An Apology

When C and I first met she was winding down a 14-year marriage (21-year relationship) to P.

She told me he was violent, abusive, and a narcissist. She said he stole money from her mom. Scared the boys. Forced them onto food assistance. Maybe it was my heart, maybe it was my dick, but I took at face value everything she said about him.

Now that I have the benefit of time and distance, I realize how self-serving those stories were and how willingly I jumped into the role of her hero. That is my pattern. That is hers.

She was leaving P because of his abuse, control, neglect, and him being unsupportive of her art. At least that is her story but after receiving an email from her new boyfriend yesterday (we’ll get to that in another post), reflecting on emails and comments I’ve received from other interlopers recently, and my responses, I’ve been thinking on my role in her pattern and mine too.

As I lie awake at 4:00 am ruminating on C’s behavior I remembered a letter P wrote to me after I first starting dating C and while they were still married. I started dating her while I was winding down my marriage too.

It took a few minutes but I was able to dig his October 2011 email out of the archives.

Watching him with the boys over the years I realize I never saw any of that behavior. I just saw a man doing the best he could. Adulting is hard and we never really do it as well as we’d like.

After reading the letter, and reflecting on what has happened in the last four months I have a new appreciation for P.

As such, I wrote back to him this morning.

Dear P,

I wanted to take a moment and apologize.
As you know C and I have split. There are real and imagined reasons for this but as things have unfolded over the last three months I’ve come to recognize how little I knew of you versus what I thought I knew. My attitude and actions were based solely on other people’s ghost stories about your past and life with C.
The result is that on more than one occasion I judged you harshly and unfairly.
It is unfortunate that over the seven years I was with C we hardly ever spoke. I’m sorry for that too.
I hope you will eventually forgive my unkindness. I was wrong to judge you.
I hope you and L are well. I hope the boys are happy and safe.
I love C and have patiently waited by the door for her to talk with me. However, yesterday she finally admitted she has a new boyfriend. As such, I’ve turned off all the phones and stopped sending her money.
If you would like to keep the lines for the boys I will transfer the phones to you. Just let me know.
I’m possibily moving back to the area in a few months and eventually we will pass one another. I will wave and move on. I’ve contributed entirely too much drama to you and your family and I do not wish to do any further harm.

12 thoughts on “An Apology

  1. Ok – so now I am beginning to really ‘get’ how the fires get fueled, how people take sides. As you and others sometimes do, you have ‘triggered’ my in progress post. I find it curious that you were with C while she was winding down her previous marriage. You stepped in as hero to her stories of a bad marriage, etc… Could things have been winding down w/her relationship with you and had another ‘hero’ in the wings? When she learned of the affair, she was given the excuse she needed to get out and already had someone there to pick up the pieces? There are some people who need to have someone, who are not comfortable with being alone. Perhaps she is one? I have several friends like that, who have to be with a man, and will not get rid of the current husband/boyfriend until they have someone else.

    We are on opposite camps – you are a betrayer, I am a betrayed, yet I really feel for you. I think it’s because you have taken responsibility from the beginning, where for a lot of us, our ‘betrayers’ didn’t give us honesty up front, they denied and lied. As we unraveled the stories ourselves, they trickle truth’ed’ us to death. You have owned your story from the beginning and have opened yourself up for us to see your pain, you listened to us express our hurt in ways that sometimes could have been painful in light of as betrayer. You shared your perspective, and pain, which in turn helped us understand a little about our own husbands.

    You’ve called me an optimist. When I talk to others, I give the impression of a glass 1/2 full person, but in my own circumstances, I am mostly a glass 1/2 empty person. I hate to anticipate positive and then get smacked down when things don’t go as planned, yet I can acknowledge optimism in other’s situations. I am however disappointed to read this post as I feel if C has become involved with someone, it is less likely that she will speak with you in any meaningful way, and that makes me sad. I’ve said over and over, even if it’s over between the two of you, it would have been nice to at least have a face to face conversation for closure for both of you. But with this post, I see the similarities between C and one of my friends in particular who would paint the picture of her current relationship as abusive, we would rally around her and support her, encouraging her to leave. She never did leave until there was someone else waiting to play ‘hero’. It took about 3 cycles for us to recognize that maybe these guys weren’t as bad as we thought they were.

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    1. Oh Dolly, you have no idea how much hearing that means to me. I have people, right now, asking my why I’m speaking ill of her based on what I did.

      Everyone wants to be the hero of someone else’s story.


      1. As a friend, we support our friends, that’s how friends are wired. We pick sides. We support our friends even when we may question the validity of parts of the story, because, well, we’re friends.

        Some people have no problem with boundaries being crossed by friends. C seems to be one of those people. I am not. I would have been pissed if one of my friends had contacted my husband in my defense. I didn’t need them to fight my battles. I did that quite well myself. But I was grateful for and did rely on their support.

        Different strokes for different folks I guess…

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      2. On more than one occasion I asked her if she knew people were sending these emails or posting to my wall and what they were saying.

        And every single time she said nothing but she knew. No blood on her hands.

        I told you, she could teach a master class on revenge.

        Revenge and jealousy do terrible things to our souls. I keep overlooking her ugly because I know I have mine too.

        I love her despite it.

        April 22 is 31 days away.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I’ll add, her hero admits to being the first one to attack me on blog. Accusing me of the worse offenses. He had the most to gain.

      I would imagine, someone was working done agenda for a while.

      But again, qualifier right?

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  2. You say ‘revenge and jealousy’, but I don’t see it that way. I see it more as just a convenient excuse from someone who doesn’t have the emotional maturity to end something before moving into something else. I am not a therapist or psychologist, and maybe now I’m guilty of the armchair psychology, but what I see is someone who isn’t comfortable on their own, not happy in their current situation, but unable to address this with their partner. Should the problems be brought up and unable to be resolved, there would be a break up and they would wind up alone. That is their fear, so they instead drive the story of them being a victim of an abuser, a narcissist in order to garner their friend’s support and encouragement, while looking for a suitable replacement. Or perhaps this replacement, ‘hero’ has been waiting in the wings for a while, a friend who wants more. Once an excuse to end things appears, bye.

    I may be totally off base, but this post got me thinking about my husband’s skank and I see some similarities in the stories. I may be no better than the other armchair psychiatrists, but that’s what we do. We analyze and see things from our own perspectives, whether they are correct or not. xo Dolly

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    1. Now you’re being all logical. 😉 I agree with you though. We certainly fell onto a pattern with no willingness or ability to see the blind spots that caused the pattern.

      As I’ve said, all of this is the way of thing, it isn’t the thing.

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    2. You’re not off base…

      But we all have our things right? I slept with my ex. I could let the past go. C was living in the future. Maybe neither of could move in the moment when things got hard.

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