OK, so yesterday I get the following e-mail from my husband:
I’m not quite sure even how to begin this letter. At this point, I am not even sure you will read it. I felt it necessary though to get my feeling out of my head. As the day draws closer to when our child will be born, I think more and more about us. I think of all the good memories and the bad. It is a part of who we were and who we are. Forgive me if this is not the best written letter you have read. I’m not the best at typing as you know.
Over the past few nights I have been thinking deeply. Almost every night I wake up in a cold sweat thinking about our past and what the future may bring. Some may call it false hope. I see it much differently.
I was just reading some past emails between us and came across this one that you sent me. I think that to this day it still paints a very good picture of how you feel. You say in one of the letters that you wish that there was some way that our marriage could be saved. I think in some way it has been up until this very day. I know that as badly as you want to sign the papers and just get this over that you won’t. You won’t because you do not want this to end. I don’t either. A signature on a piece of paper while seeming so insignificant will mean the end. Neither one of us can think of that and it will probably never happen.
I know that you are curious about what my life is like right now. In one way you want to know that I am ok but in another, you want to know that I am suffering as equally as you are. Trust me, I am.
Contrary to what you may think, I am not out having a good time. I don’t have women over every night and I am not having a great time. In fact it is quite the opposite. I think every day about you. When the weekend comes, I just want it to be over so that I can be back at work and have my mind on something else. I hate being home. When I am awake, I want to be asleep and when I am asleep I want to be awake. I have nightmares every night about us and it is becoming harder and harder to bear.
I am sending this email to my friend Kelli as well. You probably noticed. During these past few months, she has been the glue that has held me together. Without her I would have fallen apart long ago. She is to me what Mollie is to you. Almost every day I talk about you to her. Sometimes I express my anger and others I tell her how much I love you. I talk about the places we have been and the things that we did in our life together. She is a very good listener and extremely patient. Quite honestly, she is everything a guy could want in a woman. To me she is a great friend. As much as I know that she wants to be with me, I can’t make that commitment. It wouldn’t be right. I still am madly in love with you. I know this hurts her very much but I think that she understands where I am at in my life right now. I really do not know what the future may bring but for now the two of us are best friends.
Often times, Kelli wonders what the hell I am thinking. The question always comes up as to why I love you so much. I could be with her or anyone I choose. Please allow me to explain.
I know that with you and I it has never been about love. We do love each other and always will. I think that to this day we do have something special. If we didn’t, why would we still be interested in what each other is doing on a daily basis? I really don’t know how to put this into words. I have done bad things in the past and have been far from a perfect husband. The key here is that I have realized this and have changed in many ways. I am a much different person. If Kel is interested in explaining, perhaps she can reply and explain what she sees in me. After all, at this point in my life she knows me best.
The hardest part about all of this is that I know how much she loves me. I really don’t know why. I am really not a special person or any different that anyone else. I know how much she wants to be with me forever. It hurts me every day not to just say yes to her. I just can’t. For right now in my life, after all that I have been through, I am still in love with one person on this planet.
I wake up every day with hope. I go to bed each night with hope. The other evening I spoke to Kel and told her that I want this all to be a bad dream. I want to wake up from it and be great friends with her but also be with my wife and child. That night I went to bed except the dream came in reverse. All night long I dreamt that I was happy again. I was back with you and our child and everything was fine. All of this pain was just a bad nightmare. When I woke the next morning, I came back to reality
I really don’t think that I can write much more here without breaking down once again. Sandra, I love you and I miss you. I have realized my mistakes and I hope that you have realized yours. Neither one of us was perfect. Neither one of us will give up either. Not having you to hold every night. Not being able to watch our baby grow in you. Not being able to be a part of this process has killed me. It has brought me pain that will never go away. Even after all of this, I am willing to forgive and let the past be the past. I love you too much to think otherwise. I want you to see the person that I am now. The person that you were with on New Year’s was not just a fluke. I have changed. Yes, there are days I have extreme anger towards you but I now know how to channel that anger into positive things. In turn, I know there are days that you hate me. You want to see me dead. But there are the days that you remember us happy and together that will always far surpass those thoughts.
My dream is for you to give me that opportunity that ended so suddenly back in January. I still to this day do not know what I did wrong. I had nothing but good intentions. I still do and always will. We are still husband and wife and I love you so much. I want to prove to you that I am much different. I want you to understand this and accept that contrary to what others tell you, people can change. I want to hold you in my arms and let you know you are safe. I don’t want you to fear me any longer. Just ask Kelli how I am now. Ask how I have changed. Ask how much I love you and want you more than anything in this world. I could have anyone. I choose you…
Here is the response that he will never see:
Dear Mike (and Kelli, because apparently you need to hear this too),
Wow, I have to say, it’s really quite amazing to see such a change of heart from you. The last time I heard from you, you were spewing about how this baby probably wasn’t yours, and that as long as I don’t come after you for child support, you’ll leave me and the baby alone. Crazy. Now all of a sudden it’s “our” baby? I find it amazing how you can just flit back and forth. But not suprising really.
Let me tell you some things. First of all, it will never matter what I did that you see as having contributed to the demise of our marriage. Your abuse alone was more than enough reason for me to have walked away. But, because you are an abuser, you will continue to deflect blame. You will continue to find a reason to justify your actions.
Perhaps you need a little refresher on some of the abuse that I endured throughout the 6 years that we were married. Here’s just a sample of what could certainly be a much longer list: constant name calling, refusal to provide for the family financially, throwing/breaking things in anger, forcing me to stay awake when I didn’t want to have sex, hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, throwing away/donating my personal property, involving your daughter in your ridicule of me, refusing to allow me to spend quality time with my friends and family, becoming jealous of anyone that I spent time with including your daughter. I could go on. But I think you get the point.
You say that you’ve changed. The ONLY way that abusers, such as yourself, can truly change is to enter a program specifically designed to treat abusers. Now, yes, you could do this, but honestly, it still wouldn’t make me believe that you’ve changed. Why? Because statistics show that only 1-2% of abusers who complete a program actually change. I guess what I’m saying is, no matter what you do or say, I’ll never believe it.
You love me. I know that. Part of me will always love you. But I’ve moved on with my life. I finally am feeling free. When I leave work, I don’t feel stressed because I have to go home. I’m not afraid of my own shadow. I’ve learned how to relax and not thrive on drama. I have family, friends, a boyfriend – all of whom love me and protect me in ways that you never could, or ever will be able to.
I don’t know how many ways I can tell you that we’re truly over. This can never, ever be fixed. The wound is too deep to heal. You have to move on. The only reason I haven’t signed the papers is because I don’t have them and I need to get a new attorney. Right now that has been slightly difficult, and obviously not a top priority with the baby coming (seeing as how I won’t be asking you for any money). It has nothing to do with me wanting to continue our marriage.
I’m sorry that you feel that you can’t move on. For me, our marriage was dead long before I ever walked out the door. On average, it takes an abused woman 7 times to leave the relationship. The third time was the charm for me. I have no intentions of ever putting myself in that situation again.
I wish you all the best. Kelli, all I can say to you is be careful. And to both of you – the road to hell is paved with good intentions.