A letter to family and friends

I wanted to write to you to let you know where things stand in my yearlong effort to sort out my life and relationship.  It has been the year from hell.  I have been hurt, then hurt more, and hurt again.  I have hung on, looking for things to get better in the future.  While I have no guarantees to be free from hurt ever again, I have come to terms with what I have control over – myself. 

My relationship with Seth! and the pain that came a year ago today was the part of this year that was the most difficult to accept.  It was unnecessary and it got in the way of dealing with the real pain of losing my dad and then mom.   It was confusing and hurtful – and unexpected after all we’d been through.  My first reaction was to run.  Then I went numb.  I spent a lot of time and emotional energy figuring out what I wanted to do and what I needed.  My goal, through all of this, has been to stay true to my needs and to move things to a better place, not to go back to what had been.

All along, I said I would know what I needed to know when it was time.  I couldn’t define it any better than that, but I hung in there, listening to my heart and my gut.  It has taken this long because that is how it was meant to be – a full year of seeking and waiting for the direction I needed.  I’ve processed anger, sadness, shock, and more sadness.  In the end, I know this – I am staying true to my needs and I am moving forward.  In that future, I am choosing to stay with Seth!.  I have two basic choices – leave, and know that what is to come will be painful or stay and hope for things to improve.  I am choosing hope and in this choice, I am setting up healthy expectations for our future together.  That includes a solid framework to rebuild trust on and a plan that outlines what happens if there is a breach of trust again.  I have finally felt at a gut level that there was a fundamental change in him that gives me a reason to step out on faith.

Fifteen years ago, I said that marriage was for better or worse.  I did not want to walk away without trying.  We promised that we would not crash and burn again and I revisited the church where we made that promise recently, and all the hope of that moment came back to me.  I can hope again – and still be realistic about how to be safe and protected.  It is something that means a lot to me – to try for the real relationship that I always wanted and have yet to achieve.  Walking away means I won’t get there.  I have to try.

Know that I do this with intention and with my eyes open.  I know the risks involved.  But know also that I am strong – I know that after this year, I am made of stern stuff and will not fold.  I have faith that what grows out of the ruins can be wonderful – the love that I have hoped for and needed in my life.  I am asking you to support me in my choice.  I hope that you can.  I will always stay true to what I want, what I deserve, and what I expect from the person I love.  Thank you for your love and support through all of this.  I know I couldn’t have made it without that. 

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