After reading the letter that Steve Phillips's mistress sent to his wife, I felt the need to post the following piece.
Letter from a betrayed wife: Anytown USA
Things I wish you wouldn't have done.
I have grown to accept the fact that you chose to have an affair and to go outside of our marriage for selfish gratification, ego stroking, and other BS excuses, and though I may never understand why you did what you did, I may one day find the strength to forgive you. There are some components of this mess you made, however, that I will never accept, never understand and never be able to forgive. You see my dear, for me these things were war crimes, and hit below the lines of basic selfish, immature and destructive behavior. These are things which will complicate my road to recovery and make this event something which will likely be a sore spot for me for the remainder of my living days. So beyond sleeping with someone else, here is a list of things I really wish you wouldn't have done.
I wish you wouldn't have…spoken ill about me to that other woman. I know you wanted to get into her pants and establish a trust bond between the two of you but I wish you wouldn't have belittled, attacked, insulted, berated and put me down in the process. Telling her about my faults and weaknesses, or letting her know how much better she was than me in certain areas was unconscionable. All this did was bolster her confidence and re enforce in her mind that she was superior to me, and therefore a more suitable partner for you. Telling her what a neglectful, self centered, unattractive, undesirable or sub standard wife I was is inexcusable and it sickens me to know that throwing darts at me was foreplay for your sexual escapades. If I was so impossible to live with, you should have left me long ago.
I wish you wouldn't have…hindered my ability to feel comfortable with you in public. Knowing that you were seen with this other woman, regardless of how small the venue, diminishes my ability to feel relaxed when we are out. Every time someone looks at me strangely, I am wondering if they saw you previously with her. Every time someone asks me the most innocent of questions such as, "How's your husband?" or "How's married life?" I begin to wonder if they have some piece of information about you that they'd like to share with me. I find myself scanning the room at gatherings wondering who knew the secret. I am embarrassed to be around your friends, family and co-workers because I wonder how much information they have about your affair and what they are thinking about me and my reported inadequacies. Although I was once proud to be by your side and on your arm, today that position carries with it a degree of embarrassment and humiliation, thanks to you.
I wish you wouldn't have…limited the number of places I can go, eat, and enjoy myself because they now make me sick. There are certain restaurants I can no longer go to because you took her there. There are certain hotels where I can no longer stay because you slept with her there. There are certain parks I can't walk through, roads I can't drive down, songs I can't listen to, movies I can't watch or places I can't visit because you have contaminated them.
I wish you wouldn't have…assumed you were the only one in this relationship with unmet needs and disappointed expectations. There were plenty of times when I was lonely, unappreciated, ignored, dissatisfied, bored and needing an escape, but I chose the high road. It never occurred to me to complicate our relationship with an outside distraction that I could use as a sounding board to criticize you or as a physical outlet for my needs. I think it's pretty hilarious that you think you were everything I needed all the time, and that life never threw any temptations my way. But once again, it was all about you and your sense that you are entitled to be comfortable and satisfied at all times. I wish you would have realized that perhaps if you'd bothered to look over and see what I was needing once in awhile, you might have gotten more of what you wanted in this relationship.
I wish you wouldn't have…limited my ability to love you completely and unconditionally. The uninhibited way in which I gave myself to you is gone and has been replaced by someone who is constantly battling mind triggers and obsessive affair thoughts. I can no longer put my guard down with you and am always wondering if you are comparing me to her. I can't help but wonder what you thought when you looked at her body and what your physical relationship entailed. I wonder if you found her sexier, prettier, more adventurous, more desirable or to be an overall better sexual partner than me. Rather than compete with her, however, I find myself pulling back and being inhibited in a way that is foreign to me, and to us.
I wish you wouldn't have…looked me in my face and repeatedly lied to me. Now that I know how easy that was for you to do, and how painlessly the lies rolled off of your tongue, I wonder if I can ever completely trust anything you say about us and our relationship again. I always considered myself pretty sharp, so the fact that you were able to mislead me so easily scares me more than you know.
I wish you wouldn't have…reshaped my reality and distorted my perception of history and past events. Every time I look at an old photo of us I have to classify it as pre or post affair. When I see images of myself smiling in pictures or on video, I think to myself, "If only I'd known". I find myself reliving past events, holidays, occasions, vacations and outings, and wondering to myself if you were seeing her during those times. All of my memories are clouded now, dear, and because of you, there are scrap books I'll never open again, keepsakes I'll forever pack away, and occasions which have completely lost their meaning.
So yes, the affair is reportedly over, the dust has settled and I have decided to move on. But before I do, I just need for you to know that aside from the sheer devastation of an affair, know that there are certain components of betrayal which leave lasting hurt, long-term pain, and all too often permanent resentment. These are things, honey, that "I'm sorry" simply cannot fix.
Just thought you ought to know.