I don’t mean to have been silent recently, but I’ve just been very busy. I’m up to my neck with work. This is not in itself such a bad thing, but I’ve been pretty tired as a result, and things like posting to this blog in a substantive way have been kind of a non-starter.
Wednesday was the day that my wife normally comes into town. She didn’t show up last week because, well, it was the 4th of July. This week it was the 10th of July, and thus there was no excuse not to turn up. Honestly, I was feeling a bit frustrated and even a bit ticked off for a couple of reasons. First, because she hadn’t turned up the previous week. This meant that I missed my weekly “date night,” and these can be really critical to the reconciliation process. On top of that, there were some pretty pressing financial issues that needed to be dealt with, and I needed her participation. I had tried calling a number of times, but every single call went to voice mail. This is typical.
I called on Wednesday morning as I was on my way to work, and she picked up. All the irritation and frustration dropped away at the mere sound of her voice. I only need to hear her voice to remind myself why I haven’t given up. We chatted briefly. I told her I wanted to see her. She agreed. I told her I’d be done just after noon, and we arranged to meet. She texted me just before I wrapped up my morning stint to let me know where she was. I dropped by to meet her. We went out for lunch. She had already eaten, I had not. I took her to one of her favorite parts of town, a place where she can’t dare be seen with the adulterer, and we had pelmeni. I had discovered a place that makes only these; this discovery happened after our crisis had started, and thus my wife knew nothing of its existence. So I ordered a plate, and we shared it.
After this, we did a bit of window shopping at a nearby frame shop. They had some cards that she really liked, as well as some frames that were quite interesting. This is exactly the kind of thing she likes to do: browse funky little shops. Then we headed to another part of town she loves, again an area that she could not ever be seen with the adulterer. We had coffee at a favorite coffee shop there. There is a grocery store nearby this coffee shop that had recently closed. This is sad: one of our early “fake dates” (we were just friends, but there was definitely something more happening) happened when we were driving around and I told her about this grocery store that had opened — an upscale, gourmet store — and we both decided to go check it out.
Did I ever mention that my wife was the one who pursued me? She was merciless. She wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.
But I digress.
So we had coffee. Cuban-style coffee, to be precise. This place has a little “lovers’ grotto” in it that is quite garishly and humorously painted, with slogans like “besame mucho” adorning that little nook. It was a fine day, and we were happy enough to sit outside. I went inside to order, she sat outside and “Facebooked.” This seems to have become an obsession with her. Remember, I am blocked from her Facebook profile; I could, however, see that she had posted pictures recently, including one titled “oohs and aahs.” Not that I was peeking or anything, it was basically impossible to miss. At any rate, we sat outside and enjoyed our coffee. So far, so good.
After this, we headed to yet another part of town she likes — one in which we had an early “fake date” — and checked out a gourmet provisions shop. You know: gourmet mustards, olive juice (for cocktails), white balsamic jelly, and other arcane stuff only a gourmand would want. Heck, only a gourmand would spend $25 for a small jar of white balsamic jelly.
I had earlier broached that we needed to have a “business meeting;” she took this to mean that I wanted to discuss her previously stated desire to get out of our cell phone contract and other minutiae. I told her we could speak of it later. So we came home. The dog went crazy with joy at seeing my wife. We began to talk about financials. Things got a bit contentious. I defused the situation, allowing her to come out on top, to feel like the “good guy” who could help out in our situation a bit. Then, inspiration struck: I asked her if she’d be willing to have another session with my counselor. I’m not quite sure why I asked this; I guess I just felt like it would be a good idea to have her agreement, were she willing, in case I might need it sometime soon. She agreed. She asked me if my counselor is helping me, and I assured her that he was. In fact, I speak with him less and less, as I don’t really need guidance most of the time. She did say, “I’m not going to change my mind.” Of course, she had to say this: he really got under her skin during our last joint session, and she desperately has to defend her poor life choices. I’m not sure how this is possible, since she seems to be drawn inexorably back to me, more and more, each time I see her. So, I just ignored that comment. (Note to those of you who are in similar situations, i.e. dealing wayward or obstinate spouses: just ignore what they say. They’re trying to throw you; there’s no credibility to the things they say.)
At this time it was getting a bit close to a lesson she had scheduled with a student. She had already told me she wanted to have some seolleongtang, and there is a restaurant that specializes in this dish about 15 mintues from our house. I had offered to take her there, so I told her I’d drop her off at the student’s house, and then pick her up an hour later so we could set off for dinner. That’s what happened next. I dropped her off and later returned. We headed for the restaurant.
There was nobody there at all when we arrived. There is a wide-screen TV that faces the entrance of the restaurant, and my wife had always liked to sit facing that TV so that she could watch the various Korean dramas and TV shows that they show on it. She did the same this time, and I jokingly bum-rushed her to the seat she wanted, telling her that I was going to be the entertainment, not the TV. She did get her coveted seat, but she only watched the TV to get a rise out of me. Otherwise, we had a great time.
Then, we headed back to town. She had told me that she was getting a sore throat, and it dawned on me that I had some throat coat tea at home — one teabag to be precise — so we stopped by there to pick that up. I also picked up the dog, so that she could come along for the ride. We stopped by the bank briefly, and were about to head to the place that my wife was staying at, when she sort of indirectly expressed that she wanted to hang out some more. This wasn’t overt, but more that I suggested we could do something else, and she said, “but you must be tired.” I told her I was fine, and with that we headed out to get some gelato. Again, we had a great time. Our dog is a big hit with people for a lot of reasons, and we can pretty much count on people coming by to say “hi” to her. We shared a gelato from the same cup.
Okay, I italicized this, but this is not new: we’ve done this a few times in the past couple of months. I highlight this to illustrate the complete illogicality of the wayward spouse. Supposedly, she is on a “new path” that would exclude me in favor of some better person, yet she still does things that she would only do with someone with whom she is on intimate terms. So we had gelato. It was good. Then we went on to a nearby grocery store to get some flowers for the woman with whom she is staying. I helped her to pick them out. I dropped her off at the colleague’s place.
The next morning we met fairly briefly to get some financial documents notarized. Nothing major, just some odds and ends that needed to be taken care of.
And that was it. I likely won’t see her again until next Wednesday.
This reconciliation stuff gets tiring. I’m pretty certain that if I could see her every day we’d be reconciling, like, tomorrow. But she does have the logistical advantage right now. Despite that, I am still making headway. Let this be a lesson to anyone considering divorce: there is another, far superior way: it’s the path of wholeness. It is worth making the sacrifices needed to bring about reconciliation. I do believe the universe rewards that far more than it does those who would choose the path of destruction.
I seek to be whole. I think my wife does, too. Even if her ego attempts to blind her of this, I’m sure her heart knows it.