Dear Troubleshooter is a relationship advice column that appears in The Japan News, a publication that is part of the Asia News Network.
I'm a single company employee in my late 20s. I've been in a relationship with a married colleague and recently aborted his child.
The man is 3 years older than me. He's very reliable and I model my work after him. I admire him and enjoy working with him. We used to go for drinks together with other colleagues and that's how we became close.
I told him that I liked him. His response was that while his relationship with his wife has chilled, he didn't want to disappoint his parents. And that even though he wanted to be with me, he couldn't marry me.
I decided to keep the relationship going because I wanted to stay with him.
Last month, I found out I was pregnant. When I broke the news to him, he asked me to give up the baby.
Since I didn't dare to seek advice from my parents, and couldn't bring up the child alone, I decided to have an abortion. He's been treating me more considerately ever since, and cares about my health. I'm determined to go on with this relationship.
But there is something I now regret - that I selfishly chose to terminate the pregnancy. I wonder if I should have decided to have the baby, even though it would have meant leaving everything - him, my parents and my job - behind. I'm seeking your advice.
K, Fukuoka Prefecture
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Dear Ms. K:
You seem to be sorry for not having the baby because you couldn't leave your man, your parents or your work behind. Well, there is one thing you should leave behind right now: your man.
He wants to see you but doesn't want to marry you because he doesn't want to disappoint his parents. He doesn't want you to have a baby, either. All these conditions are very convenient for him, aren't they?
Because he's stated his terms so clearly, I assume that he thinks you've accepted them and are seeing him on that basis.
You said he's been treating you even more considerately since your abortion. But if he was truly considerate, would he have ever let you go through the hardship of an abortion?
If he truly cared for you, he would've divorced his wife to marry you. And if that wasn't possible, he would have stopped seeing you, for the sake of your happiness.
He says he doesn't want to disappoint his parents. But has he ever given any thought to your parents - how disheartened they would be if they learned about you and your relationship with him?
Don't deceive yourself that he loves you. You're young and still have a long way to go. You really need to open your eyes.
Masami Ohinata, professor