Well, after all these many months, I have finally received a response to the archived post “A goodbye letter from a husband to his wife”. I always promised my wife I would post her response, unedited, and her side of the story as she saw it. Though I did “X” out certain private and personal details to protect others, like I had done with my letter to her, I kept it just as it was. I have allot of respect for my wife for sending me this now, and though I disagree with some of things mentioned, embarrassed by a few others, and see many things very differently, this entry is hers, and hers alone, It is not my place or time to respond. And I will only say this, I love my family, I will always be here for them and her, no matter what. They are everything to me. But this letter is just as the title says, a goodbye letter.

Hello everyone. My name is Jodi.

I have been silent long enough. Now I ask that as you read this you understand that it is only one side of the story, one persons opinion. That person is me. As I sit here now broken hearted and devastated I am also sick with strep and a temperature of 103.6 (no lie). The time has come for me to stop being silent even though the timing could not be worse and I am sure my wording will not be the best because of it. There are a few of you out there who are anticipating this letter and no doubt are concerned that I will say more than I should out of spite or vengeance simply to get my point across. I will not do that. Why? Because I want to end this letter the way it begins. With honesty, morality, and forethought of family members and friends who will no doubt read what I write.

I want to start with the quote “The Truth Shall Set You Free”. I am going to set this family, my husband and my self free for the first time in 15 years with the truth. You will always find versions of the truth to any life story. This is my family’s truth as we lived it, breathed it and felt it every day for 15 years. You might even ask why the urgency of writing this now under such conditions? The why is simple, for the second time in my relationship with my XXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXX. Much like the first time, XXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX 15 years with his wife and his family, something I hope none of you out there ever have to suffer the pain of. Though I can’t claim our relationship was perfect or even good I can say that through the many years of hard times I was probably one of the last faithful wives on the planet. My husband has always believed other wise, which was one of the many problems that tore our marriage to pieces on a daily basis. I state now, challenging anyone who knows, not believes, but knows differently to provide proof that I have ever so much as hugged, kissed or felt the touch of another human being during my 15 year relationship with him. Do any of you out there know what it feels like to have your own children, your own family and even your friends told that you are unfaithful when you are not? Painful does not even come close when you lived the life I did, went through the hell I went through. I am going to start off with my husbands email from yesterday then I will go into some detail on my 15 years with this man and explain to you why even now his family, his wife and his children would welcome him home with open arms. While I am sure some of you will be shocked by that statement others might understand that family is the most important thing, the only thing we truly have left and can count on in this crazy world. I always tried to live by the philosophy that if I could not forgive my husband for his wrongs I had to at the very least try to forgive the father of my children. Again I only ask that you remember that this is one sided, one women’s opinion of what use to be an extraordinary man. A man that I willingly gave up 15 years of my life for. Most of the time with out any hesitation. I had a letter that I wrote to him right after he left but never gave to him. Maybe now I realize that was the wrong thing to do. My intentions were good however. He had written to me this letter, a beautiful letter that I would have given anything to receive during our marriage, before he left. By the time he left so many lies had been told that I didn’t believe a word of it and if he stops to think about the circumstances under which it was given he would have to agree that any one would have a hard time XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXX. I had heard so many words, so many empty promises, so many lies at this point that I wouldn’t have believed the sun was shining even if I could have seen it for myself, XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX about various but serious family issues. No need to go into them he knows what lies where told. So here is his quote from yesterday…

“Well, you had such a great man, and you threw him away, i dont understand. And there are some that cant believe it.”

My response to him was simple, where is this great man I had, where was he every day to take care of his family when they needed him most. Did I throw him away or had he thrown me away years ago? I am sure the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

