Expressions of gratitude, redux

In a previous post, I mentioned my efforts to express gratitude to my wife via a thank you letter. This was part of a reconciliation strategy that generally does not advise writing letters, with the exception of this and also an apology letter, since both forms of letters can be powerfully emotional. Expressions of gratitude can indeed be powerful, cathartic, and even transformational when they are given in a genuine way and well thought out.

In the past few days, my wife has started to express her gratitude for me. This actually is not something new: she did this fairly early on in the marital crisis, when she got it in her head that she should express gratitude so as to be able to separate from me. I’m not sure where she got this idea, exactly, if she read it somewhere, or found it on the internet or something. But it was a passing fad, and I distinctly remember her turning sour toward me in December, and telling me she was “done” with expressions of gratitude.

What did I say in my last post? Wait five minutes (or five weeks) and things will change. Indeed they have, from the standpoint of reversal of attitude. Along with the renewed expressions of gratitude comes somewhat of a softening of attitude that is quite welcome. It’s rather forced, I can tell, but I’ll take forced, since over time that could actually lead to a genuine change in both her behavior and feelings.

I’m all but certain that these expressions of gratitude are the result of her visit with the “energy worker” this past week, since it all started the day after that visit. And I’m also just about 100% certain that there is an ulterior motive: that she is following (very poor) advice to try to “heal my heart” or something like that, so that she can then deepen her relationship with her adulterer, leave me, and move on to him. Anyone who would give that sort of advice has problems with both morality and ethics, and is also a relationship-advice amateur.

My initial reaction to these expressions of gratitude was neutral to positive, and then on further reflection I experienced a bit of irritation. Actually, her words don’t really mean that much, since she has so little credibility at this point. It is hard to believe the things she says anymore, she pretty much lies all the time, including lies of omission told to me today. (I’ll get to that later.) I’d much rather see her express her gratitude through actions than to hear them expressed with words. But for now, I’ll just take the words and be grateful for them.

So what of her lies to me today? Well, I was just about to come home from work when I received a text from her, saying that she was taking the dog for the weekend, since she’d been missing spending time with her. She also apologized for not having given me notice. I do know that, if she ups sticks and takes the dog, that she’s going to be with the adulterer. Actually, that’s pretty much her dating plan, as far as I can see, and it makes sense: she gave up all her weekend obligations, ostensibly to work on her dissertation, but in reality she did it so that she could be with him. Not like she’s really busy the rest of the week — she’s not — but he is, and I guess he just doesn’t want to see her during the week. So, off she goes with the adulterer, and unfortunately the dog is faced with another harrowing weekend at Camp Chickenshit, aptly named after the chicken feces the dog was smeared with during her last visit there.

Now I ask you, what kind of expression of gratitude is that? Actions speak much louder than words.

One thing I do find a bit amusing is the opening this leaves me to remind her of her perfidy, and to complicate matters for her as well as the friends she has been “living with” these past few weeks. As far as I know, she is just spending the weekend at their house a couple of blocks from here, so I could just call and suggest that I drop by this weekend to say hi, see the dog, and maybe work on her dissertation a bit. Plus, one of the “friends” she is supposedly staying with is a colleague I am working with tomorrow, and I could simply ask her how things are with our dog at her house. Not sure if I’ll do that, but if there’s an opening to do so, I just might.

Otherwise, I’ll just sit tight and enjoy my alone time this weekend.

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