do not lament the high divorce rate. I think a high divorce rate is a sign of mental health, not moral decay. I applaud those people who have the courage to leave a marriage behind when it is not a joyful, fulfilling thing for all concerned. If you are such a person ou deserve a big round of applause. You ought to congratulate yourself every day of your life for getting free of something that was making neither yourself nor your partner happy. Even if the divorce wasn't your idea, even if you're that one that got left, such congratulations are still in order. You don't have to start out right, you just have to end up right.

Now is the time to get over the guilt, to get over the anger, and to become really free to learn what you have to know in order to live your life in a better, more positive way. Become free to love life just as it is. Free to know how to give love to all the facets of your life, right now and every single day of your life. Love life just as you find it and you will see love grow because love grows by the living and the giving of it.

September 04, 2008 11:18 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

And this one:

Excerpts from "The Freedom To Love Again"
by J. Kennedy Shultz

Get Over It!

I grew up in a very pious, very respectable family in a very pious and very respectable society.

Divorce was unheard of. Absolutely unheard of! Actually, it wasn't unheard of, it was just un-listened to. This was a world where you stayed married "no matter what." Everyone in my family, and those amongst the friends of my family, was quite proud that no one knew anyone who was divorced.

While there may have been no divorce, there was a lot of unhappiness. A lot of lovelessness, a lot of alcoholism, a lot of wife beating, a lot of merciless hen-pecking, a lot of child abuse and a lot of other very bad things were ignored for the combined sake of pride and marriage. A lot of people led some very ugly lives and endured some very unfulfilling relationships. But they stuck it out. To the death!

They did have lovely funerals, though. That was their reward. Tons of gladiolas and carnations, lots of incense, a very high Mass, and a lead lined crypt. Lead line crypts were very important, of course. God forbid one single worm should should get one single bite out of the precious carcass. We kicked it around for years while it was still alive but now, let it rest in peace.

September 04, 2008 11:19 PM  

Blogger Panaderos said...

The last two quotes were wise and meaningful, Eric. I've advised someone very close to me that if ever she needed advice (she's separated from her husband) that the best people to speak to are people who have gone through the experience themselves.

I am saying this in the Philippine context where a lot of people tend to be in denial that they're stuck in unhappy and/or failing marriages. They'd rather preach the virtues of staying together for the sake of the kids (a favorite excuse) than about the need to liberate people from unhappy lives.

A healthy and honest discussion about the need to legalize divorce needs to take place in our country and it needs to happen NOW. Our continued failure to do so denies thousands, if not millions, of our countrymen their right to pursue happiness.

September 05, 2008 9:17 AM  

Blogger nutart said...

just another comment, Eric! I was half of my life single and I guess half of it as married to my German guy. I studied in a school where we were being poised to become housewives and homemakers. Even my lesbian classmate still acts like a housewife to her partner :-).
So, my cent of view is to just enjoy life kasi when I was single, married friends would ask why not get married/ Now that I am married, why not have children. I just think misery loves company ;-).
But going back to what I was driving at, my marriage has turned from miserable to satisfying. I guess it is because we just had got to know each other and prayed a lot to love each other! I don't know if that had changed us in personal ways, but it sure had changed our way of relating with each other!

September 05, 2008 10:22 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

"I am saying this in the Philippine context where a lot of people tend to be in denial that they're stuck in unhappy and/or failing marriages."

And this, Panaderos, may be the reason why we see so many angry local folks: as demonstrated by their driving habits; increase in alcoholism amongst our children as young as 12 years old; growing number of women who suffer in silence from constant verbal, and even in some cases, physical abuse from their embittered espouses; and the lack of any reason for many local folks to feel love for themselves and family, and for our country.

And since they've been deprived their basic right to pursue happiness, why should they want to see others happy?

September 05, 2008 10:41 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

From what I learned through these years, Bernadette, is that for relationships to remain fulfilling, both partners must have a common goal to look forward to.

Also, I think, one should enter a relationship more with the attitude to bring something spiritually-enriching to it, and not at all with what to get from it.

Just my two cents :)

September 05, 2008 11:32 PM  

Blogger mirage2g said...

Selfishness has no place in marriage. Its a decision made by a couple, gun shot or willingly...

A true man would stick to this decision kahit ilang palay pa ang lumapit sa kanya...cliche: di daw kanin ang pag-aasawa na niluluwa pag napaso. Sungit ba? inis talaga ko sa mga lalaking di magkasya sa isa at sa mga babaeng pumapatol sa may asawa--selfish! Hmph!
--
As for Matilda, she surely has the right to divorce Juancho because of adultery...the bible does allow this as ground for divorce as well as 'life being in danger,' and 'irresponsibility.' Yun nga lang wala ngang divorce, ano bang difference ng annullment sa pinas?

September 06, 2008 4:53 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I am also puzzled by some women who go for married men despite knowing about it all beforehand, Mirage 2G.

I had a friend in NYC once who claimed its was a mere summer fling. But then it turned into years. She only mustered the courage and emotional strength to call it quits when she realized he was never going to leave his wife and children for her.

As for Matilda, she should have just prioritized her own happiness and well-being, and focused on what she could possibly do to enhance her life and the kids' -- instead of being engrossed all these years on winning back her husband completely. Again, the irony of it all is that she is just as rich as her husband if not even more and doesn't need any financial support from him; she could have chosen a wonderful and anger-free life as a single mom.

September 06, 2008 7:22 AM  

Blogger FilMasons NSW said...

