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This Week, My Wife Will Have an Affair: Episode 9

This show continues to impress not only with the way it focuses on the characters, but in the way it uses their natural reactions to guide the plot. Not only do we continue to learn more about our main (and minor) cast, but they’re now starting to better understand each other, too. There is merit to the old adage to “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes,” and we still have miles to go before we sleep.

 

 
EPISODE 9 RECAP

Hyun-woo wakes bright and early the morning after Joon-soo’s accident to assume the role of both mother and father. Groggily stumbling to his son’s room, he trips over one of the many toys littering the floor. As he looks over the messy house, Hyun-woo thinks, “For the first time, I’m alone with Joon-soo.”

Hyun-woo is soon rushing around the apartment, trying to get his son’s backpack packed while nearly force-feeding Joon-soo his breakfast. The two barely make it to the school bus on time before Hyun-woo has to dash off, already late for work.

At the studio building, Yoon-ki’s secretary wanders down a hallway, tears of mascara running down her face as she stops outside the film team’s office. Enacting her own Shakespearian tragedy, the woman bids farewell to her oblivious crush, PD Ji-hoon, by blowing kisses at him through the window. Her dramatic moment is ruined when one of the female team members (who also has a crush on the PD) pops up on the other side of the window, sticks her tongue out, and lowers the blinds in the secretary’s face. Pfft.

Yoon-ki arrives at the office to find his secretary back at her desk and sniffling piteously. Sliding over her resignation letter, she sobs that Ara has moved her to another company. Yoon-ki feigns sorrow over her departure, but as soon as she leaves, he sends a fervent prayer to God, fanatically apologizing for ever doubting Him.

Hyun-woo’s adultery show is going so well that a studio representative from Japan visits, hoping to pick up the program for their own network. Unfortunately, Hyun-woo spends the entire meeting anxiously looking at his watch, knowing that he’s late to pick up his son.

After work, Hyun-woo sprints to the school… only to find out that one of the other mothers already picked Joon-soo up with the rest of the kids for their art class. Relieved but still panting, Hyun-woo heads home, thinking, “I think this is the first time since I was a rookie in the army that I’ve experienced a day as hectic as this.”

Things don’t get any easier later that night, as Joon-soo’s school has given the parents a homework assignment to create a doll representing a younger sibling for their child. Hair pulled back and muttering furiously, Hyun-woo tries his hand at sewing. Needless to say, it’s not his forte.

Deciding to improvise, Hyun-woo grabs a stapler and starts clamping together the cloth. Regrettably, the result looks more like the younger sibling of Edward Scissorhands, and Joon-soo instructs his father to start over.

Getting desperate, Hyun-woo sneaks a phone call to a local tailor to ask if they make dolls, but Joon-soo overhears and fusses that the teacher said the parents have to make it themselves. As Hyun-woo suffers through the sewing once more, he narrates, “I thought throwing out the trash and taking my child to kindergarten would be enough, but that wasn’t enough.”

The next morning has father and son running late again, but when they arrive at the school, Hyun-woo stares to see that the school is closed for the day. Joon-soo does an adorable happy dance at his unexpected day off, but Hyun-woo doesn’t know what to do, since he’s without a babysitter. Helpfully, Joon-soo pipes up that he can just come to work with his dad.

Next thing we know, Joon-soo is at the office, greeting the team members with a thorough introduction of himself while his dad smiles wryly. Joon-soo beams to see Joon-young arrive, but when he jumps up to greet his father’s friend, Joon-young leaps away from the child. Back pressed to the wall, the man inches around Joon-soo like the boy has leprosy, clearly uncomfortable with children.

With Ara staying with her parents, Yoon-ki dances around the house, affirming that it’s best to be home when the wife is gone. He takes a moment to call his mother-in-law to subtly check when Ara might be coming back. She confirms that Ara was planning to return for her wedding anniversary, and Yoon-ki happily skips off to enjoy his week of freedom, wondering which of his mistresses he should see today. Ugh.

Meanwhile, it looks like the dramatic flair runs strong in her family, as Ara stands on an empty beach, staring out into the ocean while the wind whips around her.

With his son is busy drawing, Hyun-woo sneakily texts one of his team members (who’s sitting at her desk ten feet away) in an attempt to foist the doll-sewing project off on her. Sadly, his cover is blown when the woman fails at subtlety and answers his text out loud, saying that of course she can finish the doll for him. Joon-soo yells at his dad, who in turn glowers at his obtuse subordinate.

Hyun-woo quickly backpedals, promising that he can make the doll – he can make any doll, no problem! Joon-soo brings over the rather complicated drawing he made of his ideal sibling, telling his dad to make something simple like this. Hyun-woo stares at the drawing, “This is simple?”

Hyun-woo is saved when Soo-yeon calls to check in. He answers Soo-yeon’s questions after retreating into the hallway, fibbing about how easy it’s been to take care of Joon-soo, and how he’s never once been late to pick him up or drop him off. Hyun-woo even extols his own amazing sewing abilities.

Hyun-woo asks for the contact number of the other mothers so that he can contact them the next time they pick up Joon-soo, and they both hang up, looking depressed.

Bo-young is coloring with Joon-soo when Joon-young joins them, sitting as far away from Joon-soo as possible and laughing at Bo-young’s lack of artistic talent. Though he shuts up pretty quick when Bo-young shoves the paper at him, daring him to do better. Heh.

Joon-soo asks after his father, and when Bo-young answers that he’s busy, Joon-soo pouts that his dad is always busy. Joon-young gently chastises that Hyun-woo has to work hard so he can afford things like the crayons that Joon-soo’s using right now, but Bo-young argues back that children don’t care about things like that, preferring their parents’ presence over presents.

Soo-yeon faces some trouble at work when her boss tries to pull her off a project. News has traveled through the office grapevine that she’s been living separated from her family. Worried that this could affect the project, he suggests that she let someone else step in, but Soo-yeon interrupts him. Asserting herself, she points out that she has never done anything to damage the company, and will continue to keep her personal life separate. Her boss grudgingly agrees, and Soo-yeon barely maintains her composure as she leaves his office.

Hyun-woo is also having a meeting with his own boss, the two discussing the Japanese studio’s interest in their adultery show. Hyun-woo is distracted when he gets a notification that the mother (whose contact information he requested from Soo-yeon) has added Hyun-woo to the moms’ chatroom. Oh boy.

Hyun-woo tries to pay attention to the meeting as he types out a greeting to the mothers, but he accidentally sends an angry emoticon and he swears out loud at the mistake. His boss assumes that he was swearing at him, and now Hyun-woo is stuck trying to pacify his station chief while typing out a retraction for his emoji. Multi-tasking!

