Here I am again, another Christmas, alone. This is not how I envisioned it when I discovered my husband’s multiple infidelities over two years ago. I thought by this Christmas that it would all be an ugly nightmare we could begin to put behind us. It would have been if he had the ability to take counsel…from anyone, but himself. It didn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t have been this way. If he had the capacity to listen, everything would have been different. I have said these things to him so many times. He doesn’t hear me. We don’t speak the same language anymore. If he were the man I married, he would hear, understand, and respond. But he isn’t the man I married. Instead, he justifies his actions to fit the narrative he has created about me in his mind. So here is my letter to him. One of many. Expressing again, what I would have chosen for us, if it was my choice to make. Sadly, there are some choices I will never get to make. This is one of them…
I can do little else besides think of you during Christmas. So many Christmas’ shared, so many memories. They are all around me, shattered pieces of our lives that I would gladly piece back together with you if you would just be willing to do the hard work needed to repair us, repair our family…repair our lives. I know you could…if you only wanted to do it. I guess knowing that you don’t want to is the worst part of my life now. I have a hard time understanding why you would not, did not, choose me, choose your family, over what your life has become now. It seems so clear that you chose wrong. You had it all. You gave us away, without a backwards glance. Whatever you have now is only an illusion of happiness. You and I both know you will never be happy again, unless you choose to repent, repair, and restore your family. It is what God sent you here to do. (But now appears you have turned your back on God too.) Without us, your life has no meaning, no happiness, no joy. Your life now is nothing but whole cloth. You had the real thing. You chose to throw it away. You cannot replace something fake with what was real.
No matter how much I may love you, there is nothing I can do about that now. I wish I could. I would if I could. Heaven knows I tried! You have your agency to use how you see fit. Where you are now, I cannot go. I don’t even want to go where you are now. I don’t belong there. I am better than that. YOU are better than that too! At least you were at one point.
I still love you. I will always love you. You are the choice of my heart and the love of my life! Nothing will ever change that for me. I guess you have a hard time understanding why I would divorce you then? You would understand if you knew the depth of my love for you. You are a part of me. You are as important to me as my own body. You are no less useful than my left hand is to me. I cannot survive my left hand anymore than I can survive without you. I am in love with you…still. I always will be. You don’t spend 37 years serving another person; caring for them, standing with them, supporting them, being there for them, making love to them, listening to them, building a family and a home with them, and just “fall out of love with them.” No. That doesn’t happen. Divorce has NOTHING to do with how much or little I love you. It has to do with survival. MY SURVIVAL! You would not stop cheating on me. For 18 months you kept another woman “on the side” just in case it did work out with me. I couldn’t handle that. I still can’t. To see how little you loved me stands up against the depth of feelings I had for you, was killing me…literally. You were found lacking. There is no comparison. If you understood how much what you were doing was hurting me, then you would understand why I had to let you go.
“And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” Matthew 5:29-30
Medically speaking, a part of my body had become as poisonous as gangrene. If I didn’t cut you off, you would have killed me. If you have cancer, you MUST cut it out before it destroys the whole body! You had become cancer to me. Love has nothing to do with it. It was about my survival. The fact that you cannot understand this, stands as a testimony of how little you care for me or my well-being. No one in their right mind would expect someone with cancer to just “live with it.” That is just cruel. It is inhumane.
In this case, “my cancer” is you. You are the cancer that refused to respond to any treatment. You wouldn’t allow me to seek treatment to heal you. You wouldn’t respond to the advice of professionals. You refused to get healthy. So you had to go. I had to remove you or die. I took no joy or happiness in being forced to cut the toxic poison from my life that you had become to me. It is not what I would have chosen for you, for me, for us, if it were my choice to make.
I would have chosen life. Healing. Supportive recovery. Forgiveness. Repentance. Restoration. I would have chosen you, if you just would have chosen me first. You will never know that, because you never gave me the opportunity to show you what I am made of.
This is on you. The records of heaven will prove that to you someday. Someday, you will see clearly, what you have done. But not now. So I am left with no other choice, I have to go on with life as best as I can, having had to cut a part of me off. Trying my best to recover, even though you keep lashing out at me every chance you get. Your concern is not for my welfare, healing, or well-being. Your concern is to hurt me for doing what was best for me. I can only draw one conclusion from your actions; you would rather I not live at all. One day you will see the depravity of this behavior. But in spite of all of it, I have deep compassion for you. I know you are lonely. Hurting. Angry. You don’t understand. I know you carry a lot of guilt and shame. I forgive you for those things you did to me, and continue to do to me. You cannot hurt me any deeper than you already have. So I can finally forgive you. For all of it. I have turned you over to God and He will deal with you.
But my forgiveness doesn’t mean you can be in my life now. Far from it. Forgiveness is my part. Repentance is your part. To be allowed in my life again, even if it is nothing more than friends, requires you to change your behavior. It requires you to restore trust, safety and connection. It requires you to learn how to treat your family with decency and respect. These are the bare minimum requirements. When you do the things you need to do in order to heal and get healthy, your guilt and shame will go away. You will stop lashing out. The atonement cannot swallow up your guilt and shame until you choose to become a new creature in Christ. When you do that, had you done it already, you could have your family back. It really IS just that simple! That is what Christmas is all about, a baby who has the power to restore broken things. But you have to decide you want it. Not just say you want it…you have to really want it. More than you want anything else in your life.
In the meantime, all I can do is to wait from a safe distance. Pray for you to finally “get it.” I still wish with all my heart you had chosen me. But you didnt. I still wish you would. But I cannot count on that either. So all I can do is to try to heal and mend my broken heart. I have told you many times if you ever died I would never remarry. In a way, you have died. You are not the man who I thought you were. The person I fell in love with no longer exists. He is dead to me. Who you are now, is someone I would never want. I have a hard time believing you want to be who you are now. Why would you? But here we are. This is the reality. Our new normal. It’s all so sad.
I don’t know why I bother to keep repeating myself over and over and over. I don’t know. Maybe if I say it enough it will get through to you. Somehow. It seems so clear to me. It seems clear to everyone. Except you. Truth is easy to understand. I know these words fall of deaf ears. They have fallen on deaf ears for two years now. I suspect they will fall on deaf ears for many more years to come unless you change. The truth is, this is what I have said to you from the day I found out about your affairs. I have said the same thing to you nearly every day since then. I feel like a broken record. I will continue to say the same thing to the end of time, because this is the only path back to me. Back to our family. Back to God. There is no other way, no other short cut. Sadly, you can choose to sin in whatever way you want, but you cannot choose how to repent. Repentance is set in stone. Those terms are set by God. Bargaining with Him won’t change his mind.You have no choice but to submit to His will on this, no matter how stubborn you are or how right you think you are. Repentance has a set pattern. It requires your heart. Giving your heart cannot be faked. You do not know more than God and you cannot fool Him. You can’t trick Him into believing you have repented. You will know when you have really repented because your life will immediately improve! When you can finally submit your heart to Him, that is when you will know it is real. This is your ultimate test. The mother of all tests. I hope you don’t fail.
How long will it take for you to figure this out? Will anything get through to you?
Maybe by then, someday, none of us will have to spend another Christmas as a broken family.