Feeling low, one more time

Sheesh, the last time I was feeling low was just a few days ago, at least according to my blog posts. Now here it comes again.

I spoke with my sister on the phone tonight. One of our high school friends passed away this past Friday. She was a good friend of my sister throughout the high school years and they remained close through college and kept touch into adulthood. They didn’t see each other all that often — that’s what the pressures of married life often does — but they still spoke fairly frequently. My sister said she last spoke with her about 2 months ago.

From what I understand, this friend suddenly began feeling ill about 6 weeks ago. Doctors initially thought she had some sort of infection, and put her on antibiotics. After a week or two she did not improve, and they took her to the hospital, where she was admitted immediately. Tests revealed that she had some sort of blood disorder (details are still coming in, so I don’t know that much right now). Her condition deteriorated. She ended up having surgery, went into a coma, and never recovered.

This is all so sad. My sister has endured a lot of loss recently. First, her husband’s mother died in August, and then his grandmother died last month. And now this. I called her this evening and she just went into tears. She’d just like all of the loss and pain to be over with so that she can get her life back on track. She feels as if things had just been normalizing, and now something else happens. On top of all that, she’s worried about me and my situation.

I am reminded of a situation that occurred a few years ago before we moved into our present house. Our neighbors were an unmarried yet committed couple in their early 50s. We were very friendly with them and in constant contact. The woman, however, began to estrange herself from her partner bit by bit. She had been a successful career woman, and was living a rather idle life. She clearly seemed to want to go back to her former lifestyle, although this was more or less impossible for a lot of reasons. Then her partner’s mother became quite ill, and suffered a stroke and various heart ailments. She was well into her 80s, but generally a very vital person right up until this happened. This woman chose this time to abandon her partner, and it was awful, because it was exactly the point in his life when he needed her most. She wasn’t leaving for another man or anything like that. She just decided to leave. His mother died shortly thereafter.

I’m not in such dire straits, but it is at times like this that we want to be able to rely on the person closest to us. For a lot of us, that person is our spouse. She was my rock, my source of strength, someone who I could lean on, confide in, and who would provide me with a shoulder to cry on when needed. Now she’s absent. Checked out. Not wanting responsibilities. I’m sure she thinks her life is oh-so-painful right now, but it is an artificial pain that she has created for herself through her errant path. Who am I going to turn to when all this actual pain touches me?

Well, I turned to her. I sent an email, asking her to at least pray for this departed friend. And I called her tonight, as I was feeling very sad. Sure, you’re not supposed to do this, but what the heck — she is my wife, after all, even if she wants to pretend that she isn’t right now. I just feel kind of emotionally derailed at the moment, and I just wish that, even if only for a few minutes, she could put her abject selfishness aside and think about others.

Sometimes these kinds of things can be wake-up calls to the obstinate spouse. There are constant reminders that there is a real world out there, a world outside the affair bubble. I just wonder how many reminders it will take before that bubble finally bursts.

It’s been a month

It was a day very much like today, a beautiful, clear, sunny day. It was the kind of day in which the air is so clear that the mountains, though some forty miles away, seem like they are right next to you. It was a day for picnics in the sun, walks through the park, or letting the dog splash around in the water. Except on that day she moved out.

It’s really hard to believe that it was 30 days ago. The pain of that day is still so fresh right now. There are other things that have happened recently that keep that pain fresh.

It’s also hard for me to believe that this marital crisis I have been enduring has been going on for over six months now. Six months. That’s crazy. A half a year already. It is really a testament to the childish egotism of the obstinate spouse that they can hold a position for so long, especially when it’s an unwinnable position like adultery. At least children give up faster. Adults, on the other hand, have much more elaborate ego narratives to maintain.

It’s frustrating at times, and infuriating at others. There are times when I feel peace and times when I feel unease. There is also a lot of pain that comes and goes. Yet I know that this situation is ultimately impermanent, and that at some point in the fairly near future all of this pain and frustration will be a thing of the past.

