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Maciamo
Dec 8, 2004, 15:37
How much freedom are you ready to give to your boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife ?

When I say "with another man/woman" in the poll, it means of the opposite sex, except for gays.

I surely would never accept my wife to have sex or travel overnight with another man. I am pretty jealous when it comes to her having dinner, doing activities or just meeting other male friends, even more if they are ex-boyfriends, however I accept it because that gives me the same freedom, and as long as nobody cheats or falls in love with someone else it's ok. As for nightclubs, I am very reluctant to let her go without me, even if I do let her go with other female friends.

Brooker
Dec 8, 2004, 16:06
I never tell a girlfriend what she can or can't do. She can do whatever she wants, BUT she has to know that if she does certain things, I'll be gone. Such as giving her affection to anyone, male or female, other than me. BAM, relationship is over.

I could never be with someone I had to control. I'd rather let her do her thing and hopefully her thing and my thing will include eachother. But you can't force it to.

If it were my wife, I'd be a little more "strict" though because (in theory) leaving the relationship because of such things shouldn't be an option. Hopefully I would have a trust and understanding about such things before she became my wife.

Bob in Iowa
Dec 8, 2004, 20:21
I think that a successful relationship has a foundation of mutual trust whereby neither person controls the other and whereby each person shows respect for the other by not violating that trust.

Maciamo
Dec 8, 2004, 22:07
I think that a successful relationship has a foundation of mutual trust whereby neither person controls the other and whereby each person shows respect for the other by not violating that trust.

But what if you trust someone and they cheat on you without you knowing it - ever ! Trust is one think, but it does not always equals with reality. What bothers me most is not even to be cheated on without my knowing it (as I don;t know it), but STD's, especially AIDS. I guess nobody would want to play with their own life by trusting their partner too much. I am not sure I can ever trust someone 100%. Maybe 99,9% but not 100%. This little percentage remaining can have dramatic consequences for some people and not only fatal STD's (see thread "Are you your father's child" (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2636)).

If my wife had a child, I'd make a DNA test, even if I trust her. I am not to kind of person to invest all a life's time and money to find out decades later (or never) that my child is actually not mine. Could also be that the babies were mistakenly exchanged at the maternity. There is only a tiny little chance of it happening, but I just cannot take such risks. It's so easy to do a little DNA test nowadays and that can save lots of troubles. That is just to illustrate the way I think; never take anything for granted.

Remember also that 'love is blind', which is not a good thing for 'trust'.

mad pierrot
Dec 8, 2004, 22:57
Brooker summed it up for me.

I've never had to tell my girlfriend not to do something. Point 1- They know that kind of sh*t won't fly with me, Point 2- I don't believe any of my girlfriends would ever do anything like that.

Love is blind, but so is Justice.
You can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish.
Time flies. Fruit flies like a banana.

Bob in Iowa
Dec 8, 2004, 22:57
But what if you trust someone and they cheat on you without you knowing it - ever ! Trust is one think, but it does not always equals with reality. What bothers me most is not even to be cheated on without my knowing it (as I don;t know it), but STD's, especially AIDS. I guess nobody would want to play with their own life by trusting their partner too much. I am not sure I can ever trust someone 100%. Maybe 99,9% but not 100%.

The other half of the equation is respect, and for this to work there must be respect on behalf of both people not to violate the trust of the other.

I will admit that my statement was simplistic, however putting these principles into practice is far from simple, but it can and does work.

TwistedMac
Dec 8, 2004, 23:00
I put complete trust in my partner.
She can do whatever she wants. Stay in hotelrooms with men and stuff doesn't bother me one bit because I trust her not to go any further than that.
It also makes it very easy if she DOES go further.
Total trust comes with total responsibility. If she makes one bad turn and gives in to temptation so to speak, I'm outa there and she most probably wont see me ever again even as a friend...

(If she just breaks up with me, We'll usually stay friends... note "if she" as I've never broken up with a girl... sorta... there was this one time, but it doesn't count cuz we weren't "going steady" in the first place.. she just thought we were...)

Maciamo
Dec 9, 2004, 09:35
Total trust comes with total responsibility. If she makes one bad turn and gives in to temptation so to speak, I'm outa there and she most probably wont see me ever again even as a friend...

Yes, but how are you going to find out what she really did ? Any woman (or man) with a bit of a brain will never tell their partner they cheated on him (her) if they know that would end the relationship and they do no want to.

I guess living in a huge city like Tokyo, full of love hotels and people you will never know, and having read times and again about the promiscuity of Japanese people and their naivete regarding sex and STD's (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=751), and last but not least the way Japanese morals (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10167) work (as long as other people don't know, it's not wrong as they do not feel sad or angry about it), that tends to make me a bit paranoiac.

TwistedMac
Dec 9, 2004, 09:44
Yes, but how are you going to find out what she really did ? Any woman (or man) with a bit of a brain will never tell their partner they cheated on him (her) if they know that would end the relationship and they do no want to.
Yeah, but I figure she's innocent until proven guilty...
Maybe it's a sort of out of sight, out of mind thing.
If I don't know about it, she hasn't done it. If I found out about it, I asume she's been doing it all along and is a total wh**e.

RockLee
Dec 9, 2004, 09:46
Yes, but how are you going to find out what she really did ? Any woman (or man) with a bit of a brain will never tell their partner they cheated on him (her) if they know that would end the relationship and they do no want to. Some ppl are just not capable of hiding...even if they have brains...it's just their gutfeeling that can't take it anymore..

Maciamo
Dec 9, 2004, 16:30
Some ppl are just not capable of hiding...even if they have brains...it's just their gutfeeling that can't take it anymore..

Yes but that can be learned with experience. Women are also better at finding about lies than men, so they have easier to lie to a man too.

DoctorP
Dec 9, 2004, 18:53
Well, I don't see how you can check the first three and not the fourth one?

My wife and I switch nights out all the time. She would never let me go out with an old girlfriend though! :p I'm not worried about any of her old boyfriends though.

As a matter of fact, she is out right now with about 20 girlfriends at dinner, then Karaoke, then maybe a club...no big deal

Duo
Dec 9, 2004, 21:54
I think Maciamo brings up a very valid point. I mean even though someone might love u blindfully, if she goes let's so to a club with her lady friends, gets drunk, is in a party mood, a bit stressed from married life, work and seeing the husband little, she wants to relax and just have a good time, then sm Fabio lookin mofo might come along, and 1+1 = 2, bam she ends up doin stuff with the guy in the club or in his car, or watever. How would you know ? U might be away on sm trip that night. I think we should trust people, but also realize that these things happen constantly, and the people that do them, many times love their partner, but this is life, if certain conditions are right, this stuff happens.

Elizabeth
Dec 9, 2004, 22:31
I guess living in a huge city like Tokyo, full of love hotels and people you will never know, and having read times and again about the promiscuity of Japanese people and their naivete regarding sex and STD's (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=751), and last but not least the way Japanese morals (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10167) work (as long as other people don't know, it's not wrong as they do not feel sad or angry about it), that tends to make me a bit paranoiac.
There definately needs to be trust and space for an honest dialogue -- but with him living in Tokyo, purporting to stay away from prostitutes for fear of disease....then factoring in my sympathy with Japanese morals and, well, as long as it isn't another involved, long-term relationship it's reasonable to assume there isn't much that can be done in either case. Besides breaking off any physical contact and remaining friends, which would be needlessly spiteful and counterproductive, from my perspective at least. :-)

mad pierrot
Dec 9, 2004, 23:51
I think it comes down to how much you trust yourself; not the other person. I know this sounds a bit strange, but think about it. Most people judge others based on their own feelings. This includes personal standards and weaknesses. That is, if I know that I'd cheat at cards, by extension I know there are definately other people who would to. The same thing applies in reverse. For example, if I know I can endure 8 hours of work a day, other people should be able to do it, too. Of course, should isn't would. Heh.

Maybe my cheese slid off my cracker.
:p

jovial_jon
Dec 9, 2004, 23:57
Mad Pierrot - 666th post!!! evilllll

But my thoughts are as thus; give them as much freedom as humanly possible. Although that doesn't stop me from being a paranoid wreck. :okashii:

playaa
Dec 10, 2004, 00:11
Agreeing with what brooker said above..

misa.j
Dec 10, 2004, 05:57
Yeah, we live in the woods, there aren't many distractions up in the north where we are...
That doesn't mean that we can't cheat on each other, but we just don't. Neither of us likes the drama.

Some customer whom I rarely had a conversation before, had asked me if I was married at the store I worked. It made me uncomfortable all day that I couldn't wait to tell my husband about it because I knew that he could make me feel better.

Apollo
Dec 10, 2004, 22:33
I don't see any problem with going to dinner with someone from the opposite sex, doing activities like sports, or...going to nightclubs with my friends without our "other halves".... :-)

Maciamo
Dec 10, 2004, 22:42
I don't see any problem with going to dinner with someone from the opposite sex, doing activities like sports, or...going to nightclubs with my friends without our "other halves".... :-)

Wouldn't be even a bit jealous if your boyfriend/husband had some "romantic" face to face dinner in a French restaurant with another woman (which happens to be a very good friend), or if he went regularily to nightclubs with the same girls/women, or went to a karaoke all-night again with some other woman ?

Personally I already don't like seeing my wife dancing (salsa, etc.) with another man, even if I stand 2m from there (although I let her do, as she would complain that I am too possessive otherwise). Funny as I didn't use to be so jealous a few years ago (but I wasn't married). At the contrary, I didn't care much.

nekosasori
Dec 10, 2004, 23:11
I personally object to the question - I think freedom is something that we all should have as individuals, and conversely, it is not something we can "dispense" to our spouses. The most we can reasonably do is make our insecurities and concerns known to our partners, and be honest about the fact that we all have certain limits, to what we feel our partners doing.

I've been on trips (not sharing a room) but on my own where I've met up with several male friends, with whom I've been close emotionally but never involved with romantically, since I got married. The way I see it, I respect myself, my husband, and my marriage too much to let anything happen - and my husband realizes this about me and therefore trusts me. Likewise, while I haven't met my husband's friends (all living overseas, as are mine) I trust my husband to act responsibly. And this, I might add, has nothing to do with the morals (or lack thereof) that we were brought up with.

Also, the nightclubbing/dancing whatnot is a moot question for us because we're not social butterflies and neither enjoys it. I doubt I would have married whom I did if he got an ego boost out of flirting with women, to be honest - that would be an incompatibility (as would various other things I could probably live with but if I don't have to, why would I?)

miu
Dec 11, 2004, 05:16
I had a boyfriend who was so possessive that I ended up losing a lot fo friends because he didn't want me to meet anyone :/ I couldn't even talk with any guy other than ask "what time it is" etc. The things you do for love, huh? I don't want a guy to be a total push-over but the limit just goes somewhere... Live and learn, as they say :wary:

In my oppinion jealousy has a lot to do with not trusting the other person. Some people don't even realise how much it can hurt when you act jealous all the time and make the other person seem very untrustworthy when s/he isn't, they just think about themselves. It's funny how the whole jealousy thing can be a two-bladed dagger (if that's the right way to say it): if you're not jealous at all, the other perosn might think you don't care about him/her and if you're too jealous, the other perosn feels like you don't trust him/her at all.

