An open letter

Dear M,

I’ve thought a lot about writing this letter to you. I’m conflicted because I don’t want to pay attention to you and have you think that you are a constant presence in my life. Trust me when I say that I no longer think about having revenge on you or that I think that I lost this battle over the soon to be ex (stbx). In a sense, I guess you did win and you can now sit back knowing that your actions helped destroy a marriage of three decades.

Please know that I no longer place blame completely at your feet. For months, I despised you and all that you stood for, but the reality is this, the stbx is responsible for his actions. LIkewise, you are responsible for yours.

According to the stbx, you listened to him when he came to you with his problems in our marriage. I am sure you listened willingly and you provided the kind ear he so desperately needed and what he wasn’t getting from his wife (at least according to him).  I know that women like you seek out vulnerabilities and you played right into those vulnerabilities. I’m sure you presented yourself quite differently from the picture the stbx presented of me to you. I’m sure I came across as the uncaring wife, who selfishly pursued my desires at his expense. However, I know different as do our kids. Everything I did was to make our lives better. I am no longer willing to apologize for my ambitions to not only improve myself, but to improve the lives  of this family, which included the stbx.

Here is the reality, M, an honorable woman would have told the stbx that she wanted nothing to do with him until he was at the very least no longer living with his wife. Instead, you continued to allow the stbx to be a part of your life, with the knowledge that he was still with me. No matter how much the stbx has declared to me or to our “grown” children that you are a good person, I know otherwise. You are not good and honorable person. You will have to live with the knowledge that your actions along with the actions of the stbx led to the destruction of a marriage and a family.

I could live with the damage you and the stbx inflicted on me. However, as the stbx will tell you, I’m a mama bear when it comes to our children – grown or not. I have yet to hear an apology to our daughter for your horrible treatment of her when she tried to find out where her dad was last summer. You absolutely refused to tell her whether or not her dad was okay – instead you kept telling her to ask her dad – the same dad she could not contact for several hours.

This is what I know, M, is that had you told the stbx you were not interested and that he needed to work on his marriage prior to getting involved with you, there is a good chance that this marriage could have been saved. At the very least, the stbx and I could have come to a decision mutually about ending the  marriage without the involvement of a third party. You inserted yourself where you, quite simply, did not belong.

Here is the thing that I know – I fought like hell to save this  marriage. Our three grown children will always know this about me:  that I am a fighter. What they will always know about you is that you knowingly got involved with their dad while he was still married to me. They will always know that their dad gave up on this marriage and our family without ever thinking that perhaps we had something worth saving – that our family was worth a fight.

I do not wish the best of luck to you. I do hope that you will never suffer the devastation that I experienced. I feel sorry for you as well because the only man that you thought was good enough for you was one that was already married.

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