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.

Thanks for Visiting

Hello, dear readers.

I’ve been relatively silent of late, and just wanted to put a quick post up for those of you who come here regularly, and also for those of you landing here for the first time. For the latter, please have a browse around.

For the former, well, I’ve been busy. Busy, busy, busy. I am in the midst of the busiest part of the work season, and it won’t let up until August 16. By the way that is the same day I’m supposed to have a “status conference” on the paperwork my wife has filed with the court. She did this without consulting me, so I’m going to have to get a legal opinion on this. I’ve been so busy that I have not even been able to manage this, but probably will do so tomorrow. It seems like, at pretty much every turn right now, life just throws stuff in my way that prevents me from completing important tasks.

So it is.

I’ve had some interesting exchanges with my wife regarding our tax situation. She was initially very hostile and angry, so I sent copies of the IRS letter to her by mail. I had no reply, and with the deadline for response rapidly approaching, I reached out to her over the weekend.

Nothing. So I reached out again today.

The reply was curious: it was not hostile. It was factual and actually quite cooperative. She will be contacting a mutual colleague to try to sort this out. This colleague might actually (hopefully) deliver—and quite spontaneously, should it happen—a minor wake-up call of sorts.

You see, there are few things that are more grounding for an obstinate spouse than the reality of having to deal with real-world situations. Affairs are pure fantasy, and one of the best ways to interrupt them is to engage the wayward spouse with real-world concerns. As many of you know, my wife filed for divorce some months ago, and this was likely at the behest of the adulterer. Divorce litigation is a state- and county-level affair; tax concerns are federal, and therefore trump the more local concerns. So, I am just sitting back and awaiting the repercussions…

In other news, I have learned that my wife will be performing next month with some mutual colleagues, and the rehearsals are almost certain to take place at a colleague’s house just a mere 500 feet from here. She may even be there right now, for all I know.

These are interesting days. I daresay that it could be a thrill a minute, watching an affair crumble.

Otherwise, life is good; work is busy, and the social life is quite active. These things have contributed to my relative silence here of late. Please be well and keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Petulant Frenzy

Zappa fans will of course remember those words: petulant frenzy. In case you didn’t know the allusion, you can just click the link.

The petulant frenzy to which I refer right now, however, is different.

They say that, when karma comes to fruition, it can often be unpleasant. However, there are times at which fruitional karma can put a smile on your face.

I arrived home from work yesterday quite exhausted. I was expecting some things to have arrived by mail, so I eagerly checked the mailbox. They weren’t there; instead, however, I found a letter from the IRS. I thought perhaps this might have something to do with my wife’s recent tax filing; she filed on her own and without reference to my income, and in a community property state like ours, that will not pass the IRS sniff test. So I quickly opened the letter.

What I found was even more of a surprise: they were questioning our 2011 tax return. In particular, the assertion was that my wife underreported her income to the tune of thousands of dollars, and as a result we now owed additional tax. They cited no fewer than four documents that had been furnished by employers to the IRS, none of which had been reported by us.

In April 2012, we filed our taxes jointly for the previous year. My wife was putting up a big stink about even doing this with me, however she did come over to the house with some receipts for various and sundry things that I could report against her various self-employment earnings. The problem, however, was that she did not have any documentation of those earnings. I do not recall why she did not bring them; she just forgot about them or something, but she did not have them. She never furnished them later, either. As a result, I took an extension on our taxes, in the hopes that she would come to her senses before six months had passed. No such luck. It was quite an ordeal just to get her to meet me to sign the tax return, but she did. This was about 2 weeks before she totally withdrew from me, starting the stonewalling that has persisted to this day. This failure to furnish required data has finally caught with her—or us.

Thus, I looked at this letter as a sort of manna from heaven. I immediately reached out to her and asked her to contact me regarding our taxes. Late that night (this timing has significance; I’ll get to that later) she responded, and I read that response early this morning. In her response, she petulantly remarked that she would not call me, and that I had to email the information to her. So, I gave her a synopsis and said that we did need to sit down to talk about this. A few hours later, the petulant frenzy spun out some more. She claimed it was all my fault, that I should just send the document to her colleague’s house, and that she refused to sit down with me to discuss this matter. My response was very measured: I told her that I did not have any of the data, that it was all information she needed to furnish, and that I did not appreciate her tone, or some of the things she said. In fact, I used the word “threat,” because that’s essentially what she was doing; I asked her to refrain from using any such further language, as I found it disturbing. This was not an ultimatum, but rather a statement of emotional transparency. I’ve yet to hear a peep back.

A bit later, I went out to run some errands, and stopped by the post office. My wife had sent me a letter by certified mail that I was not home to receive, and so I figured I should go pick it up. It was nothing other than her amended petition that she resent to me, and at considerable cost. This document was filed in violation of applicable court rules, and as such is essentially legally invalid. I already have a copy of it, and so I just disposed of it. However, in the envelope, she also included some small gifts I had given her; a couple of these were things I had made for her that she had specifically thanked me for just a few months ago. So now, she is trying to rid herself of these things. However, they are things that I can actually use, so my response will be to thank her for being so thoughtful as to giving me those things, as I could really make use of them.

