Category Archives: Reconciliation

Glimpses from the Other Side; Or, the Grass Really Is Not Greener

So, I changed my mind. I’ve decided to leave this blog up and running for at least a little while longer. This is because some information came my way this morning that seems to be a game-changer of sorts.

This morning, I had a long chat today with one of ex-wife’s oldest friends. Let’s call her “F” because she’s a friend. She also hails from the same country as my ex-wife. (Let’s call her “xW” to cut the word count a bit.) F reached out to me a couple of months ago because an old boyfriend of hers had died unexpectedly. We ended up having a short but pleasant exchange of messages. Her last message asked me to stay in touch. I said I would, and that was that, or so I thought. Then the unexpected news about my ex-wife ‘s apparent wedding landed like a ton of bricks on my computer screen.  So, I decided to reach out to her.

F had, to my knowledge, been in fairly recent contact with xW.  She, along with another mutual friend (let’s call her “M” because she’s a mutual friend), had visited xW last summer. We talked at length about her recently departed boyfriend, a very kind-hearted soul who had a history of health problems. He also somewhat lacked ambition, and this led F to leave him to pursue her elsewhere.

Nevertheless, they remained very close. He was someone she could always turn to for advice. He saw in her a wife of sorts, to whom he never married and from whom he lived mostly in physical separation. He just did not want any other woman in his life.

F was still mourning his loss. It turned out that she and I really see eye-to-eye about many aspects of relationships, in particular dedication and devotion to one’s partner. The topic then naturally shifted to xW.

F told me a lot of things, some of which I knew, many I did not. I told her a few things that I felt she should know, so that she could convey these to xW if she were to talk to her. For example, I told her about the way in which I was served divorce papers by OM’s brother: he brought his teenage daughter, who helped him find our house but who remained in his truck during the “service” ; he tried to defend his brother by describing my marriage as “already destroyed”; and he responded to my factual labeling of his brother as an adulterer by saying, “Well, I guess that makes xW an adulteress then.” F was really shocked at this and thought the comment quite nasty. She told me that she had met the brother and thought he was, well, sort of a jerk. (For that reason, let’s call him “J.”)

F and M ended up staying for at the adulterer’s place (elsewhere on this blog known as “Camp Chickenshit,” or “Camp C-S” for short) for the evening martial arts practice that was to happen there. J gave some instruction to the visitors and ended up harshly criticized M. (Are you following all the initials?) M had no prior experience and was trying some basic techniques. Thus, J was not very kind. Well, come to think of it, neither is serving someone divorce papers, or keeping a daughter waiting in the truck whiIe daddy goes and delivers those family-destroying documents. Incidentally, J told me during that incident that his wife (let’s not give her an initial, because she only figures once) was currently divorcing him. Surprised?

I also told F how xW had not seen her dog—her most treasured possession—for over three years. F was shocked because she thought that xW and I were even now just taking turns caring for the dog. She actually did not know that I have had essentially no contact with xW since the divorce was finalized nearly three years ago. Therefore, I explained the hostility and nastiness I had received during the divorce process, all of which had seemed to have been driven by the adulterer. (Let’s not give him an initial; I think it’s worth being clear and open about what he does.) There were other details, but you get the idea.

F then told me some things she had learned about the adulterer. First, he apparently has a history of adultery, or “problems with married women,” as she put it. This has included women from his past calling him at home or trying to contact him, and xW either receiving these phone calls or otherwise finding out. xW seems to have denied these as significant, claiming that she could “trust him,” but in reality these were disturbing to her. Second, there was the revelation that OM is not nearly as affluent as he claims to be.  When xW’s mother was diagnosed a couple years ago with an illness that would soon claim her life, xW frustratedly confessed that she couldn’t go visit because she didn’t have the money. “What’s your man doing, then?” F asked her. He had apparently not offered to fly her over there, which to me is shocking.

F also confirmed that the adulterer has had multiple marriages but was surprised to learn that his last one had lasted just under six months. Yes, that’s right—six months, then that wife divorced him. One can only wonder…

In short, it seems clear that there are many obvious problems with this adulterer that xW has apparently chosen to ignore. This of course seems to fit the pattern of the stereotypical “romantic” adulterous relationship; that is, one that is based on limerence.

F also told me some things about xW. In particular, she revealed some of xW’s feelings about me, along with some things she had said. xW was apparently a bit upset with me at one point because she felt that I had believed that she could never finish her graduate degree without my help. (Actually, I never said nor believed this.)

Then, there was a major revelation. After xW had broached the issue of the adulterer’s “other women” and the related trust issues that provoked, F told her, “you know, with [Rodion] you would never have to worry about that.” xW agreed without hesitation.

Wow. It really makes me wonder why she wants to be with this adulterer, and why she has not just run in the opposite direction as hard as she can. This probably shows the kind of emotional intimacy that she is missing in her life with the adulterer and may indeed be longing for.

One final thing that came up was that even though she had seen the “wedding” pictures and commented on them, F actually did not know whether xW had legally married the adulterer or not. She asked, “Do you know if they just did the ceremony, or did they actually get married?” In xW’s home country, religious marriage rituals are just ceremonial; one has to do a civil marriage process to be legally married. My hunch—and it’s only a hunch—is that the adulterer really is not committed and may have opted out of the legal process. Heck, it would be a lot easier for him to cut xW out of his life if there were no legal entanglements. You’d think he’d have learned that from his other divorces.

