Sample Consequences Letters
The Original Plan B letter from Dr. Harley’s book, “Surviving an Affair”:
My Dear Sue,
I apologize to you for my part in creating an environment that helped make your affair with Greg possible. I foolishly pursued my career without understanding my responsibility to meet your most important emotional needs. I was not there for you when you needed me the most, and we are now both suffering for my mistake.
I am willing to avoid the mistakes I’ve made in the past and create a new life for both of us that will meet your needs. But I cannot do that until you end your relationship with Greg for once and for all.
Until then, I will avoid seeing you or talking to you. I will also not be able to help you financially. Our friends Jane and Paul have agreed to help make arrangements for you to visit the children whenever you would like. But I will not be here when you visit. If you want to communicate about the children or any other matter, it will have to be through Jane and Paul.
I ask you to respect my decision to separate from you this way. You must know about the suffering I have endured because of your relationship with Greg, and I simply cannot be with you any longer, knowing that you are with him. I still love you but I cannot see you under these conditions.
As soon as you are willing to permanently separate from Greg and are willing to follow the measures that were suggested to ensure total separation, I will be willing to discuss our future together.
I want us to be able to rebuild our marriage some day. I want us to be able to meet each other’s emotional needs and to avoid doing anything to hurt each other. We need to build a new lifestyle in which everything we do makes us both happy. Then there will never again be a reason for us to separate. I want to be your best friend, someone who is always there for you when you need me. And I want you as my best friend.
I loved you when we married and I continue to love you right up to this day. I just cannot be with you or help you as long as you are seeing Greg.
With my love,
P.S. Greg, I love Sue with all my heart and am willing to do whatever it takes to make her happy. I will wait for her to give me that chance.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
You know I love you and adore you with my heart, my mind and my body. When we married I thought it would be forever and have never considered that we would be apart one day. The thought that we may not grow old together truly pains me. We have had great times and we had bad times, but we had each other and for 10 wonderful years it was enough.
I know we had problems. You have told me that I tried to control you, that I rejected your love by rejecting sex with you. You did not like that I was not independent and had ceased listening to you. I cannot change the past H, but I have learnt from my mistakes and I sincerely apologize to you. You know I have changed, you said you have noticed the changes in me. I am making them permanent and improving myself and my life. I am a better person. I make mistakes every day, but everyday I strive to be the best person I can be.
I have thought a lot about our marriage, our current situation and about where we are going. You know my thoughts and feelings. I love you, I want to be with you and work on making our marriage the best ever. I cannot guarantee it will last 50 years or 5 years, but I know that when we try together we do well. I am ready H, not to live together but to work wholeheartedly on our marriage. I commit to you and our marriage. We need help, we need counseling but it takes two of us, I cannot do it alone.
You have told me you need more time and that you are very confused. I feel so much for you as I know this is very difficult. You are at a crossroads in your life and feel that today’s decision will affect the rest of your life. Some decision are tough and are scary, but no one said life would be breezy, its supposed to be hard and painful. Then the easy times are even more delightful. I respect that you have taken time to think about your life.
However, you have chosen to spend time with one specific woman and possibly other. You have told me you are still in contact with her and like her. I do not condone it, or like it, but have no choice. You are the only person who can make choices for you and I will respect your decision. I hope that you will be happy in whatever you chose and that you find peace. You are my friend, my lover and my husband. I only want true happiness for you and do not wish any harm or ill to you.
To preserve the love I have for you and my own sanity I have come to a decision of my own. I need to stop seeing you until you decide one way or the other. The current situation is becoming extremely stressful and hurtful for me. This is not an ultimatum or a threat, it is simply– no contact. I know that I risk loosing you forever, but I cannot continue to see you without putting pressure on you to make a decision. If you choose to come back and work on our marriage, I want to know that you have done it because you love me, not because you have felt pressured into doing it.
Please respect my decision and do not contact me unless it is an emergency. If you need to access the house or spend time with the dog, please contact me and I will arrange to have the house available to you at a time I am not there and will leave the alarm off. I have changed the alarm code, so please do not access the house and set off the alarm).
