The last time I wrote about there having been a “change in the weather” of my relationship with my wife, things were starting to soften with her a bit. This happened back in January, following a period of coldness toward me. It was also at this time that she agreed to have a joint counseling session with me. Things had improved a bit, but then they deteriorated further. It wasn’t because of anything I had done, mind you. My behavior has been pretty consistent toward her for the better part of 5 months now. It was probably mainly because of her insistence of keeping her fairy tale and the narrative that flows from it alive a bit longer.
Today, the weather seems to have changed again. I’m hoping that this does not mean that things will be followed by a turn for the worse once more, but as I’ve learned thus far, when it comes to a wayward spouse, anything seems to be possible. So, what happened exactly? Well, sometime around 9:30 or so, she called me up. I answered the phone quite jovially, using her full name, including her married surname. That’s what shows up on my caller ID, after all. She asked me if I could come pick up the dog. Basically I had a whole lot of things planned that I needed to do, but I opted to drop it all just to take care of this for her. I asked her where she was, and she said, “I’m at XXX’s house, I’m staying here now.” XXX is an older Japanese lady that my wife knows; this woman was her piano student for many years, and also happens to be a member of her doctoral exam committee. If this sounds familiar, it is because my wife’s Plan C was to go live with this woman for a time.
Maybe I should summarize these plans; this will be review for those of you who have followed these posts in the past, but will be new to many of you. It all begins with the commission of adultery and the entering of that lifestyle. From that flowed the following plans of action:
- Plan A: Exit the marriage totally and completely, move out of the house and in with the adulterer to begin a new life, ostensibly marrying him and committing to this “new path” fully. This was supposed to have happened on January 1 of this year. This never came to pass. The adulterer felt my wife was moving too fast, he didn’t know her well enough, or whatever, so he would not let her move in so soon. In fact, my wife nearly ended that relationship out of desperation toward the end of January.
- Plan B: Move out of this house and in with friends that live a couple of blocks away. This was supposed to happen on January 1, in lieu of Plan A taking effect. She actually did do this, but she only “moved in” with them on January 9. She packed a number of boxes, and they stayed here for a further 2 months.
- Plan C: After having spent one month with the friends of Plan B, she would then move into the basement of this older woman’s house, and live there for the month of February. Instead of this happening right away, she stayed with the friends of Plan B for a further 2 months.
- Plan D: Get an apartment and live there. This has not yet happened, and probably never will.
So that leaves us now at Plan C, albeit 2 months later than expected. My wife hates infringing on others, and has never liked having to stay over at other peoples’ houses. So it surprised me to no small measure that she managed to stay with these Plan B friends for 3 months. Now she is on to Plan C. This older woman is a fairly conservative Christian, and this is something to bear in mind as you read this post, and also as things evolve going forward from here.
But I digress. I hopped in the car and drove over to this woman’s house, which is about 3 miles from here. When I arrived, my wife was sitting on the floor. The house is quite small — I’ve been there before on several occasions — and rather dingy and smelly from the pets this woman has. My wife is clearly out of her comfort zone, and I can see this as soon as I enter the room. In fact, she looked rather depressed. I thought to myself, “Wait, is she going to tell me that the affair just ended?” That’s actually how down she looked at that moment that I arrived. I read the energy of the situation, and went right to her and gave her a kiss on the forehead. She did not shy away or try to stop me. Our dog was prancing around, thrilled to see me. I then had a little gift — an extra box of Salad Pretz that I gave her right away. (I had another box that I had mailed to her, along with a magazine, last week.)
I asked my wife how she was doing, and she smiled and seemed to cheer up. She said she was fine. She asked me about my trip, and we chatted for a bit. She told me that she had a hair appointment this morning, and that she would leave in about a half an hour to catch the bus. The hair salon is about 10 miles away in another city, and it takes about 90 minutes to get there by bus, but only about 15 minutes or so by car. I offered to drive her there, but she declined. We chatted a bit more. Then she somehow changed her mind, and asked me if I could take her over to that city and drop her at a shopping mall; she’d spend an hour or so there, and then take the bus to the hair salon from there. I said, “sure,” and we got ready to leave. Then I realized that I had forgotten my wallet at home. I told her that would go look in the car for it, and would come back.
When I came back, she had changed her plan one more time, and suggested that we instead go to a coffee shop in that city, rather than to the mall. Actually it’s a coffee shop that is well known for its donuts, and is a place that my wife likes to visit. She said we could chat for a bit, and then she’d head over to the salon from there. I agreed, and we set off, first for home — 3 miles in the opposite direction! — and then for the coffee shop.
