Below is a letter my former husband wrote shortly after I had told him that our marriage was over. He spent two weeks trying to convince me to give him time to ”˜once again’ prove he could be the man he was meant to be.
When we married 11 years earlier he was handsome, successful and fun. We met after my loveless first marriage. I was a happy outgoing person but he knew about my withdrawn ex husband and so it was easy to ”˜love bomb’ me. I found his confidence, energy and zest for life intoxicating.
There were the expected adjustments to our new married life, and on occasion I saw a different side to him that I didn’t see during our 1 ½ year courtship, and when I did it unnerved me. While we dated, we had just one argument, a few weeks before the wedding. That was it. He was someone with a big personality, with an ego to match. When something did not meet his expectation — he made it known. I pushed my concerns aside and attributed his demeanor to a strong sense of self and an intact backbone. That was rather refreshing as my first husband had low self esteem and was frustratingly wishy washy. Nate was his complete opposite and he convincingly addressed any concerns I had.
He wore his mask well
I attributed any uneasiness about marrying him more towards having a new man in my kids’ lives. We envisioned the same kind of future together. He painted a beautiful scene and I believed him. We were financially comfortable for several years with investments and multiple rental properties. But one by one they had to be liquidated.
We did have many good times though and he enjoyed putting his energies into his step-kids, taking them to their sporting events and socializing with my extended family.
The good was great — but the weird stuff made me want to vomit
Over time I saw aspects to his behavior that had me baffled, unsettled and the mistrust was beginning to grow. It was not about fidelity. It was financial and how he treated people. That gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach told me that something wasn’t right. He could say the right things but seemed insincere. His actions spoke volumes. I saw love as a verb and he made many false promises. When he’d say something inappropriate at social gatherings, I would point it out; he’d thank me lovingly and promise to work on his behavior, as he hated being so ”˜misunderstood.’ All to no avail.
When his successes were waning, he would squelch my concern and tell me the next business deal was just around the corner. The debts mounted (from every direction) and I stopped answering the phone as the credit cards maxed out. I still saw glimmers of good in him and he repeatedly told me he would never give up. I had to believe he could pull off another successful venture to dig us out of the financial pit he had put us in or else I knew they would take our house away.
However, I was beginning to be sickened by the thought that perhaps I had no real idea of who this person really was. I came to question his ”˜truths ‘and his double talk and elusive answers made me think I was losing my mind. He later told me he was ”˜protecting’ me. With each failing business his thinking became more grandiose, delusional. Others who invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in his ventures were about to get a rude awakening.
Treating people badly
I grew to despise him. When things started to go sideways, I heard him treating people badly, with disrespect once they started to question his motives. He was condescending. That started to seep into more of his personal relationships as well. He could be mean to me and others.
I felt anger not only towards him but myself as well for still being in this marriage. I was betraying myself, my inner core. I knew I could no longer share my life with someone who appeared to lack a conscience, without integrity and who bullied those who tried to hold him accountable. I would lay awake at night practically hyperventilating with anxiety while he would sleep peacefully. I just couldn’t figure out what made him tick. His behavior was foreign to me. He could be so sweet, yet something very dark lurked behind those intense eyes.
Plotting to leave
I stayed long enough for my kids to finish high school. Although he had been mostly good to them, my boys and their friends saw that Nate was socially awkward and at times caused them much embarrassment. But my kids didn’t know the scope of my disdain for him or just how bad our financial situation really was. My eldest told me later he knew that I could not honestly love a man who behaved like that.
I knew I had to leave the marriage but I needed more time to figure out how to get out without total financial ruin. Was bankruptcy my only option? I was always active and upbeat but the stress had zapped my energy as well as dealing with my beloved father’s unexpected death and family issues that followed. I had to secretly save up enough cash to figure out a way to make a new start for myself. He constantly told me how much he ”˜loved’ and ”˜adored me.’ but I believed once I told him I would no longer be his wife, he would walk away and leave me to handle the ugly mess. And I was right.
The bank forced us to sell our house and the timing was perfect to tell him we were done. I went out of town to a friend’s place to catch my breath and prayed that once I returned he would have moved out. When I got back and told him there was no chance that I would change my mind, he left a day later citing that I was abusing him. Later, I found this letter on my computer that he wrote while I was away, but since I wouldn’t go back on my decision I never received it.
“The tenderness is returning. Once again we are talking as we always should have. We are suddenly a team, if only to end our tenure as one.