“An affair is like a bribe.” This was advice I received recently via my marriage reconciliation program. It’s like a bribe in that it clouds the adulterer’s judgment: they say and do things that would never have occurred to them otherwise. It’s as if the whole world is viewed through the tainted lenses of the affair. This is the so-called “affair fog.” It can be very thick and somewhat stubborn to burn off. But it does eventually burn off, and when it does, it is said that the adulterer begins to see the whole world through new eyes. I do not doubt that this is true, although I have no direct experience of this yet.

What I do have direct experience with is my wife’s stubbornness. She has always been like this. Stubborn, stubborn, stubborn. She will be the last person in the world to admit she is wrong. Honestly, although she has always been this way, the love that we had between us softened those hard edges and made it possible for her to open up to me, to admit defeat, and to feel vulnerable. However, over the past few years things have become more difficult between us, and the stubbornness became a kind of wedge. Now that I’m trying to get us to reconciliation, she is doing everything she can to keep that wedge there.

Why would she do this? It’s simple: when that wedge vanishes, she will be right back to square one, and will have to confront all of her issues head on. None of her issues has changed one iota, and in fact most of them have gotten worse. The wedge keeps her in the fairy-tale world she currently inhabits, where adultery really isn’t immoral, so she needn’t feel guilty about anything she has done, is currently doing, or plans on doing in the future.

Okay, okay, okay. I know I go on and on and on about adultery on this blog. In a way, it has defined too much of my life over the past six months. What I really need to go on about is reconciliation. But I’m not there yet. I’m trying my best to get there. The frustration arises from the knowledge that I’m doing all the right things, I’m staying the course, and I’m holding the vision, but despite all that (or probably more accurately, because of all that) my wife is still digging her heels in and trying to get her way.

What she’s beginning to see, I think, is something that is probably very disturbing to her: no matter what she tries to do to discourage me, I remain as determined as ever to get us to that point of reconcilation. I think this is hard for her to fathom. She is the the determined one, not me. I go with the flow. That was one of her biggest beefs with me, too, that I was not motivated enough to do things. She looks at herself and thinks, “when I have a goal, I just go for it.” So now there are two of us who are determined, but only one of us has the power of virtue on our side.

That’s what will help me be victorious.

 

Absurdities

There comes a point in the reconciliatory process where things start to seem absurd. Actually, this might happen a number of times, but at some point it gets so obvious that the situation is absolutely absurd that it becomes hard to ignore it. I think I have finally reached that point.

What does this mean? Well, aside from the apparent fact that I like to ask rhetorical questions (just look at my other posts), it means that there arrives a point at which the momentum toward reconciliation seems to be gaining the upper hand, and the wayward spouse just doesn’t realize it yet. I do believe that this is where things stand for me as of this moment. The entire energy of my being is now oriented toward reconciliation. Not in the getting to reconciliation, but in the actual being there. I see my wife’s reconciliation with me as so inevitable that I just don’t see any other possible outcomes. I can easily imagine various scenarios, and they all seem totally plausible. In a way, I just feel like I’m sitting here thinking, “come on, already, what’s taking you so long?” as though we were headed out on a hot date and she was still busy blowdrying her hair. Really, it’s almost that mundane, as odd as that seems.

As for the reality of my situation, well, she’s not here. She is 37.0 miles away, according to Google maps. It’s a 52-minute drive, apparently. She is holed up in the home of a cowardly scumbag who thinks he can have a life with a married woman. Seriously? I mean, they’ve been at it for over 6 months now, and trying to shack up together since the beginning of the year. I’m totally out of the way now, too. There are no more excuses. Their lives should be the epitome of blissfulness, right?

But I’m sure it isn’t. There’s the ignominy, the perfidy, the deceitfulness, the utter lack of trust. It’s all so shattering. There are the attempts to patch it all together, which must be like trying to tape together a wet, shattered windshield with a tiny roll of Scotch tape. How’s that working out for ya?

Not well, I’m sure. I reviewed the history of my love life not too long ago, as an exercise in understanding just how long the “in love” feelings we all cherish so much actually last. Here’s what I came up with: three to six months. That’s about it. Pretty much every girlfriend I ever had I fell out of love with in three to six months. I did hang on to a couple of those relationships, but they went nowhere.

