Friday, January 28, 2005

A letter to K.

I seem to have a hard time getting across what I mean when I'm talking to K, so I'm going to try to put my thoughts in writing here, as if I were writing a letter to him. He may never see it, but if I organize my thoughts in written form, maybe they'll come out better in spoken form.


First, let me start by saying that I really am sorry you're bothered by the idea or the actuality of me going out. If we've managed to muddle through this separation for as long as we have without doing each other bodily harm, I think (and I'd hope) you know that I want to keep things amicable, I do value your friendship, and I don't want to do anything in a spirit of spite or malice to intentionally hurt you. I hope you know that.

But going out - not often, just occasionally - is something I'd really like to do. Why, you ask, can't I wait a little bit longer? Well, I like knowing that someone wants to pay attention to me, wants to spend time in my presence. There's probably no way to say what I'm going to say without sounding like a bitch, but I'm not saying it in a spirit of meanness. I'm not doing this to "get back" at you for anything, but the fact is, when you were spending so much time with JG, it seemed to me like you went out and did what you wanted with very little regard for how I might feel about it. Yes, there were times that you asked if it was OK, and yes, I said it was. But I felt like if I'd put my foot down and said, "hell no, you can't go," I'd have come across as the bitchy, nagging wife who didn't respect your need for time to yourself, and you'd have resented me for that. So it was let you do what you wanted, or be resented as a shrewish wife - seemed to me like I'd get the short end of that stick either way it went. I knew you needed a certain amount of time on your own, and I tried my best to respect that, even when I wanted to say, no, dammit, stop spending time with her and come home and spend time with your wife and son. But when you went out driving with her for 6, 8, 10, 12 hours at a time, when y'all went hiking all day long on a Saturday, I don't think it ever crossed your mind to be concerned about how I might be feeling at your extended absences. And when you realized how you were feeling about her, at a time when we did still have a marriage that might could have been saved had that been what we wanted to do, you didn't think of me and back away from the relationship. Instead, you told me how you felt about her and kept on seeing her. You might be thinking, but Lisa, you were OK with that. I was OK with it only because I'd realized you weren't going to stop seeing her at that time, no matter what I said, and I could either let myself be hurt by it or I could not let it hurt me. I opted not to let it hurt me.

I want to go out at this point because I feel like my life has been pretty much devoid of affection since you met JG. You put so much of yourself into that friendship, I felt like there wasn't anything left for me, even before the separation came up. I felt like all your consideration and affection and concern went to her. Maybe that was because she wasn't the little human bulldozer that I am, maybe she just evoked that protective instinct in you where I don't so much, I don't know. Do you remember me telling you on different occasions that you were taking me for granted? I do. I'd finally get upset enough that I felt compelled to say something, and I'd cry, and tell you that, and you'd say, yes, you were, and you'd apologize. But nothing would change. I didn't feel like I ever got kisses or hugs just because, I felt like the only time you expressed any physical affection toward me was when you wanted sex. I felt like I had to ask for affection, and I was just too damned proud to do it - I thought that should come naturally if I meant to you what I should as a wife. And if I didn't mean to you what a wife should mean, I wasn't going to beg and I wasn't going to keep you somewhere you didn't want to be. But I miss the affection. I miss getting a little attention from someone who's really interested in spending time with me, in what I have to say, in what's on my mind.

Remember you said once that you missed the excitement of discovering something new about someone, that the sparkle and that thrill of discovery was gone in our relationship because we'd known each other so long? Ideally, once the new wears off a long-term relationship, the sparkle will be replaced by something deeper and more enduring. But you missed the sparkle, and you went looking for it elsewhere. It started as a friendship but turned into something more, and I don't know if you really realize how much damage that did to our marriage, and how hard it would be for me to ever repair that. I guess this is getting off the original topic of why I want to go out, but maybe it relates in a roundabout sort of way. The deal with JG hurt me, hurt us, a lot. I want to know that I can mean something to someone, even if it's just enough interest to ask me out for dinner. You and I have talked, and I've promised you that nothing sexual will happen with anyone else until things are settled between us, and it won't. And I'm not saying you're wrong for feeling the way you do, I'm not telling you to stop feeling that way. But I'm torn between wanting to keep the peace with you and wanting to do something for myself, that makes me happy and makes me feel good. So this may be one of those things we just have to disagree on, and we both may just have to cope with the fact that the other isn't completely at ease with the situation.



Jay said...

That letter was beautiful. Heartfelt, true, and honest. The kind of "affair" that he had is the most dangerous kind. The building of emotional intimacy with another to the exclusion of your mate has got to be worse than a quick sex fling.

If you send the letter you risk him either becoming very defensive or falling in love with you again.


Anonymous said...

Hi Ho!!
Please consult your attorney before sending the letter to K unless you know that it would not change the separation agreement. In addition, K is trying to control and manipulate you. Please resist, say "No" and let him feel the consequences of his actions-past and present- with JG. Time for him to face the music and grow up.
You deserve a full, active and satifying life. Go for it!!!

Lisa said...

Oh, I'm not going to give the letter to K - I've tried the letter thing in the past, and he's never read them, just given them back and said he'd rather talk about things. So this is really more an exercise for my own mental well-being than anything I'd ever hand to him to read. :-)

Azalea, right now there are no attorneys involved (well, other than me), and we don't have a formal separation agreement (and since family law isn't my area of expertise, I'm not even sure Texas has a formal, legal separation). So far we've been able to keep things generally friendly enough that nothing more formal has been needed. We both agree as to finances (his bills are his, mine are mine, and you can't fight over who gets half of a negative net worth! LOL), and we agree as to J. The only hot spots have been me going out and that damned CD collection (we won't fight over a $1200 entertainment center, but we'll nearly come to blows over a $15 CD, go figure).

Jay, right now I think I'd hope for defensive rather than falling in love with me again! Because seriously, at this point, it would be very, very difficult for me to go back - if I ever did, it would be because I'd think it might be best for J, and I don't think there's anything that could get me to really put my heart in it if K decided he wanted me back.