You may have sensed by now that the behavior of the obstinate spouse often functions on the emotional level of a five-year-old. That’s pretty much where she’s at. As for me, I just looked at this whole situation with a smile on my face, and went out to buy a nice card that I’d put in to the letter in which I’ll be sending the tax documents. I won’t be returning those gifts to her—not yet, anyway—but I will begin sending things that I would certainly like to receive. I’ve got the next one lined up already, in fact.

When I got home from my errands, the mailman arrived, and, lo and behold, there was more manna from heaven: mail for my wife. So, I get yet another reason to send her this stuff.

They say that, in these “lone ranger” (to borrow a phrase from Mort Fertel) situations that things always get worse before they get better. I guess I haven’t yet seen rock bottom. My wife does seem very, very unhappy. Her whole life seems to have become one giant sham, and she is apparently working overtime to convince others, and especially herself, that it isn’t. She will likely soon see that a sham is a sham; there’s just no hiding from that fact.

Back to Where It All Started

I haven’t posted in a while, as I’ve been very busy; besides that, there hasn’t been a whole lot to report.

This past weekend, I went to the shrine where my wife’s affair started. I hadn’t been there in nearly two years. There was a big, semi-annual ceremony going on there, and the last time I had attended it was two years ago with my wife. Something told me that I should go; if I needed a reason, there were a few amulets and such that needed to be returned to the shrine, and then perhaps one new one that I felt I should pick up. In that spiritual tradition, amulets and other items one might use for personal use or for home altars are annual in nature, and need to be replaced every year. I had a few around the house that were 2+ years old, so I figured I should be responsible and change them out. This shrine is the only place in North America where one can do that.

Even the night before the ceremony, I was still unsure if I’d go. I wanted to be clear on my ethics and intentions; if there were any possibility that I would be going to mess with my wife’s affair—which still seems to be clinging on for dear life—then I’d just stay home. I was pretty sure that my intention was pure, but thought I’d better sleep on it.

I awoke the following morning feeling a bit ambivalent. My intentions were pure enough, I guess, but I just wasn’t sure if it would have been a good idea to go. So, I pulled down my I-Ching book and did a quick reading. The answer was unambiguous: I should go.

It was a fine Sunday morning, and I had some other obligations before the ceremony started mid-morning. Having taken care of those, I set off on the 40-mile drive to the shrine. I suppose I felt a bit nervous, because I did not know what would meet me there; I strongly suspected that my wife would not be there, but I just did not know what to expect.

I arrived and found that the adulterer’s truck was nowhere to be seen. In previous years, he would always be there; he volunteered at virtually every event, as he was more or less the highest-ranking member of the shrine, aside from the priest. It was my sense that, due to the affair, the adulterer and my wife had both gotten themselves banned from the shrine, or at least made very unwelcome. This is, of course, rather odd, as the adulterer lives about 2 miles from the shrine; given the remote location of the town, there really is no other reason for the adulterer to live there. They never did arrive.

But I did. As I stood in line to enter the shrine, the priest saw me and beamed a huge smile. He came outside to meet me, shook my hand, and greeted me with a warm and genuine sincerity. He asked me how I was doing, and I said, “excellent.” Upon entering the shrine, I encountered the priest’s wife. Now, she had been very vocal in her opposition to my wife’s affair, and went so far as to post a disparaging remark about it quite openly on Facebook shortly after that sordid mess had begun. She came up to greet me, and also seemed quite happy to see me. I’m sure it did not escape her notice that I was wearing my wedding ring. She asked me how our dog was doing, and then said she really wanted to see the dog. This also seemed like a very genuine connection. I returned the amulets to her, and went and bought a couple of new ones for this year.

The ceremony went as planned, and afterward I stopped by to thank the priest on my way out. Again, he was very genuine and enthusiastically thanked me for being there. I then returned home.

It’s hard to know what any of this meant. I think that, for me, there was perhaps some sort of sense of that karma coming full circle with my return there. It is of course said that all actions are interdependent, and thus I can probably expect some sort of karmic ripples to be sent out as a result of my visit. Those ripples will almost certainly meet my wife and the adulterer; when that could happen or the effect that might have is entirely uncertain. But, that’s really not my concern; it’s not why I went there in the first place.

I have come to a place of a certain degree of comfort in my situation, actually. This is likely the result of the regular contemplations I’m doing in my daily spiritual practice; these contemplations have recently shown me the deeper meaning of what is going on. I suppost it could be summarized in this way: happiness comes from positive actions, yet all too many people engage in negative actions in their pursuits of happiness. Buddhist doctrine holds that there are ten non-virtuous actions from which one should abstain; pondering these actions can be truly shocking, and can lead to greater compassion for those who engage in them, wittingly or otherwise. Although most of us unwittingly engage in about half of these actions fairly regularly, my wife’s list of non-virtuous actions resulting from her affair probably encompasses eight or nine of them. Pondering this likelihood has shown me the wisdom of stepping back a bit and allowing the natural course of things (i.e. karma) to just go ahead and play out. In fact, my earlier attitude, as seen in many of the posts here from, say, last year, more or less demonstrate how “tight” my energy was around the whole thing. I do think that maintaining that kind of “tightness” distorts things somehow, making it harder for the situation to resolve. I’ve pretty much gotten out of the way now, energetically speaking, so that situation can just collapse under the weight of its own karmic debt; that could happen at any time now.

As for me, life is good, and I’ve got a paid holiday from work. Time to wash the dog, I guess. Happy 4th to all of you.

Moving Forward with Marriage, One Step at a Time.

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