Things were different with my wife, though. The “in love” feelings lasted for a couple of years. First there was the courtship, then there was the engagement. And after that, the actual marriage itself. All of these things helped to keep that love alive. But then, inevitably, life got in the way, and neither of us knew what to do. So the “in love” feelings started to die. It’s an utterly normal, all too common story. At some point you have to start manufacturing love through the things you do, because the emotions themselves will start to fade of their own accord if you don’t.

This is where my hope comes from, in part. Once I realized that pretty much all of my previous relationships fizzled out after three to six months, I realized that my wife’s current “relationship” will almost certainly do the same. I remember all to well what happened when those “in love” feelings abated, too. I began to see personality quirks that irritated me. I began to recognize “incompatibilities.” Disagreements started to happen. I began to take my partner for granted. Disagreements turned into arguments. Emotional separation started to take hold. Arguments would escalate into fights. Then, at some point, enough was enough. This is probably the trajectory that unfolds in the overwhelming majority of romantic relationships. The key feature, of course, is that all of those relationships were “clean.” I was not involved with someone else, nor was my partner. There were no external hindrances or stressors.

The key difference with my wife is that she lacks that cleanness. Everything about her “relationship” is besmirched with the stigma of infidelity. This stigma is one of the most potent relationship poisons known to mankind. It might work slowly, but it is systemic and invasive, and pretty much never fails to kill any relationship that has been fed with it. I don’t know what’s going on with my wife and this so-called “relationship” right now, but I imagine that the buried tensions are finally beginning to surface, that the personality faults have risen to the surface, and that disagreements and frustrations are becoming more common.

Several months ago my counselor said to me the following words: “The belief that they are just one argument away from ending that relationship is a good belief to have.” A week and a half ago he said, “You’ve said your wife has anger issues. Over the next couple to three weeks he’ll see this, and will grow tired of her antics.” That’s where we’re at, folks. This dude has to learn first hand what a relationship with my wife is all about, and he won’t be able to handle it. Nooooooooooooooooooo way. I can handle it because my personality type and energetic disposition makes that possible. His will only exacerbate things and cause a painful flare up (gosh, that sounds like a commercial for Preparation H) that will trigger an explosion.

Mark my words, folks, the era of deceitfulness is drawing to a close.

I call her bluff; further hopeful signs

This morning I was to drop the dog off at my wife’s acquaintance’s house. We had arranged a drop-off time of 9:00. She would have the acquaintance’s daughter look after the dog, and I would take my wife to the bus stop nearby to catch the bus. She was to have a session with the “energy worker” today; it’s a long bus ride, but she declined my offer to take her there, claiming a desire to be “independent.”

I got up early to take care of various morning chores so that I could be out the door in time to meet her. Then, about 30 minutes prior to our scheduled drop-off time, she sends me a text saying not to worry: she’d come by this afternoon to pick up the dog. I saw this text about 10 minutes after it arrived, since I was doing other things. Since I did not respond right away, she then called my cell. You see, the only reason she will ever call these days is for some issue like this. I had just read the text and decided to ignore it. That’s right: I decided to ignore it, and go ahead with the original plan. I also ignored her phone call and let it go to voice mail, as I was just about to head out the door. That’s right: I ignored her phone call, too, and let it go to voice mail. Does this sound familiar? Why, yes, that’s pretty much what she does to me. She has an ulterior motive, and that is to avoid me. I had an ulterior motive, and it was to keep her from blowing me off. If I didn’t show up at the acquaintance’s house, I wouldn’t see her for another week.

There is a coffee shop quite near the acquaintance’s house, and I managed to drop by in time to get my wife a coffee and a little pastry. I had them put the coffee in a new insulated cup I had bought for her, then I drove over to the house to meet her. I arrived and knocked on the door. She opened the door and looked kind of disappointed. She said, “No, didn’t you get my message? I told you not to come by this morning.” I bluffed, and looked at my phone. Aha! There was the text. I told her I could leave the dog anyway, and I’d take her to the bus stop. I noticed that, in her right hand, she held the Top Secret Cell Phone, you know, the one I’m not supposed to know anything at all about. It was open and in use, as though she was on the phone with Top Secret Person #1 (i.e. the adulterer), or sending/receiving a text from said person. I just ignored that detail. I offered to give her a ride to the bus stop, and told her I had a coffee in the car for her. She asked me to wait in the car, and she’d come out.

