Private matter, not broached

I used to be an inveterate “Facebooker”. I spent hours on that website, finding old friends, adding new ones, posting all sorts of frivolous updates, and so forth. My wife used to chide me about it, saying I was wasting my time. The truth be told, it actually was a kind of wedge that did start to grow between us. I’d spend time online, and would disconnect from her. The truth also be told, she’d do the same: she’d spend time doing online shopping, sometimes for hours on end, and that would also bring her to disconnect from me. At times, I suppose it was sort of like two disconnected people just sharing the same space.

After our marital crisis erupted, I pretty much stopped using Facebook. I just had no reason to go there. It struck me as so inauthentic, a totally phony means of communicating with “friends” who, in many cases, were people whom I’d either never met, or hadn’t seen for many years and was not likely to see for many more. Maybe it was fitting, in a way, that Facebook also was the platform from which my wife’s affair was launched. In the months following our crisis, she has, as far as I can tell, become a fairly inveterate Facebooker. I just presume this to be true; I cannot see any of her posts, as I’ve been blocked.

I typically don’t visit Facebook much unless I get a message from someone and need to respond. I’d prefer that they just call or send me an email, but sometimes people just feel it easier to send a message via that website, I guess. So it was that yesterday an old friend contacted me by Facebook message to tell me he’d be in town over the weekend. He also apologized for possible crossing a line, but he said he wanted to say that he was sorry to hear about what happened between me and my wife. He’d been through a similar situation a few years ago, and he offered to talk about it, if I wanted. I initially wrote out a fairly lengthy reply, and then erased it all and just sent a short message saying that no harm was done and we could perhaps chat while he was here.

This friend is on his second marriage. His first marriage was to a foreign national to whom he was married for probably close to ten years. He moved to this city with her, as she had gotten employment with the university, and he was able to land a job there as well. They lived in a small apartment in a funky part of town. Then she began attending yoga classes and found her true calling as a yoga instructor. She was hired by a yoga studio about 30 miles away, and moved into her own apartment there. They began to drift apart. Eventually it became clear that their marriage was likely not viable, and he got her permission to begin seeing someone else. I’ll never forget when he broke that news; I found it rather uncomfortable. I think both my wife and I felt a bit uncomfortable meeting this new woman as well. I mean, technically he was committing adultery because he was still married, but he did have his wife’s blessing to do so. He eventually did secure a divorce from his first wife and marry the new woman, with whom he is still married and they currently have a toddler.

I went to see this friend today. He was having an informal get together at a friend’s house, so I stopped by. I was only there for an hour or so, and there was no relationship talk at all. I could sense he wanted to chat about it, but there were too many people there and it was not the right environment. I had readied myself with things to say: that it’s inappropriate for me to discuss my marriage since it’s a private matter, and that I regretted he’d been informed of anything at all. I even had a response for the possibility that he’d been told that there was adultery going on. None of that was expressed. As I left, it was clear that he still wanted to chat, so I told him I’d call in the next few days.

Basically, I am just curious to know what he knows and how he knows it. Not that it really makes any difference. I suspect my wife told him about our situation, as she knows him as well and considers him to be a friend. This being the case, it would only mean that she’s still trying to hold to her story. I would simply like to have the opportunity to tell him that private matters like this simply should not be fair game for anyone outside the marriage to discuss, and that’s about it. This is the first time that anyone from my circle of acquaintances has approached me to say anything at all in 8 months’ time. I’m not unsettled by this, and I’m certainly not going to talk to my wife about it. That would be pointless.

Somehow, though, I just feel the energies shifting around my situation. I interviewed for a new job yesterday, and they seemed very interested. If I were to start work there, then my wife’s last complaint about me — the lack of stable income, owing to my line of work — would basically become a thing of the past. There wouldn’t be too many reasons to keep her from coming home.

These continue to be pivotal times. I’m taking it one day at a time, more than that I cannot do.

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