This is the final letter to my husband afer and life crippled with affairs.
February marks two years since I moved out. We have both faced so much hurt and pain. I have spent several nights tearful wishing things would return to normal, and we could put this behind us. It is still uncomfortable for me to discuss the events that occurred before I moved out. I never felt I could sit down and talk to you about this or it would be openly received. Most of our conversations have resulted in an angry exchange. I feel as we move on with our lives, you should know the truth. (Please know this letter is my account of events and emotions. I understand yours may be entirely different). This letter is long but short in comparison to the length of our marriage so bear with me.
The beginning of the end started shortly before our 20-year anniversary; we were sitting on the couch, and I asked to see your phone. You held your phone up and said, “See” refusing to let me look at it. All those feelings of suspicion, betrayal, hurt, anger, resentment and anxiety resurfaced. We were happy. We worked through so much over the years, and I felt we were finally in a good spot. The last affair with Franchesca devastated me! As I reflect back on that day, I often wish it never happened. Ignorance is bliss.
A wedding ring, in my opinion, symbolizes love, devotion and an agreement between two people. It means forever, oneness and unity – no beginning, no end. This was something that was not protected in our marriage. You always questioned why I did not wear my wedding ring I hope this bring clarity to my actions.
What I know:
Just before our 20-year anniversary, in 2012 you met Franchesca for lunch in Newport Beach
In 2004/2005, this was the woman you had an affair with and intimate relations. You moved out of our home to be with her. Our children were dragged into this affair. Jordan spent nights at her house and played with her children. Also, during this time, you ironically ran into her at Knott’s Berry Farm during Samantha's birthday. This affected our children in the years to come. I was aware and knew contact with Franchesca never stopped. I was not okay with this but scared to confront the situation. I almost lost you then and had fears of losing you now. I sincerely feel that if Franchesca did not reconcile with her husband back, then you would have left our family to be with her. There was casual conversation between you and her throughout the 12 years following your affair. Greetings for birthdays, New Year’s wishes and holidays. You even told her how she was the ‘only one’ that understood you. The last thing a wife wants to hear is her husband telling another woman how she understands him.
Unfortunately, I carried this information around for years. It was a weight on my shoulders. I did not feel I could tell anyone. I was embarrassed and humiliated. I felt alone. So when Jordan blurted out at dinner, he had intercepted an email between you and Franchesca, I was not surprised. I already knew. Once again, I swept it under the carpet and tried to forget I knew what was going on. Also, adding insult to injury, in 2012, I became aware of your relationship with Liz. A relationship that had been ongoing for 4 years.
During this time, I was not in a position to walk away from our marriage. I had just finished treatment for breast cancer and was unsure about the future of my health. I frequently thought to myself there was no way I could go through this again. I rationalized to myself I needed to be healthy for my kids and hang in there. If something was to happen to me, I never wanted our children to have ill feelings towards their father, feel the stress of a divorce and deal with an ill parent. The anxiety of a cancer diagnosis and knowing my husband was involved in another affair was incredibly overwhelming.
I will never forget the phone conversation you had with me one Easter while I was at work. You told me how happy and content you were. I was in disbelief. I felt alone, and my world seemed upside down. I was holding onto a secret. I was so afraid of bringing that hurt back. I never felt I could tell you what I was going through or what I knew.
Later that year I became close with a man from work. The majority of our conversations occurred while I was out of town for my grandfather's funeral. He was upset about his wife threating to leave him. We shared a lot in common. We were both hurt by our spouses. We spent many times on the phone discussing our situation. It was the first time I was able to tell, someone, what I had been going through. I never had an intimate relationship with this man, and never saw this man outside of work. There was never a conversation about an affair between us. We were, friends supporting each other in a difficult time. It was always clear to us we were in love with our spouses and wanted our marriages to work. (Please do not think I am trying to justify my actions. I just want you to understand the circumstances and how we began to converse.) Thinking back now I am grateful to this man for allowing me to see things for what they were. I honestly believe people come into your life for a reason.
Throughout the year after you discovered I was, talking to another man you assumed the worst. Daily you would remind me with constant accusations. You often said I changed during this time and I did. Not because I was having a wild affair but because you were. I was honest with you about our relationship and the context of our conversations. No Matter how much I argued, I could not convince you I was not in an affair or having an affair. I wanted to tell you what I knew about Liz and Franchesca but was afraid. You were so angry, and your responses were so uncharacteristic, I held it in. Meanwhile, the resentment I had for you continued to build. I never understood how you could meet a long time affair, have lunch, and continue to have contact with her and think that was okay. I was so hurt by this affair, and our marriage came close to ending. I was confused and angry how you could accuse me of something you were doing. Not only were you meeting a long time affair you were involved in another relationship with Liz.
