Tag Archives: Wayward Spouse

Selling the Farm for a Fantasy

As some of you may know, my wife’s affair began at a shrine some 40 miles north of here. It is the only one of its kind in North America, and the adulterer was a high-level member of that shrine and a long-time student of its priest. As an odd coincidence, on the second visit I made to that shrine about four years ago, the adulterer was the first person I encountered there. One of my wife’s attractions to the adulterer was the fact that they “shared” the same spiritual tradition, supposedly, at least.

Early on in their affair, the priest’s wife got wind of the situation and criticized them quite harshly, and in a very public fashion—via Facebook. Names were not mentioned, but the recipients of the criticism were clearly implied. I believe that it was around this time that relations got strained with the priest.

A couple of important details to note at this point: first, the adulterer lives about 2 miles from the shrine, which is located near a tiny little town out in the middle of nowhere; second, as far as I know, the adulterer helped to build that shrine. So, it is a significant action to want to remove oneself from the shrine and its community.

But that is exactly what appears to have happened. The adulterer seems to have stopped attending ceremonies. As far as I can tell, he has not attended any ceremonies there for at least a year. I believe he and my wife were essentially told that they were not welcome. The priest and his wife do not want a scandal, after all. The inner circle of senior shrine members recently went to visit Japan; normally, the adulterer would have gone with them, as this was a major event and a serious honor. He did not go.

Fast forward to today. The adulterer posted some random nonsense on his Facebook page—and I do mean nonsense: one of those internet memes that consists of a picture with text plastered on it—and one of his “friends” commented about having met his daughter and son-in-law and so forth. Apparently the two met at the shrine, and this was mentioned by this “friend.”

The adulterer replied by saying that the “shrine” (and he used quotes, oddly enough) was out of the picture now, and went on to say that it was a long story, but his departure from the shrine was for the better.

You get that, folks? He gave up his spiritual life and 17-year relationship with the priest for what? An affair, that’s what.

This is what affairs do. They pickle brains and poison minds. They let loose a torrent of social disapproval that eventually amounts to a tidal wave, against which they attempt to swim. It must all become tiring.

At this point, it appears that all the adulterer and my wife have are the superficial pretences that they shovel out into the world via Facebook or other social media. You know, stuff like: “hey, look at this zucchini we grew,” or “we’re making pickles,” or other dross. So long as others buy into it, they manage to keep the raft afloat another day.

But that raft is full of holes by now. My wife is an incredibly stressed-out creature these days. She is volatile and has a short fuse that is ready to blow at any moment. She is working overtime to try to keep out dissent in any form—including me, of course—yet reality now delivers nothing other than dissent. She has got to be under severe pressure: while he could just walk away from all this (and throw her out into the cold), she cannot do so that easily. She left her home for this person. She poisoned friendships and family relations for this adulterer. She cut ties with colleagues and quit jobs for the sake of this infidel. She basically put her entire life on the line for the fantasy this con-artist was peddling, and she got swindled.

He may think he’s in control, but he does not know my wife. He does not know how short her fuse gets when she is under stress. He does not know how quickly she’ll blow her fuse. He does not know how explosive these situations can be. He may have seen glimpses of these tendencies—chances are good that he has—but he has never seen them in all their glory. I have. I know how to deal with them. I have the cool that can dispel the hot torment of that mental anguish. He simply has ego that will feed those fires.

I’m telling you friends, as we enter this final phase of their grossly immoral relationship, things will get ugly up there at Camp You-Know-What. Really, really ugly. It will not be a pretty ending. It seems affair endings rarely are anything other than ugly, and this one will be no exception.

There are some events scheduled for this week that will prove to be very stressful for my wife. Depending on their outcome, life up at Camp YKW (a.k.a. Camp C-S; long-time readers will know this acronym) will likely begin to look very, very different—and not in a good way. This could happen very, very soon. The karma of this situation is ripening. I’ve seen it begin to ripen over the past two weeks and those seeds of malevolence that were planted nearly two years ago have begun to bear their fruit, and that fruit is quite poisonous.

