Talking to Lawyers, Part II

It’s only Wednesday, and it’s been an eventful week. Not exactly full of the kinds of events I’d prefer, but eventful nonetheless.

On Monday, I had an appointment with an attorney to look over my response to my wife’s petition. It was a bright, sunny day, the kind that makes one glad to live in this part of the country. I had to drive downtown to get to this attorney’s office. The reception area was on the 41st floor — I didn’t even know that there were many buildings downtown that had so many floors. The view from the office lobby was spectacular: panoramic views of mountains and water. The attorney was running a bit late, but we eventually had a brief consult. Her office, as it turned out, was on the 42nd floor. This was a suite in which various businesses and contractors rent office space. It was a small, modest office, with no window views whatsoever. The attorney was very nice, and offered a bit of practical advice. The upshot of our conversation was that it would not be difficult to drag this litigation out just by complying with deadlines. Basically, once the response is filed, there would be no further deadlines until July, and the documents that would need to be filled out would have to originate from my wife.

I did end up filing my response with the court yesterday. I then had to have the document served, and this proved difficult. My wife is not only incommuncado, but is also uncooperative and in hiding. Yes, that’s right: in hiding. That’s how ashamed she is of her choices at this point. She is avoiding any and all contact with me — a person who would never mean her any harm whatsoever. She had listed her colleague’s address — the colleague with whom she had been staying on her visits to town — as the place she wanted the papers served. So, I obliged. I asked a friend to serve these, and this friend was willing; I chose the friend because she has a very open and genuine way with people, and most certainly would be able to put the colleague at ease. This friend also happens to be a practicing Buddhist, and emotionally is a very balanced person.

I originally proposed having the documents dropped off around 8:30 in the evening, but the colleague said she would not be home; I offered to have them dropped off earlier, and was informed that she would not be home until 10 pm. The colleague had a couple of exchanges by phone and email with my wife regarding protocols and practicalities. She suggested my wife contact me, but of course, she refused. There seemed to be some acrimony. Now, mind you, I have made Herculean efforts to build goodwill with my wife, and have done virtually nothing to cause anger or acrimony in her heart. Whatever she is feeling is more or less nothing more than the product of her own guilt.

Eventually, the time was set for 10 pm, and the friend was still willing to help out, so we headed over once that hour arrived. I brought the dog with me. My emotions were very even: no nerves, no pain, no guilt, just mindfulness of the reality of the task at hand. The papers were dropped off, along with a card for my wife (basically telling her that I did not want this, and offering a brief but open and honest message). The friend returned to the car with a bag that had some containers in which I had dropped off food for my wife and the colleague a week or so ago. These had been washed for return to me. I had no idea how these containers would affect our dog, though.

After returning home, the dog began to pace around the house and cry. This lasted for at least a half an hour, and I could not initially figure out why — until I realized that the dog could smell my wife on those containers. I let her sniff one of them, and she then went off around the house looking for my wife. It was really quite sad.

Today I was to drop off the return of service form at the clerk’s office; little did I know that they close for lunch. So, that task will have to wait until tomorrow. My wife should be picking up the response any day now. I suspect sparks will fly up there at Camp C-S. My wife basically provided me with a petition that pretty much obliged me to disagree, thereby causing this to drag out as a process by itself. Her secretiveness and refusal to communicate with me led her to either fail to specify information, or to assert certain information to be true that I cannot verify. What’s potentially worse for her, vis à vis the situation at Camp C-S is that she has laid herself open for the blame game to commence: the adulterer can now blame her for this process appearing to backfire.

My guess is that it could be a bumpy ride up ahead, but those bumps could be severe enough up there at Camp C-S that my wife could either bail out of that vehicle that is traveling that path, or be ejected outright.

Where I’m At

Things for me somehow seem to be coming to a head, and I’m not sure why. There are the outward signs: I’ve got a response to file next week, a meeting with an attorney (please feel free to donate to that cause) in a few days to get that response ready, and a family law “orientation” to attend tomorrow morning, provided there is space available. I’ve also got a spouse who is pushing back harder than ever, and who is trying to hide even more than before. I won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that, when the experts say that “it always gets worse before it gets better,” this really seems to be true — universally true. I can understand why so many people end up divorced, because they just don’t understand the signs or the basic psychology behind those signs. Instead, they react instinctively by defending their own ego narratives, and that creates a downward spiral from which recovery is extremely difficult.

