Found this letter I wrote to my husband years ago when we were even poorer than we are now and life was truly a living hell. I don’t remember too much about the things in the letter. I’m guessing my husband had said he thought he should let me go because he was no use to me or something to that effect. He basically was offering to divorce me so he could set me free. I’m guessing I was complaining about the things that were going on with him. Before you judge me based on the letter, my husband was indeed living like a bum at this time. He wasn’t contributing to the household. He was hardly ever home and was out doing things that I wouldn’t learn the truth about for years to come but which were not very good things and which would eventually turn our lives upside down. Of course I know it was himself he wanted to set free more so than he wanted to be noble and release me from the ties that bound me to him and thus entrapped me in the unsavory life he preferred to live. It wasn’t really that he wanted to divorce me to set me free. He was just saying what he thought might make him look heroic while at the same time essentially admitting he was not contributing anything positive to the marriage but basically taking the position that there was nothing he could do to change that so setting me free was the only choice.
It’s funny isn’t it? That the easiest road for you to take is to let me go free? Yes, you looked at me yesterday and spoke those words as if you thought it made you “big” to be willing to let me go free.
It is not that you love me so much that you would rather free me than hurt me. It’s that you don’t have the guts to make the change you know you have to make; so you want to take the easy road. Release the burden and get rid of the pressure but try to make it out in your head like some great act of love so you can justify it.
But you know, it says a lot that you’d rather walk away from the promises you made than make the changes that you need to make and do the work however hard it might be.
It says a lot about who you are and I really think you’re right. It’s better for me to go free than to be with a man who would choose the easy way out.
I guess it’s time I faced the reality that if this is what you really are, the kind of man who prefers to take whatever scraps you can get from whatever trash people are throwing out rather than work as hard as those same people work to earn your own, the kind of man who prefers to go around and beg people for a place to stay rather than the kind of man who has too much pride not to work as hard as he has to work to make sure he can put a roof over his own head, and he can put a roof over his family’s head.
For all these years I have continued to give you chance after chance to grow up and take responsibility and walk away from that place where you’ve gone to hang out, in that mindset of preferring to be a bum on the street or a jailbird or a victim than to accept that you are a man with responsibilities.
You are a man who have people depending on you, and men who have people depending on them cannot run wild as if they have no responsibilities in life; but that is what you want. You want to run wild as if you have no responsibilities in life because it’s the easiest thing to do isn’t it? It takes nothing out of you; and a life that takes nothing out of you is your kind of life; but guess what, there is no such life as a life that takes nothing out of you. In fact, you probably face more difficulties in life as bum.
But if that is what you want then I don’t have any choice but to accept it. Because if I don’t accept it; then what choice do I have but to live this way for the rest of my life, with a man who doesn’t have the desire or the willingness to do whatever he has to do to hold on to the good things in his life? A man who doesn’t even recognize the good things in his life? A man who thinks only and always about himself?
So go ahead and take the easy way out. I am making it even easier for you. I am telling you this here and now. In almost a year and nearly $10,000 in household bills you have contributed less than $1000 to help. This is unacceptable. I don’t care about the past. This is not the past. I don’t care if you were once the only one paying the bills four or five years ago when I wasn’t making any money from my business ventures.
You walk around the house with that attitude that you’re a man and as a man you should have the right to certain things. You should be free to complain that the dishes aren’t washed and you can’t find a clean spoon, you can’t find a clean cup. You should be able to come home and turn on the TV no matter if I am trying to work or not because you live here too and your comfort matters just the same or even more than everyone else’s because you’re the man and that’s just the way it works. You can complain about lights being on and turn them off because you’re the man and that is your right to do as a man. You can complain that you don’t get sex more than twice per month and that you should be able to get sex more regularly because it’s a woman’s responsibility to make sure that her man is sexually satisfied.
What I can’t understand is how come, with an attitude like that you don’t also consider paying the bills to be your responsibility as the man of the house? How come you are okay with demanding rights as the ‘man of the house’ but you don’t take the responsibility for making sure there is money to keep the house? How come you expect me to be a ‘real wife’ but you’re not willing to be a ‘real husband’? How come you never stop to ask yourself, how are the bills getting paid when you never have any money to help pay them? And if you are not helping pay the bills, then how can you demand rights as a man?
So you say the best thing is for you to let me go free. I never asked you for freedom. I asked you for help. I asked you to do your part; but it is clear you don’t want to break out of your cycle of behavior no matter how much you say you do; because every effort you’ve made has been half-hearted and has failed; and now, you’d rather just ‘set me free’ than even bother to try.
But somehow I feel cheated. I feel like you shouldn’t get to take the easy road. You should have to pay for the damage you’ve done over the last 8 years. You should have to make up for the neglect, the misuse of trust, the hurts and disappointments. It shouldn’t be so easy for you to extricate yourself from this mess and leave me behind to clean it up.
You already left me on my own to pay over $15,000 in debts we incurred together. You shucked your responsibilities years ago, and I had to hold down the fort. I had to find money to pay the rent, the light, the cable, the phone, the water, the gas etc. Oh, you gave some money once in a while; but it costs nearly $10,000 per year to live poor. You contribute between 1000 and 4000 per year. That leaves me with 90 – 60 percent of it to pay by myself.
And I don’t work remember? I just run some joke of business through my computer. You are the one leaving at 7am and coming home at 9PM 7 days a week.
Where’s your money honey? How do you justify your life? How do you justify never being home because you have to work; but never having any money to show for your 14 hour work days? What is wrong with this picture? And how can you think it is right? How can you think it is fair.
If you want to let me go free, then that is fine by me; but I need some compensation for everything you have taken from me; because I am not okay with resolving this partnership having gotten nothing out of it. Not after putting so much into it.