Tag Archives: Croissants

Getting tired

I think the thing I look forward to most in writing these posts is selecting the pictures that go along with them. These are mostly all pictures that my wife has taken at various times; some have special memories attached to them, some do not.

With that said, I find myself without much to say tonight. I’m just getting tired. This crisis is really starting to wear me down. I was told at the outset that it was going to be a marathon, and that I’d need endurance. I just did not realize how true that was going to be. It’s been over six months that I’ve been at this, you know. That’s a long time. I’d just like for it to be over, all over, that’s all.

My wife texted me tonight to let me know I could have the dog from tomorrow through Thursday of next week. Then she emailed me tonight to make arrangements for the pick-up. Her tone was quite distant. I just find it so annoying. I have no idea how things will turn out tomorrow. I’ll have some sort of surprise for her. That’s standard. Croissants, probably. I’ll be pleasant, positive, and confident. She will probably look tired, worn down, worried, guilty, and have that cloud of grey over her head. She asked me to pick up the dog at the acquaintance’s house, the same place as last week, and then to drop her off downtown. I have no problem with any of this.

I’m just waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Waiting for the affair to end. Waiting, and waiting, and waiting. And it will end, some day in the near future, sometime, somehow. I suspect that the timing will be totally improbable. But who am I to guess? I’m not psychic. I do have a sense, however, of just how troubled her energy is. I think she’s in a lot of turmoil and pain that is just being covered over with this flimsy veneer of “happiness.” That won’t last. The bubble is getting ready to burst, and all it will take is one good argument.

Anyway, not to bore you with my ramblings tonight. Just enjoy the picture.

The silence ends; the game plan is revealed

It dawned on me this morning that my wife would be teaching a student at home this afternoon. I had a hankering for some croissants, so I headed out around 9:30 or so for our favorite artisanal bakery. Best croissants in town, hand down. They also have the best quiche you can find this side of the Atlantic (or Pacific, for that matter). Plus, they make unusual things, like kouign amann. I bought a couple of croissants, and an apple tart for my wife. I brought the dog along, as she needed to get out of the house, and they have dog cookies there, so she always gets a couple.

When I got home, I heard the piano through the door. I was kind of surprised. My hereto incommunicado wife had returned home. I told her that I’d brought her breakfast, and she could come out to join me. She came into the living room, and asked me what I had done with the extra boxes she had bought. I told her that I had put them out in the garage, which is detached from our house. I asked her why she was asking, and she said that she still needed to pack her things. I took the opportunity to remind her that this was her house, and she could just leave things here as long as she liked.

With this, she got a bit miffed. She asked me if I had read and understood her note that she left me last week. I told her I had read it several times, actually. She asked me if I had understood the message she was trying to give her, and to this I said that I actually didn’t really get what she was trying to get across. She wanted to know what I thought she was saying, and I told her, quite truthfully that it seemed to me that she was trying to do two things: a) express gratitude, and b) apologize. Beyond that, I couldn’t really get much else. Seriously, it seemed a bit waffling and confusing to me, so I couldn’t really get that much else out of it — I even needed to discuss this with my counselor. I didn’t tell her any of this latter stuff, though.

So then she started to unload. Not in a hostile way, but rather in a quite defensive one. She said that she was a bit upset that it had been two months since she moved out and I hadn’t “moved on.” I just listened. She was trying to tell me in that letter that she regretted her decisions, but felt they were absolutely necessary, irreversible, and that there was no hope for our relationship. She would not be coming back. And so on. I took the opportunity to remind her that I have not given up on our relationship at all. I told her that, no matter what had happened in the past, I still believed in us, and felt that hope was not lost at all.

This caused her to dig her heels in even more. Her body language hardened. She was sitting across the table from me, but she turned her body 45 degrees away. Then she crossed her arms. She was visibly tense. She maintained that she saw no future with me. Then she gave away her entire game plan. She said that she needed to send me a harsh message and pack up all her stuff and move out, because I just wasn’t getting it: she was done, and to her mind there was no hope.