So, the picture emerges here very much fits the model of a stereotypical emotionally-driven affair. Both partners are limerent, they are ignoring obvious faults, and the straying spouse realizes the value of what she left behind.

This emerging picture also seems to corroborate some evidence that shows that xW was exiting limerence at least a year ago if not more, but was not far enough out of it that the adulterer could reel her back in. Heck, he knows all the buttons to push by now, and this traditional marriage ritual was a dream of hers that we never fulfilled. It also seems that the adulterer  put a lot of money forward—and possibly incurred substantial debt—to make this happen.

So what happens next? Only time will tell. However, once they return stateside, life will become ordinary again. Reality should strike pretty hard soon thereafter, and she will suddenly and abruptly realize that her life has not actually changed. They will together enter the final stage of limerence, and the resentment that characterizes that stage should arise. She already has plenty of reasons to look at him and say, “look what you cost me”; she gave up her marriage, her home, her clients, her money, her dog, and on and on. And he’ll be able to pull out all the bills from that “dream wedding” he arranged and perhaps a “fantasy honeymoon” should that have followed. “Yeah? Look what you cost me,” he’ll say.

Somehow, I feel quite confident that this all of this will lead to their undoing.

This May Be My Last Post

I started this blog in early 2012, shortly after learning of my ex-wife’s affair and shortly after committing myself to fighting for my marriage. I never really intended for this blog to be anything more than an outlet for me to share my experiences in the hope that it might help others. Over time, this blog has been a place of refuge for me; it has been my “counselor” to whom I could air my thoughts and ruminations; it has been a place where I could post sources of help and stories of hope.

It seems my hope has—for now, at least—run out. It seems that today, of all days, my ex-wife got married to the adulterer.

My ex-wife started a virtual friendship many years ago with a woman in her home country who runs a lifestyle and fashion business. They got to know each other first via a blog my ex-wife wrote about our dog; then they connected on Facebook and got to know each other. When the affair started, this woman apparently became a cheerleader for the affair, buying into the idea that ex-wife genuinely was happier in her adulterous relationship—which, I might add, this woman knew was adulterous.

I learned that ex-wife and the adulterer had gone to her home country together a couple of days ago; this woman posted pictures yesterday of ex-wife, her brother, the adulterer, and several others having dinner. Tonight, this same woman broadcast pictures and videos on Facebook of ex-wife getting married to the adulterer in a shrine in her home country.

This came as quite a shock, to say the least.

I know all the statistics by heart:

  • Only 1-3% of adulterous relationships result in marriage.
  • Of those who marry, at least 75% see their marriages end in divorce.
  • Marriages that began as adulterous relationships fail at rates 15% higher than normal in 1-3 years.
  • This figure escalates to 25% higher than normal divorce rates within 5 years.
  • These figures escalate whatever divorce likelihood already exists (e.g. 65% of second marriages ending in divorce).
  • The adulterer has been married twice—at least as far as I know. His second marriage lasted barely six months. Thus his third marriage—all other things being equal, which they’re not—is 75% likely to fail.
  • Ex-wife is going into a second marriage which from her side, which—all other things being equal (which again, they’re not)—is 65% likely to fail.
  • They have been together for five years already; thus the likely escalator for this marriage is 25%.

It’s easy to do the math: 75% + 25% for the adulterer equals almost 100% likelihood of divorce from his side; 65% + 25% from ex-wife equals at least 90% likelihood of divorce from her side. The odds for them simply are not good. They never have been and certainly aren’t any better now.

As to what I’ll do next, well, I’m not sure. I still have a lot of her possessions; some of these include gifts from her family. I may just ship them to the adulterer’s house so that she can have them. I still own the web domains for her websites and to my knowledge she still uses them. I may quietly take them down.

She always wanted the wedding in a home-country shrine; we never did that. She finally got what she wanted.

He apparently always wanted a wife from her country because he practices that country’s indigenous religion and one of its native martial arts. He finally got what he wanted.

They both finally got what they wanted.

I do believe in karma and can at least take comfort in the knowledge that whatever negative karma I have committed against her in this life or some other has now been fully repaid. I will never have to suffer the effects of that karmic debt anymore.

However, the fullness of the karmic debt that they have both incurred with me has now reached its apex and that debt will have to be repaid, in this life or some other. That’s how it works, according to the great realized masters of the past and present.

So, I will bid adieu for now to my beautiful ex-wife for whom I fought long and hard with all my blood and tears. She and the adulterer will now have nothing but the winds of their karma to carry them where it may.

This may be my valedictory post, so I wish to thank you all for reading; I wish to thank you for all your kind comments and the sharing of your own experiences; I wish to thank you all for your private messages of good wishes and encouragement.

May you all see your marriages reconciled, restored to full health, and may you enjoy them as they become fuller, happier, and more vibrant and joyful than you could have imagined.

The Grass Is Not Greener

My last post concerned the concept of limerence and the ways in which relationship affairs depend on it. It also concerned the fact that limerence is a physiologically limited condition that simply cannot continue ad infinitum; the body is only capable of producing the euphoric cocktail of hormones and neurotransmitters for so long… then it stops. And when it stops, the affair begins to crumble. It is typically only a matter of time until the affair ends.

