Dear well meaning friend,
I know you love me and are trying to help when you point out things that are trying to protect me.
Let me tell you something. I love you too, but those things are so not helpful. They are the opposite of helpful. I often cry when you leave or sob when we hang up the phone.

I do not wish for you to “protect me” from my husband. I don’t need you to be strong or smart for me, I am already strong and smart. I am smart in the ways that I want to be, and vulnerable in other ways that I want to be. Nothing that I am doing right now is being done blindly. I think about this shit all day. It pretty much rules my life. On good days, it doesn’t, and I love those days. I don’t need to be brought back down by your helpful attempt at “keeping it real.”

I don’t need you to remind me to protect myself, I don’t need you to be more aggressive than me. I don’t need you to point out why my husband was a good husband because guess what- he wasn’t. Things he did might have been nice, but were all of those nice tasks worth him fucking prostitutes? The answer is no. So please stop making him out to be a good person.

At the same time, do not act like I’m a fucking idiot for sticking with him- I’m not. I see what I’m doing and this is my journey to get through. It may be longer than it would be for you, it may be shorter. It may be unorthodox, the route that my journey takes me. That is fine, because it is MY journey, not yours.

I have been there for you and supported you through tremendous crisis. I have not pushed you to hate the person you have conflict with, I have not pushed you to take advantage of him. I have not pushed you to coddle or give them every benefit of every doubt. I am there with a warm smile and hug and I smile and nod. Quietly, I may feel that it’s hard to smile through your pain when I disagree with your approach. In fact, often I have disagreed with your approach PASSIONATELY and it has taken all my might to support the way YOU are approaching it. Parenting crisis, affair, whatever it is, I have been supportive. I know that my husband is flawed. I choose him, one day at a time.

I need you to be there for me, as a friend, not an advice giver, not a strength maker, not even an educator or eye-opener. I’ve got all that covered. Just as a friend who loves me and wishes to support me.