Okay, okay, okay. Now, if you’ve never read this blog before and you’re a typical American, you might say, “What don’t you get, you dolt? She says she’s done, so why don’t you just move on, like she wants you to?” Well, because I believe in marriage, I believe that when we promise our lives to our spouses we don’t just do it until things get difficult. We promise that we will persevere even when and especially when things get difficult. Difficulties always arise, and sometimes they can persist for quite a time, as they did in our case. But difficulties are opportunities, they’re not game enders. Most married couples just don’t know how to handle them. They become divisive, rather than uniting. Plus, I’m dealing with infidelity, which is probably the most impermanent of marital crises. In most times, even if you do all the wrong things, if you just give it time to run its course, the affair will just die its own natural death. Then the wayward spouse comes back, is terribly remorseful, and wants another chance. That is, if you have done at least some of the right things.

Back to the conversation: Things turned logistical. She wanted to know how we’d manage the dog if she moved out. It’s a quasi-custody thing. I said that I didn’t know, I’d just want to see her as much as I could. She asked about our joint possessions, what she could or should take, and what she might leave behind. I said I hadn’t given that any thought. She said she’d leave the bed, some bookshelves, and some other things, but would pack up her clothes, books, and other things like that. She had already packed up a bunch of plates and silverware back in January. This struck me as quite petty back then, but I’ve gotten used to it in the interim. I brought the bulk of the practical stuff into the marriage anyway. At some point, I ended up standing up while she was asking me all this. The tension that had marked the beginning of the conversation had faded, and I just had the sense that I could just give her a hug, so I did. I went up and held her, I held her head to my chest, and she started to cry. I did too a little bit. I sang a silly little song that she had made up some years ago. She kept crying. It was clear to me that she was in tremendous pain. I told her that I knew she felt an enormous amount of pain. I also told her that I understood that this was her process, and that she felt like she had to do this. I told her that I really didn’t care what she took, and in a way I wouldn’t even care if she took all my money. None of that mattered to me. That was the expression of my heart: love is too precious to allow possessions or money to stand in the way. Yes, that is reckless, but then I know that she is not vindictive and could not take me to the cleaners. Her conscience, even though it has withstood a tremendous amount of immorality, deceit, and perfidy, simply could not withstand that.

So, by the end of our conversation things had turned from surly and defensive to open and tender. I don’t feel the need to protect my heart, so I have no problems opening up. We ended up having lunch together, then I went to work. I reminded her that she could count on me to give her a ride home from her rehearsal should she need one. She assured me that would not be necessary. She asked me to drive safely as I left, and there was a look of kindness and tenderness about her. This simply was not the expression of a person hell-bent on destroying her marriage.

I came home with a tinge of dread in my heart, half expecting to find half-packed boxes everywhere. I entered the house and found nothing of the sort. There was no evidence of any packing whatsoever. There was evidence of two things: first, that she had taken a nap on the couch, and second, that she had used some rubber stamps that I’d bought her last week. I then went into the kitchen and saw that she had eaten some of the fish soup I had made over the weekend. She had also made some rice, since she had eaten the last of it. I had my dinner pretty late, and watched the news. Then she texted me to ask me if I could pick her up from her rehearsal, as her friends were out tonight and couldn’t pick her up. My response was, “Of course. You can always count on me.” I was there to pick her up. She thanked me, and said I “saved her life.”

I’m in this for the long haul, folks. She is obstinate. But unlike a lot of obstinate spouses out there, she seems to be only half-heartedly obstinate. Even with everything she has said, it’s still like there is one foot in the door while the other one is out. She does not seem to truly have the courage to do all of the things she professes to be wanting to do. Her parents do not support this journey. This came out in the things she told me. She hasn’t encountered any critical friends, or perhaps is avoiding them. When these surface, things will get more difficult. But there will likely be some other wake-up call. I have no idea what that will be or where it will come from, but as sure as I’m sitting here, some wake-up call will eventually arise.

Life is suddenly getting more interesting

A number of interesting developments have occurred since my last post. I finished that post shortly before I took my wife to her evening rehearsal at one of the few jobs she has decided to hold on to in her struggle to find a “new path.” When I came home, I called my parents. They worry about me (or more specifically, my mother worries, but then all mothers do) and so I make sure that I check in with them about once a week. I don’t talk specifics about my situation, but I do let them know that I’m okay and that things generally are going well.

