Tag Archives: concert

Someone Else Reaches Out

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you might remember that I already have a post called “Someone Reaches Out.” I wrote this six months ago tomorrow, and the context was that an elderly colleague of mine had reached out to tell of his concerns for my situation.

Yesterday, I was working with that colleague when another, much younger collague arrived on the scene, and rather unexpectedly. This colleague is an old friend of my wife and me, and in fact is someone that my wife has likely known for longer than she has known me. I believe she met this colleague (who is also Japanese) soon after arriving in this city just over ten years ago. Everyone was happy to see this colleague, as she used to work regularly with us on weekends, and was well liked and respected. This colleague kept a strong relationship with my wife and me when we moved away from the city some years ago for my work, and this colleague even came to visit us at our home that was over 100 miles away. So this colleague is, in fact, and old friend.

Somehow, I did not feel the least bit awkward seeing her. It’s an energetic thing, you know: sometimes you can get a sense when someone feels nervous or uneasy in your presence, and this has a straining effect upon that interaction. I have had this sense many times with that other colleague I work with on Saturdays — the one who has enabled and covered for my wife’s affair, and who gave my wife a place to stay for three months early on in our crisis situation.

This friend (yes, I have promoted her from “colleague” to “friend” for the rest of this post) chatted with a number of other people, and then came to the table where I was sitting with others, having my lunch. I inviter her to sit with us, and we all talked. Again, there was no awkwardness whatsoever. Talk turned to a benefit concert that she and a mutual friend would be giving later that evening. This is the same concert I mentioned in my last post, incidentally — a concert at which I thought my wife would be likely to attend.

After a bit, this friend got up to leave, as she had a rehearsal to attend for the concert last night. She said to me, “can you walk with me?” and I knew this meant that she wanted to talk. So, I put on my jacket (it has been pretty cold up here of late) and we headed out.

We got to the lobby, and she immediately told me how sorry she was about the situation between my wife and myself. She was visibly affected by all this and was nearly in tears. She said it was so sad to her, because she has so many good memories, and they are memories of her with me and my wife together. It is very hard for her to make this adjustment. She told me that she had not spoken to my wife much at all since she walked out on me — maybe two or three times in the past year; she said they had skyped once, and my wife apparently was very certain about her decision. This likely happened close to a year ago.

There wasn’t a whole lot that I could say, and I explained to her that this was out of the interest of protecting my wife’s privacy. I let her know that I was committed to my marriage (I still wear my wedding band) and that I believed this situation would be temporary. She told me that she would not be seeing my wife while she was in town. Bear in mind that this woman has been a good friend of my wife for about a decade now, and arrived from out of state (and quite a distance at that), and my wife apparently did not want to see her, or perhaps vice versa; perhaps it was mutual. I let her know that I would likely be dropping by the concert, as it was for a good cause; then, we said goodbye.

Thus it was that it began to seem that my wife might not be showing up at this concert after all. I had misjudged the situation entirely, but then again, I did not know that there were some sour grapes in the mix, so to speak. This is the first inkling I’ve had in an entire year that my wife has poisoned some friendships — and perhaps quite a lot of them — with her choices. I do know that my wife curiously shifted some of her friendships around, maintaining the rare one or two that accepted or even encouraged her affair, and that she had promoted one acquaintance to “close” friend (the woman above at whose house she lived for a few months) once it became clear that that woman encouraged her affair as well.

This revelation adds a completely new dynamic to things. There are consequences to actions, and my wife is doubtless feeling them. In normal times, she’d jump at the opportunity to see this friend; now, she has to avoid contact, not just with her, but likely with a number of other people as well. And all for what? A fairy tale relationship that will soon implode.

I did go to that concert last night, and my wife did not show up. I was not surprised, although I was disappointed. The concert itself was quite a moving experience, but that is a topic for another post, or even for another blog.

For now, I remain in that holding pattern, waiting for the affair to end.

December: the Triple-Whammy Month

December has always been a month of celebrations in my marriage. Since my marital crisis began, it has become a month of tribulations. It’s really a triple-whammy of occasions:

  • Next week is my wife’s birthday.
  • The following week comes Christmas.
  • The very next week comes our anniversary.

We’ve always celebrated these days together. That is, until last year, when the affair took root. She left for two days to spend her birthday with the adulterer. Then she left for a few more, to spend Christmas with him. (I left town to be with family.) Then she abandoned me one more time, to spend the New Year’s holiday with him.

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed. In the interim, I have experienced much personal growth, while my wife’s life has pretty much remained unevolved. Her affair is almost certainly become increasingly unstable, and I do have reason to suspect that things have shifted in the recent past.

Tonight, I have the opportunity to see her again. I do not know if the adulterer will be there, as he was on the last similar occasion. I’d give it 50/50 odds. Whatever happens tonight, I’m almost certain it will be a huge interruption to the fairy tale that has been her life this past year.

What remains to be seen is what might happen during that triple-whammy. I hold out hope, of course, that a sudden and drastic reversal of course could occur before next week. That’s how these breakthroughs tend to occur: very suddenly.

But, in any event, I daresay I am in a much better position, personally and emotionally, to handle the whole triple-whammy than I was a year ago.

Adulterer, Interrupted

Yesterday was a big day. I had a full day of work, and then my wife had a concert in the late afternoon. I had not seen her for a month, so I planned on going. There was only one complication: it was almost a certainty that the adulterer would be there, too. Still, I went.

I arrived about a half an hour late, as it was about a half-hour drive from work, and the concert started right after my work day wrapped up. I sent my wife several messages both on the day of the concert as well as the day preceding, letting her know that I’d be there.

