Japanese daytime drama “Shiawase no jikan”(Toukai TV station), or “Time of Happiness” in English, has become notorious for setting hearts a-racing and palms a-sweating with to its saucy depiction of extramarital liaisons. In this drama both sexes find themselves, in someway or another, indulging in illicit flings, with most of the affairs getting, shall we say ‘messy’, fairly quickly.
As far as dramas go, adultery or some form of sexual depiction is a secure way to increase the viewing ratings, but what about the marital situation of the ‘real’ Japanese housewives out there? A recent poll has the answers!
Japanese housewives were asked the following question:
“After making your marital vows, have you had sexual relations with anyone other than your husband?”
In response to which 14.8% replied “yes”, 85.2% “no”.
Dr. Iwasaki, psychiatrist and director of the Iwasaki Mental Clinic, shed a little light on the possible reason why so few might reply “yes” to this question.
“For most housewives, having a fling is not an easy task: it would seem that most mothers are either busy meeting their female friends or finding an emotional release in a hobby or a new learning skill.”
In this connection, Dr. Iwasaki also added some rather intriguing information about the mechanics of a fling:
“The actual amount of conversation or sex that goes on between husband and wife has no relation on whether or not the partner is likely to commit adultery.”
Of the 14.8% of housewives who confessed to having an affair, 60.8% admitted having liaisons with 2-5 partners, 36.5% said they had taken just one lover, and 2.5% admitted to having had affairs with an unbelievable 6-10 partners!
Mr. Kameyama, an expert in marital relations, adds his own thoughts on the possible reason why, of the 14.8% who admitted to an affair, the numbers of partners they take should be so high:
“Admittedly, 2-5 partners is quite a lot but perhaps one of the biggest factors underlying all of this is that once someone has committed adultery, the psychological hurdle to commit the same act again drops significantly. What makes the situation worse is the deliberate replacement of “adultery” with lighter phrases like “extra-marital love” (“kongai-renai” in Japanese). This serves to diffuse feelings of guilt, something which appears to be in vogue at the present time.”
Members of the public who had engaged in affairs were quizzed as to how long their extramarital activities lasted. A staggering 48.6% answered “three years or more”, 20.3% claimed “less than a year and a half”, while 10.8% admitted to being adulterous for less than one month. Finally, 6.8% of the public said that their affair had lasted 6-12 months.
“When both of the parties indulging in a fling happen to be existing married couples, the presence of the family and children becomes a very delicate issue. On one hand you have these very real sexual desires, but the burden of potentially destroying the family is undoubtedly devastating. Consequentially this type of fling is perhaps the longest lasting type; no one wants to hurt the other party so the fling gets dragged out. What’s more, the widespread use of mobile phones has made it easy to get in contact with others, and creates an environment that makes flings easier to pull off,” comments Mr Kameyama.
Regardless of all this talk of infidelity, what shouldn’t be overlooked here is that an overwhelming majority of Japanese women remain loyal to their marital partner which in itself has got to be worthy of some praise!
Title image: excite.co.jp