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.

Getting bored and tired of waiting

About a month ago, I wrote a post that had to do with the doldrums of waiting for the affair to end. I’d say that now, almost a month later, I’m experiencing a rather new dimension to the ennui of this situation, and that’s the dimension of tedium.

It really gets tedious waiting for an affair to end. Tedious, tedious, tedious. The outcome is predictable, but the patient (the affair) is on life support and heroic efforts are being made to keep it alive. Then there are the onlookers — the “friends,” family members (of the adulterer), and colleagues who either don’t realize or choose to avoid recognizing the fact that the patient is not going to make it, and instead pretend as though it is a person in absolutely robust health. Actually, my assessment might not be totally accurate, since I’m not a fly on the wall at Camp Chickenshit, so I cannot vouch for anything that’s going on there. I suspect it’s little more than an adultery bubble with very fragile walls.

What I can vouch for is the things that I do to alleviate the tedium that ensues in the long weekends that she abandons the city for the rural setting of Camp Chickenshit. For starters, I cleaned the house, top to bottom. I bought some flowers for the living room, since the space needs some color, and I know she’d like them. I took down all the holiday cards from the mantle place, and placed the ones addressed to her (which included in their number quite a few from me) onto her desk. I took the 8 or 9 boxes of books and other sundry items she packed 6 weeks ago and moved them from the laundry room into her closet in the bedroom. I also took a box of clothing that she had left in the bedroom, as well as two stacks of clothing she had left on the dresser, and put these in her closet as well. These things had been sitting around for the better part of the past 6 weeks as well, and I just got tired of looking at them. It was nearly impossible to navigate the laundry room with them in there, and the presence of this half-finished packing job was just choking off the energy in the house. I covered the boxes in her closet with a blanket, so that it might be at least a bit aesthetically pleasing. I took all of her magazines and books off of the living room table and relocated them onto her bookshelves; these were half empty, due to her having packed their contents into some of the aforementioned boxes. I did all of this in the most respectful way possible. I could have just chucked all the boxes into the garage, but that would come across as though I was throwing her out; by placing these items respectfully in various unobtrusive locations, I am (I hope, at least) showing some sensitivity toward her and her possessions.

As it might have become clear already, it’s Monday night, and she hasn’t come home yet. I know that she’s not with her friends nearby; had that been the case, then the dog would have been returned home by now. Instead, she’s still up at Camp Chickenshit. I believe this makes for two extended weekends in a row. Last “weekend” stretched on until Wednesday, due to Valentine’s Day, and I actually had to complain a little bit that the weekend was long over, and the dog had not returned home; I said that I was worried that maybe she had brought the dog home and she had somehow gotten out of the yard. The weekend before, if memory serves correctly, included an impromptu decision to stay an extra day. I don’t know, maybe it was raining or something. This “weekend” looks as though it will stretch through tomorrow (Tuesday). She is supposed to have a rehearsal tomorrow, although she skived that responsibility, claiming she was “sick”. (She was not; click the link in the previous sentence if you don’t know British slang.) I’m wondering if, and actually sort of hoping that the affair is going to start to cut into the adulterer’s business — he’s a gardener, and seems to be missing a lot of work due to these recent long weekends. Pissed off customers might be a good wake-up call for him.

Why two grown people commit acts of mutually unrecognized insanity is really kind of beyond me. I guess, as they say, any of us could become adulterers; I have always felt myself to be a person of very high moral standards, and that I simply would never do a thing like that. Maybe I just never had the opportunity to slip low enough in my life, or maybe the opportunity just never presented itself to me. Maybe my spiritual practice keeps me too grounded in ethical conduct. Maybe I’m just not cut out for infidelity. I just don’t know. It is a truly bizarre thing to watch from the sidelines, though.

I guess it’s tough to be a spectator, though, since it isn’t a spectator sport, especially if you’re the one who is being violated. But if you step back and take a look, it is truly amazing the kinds of behavior you see. Here’s a short list of the kinds of things two grown adults will stoop to when they commit to the path of adultery:

  • Pathological lying to the spouse, to family, to friends, to co-workers, to the affair partner, and to themselves.
  • Buying a dedicated cell phone for adulterous communications.
  • Opening a dedicated email address for adulterous communications.
  • Designating a “secret” pick-up and drop-off location for adulterous rendez-vous that is close to home and easily discoverable by others.
  • Involving friends, acquaintances, and even family in the adulterous situation by introducing them to the adulterer.
  • Lying to one’s own children about the marital status of the adulteress.
  • Consulting all manner of spiritual divination methods (runes, tarot cards, astrological charts, etc.) to find justification for the continuation of the affair.
  • Constructing elaborate narratives of rationalizations to justify the propriety of the affair.
  • Believing oneself to be the exception to statistical evidence, i.e. that virtually all affairs end, and almost none go on to be long-term relationships.
  • Believing that exiting the marriage somehow absolves oneself of the crime of transgressing the “forsaking all others” part of one’s marriage vows.
  • Believing the affair partner to be trustworthy, despite knowledge of his previous affairs and current “friendships” with numerous women.
  • Believing that a life partnership is possible with the affair partner, even though he has been divorced twice.
  • Believing that the statistics regarding the success of second and third marriages does not apply to oneself.
  • Accepting as normal the inability to sleep through the night, as worries and concerns keep you awake.
  • Accepting as normal frequent emotional upheavals and a generalized state of being emotional unsettled.
  • Not recognizing depleted energy reserves as being attributable to the affair and all it requires (see other points above and below).
  • Living with never-ending guilt in the knowledge that one has betrayed one’s spouse most brutally.
  • Living with the ongoing guilt of knowing that one has betrayed the spouse’s and one’s own family.
  • Knowing that many people, even friends, look upon you as untrustworthy.
  • Ignoring the truly pressing issues of life (e.g. professional responsibilities, earning income, etc.) for the sake the affair.
  • Being a walking example of living a life of double standards.
  • Truly believing that you are right about everything you do, and that people who disagree just do not understand you, because your situation is special somehow.
  • Failing to understand that adultery is one of the most banal and predictable, yet hideously destructive of human behaviors.
  • Really believing that, even when presented evidence of the futility of extramarital affairs, your situation is totally different, completely unique, and absolutely will be one of the rarest of relationships that makes it long-term.

And so on. The list above could be extended on at some length, but to do so would just get tedious. I’ve got enough tedium at this point, anyway. I kind of hate to say it, but I sort of look forward to evenings when my wife will not be at home, and sometimes even to weekends when she won’t be around, because she’s such a huge energy-suck. She’s become a sort of vortex that can take all the energy right out of the room. Being around her imbues me with a negative energy that often is palpable, and at times this can be truly distracting.

Still, I try to be upbeat and appreciate her company, as confused as it is, whenever she is around. When she is in the house, she holes herself up in her office and avoids contact with me as much as possible. She will literally sit in front of the computer and surf the internet for hours on end rather than engage me in simple conversation.

Where do we go from here? Heaven only knows. As I’ve said before, I seriously doubt I’ll get any traction at all until the bubble pops and the affair is revealed for the utterly banal act of stupidity that it is. It’s still something special right now, but I sense that it is getting less and less special by the day. The efforts made to save it are getting more and more heroic. She has consulted the advice of an “energy worker” twice now, and will be going again next month. She has looked for apartments, and is exploring the possibility of continuing to stay with friends, while offering to pay some amount of rent. She has convinced herself that she has “separated,” when in fact she has no other legal residence than our marital household, which she continues to visit regularly, even if she chooses not to sleep here. She has done dozens of things, but none of the things that she actually should be doing to lead the normal, adult life that she actually has.

This leaves it to me to be the adult in the family for the time being. We don’t have kids, but at the moment I kind of feel like I have an emotional five-year-old inhabiting the body and intellect of an adult woman. That’s a bizarre concept, but not too far off the mark.

Bad advice, redux

I sometimes wish that people would just stick to their area of specialization. I don’t go to my car mechanic for a hernia operation, and I wouldn’t go to a dermatologist for a pizza, so why would people go to anyone other than an experienced marriage coach for marital advice? And why would anyone who is not an expert in this domain give such advice? Beats me. This energy worker, who is a state-licensed massage therapist, apparently thinks she’s qualified to give marital advice. There seems to be no question raised in her mind as to whether or not a woman, who is in the throes of an adulterous relationship, coming to her for advice would be able to talk logically about her situation. So, I guess she listens and listens and reads my wife’s chakras, which of course are all fucked up. Why wouldn’t they be? Do you think your energy meridians are going to stay balanced if you lie to people 24/7?

My wife did tell me that her energy was all messed up, and that the session did help. What she didn’t tell me, but what the leaky walls of secrecy yielded, was that she was advised to go get an apartment for 6 months. Actually, she could also just stay with friends if she wanted to save on the rent, but she should at least offer to pay something. Now, why did the “energy worker” give this advice? Simple: she felt that it would be unlikely that my wife could reach an agreement for a non-contested divorce with her husband (i.e. me) if I found out that she was living with the adulterer.