She took a few minutes, but did emerge with a couple of bags. She looked awful: puffy eyes with big black circles under them, a cramped and uncomfortable body language, and the general appearance of a tired and beaten-down person. I guess life really can be hell when you decide to put yourself through the ringer she has been shoving herself through for months on end. She got in the car, and we discussed her bus schedule. She asked if maybe I could take her to the main bus station downtown, and I didn’t hesitate at all, and just told her that would be fine. I gave her the coffee and the pastry, and she consumed both with gusto.

On the way to the bus station, she told me the acquaintance’s story. She is a bit older than us, and has two kids, one in grade school and the other just starting college. Her husband was laid off a few years ago, and began drinking. She started working harder to support the family, and naturally problems developed. Around this time, the younger child began pulling her hair out because of the stress within the family. At some point in the past year, the husband brought a woman home and apparently slept with her in the house while the rest of the family was there. The wife discovered this woman on the couch the next morning, went back to bed, and didn’t say anything. Things did not improve. The husband walked out on them in February and now lives in another state. She is currently trying to dissolve her marriage.

I found this entire story disgusting, from start to finish. This is a classic tale of two individuals who do not know how to handle a crisis like job loss as a team, and allow this situation to destroy their marriage. It’s not a terribly different tale than my story, except that there are no kids in the equation with me and my wife. I was going to express my exasperation, but just said that I didn’t want to be judgmental. I am hoping that my wife will find her story to be instructional. It contains familiar elements, including adultery, only the acquaintance was on the receiving end of that situation.

We got downtown a bit early, and just hung out in the car. I was pleasant, and joked around a lot with her. She asked me if she could leave one of her bags with me, as it was quite heavy and just too much to carry; she’d come by this afternoon and pick it up, along with the dog. I told her that would be fine. She seemed very, very tired and extremely worn down. Her energy was very low. Supposedly the “energy worker” can help with this somehow, but actually I wonder about this: if this woman, the “energy worker,” sees my wife once a month, and each time she is no better than the previous (and in fact may be worse), then what the heck is she doing? To my knowledge, the “energy worker” has not raised significant doubts about my wife’s life trajectory and the extent to which that trajectory affects her energy states. There seems to me to be an obvious correlation between these two things: destructive path ? depleted and unbalanced energy. There really is no amount of “chakra tuning,” or whatever the hell this woman does, that can fix that. It’s sort of like putting oil into a crippled engine: you might get it to run for a bit longer, but it will still break down. I don’t know, maybe she sees my wife as a cash cow. Despite her energy state, we had a pretty good time. She thanked me for everything and then got out to leave. I honked to her as I drove off, and we both smiled and waved at each other.

This is not the behavior of the truly obstinate spouse. It is the behavior of a spouse who is deeply unsure, terribly unsteady, and very likely to soon reconcile. That’s my sense, anyway. I was very, very happy as I drove off, because I had a renewed sense that we are very near the end of this crisis, and that happier days are just around the corner.

On my way home, I stopped by a frame shop. Yes, a frame shop. They have all sorts of nice cards and things, and I bought 5 postcards and a greeting card, with the intention of giving the latter to my wife today, and saving the others for later occasions. When I got home I had yet another inspiration, and ended up going out to buy a couple of chocolates; I washed my wife’s new insulated cup (she did not take it with her, claiming that she had too much to carry) and placed the chocolates in a gift bag that I put inside the cup. I stowed this in her bag that she left with me. I wrote a frivolous little note in the card, and placed that inside a magazine that she had in the bag. I also readied a bag for the dog that included a couple of cans of food and some treats, and inside this bag I put a bar of Belgian chocolate for my wife. Is this overdoing it? Nah, it’s just par for the course.

