family

'An open letter to the woman who tried to end my marriage while I was pregnant.'

Every day I wake up, and for the first moments I feel peace. I have my family, and what a gift they are. My husband and my girls give me all the love I need.

And then I remember. I remember the feeling when I saw the first suspect text message between you and him. You said ‘I think I just need my yoga teacher back’. Good, I thought. We were not in a good place, for a range of reasons that you will never understand (despite what you think you know). But it looked as though you were backing off and I was prepared to stop digging and let things resolve themselves. I resisted every temptation to confront you both, threw as much love as I could at the situation, and focused on the future.

And we got on with our lives together. We bought a house and decided to have a baby. But then you started turning up at his classes again. Messaging and calling and offering him that special brand of attention a man falls for when he needs validation. The kind of attention a woman who has absolutely no stake in the game, no responsibilities with this man, no life to organise, or kids to parent, or bills to pay can give. For someone who hangs her hat on how intelligent she is, your strategy with my husband was remarkably cliched and transparent. Not to him, obviously, but I knew exactly what kind of person you were from the first time he told me about the student who had opened up to him after class that day.

I remember the feeling when I knew you had crept back in. The hidden messages on his phone. When I knew he wasn’t where he said he was. When he called you, drunk, at 3am because he was obviously trying to spend the night with you. I was 10 weeks pregnant at the time. When I knew you’d been in my home by the bottle of wine you left behind.

And I remember the feeling of my heart sinking to my stomach and then breaking in to a million pieces when, with my newborn baby in the next room, I saw his messages to you describing your apparent prowess in the bedroom. And that he missed you.

It didn’t matter that your affair had ended some months before. In that moment, my world changed forever. Everything looked different. So this is what it’s like, I thought. This is my life now. I can never not know this happened.

You have no way of understanding this now, but growing and carrying human life is the most amazing and most vulnerable time of a woman’s life. To know that you continued to sink your teeth in to my husband and my marriage when I was pregnant with our first child together makes me sick to my stomach. To know that it continued, and that you continued to pressure him to leave me, even after I had given birth to our baby girl, is uncomprehendingly evil. Not to mention the absolute disregard for the commitment he had made to me and his stepdaughter, who completely idolises him.

Regardless of what you think you know about me or my marriage, there is absolutely no way to justify your actions. You actually know nothing at all about us. You got a blinkered, biased view of things from the perspective of a complex man who was deeply hurt and scared, and who acted like a coward instead of dealing with his emotions head on.

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You don’t know that he didn’t leave because the only thing he wanted was for our marriage to work. That he would see you, then call me and tell me how much he loved me and how much he wanted us to have a long and happy future together. That every day during my pregnancy he told me how beautiful I was and how excited he was for our next chapter together.

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It wasn’t right, and it makes me feel sick to think about how he could be so two-faced. But it’s important that you know that you didn’t have the full picture either. Your world should look very different now too.

At no point did you ever have the integrity to say you know what? This is wrong. No matter how I feel or what I want, there is a marriage and children at stake here. At no point did you support him to make the right choice. You were, and I imagine continue to be, so obsessed with your own needs and desires that you were absolutely prepared to destroy me and my family to get it.

But regardless of how close you think you came to getting what you wanted, you would have never even touched the sides of what I am capable of when it comes to the love I have for my family. You have no idea about our history and what we have battled together, to be together.

You chose the wrong wife to compete with. You didn’t stand a chance. Sorry.

In fact, through all of this, we have risen stronger and more in love than we could have ever imagined. I will not thank you for that. I only tell you this to show you what actual love is. It’s standing through the storm. It’s putting the needs of others before your own ego and arrogance. It’s facing the ugly truths of the situation and saying I will love you through this and put my pride aside for the sake of our love and our family. It’s about battling the absolute darkest of times with humility and grace, not fear and anger. It’s about what is true and right, not what you want or think you need.

But every single day my heart breaks all over again when I remember. It’s a daily battle. I am truly broken by what you’ve done. I don’t think that you care about that now. But one day, when you find the love you’re looking for and fall pregnant, I want my pain to be etched on to your brain. So you can feel what it’s like to be so brutally attacked in your most vulnerable state. And when you have a baby and hold that precious life in your hands, I want you to feel the pain of what it’s like to create such perfection and then have that memory forever marred by the selfish, malicious and hateful actions of the woman who decided your husband could be hers for the taking and stopped at nothing to try and make that happen.

Every day I remember. And, as hard as you will try to rationalise your choices, I hope you never forget.

This article was originally published on Medium and was republished here with full permission. 

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