Write a letter to your partner to share just have their addiction has impacted you. Be specific and honest. Do not hold back. Tell them how angry you are and why.
Because of what you did, there are some choices that I will never get to make… that is why I am so angry!
Nearly 18 months after I first discovered your year long affair, I am still getting triggered by the idiocy of the thoughts that are held hostage inside your twisted mind. A mind that is so warped in addiction that you cannot even see the stupidity. The man I fell in love with would never be so illogical in his thoughts. I could count on you to be calm and reasonable, even when you challenged me to “say what I mean and mean what I said.” Even when you were being sarcastic and condescending, most of the time you could be reasoned out of an absurd stance if the argument proposed had it’s merit. But not anymore. The bright, intelligent, smart, and articulate man I once knew has been reduced to brainlessness through his own choosing. If this isn’t an addiction, that is plaguing your, once very capable, mind then I don’t know what else it could be? Maybe you really have completely lost your mind! At any rate, you act and behave as though your brain has been replaced by swiss cheese in totality.
Your thoughts are incoherent, and at times, you seem completely unable to remember what you said from one day to the next. A far cry from the man who used to be able to remember what you said to him, word for word, a month ago, where you said it, and what you were wearing when you said it. And then there is the lying, constant, non-stop, never ending lies. Lies on top of lies on top of other lies on top of more lies. It feels like you are a teenager trying to convince your mom you were not out drinking with your buddies, even when she finds you throwing up in the bathroom reeking of alcohol with an empty bottle in your hand! The worst part is that you cannot see how completely ridiculous you look and sound to the sane and sober people around you!
Nothing you do or say makes any sense to your family members, so we are left shaking our heads in astonishment and disbelief as we watch you reduced to a shell of your former self. And I am angered by the deliberate way that you have elected to self destruct. Meanwhile, all we can do is stand by and helplessly watch as you so artfully spin your reality into a web of lies and deceit that no one around you can possibly discern between truth and error. Bewildering. I have been so completely imprisoned in your fabrications of the truth that I have resigned myself to being captive forevermore in a house of mirrors, unable to escape. The truth is there is no escape from the madness of your addiction, until you decide you want to lead the way out. All any of the rest of us can do is to learn how to live within this “new normal” that you have created for all of us.
I feel anger towards you because…
This is the foundational principle that all my anger is built on. The one, overarching truth I am forced to accept; you took away my freedom to choose. Oh, of course, I can make choices on how I will act from now on. I can choose to be happy or not, inspite of everything, but because of what you did and what you continue to do, there are some choices I will NEVER get to make. Your agency has trumped mine. I don’t care how many times my therapists, friends, church leaders or family tell me I can choose how I respond to you, that I can live my own life and learn to choose my own path, the fact remains that there are some choices I will NEVER get to make. My entire life has been altered by what you have done. In one heartless moment, my whole world was shattered, “and all the kings horses and all the kings men, cannot put me back together again. The reality is that I will never be the same. Often I hear that I will end up being better for having gone through this, I guess I will never know because I don’t have any other choice, now do I? I feel like I have come to the end of my race to the finish line, only to have you mow me down with a tank. I am flattened. I won’t finish. After 37 years of marriage, I was almost there, and I lost everything.
I may go on to finish out my life very happy and content. I may be able to rise above the ashes you left my life in. I very well could end up being better off without you. But I will never know if it is true or if it is not true because I was not given the ability to choose the course of my own life. As one of my friends put it, “Some people just shouldn’t be given agency, because they don’t know how to use it!”
You yanked the journal of my life out of my hands and with a poison pen you rewrote my story, our story! This is not how it was supposed to go…
If It Walks Like a Duck…
Let’s talk about addiction, shall we?
The studies show that an addicted brain is incapable of reason, connection, empathy and understanding. All of these processes and others find their origination in the prefrontal cortex. If any part of the pre-frontal cortex is missing then these responses are minimal to no response.
When the brain has been hijacked by the limbic brain, all the above processes are rendered unresponsive. The person, is not capable of making better decisions. They just can’t, unless the person remains sober for a few months, up to several years, so and this part of the brain heals from the deficit. You should know this! Given all of the horrible, stupid, idiotice decisions you have made in the past two year, there is NO WAY you are not behaving like an addict!
