A letter to my cheating wife

Subject: A letter to my cheating wife
From: AF
Date: 19 Dec 2018

There is so much to say it's hard to put into words. I've spent half my life with you and in the last two years you've been highly inappropriate with five different men. Now with the latest guy you've gone to the point of talking about "dates" at his house at some point in the future. So you've finally taken the step to move beyond hurtful, explicit "flirting" to actually planning to sleep with someone else.

Over time the small betrayals have let the love out of my heart like air gradually releasing from a balloon. Seeing that you're ready and willing to sleep with a man 20 years older than you and who you barely know, to throw away our family and all the work we've done in marriage counseling - that's like a sledgehammer blow to the balloon.

And yet you will take no responsibility. You say you're vaguely "unhappy" but don't know why. But you won't be honest with me. You want to have it both ways. I've asked you many times if you need to leave - would you find happiness on your own? And you say no.

So what's the game? Waiting to see if the sex is OK with the old guy? Waiting to see if he's willing to support you? Waiting to see how much destroying our family really hurts? How badly it effects the children?

Oh, right - we have kids, remember? What kind of role model are you? What kind of example are you setting for our daughter, who will face endless challenges in our sexist culture? What does it say that our son's sixteen year old girlfriend has exhibited better moral judgement than a 45 year old woman?

I have plenty of anger; there is plenty of pain and heartache; I have endless disillusionment; I'm extremely disappointed in what an unethical, selfish person you've turned out to be. Your narcissism is destructive and delusional - you blame everyone else but yourself. I find it hard to muster even a small bit of respect for you anymore.

And yet I've continued to fight to keep our marriage together - simply wishing - foolishly, I know - that you will be the person I've always thought you to be, rather than who your actions demonstrate you are. Even as the lies and deception stack up - obvious for all to see. You make excuses, you make up stories, you deny, you point fingers, you fail to recognize the reality you've created.

But here's what you don't realize, and what the last two years have taught me: I don't need you anymore. You had an affair with a friend of ours in 2010. I forgave you and we worked hard to recover. That was truly awful. It feels so degrading and disgusting and shameful when your assumed "soul mate" cheats on you. It destroys your self-esteem, your self worth, your sense of belonging, your feeling that you can be loved and are loved. I felt isolated and hollow, damaged, shattered.

But I recovered...until you started dipping your toes into the infidelity swamp again. At first all of those feelings returned. I was desperate to keep you. I needed you - or so I thought.

Fortunately for me, to some extent I've come back around to view myself and our situation more objectively. Sure, there's still a lot of pain and heartache...that will never go away...but I know that I've been earnestly working on our marriage, I've been trying my best for a very long time to be the best husband and father I can be. I've never cheated on you, I've never pursued other women, I've never done anything with another woman that I wouldn't discuss with you openly and honestly. And you've been deceptive and untrue - over and over.

Enough of that nonsense and I've simply had it. You've made yourself unlovable. You've driven me away. I've finally seen beneath your mask. I see what a fake, miserable person you really are. You aren't honest with anyone about your behavior or how it possibly effects those around you.

I will be fine. It will hurt and it will be extremely difficult when I finally kick you out of the house. But I will get through it. And you have set yourself on a path of unhappiness and regret. I feel sorry for you, because you will never find what you're looking for - it can't be found in men who flatter you to get in your pants. And there apparently are plenty of them to keep you busy.

That's skin-deep, empty, hollow stuff.

I am not perfect by any means. I have plenty of quirks and I know I can be difficult at times. But I can say with a completely clear conscience that I have honestly tried to work on our marriage and to be the best person I can be for you, for us, for our family, for myself. You have not done that, and that's a fact.

That's maybe what's most disappointing - you saying you're "unhappy" while lying and cheating all this time. How could our relationship possibly work if you're not putting in any kind of honest effort? Well, big surprise, but your infidelity has made me extremely unhappy for a long time.

At least I can point to a valid reason.