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Apology Letter - Opinions?

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ChamomileTea posted 5/12/2019 15:02 PM

I don't imagine that The1stWife is meaning to take a completely passive approach, only that you step back and watch your WW in a more clinical way. Like, if you're a parent who over-helps the kids with homework to the point you're doing it instead of them. You'd probably step back a bit, only offer suggestions when asked, and only give instruction in a general way in order to see how they apply it. Their final grade would more accurately portray the effort and understanding they put into it at that point.

There's a book called Unhealthy Helping by Shawn Burn that can give you a bit more insight into making boundaries when you're a bit of a "helper".

Carissima posted 5/12/2019 15:13 PM

If your wife is who I think she is I have been reading her posts over in the Wayward forum. Perhaps ask her to post the letter there and ask for feedback from other WS who are further along in the process.

NeverHealed posted 5/12/2019 15:16 PM

Saddestdad

I get it. I didn't want to give my WW a list of things, then every day she could check off, ďI've done 4 and 5, but I still need to get in 8.Ē

I wanted it to come from her heart.

I'm still waiting for that to happen, for the most part.

Maybe tell her, as I might tell my WW, ďthink if things were reversed, what would you want, then do those things.Ē

GoldenR posted 5/12/2019 15:19 PM

To me, it reads more like a list of reasons to leave her, all the while never mentioning the word "affair".

Weirdest apology letter ever.

Edit: looks like I'm not the only one that noticed

[This message edited by GoldenR at 3:20 PM, May 12th (Sunday)]

SaddestDad posted 5/12/2019 15:35 PM

If your wife is who I think she is I have been reading her posts over in the Wayward forum. Perhaps ask her to post the letter there and ask for feedback from other WS who are further along in the process.

Whether she is or isn't, asking her to do so would once again be doing the exact thing that's been frustrating me and the process. WS' in the wayward forum also have access to General, and they can give the same suggestions here as they do/can over there. In other scenarios, your suggestion would be excellent, and I thank you for that Carissima.

NeverHealed, exactly! That's part of the problem I'm having. It's extremely frustrating and makes any effort look like it's only being done just for the sake of LOOKING like it's being done/being able to say it was.

GoldenR, I know what you mean. In fact, the more I read it, the more it reads like a reverse-psychology case study...

SaddestDad posted 5/12/2019 15:37 PM

Chamomile, that's a good analogy. Thank you for that. What about in a case where the parent knows the homework will either remain untouched or copied from a classmate if they don't stay on top of them?

Carissima posted 5/12/2019 15:44 PM

Saddestdad, it's possible they haven't linked the two of you. I'm a BS and I only just put the pair of you together today when I clarified something that had been posted. That's why I suggested posting the letter over there.

SaddestDad posted 5/12/2019 15:48 PM

Fair point.
I'm updating my signature. Thank you, Carissima. Needless to say, I still won't ask nor suggest for her to, but you're right that it should be clarified to begin with, especially as advice is case-by-case prudent.

Chrysalis123 posted 5/12/2019 16:09 PM

You have the right to not try. The right to disconnect. The right to walk away. The right to be cruel and selfish.

Why in the world would you be cruel and selfish if you decide to move on? How many years was she actively betraying you, deceiving you, manipulating you, and lying to you as well as stealing time and resources?

This part of the letter is the real her. She is not safe. You see, if you do not reconcile you are now cruel and selfish.......hmmm

The other thing I noticed in all that word salad is she never mentioned her plan for reconciliation nor consequences if she fails. Nothing.

But she sure let you know you will be "bad" if you decide enough.

I'm curious.....why do you want to live like this?
What do you want in a life partner. What qualities does she need to have?

Does your wife have these qualities?

Us BS, also need to find our whys. Keep digging.

ChamomileTea posted 5/12/2019 16:26 PM

What about in a case where the parent knows the homework will either remain untouched or copied from a classmate if they don't stay on top of them?

Failure has consequences. You might put some thought into a back-up plan for if R fails. Keeping your plan in your back pocket and at the ready can bring you confidence in facing the challenges ahead.

Of course, not every infraction might rate pulling out your exit strategy, and a WS isn't a recalcitrant child (even though sometimes they act like it). The idea of punishing another adult doesn't really sit well, nor should it. But when you are in observation mode, trying to decide if this is still the partner you want to spend your life with, I think noticing these smaller failures should go into the big equation. You might start journaling to see if you can notice a trend one way or the other. Then, maybe have a State of the Union meeting in 30 days to see where you're at.

Cooley2here posted 5/12/2019 16:35 PM

SD, she canít ACTUALLY put down what she ACTUALLY did. Once those words are written out there is no taking them back. As long as you donít see those words you donít know the whole truth.

The letter sounds sincere but is it what you asked her to write? Her life has been one huge denial of reality. She hasnít made that jump yet. She hasnít faced her reality, her memories or her fears. Sometimes people get to the edge and make that leap. I hope she does so for your marriage.

sisoon posted 5/12/2019 17:04 PM

I see a lot that looks pretty good. IMO, she's taking ownership of a lot of stuff that, to me, is a lot deeper than cheating. She's saying she took you for granted and did the minimum to keep you, which seems like a much bigger problem than cheating.

By that I mean: cheating in a good M doesn't necessarily kill the M. Doing the minimum, taking you for granted ... that's worse, IMO.

And she admits it. That's good. That provides some hope for building an M.

