- Gender and Relationships»
Letter to an Ex-Husband
My Dearest Ex-Husband,
Hopefully, you will read this letter. When you see it is from me, you might put it in the trash. So if you are reading, I have a lot to say. A lot of things have been pent up within me since that hot summer day when our marriage was dissolved like a lump of sugar in a cup of hot tea. What a way to describe the ending of a 12-year marriage.
I did not understand at the time how I would ever get over you and get on with my life. I have been constantly reminded that "If you love something set it free. If it comes back it is yours. If it doesn't, it never was."
You seemed so happy with the divorce. After all, you were the one who initiated it. I remember distinctly how you walked away from the courtroom not even casting a glance my way. The look on your face seemed as if you were thinking to yourself, "Here I am, world, free again!"
Through 15 months of going through the pain and agony of divorce, I could see you were very pleased to separate your life from mine. Despite the way I felt that dreadful day, I knew I had to get on with my life. Unfortunately, it had to be without you. Legally we were divorced with shared custody of two minor children. Our property and possessions had been split down the middle, but emotionally I was still joined to you just as much as that day we said, "I do." at the altar vowing to be with each other forever.
For several years after our divorce, my heart still ached for you. I tried to forget the heated arguments and then the bitter silence that had occurred often during our twelve years of marriage. Like the hands on a clock, our marriage did not go past the number twelve. It seemed as though our marriage had gone full circle.
I have gone over the years of our marriage a thousand times in my mind and have tried to understand why people who start out so much in love like we did could have a man with a black robe give one tap with his gavel and the marriage is all over. How could two human hearts intertwined into one now be severed in two?
I cannot pinpoint the exact moment when I noticed that your feelings had changed toward me. Was it the time I told you I wanted to be my own person? Was it the time I began thinking for myself? I don't know what caused you to turn away from me both in bed and out of bed. The only thing I can remember is that you did, and it hurt!
I remember during our arguments you would say things to me that were really mean. For instance, one time you said that I was not happy and would never be happy and you weren't even going to try to make me happy. What a cruel thing to say to the woman you married and the mother of your two beautiful children? You were mean to me in other ways. Some I have forgotten, but then there are some cruel things that I will always remember.
I remember vividly that you and I were on our way to a PTA meeting when our son was in the third grade. As we were walking up the sidewalk to the school, I tripped and fell. You kept right on walking as if I was invisible. Passer-bys had to help me to the nurse's office for her to bandage up my ankle.
Not "Love Notes"
I also remember during the latter part of our divorce proceedings while both of us were still living in the house, you left notes all over the house with the word "INSECURE" written in big bold letters. You posted them everywhere so I could see them: on the bathroom mirror, on the television screen, in my closet, and on the refrigerator door.
When I thought I had found them all, I located another one in the silverware drawer as I was about to set the table for dinner. I really thought that was the last of the notes until I went to bed that night. As I laid my head on the pillow I heard the rustling of paper. Oh, no there was another note in my pillowcase. I must say you were creative, but don't you think that was childish and really mean?
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No matter how bad you treated me, I admit for a while after the divorce, I missed you very much. I still thought I heard your footsteps coming home at night. I still set an extra plate at the table, but your place remained empty.
In a conversation later, I asked you if you ever regretted divorcing me. You shut me up real fast by saying, "No, I don't regret divorcing you; I regret even having married you."
Well, it has been several years now since our divorce. We have gone our separate ways. I have been comforted in knowing that you love your children. It's their mother you had a problem with. I have never said anything negative about you to turn them away from you. It is a terrible thing that a five-year-old and a three-year-old child had to be caught up in this mess. They have been a comfort to me. I try to hide my depression and mood swings, but I sense they know that I'm not really happy.
By the way, I heard that you remarried before the ink dried on our divorce decree. That was quick. Could there have been someone else in the picture while we were married? I wish the best for both of you. I hope she will be spared from the cruel things you did to me. However, I forgive you! If I don't I will come down to your level. If I do, I can move on and out of a past I cannot change. Like the phoenix, I shall rise from the ashes. It's not the rising I am worried about. It's the time in the ashes that is so painful.