Trending positively, once again

I’ve been meaning to write an update to for some time, but have just been to busy to get around to it. It’s been a very busy week, followed by a pretty busy weekend. Nevertheless, I’ll at least try to hit the highlights.

I was recalling the other day that the night my wife took her then-emotional affair physical was a night of complete misery for me. I was left home alone with a story that made no sense at all, yet had a tiny bit of plausibility. It was Halloween. She claimed to be going to a party. That morning, she had coffee with a friend who, as I later learned, encouraged her to dump me, to “move on” and to go ahead and commit adultery. What on earth is wrong with people like that? This person is a married woman with two kids. That fact alone just makes me wonder. My wife came home after having coffee with this woman, and then left in the early afternoon to go shopping. She told me that she would be going out to a Halloween party with some new friends, and might not come home. These “friends,” whom I’d never met (and who remained nameless) had purportedly invited her to spend the night so that she could talk over her life situation.

My wife did not return home that evening, and I was really feeling horrible. This was the first time she’d ever done anything like this, and the sense of abandonment was pretty severe. She left her computer at home. I snooped, yes I did. I found nothing of any major significance, save for an email to the adulterer. There was nothing directly incriminating in the email, but there were some comments from him that made me suspicious. I was really feeling quite despondent and desperate. I tried to go to sleep, but simply could not. I spent the entire night awake with my mind racing. I learned a day later that she had, in fact, consummated that affair.

This past Tuesday I had a similarly restless night. My sleep was fistful, and not restful at all. I woke up around 4:00 a.m. and simply could not sleep anymore. I lied in bed with a racing mind that simply would not quieten. Eventually, I decided to get out of bed at 5:00 a.m. and start working. I had a bit of left-over paperwork from the previous day, and thought I’d just take care of that and get it out of the way. But something just left this nagging feeling in my mind. The quality of my sleep, or more properly the lack thereof, reminded me very much of that Halloween night. That night seemed to me as if there was some sort of psychic disturbance that was disrupting the energy in my relationship with my wife, a type of disturbance I’d never before experienced. It was almost a kind of diffuse violence; this did end up manifesting in my life as a very real eruption of emotional violence visited up on me in the form of the revelation of the affair. So, as I moved into the early hours of Wednesday morning, I couldn’t help but think that maybe something was coming unglued in my wife’s life right now.

I did end up seeing her on Wednesday, meeting for our weekly “date night.” She had blown off our normal meeting the previous week, and had done so two weeks before that as well. Thus, I was rather glad to be able to see her again. I swung by to pick her up as she was leaving a client’s house. Her mood seemed kind of down and even a bit sour. I offered to take her to a favorite tea house, as her stomach was bothering her from having had a fairly large lunch. She agreed, and thought it to be a great idea. We spent a bit of time there, and her energy did begin to turn around rather slowly. I was very relaxed, calm, and confident, but she seemed quite distant and preoccupied. Nevertheless, I did manage to get a few chuckles out of her while reminiscing about a few things.

We eventually left the tea place, and stopped by a bookstore for a browse. She bought a couple of cards, and I showed her my “secret” spot where I’d picked up a couple of good books for her in the previous months: the bargain section. She told me that she wanted to get some kombucha to help her stomach ache. I drove her to a market she had never seen before — one that I knew she would like — and let her do a bit of window shopping before she found the kombucha. It was starting to get late, so I took her back to the house at which she was spending the night. I did take the long way there, and she did not object. I told her shortly before we arrived that I had something to give her, and I allowed that expectation to sink in a bit. When we arrived, I gave her a wall calendar I’d picked up, one that was identical to one in our kitchen which she had shown great interest in on several occasions. I gave it to her and her eyes lit up. She thanked me, and then took her leave for the evening. I was to return the following morning to drop off the dog.

