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.