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.