Oh, brother. This is all so pathetic and stupid. Do you see, dear reader, just how delusional the mind of the adulterer is? They forget that they have taken a vow that includes the words “forsaking all others.” Then they come to you and tell you that marriage isn’t eternal, that people change, and yadda, yadda, yadda. My wife actually told me at the outset of this crisis, that she didn’t feel she was cheating on me because she already thought her marriage was over. “I already divorced you in my mind,” were the exact words she said. Really? What kind of logic is that? Somehow, in their little adulterer-brain-stem minds, and since they haven’t actually done so already, they think that exiting the marriage is the solution to their problems, that the months of infidelity will be wiped clean retroactively.

It won’t be. Nor will the whole violation of the “forsaking all others” thing be erased.

Basically, at this point I have no idea what she plans to do. Her plans, such as they are, change from day to day. She has no coherent vision of the future. She wants “independence” but is totally dependent on others, more so now than prior to this crisis. She wants to be happy, but is manifestly miserable. She wants a quick, easy fix to her situation, and there is none. Sheesh. I already know this. Look, I’ve been working on myself, trying to get my marriage to the point where we could begin to reconcile for over 3 months now. She’s done absolutely nothing of any use to anyone. All she has done is to run away from her problems into a fairy-tale world in which wrong is right, lies are virtuous, and vows mean nothing.

In truth, it appears to me that she has absolutely no idea what she wants. She has taken distance from me in the form of “moving out,” yet she comes back every day that she’s not with the adulterer, and then spends the whole day here. Then she complains about not having her own space, and makes an effort to go find an apartment. Then the adulterer changes his mind (in all likelihood, he panicked) and asks her to move in with him. So then she decides to do that. But then the “energy worker” says, “Slow down, chickie, not so fast. You’d do better to get that apartment after all. Or maybe you could just stay with your friends some more.”

What are these people really that stupid? (Don’t answer that; I’m having a rhetorical conversation.) Do they not understand that there will be no actual happiness so long as immoral behavior persists? Don’t they get that? Don’t they understand that the constant lying, the sneaking around, the deceitfulness is just not healthy? Doesn’t this “energy worker” understand the true cause of her energy imbalance? Can’t she just give advice that would fix it once and for all?

Apparently not. The real world, as ever, will eventually intercede. I don’t know how or when this will happen, but it will intercede. I get the sense that the pressure and tension in her life is building to the point to which it soon will become unbearable. The dissertation is still needing to be written. At least she came to me asking for regular Wednesday meetings. That’s fine, but I need to see pages of text, and I need them, like, last month. Then there is her bank account, which is rapidly receding. She is spending money like a drunken sailor, buying clothing online from overseas boutiques and such, but her earning capacity is stripped down to about half of what it once was. And, of course, there’s also me. I’m just not going away, no matter what she does. I haven’t changed my behavior. My situation has materially improved. Aside from my marriage, things are looking up for me these days.

For her, things look like crap. In fact, she looks like crap. I keep saying this on this blog again and again, that, just about every time I see her, she looks like hell. Tired, puffy-eyed with dark circles, unwashed and generally bedraggled. I guess that’s what “happiness” looks like. I can see it taking its toll. It must be absolutely exhausting living that kind of life. She spends the whole week draining her energy for the sake of 2-3 days with the adulterer up at Camp Chickenshit. And those days are supposed to pave the way for a new life.

What’s actually going to happen is that she’ll get a wake-up call. That’s probably coming pretty soon. And when it does, Camp Chickenshit ain’t gonna look too rosy anymore, nor will its owner.

Love is…

No, this is not an Andy Gibb reference, but you can go there if you want. There’s been a bit of negativity around these parts, so I thought I’d brighten up the mood a bit with some musings on love.

Love is:

  • Open and spacious.
  • Without reference to self.
  • Warm, tender, and gentle.
  • Present in every tear that is shed.
  • The peaceful face of a sleeping spouse.
  • Kind and giving.
  • Nobody’s fool.
  • The most powerful force in the universe.
  • Patient and can endure.
  • Something everyone desires, yet nobody understands.
  • Able to absorb the suffering of the entire world.
  • Hysterical in sorrow and boisterous in happiness.
  • Audible in the sigh of your beloved.
  • The giggles of children as they play.
  • The soreness of a broken heart.
  • The kiss of the newlywed at the altar.
  • A million more things I could never describe.

You see, despite everything I’ve been through these past four months, despite all the frustration, all the pain, all the sorrow, all the anger and the hurt, I still love my wife. I love her more than anything in the world. And I’ve experienced a real shift sometime in the recent past. I don’t just love her, I’m also in love with her. I don’t know how it happened, but somehow it did. That’s a hard place to be, but love can endure. That’s its nature.

Mixed signals, what’s up with that?

Yesterday my wife came home rather late. I had a late start at work, thanks to a couple of client reschedules, so I took care of some odds and ends around the house. Then, when 11:00 a.m. rolled around and my wife hadn’t yet shown her face, I started scheming. I figured that I really didn’t want to have another week at home alone, so I’d pack the dog into the car and go out for a couple of hours, and then head into work with the dog. (They’re okay with that, actually.)