But, that’s what happens when you sell the farm for a fantasy. You don’t actually sell the farm—you can’t; instead you have to continue living on it. But, the harvest is spoiled by tainted fruit and putrid vegetables. Innocent little shoots have turned into noxious weeds. All the health is choked out of the soil, and soon nothing will grow anymore. That’s when the affair dies. It happens either suddenly or gradually, but it dies nonetheless. The fantasy goggles come off and the reality of adulterous life becomes evident. The adulterers recognize the cartoons they have become, and worse yet, they see the cartoonish buffoon they considered to be each other’s “partner” and rapidly begin to notice the grotesque defects that buffoon bears. It is a time of rude awakenings.

Wiser people saw this coming for months and months. But wiser voices were shunned. They were too “conventional,” and did not truly “understand.” The fantasy was singular, unique, and “special.” It suspended all of the worlds moral and ethical codes or rendered them unnecessary.

But none of that matters now. The farm has been sold. Or, more accurately, it is in foreclosure and its residents are getting turfed out. Morality and Ethics are the repo-men of reality, and they have come to reclaim their ground. The only question that remains is how long the eviction process will last.

Status Conference

I’ve been very busy of late, and this explains my absence from this blog.

Things have definitely been churning on the marital front, but it’s hard to tell really what’s going on. I am reminded of the expression that “things always get worse before they get better,” and that definitely seems to be true.

My wife has been unusually communicative over the past couple of weeks, but for the most part this has been rather nasty and hostile communication. But, there was at least one surprise.

Basically, the story is this: last month, my wife filed a “confirmation of issues” document with the court, which is a procedural document for which she is supposed to solicit my response. She did not do this, and instead just filed it, stating that I refused to cooperate. Huh? Well, the truth is that I would not have signed it in all likelihood, but since she did this, we are now ordered to appear at a status conference on Friday.

She ended up contacting me in the past few days to tell me that she was mailing the same document to me again, and wanted me to sign it. I guess she does not want to go to this conference, ostensibly because she does not want to have to see me. We had a back and forth via email over the past couple of days regarding this document; essentially, I was trying to get her to speak with my by phone, to which she predictably demurred.

However, quite unexpectedly, she offered to come by the house yesterday, essentially to get this document signed. I could not make this happen, as I (like most people) had to work. She was not flexible at all with her timeline—it was either that morning or nothing. So, we did not see each other. She had other random and relatively non-sensical things to say.

There are some other things brewing that I cannot get into, as I do not quite know all the details. She seems to be, well, rather crazy right now. I think she is really struggling and is doing everything she can to keep her fantasy life in place. There is a real sense of desperation about her actions and her energy.

Not sure where things are going from here. It is a weird phase, to be sure.

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.

Back to Where It All Started

I haven’t posted in a while, as I’ve been very busy; besides that, there hasn’t been a whole lot to report.

This past weekend, I went to the shrine where my wife’s affair started. I hadn’t been there in nearly two years. There was a big, semi-annual ceremony going on there, and the last time I had attended it was two years ago with my wife. Something told me that I should go; if I needed a reason, there were a few amulets and such that needed to be returned to the shrine, and then perhaps one new one that I felt I should pick up. In that spiritual tradition, amulets and other items one might use for personal use or for home altars are annual in nature, and need to be replaced every year. I had a few around the house that were 2+ years old, so I figured I should be responsible and change them out. This shrine is the only place in North America where one can do that.

Even the night before the ceremony, I was still unsure if I’d go. I wanted to be clear on my ethics and intentions; if there were any possibility that I would be going to mess with my wife’s affair—which still seems to be clinging on for dear life—then I’d just stay home. I was pretty sure that my intention was pure, but thought I’d better sleep on it.

I awoke the following morning feeling a bit ambivalent. My intentions were pure enough, I guess, but I just wasn’t sure if it would have been a good idea to go. So, I pulled down my I-Ching book and did a quick reading. The answer was unambiguous: I should go.

It was a fine Sunday morning, and I had some other obligations before the ceremony started mid-morning. Having taken care of those, I set off on the 40-mile drive to the shrine. I suppose I felt a bit nervous, because I did not know what would meet me there; I strongly suspected that my wife would not be there, but I just did not know what to expect.