My husband was such an amazing man when I first met him all those 15 years ago. Everything I wanted, everything I needed. Everything I thought I would never find. I had a baby daughter at the time which he cared for and loved as his own. Probably what first won over my heart. Melted is probably a better word. He made me feel like I was the most beautiful, important women in the world. We moved in together after only about 3 months of dating, moved down to Mpls with only a suitcase and a beat up old car. One of our fist obstacles was our age. He was only 18, I was only 21. Barely adults unable to care for ourselves much less a child. Somehow we managed. I got pregnant with our beautiful daughter XXXXXX only 4 years into the relationship. I began working over nights so we could save on daycare costs and so we could keep our children at home and safe with us. We worked for the same company which looking back was probably not the smartest move. I was away from home, my bed, my husband and my family at least 3-5 nights a week for 7 years making maybe half at best of what he made. 4 years into this job I had another child, my amazing son. Still I continued to work these over nights which was very hard on me, very stressful. We were already suffering some of the problems that a relationship with small children at a young age can have. XXXXXX, absence, neglect, financial problems, intimacy problems, gambling, temper problems on both parts, you name it. It took years for this man to ask me to marry him, ask isn’t even the word I would use, he said to me while I was pregnant with my son “we might as well do it now”. Do it meaning get married. Something I had wanted for years. We got married in the lobby of a hotel room in South Dakota while I was 5 months pregnant. I wasn’t even given a ring until 1 year ago. XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Looking back now there were many signs and many things that should have clued me into what my life was going to be like but the honest truth is I didn’t care. I loved this man anyway. You might ask were my birthdays or anniversary’s special, did he bring me flowers even when our children were born, did he talk to me when I was lonely, sad or just needing a should to cry on or someone to talk to, did he lay with me at night and hold me close to let me know I was needed and wanted, did he spend time with me, eat with me or watch tv with me or even take me places, was he XXXXXXXXXX, did he love me or even attempt to love me, was he a good father? The answer to all these questions is NO. Was I the best women I could be and the best mother I could be? The answer is still no but I can at least say that I did try. We both were guilty of many wrongs and even now who is to say which of us was right. All I wanted for this man was for him to be the best father, the best husband and the best man he could be. He had it in him but because of years of fighting, stress, problems and his own personal addictions and demons he was unable to see that this man still existed. He was unable to see that for years this family had been falling apart. I tried to tell him, I would beg him at times to understand that we needed him, that I needed him. XXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXX XXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. You get what you give. I would have given just about anything to be loved, respected and trusted. During the few times over the years I felt that way I returned it back to him in spades. My love and respect though hard to give came in the form of standing by this man for all those years no matter how many wrongs he had done not just to me but to my children. I could detail these wrongs but he knows what he did to this family, and what I did to him. Telling untrues daily, losing his temper, making unfounded and untrue accusations not just against me but also my daughter, refusing to even try to make things right. I sat here losing everything that I had and this man was no where to be found. Off on his XXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX weeks at a time with no contact or concern for me and our children. Having fun and not caring like he now accuses me of. Yet when he asked me to allow him to come home I agreed. Again I don’t want to go into details about our final months but it was hell for me and our family. I would try to believe him and his promises of change and making life better but as time went on and nothing changed it got harder to believe he would even try. Many years of promises every last one of them broken made it very hard to believe in him. At the point where I was given this letter, this beautiful heart felt letter he had been XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. I would have given anything to receive this letter at a time when I could have believed in it. I wanted to believe in it with all my heart. As I am sure you can understand at best it was difficult for me to believe anything he was saying to us. During the time he left this letter he was also angry and making untrue accusations, not listening or allowing me to explain. Fighting with our oldest daughter constantly, saying things to her in anger I knew he didn’t mean or would never normally say. He was blaming everyone but himself, he even now is still doing that. I was ignoring his calls and messages because XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXX. Now to know this man the way I X XXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXX. Believe me I understand he was desperate and desperate times call for desperate measures so to speak but some of the XXXXXXXX were so personal so devastating to even hear that it honestly did change me, scare me and yes force me to run away from him and not allow contact. He was threatening to take my children, calling me a bad mother when he knew I was doing my best, even threats of using things I told him, personal private things that were not my fault against me. Those are just a few of the many things he threatened me with. Now again I ask that you understand that I was no angel or saint. I was making mistakes of my own. Not the mistakes he thinks but mistakes just the same. I made many mistakes over the years as well and in no way will I say now that our problems were his fault. We were both to blame for the downfall of this family. You might ask why I would want to save a marriage plagued with XXXXXXX XXXX on his part, addiction, neglect, abuse, financial struggles and enormous problems. It is simple, family. This man that I love, that I miss with all my heart, that I use to believe in has huge potential. Potential I can see in him now that he has spent some time away. He now wants to be the father he couldn’t be then from afar. I have read that letter he wrote a thousand times and could recite it to you verbatim. Now I am writing a letter of my own. Brought on mostly by his words to me about how he is torn between XXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXX his love for his family that stood by his side no matter what for the last 15 years. He says to me that I treated him like garbage but the truth is we both treated each other badly. He says to me that XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXX doesn’t know him, not the real him. Respect and love are earned and only if they are given. If he had ever treated me the way he treats XXXXXX XXXXX I would have responded with amazing love and kindness in return. My love for him carried this family through 15 years of hell. When I couldn’t forgive the man, my husband I forgave my children’s father. I feel now he owes me and this family what we always gave to him…a chance. He says that he can XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, but for years this man didn’t touch me or sleep next to me. Hug me or even kiss me. When he finally would extend his hand to touch me just the slightest it was after months of neglect and anyone would have pulled away. I never once had the ability to share intimate details with him about another man simply because there were none to share. If there had been however, not during my darkest hour, on my darkest day would I do such a cruel thing. At times I was so alone, so lonely with so many opportunities but at the end of the day I was still a married women with children. No matter what was going on with my marriage I still had to live with myself, believe in myself. Tempted many times yes but never once did I so much as kiss, hold or even hug another human being. It would have been pointless since there was only one man I wanted to touch, hold and be with and that man was my husband. Regardless of the abuse and neglect on both parts he was all I ever wanted, all I ever needed. