Hey, hey, hey – another two-post day

I wrote my last update at a coffee shop on my way to work. I had another late start due to client cancelations/reschedules. There was a lady sitting on the couch opposite me, and she had her dog with her and was also toting her son, who looked to be about eight years old, and they were playing cards. The dog appeared to be some sort of flat-coated retriever mix, and its tail kept threatening to knock the drinks over on the knee-height table. That’s what I was contending with while writing that post. Fascinating, I know.

Now I’m sitting at home in the comfort of my living room. I got home around 8:00 p.m. The lights were totally out on the house, so I’d assumed that my wife still had not returned home. I was wrong. When I went to open the front door, the dog was there to greet me. Her behavior was a bit odd: she seemed tired and kind of depressed. Normally, when one of us would come home, she would get all hyper and prance around. She’s a Corgi, after all, and they’re very active dogs. This time, she just seemed kind of sedate. I saw this behavior after her first extended visit to Camp Chickenshit. In fact, she’s never really totally normal after visiting that place. It’s like she’s home again, and everything is familiar, yet she needs to readjust, because the pack dynamics have shifted. Dogs do need that sense of pack dynamics, and they need to know who the pack leader is. Normally that would be me. But when she goes to Camp Chickenshit, I think she gets confused. That role would have to fall on my wife. Maybe there’s no trust in the adulterer; why should there be?

Anyway, so what else did I discover when I came home? Well, for starters, my wife had left a note for me on the dining room table. I had left her a note before I went to work, letting her know that I had cooked some lunch and that there were leftovers in the fridge. I also wrote that I had bought potato chips, which she consumes voluminously these days (without gaining weight; I attribute that to the stressfulness of her situation), and that there was also some root beer in the fridge. Not A&W or Hires, but micro-brewed stuff. Craft sodas are all the rage these days, and there are dozens of places around the country that brew root beer. The note also thanked me for the stuff I’d bought and prepared, and also thanked me for having relocated her half-packed boxes into her closet. (I had to: they were an eyesore and taking up far too much space.) She also thanked me for the chocolate I had sneaked into her bag before she left. She also wrote, “Please let me know if there [is] anything I can do for you.” I felt that statement to be rather odd. There is actually something she could do for me: break off the affair and come home to reconcile, but perhaps that would be asking too much. She signed the note, “Best, [her name];” I found this a bit odd as well, as she must have learned that closing salutation from me or someone else.

So there we are.

I guess I just have absolutely no sense for where I stand right now. The affair is going on 4-1/2 months old right now, so I guess that would make it kind of middle-aged. Affairs tend to perish before they hit the one-year mark, and most probably die away months before that, say in the range of 5 to 7 months of total duration or so. Thinking back on all my pre-marriage girlfriend situations, few of them lasted substantially longer than that, and that is likely true of others’ experience as well. Affairs aren’t boyfriend/girlfriend situations, though, since at least one, if not both partners are married. But, with this aforementioned time frame, I guess that would mean that we’re getting fairly close to the affair’s death from natural causes, i.e. the endless lies, deceit and so on. Much as the human body can only sustain a fight against a mighty virus or disease for so long, so too can a human sustain a fight against the ethics and morality of human society for a limited time. Maybe that’s why I get the sense that the affair is being kept on life support. I don’t have any evidence to back this up, though; it’s just a hunch. I don’t really see it stretching on much more than another month or so. After that, the pressures of real life will just become too severe. But, I could be wrong. My wife does appear to have a small network of friends who support and encourage her path of infidelity, and that is a truly amazing thing to consider.

In the meantime, I continue to wait, to work on myself and my fixings, and to continue to build goodwill such that she’ll feel comfortable coming home when that relationship finally self-combusts.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

This is just a quick note I’ll be writing right now, not a lengthy post that requires a lot of thought and consideration.

Once again my wife failed to turn up this morning. She has apparently extended her stay at Camp Chickenshit at least through this morning, if not longer. I do know that she has a student to teach at home tomorrow afternoon, so she should at least be home then. She also is supposed to have a rehearsal in town this afternoon, although she bailed on that last week, claiming to be “sick” (she wasn’t looking sick at all when she came home!) and getting a colleague to cover for her. Typically if she were to be going to this rehearsal, she’d be dropping the dog off before setting out. I left around noon and did not see any sign of them. Furthermore, her friends’ house that she’s been staying at is on my way out of the neighborhood, and there was nobody home there at all. She does have a key, so she can come and go as she wishes, but I suspect she was still with the adulterer.

You might be wondering, “what’s up with the title of this post?” Not much, really. I just miss my wife. Whenever she leaves for these weekends and then does not resurface right away I hold out hope that perhaps some sort of problem might have erupted in the adulterous relationship. This is entirely feasible, and if that were the case I don’t necessarily think I’d be the first one to hear of it. At this point, she’d likely go cry to her friends first, the same friends who “support” and “understand” her, and who have encouraged her to go down the path of infidelity and marital oblivion. I can only imagine what those friends will say when that affair goes kablooey, or if it already has, what they might be saying now. They’ll just be standing there with shit all over their faces. Sorry for the vulgar reference, but the situation itself is quite vulgar, and I don’t expect the blow-up and the way it affects those who have been involved in it to be any less vulgar.

The phase that I am currently in with my wife seems to be one of hopeless disengagement. She is trying to take distance from me as much as she can, but she is finding her resources to be getting stretched increasingly thin. She is also facing the reality of commitments that have to be met, and the deadlines for those commitments are rapidly approaching. All of her excuses for not being able to work on those commitments (e.g. the dissertation) are becoming more and more hollow. It just appears to me that she has actually actively begun to spiral out of control. I don’t have much of a factual basis upon which to rest this; my statement is both anecdotal and intuitive. Every time I see her she looks worse. She looks tired, unhappy, and beaten down. She is at times unfriendly if not hostile toward me. She rejects simple acts of kindness and thoughtfulness as though they are some sort of poison or a form of torture. It takes a lot of energy to do that. And it takes even more energy to lead a double life. That’s what she’s doing, though. There is the affair as it is, i.e. a fantasy that inhabits a fragile bubble-world, and then there are her relations with the outside world, which I suspect simply are not coherent. It’s a different story for everyone. Some people are confidants and know the ins and outs or the affair, or at least as much as she’ll divulge. Others are told a more polished version of the story.

And then there’s me. I’m out in the cold on this, by my own choice. She simply does not get to discuss it with me. Others should take that position as well, but they don’t. They listen, even if it makes them uncomfortable. But since I’m central to the whole situation, her inability to be straight with me must make things really insufferable for her. She needs my agreement and approval to do what she does and to lead the kind of life she dreams that she actually could lead, i.e. living with the adulterer out there at Camp Chickenship, playing make-believe. You know, make-believe gardener, make-believe spiritual person, make-believe happy housewife, et cetera.

I honestly just look forward to the time when the bubble bursts and she comes to the realization that that relationship was just a gigantic sham, from the very first contact to the final blow-up. What follows will likely be a difficult and perhaps lengthy process, but a necessary one to rebuild her life. I’m strong enough to handle all that, and that’s important, because I suspect she is not.

Okay, this post has gone on much longer than expected. My heart has grown fonder, and I do long for her to just stop fighting the whole universe and just to come home. It will take a whole lot of humility to do that, but in the end I suspect she won’t have too many alternatives.