Tag Archives: Travel

Weirdness Descends

Today is Wednesday. Another week has passed since I last saw my wife. The last time I saw her, she gave me some pretty serious pushback. And, in the interim, she went overseas. This is confirmed; have have seen the photos. (Well, just a photo, but it was enough to serve as proof.) A trip overseas, with the adulterer. Weird, right?

Well, for starters, that would likely explain the severity of her pushback last time. I’m sure she felt pretty stressed out and pressured. In fact, I imagine that she is under a lot of pressure from him to get me out of her life. But I’m just not going away, see, and that’s a problem — for him, and, by extension, for her.

Last week, she made all sorts of threats. One of those threats was to take our dog away and not to let me see her or the dog again. So far, she has not made good on that threat. Normally, she’ll contact me once she arrives in town, and ask me to drop the dog off. Today, there was no contact at all. She left her cell phone turned off and made no effort to get in touch with me. I spent all day at work, and came home expecting to see the dog gone; I had packed a little gift in the dog’s carrier just in case, but she never came.

There’s a word for this: avoidance.

That’s where we’re at now. She is avoiding me. Last week, she ended a two-week phase of avoidance, and went for justification via rationalization. That didn’t work out so well. I can see right through those justifications, each and every one of them. So now we’re back to avoidance. I did tell her last week that taking responsibility for her actions — something she claimed she had done — would require actually facing the facts of what she did and then actively making amends with those she hurt. This is difficult, though; it’s much easier just to bury your head in the sand. That’s what she’s chosen to do instead, it seems: to bury her head in the sand.

There’s a problem with burying your head in the sand, though. When you do that, the universe lights a fire under your rear end. It pretty much never fails. Right now that fire is building, and I’m sure it’s not comfortable.

You know, there’s another person who is getting a rear-end burn right now, and that’s the adulterer. He’s had his head in the sand (to put it politely) for over a year as well. Actually, he’s likely had his head in the sand about adultery in general for quite a number of years. Sooner or later, he’s going to learn that he has not met his soul mate, and that he has zero chance of spending the rest of his life with my wife.

Anyway, aside from all that weirdness, I’ve been doing my best to take care of myself, and to take care of business at home. The house was a mess, largely because I’ve been working so much. I had a tiny bit of time this morning to get things straightened out. (I think my lucky stars for letting hypnosis help me with this, believe it or not; I’ve got a session called “Stop Being Messy.” It’s been truly helpful, and worked so fast in making real changes in me that it really convinced me how beneficial hypnosis can be.) I’ve also been trying to get my financial house in order (I’ve got “Financial Planning Mindset” for that) and have been dealing with general anxiety and stress levels. (Hmmm, let’s see, for these I’ve got “Overcome Fear and Anxiety,” “Stop Feeling Trapped,” and “Stop Thinking the Worst;” I think I must sound like a hypnosis junkie now…) I’ve also recommitted myself to learning Japanese, since I’m really going to need this once my wife and I reconcile. (Yes, I even have a track for this: it’s called “Better Language Learning.” So at this point I’m working pretty hard on my fixings. The financial stuff has by far been the most stressful; as many can attest, there’s nothing quite like a marital crisis to wreak havoc on your financial health. But, I’m hoping that slowly the worst is now receding into the distance behind me.

I am also hoping that the worst of the marital crisis is beginning to recede into that same distance, but at this point it’s hard to tell. They do say that it always gets worse before it gets better, and that totally makes sense: an obstinate spouse is never going to push back harder than when his or her story really starts to fall apart.

Okay, for now, I think it’s time to put a long day behind me, and to get some rest for an even longer one up ahead. As always, dear reader, I thank you for stopping by to read these words. I hope they bring some solace to you if you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in a similar situation; believing that there is hope, and that it does make sense to take a stand for what’s right is much easier with the knowledge that others are fighting that same good fight.

Oh, and if you feel so inspired, please feel free to donate to this blog. Consider it like buying me a virtual beer or two (or insert beverage of your choice, or whatever). Just click the link below. You can edit that amount that shows up there; it’s not written in stone.