Back at his desk, Hyun-woo reads through the wall of texts. He drafts a number of responses to the thread, spending an inordinate amount of time agonizing over the number of emojis/laughs to use.

Yoon-ki visits his first woman of the day, sitting in on the flower teacher’s lecture and throwing little hearts her way.

As her husband schedules a raunchy date with her flower arranging instructor, Ara descends further into her own mind. Looking like a drowned siren, she leaves her shoes on the sand and walks out into the ocean, eventually submerging herself completely beneath the waves.

The film crew is shooting another interview session for their show, and Hyun-woo directs the segment. Problem is, Hyun-woo is distracted by a string of texts from the moms’ chatroom, all of them eagerly teasing about a sale of eels (eels are supposed to have aphrodisiac properties to give men stamina). As the women gossip about giving the fish to their husbands, Hyun-woo gets confused, and instead of calling for a camera switch, he yells out, “Eels standby.” So much for multi-tasking.

The messages continue throughout the day, and Hyun-woo moans to Bo-young that all of the texts are useless information. The rest of the team weighs in, with one of the women disagreeing, saying the chatrooms are an important form of networking.

Still distracted, Hyun-woo writes a super polite response to mothers, but accidentally sends it to his work chatroom and his entire team reads it. Everyone teases him for his saccharine response, with Joon-young even pointing out that Hyun-woo is starting to sound like Soo-yeon.

All of TOYCRANE’s fans keep checking his post, upset that he hasn’t updated them in a while. We continue to learn a bit more of their stories, from the husband and wife that are facing a divorce of their own, to the man who keeps trying to drown himself in the Han River who can’t seem to tear himself away from his phone long enough to do it.

Hyun-woo is still getting bothered by all the messages. When his team asks why he can’t just leave the chat group, he explains that the moms help take care of Joon-soo. PD Ji-hoon points out that that doesn’t mean he has to act so subservient to these women, and his words remind Hyun-woo of when he’d yelled at Soo-yeon for being so submissive around the other mothers.

Hyun-woo gets a call from one of his old classmates, informing him that their professor passed away. The friend asks Hyun-woo to pass the funeral information on to Soo-yeon, and Hyun-woo agrees to see him there.

Joon-young comes out to check on Hyun-woo, but quickly finds himself drafted into babysitting duty. Judging from his expression, he considers it a fate worse than death.

Fully submerged, Ara floats. Memories of her husband’s many affairs flash through her head, and we learn that she knew about each and every woman. Thrashing through the water, Ara berates herself:

“The reason why I was holding on… yes, because I loved you. Eun Ara loved Choi Yoon-ki, so that’s why she was able to do it. I don’t love you anymore. I’m frustrated and disgusted at myself, who changed for a bastard like you. Don’t expect anything from me from now on! I won’t expect anything from you, trust you, or forgive you! I’ll only take revenge!”

Unable to contain it anymore, Ara screams “DIE!” She releases all her pent-up anger, causing a giant underwater explosion.

Unaware of his wife’s tsunami capabilities, Yoon-ki goes to see his saleswoman girlfriend. He has a moment of panic when he sees his Okinawa mistress at the same store, but he makes use of some convenient boxes and hightails it out of there.

Hyun-woo heads to the funeral without informing Soo-yeon of their professor’s passing. He’s just about to tell his old classmates that his wife couldn’t make it when his she runs up, apologizing for being late. Apparently she learned of the funeral from another friend, and Soo-yeon and Hyun-woo pay their respects together.

Husband and wife sit separately at the table with their old friends, with Hyun-woo frowning to see that the moms’ chatroom is now fangirling over a drama.

The friends sweetly tease the couple into sitting next to each other, and everyone good-naturedly tries to guess why Soo-yeon ever agreed to marry Hyun-woo.

Reporting for babysitting duty, Joon-young cowers behind a corner, staring at the messy apartment. When Joon-soo calls out that he’s hungry, Joon-young offers to order fast food, but the mature Joon-soo asks for food “that is good for children.”

Joon-young is saved by Bo-young, who arrives bearing groceries. Worried that Joon-soo wouldn’t last the night with his Uncle Joon-young, Bo-young came to help. However, when Joon-young asks her to cook dinner while he cleans the apartment, she balks. Joon-young smirks to realize that Bo-young can’t cook.

Thankfully, Joon-young is a natural in the kitchen, and soon has dinner ready for all three. Joon-soo observes the two grown-ups bantering, and says they’ll fall in love at this rate. The adults stare at the boy, and Joon-soo admits he heard the expression on TV. Joon-young grins to hear that they look good together, while Bo-young sighs that this is why they need to monitor television programs more responsibly.

Meanwhile, Hyun-woo and Soo-yeon’s schoolmates decide to go look at the stars like they used to, dragging our reluctant couple along with them.

Back at the house, Joon-young and Bo-young play with Joon-soo for hours, until the grown-ups are exhausted and in awe of Joon-soo’s boundless energy. Joon-young begs Bo-young to find the kid’s off switch, while she wonders if the boy really ate the same food as them.

Bo-young finally talks Joon-soo into going to bed, and they try to read him a bedtime story, but Joon-soo proves to be his father’s son as he nitpicks Joon-young’s character voice. Joon-young continues reading, but sadly, the only person he succeeds in putting to sleep is Bo-young. Hee.

The classmates gather outside to look at the stars, but Hyun-woo and Soo-yeon stand apart from the rest of the group, awkwardly talking about Joon-soo. They’re interrupted when a friend stumbles over, yelling at the pair for standing by themselves before he shoos Hyun-woo over to the group.

Alone with the friend, Soo-yeon answers the groups’ earlier question about why she married Hyun-woo. She says that she fell for him first, while Hyun-woo took a longer time to decide. Soo-yeon admits that she always liked how he wavered when making a decision. She believed that if it took a long time for him to choose, it meant that he chose carefully; if she was with him, then they’d always stay on the right path.

Unknown to Soo-yeon, Hyun-woo can hear what she’s been saying.

Joon-soo finally falls asleep, and the grown-ups break out the beer to celebrate. Bo-young and Joon-young can’t believe the amount of work it takes to raise a kid, and wonder why people become parents.

Joon-young supposes that it’d be worth it if it were his own child, and jokes that they should test the theory by having a kid together. Bo-young slaps a hand over his mouth in answer, but the action brings them close together. The two share a moment before quickly leaning away and chugging their beers.

After the stargazing, all of the rather inebriated classmates take up spaces on the funeral home floor. Still awake, Soo-yeon sees Hyun-woo sitting alone in the corner. Padding over, she finds him hunched over, trying to sew Joon-soo’s doll. Aww.

