Feeling low

Not that I’m one to wallow in self-pity, but I came home to an empty house yet again today. I had hopes that my wife would have at least returned, since it is Monday, but I guess the fact that one of her students canceled tonight led her to think that staying with the adulterer another night would be appropriate. Actually, I don’t know if she’s there with him, I just assume that to be the case. Given past evidence, if she had returned, she’d come home, even if she were going to go spend the night at her friends’ place that same day.

She is so lost. She has absolutely no direction in her life anymore. She is totally unmoored and is headed right for the cliffs. The collision with reality is coming, friends, and it will not be pretty. I just hope it happens soon — really soon — as otherwise the fallout from that collision is going to be much, much worse.

The single most pressing thing in her life at this point is her doctoral dissertation. She now has only 3 months to finish it, and even that time frame is generous. Finals week comes during the first week of June at her university, and, assuming her committee would be willing to schedule the defense for that week (they may or may not wish to do this), then she’d have to have the dissertation completely finished and sent to her committee by no later than April 30th so that they’d have a chance to read it and give her input before the defense. This is really critical, because if there are objections they can be dealt with beforehand; if these are not raised and addressed, the committee can decide to fail you. I do see this as unlikely, but it nevertheless does happen. Her advisor did have a student who failed last year, and I would imagine he is not very keen on having another such case.

But, for my wife, the single most pressing issue in her life seems to be the affair and everything that flows from it. First, there’s the need for the dopamine fix. After each encounter, there’s a dopamine crash and a whole host of other neurochemical stuff that goes on that causes withdrawal and other unpleasant symptoms and emotions, and so she simply has to go back for another fix to be able to continue to feel okay about life. This then leads to the need to further justify the affair, which in itself is completely unjustifiable; the continued avoidance of reality through self-deception, coupled with the act of willfully ignoring her plagued conscience is a cocktail that produces only misery. That misery, coupled with the dopamine crash, leads to the need for another dopamine fix, further need to justify the unjustifiable, and ensuing further dopamine crash, more guilt, etc. It’s basically a downwards spiral from here on out; then again, it’s been a downward spiral from the very beginning, but now we’re likely entering the final, flame-out phase.

What else flows from the affair? Her need to separate from me, for starters. She has begun to waffle on and on again about wanting to be independent, as though that were something that she really needs to learn at this point in her life. She has told me that she finally wants to learn how to drive, and is going to sign up for lessons. I’ve also learned that she’s starting to look for houses or condos to rent; she’d have to avoid most apartments, because she has a dog. Oh, and there’s also the idea of divorce that probably is still running around her head. That flows from the affair, too.

There’s a practical set of problems with all this, though. First, she doesn’t have a car. She could always use our car, but then that would make her dependent on someone (i.e. me). Second, she doesn’t really have the $600 or so she’d have to spend on driving lessons. (I’ll get to why this is the case below.) Third, she absolutely does not have the money to rent either a house or an apartment. She could not afford the start-up costs of first/last months’ rent, deposit, and so on; on top of that there are all the utilities one is responsible for if you rent a house (vs. and apartment), plus the rent itself. She has pretty much obliterated her income to the point that she could scarcely afford a box to live in anymore.

Even if she were to scrounge up enough money to do some or even all of this, she still can’t afford it, and here’s why: she has to enroll for one term to complete her dissertation and defense. That will run somewhere close to $2000, and she simply doesn’t have two nickels to rub together for something like that. This is even more true as her online shopping habits show no signs of curtailing — a new package arrived today, in fact — and so she’ll wipe out most of her money frivolously before the registration deadline arrives, which it will in about 6 weeks or so.

So I guess I still haven’t gotten around to the title of this post, “feeling low.” I just am feeling a bit low at this point. Work is going well, I am greatly appreciated and respected by colleagues, and I have more clients starting and others in line. In fact, I’m rapidly approaching overbooked. Good things will come of all that, I’m sure. It’s just that I’ve come home to an empty house for four days straight now, and I’m just getting tired of it. Maybe it’s practice for what is to come, I don’t know. And maybe it wouldn’t bother me so much if it wasn’t so completely needless. I mean, her affair is going to end, there’s no doubt about that. The situation is totally asymmetrical, and she wants far more from this man than what he is willing to provide. That simply has to backfire sooner or later. But until it does, I’m just left here to wait, and it does get a bit lonely around here this time of year.

