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This Week, My Wife Will Have an Affair: Episode 12 (Final)

From the beginning, This Week, My Wife Will Have an Affair has boasted a winning combination of dark humor, appealing but flawed characters, and a healthy dose of realism that’s made this show immensely watchable despite its less than savory premise of adultery. Luckily for all of us TOYCRANE fans, the show remains true to its roots until the very end — and though I’m sad to say goodbye, I’m so glad that we get to send our characters off into their new lives in the same heartfelt way that we were introduced to them.

 

 
FINAL EPISODE RECAP

We see Soo-yeon and Hyun-woo settle into life after divorce. While Soo-yeon’s busy unpacking and taking care of Joon-soo, Hyun-woo reels at the sight of anything in his house that reminds him of his separated family.

After reading through the responses to her husband’s last post on the stocks forum, Soo-yeon writes her own post, introducing herself as TOYCRANE’s cheating wife. She writes that she wants to share her side of the story and asks the internet community to blame her for their failed marriage, rather than her husband.

She says their story was typical at first: They dated, got married, and completed their little family with Joon-soo. Soo-yeon talks about the difficult decision of going back to work when Joon-soo was only a baby, saying that she didn’t want her career to end after having a child.

She recounts her struggle watching Joon-soo turn into a loner (very much like her), but adds that she didn’t have the bandwidth to deal with it. Although she tried hard to be a good mother and a good employee, she writes, she failed on both counts.

She goes on to add that her belated efforts to help Joon-soo fit in better at school mainly involved sucking up to the other moms, but it wasn’t an easy task. When she finally got the invite to the moms-only chat group, she says it felt like it was finally okay not to feel guilty.

By then, her every waking moment had been consumed with work, Joon-soo, and making sure she wouldn’t get kicked out of her mom group. She didn’t have a spare moment to herself, but she says she thought it was all okay — at least, until that fateful day she met with her soon-to-be lover, Sun-woo.

That day, Sun-woo had been two hours late to their scheduled meeting. She calls those two hours a “gift,” during which she almost finished reading an entire novel, and she says that’s when she realized she was living her life without even having two hours to spare for herself.

When she was with Sun-woo, she says she stopped thinking about her family, her work, and her responsibilities. She writes that she felt like a kid chasing after a balloon, and if her husband hadn’t discovered her at the hotel, she’d still be out wandering.

She says her relationship with Sun-woo had its ending written before it began, then affirms the rest of Hyun-woo’s posts: she was the first to suggest divorce, the first to give up on the relationship. She notes that Hyun-woo didn’t give up until the very end, and she, in contrast, remained a selfish wife.

Soo-yeon adds that surprisingly, life hasn’t changed much after the divorce. We see that Hyun-woo seems be adjusting okay as well, as he stops by a claw machine on his way home. And at the elevator in his building, his stuffed trophies in hand, he meets a pretty neighbor clutching her own claw machine prizes.

Soo-yeon finishes up her post by taking responsibility for all that’s happened. She asks the commenters to encourage Hyun-woo rather than tear him down.

Just as she’s typed her last words, the doorbell rings — it’s Hyun-woo, returning Joon-soo from a day of fun. Hyun-woo fixes a flickering light in the entryway for Soo-yeon before he goes, and Soo-yeon packs up side dishes for him to take home. All the while, the two talk comfortably, like good friends.

Yoon-ki’s sales clerk ex receives visitors on her wedding day, looking radiant — that is, until she sees Ara walk in. Ara congratulates the young woman, who’s now cowering in fear, and throws her arm around her for the commemorative photo. Before she leaves, Ara whispers something in the bride’s ear that causes her to break down in tears of despair.

Meanwhile, Yoon-ki has set up shop in the dusty basement of a worn building that attracts zero clients, and he looks as disheveled as his new office. He gets chewed out by his landlord for not being able to pay his rent, while the neighborhood ajummas gossip behind his back about how he’s a “garbage” lawyer. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Yoon-ki’s home life isn’t much better, as he now lives in a tiny ramshackle house with his Okinawa mistress. They start arguing the moment he walks in — she’s convinced that he’s still cheating, while he complains about her shopping habits. But really, their fight is about being unhappy with their new, poorer reality, and their night ends with a yelling match.