In most cases, limerence lasts anywhere from three to 36 months; on average, it is said to last from a year and a half to three years. This is why most affairs fall apart by the end of three years. My ex-wife’s affair is now four and a half years old and thus is a statistical outlier. There may be many reasons for this duration, including the fact that, right around the three-year mark, her mother became terminally ill. This understandably could have taken over all other concerns, including what should have been an affair teetering on the brink of collapse. Indeed, I learned of my former mother-in-law’s illness at the beginning of last year, just a short while after it would have been diagnosed. The friend who told me about this said that she felt my ex-wife was in “survival mode,” as she put it.

I have not had much information about what’s going on up there at Camp C-S. (That stands for “Camp Chickensh•t,” for reasons I wrote about some years ago, and yes, it did involve chickens and chicken feces.) Most of what I have heard would seem to paint a picture of a blissfully happy partnership thriving under ideal conditions—even though the actual pictures that sometimes slipped through the leaky walls would show an ex-wife with a vacant stare and an adulterous partner with a vapid, forced smile. There was just something so unnatural to those pictures every time I would come across them, which was not often.

A couple of days ago I came across some other pictures, but these did not directly concern my ex-wife. The pictures were broadcast quite publicly over Facebook and were advertisements for the adulterer’s daughter’s new business. The daughter is a young woman whom I would estimate to be in her late 20s to early 30s. She lives, like her father, out in the hinterlands, albeit in a different state. She has apparently been married for a few years to a man who, like her, purportedly comes from a broken home that was beset with divorce and other issues. So it was a bit curious that this young lady would be starting a business as a personal coach who specializes in relationships.

The pictures—which appeared rather unceremoniously in my browser window—led to her website, which I visited just out of curiosity. It was clear that this business is not more than a few months old and that she does not yet have much of a client base. The descriptions of her services and experience are those of a newbie who is trying to put her best face forward, trumpeting her “successes,” limited though they may be. Only two cases are mentioned, one of which concerned a couple that was on the verge of breaking up. After a consultation with her, that couple decided to get engaged just a few short months later. That kind of success is, in a word, extraordinary.

This piqued my curiosity, and so I looked at a few other pages. Her methodology is not clearly described but what is described seems to focus on a new-age quasi-spiritual approach of somewhat questionable provenance. To her credit, she is credentialed in this approach, even though such credentialing comes from the for-profit concern that its founder created. She appears to teach couples to listen, which is good. But listening alone simply will not fix a broken relationship.

Still curious, I looked at her testimonial page. There were four testimonials in total, three of which come from people closely connected to her: her husband, her father, and my ex-wife. From these last two it became immediately clear that this couple that had been on the verge of breakup—the one whose relationship she “saved”—was none other than her father and my ex-wife.

That told me pretty much all I needed to know.

I felt at once sad for this young lady, because she appears to mean well and to genuinely want to help others. She has been the unwitting victim in all of this, lied to from the very beginning by her father, who ran a fairly elaborate scheme of deception to keep her from finding out who his new “girlfriend” really was when he was trying to pluck her out of her marital home. I do not know if she was ever told the truth about all of this; somehow, I doubt she ever was. Instead, she was probably told some distorted version of the “truth.” And now, she has been led into testing her still-developing coaching skills on a relationship that has virtually no chance of being helped or fixed.

Perhaps that’s why the supposed engagement happened: as a means of sustaining the façade. That, and also as a means of maintaining control. The adulterer is notoriously manipulative; I have direct experience of this manipulativeness. He is probably also trying to keep her in the relationship while the limerence fades. More likely than not, the limerence is already over in my ex-wife’s case, and he is just finding ways to keep her there so that he can hold on to his own limerence, which itself must be rapidly fading. For the past several years, he has had her isolated from friends and colleagues and made her dependent on him for money and transportation . This is not a healthy recipe. Incidentally, in none of the pictures that have surfaced since this supposed engagement does the ex wear any sort of ring. I find that more than a bit curious.

So it seems that it is really true: the grass really is not greener on the other side of the adulterous fence. The wayward gets lured away into a charmed life that turns out not to be so charmed at all. Instead, it turns out to be a relationship that, like any other, has a host of problems. All of the relationship dysfunctions that led to the adulterer’s multiple divorces are almost certainly present, and all of my ex-wife’s relationship dysfunctions that contributed to our marital troubles have also got to be there. Those dysfunctions seem to be very present in recent months, to the extent that they were tearing the two of them apart.

If anything, it seems likely that the daughter’s efforts may have served as a temporary salve to a situation that really cannot and will not heal. There are too many wrongs, too many hurt feelings, too much mistrust, too many lies, too much deception, and too many negative actions. And, if we are to believe what all the experts say about affairs as the limerence dies, there must also be a lot of resentment. The weight of all of this must eventually bring that relationship down.

I have no idea when that will happen, but something makes me feel like it won’t be long.

A Story of True Love and a Humble Request

Imagine a man in his early twenties, young and carefree. He finishes college and goes to live overseas. He returns home after a few years to earn a professional degree and spends another couple of years overseas again along the way. He does not put down roots but seems happy nonetheless.