I’ve been thinking about my situation, and where things seem to be at, and I kind of feel like I’m at a watershed sort of moment at which things are internally shifting for me. Perhaps it’s because of events of the past few weeks, or perhaps it’s because of some complex network of other factors, but at this point I find myself letting go. Somehow, this seems to be a critical juncture.

Letting go does not mean giving up. It does not mean failing to hold a vision of a better future. It does not mean throwing away aspirations and prayers. Instead, it means letting go of the uncontrollable.

I cannot control my wife or her decisions. I cannot control her emotions or her reactions. I cannot control her thoughts or her panic attacks (which I’m quite certain have returned for her). I cannot control her impulsivity or her reactivity. I cannot force her to come home, and I cannot force her to end her affair. I cannot force her to drop her legal proceedings, either.

The only things I can control are my own actions and intentions. That’s it. This knowledge has always been there, staring me in the face, but I’ve only recently realized what this means. And, quite counterintuitively, it means that there is power that can result from this realization.

An action taken with an impure intention is impure, no matter how it appears. Heck, I’ve known this for years; it’s Buddhism 101. A vision held too tightly will suffocate. An aspiration that is not released will go nowhere. An act of love that has any kind of boundary is not an act of love at all.

When those limitations and impurities are taken away, all those actions, visions, aspirations, and acts of love begin to carry true power. They become imbued with the most powerful force in the universe: love. It is the basic state of our existence.

People who casually hear of Marriage Fitness often don’t understand these basic facts about the program. The two most basic tenets are to “put love first,” and to “be the spouse of your partner’s dreams.” They often mistake its “techniques” or “practices” as things that are part of some program. A “talk charge,” is not part of some program; it’s something that you should have been doing from day one of your marriage. You likely were, too, but then at some point you stopped. A “date night” is not a part of a marriage-saving strategy; it’s something you should have been doing at least once a week during the entire course of your marriage. You probably did these early on, but then the reality of life took over and you stopped doing them. A “business meeting” is not part of some “expert’s” scheme to fix distressed marriages; it’s a critical skill that all married couples should use from the moment the honeymoon ends. They are common-sense things that are just uncommonly done.

And that’s where the problem lies: you stop doing these things, and the love dies. You stop “putting love first,” and instead, put it second, third, or fifteenth. So long as it’s not first, it will dwindle and fizzle out.

That’s when the justifications and prevarications begin. “We weren’t compatible.” “She changed.” “We just don’t belong together anymore.” Sadly, there is a very real element of truth to all of these statements. No two people are ever compatible. No person on this earth does not change. And two people who have not learned how to keep their love alive probably don’t belong together anymore.

But, when one person takes the initiative to put love back into first place, and when that one person does some profound introspection and changes the behavioral and personal habituated patterns that were undermining the marriage, then the relationship can heal and become whole. It doesn’t matter if the other spouse is having an affair, has separated, filed for divorce, is stonewalling, or whatever.

I’m going to repeat that statement, because it does seem outrageous: It doesn’t matter if the other spouse is having an affair, has separated, filed for divorce, is stonewalling, or whatever. What matters is how you love your spouse. If you love your spouse totally and completely, and manifest that love without conditions, and if you take full responsibility for all of the things that led that spouse to have an affair, to separate, to file for divorce, to stonewall, or to do whatever else, then you heal that relationship, bit by bit.

It is a process. It is a slow process, a very, very slow process. Relationships do not turn around quickly when they are truly distressed. Affairs take time to end, and spouses that separate need time to get over their egos enough to give love another chance. It could take months, and a lot of them. I know of many reconciliations by this point, and few of them got there in under a year; most seem to have taken something more like 18-24 months.

Love doesn’t have any problem with that.  It has all the time in the world and all the space in the universe. It does not need to endure, because it has neither beginning nor end. Love has no expectations or conditions. It does not need to let go, because it has nothing to hold on to. It has no reference points of self or other. Love just is.

My experience of “letting go” seems to be one of realization of this fact: love just is, so let it be what it is.


Talking to Lawyers

Interesting fact: I’m in my mid-40s, and I’ve never needed a lawyer for anything in my life.

Sobering fact: As of April 4th, all that has changed.