I arrived and found that the adulterer’s truck was nowhere to be seen. In previous years, he would always be there; he volunteered at virtually every event, as he was more or less the highest-ranking member of the shrine, aside from the priest. It was my sense that, due to the affair, the adulterer and my wife had both gotten themselves banned from the shrine, or at least made very unwelcome. This is, of course, rather odd, as the adulterer lives about 2 miles from the shrine; given the remote location of the town, there really is no other reason for the adulterer to live there. They never did arrive.

But I did. As I stood in line to enter the shrine, the priest saw me and beamed a huge smile. He came outside to meet me, shook my hand, and greeted me with a warm and genuine sincerity. He asked me how I was doing, and I said, “excellent.” Upon entering the shrine, I encountered the priest’s wife. Now, she had been very vocal in her opposition to my wife’s affair, and went so far as to post a disparaging remark about it quite openly on Facebook shortly after that sordid mess had begun. She came up to greet me, and also seemed quite happy to see me. I’m sure it did not escape her notice that I was wearing my wedding ring. She asked me how our dog was doing, and then said she really wanted to see the dog. This also seemed like a very genuine connection. I returned the amulets to her, and went and bought a couple of new ones for this year.

The ceremony went as planned, and afterward I stopped by to thank the priest on my way out. Again, he was very genuine and enthusiastically thanked me for being there. I then returned home.

It’s hard to know what any of this meant. I think that, for me, there was perhaps some sort of sense of that karma coming full circle with my return there. It is of course said that all actions are interdependent, and thus I can probably expect some sort of karmic ripples to be sent out as a result of my visit. Those ripples will almost certainly meet my wife and the adulterer; when that could happen or the effect that might have is entirely uncertain. But, that’s really not my concern; it’s not why I went there in the first place.

I have come to a place of a certain degree of comfort in my situation, actually. This is likely the result of the regular contemplations I’m doing in my daily spiritual practice; these contemplations have recently shown me the deeper meaning of what is going on. I suppost it could be summarized in this way: happiness comes from positive actions, yet all too many people engage in negative actions in their pursuits of happiness. Buddhist doctrine holds that there are ten non-virtuous actions from which one should abstain; pondering these actions can be truly shocking, and can lead to greater compassion for those who engage in them, wittingly or otherwise. Although most of us unwittingly engage in about half of these actions fairly regularly, my wife’s list of non-virtuous actions resulting from her affair probably encompasses eight or nine of them. Pondering this likelihood has shown me the wisdom of stepping back a bit and allowing the natural course of things (i.e. karma) to just go ahead and play out. In fact, my earlier attitude, as seen in many of the posts here from, say, last year, more or less demonstrate how “tight” my energy was around the whole thing. I do think that maintaining that kind of “tightness” distorts things somehow, making it harder for the situation to resolve. I’ve pretty much gotten out of the way now, energetically speaking, so that situation can just collapse under the weight of its own karmic debt; that could happen at any time now.

As for me, life is good, and I’ve got a paid holiday from work. Time to wash the dog, I guess. Happy 4th to all of you.

Off the Grid

I’ve been off the grid for a while, due mainly to a retreat I went on recently. It was a 10-day retreat (yep, a Buddhist thingie) that I did locally; I still had work obligations, so there were a few days I missed, but otherwise the retreat had me occupied for about 15 hours at a stretch.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience and, while exhausting, a great way to recharge the batteries of the heart, mind, and soul. I learned a lot. Most of all, though, I learned the value of letting go.

You see, my thoughts and energy surrounding my marital crisis have been, for a long time now, really pretty “tight.” If you’ve read many of my posts, you’ll probably get a sense of that. In fact, I’ve had comments, some via this blog and others via private email, that have said as much. This retreat forced me to loosen that energy, and at the same time it dialed me into the sense that there is much more richness to life than what one can have if one focuses too tightly on any one thing.

So what does “letting go” mean, really? Does it mean quitting? No, not at all. Instead, it means just being okay with whatever happens.

I’ve reached the point at which I truly feel that I’ve done just about all that I can to attempt to bring my marriage to the point of beginning a reconciliation. I’ve learned the relationship skills and have worked tirelessly on bettering myself. It has been, and still is, exhausting at times. But it has been a truly transformative journey. I know that my wife will see and appreciate those changes; right now, she chooses to avoid seeing them.

