To His Wife
You have never met me. You do not even know I exist.
I am the secret we keep for the sake of your emotional balance. The truth that is hidden to shield your children from your pain.
I am curious about you. Everything I know about you is second-hand knowledge. I am curious to know the real you and your perspective.
Already, you and your husband’s stories about your marriage are so different.
He says you married for the wrong reasons, knowing far too little about love and about yourselves. He says he wishes he had listened when his family warned him not to marry you, told him you are not for him. Looking back, he cannot believe how long he tolerated being so profoundly unhappy.
To you, the end of your marriage came as a total shock. You insisted everything was fine, your own behaviour always above reproach. When your husband told you he no longer loved you, you explained that to yourself as him suddenly loosing his mind.
Were you really happy in that marriage?
What were your thoughts when your husband told you you made him unhappy and you just dismissed it? Did you truly not see that was him trying to save your marriage?
How did you end up with him shouldering the main responsibility for both work and the children? What happened so that the man you had promised to love felt exploited and resentful?
Do you truly believe the only duty of a wife is to be good-looking? Why are all these cosmetic treatments, the botox, the hairstyles, the manicures, the enhancements so important to you? Did you ever realize how little your husband cared about that?
Your husband gave you his trust and unrestricted access to all his assets. How did you come to depend so totally on the status and beauty you could buy with them? Did you never feel uneasy about spending money that you have not earned? Why was the need to lead a lifestyle you could not afford so strong that you left your family in debt?
Did you truly not realize something was wrong when you started referring to your husband with insults when talking to other people? What made you ridicule him when he tried to be open with you? What made you so afraid of true intimacy?
I have never met a man who is more worthy of respect and appreciation than your husband. Why was it so hard for you to cherish him?
I see your struggle and your hurt. I cannot apologize to you for falling in love with your husband. But I accept responsibility for my part in your family’s pain. I ask your forgiveness for the lies you are told so you will not hurt your families’ future in your anger.
I try not to judge you.
When you got drunk and physically attacked him after the separation, I tried to remember that you were hurting and in shock.
When you told your children their father had left them in the lurch and they would never see him again, when you tolerated their distress at your mother telling them their father would burn in hell, I tried to remember that you were overwhelmed with pain.
When you went on the pull shortly after the separation, I tried to remember that you needed reassurance that you are still attractive to men.
When you left the house dirty, mouldy and neglected, I tried to remember that it must be hard for you to do everything on your own.
When your children mentioned that you never cook and that they scavenges the house for food in the mornings because you sleep in, I tried to remember that you love your children in your own way.
When you moved the kids out of their home and made them change their school while they were still reeling from loosing their family, I tried to remember that it is difficult to see beyond your own emotional turmoil during divorce.
When you insult your husband, call him unfit to be around his own children and a bad father, I try to remember that you feel guilty because your marriage did not work out.
When you visit your husband to gloat because you have a new house and a new relationship while he cannot afford petrol to drive to work (and you believe him single), I try to remember that feeling superior helps you deal with the rejection.
When you do not respect the privacy of your husband’s home I try to remember that it takes time to change old habits.
When you expect your husband to still be responsible for your finances and domestic chores, I try to remember it is not easy to let go of the support you once enjoyed.
In a few months, I will be introduced to you as the new partner of your ex-husband.
Will we find a way to be a family?