I wrote a letter to FWW that I won't send. The thoughts have been getting increasingly more confusing. Trying to decide how to get to the best place given the multitude of varying (and often conflicting)circumstances. Not as mad, but more lost than ever.
Iím not over your affairs, not by a country mile. In fact, I donít think I ever will be. But I can say the obsessive thinking about it has subsided. I no longer want to ďpunishĒ you for it or kill the other men. I no longer think you are a bad person, but a person who is human and found yourself in a bad place emotionally and made terrible decisions.
What follows is 100% honesty, minimally filtered as to not hurt anymore that it probably will. Most of this you already ďknowĒ but I havenít been man enough to tell you before.
I angry with you for unilaterally ensuring I will not have the life I always strove for. The live ďhappily (or at least happiest) ever afterĒ is gone. If the future sees us in rocking chairs on the front porch into our eighties, you have to know that my happiness will not be as great as it would have been had you not invited other men into our life and your heart and body. Just the same, separation and divorce would get me no closer to happily ever after. Iím pretty sure I would be further away even. Between the loss of shared memories and intact nuclear family, it would have to be.
I wish you could change. I donít think youíll ever cheat again (said at this point in time). But there is a limit to the type of person you can be. I donít think you can ever be the type of mother I want for the kids. You are not a bad motherÖactually a good mother. But, gently, you are not a great mother. Itís not your fault. You have terrible role models and a limited set of resources to get better. And I donít want you to try. By improving your mothering, you will be sacrificing the improvements you made in being a spouse. You just werenít designed to do it all.
So this is where Iím stuck. Iím resolving the two:
1. You canít be my (and our familyís) everything
2. My heart has hardened due to your decision to forever affect my happiness (by giving it temporarily to two disgusting humans)
I understand the weakness that led to #2 and applaud you for your effort to fix that weakness. You really are becoming a better ďyouĒ and wife to me. Itís a shame I have to admit this, but I could actually forgive (and almost forget) #2Öif #1 wasnít there.
And vice versa. Iím a reasonable and realistic person. #1 was always there. Itís there for most everyone in every marriage that didnít come from a fairy tale. I intellectually realize that you canít be 100% the wife that I want. Would I like it if you were a great cook? Would it be cool if you had an eye for interior design? Would it make me proud to see you help DD with her algebra? The answer to all of these is yes, of course. But relearning algebra to help DD would mean how many fewer hours in the bedroom with me? I apologize for making you feel inferior over the years due to #1, but I have to honestly say, itís always been there and always will be. ButÖin light of #2Ö#1 has been nagging at me since the immediate trauma of your last affair subsided.
I find that I judge you more harshly now. It makes me sick to my stomach. When I think about your mistakes or shortcomings I shake my head instinctively out of disappointment. Before the As, the shake of my head was about frustration with a reserved hope that you could eventually get there. But now itís the disappointment of believing you never will.
Iím not entirely certain as to the point of this letter. Iím just trying to sort out the thoughts that clutter my head space. If there is a point it is to make you aware of the honest truth that I still have a LOT that Iím trying to resolve about our life. Both the past 16 years and however many we both may live into the future.
And you know I HATE to give example because thatís where you tend to focus, but I will provide one recent one for you. You had me expecting a BJ when you got home from work yesterday. But after my conversation with DD (before you got home) I knew I had to talk to you about a parenting conflict that we had to resolve. Not only did the conflict not get resolved, but you made me feel like a jerk by bringing it up (even though I did it in the most gently way I knew)Öand to a lesser extentÖno BJ. Then you went to bed soundly and I stayed up in a hateful mood to write in my journal.
I don't see why you shouldn't give her this letter. It is going to suck, but no amount of being heard by us is going to make this go away.
She will get mad, angry, not talk you. NOT communicating in these circumstances is exacting a heavy price on you.
These are mostly HER problems. Point them out to her and let her carry them.
If I can ask, what are you afraid of it giving this to her ?
Sometimes it has to get worse before it can get better. While it may be very difficult in the near term I can almost guarantee that you feel better for stating where you stand.
In the letter is buried a start to redemption for her. If she has the slightest remorse for any of this, it will register with her.
If she doesn't nothing with it, then you have an important decision to make. However in either case you let out the mental garbage that is distracting you from living the life you want.
At the end of the day, that is really what you want, right ?
DS 1, DD 6
Dday 8/31/11. EA/PA. Lied to for 3 years.
Every truth comes to light in a long enough timeline.
If I can ask, what are you afraid of it giving this to her ?
I've let her read my journal before. Just certain entries that were written when I wasn't in a really bad place.
She got angry, started shaking & hyperventilating. I felt like shit for her emotional response that I caused. She makes me feel like an ogre and I don't like feeling that way about myself.
It's always been that way. I'm the son of a BPD "waif", I can't help but to assume responsibility for the pain a woman close to me holds. Effed up I know. I'm working with IC about it.
jmo - I know how painful this is, but I think you're doing yourself a major disservice.