Since my wife filed and had me served, I ended up needing to get legal advice. Now, our marital crisis has really been difficult on me financially, and paying thousands of dollars for a retainer really was not on the agenda. I hope that it never will be. (Click this link to see how you can help.) So, being on a limited budget, I had to do quite  a bit of research to find legal advice that would not cost me an arm and a leg.

I had a brief phone consult with an attorney who does “low-bono” work. This means that her fee ($200 per hour; sheesh, where do lawyers get off charging that much?) would be cut in half. We set up a complimentary, 30-minute consult for early next week; she assured me that, even though it would happen only a few days before my response needs to be filed and served, there would still be “plenty of time” to do all that. She also recommended that I consult with the county bar association, which runs the largest pro bono legal clinic in the country. I had already contacted them that same morning, and had a consult set up for the same evening.

I went to that consult and waited for about 45 minutes. The attorney who helped me was a very nice young lady, probably about 10 years my junior, who primarily does work for non-profits. She had some experience with family law, but was not terribly experienced. However, there was a family-law “mentor” who would be available by phone, should we need more guidance.

I started by telling her that I simply wanted to drag the process out for as long as possible. We went through my wife’s petition, clause by clause, and figured which parts could be admitted, and which could be denied. In this process, we discovered a real oddity: my wife had failed to file two pages of her petition. This seemed quite random: there were two pages that were just missing. These appeared to deal with custody issues (we have no kids, so it would hardly be relevant) and then “other” issues; without her responses, I was at a loss as to how to respond.

So, the “mentor” was called. This attorney turned out to be a woman who had over 30 years’ experience in practicing family law. She was all business, and her message was mostly business, and not that positive at that. She claimed that there was “no hope” if my wife had been separated for a year. I guess she had never seen a situation like that turn around; I, however, have personal knowledge of many such situations turning around, because one spouse made all the effort in bringing about the changes needed for such a turnaround. She began to advise me about all of the possessions and monetary issues I should state, so that my wife would get this divvied up at a later date. She did not seem to understand that I simply do not care about these material or financial matters. My wife could have everything, really; it would not matter to me. You cannot put a price on a human relationship.

Overall, the session was only moderately productive, and I walked away with a few nuggets of decent information. I was encouraged to go to the county courthouse to check my wife’s original filing to see if those pages were missing from the original as well; they were, in fact, missing. I guess the clerks do not care if you file accurately or completely; they just take your money and put a stamp on the documents. In the end, I was able to craft a rough draft of a response, but I simply would not feel comfortable submitting this without having an experienced attorney vet it. I plan on having that consult next week, and having that (or perhaps some other) attorney produce the final response for me.

What is really critical for me at this phase is that I make my response about the errors and omissions of fact in my wife’s petition, and not at all about any financial issues. I will also be challenging her allegation that our marriage is “irretrievably broken,” which is absolutely ludicrous on its face. Then, the whole dang thing will get kicked back to my wife, and it will be up to her to figure out what to do next.

Basically, it appeared to me that my wife put almost no effort into the actual filling out of these documents, even though she had been sitting on them for over a year. These appeared to be the same documents I had seen in her possession a year ago, and it was visible even from the photocopies that her original responses that she had penciled in at that time had simply been erased and written over in pen. I have the very strong feeling that she really did not want to do this, but was forced into it by the adulterer. And, having been forced into it, I think she made a half-hearted effort, hoping that this would be the magic pill that would make all her problems go away. Moreover, I suspect that the adulterer thought that, by forcing her to file, I’d suddenly “wake up,” or something like that, and then “move on” and “let her go,” or some other nonsense. If he believes that, he’s a fool. What both he and she did through this act was to put an immediate and unceremonious end to the fanatasy. Their situation is now very real. That situation is simple: two adulterers, living together, who believe that they can legitimize the illegitimate through every act of going public, and that that legitimacy could be sealed through this legal action.

Legal action has no impact on immoral behavior. What’s immutable stays immutable. Adultery is wrong, and there is simply nothing either of them can do to make it not wrong. This will become evident in due course.

