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A letter to my wife I have yet to communicate. Thought I would bounce it off of impartial third parties first....


It is becoming apparent to me that the value of my person stems from my ability to suffer. I have become some kind of punching bag that earns its worth out of being able to suffer more than people and circumstances around it. It was intended to be noble, my way of contributing, how I would look after the people I cared about. If something was hard, I could be harder. As long as I could bare the weight of suffering, the people I cared about wouldn't have to. Maybe it would even inspire them to persevere and be able to overcome their challenges as well. But I was a fool because the more I was able to carry, the more people thought it was acceptable to dump on me. Rather than inspiring those around me, they just grew softer.
Another of my more recent realizations is that you don't want me. I'm just a lesser evil than loneliness. I didn't know it was possible to get put in the friendzone after you got married, but it is clear that you would prefer me as a roommate or a buddy and not a lover. You would love me the way that most people love a good TV show or a friendly dog.
As I approach the prime of my strength and the more opportunity I have to test myself against other people, the more I realized how uncommon the level of physical prowess that I posses is. But whether I were carved out of granite or if I entirely let myself go, that doesn't seem to carry any bearing on your desire for me. I imagine it gets about as much thought as when I look at the friendly dog and for a moment muse, "that's kinda cool that he can jump high." I often wonder if it would be a different story if I preferred fashion over function. Maybe if I were trendy and kept closer to the common pulse. I have been to more countries and have been exposed to more cultures than most, but it makes me less connected to this culture.
I know I could have been better to you. Could have left you reminders that you are always on my mind. Could have surprised you more often with gestures. But for me, being with you has been what is special. All the rest is just the reality that I am not enough on my own, unless I dress it up. That your love is something not already given to me, but a wage that I must earn. The more I play into earning it, the higher the expectation is and further I am from being able to afford it. I wonder why the price I have already paid to become the man that I am today is not enough?
I wish it weren't so convenient for you to forget your wedding ring. It pains me when I take mine off to do push-ups, to keep it from getting scratched. I understand it can be the kind of thing a person can forget when they go to the supermarket. I understand it less at college, which is a kind of supermarket of its own. But to deliberately not bring it to a nightclub on your friend's birthday, I do not understand. You're ashamed of me and the covenant we made. You've decided to count yourself amoung people who don't believe in this covenant and you're more concerned about what they will think.
You know, I used to want kids. Maybe not right away, but sooner or later. A few years into marriage now and I wonder. I worry any kids would only fill you with resentment over the freedom you would have otherwise had. I thought about how I would look after them, bind myself to them and impart life with them. But if they took after you, I question whether they would want me to.
I wish that I meant more to you than this bloody city. People seem to rarely have actual interest in each other's lives and they just form networks out of validating themselves. Pretention fills the silence between words and people are considered as valuable as their tastes in a culture where fashion outweighs morality. The things I used to love about the city, I am growing to hate. What were interesting novelties have become the adulterous lover that I must compete with for my wife's affection.
When we dated and I was still struggling with the darker side of PTSD, I wanted to break up with you. I couldn't handle light making its way into the dark corners of my life. I was worried what would happen to you if I let you into my suffering. I said I could rob you of a normal life, that I may never "get it together." Stability may not be in the cards for me. But you assured me that you wanted to be with me, even if it meant all of that. So instead of breaking up with you, I married you.
I did well for a while. Maybe so well that it taught you to disregard my concerns. But when the cracks started to form, I could see I was alone. I felt like you lied to me or that you didn't believe me and never counted the cost. So newer, darker corners formed. Ones mature enough to not telegraph themselfselves with instability. Sometimes it was a deadness hidden behind vibrant eyes, other times a fire behind dead ones.
If I would have known a day would come where you would tell me that you didn't feel like you loved me, I don't think I would have fought so hard to stay alive those years ago. When I was facing my death I thought about the wife I hadn't yet met becoming a widow, or my potential children having their purpose in this world snatched away from them. I didn't know my future would contain those words. I suppose I will be wiser if I ever find myself in such a desperate situation again.
I've thought of leaving you. Or rather, leaving this place and extending the offer for you to join me. My instincts tells me they are the same thing though. My feelings echo your words as I don't feel like you love me. Or at least, not they way a man and a woman are meant to love each other and want to give up themselves for one another. I don't want to be your roommate or your buddy. I didn't marry you for that. I would rather miss you than have you next to me as a reminder that you may not feel the same way. I love you. I wish it were enough.
 

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Crucible, welcome to the TAM forum. I'm sorry to hear you are in so much pain over your unhappy marriage. I'm at a loss as to what to advise you about your W or the letter. Yet, if you decide to divorce her, I would strongly encourage you to switch careers -- and become a novelist.

You write wonderful prose. Of the many insightful and poignant lines, my favorite is "Sometimes it was a deadness hidden behind vibrant eyes, other times a fire behind dead ones." I cannot imagine that the meaning of that line will escape any adult member of this forum.
 

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Crucible

As Uptown already indicated your prose is beautiful and your metaphors are wonderful. Here's my question though, "Is your wife going to take the time and have the patience to read it?"

Is she a visual person that will appreciate the prose or would she do better with the 2 x 4 that a list with bullets can provide?

Obviously, given the style you wrote it in, the prose resonates with you. Assuming you're trying to make a point, make sure that the style resonates with her so that your point is crystal clear. You only get one chance with a letter like this, make sure it's written so that she gets it.

Good luck and I hope you realize the changes you are looking for.
 

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Well written, but dark. Sometimes dark is good with some one who has the courage to go to the dark places of the mind. Does your wife have that courage?

What's your goal? To draw her back in? Or push her away? Be honest with yourself.

If I were the recipient of that letter I'd question whether I'd want to be with you.

Context would help. What's the history behind this?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Uptown, thanks for the compliment. I don't think I could be a novelist because I generally don't enjoy writing. Sometimes words force their way out of me though. However, there is a short story I've been developing more recently.

rfAlaska, that is sound advice. Looking back over the post, I don't think I'd be able to have my wife read it unless I made some major changes to it. Even though prose isn't lost on her and it would likely be an effective way for us to communicate, I think this is just me getting a better grasp on my own feelings and seeking insight on them before having a more simple conversation with her.

Visceral, it is possible that your question of whether my wife has the courage to go to dark places is what this is all about. While we dated she did, I was working though serious stuff, but now... I don't believe I am that dark a person, probably closer to half and half. But to ignore and deny when I am feeling that way has never gotten me very far.
I wouldn't say my goal is either to draw her in or push her away. It is more to be honest with the situation, make a line in the sand and let her decide where she wants to stand. Making the recipient of the letter question whether she wants to be with me is the purpose.
As far as context, which parts would help to be clarified?
 

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In plain words, what is the specific problem between the two of you? What is the history that has led you to this point? What boundaries are being crossed? Do you want a future together, or not? What woe make your relationship more satisfying and/or meaningful?
 

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I prefer the pithy route.

"Good Bye. Seeking sex partner. I'm better than this treatment."
 

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I don't think I could be a novelist because I generally don't enjoy writing.
Well, you sure fooled me, Crucible.
Sometimes words force their way out of me though.
My understanding is that is the way it is with novelists and other good writers. They feel such a compulsion to write that, even though it is a very lonely endeavor, they persist in doing so -- to get the words out. They feel they don't have much of a choice.
 
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