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Don'T Read This Until After You Get Home And When Your Alone

[I'm so glad to have come across the EP & this group in particular. I wrote this 5 years ago. I had been in an accident and bottomed out, first physically, then financially and somewhere in there I bottomed out emotionally and became depressed. For those who are wondering, I never received a response or reply and when I brought it up I was told that the letter had such a 'harsh tone' and had been written in such a mean and ugly manner that it kept her from ever responding...

I genuinely didn't see it and would appreciate another perspective.]




Dearest Carmen,

I'm writing to you because it seems like we never have time to talk so
I thought I'd let you know how I feel and whats been going on with me. Last
night, was in so many ways, like most nights. I think if you were
asked you would say that things have been getting better lately. I
think that for most of the past 20 years you would say that things had
been getting better lately. But the reality is that last night was
like so many nights, and I think last night characterizes our
marriage. You may not like that and I'm sure that you probably feel
that it had to do with going to the Kids Soccer meeting unexpectedly and
then having to pick up our daughter and the fact that you were tired earlier
and had felt bad, but last night is like most nights. You make your
plans and I have my expectations but little comes of either. I don't
want you to try harder, I don't want you tell me that things will be
different, I don't want you to do anything. I am going to release you
to be how you are and to live in peace with me just the way you are. I
am going to try and give up on my expectations and my longing for
things to be different. If you want to have sex then decide to and put
it on the calendar, but before you do I want you to seriously consider
whether your up for it. If your not going to make time for it, if your
not willing to plan for it and make it a priority, then I would just
as soon that you not tell me to "meet you in the closet" or to "wake
you up", or that "we'll play in the morning". None of those things ever
really happen except in a Christmas / Easter kind of frequency.
Instead, I get my hopes up, I know I shouldn't, but I want it to bad
to pretend otherwise, then, almost inevitably, I am disappointed. It
would be a kindness for me if you would quit saying those kind of
things to me until your willing to do whatever it takes to make it
happen. Last night you fell asleep again. I keep renting movies that I
think you might enjoy watching with me. It is a waste. I'm not trying
to be ugly and I don't want to hurt your feelings but I doubt you make
it through one movie every 3 months or so. Can you name the last 4
movies you stayed awake through? I'm telling you this because I'm
going to start renting movies that I want to watch. If you want me to
watch a movie with you then rent one and I'll be happy to do so. I'm
just going to quit on my end because its a waste and just one more
source of frustration that I don't need.

I've been trying to cut my SSRI dose in half, and I'm going to quit
doing so. I don't think its productive. I have found myself not
getting much sleep this week and a lot of it has to do with the
frustration that I have when I go to bed with expectations that are
not met. I don't want to keep staying up till 3 or 4 in the morning, I
don't want to feel frustrated and I don't want to be angry with you.
So I'm going back to the dose that was prescribed (which was low
anyway) and that will help me cope and help numb me down. I know it
seems like I'm blaming you, I don't mean to. This is our life, and
unfortunately I find that I am not able to go through it without being
either numb, apathetic, and complacent, or frustrated and angry so I
chose to not be frustrated and angry.

I'm sorry. I know that our life, particularly our finances, must be
disappointing to you. I think I used to be a passionate, goal driven
man with the energy and drive to pursue my goals and dreams. Somewhere
along the way I allowed myself to be derailed and I now find that I
cannot live a passionate goal driven life in only one area of my life
while I ignore the dreams, goals, and desires I have in another area
of my life. I have always been a better abstainer than I have been a
moderator and for me it is easier to abstain than it is to be reminded
of what I want and desire on an infrequent basis, the pleasure of
which only increases my desire rather than satiates it.

