News from Abroad

This is a story about adultery enablers. Three of them—or maybe three and a half, to be more precise.

As I wrote in my last post, xW did a concert recently with “AE2” (Adultery Enabler #2, the husband of a “friend” who aided and abetted xW’s adulterous relationship almost from day one), as well as with another colleague. Well, there’s more to it than that. That concert popped up on various social media and thus I learned more. It was a low-key affair in a piano store buried deep inside the bowels of a strip-mall complex. Thus, it wasn’t a high-profile gig, and you’d pretty much have to be told about it to even know it was going on. I didn’t go, of course; I had better things to do with my time.

It turns out that xW had another performance scheduled with AE2, but this one was on the other side of the planet. I found out about this one because social media once again plopped this information right in front of me. This time, xW and AE2 had a 20-minute slot on a vanity show in Japan.

Now, what’s a “vanity show,” you might ask? Basically, it’s a non-paying gig that gives you some exposure, but only in a restricted way and to a very limited audience. And, you don’t get to play a vanity show for free: you have to pay to play, in one way or another. xW had to fly to Japan to play this show; that ticket probably put her about $1k in the hole. And, since the performance was not in her home town, she had to get a hotel room as well—probably another $150. Plus the round-trip transportation to this city from her home town, which adds another $100 or so. So, let’s call it about $1250 to play for about 20 minutes. Oh, and there’s also the question of AE2 and who funded his trip—that is unknown.  He didn’t bring his wife (AE1) with him, either. Oh, and did I mention that the adulterer himself, i.e xW’s “husband,” did not go?

Parenthetically speaking, there is also the matter of trust. Does the adulterer trust his “wife,” who is half a world away with another man? Does AE1 trust her husband, who is half a world away with a “friend” whom she knows to be untrustworthy? Does xW trust her “husband,” whom she knows to be so untrustworthy as to have had other affairs in the past? The trust quotient, it would seem, is probably quite low.

This vanity show happened mid-afternoon in a little known recital hall that is located on an upper floor of a multi-story building, so there was very little publicity. The one picture that surfaced soon thereafter, again via social media, was one of xW with AE2, the two of them flanking xW’s old piano teacher, with whom she studied a couple of decades ago. I met this teacher many years ago and she seemed okay, although little would I know that a few years later she would encourage—or at least not advise against—xW to commit adultery. I know about this because xW told me; xW’s mother was dead-set against the affair and they had a couple of bruising arguments over the phone. xW went as far as to say that her mother was a “child” and was “not her mother,” and that this teacher was like real “mother” to her. You know, the kind of mother who actively does not protect her child from destructive, immoral behavior, but rather says “if you want to do this, okay, just go slowly.” Yes, that’s what her teacher told her. I might add that this teacher is now retired and in her 70s and has never married. So, she’s of course the ideal person from whom to get marital advice. Let’s call her AE3.5, as in “Adultery Enabler 3-1/2” because she wasn’t really fully involved in aiding and abetting the affair. She was more like a distant but “trusted” advisor.

Who then is Adultery Enabler #3? We’ll get to that.

I related before that xW took her Instagram feed public recently for some unknown reason. Thus I have seen all of her Japan photos since she arrived. These were very interesting, I must say; it’s almost as if there’s some sort of deliberate Freudian slip that is behind these posts.

Across the bay from the city where she played the “vanity show” sits a small island that hosts a myriad of temples and shrines, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s a beautiful place accessible only ferry, and most visitors explore the island on foot. I know, because xW and I did just that—with AE3.5, who took us there some 12 years ago. It was a beautiful, albeit somewhat rainy day when we went, and we took a lot of beautiful pictures there, of the staircases that lead to temples whose bells you can ring, of the little red Japanese maple leaves that had fallen to the ground in the autumn breeze, and of the tame, petite deer that freely roam the streets. There really is something magical about that place. Yet xW’s posts have odd captions; one extolls the power of the spot where a renowned spiritual master practiced, another extolls the beauty of a flower she captured in the picture. The tone of these captions is a bit hard to describe: at times morally boastful, at others aggressively defensive. Still others carry no captions at all; they just hashtag the name of the place.

