I’ve been living separate to my wife for around four months. She left to visit relatives in early October 2016, about a week after I first started talking to A. Four weeks later, the day before she was due to fly back to the USA, I told her that I didn’t want to be with her any more. I don’t know what prompted me to do it over text, rather than in person. Of all the possible ways to end a marriage, doing it over text while your spouse is five-thousand miles away may be the worst, and it’s certainly up there for the most cowardly approach.
You see after my first date with A, I promised her that I would leave my wife. I felt as sure about that decision as I have ever done about anything – it was time. I’m sure you are thinking that I am crazy right now – he has one date with this twenty-one year old girl and decides to end his ten-year marriage, and leave his daughter. I most likely am crazy according to any societal norm. I’d like to say it was purely because she bewitched me, but I know now that I had been looking for a catalyst to leave my wife for several years.
My wife could tell that something was wrong with me over those last couple of weeks of October. I’d felt unable to lie to her anymore, and couldn’t bring myself to tell her that I loved her – I’d been automatically saying it for many years without meaning it. The day before she was due to leave, as she was packing her case, she flat out asked me if she should even come home. I just couldn’t say yes to that question. I mean, I desperately wanted her to bring my daughter back to the US, but I didn’t want her to come back as my wife.
The message I sent back to answer that question was the script that I had written for what I was going to say to her when I broke up with her in person. That’s when I imploded her life, and that’s when I broke her.
I want to share with you exactly what I said to her, with a few edits to preserve our privacy. So here it is:
For some time, I’ve been struggling to tell you how I really feel. Except, the longer I leave it, the harder it is becoming.
Firstly, I want to say how proud I am of you for being the mother that you are. Our daughter is amazing, and I think we are doing a great job of raising her. I think we make great parents to her.
But, I don’t think I am a good husband to you. I’ve struggled for a while to understand why I don’t want to be close to you anymore. I’ve wrestled with myself, and tried to make things work for the sake of B. But after thinking for so long, I know that I can’t make you happy – because I don’t love you anymore.
This is the hardest thing I have ever had to say. You might ask why would I say it now. Have I found someone else – no, of course I haven’t, and I don’t think I could do that to you. No, the reason is that I can feel it eating into me. It’s something that has slowly been building for a very long time. I truly believe that trying for B, and all the anguish that came around it, damaged things between us.
I’ve never wanted to mistreat you, or be uncaring towards you. But I realize that I have been, and I am truly sorry. I also realize that this will hurt you more than anything else ever has. But somewhere, deep inside I think at least at little part of you has suspected this for a while.
Before I get into anything else, I need to reassure you of some stuff. I’ve asked a lot of you, and I deeply care for you. I love my daughter very much, and the well-being of both of you is so important to me. I will always support you both.
Part of the reason I have put off this conversation for so long, is that I am terrified of losing B, and what might become of her if I am not in her life. I think the role of a father is so critical in a child’s life. I don’t want to be destructive to her. I know you’ve said to me so many times that you will never take her away from me, but it still scares me.
It’s also been scary to think of what you might do to yourself. I don’t want to drive you to do things to yourself. B needs her mother more than she needs anything in the world.
And to be clear, I am not just upping, and leaving, and walking out on you two. I am not just packing my bags and going, unless that’s what you really want me to do. But I can’t keep pretending any more.
I think you deserve a chance to find a man that makes you happy. I want us to find a way to be parents together for our wonderful B, in a way that doesn’t negatively impact her.
I don’t want to argue with you any more, I just can’t do it. I really think we can find a way through this, separately in our love lives, but together as parents.
I want you both to live in a stable environment. In our nice house, in a great school district, surrounded by your friends. I’ll always make sure you have a home, and enough money to have nice things. I’ll make sure B always gets what she needs.
I’ll make sure you are able to go home to visit our parents regularly. But I beg you not to take B away from me.
I am sad that things went wrong for us, but I don’t see an obvious way backwards. I can’t make myself love you again, as much as I can any other person – not even for the sake of B. I feel so selfish about this, and I am truly sorry.
I want to tell you that this isn’t just on a whim. It’s been building over the last year. Really since I came back from the golfing trip in September of 2014 is when I first had an inclining about this. I do think if we hadn’t have been successful, it would likely have been the end of us – not because I would’ve resented you, but because it was just too painful. Your trips home this year have been hard for me. Mainly because they’ve given me so much time to myself, that it’s made me realize that the main thing I have missed is spending time together as parents – but not much more.
Coupled with this deep-rooted feeling of loneliness I have, it’s been a lot to process. All this free time also naturally leads to thoughts of temptations by other things. I worry that if we stay like this for much longer that I could be tempted to find someone else. I just don’t want to do that to either of you. You deserve so much more than that.
At the same time, I can’t bury my head in the sand and pretend it will all be fine. I know it won’t, and I know deep inside that this is inevitable.
But I don’t want things to spiral into hatred, and bitterness. I don’t want us to be that couple. We are both rational people, and I think that would hurt B more than us being happy in separate lives.
I also want you to know that I am not abandoning you to be a single parent. I absolutely want to co-parent her with you. We don’t need to figure it all out yet, but I’ve thought about that too. I also hope we can become friends, and not be those people that despise each other.
You might still ask, why now. I could probably muddle through this for another few years. It is likely to get worse for us I fear. But mainly, I think B isn’t going to know what’s going on if we do this now. I think there’s the best of chances she sees whatever relationship we figure out with her together as normal. But the longer we leave it, the more I think it risks her future well-being, and who she becomes as a person. I don’t want her to ever think this is her fault.
I don’t want to just move out on you. In fact, I don’t think it makes any sense to ruin anyone’s Christmas. But I’d like you know my thoughts, and my rationale, so that we can figure things out in the New Year.
I loved you very much, and I don’t want you to think that was a lie. I am not sure how we managed to make our little piece of perfection. I truly don’t. She’s truly the best part of us, and maybe it sucked up all of what was in our relationship to have her. Still, I wouldn’t change things, because she is more important than us.
I really hope you can forgive me in your heart for the hurt I am causing you now, and the hurt I have caused in the past. I really hope we can figure this out together, and move on to be happy.