The Case of the Disappearing Spouse

I have seen my wife precisely once this week. This is unusual. Ever since she “moved out” in January, she would put in an appearance at the house, starting from about 9:00 in the morning or so. She’d stick around most of the day, I’d go off to work, and then she’d leave for her friends’ place in the evening. This week has been an anomaly. First of all, she returned from her adulterous weekend a bit later than usual. Normally, she’d come back on Monday morning, but this week it sometime on Tuesday. Last week was an anomaly as well: she came back on Wednesday; then again, Tuesday that week was Valentine’s Day. She came home this week at some point in the afternoon after I had already gone to work. I’m pretty certain this was deliberate. She has access to my schedule via a web-based calendar and I hers. My calendar is updated regularly and highly active; hers is seldom updated and wildly inaccurate. So, she has a pretty good idea of when I will or will not be home. I only knew that she had come home because the dog was back in the house.

Yesterday was the first I’d seen of her since the previous Friday. She was cordial enough, and as I mentioned before, she brought me a hot dog. This is supposedly a good sign, according to the experts, a sign of being conflicted: they want to sustain the affair, yet they feel compelled to give to you to try to assuage their conscience. I had some hopes that she’d return this morning, but that didn’t happen. I left a note on her desk, along with a little chocolate, telling her there was some food on the stove and to help herself. I came home and the note had not been moved, and there was no sign whatsoever that she’d even been in the house.

She will return tomorrow, though. You can pretty much bet your bottom dollar on that. She has to: it will be the beginning of another adulterous weekend for her, and she’ll need to stop by to get some clothes and pick up the dog. I’m wondering about her clothing situation, actually. I never saw evidence that she took much clothing with her on her last departure, but maybe she stocked up for a few days when she was here on Tuesday or Wednesday. At any rate, I’ve made a little bento box lunch for her, and will have to find a way to give it to her on her way out. Not that she’ll want to accept it, though. I’ll just have to disguise it a bit and give it to her in a larger bag or something.

She is definitely, definitely trying to take her distance from me. Somehow this intuitively feels to me like the last gasp of desperation of a severely struggling soul. But who knows? I’m not her, I’m not in her head, and I haven’t spoken to her recently. She won’t answer when I call, so it just goes straight to voice mail. I suspect she’s making herself scarce to see if I’ll stop engaging her. That won’t happen. If there’s one thing that will defuse the adulterous relationship, it will be the fact that I just will not go away. I’m her husband, after all. Jeez, is that really so hard for an adulterer to figure out?

Well, actually, it is. They convince themselves that some of the most illogical constructs are somehow logical. You know, stuff like, “I’ve already divorced my spouse in my mind,” or “I felt our relationship was over, so I didn’t think I was cheating on you.” Yes, they do say stuff like this. It’s craziness. My wife somehow believes that there could be a future with a man who would break into someone else’s marriage. That alone is reason to run away, but there are also the facts that he was unsuccessful twice in trying to stay married, and has committed adultery in the past as well. Watching this situation unfold is like watching a kind of psychosis. It’s really pathological. Two grown adults sneaking around like children, that’s just not normal. It’s also not normal that they somehow have managed to convince others to buy into their behavior. Well, actually that is normal; what isn’t normal is the other peoples’ buying into it.

Anyway, I just have no sense of what’s going on right now. I just have no other choice than to wait this one out. It is very difficult to watch someone you love spiral horribly out of control when all you want to do is prevent them from harming themselves. But unfortunately I cannot stop her from harming herself, she’s determined to do it no matter what. She does not think she’s wrong, nor does she think that she has made or is making bad decisions. I guess we’ll have to wait to see what she thinks about all that in a couple of months’ time. As I’ve said before, I don’t see this situation dragging on a whole lot longer, but I could be wrong. It’s just that the pressures of her life, especially that of the unwritten dissertation, are just going to continue to build. She can try to stay her course and pile on one rationalization after another, but in the end things do have to happen: tuition needs to be paid, text has to be written and edited, a defense has to be prepared, and so on. She also has to start making some money, as her bank account is dwindling ever so rapidly. I hope the final flame-out to be coming in the very near future, because if it does then, with a bit of hard work and good old fashioned elbow grease, we can get her dissertation done and defended. But that pretty much has to start, well… 2 months ago. We’re now rapidly approaching the critical point of no return.