I was cleaning out my computer to make room for new files. It is like life when you have delete things from the past to make room for better things in the present. And I came upon this untitled file. It was a letter that I wrote to my then husband after finding yet another woman being kept in the dark even though I helped him once again get into rehab and recovery. This was before all of the insanity of his disease and narcissism really started to pound me into a dark and very deep rabbit hole of pain and regret. So many of the sentiments have changed from this letter. I no longer see him with love. Not even the smallest amount of love still exists. When I see him now, I see the two headed monster that is one way to others and one way to me. I see him as the greatest disappointment of a person in my life. Our divorce has been the worst experience of my 48 years on this earth. His narcissistic desires to control me with money are still raging after we signed but I am away from him and can better control the level that his abuse impacts me now. I wanted to publish this letter so that others can see that the effects of emotional and verbal abuse from a narcissist or addict can really make your head and spin with a myriad of thoughts and feelings. Don’t beat yourself up about it. We have all gone through this in these situations. Not all the same but very similar with what it does to us, our families and our friends. You are not alone in this struggle. Divorce is hard. Divorce from a narcissist or addict is even harder. We become puppets in their games until we have the strength to cut the strings. The one focus that has and always will remain my main goal is the healing and positive progress of me and my children. We deserve it. We are worth it. God will take care of my ex and His justice for his actions will deliver the consequences of continually and intentionally hurting people who truly loved him.
I always carried this inner happiness and joy and love with me. I loved the idea that each day was an opportunity to learn something new and grow into a better version of who God wants me to be. I loved that God gave me joys and love in unexpected places and in new people all the time and that He always held my hand. All I ever wanted in life was to have people to share this with. I really wanted a partner to share this with and learn from and exchange happiness and love with every day. I love the idea that we all go through painful times to help others with similar pains. I want to help others like that. And especially help my partner with the pains that I could help with and hold hands for the ones I can’t. I still have this happiness and joy in me but forgot I had it for a little while or actually thought it didn’t matter at times that I had it in me to share.
I can’t say this to you face to face because I can’t see you without any tears while I have them filling my eyes and making it hard to get to the words. That has made me feel even more alone and less important every time. And you don’t have to worry about time or getting anywhere when we talk and leave me feeling abandoned again and again, because you can read this on your time and as long as it takes.
I have done deep soul searching and going over things in my mind to the point of craziness. I just wanted to be sure that I am making the best decision for myself and this family. I believe I am.
I can no longer hold on to a dream that keeps me up at night, keeps me crying and keeps disappointing me with new fears. The dream of us is something that has brought me more pain than comfort over the past few years. I cannot compete with what I don’t know anymore. I cannot compete to be loved or chosen or to be the one. I cannot compete for time. I am exhausted and worn to the bare bones of my whole being by all this.
I know I will never feel safe enough to trust you enough to rebuild our relationship again. There will always be ways for your past to find you whether on LinkedIn, Pinterest or office email or private email. And I constantly ask myself that all these “someones” were enough to risk losing me at different points, so why not now? There will always be places, apps and internet arenas for you to meet new others and for you to become interested in other women again. There will always be those sleazy someones out there around town, in meetings, on bus or trains or others you can travel to who are ready to flirt or want to “cheat” with you. I can’t trust you to choose me and that hurts me too much. I don’t believe that I will ever be enough for you or the only one you want. And I believe that your friends in recovery will often push me out because you feel more comfortable with them. I don’t want to hear it’s not comfortable to be with me. That the wife who has been by your side for 16 years is pushed away for someone you have known weeks or months. That deeply hurts me. I know recovery is a bond but I deserve and am worth the time to be with my husband and try to be there with him on a difficult journey that I stayed with him on for a long time to help him even in the darkest of days. I deserve to be shown how important that I am to his recovery too if that is how he feels about me. My husband should be comfortable with me and want to talk to me and want to get close to me again. This is what I wanted to see you do for so long now. But to my sadness I had to accept that is only true if you deeply felt that you need to be with me and desire to save our marriage and us along with yourself. I learned at my retreat that you can save yourself and your marriage together if that’s what you truly wanted.
