Here's another one of those letters I felt compelled to write, but I won't actually send as what good would that do? Anyway, my divorce is not final quite yet, but this would be addressed to her after it is final (were I to actually send it, but I highly, highly doubt I would).
Well, this is it. 9 years of marriage and 12 years of love and dedication are now officially over. I never thought we'd be here. Not us. We were the gold standard. I still remember Brian's bachelor party where at one point in the night, he mentioned he hoped to have half the love and happiness we had. We toasted you, toasted us. We were the ones who loved each other unconditionally through any and everything, and did we have some bad hands dealt our way. I can say that all the way to the end, once we signed those final documents, I was 100% dedicated. My vows and promises to you were always honored, though you wouldn't do the same for me. My life is now mine and mine alone. You started down that path much earlier.
There's been a ton of anger, hurt, and confusion I've had to process. I have felt at many times that I essentially gave away 12 years of my life for nothing. Through the advice and support of others, I've learned that it was not a waste. There is so much I have and will learn from it all.
I was so proud to be your husband. So much of my self-worth and identity revolved around us. This mess has taught me to learn to love and respect myself again. It is possible to love someone and not tie your self-worth to them. There's a difference between being happy with someone, and being happy because of someone. As the Dalai Lama said, "The best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other." I needed you too much, and in doing so, left myself very exposed.
I know there are things I could have done differently that I will be aware of moving forward. I know I tend to be a creature of habit, and I don't like when my routines get changed. I know that this can be a detriment to a relationship, and it's one thing I will work on. I also know I tend to say hurtful things to those closest that I wouldn't say to people who actually bother me. Its as if I take that relationship for granted and use it as an outlet, and thats not fair to others. It is something I worked on with us, and if you're honest, You'd admit I was getting much better.
I know there were intimacy issues, especially after our son. I know a lot of that is on me. That said, when I'd try to work on it, I felt kind of shut down many times. We both could have openly communicated much better. We were so good together for so long, and its like we both forgot how to talk to each other in this regard. Another lesson learned for me.
I know I worry too much, but hell, when the kind of shit that keeps happening to me, how can I not? Well, I need to figure it out somehow. You've taught me that I cannot take anything for granted, but I also can't always worry about the worst case scenario either. Life happens as it happens, and all i can do is focus on what I can control and trust the rest to work out as it is supposed to.
I've learned a marriage is equal responsibility for both partners. I was responsible for 50%, you the other 50%. Regardless of any of my faults though, infidelity and your choice to leave me so cruelly is 100% on you. I cannot, will not, and should not shoulder any of that blame.
I have learned that trust is something to be earned and maintained. I've learned to not let misplaced trust cloud my eyes and cause me to ignore my gut. I knew you were pulling away well before January 20, 2014. I could see it, feel it. The signs were everywhere, but my love for you made me look the other way and/or rationalize what I was seeing. I will never ignore my gut again.
I've learned people can change. It sounds kind of cheesy or cliche, but it's true when I say that the woman who walked out of the home we once shared was not the one I fell in love with. She was not the one I married and dedicated my life too. You disappeared little by little until you were a stranger. I cannot blame you in some ways. What happened to our son coupled with POV was about the cruelest one-two punch anyone could take. It is a wound that time alone will not heal. There is no running from it. However, it appears that's exactly what you're doing - running from it all. Life is now about instant gratification and superficial endeavors.
I remember the last time we were together in our home when you dropped in to talk. At the time, you were stating you just needed time and we'd work this out. I remember something you said that was a red flag. You asked if we would reconcile, could we go out and do things more. Like that was the problem. I also told you that if we were going to reconcile, that would mean counseling. Each of us would need individual counseling, and together we'd need marriage counseling. I remember you saying you didn't know what you'd talk to a counselor about. This was a few sentences after saying you felt like you were losing your mind. I don't know, but it seems like there's a ton there to talk about. There's a ton of repressed pain, issues, and conflict. You stated you talked to your mom, sisters and friends and they made you feel better about your decisions. Hardly unbiased advice there.
This all takes me to another lesson I've learned - when you truly, deeply love someone, you never fully stop. I still worry deeply for you. I want you to really, truly find you again. You need to, and not for me or us, but for you. I know you, I know who you once were at least, and I know that person is very lost now. That person was once very lovable, kind, and genuine. She was creative, intuitive, caring, and nurturing. She was confident in who she was. She was someone I not only loved deeply, but looked up to in many ways. She saved me in many ways, showed me I was someone special, and she believed in me. I still thank that person very much for being a part of my life, and I also very much worry that she may be slipping away forever from this world, not just from me. I very much worry for her, and I hope you find her again. I really do.
All that said, you made your choices, and I have to live with them. You decided we weren't what you needed anymore, and I have to accept that. I cannot be the stalky lost puppy-dog ex-husband because I am just that - your ex. There will always be a part of me that loves you and wishes the best for you, but not to sound cold, but you're not my problem anymore. What you do with your life is up to you and you alone, as my life is now mine and mine alone until that point that I invite someone else in.
I really do wish you the best. That said, I must close this now with the last word I ever expected to say to you. That word is simply this - goodbye.