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Greetings of the day

I suspect the title of this page is probably going to be incongruous to its content. I guess that would make it organic to my life, which is full of incongruities right now.

My birthday occurred over the weekend, and as expected my wife was notably absent. Oh, I did get a text message, but that was about it. That message said she was looking forward to celebrating my birthday with me, on Thursday. That is, tomorrow. Or, put another way, four days after my actual birthday. But hey, I’m probably one of the few guys in the world with an obstinate, wayward spouse who is reaching out to him in this way, right? So, I’ll take what I can get, and be grateful for it, too.

She has been incommunicado since Sunday. The text was kind of predictable, because she’s back in town. Whenever she comes into town, she has to emerge from the fog a tiny bit to confront the real world. You know, the one that the rest of us live in. She has found temporary safe harbors for these frightful jaunts into the real world, and these come in the form of the homes of people who are uncritical about her life decisions. They may be naive, thinking her truly to be on some sort of genuine path of renewal, or they may be pathetic, as is the case with the place she is staying tonight. I’ve written about this place before: it is the home of an acquaintance who is currently in the process of dissolving her marriage, or at least trying to figure out how to do that all alone, without the help of her husband. The husband left a few months ago, and is living in another state.

Well, that husband is back in town. I don’t know why, but he is. Maybe he wants to visit his kids. He has a college-age son and a daughter in grade school. The daughter began pulling her hair out when the marital crisis erupted in their family. That was at least two years ago. She will carry those scars for the rest of her life. I feel truly sorry for her, as the damage will be even more severe and likely permanent if her parents do not reconcile. And it does not look like they will, but I hope I’m wrong. I mean, daddy is back in town, right?

This should be an instructive situation for my wife. She will see in full force the true dysfunctions of a family in the throes of marital separation and dissolution. Then she can compare that dynamic with ours. She has a husband who showers her with unconditional love. This acquaintance does not: her husband became a drunk, threatened her with physical violence, and then moved out. Theirs is a tale of despair and sorrow. I am pretty certain that this acquaintance would not want to celebrate her husband’s birthday anymore.

Thus the incongruities abound. My wife reaches out to me. She wants to spend time with me. She actually seems reservedly positive as well. I am truly hoping things go well tomorrow, because it will make it that much harder for her to carry out her futile and hopeless agenda.

There is one other incongruity I simply cannot explain. As I’ve written before, she has blocked me from her Facebook page, so I cannot see what she’s up to. I do, however, have a spare Facebook account, one that I opened with the possible intention of creating a professional page. Well, that never happened. It just languishes there, with neither friends nor likes. But it also is not blocked. This means that I can see her public profile. Although it’s limited, I noticed something very peculiar a couple of days ago: she changed her “cover” photo.

She has that new, awful Timeline thingie that Facebook is pushing on its users, another one of those supposed enhancements that just makes it less user-friendly. She previously had pictures of flowers and other things (like our dog), and for a time, I gather, had a picture of the gift the adulterer gave her for Valentine’s Day. (I just know this because it’s in the same photo album — the only one that’s publicly visible.)

Roslyn CafeSo what, pray tell, is that new cover photo? Well, it’s one that I took of her back in August of last year. She’s standing in front of the mural at the Roslyn Cafe. Remember the show “Northern Exposure“? My guess is that, if you were old enough to be watching TV back in the early 1990s, you would remember it. If not, well, it was a show about a doctor with a freshly minted M.D. who was getting student loan remission by being sent off to the boondocks to be a community general practitioner. In this case, he was sent to the fictional town of Cicely, Alaska. Cicely, like many things televisual, doesn’t actually exist. Oh, it was supposedly fashioned after the real town of Talkeetna, Alaska, but nevertheless Cicely does not exist. In reality, it is the town of Roslyn, Washington. You know, Roslyn, at the western edge of Kittitas county, on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains, population 893.

Or perhaps you don’t know Roslyn. Well, I do. There’s a brewery there, and I do like my beer. They also make pretty good root beer, and my wife likes root beer. We used to live in a small town about 30 miles east of Roslyn, a college town where I had my first job. We would occasionally go up to Roslyn to get out of the summer heat, or just to go have a root beer. It was a nice drive along old country roads most of the way, and the town itself has a rustic charm about it. It’s an old coal mining town, populated initially by a healthy cohort of Croatian coal miners. There is even a Coal Miner’s Memorial that was recently installed. The town is almost hip, in a way — there’s even a glass blowing studio there, just behind that memorial.