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. Even now I can hear his words over and over again of how he was XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. We made it through and I even began to trust him again, still remaining ever faithful. At times after all the accusations towards me of infidelity I felt like why not but I realized that was not the answer. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX I knew I could never inflict such pain on him and hope to survive it. He then turned around and used his untrue accusations of me being XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. Then to share those intimate details with me was XXXXXXX. He says he is XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. Many times I was torn, many times I forgave the unforgivable. Many times I stood by this man giving him another chance. Many times he begged me to take him back to rebuild our family to give him a chance and against all odds and disbelief I did so every time. He says he can’t go back he would not survive, many times I said the same thing to him and he promised me that this family would not go back that we would go forward and I gave him that chance to prove this time he meant it. If not for myself I gave him that chance for my family, for our children. To live the way this family was living there was no way we could pull ourselves up from the hole we were stuck in. The only way we stood a chance was with some time and space to do so. I never imagined he would use this time and space to XXXXXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXX. He claims he spent a month trying to talk to me that I just didn’t care that I was to busy having fun. That is not the truth. My fun was not fun at all. It was survival. I was dying a little each day. He was out of control. Saying and doing things that were so hurtful and painful I couldn’t figure out how to respond. He refused to listen to me, wouldn’t let me explain or even speak the truth with out XXXXXXXXXXXX. I thought with time he would settle down, give me a chance to talk to him without being so out of control that he couldn’t hear a word I was saying. I wanted him to have time to realize that he was so much better than the man he had become. That he had so much to offer as a father, husband and man. That he alone had the power to make this family not only amazing but eternal something very few families can claim anymore. I am sure that many of you are asking after all the years and all the abuse and neglect and all the problems and now XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX why on earth I would want this man back. It’s simple…our children, our family, myself we need him. Not the him he had become but the him we see today. I don’t want to go back, I could never go back, none of us could. I want to go forward. Start over. Rebuild this beautiful family we once had. To my husband I say only this, many times you asked me for a chance to do the impossible and even against all odds and my own disbelief I gave it to you. After 15 years of mistakes and forgiveness this family stood by you and you owe us the very same now. XXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. And to respond to my husband’s email statement of how I threw away a great man and he doesn’t understand why. Most people can’t even believe it….Well did I throw you away or did you throw me away as well? I think we both threw each other away many times over. A great man? You were a good man once who did a lot of bad things. All I ever wanted was for you to be the best man, the best father and the best husband you could be because I saw you many times over the years at your best and who wouldn’t long for that. As far as those many who can’t believe it maybe now they can understand that there are two sides to every relationship. It always takes two. It is never just one person who is at fault, never. I could go into so many details, so many bad things just to get my point across but that is not me. Like I said I made many mistakes as well. Less than 4 weeks ago my husband asked me to go away with him, start over. I said no because I knew our problems wouldn’t just disappear by going away together as a family. I wanted to deal with our issues not run from them. I desperately wanted him to believe in me, love me, respect me and trust me but he couldn’t. He was so out of control I needed him to settle down have time to think and realize what he was throwing away, fall back in love with his wife and his family. Instead he XXXXXXXXXXXXXX. He believes that I will walk away, that I will give up on 15 years just like that. He wants me to do that because it is easier for him. To sum up our problems over the years is easy in the aspect that he always wanted the easy way out of everything. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. It was always the easy way out. I was always the opposite. I always fought for what I believed in even when it was impossible. So now I will fight. I will fight for this family, for my children, for myself and for him. You only get one short life. We all die but we do not all really live. In the end family is all you really have. I will not give up on my family, not with out a fight. I don’t have it in me to take the easy way out. Our children didn’t ask to be brought into this world. They are 3 of the most amazing, beautiful, smart talented children you will ever know. They deserve to be a family. They deserve to have their mother and their father in the same home. Chris this family has given you everything, more chances than you can count, far more than you ever deserved. That is all we are asking for now. A chance to be a family, a chance to make this right. A chance to rebuild our lives and make this world a better place for our children. If you are truly in XXXX XXXXXX XXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXX. Please do not do this to our family. Our anniversary is less than one week away. The best gift you could give me is to be a family together again for our kids. You owe this family at least a chance to be together. After all the years and chances we gave you. Please don’t destroy our lives anymore than they already have been. I don’t want you to go back to that “hole” that we were both in I want us all to climb out together. That is the only way I think we can climb out. We love you, we need you, we miss you. You know what you put this family through so there was no need to tell all for the world to read but even now we want to be a family. We are begging you to give this family a chance to make this right together. Something we gave you far more times than you deserved.