Just a quick note on my way to bed. My wife came home yesterday and left the dog with me. The dog seems relieved to be at home (understandably) and her behavior has become a bit interesting.

Every morning and evening I have a spiritual practice that I do. Mornings tend to be the longer of the two sessions and usually include a fairly good length of sitting meditation. But for both sessions I will recite prayers and/or short liturgies. Today, as I was doing some reciting (i.e. chanting), the dog came and sat down next to me. She has done this before, but it seemed like she really wanted to be there, so I laid out a blanket on the floor for her to lie down on. She did that, and stayed there for the duration of my practice. Tonight, as I was doing some brief recitations, she did the same thing. I put the blanket on the floor, and she again lied down on it and proceeded to go to sleep. After I’d finished and gotten into bed (I do this practice in the bedroom) she stayed on the blanket, and is still there even as I type this — almost an hour after having finished up that session. She did this last night, too. This is unusual. Normally she sleeps on her bed, which is basically just a large pillow, or on a smaller bed that is placed under a night table as a sort of quasi-crate.

I have no explanation for this behavior. I have never seen the dog sleep in the middle of the floor at that location. It’s pretty much random, in terms of her previous behavior. And it might be nothing other than a random event. Or, rather random events on two separate days. Or, who knows, maybe there is some sort of energy that gathers there that is comforting to her. I have no idea. It is reassuring for me to have the dog back home, and I’m sure she feels better being here.

Characteristics of the spouse

The obstinate spouse is:

  • Never wrong about anything.
  • Determined to have their way no matter what.
  • Maintaining a story about why you are totally wrong about everything.
  • Blaming you for all of their problems.
  • Not willing to take responsibility for their own problems.
  • Not able to see their own personal issues that need fixing.
  • Convinced that the only solution to their problems is the removal of you from their life.
  • Suffering from denial of emotions.
  • Enduring tremendous pain, most of which is self-created.
  • A chatterbox that slanders you to everyone in an attempt to justify their course of action.
  • Acting as though destroying their own marriage is a normal behavior.
  • Likely not wearing their wedding ring(s).

The wayward spouse is:

  • Never wrong about having the affair.
  • Determined to continue that affair no matter what anyone says.
  • Maintaining a story about why you forced them to have the affair.
  • Blaming you for all the guilt they feel about having the affair.
  • Not willing to take responsibility for their behaviors that estranged you from them.
  • Not willing to see that the affair is a band-aid that covers up the personal issues that need fixing.
  • Convinced that their adulterous partner is the solution to all of their problems in life.
  • Suppressing feelings of guilt, fear, shame, and anxiety.
  • Enduring tremendous pain, which is both self-created and also the product of all interactions with the adulterous partner.
  • A chatterbox that tells everyone willing to listen about the affair.
  • Acting as though the affair is a normal relationship, even to the point of introducing the adulterous partner to friends, family, co-workers, and so on.
  • Likely not wearing their wedding ring(s).

The faithful spouse is:

  • Always wrong in their spouse’s eyes, but willing to accept their own share of the blame.
  • Determined to stand up for their marriage no matter what anyone says.
  • Maintaining a vision of what their future married life will look like once they have reconciled.
  • Not laying blame.
  • Willing to take responsibility for their own actions and behaviors that led to their marital crisis.
  • Willing to work on the personal issues that need fixing.
  • Convinced that staying married is by far the preferable course of action.
  • Exploring and expressing a wide range of emotions.
  • Enduring tremendous pain and suffering, most of it externally created, and is willing to endure for the sake of the spouse and the marriage.
  • Tight-lipped about their marital situation, committed to protecting their spouse’s privacy.
  • Willing, when asked, to let others know that they are committed to their marriage and will not be giving up.
  • Almost certainly wearing their wedding ring(s).

Weekend wrap-up

I had a very busy weekend. But then, I’m pretty much busy every day these days. On Thursday, my wife suddenly left a day early for her weekend at Camp Chickenshit. On Friday, I had plenty of work on my plate. Then the weekend rolled around, and things were going to be busy as well.

On Saturday I had a full day of teaching, starting at 8:30 a.m. I pretty much worked straight through until 6:00 p.m., with only a couple of breaks in between. Then, after that, I had an event to attend that would stretch pretty late into the evening. Today (Sunday) was also fairly busy: two students to teach, wrap-up of a morning retreat practice, and then the weekly Green Tara puja that I invariably attend, and often lead these days.

Around 5:00 in the evening, as I’m just relaxing and unwinding, my wife suddenly calls. Hmmmmm. It’s totally unlike her to call, unless it’s something logistical. In fact, it was just that. She was wrapping up a rehearsal that I had no idea was even going on; one of the groups she plays for has a couple of concerts next weekend, so this was pretty much the last rehearsal before the dress rehearsal. She hadn’t said anything at all to me about this, and I don’t know what she would have planned on doing had I not been available. She said we could swing by and pick up the dog (“you can take her to ‘your’ place,” is what she said) and that she’d come home with me. I don’t know what for, except that maybe she needed a change of clothes. To my knowledge, she never took a suitcase over to her friends’ house, so she must come home when I’m not here to refresh her clothing situation every now and then.

So I picked her up, and we joked around a bit. As we arrived at her friends’ house to pick up the dog, the friend (the wife) was in her car getting ready to leave. She greeted me somewhat awkwardly; my response and behavior was totally normal. My wife went in to get the dog, and as she walked by the other car, her friend invited her to come out with her, as she was going to meet her husband and his friends. She came back with the dog, and told me she was going out instead. Whatever. I gave her some Pocky (she loves that stuff) as a quick parting gift, and that was it.

