Unsent Letters: All My Cards are on the Table

I wrote this letter to Carrie. I’ve re-read it a dozen times. I’m trying really hard to be honest with myself. I feel I’ve reached a new place, and one I’ve struggled hard to find. That beautiful, fine line between love and self-love.

In the letter, I admit that I still love Carrie and if she were willing I could consider at least trying to work something out. It’s a very vulnerable place to put myself, for all I know she’s done and just wants to move on.

She doesn’t want to meet with me, so I wrote this letter instead, I wrote it as clearly and honestly as I could. I think what makes the tipping point for me, is that I acknowledge that if she doesn’t want to work it out, or try again, that’s okay too. It feels good to admit I still love her, but I don’t need her. It feels like a new truth is revealed in me. I haven’t sent it, I’m not sure if it’s too personal to send in a letter. But here it is…


I feel like I should just lay my cards on the table. I’m moving away soon and leaving things unsaid seems to be kind of pointless.

I don’t have any demands or even requests. I just want to tell you my honest feelings. I think I can simplify that into two things.

One – you hurt me, I don’t think you’ll ever know how much. The entire time I was kept from talking with you, was forced to stand aside for something unhealthy was torture. My therapist has asked me time and again what I want from you, now that this phase is over.

I’ve thought a lot and the only reason I would want anything, was if we were trying to have a relationship of any kind. Even friendship. If we aren’t having that then there’s nothing I need. If we were to have that; here is what I would need.

When I wronged you I tried my best to apologize. My intent wasn’t to apologize for what I did to us or myself. But for what I did to you. I tried to take full and complete ownership of how much I hurt you and what it did to you to break your trust. It wasn’t about me or my loss, but acknowledging the pain I caused you. I don’t know if you took that to heart but I tried to let you know that I understand how I hurt you and the depths of which I did.

I tried to do that. At this point that’s what I need from you. Maybe you think what you did was justified, or I deserved it, or that it simply wasn’t about me. All I can tell you is that you hurt me very deeply for a very long time. Despite your intentions. If we wanted to move forward, I would need you to own that, acknowledge it and hopefully apologize. Not just generically. But to understand why and how you hurt me by showing me your understanding of its effects on me. You might need to even listen first before you really understand.

That’s it, an acknowledgment of the pain you’ve caused me, in a real and genuine way. I think if it was real and genuine, you would know and I would know it too. I’m not asking for groveling or anything just mature ownership.

Two – This is whether or not we talk again. I love you.

I’m sure you hear rumors just like I do and we’re probably inclined to draw the worst conclusions about the other person in absence of any communication. I know you’ve been dating and you know that I have too. I just wanted you to know that I still love you. There’s nobody else that is above you in any way. I’m not ready for love or trust again with you or anyone right now. I know there’s no easy fix or off button for all this. But I wanted you to at least know that you are still in my heart and I have never stopped loving you. I am dating because I felt that I needed to at least try to move on and have a life. But I do not and cannot engage in love. I’ve also been careful to be kind and respectful and genuine to the people I am dating by telling them that I’m not into love, or anything serious because I simply am not capable. I’m not over you, I’m not able to just stop loving you and love someone else.

I only started dating when you made me believe that there was no coming back, that there was no chance of reconciliation. I waited for months. Alone and hoping. When I started to date, I wanted to make sure not to make the same mistakes and to not date anyone you know, or anyone that would hurt you. I’ve tried to be proud or at least not ashamed of anything I’ve done since we separated. I don’t do drugs, I don’t drink anymore, I haven’t for a year. I’ve lost 60 pounds and kept it off with consistency, I’m working on losing more. I’ve made new friends, met wonderful people, done some amazing things. My comedy & acting is better than it ever has been before. I’ve learned to spin fire and take more chances and risks. I’ve landed an amazing job making the kind of money I never really thought possible. I want so badly to be proud of myself and to reach that potential we both wanted to see from me.

I didn’t do any of these things for you, to please you, to spite you or to prove anything. Other than to myself. I did make a promise though. To myself. That in a year I would be proud of myself. And that by the time we ever really re-connected that I would be a better person and in provable ways. I’ve still got a long way to go. I’ve gone to therapy every week for a year and every time it’s about how to be a better person. How to love you without needing you to be in my life.

That’s a long winded way of saying that I love you. I don’t know what you think of my state of mind, if I hate you or if I’m just constantly angry. I was and am very hurt, and there was a lot of anger for a while. However that’s not what I’m about in my life, and least of all about you. I married you for a reason, and sometimes I think that you might be the only person I would marry. I made one other promise to myself over a year ago.

That what I did required penance, that what I did required more than an apology. It required an act of faith. I asked myself what marriage meant to me, and what true love meant to me. All I came up with is this.

To still hope when it seems hopeless, to try when it seems pointless. To trust when you feel betrayed, and to love when you feel hated. To fly in the face of all logic, danger, and hurt for the person that you love. I told myself a year ago, that whatever happened, no matter how badly I was hurt. That I owed it to you, and to my love to at least try. No matter how bleak things seemed. I’m not trying to get you to do anything, I mean try by letting you know that I still care, I still love you, and if you wanted to see where we were at in life I would clear my life to do that for you. I’m moving away, I’m focusing on work, responsibility and finances, on the gym and more self improvement and making a new life.

I’m not moving to outer space, I’m moving an hour away. If you decide you want to have an honest and genuine meeting, without the distractions of jealousy or betrayal. I will put aside dating and I will meet and I will talk with you. Maybe we’ll realize we just need closure, maybe we’ll realize we don’t need anything from each other. I’m willing to find out if that day comes. So if it’s now or in a year, you let me know if you want to at least try and I will put aside dating and my personal life to give it a real chance. It wouldn’t be easy or simple, and it pains me to make myself so vulnerable. For all I know you have no intention of ever doing that and it doesn’t interest you whatsoever.

I’m just hoping when it seems hopeless and trying even though there’s no reason I should. That’s what love is to me and what you mean to me. If you feel like you need clarification on any of this feel free to ask, and if all of this doesn’t seem to touch your heart or hold any appeal, then by all means. Have a good life and please be kind to yourself. I love you and you deserve to be happy. We both do. If I need to let you go for you to be happy, I’ll do that too. Whatever it takes, I care.