What remains to be seen is how things will play out once my response is filed and served. I believe that they will both become frustrated and angry. I believe that some of that frustration and anger will be directed at me, but I even more strongly believe that there will be even greater anger and frustration that they will direct at each other. This is a fetid, odious situation that is the perfect breeding grounds for recriminations to fly among the infidels. He will blame her for making mistakes, failure to specify information, and omitting pages from her petition. She will blame him for not providing any help, and for pressuring her into something in which she does not believe. My wife will suddenly experience a marked increase in her stress levels, and her guilt and feelings of bad conscience will be exacerbated. She will likely have trouble eating, will lose weight, and will experience difficulty sleeping. Moreover, the panic attacks that have periodically dogged her since she was a child, and that most certainly have burdened her for the past 17 months, will return with a vengeance, becoming a frequent and most unwelcome visitor. She will have the breakdown of all breakdowns, and a meltdown to end all meltdowns. Yes, this is all speculative, but knowing my wife, most of this is highly likely.

I will conclude again here with an ardent plea for your assistance. As always, your prayers, thoughts, and aspirations are most greatly welcomed and appreciated. I do believe that appealing to the unseen has massive power to effect change.

However, there is the mundane concern of filing this response that is proving to be rather burdensome. My budget for the month was already tight, and this will stretch it even thinner. There were some income shortfalls that resulted from liquidity problems one of my employers was experiencing. Therefore, I would ask you to donate to this blog if you have found yourself moved by anything here, if you have found any of this information helpful, or if you just want to generate some good karma by helping out a fellow passenger on this planet who happens to be in immediate need of a smallish sum that will hopefully provoke my wife’s awakening and movement to reconcile. That sum is modest, and hopefully will not exceed about $200. If you can help, please do. I can assure you that any assistance you might provide will absolutely and immediately be payed forward in some form.

Please click here to see how you can help.

Whom Adultery Hurts Most

As painful as it might seem to be the victim of an affair, you are not the person who is hurt most by adultery. Not by a long shot.

The wayward spouses are the ones that are hurt the most.

They are the ones who are flushing their lives down the drain.

They are the ones who have become walking cliches.

They are the ones who have poisoned relationships with family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances.

They are the ones who think the fantasy can last forever.

They are the ones wh refuse to believe the fantasy is ending when it clearly begins and continues to implode.

They are the ones who lie to anyone and everyone — and especially to themselves — to sustain that illusion of reality, which is nothing more than a farce.

They are the ones foolish enough to believe that a person with loose enough “morals” to get involved with a married person could somehow be a “soulmate.”

They are the ones who deny that all of the available statistics out there on adultery might have anything at all to do with them.

They are the ones who think that their situation is special.

They are the ones who are blind to the humiliation they create for themselves daily by being public about the affair partner.

They are the ones who think that society is too “conventional” and that morality is a personal choice.

They are the ones who inevitably will hit rock bottom.

They are the ones who will have to scrape the detritus of their lives off the floor of the cesspool they have created for themselves.

They are the ones who will look back in shame and agony, and wonder how they could have been so foolish.

They are the ones who will carry that pain in their hearts.

If they are lucky, there will be a patient spouse waiting to help them heal.

Papers Have Been Served

Thursday, April 4, 2013. The blackest of black days. On this day, I was served divorce papers.

520 days into this ordeal, 520 days from the start of my wife’s physical affair, I get served papers. That in an of itself completely boggles the mind. I’ll relate my thoughts about this in a bit.

The morning started normally enough. I got up and did my spiritual practice, pretty much as I always do these days. One of my main practices is tonglen, which is sometimes known as “exchanging oneself for others.” In this practice, one takes on the suffering of others and gives away ones own happiness and peace. Last Thursday was particularly difficult, for reasons I did not yet understand. I work primarily with the mental image of my wife when I do this practice, and there just seemed to be upwellings of sorrow and grief. I think I may have broken down crying at some point. Then, as I just wrapping that part of the session up, a mental image of the adulterer popped into my head, and it was surrounded by this pointed, angry sort of energy.

I entered the contemplative phase of my practice, in which I do lojong (mind training) and it was during this that I totally broke down. I had a powerful insight or two, but that’s beside the topic for now; mainly it was just incredibly painful.

I wrapped up the practice and went about my morning errands. I contacted my wife by email to let her know that I’d be taking the dog for a walk at a park nearby the colleague’s house where she was staying, and  invited her to join us. She has not seen her dog for nearly 5 months now. The poor dog misses her, too; she’s walking around the house whining as I write this, and this behavior is not atypical.

