If you have read my first blog post, you will have seen that when I began writing to my soon to be ex-wife, I never intended it to become a blog, or anything that anyone would ever see. I wrote this one night and decided it felt too good to not be real. I hope that my ramblings will continue to help me heal, and who knows. Maybe it will help someone else as it has me. I am still not comfortable with releasing names, so names have been changed to protect identities.
June 20, 2017 1800hrs
I don’t know where to begin. I don’t exactly know why today of all days this happened, but I guess today is as good as any. I don’t know if you’ll read this (hell I don’t know if I will even send it), but for some reason I feel the need to write. Some of what I will say will probably seem cruel or harsh, some of it will seem as though I am kissing your ass. The truth is, I don’t care. These are my words albeit harsh or loving. These are my feelings albeit right or wrong.
Today a co-worker was asking for recommendations on a vacation spot. They were looking for somewhere tropical and warm. Naturally I said Punta Cana, DR. I mentioned the bars and said how beautiful it was. Seeing as this is where we spent our honeymoon, it naturally made me think of you. Until now I have done a pretty good job of putting you from my head anytime you pop up. Maybe pretty good job is exaggerating a bit, but you get the idea. Today though, you stuck. I couldn’t convince myself to let your thought disappear from my brain. I ended up googling your name and clicking on your Facebook profile.
When the image popped up, I had mixed emotions. It took me a second to realize that the baby you were with was Ethan. “Ok,” I said to myself, “She’s in South Carolina. Must be nice.” I got angry. How could I be here paying (or trying to pay) for all our mutual bills while she is off having fun in South Carolina?? How is that fair?? Then I thought to myself, “Wow she looks beautiful.” ” No!! Stop thinking that!” I closed out the picture of you and tried to get back to work. A few minutes later, I said something to Nicole. I told her that I wanted to hate you. I wanted to hate you for everything that you have done to me. I wanted to stop thinking about you. I just wanted you out of my head. But the truth is that I don’t and I can’t. I still love you. I still miss you. I still think about you. I think the notion of hating you is just a way to make things easier. When I am mad, it’s easy to not think about you. It’s easy to stop crying and to put you from my mind. There are days that that is possible. On day’s that it is not possible; well let’s just say those days tend to be the longest. Today is one of those days.
On the ride home I thought a lot about you. I tried to call people to distract myself, but it didn’t work. I thought about all the things that I wanted to say but couldn’t. I think that is where the idea of this letter, or diary, or whatever came from. I don’t dare call, or text, or email you. But if I write this all down maybe I can send it to you when this is all done and over with. I don’t know if you’ll ever read it, but that’s ok. It feels good to get it out. So now that I have explained the why, let’s begin.
Today my thoughts wandered back to the beginning. I thought about what went wrong, how did we get so far off track. You were right about one thing, we have always argued our entire relationship. But I honestly do not think that that is what brought us to today. Yes we argued, what couple doesn’t? Did we yell and scream at each other? Yes. But somehow, we knew that in the end we would be ok. You and I have a very different view of the past and our relationship. I think things were going along the natural progression of things. Dating, serious dating, moving in together, house, puppy, engagement, wedding. So maybe we got a few of them out-of-order, but the flow was there. Of course this road was never easy, but we got through it. We still wanted to marry each other. Beyond the fighting we still wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. I don’t think things started going so wrong until early 2016.
The first four months of our marriage seemed (at least in my eyes) to be going normally. We argued (as usual), but we still talked about our next steps. We were trying to have a baby, we were working hard (especially in your case) and life progress in a normal chaotic state. You worked so hard in school and at work trying to better yourself for our future. I was and still am today so immensely proud of you. Not a lot of people could have put up with all that stress and chaos, but you did it each day with an obligatory smile (as you would say) on your face. Maybe that first semester of stress on top of everything else is what started the symptoms again.
About four months into our marriage, you began having symptoms of another tumor. You were getting the dizzy spells, the sweats, the migraines, the heart issue. This, for me, is where things got really hard. All of the memories from your first tumor came rushing back to me. Being stranded hours away from you when you black out, your car accident, the countless hours spent in a billion doctors offices, the testing, the unknown. How could this be happening again. You were right, I didn’t handle it well. I was scared shitless. What would happen? What would they find or worse, not find? So began the routine of this doctor and this doctor, and this blood test and that urine test. I don’t remember how long it went on before they finally told us we needed to go to the Mayo Clinic, but when they did it was a relief and a terror all at once.