You see, every time she sees me, I give her something. Every time she comes home, there is something good waiting for her. Every single time. The only exceptions would be if she turned up unannounced, or something like that, and that virtually never offers.

The timing and placement of these gifts is significant, I think. She finds herself in a very difficult and basically intractable situation, and has been trying desperately to throw me off her trail since the beginning of the year. Nothing she has tried has worked so far, and that’s because nothing she can try will work. She’s my wife, and I’m going to just treat her that way. I’m sure the stuff I do irritates the hell out of the adulterer, but I do not care: she is my wife, not his, and he’ll never get any further than he currently has. She will discover all of these gifts at his house, and she may well discover some of them in his presence. I do not know if she tells him where these various things come from, as I have managed to secret various things for her discovery when she has left to be with him in the past. I suspect that he has learned of some of them, and others are hidden from him. I’d imagine that, at this point, it is more the latter than the former. Either way, this has got to make for an awfully awkward situation: it causes tension if she tells him, it causes tension if she lies to him about them, and it causes tension if she hides it from him. See what I mean?

Now mind you, I don’t do any of these things for this reason, i.e. with the intention of causing stress between her and the adulterer; I do these things because  she is my wife and I want to do nice things for her. The side product of all of this is that it very likely does cause tension in that illegitimate relationship. and most certainly does a lot to spoil that affair. If he sees the cards I get her, he’d see that I know her taste intimately; he does not, and never will, and further seems to have rather poor taste when it comes to such things. Although my wife does seem willing to ignore this, I’m sure it does bother her to some extent. (Probably a lot, actually.) The same is true of the gifts and other things I give. Giving is very powerful, by the way: it changes both your spouse’s feeling about you, and it changes your own feelings toward your spouse.

So there we are. I don’t want to try to predict the future, but things are going to change, and I do think that will happen soon.

Sister Karamazova; or, signs of hope

Many, many years ago, in fact, back in the late 20th century, I was an undergraduate student at a university in southern California. I was a big Dostoevsky fan back than, had read nearly all of his works, and was working my way through many other Russian authors as well: Tolstoy, Turgenev, Lermontov, etc. I happened across a book in the library one day that was a scholarly tome about the usage and symbolism of names in the works of Dostoevsky. I had some fairly good competence with the Russian language, as I had already studied it for a year of so, but nothing that would have enabled me to make the discoveries that I found in that book. I had no idea, for instance, that the surname Raskolnikov, the main character in Crime and Punishment, actually means something like “the one who splits things asunder,” or “schismatic.” (Incidentally, I had also forgotten that his forename is Rodion — my nom de plume for this blog, although I’m not schizophrenic, as was poor Raskolnikov!) I also recall learning that the surname Karamazov, as used in The Brothers Karamazov, means something like “black smear,” and that this smear implies negative qualities, such as sin. It was kind of a revelation for me: Dostoevsky was actually broadcasting the qualities of his characters through their names, both first and last; such details are mostly lost on the foreign and/or uninformed reader.

I’ve spoken about the cloud of blackish grey energy that seems to hover over my wife these days. Actually, it’s been there for the better part of the last six months, but it seems to have gotten steadily worse since the beginning of the year. It was the experience of this darkish cloud that came to me during my morning spiritual practice. I was doing tonglen, which I’ve written about before, and my subject for this meditation more often than not is my wife. I relate directly to the energy of my situation with her, and the situation of her own being. What struck me the most about my experience this morning was the general energetic tone. Sure, there were the emotions, and they were not surprising: I sense that she is feeling guilt and nervousness, and is more than a little fearful, and also is quite tired from everything she has put herself through. But the tone was really interesting. It was like a black smear, a block, or a smudge of incredible negativity. This is the cloud she carries around with her, and that’s what came through. The main difference is that it wasn’t diffuse, it was really kind of solid and heavy. It must really suck to have to lug something like that around with you 24/7. Shortly after wrapping up that session, the name Karamazov popped into my mind, relating directly to that block of darkness. Thus she came to mind as Sister Karamazova.

