Day 3 without the Frau

She left sometime on Saturday, was gone all day Sunday, and today (Monday) did not come home, either. I expect she’ll come rolling in sometime tomorrow morning. The adulterer, who is a gardener, certainly has customers to tend to, so he’ll plop her off down at the end of the street some time around 8:30. That seems to be the routine.

The big question for me will be what her mood and behavior will be like. In the past, she’d come home, guns a-blazin’, ready to dump me, move out, file for divorce, etc. And, this past month, she’d be really cold toward me to boot. We’ll see if that holds. If she feels enthused about the affair, that would be the predictable behavior pattern. If the affair is in trouble, it could be a lot more uncertain. If I see anger, sorrow, or depression, then that would be a pretty good sign that the affair is on its way out, or already over.

I just really wonder. She will have had three days with this immoral jackass, and that’s certainly long enough to figure out if she wants to tough it out with him or just move on with life and be responsible. Real life certainly has been intruding on things for her of late, and the specter of the dissertation certainly is weighing on her mind. I do know that this has been one thing that has made her think that “taking a break” from “the relationship” might be worthwhile. Actually, it would be a step in the right direction, but “taking a break” really isn’t possible. I don’t think the affair could survive her separation from it.

One thing I am looking forward to is giving. In my last post, I mentioned that I needed to find some thing (or things) to give. This is really important, since I need to show her that, despite what she may have been doing the past few days, nothing has changed from my end. I ended up going to a local independent bookstore, which has often been a source of inspiration, as they have lots of nice stuff — cards, books, magazines, etc. I ended up finding two things for her: an illustrated book of Gustav Klimt’s work, and a book on incorporating essential oils into cooking recipes. These both speak of my knowledge of her: Klimt is one of her favorite artists, and she loves aromatherapy. The best part of it all is that I got about $70 worth of books for $10. That’s right, $10. Both of these books seem to have been heavily discounted (not sure why), and on top of that I had a frequent buyer card that saved me $20. Super. In the past, I’ve liked to have a few extra things stashed that I could give, so I wouldn’t always have to be on the lookout for things every time I go out.

Now you might wonder why giving is so important. Why would you want to give anything to an estranged spouse, especially if there’s the possibility that she might reject what you have to give? Well, the whole point of giving is that you are giving in a way that speaks of you intimate knowledge of your spouse. This is important in any distressed marital situation, and especially important, I think, in cases of infidelity. You are up against an adversary that has your spouse in a fog of infatuation, and your spouse likely thinks the mister/mistress is manna from heaven, a sustenance that nourishes the soul and cures every illness, mental or physical, real or imagined. Of course, this is not the case, and the infatuation will end, but until such time as it does it is important to show that you know your spouse better than any lover possibly could. It takes years of knowledge of your spouse to know what he or she really likes, and it takes years of experiences with your spouse to be able to give things that speaks of that knowledge, or things you’ve done together, and so on. On top of that, while a wayward spouse could reject conversation or physical interaction, it is a bit more difficult — and ridiculous — to reject an inanimate object.

Thus my two book choices. My wife and I were in Vienna a few years ago; this was Klimt’s home, and one sees much of his work there. I bought her a card with a print of his while we were there, so this book will likely reinforce that memory. As for the essential oils, my wife began to be interested in them about 5-6 years ago, and found a producer in France that she almost exclusively buys from. I do know that her lover has some minor interest in essential oils, and that she’s wanted to share these with him, to the extent that she placed an order with this company a couple of months ago that clocked in over $300 (!!). So, my giving this book steals that thunder right away from them. Even though she will be interested in the book and want to explore it, she would not do that with him, since the book comes from me.

So, I guess that’s all of my musings that need to get out onto virtual paper for now. I don’t really mind the aloneness that much, I’m just tired of watching my wife sabotage her life for months on end, and taking me along for that white-knuckle ride. It’s time to get off the roller coaster and get back to the real world.

The waiting is the hardest part

Isn’t it true? You know something is going to happen — something good, something bad, or even something neutral — and you’ve just got to wait for it to occur. It seems like the waiting goes on and on forever. It almost doesn’t matter if we’re waiting for something positive or negative to occur, either, the waiting just seems to last.

That’s where I’m at right now with this whole affair nonsense. I know my wife is under tremendous stress these days. I know she is worried about her near future, with an impending dissertation deadline, and virtually no progress being made toward that. I also know that she’s thinking about her current living situation wrapping up. The people she is currently staying with have given her until the end of the month; that was the arrangement going in, so she’ll have to leave their place in about a week. Not that she actually moved in with them, quite the contrary. Instead, she just sleeps there most nights, and hangs out here at home most of the day. Her next living situation ostensibly is with this older Japanese woman who also happens to be on her doctoral exam committee. (I do believe this to be a conflict of interest, but that’s another story.) I think this will prove to be very difficult for her if she actually does try to stay with her next month.

Once again, she has not returned home. I do not expect to see her until tomorrow morning, since I know she has rescheduled her commitments she would normally have today. There can only be one place that she is right now: 40 miles from here, at the home of the adulterous letch she has been attached to for the better part of 4 months now. I do know that she was thinking about sidelining the affair for a time to work on her dissertation, but I don’t really think she can do it. I wouldn’t be surprised if she brought this up, but I suspect that he’d try every trick in the book to keep her hooked. The question in my mind is how I’m going to negotiate this situation.

In a way, there really isn’t much that I can do that I haven’t already been doing. I manifest unconditional love as much as I can. Intuitively, this tells me that I should be going out this morning to find something to give her, and that’s what I plan on doing in the next few minutes. One of the most powerful things that I think I can do at a time like this is to give, since it reminds her that I am available to her and that I still love her and know her better than anyone else. What I need to do is find some way of giving that is different from what I’ve given in the past, and that might be a bit tricky.

The other thing I have to do is to wait. There really isn’t much choice in that matter, either. I cannot make her end her affair, I can only influence the circumstances of her life in such a way that being with me seems more attractive than being with him. I’ve been doing that for nearly three months now, and it has had an effect, but it just hasn’t been enough to break the ties of the addiction to adultery.

I do think that the stresses of her life are starting to get to her, and that these more than anything are going to take the affair down. She will have to choose, and very soon, between an unsustainable relationship and the rest of her life. The complication is simply that she has framed the rest of her life in terms of the affair: she’d leave me, get a divorce, marry him, and live happily ever after out in the boondocks with a twice-divorced, serial adulterer. This has got to be one of the big complications for her: if she leaves the affair, she leaves her visions of the future as well. It must be terribly unsettling. She has tried every trick in the book to keep this affair alive, but the only thing it has really brought her is pain and dissatisfaction. I’m sure she looks back on her life with me and thinks that she had 7 years of similar pain and dissatisfaction as well. (That’s actually not true: we only started becoming unhappy in the past couple of years.) But I just do not see what her alternatives are. She is very unlikely to choose a solitary path, i.e. without me or him, as she’ll be just as unhappy doing that as she would be doing anything else. She might try it, though, and that would mean that I’d have to be even more patient.

Ugh. This whole reconciliation process is so lengthy and time-consuming. If I had one piece of advice to give any newlywed, it would be to learn how to maintain your marriage for the inevitable time when the romance dies away and you otherwise would begin to settle. If we had only done that, we would not have ended up in the situation we currently are in. But now that we’re here, I’ve just got to deal with that reality before I can start rebuilding. Part of that does involve waiting, and that truly is hard.