On the same subject, just wanting to share the following:

"The 'cheat gene': why men stray 4/09/2008 4:33:00 PM, Next

Discovering your partner has been unfaithful can leave you devastated and looking for somewhere to place blame. However, if a report out this week by the Karolinska Institute is to be believed, it's not the man's fault. According to this study, men can't help themselves — it's the 'love rat' gene they were born with.

Cheating and genes linked
Researchers found that some men inherit a genetic variant that affects the hormone vasopressin, which can in turn effect a man's attitude to fidelity and monogamy. The study looked at more than 1000 heterosexual couples and found that when the gene was present, infidelity in the relationship was more common.

Nurture versus nature
But before all the Lotharios out there get carried away with this excuse (and swarms of divorce lawyers take it to court), many an expert would beg to differ. Psychotherapist and author of The Truth About Cheating, Gary Neuman, is one for the nurture over nature school of thought.

Who is to blame?
After having interviewed 200 men from across the US, Neuman concludes that genetics had little to do with relationship breakdowns, which were more likely the result of a bad situation. Neuman found that, far from the common perception of straying men seeking younger models, it was more to do with men feeling under-appreciated by their partners and growing emotionally distant. It's a controversial theory that puts the onus of male infidelity on women.

In his research, only 8 percent of men pointed to sex as a reason for an affair; 12 percent said it was down to their new partner's looks; while 77 percent of cheaters had best friends who had been unfaithful.

Start talking

Neuman does offer a solution for troubled relationships: talking. He points to a lack of communication as the root of most issues, suggesting couples spend at least 45 minutes in conversation, without interruption, four times a week. Followed up with a two-hour date where the subjects of money, children and work are vetoed.

Whether the 'cheat gene' exists or not, experts point out that, as humans, we can still weigh up the consequences of our actions and control our decisions. In other words, it's not a valid excuse, fellas."

http://health.ninemsn.com.au/healthnews/?blogentryid=197260&showcomments=true

September 06, 2008 9:58 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

"Whether the 'cheat gene' exists or not, experts point out that, as humans, we can still weigh up the consequences of our actions and control our decisions."

This agree with, Mario, whether that cheat gene does exist or not. We are responsible for every action that we take.

But I like Newuman's suggestion for "couples to spend at least 45 minutes in conversation, without interruption, four times a week."

Thanks for sharing this intriguing article :)

BTW, check out these newlyweds who didn't want their party to end. They were tasered and arrested at their raucous wedding reception, and two days later they were tasered and arrested again.

"The short version of the story is they didn't want to quit their partying," said Mike Sepic, Berrien County, Mich., chief assistant prosecutor. "If you put this in the class of wedding receptions gone bad, I guess this would take the cake."

And the story didn't end after the reception. Two nights later, the bride and groom were again arrested in Michigan -- and again shocked by a stun gun -- after struggling with police investigating a noise complaint, Sepic said. The groom was charged with pushing his new wife down during that incident, but the charge was later dropped as part of a plea bargain, Sepic said.

Talk about being extremely happy for getting married ... hehehe.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/1112809,CST-NWS-wed18.article

September 06, 2008 11:05 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

heartless and cruel JUANCHO...as 4 MATILDA she's really a fighter and MARTYR cant believe she's ok with that..if i were her i would send my husband and the other woman to jail...much better to hell...uso pa pla un ngayon ang martir effect..hehehe

September 07, 2008 12:03 AM  

Blogger dave (",) said...

Most of the matters have been discussed already by people more experienced than I am, so I won't add any more into that.

I'd just like to say that when you mentioned about those Japanese companies, I remembered a certain anime entitled Kure-nai. The male lead was sidelining as a "conflict specialist" while still in high school(!) and I thought no such job existed. However your entry proved it actually had a basis in reality. Still, the job is not the most scandalous thing about this anime.

September 07, 2008 12:26 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

THat's right, Anonymous!

From what I understand, no one dared be the first to send her husband to jail for adultery because many Manilenyos might end up serving time ... hehehe.

Yes, martyrdom seems to the thing these days for some women. And come to think of it, most of these are smart women, but they just tend to make foolish decisions when it comes to the matters of the heart. Ayayay!

September 07, 2008 8:47 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hi dave ... how are you?

'Conflict specialist' I like that. Apparently the anime writers are quite savvy when making their characters 'believable'; thus they have to be really in touch with current trends. But I'm intrigued about this: "till, the job is not the most scandalous thing about this anime." Hehehe. Enjoy your weekend!

September 07, 2008 9:05 AM  

OpenID juleste said...

Affairs of the heart… a good topic for a rainy evening :)

Have you heard about the urban legend about the philandering/abusive husband and his martyr/battered wife?

This was narrated to me by a friend months ago. The martyr/battered wife finally had it when the philandering/abusive husband brought his mistress to their own house. Shocked and dismayed, the wife managed to gather her strength and think of something to make her husband pay for all the things he did to her.

One day, with the help of a man that she could trust, she prepared her husband’s favorite food and made him drink his favorite wine. Drunk and clueless, the wife and the man chained up the husband in one corner of the house and they waited until he became sober.

At nang mahimasmasan na ang malupit na esposo na nakatali sa isang poste ng bahay…

The wife and the man who helped her, stripped and made love right in front of him. The husband was hopelessly chained so he couldn’t do anything but watch his wife and the man.

And because he witnessed something he never imagined that his wife could do, he suffered a stroke and died right on the spot.

Poetic justice..

September 12, 2008 1:19 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

You mean he died a quick death, Juleste? Served him right, nonetheless.

Here in the Manila, I hear of stories of abused housewives which makes me ask myself: in this day and age? Sadly, and I don't know the real reason(s), there are some women who opt to remain with their philandering husbands :(

September 12, 2008 5:01 AM  

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