Alone again, naturally

When I was, oh, maybe 6 years old or so, I used to really like that song by Gilbert O’Sullivan. I had no idea what it was all about, or how depressing the subject matter actually was. Somehow, my parents bought me the 45 single of it, too, and I must have played it over and over again on my little Fisher Price record player. I remember putting rocks on the tonearm, because the records would skip sometimes. I don’t remember if this was one that skipped, but most of them eventually did. Maybe that’s the fate of a 45-rpm record with a child’s record player.

Now, I’m not anywhere near the emotional state of the fictional narrator of that song, you know, the person who was planning on chucking himself off a tower. But I am feeling a little low. My wife has been gone for three days on another romp with the adulterer. What can I say? I miss her. I miss her presence. I miss her voice. I miss her hair. I miss her laugh. I miss her smell. I miss her sense of humor. I miss her funny mispronunciations of words and occasional mangling of grammar. I miss it all. I’d just really like her back. Is that too much to ask?

I guess for the moment it is. She’ll either return tomorrow morning or the morning after, I’m not really sure which. She’ll have the dog in tow, and hopefully she (the dog) won’t be filthy and smeared with chicken shit. She (my wife) will be wearing the boots I got her for her birthday. If she gets home early enough, I might be wearing the pajamas she got me for Christmas.

Heaven only knows what sort of mood she’ll be in when she arrives. In the past, this has ranged from friendly to ice cold, from happy to see me to annoyed with the world. She has often returned with a renewed vigor to leave me. So her returns are not always a happy event for yours truly. This return may in fact be difficult, as she’s planning to move into house #2 on Wednesday. This event is likely something that has been weighing on her mind, and I wouldn’t doubt that it has come up during her time with the adulterer this weekend. It possibly could have engendered some tension between the two of them as well. To my knowledge, this man is biding his time, delaying any possible move-in by my wife. I’m not sure where that all stands right now, but he’s pushed it off at least 2 months, if not more, from her original target move-in date of January 1st. My hope is that my wife will eventually see that he probably just doesn’t want her to move in at all. He just wants to date. It’s not unlikely that he also has some other woman lined up on the side. You just never know with these lechers.

I do expect some drama and conflicted emotions. She has been under the apparent advise to be grateful to me, yet at the same time, she’d like to be rid of me and be with him full time. But full-time cohabitation with him is not possible. This means that she has had to couch-surf for the past several weeks, and will need to continue couch surfing for the foreseeable future. That is, unless she makes the smart choice and just comes home.

Would I take her back into the house? Of course. Even with the affair in full swing? Absolutely. Her whole reason for leaving was to make the affair more feasible. Returning to the house places obstacles between her and the adulterer. Plus, I get the opportunity to work directly with her to move toward reconciliation.

It’s anyone’s guess how things will play out this week. I would expect that she does move on to house #2, but I’m less sure about the boxes she has packed. She seems so conflicted about just about everything that I just don’t see her following through 100% with anything right now. I just hope she fails to follow through with the move to house #2, and commits to work on her dissertation here at home with me.

“Chicken house of poo”

A few years ago, I remember watching an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” in which he traveled to Korea at the behest of one of his producers. In this episode, he was dragged around from one nightspot in Seoul to another, stopping by street vendors for various late-night snacks. One stop included a stall that sold, among other things, chicken anus. I kid you not. The Korean term apparently translates to “house of poo,” so they ordered “chicken house of poo”. The clip below shows the meal in question, beginning shortly after the translation of the anatomical term (“house of poo”) was given.

So what does this have to do with a blog entry that should be dealing with marital discord and adultery? Simple: my wife is spending the weekend with the adulterer, and she has taken the dog with her. The adulterer has chickens, the chickens have anuses, and those anuses deposit copious amounts of poo on the ground; evidentially there is enough of the stuff there for me to call it “Camp Chickenshit.” The evidence came in the form of our dog who, on the last visit she was obligated to make to Camp Chickenshit, came back with chicken feces caked all around her neck. She smelled like a barnyard, to boot. It was pretty disgusting, yet somehow my wife, who is sensitive to smells of all sorts, did not find it objectionable enough to give the dog a bath. After several days had passed, I gave the dog a bath, for it was obvious to me that, in addition to the deposits from the houses of poo, she had also picked up quite a few fleas on that visit as well.

