Category Archives: Reconciliation

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.

The Power of a Single Piece of Chocolate

Yesterday I was my wife for the first time in over two months. We were obligated to attend a “status conference” at which the court would try to determine why we were not on track to obliterating our marriage. What emerged from this conference was, well, quite interesting indeed.

I began my day as I typically do, rising early (usually around 6:00, but often earlier) and doing my morning spiritual practice. I had a hard time with this yesterday morning, as I was quite distracted with thoughts of the impending status conference. So, I cut things a bit short and got myself ready.

The court is located downtown, and the hearing was set for 9:00 a.m. This meant leaving the house about an hour prior to allow for rush-hour traffic and to find parking. I ended up parking the car about 40 minutes before the hearing time. With time to spare, I decided to walk down to a nearby coffee shop that is one of my wife’s favorites; the shop roasts their own beans, making Italian-style roasts of very high quality. I was a ordered a doppio (double espresso), as opposed to my normal americano, as I thought I would not have sufficient time to finish the latter.

The espresso arrived, and on the saucer was a small wrapped piece of dark chocolate with the name of the coffee shop on the label. I thought to myself that I should just save the chocolate and give it to my wife. Let’s call this thought “planting positive seed of intention, #1″—my intention with this thought and its subsequent action was totally pure, inspired by love and generosity. I took the chocolate and put it in my pocket. Then I drank the espresso and walked over to the courthouse.

I arrived at the courtroom a few minutes before the session was to begin. The schedule outside the door indicated that the judge would be hearing about 70 cases on that morning. I opened the courtroom door and saw my wife sitting in a row of benches right next to the door. She looked at me and smiled. I went up to her and greeted her, and she was very genuine and cordial. This seemed totally out of character from both her behavior of late as well as from some allegations she had made with some motions she had recently filed with the court, but I’ll get to that later. She told me that I needed to go check in with the bailiff, and I did so. I then returned and she moved over to make a space for me to sit next to her. I gave her the piece of chocolate and she thanked me for it, putting it in her purse. Let’s call this “planting positive seed of intention, #2.”

I was open, spacious, and emotionally stable. She was nervous and ill at ease; not so much with me, as she seemed surprisingly comfortable with my sitting next to her, but rather with the situation of being in a courtroom, attempting to destroy our marriage. She looked like hell: dark circles under her eyes, and somehow, despite having made the effort to look very presentable, seemingly unkempt. She was clearly a woman undergoing sustained emotional torment—torment that she has entirely created herself. I engaged her in conversation, and things were relatively normal, or at least as normal as they can be in such circumstances.

The judge arrived and began to hear cases. She slammed through these at the rate of about one every 3 minutes or so. The cases were not heard in order of their listing on the court schedule, but rather in some order determined by the bailiff. We sat and waited for about an hour. Then, a woman walked into the spectator area where we were seated and called our names. She and a colleague had been doing this—calling the names of various litigants—since the start of the session, but neither my wife nor I had taken much notice. We identified ourselves and were taken into an antechamber behind the courtroom. We sat down, I diagonally across the table from the officer, and my wife to my immediate left. The woman identified herself as an “early resolution officer” whose task was to ascertain why we were not in compliance with the court’s case schedule. There were apparently some questions about the status of our paperwork, so she had to ask us some questions to get our case ready for the judge to hear.

My wife indicated that she had recently filed a motion with the court to amend her petition; she had already amended it once, but violated court rules by simply filing a petition without the court’s permission. Essentially, this petition was invalid, but on advice of legal counsel, I did eventually file a response—last week. In my wife’s motion to the court, she decided to ask for certain forms of relief that she backed up with frivolous and flimsy allegations. What is important, however, is that the early resolution officer told her that, since she had filed these motions, she had now essentially put our case on hold: it could not move at all until the judge ruled on her motion. That hearing is set for early September. My wife asked what she would then have to do if the judge ruled in her favor, and the officer said that she would have to have me personally served, as she would essentially be starting the case all over again. This does not mean that the case schedule itself would be changed—her trial date still stands—but it certainly could be continued by the presiding judge because of her motion. The officer then said that she was going to recommend that we come back for another hearing at the end of October. I think this news surprised and shook my wife a bit; I believe she expected that matters would just be resolved and things would move forward, and instead she learned that her very actions were now stalling the process she had wanted to set in motion.