I will continue to work towards moving from this house and will contact you should any particular emergency arise. All financial information will now be handled by my lawyer who will be in contact to arrange a financial separation. This can easily be reversed if you decide you can commit to me. Otherwise I think this will be for the best. I do not wish to work out financial arrangements with you directly as I feel that it will be too hurtful and stressful for both of us.
I hope with all my heart and soul that you will come back to me one day. Please make Om or Angie or any other woman aware that I am your wife and that I want to work on our marriage. Please be honest with yourself, with me and them.
I love you H, you will always be very special to me. I look back through our life and I chose now to only remember the good times and learn from the bad. I forgive whatever pain you have caused me and hope that in time you will forgive me too.
I hope we will be together again one day.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
It is with a heavy heart that I sit here writing this letter to you. It is truly sad what has happened to us and our marriage. The direction that I must go now is not one of choice but of necessity. Let me explain.
I have made many mistakes in the past and cannot change those. What I have been able to do is recognize those errors in judgment and I have learned from them so that I can take steps to ensure that they will not occur again. I am truly sorry for helping to create an environment that has made your affair possible. I did not realize how much it meant to you for me to be there for you. The hand holding, the hugs, and the snuggling in the mornings to name a few. I now see the things that I was lacking in. I just didn’t understand how important that was to us. I now know.
The past few months have been the most difficult time of my life. The pain and emptiness that I experience on a daily basis is almost too much to bear. My only saving grace is the thought of us being together and happy again some day. Unfortunately, I find now that is slowly being shattered as well. Before I lose that thought completely I must take some drastic steps.
*Wife*, as you know I am still willing to do whatever it takes to correct the mistakes that we have made in the past and make our marriage together stronger and closer than we ever thought possible. I simply cannot do this until you end your relationship with *boyfriend*. You must know and realize about the pain and suffering that I have endured because of your relationship with him.
I simply cannot endure this pain anymore and for that reason I cannot see you or speak to you as long as you are seeing him.
You know that I love more than life itself and that I want to be your best friend and a husband that any woman would be proud to have. However, this simply is not possible while you are seeing him or anyone else. Should there need to be any communication between us it will have to be through a mutual friend of your choice or via the USPS.
*Wife*, I do not know what the future hold for us, That is in Gods hands. I know that I want to grow old with you. When I said I DO, I made a promise in front of God, you, our family and friends for life.
Through better or worse. I want us to rebuild our marriage someday. I want us to be able to meet each others needs and avoid hurting each other. I want everything that we do to make us both happy so that there will be no need for us to separate again. I want to be your husband, your friend, and your lover. I loved you more that life itself while we were together and I continue to do so as I write this.
As soon as you are willing to separate completely from your friendship with *boyfriend* , I will be willing to discuss our future together.
Your husband and the man in love with you
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I love you! I know that you will always reside in my heart since I do have a great love for you after all we’ve gone through.
My anger and bitterness are too great for me to handle. I cannot continue to live a life with you and pretend to be happy. I am so sad and so miserable right now and I truly need to get a grip. That is why we must separate.
I am going to take this time apart to try and understand my part in all this as well as try to get rid of my negativity and constant dwelling on the past. I need to let go, release myself of the burden and forgive–forgive myself and you–for my sake!
For this to happen I ask for one month of no contact, unless it’s an emergency. It is very important to me that you respect my no contact request.
You asked if I would ever consider reconciliation and I would. I won’t take the opportunity to reconcile lightly and hope you wouldn’t either.
For reconciliation to happen I would need the following from you before making a commitment to reconcile:
1) A full confession
2) A sincere, remorseful apology
3) Why you think this happened (name the problem you’ve got to name it to claim it)
4) A detailed recovery plan (what it is and how YOU plan to implement it)
5) Proof you’re working a 12-step program for addiction
My hopes are to someday bring our family back together. The process of getting us to that point is up to you. If your hopes are the same as mine it will show in your actions and commitment to your own personal recovery and healing.
May God bless your days and guide your ways!
All My Love,
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Letter # 5
I regret that we find ourselves in the situation we’re in. I never imagined this would happen to us.