Strangely for me, this visit of hers to Camp Chickenshit is a bit different. I know that their relationship is in trouble, and I also know that she has been advised by this so-called “energy worker” to try to heal my emotions in an effort to further enable the adulterous affair. She has also been advised to take her time in trying to placate me, since any discord with me has been, is, and will continue to spill over into the adulterous affair. This wait-and-placate approach is sure to further destabilize the affair, as her eventual move-in date with him is pushed farther and farther in to the future. At this point, it likely will never happen, and of course I’m totally okay with that.

What will likely happen is her departure from adultery way station #1 (the friends’ house two blocks from here) to adultery way station #2, which is the residence of an adult female student my wife teaches. That will likely be an oppressive atmosphere for my wife, as this woman is single, never married, in her late 50s, and an observant Christian who likely will be very uncomfortable with the idea of my wife maintaining an adulterous relationship. I don’t know if she knows about it at the moment — I suspect not — but if she were to find out about it she might give my wife the boot. Supposedly the various boxes that were packed 3 weeks ago, ones that are still sitting in our laundry room, will end up in this woman’s basement, for eventual deployment to Camp Chickenshit.

One other thing bears mentioning again: this woman also happens to serve on my wife’s doctoral exam committee, so there is also a professional conflict of interest at play.

But I digress.

This visit to Camp Chickenshit is different for me, because I actually don’t really care what she’s doing. On her last visit, I sort of was rooting for them to have a big relationship-ending fight, but that seems not to have materialized. I’m just giving up hope for that happening according to any schedule at this point. I know their affair is doomed, it’s just a question of when and how. I’m just not going to guess about it anymore. I’ll let them have their immoral time together. What they do really doesn’t bother me, so long as there is no violence or threat of harm. That’s right, I am actually saying for the record that I really don’t care what they do when they’re together. I don’t have visions of them together, I’m not plagued by thoughts of horror or disgust of my wife with another man or anything like that, even though that may be hard to believe. I really don’t care.

I just know that every moment they spend together moves them that much closer to a relationship-ending event. Everything they do together, every activity they share, every conversation they have will put them one step closer to the situation that precipitates the end of the affair. Odd, isn’t it? It would seem from the outside that affairs are impenetrable, and in a way they are: you just cannot talk reason to a spouse who is immersed in the fog of the affair. They cannot think rationally, and so any efforts one might make to reach out to them will almost certainly fail. But their actions together are nothing other than perfidious, and there is no exception. Even the positive actions and feelings are still perfidious. Every single thing they do, from making coffee in the morning to cleaning the chicken shit out of the chicken coops is nothing other than perfidy so long as they are together. And every single act of perfidy gets deposited into an adultery “bank account” that eventually will implode when it hits a critical level. That’s the nature of adultery, after all. It never works. Even in the situations one hears about where a person sustained an adulterous relationship for decades it still doesn’t work. Someone has to turn a blind eye to enable it.

I don’t turn a blind eye. I just shut down any talk of the affair at the least hint of its existence. The last time she even dared speak a word of this to me was just after Thanksgiving. I haven’t heard a peep about it since, even though she’s come clean to a number of other people about it in the interim. I’m the last person she gets to tell about it, and she only gets to tell me about it once it’s over. I think she senses this, and it makes her feel very uncomfortable. Even if everyone else in the world were willing to listen to her talk about the affair, I will still hold out, and that will eventually burden her conscience to the point that the whole thing comes crashing to an end.

In reality, though, my holding out will likely just be one of many pressures conspiring to take the affair down. There is no future life out there with Prince Adulterer out at Camp Chickenshit; there never has been and never will be. My wife, however, will be the last to figure that out.

Expressions of gratitude, redux

In a previous post, I mentioned my efforts to express gratitude to my wife via a thank you letter. This was part of a reconciliation strategy that generally does not advise writing letters, with the exception of this and also an apology letter, since both forms of letters can be powerfully emotional. Expressions of gratitude can indeed be powerful, cathartic, and even transformational when they are given in a genuine way and well thought out.

