I have thought long and hard about telling you some of this stuff and finally came to the conclusion that maybe some of your future relationship might be able to be improved by hearing this. I know you think you did nothing wrong in our marriage and that everything was my fault including me leaving and that you probably don’t want to hear any of this but it can’t hurt anything now and it is therapeutic for me. You are probably wondering why you are hearing from me now. It’s because I have had a year to think about this stuff and it makes me angry to think you are going around saying “poor me! I never did anything for this to happen!” I know you still don’t believe that you did anything to contribute to our divorce so I felt it was time to actually lay everything out there.
My daughter was the biggest part of it. I know that you thought you never did anything wrong with her but she told me later that the week before I left, she was writing suicide notes. She was craving love and acceptance from you and she never got it. She told me she didn’t try hard with anything including school because there was nothing to be gained by it. All she ever got was yelling from you until she felt like killing herself. Now she hasn’t gotten anything less than a B in school, she absolutely loves her violin and is planning on doing post-secondary next year because she says she feels light and happy. I feel so guilty that I didn’t get her out of the situation so much earlier. When she was in 7th grade, she tried to talk me into doing an intervention for you. The other day when I was talking to her about going somewhere with me, I told her there might be some drinking and she can’t stand being around that at all and she doesn’t drink and doesn’t plan to. She said she can’t stand seeing any drinking because “that’s what tore my family apart.” I am still so angry and sad that you thought a 5, 6, 7, 8, up to 14 year old should be the one doing the work in a father-daughter relationship. I’ve said it before and I will say it again…you were the adult in the relationship. She was looking to you to help shape and guide her and all you had to say was that “she wasn’t trying hard enough.” She didn’t have to try. You were the adult. You completely and totally failed at your relationship with my daughter. All you had to do was show love, show interest but all you could do was scream at her for the stupidest things, like wearing sweatpants to bed, wearing the same jeans to school, not finishing every little thing on her plate, not bringing her violin home to practice, screaming at me, your mom and my daughter when we had to pull over because my daughter had car sickness and needed to throw up. Giving me the silent treatment when I finally had the balls to put you in your place on that last one. Funny how I don’t even care about that stuff and somehow it magically sorted itself out, isn’t it? Pick your battles. Something you hated hearing me say but something that worked. If your future spouse or girlfriend has children, please stay out of the child rearing part of it. Be their friend and guide them by suggestion, not by fear and the silent treatment.
It made me feel sad and hurt when you would call me a shitty mom. I still hear your voice inside my head belittling me. Why couldn’t you just calmly talk things over with me? Why couldn’t you be diplomatic and come from the side of love and care? Everything was always your way or nothing at all. You never listen to anyone’s opinion or thoughts, you are always right about everything and no one ever knew anything. Please don’t ever tell someone they are a shitty mom again whether you are in a relationship with them or not because you don’t know the first thing about parenting. You totally failed that one. You are better off never trying the parenting thing again.
It made me feel sad and hurt every time you threatened to divorce me. There were never any calm, caring conversations about things that upset me. If I was upset about something, your perspective was that I was crazy and should go see a therapist. I was bonkers or pyscho. You couldn’t believe that I had a voice or opinions of my own. Every time you threatened divorce, a little piece of me gave way until I eventually stopped caring and was ready for divorce. If you get married again, please don’t say that to her. A little piece of love dies every time you say that.
I thought I was a good person because I felt like I gave and gave so much in our relationship. I now realize that a relationship is 50/50 and that trying to fix you and fix the situations that made you angry didn’t make me a good person. I hated the walking on eggshells feeling with you. It feels so good to not have to deal with that anymore. I will never, ever be with someone who treats me that way again. I would cringe when the garage door came up and make my daughter run downstairs because I didn’t know what kind of mood you were in. If you were in a good mood, I tried to make sure you stayed that way and nothing happened to make you mad. If you were in a bad mood, I tried to make sure nothing else happened to escalate. To the point of making you and my daughter eat separately. I realize now I should have just ignored your moods completely and focused on myself instead of you but I wanted us to have a good relationship and I wanted there to be a good connection where you wanted to be with me and you enjoyed the company of your family. Instead all you wanted to do was drink and watch sports. How many times did we do things as a family that didn’t include Ely? Even if you played a game with my daughter in the evening, that usually turned into a catastrophe. Can you identify why that happened without blaming her? Yeah, I didn’t think you could. Please treat anyone you live with in the future like a queen. Don’t make her feel like she is just living in your house. Don’t yell at her constantly. Don’t give her the silent treatment. If she doesn’t take out the garbage like you want, maybe just do it yourself. Don’t belittle her and make her feel like she is a horrible person for not doing things exactly like you want. She is not deliberately trying to piss you off.
I hated the drinking. At first it was fun because it got us spending time together. Then it turned ugly and I would find bottles in the garage trash can of things I didn’t even see you drink. And I could tell if you even had so much as one beer. I pretended I didn’t know but I would get that knot in my stomach because I wouldn’t know what was going to set you off. Maybe you would decide to pound a nail in the wall with my daughter’s phone or dump beer all over the floor and accuse me of stepping on the carpet with a dirty shoe. Or maybe if I wouldn’t run to the store and get brats when you wanted to have a fire, you would sulk and do the old favorite, the silent treatment. Tell me I was stupid. Get mad because I went around a corner when I was driving and your mom’s water spilled a little on the floor. It didn’t matter, there was something I always did wrong. Stop drinking. Pastor would have liked to have me stay with you and he was going to stage an intervention. But by that time, I was done. You are not a happy drunk. You are mean and ugly when you drink and no one knows what will set you off when you are drunk. You have kicked your friends out of the house when you have been drinking. You have pissed off your friends when you have been drinking. You need to completely stop drinking whether you love craft beer or not. And maybe you have already. Or don’t stop. It’s not my problem anymore. However, don’t go into a relationship with someone until you don’t drink anymore because you are not a nice person when you drink and the kids are definitely affected by it.