I don’t want to keep feeling my heart break when you don’t wear your ring (mine was off because of the broken promises behind it and only you could make it feel comfortable again but I feel yours is off because of resentments to me and because you gave up on me) I don’t want to be hurt from hearing a crazy, not normal excuse for being late or where you are going or who you were with or who is on the phone. I don’t want to feel like I am not worth the truth. I don’t want to feel that I am not very important to my husband. Sadly, I have felt this too often. And that hurts me. I don’t need the drama of someone “chasing my plane “ but I did most definitely need an obvious effort by now.
I know you have said you want to be 1000% sure you won’t hurt me again. I see it since you don’t know that clearly at this point or haven’t in sobriety during past two times after treatments then the answer is most likely that you will never be sure if you can completely choose me. That’s not the marriage I want or deserve. I want an equal marriage. Equally broken and damaged but equally in love and in efforts to help heal each other faithfully and compassionately forever.
I don’t see us having a marriage like this after everything. I have fallen so hard over the years with you and I am so broken and bruised. You are trying to recover again. I have been here trying to hold you up and support you so long even when I gave all I had to you at my own expense. I desperately needed that support and love from you too, but I understand you haven’t been able to do that for me for a very long time because of your own struggles.
Your recovery is first for you and I would never jeopardize that for your life depends on it. And I desperately want our children to have their father. I want you to thrive and survive too. I know I deserve my dreams too. I want to let go of these painful dreams so I can heal and so I can find new dreams that don’t hurt me. I want to stop putting hope in a basket with no bottom. The only way I can heal is to completely let go of the dream of us and me being the only one to you like I vowed. I need you to let go of me too without keeping me tied to you for various reasons.
This was the toughest decision and why I couldn’t say it to you. I want the best for both of us. This marriage stopped being the best for a while. I tried to make it better because I deeply love you. I tried to make you want me to be what I once was to you. But I can’t try anymore sorry. I have to give up to save myself from any more heartbreak and pain that I fear will come or already is happening again. I can’t know about any more women in your life and even after we are separated it will hurt me so badly because really we are still married and the doors of hope would still be open. I just wanted you to prove it if you wanted it while we were apart. I don’t want to be heartbroken anymore by other women.
Sadly a divorce is the only answer to fixing our broken marriage and giving us each the places to heal. If you care for and love me at all, please, let me go with love, compassion and respect for what I have gone through to bring me to this decision. We are going to be co-parents to two absolutely amazing kids that deserve everything we can give them now. They deserve to have a happily separated family.
I love you and you will always have a place in my heart. I will always pray for your serenity and happiness. I will always pray for your sobriety and path towards better tomorrows. I wish this wasn’t the answer but it is the only answer for me to heal and get better. And I do believe an answer for you too. With me in your life, I would have to ask you to give up so much that I know you don’t want to give up and most likely can’t give up like other women and your secrets. And I know this because you have never wanted to or couldn’t give these things up for me in past even after many times asking. It’s your choice to what you want and don’t want in your life. I have had to accept that some things are just too hard to change or give up.
I have never wanted this and have fought with every ounce of myself to make it not happen. I can look at myself and know I tried every way possible to save us but I couldn’t do it anymore no matter how much love that I have in my heart for you. Some things just are not meant to stay the same. Some people’s roles are to change in our lives. I have prayed for many years for strength, guidance, knowledge and courage to help us and you and myself. I believe God is going to lead us both to peace and serenity now. I will always love you and pray for you and hope for your long term sobriety and peace. I will always support you in recovery and cheer for your accomplishments. You showed me how much I can love and how strong I truly am. For this, I am Forever grateful. God gave us each other for a great reason and it is not something I wish didn’t happen because from us came two of the most amazing humans to grace this earth. I would do it again for them and for the lessons and strengths that I have gained over these years. Thank you for that. Thank you for our beautiful children who have shown me that being a mother is the greatest joy I never knew I could have and more about love than I ever understood. They are the partners for sharing happiness, joy, love and amazing God moments that teach me every day. They, too, have made me a better woman.
I hope we can do this as friends because I will always consider you a friend for life. I wish this wasn’t the answer but I don’t see any other way to help me heal and not get hurt anymore.
This quote really said it all for me.
Breathe Out Past, Breathe In New Future. Breathe Out Sadness, Breathe In A Genuine Smile. Breathe Out What Was, Breathe In What Is. Breathe Out Old Dreams, Breathe In New Dreams. Breathe Out Damage, Breathe In Recovery.