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.

Sleeping around

I don’t do it, nor should you. I was never a very promiscuous person, nor was my wife, for that matter. In fact, I’d wager that her adolescent years were probably far more stultifying than mine, insofar as any budding love life might have been concerned. Restrictive parents, coupled with a conservative society and single-sex schools do conspire to thwart teenage amorousness.

So maybe it’s no surprise that now, mid-life, my wife might want to act out on repressed adolescent fantasies. She sleeps around, literally and figuratively: she has a bed here that she seldom uses these days, she has a guest bed at her friends’ place a couple of blocks from here, and then she shares a bed with the adulterer about 40 miles from here. That would certainly meet the definition of “sleeping around” at least a little bit.

As I wrote in my last post, I suspected that my wife had gone off with her lover in my absence. That seems to have been the case, and I cite the following as evidence:

  • A full cup of tea and a mostly drunk glass of juice left on her desk. This suggests to me that she got a text from the adulterer saying something like “I’m 5 minutes away, be ready,” and thus a mad dash to get her bags together and dash out the door.
  • Food for the dog that was left in the freezer. Now here I have to explain: we feed our dog a raw diet, mostly uncooked chicken wings and such, but a few years back our dog got really picky and just would not eat if she wasn’t really hungry. I took this as a sign of health; my wife took it as a cause of concern. So she started do broil the wings for a few minutes (something I’d always objected to as both unnecessary and potentially unhealthy) before giving them to the dog, as it seems to get the dog’s appetite going. She then puts it in the freezer for a few minutes to cool down. So it looks from the evidence that she had gotten ready to feed the dog, and then forgot all about it in the mad dash to get out the door.
  • Fresh tire tracks at the end of the street. I know where this man picks her up and drops her off. There are 2 locations, and I’ve caught them red-handed at one of them on two separate occasions — not by plan, but by coincidence. At that location, I saw tire tracks etched several inches deep into the mud; I can thank the recent snowfall and the following rain and slush for that evidence.
  • Her absence for the rest of yesterday and the entirety of today. If she were staying with friends nearby, she would have come home to hang out. That’s been her pattern.

So she’s off to see the wizard of adultery. Actually, I’m all for it, in a way: she’s so stressed out about her life right now that I don’t think it would take very much to trigger a serious argument that could take the entire relationship down. At the very least, I’d expect her to have a serious talk with him about her life as it stands right now. Not only that, I do know from what I’ve heard her tell others that this man has a lot of female friends, so I wouldn’t put it past her to snoop his computer and cell phone for evidence of another woman in his life. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had one or two on the side. He’s a gardener, and he’s got some relatively upscale clientele here in town, and there is likely a lonely housewife or two among them that he might be able to prey on.

That kind of scenario would not surprise me at all, and actually it was my counselor who brought it up. It resonates with my past experience as well: a friend of mine from my college days had an affair with a married woman; despite my warnings to him that it would end badly, he persisted. That is, until he found out that she had cheated on him with a third man.

But as for this situation, it’s anyone’s guess. I’m not psychic, and I don’t have any surveillance equipment or personnel deployed. All I have is a hunch, and that’s based on non-verbal cues, body language, and other subtle information that I’ve picked up on from her. I do have the sense that there is enough tension in her life and their relationship at this point that the whole thing is pretty brittle, so it might not take very much to undermine it, if not bring the whole thing crashing to the ground. And, as I wrote in my last post, the days preceding the new moon are seen in some astrological traditions as being critical times that can be plagued with troubles and mental obscurations. According to the Tibetan astrological calendar, today and tomorrow are really critical days: today is very inauspicious, and tomorrow inauspicious in a different way.

I somehow don’t see anything good coming from their being together, even if they somehow manage to keep the relationship together after the weekend. My wife still has her dissertation to deal with, and I know that she has considered putting the affair on hold (har har) and moving back in here. Guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

Kaffeepause

That’s what we used to call it when I lived in Germany, “Kaffeepause.” Literally, “coffee pause.” Just a break from the tedium of the work day, when we stop to have coffee, or better yet, “Kaffee und Kuchen” (coffee and cake), usually around 3 p.m. or so.

That’s more or less what I’m doing now, taking a break from my workday (Saturdays are usually busy for me) to have a quick coffee before returning to the mayhem that is my weekend work life.