My brother has a theory that when you look at a couple, usually only the husband's friends make up most of their friends. Makes sense evolutionally, doesn't it :)

Maciamo
Dec 11, 2004, 10:36
I had a boyfriend who was so possessive that I ended up losing a lot fo friends because he didn't want me to meet anyone :/ I couldn't even talk with any guy other than ask "what time it is" etc. The things you do for love, huh? I don't want a guy to be a total push-over but the limit just goes somewhere...

In my case, I'd say that my wife wants too much freedom compared to my I find acceptable. As I said I am already jealous to see her dancing with someone else, but I let her do it. The 'problem' is that she is very sociable and is always out meeting people (old school friends, etc.), going to karaoke (which I don't like much), to salsa bars (which I don't like much either), or to hobbies like nail art (no comment), flower arrangement or even computer lessons (like how to use MS Office, instead of asking me).

All this is not so bad, but she sometimes want to spent the whole night out in a nightclub with some friends (knowing I don't like much dancing, although she often pleads me to come along). Or she meet ex-boyfriends once every six months arguing that she wants to keep good relationship with them, eventhough they don't mean anything to her - and there are quite a few of them, especially that she has always lived in Tokyo and we live there now, so I can't even do the same.

So what do you think ? It's in her personality to want to meey people all the time (if not every day, 6x a week ;-) ), but that has made me grown jealous, especially the nightclubs and ex-boyfriends thing. But if I tell her not to meet any ex-boyfriend, she criticizes me for restraining of circle of friends. Mind you I even know their names, know in which area they live and have even seen pictures, and some want to meet me (so far I have not wanted to, don't know why). Maybe in Japan it is just normal to continue to meet your ex's 5, or 10 years after you have left them, but I don't want to believe so - that would make it too easy for her. Anyway, I asked other Japanese their opnion and not so many people seem to behave like this.



My brother has a theory that when you look at a couple, usually only the husband's friends make up most of their friends. Makes sense evolutionally, doesn't it :)

Well, I'd say in Japan (including most of the Japanese couples I know), it is typically the opposite. The husband being busy at work, does not meet many friedns except for the cowokers, but the wife is always meeting friends here and there.

jieshi
Dec 11, 2004, 11:02
I agree with brooker. You shouldn't tell your partner what they can and can't do. I really think that if you are going to date someone, shouldn't you be able to trust them? why date them if you can't trust them? I would expect that my girlfriend wasn't flirting with other men (thats just a given in any relationship). or being overly affectionate to other guys but i definitely wouldn't restrain her from going to night clubs with her friends. ( I have girl friends who's boyfriends have doen this to them and I cn tell you, they weren't happy)

DoctorP
Dec 11, 2004, 11:21
I'm just wondering one thing: if you guys seem to have so little in common why did you get married?

Brooker
Dec 11, 2004, 11:48
The bottom line is, no matter how much freedom you do or don't give your partner, they're going to do what they're going to do.

Maciamo
Dec 11, 2004, 13:38
I'm just wondering one thing: if you guys seem to have so little in common why did you get married?

Have you never read the book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" or "Why men don't listen and women can't read maps" ? It's probably utopic (for me at least) to find someone who shares all one's interests. Should I be interested in nail arts and flower arrangements ? Should I expect her to be interested in linguistics, history, economics and webdesign ? We do have a lot in common in what really matters for people living together : same tastes in food, movies, travel, clothes, both like reading (sometimes the same books), etc. We get up and go to bed at times that are standard but that certainly match each other's lifestyle very well. Then there is both emotional and physical attraction, which are among the most important thing for a couple. The main differences are that she is very feminine in her mind (sociable, emotional, care about fashion and make up...), and I am very masculine (logical, rational, care about ideas and knowledge more than people and gossips, etc.)

CC1, as you are also married to a Japanese woman, are you saying that you too do not have similar differences as the ones I mentioned above ? If you are so similar, are you two more like me or my wife ?

mad pierrot
Dec 11, 2004, 16:22
I think freedom is something that we all should have as individuals,

I agree, but reality differs.


and conversely, it is not something we can "dispense" to our spouses.

Here I disagree. Everyone does this to a degree. Think about it. Your husband knows that you don't want him doing certain things, so he doesn't do it. He does this out of respect for you, but it's still your wants/needs limiting his behavior. FYI of course this applies both ways.

Bob in Iowa
Dec 11, 2004, 20:59
Your husband knows that you don't want him doing certain things, so he doesn't do it. He does this out of respect for you, but it's still your wants/needs limiting his behavior. FYI of course this applies both ways.

I think that the motivation for limiting one's behavior is more complex than that. Looking back on my own life, when my wife and I were in our 30's, we spent a lot of time apart from each other during the week in I spent at least two or three nights away from home on business, and she was a full time student at a Chiropractic college near our home. Given the separation and the socialization associated with both of our lives away from each other, there were many opportunities for each of us to be unfaithful.

I think what kept me on the straight and narrow path in those instances when there was an opportunity to stray, was being able to prioritize my feelings in a larger context than the immediate moment. By doing so, a feeling of not wanting to betray her trust in me, which encompassed a mixture of not wanting to hurt her and not wanting to endure a feeling of guilt for having done so, took precedence. Self respect is another factor involved in that compromising one's own ideal of self respect makes it more difficult to maintain individual harmony and peace of mind, which will ultimately affect the harmony of the relationship. Also, in a more selfish train of thought, my personal happiness was in large part a result of being in a loving, trusting, harmonious relationship, and I did not and still do not want to do anything to compromise that happiness.

I would have to say, therefore, that in a trusting, harmonious relationship, it is not only the wants of one person that limits the behavior of the other, but the shared desire for mutual trust and respect that dictates the behavior of both.

--Bob (putting my soapbox back under the desk) :-)

mad pierrot
Dec 12, 2004, 00:59
I would have to say, therefore, that in a trusting, harmonious relationship, it is not only the wants of one person that limits the behavior of the other, but the shared desire for mutual trust and respect that dictates the behavior of both.

No doubt! I did not mean to say it's wants that control a relationship exclusively; perhaps I should have put it a different way.


it is not only the wants of one person that limits the behavior of the other,

Of course! But I also think shared fear and want play a part. Let me try putting it this way: In my opinion, there are just as many negative as positive things that hold a relationship together.

Apollo
Dec 12, 2004, 03:25
Wouldn't be even a bit jealous if your boyfriend/husband had some "romantic" face to face dinner in a French restaurant with another woman (which happens to be a very good friend), or if he went regularily to nightclubs with the same girls/women, or went to a karaoke all-night again with some other woman ?

Personally I already don't like seeing my wife dancing (salsa, etc.) with another man, even if I stand 2m from there (although I let her do, as she would complain that I am too possessive otherwise). Funny as I didn't use to be so jealous a few years ago (but I wasn't married). At the contrary, I didn't care much.

Nope, I wouldn't be jealous, because I trust my boyfriend. I am a tomboy myself and have many male friends, and my best (male) friend and I often go to the gym together, and my boyfriend trusts me completely, and don't have problems with it at all.
E.g. I went to my work's Christmas party yesterday, which was cool - and my boyfriend doesn't have problems with me dancing with other males, I work with.

Brooker
Dec 12, 2004, 04:56
@Maciamo....
Addressing your concerns...
I had a girlfriend in college whose ex was in town and wanted to see her. Although I was more or less ok with it, it made me feel better that she acknowledged that this was kind of an awkward situation for me. She assured me that she was no longer interested in him, but they'd been close in the past and cared for eachother so she wanted to catch up with him. When he showed up I met him and doing so also made me feel a lot better because he seemed like a decent guy and I didn't get the vibe that he was trying to steal my girlfriend (you can usually tell).

So I would say that you should make an effort to meet these guys. It'll give you a chance to read the situation rather than just sitting at home and worrying about it. You may conclude that these guys are no threat to you or you may conclude otherwise and then you can figure out your next move from there. But at least you'll know. Also, I don't know how these things work in Japan, but it seems like she should acknowledge that this kind of thing might make you feel a little uncomfortable and take steps towards figuring out how to make you more comfortable and still allow her to see her friends.

I sometimes go out for dinner/drinks/karaoke/whatever with an ex girlfriend of mine who I dated many years ago. She has a boyfriend. I've met him several times and a few times we've all gone out together. I could tell he was a little unsure about me at first, but now it seems that he can tell that her and I are just friends and I'm not a threat to him. I've even told her that I think he's a good guy and I "approve" of him. And then there's other factors, like before they were going out, her and I took a roadtrip together where we were sleeping right next to eachother every night and nothing happened. He's gotta figure that if her and I haven't done anything by now that it just isn't going to happen because our relationship just isn't like that. But I don't blame him for being suspicious at first. My relationship with her is kind of unusual (like Elaine and Jerry on Seinfeld) but it is possible for men and women to have a friendship like that (even after dating) it just doesn't happen all the time.

Uncle Frank
Dec 12, 2004, 06:26
bed with a dozen nude Chipindales! We both will go to our graves having NEVER cheated.

Frank

:blush:

miu
Dec 12, 2004, 12:12
So what do you think ?
I can relate to your situation quite a bit, actually, because it sounds like my ex and I ^^; He was the quiet type and I was the one who likes dancing :blush: Maybe in that kind of a relationship it all boils down to being
able to compromise about things a lot. You need to understand that she needs to be around people and she needs to understand
that some of the stuff she does isn't all that okay with you...

If you try to cut out a lot of her time meeting people and she goes along with it, she starts expecting YOU to fill up the space, which you might
not be able to do (in the same way).
That's my experience and probably one of the major reasons why my ex and I split up. I just started looking for more and more attention because he was the only person I was able to get it from and he grew tired of
entertaining (and vice versa). The thing is, though, that I didn't expect him to be the most sociable person on earth and I wouldn't even have liked
him the way I did at all or loved him as much as I did if he was more of a player.

To me you don't sound like a really bad curfew officer, though, so maybe you should just try to tell her more about how much it bothers you that she spends so much time with other people. It's sad, though, that sometimes you need a really big blow to get the other person to realise how big of a problem soemthing is to you :/
I don't think your wife is being selfish or anything (on purpose anyway), she just maybe doesn't realise how deeply you feel about the situation. Maybe it's because you try to go along with it and she's having fun, so she's not exactly dying to reduce some of it... Well.. I don't know. Realtionships are just so hard @[email protected]


Maybe all relationships just need a lot of effort and the amount of love you have gives you patience and willingness to try.

Sally_Hawn
Dec 12, 2004, 13:04
Basically, I give my significant other all the freedom he wants, and I rarely asks him questions like, "Who did you go out with?" or "What did you do last night?"

DoctorP
Dec 12, 2004, 13:05
Have you never read the book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" or "Why men don't listen and women can't read maps" ?

Yes, actually both of them.



Should I be interested in nail arts and flower arrangements?

Not unless you are gay!


Should I expect her to be interested in linguistics, history, economics and webdesign ?

Probably not.


We do have a lot in common in what really matters for people living together

That is good for you...it just seems that for someone who is so happy with what he has, you do an awful lot of complaining...or at least you suggest that you would like to make changes!



CC1, as you are also married to a Japanese woman, are you saying that you too do not have similar differences as the ones I mentioned above ? If you are so similar, are you two more like me or my wife ?

