Tag Archives: Incommunicado

Petulant Frenzy

Zappa fans will of course remember those words: petulant frenzy. In case you didn’t know the allusion, you can just click the link.

The petulant frenzy to which I refer right now, however, is different.

They say that, when karma comes to fruition, it can often be unpleasant. However, there are times at which fruitional karma can put a smile on your face.

I arrived home from work yesterday quite exhausted. I was expecting some things to have arrived by mail, so I eagerly checked the mailbox. They weren’t there; instead, however, I found a letter from the IRS. I thought perhaps this might have something to do with my wife’s recent tax filing; she filed on her own and without reference to my income, and in a community property state like ours, that will not pass the IRS sniff test. So I quickly opened the letter.

What I found was even more of a surprise: they were questioning our 2011 tax return. In particular, the assertion was that my wife underreported her income to the tune of thousands of dollars, and as a result we now owed additional tax. They cited no fewer than four documents that had been furnished by employers to the IRS, none of which had been reported by us.

In April 2012, we filed our taxes jointly for the previous year. My wife was putting up a big stink about even doing this with me, however she did come over to the house with some receipts for various and sundry things that I could report against her various self-employment earnings. The problem, however, was that she did not have any documentation of those earnings. I do not recall why she did not bring them; she just forgot about them or something, but she did not have them. She never furnished them later, either. As a result, I took an extension on our taxes, in the hopes that she would come to her senses before six months had passed. No such luck. It was quite an ordeal just to get her to meet me to sign the tax return, but she did. This was about 2 weeks before she totally withdrew from me, starting the stonewalling that has persisted to this day. This failure to furnish required data has finally caught with her—or us.

Thus, I looked at this letter as a sort of manna from heaven. I immediately reached out to her and asked her to contact me regarding our taxes. Late that night (this timing has significance; I’ll get to that later) she responded, and I read that response early this morning. In her response, she petulantly remarked that she would not call me, and that I had to email the information to her. So, I gave her a synopsis and said that we did need to sit down to talk about this. A few hours later, the petulant frenzy spun out some more. She claimed it was all my fault, that I should just send the document to her colleague’s house, and that she refused to sit down with me to discuss this matter. My response was very measured: I told her that I did not have any of the data, that it was all information she needed to furnish, and that I did not appreciate her tone, or some of the things she said. In fact, I used the word “threat,” because that’s essentially what she was doing; I asked her to refrain from using any such further language, as I found it disturbing. This was not an ultimatum, but rather a statement of emotional transparency. I’ve yet to hear a peep back.

A bit later, I went out to run some errands, and stopped by the post office. My wife had sent me a letter by certified mail that I was not home to receive, and so I figured I should go pick it up. It was nothing other than her amended petition that she resent to me, and at considerable cost. This document was filed in violation of applicable court rules, and as such is essentially legally invalid. I already have a copy of it, and so I just disposed of it. However, in the envelope, she also included some small gifts I had given her; a couple of these were things I had made for her that she had specifically thanked me for just a few months ago. So now, she is trying to rid herself of these things. However, they are things that I can actually use, so my response will be to thank her for being so thoughtful as to giving me those things, as I could really make use of them.

You may have sensed by now that the behavior of the obstinate spouse often functions on the emotional level of a five-year-old. That’s pretty much where she’s at. As for me, I just looked at this whole situation with a smile on my face, and went out to buy a nice card that I’d put in to the letter in which I’ll be sending the tax documents. I won’t be returning those gifts to her—not yet, anyway—but I will begin sending things that I would certainly like to receive. I’ve got the next one lined up already, in fact.

When I got home from my errands, the mailman arrived, and, lo and behold, there was more manna from heaven: mail for my wife. So, I get yet another reason to send her this stuff.

They say that, in these “lone ranger” (to borrow a phrase from Mort Fertel) situations that things always get worse before they get better. I guess I haven’t yet seen rock bottom. My wife does seem very, very unhappy. Her whole life seems to have become one giant sham, and she is apparently working overtime to convince others, and especially herself, that it isn’t. She will likely soon see that a sham is a sham; there’s just no hiding from that fact.

