Tag Archives: Dogs

It Was A Good Day

I broke my mala a couple of months ago. This ended up to be a very fortunate karmic turn of events.

I know this is a strange way to start a post, but it is extremely relevant. I have a couple of malas that I use in my spiritual practice; one is made of sandalwood, the other is of the finest grade lapis lazuli. I really splashed out on the latter; I was feeling the need for inspiration, as I had kind of gotten stuck in my practice as a result of my marital crisis. I practiced with that mala fairly often, and then one day, as I was getting ready to walk out of the door to go to work, I went to put it around my neck (I was going to need it later in the day) and — snap! — the cord broke and the beads went everywhere.

Now, there are “officially” 108 beads on a mala — those are the ones you count if you’re doing mantra repetitions — but there actually are more. This mala had 3 turquoise spacer beads (these are sometimes known as “resting” beads), plus a large “guru” bead that marks the end of the circuit of beads. You skip the spacer beads, or pause on them, and you stop at the guru bead and turn the mala around to do another round of mantras. In all, that makes for 112 beads. Well, actually the spacer beads had little metal spacers around them on each end, so that would add in a total of 6 more beads, making 118.

None of this is terribly important, except for the number 108. The beads literally went all over the floor, and I managed to find 107 of the lapis beads, as well as all the other parts. But there was one lapis bead I never did find, and to this day I have no idea where it absconded to.

When a mala breaks, you can get it restrung, but this can be costly. I got quotes ranging from $30 to $150, and only one person could assure me of replacing that missing bead with something of comparable quality. Grade AA lapis is hard to come by, I guess.

This past week, I went on the search for one such bead. I found a local purveyor who had some, but they were something more like Grade C, and the color was not a good match. Nevertheless, I bought a string, and got some cheap (Grade D) jade beads: I figured I’d better have something to practice with before trying to restring my mala. In the end, I made mala with the jade beads, and a couple of bracelets with the remaining jade and lapis beads. On the evening I was making these pieces, a car drove by and posted a note on the utility pole just in front of our house. A little Pomeranian had gone missing, and the owner was looking for her. There was a reward, and a request not to approach the dog, but to keep her in sight until the owner arrived. This little poster ended up being very significant.

I gave one of the lapis bracelets to my wife, dropping it off at the colleague’s house. (No thanks were received for this, of course.) I also learned how to make tassels and Chinese endless knots. I ended up going back to the bead store over the weekend to purchase some green aventurine beads to make an “official” mala — one that I could actually use in practice. I think I pretty much got the hang of it, and I found it to be a good mindfulness practice.

This is all a long-winded lead-up to the events of today. This morning, I visited another bead store that had some lapis beads that were a very close match to the one that I was missing. I bought a string of these beads, and came home to finally restring that mala. I also had to drop by the shop to get some food for the dog. Thus, I ended up running late this morning, and finished the mala restring just minutes before I needed to go to work. I didn’t really have a chance to check out the mala very much, so I brought it with me as I got in the car to head out to work.

I managed to make it about 4 houses down our street, when I saw a small animal that looked like it could have been the missing dog. I couldn’t really believe my eyes. I stopped the car, and got out to verify. The dog was skittish, and ran up the driveway of a neighbors house. I was the dog perched on the neighbors porch, and asked another neighbor if the owner of the house had a dog; I was told that the owner only had a cat. I got on the phone and called the owner, who was about 10 miles away, but who promptly turned around and said he’d be on the scene in about 20 minutes.

Right about this time, another neighbor walked by with her three dogs, and I told her what was going on. She offered to help, and first took her dogs home so they wouldn’t scare the little Pomeranian. She was able to see that the little dog had run into the back yard of this house, and I was able to notify the owner of the house, who came out to help. We could not locate that little dog, though.

The owner arrived shortly thereafter — a young, college-aged guy who clearly loved his dog. I filled him in on the details, and we went into the back yard. The other neighbor had circled the block to see if the dog had escaped the yard, and in fact she had. The owner hopped the back fence and joined her in the neighboring yard, and within a few minutes, they located that little Pomeranian,

This was one of the happiest experiences I’ve had in recent memory. His dog had escaped on February 28th, just a couple of blocks away, and had not been seen for five days. The weather had alternated from rainy and blustery to clear and sub-freezing cold in that time, and it is likely that the dog had had little to nothing to eat or drink in this period. Nevertheless, she looked pretty healthy. The owner said he’d contact me regarding the reward, but really the reward was just being able to help.

