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I have other post under S4E and Struggling4ever that explain my long painful story, but as a short background, after 20 years of marriage, my wife had an ongoing affair with my best friend about 12 years ago. I found out when I found they were away on a cruise together. It ended abruptly and we stayed together. I buried it and tried building new memories but the triggers were always there and it should never have been buried! If I could give 1 message of advice, it would be - Deal with your pain!!! It finally all came out about 3 years ago and it has been the longest and hardest period of my life. Although I don't believe it will ever happen again, one never knows..and it really doesn't matter because it should never have happened a first time! She is away with our daughter and friends for a week (on a cruise of all things) and I am getting things in order and then I believe it is finally time to separate... This is my going away letter to her. I did this for me, not her. I am no longer angry, I am finally at peace and I have finally let go


Sometimes I get angry with you and sometimes I blame myself.

If only I could have just let the pain go, talked to you about it, showed my love more in the bedroom, trying to find the passion that I buried away with my anger and hurt.

If only I hadn't sought solace and companionship through an understanding friend. We had lost that somewhere along our path. Sure it wasn't sexual, we were never even that close...it was just an honest human connection that I needed and was missing. If only I had been able to listen unquestioningly to your demands, instead of arguing when I knew it would always end up the same way... turned around and about your issues and not mine.

If only I had been perfect, I think we've both felt this way?

After 10 years of keeping my thoughts and feelings buried, I let them out. I should have dealt with this years earlier but I knew the pain and hurt it would cause, and I didn't realize that ultimately this was something I needed for me. This mental and emotional racket running through my head and heart on a daily basis was taking it's toll on me. And after letting it out, I was finally starting to see some light shining in through the cracks and I knew there was no going back.

Finding support online had a lot to do with it, and the real breakthrough came when you accused me of having an affair and would't believe this was about what you had done 10 years previous. I finally had to tell you. I needed this for so long. My inner voice shouted out and I was thinking you actually had an affair with my best friend and you are going to accuse me when I wasn't!!! I have stayed silent all these years because I thought it was my pain to bear and I didn't want to hurt you and now you're not going to give me that same love, trust or respect? Of course you tried to understand but you're inner being couldn't deal with the guilt and blame, and in time after many arguments, you turned it around and said I was having an emotional affair and that's just as bad... some might agree but I don't and won't...ever! I said if I was having an emotional affair it was a "one sided, non-sexual emotional affair" and I could live with that because although I may have had more feelings at one time than I should have as a friend, they were never reciprocated and it was nice to have a friend who'd been through what I had, had been through therapy, and didn't offer advice...only support and friendship. No lunches, dinners, drinks, parties... just a friend. I finally got angry and said what my inner voice had been screaming! My feelings burst out and I said I'm not having an affair and as far as I'm concerned until I stick my **** into someone else, you have nothing to say!!! I hated hurting you and yet at the same time I hated you for what you did and the anger was rising. It had to come out. That was the honesty I'd been hiding. When I was struggling and hurting I had someone tell me that I needed to be honest with myself? I didn't know what that meant and yet it kept ringing in my head and started me on my journey.. It took a long time but I finally figured it out and telling you how I'd been feeling and what this all has done to me and letting out that inner rage was the answer. It had to happen and although I never wanted to hurt you...you hurt me!

It's been a few years of arguing now and I am finally able to see you in a much more sympathetic light.

I know you did not wake up one morning and decide that you were going to hurt me. You did not plan on having an affair. It was something that happened and when you saw the opportunity to have what you felt was missing, or what you deserved, or needed, wanted, whatever it was....you went for it. It was a decision you made and life is always about choices. I have made bad choices of my own and all we can do is learn from them and move on trying to make better choices in the future. Unfortunately when we make bad choices they sometimes affect others and we have to live with the outcome. But life goes on and hopefully we both make the best of every day whether it's together or on our own. I have learned that we are all in this together (meaning everyone), and yet we are also all in this alone and are responsible for our own actions.

You simply acted on your life experiences and emotions, and you chose to do what seemed right for you at the time. Which is exactly what we all do.

Looking back on it, I could see what a mess we were. Our insecurities and flaws became more exaggerated when we were together. We sometimes brought out the best in each other, but we often brought out the worst in each other as well.

I am thankful for our talk at Olive Garden and afterwards at home on Saturday, and I believe I am finally able to forgive you and let this pain go. It's all out now, I've said it all and I/we need to move forward from this. I still have questions and I let you know what they were, but even with answers, I'll always ask why, and nothing you could say will ever make it ok and we both know this. Some things in life are just too hard to accept. I love you and I know you love me, but I don't think it's enough when there's no foundation to build on.