Coincidences and Signs

Today is my birthday. This is relevant, I promise, but I’ll get to that later.

I awoke this morning in a good mood. I tended to my shrine in the bedroom, or perhaps I should say that I tended to my shrines, since there are three of them in the house. I do this every morning, making sure there are offerings (water, light, scent, etc.) before I even have my breakfast. I make coffee and offer that too, before I even get a sip. This activity brings me great joy, because it is one of generosity. It probably takes about 10-20 minutes most days.

Offerings done, I sat down to check my email. Nothing really new there. Then I read the news, surfed the web a bit, and landed on Facebook.

Now, I haven’t been the hugest fan of Facebook since my wife’s affair began; it was launcehd from that web platform, and one of the first things I did was to remove myself from it for a time. However, I have a number of professional connections there, and the site has brought me some work over the years, so I still maintain an account. So, I check it from time to time, but I’m hardly the Facebook “addict” I was, say a few years ago.

Right at the top of the posts on my “wall” is one from the colleague who lives 2 blocks from here. This is the same colleague with whom my wife stayed when she initially “separated” from me last year. This colleague is the woman who, probably more than anyone else, encouraged my wife to have the affair and to move out. I’ll never forget the day my wife went out for coffee with her when the crisis was just beginning: she promised that she would not speak of our situation to anyone, and then she broke that promise within the hour. She admitted to me a day or two later that she broke that promise.

The post that I read was written around 2:00 a.m., and from it, it was clear that my wife had spent the night at this woman’s house. I understand that my wife had had a rehearsal yesterday, and this accounted for her staying overnight in town. The post said that the colleague had appreciated “true insights” from a “good friend” who is “incredibly wise.” This struck me as rather odd; it sounded like the two of them had sat up for much of the night talking about who-knows-what.

I finally had my breakfast and then took the dog out for a walk. We almost invariably go right past this colleague’s house when we go for a walk, and this morning was no exception. Now, here’s where things get really odd. If you’re not a fan of things metaphysical, then just skip ahead to the paragraph after this one, okay?

As we approached the colleague’s house, the most unusual thing happened. I had this sense of a tremendously negative energy field that was emanating from the side of the house I was approaching. This side of the house was also the location of the room in which my wife would be staying — I know this from previous experience: I have seen the room, and she had told me that she stayed in that room when she first moved out. This was a very palpable experience. It reminded me of my childhood days when, on Saturday mornings, I’d run down to the end of the street to see if my friends were awake yet. I could tell if they were because I’d hear the high-pitched whine of their TV set from outside the window (does anyone remember this from his or her own youth?) and, moreover, I could feel their presence, even though there was a brick wall between us. It was a kind of magnetic feeling, although one that would be more sort of a “positive”-pole magnetic feeling; this feeling I had this morning was a “negative”-pole feeling, and a very pronounced one at that.

Anyway, we went home and that was that. (I welcome the non-metaphysical fans among my readers back to the fold here.)

After returning home, I readied myself for the work day ahead. My first appointment was with an individual who n0-showed. To get to the place I meet this person at I need to exit my neighborhood via the street on which the aforementioned colleague’s house is located. So, I’m driving out and — lo and behold — there is the adulterer’s truck, right there in the colleague’s driveway. But, I had an appointment to get to, so I just kept going.

That appointment no-showed; this person pays regardless, so it was no big deal. I came home about 45 minutes later along that same route, and the adulterer’s truck was gone. I should probably also say that the adulterer’s arrival time is consistent with what I know (anecdotally and experientially) to be his arrival time at the other colleague’s house in the city — the other colleague with whom my wife normally would be staying.

So that was a fine “how-do-you-do” for the morning. I had plenty of other things to do today, as it was a normal work Monday, so I just went about my usual business. I later saw a FB post from my wife on this colleague’s “wall” that said something about this being a Monday, and so thus one should make a “fresh start.”

Okay, so here’s where I start “speculating,” or “mind reading,” or whatever one might want  to call it; for me, this is where I allow my subconscious to start to express itself in increments. I do believe that there is a tremendous amount of information we take in and process on a daily basis, only a tiny fraction of which makes it through the filter of the conscious mind. The rest is absorbed by the body into the realm of the unconscious, or something like that. So, if this bothers you, then just stop reading here. (You can, of course, just go to my donate page and “lob me a quid,” as my first landlady in the UK said when I lived there eons ago; or, you could head over to the resources page and see if there might be something there of value to you.)

Here’s what I think is going on: my wife is struggling. She is plagued by guilt, because she knows the significance of this day, and she feels terrible for having left me alone on yet another birthday. This is, in fact, worse than the last one, because last year at this time we were in contact by email (the adulterer was actually overseas for a few days) and she did ask me out for lunch a few days later and even gave me a birthday present. At this moment, things have degenerated to the point at which she won’t even acknowledge the significance of this day. That is truly sad, and I am all but certain (—Okay, skeptics, are you reading? If so, why?—) that this is eating her up inside. I have learned a fair bit about the mentality and psychology of the wayward spouse over the past months (I’ll write about this some other time), and one thing that seems nearly universal is that the wayward spouse’s mind continues to turn back to the marriage more and more as time goes by, and especially as the affair begins to reveal itself for the sham that it actually is.

So, somewhere out there, not more than 40 miles or so from here, my wife is sitting, or lying down, or washing dishes, or doing something, and it is highly likely that, even as I type this, her mind is turning toward me. There is guilt, remorse, sorrow, anger, frustration, and, most of all, pain. I cannot make any of those feelings or thoughts go away; only she can do that.

It’s crunch time up at Camp CS, friends, crunch time. Things come to  head and decisions have to be made. Her question right now is likely, “do I want this?” and the answer is, well, eventually… no.

Talking to Lawyers, Part II

It’s only Wednesday, and it’s been an eventful week. Not exactly full of the kinds of events I’d prefer, but eventful nonetheless.

On Monday, I had an appointment with an attorney to look over my response to my wife’s petition. It was a bright, sunny day, the kind that makes one glad to live in this part of the country. I had to drive downtown to get to this attorney’s office. The reception area was on the 41st floor — I didn’t even know that there were many buildings downtown that had so many floors. The view from the office lobby was spectacular: panoramic views of mountains and water. The attorney was running a bit late, but we eventually had a brief consult. Her office, as it turned out, was on the 42nd floor. This was a suite in which various businesses and contractors rent office space. It was a small, modest office, with no window views whatsoever. The attorney was very nice, and offered a bit of practical advice. The upshot of our conversation was that it would not be difficult to drag this litigation out just by complying with deadlines. Basically, once the response is filed, there would be no further deadlines until July, and the documents that would need to be filled out would have to originate from my wife.

I did end up filing my response with the court yesterday. I then had to have the document served, and this proved difficult. My wife is not only incommuncado, but is also uncooperative and in hiding. Yes, that’s right: in hiding. That’s how ashamed she is of her choices at this point. She is avoiding any and all contact with me — a person who would never mean her any harm whatsoever. She had listed her colleague’s address — the colleague with whom she had been staying on her visits to town — as the place she wanted the papers served. So, I obliged. I asked a friend to serve these, and this friend was willing; I chose the friend because she has a very open and genuine way with people, and most certainly would be able to put the colleague at ease. This friend also happens to be a practicing Buddhist, and emotionally is a very balanced person.

I originally proposed having the documents dropped off around 8:30 in the evening, but the colleague said she would not be home; I offered to have them dropped off earlier, and was informed that she would not be home until 10 pm. The colleague had a couple of exchanges by phone and email with my wife regarding protocols and practicalities. She suggested my wife contact me, but of course, she refused. There seemed to be some acrimony. Now, mind you, I have made Herculean efforts to build goodwill with my wife, and have done virtually nothing to cause anger or acrimony in her heart. Whatever she is feeling is more or less nothing more than the product of her own guilt.

Eventually, the time was set for 10 pm, and the friend was still willing to help out, so we headed over once that hour arrived. I brought the dog with me. My emotions were very even: no nerves, no pain, no guilt, just mindfulness of the reality of the task at hand. The papers were dropped off, along with a card for my wife (basically telling her that I did not want this, and offering a brief but open and honest message). The friend returned to the car with a bag that had some containers in which I had dropped off food for my wife and the colleague a week or so ago. These had been washed for return to me. I had no idea how these containers would affect our dog, though.