I read a lot, research a lot, and while some of it is probably some
kind of OCD thing or as my counselor puts it, I look for a
medical solution to an emotional problem, nevertheless I have read a
great deal to try and understand what is going on with me, whats
changed and why (I think everyone would agree that I have not always
been like I am now) and what is going on with us. I have come to some
conclusions and while I would be the first to say that regardless of
what I think that does not make it so, it is also the case that I
believe what I believe. Not in a dogmatic way but because it helps me
to make sense of my world. It's kind of like having an old map that
might no longer have all of the new streets and subdivisions on it, as
inaccurate (incomplete might be a better description) as it might be,
it still better than no map at all and is useful to have when you can
recognize streets and signs along the way.

Having said that... I think your hyposexual. I could tell you why I
think that and I have some articles that if your interested that your
welcome to read but you and I simply have different drives. And
unfortunately for me, its not the kind of thing that we can easily
compromise on. You are how you are and I am how I am, and you and I
are simply different. You do not have the same need, desire, longing,
craving, or hunger, that I do. And although mine are lessening, they
are still considerably higher than yours. To me this is the source,
the root, of most of what "ails" me. I truly believe that my
unfulfilled desires aggravate my ADHD, exacerbate my depression, and
force me to live a numbed down, emotionless "life of quite
desperation". It used to consume the bulk of my thoughts and like back
pain or sciatica, never really went away or if it did, did so only
briefly. I cannot reconcile fulfilling my desires with my values,
beliefs, and vows, so I have come to an uneasy truce. I chose to be
faithful and unfulfilled than satisfied and unfaithful. I wish I could
say that I'm doing it for you, or doing it for me, or doing it to
honor the vows I made, or the God I believe in. But the truth is that
I'm doing it for our children. I have now come to believe that
everyone goes thru their share of "****** times" and some go thru more
than others. I expect all of our children will be married one day and
I also expect that there will be times that they or their spouses will
not be happy, or fulfilled, or "feel" married, etc.. and when that
happens I want them to know that I've been there, done that, and that
they can endure, survive, and get thru whatever tough time their going
thru. I also want to tell them that getting what you want, or the
thing that will make you happy is probably overrated, because it will
probably only lead to chasing the "next thing that you want, or the
next thing that you think will make you happy.

I also think that your probably more controlling than either of us
realizes. Please understand. I don't think your manipulative, and I
don't think you have a mean bone in your body. In so many ways your a
much better person than I am. Your generous with your time, kind and
thoughtful to others, willing to turn the other cheek, quick to
forgive and always willing to assume the best about someone or view
things from their perspective. So when I say I think your controlling
I don't think you do so with malice, or ill intent. I think for some
reason, you have a need to control things. I say that because when I
think about things it seems that you often care more about "how"
someone does something than you do about the results of what they do.
I find that you are often a confusing bunch of contradictions when you
and I talk. You often want me to go out and get a job, any job, even
if its for minimum wage pumping gas. And yet, when I have an
opportunity to bid on a home improvement project, or handyman work,
you usually don't want me to, telling me that I don't have time, even
tho, on a $/hour basis it is far more lucrative. You lament the fact
that you and I rarely have any substantive talks or any real substance
and yet I feel when I try you almost always, and I mean almost always,
interrupt me within the first 30 seconds or so with some version of
"NO". If you think about any of the last several real conversations
you and I have, or any of a number of subjects, you start with
interrupting me, telling me no, and then tell me how I never share my
feelings, talk to you, include you, and wonder why I'm no longer
willing to finish the conversation we just started. I don't know why
you do that, it is however fairly predictable. You do the same thing
(in a different way) when you talk to the kids. I would suspect that I
often talk "big picture" with them. "Here's what I want you to do",
and for the most part I think I leave the details to them. I feel that
you often do the opposite and focus on the minutia and the how they do
things, even if it doesn't give you the results you want. Before you
get defensive I would tell you that your sister Marie is extremely
controlling and that perhaps, growing up in your home, you found that
being that way was helpful or useful.