Hyun-woo can’t pass up a claw machine on his way home after noticing that all the toys are perfectly piled up on one side. Just as he slips a bill into the machine, someone calls out that the machine’s hers — and what do you know, it’s the woman he saw in his building earlier.

She pushes Hyun-woo out of the way to play her game, but her prize gets stuck right at the opening of the drop box. She’s not going home empty-handed though, so she puts her arm inside the machine and asks Hyun-woo to pull her other arm, successfully getting the doll out.

Hyun-woo trails after the woman as they walk into the lobby of their building. She recognizes him as a neighbor, then offers Hyun-woo the prize she nabbed on Hyun-woo’s dime. When she tells him she has one just like it at home, he confesses that he does too, heh.

Hyun-woo’s all smiles as he enters his place, but jumps when he finds Joon-young sitting in his living room, looking like death. Hyun-woo asks if Joon-young still hasn’t heard from Bo-young, then complains that he’d like to know what’s going on with the two of them.

In a flashback, we see that Bo-young had told Hyun-woo that she’s taking a break from work. She asked that he refrain from asking questions, then added that it’s possible she might not come back after her break. Oh no, did she just disappear?

Soo-yeon’s hanging out with her friend when she gets a call from Hyun-woo to ask her what kind of detergent he should buy. Soo-yeon’s friend amusedly remarks that it seems like Soo-yeon and Hyun-woo are still married, and wonders if they’ll get back together. Soo-yeon smiles at that, but says they won’t.

At the store, Hyun-woo finds the right kind of detergent, but is annoyed to find that it comes in a pack of two. He’s in the middle of trying to get one out of the pack when he notices someone doing the same next to him: his fellow claw machine fan and neighbor.

The two end up splitting some bulk items back at their apartment complex, where they each establish that they’re divorced and living alone. Changing the subject, the woman asks if Hyun-woo’s seen the claw machine with frying pans inside — she needs one, but she’d rather win one than buy one.

Yoon-ki tearfully looks at photos of Ara living it up on his social media feed, then heads off to his new side job as a chauffeur. After his shift ends, he tucks the money he earned in his sock before heading home.

But when he opens the door to his place, it’s empty, with no signs of his Okinawa mistress. It looks like she took all their stuff and left town with the security deposit, and doesn’t answer when Yoon-ki calls her.

With nowhere else to go, he heads to his office with a lone bag of his possessions. His key doesn’t work, though — the landlord there has since changed the locks, citing Yoon-ki’s failure to pay rent.

Joon-young walks down a dusty road, thinking back to a conversation he had with Bo-young: she’d asked him to stop cornering her about the baby, telling him that she might run away otherwise. Joon-young comes to a stop when he sees a familiar figure on the immediate road below — it’s Bo-young. Yay, he found her.

She tells him that it’s good that he came by — she was planning to go back to Seoul anyway, but only to clean out her place. He tells Bo-young to return to work, promising to keep his distance and not get involved if that’s what she wants. She doesn’t answer, instead patting her belly and affectionately calling her baby “dog poop.”

That doesn’t sit well with Joon-young at all, and it takes all of five minutes for him to forget his promise and start nagging her about the baby’s nickname. Bo-young innocently tells him the baby looked like “pretty dog poop” in the ultrasound picture, which gets Joon-young adorably excited. She shows him the photo, and his smile can’t get any bigger as he says their baby looks more like a peanut.

Hyun-woo runs into his divorced neighbor again, this time outside of a coffee shop. The two end up bonding over their claw machine experiences as they make their way over to the machine with the household appliances.

They return to their apartment complex after successfully winning a pan. As they wait for the elevator, the neighbor abruptly asks Hyun-woo if he wants to date her, causing him to spit out his coffee. Laughing, she explains that the worst thing about being divorced is eating alone, and says that this was her way of asking him to eat with her. Looking flattered, Hyun-woo suggests dinner.

Joon-young and Bo-young arrive at her house, which looks spotless. And that, we find out, is because Joon-young had cleaned every inch of it, not wanting Bo-young or the baby to spend time in a dusty apartment.

When Bo-young thanks him for his support, he asks if she’ll return to work. She starts to say she’s not sure, but stops in mid-sentence after seeing a photo of Joon-young propped up on her table. He tells her the photo is for their baby, and asks her not to remove it.

Once Joon-young leaves, Bo-young sees another picture of him tacked up on a nearby wall, then one on the ceiling above her bed. Upon closer inspection, she finds more photos tucked in random places throughout the apartment, including on the inside cover of the toilet seat, heh.