The winds of karma blow in all sorts of unpredictable ways, and sometimes they can bring great fortune to those whose paths cross as a result.

Today is Wednesday

There are only two things standing between me and reconciling my marriage: time and money. Please allow me to explain.

Today is Wednesday. Today is the day that my wife comes into town. Today is the day that we normally see each other and swap “custody” of our dog.

Something tells me that today is different.

My wife has been in avoidance mode for the past two weeks. She did not contact me last week in any way to try to collect the dog for her week of “custody.” Something tells me that this pattern is likely to continue this week. The one thing I can point to is that Thanksgiving is next week, and she’ll probably want to take the dog then. That being the case, she may just rationalize an agenda that involves blowing me off for another week.

It’s just gone 8:00 a.m. here, and I normally would not hear from her before 9:00 a.m. anyway.

Still, something tells me that today is different. I am just getting this weird kind of “sea change” feeling. It’s certainly as if something has shifted inside of me.

Honestly, despite all of my pontifications and and assertions about doing what I can and leaving the rest up to karma, there has been a side of me that has really held on — for dear life, almost — to this situation for almost a year now. It has mostly manifested as a desire for information, and honestly that information has been easy to come by. There are numerous public outlets (e.g. Facebook) via which I can get information about where she is and what she’s doing. I have visited some of these sites, not just because I wanted that information, but also because I felt it gave me insight into her mentality. In truth, it did this as well, but then there was also a third aspect: I’d visit these sites because I miss her.

That’s right. I miss my wife. I miss her each and every day that she’s not here. I miss her terribly. Even though I would sometimes see things that were unpleasant to me (e.g. pictures of her and the adulterer together) I still just wanted to have some sort of contact with her presence. In a way, it was kind of pathetic. Understandable, but pathetic.

Somehow, I just don’t feel the need to do this anymore. Perhaps this has something to do with other reconciliations I’m hearing about right now. I’ve learned of a couple of these in the past week, and have gained a lot of insight into the mind of the wayward spouse as a result. That insight has given me tremendous hope, and also allowed me to loosen my grip on the situation such that (I believe) things can truly change.

The insight I’ve gleaned, both from these experiences as well as others, is basically this:

  • Affairs are addictive forms of behavior. They really do act on the wayward spouses’ brains in the way a drug would.
  • Affairs have no future. They pretty much always end.
  • Affairs fulfill at best just a handful of emotional/personal needs that weren’t getting filled by the marriage.
  • Since the marriage fulfilled most of those emotional/personal needs, the absence of the marriage leads the wayward spouse to feel empty and unfulfilled most of the time, even and especially when he or she is with the affair partner.
  • The wayward spouse knows what he or she is doing is wrong, but due to the addictive nature of affairs, finds it virtually impossible to stop.
  • The addiction of the affair causes the wayward spouse to do things that he or she would never otherwise have considered, e.g. to lie, be deceitful, cause tremendous pain to others, be insensitive and callous, etc.
  • The wayward spouse has a truly wily mind, that is very creative in making the rationalizations it needs to sustain the affair.
  • The wayward spouse may even rationalize sticking to an affair that obviously is not working out (and that obviously has no future), mainly out of a stubbornness of ego that has to prove that it has made the “right” choice.
  • At some point, the glasses come off, the walls crumble, and the house of cards that is the affair blows down. This pretty much always happens.

Somehow, I just have the feeling that we’re finally getting there. The holidays are upon us once again, and there will be serious guilt on my wife’s conscience and emptiness in her heart if she tries to spend those again with a family that truly is not (and never will be) hers. I somehow find it hard to imagine that she’ll be able to weather the holidays this year without some sort of breakdown.

This is why the continued avoidance makes sense to me. It helps her to sustain the impossible just a wee bit longer. But the reality is that her lifestyle is totally unsustainable, and that it will simply have to come to an end.

One simple manifestation of this unsustainability manifested this weekend. I checked our bank account online, and found that her account (which she originally opened for business purposes many years ago) had gone seriously overdrawn. She had done some online shopping, and apparently had not checked how little money she had in her account. Honestly, this made no sense to me at all. I thought about what I should do: should I just let it ride and allow her to sweat it out a bit? Or, should I do the right thing and cover her overdraft?

I did the right thing.