In the past few days, my wife has started to express her gratitude for me. This actually is not something new: she did this fairly early on in the marital crisis, when she got it in her head that she should express gratitude so as to be able to separate from me. I’m not sure where she got this idea, exactly, if she read it somewhere, or found it on the internet or something. But it was a passing fad, and I distinctly remember her turning sour toward me in December, and telling me she was “done” with expressions of gratitude.

What did I say in my last post? Wait five minutes (or five weeks) and things will change. Indeed they have, from the standpoint of reversal of attitude. Along with the renewed expressions of gratitude comes somewhat of a softening of attitude that is quite welcome. It’s rather forced, I can tell, but I’ll take forced, since over time that could actually lead to a genuine change in both her behavior and feelings.

I’m all but certain that these expressions of gratitude are the result of her visit with the “energy worker” this past week, since it all started the day after that visit. And I’m also just about 100% certain that there is an ulterior motive: that she is following (very poor) advice to try to “heal my heart” or something like that, so that she can then deepen her relationship with her adulterer, leave me, and move on to him. Anyone who would give that sort of advice has problems with both morality and ethics, and is also a relationship-advice amateur.

My initial reaction to these expressions of gratitude was neutral to positive, and then on further reflection I experienced a bit of irritation. Actually, her words don’t really mean that much, since she has so little credibility at this point. It is hard to believe the things she says anymore, she pretty much lies all the time, including lies of omission told to me today. (I’ll get to that later.) I’d much rather see her express her gratitude through actions than to hear them expressed with words. But for now, I’ll just take the words and be grateful for them.

So what of her lies to me today? Well, I was just about to come home from work when I received a text from her, saying that she was taking the dog for the weekend, since she’d been missing spending time with her. She also apologized for not having given me notice. I do know that, if she ups sticks and takes the dog, that she’s going to be with the adulterer. Actually, that’s pretty much her dating plan, as far as I can see, and it makes sense: she gave up all her weekend obligations, ostensibly to work on her dissertation, but in reality she did it so that she could be with him. Not like she’s really busy the rest of the week — she’s not — but he is, and I guess he just doesn’t want to see her during the week. So, off she goes with the adulterer, and unfortunately the dog is faced with another harrowing weekend at Camp Chickenshit, aptly named after the chicken feces the dog was smeared with during her last visit there.

Now I ask you, what kind of expression of gratitude is that? Actions speak much louder than words.

One thing I do find a bit amusing is the opening this leaves me to remind her of her perfidy, and to complicate matters for her as well as the friends she has been “living with” these past few weeks. As far as I know, she is just spending the weekend at their house a couple of blocks from here, so I could just call and suggest that I drop by this weekend to say hi, see the dog, and maybe work on her dissertation a bit. Plus, one of the “friends” she is supposedly staying with is a colleague I am working with tomorrow, and I could simply ask her how things are with our dog at her house. Not sure if I’ll do that, but if there’s an opening to do so, I just might.

Otherwise, I’ll just sit tight and enjoy my alone time this weekend.

Change in the weather

You know that old saying about the weather in Ireland? “Wait 5 minutes and it will change.” I sometimes feel that a similar saying should be applied to my marriage. Maybe something like “wait 24 hours and it will change.” Things have changed, and fairly substantially, and I think one of the people to whom I owe this change was someone whom I somewhat disparaged in my last post.

Yesterday, my wife went to have a session with an “energy worker.” We talked about it this morning, so I now have more details. Although I still hold to my previous assertion that this person gave amateurish marital advice, and should stick only to things that she is qualified to do, i.e. massage (she actually has a license for that), there were at least a couple of things that apparently came up that have influenced my wife’s behavior. My wife got a referral to visit this person from her hair stylist. The stylist is a very talented woman who works at a salon catering to Japanese clientele. Moreover, the salon is co-owned by the wife of an extremely famous major-league baseball player, whom I have personally seen there during the off-season getting a manicure. Okay, that’s not relevant, but at least maybe it’s a bit entertaining… yes, I digress.

The “energy worker” did an energy reading for my wife, resulting in the verdict that she has a serious energy imbalance manifesting in upper chakras that are wide open and lower chakras that are totally blocked. Now before you might go off and say that this is a bunch of new-agey BS (and to some extent I’d be right there with you) I do experientially know that the idea of chakras, energy meridians, and so forth seems more real than western science typically would allow. So that means I’m on board with the idea of chakras, et cetera. She told my wife that she needed to do some “grounding” work. Now, in many meditative traditions (including mine) this is actually very important, and there are many ways to do it. She was encouraged to walk barefoot on the soil, to get her hands into the dirt, and so on. That’s okay, except for the fact that, in this part of the country, what we have this time of year is mud.