Hyun-woo walks into work humming under his breath, and Joon-young correctly guesses that he must be dating. Hyun-woo tries to be coy about it before quickly telling his hoobae all about the neighbor, marveling at how surprising it is that he’s gotten friendly with a complete stranger.

Joon-young says he has even more surprising news: Bo-young’s pregnant. Hyun-woo’s jaw drops, but Joon-young doesn’t even give him a chance to process the information before adding that the baby’s his. He then saunters out of the office, leaving Hyun-woo to stare after him in shock.

Soo-yeon shops for groceries, buying enough food for three people. Meanwhile, Hyun-woo enjoys dinner with his neighbor, then the two stop for a beer. The neighbor tells Hyun-woo that she doesn’t have many friends and calls Hyun-woo her closest friend in the neighborhood. She asks if they should go on a real date, causing Hyun-woo to do another spit take.

Homeless Yoon-ki spends the night at the airport and falls asleep while holding onto his bag, but even that gets stolen from him.

It’s Bo-young’s first day back at work, and though Joon-young gives her a longing look, he keeps their conversation strictly about work.

The team goes out to lunch to celebrate Bo-young’s return, and her colleagues try to get Bo-young to drink. Rather than make excuses, Bo-young just comes out with the news that she’s pregnant. She quickly lays out the ground rules for her pregnancy in her typical no nonsense way: no alcohol or other unhealthy foods, no late nights at work, and no team lunches.

Her foul-mouthed colleague raises the question everyone’s afraid to ask: Who’s the father? Bo-young gives Joon-young the briefest of glances before telling everyone not to even ask, because they’ll never find out.

Yoon-ki hides behind a wheelbarrow outside of Ara’s house as a car pulls in, and sees Ara get out with a handsome Frenchman. (You go, girl!) The two say their goodbyes as if they’re starring in their own movie, complete with declarations of love and a Hollywood-style kiss while Yoon-ki watches in horror.

Once Ara goes inside, Yoon-ki aggressively confronts the man, telling him that he’s Ara’s husband. But Yoon-ki’s no match for Ara’s new man, who gets Yoon-ki to back down with a simple twist of his arm.

Hyun-woo spends more time with his neighbor, going grocery shopping and even visiting a claw machine together with her. As they head up to their respective apartments, the neighbor asks Hyun-woo to wait in the elevator, then returns with a bag of side dishes for him.

It’s another day at work where Joon-young can’t keep his eyes off Bo-young — but today, he tells her that she looks best while she’s working here. Then he walks into the CEO’s office, looking like he has something important to say.

TOYCRANE fan Grandma fries up some pancakes, while Ajumma wonders if it’s a special day. Grandma informs her that it’s the anniversary of their husband’s death and asks her to help with the cooking. But Ajumma airily says the best gift to her husband on this day would simply be for her to visit his gravesite, earning herself a glare from Grandma.

As they leave for the cemetery, Grandma brings along a big shovel — she says it’s to bury Ajumma with their husband, since he liked her so much. Ajumma laughs at what she assumes is a joke, but her smile fades at Grandma’s serious face. Hee.

We next check in with several other TOYCRANE fans, who all receive a new alert on their phones and read it curiously.

Soo-yeon is up for a big promotion at work, and during her meeting with the (male) bosses, one asks what her husband does for a living. She’s startled, but she honestly tells them that while she may be divorced and with a kid, she’s done a good job at work, so she asks that the decision be made on the merits of her job performance.

Alas, when the promotion decisions are announced, Soo-yeon’s name is sadly not on the list. She puts on a brave face for her colleagues, then calls Hyun-woo to ask him out to coffee, telling him the bad news. Hyun-woo tells her he has dinner plans, so Soo-yeon hangs up, looking disappointed.

A colleague runs up to Bo-young with the news that Joon-young has resigned. Bo-young can’t hide her distress at this development, then all of a sudden, she doubles over in pain, grabbing her stomach. She tries calling Joon-young but he doesn’t answer, since he’s busy packing his bags.

Over lunch, Yoon-ki sheds tears over Ara and her new man. Yeah, I’m not feeling too sorry for you right now.