There’s only one pool of money in a marriage anyway, so I covered her overdraft. Then I sent her an email to let her know I’d done this. No response . No acknowledgement whatsoever. Just complete avoidance. It’s not that I could really afford to cover her overdraft; in reality, it will make finances much tighter for me this month as a result. But, I just value my marriage more.

I’ve said it before, I said it at the beginning of this post,  and I’ll say it again: there are only two things standing between me and reconciling my marriage right now: time and money. I’ve got plenty of the former, but not a lot of the latter. If you, dear reader, enjoy or value this blog or my writing, you may kindly donate through the box below. (The amount just a default, but is editable.) I’ll thank you, and this blog will thank you; eventually, my wife will thank you too.

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Say Something in Response

A number of years ago, I was driving in to work on a deserted country road, elevated above agricultural fields about 10 feet below; on each side of the road was a dirt birm that sloped down at a 45-degree angle toward those fields. It was a crisp, November morning, and there was black ice on the road. The sun was just coming up, and I was going about 50 miles per hour. In the middle of the road, I suddenly came upon a bird. It was just standing there, looking at me. I swerved so as not to hit it. Then the car began to fishtail out of control, and I realized I was about to go off the road — at 50 miles per hour.

If you’ve ever been in a similar situation, you’ll know that there is a moment of spaciousness that occurs at such times, when you begin to lose the reference point of the self and things just open up. Time slows down and everything is crystal clear. I was very calm with the realization that I could be in very serious trouble.

I did what one is never supposed to do: I slammed on the brakes. I figured that, if I were going to go down the birm and into the ditch, I might as well do that as slowly as possible. Fortunately, there was nobody else on the highway, and my car exited the road at a 90-degree angle to the pavement on its way to spinning backwards. The car slid down that birm, still going backwards, until it came to rest about halfway down the embankment. Somehow, it did not flip or roll. I then realized that I needed to get out of that car, lest it begin to roll, but the weight of the door at that 45-degree angle I was now sitting at made it hard to open. I thought about exiting the passenger-side door, but realized that, if the car were to roll, it would then roll onto me. I got the driver-side door open, got out, and called a tow truck. That was my response, and I waited for an hour and a half for the tow-truck driver to find me.

Last night, I went to a talk by a Zen roshi, a Western teacher in that East Asian tradition. He was giving a talk about koans, the pithy, often paradoxical statements used in the Zen tradition to disrupt normal, discursive thought. He used the following koan as a springboard :

A student asked Yunmen, “What is the teaching that lasts a lifetime?”
Yunmen said, “Say something in response.”

He then began to talk about mistakes, and the potential that these have to awaken us in our daily lives. The mistake itself is not the problem, but rather our reaction to the mistake: if we can simply embrace the fact that we screwed up, and just genuinely be with that situation, then it all becomes very workable. As a practical example, he gave an anecdote from his life that struck me as very familiar:

One day some years ago, he was driving down a deserted highway at a pretty high rate of speed. He was just enjoying the act of driving, and the fact that he could go along at a pretty good clip, since there was nobody else out there. Then, up ahead, an old man in a big old car (I’m thinking of one of those Buick Skylarks, or something like that approached a stop sign at the side of the highway, which out in this stretch lacked the normal on- and off-ramps. The old man went right through the stop sign and entered the highway at a very low speed, and began to accelerate — slowly. Seeing this car enter the highway, the teacher hit the brakes and tried to swerve, and ended up spinning in circles on that highway. The elderly man in the old car just trundled off, oblivious to what was going on behind him.

When the car stopped spinning, the teacher ended up backwards on that highway, but unharmed. He then put the car in gear, turned it around, and kept driving. That was his response.

We all make mistakes in our lives, some of them bigger than others. I don’t think I’ve ever made a blunder quite as huge and with such life-altering potential as the blunder my wife has made with her adultery. Not only that, it is such an enormous mistake that it has engendered a succession of further mistakes: errors in judgment, improper behaviors, lies, obfuscations, and so on. It truly boggles the mind what can happen when it gets bogged down with ego and its endless need to justify.

So it is that Saturday has arrived, and I have still not seen my dog this week. As I wrote earlier, my wife never delivered the dog on either of the days that she was in town. So I had to say something in response. I’m not going Zen here, or trying to be philosophical, but I did have to say something. I called her, and it quite predictably went straight to voice mail. Then I emailed, with simple question: “Where’s [the dog]?” Her response came back fairly quickly, and in a very offhand manner she said the dog was with her, and that she hoped I was doing well.

