Tag Archives: Holiday

Happy Holidays

This will just be a brief post to wish all my readers the happiest of holidays.

I realize that this time of year can be difficult, especially if you are dealing with a marriage in some state of crisis, but it is totally survivable. I’ve been through it before, last year at this time. I find that two things help.

First, attitude determines everything. In reality, the holidays are days just like any others, it’s just that we attach special significance to them because they are times of family gatherings, celebrations, and giving. However, there are many other times of year that are not holidays in which families gather, celebrate, and give. These holidays of course also have religious significance to some, and this is something that you should absolutely acknowledge. Nevertheless, there are many other religious holidays throughout the year which have equal, if not greater significance than the holidays that are currently upon us.

Religious significance notwithstanding, there is a strong cultural element to these holidays, and that can weigh even more severely. The reminders are everywhere: festive decorations, light displays, shop offerings, and so on. Having spent a number of Christmas holidays in Japan, I have a slightly different perspective. In that country, Christmas is just another day, and not in any way the major holiday that it is here. And, there are some rather odd things attached to that holiday over there, like for example the ubiquitous holiday songs of choice, which for some reason favor Mariah Carey and Wham! (I always favored Yamashita Tatsurou’s offering, cheesy though it might be.)

Second, if you can do it, surround yourself with friends and family. They will help you get through it. (Just don’t blab about your marriage, as that won’t be helpful.)

Guess that’s about it. I’m with the family for the holidays.

Since it is Christmas Eve, and the risk of being cheesy (and also at the risk of getting some odd search engine hits — I still get several hits per month for the keywords “chicken house of poo,” since I embedded a Tony Bourdain video here some months ago) I’m posting the Yamashita Tastsurou video (“Christmas Eve”) below.

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.