I didn't mean that you have to be exactly alike...I have seen couples like that and they usually annoy the crap out of me! :p

My wife and I are not all that alike. I get up early, she likes to stay up late and sleep late. I love golf and outdoors sports, she prefers other types of things such as decorating, gardening, etc... We love trying new resturants together, movies, the ocean, driving, horseback riding...

One question? Do you have children (I'm guessing no!) The reason I say this, is that usually once people have children, the clubbing scene gets a little old. She would still want to meet with friends, but it usually takes place in different areas...like play dates, group dinners, etc... (we usually go camping or on weekend getaways with other families now, since we don't do the club thing anymore)

I let her have her freedom...I'm not worried about anything, it is called trust! I actually play golf a few times a month with two very beautiful Japanese women and my wife doesn't mind at all. I would say that it is pretty hard to let your husband go out for 4-5 hours unsupervised with lovely ladies...esp in Japan where love hotels are everywhere, but she trusts me, and we both know that neither of us would do anything to wreck our marriage! I flirt all the time, but she actually loves it, because her friends are always telling here what a great husband she has and how much fun I am...

bottom line is no, you don't have to be identical, I just couldn't understand why you were letting this get to you so much...but I understand that everyone looks at situations differently. Sorry it took so long to respond, but this weekend has been especially difficult at work! :relief:

TwistedMac
Dec 12, 2004, 13:47
Not unless you are gay!
OUCH! stereotype!

not all gay are interested in that stuff ;)

...or so I've heard.

DoctorP
Dec 12, 2004, 13:57
:sorry: true true...so sorry for that remark!

ragedaddy
Dec 12, 2004, 14:19
I guess it is important to know your partner's values.... There are some people who think cheating isn't wrong, and others who feel it's something they'd never do. The 2 most critcal parts in a successful relationship are of course trust and communication. "Trust," is the foundation of almost every relationship, and without it things start to go astray. It is important to know how your partner feels about various things through communication. The more that you communicate, the more you develop a better understanding for that person. You can usually get a good sense of that person after being with each other for an extended period of time. You start to know what your partner would do and wouldn't do. It is most likely that you would be able to tell if they would even confess to doing something wrong from previous experiences that you have with that person.

I totally trust my wife to remain faithful when she goes out with others. I think most guys have a bigger problem of trusting the guys that their partner is going out with to various places (There are a lot of shady dudes that will go out of there way to get anything they want). Most of the guys that my wife was going out with when we were dating(before we got married) had a romantic interest with her, and this was a little unnerving to me sometimes. However, we talked about that issue, and after I felt better about it. Sure, she could have been talking and doing the opposite behind my back, but I knew she wouldn't do such a thing (Since I had a really good feeling of who she was as a person).

I myself don't have any desire to go out with ex-girlfriends. It's just kinda a weird concept for me, it seems like once a person gets rather intimate with a person then they can't to being friends (This is only my opinion). It is said there is a thin line between friends in lovers, and once you cross it you can't go back to being the same.

Therefore, I don't have a problem with my wife going out with male friends. I do have a problem with a dude that tries to pursue a girl that he knows is in a committed relatinship. It's like there are millions of single girls out there, so go find one that is free to date. This especially goes for someone who is supposed to be your friend, and they go behind your back and stab you with a knife. These people are dispicable, and I have no respect what-so-ever for these types of people.

Maciamo
Dec 12, 2004, 17:26
I guess it is important to know your partner's values.... There are some people who think cheating isn't wrong, and others who feel it's something they'd never do.

I don't want to sound too cynical, but how do you really know if your partner is someone "who think cheating isn't wrong, or who feel it's something they'd never do" ? The problem with the first type is that as long as you don't find out, you won't know it if this person does not feel emotionally troubled about what they have done, justly because cheating isn't wrong for them (as long as their partner doesn't know). As this kind of people does not feel guilt, it is almost impossible to tell whether they cheated or not, unless you follow them everywhere and try to catch them red-handed.


Therefore, I don't have a problem with my wife going out with male friends. I do have a problem with a dude that tries to pursue a girl that he knows is in a committed relatinship. It's like there are millions of single girls out there, so go find one that is free to date. This especially goes for someone who is supposed to be your friend, and they go behind your back and stab you with a knife. These people are dispicable, and I have no respect what-so-ever for these types of people.

But what if your wife was the kind of guiltless person that you trust but cheats anyway without you knowning anything ? I am sure this has happens to millions of people in the world, and it could also be you (why should it only happen to others ?). So I guess you would also have "no respect what-so-ever" for these types of people who stab you in the back by abusing your trust. As there is little chance of you finding out, you could be married to a person who you trust and love and don't cheat on you, or to someone who you trust and love but cheats on you secretly and without guilt. In that latter case, he/she would be the most despicable kind of person who would never ever regain your trust in the future. That's a pretty sharp contrast.

The worst of all is that you or me or most people cannot be 100% about their partner, especially if that person is attractive, sociable and like having fun.
So I find that unconditional trust is like being sure of the existence of god or heaven in the afterdeath. It's a matter of believe, but that does not prove anything just because we believe in it. That leaves people (like me) who do not want to trust what cannot be proven 100% in the same angst as some people have wondering about the existence of god or the deep meaning of life. Especially when one thinks that people who cheat without guilt and don't get caught are also more likely to have unprotected sex with lots of different people because they lack a fundemental moral conscience or sense of responsibility.

That means that anyone who is not sure 100% of their partner's strong moral values, responsability toward others, fear of STD's, and complete trust, respect and love for you, has a risk of being cheated upon without their knowing it and thus risk noy just ending up broken hearted and disillusioned, but also dying from fatal STD's for having trusted the person they loved. And don't tell me this hasn't happened thousands of times in the world.

Elizabeth
Dec 12, 2004, 23:30
Should I be interested in nail arts and flower arrangements ? Should I expect her to be interested in linguistics, history, economics and webdesign ? We do have a lot in common in what really matters for people living together : same tastes in food, movies, travel, clothes, both like reading (sometimes the same books), etc. We get up and go to bed at times that are standard but that certainly match each other's lifestyle very well. Then there is both emotional and physical attraction, which are among the most important thing for a couple. The main differences are that she is very feminine in her mind (sociable, emotional, care about fashion and make up...), and I am very masculine (logical, rational, care about ideas and knowledge more than people and gossips, etc.)
If this is the setup...then take the case of a Japanese couple (with these basically different interests and social orientations, if not quite as stark) in which after 20 or 30 years of a faithful marriage, although they are only sleeping together every 2 or 3 months, he unexpectedly meets a more 'masculine' woman with whom is compatible intellectually as well as emotionally and they begin an affair in the shadow of an unsuspecting wife.
Another scenario would be starting out with the sex and it later leading into a deeper friendship of soulmates based on their ability to talk on a variety of topics.
Are either of these no different than a libertine cheating indiscriminately with ex-girlfriends in the club most weekends and freely lying about it later or seeking out prostitutes at every available opportunity ?

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think if there was something so missing from the marriage at the outset, besides sex, that an affair could be sustained and fulfilling, there is no way the 'other woman' can be blamed and when the wife does find out it is something for them to work out on their own. :sorry:

Brooker
Dec 13, 2004, 05:30
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think if there was something so missing from the marriage at the outset, besides sex, that an affair could be sustained and fulfilling, there is no way the 'other woman' can be blamed and when the wife does find out it is something for them to work out on their own. :sorry:

I completely disagree. When people have made a commitment to eachother, something lacking in that relationship is no justification to go looking for a way to "fulfill" yourself elsewhere. That's a very dangerous attitude and I think most people would want to avoid having a partner who thinks that way unless both of them don't mind that the other person is see someone else.

Maciamo wrote...

The worst of all is that you or me or most people cannot be 100% about their partner

But when you KNOW God exists, you know it 100% and no one can tell you differently. I think I'm a good enough judge of character that I'd be able to figure out what kinds of behavior my partner is capable of. I'm sure it happens to other people, but they're not me, and I have faith in my own judgement.


especially if that person is attractive, sociable and like having fun.

That really doesn't make any difference. Ugly and boring people cheat too.

Elizabeth
Dec 13, 2004, 06:09
I completely disagree. When people have made a commitment to eachother, something lacking in that relationship is no justification to go looking for a way to "fulfill" yourself elsewhere. That's a very dangerous attitude and I think most people would want to avoid having a partner who thinks that way unless both of them don't mind that the other person is see someone else.

I don't think most people are consciously looking for an affair, most of the time it happens rather naturally -- obviously without their partners knowing enough to be able to avoid it or not. In fact, these feelings have often been suppressed for years and years until the 'right' (or 'nonthreatening' ?) person comes along.

Brooker
Dec 13, 2004, 07:44
In fact, these feelings have often been suppressed for years and years until the 'right' (or 'nonthreatening' ?) person comes along.

An honest person will still be faithful to their husband/wife even if the "right" person comes along.


it happens rather naturally -- obviously without their partners knowing enough to be able to avoid it or not.

Hearing a sentiment like that is just one more reason to loose faith in marriage. Why bother getting married if that's how it's going to be? For money? For stability? I'd need a little more than that to marry someone. Like trust? Fidelity?

The sad thing is that a lot of people enter marriage thinking that way and not taking their vows seriously. Those people shouldn't get married.

Bob in Iowa
Dec 13, 2004, 08:06
An honest person will still be faithful to their husband/wife even if the "right" person comes along.

Hearing a sentiment like that is just one more reason to loose faith in marriage. Why bother getting married if that's how it's going to be? For money? For stability? I'd need a little more than that to marry someone. Like trust? Fidelity?

The sad thing is that a lot of people enter marriage thinking that way and not taking their vows seriously. Those people shouldn't get married.


EXACTAMUNDO, Brooker !!!

Elizabeth
Dec 13, 2004, 08:34
Hearing a sentiment like that is just one more reason to loose faith in marriage. Why bother getting married if that's how it's going to be? For money? For stability? I'd need a little more than that to marry someone. Like trust? Fidelity?

The sad thing is that a lot of people enter marriage thinking that way and not taking their vows seriously. Those people shouldn't get married.
It isn't so much a matter of marriage as an institution per se the people in it.
If you can keep your wife happy and she stays an honest woman, that's great. If you're a Japanese couple to whom the worst thing imaginable is an argument with your spouse and the only way to show your discontent is refusing/disliking sex with them, then it doesn't necessarily mean your spouse is dishonest at all or shouldn't have gotten married. Simply that they are highly likely to cheat. In general, my sympathies error on the side of not knowing makes it alright -- but then I'm not coming from the perspective of marriage either....

Brooker
Dec 13, 2004, 09:10
I don't know where to begin...

Elizabeth wrote...

If you can keep your wife happy and she stays an honest woman, that's great.

So keeping your wife honest is dependant on figuring out how to keep her happy? That's not honesty. "Keep me happy, OR ELSE."??? Following that logic, the cheating wife could blame the husband for her own actions because, "He forced her to do it by not paying enough attention to her," or something. What kind of Jerry Springer nonsence it that?


it doesn't necessarily mean your spouse is dishonest at all or shouldn't have gotten married. Simply that they are highly likely to cheat.
YES IT DOES!! If you cheat, you are dishonest, and you shouldn't have gotten married. Cheating is not an OK thing for married people to do. I don't know how else to say it. I just kind of thought people took that as a given. Maybe I'm idealistic, but I think more married people should try to live up to the rules they agreed to instead of trying to justify their actions or blame it on others when they break the rules.


my sympathies error on the side of not knowing makes it alright

That's a strange take on ethics. So, if you didn't know about the Holocaust, it didn't happen? The damage has been done, whether the other person knows about it or not.