On her way home, Soo-yeon’s busy chatting on the phone when she suddenly shops short, having spotted Hyun-woo and his neighbor together. Hyun-woo looks up and sees Soo-yeon too, and the two just look at each other for a moment, both caught off guard.

Soo-yeon meets Hyun-woo back at his apartment, where she immediately starts tidying up. When she opens his refrigerator, she spots the side dishes that aren’t her own, and takes this as a sign to leave. Outside his apartment, she takes a moment to gather her thoughts, and Hyun-woo watches her leave from his window.

At her place, Bo-young finds yet another photo of Joon-young and wonders out loud to her baby, “What should Mom do?” When she gets up, she’s hit with another sharp pain that sends her collapsing to the floor. Seriously, why aren’t you at the hospital by now?

She grabs her phone to call Joon-young, but he’s in the car and doesn’t answer. It doesn’t take long before Joon-young turns the car around, but it looks like Bo-young’s already passed out from the pain.

Yoon-ki hops the gate to his old house and is incensed to find Ara and her boyfriend headed up inside. He rushes to Ara and apologizes, telling her that he’ll never cheat again, and that he wants to start over. Haltingly, he tells her that he loves her.

But Ara treats him like a stranger, and tells him that she’ll give him one minute to get out of her house. He shouts after her that he won’t leave and just wait for her. After a beat, a shot rings out, and a bullet just misses Yoon-ki’s foot.

From her balcony, Ara points a shotgun at her ex and tells him to leave before she counts to three. She’s not kidding around — Yoon-ki’s barely over the gate when she shoots at him, missing once, but making contact with her second shot.

For his part, Yoon-ki limps away from Ara’s property holding his hip where he’s been hit before promptly passing out.

Meanwhile, Joon-young rushes to the hospital in a panic, an unconscious Bo-young on his back.

Aw, all of our favorite TOYCRANE fans, including the hacker couple and the CEO, are gathered for an in-person meetup. The hacker husband kicks things off by introducing himself and sharing his username, and they each go around, laughing and chatting while they get to know one another.

Hyun-woo sits in his dark apartment, thinking about his conversation with his neighbor on their date. She said that she got divorced because she couldn’t forget the past, but she added that now, it doesn’t matter whether or not she’s actually forgotten her husband, because she’s moved on. Pointing her finger forward, she’d told Hyun-woo to look straight ahead before asking him if he’d consider dating her for real.

The conversation seems to spur something in Hyun-woo and he calls Soo-yeon, only to lamely ask after her and Joon-soo. Soo-yeon cuts right to the chase and tells him that he has no reason to feel sorry toward her; she wants them both to stop feeling sorry toward each other, and move on to happier things.

Joon-soo walks out to tell Soo-yeon that the bathroom light is out. He wants to call dad to fix it, but Soo-yeon tells him that she’ll do it from now on.

After hanging up with Soo-yeon, Hyun-woo starts emptying out his closet like a madman, then posts on the forum asking for advice on an outfit for an “important meeting” the next day. His post comes right in the middle of the TOYCRANE fan meetup, and the commenters excitedly consult each other before providing Hyun-woo with feedback.

At the hospital, Joon-young looks worried as he talks with Bo-young’s doctor. When he returns to Bo-young’s bedside, he tells the tearful Bo-young that the baby’s okay, thank goodness. She wonders what happened to her then, and Joon-young gravely says that her pain was from… constipation. HAHAHA. Bo-young turns away in mortification while Joon-young makes sure to repeat the diagnosis extra slowly for her benefit. I’m dying.

The next day, Yoon-ki climbs over Ara’s gate again, clutching his injured hip and loudly proclaiming that he can’t live without her. He doesn’t get far before he’s smacked on the head by a flying brick, then collapses to the ground.

As Joon-young drives Bo-young home, he tells her that he wants to be involved in raising the baby, even if she doesn’t want to be with him. Bo-young just says he shouldn’t have resigned from work, but he says he couldn’t bear for her to leave the job she loved because of him. When she asks if he really doesn’t have feelings for her, Joon-young hesitates, but says he doesn’t. At that, she asks for his help in moving her things out of her apartment.

The next day, Joon-young helps Bo-young get all packed up and asks her where they’re headed. She replies that she’ll show him the way, only to lead them directly to Joon-young’s place.

Joon-young can’t believe it when Bo-young tells him she plans to live with him from now on, but he’s clearly giddy at this turn of events. He pretends that he hadn’t been planning for a life with her and the baby at all, but when Bo-young opens the door to his spare room, she finds a nursery inside, fully stocked.