Now in his early thirties, the young man is in the final year of his degree. He meets a lovely young woman who hails from a land 5000 miles across the sea. They really like each other—the attraction is mutual—but he still has a girlfriend overseas and is trying to get back to her, so nothing happens. Instead, the young woman ends up dating one of his friends.

The young man finishes the degree and shortly thereafter the girlfriend dumps him. The lovely young woman knows he got dumped, but she is now dating his friend. Depressed and unemployed, he toughs it out for a few months and, just before hitting what he think might be rock bottom, lands a job. The job does not pay much and it is a bit out in the hinterlands, but it is a career he loves, so he is content with what he has. The lovely young woman still keeps in touch with him and it soon turns out that she is single. Meanwhile, the young man finally feels ready to put down roots and even entertains the idea of getting married.

He and the lovely young woman are soon together. Theirs is a whirlwind romance and after a few months he realizes that he wants to spend the rest of his life with her—and tells her so. She admits that she feels the same way. A few months after that he asks her to marry him and she accepts. A half a year later, they are married.

Year one begins with the lovely young woman is still finishing her university degree and this obligates their spending that first year of marriage living in separate residences. His home is with her, but he spends a bit more than half the week away, enjoying long weekends together. She finishes enough of her degree requirements that year to be able to move in with him out in the hinterlands.

In year two, they live together in a small house with an enormous yard and a beautiful garden. They have fruit trees and raise all sorts of vegetables. Money is a bit better but it is not plentiful, yet still they are happy. He would regularly come home to all sorts of wonderful surprises she would prepare for him. He loves her dearly, and she him, but neither of them really know how to maintain this marriage they are in. They simply let the love that started their marriage carry them through. They travel abroad to visit her family.

In year three, he fulfills her lifelong wish of owning a dog by buying her exactly the kind of dog she has always wanted. She is over the moon with joy. Again they travel abroad to visit her family. The dog has to stay at home, but is well looked after.

Year four finds our two lovers, husband and wife, facing the apparent reality that love inevitably fades and must transform into something more lasting. They sense this is happening and they feel that their relationship now has to become something more like friends than soulmates. The young man does not feel so young anymore and is tremendously bogged down with work. He begins to withdraw from her emotionally, bit by bit. She stays engaged. Again they travel abroad to visit her family; this time the dog comes along.

In the fifth year, the not-so-young man loses his job as the result of political backstabbing among some of his colleagues. Even so, he makes a trip overseas representing the institution that wants to let him go, and he brings his wife along to visit a place she has never been. However, he is forced into an uncertain job market whose jobless rate officially would hit 9%. With no work in the hinterlands, they spend a lot of savings to moving back to the city. Soon, some sources are reporting the actual jobless rate to be around 26%. He struggles to find work and eventually lands a job that pays far less than his previous one. Nevertheless, they make two further trips overseas: one for her work, and another to visit her family.The lovely young lady has had her youthful optimism slowly drained away and replaced by a more worldly realism. She works to help support the two of them but seems to resent having to do this more and more as the months pass.

In the sixth year, the not-so-young man starts becoming very discouraged, since he feels that the job market will never improve such that he can find better employment. In year six, the marriage starts to unravel, bit by bit. She makes a trip overseas without him because money is tight and he needs to work. Soon after her return, he hears her say to him for the first time that she thinks they should separate. He has seen her have many emotional upsets that have led to other impassioned statements, but never one like this. Those upsets would always blow over and he figured this one would to, and it did. Still, they seem more or less happy as a couple, but looking at their pictures one can see that this not-so-young man looks weary and disappointed with the world. He formally adopts a spiritual path that actually brings him some encouragement.

However, his wife adopts her own spiritual path, which she soon feels to be different from his and perhaps even a source of incompatibility. Nevertheless, the borderline-middle-age man encourages her to truly explore that path and fully supports her in so doing. They visit a shrine connected with her homeland—one they had gone to the preceding year for a new year’s ceremony—and return there several more times over the coming year.

In year seven, the more-worldly-yet-still-lovely woman suggests they move to her country. The borderline-middle-age man agrees without reservation. The woman’s mother sends them information about the possiblity of their both getting jobs at the same institution in a city not far from her childhood home in which her parents still reside. The borderline-middle-age man completes his application but discovers his wife has given up on hers when she realizes there would be complications in bringing along the dog. He tells her not to worry, but tears stream from her eyes when she says that she looked at the dog’s face and realized she just could not leave her behind.

A few months later, the borderline-middle-age man has an interview for a job in another state. Things have become difficult with the more-worldly-yet-still-lovely woman and she states that she would not go with him if he were to get the job. This struck him as rather unexpected but in retrospect seems to be the consequence of their ongoing emotional disconnection. He feels relieved not to get the job, even if it means facing continued discontent with the still-depressed work market.

A couple of months later, they attend a cultural festival at a nearby community college. Representatives from the wife’s homeland shrine are there to perform a ceremony. They are both asked to participate. At a small reception thereafter, they mingle, but separately. She has a conversation with a tall, somewhat-over-the-hill man who looks at her with a rather unholy glint in his eye. The borderline-middle-age man notes this but thinks nothing untoward of it because he trusts his wife. She is worldly, after all.