My Saturdays usually start a bit later than this one did today: I had a bunch of makeup work to do as a result of the snow during the week that resulted in a number of canceled appointments. So I had to start the day by playing catch-up. Somewhat surprisingly, my wife turned up right around 8:00 a.m. This tells me that she wasn’t with her lover last night, but rather over at her friends’ house. Not that that’s good or bad, it just is what it is. Or more properly, it was what it was.

I do know, about as authoritatively as I can know anything second- (or third-) hand that she is planning on being with her lover this weekend. The reason I know this is that she canceled some appointments on Monday, pushing them forward to Tuesday. This can only mean to me, at this point anyway, that she plans on spending 2-3 days with her lover. Whether she leaves today or not is anyone’s guess, but I suppose I’ll find that out when I get home. I’ll also find out if she decided to take the dog with her, as she has done in the past. Somehow I doubt that, though, and I also doubt that I’ll get any sort of note or explanation, since I clearly don’t rate anything like that anymore.

As I said before, I kind of want them to be together, since that will help the affair come crashing to the ground that much sooner. Don’t get me wrong: I hate this affair, and don’t like the idea of them being together, but I do like the idea of her being with him with the kind of stress she is currently under, as there is an elevated chance that they will get into some sort of argument. My wife is incredibly stressed out these days, is feeling tremendous pressure, and is visibly very unhappy. An argument, were one to happen, could actually end up being a relationship-ender for them, and that’s what I’m rooting for.

The other thing that’s interesting about this is that, from an astrological standpoint, the timing couldn’t be better for a relationship-ending argument to unfold. I’m not an astrology buff, but the spiritual lineage I practice in, which progresses generally from Tibetan Buddhism, gives great credence to astrological calculations. Astrology is seen as a branch of the healing arts, and astrological divination would often part of traditional medicinal procedures. The 2-3 days leading up to either a new or full moon are seen as being problematic and turbulent. Those days fall on this weekend, and are no exception to the rule. Traditionally, travel would be avoided both today and tomorrow, as they are the final days leading to the new moon. Tomorrow (Sunday) is an unfavorable day with the elemental combination “fire-water,” one of the most unfavorable in the entire month. So, it’s pretty much a bad day for doing things, and is said to be one in which mental obscurations are present, and possibly abundant.

Maybe you can see where I’m going with this: I’m hoping for some ancient wisdom to prove to be, in fact, wise.  I guess I’ll just have to wait and see. I have no plans for starting important activities or doing anything that might be unfavorable. I’ll just spend a quiet day at home, taking care of chores and tasks needing to get done. Maybe I’ll even get some “good news,” in the sense of the affair crashing to the ground.

Give. Me. A. Break.

You know that feeling you have sometimes when something just seems to take too long, like standing in line at the grocery store or waiting in traffic? That person in the express lane at the grocery store didn’t have 10 items or less; you can clearly see at least 20 things in the cart, and the people waiting behind this person are pissed off. Or, that person who refuses to merge into your lane until the absolute last second, trying to pass as many people as possible, and then causes traffic to grind to a halt as he tries to shove his way in? You know that feeling they give you, that “why the heck did you have to do that?” feeling that makes you want to just slap them across the face and yell at them to be more considerate? Well, that’s how I’m starting to feel these days about my wife and her miserable affair.

It’s been dragging on for 3-1/2 months now. I realize that might not be a long time, especially when you hear stories of spouses who string affairs along for years on end, but to me it’s just really starting to get tediously irritating. Today I hear her complaining to a friend about how she hasn’t seen the adulterer in nearly three weeks. Big friggin’ whoop, that’s what I say. Sometimes we have unexpected allies, and this week it was Mother Nature, who decided to dump a bunch of snow on us for 5 days straight. Lest I remind you, my wife’s lover is a gardener, and snow means no work, he stays at home, 40 miles from here. Then today it starts to rain. That means slush and mud, again, no work, he stays at home, 40 miles from here. Add to all of this the evidence that things do not seem to be going well for them, and you might expect that my wife is getting a bit antsy. Of course, I’m the target of her irritation. She gets irritated if I treat her nicely. I gave her a magazine to read yesterday — slipped it in her bag before she left the house — and although she thanked me for it, she wanted to know why I gave it to her. Please, spare me. Because I wanted to, alright?