Looking like a big kid, Hyun-woo mutters that it’s Joon-soo’s homework, and Soo-yeon just stares at her domesticated husband. Hyun-woo hesitantly asks how to sew the arms on, and Soo-yeon takes pity on him. As she takes over sewing, Hyun-woo brings up the mom’s chatroom, gruffly complaining about the gossiping and their heavy use of emoticons. Soo-yeon smiles as she listens, but just as Hyun-woo looks like he’s about to say something else, Soo-yeon finishes the arm and hands the doll back, leaving him alone to sew the rest.

The next morning the two walk out together, and Hyun-woo offers his wife a ride home.

At said home, Bo-young awakens to find Joon-young already up, dressed, and cooking breakfast for Joon-soo. The two tease each other about Joon-young’s skills as a homemaker, and matchmaker Joon-soo remarks again that they get along well.

Just then, Soo-yeon calls from the car to check in with Joon-soo. The boy asks his mother if she’s coming home today, bringing her near tears. Unable to tell him the truth, Soo-yeon says she’ll call again soon as Hyun-woo listens to the conversation.

In the silent car, Hyun-woo asks if it was difficult for her. Soo-yeon doesn’t understand, so Hyun-woo confesses, “I thought I knew everything. I was arrogant. Besides throwing out the trash and taking Joon-soo to kindergarten, I really didn’t know there were so many things I had to pay attention to.”

Soo-yeon doesn’t answer, and they continue the ride in silence.

Yoon-ki’s girlfriend (the store clerk) is selling her apartment. Unfortunately for her, the woman her realtor found to buy the place is none other than Ara. The girlfriend looks absolutely nauseated to see her boyfriend’s wife at her door, but can say nothing with the realtor right there.

Once inside the apartment, the realtor soon departs to answer a call, and the younger woman confronts Ara. Nervous but brazen, the girlfriend is unrepentant, saying the apartment and everything in it was a gift from Yoon-ki, so she’s free to sell it if she wants. Ara remains unaffected by the girlfriend’s bluster, remarking instead on her upcoming wedding to a young man of good standing. The girlfriend pales, nervously confirming it.

Looking down, Ara points to the girlfriend’s abdomen and asks if the father is her fiancé or Yoon-ki? (Damn!) Outmatched, the girl immediately drops to her knees, begging Ara not to ruin her wedding. Ara pulls her hand out of the girl’s grasp, coolly saying that she’ll see her again.

After dropping Soo-yeon off at her apartment, Hyun-woo returns to the office. He asks Bo-young how the babysitting went, but is interrupted by a loud snore coming from the unconscious Joon-young.

Hyun-woo smirks at his exhausted hoobae, and Bo-young comments that after spending a night looking after Joon-soo, she doesn’t know how his wife managed it by herself. Hyun-woo agrees, saying it must have been difficult.

In her apartment, Soo-yeon types a response to Hyun-woo’s post: “TOYCRANE, there is something I’d like to ask you. Can you forget the fact that your wife slept with another man?”

Hyun-woo reads the post at his own computer and, after a pause, writes back, “I can forget it. I can forgive her. No, I mean I’ve already forgiven her.”

Hyun-woo’s post is immediately commented on by all his fans. Unfortunately, most of the responses are negative, with one man in particular becoming enraged that Hyun-woo would forgive his wife for her affair. Even TUNAMAYO weighs in, “You can probably forgive her. However, you will never be able to forget it.”

Dressed nicely, Hyun-woo gets into a car, and his post/narration continues, “Because I’ve started to understand her. Her many difficult days. I’m ashamed of myself for thinking I was a good husband and father.”

He calls someone and asks to meet them.

Bo-young and Joon-young pick up Joon-soo from his school, and Joon-soo introduces Bo-young to his teacher as an aunt. Joon-young bounds up to play with Joon-soo (obviously over his pedophobia), and the teacher comments on Joon-soo’s pretty aunt and her husband.

Awkward stares ensue as Bo-young tries to correct the woman’s assumption, but Joon-young beams and pulls Bo-young away, stating that Joon-soo’s “aunt and her husband” have to leave now.

Hyun-woo waits anxiously at a bar where he’s joined by a smiling Soo-yeon. The two have a dinner date, talking about how long it’s been since they had a drink together, and laugh as they innocently discuss everything and nothing.

As the reunited couple smile at each other, an anonymous person types a post: “I’ve found the personal information of the wife who had an affair. Her job is a graphic designer.”

 
COMMENTS

Well, that’s a twist.

Part of me wishes that we could have had more growth from Soo-yeon before the reconciliation stage. We’ve finally reached the point where both parties have acknowledged their own failings in their marriage, but Hyun-woo is the only one who’s really done anything to change. He was able to appreciate the struggle his wife went through, and he’s not only admitted his own arrogance, but empathized enough with his wife to forgive her. The Hyun-woo at the end of this episode is not the same one we premiered with, and if these two do manage to save their marriage, a large part of it will be due to his growing maturity.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Soo-yeon. I’ve gotten to the point where I can understand – if not condone – her actions, and she clearly regrets the pain she’s caused her family, but unlike her husband, she’s still the same person as the one who cheated. Admittedly, Soo-yeon has also had a very difficult time dealing with the fallout of her affair, but nothing’s truly changed for her on a fundamental level. Her lack of communication with Hyun-woo as well as her tendency to shoulder all the burden without asking for help are still prevalent. I worry that if Hyun-woo and Soo-yeon salvage their relationship, she’ll continue with her extreme selflessness until once again she can no longer handle it, breaks, and commits another selfish act like cheating, repeating the unhealthy cycle.

I’ve generally been ignoring Yoon-ki’s antics, since I just don’t care about him anymore, but I’m glad we finally got to hear a bit from Ara’s side of the relationship. She loved her husband so much that instead of being blind to his faults, she just ignored them, hoping against hope that he’d love her back. It seems like she’d fallen so deep into the habit of overlooking Yoon-ki’s affairs in favor of her love for him that she never realized she didn’t love him anymore. There are so many couples that get comfortable living a certain lifestyle, and they never stop to wonder if they even want to be together anymore. Ara has finally emerged from her murky waters of indecision (literally), and I’m looking forward to the fury that this scorned woman is about to rain down on Yoon-ki.

As for the new threat introduced in the cliffhanger, at first I didn’t care for the dramatic turn of Soo-yeon’s identity being discovered. This drama’s biggest strength has always been its focus on the characters and how their choices drive the plot, rather than the other way around. This introduction of an anonymous user digging into Hyun-woo and Soo-yeon’s private life seemed completely out of context for the series thus far, especially since our two leads seem well on their way to reconciliation. However, I’m realizing that I’ve forgotten a very important part of this story: It isn’t just a show about a man who learns that his wife has had an affair, but rather, a show about a man who uncovered his wife’s infidelity, and turned to the internet for help.

