I WAS SITTING ON A BOULDER IN THE MIDDLE OF A FAST-MOVING river, taking in the beauty of the mountains and forest around me, when an unexpected thought hit me: my wife had found someone else.
I had just spent three glorious summer days with several friends climbing and hiking in Colorado's Rocky Mountains, scaling three peaks in an exhausting and exhilarating trek. We were on our way down to our base and had stopped to camp next to a river. I rock-hopped my way over to a seat amid the rapids to soak up some shimmering, summer scenery. The high mountain air was thin and crisp, the colors brilliant. But the intuition about my wife was unmistakable and unnerving.
My wife was spending a month at a university program in another state, honing her craft in early childhood education. There had always been a strong connection between us, but the preceding months had been troubled for our marriage. Each of us felt we were not getting what we needed from the other. The relationship had turned into an uphill climb. Its legs felt wobbly.