Naturally, I heard nothing back from my wife. I went out and stopped by a bead shop on the way to this park. I needed to get some beading cord to repair a mala (prayer beads) I had been making, and found some excellent materials there. I then went off to the park and walked the dog. No sign of my wife, of course. We decided to return home.

We got home probably around 11:00 a.m. I happened to have this past Thursday off, so I was generally going to relax around the house and do a bit of work. I made some lunch, and then sat down at the dining room table to repair the mala.

I had just begun to restring the beads when I saw a dark blue pickup truck drive by the house. Pickup trucks drive by the house all the time, but this one was different. It had a couple of lawn mowers in the back, and it slowed down as it passed our house. In the passenger seat sat a girl of maybe 14 years of age who was looking out the window, appearing to try to verify addresses. Something told me this would not bode well.

I continued to work on the mala.

About a minute later, there was a knock on the door. I hesitated, but went to open it.

There stood a short, somewhat portly man, about 50 years of age. He had a manila envelope in his hands. He asked for me by first name, and I verified that I was who he was asking for. I asked that he identify himself, and he gave me his first name. I knew who this man was once he gave me his name. He then said that he had some papers from my wife that he was to deliver to me. I asked him what this was all about, and he told me it was regarding divorce litigation.

“I’m not getting a divorce,” I said to him. He looked at me and said that the process was already underway. He then faked some compassion and said he would like to hand the papers to me, but understood if I wouldn’t take them; instead, he said he could just leave them on the doorstep. By this point, my pulse was racing and the adrenalin was pumping. I gave him a piece of my mind.

“How do you feel about participating in the destruction of someone’s marriage?” I asked him.

“Well, it seems to me that your marriage was already destroyed,” he said. Yes, that was a cheap shot.

I told him that I found the entire idea of what he was doing to be completely odious. He then feigned empathy, and admitted that he was currently going through the same thing.

“Oh, so you’re also destroying your own marriage?” I asked.

“No, my wife is doing that,” he said.

I asked him what his relationship to my wife was, and he told me that he was the adulterer’s brother. I already knew this from the name he had given me. He then asked me if I knew his brother.

“Well, if I’m not mistaken, he’s the man who had an adulterous relationship with my wife,” I said.

“I suppose that makes your wife and adulteress,” he said. Yes, another cheap shot, this time in the service of defending his brother for doing something indefensible. He suggested that I talk to his brother, which in and of itself was quite a repugnant idea.

I had a few more choice words for him, and he laid the papers down on the doorstep, said he’d be filling out a form attesting that he’d duly delivered the documents. I picked up the envelope after he had left and closed the door. I was really quite angry at this point.

Then, I went back to making the mala. I did not look at the papers for  a while. My hands were still shaking from all the adrenalin.

I eventually did go and look at the papers. They were entirely handwritten. My wife clearly had not secured any legal counsel or guidance. There were errors of fact and omissions of important information. She listed a date of separation that was over two months prior to the date that she actually moved out. She was not asking for anything beyond what she had taken from the house. Ostensibly, this would mean she does not even want her dog, let alone any of the many possessions she left behind. She did not list a single item, just a generic statement of “property in her possession,” stating that I could keep property that was in my possession.” She listed no debts or liabilities for herself, but listed student loans (I’ve got a ton of those) and “any debts in Name;” this latter made no sense to me: it was as if she had just copied it off a website.

What’s even more odd is that she signed the papers in mid-February. She further stated on those papers that she signed them here in town, whereas I can almost certainly attest that she did no such thing: the day she supposedly signed those papers was a Monday, and on Mondays she’s at Camp Chickens**t.

I have a schedule that accompanies all this. We have a court date in late February of next year. The date is actually the same day as my father’s birthday. He will be 83 years old. I do not plan to spend my father’s birthday in court. I plan to take my wife down to my parents’ house to celebrate his birthday with him instead.

So, I have 20 days to file a response. Well, actually about 16 now, as a few days have elapsed. I’ll need legal counsel. I’ve never needed a lawyer for anything in my life, so this is totally foreign territory for me. This ongoing crisis has drained our savings to the point that I could not really afford one, anyway.