Elizabeth
Dec 13, 2004, 09:59
I don't know where to begin...
Maybe I'm idealistic, but I think more married people should try to live up to the rules they agreed to instead of trying to justify their actions or blame it on others when they break the rules.
Probably, but for the final time in this thread no amount of railing against it or living in a constant state of vigilance is going to change the actuality of many situations. Cheating on your spouse obviously isn't an ideal situation for anyone, I was simply trying to explain, from my own observations of Japanese life, why it happens so frequently (it may make life more bearable in certain ways for the infidel party and the other woman). And when it does inevitably go on, I think it can be better managed if the spouse doesn't find out. :relief:

ragedaddy
Dec 13, 2004, 13:01
Orignally posted by Maciamo
I don't want to sound too cynical, but how do you really know if your partner is someone "who think cheating isn't wrong, or who feel it's something they'd never do" ? The problem with the first type is that as long as you don't find out, you won't know it if this person does not feel emotionally troubled about what they have done, justly because cheating isn't wrong for them (as long as their partner doesn't know). As this kind of people does not feel guilt, it is almost impossible to tell whether they cheated or not, unless you follow them everywhere and try to catch them red-handed.

Ok, maybe I can never know 100% that my wife will never cheat on me. I'm basing these beliefs on my own. I'm not a cheater, I don't believe in cheating, and that is how I was raised. My morals are obviously more strict than others, and I feel to me cheating is about the equivalent of commiting murder, it's that serious. This is just for me, if one of my friends happen to do this, I would not hold it against them. Yes, there is a plethora of people who don't think cheating is wrong. That is there choice, and they have to deal with the consequences that come around with it. I know that if I am able to posess these beliefs, there are others that feel the same way. I don't believe that if I cheat I'm going to hell or anything, but that is how I feel about the matter. My wife was raised Cathoic, and I guess you could say we share similar views and we also have different views. Sure it is impossible to know 100%, but at the same time it is not illogical to say through spending time together, and going into in depth chats about many aspects about life that you can't get a good sense of a person.


But what if your wife was the kind of guiltless person that you trust but cheats anyway without you knowning anything ? I am sure this has happens to millions of people in the world, and it could also be you (why should it only happen to others ?). So I guess you would also have "no respect what-so-ever" for these types of people who stab you in the back by abusing your trust. As there is little chance of you finding out, you could be married to a person who you trust and love and don't cheat on you, or to someone who you trust and love but cheats on you secretly and without guilt. In that latter case, he/she would be the most despicable kind of person who would never ever regain your trust in the future. That's a pretty sharp contrast.

The worst of all is that you or me or most people cannot be 100% about their partner, especially if that person is attractive, sociable and like having fun.
So I find that unconditional trust is like being sure of the existence of god or heaven in the afterdeath. It's a matter of believe, but that does not prove anything just because we believe in it. That leaves people (like me) who do not want to trust what cannot be proven 100% in the same angst as some people have wondering about the existence of god or the deep meaning of life. Especially when one thinks that people who cheat without guilt and don't get caught are also more likely to have unprotected sex with lots of different people because they lack a fundemental moral conscience or sense of responsibility.

That means that anyone who is not sure 100% of their partner's strong moral values, responsability toward others, fear of STD's, and complete trust, respect and love for you, has a risk of being cheated upon without their knowing it and thus risk noy just ending up broken hearted and disillusioned, but also dying from fatal STD's for having trusted the person they loved. And don't tell me this hasn't happened thousands of times in the world.

I guess if my wife is that guiltless person that is the chance I have to take. Nothing iin life is risk-free, and so you can't go around worrying about every little "What if" scenarios. That could drive a person to insanity, and so I can't be bothered with all those issues. I mean it's life what if I lose my job, and I can't provide for my family in the future, or what if get into a car accident and I don't survive. This is the bottom line I'm not one of these naive guys that is coming across, "Oh my wife would never cheat on me," because I can't say that won't happen. All I know is that I trust her, and I guess the rest is up to her. I mean if you can't trust a person, why get married? If you can't trust a person, would you become friends with them? I would seriously doubt anyone would want to get into that type of relationship.

You want to know why so many people cheat? The reason is that they shouldn't have got married in the first place, and now that they are trapped in this crappy relationship, it wouldn't be that hard for someone to offer that person a way out. I mean the likelihood that a happily married person would cheat is slim. However, if you look at someone who is constantly fighting with their partner, they can't ever get along, and they are unhappy with their lives then these are the people most likely to cheat. They go out and meet this new person, and it's like hey, why doesn't my spouse treat me like this. It's kinda like you're a little kid again, and you get this warm fuzzy feeling. Then you begin to realize that you deserve better than the life you are living right now. This is where the majority of cheating begins, and there are millions upon millions of people who commit these acts.

Therefore, you either can live in fear your whole life of whether you are going to contract HIV from your spouse, or you can actually trust that person then you guys know each other very well, and are happy with each other. The choice is up to you, and all I know is I'm happy where I am in life. That should be the most important thing of all.

Maciamo
Dec 13, 2004, 15:22
I completely disagree. When people have made a commitment to eachother, something lacking in that relationship is no justification to go looking for a way to "fulfill" yourself elsewhere. That's a very dangerous attitude and I think most people would want to avoid having a partner who thinks that way unless both of them don't mind that the other person is see someone else.

Exactly how I see it.


But when you KNOW God exists, you know it 100% and no one can tell you differently.

That may be a matter of personality, but I cannot "know" something that I haven't experienced (like god).


I think I'm a good enough judge of character that I'd be able to figure out what kinds of behavior my partner is capable of. I'm sure it happens to other people, but they're not me, and I have faith in my own judgement.

But doesn't your judgement of other people's character (or moral values) depend on their social background and culture as well ? In my case I have more difficult to see through a Japanese because of the enormous cultural difference regarding morals and values. One of the most shocking thing I learnt about the Japanese mentality is that an action is not wrong as long as nobody knows about it. It can be true about lying, cheating, bribery, or even murder. As long as nobody finds out who might be shocked, saddened or damaged by, they consider that is it not wrong in itself. This is probably due to the lack of omniscient and omnipotent god in either Shinto or Buddhism.



That really doesn't make any difference. Ugly and boring people cheat too.

True, but the temptation (for others) or "risk" is lower. Beautiful people women will be more often targets of unscrupulous men who would try all they can to have sex with them even knowing they are married. If the woman also happens to go out a lot, especially with other men and in entertainment places like nightclubs, karaoke, bars, etc. the risk of getting drunk and meeting such unscrupulous men (or normal guys that just don't know she is in a relationship) is obviously much higher.


An honest person will still be faithful to their husband/wife even if the "right" person comes along.

By Western moral standards maybe, but what about Japan ?


Hearing a sentiment like that is just one more reason to loose faith in marriage. Why bother getting married if that's how it's going to be? For money? For stability?

Money and stability are two extremely important factors for Japanese women, enough for many of them to get married to people they have just met (and don't love) by o-miai. Half of the married Japanese I know in the 30ies got married by o-miai (arranged marriage). Among older people, the rate is even higher. See my article about marriage (http://www.wa-pedia.com/culture/westerners_japanese_marriage.shtml)



So keeping your wife honest is dependant on figuring out how to keep her happy? That's not honesty. "Keep me happy, OR ELSE."??? Following that logic, the cheating wife could blame the husband for her own actions because, "He forced her to do it by not paying enough attention to her," or something.

That is exactly the kind of logic I have heard in Japan, be it on TV or from talking to people. It seems that most if not all Japanese women (or men too?) think like that. I asked my wife and she agrees too ! Do you understand my concern now ? :bikkuri:

I don't think happiness is dependent just on one's partner efforts to make you happy. I actually do not ask much from my wife. Sometimes I can't understand why she'd try so hard to please me, like spending hours cooking for me (even when she eats out with friends) or offering me expensive presents for no special occasions. I almost feel uncomfortable about it (esp. the presents) as I feel I have to give at least as much back to her, and I do not necessarily want to spend so much money on such presents (eg. clothes). I know that she wants me to always buy her presents, even small things like flowers or cakes or to show all the time that I care about her. But I am just not like this. I hate having to buy presents because I never know what to choose (esp. when it comes to women's clothes or jewelry !) as tastes differ so much from one person to another and I don't expect her to understand my tastes enough to buy things for me without me either (but she does it).

Unfortunately, "happiness" is often defined by money and material goods in Japan. This is one of the things I loathe in most in the Japanese mentality (too shallow !). For me, happiness depends on my personal achievements, on learning, self-developmement, understanding myself, people around me and how the world functions, and on not feeling the need for material possession (a bit like the Buddhist concept of "enlightenement").

In Japan, happiness is eating, drinking, sleeping, having sex and spending one's money. Not wonder that the Japanese are less happy than almost anybody else in the developed world (see this thread (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13586)).

In other words, for me happiness cannot be bought and can hardly come from somebody else. I can be satisfied by eating well, having sex, discussing with people, or watching a good movie. But that is not happiness.


If you cheat, you are dishonest, and you shouldn't have gotten married. Cheating is not an OK thing for married people to do. I don't know how else to say it.

Then how can you explain all those married Japanese women in their 40's, 50's or even 60's who let their husbands go to prostitutes (soaplands) or even look for teenage girls (enjo kosai) and don't say anything because they are just not interested in sex and find it normal that a man should look for youg and beautiful girls, even if they could be their daughters and grand-daughters. That is called Japanese mindset. Otherwise I totally agree with you on how it "should be".



That's a strange take on ethics. So, if you didn't know about the Holocaust, it didn't happen? The damage has been done, whether the other person knows about it or not.

Ever wondered why there are so many nihilist in Japan for whom the Nanjing massacre and even the whole Empire of Japan atrocities never happened ? Even the (elected and re-elected) mayor of Tokyo does not mind saying so in public. Japanese mindset. If you don't know or other don't know, it just doesn't matter and cannot be wrong. Nothing to do with Western logics or morals.


Probably, but for the final time in this thread no amount of railing against it or living in a constant state of vigilance is going to change the actuality of many situations.

After reading all your posts in this thread, I now seriously wonder : "Are you Japanese ?" :relief:



If you can't trust a person, would you become friends with them? I would seriously doubt anyone would want to get into that type of relationship.

For me, things aren't usually black or white, but in thousands of shades in between. I guess you could try to estimate how much you trust someone (for various things, not just cheating, but reliability, keeping a secret, help you when you need it, etc.). What I am saying is that we can never trust someone (even oneself) 100%. I would say that in the best case scenarios, you can trust someone 90 or 95%, maybe even 99%. That doesn't mean you can't be friends with them. It doesn't even mean that your perception of how much you can trust that person is accurate. You could not trust someone who is actually very trustworthy, and vice versa.


You want to know why so many people cheat? The reason is that they shouldn't have got married in the first place, and now that they are trapped in this crappy relationship, it wouldn't be that hard for someone to offer that person a way out. I mean the likelihood that a happily married person would cheat is slim.

