Letter 3 to my husband

Dear husband,

You waltzed in here last week to see us. You glided in through the door, almost as if you were held up by the heavens. Your head was held so high and your opinion of yourself was so grand that for a second, I was very confused over what had happened in the last year.

How do you do it? How do you wreck people’s lives and award yourself whatever you want whenever you want it?

You think you are untouchable.

But I know. I know so much about you. And you have no idea.

I know about her. I know about her home. Her adopted dogs. Her estranged husband. Her business. Her job. Her friends. I know what you’ve spent on her and on what days. I know where she lives. I know where her first wedding was and the song her and her estranged husband danced to.

And I know about you. I know that your credit cards are starting to be maxed out. I know you’re doing drugs. I know you’re drinking a lot more than you used to. Your spending habits are through the roof but unfortunately your son isn’t even close to that list of dollar signs.

And yet, when you step through the front door of MY house, you suddenly start pretending that you are this golden deity that is a perfect father and perfect husband to the right woman. And as you so clearly informed me months ago, I am not the right woman.

I know that every time your lips move, you’re lying. I know that I don’t trust you to do anything that would benefit me. I know that you are one of the most selfish people I have ever known.

I know that you are moving forward but your trajectory is down. You are moving, but you are losing ground and sometimes I hope I get to see you fall.

I still worry about you. These days I’m good at catching myself when I do worry, and I force myself to pivot and instead focus my worry on things that actually matter.

I am still scared of you. I dread you. I dread the next adversarial cause you’re going to pickup for yourself and come at me with. I dread you. I dread seeing your face or having to touch you. I dread having to share my son with you because I know you’ll never be able to love him and put him before your own needs. I dread having to cross that bridge.

I also think I am holding out for you to make things right. I am holding out for you to miraculously be a decent person. For you to receive love and return it. For you to realize how truly horrible you’ve been and feel bad for it.

But I know, deep down, that the truth is somewhere in the middle of all this. But I also know that it doesn’t matter. I spent over a decade of my life trying to help you and save you and love you (and, unfortunately, trying to convince myself that what we had was love). And you spent over a decade of your life tearing me down, prioritizing your own pursuits at my emotional and financial expense, and trying to convince yourself that what you gave me was love.

In reality, I was trying to be your cure and you were a disease that was killing me.

When I look at you, I say my prayer to the devil to give you everything you deserve. When I hear you, I say my prayer to the devil to give you everything you asked for. When you open your arms to hug me goodbye (seriously?), I say my prayer to the devil to take you to your knees.

Here’s the thing. As long as I have breath in my body I will always be there. Sometimes one step ahead of you, sometimes a step behind. But I will always be there to protect my son. And I will continue to pull myself out of this mud. And if you start anything with me, if you make an offensive play in this very offensive situation, I will be ready for you, just in case the devil doesn’t hear me.

Your wife

Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash