***Some of the links in this article are "affiliate links", a link with a special tracking code. This means if you click on an affiliate link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. The price of the item is the same whether it is an affiliate link or not. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will add value to my readers. By using the affiliate links, you are helping support my family, and I genuinely appreciate your support.***
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
~1 Corinthians 13:4-8~
My love, I know that trauma is deeply affecting our marriage, and for that, I am truly sorry.
To my beloved Husband:
I want you to know that I love you. I love you more than anything. I think you already know this.
And I know that you love me too. But, sometimes, I forget.
I need you to understand that when my moods start to change and depression clouds my mind, it’s not your fault my love. It’s hard for me to tell you what’s happening to me when depression takes over. Depression fills my mind with terrifying thoughts. Voices inside my head scream at me and tell me how ugly I am, how unlovable I am, how worthless I am, and that you and our family would be much better off if I were to die. My love, there have been so many times that I have felt that you and our family would be so much better off without me, that our boys deserve a better mother, and our granddaughter deserves and better grandma. And I know that there will be plenty more times when I feel that way. Please, try to understand that it is when these feelings are at their strongest, and I’m pushing you away, that is when I need you the most.
My love, it is in these moments that I desperately want to believe that you love me, but depression is a very good liar and sometimes, I believe depression.
I know that you prefer the good days when I’m happy, all smiles, and in a good mood, and not anxious, irritable or angry. I do too! I wish that I could have good days every day, but I can’t. My brain just doesn’t work that way.
Most of the time, I can feel the dark clouds of depression approaching, and it scares me to death. I try my best to fight it, but it knows all of my weaknesses, and it plays each of them well.
My love, I know that I don’t always show it, nor do I vocalize it nearly enough, but I want you to know just how grateful I am that you are still in my life. I am eternally blessed to have you here with me, and I want you to know just how much I truly love and adore you.
Husband, I know that I am not the girl that you fell in love with nearly 25 years ago. And I know that this is hard for you, and I’m sorry. I want you to know that I hear you when you say how much you miss that girl and wish for her to come back. I’m sorry my love, but that 14-year-old girl that you fell in love with all those years ago no longer exists. I know that to you she was much easier to love and be around. She was more relaxed, outgoing and fun. She was spontaneous, exuberant and full of life. But things have changed. I’ve changed. And I know you know this. I have gotten much more anxious over the years. I worry about things constantly, I obsess over everything, from the smallest details to the really BIG stuff, and I am more rigid and closed off. And most of the time, I just don’t seem to make any sense to you at all — especially when I’m manic, or dissociated and having panic attacks. I know just how frustrating and scary this is for you. It is for me too! Although you may see little glimpses of the “old me” come back from time to time my darling, I really need you to understand and fully accept, that for the most part, that girl is gone.
And even though that girl is long gone, you still continue to love me and stand by me despite the significant changes I have gone through over the years, (especially the last three). My love, I thank you from the depths of my soul for standing beside me through all these crazy years. I will always love you, cherish you, honor you and respect you for that.
I wish that the things weren’t always so horrendous, my love. But even though they are, you have loved me and supported me through two suicide attempts and hospitalizations. You have left work more times than I can count to rescue me when my car breaks down and I got stuck freaking out on the freeway. You have driven me to the E.R. more times than I can count when I was sick or having panic attacks and thought I was going to die. You packed my bags and brought me comfort items when I was hospitalized.
You forgave me every time I relapsed and said things and did things that hurt you and our family, even when I promised I would get back on track and failed. You have stuck with me through terrifying medication changes, and drove me to the E.R. when I developed horrendous allergies and adverse reactions to those medications and stood by me when those medications stopped working or made me feel worse. You held my hand and comforted me each time my body felt like it was not my own. You have watched me kill myself slowly with food and alcohol and every other unhealthy choice I have made and dealt with the repercussions of my anger whenever you brought it up. You had the unfathomable strength and courage to have tough conversations with me when I know you didn’t want to. You swallowed your pride and asked for help when you needed it, and it saved my life more than once.
I honestly don’t know how you were able to think so clearly during those times or even how you survived it. But you did, my love.
