Letter to Alex – farewell

Dear Alex

Decree Absolute: 18 October 2011

So as I stare at the piece of paper which gives us our freedom from each other – I still wonder where and why it all went wrong.

But you chose your exit and I have accepted that.

We had a good time didn’t we!  Some brilliant adventures and so much fun.  I know you’ll have your own take on it all and will no doubt decide what you want to cherish  – if anything.  I know I will cherish in my heart the years we had together in so many ways.  So thank you for being part of my life for that time – I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

I’m sorry for my part in us hitting the brick wall that ended our life together.

One of the saddest things for me  – as somebody once said – “Isn’t knowing I was lied to but knowing I wasn’t worth the truth”.  That you weren’t prepared to tell me what was wrong.  I always thought of you as my best friend as well as my lover and my marital partner. The one who I could turn to. The one who would be there for me.   I thought you felt that way about me too. You behaved as though you did.

So, dearest Alex, as you disappear into your new future I hope you can at least acknowledge,  I did my best to make it easy for you.  I didn’t rant and rage.   I didn’t slag you off to any of your friends.  I didn’t insist everyone took my side. I never punished you. Throughout these last 32 months I believe I have been understanding, compassionate, helpful, and caring.

I have, I feel, behaved with immense dignity as you stamped over my feelings, smashed and drove a knife through my heart, killed our marriage, cruelly dithered about coming back and then ran from the vows we made, hurt me more than I thought it was possible to be hurt and showed me no respect .  As you hid and lied your way away from me.  I just often wonder what I did to deserve such treatment.

I cared  Alex, I cared for you more deeply than I’ve ever cared about anything in my life. I loved more deeply than I can explain. The feelings of love I had for you were incredible.

My love for you was unconditional . And so, unconditionally, I actually wish the best for you.

Maybe one day you’ll look back and wish you hadn’t done it.  Maybe you’ll realise what you’ve lost.  That you could have been the man you kept telling me you wanted to be and worked to re-kindle that time of true passion – as I wanted and hoped we could do.

Perhaps the pain of not being who you say you want to be isn’t painful enough – maybe it needs to be greater – because until the pain is so great that the true desire within you to deal with it overrides everything else,  it is so much easier to live with the ache.

So I don’t wish you well.  I wish you so much more than that:

I forgive you for what you did  –  and – tough and harsh though this sounds –  I wish you pain.

I wish the pain gets so bad that you do finally take action  – real determined, consistent, unrelenting action – and so give yourself a real chance of becoming the person deep inside who is the one you say you really want to be.  The one not living in a state of fear, trauma, isolation or weakness.  The one I thought and believed, for so long, that I’d married –  but clearly hadn’t.  The one who will then have the identity you say you’re searching for.  The one who IS able to care for someone and protect them – as I  wanted and needed to be cared for and protected. (And as you said you wanted to do for me all those months ago when I fell off my bicycle and you rescued me! ) 

The one who IS heard.  The one who is no longer afraid to speak. The one who no longer runs.  The one who no longer hides. The one who is no longer lost.  The one who knows how to give.

I have learned an amazing amount about me over the last 12 months through Stephen’s coaching.  A process that at times I’ve found very tough, incredibly confusing and desperately emotional, but also fascinating, challenging and amazingly enlightening.  I’ve kept on going as I found I just wanted to learn and know more and to dig deep enough to  find the Real, True Me.   And I now know the ‘new me’ wouldn’t and doesn’t want the ‘current you’ – the one  I’ve seen during this traumatic time –   but she does want the type of man you said you wanted to be – the one I thought you were.

You  have removed yourself from our life together, so you’ve missed out on seeing the ‘new’ feminine, ‘girlie’ me!  The me with whom you could have had the future we should and could have had and I am now sure I’ll have with someone else. A Someone who will care for me and protect me and laugh and have fun with me. A Someone who will truly love me. Someone who will always be there for me, who will argue with me and then enjoy the passion of making up!   Because by caring, protecting and loving me I’ll then feel safe to continue to be the real me.  The passionate, fun-loving, giggly, wise, caring and feminine me I’ve found.  The one you said you wanted me to be but often didn’t make me feel safe enough, or give me enough love, to be.

If you haven’t found it already then may you find your brilliant future too – the one where you love you with a passion, you are the man you say you want to be  – the protector and the carer, the giver and the lover – in fact –  where you are free from whatever it is that’s holding you back so you can be the truly amazing you.    The man who knows how to stand tall. The truly amazing man.

And lastly, I look back on all the fantastic presents you gave me over the years.  Sadly there was one thing I now realise I desperately wanted, the one thing you weren’t either free enough,  or didn’t know how, to give me……………….. yourself.

Goodbye, Good luck.

(Shame he’ll never get to read it)

19 thoughts on “Letter to Alex – farewell

  1. I don’t know if I should. We haven’t been in contact since May and I haven’t actually seen him since February

    I have to decide what I want to achieve by sending it!!! (Too much Life Coaching!! – I keep analysing these days!!). I may discuss it with Stephen.

    Stephen may read all this……….

  2. I think the really important thing is that you took the time to write this – I really do. Sending it of course raises all sorts of questions – would sending this to him be such a profoundly personal gesture that you would feel you need a response from him? Would you feel hurt if you didn’t get one? How might his reaction impact on you? It is really tough and only you know what is right for you to do with your words and feelings. Tell you something though you write so eloquently I think if he did read your letter it may very well feel like being hit by a brick wall which he would have to pick himself up from. Well done you for taking the time to write this and for sharing something so personal.


    • Exactly. I would be hurt if I didn’t get a response. I’m not ready for any kind of reaction – positive or negative so better I don’t send it!

      Thank you for your lovely comment

  3. I’m not sure what you’d accomplish by sending this to him. When I was going through my divorce I was so turned off to continuing the relationship that I might not have even read such a letter. I’m not sure. I know your circumstances probably differ from mine.

  4. The writing of the letter was the important thing.
    The letter is for you.
    I do not really see that it is for him at all. He has chosen his own path now.

  5. As you can see everyone has their own view point and he, if he decided to read it, which I agree is in question would translate your words into his own meaning. In other words not the way it was intended.

    He would then follow his conditioned pattern of behaviour based on his reaction to his translation of the letter.

    So what will be your expectation and what meaning would you put to no reaction or the many other possibilities.

    You see there is lots of complications and different truths as there always is between two people.

    • I would read not caring into no reaction at all. But it could mean so many other things. I’m not him so I don’t know the translations he could put on what I’ve said. So it’s better I don’t send it.

      I did email him a very personal statement ages ago (about 3 months after he left) and he did seem to grasp what I meant. It actually caused him a totally sleepless night he said. And it was one of those moments when we had a heart-to-heart about getting help (long before we found you Stephen) and I really believed we had a chance. I was wrong and I don’t and can’t go through that roller-coaster again.

      The turmoil of any reaction (and that includes no reaction) is too much to face just now. The scars are not fully healed. It is safer for me to keep clear!

  6. This is an amazing, heartfelt letter. It is eloquently written and I hope just the writing was cathartic. You are generous to share it with us. My heart aches for you as you work your way through yet another milestone that you didn’t ask for. I have no advice about sending the letter. You have to do what you feel is right for you. I do know from experience that Stephen is right about how Alex might interpret it. I have found that D will take a phrase or sentence out of context and zero in on it and obsess about it ad nauseum and it’s usually something I consider totally insignificant. I share that for what it’s worth. 🙂

    I’m so glad you went out with friends last night. Just what the doctor ordered, I’m sure.

    Hang on! Better days are on the horizon.

    Here’s a great big hug. XXX

  7. The day I left, I gave my ex-husband a letter. Similar to yours. Much longer though, i think it was about 6 pages long. I told him how he made me feel in the past, how much i loved him and our time together. and then i told him how i feel now. I needed to write down my feelings for me. But i needed him to know as well. In a way I also hoped that when he read it, he would then realize what he had let go of.
    It took him a while to read it. I knew he would though.
    And then 2 months later i recieved a reply. a 4 page letter that almost killed me. I cried my eyes out as i read what he felt, and still was feeling. How sorry he was for his mistake including the biggest mistake of all, not being able to communicate enough or trying hard enough to fix us.
    I never replied to his letter. At that point I felt that another letter would just open up a discussion. That we could continue forever to throw things back and forth, but what would be the point? What would we achieve? We already divorced, I had already moved out of the house, out of the country even.
    So i left it be. There was nothing left to say.
    But i am truly happy i did send my letter. And im happy he replied to it. But i would have been ok without the reply.

    All i can say caroline is that i sent my letter because im the type of person who cannot resist certain things. If i write it, it has to be sent. And also because if there’s one thing i learned its that usually we end up regretting the things we havent done rather than the things we have. I didnt want to ever regret writing it but never sharing it, never letting him know exactly how i felt.

    good luck deciding what to do. And remember not making a decision is also a decision. and thats ok too. Sleep on it, as long as you like.

    • I second this and want to say that your letter is truly beautiful. Do with it what you will; most importantly, you’re a strong and kind woman who will have a wonderful future, no matter what comes your way.

  8. I have written parts of that letter in many different forms. Some were emailed to X. Some parts came up in our supposed “marriage counseling” sessions. (for which X had no intention of actually trying to help our marriage)
    Mostly…it was met with anger and denial. There was lip service on her part about her own role…but no attempt to work on things. She was already in the relationship again with J even though both still deny they were having an (emotional at least) affair agan.
    The last part I know well too. Loving her still….and thinking that she needs to be hurt badly. Either by J, or by the realization of all she did and threw away and how much she made up in her head to rationalize and justify….or all of it.
    Her Mom even said that X needs to be hurt badly to regain herself as right now she is on a mission to prove to herself and everyone that she made the right decision.

    So…I understand the need to write it (the most important thing)…and the need to have a response while at the same time not wanting one, as well as the fear that as your LC points out, it would all be interpreted by his own filter and the response you got would not be the one you want. (at least not right now).

    I know this is hard. You are doing amzingly well despite the feeling of taking steps back once in a while.
    Positive thoughts to you from across the pond.
    Peace to you

  9. I identify with the mixed feelings…and the obvious pain. I emailed a similar letter, early on the journey. The response caused more pain.

    Ugh! This post just made me cry again. so tired of it…

  10. I think the purpose of the letter has nothing to do with whether it should be sent or not (which I don’t think it should), but to mark the end of the passage along which you have travelled. It is as if you are writing for yourself to say this is how I’ve got here; this is how I’ve done it; these are the revelations I’ve discovered along the way; and this is the conclusion. By writing the letter and ‘publishing’ it you’ve proved to yourself (and not only yourself) that you have got your life back, that you are strong, that you can cope, and that you can rise above anything. The last three years must have been extraordinarily painful, and life will continue to have an element of pain, but it is now controlled. Continued silence on your part as far as Alex is concerned can only make you stronger. Get out there girl, and let ’em have it!

  11. You’re reaching the end of a long journey now. This letter was important enough to write. You’ve finally got a legal document that insulates from further material harm. Send it to him. Expect no reply and ignore one if it arrives (or get a friend to read it first to see if you need to). Who cares if he reads it. He hurt you and hearing your voice in your words might upset him. It won’t kill him to know he hurt you… You didn’t deserve this treatment.

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