The dog, once again, smelled of Camp Chickenshit. You know, that standard kitty litter/chicken coop smell. When I took her out of her carrier, she was full of energy and ready to go. Then I noticed something odd: the inside door of the carrier, which is made of nylon mesh so that the dog can see out and the carrier can ventilate, was all torn up. It appeared as if the dog had tried to scratch her way out of the carrier on more than one occasion. Hmmmmmmmm. Very interesting. Now, my wife loves this dog more than life itself, so I just wonder how that happened. I suspect she puts the dog in the carrier while they are on the way up to Camp Chickenshit, but I don’t know if they put the carrier in the cab of the adulterer’s truck or in the back. I do hope that it is the cab; I just couldn’t see my wife putting the dog in the back of a truck, not at all. Something about the experience seems to be unsettling to the dog, though. At the very least, I’m going to have to buy a new carrier, since that one is trashed.

The only other real news to report is that I called my wife this evening to invite her to the Green Tara puja next Sunday. She went with me to the first one I ever attended, and this occurred last year about a week or so after the massive Japan earthquake. The community decided to dedicate that puja and its merit to all the people affected by the disaster, and there was a very large turnout for the event. Next Sunday marks the one-year anniversary, and I plan to dedicate the puja to the memory of the victims of that disaster, as well as to those who are still affected by it. Under normal circumstances, she’d come with me. But our circumstances are not normal, and haven’t been for nearly 5 months now. I wouldn’t be surprised if she declined my offer entirely, but I guess we’ll just have to see.

Early weekend

I love early weekends. I hardly ever get them, though. In fact, I haven’t really had a weekend in quite a while. My work schedule is a bit odd, and until recently I would generally be free only on Wednesdays and Sundays. I can’t say that I’ve gotten to take an early weekend for quite a long time — maybe 5 years or so.

My wife got to take an early weekend today, though. She turned up at home sometime around noon. I was a bit surprised to see her here, as she’s been trying to make herself scarce recently. But there she was, in the middle of the day, right there in the living room. I was cooking. Actually, I was making a number of dishes in quantities that would provide leftovers, and had been planning to give her a lunchbox with some of these goodies. She preempted all that, though. I did let her taste one of the dishes, and she approved, but it was pretty clear that she was in sort of a hurry to leave the house. I think she stayed for about 20 minutes or so, total.

The most curious thing was that she asked me if she could take the dog with her today. She said she wanted to hang out with the dog, and I said she could always do that right here in the house, right now. But she wanted to take the dog to her friends’ house, i.e. the place she’s been “living” the past couple of months. I told her that would be fine, and at this point I just thought she wanted to spend the day with the dog, so I asked her if she’d be bringing the dog home later today. She said that she wouldn’t. Hmmmmm. I asked her if she’d be bringing her home tomorrow. Again, no. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. She said, “I’ll drop her off… sometime.” I asked when that would be, and she had no details. Then, she went to take the carrier with her as well.

Okay, then I get it. She got clearance for an early weekend with the adulterer. My wife really has very few professional commitments anymore, and her bank account is beginning to show the damage. I’m wondering whether the adulterer is abandoning his professional responsibilities as well. It sure seems like he gets a lot of extended weekends, working Tuesday to Friday, or, as seems to be the case this week, Tuesday to Thursday. One can only hope that this will start to impact his bottom line. I suspect this was a last-minute decision; she had to cancel a client this afternoon, wanting to reschedule for Sunday, but that reschedule didn’t work out. So she was planning on coming back on Sunday this time. I suspect that I won’t see her until Monday or Tuesday.

I don’t know. In a way, I’m of two minds on this. To me, this is both a good and a bad thing. It’s a good thing in the sense that she gets to spend more time with that moral reprobate, thus bringing her ever closer to the inexorable demise of that affair. The more time she spends with that man the less novel that relationship becomes, and the more the problems and personality flaws will come to light. These will bring that relationship down. I don’t have any doubt about this. Look, my wife has already shown that she doesn’t understand how to deal with relationship problems: when things get tough, she points the finger, blames, argues, nags, and gives ultimatums. (I’m not complaining, this is just a statement of fact given for a reason that should become clear.) And when things got tough, she gave up. The adulterer is even more extreme in this regard, I suspect: he has already failed at two marriages and is a serial adulterer to boot, so he simply seems to have no viable relationship skills that would allow him to successfully navigate the difficult waters ahead. Oh yes, there are difficult waters ahead. Let’s not forget that my wife still has to write a dissertation, and that needs to be done in two months. Let’s also not forget that she will need to register for classes so that she can defend, and as of this date she does not have enough money to pay her tuition. These are only the tip of the iceberg.

So that’s the good thing. The bad thing is that I don’t get to see her. The bad thing is that she also takes the dog and leaves me all by myself. I guess I’ve gotten used to it by now, but it is getting old. I’d just like this idiotic charade to run its course and get itself over with so that I can get my life back. It is starting to look more and more like an absurdist play, or maybe even theater of cruelty. It’s just so unreal on some level. I’m here, living on planet Earth, in the real world, and my wife is somewhere in a bubble of fantasy. She even has a few people that have bought into it, too.

Whatever. I think we might be entering the end stage of this game. I sure hope I’m right. The tedium is getting rather tiring.