I want to leave my boyfriend but he’s demanding breakup money

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I am a divorced woman in my 40s with an adult daughter and a daughter in high school. I have been dating a divorced man in his 60s for eight years.

A few months ago when we were all traveling together, he lost his temper and went back to the hotel. I was disgusted by his selfish behavior and was totally fed up with him. My daughters do not want to see him anymore.

I am also not happy with the fact that when we had a fight, he said, “If you leave me, give me ¥2 million as breakup money.”

It is true that I started seeing him with an expectation of financial support. However, even though he paid for our trips, he did not provide any financial support, such as paying for my daughters’ school fees, and I have never asked him to.

Formally, he and I have reconciled, but I have not really forgiven him. Both our families have been getting along, but I would be lying to myself if I continue to date him. I am wondering if I should just break up with him, or forgive him and mediate between him and my daughters.

— Q, Saitama Prefecture

Dear Ms. Q:

As you are not married or live together, it goes without saying that love kept the two of you together. If “love” is too heavy, replace it with trust and intimacy. Even though both of your families got along well, you stayed together because of your feelings for each other.

How you feel is most important. If your feelings have changed, then it is natural that you would choose to part ways. There is no need to lie to yourself.

What I am concerned about is what he said about the breakup money. It is not a small sum, but were you in a relationship that warrants such an amount in the first place?

If he is making unreasonable demands, you should firmly refuse. Of course, you should not make demands either. You need to calmly talk to him about the situation.

You have enjoyed the relationship for eight years, which is wonderful. You must have shared many unforgettable and precious moments. In order to cherish those memories, I think it would be better for both of you to express your gratitude and end the relationship once and for all.

Your daughters will grow up and eventually leave the nest. Your life is not over yet.

— Tomomi Fujiwara, writer