My wife is very bad with directions, and when we arrived to the vicinity of the coffee shop, I began to explain to her how to get to the transit center where she could catch her bus. It was clear to me that she wasn’t getting it, and that she’d need a visual. (You see, this is how well I know my wife; no adulterer is going to figure this kind of stuff out.) I told her I’d show her the way, and drove past the coffee shop, and along the exact route she’d need to get to the bus. These are the actions of a patient, caring husband, I think. Then, we looped back around to the coffee shop, and on our way back there we passed a couple of places that allowed me to reminisce with her about things. There was the office I’d worked in for several years, and the place that I’d bought a suit before going out of state for a job interview. She knew about the former, but I didn’t know her yet back then, and she was with me for the latter and helped me to pick out the suit.
We got to the coffee shop and honestly I had a bit of dread about the things she might want to talk about. I half expected she’d bring up the adulterer or something else, and had prepared myself for the eventuality of shutting down that conversation, including me getting up and walking out of the shop. None of that came to pass. We sat in the corner and just chatted. That was it. It was really nice, albeit a bit odd. Her body language was pretty closed, while mine was totally open and relaxed. She spoke about coming back to “your house” (that is, our house) to teach a student tonight, and we talked a bit about the bus route she’d need to take. I did not acknowledge the “your house” bit, but rather calmly said, “you’re coming home tonight.” Subliminal? Perhaps. An effective reminder? Yes. Time was getting a bit short for me, and she acknowledged that I had to get going. I told her that I’d be dropping by a Japanese grocery store nearby, and asked her if she needed anything. She said that she did not.
So, I got up, bussed the cups and plates, and came back and said, “Well, my dear, I’ll see you later,” and gave her a kiss on the forehead. Again, no resistance. Then I left.
I went over to the grocery store to pick up a few things, and noticed that there was some wild sockeye salmon sashimi on sale, and it looked very good and very fresh. My wife loves sashimi, of course, and salmon is her favorite. So I bought some and brought it home for lunch, saving half of it for her. I prepared her portion and left it in the fridge, and put a note on her piano telling her that I’d left her some sashimi in the fridge for dinner. Then I left for work.
On the way out, I stopped by a book store and bought a little card. I had a book that I’d bought about a month ago at this bookstore that I’d intended to give her at some point, and this seemed to be a good opportunity. It’s called Tulip Anthology, and is a large-format art book with photos of tulips, tulip-inspired furniture, art, and other items, and also historical information on tulips. My wife loves tulips, and has planted them every year. We live about an hour from some major tulip growers, and most years go to the tulip festival that is held in that region. So I wrote a note in the card telling her that I’d like to take her to the festival if the weather cleared, and in the interim she could enjoy the book. I stopped by the post office on my way to the office and mailed the book and card. I texted her to say that I had really enjoyed hanging out with her, and thanked her for the coffee. She texted me back to say that she enjoyed catching up with me. This is very positive, and quite unlike her behavior over the past few months.
I know that might sound a bit ridiculous, but mailing that book actually is way more powerful a gesture than if I just gave it to her. For starters, the book is quite heavy, and if I gave it to her here, she’d probably just leave it behind. Then, there’s also the fact that the woman she is staying with will see the package, and that will be of no minor significance. As I mentioned earlier, this woman is an observant Christian and fairly conservative in her morals and ethics. She does not want to encourage my wife’s separation, but I think she feels compelled to take her in. I’m not sure how much she knows about the adultery — I suspect she’s aware of it, and if not, will be very soon — but I am sure that she will be uncomfortable with that happening under her nose. I cannot see that situation being comfortable at all. Add to that the fact that my wife is living in the basement and is not really a friend of this woman, and it seems pretty certain to me that the pressure is going to mount from here on out. I believe my wife thinks that she will be finally moving in with the adulterer in a couple months or so, but that’s assuming that her relationship with him survives that long. Given the current circumstances, it quite likely will not.
I got home tonight and found that my wife had eaten the sashimi. She texted me as I was writing this post to thank me for it, and said it was very tasty. She suggested we meet a bit later tomorrow morning to do our taxes. I tried to text back, and for some reason the texts would not go through. So I called her, and lo and behold, she picked up the phone. Miracle of miracles! We had a nice chat, very brief, and I said a few little endearing things to her that can’t help but remind her of what her life with me was all about.
Where does that leave me? I don’t know. I really don’t know. I am thinking that this is going to be the final phase, however, and that the final crumbling of the affair is just around the corner. I don’t think we’re talking about months at this point either, but I could not say with exact certainty anything about the timing or circumstances of that coming to its end. Reconciliation is on my agenda as strongly as ever, dear reader, and if you have the patience to keep reading these posts, both you and I will see that happen together.