It is with that last fact that I appeal to you, dear reader, to please donate to this blog, if you would be so kind. My immediate needs are simply to secure counsel to prepare a response. There is no need at this point for anything more than that. I do not need an attorney to represent me, but rather just to provide guidance and to write a response. My intention is to drag this out for as long as possible. Somewhere along the line, the affair is bound to blow up.

My wife has lived a fantasy for nearly a year and a half now. That’s a fairly typical length for an affair: 15-24 months is a pretty average range. There have already been signs that things really aren’t all that healthy up there at Camp Chicken****. She proffered apologies to me in late November. I saw her with the adulterer a few days later and he ran off and hid. She gave me pushback in early to mid-February, and this would make sense, as it would have coincided with her filling out this paperwork.

Then, I spoke with her a few weeks ago. Her energy was open and genuine, and absolutely nothing like that of a spouse who was going to file. However, she was still in that fairy-tale land of Camp C-S. With this act of filing, that fairy tale ended. Things instantly became real for her, very real. Things have been real for me for nearly eighteen months; now the two of them have escalated their agenda, and that smashes them head first into the wall of reality.

You know what I think? I think the adulterer pressured her into doing this. In fact, I’m almost 100% positive that he did. How do I know that? I feel a bit like Sherlock Holmes, deducing all of this stuff, and then using inductive logic to round out my thoughts. The single most powerful clue here came from the adulterer’s brother when he delivered the papers.

As I remember this, there stood before me a small, broken man, a man with no fixed moral values by which to guide his life. This was a man undergoing the implosion of his own marriage. He appeared to think that this was not abnormal in the least. I suppose it wasn’t for him; he watched his brother go through two divorces, and saw his mother end her marriage as well. He likely has many other friends who are divorced. Not only that, this is a man who thought it not inappropriate to bring his teenage daughter along for to execute grotesquely nefarious duty.

What kind of life lesson is that, anyway? Are these the kinds of moral values a father should be instilling in his daughter? Either he told her why they were dropping by my house, or he lied to her; either way, he was utterly morally wrong to bring her along. This was a massive failure of parenting. I think to my own parents as models. My father would never do such a horrible thing to his children. My wife’s father similarly would never do such a thing. Both of them are men or real moral integrity that runs through every fiber of their being.

This poor, broken man was no such individual.

Moreover, he carried the energy of his brother, and that energy spoke clearly: “In our world, we just quit. We just give up. We just file for divorce and move on.”

To think that my wife could feel comfortable around people like him makes me very sad. I know that she must feel terribly alienated in her heart of hearts. I know she must feel very alone and confused. I know she must feel pressured and fearful. But this path simply is not the answer.

That answer is simple: Come Home. That’s all she needs to do, to come home.

Again, I’m going to close with a sincere request for your prayers and aspirations. Please pray that my wife’s mind clear and her heart open. Please pray that she have an awakening. Please pray that, as a part of this process, the adulterer also has an awakening. This likely will be no pretty process, and will almost certainly involve pain and difficulties for both parties, but it is a very, very necessary process. The pressure of the universe is simply too heavy upon them, and this must explain this motion to file. It is a vain effort to relieve that pressure, which instead will only build. But when an affair starts, it creates a distortion in the energetic environment in which we all live; that environment seeks to right itself, and there is only so long that any individual can fight against those massive forces seeking to right themselves.

And one more thing, please do donate if you can. Not only will I thank you, but eventually, my wife will as well.

The Case Has Been Filed

Today was a black day. It was the blackest day in the history of my marriage, for me, at least.

For my wife, that day of infamy will forever be March 27, 2013. On this day, she went to the county superior courthouse and filed dissolution of marriage papers.

As of this writing, I have been neither notified nor served. So how exactly did I come by this information? Simple: my wife is terrible at hiding her tracks.

I went online this morning to check our bank account balances; I get paid monthly, so the budget always gets tight toward the end of the month. It’s a dance I’ve been doing for a number of months now, and I still haven’t really gotten used to it. Logging on to our bank’s web portal, I found my wife’s checking account to have diminished by nearly $300. In fact, the amount looked suspiciously similar to the filing fee for divorce cases in our county. The transaction was paid by check, and my bank scans these and makes copies available for viewing online. I clicked on the transaction, and up popped a copy of that check, made out to our local courthouse.

This was not a good revelation.

