Annabeth Watters — Madison, Wisconsin

I admit that I have thought about you more than I should have in the past year (Dday – 07.18.16) I want to express to you that I feel sorry for you, I am thankful for you, and that I forgive you. I feel sorry for you as a woman who had no respect for herself or for others. I will never understand how as a woman and a mother you were willing to f*ck away your dignity. I often wonder: Did you ever think of how you were a contributing factor to the destruction of a marriage? Did you ever stop to think of your children or his daughter while you were sleeping with your married co-worker? Perhaps the affair opened your eyes, also. Perhaps looking back you are able to see the wife you callously hurt while you flirted and slept with a mere fantasy. Perhaps you are now able to see a family that was torn apart by your affair. Perhaps since you, yourself are about to become someone’s wife, you are able to see how selfish you and my husband were, and that it was wrong for you to focus on taking what was never yours. I pray that you never go through the heartbreak that I have suffered. My marriage is forever tainted from my husband’s (and your) insecurities and infidelity. It breaks my heart to know that our daughter was fully subjected to her father’s infidelity and that the bond and trust they once had is nearly gone. I hope your children don’t suffer from the affair as well. Children are innocent, and are molded from their parents’ experiences and actions. I doubt you would be proud of your son to learn someday he broke up a family because he chose to be an adulterer. No one just wakes up one day and says to themselves:”I think I’m gonna have an affair today.” I would like to think that you didn’t plan to try and tear apart my family. I don’t blame you for the affair. I blame my husband for act, and I blame myself for denying the truth as long as I did. After my husband went through rehabilitation and became sober, he was able to see the horror that he had created when he wrongfully decided that sleeping with you was somehow a solution to his pain. I want you to know that I recognize that he made you feel as though he was”someone that you could see yourself growing old with”, so you felt like it was ok to pursue him, and that you thought you might be able to make him happy because his current wife appeared to only be making him miserable. I know that you thought that you “knew”him, but the version of him that was with you was a drugged out husband – and what he was doing with you did not make him happy. You were a distraction. You helped him escape his reality. The affair has helped me open my eyes and has shown me how low, cruel and evil people can truly be. It has reminded me to always trust my intuition. I have come to terms with the fact that I couldn’t have been there for my husband because he was mentally and physically addicted and entirely lost as a husband and as a father, and that you were merely a passing phase. I forgive you because my husband has been 100% transparent with me, and has seen firsthand how much he lost by being involved with you. I forgive you because it is time for me to move on. I hope that you, too, are able to grow as I have from this experience. I hope for your children’s sake that you have spent some time reflecting, and that you may one day be a good person whom they can look up to. And I hope that for your upcoming marriage, you are not subjected to a wayward spouse. “Sometimes, we seek the gaze of another not because we reject our partner, but because we are tired of ourselves. It isn’t our partner we aim to leave, rather the person we’ve become. Even more than the quest for a new lover we want a new self.” – Esther Perel

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