Bo-young drops the news that they’re expecting a girl, causing Joon-young to freak out with excitement, and he rambles about the things he’s dreamed of doing with his daughter. Aww.

They get serious for a moment when Joon-young asks Bo-young for one thing: not to hide or run away from him again. When she promises she won’t, he immediately tests her resolve by planting a kiss on her. Her eyes widen in shock, then close for a moment — but then she kicks his shin and pulls away huffily. Oh, Bo-young.

Hyun-woo rushes to his important meeting while his neighbor waits expectantly at a restaurant. He narrates that he couldn’t leave his wife because he was scared to forget her, and because he was scared of being forgotten. He says that when he did end up leaving her, he was always looking back. “Now,” he says, “I have courage to leave her there. I’m not going to care about her.”

His neighbor lights up when she sees her guest arrive — it’s her daughter, who she greets happily.

Meanwhile, Soo-yeon sees Joon-soo off to school. Joon-soo gets on the bus and waves goodbye to Soo-yeon, then turns the opposite way to look out the window. Before the bus pulls away, he waves to someone.

That someone is Hyun-woo — he’s across the street, winded from sprinting to the bus stop. When Soo-yeon finally sees him, she freezes in shock.

In voiceover, Hyun-woo says that the most important thing in his life now is the Soo-yeon that’s standing in front of him, and adds that he hopes she can leave the “old” Hyun-woo in the past too.

As they smile at one another, Hyun-woo narrates, “This week, our new story begins.” He runs across the street to his wife, and the two walk off together, into their future.

 
COMMENTS

The biggest question I had as we neared the finale was whether or not Hyun-woo and Soo-yeon’s relationship would survive — even after they actually ended up going through with their divorce, it wasn’t crystal clear to me that they’d really end up separated. This episode did a great job of conveying the enduring connection between our lead couple, even post-divorce, and how the divorce itself almost seemed to lighten the burdens of their relationship — enough that they were on better terms than ever after they officially parted ways.

It could have gone either way — they could have moved on, but remained friendly partners in raising Joon-soo, or they could have realized through their post-divorce interactions that in the end, they wanted to try again. Personally, I’m glad it’s the latter, and I appreciate that the reconciliation happened after Hyun-woo had an opportunity to see what life could have been like as a newly single man. Though Hyun-woo’s potential love interest turned out to be more of a plot device for Hyun-woo’s final realization, I found his decision to consciously leave the old Soo-yeon in the past and look to the future with the Soo-yeon in front of him pretty moving.

I think we can all agree that Soo-yeon as a character was probably the weak link in this main story, as she was never fully fleshed out. Even in the end, when we did get a little bit of insight into her experiences that led her to this point, she remained just as frustrating and enigmatic as she was in the beginning (or if we’re being generous, maybe just a little less so). But I think this was done on purpose, as This Week was, through and through, Hyun-woo’s story: a story about his growth as a husband and father, and as a human being searching for understanding and comfort over the internet.

His story wouldn’t have been possible or made complete without our beloved TOYCRANE fan community, who illustrated in multiple ways how individuals long for human connection, even if those connections are created online. I loved that the show gave proper closure to most of our fans through their in-person meetup (how awesome was it to see all of them together?) but it was even better to see that TOYCRANE’s story actually ended up spurring these commenters to make changes in their own lives, whether it was to decide against divorce, or to come out of one’s shell and live life a little more bravely. They showed us that connections forged online can actually become something real and more meaningful in our offscreen lives, if we let it.

As for the rest of our couples, their stories ended pretty much how we thought they’d end: Yoon-ki and Ara’s relationship went out with gunshots and blood, while Joon-young and Bo-young win the most adorable couple award. The latter couple was my favorite, and I have to admit I was hoping we’d get a little more affection from Bo-young towards Joon-young (or at least a better kiss!) in this episode. But Bo-young was who she is until the end, and Joon-young’s enthusiasm will have to cover them both — at least until he manages to wear her down on that front, too. They were often times the funniest part of the show, and I’m so glad we got to spend the time we did with our writer/PD couple.

