To my Husband on Valentine’s Day:
On this day for lovers, I feel nothing but sadness and emptiness.
I look around and I see happy people, happy couples.
I am not one of them. We are not one of them.
We were, though, do you remember? We used to be so happy. We fell in love, we had good jobs, we lived overseas, we returned to our homeland, we had children, we fell in a rut.
You changed. I changed. Our marriage changed.
But we never discussed it.
The most important thing in our life, and we let it waste away.
We were once invincible. It was once us against the rest of the crumbling world.
Then we began to crumble and we couldn’t even see it, let along acknowledge it.
Your affair sealed the deal.
Now when you say you love me, it’s like you’re slapping me across the face. I know you see me wince when you say it, because you’ve now stopped saying it altogether.
You may love me, but not enough. You wanted someone else.
Someone else to be with, to talk to, to be intimate with. That hurts so, so very much. Because that was the reason *I* was here. I was supposed to be that person.
And to make it hurt so much more, you told me lies, lots of them. About working late. About going out for lunch. About what you were doing on your phone. About who you were talking to.
The trickle truth has been excruciating. I know you haven’t told me everything.
And that’s why nothing will ever be the way it was.
The way I love you has changed.
Yes, I do still love you. But my eyes have now been opened as to how much that gives you permission to hurt me.
I see people grow old together and I thought that would one day be us.
But now I find it hard to think beyond the current week. But I’m getting better – 15 months ago, I couldn’t think beyond the current minute.
Maybe one day we’ll be able to make longer-term plans.
For now, I feel empty, wooden, dead. Even after 15 months of ‘healing’, I don’t know if this feeling ever ends. It’s like living a half-life.
Your affair affected me beyond comprehension. Nobody understands this pain unless they are standing where I am standing.
My life is so very different now. Most importantly, I no longer believe in love that lasts forever.
And I didn’t even have any say in the matter. I didn’t get to decide what our future would look like because you made the decision on your own.
I am torn between wanting to love you, and being terrified to love you.
If I love you, it means I am resigning myself to being open to any further pain you may one day inflict on me again.
I just don’t think I am stable or strong enough to take another hit.
But I’m still here. Hopeful. Scared. Still numb.
And as long as we’re both still here, there is a glimmer of hope that we may be able to survive this grenade you threw into our marriage.
Happy Fuck Valentine’s Day.
Love, Your Wife.