That I did. I stopped by on my way to work the next morning to bring the dog by. As I arrived, the owner of the house, and older Japanese woman, was there, preparing to leave for work. We have known this woman for some years, and I do believe that my wife has told her about our situation. This strikes me as odd, as this woman is an observant Christian, and it seems doubly odd, as this woman doesn’t seem to object to the quite obvious sins are being committed in her view: I do believe that the adulterer drops my wife off there, and it is quite likely that this woman has even met him. (Many things just do not compute.) At any rate, this woman said hello, and I greeted my wife, treating her very much like she was my wife — because, well, she is. I gave my wife a kiss on the forehead, and she sort of pulled away, probably because this older woman was there, and could see the whole thing. This is not behavior that would have been unusual for us around this woman, and it’s actually not something my wife even seems to object to when we’re alone. I guess it’s the reality of having this happen in an environment where she has told the story of this fairy tale that it becomes disturbing, for when the actual husband arrives and does something like this, he becomes the harbinger of the reality that the wayward spouse has tried so hard to avoid. That is, the reality that the affair is a sham, as is the entire fantasy world to which it is attached.

I left the dog with her, and went to work.

Then, some hours later, I get a series of texts from my wife telling me that our dog has a major flea infestation and that she thinks it would be best not to have the dog return to our house for a couple of weeks. She is under some belief that the dog is getting infested here, despite the fact that we have hardwood floors throughout the house and no carpeting, leaving few places for fleas to hide. In addition, I clean the house and wash the bedding every week to get rid of whatever fleas there might be. There is about the same likelihood of the dog picking up fleas at our place as there is just about anywhere in this region. In fact, the dog is more likely to get them at the adulterer’s house, as he has both chickens and a cat, and he also has carpeting in his house. (I have seen pictures.) My response was a short text saying that I was very concerned and that we should discuss this.

Well, you know what? She called me the following day. This is pretty unheard of. She never calls from the adulterer’s place, ever. But she did. I was working, so it went straight to voice mail. She sounded pretty shaky. It was kind of odd: the energy of her voice was just very ungrounded and she sounded quite unsure. I did call her back a few hours later — of course, my call went straight to voice mail — and told her that I had a solution, but woul dnot take this unilaterally and wanted to discuss this with her. So, I’m awaiting her reply, two days later. I’m not holding my breath.

At any rate, things still seem to be trending positively. This is the second slide I’ve seen in her energy in the past couple of months, and I take this as a likely sign that there are problems up there at Camp You-Know-What. Nine months is a long time for a wayward spouse to insist on a fantasy, and there certainly have been enough opportunities for the fog to begin to wear off. So, I continue to wait this one out.

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Separation does not work

I’d like to thank a recent visitor to this blog for prompting me to write this post.

When a relationship crisis strikes, the marital environment can get pretty toxic. It can become difficult for the spouses to suffer each other’s company. There may be tension, arguments, the “silent” treatment, and even fights. I have personally experienced all of these things. None of them is pretty. Given such circumstances, it might seem logical for the spouses to separate from one another. It’s likely that most well-meaning family and friends would advise this, and indeed many so-called marriage “professionals” would advise this as well.

Many of you know that I am a Marriage Fitness practitioner. Core to the concepts and practices of this program is to avoid separation insofar as is possible. I feel so strongly about the benefit of what I’ve learned from the program and how to deal with my own unwilling separation from my wife that I feel compelled to duplicate the link to their website again, right here, in most clear (and perhaps obnoxious?) fashion. Please, please, please make this website your first stop if you are dealing with separation.

Click here to visit the official Marriage Fitness website.