So today she arrives home as per schedule, right around 9:00 a.m. I feed her breakfast; she leaves the dirty dishes on her office desk. I offer her lunch, and she tells me she suddenly has changed her dietary requirements — she won’t eat pork now; this is the influence of her lover, of course. A couple of weeks ago she was off the sweets. No refined sugar. Except, of course, for all those chocolates she ate while she was trying to pack boxes. She was so stressed out by it that she at almost a whole box of bon bons. Anyway, I give her a “dumbed down” version of lunch which she again eats in her office. Then she goes about crimping her hair and plucking her eyelashes. This is a signal to me that she is probably going to see the adulterer; that’s what she did last time she saw him, too. I don’t know if that’s the case or not, since I left for work before she took off.

Honestly, as much as I hate this affair — and I truly hate it — half of me actually wants her to be with the adulterer right now. I know things aren’t working out for them, I’ve overheard plenty of stuff. I know the circumstances of her life are really starting to weigh on her conscience very heavily. I know she feels a tremendous sense of disappointment that she hasn’t managed to make her fantasy become real, and that she feels an enormous burden of guilt for the pain she has inflicted on myself and others (e.g. my family) in her selfish drive to live the fantasy. And I’ve heard her say that the lover is insensitive, somewhat crass in his speech, defensive, and unaccommodating. You can just imagine how that’s going to work out.

Sometimes you hear stories about people who leave their adulterous lover because they realize that life with their spouse was just as much a pain in the neck as was life with the adulterer. The key difference is that the relationship with the spouse is one of substance and reality, while the one with the adulterer is just a insubstantial fairy tale. I’m beginning to hope that my wife sees that the relationship with this adulterer is actually worse than even her worst times with me. But, the dopamine addiction clouds everything over, and they ignore pretty much all the warts, pustules, pimples, and boils until at some point they become so grotesque that they cannot be overlooked anymore. I think we may be starting to reach that point.

For now, this means I wait some more. Weekends are busy times for me, and I have a full day ahead tomorrow. I’ll be gone all day. If I don’t see her tomorrow or Sunday, then I’ll know where she is. I don’t need to ask the “friends” that she’s staying with — I’ll see one of them tomorrow — they lied to me straight to my face about her whereabouts the last time she went off with him. I’ll just bide my time and wait for the house of cards to blow down. It won’t take much, considering her fragile state of mind.

Same old $h!£, different day

My wife returned this morning, as per usual, arriving around 9:00 a.m. We had about 4 inches of snow on the ground at that time, and it was sleeting. Again, she looked like hell: puffy eyes, tired face, defeated posture, you name it. She just looked terrible. I asked her if she was okay, and she did tell me she hadn’t slept well, but I didn’t need her to tell me that to know that was the case. I served her breakfast, coffee, and then lunch. She was actually quite snotty to me at one point, and I’m not really sure what she was snotty about, but I found myself getting sucked into the sarcasm. This is not good. Note to self: don’t feed in to the vortex.

She left much earlier than usual, right around 1:30. We had a snow day at work, so I had the pleasure of staying home all day. Before she left, I sneaked a magazine I had bought her a few days ago into one of her bags. It was still in the paper bag from the book shop, so she couldn’t see what it was, but fortunately she didn’t notice it was there before she left. I also told her I would be making dinner, and invited her back for that, but of course she declined. As she was going, I went to open the door for her. Here’s the exchange that ensued.

“Don’t do it for me!” she says in response to me opening the door.
“What are you talking about?” I say.
“I don’t need you to do things for me, okay?”
I look at her in disbelief. “Do you mean to tell me there is something wrong with someone being polite to you?” I close the door. After all, it’s about 29ºF outside.
She rolls her eyes. Actually, she rolls her eyes in a rather comical way that indicates that she’s been busted for saying something stupid, or acting foolishly. This is a behavior I haven’t seen from her since our crisis began over three months ago, and actually it’s a pretty good sign.

She opens the door for herself and begins to leave, and I just say goodbye, and tell her I’ll see her later. I watch her trudge through the snow back to her friends house, and I start laughing. Actually, I was looking for my cell phone so I could take a picture of her leaving, as the whole thing struck me as so absurdly funny. I think I laughed for about five minutes.

That’s the thing: this whole situation is just so utterly stupid. It’s pointless, a complete waste of time, and totally needless. I feel like I’m babysitting an emotional ten-year-old who just wants to have temper tantrums so that she can get her way. I’m not giving in, and I’m showing her that tantrums don’t really solve anything. Not only that, there are only so many tantrums I’ll tolerate before I tell her to mellow out.