Our relationship started to grow further apart, and the status of my health became favorable. I was going to be okay. During this time, you frequently asked me to do things as a couple, but the times we spent together felt awkward and accusatory. It became uncomfortable to come home. I began to avoid the home situation and started doing more things with friends. I went to Vegas with a girlfriend on valentimes day to avoid spending it with you. You didn’t understand this until now. You always “talked at me” and not “too me”. I would purposely leave my phone in the car to avoid your calls. I found myself telling white lies to avoid an argument or increase your suspicion. I was fearful to be left in a situation as before without support. I told myself I needed to develop more friendships, so if something happened between us, this time, I would have a support system.
Your behaviors at home became unbearable. You were angry all the time and rarely laughed. Jordan used to say we needed to have an intervention for you. At that time, he felt you were going to grow old and be alone; and Samantha avoided coming home and would sit in the Walmart parking lot. Home life was so troubled being out with friends was more enjoyable. I started to develop a life. I would have dinners after work, and did more with friends on my days off. I began to become independent of our marriage. I know longer looked to you for support but to my friends. I do understand how my actions lead you to be more suspicious. I have put myself in your shoes and do not blame you for your suspicions and concerns. I too would have thought the worst.
I never wanted our marriage to end but being with you became more uncomfortable. Despite everything I knew I was desperate to have our life back. I remember a time I pleaded with you to “smile. Let’s put this behind us and move on.” I wanted to feel comfortable with the man I loved. I wanted to be happy again.
Marriage counseling was scary to me. This meant I would have to let my guard down and give 100%. In the past, after your affair with one of the dancers from Captain Creams, we sought counseling. I gave 100% to making our marriage work. (I remember after this affair it being one of the happiest times in our marriage. It was a time you probably did not have another woman in your life). I let all my guards down and gave you everything I had only to be taken by surprise and be hurt by another affair two years later with Franchesca and now Liz. Therefore, when we went to counseling, this time, I walked in guarded. I was trying to protect myself from any more hurt and pain. I knew you would never be truthful with me about Francesca or Liz. I could not see putting all my cards on the table only to be hurt and lied to again. When I saw your therapist alone, I explained my situation and events of our marriage. I will never forget her words “You need to get out!” I found out about the affair with the women from Captain Creams, the eve of the bombing of The World Trade Center, on September 11, 2001. This marked a significant and sad day for the world. 911, for me, will always have significant meaning.
What I know:
Early in 2006/2007, you reconnected with an old friend Liz. This was just a few years after your affair with Franchesca and a time we were rekindling our marriage. You continued this relationship for many years until present. 12 years is a long time. It is precisely half of the time we were married. Liz, in 2012, was pressuring you into taking your relationship further. She was hurt and confused when you were noncommittal. You two enjoyed weekend getaways to Valley View Casino, Blues festivals at Thornton Winery, Hoops and Dreads Festival in San Diego, a Padre games, and countless trips to Vegas or she would meet you while you were on business for the fire department to name a few things. Additionally, there were many nights spent in La Jolla at the Marriott and more recently the Indigo Hotel.
After being enlightened by these events, and feeling I had beat cancer I began to talk about moving out. I honestly did not know what to do. I still am not sure I made the right choice and struggled with the decision I made. I began to think it was my only option to save our marriage. I felt that if I took a stance, you would see what we had. A scare tactic to save our marriage. I never confronted you with what I knew. I felt as long as another woman was involved in our relationship things could not be mended. It was not until you stood in the kitchen, getting ready for your trip to San Francisco, I made my mind up to move out. The icing on the cake sort of speak. Seeing the light. A personal wake up call. I remember the day well. Samantha, Brendon and I were going to look for a place to rent. Before you left on your business trip, you told me “Please don’t do anything until I get home. I love you.” You left on your trip to meet Liz after she had participated in the Nike Women’s half marathon in San Francisco. Once again, I was consumed with emotions.
I moved out February 1, 2014. This should not have come as a surprise. I pleaded on several occasions and asked you to change. I said time after time that I could not live like this anymore. Something had to change. You had to change. I guess this was my indirect way of telling you I was aware of the affairs. The initial month after moving out, I was a wreck. I was not ready to deal with the emotions I was having. For so long my coping was denial. I just needed time to sort through my feelings. This was bothersome to you and interpreted as me not wanting to be a part of our family. Initially, when I moved out, I signed a six-month lease. I found a roommate to help with the financial burden of having two households. I moved with the bare minimum, a couch, and a bed, this was temporary. I was working to save my marriage. The arguments continued. We argued about picking a counselor, and could not even agree on what ice cream store to go to. We never saw eye to eye and the situation started to feel permanent. I tried not to lose hope and felt we could still reconcile.
