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perception vs. truth

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Buffer posted 4/18/2021 15:04 PM

A very well written letter, clear and concise with no hateful or shaming words.
As others have said. Take care of WF’s dad, he holds a grudge and will want his opinion heard.
One day at a time.

ramius posted 4/18/2021 22:53 PM

I have to say, I would love to have seen the look on her father’s face when he reads the part about no more contact.

The guy is such a colossal self entitled douche bag. He’s got to have the last word somehow.

Buster123 posted 4/19/2021 01:47 AM

Good letter, the part where legal action is implied if they persist, may keep the father at bay to avoid a public scandal, still watch your back, eyes wide open. Despite your request for NC, expect a reaction or visit from her.

DIFM posted 4/19/2021 05:56 AM

Succinct, objective, direct. Good letter. I hope she respects your wishes and I hope she gets help to heal her brokenness before she does it again to someone else.

Savor and live in the knowledge that you saved many years of hell that would have been part your future with her. Have a great life!

guvensiz posted 4/19/2021 06:46 AM

As a member of the "Don't send the letter" team, I had no doubt that the content of the letter would be good. Usually they are. Some BSs are able to write beautiful, touching letters to a degree that would win a Nobel Prize. As readers, we can understand how good those people are. But that's not the point. It's like writing the world's most beautiful letter for an illiterate person, or composing the world's most beautiful song for a deaf person.
We often advise BSs to look at WSs' behavior, not their words. This actually applies to all matters and all people, not just infidelity and WSs. WSs also take into account the behavior of BSs rather than their words, and they are even better than BSs at this.
What you sent that letter meant to me is that a part of you still wanted to stay in touch with her. If you did not send it and never looked back, it would mean that you got rid of this situation completely. Of course, I'm not saying it ruined everything. You coped extremely well with it. It wasn't just necessary to put the last point. Sometimes no message is the best message.

Butforthegrace posted 4/19/2021 08:48 AM

But that's not the point. It's like writing the world's most beautiful letter for an illiterate person, or composing the world's most beautiful song for a deaf person.

...

What you sent that letter meant to me is that a part of you still wanted to stay in touch with her.

This, exactly. The only possible reason for sending that letter is that you wanted her to feel some emotion about/toward you coming from a place of empathy. Which of course is the one thing we know she is least capable of doing.

The1stWife posted 4/19/2021 09:37 AM

I don’t think the reason for sending the letter is important.

What is MOST important is that there is no future contact.

I hope the cheater and family at least understands and accepts that. If she/they do, it’s all good.

My bet is she stops her pity party and she then finds a new guy/victim if she hadn’t already. She doesn’t sound like anyone who will suffer too long. Or get help. Or care.

Sceadugenga posted 4/19/2021 09:39 AM


The only possible reason for sending that letter is that you wanted her to feel some emotion about/toward you coming from a place of empathy. Which of course is the one thing we know she is least capable of doing.

With all due respect, it's only one possible reason not THE only possible reason. My take on it is that with narcissits there is no win. If you go completely no contact, you appear "weak" because, apparently, "you cannot bear facing them". If you do contact them, you appear "weak" because they've still got hooks in you.
At the end of the day, the only thing you can do is choose one of many lesser evils, preferably one which allows you to act in accordance with your core values. If you are an empathetic person and this is how you perceive yourself - act emphatetically one last time. That doesn't necessarily mean that you expect reciprocity. It's simply who you are and that's that. There's hardly anything more admirable than being able to stick to your ethical principles in the face of adversity. And I think Absolon did just that - he stuck to his moral code.
You might say he shouldn't cast pearls before the swines. True, but because he's handled the situation so well, he controls all the pearls and now he gets to choose when and where to cast them :-)

Booyah posted 4/19/2021 12:06 PM

Her father....what a piece of work he is.

So I'm assuming you and he won't be getting together anytime soon to go bowling??

Westway posted 4/19/2021 13:01 PM

Great letter. You wished her well without all the silly, romantic, meaningless platitudes that women like her slurp up like sugar water, and the drivel these letter usually carry. You also drove home very poignantly how her poor choices and behaviors make any R impossible. You got your intentions across very well.

Good job.

[This message edited by Westway at 1:02 PM, April 19th (Monday)]

Absolon posted 4/20/2021 11:02 AM

I appreciate the supportive replies and of course also understand the wisdom behind some of you saying that there is a futility in the act of sending a letter like that.

Also wanted to say a personal apology to Bigger, after my reactive post feeling hurt at your ‘tough love’ approach. Yesterday night I took the time to read back over this whole thread for the first time. (On a side note, it almost feels like I am a different person to the man who first posted more than a month ago.) But to you, Bigger, I do wish to acknowledge that you were consistently supportive, as well as consistently consistent (!) about trusting my gut, trusting the proof, not extending the pain through self-denial, and providing helpful support on how to move forward. So, my apologies again at my briefly reactive post!