Avoidance. That’s exactly what this is. She does not want to see me, speak to me, or deal with me. Not only that, I think that my look into the crystal ball was probably right. That grizzled geezer who visited them last week up there at Camp C-S probably advised her to do exactly what she’s doing: blow him off, don’t give him the dog, make him understand that this is “for real.” If that’s true, and I suspect it is, I can only say one thing in response:

What a jerk.

Well, actually, that’s quite judgmental. It would be much more fair to say, “What a sadly confused human being.”

I did respond to this email, asking her to call me. Predictably, she did not. I gave her an entire day, and emailed again this morning, again asking her to call me, and offered to facilitate that for her if there were (absurdly speaking) some problem with her phone. I’d give it 50/50 odds at best that I get a phone call; more likely than not she will email with some sort of half-baked, blow-me-off-again reply.

The point here is that there needs to be a response to this action. The simple response is how I feel when she does this: I feel violated. My trust has been violated, again. The bigger response incorporates the need for us to talk about the dog. She is a sentient being with emotions and memories. Pets are often adversely affected by marital problems, and my wife’s proposed solution of alternating weeks of “custody” just isn’t working out. She told me that she thought it wasn’t healthy for the dog to be shuttled back and forth between our home and some officially still-undisclosed location, and I agree. But I think it is equally unhealthy for the dog to be housed in one of those two locations without both of us present. It simply isn’t fair to the dog, who doesn’t understand why her “pack,” an association that was imprinted on her very early on, is broken up.

I’m not sure what signs my wife is seeing, but I’m sure she is seeing some. She probably chooses to ignore their significance. The signs I see are clear: when the dog comes home from Camp C-S, she goes to her bed in our marital bedroom, and sleeps for eight hours. This is a very deep sleep, that seems to be occurring as though it were in response to a protracted trauma. I can understand that, as she gets taken to a location that is not her home, and is forced to spend time with a person whose motives she doubtless can sense are impure. Then, the rest of the week that she is here, she will walk around the house at least a few times a day and cry. She’s not crying because she’s hungry or wants to go out. She’s crying because my wife is not there. My wife does not see this and likely will not understand.

At any rate, issues cannot be tabled forever, and this is an issue that does need to be addressed. Of course, the point could be moot if my crystal ball musings are accurate: her parents could call her and clearly object to all the things she has done and continues to do. Were that to happen, the walls could come crashing down in the next few days.

Then I’d have to say something else in response.

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A Look into My Crystal Ball

Today is Thursday. This is one of the two days my wife is in town each week. The normal rhythms of our interactions for the past several months have been that she surfaces on a Wednesday morning and leaves on a Thursday afternoon, and I see her at some point on one of those days. The ruse is to exchange “custody” of our dog, one week with me, one with her. This past week was her week, and this would normally mean that she would contact me on Wednesday morning to arrange for me to come get the dog.

Not this week, though. You see, last week, amidst all the pushback she gave me was a statement about how she did not like having the dog shuffled back and forth. Personally, I agree: I don’t think it’s a good thing for the dog to be shuffled back and forth, and since the dog is clearly much happier here at home, she really should just stay here. Last week she did ask me if she could have the dog “for the week,” so I’m guessing that somehow that a week now means something more than seven days.

She has been quite public about the affair with her various blog and Facebook postings, and from these I’ve seen that there has been a visitor up there at Camp You-Know-What. This visitor is an older male friend of the adulterer. There is a trail of public information on this person, for a variety of reasons, and one of the things I learned is that this guy had a fairly troubled life that led to at least one divorce. Somehow I had suspected this, and was not surprised.

I’ve just had the sneaking suspicion that, with this other failure-at-relationships type around, my wife would look to these two older men, one more grizzled than the other is bald, for some destructively awful relationship advice. Sure, I let my imagination run wild with it, but if I were to tell you that I think they sat around a table and listened to her slander me prodigiously, I probably wouldn’t be too wide of the mark. And if I were to say that I imagined this grizzled, coarse visitor to bluntly tell her to screw me over in some way — you know, a “make him get used to it” kind of attitude — I probably wouldn’t be too off-base, either. So it doesn’t really come as much of a surprise to me that this is happening.