Overall, I’m fully satisfied with the story this show told from beginning to end — and that’s not something that I say often about K-dramas. Thanks to CandidClown and all of our commenters who created our own little online community — I really appreciated hearing the various perspectives folks brought to the table, especially those who shared their personal stories and experiences. The value of a kind and understanding online community has never been more apparent as it has been throughout this particular show, and it made me thankful to be a small part of it. Until next time, everyone!

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Actually, the more I think about the fact that she was overstretched, the more this thing sounds like something that doesn't make sense, doesn't check out, doesn't pass my bs detector.

Okay, she realized she hand'n had two hours to herself in ages. That's when people would think that they have a messed up schedule and try better planning, or think about some me-time to get their minds off work and family isses, such as exercise or meditation. I also don't really see how fucking another married person would add time to her calendar. If she can schedule two hours to fuck around with her lover, she can schedule two hours of yoga.

Better time management and lifestyle design is something many people with high stress jobs are interested in, once they understand they have to take responsibility for their time, which is a finite resource. Betraying your partner wouldn't be one of the potential hobbies on the list, it's actually so absurd to imagine that it is a little funny ("art class", "yoga", "book club", "cheating", ...).

I just wish someone called her out on her bs. This was no mistake, she didn't put down the wrong mark on a test thinking it was the correct choice, or forget their anniversary without meaning to, what she did was intentional. Was hoping someone else would notice and call bs on it (closer they got was her husband making the true observation that tons of people discover at some point in their life that they are not setting their priorities straight and need to some time for themselves, that's where a book club would come into play, not fucking another dude).

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I mean, if I was reading that as her husband I would be like, what? You needed to take your mind off things and to have some me-time? How does that connect to betraying and deceiving me, had you considered photography? Secondarily, I have to say that the bs with the guy who wanted to release her information irks me quite a bit retrospectively, in how emotionally manipulative it was (and it was absurd in its own way, since it was not the place of random strangers that she had never even met, let alone hurt, to "forgive" her... it's not them that they have hurt, and I again I don't understand why the obvious fact that she shouldn't be exposed to a mob means she has earned "forgiveness" by people whose job wasn't to forgive her in the first place -what does it mean to forgive someone who did something to someone else? The person whose job would be to forgive would obviously be the person she has hurt, and no one else-). This was a cheap, emotionally manipulative plot device -both for the viewer and for the characters, who in that episode pondered a farse dicotomic choice that wasn't their to make in the first place-. The more I think about these corner cases, the more they seem like plot holes that should immediately jump to the attention.

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To be honest, it's not really the cheating in and of itself that I am bothered by. If it happens to a character I dislike, then I can even enjoy it, because I don't like the character. This is of course subjective. I didn't find the MC unlikable enough to think that he deserved what he got, though if he gets cheated on after this latest delusional goodie-two-shoes bs I would probably think it to be a fit reward for his stupidity, and find it funny.

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I have some confused impressions about what the MC's wife said in this episode about the asymmetry in their level of effort. It's something that the protagonist also noted, and was rightfully indignant about, in previous episodes. She isn't exactly chasing after him or fighting for him. He is suffering and sacrificing (in the last episodes, even absurdly apologizing for the emotional trauma *she* caused him), while she in not breaking much of a sweat or enduring much hardship (for the most part, it's stuff that affects them both, no some singular sacrifice or concession, like getting a divorce... and she gets to keep the kid and a large sum of money in child support, not to mention that she only very slowly come to the conclusion that she can't keep relying on him every time a light needs to be changed). It's rather strange and somewhat jarring, since she was the one who broke it, that he would be the one going around making concessions and enduring suffering to fix it. Besides that, her assessment of the situation is perfectly aligned with reality.

The same can't be said for the MC, who is apologizing for the emotional trauma she caused him, absurd, and even putting most of the blame on himself (I am worse than you), equally absurd. It's a demented view shared by some commenters, who I would never want to meet in real life and whose reasoning is as alien to me as discussing in the same breath cancer and a sore throat, because they are both illnesses. The truth is the one exposed by the MC's wife this chapter. He should do some soul searching, but also understand that no matter what he did, he wasn't the *cause* of her six month long betrayal, humiliation and deception. He is not her master, she makes her own decisions.