Just do it. It will saver your marriage. So please, just do it: go there and check it out. Remember folks, I’m not a huckster. I just really believe in this program and will stand by it 100%. I personally know of situations involving separation — or worse — that have totally turned around because of the positive impact this program has had on the marital situation, despite obstinacy, affairs, separation, etc. But I digress…

Separation is a terrible, terrible idea. It accomplishes nothing. It puts physical distance and emotional space between yourself and your spouse, and all that distance and space will do is to further erode your connection with your spouse. Feel your relationship is distressed now? Well guess what — separation will make it worse. A lot worse. If your spouse wants to disconnect from you, then that will happen in a hurry if you separate. If your spouse wants to have an affair, then that will quickly follow the separation. If your spouse is having an affair, then that affair will almost certainly escalate if he or she leaves. (There is a silver lining to this, though: the affair could very likely blow up a lot sooner as a result.) If your spouse is thinking about divorce, it becomes a whole lot more likely that this will happen if you separate. If your intention is to reconcile your marriage, then separation complicates everything and achieves nothing.

Yes, you should ignore the well-meaning friends and the credentialed “marriage” counselors who would advise separation. They clearly do not have the best interests of your marriage in their hearts.

Now, don’t get me wrong: you cannot force your spouse to stay with you, but you should do everything within your power to try to prevent an impending separation. This does not mean that you should plead, threaten, or bargain. Words are useless at this point. You will need to show your spouse that you want him or her to stay through your actions. You will need to make positive changes in the marital environment, through both working on yourself — the aspects of your behavior and person that led to the marriage breakdown — and through learning and employing the best possible relationship skills and habits. This is really the only way to stop a separation.

The problem is that sometimes even this doesn’t work. You can do everything right, and still your spouse ends up determined to leave. In fact, it often appears that it is because of these changes that your spouse decides to separate. Please don’t let this confuse you if this happens. What you’re seeing is nothing other than a fairly potent form of pushback. It’s typically a sign that you are rewriting the story your spouse has been telling him- or herself, and that story could be months or even years old. It most certainly will be old enough for your spouse to thoroughly believe it. So it comes as quite a surprise to an obstinate spouse to see you suddenly change for the better. Your rewriting of that story challenges everything he or she believes to be true about your marriage, and that’s a difficult place to be. The human ego seeks desperately to preserve itself at all costs, and it doesn’t take well to existential shocks that truly and experientially define its boundaries and definitions.

So what do you do if you’ve done everything right and your spouse still wants to separate? Well, you might just have to accept that separation is a temporary station on the journey to reconciliation. It happens that way sometimes, and it has happened that way for me as well. You don’t want to participate in, encourage, or facilitate that separation in any way, if you can help it. Make it clear that it is not your desire that he or she separates, but that you have no control over your spouse’s choices and have done and are doing your best to understand your spouse’s feelings and concerns. You also absolutely must make it clear that your spouse will always be welcome in the marital house without any judgment or conditions whatsoever. This is very important, because your spouse will need to come home at some point. If there’s an affair, the affair will end. If it’s obstinacy, that ice will melt. If it’s divorce proceedings, your well-directed efforts will likely bring those proceedings to a halt.

If you unwillingly end up with a spouse that separates, don’t fret it too hard. It’s still possible to pursue reconciliation despite the separation. You can reach out to your spouse in virtually all the ways that you could if he or she were still at home. (See the Marriage Fitness website for resources on how to do this — they have a whole program that is oriented around this and other kinds of difficult situations!) It may likely take longer to get to reconciliation, but you can still get there nonetheless.

This perhaps another question open: what if you were the person to separate? Maybe life at home was too painful or too difficult, and you felt like you simply had to get out to make the situation more bearable. The answer is simple: if you really want to reconcile your marriage, then you have to return home. You have to move back in. And you’ve got to do it now. Not tomorrow or the next week, but now.

Separation hurts, it’s painful, and it’s ultimately pretty useless. If it’s happening to you, don’t despair, because you can turn things around. If it is looming over your situation, don’t freak out, because you can change the momentum. Please make sure that you check the resources page on this website for links to helpful, marriage-friendly sources of information, inspiration, and guidance.

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Digging a hole

“The only job you start at the top is digging a hole,” or so the expression goes. This week, my wife began to dig herself a real hole, and I don’t think she’ll enjoy the fruits of this job very much.

