Listening To a Regretful Adulterer

I received a poignant email message this morning. With the permission of the sender, I’m sharing it with you. Let’s call him Herbert.

Dear Lee

I want to thank you for the help you have extended with your suggestions on coping with the most devastating of life’s offerings. I am separated now for the last 6 months. It sucks. I have been unfaithful to the point of obnoxious. I have been a terrible husband to my wife and she had patiently given me enough warnings to pull my socks up. I just didn’t listen.

And then she left me. I see myself everyday in the mirror and define my image as the most vile and to be hated human being to ever walk this earth. I say this with no motive as I know she isn’t going to read this and give me a chance. I say this because I have all along known how much she meant to me even in my wandering days. I wasn’t looking for love. I was looking for cheap thrills.

The three year period is something I don’t yet understand. While I read your note, I just don’t know why that should ever make sense. I am only happy for those who could move on and succeed.

The guilt of not seeing  the signs is overwhelming. I know I can do little about it now as it is beyond me. She is happy or it seems to be and I cannot be more supportive of that by staying the hell away from her. My trouble with time healing is that time merely makes the life’s routine normal as I see and endure it every day. I have faith and I do know god is the feeling of someone giving you a listening ear when I am at my wits end. and I am. I truly am.

I do not see myself marrying again or wanting another woman in my life. I don’t deserve that kind of life.

I just wanted to write to you with no motive whatsoever. Except may be to say thank you.

I wish you well.

As I told Herbert, I think he’s exceptionally brave and unusually self-aware, which is why I think it makes sense for you to have a moment to walk in his shoes. That is all.

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