couples

"I feel completely used by you." A letter to my husband and his new girlfriend.

A woman who is a mum of three and a registered nurse writes an open letter to her husband and his new girlfriend, whom she knew prior to their affair. The author of this story is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous for privacy reasons. 

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To my husband and his girlfriend,

First, to the new girlfriend. My connection to you was not one of kinship, but of circumstance. My husband's family employed you for many years. We were not friends but friendly. Friendly enough I had welcomed you into my family home. You and your then-boyfriend attended our wedding, you held our baby, I have met your partners, and I drove you home from Christmas parties and work events.

We were friendly enough for you to share intimate musings, such that you “don’t do kids”. You even shared with me anecdotes of the estranged relationship you experienced with your mother as a young girl. When we jovially tried to lull you into engaging with the baby, you baulked and the three of us laughed. I listened, I was polite, I was friendly, I was kind. I remember all of this. I especially remember your anti-children sentiment.

At 11 years younger than us, I also remember my husband referring to you as like a little sister to him. It seemed an odd but endearing association at the time.

I was deeply shocked and hurt when I read the messages between you and my husband. I did not ever consider my marriage to be at risk from another woman especially not someone who is known to me and my family. When I discovered your relationship my initial emotion towards you was one of concern. I was concerned that you had been preyed upon by an older male in a position of power, but this feeling was promptly extinguished when your entitled rhetoric superseded my marriage and my family. Now, every second weekend I am without my children and they are without their mother. My husband could say the same thing too. But he chose this. I did not and the children did not. I am handing over my children - my beautiful innocent children - to my husband and his girlfriend whose words reverberate around and around my head.

And now you both demand respect and civility. You need to reset your expectations of me. I cannot unsee what I have seen or forget your words and you will never ever know what I have endured and continue to endure from the words and actions of my husband, your boyfriend. The children have two parents. I urge you to stay in your lane and I will stay in mine. One day if you become a mother you will understand that the connection between a mother and her children cannot and will not be rivalled. You are not a threat to my relationship with my children and nor am I intimidated.

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To my husband, I feel completely used by you. I gave you the most. I listened, I heard you, I was polite, I was friendly, I was kind, I loved you, I trusted you, I respected you, I felt safe with you. My body gave our children breath, my ears are filled with their sounds. I was blind to your social aspirations as I lived in silence and sufferance with the disconnect from your words and actions. I was raising our children. You intentionally had children with me and married me when you knew you were not and could not uphold the values you promised. All the internal thoughts and concerns you fear people think about you are, in fact, true. I see it clearly now; you use people, you judge people and you do not hold yourself to the same lofty standards you bestow upon others. Now you are using the children to present like you are a good person and are “trying hard,” but deep down you are very aware of your inhibitions. I am grateful I have this opportunity to have a full and free existence, free of jealous, judgmental, angry and fake nuances.

One day our children will be adults and I desperately do not want them to deliver or receive the treatment I have endured. I do not want them to be silenced like I have. I want them to find their words, the kind words. Words that give and share and heal and empower and explain and love and trust.

When I see you both I am bereft of words. You call this manifestation “rudeness” but it is utter contempt and nonchalance. I am bereft of words because I cannot begin to understand how two people can behave so callously and recklessly with the lives of other people, especially the lives of three young children (eight months, three years and six years old).

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There remains the challenge to co-parent in a hostile environment. I will always turn up for my kids even when it is not “my time”. I am never not a mum. The only way I can see to move forward with any kind of civility would be for you both to acknowledge your actions and their impacts and to show me some respect, a teeny tiny bit of respect, at least as the mother of your children and the mother of your boyfriend's children.

Finally, please do not mistake my silence as rudeness. I am navigating my way through this murky water as best as I know how, with three young kids, a cat, a house and a full-time job. My load is full. Pleasing my husband and his new girlfriend with jovial greetings are not at the top of my agenda.

Pleasantries will ensue, in good time.

Feature image: Getty.


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