I’ve been off the grid for a while, due mainly to a retreat I went on recently. It was a 10-day retreat (yep, a Buddhist thingie) that I did locally; I still had work obligations, so there were a few days I missed, but otherwise the retreat had me occupied for about 15 hours at a stretch.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience and, while exhausting, a great way to recharge the batteries of the heart, mind, and soul. I learned a lot. Most of all, though, I learned the value of letting go.
You see, my thoughts and energy surrounding my marital crisis have been, for a long time now, really pretty “tight.” If you’ve read many of my posts, you’ll probably get a sense of that. In fact, I’ve had comments, some via this blog and others via private email, that have said as much. This retreat forced me to loosen that energy, and at the same time it dialed me into the sense that there is much more richness to life than what one can have if one focuses too tightly on any one thing.
So what does “letting go” mean, really? Does it mean quitting? No, not at all. Instead, it means just being okay with whatever happens.
I’ve reached the point at which I truly feel that I’ve done just about all that I can to attempt to bring my marriage to the point of beginning a reconciliation. I’ve learned the relationship skills and have worked tirelessly on bettering myself. It has been, and still is, exhausting at times. But it has been a truly transformative journey. I know that my wife will see and appreciate those changes; right now, she chooses to avoid seeing them.
I had a chat with my marriage “coach” today, the first one I’ve had in about 6 months. I really haven’t needed much advice, since there isn’t much to work with when you’re being stonewalled. His assessment is that I’m pretty much doing all that I can, and that 90% of what I need to do at this point is just to wait. That seems hard, but there really aren’t any other sensible alternatives.
I do keep in mind the statistics that indicate that 24 months is the typical end point by which the vast majority of affairs will have ended. This would mean that my wife has about 5 more months to run on this situation, tops. I do extend hope that this will hold true, but I would be foolish to try to predict the future. However, as we enter summer there are a couple things that are different now than they were last summer at this time, and these could be key in shaking that situation apart once and for all.
First, her concert season has wrapped up, and she has no reason to come into town at all—that is, unless she joins the adulterer on some of his work sites, and I know that she does this. (How often, though, is anyone’s guess; I’m thinking it could be nearly daily, as I think he keeps her on a short leash.) Second, she has filed dissolution papers. These two things added together put her on an island of her own making—an island with the adulterer, a place where she gets to see if this really is something she wants for the rest of her life. I seriously doubt that she does; from what little I have seen and heard, that life and relationship are as juvenile and superficial as ever. It is still a fantasy-land, but reality inexorably does seep into this and any other kind of fantasy. Moreover, it is an island that is surrounded by a sea of dreck that she has created. It is probably the wish to avoid dealing with that dreck—the detritus of spoiled relationships and ruined friendships—that keeps her marooned on that island of immorality. However, the tide of dreck cannot be stopped, and will eventually choke them both off that island and back into the sea of, well, reality, which includes all that dreck that has been produced over the past year and a half.
So, I basically go on living my life; I reach out as I always have, and then I let it go. At night I can sleep well because I have a clear conscience. During the day I can live my life fully, because I have an open heart. She is welcome to join me at any time.