Anyway, the aforementioned mural is one of the big tourist draws in the town. I’ve taken a number of pictures of my wife in front of that mural over the years. It has nostalgic connotations for us. When we went there last August, it was the first time we had visited that area in three years. We spent the morning and afternoon in our old home town, visited the sights there (limited as they are), headed out to visit some other friends out in the countryside, and then hit Roslyn on our way home. The air is really fine there, clean and crisp, and it is very quiet. The people are friendly and laid back. And there is also the brewery. Oh, and there’s a totem pole, too — that’s what you see in the picture featured for this post.

Thus I’m wondering why, all of a sudden, she should choose to put this picture onto her Facebook page. It hardly strikes me as a random or haphazard event. In a way, it almost seems like she is trying to send a message, like she’s trying to test the adulterer by shoving a bit of her former life right under his nose. I’m sure he sees her Facebook page; he has his own page, too. I can’t imagine she has told him about the provenance of that photo. That would not go over too well, I think.

So that’s where things stand today, 7 months and 13 days after the beginning of my wife’s descent into the depths of egotistical self-deception. I’ve been nurturing my connection with her slowly and steadily for most of that time, save for the first 22 days that I was unaware of her betrayal, and then the following week that I was trying to find my feet and figure out a way forward. I’m starting to think that this is “crunch time,” in a way — a time when the situation in our relationship gets critical. Critical for me, sure, but I can handle it; it is far more critical for her, since she entirely lacks the skill or wisdom to handle the inevitable breakdown of her current trajectory.

Wish me luck, dear readers. If I have anything to do with it, tomorrow will signal a real turning of the tide for the better in our situation.

Home again

I was up at 4:50 this morning, and left for the airport at 5:30. I had a very uneventful flight — always the best kind — in fact, due to strong tailwinds, we landed 45 minutes ahead of schedule. I picked up my car and arrived home without a hitch around 11:30.

There were, of course, no signs of my wife having been here at all in my absence. The dog was not at home, either. The house was empty and cold. I checked my phone messages and there was nothing significant to report. There was certainly no news from my wife. She ostensibly is happily ensconced at Camp You-Know-What right now, doing whatever it is that adulterers do.

I really don’t get that at all. How do grown adults act like such children? How do they allow themselves to live in outright fairy tale without realizing that it is, in fact, just a fairy tale? How do they stand the constant lies that they have to tell, day in, day out, just to sustain their illicit relationship? How can they bear the constant secrecy, the hiding out, and the worries about getting found out and the embarrassment and humiliation that will entail? How can they endure the pressure of the real world showing its disapproval of their inappropriate relationship in big ways and small? How can they ignore the obvious character flaws? I mean, my wife has to overlook the fact that her “soul mate” is nothing other than an unprincipled liar who feels no compunction violating the sanctity of someone else’s marriage. She also has to ignore the fact that he has lied to his daughter about the nature of his relationship to my wife — to my wife. (I don’t believe that his daughter actually knows that my wife is still married.) How sick in the mind do you have to be to live in such a state of utter denial? How much do you feel you need to avoid the true problems and issues of your life?

Oh, well.

I will get to see my wife this week, once at least. We had arranged for her to come over tomorrow so that we could work on our taxes; she emailed my yesterday to ask if we could meet on Thursday instead so that she can get a haircut tomorrow.

A haircut. Tomorrow. (sigh)

I guess some things are more important than grown-up duties like preparing your taxes. I guess some activities are more valuable than spending time with your husband.

You know what the problem is? I’m just getting tired of all this nonsense. I know what the end of the story is. I know the affair is going to end. I know we’re going to reconcile. I know she’ll come home. I know that in a few months from now she’ll look back on all of this and wonder what the hell she was thinking. I know there is a breakthrough coming, but I also know that that breakthrough will almost certainly be preceded by a breakdown. I just want all this nonsense to end.