I have often wanted you to "get help", talk to someone, etc... For the
most part I don't think you have. A year ago I felt like I tried to
have a very difficult (for me) conversation with you and tried as much
as I was able to paint a word picture of what was happening to me and
how my unmet needs and unfulfilled desires made me feel and how I felt
like it was killing the affection I held for you in my heart. Now
don't misunderstand and don't put words in my mouth. I love you.
Period. Always have, always will. There is no one I would rather be
with and trust me on this, I would be far less frustrated if it was as
easy as having an affair or sex with someone else. I want an affair,
my problem is that I want it with you. Having said that I feel that
despite my attempts to tell you in no uncertain terms and in the most
vivid language I could what was happening to me and (as a result) what
was happening to us, I feel like you had no response, that in the end
you did nothing, nothing changed and in fact I think you were
unwilling to talk to me (about this). Yes, I know you talked to Pastor
Louise, and you had a few phone calls with Emily (a counselor), but I would compare
it to a new years resolution where I decided to lose weight and get in
shape and then made 4 trips to the gym. It would be unlikely to
deliver the results I wanted.

If your unhappy with the way things are or the way things are between
us then I would welcome whatever you would like to try to improve
things. And although you have not asked I would tell you that you
might consider whether you could benefit from:

Exercising - we both need to exercise, esp as we get older.

Supplements - I am the only adult male on either side of my family
who does not have diabetes, high cholesterol, or (until now) had
to take Statin drugs. I have taken supplements for decades and believe
that it is this and not the genetics I inherited that have made that
so. I cannot reconcile that you want a better relationship with me
when you can't or won't take supplements that might give you more
energy, improve your mood, or restore a more youthful hormone with no
practical downside or risk.

Wellbutrin - It is an antidepressant and as such must be prescribed by
a Dr. In several studies it has not only proven to be an effective and
mild anti-depressant but also has been shown to have neuro-protective
properties, can be useful to hyposexual women, and many people who
take it end up losing weight, (just the opposite of what I experience
taking the SSRI.

Counseling - even if its about what living with me must be like for
you. We are now in the University Insurance program and have both medical
(including Psychologists and Psychiatrists) and prescription coverage.
If you decide not to do this then fine, but please don't tell me its
because we cant afford it.

I hope your not feeling wounded or attacked. I needed to get this off
of my chest and it seems we seldom make time to really talk about
anything substantive. I hope you'll consider some of what I said.
Whether you do or don't please don't tell me. If you want to make
changes do so. I know I would like things to be different and I'm sure
you would also. But please don't tell me. It will only antagonize me
to get my hopes and expectations up and then be disappointed if we
just revert back to our old habits and ways. Instead, if you decide to
do something different then let me find out myself. In the meantime
I'm going to go ahead with my plans. I'm going to try and release you
to be you, and me to be me, and make peace with the fact that we're
two different people who love one another but who have different
needs, wants, and desires and who unwittingly and unintentionally end
up wounding the person they care about the most.

I love you, I love our children, I love the family that you've given me.
Always have, always will.
David
davhunter davhunter 46-50, M 6 Responses Feb 8, 2013

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Your letter is well written , but like others have said, she wouldn't take it all in. She would have been angry hearing all this and would have ended up feeling bad for herself rather than you.
When you said , below , that you have communication problems with your wife, that you don't remember having in the early days, you may simply not have noticed them.We are so lost in the lust stage, and too busy floating on clouds , to see what behaviours our partners have that could be an issue in the long run.We all do this.

Yep, I was young, dumb, and in love ... but so was she

We all are..
If i could have a do over...i would still make the same choice , only i would make sure that we did it better, 20 years married this month.

To be totally honest, I got the bit where you wrote the letter, and I got the bit where she did not respond.

I would just about bet that your missus did what I did, and didn't even bother reading it beyond para #1.

She likely figured that you were just blowing smoke, and that there would be no consequences for her by not reading it - or if she did - not acting on it.

Based on the fact that you wrote it 5 years ago, and that your situation is the same, and you are still there, she was right wasn't she ??