I do, however, foresee a potential shitstorm of surprises in her future. First, I know that she is planning an overseas trip with the adulterer, and that this is supposed to take place in about a week. Second, I know that her parents will be receiving the letter I wrote them in the next few days, and almost certainly before this trip might begin. Not only that, but my parents are planning to send her parents a card to offer their condolences, and this will certainly cause some extra ripples. Third, it seems that my wife has become rather skillful at compartmentalizing her life, especially in the ways she disseminates information. She seems to have several filters through which things go, and her Facebook page bears this out: there is a small amount of public information; the rest is controlled through what I imagine are various privacy settings. Her blog is public, but I do not think she has broadcast its existence too widely, and it seems to be for a select few friends overseas. I do not think her parents know of its existence at all. I imagine they would be mortified to see what she’s doing. They just seem to have taken a big step back from the whole process and are trying to avoid confrontation; that’s my take on it, anyway. She does come from a culture that does value the avoidance of confrontation and the importance of mediation of conflicts, so I guess that makes sense.

Taking out my imaginary crystal ball — and why shouldn’t I, for a guy can dream, can’t he? — here’s what I foretell:

My wife’s family will receive the card I sent; this is likely to arrive in the next few days. They may choose to reach out to me, but will feel very awkward about doing so. However, it is very likely that they will do at least a few, somewhat predictable things. First, they will reach out to my wife and tell her that they received a letter from me. The will describe its contents, remark on the fact that it was handwritten, and seems to have been skillfully translated. There may be other aspects of this conversation that I’ll get to in crystal ball reading number two, below. Second, they will consult various spiritual guides and mentors. I can pretty much count on this happening. My mother-in-law is a spiritual dabbler par excellence, and I don’t mean this in a derogatory manner: she is genuinely curious, and explores all sorts of avenues. She will likely, at a minimum, consult a priest who also does spiritual-medium work. My father-in-law has recently received some sort of credentials in energy healing; I’m not sure entirely what this involves, but it likely has a connection with Reiki. He will likely, at a minimum, talk to an energy worker who has treated him for many years. This man is purported to be a very effective healer, and also is said to be rather clairvoyant. I’d say it’s 90% likely that he gets advice from him. Third, they will also likely consult a family friend who is a fortune teller. The net result of all of these consultations will very likely be the revelation that their daughter is on a path of destruction, and that they can either intervene to derail it, or sit idly by and watch her life implode.

So that’s crystal ball reading number one. Reading number two deals with the confluence of these likely events, and their likely outcomes:

They will intervene, finally. Her father will receive an unambiguous message that tells him that he must intervene. Her mother will receive a message about her daughter walking through a self-induced pit of despair and needing guidance out of that void. The fortune teller will read the various life cycles and talk about luck trajectories, but will be somewhat non-committal, as the key players (i.e. my wife and me) will not be able to be consulted. This is where things could get interesting. They could reach out to me, by phone, email, mail, or Skype. If they choose to speak to me, they will make sure that my brother-in-law is there, as he speaks English, or they will get a translator. They will reach out to my wife, and there will be arguments, disagreements, heated discussions, and fights that send her storming away from the phone. They will discover that she is intending to go out of town, and will wonder how she could be so callous at such a difficult time for the family. They may discover her blog, and they will not be happy with what they see.

But, you know, I don’t have a crystal ball lying around the house. I just have my intuition and my imagination, and they serve me well enough. I don’t discount the possibility of any or all of the above occurring. I do anticipate things getting very dicey up there at Camp C-S in the very near future.

So once again, dear reader, it seems that the old adage is true: patience is a virtue. As you can see from my archives here, I’ve been writing this blog for ten months now. I really thought that, by this time, the affair would be old history and we would have begun reconciling. It seems that things in life never quite work out like you imagine they might. You just have to sit tight and enjoy the show.

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First Contact

Ah, yes, how the mighty have fallen.

I used to be the king of positive contact. I would have week after week of positive interaction with my wife on the limited occasions I’d get to see here. I could boast of several months in a row of positive trending. Week after week I continued to build goodwill.

All of that changed on August 8, 2012. I had two phone conversations with her; the first one was a bit short, and the second one was long and quite negative. It began a phase of silent treatment in which my wife shut off her cell phone and tried to close all avenues of contact. Of course, I did my due diligence and found other ways to reach her. But the fact remained that she tried to shut me out for over a month.

So this mighty marriage warrior, who once boasted of all these positive contacts, is now regaling you with a much smaller-scale victory. She called me today. Okay, she had to. She wants to have the dog for the next week. I’m totally okay with that. The dog has been with me for an entire month. This was not my choice, but rather her negligence. It has truly been an anomaly. She made no effort whatsoever to try to pick up her dog, and so she just stayed here week after week. She finally emailed me earlier this week to see if she could have the dog for a week, and my response was simple: “Call me, and let’s chat.” That’s right, we can conduct this business over the phone.