From the very first episode, Hyun-woo has voluntarily shared his private life with the world’s netizens. Up until this point, his many fans have been relatively passive, sharing their opinions and giving advice. But as TOYCRANE’s story attracted a wider and wider fan base, it’s a logical progression for at least one of them to become so invested in the story that they take matters into their own hands. We’ve already seen one fan become visibly enraged at the idea of Hyun-woo forgiving his wife, and it’s a small step to go from an angry reaction to actually taking action.

I have been wondering why the show not only continued to include the side stories of TOYCRANE’s fans, but also fleshed out the character profiles to the point that we now have at least three distinct storylines. Now it’s clear that the show always intended to address these netizens. Looking back, the show has repeatedly placed an emphasis on social media: Hyun-woo asked the internet for help, Soo-yeon felt burdened through the moms’ chatroom, Joon-young and Bo-young’s whole conflict was introduced through his ignored friend request, and even the text message from Soo-yeon’s lover that started everything. I’m enjoying this hidden commentary on how we rely on social media without realizing the impact it can have on our lives. We often forget that even though we’re typing on a screen, our words still reach real people, and carry the same consequences as a physical interaction. And those are the consequences that Hyun-woo will now have to face.

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This is a hard show to watch ... I really want a nice and happy ending, but I'm not sure if that is possible. Forgiving is so much easier than forgetting.

I'm curious to see if this relationship is salvageable, he has a better understanding now of what she was going through ... but still was that enough to justify an affair? Can you be intimate again with someone who gave their body to someone else?

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I totally agree with. You can forgive people you love and care about but you can't forget that easily especially when your trust was broken like that.

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I think you would be surprise how many of your coworkers, relatives, friends, acquaintances have been in this same predicament at some point in their lives and emerged from it to continue their marriage/relationship/family, and you were entirely oblivious to the drama.

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1) No, it was not enough to justify an affair. It was a reason. Maybe a realistic reason. Not a good reason. Actually, not a reason at all, more of a circumstance. Her *choosing* to cheat was the reason -the is a person, not a machine, she can choose how to react, and thus has to own her actions-. You might notice that most people don't go around breaking each other's trust and humiliating each other because they didn't achieve a perfect lifestyle balance (we understand the path from A to B, and call those that do assholes). When things are though you see a person's character.

What I am trying to say is that if it was not overworking, it would have been being a stay at home mom and being bored. On something else. It's obvious that you can't ask of life to always go smoothly (and these are easy, first world problems... they are so self absorbed and lacking perspective, ask someone who had to take care of relatives with a debilitating illness, or someone working in palliative care). Say you have to protect someone you love or take care of a paralized relative. If you turn out to be a coward or an ingrate, respectively, it's not that the specific circumstance was the "cause". You were just that kind of peron. When push come to shove, you show whether you are worthy of trust. In her case, when push came to shove she betrayed his trust. That life is hard is a truism. It's like that for most people, that doesn't mean that you get to use this fact, that, again, affects basically everyone, as an excuse (not sure that she herself does that in the drama, actually).

She turned out to be a person that would act that way, a thousand other women wouldn't have, thus I hope he can get out there and meet one of them, and maybe learn his lesson and show her a bit more consideration. If that was no the case, that kind of woman would leave him, which I find perfectly acceptable -you are not entitled to your partner's love, but you are entitled to basic respect-. To some people, that might seem worse, but I don't think so at all. It's honest and respectful. People who don't love each other should not stay together, but you can't claim you love someone with your mouth if with your actions you say that compared to your personal issues and demons, you don't care about breaking their trust.
2) I really think that the sex is *not* the point here. Polyamorous couples have sex with other people, and there is no breach of trust or dishonesty. On the other hand, you could have a betrayal even with a friend when there is nothing sexual going on. The betrayal of trust, the lack of care and the putting you own problems and issues ahead of basic respect for the other person is the problem. It is *not* the lack of love (you are not entitled to your partner's love, she could stop loving you, but you are entitled to a modicum of respect as a human being, and if necessary you talk it out or split up. "I am drained, unhappy, and I don't want to be with you...

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I have a real issue with people giving legitimacy to her "reason". I mean, hello, does it make sense that you are tired, you have a busy schedule, partly because of activities you actually chose and thus you cheat? Wait, what? How did we jump from A to B again? An hour with her lover is not any more or less time than an hour doing yoga or getting a massage. It doesn't add time to the day. If we are in an argument and suddenly you punch me in the face, you can't blame the victim or the previous argument, those are separate issues. The argument might be both people's fault, the decision of the escalation would be squarely on the shoulders of the attacker. And this was kind of a non sequitur, it simply doesn't follow that, given A, doing B is a reasonable course of action, or something that we can say "yeah, I could see that happening to me". I don't think it's the way me or an decent person would react, it's disproportionate and not a reasonable reaction, the same way responding to irritation with physical violence could happen, but would not be a reasonable response, because it would be an unwarranted escalation that is out of proportion.

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Being a strong supporter of fidelity in relationships, I thought I would hate this drama (I didn't even bother to watch the airport drama). However, the drama didn't really focus on 'why?' but 'what next?'. It took a very realistic approach and there's no one way to handle it. The man she cheated with reconciled with his wife, but it looks like that may not be the same for her. We see the effects of the affair and posting about personal issues on the internet.
Nowadays with daily vlogs, and internet diaries, it's very easy to get involved with someone else's life and relationships. Once you expose yourself on a personal level to the public, there are two side effects. One, the followers would feel like they know you personally. Two, they would want to know more. When a popular daily vlogging couple on YouTube decided to break up they got a lot of backlash from their followers who were super invested in their relationship. That's why I can see it happening: someone who would go to extreme measures all because of someone's postings online. They don't understand that they've crossed the very vague line of anonymity. They want to act, not just be in the know.

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Thank you for the recap!!!! i have been refreshing the page all day.
i loved this episode the progression hyunwoo has been making the last 2 episodes has made really love this show so much more.
i have to say i was always curious on how they were going to tell the stories of the netizen without it being too much, i am glad we are getting a bit on insight into these people, it makes for story of other scenarios, because even though netizen are anonymous they are still ppl with problems of their own that are using their personal experiences to give advice and for the viewers understanding a bit of where these ppl are coming from helps give a certain flavor to their words.
i'm sooo happy Yoonki is finally going to get what he deserves, it took too long in my opinion but i'm happy nonetheless. Ara FTW!!!
And BoyoungA!! and Joonyounga!! yay for their progress they look so cute together!!! the Young young couple ship is sailing!, i'm loving that all that the minor characters are getting such fun stories( even yoonki's is going to be fun now that the revenge is in full swing) so goood!!! my sister an i are watching and discussing it every chance we get JTBC is slowly creeping up my fave channel list

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I loved Ah-ra scene so much, it was something like a resurrection for her, a phoenix coming from ashes!