I then went over to the website of our state court system, as they make all of these records available. I input my name, and found the court case. Yes, she had filed. She also filed a confidential information sheet, ostensibly to keep her current address secret from me. There has been a court date assigned already. In this state, court dates for contested cases — which she filed for by default, basically — are automatically approximately 11 months out. Our court date, should this go to trial, is February 24, 2014.

February 24… that’s my father’s birthday. He will be 83 years old on that day next year. You bet I will proactively get that date shifted if I can.

The confirmation of this revelation was definitely not a good thing.

How did I feel? Let me give you a list: betrayed, disappointed, tortured, abused, disrespected, disposable, sad, angry, depressed  — you name it, I pretty much felt it.

It sucks. Big time.

Now, I know there are a lot of people out there in my situation who have been dealing with looming court cases for some time. I guess I have felt lucky that I have not had to walk that path. Now I’m walking that path with them.

There is, however, something tremendously incongruous about this situation. I last spoke with my wife on March 16. This was an unexpectedly positive connection that came on the heels of some pretty unpleasant, business-like exchanges with her via email. The woman I spoke to on that day did not have the energy of a woman who would be filing for divorce 11 days later, not at all. The energy that woman had was that of a person who had walked a very tiring and guilt-ridden path, and who was leaving the door open — wide open — to the possibility of coming home.

That is, I assert right now, the woman my wife still is. So how on earth did this happen? A person with that kind of emotional energy does not up and file for divorce.

I’ll tell you how: the adulterer pushed her to do it. No, I have no proof. However, the timing is really kind of suspicious. It was just over a year since she moved out and about a year since she moved in with him. I can’t help but think that he has begun to tire of her failure to follow through with what must be his pet project of destroying our marriage. I just cannot imagine but that he gave her an ultimatum: file or it’s over.

Really, this is quite, I dunno, insane. I mean, it’s been 17 months already. Seventeen months. In affair terms, that’s advanced senescence, making it the affair equivalent of a 70-year-old. The affair cannot be healthy. If anything, it’s likely on its way out, and this is a rather warped and disgusting ploy to try to keep it on life support a bit longer. I seriously doubt it could last another eleven months.

No, in fact, it’s not unlikely that this will serve as a wake-up call for both of them. How? Well, if I do get served, I’ll disagree with the terms laid out on the petition. That should not be hard to do. She left her preliminary work lying around the house many months ago — over a year ago, in fact, and I saw the one that she took to the courthouse in April of last year to have them check it over. It was riddled with errors. She did not even have basic information, like the financial she would need to file. She has not asked for any of this information, either. Odd that it took her a full year to make it back to the courthouse to try to make it real by filing those papers.

Make it real. Make. It. Real. Hmmmm, let me think about that for a moment.

Affairs are all about fantasy, and not about reality. Well, with this legal action, my wife just made her situation real. Very, very real. And by forcing her to do this (if in fact that’s what happened), he just made his situation real as well. Very real. This adulterer has no frame of reference for a husband who would stand and fight for his marriage after this long. Heck, he was probably seriously confused by my appearance at her concert last December. But really, I do not know what he thinks, nor do I care.

What I care about is getting my wife out of that sick, sclerotic situation. What I care about is helping her return to reality, after having run as fast as possible away from it for the past 17 months. What I care about is making our lives whole instead of blowing them to smithereens. What I care is about love, not hatred. What I care about is honoring our promises, both to each other and to the world. This is the moral path.

So, dear reader, I close with one request. If you feel so moved, please donate to this blog. I haven’t come out with my upturned cap for a long time, because my financial position has taken a turn for the better. Well, while it is better, I simply do not have the wherewithal to pay extensive legal fees, should it come to that. Heck, even a one-time consult with an attorney would probably knock out most if not all of my discretionary income.

Well, actually I have one more request. In my last post, I closed by asking for your prayers. I’m going to do that again. Monetary donations are helpful, and may actually be essential on the mundane level. But it is your supreme aspirations in the form of prayers that would mean more to me than anything. It does not matter what your faith or wisdom tradition is. They’re all equally good. If you have prayer lists you can put us on, so much the better. It does not matter that you might not know my “real” (mundane) name; just saying something like “Rodion and his wife” would suffice. The power of your aspiration will get your prayers sent in the right direction. Please pray that she have an awakening. Please pray that it happen soon. Please pray that the adulterer also have an awakening, and soon.

You can count on me to keep fighting for what’s right.