Wednesday, January 03, 2007

From Carrie

Normally I might hesitate sharing this, but it is addressed to all of us - an e-mailed letter from Carrie. And it does seem only appropriate that it be shared, in honor of all of you who have taken this ride and taken the time to share your thoughts. It is also only fair that Carrie, whose voice has been so recently found, has a chance to weigh in on what is her life also.

This note is to you and your blog friends. This has been one of the hardest years of my life. You have put me through more than anyone should be asked to endure. However, I do not believe it was malicious. If I did, this would have been over a long time ago.

I understand that “Chicago” has become larger than the reality. What you and your friends need to realize is that the damage was done months ago when you announced the trip. More damage was done today when we had to discuss it again. Whether you go or not no longer has any major impact on me. My tears were shed this week for a marriage gone and both a past year of hell and a future year of uncertainty.

The cruelty lies in not being honest with yourself and expecting me to be your conscience and decision maker. I am not your mother. If by going to Chicago you begin to understand both what you are looking for and what you are giving up in exchange, then it will be a worthwhile trip. Under no circumstance will I take you back into my bed until we can both be honest with who we are and what we are looking for in a marriage.

That being said, make no mistake at the pain, anger and grieving I am going through. The fact that you are surprised with my emotions shows your total inability to view this situation from any perspective other than your own. If you want to continue to be my friend, then you must treat me with the same respect I have shown you.

I am happy to go into couples’ counseling at any time to help us through these difficult times. You suggested last night that I must tell you when you are acting inappropriately. I actually thought I had been trying to do that all along to no avail. Your “Sis” has the right idea. Her marriage may or may not work out, but counseling was sought out very early on and continues. You never really felt you (we) needed that.

If I could give advice to just one person reading your blog who has not yet come out to their spouse, it would be to get counseling privately or through groups like HOW before you say the words. Words once said, can never be unsaid. As a friend we want to help you through this process. As your spouse it’s a whole other situation. It is hard to know that the person you are lying next to is fantasying about something you can never be. Fantasies should be private. When you feel you need to act on them, be sure you are ready for the consequences. And above all else, show the person you have chosen to share your life with and who may have born your children the same kindness you would expect someone to show your mother. Respect the fact that for as long as we are able to live in your closet, our self esteem and frequently our health will suffer.

This is a terribly complex problem. I hope that when it is over you will find peace within yourself. Of course I hope we remain together as the soul mates we have always been.

With heartfelt love,



jas said...

That is the most painful email I have read. She loves you, and she is hurting. I would echo a thousand times, and then a thousand times more, go to counseling. They are not miracle workers, but they give you two things: a neutral place with a neutral arbiter to help you get over the immediate problems, and they equip you with tools for the future. And you need them. You need those tools. YOu need help to make sense of all of this.
Not for one second do I presume to understand your position - my own is similar but different; it may well end up like yours. But we got counseling as soon as we possibly could. Without it we would never have got this far.
Nate my friend, my echo, I wish that I could do more, say more, help more. I am the wrong side of a very large ocean to be of any real help.
Tell your lovely wife how much you love her. I wasn't clear if her comment on Chicago was an ultimatum - go and understand what you are giving up - that sounds like a make or break. BUt then Carrie says the damage has already been done.
My advice (worth less than 2p) is not to go. Your heart is torn in two - both choices are painful to you, but she is your wife and she deserves it.
If there is anything I can do - you have my email address. Don't hesitate to drop me a line.
Your friend in cyberspace

Paul said...

Carrie's letter to you proves she's an incredible soul. She's not just looking out for her own interests.

I can't add to what Jas has so succinctly, and directly, written -- but I agree with it.

Paul said...

OK ... I couldn’t stop thinking about your two posts today. Here’s another two cents worth of observations (yes, unsolicited but offered in good faith):

Carrie –

Thanks for being so open. I hope you know that many of Nate’s blog friends are here not just for him, but for you, too. Your perspective is always appreciated. Your pain is felt.

Nate –

Timing’s everything. What’s that saying about putting the cart before the horse?

Your last trip to Chicago did not prove that you like to play with a penis. You already knew that. To me, it proved you have the capacity to have an affair with another man. And in fact, you did. Now, from my observation, most husbands that have affairs don’t talk about them if they want to stay married. But you did. Openly.

So what’s this trip to Chicago suppose to prove? That your affair still has legs? I can’t see you moving to Chicago anytime soon to live with your new man toy.

You and I both know that you ARE going to back to Chicago. If it’s not this weekend, it will be sometime soon. I hope it’s just to reconnect with a friend and have some incredible sex. Nothing more, nothing less. Definitely not to confuse and/or hurt anyone.