I said it before, but I will say it again. This trip scared me to my very core. I know how badly you wanted me to see this as a vacation in the winter to Florida, but I couldn’t. You know how I am. You know how old-fashioned I am, and you have known it from the first day we met way back in Morrisville. My job is to do everything in my power to take care of you, to watch over you, and to guard you. I wanted to be your “Knight in Shining Armor” and yet I sat here powerless to fight off what was hurting you. This drove me crazy. During our time in Florida, we fought a lot. I tried so hard to be doing everything at once. Taking care of work remotely, trying to deal with the insurance, FMLA, doctors. I was so consumed by the stress and anxiety of being there, that I didn’t do the one thing I needed to do. I didn’t watch over you. I know during this time you began to lean on Brian, and I think that somehow made it worse. I am not blaming you. You needed someone to be there and I wasn’t. But Florida was not all bad. We did get to enjoy some time together and do somethings as a team. Looking back, I wish I never would have brought my laptop with us. I wish I wasn’t working. I wish I wouldn’t have worried about the money and the insurance. I wish I would’ve just kicked back and leaned into you like you needed me to. I know this is where I went very wrong. I am so sorry, and nothing that I do can make that easier.
The months preceding that trip grew ever harder. This is where the fighting and yelling became a problem in my mind. The thing is, I knew something was going on. I begged and pleaded and even yelled to try to get you to open up. With each passing day I could feel you slipping away further and further. Our marriage quickly became a shell. We just ran the routine and fought when our paths crossed. You were right, it was miserable. If you remember correctly there were multiple occasions where I asked you if you wanted to be married. I asked if there was someone else, and you just kept telling me no. I felt like I was crazy. I could feel deep down in my stomach that something wasn’t right. My heart ached for you even sitting across the table from you. I think my heart knew what my brain didn’t. When I finally found that message to Brian, my world came crashing down around me.
How could you tell another man he was your soul mate? How could you have such deep intimate conversations with a man while you husband longed to feel close to you? When you confessed to the affair, I had no idea what to do. One one hand I wanted to go. I felt like I just needed to jump in my truck and go somewhere where no one knew me, where I could forget my life and start over. But the other side of me wanted to stay. I loved you. You were my bride. I stood there in front of God and our family and friends and promised them all that I would love honor and cherish you through sickness and in health, through better or worse. This was a test. God was testing me and I wanted to pass the test. You promised me that night that things were over between you two. You promised that you were just work partners and that nothing else would go on. You knew you were wrong and you were sorry. Things got better. I thought that maybe I passed the test. Maybe we could get through anything as long as we had each other. That only lasted about a week. My trust in you was broken. You just wanted me to move on and rebuild, but as I mentioned in the past, you never came back to me. Your heart was still so guarded and it wouldn’t let me in. A couple of weeks after this Brian went into the hospital and you stayed with him. You sat by his bed day and night and I didn’t say a word. I cried to myself, and told myself that I needed to let you do this. I brought you coffee and sat there talking to you while you stood guard by his bedside. As horrible as it sounds, I was jealous. I wanted to be him in that moment. I wanted the love and affection you were showing to him. I just wanted to feel loved and cared for. The emotional affair never ended because you still loved him and put him ahead of me. I’m sorry for how harsh this sounds but it’s true. He may not have had family to be there for him while he was in the hospital, but what you did for him was more than friendship. It was love. Part of me still wishes that the affair had been a one night stand or something sexual. Maybe that would’ve been easier to deal with. At some point during the next couple weeks, we tried to be physically intimate. You couldn’t get going and I tried to hard. Maybe it was your subconscious not letting you do anything because of the affair, maybe you lost all interest in me, or maybe it was your past coming back. Whatever it was doesn’t matter. That marked an end to any form of intimacy. I know that you don’t believe it is necessary, but physical intimacy does play a key role in the closeness that a husband and wife feel. I truly think that without it, a gap is created and that gap is dangerous. That night I told you to just let go, it was all in your head. I tried to proceed with things. I know this was a mistake. I know that you have a past of abuse in this area (although I did not know to what extent), but I truly didn’t mean anything negative by it. In the past you had issues and I though that if you could get out of your own head for a minute, you’d be fine. When you said stop, I did. From here on out the coldness only became colder. Things quickly returned to status quo.