I had a chat with my marriage “coach” today, the first one I’ve had in about 6 months. I really haven’t needed much advice, since there isn’t much to work with when you’re being stonewalled. His assessment is that I’m pretty much doing all that I can, and that 90% of what I need to do at this point is just to wait. That seems hard, but there really aren’t any other sensible alternatives.

I do keep in mind the statistics that indicate that 24 months is the typical end point by which the vast majority of affairs will have ended. This would mean that my wife has about 5 more months to run on this situation, tops. I do extend hope that this will hold true, but I would be foolish to try to predict the future. However, as we enter summer there are a couple things that are different now than they were last summer at this time, and these could be key in shaking that situation apart once and for all.

First, her concert season has wrapped up, and she has no reason to come into town at all—that is, unless she joins the adulterer on some of his work sites, and I know that she does this. (How often, though, is anyone’s guess; I’m thinking it could be nearly daily, as I think he keeps her on a short leash.) Second, she has filed dissolution papers. These two things added together put her on an island of her own making—an island with the adulterer, a place where she gets to see if this really is something she wants for the rest of her life. I seriously doubt that she does; from what little I have seen and heard, that life and relationship are as juvenile and superficial as ever. It is still a fantasy-land, but reality inexorably does seep into this and any other kind of fantasy. Moreover, it is an island that is surrounded by a sea of dreck that she has created. It is probably the wish to avoid dealing with that dreck—the detritus of spoiled relationships and ruined friendships—that keeps her marooned on that island of immorality. However, the tide of dreck cannot be stopped, and will eventually choke them both off that island and back into the sea of, well, reality, which includes all that dreck that has been produced over the past year and a half.

So, I basically go on living my life; I reach out as I always have, and then I let it go. At night I can sleep well because I have a clear conscience. During the day I can live my life fully, because I have an open heart. She is welcome to join me at any time.

Putting On/In Appearances

I saw my wife over the weekend. Not because she wanted to, but rather because I choose to set the agenda, rather than to simply comply with hers. She had a concert on Sunday—a big, public event—so I went. I had no plan other than to be there and to support her, and maybe to say hello.

I arrived a bit early, and went for a walk in a nearby park. I have lived in this city for nearly 20 years, yet I never even knew that this park existed, right in the middle of the city, and right next to, and also atop, a busy freeway. It was an odd sort of urban oasis, so I just strolled around there for a bit, and then went back toward the concert venue.

As I was arriving at the venue, I could see the adulterer walking down the street perpendicular to mine. He was with his brother, whom you may remember from this post was the one who served me those horrid papers. Yes, they are quite the pair, the adulterer and his brother. They did not see me.

I arrived at the venue about a minute after they did, and as I entered, I saw them talking to my wife. Their backs were facing the door, so they did not see me; my wife was facing the door, so she could not avoid being seen by me. But she tried! Seriously. I smiled and waved to her, and she moved to her left in an attempt to “hide” behind the adulterer’s brother. He did not know what was going on, just that my wife shifted position. I headed down toward the restrooms to wash up a bit (I had to put air in my tires at the gas station, so my hands were rather dirty), and, as I passed by, I smiled and waved again. And, once again, she shifted her position to try to “hide,” but this time both the adulterer and his brother saw me.

As I came back up into the lobby a couple of minutes later, I had to walk right past them to get to the ticket booth. There was no avoiding them, but I did not engage them at all. I just went up to buy my ticket. Then, as I turned around, my wife was still with them, so I gave them wide berth and looked around the lobby. I turned back around to find my wife leaving to go backstage, and the adulterer and his brother were entering the hall. The adulterer and his brother were pretending as though they had not been seen.

I entered the hall about ten minute later; the hall itself is a converted church with very uncomfortable seats, so I simply did not feel like sitting in there any longer than necessary. I took a decent seat toward the middle of the hall, and discovered that the adulterer and his brother were about ten rows away; the hall has semi-circular seating, and they were nearly perpendicular to me, meaning that they could see me very easily the whole time they were in the hall. I basically ignored their presence.