That only depends on one's moral code. As I said, there are people (not 0,001% but rather 20% or more) that do not see why cheating is wrong. My gradual understanding of the Japanese mentality led me to think that the number of Japanese people thinking like this is the norm rather than the exception (at least among young people). After quizzing lots of Japanese friends about this, I realised that some don't even see any problem with telling you "oh you know, I don't mind cheating on my partner. I love him/her, but as long as they don't kno and I don't hurt them, it can't be wrong". I have been told this many times, by both girls and men (some of whom are good friends). Japan is another world when it comes to morals.

nekosasori
Dec 13, 2004, 18:45
Maciamo, it sounds to me like your issue is not with your wife personally but the societal values that she was brought up in. Only you and she can be sure about how likely it is that she may cheat on you. Presumably she can't be called "typical" of all Japanese (if generalization were valid, which it actually isn't) - she's already "different" enough to have married you, someone from outside of Japanese culture, with your particular set of values and clearly defined comfort zone.

Incidentally, ALL my interests (and my ways of analyzing situations and making decisions, which are very INTJ) match my husband's exactly. But do I need to be a modeller, as my husband is? Does he need to be fluent in Japanese and well-versed in classical music as I am? Not necessarily. However, they are hobbies we can both indulge in, in the same room, but separately - we "share" quality time but doing different things. Your "utopian" notion of being "the same" is something I made a prerequisite towards marriage (though not towards relationships in general; I've learned a lot from dating people very different to me). I think while it may be a challenge to find a partner who mirrors all your passions and hobbies, it's not impossible - it's a big world out there. :)

If you can't sit down with your wife and really talk about these issues (I'm not saying you haven't tried, it's just that it seems to me you haven't arrived at a resolution), then it is a major obstacle in maintaining a healthy marriage. She is only partly responsible for making you feel secure in her faithfulness - you have to trust in your ability to discern who she is fundamentally, and not be swayed by the friends and peers she may have who are obviously not identical to her. If you can't do that... well, I'm sad about your situation.

Maciamo
Dec 13, 2004, 20:37
Maciamo, it sounds to me like your issue is not with your wife personally but the societal values that she was brought up in.

That's right. It wouldn't make much difference if I left her and found another Japanese girlfriend/wife. So I'd better solve this with her.


Only you and she can be sure about how likely it is that she may cheat on you.

I can't because as I said before I had never encountered any culture where someone who loves you and tries hard to make you happy also cheat on you just because they don't think it's wrong. But reading that "43 percent of the young people surveyed in Shibuya said they keep five or more sex friends at a time" (http://www.wa-pedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=751) (but the remaining 57% could very well have 2 to 4 sex partners at a time too). Then "many young Japanese people, everything about sex is casual. Girls now share their boyfriends like theyfd share chips. Everyonefs hand is in the bag". And again in the same text "Condoms are hard to sell in Japan right now because young adults refuse to use them", how many chances is there that a Tokyo girls who also frequents Shibuya think the same way ? Of course, that is not the only article I read about it. There was even a BBC documentary about it (called "Sex in Japan").

I read some articles from the Mainichi Shimbun (http://mdn.mainichi.co.jp/waiwai/index.html) (and a compilation called "Tokyo Confidential") just after I arrived in Japan, and I had to stop because it made me dizzy, angry and suspicious of all Japanese women.



If you can't sit down with your wife and really talk about these issues (I'm not saying you haven't tried, it's just that it seems to me you haven't arrived at a resolution), then it is a major obstacle in maintaining a healthy marriage. She is only partly responsible for making you feel secure in her faithfulness - you have to trust in your ability to discern who she is fundamentally, and not be swayed by the friends and peers she may have who are obviously not identical to her. If you can't do that... well, I'm sad about your situation.

I do not want to feel secure and reassured. If she is the kind of person I described above who cheats without guilt, she is likely to be very good at reassuring me that she loves me and would never cheat, and even buy me presents or cook for me so that I don't suspect anything. But how could I really know ? Of course the chances that she doesn't cheat seem much higher, but there is always that small percentage of chances that I am being duped. I think all the conditions to make me doubt are present; 1) the stories I read or heard directly about Japanese morals, 2) the fact that she is attractive and likes going out and meeting people all the time, 3) the fact that there are love hotels everywhere in Tokyo, which are made to facilitate cheating (that is why they are always full, as it is Japan, with people not guilty of having 5 sex partners at the same time and not using condoms).

I think that there just couldn't be any Japanese woman like her who I could trust more than her. I won't have peace of mind if she goes out, just because of her country's culture. I know there is virtually nothing I can do about it, as no talk is ever going to change my suspicions, with her or anybody else. I will just have to live with it. Anyway, I wouldn't stay with her if I didn't think that there were more chances that she was faithful. I guess that means I trust her enough to stay together.

What I was wondering is whether anybody else married to a Japanese (man or woman) was also aware of that Japanese morals and felt the same as I do.

misa.j
Dec 14, 2004, 12:38
I think all the conditions to make me doubt are present; 1) the stories I read or heard directly about Japanese morals, 2) the fact that she is attractive and likes going out and meeting people all the time, 3) the fact that there are love hotels everywhere in Tokyo, which are made to facilitate cheating
Maciamo,
Those stories you read or heard might easily have been exaggerated, though. I honestly have a hard time believing the Japanese morals you talked about is based on the reality. Have you spoken to those youths who hang out in Shibuya personally? You'd be surprised how unreliable their thoughts and opinions might seem.

Aren't you happy that your wife is attractive?
Maybe your wife and you can go to one of those hotels together sometimes just for an adventure.:emblaugh:
Sorry, if I upset you; I am not trying to make fun of you or anything, but a change helps lots of times.


What I was wondering is whether anybody else married to a Japanese (man or woman) was also aware of that Japanese morals and felt the same as I do.
My husband is protective, at the same time he educates me how to protect myself, wishes I were stronger and a badder a**, and I really respect that because I understand what he cares about. I guess this is not answering your question at all, but I don't think he feels the way you are feeling.

Brooker
Dec 14, 2004, 13:31
@Maciamo...
I can see why her being affected by these Japanese morals has given you some concern. Japanese often see Western views on love and fidelity as being naive and unrealistic.

The only thing you can do is assess the situation and her as best you can. Does she seem like a person who would lie a lot? Do you seem like someone who would be easily lied to and gullable? I'm guessing the answers are NO. So, until you have reason to think she's cheating, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Don't blame her for the way her country is.

Maciamo
Dec 14, 2004, 14:15
I can see why her being affected by these Japanese morals has given you some concern. Japanese often see Western views on love and fidelity as being naive and unrealistic.

Exactly. That's the point.


The only thing you can do is assess the situation and her as best you can. Does she seem like a person who would lie a lot? Do you seem like someone who would be easily lied to and gullable? I'm guessing the answers are NO.

The problem is that Japanese people also have a very different approach regarding lies. The Japanese are famous for their politeness and hypocrisy, and about any Japanese would think that lying is ok or even necessary if it is to avoid causing trouble (harm, offence, anger, sadness, whatever). I have experienced it many times, also with my wife. She (or other Japanese) also expect me to lie when necessary. That does not fit my personality or values at all, as for me frankness will always be better than a lie, even if it causes much pain. So if my wife asks me what I think of the new clothes or bag she bought or the food she cooked, I used to always tell her exactly how I felt about it, be it positive or negative. That made her angry a few times and she eventually told me "but can't you just say you like it and made a very good choice, even if it's not true !" How am I suppose to understand that ? I best I just don't say anything, or say "I am not sure" or change topic, but lying (or cheating, for that matter) just feels like a crime to me. It's certainly as bad as stealing. From this point of view, that makes almost all Japanese petty criminals. The question is, can I live with it, being married to one of their number ?

DoctorP
Dec 14, 2004, 15:43
Exactly. That's the point.



The problem is that Japanese people also have a very different approach regarding lies. The Japanese are famous for their politeness and hypocrisy, and about any Japanese would think that lying is ok or even necessary if it is to avoid causing trouble (harm, offence, anger, sadness, whatever). I have experienced it many times, also with my wife. She (or other Japanese) also expect me to lie when necessary. That does not fit my personality or values at all, as for me frankness will always be better than a lie, even if it causes much pain. So if my wife asks me what I think of the new clothes or bag she bought or the food she cooked, I used to always tell her exactly how I felt about it, be it positive or negative. That made her angry a few times and she eventually told me "but can't you just say you like it and made a very good choice, even if it's not true !"

I am so sorry for you if that is the case. All of the friends that I have (both Japanese and Okinawan) prefer to be straitforward and honest. If I do something that they do not approve of they say so to my face...as I do the same to them! We correct each others children all of the time...even when the parents are around...that way we ensure that the morals and values being taught are being enforced. We constantly talk about this with each other! I have seen some of the activity that you refer too (wife looking the other way if husband goes out) but not enough to call it the norm! But then again, I am not the one living in Tokyo and the big cities so I can not comment on what you see. I suspect it is much like life is back at my home. In the countryside, people act differently, are less likely to screw around (it does happen though) but in the city, there are so many places to go without seeing someone you know that you can get away with it more I guess! :? I still haven't seen enough of this behaviour to call it the norm...and many of my friends are originally from Tokyo.

mad pierrot
Dec 14, 2004, 15:59
Maciamo just being honest.

There is no way anyone can ever be 100% sure of another person. I know this is generally unsettling to most, but none-the-less it's true. Of course, people can be more or less comfortable with this concept than others. Maciamo isn't very happy with this concept, I think.

Brooker
Dec 14, 2004, 16:20
You can't know ANYTHING with 100% certaintly. But you can know someone well enough to have a pretty good idea of what kind of behavior they're capable of.

nekosasori
Dec 14, 2004, 17:28
Thanks for the response Maciamo (I apologize for not reading the earlier posts carefully enough; I'm at work and thus short on time!)

There's one way to know if she'd been lying to you - have regular and frequent STD tests.

I think that even if the percentages of people in Japan having casual (and "cheating") sex is high, you're doing your wife a disservice by tarnishing her with the same brush.

It's also your choice to not want to feel secure (feeling secure is as much having confidence in the choice you made to marry her, as it is her "convincing" you that she's not cheating on you). But her being Japanese was not a sudden shock or surprise to you - she's been Japanese (AND who she is, personality and behaviour-wise) the whole time that you've known her. And yet it was your (mutual; love is a two-way street after all!) decision to marry despite the cultural differences. And if you knew that certain cultural differences could be a "deal-breaker", you should have researched further and waited until you felt you had all the facts BEFORE marriage.

To be perfectly honest, I don't think it's healthy for any partner to presume that someone is guilty until proven innocent - and in that sense, perhaps you may eventually need to consider separation. Doubting her actions when she's out of your sight is, in my view, paranoid and disrespectful, even if EVERYONE in Japan is supposed to think nothing of cheating and ALL of those love hotels exist solely to tempt the people who find your wife to be attractive.

If both you and she are STD-free, and furthermore remain that way in subsequent blood tests, personally I would get rid of those emotions of insecurity and doubt. Otherwise, if you continue to be unhappy, I would separate and/or divorce. Let's say she's cheating (no matter who around her initiates this) - well, you don't want to live with it, so you should go your separate ways. Let's say she's not - then you're constantly poisoning your marriage with your doubts and worry. Either way it's not healthy.

