Bea - I don’t think it’s too late for us to weave ourselves back into each other’s lives; today proves it I think.
I have just returned home after a lovely 60th Birthday treat you organised for me having enjoyed ‘the Best Afternoon Tea in Town’ at a swanky hotel in London.
My goodness I felt spoiled and pampered! We chatted away for hours, as if those 30 years of virtual silence had never happened.
As I felt the warmth of your friendship once again, I remembered the joy of being able to have an ‘intellectual’ conversation one moment and then giggle like the two schoolgirls we once were, the next.
I am saddened to think of those lost years. We could have shared such great things; the births and rearing of our children, and the ups and downs of family life we could have gone through together. Perhaps now, as Grandmothers we can talk and laugh and e-mail and text and catch up a little on how life has made us what we are; and maybe if you read this letter which I wish I’d written all those years ago, with the maturity and wisdom we have both acquired over the decades, you may understand a little better. I for my part now believe I understand more of the hardships of Graham's life which may have driven him. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I have missed you.
This is a very difficult letter for me to have to write, for we have been the best of friends for a dozen years; we went to school together and shared our teenage years with all the hopes, fears and excitement that brought in those heady days of the 60s.
When we both married our respective boyfriends, I was proud to be your bridesmaid. Over the years you also developed a very close relationship with my husband Graham; you had many interests in common and like you, he was brought up as an only child.
We spent lots of time together as a foursome, which makes it so very difficult for me to break free as I have come to realise my marriage is not working.
It was probably because we had been childhood sweethearts and married too young, not giving ourselves a proper chance to develop as people in our own right; but I began to feel stifled and oppressed by my husband’s strong character; he constantly put me down, made the most unreasonable demands and belittled my opinions, even criticising my looks and intelligence to the point where I no longer knew who I was nor had any confidence in myself.
I have kept all this to myself, not wanting to rock the boat, and have been thoroughly miserable for some time now. In fact I don’t know if I would now be writing this letter if I had not changed jobs and met Joe.
Joe was kind and obviously adored me from the start. He was just as clever as Graham, but showed me what was lacking in my marriage – consideration and respect. Being with him opened my eyes to the fact that what was going on in my marriage was not good.
So Bea, I am leaving Graham today. I have finished packing most of my things and am waiting for Joe to pick me up. I don’t know if things will work out for us; but I feel we do have a good chance of happiness.
I know I am taking the coward’s way out by leaving Graham with just a short note to say goodbye, and I know he will be upset because I don’t think he really understands what he has done to me. I know how fond you are of him, and I know you will comfort him as best you can and help him through this as a friend. I truly hope he will one day find happiness and fulfilment.
And my fondest hope is that you, my dearest friend, will eventually understand a little of what has made me do this, and that you will still want me to be a part of your life.
All my love,