Wednesday came and went this week. Wednesday is the day that she normally appears to take care of her very few professional obligations. It’s also the day on which we typically meet, now that I’m very busy on Thursdays, to see each other and deal with dog “custody” swaps. She never called me, nor did she answer my calls. This was rather odd.

Last week, she told me that she had left her cell phone charger at a friend’s place and that the battery had died. This would explain why all my calls went straight to voice mail without the phone even ringing. In the run-up to her Wednesday arrival, this happened again. I was honestly a bit perturbed. I also felt it rather abnormal that she wouldn’t call or pick up the phone when I called her on Wednesday morning, as this would be normally the only time during the week that she would answer.

I had a full day of work, so I really did not know what to expect when I got home. I arrived around 6:00, and quickly found that the dog had been dropped off. I also saw a note on the dining room table from my wife. In it, she said that her cell phone wasn’t charging properly, and so she was having trouble checking her voice mail. She also thanked me for a couple of things I had gotten her, and hoped I was doing well. Then she said that she would be very busy the next few days and wouldn’t be able to see me. This was odd.

Shortly thereafter, I was online checking email and such, and came upon an embedded link that led to her blog. This is not the same blog she has been writing for the past five years, one that I have hosted for her for the past several years. This is one that she was hosting on Blogger that is documenting her “new life” with the adulterer. Ugh.

I read an article over on Marriage Sherpa today that dealt with getting rid of “haunting” post-affair images and how to deal with them. I don’t know why it is, but it seems the majority of the adultery-related articles I see deal with affairs that have ended. But what about the ones that are still going on? I don’t need to wait until the affair ends to see those haunting images. There they were, in plain view, for the entire world — including me – to see.

The first post documented her new “family” and new “life,” showing pictures of the adulterer and other stuff. There were pictures of the garden and the idyllic setting. It was basically a fairy tale writ large. On that same page, there was a link to a short film she apparently was in, one that would be screening that same night at the local independent film festival. I later saw this same link on Facebook. She was starring in it, as was the adulterer. It was a silent short film, about 7 minutes in length, that had been submitted as part of a populist screening in which the audience votes for its favorites. They apparently have been doing this for a couple of years: they announce the rules on a Friday, and then the films are made over the weekend for submission the following Monday. So this explains her being “busy”: she had to go to that screening that night. Okay, whatever.

I had a session with my counselor this morning to go over all of these things. His impression is that my wife has compartmentalized her life, keeping discrete elements separate from one another, e.g. her adulterous life, her married life, and the real world. Most of the week she lives in that more or less hermetically sealed fairy-tale world, but one or two days a week she has to deal with me, and this in turn puts her in direct contact with the real world. I reckon that the fairy tale world is not all that she thought it would be cracked up to be, and that now she is beginning to feel need to go even more public with her tales of adultery in a vain attempt to make the unacceptable somewhat more palatable.

This won’t work.

Sooner or later, something will give. There have already been signs that there are pressures on her affair. One cannot live immorally at length without expecting some pushback from the universe. When that pushback does happen, it cannot be argued with, for it only intensifies if one tries to resist. Nevertheless, my wife seems committed to digging herself that hole of immorality, one that will eventually cause great embarrassment, humiliation, and remorse. I wish I could stop it, but she just has to live through this in order to learn just how wrong her actions are.

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Someone reaches out

I received a phone call from a colleague today. I had been meeting with a client when he called, so I only saw his voice mail once the session had wrapped up. I checked the voice mail, and this colleague seemed very concerned about my well-being. Judging from the message he had left, it sounded as though he had heard some news about the situation between myself and my wife.

I have known this colleague for about 15 years. He is an older gentleman in his early 80s, and sharp as a tack. I have worked with him for much of the past 15 years, and consider him a trusted colleague. He also knows my wife, as the three of us have worked together; she met this colleague through me about 9 years ago, and eventually started working with him as well. As far as this colleague was concerned, my wife and I had been having a model marriage. Until recently, that is.