I don't think that moving outside Japan will help - your wife will always be attractive and extraverted, and add to that the fact she'll look more exotic and be more enticing to non-Japanese. Even in a western country, I think there are plenty of people who enjoy having extramarital affairs. There are businesses that thrive on this. In Canada, for example, there's this e-business that's doing very well:

http://cwww.mii.ashleymadison.com/app/public/index.p

Sorry Maciamo, that you're feeling this way. Even if you have EVERY reason to suspect her or feel doubt, the bottom line to me is that it's not good for your relationship. And also no offense is intended by my advice - I just see it this way.

I have some more points to add... I've now lived in Ireland for over four years. I've come to understand quite a lot about the history and culture over here, and I have to say that I am totally incompatible with the way society works here. I am North American, and as such my values and behavioural expectations do not complement Irish ways AT ALL.

However, I married an Irish citizen who grew up here. And I believe we have a strong marriage based on a foundation of communication, trust, and innate compatibility. The only reason why we have this is because my husband seems to defy every single Irish stereotype there is. He's the polar opposite of the kind of man you'd expect an Irishman would be even remotely like. Yet he's a product of Irish society since it was all he knew until he graduated from university.

My parents are Japanese, yet they became immigrants because of the aspects of Japanese society that upset and infuriated them. They too were immersed in Japanese culture for the first 30 years of their lives.

My points from above is that just because people belong to a certain heritage, they will not sheepishly become cookie-cutter representatives of said culture. Many rebel against the status quo (in different ways). Many will reject societal values if said values are incompatible with their unique personality traits or choices in life. Not everyone will rebel overtly - my own aunts come to mind - they haven't moved out of Japan, but I can't say that they "conform" to many conventions that are dictated by Japanese masukomi, nor do they follow trends.

So again, this is why I don't believe that you can blame your mistrust of your wife solely due to how the statistics read. Your wife is an individual, with her own set of ideas, values, and past experiences that have shaped her. Her having known you and your values is also a part of her past and present. Unless she wants to get out of your marriage, I don't think she would be so disrespectful of your doubts that she would go out and around, cheating on you. Casual sex is just that (you seem to be more afraid of that than a full-blown emotional affair). Since it's casual, she can easily go without cheating unless she's a sex addict.

As for emotional affairs, I'm sure that they happen the world over, despite certain cultures being so intolerant of infidelity. The most that married or intensely committed couples can do in those situations is to accept that we're all human, and insist on timely communication so that minor misunderstandings and tension don't escalate into deal-breakers.

Maciamo
Dec 14, 2004, 18:07
You can't know ANYTHING with 100% certaintly. But you can know someone well enough to have a pretty good idea of what kind of behavior they're capable of.

I would normally agree with you. Let us not forget that we are only discussing trust about faithfulness and not trusting the other person in general. There are many ways of trusting people : trust regarding money (knowing that your partner isn't going to use your credit card without permission), trust about their not revealing some secrets, trust in their love, trust that they are serious about their commitment to live together, trust about the children's education, trust about taking care of one's health or one's partner or relatives' health, trust about helping/supporting each other in hard times, etc. I can certainly say that I trust my wife for all of these (at best it is her who would not trust me for some of these, although unjustifiably). The only apprehension I have is regarding morals related to faithfulness (as well as the "lying" thing) as this is a cultural difference, and therefore stronger than the character of the individual in question (my wife or any other Japanese woman or man).

I am sure that she is a very good person and would try all she can to avoid hurting me (even if that means lying, as it is acceptable in the Japanese culture), and our relationship is good enough for me not to fear that she cheats on me if she was a Westerner. My doubt come from the Japanese culture itself, which is much more of a problem, because in case I were right I couldn't blame her for being a bad person without blaming the entire country; and if I do I am not going to like Japanese people anymore. But after three and a half years of close inspection of the behaviour of the Japanese in Tokyo, after discussing with hundreds of Japanese, watching TV, reading about Japan, etc., my doubts do not dissipate, but at the contrary get stronger with time, to the point I have felt the need to discuss it here. You will notice that I posted the article from Newsweek about the young Japanese's promiscuity 1,5 years ago.



There's one way to know if she'd been lying to you - have regular and frequent STD tests.
...
If she is STD-free, and furthermore remains that way in subsequent blood tests, personally I would get rid of those emotions of insecurity and doubt.


As you may know, many STD's cannot be discerned so easily. HIV takes at least 6 months to appear in blood tests (long enough to be contaminated), and other diseases like herpes (nothing serious) or syphilys do not appear in blood tests. We did have a blood test recently, with negative results, but that was only because it appeared before that that she had a benign STD. However this STD is so contagious when it comes out that it can be transmitted by just touching something a contaminated person has touched, and anyway she could very well have had it for a long time before metting me. There is just no way to know when someone got a STD.


And if you knew that certain cultural differences could be a "deal-breaker", you should have researched further and waited until you felt you had all the facts BEFORE marriage.

And how was I suppose to know that in any culture on earth there was one were cheating (and lying) was not a big deal !


I had one more thing to add... I've now lived in Ireland for over four years. I've come to understand quite a lot about the history and culture over here, and I have to say that I am totally incompatible with the way society works here. I am North American, and as such my values and behavioural expectations do not complement Irish ways AT ALL.

That is eventhough Irish and American culture are very close and there is indeed a very sizeable Irish community in North America. So, I guess you can understand that I didn't expect the Japanese culture to be so different in regard to morals, esp. that is not something that is usually mentioned in books about Japanese culture or mentality.


My parents are Japanese, yet they became immigrants because of the aspects of Japanese society that upset and infuriated them. They too were immersed in Japanese culture for the first 30 years of their lives.

Yes, I know there are always people who are different. I am a good example myself, being so "culturally different" in many regards (though not all) even from my own parents. But I don't think cheating is more of a cultural thing than murder, well at least not in periods of history when fatal STD's exist (I would have been much less nervous about it before AIDS appeared in the early eighties). It is usually considered a "bad thing" in any culture to kill someone. Cheating can very well be equal to murder, making it the 2nd worst crime, before rape, torture or anything else, because it can feel as psychologically depressing as rape and torture, but with the consequence of murder (however the culprit also dies, so it makes it "less bad" than only murder).



Casual sex is just that (you seem to be more afraid of that than a full-blown emotional affair). Since it's casual, she can easily go without cheating unless she's a sex addict.

Actually, I am less afraid of a full-blown emotional affair, because it would be more difficult to hide (so I can get out of it as soon as I find out), and the chances of getting STD's are much lower as it's only one other person that is involved. What I fear is not so much the cheating part itself (as Japanese say, it is naive to think it can never happen), but :
1) the promiscuous and careless behaviour about STD's. As the article said, "Japanese don't like condoms", which is a proven fact, and even my wife admitted not using condoms with some of her ex's even for a fling, which seem to be perfectly normal in Japan.
2) the lying issue. If someone is ever going to cheat on me, I want to know it immediately after, so that I don't touch this person again. Unfortunately, that is something I am pretty sure nobody would easily admit (Japanese or not) and it would be even harder for a Japanese, esp. if they have feelings for you (as my wife does) and doesn't want to hurt me (ditto).


As for emotional affairs, I'm sure that they happen the world over, despite certain cultures being so intolerant of infidelity.

Of course cheating happens everywhere. I think that French and Italian people have a pretty bad reputation about that too (even Japanese think that they are born-cheaters, although they obviously forget to mention themselves at a similar or higher level). The problem I have is not coping with cheating or trying to know my partner well enough to know if she loves me or would ever cheat on me. That would be relatively easy with a Westerner. As I said, the problems are
1) the extreme art with which Japanese manage to conceal things (=lie) especialy with someone they care about,
2) the different moral about cheating (can't sense guilt in the guilty person)
3) their lack of responsability/fear toward STD's.

Brooker
Dec 14, 2004, 18:31
I think nekosasori is right in saying that, whether your wife is cheating or not, your doubts and insecurities about her are issues that you need to resolve internally in order for you to feel comfortable in your relationship.

You don't seem to think you have the ability to read her and understand what she's likely to do. Do you feel like you don't know her well enough or that she might have a secret side? I would think that after you've been in a relationship with someone for quite a while, reguardless of cultural background, you'd have a pretty good idea of what they're all about. Or is it that you've already analysed her to find that you think cheating is something she might be capable of? I'm not suggesting that's the case. I'm just playing devil's advocate to get you to examine all sides of the situation.

But if you don't have any reason to think she's cheating (or likely to), don't create a problem in your head that may not actually exist.

Maciamo
Dec 14, 2004, 19:41
You don't seem to think you have the ability to read her and understand what she's likely to do. Do you feel like you don't know her well enough or that she might have a secret side? I would think that after you've been in a relationship with someone for quite a while, reguardless of cultural background, you'd have a pretty good idea of what they're all about.


I think I can understand her very well, sometimes better she understands herself. The problem is that she is quite emotionally unstable (as many women are), passing from angel to devil in no time. I can help her to stabilise and see clearer in her own emotions sometimes. We have certainly discussed enough about lots of topics for me to know her almost perfectly, and certainly much better than she understands me (which she readily admits). But I don't expect people to understand me. I see how difficult it can be even on a forum like here (not this thread in particular though) and I know that even my parents do not understand me as much as I would like. However, as you asked about the "secret side", this is indeed what I fear, because I do expect all people to have a secret side, and I also expect that for most people there is always something hidden that nobody (not a single person) will ever know if they are not told by another person who knows about that (which in those cases the interested person has no chance to ever meet).


But if you don't have any reason to think she's cheating (or likely to), don't create a problem in your head that may not actually exist.

Easier to say than to do. Once it's in, every little thing can become suspect. It doesn't mean that I always tell her about these suspicions anyway, as it would become tiresome. So the relationship is really what I want it to be.

Please remember that I am not asking anybody to advice me on my personal life. I don't expect anybody here to know better than me what to do or to find even a fragment of "solution". The purpose of this thread is to know more about what you (all) find normal or not, then developed into also knowing more about the Japanese morals regarding to cheating and lying. Confirmations, infirmations or personal stories on the subject are welcome, but there is no need to talk about what I should do with my wife (that's offtopic).

nekosasori
Dec 14, 2004, 21:12
Please remember that I am not asking anybody to advice me on my personal life. I don't expect anybody here to know better than me what to do or to find even a fragment of "solution". The purpose of this thread is to know more about what you (all) find normal or not, then developed into also knowing more about the Japanese morals regarding to cheating and lying. Confirmations, infirmations or personal stories on the subject are welcome, but there is no need to talk about what I should do with my wife (that's offtopic).

It was my impression that this was the "Love and Relationship Advice" forum; I've read the disclaimer sticky message, but I still apologize if I have offered unwelcome feedback, but surely if you wanted a survey on views the Serious Topics\Opinions subforum would have been just as appropriate to place this?

In any case, I personally have never met any Japanese person who would lie about a serious issue such as sex to their partner. However I would posit that "white lies" (which exist in every culture to varying extents) becomes an integral part of life in ANY insular country (I see this all the time in Ireland), regardless of whether "western" views dominate or not. This is because white lies are the most convenient way of avoiding confrontation, of "stirring up trouble", or of "standing out" in the crowd.

I think, given what I have seen comparing the Irish "western" society with Japanese society, that there are far more similarities between them than differences, perhaps surprisingly. Despite strong Catholic morals (and the laws to enforce them, e.g. abortions and morning-after pills are illegal still), Irish societal problems are much the same as Japanese ones (and people go over to the UK for abortions), in my view.