Behaviors that are linked to an addictive brain will produce;
- Disconnection from loved ones
- Symptoms of denial behaviors
- Lying and minimizing
- Inability to have or maintain an erection
- Moving from acting out online to in-person affairs
You have EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE BEHAVIORS! ALL OF THEM! And yet you what me to believe that its not that bad or that you just have a few minor compulsions. Minor stuff wouldn’t ruin the lives of your wife and children! Why is it so hard to grasp this concept? How can you have every single addictive behavior and still say you do not have an addiction? It is insane to hang on to this belief. You are living in absolute denial!
I feel anger towards you because…
You will not admit to what is plainly in front of your face! This isn’t even bordering on plausible deniability! And yet, you want me to buy this load of crap you are selling me? It’s never going to happen! Never! There is nothing you can do or say that will ever change my mind short of a brain scan. At any rate I am furious at you for thinking for one moment that I could be so gullible and stupid to even entertain your warped version of the truth. I don’t know whether to be more offended that you would lie to me outright or that you think I would actually believe you! Either way your behavior is repulsive and insulting.
If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck. You are an addict. Everyone knows it but you.
The Marriage Covenant…
If you were going to do this to me, I wish you would have told me long before now. Wasn’t there a time that you were ready to throw me in the dumpster long before you had taken most of my life from me? Couldn’t you have done this when we were younger so that I would have been in better health, not so wrinkled and more equipped to take care of myself? Why now? What were you thinking? Did you use all of me up, until there was nothing left, so you could toss me aside? No? Because that is what it feels like.
On January 23rd 1979 we enter the Mesa Arizona Temple to be married and sealed for time and all eternity to each other with very specific promises and covenants. “Do you covenant before God, angels and these witnesses that you will have no sexual relations with anyone to whom you are not legally and lawfully wedded?” Didn’t you answer that question with a
“Yes?” Didn’t you? Up until later that evening I had not had sex with anyone else but you. You got all of me, clean and pure. Did you do the same for me? I thought you did, but I suppose now I will never really know. I honestly don’t know anything for sure anymore. Everything I ever believed about
you, every assumption I had, every word you ever said to me is now called into question. Was my whole life with you a lie? If not, when did the lies start?
I feel anger towards you because…
You broke our marriage covenants you made between me and Heavenly Father. You obliterated our forever family. You left your wife and children without a guide, to fend for themselves in the lone and dreary world. You took the priesthood from our home. You took away all the blessings of the new and everlasting covenant of marriage. You had no right!
Oh sure, I can always remarry, blah, blah, blah. We both know I will never be able to be someone’s second anything, not after all of this. I just do not have the stomach for a second wife position. Besides, that is not how it goes down in my patriarchal blessing because YOU changed my story!
And all you can say in defense of yourself is that you “just made a series of bad choices.” Really? That is all you have to say for yourself? So much devastation over a simple “series of bad choices?” I’m sorry but there is so much more to it than that!
“Our soul is what’s at stake here–our spirit and our body. Paul understood that doctrine of the soul every bit as well as James E. Talmage did, because it is gospel truth. The purchase price for our fullness of joy–body and spirit eternally united–is the pure and innocent blood of the Savior of this world. We cannot then say in ignorance or defiance, “Well, it’s my life,” or worse yet, “It’s my body.” It is not. “Ye are not your own,” Paul said. “Ye are bought with a price.” So in answer to the question, “Why does God care so much about sexual transgression?” it is partly because of the precious gift offered by and through his Only Begotten Son to redeem the souls–bodies and spirits–we too often share and abuse in cheap and tawdry ways. Christ restored the very seeds of eternal lives (see D&C132:19, 24), and we desecrate them at our peril. The first key reason for personal purity? Our very souls are involved and at stake.” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “Of Souls, Symbols and Sacraments.”)
You were bought with a price! And you knew better! Given what is at stake, wouldn’t it make sense that you would do all you could do to repair and restore your family? Wouldn’t it be a testament to your love and commitment to me and your children and grandchildren that you should demand the same changes in yourself that you so freely required of those around you? How is it that pride or stubbornness or resentment of any kind could or should come into play here?