One month later finds the worldly-but-still-lovely woman contending with a totally unrealistic workload she has assented to—a workload that nearly breaks her both physically and emotionally. They visit the shrine once again and she disappears. He learns later that she went looking for the somewhat-over-the-hill man whom she had met the previous month and with whom she had become Facebook “friends” in the intervening time. Borderline-middle-age man remembers this “friendship” occurring, but thought nothing of it at the time, because she is worldly, after all.

Five days later, the worldly-but-still-lovely woman erupts at him quite unexpectedly. He figures she is under tremendous stress and that it will soon pass, but this eruption is different than anything he had ever seen. She implores him to move out within six weeks. She stops sleeping in the marital bed. He soon would learn that she had commenced regular contact with somewhat-over-the-hill man via Facebook, which she now began to use more frequently and secretively. Borderline-middle-age man begins to feel middle-aged and is facing the reality for the first time in his life that his marriage is in real trouble. He searches for guidance and finds a book that makes a very compelling argument about staying together and working things out. He introduces this to her and she is uninterested. Nevertheless, he orders some support materials that are supposed to help in cases just like his.

At the end of that month, the worldly-but-still-lovely woman goes out for the day and says she might not return; ostensibly she is going to a party and will spend the night with friends. Something about this feels very wrong to middle-aged man. He does not sleep that night. Worldly-but-still-lovely woman returns the next morning looking somewhat ragged and in an odd emotional state.

That night, they have a long, emotional chat and middle-aged man begins to think that maybe things are turning for the better. The next day they spend in the yard, cleaning up the garden. Middle aged-man feels great; his two weeks of horrendous stress from the marital discord seem to be gone. Nevertheless, when he suggests a rather normal partnership situation to his wife, she refuses to consider it. He takes her to a rehearsal and cooks her a nice meal. For some reason, while she’s gone, he discovers that she left her computer on with her Facebook account logged in. There in plain view is evidence that she has been having an affair with somewhat-over-the-hill man.

The details that follow are chronicled in the pages of posts that precede the post you are currently reading. However, I will summarize them here.

Year seven ends with middle-aged man spending his anniversary and the holidays alone; his wife chooses to be with somewhat-over-the-hill man.

Year eight begins and up-and-down reconciliation process that shows much promise and improvement, even though she moves out early in that year, presumably to go live with somewhat-over-the-hill man—a fact that is later confirmed. Things turn south toward the end of the year and she begins to withdraw contact and disappear from his life. This year also ends with middle-aged man flying solo for the holidays and his anniversary.

Year nine sees an apparent turnaround when his wife chats with him on the phone for an hour. The conversation is genuine and cordial, and ends with her saying, “let’s talk again.” Therefore, middle-aged man is quite blindsided when he learns that only nine days later she has filed for divorce. Things become very acrimonious as he continues to stand for his marriage; she is apparently under tremendous pressure from somewhat-over-the-hill man to be done with him once and for all.

Year ten sees things get worse still, and after a few months the divorce is finalized amidst and atmosphere of utter hostility and contempt that appears to be driven completely by the behind-the-scenes workings of somewhat-over-the-hill man. The fact that the whole situation does not spiral into all-out legal chaos is attributable to a mutual friend—a former neighbor from the days out in the hinterlands—who negotiated a deal that kept the hostility from her side at bay. He does not see wordly-but-still-lovely woman again.

Year eleven begins with news from that same mutual friend; she has just seen wordly-but-still-lovely woman, who reported that her mother had stage-IV cancer. Middle-aged man is heartbroken at the news because he knows he can do nothing to help. The year ends with no further news or contact from worldly-but-still-lovely woman, although he does hear through the grapevine that her mother passed away.

Year twelve begins much like the other recent years; the holidays were passed with family, but without the presence of wordly-but-still-lovely woman. The mutual friend contacts him again and invites him over for dinner; he suspects maybe that this friend has some sort of news to report about wordly-but-still-lovely woman. He remembers her promise of twelve years previous that they would spend their lives together. He remembers their wedding vows spoken at the end of that same year, and reflects on the relative meaninglessness of that now-vacant anniversary date. He has been including her in his aspirations and prayers and somehow even reamined hopeful she might awaken from her path of wrongdoing sometime soon.

Year twelve is only seventeen days old as I write this, dear reader. Some of you have followed this blog for years, while others may be visiting for the first time. I learned yesterday, on the sixteenth day of this year, that my wordly-but-forever-lovely woman is engaged to now-over-the-hill man.

This news was unsolicited and caught me unprepared. It felt and still feels like another betrayal, even though I have not seen her now for nearly two years. Her absence does not erase the memories that flood to the fore of my mind whenever I hear a certain song, smell a certain aroma, or am in a certain place that unwittingly reminds me of her.

I suppose I have been feeling as the days pass that the door for my wordly-but-forever-lovely woman to reenter my life was slowly closing. Nevertheless, I have felt truly responsible to her. It is hard to describe why; in a quick-fix society that has little patience for the protracted nature of marital crises, few understand why anyone would stand for his marriage instead of just “kicking the wayward spouse to the curb“ and ending it once and for all. Yet my months and years of standing for this marriage attuned me more and more to the solemn but joyful vows I uttered just over twelve years ago, and to the sacredness of the promise those vows contained.

