We all have letters we’d like to send, but know that we can’t. A letter to someone we no longer have a relationship with, a letter to a family member or friend who has died, a letter to reclaim our power or our voice from an abuser.
Letters where actual contact is just not possible.
Do you have a letter you can’t send?
Why not send it to The Band?
I thought about changing your name for this but then I realized, nope, screw that. You didn’t care about my feelings when you did what you did, why should I protect you?
I was going through a really hard time when you and I met. I had been dealing with infertility and wasn’t taking it well. We weren’t telling anyone we were trying to have a baby yet, so no one knew why I was fighting with depression as much as I was.
We were still fairly new to the area, and I was desparate for friendship. That’s where you came in. Your office was right next to mine, and we both had a lot of down-time with our individual jobs. We had a lot in common, so our friendship came naturally.
We confided in each other. Neither of us was in a stable marriage. Your husband preferred to go hunting rather than spend time with you. My husband liked hanging out with his friends after work instead of coming home.
I didn’t approve when my boss’ marriage started to fall apart and you flirted with him. You were not appropriate with how you handled that situation. But then one of our co-workers started paying attention to me. I won’t lie. I liked the attention. My husband was ignoring me, and this guy was cute.
I regret that I flirted with him.
Unlike you, I kept my flirtation to just at work. There was nothing more to it than two people who were attracted to each other who talked and flirted at work. I didn’t take breaks with him. I didn’t go anywhere alone with him. Did you know that when I took my breaks, I was in my office working on a Christmas gift for my husband?
You, on the other hand, took my boss out for lunch, just the two of you. You even went so far as to throw a party when your husband was out of town and invited a bunch of guys (and only one girl) from work to the party. There was drinking and craziness, and you admitted to groping my boss. I knew he was too emotionally distraught to return your inappropriate behavior, but I was less than impressed with what you were doing.
Then came that horrible night when my husband confronted me about my supposed affair. He repeated things back to me that I had told you in confidence. My words had been twisted to sound like I was guilty of much more than a mild flirtation. He accused me of a full-blown affair and implied that I was using this other guy to try to get pregnant. He said that I had been seen leaving with this other guy and we had been seen holding hands and kissing. You know as well as I do that that never happened.
He had his mind set that I was cheating on him and anything I said was a lie. I wish I could say I was 100% innocent, but it wouldn’t have mattered anyway.
We were leaving the next day on vacation. We still went. We talked through things and eventually he said he believed me that I hadn’t cheated.
What I couldn’t figure out was how he’d found out the specific things I had said. I had trusted you. Your sister-in-law also worked for the same company we all worked for. I figured you’d blabbed to her and things got back to him through the company grapevine.
We returned from vacation, and I went back to work. I still considered you my friend, but I was much more careful about what I said to you because clearly you couldn’t keep your mouth shut. I completely severed any friendship with our co-worker as soon as I returned. I requested a transfer to a different location, so my husband wouldn’t have to worry about me being around our co-worker.
A few years passed. I found out that the whole time my husband had been “hanging out with friends” after work, he had actually been having multiple affairs. While he never admitted to anything, I had learned to read between the lines to figure out what was going on. One day, he let enough information slip that I figured out you two were sleeping together. All that time I thought I could trust you, not only were you having sex with him, you were reporting back to him everything I said – twisting it to sound like I was mocking my marriage.
I looked you up online recently. I was happy to see your first husband divorced you. I wonder how much of his not being around you was caused by his knowledge of your behavior.
I’m still very angry. I’m angry at all of the women who knew my now-ex-husband was married and chose to have sex with him anyway. I’m angry with the people who knew about his cheating and didn’t tell me. I’m especially angry with you for pretending to be my friend while betraying me in the worst way possible. I don’t want to be angry anymore. The fact is, you’re not worth my anger.
I’ve moved on. I haven’t had any contact with my ex in years. I’m happily married and busy raising my kids. I don’t need to hold on to the past. I’m hoping that writing this letter and releasing it out to the world will help me to forgive you for your actions.
So I’m going to say it, even though I don’t feel it yet, in hopes that I’ll feel it soon.
I forgive you.