dear amy

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I am so mad at you.  You hurt me.  You put me in the middle.  You had so many options that night.  Instead of doing the hard thing and reaching out to Marie directly, you called me.  You could have called Christian.  You could have done a welfare check.  Fuck…you could have driven over to her house.  But no, you call me.  Fine.  If that is how we’re going to play this, then I have some things I want to get off my chest regarding how things have gone down in my eyes since the affair came to light.

You can still be mad at the affair.  You have every right to be mad at what happened between Marie and Todd.  You can be mad at Marie and Todd.  It’s a valid feeling.  But it’s the past. You need to realize that you are mad at the past versions of Marie and Todd.  Not the present versions of them. 

From what I picked up on your call to me that night is that you have this vision of who Marie is and that you hate her.  That she is the same person who had an affair with your husband.  You are wrong. 

You can believe that Marie is the only villain in this story, but that is not the case.  It takes two people.  It takes secondary players.  It takes a perfect shit storm.  Yes, Marie broke trust.  She took advantage of your trust and invaded your space.  But so did Todd.  Todd broke a vow and broke his loyalty.  You and Christian were secondary players… you didn’t “allow” the affair to happen, but you’re still a player.  Maybe the communication in your marriage wasn’t where it should have been.  Maybe you were comfortable enough while others took care of the things around you that you became complacent.  Maybe it was easy to let things slide instead of confronting. 

So no, Marie isn’t the only bad guy…she’s just the easiest one for you to blame.  You don’t have to live with her.  You don’t have to present her as the other half of a couple to friends and family.  You don’t have to hold up a mirror to see her instead of seeing your reflection. 

If you still believe that she is a monster, you are stuck in the past.  That person…that 2021 version that you came to hate no longer exists.  Marie is not the same person she was two years ago.  Just like you have made choices and have grown in the last two years, so has she. 

What about Todd?  Is he still the same person who fell in love with someone else and had an affair?  Has he made any changes in his life that make you proud to be his wife?  That show you that he is taking his growth seriously and that he is trying for a new relationship with you?  My hope is yes.  My guess is yes because you are still together.  You are still working on being married and loving and in a committed relationship. 

What about you?  What makes you different than Marie?  You had sex with Marie.  You cheated on your marriage too.  You kept it a secret from Todd and Christian.  How are you exempt from wearing the scarlet letter A on your chest as you have made others do?  Is it because it was with someone of the same sex?  Is it because you believe that you were wronged more?  That’s not how it works.  Is that why you have so much hate for Marie?  Because you feel guilty for your actions and decisions?  Because you were jealous? Because you wanted it all? Because the secret left you out?

You can say that I’m under a spell or that I’m being manipulated, but you are wrong.  The effort, growth, tears, hard conversations, and love that I have experienced myself and more importantly witnessed with others is not something I take lightly.  She is doing the hard work.  Each and every single day.  You don’t know the person she has become.  It’s a shame that you don’t know her now, because she is fucking amazing. 

I know you were hurt.  You were hurt by her.  You were hurt by Todd.  You were hurt by secrets.  You were hurt by decisions made.  You are probably hurt by those of us who have chosen to continue a friendship with Marie. 

I don’t expect that you will find your way to reconciliation, but I am hopeful that the hate in your heart dissipates.  I hope that you are able to stop running.  I get it…every book says to run.  You disconnected from her on social media.  I get it.  But you sold your house and moved to another city.  You are the ones who left your friends in the dust.  You left your support team.  You left your friends in the faith.  We were all here cheering you on and supporting you…and you left.  We didn’t choose a side.  We didn’t sit down and say “these people are more deserving of our friendship”.   We loved you all.  We didn’t want to choose a side.  How are we supposed to fight for you when you ran away and don’t want to be fought for? 

I will agree that after something as big as this that transparency is key.  But challenge yourself…when does transparency become control?  When you track their location because you are scared of who they might be with?  When you can’t have conversations with friends of the opposite sex?  Control doesn’t equal love.  Control disables trust and the ability to communicate honestly and openly.  Yes, I did those things.  I tracked my hubby every day.  I looked at his messages.  I questioned him about everyone he talked to and what they talked about.  I spent almost a decade of my life with pure hatred in my heart.  It damaged me.  It damaged my marriage.  It damaged those around me.  I wish I had that time in my life back.  That time to do the hard work and realize that I wasn’t the only one suffering.  To realize that bad choices can lead to people completely changing their lives. 

I hope that you are able to heal in a healthy way.  Not in a way full of control and hate, but in a way that allows you to find love for yourself, love for your husband, forgiveness, and acceptance. 

You are a different person now than the Amy we knew two years ago.  I hope that person is full of life and love, not the hate-filled person who called me that night. 

Marie and Todd both made a series of choices.  They hurt you.  They hurt Christian.  They hurt family.  They hurt friends.  That doesn’t make them bad people.  That makes them human.  That makes them loved by God. 

At one point in your lives, you believed in the saying “accepting all unconditionally”.  Are you willing to do that anymore?  Are you challenging yourself to do that?  God doesn’t use the squeaky clean people for his miracles…he uses the messy people.  Just take a look at Rahab, the Prodigal Son, David… they had made bad decisions over and over again… yet God used them for amazing things and God loves them. 

If you can change…if Todd can change…if people can change, so can Marie – and she has.  I’m proud of her for those choices. 

So yes, I’m mad at you.  I’m scared for you.  I’m sad for you. I love you.

I pray that you and Todd are happy.  That this awful situation will lead you into a deeper love and understanding of each other.  That you can have new levels of trust and intimacy.  That you can dig into the hard conversations with an open mind.  That you can face your fears head on.  It won’t be easy.  There will be lots of tears, maybe some yelling and screaming, but it’s worth fighting for.  Ultimately the goal is peace. 


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