And I'm dying with the cuteness of Bo-young and Joon-young, I want these two together ASAP.

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I'm really enjoying this show and I did enjoy the turn of events this episode at the end, especially with the social media/forum angle coming in. Like you, Candidclown, I was hoping for more growth from Soo Yeon before the reconciliation happened and I am largely concerned by this episode and the next at how the women's voices in the marriages continue to be silenced. We don't see much of what's going on in their minds/hearts and also, we can't understand their growth. Shared more about it in my blog entry on this...

https://kdramaanalysis.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/my-wife-is-having-an-affair-this-week-episode-9/

Thanks once again, Candidclown, for the great recap and insightful comments. Always learn a lot from what you share and this time, it's what you write about the internet community and how we do not realize the impact we have :)

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I just want to say that along with the Dramabeans recaps I also look forward to your weekly reviews of the episodes. They are so well written and enjoyable to read. I haven't personally had much trouble with this unique story-telling just from one character's perspective because it does result in people all over the drama threads giving their voices to Soo Yeon.

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Thanks for your kind words, Maplesilver. :)

The concern I have in having one-sided storyline is exactly as you shared - that everyone starts giving their own voices to her and telling her story for her. And we don't have any evidence of her growth as well. Perhaps there's also an optimist in me, believing that the show wants to tell a positive story of how both husband and wife need to work together to rebuild their marriage. However, all the growth seems to be only on Hyun Woo's end, which certainly isn't healthy and she might end up in the same cycle again. For all that the show has shown of her struggles, wouldn't it also want to use this opportunity to also build in a storyline of growth for her? The only growth I've seen so far is in her being able to stand up to her boss in this episode.

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I have to agree. Her biggest area of growth would be to say enough with maintaining the perfect mom image and stop being afraid to show some vulnerability in front of her husband. She needs to be willing to let him come in and help her even when he may not do things exactly the ways she wants. There is certainly enough time left in the last two episodes to show this growth. Unfortunately these things may not even be enough as foreshadowed by her post asking if he could forget the fact that his wife has been held in another man's arm. We have been assured of an uplifting ending, but at this point I personally will be disappointed with anything other than a complete restoration of their marriage. This is such a big challenge and I can't think of a satisfying scenario either way.

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Really liking this week's episodes. I swear Ara is one of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children. That underwater scene was fantastic!

I really love Joon-Young and Bo-Young. They do match each other and will surely be great parents in the future seeing how they both took care of the child adorably. My favorite couple.

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I thought Ara's suicide attempt was not very credible -- she always struck me as more the get-revenge type. Nice depth-charge explosion though :)

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I don't think she was attempting suicide. If you look at all that she's said so far you can see that she went into the water to clear her mind and become the boss ass pheonix she was meant to be. She told her husband she was coming back and she had something for him when she arrived. One doesn't tell multiple people she's coming back if they was gonna kill themselves. She was just going to clear her thought so she could rain down hell fire

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I thought the infidelity would be the only terror in this drama, but no, here comes the dreaded internet mob mentality.

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CandidClown, thank you for this recap. Your thoughts at the end are mind-blowing to me! I mean, we know that social media is a juggernaut of varying reactions and emotions and the like, but I know I frequently forget that there are people behind them. Your last paragraph was an excellent reminder that there's people out there, and not just faceless entities behind all those posts and comments. I try my best to keep from saying anything negative. But I also wonder on occasion if I'm sharing too much for the all the interwebs to see. It also brought to the forefront just how much I've turned away from solely confiding in my husband in the last decade or so. It's strange when I think about it. Here I am, an introvert that can barely articulate her feelings face-to-face, but she's willing to share with a faceless world those private thoughts that should only belong to my journal and close family. Lots to ponder and reexamine again. Thank you for that! ?

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I find it endlessly fascinating that a drama about affair has as one of its strongest themes the extent of cyber connection any one person has in this day and age. What's even more impressive to me is that the show has done this while staying clear of the lecture on internet dating/hook-up dangers, or the bad manner of staring into your screen while being in the company of others, or other such things. Instead we get to see how even in cyber space we basically just want to be accepted and validated. I just think the combination of the affair and cyber themes is brilliantly done and very seamless.

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Yes! This show is a classic example of "show, don't tell" your audience what lessons to learn. The subtlety is beautiful here.

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ARA IS THE QUEEN!!!!

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THIS IS WHAT I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR !!!!

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Same here.

I am positive that Ara will deliver a satisfying revenge. Yoon ki and his mistresses should be praying for their life now

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i'm living for ara's revenge

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Yes! Either get him GOOD, or leave him high and dry. All or nothing, Ara!

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I am dying from the cuteness overload that is Joonyoung and Boyoung! I think they are quickly becoming one of my biggest OTP. I love their friendship and their banter. I was Joonsoo in that scene: they are so crazy for each other JUST ADMIT IT! lol

Joonyoung is so precious. I think he is now one of my favourite male tv character. I was laughing so hard when he was scared of Joonsoo and then I nearly found myself swooning when he went full daddy mode. Boyoung is also completely awesome. I admire her strong character and relate to her vulnerable side. It's clear that she is afraid of getting hurt again just like Joonyoung. It's great that they are able to heal each other from their past relationships because they have both been badly burned in love.

I can't wait for Yoonki to get what he deserve. I have little respect for people like him (although his antics are quite funny as in it is funny to watch him make a complete foul of himself) and I am glad to see that Arah might finally have the last laugh.

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Have stopped watching this. Every episode piles on The misery n realisations of inadequacy in hyun woo but his wife just the same she was. It's simply ridiculous, her inability to open up communicate bcz of her guilt, as the writing puts forth. Its a shoe that is hell bent on making the man take complete responsibility for adultery that his wife commited. For all the realist portrayal that this show seems to display it is anything but. Am done with this.

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Show , damn auto, making it shoe.

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Agree. That's one of my criticism of the show. They seem to justify and validate her affair. There's a difference between understanding why she would have made the choice to cheat but it's another to ignore her own involvement in making that choice while putting all the blame on Hyunwoo. I wished Sooyeon wasn't painted as a victim. Yes I do synpathise with her hardship but I do not excuse her affair for it. It would be different if she seemed apologetic to Hyunwoo but sometimes I feel that her "guilt" is more due to her feeling sorry for herself more then anything.