I can't type easily with one arm in a cast, so this has to be an outline and shorter and choppier than usual, but I believe in some very important ways your letter is way off the mark.
you have no way to predict the future, especially decades hence.
change the letter and more important your thinking to say,
right now, I believe.... for example, I don't see us in rocking chairs as happy as we would have been....
right now I think the future will bring....
right now I feel...and 'feel' needs to be followed by sad or mad or glad or scared or love. anything else is likely to be a thought or a belief.
turn your letter into what you/think/believe/feel TODAY.
then talk about your thoughts, beliefs, feelings with your W. she needs to know what you're going through, and you need to share.
remember - talk about today, and make sure you and she understand you may change your mind in the future. because you will.
[This message edited by sisoon at 10:16 AM, April 4th (Friday)]
Are you now judge and jury on all her behavior b/c she is a wayward? It sounds like a progress report. Why don't you talk about how you feel, not what you think about her; you are going to get farther with that.
I cringed when I read that letter and just wanted to hug your wife
Her A is hers to own and your feelings there...I get it.
I don't understand where the judgements are coming from regarding her lack of cooking skills, algebra knowledge.....
this made me so very sad. She may be a WW, but she deserves to be lifted up through recovery, not beat down.
I am sorry if I misunderstand your intent, I don't want to be harsh, but in R WS's and BS's deserve respect, love and consideration for their pain and willingness to over-come it.
Also, think about the phrase "forever affect my happiness". It is up to YOU how you feel. It is your choice to try to be happy with her, or to move on and find happiness within yourself.
I'm getting a D, so I probably shouldn't even be posting here. Sorry. But I decided too that I didn't like way too many things about WH, and the only thing for me to do to be fair to us both was to move on.
It feels like you're using those feelings from a legitimate betrayal to be kind of, well, mean. And if you want to be mean because you need to express your anger of the As, then so be it! You deserve it! However, if this makes you feel like you have the green light to address all the concerns you had pre-A, and they are listed in your letter, I would have to say they are not reasonable.
Instead of only looking at her emotional reactions to your words, do her reactions (even pre-A) ever make you look inward? If you're honest with yourself, are you really willing to consider the possibility that you might be wrong in some of your treatment to her? Please don't see any of this as justification for the A, it's just that you've posted in the R forum, and in this journey, there comes a time where titles of betrayed and wayward become second to partners. Partners need to be willing to change - both of them. I speak from experience. I would attribute most of the success of our R to my willingness to admit wrong and make changes. This does not come easily, and it does not come quickly, but it has been the saviour of our marriage.
Best wishes, truly.
I really am feeling out some new space here. I like my W. A lot. She's my best friend. And I respect her when she's respectable. The part about the cooking and algebra? Again, no one can do Everything...and I am OKAY with that...really.
There are three areas where I dare not tread: parenting, appearance, and sex. If I present a complaint or alternative, she responds as if I called her an absolute failure.
More backstory: I read this after dday, and many times since. I feel this is my life. I am a party to it, but it makes me feel sad.
For everyone who feels sorry for my wife, I get it. I do to. But the link explains why (at least for
Me). I don't expect everyone to understand or anyone to agree. This is my headspace to figure out but appreciate the insight.
The article reads angry to me too. I really tried to re-focus halfway through and keep reading without bias. I couldn't help but feel more and more concerned. Then I tried to read it thinking about the OW in my case, whom I would love to be angry at and hate and relate to this article. I can't even do that. There is so much justification and assumption about behaviour in that article, it's worrisome.
The things is, if you're taking that article as the foundation for your thoughts on your wife, I fear you may be stuck. I have been stuck by literature before. We BSs can read something that helps us to make sense of what happened and hang on to it for dear life. The thing is, affairs don't make sense, and to try to find the answer to 'why' as a BS, we can travel down a dangerous path. Have you shown your wife this article? Have you decided that she is a waif? It also feels offensive to abuse victims and women in general. As if hormones and emotional extremes are something to be diagnosed and guarded against.
I just want to let you know that when I find literature that is helpful now, it's all about ME, not figuring out my fWH. He has to do that, and the evidence that he is working on that is why we continue to R. If you focus on placing these assumptions on your wife's life, emotions and behaviour, I fear you will be closed off to listening to her, or at least truly hearing what she has to say.
Be weary of what you read, and look to yourself to change, only then can we figure out if we truly want to R or D.
I recently told my therapist that my biggest fear is that on my deathbed, I will think, "shit, the OW truly was the love of my H's life, and I convinced myself this wasn't the case so that my family could stay together." Which I think kind of relates to your porch theory, but has more to do with most betrayed women's biggest concern about being 'loved the right way'. She told me that yes, I may think that on my death bed, but her hope for me is that I have done enough work on managing depression and anxiety that I can have that thought, and dismiss it just as quickly as just that - a thought.
At first I kind of laughed that off, then I thought, shit, she's right. It's my choice. I decide what thoughts, concerns, anxieties I give power to, and which ones I can just notice and dismiss.
My only goal in posting is that you may consider another perspective, not to hurt you or belittle you, so I hope you hear the former and not the latter!
I donít think you can ever be the type of mother I want for the kids.
Did you know this while you were dating?
Would I like it if you were a great cook? Would it be cool if you had an eye for interior design? Would it make me proud to see you help DD with her algebra?
Did you know while you were dating that she did not remember algebra?
The part about the cooking and algebra? Again, no one can do Everything...and I am OKAY with that...really.
Are you really Okay with that? Seems like if you were you wouldn't feel the need to remind your wife that she's not perfect. Is this something you guys have discussed before?