So, she left, I was home alone, and I took advantage of the time to do some work. Then I cooked dinner. And after that, I went on Facebook for some strange reason. I haven’t really used that website for at least 2 months, and I don’t really have any desire to go back on it. It’s just so artificial. But I did, and right there at the top were some pictures posted by the friend who she’s staying with. I should add that my wife has blocked me from her Facebook account — a pretty petty move, but that’s where she’s at right now — and so I can’t see anything she posts. But this friend is on my friend list, so I could see the pictures of them walking their dog, with my wife tagging along.

I suddenly felt very, very sad, and alone. The aloneness doesn’t really bother me, but the sadness went straight to my heart. I miss her. I could see from the picture how lonely she feels, how much pain she’s in, and how vain her efforts are to try to ignore her pain. I just wanted to reach out and to say, “come home,” but I know that would have no effect. I started to cry. I think I cried for about 10 minutes. Not hard, and there wasn’t any kind of storyline, it was just tears of sadness that came out. And then the whole thing blew over like clouds in a passing storm. No big deal, really.

So now, I just wait.

More interesting things afoot…

Once again, my wife spent the night at her friend’s place, thus continuing the “separation,” which is going on 9 days or so now. I’m not really counting, since I know this is probably going to be temporary anyway. She came home again this morning, and spent the better part of the day here, but left late afternoon to go back to her friend’s place. It has been snowing most of the day, so she’s trudged her way there and back .

The truly interesting development right now is the following: I have it on pretty good authority that her affair could be on the rocks. I do know that there have been issues, but from what I’m hearing, it sounds like the affair is just draining too much of her energy. That would be consistent with what I’m seeing: she always looks tired, defeated, defensive, beaten down, and generally unhappy. Things might be getting ready to turn for the better here, as she has not been so cold toward me the past couple of days.

I think the thing that is hitting her the hardest right now is the reality that she has to finish her doctorate, and that she’s got very little time to get that done. We’re talking 3-4 months that she has to write the dissertation, and then about another month getting ready to defend. That’s a lot of work, I can tell you from experience. I do believe that she is finding the affair to stand in the way of this goal of finishing her dissertation — a worthy goal to have.

The question now is how this is going to play out. I can foresee a couple of possibilities: First, she might try to keep the affair on ice while she continues to write up and defend, and then rekindle it during the summer. I find that quite unlikely, as the affair has probably zero chance of sustaining itself on life support in the intervening months. Second, and actually this is related directly to the first point above, she could try to broach the subject to the adulterer and trigger an affair-ending argument. I find this scenario to be more likely; the first scenario would see the affair just sort of fizzle out, but I think they’re headed for an all-out blow up.

Either way, there does arise the question of logistics. What’s she going to do for those 5 months from now until her defense? Where will she live? Whose food will she eat? How is she going to make money for her upkeep?

I’m pretty sure the answer is that she’ll just move back in. If the first scenario plays out, I’ll get put on notice that she’s not coming back to me, ever. That scenario won’t last; I’ll keep working on reconciling until I get a true breakthrough. If the second scenario plays out, then it will be more like post-disaster management mode, and I’ll have to get her counseling, shower her with as much unconditional love as is possible, and continue to build goodwill until she joins me 100% on the path of reconciliation. I’m pretty sure that one or two sessions with my counselor would move her pretty quickly right back to my court.

Why can I say this? Well, I just don’t think my wife really is ready to disengage and be single and “independent” again. I don’t know this for sure, but I think that her plans to disengage had nothing to do with her being single and independent ever, but rather taken and dependent on the adulterer. In other words, she has built a vision of the future with him, and if that affair implodes, so does the entirety of her future. Her present will then be totally groundless.

Anyway, interesting times ahead. I’ve had the intuitive sense that the big blow-out could be coming soon, even in the next few days. There’s a new moon on Monday (remember that old Duran Duran song?) and many systems of astrology hold that the days leading up to that new moon to be difficult and quite critical, with the new moon itself signaling the potential for a new phase. That being the case, I’d like nothing better than for her to go over to her lover’s place this weekend and have that blow-up once and for all. Just get it over and done with. Then I can start to pick up the pieces and rebuild.