I hope the show rectifies this by the end. Now that Hyunwoo has acknowledge his faults, time for Sooyeon to wake up if she sincerely wants to fix the relationship.

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Yes, its apparent that you did indeed stop watching.

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Thank you.

I'm so sick of her "need" to bare all the burden and be silent all the time. But since the writers have not bothered to give us a back story to her, we don't know if she became like that or always just stayed silent making herself into a martyr.

She needs to grow some self-confidence and exert her wants and dissatisfaction.

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CandidClown, I love the picture you chose to put at the top of the recap. Hyun Woo (LSK) looks so damn proud of the boy. I hope he receives some acting award for this awesome portrayal of his HW. Speaking of male performances, are there many others that rival his role this year? I know viewers have praised Lee Jun-ki, Jang-hyuk, and JJS in their dramas. Any other outstanding ones?

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I know it was earlier this year, but the young man who played the king in Mirror of the Witch still comes to mind. Wasn't Six Flying Dragons this year, too? Loads from that one, then!

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Man, that BIG twist might be the solution to Soo Yeon's growth? Joon soo is SO cute... reminds me all the time I've loved him in Pride and Prejudice.

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As a fan of SJH and her career through the beginning of her acting career and as obviously a fan of hers through RM, I decided to give this show a try even though the topic and the drama was not exactly my cup of tea. While I agonized through each episode and wondered at multiple points whether to give up on it, I managed to stick through all 10 episodes so far. As a guy, that's very difficult for a show such as this.

My viewpoint on this show may not be agreed upon by many of the much of presumed female audience of this thread. This show to me is strictly feminist (and not in a good way). And I don't make that comment lightly. I understand the implications of my comment but I stand by them, and I at least want to share my viewpoint because I'm sure it will be criticized by many here.

JJH has obvious flaws as a husband and father. However, his flaws IMO are not of neglect, violence, and/or sheer lack of respect for his wife or his fatherly duties. He's a hard working man, working tireless hours as a head producer. He genuinely cares about the well-being of his son and his wife, even in the beginning episodes. His flaws are, admittedly, that he does not do enough. He only thinks that taking out the trash and picking up his son once every so often is enough for the relationship. This I agree is not enough; however, as I stated before, it does not make him a terrible person. If anything, he lacks perspective. He genuinely doesn't understand that his efforts are minimal; that his wife is garnering the larger of the burden of being the wife, homemaker, and caretaker of his son.

Throughout the episodes especially from ep.6 on, we see constant growth of his character. He has deep realizations, self-reflections, and strives to be a better person. He takes on more responsibility, and he does the harder task by admitting this to Soo-Yeon and his co-workers. He becomes more perceptive; he realizes what his wife has been doing all these years. He becomes more thoughtful, even through his still busy schedule.

My problem is, what has Soo-Yeon ever done? She's the one that cheated with a man for 6 mo. She claims this was because she was overcome by the burden of having to do everything. That it was nice to be acknowledged by someone else to allow her to do what she wanted. Huh? So your complaint is you don't have time to yourself, and so you make the time for 6 mo to cheat on your husband? And I'm supposed to feel for her character because of the burden she had? She doesn't speak up; she's timid, and always accepted the brunt of the responsibilities. Hey, lady, get it through your head, men aren't psychics. They aren't able to read your mind. If you don't speak up, then how am I supposed to feel sorry for you? It's cold, it's not right, but cheating because of that? C'mon! And the writers of this show continuously keep making her the sympathetic character, as though she's been wronged in all of this. Well, I think that's just...

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I understand your point and I am glad for the comment you made, it makes me realise how people differ in perception and perspective.

I adore how the husband started to change and ADMITTED it to her. That was the moment when I melted, this is the right kind of guy who realised his mistakes and admitted them. I am also sure, he will start working towards fixing them too. He was an asshole many times, but now he can be a bit better as a person, whether he stays with his wife or not.

As for the wife... I did not feel at any time she has been excused, we were just shown the reasons that drove her to do what she has done, or at least some of those. At every corner she was also blamed for everything. I understand her way of thinking though, I react in the same way. I am too timid, confrontation is too stressful, so I take more than I can handle and then it blows in my face. And afterwards the guilt is so heavy that I don't feel I have any right to apologise even. That I do not deserve the forgiveness at all, so I would not be able to accept it from other people. Which is obviously not the very good attitude to have, but personality traits and habits are difficult to overcome, the older you get. I hope she will get there at some point and improve, but bashing on her from every corner certainly does not help with inner growth.

Those shows tackling cheating that seemed to appear recently hit me, because I was usually a very naive person thinking: well you cheat, I leave. But when you have careers, children, families and everything that ties those... it is not so simple anymore. I do not think I would ever be able to live with a cheater, but now I seem to be much more open minded. I also do not think that the wife is in any way like Yoon-ki. He's just an asshole, he likes the thrill. I'm sure that if she grows a bit more and gets better at communicating with her partner, she will never cheat again. But that might be my naive take on this.

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@salva

My problem inlies more with the characterization of the situation from the writers and the director of this drama. Soo Yeons decision to cheat is portrayed as deep and complicated. However, Hyun Woo seems to do all the admission of wrong, all while she gets to remain in the bubble of her own personality. And yes, to me personally, the show definitively tries to make her sympathetic. While i agree sympathy may not equal an excuse for her character cheating per se, but as you and many others have pointed out, you can "understand" her way of thinking.

And I'm glad you pointed out Yoo Gi's character. Everyone can go ahead and despise his character (deservedly so) because his cheating is purely physical, and his portrayal is just of a bastard who cheats on his wife at will with no remorse or care for her. However, this is exactly why I stand by my initial feminist comment because I for one see very few differences in these 2 situations (not character, that's obvious). Both are unforgivable but the drama wants to make the woman's decision to cheat with such conflict that you understand Soo Yeons POV but they make the guy out to be so bad the audience could never be sympathetic towards his character. That's just wrong and if the exact characterizations were reversed, there would be a public outcry in Korea about this drama being made. But now, it's actually somewhat gained ratings and is being hailed as a good drama. Smh

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To both DS and salva: ????? I can very much identify with salva (I act very much as you do; not that it's healthy, but there it is). DS made some excellent points, and I really like seeing your perspective, too! Squeeeeee!!! I'm actually doing that reading comments!