She had texted me early this morning to say she wanted to make arrangements to collect the dog, but that I shouldn’t drop her off at the house that she was at last week. Well of course, she never moved in there in the first place. She hasn’t been there since last Wednesday, most likely. She had also asked about taxes, so I texted back to tell her that we would need to chat about that. She then texted back to ask when she should call, and my response was vary simple: “You can call me pretty much whenever; if I’m busy it will go to voicemail, but otherwise I’ll always answer if you call.”

Wouldn’t you know she’d call when I was in the restroom? I know, TMI. I checked the voice mail, and her energy was vary odd. She sounded really charged, and not really in a good way. So I called her right back, and I got that same energy when she picked up. I called her by one of the nicknames I have for her, and we started to chat. We discussed the tax situation, and she agreed to sit down with me next week sometime. I told her I had just filed an extension, since I felt it both unwise and unethical to sign the return on her behalf. I don’t have power of attorney, anyway. I made it clear to her that I felt that it would be no different from lying, except in this case it would also be against the law. I told her I did what I thought was the right thing to do, and she did not disagree.

We continued to chat a bit, and she told me that she was indeed at the home of this student of hers; the student’s mother is an acquaintance, but not much more than that, yet she feels comfortable staying there for the night. She thanked me for the picture book I’d mailed her last week, and I told her she was welcome, that I’d seen it and thought she’d like it. I asked her if she had read it at all, and she said she had. Hmmmm, you know, I never thought I could actually detect a lie over the phone, but I could tell from everything about the way she answered that question that she did not have the book in her possession, that she has not seen it yet, and that she certainly has not read it. I didn’t ask anything more about it.

She then brought up the dog, and we arranged a plan for me to drop her off at the acquaintance’s house tomorrow. She told me that she has another session with the “energy worker” tomorrow, and I offered to give her a ride. She declined the offer, and I told her that it really would not be a problem. She said, “I’m not comfortable with that,” to which I said, jokingly, “what, am I some kind of poison?” This caught her a bit off guard, and she said that she is trying very hard not to be dependent on other people, and she really would just prefer to ride the bus. Funny that she doesn’t want to be dependent on me, but being virtually totally dependent on the adulterer is somehow okay. We did come to an arrangement, though, and I’ll be swinging by tomorrow morning to drop off the dog and to take my wife to a nearby bus stop.

An interesting thing happened by the end of our conversation, though. Her whole tone had changed. That sharply edged energy I had heard, which is really a sort of charged, neurotic karma energy, had softened into something far more genuine, open, and positive. I was able to joke around with her and to even get her to revert to a tone of voice I’ve heard almost nothing of for six months now. This is significant. Very significant. I already know that my presence can soothe her demons, but now I also know that the sound of my voice over the phone can do that as well.

I came away from that conversation with a somewhat odd feeling, but I didn’t realize what it was until an hour or two later, and then it struck me: she cannot take much more of this. She is watching her path crumble. She is not finding the happiness she thought would be there. She is almost certainly beginning to realize that the problems are not external, but rather internal. There is no amount of avoidance of or separation from me or others that will change this internal discontent that she harbors. It must be excruciatingly painful. Right now, I’m sure all she’s doing is distracting herself from this existential crisis. But at the end of the day, the crisis is still there, and it’s getting worse. She looks at me and sees that I’m not in any crisis at all, not fundamentally. She looks at the adulterer and sees… well, I don’t know what she sees, but I’m sure that pretty soon she will see nothing more than an adulterer, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she is seeing that already. I am beginning to realize that my counselor was right, and that he and I sense the same things because energetically it’s just out there. It’s a meltdown waiting to happen, and it is coming.

And I think it’s coming soon.

Feeling low, again

Some days are harder than others. Today was just one of those days, I guess. I was tired, both physically and emotionally, and I think this just brought me down a notch or so.

