LATEST LETTER TO LISSA
I want to start by thanking you for writing your book, Closure. I finished reading it last night. This past April my spouse decided that he no longer wanted to be married to me. We were together for 7 years and actually just got married last year. This was my 3rd marriage and I feel that he is the “love of my life.” We did almost everything together. We were active in our church and community. We participated as volunteers with several nonprofits together. At various times one or both of us was in school. Actually he was in school for the majority of our relationship. First he pursued his Masters and then his Ph. D. He received his Ph. D last December. We survived many ups and downs, including my diagnosis and surgery and recovery from endometrial cancer. I always felt that we were a team. We supported each others hobbies and shared a lot of the same interests. We cuddled almost every night and usually slept in each other’s arms.
Of course money was often tight, but we always had what we needed. And our friends and even strangers often looked up to us and commented on how wonderful our relationship seemed. Things were not always great, he has ADHD and often was not on his medication. He had several affairs some physical and some emotional. We went to counseling in and outside of our church. Things took a turn for the worse last November, but if seemed that we would be okay. I became depressed about failing a class in nursing school and he was stressed about defending his paper for his Ph. D. And an old emotional affair with a woman in another state was going on. When he graduated, he was offered 2 jobs, one in the states and one in Finland. After consulting with me and asking which one I wanted him to take, he took the one in Finland. We begin to sell our things and I quit school (after he suggested I go to school in Finland). We prepared to move. Then he started a friendship with another woman in another state. We had a fight about it and seperated 4 weeks before he was due to leave the country. After a couple of weeks we talked and he said that if we both get help with our issues that maybe we could reconcile. In the airport when he was leaving, he said that he did love me and he wanted me to come to Finland. When he arrived, he sent me long emails apologizing for his actions and we Skyped almost daily. 3 weeks later he changed his status on Facebook to single. I visited him 2 weeks later and we had several long talks and he said that he was angry and didn’t know how not to be angry with me. But he was very vague about why. He was chatting with the woman he met before he left every day. I spent a week there and we did a lot of things together, we went shopping, dancing, toured the city, etc. The day I left he sent me an email saying how good it was for me to be there and that it made him remember how good things could be between us. But the next week he was telling the other woman that he wanted to be her #2 in the open relationship that she was in with someone else. Then he proceeded to talk her into breaking up with the other person. He says we are done. I was left here with his car and taking care of all of our things (including his personal stuff). Basically he left with 2 suitcases. His attitude toward me became so ugly that I finally realized that I could no longer pay his car payment and continue to share our other financial ties, so I bought my own car and stopped paying his payment and separated our accounts.
About a month after he left he found out he would have to have major surgery. I was the first person he contacted and he asked me to come and be with him. But after I got my own car, he got angry and said that he didn’t want me to come. Well, he had his surgery 4 weeks ago and after basically no communication, he sent me several emails. First he sent me his new Finnish phone number, so I could call to get updates after his surgery. Then he told me that no one from the states was coming for his surgery and he had to rely on the new people that he met there. Then he sent an email apologizing for how he treated me when I had my surgery and saying that he missed my friendship. He said that I had been a good friend and lover and that he did love me, but he thought things would work out for the best. He said that I was with him, because he took the soap that I left in his apartment with him to the hospital. Then out of the blue he called me to talk about his family. And he sent me a friend invitation on Facebook. And another email saying that he would be home for Christmas and would be honored if we could get together to talk or hang out. I re-friended him and sent a couple of emotional emails. However, once he started recovering he responded angrily to them and then stopped communicating, except to send short emails about the car or to comment things like my Halloween pictures or my grandkids pictures. He and the woman have started calling each other pet names on Facebook and I had to un-friend him.
I don’t think I will ever understand this. I actually thought I was doing better. I am upset that I am still living in our loft and the same city. Everything reminds me of us. All of my favorite things and places and friends remind me. Because we went to and did all of those things together. I started selling the furniture, because I thought if I got new furniture it would help. I gave away a lot of stuff and packed most of his things into his car, which his father took away. I got a dog. Joined a gym, met new friends, started taking new dance classes. I even met someone, that I really like. This person and I have so much in common and has similar values. But, I realize that I’m not ready to date. But he was willing to try a “pre-dating” friendship. But that fizzled, because he said I had issues and bad habits from my relationship. I am tired of crying. I thought I was moving on. I don’t want to be stuck. I have read every book from The Secret to The Power to The Power of Intention to One Day My Soul Just Opened Up to Eat, Pray, Love. I am praying, meditating, walking, doing Yoga, etc.
Oct. 31, was the 8 year anniversary of our meeting and even though we exchanged email that week, I was so hurt because he did not even acknowledge it. The last 7 years I spent Christmas with his family and we always took the grandkids to see the Christmas lights around town. A couple of days after his surgery he mentioned that he missed them and was thinking about the lights.
I realize that I have to let go. But immersing myself in things to take my mind off of him/us feels so very fake.
I stopped drinking 90 days ago so that I could process with a clear mind. Now with the holidays coming, I find myself thinking about drinking my way through them (I know that’s not a valid answer).
What do I do Lissa?
You’ve already started on the steps to closure – so I commend you there! This is really an internal process. You’re doing the right things, but now you have to do them and feel them, be present in the moment in them, instead of thinking about the past. Sometimes you have to “fake it until you make it.” Just try, go through the motions, take the steps, and one day you’ll wake up and realize just how far you’ve come!
You may not ever understand the wheres and whys of any relationship, but it sounds like you can see that this particular relationship was unhealthy. Whatever you needed to get out of it for your own growth has happened. There’s no need to sacrifice any longer. Don’t sacrifice your peace and happiness by having doubts and regrets and fear. You are in a GREAT place right now, so start little by little having that gratitude, for each moment, for each little miracle, for each blessing that comes your way. Surround yourself with love, people you love, things you love, things you love to do. And reach out to help others. Sometimes by helping others the one we are really helping is ourselves. There are so many people suffering right now. You can help. You have a lot to offer.
You might also want to cut off all communication with your ex. He knows how to push your buttons. You’re spending too much time analyzing what he says and trying to read some meaning into it. You have a new life now. Treat yourself well.
Lots of love,