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A letter to… my lover’s wife

‘Why won’t you give him the love he needs?’: the letter you always wanted to write

I know you exist, which is more than can be said about me. You share his name,

I know you exist, which is more than can be said about me. You share his name, his child, his home and his public life. I share stolen moments which might just as well not exist. I share his thoughts, his dreams and his feelings; all that’s inside him, but nothing that’s part of external life.

You have a marriage of more than 20 years, which encompasses a few public and family activities; sharing the home you run, the child you both love from the bottom of your hearts. But your love for him dried up many years ago.

You are happy in the life you have carved out for yourself, but is he happy in a marriage in which you fulfil your selected responsibilities of a wife, but none of love?

Do you love him? If he were loved, would he have been actively seeking me? I don’t blame you – you stopped loving him. But why stay in a loveless marriage for the sake of appearances?

I ended it today because I got tired of not existing. He doesn’t want to hurt his child, and we kept trying to figure how we could work this out without doing so. It pained me to think I could bring his life crumbling down. I saw no way to go on. Nor did he; his child’s hurt was unbearable to him – his own and mine bearable in comparison.

Why won’t you give him the love he needs? Why won’t you give him the companionship and care that comes of loving someone, and not just the daily endeavours required of a publicly successful marriage?

I am not asking you to set him free, just that you understand and love him – and let him understand and love you. Make yours a marriage more than in name only. After all, you must have once had a real marriage? How can you be happy with the trimmings, but not the essence?

I have no right to say anything, and I know only one side of the story. But the man I know would have chosen you had you given him an iota of the love he seeks. He would still choose you because he feels duty bound, but he has been starved of romantic love and care.

When did the romance in you die and why? From all I know of your man, he would never have strayed. He is just not the type. Even as the girlfriend of a married man, who couldn’t share what we had in public, or demand proof of fidelity, he was faithful and went the extra mile lest I felt insecure. Why did you let that go?

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