Cracks in the Wall of Stone

I don’t know what it is about Fridays. Really, I just don’t know. I’m looking at the past several times that my wife has contacted me, and all but one occasion has fallen on a Friday. These are occasions when she reaches out for some reason, putting a crack in that horrible, stone wall of silence that she has built in the middle of our relationship over the past several months.

This last Friday, I got an unsolicited email from her. She wanted to complain about her checking account balance having gone overdrawn, and simultaneously wanted to blame me for it and to be apologetic about not having any money to make a tax payment that we had due.

In truth, her overdraft was a result of one thing: insufficient funds in her account. I have not been monitoring her account much at all, but I did notice a couple of weeks ago that a sizeable deposit had been made, one that was at least three times larger than any plausible deposit she would have made. I contacted her when I saw this, as there was also a withdrawal from her account that I needed to keep her apprised of. Moreover, I wanted to ask if that large sum of money was in fact hers; if not, I wanted to advise her not to touch it. I also needed to advise her about the tax payment: she offered to fork over her share, and just expected me to handle it, so I wanted to get her permission, or at least to advise her of what I was going to do. I did feel obliged to have her contribute financially on this, as I am very loath at this point to do anything that might further encourage her separation. (That is, if she goes broke because of this separation, that’s okay with me.)

Alas, there was no communication whatsoever. I took the payment for taxes from her account, and then just kept an eye on things.

About a week later, I noticed that she had gone overdrawn. The large deposit was apparently an accounting error, and the bank had adjusted the balance accordingly. However, since she had insufficient funds to cover the tax payment, her account went overdrawn. I saw that, a day later, funds from our joint account were transferred to cover her overdraft.

Thus the topic of her email to me. First, she wanted to complain about the business withdrawal — this was regarding a topic that I’m handling and have told her that I simply will not discuss with her anymore. She seemed, or at least feigned impatience with this situation. Then, her second sentence informed me that  she had asked the bank to transfer money into her account to cover the overdraft. Here’s where it was interesting: she ended that sentence with an elipsis (…), as if to imply some measure of regret.

You know, a lot of people who are trying to reconcile their marriages have a real problem with pushback. Personally, I don’t mind pushback: I see it as a sign of progress most of the time. It’s much harder to get stonewalled, I think. I’ve been stonewalled since the beginning of November, and have been experiencing various degrees of stonewalling since August.

Something must have changed in the dynamic of my wife’s affair in August, as it is hard to explain her sudden turn sour in any other way. And despite a couple of brief spells of warming, there must have been other changes in that dynamic in November, as things went ever farther south then. But, just a month later, at the end of November, she did email me, quite unexpectedly, with expressions of remorse and apology. Again, I can’t help but think that something must have changed in that adulterous dynamic yet again. I saw her at a concert — with the adulterer in tow (who bravely turned tail and fled) — just three days later. Things have gotten much colder since, and once again, I cannot help but think that that horribly immoral dynamic must have further deteriorated.

It’s very hard to read things from a distance and with little to no information, but it seems to me that the adulterer must be some kind of control freak. In fact, I’m willing to lay dollars to donuts that, when this horrible farce is finally laid to rest, I’ll learn from my wife that he was, in fact, horribly controlling, and that this will be one of the final nails in the coffin for their “relationship.”

Why do I say this? Simple: our dog is at home, snoozing away in the bedroom right now. Remember, my wife told me that the only thing she wanted from me was the dog — she didn’t want my money, my possessions, or anything else, just the dog. The dog meant more to her than anything else in this world — except, as it now seems, the affair. Since November, that dog has not been welcome up there at Camp Chickenshit (yup, I went ahead and said it, but it goes along with the “Brave Sir Robin” motif quoted above — see that link, if you haven’t already). Why that is is anyone’s guess, although if I had to take a stab at it, I’d say the following: Our dog is territorial, although not overly so, and I have seen her pee on the floor to mark territory in other people’s homes — including those of my immediate family. She peed right outside the door of the room I was staying in at my folks’ house over Christmas, for example, as if to mark that territory as her domain — which, of course, gets shared with the major domo, i.e. me. I’d imagine she did this at the adulterer’s house, and more than once – and in full view of the adulterer as well. I can also imagine that, due to neglect and lack of attention, she defacated in the house on numerous occasions. Add these likely actions to the fact that her retrieval of the dog obligates her to see me, and suddenly we begin to arrive at a plausible conclusion: the dog represents me, symbolically and practically, and the adulterer just does not want that anywhere in his presence. It’s just too threatening.

So what gives me hope? I mean, after all, it’s been over a year. Conventional wisdom would say that I should just move on, right?

In part, it’s the work of the late Peggy Vaughn that drives me right now. I had been advised by Mort Fertel, the founder of the marital reconciliation program I’m using, that the average affair lasts “anywhere from a few months to a year,” but you know, Mort never specified exactly what that means. Is it a few months to a year from the time the affair is typically discovered, or is he talking about the total duration of the affair? I don’t want to sound like I’m badmouthing Mort, because I do think his program is brilliant, but really the former explanation seems to me to be more plausible than the latter. I mean, a lot of people do not learn about their spouses’ affairs until they have been well underway for a while.

Not me. I learned about my wife’s affair the day after it went physical. This is where Peggy Vaughn’s research comes in: her statistics indicate that affairs run their course in anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, with very few outlasting that latter figure. Moreover, it seems that the average time of implosion (although this comes from another source) is about 15-18 months. My wife’s affair is pretty close to 15 months old now, so that means it’s in the red zone for collapse.

This is what keeps me going: the knowledge that it could all be over any day now. February 1st marks the 15-month mark of that horrid affair going physical; May 1st would mark the 18-month point. It’s almost a certainty that things are unstable by now, and that the fairy tale is finally starting to look like a “normal” relationship, i.e. with all the stresses, aggravations, arguments, and disagreements that healthy relationships would have — except for the fact that this is no healthy relationship. It is a farce, and a sick one at that, and thus cannot withstand those vagaries in the way a healthy relationship can.

There’s a lot to do while one awaits this inevitable demise, and that’s a topic for another post. For now, I’ll sign off and wish you all a good night, and a productive week ahead.