It’s funny how karma works sometimes.

The officer filled out the orders for the judge to review, and, while she was doing this I said, “for the record, I am an unwilling participant in this litigation.” The officer said that our state is a “no-fault” state, meaning that my wife could bring a dissolution of marriage case before the court without showing any cause whatsoever; I told her I understood that, but that I felt it was the wrong thing to do, and that I believed that we not only could reconcile our marriage, but that we had the obligation to make those efforts first. Let’s call this “planting positive seed of intention, #3.”

My wife did not flinch at all when I said this, but sometimes these seeds sting a bit when we plant them. They insert themselves in the consciousness in a way that simply cannot be removed. We were shown back into the courtroom to await our hearing with the judge. My wife now became visibly withdrawn and uncomfortable, and began to move away from me. She became unresponsive to comments I made to her, and was clearly uncomfortable.

We waited another 30 minutes, and finally we were called before the judge. I was confident and at ease; my wife was nervous and unsteady. The hearing was very straightforward; the judge simply asked what paperwork was still in process, and my wife told her about the motion she had filed. The judge ordered that we return in late October, unless all paperwork was filed a week beforehand. She was very professional and understanding. She then asked if we had any questions, and my wife asked her if she had to have me served. The judge explained that the judge hearing her motion would first have to approve it, and if that happened, then she would have to either get me to agree to an “acceptance of service” or she would need to have me personally served, just as if the case was starting all over again. This made my wife rather uncomfortable. I thanked the judge and we left the courtroom.

We did not exactly leave together; instead my wife, who had been so open and genuine just 90 minutes earlier, was now making a beeline to get out of there. She was visibly frustrated and was now trying to avoid speaking to me. She stopped at a bench in the hallway, as did I, to put away her paperwork; I tried to speak to her but she walked off into the ladies’ room across the hall. I just walked away, out into the lobby, to wait for an elevator.

She came down the hall soon after, and her energy was totally different than it had been at the start of the hearing. That genuineness was now transformed into anger and hostility. I tried to engage her in conversation, asking her if she needed anything, and she told me I had to leave. I offered to hold the elevator door for her, and she walked away. She refused even to get into an elevator with me. I looked at her and said, “you do not need to be hostile to me,” and told her I was leaving to go to work. I got in the elevator and left.

I have not heard a peep from her since. But, that chocolate stayed in her purse.

She knows I am committed to saving our marriage. My actions have shown that for nearly 22 months now. Her life currently appears to be a shambles because of the poor life decisions she has made over those past 22 months. She appears to be on a downward spiral that she will not have interrupted, and I am willing to allow her to have that spiral. It is likely that she will have an emotional breakdown, and this could happen soon. She is certainly in the physical, emotional, and mental states that would enable that to happen. She is equally likely to have a huge blow-up with the adulterer, and that could likely happen soon as well. After all, he probably wants this whole situation over and done with, and will learn that it was her actions—not mine—that are now causing this delay. His patience, I would think, must be nearing an end. Chances are the blow-up and breakdown will occur around the same time, and probably in that order. The affair will end—I am more convinced of that now than I have ever been, as I can see it written all over her—and her life will truly spiral out of control.

But for now, that piece of chocolate remains. She may have eaten it already, or she will do so soon. She will not throw it away, but even if she did, it does not matter. When she sees that chocolate, whether it be to eat it or to chuck it in the trash, it will make an enormous impact. That piece of chocolate is a very powerful seed of intention. It carries with it the sum total of all of my positive efforts over the last 21-plus months. It carries with it all of the positive actions I have taken over the course of our marriage, as well as over the course of the two-year friendship that preceded our marriage. It carries with it all of the highs and lows of our relationship and the ways in which we connected. It carries with it one very simple, yet powerful and unstoppable message: “I love you and I always will.”

And that, my friends, is the power of a single piece of chocolate.

Status Conference

I’ve been very busy of late, and this explains my absence from this blog.

Things have definitely been churning on the marital front, but it’s hard to tell really what’s going on. I am reminded of the expression that “things always get worse before they get better,” and that definitely seems to be true.