The trigger, as is often the case, was something external. The grapevine has been fairly silent since my wife left the house, and even more so since she packed out of town, but it does speak in weird ways. Recently, this has been of the flavor of people coming to me to ask me about her, and the things that they ask me about tell me volumes about the lies she is telling herself and others. The one thing I learned today is that my wife doesn’t have a place in town anymore. She’s pretty much at Camp You-Know-What full time, as far as I can determine, and she just couch surfs for a couple of days a week when she needs to be in town for professional reasons. I learned that she will be in town the next couple of days at the home of an acquaintance, the mother of one of her students. This woman is separated from her husband, and is apparently trying to dissolve her marriage. This has been ongoing for quite some time: the parents separated probably a year ago or more, and there was crisis even before that. Their daughter, my wife’s student, is about 10 now, and when that crisis began she was about 8, and reacted by pulling out her hair. This is what marital crises do to kids. Parents really need to just get it together and realize that, no matter how awful they might think their problems are, they probably aren’t solving them because they do not have the wisdom, support, or appropriate guidance. Add those ingredients plus a little perseverance and elbow grease, and they could have the marriage of their dreams, rather than a failure that affects themselves and their kids. It really is, in many ways, the height of responsibility for any married couple, and especially those with kids, not to fully explore all their options to reconcile before proceeding down the path of destruction.

So I was a bit disheartened to learn of my wife’s stay with this woman. She is trying to dissolve her marriage on her own without the recourse of lawyers. I believe her husband is more or less cooperative with this idea, so she will probably be successful. I do suspect that my wife wants to compare notes with her. The last time my wife was at home, she spent quite a bit of time on Facebook sending messages back and forth with this woman. You know when you have a sneaking suspicion that something is up? Well, that’s why I was having that suspicion.

The difference, however, is that I am not cooperative with this aspect of my wife’s agenda. It is nothing more than a manifestation of adultery-induced craziness. She even told me herself that she had never even considered something so radical and destructive prior to last November. Everything an adulterer does — everything — all the bad decisions, the lies, the poor judgments, and so on, it’s all due to the affair, all of it.

I am one to over-analyze things, I’ll be the first to admit that. That’s one of the reasons I’m writing this post. I need to analyze what’s going on. I am still convinced in my counselors judgment that my wife’s path is crumbling before her eyes, and I do think that her movements this week are a sign of this occurring. She probably feels very desperate at this point. Despite everything she has done thus far, I still continue to reach out to her. And despite everything she thinks she feels or doesn’t feel, she still has significant emotions toward me, and those emotions are primarily positive, very positive.

This is a very inconvenient place to be if you’re having an affair. I cannot imagine her adulterous partner feeling terribly comfortable with the knowledge that I am still reaching out to her so regularly. I sometimes wonder if she tells him that I call her every day for no particularly good reason, or if she hides this from him. I wonder if she tells him about the gifts I give her, if she shows them to him, or if she hides those too. It really is a catch-22 situation for her: if she tells him, he’ll get irritated; if she doesn’t tell him, then she is lying by omission. There already are trust issues, so lying won’t help those. There’s also undoubtedly a lot of pressure, so telling him will just exacerbate that. There really is pretty much no way that she can win this situation, but she has not fully realized that yet. Pretty much everything that she might do at this point is going to help to end the affair once and for all.

So where am I at? Sheesh, I have no idea. Yesterday, my counselor was basically telling me that the finish line was really very close. Today I started to think that maybe it’s actually miles away. I know that not to be true, though. We are now at the point where the rose-colored lenses are going to have to come off, and that the fragile walls of the affair bubble will be stretched to their limit. The one thing that I do know is that in pretty much 100% of the reconciliation cases I’ve become acquainted with so far, the breakthrough seems totally implausible just days before it happens. In fact, not even a week or two before such drastic change happens, it can seem like the situation is totally intractable.

That’s where I’m at. I got down today, because I began to feel like my situation was actually becoming somewhat intractable at this point. I still have no sense for where things are going, how long they’ll take to resolve, and feeling like I’m walking in the dark is really pretty frustrating. Yet I do know that I will achieve my goal, I have no doubt about that. I’m just waiting, and waiting, and waiting… The affair is going to end, and that’s all there is to it.

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.