After returning home, the dog began to pace around the house and cry. This lasted for at least a half an hour, and I could not initially figure out why — until I realized that the dog could smell my wife on those containers. I let her sniff one of them, and she then went off around the house looking for my wife. It was really quite sad.

Today I was to drop off the return of service form at the clerk’s office; little did I know that they close for lunch. So, that task will have to wait until tomorrow. My wife should be picking up the response any day now. I suspect sparks will fly up there at Camp C-S. My wife basically provided me with a petition that pretty much obliged me to disagree, thereby causing this to drag out as a process by itself. Her secretiveness and refusal to communicate with me led her to either fail to specify information, or to assert certain information to be true that I cannot verify. What’s potentially worse for her, vis à vis the situation at Camp C-S is that she has laid herself open for the blame game to commence: the adulterer can now blame her for this process appearing to backfire.

My guess is that it could be a bumpy ride up ahead, but those bumps could be severe enough up there at Camp C-S that my wife could either bail out of that vehicle that is traveling that path, or be ejected outright.

A New Look for the New Year

The lunar new year came and went this past week. In my spiritual tradition (Vajrayana Buddhism), we observe the lunar new year, which this year occurred on February 11th.  The lunar new year is considered an important marker that functions in a couple of ways. First, it is said that, in the 10 days prior to to the new year, all of the negative karma one has collected tends to gather up and come to fruition, so it is said to be a good time to sort of lay low, generally be mindful and careful, and to devote oneself to one’s spiritual practice. These karmic “fruitionings” are called “döns” in the Tibetan tradition; a dön is basically something like a naughty spirit that hits you with unexpected surprises. I never had really considered this before, but I found myself injuring my hands quite a bit in this most recent “dön season”—nothing major, just little cuts and scratches and such, all of which happened when I wasn’t really being mindful. The other way in which the lunar new year functions is as a sort of “gate” through which one can figuratively pass, leaving behind mental clutter and negativity from the past year, with the aspiration of making a better way through life in the year to cone.

It was with this latter in mind that I entered with due diligence into the days preceding the new year, taking on some new spiritual practices (for purification), and making a renewed commitment to my practice, which had been somewhat languishing, as well as to renounce useless or unproductive behaviors and ways of thinking. Most of these center around my marriage and the crisis that has been ongoing within it over the past 15 months or so. I came to realize that I simply had been holding much too tightly to my desired outcomes, and had to just be okay with whatever needs to happen, and to allow that to unfold on its own, and at its own pace.

One of the first things I did was to thoroughly clean the house, and then begin to rearrange furniture. My wife was always an avid feng shui practitioner, and in fact I helped her to develop her interests and skills, buying her her first feng shui book nearly nine years ago. All those books went with her when she moved out, so I had to do some research of my own. What I found out was kind of shocking.

The first room I decided to rearrange was the bedroom. This room is longer than it is wide; however, we had the bed oriented along the narrowest dimension, crowding the available space. Researching my personal kua number, I found that the bed had been oriented in the worst possible direction—for me. For my wife, it was okay, but for me, I was sleeping in the worst possible direction. I moved the bed around to face my optimal direction (the crown of one’s head should point in this optimal direction, so if that direction is north, then the headboard will be along the center of the north wall), and two things happened. First, there suddenly was a large amount of available space that could be used for other purposes. Second, there was a palpable shift in the room’s energy, and this has since made s notable shift in my sleep patterns and overall well-being.

I have more research to do, and will be starting to work on the other rooms of the house, as well as undertaking some more general remedies that have to do with our house location and environment.

One other change has been the appearance of this blog: I’m shifting toward a more text-based, minimal theme for this site, and have been experimenting with various layouts. I’m not quite done with this yet, but for now, things will probably stay as they are for another week or two.

Rather coincidentally, the lunar new year also happened to fall on the day for which my wife’s import application for the dog (i.e. to take her overseas) would expire. As I wrote in my last post, she had asked me to get a rabies titer for the dog, so that she could clear quarantine quickly. I had proactively booked an appointment with the vet, but was reluctant to go through with it—the cost was rather exorbitant—without speaking to her about it.

