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Japanese Relationship Affairs vs. American Relationship Affairs

by Ewa Nowogorski

The affairs I’d like to talk about here today are of the illicit kind. Yes, I’ll be talking about cheating, and what constitutes cheating in both countries. Unfortunately, where relationships exist, so does cheating. Some people do it because they get bored. They want or need more to satisfy certain desires. Some fall in love with more than one person at once. Some people do it out of revenge. Some people get a kick out of cheating. And then some people will cheat without realizing that they’re doing it.

Some people are very quick to forgive cheaters. Others will never forgive a cheating partner. In Japan and America, there are plenty of cheaters, in both casual relationships and marriages. A reported 20% of women and almost 30% of men (38% of married men) on average have cheated on their partner in Japan. In America, around 13% of women and 20% of men are reported to have cheated on a partner. These are self-reports, so the numbers may actually be much higher than we expect.

While many respectable Americans cannot accept any form of cheating, even something as light as kissing another person than the one they are supposed to be committed to, Japanese people view cheating a little differently. Many people, especially women, will excuse their partners if they find out they are visiting soaplands and sex parlors. One man interviewed by Asian Boss about cheating even described prostitution as something similar to going to a restaurant. To females, their male partners going to sex parlors is just another thing that they do, and as long as they do not get emotionally attached, it’s technically not cheating. For men, generally any sort of physical contact counts as cheating.

In the media a lot of men even seem to get away with cheating, and it is believed by many Japanese people to be becoming more and more acceptable. It seems that women still get punished and ostracized for cheating though.

The same can be said about cheating in America, where the society is also dominated by males. Contrary to Japan though, Americans see sexual acts with a person other than a partner more as cheating than having feelings for a person other than their partner.

At the end of the day, opinions on cheating vary between men and women, and some take it more lightly than others.

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