Breaking up with someone can be hard. So hard, in fact, that people in Japan will apparently go to the elaborate lengths of hiring a professional to sabotage their relationships for them so they don’t have to do it themselves.
These professional home-wreckers are known as wakaresaseya, and they break up marriages and relationships by seducing the partner of the person who hired them. The idea, presumably, is that the former object of one’s affections will take the breakup more easily and/or agree to a divorce more readily if they are already in love with someone else. Essentially, it’s a very dramatic version of the old sitcom trope of trying to make your partner break up with you before you have to do it yourself.
Writer Stephanie Scott, who wrote a book about an infamous case of wakaresaseya gone wrong, told BBC that the practice is an attractive option for those who wish to avoid confrontation: “It’s a way in the short term of resolving a difficult situation without conflict. And your wife is much more likely to agree to a divorce if she’s in love with someone and wants to move on.”
The wakaresaseya industry fell into some disrepute back in 2010 after an agent fell in love with the woman he’d been hired to seduce and then killed her. That tragedy became the subject of Scott’s novel. But a decade later, the practice is still around, and wakaresaseya agencies are often affiliated with private-detective firms.
But it doesn’t come cheap. Hiring a wakaresaseya can cost thousands, and the fee can go up to six figures for high-profile cases involving celebrities or politicians.
But for those unwilling to break the news to their soon-to-be ex themselves, apparently it’s a small price to pay. Personally, I’d recommend a simple text message, but whatever.
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