Yesterday, DH and I received a note from Freckles. Though both the envelope and letter were addressed to the both of us, Freckles was really writing directly to me. I believe it was her attempt to get me to engage and to...get this...feel badly for her husband.
The letter was short, just the front of one loose-leaf lined piece of paper. In it, Freckles wrote about what she imagines we are doing now and that she hopes we are well and happy. She also chose to share some of their recent big news, most of which I would like to keep private out of respect for Freckles. There is one part I'd like to share with you, as I found it to be of particular significance to our estrangement from them. Freckles wrote:
"Double Agent's Uncle passed away last week after a six month battle with cancer. This is DA's first experience with loss (other than losing [DH's name]). So it's been hard on him. He still hopes and waits for someday in the future when there can be reconciliation between the two of them."
I take up several issues with this:
1. We have been set up to equate the loss of DA's uncle with the loss of my husband's friendship. It seems clear to me that we're to assume that DA was close with this uncle, and that the loss he feels in losing this uncle to cancer is supposedly on par with the loss he feels in losing his friendship with DH. This equation seems far fetched to me. DH is not dead and their relationship was ended by choice, whether DA wants to see it that way or not. I think that it is insulting to lump the termination of my husband's friendship in with the ending of a loved one's life. I also think it was Freckles' attempt to get me to feel badly for her husband, because she still thinks that if I sympathize with him, then I will interfere by pushing my husband towards reconciliation with her husband.
2. "He still hopes and waits for someday in the future when there can be reconciliation between the two of them" smacks of inevitability. Freckles has made it sound as though reconciliation between her husband and mine is a matter of "when" rather than a matter of "if." She can see it that way if she wants to, but I choose not to. In particular because reconciliation doesn't just "happen." Reconciliation would require that DA's allegiance be with my husband, rather than with my husband's NM. Reconciliation would require that he learn how not to be a pompous asshole and treat everyone else like they are below him. Reconciliation would mean he would have to offer his genuine apologies to myself and my husband. Reconciliation would require many, many things, that I am pretty sure DA is not willing or capable of doing. So the fact that Freckles writes about DA's "hopes" for the inevitable reconciliation means little more to me than that she and her husband subscribe to the same patterns of belief that they did when we decided to add them to our list of No Contact. Nothing has changed and they are still just a part of my DH's toxic past.
Overall, I'm saddened by the letter from Freckles, more than I am angry or annoyed. She is someone who I would have liked to have been friends with, under different circumstances. I feel that she is being genuine when she says she wishes us well and that she means no ill-will. But, as it stands, I will not engage. There is a choice to be made, and as I have done many times before, I will do again: I choose my husband.
Every time, I choose him.