The other advice she seems to have been given — I base this on information I overheard as well as on her behavior this morning — is that she needs to a) be mindful of my feelings and attempt to heal them, b) express gratitude to me, and c) understand that her chosen “path” (i.e. separation) is one that will take time. It is actually this latter that marks the marital advice as amateurish: there does not seem to have been any criticism of the affair, at least to my knowledge. Of course, I was not there, so I could not vouch for that, but I just cannot imagine how anyone could sit there and allow someone to natter on about an affair and not be at least a little bit uncomfortable.

The way this manifested this morning was as follows: My wife arrived home as per habit sometime around 8:30 a.m. I made her coffee and we exchanged pleasantries. She offered to come into the dining room and have coffee with me there, and we chatted for a bit. So far so good. Then she says the three words that nobody wants to hear: “can we talk?” In the past, my pulse would have gotten elevated, and I would be at least nervous, if not a bit scared. This time, I calmly sat there and said, “sure.”

We talked for probably about an hour. It began with her thanking me for all the gifts I’d given her, the phone messages, and so on — even thought I knew she had complained to friends as recently as yesterday about these things. She asked me how I knew she would be at the bus stop yesterday, when I stopped to drop off her brunch, and I said, “because you told me.” (She actually did tell me this, and even gave me the exact time of the bus, so I knew that I could arrange my morning outing so that I’d likely drive by at the right point.) She did say that she felt that that action was a bit much, and that, along with the other giving and such she felt like I was “holding on.” I’m not really sure what to, except for perhaps the idea of wanting to reconcile my marriage. After all, we still are married. I did not make any comments about stopping any such giving or other reconciliatory gestures. Were I to actually stop, I’d simply be giving in to her agenda, and that would have the effect of further damaging our marriage.

Things then got more personal, and she began to talk about her situation and the difficulties it caused for her. She felt that she really needed to be “independent” and to “know herself,” but at the same time found the situation difficult emotionally. At night she often finds herself nervous, panicked, or worried, and unable to sleep. She also mentioned that she would be moving on to house #2 next week; this is a situation I know will be deeply uncomfortable for her, so whatever she is feeling now will almost certainly get worse in the coming weeks. She said she’d be taking the dog with her, but wanted to find a compromise so that I could also see the dog and not be totally alone. (This is an expression of remorse mixed with responsibility, I think.)

There was a ton of other stuff that came up, but I think the most interesting thing for me was that she tiptoed around the subject of the affair very deftly. It was as if she wanted to talk about it, but knew that I would shut that conversation down immediately, and that on top of that I had been so deeply wounded by it that she shouldn’t even dare to mention it in my presence. Both of these suspicions, of course, were true. This tiptoeing manifested in interesting ways. For instance, I mentioned to her at one point that our house was her home, and that she should always feel welcome. She said in response that, while she really likes the house and wants to be there, that it is often very uncomfortable for her to be there. I asked her what would make her feel more comfortable, and she said something to the effect that, if I really were to understand her “path,” she’d feel more okay being at home. This essentially meant, “if you’d only accept the fact that I am having an affair and would approve of that, then I could probably handle living here.”

She also waffled on quite a bit about ethics and morality. At one point, I was very blunt with her — I warned her in advance that I was going to be blunt, too — and said, “I think you have made some very poor choices, and now you are facing the consequences of those choices.” This was not a threat, but basically as statement of fact. She did go on the defensive quite a bit here, saying essentially that morality is relative: society may decide a certain act is wrong, but that does not mean that you cannot do it if your intuition says that you should. Honestly, this is the kind of diseased thinking of an adulterer, and it is a kind of temporary insanity. It’s not so distant, in a way, from the rationalizations the criminally insane use to defend their acts.

One of the most interesting exchanges came when I asked her, “what do you want from me?” She said, “I want you to make decisions for yourself, and not to make decisions with any reference to me.” She then asked me the same question in return, and I simply said, “what I want from you, you are not able to give me right now.” I did not elaborate, but in my mind, the answer to that question was, “I want you to come home.” Sometimes things are better left unsaid.

