A Letter to Julie from her miserable husband Matthew
by Matthew Em Jones
(Des Moines, Iowa)
I can never begin to make up for the way I have treated you. I know that the anguish and anger I see in your eyes is caused by me. You are a perfect match to me. Your inner strength and kindness is always a breath of fresh air when I am suffocating on my insecurities. You have loved me unconditionally, and been a better wife than I could have ever expected.
I am sorry for cheating on you. I am sorry for the pain I have caused you. I am sorry for the damage done to our marriage, and our friendship. When I cheated I threw away 33 years of friendship. I abused you in the most vile of ways by being unfaithful. The shame I feel cannot compare to the despair I feel for having hurt you.
I have taken something beautiful, and for the story books and defiled. I broke my vows to honor and cherish you. I took you for granted when I should have been taking you into my arms. I am not worthy of your forgiveness.
I remember the first time I laid eyes on you in the fifth grade. My heart raced. My mouth went dry. I couldn't think straight. Every time I saw you after that I had the same physical response.
No one has ever affected me that way. Not before and not after.
As the years went by, I always hoped that one day we would connect, and at 24 years old we had a month together that I wouldn't exchange for anything. I remember telling Adam that I thought you were the one, I had never been happier in my life.
Then life happened, and we were torn away from each other. The death of your friend drove you back into 'his' arms and out of mine. I cannot describe the bleakness that life became after that. But life went on, and I ended up with the woman that became the mother of my daughter.
She and I were miserable, and I ended up in an emotionally abusive relationship. More time passed, and your memory still bright, came less frequently. Then 10 years after our being separated, fate put us together again. 13 months and we were married. The next 7 years were the best years of my life. You fulfilled every facet of my life completely. You completed me.
I take the stroll down memory lane to show you that I have taken the most important thing in my life and destroyed it. After our lives were torn asunder by my brilliant plan to use our home as a grow op, and subsequently arrested, you had every right to be furious with me.
I should have put my pride to the side and done whatever it took to make amends. I should have known that everything wasn't right between us. I should have made it clear to you that I was sorry for the humiliation you felt when we were plastered all over the news. That the shame you felt was my fault. But I didn't.
We spent the next 3 years spiraling away from each other, while each of us, in our own way was trying vainly to prevent the separation. You withdrew deeper into yourself. and were the rock that I clung to. You supported me financially when I couldn't find work. You supported me emotionally but I was blind to it.
Our sex life fell apart, and I blamed you. I never listened to you when you talked. I was oblivious to your pain. I was too concerned with my confusion to look to yours. We have never been good at communicating, and those three years definitely show that. Those three years are also the last three years we have had together.
There is no excuse for my betrayal. There is no reason on earth for my behavior. You have been more than patient with me, and then I destroy any chance of us finally pulling it together by sleeping with that person.
I feel a pit of despair in my soul when I think of what I did to you. You did not deserve the last three years. You deserve so much more than that. If I could erase the pain and anguish I have caused you I would. I would wipe it all away, but I can't. There is nothing I can say to you that will make anything better.
I am sorry for letting you down. I am sorry I have ruined your life. I am sorry for neglecting you. I am sorry for wasting the last ten years of your life. I am sorry for destroying our marriage. In the end, I am sorry to have extinguished the light in your eyes.
I have no right to expect forgiveness from you. I so desperately want it all to go away, but that is a dream. In reality, I realize I am a broken person, with deep seated fears and insecurities that I try to minimize by deflecting them onto others. I did something terrible by cheating. I ruined a chance at happiness for a few moments of lust. I am so terribly sorry for all of it.
I have sought counseling, and am starting next week. I hope that one day you will look on me with something less than the revulsion I see in your eyes now. I will strive to be a better human being. I will try to be the man you thought you saw those many years ago.
Though I have no right, I am still prostrating myself before you and asking you for your forgiveness. I don't expect it. I certainly don't expect it soon. But I hope that you do find it in your heart to forgive me.
I don't know how to end this letter of apology, or if this will ever be read by you. I don't know what the future holds. I don't know if you will ever find me in your heart again. The one thing I do know is you are the most incredible person I have ever met.
I am sorry for wasting our marriage Julie, and I hope one day you forgive me.
Your cheating, soon-to-be-ex-husband,
Matthew Em Jones