My husband is having an affair, and I want revenge

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a woman in my 60s. I have raised two children, and I’m now in a management position at work. I live a full life with my lovely grandchildren.

However, one problem I don’t know how to deal with is my husband’s infidelity. I thought that I had to be tolerant because I chose him as a partner, but he seems to be a womanizer by nature.

Lately, I often feel that I can’t take it anymore. Each time I considered getting a divorce, some other problems came up and I lost my chance. He is a lucky man. I’m angry at myself for not doing anything.

My husband is in his mid-60s. He is kind when at home, but continues with his affair. I am also left to take care of my mother-in-law, which leaves me frustrated, though it is not her fault.

I guess it will be like this for the rest of my life, but I want to get revenge on him in some way. My husband will not necessarily die before me. Is there anything I can do that would bring me some satisfaction?

— N, Osaka Prefecture

Dear Ms. N:

There is nothing scarier than realizing that something strange has happened without your knowledge. A satisfying act of revenge may make you feel good at that moment, but it won’t last long. Instead, you should apply pressure on him over a period of time. That would be revenge on your husband, who has been enjoying a life of infidelity beyond the watchful eye of his busy wife.

For example, prepare fewer dishes for him, or clean all but his own room or personal spaces. If his clothes are frayed, don’t fix them. If he tells you something, pretend you are not aware of what he said, and gradually neglect household chores in such a way he won’t notice the changes quickly.

It is also crucial to ensure your husband takes care of your mother-in-law himself by telling him that you are busy with work.

All of these things might be difficult to do for someone who is dependable and gentle like you, but I am sure the fact that the household is perfect in spite of his absence is part of the reason for his arrogance. It will be great if he realizes his wife’s changes in attitude and learns he has to do things on his own.

— Hazuki Saisho, writer