The idea that you just made a few minor mistakes is ludicrous! Your covenants at baptism, your lifelong membership in the church, your ordination to the priesthood and your covenants in the temple all belie the notion that you just made a series of wrong choices! How can any ordained priesthood holder expect his wife to believe that he just made a few mistakes? If this is what you think, then you are lying to yourself and you are lying to God. The sin of adultery is second only in seriousness to murder. Adultery is murder. It is the murder of the soul.
No big deal, right? Forgive and forget, no harm no foul, let’s just pretend this never happened and we will just move on with our lives…one big happy family! NOT! You got that pass the first time you did this.
And several more times for other things that I thought we unrelated…
You’re Not Easy to Live With…
In the best of circumstances you are difficult. Controlling, critical, and demanding, all come to mind. I am not telling you anything you do not already know so there is no reasons to enumerate it. Life with you is hard. I cannot count the number of times I have had to completely change my behavior because something “bugged you.” I thought all of these demands were minor and they made you happy so I was happy to do them for you. Isn’t that what couples do for each other, do their best to love, support and care for each others happiness? I didn’t know that, when it all was distilled down to the core issue that change was something for everyone else, not for you. The arrogance of this is stunning! And looking back I see enough examples that it should have shot up a thousand red flags. I don’t know why I didn’t see them. Each time it happened my world was shaken to it’s core, but somehow I managed to bounce back and carry on as if it hadn’t happened.
The reality is that you are so free to critique others, but unable to take it for yourself. This realization has caused me to think of you as arrogant, prideful, selfish and stubborn. I fear the worst that you are really a full blown narcissist. If that is the case then this really is a psychosis and there is something more seriously wrong with you than an addiction. If that is the case, then I really do just need to be rid of you.
I have brought these incidents up so many time that it feels futile to go over them again. You will not listen or get it. I am wasting my breath and I know that. Everything I have to say has already been said, dozens of time, but here we go again:
Over the years I have seen a pattern with you that has been very disturbing and it is this – when things get really hard, you check out and leave it up to me to fix it. When a problem is too big, your solution is to ignore it, leaving me to shoulder it alone.
My first mental health breakdown comes rushing back through the years and floods my memories with intense feelings. The exquisite pain and loneliness I felt when I got out of the hospital. The way you attacked me for how I handle it. How did you want me to handle it? I had a breakdown, I wanted to kill myself. Zero compassion. Did it ever once occur to you to ask yourself why? I wanted you to go to counseling with me, but you couldn’t be bothered. I tried to talk to you about what I was feeling and learning about myself and you would tell me you were not interested. I felt so isolated and abandoned and that was on top of all the feelings that therapy was bringing up for me. I often liken the experience to having all my skin torn off and having to heal from that. I was that raw, vulnerable and exposed. This was the condition I was in while having to deal with your disdain. I also, took care of 3 small children and kept your house clean and meals prepared. It was a miracle I got through it all, but I did! No wonder I believe in GRACE! In the end, you just ignored me and the problem, but there was one thing you couldn’t ignore. You reminded me nearly everyday how expensive the therapy was and how we couldn’t afford it. The guilt I felt over it was nearly unbearable, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it. I had had a breakdown and no amount of badgering me about it could change that or what I needed to move past it. Your monetary support is all you gave and you acted like that was enough, absolving your conscience of any other responsibilities to me.
The next one was daughter #2’s diagnosis of ADHD and then the subsequent diagnosis of profound OCD. All of the symptoms going on with her left me feeling so helpless. Her whole body and mind was out of control. You were not any help. Again. Your solution to any big problem is avoidance. Pretend it’s not there and it will go away. Only I didn’t have that luxury. Her future depended on us, but I was going to have to go it alone while you checked out. So much for better or for worse huh? And this was really the worst of the worse. I couldn’t even share with you how bad it really was, you just brushed it off. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that if I was going to help her that I needed to pull myself out of a depression that was coming on fast. I guess if you don’t have a husband to support you then medication and therapy work just about as well.