I know that you’ve been unhappy for a long time, for many reasons, some of which you may not be sure of. I’m aware that my behavior in the past contributed in part to your unhappiness and the emotional estrangement between us. I’ve worked very hard these past 21 months to overcome that behavior, not only for you, but for me and our daughter as well. I wanted to be a better husband, a better father, but most importantly a better person. The changes I’ve made have improved my relationships with many of the people in my life, especially <daughter>. We’re closer now than ever. People can change if they’re willing to take a long, hard look in the mirror and hold themselves accountable for who they are. I did that and I’m proud of the person I’ve become.
I still believe we can have a happy, loving, fulfilling marriage. I believe we can learn from our mistakes, grow from them and with effort and desire we can begin to slowly rebuild the love that was the foundation of our marriage and start to become a family again, for our sake and our daughter’s. I believe we can have a marriage based on trust and honesty where we both feel safe sharing our innermost thoughts, feelings, fears and dreams. The kind of marriage we both imagined when we said “I do”. I’m not naive, I know there’s been a lot of damage done. We’d likely need the help of someone like Steve Harley to guide us in learning better ways to communicate, meet each other’s emotional needs and begin to rekindle the spark of emotional intimacy between us. It won’t be easy, but it can be done. I’ve had the good fortune this past year to meet many people who have been able to do it.
I’ve suffered tremendous pain from seeing our marriage fall apart, learning about your relationship with <OM> and dealing with our impending divorce, but I never stopped loving you and I never forgot what a wonderful person you are and how much joy you brought me. That gave me the strength and hope to go on. But the pain became too much to bear and I could not continue to live the way we were, so I had no choice but to move out for my own emotional well being. This wasn’t an easy thing for me to do, but it was a necessary step.
I do not want this divorce. I want to be your husband, in every sense of the word. I want to hold you, talk with you, laugh and cry with you, comfort you, share the joy of raising a family with you. I want to grow old with you. As much as I want this, you have made it clear that you don’t, and as long as you feel this way, I cannot be a part of your life except as the father of your daughter, it is simply too painful. I cannot continue to have you rely on me like a husband when you have a problem or need help with something. It makes me feel uncomfortable and used. Therefore, I must ask you not to contact me except for issues regarding <daughter>. This is something I believe is necessary to preserve and protect the love I still have for you before it slips away.
As always, I will continue to be the best father I can be and do whatever is necessary to insure our daughter’s happiness and make her life as fulfilling as possible.
If, down the road, you have a change of heart and decide you want to give our marriage a chance, I am open to discussing it with you and working out a plan to restore our marriage and make it what we only dreamed it could be, but I will need to know you are committed to our marriage and assurance that <OM> is no longer a part of your life. I still love you, and as I said before, I believe in our marriage and I am willing to do whatever ever is necessary, but until that time, please respect my wishes.
All my love,
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
My Dear W,
This is a very difficult letter for me to write, one that has been weighing on my heart and mind for some time.
It has become evident that our M has suffered due to neglect by both of us. While striving to meet the needs of our family we have missed meeting each other’s needs. I sincerely apologize to you for my part in creating an environment that hurt our relationship. I foolishly pursued my career thinking I was doing the right thing for us and our family, without understanding my responsibility to meet your most important emotional needs. I was not there for you when you needed me the most and we are now both suffering for my mistakes.
I can commit to a marriage based on honesty, openness and mutual respect and care for the others well-being. I can commit to marriage with you on those terms – I cannot commit to a marriage on terms other than those.
I have thought about my mistakes and I am willing to work hard to correct them and create a new life for both of us that will meet both our needs. I cannot continue to do that until you end your relationship with OM and all other relationships and emotional commitments which require you to maintain a secret second life that takes away from our relationship, for once and for all. I love you and I want our marriage to work but in order to preserve my love for you I am no longer able to maintain contact with you until there is no contact with the other man.
