Japan: Marriage and “Casual Infidelity”

Shari at My So-Called Japanese Life has a thoughtful piece on the way in which Japanese people, as compared to Americans, view marriage. She writes: “It's always been my impression that the Japanese set the bar “lower” when it comes to the romance part of marriage and “higher” when it comes to each party fulfilling their mutually-agreed upon roles.


  • D

    I live and work in Japan and I’m quite sad at how the men treat women here. In short, men are the least chivelrous of almost any country I’ve visited. It’s a sad fact, but women (regardless of age) are left to fend for themselves through the early years of child rearing and keeping a home. Men provide the money, but very little else in the way of support. Often you will see men walking empty-handed ahead of their wives, while the women are struggling with the children as well as bags of groceries or merchandise. Women wait hand and foot on the men, while the men show no appreciation. The exception to this rule is when the men are single. Japanese have an expression; You don’t feed the fish you’ve already caught. Men put in a little effort while they’re chasing the girls, but afterwards it’s all over for the women. I feel extremely sorry for the women in Japan, as they are not treated fairly at the home or even the institutional level. Japanese men have to shape up and treat women much better than they currently are.

  • Samuel welsh

    also fully agree.
    They should allow thier wifes to work and be more loving towards them.

  • Ross

    To provide in japan and be the only working person in the family means long days and sometimes long commutes after work and before in the mornings too…
    Most husbands spend less than 9 hours at home for 6 days out of the week..
    And the government doesn’t just pay any one here.. You have to have really no money before they help..
    So there is the ongoing pressure of that an the hard work for men..
    And the washing and a bit of shopping for the wives.. And if there is a baby there is a little more work I guess but even then it is customary for the father to bath his children and even that seems like a bit much sometimes..
    So yeh um it’s a wife’s job to to those things
    And really every thing works much better that way and always will so get over it , don’t be lazy

  • mtn_biker

    I don’t at all disagree with Ross, but it doesn’t excuse the lack of consideration and common courtesy for women in general and spouses specifically.men , when they do have free time seem more content to go out drinking with coworkers or hostesses than go home and spend their time and money on their family. And then there are the degenerate pachinko players. This stereotype does not include everyone, but it’s extremely common in Japan. Japanese men must shape up if they ever want to be looked at as a catch rather than some inevitable fate that a woman must attach herself to on order to have children. Watch foreign men and see how they treat their women and you might just get a clue as to how to act.

  • tcapy

    Well, I’m not sure that Japanese women have it so bad. There are a lot of career women, and they seem to have more freedom, in terms of what is expected. For example, I get the impression that women here (both housewives and career women) can indulge in affairs with less expectation of disastrous consquences. Maybe this is because it is expected that their husbands are having affairs also, but that isn’t always the case. Also, I’ve noticed in the cases of international marriages of Japanese women with Western men, that the wives are often annoyed that the husband does _not_ go out drinking with the colleagues every work night.

    • Juah Thao

      That’s what my Japanese wife complained to me. I was too much a domestic husband. Now after 19 years three children,hard work and loyalty, Found out she had been having an affair with her childhood friend for the last 2year…End of Marriage..

  • Anne curtis

    So damn true.

  • Ezz Wheadon

    I would love to read this article but it looks like you need to be invited to read it? Is it possible to get access? I’d love to read more about this.

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