I dropped her an email with a video in it (this is the only way I can get positive contact these days) and she emailed me back about 3 minutes later to say she would try to call tonight. I did try to call her a couple of times today, but her cell phone was off. This evening, after I got home from work, I discovered that she had it turned back on. I left a message — her voice mail box was no longer full. And lo and behold, she did actually call me back. We have arranged for me to stop by her colleague’s house tomorrow morning, where I’ll be dropping the dog off. We also have tentatively agreed to have coffee.

Something is up, folks; something is really up. I don’t have much of a sense for the state that she’s in, but I think it is not good. There has got to be problems by this point. The affair is quite likely starting to break down, although she would be the last one to admit it. Not that an affair looks like anything drastic as it begins to break down; instead, I suspect it just looks like a “normal” relationship becoming normal. That is, the problems that arise in any relationship once the infatuation wears off have likely started to come to the fore. You know, the annoying habits, the crass choices of words, the impatience with little foibles, and so on. While these are tolerable in a healthy marriage, they can begin to spell doom for an unmarried partnership, and they absolutely foretell the death of an affair.

You see, in a boyfriend-girfriend situation, there is really nothing to keep you vested in that relationship once these problems arise, so after a time those relationships tend to end, with both partners feeling “out of love.” Affairs are different, though. Affairs begin with lies and deceit, and poison the very ground upon which they are built. They utterly lack in trust and mutual respect, and are founded upon the most flimsy and superficial of pretenses, e.g. “my mister/mistress completes me; he/she is perfect.” That’s right, they say this stuff. The affair partner fulfills those two or three things that seemed to have been missing in the marriage, and that’s what makes that person “perfect.” But what about all those other dozens if not hundreds of things the spouse actually was providing? The affair partner has absolutely no chance at providing those, and it’s a good bet that there are a lot of essentials on that list. You know, things like trust, feelings of emotional safety, true understanding, and so forth. When the infatuation wanes, so does the attachment to those two or three things that makes the affair partner “perfect;” in their place arise the dozens if not hundreds of foibles and personality faults that will destroy the affair. These had always been there, but just hadn’t been noticed, or were conveniently ignored.

My wife has been at this affair for just over eleven months. She has been living with this person for just over five months. There has been plenty of time and certainly ample opportunities for the foibles and flaws to rise to the surface, and for the infatuation to have died away, which it almost certainly has at this point. What likely remains in its place is a hollow shell, coupled with the realization that that super-rosy future both partners had envisioned was merely an illusion. From there, it’s a short road to the end of the affair. All it takes is a trigger, and an argument or altercation works just fine for that purpose.

Something tells me the end is near, folks, and that the affair could come screeching to a halt in a mere matter of weeks, if not sooner. And while I might sense that — and especially if my hunch is right — my wife and her adulterer will almost certainly be the last to know. They probably have no idea it’s coming right now.

Trending positively, once again

I’ve been meaning to write an update to for some time, but have just been to busy to get around to it. It’s been a very busy week, followed by a pretty busy weekend. Nevertheless, I’ll at least try to hit the highlights.

I was recalling the other day that the night my wife took her then-emotional affair physical was a night of complete misery for me. I was left home alone with a story that made no sense at all, yet had a tiny bit of plausibility. It was Halloween. She claimed to be going to a party. That morning, she had coffee with a friend who, as I later learned, encouraged her to dump me, to “move on” and to go ahead and commit adultery. What on earth is wrong with people like that? This person is a married woman with two kids. That fact alone just makes me wonder. My wife came home after having coffee with this woman, and then left in the early afternoon to go shopping. She told me that she would be going out to a Halloween party with some new friends, and might not come home. These “friends,” whom I’d never met (and who remained nameless) had purportedly invited her to spend the night so that she could talk over her life situation.

My wife did not return home that evening, and I was really feeling horrible. This was the first time she’d ever done anything like this, and the sense of abandonment was pretty severe. She left her computer at home. I snooped, yes I did. I found nothing of any major significance, save for an email to the adulterer. There was nothing directly incriminating in the email, but there were some comments from him that made me suspicious. I was really feeling quite despondent and desperate. I tried to go to sleep, but simply could not. I spent the entire night awake with my mind racing. I learned a day later that she had, in fact, consummated that affair.