Well wouldn’t you know, as I’m backing out of the driveway, who should come ambling down the street? My wife. I could see her in my rear view mirror. I was halfway tempted to go talk to her, but it was in the opposite direction from which I was headed, so I just left.

I got a few blocks and my cell phone rang. This is one of the few occasions in the past several months that my wife has actually called me. In fact, I can probably count on one hand the number of times she has called. She wanted to know if I had the dog with me, and I told her I did. She wanted to know when I was coming home, because she wanted to take the dog for the weekend, and oh, would that be okay with me? I paused for a moment, and then said, sure, albeit rather reluctantly. I told her I was headed out to the pet store for some dog food and treats, and that I’d be back in maybe a half an hour, maybe more.

I bought the stuff at the store, and decided to stall. I drove about 3 miles south to our favorite chocolate shop. I went in and bought 2 small boxes of artisanal chocolates, each with 2 pieces in them. Then I got a couple of small gift cards to go with them, and asked to have a ribbon put on the boxes. I figured I’d put one box in each of her jackets she’d be likely to wear. I wrote an identical message on each card, “Thanks for the Valentine’s gift,” and then headed home.

I hadn’t made it more than a few blocks before the phone rang again. It was her. I let it go to voice mail, as I was driving. She wanted to know where I was, and how soon I’d get back. She said she needed to head out to her friend’s house, i.e. the friend she has been staying with, not some random adulterer’s place or anything like that. I did not call back because I was driving. She called back yet again as I was a couple of blocks from home, and this time I put it on speakerphone. She sounded a bit irritated, and there was a lot of ambient noise, as if she was outside. I was taking an alternative route back, and this would have had me drive right past the adulterer’s appointed pick-up and drop-off point. She said she’d just come and pick up the dog; I’m thinking to myself, “Pick up the dog… what’s up with that?” She asked me where I was, and for some reason I made a U-turn, headed in the opposite direction, and told her the name of the street. Basically I was just going to enter our street from the west end rather than the east.

This was a good move. As I entered the street and pulled into the driveway, I saw her walking down the street from the opposite end, right from where the adulterer would be picking her up. His truck was not visible — he’s too much of a coward to allow himself to be seen — but I know he was there, otherwise she wouldn’t have been hanging around there and getting so antsy. I got in the house first, and immediately put one of the boxes of chocolates, along with the card, in a small plastic bag to disguise them, and then put this into the bag with the cans of dog food and bag of treats.

She entered the house as I was emptying some of the treats into a jar we keep for them. She seemed a bit irritated. I told her that I had no idea when she’d be coming home, and the dog needed to get out. This was true, and I can’t exactly plan my day around her unpredictable movements. She got the dog carrier out, and I told her to take one of the cans of food, plus the leftover treats. She assented, and I put them into the carrier, which the dog would not be using until that evening, as she sleeps in it. In that bag was the little plastic bag with the chocolates. Not very graceful, to be sure, but heck, it was the best I could do on short notice. Then she left, and I told her, “say hi to [name of female friend she has been staying with] for me.” No answer.

That evening, I got a text from her, apologizing for her having been so “emotional” that afternoon. She said it wasn’t my fault, and then wished me a good weekend. I texted back, even though this violates my policy of calling instead of texting, and said that it was okay, and to give the dog a kiss for me, since I missed her (the dog), and also to give her a couple of treats from the bag. That was it. I’m sure she has discovered the chocolates by now. I don’t know if she discovered them and then texted me; I suspect not, but I find it highly unlikely that she hasn’t found them yet.

Why do I do this? Because I want my presence to be felt. I want her to know that, no matter how much distance she tries to put between herself and me that, from an emotional standpoint, there is no distance at all. I want her to know that I’m thinking of her and being thoughtful. I just wanted her to have a reminder of me. Might this seem manipulative? Sure, if that was the only time I’d done it, or if I’d done it maybe for 2 or 3 days. But I’ve been giving like this for 3 months, so it can’t really appear as anything other than a bona fide behavioral change. I know this stuff gets to her, too.

The side benefit is that she discovers this in the presence of the adulterer. Remember, I do not officially know that that is where she is, even though I’ve long figured out her plan. She leaves evidentiary trails, too. This time, I saw a bank transaction at a gardening store in the town where the adulterer lives. How obvious is that? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: adulterers are sloppy and careless. So, if I don’t officially know that she’s with him, what’s the harm in me giving a little gift that speaks of my presence? Nothing, right?