"Fantasies should be private. When you feel you need to act on them, be sure you are ready for the consequences." Interesting commentary from Carrie. Now I’m not saying at all that your gayness -– or anybody’s -- is a fantasy. But how strong a reminder that all actions have consequences! Particularly when they involve others.

It’s interesting to hold Will and Grace up as role models. They obviously have a great relationship as roomies. Theirs is so incredible that she could never commit 100% to Harry Connick Jr. What does that say? Nothing about her sexuality. Nor Will’s.

Your stated destination one year ago is obviously a different direction from the destination you and Carrie have realized over the past few months. U-turns are never good going 80 MPH on the Interstate. Getting off at a recognized exit is generally preferred.

If you and Carrie now (or soon) decide to live as Will and Grace, great! However, wouldn’t it be best to make that decision definitively and then determine what activities are necessary to support that decision?

“I am not your mother.” Carrie must feel like she’s being treated that way, or else she wouldn’t have had the basis to make this comment.

Maybe this is a good time for a winter cold. Chicken soup might help.

- Paul

Jenika said...

I can’t thank Paul, Jas, you (Nate) and most importantly Carrie enough for this post. My life and relationship with Bryan was heading in the direction that could have one day been Nate and Carries (especially last week). My eyes have been half open and I’ve been living in a fantasy land for far too long. Some people may be cut out for this type of thing but I dont think I am one of them.

Nate: please thank Carrie for me. She hit the nail on the head in many ways. My eyes are wide open now and I know I have some work ahead of me. I would like to use part of her letter in a post on my blog; with your and her permission of course.

A Troll At Sea said...

Nate and Carrie:

the less I say the better. I just want you both to know that you are in my heart.


Anonymous said...

I have been a long-time, but silent reader of your blog, but I too am a "hurt wife". My bisexual husband cheated on me, and I would like to tell Carrie that not only do I feel for her, but I truly sympathize. Carrie, thank you for your words, your honesty, your emotion. Your emotion is real, AND it is understandable.
I feel for you both, I truly do, as someone who has a similar experience. I understand, as Carrie does, the need, want, true desire to be the best friend, as well as the spouse. Nate--this is what you need to realize. Your actions, while undestandable, maybe explainable, maybe even acceptable (especially as you try to rectify who you "are" and want to be), are not without effect. They effect everyone around you, but most importantly, they effect Carrie. You made a choice to go to Chicago, you made a choice to explore your sexuality and these are definitely choices you have the right to make and maybe you should make to be true to yourself. Just don't forget that Carrie didn't make these choices. She made a choice to marry you--and then made a choice to try to support you. But just as you have had her support, now you must support her. You have already moved downstairs. You have chosen to live a separate life. Don't continue to make and involve her in choices FOR YOU that HURT HER. There is enough hurt involved in this already.
Again, I can honestly understand both of your "sides". But right now, my heart goes out to Carrie because her's has been broken...

bear said...

Thanks so much for this Carrie.
I do feel bad to cause Carrie (or your relationship) any more undue pain that she would have to explain this to you (and us.)

I can't help but feel that the burden of the pain of this "complex problem" rests so much so on Carrie's shoulders...and yet she's so willing to do this for you Nate. I think you Nate must realize this too and can't help but feel guilty for that too?

Chicago: I still do think there was a disconnect somewhere, if you are "incapable of seeing things", I'm not sure what you could have done to figure it out but to bring it up...

My gut feeling is things do still seem very emotionally raw here still and it's not clear (plus we definitely aren't seeing the whole picture)...I think couples counseling or some therapy might be a good idea here, though I'm not certain anyone has expertise in your situation or with your goals since I think you guys are leading the way here!

Anonymous said...

Carrie, as I read your emotions through out your notes, I cannot help but think my wife has written this. We are a married couple struggling through the same issues that you and Nate are going through. I have emailed with Nate in the past about how are paths are very similar. I know this has probably been harder for her (and you) then for us guys but also this is not easy as we do want the best of both world (selfish or what). We do still love you the way we always have for who you are and what we have created together and strived for. We dont want to loose that but there is something that has been missing from who we really are, and that is the part that is hurting everyone. You love him as much as you ever have and always will, but you worry does he still love you?? He does do not forget that. We do need you in our lives also, again how selfish. I am struggling with letting my wife read this blog, I am not sure if it would help us or hinder us as we struggle through this. Sorry for my rambling but the similarities to our paths makes me think everytime I read Nates post.