I addressed the first two letters( Letters of Hope- Part One, Letter of Hope-Part II ) to my younger self at two specific times when my distorted thinking led to involvement with married men. In those letters, I spoke directly to the young woman who desperately sought comfort and solace in the arms of men who could not provide what she needed. (What I needed) The final letter speaks to the betrayed spouse.
The pain and emptiness I felt for most of my life often engulfed me like a raging fire that consumes everything in its path. The flames were fueled continuously by repeated betrayal, deception and by the anger within my very soul. Occasionally, God would send someone to douse the fire temporarily. However, I often directed the anger inward. I hated who I became. From my perspective, God could not love me. After all, I repeatedly committed adultery and did not see how to end the cycle. I was a repeat offender. God never gave up on me. I am a living example of God’s unconditional love and grace. Perhaps a woman will read this letter and find solace in my words. I cannot imagine her pain. I can only describe what I believed during my encounters with married men.
I am reasonably sure that I am the last person you expected to write you a letter. I am surprised that I found the courage to speak to you. I want to tell you what I believed about you and your marriage during the months I slept with your spouse. I want to tell you what I felt and what he said that made the relationship less disgusting to me, less disgusting because I always felt dirty and wrong when your spouse left my side to return to you. I lived in constant fear that you would find out who I was and would come after me. You were powerful. You may not feel powerful, but you are very powerful. You hold his heart in your hands. He came to me to live out a fantasy, but you were always present.
He always talked about you.
I believed his lies when he said you didn’t care about him. Sometimes he convinced me that you were cold and harsh, but then I saw the gentleness in his eyes when he thought about you. I pretended he could love me, but I didn’t want him to love me. I was angry and wanted to be in control. If I loved him or he loved me, I was no longer in control. I believed that sex and love were equal. So, when he said you didn’t like sex, I convinced myself that you didn’t love him. I was wrong.
I longed for someone to fill the void in my soul and thought perhaps your spouse could fill the bottomless pit that became my life. I wanted to believe that you were horrible because that made what I did not so wrong. I convinced myself that you would never find out so you would not be hurt. I was wrong. It doesn’t matter whether you knew, I was wrong.
I did not set out to betray anyone.
I did not think about anyone but me most of the time. I was in so much pain from what my father did to me that I thought the only way to show love was sex. Being with your spouse did not take away the pain. Instead, it confused me even more. I mistook his affection for genuine caring. However, when I let down my guard, he broke my heart. I trusted him to care for me. He did not. He loved you, and in the end, he went back to you. I do not know if he stayed with you or if he ever told you about me, but I know I never heard from him again.
I don’t think you did anything to cause your spouse to stray to my arms. He is responsible for his behavior, and if there were issues, it was his responsibility to address them with you. Running to another woman is not the answer, ever. We all have weaknesses, and we are all sexually dysfunctional in some way. I think it is the curse of our culture. No matter what preceded the affair, your spouse’s behavior was wrong. My willingness to participate was wrong.
It takes time to forgive, and you never forget.
Forgiveness is a hard thing. It takes time to forgive, and you never forget. I don’t know you, but I hope you can forgive your spouse and me for our betrayal. I hope you have someone you can talk to who will listen to your raw emotion so you can heal. I hope you have God and Christ in your life and understand His grace. Without God’s grace, I would not be here. I hope my words bring comfort. The words are hard to write but more difficult for you to read. Perhaps this letter will help you understand that I am not a monster that wanted to destroy you. Hopefully, you can see me as a person who behaved wrongly, believed lies and pretended all was well with the world when I was with your spouse.
Asking for forgiveness,
The other woman