After the phone call, I went into my wife’s office for some reason. I don’t even remember why I went in there, except that I had a legitimate reason to do so. I saw something very interesting on her desk, something I haven’t seen for over 3 months now: her wedding rings. She stopped wearing these back around the end of October. I didn’t notice it at first, and then she eventually told me she wasn’t wearing them and I was truly hurt. She said at that time that she didn’t feel married anymore, and so she felt like she shouldn’t be wearing them. This was a few days before she consummated her adulterous relationship, and I suspect that the adulterer was pivotal in her decision to stop wearing them. This was also around the time that she had changed her Facebook page by returning from her married to her maiden name, and by removing her marital status from her info page. I found all this out a bit later, and I found out that it was this other man who prompted her to do so. Why? Because his daughter, a grown woman in her early 20s, might find out that his lover was in fact married. Yes, I know that’s a pretty repulsive thought, but I do know that he told my wife that he planned on telling his daughter about this great new woman in his life, and he didn’t want her to look my wife up on FB and find out that she was married. This is emblematic of the thought processes of an adulterer, by the way.

Since late October I have not seen those wedding rings on her finger or anywhere else. They are family heirlooms and are tremendously valuable to me. I do recall that, after discovering her affair, I suggested she return them to me, but she never followed through with that and I did not insist on it either. I do remember a few times when she’d go away for the weekend that I’d go kind of nuts and scour the house looking for them, because I wanted them in my possession, not hers. But now there they are all of a sudden, sitting right there on her desk, and I’m not sure what to make of it.

Shortly after talking to my parents I had to go pick my wife up from the rehearsal. I had a pastry that I’d bought that morning for her, and she hadn’t eaten it yet; I knew that she would be having another session with the “energy worker” today and that she likely would not be returning home before heading out on the 2-hour bus journey to get there. As a result, I brought the pastry along to give to her, so she’d have some breakfast to eat tomorrow. Not only that, I brought the dog along for a ride in the car, for no other reason than that she’d like to see the dog before she goes to bed. I picked her up, gave her the pastry, and then drove her to her friends’ house where she has been spending the night the past 5 weeks or so. And that was it. Oh, and the dog sat on her lap the whole way there.

Then, when I got home, I logged on to Facebook for some reason. I have been pretty much off that site since November, since it’s been more of a source of destruction in my life than of anything positive. Somehow I ended up navigating to the FB page of the husband of the friend my wife is staying with (they have been married 15 years and together for 20). Right there on his wall was a message from the adulterer, saying something like “it was great seeing you yesterday.” Several comments in the form of a dialogue between the two of them followed. The adulterer mentioned my wife as though they were an actual couple, and as though their relationship were in some way normal. This just pretty much turned my stomach. I was extremely tempted to leave a comment right there, but didn’t do it. The adulterer clearly doesn’t know that I am this man’s FB “friend,” and this man (the husband) likely forgot that I am one of his “friends” as well. Fortunately his circle of “friends” does not include any of my friends or acquaintances, there is just no overlap, so nobody I would know via that medium would have seen this highly inappropriate exchange. Adulterers are very, very sloppy and careless and do stupid things like this, and I guess I also got to see that the people that aid and abet them, as this man and his wife clearly are doing, also are quite stupid and careless in their actions. Like I said, I really wanted to drop a comment there, but held my virtual tongue. I thought to myself how this might help my reconciliation efforts, and actually all it would do would be to disrupt them. Sure, it would be humiliating to several people, but they’d just push me away and then I’d have a longer road in front of me. So I kept my silence, watching this sad show from a distance, and kept the moral high ground.

The funny thing is, while I was looking at that page, I got a text message from my sister. This literally happened less than 30 seconds after navigating to this mans FB page. My sister told me that she had gotten a package from my in-laws. I called her to see if this was for real, and it was. You see, my sister did send them a Christmas card, and perhaps on occasion my in-laws might send one back, but they hadn’t done so for at least 2 years. My sister moved from a house a few doors from the Pacific ocean to one up in the hills a couple of years ago. My in-laws didn’t have her new address, and sent this package to her former home. A friend from a few doors down from that house, who is a particularly gregarious and affable guy that knows everyone on the street, learned from the new owners of the house that this package had been dropped off there, and they didn’t know what it was all about. He told them about the previous residents, and about me and my wife (he doesn’t know anything about our current predicament, though) and offered to get the package to my sister. He took it from them, called my sister, and said he’d leave it on his porch so she could swing by anytime to pick it up. His wife happens to be the principal at the school my sister’s kids attend, and the school is right on the ocean just a few blocks from their house. So she didn’t have far to go to pick up the package after taking the kids to school.