I did, however, at one point have an opening, and I told her the one thing that would really help me would be for her to join me on a counseling session. She agreed, and I explained how that would likely work, and she seemed totally comfortable with the idea. This is huge. I could hardly have asked for a more substantial development. My counselor is not only pro-marriage, but very skillful at getting wayward spouses to articulate their feelings and agendas, and then getting them to think about what they are actually saying, and more important, doing. I do have the sense that, at this point, my wife is so confused that the positive influence of a professional who possesses experience, wisdom, and knowledge could actually prove to be transformative. All that remains at this point is for me to email the counselor with some information, and then to schedule a session. The session should hopefully occur next week.

In a very real way, the discussion this morning was a change in the tide. It was a softening of tone that really is welcome, especially in the face of her appearing to want to dig in her heels for even longer. It suggests to me that her situation is far more fragile, far more uncertain, and far more unstable than I’d previously thought. This is good news. The more stability and confidence I exude, the less tenable her position comes, and the closer we get to her coming home to reconcile.

Go slowly, come back quickly

I admit it: I didn’t come up with that title. I stole it from J.D. Salinger. Although he was writing about the feelings of the wives left behind in World War II, as their husbands were shipped off to combat, I’m appropriating it to express my feelings about my marital situation.

My wife wants to disengage. That much is clear. It’s been a slow process for her, and I’d like it to be even slower, if I could make that happen. I’d also like for her to come home as quickly as possible, and just let me love her and heal her wounds. But that’s not going to happen right now.

She had an appointment with a massage therapist-cum-energy worker today, a person a friend had referred her to. She blew about $140 on it, too. The therapist is located about 10 miles from here, and that required her to take a 90-minute bus ride that involved at least two transfers. That’s right, we’re talking 3 hours roundtrip. I offered to give her a ride, but she declined. She actually preferred to spend 3 hours on the bus rather than letting me drive her the 15-20 minutes it would take to get there by car. Such is the behavior of a wayward spouse.

I suspect that the session was about more than just massage, and that she also got some half-baked marital advice. I know this because our house is small and I overhear things. The affair isn’t working out so well. There is mistrust. The fact that there is mistrust is because of me, of course, and specifically because I will not assent to divorce. Why should I? The only reason she wants a divorce is so that she can devote the rest of her life to her lover. Problem is, it seems like she’s finding out that he isn’t so devoted after all. That simply has to be my fault: I’m standing in the way of the two of them being together, and if I’d just simply gone away then none of this would have happened, right?

Are you still with me, dear reader, or has the illogic derailed you? Don’t feel bad if it has, because the illogic derailed me a long time ago. That’s what I’m faced with, though: a spouse who wants a divorce so she can have an affair. Huh? Look, by the time any such divorce could go final, the affair will long since have become history. I know that, but she doesn’t. The wayward spouse has no sense of logic. They have fatuous and irrational impulses and desires that are fueled by infatuation. This is the so-called “affair fog” you hear talk of. It always burns off, and when it does, the wayward spouse suddenly begins to wonder what the heck they were thinking.

Anyway, I’m fine with there being mistrust between my wife and the adulterer. That’s par for the course. There was no trust there to begin with, just lies and deception. How could there ever be trust flourishing under those circumstances? What I’m not fine with is the likelihood of my wife wanting to come to me in the very near future (read: tomorrow or the day after) to have a “talk” about the “future.” This “talk” of the “future” will revolve around the “necessity” of divorce. It will also likely revolve around expressions of gratitude to me; this is something I heard a bit of in the past, as someone advised her that you had to express gratitude before “moving on”, and I do know that the masseuse-cum-energy worker gave her similar advice.

What’s my to-do, then? Well, same as it’s always been. Draw a line in the sand: no divorce. That doesn’t mean that I can stop her, but that I simply will not cooperate, which pretty much has been as good as stopping her thus far. Hopefully that will remain true until such time as the affair ends. Then, draw another line in the sand: no talk of an active affair, ever. Period. When it ends, she can talk about it, but not a moment before. I do suspect she’ll try to bring it up; she has insinuated that she needs to do this by telling me that I “never want to listen” to her. That’s nonsense. I’m always happy to listen, it’s just that I do have ethics and a sense of morality, both of which preclude me from listening to someone natter on about infidelity.