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You nailed it here! As a woman, I have the same perspective. I've said earlier, these are issues for arguments, maybe counseling...but an affair? No way! She has to be seen as a perfect wife and perfect mother...well, how does having an affair fit that picture? She's so exhausted, but she finds time for married man, putting her wants ahead of the integrity of her own family and her lover's. I don't hate her character, I just think she's full of it.

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I still don't get why Soo-yeon had to have an affair! Nothing to me justifies what she did. I understand that she was going through a hard time, struggling with her job, taking care of the house and her son, having to put up with the mothers and all but she chose not to say anything about it! she could have chosen to talk to Hyun-woo, tell him that it was not easy for her, ask him for help, just talk to him but she didn't, how was he supposed to know what she's going through when she's always wearing a smile in front of him, she never talked and he never asked!

I don't think Hyun-woo's forgiving her because he forgot about the affair, he loves her and obviously misses her, and forgiving her might be because he's afraid of losing her and that they have a son together, and he doesn't want to destroy this family for him, but she broke his trust and broken things never mend perfectly, even if he tries to forget and put all of this past him, he can't that easily, because "Your past is always your past. Even if you forget it, it remembers you" Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye.

Thank you CandidClown for the recap.

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They sugarcoated the last half of the drama, like no man, especially woman would ever cheat and then revert back to her past love, that is the husband so soon so fast, it doesn't make sense. I wonder how the original japanese ending was like. I think for woman it takes a little much time to adjust their emotions, just like the cheater lawyer friend said, when the women cheat, it's mostly to do with emotions, not physical relationship. So, just because she got caught, it doesn't seem so usual to stop loving the man she has become attracted to, it's not that simple right. But yes I do agree that it can happen that you become attracted to someone for no good reason, marriages can be perfect and still you can get emotionally attached to someone else, if you fall out of love in the marriage. I admit people make mistakes, it's human to do so. What's sad is when people hide the facts and live a dual life. They can be brave and start clean since it's poisonous to cause pain and conflict to both families involved.

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But SooYeon didn't love the other man though. She only fell for the comfort he brought her.

So essentially, she found her love and comfort in two different men, because the man she loved wasn't giving her comfort. But who she loved never changed.

I'm not excusing her, I'm just explaining why she's still so willing to get back with HyunWoo. Her love never changed from one guy to another, and when the man she loves offered and wanted to also be the man she can find comfort in, she welcomed that and the other guy just promptly got forgotten. So there were no real feelings that needed major rearranging or clarification.

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It is sad!

I understand that people fall out of love, and feel attracted to other people other than their spouses but if everyone decides to act upon these attractions no marriage will ever survive!

I wonder what Soo-yeon would've done if she wasn't caught? Will she still be cheating on Hyun-woo? The man she had an affair with clearly had no intention to ever leave his wife for her, so what would've she done?!

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this was a reply @sky!

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"Unaware of his wife’s tsunami capabilities" HAHAHAHAHA

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I dare say he's gonna get familiar with her tsunami capabilities real SOON. And we all are impatiently waiting for that :DDD

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Love this week's episodes! Can't believe it can get better and better. I checked and was very surprised that it will only end in eps 12, so only 1 week left! I will not forget this drama for a long time. It hits too close to the home, it's so realistic, it's touching, and not over the top.

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I think the thing missing here ... is more insight into SY's 6 months of infidelity ... was she torn emotionally before each encounter? Was she racked with guilt after each encounter? During her interludes did she just surrender herself or was there constant conflict?

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@logan5

I doubt with the remaining 2 episodes given where they are in the storyline, you will see that perspective. That's why my comments are so vitriol towards the writers/director of this drama. Because of the way she's portrayed, you as a viewer are left with that possibility. The possibility of her feeling guilt and conflict, because of the depth and sympathy in which they portray her character. It's possible that she was conflicted, but in reality, that's just a presumption. That may not even be true. It's 6 months. That' a looooonnng time. The guilt, if she felt any, didn't burden her more than the burden of her family & work & overall situation?

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I agree ... 6 months is a long time ... especially if she was meeting her lover on a regular basis ... that's enough time to come to terms with any perceived guilt and either accept it because the reward was greater than the guilt, or to reject the affair because of the guilt.

6 months is not a fling ... that's long enough to have your emotions and intentions sorted out.

I really want to sympathize with her ... but I just can't ... and apparently neither can she.

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What regular basis? Are we watching the same series?
It was clearly said it they only had sex once, 6 months before, and then she missed him and asked to see him again (outside work meeting, that is), and that date was to be their second time.

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My interpretation is that the affair started six months ago and during that six months they slept together once. But it did not mean that they met only once. They probably had many many meetings, then stopped for whatever reason, then SY reached out to her lover again, but it was not clear when. So their spoiled rendezvous might or might not be the one she initiated.

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TUNAMAYO really seems like it is Ara. Her remark on Hyun Woo's post is a different tone than before. Ara has changed.

I'm looking forward to Ara getting her revenge on her husband. I want it to be satisfying and not just done for the comedy.

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I concur with the observation that HW has grown. His role reversing experience as JS's primary care giver has made him more aware stressful tasks and be more understanding and appreciative of SY.
But I also see that SY has grown too. She recognises and appreciates as a good and nice man she chose. She also saw strength in his weakness. Notice how she smiles as she praises HW. She helps HW sew the doll and even had a restful sleep on the car ride.
After reading HW's writing, she doubted reconciliation because she could not forgive herself. Later, after trip to their teacher's wake, she "tested the waters" by asking if HW can forget the fact that another man held her.
In this episode we are shown scenes of HW and SY talking and eating amicably.
Of course, more changes are needed. So, let's cheer them on.

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I agree with the insights of many commenters that SY would not likely end her affair with SW if not for exposure. She did not show any guilt nor appeared torn by it. On the contrary, she acted like it was the norm. I draw your attention to her being caught one afternoon meeting SW. In fact, she was all smiles when SW held her hands when he dropped her off after SY met him after she lied to HW that she had to run back to office. There were all the other "stealth" measures she adopted to changing her mobile password after receiving SW msg about the hotel romp. She lied about having to attend a meeting on the day of her hotel meeting with SW. And even took off her wedding ring on that occasion. She lied that she was still at meeting when HW called her. She lied that "for now, she would not meet that man" knowing it would not be feasible given their current company project. In fact, SY seemed upset that SW had asked for her removal as project team leader. Lastly, she was not very forthcoming when asked very calmly how long was the affair. When pressed to answer HW's pointed questions, she defiantly admitted to six months, she slept with SW, and she missed SW very much and asked to meet up.
Given these "facts" in the narrative, I am certain that SY would not have ended affair if not discovered. Further, if HW had not appeared at SW's workplace and informed SW's wife about the affair, SY and SW would likely kept the affair. SY later admitted herself that like chasing a balloon (her affair) she would have chased it to the road if HW had not discovered and stopped her. True, SY did not have an affair to get divorced. First, SW would not leave his family for her. Second, as a divorced adulterous woman she would have lost all social standing. Thirdly, she would have lost her son JS. Finally, staying married to HW but keeping her affair to SW would let her have her cake and it.
So, would SY cheat again later? Perhaps it is a good issue to explore in a sequel.

