Becoming the other man

I know the title above is a bit of a strange one to give a post. It could also be read a number of ways, e.g. 1) I am turning into the “other man,” as in acting just like him; 2) “becoming” could be read as “befitting,” as in “actions becoming the other man,” or 3) I am literally becoming the “other man” in this equation. Yes, this is a bit logical and perhaps too over-reasoned, but that’s how my mind works. Of the three possibilities, I’m really talking about #3, and in a way it’s a good thing — a very, very good thing. Allow me to explain.

My wife was in town yesterday for the second day of her typical weekly two-day stay. I saw her the day before yesterday, and gave her a ride downtown. This triggered my rant about various suspicions I have about what she’s doing, pretty much all of which are still unsubstantiated right now. As she was getting out of the car on that day, I asked her out for coffee for the following morning, and she gave me a non-committal answer.

Yesterday morning I got a more definitive answer. I called fairly early, and asked her out. My call went straight to voice mail, and I heard nothing back for a couple of hours, so I just went about my day. She called me as I was in the midst of some mid-morning errands. I was a few miles from where she was staying, but we agreed to meet about an hour later after I’d had the chance to take care of the errands and feed the dog.

So it was that at around 11:00 a.m. I showed up at the house that she was staying at. She looked very tired, her eyes were puffy, and her energy was very low and pretty negative. This is more or less what I’ve become accustomed to. I brought the dog along with me, since she is committing to going another week without seeing the dog, and she seemed very appreciative of that gesture. She asked me to take her to the mall — she had bought some sunglasses, and the acquaintance she was staying with had given her a coupon that she was going to try to apply toward then — so I complied and we drove off toward that destination.

I dropped her off at the mall and went home for a few minutes to deposit the dog back at home. She had left her bags in the trunk, and I took the larger one with all of her clothes into the house. Not that I was up to anything devious, but I figured I had a golden opportunity to stage a gift in it. Problem was, I had no gift planned, just a card I’d picked up that morning. I put a silly note in the card and slid it into her bag; then I thought I’d take one of the pictures I’d given her before that she had left behind and put that in her bag as well. I was trying to make it fit when I came across a sheaf of papers in a clear plastic folder. The front sheet said “CONTESTED DISSOLUTION”. This sent me into a bit of a panic. Yes folks, I did snoop a little bit this time. She had all the paperwork right there, but it still wasn’t ready for filing. There were post-it notes all over it in someone else’s handwriting, along with instructions, e.g. “once you have this filled out, file it in room XXXX”. She appears to have talked to a clerk or some sort of paralegal counsel a couple of weeks ago at the courthouse.

Okay, so having found this, I began to rethink my plan. I calmed down a bit, and decided not to give the picture — that would have to wait. I also took the card out of her bag, as that seemed like it would be a bad idea. She had another bag in the card, some pillows she had bought, and so I slipped the card in there. As I was driving back to the mall, I thought better of that idea, too, and took the card out and put it into my bag, with the intention of just giving it to her later somehow.

I picked her up at the mall, and she then asked me to drop her by a client’s house. She would be teaching there that afternoon, and had gotten permission to leave her bags there so she wouldn’t have to carry them around. I obliged, and we set off for that house. On our way there, we decided to think about having lunch. We left the bags at the client’s house, and then went to a French bakery for lunch. We used to go to that bakery fairly often, but she had not been there since this crisis began. Quite suprisingly, she offered to pay for lunch. We had a pretty nice time: no serious talk, just casual chit-chat. I noticed something odd, though: I looked very closely at her face, and particularly at the spot right between her eyes, and it was like I could see her whole world. She struck me as very confused, very tired, and very clouded in terms of her energy. Her eyes showed a lot of pain, and it seemed as though she had been crying a lot. In all likelihood, she hadn’t cried recently, and perhaps not for days, but the area around her eyes had the appearance of having been stained by tears somehow. Her skin tone was a bit yellow, too, which gives me some concern about the overall state of her health. This is what we can drive ourselves to as humans, in the search of “happiness.”

As we finished our lunch, she asked me if there were any good place to buy rubber stamps. She is really getting into them, and my gift last week definitely provoked her to think about it. She asked about the shop where I bought that gift, and I offered to take her there. She was a bit resistant, because it’s downtown and kind of a hassle to get there and find parking, but I just said, “come on, let’s go,” and off we went.

The moment she saw the store, she remarked that it was “really cute”; my response was, “you know, I do know what you like.” I told her I was going to buy a birthday card for my sister; we are twins, and I wanted to see if my wife had thought about my birthday at all, which is coming up this weekend. Not only had she not thought about it, she had totally forgotten the date. This is kind of incredible to me. She never forgets those things, and we’ve known each other for about 10 years now. I have spent most of my past 10 birthdays with her as well. How could she forget such at thing?

We both made some small purchases, and then she told me she would just take the bus back to her original destination. She was going to hang out at another shopping mall that is fairly close to where  her clients live. I offered her a ride there instead, and she accepted. I decided on the way there that I would just hand her the card that I had bought, and so as we were approaching that destination I casually said, “Oh, I have something in my bag that I need to give you; please don’t let me forget.” Anticipation is a good thing. We got to the shopping center, I pulled over, and handed her the card as she was leaving. I tried to give her a kiss, but she was leaning out of the car, so I just sort of made silly kissing noises by her shoulder. This made her giggle. Then off she went. It was a very good departure.

There were a few text exchanges after that, and they were all positive. I texted to thank her for lunch, and to let her know that I had a great time hanging out. She texted back to thank me for driving her around, as it made her day much easier. I replied by saying that I’m always happy to help. Then, later that evening — much later, in fact; it was around 11 p.m. — she texted me to thank me for the card. This is very, very significant, folks. As far as I know, she was back in the house of the adulterer when she texted me. He is a morning person, is up at the crack of dawn, and had almost certainly gone to bed. If I’m reading the situation right, she waited until he was asleep to text me.

Do you get what I’m saying here? I am the other man now. Yes, I am her husband, but she doesn’t believe that she is actually married right now. She has to have that flawed belief in order to commit this affair. The adulterer is her primary partner in her eyes. So what am I? I’m the other guy she is cheating on him with. That’s right: she is cheating on him, and she’s doing it with me. In reality, she isn’t cheating, she’s just being with her husband. But the reality is almost certainly that she is hiding all of this from him. I seriously doubt that she told him that she had spent three hours with me, that we had lunch, I took her shopping, and so forth. And I’m almost positive that she will both keep the card and hide it from him. These are the things that tug on her conscience and that will bring her back to me. It’s pretty much a lose-lose situation for her: she can’t be honest with him, and she can’t be honest with me. The only workable solution is for him to disappear from her life and for her to return to me. And that’s what’s going to happen. Just how soon I am not sure, but I am sure it will happen.

I did mention above that we spent about three hours together yesterday. Here’s the really interesting thing about that: I changed her energy. When I picked her up, she was dark, somber, tired, and very negative. When I dropped her off, she was bright, cheerful, and giggling. Her energy was back to pretty much what it used to be like before this crisis began 7+ months ago. That is very significant. I don’t know how the adulterer makes her feel, but I’m pretty sure that I make her feel even better. I have the power to heal her heart and all of her wounds. She just needs to come back and join me in the process of reconciliation.


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