What struck me is that there's nothing in there about what she's willing to do to change. There's nothing about what she wants to change or how she'll change. When I write an apology, I like to commit myself, and she doesn't do that.

One thing that irked me...is that there was no detail whatsoever listing the ways that I was treated poorly. There was no focus on specifics (which I specifically asked for when she asked what should be in an apology letter to me).

Since that's a specific request, I'd be concerned, too. At the same time, I wonder if the specifics overwhelm her - maybe there are so many that she can't do them all, and she may fear what will happen if she leaves the wrong specific out.

Some thoughts:

1) I hadn't connected the 2 of you before, but I've thought all along that Change4 is thrashing about. My sense is that she can, in fact, change, if she 'gets it,' but she doesn't get it yet.

2) I think IRL help with communications - a good MC - is likely to help.

The reason I recommend a good MC is that you'll both need to hear things that are very hard to hear. Also, in all likelihood, you'll both have to change something in the way you say things, too. It'll be much easier to do both if an objective observer tells you to do it than if you tell each other.

At least that was my experience....

3) In the absence of a good MC, I think you may be able to improve your communications on your own by working on the timeline together, if both of you keep at it without getting overtaken by emotions.

By that I mean: If you're doing the TL and your W feels overwhelmed, she asks for a break before breaking down. If you hear something that drives you up the wall or down to the center of the earth, you initiate a break before blowing up. By 'break' I mean: a time-out, probably 5-15 minutes, then back together to do the TL.

4) Also, it might help if you ask her what she's willing to do to change. Be ready with an idea of what you'd like her to change. (Alas, she can't take you both back in time.) I know it seems counter-intuitive to have to ask; even so, asking for what you want empowers you both.

5) All the above assumes you still have an interest in R. As Chrysalis implies, D doesn't mean you're cruel or unnecessarily selfish. In fact, if you choose D in order to be cruel, you'll have a lousy D. Choose D because you think it's the best choice for you and your family. It's right to be selfish over that.

[This message edited by sisoon at 5:07 PM, May 12th (Sunday)]

waitedwaytoolong posted 5/12/2019 17:06 PM

This letter reminds me of a paint by numbers picture. The colors are all in the right place, but it lacks emotion and originality. Itís like she reads your posts and her responses and crafted a letter that satisfies all of what she she thinks she should say. Except it doesnít do any of what itís supposed to

No one wants to feel their WS is checking off boxes. My guess is you do

Butforthegrace posted 5/12/2019 17:52 PM

Honestly, it is very badly written. It rambles and repeats. It dodges the main point. And it has the emotional maturity of a 13-year old girl.

SaddestDad posted 5/12/2019 18:19 PM

Why in the world would you be cruel and selfish if you decide to move on? How many years was she actively betraying you, deceiving you, manipulating you, and lying to you as well as stealing time and resources?

This part of the letter is the real her. She is not safe. You see, if you do not reconcile you are now cruel and selfish.......hmmm


I hear what you're saying, Chrysalis & I do not disagree with you. I know (and I'm pretty sure she does too) that she's not safe yet. However, the keyword here is, "yet."
I'm curious.....why do you want to live like this?
What do you want in a life partner. What qualities does she need to have?

Does your wife have these qualities?

I don't want to live like this. In the long range, I know I cannot. But in the short-term, now that it's finally come to light and that she's finally starting to see and work (even when she focuses on the wrong things at that moment) means to me that she's in the process of becoming the woman I thought I was marrying:

Smart. Compassionate. Considerate. Caring. A good mother. Resilient. Loving. Strong.

These are all the qualities I saw. I see these qualities shown when she works with clients and when she spends time with our kids, so I know they're there... she just needs to learn how to use them with and for me - and I know she will. Is it logical or smart to presume so? Perhaps not... but if I ever feel I made a mistake, that's a whole lot easier to rectify later on than the other way around.

nomudnolotus posted 5/12/2019 18:19 PM

I have it in me to put my feelings aside

you have the right to be cruel and selfish

These two things stood out to me. If she has to put her feelings aside, she doesn't really love you?

If you decide not to stay with her, that's not cruel and selfish, and it's extremely selfish for her to even suggest that.

Still very wayward in my opinion.

BraveSirRobin posted 5/12/2019 18:32 PM

Honestly, it is very badly written. It rambles and repeats. It dodges the main point. And it has the emotional maturity of a 13-year old girl.
I don't fault anyone for their writing style. Quite frankly, SI has always struck me as having an unusually articulate membership, and some members have said they initially found that intimidating. However, I think it's possible to speak authentically and powerfully in plain language, and this letter misses the mark in that regard.

I guess I see it as a start, given that you've said it's a big step for her to even use the words "I'm sorry." I agree that what comes next will be much more indicative of her level of commitment.

Oftencheatedon posted 5/12/2019 18:46 PM

My translation - blah, blah, blah - I desperately want to stay married to you because my lifestyle will be horrible if you divorce me. I will say anything to keep the status quo - arenít you lucky.

You can forgive her without taking her back. None of this rings true remorse.

QuietDan posted 5/12/2019 20:10 PM

Take care.

[This message edited by QuietDan at 1:40 AM, May 26th (Sunday)]

Marz posted 5/12/2019 21:47 PM

Read up on what true R requires.

You sure as hell don't want to be a marriage warden or go thru a 3rd round.

Sounds like you know the drill but are gonna try to stay anyway.

Good luck

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