The biggest frustrations I had with our “arrangement” is your refusal to become educated on your daughter’s diagnosis. “Just read the books and give me the Cliff Notes version of what they said,” you told me. This sounded good in theory, but you challenged everything I told you, so I felt as if I were defending my dissertation in psychology with every conversation! It was exhausting and wasted so much of my time and energy. You didn’t want to read it for yourself, but you wouldn’t take my word for it either! Didn’t you know how exhausted I was from everything I was being forced to learn? Couldn’t you see that I was heartbroken over the diagnosis of what our daughter would have to face for the rest of her life? Didn’t you see how desperate I was to find a solution, use you as a sounding board, a confidant, a cheerleader? Did it ever occur to you that this parenting thing was a partnership and you shouldn’t have left the entire burden on my shoulders? Again, you paid the bills, that was your contribution.
These were to two big ones, but there are dozens of other “little things” that added to the load of loneliness that I carried. There was the time I got a book for you for Christmas on how to improve our marriage. I wanted to desperately to connect with you! But the gift, and I, were both rejected. Not only rejected, but ridiculed and rebuffed.
Can we talk about the all the moves? 19 moves in 36 years. That is insane by anyone’s count, even for the military. Out of all of those moves, I only had your help for a handful of them, the ones we did ourselves. The others were for job changes. So you went off to new adventures while I stayed behind to pick up the pieces of all our devastated lives. Kids crying, packing, arranging, medical, dental, electricity, gas, address changes, saying good-bye, and keeping everyone’s spirits up by trying desperately to find a silver lining to my darkening cloud…all by myself. With every move fibro came to visit me, and each time she stayed longer and longer until she was my constant com”pain”ion. I paid a terrible price and carried a crushing burden for the lack of connection and safety you kept from me. You had moved forward and left me to pick up all the pieces, every single time!
I feel anger towards you because…
Now that you brought dozens of women into our lives and it has dumped all our lives upside down, you cannot be bothered to make a few changes in your own life to save our family! (Not to mention saving yourself!) The demanding, controlling, and critical critiques of my behavior over the years is one thing, but what about when it’s your turn? Didn’t you often tell me when I would cry over something that you were criticizing me on that, “you were just trying to help me be a better person?” But when it is your turn to learn to be a better person, you will have NONE of it!?
How do I get that gig? I only have one thing to say to that… HYPOCRITE!
Years after the whole breakdown fiasco, you told me if you had it to do it over again that you would do it much differently. I think we can put that hypothesis to bed. We both now know what you would do, because that is exactly what you did…the same damn thing! You bailed on me! This was just another lie.
Setting the House on Fire…
I told you when we were first married that I could handle anything in life with you, just please don’t cheat on me. I had been through so much loss and pain in my life at the hands of careless men that it was the one thing I told you I could not handle. I guess you must not have believe me. Or maybe you just forgot? You know, with wrong choices and everything, it’s easy to forget about the one person who is supposed to be everything to you in your life.
I used to find it easy to put up with so much of your mistreatment of me because you have always been intensely loyal to me. You didn’t even have friends to go out with on weekends so you could be with your family. That always made me feel safe and secure because I knew you never wanted to be anywhere else but home with your family, with me. It gave me a false sense of security that no matter how critical of me you were, that you would never betray me. I thought you were faithful to me. It was the one thing I could count on…no matter what.
You were always so busy with work, church and helping out around the house that I just felt like you would never cheat on me, you were just too busy. Sometimes I felt like you were even too busy for me.
When I first found out about Hannah, I was devastated…to…my…core. It would have felt better if you had just cut my heart out and ate it in front of me. At least then I would have died instead of being among the walking dead. You rocked my world. You were the Bishop at the time. How could you let so many people down? You brushed away the enormity of this sin by saying, “you knew the Lord was making up the difference and wouldn’t let you lead others astray.” Really? You seriously believe that is how it works? What about Alma the Younger or Corianton? You seemed as oblivious then of the repercussions of your “mistakes” as you are now. An entire ward was affected by what you did even if they didn’t know what had happened. Not to mention your family. And yet nothing was done to you. A slap on the wrist and you were good to go.
