Some things I learned

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.

A month in review

I realize I’ve been silent for a while, and that’s mainly because I haven’t really had anything new to report. I haven’t really had any meaningful ruminations, either. I’m mainly writing this post so that I can get a clearer idea of the trends that seem to be happening in my relationship with my wife. They are a bit confusing, actually, because the outer signs seem negative: she moved out, has been avoiding me, will not take my calls, and appears to be living with the adulterer now. The inner signs, however, seem to be positive: the big, genuine smiles she has given me recently, the warmth I can feel coming from her, the gifts and requests to spend time together, and so on. It’s just really incongruous in a way.

I just feel the need to look back on the past month or so, and to see how things have progressed. I have an appointment with my counselor in a little while, and I feel that it would be good for me to have my thoughts collected and processed a bit so that I can make good use of my time with him. It’s actually been 35 days since I spoke with him last, and I’d say that I probably do only speak with him about once a month. I don’t really need guidance much more than that. When you’re trying to reconcile a marriage, you don’t measure things by the hour or the day, but rather in terms of weeks and months. A week is not a long time, if you are trying to reconcile, nor is a month. In fact, a whole month can go by in a flash of an eye and nothing has seemed to change. This is probably why people get discouraged.

Not me. I’m still committed to this journey of reconciliation.

Reaching back to my last conversation with my counselor, we mainly talked about the letter my wife had left me last month. This was a confusing message, as it seemed not to really communicate much beyond a desire to express gratitude and offer some apologies. Her intent was quite different, though: she wanted to tell me she was done, and that there was no hope in going back to our previous relationship. That, of course, is utter hogwash. So it was in the week following the receipt fo that letter that she sat down to tell me what her plans really were. She was going to send me a “harsh message” and move her stuff out. I just wasn’t “moving on” to her liking. I still had hope. She needed to kill that hope. That’s how it works, anyway: hope only dies if you kill it. Of course, this was hard for her to talk about this, and she ended up crying in my arms.

She went away for 5 days, and then came back and started packing. She had really determined herself to do it this time, too. I think it probably took her a couple of weeks to work up the courage to actually do it, but she did. She hired movers to come the following day to take her stuff out of here. It was a tremendous waste of money, since her things were just going into her friend’s garage 2 blocks from here, but she still hired movers to do this. She tidied up the house, rearranged furniture carefully, and tastefully displayed some photos for me as well. This was far too thoughtful a gesture for a spouse who just wanted to get the heck out.

I did not see her again for 10 days. She emailed me the morning after she moved out, and it was nothing more than a link to a webcam trained on a bald eagle nesting some hatchlings. She must have seen the video (probably with the adulterer) and thought of me. Weird. She did come home on the Wednesday following her move-out, but I did not see her. She left me a gift of some gourmet coffee beans.

Then, that weekend, she went on a road trip with the adulterer. To my knowledge, they were somewhere in the vicinity of Santa Cruz, California and they spent the night somewhere in Oregon both on their way down and back. I’m pretty sure one of the stops was in Ashland, and this is curious because my wife and I had spent the night there once while we were driving south. I recall even the basic motels being very expensive, because the Oregon Shakespeare Festival was going on at that time. There is an ample evidentiary trail to suggest their whereabouts for much of this road trip. I’ve heard some rumors about this trip, that there were pie-in-the-sky plans being made about purchasing land and other stuff, and frankly I think there is a 0% chance that my wife will ever get to that point. The affair will come crashing down long before that could happen.

When she finally did come home, we worked out some logistics for the dog, as I was going to California for Easter. She came back that Friday, collected the dog and vacuumed the entire house. Now, that latter action doesn’t make any sense at all. But she did do it — vacuumed the entire house.

I didn’t see her again until the following Wednesday, which would have been Wednesday of last week. She asked me to come pick up the dog, and I discover that she is staying in a new location in the basement of an acquaintance’s house. Her demeanor toward me was very positive, almost as if she had really missed me. We ended up having a “date night” of sorts, hanging out at a coffee shop for about an hour. I saw her again the following day as we needed to work on our taxes. Again, the energy was very positive and that lasted for the first couple of hours. Then she got a phone call or text from the adulterer (I think), decided to leave early and take the bus somewhere, probably so she could meet him. Her energy got very negative and unsettled from that point on. I’m calling it the “Pig Pen Effect” now: it’s a cloud of greyish-black energy that descends and hovers above her, much like that cloud of dust would follow Pig Pen around in those old Peanuts comic strips.

I have not heard from my wife since last Thursday. She continues to avoid my phone calls, letting them go straight to voice mail, and I still officially do not know where she is. Of course, I actually do know where she is, I’m not that stupid. She posts pictures to her blog that almost certainly indicate that she’s up at Camp Chicken-House-of-Poo. (By the way, “house of poo” is the most common search term leading to this blog, if you can believe that!) She has also changed her Facebook profile picture to one of her with the adulterer’s cat. Sheesh, I know way too much about this situation — I even know the adulterer’s cat’s name!

So there we are, my friends. Somehow my intuition tells me that this is really the beginning of the final phase of this crisis, and that things will be wrapping up in the pretty near future. Just how soon that will be is anyone’s guess, but I think “soon” is a good enough estimate. I still don’t know if she has any other unexpected things up her sleeve that she’ll try to blindside me with. For now, it might just be enough for her to try to remain distant and incommunicado. My conversation with my counselor today is mainly going to be a planning session, so that I can know ahead of time how to deal with the post-affair clean-up, since I think this is definitely on the horizon. I know, I know, I’ve said it before. If you go back and look at the posts from January, February, and March, you’ll see that I’ve said similar things and have been totally wrong in my predictions. So let’s just put a date out there: April 27, 2012. This day will be significant for some reason. Maybe I’m wrong, but in 11 days, I’ll find out one way or another. With that said, I’ve pretty much tried to stop guessing how all this is going to play out and how it finally will end. I’ve been wrong too many times, and trying to predict the future is pretty much useless. But I just thought I’d put that date out there, as a sort of aspiration. Aspirations do have power.

Speaking of aspirations, a brief word about the featured image for this post. The right-hand gesture is the mudra that Green Tara is often shown holding. It is a boon-granting mudra that bestows blessings and wishes, which in this case can clear away obstacles. I’ve done a lot of Tara practice this past month, and at times the dispelling of obstacles can be palpable. My aspiration has been that not only are my obstacles to reconciliation removed, but also the obstacles faced by all other married couples who find themselves in similar forms of distress. May we all find the happiness we seek and enjoy the peaceful times we have worked so hard at trying to cultivate.