You are not so differentThe traditional family is fading away, a new report says.
Read more ...
Hot Toys November 2009Get ready for Christmas: Here are 10 Hot Toys You Should Know About!
Read more ...
The pain of the divorce gave me the gift of meeting many different people and gave me an opportunity to talk to people that had personalities with an enormous range. From suicidal to violent to shy and careful to amazingly heart driven. And I found people that I felt compatible with, compatible without compromises. People who were willing to give themselves up for another. People who have similar values as I do. People who make similar decisions as I do. People who deeply care for the things I care.
One thing in this search for friends I learned is that sometimes there is just black and white and no grey.
Being in my mid-30s, this is an interesting age range, in which there are apparently many single women, much more single women than single men. I was sometimes confronted with the choice to either continue a friendship by getting romantically involved or simply drop a developing friendship. Considering the fact that I knew you have had plenty of sexual encounters with other men and that you had what I considered an inappropriate relationship with Brian already, walking away from such opportunities, selfishly speaking, was difficult at times, especially if there were women I cared for and I knew they cared for me – cared in a way you never did.
But I declined friendships that were solely based on the condition of romantic touches. But what amazed me is the fact that I was not perceived as bad as you made me believe. Here are excerpts of one email I received after I told someone that I was not interested in a romantic relationship:
“I so wanted it to be you…..
Thank you for being honest to me and yourself. I am confused, though, because every time I saw you, you had sparks in your eyes and a grin from ear to ear, an eagerness that looked like you were going to jump out of your seat. I have not had that reaction from a man in ten years, and it so touched my heart. I cannot tell you how excited I would be to hear from you, if nothing than from a text message as silly as that may sound. I’d be damned if I did not look at that phone every five minutes for the past two weeks, but I have. I will be honest with you, not to make you feel any different, but for the first time I have let my walls down and let myself be vulnerable for you because I saw how honest and eager you seemed to want to be with me. I have had my heart broken badly, too, and I have avoided putting myself in that position again, until you. For that I am grateful as I have truly felt in the past many years that I have been incapable of having those deep, passionate feelings for anyone ever again, and at least now I know I can. I have no regrets of knowing you.
You are a romantic at heart; be careful. You will find a majority of the people out there in the dating world are not as honest as you would hope they would be. You are going through a hard time now with ex issues, housing issues and children involvement, and I am very willing to be patient as all of this is none of my business and that is why I gave you time and patience without interference. I could not help but think initially that I wish I had not met you so soon; I knew you were not emotionally ready for any relationship as you do not know yourself or what you really want or can achieve at a time so early after a divorce. If you “need a family you can attach to”, I am sure you will find a woman to do this for you; more than half of all marriages end in divorce, and most of them involve children. You are an articulate, passionate, handsome man with integrity, and a smart catch for any woman. Your wife has no idea what she gave up.
God, this is insane. I promised myself I would not cry about you, but I am.”
You never found words as powerful as these.
You could never describe the feelings you had or did not have. Letters to one another are not about a pre-printed birthday card and a few “x’s” and “o’s” at the end. How did I hate these “xxoo” endings in your cards and how often did I wish you would have expressed your feelings, if you had any, in words! You never made the effort. It did not matter to you, but it was also one way you could have showed that you cared. Maybe you did not.
I remember some holidays when I was out getting a card for you. I had a hard time finding a card that matched my feelings for you. I felt especially uncomfortable with those romantic birthday cards, because they did not reflect what I felt for you. You read all those nice flowery messages and, in recent years, I found it increasingly difficult to pick one of these. Those words did not fit anymore, somehow. It was not what I wanted to tell you, it was not honest. That is why I got most of the time funny cards. I do not know if you ever noticed that.
That email made me cry, from the perspective that I hurt someone emotionally, but also because someone was able to see within a few days what you may not have seen in more than a decade. Powerful words you were never able to give.
I often wonder about what you said what those new people will say when they “truly” know me. Am I so bad, as bad as you think I am, or not? Am I cold at heart? Or is this woman right when she says that you have no idea what you gave up? I am far from believing that, I am nothing special, but I think I am normal and I strive to be the best husband and father I can be.
If people recognize that I am trying to do just that, it feels good deep down in my heart. The email above came from a woman with a strong personality any man should be lucky to know. Interestingly enough, I learned that I may have appeared to be more normal, despite my flaws and the flaws you have seen in me, than many other guys. Many conversations I had were about other guys dating in this age range and seeing some women trying to find someone for several years and then approaching me in a very direct way after a few dinners was an interesting experience. It gave me a feeling that I can wait for someone special, someone I would be able to pick, and not someone who would pick me.
Someone you are truly interested in, for reasons of both emotional and physical attraction, and not either or. I never had this experience before in my life, as you know, and I have to be grateful that you have put me in this position.
Suddenly I began seeing life in a way I had never seen it before. I now have all the self confidence I need to be able find who I am truly looking for, without having to fear rejection, without the fear that I would have to be alone for the rest of my life, without the fear that I would be miserable in a way that would impact the life of my children forever.
I know I can have someone in my life to give me the stability I need to be the best father I can be.
More Lifecasts: Allison Nazarian | Shannon Ball | Letters To A Cheating Spouse
About the Author: A man sends letters to his cheating spouse. Read how the story developed, his experiences and lessons over time.