I had a very productive session with my counselor today. As always, I come to the session over-prepared, with tons of notes, questions, and a complete agenda. Then most of that goes right out the window when we start talking. I do keep looking at it during the conversation to make sure that I’m not missing anything, and, usually to my surprise, I find that once the session is over I have addressed all my concerns and uncovered some new and very salient issues. The things that didn’t get covered are typically not terribly important in the overall scheme of things.
So it was this time around as well. I told him (my counselor) what my agenda was, what I hoped to accomplish, and then started talking and let the momentum carry us through. Here’s what I learned:
- Like me, he suspects that this is the final phase of the process, the one that immediately precedes the beginning of the reconciliatory process.
- Also like me, his suspicion is based mainly on intuition. We both trust our intuitions. I know mine typically works far better than does my intellect most times.
- He feels that my wife is deeply mired in crisis, and is now coming to the realization that this path that she has carved out for herself is starting to crumble around her.
- He thinks her relationship with the adulterer may be close to the end. Very close, actually.
This last point really astonished me, because he gave me a sort of impromptu timeline. He remarked that, from my reports and his observations, my wife has some anger issues (yeah, she’s a hothead at times). Since my wife seems to have moved in with this man, he said that, in the next “couple to three weeks” he’d begin to “tire of her antics.” These were pretty much his words. That is, as the tension builds and the realization that this relationship is actually nothing special — in fact, not even something mundane, but rather something grossly immoral — the potential for arguments would arise, and that her stubbornness would end up being the thorn that would deflate that relationship.
He was very certain about all this, and I can only imagine that this is a certainty borne from watching similar scenarios unfold over and over again. He was very explicit about it, too. “He’s going to reject her,” is what he said, “and she’ll be broken-hearted and angry at him.” Wow. I can really imagine how true that’s going to be. She has staked the entirety of her future on this relationship, and when it doesn’t pan out, she is going to be pissed off.
Looking toward the future, there were a number of issues I raised. At this point, I feel obligated to plan for the post-affair clean-up. I don’t have any illusions any more about the affair persisting much longer. It’s going to end, and that end will probably be unexpected and spectacular in its own way. One of my chief concerns was how I might handle the massive humiliation she is likely to feel once things come crashing down. He said not to worry about that too much: her guilt/embarrassment switch likely has been “dulled out” and is not so likely to grow back immediately. I would never have thought of this, but someone who has seen this scenario over and over again certainly would. He said that her opportunities for embarrassment have come each time she has broadcast her affair to the world, to each friend she has spoken to, and via each Facebook post she has made, etc. He didn’t think embarrassment would be too much of a problem.
Another issue that arose was the question of my wife’s spiritual practice. This has been used in a horribly materialist fashion as nothing more than an excuse for committing acts of blatant immorality. The shrine my wife visits is the only one of its kind in North America, and it is a place she has felt a real connection with. I don’t want to deny her the connection to her spiritual practice, of course, but seeing as how the adulterer is a senior member of that shrine, we’d have to forego any further visits once the affair ends. He said not to worry about this too much. She’d likely walk away from that place and not want to visit it anymore, since it will have become a place associated with bad experiences and memories. She will have begun to see it for the den of iniquity and immorality that in some ways it is — not to say that it is a bad place per se, but rather that some of the individuals connected with it are all to human, and all too immoral.
So now we enter uncharted territory. Uncharted territory? What the heck am I saying?!? Everything thus far has been uncharted territory for me. This is just more uncharted territorial stuff. I cannot predict the future, and it’s the future that is, as always, uncharted territory. I simply need to be present in the here and now to let it unfold. I can say that I have a lot of hope for the future now. The end of the crisis is nigh, and reconciliation beckons.