First Contact

Ah, yes, how the mighty have fallen.

I used to be the king of positive contact. I would have week after week of positive interaction with my wife on the limited occasions I’d get to see here. I could boast of several months in a row of positive trending. Week after week I continued to build goodwill.

All of that changed on August 8, 2012. I had two phone conversations with her; the first one was a bit short, and the second one was long and quite negative. It began a phase of silent treatment in which my wife shut off her cell phone and tried to close all avenues of contact. Of course, I did my due diligence and found other ways to reach her. But the fact remained that she tried to shut me out for over a month.

So this mighty marriage warrior, who once boasted of all these positive contacts, is now regaling you with a much smaller-scale victory. She called me today. Okay, she had to. She wants to have the dog for the next week. I’m totally okay with that. The dog has been with me for an entire month. This was not my choice, but rather her negligence. It has truly been an anomaly. She made no effort whatsoever to try to pick up her dog, and so she just stayed here week after week. She finally emailed me earlier this week to see if she could have the dog for a week, and my response was simple: “Call me, and let’s chat.” That’s right, we can conduct this business over the phone.

I dropped her an email with a video in it (this is the only way I can get positive contact these days) and she emailed me back about 3 minutes later to say she would try to call tonight. I did try to call her a couple of times today, but her cell phone was off. This evening, after I got home from work, I discovered that she had it turned back on. I left a message — her voice mail box was no longer full. And lo and behold, she did actually call me back. We have arranged for me to stop by her colleague’s house tomorrow morning, where I’ll be dropping the dog off. We also have tentatively agreed to have coffee.

Something is up, folks; something is really up. I don’t have much of a sense for the state that she’s in, but I think it is not good. There has got to be problems by this point. The affair is quite likely starting to break down, although she would be the last one to admit it. Not that an affair looks like anything drastic as it begins to break down; instead, I suspect it just looks like a “normal” relationship becoming normal. That is, the problems that arise in any relationship once the infatuation wears off have likely started to come to the fore. You know, the annoying habits, the crass choices of words, the impatience with little foibles, and so on. While these are tolerable in a healthy marriage, they can begin to spell doom for an unmarried partnership, and they absolutely foretell the death of an affair.

You see, in a boyfriend-girfriend situation, there is really nothing to keep you vested in that relationship once these problems arise, so after a time those relationships tend to end, with both partners feeling “out of love.” Affairs are different, though. Affairs begin with lies and deceit, and poison the very ground upon which they are built. They utterly lack in trust and mutual respect, and are founded upon the most flimsy and superficial of pretenses, e.g. “my mister/mistress completes me; he/she is perfect.” That’s right, they say this stuff. The affair partner fulfills those two or three things that seemed to have been missing in the marriage, and that’s what makes that person “perfect.” But what about all those other dozens if not hundreds of things the spouse actually was providing? The affair partner has absolutely no chance at providing those, and it’s a good bet that there are a lot of essentials on that list. You know, things like trust, feelings of emotional safety, true understanding, and so forth. When the infatuation wanes, so does the attachment to those two or three things that makes the affair partner “perfect;” in their place arise the dozens if not hundreds of foibles and personality faults that will destroy the affair. These had always been there, but just hadn’t been noticed, or were conveniently ignored.

My wife has been at this affair for just over eleven months. She has been living with this person for just over five months. There has been plenty of time and certainly ample opportunities for the foibles and flaws to rise to the surface, and for the infatuation to have died away, which it almost certainly has at this point. What likely remains in its place is a hollow shell, coupled with the realization that that super-rosy future both partners had envisioned was merely an illusion. From there, it’s a short road to the end of the affair. All it takes is a trigger, and an argument or altercation works just fine for that purpose.

Something tells me the end is near, folks, and that the affair could come screeching to a halt in a mere matter of weeks, if not sooner. And while I might sense that — and especially if my hunch is right — my wife and her adulterer will almost certainly be the last to know. They probably have no idea it’s coming right now.