Will I look like a jerk in her eyes? Probably. Does that bother me? No. Really it’s just a matter of pointing out, in a way, that she has simply put the cart before the horse. If you really feel that you have to go outside the marriage to get your needs met, then you have the obligation to end that marriage first. Of course, human impulses being what they are, few people could wait the requisite 6-12 months plus for dissolution paperwork to go final before getting their needs met, so they end up in the sticky situation of plunging themselves into the jaws of immorality.

But heck, I wasn’t the one who decided to have the affair, right? So it’s really not my problem to solve. Feel like crap because you’re cheating on your husband? The solution is simple: stop cheating. Then, reconcile with him. It’s a basic, two-step process. But no, that would just be wrong to the adulteress. For her, she’s got to stay the course and destroy anyone and anything that attempts to get in her way. Some spouses are more destructive than others in this regard. I think mine has already reached her destructive limit and is having trouble going any further.

And that’s a good thing.

No change

She didn’t come home this morning, she didn’t come home this afternoon. She did come home this evening.

That’s what I know. What else I know is that things haven’t seemed to change in my favor. 4 days with the adulterer must have been a good thing for her “soul,” since she seemed neither depressed nor conflicted.

Argh.

I guess I had really been hoping for a blow-up between the two of them, a blow-up based on the massive amount of stress, guilt, and other horrible emotions she likely feels right now. But, I guess that when they’re together, they get to just disengage from reality and live in the space of the fairy tale. That seems to be what has happened. And to think that, just last week, she was thinking about “taking a break” from “the relationship.” Oh, well.

I was home most of the morning, and left for the office early afternoon. She had not returned home during that time, but I did know she was in town, since I saw evidence of where she was from our online bank activity. I pretty much knew where she was; she had a job in another part of town this afternoon, so she took the bus there and back.

I was gone when she came home, but left a book for her to discover. She found it alright, but made no comment. It’s still on her desk. I got home pretty late, and she was teaching a student here. Our dog had pooed in the bedroom in three different places. This seems to be a pattern when she’s around — the dog reacts viscerally. This never happened before the current crisis. The student is a girl who is about 10 years old, of mixed Taiwanese and American parentage. Her parents are currently getting divorced. This was, and likely still is, a very stressful situation for the girl, as last year, when that crisis began to brew, she pulled out most of the hair on the front of her head — bangs gone, and not much left for about 3 inches behind that. She also pulled out some of her eyebrows. This is what divorce does to kids, and believe me, it’s at least one reason why parents should try to reconcile at all costs. The parents are really pretty disconnected, and they forgot to pick their daughter up. The mother arrived about 15 minutes late.

The wife and I had a cordial enough exchange, she seemed fairly happy to see me, and we exchanged pleasantries in the kitchen. But it was clear to me from her behavior that the affair was not over, and in fact appeared to be far from it. What I did not see from her was any kind of coldness or drive to do something stupid, like push for separation, divorce, etc. But, she did tell me that she was going back over to her friends’ house tonight. I offered her a ride, and she declined. She also told me that she has a massage appointment tomorrow morning about 10 miles from here. This is in the same general location as her hair salon she took the 2-hour bus ride to last week. I offered her a ride, and again, she declined. That’s fine, let her enjoy the long, long, bus ride with 3 transfers.

Actually, in a way this recent development (i.e. no change) is a good thing for me. I’ve been slowly detaching, in a loving way, from her, such that she does not occupy me every thought and action in the way she has for the past 3 months. I just can’t do it. She’s not here enough, she’s showing me she wants to detach, and actually that’s just going to be part of her process, I guess. She needs to go out and hit rock bottom before she rebounds and comes back. I’m just going to have to wait this one out, and it sucks. But, the good side is that I now get to make myself the highest priority. I get to work on me, and make myself the best husband that the world has seen. I get to let go of her nonsense and put myself first for a change. Whatever happens in this marriage from this point on out is not going to be because I want to reconcile so much as it is going to be because I want to be a better person. In truth, that’s the only thing that will bring her back, anyway. So now it’s time for me to get to work, and knuckle down for the long, hard slog that’s up ahead.