Absent from all these pictures is one thing: people.

Did I mention that xW and I took a lot of pictures on this island? Well, we did. And there were lots of pictures of us. I took pictures of her, and she of me. AE3.5 took pictures of the two of us and we of her. Some pictures were introspective, others were playful, but there were people in them—at least in the ones that were truly memorable.

And did I mention that I went to this island with xW? (Yes, I think I did.) I reiterate this fact because it’s extremely important: when you again visit someplace that you had previously been with someone who is significant to you—your spouse, for example—those memories get marked with the presence of that person. They are marked so much so that subsequent visits make you remember what it was like to visit that place with that significant other. I know, because I have gone to places that xW and I visited, and when I go there I remember visiting those places with her. I remember what we did, what she said; but more than that, I remember her presence. I can feel it in my mind and in my heart whenever I go to those places. What’s more, these memories and feelings are involuntary; they just rise to the surface because the place itself triggers them.

You can bet xW was having those memories and those feelings.

A couple of days later, she posts from her family home. The first one, oddly enough, is a picture of the adulterer’s cat. The caption states that she’s missing the cat—not the adulterer, but his cat. The next picture is one of xW and a friend, someone we shall now come to know as Adultery Enabler #3 (AE3). This picture was taken in the living room of the family house, and the two women are holding a picture of xW’s mother, who passed away a few years ago.  The caption muses that the three of them look similar and thus must have a connection at the soul level.

So, what is that connection? Well, let me unpack the story of AE3 a bit. She is a single mother who divorced her husband a number of years ago; she and xW were friends from their school days. She was also one of the biggest encouragers of the affair, telling xW from afar that she was on the right path, that xW and the adulterer were soulmates from a previous life, and all sorts of other morally questionable things. It was largely the encouragement of AE3, along with the tacit approval of AE3.5 and the active engagement of AE1 and AE2, that gave xW the resolve to go forward with the affair. Oh, and there was also AE0—a “friend” who advised her to “go for it” the very morning she consummated the affair—but that’s another story. They’re not friends anymore.

So what does all this mean? Affairs happen in part because people enable them. They can actively encourage them, or they can turn a blind eye and morally equivocate. When affairs go on at length—beyond the length of time that limerence can last, for instance—then the affair partners have to morally justify their relationship. They justify this to others, and more importantly, to themselves. They do this because they know they committed a horrible wrong and that as a result they are living a life that is at variance with their once-functioning moral compass. This eats away at them, bit by bit, like acid corroding away their soul. To keep things going, they need the approval and encouragement of the Adultery Enablers—the ones who have believed the lies, half-truths, and prevarications, and who encourage them to continue for the long haul down that path of moral corruption. Bad karmas are buried with further negative karmas that are made to conceal or avoid dealing with earlier bad karmas. At some point, the adulterers go really public, more than they ever had before, in search of validation that confirms that 3,000 wrongs do eventually make a right.

But there’s a twist. All karmas eventually ripen, and xW’s are no exception. I learned last week that xW will soon begin working as part-time staff at a college where I have been doing consulting work for several years now. As far as I know, xW has no idea I work there. So, it is highly likely—or perhaps almost completely unavoidable—that our paths will cross at that college, and more than once at that.

This is going to hit xW in the pocketbook. She supposedly works with the adulterer in his business, but I doubt he pays her anything. So, she has a number of gigs here in town through which she makes some modicum of income. All of those gigs are within a three-mile radius of where I live. She has thus far managed to largely avoid having her professional life cross paths with mine, which is not easy because we have the same circle of professional colleagues and friends.

Two weeks from now, that avoidance stops because she chose to take that new gig. Her path of deceit, lies, half-truths, omissions—and, most importantly, of self-deception—will hit a dead end, blocked by massive boulders of truth on which will shine the sunlight of honesty and morality.