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.Cheers,Me