She refused to call, of course. However, the day before the scheduled appointment, I received an email from the quarantine service overseas (I’m not sure my wife was aware that I was routinely being CC’ed on these by that office) stating that the application had been canceled. So, I forwarded this email to my wife, and asked her to explain, and that, absent some valid explanation for continuing with the titer, I’d cancel the appointment.

A series of rather sheepish emails followed, in which she told me that she had been too late in trying to get that process going, and that we essentially did not need the test. She admitted that she had no plans to take the dog overseas in the foreseeable future. So, I canceled the appointment, and told her she could contact me to discuss.

She did not.

We were supposed to meet mid-week to discuss our tax situation, and since she had originally requested to see me for this purpose, I asked her to call me to arrange that meeting.

She did not. Gosh, you’d think I’m getting stonewalled here, or something.

This meeting would have happened the day before Valentine’s day, and having received the okay from the colleague to drop stuff off for my wife at her house, I stopped by that morning and left her some breakfast. She had not yet arrived, when I swung by; it was quite convenient for me, as it was on the way to a couple of errands I had to run that morning. I thought it appropriate that the first thing my wife sees upon returning to town to be something from me. This gesture was, quite predictably, met with silence—no acknowledgement whatsoever—even though I know she received it.

The rest of my week was occupied with work, work, work. I have been extremely busy of late, which in part explains why there have been so few posts here recently. Things will start to slow down a bit next week, so I’ll have a bit more time to muse on the situation as it now stands. Basically, we are in end-stage adultery, in which the affair’s inevitable demise is being forestalled as much as possible. I wish she or the adulterer would come to their senses a bit quicker, but this is how things go when dealing with extreme egocentrism. There is an ugly mess that is needing clean-up over there on aisle “A” (get it?), and neither of them wants to acknowledge it yet. That day of reckoning is rapidly approaching, my friends.

Cracks in the Wall of Stone

I don’t know what it is about Fridays. Really, I just don’t know. I’m looking at the past several times that my wife has contacted me, and all but one occasion has fallen on a Friday. These are occasions when she reaches out for some reason, putting a crack in that horrible, stone wall of silence that she has built in the middle of our relationship over the past several months.

This last Friday, I got an unsolicited email from her. She wanted to complain about her checking account balance having gone overdrawn, and simultaneously wanted to blame me for it and to be apologetic about not having any money to make a tax payment that we had due.

In truth, her overdraft was a result of one thing: insufficient funds in her account. I have not been monitoring her account much at all, but I did notice a couple of weeks ago that a sizeable deposit had been made, one that was at least three times larger than any plausible deposit she would have made. I contacted her when I saw this, as there was also a withdrawal from her account that I needed to keep her apprised of. Moreover, I wanted to ask if that large sum of money was in fact hers; if not, I wanted to advise her not to touch it. I also needed to advise her about the tax payment: she offered to fork over her share, and just expected me to handle it, so I wanted to get her permission, or at least to advise her of what I was going to do. I did feel obliged to have her contribute financially on this, as I am very loath at this point to do anything that might further encourage her separation. (That is, if she goes broke because of this separation, that’s okay with me.)

Alas, there was no communication whatsoever. I took the payment for taxes from her account, and then just kept an eye on things.

About a week later, I noticed that she had gone overdrawn. The large deposit was apparently an accounting error, and the bank had adjusted the balance accordingly. However, since she had insufficient funds to cover the tax payment, her account went overdrawn. I saw that, a day later, funds from our joint account were transferred to cover her overdraft.

Thus the topic of her email to me. First, she wanted to complain about the business withdrawal — this was regarding a topic that I’m handling and have told her that I simply will not discuss with her anymore. She seemed, or at least feigned impatience with this situation. Then, her second sentence informed me that  she had asked the bank to transfer money into her account to cover the overdraft. Here’s where it was interesting: she ended that sentence with an elipsis (…), as if to imply some measure of regret.