Inside the package there was a card, a couple of dolls, and a handwritten note. The note thanked my sister for her Christmas card, and explained that the enclosed gifts were for Hinamatsuri, or “Girls’ Day,” which falls on March 3. The card is very detailed, like the one you can see in this picture. The dolls likely look like ones in this picture. The note was short, but explained a bit about the history of the holiday, and was signed by my mother-, father-, and brother-in-law. This is significant. My sister’s comment was, “it’s like the circle of family is intact, but there’s just one piece that’s broken.”

That broken piece, of course, is my wife. My in-laws have already sent the customary New Year’s gift to my parents, and now this gift was sent to my sister. They didn’t need to do so much. In fact, they didn’t need to do anything at all. But they did. I don’t know a lot about my in-laws current feelings about my wife’s situation, but what I have managed to piece together so far indicates to me that they are very uncomfortable with what she’s doing and that, while they will listen to her, they do not truly support her current trajectory. It would appear to me that they are doing whatever they can from their end to try to smooth over the rough edges and perhaps even encourage reconciliation to take place. I don’t know this for sure, however, but my wife did indicate to me about a week and a half ago that she needed to go down her “new path” without her parents’ support or agreement.

Intuitively, I just sense that things are coming to a head. It is significant that she spent the entire day here yesterday, that she felt compelled to give me a belated Valentine’s gift, and that her tone seems to be confused yet somewhat softened. It also is significant to me that she is seeing this “energy worker” again right now, and that, even as I type this, she is getting her chakras balanced or something. This woman gives terrible marital advice, but maybe something will come out of it that will be positive to our reconciliation. Aside from sensing my wife’s deepening confusion, I have this sense that, deep down inside, she may be starting to miss “us”, our relationship, her home, and her life. I think I clearly can credit my counselor for having been so amazingly skilled in his choice of words and the timing in delivering them to my wife in last week’s session with him. I think these got through in a way that I simply could not. She has no stability right now and she clearly can see that. She has been couch surfing for 5 weeks and has no roots. She is trying to put down roots in poisoned soil with her ostensible plans to move in with the adulterer, but she might be sensing now that that is doomed to fail. She has already seen some unpleasant aspects of his character, and those won’t stop coming to light. Perhaps she can see that life with him would just be more of the same; on top of that, there is the reality that they have almost nothing in common, and that the relationship is just a superficial dream. At the same time, she can see from me that I am becoming more and more a pillar of stability, confidence, and morality.

This latter realization is significant to me: I’ve been working on reconciling now for over 3 months and endured the ups and downs, the gains and the losses. I’ve had to detach and let go of any attachment to the result of the process and just let it happen on its own time and in its own way. And this lack of attachment has truly been transformational. I am more certain of the outcome, I have a stronger vision, and my motivations have changed. For example, I gave many, many gifts while my wife was living here. Every night I’d make her bed, I draw her bath, I’d leave her a cup of tea and some little goodie or other, and sometimes I’d leave things like magazines or other things she likes. The truth be told, my motivation with all that giving was to get her to stay in the house and to save our marriage. But in the end she just pushed back against that and “moved out.” I’m not sure why, aside from acknowledging the fact that my wife is a strong-willed woman who will try to accomplish her objectives at just about any cost. I suspect she realized that her agenda was getting derailed by my actions, and decided to push harder to get what she wanted. It was almost as if she had to fulfill a psychological need to prove that her agenda was achievable.

Now that she’s not here so much, my motivation has changed. I just dropped a chocolate bar onto her desk with absolutely no attachment to the outcome at all. I didn’t do it because I want her to move back in. I didn’t do it because I want to save or fix my marriage. I just did it because it’s the right thing to do. I did it because it sends the simple message that I’m thinking about her, I know who she is and what she’s going through, and that I’m still available, regardless of what happens. And also that I know that she likes chocolate, and will eat a ton of it when she’s stressed out. She got a box of chocolates around New Year’s from the choir she rehearses with on Wednesdays, and she ate almost the whole thing as she attempted to pack boxes last month. Now that she’s chosen not to be here, there is nobody to make her bed, to draw her bath, or to look after her with loving kindness. There is only the empty specter of a fantasy affair that is nothing more than a fairy-tale veneer covering up a pig pen of sordidness.

Anyway, this sense of detachment is the space that I’m operating from, and it has been truly liberating. It is hard to get to that point, and in fact most people don’t; that’s why there are so many divorces in this day and age. But if you can get there, then just about anything becomes possible, including negotiating all those hurdles that stand between yourself and reconciliation.