Well, put yourself in her shoes. Here’s this guy, her husband, who she just wants to get away from because he’s been, according to her at least, the source of all of the problems in her life. He just has made her life miserable for the past 2 years, and despite all her nagging, he just wouldn’t change. Then along comes this other guy, and he’s “spiritual” and “perfect”, despite the fact that he’s been divorced twice and is a serial adulterer to boot. But he appears to lack the 2 or 3 irritating traits that her husband has, although he also lacks the dozens of other positive attributes. (Hey, she told me about these traits, listing the positives and negatives! The positives outweighed the negatives at least 10 to 1.) Every time she gets away to be with this “perfect” guy, there is something to remind her of me. There is the dog. There are the boots I bought her for her birthday. There is the debit card with her married name on it. There is the cell phone I got her that is still linked to our account. There are the occasional phone calls from me to that cell phone that she lets go straight to voice mail.

And then, every now and then, there’s something else: a surprise of some kind. A little box of chocolates that appears in her pocket. A very personal card that drops out of a magazine she’s wanting to share with her lover. A picture of her and her dog that somehow got stowed in some other place. And she finds these things. Maybe she’s alone. Maybe she’s with him. Maybe he’s alone and finds them, that’s possible, too. But every time one of these things happens, every time the phone rings or a gift materializes, there I am.

It must drive her nuts.

I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t. It makes her feel guilty, because she knows she shouldn’t be doing what she’s doing. She knows she is betraying me at that very moment. She knows that her parents don’t approve of what she’s doing, and I am the link back to the real world at that moment that reminds her of this. She knows that she has obligations, like a dissertation that needs to be written, and I bring that back to her mind. Every time my presence is felt, the guilt increases and the pressure builds.

Now, let’s assume that the adulterer doesn’t find out about any of these little things. It’s unlikely that she wouldn’t have shared some of these virtual interactions with him, but let’s assume she hasn’t. What does that mean? It means she has to hide it from him. She has to hide the chocolates, the cards, the phone calls, the pictures, etc. She has to commit lies of omission. That engenders further guilt.

Now, let’s assume a bit more realistically that he does find out about some or all of these little things. Then what happens? He gets annoyed. He gets insecure. He quite possibly even gets jealous. He wants her to make me go away. She may even claim that she’s trying to make that happen. But I’m not going away. I do know that this guy has spent quite a lot of energy in trying to make himself seem “sensitive” to me, my predicament, and by extension to my wife’s “entanglement” with me, i.e. our marriage. He’s a “spiritual” guy, after all, and that means that he has to “watch his ego” and “practice compassion” or some other rubbish he doesn’t actually do. So he’ll appear to be understanding, but underneath it all, he’s just pissed off and impatient. He just wants me to a) be a jerk and b) go away. Hey, wait — that’s what an obstinate spouse wants, too! I guess they do have at least that in common.

So what happens if I’m not being a jerk and not going away? What happens if I’m manifesting loving kindness and doing so in a way that speaks of my knowledge of her — a knowledge he will never have, a knowledge whose lack likely makes him feel impotent? What happens if I appear to be standing my ground for my marriage? What happens if I am taking the moral high road, and have nothing to hide, and this stance reminds both of them that they are taking the immoral low road that requires them to hide everything?

I’ll tell you what happens. Tension builds. Words of sensitivity become subtle suggestions for change. Suggestions become requests. Requests become pleas. Pleas become acts of nagging. Nagging becomes accusation. Accusations become arguments. Arguments become fights. Fights become, well, game-enders. It’s not a neat, linear process at all. It’s more of a recursive thing that goes forward, loops back on itself, tries another path, meets resistance again as it goes forward, and then loops back yet again. There are a lot of twists and turns, there is push back that is aimed at me in a variety of ways, and there is also guilt that sometimes manifests, quite manipulatively, as acts of gratitude and peaceful engagement that are shown to me. But the trend, while not linear, is aimed at the inevitable endpoint, which is the game-ending event. I have no idea what that will be, where it will come from, how long it will take to get there, or how many twists and turns I’m going to have to endure before that happens. The process could be short and sweet from here on out, or it could be drawn out and quite painful at times. But one thing is certain: that game-ender is out there, it will happen, and that relationship will go poof, back into the ether of fairy dust from which it was created.

Curiouser and curiouser

I don’t think I’ve had too many double-post days, but this is one of them. It might even turn out to be a triple-post day, we’ll see. As I’ve mentioned before, the obstinate spouse has basically zero credibility. You just simply cannot trust anything they say to be completely true, nor can you expect any plan that they articulate to actually manifest.

Recently I learned that my wife was planning on moving in with the adulterer. This apparently happened last a couple of weeks ago when she was visiting his place while his daughter (ack!) was there with her husband. The atmosphere was emotionally charged, I guess, and the adulterer tearfully asked her to move in. Or so it seems, from what I’ve pieced together. I mean, I wasn’t there, I’m just dealing with leaky walls of secrecy and an occasionally hyperactive grapevine.