Over the months to come nothing changed. We barely saw each other, intimacy was non-existent, and it felt like we were distant roommates who kissed quickly before bed and in the morning before leaving. I tried to snuggle, to watch movies, to have dates. It didn’t matter. Our marriage was cold as ice. I had no idea what was really happening during this time. Nothing really changed leading up to fall of 2016. We stayed cold and distant. We fought non stop. I still felt like there was something more you weren’t telling me. Like something was still keeping you away from home. When you went to visit Sarah in South Carolina, I was so excited to redo the bedroom for you. I know that you had wanted to do more to the house, but we really didn’t have the money. I wanted to take you away for our one year, but we didn’t have the time or the money. I guess I had hoped that something would rekindle our flame.
When you finally saw what I had worked so hard on, you seemed truly underwhelmed. I was so hoping to knock your socks of with the remodel of the bedroom. I don’t know if you truly didn’t care for it, or if we had just been so cold for so long that we couldn’t show each other any real emotion. I do know that it hurt. I had it built up in my head that this token would be what it took to turn things around. I thought I could win back my bride. I guess it was a longshot. That was the one of a one-two punch. I was hit but I wasn’t knocked down. The next day when we went grocery shopping and we were talking about how to celebrate our one year anniversary, I felt like we were speaking totally different languages. I just wanted to know how you wanted to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Mom wanted to throw us a party and I didn’t know if you wanted to do that or something private. I feel like this was such a silly little thing to decide. You just kept talking about money and we couldn’t afford it. It just felt like you didn’t care about the anniversary at all. That was the left hook coming in. I was down, I was defeated. I was so hurt and so angry that I couldn’t do anything right. What I did next was a mistake.
We got home from the grocery store and I went and sat on the couch. I had just had enough. When I yelled out to ask if you had returned Chris’ ladder to him, and you said you didn’t, it was game over. I don’t know if it was all the months building up, the lack of interest in our anniversary, or what, but I lost it. I’ll admit yelling like I did and storming out was a mistake. When you came running out the door yelling “You’d shit yourself if you came home and I wasn’t here. Go find somewhere to cool off.”, I should’ve bit my tounge. My irish temper couldn’t hold back so I yelled back “Why don’t you go cool off because obviously spending a week apart wasn’t enough!”. Biggest mistake of my life. You were right though.
When I came home and you weren’t there, I did shit myself. I was so scared. You packed a bag, took Ollie and left. I had no idea what to think, but I didn’t expect what happened the next day. I remember taking the morning off hoping you would come home so we could talk. When you finally came home and told me you wanted a divorce, my world shattered. At that moment in time, I took the entire burden of the failed marriage on myself. My depression, my low self-esteem, my anxiety had all teamed up to ruin the best thing that had ever happened to me. I just wanted to disappear, to fall asleep and never wake up. The next day you came home and continued the punishment. I still have the picture you sent me with the quote saying that he stole all her joy and love and that he ruined her life. I spent what felt like hours listening to you tell me how I bankrupted you, how I destroyed your life, how I sucked you dry, I ruined your career, etc. I took it all. I believed it all. I took that whole weight on my shoulders. I could’ve let that crush me.
It was a heavy burden. So heavy that I almost fell. Almost. But in the words of my father “Delaney men are too damn stubborn to know when to roll over and die.” So what’d I do? I stood up. Very, very slowly, I rose up. I began counseling, I got on meds, I spoke with Pastor Carl, with Cahill, with my family, my friends, and I prayed. I prayed a lot. I was too stubborn to die. Not like this. I’m not going down like this. I remember telling Bryan on our way to hunting camp that I refused to give up until I could look in the mirror and say that I gave 110%. That promise to myself was soon to be tested.
It’s now 2030. I have been writing this on and off since 1800. I have so much more that I want to say, but my thoughts are getting scrambled. I think I will leave it for another night. Thanks for listening so far (if you have). This does seem to be a little therapeutic.