Tag Archives: money

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.

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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