This afternoon, I learned that she is now looking for an apartment again. You see? Plan B turns into Plan C, then to Plan D, and then to Plan E, and then back to Plan D again. Wait a minute, let me back up. Plan A was to move in with the adulterer on or about January 1st, to be rid of me, the entirety of our life together, etc., and on to a new life with a moral reprobate. Brilliant. Problem is, the moral reprobate felt it was too fast. (Hmmm, for some reason I’m hearing that old Mötley Crüe song “Too Fast for Love” in my mind right now, not sure why.) So this necessitated a plan B, and that turned out to be the plan to move in with the friends that she is currently staying with. So that was going to happen on January 1st instead. It actually didn’t happen until January 9th, though. She was only going to be there for the month of January, and then from February it would be on to Plan C, which was to stay with this older Japanese lady, in her basement, for this month. Her various boxes of belongings were going to end up in that basement, too, awaiting eventual deployment to Camp Chickenshit. Well, February 1st rolled around, and nothing changed. Here we are, 16 days into February, and she’s still with Plan B. She’s been at that house for 5 weeks.

So Plan C never happened, but roughly coterminous with this idea was the hatching of Plan D, which was to find an apartment. She began to do that, and although I don’t know the exact circumstances, the adulterer seems to have gotten antsy and asked her just to move in with him, timeline 2-3 weeks, i.e. around the end of this month. That would be Plan E as in, I don’t know, escape? Then today she had another session with the “energy worker.” I guess I’ll find out later from her what state her chakras were in. My guess is that they were in bad shape, energy imbalances, etc.; I’d see no reason for any of that to have changed, since her life and actions haven’t fundamentally moved away from immoral behaviors that are extremely draining. These will be her undoing, of course, but that’s the topic of some other post, perhaps. After the last session with the “energy worker,” her behavior toward me changed: it became softer, more patient, and supposedly more concerned with me and my emotions. That lasted maybe 5 days. As such, it was thus nothing other than manipulative from my standpoint, of course. My other guess is that the “energy worker” told her again not to rush into anything, that moving in with this man suddenly would be bad, bad, bad. Well, moving in with him at any time would be bad, bad, bad, baaaaaad. So that puts her back to Plan D, as in, ummm, well, dislocate, or something.

This means that now I’ve got a couple of extra weeks to keep the gentle heat applied and see if anything evolves. Her actually moving into an apartment would be a huge effort and a major manifestation of her dysfunctional ego. She does have a process, and I feel that, on some level, that process right now is recognizing how dysfunctional her ego, her personality, and her life has become. It’s a course of self-destruction that is fundamentally not positive. She is clearly holding on to her agenda for dear life, and not yet ready to give up the fairy tale that is the adulterous relationship. But we all know that relationship will end.

There will almost certainly be another stay at Camp Chickenshit this weekend, and I suspect there will be some tense moments as the future is discussed, the results of the chakra-realignment session (or whatever it was) is talked about, the memories of the counseling session are raised again, and so on. I suspect the adulterer will begin to feel insecure and possibly even threatened. I suspect there will be an increase in tension that may eventually manifest as disagreements and eventually escalate to full-fledged arguments. All there needs to be, as I’ve said before, is one good argument between them, one bona fide barn-burner and it will be game over for that relationship. In my mind’s eye, I envision this as being truly heated, with things being thrown and broken. I know she’s capable of this when she’s pissed off enough, I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

On top of that, there is the curious situation of her parents’ recent actions, as well as the other various pressures that she is likely feeling from the real world as it continues to express itself. The real world, the one in which the rest of us live, is a force that cannot be ignored. It presents bills that need to be paid, food that needs to be bought and cooked, dogs that need to be walked in the dark in a dodgy area, dissertations that need to be written, and so forth. You just can’t ignore that stuff.

As for me, I have a vision. My vision is of reconciliation. As impossible as it sounds, my timeline doesn’t really extend much beyond next month. Don’t ask me why, it’s just a hunch. I’ve had intuitive feelings about various dates in the past, and in almost every case something important has happened on them. I haven’t had too many clear feelings about dates recently, and this is perhaps because I haven’t been thinking about it too much. But for some reason February 26 and March 19 stand out to me as important somehow. Don’t quote me on this, though, okay? I’m not psychic, after all, at least as far as I know It just seems like important things will happen on those days.

Time will tell. I’m prepared to wait. I have plenty of patience and lots of perseverance. I will prevail, of that I am certain.