How to be in peace with you and we are splitting up. And this and our new found inter-dependency are why I am certain, more than ever before, that we are so right for each other. Not only just right, but ”˜so right.’
I know you are impressed with how I have handled this (your wanting a divorce) of how I have championed us and reacted in such a here and now way. Of how present I am in the moment, though sometimes showing signs of duress but only occasionally. For the most part just very on the ball and I will always stay that way.
My desires are five-fold going forward:
One: To tell everyone that there is still a chance for us, as there is and I know this in my heart of hearts.
Two: to spend time talking to a third party who can be nonjudgmental. To help you understand what happened to me in our marriage and for us to get on the same page for a chance to make it though this time and still grow old together. I have asked Dave if he will and he was very willing.
Three: To make sure we make time for each other even after we split. Remember when we talked at night for hours while we were dating? Remember how good it was? That is still in us!
Four: To make love so you can see that love making between us CAN be good again. And I know it can, because I know how I feel and I ”˜feel’ you.
Five: to stay married.
Ultimately I have to prove to you that you can feel inner peace with me. Not only with me but living with me and I have two months to do that portion of this five-fold plan before the house closes.
Everything from improved personal hygiene to kindness all must be displayed so you know when leaving that what happened to us was a culmination of bad feelings which lead to bad habits and not the way either of us should live.
Living in peace is not just finances. It is how we treat others too. Most need to feel warmed by us (not everyone can) and this is easy to achieve. The reason why it is so easy is that we both care about others and once the personal issues are out the way this can shine through as it has at times in the past.
Ultimately I need to be respected — this is just me I am talking about — to function properly. I have not felt this from you in years and now I feel it again. And I am overjoyed because I know you can treat me well. That is part of what was making me upside down for so long. And at times when you said “I don’t know if I can treat you that way” I went into wait mode instead of pushing the panic button and getting a third party involved (counseling) this was my error — I take full responsibility for it.
Lastly for everything you have done to me I forgive you 100%. Now I forgive you 1000% (ten times 100%) If you will simply forgive me I can then rebuild the feelings between us from my end.
Forgiveness means that you have to let go of this notion that I stole our nest egg money from the house. At no time did I ever feel awkward about that because I helped pay for the house twice in our marriage and I knew I could do it a third time. What I did not foresee was two business issues in a row.
But the way it all worked out with the bank and lawyers was better, if we had the money to pay off the mortgage we would still be together but we would not have solved the issues between us.
Now the issues between us can get rectified and give us a chance to live together in peace after a brief year apart. If you really think about it, what had to happen has happened and it is for good.
The promise that was made in our vows is still alive. We both have to change to be happy and we will and we can, live in total peace.
I will go on to create some of the most energy efficient example homes in the world. I will prove out new ideas and new technology. This will lead to very stable finances and well above average income. And I will build you a dream house. Just give me a year and you will see you will move into a great house that my team will build to your own specifications!
If for any reason this ”˜dream’ does not work out, the house will still be yours.
I love you, I remain yours forever,
Delusional and self-serving
I am sharing this letter so that the Lovefraud readers can see how delusional and self serving a sociopath’s thinking can be. There was no ”˜tenderness’ and I was never ”˜impressed’ with anything he did after I made my decision. His ”˜team’ that was going to build me a dream house consisted of one guy. Once he knew I had figured him out as a (sociopath) I knew he would not come around again.
He moved out of town with barely a few dollars to his name and slept on his sister’s couch. Shortly after he found a new customer to do some renovations for, then sweet talked his way into her home and life. Last I heard he was hiding from the tax man, ministry of transportation, suppliers and upset customers. NO ONE from our past wants anything to do with him.
Yet he still presents himself as someone who has it all together. Of course.
There has been no contact since the house closed. It took a few incredibly difficult months to sort out the financial mess then I proceeded with the divorce on my own.
But I saw the light!
The last 18 months of my life have been incredibly freeing. Financially there is much less. Emotionally I have never felt more abundant. I never had to ”˜heal’ after the split as I felt like I had escaped a kind of prison. I have found joy again and my sons say they have never seen me happier.
Please listen to your inner voice and do whatever you have to do to get away and stay away from the person that brought crazy into your life. They do not change. I give immeasurable thanks for Donna Andersen and Lovefraud. This site had it all make sense. And now we move forward. Most importantly we forgive ourselves, because sometimes there is no better feeling than knowing, we are not alone.