A cold front blew through this morning. I was out running errands, and the rain turned to hail, then to sleet, and then finally to snow. I think this is some sort of metaphor for my life as it is right now. The situation with my wife has steadily gotten colder over the past two weeks.
She came home very early this morning, about 8:00 a.m., and she looked like hell. Well, not totally like hell: she had gotten her hair done yesterday, and that looked great. But otherwise she looked like hell. Puffy eyes, tired face, defeated posture. I was in bed answering email when she got here, so I went out to greet her, then returned to bed. (Yes, I can be selfish, too.) She made coffee, and brought me some — black coffee in bed. (Remember that song by The Squeeze? I don’t think it’s totally appropriate here, but, well, at least the title is.) She seemed mostly cold and unfriendly. Still, I managed to give her a pastry I’d picked up at the grocery store, a “melon pan” (melon bread). I know she loves these; in fact, one time she said, “I really like these, so don’t but it for me anymore.” She ate it anyway.
I had to work most of the day, so I squeezed in some errands before leaving. I fully expected her to stay at home and pack all day long.
I was wrong. I came home to find her in her office, talking to her mother over the internet. It was a cordial enough conversation. Absolutely nothing had been packed. She had a comforter on the couch, which led me to believe that she had just taken a nap all afternoon. She had the door open to her office, and, since she speaks a language I don’t fully understand, I guess she thought it would be okay to just talk to her mother in full earshot of where I was sitting. That’s when I heard her begin to talk about the future. She said that she had been packing boxes and that tomorrow she’d be over at her friend’s house filling out the divorce paperwork. Her mother became silent and then assumed a muted tone. I didn’t hear what was said in response, but it seemed that her mother still disapproved of this idea. She (my wife, that is) went on to say that she would be moving those boxes in to the house of this older lady she will be staying with for the month of February. She talked a bit about this lady and what she does. She then said that she’d be graduating in June.
Okay. So I got a bit freaked out when I heard that she was going to fill out the divorce paperwork. I think if my wife truly understood what that meant, she wouldn’t do it. We do have community debts, among other things, and if she were to go ahead with this, I could saddle her with thousands of dollars of debt that she would struggle to repay. She simply does not understand this to be a consequence of her actions. If she did file, the divorce would be contested, and then we’d be forced into some sort of court-mandated dispute resolution. It would be a long and difficult mess that would take over a year. Her affair would long be history by that point, and she’d have no reason to pursue divorce.
But, from her standpoint, I do believe that it is totally predictable and psychologically necessary for her to do this, or at least make the attempt. She is now 2 weeks behind schedule on starting her “new life”. This is a life which never existed and which never will exist. But, she does want to believe that it is a reality, and that she is right to pursue it. (Let’s remember that this new life is to continue the adultery until she actually is divorced, and then to shack up with and marry this adulterer, who has been divorced twice already.) That is simply how desperate she is to try to get out of all of her problems and not deal with the actual reality of her situation. It’s so transparent to me as to be laughable, except that it’s not funny.
As for the rest of the evening, well, it was pretty cold stuff from her. She retreated into her office, closed the door, and then watched videos on astral projection. Seriously. I had some gelato left over from last week, so I brought her a small dish, which she begrudgingly accepted. Not much warmth there.
My one hope is that, if she actually does try to fill out the divorce paperwork, that it finds the same fate as her packing currently has. In other words, I hope it stalls out. Seriously — why would you be so hell bent on packing, and then suddenly stop? Why would you be so hell bent on moving out, yet still spend your whole day at home, and also sleep here 2-3 nights per week? Does this make any sense at all? If you really wanted to separate, you’d just do it. You’d harden yourself totally off, pack up all your shit, get a van, rent an apartment, and get it and yourself out. Well, she can’t afford an apartment, so that means she has to spend the next couple of months couch surfing. That’s not going to work out well. And, I don’t think she can really totally harden herself off to me, since I’ve spent so much time building goodwill. It must really kill her inside to even try to do this.
That’s why I keep having this sense that the inevitable implosion is somewhere just around the corner. Her style is just to push, push, push until she gets her way. But when she does this, she usually pushes too hard. Then there is a breakdown. There is a meltdown. There is an emotional implosion. Always. It was really bad when I first met her, but improved once we got married, since I could help her to mediate these rash and impulsive personality traits. Now that she’s disconnecting, there’s nobody to mediate them, so she’s simply rushing headlong into a virtual brick wall at 500 miles per hour. She knows the wall is there, too, but she’s convinced herself that there is no wall. She’s pushing really hard. Really, really hard. And it will lead to yet another breakdown. I can see it coming. I can smell it from miles away. I have known this woman for nearly a decade, and I can see it in her body language, which is utterly defeated. I think she’s going to lash out at someone, and that someone won’t be me. It will be the adulterer, who is keeping her at a comfortable distance, letting her have some intimate time when he wants to, and then maintaining the relationship by text, email, or phone calls. She wants more, and she wants it now. Right now. And she cannot have it. And she is sacrificing everything just to get it. That’s why this has the potential to explode. He’ll be the target, and it will be ugly. He’ll see her fiery side, and it will scare the shit out of him, or at least it will wake him up. He’ll be motivated to dump her; she won’t since she’s invested way too much, and is way too clingy. These stories never have a happy ending for either affair partner, we all know that. I’m truly hoping that we’re going to move from the destabilization phase into the disentanglement and dissolution phase pretty soon. We’ll just have to wait and see.