My ex was sent by his work to a weekend workshop, got a big promotion and emailed me.
Here's my response:
Phil > Nor do I offer it up as an excuse. But what does happen is people get over it.
Cheryl - Getting over it doesn't mean that the people you hurt will be over it. It means there will still be the choice you make whether to be there helping them to work thru their own feelings about it.
It does mean you can take care of yourself while caring for them.
Phil > Cheryl, for these past years you have been demanding an apology.
Cheryl - I don't remember demanding an apology for you leaving me. I do remember demanding an apology from KK for coming into my home when I wasn't home, for you calling CPS and telling them lies, for leaving us broke and hungry about to be evicted.
Phil > I havent given it to you because if I had before now it would have been worthless, because before this weekend I was worthless.
Cheryl - I don't believe you were worthless. I believe you felt worthless. I didn't believe you were worthless or I wouldn't have kept making the effort.
Phil > also confusion on where I was and where I was going. Now I am ready to say it I am sorry for leaving you. For whatever the reasons or whatever the excuses the fact is I left you and the kids.
Phil > and sincere. So again forgive me for not being there when you needed me. I failed you.
Cheryl - I appreciate the apology. I'm touched. However it wasn't that you left me and our marriage. It was leaving the kids and I to be evicted, hungry, scared, intruding into my home with your girlfriend, calling CPS and telling them lies, dirty court tricks...
Phil > This past weekend I walked the fires of hell to find out who I was, but more to the point, who Im going to be. Ive created a life mission statement on just who I am to be. I am moving on leaving the garbage behind.
Cheryl - I'm glad you're finally standing up. I hope that means you can look the kids and I in the eye and deal. Or is John, for instance, part of the garbage you're leaving behind?
> I WILL BE A FANTASTIC FATHER
Cheryl - That's good stuff. Was the program Covey's 7 Habits?
Cheryl - I don't think you realize that tho I hold you accountable for the shabby way you treated the kids and I during the marriage and when you felt the need to leave, that I remember teenage love, I remember you proposing to me several times before I got pregnant, I remember being married 10 years and Deacon teasing us for long kisses in the Morro Bay driveway, I remember a great sex life and feeling cherished by you, I remember cherishing your body, I remember feeling protected and cared for, I remember that the therapist said I must have felt safe with you in order to have the breakdown, I remember that we have 4 great kids and I feel grateful for the good, bad and the ugly cuz it brought me to now. I read somewhere that a 20 year marriage is not a failure.
Phil > Im taking care of me, thats up to you, but if you want to come along you are much more than welcomed.
Cheryl - As I've said, I hope that means you'll look the kids in the eye and deal rather than run away or leave them behind as garbage just because they are disagreeing with you.
My ex never responded to what I wrote about our marriage regarding his apology to me and didn't explain why. But he told my son, "See what starts to happen when you love yourself and can be honest. I apologized to your mom and look at the wonderful things she wrote me. It really made me feel good."
I shed a tear. I said, "He finally let it sink in!" that our marriage wasn't all bad, that I didn't think he was all bad.
I don't need a further relationship with him than I have now. However this interchange has been healing for him and me.