I also believe that the perception that the Japanese are far more likely to cheat or lie compared with people from "western" countries is highly exaggerated, and that even the personal anecdotes that one may hear in Japan from Japanese is also exaggerated - people universally misrepresent themselves to varying extents. In fact, I would think that cheating rates are probably comparable if not identical, and that it is the hypocrisy of western societies that means that people don't talk openly about being cheated on or having cheated themselves; the Japanese may be more truthful because it's not taboo.

Maciamo
Dec 14, 2004, 22:20
I think, given what I have seen comparing the Irish "western" society with Japanese society, that there are far more similarities between them than differences, perhaps surprisingly. Despite strong Catholic morals (and the laws to enforce them, e.g. abortions and morning-after pills are illegal still), Irish societal problems are much the same as Japanese ones (and people go over to the UK for abortions), in my view.

Abortion is not illegal in Japan. On the contrary, it seems pretty common.

I have never been to Ireland (one of the few EU countries I haven't visited, along with the Nordic countries), but they might be quite different from other Europeans for several reasons. First they have been isolated for quite some time and don't share the monarchic history of other European countries where the kings and queens intermarried constantlycreating one big European royal family. Then, the Irish are some of the last people to still speak a Celtic language (with the Welsh), which is completely different from all Latin and Germanic languages in all Western Europe (except for the Basque). Their insularity and different language (although it's mostly English now, but in Japan too ;-) ) has probably a lot to do with possible similarities with the Japanese. However my image is that the Irish are far from being the most polite, respectful or hardworking people on earth, which sets them at odd with the Japanese.


I also believe that the perception that the Japanese are far more likely to cheat or lie compared with people from "western" countries is highly exaggerated, and that even the personal anecdotes that one may hear in Japan from Japanese is also exaggerated - people universally misrepresent themselves to varying extents. In fact, I would think that cheating rates are probably comparable if not identical, and that it is the hypocrisy of western societies that means that people don't talk openly about being cheated on or having cheated themselves; the Japanese may be more truthful because it's not taboo.

I disagree with that. It is rather the hypocrisy of the Japanese that make other people (like me before coming to Japan) think that they are not the kind of people to cheat, lie or even be very liberal about sex, coming from a very formal society with lots of rules and restrictions. But this is just the image they give to the world because their uchi and soto concept prevent them from talking openly about such things with foreigners. As I say, most Japanese would even think that French or Italian people are incurable cheaters. But having a pretty good knowledge of both French and Italian culture and people, I think this is mostly due to the "romantic" image (actually romanticism implies not having sex, but in common parlance it refers more to amours) of France of Italy. Japan does not seem romantic at all (from outside), even the opposite. I think that the average Europeans are more worried about morals and STD's than the Japanese, and therefore think more carefully before cheating. Be sure that my image before knowing Japan was that of a country of "honest" people (i.e. people who do not lie and cheat). But having lived in 6 (Western) countries before Japan, I can assure you that nowhere else have I heard more white lies (even in England) and heard the word cheating ("uwaki") on TV, in the streets or among conversations overheard in cafes, restaurants or with friends, than in Japan. As a matter of fact, it's hard to turn on the TV and not find a programme where people have fun talking about "uwaki" and marriage, and quizzing each other about whether it has happned to them, how they would react, or just whether they would allow their partner to cheat on them (that's on TV, I remind) or not. They don't look concerned. They look like children talking about a game. :mad:

nekosasori
Dec 15, 2004, 00:32
Abortion is not illegal in Japan. On the contrary, it seems pretty common.
Yes, I'm aware of that fact. I was just emphasizing (or trying to!) the perception that most people have of Irish and Japanese societies being polar opposites; it is my opinion that that is hardly the case.


I can assure you that nowhere else have I heard more white lies (even in England) and heard the word cheating ("uwaki") on TV, in the streets or among conversations overheard in cafes, restaurants or with friends, than in Japan.

What sorts of white lies have you heard (both in Japan and in western countries)?

Also, just because the masukomi makes uwaki a popular topic to discuss, doesn't mean that everyone is actually practicing it. Many US media sources (Fox News, even CNN) have biases towards covering topics like Christian fundamentalist-related movements (like the campaign in the south to only teach abstinence instead of sex ed to teens), and other "newsworthy" (read: Jerry Springer types of) topics. Obviously not everyone in the US can be pigeonholed into being Christian let alone fundamentalist, and while I can also be overheard discussing Republican politics or pro-life stances or the War on Terror, I don't support any one of those.

Also I was wondering -how do you consolidate the two seemingly contradictory observations that people distinctly keep "soto" and "uchi" separate, yet openly discuss uwaki experiences on national TV? There's a logical disconnect there, no?

Maciamo
Dec 15, 2004, 10:05
What sorts of white lies have you heard (both in Japan and in western countries)?

For anything imaginable. Of course for small things like saying that you like your friend's new clothes, the food grandma cooked, or when you meet someone for the first time they'll flatter you or even say that they are also inerested in this or that (just to be polite, as in fact they really couldn't care less). These are all die to the uchi (inside) and soto (outside) concept. Let's say there is always the public version ("tatemae") which contrasts with what people really think ("honne") and no Western country has developed and institutionalised this the way Japan has. Basically, you just cannot expect people to express their true opinion on TV, at work or with people they are not intimate with (best friends or family). However, this pretty easy to get used to.

The worst is that even in the "uchi" (with intimates, eg. my wife) white lies happen all the time, even when you ask people to be frank and you don't want to hear lies. They just cannot say something that is not a lie in disguise. Here is a simple example; I ask my wife what she wants to do that Sunday, Shall we go to the restaurant, cinema, a park, shopping, somewhere else ? I had better not make her feel that I would prefer to go to one of these places in particular, because otherwise she'll just tell me she wants to go there too. It's only when we are there (or after coming back !) that I may hear her say "but in fact I didin't want to go to A, I wanted to go to B. So I ask her why she didn't just tell me when I asked her. Sometimes I ask several times and ask again "are you really sure that is what you want to do" because this problem happens often. It's very tiresome. But these examples are for pretty benign things. It does happen for more serious things to the exact same extent, so that I can never know for sure how people (even my wife !) feel.

You will understand that, with my outspokenness, I am not used to reading between the lines and understand that when people say "yes" without jumping with excitement it really means "no" or "not sure". After 3 years I am not able to discern some "tatemae" (not all), but that still does not tell me what is the "honne", and there is no way to guess if people don't want to tell you. So, can you frankly say that there is a single Western country like Japan regarding (white) lies ?



Also, just because the masukomi makes uwaki a popular topic to discuss, doesn't mean that everyone is actually practicing it. Many US media sources (Fox News, even CNN) have biases towards covering topics like Christian fundamentalist-related movements (like the campaign in the south to only teach abstinence instead of sex ed to teens), and other "newsworthy" (read: Jerry Springer types of) topics. Obviously not everyone in the US can be pigeonholed into being Christian let alone fundamentalist, and while I can also be overheard discussing Republican politics or pro-life stances or the War on Terror, I don't support any one of those.

The US is a very cosmopolitan society, with people believing in about any religion on earth, and with very different political opinions and morals. In other words it is the exact opposiet of Japan, which is a very homogenous society, not only in race and language, but in the way people think and behave. In other words, if you take 1,000 Japanese people and quiz 20% of them about various things and their opinion is basically the same, it is possible to assume that most of the remaining 80% think the same way too. In the US it just doesn't work because people are all too different. So the discussion "between Japanese" on Japanese TV usually reflect pretty well the national consciousness, especially that the programmes I refered to are on the 6 main (free) channels (NHK, Nihon TV, Fuji TV, Asahi TV, TBS, Tokyo TV), not on cable or satelite TV nor on some special channel owned by a religious or political group. This is the TV all Japanese people watch (and there aren't many such channels).



Also I was wondering -how do you consolidate the two seemingly contradictory observations that people distinctly keep "soto" and "uchi" separate, yet openly discuss uwaki experiences on national TV? There's a logical disconnect there, no?

"uchi" and "soto" is not a fixed group of people. Sometimes (on such TV programmes) the "uchi" part is all the Japanese (as opposed to foreigners). That depends a lot on the topic. In a company, an employee's personal matters will be "tatemae", but discussing business will be "uchi". If people from one company meet people from another company, their stance become "tatemae" again. For sex-related topics on TV, I can feel it is more "uchi", as anybody can have sex with anybody. Anyway, they usually discuss the "cases" of people whose name was changed and people can vote "acceptable" or "not acceptable". It cannot be tatemae because there is no common stance on such topics. Frankly, what could "tatemae" be when you ask some owmen whether they'd prefer a husband who has a "mother-complex" or one who is a "stalker" ?

nekosasori
Dec 15, 2004, 17:30
This is all very interesting, thanks Maciamo! :)


So, can you frankly say that there is a single Western country like Japan regarding (white) lies ?

Yes, although in an unofficial (tacit) fashion, I will make the claim that white lies are a veritable institution also in Ireland. One of its similarities (setting aside work ethic ;) ) to Japan is how they also have traditionally had an extremely homogenous population (culturally speaking, despite the history of intermittent invaders, long-term occupation by the UK, and the very recent - last five years - influx of foreigners from both within the new expanded EU and from countries that produce refugees), people will perenially put up such a thick facade that I never know what anyone really feels about anything. Then again, I also find it hard to even sustain a conversation about controversial topics - people I've gotten to know are clearly uncomfortable about disagreement and of confronting others about it.

Moreover, I have observed that when people gossip about others, this gossip NEVER gets returned to the person about whom it is. This means that friendship, as I define it (where my friends would tell things to be straight even if it bruises my ego) is extremely rare in Ireland. Acquaintances with whom you'd go to the pub all the time or otherwise socialize (or just work with) will talk all about their insights about you or note your mannerisms, attire, etc. to everyone else and this feedback never returns to you personally. So if you don't want to be the subject of conjecture and analysis, you always have to show up at the pub so they can't talk about you. I find this insidious, frustrating, and frankly, rude. I'm also a "say what you mean and mean what you say" sort of person, in large part because my parents didn't deal well with the honne/tatemae dichotomy. I find it frustrating that I can't make good headway into really getting to know someone because the signal to noise ratio in conversations is so abysmally small. Add to that the fact that 100% of people whom I have gotten to know at work who are also foreign have left or will be leaving the country permanently, I'm feeling pretty isolated here emotionally (since my husband is my sole source of in-person support).

You say:


Basically, you just cannot expect people to express their true opinion on TV, at work or with people they are not intimate with (best friends or family).

Yet, you also say


So the discussion "between Japanese" on Japanese TV usually reflect pretty well the national consciousness, especially that the programmes I refered to are on the 6 main (free) channels

This is the conflict to which I was trying to refer in my last post. If people aren't telling the truth on TV, how can they truly reflect the "national consciousness": if someone says what they think they are expected to say rather than what they really think - the "tatemae" - then wouldn't they just be parroting what they perceive society is wishing them to behave rather than how they would, in real life, behave?)

RockLee
Dec 15, 2004, 17:58
haha..is that WHY WOMEN CHEAT banner set on purpose ???:p

ontopic: I want to discuss later, but right now I'm short on time with studies..