She played very well, and the group she accompanied was first-rate. Not really music to my taste, but very well done. The hall was kind of dark, and I thought I made out the adulterer about halfway toward the stage. I was seated in the back, as I arrived late and did not want to be obtrusive. (Years of concert-going has taught me this protocol.)

The concert wrapped up, and I got up to leave. I hung around the back of the hall for a bit to see if my wife would be coming out from backstage, but that did not seem to be happening. The adulterer got up, and I’m pretty certain he saw me. I pretty much ignored his presence.

Since nothing was happening, I decided to go downstairs to the reception, since I figured the performers would all end up there. Some did, but my wife never showed. So, I went back upstairs to see where she was at, and that was when I saw her with the adulterer, still in the hall, getting ready to leave. They did not see me. I figured I had a choice: I could either enter the hall and walk right up to them, or I could wait for her in the lobby. I chose the latter.

The lobby was quite crowded, so I ended up going halfway down the stairs, and then turned around to come back up.  It was just as I was coming back up that my wife emerged from the hall with the adulterer. She was closer to me, and he was on her left. She saw me, and as she did, the most bizarre expression passed over her face. The adulterer saw me and quickly averted his eyes. I walked up the stairs toward them, and my wife hung back to see me. She looked sick, physically sick, as if she were about to vomit. It was a very unpleasant expression on her face, an expression of someone who was forced to go instant cold turkey off a highly addictive drug, and to be showered with the reality of what that feels like. She was a couple of feet behind the adulterer now as I approached.

The adulterer turned his back and walked away, pretending not to be seen. He went and hid out by the coat racks. Pay attention, dear reader, as this is a very significant detail.

My wife said, “what are you doing here?” I responded that I had come to hear her play. She said, “this is not good.” I asked her what the problem is, and her response was that she had not invited me. I gave her no reply, and as we stood there, a member of the group she had accompanied came up to congratulate her and give her a hug. This person also introduced herself to me, and I cordially introduced myself by my first name, and did not say anything about being the husband. The colleague then walked away.

My wife reiterated that I should not have come, and I reiterated that I wanted to hear her play, as it had been a long time since I’d had the chance. I told her she sounded great.

The adulterer was still nowhere to be seen, ostensibly hiding out at the coat racks, looking for his coat. Now, he was already wearing a coat, so that action would have been absurd on its face.

My wife said to me, “I’ll talk to you later about this.” But, this was not said in a threatening tone. In fact, the whole conversation was said in a rather muted, hushed tone, even though the lobby was fairly cramped and quite loud. I asked her if she was okay, and she said she was. I asked her if she needed anything, and she said she did not. I asked her if she needed a ride anywhere, and she declined. I then told her I’d be going, and put my hand on her back so I could give her a kiss. She pulled away. I looked at her with a “what-am-I,-poison?” look on my face, and moved in to give her a kiss on the cheek. She pulled away two or three times, but eventually let me land one. Hey, I’m the husband, you know? But, at the same time, I was not going over the top, and was not about to make a scene.

Where was the adulterer during all this? I don’t know; probably he was still hiding out by the coat racks. I’m pretty certain he saw the whole exchange. And, I’m pretty certain that he was pretty miffed by it all, too.

That, however, is not my problem. He is the one who made the choice to have an affair with a married woman. He is the one who apparently thinks nothing of tearing another person’s family apart. He’s the one without any reliably functioning moral standards. He’s the one who claims to be a “spiritual” person, yet does all this.

So, I walked away, buttoning my coat to ready myself for the blustery, rainy December night. I turned back and looked at my wife, and she just stood there with a look of confusion on her face. In fact, as I remember it, there was a subdued sense of diffused panic about her expression as well.

This is how the walls come crashing down in the house of adultery. Sooner or later reality intrudes. In this case, and at this time, it happened to be the husband who showed up. In other cases, and at other times, other things happen, but sooner or later, reality always does intrude, and it delivers a nasty wakeup all each and every time.

Now, don’t get me wrong, dear reader. I did not go there to interrupt the affair or to humiliate anyone. I went there to see my wife and to support her. I went there to send her the clear message that I still care about her and love her, and that I still believe in her and us and our relationship. If this negatively impacts the adulterous relationship, well, that’s just how it’s going to work out. It’s a relationship that shouldn’t even be there in the first place.

How did I feel afterwards? Elated. Truly elated. I was thrilled. I got to see my wife, and it felt good. Something about that whole encounter seemed, in all its bizarre oddness and complete wrongness of circumstances, really right. It felt like the real beginning of the end of that affair.

Remember that significant detail I asked you to remember? (It’s okay, you can go back and take a peek if need be.) The adulterer turned his back and walked away. This means one thing and one thing only: the affair is dead. Dead, dead, dead. A man who truly believes in his partner does not walk away from her under any circumstances. Instead, he’ll take a stand for what he believes to be right, which in his case should be her, right?

Wrong. His actions spoke volumes. The aversion of the eyes, and then the walkaway, followed by the cowering among jackets that were not his. This is the action of a child, not a grown man, and especially not a grown man who is nearing fifty. One would think a man of his age — a man with a grown, married daughter, no less — would know better. He does not.

I walked out into that blustery December night and drove home. My trip home took about twenty minutes. Sometime later, they stepped out into that same blustery December night and drove “home”: he to his house, and she to the place he calls home, a “home” that was never and will never be hers. That drive would have taken them about an hour. I have no idea what transpired during that journey, but I imagine it was not very pleasant.

I’ve heard nothing since, and I guess part of me is waiting for the other shoe to drop. A lot of things could happen, but one out come is certain: the affair is dead. It might not be over yet, but it’s dead. Dead, dead, dead.