This past Tuesday I had a similarly restless night. My sleep was fistful, and not restful at all. I woke up around 4:00 a.m. and simply could not sleep anymore. I lied in bed with a racing mind that simply would not quieten. Eventually, I decided to get out of bed at 5:00 a.m. and start working. I had a bit of left-over paperwork from the previous day, and thought I’d just take care of that and get it out of the way. But something just left this nagging feeling in my mind. The quality of my sleep, or more properly the lack thereof, reminded me very much of that Halloween night. That night seemed to me as if there was some sort of psychic disturbance that was disrupting the energy in my relationship with my wife, a type of disturbance I’d never before experienced. It was almost a kind of diffuse violence; this did end up manifesting in my life as a very real eruption of emotional violence visited up on me in the form of the revelation of the affair. So, as I moved into the early hours of Wednesday morning, I couldn’t help but think that maybe something was coming unglued in my wife’s life right now.

I did end up seeing her on Wednesday, meeting for our weekly “date night.” She had blown off our normal meeting the previous week, and had done so two weeks before that as well. Thus, I was rather glad to be able to see her again. I swung by to pick her up as she was leaving a client’s house. Her mood seemed kind of down and even a bit sour. I offered to take her to a favorite tea house, as her stomach was bothering her from having had a fairly large lunch. She agreed, and thought it to be a great idea. We spent a bit of time there, and her energy did begin to turn around rather slowly. I was very relaxed, calm, and confident, but she seemed quite distant and preoccupied. Nevertheless, I did manage to get a few chuckles out of her while reminiscing about a few things.

We eventually left the tea place, and stopped by a bookstore for a browse. She bought a couple of cards, and I showed her my “secret” spot where I’d picked up a couple of good books for her in the previous months: the bargain section. She told me that she wanted to get some kombucha to help her stomach ache. I drove her to a market she had never seen before — one that I knew she would like — and let her do a bit of window shopping before she found the kombucha. It was starting to get late, so I took her back to the house at which she was spending the night. I did take the long way there, and she did not object. I told her shortly before we arrived that I had something to give her, and I allowed that expectation to sink in a bit. When we arrived, I gave her a wall calendar I’d picked up, one that was identical to one in our kitchen which she had shown great interest in on several occasions. I gave it to her and her eyes lit up. She thanked me, and then took her leave for the evening. I was to return the following morning to drop off the dog.

That I did. I stopped by on my way to work the next morning to bring the dog by. As I arrived, the owner of the house, and older Japanese woman, was there, preparing to leave for work. We have known this woman for some years, and I do believe that my wife has told her about our situation. This strikes me as odd, as this woman is an observant Christian, and it seems doubly odd, as this woman doesn’t seem to object to the quite obvious sins are being committed in her view: I do believe that the adulterer drops my wife off there, and it is quite likely that this woman has even met him. (Many things just do not compute.) At any rate, this woman said hello, and I greeted my wife, treating her very much like she was my wife — because, well, she is. I gave my wife a kiss on the forehead, and she sort of pulled away, probably because this older woman was there, and could see the whole thing. This is not behavior that would have been unusual for us around this woman, and it’s actually not something my wife even seems to object to when we’re alone. I guess it’s the reality of having this happen in an environment where she has told the story of this fairy tale that it becomes disturbing, for when the actual husband arrives and does something like this, he becomes the harbinger of the reality that the wayward spouse has tried so hard to avoid. That is, the reality that the affair is a sham, as is the entire fantasy world to which it is attached.

I left the dog with her, and went to work.

Then, some hours later, I get a series of texts from my wife telling me that our dog has a major flea infestation and that she thinks it would be best not to have the dog return to our house for a couple of weeks. She is under some belief that the dog is getting infested here, despite the fact that we have hardwood floors throughout the house and no carpeting, leaving few places for fleas to hide. In addition, I clean the house and wash the bedding every week to get rid of whatever fleas there might be. There is about the same likelihood of the dog picking up fleas at our place as there is just about anywhere in this region. In fact, the dog is more likely to get them at the adulterer’s house, as he has both chickens and a cat, and he also has carpeting in his house. (I have seen pictures.) My response was a short text saying that I was very concerned and that we should discuss this.