Moving out was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I left the comfort of my home. A home I hung every curtain and picture. I left my kids, dog and the man I loved. You once told me I was the strongest person you knew, but I ruined your image of me. It took a strong person to walk away from everything we worked so hard to build and endure years of infidelity. I left my son in the most important years of his life and emotionally I could not be available to him. He thinks the worst of me. He is furious with me and has no problem calling me a whore. He has been a witness to your emotional turmoil over the past two years and has overheard more than we know. Unfortunately, he has only observed one side of this conflict, yours. I hope someday he realizes the sacrifice I made to ensure he was raised in a home with two parents. Unfortunately, I could not continue to live a lie. I was so emotionally broken and needed to work on myself. I stayed as long as I could. I hope someday he will realize why I did what I did. Jordan and I have always had a strong connection. I hope we can reconnect in the future the way we use to. I am still infuriated with you for your selfishness and disrupting my relationship with my son. This is my one regret.
Since the time I moved out. A time we were working to save the marriage. You have signed up for multiple dating sites like plenty of fish, our time, match.com, Elitesingles and Ashley Madison. There have been many other women besides Franchesca and Liz along the way like Christy Parker, Kristine Newton and recently Alynne Barrueta. In the past two years, you have had countless hotel stays at the San Diego Marriott, La Jolla Marriott, Newport Marriott, Long Beach Renaissance Hotel, Irvine Marriott Courtyard and San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter. You have paid and flown at least two women to Vegas, and recently flew another woman to Houston to meet you while you were on business for the fire department. You have started a new medication; Cialis in which you told me was given to you for high blood pressure. Being a nurse for 23 years, I know Cialis is not used for high blood pressure. There have been countless dinners out, and concerts attended. I can only imagine the amount of money over the years (our money) it has taken to finance your lifestyle.
Please do not misinterpret this letter. I did not write this letter to point fingers or blame. I could not carry the hurt and pain that has plagued me for years. I thought you should know why I acted the way I did.
Throughout my marriage, I was always confused why there was so much tension between us. Please understand why, when I moved out, your pleads, and expression of hurt were ignored. I could not hear your hurt and pain knowing you were in another long time affair with Liz. You had not been truthful with yourself or me. I remember a conversation we had; you told me tearfully “I have not done anything. I have been good all these years since Franchesca.” You truly have/had no know idea what I knew or emotionally endured over the years. I know all the accusations you accused me of was a reflection of your own guilt.
I feel life has been unfair. This is not what I wished for our lives. You often said “We had everything” but, in reality, we had nothing but a marriage crippled with countless infidelities. I often get angry with myself for staying in such a relationship and wish you would have let me go earlier in our marriage. You have often said to me that I wasted the last 3 years of your life; I feel as though I have lost the last 24 years of mine.
I was looking forward to retirement, grandchildren, holidays and to grow old together, not divorce, living apart in a broken family. I feel I truly gave the marriage every chance available. I have been in counseling for the two years I have lived in my apartment trying to work through the hurt and resentment. Through counseling I know that returning to this marriage was never an option. Since 2001, 16 years, you truly have lived a double life. You had once said, “This messed you up. You could never trust anyone again.” I empathize with your feelings. I remained faithful in our marriage.
Please understand the decision for divorce has not been made hastily. I have patiently waited hoping you would end the affairs and devote yourself to our marriage and family. I have tried on numerous occasions to put this marriage back together. I sacrificed my self-esteem and self-worth. I have hung on for years and accepted you back under the worst circumstance. The years of betrayal and infidelity sadly has led me here.
I cannot help to think about the lies you have told family, friends and women throughout the years. I am sure they too like Jordan think the worst of me. Unfortunately, it has been your story. It has not been until now that I am finally able to share my 24-year story.
To family, friends and the women that doubted me let this be a lesson never to judge someone until you have walked in their shoes and remember there is always two sides to a story. A motto to live by for sure. To the women mentioned in this story bear in mind this is only a fraction of affairs that occurred. I am certain there is more that I am not aware of, and more I have chosen not to mention. I do not hold the women involved with you accountable. You clearly have a problem.
Franchescha, the intent of this letter is not to place blame. You have no reason to feel responsible for the failure of my marriage. Even If your affair with Steve never happened, it would have occurred with someone else like Lizz. My anger is not directed towards you. My hope in you reading this letter, is that you can reflect on your own marriage, and cherish what you have. If it is a wake up call it has served its purpose.
As I look to my furture I pray there will never be another person that causes me the hurt and pain I have experienced with you.
It would be a cliché to say I wish you the best and happiness so I will leave that for a time when I have thoroughly worked through my resentment and forgive you.
Please read the divorce papers and contact my lawyer for questions.