At the time, I thought I would never recover. You made all sorts of promises to me then too, just like you did now. You would do whatever it took. But those promises were short lived. It wasn’t long before the excuses came. Therapy costs too much money, you didn’t like how the medication made you feel, you don’t have an addiction. You can control it yourself. It will never happen again. I need to just get over it and put it in the past.
Back then, nobody knew what betrayal trauma was. It wasn’t a thing then. But I felt the full force of it and was left on my own to deal with it in silence. To cry about it when nobody could see me, to keep it to myself. I felt so much shame I couldn’t talk about how I felt with anyone. I was terrified other people would find out what you did and think less of you.
So I stuffed down the demons of my life that haunted me and shoved them in a deep dark dungeon and threw away the key. Over time, things between us got better. Although, the thought of you touching me sometimes made my skin crawl. When I had sex with you I would wonder who you were thinking about? Hannah was a faceless person. I didn’t know if she was beautiful, only that she was the same age as our oldest daughter, a revelation that made me want to throw up when I thought about it. All this stuffing of feelings just caused me to be distrusting of you and wondering when it would all come back. I knew it would all come back…eventually. I had read enough to know that much.
I feel anger towards you because…
You gave me a false sense of security. Now that this has happened again I have reviewed our life together over and over searching for any evidence that I did not see. Why did you do this now? What caused you to snap like this? Did I do something wrong? No matter how many times I go over it, I cannot point to any evidence that would cause me to doubt you, until about 12 years ago. It was right around that time that I started to see you change. Something happened. Was this the first time you cheated on me? But I digress.
I am angry that your actions have caused me to question my entire life, thus my whole existence! Is my whole life a lie? Who would do that to another person, let alone their spouse? This is just diabolical at its core. How cruel can you be?
Livid. That is the only word that comes close to describing how I felt when I learned that our son caught you masterbating in the basement with her. Our stalwart son. Later, he confided in me that he was having dreams about you on his mission that he needed to come home from his mission to save you. Well, he did end up coming home early and he did save you, from yourself. When I told you about this later your response was, “well I certainly hope that isn’t the reason he came home.” What an emotionally bankrupt thing to say? You didn’t even recognize his sacrifice or to even thank him for it. You were the cause of him not finishing his mission, something he had been preparing for diligently his entire life! You took that away from him and didn’t even have the courage to thank him for it! All of our children have sacrificed so much in their lives for you, but our son gave you that which was most important to him. You have so much to atone and account for.
Why would you not want to heal this rift between us? Why did you want to wiggle out of repairing the damage? How can you live with doing this to me? Somewhere inside I knew…things would never be ok again. You just don’t have want it takes. I know this because you just don’t stand on principle, any principles. You run away. You are just not made of the stuff of heroes and this would take the courage of a hero to restore. Only namby-pamby, milquetoast, yellow-bellied, mousy cowards choose to…
Burn it to the Ground…
Time heals all wounds, or so I am told. And after 5 years I guess it had been just long enough for me to start letting my guard down. We were moving into a new phase of our lives…empty nesters. And I was just beginning to believe that this awful mess was really behind us. We got a Harley and we loved riding together. It felt like our younger years, when we would sit and talk for hours. I started to feel so close to you, closer than I had felt in years! It felt good and it gave me hope for the future. Sitting behind you on the bike, with my arms wrapped around you for hours, talking through our headsets, it was a bit of heaven. Until…
The ultimate betrayal. The very thing that I though was bringing us together was actually driving us apart. Devastation on top of devastation. Was I wrong to suggest that we buy the bike? Was that inspiration I got about that wrong? If I hadn’t encouraged you to get the bike would this have happened again?
It was all a lie. You had been cheating on me for an entire year! How did I not know?
I will never forget that night. I was following the news about the Ferguson fires. You were sitting in your easy chair with your feet propped up on the ottoman and your computer was in your lap. I was across the room on the love seat. I had my iPhone and was listening to the news and following the twitter feed, when I got a text message from an unknown number. What popped up when I opened it was a picture of your penis. What followed was a rapid succession of text messages. “Your husband loves me, not you.” “You are living a lie.” “He is planning to leave you for me.” With each text came the proof in pictures of the text messages you had with her confirming everything she said. When they finally stopped I felt hot tears welling up behind my eyes. The pressure was so intense I thought my eyeballs would pop out of their sockets. I couldn’t see. I couldn’t think. “What do I do?” “What should I say?” “How do I respond?” My head was reeling. I felt nauseous. I wanted to scream and die at the same time. “Oh God, please don’t let this be happening to me again!” I struggled to stand up, I was sure I would faint.