I do not know where things stand at this point; my mind is still reeling and my heart is still wounded over this latest news. I am mindful of what this news might mean but at the same time am also aware of what the statistics say: only 3% of affairs end in marriage and those fail at the rate of 75%. Over-the-hill man purportedly already has three marriages under his belt; the failure rate of fourth marriages was recently reported at 93%; moreover, marriages beginning in adultery fail at a rate 15% higher than other marriages within the first three years and 25% higher within five years. If those statistics are anywhere near being true, then there is little hope for either of them sustaining any so-called union.

I pray for both of their sake that this house of cards they built implodes before they can get married, because their attempt to consecrate an illegitimate relationship would bring further dose of horrible karma upon both of them. The question now is where I’ll be when this house of cards finally implodes.

This blog has been my outlet and at times my therapist. I have posted freely here through it all because I felt that others might benefit in some way from my relating my experiences. Many have contacted me privately to offer support and even to say that my words have helped them; to them I am grateful for their sincere conmments. I have even privately endured scorn or ridicule from some who felt my actions were ill-advised; to them I did not react, because I do feel that each can and should be afforded his or her position, even and especially if they do not coincide with mine. I would much rather treat them with respect they feel they deserve as fellow beings walking on this planet.

I may shut down this blog, dear reader, sometime in the near future. I am really not sure if and when I might do it, but for the first time in four years closing this blog seems like a reality. I had always thought my final post would be one of joy and happiness in which I report of my still-ever-so-lovely woman’s sudden return. Perhaps that may still be true.

Tonight, however, I would just like to conclude with a simple, humble request. Please remember me in your prayers, and please remember my still-ever-so-lovely woman as well. Please pray that she will see the fog lifted from her eyes and that she will finally leave her path of sorrow and wrongdoing now, before it is too late. The world has enough of suffering without her injecting more of it upon herself and others. And, if you will indulge me, I would like to end with a simple aspiration that I say and ponder often:

May all sentient beings enjoy happiness and the root of happiness.
May they be free of suffering and the root of suffering.
May they not be separated from the happiness devoid of suffering.
May they dwell in the great equanimity, free from passion, agression, and prejudice.


Long time…

It has been nearly 10 months since my last post, and I have had quite a few emails and comments asking for an update. So, I guess I should put one out there right now for those of you who have followed this blog, as well as for those of you who are new or perhaps arriving here for the first time. (That is, if you typed “obstinate spouse” into google, you will still see this blog in the top five hits.) So, here we go.

As I wrote about nearly two years ago, I was served with a divorce petition on April 4, 2013. I fought like hell against that litigation and even had the trial date postponed. In the end, however, the legal system won and a court commissioner — not a judge, but a frail, elderly woman whose job it is to sign off on these things — “dissolved” my marriage on the morning of March 25, 2014. It was one of the most absurd experiences of my entire life and a testament to just how little value this society seems to place on marriage.

The situation was quite acrimonious at the end, and I was obliged to hire a lawyer to fend of some of the crap that the adulterer was trying to throw at me via my (now ex-)wife. I simply was not in the mood for messing around anymore. In the end, I had to agree to a voluntary no-contact agreement, since the adulterer simply felt too threatened by the prospect the I might have any contact with the now-ex whatsoever. My attorney was very shrewd and kept this separate from the divorce litigation, framing it as a voluntary contract that was never filed with the courts.

I walked out of the courthouse around 9:00 a.m. that morning and have not seen or heard from my ex-wife since. In the interim, it seems that the shit has begun to hit the fan in her life from multiple directions.

An old friend contacted me just after Christmas and asked me if I would like to have dinner with her husband at their place. This friend actually did some critical behind-the-scenes negotiation that prevented the final stages of the divorce from getting far worse. She has known the two of us—my ex-wife and me—for over ten years. Because of the profession from which she retired, she is a very keen observer and sizes people up very accurately and very quickly. It seems like, whenever she and I meet—which has been only twice in the past year—my ex-wife has been in contact with her only days before.

Such was the case last Friday when I went over to this friend’s house. She told me that my ex-wife had contacted her only two days before and that a crisis, or rather multiple crises, seemed to be brewing in her life. She first told me that my ex approached her to seek help in editing her doctoral dissertation. She similarly approached this friend for that kind of help over a year ago, in December 2013, and the friend sized up the situation and told her, “if you ever need a place to stay, you are welcome to stay here for as long as you want.” She also told me that she did not know why she said that to my ex, except that she just had a gut feeling that she should because something seemed not right in her life. In the interim, the ex has done nothing insofar as her dissertation is concerned and did not contact the friend again for help.

That is, until last week, when she suddenly materialized again. Help with the dissertation was the ostensible reason for that communication—and we’ll get to that soon enough here. However, it seems she had a more pressing reason to contact this friend. She told her that she had recently been overseas to see her family and that her mother had been diagnosed with stage IV cancer. Her mother was refusing conventional treatment in favor of some sort of herbal remedies or something of that nature. The friend further said that it seems like the ex was in denial about the whole thing, and that it is likely that her family is in denial as well. I do not know anything more about this, i.e. what type of cancer it is, the extent of the metastasis, what her prognosis is, and so forth. However, when I heard this news, it was truly crushing, especially since I am unable to reach out to her or her family at this time.