Maciamo
Dec 15, 2004, 18:15
Moreover, I have observed that when people gossip about others, this gossip NEVER gets returned to the person about whom it is. This means that friendship, as I define it (where my friends would tell things to be straight even if it bruises my ego) is extremely rare in Ireland. Acquaintances with whom you'd go to the pub all the time or otherwise socialize (or just work with) will talk all about their insights about you or note your mannerisms, attire, etc. to everyone else and this feedback never returns to you personally. So if you don't want to be the subject of conjecture and analysis, you always have to show up at the pub so they can't talk about you. I find this insidious, frustrating, and frankly, rude.

I know, it also happens in some other European countries. But these are not lies, it's hypocrisy or "talking behind people's back". I think it's more common in Western country than in Japan, while white lies are much more common in Japan.


This is the conflict to which I was trying to refer in my last post. If people aren't telling the truth on TV, how can they truly reflect the "national consciousness": if someone says what they think they are expected to say rather than what they really think - the "tatemae" - then wouldn't they just be parroting what they perceive society is wishing them to behave rather than how they would, in real life, behave?)

It's not really a conflict, it's just that I didn't take enough time to explain what kind of things people usually don't say on TV. If you ask people about their opinion of foreigners, or their political ideas or what they would define as good behaviour, they will usually answer pretty much the same. They will also rarely say that they dislike such or such celebrity so as not to create tensions or negative feelings. But when it comes to talking sex, the Japanese are surprisingly uninhibited. So much that if they managed to talk like that about politics or education, lot's of problems would be solved. The talk about sex are not the educational type, but almost always the perverted kind or about marriage, divorce and "uwaki". Never have I seen a country so eager to talk about "uwaki", perverted sex, marriage and divorce on TV or in social occasions (between friends, colleagues...) than Japan. Maybe that is also why hostess bar (where customers usually talk about sex-related topics) are so popular in Japan, or why all convenience stores' shelves are filled half with porn/erotic magazines and these mags are advertised inside all train lines. Sex, along with food, is a favourite discussion topic in Japan.

nekosasori
Dec 15, 2004, 19:20
If you ask people about their opinion of foreigners, or their political ideas or what they would define as good behaviour, they will usually answer pretty much the same. They will also rarely say that they dislike such or such celebrity so as not to create tensions or negative feelings.

The same phenomenon can be seen in Ireland (where there are four main TV stations; RTE 1 & 2, TV3 and TG-4).

So let's go back to the example you cited - the "kyuukyoku no sentaku" - desperate choice - which kind of guy would you rather marry, a mazacon or a stalker-type? Well, it's purely theoretical isn't it? Even if a woman were to openly and even strongly state a preference of one over the other, in real life she isn't 1) only faced with those choices of the men she has chosen to date 2) necessarily going to seek out the type she prefers, or 3)even necessarily going to get married at all (two of my relatives, who are of the older generation (aged in their early 70s now) never got married despite all the familial and societal pressures to do so, for instance). Both have only ever lived in Japan (Kanagawa-ken).

Since these kinds of racy "fun" programs aren't posing questions to be used in deep psychosocial analysis of society (or if they were, how valid would they be? Wouldn't an actual, large-scale study of married people who take psychological tests to see if they do exhibit either Oedipal tendencies or stalker tendencies - or both... be a lot more useful?) I would personally take anything proferred on TV with a very, very large grain of salt.

I would also argue that sex is a universally piquant discussion topic that will even come up on Western media (the TV program "Eurotrash" comes to mind - a UK thing which you may have seen). Even if NHK and the other TV channels you mentioned are "uchi", the programs usually select people who pass audition levels by providing entertaining answers, or street surveys will (if not live) edit what's shown for the "highlights" - it's not a truly random sample of the population that you're seeing and hearing. I strongly believe that nature has a much bigger impact on how people develop than nurture - in every family I've known with siblings (who are often the same sex, even close in age, brought up in the same environment by the same parents), these people turn out to be extremely different in behaviour, views, and even values. So even if insular cultures practice conformity on the surface as if it were martial law, the individual variances would be huge, even if barely imperceptible to someone on the "soto" (or even "uchi"!).

I think that one can't really justify equating a societally-instilled uninhibited and pragmatic view of all humans having sexual desire, to an entire population of many million (albeit "homogenous") people feeling free to cheat right and left on their spouses. And even talking the talk (claiming to be sexually liberal if not downright promiscuous) is not directly correlated with walking the walk (actually having indiscriminate sex), as it were.

TuRbOxChAz
May 6, 2007, 02:28
i think its safe to say that in every relationship, there might be the slight occasion when the significant other thinks about someone else. i mean, everyone has an ideal mate. chances are, you didn't find your "ideal" mate, but u darn as hell found a good mate. your significant other isn't the ideal, but when that someone pulls along with one quality that is ideal and your sig. other doesn't have, you will feel a bit attracted.
this is where temptation comes in. if maybe you're too attracted, you get tempted and you lose control, depending on your self-discipline.

anyway, successful relationships require good communication (being open and honest about everything; not fighting over the little things; just talking often like "how was your day"), respect, companionship (like spending quality time with them), commitment (be committed to the relationship; think that in EVERY relationship, theres always a conflict. you're bound to fight or argue about something. just don't do it too often), affection, ability to deal with stress (not only stress in the relationship, but at work or school, or with kids), responsibility, unselfishness, sensitivity (understand your sig. other's feelings), honesty and trust, adaptation (try to adapt to your sig. other's habits and behaviors).
From my sociology book.

of course, if you're married, a reason that its hard to stay with your spouse is because you've been with them for quite a while and you're simply "bored". thats where commitment comes to play. also, your "fire" has probably dimmed, so do something romantic and fun to spice it up.

kiedistidus
May 26, 2007, 08:08
i let my girlfreind do pretty much what she wants when she wants within reason i.e no cheating or obvious flirting but i have a question,does wanting to spend time on my own make me a cold or bad boyfreind i love my personal space and company for instance when i travel to japan next year it will be a one man mission as i would like to enjoy the experience without scheduales or worrys(hassle) but my girlfreind gets really strung up about this type of thing.am I being cold or in short does this make me a bad boyfreind???I love her to bits but it really confuses me that some people need constant attention.

frostyg02uk
Aug 1, 2007, 15:25
Ok firstly...where the hell did this come from? why is it here now? why did i just read all of them and now need to bring up a ghost from the past?

Moving on. Quite often my gf would say lets go out/to a friends house/ a bar/ something to eat but if i didnt feel like it id say no and she'd go on her own no problem. Do i know if she ever cheated on me? no. but that works both ways. She once said "whats the point in cheating? if your going to do that you might as well just break up anyway".
I think my tolerence is higher more so because i know all of her friends. I think if a person does cheat no matter how clever they "think" they are they will be caught eventually especially the more you seem to trust them the more they will slip up and get lazy about it. I could try and offer some advice...but maybe you have sorted your problems out one way or another by now. But it would be nice to get an update haha.

maushan3
Aug 1, 2007, 23:36
but i have a question,does wanting to spend time on my own make me a cold or bad boyfreind i love my personal space and company for instance when i travel to japan next year it will be a one man mission as i would like to enjoy the experience without scheduales or worrys(hassle) but my girlfreind gets really strung up about this type of thing.am I being cold or in short does this make me a bad boyfreind???I love her to bits but it really confuses me that some people need constant attention.

You are in your right to spend time without her. Remember, you got to have her to miss you. You cannot have her with you at every moment or else she and/or you will lose interest in each other. It will take that spark off the relationship. So you are not a bad boyfriend by wanting to have a beer with the boys. For example, she calls you to see what's up, you tell her you are busy and then, when you have time, you call her.

You love her to bits, ok. You say you are going to Tokyo by yourself and want to have a little fun, so you do that. Tell her that she needs to be a good girl or else you will find yourself a girl in Japan, haha, but remember, do it charming and be funny, she will be quite amazed in a good way.

Mauricio

Kinsao
Aug 1, 2007, 23:37
Wow this is an old thread. I can't remember if I posted on here already, but I think not. Anyway, my two cents about the poll...

It's ok to meet one's ex-boyfriend/girlfriend from time to time
I wouldn't have a problem with my partner meeting up with his ex from time to time, as long as they weren't continuing a relationship above and beyond that of friends of course! If I felt like he was lying to me and still 'seeing' her in a way other than friendship, I'd have to re-examine the whole relationship and why I didn't trust him or if he was lying to me. I'm sure that if he was genuinely seeing her only for friendship's sake and thought it was upsetting me he would agree to cut down on how often he saw her, or whatever, or even to meet her together instead of on his own. If he was telling me the truth I'm sure he would have no problem about reassuring me on this one.

It's ok to have lunch/dinner at a restaurant with another man/woman
Of course it's okay, if he tells me beforehand; it could be a business colleague, or an opposite-sex friend... if he didn't tell me about it, maybe I would think there was something to hide, though. But otherwise it is fine. :)

It's ok to do activities (sports, karaoke...) with another man/woman
Generally it is okay as far as I'm concerned, but to be quite honest I would rather be invited too! because it's fun to do these things together! :p

It's ok to go to nightclubs without one's partner
My partner doesn't go clubbing (except fetish clubs, where he'd be with me by default) so it's not really an issue... if it was like a party with family or a bunch of friends who all went out drinking and then clubbing... like a stag do or something... I wouldn't have a problem with that. :) If it was a night out with a mixed-sex bunch of pals that was planned in advance I'd expect him to invite me too, but if I couldn't make it I wouldn't have a problem with him going by himself. Going out by himself on the pull is off-limits though!

It's ok to have sex with somebody else
No way! :box:

It's ok to travel (and share the same hotel room) with another man/woman
Travel is okay (especially for work, where he deals regularly with men and women alike), but not sharing the hotel room... there's no 'reason'/'excuse' for it even in a business context.

I guess I'm pretty laid-back, but only because I trust my boy absolutely. :relief:

Jaimie
Aug 24, 2007, 13:14
i think it's too extreme.. unless the other man is a brother or father or cousin, i wouldn't trust the other man.

-Rudel-
Aug 29, 2007, 05:14
Me and My wife do everything together except going to each other's work places.

maushan3
Aug 31, 2007, 10:13
From the little things I have seen in Japan, cheating can be very easily done and sadly it might be done since the husbands go to work really early and come back extremely late from the office, like at 11, so he just wants to eat and go to sleep right away, so it is kind of a problem, the overwork.

Mauricio

Swordmaster
Sep 28, 2007, 12:23
Like most people would say, I would think it would depend on the situation and the people, but generally, I wouldn't like letting my love having sex with other people. Though, if it was her choice and I knew she still loved me, then I would probably come to accept it, eventually.

Balling
Sep 28, 2007, 12:52
well, me and the wife have different hobbies
she goes with all her girlfriends from work (who are all marreid as well) and go to clubs
while i go out with all my friends and fly down the highways at night...its a win win situation

plus we are both good friends with some of out exes....im not worried
trust is the basis of a relationship and marriage

melon
Oct 19, 2007, 01:33
well2...i never think to tell him what he should or should not do..it's up to him...really...

but,,who knows??

annieannie44
Nov 10, 2007, 17:07
i trust who i love
................................

bruno
Nov 19, 2007, 10:14
Mistrust is the enemy for every relationship!!
you never will be the owner of another person.It
needs tolerance for both parts!!