Otherwise …

This morning I had a breakfast with the Maid of Honour (MoH) for the wedding-that-will-never-be. She was with my Ex-WF on Saturday when my final email came through. Apparently Ex-WF was ‘devastated beyond belief’ and went to her room and was ‘inconsolable’ for the rest of the night. It is hard to type this with a straight face, because I realize that I could be describing a 13-year old upon hearing that they can’t have a sleepover with their bff on a Saturday night.

More chillingly, though: MoH also told me that when her father read the note, he became furious and said simply … ‘He will pay.’ Frankly I am very, very concerned about the possibility that he will enact some type of vengeance on me. I acknowledge that many of you here have warned of this, too. So – what can I do to arm myself against this possibility?

Also as a quick aside: while MoH is a true friend to Ex-WF, she is also supportive of me through this. Near the end of our breakfast this morning, I thanked her for updating me and asked why she was wanting to help. She told me something I didn’t know, which was that the reason for her breaking up about a year ago with her long-term partner was due to him being repeatedly unfaithful.

What was especially interesting is that MoH thinks that Ex-WF was initially attracted to her as a friend for the same reason she was attracted to me as a boyfriend: that we (me and MoH) are both stable, solid, reliable people of integrity and that Ex-WF “needs” that because she so lacks it, herself. MoH said she was not remotely surprised that Ex-WF cheated on me, because she “has been doing that her whole life”; though MoH thought that I would be the exception. She says that while she will remain a friend to Ex-WF, that doesn’t prevent her and others from feeling empathy for me and also feeling I have, 100% done the right thing.

Finally, some concerns about OBS. Until Thursday, she and I had been texting lightly (just basic, supportive, daily affirmations, check-ins, etc) every day; but I haven’t heard from her since we met. Which is fine. We are both grieving, and we both need to do what we need to do. So aside from not hearing from OBS, what MoH also shared is that OBS has been texting, phoning and emailing Ex-WF many times a day over the last few days with angry, wounded communications.

I suppose therefore a concern and a question to people here:

• Concern: that OBS lashing out at Ex-WF means that AP’s poison has influenced his wife and she is … not sure what the SI term is for blaming it all on the AP and not the WS. But I am concerned for her.

• Which leads to the question: what are my boundaries around this? I feel that, like all of you have gently handled me, you are here to ASsist me – but no to INsist with me. That you can lead a horse to water, etc etc. I suppose I am just wondering how insistent I should be on serving as a support network for OBS. Many of you have stated I should make an effort to be there for her; and I have; and she seems, until now, to have genuinely appreciated it. But I can also grasp why I would represent a reminder of all the pain she is encountering, and why talking to me recalls the similar damage done to her.

Thanks in advance for your help on these.

As for me: yo-yo, emotionally. Not around wanting the Ex-WF back in any form. I never will. This is who I am. But what I am currently struggling with is that I am worried how sex will be for me whenever I decide to take the risk of being with someone again. I fear, quite powerfully in fact, that a) I will bring a lack of confidence to the process that, until now, has never before been there: sex for me, until now, was always an incredibly positive, powerful, life-affirming thing; and b) I fear that the ‘mind movies’ are actually going to make their way into my head at the very moment I am trying to enjoy someone who is completely not my Ex-WF. Eugh.

Perhaps this is all futile at this point, anyway, since I need to simply survive this next while and not think about the luxury of a new relationship.

Sorry for the disorganized-ness of this post. More of a ‘mind dump’ after a pivotal meeting with someone who has been involved in all of this, from both sides.

[This message edited by Absolon at 11:05 AM, April 20th (Tuesday)]

Butforthegrace posted 4/20/2021 11:15 AM

As for your FIL and your ExWF, I think you realize that sending your last letter to her was an error.

The appropriate approach to FIL, ExWF, and that whole family from this point forward: absolute, total, and complete silence. Zero communication. There is no need for you to communicate with that family, at all, and nothing to be gained. Block them all in your phone, social media, etc., and remove yourself from the wedding Facebook group.

This means not responding to direct inquiries from any of them. It also means not responding to any attacks they may level against you to third parties, in any manner.

As to the BOW, let her reach out to you. You've done what you need to do unless she does reach out.

In other words, move on. Today is the first day of the rest of your life and all that.

grubs posted 4/20/2021 11:32 AM

More chillingly, though: MoH also told me that when her father read the note, he became furious and said simply … ‘He will pay.’ Frankly I am very, very concerned about the possibility that he will enact some type of vengeance on me. I acknowledge that many of you here have warned of this, too. So – what can I do to arm myself against this possibility?