I wasn’t really in a space to call him back, and had about a half-hour drive to get home. On my way back, my mind went through all the gyrations as to how this colleague might have learned of our situation. The first culprit that came to mind was the “friend” my wife spent several months living with  — the one who lives about two blocks from us, and who has been, in my view, Adultery Enabler No. 1. My wife considers this woman a “true friend,” and I suppose this is because she is one of the few people who does not challenge her agenda, but rather actually appears to support it. My mental gyrations included hashing out the conversation I’d be having with this woman, telling her how her behavior had violated my privacy and how she had therefore stepped over a line of professional decorum that is, well, common sense. You just don’t talk about other people’s private matters with people in that person’s professional circle.

Once I arrived home, I had a few minutes to relax, and then decided to call this colleague. He was very concerned, and said he was sorry to hear about my situation. I told him I was fine, but was unsure what he’d heard, or whom he had heard it from. He said he hadn’t heard anything specific, but had pieced his assumption together from a variety of evidence; he had also recently had a meeting with the aforementioned Adultery Enabler No. 1, whom he had asked about this situation, and this woman basically protected my wife by saying she didn’t really have any information to share. (Neat, huh?)

I told my colleague that I meant no offense, but I considered this to be a very private situation that simply was not an appropriate topic of conversation. He has been divorced twice (and about this said, “and didn’t learn a damn thing from either one”) and understood and was respectful of my privacy. I told him that all he really needed to know was that I am married and intend to stay married, and that I really could not say more out of respect for my wife’s privacy. We then discussed business.

After that lengthy discussion, he just wanted to make clear with me that he had understood me correctly: I’m married and plan to stay that way. I assured him this was the case. He said he had not heard anything specific from anyone about our situation, but it sounded like there was a separation that was ongoing, and that he had seen all sorts of Facebook pictures that seemed to support this. He said there were “hundreds of them” (this could be a bit of an exaggeration), and that they were pictures of nature, jewelry, or other things that my wife found to be beautiful or interesting. He described this as a sort of “cry from the darkness” of a person who seemed to be desperately reaching out to others in a vain attempt to find happiness.

We spoke briefly about spirituality, and he asked me if I thought it appropriate if he reached out to her. He feels himself guided by the principle that others should have the opportunity to attain happiness, and that he just wanted to reach out to her somehow. I asked him what he had in mind, and was pretty clear that there wasn’t much advice I could give that wouldn’t overstep the boundaries of privacy and decorum. He said he really intended nothing other than to reach out to her to say that she was loved and that others were concerned about her. I told him that, if this were the message of  his heart, I could see no harm in expressing that, since the intention seemed quite pure.

So, I find this all quite interesting. This man has been around the block many, many times, and he could clearly see from the pictures my wife has been posting that she just seems to be very unhappy. I consider him an ally in this situation, and am quite certain that he would not say or do anything inappropriate. I’m not sure that, if he were to reach out to her, that this would be the wake-up call that she needs, but it could be one little hole that needs to get poked into her story.

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Once again, things trend positively

I don’t mean to have been silent recently, but I’ve just been very busy. I’m up to my neck with work. This is not in itself such a bad thing, but I’ve been pretty tired as a result, and things like posting to this blog in a substantive way have been kind of a non-starter.

Anyway.

Wednesday was the day that my wife normally comes into town. She didn’t show up last week because, well, it was the 4th of July. This week it was the 10th of July, and thus there was no excuse not to turn up. Honestly, I was feeling a bit frustrated and even a bit ticked off for a couple of reasons. First, because she hadn’t turned up the previous week. This meant that I missed my weekly “date night,” and these can be really critical to the reconciliation process. On top of that, there were some pretty pressing financial issues that needed to be dealt with, and I needed her participation. I had tried calling a number of times, but every single call went to voice mail. This is typical.

Anyway.

