Hello everybody, it had been over 10 weeks since I moved out of my sexless marriage and in with a wonderful man who has given me more love and intimacy and respect than I have ever had . The legal separation arrangements are in the hands of my lawyer. I have not spoken to my stbx since the day before I moved out. I received one phone message, one card to say he was sorry and thanks for 35 years, similar to what one would send a colleague with whom one has worked with for a number of years. I also got a happy birthday email last week. I emailed him back to say that I could not speak to him until all the separation negotiations were finalized. I wished him well and assured him that we could come to a fair agreement.
That is the most civilized conversation we have had in years. There is only one concern that troubles me. I fear that I have damaged my relationship with my daughter ( only child ). I sent her an email this morning and would like your opinion and comments. No matter what - my life has changed completely and for the first time in a long time I feel happy and in control of my own destiny.
.......letter to my daughter ...........
It seems that we can never get together to talk and I know that you have questions that I haven't answered. I wanted to talk to you about everything in person so I have waited, and waited but it doesn't look like that is going to happen. We talk on the phone a little but I feel tension between us and it makes me uneasy. I'm sure it makes you uneasy to.
You are still the most important person in my life. Still, it is unrealistic for me to hold you back from living your own life to the fullest. I know what it is like to go through the motions, pretending you are okay just to try to make someone else happy so they will except you . It is the fear of being alone that kept me hoping that my marriage could magically work out somehow.
The problems between your father and I started long before you were born. I am not going to ever give you the details - that doesn't matter. What you need to understand is that I did not feel accepted, worthy , wanted or loved. I always felt that I was never good enough and that your father just married me out of a sense of duty. We had been together for so long that it seemed like the thing to do. I guess we were used to each other. For a long time I believed that I was in love and could have a home and family just like my brothers and sister had - a normal life.
No matter how hard I tried - I couldn't make it work - eventually I decided to give up. I tried so hard to get close to your father but the distance had grown too great - we didn't sleep in separate rooms just because his back was bad or that I snored - if that had been the only reason we could have bought a new bed - or I could have got breathe right strips. We slept apart because we slowly let our love for each other die. Eventually it got so bad that we could not touch each other - not even hold each other's hand. It was a very empty life and very lonely. He blamed me for getting fat. I thought him shallow . He avoided my family and eventually I avoided his - mostly I think because we were embarrassed - being a married couple, in effect lying to everybody about our true feelings and blaming each other for our unhappiness.
You have to remember the fighting, the long periods of silence, and how we would deliberately avoid spending time with each other.
I felt trapped in a hopelessly unhappy situation thinking that there was nothing I could do about it . I saw how other couples like your grandparents showed their love to each other when facing death and how and my sister and brother in law still act towards each other while fighting a battle against cancer. I saw their love for each other and I knew that I didn't have that in my life. Nothing even close to that.
Grandpa's death and my inheritance gave me the financial resources to make changes - but i made one last all out effort to bring the marriage back - hoping that by relieving some of the stress caused by the unfinished house would bring your father and I closer. It didn't work . Too much criticism, too much apathy, too much hoping for a kind word or thank you that never came. just more demands. more disappointment . You saw it all from both sides and you wanted out and away from it . You can't deny that it wasn't right.
So On New Years Eve I decided to leave. I did some searching on line and found a support group of people who also lived in sexless marriages. I found out that I was not alone and that there were many other people all over the world who felt the same way I did. After a lot of discussion with very kind strangers and hearing their stories , I formulated a plan to leave my unhappiness the most efficient way possible. I saw a lawyer and found out what my rights and obligations were. It took months to find the best way to make things the easiest for everyone.
First I had to make sure that you would be okay financially. Once you were moved in and settled, I started looking for a place of my own. I had set a date and started sorting out my personal items and packing - moving my things a bit at a time into a storage unit that I had rented.
I made sure that all the bills were up to date and even left a month’s worth of payments in the bank account . What I did not want was to feel guilty or lose the confidence I had developed to change my resolve. I even saw a physic and got confirmation that what I planned to to was the right thing. Please understand that this wasn't easy ...to leave everything I had worked so hard for and start all over again - not knowing whether I could make it on my own or not. The pain or staying in an empty marriage was greater than my fear of leaving .
What I did not count on or even expect is that I would meet someone who understood how I felt. The more I talked to Ralph as a friend the stronger I became. He is a good man and has gone through physical and emotional trials that should have made him bitter and angry. Still he greats each day with a smile and expectations of wonderful things to happen. He has taught me a lot and made me feel happy about myself again. I want you to meet him when you are ready. He has three grown children, two girls and a boy . I have met them and I met his mother who is a sweet lady. He showed me around his home town and introduced me. Ralph went with me to the family barbeque and everyone there found him to be a good guy just like I did when I first met him. He means a lot to me and we are together now as a couple.
I did not leave your father for him. Your father and I had left each other a long time ago. The only thing that held us together was business and financial ties. It took me a long time and a lot of anguish to admit that.
I expect you to be angry with me and that's okay. I know that you have been avoiding me and I accept that . You have to do what you feel you must. Still remember that I love you and will not deliberately hurt you . In time your father and I will come to a fair settlement that will allow both of us to go on, live a good life and find happiness and fulfillment. I still feel it is better to make all negotiations through the solicitors so that there is no temptation to hurl blame and go back to the fighting and hurting that took up so much of the marriage.
There is no reason to think that you won't have a wonderful and happy life , wherever it takes you. Both of your parents love you unconditionally and also love you enough to set you free. I won't press you to see me - but I will always be close by if you need me.
I love you.