How I ended my ten-year marriage by text

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.

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry.

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18 thoughts on “How I ended my ten-year marriage by text

  1. You are an incredible coward. Did she even bother to return?

    How did she react? Have you kept the promises you made — considering that you included at least one lie (there is no one else in the text.

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    1. Thank you for your honesty. I will reveal everything as I feel able to. But yes, I’ve been playing some exceptionally dangerous games in order to hold onto access to my daughter. Stuff I hate myself for. I agree with your comment wholeheartedly.

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  2. A couple of thoughts — if you intend to be serious with this girl, then how in the world do you think your wife will believe what you said.

    But more than that 21 year olds are almost never mature enough to deal with an exwife and all that ensues with this. She will likely grow impatient with the financial side of your divorce. And your oblifations, if you do more than the law requires.

    Perhaps the kindest thing would be for you to let your wife go home and then you visit your child. Remember that your child is very young – her mother’s well being is esential to hers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. It’s been a complex situation, but it is working its way out. My wife decided to stay in the US for her own reasons. My 21 year old is very mature, and she knows every little detail. Finances are fine – not an issue at all, plus A doesn’t want a $, she is viscously independent. She has been away for over three months, which has been my opportunity to sort things here. When she returns in a month then we will be together – just the story of how we met will start later than the truth. I would never stop my wife from going home – I just knew given the chance she would want to stay here. I was afraid that coming completely clean would force her to leave immediately without thinking about what she wanted.

      My wife is so much happier now than before we split. She is growing stronger and more independent each day, and I think she will easily find a partner that she deserves.

      My means have been awful, but I think the ends are going to be good for everyone.

      Yes. I think I am a sociopath sometimes.

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      1. When she returns, sit her down and spell things out with her like you would in a business meeting. Make sure that she understands that she is never to object to how you support your ex and your child. And if she hesitates at all, you likely need to reevaluate the relationship. i promise you that if you are not clear as water with her now, then later she will want a nicer car, house, etc and you will have to make a choice about $. A is likely still in the luring you in stage. Remember she has no life experiences to prepare her for what is to come.

        What is your custody arrangement?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. All of this has been covered already. No trust me when I say she doesn’t want anything financially out of me. She makes sure we split checks, for example… she’s a very strong independent woman. She wants her own career, no marriage, no children – and yes I know things change, but I’ve never met anyone more resolute. She actively encourages me to fully support my family, and wouldn’t be with me if I was the type of person to not do that. She doesn’t care about the material things – not unless she finances them herself. This is no sugar daddy relationship. She hates me buying her gifts. She’s the kind of person that has lived three lifetimes already by the age of 21.

        Every other weekend, every Weds, half public holidays, 12 days of my vacation per year (I get 25).

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  3. If the relationship with A doesn’t work out, will leaving your marriage have been the right decision? I think you think it is and it very well may be.

    When your wife moves on and dates, remarries etc, have you been able to figure out how you will feel?

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  4. Maybe get a vasectomy? Nothing personal, but I think perhaps one child is enough for you.

    Having a baby/toddler etc is tough on a relationship — any relationship. No matter how perfect you think your spouse is, bringing a baby into the world changes things.

    Seriously consider whether you need to have more children and if you want to complicate your child’s life with stepsiblings etc,

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  5. My marriage (16 years together) ended abruptly via text. I never spoke to him again as he avoided any further content. I felt as though my voice had been stolen. I will say, your text was much nicer than the one I received.

    It’s interesting how technology allows us to find distance in those times when we are at our most vulnerable and afraid.

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  6. Leaving you wife when there is no more love is fine, but doing it over a text message?
    You are not crazy, you are just “ball-less” …
    But A. will be your karma, get ready for the universe revenge.
    Your wife is lucky to be free from a man like you.
    Poor A. for getting into a relationship with such a coward man. You will let her down in the first tough moment. If she doesn’t abandon you first. But you know you deserve it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I left my first husband when I was 9 months pregnant. No, not for someone else, but because he wasn’t ready to be a husband nor a father. She was 15 months old when I met my husband now. Because my ex gave up joint custody for monetary reasons he came to see her when he could. And sometimes came into town and didn’t see her. Whenever he would get a woman in his life he would forget about our daughter. Not call, nothing. My husband became her dad and when we got married we petitioned to give her our last name. She is almost 20 now and they have completely severed ties with each other because she knows that he’s never been there for her. My husband is her father, in her eyes her bio dad was a sperm donor.
    Just make sure you keep that relationship with her and make sure A knows that your daughter is your sole priority. Her happiness should come first, always. That is something my ex never did. He was and still is selfish, even at 40 years old.

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