I called on Wednesday morning as I was on my way to work, and she picked up. All the irritation and frustration dropped away at the mere sound of her voice. I only need to hear her voice to remind myself why I haven’t given up. We chatted briefly. I told her I wanted to see her. She agreed. I told her I’d be done just after noon, and we arranged to meet.  She texted me just before I wrapped up my morning stint to let me know where she was. I dropped by to meet her. We went out for lunch. She had already eaten, I had not. I took her to one of her favorite parts of town, a place where she can’t dare be seen with the adulterer, and we had pelmeni. I had discovered a place that makes only these; this discovery happened after our crisis had started, and thus my wife knew nothing of its existence. So I ordered a plate, and we shared it.

After this, we did a bit of window shopping at a nearby frame shop. They had some cards that she really liked, as well as some frames that were quite interesting. This is exactly the kind of thing she likes to do: browse funky little shops. Then we headed to another part of town she loves, again an area that she could not ever be seen with the adulterer. We had coffee at a favorite coffee shop there. There is a grocery store nearby this coffee shop that had recently closed. This is sad: one of our early “fake dates” (we were just friends, but there was definitely something more happening) happened when we were driving around and I told her about this grocery store that had opened — an upscale, gourmet store — and we both decided to go check it out.

Did I ever mention that my wife was the one who pursued me? She was merciless. She wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.

But I digress.

So we had coffee. Cuban-style coffee, to be precise. This place has a little “lovers’ grotto” in it that is quite garishly and humorously painted, with slogans like “besame mucho” adorning that little nook. It was a fine day, and we were happy enough to sit outside. I went inside to order, she sat outside and “Facebooked.” This seems to have become an obsession with her. Remember, I am blocked from her Facebook profile; I could, however, see that she had posted pictures recently, including one titled “oohs and aahs.” Not that I was peeking or anything, it was basically impossible to miss. At any rate, we sat outside and enjoyed our coffee. So far, so good.

After this, we headed to yet another part of town she likes — one in which we had an early “fake date” — and checked out a gourmet provisions shop. You know: gourmet mustards, olive juice (for cocktails), white balsamic jelly, and other arcane stuff only a gourmand would want. Heck, only a gourmand would spend $25 for a small jar of white balsamic jelly.

I had earlier broached that we needed to have a “business meeting;” she took this to mean that I wanted to discuss her previously stated desire to get out of our cell phone contract and other minutiae. I told her we could speak of it later. So we came home. The dog went crazy with joy at seeing my wife. We began to talk about financials. Things got a bit contentious. I defused the situation, allowing her to come out on top, to feel like the “good guy” who could help out in our situation a bit. Then, inspiration struck: I asked her if she’d be willing to have another session with my counselor. I’m not quite sure why I asked this; I guess I just felt like it would be a good idea to have her agreement, were she willing, in case I might need it sometime soon. She agreed. She asked me if my counselor is helping me, and I assured her that he was. In fact, I speak with him less and less, as I don’t really need guidance most of the time. She did say, “I’m not going to change my mind.” Of course, she had to say this: he really got under her skin during our last joint session, and she desperately has to defend her poor life choices. I’m not sure how this is possible, since she seems to be drawn inexorably back to me, more and more, each time I see her. So, I just ignored that comment. (Note to those of you who are in similar situations, i.e. dealing wayward or obstinate spouses: just ignore what they say. They’re trying to throw you; there’s no credibility to the things they say.)

At this time it was getting a bit close to a lesson she had scheduled with a student. She had already told me she wanted to have some seolleongtang, and there is a restaurant that specializes in this dish about 15 mintues from our house. I had offered to take her there, so I told her I’d drop her off at the student’s house, and then pick her up an hour later so we could set off for dinner. That’s what happened next. I dropped her off and later returned. We headed for the restaurant.