You know, a lot of people who are trying to reconcile their marriages have a real problem with pushback. Personally, I don’t mind pushback: I see it as a sign of progress most of the time. It’s much harder to get stonewalled, I think. I’ve been stonewalled since the beginning of November, and have been experiencing various degrees of stonewalling since August.

Something must have changed in the dynamic of my wife’s affair in August, as it is hard to explain her sudden turn sour in any other way. And despite a couple of brief spells of warming, there must have been other changes in that dynamic in November, as things went ever farther south then. But, just a month later, at the end of November, she did email me, quite unexpectedly, with expressions of remorse and apology. Again, I can’t help but think that something must have changed in that adulterous dynamic yet again. I saw her at a concert — with the adulterer in tow (who bravely turned tail and fled) — just three days later. Things have gotten much colder since, and once again, I cannot help but think that that horribly immoral dynamic must have further deteriorated.

It’s very hard to read things from a distance and with little to no information, but it seems to me that the adulterer must be some kind of control freak. In fact, I’m willing to lay dollars to donuts that, when this horrible farce is finally laid to rest, I’ll learn from my wife that he was, in fact, horribly controlling, and that this will be one of the final nails in the coffin for their “relationship.”

Why do I say this? Simple: our dog is at home, snoozing away in the bedroom right now. Remember, my wife told me that the only thing she wanted from me was the dog — she didn’t want my money, my possessions, or anything else, just the dog. The dog meant more to her than anything else in this world — except, as it now seems, the affair. Since November, that dog has not been welcome up there at Camp Chickenshit (yup, I went ahead and said it, but it goes along with the “Brave Sir Robin” motif quoted above — see that link, if you haven’t already). Why that is is anyone’s guess, although if I had to take a stab at it, I’d say the following: Our dog is territorial, although not overly so, and I have seen her pee on the floor to mark territory in other people’s homes — including those of my immediate family. She peed right outside the door of the room I was staying in at my folks’ house over Christmas, for example, as if to mark that territory as her domain — which, of course, gets shared with the major domo, i.e. me. I’d imagine she did this at the adulterer’s house, and more than once – and in full view of the adulterer as well. I can also imagine that, due to neglect and lack of attention, she defacated in the house on numerous occasions. Add these likely actions to the fact that her retrieval of the dog obligates her to see me, and suddenly we begin to arrive at a plausible conclusion: the dog represents me, symbolically and practically, and the adulterer just does not want that anywhere in his presence. It’s just too threatening.

So what gives me hope? I mean, after all, it’s been over a year. Conventional wisdom would say that I should just move on, right?

In part, it’s the work of the late Peggy Vaughn that drives me right now. I had been advised by Mort Fertel, the founder of the marital reconciliation program I’m using, that the average affair lasts “anywhere from a few months to a year,” but you know, Mort never specified exactly what that means. Is it a few months to a year from the time the affair is typically discovered, or is he talking about the total duration of the affair? I don’t want to sound like I’m badmouthing Mort, because I do think his program is brilliant, but really the former explanation seems to me to be more plausible than the latter. I mean, a lot of people do not learn about their spouses’ affairs until they have been well underway for a while.

Not me. I learned about my wife’s affair the day after it went physical. This is where Peggy Vaughn’s research comes in: her statistics indicate that affairs run their course in anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, with very few outlasting that latter figure. Moreover, it seems that the average time of implosion (although this comes from another source) is about 15-18 months. My wife’s affair is pretty close to 15 months old now, so that means it’s in the red zone for collapse.

This is what keeps me going: the knowledge that it could all be over any day now. February 1st marks the 15-month mark of that horrid affair going physical; May 1st would mark the 18-month point. It’s almost a certainty that things are unstable by now, and that the fairy tale is finally starting to look like a “normal” relationship, i.e. with all the stresses, aggravations, arguments, and disagreements that healthy relationships would have — except for the fact that this is no healthy relationship. It is a farce, and a sick one at that, and thus cannot withstand those vagaries in the way a healthy relationship can.

There’s a lot to do while one awaits this inevitable demise, and that’s a topic for another post. For now, I’ll sign off and wish you all a good night, and a productive week ahead.

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.