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I feel like if what she had done had been more openly cruel, like in the case of domestic abuse, we wouldn't be making excuses, and I see her actions as something on the same continuum, beyond redemption: just as much as cruelty, betraying, humiliating and deceiving her husband for half a year would be grounds for fault divorce, by contrast claiming to a judge that your husband didn't understand that you were tired because of the schedule you chose, even though you didn't tell him, and that he was more understanding than the other wives' husbands, but not as much as her lover (the fantastic listener who betrayed, humiliated and lied to his wife for six months... would she have preferred that her husband had behaved like him?), might not go down so well.. It's not a small infraction. All in all, I can't really understand why her husband would ever want to go back, it's like she is not even asking for it, and he is chasing after her, while she was the one that had hurt him. I am thinking, it should be the other way around. But since I don't think that they should be together, I would actually prefer not to have her petulantly pestering him -in that respect, I think her approach would be more useful-. Certainly somewhat shocking that it would come always down to what she feels, etc, rather than something like "I know I don't deserve him and he could do better", something a bit more selfless.

All in all, I think he has "grown" much more, I use quotes because as I said hers is the correct perspective, and he has made a regression where he over exaggerates his own faults (apologizing for the emotional pain *she* caused him?), while she has not. He has had a "hero's journey", she largely didn't. The strange thing being that the was the one that committed the crucial offense that broke the camel's back, so the leaning should have logically been more on her side.

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To complete the metaphor, I would say that the guy suffers from a variant of battered wife syndrome. He was better than the other husband, which puts things in perspective... I mean, not that we want to follow the lowest common denominator, but the charge against him from some commenters (and himself) is *literally* that he is not perfect. If this he was one of my female friends I would seriously be worried about what else she would be willing to accept from the relationship while being paralyzed by self blame and holding herself to an absurd standard (and excusing away the boyfriend's behavior). He is in no physical risk, but it's basically the same attitude and the same dynamic of unreasonable expectations and being unable to let go of a toxic situation.

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Basically, in the beginning the she didn't even realize herself that she that she had a problem. Nor did anyone else besides her lover. The other guy was coming at it from a fresh perspective, sometimes the people we see less clearly are those closer to us (which is why it could very well happen that other people know someone has an affair before his partner does). It might be a higher emotional intelligence, a fresh perspective or chance. It doesn't say much about them morally (the fact that they would be willing to betray their spouse, humiliate them, and lie to their faces, with no case for how it would affect their partner or their children, does... I was disappointed that they didn't address it in the final episode or before, but essentially her lover-that-understood-her was the kind of person that would be willing to betray, humiliate and deceive his spouse for half a year... would she have preferred her husband to be more like that? I think not, on balance).
Consider that some texts were all she needed to catch her husband's attention and alert him that there was a problem. Not *that* oblivious and self centered, right? Could have been better. But he was not *that* dense. Imagine what she could have done had she explicitly told him she had an issue when she finally realized she was tired, rather than playing bs guessing games like a fucking teenager and pretend that he read her mind.

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What I mean to say with this is that given what she had done, one would espect her to be tho one who should be doing most of the learning and changing, realizing that she was not appreciative of what she had before losing it, how her selfishness gave her family the coup de grace, how unfair it was that she didn't explicitly talk to her husband about the problem once she finally realized it, rather than playing guess games like a dumb teenager, as if he should read her mind, how the people you love don't always know how you feel, and the preciousness of what she had with her husband compared with what she got with her lover (he was the kind of person who would cheat on his spouse... would she have preferred her husband to be like that? Seriously, how does he stack up in terms of flaws?), and the type of person they were (her husband being better, the kind of person who wouldn't betray her, her lover being the kind of person that would lie to his spouse), etc. If it's about them growing as a couple and getting back together, she should be the one doing most of the learning -instead we are treated to his self flagellation-. If there was one of them that should have had a cathartic "eureka" moment should have been her, while she remains rather stable, basically the person she was before (let alone that I don't like the concept of them being "new people", you don't erase the past and become a new individual, there is no replay button in life), but without the lover, and he devolves in a self flagellating basket case.