The friend then told me that the ex was possibly seeking a new dissertation advisor and that she might not be given any further leaves of absence. If this is true, I have seen this situation coming for years now; at some point her advisor was going to either get tired of her lack of effort, or would come under some scrutiny for having a student who has now exceeded the allowable time limit by three years. I do not know exactly what happened, but it seems like she is under a lot of pressure. Moreover, she has also changed her thesis to an entirely new topic, the content of which to me seems somewhat odd. The friend is not expert or even really knowledgeable about any of the topic material (although I am knowledgeable if not expert in both areas she wants to explore) and further does not really know the extent or scope of the work that she would have to do in “editing” this dissertation. The ex needs more than an editor; she needs someone to be assisting her at all stages: conceptualization/topic-framing, structure, research, writing, editing, submission, and revision. Moreover, all of this needs to be done and completed in the next 16 weeks. That is a truly Herculean task that, if I were with her every single day for the next 16 weeks, we perhaps could pull off; I’d give it 50/50 odds. However, with this friend’s intermittent guidance that would happen once a week at best, I’d say the likelihood of her completing this project on deadline is, at best, about 10%.

Moreover, if she is not able to secure a leave of absence—and it sounds like that leave might not be granted—then she will have to come up with nearly $2000 in tuition fees within the next two weeks or so. The friend told me that both the adulterer and the ex are hurting for money right now; I am not sure how she knows this, but it is likely that the seasonal nature of his work and whatever cash outlays he may have made (e.g. for plane tickets abroad for her) plus the meager earnings she brings in are really stretching their finances thin.

In short, she could be facing the complete implosion of her situation. She might be able to forestall it a bit, but given the weight and severity of everything that is occurring in her life right now, it seems unlikely that that implosion could be too far off in the distance.

Anyway, dear readers, I only have one simple request, should you be willing to grant it, and that is for prayers. If you care to make prayers or positive aspirations for my ex-mother-in-law’s improved health and recovery, that would be greatly welcomed. Moreover, any prayers you might wish to do for the ex and the other members of her family would be welcome as well.

As for me, I already am praying for all of them, and further making the aspiration that she see the light of day before it all is too late, while I still can provide a soft landing spot for her when the whole situation crumbles. I don’t know how much longer I can leave the door open to that possibility, but as of this writing, I have not needed to shut it yet, since it really requires no effort to keep it open.

Message from the Universe

This is my first post in a long, long time. I apologize to all my readers who frequented this blog in the past. I was simply because I was too busy to write, had nothing to say, or did not want to say anything.

The last few months have been filled with ups and downs of all kinds. Recently, the ups and downs have been so abundant that they have occurred in rapid succession—even simultaneously. One such situation happened today, and I thought I should share it.

I recently began asking for signs about various things in life; I don’t need to get into all that nor to get too metaphysical, but let’s just say I put the request “out there” for the universe (or God, or  guardian spirits, or whatever you want to call it/them) for signs about how to understand or work with certain kinds of situations. The results have been interesting.

Today, I was downtown and quite preoccupied by my thoughts and some of the tasks I was going to have to achieve, then and in the near future. Frankly, some of these tasks had me rather unsettled. On my way downtown, I just asked for a “clear and unambiguous sign” about how I should deal with one of these situations in particular; I had noticed that, when I asked for signs, often they would be signs: street signs, traffic signs, business signs, and the like. I just asked that I would get a sign that would be different, yet unambiguously clear.

I parked my car downtown in an area that is sort of “transitional;” there is a mission for the homeless nearby and those who are in need of this mission can often be found milling around this area. Some are people who are just down on their luck, others have drug or other dependency issues, while still others have mental health problems. The area is also home to some high-end art galleries and other shops that attract tourists, and then there are coffee shops serving nearby corporate offices, so one never knows the kind of people one might encounter there.

I walked over to the kiosk that vends parking permits—this was parking on the street, not in a lot, so I was lucky even to find a space— and an older African American man caught my attention out of the corner of my eye; he appeared to be in his 50s or 60s and was walking behind me toward the convenience store. I guess I had not given him much thought, except to notice that, as he was walking toward the store, he chose to divert his path so that he got closer to me.

As I am paying for the parking permit, I suddenly hear him say the following:

“Hey there, son, you only get this one lifetime to live, so you better enjoy it.”

I guess I was a bit startled; I mean, that was the last thing I had expected to hear from anyone, anywhere. I turned around and he just smiled; I gave him the thumbs up and said, “got it.” He just kept walking right into the convenience store as if nothing special had happened.

What that man did was to touch my soul in a way that no other person on earth possibly could have. He delivered the deepest and most meaningful gift that I have received a very long time. It was just a simple and honest comment that requested absolutely nothing in return, but sent the simple yet powerful message: This is it, your life. There is nothing more to your life than this very moment, and you do not know how many more moments you’re going to get. Therefore, the most important thing you can do in this life is to live it fully and to enjoy every moment—the good ones and the bad, the happy ones and the painful—to the greatest extent possible.