There was nobody there at all when we arrived. There is a wide-screen TV that faces the entrance of the restaurant, and my wife had always liked to sit facing that TV so that she could watch the various Korean dramas and TV shows that they show on it. She did the same this time, and I jokingly bum-rushed her to the seat she wanted, telling her that I was going to be the entertainment, not the TV. She did get her coveted seat, but she only watched the TV to get a rise out of me. Otherwise, we had a great time.

Then, we headed back to town. She had told me that she was getting a sore throat, and it dawned on me that I had some throat coat tea at home — one teabag to be precise — so we stopped by there to pick that up. I also picked up the dog, so that she could come along for the ride. We stopped by the bank briefly, and were about to head to the place that my wife was staying at, when she sort of indirectly expressed that she wanted to hang out some more. This wasn’t overt, but more that I suggested we could do something else, and she said, “but you must be tired.” I told her I was fine, and with that we headed out to get some gelato. Again, we had a great time. Our dog is a big hit with people for a lot of reasons, and we can pretty much count on people coming by to say “hi” to her. We shared a gelato from the same cup.

Okay, I italicized this, but this is not new: we’ve done this a few times in the past couple of months. I highlight this to illustrate the complete illogicality of the wayward spouse. Supposedly, she is on a “new path” that would exclude me in favor of some better person, yet she still does things that she would only do with someone with whom she is on intimate terms. So we had gelato. It was good. Then we went on to a nearby grocery store to get some flowers for the woman with whom she is staying. I helped her to pick them out. I dropped her off at the colleague’s place.

The next morning we met fairly briefly to get some financial documents notarized. Nothing major, just some odds and ends that needed to be taken care of.

And that was it. I likely won’t see her again until next Wednesday.

This reconciliation stuff gets tiring. I’m pretty certain that if I could see her every day we’d be reconciling, like, tomorrow. But she does have the logistical advantage right now. Despite that, I am still making headway. Let this be a lesson to anyone considering divorce: there is another, far superior way: it’s the path of wholeness. It is worth making the sacrifices needed to bring about reconciliation. I do believe the universe rewards that far more than it does those who would choose the path of destruction.

I seek to be whole. I think my wife does, too. Even if her ego attempts to blind her of this, I’m sure her heart knows it.

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The “lone ranger”

I came across this article on Marriage Sherpa today, and it illustrates a basic principle in the marriage reconciliation process: it does not take two to tango. You can absolutely reconcile a marriage, even if only one person is willing to do so. Trust me on this: I’ve been doing it for months now. I still haven’t reconciled my marriage yet, but I do believe that now I am closer than ever. (There have been some late-breaking developments today that I will write about once I’ve got a bit of time to decompress.) My situation is a bit complicated, to be sure, but then again, all marriage reconciliation cases are complicated to some degree.

The reason I think this article is significant is that it flies in the face of much of what is on offered form the marriage “counseling” community. It would seem as if many marriage counselors would more aptly be called “divorce counselors,” as their practices seem more likely to lead to divorce than to reconciliation. Indeed, some I’ve come across seem to be out there mainly to help distressed spouses find “closure” (which, in my opinion, is one of the most bogus terms out there) on their way to finally destroying their marriages. That situation is really quite shameful, so it is good to know that there are at least a few honest souls out there who are sticking up for marriage.

I’ve been lucky to work with a couple of them. My counselor (whom I’ve never met in person, by the way) begins from the premise that you’re married, and you’re going to stay married. This is a very different starting point than the majority of counselors who seem, at best, to be marriage-neutral.

So, what of the reference to the “lone ranger”? Simple. That’s what those of us who follow my marital reconciliation path (Marriage Fitness) are called, if we are doing it on our own. It’s a tough path, but it is doable. The biggest part of the fight is getting the obstinate spouse to wake up enough to see that it would make perfectly good sense to join you on that path. Once they do, things can really fly; getting to that point, however, can be lengthy and require much endurance and stamina.

Anyway, stay tuned for my next update. I had a very positive day today with my wife during her weekly visit. I’m close to cracking that nut wide open — but first the affair fog needs to lift.

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