Instead, the biggest character growth is on the part of her husband, who had perfectly normal, human flaws (bit self centered, wanting to impress others, bit inattentive, taking things somewhat for granted), and was not even all that bad (he did help out, and was at least better than the other mom's husbands, he had a job and provided for his family... he was not a lazy bum that spent his day sleeping on the couch while she did all the work and never helped at all). He was simply not as good as he could be (on the other hand, if this was a fault basically nobody would be safe, since we are not living up to our potential all the time). He has a journey of discovery about his flaws and character growth, to the point of becoming overaware, excessively self critical and self flagellating. You would expect her to be the one who would have most to learn, since the "fall", the crucial betrayal that motivated this crisis, is her fault. I didn't see an equal, let alone superior, amount of self analysis about her own selfishness, nor does she seem half as distraught and destroyed about the enormity of what she had done to him as what he seems to feel about comparatively insignificant flaws and oversights which he blows out of proportion. This is aside from the point that in my opinion, since no matter how she grows, she can't take back her actions, they shouldn't end up together anyway.

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Actually, to get back to my original point, more than the comparatively greater amount of time spent investigating and correcting the protagonist's character's flaws, which I found strange because the person most in need of some soul searching should have been her, Is about the dynamic itself: one would expect her to be the one trying to make it up to him and, realizing what she lost, fighting to getting him back, and him the one trying to get away. Instead, he doesn't need any convincing from her, and is the one chasing after her and apologizing for the emotional hurt *she* caused him. Besides the fact that I don't actually think that she could offer anything that could amend her actions and be worthy of convincing him to take her back, I can't really understand why that would even be something he wants to do -I could swallow her not chasing after him if she didn't love him, or because she realized she had already ruined his life and he deserved someone better, but I fundamentally don't get why he would not even need to be persuaded, and be the one unwilling to end the relationship, instead chasing after her wanting to keep it together... I don't see the value, what she/it brings to the table, what's in it for him, besides delusionally clinging to nostalgia and the false image of her he had in his head, the object of his love that turned out not to exist in reality-.

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I really get irritated to see their behaviors discussed in the same breath, as if lying to someone's face for six months straight, betraying and humiliating him, would be somewhat comparable to . I think that we wouldn't be talking about this if it was something more openly cruel like outright domestic abuse. But in my eyes, it's a morally unacceptable behavior on the same continuum. Meaning that it's *really* fucked up, not *a little* fucked up. It's not a verbal fight or beign oblivious to someone's issues. I also have to note that Sun Woo was the *only* one that noticed (her son and her other friends were equally oblivious, which to me makes your unfairly critical assessment of her husband -coupled with a weasly, slithery minimizing of her actions- dubious at best). Also, you probably don't have teenage kids, or your assumption that you should be able to perfectly understand and introspect someone you love if you just chose to, even if they don't tell you anything, impossible to mantain without laughing.

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You would think that it wouldn't be too difficult for the protagonist to arrive at the obvious and relatively plain conclusion: "Yes, I did this, this and that wrong, and that has contributed to my partner being unhappy" while still mantaining that what was done to him was unacceptable. Contrary to the I talked in the post above (hopefully not many, and not most, otherwise with such basic moral confusion and inversion we would be doomed as a civilization), I say "and that does not excuse what she has done to me" at the end, without "but" and an excuse following the phrase (oh, the lack of self awareness, hello Dunning Kruger). He was not perfect. It doesn't mean he deserve to be betrayed, humiliated and deceived. So it does not excuse what she did to him. Full stop.

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To complete the metaphor, I would say that the guy suffers from a variant of battered wife syndrome. He was better than the other husband, which puts things in perspective... I mean, not that we want to follow the lowest common denominator, but the charge against him from some commenters (and himself) is *literally* that he is not perfect. If this he was one of my female friends I would seriously be worried about what else she would be willing to accept from the relationship while being paralyzed by self blame and holding herself to an absurd standard (and excusing away the boyfriend's behavior). He is in no physical risk, but it's basically the same attitude and the same dynamic of unreasonable expectations and being unable to let go of a toxic situation.

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Coming (very) late to the conversation again. I don't see how you can continually describe Soo-yeon as an 'enigma' and a not fleshed out character. It was plain what she was. She was a standard middle-class worker, wife, and mother who after 8 years had nothing left of her for herself. I recall a film critic once describing a character having an affair as in search of 'sans souci' (French for 'free of care'), desperate for a few stolen moments in their otherwise mechanical life.

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Just finished watching this (it's on my list) and it was very good. I have to say, however, if I was Hyun-woo, while I would be civil to Soo-yeon for our child, there is no way in heck I would ever trust her again.

I get that they had equal responsibility for their marriage falling apart, but there is no justification for cheating. And no forgiveness. It is the ultimate betrayal and Soo-yeon didn't really seem to care what she had done.

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