I wish I knew who that man was and that I could thank him for that gift. Maybe he’d think I’m nuts, or maybe he’d just smile and nod. One thing is for sure: he had tremendous wisdom that he expressed right there in that brief, passing moment.

Selling the Farm for a Fantasy

As some of you may know, my wife’s affair began at a shrine some 40 miles north of here. It is the only one of its kind in North America, and the adulterer was a high-level member of that shrine and a long-time student of its priest. As an odd coincidence, on the second visit I made to that shrine about four years ago, the adulterer was the first person I encountered there. One of my wife’s attractions to the adulterer was the fact that they “shared” the same spiritual tradition, supposedly, at least.

Early on in their affair, the priest’s wife got wind of the situation and criticized them quite harshly, and in a very public fashion—via Facebook. Names were not mentioned, but the recipients of the criticism were clearly implied. I believe that it was around this time that relations got strained with the priest.

A couple of important details to note at this point: first, the adulterer lives about 2 miles from the shrine, which is located near a tiny little town out in the middle of nowhere; second, as far as I know, the adulterer helped to build that shrine. So, it is a significant action to want to remove oneself from the shrine and its community.

But that is exactly what appears to have happened. The adulterer seems to have stopped attending ceremonies. As far as I can tell, he has not attended any ceremonies there for at least a year. I believe he and my wife were essentially told that they were not welcome. The priest and his wife do not want a scandal, after all. The inner circle of senior shrine members recently went to visit Japan; normally, the adulterer would have gone with them, as this was a major event and a serious honor. He did not go.

Fast forward to today. The adulterer posted some random nonsense on his Facebook page—and I do mean nonsense: one of those internet memes that consists of a picture with text plastered on it—and one of his “friends” commented about having met his daughter and son-in-law and so forth. Apparently the two met at the shrine, and this was mentioned by this “friend.”

The adulterer replied by saying that the “shrine” (and he used quotes, oddly enough) was out of the picture now, and went on to say that it was a long story, but his departure from the shrine was for the better.

You get that, folks? He gave up his spiritual life and 17-year relationship with the priest for what? An affair, that’s what.

This is what affairs do. They pickle brains and poison minds. They let loose a torrent of social disapproval that eventually amounts to a tidal wave, against which they attempt to swim. It must all become tiring.

At this point, it appears that all the adulterer and my wife have are the superficial pretences that they shovel out into the world via Facebook or other social media. You know, stuff like: “hey, look at this zucchini we grew,” or “we’re making pickles,” or other dross. So long as others buy into it, they manage to keep the raft afloat another day.

But that raft is full of holes by now. My wife is an incredibly stressed-out creature these days. She is volatile and has a short fuse that is ready to blow at any moment. She is working overtime to try to keep out dissent in any form—including me, of course—yet reality now delivers nothing other than dissent. She has got to be under severe pressure: while he could just walk away from all this (and throw her out into the cold), she cannot do so that easily. She left her home for this person. She poisoned friendships and family relations for this adulterer. She cut ties with colleagues and quit jobs for the sake of this infidel. She basically put her entire life on the line for the fantasy this con-artist was peddling, and she got swindled.

He may think he’s in control, but he does not know my wife. He does not know how short her fuse gets when she is under stress. He does not know how quickly she’ll blow her fuse. He does not know how explosive these situations can be. He may have seen glimpses of these tendencies—chances are good that he has—but he has never seen them in all their glory. I have. I know how to deal with them. I have the cool that can dispel the hot torment of that mental anguish. He simply has ego that will feed those fires.

I’m telling you friends, as we enter this final phase of their grossly immoral relationship, things will get ugly up there at Camp You-Know-What. Really, really ugly. It will not be a pretty ending. It seems affair endings rarely are anything other than ugly, and this one will be no exception.

There are some events scheduled for this week that will prove to be very stressful for my wife. Depending on their outcome, life up at Camp YKW (a.k.a. Camp C-S; long-time readers will know this acronym) will likely begin to look very, very different—and not in a good way. This could happen very, very soon. The karma of this situation is ripening. I’ve seen it begin to ripen over the past two weeks and those seeds of malevolence that were planted nearly two years ago have begun to bear their fruit, and that fruit is quite poisonous.

But, that’s what happens when you sell the farm for a fantasy. You don’t actually sell the farm—you can’t; instead you have to continue living on it. But, the harvest is spoiled by tainted fruit and putrid vegetables. Innocent little shoots have turned into noxious weeds. All the health is choked out of the soil, and soon nothing will grow anymore. That’s when the affair dies. It happens either suddenly or gradually, but it dies nonetheless. The fantasy goggles come off and the reality of adulterous life becomes evident. The adulterers recognize the cartoons they have become, and worse yet, they see the cartoonish buffoon they considered to be each other’s “partner” and rapidly begin to notice the grotesque defects that buffoon bears. It is a time of rude awakenings.

Wiser people saw this coming for months and months. But wiser voices were shunned. They were too “conventional,” and did not truly “understand.” The fantasy was singular, unique, and “special.” It suspended all of the worlds moral and ethical codes or rendered them unnecessary.

But none of that matters now. The farm has been sold. Or, more accurately, it is in foreclosure and its residents are getting turfed out. Morality and Ethics are the repo-men of reality, and they have come to reclaim their ground. The only question that remains is how long the eviction process will last.