Over the memorial-day weekend I took some time to dedicate a couple of brain-cycles to the separation that I agreed upon with my wife and how to go forward with it. I decided to word my findings and outlook in an email to her. An email that I want to share with all of you and would like to have your opinion about. I altered names and addresses since they are details that do not significantly add to the message.
Hello (name of wife),
You may have noticed that I have been conspicuously absent this weekend. The reasons for this are several and I hope to explain that in as honest a way as I can. I have been sick. Over the last month I have had fairly severe internal bleedings and when I finally went to the doctor, he found that I have an bleeding ulcer. That in and of itself is no real surprise, because I know that I am prone to getting those. When asked about any changes in my life, I told him about our present situation and he immediately remarked that this may have been distinctly conducive to my medical condition. He acknowledged that ulcers are mostly due to bacterial infections, but that being in or having gone through a stressfull situation impairs the immune system and provides openings for opportunistic infections. I am on meds (anti-biotics) and have taken rest to get this under control. I'm doing well now and the bleedings have stopped, but I'm still a little weak and jittery from that.
Another reason is that I want to avoid forcing your hand in how you choose to allocate your time. I know that you have been very busy and are in a very stressful schedule. I don't think that my input at this stage is going to be conducive to your recovery from that. In that sense, I leave it up to your initiative to indicate the when, where and what I can do with regards to (name of Son) and (name of daughter) so that we don't get in each other's way.
I know that I feel stressed and creeped out being at our house. It does not feel as my home anymore and has become a place that I do not feel comfortable being for any longer than absolutely necessary. Part of that is due to the guilt (not shame) that I feel about my past behaviors, but also about my fear of consciously or unconsciously controlling you and the kids. I feel that if I pick up anything, I'm interfering with your efforts to figure things out and how to deal deal with them. I am for now your dismarried husband so I have no business messing around with that.
Fear is not a kind counsel but I guess that it creates my insecurity and urge to stay away from there.
I know that I love our kids and to a certain extent you as well, but I am running into a mental block there.
In my rest I have done some thinking about where I have gone wrong in our marriage and I have tried to be as honest towards myself in order to figure out where my frustrations and eventually my angers come from. I am at this stage not even looking at where you may have had adverse impacts, although they may surface here and there.
I'm trying to focus on myself and come to realisations where I can improve. I need your help with
that in order to assess how to go about that. Simply living separately is not going to resolve anything constructively other than superficially taking away some of the tension, but if we are to eventually contemplate reconciliation, as I hope we will be be able to do, then we need to know what to set our goals for. Of course if you think that that is futile, then I expect you to tell me that.
One of the things that has been bothering me for the last twelve to fourteen years is our intimacy level and I'm not even talking sex in this context although that plays a role as well. Well before we started sleeping apart and for all practical purposes living separately under the same roof some five or six years ago we were not realy very intimate and by the definition of living in an intimacy deficient relationship we've lived like that long before (name of daughter) was conceived. After that, it simply deepened to completely disappear six or seven years ago.
From my side I can say that is an important factor in that respect is that I have severe insecurities
about not being trusted by you. That in and of itself is and has been a very strong frustration from
day 1 (one) of our marriage. I feel and have felt undesired by you since very shortly after we moved
to (address of 1st home) and I have always felt that nagging feeling (rightly or wrongly) that you are in many ways not secure in the whole concept of having a male partner as in being married.
Sometimes it felt as if it had nothing to do with me at all, but everything with me being male. In that sense I feel as if I have been held to the same standard as your previous partners (specifically (names of particularly unpleasant characters from her past)) and that you have in fact been unhappy in our marriage no matter what I did or did not do because I was expected to behave like 'the others' in your past.
I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that I was and am willing to find security in my relationship
with you, but I (rightly or wrongly) never had the true a conviction that it existed on your side.
In any case, I know that I missed the intimacy and fulfillment of my love towards you not being reciprocated from very early on in our marriage onward and I see now that over the years I have reacted very badly on that.
There is a saying that says that intimacy is only 10% of everyday married life, but if you don't get it, it runs the risk of very rapidly becoming 90%. Out of that follows that if 10% of intimacy provides the room for the other 90% of marital functionality, it is wise to assume that if the intimacy issue has grown to 90% there is not much chance that there is more than 10% left for the rest of marital function. I guess that is where I found myself in the end.
Pease do not take this as a slam or anything negative. I am trying to come to grips of where to aim for in order to come to reconciling and repairing our marriage and I hope that you find reason to do the same.
With deepest love,
Lupercus (instead of real name)
I have not received any answer to this letter, but have had a brief talk with my wife, but she does not want to go into the underlying issues. I told her that she can set the pace and that I'll always be there if she wants to discuss things.