I know I crossed the room over to you at this point, with my phone in my hand. The picture of your penis clearly visible. “What is this?” I demanded!
What followed was a litany of excuses. I stood there with the proof clearly in my hand! How could you not see you were in over your head and your only choice was to come clean? With every question the lies multiplied until I felt that I was suffocating in a sea of deception. I had to pull the plug on this, stop the lies or I was going to drown. In my head I was screaming, “please just stop, shut up, no more lies!” So I just started hitting you. I just wanted you to tell the truth to me or just shut up! EVERY WORD YOU SPOKE WAS A LIE!
I was consumed by the feeling that my life was in danger! You had to go or I did, one or the other. You couldn’t possibly love me if you did this to me. My reality settled on the notion that you were a stranger to me and that I didn’t really know you at all. So at that moment you became dangerous to me. My only goal at that moment was to get you as far away from me as possible. I learned later that I was experiencing a flood of cortisol and adrenaline to my system that caused a feeling of intense fear, anxiety and panic. You could have been a lion trying to eat me for all I knew.
I was only beginning to understand just how dangerous you really had become to me. You lied so much to me that first night that I threw you and all your things out of our bedroom and locked the door. Then I stayed up all night searching for the truth. Any truth I could find. I started with the phone records. When it was all said and done, 15 phone numbers I didn’t recognize with hundreds of text messages to them each month, going back for an entire year. Between 6,000 and 8,000 text messages a month for your number alone. That is a lot of connecting to women in cheap and tawdry ways Scott. It was 4 am when I finally succumbed to sleep. I woke up 3 hours later to the noise of the shower from the other bathroom. I just stayed in my room until you left.
After talking to family members I knew I had to get out of our apartment and go somewhere I felt safe. I called the Bishop and he didn’t talk me out of it, in fact he encouraged it if I felt unsafe. So I went to daughter #1’s house house. Thanksgiving was just in a few days so there was a lot to do to stay occupied during the day.
Nights were another thing. Over the next few weeks I alternating between feeling totally raw to completely numb. Numb was better, so I tried to go and stay there as much as possible, but it felt like I was having an out of body experience. I could see myself going through the motions but I couldn’t feel anything. When I cried it was more like a primal scream so I had to go someplace else to cry so my kids didn’t hear me. I woke up all during the night, nearly every hour, always with tears running down my cheeks.
Those next few weeks were filled with more lies and half truths than I could ever remember. Each lie sent me seeking for the truth. I had to know. I did things I have never done before. Texting complete strangers, or calling them. Searching bank records, credit card bills. Having my son-in-law track down some of these women online. I became a first class detective. I had to. It was for my own sanity and defense. If I was going to catch you in your lies I had to have the truth. What comes out eventually is gut wrenching. You had been paying the “discloser” money to keep her mouth shut, to the tune of $6,000 over a year’s time. You had met a woman in person in Las Vegas while you were on a job interview, but you didn’t sleep with her, so that’s ok, right? You managed to find a way to blamed me for that one because I didn’t want to go on that trip with you! Silly me! I didn’t know you needed a freaking babysitter to make sure you didn’t lose all control and hook up with random women! Sorry Dear, this was premeditated. She drove to meet you there from Phoenix, that takes some planning.
What became clear is that I couldn’t go back to you. So I had to do the unimaginable, separate from you. You were just too toxic because you couldn’t see what you had done to me. Every lie you told me made it less and less safe to stay. It took only a week for me to realize I would not be able to come back to you anytime soon. So daughter #2 and I made plans to find an apartment. It was a blessing that everything fell right into place so easily that I knew that Heavenly Father was right there with me, working out every detail. I couldn’t have done it without him. So much of it is a blur.