It's kind of sad because that attitude is what is causing his darling to blow up the relationships in her life. The thing is most of these types are big fish in a little pond. Unless he's a global celebrity, his reach is likely limited to your city. He can and likely will cause you grief locally, but you can always move beyond his reach. This may be something you consider doing preemptively. IOW it might be time to make a fresh start elsewhere at least until this blows over.
So aside from not hearing from OBS, what MoH also shared is that OBS has been texting, phoning and emailing Ex-WF many times a day over the last few days with angry, wounded communications.
Bet your wayward doesn't consider OBS the epitome of forgiveness now... The OBS has her own road to walk. It's sounds like she's decided again to attempt R. That would explain her disconnecting from you and her anger at your exWGF. That's what she has to do to be able to live with being with your AP. She has kids to consider so its not as easy to walk away. She needs him to fail some more first, and he will. You can reach out but don't expect her to listen.

[This message edited by grubs at 11:37 AM, April 20th (Tuesday)]

steadychevy posted 4/20/2021 11:36 AM

Absolon, the comment relayed to you by MoH regarding what XWF's father is what I expected. Again, he came across as a vindictive bastard. There is only his way and any resistance must be eliminated.

I don't know what to do about it. I wondered and maybe asked if he has influence in the field of the career you are in. How likely can he taint your reputation? It's a concern. BTW, that is the family you are now not going to be immersed in.

You made the move to inform the OBS and did. You supported her when asked. IMO you can just leave it at that. If she comes back for more support you can provide it but it will have to end somewhere. For now, you did the right thing. It sucks to be your XWF that her formally best or good friend is angry and ripping at her. Consequences. Tough shit.

You were told to not send the letter and after sent that you shouldn't have. Now that the Dad has made threatening remarks there's the I told you so's. As I said previously it was a well written letter. You laid out your boundaries. Boundaries are good as long as they are solid and you keep them.

Don't have a line in the sand and erase it when it's challenged. Then draw another one and do the same thing over and over again. That was me until I ran out of room and had enough. It was a surprise to my XWW because I was just supposed to keep folding. After all I trained her to expect it.

Hold your line. You indicated what you were prepared to do if your boundaries were challenged. Be prepared to follow through. For now it might be a good idea to check with a lawyer or solicitor, explain your situation and the threat passed on through a third person to determine what a legal remedy might be.

Stay strong, Absolon, and wishing the best luck for you.

HellFire posted 4/20/2021 11:40 AM

I see nothing wrong with OBS lashing out at your ex. After all, she has been doubly betrayed. It is perfectly natural, and normal for her to be very angry with the woman who was having sex with her husband. Add in that they were friends, and..yeah. She has a right to that anger.

Just because she is lashing out at the OW, doesn't mean she blames everything on her and not her husband. Each were 100% responsible for their actions, and both 100% betrayed her. There's enough anger to go around. She can be mad at, and blame, both.

grubs posted 4/20/2021 11:43 AM

In my mind whether Absolon sent the letter or not, has no bearing on FIL's retribution. The FIL was going to anyway when it became clear his daughter didn't get her way and have Absolon back in her life. The letter just accelerated his plans.

guvensiz posted 4/20/2021 11:57 AM

When I read that OBS hadn't contacted you since your meeting, I just thought she was starting to R again. And yes, her POS H seems to have convinced her that the blame is on your XWF.
You did what you had to do and gave her the necessary information. After that, it's up to her. You shouldn't encourage her to do something, unless she asks for help again.

HouseOfPlane posted 4/20/2021 11:59 AM

The appropriate approach to FIL, ExWF, and that whole family from this point forward: absolute, total, and complete silence. Zero communication. There is no need for you to communicate with that family, at all, and nothing to be gained. Block them all in your phone, social media, etc., and remove yourself from the wedding Facebook group.
Amen

I'd include the BOW in that mix. You did the ethical thing and told her, your job is done.

I think I said this up-thread, but remember from the martial arts that whenever you throw a punch, you leave an opening.

Freeme posted 4/20/2021 12:00 PM

Don't get hung up on people saying I told you so about the letter. Chances are if you hadn't sent anything and she, her mother, her father... had continued to contact you ... you would have gotten a bunch of I told you so from people that said to send something for legal reasons. What's done is done.

The FIL might be hot air. He might be mad at you now, then OBS for calling your WF, then OM for all the blame. If he can do something he will but you are going to end up crazy trying to second guess it all. Don't put his name down as a reference or anything.

You've done all you can for the OBS. We see members put all their focus on the OM or OW all the time. She doesn't feel she can get angry at her husband and she needs someone to blame. They were married, and have small children... maybe your EXWF will see the amount of people she hurt for her "fling." Probably not.

Any chance Maidofhonor was picking up on you? Sounded a little flirty saying that you are both stable, solid, reliable people of integrity that have both been cheated on ...

Good luck with everything.

MickeyBill2016 posted 4/20/2021 14:02 PM

I re-read the letter. I did not see anything in it that warrants a "He will pay" response.
I don't know what sort of vengeance he can rain down upon you...

If it is anything, it will pass and soon your XF will be involved with another poor guy who will dump her and he will need to make that guy pay...

Her dad knows what kind of idiot he raised...

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