I decided to do it. I spent two nights writing the letter below and looking at it and thinking over it and then pressed send last night about 1AM. It was in a word document, sent in an email with a note that read:
Attached is a letter for you to read at your convenience, if you so choose. No reply is required. I've spent a few days writing it. Hopefully I don't regret sending it in the morning, but I'm pretty confident I won't.
And I don't regret sending it. And I'm surprisingly at peace with the unknown. He may respond. He may not. I won't pretend that I haven't wondered about it a bit today, but not with anxiety or apprehension. It's gone. It left me. I've released it. Hopefully I'll be able to maintain that posture. I couldn't help but wonder if he had read it when we were talking about the MC this evening when he came to pick up the boys and the former was having a meltdown in his room. We stood there talking like nothing unspoken had transpired, which was only mildly strange. It's quite possible he hadn't even read it yet. Or that he may never. In any case, it doesn't matter. Actually, not getting a response at all is perhaps the easiest path. It's the one I'm already on. Anyhow, here's the big letter. A weight off my chest.
October 24th, 2013
The past months have undoubtedly given me an unprecedented opportunity to learn about myself, in new and somewhat unexpected ways, and accordingly, I’m doing a huge amount of personal growth. It's hard work, but hopefully that work will pay off over time. I hope for your sake that you are also doing that inner exploration. After all, what is life for if not to self-actualize, and the goal keeps moving as we near it.
I’ve been wrestling with a pervasive feeling for the last week or more that keeps finding its way back into my heart despite my efforts to ignore it. Then after talking with my therapist about it earlier this week, I decided to do the opposite, and honor it. After all, one of the things I’ve been learning is that I need to honor my feelings more. Who knew!? I thought I was pretty good at knowing my feelings! Hmm. I’m learning that knowing and honoring are two different things.
Anyhow, despite the huge amount of vulnerability this takes, I’m going to honor these feelings by following through with my desire and sharing them with you. I can do that because I’m pretty confident that the personal risk is actually low, I can’t really get hurt more than I currently am, and the risk of that is worth the act of honoring my feelings, and the infinitesimally small sliver of possibility.
For the past week or so, I’ve felt this overwhelming need to make sure you know that I am not a roadblock here. I’m pretty certain that you know that already, but I need to make certain that you do. Why am I choosing to put myself out there when there’s been no sign from you that you are interested in moving in any direction other than the one we are moving in? I don’t know. I guess I just want to make sure you know what’s in my heart. I’ve said things over the past several months that might have led you to believe that there was no hope. Things that were honest, but also could have got in the way if there was any part of you hoping for reconciliation. Comments like, “if I could, I would never see you again.” I’m not saying that’s inaccurate, but it’s only half the picture. That’s how I feel given what is happening. It doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t have tried had you made any move to do so.
So for what it’s worth, I want you to know:
It might not be too late. To change your mind about all this.
To repair and rebuild and create something more beautiful.
I haven’t said it until now, because it didn’t seem like the right thing to do. But as I’m learning, perhaps the lesson for me is to worry less about the right thing to do and more about listening to my heart.
So I’m putting it out there now. Of course, I recognize there’s very little chance of success (in any form), but I want to be honest and let you know that I would be willing to try if you were. Yes, I am hurt and angry and confused and harbor very little confidence, but I’d be willing to try, even if I couldn’t imagine it ever working out. Why? Because I remember loving you. And because I haven’t stopped missing you and what we’ve shared. That doesn’t mean that I’m not angry and hurt and that there isn’t a huge loss of respect that has occurred, but I also believe in miracles. And I know that I find you attractive, funny, intelligent, and skillful. I know that marriages can come back from just about anything and also be built on very little and still survive where there’s the will and desire. I believe that I would be able to dig down and find the embers of my love for you and rekindle it if things were different. And a lot of things would have to be different. But if you asked me, will you try, with me, for me, for us, for our family, I would. The analytical me weighs it on two hands:
· I’m hurt beyond description.
· I don’t trust you.
· I’ve lost respect for you in many ways.
· Some days being without you is quite frankly far easier than being with you, both as an individual and as a parent.
· I'm learning more about what I need, and I’m not sure that you are able to provide it.
· And of course, I have every reason to believe you are still in a relationship with someone else, which makes all of this a moot point.
· We have much in common and are compatible in a lot of ways.
· I loved you dearly and deeply.
· There are many moments when I miss you and our life together.
· I know that you have many admirable qualities that I value, I can still recognize them: funny, analytical, skillful, creative, responsible, handsome.
· You are the father of my sons.
· I’m deeply saddened at the loss of our family’s future together and the loss of sharing a lifetime of learning and growing with a lifelong partner let alone celebrating our children’s and eventually grandchildren’s lives together.
· I am an incurable romantic and optimist who believes all things are possible, someone who refuses to give up, and will put my whole self into things that matter to me.
As you can see, for me, there are still more arguments for trying. Of course, that may not surprise you because that was my posture all last winter though it didn’t change the situation. But I wanted to make sure you still knew it. Please know that this is not about fear of the future, finances, mediation or anything else. It’s just what I’m feeling about us and our family, beyond all of that logistical stuff, and I’m putting it out there. Maybe you never loved me to begin with (I really don’t know), in which case I wouldn’t want you to consider such a thing, as I don’t believe it would ever be possible. But if there’s a part of you that can still access some of those deep down feelings, I want you to know that it could still be possible. I recognize that’s a pretty weak offer, with words like “could” and “might” and “possible,” but that’s as much as I'm sure of at this point.
I needed to honor my feelings, and I’ve done that. I’m not expecting a miracle. I’m not expecting anything really. I’m not worried about what you’ll say. You can’t take anything more away from me emotionally. I’m not hoping or looking for any particular response from you. You can pretend you never got this, you can simply say thanks but no thanks, you can send me a long thoughtful email about how you feel the same way but don’t have enough faith that it could work to try, or you can shock and surprise me and say ok, let’s give it a try. (I’m not holding my breath for that, and to be honest, that would be scary too.) The truth is it really doesn’t matter which response (or absence of a response) you choose, my need to honor my feelings has been fulfilled just by sharing these thoughts with you, regardless of the outcome. So please don’t feel any obligation in any way.
P.S. Your response (or lack thereof) will have no bearing on any of the logistical stuff we continue to deal with (parenting, schedules, mediation or anything else). So whether you find me easy or difficult to work with in the future, please understand it has no connection to this.