Life is suddenly getting more interesting

A number of interesting developments have occurred since my last post. I finished that post shortly before I took my wife to her evening rehearsal at one of the few jobs she has decided to hold on to in her struggle to find a “new path.” When I came home, I called my parents. They worry about me (or more specifically, my mother worries, but then all mothers do) and so I make sure that I check in with them about once a week. I don’t talk specifics about my situation, but I do let them know that I’m okay and that things generally are going well.

After the phone call, I went into my wife’s office for some reason. I don’t even remember why I went in there, except that I had a legitimate reason to do so. I saw something very interesting on her desk, something I haven’t seen for over 3 months now: her wedding rings. She stopped wearing these back around the end of October. I didn’t notice it at first, and then she eventually told me she wasn’t wearing them and I was truly hurt. She said at that time that she didn’t feel married anymore, and so she felt like she shouldn’t be wearing them. This was a few days before she consummated her adulterous relationship, and I suspect that the adulterer was pivotal in her decision to stop wearing them. This was also around the time that she had changed her Facebook page by returning from her married to her maiden name, and by removing her marital status from her info page. I found all this out a bit later, and I found out that it was this other man who prompted her to do so. Why? Because his daughter, a grown woman in her early 20s, might find out that his lover was in fact married. Yes, I know that’s a pretty repulsive thought, but I do know that he told my wife that he planned on telling his daughter about this great new woman in his life, and he didn’t want her to look my wife up on FB and find out that she was married. This is emblematic of the thought processes of an adulterer, by the way.

Since late October I have not seen those wedding rings on her finger or anywhere else. They are family heirlooms and are tremendously valuable to me. I do recall that, after discovering her affair, I suggested she return them to me, but she never followed through with that and I did not insist on it either. I do remember a few times when she’d go away for the weekend that I’d go kind of nuts and scour the house looking for them, because I wanted them in my possession, not hers. But now there they are all of a sudden, sitting right there on her desk, and I’m not sure what to make of it.

Shortly after talking to my parents I had to go pick my wife up from the rehearsal. I had a pastry that I’d bought that morning for her, and she hadn’t eaten it yet; I knew that she would be having another session with the “energy worker” today and that she likely would not be returning home before heading out on the 2-hour bus journey to get there. As a result, I brought the pastry along to give to her, so she’d have some breakfast to eat tomorrow. Not only that, I brought the dog along for a ride in the car, for no other reason than that she’d like to see the dog before she goes to bed. I picked her up, gave her the pastry, and then drove her to her friends’ house where she has been spending the night the past 5 weeks or so. And that was it. Oh, and the dog sat on her lap the whole way there.

Then, when I got home, I logged on to Facebook for some reason. I have been pretty much off that site since November, since it’s been more of a source of destruction in my life than of anything positive. Somehow I ended up navigating to the FB page of the husband of the friend my wife is staying with (they have been married 15 years and together for 20). Right there on his wall was a message from the adulterer, saying something like “it was great seeing you yesterday.” Several comments in the form of a dialogue between the two of them followed. The adulterer mentioned my wife as though they were an actual couple, and as though their relationship were in some way normal. This just pretty much turned my stomach. I was extremely tempted to leave a comment right there, but didn’t do it. The adulterer clearly doesn’t know that I am this man’s FB “friend,” and this man (the husband) likely forgot that I am one of his “friends” as well. Fortunately his circle of “friends” does not include any of my friends or acquaintances, there is just no overlap, so nobody I would know via that medium would have seen this highly inappropriate exchange. Adulterers are very, very sloppy and careless and do stupid things like this, and I guess I also got to see that the people that aid and abet them, as this man and his wife clearly are doing, also are quite stupid and careless in their actions. Like I said, I really wanted to drop a comment there, but held my virtual tongue. I thought to myself how this might help my reconciliation efforts, and actually all it would do would be to disrupt them. Sure, it would be humiliating to several people, but they’d just push me away and then I’d have a longer road in front of me. So I kept my silence, watching this sad show from a distance, and kept the moral high ground.

The funny thing is, while I was looking at that page, I got a text message from my sister. This literally happened less than 30 seconds after navigating to this mans FB page. My sister told me that she had gotten a package from my in-laws. I called her to see if this was for real, and it was. You see, my sister did send them a Christmas card, and perhaps on occasion my in-laws might send one back, but they hadn’t done so for at least 2 years. My sister moved from a house a few doors from the Pacific ocean to one up in the hills a couple of years ago. My in-laws didn’t have her new address, and sent this package to her former home. A friend from a few doors down from that house, who is a particularly gregarious and affable guy that knows everyone on the street, learned from the new owners of the house that this package had been dropped off there, and they didn’t know what it was all about. He told them about the previous residents, and about me and my wife (he doesn’t know anything about our current predicament, though) and offered to get the package to my sister. He took it from them, called my sister, and said he’d leave it on his porch so she could swing by anytime to pick it up. His wife happens to be the principal at the school my sister’s kids attend, and the school is right on the ocean just a few blocks from their house. So she didn’t have far to go to pick up the package after taking the kids to school.