Well, you know what? She called me the following day. This is pretty unheard of. She never calls from the adulterer’s place, ever. But she did. I was working, so it went straight to voice mail. She sounded pretty shaky. It was kind of odd: the energy of her voice was just very ungrounded and she sounded quite unsure. I did call her back a few hours later — of course, my call went straight to voice mail — and told her that I had a solution, but woul dnot take this unilaterally and wanted to discuss this with her. So, I’m awaiting her reply, two days later. I’m not holding my breath.

At any rate, things still seem to be trending positively. This is the second slide I’ve seen in her energy in the past couple of months, and I take this as a likely sign that there are problems up there at Camp You-Know-What. Nine months is a long time for a wayward spouse to insist on a fantasy, and there certainly have been enough opportunities for the fog to begin to wear off. So, I continue to wait this one out.

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Coping with adultery

I write this post with the knowledge that there are many people in similar circumstances to mine. I also know that there are many people in far worse marital situations. Still, I hope this post will be helpful.

My wife has been having an affair for nearly 9 months now. The affair started on October 10 and rapidly escalated into a full-blown emotional affair over the next 2-3 days. She took it physical about 3 weeks later, on November 1. Since that time, I’ve been struggling with a wife who is addicted to that most potent of drugs: the affair fog.

It’s painful dealing with the affair fog. The person that you’ve known and loved for so many years is transformed into an incoherent pile of contradictions. The once moral, trustworthy, and upstanding person you once respected is transformed into an immoral, deceitful, and scandalous individual. The wife who promised to spend the rest of her life with you suddenly decides to move out, and even goes so far as to move in with her adulterous “partner.” It is all so bizarre, so utterly bizarre.

At some point, clarity arrives. You begin to be able to see through the fog, to see under it, above it, and around it. You begin to see that the fog is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. It’s a complete sham — a house of cards that threatens to blow down at any moment. You can see how utterly pointless and even stupid the adulterous relationship is, how it has no enduring power, and how it is fated to crumble under the weight of its own immorality. You can sense just how juvenile the adulterous partners are, running around like high school kids in the throes of infatuation, for that’s all they really have, anyway: infatuation. When clarity arrives, things start to become more bearable. You get the sense that, so long as you can endure things a little longer, they will turn for the better.

Today is Wednesday, July 4, 2012. Wednesdays are normally the days on which the adulterer brings her to town. He drives her in in his white pick-up truck (yes, I’ve seen it) and drops her off at one of two different locations that she might spend the night. Then she calls me to arrange either for drop off or pick up of our dog, as this is also the time frame for “custody” exchange. Then, she teaches a student in the afternoon, perhaps has a rehearsal in the evening (not these days, as the group is on hiatus for the summer), and dozes off in either the dingy basement of an older colleague or the tiny guest room of a slightly decrepit house of an acquaintance who is currently trying to get herself divorced from her estranged husband. On Thursdays she’ll have the morning free, and teach a couple of students in the afternoon prior to being picked up by the adulterer in his white pick-up truck, to be hauled back for another 5 days at Camp You-Know-What. Usually I will get to see my wife on either Wednesday or Thursday, and on rare occasion, both.

Not this week. Wednesday falls on a national holiday. I’ve heard nothing from my wife, and I take this to mean that she has opted not to come into town at all this week. She is likely at some festivities somewhere with the adulterer. One thing is for certain: she has chosen to abandon her dog for the week. This is supposed to be her week of “custody,” starting today. But, she never showed up. She never called. She never emailed or texted to tell me what’s going on. I can only assume that she is giving up her week with the dog, just so she can have an extra day or two with the adulterer.

I don’t mind keeping the dog for another week — I gave her a much needed flea bath — but I do mind the lack of opportunity to see my wife this week. I normally can get in a weekly “date night,” and these are really quite critical in the process of trying to begin the reconciliation of my marriage. I also get the opportunity to give her a little gift of some kind. That will all have to wait until next week, I guess.

So what of the affair fog? Well, at some point, things start to line up that begin to burn the fog away. As I mentioned in my last post, it appears that both my wife and the adulterer have encountered some turbulence that is perhaps leading to unexpected consequences. As the fog begins to burn away, the wayward spouse begins to be confronted head on by the seriousness of their poor choices. This, it seems causes a reaction: the wayward spouse tries to keep the fog in place. They do whatever they can to keep their story in place. But it’s futile. Any attempts to keep the fog from burning off are simply going to be made in vain. Once the fog starts to dispel, there’s no turning back.

I have no idea where things are headed right now. I’ll likely have to just wait another week to get a read on things. It’s slow business, this reconciliation stuff, but it sure beats the heck out of the alternatives.