37 years of marriage down the toilet. There was a part of me that knew this would be the end. I wanted desperately for you to come and take me in your arms, tell me you had lied, and tell me everything. I prayed every night that you would find the humility to want to make this right between us. Every passing day crushed that dream. You would never choose me. And you didn’t.
And all this was BEFORE you were excommunicated! After that, it was no holds barred! Instead of turning to restore your family, instead of choosing to repent and come back to God and your family, you chose to run headlong over the cliff of infidelity. Self destruction was your remedy as you selfishly threw all your principles, obligations, morals, covenants, and responsibilities over the cliff and then you willfully and blindly following them right over the edge careening to your certain destruction.
In that first family meeting we had with our Bishop, he said you had set fire to the house that was our family. He told you it was up to you to put out the fire and start to rebuild it. The responsibility for this was put squarely on you. What I didn’t know at the time is that you had already slept with other women. You were making your choices and it wasn’t choosing me or your family. You weren’t even choosing your own integrity!
I waited for you to find yourself. For 18 months I waited, and worried and prayed and fretted. It was all for nothing. You had no intention of doing what was needed to get me back. You refused to fight for me! I wanted you to fight for me!
I feel anger towards you because…
Little did I know at the time that your intention was to throw gasoline on the flames and burn it in totality, down to the ground!
Over the next 18 months you would put me through the most unimaginable torture. A torture so horrendous and so completely diabolical that it could only be contrived by the most evil of intentions. After all, you don’t have an addiction, so this must have been done with 100% clarity.
It is hard to recall any of it without doubling over in stomach convulsions. However, a definite pattern emerged that became very predictable. It went like this;
- You would promise to do everything you could to get our family back.
- Profess your love for me.
- I would believe this and try to come up with ways to repair our relationship.
- You would withdraw from me.
- Then you would seek “connections” with other women.
- That resulted in shame so you would ignore me.
- I would get angry at being ignored.
- You would eventually come back and apologize.
- Rinse. Repeat.
This went on for months. The only part that was missing for me is that I didn’t know you were still seeing other women. I suspected it. I asked you about it. Each question was met with denial and contempt for me daring to even ask you such a thing. How dare I! In my gut I knew. In my heart I knew. Trips to the temple and confirmation of the Spirit revealed it to me. But you would just deny, deny, deny, deny. Lie, lie, lie, lie. And you would make me out to be the beast for not trusting you or believing you, without you ever doing anything to earn that trust or belief. You acted as if you still in possession of deposits in the trust account, when actually, it had been overdrawn for years. You could have made additional deposits immediately with the truth, but you declined.
Each encounter with you would leave me flooded with chemicals in my body that caused me to experience intense feeling of fight, flee or freeze. I felt like a puppet who was being controlled by your every whim. Unable to cut the strings of control you had over me or use my will to react to you in healthy ways, I saw you as the enemy. I was forced to protect what little there was left of me with everything I had. This was exhausting! I was a drained emotional and physical wreck nearly every single day. Each time you called or texted me I was, all at once, craving attention from you and terrified of how that attention would come. I felt like a rag doll that you used for your own twisted purposed and once you got what you wanted I was tossed aside and forgotten until you needed another fix from me that would help you justify your behavior. You did this to me over and over and over for 1 and 1/2 years! I was flooded with chemicals to my body and brain that left me with life long issues that I may never recover from. Blowing out my adreanal gland, causing my heart to race and skip beats, sinking into a deep depression, being suicidal, developing PTSD; the effect on my body was merciless! It would have been better if you had just killed me outright!
I am full of outrage and contempt toward you, not because of what you did to me to begin with, although that cannot be completely overlooked because it is a symptom of something in you that is deeply disturbing, but the real underlying fury that boils just beneath the surface is because of the way you treated me after the fact! Nothing you have done in the last 18 months has shown me that you are serious or committed to me or our marriage. Nothing! Zip! Zilch! Nada! It was all words and no actions. You even fought against me with everything you had over seeking the help we needed to start on the road to recovery. Resistant is too mild a word. You picked fights with me after our group sessions. You ignored me after our marriage counseling and even went home afterwards to hang out with other women in chatrooms! You were not serious about me! You used me. You humiliated me.