Tread your own path.

Phew!! You were brave to write that...so reflective of my life too...I am main breadwinner and do most of house. He has full time job for first time since 2002. But he still shows no affection to me or our child. I have gained weight eating to compensate for lack of affection according to my psych counsellor...he's way more depressed than me but won't get help. Living with no affection has caused me profound grief. Thanks for sharing this :-)

Thanks for sharing. I find that knowing I'm not the only one has been a reel encouragement to me.

I have tried to write similar letters to my STBX. It is a waste of time. He does not have the ability to hear me. He would read a thoughtful letter like this one, find one sentence that he found to be an attack, and fixate on it. He would then (and I believe truly) forget everything else that was said. I have come to believe that some people are simple not capable of having emotionally honest exchanges, that maybe they lack those emotions at all. At some point, for your own sanity, you need to stop pouring out your soul to someone who won't hear you.

Yeah. I don't know why, but my wife doesn't want intimacy whether its physical or even emotional intimacy (figure that one out). Its kind of a mystery to me. I mean when we do make love it tends to be an awesome experience. She goes, I (usually) go, and the neighbors sell tickets. Its a 45 minute E-ticket ride at Disneyland and so of course I want to ride again the next day... but the park is shut down and I just don't get it.
But your right, I need to protect myself and quit pouring out my life to someone who values it so little.

I am going to focus in on a very small, but, I think, very telling, part of this letter. You indicate that you start conversations, she jumps in with a belligerent reply, and then you clam up while she asks you to continue to engage the conversation you began. Do I have this right? The two of you have very, very, different styles of communication. How do you manage to communicate about anything of importance?

Its like a bad habit. I really don't remember it being like that when we were dating, or 1st married, but its gotten worse over the years. The most effective thing I've done is to end the conversation when she interrupts me. Not that I'm unwilling for her to contradict me, but only if she's willing to listen. The important factual information is easy to communicate. Where the kids need to be, did you make the bank deposit, etc... the mundane details of life. We communicate the 'urgent but not important' (Stephen Covey) facts easily, roommate type of stuff. The 'important but not urgent' stuff (feelings, desires, goals, dreams,) is never brought up except by me, then a discussion followed by denial (thats not the case, that didn't happen, etc...) which usually results in my losing my temper and her getting her feelings hurt. Its a shame. I think she grew up in a 'blaming' household where there was no distinction made for who's at fault vs. who's going to be responsible for 'fixing' this. She is unable to accept responsibility for her attitude, beliefs, and choices and therefore has to deny, deflect, and make counter accusations. I don't know for a fact but I've always assumed most couples agree on the facts and argue on the reasons why or the causes or consequences of decisions. We never agree on history so its pretty hard to resolve anything. She is ruled by and acts out of fear. She fears my leaving her and yet could not do more to drive me away. I have tried to explain what its like to be ignored for a man (or at least this one) and yet even so, she is unable to talk about us, propose any solutions, respond or reply to anything I have ever written or told her. I did not break her. I've always encouraged and supported what ever she wanted to do or try. I suggested she go and talk to someone and while she has made sporadic attempts to do so, ultimately she never continues. I suspect because if she continues then (in her mind) she is the one 'at fault', she's the one 'to blame'. Meanwhile I continue to go to counseling but by myself. To be fair she will go to counseling with me and I'm the one who doesn't want to go together. I find it very difficult to be in the room when she starts with her excuses: its the kids, its (extended) family, financial pressures, debt, etc... and then when I very methodically and patiently remove the excuse she just changes to the next one...

[wow - your question really got me going ...
think that (communication or the lack thereof) might be a source of frustration to me????
;)

;)
If I leave I'm probably going to physically wear someone out as I try to catch up on the past 25+ years...
but its nice to be validated,
Thank you

Thoughtful and very detailed letter. Great work. I'm curious to see how she responds.