My wife has gone incommunicado a few times, but never quite like this. She has never been the typical obstinate spouse, the kind who would be nasty, vindictive, spiteful, or any of a dozen other negative qualities that typifies that ilk. She has, for the most part, kept a fairly cordial face toward me, and over the three months from May to August I had been able to really build things so that they were trending positively.
As noted in a previous post, however, that all seemed to have changed earlier this month. She gave me all the typical obstinate-spouse pushback, and she pretty much stopped making herself available to me. I have not seen her for about a month now. I know she was in town yesterday, but she made no effort to get in touch with me whatsoever. I have the dog, and have had her for the past two weeks; normally we swap “custody” every week. She had the dog for three weeks straight as a result of her misbegotten belief that our house was a breeding ground for our dog’s flea infestation. The reality seems to have been that the dog got infested in some way and was truly neglected for months and months. Appropriate measures were never put into place. Then the dog did return briefly, and infested our house with fleas. It was pretty horrible. It took some fairly drastic measures to combat that infestation. The dog was gone while I did this. She returned just as infested with fleas as when she left. I treated her for fleas, now she essentially has none.
Okay, I digress. The larger point here is that my wife considers our dog to be her prize possession in this world. She was my gift to her six years ago. My wife is so attached to the dog that it would seem impossible for her to live without the animal. So it just makes no sense to me whatsoever why she would avoid contacting me to pick up the dog for her customary week of custody. I’m happy to oblige, even though I don’t like the idea of sending our pet off to Camp Chickens***.
The teeny, tiny progress I saw this week was that my wife at least left her cell phone turned on. All of my calls went straight to voice mail, of course, but at least she did it. Today, it seems to have dropped off the grid yet again. This is really getting old. I recorded a message and emailed it to her. One other teeny, tiny bit of progress was a very brief email I received from her — the first in a week, and actually the first communication I’ve had from her in a week as well. My mother is in the hospital at the moment, recuperating from hip-replacement surgery, so I called to let my wife know, and to ask her to keep my mother in her thoughts. She replied with two words, stating that she’d do it. That was all.
I guess it’s the unbearable immaturity of her actions that bothers me the most. She is and has been behaving like a child who believes that she can just stick her fingers in her ears and ignore me, and I’ll just go away. Honestly, most people would. And honestly, if you were to ask most people, they would give the the typical (and horrible) advice of, you know, “just let it go and move on with your life.” Well, it’s pretty obvious what happens when you do that: the affair ends, the spouse finds her life in shards, and then has nowhere to turn. This will be a shocking enough event for her when it does happen, and it doesn’t need to be made more earth-shattering by any callousness from me.
This is all kind of hitting me pretty hard at this point. I have a very light workload this week, and so I have a lot more time on my hands than I have had for some months. I’m not indolent, mind you, and I have kept busy by catching up on other projects. But coterminous with this lightening workload that began this week, I put myself in “information blackout” with regards to my wife. Information used to come to me quite freely when she was living here, and even after she moved out things would come back to me, and occasionally still do. Nevetheless, there are plenty of public sources through which I can see what she’s up to; this is not “snooping,” but just stuff that’s already out there. Some of it has come blaring out into my face via Facebook or other venues, other sources I’ve just simply had to click through to. At best, this information has given me insight into her mental state; at worst, it’s made me upset, or put me into a mini-tailspin. Either way, there has been no practical use for any of this information, so I simply decided I’m better off without it.
I think it is the confluence of this lack of information, when coupled with my lessened workload and her cold-shoulder treatment that is making me feel very, very alone right now.
It’s also the end of the month, and the point at which finances are the most tight for us. (Please feel free to make a donation to this blog if you feel so inspired!) My wife has all but drained her bank account, and I’m sitting tight until payday next week so I don’t have to rip into any savings. It has been very challenging managing this household and its finances alone, as before this crisis we jointly contributed to it, and with her departure close to half of that income disappeared. All of this adds to my stress load quite a bit.
On top of all this, I really just miss my wife. I miss her a lot. This is nothing new, but I feel this house to be quite profoundly empty these days without her presence. It just makes me feel a bit heartsick. Things will likely be quite different in just a few short months from now, after her affair has ended and she has returned home. But for now, it just is a bit painful to endure. I’m quite good at managing my emotions by giving them the space to just be without any mental baggage, and I guess it’s because I have so much space in my life right now that a lot of this is coming to the surface.
Ultimately, this all will have been temporary: the emotional turmoil, the feelings of financial instability, even the marital crisis itself. But right now, it just seems to want to stay there, like an everpresent specter, intangible and tenebrous, but somehow real.
I think I’ll go walk the dog.