I took you at your word! I believed you when you said you wanted me back, when you said you wanted our family back! So my actions were based on that assumption. What I didn’t know is that your’s weren’t! This is the recipe for crazy making at it’s finest, also known as gaslighting. You were trying to change my reality! While you were set up a perfect plan to drive me out of my mind, I was blasted at every turn for “beating you up” for not doing enough! The reality is that you were not doing enough, because you had not even started doing anything. You hadn’t really chosen me. You wern’t just sitting on the fence, you were playing both sides of it. You were having your cake and eating it too, why not? I didn’t know what you were really doing behind my back. You could tell me anything you wanted and I was just expected to believe you.
I later learned the extent of the jolly old time you were having in San Diego the whole time you lived there!! You were drowning your sorrows with anything that walked by in a skirt. Your favorite pastime was to tell them what a shrew your wife was and that you were getting a divorce! As if that made adultery any less abhorrent. Whatever lie you can tell yourself to assuage your guilt, right? No harm, no foul, right? The problem is that while you were doing all this acting out in total secrecy, you were telling me that you would do anything to get me back! Did you really think you could get away with that? Please explain to me the logic behind this kind of thinking, because it totally escapes me! Would you seriously buy this fabricated flimsy story if someone tried to sell it to you? I honestly believe that you wouldn’t know that truth if walked up to you, introduced itself and punched you in the face! The truth was that you were seeing and chating and sleeping with other women and lying about it.
It turns out that you NEVER stop cheating on me with other women! Not once in the entire 18 months! You never gave me a chance to show you what I was made of. You never allowed me back in your life long enough to prove I could stand by you. You never once gave us a real, fighting chance! You never allowed me to forgive you because you refused to show any signs of repentance.
Am I angry at this? Yes! And I have every right to be angry! You cheated on me, lied about it over and over, lied to me about your subsequent intentions, set out to drive me crazy over it because you couldn’t make up your mind about what you wanted, you kept me strung along on your vapid promises for over 18 months.
You threw our lives away! You threw our family away! You threw me away! You took 37 years of all we had built with hard work, blood, sweat and tears and burned it all to the ground! Who do you think you are?
All that is Left is Ashes…
Destroyed means to put an end to the existence of something by damaging it or attacking it. Kill by inhumane means. To ruin someone emotionally or spiritually. Demolish. Knock down. Level. Raze. Wreck. Ruin. Shatter. Blast. Blow up. No matter how it is defined the end results are horrific!
You nearly D..E..S..T..R..O..Y..E..D ME! That is not hyperbole, exaggeration, magnification, overkill, excess or embellishment. That is a fact. Indisputable. Backed up by a team of professionals that take care of me, not to mention, dozens of friends who are all mystified that you would do such a thing to me. All that is left of me is in the ashes that used to be our life together.
I still wake up sometimes, crying in my sleep, I didn’t know such a thing was possible. I still can’t sleep like I should. I still wake up in the morning and my first thought is what you did to me and it is the last thing that I think about before I go to bed. You haunt me in my nightmares. But the dreams are the most devastating because you come to me and do everything I imagined you would to heal us in my dreams, maybe that is why I cry in my sleep.
I gave you everything I have, there is nothing left to give. I tried my hardest to save you, to save us, but I cannot save someone who doesn’t want to be saved. It is like a drowning man who won’t relax in the water and it bent on taking his rescuer under with him. You are taking me down with you so I had to make the devastating choice to cut you loose so I can save myself. The realization of this decision is horrifying! I never in my wildest imaginings would have come to this conclusion for us. If I don’t let go of you then I will drown as well. You must save yourself, if there is to be any saving.
Someday, in the not too distant future, you will come back to yourself and realize just exactly what you have done. But by then, it will be too late. You wasted 18 months believing you never had a chance, that you never deserved a chance, that nobody could ever want you again, that I could never want you again. But you are completely wrong in your assumptions.
You could have had it all back, restored to it’s fulness and then some, because God is truly merciful and kind and gracious to all of his children who have the courage to change and repent. It didn’t have to end this way. Once you realize that, I won’t need to be angry with you anymore, you will be angry enough for all of us.
That will be the final irony.