I know that it’s hard for you when my words don’t always align with my actions. I’m sorry. I know how confusing it must be for you to hear me say “I love you,” and simultaneously watch me as I shrink in your presence. I know that you feel me constantly pulling away from you, both emotionally and physically and simultaneously begging for your attention and affection. I know that this is hard and painful for you and that it’s why you question my love for you most days.
I’m acknowledging that walking on eggshells has become a common practice for you. I understand that you are afraid to set me off because you never know what triggers it. (Most of the time, I don’t either.) You always want to say and do the right thing in an effort to make all the pain disappear, and yet you don’t know how, so you stay quiet and pull away. You often wonder what you said or did to cause this intense irritability and rage that I often feel towards you or what you did to annoy me and get under my skin. My love, I am so very, very sorry that I snap and blow up on you so often.
It’s not always you, I promise.
I know that you feel helpless at times. You see the panic attacks, the random glassy stares, the dissociation, the emptiness I feel and the sleepless nights. I know that you want to hold me and tell me that everything will be okay because I can feel it. I can feel you restraining yourself. I know that the rejection can be exhausting and depressing after a while, and I’m sorry. It’s NOT my intention to hurt you this way! I know that when you try to hold me or be near me it doesn’t always go well. Sometimes, I push you away, even though I really need you to pull me closer. I realize that predicting my moods is probably about as easy as pulling teeth from a sharks mouth. I’m sorry, my love. I’m so, very sorry.
You have always been well aware of my pain, my trauma, and my issues with intimacy. We don’t talk about it much, and yet some days it feels like it’s the center of our world. I’ve been waiting and wishing for the proverbial elephant to disappear for such a long, long time, but it never does. And I’ve realized that we’ve both become completely numb to it.
I need you to know that it’s okay to be angry ― I understand that you didn’t sign up for this. I don’t blame you for feeling like you need to escape the madness and chaos — even if it means escaping from me.
My love, it’s not fair for you to have to bear the brunt of my anger and hold my pain when I can no longer cope and I check out of life. It’s not fair for you to have to constantly pay for the sins of what evil men did to me. It’s not fair for you to sometimes get thrown into the category of unsafe and dangerous, because we both know you are neither of those things — you never were. And I am so, very sorry that I do this to you. Please believe me when I say that it is never my intention to do this.
My dear Husband, you are the strongest, kindest, most loving, and genuine and hard-working man I know. Most days I just can’t comprehend what I did to deserve you and your love. I hate myself for the ways that I vehemently reject that love when I’m lost in the darkness of depression and filled with fear and anxiety. And even though I have driven you completely insane, and push you away, you’re still here with me. I love you for that and I hate you for that all at the same time. I know that I’m complicated, but you accept that. You accept me.
Each and every day, you still choose me. You still chose to love me, even on my ugliest days when I am anything but loveable. You still choose me to be your wife through all of this pain and suffering. You love me relentlessly on my best days, my worst days, and each and every day in between. Your faith in me and your ability to be optimistic despite what I’ve put you through is nothing short of astounding. And for that my beloved husband, I cannot begin to thank you enough. I’d be utterly lost without you and your love and support.
I know that loving me takes work sometimes — A LOT OF WORK, but you just keep loving me anyway.
I want so desperately to be better for you, and our family. I want to stop the cycle of self-destruction because if I have learned anything, it’s that I am not just hurting myself anymore. I’m hurting you, our family, and our future together.
I want to thank you for being my only friend and partner for life, my love. You have always been there for me, despite my many scars and flaws, despite my many mistakes, and my crippling fear of allowing myself to love and be loved. I know that some people would say that I am a survivor of trauma, but so are you, my beloved husband. You and I have been to Hell and back more times than we would ever care to admit. But we came back holding on to each other more tightly than ever before. And because of this, there is one thing that I know for sure; together you and I can re-build our life together and move beyond the painful memories. We have only grown stronger from this — I know this because you always remind me when times are tough.
My love, I am writing this letter for all the world to see what an incredible man and loving husband you have been to me through all these years. I want you to know how sorry I am that I don’t always see you for the amazing man that you are. And I want you to know that I will always love you, cherish you, honor you, and adore you. I promise you, my love, that I will never stop praying, and believing that God has BIG plans for us.
Love always and forever,
Your crazy, yet forever grateful and adoring wife.