Inside the package there was a card, a couple of dolls, and a handwritten note. The note thanked my sister for her Christmas card, and explained that the enclosed gifts were for Hinamatsuri, or “Girls’ Day,” which falls on March 3. The card is very detailed, like the one you can see in this picture. The dolls likely look like ones in this picture. The note was short, but explained a bit about the history of the holiday, and was signed by my mother-, father-, and brother-in-law. This is significant. My sister’s comment was, “it’s like the circle of family is intact, but there’s just one piece that’s broken.”

That broken piece, of course, is my wife. My in-laws have already sent the customary New Year’s gift to my parents, and now this gift was sent to my sister. They didn’t need to do so much. In fact, they didn’t need to do anything at all. But they did. I don’t know a lot about my in-laws current feelings about my wife’s situation, but what I have managed to piece together so far indicates to me that they are very uncomfortable with what she’s doing and that, while they will listen to her, they do not truly support her current trajectory. It would appear to me that they are doing whatever they can from their end to try to smooth over the rough edges and perhaps even encourage reconciliation to take place. I don’t know this for sure, however, but my wife did indicate to me about a week and a half ago that she needed to go down her “new path” without her parents’ support or agreement.

Intuitively, I just sense that things are coming to a head. It is significant that she spent the entire day here yesterday, that she felt compelled to give me a belated Valentine’s gift, and that her tone seems to be confused yet somewhat softened. It also is significant to me that she is seeing this “energy worker” again right now, and that, even as I type this, she is getting her chakras balanced or something. This woman gives terrible marital advice, but maybe something will come out of it that will be positive to our reconciliation. Aside from sensing my wife’s deepening confusion, I have this sense that, deep down inside, she may be starting to miss “us”, our relationship, her home, and her life. I think I clearly can credit my counselor for having been so amazingly skilled in his choice of words and the timing in delivering them to my wife in last week’s session with him. I think these got through in a way that I simply could not. She has no stability right now and she clearly can see that. She has been couch surfing for 5 weeks and has no roots. She is trying to put down roots in poisoned soil with her ostensible plans to move in with the adulterer, but she might be sensing now that that is doomed to fail. She has already seen some unpleasant aspects of his character, and those won’t stop coming to light. Perhaps she can see that life with him would just be more of the same; on top of that, there is the reality that they have almost nothing in common, and that the relationship is just a superficial dream. At the same time, she can see from me that I am becoming more and more a pillar of stability, confidence, and morality.

This latter realization is significant to me: I’ve been working on reconciling now for over 3 months and endured the ups and downs, the gains and the losses. I’ve had to detach and let go of any attachment to the result of the process and just let it happen on its own time and in its own way. And this lack of attachment has truly been transformational. I am more certain of the outcome, I have a stronger vision, and my motivations have changed. For example, I gave many, many gifts while my wife was living here. Every night I’d make her bed, I draw her bath, I’d leave her a cup of tea and some little goodie or other, and sometimes I’d leave things like magazines or other things she likes. The truth be told, my motivation with all that giving was to get her to stay in the house and to save our marriage. But in the end she just pushed back against that and “moved out.” I’m not sure why, aside from acknowledging the fact that my wife is a strong-willed woman who will try to accomplish her objectives at just about any cost. I suspect she realized that her agenda was getting derailed by my actions, and decided to push harder to get what she wanted. It was almost as if she had to fulfill a psychological need to prove that her agenda was achievable.

Now that she’s not here so much, my motivation has changed. I just dropped a chocolate bar onto her desk with absolutely no attachment to the outcome at all. I didn’t do it because I want her to move back in. I didn’t do it because I want to save or fix my marriage. I just did it because it’s the right thing to do. I did it because it sends the simple message that I’m thinking about her, I know who she is and what she’s going through, and that I’m still available, regardless of what happens. And also that I know that she likes chocolate, and will eat a ton of it when she’s stressed out. She got a box of chocolates around New Year’s from the choir she rehearses with on Wednesdays, and she ate almost the whole thing as she attempted to pack boxes last month. Now that she’s chosen not to be here, there is nobody to make her bed, to draw her bath, or to look after her with loving kindness. There is only the empty specter of a fantasy affair that is nothing more than a fairy-tale veneer covering up a pig pen of sordidness.

Anyway, this sense of detachment is the space that I’m operating from, and it has been truly liberating. It is hard to get to that point, and in fact most people don’t; that’s why there are so many divorces in this day and age. But if you can get there, then just about anything becomes possible, including negotiating all those hurdles that stand between yourself and reconciliation.