I think my problem is that I’m just monitoring things too closely. You know, just watching the progress, the backslides , or the standstills from day to day. I do remember very clearly spending the morning of New Year’s Eve — our anniversary — at the center where I do meditation. I was in the midst of a bit of walking meditation when I had an insight. I had already endured 3 months of crisis by that point, and I realized that I could take the long view. I could endure another 3 months if need be. So here we are, 3 months later, and things are not any better; in fact, they appear to be worse.

I say “appear,” because from the looks of things, the situation is worse. My wife was living at home in December, in January she separated, and in March she actually did move out. She went from pleasant and gift-giving in December to cold and hostile in January.

Inwardly, I suspect the story is very different. She is not hostile to me anymore. She avoids me like the plague, to be sure, but she is not cold to me when we do see each other. She can actually be quite pleasant, she can open up, express tender emotions, and allow herself to be vulnerable around me. She does give me occasional gifts. She does still care, despite all that she says. I suspect that she is living with a tremendous amount of repressed guilt, stress, and worry. Something has got to give. She has made all sorts of threats and even followed through on some of them, and I have still not backed down — I’m standing up for our marriage. That won’t change.

The affair will end. Our marriage won’t. I won’t let that happen, no matter what.

Life is the path

A friend pointed out the following passage from the Bible to me today:

I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:

And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. (Isaiah 45:2-3)

If you’ve been reading my posts for any length of time, then you’ll know that I’m not a Christian. (I’m a practicing Buddhist.) But this passage rings very true to me. There often is tremendous overlap between spiritual traditions; it’s often as if it’s just one big meta-narrative that is translated with different metaphors, examples, iconography, and so on. What is being spoken of in this passage, to my meager understanding, is the removal of obstructions.

I totally get this. I’ve been doing Green Tara practice for over a year now, and that practice is basically all about the removal of obstructions. I received a Red Tara empowerment about a month ago, and that practice has to do with the power of magnetizing, of bringing auspicious conditions to you so that obstacles can be surmounted and dispelled.

Somehow, I feel almost as if I walked through some sort of invisible portal yesterday, and that this traversal has shown to me the reality, workability, and hope in my situation.

Just to summarize, I’ve been in a marital crisis for almost 6 months now, and have been applying the best possible reconciliation strategies for 5 months. I saw improvement over the first 2 months, and then my wife totally reversed course and decided to try to destroy everything in sight. She moved out. She cut off contact. She turned cold. She did all sorts of things, all in the attempt to preserve her completely illegitimate adulterous relationship to a twice-divorced, serial adulterer. At this point, she has truly dug her heels in and is probably steeling herself for the final phase, which to her might be a sort of pitched battle to save that totally hopeless, inappropriate relationship. The power of the universe is not on her side.

But is it on mine? I don’t know. The last 36 hours has been interesting, indeed. It started with my wife coming home mid-morning to pick up the dog. I asked her to take care of the dog while I’m out of town, visiting family for Easter weekend. I had given the dog a bath, and there was a ton of hair everywhere as a result. I hadn’t had time to sweep or anything, as I needed to run out to the store to get the dog a couple of cans of food (Tripett) for the weekend. My wife brushed the dog, and then she did something really weird. She vacuumed the entire house. I told her she didn’t need to do that, but she insisted.

Let me ask you, dear reader: If your spouse really wanted to leave you in the dust, would they come home and vacuum your entire house?

I didn’t think so.

So that was the starter. I sent her off with the cans of dog food, plus a sweet roll and some potato chips — her favorites — and a lunch box that was hidden in the bag. I never heard anything back about that, but I’m guessing she has found that by now and hopefully consumed its contents.

Next came the surprise of the evening. I headed off to the airport after work to catch my flight. I had a first-class ticket booked with frequent flyer miles, so at least I could look forward to a relatively comfortable experience. I got to the off-site parking lot, boarded the shuttle van to the airport, and promptly noticed that I’d left my carry-on bag with my laptop in the car. The van drivers just brought me back to the lot after dropping off the other customers; I collected my bag and we set off back for the airport.