You basically didn’t care how I felt at all. It was all about you. Probably the scariest thing that still haunts me today is the night you came out of the bedroom one night from sleeping and yelled at me for talking on the phone when I was on call. You said I left the fan on and I hadn’t even been in the bathroom, you had just taken a shower and didn’t turn the fan off and you looked at my laptop and told me I was a pyscho and needed help along with other swear words while I sat there with my mouth open and literally didn’t say a word, I was so shocked. I was so scared that night I slept on the couch because I had literally done nothing wrong. I brought it up to you the next morning and you made it sound like I was so ignorant for being upset and that you wanted to “throw up” instead of apologizing. That was the one night where I was actually fearful. I will never put up with that stuff again. Have a relationship where the other person can voice their fears and feelings. When you put down the other person because they feel something, (anger, fear, sadness) you are saying “I don’t care how you feel at all, even remotely. It’s all about me and you don’t matter.” That’s how you made me feel.
I hated the way you treated your family. Your family is the one thing I miss from our marriage. You are so mean to your mom and she doesn’t even realize it because you are probably very similar to your dad and she is used to dealing with that. One time on Christmas Eve you were being so mean to her about having to stop and pick up gifts at her house. When we got back in the car and you stopped at the gas station she said to me, “why is he always so angry about things?” with tears in her eyes. Be nicer to your mom. She is the sweetest person in the world and doesn’t deserve your anger and your ugly words. I know you love your mom but you are going to regret treating her the way you did when she is gone.
No one deserves your anger. I don’t understand why you are such an angry person and think the world is out to get you. Even when you are in a dead sleep many times I would wake up because you were talking in your sleep and basically cursing someone out. Maybe you are trying to be happier lately. I hope you are.
I felt hurt when you made it sound like I never contributed anything to finances. I am glad I never opened up my checking account to you, you were too angry of a person to handle it. You can act like I never paid a dime for anything but you know better. In your next relationship, try not to keep score so much.
The reason I dropped you as an insurance agent is because I don’t want any more ties with you. I don’t want you knowing when I get a new car, when my daughter gets a new car. I don’t want to have to talk to you if I would get in an accident. I am not saying you are not a good agent, you are. I just don’t want the ties at all. I don’t care if you never made money off of me because you sponsored my daughter because you made enough when I was with you and you made enough in the divorce. I didn’t realize the sponsorship was conditional. When I got that email from you, it basically told me that you would always be the same core person and that I am glad I didn’t change my mind and go back because you are still the same. Not much change there and very unprofessional. Still keeping score, still looking for what you can get, still making sure you are the most important person in your life. No care for anyone else, no listening to other opinions. Just me, me, me and what I did and what I paid and what did they do for me in return.
I believe you destroyed the laptop in a fit of rage over something, maybe me, maybe the cable company, who knows? I am super sad you destroyed my pictures and my writing. I would have never done that to you. That just shows your true character. No one smashes and burns a brand new laptop unless they are angry. I should have taken that laptop and made you get your own since I paid for it but I was trying to be nice. I was always trying to be nice. Nice never got me anywhere.
I thought all men were like you. I thought there are no decent guys out there and everyone has issues and this is how guys are. I thought every guy did the silent treatment and was immature and had fights. I am happy to tell you that all men are not like you. I have not had a single fight with my boyfriend. I couldn’t believe it at first and told him we needed a fight. He told me that isn’t the way it works and that he will sit down and talk about things when one of us is upset. I didn’t believe that would happen and was waiting for his true colors to come out. But he was true to his word. We have had several times when the other person has been upset about something and it’s always talked out calmly and rationally and we never yell or swear and he doesn’t walk away and leave it unresolved. I honestly thought that was a pipe dream and never believed it was real. There is no silent treatment in his world. And we can go on trips, even on trips with my daughter and my mom and he doesn’t have issues. He is calm, sweet, considerate, generous, kind, caring. My daughter and my mom and even my sister love him. All the things I wish you would have had. There were times in our relationship when I would try to come up with adjectives to describe you for compliments. Loyal was the only one I ever came up with. I used to wonder why that was. Why couldn’t I come up with nice words to describe my husband?
I don’t doubt that you loved my daughter and I, but it wasn’t enough. A marriage isn’t just for you, to see what you can get out of it. It is for your family. You should have listened to your heart when it told you that you weren’t ready for a kid because I believe it did. Maybe you didn’t want to hurt me by saying you didn’t want to marry me but it probably would have been better if you had just hurt me then. It takes a strong man to step up to the plate and raise someone else’s child and that piece of it was just not your forte. I believe that you did the best you could but the best wasn’t good enough. That’s why I left. I wanted to make things work but I knew if I said I would give you another chance that nothing would change and that I may not have the nerve to do this again. I am sorry I hurt you by leaving but you seemed like you only cared I was leaving because of the finances.
I hope you find someone who can handle your moods and your drinking. I hope that someday you will actually realize the hurt and pain you caused my daughter and I and take responsibility for it. Because both her and I are scarred from it. You won’t though. You will be mad by this letter thinking everything was my fault and how dare I write something like this and you will get all defensive but if you would have treated me differently, I would have stayed because I did love you. I just didn’t realize my self-worth all those years. I am not looking for a reply, actually please don’t reply. I just wanted to write this to get it out.