I apologize for not being honest with you. I should have told you how I was feeling and shared my pain but I was confused myself. We always liked the same things and had so many years together that that's all I knew. But we were obviously missing something for the affair to have happened in the first place. And we were obviously missing something that I needed to share my pain with anyone who would listen (always making me and your partner as the villains, and you as the victim) until I finally found someone who would listen and not judge me or you, not tell me I should leave, just be a friend and listen, and say I needed to get help and work through my pain in order to let it go.... I know you feel the "friend" should have been you. That was one of my mistakes, I drew the line and it hurt you. But I didn't care because you hurt me and I needed this for me! I had someone who would just listen and not blame or make excuses. In the end, I found out that my therapist was who I should have talked to all the time...Not you, not a friend, but a therapist who could help me let it all out and sort through my real feelings by helping me to just "be honest with myself".

I apologize for not knowing myself better, and realizing how damaging it really was to hold this inside.

I apologize for not seeing you for who you are, instead trying to make you be my version of who I wanted you to be. You are open and loving, fun and unique, outgoing and very touchy feely with others. This too often made me uncomfortable and by me trying to reign in your free spirit, I caused you to resist and rebel. You would get angry thinking you weren't doing anything wrong, but if what you're doing is making your partner uncomfortable, it either needs to change or it needs to be talked about. You could be openly flirtatious or suggestively dancing and I was supposed to be ok with it, yet we'd get into it if I'd even talk to "certain girls" and the problem was, I never knew who they were until after I talked to them and you'd get mad...When I tried to talk, it usually ended bad so for the most part I kept quiet. This all fits in with the "being honest with you" and Knowing myself better". You are who you are and you're a beautiful fun person with an awesome spirit, but it's something I've never been comfortable with and I've learned I have no control over...and I shouldn't try to change and control you. We are 2 different people.

I will always be thankful for all of the good times we've shared—the road trips, the conversations, raising our kids, parties, working together in business and in life. You've always encouraged whatever I wanted to do, whether it was opening the Salon, move it more than once, going into construction, motorcycle riding, and guitar playing. I have tried to encourage and support you as well. I did this with through the Salon, education, family matters, during illnesses, dancing, martial arts, and other things along the way. I am proud that you are finally working on you (I know you too have a lot of inner pain and anger you need to let go of). Although it wasn't necessary for me, I am proud that you are finally getting your GED because I knew you could do it, and I know you need and want it for you. I believe this is so big for you and just the beginning of new opportunities for you!

I wish for you to find health and wholeness in your heart, soul, mind, and body. You are a good person an deserve great things.

I forgive you and I hope that one day you forgive me. You have said many things during moments of anger, and I know things I have done have hurt you as well.

I now realize that forgiving and forgetting are very different things. I need to forgive you for both of us to heal, but I needed to do it for me first, and so I forgive you, but I must not forget the lessons I learned from our marriage.

I must not forget what is most important to me right now— freedom from the pain of our past, freedom from distrust, freedom to pursue friendships, freedom from anger and control. We both tried to control each other and we both let resentment sink in and eat at our relationship. This has been going on longer than I think either of us realize..

For too long, I resisted forgiving because I had confused “forgiveness” with “being ok with what happened.” Nothing could be further from the truth, I'm not ok with it, and never will be. But you are far from the only person in the world who has done something hurtful without intending to. Sometimes bad things just happen to good people. We have all hurt people in our lives, and we have all benefited from someone’s forgiveness. How bad would the world be if everyone held onto their pain the way I did...I needed to learn to release the anger and resentment, let it go, and instead choose to forgive. I needed to learn from the pain instead of wallowing in it. I'm trying and it's a process for sure, but so far it's been a very needed and worthwhile process.

This is so hard for me, but I really believe the best thing for us to do right now is to separate and have our own space and life experiences. We will either find that we are better apart and free from the layers of anger, pain, dis-trust, etc... or we will find we really miss our time together and are willing to sacrifice certain needs to try to make it work. If one of us decides there is no turning back then that means it's just not meant to be. I am not sure if this is the right thing to do, but what we've been doing isn't working, and the history of the past tells me we can try, but the hard feelings will be back and we will both get angry once again...I really don't want that any more. I just want peace....

Love.......
 

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FYI,
I should never had given her this... No need to sugar coat anything. I hate that I've let this drag on so long... This marriage has had a slow painful death... It's sad...
 

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I know this now. It has gone on so long and I have wasted so much of our lives with this! Friends ask us to do things I'd like to do but I say no because I don't want her or them to get the wrong idea. I stay at work for 2 -4 hrs extra every day just to avoid going home. We sleep in separate rooms and yet I spend 1 day with her or 1 meal out and I get loving text from her. I can't stay because everything is based on guilt. I don't want to hurt anybody so I try to be the nice guy and she keeps trying to find an in. This fence sitting has been so painful and damaging that I just need to end it. I have started to go out without her and actually have some fun.. I needed that to know it's possible.. Thanks for your reply B.N.M.
 
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