While en route I decided to check my flight times, and noticed in the itinerary that had been emailed me that my flight wasn’t until the following night. Huh? I mean, I’d checked it maybe a dozen times, and never noticed that detail. I’d had someone else book the flight for me, and gave them the details that I wanted to fly out on Friday night, not Saturday, and so I guess I’d just assumed that that was the date I’d been booked for. I thought to myself that this couldn’t be right, so I got off at the airport and checked my email once inside the terminal. It turns out I was wrong — I had showed up at the airport a day early.

Oh, well. I decided I probably should just go home. I checked the airline websites and it looked like I wouldn’t be able to rebook the ticket, even though it was in first class. So I picked up my bags and started to leave the terminal. I had made it down one escalator when I decided to turn back around and just ask a ticket agent if there was anything that could be done. There was only one first-class ticket desk open as I returned, and it was deserted. I asked the agent, and he said that it could be rebooked, but the fee would normally be $100. He said there was one seat left on the flight that night, and that, if I wanted it, he’d rebook me and just waive the fee. But, I’d have to move fast, as the seat could be sold at any time. I told him I’d have to call ahead to see if I could rearrange my pickup at the airport, so I stepped aside to allow him to help other customers.

I got my pickup rearranged, but now there were about 6 people in line in front of me. I got a bit nervous, thinking maybe the seat might get sold. But, as soon as I caught myself thinking that, I calmed down, and started saying “tsuiteiru” to myself over and over. This is something my wife and I would say when we wanted to find an empty parking spot, to avoid traffic, or have some other lucky circumstance happen. It basically means something like “lucky”, and we’d just repeat it again and again. When I got back to the front of the line, the agent told me the seat was still available, and rebooked me.

Obstacle #1 removed.

Then I got to my destination, and it was quite late, about 11:30 p.m. I picked up my bags and headed out to catch the shuttle that would take me to my final destination. I called the dispatch and told them I was on a different island than they’d expect, because it was the one nearer to baggage claim. They told me that would be no problem and gave me the van number and its driver’s name. About 10 minutes later, I saw the van coming, and it was in the wrong lane. I flagged the driver down, but he could not stop. He opened the door and said, “I’ll meet you at the next island.” Just after this happened, another shuttle van, one for an off-site parking lot, stopped and opened its door. The driver said, “Hop in, I’ll take you down there to help you catch your van.” The shuttle we were now pursuing was hidden behind a number of buses, so we couldn’t see if he was pulling over or not, but there briefly was a break in the traffic, and the driver honked to get the other driver’s attention. The driver of the van I was trying to get on rolled down his window, and said he’d pull over at the next island. He did, and I hopped off and got into the correct van.

Obstacle #2 removed. It’s as if the universe wanted me to be back here at my destination on Friday night, and not on Saturday as booked, and enabled me to make all the right mistakes and decisions to enable that to happen. Plus then a number of other lucky circumstances came together to make it real.

To me, the most important message is that I learned just how present I needed to be to allow all of this to happen. I had to decide to stay at the airport and not go home. The airport was not very busy, and the atmosphere was pretty calm. I was very humble and self-effacing with the ticket agent, and he was not terribly stressed out because there weren’t many people around. These guys do have quite a bit of discretion, and I guess he just felt that it might be nice to use his power in a good way. Then, at the final airport, I somehow flagged down the shuttle van in such a way that I caught the attention of a completely different driver, and that person felt compeled to help. It was all really pretty astonishing.

This tells me that, provided we just try to be truly present in our lives and engage in virtuous activity, good things can come to us. There’s no guarantee, of course, but you do tend to get back what you put out there. If you put out a bunch of negativity, chances are you won’t find a lot of happiness coming your way. But if you put out good energy, then that tends to attract more good energy, and that can manifest in all sorts of ways.

As a result, I just now feel very certain that I’ll reconcile with my wife sometime in the fairly near future. I’ve been putting a lot of good energy out there, but honestly there has been quite a bit of negativity mixed in with it that likely has been setting me back. I’ve just got to drop the negativity and go with the flow of positivity, be fully present, and see where that leads. I’m confident that good things are at the end of that path.