Well, mostly. When my wife came out on stage, I just noticed the expression on the adulterer’s face, which was this smarmy kind of look of infatuation, as if the fog still lingers for him. My wife did not look so fogged out, then or earlier in the lobby. Actually, she looked kind of sick, in an odd sort of way. Her eyes seemed to be ringed in black somehow; although she was wearing eye makeup, there was something else about her eyes that gave them this appearance. It was the same look about her eyes that I had seen in a couple of photos, a look that is difficult to describe, sort of present but sick, disconnected from reality but appearing nonetheless. They are not the eyes that I know, but rather the eyes of a deeply unhappy and very tormented soul.

After the concert wrapped up, I went to the reception area to see if I could at least say hello to my wife. I expected she would not appear there, but would rather wait in the hall for a while and then exit from the hall itself. I was right: she did not show up at the reception at all, but did emerge a few minutes later from the staircase to the hall, which was located upstairs. She was flanked by the adulterer and his brother, and was carrying a bouquet of flowers someone (not the adulterer, as he had none) had given her. She looked troubled, preoccupied, and unhappy. I caught her eye briefly; the adulterer averted his, and the brother peeked around surreptitiously with a rather guilty visage as they tried to slip out of the building unnoticed.

They were not unnoticed, but I did not attempt to engage them.

I left shortly after they did, and saw them at the end of the street. I actually had to go down that same street to get to my car, and considered walking down to the corner to cross the street. There, I could have easily said something to my wife. I was thinking to myself if this would be courageous, or if it would rather just be awkward. I simply did not want to do anything to feed her story (or the adulterer’s), so I left well enough alone, again giving them wide berth by jaywalking to get across the street on my way to the next street where my car was parked. The adulterer did look back, in a somewhat paranoid way, to see if I were behind them somewhere; I was already heading up a different street and clearly had a very different agenda: to get to my car.

So that was that.

I guess I felt a bit disappointed, or that I should have put myself out there a bit more, but really I don’t think there was much more I could have (or should have) done. My mere presence at that event spoke volumes. This is what taking a principled stand is about. The adulterer is and will ultimately be a flash-in-the-pan and, judging from my wife’s expression, could soon get canned out of her life.

Adulterous “Love”

Today, I came across an excellent précis of the fiction that is adulterous “love.” If you are suffering from adultery, and think for some reason your spouse’s mistress (or mister) is the “real deal,” please take the time to read through the whole thing. It’s a short read, extremely well written, thoughtfully explicated, and well worth the few minutes it will take you to read.

To whet your appetite, here’s an “executive summary,” by way of a few of key paragraphs:

You confuse an emotional experience, i.e. the affair, with the person who you are having the affair with and believe you “need” that person to keep and preserve that experience. Willing to risk almost anything to legitimize the affair, you call it “love.”

Understanding this distinction can be one of the most important steps to ending an affair and recovering from infidelity.

Love, here, is a personally constructed narrative – a story – which we vehemently adhere to because we need it to be true. After all, so much depends upon it being real. The possibility of “true love”, the confirmation that “soul mates” exist, the justification for destroying families, leaving spouses, children, jobs and friends – all MUST be justified with legitimacy and purpose. Otherwise, those of us in affairs are nothing but hedonistic idiots.

The stage is set for grandiosity and narcissistic self-indulgence. On this platform, all manner of illogical and nonsensical choices are made. We are in pursuit of a valid human need – deep intimacy and belonging. Yet, we are moving toward our fated demise. Authentic love, based on friendship, history and seasoned emotionality, can never result from affair love, which is grounded in escape, deception and illicit illusions. Anything based upon deception is destined to fail. Period. Without integrity, life simply doesn’t work.

The full text is at iVillage, and it seems to have been posted on one of that site’s forum’s by a member who appears to have committed adultery. The perspective of the formerly cheating spouse can be very helpful to those who are suffering from active, ongoing affairs, helping to keep things in perspective, i.e. the affair is a fantasy, a house of cards, and it will eventually blow down. Or, as Mort Fertel would say, “you’ve just gotta hang in there long enough for it to end.”

Again, you can read the full text by clicking here. Please do read it. Believe me, if this topic is relevant to you, you won’t regret the time you spent reading it.