Well, my wife is now fully out of the fog, and full of remorse, and wondering what the hell she did. This letter reduced her to a whimpering puddle begging for forgiveness. I am taking no shit and she knows it.
It doesn't undo the damage at all, it does not explain how she could do this, and she and I will live with the memory of this disaster for the rest of our lives, but I am now very certain we are going to make it.
Your thoughts and opinions are appreciated.
I am working towards acceptance and forgiveness, but there are statements you made in the aftermath of this affair that remain stuck in me, like pieces of shrapnel that need to be cut out before the healing can begin. A few of them are things you said to me in the hazy weeks after the affair.
I say hazy because you were in a state known as “the fog.” It’s the term psychiatrists use to describe the irrational, unthinking mind of people who have emerged from a long-term affair and say things that aren’t true—that are in fact, lies or gross distortions—because they need to justify the terrible acts that they have committed during the affair, or are painting their affair and their affair partner in a romantic light that has no basis in reality.
Here are three things that you said to me that I would like you to re-evaluate.
1. “I wish I could hit the erase button, but I can’t erase the good memories that we had together.” I’d like more explanation on this one. Because unless you can give me some concrete examples of good memories that did not involve a married woman with young children screwing a married man, behind their married partner’s backs, in cheap hotels or in his house, and then having to clean up the mess before his wife came home, and erasing phone messages and texts because of their embarrassing content, I’m crying bullshit on this. So the walking turd brought you a flower from his garden or a cup of coffee as he lied to his wife and screwed a married woman with young kids? Wow, what a real fucking gentleman.
XXXX, you lied to your children about where you were going on those days; you used my dad to arrange your meetups, you used playdates with moms to meet up with this scumbag. There are no good memories that need erasing. Only lies, told to each other by two selfish people behaving like shit. Any memories you have of this horrible incident should be associated with disgust. These are the memories that need the erase button. That garbage human being needs to be flushed down the toilet. He was never your “friend”; he was and is a user.
2. “I knew what I had to lose.” You told me this one back in August, and it’s more bullshit. Unless you can tell me that you were fully prepared to lose me—a man you now recognize as someone with a huge heart, a great character, someone who loves his family, and is handsome, strong, and morally upright—and also lose:
□ Half custody of your children.
□ Your home, and be prepared to live in an apartment. I own half this place, and half the equity. We would have had to sell.
□ Your family—you never would have spoken to my parents, my siblings, my cousins, ever again. That includes the XXXXXX and the XXXXX, Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving, everyone. You would have lost them all.
□ Your dignity. A divorce would have brought this ugliness to light, and exposed everything you did to my family, your parents, your sister, and your friends. Your character would have been ruined.
Unless you can tell me that you were fully prepared to lose all of this, then I don’t believe that you knew what you had to lose.
On top of all this, I would bet anything that you wouldn’t even have had him, and I don’t care what he told you during the affair about leaving his wife had you asked him to. It’s a fact that more than 90% of wives and husbands that cheat with another married person, and leave their husbands and/or wives for that person, wind up splitting up. Look up the statistics if you don’t believe me. Once affair partners start living together, the fantasy is gone, and the reality sets in that both have cheated on their partners to get where they are, and that their whole relationship is built on a pyramid of lies. And then, living together, you get to see their ugly, hair down, paying the bills, cleaning the toilets side of them. And get to wonder every day if this person is now going to turn around and cheat on you, because they’ve got a track record of doing so. Hell, you even admitted to me while in your “fog” state that you would never be with this guy.
So basically you would have lost everything you had.
Are you still going to tell me “you knew what you had to lose?” Were you really prepared to lose everything you had for that walking pile of shit? I don’t think you were, I don’t think you ever thought through the consequences at any point. Again, I’m declaring bullshit on this statement.
3. “When you go to conferences, the only thing that I miss is you dropping the kids off at the bus stop.” You stated that my contributions raising the children were minimal to none, because you were the one showering them at night, dressing them in the morning, and so on.
I would beg to differ, greatly, and you know what? So would our children.
XXXXX, what you bring to the table is wonderful. Your organization and discipline is commendable, and you are teaching XXXXXX and XXXXXX a work ethic that will carry through when they are adults. But it is only half the job of a parent. Perhaps you don’t place as much of a value on what I bring, which is joy, and love, and wonder, and sharing memories, and teaching them to be loving, attentive, thoughtful children. Reading to them, and talking to them, and teaching them to enjoy music and movies, and appreciate history, and their grandparents and great-grandparents, is far, far from inconsequential. I can understand why you might not grasp this: I don’t believe you had this type of loving parenting growing up, which is a tragedy, and not your fault. But it doesn’t make what you said hurt any less.
Could I have been better at helping with all the practical stuff, too? Absolutely. I am doing that now with the school projects, and I should have been doing that before. I will regret that, forever. But I am more than capable of being a dad that gets them out of their beds and on their way. I’ve done it before, and I could do it again. What I bring is unique to me and not so easily replaced, and that thoughtless, foggy statement of yours bit like iron in my soul. For you to even hint at my relationship with the kids as a means to justify why you cheated, is a lie. That hurt badly, and I need an apology.
You know what, XXXX? I am willing to forgive everything you said to me while in this state. You were in “the fog.” I hope you can now recognize these statements, as stupid, irrational, ridiculous justifications that should be treated as they deserve—“facts” that are lies and distortions, and lies that should be thrown into the trash can, along with the memories of his ugly, disgusting ass.
But even so, these statements were daggers in me when you said them, and are very painful to me now. They need to come out of me, which is why I wrote this letter. And you need to face up to them, and make amends for them. Unless you still think they are true, and are prepared to defend them. If so, please tell me where I’m wrong.
I don’t want you to sweep this letter under the rug. You need to hold it in your hand, and go through it with me, and answer for these statements. Each one. You need to repeat these statements now, and let me know if you still stand behind them.
This affair is like a vampire that needs to be staked, and killed, for me to move on.
I love you—believe me when I tell you that.