Until then, I will need to avoid seeing you or talking to you. I will also not be able to help you as much financially in meeting all of our current obligations. I will continue to pay the mortgage and I will provide you the children with groceries and other basic needs, but I will not be able to pay for utilities or for your car and other living expenses. You will have to cover those yourself. I have made arrangements for the children to see or stay with me whenever they desire, but they should do it without you. If I should need to come to the house, I will make sure to do it when you are not there, or will make arrangements with the children to bring me what I need. I’d appreciate your leaving my mail in the mailbox as I will pick it up myself, until I make other arrangements. If you need to communicate with me regarding the children or any other matter, it should be through a friend or family member, (I might suggest D or B), unless it is an emergency involving the children, in which case I will take your call.
I ask you to respect my decision to separate from you in this way. You may be aware of the suffering I have endured because of your relationship with OM, and I simply cannot continue like this any longer, while knowing that you are with him, and hearing the sound of your voice when you speak to him; words I have not heard in many years. These things are removing the love I feel for you; so although I still love you, I must not see you in order to preserve the love I have left.
As soon as you are willing to permanently separate from OM, demonstrate it in a credible way, and are willing to follow measures to ensure total and permanent separation, then we can talk about our future together. We cannot make the mistake we made in the past, thinking that by just ending the external relationship things would work themselves out. I believe we can jointly arrive at a positive plan that will ensure we’re both happy with our lives together.
I understand how difficult this will be for you as well, and I will make every effort to provide you with comfort and support as we work through this together. Steve Harley can help us do this, as well as help us create a plan that we can both agree on.
I love you, W; you will always be very special to me. I look back through our life and I choose now to only remember the good times and learn from the bad. I forgive whatever pain you have caused me and hope that in time you will forgive me too. I hope that we can work it out and be the best of friends. I hope with all of my heart that we can both put aside our harsh feelings and frustrations and see the good, and see the hope.
I just cannot bear to be with you or see you while you are still involved with OM and give your love and emotional connection to someone else. I’ve loved you since I met you, I loved you when we married, and I continue to love you today; perhaps even more than I ever did before. I look at the picture of us on the beach, and I remember the dreams and the hopes, the stars, and the sunsets we watched. I remember our first awkward time together, and I still believe those dreams are possible.
All my love,
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
This is a difficult letter for me to write, one that I have been mentally working on for weeks now. I have written this letter with the true love that only a wife can have for a husband. Please read every word I have written, for it is from the heart.
I would like to acknowledge and apologize for my part in the demise of our marriage. I neglected your needs, and failed to give you what you needed many times. I’m sure this helped create a voice in our marriage that allowed your affair to happen. I have said this before, and I want to say it again: I want to do whatever I can to put our marriage back together in a mutually satisfying way. I feel that I have been learning ways to be the type of woman that I hope you would be proud to call your wife, as I have so many times felt pride in calling you my husband. I so want to be able to put the past behind us, and build a better life together for us and the children.
The past five months have been a difficult passage of time for me, the most emotionally traumatic in my life. We seemed to start recovery in the beginning, only to slip and fail again. I am still feeling the hurt and pain when I don’t know where you are, or when you’ll be home. We have somehow misplaced our foundation of trust and respect. But lately God has given me a strength that I never knew I possessed. I have grown and matured more as a Christian than I have in my entire lifetime. Whereas in the past endured the hurt and pain, I now see that it is soon to drain my love for you. Until you can truthfully and honestly return home and work with me on rebuilding our marriage, I will be having no communication with you, except regarding the children, and I will avoid seeing you. This is not to punish you, it is to protect my feelings for you and our chances at reconciliation. If we continue as we are now, there would be nothing left.
I ask that you please respect my decision to separate in this way. Please feel free to call the kids at any time and set up visits. If you need to contact me, please do so through email or my pager voice mail.
I will be seeking counsel on how to best protect the kids financially, specifically child support and how to set that up.
I want us to be a team, and restore our marriage together. I want you to know that no matter how bad the past was, no matter how ugly, we can get past it. With God’s help, our true healing can begin. Look inside yourself and find the strength we will need to do this.
I want to grow old with you. I loved you more than life itself while we were together, and I continue to do so as I write this. When you find yourself ready and willing to truly and fully commit to our family, willing to work on a plan for our recovery, and go to counseling, I will be ready and willing to discuss our future.
God be with you, my love.