Another Day, Another Dollar

Once again, the mid-week has come and gone. It is on these days, Wednesdays and Thursdays, that my wife is in town. I knew from reliable information, given to me by the colleague with whom she overnights on Wednesdays, that she would be back in town this week. So, I reached out as per usual. I had a small gift for her, left over from Christmas, that I wanted to drop off. I emailed the colleague about stopping by to drop it off, and heard nothing back. This was odd. So, I did not go. Instead, I came straight home after work.

I was checking email and other sundries, including our bank accounts for the weekly budget, when I noticed something odd: there was suddenly a whole lot more money in my wife’s account. She has been keeping a very low balance for months and months, largely because she has almost no work, and thus no income, and also because she has an account at another bank that she keeps secret from me. I do know of the existence of this account, so it’s not entirely secret, but I have no access to it, even though I am her husband. So it was quite a surprise when a deposit in the four-digit range showed up suddenly. It was not a round figure, either: there were cents after that dollar amount. And that dollar amount was at least three times higher than the largest deposit she has made in a long, long time. This was confusing: where did that money come from? And why would she put it in her account at our bank, right where I can see it? Obviously she must trust me, because I’m not touching those funds, but it just seems odd — very odd. There are many possible explanations, and I am entertaining none of them.

This morning I still had the gifts, and I thought about dropping them by today. I had a number of errands to run in the morning, and just as I was finishing up those errands and about to come home, I got in the car, and … nothing. Just, “click,” as the starter tried to engage, but nothing more. As some of you might know, the battery in my car is quite new, having just been replaced, along with the cables, a few months ago. So my first thoughts were that the starter had gone bad.

I called AAA and had one of their battery trucks come out to have a look, and indeed it seemed to be the starter. I then went home to price this out, and found a local mechanic who could do it, so I called AAA again and got a tow truck to bring the car in.

The mechanic got to work, and, since I was due for new front brakes, I asked him to price those out and just take care of the whole deal. That fell pretty much within budget, but at the high end of what I’d allow. So, I sat in the lobby as they worked, and after about an hour, I heard the mechanic turn the key to test the new starter and… “click.”

Nothing.

He came out and told me he’d need to keep it a bit longer to figure out what was going on. So, I went home.

By this time, I’m playing phone tag with various clients I’ve had to reschedule, when the mechanic calls me back. It turned out that the after-market amplifier that was installed (we bought the car used, and the amplifier was in it already) was hooked up to the electrical system with sub-standard cable. Over time, this had the effect of prematurely draining the battery (likely leading to the corrosion that killed off my last battery cables), and to wearing down the starter faster as well. The mechanic then told me I needed oil, which I knew already — I had stopped by the auto parts store to buy oil this morning, since it was running low, and it was right after that, at my next stop, that the starter died — so I had him go ahead and change the oil as well. I was shocked that he quoted me a figure for synthetic oil that was a fraction of what these oil-change joints charge. Guess I’ll be staying away from Jiffy Lube, et al., from here on out.

So, the bill ended up being about $135 more than anticipated. If I had a normal marriage right now, there would be no issue: we’d just appropriate that money from this deposit my wife just made.

But, we don’t have a normal marriage right now, and I’ll be absorbing the whole dang thing. (My auto-repair fund is still open for donations via the “donate” link, FYI. <wink, wink>) I’ll get the car back tomorrow morning.

The good news is that I will have the car up and running in time for a concert on Saturday. I guess I have not written about this yet, but it is a benefit concert that is being put on by a couple of my wife’s friends, one of whom now lives out of state and will be traveling here just for the performance. I have known many of the people involved for quite a long time, and it is for a good cause, so I had planned on going. The big bonus is that it is also highly likely that my wife will be there, with the adulterer in tow. This makes for one of those golden yet rare opportunities to insert myself into that dynamic of relationship dynamite, functioning like the blasting cap that could blow that adulterous farce sky high. Plus, Saturday is a work day for me, and I have a lot of ground to cover, so I need the vehicle to get it all done.

The other bonus is that I have found a trustworthy (and affordable) mechanic. Those sure are hard to come by these days. Almost as hard as face time with the wife.