My wife has been unusually communicative over the past couple of weeks, but for the most part this has been rather nasty and hostile communication. But, there was at least one surprise.

Basically, the story is this: last month, my wife filed a “confirmation of issues” document with the court, which is a procedural document for which she is supposed to solicit my response. She did not do this, and instead just filed it, stating that I refused to cooperate. Huh? Well, the truth is that I would not have signed it in all likelihood, but since she did this, we are now ordered to appear at a status conference on Friday.

She ended up contacting me in the past few days to tell me that she was mailing the same document to me again, and wanted me to sign it. I guess she does not want to go to this conference, ostensibly because she does not want to have to see me. We had a back and forth via email over the past couple of days regarding this document; essentially, I was trying to get her to speak with my by phone, to which she predictably demurred.

However, quite unexpectedly, she offered to come by the house yesterday, essentially to get this document signed. I could not make this happen, as I (like most people) had to work. She was not flexible at all with her timeline—it was either that morning or nothing. So, we did not see each other. She had other random and relatively non-sensical things to say.

There are some other things brewing that I cannot get into, as I do not quite know all the details. She seems to be, well, rather crazy right now. I think she is really struggling and is doing everything she can to keep her fantasy life in place. There is a real sense of desperation about her actions and her energy.

Not sure where things are going from here. It is a weird phase, to be sure.

New Glasses

Hey, it’s a slow news day, so I’m going off-topic for this blog.

I got my eyeglass prescription updated over the weekend, and got some new glasses — for free. Well, nearly free, that is. I had to pay for shipping and insurance, so they ended up costing me $15. Since a lot of people land on this blog, I figured I should drop the link to the company that made these glasses for me.

They’re called, and are headquartered in Vancouver, B.C. They run a promotion for new customers in which you get your first pair of glasses for free (plus, of course, the shipping and insurance); they do try to upsell you on lens coatings and upgraded materials, but provided you’re happy with what they offer, you can get a pretty solid pair of glasses for dirt cheap. You just need to use the promo code, which you’ll find on this webpage.

FYI, none of these are affiliated links, if that’s a concern to you. (UPDATE: One link is, sort of; details below.) I do have a few affiliated links on this blog that help to keep it afloat (you’ll know them either by the banner ads, or by the title text that informs you of their presence when you hover over them). So, I don’t get a penny from the links in this post; I just offer them as a public service. Heck, I figure that marital crises are stressful enough and can be very taxing on the finances, so what do you do if you need a new pair of specs?

Actually, I’m pretty happy with the glasses they sent me. They are well manufactured and use high-quality, polycarbonate lenses. (I know quite a bit about this as I worked in an optical lab when I was in college. Yup, I used to make eyeglasses.) Their production lab appears to be in Vancouver, and since I’m in the Pacific Northwest, I got my order very quickly: ordered on Sunday, arrived on Tuesday. From what I can tell, they courier them across the border to their US distribution point in Blaine, WA (home of the famous Peace Arch). Since I’m a couple hours south of Blaine, it makes sense that the glasses would get here quickly. I’d imagine it would take a few additional days to other US locations.

As a former production-line optical lab technician, I know what a rip-off retail eyeglasses can be; I worked that job over 20 years ago, and the mark-up on lenses alone was often about 2500%. The mark-up on frames was also quite steep. I did quite a bit of research on online eyeglass purveyors, many of whom offer try-at-home programs through which they send you a few frames to evaluate for free (or maybe for a nominal hold on your credit card); all of these were significantly cheaper than brick-and-mortar optician prices. Here are a few purveyors you might want to check out.

Warby Parker
Benji Frank
Fetch Eyewear
Dharma Eyewear
Tortoise  & Blonde
Collins Bridge
Classic Specs

I also have looked at some online shops that sell a variety of brands. This one,, seems to be pretty good. If you click the link, you’ll get $25 off. And if two of you buy something, they’ll send me a free pair of specs. So, while that would not exactly defray the costs of this blog, it might help me to see what I’m typing a bit better. That can’t be all bad, right?

Okay, that’s pretty much it for now. Happy shopping. I’ve had quite a bit of fun browsing all this stuff myself.