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Hey can anyone tell me what song was it when Ara was underwater in the sea please?

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See response below. Hope it's what you are looking for.

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It's called "I Miss You, I Love You" by #Gun feat jessi. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NA8kEDBfrXE

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THAN YOU SO MUCH!!!

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Plssss what title of the song when Ara is in under water.. ???

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I get that this is meant to sound noble. Unfortunately, to me (but certainly not to everyone else), it just sounds like an idiot proud of ignoring information and willfully engaging in self delusions.

“I can forget it. I can forgive her. No, I mean I’ve already forgiven her.”

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"Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Soo-yeon. I’ve gotten to the point where I can understand – if not condone – her actions, and she clearly regrets the pain she’s caused her family, but unlike her husband, she’s still the same person as the one who cheated."

I'm still not really there, because I think that a reason is not necessarily a good reason, if it can be used as a reason at all. If I am arguing with someone who punches me in the face, the fight might be both people's fault, but he can't very well claim that the argument was the reason he hit me. He hit me because he chose to, because he decided to escalate, it wasn't a necessary or deterministic development, but the result of an intentional choice, and he bears all the responsibility for it, it's not on both of us or on the general context. Personal responsibility. She had a busy schedule, which she was partly responsible for, given that she chose her activities. She didn't communicate (he didn't solicit it, on the other hand, he is not a mind reader). Cheating doesn't add more hours to the day, and an hour with her lover is not more time than an hour doing yoga, so the whole thing seems kind of bs to me. When you are overworked, betraying those you love is not exactly the first thought on the list, I simply don't think it's a reasonable jump, and can't empathize with her or see her behavior as "understandable but wrong". It was wrong and something I can't see myself or a decent person doing, and I found the reaction stupid on top of immoral, deceitful, hurtful and uncaring. And yeah, she is the same person. Not that improving after the fact would ameliorate the situation, she doesn't have a time machine, she is a cheating wife and her husband a cuckhold, that's simply a fact that she can't alter post facto with words or whistful thinking.

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"I’ve generally been ignoring Yoon-ki’s antics, since I just don’t care about him anymore"

Basically the same way I feel about the wife, because the betrayal and deception was a non starter -no reason coming afterwards could be a good enough justification in my eyes, so I am kinda hoping that they would cut the matter at the knee and move on with his life, find someone better-.

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Personally, the thing I would point out is that it's not as if Yoon-ki has treated his partner any different from the MC's wife, so I don't really see them morally on two different planes, if anything I find his reasons more banal and less irritating, at least there is no sanctimonious bs. It's a distinction without a difference, entirely related to their inner thoughts, emotions and the view they have of themselves, but it's not as if he is scum and she is morally superior -I would say they are both scum- oh, there is an excuse... yes, a bad excuse that doesn't excuse a damn thing. A thief is a thief is a thief. A traitor is a traitor is a traitor. Evaluate their motives as you wish -it's kind arbitrary, given that in practice what they both did was deceive their partners and humiliated them, without caring about hurting them or what consequences their behavior would have on their families-. The fact is that when push came to shove, they both showed themselves to be equally untrustworthy and willing to lie. There are people who would and people who wouldn't, and they both turned out to be people who would. That puts them in a separate category, let's be cleare about that and separate the chaff from the wheat.

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"Hyun-woo’s post is immediately commented on by all his fans. Unfortunately, most of the responses are negative, with one man in particular becoming enraged that Hyun-woo would forgive his wife for her affair. Even TUNAMAYO weighs in, “You can probably forgive her. However, you will never be able to forget it.”

Dressed nicely, Hyun-woo gets into a car, and his post/narration continues, “Because I’ve started to understand her. Her many difficult days. I’m ashamed of myself for thinking I was a good husband and father.”

He calls someone and asks to meet them."

These are two separate issues. The fact that he could have been a better husband and father does not mean that he deserved to be cheated on -he was hardly the worst person there, the other husbands were well worse than him-. He wasn't a deadbeat, he wasn't abusive, he didn't do as well as he could, but never hurt them intentionally. She did. There is no proportionality. And his self flagellation is not enlightened, it reeks of battered wife syndrome and lack of self esteem, as if he didn't deserve anything better. Well, he did. This sick, twisted behavior is psychologically unhealthy, no better than a wife blaming herself for her wife-beater, drunken husband, because she didn't cook him meals on time. Relationships have boundaries, and there are minimal standards of expected behavior. He should learn what he could have done better to improve himself, but he shouldn't blame himself for the betrayal, humiliation and deception his wife inflicted on him and their child for half a year. He didn't *cause* her to act that way, that was her decision and her responsibility. There is simply no proportionality between his behavior, the general context, and the way she chose to respond. That's a rather important distinction to make, the contrary would be asymmetric and psychologically unhealthy. He is her husband, not her father or caretaker, her master or a puppeteer. She is an adult responsible for her own choices. Two things can be kept in mind at the same time 1) he could have done better, 2), what she did was unforgivable and not proportionate in any way, not a reasonable response to the situation. There shouldn't be a question of can or should he forgive her, the question should be, given that she has broken a clear boundary and failed to meet a minimal standard of decency and respect, why would he want to? He deserves better, and shouldn't let his failing convince him that he does not, or that he was the cause of the situation rather than the victim of it. In the matter of the betrayal, it's not really a gray area of who is at fault, like in an argument, if someone punches the other person it's not a gray area whose responsibility it is for that -the one who escalated, unambiguously-.

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I found his self blame rather disappointing.

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The MC's, I mean. It's one thing to be self reflective, it's quite another thing to lose all sense of proportions and starting to draw connections between behaviors where there are none. Self inquiry is healthy, what he is doing at the moment is narcisistic and masochistic at the same time. He is not the reason for everything malevolent that happens in the world, or even in his own life, people have agency, and thus they should bear responsibility for their actions.

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Rather disappointing turn of events, but at least the online netizens seems saner than the MC. One occasions when asking for their opinion didn't turn up a completely idiotic result, on the other hand even a broken clock is right twice a day. His idea of outsourcing his thinking remains rather idiotic, there is a reason people don't take important decision about their lives by polling a mob.

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